Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Abderrahim Siam

23 Toward a Measure of Appropriateness of User Interfaces Adaptations Solutions

Authors: Abderrahim Siam, Ramdane Maamri, Zaidi Sahnoun

Abstract:

The development of adaptive user interfaces (UI) presents for a long time an important research area in which researcher attempt to call upon the full resources and skills of several disciplines. The adaptive UI community holds a thorough knowledge regarding the adaptation of UIs with users and with contexts of use. Several solutions, models, formalisms, techniques, and mechanisms were proposed to develop adaptive UI. In this paper, we propose an approach based on the fuzzy set theory for modeling the concept of the appropriateness of different solutions of UI adaptation with different situations for which interactive systems have to adapt their UIs.

Keywords: adaptive user interfaces, adaptation solution’s appropriateness, fuzzy sets

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22 Customer Relationship Management on Social Media Affecting Brand Loyalty of Siam Commercial Bank in Bangkok

Authors: Charawee Butbumrung

Abstract:

The purpose of this research was to study customer relationship management on social media affecting brand loyalty of Siam Commercial Bank in Bangkok. The statistics used in data analysis were frequency, mean, standard deviation, and Pearson’s correlation coefficient based on social science statistic program. The result of the study found that the majority of the respondents were female, 37–47 years old of age, bachelor degree of education and monthly income between 10,001 and 15,000 Baht. In addition, customer relationship management in the overall and by each aspect of formulating, maintaining, and extending the customer relationship had a high score. Furthermore, the result of hypothesis testing showed that the difference of the customer’s age, education, occupation, average monthly income had the difference in brand loyalty with the statistical significance level of 0.05 and customer relationship management had related with brand loyalty in the same direction with the low level of statistical significance 0.05.

Keywords: brand loyalty, customer relationship management, Siam Commercial bank, social media

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21 Influential Factors of Employees’ Work Motivation: Case Study of Siam Thai Co., Ltd

Authors: Pitsanu Poonpetpun, Witthaya Mekhum, Warangkana Kongsil

Abstract:

This research was an attempt to study work motivation of employees in Siam Thai Co., Ltd. The study took place in Rayong with 59 employees as participants. The research tool was questionnaires which consisted of sets of questions about company’s policy, management, executives and good relationship within the firm. The questionnaires style was rating scale with 5 score bands. The questionnaires were analyzed by percentage, frequency, mean and standard deviation. From the study, the result showed that policy and management were in moderate scale, executive and managers were in moderate scale and relationship within the firm were in high scale.

Keywords: motivation, job, performance, employees

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20 Antibacterial Potentials of the Leaf Extracts of Siam Weed (Chromolaena odorata) on Wound Isolates

Authors: M. E. Abalaka, O. A. Falusi, M. Galadima, D. Damisa

Abstract:

The antimicrobial activity of aqueous, ethanolic and methanolic extracts of Chromolaena odorata (Siam weed) was evaluated against four wound isolates: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae at the concentrations of 200mg/ml, 100mg/ml, 50mg/ml and 25mg/ml respectively. S. aureus and E. coli showed high susceptibility to the various extracts than the other test isolates. The aqueous extract showed activity against Staphylococcus aureus with a mean diameter of zone of inhibition of 16 ± 3.00 at concentration of 200mg/ml and as low as 8 ± 0.00 at concentration of 25mg/ml; E. coli showed susceptibility with a mean diameter of zone of inhibition of 18 ± 2.00 and 10 ± 0.00 at a concentration of 200mg/ml and 25mg/ml respectively. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae were resistant to the aqueous extract. Methanol extract showed activity against Staphylococcus aureus with a mean diameter of zone of inhibition at 28 ± 4.00 and 12 ± 2.30 at a concentration of 200mg/ml and 25mg/ml respectively; while E. coli was susceptible with mean diameter of zone of inhibition of 18 ± 2.00 and as low as 12 ± 0.00 at a concentration of 200mg/ml and 50mg/ml respectively, Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed considerable susceptibility with mean diameter of zone of inhibition of 13 ± 1.00 and 12 ± 0.00 at a concentration of 200mg/ml and 100mg/ml respectively. The ethanol extract showed activity against S. aureus with a mean diameter zone of inhibition of 15 ± 2.00 and 9 ± 0.00 at a concentration of 200mg/ml and 25mg/ml respectively: E. coli showed susceptibility with a mean diameter zone of inhibition of 20 ± 4.00 and 13 ± 2.00 at a concentration of 200mg/ml and 25mg/ml respectively. Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed considerable susceptibility with a mean diameter zone of inhibition of 13 ± 1.00 and 9 ± 0.00 at a concentration of 200mg/ml and 100mg/ml respectively. The results above indicate the efficacy and potency of the crude extracts of Chromolaena odorata leaf on the tested wound isolates.

Keywords: antibacterial, Chromolaena odorata, leaf extracts, test isolates

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19 Informal Economy: Case Study of Street Vendors in Bangkok

Authors: Kangrij Roeksiripat

Abstract:

Street vending is one of the informal economy activities which considered significance to Thai people in the economic and the day-to-day social life. It had been believed that the street vendor is a group of the poor and uneducated people. With the increasing numbers of the street vendor occupying space on public sidewalks especially in central business districts, it becomes unclear whether street vending continues as a solution to unemployment for access labors. This research attempts to study and analyze types of street vendors in Bangkok under the informal economy framework. The debate on the heterogeneous informal economy has categorized into four schools; the dualism, the structuralism, the legalism and the voluntarism. The examination also embodies with market concept with Porter’s Five Forces of Competitive Position Model analysis and the interviews with the street vendors in three case study areas: Inner zone (Pathumwan district - the sidewalk on the opposite side of Siam Paragon mall), Middle zone (Ramkhamhaeng district - the sidewalk on the opposite side of Ramkhamhaeng University) and Outer zone (Minburi district- the sidewalk of Sriburanukit Road). The result indicates that most of street vendors in Siam square are voluntarily choose to make a living in vending on a sidewalk and tend to take it as a long-term occupation even though they can be in formal wage employment. Moreover, average income and positive attitude towards self-employed are the important factors that drive them to operate street vending businesses. Meanwhile, street vending is often a family enterprise in Ramkhamhaeng area and most vendors do not wish to transform their businesses into the formal sectors. Whereas the survey conducted in Sriburankit Road reveals that almost all of street vendors migrated from other provinces and were previously paid as the unskilled workers in formal sectors. They moved to informal trades because of the uncertainty of employment in the mainstream sectors and the inconsistent income with knowledge support of friends and relatives from the same hometown. In particular, the result reveals a common pattern that street vending is the very first occupation of some group of vendors and they will continue to engage in this activity. Thus, it is important for the government to design optimal policy which not only integrating informal workers into the formal economy but also monitoring the enforcement of regulations on the modern informal economy.

Keywords: informal economy, sidewalks, street vendors, occupation

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18 Employees’ Work Performance Quality Development for Organizational Competency

Authors: Pornpong Porpraphant

Abstract:

This paper aimed to demonstrate how work performance quality development activity carried out for employees in an organization could lead to the organizational success and competency as a whole. The case studies selected for this research were the Thai huge corporate including Siam Cement Group or SCG, PTT Public Company Limited, and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand or EGAT. The in- depth interview was applied with the three main groups that included the facilitator group, the managerial group, and the operational officer group. The Plan- Do- Check- Act approach was also utilized as to build up a conceptual model in corporate management that fostered employees’ knowledge acquisition, resulting in an improved work performance.

Keywords: high performance organization, quality, work performance quality development

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17 Financial Service of Financial Institution for SME in Thailand

Authors: Charawee Butbumrung

Abstract:

This research aim to study the financial service of the Thailand financial Institution, second is to identify "best practices" offered by four financial institutions, namely, Kasikornthai Bank, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, and Thanachart Bank. In-depth interviews with managers of financial institution and borrowers reveal best practices from each financial institution. Close monitoring of and a close relationship with borrowers appear to be important for early detection of any problem. Another aspect that may be important is building up loyalty and developing reliability among members. A close and informal relationship with borrowers may also help in monitoring and early detection of problems that may arise in non-repayment of loans. Other factors that may be considered important to the success of a financial service scheme are cooperation and coordination among various agencies that provide additional support to borrowers. Indirectly, these support systems contribute to the success of a SME in Thailand.

Keywords: best practices, financial service, financial institution, SME in Thailand

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16 Design and Implementation of 2D Mesh Network on Chip Using VHDL

Authors: Boudjedra Abderrahim, Toumi Salah, Boutalbi Mostefa, Frihi Mohammed

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Nowadays, using the advancement of technology in semiconductor device fabrication, many transistors can be integrated to a single chip (VLSI). Although the growth chip density potentially eases systems-on-chip (SoCs) integrating thousands of processing element (PE) such as memory, processor, interfaces cores, system complexity, high-performance interconnect and scalable on-chip communication architecture become most challenges for many digital and embedded system designers. Networks-on-chip (NoCs) becomes a new paradigm that makes possible integrating heterogeneous devices and allows many communication constraints and performances. In this paper, we are interested for good performance and low area for implementation and a behavioral modeling of network on chip mesh topology design using VHDL hardware description language with performance evaluation and FPGA implementation results.

Keywords: design, implementation, communication system, network on chip, VHDL

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15 Use of Lactic Strains Isolated from Algerian Ewe's Milk in the Manufacture of a Natural Yogurt

Authors: Chougrani Fadela, Cheriguene Abderrahim

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Fifty three strains of thermophilic and mesophilic lactic acid bacteria were isolated from the ewe’s milk. Identification reveals the presence of nineteen strains (36%) of Lactobacillus sp., seventeen strains (32%) of Lactococcus sp., nine strains (17%) of Streptococcus thermophilus and eight strains (15%) of Leuconostoc sp. The strains were characterized for their technological properties. A high diversity of properties among the studied strains was demonstrated. On the basis of technological characteristics, two strains (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) were screened with respect to their acid and flavour production for the preparation of a natural yogurt and compared to a commercial starter cultures. Sensorial analyses revealed that the product manufactured on the basis of the isolated strains have a cohesiveness and adhesiveness corresponding to standard products. The pH and the acidity recorded are also within accepted levels during all the period of conservation.

Keywords: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, yoghurt, cohesiveness, adhesiveness, Algerian ewe’s milk

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14 TMBCoI-SIOT: Trust Management System Based on the Community of Interest for the Social Internet of Things

Authors: Oumaima Ben Abderrahim, Mohamed Houcine Elhedhili, Leila Saidane

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In this paper, we propose a trust management system based on clustering architecture for the social internet of things called TMBCO-SIOT. The proposed model integrates numerous factors such as direct and indirect trust; transaction factor; precaution factor; and social modeling of trust. The novelty of our approach can be summed up in two aspects. The first aspect concerns the architecture based on the community of interest (CoT) where each community is headed by an administrator (admin). However, the second aspect is the trust management system that tries to prevent On-Off attacks and mitigates dishonest recommendations using the k-means algorithm and guarantor things. The effectiveness of the proposed system is proved by simulation against malicious nodes.

Keywords: IoT, trust management system, attacks, trust, dishonest recommendations, K-means algorithm

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13 Effect of Time and Rate of Nitrogen Application on the Malting Quality of Barley Yield in Sandy Soil

Authors: A. S. Talaab, Safaa, A. Mahmoud, Hanan S. Siam

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A field experiment was conducted during the winter season of 2013/2014 in the barley production area of Dakhala – New Valley Governorate, Egypt to assess the effect of nitrogen rate and time of N fertilizer application on barley grain yield, yield components and N use efficiency of barley and their association with grain yield. The treatments consisted of three levels of nitrogen (0, 70 and 100 kg N/acre) and five application times. The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design with three replication. Results revealed that barley grain yield and yield components increased significantly in response to N rate. Splitting N fertilizer amount at several times result in significant effect on grain yield, yield components, protein content and N uptake efficiency when compared with the entire N was applied at once. Application of N at rate of 100 kg N/acre resulted in accumulation of nitrate in the subsurface soil > 30cm. When N application timing considered, less NO3 was found in the soil profile with splitting N application compared with all preplans application.

Keywords: nitrogen use efficiency, splitting N fertilizer, barley, NO3

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12 Smart Grids in Morocco: An Outline of the Recent Development, Key Drivers and Recommendations for Future Implementation

Authors: Mohamed Laamim, Aboubakr Benazzouz, Abdelilah Rochd, Abdellatif Ghennioui, Abderrahim El Fadili

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Smart grids have recently sparked a lot of interest in the energy sector as they allow for the modernization and digitization of the existing power infrastructure. Smart grids have several advantages in terms of reducing the environmental impact of generating power from fossil fuels due to their capacity to integrate large amounts of distributed energy resources. On the other hand, smart grid technologies necessitate many field investigations and requirements. This paper focuses on the major difficulties that governments face around the world and compares them to the situation in Morocco. Also presented in this study are the current works and projects being developed to improve the penetration of smart grid technologies into the electrical system. Furthermore, the findings of this study will be useful to promote the smart grid revolution in Morocco, as well as to construct a strong foundation and develop future needs for better penetration of technologies that aid in the integration of smart grid features.

Keywords: smart grids, microgrids, virtual power plants, digital twin, distributed energy resources, vehicle-to-grid, advanced metering infrastructure

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11 Quality Service Standard of Food and Beverage Service Staff in Hotel

Authors: Thanasit Suksutdhi

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This survey research aims to study the standard of service quality of food and beverage service staffs in hotel business by studying the service standard of three sample hotels, Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, and Banyan Tree Phuket. In order to find the international service standard of food and beverage service, triangular research, i.e. quantitative, qualitative, and survey were employed. In this research, questionnaires and in-depth interview were used for getting the information on the sequences and method of services. There were three parts of modified questionnaires to measure service quality and guest’s satisfaction including service facilities, attentiveness, responsibility, reliability, and circumspection. This study used sample random sampling to derive subjects with the return rate of the questionnaires was 70% or 280. Data were analyzed by SPSS to find arithmetic mean, SD, percentage, and comparison by t-test and One-way ANOVA. The results revealed that the service quality of the three hotels were in the international level which could create high satisfaction to the international customers. Recommendations for research implementations were to maintain the area of good service quality, and to improve some dimensions of service quality such as reliability. Training in service standard, product knowledge, and new technology for employees should be provided. Furthermore, in order to develop the service quality of the industry, training collaboration between hotel organization and educational institutions in food and beverage service should be considered.

Keywords: service standard, food and beverage department, sequence of service, service method

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10 Static Characterization of a Bio-Based Sandwich in a Humid Environment

Authors: Zeineb Kesentini, Abderrahim El Mahi, Jean Luc Rebiere, Rachid El Guerjouma, Moez Beyaoui, Mohamed Haddar

Abstract:

Industries’ attention has been drawn to green and sustainable materials as a result of the present energy deficit and environmental damage. Sandwiches formed of auxetic structures made up of periodic cells are also being investigated by industry. Several tests have emphasized the exceptional properties of these materials. In this study, the sandwich's core is a one-cell auxetic core. Among plant fibers, flax fibers are chosen because of their good mechanical properties comparable to those of glass fibers. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA), as a green material, is available from starch, and its production process requires fewer fossil resources than petroleum-based plastics. A polylactic acid (PLA) reinforced with flax fiber filament was employed in this study. The manufacturing process used to manufacture the test specimens is 3D printing. The major drawback of a 100% bio-based material is its low resistance to moisture absorption. In this study, a sandwich based on PLA / flax with an auxetic core is characterized statically for different period of immersion in water. Bending tests are carried out on the composite sandwich for three immersion time. Results are compared to those of non immersed specimens. It is found that non aged sandwich has the ultimate bending stiffness.

Keywords: auxetic, bending tests, biobased composite, sandwich structure, 3D printing

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9 Use of Silicate or Chicken Compost in Calacarious Soil on Productivity and Mineral Status of Wheat Plants under Different Levels of Phosphorus

Authors: Hanan, S. Siam, Safaa A. Mahmoud, A. S. Taalab

Abstract:

A pot experiment was conducted in greenhouse of NRC, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt to study the response of wheat plants to different levels of superphosphate at (60kg P2O5 or 30 kg P2O5) with or without potassium silicate or chicken compost (2.5 ton/fed.) on growth yield and nutrients status especially, and phosphorus and silica availability. Data reveal that the addition either chicken or compost increased significantly affected on all the growth and yield parameters as well as nutrients status and protein of the different parts of wheat plants if compared with control (60kg P2O5 or 30 kg P2O5). Data also reveal that the highest mean values were obtained when potassium silicate with was added to 60 kg P2O5, while the lowest values of the previous parameters were obtained when 30 kg P2O5 alone was added to plants. Furthermore, data indicated that the highest mean values of all mentioned parameters were obtained when chicken compost was applied with any rate of P as compared with silica addition at the same rates of P. According to the results, the highest values of all mentioned parameters were obtained when addition of chicken compost and potassium silicate including the high rate of P at (60 kg P2O5) while the lowest values of the previous parameters were obtained when plants received of phosphorus (30 kg P2O5) alone.

Keywords: wheat, yield, chicken compost, potassium, phosphorus, silicate, nutrients status

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8 Effects of Certain Natural Food Additives (Pectin, Gelatin and Whey Proteins) on the Qualities of Fermented Milk

Authors: Abderrahim Cheriguene, Fatiha Arioui

Abstract:

The experimental study focuses on the extraction of pectin, whey protein and gelatin, and the study of their functional properties. Microbiological, physicochemical and sensory approach integrated has been implanted to study the effect of the incorporation of these natural food additives in the matrix of a fermented milk type set yogurt, to study the stability of the product during the periods of fermentation and post-acidification over a period of 21 days at 4°C. Pectin was extracted in hot HCl solution. Thermo-precipitation was carried out to obtain the whey proteins while the gelatin was extracted by hydrolysis of the collagen from bovine ossein. The fermented milk was prepared by varying the concentration of the incorporated additives. The measures and controls carried performed periodically on fermented milk experimental tests were carried out: pH, acidity, viscosity, the enumeration of Streptococcus thermophilus, cohesiveness, adhesiveness, taste, aftertaste, whey exudation, and odor. It appears that the acidity, viscosity, and number of Streptococcus thermophilus increased with increasing concentration of additive added in the experimental tests. Indeed, it seems clear that the quality of fermented milk and storability is more improved than the incorporation rate is high. The products showed a better test and a firmer texture limiting the whey exudation.

Keywords: fermented milk, pectin, gelatin, whey proteins, functional properties, quality, conservation, valorization

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7 Synergistic Effect of Doxorubicin-Loaded Silver Nanoparticles – Polymeric Conjugates on Breast Cancer Cells

Authors: Nancy M. El-Baz, Laila Ziko, Rania Siam, Wael Mamdouh

Abstract:

Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases, and has over than 10 million new cases annually worldwide. Despite the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents, their systemic toxicity and non-selective anticancer actions represent the main obstacles facing cancer curability. Due to the effective enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect of nanomaterials, nanoparticles (NPs) have been used as drug nanocarriers providing targeted cancer drug delivery systems. In addition, several inorganic nanoparticles such as silver (AgNPs) nanoparticles demonstrated a potent anticancer activity against different cancers. The present study aimed at formulating core-shell inorganic NPs-based combinatorial therapy based on combining the anticancer activity of AgNPs along with doxorubicin (DOX) and evaluating their cytotoxicity on MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These inorganic NPs-based combinatorial therapies were designed to (i) Target and kill cancer cells with high selectivity, (ii) Have an improved efficacy/toxicity balance, and (iii) Have an enhanced therapeutic index when compared to the original non-modified DOX with much lower dosage The in-vitro cytotoxicity studies demonstrated that the NPs-based combinatorial therapy achieved the same efficacy of non-modified DOX on breast cancer cell line, but with 96% reduced dose. Such reduction in DOX dose revealed that the combination between DOX and NPs possess a synergic anticancer activity against breast cancer. We believe that this is the first report on a synergic anticancer effect at very low dose of DOX against MCF-7 cells. Future studies on NPs-based combinatorial therapy may aid in formulating novel and significantly more effective cancer therapeutics.

Keywords: nanoparticles-based combinatorial therapy, silver nanoparticles, doxorubicin, breast cancer

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6 Synthesis, Characterization of Organic and Inorganic Zn-Al Layered Double Hydroxides and Application for the Uptake of Methyl Orange from Aqueous Solution

Authors: Fatima Zahra Mahjoubi, Abderrahim Khalidi, Mohammed Abdennouri, Noureddine Barka

Abstract:

Zn-Al layered double hydroxides containing carbonate, nitrate and dodecylsulfate as the interlamellar anions have been prepared through a coprecipitation method. The resulting compounds were characterized using XRD, ICP, FTIR, TGA/DTA, TEM/EDX and pHPZC analysis. The XRD patterns revealed that carbonate and nitrate could be intercalated into the interlayer structure with basal spacing of 22.74 and 26.56 Å respectively. Bilayer intercalation of dodecylsulfate molecules was achieved in Zn-Al LDH with a basal spacing of 37.86 Å. The TEM observation indicated that the materials synthesized via coprecipitation present nanoscale LDH particle. The average particle size of Zn-AlCO3 is 150 to 200 nm. Irregular circular to hexagonal shaped particles with 30 to 40 nm in diameter was observed in the Zn-AlNO3 morphology. TEM image of Zn-AlDs display nanostructured sheet like particles with size distribution between 5 to 10 nm. The sorption characteristics and mechanisms of methyl orange dye on organic LDH were investigated and were subsequently compared with that on the inorganic Zn-Al layered double hydroxides. Adsorption experiments for MO were carried out as function of solution pH, contact time and initial dye concentration. The adsorption behavior onto inorganic LDHs was obviously influenced by initial pH. However, the adsorption capacity of organic LDH was influenced indistinctively by initial pH and the removal percentage of MO was practically constant at various value of pH. As the MO concentration increased, the curve of adsorption capacity became L-type onto LDHs. The adsorption behavior for Zn-AlDs was proposed by the dissolution of dye in a hydrophobic interlayer region (i.e., adsolubilization). The results suggested that Zn-AlDs could be applied as a potential adsorbent for MO removal in a wide range of pH.

Keywords: adsorption, dodecylsulfate, kinetics, layered double hydroxides, methyl orange removal

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5 Translation of the Verbal Nouns (Masadars) Originating from Three-Letter Verbs in the Holy Quran: Verbal Noun with More than One Pattern (Wazn) As a Model

Authors: Montasser Mohamed Abdelwahab Mahmoud, Abdelwahab Saber Esawi

Abstract:

The language of the Qur’an has a wide range of understanding, reflection, and meanings. Therefore, translation of the Qur’an is inevitably nothing but a translation of the interpretation of the meanings of the Qur’an. It requires special competencies and skills for translators so that they can get close to the intended meaning of the verse of the Qur’an and convey it with precision. In the Arabic language, the verbal noun “AlMasdar” is a very important derivative that properly expresses the verbal idea in the form of a noun. It sounds the same as the base form of the verb with minor changes in the vowel pattern. It is one of the important topics in morphology. The morphologists divided verbal nouns into auditory and analogical, and they stated that that the verbal nouns (Masadars) originating from three-letter verbs are auditory, although they set controls for some of them in order to preserve them. As for the lexicographers, they mentioned the verbal nouns while talking about the lexical materials, and in some cases, their explanation of them exceeded that made by the morphologists, especially in their discussion of structures that the morphologists did not refer to in their books. The verb kafara (disbelief), for example, has three patterns, namely: al-kufْr, al-kufrān, and al-kufūr, and it was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an with different connotations. The verb ṣāma (fasted) with his two patterns (al-ṣaūm and al-ṣīām) was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an while their semantic meaning is different. The problem discussed in this research paper lied in the "linguistic loss" committed by translators when dealing with Islamic religious texts, especially the Qur'an. The study tried to identify the strategy adopted by translators of the Holy Qur'an in translating words that were classified as verbal nouns through analyzing the translation rendered by five translations of the Qur’an into English: Yusuf Ali, Pickthall, Mohsin Khan, Muhammad Sarwar, and Shakir. This study was limited to the verbal nouns in the Quraan that originate from three-letter verbs and have different semantic meanings.

Keywords: pattern, three-letter verbs, translation of the Quran, verbal nouns

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4 Normalized P-Laplacian: From Stochastic Game to Image Processing

Authors: Abderrahim Elmoataz

Abstract:

More and more contemporary applications involve data in the form of functions defined on irregular and topologically complicated domains (images, meshs, points clouds, networks, etc). Such data are not organized as familiar digital signals and images sampled on regular lattices. However, they can be conveniently represented as graphs where each vertex represents measured data and each edge represents a relationship (connectivity or certain affinities or interaction) between two vertices. Processing and analyzing these types of data is a major challenge for both image and machine learning communities. Hence, it is very important to transfer to graphs and networks many of the mathematical tools which were initially developed on usual Euclidean spaces and proven to be efficient for many inverse problems and applications dealing with usual image and signal domains. Historically, the main tools for the study of graphs or networks come from combinatorial and graph theory. In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the investigation of one of the major mathematical tools for signal and image analysis, which are Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) variational methods on graphs. The normalized p-laplacian operator has been recently introduced to model a stochastic game called tug-of-war-game with noise. Part interest of this class of operators arises from the fact that it includes, as particular case, the infinity Laplacian, the mean curvature operator and the traditionnal Laplacian operators which was extensiveley used to models and to solve problems in image processing. The purpose of this paper is to introduce and to study a new class of normalized p-Laplacian on graphs. The introduction is based on the extension of p-harmonious function introduced in as discrete approximation for both infinity Laplacian and p-Laplacian equations. Finally, we propose to use these operators as a framework for solving many inverse problems in image processing.

Keywords: normalized p-laplacian, image processing, stochastic game, inverse problems

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3 Zn-, Mg- and Ni-Al-NO₃ Layered Double Hydroxides Intercalated by Nitrate Anions for Treatment of Textile Wastewater

Authors: Fatima Zahra Mahjoubi, Abderrahim Khalidi, Mohamed Abdennouri, Omar Cherkaoui, Noureddine Barka

Abstract:

Industrial effluents are one of the major causes of environmental pollution, especially effluents discharged from various dyestuff manufactures, plastic, and paper making industries. These effluents can give rise to certain hazards and environmental problems for their highly colored suspended organic solid. Dye effluents are not only aesthetic pollutants, but coloration of water by the dyes may affect photochemical activities in aquatic systems by reducing light penetration. It has been also reported that several commonly used dyes are carcinogenic and mutagenic for aquatic organisms. Therefore, removing dyes from effluents is of significant importance. Many adsorbent materials have been prepared in the removal of dyes from wastewater, including anionic clay or layered double hydroxyde. The zinc/aluminium (Zn-AlNO₃), magnesium/aluminium (Mg-AlNO₃) and nickel/aluminium (Ni-AlNO₃) layered double hydroxides (LDHs) were successfully synthesized via coprecipitation method. Samples were characterized by XRD, FTIR, TGA/DTA, TEM and pHPZC analysis. XRD patterns showed a basal spacing increase in the order of Zn-AlNO₃ (8.85Å)> Mg-AlNO₃ (7.95Å)> Ni-AlNO₃ (7.82Å). FTIR spectrum confirmed the presence of nitrate anions in the LDHs interlayer. The TEM images indicated that the Zn-AlNO3 presents circular to shaped particles with an average particle size of approximately 30 to 40 nm. Small plates assigned to sheets with hexagonal form were observed in the case of Mg-AlNO₃. Ni-AlNO₃ display nanostructured sphere in diameter between 5 and 10 nm. The LDHs were used as adsorbents for the removal of methyl orange (MO), as a model dye and for the treatment of an effluent generated by a textile factory. Adsorption experiments for MO were carried out as function of solution pH, contact time and initial dye concentration. Maximum adsorption was occurred at acidic solution pH. Kinetic data were tested using pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order kinetic models. The best fit was obtained with the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. Equilibrium data were correlated to Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. The best conditions for color and COD removal from textile effluent sample were obtained at lower values of pH. Total color removal was obtained with Mg-AlNO₃ and Ni-AlNO₃ LDHs. Reduction of COD to limits authorized by Moroccan standards was obtained with 0.5g/l LDHs dose.

Keywords: chemical oxygen demand, color removal, layered double hydroxides, textile wastewater treatment

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2 Epidemiology of Healthcare-Associated Infections among Hematology/Oncology Patients: Results of a Prospective Incidence Survey in a Tunisian University Hospital

Authors: Ezzi Olfa, Bouafia Nabiha, Ammar Asma, Ben Cheikh Asma, Mahjoub Mohamed, Bannour Wadiaa, Achour Bechir, Khelif Abderrahim, Njah Mansour

Abstract:

Background: In hematology/oncology, health care improvement has allowed increasingly aggressive management in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Nevertheless, these intensified procedures have been associated with higher risk of healthcare associated infections (HAIs). We undertook this study to estimate the burden of HAIs in the cancer patients in an onco -hematology unit in a Tunisian university hospital. Materials/Methods: A prospective, observational study, based on active surveillance for a period of 06 months from Mars through September 2016, was undertaken in the department of onco-hematology in a university hospital in Tunisia. Patients, who stayed in the unit for ≥ 48 h, were followed until hospital discharge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria (CDC) for site-specific infections were used as standard definitions for HAIs. Results: One hundred fifty patients were included in the study. The gender distribution was 33.3% for girls and 66.6% boys. They have a mean age of 23.12 years (SD = 18.36 years). The main patient’s diagnosis is: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL): 48.7 %( n=73). The mean length of stay was 21 days +/- 18 days. Almost 8% of patients had an implantable port (n= 12), 34.9 % (n=52) had a lumber puncture and 42.7 % (n= 64) had a medullary puncture. Chemotherapy was instituted in 88% of patients (n=132). Eighty (53.3%) patients had neutropenia at admission. The incidence rate of HAIs was 32.66 % per patient; the incidence density was 15.73 per 1000 patient-days in the unit. Mortality rate was 9.3% (n= 14), and 50% of cases of death were caused by HAIs. The most frequent episodes of infection were: infection of skin and superficial mucosa (5.3%), pulmonary aspergillosis (4.6%), Healthcare associated pneumonia (HAP) (4%), Central venous catheter associated infection (4%), digestive infection (5%), and primary bloodstream infection (2.6%). Finally, fever of unknown origin (FUO) incidence rate was 14%. In case of skin and superficial infection (n= 8), 4 episodes were documented, and organisms implicated were Escherichia.coli, Geotricum capitatum and Proteus mirabilis. For pulmonary aspergillosis, 6 cases were diagnosed clinically and radiologically, and one was proved by positive aspergillus antigen in bronchial aspiration. Only one patient died due this infection. In HAP (6 cases), four episodes were diagnosed clinically and radiologically. No bacterial etiology was established in these cases. Two patients died due to HAP. For primary bloodstream infection (4 cases), implicated germs were Enterobacter cloacae, Geotricum capitatum, klebsiella pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Conclusion: This type of prospective study is an indispensable tool for internal quality control. It is necessary to evaluate preventive measures and design control guides and strategies aimed to reduce the HAI’s rate and the morbidity and mortality associated with infection in a hematology/oncology unit.

Keywords: cohort prospective studies, healthcare associated infections, hematology oncology department, incidence

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1 Regulatory Governance as a De-Parliamentarization Process: A Contextual Approach to Global Constitutionalism and Its Effects on New Arab Legislatures

Authors: Abderrahim El Maslouhi

Abstract:

The paper aims to analyze an often-overlooked dimension of global constitutionalism, which is the rise of the regulatory state and its impact on parliamentary dynamics in transition regimes. In contrast to Majone’s technocratic vision of convergence towards a single regulatory system based on competence and efficiency, national transpositions of regulatory governance and, in general, the relationship to global standards primarily depend upon a number of distinctive parameters. These include policy formation process, speed of change, depth of parliamentary tradition and greater or lesser vulnerability to the normative conditionality of donors, interstate groupings and transnational regulatory bodies. Based on a comparison between three post-Arab Spring countries -Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, whose constitutions have undergone substantive review in the period 2011-2014- and some European Union state members, the paper intends, first, to assess the degree of permeability to global constitutionalism in different contexts. A noteworthy divide emerges from this comparison. Whereas European constitutions still seem impervious to the lexicon of global constitutionalism, the influence of the latter is obvious in the recently drafted constitutions in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt. This is evidenced by their reference to notions such as ‘governance’, ‘regulators’, ‘accountability’, ‘transparency’, ‘civil society’, and ‘participatory democracy’. Second, the study will provide a contextual account of internal and external rationales underlying the constitutionalization of regulatory governance in the cases examined. Unlike European constitutionalism, where parliamentarism and the tradition of representative government function as a structural mechanism that moderates the de-parliamentarization effect induced by global constitutionalism, Arab constitutional transitions have led to a paradoxical situation; contrary to the public demands for further parliamentarization, the 2011 constitution-makers have opted for a de-parliamentarization pattern. This is particularly reflected in the procedures established by constitutions and regular legislation, to handle the interaction between lawmakers and regulatory bodies. Once the ‘constitutional’ and ‘independent’ nature of these agencies is formally endorsed, the birth of these ‘fourth power’ entities, which are neither elected nor directly responsible to elected officials, will raise the question of their accountability. Third, the paper shows that, even in the three selected countries, the de-parliamentarization intensity is significantly variable. By contrast to the radical stance of the Moroccan and Egyptian constituents who have shown greater concern to shield regulatory bodies from legislatures’ scrutiny, the Tunisian case indicates a certain tendency to provide lawmakers with some essential control instruments (e. g. exclusive appointment power, adversarial discussion of regulators’ annual reports, dismissal power, later held unconstitutional). In sum, the comparison reveals that the transposition of the regulatory state model and, more generally, sensitivity to the legal implications of global conditionality essentially relies on the evolution of real-world power relations at both national and international levels.

Keywords: Arab legislatures, de-parliamentarization, global constitutionalism, normative conditionality, regulatory state

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