Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 41

Search results for: Edgeworth expansions

41 Finite Sample Inferences for Weak Instrument Models

Authors: Gubhinder Kundhi, Paul Rilstone


It is well established that Instrumental Variable (IV) estimators in the presence of weak instruments can be poorly behaved, in particular, be quite biased in finite samples. Finite sample approximations to the distributions of these estimators are obtained using Edgeworth and Saddlepoint expansions. Departures from normality of the distributions of these estimators are analyzed using higher order analytical corrections in these expansions. In a Monte-Carlo experiment, the performance of these expansions is compared to the first order approximation and other methods commonly used in finite samples such as the bootstrap.

Keywords: bootstrap, Instrumental Variable, Edgeworth expansions, Saddlepoint expansions

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40 Refined Procedures for Second Order Asymptotic Theory

Authors: Gubhinder Kundhi, Paul Rilstone


Refined procedures for higher-order asymptotic theory for non-linear models are developed. These include a new method for deriving stochastic expansions of arbitrary order, new methods for evaluating the moments of polynomials of sample averages, a new method for deriving the approximate moments of the stochastic expansions; an application of these techniques to gather improved inferences with the weak instruments problem is considered. It is well established that Instrumental Variable (IV) estimators in the presence of weak instruments can be poorly behaved, in particular, be quite biased in finite samples. In our application, finite sample approximations to the distributions of these estimators are obtained using Edgeworth and Saddlepoint expansions. Departures from normality of the distributions of these estimators are analyzed using higher order analytical corrections in these expansions. In a Monte-Carlo experiment, the performance of these expansions is compared to the first order approximation and other methods commonly used in finite samples such as the bootstrap.

Keywords: edgeworth expansions, higher order asymptotics, saddlepoint expansions, weak instruments

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39 The Contribution of Edgeworth, Bootstrap and Monte Carlo Methods in Financial Data

Authors: Edlira Donefski, Tina Donefski, Lorenc Ekonomi


Edgeworth Approximation, Bootstrap, and Monte Carlo Simulations have considerable impacts on achieving certain results related to different problems taken into study. In our paper, we have treated a financial case related to the effect that has the components of a cash-flow of one of the most successful businesses in the world, as the financial activity, operational activity, and investment activity to the cash and cash equivalents at the end of the three-months period. To have a better view of this case, we have created a vector autoregression model, and after that, we have generated the impulse responses in the terms of asymptotic analysis (Edgeworth Approximation), Monte Carlo Simulations, and residual bootstrap based on the standard errors of every series created. The generated results consisted of the common tendencies for the three methods applied that consequently verified the advantage of the three methods in the optimization of the model that contains many variants.

Keywords: autoregression, bootstrap, edgeworth expansion, Monte Carlo method

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38 The Profit Trend of Cosmetics Products Using Bootstrap Edgeworth Approximation

Authors: Edlira Donefski, Lorenc Ekonomi, Tina Donefski


Edgeworth approximation is one of the most important statistical methods that has a considered contribution in the reduction of the sum of standard deviation of the independent variables’ coefficients in a Quantile Regression Model. This model estimates the conditional median or other quantiles. In this paper, we have applied approximating statistical methods in an economical problem. We have created and generated a quantile regression model to see how the profit gained is connected with the realized sales of the cosmetic products in a real data, taken from a local business. The Linear Regression of the generated profit and the realized sales was not free of autocorrelation and heteroscedasticity, so this is the reason that we have used this model instead of Linear Regression. Our aim is to analyze in more details the relation between the variables taken into study: the profit and the finalized sales and how to minimize the standard errors of the independent variable involved in this study, the level of realized sales. The statistical methods that we have applied in our work are Edgeworth Approximation for Independent and Identical distributed (IID) cases, Bootstrap version of the Model and the Edgeworth approximation for Bootstrap Quantile Regression Model. The graphics and the results that we have presented here identify the best approximating model of our study.

Keywords: bootstrap, edgeworth approximation, IID, quantile

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37 A Post-Colonial Reading of Maria Edgeworth's Anglo-Irish Novels: Castle Rackrent and the Absentee

Authors: Al. Harshan, Hazamah Ali Mahdi


The Big House literature embodies Irish history. It requires a special dimension of moral and social significance in relation to its owners. The Big House is a metaphor for the decline of the protestant Ascendancy that ruled in a catholic country and oppressed a native people. In the tradition of the Big House fiction, Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent and the Absentee explore the effect of the Anglo-Irish protestant Ascendancy as it governed and misgoverned Ireland. Edgeworth illustrates the tradition of the Big House as a symbol of both a personal and historical theme. This paper provides a reading of Castle Rackrent and The Absentee from a post-colonial perspective. The paper maintains that Edgeworth's novel contain elements of a radical critique of the colonialist enterprise. In our postcolonial reading of Maria Edgeworth's novels, one that goes beyond considering works as those of Sir Walter Scoot, regional evidence has been found of Edgeworth's colonial ideology. The significance of Castle Rackrent lies mainly in the fact that is the first English novel to speak in the voice of the colonized Irish. What is more important is that the irony and the comic aspect of the novel comes from its Irish narrator (Thady Quirk) and its Irish setting Ireland. Edgeworth reveals the geographical 'other' to her English reader, by placing her colonized Irish narrator and his son, Jason Quirk, in a position of inferiority to emphasize the gap between Englishness and Irishness. Furthermore, this satirical aspect is a political one. It works to create and protect the superiority of the domestic English reader over the Irish subject. In other words, the implication of the colonial system of the novel and of its structure of dominance and subordination is overlooked by its comic dimension. The matrimonial plot in the Absentee functions as an imperial plot, constructing Ireland as a complementary but ever unequal partner in the family of Great Britain. This imperial marriage works hegemonically to produce the domestic stability considered so crucial to national and colonial stability. Moreover, in order to achieve her proper imperial plot, Edgeworth reconciliation of England and Ireland is seen in the marriage of the Anglo-Irish (hero/Colambre) with the Irish (heroine/Grace Nugent), and the happy bourgeois family; consequently, it becomes the model for colonizer-colonized relationships. Edgeworth must establish modes of legitimate behavior for women and men. The Absentee explains more purposely how familial reorganization is dependent on the restitution of masculine authority and advantage, particularly for Irish community.

Keywords: Maria Edgeworth, post-colonial, reading, Irish

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36 Effectiveness of Natural Zeolite in Mitigating Alkali Silica Reaction Expansions

Authors: Esma Gizem Daskiran, Mehmet Mustafa Daskiran


This paper investigates the effectiveness of two natural zeolites in reducing expansion of concrete due to alkali-silica reaction. These natural zeolites have different reactive silica content. Three aggregates; two natural sand and one crushed stone aggregate were used while preparing mortar bars in accordance with accelerated mortar bar test method, ASTM C1260. Performance of natural zeolites are compared by examining the expansions due to alkali silica reaction. Natural zeolites added to the mixtures at %10 and %20 replacement levels by weight of cement. Natural zeolite with high reactive silica content had better performance on reducing expansions due to ASR. In this research, using high reactive zeolite at %20 replacement level was effective in mitigating expansions.

Keywords: alkali silica reaction, natural zeolite, durability, expansion

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35 Islamic State: Franchising Jihad through the New Caliphate

Authors: Janiel David Melamed Visbal


The Islamic State has become one of the most remarkable threats for international security through their religious extremism and their establishment of a new caliphate by force. The main objective of this organization is to obtain territorial expansions beyond the Middle East and eventually to consolidate an Islamic global order based on their extremist ideology. This paper will conduct an analysis regarding how, over the past year, many jihadist organizations worldwide have pledged their alliagance to the Islamic State, transforming it into the most important jihadist franchise globally.

Keywords: Islamic state, franchise, jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, caliphate

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34 Coupled Space and Time Homogenization of Viscoelastic-Viscoplastic Composites

Authors: Sarra Haouala, Issam Doghri


In this work, a multiscale computational strategy is proposed for the analysis of structures, which are described at a refined level both in space and in time. The proposal is applied to two-phase viscoelastic-viscoplastic (VE-VP) reinforced thermoplastics subjected to large numbers of cycles. The main aim is to predict the effective long time response while reducing the computational cost considerably. The proposed computational framework is a combination of the mean-field space homogenization based on the generalized incrementally affine formulation for VE-VP composites, and the asymptotic time homogenization approach for coupled isotropic VE-VP homogeneous solids under large numbers of cycles. The time homogenization method is based on the definition of micro and macro-chronological time scales, and on asymptotic expansions of the unknown variables. First, the original anisotropic VE-VP initial-boundary value problem of the composite material is decomposed into coupled micro-chronological (fast time scale) and macro-chronological (slow time-scale) problems. The former is purely VE, and solved once for each macro time step, whereas the latter problem is nonlinear and solved iteratively using fully implicit time integration. Second, mean-field space homogenization is used for both micro and macro-chronological problems to determine the micro and macro-chronological effective behavior of the composite material. The response of the matrix material is VE-VP with J2 flow theory assuming small strains. The formulation exploits the return-mapping algorithm for the J2 model, with its two steps: viscoelastic predictor and plastic corrections. The proposal is implemented for an extended Mori-Tanaka scheme, and verified against finite element simulations of representative volume elements, for a number of polymer composite materials subjected to large numbers of cycles.

Keywords: asymptotic expansions, cyclic loadings, inclusion-reinforced thermoplastics, mean-field homogenization, time homogenization

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33 Bi-Dimensional Spectral Basis

Authors: Abdelhamid Zerroug, Mlle Ismahene Sehili


Spectral methods are usually applied to solve uni-dimensional boundary value problems. With the advantage of the creation of multidimensional basis, we propose a new spectral method for bi-dimensional problems. In this article, we start by creating bi-spectral basis by different ways, we developed also a new relations to determine the expressions of spectral coefficients in different partial derivatives expansions. Finally, we propose the principle of a new bi-spectral method for the bi-dimensional problems.

Keywords: boundary value problems, bi-spectral methods, bi-dimensional Legendre basis, spectral method

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32 Differential Transform Method: Some Important Examples

Authors: M. Jamil Amir, Rabia Iqbal, M. Yaseen


In this paper, we solve some differential equations analytically by using differential transform method. For this purpose, we consider four models of Laplace equation with two Dirichlet and two Neumann boundary conditions and K(2,2) equation and obtain the corresponding exact solutions. The obtained results show the simplicity of the method and massive reduction in calculations when one compares it with other iterative methods, available in literature. It is worth mentioning that here only a few number of iterations are required to reach the closed form solutions as series expansions of some known functions.

Keywords: differential transform method, laplace equation, Dirichlet boundary conditions, Neumann boundary conditions

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31 Frequency Identification of Wiener-Hammerstein Systems

Authors: Brouri Adil, Giri Fouad


The problem of identifying Wiener-Hammerstein systems is addressed in the presence of two linear subsystems of structure totally unknown. Presently, the nonlinear element is allowed to be noninvertible. The system identification problem is dealt by developing a two-stage frequency identification method such a set of points of the nonlinearity are estimated first. Then, the frequency gains of the two linear subsystems are determined at a number of frequencies. The method involves Fourier series decomposition and only requires periodic excitation signals. All involved estimators are shown to be consistent.

Keywords: Wiener-Hammerstein systems, Fourier series expansions, frequency identification, automation science

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30 Epistemic Uncertainty Analysis of Queue with Vacations

Authors: Baya Takhedmit, Karim Abbas, Sofiane Ouazine


The vacations queues are often employed to model many real situations such as computer systems, communication networks, manufacturing and production systems, transportation systems and so forth. These queueing models are solved at fixed parameters values. However, the parameter values themselves are determined from a finite number of observations and hence have uncertainty associated with them (epistemic uncertainty). In this paper, we consider the M/G/1/N queue with server vacation and exhaustive discipline where we assume that the vacation parameter values have uncertainty. We use the Taylor series expansions approach to estimate the expectation and variance of model output, due to epistemic uncertainties in the model input parameters.

Keywords: epistemic uncertainty, M/G/1/N queue with vacations, non-parametric sensitivity analysis, Taylor series expansion

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29 Asymptotic Expansion of Double Oscillatory Integrals: Contribution of Non Stationary Critical Points of the Second Kind

Authors: Abdallah Benaissa


In this paper, we consider the problem of asymptotics of double oscillatory integrals in the case of critical points of the second kind, the order of contact between the boundary and a level curve of the phase being even, the situation when the order of contact is odd will be studied in other occasions. Complete asymptotic expansions will be derived and the coefficient of the leading term will be computed in terms of the original data of the problem. A multitude of people have studied this problem using a variety of methods, but only in a special case when the order of contact is minimal: the more cited papers are a paper of Jones and Kline and an other one of Chako. These integrals are encountered in many areas of science, especially in problems of diffraction of optics.

Keywords: asymptotic expansion, double oscillatory integral, critical point of the second kind, optics diffraction

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28 An Investigation of Foam Glass Production from Sheet Glass Waste and SiC Foaming Agent

Authors: Aylin Sahin, Recep Artir, Mustafa Kara


Foam glass is a remarkable material with having incomparable properties like low weight, rigidity, high thermal insulation capacity and porous structure. In this study, foam glass production was investigated with using glass powder from sheet glass waste and SiC powder as foaming agent. Effects of SiC powders and sintering temperatures on foaming process were examined. It was seen that volume expansions (%), cellular structures and pore diameters of obtained foam glass samples were highly depending on composition ratios and sintering temperature. The study showed that various foam glass samples having with homogenous closed porosity, low weight and low thermal conductivity were achieved by optimizing composition ratios and sintering temperatures.

Keywords: foam glass, foaming, waste glass, silicon carbide

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27 Role of Macro and Technical Indicators in Equity Risk Premium Prediction: A Principal Component Analysis Approach

Authors: Naveed Ul Hassan, Bilal Aziz, Maryam Mushtaq, Imran Ameen Khan


Equity risk premium (ERP) is the stock return in excess of risk free return. Even though it is an essential topic of finance but still there is no common consensus upon its forecasting. For forecasting ERP, apart from the macroeconomic variables attention is devoted to technical indicators as well. For this purpose, set of 14 technical and 14 macro-economic variables is selected and all forecasts are generated based on a standard predictive regression framework, where ERP is regressed on a constant and a lag of a macroeconomic variable or technical indicator. The comparative results showed that technical indicators provide better indications about ERP estimates as compared to macro-economic variables. The relative strength of ERP predictability is also investigated by using National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) data of business cycle expansion and recessions and found that ERP predictability is more than twice for recessions as compared to expansions.

Keywords: equity risk premium, forecasting, macroeconomic indicators, technical indicators

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26 Perception of Aerospace Engineering Students in Saudi Arabia on Aviation Sustainability

Authors: Badr A. Al-Harbi, Fahd T. Abdullah, Mazen T. Wali, Mohammed W. Al-Obaidi, Reda M. Bakhdlg


Over the past few years, the aviation society had demonstrated a huge concern for securing the sustainability of commercial aviation. Future aerospace engineers in Saudi Arabia are expected to play a major role in dealing with these aspects, taking into consideration the expected growth in both traffic, passenger mileage, and fleet expansions in the region. In the present work, the authors investigate the perception of engineering students in the two undergraduate aerospace engineering programs in the Kingdom. A questionnaire was distributed using google forms and targeted approximately 300 students in both programs on several WhatsApp groups. Data collection was stopped after one week when a response rate above 35% was reached. The questionnaire aimed at assessing the students’ awareness of sustainable aviation and associated obstacles. The results obtained from the study indicate the necessity of introducing curricular modifications to address the subject with more targeted extracurricular activities and better use of social media, which is becoming a main source of students’ awareness.

Keywords: aviation, engineering education, students’ perception, sustainable aviation

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25 A Multiple Beam LTE Base Station Antenna with Simultaneous Vertical and Horizontal Sectorization

Authors: Mohamed Sanad, Noha Hassan


A low wind-load light-weight broad-band multi-beam base station antenna has been developed. It can generate any required number of beams with the required beamwidths. It can have horizontal and vertical sectorization at the same time. Vertical sectorization doubles the overall number of beams. It will be very valuable in LTE-A and 5G. It can be used to serve vertically split inner and outer cells, which improves system performance. The intersection between the beams of the proposed multi-beam antenna can be controlled by optimizing the design parameters of the antenna. The gain at the points of intersection between the beams, the null filling and the overlap between the beams can all be modified. The proposed multi-beam base station antenna can cover an unlimited number of wireless applications, regardless of their frequency bands. It can simultaneously cover all, current and future, wireless technology generations such as 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE), --- etc. For example, in LTE, it covers the bands 450-470 MHz, 690-960 MHz, 1.4-2.7 GHz and 3.3-3.8 GHz. It has at least 2 ports for each band in each beam for ±45° polarizations. It can include up to 72 ports or even more, which could facilitate any further needed capacity expansions.

Keywords: base station antenna, multi-beam antenna, smart antenna, vertical sectorization

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24 An Alternative Method for Computing Clothoids

Authors: Gerardo Casal, Miguel E. Vázquez-Méndez


The clothoid (also known as Cornu spiral or Euler spiral) is a curve that is characterized because its curvature is proportional to its length. This property makes that it would be widely used as transition curve for designing the layout of roads and railway tracks. In this work, from the geometrical property characterizing the clothoid, its parametric equations are obtained and two algorithms to compute it are compared. The first (classical), is widely used in Surveying Schools and it is based on the use of explicit formulas obtained from Taylor expansions of sine and cosine functions. The second one (alternative) is a very simple algorithm, based on the numerical solution of the initial value problems giving the clothoid parameterization. Both methods are compared in some typical surveying problems. The alternative method does not use complex formulas and so it is conceptually very simple and easy to apply. It gives good results, even if the classical method goes wrong (if the quotient between length and radius of curvature is high), needs no subsequent translations nor rotations and, consequently, it seems an efficient tool for designing the layout of roads and railway tracks.

Keywords: transition curves, railroad and highway engineering, Runge-Kutta methods

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23 Early Design Prediction of Submersible Maneuvers

Authors: Hernani Brinati, Mardel de Conti, Moyses Szajnbok, Valentina Domiciano


This study brings a mathematical model and examples for the numerical prediction of submersible maneuvers in the horizontal and in the vertical planes. The geometry of the submarine is here taken as a body of revolution plus a sail, two horizontal and two vertical rudders. The model includes the representation of the hull resistance and of the propeller thrust and torque, what enables to consider the variation of the longitudinal component of the velocity of the ship when maneuvering. The hydrodynamic forces are represented through power series expansions of the acceleration and velocity components. The hydrodynamic derivatives for the body of revolution are mostly estimated based on fundamental principles applicable to the flow around airplane fuselages in the subsonic regime. The hydrodynamic forces for the sail and rudders are estimated based on a finite aspect ratio wing theory. The objective of this study is to build an expedite model for submarine maneuvers prediction, based on fundamental principles, which may be convenient in the early stages of the ship design. This model is tested against available numerical and experimental data.

Keywords: submarine maneuvers, submarine, maneuvering, dynamics

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22 Structural, Elastic, Vibrational and Thermal Properties of Perovskites AHfO3 (a=Ba,Sr,Eu)

Authors: H. Krarcha


The structural, elastic, vibrational and thermal properties of AHfO3 compounds with the cubic perovskites structure have been investigated, by employing a first principles method, using the plane wave pseudo potential calculations (PP-PW), based on the density functional theory (DFT), within the local density approximation (LDA). The optimized lattice parameters, independent elastic constants (C11, C12 and C44), bulk modulus (B), compressibility (b), shear modulus (G), Young’s modulus (Y ), Poisson’s ratio (n), Lame´’s coefficients (m, l), as well as band structure, density of states and electron density distributions are obtained and analyzed in comparison with the available theoretical and experimental data. For the first time the numerical estimates of elastic parameters of the polycrystalline AHfO3 ceramics (in framework of the VoigteReusseHill approximation) are performed. The quasi-harmonic Debye model, by means of total energy versus volume calculations obtained with the FP-LAPW method, is applied to study the thermal and vibrational effects. Predicted temperature and pressure effects on the structural parameters, thermal expansions, heat capacities, and Debye temperatures are determined from the non-equilibrium Gibbs functions.

Keywords: Hafnium, elastic propreties, first principles calculation, perovskite

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21 Classifying Facial Expressions Based on a Motion Local Appearance Approach

Authors: Fabiola M. Villalobos-Castaldi, Nicolás C. Kemper, Esther Rojas-Krugger, Laura G. Ramírez-Sánchez


This paper presents the classification results about exploring the combination of a motion based approach with a local appearance method to describe the facial motion caused by the muscle contractions and expansions that are presented in facial expressions. The proposed feature extraction method take advantage of the knowledge related to which parts of the face reflects the highest deformations, so we selected 4 specific facial regions at which the appearance descriptor were applied. The most common used approaches for feature extraction are the holistic and the local strategies. In this work we present the results of using a local appearance approach estimating the correlation coefficient to the 4 corresponding landmark-localized facial templates of the expression face related to the neutral face. The results let us to probe how the proposed motion estimation scheme based on the local appearance correlation computation can simply and intuitively measure the motion parameters for some of the most relevant facial regions and how these parameters can be used to recognize facial expressions automatically.

Keywords: facial expression recognition system, feature extraction, local-appearance method, motion-based approach

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20 Application of GA Optimization in Analysis of Variable Stiffness Composites

Authors: Nasim Fallahi, Erasmo Carrera, Alfonso Pagani


Variable angle tow describes the fibres which are curvilinearly steered in a composite lamina. Significantly, stiffness tailoring freedom of VAT composite laminate can be enlarged and enabled. Composite structures with curvilinear fibres have been shown to improve the buckling load carrying capability in contrast with the straight laminate composites. However, the optimal design and analysis of VAT are faced with high computational efforts due to the increasing number of variables. In this article, an efficient optimum solution has been used in combination with 1D Carrera’s Unified Formulation (CUF) to investigate the optimum fibre orientation angles for buckling analysis. The particular emphasis is on the LE-based CUF models, which provide a Lagrange Expansions to address a layerwise description of the problem unknowns. The first critical buckling load has been considered under simply supported boundary conditions. Special attention is lead to the sensitivity of buckling load corresponding to the fibre orientation angle in comparison with the results which obtain through the Genetic Algorithm (GA) optimization frame and then Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is applied to investigate the accuracy of the optimized model. As a result, numerical CUF approach with an optimal solution demonstrates the robustness and computational efficiency of proposed optimum methodology.

Keywords: beam structures, layerwise, optimization, variable stiffness

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19 Optimization of Alkali Silicate Glass Heat Treatment for the Improvement of Thermal Expansion and Flexural Strength

Authors: Stephanie Guerra-Arias, Stephani Nevarez, Calvin Stewart, Rachel Grodsky, Denis Eichorst


The objective of this study is to describe the framework for optimizing the heat treatment of alkali silicate glasses, to enhance the performance of hermetic seals in extreme environments. When connectors are exposed to elevated temperatures, residual stresses develop due to the mismatch of thermal expansions between the glass, metal pin, and metal shell. Excessive thermal expansion mismatch compromises the reliability of hermetic seals. In this study, a series of heat treatment schedules will be performed on two commercial sealing glasses (one conventional sealing glass and one crystallizable sealing glass) using a design of experiments (DOE) approach. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) will be measured pre- and post-heat treatment using thermomechanical analysis (TMA). Afterwards, the flexural strength of the specimen will be measured using a four-point bend fixture mounted in a static universal testing machine. The measured material properties will be statistically analyzed using MiniTab software to determine which factors of the heat treatment process have a strong correlation to the coefficient of thermal expansion and/or flexural strength. Finally, a heat-treatment will be designed and tested to ensure the optimal performance of the hermetic seals in connectors.

Keywords: glass-ceramics, design of experiment, hermetic connectors, material characterization

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18 High Accuracy Analytic Approximation for Special Functions Applied to Bessel Functions J₀(x) and Its Zeros

Authors: Fernando Maass, Pablo Martin, Jorge Olivares


The Bessel function J₀(x) is very important in Electrodynamics and Physics, as well as its zeros. In this work, a method to obtain high accuracy approximation is presented through an application to that function. In most of the applications of this function, the values of the zeros are very important. In this work, analytic approximations for this function have been obtained valid for all positive values of the variable x, which have high accuracy for the function as well as for the zeros. The approximation is determined by the simultaneous used of the power series and asymptotic expansion. The structure of the approximation is a combination of two rational functions with elementary functions as trigonometric and fractional powers. Here us in Pade method, rational functions are used, but now there combined with elementary functions us fractional powers hyperbolic or trigonometric functions, and others. The reason of this is that now power series of the exact function are used, but together with the asymptotic expansion, which usually includes fractional powers trigonometric functions and other type of elementary functions. The approximation must be a bridge between both expansions, and this can not be accomplished using only with rational functions. In the simplest approximation using 4 parameters the maximum absolute error is less than 0.006 at x ∼ 4.9. In this case also the maximum relative error for the zeros is less than 0.003 which is for the second zero, but that value decreases rapidly for the other zeros. The same kind of behaviour happens for the relative error of the maximum and minimum of the functions. Approximations with higher accuracy and more parameters will be also shown. All the approximations are valid for any positive value of x, and they can be calculated easily.

Keywords: analytic approximations, asymptotic approximations, Bessel functions, quasirational approximations

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17 Improving Temporal Correlations in Empirical Orthogonal Function Expansions for Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Function Algorithm

Authors: Ping Bo, Meng Yunshan


Satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST) is a key parameter for many operational and scientific applications. However, the disadvantage of SST data is a high percentage of missing data which is mainly caused by cloud coverage. Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Function (DINEOF) algorithm is an EOF-based technique for reconstructing the missing data and has been widely used in oceanographic field. The reconstruction of SST images within a long time series using DINEOF can cause large discontinuities and one solution for this problem is to filter the temporal covariance matrix to reduce the spurious variability. Based on the previous researches, an algorithm is presented in this paper to improve the temporal correlations in EOF expansion. Similar with the previous researches, a filter, such as Laplacian filter, is implemented on the temporal covariance matrix, but the temporal relationship between two consecutive images which is used in the filter is considered in the presented algorithm, for example, two images in the same season are more likely correlated than those in the different seasons, hence the latter one is less weighted in the filter. The presented approach is tested for the monthly nighttime 4-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder SST for the long-term period spanning from 1989 to 2006. The results obtained from the presented algorithm are compared to those from the original DINEOF algorithm without filtering and from the DINEOF algorithm with filtering but without taking temporal relationship into account.

Keywords: data interpolating empirical orthogonal function, image reconstruction, sea surface temperature, temporal filter

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16 The Urban Expansion Characterization of the Bir El Djir Municipality using Remote Sensing and GIS

Authors: Fatima Achouri, Zakaria Smahi


Bir El Djir is an important coastal township in Oran department, located at 450 Km far away from Algiers on northwest of Algeria. In this coastal area, the urban sprawl is one of the main problems that reduce the limited highly fertile land. So, using the remote sensing and GIS technologies have shown their great capabilities to solve many earth resources issues. The aim of this study is to produce land use and cover map for the studied area at varied periods to monitor possible changes that may occurred, particularly in the urban areas and subsequently predict likely changes. For this, two spatial images SPOT and Landsat satellites from 1987 and 2014 respectively were used to assess the changes of urban expansion and encroachment during this period with photo-interpretation and GIS approach. The results revealed that the town of Bir El Djir has shown a highest growth rate in the period 1987-2014 which is 521.1 hectares in terms of area. These expansions largely concern the new real estate constructions falling within the social and promotional housing programs launched by the government. Indeed, during the last census period (1998 -2008), the population of this town has almost doubled from 73 029 to 152 151 inhabitants with an average annual growth of 5.2%. This also significant population growth is causing an accelerated urban expansion of the periphery which causing its conurbation with the towns of Oran in the West side. The most urban expansion is characterized by the new construction in the form of spontaneous or peripheral precarious habitat, but also unstructured slums settled especially in the southeastern part of town.

Keywords: urban expansion, remote sensing, photo-interpretation, spatial dynamics

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15 Early Childhood Care and Education in the North-West of Nigeria: Trends and Challenges

Authors: Muhammad Adamu Kwankwaso


Early childhood is a critical period of rapid physical, cognitive and psycho-social development of a child. The quality of care and Education which a child receives at this crucial age will determine to a great extent the level of his/her physical and cognitive development in the future. In Nigeria, Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is a fundamental aspect or form of Education for children between the age of 3-6. It was started after independence as pre-primary Education or early child development as contained in the 1977 National Policy on Education. The trends towards ECCE in Nigeria and the northwestern part of the country in particular keep up changing as in the case of other part of the world. The current trends are now towards expansions, inclusiveness, redefinition, early literacy, increased government participation and the unprecedented societal response and awareness towards the Education of the younger children. While all hands are on deck to ensure successful implementation of the ECCE programme, it is unfortunate that, ECCE is facing some challenges. This paper therefore, examines the trends in Early Childhood Care and Education and the major challenges in the north west of Nigeria. Some of the major challenges include, inadequate trained ECCE teachers, lack of unified curriculum, teacher pupil’s ratio, and the medium of instructions and inadequate infrastructural and teaching facilities respectively. To improve the situation the paper offered the following recommendations; establishment of more ECCE classes, enforcement for the use of mothers’ tongue or the languages of the immediate community as a medium of instructions, and adequate provision of infrastructural facilities and the unified curriculum across the northwestern States of Nigeria.

Keywords: early childhood care, education, trends, challenges

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14 Genomic and Evolutionary Diversity of Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) Retrotransposons in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)

Authors: Faisal Nouroz, Mukaramin Mukaramin


Of the transposable elements (TEs), the retrotransposons are the most copious elements identified from many sequenced genomes. They have played a major role in genome evolution, rearrangement, and expansions based on their copy and paste mode of proliferation. They are further divided into LTR and Non-LTR retrotransposons. The purpose of the current study was to identify the LTR REs in sequenced Phoenix dactylifera genome and to study their structural diversity. A total of 150 P. dactylifera BAC sequences with > 60kb sizes were randomly retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database and screened for the presence of LTR retrotransposons. Seven bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC) sequences showed full-length LTR Retrotransposons with 4 Copia and 3 Gypsy families having variable copy numbers in respective families. Reverse transcriptase (RT) domain was found as the most conserved domain among Copia and Gypsy superfamilies and was used to deduce evolutionary analysis. The amino acid residues among various RT sequences showed variability in their percentages indicating post divergence evolution. Amino acid Leucine was found in highest proportions followed by Lysine, while Methionine and Tryptophan were in lowest percentages. The phylogenetic analysis based on RT domains confirmed that although having most conserved RT regions, several evolutionary events occurred causing nucleotide polymorphisms and hence clustering of Gypsy and Copia superfamilies into their respective lineages. The study will be helpful in identification and annotation of these elements in other species and genera and their distribution patterns on chromosomes by fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques.

Keywords: transposable elements, Phoenix dactylifera, retrotransposons, phylogenetic analysis

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13 Conservation Importance of Independent Smallholdings in Safeguarding Biodiversity in Oil Palm Plantations

Authors: Arzyana Sunkar, Yanto Santosa


The expansions of independent smallholdings in Indonesia are feared to increase the negative ecological impacts of oil palm plantation on biodiversity. Hence, research is required to identify the conservation importance of independent smallholder oil palm plantations on biodiversity. This paper discussed the role of independent smallholdings in the conservation of biodiversity in oil palm plantations and to compare it with High Conservation Value Forest as a conservation standard of RSPO. The research was conducted from March to April 2016. Data on biodiversity were collected on 16 plantations and 8 private oil palm plantations in the Districts of Kampar, Pelalawan, Kuantan, Singingi and Siak of Riau Province, Indonesia. In addition, data on community environmental perceptions of both smallholder plantation and High Conservation Value (HCV) Forest were also collected. Species that were observed were birds and earthworms. Data on birds were collected using transect method, while identification of earthworm was determine by taking some soil samples and counting the number of individual earthworm found for each worm species. The research used direct interview with oil palm owners and community members, as well as direct observation to examine the environmental conditions of each plantation. In general, field observation and measurement have found that birds species richness was higher in the forested HCV Forest. Nevertheless, if compared to non-forested HCV, bird’s species richness was higher in the independent smallholdings. On the other hand, different results were observed for earthworm, where the density was higher in the independent smallholdings than in the HCV. It can be concluded from this research that managing independent smallholder oil palm plantations and forested HCV forest could enhance biodiversity conservation. The results of this study justified the importance of retaining forested area to safeguard biodiversity in oil palm plantation.

Keywords: biodiversity conservation, high conservation value forest, independent smallholdings, oil palm plantations

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12 FE Modelling of Structural Effects of Alkali-Silica Reaction in Reinforced Concrete Beams

Authors: Mehdi Habibagahi, Shami Nejadi, Ata Aminfar


A significant degradation factor that impacts the durability of concrete structures is the alkali-silica reaction. Engineers are frequently charged with the challenges of conducting a thorough safety assessment of concrete structures that have been impacted by ASR. The alkali-silica reaction has a major influence on the structural capacities of structures. In most cases, the reduction in compressive strength, tensile strength, and modulus of elasticity is expressed as a function of free expansion and crack widths. Predicting the effect of ASR on flexural strength is also relevant. In this paper, a nonlinear three-dimensional (3D) finite-element model was proposed to describe the flexural strength degradation induced byASR.Initial strains, initial stresses, initial cracks, and deterioration of material characteristics were all considered ASR factors in this model. The effects of ASR on structural performance were evaluated by focusing on initial flexural stiffness, force–deformation curve, and load-carrying capacity. Degradation of concrete mechanical properties was correlated with ASR growth using material test data conducted at Tech Lab, UTS, and implemented into the FEM for various expansions. The finite element study revealed a better understanding of the ASR-affected RC beam's failure mechanism and capacity reduction as a function of ASR expansion. Furthermore, in this study, decreasing of the residual mechanical properties due to ASRisreviewed, using as input data for the FEM model. Finally, analysis techniques and a comparison of the analysis and the experiment results are discussed. Verification is also provided through analyses of reinforced concrete beams with behavior governed by either flexural or shear mechanisms.

Keywords: alkali-silica reaction, analysis, assessment, finite element, nonlinear analysis, reinforced concrete

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