International Science Index

867
10010803
Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation
Authors:
Abstract:

The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

Paper Detail
96
downloads
866
10010820
Comparative Effect of Self-Myofascial Release as a Warm-Up Exercise on Functional Fitness of Young Adults
Abstract:

Warm-up is an essential component for optimizing performance in various sports before a physical fitness training session. This study investigated the immediate comparative effect of Self-Myofascial Release through vibration rolling (VR), non-vibration rolling (NVR), and static stretching as a part of a warm-up treatment on the functional fitness of young adults. Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. For the present study 20male physical education students were selected as subjects. The age of the subjects was ranged from 20-25 years. The functional fitness variables undertaken in the present study were flexibility, muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. Each of the three warm-up protocol was administered on consecutive days, i.e. 24 hr time gap and all tests were administered in the morning. The mean and SD were used as descriptive statistics. The significance of statistical differences among the groups was measured by applying ‘F’-test, and to find out the exact location of difference, Post Hoc Test (Least Significant Difference) was applied. It was found from the study that only flexibility showed significant difference among three types of warm-up exercise. The observed result depicted that VR has more impact on myofascial release in flexibility in comparison with NVR and stretching as a part of warm-up exercise as ‘p’ value was less than 0.05. In the present study, within the three means of warm-up exercises, vibration roller showed better mean difference in terms of NVR, and static stretching exercise on functional fitness of young physical education practitioners, although the results were found insignificant in case of muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. These findings suggest that sports professionals and coaches may take VR into account for designing more efficient and effective pre-performance routine for long term to improve exercise performances. VR has high potential to interpret into an on-field practical application means.

Paper Detail
41
downloads
865
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
32
downloads
864
10010824
Development of a Small-Group Teaching Method for Enhancing the Learning of Basic Acupuncture Manipulation Optimized with the Theory of Motor Learning
Abstract:
This study developed a method for teaching acupuncture manipulation in small groups optimized with the theory of motor learning. Sixty acupuncture students and their teacher participated in our research. Motion videos were recorded of their manipulations using the lifting-thrusting method. These videos were analyzed using Simi Motion software to acquire the movement parameters of the thumb tip. The parameter velocity curves along Y axis was used to generate small teaching groups clustered by a self-organized map (SOM) and K-means. Ten groups were generated. All the targeted instruction based on the comparative results groups as well as the videos of teacher and student was provided to the members of each group respectively. According to the theory and research of motor learning, the factors or technologies such as video instruction, observational learning, external focus and summary feedback were integrated into this teaching method. Such efforts were desired to improve and enhance the effectiveness of current acupuncture teaching methods in limited classroom teaching time and extracurricular training.
Paper Detail
32
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863
10010732
Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Abstract:

This paper presents findings from a multidisciplinary course (bachelor level) implemented at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The course aims to develop innovative thinking of students, by having projects given by companies, using design thinking methods as a tool for creativity and by integrating students into multidisciplinary teams working on the given projects. The course is obligatory for all first year bachelor students across four faculties (business and culture, food and agriculture, health care and social work, and technology). The course involves around 800 students and 30 pedagogical coaches, and it is implemented as an intensive one-week course each year. The paper discusses the pedagogy, structure and coordination of the course. Also, reflections on methods for the development of creative skills are given. Experts in contemporary, global context often work in teams, which consist of people who have different areas of expertise and represent various professional backgrounds. That is why there is a strong need for new training methods where multidisciplinary approach is at the heart of learning. Creative learning takes place when different parties bring information to the discussion and learn from each other. When students in different fields are looking for professional growth for themselves and take responsibility for the professional growth of other learners, they form a mutual learning relationship with each other. Multidisciplinary team members make decisions both individually and collectively, which helps them to understand and appreciate other disciplines. Our results show that creative and multidisciplinary project learning can develop diversity of knowledge and competences, for instance, students’ cultural knowledge, teamwork and innovation competences, time management and presentation skills as well as support a student’s personal development as an expert. It is highly recommended that higher education curricula should include various studies for students from different study fields to work in multidisciplinary teams.

Paper Detail
75
downloads
862
10010747
Fast Adjustable Threshold for Uniform Neural Network Quantization
Abstract:
The neural network quantization is highly desired procedure to perform before running neural networks on mobile devices. Quantization without fine-tuning leads to accuracy drop of the model, whereas commonly used training with quantization is done on the full set of the labeled data and therefore is both time- and resource-consuming. Real life applications require simplification and acceleration of quantization procedure that will maintain accuracy of full-precision neural network, especially for modern mobile neural network architectures like Mobilenet-v1, MobileNet-v2 and MNAS. Here we present a method to significantly optimize training with quantization procedure by introducing the trained scale factors for discretization thresholds that are separate for each filter. Using the proposed technique, we quantize the modern mobile architectures of neural networks with the set of train data of only ∼ 10% of the total ImageNet 2012 sample. Such reduction of train dataset size and small number of trainable parameters allow to fine-tune the network for several hours while maintaining the high accuracy of quantized model (accuracy drop was less than 0.5%). Ready-for-use models and code are available in the GitHub repository.
Paper Detail
57
downloads
861
10010755
Numerical Analysis on Triceratops Restraining System: Failure Conditions of Tethers
Abstract:

Increase in the oil and gas exploration in ultra deep-water demands an adaptive structural form of the platform. Triceratops has superior motion characteristics compared to that of the Tension Leg Platform and Single Point Anchor Reservoir platforms, which is well established in the literature. Buoyant legs that support the deck are position-restrained to the sea bed using tethers with high axial pretension. Environmental forces that act on the platform induce dynamic tension variations in the tethers, causing the failure of tethers. The present study investigates the dynamic response behavior of the restraining system of the platform under the failure of a single tether of each buoyant leg in high sea states. Using the rain-flow counting algorithm and the Goodman diagram, fatigue damage caused to the tethers is estimated, and the fatigue life is predicted. Results shows that under failure conditions, the fatigue life of the remaining tethers is quite alarmingly low.

Paper Detail
63
downloads
860
10010772
Nigerian Football System: Examining Meso-Level Practices against a Global Model for Integrated Development of Mass and Elite Sport
Abstract:

This study was designed to examine mass participation and elite football performance in Nigeria with reference to advance international football management practices. Over 200 sources of literature on sport delivery systems were analyzed to construct a globally applicable model of elite football integrated with mass participation, comprising of the following three levels: macro- (socio-economic, cultural, legislative, and organizational), meso- (infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs) and micro-level (operations, processes, and methodologies for development of individual athletes). The model has received scholarly validation and showed to be a framework for program analysis that is not culturally bound. The Smolianov and Zakus model has been employed for further understanding of sport systems such as US soccer, US Rugby, swimming, tennis, and volleyball as well as Russian and Dutch swimming. A questionnaire was developed using the above-mentioned model. Survey questions were validated by 12 experts including academicians, executives from sport governing bodies, football coaches, and administrators. To identify best practices and determine areas for improvement of football in Nigeria, 120 coaches completed the questionnaire. Useful exemplars and possible improvements were further identified through semi-structured discussions with 10 Nigerian football administrators and experts. Finally, content analysis of Nigeria Football Federation’s website and organizational documentation was conducted. This paper focuses on the meso-level of Nigerian football delivery, particularly infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs. This includes training centers, competition systems, and intellectual services. Results identified remarkable achievements coupled with great potential to further develop football in different types of public and private organizations in Nigeria. These include: assimilating football competitions with other cultural and educational activities, providing favorable conditions for employees of all possible organizations to partake and help in managing football programs and events, providing football coaching integrated with counseling for prevention of antisocial conduct, and improving cooperation between football programs and organizations for peace-making and advancement of international relations, tourism, and socio-economic development. Accurate reporting of the sports programs from the media should be encouraged through staff training for better awareness of various events. The systematic integration of these meso-level practices into the balanced development of mass and high-performance football will contribute to international sport success as well as national health, education, and social harmony.

Paper Detail
68
downloads
859
10010776
Machine Learning for Aiding Meningitis Diagnosis in Pediatric Patients
Abstract:

This paper presents a Machine Learning (ML) approach to support Meningitis diagnosis in patients at a children’s hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The aim is to use ML techniques to reduce the use of invasive procedures, such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection, as much as possible. In this study, we focus on predicting the probability of Meningitis given the results of a blood and urine laboratory tests, together with the analysis of pain or other complaints from the patient. We tested a number of different ML algorithms, including: Adaptative Boosting (AdaBoost), Decision Tree, Gradient Boosting, K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), Logistic Regression, Random Forest and Support Vector Machines (SVM). Decision Tree algorithm performed best, with 94.56% and 96.18% accuracy for training and testing data, respectively. These results represent a significant aid to doctors in diagnosing Meningitis as early as possible and in preventing expensive and painful procedures on some children.

Paper Detail
71
downloads
858
10010656
From Electroencephalogram to Epileptic Seizures Detection by Using Artificial Neural Networks
Abstract:

Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.

Paper Detail
186
downloads
857
10010671
Performance Evaluation of Distributed Deep Learning Frameworks in Cloud Environment
Abstract:

2016 has become the year of the Artificial Intelligence explosion. AI technologies are getting more and more matured that most world well-known tech giants are making large investment to increase the capabilities in AI. Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed, and deep learning is a subset of machine learning that uses deep neural network to train a machine to learn  features directly from data. Deep learning realizes many machine learning applications which expand the field of AI. At the present time, deep learning frameworks have been widely deployed on servers for deep learning applications in both academia and industry. In training deep neural networks, there are many standard processes or algorithms, but the performance of different frameworks might be different. In this paper we evaluate the running performance of two state-of-the-art distributed deep learning frameworks that are running training calculation in parallel over multi GPU and multi nodes in our cloud environment. We evaluate the training performance of the frameworks with ResNet-50 convolutional neural network, and we analyze what factors that result in the performance among both distributed frameworks as well. Through the experimental analysis, we identify the overheads which could be further optimized. The main contribution is that the evaluation results provide further optimization directions in both performance tuning and algorithmic design.

Paper Detail
156
downloads
856
10010581
The Impact of Protein Content on Athletes’ Body Composition
Abstract:
Several factors contribute to success in sport and diet is one of them. Evidence-based sport nutrition guidelines underline the importance of macro- and micro-nutrients’ balance and timing in order to improve athlete’s physical status and performance. Nevertheless, a high content of proteins is commonly found in resistance training athletes’ diet with carbohydrate intake that is not enough or not well planned. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of different protein and carbohydrate diet contents on body composition and sport performance on a group of resistance training athletes. Subjects were divided as study group (n=16) and control group (n=14). For a period of 4 months, both groups were subjected to the same resistance training fitness program with study group following a specific diet and control group following an ab libitum diet. Body compositions were evaluated trough anthropometric measurement (weight, height, body circumferences and skinfolds) and Bioimpedence Analysis. Physical strength and training status of individuals were evaluated through the One Repetition Maximum test (RM1). Protein intake in studied group was found to be lower than in control group. There was a statistically significant increase of body weight, free fat mass and body mass cell of studied group respect to the control group. Fat mass remains almost constant. Statistically significant changes were observed in quadriceps and biceps circumferences, with an increase in studied group. The MR1 test showed improvement in study group’s strength but no changes in control group. Usually people consume hyper-proteic diet to achieve muscle mass development. Through this study, it was possible to show that protein intake fixed at 1,7 g/kg/d can meet the individual's needs. In parallel, the increased intake of carbohydrates, focusing on quality and timing of assumption, has enabled the obtainment of desired results with a training protocol supporting a hypertrophic strategy. Therefore, the key point seems related to the planning of a structured program both from a nutritional and training point of view.
Paper Detail
128
downloads
855
10010615
Optimizing the Probabilistic Neural Network Training Algorithm for Multi-Class Identification
Abstract:

In this work, a training algorithm for probabilistic neural networks (PNN) is presented. The algorithm addresses one of the major drawbacks of PNN, which is the size of the hidden layer in the network. By using a cross-validation training algorithm, the number of hidden neurons is shrunk to a smaller number consisting of the most representative samples of the training set. This is done without affecting the overall architecture of the network. Performance of the network is compared against performance of standard PNN for different databases from the UCI database repository. Results show an important gain in network size and performance.

Paper Detail
147
downloads
854
10010458
Information Literacy among Faculty and Students of Medical Colleges of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh
Abstract:

With the availability of diverse printed, electronic literature and web sites on medical and health related information, it is impossible for the medical professional to get the information he seeks in the shortest possible time. For all these problems information literacy is the only solution. Thus, information literacy is recognized as an important aspect of medical education. In the present study, an attempt has been made to know the information literacy skills of the faculty and students at medical colleges of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh. The scope of the study was confined to the 12 selected medical colleges of three States (Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh). The findings of the study were based on the data collected through 1018 questionnaires filled by the respondents of the medical colleges. It was found that Online Medical Websites (such as WebMD, eMedicine and Mayo Clinic etc.) were frequently used by 63.43% of the respondents of Chandigarh which is slightly more than Haryana (61%) and Punjab (55.65%). As well, 30.86% of the respondents of Chandigarh, 27.41% of Haryana and 27.05% of Punjab were familiar with the controlled vocabulary tool; 25.14% respondents of Chandigarh, 23.80% of Punjab, 23.17% of Haryana were familiar with the Boolean operators; 33.05% of the respondents of Punjab, 28.19% of Haryana and 25.14% of Chandigarh were familiar with the use and importance of the keywords while searching an electronic database; and 51.43% of the respondents of Chandigarh, 44.52% of Punjab and 36.29% of Haryana were able to make effective use of the retrieved information. For accessing information in electronic format, 47.74% of the respondents rated their skills high, while the majority of respondents (76.13%) were unfamiliar with the basic search technique i.e. Boolean operator used for searching information in an online database. On the basis of the findings, it was suggested that a comprehensive training program based on medical professionals information needs should be organized frequently. Furthermore, it was also suggested that information literacy may be included as a subject in the health science curriculum so as to make the medical professionals information literate and independent lifelong learners.

Paper Detail
146
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853
10010501
Factors Influencing Intention to Engage in Long-term Care Services among Nursing Aide Trainees and the General Public
Authors:
Abstract:

Rapid aging and depopulation could lead to serious problems, including workforce shortages and health expenditure costs. The current and predicted future LTC workforce shortages could be a real threat to Taiwan’s society. By means of comparison of data from 144 nursing aide trainees and 727 general public, the main purpose of the present study was to determine whether there were any notable differences between the two groups toward engaging in LTC services. Moreover, this study focused on recognizing the attributes of the general public who had the willingness to take LTC jobs but continue to ride the fence. A self-developed questionnaire was designed based on Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior model. After conducting exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and reliability analysis, the questionnaire was a reliable and valid instrument for both nursing aide trainees and the general public. The main results were as follows: Firstly, nearly 70% of nursing aide trainees showed interest in LTC jobs. Most of them were middle-aged female (M = 46.85, SD = 9.31), had a high school diploma or lower, had unrelated work experience in healthcare, and were mostly unemployed. The most common reason for attending the LTC training program was to gain skills in a particular field. The second most common reason was to obtain the license. The third and fourth reasons were to be interested in caring for people and to increase income. The three major reasons that might push them to leave LTC jobs were physical exhaustion, payment is bad, and being looked down on. Secondly, the variables that best-predicted nursing aide trainees’ intention to engage in LTC services were having personal willingness, perceived behavior control, with high school diploma or lower, and supported from family and friends. Finally, only 11.80% of the general public reported having interest in LTC jobs (the disapproval rating was 50% for the general public). In comparison to nursing aide trainees who showed interest in LTC settings, 64.8% of the new workforce for LTC among the general public was male and had an associate degree, 54.8% had relevant healthcare experience, 67.1% was currently employed, and they were younger (M = 32.19, SD = 13.19) and unmarried (66.3%). Furthermore, the most commonly reason for the new workforce to engage in LTC jobs were to gain skills in a particular field. The second priority was to be interested in caring for people. The third and fourth most reasons were to give back to society and to increase income, respectively. The top five most commonly reasons for the new workforce to quitting LTC jobs were listed as follows: physical exhaustion, being looked down on, excessive working hours, payment is bad, and excessive job stress.

Paper Detail
130
downloads
852
10010506
Vr-GIS and Ar-GIS In Education: A Case Study
Abstract:
ICT tools and platforms endorse more and more educational process. Many models and techniques for people to be educated and trained about specific topics and skills do exist, as classroom lectures with textbooks, computers, handheld devices and others. The choice to what extent ICT is applied within learning contexts is related to personal access to technologies as well as to the infrastructure surrounding environment. Among recent techniques, the adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) provides significant impulse in fully engaging users senses. In this paper, an application of AR/VR within Geographic Information Systems (GIS) context is presented. It aims to provide immersive environment experiences for educational and training purposes (e.g. for civil protection personnel), useful especially for situations where real scenarios are not easily accessible by humans. First acknowledgments are promising for building an effective tool that helps civil protection personnel training with risk reduction.
Paper Detail
114
downloads
851
10010516
Corporate Governance Mechanisms, Whistle-Blowing Policy and Earnings Management Practices of Firms in Malaysia
Abstract:

This study examines whether corporate governance (CG) mechanisms in firms that have a whistle-blowing policy (WHBLP) are more effective in constraining earnings management (EM), than those without. A sample of 288 Malaysian firms for the years 2013 to 2015, amounting to 864 firm-years were grouped into firms with and without WHBLP. Results show that for firms without WHBLP, the board chairman tenure would minimize EM activities. Meanwhile, for firms with WHBLP, board chairman independence, board chairman tenure, audit committee size, audit committee meeting and women in the audit committees are found to be associated with less EM activities. Further, it is found that ownership concentration and Big 4 auditing firms help to reduce EM activities in firms with WHBLP, while not in firms without WHBLP. Hence, functional and effective governance can be achieved by having a WHBLP, which is in line with agency and resource dependent theories. Therefore, this study suggests that firms should have a WHBLP in place, and policymakers should come up with enhanced criteria to strengthen the mechanisms of WHBLP.

Paper Detail
148
downloads
850
10010528
A National Survey of Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Attitudes toward Psychotherapy Treatment Manuals: A Replication Study
Abstract:

Attitudes toward treatment manuals serve as a meaningful predictor of general attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Despite demonstrating high effectiveness in treating many mental disorders, manualized treatments have been underutilized by practitioners. Thus, one can assess the state of the field regarding the adoption of evidence-based practices by surveying practitioner attitudes towards manualized treatments. This study is an adapted replication that assesses psychology graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments, as a general marker for attitudes towards evidence-based practice. Training programs provide future clinicians with the foundation for critical skills in clinical practice. Research demonstrates that post-graduate continuing education has little to no effect on clinical practice; thus, graduate programs serve as the primary, and often final platform for all future practice. However, there are little empirical data identifying the attitudes and training of graduate students in utilizing manualized treatments. The empirical analysis of this study indicates an increase in positive attitudes among graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments (within the United States), when compared to past surveys of professional psychologists. Findings from this study may inform graduate programs of barriers for students in developing positive attitudes toward manualized treatments and evidence-based practice. This study also serves as a preliminary predictor of the state-of-the field, in regards to professional psychologists attitudes towards evidence-based practice, if attitudes remain stable. This study indicates that the attitudes toward utilizing evidence-based practices, such as treatment manuals, has become more positive since year 2000.

Paper Detail
114
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849
10010309
Prediction of the Lateral Bearing Capacity of Short Piles in Clayey Soils Using Imperialist Competitive Algorithm-Based Artificial Neural Networks
Abstract:

Prediction of the ultimate bearing capacity of piles (Qu) is one of the basic issues in geotechnical engineering. So far, several methods have been used to estimate Qu, including the recently developed artificial intelligence methods. In recent years, optimization algorithms have been used to minimize artificial network errors, such as colony algorithms, genetic algorithms, imperialist competitive algorithms, and so on. In the present research, artificial neural networks based on colonial competition algorithm (ANN-ICA) were used, and their results were compared with other methods. The results of laboratory tests of short piles in clayey soils with parameters such as pile diameter, pile buried length, eccentricity of load and undrained shear resistance of soil were used for modeling and evaluation. The results showed that ICA-based artificial neural networks predicted lateral bearing capacity of short piles with a correlation coefficient of 0.9865 for training data and 0.975 for test data. Furthermore, the results of the model indicated the superiority of ICA-based artificial neural networks compared to back-propagation artificial neural networks as well as the Broms and Hansen methods.

Paper Detail
294
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848
10010311
A Brain Controlled Robotic Gait Trainer for Neurorehabilitation
Abstract:
This paper discusses a brain controlled robotic gait trainer for neurorehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients. Patients suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) become unable to execute motion control of their lower proximities due to degeneration of spinal cord neurons. The presented approach can help SCI patients in neuro-rehabilitation training by directly translating patient motor imagery into walkers motion commands and thus bypassing spinal cord neurons completely. A non-invasive EEG based brain-computer interface is used for capturing patient neural activity. For signal processing and classification, an open source software (OpenVibe) is used. Classifiers categorize the patient motor imagery (MI) into a specific set of commands that are further translated into walker motion commands. The robotic walker also employs fall detection for ensuring safety of patient during gait training and can act as a support for SCI patients. The gait trainer is tested with subjects, and satisfactory results were achieved.
Paper Detail
288
downloads
847
10010313
Development and Usability Assessment of a Connected Resistance Exercise Band Application for Strength-Monitoring
Abstract:

Resistance exercise bands are a core component of any physical activity strengthening program. Strength training can mitigate the development of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass or strength and function with aging. Yet, the adherence of such behavioral exercise strategies in a home-based setting are fraught with issues of monitoring and compliance. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band capable of transmitting data to an open-source platform. In this work, we developed an application to capture this information in real-time, and conducted three usability studies in two mixed-aged groups of participants (n=6 each) and a group of older adults with obesity participating in a weight-loss intervention (n=20). The system was favorable, acceptable and provided iterative information that could assist in future deployment on ubiquitous platforms. Our formative work provides the foundation to deliver home-based monitoring interventions in a high-risk, older adult population.

Paper Detail
175
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846
10010359
The Use of Different Methodological Approaches to Teaching Mathematics at Secondary Level
Abstract:

The article describes methods of preparation of future teachers that includes the entire diversity of traditional and computer-oriented methodological approaches. The authors reveal how, in the specific educational environment, a teacher can choose the most effective combination of educational technologies based on the nature of the learning task. The key conditions that determine such a choice are that the methodological approach corresponds to the specificity of the problem being solved and that it is also responsive to the individual characteristics of the students. The article refers to the training of students in the proper use of mathematical electronic tools for educational purposes. The preparation of future mathematics teachers should be a step-by-step process, building on specific examples. At the first stage, students optimally solve problems aided by electronic means of teaching. At the second stage, the main emphasis is on modeling lessons. At the third stage, students develop and implement strategies in the study of one of the topics within a school mathematics curriculum. The article also recommended the implementation of this strategy in preparation of future teachers and stated the possible benefits.

Paper Detail
175
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845
10010360
Motivational Orientation of the Methodical System of Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools
Abstract:

The article analyses the composition and structure of the motivationally oriented methodological system of teaching mathematics (purpose, content, methods, forms, and means of teaching), viewed through the prism of the student as the subject of the learning process. Particular attention is paid to the problem of methods of teaching mathematics, which are represented in the form of an ordered triad of attributes corresponding to the selected characteristics. A systematic analysis of possible options and their methodological interpretation enriched existing ideas about known methods and technologies of training, and significantly expanded their nomenclature by including previously unstudied combinations of characteristics. In addition, examples outlined in this article illustrate the possibilities of enhancing the motivational capacity of a particular method or technology in the real learning practice of teaching mathematics through more free goal-setting and varying the conditions of the problem situations. The authors recommend the implementation of different strategies according to their characteristics in teaching and learning mathematics in secondary schools.

Paper Detail
178
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844
10010380
The Current Home Hemodialysis Practices and Patients’ Safety Related Factors: A Case Study from Germany
Abstract:

The increasing costs of healthcare on one hand, and the rise in aging population and associated chronic disease, on the other hand, are putting increasing burden on the current health care system in many Western countries. For instance, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common disease and in Europe, the cost of renal replacement therapy (RRT) is very significant to the total health care cost. However, the recent advancement in healthcare technology, provide the opportunity to treat patients at home in their own comfort. It is evident that home healthcare offers numerous advantages apparently, low costs and high patients’ quality of life. Despite these advantages, the intake of home hemodialysis (HHD) therapy is still low in particular in Germany. Many factors are accounted for the low number of HHD intake. However, this paper is focusing on patients’ safety-related factors of current HHD practices in Germany. The aim of this paper is to analyze the current HHD practices in Germany and to identify risks related factors if any exist. A case study has been conducted in a dialysis center which consists of four dialysis centers in the south of Germany. In total, these dialysis centers have 350 chronic dialysis patients, of which, four patients are on HHD. The centers have 126 staff which includes six nephrologists and 120 other staff i.e. nurses and administration. The results of the study revealed several risk-related factors. Most importantly, these centers do not offer allied health services at the pre-dialysis stage, the HHD training did not have an established curriculum; however, they have just recently developed the first version. Only a soft copy of the machine manual is offered to patients. Surprisingly, the management was not aware of any standard available for home assessment and installation. The home assessment is done by a third party (i.e. the machines and equipment provider) and they may not consider the hygienic quality of the patient’s home. The type of machine provided to patients at home is similar to the one in the center. The model may not be suitable at home because of its size and complexity. Even though portable hemodialysis machines, which are specially designed for home use, are available in the market such as the NxStage series. Besides the type of machine, no assistance is offered for space management at home in particular for placing the machine. Moreover, the centers do not offer remote assistance to patients and their carer at home. However, telephonic assistance is available. Furthermore, no alternative is offered if a carer is not available. In addition, the centers are lacking medical staff including nephrologists and renal nurses.

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138
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10010393
Evaluating Factors Affecting Audiologists’ Diagnostic Performance in Auditory Brainstem Response Reading: Training and Experience
Abstract:

This study aims to determine if audiologists' experience characteristics in ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) reading is associated with their performance in interpreting ABR results. Fifteen ABR traces with varying degrees of hearing level were presented twice, making a total of 30. Audiologists were asked to determine the hearing threshold for each of the cases after completing a brief survey regarding their experience and training in ABR administration. Sixty-one audiologists completed all tasks. Correlations between audiologists’ performance measures and experience variables suggested significant associations (p < 0.05) between training period in ABR testing and audiologists’ performance in terms of both sensitivity and accuracy. In addition, the number of years conducting ABR testing correlated with specificity. No other correlations approached significance. While there are relatively few significant correlations between ABR performance and experience, accuracy in ABR reading is associated with audiologists’ length of experience and period of training. To improve audiologists’ performance in reading ABR results, an emphasis on the importance of training should be raised and standardized levels and period for audiologists training in ABR testing should also be set.

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149
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842
10010195
Engineering of E-Learning Content Creation: Case Study for African Countries
Abstract:

This research addresses the use of an e-Learning creation methodology for learning objects. Throughout the process, indicators are being gathered, to determine if it responds to the main objectives of an engineering discipline. These parameters will also indicate if it is necessary to review the creation cycle and readjust any phase. Within the project developed for this study, apart from the use of structured methods, there has been a central objective: the establishment of a learning atmosphere. A place where all the professionals involved are able to collaborate, plan, solve problems and determine guides to follow in order to develop creative and innovative solutions. It has been outlined as a blended learning program with an assessment plan that proposes face to face lessons, coaching, collaboration, multimedia and web based learning objects as well as support resources. The project has been drawn as a long term task, the pilot teaching actions designed provide the preliminary results object of study. This methodology is been used in the creation of learning content for the African countries of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde. It has been developed within the framework of the MACbioIDi, an Interreg European project for the International cooperation and development. The educational area of this project is focused in the training and advice of professionals of the medicine as well as engineers in the use of applications of medical imaging technology, specifically the 3DSlicer application and the Open Anatomy Browser.

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306
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841
10010197
Factors that Contribute to the Improvement of the Sense of Self-Efficacy of Special Educators in Inclusive Settings in Greece
Abstract:

Teacher’s sense of self-efficacy can affect significantly both teacher’s and student’s performance. More specific, self-efficacy is associated with the learning outcomes as well as student’s motivation and self-efficacy. For example, teachers with high sense of self-efficacy are more open to innovations and invest more effort in teaching. In addition to this, effective inclusive education is associated with higher levels of teacher’s self-efficacy. Pre-service teachers with high levels of self-efficacy could handle student’s behavior better and more effectively assist students with special educational needs. Teacher preparation programs are also important, because teacher’s efficacy beliefs are shaped early in learning, as a result the quality of teacher’s education programs can affect the sense of self-efficacy of pre-service teachers. Usually, a number of pre-service teachers do not consider themselves well prepared to work with students with special educational needs and do not have the appropriate sense of self-efficacy. This study aims to investigate the factors that contribute to the improvement of the sense of self-efficacy of pre-service special educators by using an academic practicum training program. The sample of this study is 159 pre-service special educators, who also participated in the academic practicum training program. For the purpose of this study were used quantitative methods for data collection and analysis. Teacher’s self-efficacy was assessed by the teachers themselves with the completion of a questionnaire which was based on the scale of Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale. Pre and post measurements of teacher’s self-efficacy were taken. The results of the survey are consistent with those of the international literature. The results indicate that a significant number of pre-service special educators do not hold the appropriate sense of self-efficacy regarding teaching students with special educational needs. Moreover, a quality academic training program constitutes a crucial factor for the improvement of the sense of self-efficacy of pre-service special educators, as additional for the provision of high quality inclusive education.

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289
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840
10010217
Assessment of the Illustrated Language Activities of the Portage Guide to Early Education
Abstract:

The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.

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259
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839
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.

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202
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838
10010296
Designing an Integrated Platform for Real-Time Recommendations Sharing among the Aged and People Living with Cancer
Abstract:

The world is expected to experience growth in the number of ageing population, and this will bring about high cost of providing care for these valuable citizens. In addition, many of these live with chronic diseases that come with old age. Providing adequate care in the face of rising costs and dwindling personnel can be challenging. However, advances in technologies and emergence of the Internet of Things are providing a way to address these challenges while improving care giving. This study proposes the integration of recommendation systems into homecare to provide real-time recommendations for effective management of people receiving care at home and those living with chronic diseases. Using the simplified Training Logic Concept, stakeholders and requirements were identified. Specific requirements were gathered from people living with cancer. The solution designed has two components namely home and community, to enhance recommendations sharing for effective care giving. The community component of the design was implemented with the development of a mobile app called Recommendations Sharing Community for Aged and Chronically Ill People (ReSCAP). This component has illustrated the possibility of real-time recommendations, improved recommendations sharing among care receivers and between a physician and care receivers. Full implementation will increase access to health data for better care decision making.

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182
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