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 combination of world population and the third industrial revolution led to high demand for fuels. On the other hand, the decrease of global fossil 8fuels deposits and the environmental air pollution caused by these fuels has compounded the challenges the world faces due to its need for energy. Therefore, new forms of environmentally friendly and renewable fuels such as biodiesel are needed. The primary analytical techniques for methanolysis yield monitoring have been chromatography and spectroscopy, these methods have been proven reliable but are more demanding, costly and do not provide real-time monitoring. In this work, the in situ monitoring of biodiesel from sunflower oil using FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) has been studied; the study was performed using EasyMax Mettler Toledo reactor equipped with a DiComp (Diamond) probe. The quantitative monitoring of methanolysis was performed by building a quantitative model with multivariate calibration using iC Quant module from iC IR 7.0 software. 15 samples of known concentrations were used for the modelling which were taken in duplicate for model calibration and cross-validation, data were pre-processed using mean centering and variance scale, spectrum math square root and solvent subtraction. These pre-processing methods improved the performance indexes from 7.98 to 0.0096, 11.2 to 3.41, 6.32 to 2.72, 0.9416 to 0.9999, RMSEC, RMSECV, RMSEP and R2Cum, respectively. The R2 value of 1 (training), 0.9918 (test), 0.9946 (cross-validation) indicated the fitness of the model built. The model was tested against univariate model; small discrepancies were observed at low concentration due to unmodelled intermediates but were quite close at concentrations above 18%. The software eliminated the complexity of the Partial Least Square (PLS) chemometrics. It was concluded that the model obtained could be used to monitor methanol of sunflower oil at industrial and lab scale.
Chronic venous diseases (CVD) are one of the common, though controversial problems in medicine. It is generally accepted that this pathology predominantly occurs in women. The issue of excessive weight as a risk factor for CVD is still considered debatable. To the author's best knowledge, today in Ukraine, there are barely any studies that describe the relationship between CVD and obesity. Our study aims to determine the association between age, body composition, obesity and CVD in postmenopausal women. The study was conducted in D. F. Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology, National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. We have examined 96 postmenopausal women aged 46-85 years (mean age – 66.19 ± 0.96 years), who were divided into two groups depending on the presence of CVD. The women were examined by vascular surgeons. For the diagnosis of CVD, we used clinical, anatomic and pathophysiologic classifications. We also performed clinical, ultrasound and densitometry examinations. We found that the CVD frequency in postmenopausal women increased with age (from 72% in those aged 45-59 years to 84% in those aged 75-89 years). A significant correlation between the total fat mass and age was determined in postmenopausal women with CVD. We also observed a significant correlation between the lower extremities’ fat mass and age in both examined groups. A significant correlation between body mass index and age was determined only in postmenopausal women without CVD.
The concentration of heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Fe, Zn, Cu) in Clarias gariepinus collected from fish markets; Fanibi (Station I) and Fiwasaye (Station II) in Akure metropolis, Ondo state, Nigeria were investigated to ascertain the safety for the consumers. 60 samples were collected from the two markets in three batches (I, II, III) for a period of six months and analyzed for heavy metals in the gills and muscles of the fish. Also, the Health Risk Index (HRI) was used to determine the health risk of these metals to the consumer. The results showed that the investigated metal concentration was higher in station I than station II, except Pb having higher concentration in station II than station I. In both stations, the highest concentration of Fe was recorded in the gills (12.60 ± 1.51; 6.94 ± 1.38) and muscles (3.72 ± 0.09; 3.86 ± 0.33) of samples in batch I. Also, the HRI revealed that consumption of Clarias gariepinus from these study areas did not pose any health risk (HRI < 1). In addition, concentrations of the heavy metals were all below the permissible limits recommended by FAO/WHO.
Forecasting the stock market is a very challenging task. Various economic indicators such as GDP, exchange rates, interest rates, and unemployment have a substantial impact on the stock market. Time series models are the traditional methods used to predict stock market changes. In this paper, a machine learning method, Bayesian Additive Regression Tree (BART) is used in predicting stock market indexes based on multiple economic indicators. BART can be used to model heterogeneous treatment effects, and thereby works well when models are misspecified. It also has the capability to handle non-linear main effects and multi-way interactions without much input from financial analysts. In this research, BART is proposed to provide a reliable prediction on day-to-day stock market activities. By comparing the analysis results from BART and with time series method, BART can perform well and has better prediction capability than the traditional methods.
The rapid growth of oil palm industry in Indonesia raised many negative accusations from various parties, who said that oil palm plantation is damaging the environment and biodiversity, including birds. Since research on oil palm plantation impacts on bird diversity is still limited, this study needs to be developed in order to gain further learning and understanding. Data on bird diversity were collected in March 2018 in KJNP Estate, Riau Province using strip transect method on five different land cover types (young, intermediate, and old growth of oil palm plantation, high conservation value area, and crops field or the baseline). The observations were conducted simultaneously, with three repetitions. The result shows that the baseline has 19 species of birds and land cover after the oil palm plantation has 39 species. HCV (high conservation value) area has the highest increase in diversity value. Oil palm plantation has changed the composition of bird species. The highest similarity index is shown by young growth oil palm land cover with total score 0.65, meanwhile the lowest similarity index with total score 0.43 is shown by HCV area. Overall, the existence of oil palm plantation made a positive impact by increasing bird species diversity, with total 23 species gained and 3 species lost.
A weighted statistical stochastic based Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) model for modeling the potential barriers and enablers of sustainability for measuring and assessing the sustainability level is proposed. For context-dependent potential barriers and enablers, the proposed model takes the basis of the properties of the variables describing the sustainability functions and was developed into a realistic analytical model for the sustainable behavior of an organization. This thus serves as a means for measuring the sustainability of the organization. The main focus of this paper was the application of the AHP tool in a statistically-based model for measuring sustainability. Hence a strong weighted stochastic AHP based procedure was achieved. A case study scenario of a widely reported major Canadian electric utility was adopted to demonstrate the applicability of the developed model and comparatively examined its results with those of an equal-weighted model method. Variations in the sustainability of a company, as fluctuations, were figured out during the time. In the results obtained, sustainability index for successive years changed form 73.12%, 79.02%, 74.31%, 76.65%, 80.49%, 79.81%, 79.83% to more exact values 73.32%, 77.72%, 76.76%, 79.41%, 81.93%, 79.72%, and 80,45% according to priorities of factors that have found by expert views, respectively. By obtaining relatively necessary informative measurement indicators, the model can practically and effectively evaluate the sustainability extent of any organization and also to determine fluctuations in the organization over time.
Due to the constant increase in terrorist attacks, the research and engineering communities have given significant attention to building performance under explosions. This paper presents a methodology for studying and simulating the dynamic responses of steel structures during external detonations, particularly for accurately investigating the impact of incrementing charge weight on the members total behavior, resistance and failure. Prediction damage method was introduced to evaluate the damage level of the steel members based on five scenarios of explosions. Johnson–Cook strength and failure model have been used as well as ABAQUS finite element code to simulate the explicit dynamic analysis, and antecedent field tests were used to verify the acceptance and accuracy of the proposed material strength and failure model. Based on the structural response, evaluation criteria such as deflection, vertical displacement, drift index, and damage level; the obtained results show the vulnerability of steel columns and un-braced steel frames which are designed and optimized to carry dead and live load to resist and endure blast loading.
Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.
Obesity is defined as a severe chronic disease characterized by a low-grade inflammatory state. Therefore, inflammatory markers gained utmost importance during the evaluation of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS), a disease characterized by central obesity, elevated blood pressure, increased fasting blood glucose and elevated triglycerides or reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) values. Some inflammatory markers based upon complete blood cell count (CBC) are available. In this study, it was questioned which inflammatory marker was the best to evaluate the differences between various obesity groups. 514 pediatric individuals were recruited. 132 children with MetS, 155 morbid obese (MO), 90 obese (OB), 38 overweight (OW) and 99 children with normal BMI (N-BMI) were included into the scope of this study. Obesity groups were constituted using age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization. MetS components were determined to be able to specify children with MetS. CBC were determined using automated hematology analyzer. HDL-C analysis was performed. Using CBC parameters and HDL-C values, ratio markers of inflammation, which cover neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (dNLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), monocyte-to-HDL-C ratio (MHR) were calculated. Statistical analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was considered as p < 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference among the groups in terms of platelet count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, monocyte count, and NLR. PLR differed significantly between OW and N-BMI as well as MetS. Monocyte-to HDL-C value exhibited statistical significance between MetS and N-BMI, OB, and MO groups. HDL-C value differed between MetS and N-BMI, OW, OB, MO groups. MHR was the ratio, which exhibits the best performance among the other CBC-based inflammatory markers. On the other hand, when MHR was compared to HDL-C only, it was suggested that HDL-C has given much more valuable information. Therefore, this parameter still keeps its value from the diagnostic point of view. Our results suggest that MHR can be an inflammatory marker during the evaluation of pediatric MetS, but the predictive value of this parameter was not superior to HDL-C during the evaluation of obesity.
The purpose of the paper is to redefine the levels of structure of corporate, business and functional strategies that were established over the past several decades, to a conceptual model, consisting of corporate, business and operations strategies, that are reinforced by functional strategies. We will propose a conceptual framework of different perspectives in the role of strategic operations as a separate strategic place and reposition the remaining functional strategies as supporting tools, existing at all three levels. The proposed model is called ‘the strategic engine’, since the mutual relationships of its ingredients are identical with main elements and working principle of the internal combustion engine. Based on theoretical essence, related to every strategic level, we will prove that the strategic engine model is useful for managers seeking to safeguard the competitive advantage of their companies. Each strategy level is researched through its basic elements. At the corporate level we examine the scope of firm’s product, the vertical and geographical coverage. At the business level, the point of interest is limited to the SWOT analysis’ basic elements. While at operations level, the key research issue relates to the scope of the following performance indicators: cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability. In this relationship, the paper provides a different view for the role of operations strategy within the overall strategy concept. We will prove that the theoretical essence of operations goes far beyond the scope of traditionally accepted business functions. Exploring the applications of Resource-based theory and Market-based theory within the strategic levels framework, we will prove that there is a logical consequence of the theoretical impact in corporate, business and operations strategy – at every strategic level, the validity of one theory is substituted to the level of the other. Practical application of the conceptual model is tested in automotive industry. Actually, the proposed theoretical concept is inspired by a leading global automotive group – Inchcape PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The vibration characteristics of a functionally graded (FG) rotor model having porosities and micro-voids is investigated using three-dimensional finite element analysis. The FG shaft is mounted with a steel disc located at the midspan. The shaft ends are supported on isotropic bearings. The FG material is composed of a metallic (stainless-steel) and ceramic phase (zirconium oxide) as its constituent phases. The layer wise material property variation is governed by power law. Material property equations are developed for the porosity modelling. Python code is developed to assign the material properties to each layer including the effect of porosities. ANSYS commercial software is used to extract the natural frequencies and whirl frequencies for the FG shaft system. The obtained results show the influence of porosity volume fraction and power-law index, on the vibration characteristics of the ceramic-based FG shaft system.
In modern financial mathematics, valuing derivatives such as options is often a tedious task. This is simply because their fair and correct prices in the future are often probabilistic. This paper examines three different Stochastic Differential Equation (SDE) models in finance; the Constant Elasticity of Variance (CEV) model, the Balck-Karasinski model, and the Heston model. The various Martingales option price valuation formulas for these three models were obtained using the replicating portfolio method. Also, the numerical solution of the derived Martingales options price valuation equations for the SDEs models was carried out using the Monte Carlo method which was implemented using MATLAB. Furthermore, results from the numerical examples using published data from the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), all share index data show the effect of increase in the underlying asset value (stock price) on the value of the European Put Option for these models. From the results obtained, we see that an increase in the stock price yields a decrease in the value of the European put option price. Hence, this guides the option holder in making a quality decision by not exercising his right on the option.
The impact of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on cognition and functions of the brain is being investigated. Iron deficiency and deficiencies of B9 (folate) as well as B12 (cobalamin) vitamins are best-known nutritional anemias. They are associated with cognitive disorders and learning difficulties. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D are known and the deficiency state affects mental functions negatively. The aim of this study is to investigate possible correlations of MetS with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), iron, folate, cobalamin and vitamin D in pediatric patients. 30 children, whose age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles vary between 85 and 15, 60 morbid obese children with above 99th percentiles constituted the study population. Anthropometric measurements were taken. BMI values were calculated. Age- and sex-dependent BMI percentile values were obtained using the appropriate tables prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity classification was performed according to WHO criteria. Those with MetS were evaluated according to MetS criteria. Serum BDNF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum folate was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Serum cobalamin concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin D status was determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high performance liquid chromatography. Statistical evaluations were performed using SPSS for Windows, version 16. The p values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Although statistically insignificant, lower folate and cobalamin values were found in MO children compared to those observed for children with normal BMI. For iron and BDNF values, no alterations were detected among the groups. Significantly decreased vitamin D concentrations were noted in MO children with MetS in comparison with those in children with normal BMI (p ≤ 0.05). The positive correlation observed between iron and BDNF in normal-BMI group was not found in two MO groups. In THE MetS group, the partial correlation among iron, BDNF, folate, cobalamin, vitamin D controlling for waist circumference and BMI was r = -0.501; p ≤ 0.05. None was calculated in MO and normal BMI groups. In conclusion, vitamin D should also be considered during the assessment of pediatric MetS. Waist circumference and BMI should collectively be evaluated during the evaluation of MetS in children. Within this context, BDNF appears to be a key biochemical parameter during the examination of obesity degree in terms of mental functions, cognition and learning capacity. The association observed between iron and BDNF in children with normal BMI was not detected in MO groups possibly due to development of inflammation and other obesity-related pathologies. It was suggested that this finding may contribute to mental function impairments commonly observed among obese children.
A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.
Chronologic age (CA) of individuals is closely related to obesity and generally affects the magnitude of obesity parameters. On the other hand, close association between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic age (MA) is also a matter of concern. It is suggested that MA higher than CA is the indicator of the need to improve the metabolic rate. In this study, the aim was to assess some commonly used obesity parameters, such as obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR, BMR-to-weight ratio, in several groups with varying differences between MA and CA values. The study comprises adults, whose ages vary between 18 and 79 years. Four groups were constituted. Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were composed of 55, 33, 76 and 47 adults, respectively. The individuals exhibiting -1, 0 and +1 for their MA-CA values were involved in Group 1, which was considered as the control group. Those, whose MA-CA values varying between -5 and -10 participated in Group 2. Those, whose MAs above their real ages were divided into two groups [Group 3 (MA-CA; from +5 to + 10) and Group 4 (MA-CA; from +11 to + 12)]. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to obtain values for obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR and BMR-to-weight ratio. The compiled data were evaluated statistically using a statistical package program; SPSS. Mean ± SD values were determined. Correlation analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The increase in BMR was positively correlated with obesity degree. MAs and CAs of the groups were 39.9 ± 16.8 vs 39.9 ± 16.7 years for Group 1, 45.0 ± 15.3 vs 51.4 ± 15.7 years for Group 2, 47.2 ± 12.7 vs 40.0 ± 12.7 years for Group 3, and 53.6 ± 14.8 vs 42 ± 14.8 years for Group 4. BMI values of the groups were 24.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2, 23.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 30.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2, and 40.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2 for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Values obtained for BMR were 1599 ± 328 kcal in Group 1, 1463 ± 198 kcal in Group 2, 1652 ± 350 kcal in Group 3, and 1890 ± 360 kcal in Group 4. A correlation was observed between BMR and MA-CA values in Group 1. No correlation was detected in other groups. On the other hand, statistically significant correlations between MA-CA values and obesity degree, BMI as well as BMR/weight were found in Group 3 and in Group 4. It was concluded that upon consideration of these findings in terms of MA-CA values, BMR-to-weight ratio was found to be much more useful indicator of the severe increase in obesity development than BMR. Also, the lack of associations between MA and BMR as well as BMR-to-weight ratio emphasize the importance of consideration of MA-CA values rather than MA.
Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) structure is an periodically modulated optical fiber. It acts as a selective filter of wavelength whose reflected peak is called Bragg wavelength and it depends on the period of the fiber and the refractive index. The simulation of FBG is based on solving the Coupled Mode Theory equation by using the Transfer Matrix Method which is carried out using MATLAB. It is found that spectral reflectivity is shifted when the change of temperature and strain is uniform. Under non-uniform temperature or strain perturbation, the spectrum is both shifted and destroyed. In case of transverse loading, reflectivity spectrum is split into two peaks, the first is specific to X axis, and the second belongs to Y axis. FBGs are used in civil engineering to detect perturbations applied to buildings.
Blood pressure helps the physicians greatly to have a deep insight into the cardiovascular system. The determination of individual blood pressure is a standard clinical procedure considered for cardiovascular system problems. The conventional techniques to measure blood pressure (e.g. cuff method) allows a limited number of readings for a certain period (e.g. every 5-10 minutes). Additionally, these systems cause turbulence to blood flow; impeding continuous blood pressure monitoring, especially in emergency cases or critically ill persons. In this paper, the most important statistical features in the photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals were extracted to estimate the blood pressure noninvasively. PPG signals from more than 40 subjects were measured and analyzed and 12 features were extracted. The features were fed to principal component analysis (PCA) to find the most important independent features that have the highest correlation with blood pressure. The results show that the stiffness index means and standard deviation for the beat-to-beat heart rate were the most important features. A model representing both features for Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) was obtained using a statistical regression technique. Surface fitting is used to best fit the series of data and the results show that the error value in estimating the SBP is 4.95% and in estimating the DBP is 3.99%.
The main objective of this research is to optimize the surface roughness of a milling operation on AISI 1018 steel using live tooling on a HAAS ST-20 lathe. In this study, Taguchi analysis is used to optimize the milling process by investigating the effect of different machining parameters on surface roughness. The L9 orthogonal array is designed with four controllable factors with three different levels each and an uncontrollable factor, resulting in 18 experimental runs. The optimal parameters determined from Taguchi analysis were feed rate – 76.2 mm/min, spindle speed 1150 rpm, depth of cut – 0.762 mm and 2-flute TiN coated high-speed steel as tool material. The process capability Cp and process capability index Cpk values were improved from 0.62 and -0.44 to 1.39 and 1.24 respectively. The average surface roughness values from the confirmation runs were 1.30 µ, decreasing the defect rate from 87.72% to 0.01%. The purpose of this study is to efficiently utilize the Taguchi design to optimize the surface roughness in a milling operation using live tooling.
Improving the geotechnical properties of soil has always been one of the issues in geotechnical engineering. Traditional materials have been used to improve and stabilize soils to date, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Although the soil stabilization by adding materials such as cement, lime, bitumen, etc. is one of the effective methods to improve the geotechnical properties of soil, but nanoparticles are one of the newest additives which can improve the loose soils. This research is intended to study the effect of adding nanobentonite on soil engineering properties, especially the unconfined compression strength and maximum dry unit weight, using clayey soil with low liquid limit (CL) from Kerman (Iran). Nanobentonite was mixed with soil in three different percentages (i.e. 3, 5, 7% by weight of the parent soil) with different curing time (1, 7 and 28 days). The unconfined compression strength, liquid and plastic limits and plasticity index of treated specimens were measured by unconfined compression and Atterberg limits test. It was found that increase in nanobentonite content resulted in increase in the unconfined compression strength, liquid and plastic limits of the clayey soil and reduce in plasticity index.
This paper uses the analytic hierarchy process to study the execution effect of the minimum purchase price of grain in different regions and various grain crops. Firstly, for different regions, five indicators including grain yield, grain sown area, gross agricultural production, grain consumption price index, and disposable income of rural residents were selected to construct an evaluation index system. We collect data of six provinces including Hebei Province, Heilongjiang Province and Shandong Province from 2006 to 2017. Then, the judgment matrix is constructed, and the hierarchical single ordering and consistency test are carried out to determine the scoring standard for the minimum purchase price of grain. The ranking of the execution effect from high to low is: Heilongjiang Province, Shandong Province, Hebei Province, Guizhou Province, Shaanxi Province, and Guangdong Province. Secondly, taking Shandong Province as an example, we collect the relevant data of sown area and yield of cereals, beans, potatoes and other crops from 2006 to 2017. The weight of area and yield index is determined by expert scoring method. And the average sown area and yield of cereals, beans and potatoes in 2006-2017 were calculated, respectively. On this basis, according to the sum of products of weights and mean values, the execution effects of different grain crops are determined. It turns out that among the cereals, the minimum purchase price had the best execution effect on paddy, followed by wheat and finally maize. Moreover, among major categories of crops, cereals perform best, followed by beans and finally potatoes. Lastly, countermeasures are proposed for different regions, various categories of crops, and different crops of the same category.
Asthma, obesity and overweight are the main factors causing change within the heart and respiratory airways. Asthma symptoms are normally observed during exercising. Epidemiological studies have indicated asthma symptoms occurring due to certain lifestyle habits; for example, a sedentary lifestyle. In this study, eight weeks of aerobic exercises resulted in a positive effect overall in overweight women experiencing mild chronic asthma. The quasi-experimental applied research has been done based on experimental and control groups. The experimental group (seven patients) and control group (n = 7) were graded before and after the test. According to the Borg dyspnea and fatigue Perception Index, the training intensity has determined. Participants in the study performed a sub-maximal aerobic activity schedule (45% to 80% of maximum heart rate) for two months, while the control group (n = 7) stayed away from aerobic exercise. Data evaluation and analysis of covariance compared both the pre-test and post-test with paired t-test at significance level of P≤ 0.05. After eight weeks of exercise, the results of the experimental group show a significant decrease in resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure, minute ventilation, while a significant increase in maximal oxygen uptake and tolerance activity (P ≤ 0.05). In the control group, there was no significant difference in these parameters ((P ≤ 0.05). The results indicate the aerobic activity can strengthen the respiratory muscles, while other physiological factors could result in breathing and heart recovery. Aerobic activity also resulted in favorable changes in cardiovascular parameters, and exercise tolerance of overweight women with chronic asthma.
In the past, we could increase profit by increasing product prices. But in the new decade, a competitive market does not let us to increase profit with increase prices. Therefore, the only way to increase profit will be reduce costs. A significant percentage of production costs are the maintenance costs, and analysis of these costs could achieve more profit. Most maintenance strategies such as RCM (Reliability-Center-Maintenance), TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance), PM (Preventive Maintenance) etc., are trying to reduce maintenance costs. In this paper, decreasing the maintenance costs of Concentration Plant of Golgohar Company (GEG) was examined by using of MTBF (Mean Time between Failures) and MTTR (Mean Time to Repair) analyses. These analyses showed that instead of buying new machines and increasing costs in order to promote capacity, the improving of MTBF and MTTR indexes would solve capacity problems in the best way and decrease costs.
By using partial factors of safety, uncertainties due to the inherent variability of the soil properties and loads are taken into account in the geotechnical design process. According to the reliability index concept in Eurocode-0 in conjunction with Eurocode-7 a minimum safety level of β = 3.8 for reliability class RC2 shall be established. The reliability of the system depends heavily on the choice of the prespecified safety factor and the choice of the characteristic soil properties. The safety factors stated in the standards are mainly based on experience. However, no general accepted method for the calculation of a characteristic value within the current design practice exists. In this study, a laterally loaded monopile is investigated and the influence of the chosen quantile values of the deterministic system, calculated with p-y springs, will be presented. Monopiles are the most common foundation concepts for offshore wind energy converters. Based on the calculations for non-cohesive soils, a recommendation for an appropriate quantile value for the necessary safety level according to the standards for a deterministic design is given.
The correlation between Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and flow units have been carried out to predict and compare the carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential of the shale and carbonate rocks in Irati Formation of the Parana Basin. The equations for permeability (K), reservoir quality index (RQI) and flow zone indicator (FZI) are redefined and engaged to evaluate the flow units in both potential reservoir rocks. Shales show higher values of TOC compared to carbonates, as such, porosity (Ф) is most likely to be higher in shales compared to carbonates. The increase in Ф corresponds to the increase in K (in both rocks). Nonetheless, at lower values of Ф, K is higher in carbonates compared to shales. This shows that at lower values of TOC in carbonates, Ф is low, yet, K is likely to be high compared to shale. In the same vein, at higher values of TOC in shales, Ф is high, yet, K is expected to be low compared to carbonates. Overall, the flow unit factors (RQI and FZI) are better in the carbonates compared to the shales. Moreso, within the study location, there are some portions where the thicknesses of the carbonate units are higher compared to the shale units. Most parts of the carbonate strata in the study location are fractured in situ, hence, this could provide easy access for the storage of CO2. Therefore, based on these points and the disparities between the flow units in the evaluated rock types, the carbonate units are expected to show better potentials for the storage of CO2. The shale units may be considered as potential cap rocks or seals.
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.
Evaluation of organizational performance is among the most important measures that help organizations and entities continuously improve their efficiency. Organizations can use the existing data and results from the comparison of units under investigation to obtain an estimation of their performance. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is an important index in the evaluation of overall productivity, which considers technological developments and technical efficiency at the same time. This article proposed a model based on the multistage MPI, considering limited data (Grey’s theory). This model can evaluate the performance of units using limited and uncertain data in a multistage process. It was applied by the electricity market manager to Iran’s electric power supply chain (EPSC), which contains uncertain data, to evaluate the performance of its actors. Results from solving the model showed an improvement in the accuracy of future performance of the units under investigation, using the Grey’s system theory. This model can be used in all case studies, in which MPI is used and there are limited or uncertain data.
In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.