Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Bardkis Ahlem

21 Association Nephropathy and Hypertension in Diabetic Patients

Authors: Bahlous Afef, Bouzid Kahena, Bardkis Ahlem, Mrad Mehdi, Kalai Eya, Sonia Bahri, Abdelmoula Jaouida

Abstract:

Diabetic nephropathy is the first cause of chronic renal failure and hemodialysis use in several countries including Tunisia. The role of hypertension (HT) as major risk factor for nephropathy is undeniable. The aim of our study was to determine the relationship between blood pressure and nephropathy in a population of diabetic type 2 recently discovered. Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective study focused on 60 patients with type 2 diabetes recently discovered (<5 years). Each patient have benefited from: -a full clinical examination with measurement of blood pressure - exploring a blood-glucose control and renal function -urinary exploration with the determination of proteinuria microalbuminumie of 24 hours with a immunoturbidimetric method using Architect (ABBOTT CI 8200). Results and discussion: Hypertension was present in 46.7% of cases. Twenty patients, 35% of the study population showed nephropathy. Four of these patients (6.66% of cases) had proteinuria, while 16 (26.6% of patients) had microalbuminuria (> 30mg/24 hours). Systolic blood pressure was significantly (p < 0.05) associated with the presence of nephropathy (139 +19.44) vs. for the group with normal renal function (128.65 +15.12 mmHg). Conclusion: The etiology of diabetic nephropathy is multifactorial. However, systolic blood pressure and glycemic control remains the major risk factors. Better glycemic control and treatment of hypertension allowed preventing and slowing the progression of diabetic nephropathy.

Keywords: hypertension, nephropathy, hemodialysis, diabetes

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20 Improvement of the Numerical Integration's Quality in Meshless Methods

Authors: Ahlem Mougaida, Hedi Bel Hadj Salah

Abstract:

Several methods are suggested to improve the numerical integration in Galerkin weak form for Meshless methods. In fact, integrating without taking into account the characteristics of the shape functions reproduced by Meshless methods (rational functions, with compact support etc.), causes a large integration error that influences the PDE’s approximate solution. Comparisons between different methods of numerical integration for rational functions are discussed and compared. The algorithms are implemented in Matlab. Finally, numerical results were presented to prove the efficiency of our algorithms in improving results.

Keywords: adaptive methods, meshless, numerical integration, rational quadrature

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19 An Optimal Steganalysis Based Approach for Embedding Information in Image Cover Media with Security

Authors: Ahlem Fatnassi, Hamza Gharsellaoui, Sadok Bouamama

Abstract:

This paper deals with the study of interest in the fields of Steganography and Steganalysis. Steganography involves hiding information in a cover media to obtain the stego media in such a way that the cover media is perceived not to have any embedded message for its unintended recipients. Steganalysis is the mechanism of detecting the presence of hidden information in the stego media and it can lead to the prevention of disastrous security incidents. In this paper, we provide a critical review of the steganalysis algorithms available to analyze the characteristics of an image stego media against the corresponding cover media and understand the process of embedding the information and its detection. We anticipate that this paper can also give a clear picture of the current trends in steganography so that we can develop and improvise appropriate steganalysis algorithms.

Keywords: optimization, heuristics and metaheuristics algorithms, embedded systems, low-power consumption, steganalysis heuristic approach

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18 Mathematical Modeling of Carotenoids and Polyphenols Content of Faba Beans (Vicia faba L.) during Microwave Treatments

Authors: Ridha Fethi Mechlouch, Ahlem Ayadi, Ammar Ben Brahim

Abstract:

Given the importance of the preservation of polyphenols and carotenoids during thermal processing, we attempted in this study to investigate the variation of these two parameters in faba beans during microwave treatment using different power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g), then to perform a mathematical modeling by using non-linear regression analysis to evaluate the models constants. The variation of the carotenoids and polyphenols ratio of faba beans and the models are tested to validate the experimental results. Exponential models were found to be suitable to describe the variation of caratenoid ratio (R²= 0.945, 0.927 and 0.946) for power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g) respectively, and polyphenol ratio (R²= 0.931, 0.989 and 0.982) for power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g) respectively. The effect of microwave power density Pd(W/g) on the coefficient k of models were also investigated. The coefficient is highly correlated (R² = 1) and can be expressed as a polynomial function.

Keywords: microwave treatment, power density, carotenoid, polyphenol, modeling

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17 Study of the in vivo and in vitro Antioxidant Activity of the Methanol Extract from the Roots of the Barks of Zizyphus lotus

Authors: Djemai Zoughlache Soumia, Yahia Mouloud, Lekbir Adel, Meslem Meriem, Maouchi Madiha, Bahi Ahlem, Benbia Souhila

Abstract:

Natural extracts is known for their contents of biologically active molecules. In this context, we attempted to evaluate the antioxidant activity of the methanolic extract prepared from the bark of the roots of Zizyphus lotus. The quantitative analysis based on the dosage, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and tannins provided following values: 0.39 ± 0.007 ug EAG/mg of extract for phenolic compounds, 0.05 ± 0.02ug EQ/mg extract for flavonoids and 0.0025 ± 7.071 E-4 ECT ug/mg extract for tannins. The study of the antioxidant activity by the DPPH test in vitro showed a powerful antiradical power with an IC50 = 8,8 ug/ml. For the DPPH test in vivo we used two rats lots, one lot with a dose of 200 mg/kg of the methanol extract and a control lot. We found a significant difference in antiradical activity with p < 0.05.

Keywords: Zizyphus lotus, antioxidant activity, DPPH, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, tannins

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16 Entomofauna Biodiversity of a Citrus Orchard in Baraki, Algeria

Authors: Ahlem Guerzou, Salheddine Doumandji

Abstract:

Orchards and minimally processed with surrounding hedges form a significant source of biodiversity. These orchards are an entire ecosystem, home to a rich insect fauna associated with the presence of a large diversity of plant species. The values of the richness and diversity rise when the intensity of the chemical protection is reduced emphasizing the importance of such orchard in the conservation of biodiversity. To show the interest hedges fauna perspective, we conducted a study in an orange grove located Baraki surrounded by hedges and windbreaks consist of several plant species. With the sweep net there were the invertebrate fauna of the herbaceous and after a year of inventory was collected consists of a 2177 individuals distributed among 156 species grouped into five classes and 15 orders fauna. Hymenoptera and Diptera are in first place with 34 species (AR% = 19.3%), followed by Coleoptera with 27 species (AR% = 15.3%), Homoptera dominate in the workforce with 735 individuals (AR% = 34.1%). The Shannon-Weaver index calculated reflects a great diversity of population sampled equal to 5.2 bits. The equitability is 0.7, showing a strong trend of balance between the numbers of species present.

Keywords: biodiversity, citrus orchard, reaps net, hedges, Baraki

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15 Intrusion Detection Based on Graph Oriented Big Data Analytics

Authors: Ahlem Abid, Farah Jemili

Abstract:

Intrusion detection has been the subject of numerous studies in industry and academia, but cyber security analysts always want greater precision and global threat analysis to secure their systems in cyberspace. To improve intrusion detection system, the visualisation of the security events in form of graphs and diagrams is important to improve the accuracy of alerts. In this paper, we propose an approach of an IDS based on cloud computing, big data technique and using a machine learning graph algorithm which can detect in real time different attacks as early as possible. We use the MAWILab intrusion detection dataset . We choose Microsoft Azure as a unified cloud environment to load our dataset on. We implement the k2 algorithm which is a graphical machine learning algorithm to classify attacks. Our system showed a good performance due to the graphical machine learning algorithm and spark structured streaming engine.

Keywords: Apache Spark Streaming, Graph, Intrusion detection, k2 algorithm, Machine Learning, MAWILab, Microsoft Azure Cloud

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14 Hydraulic Resources Management under Imperfect Competition with Thermal Plants in the Wholesale Electricity Market

Authors: Abdessalem Abbassi, Ahlem Dakhlaoui, Lota D. Tamini

Abstract:

In this paper, we analyze infinite discrete-time games between hydraulic and thermal power operators in the wholesale electricity market under Cournot competition. We consider a deregulated electrical industry where certain demand is satisfied by hydraulic and thermal technologies. The hydraulic operator decides the production in each season of each period that maximizes the sum of expected profits from power generation with respect to the stochastic dynamic constraint on the water stored in the dam, the environmental constraint and the non-negative output constraint. In contrast, the thermal plant is operated with quadratic cost function, with respect to the capacity production constraint and the non-negativity output constraint. We show that under imperfect competition, the hydraulic operator has a strategic storage of water in the peak season. Then, we quantify the strategic inter-annual and intra-annual water transfer and compare the numerical results. Finally, we show that the thermal operator can restrict the hydraulic output without compensation.

Keywords: asymmetric risk aversion, electricity wholesale market, hydropower dams, imperfect competition

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13 Risk Aversion and Dynamic Games between Hydroelectric Operators under Uncertainty

Authors: Abdessalem Abbassi, Ahlem Dakhlaoui, Lota D. Tamini

Abstract:

This article analyses management of hydropower dams within two different industrial structures: monopolistic and oligopolistic; when hydroelectricity producers are risk averse and face demand uncertainty. In each type of market structure we determine the water release path in closed-loop equilibrium. We show how a monopoly can manage its hydropower dams by additional pumping or storage depending on the relative abundance of water between different regions to smooth the effect of uncertainty on electricity prices. In the oligopolistic case with symmetric rates of risk aversion, we determine the conditions under which the relative scarcity (abundance) of water in the dam of a hydroelectric operator can favor additional strategic pumping (storage) in its competitor’s dams. When there is asymmetry of the risk aversion coefficient, the firm’s hydroelectricity production increases as its competitor’s risk aversion increases, if and only if the average recharge speed of the competitor’s dam exceeds a certain threshold, which is an increasing function of its average water inflows.

Keywords: asymmetric risk aversion, closed-loop Cournot competition, electricity wholesale market, hydropower dams

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12 Food and Parasitical Outline on Balls of Raven Corvus corax tingitanus Irby, on 1874 (Aves–Corvidae) in the Public Dump of Oum El Bouaghi (Road of Guelif)

Authors: Faiza Marniche, Amel Milla, Samiha Belmania, Ahlem Fadheli, Salah Eddine Doumandji

Abstract:

Within the public dump of the region of Oum El Bouaghi across the analysis of pellets of réjection which were picked up during two years 2008 and 2009. The diet of Raven Corvus corax tingitanus is studied in relation with available food represented by insects-preys with a parasitical study, on the pellets of this species. The food stored is gotten from the public dump of Oum El Bouaghi during three seasons, we note that insects are predominant during three seasons, autumn (91.62%), winter (58.95%) and springs (77.78%). The analysis of 42 pellets of rejection collected in this station have revealed that insects dominate the diet of Raven through three seasons , the most presented family is that of the Formicidae in autumn (43.5%) and spring (24.2%) however in winter is that of family Carabidae with a percentage of 9.1%. Parasitic analysis on 30 pellets of this species has indicated the existence of three endoparasites, Isospora sp. (Protozoa-Coccidae), Eimeria sp. (Protozoa-Coccidae) and Nematoda sp.ind. (Metazoa-Nemathelmintes).

Keywords: big raven Corvus corax tingitanus, public dump, Oum El Bouaghi, available food, diet, parasites

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11 Environmental Refugees in Africa: A Case Study of Sahel Region

Authors: Ahlem Setrallah

Abstract:

Environment has become a phenomenon directly linked to security in recent decades. This security aspect of environment is justified by the challenges that environment problems can have on human life and thus security especially within the scope of human security that is based mainly on the individual rather than on the state. Because Africa is not safe from the global warming and all its consequences on environment, this continent has witnessed many crises related to environment and that have had direct impact on security in Africa. One of those crises is environmental displacement or immigration which was caused by natural disasters like draught, desertification and food shortage to name but a few. This paper aims at shedding light at some important cases in the Africa focusing mainly on the Sahel region. The main research questions that we are trying to answer are the following: 1-What is the relationship between environment and forced immigration in the Sahel region? 2-What is the impact of environmental immigration on Security in the region? 3-How have the states in this region reacted to this crisis? 4-Is the measures taken by those states adequate or not? 5- How to remedy for the limitations of those measures? The paper is based on case study methodology as a way to better understand the relationship between security and environment using library research for data collection and analysis. This paper aims also at presenting some suggesting regarding possible ways of reducing the negative impact of environmental immigration.

Keywords: environment, refugees, Sahel region, security

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10 Correlation of IFNL4 ss469415590 and IL28B rs12979860 with the Hepatitis C Virus Treatment Response among Tunisian Patients

Authors: Khaoula Azraiel, Mohamed Mehdi Abassi, Amel Sadraoui, Walid Hammami, Azouz Msaddek, Imed Cheikh, Maria Mancebo, Elisabet Perez-Navarro, Antonio Caruz, Henda Triki, Ahlem Djebbi

Abstract:

IL28B rs12979860 genotype is confirmed as an important predictor of response to peginterferon/ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). IFNL4 ss469415590 is a newly discovered polymorphism that could also affect the sustained virological response (SVR). The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of IL28B and IFNL4 genotypes with peginterferon/ribavirin treatment response in Tunisians patients with CHC and to determine which of these SNPs, was the stronger marker. A total of 120 patients were genotyped for both rs12979860 and ss469415590 polymorphisms. The association of each genetic marker with SVR was analyzed and comparison between the two SNPs was calculated by logistic regression models. For rs12979860, 69.6% of patients with CC, 41.8% with CT and 42.8% with TT achieved SVR (p = 0.003). Regarding ss469415590, 70.4% of patients with TT/TT genotype achieved SVR compared to 42.8% with TT/ΔG and 37.5% with ΔG /ΔG (p = 0.002). The presence of CC and TT/TT genotypes was independently associated with treatment response with an OR of 3.86 for each. In conclusion, both IL28B rs12979860 and IFNL4 ss469415590 variants were associated with response to pegIFN/RBV in Tunisian patients, without any additional benefit in performance for IFNL4. Our results are different from those detected in Sub-Saharan Africa countries.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, IFNL4, IL28B, Peginterferon/ribavirin, polymorphism

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9 Food and Parasitic on Balls of Grand Corbeau Corvus corax tingitanus Irby, 1874 (Aves - Corvidae) in the Garbage Dump of Oum El Bouaghi (Guelif Road)

Authors: Faiza Marniche, Amel Milla, Salah Eddine Doumandji, Samiha Belmania, Ahlem Fadheli

Abstract:

Within the public discharge of Oum El Bouaghi region through the analysis of balls of rejection that have been picked up during the year 2008 and 2009. The diet of Grand Corbeau Corvus corax tingitanus is studied in relation to food availability represented by prey-insects with a parasitic study, on the balls of the latter. Food stokes are taken to the public discharge of Oum El Bouaghi during all three seasons, autumn (2008), winter (2009) and spring (2009). We note that insects are dominant in the course of three seasons, fall (91.62%), winter (58.95%) and spring (77.78%). The analysis of 42 balls of rejection collected at the level of this station have revealed that insects dominate the diet of Raven over the three seasons whose family the best represented is those of the Formicidae in autumn (43.5%) and spring (24.2%) however in winter is that of family Carabidae with a percentage of 9.1%. Parasitic analysis on the 30 balls of this species has revealed the existence of three endoparasites, Isospora Sp. (Protozoa-Coccidae), Eimeria Sp. (Protozoa-Coccidae) and Nematoda Sp. IND. (Metazoa - Nemathelmintes).

Keywords: big raven Corvus corax tingitanus, diet, garbage dump, Oum El Bouaghi, parasites

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8 Peer-Review as a Means to Improve Students' Translation Skills

Authors: Bahia Braktia, Ahlem Ghamri

Abstract:

Years ago, faculties and administrators realized that students entering college were not prepared for the academic sphere; however, as a type of collaborative learning, peer-review gave students a social context in which they could learn more efficiently. Peer-review has proven its effectiveness in higher education. Numerous studies have been conducted on peer review and its effects on the quality of students’ writing, and several publications recommended peer-review as part of the feedback process. Student writers showed a tendency towards making significant meaning-level revisions and surface-level revisions. Last but not least, studies reported that peer-review helps students develop their self-assessment skills as well as critical thinking. The use of peer-review has become well known and widely adopted to the L2 classroom environment. However, little is known about peer review on translation students. The purpose of this study was to investigate the students' perspective on peer-review, and whether this method affected the quality of their translation. A mixed method design was adopted. Students were requested to translate two texts from Arabic into English, and they gave and received structured feedback to their classmates' translations. A survey was administered, followed by semi-structured interviews, to examine the students' attitudes toward peer-review. The results of the study showed that peer-review was considered a good proofreading method for most students. The students also showed a positive attitude toward it, and they reported that they benefited from the interaction with their peers. The findings implied that the inclusion of peer-review can be an effective pedagogical practice for teaching translation and writing to foreign language learners.

Keywords: language teaching, feedback, peer-review, translation

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7 Olive Oil (Olea europea L.) Protects against Mercury (II) Induced Oxidative Tissue Damage in Rats

Authors: Ahlem Bahi, Youcef Necib, Sakina Zerizer, Cherif Abdennour, Mohamed Salah Boulakoud

Abstract:

Mercury (II) is a highly toxic metal which induces oxidative stress in the body. In this study, we aimed to investigate the possible protective effect of olive oil, an antioxidant agent, against experimental mercury toxicity in rat model. Administration of mercuric chloride induced significant increase in serum: ALT, AST, and LPA activities; interleukine1, interleukine6, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), creatinine, urea, and uric acid levels. Mercuric chloride also induced oxidative stress, as indicate by decreased tissue of GSH level, GSH-Px, and GST activities along with increase the level of lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, treatment with mercuric chloride caused a marked elevation of kidney and liver weight and decreased body weight. Virgin olive oil treatment markedly reduced elevated serum: AST, ALT, and LPA activities; interleukine1, interleukine6, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), creatinine, urea, and uric acid levels and contracted the deterious effects of mercuric chloride on oxidative stress markers changes caused by HgCl2 in tissue as compared to control group. Our results implicate that mercury induced oxidative damage in liver and kidney tissue protected by virgin olive oil, with its antioxidant effects.

Keywords: mercury, antioxidant enzymes, pro-inflammatory cytokine, virgin olive oil, lipid peroxidation

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6 The Effect of Salinity on Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Alfalfa and Faba Bean

Authors: Mouffok Ahlem, Belhamra Mohamed, Mouffok Sihem

Abstract:

The use of nitrogen fertilizers inevitable consequence, the increase in the nitrate content of water, which may contribute to the production of nitrite and the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. The nitrogen fertilizer may also affect the structure and function of the microbial community. And the fight against eutrophication of aquatic environments represents a cost to the student statements. The agronomic, ecological and economic legumes such as faba beans and alfalfa are not demonstrated, especially in the case of semi-arid and arid areas. Osmotic stress due to drought and / or salinity deficit, nutritional deficiencies is the major factors limiting symbiotic nitrogen fixation and productivity of pulses. To study the symbiotic nitrogen fixation in faba bean (Vicia faba L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the region of Biskra, we used soil samples collected from 30 locations. This work has identified several issues of ecological and agronomic interest. Evaluation of symbiotic potential of soils in the region of Biskra; by trapping technique, show different levels of susceptibility to rhizobial microflora. The effectiveness of the rhizobial symbiosis in both legumes indicates that air dry biomass and the amount of nitrogen accumulated in the aerial part, depends mainly on the rate of nodulation and regardless of the species and locality. The correlation between symbiotic nitrogen fixation and some physico-chemical properties of soils shows that symbiotic nitrogen fixation in both legumes is strongly related to soil conditions of the soil. Salinity disrupts the physiological process of growth, development and more particularly that of the symbiotic fixation of atmospheric nitrogen. Against by phosphorus promotes rhizobial symbiosis.

Keywords: rhizobia, faba bean, alfalfa, salinity

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5 Biocontrol of Fusarium Crown and Root Rot and Enhancement of Tomato Solanum lycopersicum L. Growth Using Solanum linnaeanum L. Extracts

Authors: Ahlem Nefzi, Rania Aydi Ben Abdallah, Hayfa Jabnoun-Khiareddine, Nawaim Ammar, Sined Medimagh-Saidana, Mejda Daami-Remadi

Abstract:

In the present study, leaf, stem, and fruit aqueous extracts of native wild Solanum linnaeanum L. were screened for their ability to suppress Fusarium Crown and Root Rot disease and to enhance tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) growth under greenhouse conditions. Leaf extract used at 30% w/v was the most effective in reducing leaf and root damage index by 92.3% and the extent of vascular discoloration by 97.56% compared to Fusarium oxyxporum f. sp radicis lycopersici -inoculated and untreated control. A significant promotion of growth parameters (root length, shoot height, root and shoot biomass and stem diameter) was recorded on tomato cv. Rio Grande seedlings by 40.3-94.1% as compared to FORL inoculated control and by 9.6-88.8% over pathogen-free control. All S. linnaeanum aqueous extracts tested significantly stimulated the germination by 10.2 to 80.1% relative to the untreated control. FORL mycelial growth, assessed using the poisoned food technique, varied depending on plant organs, extracts, and concentrations used. Butanolic extracts were the most active, leading to 60.81% decrease in FORL mycelial growth. HPLC analysis of butanolic extract revealed the presence of thirteen phenolic compounds. Thus, S. linnaeanum can be explored as a potential natural source of antifungal and biofertilizing compounds.

Keywords: antifungal activity, HPLC-MS analysis, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, tomato growth

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4 Endophytic Fungi Recovered from Lycium arabicum as an Eco-Friendly Alternative for Fusarium Crown and Root Rot Disease Control and Tomato Growth Enhancement

Authors: Ahlem Nefzi, Rania Aydi Ben Abdallah, Hayfa Jabnoun-Khiareddine, Ammar Nawaim, Rabiaa Haouala, Mejda Daami-Remadi

Abstract:

Seven endophytic fungi were isolated from the wild Solanaceous species Lycium arabicum growing in the Tunisian Centre-East and were assessed for their ability to suppress Fusarium Crown and Root Rot disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici (FORL) and to enhance plant growth. Fungal isolates were shown able to colonize tomato cv. Rio Grande roots, crowns, and stems. A significant promotion in all studied growth parameters (root length, shoot height, and roots and shoots fresh weight) was recorded in tomato plants treated with fungal conidial suspensions or their cell-free culture filtrates compared to FORL-inoculated or pathogen-free controls. I15 and I18 isolates were shown to be the most effective leading to 85.7-87.5 and 93.6-98.4% decrease in leaf and root damage index and the vascular discoloration extent, respectively, over FORL-inoculated and untreated control. These two bioactive and growth-promoting isolates (I15 and I18) were morphologically characterized and identified using rDNA sequencing gene as being Alternaria alternata (MF693801) and Fusarium fujikuroi (MF693802). These fungi significantly suppressed FORL mycelial growth and showed chitinolytic, proteolytic and amylase activities whereas only F. fujikuroi displayed a lipolytic activity. This study clearly demonstrated the potential use of fungi naturally associated with L. arabicum as biocontrol and bio-fertilizing agents.

Keywords: biocontrol, endophytic fungi, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, tomato promotion, Lycium arabicum

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3 Collaboration During Planning and Reviewing in Writing: Effects on L2 Writing

Authors: Amal Sellami, Ahlem Ammar

Abstract:

Writing is acknowledged to be a cognitively demanding and complex task. Indeed, the writing process is composed of three iterative sub-processes, namely planning, translating (writing), and reviewing. Not only do second or foreign language learners need to write according to this process, but they also need to respect the norms and rules of language and writing in the text to-be-produced. Accordingly, researchers have suggested to approach writing as a collaborative task in order to al leviate its complexity. Consequently, collaboration has been implemented during the whole writing process or only during planning orreviewing. Researchers report that implementing collaboration during the whole process might be demanding in terms of time in comparison to individual writing tasks. Consequently, because of time constraints, teachers may avoid it. For this reason, it might be pedagogically more realistic to limit collaboration to one of the writing sub-processes(i.e., planning or reviewing). However, previous research implementing collaboration in planning or reviewing is limited and fails to explore the effects of the seconditionson the written text. Consequently, the present study examines the effects of collaboration in planning and collaboration in reviewing on the written text. To reach this objective, quantitative as well as qualitative methods are deployed to examine the written texts holistically and in terms of fluency, complexity, and accuracy. Participants of the study include 4 pairs in each group (n=8). They participated in two experimental conditions, which are: (1) collaborative planning followed by individual writing and individual reviewing and (2) individual planning followed by individual writing and collaborative reviewing. The comparative research findings indicate that while collaborative planning resulted in better overall text quality (precisely better content and organization ratings), better fluency, better complexity, and fewer lexical errors, collaborative reviewing produces better accuracy and less syntactical and mechanical errors. The discussion of the findings suggests the need to conduct more comparative research in order to further explore the effects of collaboration in planning or in reviewing. Pedagogical implications of the current study include advising teachers to choose between implementing collaboration in planning or in reviewing depending on their students’ need and what they need to improve.

Keywords: collaboration, writing, collaborative planning, collaborative reviewing

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2 Towards Learning Query Expansion

Authors: Ahlem Bouziri, Chiraz Latiri, Eric Gaussier

Abstract:

The steady growth in the size of textual document collections is a key progress-driver for modern information retrieval techniques whose effectiveness and efficiency are constantly challenged. Given a user query, the number of retrieved documents can be overwhelmingly large, hampering their efficient exploitation by the user. In addition, retaining only relevant documents in a query answer is of paramount importance for an effective meeting of the user needs. In this situation, the query expansion technique offers an interesting solution for obtaining a complete answer while preserving the quality of retained documents. This mainly relies on an accurate choice of the added terms to an initial query. Interestingly enough, query expansion takes advantage of large text volumes by extracting statistical information about index terms co-occurrences and using it to make user queries better fit the real information needs. In this respect, a promising track consists in the application of data mining methods to extract dependencies between terms, namely a generic basis of association rules between terms. The key feature of our approach is a better trade off between the size of the mining result and the conveyed knowledge. Thus, face to the huge number of derived association rules and in order to select the optimal combination of query terms from the generic basis, we propose to model the problem as a classification problem and solve it using a supervised learning algorithm such as SVM or k-means. For this purpose, we first generate a training set using a genetic algorithm based approach that explores the association rules space in order to find an optimal set of expansion terms, improving the MAP of the search results. The experiments were performed on SDA 95 collection, a data collection for information retrieval. It was found that the results were better in both terms of MAP and NDCG. The main observation is that the hybridization of text mining techniques and query expansion in an intelligent way allows us to incorporate the good features of all of them. As this is a preliminary attempt in this direction, there is a large scope for enhancing the proposed method.

Keywords: supervised leaning, classification, query expansion, association rules

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1 Biological Control of Fusarium Crown and Root and Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Growth Promotion Using Endophytic Fungi from Withania somnifera L.

Authors: Nefzi Ahlem, Aydi Ben Abdallah Rania, Jabnoun-Khiareddine Hayfa, Ammar Nawaim, Mejda Daami-Remadi

Abstract:

Fusarium Crown and Root Rot (FCRR) caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL) is a serious tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) disease in Tunisia. Its management is very difficult due to the long survival of its resting structures and to the luck of genetic resistance. In this work, we explored the wild Solanaceae species Withania somnifera, growing in the Tunisian Centre-East, as a potential source of biocontrol agents effective in FCRR suppression and tomato growth promotion. Seven fungal isolates were shown able to colonize tomato roots, crowns, and stems. Used as conidial suspensions or cell-free culture filtrates, all tested fungal treatments significantly enhanced tomato growth parameters by 21.5-90.3% over FORL-free control and by 27.6-93.5% over pathogen-inoculated control. All treatments significantly decreased the leaf and root damage index by 28.5-92.8 and the vascular browning extent 9.7-86.4% over FORL-inoculated and untreated control. The highest disease suppression ability (decrease by 86.4-92.8% in FCRR severity) over pathogen-inoculated control and by 81.3-88.8 over hymexazol-treated control) was expressed by I6 based treatments. This endophytic fungus was morphologically characterized and identified using rDNA sequencing gene as Fusarium sp. I6 (MG835371). This fungus was shown able to reduce FORL radial growth by 58.5–83.2% using its conidial suspension or cell-free culture filtrate. Fusarium sp. I6 showed chitinolytic, proteolytic and amylase activities. The current study clearly demonstrated that Fusarium sp. (I6) is a promising biocontrol candidate for suppressing FCRR severity and promoting tomato growth. Further investigations are required for elucidating its mechanism of action involved in disease suppression and plant growth promotion.

Keywords: antifungal activity, associated fungi, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, Withania somnifera, tomato growth

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