International Science Index

350
10011974
Comparative Study on the Effect of Substitution of Li and Mg Instead of Ca on Structural and Biological Behaviors of Silicate Bioactive Glass
Abstract:
In this study, experiments were carried out to achieve a promising multifunctional and modified silicate based bioactive glass (BG). The main aim of the study was investigating the effect of lithium (Li) and magnesium (Mg) substitution, on in vitro bioactivity of substituted-58S BG. Moreover, it is noteworthy to state that modified BGs were synthesized in 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)Li2O and 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)MgO (where x = 0, 5, 10 mol.%) quaternary systems, by sol-gel method. Their performance was investigated through different aspects such as biocompatibility, antibacterial activity as well as their effect on alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and proliferation of MC3T3 cells. The antibacterial efficiency was evaluated against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. To do so, CaO was substituted with Li2O and MgO up to 10 mol % in 58S-BGs and then samples were immersed in simulated body fluid up to 14 days and then, characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy. Results indicated that this modification led to a retarding effect on in vitro hydroxyapatite (HA) formation due to the lower supersaturation degree for nucleation of HA compared with 58s-BG. Meanwhile, magnesium revealed further pronounced effect. The 3-(4,5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and ALP analysis illustrated that substitutions of both Li2O and MgO, up to 5 mol %, had increasing effect on biocompatibility and stimulating proliferation of the pre-osteoblast MC3T3 cells in comparison to the control specimen. Regarding to bactericidal efficiency, the substitution of either Li or Mg for Ca in the 58s BG composition led to statistically significant difference in antibacterial behaviors of substituted-BGs. Meanwhile, the sample containing 5 mol % CaO/Li2O substitution (BG-5L) was selected as a multifunctional biomaterial in bone repair/regeneration due to the improved biocompatibility, enhanced ALP activity and antibacterial efficiency among all of the synthesized L-BGs and M-BGs.
Paper Detail
5
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349
10011922
A Machine Learning Approach for Anomaly Detection in Environmental IoT-Driven Wastewater Purification Systems
Abstract:
The main goal of this paper is to present a solution for a water purification system based on an Environmental Internet of Things (EIoT) platform to monitor and control water quality and machine learning (ML) models to support decision making and speed up the processes of purification of water. A real case study has been implemented by deploying an EIoT platform and a network of devices, called Gramb meters and belonging to the Gramb project, on wastewater purification systems located in Calabria, south of Italy. The data thus collected are used to control the wastewater quality, detect anomalies and predict the behaviour of the purification system. To this extent, three different statistical and machine learning models have been adopted and thus compared: Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA), Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) autoencoder, and Facebook Prophet (FP). The results demonstrated that the ML solution (LSTM) out-perform classical statistical approaches (ARIMA, FP), in terms of both accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness in monitoring and controlling the wastewater purification processes.
Paper Detail
68
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348
10011835
An Overview on Aluminum Matrix Composites: Liquid State Processing
Abstract:
Modern composite materials are increasingly being chosen in replacement of heavier metallic material systems within many engineering fields including aerospace and automotive industries. The increasing push towards satisfying environmental targets are fuelling new material technologies and manufacturing processes. This paper will introduce materials and manufacturing processes using metal matrix composites along with manufacturing processes optimized at Alvant Ltd., based in Basingstoke in the UK which offers modern, cost effective, selectively reinforced composites for light-weighting applications within engineering. An overview and introduction into modern optimized manufacturing methods capable of producing viable replacements for heavier metallic and lower temperature capable polymer composites are offered. A review of the capabilities and future applications of this viable material is discussed to highlight the potential involved in further optimization of old manufacturing techniques, to fully realize the potential to lightweight material using cost-effective methods.
Paper Detail
121
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347
10011838
Evaluation of Environmental, Technical, and Economic Indicators of a Fused Deposition Modeling Process
Abstract:

Additive manufacturing processes have changed significantly in a wide range of industries and their application progressed from rapid prototyping to production of end-use products. However, their environmental impact is still a rather open question. In order to support the growth of this technology in the industrial sector, environmental aspects should be considered and predictive models may help monitor and reduce the environmental footprint of the processes. This work presents predictive models based on a previously developed methodology for the environmental impact evaluation combined with a technical and economical assessment. Here we applied the methodology to the Fused Deposition Modeling process. First, we present the predictive models relative to different types of machines. Then, we present a decision-making tool designed to identify the optimum manufacturing strategy regarding technical, economic, and environmental criteria.

Paper Detail
172
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346
10011783
An Evaluation on the Effectiveness of a 3D Printed Composite Compression Mold
Abstract:

The applications of composite materials within the aviation industry has been increasing at a rapid pace.  However, the growing applications of composite materials have also led to growing demand for more tooling to support its manufacturing processes. Tooling and tooling maintenance represents a large portion of the composite manufacturing process and cost. Therefore, the industry’s adaptability to new techniques for fabricating high quality tools quickly and inexpensively will play a crucial role in composite material’s growing popularity in the aviation industry. One popular tool fabrication technique currently being developed involves additive manufacturing such as 3D printing. Although additive manufacturing and 3D printing are not entirely new concepts, the technique has been gaining popularity due to its ability to quickly fabricate components, maintain low material waste, and low cost. In this study, a team of Purdue University School of Aviation and Transportation Technology (SATT) faculty and students investigated the effectiveness of a 3D printed composite compression mold. A 3D printed composite compression mold was fabricated by 3D scanning a steel valve cover of an aircraft reciprocating engine. The 3D printed composite compression mold was used to fabricate carbon fiber versions of the aircraft reciprocating engine valve cover. The 3D printed composite compression mold was evaluated for its performance, durability, and dimensional stability while the fabricated carbon fiber valve covers were evaluated for its accuracy and quality. The results and data gathered from this study will determine the effectiveness of the 3D printed composite compression mold in a mass production environment and provide valuable information for future understanding, improvements, and design considerations of 3D printed composite molds.

Paper Detail
144
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345
10011807
Hybrid Finite Element Analysis of Expansion Joints for Piping Systems in Aircraft Engine External Configurations and Nuclear Power Plants
Authors:
Abstract:
This paper presents a method to analyze the stiffness of the expansion joint with structural support using a hybrid method combining computational and analytical methods. Many expansion joints found in tubes and ducts of mechanical structures are designed to absorb thermal expansion mismatch between their structural members and deal with misalignments introduced from the assembly/manufacturing processes. One of the important design perspectives is the system’s vibrational characteristics. We calculate the stiffness as a characterization parameter for structural joint systems using a combined Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and an analytical method. We apply the methods to two sample applications: external configurations of aircraft engines and nuclear power plant structures.
Paper Detail
115
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344
10011683
Irrigation Water Quality Evaluation Based on Multivariate Statistical Analysis: A Case Study of Jiaokou Irrigation District
Abstract:

Groundwater is main source of water supply in the Guanzhong Basin, China. To investigate the quality of groundwater for agricultural purposes in Jiaokou Irrigation District located in the east of the Guanzhong Basin, 141 groundwater samples were collected for analysis of major ions (K+, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, SO42-, Cl-, HCO3-, and CO32-), pH, and total dissolved solids (TDS). Sodium percentage (Na%), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), magnesium hazard (MH), and potential salinity (PS) were applied for irrigation water quality assessment. In addition, multivariate statistical techniques were used to identify the underlying hydrogeochemical processes. Results show that the content of TDS mainly depends on Cl-, Na+, Mg2+, and SO42-, and the HCO3- content is generally high except for the eastern sand area. These are responsible for complex hydrogeochemical processes, such as dissolution of carbonate minerals (dolomite and calcite), gypsum, halite, and silicate minerals, the cation exchange, as well as evaporation and concentration. The average evaluation levels of Na%, RSC, MH, and PS for irrigation water quality are doubtful, good, unsuitable, and injurious to unsatisfactory, respectively. Therefore, it is necessary for decision makers to comprehensively consider the indicators and thus reasonably evaluate the irrigation water quality.

Paper Detail
128
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343
10011564
The Benefits of End-To-End Integrated Planning from the Mine to Client Supply for Minimizing Penalties
Abstract:
The control over delivered iron ore blend characteristics is one of the most important aspects of the mining business. The iron ore price is a function of its composition, which is the outcome of the beneficiation process. So, end-to-end integrated planning of mine operations can reduce risks of penalties on the iron ore price. In a standard iron mining company, the production chain is composed of mining, ore beneficiation, and client supply. When mine planning and client supply decisions are made uncoordinated, the beneficiation plant struggles to deliver the best blend possible. Technological improvements in several fields allowed bridging the gap between departments and boosting integrated decision-making processes. Clusterization and classification algorithms over historical production data generate reasonable previsions for quality and volume of iron ore produced for each pile of run-of-mine (ROM) processed. Mathematical modeling can use those deterministic relations to propose iron ore blends that better-fit specifications within a delivery schedule. Additionally, a model capable of representing the whole production chain can clearly compare the overall impact of different decisions in the process. This study shows how flexibilization combined with a planning optimization model between the mine and the ore beneficiation processes can reduce risks of out of specification deliveries. The model capabilities are illustrated on a hypothetical iron ore mine with magnetic separation process. Finally, this study shows ways of cost reduction or profit increase by optimizing process indicators across the production chain and integrating the different plannings with the sales decisions.
Paper Detail
166
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342
10011566
A Study of the Trade-off Energy Consumption-Performance-Schedulability for DVFS Multicore Systems
Abstract:
Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) multicore platforms are promising execution platforms that enable high computational performance, less energy consumption and flexibility in scheduling the system processes. However, the resulting interleaving and memory interference together with per-core frequency tuning make real-time guarantees hard to be delivered. Besides, energy consumption represents a strong constraint for the deployment of such systems on energy-limited settings. Identifying the system configurations that would achieve a high performance and consume less energy while guaranteeing the system schedulability is a complex task in the design of modern embedded systems. This work studies the trade-off between energy consumption, cores utilization and memory bottleneck and their impact on the schedulability of DVFS multicore time-critical systems with a hierarchy of shared memories. We build a model-based framework using Parametrized Timed Automata of UPPAAL to analyze the mutual impact of performance, energy consumption and schedulability of DVFS multicore systems, and demonstrate the trade-off on an actual case study.
Paper Detail
150
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341
10011576
Process Optimization and Automation of Information Technology Services in a Heterogenic Digital Environment
Abstract:
With customers’ ever-increasing expectations for fast services provisioning for all their business needs, information technology (IT) organizations, as business partners, have to cope with this demanding environment and deliver their services in the most effective and efficient way. The purpose of this paper is to identify optimization and automation opportunities for the top requested IT services in a heterogenic digital environment and widely spread customer base. In collaboration with systems, processes, and subject matter experts (SMEs), the processes in scope were approached by analyzing four-year related historical data, identifying and surveying stakeholders, modeling the as-is processes, and studying systems integration/automation capabilities. This effort resulted in identifying several pain areas, including standardization, unnecessary customer and IT involvement, manual steps, systems integration, and performance measurement. These pain areas were addressed by standardizing the top five requested IT services, eliminating/automating 43 steps, and utilizing a single platform for end-to-end process execution. In conclusion, the optimization of IT service request processes in a heterogenic digital environment and widely spread customer base is challenging, yet achievable without compromising the service quality and customers’ added value. Further studies can focus on measuring the value of the eliminated/automated process steps to quantify the enhancement impact. Moreover, a similar approach can be utilized to optimize other IT service requests, with a focus on business criticality.
Paper Detail
198
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340
10011588
Data Integrity: Challenges in Health Information Systems in South Africa
Abstract:

Poor system use, including inappropriate design of health information systems, causes difficulties in communication with patients and increased time spent by healthcare professionals in recording the necessary health information for medical records. System features like pop-up reminders, complex menus, and poor user interfaces can make medical records far more time consuming than paper cards as well as affect decision-making processes. Although errors associated with health information and their real and likely effect on the quality of care and patient safety have been documented for many years, more research is needed to measure the occurrence of these errors and determine the causes to implement solutions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to identify data integrity challenges in hospital information systems through a scoping review and based on the results provide recommendations on how to manage these. Only 34 papers were found to be most suitable out of 297 publications initially identified in the field. The results indicated that human and computerized systems are the most common challenges associated with data integrity and factors such as policy, environment, health workforce, and lack of awareness attribute to these challenges but if measures are taken the data integrity challenges can be managed.

Paper Detail
224
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339
10011600
Object-Centric Process Mining Using Process Cubes
Abstract:
Process mining provides ways to analyze business processes. Common process mining techniques consider the process as a whole. However, in real-life business processes, different behaviors exist that make the overall process too complex to interpret. Process comparison is a branch of process mining that isolates different behaviors of the process from each other by using process cubes. Process cubes organize event data using different dimensions. Each cell contains a set of events that can be used as an input to apply process mining techniques. Existing work on process cubes assume single case notions. However, in real processes, several case notions (e.g., order, item, package, etc.) are intertwined. Object-centric process mining is a new branch of process mining addressing multiple case notions in a process. To make a bridge between object-centric process mining and process comparison, we propose a process cube framework, which supports process cube operations such as slice and dice on object-centric event logs. To facilitate the comparison, the framework is integrated with several object-centric process discovery approaches.
Paper Detail
337
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338
10011449
University Curriculum Policy Processes in Chile: A Case Study
Abstract:

Located within the context of accelerating globalization in the 21st-century knowledge society, this paper focuses on one selected university in Chile at which radical curriculum policy changes have been taking place, diverging from the traditional curriculum in Chile at the undergraduate level as a section of a larger investigation. Using a ‘policy trajectory’ framework, and guided by the interpretivist approach to research, interview transcripts and institutional documents were analyzed in relation to the meso (university administration) and the micro (academics) level. Inside the case study, participants from the university administration and academic levels were selected both via snow-ball technique and purposive selection, thus they had different levels of seniority, with some participating actively in the curriculum reform processes. Guided by an interpretivist approach to research, documents and interview transcripts were analyzed to reveal major themes emerging from the data. A further ‘bigger picture’ analysis guided by critical theory was then undertaken, involving interrogation of underlying ideologies and how political and economic interests influence the cultural production of policy. The case-study university was selected because it represents a traditional and old case of university setting in the country, undergoing curriculum changes based on international trends such as the competency model and the liberal arts. Also, it is representative of a particular socioeconomic sector of the country. Access to the university was gained through email contact. Qualitative research methods were used, namely interviews and analysis of institutional documents. In all, 18 people were interviewed. The number was defined by when the saturation criterion was met. Semi-structured interview schedules were based on the four research questions about influences, policy texts, policy enactment and longer-term outcomes. Triangulation of information was used for the analysis. While there was no intention to generalize the specific findings of the case study, the results of the research were used as a focus for engagement with broader themes, often evident in global higher education policy developments. The research results were organized around major themes in three of the four contexts of the ‘policy trajectory’. Regarding the context of influences and the context of policy text production, themes relate to hegemony exercised by first world countries’ universities in the higher education field, its associated neoliberal ideology, with accountability and the discourse of continuous improvement, the local responses to those pressures, and the value of interdisciplinarity. Finally, regarding the context of policy practices and effects (enactment), themes emerged around the impacts of the curriculum changes on university staff, students, and resistance amongst academics. The research concluded with a few recommendations that potentially provide ‘food for thought’ beyond the localized settings of this study, as well as possibilities for further research.

Paper Detail
190
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337
10011361
The Use of Mobile Phones by Refugees to Create Social Connectedness: A Literature Review
Abstract:

Mobile phones are one of the main tools for promoting the wellbeing of people and supporting the integration of communities on the margins such as refugees. Information and Communication Technology has the potential to contribute towards reducing isolation, loneliness, and to assist in improving interpersonal relations and fostering acculturation processes. Therefore, the use of mobile phones by refugees might contribute to their social connectedness. This paper aims to demonstrate how existing literature has shown how the use of mobile phones by refugees should engender social connectedness amongst the refugees. Data for the study are drawn from existing literature; we searched a number of electronic databases for papers published between 2010 and 2019. The main findings of the study relate to the use of mobile phones by refugees to (i) create a sense of belonging, (ii) maintain relationships, and (iii) advance the acculturation process. The analysis highlighted a gap in the research over refugees and social connectedness. In particular, further studies should consider evaluating the differences between those who have a refugee permit, those who are waiting for the refugee permit, and those whose request was denied.

Paper Detail
151
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336
10010938
Statistical Approach to Identify Stress and Biases Impairing Decision-Making in High-Risk Industry
Abstract:

Decision-making occurs several times an hour when working in high risk industry and an erroneous choice might have undesirable outcomes for people and the environment surrounding the industrial plant. Industrial decisions are very often made in a context of acute stress. Time pressure is a crucial stressor leading decision makers sometimes to boost up the decision-making process and if it is not possible then shift to the simplest strategy. We thus found it interesting to update the characterization of the stress factors impairing decision-making at Chinon Nuclear Power Plant (France) in order to optimize decision making contexts and/or associated processes. The investigation was based on the analysis of reports addressing safety events over the last 3 years. Among 93 reports, those explicitly addressing decision-making issues were identified. Characterization of each event was undertaken in terms of three criteria: stressors, biases impairing decision making and weaknesses of the decision-making process. The statistical analysis showed that biases were distributed over 10 possibilities among which the hypothesis confirmation bias was clearly salient. No significant correlation was found between criteria. The analysis indicated that the main stressor was time pressure and highlights an unexpected form of stressor: the trust asymmetry principle of the expert. The analysis led to the conclusion that this stressor impaired decision-making from a psychological angle rather than from a physiological angle: it induces defensive bias of self-esteem, self-protection associated with a bias of confirmation. This leads to the hypothesis that this stressor can intervene in some cases without being detected, and to the hypothesis that other stressors of the same kind might occur without being detected too. Further investigations addressing these hypotheses are considered. The analysis also led to the conclusion that dealing with these issues implied i) decision-making methods being well known to the workers and automated and ii) the decision-making tools being well known and strictly applied. Training was thus adjusted.

Paper Detail
277
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335
10010953
Application of Medium High Hydrostatic Pressure in Preserving Textural Quality and Safety of Pineapple Compote
Abstract:

Compote (fruit in syrup) of pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merrill) is expected to have a high market potential as one of convenient ready-to-eat (RTE) foods worldwide. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) in combination with low temperature (LT) was applied to the processing of pineapple compote as well as medium HHP (MHHP) in combination with medium-high temperature (MHT) since both processes can enhance liquid impregnation and inactivate microbes. MHHP+MHT (55 or 65 °C) process, as well as the HHP+LT process, has successfully inactivated the microbes in the compote to a non-detectable level. Although the compotes processed by MHHP+MHT or HHP+LT have lost the fresh texture as in a similar manner as those processed solely by heat, it was indicated that the texture degradations by heat were suppressed under MHHP. Degassing process reduced the hardness, while calcium (Ca) contributed to be retained hardness in MHT and MHHP+MHT processes. Electrical impedance measurement supported the damage due to degassing and heat. The color, Brix, and appearance were not affected by the processing methods significantly. MHHP+MHT and HHP+LT processes may be applicable to produce high-quality, safe RTE pineapple compotes. Further studies on the optimization of packaging and storage condition will be indispensable for commercialization.

Paper Detail
267
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334
10010849
Exporting Physiochemical Changes during the Fermentation of Aloe Vera
Abstract:
Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed succulent plant which is commonly used in Myanmar traditional medicine. A. vera gel was also used as food addictive. This study aims to improve the Myanmar folk medicine to a functional beverage. In this research, Aloe vera was fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae for 6 months. Three different processes were carried out. Process I contains A. vera 10%, sugar 30%, water 50%, and starter culture 10%, process II contains A. vera 10%, sugar 15%, honey 15%, and water 50%, starter culture 10%; process III contains A. vera 10%, honey 30%, water 50%, starter culture 10%. During wine fermentation, the wine parameters such as alcohol content, total soluble solid (ºBrix), pH, color and cell population were analyzed. After 30 days of fermentation, total cell population remained 2.8x106 in P-I, P-II and 3.2x106 in P-III. Total soluble solid content dropped to 15.8 in P-I, P-II and 15.7 in P-III. After 30 days, clear wine was transferred to other vassals for racking. After 6 months of racking, microbial population reached under detectable level and alcohol content was round about 11% but not significantly different among these processes. P-II was found to have the highest color intensity at 450 nm and it got the most taster satisfaction when sensory evaluation was carried out using five hedonic scales after 6 month of racking.
Paper Detail
382
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333
10010920
The Effect of X-Ray on Plasma and Erythrocyte Concentration of Zn and Cu in Radiology Staff of Tehran Oil Hospital
Abstract:

Introduction: Some parameters should be considered to investigate the chronic effects of radiation absorption in radiation workers. Trace elements are parameters which small changes in them can cause significant effects on live systems. The role of trace element concentration in human health is significant. These elements play an important role in the developing and functioning of the immune system, cellular respiration, and oxidation processes. Considering the importance and necessity of this issue and few studies, measurements of concentration changes of these elements due to the absorbed dose are important. Purpose: This study aimed to determine the biological effects of occupational dose absorption on plasma and erythrocyte concentration of Zn and Cu in the radiology staff of Tehran Oil Hospital. Material and methods: In this analytical-comparative study, 72 people have entered. 36 people (18 males and 18 females) were selected as radiology staff in the diagnostic and therapeutic departments of Tehran Oil Hospital. And 36 people (18 males and 18 females) were selected as general section staff in the same hospital as a control group. Radiology and control groups’ age and sex were matched. 10 ml of venous blood was taken from all people.  An atomic absorption spectrometer was used to obtain zinc and copper plasma concentrations. Levine test was used to compare these results validity. Results: The mean concentrations of copper and zinc were measured as 0.951 and 0.754 mg/L in the plasma phase and 3.2  and 0.401 mg/L in the RBC phase for the radiology group.  Copper and zinc average concentrations, respectively 0.976 and 0.813 mg/L in the plasma phase and 2.906 and 0.476 mg/L in the RBC phase, were measured for the control group. These elements Concentrations in the plasma phase were significantly different from that of the control group, but the concentrations in the red blood cell phase did not show a significant difference compared to the control group. In comparison, a separate comparison between men and women in the experimental and control groups showed a significant difference in the values of the elements mentioned. With a significant increase in samples, a better justification than the available statistical results can be extracted. Conclusions: Within this study results, chronic occupational probabilistic absorption destructive effects (even within the permitted range) on blood trace element concentration have been confirmed.

Paper Detail
277
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332
10010727
Uvulars Alternation in Hasawi Arabic: A Harmonic Serialism Approach
Abstract:

This paper investigates a phonological phenomenon, which exhibits variation ‘alternation’ in terms of the uvular consonants [q] and [ʁ] in Hasawi Arabic. This dialect is spoken in Alahsa city, which is located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. To the best of our knowledge, no such research has systematically studied this phenomenon in Hasawi Arabic dialect. This paper is significant because it fills the gap in the literature about this alternation phenomenon in this understudied dialect. A large amount of the data is extracted from several interviews the author has conducted with 10 participants, native speakers of the dialect, and complemented by additional forms from social media. The latter method of collecting the data adds to the significance of the research. The analysis of the data is carried out in Harmonic Serialism Optimality Theory (HS-OT), a version of the Optimality Theoretic (OT) framework, which holds that linguistic forms are the outcome of the interaction among violable universal constraints, and in the recent development of OT into a model that accounts for linguistic variation in harmonic derivational steps. This alternation process is assumed to be phonologically unconditioned and in free variation in other varieties of Arabic dialects in the area. The goal of this paper is to investigate whether this phenomenon is in free variation or governed, what governs this alternation between [q] and [ʁ] and whether the alternation is phonological or other linguistic constraints are in action. The results show that the [q] and [ʁ] alternation is not free and it occurs due to different assimilation processes. Positional, segmental sequence and vowel adjacency factors are in action in Hasawi Arabic.

Paper Detail
251
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331
10010652
Producing and Mechanical Testing of Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Foams Reinforced by Waste Phosphogypsum
Abstract:

Many of thermosetting resins have application only in filled state, reinforced with different mineral fillers. The co-filling of polymers with mineral filler and gases creates a possibility for production of polymer composites materials with low density. This processing leads to forming of new materials – gas-filled plastics (polymer foams). The properties of these materials are determined mainly by the shape and size of internal structural elements (pores). The interactions on the phase boundaries have influence on the materials properties too. In the present work, the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins were reinforced by waste phosphogypsum. The waste phosphogypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a solid by-product in wet phosphoric acid production processes. The values of the interactions polymer-filler were increased by using two modifying agents: polyvinyl acetate for polymer matrix and sodium metasilicate for filler. Technological methods for gas-filling and recipes of urea-formaldehyde based materials with apparent density 20-120 kg/m3 were developed. The heat conductivity of the samples is between 0.024 and 0.029 W/moK. Tensile analyses were carried out at 10 and 50% deformation and show values 0.01-0.14 MPa and 0.01-0.09 MPa, respectively. The apparent density of obtained materials is between 20 and 92 kg/m3. The changes in the tensile properties and density of these materials according to sodium metasilicate content were studied too. The mechanism of phosphogypsum adsorption modification was studied using methods of FT-IR spectroscopy. The structure of the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins was described by results of electron scanning microscopy at three different magnification ratios – x50, x150 and x 500. The aim of present work is to study the possibility of the usage of phosphogypsum as mineral filler for urea-formaldehyde resins and development of a technology for the production of gas-filled reinforced polymer composite materials. The structure and the properties of obtained composite materials are suitable for thermal and sound insulation applications.

Paper Detail
304
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330
10010663
The Importance of Analysis of Internal Quality Management Systems and Self-Examination Processes in Engineering Accreditation Processes
Authors:
Abstract:

The accreditation process of engineering degree programmes is based on various reports evaluated by the relevant governing bodies of the institution of higher education. One of the aforementioned reports for the accreditation process is a self-assessment report which is to be completed by the applying institution. This paper seeks to emphasise the importance of analysis of internal quality management systems and self-examination processes in the engineering accreditation processes. A description of how the programme fulfils the criteria should be given. Relevant stakeholders all need to contribute in the writing and structuring of the self-assessment report. The last step is to gather evidence in the form of supporting documentation. In conclusion, the paper also identifies learning outcomes in a case study in seeking accreditation from an international relevant professional body.

Paper Detail
280
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329
10010538
Developing a Web-Based Tender Evaluation System Based on Fuzzy Multi-Attributes Group Decision Making for Nigerian Public Sector Tendering
Abstract:

Public sector tendering has traditionally been conducted using manual paper-based processes which are known to be inefficient, less transparent and more prone to manipulations and errors. The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web has led to the development of numerous e-Tendering systems that addressed some of the problems associated with the manual paper-based tendering system. However, most of these systems rarely support the evaluation of tenders and where they do it is mostly based on the single decision maker which is not suitable in public sector tendering, where for the sake of objectivity, transparency, and fairness, it is required that the evaluation is conducted through a tender evaluation committee. Currently, in Nigeria, the public tendering process in general and the evaluation of tenders, in particular, are largely conducted using manual paper-based processes. Automating these manual-based processes to digital-based processes can help in enhancing the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. This paper is part of a larger study to develop an electronic tendering system that supports the whole tendering lifecycle based on Nigerian procurement law. Specifically, this paper presents the design and implementation of part of the system that supports group evaluation of tenders based on a technique called fuzzy multi-attributes group decision making. The system was developed using Object-Oriented methodologies and Unified Modelling Language and hypothetically applied in the evaluation of technical and financial proposals submitted by bidders. The system was validated by professionals with extensive experiences in public sector procurement. The results of the validation showed that the system called NPS-eTender has an average rating of 74% with respect to correct and accurate modelling of the existing manual tendering domain and an average rating of 67.6% with respect to its potential to enhance the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. Thus, based on the results of the validation, the automation of the evaluation process to support tender evaluation committee is achievable and can lead to a more proficient public sector tendering system.

Paper Detail
280
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328
10010574
Investigating the Formation of Nano-Hydroxyapatite on a Biocompatible and Antibacterial Cu/Mg-Substituted Bioglass
Abstract:
Multifunctional bioactive glasses (BGs) are designed with a focus on the provision of bactericidal and biological properties desired for angiogenesis, osteogenesis, and ultimately potential applications in bone tissue engineering. To achieve these, six sol-gel copper/magnesium substituted derivatives of 58S-BG, i.e. a mol% series of 60SiO2-4P2O5-5CuO-(31-x) CaO/xMgO (where x=0, 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10), were synthesized. Afterwards, the effect of MgO/CaO substitution on the in vitro formation of nano-hydroxyapatite (HA), osteoblast-like cell responses and BGs antibacterial performance were studied. During the BGs synthesis, the elimination of nitrates was achieved at 700 °C that prevented the BGs crystallization and stabilized the obtained dried gels. The structural and morphological evaluations were performed with X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These characterizations revealed that Cu-substituted 58S-BG consisting of 5 mol% MgO (BG-5/5) slightly had retarded the formation of HA. In addition, Cu-substituted 58S-BGs consisting 8 mol% and 10 mol% MgO (BG-5/8 and BG-5/10) displayed lower bioactivity probably due to the lower ion release rate of Ca–Si into the simulated body fluid (SBF). The determination of 3-(4, 5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) activities proved that the highest values of both differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells can be obtained from a 5 mol% MgO substituted BG, while the over addition of MgO (8 mol% and 10 mol%) decreased the bioactivity. Furthermore, these novel Cu/Mg-substituted 58S-BGs displayed antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Taken together, the results suggest the equally-substituted BG-5/5 (i.e. the one consists of 5 mol% of both CuO and MgO) as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering, among all newly designed BGs in this work, owing to its desirable cell proliferation, ALP activity and antibacterial properties.
Paper Detail
361
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327
10010511
Comparative Study of Calcium Content on in vitro Biological and Antibacterial Properties of Silicon-Based Bioglass
Abstract:

The major aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CaO content on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation, MC3T3 cells cytotoxicity and proliferation as well as antibacterial efficiency of sol-gel derived SiO2–CaO–P2O5 ternary system. For this purpose, first two grades of bioactive glass (BG); BG-58s (mol%: 60%SiO2–36%CaO–4%P2O5) and BG-68s (mol%: 70%SiO2–26%CaO–4%P2O5)) were synthesized by sol-gel method. Second, the effect of CaO content in their composition on in vitro bioactivity was investigated by soaking the BG-58s and BG-68s powders in simulated body fluid (SBF) for time periods up to 14 days and followed by characterization inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Additionally, live/dead staining, 3-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assays were conducted respectively, as qualitatively and quantitatively assess for cell viability, proliferation and differentiations of MC3T3 cells in presence of 58s and 68s BGs. Results showed that BG-58s with higher CaO content showed higher in vitro bioactivity with respect to BG-68s. Moreover, the dissolution rate was inversely proportional to oxygen density of the BG. Live/dead assay revealed that both 58s and 68s increased the mean number live cells which were in good accordance with MTT assay. Furthermore, BG-58s showed more potential antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Taken together, BG-58s with enhanced MC3T3 cells proliferation and ALP activity, acceptable bioactivity and significant high antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria is suggested as a suitable candidate in order to further functionalizing for delivery of therapeutic ions and growth factors in bone tissue engineering.

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340
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326
10010322
An Overview of the Porosity Classification in Carbonate Reservoirs and Their Challenges: An Example of Macro-Microporosity Classification from Offshore Miocene Carbonate in Central Luconia, Malaysia
Abstract:

Biological and chemical activities in carbonates are responsible for the complexity of the pore system. Primary porosity is generally of natural origin while secondary porosity is subject to chemical reactivity through diagenetic processes. To understand the integrated part of hydrocarbon exploration, it is necessary to understand the carbonate pore system. However, the current porosity classification scheme is limited to adequately predict the petrophysical properties of different reservoirs having various origins and depositional environments. Rock classification provides a descriptive method for explaining the lithofacies but makes no significant contribution to the application of porosity and permeability (poro-perm) correlation. The Central Luconia carbonate system (Malaysia) represents a good example of pore complexity (in terms of nature and origin) mainly related to diagenetic processes which have altered the original reservoir. For quantitative analysis, 32 high-resolution images of each thin section were taken using transmitted light microscopy. The quantification of grains, matrix, cement, and macroporosity (pore types) was achieved using a petrographic analysis of thin sections and FESEM images. The point counting technique was used to estimate the amount of macroporosity from thin section, which was then subtracted from the total porosity to derive the microporosity. The quantitative observation of thin sections revealed that the mouldic porosity (macroporosity) is the dominant porosity type present, whereas the microporosity seems to correspond to a sum of 40 to 50% of the total porosity. It has been proven that these Miocene carbonates contain a significant amount of microporosity, which significantly complicates the estimation and production of hydrocarbons. Neglecting its impact can increase uncertainty about estimating hydrocarbon reserves. Due to the diversity of geological parameters, the application of existing porosity classifications does not allow a better understanding of the poro-perm relationship. However, the classification can be improved by including the pore types and pore structures where they can be divided into macro- and microporosity. Such studies of microporosity identification/classification represent now a major concern in limestone reservoirs around the world.

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489
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325
10010424
Managing Business Processes in the Age of Digital Transformation: A Literature Review
Abstract:

Today, digital transformation is one of the leading topics that occupy the attention of scientific circles and business experts. Organizational success is most often reflected through the successful managing of business processes. Given the growing market for digital innovations and its ever-increasing impact on business, organizations need to be prepared for organizational changes that come with the digital era. In order to maintain their competitive advantage in the global market, organizations must adapt their processes to new digitalization conditions. The main goal of this study is to point out the link between the digital transformation and the business process management concept. Therefore, in order to contribute to the scientific field that explores the potential relation between business process management concept and digital transformation, a literature review has been conducted. Papers have been searched within the Business Process Management Journal by keywords related to the term digital transformation. Selected papers have been analyzed according to the topic, type of publication, year of publication, keywords, etc. The results reveal a growing number of papers published on the topic of digital transformation to the Business Process Management Journal, but the lack of case studies. This paper contributes to the extension of academic literature in this important, yet insufficiently researched, scientific field that creates the bond between two strong concepts of digital transformation and business process management.

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775
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324
10010129
Self-Healing Phenomenon Evaluation in Cementitious Matrix with Different Water/Cement Ratios and Crack Opening Age
Abstract:

Concrete elements are subject to cracking, which can be an access point for deleterious agents that can trigger pathological manifestations reducing the service life of these structures. Finding ways to minimize or eliminate the effects of this aggressive agents’ penetration, such as the sealing of these cracks, is a manner of contributing to the durability of these structures. The cementitious self-healing phenomenon can be classified in two different processes. The autogenous self-healing that can be defined as a natural process in which the sealing of this cracks occurs without the stimulation of external agents, meaning, without different materials being added to the mixture, while on the other hand, the autonomous seal-healing phenomenon depends on the insertion of a specific engineered material added to the cement matrix in order to promote its recovery. This work aims to evaluate the autogenous self-healing of concretes produced with different water/cement ratios and exposed to wet/dry cycles, considering two ages of crack openings, 3 days and 28 days. The self-healing phenomenon was evaluated using two techniques: crack healing measurement using ultrasonic waves and image analysis performed with an optical microscope. It is possible to observe that by both methods, it possible to observe the self-healing phenomenon of the cracks. For young ages of crack openings and lower water/cement ratios, the self-healing capacity is higher when compared to advanced ages of crack openings and higher water/cement ratios. Regardless of the crack opening age, these concretes were found to stabilize the self-healing processes after 80 days or 90 days.

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460
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323
10009991
Prediction Modeling of Alzheimer’s Disease and Its Prodromal Stages from Multimodal Data with Missing Values
Abstract:

A major challenge in medical studies, especially those that are longitudinal, is the problem of missing measurements which hinders the effective application of many machine learning algorithms. Furthermore, recent Alzheimer's Disease studies have focused on the delineation of Early Mild Cognitive Impairment (EMCI) and Late Mild Cognitive Impairment (LMCI) from cognitively normal controls (CN) which is essential for developing effective and early treatment methods. To address the aforementioned challenges, this paper explores the potential of using the eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) algorithm in handling missing values in multiclass classification. We seek a generalized classification scheme where all prodromal stages of the disease are considered simultaneously in the classification and decision-making processes. Given the large number of subjects (1631) included in this study and in the presence of almost 28% missing values, we investigated the performance of XGBoost on the classification of the four classes of AD, NC, EMCI, and LMCI. Using 10-fold cross validation technique, XGBoost is shown to outperform other state-of-the-art classification algorithms by 3% in terms of accuracy and F-score. Our model achieved an accuracy of 80.52%, a precision of 80.62% and recall of 80.51%, supporting the more natural and promising multiclass classification.

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537
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322
10010028
Multi-Modal Visualization of Working Instructions for Assembly Operations
Abstract:
Growing individualization and higher numbers of variants in industrial assembly products raise the complexity of manufacturing processes. Technical assistance systems considering both procedural and human factors allow for an increase in product quality and a decrease in required learning times by supporting workers with precise working instructions. Due to varying needs of workers, the presentation of working instructions leads to several challenges. This paper presents an approach for a multi-modal visualization application to support assembly work of complex parts. Our approach is integrated within an interconnected assistance system network and supports the presentation of cloud-streamed textual instructions, images, videos, 3D animations and audio files along with multi-modal user interaction, customizable UI, multi-platform support (e.g. tablet-PC, TV screen, smartphone or Augmented Reality devices), automated text translation and speech synthesis. The worker benefits from more accessible and up-to-date instructions presented in an easy-to-read way.
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490
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321
10010062
Optimization of Two Quality Characteristics in Injection Molding Processes via Taguchi Methodology
Abstract:

The main objective of this research is to optimize tensile strength and dimensional accuracy in injection molding processes using Taguchi Parameter Design. An L16 orthogonal array (OA) is used in Taguchi experimental design with five control factors at four levels each and with non-controllable factor vibration. A total of 32 experiments were designed to obtain the optimal parameter setting for the process. The optimal parameters identified for the shrinkage are shot volume, 1.7 cubic inch (A4); mold term temperature, 130 ºF (B1); hold pressure, 3200 Psi (C4); injection speed, 0.61 inch3/sec (D2); and hold time of 14 seconds (E2). The optimal parameters identified for the tensile strength are shot volume, 1.7 cubic inch (A4); mold temperature, 160 ºF (B4); hold pressure, 3100 Psi (C3); injection speed, 0.69 inch3/sec (D4); and hold time of 14 seconds (E2). The Taguchi-based optimization framework was systematically and successfully implemented to obtain an adjusted optimal setting in this research. The mean shrinkage of the confirmation runs is 0.0031%, and the tensile strength value was found to be 3148.1 psi. Both outcomes are far better results from the baseline, and defects have been further reduced in injection molding processes.

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403
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