Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Drazena Gaspar

8 Modeling Influence on Petty Corruption Attitudes

Authors: Nina Bijedic, Drazena Gaspar, Mirsad Hadzikadic

Abstract:

Corruption is an influential and widespread problem. One part of it is so-called petty corruption, related to large-scale bribe giving by ordinary citizens trying to influence the works of public administration or public services. As it is with all means of corruption, petty corruption is related to the level of democracy (or administration efficiency) in a society. The developed model captures some of the factors related to corruptive behavior, as well as people’s attitude towards petty corruption. It has four basic elements: user’s perception of corruption in the society of interest, the influence of social interactions, the influence of penalizing mechanism, and influence of campaigns against petty corruption. The model is agent-based, developed in NetLogo, with a lot of random settings that provide a wider scope of responses. Interactions of different settings for variables of elements provide insight into the influence of each element on attitude towards petty corruption, as well as petty corruptive behavior.

Keywords: agent-based model, attitude, influence, petty corruption, society

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7 Application of the MOOD Technique to the Steady-State Euler Equations

Authors: Gaspar J. Machado, Stéphane Clain, Raphael Loubère

Abstract:

The goal of the present work is to numerically study steady-state nonlinear hyperbolic equations in the context of the finite volume framework. We will consider the unidimensional Burgers' equation as the reference case for the scalar situation and the unidimensional Euler equations for the vectorial situation. We consider two approaches to solve the nonlinear equations: a time marching algorithm and a direct steady-state approach. We first develop the necessary and sufficient conditions to obtain the existence and unicity of the solution. We treat regular examples and solutions with a steady shock and to provide very-high-order finite volume approximations we implement a method based on the MOOD technology (Multi-dimensional Optimal Order Detection). The main ingredient consists in using an 'a posteriori' limiting strategy to eliminate non physical oscillations deriving from the Gibbs phenomenon while keeping a high accuracy for the smooth part.

Keywords: Euler equations, finite volume, MOOD, steady-state

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6 Algorithm for Path Recognition in-between Tree Rows for Agricultural Wheeled-Mobile Robots

Authors: Anderson Rocha, Pedro Miguel de Figueiredo Dinis Oliveira Gaspar

Abstract:

Machine vision has been widely used in recent years in agriculture, as a tool to promote the automation of processes and increase the levels of productivity. The aim of this work is the development of a path recognition algorithm based on image processing to guide a terrestrial robot in-between tree rows. The proposed algorithm was developed using the software MATLAB, and it uses several image processing operations, such as threshold detection, morphological erosion, histogram equalization and the Hough transform, to find edge lines along tree rows on an image and to create a path to be followed by a mobile robot. To develop the algorithm, a set of images of different types of orchards was used, which made possible the construction of a method capable of identifying paths between trees of different heights and aspects. The algorithm was evaluated using several images with different characteristics of quality and the results showed that the proposed method can successfully detect a path in different types of environments.

Keywords: agricultural mobile robot, image processing, path recognition, hough transform

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5 True Single SKU Script: Applying the Automated Test to Set Software Properties in a Global Software Development Environment

Authors: Antonio Brigido, Maria Meireles, Francisco Barros, Gaspar Mota, Fernanda Terra, Lidia Melo, Marcelo Reis, Camilo Souza

Abstract:

As the globalization of the software process advances, companies are increasingly committed to improving software development technologies across multiple locations. On the other hand, working with teams distributed in different locations also raises new challenges. In this sense, automated processes can help to improve the quality of process execution. Therefore, this work presents the development of a tool called TSS Script that automates the sample preparation process for carrier requirements validation tests. The objective of the work is to obtain significant gains in execution time and reducing errors in scenario preparation. To estimate the gains over time, the executions performed in an automated and manual way were timed. In addition, a questionnaire-based survey was developed to discover new requirements and improvements to include in this automated support. The results show an average gain of 46.67% of the total hours worked, referring to sample preparation. The use of the tool avoids human errors, and for this reason, it adds greater quality and speed to the process. Another relevant factor is the fact that the tester can perform other activities in parallel with sample preparation.

Keywords: Android, GSD, automated testing tool, mobile products

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4 Standalone Docking Station with Combined Charging Methods for Agricultural Mobile Robots

Authors: Leonor Varandas, Pedro D. Gaspar, Martim L. Aguiar

Abstract:

One of the biggest concerns in the field of agriculture is around the energy efficiency of robots that will perform agriculture’s activity and their charging methods. In this paper, two different charging methods for agricultural standalone docking stations are shown that will take into account various variants as field size and its irregularities, work’s nature to which the robot will perform, deadlines that have to be respected, among others. Its features also are dependent on the orchard, season, battery type and its technical specifications and cost. First charging base method focuses on wireless charging, presenting more benefits for small field. The second charging base method relies on battery replacement being more suitable for large fields, thus avoiding the robot stop for recharge. Existing many methods to charge a battery, the CC CV was considered the most appropriate for either simplicity or effectiveness. The choice of the battery for agricultural purposes is if most importance. While the most common battery used is Li-ion battery, this study also discusses the use of graphene-based new type of batteries with 45% over capacity to the Li-ion one. A Battery Management Systems (BMS) is applied for battery balancing. All these approaches combined showed to be a promising method to improve a lot of technical agricultural work, not just in terms of plantation and harvesting but also about every technique to prevent harmful events like plagues and weeds or even to reduce crop time and cost.

Keywords: agricultural mobile robot, charging methods, battery replacement method, wireless charging method

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3 Functional Yoghurt Enriched with Microencapsulated Olive Leaves Extract Powder Using Polycaprolactone via Double Emulsion/Solvent Evaporation Technique

Authors: Tamer El-Messery, Teresa Sanchez-Moya, Ruben Lopez-Nicolas, Gaspar Ros, Esmat Aly

Abstract:

Olive leaves (OLs), the main by-product of the olive oil industry, have a considerable amount of phenolic compounds. The exploitation of these compounds represents the current trend in food processing. In this study, OLs polyphenols were microencapsulated with polycaprolactone (PCL) and utilized in formulating novel functional yoghurt. PCL-microcapsules were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry analysis. Their total phenolic (TPC), total flavonoid (TFC) contents, and antioxidant activities (DPPH, FRAP, ABTS), and polyphenols bioaccessibility were measured after oral, gastric, and intestinal steps of in vitro digestion. The four yoghurt formulations (containing 0, 25, 50, and 75 mg of PCL-microsphere/100g yoghurt) were evaluated for their pH, acidity, syneresis viscosity, and color during storage. In vitro digestion significantly affected the phenolic composition in non-encapsulated extract while had a lower impact on encapsulated phenolics. Higher protection was provided for encapsulated OLs extract, and their higher release was observed at the intestinal phase. Yoghurt with PCL-microsphere had lower viscosity, syneresis, and color parameters, as compared to control yoghurt. Thus, OLs represent a valuable and cheap source of polyphenols which can be successfully applied, in microencapsulated form, to formulate functional yoghurt.

Keywords: yoghurt quality attributes, olive leaves, phenolic and flavonoids compounds, antioxidant activity, polycaprolactone as microencapsulant

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2 Current Status and Future Trends of Mechanized Fruit Thinning Devices and Sensor Technology

Authors: Marco Lopes, Pedro D. Gaspar, Maria P. Simões

Abstract:

This paper reviews the different concepts that have been investigated concerning the mechanization of fruit thinning as well as multiple working principles and solutions that have been developed for feature extraction of horticultural products, both in the field and industrial environments. The research should be committed towards selective methods, which inevitably need to incorporate some kinds of sensor technology. Computer vision often comes out as an obvious solution for unstructured detection problems, although leaves despite the chosen point of view frequently occlude fruits. Further research on non-traditional sensors that are capable of object differentiation is needed. Ultrasonic and Near Infrared (NIR) technologies have been investigated for applications related to horticultural produce and show a potential to satisfy this need while simultaneously providing spatial information as time of flight sensors. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology also shows a huge potential but it implies much greater costs and the related equipment is usually much larger, making it less suitable for portable devices, which may serve a purpose on smaller unstructured orchards. Portable devices may serve a purpose on these types of orchards. In what concerns sensor methods, on-tree fruit detection, major challenge is to overcome the problem of fruits’ occlusion by leaves and branches. Hence, nontraditional sensors capable of providing some type of differentiation should be investigated.

Keywords: fruit thinning, horticultural field, portable devices, sensor technologies

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1 Fast Return Path Planning for Agricultural Autonomous Terrestrial Robot in a Known Field

Authors: Carlo Cernicchiaro, Pedro D. Gaspar, Martim L. Aguiar

Abstract:

The agricultural sector is becoming more critical than ever in view of the expected overpopulation of the Earth. The introduction of robotic solutions in this field is an increasingly researched topic to make the most of the Earth's resources, thus going to avoid the problems of wear and tear of the human body due to the harsh agricultural work, and open the possibility of a constant careful processing 24 hours a day. This project is realized for a terrestrial autonomous robot aimed to navigate in an orchard collecting fallen peaches below the trees. When it receives the signal indicating the low battery, it has to return to the docking station where it will replace its battery and then return to the last work point and resume its routine. Considering a preset path in orchards with tree rows with variable length by which the robot goes iteratively using the algorithm D*. In case of low battery, the D* algorithm is still used to determine the fastest return path to the docking station as well as to come back from the docking station to the last work point. MATLAB simulations were performed to analyze the flexibility and adaptability of the developed algorithm. The simulation results show an enormous potential for adaptability, particularly in view of the irregularity of orchard field, since it is not flat and undergoes modifications over time from fallen branch as well as from other obstacles and constraints. The D* algorithm determines the best route in spite of the irregularity of the terrain. Moreover, in this work, it will be shown a possible solution to improve the initial points tracking and reduce time between movements.

Keywords: path planning, fastest return path, agricultural autonomous terrestrial robot, docking station

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