Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 49

Search results for: Ákos Wolf

49 Key Determinants of Human-Wolf (Canis lupus) Conflict in Shabestar County's Villages of East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Authors: Nader Habibzadeh

Abstract:

Developing effective and well-targeted conservation strategies is dependent upon fully understanding the complexities of the local situation. We attempted to discern the main likely wolf-human conflict contributing variables in households of Shabestar county’s villages. Data were collected through questions in 53 semi-structured interviews in 36 villages across Shabestar district in summer 2014. The results suggested that people who have reportedly suffered livestock depredation and who have alternative income sources to livestock, are likely to be particularly hostile toward wildlife. With rapid assessment of households using these few key variables we are able to identify likely conflict hotspots and target conflict resolution efforts in those villages. Based on these results, the most important initial strategies for reducing conflict would be reducing the number of livestock killed by wolf, increasing opportunities to generate income only from livestock holdings rather than alternative income sources.

Keywords: human-wildlife conflict, wolf (Canis lupus), Shabestar, Iran

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48 Interstellar Mission to Wolf 359: Possibilities for the Future

Authors: Rajasekar Anand Thiyagarajan

Abstract:

One of the driving forces of mankind is the “le r`eve d'etoiles" or the “dream of stars", which has been the dynamo of our civilization. Since the beginning of the dawn of the civilization, mankind has looked upon the heavens with wonder and he has tried to understand the meaning of those twinkling lights. As human history has progressed, the understanding of those twinkling lights has progressed, as we now know a lot of information about stars. However, the dream of stars or the dream of reaching those stars always remains within the expectations of mankind. In fact, the needs of the civilization constantly drive for better knowledge and the capability of reaching those stars is one such way that knowledge and exultation can be achieved. This paper takes a futuristic case study of an interstellar mission to Wolf 359, which is approximately 8.3 light years away from us. In terms of galactic distances, 8.3 light years is not much, but as far as present space technology capabilities are concerned, it is next to impossible for us to reach those distances. Several studies have been conducted on various missions to Alpha Centauri and other nearby stars such as Barnard's star and Wolf 359. However, taking a more distant star such as Wolf 359 will help test the mankind's drive for interstellar exploration, as exotic means of travel are needed. This paper will take a futuristic case study of the event and various possibilities of space travel will be discussed in detail. Comprehensive tables and graphs will be given, which will depict the amount of time that will pass at each mode of travel and more importantly some idea on the cost in terms of energy as well as money will be discussed within today's context. In addition, prerequisites to an interstellar mission to Wolf 359 will be given in detail as well as a sample mission which will take place to that particular destination. Even though the possibility of such a mission is probably nonexistent for the 21st century, it is essential to do these exercises so that mankind's understanding of the universe will be increased. In addition, this paper hopes to establish some general guidelines for such an interstellar mission.

Keywords: wolf 359, interstellar mission, alpha centauri, core diameter, core length, reflector thickness enrichment, gas temperature, reflector temperature, power density, mass of the space craft, acceleration of the space craft, time expansion

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47 Distribution and Population Status of Canis spp. Threats and Conservation in Lehri Nature Park, Salt Range, District Jhelum

Authors: Muhammad Saad, AzherBaig, Anwar Maqsood, Muhammad Waseem

Abstract:

The grey wolf has been ranked endangered and Asiatic jackal as near threatened in Pakistan. Scientific data on population and threats to these species are not available in Pakistan, which is required for their proper management and conservation. The present study was conducted to collect data on distribution range, population status and threats to both of these Canis species in Lehri Nature Park. The data were collected using direct observations and indirect signs in the field. The population of grey wolf and Asiatic jackal were scattered into pocket of the study area and its surroundings. The current population of grey wolf was estimated 06 individuals and that of Asiatic jackal 28 individuals in the study area. The present study showed that grey wolf and Asiatic jackal were distributed in the northern and southern part of the study area having dense vegetation cover of tress and shrub between the altitudes of 330 m and 515 m. The research finding revealed that the scrub forest is the most preferred habitat of both the species but due to anthropogenic pressure the scrub forest is under severe threat. The dominant trees species were Acacia modesta, Zizyphus nummularia, and Prosopis juliflora and shrubs species of Dodonea-viscosa, Calotropis procera and Adhatoda vasica. Urial is one of the natural prey species: their population is low due to a number of reasons and therefore the maximum dependence of the wolves was on the livestock of the local and nomadic shepherds. The main prey species in the livestock was goats and sheep. The interviews were conducted with the eye witnesses of wolf attacks including livestock being killed by 5-6 numbers of wolves in different hamlets in the study area. The killing rate of the livestock by the wolves was greater when the nomadic shepherds were present in the area and decreased when they left the area. Presence of nomadic shepherds and killing rate has relation with the shifting of the wolves from the study area. It is further concluded that the population of the grey wolf and Asiatic jackal has decreased over time due to less availability of the natural prey species and habitat destruction.

Keywords: wildlife ecology, population conservation, rehabilitation, conservation

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46 Effects of Local Ground Conditions on Site Response Analysis Results in Hungary

Authors: Orsolya Kegyes-Brassai, Zsolt Szilvágyi, Ákos Wolf, Richard P. Ray

Abstract:

Local ground conditions have a substantial influence on the seismic response of structures. Their inclusion in seismic hazard assessment and structural design can be realized at different levels of sophistication. However, response results based on more advanced calculation methods e.g. nonlinear or equivalent linear site analysis tend to show significant discrepancies when compared to simpler approaches. This project's main objective was to compare results from several 1-D response programs to Eurocode 8 design spectra. Data from in-situ site investigations were used for assessing local ground conditions at several locations in Hungary. After discussion of the in-situ measurements and calculation methods used, a comprehensive evaluation of all major contributing factors for site response is given. While the Eurocode spectra should account for local ground conditions based on soil classification, there is a wide variation in peak ground acceleration determined from 1-D analyses versus Eurocode. Results show that current Eurocode 8 design spectra may not be conservative enough to account for local ground conditions typical for Hungary.

Keywords: 1-D site response analysis, multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW), seismic CPT, seismic hazard assessment

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45 Ground Response Analyses in Budapest Based on Site Investigations and Laboratory Measurements

Authors: Zsolt Szilvágyi, Jakub Panuska, Orsolya Kegyes-Brassai, Ákos Wolf, Péter Tildy, Richard P. Ray

Abstract:

Near-surface loose sediments and local ground conditions in general have a major influence on seismic response of structures. It is a difficult task to model ground behavior in seismic soil-structure-foundation interaction problems, fully account for them in seismic design of structures, or even properly consider them in seismic hazard assessment. In this study, we focused on applying seismic soil investigation methods, used for determining soil stiffness and damping properties, to response analysis used in seismic design. A site in Budapest, Hungary was investigated using Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves, Seismic Cone Penetration Tests, Bender Elements, Resonant Column and Torsional Shear tests. Our aim was to compare the results of the different test methods and use the resulting soil properties for 1D ground response analysis. Often in practice, there are little-to no data available on dynamic soil properties and estimated parameters are used for design. Therefore, a comparison is made between results based on estimated parameters and those based on detailed investigations. Ground response results are also compared to Eurocode 8 design spectra.

Keywords: MASW, resonant column test, SCPT, site response analysis, torsional shear test

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44 ELD79-LGD2006 Transformation Techniques Implementation and Accuracy Comparison in Tripoli Area, Libya

Authors: Jamal A. Gledan, Othman A. Azzeidani

Abstract:

During the last decade, Libya established a new Geodetic Datum called Libyan Geodetic Datum 2006 (LGD 2006) by using GPS, whereas the ground traversing method was used to establish the last Libyan datum which was called the Europe Libyan Datum 79 (ELD79). The current research paper introduces ELD79 to LGD2006 coordinate transformation technique, the accurate comparison of transformation between multiple regression equations and the three-parameters model (Bursa-Wolf). The results had been obtained show that the overall accuracy of stepwise multi regression equations is better than that can be determined by using Bursa-Wolf transformation model.

Keywords: geodetic datum, horizontal control points, traditional similarity transformation model, unconventional transformation techniques

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43 Livestock Depredation by Large Predators: Patterns, Perceptions and Implications for Conservation and Livelihoods in Karakoram Mountain Ranges

Authors: Muhammad Zafar Khan, Babar Khan, Muhammad Saeed Awan, Farida Begum

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Livestock depredation has greater significance in pastoral societies like Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindu Kush mountain ranges. The dynamics of depredation by large predators (snow leopard and wolf) and its implications for conservation and livelihoods of local people was investigated by household surveys in Hushey valley of Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan. We found that, during five years (2008-12) 90% of the households in the valley had lost their livestock to snow leopard and wolf, accounting for 4.3% of the total livestock holding per year. On average each household had to bear a loss of 0.8 livestock head per year, equivalent to Pak Rupees 9,853 (US$ 101), or 10% of the average annual cash income. Majority of the predation incidences occurred during late summer in alpine pastures, mostly at night when animals were not penned properly. The prey animals in most of the cases were females or young ones. Of the total predation incidences, 60% were attributed to snow leopard, 37% to wolf, while in 3% the predator was unknown. The fear of snow leopard is greater than that of wolf. As immediate response on predation, majority of the local people (64%, n=99) preferred to report the case to their village conservation committee, 32% had no response while only 1% tended to kill the predator. The perceived causes of predation were: poor guarding practices (77%); reduction in wild prey (13%) and livestock being the favourite food of predators (10%). The most preferred strategies for predator management, according to the respondents were improved and enhanced guarding of livestock (72%), followed by increasing wild prey (18%) and lethal control (10%). To strike a balance between predator populations and pastoral livelihoods, better animal husbandry practices should be promoted including: improved guarding through collective hiring of skilled shepherds; corral improvement and use of guard dogs.

Keywords: Panthera unica, Canis lupus, Karakoram, human-carnivore conflict, predation

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42 Model Updating-Based Approach for Damage Prognosis in Frames via Modal Residual Force

Authors: Gholamreza Ghodrati Amiri, Mojtaba Jafarian Abyaneh, Ali Zare Hosseinzadeh

Abstract:

This paper presents an effective model updating strategy for damage localization and quantification in frames by defining damage detection problem as an optimization issue. A generalized version of the Modal Residual Force (MRF) is employed for presenting a new damage-sensitive cost function. Then, Grey Wolf Optimization (GWO) algorithm is utilized for solving suggested inverse problem and the global extremums are reported as damage detection results. The applicability of the presented method is investigated by studying different damage patterns on the benchmark problem of the IASC-ASCE, as well as a planar shear frame structure. The obtained results emphasize good performance of the method not only in free-noise cases, but also when the input data are contaminated with different levels of noises.

Keywords: frame, grey wolf optimization algorithm, modal residual force, structural damage detection

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41 Investigating Data Normalization Techniques in Swarm Intelligence Forecasting for Energy Commodity Spot Price

Authors: Yuhanis Yusof, Zuriani Mustaffa, Siti Sakira Kamaruddin

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Data mining is a fundamental technique in identifying patterns from large data sets. The extracted facts and patterns contribute in various domains such as marketing, forecasting, and medical. Prior to that, data are consolidated so that the resulting mining process may be more efficient. This study investigates the effect of different data normalization techniques, which are Min-max, Z-score, and decimal scaling, on Swarm-based forecasting models. Recent swarm intelligence algorithms employed includes the Grey Wolf Optimizer (GWO) and Artificial Bee Colony (ABC). Forecasting models are later developed to predict the daily spot price of crude oil and gasoline. Results showed that GWO works better with Z-score normalization technique while ABC produces better accuracy with the Min-Max. Nevertheless, the GWO is more superior that ABC as its model generates the highest accuracy for both crude oil and gasoline price. Such a result indicates that GWO is a promising competitor in the family of swarm intelligence algorithms.

Keywords: artificial bee colony, data normalization, forecasting, Grey Wolf optimizer

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40 Comparison and Improvement of the Existing Cone Penetration Test Results: Shear Wave Velocity Correlations for Hungarian Soils

Authors: Ákos Wolf, Richard P. Ray

Abstract:

Due to the introduction of Eurocode 8, the structural design for seismic and dynamic effects has become more significant in Hungary. This has emphasized the need for more effort to describe the behavior of structures under these conditions. Soil conditions have a significant effect on the response of structures by modifying the stiffness and damping of the soil-structural system and by modifying the seismic action as it reaches the ground surface. Shear modulus (G) and shear wave velocity (vs), which are often measured in the field, are the fundamental dynamic soil properties for foundation vibration problems, liquefaction potential and earthquake site response analysis. There are several laboratory and in-situ measurement techniques to evaluate dynamic soil properties, but unfortunately, they are often too expensive for general design practice. However, a significant number of correlations have been proposed to determine shear wave velocity or shear modulus from Cone Penetration Tests (CPT), which are used more and more in geotechnical design practice in Hungary. This allows the designer to analyze and compare CPT and seismic test result in order to select the best correlation equations for Hungarian soils and to improve the recommendations for the Hungarian geologic conditions. Based on a literature review, as well as research experience in Hungary, the influence of various parameters on the accuracy of results will be shown. This study can serve as a basis for selecting and modifying correlation equations for Hungarian soils. Test data are taken from seven locations in Hungary with similar geologic conditions. The shear wave velocity values were measured by seismic CPT. Several factors are analyzed including soil type, behavior index, measurement depth, geologic age etc. for their effect on the accuracy of predictions. The final results show an improved prediction method for Hungarian soils

Keywords: CPT correlation, dynamic soil properties, seismic CPT, shear wave velocity

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39 Extensions of Schwarz Lemma in the Half-Plane

Authors: Nicolae Pascu

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Aside from being a fundamental tool in Complex analysis, Schwarz Lemma-which was finalized in its most complete form at the beginning of the last century-generated an important area of research in various fields of mathematics, which continues to advance even today. We present some properties of analytic functions in the half-plane which satisfy the conditions of the classical Schwarz Lemma (Carathéodory functions) and obtain a generalization of the well-known Aleksandrov-Sobolev Lemma for analytic functions in the half-plane (the correspondent of Schwarz-Pick Lemma from the unit disk). Using this Schwarz-type lemma, we obtain a characterization for the entire class of Carathéodory functions, which might be of independent interest. We prove two monotonicity properties for Carathéodory functions that do not depend upon their normalization at infinity (the hydrodynamic normalization). The method is based on conformal mapping arguments for analytic functions in the half-plane satisfying appropriate conditions, in the spirit of Schwarz lemma. According to the research findings in this paper, our main results give estimates for the modulus and the argument for the entire class of Carathéodory functions. As applications, we give several extensions of Julia-Wolf-Carathéodory Lemma in a half-strip and show that our results are sharp.

Keywords: schwarz lemma, Julia-wolf-caratéodory lemma, analytic function, normalization condition, caratéodory function

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38 Parallel Gripper Modelling and Design Optimization Using Multi-Objective Grey Wolf Optimizer

Authors: Golak Bihari Mahanta, Bibhuti Bhusan Biswal, B. B. V. L. Deepak, Amruta Rout, Gunji Balamurali

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Robots are widely used in the manufacturing industry for rapid production with higher accuracy and precision. With the help of End-of-Arm Tools (EOATs), robots are interacting with the environment. Robotic grippers are such EOATs which help to grasp the object in an automation system for improving the efficiency. As the robotic gripper directly influence the quality of the product due to the contact between the gripper surface and the object to be grasped, it is necessary to design and optimize the gripper mechanism configuration. In this study, geometric and kinematic modeling of the parallel gripper is proposed. Grey wolf optimizer algorithm is introduced for solving the proposed multiobjective gripper optimization problem. Two objective functions developed from the geometric and kinematic modeling along with several nonlinear constraints of the proposed gripper mechanism is used to optimize the design variables of the systems. Finally, the proposed methodology compared with a previously proposed method such as Teaching Learning Based Optimization (TLBO) algorithm, NSGA II, MODE and it was seen that the proposed method is more efficient compared to the earlier proposed methodology.

Keywords: gripper optimization, metaheuristics, , teaching learning based algorithm, multi-objective optimization, optimal gripper design

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37 Transfigurative Changes of Governmental Responsibility

Authors: Ákos Cserny

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The unequivocal increase of the area of operation of the executive power can happen with the appearance of new areas to be influenced and its integration in the power, or at the expense of the scopes of other organs with public authority. The extension of the executive can only be accepted within the framework of the rule of law if parallel with this process we get constitutional guarantees that the exercise of power is kept within constitutional framework. Failure to do so, however, may result in the lack, deficit of democracy and democratic sense, and may cause an overwhelming dominance of the executive power. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present executive power and responsibility in the context of different dimensions.

Keywords: confidence, constitution, executive power, liabiliy, parliamentarism

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36 Grey Wolf Optimization Technique for Predictive Analysis of Products in E-Commerce: An Adaptive Approach

Authors: Shital Suresh Borse, Vijayalaxmi Kadroli

Abstract:

E-commerce industries nowadays implement the latest AI, ML Techniques to improve their own performance and prediction accuracy. This helps to gain a huge profit from the online market. Ant Colony Optimization, Genetic algorithm, Particle Swarm Optimization, Neural Network & GWO help many e-commerce industries for up-gradation of their predictive performance. These algorithms are providing optimum results in various applications, such as stock price prediction, prediction of drug-target interaction & user ratings of similar products in e-commerce sites, etc. In this study, customer reviews will play an important role in prediction analysis. People showing much interest in buying a lot of services& products suggested by other customers. This ultimately increases net profit. In this work, a convolution neural network (CNN) is proposed which further is useful to optimize the prediction accuracy of an e-commerce website. This method shows that CNN is used to optimize hyperparameters of GWO algorithm using an appropriate coding scheme. Accurate model results are verified by comparing them to PSO results whose hyperparameters have been optimized by CNN in Amazon's customer review dataset. Here, experimental outcome proves that this proposed system using the GWO algorithm achieves superior execution in terms of accuracy, precision, recovery, etc. in prediction analysis compared to the existing systems.

Keywords: prediction analysis, e-commerce, machine learning, grey wolf optimization, particle swarm optimization, CNN

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35 Local Directional Encoded Derivative Binary Pattern Based Coral Image Classification Using Weighted Distance Gray Wolf Optimization Algorithm

Authors: Annalakshmi G., Sakthivel Murugan S.

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This paper presents a local directional encoded derivative binary pattern (LDEDBP) feature extraction method that can be applied for the classification of submarine coral reef images. The classification of coral reef images using texture features is difficult due to the dissimilarities in class samples. In coral reef image classification, texture features are extracted using the proposed method called local directional encoded derivative binary pattern (LDEDBP). The proposed approach extracts the complete structural arrangement of the local region using local binary batten (LBP) and also extracts the edge information using local directional pattern (LDP) from the edge response available in a particular region, thereby achieving extra discriminative feature value. Typically the LDP extracts the edge details in all eight directions. The process of integrating edge responses along with the local binary pattern achieves a more robust texture descriptor than the other descriptors used in texture feature extraction methods. Finally, the proposed technique is applied to an extreme learning machine (ELM) method with a meta-heuristic algorithm known as weighted distance grey wolf optimizer (GWO) to optimize the input weight and biases of single-hidden-layer feed-forward neural networks (SLFN). In the empirical results, ELM-WDGWO demonstrated their better performance in terms of accuracy on all coral datasets, namely RSMAS, EILAT, EILAT2, and MLC, compared with other state-of-the-art algorithms. The proposed method achieves the highest overall classification accuracy of 94% compared to the other state of art methods.

Keywords: feature extraction, local directional pattern, ELM classifier, GWO optimization

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34 Defining of the Shape of the Spine Using Moiré Method in Case of Patients with Scheuermann Disease

Authors: Petra Balla, Gabor Manhertz, Akos Antal

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Nowadays spinal deformities are very frequent problems among teenagers. Scheuermann disease is a one dimensional deformity of the spine, but it has prevalence over 11% of the children. A traditional technology, the moiré method was used by us for screening and diagnosing this type of spinal deformity. A LabVIEW program has been developed to evaluate the moiré pictures of patients with Scheuermann disease. Two different solutions were tested in this computer program, the extreme and the inflexion point calculation methods. Effects using these methods were compared and according to the results both solutions seemed to be appropriate. Statistical results showed better efficiency in case of the extreme search method where the average difference was only 6,09⁰.

Keywords: spinal deformity, picture evaluation, Moiré method, Scheuermann disease, curve detection, Moiré topography

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33 Rewriting the 'Sick Man' History: Imagining Chinese Masculinity in the Contemporary Military Action Genre

Authors: Yongde Dai

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The recent Chinese military action blockbusters, notably known as, Wolf Warrior/Zhan Lang (2015), Operation Mekong/Mei gong he xing dong (2016), Warrior 2/Zhan Lang 2 (2017) and Operation Red Sea/Hong hai xing dong (2018), have achieved phenomenal box-office successes and in particular, Wolf Warrior 2 became China’s highest-grossing film of all time. However, their yearly presence tends to show a paradigmic shift from China’s primacy of wen manliness (soft) to wu masculinity (hard). With the increasing cinematic exposure of a more muscular image manifesting in both the Chinese heroic soldiers and China itself as a rising global power, the backlash of the Chinese public against the proliferation of the feminized masculinity influenced by the ‘pretty-boy’ pop-culture and China’s harder approach to the current Sino-US tensions have correspondingly emerged and continued to brew. Chinese masculinity imagined in these films is one of the key factors that enable a gendered interpretation of the correlation between the Chinese on-screen fantasy and off-screen reality, that is, China’s public and official discourse about the hegemonic masculinity and non-hegemonic masculinity as well as China’s international profile on cinematic appearance and in today’s Sino-US relation. By reading closely at the four megahits as visual-audio texts with Chinese masculinity studies by Kam Louie and Geng Song, this paper attempts to examine the Chinese construction of manliness with historical accounts and argue why and how the recurrent emphasis of hard/military masculinity (wu) on screen are viewed as China’s contemporary rewriting of the ‘sick-man’ history in the film form. Through this investigation, the paper finds that the rewriting of the ‘sick-man’ history in the cinematic world through heroic brawny soldiers comes to resonate a collective anxiety of China in countering the real-life increasing feminized masculinity on the public appearance, particularly on the male celebrities. In addition, the superpower fantasy about China illuminates a hypermasculine imaginary of China as a global rising power and this coincidently echoes China’s current tougher diplomatic strategy tackling the Sino-US trade war, South China sea dispute and Huawei-US lawsuits.

Keywords: Chinese masculinity, Chinese military action film, feminized masculinity, manhood and nationhood, sick man of Asia

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32 The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Digital Forensics and Incident Response in a Constrained Environment

Authors: Dipo Dunsin, Mohamed C. Ghanem, Karim Ouazzane

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Digital investigators often have a hard time spotting evidence in digital information. It has become hard to determine which source of proof relates to a specific investigation. A growing concern is that the various processes, technology, and specific procedures used in the digital investigation are not keeping up with criminal developments. Therefore, criminals are taking advantage of these weaknesses to commit further crimes. In digital forensics investigations, artificial intelligence is invaluable in identifying crime. It has been observed that an algorithm based on artificial intelligence (AI) is highly effective in detecting risks, preventing criminal activity, and forecasting illegal activity. Providing objective data and conducting an assessment is the goal of digital forensics and digital investigation, which will assist in developing a plausible theory that can be presented as evidence in court. Researchers and other authorities have used the available data as evidence in court to convict a person. This research paper aims at developing a multiagent framework for digital investigations using specific intelligent software agents (ISA). The agents communicate to address particular tasks jointly and keep the same objectives in mind during each task. The rules and knowledge contained within each agent are dependent on the investigation type. A criminal investigation is classified quickly and efficiently using the case-based reasoning (CBR) technique. The MADIK is implemented using the Java Agent Development Framework and implemented using Eclipse, Postgres repository, and a rule engine for agent reasoning. The proposed framework was tested using the Lone Wolf image files and datasets. Experiments were conducted using various sets of ISA and VMs. There was a significant reduction in the time taken for the Hash Set Agent to execute. As a result of loading the agents, 5 percent of the time was lost, as the File Path Agent prescribed deleting 1,510, while the Timeline Agent found multiple executable files. In comparison, the integrity check carried out on the Lone Wolf image file using a digital forensic tool kit took approximately 48 minutes (2,880 ms), whereas the MADIK framework accomplished this in 16 minutes (960 ms). The framework is integrated with Python, allowing for further integration of other digital forensic tools, such as AccessData Forensic Toolkit (FTK), Wireshark, Volatility, and Scapy.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, computer science, criminal investigation, digital forensics

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31 Antioxidant Capacity of Different Broccoli Cultivars at Various Harvesting Dates

Authors: S. Graeff-Hönninger, J. Pfenning, V. Gutsal, S. Wolf, S. Zikeli, W. Claupein

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Broccoli is considered as being a rich source of AOX like flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins etc. and of major interest especially in the organic sector. However, AOX is environment dependent and often varies between cultivars. Aim of the study was to investigate the impact of cultivar and harvest date on AOX in broccoli. Activity of the AOX was determined using a Photochem®-Analyzer and a kit of reagent solutions for analysis. Results of the study showed that the lipid (ACL) and water-soluble antioxidant potential (AWC) of broccoli heads varied significantly between the four harvesting dates, but not among the different cultivars. The highest concentration of ACL was measured in broccoli heads harvested in September 2011, followed by heads harvested at the beginning of July in 2012. ACW was highest in heads harvested in October 2011. Lowest concentrations of ACW were measured in heads harvested in June 2012. Overall, the study indicated that the harvest date and thus growing conditions seem to be of high importance for final antioxidant capacity of broccoli.

Keywords: broccoli, open-pollinating, harvest date, epidemiological studies

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30 Efficient Ni(II)-Containing Layered Triple Hydroxide-Based Catalysts: Synthesis, Characterisation and Their Role in the Heck Reaction

Authors: Gabor Varga, Krisztina Karadi, Zoltan Konya, Akos Kukovecz, Pal Sipos, Istvan Palinko

Abstract:

Nickel can efficiently replace palladium in the Heck, Suzuki and Negishi reactions. This study focuses on the synthesis and catalytic application of Ni(II)-containing layered double hydroxides (LDHs) and layered triple hydroxides (LTHs). Our goals were to incorporate Ni(II) ions among the layers of LDHs or LTHs, or binding it to their surface or building it into their layers in such a way that their catalytic activities are maintained or even increased. The LDHs and LTHs were prepared by the co-precipitation method using ethylene glycol as co-solvent. In several cases, post-synthetic modifications (e.g., thermal treatment) were performed. After optimizing the synthesis conditions, the composites displayed good crystallinity and were free of byproducts. The success of the syntheses and the post-synthetic modifications was confirmed by relevant characterization methods (XRD, SEM, SEM-EDX and combined IR techniques). Catalytic activities of the produced and well-characterized solids were investigated through the Heck reaction. The composites behaved as efficient, recyclable catalysts in the Heck reaction between 4-bromoanisole and styrene. Through varying the reaction parameters, we were able to obtain acceptable conversions under mild conditions. Our study highlights the possibility of the application of Ni(II)-containing composites as efficient catalysts in coupling reactions.

Keywords: layered double hydroxide, layered triple hydroxide, heterogeneous catalysis, heck reaction

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29 Minimum Pension Guarantee in Funded Pension Schemes: Theoretical Model and Global Implementation

Authors: Ishay Wolf

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In this study, the financial position of pension actors in the market during the pension system transition toward a more funded capitalized scheme is explored, mainly via an option benefit model. This is enabled by not considering the economy as a single earning cohort. We analytically demonstrate a socio-economic anomaly in the funded pension system, which is in favor of high earning cohorts on at the expense of low earning cohorts. This anomaly is realized by a lack of insurance and exposure to financial and systemic risks. Furthermore, the anomaly might lead to pension re-reform back to unfunded scheme, mostly due to political pressure. We find that a minimum pension guarantee is a rebalance mechanism to this anomaly, which increases the probability to of the sustainable pension scheme. Specifically, we argue that implementing the guarantee with an intra-generational, risk-sharing mechanism is the most efficient way to reduce the effect of this abnormality. Moreover, we exhibit the convergence process toward implementing minimum pension guarantee in many countries which have capitalized their pension systems during the last three decades, particularly among Latin America and CEE countries.

Keywords: benefits, pension scheme, put option, social security

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28 Non-Invasive Pre-Implantation Genetic Assessment Using NGS in IVF Clinical Routine

Authors: Katalin Gombos, Bence Gálik, Krisztina Ildikó Kalács, Krisztina Gödöny, Ákos Várnagy, József Bódis, Attila Gyenesei, Gábor L. Kovács

Abstract:

Although non-invasive pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (NIPGT-A) is potentially appropriate to assess chromosomal ploidy of the embryo, practical application of it in a routine IVF center has not been started in the absence of a recommendation. We developed a comprehensive workflow for a clinically applicable strategy for NIPGT-A based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. We performed MALBAC whole genome amplification and NGS on spent blastocyst culture media of Day 3 embryos fertilized with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Spent embryonic culture media of morphologically good quality score embryos were enrolled in further analysis with the blank culture media as background control. Chromosomal abnormalities were identified by an optimized bioinformatics pipeline applying a copy number variation (CNV) detecting algorithm. We demonstrate a comprehensive workflow covering both wet- and dry-lab procedures supporting a clinically applicable strategy for NIPGT-A. It can be carried out within 48 h which is critical for the same-cycle blastocyst transfer, but also suitable for “freeze all” and “elective frozen embryo” strategies. The described integrated approach of non-invasive evaluation of embryonic DNA content of the culture media can potentially supplement existing pre-implantation genetic screening methods.

Keywords: next generation sequencing, in vitro fertilization, embryo assessment, non-invasive pre-implantation genetic testing

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27 The SOCI Strategy as a Method to Meet the Innovation Challenges of COVID-19

Authors: Victoria Wolf, Renata Dobrucka, Robert Prezkop, Stephan Haubold

Abstract:

The COVID-19 causes a worldwide crisis and has an impact in every dimension of the economy. Organizations with the ability to adapt to new developments and which innovate solutions for the disrupted world during and after the Corona crises have the opportunity to not only survive the crisis but rather to use new trends to implement new business models and gain advantage. In this context, startups seem to have better opportunities to manage the Corona crisis through their innovation-based nature. The main result of this paper is the understanding that by applying a startup orientated innovation (SOCI) strategy, established companies can be motivated to meet the challenge of COVID-19 in a similar way like startups. This result can be achieved by describing the role of innovation and a SOCI strategy as helpful methods for organizations to meet the coming challenges during and after the COVID-19 epidemics. In addition to this, this paper presents a practical application of SOCI through the PANDA approach of the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Germany and discuss it in the context of COVID-19 as an exemplary successful real-world implementation of SOCI strategy.

Keywords: Covid-19, innovation, open innovation, startup, soci framework

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26 Robotic Assistance in Nursing Care: Survey on Challenges and Scenarios

Authors: Pascal Gliesche, Kathrin Seibert, Christian Kowalski, Dominik Domhoff, Max Pfingsthorn, Karin Wolf-Ostermann, Andreas Hein

Abstract:

Robotic assistance in nursing care is an increasingly important area of research and development. Facing a shortage of labor and an increasing number of people in need of care, the German Nursing Care Innovation Center (Pflegeinnovationszentrum, PIZ) aims to address these challenges from the side of technology. Little is known about nurses experiences with existing robotic assistance systems. Especially nurses perspectives on starting points for the development of robotic solutions, that target recurring burdensome tasks in everyday nursing care, are of interest. This paper presents findings focusing on robotics resulting from an explanatory mixed-methods study on nurses experiences with and their expectations for innovative technologies in nursing care in stationary and ambulant care facilities and hospitals in Germany. Based on the findings, eight scenarios for robotic assistance are identified based on the real needs of practitioners. An initial system addressing a single use-case is described to show perspectives for the use of robots in nursing care.

Keywords: robotics and automation, engineering management, engineering in medicine and biology, medical services, public health-care

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25 Biodegradability Evaluation of Polylactic Acid Composite with Natural Fiber (Sisal)

Authors: A. Bárbara Cattozatto Fortunato, D. de Lucca Soave, E. Pinheiro de Mello, M. Piasentini Oliva, V. Tavares de Moraes, G. Wolf Lebrão, D. Fernandes Parra, S. Marraccini Giampietri Lebrão

Abstract:

Due to increasing environmental pressure for biodegradable products, especially in polymeric materials, in order to meet the demands of the biological cycles of the circular economy, new materials have been developed as a sustainability strategy. This study proposes a composite material developed from the biodegradable polymer PLA Ecovio® (polylactic acid - PLA) with natural sisal fibers, where the soybean ester was used as a plasticizer, which can aid in adhesion between the materials and fibers, making the most attractive final composite from an environmental point of view. The composites were obtained by extrusion. The materials tests were produced and submitted to biodegradation tests. Through the biodegradation tests, it can be seen that the biodegradable polymer composition with 5% sisal fiber presented about 12.4% more biodegradability compared to the polymer without fiber addition. It has also been found that the plasticizer was not a compatible with fibers and the polymer. Finally, fibers help to anticipate the decomposition process of the material when subjected to conditions of a landfill. Therefore, its intrinsic properties are not affected during its use, only the biodegradation process begins after its exposure to landfill conditions.

Keywords: biocomposites, sisal, polilactic acid, Polylactic Acid (PLA)

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24 Saving Lives: Alternative Approaches to Reducing Gun Violence

Authors: Angie M. Wolf, DeVone Boggan

Abstract:

This paper highlights an innovative and nontraditional violence prevention program that is making a noticeable impact in what was once one of the country’s most violent communities. With unique and tailored strategies, the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship, established in Richmond, California, combines components of evidence-based practices with a community-oriented focus on relationships and mentoring to fill a gap in services and increase community safety. In an effort to highlight these unique strategies and provide a blueprint for other communities with violent crime problems, the authors of this paper hope to clearly delineate how one community is moving forward with vanguard approaches to invest in the lives of young men who once were labeled the communities’ most violent, even the most deadly, youth. The impact of this program is evidenced through the fellows’ own voices as they illuminate the experience of being in the Fellowship. In interviews, fellows’ describe how participating in this program has transformed their lives, and the lives of those they love. The authors of this article spent more than two years researching this Fellowship program in order to conduct an evaluation of it and, ultimately, to demonstrate how this program is a testament to the power of relationship and love combined with evidence-based practices, consequently enriching the lives of youth and the community that embraces them.

Keywords: gun violence prevention, high risk youth, law, policing justice

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23 Soil Bioremediation Monitoring Systems Powered by Microbial Fuel Cells

Authors: András Fülöp, Lejla Heilmann, Zsolt Szabó, Ákos Koós

Abstract:

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) present a sustainable biotechnological solution to future energy demands. The aim of this study was to construct soil based, single cell, membrane-less MFC systems, operated without treatment to continuously power on-site monitoring and control systems during the soil bioremediation processes. Our Pseudomonas aeruginosa 541 isolate is an ideal choice for MFCs, because it is able to produce pyocyanin which behaves as electron-shuttle molecule, furthermore, it also has a significant antimicrobial effect. We tested several materials and structural configurations to obtain long term high power output. Comparing different configurations, a proton exchange membrane-less, 0.6 m long with 0.05 m diameter MFC tubes offered the best long-term performances. The long-term electricity production were tested from starch, yeast extract (YE), carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) with humic acid (HA) as a mediator. In all cases, 3 kΩ external load have been used. The two best-operated systems were the Pseudomonas aeruginosa 541 containing MFCs with 1 % carboxymethyl cellulose and the MFCs with 1% yeast extract in the anode area and 35% hydrogel in the cathode chamber. The first had 3.3 ± 0.033 mW/m2 and the second had 4.1 ± 0.065 mW/m2 power density values. These systems have operated for 230 days without any treatment. The addition of 0.2 % HA and 1 % YE referred to the volume of the anode area resulted in 1.4 ± 0.035 mW/m2 power densities. The mixture of 1% starch with 0.2 % HA gave 1.82 ± 0.031 mW/m2. Using CMC as retard carbon source takes effect in the long-term bacterial survivor, thus enable the expression of the long term power output. The application of hydrogels in the cathode chamber significantly increased the performance of the MFC units due to their good water retention capacity.

Keywords: microbial fuel cell, bioremediation, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, biotechnological solution

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22 Thermodynamics of Random Copolymers in Solution

Authors: Maria Bercea, Bernhard A. Wolf

Abstract:

The thermodynamic behavior for solutions of poly (methyl methacrylate-ran-t-butyl methacrylate) of variable composition as compared with the corresponding homopolymers was investigated by light scattering measurements carried out for dilute solutions and vapor pressure measurements of concentrated solutions. The complex dependencies of the Flory Huggins interaction parameter on concentration and copolymer composition in solvents of different polarity (toluene and chloroform) can be understood by taking into account the ability of the polymers to rearrange in a response to changes in their molecular surrounding. A recent unified thermodynamic approach was used for modeling the experimental data, being able to describe the behavior of the different solutions by means of two adjustable parameters, one representing the effective number of solvent segments and another one accounting for the interactions between the components. Thus, it was investigated how the solvent quality changes with the composition of the copolymers through the Gibbs energy of mixing as a function of polymer concentration. The largest reduction of the Gibbs energy at a given composition of the system was observed for the best solvent. The present investigation proves that the new unified thermodynamic approach is a general concept applicable to homo- and copolymers, independent of the chain conformation or shape, molecular and chemical architecture of the components and of other dissimilarities, such as electrical charges.

Keywords: random copolymers, Flory Huggins interaction parameter, Gibbs energy of mixing, chemical architecture

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21 Chinese “Wolf Warrior” Diplomacy And Foreign Public Opinion

Authors: Chaohong Pan

Abstract:

Through public diplomacy on social media, governments have attempted to influence foreign public opinion. What is the impact of digital public diplomacy? Public diplomacy research often relies on content analysis to study the strategies employed by communicators but has rarely examined its actual impact on the audience. In addition, we do not know if giving a communicator an explicit label, as Twitter does with “government account”, would change the effects of the messages. Can the government label reduce the percussiveness of public diplomacy messages by sending a warning signal? Using a 2 × 2 survey experiment, the present paper contributes to the study of public diplomacy by randomly exposing American participants to four types of tweets from Chinese diplomats. The stimulus materials vary in terms of the tweets’ content (“positive-china” vs. “negative-US) and Twitter government labels (with vs. without the labels). I found that positive tweets about China have a significant positive effect on Americans’ attitudes toward China, whereas negative tweets about the US have little effect on their opinions. Furthermore, positive-China tweets are effective only on China-related issues, which indicates that Chinese diplomats’ tweets have limited effects on shaping a foreign audience’s attitudes toward their own country. Lastly, I find that labels largely have no impact on a diplomatic tweet’s effect. These results contribute to our understanding of the effects of public diplomacy in the digital age.

Keywords: public diplomacy, china, foreign public opinion, twitter

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20 Nonlinear Triad Interactions in Magnetohydrodynamic Plasma Turbulence

Authors: Yasser Rammah, Wolf-Christian Mueller

Abstract:

Nonlinear triad interactions in incompressible three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (3D-MHD) turbulence are studied by analyzing data from high-resolution direct numerical simulations of decaying isotropic (5123 grid points) and forced anisotropic (10242 x256 grid points) turbulence. An accurate numerical approach toward analyzing nonlinear turbulent energy transfer function and triad interactions is presented. It involves the direct numerical examination of every wavenumber triad that is associated with the nonlinear terms in the differential equations of MHD in the inertial range of turbulence. The technique allows us to compute the spectral energy transfer and energy fluxes, as well as the spectral locality property of energy transfer function. To this end, the geometrical shape of each underlying wavenumber triad that contributes to the statistical transfer density function is examined to infer the locality of the energy transfer. Results show that the total energy transfer is local via nonlocal triad interactions in decaying macroscopically isotropic MHD turbulence. In anisotropic MHD, turbulence subject to a strong mean magnetic field the nonlinear transfer is generally weaker and exhibits a moderate increase of nonlocality in both perpendicular and parallel directions compared to the isotropic case. These results support the recent mathematical findings, which also claim the locality of nonlinear energy transfer in MHD turbulence.

Keywords: magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence, transfer density function, locality function, direct numerical simulation (DNS)

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