Rising damp is an extremely complex phenomenon that is of great practical interest to the field of building conservation due to the irreversible damages it can make to old and historic structures. The electrical effects occurring in damp masonry have been scarcely researched and are a largely unknown aspect of rising damp. Present paper describes the typical electrical patterns occurring in porous brickwork during a wetting and drying cycle. It has been found that in contrast with dry masonry, where electrical phenomena are virtually non-existent, damp masonry exhibits a wide array of electrical effects. Long-term real-time measurements performed in the lab on small-scale brick structures, using an array of embedded micro-sensors, revealed significant voltage, current, capacitance and resistance variations which can be linked to the movement of moisture inside porous materials. The same measurements performed on actual old buildings revealed a similar behaviour, the electrical effects being more significant in areas of the brickwork affected by rising damp. Understanding these electrical phenomena contributes to a better understanding of the driving mechanisms of rising damp, potentially opening new avenues of dealing with it in a less invasive manner.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and economic impacts. Historically, investment in infrastructure development projects has been touted to boost the economic growth of a nation. The State and Local governments responsible for delivering infrastructure assets work under tight budgets. Therefore, it is important to understand which infrastructure projects have the highest potential of boosting economic growth in the post-pandemic era. This paper presents relationships between infrastructure projects and economic growth. Statistical relationships between investment in different types of infrastructure projects (transit, water and wastewater, highways, power, manufacturing etc.) and indicators of economic growth are presented using historic data between 2002 and 2020 from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The outcome of the paper is the comparison of statistical correlations between investment in different types of infrastructure projects and indicators of economic growth. The comparison of the statistical correlations is useful in ranking the types of infrastructure projects based on their ability to influence economic prosperity. Therefore, investment in the infrastructures with the higher rank will have a better chance of boosting the economic growth. Once, the ranks are derived, they can be used by the decision-makers in infrastructure investment related decision-making process.
As biometric systems become widely deployed, the security of identification systems can be easily attacked by various spoof materials. This paper contributes to finding a reliable and practical anti-spoofing method using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) based on the types of loss functions and optimizers. The types of CNNs used in this paper include AlexNet, VGGNet, and ResNet. By using various loss functions including Cross-Entropy, Center Loss, Cosine Proximity, and Hinge Loss, and various loss optimizers which include Adam, SGD, RMSProp, Adadelta, Adagrad, and Nadam, we obtained significant performance changes. We realize that choosing the correct loss function for each model is crucial since different loss functions lead to different errors on the same evaluation. By using a subset of the Livdet 2017 database, we validate our approach to compare the generalization power. It is important to note that we use a subset of LiveDet and the database is the same across all training and testing for each model. This way, we can compare the performance, in terms of generalization, for the unseen data across all different models. The best CNN (AlexNet) with the appropriate loss function and optimizers result in more than 3% of performance gain over the other CNN models with the default loss function and optimizer. In addition to the highest generalization performance, this paper also contains the models with high accuracy associated with parameters and mean average error rates to find the model that consumes the least memory and computation time for training and testing. Although AlexNet has less complexity over other CNN models, it is proven to be very efficient. For practical anti-spoofing systems, the deployed version should use a small amount of memory and should run very fast with high anti-spoofing performance. For our deployed version on smartphones, additional processing steps, such as quantization and pruning algorithms, have been applied in our final model.
Data flow and the purpose of reporting the data are different and dependent on business needs. Different parameters are reported and transferred regularly during freight delivery. This business practices form the dataset constructed for each time point and contain all required information for freight moving decisions. As a significant amount of these data is used for various purposes, an integrating methodological approach must be developed to respond to the indicated problem. The proposed methodology contains several steps: (1) collecting context data sets and data validation; (2) multi-objective analysis for optimizing freight transfer services. For data validation, the study involves Grubbs outliers analysis, particularly for data cleaning and the identification of statistical significance of data reporting event cases. The Grubbs test is often used as it measures one external value at a time exceeding the boundaries of standard normal distribution. In the study area, the test was not widely applied by authors, except when the Grubbs test for outlier detection was used to identify outsiders in fuel consumption data. In the study, the authors applied the method with a confidence level of 99%. For the multi-objective analysis, the authors would like to select the forms of construction of the genetic algorithms, which have more possibilities to extract the best solution. For freight delivery management, the schemas of genetic algorithms' structure are used as a more effective technique. Due to that, the adaptable genetic algorithm is applied for the description of choosing process of the effective transportation corridor. In this study, the multi-objective genetic algorithm methods are used to optimize the data evaluation and select the appropriate transport corridor. The authors suggest a methodology for the multi-objective analysis, which evaluates collected context data sets and uses this evaluation to determine a delivery corridor for freight transfer service in the multi-modal transportation network. In the multi-objective analysis, authors include safety components, the number of accidents a year, and freight delivery time in the multi-modal transportation network. The proposed methodology has practical value in the management of multi-modal transportation processes.
Tbilisi, a large city of the South Caucasus, is a junction point connecting Asia and Europe, Russia and republics of the Asia Minor. Over the last years, its atmosphere has been experienced an increasing anthropogenic load. Numerical modeling method is used for study of Tbilisi atmospheric air pollution. By means of 3D non-linear non-steady numerical model a peculiarity of city atmosphere pollution is investigated during background western light air. Dust concentration spatial and time changes are determined. There are identified the zones of high, average and less pollution, dust accumulation areas, transfer directions etc. By numerical modeling, there is shown that the process of air pollution by the dust proceeds in four stages, and they depend on the intensity of motor traffic, the micro-relief of the city, and the location of city mains. In the interval of time 06:00-09:00 the intensive growth, 09:00-15:00 a constancy or weak decrease, 18:00-21:00 an increase, and from 21:00 to 06:00 a reduction of the dust concentrations take place. The highly polluted areas are located in the vicinity of the city center and at some peripherical territories of the city, where the maximum dust concentration at 9PM is equal to 2 maximum allowable concentrations. The similar investigations conducted in case of various meteorological situations will enable us to compile the map of background urban pollution and to elaborate practical measures for ambient air protection.
Clustering is an unsupervised learning technique for aggregating data objects into meaningful classes so that intra cluster similarity is maximized and inter cluster similarity is minimized in data mining. However, no single clustering algorithm proves to be the most effective in producing the best result. As a result, a new challenging technique known as the cluster ensemble approach has blossomed in order to determine the solution to this problem. For the cluster analysis issue, this new technique is a successful approach. The cluster ensemble's main goal is to combine similar clustering solutions in a way that achieves the precision while also improving the quality of individual data clustering. Because of the massive and rapid creation of new approaches in the field of data mining, the ongoing interest in inventing novel algorithms necessitates a thorough examination of current techniques and future innovation. This paper presents a comparative analysis of various cluster ensemble approaches, including their methodologies, formal working process, and standard accuracy and error rates. As a result, the society of clustering practitioners will benefit from this exploratory and clear research, which will aid in determining the most appropriate solution to the problem at hand.
In parallel with the appearance of new materials, brick masonry had and still has an essential part of the construction market today, with new technical challenges in designing bricks to meet additional requirements. Being used in structural applications, predicting the performance of clay brick masonry allows a significant cost reduction, in terms of practical experimentation. The behavior of masonry walls depends on the behavior of their elementary components, such as bricks, joints, and coatings. Therefore, it is necessary to consider it at different scales (from the scale of the intrinsic material to the real scale of the wall) and then to develop appropriate models, using numerical simulations. The work presented in this paper focuses on the mechanical characterization of the terracotta material at ambient temperature. As a result, the static Young’s modulus obtained from the flexural test shows different values in comparison with the compression test, as well as with the dynamic Young’s modulus obtained from the Impulse excitation of vibration test. Moreover, the Young's modulus varies according to the direction in which samples are extracted, where the values in the extrusion direction diverge from the ones in the orthogonal directions. Based on these results, hollow bricks can be considered as transversely isotropic bimodulus material.
During COVID-19, the depression rate has increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Lower-income families have a higher ratio to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, but less access to clinics. This research aims to achieve early depression detection at low cost, large scale, and high accuracy with an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating clinical practices defined by American Psychiatric Association (APA) as well as multimodal AI framework. The proposed approach detected the nine depression symptoms with Natural Language Processing sentiment analysis and a symptom-based Lexicon uniquely designed for young adults. The experiments were conducted on the multimedia survey results from adolescents and young adults and unbiased Twitter communications. The result was further aggregated with the facial emotional cues analyzed by the Convolutional Neural Network on the multimedia survey videos. Five experiments each conducted on 10k data entries reached consistent results with an average accuracy of 88.31%, higher than the existing natural language analysis models. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users and is highly accessible by low-income populations to promote early depression detection to raise awareness in adolescents and young adults and reveal complementary cues to assist clinical depression diagnosis.
The ancestral relationship between humans and geographical environment has long been at the center of an interdisciplinary dialogue, which sees one of its main research nodes in the relationship between memory and places. Given its deep complexity, this symbiotic connection continues to look for a proper definition that appears increasingly negotiated by different disciplines. Numerous fields of knowledge are involved, from anthropology to semiotics of space, from photography to architecture, up to subjects traditionally far from these reasonings. This is the case of Design of Communication, a young discipline, now confident in itself and its objectives, aimed at finding and investigating original forms of visualization and representation, between sedimented knowledge and new technologies. In particular, Design of Communication for the Territory offers an alternative perspective to the debate, encouraging the reactivation and reconstruction of the memory of places. Recognizing mnemotopes as a cultural object of vertical interpretation of the memory-place relationship, design can become a real mediator of the territorial fixation of memories, making them increasingly accessible and perceptible, contributing to build a topography of memory. According to a mnemotopic vision, Communication Design can support the passage from a memory in which the observer participates only as an individual to a collective form of memory. A mnemotopic form of Communication Design can, through geolocation and content map-based systems, make chronology a topography rooted in the territory and practicable; it can be useful to understand how the perception of the memory of places changes over time, considering how to insert them in the contemporary world. Mnemotopes can be materialized in different format of translation, editing and narration and then involved in complex systems of communication. The memory of places, therefore, if stabilized by the tools offered by Communication Design, can make visible ruins and territorial stratifications, illuminating them with new communicative interests that can be shared and participated.
Cumbria is a geo-political county in Northwest England within which the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Whilst the area has a formidable reputation for natural beauty and historic assets, the innovation ecosystem is described as ‘patchy’ for a number of reasons. The county is one of the largest in England by area and is sparsely populated. This paper describes the needs, development and delivery of an SME business-support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. The Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) Project has been designed to respond to the nuanced needs of SMEs in this locale, whilst promoting the adoption of research and innovation. CUSP utilizes a funnel method to support rural businesses with access to university innovation intervention. CUSP has been built on a three-tier model: Communicate, Collaborate and Create. The paper describes this project in detail and presents results in terms of output indicators achieved, a beneficiary telephone survey and wider economic forecasts. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the paper provides experiences and reflections of those people who are delivering and evaluating knowledge exchange. The authors discuss some of the benefits, challenges and implications for both policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the paper aims to serve as an invitation to others who may consider adopting a similar method of university-industry collaboration in their own region.
The agriculture industry is especially vulnerable to forecasted water shortages. In the fresh and fresh-cut produce sector, conventional flume-based washing with recirculation exhibits high water demand. This leads to a large water footprint and possible cross-contamination of pathogens. These can be alleviated through advanced water reuse processes, such as membrane technologies including reverse osmosis (RO). Water reuse technologies effectively remove dissolved constituents but can easily foul without pre-treatment. Biological treatment is effective for the removal of organic compounds responsible for fouling, but not at the low temperatures encountered at most produce processing facilities. This study showed that the Microvi MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) technology effectively removes organic compounds (> 80%) at low temperatures (6-8 °C) from wash water. The MNE technology uses synthetic microorganism-material composites with negligible solids production, making it advantageously situated as an effective bio-pretreatment for RO. A preliminary technoeconomic analysis showed 60-80% savings in operation and maintenance costs (OPEX) when using the Microvi MNE technology for organics removal. This study and the accompanying economic analysis indicated that the proposed technology process will substantially reduce the cost barrier for adopting water reuse practices, thereby contributing to increased food safety and furthering sustainable water reuse processes across the agricultural industry.
Nowadays, the use of drones has been extended to practically any human activity. One of the main applications is focused on the surveying field. In this regard, software programs that process the images captured by the sensor from the drone in an almost automatic way have been developed and commercialized, but they only allow contrasting the results through control points. This work proposes the contrast of a 3D model obtained from a flight developed by a drone and a non-metric camera (due to its low cost), with a second model that is obtained by means of the historically-endorsed classical methods. In addition to this, the contrast is developed over a certain territory with a significant unevenness, so as to test the model generated with photogrammetry, and considering that photogrammetry with drones finds more difficulties in terms of accuracy in this kind of situations. Distances, heights, surfaces and volumes are measured on the basis of the 3D models generated, and the results are contrasted. The differences are about 0.2% for the measurement of distances and heights, 0.3% for surfaces and 0.6% when measuring volumes. Although they are not important, they do not meet the order of magnitude that is presented by salespeople.
The rapid development of cities implies significant material inflows and outflows. The construction sector is one of the main consumers of raw materials and producers of waste. The waste from the building sector, for its quantity and potential for recovery, constitutes significant deposits requiring major efforts, by combining different actors, to achieve the circular economy's objectives. It is necessary to understand and know the current construction actors' knowledge of stocks, urban metabolism, deposits, and recovery practices in this context. This article aims to explore the role of local governments in planning strategies by facilitating a circular economy. In particular, the principal opportunities and challenges of communities for applying the principles of the circular economy in the building sector will be identified. The approach used for the study was to conduct semi-structured interviews with those responsible for circular economy projects within local administrations of some communities in France. The results show territories' involvement in the inclusion and application of the principles of the circular economy in the building sector. The main challenges encountered are numerous, hence the importance of having identified and described them so that the different actors can work to meet them.
There is an increasing interest in introducing computational thinking at an early age. Computational thinking, like mathematical thinking, engineering thinking, and scientific thinking, is a kind of analytical thinking. Learning computational thinking skills is not only to improve technological literacy, but also allows learners to equip with practicable skills such as problem-solving skills. As people realize the importance of computational thinking, the field of educational technology faces a problem: how to choose appropriate tools and activities to help students develop computational thinking skills. Robots are gradually becoming a popular teaching tool, as robots provide a tangible way for young children to access to technology, and controlling a robot through programming offers them opportunities to engage in developing computational thinking. This study explores whether the introduction of flowcharts into the robotics programming courses can help children convert natural language into a programming language more easily, and then to better cultivate their computational thinking skills. An experimental study was adopted with a sample of children ages six to seven (N = 16) participated, and a one-meter-tall humanoid robot was used as the teaching tool. Results show that children can master basic programming concepts through robotic courses. Children's computational thinking has been significantly improved. Besides, results suggest that flowcharts do have an impact on young children’s computational thinking skills development, but it only has a significant effect on the "sequencing" and "correspondence" skills. Overall, the study demonstrates that the humanoid robot and flowcharts have qualities that foster young children to learn programming and develop computational thinking skills.
The analysis of proportionality as a test is raised as a basic foundation for the achievement of Fundamental Rights. We used legal dogmatics and empirical analysis to seek the expected results, from the reading of the RV Oakes trial by the Supreme Court of Canada. In cases involving freedom of expression, two tests are used to resolve disputes. The first examines whether, in fact, the case can be characterized as a violation of freedom of expression; the second assesses whether this violation can be justified by the reasonable limit clause. This test was defined in the RV Oakes trial by the Supreme Court of Canada, concluding with the Oakes Test, used worldwide as a proportionality test. Resulting is a proportionality between the effects of the limiting measure and the objective - the more serious the harmful effects of a measure, the more important the objective must be.
The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shared governance is an important element in higher education decision making. Through the joint decision making process, faculty members are provided an opportunity to help shape the future of an institution while increasing support for decisions that are made. Presidents, those leaders who are legally bound to guide their institutions, must find ways to collaborate effectively with faculty members in making decisions, and the first step in this process is understanding when and how presidents and faculty leaders interact. In the current study, a national sample of college presidents reported their preparation for the presidency, their perceptions of the functions of a faculty senate, and ultimately, the locations for important interactions between presidents and faculty senates. Results indicated that presidents, regardless of their preparation, found official functions to be the most important for communicating, although, those presidents with academic backgrounds were more likely to perceive faculty senates as having a role in all aspects of an institutions management.
The use of Digital Technologies in teaching and learning processes is currently a reality, namely in initial teacher training. This study aims at knowing the digital reality of students in initial teacher training in order to improve training in the educational use of ICT and to promote digital technology integration strategies in an educational context. It is part of the IFITIC Project "Innovate with ICT in Initial Teacher Training to Promote Methodological Renewal in Pre-school Education and in the 1st and 2nd Basic Education Cycle" which involves the School of Education, Polytechnic of Porto and Institute of Education, University of Minho. The Project aims at rethinking educational practice with ICT in the initial training of future teachers in order to promote methodological innovation in Pre-school Education and in the 1st and 2nd Cycles of Basic Education. A qualitative methodology was used, in which a questionnaire survey was applied to teachers in initial training. For data analysis, the techniques of content analysis with the support of NVivo software were used. The results point to the following aspects: a) future teachers recognize that they have more technical knowledge about ICT than pedagogical knowledge. This result makes sense if we consider the objective of Basic Education, so that the gaps can be filled in the Master's Course by students who wish to follow the teaching; b) the respondents are aware that the integration of digital resources contributes positively to students' learning and to the life of children and young people, which also promotes preparation in life; c) to be a teacher in the digital age there is a need for the development of digital literacy, lifelong learning and the adoption of new ways of teaching how to learn. Thus, this study aims to contribute to a reflection on the teaching profession in the digital age.
Due to the advantage of using the Internet, cybercriminals can reach target(s) without border controls. Prior research on criminology and crime science has largely been void of empirical studies on journey-to-cybercrime and crime opportunity. Thus, the purpose of this study is to understand more about cyber offender spatial decision making associated with crime opportunity factors (i.e., co-offending, offender-stranger). Data utilized in this study were derived from 306 U.S. Federal court cases of cybercrime. The findings of this study indicated that there was a positive relationship between co-offending and journey-to-cybercrime, whereas there was no link between offender-stranger and journey-to-cybercrime. Also, the results showed that there was no relationship between cybercriminal sex, age, and journey-to-cybercrime. The policy implications and limitations of this study are discussed.
Lightning protection consists of three main parts; mainly air termination system, down conductor, and earth termination system. Earth termination system is the most important part as earth is the sink and source of charges. Therefore, even when the charges are captured and delivered to the ground, and an easy path is not provided to the charges, earth termination system would lead to problems. Soil has significantly different resistivities ranging from 10 Ωm for wet organic soil to 10000 Ωm for bedrock. Different methods have been discussed and used conventionally such as deep-ground-well method and altering the length of the rod. Those methods are not considered economical. Therefore, it was a general practice to use charcoal along with salt to reduce the soil resistivity. Bentonite is worldwide acceptable material, that had led our interest towards study of bentonite at first. It was concluded that bentonite is a clay which is non-corrosive, environment friendly. Whereas bentonite is suitable only when there is moisture present in the soil, as in the absence of moisture, cracks will appear on the surface which will provide an open passage to the air, resulting into increase in the resistivity. Furthermore, bentonite without moisture does not have enough bonding property, moisture retention, conductivity, and non-leachability. Therefore, bentonite was used along with the other backfill material to overcome the dependency of bentonite on moisture. Different experiments were performed to get the best ratio of bentonite and carbon backfill. It was concluded that properties will highly depend on the quantity of bentonite and carbon-based backfill material.
Promotion is a key element in the retail business. Thus, analysis of promotions to quantify their effectiveness in terms of Revenue and/or Margin is an essential activity in the retail industry. However, measuring the sales/revenue uplift is based on estimations, as the actual sales/revenue without the promotion is not present. Further, the presence of Halo and Cannibalization in a multiple parallel promotions’ scenario complicates the problem. Calculating Baseline by considering inter-brand/competitor items or using Halo and Cannibalization's impact on Revenue calculations by considering Baseline as an interpretation of items’ unit sales in neighboring nonpromotional weeks individually may not capture the overall Revenue uplift in the case of multiple parallel promotions. Hence, this paper proposes a Machine Learning based method for calculating the Revenue uplift by considering the Halo and Cannibalization impact on the Baseline and the Revenue. In the first section of the proposed methodology, Baseline of an item is calculated by incorporating the impact of the promotions on its related items. In the later section, the Revenue of an item is calculated by considering both Halo and Cannibalization impacts. Hence, this methodology enables correct calculation of the overall Revenue uplift due a given promotion.
This paper, in its first part, presents the state-of-the-art literature of design approaches for geosynthetic reinforced unpaved roads. The literature starting since 1970 and the critical appraisal of flexible pavement design by Giroud and Han (2004) and Jonathan Fannin (2006) is presented. The design example is illustrated for Indian conditions. The example emphasizes the results computed by Giroud and Han's (2004) design method with the Indian road congress guidelines by IRC SP 72 -2015. The input data considered are related to the subgrade soil condition of Maharashtra State in India. The unified soil classification of the subgrade soil is inorganic clay with high plasticity (CH), which is expansive with a California bearing ratio (CBR) of 2% to 3%. The example exhibits the unreinforced case and geotextile as reinforcement by varying the rut depth from 25 mm to 100 mm. The present result reveals the base thickness for the unreinforced case from the IRC design catalogs is in good agreement with Giroud and Han (2004) approach for a range of 75 mm to 100 mm rut depth. Since Giroud and Han (2004) method is applicable for both reinforced and unreinforced cases, for the same data with appropriate Nc factor, for the same rut depth, the base thickness for the reinforced case has arrived for the Indian condition. From this trial, for the CBR of 2%, the base thickness reduction due to geotextile inclusion is 35%. For the CBR range of 2% to 5% with different stiffness in geosynthetics, the reduction in base course thickness will be evaluated, and the validation will be executed by the full-scale accelerated pavement testing set up at the College of Engineering Pune (COE), India.