The challenging task in educational institutions is to maximize the high performance of students and minimize the failure rate of poor-performing students. An effective method to leverage this task is to know student learning patterns with highly influencing factors and get an early prediction of student learning outcomes at the timely stage for setting up policies for improvement. Educational data mining (EDM) is an emerging disciplinary field of data mining, statistics, and machine learning concerned with extracting useful knowledge and information for the sake of improvement and development in the education environment. The study is of this work is to propose techniques in EDM and integrate it into a web-based system for predicting poor-performing students. A comparative study of prediction models is conducted. Subsequently, high performing models are developed to get higher performance. The hybrid random forest (Hybrid RF) produces the most successful classification. For the context of intervention and improving the learning outcomes, a feature selection method MICHI, which is the combination of mutual information (MI) and chi-square (CHI) algorithms based on the ranked feature scores, is introduced to select a dominant feature set that improves the performance of prediction and uses the obtained dominant set as information for intervention. By using the proposed techniques of EDM, an academic performance prediction system (APPS) is subsequently developed for educational stockholders to get an early prediction of student learning outcomes for timely intervention. Experimental outcomes and evaluation surveys report the effectiveness and usefulness of the developed system. The system is used to help educational stakeholders and related individuals for intervening and improving student performance.
Labor market activity and paid employment should be a key factor in protecting individuals and families from falling into poverty and providing them with sufficient resources to meet the needs of their members. However, due to various processes in the labor market as well as the influence of individual factors and often insufficient social capital, there is a relatively large group of households that cannot eliminate paid employment and find themselves in a state of so-called working poverty. The aim of the research was to find out what strategies families use in managing poverty and meeting their needs and which of these strategies prevail in the Slovak population. A quantitative research strategy was chosen. The method of data collection was a structured interview focused on finding out the use of individual management strategies and also selected demographic indicators. The research sample consisted of members of families in which at least one member has a paid job. The condition for inclusion in the research was that the family's income did not exceed 60% of the national median equalized disposable income. The analysis of the results showed 5 basic areas to which management strategies are related - work, financial security, needs, social contacts and perception of the current situation. The prevailing strategies were strategies aimed at increasing and streamlining labor market activity and the planned and effective management of the family budget. Strategies that were rejected were mainly related to debt creation. The results make it possible to identify the preferred ways of managing poverty in individual areas of life, as well as the factors that influence this behavior. This information is important for working with families living in a state of working poverty and can help professionals develop positive ways of coping for families.
Frontline workers performing client service duties in finance-oriented firms in most sub-Saharan African countries, such as Ghana, are known to be challenged in the conduct of their activities. The challenge is attributed to clients’ continued demand for real-time services from such workers, despite the introduction of technological interventions to offset the situation. This has caused such frontline workers to experience increases in their work-induced emotions with consequential effects on their work-induced happiness. This study, therefore, explored the effect of frontline workers’ work-induced emotions on their worked-induced happiness when providing tellering services to clients. A cross-sectional design and quantitative technique were used. Data were collected from a sample of 280 frontline workers using questionnaire. Based on the analysis, it was found that an increase in the frontline workers’ work-induced emotions, caused by their feelings of strain, burnout, frustration, and hard work, had consequential effect on their work-induced happiness. This consequential effect was also found to be aggravated by the workers’ senses of being stretched beyond limit, being emotionally drained, and being used up by their work activities. It is concluded that frontline workers in finance-oriented firms can provide quality real-time services to clients without increases in their work-induced emotions, but with enhanced work-induced happiness, when the psychological and physiological emotional factors associated with the challenged work activities are understood and remedied. Management of the firms can use such understanding to redesign the activities of their frontline workers and improve the quality of their service delivery interactivity with clients.
Substance use among pregnant women is a perennial problem in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. There are many influential elements related with substance use among women of childbearing-age. Factors associated with substance use during pregnancy were explored using qualitative research approach and bio-ecological theoretical framework was utilised to guide the study. Participants were selected using purposive sampling. Participants accessed from the Department of Social Development who met the inclusion criteria of the study were interviewed using semi structured interviews. Participants were referred for psychological intervention during the interview if deemed necessary. Braun and Clarke’s six phases of thematic analysis were used to analyse the data. The study adhered to ethical measures for the participants’ protection. Participants had been knowledgeable about the study earlier than the initiation of the interviews and the important points of their voluntary participation had been explained. The key findings from this study illustrate that social factors, individual area and romantic relationship are the major contributing factors to substance use among pregnant ladies in this sample. Recommendations arising from the study encompass that the stakeholders, rehabilitation centers, Department of Health and future researchers ought to act proactively against substance use all through pregnancy.
The study is about the e-banking consumer behavior of five major banks in Cambodia. This work aims to examine the relationships among job relevance, trust, mobility, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, attitude toward using, and intention to use of internet banking and apps. Also, the research develops and tests a conceptual model of intention to use internet banking by integrating the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and job relevance, trust, and mobility which were supported by Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). The proposed model was tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), which was processed by using SPSS and AMOS with a sample size of 250 e-banking users. The results showed that there is a significant positive relationship among variables and attitudes toward using internet banking, and apps are the most factor influencing consumers’ intention to use internet banking and apps with the importance level in SEM 0.82 accounted by 82%. Significantly, all six hypotheses were accepted.
Chain Ladder (CL) method, Expected Loss Ratio (ELR) method and Bornhuetter-Ferguson (BF) method, in addition to more complex transition-rate modeling, are commonly used actuarial reserving methods in general insurance. There is limited published research about their relative performance in the context of Mortgage Insurance (MI). In our experience, these traditional techniques pose unique challenges and do not provide stable claim estimates for medium to longer term liabilities. The relative strengths and weaknesses among various alternative approaches revolve around: stability in the recent loss development pattern, sufficiency and reliability of loss development data, and agreement/disagreement between reported losses to date and ultimate loss estimate. CL method results in volatile reserve estimates, especially for accident periods with little development experience. The ELR method breaks down especially when ultimate loss ratios are not stable and predictable. While the BF method provides a good tradeoff between the loss development approach (CL) and ELR, the approach generates claim development and ultimate reserves that are disconnected from the ever-to-date (ETD) development experience for some accident years that have more development experience. Further, BF is based on subjective a priori assumption. The fundamental shortcoming of these methods is their inability to model exogenous factors, like the economy, which impact various cohorts at the same chronological time but at staggered points along their life-time development. This paper proposes an alternative approach of parametrizing the loss development curve and using logistic regression to generate the ultimate loss estimate for each homogeneous group (accident year or delinquency period). The methodology was tested on an actual MI claim development dataset where various cohorts followed a sigmoidal trend, but levels varied substantially depending upon the economic and operational conditions during the development period spanning over many years. The proposed approach provides the ability to indirectly incorporate such exogenous factors and produce more stable loss forecasts for reserving purposes as compared to the traditional CL and BF methods.
For successful re-integration, the individual offender must adapt and transform, which requires that the offender should adopt and internalise socially approved norms, attitudes, values, and beliefs. However, the offender’s labelling and community stigmatisation decide the destination of the offender. Community involvement in ex-offenders’ re-integration is an important issue in efforts to reduce recidivism and to control overcrowding in our correctional facilities. Crime is a social problem that requires society to come together to fight against it. This study was conducted in the Limpopo Province in Vhembe District Municipality within four local municipalities, namely Musina, Makhado, Mutale, and Thulamela. A total number of 30 participants were interviewed, and all were members of the Community Corrections Forums. This was necessitated by the fact that Musina is a very small area, which compelled the Department of Correctional Services to combine the two (Musina and Makhado) into one social re-integration entity. This is a qualitative research study where participants were selected through the use of purposive sampling. Participants were selected based on the value they would add to this study in order to achieve the objectives. The data collection method of this study was the focus group, which comprised of three groups of 10 participants each. Thulamela and Mutale local municipalities formed a group with (10) participants each, whereas Musina (2) and Makhado (8) formed another. Results indicate that the current situation is not conducive for re-integration to be successful. Participants raised many factors that need serious redress, namely offenders’ discrimination, lack of forgiveness by members of the community, which is fuelled by lack of community awareness due to the failure of the Department of Correctional Services in educating communities on ex-offenders’ re-integration.
South Africa is experiencing an exponential growth of distributed solar PV installations. This is due to various factors with the predominant one being increasing electricity tariffs along with decreasing installation costs, resulting in attractive business cases to some end-users. Despite there being a variety of economic and environmental advantages associated with the installation of PV, their potential impact on distribution grids has yet to be thoroughly investigated. This is especially true since the locations of these units cannot be controlled by Network Service Providers (NSPs) and their output power is stochastic and non-dispatchable. This report details two case studies that were completed to determine the possible voltage and technical losses impact of increasing PV penetration in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Some major impacts considered for the simulations were ramping of PV generation due to intermittency caused by moving clouds, the size and overall hosting capacity and the location of the systems. The main finding is that the technical impact is different on a constrained feeder vs a non-constrained feeder. The acceptable PV penetration level is much lower for a constrained feeder than a non-constrained feeder, depending on where the systems are located.
Tripping of boundary-layers from laminar to turbulent flow, which may be necessary in specific practical applications, requires high amplitude disturbances to be introduced into the boundary layers without large drag penalties. As a possible improvement on fixed trip devices, a technique based on vortex shedding for enhancing supersonic flow transition is demonstrated in the present paper for a Mach 1.5 boundary layer. The compressible Navier-Stokes equations are solved directly using a high-order (fifth-order in space and third-order in time) finite difference method for small-scale cylinders suspended transversely near the wall. For cylinders with proper diameter and mount location, asymmetry vortices shed within the boundary layer are capable of tripping laminar-turbulent transition. Full three-dimensional simulations showed that transition was enhanced. A parametric study of the size and mounting location of the cylinder is carried out to identify the most effective setup. It is also found that the vortex shedding can be suppressed by some factors such as wall effect.
In Liberia, many of the agricultural households cultivate cassava for either sustenance purposes, or to generate farm income. Many of the concentrated cassava farmers reside in Nimba, a north-eastern County that borders two other economies: the Republics of Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea. With a high demand for cassava output and products in emerging Asian markets coupled with an objective of the Liberia agriculture policies to increase the competitiveness of valued agriculture crops; there is a need to examine the level of resource-use efficiency for many agriculture crops. However, there is a scarcity of information on the efficiency of many agriculture crops, including cassava. Hence the study applying an output-oriented method seeks to assess the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba County, Liberia. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to generate a sample for the study. From 216 cassava farmers, data related to on-farm attributes, socio-economic and institutional factors were collected. The stochastic frontier models, using the Translog functional forms, of production and revenue, were used to determine the level of revenue efficiency and its determinants. The result showed that most of the cassava farmers are male (60%). Many of the farmers are either married, engaged or living together with a spouse (83%), with a mean household size of nine persons. Farmland is prevalently obtained by inheritance (95%), average farm size is 1.34 hectares, and most cassava farmers did not access agriculture credits (76%) and extension services (91%). The mean cassava output per hectare is 1,506.02 kg, which estimates average revenue of L$23,551.16 (Liberian dollars). Empirical results showed that the revenue efficiency of cassava farmers varies from 0.1% to 73.5%; with the mean revenue efficiency of 12.9%. This indicates that on average, there is a vast potential of 87.1% to increase the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba by improving technical and allocative efficiencies. For the significant determinants of revenue efficiency, age and group membership had negative effects on revenue efficiency of cassava production; while farming experience, access to extension, formal education, and average wage rate have positive effects. The study recommends the setting-up and incentivizing of farmer field schools for cassava farmers to primarily share their farming experiences with others and to learn robust cultivation techniques of sustainable agriculture. Also, farm managers and farmers should consider a fix wage rate in labor contracts for all stages of cassava farming.
We examine the causal role of positive affect on creativity, the association of creativity or innovation in the ideation phase with functional emotional regulation, successful adjustment to stress and dispositional emotional creativity, as well as the predictive role of creativity for positive emotions and social adjustment. The study examines the effects of modification of positive affect on creativity. Participants write three poems, narrate an infatuation episode, answer a scale of personal growth after this episode and perform a creativity task, answer a flow scale after creativity task and fill a dispositional emotional creativity scale. High and low positive effect was induced by asking subjects to write three poems about high and low positive connotation stimuli. In a neutral condition, tasks were performed without previous affect induction. Subjects on the condition of high positive affect report more positive and less negative emotions, more personal growth (effect size r = .24) and their last poem was rated as more original by judges (effect size r = .33). Mediational analysis showed that positive emotions explain the influence of the manipulation on personal growth - positive affect correlates r = .33 to personal growth. The emotional creativity scale correlated to creativity scores of the creative task (r = .14), to the creativity of the narration of the infatuation episode (r = .21). Emotional creativity was also associated, during performing the creativity task, with flow (r = .27) and with affect balance (r = .26). The mediational analysis showed that emotional creativity predicts flow through positive affect. Results suggest that innovation in the phase of ideation is associated with a positive affect balance and satisfactory performance, as well as dispositional emotional creativity is adaptive.
In recent years, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach has been developed expeditiously. As people see the benefits of this approach, it has begun to be used widely in construction projects and some countries made it mandatory to get more benefits from it. To promote the implementation of BIM in construction projects, it will be helpful to get some relevant information from surveys and interviews. The purpose of this study is to research the current adoption and implementation of BIM in public projects in Turkey. This study specified the challenges of BIM implementation in Turkey and proposed some solutions to overcome them. In this context, the challenges for BIM implementation and the factors that affect the BIM usage are determined based on previous academic researches and expert opinions by conducting interviews and questionnaire surveys. Several methods are used to process information in order to obtain weights of different factors to make BIM widespread in Turkey. This study concluded interviews' and questionnaire surveys' outcomes and proposed some suggestions to promote the implementation of BIM in Turkey. We believe research findings will be a good reference for boosting BIM implementation in Turkey.
Business model (BM) is a term that has been receiving the attention of scholars and practitioners and has been consolidating itself as a field of study and research. Although there is no agreement in the academic literature on the definition of BM, at least there is an explicit agreement: BM defines a logical structure of how an organization creates value, capture value and delivers value for the customers and stakeholders. The lack of understanding about connections and elements among BM and higher education, university, and entrepreneurship education opens a gap in the academic literature. Thus, it is interesting to analyze how BM has been approached by the literature and applied in higher education, university, and entrepreneurship education aimed to know the main streams of research. This is because higher education institutions are characterized by innovation, leading to a greater acceptance of new and modern concepts such as BM. Our research has the main motivation to fill the gap in the academic literature, making it possible to increase the power of understanding about connections and aspects among BM and higher education, university, and entrepreneurship education. The objective of the research is to analyze the main aspects among BM and higher education, university, and entrepreneurship education in academic literature. The research followed the systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR is based on three main factors: clarity, validity, and auditability. 82 academic papers were found in the past 10 years, from 2009-2019. The search was carried out in Science Direct and Periodicos Capes databases. The main findings indicate that there are links between BM and higher education, BM and university, BM, and entrepreneurship education. The main findings are inserted within seven aspects. The findings are innovative and contribute to increase the power of understanding about the connection among BM and higher education, university, and entrepreneurship education in academic literature. The research findings addressed to the gap exposed in academic literature. The research findings have several practical implications, and we highlight only two main ones. First, researchers will be able to use the research findings to mitigate a BM research agenda involving connections between BM and higher education, BM and university, and BM and entrepreneurship education. Second, directors, deans, and university leaders will be able to carry out BM awareness programs, BM professors training programs, and makers planning for the inclusion of BM, as one of the components of the curricula of the undergraduate and graduate courses.
With the development of information technology in China, network consumption is becoming more and more popular. As a special group, college students have a high degree of education and distinct opinions and personalities. In the future, the key groups of network consumption have gradually become the focus groups of network consumption. Studying college students’ online consumption behavior has important theoretical significance and practical value. Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) driving model and the structural equation model, this paper establishes the influencing factors model of College students’ online consumption behavior, evaluates and amends the model by using SPSS and AMOS software, analyses and determines the positive factors of marketing college students’ consumption, and provides an effective basis for guiding and promoting college student consumption.
Distance learning provides a flexible approach to education, enabling busy learners to complete their coursework at their own pace, on their own schedule, and from a convenient location. This flexibility combined with a series of other issues; make the benefits of lifelong distance learning numerous. The purpose of the paper is to investigate whether distance education can contribute to the improvement of adult skills in Greece, highlighting in this way the necessity of the lifelong distance learning. To investigate this goal, a questionnaire is constructed and analyzed based on responses from 3,016 attendees of lifelong distance learning programs in the e-learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. In order to do so, a series of relationships is examined including the effects of a) the gender, b) the previous educational level, c) the current employment status, and d) the method used in the distance learning program, on the development of new general, technical, administrative, social, cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills. The basic conclusions that emerge after using a binary logistic framework are that the following factors are critical in order to develop new skills: the gender, the education level and the educational method used in the lifelong distance learning program. The skills more significantly affected by those factors are the acquiring new skills in general, as well as acquiring general, language and cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills, while for technical and social skills only gender and educational method play a crucial role. Moreover, routine skills and social skills are not affected by the four factors included in the analysis.
The use of advanced methods has been increasing day by day in the maritime sector, which is one of the sectors least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is aimed to minimize accidents, especially by using advanced methods in the investigation of marine accidents. This research aimed to conduct an exploratory statistical analysis of particular ship accidents in the Transport Safety Investigation Center of Turkey database. 46 ship accidents, which occurred between 2010-2018, have been selected from the database. In addition to the availability of a reliable and comprehensive database, taking advantage of the robust statistical models for investigation is critical to improving the safety of ships. Thus, descriptive analysis has been used in the research to identify causes and conditional factors related to different types of ship accidents. The research outcomes underline the fact that environmental factors and day and night ratio have great influence on ship safety.
In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.
Predicting the risk of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (PA) in advance can benefit the quality of care and potentially reduce population mortality and morbidity. The aim of this study was to develop and prospectively validate a risk prediction model to identify patients at risk of new incident PA as early as 3 months before the onset of PA in a statewide, general population in Maine. The PA prediction model was developed using Deep Neural Networks, a deep learning algorithm, with a 2-year electronic-health-record (EHR) cohort. Prospective results showed that our model identified 54.35% of all inpatient episodes of PA, and 91.20% of all PA that required subsequent chemoradiotherapy, with a lead-time of up to 3 months and a true alert of 67.62%. The risk assessment tool has attained an improved discriminative ability. It can be immediately deployed to the health system to provide automatic early warnings to adults at risk of PA. It has potential to identify personalized risk factors to facilitate customized PA interventions.
Poor system use, including inappropriate design of health information systems, causes difficulties in communication with patients and increased time spent by healthcare professionals in recording the necessary health information for medical records. System features like pop-up reminders, complex menus, and poor user interfaces can make medical records far more time consuming than paper cards as well as affect decision-making processes. Although errors associated with health information and their real and likely effect on the quality of care and patient safety have been documented for many years, more research is needed to measure the occurrence of these errors and determine the causes to implement solutions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to identify data integrity challenges in hospital information systems through a scoping review and based on the results provide recommendations on how to manage these. Only 34 papers were found to be most suitable out of 297 publications initially identified in the field. The results indicated that human and computerized systems are the most common challenges associated with data integrity and factors such as policy, environment, health workforce, and lack of awareness attribute to these challenges but if measures are taken the data integrity challenges can be managed.
It is recognized that people are the main drivers in almost all the processes that affect airworthiness assurance. This is especially true in the area of aircraft maintenance, which is an essential part of continuing airworthiness. This work investigates what impact English language proficiency, the intersection of the military and Thai cultures, and the lack of initial and continuing human factors training have on the work performance of maintenance personnel in the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). A quantitative research method based on a cross-sectional survey was used to gather data about these three key aspects of “people” in a military airworthiness environment. 30 questions were developed addressing the crucial topics of English language proficiency, impact of culture, and human factors training. The officers and the non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who work for the Aeronautical Engineering Divisions in the RTAF comprised the survey participants. The survey data were analysed to support various hypotheses by using a t-test method. English competency in the RTAF is very important since all of the service manuals for Thai military aircraft are written in English. Without such competency, it is difficult for maintenance staff to perform tasks and correctly interpret the relevant maintenance manual instructions; any misunderstandings could lead to potential accidents. The survey results showed that the officers appreciated the importance of this more than the NCOs, who are the people actually doing the hands-on maintenance work. Military culture focuses on the success of a given mission, and leverages the power distance between the lower and higher ranks. In Thai society, a power distance also exists between younger and older citizens. In the RTAF, such a combination tends to inhibit a just reporting culture and hence hinders safety. The survey results confirmed this, showing that the older people and higher ranks involved with RTAF aircraft maintenance believe that the workplace has a positive safety culture and climate, whereas the younger people and lower ranks think the opposite. The final area of consideration concerned human factors training and non-technical skills training. The survey revealed that those participants who had previously attended such courses appreciated its value and were aware of its benefits in daily life. However, currently there is no regulation in the RTAF to mandate recurrent training to maintain such knowledge and skills. The findings from this work suggest that the people involved in assuring the continuing airworthiness of the RTAF would benefit from: (i) more rigorous requirements and standards in the recruitment, initial training and continuation training regarding English competence; (ii) the development of a strong safety culture that exploits the uniqueness of both the military culture and the Thai culture; and (iii) providing more initial and recurrent training in human factors and non-technical skills.
Wildfires are becoming an increasing concern worldwide, causing substantial social, economic, and environmental disruptions. This situation is especially relevant in Mediterranean-climate regions, present in all the five continents of the world, in which fire is not only a natural component of the environment but also perhaps one of the most important evolutionary forces. The rise in wildfire occurrences and their associated impacts suggests the need for identifying knowledge gaps and enhancing the basis of scientific evidence on how managers and policymakers may act effectively to address them. Considering that the main goal of a systematic map is to collate and catalog a body of evidence to describe the state of knowledge for a specific topic, it is a suitable approach to be used for this purpose. In this context, the aim of this study is to systematically map the research trends in wildfire management practices in Mediterranean-climate regions. A total of 201 wildfire management studies were analyzed and systematically mapped in terms of their: Year of publication; Place of study; Scientific outlet; Research area (Web of Science) or Research field (Scopus); Wildfire phase; Central research topic; Main objective of the study; Research methods; and Main conclusions or contributions. The results indicate that there is an increasing number of studies being developed on the topic (most from the last 10 years), but more than half of them are conducted in few Mediterranean countries (60% of the analyzed studies were conducted in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy or France), and more than 50% are focused on pre-fire issues, such as prevention and fuel management. In contrast, only 12% of the studies focused on “Economic modeling” or “Human factors and issues,” which suggests that the triple bottom line of the sustainability argument (social, environmental, and economic) is not being fully addressed by fire management research. More than one-fourth of the studies had their objective related to testing new approaches in fire or forest management, suggesting that new knowledge is being produced on the field. Nevertheless, the results indicate that most studies (about 84%) employed quantitative research methods, and only 3% of the studies used research methods that tackled social issues or addressed expert and practitioner’s knowledge. Perhaps this lack of multidisciplinary studies is one of the factors hindering more progress from being made in terms of reducing wildfire occurrences and their impacts.
The article presents results from the AF3 project “Advanced Forest Fire Fighting” focused on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)-based 3D surveillance and 3D area mapping using high-resolution photogrammetric methods from multispectral imaging, also taking advantage of the 3D scanning techniques from the SCAN4RECO project. We also present a proprietary embedded sensor system used for the detection of fire ignitions in the forest using near-infrared based scanner with weight and form factors allowing it to be easily deployed on standard commercial micro-UAVs, such as DJI Inspire or Mavic. Results from real-life pilot trials in Greece, Spain, and Israel demonstrated added-value in the use of UAS for precise and reliable detection of forest fires, as well as high-resolution 3D aerial modeling for accurate quantification of human resources and equipment required for firefighting.
Among many factors affecting the stability of mining excavations, rock-bursts and tremors play a special role. These dynamic loads occur practically always and have different sources of generation. The most important of them is the commonly used mining technique, which disintegrates a certain area of the rock mass not only in the area of the planned mining, but also creates waves that significantly exceed this area affecting the structural elements. In this work it is analysed the consequences of dynamic loads over the structural elements in an underground room and pillar mine to avoid roof instabilities. With this end, dynamic loads were evaluated through in situ and laboratory tests and simulated with numerical modelling. Initially, the geotechnical characterization of all materials was carried out by mean of large-scale tests. Then, drill holes were done on the roof of the mine and were monitored to determine possible discontinuities in it. Three seismic stations and a triaxial accelerometer were employed to measure the vibrations from blasting tests, establish the dynamic behaviour of roof and pillars and develop the transmission laws. At last, computer simulations by FLAC3D software were done to check the effect of vibrations on the stability of the roofs. The study shows that in-situ tests have a greater reliability than laboratory samples because of eliminating the effect of heterogeneities, that the pillars work decreasing the amplitude of the vibration around them, and that the tensile strength of a beam and depending on its span is overcome with waves in phase and delayed. The obtained transmission law allows designing a blasting which guarantees safety and prevents the risk of future failures.
With rapid development of urbanization and improvement of living standards in the world, energy consumption and carbon emissions of the building sector are expected to increase in the near future; because of that, energy-saving issues have become more important among the engineers. Besides, the building sector is a major contributor to energy consumption and carbon emissions. The concept of efficient building appeared as a response to the need for reducing energy demand in this sector which has the main purpose of shifting from standard buildings to low-energy buildings. Although energy-saving should happen in all steps of a building during the life cycle (material production, construction, demolition), the main concept of efficient energy building is saving energy during the life expectancy of a building by using passive and active systems, and should not sacrifice comfort and quality to reach these goals. The main aim of this study is to investigate passive strategies (do not need energy consumption or use renewable energy) to achieve energy-efficient buildings. Energy retrofit measures were explored by eQuest software using a case study as a base model. The study investigates predictive accuracy for the major factors like thermal transmittance (U-value) of the material, windows, shading devices, thermal insulation, rate of the exposed envelope, window/wall ration, lighting system in the energy consumption of the building. The base model was located in Istanbul, Turkey. The impact of eight passive parameters on energy consumption had been indicated. After analyzing the base model by eQuest, a final scenario was suggested which had a good energy performance. The results showed a decrease in the U-values of materials, the rate of exposing buildings, and windows had a significant effect on energy consumption. Finally, savings in electric consumption of about 10.5%, and gas consumption by about 8.37% in the suggested model were achieved annually.