International Science Index

1055
10011945
Analysis Model for the Relationship of Users, Products, and Stores on Online Marketplace Based on Distributed Representation
Abstract:
Recently, online marketplaces in the e-commerce industry, such as Rakuten and Alibaba, have become some of the most popular online marketplaces in Asia. In these shopping websites, consumers can select purchase products from a large number of stores. Additionally, consumers of the e-commerce site have to register their name, age, gender, and other information in advance, to access their registered account. Therefore, establishing a method for analyzing consumer preferences from both the store and the product side is required. This study uses the Doc2Vec method, which has been studied in the field of natural language processing. Doc2Vec has been used in many cases to analyze the extraction of semantic relationships between documents (represented as consumers) and words (represented as products) in the field of document classification. This concept is applicable to represent the relationship between users and items; however, the problem is that one more factor (i.e., shops) needs to be considered in Doc2Vec. More precisely, a method for analyzing the relationship between consumers, stores, and products is required. The purpose of our study is to combine the analysis of the Doc2vec model for users and shops, and for users and items in the same feature space. This method enables the calculation of similar shops and items for each user. In this study, we derive the real data analysis accumulated in the online marketplace and demonstrate the efficiency of the proposal.
Paper Detail
26
downloads
1054
10011948
A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study on the Prevalence and Factors Associated with Virological Non-Suppression among HIV-Positive Adult Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy in Woliso Town, Oromia, Ethiopia
Abstract:
Background: HIV virological failure still remains a problem in HV/AIDS treatment and care. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and identify the factors associated with viral non-suppression among HIV-positive adult patients on antiretroviral therapy in Woliso Town, Oromia, Ethiopia. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted among 424 HIV-positive patient’s attending antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Woliso Town during the period from August 25, 2020 to August 30, 2020. Data collected from patient medical records were entered into Epi Info version 2.3.2.1 and exported to SPSS version 21.0 for analysis. Logistic regression analysis was done to identify factors associated with viral load non-suppression, and statistical significance of odds ratios were declared using 95% confidence interval and p-value < 0.05. Results: A total of 424 patients were included in this study. The mean age (± SD) of the study participants was 39.88 (± 9.995) years. The prevalence of HIV viral load non-suppression was 55 (13.0%) with 95% CI (9.9-16.5). Second-line ART treatment regimen (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 8.98, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 2.64, 30.58) and routine viral load testing (AOR = 0.01, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.02) were significantly associated with virological non-suppression. Conclusion: Virological non-suppression was high, which hinders the achievement of the third global 95 target. The second-line regimen and routine viral load testing were significantly associated with virological non-suppression. It suggests the need to assess the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs for epidemic control. It also clearly shows the need to decentralize third-line ART treatment for those patients in need.
Paper Detail
33
downloads
1053
10011958
Analyzing the Prospects and Challenges in Implementing the Legal Framework for Competition Regulation in Nigeria
Abstract:
Competition law promotes market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by undertakings. There is a need for a third party to regulate the market for efficiency and supervision, since, if the market is left unchecked, it may be skewed against the consumers and the economy. Competition law is geared towards the protection of consumers from economic exploitation. It is the duty of every rational government to optimally manage its economic system by employing the best regulatory practices over the market to ensure it functions effectively and efficiently. The Nigerian government has done this by enacting the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018 (FCCPA). This is a comprehensive legal framework with the objective of governing competition issues in Nigeria. Prior to its enactment, the competition law regime in Nigeria was grossly inadequate despite Nigeria being the biggest economy in Africa. This latest legislation has become a bold step in the right direction. This study will use the doctrinal methodology in analyzing the FCCPA, 2018 in order to discover the extent to which the Act will guard against anti-competitive practices and promote competitive markets for the benefit of the Nigerian economy and consumers. The study finds that although the FCCPA, 2018 provides for the regulation of competition in Nigeria, there is a need to effectively tackle the challenges to the implementation of the Act and the development of anti-trust jurisprudence in Nigeria. This study concludes that incisive implementation of competition law in Nigeria will help protect consumers and create a conducive environment for economic growth, development, and protection of consumers from obnoxious competition practices.
Paper Detail
15
downloads
1052
10011959
Applying Bowen’s Theory to Intern Supervision
Abstract:
The aim of this paper is to theoretically apply Bowen’s understanding of triangulation and triads to school psychology intern supervision so that it can assist in the conceptualization of the dynamics of intern supervision and provide some key methods to address common issues. The school psychology internship is the capstone experience for the school psychologist in training. It involves three key participants whose relationships will determine the success of the internship.  To understand the potential effect, Bowen’s family systems theory can be applied to the supervision relationship. He describes a way to resolve stress between two people by triangulating or binging in a third person. He applies this to a nuclear family, but school psychology intern supervision requires the marriage of an intern, field supervisor, and university supervisor; thus, setting all up for possible triangulation. The consequences of triangulation can apply to standards and requirements, direct supervision, and intern evaluation. Strategies from family systems theory to decrease the negative impact of supervision triangulation.
Paper Detail
22
downloads
1051
10011965
Analysis of the Omnichannel Delivery Network with Application to Last Mile Delivery
Abstract:
Business-to-Customer (B2C) delivery options have improved to meet increased demand in recent years. The change in end users has forced logistics networks to focus on customer service and sentiment that would have previously been the priority of the company or organization of origin. This has led to increased pressure on logistics companies to extend traditional B2B networks into a B2C solution while accommodating additional costs, roadblocks, and customer sentiment; the result has been the creation of the omnichannel delivery network encompassing a number of traditional and modern methods of package delivery. In this paper the many solutions within the omnichannel delivery network are defined and discussed. It can be seen through this analysis that the omnichannel delivery network can be applied to reduce the complexity of package delivery and provide customers with more options. Applied correctly the result is a reduction in cost to the logistics company over time, even with an initial increase in cost to obtain the technology.
Paper Detail
18
downloads
1050
10011993
Implementing Pro-Poor Policies for Poverty Alleviation: The Case of the White Paper on Families in South Africa
Authors:
Abstract:

The role of the government to tangibly alleviate poverty, improve and sustain the quality of people’s lives remains a “work in progress” twenty-two years after the dawn of democracy in South Africa despite a host of socio-economic programs and pro-poor policies and legislations. This paper assesses the development process and the implementation of the White Paper on Families in South Africa as one of the pro-poor policies intended to curb poverty and redress the imbalances of the apartheid regime. The paper is the result of a qualitative implementation research theory facilitated through in-depth interviews with social work managers complemented by literature and policy review techniques. It investigates the level of basic knowledge and understanding as well as the implementation challenges of the White Paper on Families as causes of its failure. The paper emphasizes the importance of the family-centered approach in the implementation of pro-poor policies. To facilitate the understanding of the White Paper on Families by its users, the Department of Social Development needs take stock of the identified challenges of its implementation so as to facilitate its success in fostering positive family well-being that will directly contributes to the overall socio-economic development of South Africa.

1049
10011998
Assessment of Negative Impacts Affecting Public Transportation Modes and Infrastructure in Burgersfort Town towards Building Urban Sustainability
Abstract:

The availability of public transportation modes and qualitative infrastructure is a burning issue that affects urban sustainability. Public transportation is indispensable in providing adequate transportation means to people at an affordable price, and it promotes public transport reliance. Burgersfort town has a critical condition on the urban public transportation infrastructure which affects the bus and taxi public transport modes and the existing infrastructure. The municipality is regarded as one of the mining towns in Limpopo Province considering the availability of mining activities and proposal on establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The study aim is to assess the efficacy of current public transportation infrastructure and to propose relevant recommendations that will unlock the possibility of future supportable public transportation systems. The Key Informant Interview (KII) was used to acquire data on the views from commuters and stakeholders involved. There KII incorporated three relevant questions in relation to services rendered in public transportation. Relevant literature relating to public transportation modes and infrastructure revealed the imperatives of public transportation infrastructure, and relevant legislation was reviewed concerning public transport infrastructure. The finding revealed poor conditions on the public transportation ranks and also inadequate parking space for public transportation modes. The study reveals that 100% of people interviewed were not satisfied with the condition of public transportation infrastructure and 100% are not satisfied with the services offered by public transportation sectors. The findings revealed that the municipality is the main player who can upgrade the existing conditions of public transportation. The study recommended that an intermodal transportation facility must be established to resolve the emerging challenges.

1048
10011929
The Role of Optimization and Machine Learning in e-Commerce Logistics in 2030
Abstract:
Global e-commerce sales have reached unprecedented levels in the past few years. As this trend is only predicted to go up as we continue into the ’20s, new challenges will be faced by companies when planning and controlling e-commerce logistics. In this paper, we survey the related literature on Optimization and Machine Learning as well as on combined methodologies. We also identify the distinctive features of next-generation planning algorithms - namely scalability, model-and-run features and learning capabilities - that will be fundamental to cope with the scale and complexity of logistics in the next decade.
Paper Detail
62
downloads
1047
10011873
Advanced Compound Coating for Delaying Corrosion of Fast-Dissolving Alloy in High Temperature and Corrosive Environment
Abstract:

Fasting dissolving magnesium (DM) alloy technology has contributed significantly to the “Shale Revolution” in oil and gas industry. This application requires DM downhole tools dissolving initially at a slow rate, rapidly accelerating to a high rate after certain period of operation time (typically 8 h to 2 days), a contradicting requirement that can hardly be addressed by traditional Mg alloying or processing itself. Premature disintegration has been broadly reported in downhole DM tool from field trials. To address this issue, “temporary” thin polymers of various formulations are currently coated onto DM surface to delay its initial dissolving. Due to conveying parts, harsh downhole condition, and high dissolving rate of the base material, the current delay coatings relying on pure polymers are found to perform well only at low temperature (typical < 100 ℃) and parts without sharp edges or corners, as severe geometries prevent high quality thin film coatings from forming effectively. In this study, a coating technology combining Plasma Electrolytic Oxide (PEO) coatings with advanced thin film deposition has been developed, which can delay DM complex parts (with sharp corners) in corrosive fluid at 150 ℃ for over 2 days. Synergistic effects between porous hard PEO coating and chemical inert elastic-polymer sealing leads to its delaying dissolution improvement, and strong chemical/physical bonding between these two layers has been found to play essential role. Microstructure of this advanced coating and compatibility between PEO and various polymer selections has been thoroughly investigated and a model is also proposed to explain its delaying performance. This study could not only benefit oil and gas industry to unplug their High Temperature High Pressure (HTHP) unconventional resources inaccessible before, but also potentially provides a technical route for other industries (e.g., bio-medical, automobile, aerospace) where primer anti-corrosive protection on light Mg alloy is highly demanded.

Paper Detail
68
downloads
1046
10011876
Influence of Sports Participation on Academic Performance among Afe Babalola University Student-Athletes
Authors:
Abstract:

The web created by sport in academics has made it difficult for it to be separated from adolescent educational development. The enthusiasm expressed towards sport by students in higher institutions is quite enormous. Primarily, academic performance should be the pride of all students but whether sports affect the academic performance of student-athletes remain an unknown fact. This study investigated the influence of sports participation on academic performance among Afe Babalola University student-athletes. Ex post facto research design was used. Two groups of students were used for the study; Student-athlete (SA) and Regular Students (RS). Purposive sampling technique was used to select 224 student-athletes, only those that are regular in the university sports team training were considered and their records (i.e. name, department, level, matriculation number, and phone number) were collected through the assistance of their coaches. For the regular students, purposive sampling technique was used to select 224 participants, only those that have no interest in sports were considered and their records were retrieved from the college registration officer. The first and second semester examination results of the two groups were compared in 10 general study courses without their knowledge, using descriptive statistics of frequency counts, mean, and standard deviation. Out of the 10 compared courses, 7 courses result showed no significant difference between students-athlete and regular students while student-athletes perform better in 3 practically oriented courses. Sports role in academics is quite significant. Exposure to sports can help build the confidence that athletes need especially when it comes to practical courses. Student-athletes can perform better in academics if the environment is friendly and not intimidating. Lecturers and coaches need to work together in order to build a well cultured and intelligent graduate.

Paper Detail
83
downloads
1045
10011881
An Application for Risk of Crime Prediction Using Machine Learning
Abstract:
The increase of the world population, especially in large urban centers, has resulted in new challenges particularly with the control and optimization of public safety. Thus, in the present work, a solution is proposed for the prediction of criminal occurrences in a city based on historical data of incidents and demographic information. The entire research and implementation will be presented start with the data collection from its original source, the treatment and transformations applied to them, choice and the evaluation and implementation of the Machine Learning model up to the application layer. Classification models will be implemented to predict criminal risk for a given time interval and location. Machine Learning algorithms such as Random Forest, Neural Networks, K-Nearest Neighbors and Logistic Regression will be used to predict occurrences, and their performance will be compared according to the data processing and transformation used. The results show that the use of Machine Learning techniques helps to anticipate criminal occurrences, which contributed to the reinforcement of public security. Finally, the models were implemented on a platform that will provide an API to enable other entities to make requests for predictions in real-time. An application will also be presented where it is possible to show criminal predictions visually.
Paper Detail
115
downloads
1044
10011729
Study on Landscape Pattern Evolution of Ecological-Living-Industrial Land in Plateau Mountainous Area: A Case Study of Yuxi City, Yunnan Province
Abstract:

The coordination and development of ecological-living-industrial land uses are the premise foundations for the formulation and implementation of the current land space planning, and more attention should be paid to plateau mountainous areas. This research is based on spatial analysis technology and landscape pattern index method taking Yuxi city, a typical mountainous plateau as the research area. By using relevant software such as ArcGIS10.5, Fragstats 4.2 and the four remote sensing images of Yuxi city in 1980, 1995, 2005 and 2015, the temporal-spatial evolution and differentiation pattern of ecological-living-industrial land applications have been discussed. The research results show that: (1) From the perspective of land use type change, ecological land of Yuxi city has been the main source of land from 1980 to 2015, which totally occupies more than 78%. During this period, the spatial structure of the ecological-living-industrial land changed significantly, namely, the living land. Its land area increased significantly from 0.83% of the total area in 1980 to 1.25% in 2015, the change range of ecological land and industrial land is relatively small. (2) In terms of land use landscape pattern transfer matrix, from 1980 to 2015, the industrial land and ecological land in Yuxi city have been gradually transferred to living land. (3) In the aspect of landscape pattern changes, various landscape pattern indexes of Yuxi city indicate that the fragmentation degree of landscape pattern of the ecological-living-industrial land in this region is increasing. The degree of agglomeration goes down, and the landscape types have changed from being relatively simple to relatively rich. The landscape is more diverse, but the patch size is uneven, meanwhile, the integrity of the ecological space is destroyed.

Paper Detail
143
downloads
1043
10011733
Blueprinting of a Normalized Supply Chain Processes: Results in Implementing Normalized Software Systems
Abstract:

With the technology evolving every day and with the increase in global competition, industries are always under the pressure to be the best. They need to provide good quality products at competitive prices, when and how the customer wants them.  In order to achieve this level of service, products and their respective supply chain processes need to be flexible and evolvable; otherwise changes will be extremely expensive, slow and with many combinatorial effects. Those combinatorial effects impact the whole organizational structure, from a management, financial, documentation, logistics and specially the information system Enterprise Requirement Planning (ERP) perspective. By applying the normalized system concept/theory to segments of the supply chain, we believe minimal effects, especially at the time of launching an organization global software project. The purpose of this paper is to point out that if an organization wants to develop a software from scratch or implement an existing ERP software for their business needs and if their business processes are normalized and modular then most probably this will yield to a normalized and modular software system that can be easily modified when the business evolves. Another important goal of this paper is to increase the awareness regarding the design of the business processes in a software implementation project. If the blueprints created are normalized then the software developers and configurators will use those modular blueprints to map them into modular software. This paper only prepares the ground for further studies;  the above concept will be supported by going through the steps of developing, configuring and/or implementing a software system for an organization by using two methods: The Software Development Lifecycle method (SDLC) and the Accelerated SAP implementation method (ASAP). Both methods start with the customer requirements, then blue printing of its business processes and finally mapping those processes into a software system.  Since those requirements and processes are the starting point of the implementation process, then normalizing those processes will end up in a normalizing software.

Keywords:
Paper Detail
105
downloads
1042
10011746
Towards Real-Time Classification of Finger Movement Direction Using Encephalography Independent Components
Abstract:
This study explores the practicality of using electroencephalographic (EEG) independent components to predict eight-direction finger movements in pseudo-real-time. Six healthy participants with individual-head MRI images performed finger movements in eight directions with two different arm configurations. The analysis was performed in two stages. The first stage consisted of using independent component analysis (ICA) to separate the signals representing brain activity from non-brain activity signals and to obtain the unmixing matrix. The resulting independent components (ICs) were checked, and those reflecting brain-activity were selected. Finally, the time series of the selected ICs were used to predict eight finger-movement directions using Sparse Logistic Regression (SLR). The second stage consisted of using the previously obtained unmixing matrix, the selected ICs, and the model obtained by applying SLR to classify a different EEG dataset. This method was applied to two different settings, namely the single-participant level and the group-level. For the single-participant level, the EEG dataset used in the first stage and the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the same participant. For the group-level, the EEG datasets used in the first stage were constructed by temporally concatenating each combination without repetition of the EEG datasets of five participants out of six, whereas the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the remaining participants. The average test classification results across datasets (mean ± S.D.) were 38.62 ± 8.36% for the single-participant, which was significantly higher than the chance level (12.50 ± 0.01%), and 27.26 ± 4.39% for the group-level which was also significantly higher than the chance level (12.49% ± 0.01%). The classification accuracy within [–45°, 45°] of the true direction is 70.03 ± 8.14% for single-participant and 62.63 ± 6.07% for group-level which may be promising for some real-life applications. Clustering and contribution analyses further revealed the brain regions involved in finger movement and the temporal aspect of their contribution to the classification. These results showed the possibility of using the ICA-based method in combination with other methods to build a real-time system to control prostheses.
Paper Detail
148
downloads
1041
10011759
Qualitative Profiling in Practice: The Italian Public Employment Services Experience
Abstract:

The development of a qualitative method to profile jobseekers is needed to improve the quality of the Public Employment Services (PES) in Italy. This is why the National Agency for Active Labour Market Policies (ANPAL) decided to introduce a Qualitative Profiling Service in the context of the activities carried out by local employment offices’ operators. The qualitative profiling service provides information and data regarding the jobseeker’s personal transition status, through a semi-structured questionnaire administered to PES clients during the guidance interview. The questionnaire responses allow PES staff to identify, for each client, proper activities and policy measures to support jobseekers in their reintegration into the labour market. Data and information gathered by the qualitative profiling tool are the following: frequency, modalities and motivations for clients to apply to local employment offices; clients’ expectations and skills; difficulties that they have faced during the previous working experiences; strategies, actions undertaken and activated channels for job search. These data are used to assess jobseekers’ personal and career characteristics and to measure their employability level (qualitative profiling index), in order to develop and deliver tailor-made action programmes for each client. This paper illustrates the use of the above-mentioned qualitative profiling service on the national territory and provides an overview of the main findings of the survey: concerning the difficulties that unemployed people face in finding a job and their perception of different aspects related to the transition in the labour market. The survey involved over 10.000 jobseekers registered with the PES. Most of them are beneficiaries of the “citizens' income”, a specific active labour policy and social inclusion measure. Furthermore, data analysis allows classifying jobseekers into a specific group of clients with similar features and behaviours, on the basis of socio-demographic variables, customers' expectations, needs and required skills for the profession for which they seek employment. Finally, the survey collects PES staff opinions and comments concerning clients’ difficulties in finding a new job and also their strengths. This is a starting point for PESs’ operators to define adequate strategies to facilitate jobseekers’ access or reintegration into the labour market.

Paper Detail
121
downloads
1040
10011762
Parametric Approach for Reserve Liability Estimate in Mortgage Insurance
Abstract:

Chain Ladder (CL) method, Expected Loss Ratio (ELR) method and Bornhuetter-Ferguson (BF) method, in addition to more complex transition-rate modeling, are commonly used actuarial reserving methods in general insurance. There is limited published research about their relative performance in the context of Mortgage Insurance (MI). In our experience, these traditional techniques pose unique challenges and do not provide stable claim estimates for medium to longer term liabilities. The relative strengths and weaknesses among various alternative approaches revolve around: stability in the recent loss development pattern, sufficiency and reliability of loss development data, and agreement/disagreement between reported losses to date and ultimate loss estimate. CL method results in volatile reserve estimates, especially for accident periods with little development experience. The ELR method breaks down especially when ultimate loss ratios are not stable and predictable. While the BF method provides a good tradeoff between the loss development approach (CL) and ELR, the approach generates claim development and ultimate reserves that are disconnected from the ever-to-date (ETD) development experience for some accident years that have more development experience. Further, BF is based on subjective a priori assumption. The fundamental shortcoming of these methods is their inability to model exogenous factors, like the economy, which impact various cohorts at the same chronological time but at staggered points along their life-time development. This paper proposes an alternative approach of parametrizing the loss development curve and using logistic regression to generate the ultimate loss estimate for each homogeneous group (accident year or delinquency period). The methodology was tested on an actual MI claim development dataset where various cohorts followed a sigmoidal trend, but levels varied substantially depending upon the economic and operational conditions during the development period spanning over many years. The proposed approach provides the ability to indirectly incorporate such exogenous factors and produce more stable loss forecasts for reserving purposes as compared to the traditional CL and BF methods.

Paper Detail
94
downloads
1039
10011773
Mechanical Properties of Enset Fibers Obtained from Different Breeds of Enset Plant
Abstract:
Enset fiber is agricultural waste and available in a surplus amount in Ethiopia. However, the hypothesized variation in properties of this fiber due to diversity of its plant source breed, fiber position within plant stem and chemical treatment duration had not proven that its application for the development of composite products is problematic. Currently, limited data are known on the functional properties of the fiber as a potential functional fiber. Thus, an effort is made in this study to narrow the knowledge gaps by characterizing it. The experimental design was conducted using Design-Expert software and the tensile test was conducted on Enset fiber from 10 breeds: Dego, Dirbo, Gishera, Itine, Siskela, Neciho, Yesherkinke, Tuzuma, Ankogena, and Kucharkia. The effects of 5% Na-OH surface treatment duration and fiber location along and across the plant pseudostem was also investigated. The test result shows that the rupture stress variation is not significant among the fibers from 10 Enset breeds. However, strain variation is significant among the fibers from 10 Enset breeds that breed Dego fiber has the highest strain before failure. Surface treated fibers showed improved rupture strength and elastic modulus per 24 hours of treatment duration. Also, the result showed that chemical treatment can deteriorate the load-bearing capacity of the fiber. The raw fiber has the higher load-bearing capacity than the treated fiber. And, it was noted that both the rupture stress and strain increase in the top to bottom gradient, whereas there is no significant variation across the stem. Elastic modulus variation both along and across the stem was insignificant. The rupture stress, elastic modulus, and strain result of Enset fiber are 360.11 ± 181.86 MPa, 12.80 ± 6.85 GPa and 0.04 ± 0.02 mm/mm, respectively. These results show that Enset fiber is comparable to other natural fibers such as abaca, banana, and sisal fibers and can be used as alternatives natural fiber for composites application. Besides, the insignificant variation of properties among breeds and across stem is essential for all breeds and all leaf sheath of the Enset fiber plant for fiber extraction. The use of short natural fiber over the long is preferable to reduce the significant variation of properties along the stem or fiber direction. In conclusion, Enset fiber application for composite product design and development is mechanically feasible.
Paper Detail
131
downloads
1038
10011775
Native Plants Marketing by Entrepreneurs in the Landscaping Industry in Japan
Authors:
Abstract:

Entrepreneurs are welcomed to the landscaping industry, conserving practically and theoretically biological diversity in landscaping construction, although there are limited reports on corporative trials making a market with a new logistics system of native plants (NP) between landscaping companies and nurserymen. This paper explores the entrepreneurial process of a landscaping company, “5byMidori” for NP marketing. This paper employs a case study design. Data are collected in interviews with the manager and designer of 5byMidori, 2 scientists, 1 organization, and 18 nurserymen, fieldworks at two nurseries, observations of marketing activities in three years, and texts from published documents about the business concept and marketing strategy with NP. These data are analyzed by qualitative methods. The results show that NP is suitable for the vision of 5byMidori improving urban desertified environment with closer urban-rural linkage. Professional landscaping team changes a forestry organization into NP producers conserving a large nursery of a mountain. Multifaceted PR based on the entrepreneurial context and personal background of a landscaping venture can foster team members' businesses and help customers and users to understand the biodiversity value of the product. Wider partnerships with existing nurserymen at other sites in many regions need socio-economic incentives and environmental reliability. In conclusion, the entrepreneurial marketing of a landscaping company needs to add more meanings and a variety of merits in terms of ecosystem services, as NP tends to be in academic definition and independent from the cultures like nurseryman and forestry.

Paper Detail
148
downloads
1037
10011792
Evaluation of Pragmatic Information in an English Textbook: Focus on Requests
Authors:
Abstract:

Learning to request in a foreign language is a key ability within pragmatics language teaching. This paper examines how requests are taught in English Unlimited Book 3 (Cambridge University Press), an EFL textbook series employed by King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to teach advanced foundation year students English. The focus of analysis is the evaluation of the request linguistic strategies present in the textbook, frequency of the use of these strategies, and the contextual information provided on the use of these linguistic forms. The researcher collected all the linguistic forms which consisted of the request speech act and divided them into levels employing the CCSARP request coding manual. Findings demonstrated that simple and commonly employed request strategies are introduced. Looking closely at the exercises throughout the chapters, it was noticeable that the book exclusively employed the most direct form of requesting (the imperative) when giving learners instructions: e.g. listen, write, ask, answer, read, look, complete, choose, talk, think, etc. The book also made use of some other request strategies such as ‘hedged performatives’ and ‘query preparatory’. However, it was also found that many strategies were not dealt with in the book, specifically strategies with combined functions (e.g. possibility, ability). On a sociopragmatic level, a strong focus was found to exist on standard situations in which relations between the requester and requestee are clear. In general, contextual information was communicated implicitly only. The textbook did not seem to differentiate between formal and informal request contexts (register) which might consequently impel students to overgeneralize. The paper closes with some recommendations for textbook and curriculum designers. Findings are also contrasted with previous results from similar body of research on EFL requests.

Paper Detail
99
downloads
1036
10011808
The Women Entrepreneur Support Fund in Bangladesh: Challenges and Prospects
Abstract:

Gender is about equal rights that both males and females having access to responsibilities and opportunities in decision making is a fundamental human right. It is also a precondition for, and a mark of, sustainable people-oriented development. In Bangladesh, women have fewer opportunities than men do to access credit from banks and financial institutions. Entrenched patriarchal attitudes, unequal inheritance rights, and male-dominated hierarchies in the financial system, plus high interest rates and a lack of security/collateral, make it harder for women to obtain bank loans. Limited access to institutional credit is a serious restraint on the productivity and income of women entrepreneurs, (and the wider economy). These gender-biased and structural barriers inhibit women’s access to fundamental economic rights. Using a liberal feminist theoretical lens, this study provides some useful insights into the relationship between gender inequality and entrepreneurship, leading to a better understanding of women’s entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Recently, the Bangladesh Government, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and Bangladesh Bank opened up the Women Entrepreneur Support Fund (WESF) ‒ Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) pilot project to cover collateral shortfalls for women entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise sector. The aim is to improve gender equality and advance women’s rights in relation to receiving credit. This article examines the challenges and prospects of the WESF-CGS, and suggests that implementation of measures in WESF-CGS policymaking, coupled with a combination of legislatory and regulatory reforms that implement the fundamental tenets of liberal feminism, can lead to a comprehensive and effective credit policy to boost women’s agency and economic empowerment. This may ultimately lead to more sustainable development in Bangladesh.

Paper Detail
167
downloads
1035
10011632
A Machine Learning Based Framework for Education Levelling in Multicultural Countries: UAE as a Case Study
Abstract:

In Abu Dhabi, there are many different education curriculums where sector of private schools and quality assurance is supervising many private schools in Abu Dhabi for many nationalities. As there are many different education curriculums in Abu Dhabi to meet expats’ needs, there are different requirements for registration and success. In addition, there are different age groups for starting education in each curriculum. In fact, each curriculum has a different number of years, assessment techniques, reassessment rules, and exam boards. Currently, students that transfer curriculums are not being placed in the right year group due to different start and end dates of each academic year and their date of birth for each year group is different for each curriculum and as a result, we find students that are either younger or older for that year group which therefore creates gaps in their learning and performance. In addition, there is not a way of storing student data throughout their academic journey so that schools can track the student learning process. In this paper, we propose to develop a computational framework applicable in multicultural countries such as UAE in which multi-education systems are implemented. The ultimate goal is to use cloud and fog computing technology integrated with Artificial Intelligence techniques of Machine Learning to aid in a smooth transition when assigning students to their year groups, and provide leveling and differentiation information of students who relocate from a particular education curriculum to another, whilst also having the ability to store and access student data from anywhere throughout their academic journey.

Paper Detail
206
downloads
1034
10011685
Enhancement of Accountability within the South African Public Sector: Knowledge Gained from the Case of a National Commissioner of the South African Police Service
Abstract:

The paper scrutinizes the literature on accountability and non-accountability, and then presents an analysis of a South African case which demonstrated consequences of a lack of accountability. Ethical conduct displayed by members of the public sector is integral to creating a sustainable democratic government, which upholds the constitutional tenets of accountability, transparency and professional ethicality. Furthermore, a true constitutional democracy emphasises and advocates the notion of service leadership that nurtures public participation and engages with citizens in a positive manner. Ethical conduct and accountability in the public sector earns public trust; hence these are key principles in good governance. Yet, in the years since the advent of democracy in South Africa, the government has been plagued by rampant corruption and mal-administration by public officials and politicians in leadership positions. The control measures passed by government in an attempt to ensure ethicality and accountability within the public sector include codes of ethics, rules of conduct and the enactment of legislation. These are intended to shape the mindset of members of the public sector, with the ultimate aim of an efficient, effective, ethical, responsive and accountable public service. The purpose of the paper is to analyse control systems and accountability within the public sector and to present reasons for non-accountability by means of a selected case study. The selected case study is the corruption trial of Jackie Selebi, who served as National Commissioner of the South African Police Service but was dismissed from the post. The reasons for non-accountability in the public sector as well as recommendations based on the findings to enhance accountability will be undertaken. The case study demonstrates the experience and impact of corruption and/or mal-administration, as a result of a lack of accountability, which has contributed to the increasing loss of confidence in political leadership in the country as elsewhere in the world. The literature is applied to the erstwhile National Commissioner of the South African Police Service and President of Interpol, as a case study of non-accountability.

Paper Detail
173
downloads
1033
10011699
Lifelong Distance Learning and Skills Development: A Case Study Analysis in Greece
Authors:
Abstract:

Distance learning provides a flexible approach to education, enabling busy learners to complete their coursework at their own pace, on their own schedule, and from a convenient location. This flexibility combined with a series of other issues; make the benefits of lifelong distance learning numerous. The purpose of the paper is to investigate whether distance education can contribute to the improvement of adult skills in Greece, highlighting in this way the necessity of the lifelong distance learning. To investigate this goal, a questionnaire is constructed and analyzed based on responses from 3,016 attendees of lifelong distance learning programs in the e-learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. In order to do so, a series of relationships is examined including the effects of a) the gender, b) the previous educational level, c) the current employment status, and d) the method used in the distance learning program, on the development of new general, technical, administrative, social, cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills. The basic conclusions that emerge after using a binary logistic framework are that the following factors are critical in order to develop new skills: the gender, the education level and the educational method used in the lifelong distance learning program. The skills more significantly affected by those factors are the acquiring new skills in general, as well as acquiring general, language and cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills, while for technical and social skills only gender and educational method play a crucial role. Moreover, routine skills and social skills are not affected by the four factors included in the analysis.

Paper Detail
114
downloads
1032
10011712
Encouraging Collaboration and Innovation: The New Engineering Oriented Educational Reform in Urban Planning, Tianjin University, China
Abstract:

Engineering science and technology progress and innovation have become an important engine to promote social development. The reform exploration of "new engineering" in China has drawn extensive attention around the world, with its connotation as "to cultivate future diversified, innovative and outstanding engineering talents by taking ‘fostering character and civic virtue’ as the guide, responding to changes and shaping the future as the construction concept, and inheritance and innovation, crossover and fusion, coordination and sharing as the principal approach". In this context, Tianjin University, as a traditional Chinese university with advantages in engineering, further launched the CCII (Coherent-Collaborative-Interdisciplinary-Innovation) program, raising the cultivation idea of integrating new liberal arts education, multidisciplinary engineering education and personalized professional education. As urban planning practice in China has undergone the evolution of "physical planning -- comprehensive strategic planning -- resource management-oriented planning", planning education has also experienced the transmutation process of "building foundation -- urban scientific foundation -- multi-disciplinary integration". As a characteristic and advantageous discipline of Tianjin University, the major of Urban and Rural Planning, in accordance with the "CCII Program of Tianjin University", aims to build China's top and world-class major, and implements the following educational reform measures: 1. Adding corresponding English courses, such as advanced course on GIS Analysis, courses on comparative studies in international planning involving ecological resources and the sociology of the humanities, etc. 2. Holding "Academician Forum", inviting international academicians to give lectures or seminars to track international frontier scientific research issues. 3. Organizing "International Joint Workshop" to provide students with international exchange and design practice platform. 4. Setting up a business practice base, so that students can find problems from practice and solve them in an innovative way. Through these measures, the Urban and Rural Planning major of Tianjin University has formed a talent training system with multi-disciplinary cross integration and orienting to the future science and technology.

Paper Detail
144
downloads
1031
10011544
Fast Approximate Bayesian Contextual Cold Start Learning (FAB-COST)
Abstract:
Cold-start is a notoriously difficult problem which can occur in recommendation systems, and arises when there is insufficient information to draw inferences for users or items. To address this challenge, a contextual bandit algorithm – the Fast Approximate Bayesian Contextual Cold Start Learning algorithm (FAB-COST) – is proposed, which is designed to provide improved accuracy compared to the traditionally used Laplace approximation in the logistic contextual bandit, while controlling both algorithmic complexity and computational cost. To this end, FAB-COST uses a combination of two moment projection variational methods: Expectation Propagation (EP), which performs well at the cold start, but becomes slow as the amount of data increases; and Assumed Density Filtering (ADF), which has slower growth of computational cost with data size but requires more data to obtain an acceptable level of accuracy. By switching from EP to ADF when the dataset becomes large, it is able to exploit their complementary strengths. The empirical justification for FAB-COST is presented, and systematically compared to other approaches on simulated data. In a benchmark against the Laplace approximation on real data consisting of over 670, 000 impressions from autotrader.co.uk, FAB-COST demonstrates at one point increase of over 16% in user clicks. On the basis of these results, it is argued that FAB-COST is likely to be an attractive approach to cold-start recommendation systems in a variety of contexts.
Paper Detail
138
downloads
1030
10011578
The Effect on Lead Times When Normalizing a Supply Chain Process
Abstract:
Organizations are living in a very competitive and dynamic environment which is constantly changing. In order to achieve a high level of service, the products and processes of these organizations need to be flexible and evolvable. If the supply chains are not modular and well designed, changes can bring combinatorial effects to most areas of a company from its management, financial, documentation, logistics and its information structure. Applying the normalized system’s concept to segments of the supply chain may help in reducing those ripple effects, but it may also increase lead times. Lead times are important and can become a decisive element in gaining customers. Industries are always under the pressure in providing good quality products, at competitive prices, when and how the customer wants them. Most of the time, the customers want their orders now, if not yesterday. The above concept will be proven by examining lead times in a manufacturing example before and after applying normalized systems concept to that segment of the chain. We will then show that although we can minimize the combinatorial effects when changes occur, the lead times will be increased.
Paper Detail
170
downloads
1029
10011587
Low-Cost Mechatronic Design of an Omnidirectional Mobile Robot
Abstract:

This paper presents the results of a mechatronic design based on a 4-wheel omnidirectional mobile robot that can be used in indoor logistic applications. The low-level control has been selected using two open-source hardware (Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and Arduino Mega 2560) that control four industrial motors, four ultrasound sensors, four optical encoders, a vision system of two cameras, and a Hokuyo URG-04LX-UG01 laser scanner. Moreover, the system is powered with a lithium battery that can supply 24 V DC and a maximum current-hour of 20Ah.The Robot Operating System (ROS) has been implemented in the Raspberry Pi and the performance is evaluated with the selection of the sensors and hardware selected. The mechatronic system is evaluated and proposed safe modes of power distribution for controlling all the electronic devices based on different tests. Therefore, based on different performance results, some recommendations are indicated for using the Raspberry Pi and Arduino in terms of power, communication, and distribution of control for different devices. According to these recommendations, the selection of sensors is distributed in both real-time controllers (Arduino and Raspberry Pi). On the other hand, the drivers of the cameras have been implemented in Linux and a python program has been implemented to access the cameras. These cameras will be used for implementing a deep learning algorithm to recognize people and objects. In this way, the level of intelligence can be increased in combination with the maps that can be obtained from the laser scanner.

Paper Detail
161
downloads
1028
10011607
Developing an Advanced Algorithm Capable of Classifying News, Articles and Other Textual Documents Using Text Mining Techniques
Abstract:

The reason for conducting this research is to develop an algorithm that is capable of classifying news articles from the automobile industry, according to the competitive actions that they entail, with the use of Text Mining (TM) methods. It is needed to test how to properly preprocess the data for this research by preparing pipelines which fits each algorithm the best. The pipelines are tested along with nine different classification algorithms in the realm of regression, support vector machines, and neural networks. Preliminary testing for identifying the optimal pipelines and algorithms resulted in the selection of two algorithms with two different pipelines. The two algorithms are Logistic Regression (LR) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). These algorithms are optimized further, where several parameters of each algorithm are tested. The best result is achieved with the ANN. The final model yields an accuracy of 0.79, a precision of 0.80, a recall of 0.78, and an F1 score of 0.76. By removing three of the classes that created noise, the final algorithm is capable of reaching an accuracy of 94%.

Paper Detail
116
downloads
1027
10011622
The Relationship between Class Attendance and Performance of Industrial Engineering Students Enrolled for a Statistics Subject at the University of Technology
Abstract:

Class attendance is key at all levels of education. At tertiary level many students develop a tendency of not attending all classes without being aware of the repercussions of not attending all classes. It is important for all students to attend all classes as they can receive first-hand information and they can benefit more. The student who attends classes is likely to perform better academically than the student who does not. The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between class attendance and academic performance of industrial engineering students. The data for this study were collected through the attendance register of students and the other data were accessed from the Integrated Tertiary Software and the Higher Education Data Analyzer Portal. Data analysis was conducted on a sample of 93 students. The results revealed that students with medium predicate scores (OR = 3.8; p = 0.027) and students with low predicate scores (OR = 21.4, p < 0.001) were significantly likely to attend less than 80% of the classes as compared to students with high predicate scores. Students with examination performance of less than 50% were likely to attend less than 80% of classes than students with examination performance of 50% and above, but the differences were not statistically significant (OR = 1.3; p = 0.750).

Paper Detail
110
downloads
1026
10011525
Physiological Effects on Scientist Astronaut Candidates: Hypobaric Training Assessment
Abstract:

This paper is addressed to expanding our understanding of the effects of hypoxia training on our bodies to better model its dynamics and leverage some of its implications and effects on human health. Hypoxia training is a recommended practice for military and civilian pilots that allow them to recognize their early hypoxia signs and symptoms, and Scientist Astronaut Candidates (SACs) who underwent hypobaric hypoxia (HH) exposure as part of a training activity for prospective suborbital flight applications. This observational-analytical study describes physiologic responses and symptoms experienced by a SAC group before, during and after HH exposure and proposes a model for assessing predicted versus observed physiological responses. A group of individuals with diverse Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) backgrounds conducted a hypobaric training session to an altitude up to 22,000 ft (FL220) or 6,705 meters, where heart rate (HR), breathing rate (BR) and core temperature (Tc) were monitored with the use of a chest strap sensor pre and post HH exposure. A pulse oximeter registered levels of saturation of oxygen (SpO2), number and duration of desaturations during the HH chamber flight. Hypoxia symptoms as described by the SACs during the HH training session were also registered. This data allowed to generate a preliminary predictive model of the oxygen desaturation and O2 pressure curve for each subject, which consists of a sixth-order polynomial fit during exposure, and a fifth or fourth-order polynomial fit during recovery. Data analysis showed that HR and BR showed no significant differences between pre and post HH exposure in most of the SACs, while Tc measures showed slight but consistent decrement changes. All subjects registered SpO2 greater than 94% for the majority of their individual HH exposures, but all of them presented at least one clinically significant desaturation (SpO2 < 85% for more than 5 seconds) and half of the individuals showed SpO2 below 87% for at least 30% of their HH exposure time. Finally, real time collection of HH symptoms presented temperature somatosensory perceptions (SP) for 65% of individuals, and task-focus issues for 52.5% of individuals as the most common HH indications. 95% of the subjects experienced HH onset symptoms below FL180; all participants achieved full recovery of HH symptoms within 1 minute of donning their O2 mask. The current HH study performed on this group of individuals suggests a rapid and fully reversible physiologic response after HH exposure as expected and obtained in previous studies. Our data showed consistent results between predicted versus observed SpO2 curves during HH suggesting a mathematical function that may be used to model HH performance deficiencies. During the HH study, real-time HH symptoms were registered providing evidenced SP and task focusing as the earliest and most common indicators. Finally, an assessment of HH signs of symptoms in a group of heterogeneous, non-pilot individuals showed similar results to previous studies in homogeneous populations of pilots.

Paper Detail
115
downloads