International Science Index

215
10011091
The Potential Involvement of Platelet Indices in Insulin Resistance in Morbid Obese Children
Abstract:

Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.

Paper Detail
103
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214
10011135
Morphology of Indian Female Athletes of Different Track and Field Events
Abstract:

Participation in games and sports in the contemporary times has become more competing with the developed scientific knowledge, skills and methods, along with the equipment and applied research in the field. In spite of India being a large country having vast resources and potential, its performance in the world of sports on the whole needs sincere attention for better achievements. Beside numerous factors responsible for the dismal performance of a sportsperson, the physique and body composition, including the size, shape and form are known to play a significant role. The present investigation was undertaken to study the specific morphological characteristics of Indian female Track and Field athletes. A total of 300 athletes were randomly selected as sample for the purpose of the study from the six events having 50 athletes in each event including 100m., 400m., Shot Put, Discus Throw, Long Jump and High Jump. The study included body weight, body fat percentage, lean body weight, endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy as variables. The data were computed statistically by using Mean, Standard Deviation and Analysis of Variance. The post-hoc analysis was conducted where the F-ratio was found to be significant at .05 level. The study concluded that there is a significant difference with regard to the selected variables among the Indian female athletes of different track and field events.

Paper Detail
94
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213
10010983
Variability of Covariance of Selected Skeletal Diameters of Female in a Longitudinal Physical Training Programme
Abstract:

Anthropometry helps in associating the physical properties of an individual with their racial, cultural, and psychological attributes. Numerous research studies have included different skeletal diameters as a variable. However, most of the studies suggest their inclusion describing specific characteristics/traits of the body. However, there seems to be a scarcity of literature related to the effect of any kind of longitudinal physical training on human skeletal diameters. Hence, the present investigation was conducted to study the variability of covariance of selected skeletal diameters of females in a longitudinal physical training programme. The sample for the study was 78 college going students of the University of Delhi, classified equally in three groups, i.e. viz. (a) Progressive load of training or conditioning group coded as PLT; (b) Constant load of training or non-conditioning group coded as CLT; and (c) No-load or control or sedentary group coded as NL. Collectively, mean age of the sample was 19.54±1.79 years. The randomly selected samples were given maximum consideration to maintain their homogeneity. The variables included biacromial diameter, biiliocristal diameter, bitrochantaerion diameter, humeral bicondylar, femoral bicondylar, wrist diameter, ankle diameter, and foot breadth. Multi-group repeated measure design was adopted for the experimentation. Each group was measured four times after completion of each of the three meso-cycles of six-weeks duration. The measurements were taken following the standard landmarks and procedures. Mean, standard deviation, analysis of co-variance and its post-hoc analysis were computed to analyze the data statistically. The study concluded that both the progressive and constant load of physical training bring changes in the selected skeletal diameters of females. It also reflected the increase due to growth also along with training.

Paper Detail
115
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212
10011013
Monitoring Blood Pressure Using Regression Techniques
Abstract:

Blood pressure helps the physicians greatly to have a deep insight into the cardiovascular system. The determination of individual blood pressure is a standard clinical procedure considered for cardiovascular system problems. The conventional techniques to measure blood pressure (e.g. cuff method) allows a limited number of readings for a certain period (e.g. every 5-10 minutes). Additionally, these systems cause turbulence to blood flow; impeding continuous blood pressure monitoring, especially in emergency cases or critically ill persons. In this paper, the most important statistical features in the photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals were extracted to estimate the blood pressure noninvasively. PPG signals from more than 40 subjects were measured and analyzed and 12 features were extracted. The features were fed to principal component analysis (PCA) to find the most important independent features that have the highest correlation with blood pressure. The results show that the stiffness index means and standard deviation for the beat-to-beat heart rate were the most important features. A model representing both features for Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) was obtained using a statistical regression technique. Surface fitting is used to best fit the series of data and the results show that the error value in estimating the SBP is 4.95% and in estimating the DBP is 3.99%.

Paper Detail
130
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211
10011030
Speech Intelligibility Improvement Using Variable Level Decomposition DWT
Abstract:
Intelligibility is an essential characteristic of a speech signal, which is used to help in the understanding of information in speech signal. Background noise in the environment can deteriorate the intelligibility of a recorded speech. In this paper, we presented a simple variance subtracted - variable level discrete wavelet transform, which improve the intelligibility of speech. The proposed algorithm does not require an explicit estimation of noise, i.e., prior knowledge of the noise; hence, it is easy to implement, and it reduces the computational burden. The proposed algorithm decides a separate decomposition level for each frame based on signal dominant and dominant noise criteria. The performance of the proposed algorithm is evaluated with speech intelligibility measure (STOI), and results obtained are compared with Universal Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) thresholding and Minimum Mean Square Error (MMSE) methods. The experimental results revealed that the proposed scheme outperformed competing methods
Paper Detail
128
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210
10010898
Length Dimension Correlates of Longitudinal Physical Conditioning on Indian Male Youth
Abstract:

Various length dimensions of the body have been a variable of interest in the research areas of kinanthropometry. However the inclusion of length measurements in various studies remains restricted to reflect characteristics of a particular game/sport at a particular time. Hence, the present investigation was conducted to study various length dimensions correlates of a longitudinal physical conditioning program on Indian male youth. The study was conducted on 90 Indian male youth. The sample was equally divided into three groups namely, progressive load training (PLT), constant load training (CLT) and no load training (NL). The variables included sitting height, leg length, arm length and foot length. The study was conducted by adopting the multi group repeated measure design. Three different groups were measured four times after completion of each of the three meso-cycles of six-weeks duration each. The measurements were taken using the standard landmarks and procedures. Mean, standard deviation and analysis of co-variance were computed to analyze the data statistically. The post-hoc analysis was conducted for the significant F-ratios at 0.05 level. The study concluded that the followed longitudinal physical conditioning program had significant effect on various length dimensions of Indian male youth.

Paper Detail
119
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209
10010821
A Comparative Study of Cardio Respiratory Efficiency between Aquatic and Track and Field Performers
Abstract:

The present study was conducted to explore the basic pulmonary functions which may generally vary according to the bio-physical characteristics including age, height, body weight, and environment etc. of the sports performers. Regular and specific training exercises also change the characteristics of an athlete’s prowess and produce a positive effect on the physiological functioning, mostly upon cardio-pulmonary efficiency and thereby improving the body mechanism. The objective of the present study was to compare the differences in cardio-respiratory functions between aquatics and track and field performers. As cardio-respiratory functions are influenced by pulse rate and blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), so both of the factors were also taken into consideration. The component selected under cardio-respiratory functions for the present study were i) FEVI/FVC ratio (forced expiratory volume divided by forced vital capacity ratio, i.e. the number represents the percentage of lung capacity to exhale in one second) ii) FVC1 (this is the amount of air which can force out of lungs in one second) and iii) FVC (forced vital capacity is the greatest total amount of air forcefully breathe out after breathing in as deeply as possible). All the three selected components of the cardio-respiratory efficiency were measured by spirometry method. Pulse rate was determined manually. The radial artery which is located on the thumb side of our wrist was used to assess the pulse rate. Blood pressure was assessed by sphygmomanometer. All the data were taken in the resting condition. 36subjects were selected for the present study out of which 18were water polo players and rest were sprinters. The age group of the subjects was considered between 18 to 23 years. In this study the obtained data inform of digital score were treated statistically to get result and draw conclusions. The Mean and Standard Deviation (SD) were used as descriptive statistics and the significant difference between the two subject groups was assessed with the help of statistical ‘t’-test. It was found from the study that all the three components i.e. FEVI/FVC ratio (p-value 0.0148 < 0.01), FVC1 (p-value 0.0010 < 0.01) and FVC (p-value 0.0067 < 0.01) differ significantly as water polo players proved to be better in terms of cardio-respiratory functions than sprinters. Thus study clearly suggests that the exercise training as well as the medium of practice arena associated with water polo players has played an important role to determine better cardio respiratory efficiency than track and field athletes. The outcome of the present study revealed that the lung function in land-based activities may not provide much impact than that of in water activities.

Paper Detail
112
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208
10010843
Solvent Extraction and Spectrophotometric Determination of Palladium(II) Using P-Methylphenyl Thiourea as a Complexing Agent
Abstract:

A precise, sensitive, rapid and selective method for the solvent extraction, spectrophotometric determination of palladium(II) using para-methylphenyl thiourea (PMPT) as an extractant is developed. Palladium(II) forms yellow colored complex with PMPT which shows an absorption maximum at 300 nm. The colored complex obeys Beer’s law up to 7.0 µg ml-1 of palladium. The molar absorptivity and Sandell’s sensitivity were found to be 8.486 x 103 l mol-1cm-1 and 0.0125 μg cm-2 respectively. The optimum conditions for the extraction and determination of palladium have been established by monitoring the various experimental parameters. The precision of the method has been evaluated and the relative standard deviation has been found to be less than 0.53%. The proposed method is free from interference from large number of foreign ions. The method has been successfully applied for the determination of palladium from alloy, synthetic mixtures corresponding to alloy samples.

Paper Detail
118
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207
10010714
Influence of Concrete Cracking in the Tensile Strength of Cast-in Headed Anchors
Abstract:

Headed reinforcement bars are increasingly used for anchorage in concrete structures. Applications include connections in composite steel-concrete structures, such as beam-column joints, in several strengthening situations as well as in more traditional uses in cast-in-place and precast structural systems. This paper investigates the reduction in the ultimate tensile capacity of embedded cast-in headed anchors due to concrete cracking. A series of nine laboratory tests are carried out to evaluate the influence of cracking on the concrete breakout strength in tension. The experimental results show that cracking affects both the resistance and load-slip response of the headed bar anchors. The strengths measured in these tests are compared to theoretical resistances calculated following the recommendations presented by fib Bulletin no. 58 (2011), ETAG 001 (2010) and ACI 318 (2014). The influences of parameters such as the effective embedment depth (hef), bar diameter (ds), and the concrete compressive strength (fc) are analysed and discussed. The theoretical recommendations are shown to be over-conservative for both embedment depths and were, in general, inaccurate in comparison to the experimental trends. The ACI 318 (2014) was the design code which presented the best performance regarding to the predictions of the ultimate load, with an average of 1.42 for the ratio between the experimental and estimated strengths, standard deviation of 0.36, and coefficient of variation equal to 0.25.

Paper Detail
161
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206
10010550
Computation of Flood and Drought Years over the North-West Himalayan Region Using Indian Meteorological Department Rainfall Data
Abstract:

The climatic condition over Indian region is highly dependent on monsoon. India receives maximum amount of rainfall during southwest monsoon. Indian economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The presence of flood and drought years influenced the total cultivation system as well as the economy of the country as Indian agricultural systems is still highly dependent on the monsoon rainfall. The present study has been planned to investigate the flood and drought years for the north-west Himalayan region from 1951 to 2014 by using area average Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall data. For this investigation the Normalized index (NI) has been utilized to find out whether the particular year is drought or flood. The data have been extracted for the north-west Himalayan (NWH) region states namely Uttarakhand (UK), Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to find out the rainy season average rainfall for each year, climatological mean and the standard deviation. After calculation it has been plotted by the diagrams (or graphs) to show the results- some of the years associated with drought years, some are flood years and rest are neutral. The flood and drought years can also relate with the large-scale phenomena El-Nino and La-Lina.

Paper Detail
189
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205
10010452
The Tourist Satisfaction on Brand Identity Design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province
Abstract:

The aims of this research were twofold: 1) to brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province and 2) to study the level of tourist satisfaction towards brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province. tourist satisfaction was measured using six criteria: clear brand positioning, likeable brand personality, memorable logo, attractive color palette, professional typography and on-brand supporting graphics. The researcher utilized a probability sampling method via simple random sampling. The sample consisted of 30 tourists in the Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise. Statistics utilized for data analysis were percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The results suggest that tourist had high levels of satisfaction towards all six criteria of the brand identity design that was designed to target them. This study proposes that specifically brand identity designed of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise could also be implemented with other real media already available on the market.

Paper Detail
275
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204
10010453
A Development of Creative Instruction Model through Digital Media
Abstract:

This purposes of the development of creative instruction model through digital media are to: 1) enable learners to learn from instruction media application; 2) help learners implementing instruction media correctly and appropriately; and 3) facilitate learners to apply technology for searching information and practicing skills to implement technology creatively. The sample group consists of 130 cases of secondary students studying in Bo Kluea School, Bo Kluea Nuea Sub-district, Bo Kluea District, Nan Province. The probability sampling was selected through the simple random sampling and the statistics used in this research are percentage, mean, standard deviation and one group pretest – posttest design. The findings are summarized as follows: The congruence index of instruction media for occupation and technology subjects is appropriate. By comparing between learning achievements before implementing the instruction media and learning achievements after implementing the instruction media, it is found that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. For the learning achievements from instruction media implementation, pretest mean is 16.24 while posttest mean is 26.28. Besides, pretest and posttest results are compared and differences of mean are tested, the test results show that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. This can be interpreted that the learners achieve better learning progress.

Paper Detail
218
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203
10010256
A Survey Proposal towards Holistic Management of Schizophrenia
Abstract:

Holistic management of schizophrenia involves mainstream pharmacological intervention, complimentary medicine intervention, therapeutic intervention and other psychosocial factors such as accommodation, education, job training, employment, relationship, friendship, exercise, overall well-being, smoking, substance abuse, suicide prevention, stigmatisation, recreation, entertainment, violent behaviour, arrangement of public trusteeship and guardianship, day-day-living skill, integration with community, and management of overweight due to medications and other health complications related to medications amongst others. Our review shows that there is no integrated survey by combining all these factors. An international web-based survey was conducted to evaluate the significance of all these factors and present them in a unified manner. It is believed this investigation will contribute positively towards holistic management of schizophrenia. There will be two surveys. In the pharmacological intervention survey, five popular drugs for schizophrenia will be chosen and their efficacy as well as harmful side effects will be evaluated on a scale of 0 -10. This survey will be done by psychiatrists. In the second survey, each element of therapeutic intervention and psychosocial factors will be evaluated according to their significance on a scale of 0 - 10. This survey will be done by care givers, psychologists, case managers and case workers. For the first survey, professional bodies of psychiatrists in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. For the second survey, professional bodies of clinical psychologist and care givers in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. Additionally, for both the surveys, relevant professionals will be contacted through personal contact networks. For both the surveys, mean, mode, median, standard deviation and net promoter score will be calculated for each factor and then presented in a statistically significant manner. Subsequently each factor will be ranked according to their statistical significance. Additionally, country specific variation will be highlighted to identify the variation pattern. The results of these surveys will identify the relative significance of each type of pharmacological intervention, each type of therapeutic intervention and each type of psychosocial factor. The determination of this relative importance will definitely contribute to the improvement in quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia.

Paper Detail
281
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202
10010092
Developing Islamic Module Project for Preschool Teachers Using Modified Delphi Technique
Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to gather the consensus of experts regarding the use of moral guidance amongst preschool teachers vis-a-vis the Islamic Project module (I-Project Module). This I-Project Module seeks to provide pertinent data on the assimilation of noble values in subject-matter teaching. To obtain consensus for the various components of the module, the Modified Delphi technique was used to develop the module. 12 subject experts from various educational fields of Islamic education, early childhood education, counselling and language fully participated in the development of this module. The Modified Delphi technique was administered in two mean cycles. The standard deviation value derived from questionnaires completed by the participating panel of experts provided the value of expert consensus reached. This was subsequently analyzed using SPSS version 22. Findings revealed that the panel of experts reached a discernible degree of agreement on five topics outlined in the module, viz; content (mean value 3.36), teaching strategy (mean value 3.28), programme duration (mean value 3.0), staff involved and attention-grabbing strategy of target group participating in the value program (mean value 3.5), and strategy to attract attention of target group to utilize i-project (mean value 3.0). With regard to the strategy to attract the attention of the target group, the experts proposed for creative activities to be added in order to enhance teachers’ creativity.

Paper Detail
285
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201
10009981
Multicriteria Decision Analysis for Development Ranking of Balkan Countries
Authors:
Abstract:

In this research, the Balkan peninsula countries' developmental integration into European Union represents the strategic economic development objectives of the countries in the region. In order to objectively analyze the level of economic development competition of Balkan Peninsula countries, the mathematical compromise programming technique of multicriteria evaluation is used in this ranking problem. The primary aim of this research is to explain the role and significance of the multicriteria method evaluation using a real example of compromise solutions. Using the mathematical compromise programming technique, twelve countries of the Balkan Peninsula are economically evaluated and mutually compared. The economic development evaluation of the countries is performed according to five evaluation criteria forming the basis for economic development evaluation. The multiattribute model is solved using the mathematical compromise programming technique for producing different Pareto solutions. The results obtained by the multicriteria evaluation gives the possibility of identification and evaluation of the most eminent economic development indicators for each country separately. Finally, in this way, the proposed method has proved to be a successful model for the evaluation of the Balkan peninsula countries' economic development competition.

Paper Detail
297
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200
10009763
The Evaluation of Gravity Anomalies Based on Global Models by Land Gravity Data
Abstract:

The Earth system generates different phenomena that are observable at the surface of the Earth such as mass deformations and displacements leading to plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanism. The dynamic processes associated with the interior, surface, and atmosphere of the Earth affect the three pillars of geodesy: shape of the Earth, its gravity field, and its rotation. Geodesy establishes a characteristic structure in order to define, monitor, and predict of the whole Earth system. The traditional and new instruments, observables, and techniques in geodesy are related to the gravity field. Therefore, the geodesy monitors the gravity field and its temporal variability in order to transform the geodetic observations made on the physical surface of the Earth into the geometrical surface in which positions are mathematically defined. In this paper, the main components of the gravity field modeling, (Free-air and Bouguer) gravity anomalies are calculated via recent global models (EGM2008, EIGEN6C4, and GECO) over a selected study area. The model-based gravity anomalies are compared with the corresponding terrestrial gravity data in terms of standard deviation (SD) and root mean square error (RMSE) for determining the best fit global model in the study area at a regional scale in Turkey. The least SD (13.63 mGal) and RMSE (15.71 mGal) were obtained by EGM2008 for the Free-air gravity anomaly residuals. For the Bouguer gravity anomaly residuals, EIGEN6C4 provides the least SD (8.05 mGal) and RMSE (8.12 mGal). The results indicated that EIGEN6C4 can be a useful tool for modeling the gravity field of the Earth over the study area.

Paper Detail
390
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199
10009720
Transient Analysis of Central Region Void Fraction in a 3x3 Rod Bundle under Bubbly and Cap/Slug Flows
Abstract:
This study analyzed the transient signals of central region void fraction of air-water two-phase flow in a 3x3 rod bundle. Experimental tests were carried out utilizing a vertical rod bundle test section along with a set of air-water supply/flow control system, and the transient signals of the central region void fraction were collected through the electrical conductivity sensors as well as visualized via high speed photography. By converting the electric signals, transient void fraction can be obtained through the voltage ratios. With a fixed superficial water velocity (Jf=0.094 m/s), two different superficial air velocities (Jg=0.094 m/s and 0.236 m/s) were tested and presented, which were corresponding to the flow conditions of bubbly flows and cap/slug flows, respectively. The time averaged central region void fraction was obtained as 0.109-0.122 with 0.028 standard deviation for the selected bubbly flow and 0.188-0.221with 0.101 standard deviation for the selected cap/slug flow, respectively. Through Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis, no clear frequency peak was found in bubbly flow, while two dominant frequencies were identified around 1.6 Hz and 2.5 Hz in the present cap/slug flow.
Paper Detail
294
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198
10009298
Multidimensional Compromise Programming Evaluation of Digital Commerce Websites
Authors:
Abstract:

Multidimensional compromise programming evaluation of digital commerce websites is essential not only to have recommendations for improvement, but also to make comparisons with global business competitors. This research provides a multidimensional decision making model that prioritizes the objective criteria weights of various commerce websites using multidimensional compromise solution. Evaluation of digital commerce website quality can be considered as a complex information system structure including qualitative and quantitative factors for a multicriteria decision making problem. The proposed multicriteria decision making approach mainly consists of three sequential steps for the selection problem. In the first step, three major different evaluation criteria are characterized for website ranking problem. In the second step, identified critical criteria are weighted using the standard deviation procedure. In the third step, the multidimensional compromise programming is applied to rank the digital commerce websites.

Paper Detail
316
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197
10009198
Multidimensional Compromise Optimization for Development Ranking of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and Turkey
Authors:
Abstract:

In this research, a multidimensional  compromise optimization method is proposed for multidimensional decision making analysis in the development ranking of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and Turkey. The proposed approach presents ranking solutions resulting from different multicriteria decision analyses, which yield different ranking orders for the same ranking problem, consisting of a set of alternatives in terms of numerous competing criteria when they are applied with the same numerical data. The multiobjective optimization decision making problem is considered in three sequential steps. In the first step, five different criteria related to the development ranking are gathered from the research field. In the second step, identified evaluation criteria are, objectively, weighted using standard deviation procedure. In the third step, a country selection problem is illustrated with a numerical example as an application of the proposed multidimensional  compromise optimization model. Finally, multidimensional  compromise optimization approach is applied to rank the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and Turkey. 

Paper Detail
370
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196
10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

Paper Detail
410
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195
10009013
Multidimensional Performance Tracking
Authors:
Abstract:
In this study, a model, together with a software tool that implements it, has been developed to determine the performance ratings of employees in an organization operating in the information technology sector using the indicators obtained from employees' online study data. Weighted Sum (WS) Method and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method based on multidimensional decision making approach were used in the study. WS and TOPSIS methods provide multidimensional decision making (MDDM) methods that allow all dimensions to be evaluated together considering specific weights, allowing employees to objectively evaluate the problem of online performance tracking. The application of WS and TOPSIS mathematical methods, which can combine alternatives with a large number of dimensions and reach simultaneous solution, has been implemented through an online performance tracking software. In the application of WS and TOPSIS methods, objective dimension weights were calculated by using entropy information (EI) and standard deviation (SD) methods from the data obtained by employees' online performance tracking method, decision matrix was formed by using performance scores for each employee, and a single performance score was calculated for each employee. Based on the calculated performance score, employees were given a performance evaluation decision. The results of Pareto set evidence and comparative mathematical analysis validate that employees' performance preference rankings in WS and TOPSIS methods are closely related. This suggests the compatibility, applicability, and validity of the proposed method to the MDDM problems in which a large number of alternative and dimension types are taken into account. With this study, an objective, realistic, feasible and understandable mathematical method, together with a software tool that implements it has been demonstrated. This is considered to be preferable because of the subjectivity, limitations and high cost of the methods traditionally used in the measurement and performance appraisal in the information technology sector.
Paper Detail
573
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194
10008855
Comparing Test Equating by Item Response Theory and Raw Score Methods with Small Sample Sizes on a Study of the ARTé: Mecenas Learning Game
Abstract:
The purpose of the present research is to equate two test forms as part of a study to evaluate the educational effectiveness of the ARTé: Mecenas art history learning game. The researcher applied Item Response Theory (IRT) procedures to calculate item, test, and mean-sigma equating parameters. With the sample size n=134, test parameters indicated “good” model fit but low Test Information Functions and more acute than expected equating parameters. Therefore, the researcher applied equipercentile equating and linear equating to raw scores and compared the equated form parameters and effect sizes from each method. Item scaling in IRT enables the researcher to select a subset of well-discriminating items. The mean-sigma step produces a mean-slope adjustment from the anchor items, which was used to scale the score on the new form (Form R) to the reference form (Form Q) scale. In equipercentile equating, scores are adjusted to align the proportion of scores in each quintile segment. Linear equating produces a mean-slope adjustment, which was applied to all core items on the new form. The study followed a quasi-experimental design with purposeful sampling of students enrolled in a college level art history course (n=134) and counterbalancing design to distribute both forms on the pre- and posttests. The Experimental Group (n=82) was asked to play ARTé: Mecenas online and complete Level 4 of the game within a two-week period; 37 participants completed Level 4. Over the same period, the Control Group (n=52) did not play the game. The researcher examined between group differences from post-test scores on test Form Q and Form R by full-factorial Two-Way ANOVA. The raw score analysis indicated a 1.29% direct effect of form, which was statistically non-significant but may be practically significant. The researcher repeated the between group differences analysis with all three equating methods. For the IRT mean-sigma adjusted scores, form had a direct effect of 8.39%. Mean-sigma equating with a small sample may have resulted in inaccurate equating parameters. Equipercentile equating aligned test means and standard deviations, but resultant skewness and kurtosis worsened compared to raw score parameters. Form had a 3.18% direct effect. Linear equating produced the lowest Form effect, approaching 0%. Using linearly equated scores, the researcher conducted an ANCOVA to examine the effect size in terms of prior knowledge. The between group effect size for the Control Group versus Experimental Group participants who completed the game was 14.39% with a 4.77% effect size attributed to pre-test score. Playing and completing the game increased art history knowledge, and individuals with low prior knowledge tended to gain more from pre- to post test. Ultimately, researchers should approach test equating based on their theoretical stance on Classical Test Theory and IRT and the respective  assumptions. Regardless of the approach or method, test equating requires a representative sample of sufficient size. With small sample sizes, the application of a range of equating approaches can expose item and test features for review, inform interpretation, and identify paths for improving instruments for future study.
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10008589
Determination of the Content of Teachers’ Presentism through a Web-Based Delphi Method
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Abstract:

Presentism is one of the orientations of teachers’ teaching culture. However, there are few researchers to explore it in Taiwan. The objective of this study is to establish an expert-based determination of the content of teachers’ presentism in Taiwan. The author reviewed the works of Jackson, Lortie, and Hargreaves and employed Hargreaves’ three forms of teachers’ presentism as a framework to design the questionnaire of this study. The questionnaire of teachers’ presentism comprised of 42 statements. A three-round web-based Delphi survey was proposed to 14 participants (two teacher educators, two educational administrators, three school principals, and seven schoolteachers), 13 participants (92.86%) completed the three-rounds of the study. The participants were invited to indicate the importance of each statement. The Delphi study used means and standard deviation to present information concerning the collective judgments of respondents. Finally, the author obtained consensual results for 67% (28/42). However, the outcome of this study could be the result of identifying a series of general statements rather than an in-depth exposition of the topic.

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480
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10009199
Dosimetric Analysis of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy versus 3D Conformal Radiotherapy in Adult Primary Brain Tumors: Regional Cancer Centre, India
Abstract:

Radiation therapy has undergone many advancements and evloved from 2D to 3D. Recently, with rapid pace of drug discoveries, cutting edge technology, and clinical trials has made innovative advancements in computer technology and treatment planning and upgraded to intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) which delivers in homogenous dose to tumor and normal tissues. The present study was a hospital-based experience comparing two different conformal radiotherapy techniques for brain tumors. This analytical study design has been conducted at Regional Cancer Centre, India from January 2014 to January 2015. Ten patients have been selected after inclusion and exclusion criteria. All the patients were treated on Artiste Siemens Linac Accelerator. The tolerance level for maximum dose was 6.0 Gyfor lenses and 54.0 Gy for brain stem, optic chiasm and optical nerves as per RTOG criteria. Mean and standard deviation values of PTV98%, PTV 95% and PTV 2% in IMRT were 93.16±2.9, 95.01±3.4 and 103.1±1.1 respectively; for 3DCRT were 91.4±4.7, 94.17±2.6 and 102.7±0.39 respectively. PTV max dose (%) in IMRT and 3D-CRT were 104.7±0.96 and 103.9±1.0 respectively. Maximum dose to the tumor can be delivered with IMRT with acceptable toxicity limits. Variables such as expertise, location of tumor, patient condition, and TPS influence the outcome of the treatment.

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335
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10008270
Comparisons of Surveying with Terrestrial Laser Scanner and Total Station for Volume Determination of Overburden and Coal Excavations in Large Open-Pit Mine
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The volume of overburden and coal excavations in open-pit mine is generally determined by conventional survey such as total station. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) used to measure overburden and coal excavations, and to compare TLS survey data sets with the data of the total station. Results revealed that, the reference points measured with the total station showed 0.2 mm precision for both horizontal and vertical coordinates. When using TLS on the same points, the standard deviations of 4.93 cm and 0.53 cm for horizontal and vertical coordinates, respectively, were achieved. For volume measurements covering the mining areas of 79,844 m2, TLS yielded the mean difference of about 1% and the surface error margin of 6 cm at the 95% confidence level when compared to the volume obtained by total station.

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1106
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10008046
Modal Approach for Decoupling Damage Cost Dependencies in Building Stories
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Dependencies between diverse factors involved in probabilistic seismic loss evaluation are recognized to be an imperative issue in acquiring accurate loss estimates. Dependencies among component damage costs could be taken into account considering two partial distinct states of independent or perfectly-dependent for component damage states; however, in our best knowledge, there is no available procedure to take account of loss dependencies in story level. This paper attempts to present a method called "modal cost superposition method" for decoupling story damage costs subjected to earthquake ground motions dealt with closed form differential equations between damage cost and engineering demand parameters which should be solved in complex system considering all stories' cost equations by the means of the introduced "substituted matrixes of mass and stiffness". Costs are treated as probabilistic variables with definite statistic factors of median and standard deviation amounts and a presumed probability distribution. To supplement the proposed procedure and also to display straightforwardness of its application, one benchmark study has been conducted. Acceptable compatibility has been proven for the estimated damage costs evaluated by the new proposed modal and also frequently used stochastic approaches for entire building; however, in story level, insufficiency of employing modification factor for incorporating occurrence probability dependencies between stories has been revealed due to discrepant amounts of dependency between damage costs of different stories. Also, more dependency contribution in occurrence probability of loss could be concluded regarding more compatibility of loss results in higher stories than the lower ones, whereas reduction in incorporation portion of cost modes provides acceptable level of accuracy and gets away from time consuming calculations including some limited number of cost modes in high mode situation.

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463
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10008153
Long Wavelength Coherent Pulse of Sound Propagating in Granular Media
Abstract:
A mechanical wave or vibration propagating through granular media exhibits a specific signature in time. A coherent pulse or wavefront arrives first with multiply scattered waves (coda) arriving later. The coherent pulse is micro-structure independent i.e. it depends only on the bulk properties of the disordered granular sample, the sound wave velocity of the granular sample and hence bulk and shear moduli. The coherent wavefront attenuates (decreases in amplitude) and broadens with distance from its source. The pulse attenuation and broadening effects are affected by disorder (polydispersity; contrast in size of the granules) and have often been attributed to dispersion and scattering. To study the effect of disorder and initial amplitude (non-linearity) of the pulse imparted to the system on the coherent wavefront, numerical simulations have been carried out on one-dimensional sets of particles (granular chains). The interaction force between the particles is given by a Hertzian contact model. The sizes of particles have been selected randomly from a Gaussian distribution, where the standard deviation of this distribution is the relevant parameter that quantifies the effect of disorder on the coherent wavefront. Since, the coherent wavefront is system configuration independent, ensemble averaging has been used for improving the signal quality of the coherent pulse and removing the multiply scattered waves. The results concerning the width of the coherent wavefront have been formulated in terms of scaling laws. An experimental set-up of photoelastic particles constituting a granular chain is proposed to validate the numerical results.
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544
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10008735
Assessment of Path Loss Prediction Models for Wireless Propagation Channels at L-Band Frequency over Different Micro-Cellular Environments of Ekiti State, Southwestern Nigeria
Abstract:

The design of accurate and reliable mobile communication systems depends majorly on the suitability of path loss prediction methods and the adaptability of the methods to various environments of interest. In this research, the results of the adaptability of radio channel behavior are presented based on practical measurements carried out in the 1800 MHz frequency band. The measurements are carried out in typical urban, suburban and rural environments in Ekiti State, Southwestern part of Nigeria. A total number of seven base stations of MTN GSM service located in the studied environments were monitored. Path loss and break point distances were deduced from the measured received signal strength (RSS) and a practical path loss model is proposed based on the deduced break point distances. The proposed two slope model, regression line and four existing path loss models were compared with the measured path loss values. The standard deviations of each model with respect to the measured path loss were estimated for each base station. The proposed model and regression line exhibited lowest standard deviations followed by the Cost231-Hata model when compared with the Erceg Ericsson and SUI models. Generally, the proposed two-slope model shows closest agreement with the measured values with a mean error values of 2 to 6 dB. These results show that, either the proposed two slope model or Cost 231-Hata model may be used to predict path loss values in mobile micro cell coverage in the well-considered environments. Information from this work will be useful for link design of microwave band wireless access systems in the region.

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446
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10009295
A Study of Students’ Perceptions Regarding the Effectiveness of Semester and Annual Examination System at Institute of Education and Research
Abstract:

The art of the examination is probably the most difficult one in the whole range of educational practices. Semester system is the system of examination, which is set with an institute by its own teachers. Annual system is the system of examination, which is constructed and administrated by some agency outside the institute, it enables the teacher to estimate the effectiveness of the instruction, and students to estimate the progress made by them. On the other hand, semester system of examinations requires following the curriculum strictly and methods of teaching are to be employed by the choice of teachers. The main purpose of the study was to investigate university students’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of semester system and annual system. The study was quantitative in nature. The sample consisted of 200 students. A five point Likert type scale was used to collect the data. The statistical measures like frequencies, mean, standard deviation, and One Way ANOVA test were applied to analyze the data. The major findings of the study indicated that in semester system students do not spend much time in political activities and develop their study habits. It also revealed that annual system of examination does not satisfy the educational aspirations of the students.

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476
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10007862
Analysis of the Elastic Energy Released and Characterization of the Eruptive Episodes Intensity’s during 2014-2015 at El Reventador Volcano, Ecuador
Abstract:
The elastic energy released through Strombolian explosions has been quite studied, detailing various processes, sources, and precursory events at several volcanoes. We realized an analysis based on the relative partitioning of the elastic energy radiated into the atmosphere and ground by Strombolian-type explosions recorded at El Reventador volcano, using infrasound and seismic signals at high and moderate seismicity episodes during intense eruptive stages of explosive and effusive activity. Our results show that considerable values of Volcano Acoustic-Seismic Ratio (VASR or η) are obtained at high seismicity stages. VASR is a physical diagnostic of explosive degassing that we used to compare eruption mechanisms at El Reventador volcano for two datasets of explosions recorded at a Broad-Band BB seismic and infrasonic station located at ~5 kilometers from the vent. We conclude that the acoustic energy EA released during explosive activity (VASR η = 0.47, standard deviation σ = 0.8) is higher than the EA released during effusive activity; therefore, producing the highest values of η. Furthermore, we realized the analysis and characterization of the eruptive intensity for two episodes at high seismicity, calculating a η three-time higher for an episode of effusive activity with an occasional explosive component (η = 0.32, and σ = 0.42), than a η for an episode of only effusive activity (η = 0.11, and σ = 0.18), but more energetic.
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433
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