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.
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 Brazilian economic projections and social indicators show a future of crisis for the country. Solutions to avoid this crisis scenario are necessary. Several developed countries implement initiatives linked to sustainability, mainly related to the circular economy, to solve their crises quickly - green recovery. This article aims to assess social gains if Brazil followed the same recovery strategy. Furthermore, with the use of data presented and recognized in the international academic society, the number of jobs that can be created, if Brazil took the first steps towards a more circular economy, was found. Moreover, in addition to the gross value in the number of jobs created, this article also detailed the number of these jobs by type of activity (collection, processing, and manufacturing) and by type of material.
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.
Additive manufacturing processes have changed significantly in a wide range of industries and their application progressed from rapid prototyping to production of end-use products. However, their environmental impact is still a rather open question. In order to support the growth of this technology in the industrial sector, environmental aspects should be considered and predictive models may help monitor and reduce the environmental footprint of the processes. This work presents predictive models based on a previously developed methodology for the environmental impact evaluation combined with a technical and economical assessment. Here we applied the methodology to the Fused Deposition Modeling process. First, we present the predictive models relative to different types of machines. Then, we present a decision-making tool designed to identify the optimum manufacturing strategy regarding technical, economic, and environmental criteria.
Labor market activity and paid employment should be a key factor in protecting individuals and families from falling into poverty and providing them with sufficient resources to meet the needs of their members. However, due to various processes in the labor market as well as the influence of individual factors and often insufficient social capital, there is a relatively large group of households that cannot eliminate paid employment and find themselves in a state of so-called working poverty. The aim of the research was to find out what strategies families use in managing poverty and meeting their needs and which of these strategies prevail in the Slovak population. A quantitative research strategy was chosen. The method of data collection was a structured interview focused on finding out the use of individual management strategies and also selected demographic indicators. The research sample consisted of members of families in which at least one member has a paid job. The condition for inclusion in the research was that the family's income did not exceed 60% of the national median equalized disposable income. The analysis of the results showed 5 basic areas to which management strategies are related - work, financial security, needs, social contacts and perception of the current situation. The prevailing strategies were strategies aimed at increasing and streamlining labor market activity and the planned and effective management of the family budget. Strategies that were rejected were mainly related to debt creation. The results make it possible to identify the preferred ways of managing poverty in individual areas of life, as well as the factors that influence this behavior. This information is important for working with families living in a state of working poverty and can help professionals develop positive ways of coping for families.
Bridges, as an essential part of road infrastructures, are affected by various deterioration mechanisms over time due to the changes in their performance. As changes in performance can have many negative impacts on society, it is essential to be able to evaluate and measure the performance of bridges throughout their life. This evaluation includes the development or the choice of the appropriate performance indicators, which, in turn, are measured based on the selection of appropriate models for the existing deterioration mechanism. The purpose of this article is a statistical study of indicators and deterioration mechanisms of bridges in order to discover further research capacities in bridges performance assessment. For this purpose, some of the most common indicators of bridge performance, including reliability, risk, vulnerability, robustness, and resilience, were selected. The researches performed on each index based on the desired deterioration mechanisms and hazards were comprehensively reviewed. In addition, the formulation of the indicators and their relationship with each other were studied. The research conducted on the mentioned indicators were classified from the point of view of deterministic or probabilistic method, the level of study (element level, object level, etc.), and the type of hazard and the deterioration mechanism of interest. For each of the indicators, a number of challenges and recommendations were presented according to the review of previous studies.
Groundwater is an important water resource in the world, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. In the present study, 141 groundwater samples were collected and analyzed for various physicochemical parameters to assess the irrigation water quality using six indicators (sodium percentage (Na%), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), magnesium hazard (MH), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), permeability index (PI), and potential salinity (PS)). The results show that the patterns for the average cation and anion concentrations were in decreasing orders of Na＋ > Mg2＋ > Ca2＋ > K＋and SO42－ > HCO3－ > Cl－ > NO3－ > CO32－ > F－, respectively. The values of Na%, MH, and PS show that most of the groundwater samples are not suitable for irrigation. The same conclusion is drawn from the USSL and Wilcox diagrams. PS values indicate that Cl－and SO42－have a great influence on irrigation water in Jiaokou Irrigation District. RSC and PI values indicate that more than half of groundwater samples are suitable for irrigation. The finding is beneficial for the policymakers for future water management schemes to achieve a sustainable development goal.
Although how cities’ forms are structured is studied, more efforts are needed on systemic comprehensions and evaluations of the urban morphology through quantitative metrics that are able to describe the performance of a city in relation to its formal properties. More research is required in this direction in order to better describe the urban form characteristics and their impact on the environmental performance of cities and to increase their sustainability stewardship. With the aim of developing a better understanding of the built environment’s systemic structure, the intention of this paper is to present a holistic methodology for studying the behavior of the built environment and investigate the methods for measuring the effect of urban structure to the environmental performance. This goal will be pursued through an inquiry into the morphological components of the urban systems and the complex relationships between them. Particularly, this paper focuses on proximity, referring to the proximity of different land-uses, is a concept with which Integrated Modification Methodology (IMM) explains how land-use allocation might affect the choice of mobility in neighborhoods, and especially, encourage or discourage non-motived mobility. This paper uses proximity to demonstrate that the structure attributes can quantifiably relate to the performing behavior in the city. The target is to devise a mathematical pattern from the structural elements and correlate it directly with urban performance indicators concerned with environmental sustainability. The paper presents some results of this rigorous investigation of urban proximity and its correlation with performance indicators in four different areas in the city of Milan, each of them characterized by different morphological features.
Groundwater is main source of water supply in the Guanzhong Basin, China. To investigate the quality of groundwater for agricultural purposes in Jiaokou Irrigation District located in the east of the Guanzhong Basin, 141 groundwater samples were collected for analysis of major ions (K+, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, SO42-, Cl-, HCO3-, and CO32-), pH, and total dissolved solids (TDS). Sodium percentage (Na%), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), magnesium hazard (MH), and potential salinity (PS) were applied for irrigation water quality assessment. In addition, multivariate statistical techniques were used to identify the underlying hydrogeochemical processes. Results show that the content of TDS mainly depends on Cl-, Na+, Mg2+, and SO42-, and the HCO3- content is generally high except for the eastern sand area. These are responsible for complex hydrogeochemical processes, such as dissolution of carbonate minerals (dolomite and calcite), gypsum, halite, and silicate minerals, the cation exchange, as well as evaporation and concentration. The average evaluation levels of Na%, RSC, MH, and PS for irrigation water quality are doubtful, good, unsuitable, and injurious to unsatisfactory, respectively. Therefore, it is necessary for decision makers to comprehensively consider the indicators and thus reasonably evaluate the irrigation water quality.
Calcium is an essential element for good growth and development of the organism, and its requirement is increased at school age. Low socio-economic populations of developing countries such as Colombia may have food deficiency of this mineral in schoolchildren that could be reflected in calcium biochemical indicators, bone alterations and anthropometric indicators. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate some calcium biochemical indicators in a group of schoolchildren of low socioeconomic level from Barranquilla city and to correlate with body mass index. 60 schoolchildren aged 7 to 15 years were selected from Jesus’s Heart Educational Institution in Barranquilla-Atlántico, apparently healthy, without suffering from infectious or gastrointestinal diseases, without habits of drinking alcohol or smoking another hallucinogenic substance and without taking supplementation with calcium in the last six months or another substance that compromises bone metabolism. The research was approved by the ethics committee at Universidad del Atlántico. The selected children were invited to donate a blood and urine sample in a fasting time of 12 hours, the serum was separated by centrifugation and frozen at ˗20 ℃ until analyzed and the same was done with the urine sample. On the day of the biological collections, the weight and height of the students were measured to determine the nutritional status by BMI using the WHO tables. Calcium concentrations in serum and urine (SCa, UCa), alkaline phosphatase activity total and of bone origin (SAPT, SBAP) and urinary creatinine (UCr) were determined by spectrophotometric methods using commercial kits. Osteocalcin and Cross-linked N-telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx-1) in serum were measured with an enzyme-linked inmunosorbent assay. For statistical analysis the Statgraphics software Centurium XVII was used. 63% (n = 38) and 37% (n = 22) of the participants were male and female, respectively. 78% (n = 47), 5% (n = 3) and 17% (n = 10) had a normal, malnutrition and high nutritional status, respectively. The averages of evaluated indicators levels were (mean ± SD): 9.50 ± 1.06 mg/dL for SCa; 181.3 ± 64.3 U/L for SAPT, 143.8 ± 73.9 U/L for SBAP; 9.0 ± 3.48 ng/mL for osteocalcin and 101.3 ± 12.8 ng/mL for NTx-1. UCa level was 12.8 ± 7.7 mg/dL that adjusted with creatinine ranged from 0.005 to 0.395 mg/mg. Considering serum calcium values, approximately 7% of school children were hypocalcemic, 16% hypercalcemic and 77% normocalcemic. The indicators evaluated did not correlate with the BMI. Low values were observed in calcium urinary excretion and high in NTx-1, suggesting that mechanisms such as increase in renal retention of calcium and in bone remodeling may be contributing to calcium homeostasis.
In the actual start-up process of DC motors, the DC drive system often faces a conflict between energy consumption and acceleration performance. To resolve the conflict, this paper proposes a comprehensive performance index that energy consumption index is added on the basis of classical control performance index in the DC motor starting process. Taking the comprehensive performance index as the cost function, particle swarm optimization algorithm is designed to optimize the comprehensive performance. Then it conducts simulations on the optimization of the comprehensive performance of the DC motor on condition that the weight coefficient of the energy consumption index should be properly designed. The simulation results show that as the weight of energy consumption increased, the energy efficiency was significantly improved at the expense of a slight sacrifice of fastness indicators with the comprehensive performance index method. The energy efficiency was increased from 63.18% to 68.48% and the response time reduced from 0.2875s to 0.1736s simultaneously compared with traditional proportion integrals differential controller in energy saving.
The patenting of inventions is the result of an organized effort to achieve technological improvement and its consequent positive impact on the population's standard of living. Technology exports, either of high-tech goods or of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services, represent the level of acceptance that world markets have of that technology acquired or developed by a country, either in public or private settings. A quantitative measure of the above variables is expected to have a positive and relevant impact on the level of economic development of the countries, measured on this first occasion through their level of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And in that sense, it not only explains the performance of an economy but the difference between nations. We present an econometric model where we seek to explain the difference between the GDP levels of 178 countries through their different performance in the outputs of the technological production process. We take the variables of Patenting, ICT Exports and High Technology Exports as results of the innovation process. This model achieves an explanatory power for four annual cuts (2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015) equivalent to an adjusted r2 of 0.91, 0.87, 0.91 and 0.96, respectively.
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.
Tracking and monitoring agricultural products, cold chain activities, and transportation in real-time can effectively ensure both the quality and safety of agricultural products, as well as reduce overall logistics costs. Effective supply chain practices are one of the main requirements for enhancing agricultural business in Egypt. Cold chain is among the best practices for the storage and transportation of perishable goods and has potential within the agricultural sector in Egypt. This practice has the scope of reducing the wastage of food and increasing the profitability with a reduction in costs. Even though it has several implementation challenges for the farmers, traders, and people involved in the entire supply chain, it has highlighted better benefits for all and for the export of goods for the economic progression for Egypt. The aim of this paper is to explore cold supply chain practices for the agriculture sector in Egypt, to enhance the export performance of fresh goods. In this context, this study attempts to explore those aspects of the performance of cold supply chain practices that can enhance the functioning of the agriculture sector in Egypt from the perspective of export companies (traders) and farmers. Based on the empirical results obtained by data collection from the farmers and traders, the study argues that there is a significant association between cold supply chain practices and enhancement of the agriculture value chain. The paper thus highlights the contribution of the study with final conclusions and limitations with scope for future research.
The structure is made using different members and combining them with each other. These members are basically based on technical and engineering principles and are combined in different ways and have their own unique effects on the building. Trusses are one of the most common and important members of the structure, accounting for a large percentage of the power transmission structure in the building. Different types of trusses are based on structural needs and evaluating and making complete comparisons between them is one of the most important engineering analyses. In the present study, four types of trusses have been studied; 1) Hawe truss, 2) Pratt truss, 3) k truss, and 4) warren truss, under cyclic loading for 80 seconds. The trusses are modeled in 3d using st37 steel. The results showed that Hawe trusses had higher values than all other trusses (k, Pratt and Warren) in all the studied indicators. Indicators examined in the study include; 1) von Mises stresses, 2) displacement, 3) support force, 4) velocity, 5) acceleration, 6) capacity (hysteresis curve) and 7) energy diagram. Pratt truss in indicators; Mises stress, displacement, energy have the least amount compared to other trusses. K truss in indicators; support force, speed and acceleration are the lowest compared to other trusses.
In the last decade, with increasing tourism destinations and tourism growth, we are witnessing the widespread impacts of tourism on the economy, environment and society. Tourism and its related economy are now undergoing a transformation and as one of the key pillars of business economics, it plays a vital role in the world economy. Activities related to tourism and providing services appropriate to it in an area, like many economic sectors, require the necessary context on its origin. Given the importance of tourism industry and tourism potentials of Yazd province in Iran, it is necessary to use a proper procedure for prioritizing different areas for proper and efficient planning. One of the most important goals of planning is foresight and creating balanced development in different geographical areas. This process requires an accurate study of the areas and potential and actual talents, as well as evaluation and understanding of the relationship between the indicators affecting the development of the region. At the global and regional level, the development of tourist resorts and the proper distribution of tourism destinations are needed to counter environmental impacts and risks. The main objective of this study is the sustainable development of suitable tourism areas. Given that tourism activities in different territorial areas require operational zoning, this study deals with the evaluation of territorial tourism using concepts such as land use, fitness and sustainable development. It is essential to understand the structure of tourism development and the spatial development of tourism using land use patterns, spatial planning and sustainable development. Tourism spatial planning implements different approaches. However, the development of tourism as well as the spatial development of tourism is complex, since tourist activities can be carried out in different areas with different purposes. Multipurpose areas have great important for tourism because it determines the flow of tourism. Therefore, in this paper, by studying the development and determination of tourism suitability that is related to spatial development, it is possible to plan tourism spatial development by developing a model that describes the characteristics of tourism. The results of this research determine the suitability of multi-functional territorial tourism development in line with spatial planning of tourism.
Voice biometric data associated with physiological, psychological and other factors are widely used in forensic phonoscopy. There are various methods for identifying and verifying a person by voice. This article explores the minimum speech signal data as individual parameters of a speech signal. Monozygotic twins are believed to be genetically identical. Using the minimum data of the speech signal, we came to the conclusion that the voice imprint of monozygotic twins is individual. According to the conclusion of the experiment, we can conclude that the minimum indicators of the speech signal are more stable and reliable for phonoscopic examinations.
Differences in commercial, professional and personal cultural traditions between western consultants and project sponsors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are potentially significant in the workplace, and this can impact on project outcomes. These cultural differences can, for example, result in conflict amongst senior managers, which can negatively impact the megaproject. New entrants to the GCC often experience ‘culture shock’ as they attempt to integrate into their unfamiliar environments. Megaprojects are unique ventures with individual project characteristics, which need to be considered when managing their associated risks. Megaproject research to date has mostly ignored the significance of the absence of cultural congruence in the GCC, which is surprising considering that there are large volumes of megaprojects in various stages of construction in the GCC. An initial step to dealing with cultural issues is to acknowledge culture as a significant risk factor (SRF). This paper seeks to understand the criticality for western consultants to address these risks. It considers the cultural barriers that exist between GCC sponsors and western consultants and examines the cultural distance between the key actors. Initial findings suggest the presence to a certain extent of ethnocentricity. Other cultural clashes arise out of a lack of appreciation of the customs, practices and traditions of ‘the Other’, such as the need for avoiding public humiliation and the hierarchal significance rankings. The concept and significance of cultural shock as part of the integration process for new arrivals are considered. Culture shock describes the state of anxiety and frustration resulting from the immersion in a culture distinctly different from one's own. There are potentially substantial project risks associated with underestimating the process of cultural integration. This paper examines two distinct but intertwined issues: the societal and professional culture differences associated with expatriate assignments. A case study examines the cultural congruences between GCC sponsors and American, British and German consultants, over a ten-year cycle. This provides indicators as to which nationalities encountered the most profound cultural issues and the nature of these. GCC megaprojects are typically intensive fast track demanding ventures, where consultant turnover is high. The study finds that building trust-filled relationships is key to successful project team integration and therefore, to successful megaproject execution. Findings indicate that both professional and social inclusion processes have steep learning curves. Traditional risk management practice is to approach any uncertainty in a structured way to mitigate the potential impact on project outcomes. This research highlights cultural risk as a significant factor in the management of GCC megaprojects. These risks arising from high staff turnover typically include loss of project knowledge, delays to the project, cost and disruption in replacing staff. This paper calls for cultural risk to be recognised as an SRF, as the first step to developing risk management strategies, and to reduce staff turnover for western consultants in GCC megaprojects.
School districts throughout the United States are constantly seeking measures to improve test scores, reduce school absenteeism and improve indoor environmental quality. It is imperative to identify key building investments which will provide the largest benefits to schools in terms of improving the aforementioned factors. This study uses Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests to statistically evaluate the impact of a school building’s mechanical and plumbing characteristics on a child’s educational performance. The educational performance is measured via three indicators, i.e. test scores, suspensions, and absenteeism. The study investigated 125 New York City school facilities to determine the potential correlations between 50 mechanical and plumbing variables and the performance indicators. Key findings from the tests revealed that elementary schools with pneumatic systems in “good” condition have 48.8% lower percentages of students scoring at the minimum English Language Arts (ELA) competency level compared with those with no pneumatic system. Additionally, elementary schools with “unit heaters/cabinet heaters” in “good to fair” conditions have 1.1% higher attendance rates compared to schools with no “unit heaters/cabinet heaters” or those in inferior condition. Furthermore, elementary schools with air conditioning have 0.6% higher attendance rates compared to schools with no air conditioning, and those with interior floor drains in “good” condition have 1.8% higher attendance rates compared to schools with interior drains in inferior condition.
Infrastructure maintenance is a great challenge facing sustainable development of infrastructure assets due to the high cost of passive implementation of a sustainable maintenance plan. An assessment model of sustainable maintenance for highway infrastructure projects in Egypt is developed in this paper. It helps in improving the implementation of sustainable maintenance criteria. Thus, this paper has applied the analytical hierarchy processes (AHP) to rank and explore the weight of 26 assessment indicators using three hierarchy levels containing the main sustainable categories and subcategories with related indicators. Overall combined weight of each indicator for sustainable maintenance evaluation has been calculated to sum up to a sustainable maintenance performance index (SMI). The results show that the factor "Preventive maintenance cost" has the highest relative contribution factor among others (13.5%), while two factors of environmental performance have the least weights (0.7%). The developed model aims to provide decision makers with information about current maintenance performance and support them in the decision-making process regarding future directions of maintenance activities. It can be used as an assessment performance tool during the operation and maintenance stage. The developed indicators can be considered during designing the maintenance plan. Practices for successful implementation of the model are also presented.
During an earthquake, the structure is subjected to seismic loads that cause tension in the members of the building. The use of energy dissipation elements in the structure reduces the percentage of seismic forces on the main members of the building (especially the columns). Steel plate shear wall, as one of the most widely used types of energy dissipation element, has evolved today, and regular drilling of its inner plate is one of the common cases. In the present study, using a finite element method, the shear wall of the steel plate is designed as a floor (with dimensions of 447 × 6/246 cm) with Abacus software and in three different modes on which a cyclic load has been applied. The steel shear wall has a horizontal element (beam) with a reduced beam section (RBS). The hole in the interior plate of the models is created in such a way that it has the process of increasing the area, which makes the effect of increasing the surface area of the hole on the seismic performance of the steel shear wall completely clear. In the end, it was found that with increasing the opening level in the steel shear wall (with reduced cross-section beam), total displacement and plastic strain indicators increased, structural capacity and total energy indicators decreased and the Mises Monson stress index did not change much.
Today, developed and industrial cities have all kinds of sewage and water transfer canals, subway tunnels, infrastructure facilities, etc., which have caused underground cavities to be created under the buildings. The presence of these cavities causes behavioral changes in the structural behavior that must be fully evaluated. In the present study, using Abaqus finite element software, the effect of cavities with 0.5 and 1.5 meters in diameter at a depth of 2.5 meters from the earth's surface (with a circular cross-section) on the performance of the foundation and the ground (soil) has been evaluated. For this purpose, the Kobe earthquake was applied to the models for 10 seconds. Also, pore water pressure and weight were considered on the models to get complete results. The results showed that by creating and increasing the diameter of circular cavities in the soil, three indicators; 1) von Mises stress, 2) displacement and 3) plastic strain have had oscillating, ascending and ascending processes, respectively, which shows the relationship between increasing the diameter index of underground cavities and structural indicators of structure-foundation-soil.
Forecasting the stock market is a very challenging task. Various economic indicators such as GDP, exchange rates, interest rates, and unemployment have a substantial impact on the stock market. Time series models are the traditional methods used to predict stock market changes. In this paper, a machine learning method, Bayesian Additive Regression Tree (BART) is used in predicting stock market indexes based on multiple economic indicators. BART can be used to model heterogeneous treatment effects, and thereby works well when models are misspecified. It also has the capability to handle non-linear main effects and multi-way interactions without much input from financial analysts. In this research, BART is proposed to provide a reliable prediction on day-to-day stock market activities. By comparing the analysis results from BART and with time series method, BART can perform well and has better prediction capability than the traditional methods.
We have designed a Holter that measures the heart´s activity for over 24 hours, implemented a prediction methodology, and generate alarms as well as indicators to patients and treating physicians. Various diagnostic advances have been developed in clinical cardiology thanks to Holter implementation; however, their interpretation has largely been conditioned to clinical analysis and measurements adjusted to diverse population characteristics, thus turning it into a subjective examination. This, however, requires vast population studies to be validated that, in turn, have not achieved the ultimate goal: mortality prediction. Given this context, our Insight Research Group developed a mathematical methodology that assesses cardiac dynamics through entropy and probability, creating a numerical and geometrical attractor which allows quantifying the normalcy of chronic and acute disease as well as the evolution between such states, and our Tigum Research Group developed a holter device with 12 channels and advanced computer software. This has been shown in different contexts with 100% sensitivity and specificity results.
A weighted statistical stochastic based Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) model for modeling the potential barriers and enablers of sustainability for measuring and assessing the sustainability level is proposed. For context-dependent potential barriers and enablers, the proposed model takes the basis of the properties of the variables describing the sustainability functions and was developed into a realistic analytical model for the sustainable behavior of an organization. This thus serves as a means for measuring the sustainability of the organization. The main focus of this paper was the application of the AHP tool in a statistically-based model for measuring sustainability. Hence a strong weighted stochastic AHP based procedure was achieved. A case study scenario of a widely reported major Canadian electric utility was adopted to demonstrate the applicability of the developed model and comparatively examined its results with those of an equal-weighted model method. Variations in the sustainability of a company, as fluctuations, were figured out during the time. In the results obtained, sustainability index for successive years changed form 73.12%, 79.02%, 74.31%, 76.65%, 80.49%, 79.81%, 79.83% to more exact values 73.32%, 77.72%, 76.76%, 79.41%, 81.93%, 79.72%, and 80,45% according to priorities of factors that have found by expert views, respectively. By obtaining relatively necessary informative measurement indicators, the model can practically and effectively evaluate the sustainability extent of any organization and also to determine fluctuations in the organization over time.