Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: H. Ashrafi

12 Application of Machine Learning Techniques in Forest Cover-Type Prediction

Authors: Saba Ebrahimi, Hedieh Ashrafi


Predicting the cover type of forests is a challenge for natural resource managers. In this project, we aim to perform a comprehensive comparative study of two well-known classification methods, support vector machine (SVM) and decision tree (DT). The comparison is first performed among different types of each classifier, and then the best of each classifier will be compared by considering different evaluation metrics. The effect of boosting and bagging for decision trees is also explored. Furthermore, the effect of principal component analysis (PCA) and feature selection is also investigated. During the project, the forest cover-type dataset from the remote sensing and GIS program is used in all computations.

Keywords: classification methods, support vector machine, decision tree, forest cover-type dataset

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11 Investigation of Growth Yield and Antioxidant Activity of Monascus purpureus Extract Isolated from Stirred Tank Bioreactor

Authors: M. Pourshirazi, M. Esmaelifar, A. Aliahmadi, F. Yazdian, A. S. Hatamian Zarami, S. J. Ashrafi


Monascus purpureus is an antioxidant-producing fungus whose secondary metabolites can be used in drug industries. The growth yield and antioxidant activity of extract were investigated in 3-L liquid fermentation media in a 5-L stirred tank bioreactor (STD) at 30°C, pH 5.93 and darkness for 4 days with 150 rpm agitation and 40% dissolved oxygen. Results were compared to extract isolated from Erlenmeyer flask with the same condition. The growth yield was 0.21 and 0.17 in STD condition and Erlenmeyer flask, respectively. Furthermore, the IC50 of DPPH scavenging activity was 256.32 µg/ml and 150.43 µg/ml for STD extract and flask extract, respectively. Our data demonstrated that transferring the growth condition into the STD caused an increase in growth yield but not in antioxidant activity. Accordingly, there is no relationship between growth rate and secondary metabolites formation. More studies are needed to determine the mass transfer coefficient and also evaluating the hydrodynamic condition have to be done in the future studies.

Keywords: Monascus purpureus, bioreactor, antioxidant, growth yield

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10 Predicting Shortage of Hospital Beds during COVID-19 Pandemic in United States

Authors: Saba Ebrahimi, Saeed Ahmadian, Hedie Ashrafi


World-wide spread of coronavirus grows the concern about planning for the excess demand of hospital services in response to COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in the hospital services demand beyond the current capacity leads to shortage of ICU beds and ventilators in some parts of US. In this study, we forecast the required number of hospital beds and possible shortage of beds in US during COVID-19 pandemic to be used in the planning and hospitalization of new cases. In this paper, we used a data on COVID-19 deaths and patients’ hospitalization besides the data on hospital capacities and utilization in US from publicly available sources and national government websites. we used a novel ensemble modelling of deep learning networks, based on stacking different linear and non-linear layers to predict the shortage in hospital beds. The results showed that our proposed approach can predict the excess hospital beds demand very well and this can be helpful in developing strategies and plans to mitigate this gap.

Keywords: COVID-19, deep learning, ensembled models, hospital capacity planning

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9 Multifunctional Nanofiber Based Aerogels: Bridging Electrospinning with Aerogel Fabrication

Authors: Tahira Pirzada, Zahra Ashrafi, Saad Khan


We present a facile and sustainable solid templating approach to fabricate highly porous, flexible and superhydrophobic aerogels of composite nanofibers of cellulose diacetate and silica which are produced through sol gel electrospinning. Scanning electron microscopy, contact angle measurement, and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectrometry are used to understand the structural features of the resultant aerogels while thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry demonstrate their thermal stability. These aerogels exhibit a self-supportive three-dimensional network abundant in large secondary pores surrounded by primary pores resulting in a highly porous structure. Thermal crosslinking of the aerogels has further stabilized their structure and flexibility without compromising on the porosity. Ease of processing, thermal stability, high porosity and oleophilic nature of these aerogels make them promising candidate for a wide variety of applications including acoustic and thermal insulation and oil and water separation.

Keywords: hybrid aerogels, sol-gel electrospinning, oil-water separation, nanofibers

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8 A Robust Optimization Method for Service Quality Improvement in Health Care Systems under Budget Uncertainty

Authors: H. Ashrafi, S. Ebrahimi, H. Kamalzadeh


With the development of business competition, it is important for healthcare providers to improve their service qualities. In order to improve service quality of a clinic, four important dimensions are defined: tangibles, responsiveness, empathy, and reliability. Moreover, there are several service stages in hospitals such as financial screening and examination. One of the most challenging limitations for improving service quality is budget which impressively affects the service quality. In this paper, we present an approach to address budget uncertainty and provide guidelines for service resource allocation. In this paper, a service quality improvement approach is proposed which can be adopted to multistage service processes to improve service quality, while controlling the costs. A multi-objective function based on the importance of each area and dimension is defined to link operational variables to service quality dimensions. The results demonstrate that our approach is not ultra-conservative and it shows the actual condition very well. Moreover, it is shown that different strategies can affect the number of employees in different stages.

Keywords: allocation, budget uncertainty, healthcare resource, service quality assessment, robust optimization

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7 A Phenomenological-Hermeneutic Account of Design Thinking by Way of an Exposition of Four Species of Negatite: 'Not Being', 'Non-Being', 'Absence', 'Non-Existence'

Authors: Soheil Ashrafi


In this paper, it is attempted to chart and exposit terra incognito of the transcendental intuition of ‘non-being’, a peculiar species of négatité and a form of consciousness which underpins the phenomenal capacity for design thinking, and which serves as the ground of the ‘designing being-relation to the world’. The paper’s contention is that the transcendental intuition of the non-being indwells the agent’s being-relation to the world as a continual tension in that neither does the agent relinquish its ontological leverage and submit altogether to the world’s curbs and dictates, nor is it able to subdue satisfactorily or settle into the world once and for all. By way of phenomenological-hermeneutic analysis, it is endeavoured to argue that design thinking occurs by virtue of a phenomenal transition between the a priori ‘not-being’, the basis of ‘that-which-is’, and the transcendental intuition of non-being through which that-which-is-not-yet announces itself. Along with this, the other two species of négatité as ‘absence’ and ‘non-existence’ are clarified and contrasted with not-being and non-being, which have widely been used in the literature interchangeably as identical terms. In conclusion, it is argued that not only has design thinking in its unadulterated, originary mode historically preceded scientific thinking, but it also has served as the foundation of its emergence. In short, scientific thinking is a derivative, reformed application of design thinking; it indeed supervenes upon it.

Keywords: design thinking, designing being-relation to the world, négatité, not-being, non-being

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6 Temperature Field Measurement of Premixed Landfill Gas Laminar Flame in a Cylindrical Slot Burner Using Mach-Zehnder Interferometry

Authors: Bahareh Najafian Ashrafi, Hossein Zeidabadinejad, Mehdi Ashjaee


The temperature field is a key factor of flame heat transfer rate and therefore should be measured accurately. In this study, the Mach-Zehnder Interferometry method is applied to measure the temperature field of premixed air/landfill gas (LFG60:60% CH4+40% CO2) laminar flame. The three-dimensional flame of cylindrical slot burner can assume to be two-dimensional due to the high aspect ratio (L/W=10) of the rectangular slot. So, the method converts two-dimensional flame to closed isothermal curves called fringes and the outer fringes temperature is measured by thermocouples. The experiments are carried out for Reynolds numbers and equivalence ratios ranging from 100 to 400 and 1.0 to 1.4, respectively. Results show that by increasing the equivalence ratio or Reynolds number, the flame height increases. The maximum flame temperature decreases by increasing the equivalence ratio but does not change considerably by changing the Reynolds number.

Keywords: landfill gas, Mach-Zehender interferometry, premix flame, slot burner, temperature filed

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5 Patterns of Gear Substitution in Norwegian Trawl Fishery

Authors: Tannaz Alizadeh Ashrafi


Seasonal variability in biological and ecological factors together with relevant socio-economic determinants affect the choice of fishing gear, frequency of its usage and decision about gear conversion under multi-species situation. In order to deal with the complex dynamics of fisheries, fishers, constantly, have to make decisions about how long to fish, when to go fishing, what species to target, and which gear to deploy. In this regard, the purpose of this study is to examine the dynamics of gear/ species combination in Norwegian fishery. A comprehensive vessel-level set of data for the main economically important species including: cod, haddock, saithe, shrimp and mixed catch have been obtained from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries covering the daily data in 2010. The present study further analyzes the level of flexibility and rationality of the fishers operating in the trawl fishery. The results show the disproportion between intention of the trawl fishers to maximize profitability of each fishing trip and their harvesting behavior in reality. Discussion is based on so-called maximizing behavior.

Keywords: trawl fishery, gear substitution, rationality, profit maximizing behavior

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4 An Ensemble Deep Learning Architecture for Imbalanced Classification of Thoracic Surgery Patients

Authors: Saba Ebrahimi, Saeed Ahmadian, Hedie Ashrafi


Selecting appropriate patients for surgery is one of the main issues in thoracic surgery (TS). Both short-term and long-term risks and benefits of surgery must be considered in the patient selection criteria. There are some limitations in the existing datasets of TS patients because of missing values of attributes and imbalanced distribution of survival classes. In this study, a novel ensemble architecture of deep learning networks is proposed based on stacking different linear and non-linear layers to deal with imbalance datasets. The categorical and numerical features are split using different layers with ability to shrink the unnecessary features. Then, after extracting the insight from the raw features, a novel biased-kernel layer is applied to reinforce the gradient of the minority class and cause the network to be trained better comparing the current methods. Finally, the performance and advantages of our proposed model over the existing models are examined for predicting patient survival after thoracic surgery using a real-life clinical data for lung cancer patients.

Keywords: deep learning, ensemble models, imbalanced classification, lung cancer, TS patient selection

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3 Antioxidant and Anticancer Activities of Ethanolic Extract from Monascus purpureus

Authors: M. Pourshirazi, M. Esmaelifar, A. Aliahmadi, F. Yazdian, A. S. Hatamian Zarami, S. J. Ashrafi


Medicinal fungi are the new potential source of drugs to improve the treatment of diseases with association to oxidative agents such as cancers. Monascus purpureus contains functional components potentially effective in improving human health. In the present work, ethanolic extract of Monascus purpureus (EEM) was evaluated for health improving potential mainly focusing on antioxidant and anticancer activities. Ferric ion reducing power (FRAP), scavenging of DPPH radicals and determining viability of breast carcinoma MCF-7 and cervical carcinoma HeLa cells with MTT assay were evaluated. Our data showed a significant antioxidant activity of EEM with 142.45 µg/ml inhibition concentration of 50% DPPH radicals and 2112.33 µg eq.Fe2+/mg extract of FRAP assay. These results might be caused by antioxidant components such as pigments and phenolic compounds. Further, the results demonstrated that EEM caused significant reduction in the viability of MCF-7 with IC50 of 7 µg/ml but not have good effect against viability of HeLa cells. Accordingly, Monascus purpureus is presented as a strong potential of breast cancer treatment. In further study, the mechanistic studies are needed to determine the mechanisms of anticancer activity of EEM.

Keywords: Monascus purpureus, antioxidant, cancer, ethanolic extract

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2 Artificial Neural Network-Based Prediction of Effluent Quality of Wastewater Treatment Plant Employing Data Preprocessing Approaches

Authors: Vahid Nourani, Atefeh Ashrafi


Prediction of treated wastewater quality is a matter of growing importance in water treatment procedure. In this way artificial neural network (ANN), as a robust data-driven approach, has been widely used for forecasting the effluent quality of wastewater treatment. However, developing ANN model based on appropriate input variables is a major concern due to the numerous parameters which are collected from treatment process and the number of them are increasing in the light of electronic sensors development. Various studies have been conducted, using different clustering methods, in order to classify most related and effective input variables. This issue has been overlooked in the selecting dominant input variables among wastewater treatment parameters which could effectively lead to more accurate prediction of water quality. In the presented study two ANN models were developed with the aim of forecasting effluent quality of Tabriz city’s wastewater treatment plant. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) was utilized to determine water quality as a target parameter. Model A used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for input selection as a linear variance-based clustering method. Model B used those variables identified by the mutual information (MI) measure. Therefore, the optimal ANN structure when the result of model B compared with model A showed up to 15% percent increment in Determination Coefficient (DC). Thus, this study highlights the advantage of PCA method in selecting dominant input variables for ANN modeling of wastewater plant efficiency performance.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks, biochemical oxygen demand, principal component analysis, mutual information, Tabriz wastewater treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant

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1 Cost Overruns in Mega Projects: Project Progress Prediction with Probabilistic Methods

Authors: Yasaman Ashrafi, Stephen Kajewski, Annastiina Silvennoinen, Madhav Nepal


Mega projects either in construction, urban development or energy sectors are one of the key drivers that build the foundation of wealth and modern civilizations in regions and nations. Such projects require economic justification and substantial capital investment, often derived from individual and corporate investors as well as governments. Cost overruns and time delays in these mega projects demands a new approach to more accurately predict project costs and establish realistic financial plans. The significance of this paper is that the cost efficiency of megaprojects will improve and decrease cost overruns. This research will assist Project Managers (PMs) to make timely and appropriate decisions about both cost and outcomes of ongoing projects. This research, therefore, examines the oil and gas industry where most mega projects apply the classic methods of Cost Performance Index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI) and rely on project data to forecast cost and time. Because these projects are always overrun in cost and time even at the early phase of the project, the probabilistic methods of Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) and Bayesian Adaptive Forecasting method were used to predict project cost at completion of projects. The current theoretical and mathematical models which forecast the total expected cost and project completion date, during the execution phase of an ongoing project will be evaluated. Earned Value Management (EVM) method is unable to predict cost at completion of a project accurately due to the lack of enough detailed project information especially in the early phase of the project. During the project execution phase, the Bayesian adaptive forecasting method incorporates predictions into the actual performance data from earned value management and revises pre-project cost estimates, making full use of the available information. The outcome of this research is to improve the accuracy of both cost prediction and final duration. This research will provide a warning method to identify when current project performance deviates from planned performance and crates an unacceptable gap between preliminary planning and actual performance. This warning method will support project managers to take corrective actions on time.

Keywords: cost forecasting, earned value management, project control, project management, risk analysis, simulation

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