Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1552

Search results for: SME

1552 Controlling of Multi-Level Inverter under Shading Conditions Using Artificial Neural Network

Authors: Abed Sami Qawasme, Sameer Khader

Abstract:

This paper describes the effects of photovoltaic voltage changes on Multi-level inverter (MLI) due to solar irradiation variations, and methods to overcome these changes. The irradiation variation affects the generated voltage, which in turn varies the switching angles required to turn-on the inverter power switches in order to obtain minimum harmonic content in the output voltage profile. Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used to solve harmonics elimination equations of eleven level inverters with equal and non-equal dc sources. After that artificial neural network (ANN) algorithm is proposed to generate appropriate set of switching angles for MLI at any level of input dc sources voltage causing minimization of the total harmonic distortion (THD) to an acceptable limit. MATLAB/Simulink platform is used as a simulation tool and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analyses are carried out for output voltage profile to verify the reliability and accuracy of the applied technique for controlling the MLI harmonic distortion. According to the simulation results, the obtained THD for equal dc source is 9.38%, while for variable or unequal dc sources it varies between 10.26% and 12.93% as the input dc voltage varies between 4.47V nd 11.43V respectively. The proposed ANN algorithm provides satisfied simulation results that match with results obtained by alternative algorithms.

Keywords: Genetic Algorithm, Artificial Neural Network, total harmonic distortion, Multi level inverter

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1551 Public Financial Management in Ghana: A Move beyond Reforms to Consolidation and Sustainability

Authors: Mohammed Sani Abdulai

Abstract:

Ghana’s Public Financial Management reforms have been going on for some two decades now (1997/98 to 2017/18). Given this long period of reforms, Ghana in 2019 is putting together both a Public Financial Management (PFM) strategy and a Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) strategy for the next 5-years (2020-2024). The primary aim of these dual strategies is assisting the country in moving beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability. In this paper we, first, examined the evolution of Ghana’s PFM reforms. We, secondly, reviewed the legal and institutional reforms undertaken to strengthen the country’s key PFM institutions. Thirdly, we summarized the strengths and weaknesses identified by the 2018 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment of Ghana’s PFM system relating to its macro-fiscal framework, budget preparation and approval, budget execution, accounting and fiscal reporting as well as external scrutiny and audit. We, finally, considered what the country should be doing to achieve its intended goal of PFM consolidation and sustainability. Using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents, we, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learnt by other developing countries from Ghana’s PFM reforms experiences. These lessons included the need to: (a) undergird any PFM reform with a comprehensive PFM reform strategy; (b) undertake a legal and institutional reforms of the key PFM institutions; (c) assess the strengths and weaknesses of those reforms using PFM performance evaluation tools such as PEFA framework; and (d) move beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability.

Keywords: Sustainability, consolidation, reforms, public financial management, public expenditure and financial accountability (PEFA)

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1550 A Robust Optimization Method for Service Quality Improvement in Health Care Systems under Budget Uncertainty

Authors: S. Ebrahimi, H. Ashrafi, H. Kamalzadeh

Abstract:

With the development of business competition, it is important for healthcare providers to improve their service qualities. In order to improve service quality of a clinic, four important dimensions are defined: tangibles, responsiveness, empathy, and reliability. Moreover, there are several service stages in hospitals such as financial screening and examination. One of the most challenging limitations for improving service quality is budget which impressively affects the service quality. In this paper, we present an approach to address budget uncertainty and provide guidelines for service resource allocation. In this paper, a service quality improvement approach is proposed which can be adopted to multistage service processes to improve service quality, while controlling the costs. A multi-objective function based on the importance of each area and dimension is defined to link operational variables to service quality dimensions. The results demonstrate that our approach is not ultra-conservative and it shows the actual condition very well. Moreover, it is shown that different strategies can affect the number of employees in different stages.

Keywords: Robust Optimization, budget uncertainty, service quality assessment, healthcare resource allocation

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1549 Digital Library Evaluation by SWARA-WASPAS Method

Authors: Mehmet Yorukoglu, Serhat Aydın

Abstract:

Since the discovery of the manuscript, mechanical methods for storing, transferring and using the information have evolved into digital methods over the time. In this process, libraries that are the center of the information have also become digitized and become accessible from anywhere and at any time in the world by taking on a structure that has no physical boundaries. In this context, some criteria for information obtained from digital libraries have become more important for users. This paper evaluates the user criteria from different perspectives that make a digital library more useful. The Step-Wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis-Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (SWARA-WASPAS) method is used with flexibility and easy calculation steps for the evaluation of digital library criteria. Three different digital libraries are evaluated by information technology experts according to five conflicting main criteria, ‘interface design’, ‘effects on users’, ‘services’, ‘user engagement’ and ‘context’. Finally, alternatives are ranked in descending order.

Keywords: Digital Library, multi criteria decision making, SWARA-WASPAS method

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1548 Soil Organic Carbon Pool Assessment and Chemical Evaluation of Soils in Akure North and South Local Government Area of Ondo State

Authors: B. F. Dada, B. S. Ewulo, M. A. Awodun, S. O. Ajayi

Abstract:

Aggregate soil carbon distribution and stock in the soil in the form of a carbon pool is important for soil fertility and sequestration. The amount of carbon pool and other nutrients statues of the soil are to benefit plants, animal and the environment in the long run. This study was carried out at Akure North and South Local Government; the study area is one of the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo State in the Southwest geo-political zone of Nigeria. The sites were divided into Map Grids and geo-referenced with Global Positioning System (GPS). Horizons were designated and morphological description carried out on the field. Pedons were characterized and classified according to USDA soil taxonomy. The local government area shares boundaries with; Ikere Local Government (LG) in the North, Ise Orun LG in the northwest, Ifedore LG in the northeast Akure South LG in the East, Ose LG in the South East, and Owo LG in the South. SOC-pool at Federal College of Agriculture topsoil horizon A2 is significantly higher than all horizons, 67.83 th⁻¹. The chemical properties of the pedons have shown that the soil is very strongly acidic to neutral reaction (4.68 – 6.73). The nutrients status of the soil topsoil A1 and A2 generally indicates that the soils have a low potential for retaining plant nutrients, and therefore call for adequate soil management.

Keywords: soil organic carbon, Akure, horizon, pedon

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1547 Computational Approaches for Ballistic Impact Response of Stainless Steel 304

Authors: A. Mostafa

Abstract:

This paper presents a numerical study on determination of ballistic limit velocity (V50) of stainless steel 304 (SS 304) used in manufacturing security screens. The simulated ballistic impact tests were conducted on clamped sheets with different thicknesses using ABAQUS/Explicit nonlinear finite element (FE) package. The ballistic limit velocity was determined using three approaches, namely: numerical tests based on material properties, FE calculated residual velocities and FE calculated residual energies. Johnson-Cook plasticity and failure criterion were utilized to simulate the dynamic behaviour of the SS 304 under various strain rates, while the well-known Lambert-Jonas equation was used for the data regression for the residual velocity and energy model. Good agreement between the investigated numerical methods was achieved. Additionally, the dependence of the ballistic limit velocity on the sheet thickness was observed. The proposed approaches present viable and cost-effective assessment methods of the ballistic performance of SS 304, which will support the development of robust security screen systems.

Keywords: Numerical Approaches, stainless steel, ballistic velocity, security screen

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1546 Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) from Fish Mongers within Akure Metropolis, Ondo State, Nigeria

Authors: O. O. Olawusi-Peters, K. I. Adejugbagbe

Abstract:

The concentration of heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Fe, Zn, Cu) in Clarias gariepinus collected from fish markets; Fanibi (Station I) and Fiwasaye (Station II) in Akure metropolis, Ondo state, Nigeria were investigated to ascertain the safety for the consumers. 60 samples were collected from the two markets in three batches (I, II, III) for a period of six months and analyzed for heavy metals in the gills and muscles of the fish. Also, the Health Risk Index (HRI) was used to determine the health risk of these metals to the consumer. The results showed that the investigated metal concentration was higher in station I than station II, except Pb having higher concentration in station II than station I. In both stations, the highest concentration of Fe was recorded in the gills (12.60 ± 1.51; 6.94 ± 1.38) and muscles (3.72 ± 0.09; 3.86 ± 0.33) of samples in batch I. Also, the HRI revealed that consumption of Clarias gariepinus from these study areas did not pose any health risk (HRI < 1). In addition, concentrations of the heavy metals were all below the permissible limits recommended by FAO/WHO.

Keywords: Heavy Metals, Clarias gariepinus, health risk index, akure metropolis, fish monger

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1545 Music Aptitude and School Readiness in Indonesian Children

Authors: Diella Gracia Martauli

Abstract:

This study investigated the relationship between music aptitude and school readiness in Indonesian children. Music aptitude is described as children’s music potential, whereas school readiness is defined as a condition in which a child is deemed ready to enter the formal education system. This study presents a hypothesis that music aptitude is correlated with school readiness. This is a correlational research study of 17 children aged 5-6 years old (M = 6.10, SD = 0.33) who were enrolled in a kindergarten school in Jakarta, Indonesia. Music aptitude scores were obtained from Primary Measures of Music Audiation, whereas School readiness scores were obtained from Bracken School Readiness Assessment Third Edition. The analysis of the data was performed using Pearson Correlation. The result found no correlation between music aptitude and school readiness (r = 0.196, p = 0.452). Discussions regarding the results, perspective from the measures and cultures are presented. Further study is recommended to establish links between music aptitude and school readiness.

Keywords: school readiness, music aptitude, Bracken school readiness assessment, primary measures of music audiation

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1544 Technological Advancement in Fashion Online Retailing: A Comparative Study of Pakistan and UK Fashion E-Commerce

Authors: Simeon Gill, Sadia Idrees, Gianpaolo Vignali

Abstract:

The study aims to establish the virtual size and fit technology features to enhance fashion online retailing platforms, utilising digital human measurements to provide customised style and function to consumers. A few firms in the UK have launched advanced interactive fashion shopping domains for personalised shopping globally, aided by the latest internet technology. Virtual size and fit interfaces have a great potential to provide a personalised better-fitted garment to promote mass customisation globally. Made-to-measure clothing, consuming unstitched fabric is a common practice offered by fashion brands in Pakistan. This product is regarded as economical and sustainable to be utilised by consumers in Pakistan. Although the manual sizing system is practiced to sell garments online, virtual size and fit visualisation and recommendation technologies are uncommon in Pakistani fashion interfaces. A comparative assessment of Pakistani fashion brand websites and UK technology-driven fashion interfaces was conducted to highlight the vast potential of the virtual size and fit technology. The results indicated that web 2.0 technology adopted by Pakistani apparel brands has limited features, whereas companies practicing web 3.0 technology provide interactive online real-store shopping experience leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and globalisation of brands.

Keywords: E-Commerce, mass customization, virtual size and fit, web 3.0 technology

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1543 The Potential Involvement of Platelet Indices in Insulin Resistance in Morbid Obese Children

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.

Keywords: metabolic syndrome, Children, insulin resistance, plateletcrit, platelet indices

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1542 ROSA/LSTF Test on Pressurized Water Reactor Steam Generator Tube Rupture Accident Induced by Main Steam Line Break with Recovery Actions

Authors: Takeshi Takeda

Abstract:

An experiment was performed for the OECD/NEA ROSA-2 Project employing the ROSA/LSTF (rig of safety assessment/large-scale test facility), which simulated a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) accident induced by main steam line break (MSLB) with operator recovery actions in a pressurized water reactor (PWR). The primary pressure decreased to the pressure level nearly-equal to the intact steam generator (SG) secondary-side pressure even with coolant injection from the high-pressure injection (HPI) system of emergency core cooling system (ECCS) into cold legs. Multi-dimensional coolant behavior appeared such as thermal stratification in both hot and cold legs in intact loop. The RELAP5/MOD3.3 code indicated the insufficient predictions of the primary pressure, the SGTR break flow rate, and the HPI flow rate, and failed to predict the fluid temperatures in the intact loop hot and cold legs. Results obtained from the comparison among three LSTF SGTR-related tests clarified that the thermal stratification occurs in the horizontal legs by different mechanisms.

Keywords: RELAP5, SGTR, LSTF, thermal stratification

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1541 Estimation of Uncertainty of Thermal Conductivity Measurement with Single Laboratory Validation Approach

Authors: Saowaluck Ukrisdawithid

Abstract:

The thermal conductivity of thermal insulation materials are measured by Heat Flow Meter (HFM) apparatus. The components of uncertainty are complex and difficult on routine measurement by modelling approach. In this study, uncertainty of thermal conductivity measurement was estimated by single laboratory validation approach. The within-laboratory reproducibility was 1.1%. The standard uncertainty of method and laboratory bias by using SRM1453 expanded polystyrene board was dominant at 1.4%. However, it was assessed that there was no significant bias. For sample measurement, the sources of uncertainty were repeatability, density of sample and thermal conductivity resolution of HFM. From this approach to sample measurements, the combined uncertainty was calculated. In summary, the thermal conductivity of sample, polystyrene foam, was reported as 0.03367 W/m·K ± 3.5% (k = 2) at mean temperature 23.5 °C. The single laboratory validation approach is simple key of routine testing laboratory for estimation uncertainty of thermal conductivity measurement by using HFM, according to ISO/IEC 17025-2017 requirements. These are meaningful for laboratory competent improvement, quality control on products, and conformity assessment.

Keywords: single laboratory validation approach, within-laboratory reproducibility, method and laboratory bias, certified reference material

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1540 Association of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor with Iron as well as Vitamin D, Folate and Cobalamin in Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

The impact of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on cognition and functions of the brain is being investigated. Iron deficiency and deficiencies of B9 (folate) as well as B12 (cobalamin) vitamins are best-known nutritional anemias. They are associated with cognitive disorders and learning difficulties. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D are known and the deficiency state affects mental functions negatively. The aim of this study is to investigate possible correlations of MetS with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), iron, folate, cobalamin and vitamin D in pediatric patients. 30 children, whose age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles vary between 85 and 15, 60 morbid obese children with above 99th percentiles constituted the study population. Anthropometric measurements were taken. BMI values were calculated. Age- and sex-dependent BMI percentile values were obtained using the appropriate tables prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity classification was performed according to WHO criteria. Those with MetS were evaluated according to MetS criteria. Serum BDNF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum folate was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Serum cobalamin concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin D status was determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high performance liquid chromatography. Statistical evaluations were performed using SPSS for Windows, version 16. The p values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Although statistically insignificant, lower folate and cobalamin values were found in MO children compared to those observed for children with normal BMI. For iron and BDNF values, no alterations were detected among the groups. Significantly decreased vitamin D concentrations were noted in MO children with MetS in comparison with those in children with normal BMI (p ≤ 0.05). The positive correlation observed between iron and BDNF in normal-BMI group was not found in two MO groups. In THE MetS group, the partial correlation among iron, BDNF, folate, cobalamin, vitamin D controlling for waist circumference and BMI was r = -0.501; p ≤ 0.05. None was calculated in MO and normal BMI groups. In conclusion, vitamin D should also be considered during the assessment of pediatric MetS. Waist circumference and BMI should collectively be evaluated during the evaluation of MetS in children. Within this context, BDNF appears to be a key biochemical parameter during the examination of obesity degree in terms of mental functions, cognition and learning capacity. The association observed between iron and BDNF in children with normal BMI was not detected in MO groups possibly due to development of inflammation and other obesity-related pathologies. It was suggested that this finding may contribute to mental function impairments commonly observed among obese children.

Keywords: Iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B9, brain-derived neurotrophic factor

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1539 Associations between Surrogate Insulin Resistance Indices and the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Children

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.

Keywords: Obesity, metabolic syndrome, Children, insulin resistance indices

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1538 Characterization and Design of a Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt Mix Formulation

Authors: H. Al-Baghli

Abstract:

Laboratory trial results of mixing crumb rubber produced from discarded tires with 60/70 pen grade Kuwaiti bitumen are presented on this paper. PG grading and multiple stress creep recovery tests were conducted on Kuwaiti bitumen blended with 15% and 18% crumb rubber at temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 °C. The results from elastic recovery and non-recoverable creep presented optimum performance at 18% rubber content. The optimum rubberized-bitumen mix was next transformed into a pelletized form (PelletPave®), and was used as a partial replacement to the conventional bitumen in the manufacture of continuously graded hot mix asphalts at a number of binder contents. The trialed PelletPave® contents were at 2.5%, 3.0%, and 3.5% by mass of asphalt mix. In this investigation, it was not possible to utilize the results of standard Marshall method of mix design (i.e. volumetric, stability and flow tests) and subsequently additional assessment of mix compactability was carried out using gyratory compactor in order to determine the optimum PelletPave® and total binder contents.

Keywords: crumb rubber, marshall mix design, PG grading, rubberized-bitumen

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1537 Assessment of Obesity Parameters in Terms of Metabolic Age above and below Chronological Age in Adults

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Chronologic age (CA) of individuals is closely related to obesity and generally affects the magnitude of obesity parameters. On the other hand, close association between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic age (MA) is also a matter of concern. It is suggested that MA higher than CA is the indicator of the need to improve the metabolic rate. In this study, the aim was to assess some commonly used obesity parameters, such as obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR, BMR-to-weight ratio, in several groups with varying differences between MA and CA values. The study comprises adults, whose ages vary between 18 and 79 years. Four groups were constituted. Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were composed of 55, 33, 76 and 47 adults, respectively. The individuals exhibiting -1, 0 and +1 for their MA-CA values were involved in Group 1, which was considered as the control group. Those, whose MA-CA values varying between -5 and -10 participated in Group 2. Those, whose MAs above their real ages were divided into two groups [Group 3 (MA-CA; from +5 to + 10) and Group 4 (MA-CA; from +11 to + 12)]. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to obtain values for obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR and BMR-to-weight ratio. The compiled data were evaluated statistically using a statistical package program; SPSS. Mean ± SD values were determined. Correlation analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The increase in BMR was positively correlated with obesity degree. MAs and CAs of the groups were 39.9 ± 16.8 vs 39.9 ± 16.7 years for Group 1, 45.0 ± 15.3 vs 51.4 ± 15.7 years for Group 2, 47.2 ± 12.7 vs 40.0 ± 12.7 years for Group 3, and 53.6 ± 14.8 vs 42 ± 14.8 years for Group 4. BMI values of the groups were 24.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2, 23.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 30.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2, and 40.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2 for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Values obtained for BMR were 1599 ± 328 kcal in Group 1, 1463 ± 198 kcal in Group 2, 1652 ± 350 kcal in Group 3, and 1890 ± 360 kcal in Group 4. A correlation was observed between BMR and MA-CA values in Group 1. No correlation was detected in other groups. On the other hand, statistically significant correlations between MA-CA values and obesity degree, BMI as well as BMR/weight were found in Group 3 and in Group 4. It was concluded that upon consideration of these findings in terms of MA-CA values, BMR-to-weight ratio was found to be much more useful indicator of the severe increase in obesity development than BMR. Also, the lack of associations between MA and BMR as well as BMR-to-weight ratio emphasize the importance of consideration of MA-CA values rather than MA.

Keywords: basal metabolic rate, chronologic age, metabolic age, obesity degree

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1536 Assessment of Using Wastage Steel as Welded Reinforcement

Authors: Kamran Khan, Muhammad Murtaza Nasir, Safdar Abbas Zaidi

Abstract:

This work is carried out to evaluate the possibility of using to-be-wasted steel as reinforcement after welding together pieces of reinforcing steel bars, left over during construction activities. Tests were performed on a total of nine samples. These were made by welding pieces of reinforcing steel bars purchased from the local scrap steel market. The samples were tested in uniaxial tension using a universal testing machine (UTM). It was found that the failure of the welded bars is governed by the thickness of the weld. It is concluded that suitable design of the weld is essential for achieving the desired level of ductility/elongation of these bars, if they are to be used as conventional reinforcement in reinforced concrete members.

Keywords: welding, Reinforced Concrete, low cost housing, Ductility/elongation, welded reinforcement, wastage steel

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1535 ROSA/LSTF Separate Effect Test on Natural Circulation under High Core Power Condition of Pressurized Water Reactor

Authors: Takeshi Takeda

Abstract:

A separate effect test (SET) simulated natural circulation (NC) under high core power condition of a pressurized water reactor (PWR) utilizing the ROSA/LSTF (rig of safety assessment/large-scale test facility). The LSTF test results clarified the relationship between the primary loop mass inventory and the primary loop mass flow rate being dependent on the NC mode at a constant core power of 8% of the volumetric-scaled PWR nominal power. When the core power was 9% or more during reflux condensation, large-amplitude level oscillation in a form of slow fill and dump occurred in steam generator (SG) U-tubes. At 11% core power during reflux condensation, intermittent rise took place in the cladding surface temperature of simulated fuel rods. The RELAP5/MOD3.3 code indicated the insufficient prediction of the SG U-tube liquid level behavior during reflux condensation.

Keywords: RELAP5, LSTF, natural circulation, core power

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1534 Risk Assessment of Building Information Modelling Adoption in Construction Projects

Authors: Amirhossein Karamoozian, Desheng Wu, Behzad Abbasnejad

Abstract:

Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.

Keywords: Risk, bim, Construction Projects, fuzzy TOPSIS, Shannon’s entropy

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1533 An iTunes U App for Development of Metacognition Skills Delivered in the Enrichment Program Offered to Gifted Students at the Secondary Level

Authors: Maha Awad M. Almuttairi

Abstract:

This research aimed to measure the impact of the use of a mobile learning (iTunes U) app for the development of metacognition skills delivered in the enrichment program offered to gifted students at the secondary level in Jeddah. The author targeted a group of students on an experimental scale to evaluate the achievement. The research sample consisted of a group of 38 gifted female students. The scale of evaluation of the metacognition skills used to measure the performance of students in the enrichment program was as follows: Satisfaction scale for the assessment of the technique used and the final product form after completion of the program. Appropriate statistical treatment used includes Paired Samples T-Test Cronbach’s alpha formula and eta squared formula. It was concluded in the results the difference of α≤ 0.05, which means the performance of students in the skills of metacognition in favor of using iTunes U. In light of the conclusion of the experiment, a number of recommendations and suggestions were present; the most important benefit of mobile learning applications is to provide enrichment programs for gifted students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as conducting further research on mobile learning and gifted student teaching.

Keywords: Gifted Students, enrichment program, metacognition skills

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1532 Performance Analysis of Three Absorption Heat Pump Cycles, Full and Partial Loads Operations

Authors: B. Dehghan, T. Toppi, M. Aprile, M. Motta

Abstract:

The environmental concerns related to global warming and ozone layer depletion along with the growing worldwide demand for heating and cooling have brought an increasing attention toward ecological and efficient Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Furthermore, since space heating accounts for a considerable part of the European primary/final energy use, it has been identified as one of the sectors with the most challenging targets in energy use reduction. Heat pumps are commonly considered as a technology able to contribute to the achievement of the targets. Current research focuses on the full load operation and seasonal performance assessment of three gas-driven absorption heat pump cycles. To do this, investigations of the gas-driven air-source ammonia-water absorption heat pump systems for small-scale space heating applications are presented. For each of the presented cycles, both full-load under various temperature conditions and seasonal performances are predicted by means of numerical simulations. It has been considered that small capacity appliances are usually equipped with fixed geometry restrictors, meaning that the solution mass flow rate is driven by the pressure difference across the associated restrictor valve. Results show that gas utilization efficiency (GUE) of the cycles varies between 1.2 and 1.7 for both full and partial loads and vapor exchange (VX) cycle is found to achieve the highest efficiency. It is noticed that, for typical space heating applications, heat pumps operate over a wide range of capacities and thermal lifts. Thus, partially, the novelty introduced in the paper is the investigation based on a seasonal performance approach, following the method prescribed in a recent European standard (EN 12309). The overall result is a modest variation in the seasonal performance for analyzed cycles, from 1.427 (single-effect) to 1.493 (vapor-exchange).

Keywords: Heat pump, absorption cycles, gas utilization efficiency, seasonal performance, vapor exchange cycle

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1531 Food for Thought: Preparing the Brain to Eat New Foods through “Messy” Play

Authors: L. Bernabeo, T. Loftus

Abstract:

Many children often experience phases of picky eating, food aversions and/or avoidance. For families with children who have special needs, these experiences are often exacerbated, which can lead to feelings that negatively impact a caregiver’s relationship with their child. Within the scope of speech language pathology practice, knowledge of both emotional and feeding development is key. This paper will explore the significance of “messy play” within typical feeding development, and the challenges that may arise if a child does not have the opportunity to engage in this type of exploratory play. This paper will consider several contributing factors that can result in a “picky eater.” Further, research has shown that individuals with special needs, including autism, possess a neurological makeup that differs from that of a typical individual. Because autism is a disorder of relating and communicating due to differences in the limbic system, an individual with special needs may respond to a typical feeding experience as if it is a traumatic event. As a result, broadening one’s dietary repertoire may seem to be an insurmountable challenge. This paper suggests that introducing new foods through exploratory play can help broaden and strengthen diets, as well as improve the feeding experience, of individuals with autism. The DIRFloortimeⓇ methodology stresses the importance of following a child's lead. Within this developmental model, there is a special focus on a person’s individual differences, including the unique way they process the world around them, as well as the significance of therapy occurring within the context of a strong and motivating relationship. Using this child-centered approach, we can support our children in expanding their diets, while simultaneously building upon their cognitive and creative development through playful and respectful interactions that include exposure to foods that differ in color, texture, and smell. Further, this paper explores the importance of exploration, self-feeding and messy play on brain development, both in the context of typically developing individuals and those with disordered development.

Keywords: Development, Exploration, autism, Feeding, play

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1530 CybeRisk Management in Banks: An Italian Case Study

Authors: E. Bruno, E. Cenderelli, G. Iacoviello, A. Lazzini

Abstract:

The financial sector is exposed to the risk of cyber-attacks like any other industrial sector. Furthermore, the topic of CybeRisk (cyber risk) has become particularly relevant given that Information Technology (IT) attacks have increased drastically in recent years, and cannot be stopped by single organizations requiring a response at international and national level. IT risk is never a matter purely for the IT manager, although he clearly plays a key role. A bank's risk management function requires a thorough understanding of the evolving risks as well as the tools and practical techniques available to address them. Upon the request of European and national legislation regarding CybeRisk in the financial system, banks are therefore called upon to strengthen the operational model for CybeRisk management. This will require an important change with a more intense collaboration with the structures that deal with information security for the development of an ad hoc system for the evaluation and control of this type of risk. The aim of the work is to propose a framework for the management and control of CybeRisk that will bridge the gap in the literature regarding the understanding and consideration of CybeRisk as an integral part of business management. The IT function has a strong relevance in the management of CybeRisk, which is perceived mainly as operational risk, but with a positive tendency on the part of risk management to the identification of CybeRisk assessment methods that are increasingly complete, quantitative and able to better describe the possible impacts on the business. The paper provides answers to the research questions: Is it possible to define a CybeRisk governance structure able to support the comparison between risk and security? How can the relationships between IT assets be integrated into a cyberisk assessment framework to guarantee a system of protection and risks control? From a methodological point of view, this research uses a case study approach. The choice of “Monte dei Paschi di Siena” was determined by the specific features of one of Italy’s biggest lenders. It is chosen to use an intensive research strategy: an in-depth study of reality. The case study methodology is an empirical approach to explore a complex and current phenomenon that develops over time. The use of cases has also the advantage of allowing the deepening of aspects concerning the "how" and "why" of contemporary events, on which the scholar has little control. The research bases on quantitative data and qualitative information obtained through semi-structured interviews of an open-ended nature and questionnaires to directors, members of the audit committee, risk, IT and compliance managers, and those responsible for internal audit function and anti-money laundering. The added value of the paper can be seen in the development of a framework based on a mapping of IT assets from which it is possible to identify their relationships for purposes of a more effective management and control of cyber risk.

Keywords: Information Technology, Risk management, Bank, CybeRisk

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1529 Optimizing Exposure Parameters in Digital Mammography: A Study in Morocco

Authors: Talbi Mohammed, Oustous Aziz, Ben Messaoud Mounir, Sebihi Rajaa, Khalis Mohammed

Abstract:

Background: Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women around the world. Screening mammography is the reference examination, due to its sensitivity for detecting small lesions and micro-calcifications. Therefore, it is essential to ensure quality mammographic examinations with the most optimal dose. These conditions depend on the choice of exposure parameters. Clinically, practices must be evaluated in order to determine the most appropriate exposure parameters. Material and Methods: We performed our measurements on a mobile mammography unit (PLANMED Sofie-classic.) in Morocco. A solid dosimeter (AGMS Radcal) and a MTM 100 phantom allow to quantify the delivered dose and the image quality. For image quality assessment, scores are defined by the rate of visible inserts (MTM 100 phantom), obtained and compared for each acquisition. Results: The results show that the parameters of the mammography unit on which we have made our measurements can be improved in order to offer a better compromise between image quality and breast dose. The last one can be reduced up from 13.27% to 22.16%, while preserving comparable image quality.

Keywords: Mammography, Image Quality, Breast Dose

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1528 Virtual Reality Learning Environment in Embryology Education

Authors: Salasabeel F. M. Alfalah, Jannat F. Falah, Nadia Muhaidat, Amjad Hudaib, Diana Koshebye, Sawsan AlHourani

Abstract:

Educational technology is changing the way how students engage and interact with learning materials. This improved the learning process amongst various subjects. Virtual Reality (VR) applications are considered one of the evolving methods that have contributed to enhancing medical education. This paper utilizes VR to provide a solution to improve the delivery of the subject of Embryology to medical students, and facilitate the teaching process by providing a useful aid to lecturers, whilst proving the effectiveness of this new technology in this particular area. After evaluating the current teaching methods and identifying students ‘needs, a VR system was designed that demonstrates in an interactive fashion the development of the human embryo from fertilization to week ten of intrauterine development. This system aims to overcome some of the problems faced by the students’ in the current educational methods, and to increase the efficacy of the learning process.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Embryology, Medical Education, student assessment

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1527 Estimation of Synchronous Machine Synchronizing and Damping Torque Coefficients

Authors: Khaled M. EL-Naggar

Abstract:

Synchronizing and damping torque coefficients of a synchronous machine can give a quite clear picture for machine behavior during transients. These coefficients are used as a power system transient stability measurement. In this paper, a crow search optimization algorithm is presented and implemented to study the power system stability during transients. The algorithm makes use of the machine responses to perform the stability study in time domain. The problem is formulated as a dynamic estimation problem. An objective function that minimizes the error square in the estimated coefficients is designed. The method is tested using practical system with different study cases. Results are reported and a thorough discussion is presented. The study illustrates that the proposed method can estimate the stability coefficients for the critical stable cases where other methods may fail. The tests proved that the proposed tool is an accurate and reliable tool for estimating the machine coefficients for assessment of power system stability.

Keywords: Optimization, Machine, estimation, synchronous, crow search

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1526 Comparative Analysis of Control Techniques Based Sliding Mode for Transient Stability Assessment for Synchronous Multicellular Converter

Authors: Rihab Hamdi, Amel Hadri Hamida, Fatiha Khelili, Sakina Zerouali, Ouafae Bennis

Abstract:

This paper features a comparative study performance of sliding mode controller (SMC) for closed-loop voltage control of direct current to direct current (DC-DC) three-cells buck converter connected in parallel, operating in continuous conduction mode (CCM), based on pulse-width modulation (PWM) with SMC based on hysteresis modulation (HM) where an adaptive feedforward technique is adopted. On one hand, for the PWM-based SM, the approach is to incorporate a fixed-frequency PWM scheme which is effectively a variant of SM control. On the other hand, for the HM-based SM, oncoming an adaptive feedforward control that makes the hysteresis band variable in the hysteresis modulator of the SM controller in the aim to restrict the switching frequency variation in the case of any change of the line input voltage or output load variation are introduced. The results obtained under load change, input change and reference change clearly demonstrates a similar dynamic response of both proposed techniques, their effectiveness is fast and smooth tracking of the desired output voltage. The PWM-based SM technique has greatly improved the dynamic behavior with a bit advantageous compared to the HM-based SM technique, as well as provide stability in any operating conditions. Simulation studies in MATLAB/Simulink environment have been performed to verify the concept.

Keywords: Robustness, Sliding Mode Control, DC-DC converter, pulse-width modulation, hysteresis modulation, parallel multi-cells converter

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1525 Impact of Social Media on the Functioning of the Indian Government: A Critical Analysis

Authors: Priya Sepaha

Abstract:

Social media has loomed as the most effective tool in recent times to flag the causes, contents, opinions and direction of any social movement and has demonstrated that it will have a far-reaching effect on government as well. This study focuses on India which has emerged as the fastest growing community on social media. Social movement activists, in particular, have extensively utilized the power of digital social media to streamline the effectiveness of social protest on a particular issue through extensive successful mass mobilizations. This research analyses the role and impact of social media as a power to catalyze the social movements in India and further seeks to describe how certain social movements are resisted, subverted, co-opted and/or deployed by social media. The impact assessment study has been made with the help of cases, policies and some social movement which India has witnessed the assertion of numerous social issues perturbing the public which eventually paved the way for remarkable judicial decisions. The paper concludes with the observations that despite its pros and cons, the impacts of social media on the functioning of the Indian Government have demonstrated that it has already become an indispensable tool in the hands of social media-suave Indians who are committed to bring about a desired change.

Keywords: Social Media, Impact, Social Movement, misuse, Indian government

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1524 Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety

Authors: Klementina Puto, Ermelinda Nexhipi, Evi Llaka

Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Keywords: Health, Microbial, Consumer, Dairy, by-products

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1523 Online Graduate Students’ Perspective on Engagement in Active Learning in the United States

Authors: Ehi E. Aimiuwu

Abstract:

As of 2017, many researchers in educational journals are still wondering if students are effectively and efficiently engaged in active learning in the online learning environment. The goal of this qualitative single case study and narrative research is to explore if students are actively engaged in their online learning. Seven online students in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online learning techniques from research were used as a framework.  Data collection tools were used for the study that included a digital audiotape, observation sheet, interview protocol, transcription, and NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software.  Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to reach saturation. About 85.7% of students preferred individual grading. About 71.4% of students valued professor’s interacting 2-3 times weekly, participating through posts and responses, having good internet access, and using email.  Also, about 57.1% said students log in 2-3 times weekly to daily, professor’s social presence helps, regular punctuality in work submission, and prefer assessments style of research, essay, and case study.  About 42.9% appreciated syllabus usefulness and professor’s expertise.

Keywords: Online Education, Student Engagement, course management, class facilitation, online teaching

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