Due to the setbacks on the international scene and the wave of cacophonic financial scandals affecting large international groups, the new Islamic finance industry is not immune despite its initial resistance. The purpose of this paper is to understand and analyze the meaning of the Corporate Governance (CG) concept in Moroccan Islamic banking systems with specific reference to their institutions. The research objective is to identify also the path taken and adopted by these banks recently set up in Morocco. The foundation is rooted in shari'a, in particular, no stakeholder (the shareholding approach) must be harmed, and the ethical value is reflected into these parties’ behavior. We chose a qualitative method, semi-structured interviews where six managers provided answers about their banking systems. Since these respondents held a senior position (directors) within their organizations, it is felt that they are well placed and have the necessary knowledge to provide us with information to answer the questions asked. The results identified the orientation of participating banks and assessing how governance works, while determining which party is fovoured: shareholders, stakeholders or both. This study discusses the favorable condition to the harmonization of the regulations and therefore a better integration between Islamic finance and conventional ones in the economic context of Morocco.
The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.
During their activity, all systems must be operational without failures and in this context, the dependability concept is essential avoiding disruption of their function. As computer networks are systems with the same requirements of dependability, this article deals with an analysis of failures for a computer network. The proposed approach integrates specific tools of the plat-form KB3, usually applied in dependability studies of industrial systems. The methodology is supported by a multi-agent system formed by six agents grouped in three meta agents, dealing with two levels. The first level concerns a modeling step through a conceptual agent and a generating agent. The conceptual agent is dedicated to the building of the knowledge base from the system specifications written in the FIGARO language. The generating agent allows producing automatically both the structural model and a dependability model of the system. The second level, the simulation, shows the effects of the failures of the system through a simulation agent. The approach validation is obtained by its application on a specific computer network, giving an analysis of failures through their effects for the considered network.
In this paper, a method is provided for content-based image retrieval. Content-based image retrieval system searches query an image based on its visual content in an image database to retrieve similar images. In this paper, with the aim of simulating the human visual system sensitivity to image's edges and color features, the concept of color difference histogram (CDH) is used. CDH includes the perceptually color difference between two neighboring pixels with regard to colors and edge orientations. Since the HSV color space is close to the human visual system, the CDH is calculated in this color space. In addition, to improve the color features, the color histogram in HSV color space is also used as a feature. Among the extracted features, efficient features are selected using entropy and correlation criteria. The final features extract the content of images most efficiently. The proposed method has been evaluated on three standard databases Corel 5k, Corel 10k and UKBench. Experimental results show that the accuracy of the proposed image retrieval method is significantly improved compared to the recently developed methods.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also referred to as drones, equipped with various kinds of advanced detecting or surveying systems, are effective and low-cost in data acquisition, data delivery and sharing, which can benefit the building of infrastructures. This paper will give an overview of applications of drones in planning, designing, construction and maintenance of infrastructures. The drone platform, detecting and surveying systems, and post-data processing systems will be introduced, followed by cases with details of the applications. Challenges from different aspects will be addressed. Opportunities of drones in infrastructure include but not limited to the following. Firstly, UAVs equipped with high definition cameras or other detecting equipment are capable of inspecting the hard to reach infrastructure assets. Secondly, UAVs can be used as effective tools to survey and map the landscape to collect necessary information before infrastructure construction. Furthermore, an UAV or multi-UVAs are useful in construction management. UVAs can also be used in collecting roads and building information by taking high-resolution photos for future infrastructure planning. UAVs can be used to provide reliable and dynamic traffic information, which is potentially helpful in building smart cities. The main challenges are: limited flight time, the robustness of signal, post data analyze, multi-drone collaboration, weather condition, distractions to the traffic caused by drones. This paper aims to help owners, designers, engineers and architects to improve the building process of infrastructures for higher efficiency and better performance.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of voluntary intellectual capital disclosure by public Spanish universities on their websites. To this end, a content analysis was used to analyze the websites of 50 public Spanish universities i 2016. The results of this study show that human capital was the most disclosed category with relational capital being the least frequently disclosed in Spain. However, the quality of structural capital disclosures was higher than relational and human capital. Finally, most IC disclosures were narrative in nature.
The International Accounting Standards Board updated the conceptual framework for financial reporting. The main reason behind it is to resolve the tasks of the accounting, which are caused by the market development and business-transactions of a new economic content. Also, the investors call for higher transparency of information and responsibility for the results in order to make a more accurate risk assessment and forecast. All these make it necessary to further develop the conceptual framework for financial reporting so that the users get useful information. The market development and certain shortcomings of the conceptual framework revealed in practice require its reconsideration and finding new solutions. Some issues and concepts, such as disclosure and supply of information, its qualitative characteristics, assessment, and measurement uncertainty had to be supplemented and perfected. The criteria of recognition of certain elements (assets and liabilities) of reporting had to be updated, too and all this is set out in the updated edition of the conceptual framework for financial reporting, a comprehensive collection of concepts underlying preparation of the financial statement. The main objective of conceptual framework revision is to improve financial reporting and development of clear concepts package. This will support International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to set common “Approach & Reflection” for similar transactions on the basis of mutually accepted concepts. As a result, companies will be able to develop coherent accounting policies for those transactions or events that are occurred from particular deals to which no standard is used or when standard allows choice of accounting policy.
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.
The swirl gripper is an electrically activated noncontact handling device that uses swirling airflow to generate a lifting force. This force can be used to pick up a workpiece placed underneath the swirl gripper without any contact. It is applicable, for example, in the semiconductor wafer production line, where contact must be avoided during the handling and moving of a workpiece to minimize damage. When a workpiece levitates underneath a swirl gripper, the gap height between them is crucial for safe handling. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a method to estimate the levitation gap height by detecting pressure at two points. The method is based on theoretical model of the swirl gripper, and has been experimentally verified. Furthermore, the force between the gripper and the workpiece can also be estimated using the detected pressure. As a result, the nonlinear relationship between the force and gap height can be linearized by adjusting the rotating speed of the fan in the swirl gripper according to the estimated force and gap height. The linearized relationship is expected to enhance handling stability of the workpiece.
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.
Digital Do It Yourself (DIY) is a contemporary socio-technological phenomenon, enabled by technological tools. The nature and potential long-term effects of this phenomenon have been widely studied within the framework of the EU funded project ‘Digital Do It Yourself’, in which the authors have created and experimented a specific Digital Do It Yourself (DiDIY) co-design process. The phenomenon was first studied through a literature research to understand its multiple dimensions and complexity. Therefore, co-design workshops were used to investigate the phenomenon by involving people to achieve a complete understanding of the DiDIY practices and its enabling factors. These analyses allowed the definition of the DiDIY fundamental factors that were then translated into a design tool. The objective of the tool is to shape design concepts by transferring these factors into different environments to achieve innovation. The aim of this paper is to present the ‘DiDIY Factor Stimuli’ tool, describing the research path and the findings behind it.
The European Union supports social and civil competencies as being a core element to develop sustainability of organizations, people and regions. These competencies are fundamental for the well-being of the community because they include interpersonal, intrapersonal as well as their civil, active and democratic participation in organizations. The combination of these competencies reveals the organizational socio-emotional maturity and allows relevant levels of performance. It also allows the development of various capitals, namely, human, structural, relational and social, with direct influence on performance. But along this path, the emotional aspect has not been valued as a capital, given that contemporary society is based on knowledge capital and is flooded with information viewed as a capital. The present study, based on the importance of these socio-emotional capitals, aims to show that the competencies of cooperation, interpersonal understanding, empathy, kindness, ability to listen, and tolerance, to mention a few, are strategic in consolidating knowledge within organizations. This implies that the humanizing processes, both inside and outside the organizations, are revitalized. The question is how to go about doing this and its implementation; as well as, where to begin and which guidelines to take on. These are the foci that guide the present study, bearing in mind the directions of the knowledge economy.
Quantum cryptography is described as a point-to-point secure key generation technology that has emerged in recent times in providing absolute security. Researchers have started studying new innovative approaches to exploit the security of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) for a large-scale communication system. A number of approaches and models for utilization of QKD for secure communication have been developed. The uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics created a new paradigm for QKD. One of the approaches for use of QKD involved network fashioned security. The main goal was point-to-point Quantum network that exploited QKD technology for end-to-end network security via high speed QKD. Other approaches and models equipped with QKD in network fashion are introduced in the literature as. A different approach that this paper deals with is using QKD in existing protocols, which are widely used on the Internet to enhance security with main objective of unconditional security. Our work is towards the analysis of the QKD in Mobile ad-hoc network (MANET).
Arabic offline handwriting recognition systems are considered as one of the most challenging topics. Arabic Handwritten Numeral Strings are used to automate systems that deal with numbers such as postal code, banking account numbers and numbers on car plates. Segmentation of connected numerals is the main bottleneck in the handwritten numeral recognition system. This is in turn can increase the speed and efficiency of the recognition system. In this paper, we proposed algorithms for automatic segmentation and feature extraction of Arabic handwritten numeral strings based on Watershed approach. The algorithms have been designed and implemented to achieve the main goal of segmenting and extracting the string of numeral digits written by hand especially in a courtesy amount of bank checks. The segmentation algorithm partitions the string into multiple regions that can be associated with the properties of one or more criteria. The numeral extraction algorithm extracts the numeral string digits into separated individual digit. Both algorithms for segmentation and feature extraction have been tested successfully and efficiently for all types of numerals.
Yi is an ethnic group mainly living in mainland China, with its own spoken and written language systems, after development of thousands of years. Ancient Yi is one of the six ancient languages in the world, which keeps a record of the history of the Yi people and offers documents valuable for research into human civilization. Recognition of the characters in ancient Yi helps to transform the documents into an electronic form, making their storage and spreading convenient. Due to historical and regional limitations, research on recognition of ancient characters is still inadequate. Thus, deep learning technology was applied to the recognition of such characters. Five models were developed on the basis of the four-layer convolutional neural network (CNN). Alpha-Beta divergence was taken as a penalty term to re-encode output neurons of the five models. Two fully connected layers fulfilled the compression of the features. Finally, at the softmax layer, the orthographic features of ancient Yi characters were re-evaluated, their probability distributions were obtained, and characters with features of the highest probability were recognized. Tests conducted show that the method has achieved higher precision compared with the traditional CNN model for handwriting recognition of the ancient Yi.
China's aging tendency is becoming increasingly severe, which leads to the embarrassing situation of "getting old before getting wealthy". The traditional pension model does not comply with the need of today. Relying on "Internet Plus", it can efficiently integrate information and resources and meet the personalized needs of elderly care. It can reduce the operating cost of community elderly care facilities and lay a technical foundation for providing better services for the elderly. The key for providing help for the elderly in the future is to effectively integrate technology, make good use of technology, and improve the efficiency of elderly care services. The effective integration of traditional home care, community care, intelligent elderly care equipment and medical resources to create the "Internet Plus" community intelligent pension service mode has become the future development trend of aging care. The research method of this paper is to collect literature and conduct theoretical research on community pension firstly. Secondly, the combination of suitable aging design and "Internet Plus" is elaborated through research. Finally, this paper states the current level of intelligent technology in old-age care and looks into the future by understanding multiple levels of "Internet Plus". The development of community intelligent pension mode and content under "Internet Plus" has enormous development potential. In addition to the characteristics and functions of ordinary houses, residential design of endowment housing has higher requirements for comfort and personalization, and the people-oriented is the principle of design.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a well-established personal characteristic. It has been viewed as a critical factor which can influence an individual's academic achievement, ability to work and potential to succeed. When working in a group, EI is fundamentally connected to the group members' interaction and ability to work as a team. The ability of a group member to intelligently perceive and understand own emotions (Intrapersonal EI), to intelligently perceive and understand other members' emotions (Interpersonal EI), and to intelligently perceive and understand emotions between different groups (Cross-boundary EI) can be considered as Group emotional intelligence (Group EI). In this research, a more representative Group EI measurement approach, which incorporates the information of the composition of a group and an individual’s role in that group, is proposed. To demonstrate the claim of being more representative Group EI measurement approach, this study adopts a multi-method research design, involving a combination of both qualitative and quantitative techniques to establish a metric of Group EI. From the results, it can be concluded that by introducing the weight coefficient of each group member on group work into the measurement of Group EI, Group EI will be more representative and more capable of understanding what happens during teamwork than previous approaches.
The information of the impact cutting behavior of plants stalk plays an important role in the design and fabrication of plants cutting equipment. It is difficult to investigate a theoretical method for defining cutting properties of plants stalks because the cutting process is complex. Thus, it is necessary to set up an experimental approach to determine cutting parameters for a single stalk. To measure the shear force, shear energy and shear strength of plant stalk, a special impact cutting tester was fabricated. It was similar to an Izod impact cutting tester for metals but a cutting blade and data acquisition system were attached to the end of pendulum's arm. The apparatus was included four strain gages and a digital indicator to show the real-time cutting force of plant stalk. To measure the shear force and also testing the apparatus, two plants’ stalks, like buxus and privet, were selected. The samples (buxus and privet stalks) were cut under impact cutting process at four loading rates 1, 2, 3 and 4 m.s-1 and three internodes fifth, tenth and fifteenth by the apparatus. At buxus cutting analysis: the minimum value of cutting energy was obtained at fifth internode and loading rate 4 m.s-1 and the maximum value of shear energy was obtained at fifteenth internode and loading rate 1 m.s-1. At privet cutting analysis: the minimum value of shear consumption energy was obtained at fifth internode and loading rate: 4 m.s-1 and the maximum value of shear energy was obtained at fifteenth internode and loading rate: 1 m.s-1. The statistical analysis at both plants showed that the increase of impact cutting speed would decrease the shear consumption energy and shear strength. In two scenarios, the results showed that with increase the cutting speed, shear force would decrease.
Organizations support their operations and decision making on the data they have at their disposal, so the quality of these data is remarkably important and Data Quality (DQ) is currently a relevant issue, the literature being unanimous in pointing out that poor DQ can result in large costs for organizations. The literature review identified and described 24 Critical Success Factors (CSF) for Data Quality Management (DQM) that were presented to a panel of experts, who ordered them according to their degree of importance, using the Delphi method with the Q-sort technique, based on an online questionnaire. The study shows that the five most important CSF for DQM are: definition of appropriate policies and standards, control of inputs, definition of a strategic plan for DQ, organizational culture focused on quality of the data and obtaining top management commitment and support.
Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity of machine to machine, human to machine and human to human via Internet of Things (IoT). Technologies of industry 4.0 facilitate communication between human and machine through IoT and forms Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS). In CPPS, multiple shop floors sensor data are connected through IoT and displayed through sensor dashboard to the operator. These sensor dashboards have enormous amount of information to be presented which becomes complex for operators to perform monitoring, controlling and interpretation tasks. Designing handheld sensor dashboards for supervision task will become a challenge for the interface designers. This paper reports emerging technologies of industry 4.0, changing context of increasing information complexity in consecutive industrial revolutions and upcoming design challenges for interface designers in context of Industry 4.0. Authors conclude that information complexity of sensor dashboards design has increased with consecutive industrial revolutions and designs of sensor dashboard causes cognitive load on users. Designing such complex dashboards interfaces in Industry 4.0 context will become main challenges for the interface designers.