Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: Aymen Gammoudi

27 Selecting Skyline Mash-Ups under Uncertainty

Authors: Aymen Gammoudi, Hamza Labbaci, Nizar Messai, Yacine Sam


Web Service Composition (Mash-up) has been considered as a new approach used to offer the user a set of Web Services responding to his request. These approaches can return a set of similar Mash-ups in a given context that makes users unable to select the perfect one. Recent approaches focus on computing the skyline over a set of Quality of Service (QoS) attributes. However, these approaches are not sufficient in a dynamic web service environment where the delivered QoS by a Web service is inherently uncertain. In this paper, we treat the problem of computing the skyline over a set of similar Mash-ups under certain dimension values. We generate dimensions for each Mash-up using aggregation operations applied to the QoS attributes. We then tackle the problem of computing the skyline under uncertain dimensions. We present each dimension value of mash-up using a frame of discernment and introduce the d-dominance using the Evidence Theory. Finally, we propose our experimental results that show both the effectiveness of the introduced skyline extensions and the efficiency of the proposed approaches.

Keywords: web services, uncertain QoS, mash-ups, uncertain dimensions, skyline, evidence theory, d-dominance

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26 Source Separation for Global Multispectral Satellite Images Indexing

Authors: Aymen Bouzid, Jihen Ben Smida


In this paper, we propose to prove the importance of the application of blind source separation methods on remote sensing data in order to index multispectral images. The proposed method starts with Gabor Filtering and the application of a Blind Source Separation to get a more effective representation of the information contained on the observation images. After that, a feature vector is extracted from each image in order to index them. Experimental results show the superior performance of this approach.

Keywords: blind source separation, content based image retrieval, feature extraction multispectral, satellite images

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25 Application of Fractional Model Predictive Control to Thermal System

Authors: Aymen Rhouma, Khaled Hcheichi, Sami Hafsi


The article presents an application of Fractional Model Predictive Control (FMPC) to a fractional order thermal system using Controlled Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (CARIMA) model obtained by discretization of a continuous fractional differential equation. Moreover, the output deviation approach is exploited to design the K -step ahead output predictor, and the corresponding control law is obtained by solving a quadratic cost function. Experiment results onto a thermal system are presented to emphasize the performances and the effectiveness of the proposed predictive controller.

Keywords: fractional model predictive control, fractional order systems, thermal system, predictive control

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24 Semi-Automatic Method to Assist Expert for Association Rules Validation

Authors: Amdouni Hamida, Gammoudi Mohamed Mohsen


In order to help the expert to validate association rules extracted from data, some quality measures are proposed in the literature. We distinguish two categories: objective and subjective measures. The first one depends on a fixed threshold and on data quality from which the rules are extracted. The second one consists on providing to the expert some tools in the objective to explore and visualize rules during the evaluation step. However, the number of extracted rules to validate remains high. Thus, the manually mining rules task is very hard. To solve this problem, we propose, in this paper, a semi-automatic method to assist the expert during the association rule's validation. Our method uses rule-based classification as follow: (i) We transform association rules into classification rules (classifiers), (ii) We use the generated classifiers for data classification. (iii) We visualize association rules with their quality classification to give an idea to the expert and to assist him during validation process.

Keywords: association rules, rule-based classification, classification quality, validation

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23 Warning about the Risk of Blood Flow Stagnation after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation

Authors: Aymen Laadhari, Gábor Székely


In this work, the hemodynamics in the sinuses of Valsalva after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation is numerically examined. We focus on the physical results in the two-dimensional case. We use a finite element methodology based on a Lagrange multiplier technique that enables to couple the dynamics of blood flow and the leaflets’ movement. A massively parallel implementation of a monolithic and fully implicit solver allows more accuracy and significant computational savings. The elastic properties of the aortic valve are disregarded, and the numerical computations are performed under physiologically correct pressure loads. Computational results depict that blood flow may be subject to stagnation in the lower domain of the sinuses of Valsalva after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.

Keywords: hemodynamics, simulations, stagnation, valve

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22 Estimation of Enantioresolution of Multiple Stereogenic Drugs Using Mobilized and/or Immobilized Polysaccharide-Based HPLC Chiral Stationary Phases

Authors: Mohamed Hefnawy, Abdulrahman Al-Majed, Aymen Al-Suwailem


Enantioseparation of drugs with multiple stereogenic centers is challenging. This study objectives to evaluate the efficiency of different mobilized and/or immobilized polysaccharide-based chiral stationary phases to separate enantiomers of some drugs containing multiple stereogenic centers namely indenolol, nadolol, labetalol. The critical mobile phase variables (composition of organic solvents, acid/base ratios) were carefully studied to compare the retention time and elution order of all isomers. Different chromatographic parameters such as capacity factor (k), selectivity (α) and resolution (Rs) were calculated. Experimental conditions and the possible chiral recognition mechanisms have been discussed.

Keywords: HPLC, polysaccharide columns, enantio-resolution, indenolol, nadolol, labetalol

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21 An Implicit Methodology for the Numerical Modeling of Locally Inextensible Membranes

Authors: Aymen Laadhari


We present in this paper a fully implicit finite element method tailored for the numerical modeling of inextensible fluidic membranes in a surrounding Newtonian fluid. We consider a highly simplified version of the Canham-Helfrich model for phospholipid membranes, in which the bending force and spontaneous curvature are disregarded. The coupled problem is formulated in a fully Eulerian framework and the membrane motion is tracked using the level set method. The resulting nonlinear problem is solved by a Newton-Raphson strategy, featuring a quadratic convergence behavior. A monolithic solver is implemented, and we report several numerical experiments aimed at model validation and illustrating the accuracy of the proposed method. We show that stability is maintained for significantly larger time steps with respect to an explicit decoupling method.

Keywords: finite element method, level set, Newton, membrane

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20 Reduction of Planar Transformer AC Resistance Using a Planar Litz Wire Structure

Authors: Hamed Belloumi, Aymen Ammouri, Ferid Kourda


A new trend in power converters is to design planar transformer that aim for low profile. However, at high frequency, the planar transformer ac losses become significant due to the proximity and skin effects. In this paper, the design and implementation of a novel planar litz conductor is presented in order to equalize the flux linkage and improving the current distribution. The developed PCB litz wire structure minimizes the losses in a similar way to the conventional multi stranded litz wires. In order to further illustrate the eddy current effect in different arrangements, a finite-element analysis (FEA) tool is used to analyze current distribution inside the conductors. Finally, the proposed planar transformer has been integrated in an electronic stage to test at high signal levels.

Keywords: planar transformer, finite-element analysis (FEA), winding losses, planar litz wire

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19 Open Circuit MPPT Control Implemented for PV Water Pumping System

Authors: Rabiaa Gammoudi, Najet Rebei, Othman Hasnaoui


Photovoltaic systems use different techniques for tracking the Maximum Power Point (MPPT) to provide the highest possible power to the load regardless of the climatic conditions variation. In this paper, the proposed method is the Open Circuit (OC) method with sudden and random variations of insolation. The simulation results of the water pumping system controlled by OC method are validated by an experimental experience in real-time using a test bench composed by a centrifugal pump powered by a PVG via a boost chopper for the adaptation between the source and the load. The output of the DC/DC converter supplies the motor pump LOWARA type, assembly by means of a DC/AC inverter. The control part is provided by a computer incorporating a card DS1104 running environment Matlab/Simulink for visualization and data acquisition. These results show clearly the effectiveness of our control with a very good performance. The results obtained show the usefulness of the developed algorithm in solving the problem of degradation of PVG performance depending on the variation of climatic factors with a very good yield.

Keywords: PVWPS (PV Water Pumping System), maximum power point tracking (MPPT), open circuit method (OC), boost converter, DC/AC inverter

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18 Analyze and Visualize Eye-Tracking Data

Authors: Aymen Sekhri, Emmanuel Kwabena Frimpong, Bolaji Mubarak Ayeyemi, Aleksi Hirvonen, Matias Hirvonen, Tedros Tesfay Andemichael


Fixation identification, which involves isolating and identifying fixations and saccades in eye-tracking protocols, is an important aspect of eye-movement data processing that can have a big impact on higher-level analyses. However, fixation identification techniques are frequently discussed informally and rarely compared in any meaningful way. With two state-of-the-art algorithms, we will implement fixation detection and analysis in this work. The velocity threshold fixation algorithm is the first algorithm, and it identifies fixation based on a threshold value. For eye movement detection, the second approach is U'n' Eye, a deep neural network algorithm. The goal of this project is to analyze and visualize eye-tracking data from an eye gaze dataset that has been provided. The data was collected in a scenario in which individuals were shown photos and asked whether or not they recognized them. The results of the two-fixation detection approach are contrasted and visualized in this paper.

Keywords: human-computer interaction, eye-tracking, CNN, fixations, saccades

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17 Implicit Eulerian Fluid-Structure Interaction Method for the Modeling of Highly Deformable Elastic Membranes

Authors: Aymen Laadhari, Gábor Székely


This paper is concerned with the development of a fully implicit and purely Eulerian fluid-structure interaction method tailored for the modeling of the large deformations of elastic membranes in a surrounding Newtonian fluid. We consider a simplified model for the mechanical properties of the membrane, in which the surface strain energy depends on the membrane stretching. The fully Eulerian description is based on the advection of a modified surface tension tensor, and the deformations of the membrane are tracked using a level set strategy. The resulting nonlinear problem is solved by a Newton-Raphson method, featuring a quadratic convergence behavior. A monolithic solver is implemented, and we report several numerical experiments aimed at model validation and illustrating the accuracy of the presented method. We show that stability is maintained for significantly larger time steps.

Keywords: finite element method, implicit, level set, membrane, Newton method

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16 Experimental Measurement for Vehicular Communication Evaluation Using Obu Arada System

Authors: Aymen Sassi


The equipment of vehicles with wireless communication capabilities is expected to be the key to the evolution to next generation intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The IEEE community has been continuously working on the development of an efficient vehicular communication protocol for the enhancement of Wireless Access in Vehicular Environment (WAVE). Vehicular communication systems, called V2X, support vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications. The efficiency of such communication systems depends on several factors, among which the surrounding environment and mobility are prominent. Accordingly, this study focuses on the evaluation of the real performance of vehicular communication with special focus on the effects of the real environment and mobility on V2X communication. It starts by identifying the real maximum range that such communication can support and then evaluates V2I and V2V performances. The Arada LocoMate OBU transmission system was used to test and evaluate the impact of the transmission range in V2X communication. The evaluation of V2I and V2V communication takes the real effects of low and high mobility on transmission into account.

Keywords: IEEE 802.11p, V2I, V2X, mobility, PLR, Arada LocoMate OBU, maximum range

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15 Dual-Rail Logic Unit in Double Pass Transistor Logic

Authors: Hamdi Belgacem, Fradi Aymen


In this paper we present a low power, low cost differential logic unit (LU). The proposed LU receives dual-rail inputs and generates dual-rail outputs. The proposed circuit can be used in Arithmetic and Logic Units (ALU) of processor. It can be also dedicated for self-checking applications based on dual duplication code. Four logic functions as well as their inverses are implemented within a single Logic Unit. The hardware overhead for the implementation of the proposed LU is lower than the hardware overhead required for standard LU implemented with standard CMOS logic style. This new implementation is attractive as fewer transistors are required to implement important logic functions. The proposed differential logic unit can perform 8 Boolean logical operations by using only 16 transistors. Spice simulations using a 32 nm technology was utilized to evaluate the performance of the proposed circuit and to prove its acceptable electrical behaviour.

Keywords: differential logic unit, double pass transistor logic, low power CMOS design, low cost CMOS design

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14 Handwriting Velocity Modeling by Artificial Neural Networks

Authors: Mohamed Aymen Slim, Afef Abdelkrim, Mohamed Benrejeb


The handwriting is a physical demonstration of a complex cognitive process learnt by man since his childhood. People with disabilities or suffering from various neurological diseases are facing so many difficulties resulting from problems located at the muscle stimuli (EMG) or signals from the brain (EEG) and which arise at the stage of writing. The handwriting velocity of the same writer or different writers varies according to different criteria: age, attitude, mood, writing surface, etc. Therefore, it is interesting to reconstruct an experimental basis records taking, as primary reference, the writing speed for different writers which would allow studying the global system during handwriting process. This paper deals with a new approach of the handwriting system modeling based on the velocity criterion through the concepts of artificial neural networks, precisely the Radial Basis Functions (RBF) neural networks. The obtained simulation results show a satisfactory agreement between responses of the developed neural model and the experimental data for various letters and forms then the efficiency of the proposed approaches.

Keywords: Electro Myo Graphic (EMG) signals, experimental approach, handwriting process, Radial Basis Functions (RBF) neural networks, velocity modeling

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13 Numerical investigation of Hydrodynamic and Parietal Heat Transfer to Bingham Fluid Agitated in a Vessel by Helical Ribbon Impeller

Authors: Mounir Baccar, Amel Gammoudi, Abdelhak Ayadi


The efficient mixing of highly viscous fluids is required for many industries such as food, polymers or paints production. The homogeneity is a challenging operation for this fluids type since they operate at low Reynolds number to reduce the required power of the used impellers. Particularly, close-clearance impellers, mainly helical ribbons, are chosen for highly viscous fluids agitated in laminar regime which is currently heated through vessel wall. Indeed, they are characterized by high shear strains closer to the vessel wall, which causes a disturbing thermal boundary layer and ensures the homogenization of the bulk volume by axial and radial vortices. The hydrodynamic and thermal behaviors of Newtonian fluids in vessels agitated by helical ribbon impellers, has been mostly studied by many researchers. However, rarely researchers investigated numerically the agitation of yield stress fluid by means of helical ribbon impellers. This paper aims to study the effect of the Double Helical Ribbon (DHR) stirrers on both the hydrodynamic and the thermal behaviors of yield stress fluids treated in a cylindrical vessel by means of numerical simulation approach. For this purpose, continuity, momentum, and thermal equations were solved by means of 3D finite volume technique. The effect of Oldroyd (Od) and Reynolds (Re) numbers on the power (Po) and Nusselt (Nu) numbers for the mentioned stirrer type have been studied. Also, the velocity and thermal fields, the dissipation function and the apparent viscosity have been presented in different (r-z) and (r-θ) planes.

Keywords: Bingham fluid, Hydrodynamic and thermal behavior, helical ribbon, mixing, numerical modelling

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12 Tectonic Inversion Manifestations in the Jebel Rouas-Ruissate (Northeastern Tunisia)

Authors: Aymen Arfaoui, Abdelkader Soumaya, Noureddine Ben Ayed


The Rouas-Ruissateis a part of TunisianAtlas system. Analyze of the collected field data allowed us to propose a new interpretation for the main structural features of thisregion. Tectonic inversions along NE-SW trending fault of Zaghouan and holokinetic movements are the main factors controlling the architecture and geometry of the Jebel Rouas-Ruissate. The presence of breccias, Slumps, and synsedimentaryfaults along NW-SE and N-S trending major faults show that they were active during the Mesozoicextensionalepisodes. During Cenozoic inversion period, this structurewas shaped as imbricatefansformed byNE-SW trending thrust faults. The angularunconformitybetweenupperEocene- Oligocene, and Cretaceousdeposits reveals a compressive Eocene tectonic phase (called Pyrenean phase)occurred duringPaleocene-lower Eocene.The Triassicsaltsacted as a decollementlevel in the NE-SW trendingfault propagation fold model of the Rouas-Ruissate.The inversion of fault-slip data along the main regional fault zones reveals a coexistence of strike-slip and reverse fault stress regimes with NW-SE maximum horizontal stress(SHmax) characterizing the Alpine compressive phase (Upper Tortonian).

Keywords: tunisia, imbricate fans, triassic decollement level, fault propagation fold

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11 Experimental Study on Strengthening Systems of Reinforced Concrete Cantilever Slabs

Authors: Aymen H. Khalil, Ashraf M. Heniegal, Bassam A. Abdelsalam


There are many problems related to cantilever slabs such as the time-dependent deformation, corrosion problems of steel reinforcement, and lack of experimental studies on the strength of strengthened cantilever slabs. This paper presents an investigation to evaluate the behavior of reinforced concrete cantilever slabs after strengthening with different techniques. Six medium scale specimens, divided into three groups, were tested along with a control slab. The first group consists of two specimens which were repaired and strengthened using reinforced concrete jacket above with and without shear connector bars, whereas the second group contained two slabs which were strengthened using two strips of two layers of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) covering 60% and 90% from the cantilever length. The last group involves two specimens strengthened with two steel plates. In one specimen, the steel plates were glued to the surface using epoxy resin. The second specimen, the steel plates were affixed to the concrete surface using expansion bolts. The loading was conducted in two phases. Firstly, the samples were subjected to 40% of the ultimate load of the control slab. Secondly, the specimens reloaded after being strengthened up to failure. The load-deflection, steel strain, concrete strain, failure mode, toughness, and ductility index are discussed in this paper.

Keywords: repair, strengthened, GFRP layers, reloaded, jacketing, cantilever slabs

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10 A Machine Learning Framework Based on Biometric Measurements for Automatic Fetal Head Anomalies Diagnosis in Ultrasound Images

Authors: Hanene Sahli, Aymen Mouelhi, Marwa Hajji, Amine Ben Slama, Mounir Sayadi, Farhat Fnaiech, Radhwane Rachdi


Fetal abnormality is still a public health problem of interest to both mother and baby. Head defect is one of the most high-risk fetal deformities. Fetal head categorization is a sensitive task that needs a massive attention from neurological experts. In this sense, biometrical measurements can be extracted by gynecologist doctors and compared with ground truth charts to identify normal or abnormal growth. The fetal head biometric measurements such as Biparietal Diameter (BPD), Occipito-Frontal Diameter (OFD) and Head Circumference (HC) needs to be monitored, and expert should carry out its manual delineations. This work proposes a new approach to automatically compute BPD, OFD and HC based on morphological characteristics extracted from head shape. Hence, the studied data selected at the same Gestational Age (GA) from the fetal Ultrasound images (US) are classified into two categories: Normal and abnormal. The abnormal subjects include hydrocephalus, microcephaly and dolichocephaly anomalies. By the use of a support vector machines (SVM) method, this study achieved high classification for automated detection of anomalies. The proposed method is promising although it doesn't need expert interventions.

Keywords: biometric measurements, fetal head malformations, machine learning methods, US images

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9 Role of Inherited Structures during Inversion Tectonics: An Example from Tunisia, North Africa

Authors: Aymen Arfaoui, Abdelkader Soumaya, Ali Kadri, Noureddine Ben Ayed


The Tunisian dorsal backland is located on the Eastern Atlas side of the Maghrebides (North Africa). The analysis of collected field data in the Rouas and Ruissate mountains area allowed us to develop new interpretations for its structural framework. Our kinematic analysis of fault-slip data reveals the presence of an extensional tectonic regime with NE-SW Shmin, characterizing the Mesozoic times. In addition, geophysical data shows that the synsedimentary normal faulting is accompanied by thickness variations of sedimentary sequences and Triassic salt movements. Then, after the Eurasia-Africa plate’s convergence during the Eocene, compressive tectonic deformations affected and reactivated the inherited NW-SE and N-S trending normal faults as dextral strike-slip and reverse faults, respectively. This tectonic inversion, with compression to the transpressional tectonic regime and NW-SE SHmax, continued during the successive shortening phases of the upper Miocene and Quaternary. The geometry of the Rouas and Ruissate belt is expressed as a fault propagation fold, affecting Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits. The Triassic evaporates constitute the decollement levels, facilitating the detachment and deformation of the sedimentary cover. The backland of this thrust belt is defined by NNE-SSW trending imbrication features that are controlled by a basement N-S fault.

Keywords: Tunisian dorsal backland, fault slip data; synsedimentary faults, tectonic inversion, decollement level, fault propagation fold

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8 [Keynote Talk]: Mathematical and Numerical Modelling of the Cardiovascular System: Macroscale, Mesoscale and Microscale Applications

Authors: Aymen Laadhari


The cardiovascular system is centered on the heart and is characterized by a very complex structure with different physical scales in space (e.g. micrometers for erythrocytes and centimeters for organs) and time (e.g. milliseconds for human brain activity and several years for development of some pathologies). The development and numerical implementation of mathematical models of the cardiovascular system is a tremendously challenging topic at the theoretical and computational levels, inducing consequently a growing interest over the past decade. The accurate computational investigations in both healthy and pathological cases of processes related to the functioning of the human cardiovascular system can be of great potential in tackling several problems of clinical relevance and in improving the diagnosis of specific diseases. In this talk, we focus on the specific task of simulating three particular phenomena related to the cardiovascular system on the macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic scales, respectively. Namely, we develop numerical methodologies tailored for the simulation of (i) the haemodynamics (i.e., fluid mechanics of blood) in the aorta and sinus of Valsalva interacting with highly deformable thin leaflets, (ii) the hyperelastic anisotropic behaviour of cardiomyocytes and the influence of calcium concentrations on the contraction of single cells, and (iii) the dynamics of red blood cells in microvasculature. For each problem, we present an appropriate fully Eulerian finite element methodology. We report several numerical examples to address in detail the relevance of the mathematical models in terms of physiological meaning and to illustrate the accuracy and efficiency of the numerical methods.

Keywords: finite element method, cardiovascular system, Eulerian framework, haemodynamics, heart valve, cardiomyocyte, red blood cell

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7 Discrimination and Classification of Vestibular Neuritis Using Combined Fisher and Support Vector Machine Model

Authors: Amine Ben Slama, Aymen Mouelhi, Sondes Manoubi, Chiraz Mbarek, Hedi Trabelsi, Mounir Sayadi, Farhat Fnaiech


Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off balance; the cause of this symptom is very difficult to interpret and needs a complementary exam. Generally, vertigo is caused by an ear problem. Some of the most common causes include: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere's disease and vestibular neuritis (VN). In clinical practice, different tests of videonystagmographic (VNG) technique are used to detect the presence of vestibular neuritis (VN). The topographical diagnosis of this disease presents a large diversity in its characteristics that confirm a mixture of problems for usual etiological analysis methods. In this study, a vestibular neuritis analysis method is proposed with videonystagmography (VNG) applications using an estimation of pupil movements in the case of an uncontrolled motion to obtain an efficient and reliable diagnosis results. First, an estimation of the pupil displacement vectors using with Hough Transform (HT) is performed to approximate the location of pupil region. Then, temporal and frequency features are computed from the rotation angle variation of the pupil motion. Finally, optimized features are selected using Fisher criterion evaluation for discrimination and classification of the VN disease.Experimental results are analyzed using two categories: normal and pathologic. By classifying the reduced features using the Support Vector Machine (SVM), 94% is achieved as classification accuracy. Compared to recent studies, the proposed expert system is extremely helpful and highly effective to resolve the problem of VNG analysis and provide an accurate diagnostic for medical devices.

Keywords: nystagmus, vestibular neuritis, videonystagmographic system, VNG, Fisher criterion, support vector machine, SVM

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6 Fully Eulerian Finite Element Methodology for the Numerical Modeling of the Dynamics of Heart Valves

Authors: Aymen Laadhari


During the last decade, an increasing number of contributions have been made in the fields of scientific computing and numerical methodologies applied to the study of the hemodynamics in the heart. In contrast, the numerical aspects concerning the interaction of pulsatile blood flow with highly deformable thin leaflets have been much less explored. This coupled problem remains extremely challenging and numerical difficulties include e.g. the resolution of full Fluid-Structure Interaction problem with large deformations of extremely thin leaflets, substantial mesh deformations, high transvalvular pressure discontinuities, contact between leaflets. Although the Lagrangian description of the structural motion and strain measures is naturally used, many numerical complexities can arise when studying large deformations of thin structures. Eulerian approaches represent a promising alternative to readily model large deformations and handle contact issues. We present a fully Eulerian finite element methodology tailored for the simulation of pulsatile blood flow in the aorta and sinus of Valsalva interacting with highly deformable thin leaflets. Our method enables to use a fluid solver on a fixed mesh, whilst being able to easily model the mechanical properties of the valve. We introduce a semi-implicit time integration scheme based on a consistent NewtonRaphson linearization. A variant of the classical Newton method is introduced and guarantees a third-order convergence. High-fidelity computational geometries are built and simulations are performed under physiological conditions. We address in detail the main features of the proposed method, and we report several experiments with the aim of illustrating its accuracy and efficiency.

Keywords: eulerian, level set, newton, valve

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5 Study of Synergetic Effect by Combining Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) Plasma and Photocatalysis for Abatement of Pollutants in Air Mixture System: Influence of Some Operating Conditions and Identification of Byproducts

Authors: Wala Abou Saoud, Aymen Amine Assadi, Monia Guiza, Abdelkrim Bouzaza, Wael Aboussaoud, Abdelmottaleb Ouederni, Dominique Wolbert


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) constitute one of the most important families of chemicals involved in atmospheric pollution, causing damage to the environment and human health, and need, consequently, to be eliminated. Among the promising technologies, dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma - photocatalysis coupling reveals very interesting prospects in terms of process synergy of compounds mineralization’s, with low energy consumption. In this study, the removal of organic compounds such butyraldehyde (BUTY) and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) (exhaust gasses from animal quartering centers.) in air mixture using DBD plasma coupled with photocatalysis was tested, in order to determine whether or not synergy effect was present. The removal efficiency of these pollutants, a selectivity of CO₂ and CO, and byproducts formation such as ozone formation were investigated in order to evaluate the performance of the combined process. For this purpose, a series of experiments were carried out in a continuous reactor. Many operating parameters were also investigated such as the specific energy of discharge, the inlet concentration of pollutant and the flowrate. It appears from this study that, the performance of the process has enhanced and a synergetic effect is observed. In fact, we note an enhancement of 10 % on removal efficiency. It is interesting to note that the combined system leads to better CO₂ selectivity than for plasma. Consequently, intermediates by-products have been reduced due to various other species (O•, N, OH•, O₂•-, O₃, NO₂, NOx, etc.). Additionally, the behavior of combining DBD plasma and photocatalysis has shown that the ozone can be easily also decomposed in presence of photocatalyst.

Keywords: combined process, DBD plasma, photocatalysis, pilot scale, synergetic effect, VOCs

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4 Chemical Warfare Agent Simulant by Photocatalytic Filtering Reactor: Effect of Operating Parameters

Authors: Youcef Serhane, Abdelkrim Bouzaza, Dominique Wolbert, Aymen Amin Assadi


Throughout history, the use of chemical weapons is not exclusive to combats between army corps; some of these weapons are also found in very targeted intelligence operations (political assassinations), organized crime, and terrorist organizations. To improve the speed of action, important technological devices have been developed in recent years, in particular in the field of protection and decontamination techniques to better protect and neutralize a chemical threat. In order to assess certain protective, decontaminating technologies or to improve medical countermeasures, tests must be conducted. In view of the great toxicity of toxic chemical agents from (real) wars, simulants can be used, chosen according to the desired application. Here, we present an investigation about using a photocatalytic filtering reactor (PFR) for highly contaminated environments containing diethyl sulfide (DES). This target pollutant is used as a simulant of CWA, namely of Yperite (Mustard Gas). The influence of the inlet concentration (until high concentrations of DES (1200 ppmv, i.e., 5 g/m³ of air) has been studied. Also, the conversion rate was monitored under different relative humidity and different flow rates (respiratory flow - standards: ISO / DIS 8996 and NF EN 14387 + A1). In order to understand the efficacity of pollutant neutralization by PFR, a kinetic model based on the Langmuir–Hinshelwood (L–H) approach and taking into account the mass transfer step was developed. This allows us to determine the adsorption and kinetic degradation constants with no influence of mass transfer. The obtained results confirm that this small configuration of reactor presents an extremely promising way for the use of photocatalysis for treatment to deal with highly contaminated environments containing real chemical warfare agents. Also, they can give birth to an individual protection device (an autonomous cartridge for a gas mask).

Keywords: photocatalysis, photocatalytic filtering reactor, diethylsulfide, chemical warfare agents

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3 The Emerging Multi-Species Trap Fishery in the Red Sea Waters of Saudi Arabia

Authors: Nabeel M. Alikunhi, Zenon B. Batang, Aymen Charef, Abdulaziz M. Al-Suwailem


Saudi Arabia has a long history of using traps as a traditional fishing gear for catching commercially important demersal, mainly coral reef-associated fish species. Fish traps constitute the dominant small-scale fisheries in Saudi waters of Arabian Gulf (eastern seaboard of Saudi Arabia). Recently, however, traps have been increasingly used along the Saudi Red Sea coast (western seaboard), with a coastline of 1800 km (71%) compared to only 720 km (29%) in the Saudi Gulf region. The production trend for traps indicates a recent increase in catches and percent contribution to traditional fishery landings, thus ascertaining the rapid proliferation of trap fishing along the Saudi Red Sea coast. Reef-associated fish species, mainly groupers (Serranidae), emperors (Lethrinidae), parrotfishes (Scaridae), scads and trevallies (Carangidae), and snappers (Lutjanidae), dominate the trap catches, reflecting the reef-dominated shelf zone in the Red Sea. This ongoing investigation covers following major objectives (i) Baseline studies to characterize trap fishery through landing site visit and interview surveys (ii) Stock assessment by fisheries and biological data obtained through monthly landing site monitoring using fishery operational model by FLBEIA, (iii) Operational impacts, derelict traps assessment and by-catch analysis through bottom-mounted video camera and onboard monitoring (iv) Elucidation of fishing grounds and derelict traps impacts by onboard monitoring, Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle and Autonomous Underwater Vehicle surveys; and (v) Analysis of gear design and operations which covers colonization and deterioration experiments. The progress of this investigation on the impacts of the trap fishery on fish stocks and the marine environment in the Saudi Red Sea region is presented.

Keywords: red sea, Saudi Arabia, fish trap, stock assessment, environmental impacts

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2 Influence of Strike-Slip Faulting in the Tectonic Evolution of North-Eastern Tunisia

Authors: Aymen Arfaoui, Abdelkader Soumaya, Ali Kadri, Noureddine Ben Ayed


The major contractional events characterized by strike-slip faulting, folding, and thrusting occurred in the Eocene, Late Miocene, and Quaternary along with the NE Tunisian domain between Bou Kornine-Ressas- Msella and Cap Bon Peninsula. During the Plio-Quaternary, the Grombalia and Mornag grabens show a maximum of collapse in parallelism with the NNW-SSE SHmax direction and developed as 3rd order extensive regions within a regional compressional regime. Using available tectonic and geophysical data supplemented by new fault-kinematic observations, we show that Cenozoic deformations are dominated by first order N-S faults reactivation, this sinistral wrench system is responsible for the formation of strike-slip duplexes, thrusts, folds, and grabens. Based on our new structural interpretation, the major faults of N-S Axis, Bou Kornine-Ressas-Messella (MRB), and Hammamet-Korbous (HK) form an N-S first order restraining stepover within a left-lateral strike-slip duplex. The N-S master MRB fault is dominated by contractional imbricate fans, while the parallel HK fault is characterized by a trailing of extensional imbricate fans. The Eocene and Miocene compression phases in the study area caused sinistral strike-slip reactivation of pre-existing N-S faults, reverse reactivation of NE-SW trending faults, and normal-oblique reactivation of NW-SE faults, creating a NE-SW to N-S trending system of east-verging folds and overlaps. Seismic tomography images reveal a key role for the lithospheric subvertical tear or STEP fault (Slab Transfer Edge Propagator) evidenced below this region on the development of the MRB and the HK relay zone. The presence of extensive syntectonic Pliocene sequences above this crustal scale fault may be the result of a recent lithospheric vertical motion of this STEP fault due to the rollback and lateral migration of the Calabrian slab eastward.

Keywords: Tunisia, strike-slip fault, contractional duplex, tectonic stress, restraining stepover, STEP fault

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1 Seismotectonic Deformations Along Strike-Slip Fault Systems of the Maghreb Region (Western Mediterranean)

Authors: Abdelkader Soumaya, Noureddine Ben Ayed, Mojtaba Rajabi, Mustapha Meghraoui, Damien Delvaux, Ali Kadri, Moritz Ziegler, Said Maouche, Ahmed Braham, Aymen Arfaoui


The northern Maghreb region (western Mediterranean) is a key area to study the seismotectonic deformations across the Africa-Eurasia convergent plate boundary. On the basis of young geologic fault slip data and stress inversion of focal mechanisms, we defined a first-order transpression-compatible stress field and a second-order spatial variation of tectonic regime across the Maghreb region, with a relatively stable SHmax orientation from east to west. Therefore, the present-day active contraction of the western Africa-Eurasia plate boundary is accommodated by (1) E-W strike-slip faulting with reverse component along the Eastern Tell and Saharan-Tunisian Atlas, (2) a predominantly NE trending thrust faulting with strike-slip component in the Western Tell part, and (3) a conjugate strike-slip faulting regime with a normal component in the Alboran/Rif domain. This spatial variation of the actice stress field and tectonic regime is relatively in agreement with the inferred stress information from neotectonic features. According to newly suggested structural models, we highlight the role of main geometrically complex shear zones in the present-day stress pattern of the Maghreb region. Then, different geometries of these major pre-existing strike-slip faults and related fractures (V-shaped conjugate fractures, horsetail splays faults, and Riedel fractures) impose their component on the second-and third-order stress regimes. Smoothed present-day and Neotectonic stress map (mean SHmax orientation) reveal that plate boundary forces acting on the Africa-Eurasia collisional plates control the long wavelength of the stress field pattern in the Maghreb. The seismotectonic deformations and the upper crustal stress field in the study area are governed by the interplay of the oblique plate convergence (i.e., Africa-Eurasia), lithosphere-mantle interaction, and preexisting tectonic weakness zones.

Keywords: Maghreb, strike-slip fault, seismotectonic, focal mechanism, inversion

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