In this paper we develop a model that couples Two Concurrent Convolution Neural Network with different filters (TC*CNN) for face recognition and compare its performance to an existing sequential CNN (base model). We also test and compare the quality and performance of the models on three datasets with various levels of complexity (easy, moderate, and difficult) and show that for the most complex datasets, edges will produce the most accurate and efficient results. We further show that in such cases while Support Vector Machine (SVM) models are fast, they do not produce accurate results.
Conventional reservoir prediction methods ar not sufficient to explore the implicit relation between seismic attributes, and thus data utilization is low. In order to improve the predictive classification accuracy of reservoir lithology, this paper proposes a deep learning lithology prediction method based on ResNet (Residual Neural Network) and SENet (Squeeze-and-Excitation Neural Network). The neural network model is built and trained by using seismic attribute data and lithology data of Shengli oilfield, and the nonlinear mapping relationship between seismic attribute and lithology marker is established. The experimental results show that this method can significantly improve the classification effect of reservoir lithology, and the classification accuracy is close to 70%. This study can effectively predict the lithology of undrilled area and provide support for exploration and development.
Ghana’s Public Financial Management reforms have been going on for some two decades now (1997/98 to 2017/18). Given this long period of reforms, Ghana in 2019 is putting together both a Public Financial Management (PFM) strategy and a Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) strategy for the next 5-years (2020-2024). The primary aim of these dual strategies is assisting the country in moving beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability. In this paper we, first, examined the evolution of Ghana’s PFM reforms. We, secondly, reviewed the legal and institutional reforms undertaken to strengthen the country’s key PFM institutions. Thirdly, we summarized the strengths and weaknesses identified by the 2018 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment of Ghana’s PFM system relating to its macro-fiscal framework, budget preparation and approval, budget execution, accounting and fiscal reporting as well as external scrutiny and audit. We, finally, considered what the country should be doing to achieve its intended goal of PFM consolidation and sustainability. Using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents, we, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learnt by other developing countries from Ghana’s PFM reforms experiences. These lessons included the need to: (a) undergird any PFM reform with a comprehensive PFM reform strategy; (b) undertake a legal and institutional reforms of the key PFM institutions; (c) assess the strengths and weaknesses of those reforms using PFM performance evaluation tools such as PEFA framework; and (d) move beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability.
The aim of this study is to develop a system which can identify and sort peaberries automatically at low cost for coffee producers in developing countries. In this paper, the focus is on the classification of peaberries and normal coffee beans using image processing and machine learning techniques. The peaberry is not bad and not a normal bean. The peaberry is born in an only single seed, relatively round seed from a coffee cherry instead of the usual flat-sided pair of beans. It has another value and flavor. To make the taste of the coffee better, it is necessary to separate the peaberry and normal bean before green coffee beans roasting. Otherwise, the taste of total beans will be mixed, and it will be bad. In roaster procedure time, all the beans shape, size, and weight must be unique; otherwise, the larger bean will take more time for roasting inside. The peaberry has a different size and different shape even though they have the same weight as normal beans. The peaberry roasts slower than other normal beans. Therefore, neither technique provides a good option to select the peaberries. Defect beans, e.g., sour, broken, black, and fade bean, are easy to check and pick up manually by hand. On the other hand, the peaberry pick up is very difficult even for trained specialists because the shape and color of the peaberry are similar to normal beans. In this study, we use image processing and machine learning techniques to discriminate the normal and peaberry bean as a part of the sorting system. As the first step, we applied Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) as machine learning techniques to discriminate the peaberry and normal bean. As a result, better performance was obtained with CNN than with SVM for the discrimination of the peaberry. The trained artificial neural network with high performance CPU and GPU in this work will be simply installed into the inexpensive and low in calculation Raspberry Pi system. We assume that this system will be used in under developed countries. The study evaluates and compares the feasibility of the methods in terms of accuracy of classification and processing speed.
Engagement is one of the most important factors in determining successful outcomes and deep learning in students. Existing approaches to detect student engagement involve periodic human observations that are subject to inter-rater reliability. Our solution uses real-time multimodal multisensor data labeled by objective performance outcomes to infer the engagement of students. The study involves four students with a combined diagnosis of cerebral palsy and a learning disability who took part in a 3-month trial over 59 sessions. Multimodal multisensor data were collected while they participated in a continuous performance test. Eye gaze, electroencephalogram, body pose, and interaction data were used to create a model of student engagement through objective labeling from the continuous performance test outcomes. In order to achieve this, a type of continuous performance test is introduced, the Seek-X type. Nine features were extracted including high-level handpicked compound features. Using leave-one-out cross-validation, a series of different machine learning approaches were evaluated. Overall, the random forest classification approach achieved the best classification results. Using random forest, 93.3% classification for engagement and 42.9% accuracy for disengagement were achieved. We compared these results to outcomes from different models: AdaBoost, decision tree, k-Nearest Neighbor, naïve Bayes, neural network, and support vector machine. We showed that using a multisensor approach achieved higher accuracy than using features from any reduced set of sensors. We found that using high-level handpicked features can improve the classification accuracy in every sensor mode. Our approach is robust to both sensor fallout and occlusions. The single most important sensor feature to the classification of engagement and distraction was shown to be eye gaze. It has been shown that we can accurately predict the level of engagement of students with learning disabilities in a real-time approach that is not subject to inter-rater reliability, human observation or reliant on a single mode of sensor input. This will help teachers design interventions for a heterogeneous group of students, where teachers cannot possibly attend to each of their individual needs. Our approach can be used to identify those with the greatest learning challenges so that all students are supported to reach their full potential.
This paper presents a method for single image dehazing based on dark channel prior (DCP). The property that the intensity of the dark channel gives an approximate thickness of the haze is used to estimate the transmission and atmospheric light. Instead of constant atmospheric light, the proposed method employs scene depth to estimate spatially varying atmospheric light as it truly occurs in nature. Haze imaging model together with the soft matting method has been used in this work to produce high quality haze free image. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach produces better results than the classic DCP approach as color fidelity and contrast of haze free image are improved and no over-saturation in the sky region is observed. Further, lifting Haar wavelet transform is employed to reduce overall execution time by a factor of two to three as compared to the conventional approach.
In seismic applications, hollow steel sections show, beyond undeniable esthetical appeal, promising structural advantages since, unlike open section counterparts, they are not susceptible to weak-axis and lateral-torsional buckling. In particular, hot-finished hollow steel sections have homogeneous material properties and favorable ductility but have been underutilized for cyclic bending. The main reason is that the parameters affecting their hysteretic behaviors are not yet well understood and, consequently, are not well exploited in existing codes of practice. Therefore, experimental investigations have been conducted on a wide range of hot-finished rectangular hollow section beams with the aim to providing basic knowledge for evaluating their seismic performance. The section geometry (width-to-thickness and depth-to-thickness ratios) and the type of loading (monotonic and cyclic) have been chosen as the key parameters to investigate the cyclic effect on the rotational capacity and to highlight the differences between monotonic and cyclic load conditions. The test results provide information on the parameters that affect the cyclic performance of hot-finished hollow steel beams and can be used to assess the design provisions stipulated in the current seismic codes of practice.
Since the discovery of the manuscript, mechanical methods for storing, transferring and using the information have evolved into digital methods over the time. In this process, libraries that are the center of the information have also become digitized and become accessible from anywhere and at any time in the world by taking on a structure that has no physical boundaries. In this context, some criteria for information obtained from digital libraries have become more important for users. This paper evaluates the user criteria from different perspectives that make a digital library more useful. The Step-Wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis-Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (SWARA-WASPAS) method is used with flexibility and easy calculation steps for the evaluation of digital library criteria. Three different digital libraries are evaluated by information technology experts according to five conflicting main criteria, ‘interface design’, ‘effects on users’, ‘services’, ‘user engagement’ and ‘context’. Finally, alternatives are ranked in descending order.
In the present article, it is observed that the constant advancement of issues related to misinformation impacts the guarantee of the public policy cycle. Thus, it is found that the dissemination of false information has a direct influence on each of the component stages of this cycle. Therefore, in order to maintain scientific and theoretical credibility in the qualitative analysis process, it was necessary to logically interpose the concepts of firehosing of falsehood, fake news, public policy cycle, as well as using the epistemological and pragmatic mechanism at the intersection of such academic concepts, such as the scientific method. It was found, through the analysis of official documents and public notes, how the multiple theoretical perspectives evidence the commitment of the provision and elaboration of public policies, verifying the way in which the fake news impact each part of the process in this atmosphere.
Due to the importance given today to innovation, the education sector is evolving thanks digital technologies. Virtual Reality (VR) can be a potential teaching tool offering many advantages in the field of training and education, as it allows to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills using an immersive experience in less time than the traditional educational process. These assumptions allow to lay the foundations for a new educational environment, involving and stimulating for students. Starting from the objective of strengthening the innovative teaching offer and the learning processes, the case study of the research concerns the digitalization of MastrLAB, High Quality Laboratory (HQL) belonging to the Department of Structural, Building and Geotechnical Engineering (DISEG) of the Polytechnic of Turin, a center specialized in experimental mechanical tests on traditional and innovative building materials and on the structures made with them. The MastrLAB-VR has been developed, a revolutionary innovative training tool designed with the aim of educating the class in total safety on the techniques of use of machinery, thus reducing the dangers arising from the performance of potentially dangerous activities. The virtual laboratory, dedicated to the students of the Building and Civil Engineering Courses of the Polytechnic of Turin, has been projected to simulate in an absolutely realistic way the experimental approach to the structural tests foreseen in their courses of study: from the tensile tests to the relaxation tests, from the steel qualification tests to the resilience tests on elements at environmental conditions or at characterizing temperatures. The research work proposes a methodology for the virtualization of technical laboratories through the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM), starting from the creation of a digital model. The process includes the creation of an independent application, which with Oculus Rift technology will allow the user to explore the environment and interact with objects through the use of joypads. The application has been tested in prototype way on volunteers, obtaining results related to the acquisition of the educational notions exposed in the experience through a virtual quiz with multiple answers, achieving an overall evaluation report. The results have shown that MastrLAB-VR is suitable for both beginners and experts and will be adopted experimentally for other laboratories of the University departments.
The evolution in mobile broadband technologies has allowed to increase the download rates in users considering the current services. The evaluation of technical parameters at the link level is of vital importance to validate the quality and veracity of the connection, thus avoiding large losses of data, time and productivity. Some of these failures may occur between the eNodeB (Evolved Node B) and the user equipment (UE), so the link between the end device and the base station can be observed. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is considered one of the IP-oriented mobile broadband technologies that work stably for data and VoIP (Voice Over IP) for those devices that have that feature. This research presents a technical analysis of the connection and channeling processes between UE and eNodeB with the TAC (Tracking Area Code) variables, and analysis of performance variables (Throughput, Signal to Interference and Noise Ratio (SINR)). Three measurement scenarios were proposed in the city of Bogotá using QualiPoc, where two operators were evaluated (Operator 1 and Operator 2). Once the data were obtained, an analysis of the variables was performed determining that the data obtained in transmission modes vary depending on the parameters BLER (Block Error Rate), performance and SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio). In the case of both operators, differences in transmission modes are detected and this is reflected in the quality of the signal. In addition, due to the fact that both operators work in different frequencies, it can be seen that Operator 1, despite having spectrum in Band 7 (2600 MHz), together with Operator 2, is reassigning to another frequency, a lower band, which is AWS (1700 MHz), but the difference in signal quality with respect to the establishment with data by the provider Operator 2 and the difference found in the transmission modes determined by the eNodeB in Operator 1 is remarkable.
Generative Adversarial Net (GAN) has proved to be a powerful machine learning tool in image data analysis and generation. In this paper, we propose to use Conditional Generative Adversarial Net (CGAN) to learn and simulate time series data. The conditions include both categorical and continuous variables with different auxiliary information. Our simulation studies show that CGAN has the capability to learn different types of normal and heavy-tailed distributions, as well as dependent structures of different time series. It also has the capability to generate conditional predictive distributions consistent with training data distributions. We also provide an in-depth discussion on the rationale behind GAN and the neural networks as hierarchical splines to establish a clear connection with existing statistical methods of distribution generation. In practice, CGAN has a wide range of applications in market risk and counterparty risk analysis: it can be applied to learn historical data and generate scenarios for the calculation of Value-at-Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES), and it can also predict the movement of the market risk factors. We present a real data analysis including a backtesting to demonstrate that CGAN can outperform Historical Simulation (HS), a popular method in market risk analysis to calculate VaR. CGAN can also be applied in economic time series modeling and forecasting. In this regard, we have included an example of hypothetical shock analysis for economic models and the generation of potential CCAR scenarios by CGAN at the end of the paper.
State Estimator became an intrinsic part of Energy Management Systems (EMS). The SCADA measurements received from the field are processed by the State Estimator in order to accurately determine the actual operating state of the power systems and provide that information to other real-time network applications. All EMS vendors offer a State Estimator functionality in their baseline products. However, setting up and ensuring that State Estimator consistently produces a reliable solution often consumes a substantial engineering effort. This paper provides generic recommendations and describes a simple practical approach to efficient tuning of State Estimator, based on the working experience with major EMS software platforms and consulting projects in many electrical utilities of the USA.
Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) is one of the main technologies for generating high-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs). DTMs are crucial to several applications, such as topographic mapping, flood zone delineation, geographic information systems (GIS), hydrological modelling, spatial analysis, etc. Laser scanning system generates irregularly spaced three-dimensional cloud of points. Raw ALS data are mainly ground points (that represent the bare earth) and non-ground points (that represent buildings, trees, cars, etc.). Removing all the non-ground points from the raw data is referred to as filtering. Filtering heavily forested areas is considered a difficult and challenging task as the canopy stops laser pulses from reaching the terrain surface. This research presents an approach for removing non-ground points from raw ALS data in densely forested areas. Smoothing splines are exploited to interpolate and fit the noisy ALS data. The presented filter utilizes a weight function to allocate weights for each point of the data. Furthermore, unlike most of the methods, the presented filtering algorithm is designed to be automatic. Three different forested areas in the United Kingdom are used to assess the performance of the algorithm. The results show that the generated DTMs from the filtered data are accurate (when compared against reference terrain data) and the performance of the method is stable for all the heavily forested data samples. The average root mean square error (RMSE) value is 0.35 m.
Perceived risks play a major role in consumer intentions, behaviors, attitudes, and decisions about online shopping in the KSA. This paper investigates the influence of six perceived risk dimensions on Saudi consumers: product risk, information risk, financial risk, privacy and security risk, delivery risk, and terms and conditions risk empirically. To ensure the success of this study, a random survey was distributed to reflect the consumers’ perceived risk and to enable the generalization of the results. Data were collected from 323 respondents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA): 50 who had never shopped online and 273 who had done so. The results indicated that all six risks influenced the respondents’ perceptions of online shopping. The non-online shoppers perceived financial and delivery risks as the most significant barriers to online shopping. This was followed closely by performance, information, and privacy and security risks. Terms and conditions were perceived as less significant. The online consumers considered delivery and performance risks to be the most significant influences on internet shopping. This was followed closely by information and terms and conditions. Financial and privacy and security risks were perceived as less significant. This paper argues that introducing adequate legal solutions to addressing related problems arising from this study is an urgent need. This may enhance consumer trust in the KSA online market, increase consumers’ intentions regarding online shopping, and improve consumer protection.
A design of beam-steerable antenna array for the future cellular communication (5G) is presented. The proposed design contains eight elements of compact end-fire antennas arranged on the top edge of smartphone printed circuit board (PCB). Configuration of the antenna element consists of the conductive patterns on the top and bottom copper foil layers and a substrate layer with a via-hole. The simulated results including input-impedance and also fundamental radiation properties have been presented and discussed. The impedance bandwidth (S11 ≤ -10 dB) of the antenna spans from 17.5 to 21 GHz (more than 3 GHz bandwidth) with a resonance at 19 GHz. The antenna exhibits end-fire (directional) radiation beams with wide-angle scanning property and could be used for the future 5G beam-forming. Furthermore, the characteristics of the array design in the vicinity of user-hand are studied.
Individuals are generally associated with different learning styles, which have been explored extensively in recent past. The learning styles refer to the potential of an individual by which s/he can easily comprehend and retain information. Among various learning style models, VARK is the most accepted model which categorizes the learners with respect to their sensory characteristics. Based on the number of preferred learning modes, the learners can be categorized as uni-modal, bi-modal, tri-modal, or quad/multi-modal. Although there is a prevalent belief in the learning styles, however, the model is not being frequently and effectively utilized in the higher education. This research describes the identification model to validate teacher’s didactic practice and student’s performance linkage with the learning styles. The identification model is recommended to check the effective application and evaluation of the various learning styles. The proposed model is a guideline to effectively implement learning styles inventory in order to ensure that it will validate performance linkage with learning styles. If performance is linked with learning styles, this may help eradicate the distrust on learning style theory. For this purpose, a comprehensive study was conducted to compare and understand how VARK inventory model is being used to identify learning preferences and their correlation with learner’s performance. A comparative analysis of the findings of these studies is presented to understand the learning styles of tertiary students in various disciplines. It is concluded with confidence that the learning styles of students cannot be associated with any specific discipline. Furthermore, there is not enough empirical proof to link performance with learning styles.
In this paper, a multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) antenna design with polarization and radiation pattern diversity is presented for future smartphones. The configuration of the design consists of four double-fed circular-ring antenna elements located at different edges of the printed circuit board (PCB) with an FR-4 substrate and overall dimension of 75×150 mm2. The antenna elements are fed by 50-Ohm microstrip-lines and provide polarization and radiation pattern diversity function due to the orthogonal placement of their feed lines. A good impedance bandwidth (S11 ≤ -10 dB) of 3.4-3.8 GHz has been obtained for the smartphone antenna array. However, for S11 ≤ -6 dB, this value is 3.25-3.95 GHz. More than 3 dB realized gain and 80% total efficiency are achieved for the single-element radiator. The presented design not only provides the required radiation coverage but also generates the polarization diversity characteristic.
Vehicular Adhoc Networks (VANETs), a subset of Mobile Adhoc Networks (MANETs), refers to a set of smart vehicles used for road safety. This vehicle provides communication services among one another or with the Road Side Unit (RSU). Security is one of the most critical issues related to VANET as the information transmitted is distributed in an open access environment. As each vehicle is not a source of all messages, most of the communication depends on the information received from other vehicles. To protect VANET from malicious action, each vehicle must be able to evaluate, decide and react locally on the information received from other vehicles. Therefore, message verification is more challenging in VANET because of the security and privacy concerns of the participating vehicles. To overcome security threats, we propose Monitoring Algorithm that detects malicious nodes based on the pre-selected threshold value. The threshold value is compared with the distrust value which is inherently tagged with each vehicle. The proposed Monitoring Algorithm not only detects malicious vehicles, but also isolates the malicious vehicles from the network. The proposed technique is simulated using Network Simulator2 (NS2) tool. The simulation result illustrated that the proposed Monitoring Algorithm outperforms the existing algorithms in terms of malicious node detection, network delay, packet delivery ratio and throughput, thereby uplifting the overall performance of the network.
This paper mainly studies the path planning method based on ant colony optimization (ACO), and proposes heuristic integration ant colony optimization (HIACO). This paper not only analyzes and optimizes the principle, but also simulates and analyzes the parameters related to the application of HIACO in path planning. Compared with the original algorithm, the improved algorithm optimizes probability formula, tabu table mechanism and updating mechanism, and introduces more reasonable heuristic factors. The optimized HIACO not only draws on the excellent ideas of the original algorithm, but also solves the problems of premature convergence, convergence to the sub optimal solution and improper exploration to some extent. HIACO can be used to achieve better simulation results and achieve the desired optimization. Combined with the probability formula and update formula, several parameters of HIACO are tested. This paper proves the principle of the HIACO and gives the best parameter range in the research of path planning.
Childhood mortality is a key sign of the coverage of child survival interventions, social and economic progressions. Although the level of under-five mortality has been declining, it is still unacceptably high. The primary aim of this paper is to establish and analyse the levels and trends of under-five mortality for the periods 1998, 2003 and 2012 in South Africa. Methods: The data used for analysis came from the 1998 SADHS, the 2003 SADHS and the 2012 SABSSM which collected information on the survival status of children. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the survival function method was used to determine the probabilities of failure (death) from birth up to 59 months. Results and Conclusion: The overall U5MR declined by 28.2% from 53.1 in 1998 to 38.1 in 2012. The U5MR of male children declined from 59.2 in 1998 to 46.2 in 2003 and dropped further to 41.4 in 2012. The U5MR of children of mothers aged 40 years and older increased from 64.0 in 1998 to 89.0 in 2003 and rose further to 129.9 in 2012. The U5MR of children of mothers with education level of 12 years or more increased from 32.2 in 1998 to 35.2 in 2003 and declined substantially to 17.5 in 2012.
In the field of machine learning, the ensemble has been employed as a common methodology to improve the performance upon multiple base classifiers. However, the true predictions are often canceled out by the false ones during consensus due to a phenomenon called “curse of correlation” which is represented as the strong interferences among the predictions produced by the base classifiers. In addition, the existing practices are still not able to effectively mitigate the problem of imbalanced classification. Based on the analysis on our experiment results, we conclude that the two problems are caused by some inherent deficiencies in the approach of consensus. Therefore, we create an enhanced ensemble algorithm which adopts a designed rank-based chain-mode consensus to overcome the two problems. In order to evaluate the proposed ensemble algorithm, we employ a well-known benchmark data set NSL-KDD (the improved version of dataset KDDCup99 produced by University of New Brunswick) to make comparisons between the proposed and 8 common ensemble algorithms. Particularly, each compared ensemble classifier uses the same 22 base classifiers, so that the differences in terms of the improvements toward the accuracy and reliability upon the base classifiers can be truly revealed. As a result, the proposed rank-based chain-mode consensus is proved to be a more effective ensemble solution than the traditional consensus approach, which outperforms the 8 ensemble algorithms by 20% on almost all compared metrices which include accuracy, precision, recall, F1-score and area under receiver operating characteristic curve.
The inability of organizations to put in place management control measures for Internet of Things (IoT) complexities persists to be a risk concern. Policy makers have been left to scamper in finding measures to combat these security and privacy concerns. IoT forensics is a cumbersome process as there is no standardization of the IoT products, no or limited historical data are stored on the devices. This paper highlights why IoT forensics is a unique adventure and brought out the legal challenges encountered in the investigation process. A quadrant model is presented to study the conflicting aspects in IoT forensics. The model analyses the effectiveness of forensic investigation process versus the admissibility of the evidence integrity; taking into account the user privacy and the providers’ compliance with the laws and regulations. Our analysis concludes that a semi-automated forensic process using machine learning, could eliminate the human factor from the profiling and surveillance processes, and hence resolves the issues of data protection (privacy and confidentiality).