Road safety performance index is a composite index which combines various indicators of road safety into single number. Development of a road safety performance index using appropriate safety performance indicators is essential to enhance road safety. However, a road safety performance index in developing countries has not been given as much priority as needed. The primary objective of this research is to develop a general Road Safety Performance Index (RSPI) for developing countries based on the facility as well as behavior of road user. The secondary objectives include finding the critical inputs in the RSPI and finding the better method of making the index. In this study, the RSPI is developed by selecting four main safety performance indicators i.e., protective system (seat belt, helmet etc.), road (road width, signalized intersections, number of lanes, speed limit), number of pedestrians, and number of vehicles. Data on these four safety performance indicators were collected using observation survey on a 20 km road section of the National Highway N-125 road Taxila, Pakistan. For the development of this composite index, two methods are used: a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and b) Equal Weighting (EW) method. PCA is used for extraction, weighting, and linear aggregation of indicators to obtain a single value. An individual index score was calculated for each road section by multiplication of weights and standardized values of each safety performance indicator. However, Simple Average technique was used for weighting and linear aggregation of indicators to develop a RSPI. The road sections are ranked according to RSPI scores using both methods. The two weighting methods are compared, and the PCA method is found to be much more reliable than the Simple Average Technique.
In several earthquakes, numerous reinforced concrete (RC) frames subjected to seismic excitation demonstrated a collapse pattern characterized by column hinges, though designed according to the Strong-Column-Weak-Beam (S-C-W-B) criteria. The effect of biaxial seismic excitation on the disparity between design and actual performance is carefully investigated in this article. First, a modified load contour method is proposed to derive a closed-form equation of biaxial bending moment strength, which is verified by numerical and experimental tests. Afterwards, a group of time history analyses of a simple frame modeled by fiber beam-column elements subjected to biaxial seismic excitation are conducted to verify that the current S-C-W-B criteria are not adequate to prevent the occurrence of column hinges. A biaxial over-strength factor is developed based on the proposed equation, and the reinforcement of columns is appropriately amplified with this factor to prevent the occurrence of column hinges under biaxial excitation, which is proved to be effective by another group of time history analyses.
If a person can monitor his/her oxygen saturation level intermittently then he/she can identify his/her condition early and thus he/she can seek a doctor’s help. This paper reports the design, simulation, and implementation of a low-cost pulse oxygen saturation measurement device based on a reflective photoplethysmography (PPG) system using an integrated circuit sensor as the fundamental component of this health status checking device. The measurement of the physiological parameter is the blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) in the peripheral capillary. This work has been implemented using an Arduino Uno R3 microcontroller along with this sensor integrated circuit (IC). The system is designed in the Proteus environment and then simulated to check its performance. After that, the hardware implementation is performed. We used a clipping type optical sensor to sense the arterial oxygen saturation level of blood signal from the fingertips of an individual and then transformed it into the digital data in the microcontroller through its programming its instruction. The designed system was tested by measuring the SpO2 level for several people of different ages, from 12 to 57 years of age. Besides, the same people were tested using a standard machine purchased from the market. Test results were found very satisfactory as the average percentage of error was very low, 1.59% only.
Pitot-tube Jet pump, single-stage pump with low flow rate and high head, consists of a radial impeller that feeds water to rotating cavity. Water then enters stationary pitot-tube collector (diffuser), which discharges to the outside. By means of ANSYS Fluent 15.0, the internal flow characteristics for Pitot-tube Jet pump with standard pitot and curved pitot are studied. Under design condition, realizable k-e turbulence model and SIMPLEC algorithm are used to calculate 3D flow field inside both pumps. The simulation results reveal that energy is imparted to the flow by impeller and inside the rotor, forced vortex type flow is observed. Total pressure decreases inside pitot-tube whereas static pressure increases. Changing pitot-tube from standard to curved shape results in minimum flow circulation inside pitot-tube and leads to a higher pump performance.
The challenging task in educational institutions is to maximize the high performance of students and minimize the failure rate of poor-performing students. An effective method to leverage this task is to know student learning patterns with highly influencing factors and get an early prediction of student learning outcomes at the timely stage for setting up policies for improvement. Educational data mining (EDM) is an emerging disciplinary field of data mining, statistics, and machine learning concerned with extracting useful knowledge and information for the sake of improvement and development in the education environment. The study is of this work is to propose techniques in EDM and integrate it into a web-based system for predicting poor-performing students. A comparative study of prediction models is conducted. Subsequently, high performing models are developed to get higher performance. The hybrid random forest (Hybrid RF) produces the most successful classification. For the context of intervention and improving the learning outcomes, a feature selection method MICHI, which is the combination of mutual information (MI) and chi-square (CHI) algorithms based on the ranked feature scores, is introduced to select a dominant feature set that improves the performance of prediction and uses the obtained dominant set as information for intervention. By using the proposed techniques of EDM, an academic performance prediction system (APPS) is subsequently developed for educational stockholders to get an early prediction of student learning outcomes for timely intervention. Experimental outcomes and evaluation surveys report the effectiveness and usefulness of the developed system. The system is used to help educational stakeholders and related individuals for intervening and improving student performance.
Bridges, as an essential part of road infrastructures, are affected by various deterioration mechanisms over time due to the changes in their performance. As changes in performance can have many negative impacts on society, it is essential to be able to evaluate and measure the performance of bridges throughout their life. This evaluation includes the development or the choice of the appropriate performance indicators, which, in turn, are measured based on the selection of appropriate models for the existing deterioration mechanism. The purpose of this article is a statistical study of indicators and deterioration mechanisms of bridges in order to discover further research capacities in bridges performance assessment. For this purpose, some of the most common indicators of bridge performance, including reliability, risk, vulnerability, robustness, and resilience, were selected. The researches performed on each index based on the desired deterioration mechanisms and hazards were comprehensively reviewed. In addition, the formulation of the indicators and their relationship with each other were studied. The research conducted on the mentioned indicators were classified from the point of view of deterministic or probabilistic method, the level of study (element level, object level, etc.), and the type of hazard and the deterioration mechanism of interest. For each of the indicators, a number of challenges and recommendations were presented according to the review of previous studies.
The direction of arrival (DoA) estimation is the crucial aspect of the radar technologies for detecting and dividing several signal sources. In this scenario, the antenna array output modeling involves numerous parameters including noise samples, signal waveform, signal directions, signal number, and signal to noise ratio (SNR), and thereby the methods of the DoA estimation rely heavily on the generalization characteristic for establishing a large number of the training data sets. Hence, we have analogously represented the two different optimization models of the DoA estimation; (1) the implementation of the decision directed acyclic graph (DDAG) for the multiclass least-squares support vector machine (LS-SVM), and (2) the optimization method of the deep neural network (DNN) radial basis function (RBF). We have rigorously verified that the LS-SVM DDAG algorithm is capable of accurately classifying DoAs for the three classes. However, the accuracy and robustness of the DoA estimation are still highly sensitive to technological imperfections of the antenna arrays such as non-ideal array design and manufacture, array implementation, mutual coupling effect, and background radiation and thereby the method may fail in representing high precision for the DoA estimation. Therefore, this work has a further contribution on developing the DNN-RBF model for the DoA estimation for overcoming the limitations of the non-parametric and data-driven methods in terms of array imperfection and generalization. The numerical results of implementing the DNN-RBF model have confirmed the better performance of the DoA estimation compared with the LS-SVM algorithm. Consequently, we have analogously evaluated the performance of utilizing the two aforementioned optimization methods for the DoA estimation using the concept of the mean squared error (MSE).
Fasting dissolving magnesium (DM) alloy technology has contributed significantly to the “Shale Revolution” in oil and gas industry. This application requires DM downhole tools dissolving initially at a slow rate, rapidly accelerating to a high rate after certain period of operation time (typically 8 h to 2 days), a contradicting requirement that can hardly be addressed by traditional Mg alloying or processing itself. Premature disintegration has been broadly reported in downhole DM tool from field trials. To address this issue, “temporary” thin polymers of various formulations are currently coated onto DM surface to delay its initial dissolving. Due to conveying parts, harsh downhole condition, and high dissolving rate of the base material, the current delay coatings relying on pure polymers are found to perform well only at low temperature (typical < 100 ℃) and parts without sharp edges or corners, as severe geometries prevent high quality thin film coatings from forming effectively. In this study, a coating technology combining Plasma Electrolytic Oxide (PEO) coatings with advanced thin film deposition has been developed, which can delay DM complex parts (with sharp corners) in corrosive fluid at 150 ℃ for over 2 days. Synergistic effects between porous hard PEO coating and chemical inert elastic-polymer sealing leads to its delaying dissolution improvement, and strong chemical/physical bonding between these two layers has been found to play essential role. Microstructure of this advanced coating and compatibility between PEO and various polymer selections has been thoroughly investigated and a model is also proposed to explain its delaying performance. This study could not only benefit oil and gas industry to unplug their High Temperature High Pressure (HTHP) unconventional resources inaccessible before, but also potentially provides a technical route for other industries (e.g., bio-medical, automobile, aerospace) where primer anti-corrosive protection on light Mg alloy is highly demanded.
The web created by sport in academics has made it difficult for it to be separated from adolescent educational development. The enthusiasm expressed towards sport by students in higher institutions is quite enormous. Primarily, academic performance should be the pride of all students but whether sports affect the academic performance of student-athletes remain an unknown fact. This study investigated the influence of sports participation on academic performance among Afe Babalola University student-athletes. Ex post facto research design was used. Two groups of students were used for the study; Student-athlete (SA) and Regular Students (RS). Purposive sampling technique was used to select 224 student-athletes, only those that are regular in the university sports team training were considered and their records (i.e. name, department, level, matriculation number, and phone number) were collected through the assistance of their coaches. For the regular students, purposive sampling technique was used to select 224 participants, only those that have no interest in sports were considered and their records were retrieved from the college registration officer. The first and second semester examination results of the two groups were compared in 10 general study courses without their knowledge, using descriptive statistics of frequency counts, mean, and standard deviation. Out of the 10 compared courses, 7 courses result showed no significant difference between students-athlete and regular students while student-athletes perform better in 3 practically oriented courses. Sports role in academics is quite significant. Exposure to sports can help build the confidence that athletes need especially when it comes to practical courses. Student-athletes can perform better in academics if the environment is friendly and not intimidating. Lecturers and coaches need to work together in order to build a well cultured and intelligent graduate.
Array signal processing techniques have been recently developing in a variety application of the performance enhancement of receivers by refraining the power of jamming and interference signals. In this scenario, biases induced to the antenna array receiver degrade significantly the accurate estimation of the carrier phase. Owing to the integration of frequency becomes the carrier phase, we have obtained the unbiased doppler frequency for the high precision estimation of carrier phase. The unbiased characteristic of Doppler frequency to the power jamming and the other interference signals allows achieving the highly accurate estimation of phase carrier. In this study, we have rigorously investigated the unbiased characteristic of Doppler frequency to the variation of the antenna array geometries. The simulation results have efficiently verified that the Doppler frequency remains also unbiased and accurate to the variation of antenna array geometries.
Sustainability of construction projects is an important issue to be addressed since the sector will continue to be developed in the coming years, especially in developing countries. Thus, it is significant to discover approaches and solutions for improving sustainability. Currently, the construction industry is the largest consumer of natural resources. This is the same in other countries in the Gulf region, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has limited natural resources such as water, electricity, etc. Recently, the UAE has taken several actions in order to implement sustainable initiatives within its construction industry. Within the industry, the contractors’ role is significant in promoting sustainable development by taking the responsibility to minimize their negative impacts on the environment and society, and maximize their economic distribution. In this research, sustainability will be studied as an important key to bring competitive advantages to contracting organizations. The contractors should understand the need to improve their sustainable performance in order to expand their business competitiveness. Competitiveness at the construction project level refers to a contractor’s ability to compete for a project. There is less focus on how to improve contractors’ competitiveness by implementing sustainable construction practices. Based on an inclusive literature review on the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness, this research will conduct a study of sustainable practice in the construction industry and the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness in order to develop a framework for evaluating how contractors can improve their competitiveness in terms of more efficient processes, enhancements in productivity, and lower costs of compliance in order to reduce the initial project cost and obtain market opportunities in the UAE. The research findings will provide a framework that can be a useful guideline for contractors to develop their sustainability policy, strategy and practice for meeting the increased requirements for sustainable development in construction.
This paper presents design and analysis of fault tolerate feature of n-phase induction motor drive. The n-phase induction motor (more than 3-phases) has a number of advantages over conventional 3-phase induction motor, it has low torque pulsation with increased torque density, more fault tolerant feature, low current ripple with increased efficiency. When increasing the number of phases, it has reduced current per phase without increasing per phase voltage, resulting in an increase in the total power rating of n-phase motors in the same volume machine. In this paper, the theory of operation of a multi-phase induction motor is discussed. The detailed study of d-q modeling of n-phase induction motors is elaborated. The d-q model of n-phase (5, 6, 7, 9 and 12) induction motors is developed in a MATLAB/Simulink environment. The steady state and dynamic performance of the multi-phase induction motor is studied under varying load conditions. Comparison of 5-phase induction is presented under normal and fault conditions.
Aerospace, mechanical, and civil engineering infrastructures can take advantages from damage detection and identification strategies in terms of maintenance cost reduction and operational life improvements, as well for safety scopes. The challenge is to detect so called “barely visible impact damage” (BVID), due to low/medium energy impacts, that can progressively compromise the structure integrity. The occurrence of any local change in material properties, that can degrade the structure performance, is to be monitored using so called Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems, in charge of comparing the structure states before and after damage occurs. SHM seeks for any "anomalous" response collected by means of sensor networks and then analyzed using appropriate algorithms. Independently of the specific analysis approach adopted for structural damage detection and localization, textual reports, tables and graphs describing possible outlier coordinates and damage severity are usually provided as artifacts to be elaborated for information extraction about the current health conditions of the structure under investigation. Visual Analytics can support the processing of monitored measurements offering data navigation and exploration tools leveraging the native human capabilities of understanding images faster than texts and tables. Herein, a SHM system enrichment by integration of a Visual Analytics component is investigated. Analytical dashboards have been created by combining worksheets, so that a useful Visual Analytics tool is provided to structural analysts for exploring the structure health conditions examined by a Principal Component Analysis based algorithm.
This study investigates the effects of operating parameters of different current density, temperature and pressure on the performance of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis stack. A 7-cell PEM water electrolysis stack was assembled and tested under different operation modules. The voltage change and polarization curves under different test conditions, namely current density, temperature and pressure, were recorded. Results show that higher temperature has positive effect on overall stack performance, where temperature of 80 ℃ improved the cell performance greatly. However, the cathode pressure and current density has little effect on stack performance.
This study examined the association between creative performance, organizational climate and leadership, affectivity, shared flow, and group decision making. The sample consisted of 315 cadets of a military academic unit of South America. Satisfaction with the decision-making process during a creative task was associated with the usefulness and effectiveness of the ideas generated by the teams with a weighted average correlation of r = .18. Organizational emotional climate, positive and innovation leadership were associated with this group decision-making process r = .25, with shared flow, r = .29 and with positive affect felt during the performance of the creative task, r = .12. In a sequential mediational analysis positive organizational leadership styles were significantly associated with decision-making process and trough cohesion with utility and efficacy of the solution of a creative task. Satisfactory decision-making was related to shared flow during the creative task at collective or group level, and positive affect with flow at individual level.This study examined the association between creative performance, organizational climate and leadership, affectivity, shared flow, and group decision making. The sample consisted of 315 cadets of a military academic unit of South America. Satisfaction with the decision-making process during a creative task was associated with the usefulness and effectiveness of the ideas generated by the teams with a weighted average correlation of r = .18. Organizational emotional climate, positive and innovation leadership were associated with this group decision-making process r = .25, with shared flow, r = .29 and with positive affect felt during the performance of the creative task, r = .12. In a sequential mediational analysis positive organizational leadership styles were significantly associated with decision-making process and trough cohesion with utility and efficacy of the solution of a creative task. Satisfactory decision-making was related to shared flow during the creative task at collective or group level, and positive affect with flow at individual level.
The use of renewable substitutes in various semi-structural and structural applications has experienced an increase since the last few decades. Sandwich panels have been used for many decades, although research on understanding the effects of the core structures on the panels’ fire-reaction properties is limited. The current work investigates the fire-performance of a corrugated sandwich panel made from renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable material, plywood. The bench-scale fire testing apparatus, cone-calorimeter, was employed to evaluate the required fire-reaction properties of the sandwich core in a panel configuration, with three corrugated layers glued together with face-sheets under a heat irradiance of 50 kW/m2. The study helped in documenting a unique heat release trend associated with the fire performance of the 3-layered corrugated sandwich panels and in understanding the structural stability of the samples in the event of a fire. Furthermore, the total peak heat release rate was observed to be around 421 kW/m2, which is significantly low compared to many polymeric materials in the literature. The total smoke production was also perceived to be very limited compared to other structural materials, and the total heat release was also nominal. The time to ignition of 21.7 s further outlined the advantages of using the plywood component since polymeric composites, even with flame-retardant additives, tend to ignite faster. Overall, the corrugated plywood sandwich panels had significant fire-reaction properties and could have important structural applications. The possible use of structural panels made from bio-degradable material opens a new avenue for the use of similar structures in sandwich panel preparation.
Maneuver decision-making plays a critical role in high-performance intelligent driving. This paper proposes a risk assessment-based decision-making network (RADMN) to address the problem of driving strategy for the commercial vehicle. RADMN integrates two networks, aiming at identifying the risk degree of collision and rollover and providing decisions to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of driving strategy. In the risk assessment module, risk degrees of the backward collision, forward collision and rollover are quantified for hazard recognition. In the decision module, a deep reinforcement learning based on multi-objective optimization (DRL-MOO) algorithm is designed, which comprehensively considers the risk degree and motion states of each traffic participant. To evaluate the performance of the proposed framework, Prescan/Simulink joint simulation was conducted in highway scenarios. Experimental results validate the effectiveness and reliability of the proposed RADMN. The output driving strategy can guarantee the safety and provide key technical support for the realization of autonomous driving of commercial vehicles.
The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the best option for smart vineyard applications, even if it is necessary to integrate the technologies required for the development. This article is based on the research and the results obtained in the DISAVIT project. For Smart Agriculture, the project aims to provide a trustworthy, intelligent, integrated vineyard management solution that is based on the IoT. To have interoperability through the use of a multiprotocol technology (being the future connected wireless IoT) it is necessary to adopt an agnostic approach, providing a reliable environment to address cyber security, IoT-based threats and traceability through blockchain-based design, but also creating a concept for long-term implementations (modular, scalable). The ones described above represent the main innovative technical aspects of this project. The DISAVIT project studies and promotes the incorporation of better management tools based on objective data-based decisions, which are necessary for agriculture adapted and more resistant to climate change. It also exploits the opportunities generated by the digital services market for smart agriculture management stakeholders. The project's final result aims to improve decision-making, performance, and viticulturally infrastructure and increase real-time data accuracy and interoperability. Innovative aspects such as end-to-end solutions, adaptability, scalability, security and traceability, place our product in a favorable situation over competitors. None of the solutions in the market meet every one of these requirements by a unique product being innovative.
This paper presents the measurement and simulation results by Finite Element Method (FEM) for earth resistance (RDC) for interconnected vertical ground rod configurations. The soil resistivity was measured using the Wenner four-pin Method, and RDC was measured using the Fall of Potential (FOP) method, as outlined in the standard. Genetic Algorithm (GA) is employed to interpret the soil resistivity to that of a 2-layer soil model. The same soil resistivity data that were obtained by Wenner four-pin method were used in FEM for simulation. This paper compares the results of RDC obtained by FEM simulation with the real measurement at field site. A good agreement was seen for RDC obtained by measurements and FEM. This shows that FEM is a reliable software to be used for design of earthing systems. It is also found that the parallel rod system has a better performance compared to a similar setup using a grid layout.
Chain Ladder (CL) method, Expected Loss Ratio (ELR) method and Bornhuetter-Ferguson (BF) method, in addition to more complex transition-rate modeling, are commonly used actuarial reserving methods in general insurance. There is limited published research about their relative performance in the context of Mortgage Insurance (MI). In our experience, these traditional techniques pose unique challenges and do not provide stable claim estimates for medium to longer term liabilities. The relative strengths and weaknesses among various alternative approaches revolve around: stability in the recent loss development pattern, sufficiency and reliability of loss development data, and agreement/disagreement between reported losses to date and ultimate loss estimate. CL method results in volatile reserve estimates, especially for accident periods with little development experience. The ELR method breaks down especially when ultimate loss ratios are not stable and predictable. While the BF method provides a good tradeoff between the loss development approach (CL) and ELR, the approach generates claim development and ultimate reserves that are disconnected from the ever-to-date (ETD) development experience for some accident years that have more development experience. Further, BF is based on subjective a priori assumption. The fundamental shortcoming of these methods is their inability to model exogenous factors, like the economy, which impact various cohorts at the same chronological time but at staggered points along their life-time development. This paper proposes an alternative approach of parametrizing the loss development curve and using logistic regression to generate the ultimate loss estimate for each homogeneous group (accident year or delinquency period). The methodology was tested on an actual MI claim development dataset where various cohorts followed a sigmoidal trend, but levels varied substantially depending upon the economic and operational conditions during the development period spanning over many years. The proposed approach provides the ability to indirectly incorporate such exogenous factors and produce more stable loss forecasts for reserving purposes as compared to the traditional CL and BF methods.
Oilfields under waterflood often face the problem of plugging injectors either by internal filtration or external filter cake built up inside pore throats. The content of suspended solids shall be reduced to required level of filtration since corrective action of plugging is costly expensive. The performance of nutshell filters, where filtration takes place, is good using pecan and walnut shells. Candlenut shells were used instead of pecan and walnut shells since they were abundant in Indonesia, Malaysia, and East Africa. Physical and chemical properties of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells were tested and the results were compared. Testing, using full-scale nutshell filters, was conducted to determine the oil content, turbidity, and suspended solid removal, which was based on designed flux rate. The performance of candlenut shells, which were deeply bedded in nutshell filters for filtration process, was monitored. Cleaned water outgoing nutshell filters had total suspended solids of 17 ppm, while oil content could be reduced to 15.1 ppm. Turbidity, using candlenut shells, was below the specification for injection water, which was less than 10 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU). Turbidity of water, outgoing nutshell filter, was ranged from 1.7-5.0 NTU at various dates of operation. Walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells had moisture content of 8.98 wt%, 10.95 wt%, and 9.95 wt%, respectively. The porosity of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells was significantly affected by moisture content. Candlenut shells had property of toluene solubility of 7.68 wt%, which was much higher than walnut shells, reflecting more crude oil adsorption. The hardness of candlenut shells was 2.5-3 Mohs, which was close to walnut shells’ hardness. It was advantage to guarantee the cleaning filter cake by fluidization process during backwashing.