International Science Index

1346
10010979
An Open Loop Distribution Module for Precise and Uniform Drip Fertigation in Soilless Culture
Abstract:
In soilless culture, the definition of efficient fertigation strategies is fundamental for the growth of crops. Flexible test-benches able to independently manage groups of crops are key for investigating efficient fertigation practices through experimentation. These test-benches must be able to provide nutrient solution (NS) in a precise, uniform and repeatable way in order to effectively implement and compare different fertigation strategies. This article describes a distribution module for investigating fertigation practices able to control the fertigation dose and frequency. The proposed solution is characterized in terms of precision, uniformity and repeatability since these parameters are fundamental in the implementation of effective experiments for the investigation of fertigation practices. After a calibration process, the implemented system reaches a precision of 1mL, a uniformity of 98.5% at a total cost of 735USD.
Paper Detail
41
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1345
10010983
Variability of Covariance of Selected Skeletal Diameters of Female in a Longitudinal Physical Training Programme
Abstract:

Anthropometry helps in associating the physical properties of an individual with their racial, cultural, and psychological attributes. Numerous research studies have included different skeletal diameters as a variable. However, most of the studies suggest their inclusion describing specific characteristics/traits of the body. However, there seems to be a scarcity of literature related to the effect of any kind of longitudinal physical training on human skeletal diameters. Hence, the present investigation was conducted to study the variability of covariance of selected skeletal diameters of females in a longitudinal physical training programme. The sample for the study was 78 college going students of the University of Delhi, classified equally in three groups, i.e. viz. (a) Progressive load of training or conditioning group coded as PLT; (b) Constant load of training or non-conditioning group coded as CLT; and (c) No-load or control or sedentary group coded as NL. Collectively, mean age of the sample was 19.54±1.79 years. The randomly selected samples were given maximum consideration to maintain their homogeneity. The variables included biacromial diameter, biiliocristal diameter, bitrochantaerion diameter, humeral bicondylar, femoral bicondylar, wrist diameter, ankle diameter, and foot breadth. Multi-group repeated measure design was adopted for the experimentation. Each group was measured four times after completion of each of the three meso-cycles of six-weeks duration. The measurements were taken following the standard landmarks and procedures. Mean, standard deviation, analysis of co-variance and its post-hoc analysis were computed to analyze the data statistically. The study concluded that both the progressive and constant load of physical training bring changes in the selected skeletal diameters of females. It also reflected the increase due to growth also along with training.

Paper Detail
19
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1344
10011002
Lung Cancer Detection and Multi Level Classification Using Discrete Wavelet Transform Approach
Abstract:

Uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung in the form of tumor can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Patients with Lung Cancer (LC) have an average of five years life span expectancy provided diagnosis, detection and prediction, which reduces many treatment options to risk of invasive surgery increasing survival rate. Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for earlier detection of cancer are common. Gaussian filter along with median filter used for smoothing and noise removal, Histogram Equalization (HE) for image enhancement gives the best results without inviting further opinions. Lung cavities are extracted and the background portion other than two lung cavities is completely removed with right and left lungs segmented separately. Region properties measurements area, perimeter, diameter, centroid and eccentricity measured for the tumor segmented image, while texture is characterized by Gray-Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) functions, feature extraction provides Region of Interest (ROI) given as input to classifier. Two levels of classifications, K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) is used for determining patient condition as normal or abnormal, while Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) is used for identifying the cancer stage is employed. Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) algorithm is used for the main feature extraction leading to best efficiency. The developed technology finds encouraging results for real time information and on line detection for future research.

Paper Detail
9
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1343
10010939
A Framework and Case Study for Sustainable Development of Urban Areas
Abstract:

This paper presents a multi-objective framework for sustainable urban development. The proposed framework aims to address different aspects of sustainability in urban development planning. These aspects include, but are not limited to education, health, job opportunities, architecture, culture, environment, mobility, energy, water, waste, and so on. Then, the proposed framework is applied to the Brackenridge Tract (an area in downtown Austin, Texas), to redevelop that area in a sustainable way. The detail of the implementation process is presented in this paper. The ultimate goal of this paper is to develop a sustainable area in downtown Austin with ensuring that it locally meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental, health as well as cultural aspects. Moreover, it helps the city with the population growth problem by accommodating more people in that area.

Paper Detail
129
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1342
10010955
Cutting Propagation Studies in Pennisetum divisum and Tamarix aucheriana as Native Plant Species of Kuwait
Authors:
Abstract:

Native plants are better adapted to the local environment providing a more natural effect on landscape projects; their use will both conserve natural resources and produce sustainable greenery. Continuation of evaluation of additional native plants is essential to increase diversity of plant resources for greenery projects. Therefore, in this project an effort was made to study the mass multiplication of further native plants for greenery applications. Standardization of vegetative propagation methods is essential for conservation and sustainable utilization of native plants in restoration projects. Moreover, these simple propagation methods can be readily adapted by the local nursery sector in Kuwait. In the present study, various treatments were used to mass multiply selected plants using vegetative parts to secure maximum rooting and initial growth. Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings of selected native plants were collected from mother plants and subjected to different treatments. Pennisetum divisum can be vegetatively propagated by cuttings/off-shoots. However, Tamarix aucheriana showed maximum number of rooted cuttings and stronger vigor seedlings with the lowest growth hormone concentration. Standardizing the propagation techniques for the native plant species will add to the rehabilitation and landscape revegetation projects in Kuwait.

Paper Detail
56
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1341
10010964
A Multiple Linear Regression Model to Predict the Price of Cement in Nigeria
Abstract:

This study investigated factors affecting the price of cement in Nigeria, and developed a mathematical model that can predict future cement prices. Cement is key in the Nigerian construction industry. The changes in price caused by certain factors could affect economic and infrastructural development; hence there is need for proper proactive planning. Secondary data were collected from published information on cement between 2014 and 2019. In addition, questionnaires were sent to some domestic cement retailers in Port Harcourt in Nigeria, to obtain the actual prices of cement between the same periods. The study revealed that the most critical factors affecting the price of cement in Nigeria are inflation rate, population growth rate, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate. With the use of data from United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and Central Bank of Nigeria databases, amongst others, a Multiple Linear Regression model was formulated. The model was used to predict the price of cement for 2020-2025. The model was then tested with 95% confidence level, using a two-tailed t-test and an F-test, resulting in an R2 of 0.8428 and R2 (adj.) of 0.6069. The results of the tests and the correlation factors confirm the model to be fit and adequate. This study will equip researchers and stakeholders in the construction industry with information for planning, monitoring, and management of present and future construction projects that involve the use of cement.

Paper Detail
42
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1340
10010865
Social Interaction Dynamics Exploration: The Case Study of El Sherouk City
Abstract:

In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore different social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.

Paper Detail
66
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1339
10010872
Demographic and Socio-Economic Study of the Elderly Population in Kolkata, India
Abstract:

Kolkata, the City of Joy, is a greying metropolis not only in respect of its concrete jungle but also because of the largest population of 60-plus residents that it shelters among all other cities in India. Declining birth and death rates and a negative growth of population indicate that the city has reached the last stage of demographic transition. Thus, the obvious consequence has been the ageing of its population. With this background, the present paper attempts to study the demographic and socio-economic status of the elderly population in Kolkata. Analysis and findings have been based on secondary data obtained from Census of India of various years, Sample Registration System Reports and reports by HelpAge India. Findings show that the elderly population is increasing continuously. With respect to gender, the male elderly outnumbers the female elderly population. The percentage of households having one elderly member is more in the city due to the emergence of the nuclear families and erosion of joint family system. With respect to socio-economic status, those elderly who are the heads of the family are lower in percentages than those in the other age groups. Also, male elderly as head of the family are greater in percentage than female elderly. Elderly in the category of currently married records the highest percentage followed by widowed, never married and lastly, separated or divorced. Male elderly outnumber the female elderly as currently married, while female elderly outnumbers the male elderly in the category of widowed. In terms of living status, the percentage of elderly who are living alone is highest in Kolkata and the reason for staying alone as no support from children also happens to be highest in this city. The literacy rate and higher level of education is higher among the male than female elderly. Higher percentages of female elderly have been found to be with disability. Disability in movement and multiple disabilities have been found to be more common among the elderly population in Kolkata. Percentages of male literate pensioners are highest than other categories. Also, in terms of levels of education male elderly who are graduate and above other than technical degree are the highest receivers of pension. Also, in terms of working status, elderly as non-workers are higher in percentages with the population of elderly females outnumbering the males. The old age dependency ratio in the city is increasing continuously and the ratio is higher among females than male. Thus, it can be stated that Kolkata is witnessing continuous and rapid ageing of its population. Increasing dependency ratio is likely to create pressure on the working population, available civic, social and health amenities. This requires intervention in the form of planning, formulation and implementation of laws, policies, programs and measures to safeguard and improve the conditions of the elderly in Kolkata.

Paper Detail
48
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1338
10010879
Micropropagation and in vitro Conservation via Slow Growth Techniques of Prunus webbii (Spach) Vierh: An Endangered Plant Species in Albania
Abstract:

Wild almond is a woody species, which is difficult to propagate either generatively by seed or by vegetative methods (grafting or cuttings) and also considered as Endangered (EN) in Albania based on IUCN criteria. As a wild relative of cultivated fruit trees, this species represents a source of genetic variability and can be very important in breeding programs and cultivation. For this reason, it would be of interest to use an effective method of in vitro mid-term conservation, which involves strategies to slow plant growth through physicochemical alterations of in vitro growth conditions. Multiplication of wild almond was carried out using zygotic embryos, as primary explants, with the purpose to develop a successful propagation protocol. Results showed that zygotic embryos can proliferate through direct or indirect organogenesis. During subculture, stage was obtained a great number of new plantlets identical to mother plants derived from the zygotic embryos. All in vitro plantlets obtained from subcultures underwent in vitro conservation by minimal growth in low temperature (4ºC) and darkness. The efficiency of this technique was evaluated for 3, 6, and 10 months of conservation period. Maintenance in these conditions reduced micro cuttings growth. Survival and regeneration rates for each period were evaluated and resulted that the maximal time of conservation without subculture on 4ºC was 10 months, but survival and regeneration rates were significantly reduced, specifically 15.6% and 7.6%. An optimal period of conservation in these conditions can be considered the 5-6 months storage, which can lead to 60-50% of survival and regeneration rates. This protocol may be beneficial for mass propagation, mid-term conservation, and for genetic manipulation of wild almond.

Paper Detail
45
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1337
10010880
Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety
Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Paper Detail
43
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1336
10010883
Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment
Abstract:

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Paper Detail
72
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1335
10010887
Construction of Large Scale UAVs Using Homebuilt Composite Techniques
Abstract:

The unmanned aerial system (UAS) industry is growing at a rapid pace. This growth has increased the demand for low cost, custom made and high strength unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The area of most growth is in the area of 25 kg to 200 kg vehicles. Vehicles this size are beyond the size and scope of simple wood and fabric designs commonly found in hobbyist aircraft. These high end vehicles require stronger materials to complete their mission. Traditional aircraft construction materials such as aluminum are difficult to use without machining or advanced computer controlled tooling. However, by using general aviation composite aircraft homebuilding techniques and materials, a large scale UAV can be constructed cheaply and easily. Furthermore, these techniques could be used to easily manufacture cost made composite shapes and airfoils that would be cost prohibitive when using metals. These homebuilt aircraft techniques are being demonstrated by the researchers in the construction of a 75 kg aircraft.

Paper Detail
65
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1334
10010890
Assessment of Soil Contamination on the Content of Macro and Microelements and the Quality of Grass Pea Seeds (Lathyrus sativus L.)
Abstract:

Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the content of macro and microelements in the vegetative and reproductive organs of grass pea and the quality of grass pea seeds, as well as to identify the possibility of grass pea growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals. The experiment was conducted on an agricultural field subjected to contamination from the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances of 0.5 km and 8 km, respectively, from the source of pollution. On reaching commercial ripeness the grass pea plants were gathered. The composition of the macro and microelements in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds), and the dry matter content, sugars, proteins, fats and ash contained in the grass pea seeds were determined. Translocation factors (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BCF) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out through inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). The grass pea plant can successfully be grown on soils contaminated by heavy metals. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the grass pea seeds. The seeds of the grass pea contain significant amounts of nutrients (K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn) and protein (23.18-29.54%). The distribution of heavy metals in the organs of the grass pea has a selective character, which reduces in the following order: leaves > roots > stems > seeds. BCF and TF values were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the above ground parts of grass pea plant. Grass pea is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the accumulator plants. The results provide valuable information about the chemical and nutritional composition of the seeds of the grass pea grown on contaminated soils in Bulgaria. The high content of macro and microelements and the low concentrations of toxic elements in the grass pea grown in contaminated soil make it possible to use the seeds of the grass pea as animal feed.

Paper Detail
60
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1333
10010916
The Effects of Cow Manure Treated by Fruit Beetle Larvae, Waxworms and Tiger Worms on Plant Growth in Relation to Its Use as Potting Compost
Abstract:

Dairy industry is flourishing in world to provide milk and milk products to local population. Besides milk products, dairy industries also generate a substantial amount of cow manure that significantly affects the environment. Moreover, heat produced during the decomposition of the cow manure adversely affects the crop germination. Different companies are producing vermicompost using different species of worms/larvae to overcome the harmful effects using fresh manure. Tiger worm treatment enhanced plant growth, especially in the compost-manure ratio (75% compost, 25% cow manure), followed by a ratio of 50% compost, 50% cow manure.  Results also indicated that plant growth in Waxworm treated manure was weak as compared to plant growth in compost treated with Fruit Beetle (FB), Waxworms (WW), and Control (C) especially in the compost (25% compost, 75% cow manure) and 100% cow manure where there was no growth at all. Freshplant weight, fresh leaf weight and fresh root weight were significantly higher in the compost treated with Tiger worms in (75% compost, 25% cow manure); no evidence was seen for any significant differences in the dry root weight measurement between FB, Tiger worms (TW), WW, Control (C) in all composts. TW produced the best product, especially at the compost ratio of 75% compost, 25% cow manure followed by 50% compost, 50% cow manure.

Paper Detail
52
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1332
10010923
Effects of Oilfield Water Treated by Electroflocculation and Reverse Osmosis in a Typical Brazilian Semiarid Soil
Abstract:

Produced water (PW), which is water extracted along with oil, is the largest waste stream in the oil and gas industry. With the proper treatment, this wastewater can be used in agricultural irrigation. This study evaluated the effects the application of PW treated by electroflocculation (EF) and combined electroflocculation-reverse osmosis (EF-RO) on soil salinity and sodification parameters. Excessive sodium levels in PW treated by EF may affect soil structural stability and plant growth, and tends to accumulate in upper layers, displacing the nutrient K to deeper layers of the soil profile. PW treated by EF-RO did not promote salinization and soil sodification, indicating that this combined technique may be a viable alternative for oily water treatment aiming at irrigation use in semiarid regions.

Paper Detail
60
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1331
10010842
An Automated Stock Investment System Using Machine Learning Techniques: An Application in Australia
Abstract:

A key issue in stock investment is how to select representative features for stock selection. The objective of this paper is to firstly determine whether an automated stock investment system, using machine learning techniques, may be used to identify a portfolio of growth stocks that are highly likely to provide returns better than the stock market index. The second objective is to identify the technical features that best characterize whether a stock’s price is likely to go up and to identify the most important factors and their contribution to predicting the likelihood of the stock price going up. Unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as cluster analysis, were applied to the stock data to identify a cluster of stocks that was likely to go up in price – portfolio 1. Next, the principal component analysis technique was used to select stocks that were rated high on component one and component two – portfolio 2. Thirdly, a supervised machine learning technique, the logistic regression method, was used to select stocks with a high probability of their price going up – portfolio 3. The predictive models were validated with metrics such as, sensitivity (recall), specificity and overall accuracy for all models. All accuracy measures were above 70%. All portfolios outperformed the market by more than eight times. The top three stocks were selected for each of the three stock portfolios and traded in the market for one month. After one month the return for each stock portfolio was computed and compared with the stock market index returns. The returns for all three stock portfolios was 23.87% for the principal component analysis stock portfolio, 11.65% for the logistic regression portfolio and 8.88% for the K-means cluster portfolio while the stock market performance was 0.38%. This study confirms that an automated stock investment system using machine learning techniques can identify top performing stock portfolios that outperform the stock market.

Paper Detail
108
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1330
10010845
Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
129
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1329
10010720
A Preliminary Study of the Reconstruction of Urban Residential Public Space in the Context of the “Top-down” Construction Model in China: Based on Research of TianZiFang District in Shanghai and Residential Space in Hangzhou
Abstract:

With the economic growth and rapid urbanization after the reform and openness, some of China's fast-growing cities have demolished former dwellings and built modern residential quarters. The blind, incomplete reference to western modern cities and the one-off construction lacking feedback mechanism have intensified such phenomenon, causing the citizen gradually expanded their living scale with the popularization of car traffic, and the peer-to-peer lifestyle gradually settled. The construction of large-scale commercial centers has caused obstacles to small business around the residential areas, leading to space for residents' interaction has been compressed. At the same time, the advocated Central Business District (CBD) model even leads to the unsatisfactory reconstruction of many historical blocks such as the Hangzhou Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Street. However, the popularity of historical spaces such as Wuzhen and Hongcun also indicates the collective memory and needs of the street space for Chinese residents. The evolution of Shanghai TianZiFang also proves the importance of the motivation of space participants in space construction in the context of the “top-down” construction model in China. In fact, there are frequent occurrences of “reconstruction”, which may redefine the space, in various residential areas. If these activities can be selectively controlled and encouraged, it will be beneficial to activate the public space as well as the residents’ intercourse, so that the traditional Chinese street space can be reconstructed in the context of modern cities.

Paper Detail
131
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1328
10010732
Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Abstract:

This paper presents findings from a multidisciplinary course (bachelor level) implemented at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The course aims to develop innovative thinking of students, by having projects given by companies, using design thinking methods as a tool for creativity and by integrating students into multidisciplinary teams working on the given projects. The course is obligatory for all first year bachelor students across four faculties (business and culture, food and agriculture, health care and social work, and technology). The course involves around 800 students and 30 pedagogical coaches, and it is implemented as an intensive one-week course each year. The paper discusses the pedagogy, structure and coordination of the course. Also, reflections on methods for the development of creative skills are given. Experts in contemporary, global context often work in teams, which consist of people who have different areas of expertise and represent various professional backgrounds. That is why there is a strong need for new training methods where multidisciplinary approach is at the heart of learning. Creative learning takes place when different parties bring information to the discussion and learn from each other. When students in different fields are looking for professional growth for themselves and take responsibility for the professional growth of other learners, they form a mutual learning relationship with each other. Multidisciplinary team members make decisions both individually and collectively, which helps them to understand and appreciate other disciplines. Our results show that creative and multidisciplinary project learning can develop diversity of knowledge and competences, for instance, students’ cultural knowledge, teamwork and innovation competences, time management and presentation skills as well as support a student’s personal development as an expert. It is highly recommended that higher education curricula should include various studies for students from different study fields to work in multidisciplinary teams.

Paper Detail
85
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1327
10010734
Analytical Solution of the Boundary Value Problem of Delaminated Doubly-Curved Composite Shells
Abstract:

Delamination is one of the major failure modes in laminated composite structures. Delamination tips are mostly captured by spatial numerical models in order to predict crack growth. This paper presents some mechanical models of delaminated composite shells based on shallow shell theories. The mechanical fields are based on a third-order displacement field in terms of the through-thickness coordinate of the laminated shell. The undelaminated and delaminated parts are captured by separate models and the continuity and boundary conditions are also formulated in a general way providing a large size boundary value problem. The system of differential equations is solved by the state space method for an elliptic delaminated shell having simply supported edges. The comparison of the proposed and a numerical model indicates that the primary indicator of the model is the deflection, the secondary is the widthwise distribution of the energy release rate. The model is promising and suitable to determine accurately the J-integral distribution along the delamination front. Based on the proposed model it is also possible to develop finite elements which are able to replace the computationally expensive spatial models of delaminated structures.

Paper Detail
84
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1326
10010738
Impact of Dynamic Capabilities on Knowledge Management Processes
Abstract:

Today, with the development and growth of technology and extreme environmental changes, organizations need to identify opportunities and create creativity and innovation in order to be able to maintain or improve their position in competition with others. In this regard, it is necessary that the resources and assets of the organization are coordinated and reviewed in accordance with the orientation of the strategy. One of the competitive advantages of the present age is knowledge management, which is to equip the organization with the knowledge of the day and disseminate among employees and use it in the development of products and services. Therefore, in the forthcoming research, the impact of dynamic capabilities components (sense, seize, and reconfiguration) has been investigated on knowledge management processes (acquisition, integration and knowledge utilization) in the MAPNA Engineering and Construction Company using a field survey and applied research method. For this purpose, a questionnaire was filled out in the form of 15 questions for dynamic components and 15 questions for measuring knowledge management components and distributed among 46 employees of the knowledge management organization. Validity of the questionnaire was evaluated through content validity and its reliability with Cronbach's coefficient. Pearson correlation test and structural equation technique were used to analyze the data. The results of the research indicate a positive significant correlation between the components of dynamic capabilities and knowledge management.

Paper Detail
128
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1325
10010782
The Keys to Innovation: Defining and Evaluating Attributes that Measure Innovation Capabilities
Abstract:

Innovation is a key driver for companies, society, and economic growth. However, assessing and measuring innovation for individuals as well as organizations remains difficult. Our i5-Score presented in this study will help to overcome this difficulty and facilitate measuring the innovation potential. The score is based on a framework we call the 5Gs of innovation which defines specific innovation attributes. Those are 1) the drive for long-term goals 2) the audacity to generate new ideas, 3) the openness to share ideas with others, 4) the ability to grow, and 5) the ability to maintain high levels of optimism. To validate the i5-Score, we conducted a study at Florida Polytechnic University. The results show that the i5-Score is a good measure reflecting the innovative mindset of an individual or a group. Thus, the score can be utilized for evaluating, refining and enhancing innovation capabilities.

Paper Detail
112
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1324
10010684
Clinical Utility of Salivary Cytokines for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Abstract:
The goal of this study was to examine the possibility of salivary cytokines for the screening of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. We carried out a case-control study, including 19 children with ADHD and 17 healthy children (controls). A multiplex bead array immunoassay was used to conduct a multi-analysis of 27 different salivary cytokines. Six salivary cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, IL12p70, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)) were significantly associated with the presence of ADHD (p < 0.05). An informative salivary cytokine panel was developed using VEGF by logistic regression analysis (odds ratio: 0.251). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that assessment of a panel using VEGF showed “good” capability for discriminating between ADHD patients and controls (area under the curve: 0.778). ADHD has been hypothesized to be associated with reduced cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex, due to reduced VEGF levels. Our study highlights the possibility of utilizing differential salivary cytokine levels for point-of-care testing (POCT) of biomarkers in children with ADHD.
Paper Detail
89
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1323
10010685
Quantification of Biomethane Potential from Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Vaal University of Technology
Abstract:

The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.

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10010688
The Role of Branding for Success in the Georgian Tea Market
Abstract:

Economic growth is seen as the increase in the production capacity of a country. It enables a country to produce more and more material wealth and social benefits. Today, the success of any product on the market is closely related to the issue of branding. The brand is a source of information for a user/consumer, which helps to simplify the choice of goods and reduce consumer risk. The paper studies the role of branding in order to promote Georgian tea brands. The main focus of the research is directed to consumer attitudes regarding Georgian tea brands. The methodology of the paper is based on marketing research. The findings study revealed that the majority of consumers prefer foreign tea brands. The final part of the article presents the main recommendations.

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10010696
Surface Water Pollution by Open Refuse Dumpsite in North Central of Nigeria
Abstract:

Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.

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10010698
Transfer of Information Heritage between Algerian Veterinarians and Breeders: Assessment of Information and Communication Technology Using Mobile Phone
Abstract:

Our research shows the use of the mobile phone that consolidates the relationship between veterinarians, and that between breeders and veterinarians. On the other hand it asserts that the tool in question is a means of economic development. The results of our survey reveal a positive return to the veterinary community, which shows that the mobile phone has become an effective means of sustainable development through the transfer of a rapid and punctual information inheritance via social networks; including many Internet applications. Our results show that almost all veterinarians use the mobile phone for interprofessional communication. We therefore believe that the use of the mobile phone by livestock operators has greatly improved the working conditions, just as the use of this tool contributes to a better management of the exploitation as long as it allows limit travel but also save time. These results show that we are witnessing a growth in the use of mobile telephony technologies that impact is as much in terms of sustainable development. Allowing access to information, especially technical information, the mobile phone, and Information and Communication of Technology (ICT) in general, give livestock sector players not only security, by limiting losses, but also an efficiency that allows them a better production and productivity.

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10010701
The State Support to the Tourism Policy Formation Mechanism in Black Sea Basin Countries (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Georgia) and Its Impact on Sustainable Tourism Development
Abstract:

The article analyzes state support and policy mechanisms aimed at driving tourism as one of the vibrant and rapidly developing economies. State programs and long-range strategic roadmaps and previous programs execution, results and their impact on the particular countries economy have been raised during the research. This theme provides a useful framework for discussions with a wider range of stakeholders as the implications arising are of importance both for academics and practitioners engaged in hospitality and tourism development and research. The impact that tourism has on sustainable regional development in emerging markets is highly substantial. For Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, and Russia, with their rich natural resources and cultural heritage, tourism can be an important basis for economic expansion, and a way to form an acceptable image of the countries as safe, open, hospitable, and complex.

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10010560
Evaluation of Hazardous Status of Avenue Trees in University of Port Harcourt
Abstract:

Trees in the university environment are uniquely position; however, they can also present a millstone to the infrastructure and humans they coexist with. The numerous benefits of trees can be negated due to poor tree health and anthropogenic activities and as such can become hazardous. The study aims at evaluating the hazardous status of avenue trees in University of Port Harcourt. Data were collected from all the avenue trees within the selected major roads in the University. Tree growth variables were measured and health condition of the avenue trees were assessed as an indicator of some structural defects. The hazard status of the avenue trees was determined. Several tree species were used as avenue trees in the University however, Azadirachta indica (81%) was found to be most abundant. The result shows that only 0.3% avenue tree species was found to pose severe harzard in Abuja part of the University. Most avenue trees (55.2%) were rated as medium hazard status. Due to the danger and risk associated with hazardous trees, the study recommends that good and effective management strategies be implemented so as to prevent future damages from trees with small or medium hazard status.

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120
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10010575
Exploring Employee Experiences of Distributed Leadership in Consultancy SMEs
Abstract:

Despite a growth in literature on distributed leadership, the majority of studies are centred on large public organisations particularly within the health and education sectors. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap in the literature by exploring employee experiences of distributed leadership within two commercial consultancy SME businesses in the UK and USA. The aim of the study informed an exploratory method of research to gather qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews involving a sample of employees in each organisation. A series of broad, open questions were used to explore the employees’ experiences; evidence of distributed leadership; and extant barriers and practices in each organisation. Whilst some of our findings aligned with patterns and practices in the existing literature, it importantly discovered some emergent themes that have not previously been recognised in the previous studies. Our investigation identified that whilst distributed leadership was in evidence in both organisations, the interviewees’ experience reported that it was sporadic and inconsistent. Moreover, non-client focused projects were reported to be less important and distributed leadership was found to be inconsistent or non-existent.

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127
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