Road safety performance index is a composite index which combines various indicators of road safety into single number. Development of a road safety performance index using appropriate safety performance indicators is essential to enhance road safety. However, a road safety performance index in developing countries has not been given as much priority as needed. The primary objective of this research is to develop a general Road Safety Performance Index (RSPI) for developing countries based on the facility as well as behavior of road user. The secondary objectives include finding the critical inputs in the RSPI and finding the better method of making the index. In this study, the RSPI is developed by selecting four main safety performance indicators i.e., protective system (seat belt, helmet etc.), road (road width, signalized intersections, number of lanes, speed limit), number of pedestrians, and number of vehicles. Data on these four safety performance indicators were collected using observation survey on a 20 km road section of the National Highway N-125 road Taxila, Pakistan. For the development of this composite index, two methods are used: a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and b) Equal Weighting (EW) method. PCA is used for extraction, weighting, and linear aggregation of indicators to obtain a single value. An individual index score was calculated for each road section by multiplication of weights and standardized values of each safety performance indicator. However, Simple Average technique was used for weighting and linear aggregation of indicators to develop a RSPI. The road sections are ranked according to RSPI scores using both methods. The two weighting methods are compared, and the PCA method is found to be much more reliable than the Simple Average Technique.
Cotton, as a strategic crop, plays an important role in providing human food and clothing need, because of its oil, protein, and fiber. Iran has been one of the largest cotton producers in the world in the past, but unfortunately, for economic reasons, its production is reduced now. One of the ways to reduce the cost of cotton production is to expand the mechanization of cotton harvesting. Iranian farmers do not accept the function of cotton harvesters. One reason for this lack of acceptance of cotton harvesting machines is the number of field losses on these machines. So, the majority of cotton fields are harvested by hand. Although the correct setting of the harvesting machine is very important in the cotton losses, the morphological properties of the cotton plant also affect the performance of cotton harvesters. In this study, the effect of some cotton morphological properties such as the height of the cotton plant, number, and length of sympodial and monopodial branches, boll dimensions, boll weight, number of carpels and bracts angle were evaluated on the performance of cotton picker. In this research, the efficiency of John Deere 9920 spindle Cotton picker is investigated on five different Iranian cotton cultivars. The results indicate that there was a significant difference between the five cultivars in terms of machine harvest efficiency. Golestan cultivar showed the best cotton harvester performance with an average of 87.6% of total harvestable seed cotton and Khorshid cultivar had the least cotton harvester performance. The principal component analysis showed that, at 50.76% probability, the cotton picker efficiency is affected by the bracts angle positively and by boll dimensions, the number of carpels and the height of cotton plants negatively. The seed cotton remains (in the plant and on the ground) after harvester in PCA scatter plot were in the same zone with boll dimensions and several carpels.
Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy coupled with chemometrics was used to distinguish between butter samples and non-butter samples. Further, quantification of the content of margarine in adulterated butter samples was investigated. Fingerprinting region (1400-800 cm–1) was used to develop unsupervised pattern recognition (Principal Component Analysis, PCA), supervised modeling (Soft Independent Modelling by Class Analogy, SIMCA), classification (Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis, PLS-DA) and regression (Partial Least Squares Regression, PLS-R) models. PCA of the fingerprinting region shows a clustering of the two sample types. All samples were classified in their rightful class by SIMCA approach; however, nine adulterated samples (between 1% and 30% w/w of margarine) were classified as belonging both at the butter class and at the non-butter one. In the two-class PLS-DA model’s (R2 = 0.73, RMSEP, Root Mean Square Error of Prediction = 0.26% w/w) sensitivity was 71.4% and Positive Predictive Value (PPV) 100%. Its threshold was calculated at 7% w/w of margarine in adulterated butter samples. Finally, PLS-R model (R2 = 0.84, RMSEP = 16.54%) was developed. PLS-DA was a suitable classification tool and PLS-R a proper quantification approach. Results demonstrate that FT-IR spectroscopy combined with PLS-R can be used as a rapid, simple and safe method to identify pure butter samples from adulterated ones and to determine the grade of adulteration of margarine in butter samples.
Blood pressure helps the physicians greatly to have a deep insight into the cardiovascular system. The determination of individual blood pressure is a standard clinical procedure considered for cardiovascular system problems. The conventional techniques to measure blood pressure (e.g. cuff method) allows a limited number of readings for a certain period (e.g. every 5-10 minutes). Additionally, these systems cause turbulence to blood flow; impeding continuous blood pressure monitoring, especially in emergency cases or critically ill persons. In this paper, the most important statistical features in the photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals were extracted to estimate the blood pressure noninvasively. PPG signals from more than 40 subjects were measured and analyzed and 12 features were extracted. The features were fed to principal component analysis (PCA) to find the most important independent features that have the highest correlation with blood pressure. The results show that the stiffness index means and standard deviation for the beat-to-beat heart rate were the most important features. A model representing both features for Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) was obtained using a statistical regression technique. Surface fitting is used to best fit the series of data and the results show that the error value in estimating the SBP is 4.95% and in estimating the DBP is 3.99%.
Substantial research has indicated that socioeconomic and demographic characteristics’ of neighborhoods are strong determinants of food security. The aim of this study was to develop a Food Insecurity Neighborhood Index (FINI) based on the associated socioeconomic and demographic variables to identify the areas at potential risk of food insecurity in rural British Columbia (BC). Principle Component Analysis (PCA) technique was used to calculate the FINI for each rural Dissemination Area (DA) using the food security determinant variables from Canadian Census data. Using ArcGIS, the neighborhoods with the top quartile FINI values were classified as food insecure. The results of this study indicated that the most food insecure neighborhood with the highest FINI value of 99.1 was in the Bulkley-Nechako (central BC) area whereas the lowest FINI with the value of 2.97 was for a rural neighborhood in the Cowichan Valley area. In total, 98.049 (19%) of the rural population of British Columbians reside in high food insecure areas. Moreover, the distribution of food insecure neighborhoods was found to be strongly dependent on the degree of rurality in BC. In conclusion, the cluster of food insecure neighbourhoods was more pronounced in Central Coast, Mount Wadington, Peace River, Kootenay Boundary, and the Alberni-Clayoqout Regional Districts.
One possible approach for maintaining the security of communication systems relies on Physical Layer Security mechanisms. However, in wireless time division duplex systems, where uplink and downlink channels are reciprocal, the channel estimate procedure is exposed to attacks known as pilot contamination, with the aim of having an enhanced data signal sent to the malicious user. The Shifted 2-N-PSK method involves two random legitimate pilots in the training phase, each of which belongs to a constellation, shifted from the original N-PSK symbols by certain degrees. In this paper, legitimate pilots’ offset values and their influence on the detection capabilities of the Shifted 2-N-PSK method are investigated. As the implementation of the technique depends on the relation between the shift angles rather than their specific values, the optimal interconnection between the two legitimate constellations is investigated. The results show that no regularity exists in the relation between the pilot contamination attacks (PCA) detection probability and the choice of offset values. Therefore, an adversary who aims to obtain the exact offset values can only employ a brute-force attack but the large number of possible combinations for the shifted constellations makes such a type of attack difficult to successfully mount. For this reason, the number of optimal shift value pairs is also studied for both 100% and 98% probabilities of detecting pilot contamination attacks. Although the Shifted 2-N-PSK method has been broadly studied in different signal-to-noise ratio scenarios, in multi-cell systems the interference from the signals in other cells should be also taken into account. Therefore, the inter-cell interference impact on the performance of the method is investigated by means of a large number of simulations. The results show that the detection probability of the Shifted 2-N-PSK decreases inversely to the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio.
Neuropsychological problems are more common in hemodialysis (HD) patients than in healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long term HD on memory types of HD patients. To assess the different type of memory, we used memory parts of the Persian Papers and Pencil Cognitive assessment package (PCAP) and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-R). Our study included 80 HD patients of whom 39 had less than six months of HD and 41 patients and another group which had a history of HD more than six months. The population had a mean age of 51.60 years old and 27.5% of them were female. The scores of patients who have been hemodialyzed for a long time (median time of HD was up to 4 years) had lower score in anterograde, explicit, visual, recall and recognition memory (5.44±1.07, 9.49±3.472, 22.805±6.6913, 5.59±10.435, 11.02±3.190 score) than the HD patients who underwent HD for a shorter term, where the median time was 3 to 5 months (P<0.01). The regression result shows that, by increasing the HD duration, all memory types are reduced (R2=0.600, P<0.01). The present study demonstrated that HD patients who were under HD for a long time had significantly lower scores in the different types of memory. However, additional researches are needed in this area.
Andarokh basin is one of the main karstic regions in Khorasan Razavi province NE Iran. This basin is part of Kopeh-Dagh mega zone extending from Caspian Sea in the east to northern Afghanistan in the west. This basin is covered by Mozdooran Formation, Ngr evaporative formation and quaternary alluvium deposits in descending order of age. Mozdooran carbonate formation is notably karstified. The main surface karstic features in Mozdooran formation are Groove karren, Cleft karren, Rain pit, Rill karren, Tritt karren, Kamintza, Domes, and Table karren. In addition to surface features, deep karstic feature Andarokh Cave also exists in the region. Studying Ca, Mg, Mn, Sr, Fe concentration and Sr/Mn ratio in Mozdooran formation samples with distance to main faults and joints system using PCA analyses demonstrates intense meteoric digenesis role in controlling carbonate rock geochemistry. The karst evaluation in Andarokh basin varies from early stages 'deep seated karst' in Mesozoic to mature karstic system 'Exhumed karst' in quaternary period. Andarokh cave (the main cave in Andarokh basin) is rudimentary branch work consists of three passages of A, B and C and two entrances Andarokh and Sky.
This research work aims to develop a system that will analyze and identify students who indulge in malpractices/suspicious activities during the course of an academic offline examination. Automated Video Surveillance provides an optimal solution which helps in monitoring the students and identifying the malpractice event immediately. This work is organized into three modules. The first module deals with performing an impersonation check using a PCA-based face recognition method which is done by cross checking his profile with the database. The presence or absence of the student is even determined in this module by implementing an image registration technique wherein a grid is formed by considering all the images registered using the frontal camera at the determined positions. Second, detecting such facial malpractices in which a student gets involved in conversation with another, trying to obtain unauthorized information etc., based on the threshold range evaluated by considering his/her mouth state whether open or closed. The third module deals with identification of unauthorized material or gadgets used in the examination hall by training the positive samples of the object through various stages. Here, a top view camera feed is analyzed to detect the suspicious activities. The system automatically alerts the administration when any suspicious activities are identified, thereby reducing the error rate caused due to manual monitoring. This work is an improvement over our previous work published in identifying suspicious activities done by examinees in an offline examination.
This study presents new gait representations for improving gait recognition accuracy on cross gait appearances, such as normal walking, wearing a coat and carrying a bag. Based on the Gait Energy Image (GEI), two ideas are implemented to generate new gait representations. One is to append lower knee regions to the original GEI, and the other is to apply convolutional operations to the GEI and its variants. A set of new gait representations are created and used for training multi-class Support Vector Machines (SVMs). Tests are conducted on the CASIA dataset B. Various combinations of the gait representations with different convolutional kernel size and different numbers of kernels used in the convolutional processes are examined. Both the entire images as features and reduced dimensional features by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) are tested in gait recognition. Interestingly, both new techniques, appending the lower knee regions to the original GEI and convolutional GEI, can significantly contribute to the performance improvement in the gait recognition. The experimental results have shown that the average recognition rate can be improved from 75.65% to 87.50%.
The evolution of groundwater chemistry and its quality is largely controlled by hydrogeochemical processes and their understanding is therefore important for groundwater quality assessments and protection of the water resources. A study was conducted in Bloemfontein town of South Africa to assess and compare the groundwater chemistry and quality characteristics in an alluvial aquifer and single-plane fractured-rock aquifers. 9 groundwater samples were collected from monitoring boreholes drilled into the two aquifer systems during a once-off sampling exercise. Samples were collected through low-flow purging technique and analysed for major ions and trace elements. In order to describe the hydrochemical facies and identify dominant hydrogeochemical processes, the groundwater chemistry data are interpreted using stiff diagrams and principal component analysis (PCA), as complimentary tools. The fitness of the groundwater quality for domestic and irrigation uses is also assessed. Results show that the alluvial aquifer is characterised by a Na-HCO3 hydrochemical facie while fractured-rock aquifer has a Ca-HCO3 facie. The groundwater in both aquifers originally evolved from the dissolution of calcite rocks that are common on land surface environments. However the groundwater in the alluvial aquifer further goes through another evolution as driven by cation exchange process in which Na in the sediments exchanges with Ca2+ in the Ca-HCO3 hydrochemical type to result in the Na-HCO3 hydrochemical type. Despite the difference in the hydrogeochemical processes between the alluvial aquifer and single-plane fractured-rock aquifer, this did not influence the groundwater quality. The groundwater in the two aquifers is very hard as influenced by the elevated magnesium and calcium ions that evolve from dissolution of carbonate minerals which typically occurs in surface environments. Based on total dissolved levels (600-900 mg/L), groundwater quality of the two aquifer systems is classified to be of fair quality. The negative potential impacts of the groundwater quality for domestic uses are highlighted.
The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.
In the present study an attempt has been made to re-engineer traditional wadi into wholesome ready-to-use cereal-pulse-based chunks rich in protein quality and fibre content. Chunks were made using extrusion-dehydration combination. Two formulations i.e., whole green gram dhal with instant oats and washed green gram dhal with whole oats were formulated. These chunks are versatile in nature as they can be easily incorporated in day-to-day home-made preparations such as pulao, potato curry and kadhi. Cereal-pulse ratio was calculated using NDpCal%. Limiting amino acids such as lysine, tryptophan, methionine, cysteine and threonine were calculated for maximum amino acid profile in cereal-pulse combination. Time-temperature combination for extrusion at 130oC and dehydration at 65oC for 7 hours and 15 minutes were standardized to obtain maximum protein and fibre content. Proximate analysis such as moisture, fat and ash content were analyzed. Protein content of formulation was 62.10% and 68.50% respectively. Fibre content of formulations was 2.99% and 2.45%, respectively. Using a 5-point hedonic scale, consumer preference trials of 102 consumers were conducted and analyzed. Evaluation of chunks prepared in potato curry, kadi and pulao showed preferences for colour 82%, 87%, 86%, texture and consistency 80%, 81%, 88%, flavour and aroma 74%, 82%, 86%, after taste 70%, 75%, 86% and overall acceptability 77%, 75%, 88% respectively. High temperature inactivates antinutritional compounds such as trypsin inhibitors, lectins, saponins etc. Hence, availability of protein content was increased. Developed products were palatable and easy to prepare.
Roller-compacted concrete pavement (RCCP), an environmental friendly pavement of which load carry capacity benefitted from both hydration and aggregate interlock from roller compacting, demonstrated a superb structural performance for a relatively small amount of water and cement content. Even though an excellent structural performance can be secured, it is required to investigate roller-compacted concrete (RCC) under environmental loading and its long-term durability under critical conditions. In order to secure long-term durability, an appropriate internal air-void structure is required for this concrete. In this study, a method for improving the long-term durability of RCCP is suggested by analyzing the internal air-void structure and corresponding durability of RCC. The method of improving the long-term durability involves measurements of air content, air voids, and air-spacing factors in RCC that experiences changes in terms of type of air-entraining agent and its usage amount. This test is conducted according to the testing criteria in ASTM C 457, 672, and KS F 2456. It was found that the freezing-thawing and scaling resistances of RCC without any chemical admixture was quite low. Interestingly, an improvement of freezing-thawing and scaling resistances was observed for RCC with appropriate the air entraining (AE) agent content; Relative dynamic elastic modulus was found to be more than 80% for those mixtures. In RCC with AE agent mixtures, large amount of air was distributed within a range of 2% to 3%, and an air void spacing factor ranging between 200 and 300 μm (close to 250 μm, recommended by PCA) was secured. The long-term durability of RCC has a direct relationship with air-void spacing factor, and thus it can only be secured by ensuring the air void spacing factor through the inclusion of the AE in the mixture.
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used plastics because of its low density, outstanding mechanical properties, and low cost. However, its drawbacks such as low surface energy, poor dyeability, lack of chemical functionalities, and poor compatibility with polar polymers and inorganic materials, have restricted the application of PP. To expand its application in biomedical materials, functionalization is considered to be the most effective way. In this study, PP was functionalized with a chiral monomer, (S)-1-acryloylpyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid ((S)-APCA), by free-radical grafting in the solid phase. The grafting degree of PP-g-APCA was determined by chemical titration method, and the chemical structure of functionalized PP was characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, which confirmed that the chiral monomer (S)-APCA was successfully grafted onto PP. Static water contact angle results suggested that the surface hydrophilicity of PP was significantly improved by solid phase grafting and assistance of surface water treatment. Protein adsorption and platelet adhesion results showed that hemocompatibility of PP was greatly improved by grafting the chiral monomer.
Under the circumstance of environment deterioration, people are increasingly concerned about the quality of the environment, especially air quality. As a result, it is of great value to give accurate and timely forecast of AQI (air quality index). In order to simplify influencing factors of air quality in a city, and forecast the city’s AQI tomorrow, this study used MATLAB software and adopted the method of constructing a mathematic model of PCA-GABP to provide a solution. To be specific, this study firstly made principal component analysis (PCA) of influencing factors of AQI tomorrow including aspects of weather, industry waste gas and IAQI data today. Then, we used the back propagation neural network model (BP), which is optimized by genetic algorithm (GA), to give forecast of AQI tomorrow. In order to verify validity and accuracy of PCA-GABP model’s forecast capability. The study uses two statistical indices to evaluate AQI forecast results (normalized mean square error and fractional bias). Eventually, this study reduces mean square error by optimizing individual gene structure in genetic algorithm and adjusting the parameters of back propagation model. To conclude, the performance of the model to forecast AQI is comparatively convincing and the model is expected to take positive effect in AQI forecast in the future.
The correct estimation of reference evapotranspiration (ETₒ) is required for effective irrigation water resources planning and management. However, there are some variables that must be considered while estimating and modeling ETₒ. This study therefore determines the multivariate analysis of correlated variables involved in the estimation and modeling of ETₒ at Vaalharts irrigation scheme (VIS) in South Africa using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) technique. Weather and meteorological data between 1994 and 2014 were obtained both from South African Weather Service (SAWS) and Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in South Africa for this study. Average monthly data of minimum and maximum temperature (°C), rainfall (mm), relative humidity (%), and wind speed (m/s) were the inputs to the PCA-based model, while ETₒ is the output. PCA technique was adopted to extract the most important information from the dataset and also to analyze the relationship between the five variables and ETₒ. This is to determine the most significant variables affecting ETₒ estimation at VIS. From the model performances, two principal components with a variance of 82.7% were retained after the eigenvector extraction. The results of the two principal components were compared and the model output shows that minimum temperature, maximum temperature and windspeed are the most important variables in ETₒ estimation and modeling at VIS. In order words, ETₒ increases with temperature and windspeed. Other variables such as rainfall and relative humidity are less important and cannot be used to provide enough information about ETₒ estimation at VIS. The outcome of this study has helped to reduce input variable dimensionality from five to the three most significant variables in ETₒ modelling at VIS, South Africa.
It is widely recognized that the formal financing of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) by Private Commercial Banks (PCBs) is restricted. Due to changing financial market competition, SMEs are now important customers to PCBs in the member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Various initiatives in enhancing the efficiency of risk assessment of PCBs have failed in increasing financing accessibility in the traditional financing system where information asymmetry is a key constraint. In this circumstance, PCBs need to undertake a holistic approach. Holistic approach refers to methods that attempt to fundamentally change established traditions. To undertake holistic approach, this study intends to find the entire established financing culture between PCBs and SMEs in a new lens beyond the tradition on the basis of two basic questions: “What is the traditional lending culture between PCBs and SMEs” and “What could be potential role of PCBs to develop that culture where focusing on SME financing to PCBs". This study considered formal SME financing in Bangladesh by focusing on SMEs applying for their first loan. Bangladesh is a member country of ADB. The data collection method is semi-structured and we utilized face-to-face interviews with in-depth branch managers, higher officials and owner-managers of SME customers of PCBs and higher officials of SME Foundation and the Bangladesh central bank. Discourse analysis method was used for data analysis on the frame of thematic discussion fully based on participants’ views. The research found that branch managers and loan officers have a high level of power in assessing and financing decision-making. There is a changing attitude in PCB sector in requiring flexible collateral assets. Branch managers (Loan Officers) consider value of business prospect of owner-mangers as complementary of collateral assets. However, the study found the assessment process of business prospect is entirely unstructured and linked with socio-cultural settings that does not support PCBs’ changing manner in terms of collateral requirement. The study redefined and classified collateral assets to include all financing constructs in a structure. The degree of value of the collateral assets determines the degree of business prospects. This study suggested applying an outside classroom-learning paradigm such as “knowledge tour” to enhance the value of the kinds of collateral assets. This is the scope of PCBs in increasing SMEs’ financing eligibility in win-win basis. The findings and proposition could be effective in other ADB member countries and audiences in the field.
Choosing good features is an essential part of machine learning. Recent techniques aim to automate this process. For instance, feature learning intends to learn the transformation of raw data into a useful representation to machine learning tasks. In automatic audio classification tasks, this is interesting since the audio, usually complex information, needs to be transformed into a computationally convenient input to process. Another technique tries to generate features by searching a feature space. Genetic algorithms, for instance, have being used to generate audio features by combining or modifying them. We find this approach particularly interesting and, despite the undeniable advances of feature learning approaches, we wanted to take a step forward in the use of genetic algorithms to find audio features, combining them with more conventional methods, like PCA, and inserting search control mechanisms, such as constraints over a confusion matrix. This work presents the results obtained on particular audio classification problems.
Myoelectric control system is the fundamental component of modern prostheses, which uses the myoelectric signals from an individual’s muscles to control the prosthesis movements. The surface electromyogram signal (sEMG) being noninvasive has been used as an input to prostheses controllers for many years. Recent technological advances has led to the development of implantable myoelectric sensors which enable the internal myoelectric signal (MES) to be used as input to these prostheses controllers. The intramuscular measurement can provide focal recordings from deep muscles of the forearm and independent signals relatively free of crosstalk thus allowing for more independent control sites. However, little work has been done to compare the two inputs. In this paper we have compared the classification accuracy of six pattern recognition based myoelectric controllers which use surface myoelectric signals recorded using untargeted (symmetric) surface electrode arrays to the same controllers with multichannel intramuscular myolectric signals from targeted intramuscular electrodes as inputs. There was no significant enhancement in the classification accuracy as a result of using the intramuscular EMG measurement technique when compared to the results acquired using the surface EMG measurement technique. Impressive classification accuracy (99%) could be achieved by optimally selecting only five channels of surface EMG.