Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Henrik Prinzhorn

19 A Memetic Algorithm for an Energy-Costs-Aware Flexible Job-Shop Scheduling Problem

Authors: Christian Böning, Henrik Prinzhorn, Eric C. Hund, Malte Stonis

Abstract:

In this article, the flexible job-shop scheduling problem is extended by consideration of energy costs which arise owing to the power peak, and further decision variables such as work in process and throughput time are incorporated into the objective function. This enables a production plan to be simultaneously optimized in respect of the real arising energy and logistics costs. The energy-costs-aware flexible job-shop scheduling problem (EFJSP) which arises is described mathematically, and a memetic algorithm (MA) is presented as a solution. In the MA, the evolutionary process is supplemented with a local search. Furthermore, repair procedures are used in order to rectify any infeasible solutions that have arisen in the evolutionary process. The potential for lowering the real arising costs of a production plan through consideration of energy consumption levels is highlighted.

Keywords: energy costs, flexible job-shop scheduling, memetic algorithm, power peak

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18 Optimization Model for Identification of Assembly Alternatives of Large-Scale, Make-to-Order Products

Authors: Henrik Prinzhorn, Peter Nyhuis, Johannes Wagner, Peter Burggräf, Torben Schmitz, Christina Reuter

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Assembling large-scale products, such as airplanes, locomotives, or wind turbines, involves frequent process interruptions induced by e.g. delayed material deliveries or missing availability of resources. This leads to a negative impact on the logistical performance of a producer of xxl-products. In industrial practice, in case of interruptions, the identification, evaluation and eventually the selection of an alternative order of assembly activities (‘assembly alternative’) leads to an enormous challenge, especially if an optimized logistical decision should be reached. Therefore, in this paper, an innovative, optimization model for the identification of assembly alternatives that addresses the given problem is presented. It describes make-to-order, large-scale product assembly processes as a resource constrained project scheduling (RCPS) problem which follows given restrictions in practice. For the evaluation of the assembly alternative, a cost-based definition of the logistical objectives (delivery reliability, inventory, make-span and workload) is presented.

Keywords: assembly scheduling, large-scale products, make-to-order, optimization, rescheduling

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17 An Optimization Model for the Arrangement of Assembly Areas Considering Time Dynamic Area Requirements

Authors: Michael Zenker, Henrik Prinzhorn, Christian Böning, Tom Strating

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Large-scale products are often assembled according to the job-site principle, meaning that during the assembly the product is located at a fixed position, while the area requirements are constantly changing. On one hand, the product itself is growing with each assembly step, whereas varying areas for storage, machines or working areas are temporarily required. This is an important factor when arranging products to be assembled within the factory. Currently, it is common to reserve a fixed area for each product to avoid overlaps or collisions with the other assemblies. Intending to be large enough to include the product and all adjacent areas, this reserved area corresponds to the superposition of the maximum extents of all required areas of the product. In this procedure, the reserved area is usually poorly utilized over the course of the entire assembly process; instead a large part of it remains unused. If the available area is a limited resource, a systematic arrangement of the products, which complies with the dynamic area requirements, will lead to an increased area utilization and productivity. This paper presents the results of a study on the arrangement of assembly objects assuming dynamic, competing area requirements. First, the problem situation is extensively explained, and existing research on associated topics is described and evaluated on the possibility of an adaptation. Then, a newly developed mathematical optimization model is introduced. This model allows an optimal arrangement of dynamic areas, considering logical and practical constraints. Finally, in order to quantify the potential of the developed method, some test series results are presented, showing the possible increase in area utilization.

Keywords: dynamic area requirements, facility layout problem, optimization model, product assembly

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16 Innovative Techniques of Teaching Henrik Ibsen’s a Doll’s House

Authors: Shilpagauri Prasad Ganpule

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The teaching of drama is considered as the most significant and noteworthy area in an ESL classroom. Diverse innovative techniques can be used to make the teaching of drama worthwhile and interesting. The paper presents the different innovative techniques that can be used while teaching Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House [2007]. The innovative techniques facilitate students’ understanding and comprehension of the text. The use of the innovative techniques makes them explore the dramatic text and uncover a multihued arena of meanings hidden in it. They arouse the students’ interest and assist them overcome the difficulties created by the second language. The diverse innovative techniques appeal to the imagination of the students and increase their participation in the classroom. They help the students in the appreciation of the dramatic text and make the teaching learning situation a fruitful experience for both the teacher and students. The students successfully overcome the problem of L2 comprehension and grasp the theme, story line and plot-structure of the play effectively. The innovative techniques encourage a strong sense of participation on the part of the students and persuade them to learn through active participation. In brief, the innovative techniques promote the students to perform various tasks and expedite their learning process. Thus the present paper makes an attempt to present varied innovative techniques that can be used while teaching drama. It strives to demonstrate how the use of innovative techniques improve and enhance the students’ understanding and appreciation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House [2007].

Keywords: ESL classroom, innovative techniques, students’ participation, teaching of drama

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15 Optimizing Pick and Place Operations in a Simulated Work Cell for Deformable 3D Objects

Authors: Troels Bo Jørgensen, Preben Hagh Strunge Holm, Henrik Gordon Petersen, Norbert Kruger

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This paper presents a simulation framework for using machine learning techniques to determine robust robotic motions for handling deformable objects. The main focus is on applications in the meat sector, which mainly handle three-dimensional objects. In order to optimize the robotic handling, the robot motions have been parameterized in terms of grasp points, robot trajectory and robot speed. The motions are evaluated based on a dynamic simulation environment for robotic control of deformable objects. The evaluation indicates certain parameter setups, which produce robust motions in the simulated environment, and based on a visual analysis indicate satisfactory solutions for a real world system.

Keywords: deformable objects, robotic manipulation, simulation, real world system

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14 The Theory behind Logistic Regression

Authors: Jan Henrik Wosnitza

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The logistic regression has developed into a standard approach for estimating conditional probabilities in a wide range of applications including credit risk prediction. The article at hand contributes to the current literature on logistic regression fourfold: First, it is demonstrated that the binary logistic regression automatically meets its model assumptions under very general conditions. This result explains, at least in part, the logistic regression's popularity. Second, the requirement of homoscedasticity in the context of binary logistic regression is theoretically substantiated. The variances among the groups of defaulted and non-defaulted obligors have to be the same across the level of the aggregated default indicators in order to achieve linear logits. Third, this article sheds some light on the question why nonlinear logits might be superior to linear logits in case of a small amount of data. Fourth, an innovative methodology for estimating correlations between obligor-specific log-odds is proposed. In order to crystallize the key ideas, this paper focuses on the example of credit risk prediction. However, the results presented in this paper can easily be transferred to any other field of application.

Keywords: correlation, credit risk estimation, default correlation, homoscedasticity, logistic regression, nonlinear logistic regression

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13 A Numerical Description of a Fibre Reinforced Concrete Using a Genetic Algorithm

Authors: Henrik L. Funke, Lars Ulke-Winter, Sandra Gelbrich, Lothar Kroll

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This work reports about an approach for an automatic adaptation of concrete formulations based on genetic algorithms (GA) to optimize a wide range of different fit-functions. In order to achieve the goal, a method was developed which provides a numerical description of a fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) mixture regarding the production technology and the property spectrum of the concrete. In a first step, the FRC mixture with seven fixed components was characterized by varying amounts of the components. For that purpose, ten concrete mixtures were prepared and tested. The testing procedure comprised flow spread, compressive and bending tensile strength. The analysis and approximation of the determined data was carried out by GAs. The aim was to obtain a closed mathematical expression which best describes the given seven-point cloud of FRC by applying a Gene Expression Programming with Free Coefficients (GEP-FC) strategy. The seven-parametric FRC-mixtures model which is generated according to this method correlated well with the measured data. The developed procedure can be used for concrete mixtures finding closed mathematical expressions, which are based on the measured data.

Keywords: concrete design, fibre reinforced concrete, genetic algorithms, GEP-FC

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12 Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Well-Being, Health, and Loneliness during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Jessica Hemberg, Amanda Sundqvist, Yulia Korzhina, Lillemor Östman, Sofia Gylfe, Frida Gädda, Lisbet Nyström, Henrik Groundstroem, Pia Nyman-Kurkiala

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Purpose: There are large gaps in the literature on COVID-19 pandemic-related mental health outcomes and after-effects specific to adolescents and young adults. The study's aim was to explore adolescents’ and young adults’ experiences of well-being, health, and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: A qualitative exploratory design with qualitative content analysis was used. Twenty-three participants (aged 19-27; four men and 19 women) were interviewed. Results: Four themes emerged: Changed social networks – fewer and closer contacts, changed mental and physical health, increased physical and social loneliness, well-being, internal growth, and need for support. Conclusion: Adolescents’ and young adults’ experiences of well-being, health, and loneliness are subtle and complex. Participants experienced changed social networks, mental and physical health, and well-being. Also, internal growth, need for support, and increased loneliness were seen. Clear information on how to seek help and support from professionals should be made available.

Keywords: adolescents, COVID-19 pandemic, health, interviews, loneliness, qualitative, well-being, young adults

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11 Feminist Perspective: Negotiating Subverted Feminine Self in Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid

Authors: Sumaira Mukhtar

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The present research aims at the discussion of the subversion of the hegemony of the feminine self in the text Moth Smoke by a Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid. It presents the notion of the subversion of the grand narratives of the ‘positioning’ of feminine identity in Pakistani patriarchal society by presenting a de-stereotyped personality of Mumtaz, the protagonist in Moth Smoke. The dominant masculine traits in Mumtaz’s personality have been negotiated since she is an untraditional female character in the novel. In this regard, the researcher has taken a feministic stance in this study by presenting the proposition that subaltern can also speak. Mumtaz’s character reminds one of Hedda from Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler. So, the masculine traits in Mumtaz’s personality have also been compared with Hedda’s. Besides, the research study will also bring into notice that how that in the postmodern scenario, marginalization of the women have been responded back by women and hereby Mumtaz by uplifting her social status and class. Her de-stereotyped feminine self has been reinforced by the dialogues and incidents in the text. This research is qualitative in design and is based on the textual analysis. An interpretive research method has also been utilized since the researcher has tried to decode the text in supporting the notion of de-stereotyping of feminine self. This research would add to the body of Pakistani literature and Feministic theory.

Keywords: de-stereotyped, feminine identity, marginalization, masculine traits

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10 Dicotyledon Weed Quantification Algorithm for Selective Herbicide Application in Maize Crops: Statistical Evaluation of the Potential Herbicide Savings

Authors: Morten Stigaard Laursen, Rasmus Nyholm Jørgensen, Henrik Skov Midtiby, Anders Krogh Mortensen, Sanmohan Baby

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This work contributes a statistical model and simulation framework yielding the best estimate possible for the potential herbicide reduction when using the MoDiCoVi algorithm all the while requiring a efficacy comparable to conventional spraying. In June 2013 a maize field located in Denmark were seeded. The field was divided into parcels which was assigned to one of two main groups: 1) Control, consisting of subgroups of no spray and full dose spraty; 2) MoDiCoVi algorithm subdivided into five different leaf cover thresholds for spray activation. In addition approximately 25% of the parcels were seeded with additional weeds perpendicular to the maize rows. In total 299 parcels were randomly assigned with the 28 different treatment combinations. In the statistical analysis, bootstrapping was used for balancing the number of replicates. The achieved potential herbicide savings was found to be 70% to 95% depending on the initial weed coverage. However additional field trials covering more seasons and locations are needed to verify the generalisation of these results. There is a potential for further herbicide savings as the time interval between the first and second spraying session was not long enough for the weeds to turn yellow, instead they only stagnated in growth.

Keywords: herbicide reduction, macrosprayer, weed crop discrimination, site-specific, sprayer boom

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9 Computing Machinery and Legal Intelligence: Towards a Reflexive Model for Computer Automated Decision Support in Public Administration

Authors: Jacob Livingston Slosser, Naja Holten Moller, Thomas Troels Hildebrandt, Henrik Palmer Olsen

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In this paper, we propose a model for human-AI interaction in public administration that involves legal decision-making. Inspired by Alan Turing’s test for machine intelligence, we propose a way of institutionalizing a continuous working relationship between man and machine that aims at ensuring both good legal quality and higher efficiency in decision-making processes in public administration. We also suggest that our model enhances the legitimacy of using AI in public legal decision-making. We suggest that case loads in public administration could be divided between a manual and an automated decision track. The automated decision track will be an algorithmic recommender system trained on former cases. To avoid unwanted feedback loops and biases, part of the case load will be dealt with by both a human case worker and the automated recommender system. In those cases an experienced human case worker will have the role of an evaluator, choosing between the two decisions. This model will ensure that the algorithmic recommender system is not compromising the quality of the legal decision making in the institution. It also enhances the legitimacy of using algorithmic decision support because it provides justification for its use by being seen as superior to human decisions when the algorithmic recommendations are preferred by experienced case workers. The paper outlines in some detail the process through which such a model could be implemented. It also addresses the important issue that legal decision making is subject to legislative and judicial changes and that legal interpretation is context sensitive. Both of these issues requires continuous supervision and adjustments to algorithmic recommender systems when used for legal decision making purposes.

Keywords: administrative law, algorithmic decision-making, decision support, public law

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8 Tanzanian Food Origins and Protected Geographical Indications

Authors: Innocensia John, Henrik Egelyng, Razack Lokina

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As the world`s population is constantly growing, food security has become a thorny trending issue. The impact has particularly been felt more in Africa as most of the people depend on food Agriculture products. Geographical Indications can aid in transforming the Tanzania agriculture-dependent economy through tapping the unique attributes of their quality products like soil, taste color etc. Consumers worldwide demand more uniquer products featuring a ´connect´ with the land use systems producing particular qualities. Tanzania has demonstrated the capacity to tap into the organic world market and has untapped potential for harvesting market value from geographical indications. This paper presents preliminary results from VALOR — a research project investigating conditions under which Tanzanian origin food producers can add value by incorporating territory specific cultural, environmental and social qualities into marketing, production and processing of unique local, niche and specialty products. Cases are investigated of the prospects for Tanzania to leapfrog perhaps into exports of geographical indications products, and certainly into allowing smallholders to create employment and build monetary value, while stewarding local food cultures and natural environments and resources, and increasing the diversity of supply of natural and unique quality products and so contribute to enhanced food security. Rice from Kyela, coffee and Sugar from Kilimanjaro, are some of the product cases investigated and provides for the in-depth case study, as ´landscape´ products incorporating ´taste of place´. Framework conditions for producers creating or capturing market value as stewards of cultural and landscape values and environments and institutional requirements for such creation or capturing to happen, including presence of export opportunities, are discussed.

Keywords: food origins, food security, protected geographical indications, case study analysis

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7 Embedded Visual Perception for Autonomous Agricultural Machines Using Lightweight Convolutional Neural Networks

Authors: René A. Sørensen, Søren Skovsen, Peter Christiansen, Henrik Karstoft

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Autonomous agricultural machines act in stochastic surroundings and therefore, must be able to perceive the surroundings in real time. This perception can be achieved using image sensors combined with advanced machine learning, in particular Deep Learning. Deep convolutional neural networks excel in labeling and perceiving color images and since the cost of high-quality RGB-cameras is low, the hardware cost of good perception depends heavily on memory and computation power. This paper investigates the possibility of designing lightweight convolutional neural networks for semantic segmentation (pixel wise classification) with reduced hardware requirements, to allow for embedded usage in autonomous agricultural machines. Using compression techniques, a lightweight convolutional neural network is designed to perform real-time semantic segmentation on an embedded platform. The network is trained on two large datasets, ImageNet and Pascal Context, to recognize up to 400 individual classes. The 400 classes are remapped into agricultural superclasses (e.g. human, animal, sky, road, field, shelterbelt and obstacle) and the ability to provide accurate real-time perception of agricultural surroundings is studied. The network is applied to the case of autonomous grass mowing using the NVIDIA Tegra X1 embedded platform. Feeding case-specific images to the network results in a fully segmented map of the superclasses in the image. As the network is still being designed and optimized, only a qualitative analysis of the method is complete at the abstract submission deadline. Proceeding this deadline, the finalized design is quantitatively evaluated on 20 annotated grass mowing images. Lightweight convolutional neural networks for semantic segmentation can be implemented on an embedded platform and show competitive performance with regards to accuracy and speed. It is feasible to provide cost-efficient perceptive capabilities related to semantic segmentation for autonomous agricultural machines.

Keywords: autonomous agricultural machines, deep learning, safety, visual perception

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6 Preferences of Electric Buses in Public Transport; Conclusions from Real Life Testing in Eight Swedish Municipalities

Authors: Sven Borén, Lisiana Nurhadi, Henrik Ny

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From a theoretical perspective, electric buses can be more sustainable and can be cheaper than fossil fuelled buses in city traffic. The authors have not found other studies based on actual urban public transport in Swedish winter climate. Further on, noise measurements from buses for the European market were found old. The aims of this follow-up study was therefore to test and possibly verify in a real-life environment how energy efficient and silent electric buses are, and then conclude on if electric buses are preferable to use in public transport. The Ebusco 2.0 electric bus, fitted with a 311 kWh battery pack, was used and the tests were carried out during November 2014-April 2015 in eight municipalities in the south of Sweden. Six tests took place in urban traffic and two took place in more of a rural traffic setting. The energy use for propulsion was measured via logging of the internal system in the bus and via an external charging meter. The average energy use turned out to be 8% less (0,96 kWh/km) than assumed in the earlier theoretical study. This rate allows for a 320 km range in public urban traffic. The interior of the bus was kept warm by a diesel heater (biodiesel will probably be used in a future operational traffic situation), which used 0,67 kWh/km in January. This verified that electric buses can be up to 25% cheaper when used in public transport in cities for about eight years. The noise was found to be lower, primarily during acceleration, than for buses with combustion engines in urban bus traffic. According to our surveys, most passengers and drivers appreciated the silent and comfortable ride and preferred electric buses rather than combustion engine buses. Bus operators and passenger transport executives were also positive to start using electric buses for public transport. The operators did however point out that procurement processes need to account for eventual risks regarding this new technology, along with personnel education. The study revealed that it is possible to establish a charging infrastructure for almost all studied bus lines. However, design of a charging infrastructure for each municipality requires further investigations, including electric grid capacity analysis, smart location of charging points, and tailored schedules to allow fast charging. In conclusion, electric buses proved to be a preferable alternative for all stakeholders involved in public bus transport in the studied municipalities. However, in order to electric buses to be a prominent support for sustainable development, they need to be charged either by stand-alone units or via an expansion of the electric grid, and the electricity should be made from new renewable sources.

Keywords: sustainability, electric, bus, noise, greencharge

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5 Increased Efficiency during Oxygen Carrier Aided Combustion of Municipal Solid Waste in an Industrial Scaled Circulating Fluidized Bed-Boiler

Authors: Angelica Corcoran, Fredrik Lind, Pavleta Knutsson, Henrik Thunman

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Solid waste volumes are at current predominately deposited on landfill. Furthermore, the impending climate change requires new solutions for a sustainable future energy mix. Currently, solid waste is globally utilized to small extent as fuel during combustion for heat and power production. Due to its variable composition and size, solid waste is considered difficult to combust and requires a technology with high fuel flexibility. One of the commercial technologies used for combustion of such difficult fuels is circulating fluidized beds (CFB). In a CFB boiler, fine particles of a solid material are used as 'bed material', which is accelerated by the incoming combustion air that causes the bed material to fluidize. The chosen bed material has conventionally been silica sand with the main purpose of being a heat carrier, as it transfers heat released by the combustion to the heat-transfer surfaces. However, the release of volatile compounds occurs rapidly in comparison with the lateral mixing in the combustion chamber. To ensure complete combustion a surplus of air is introduced, which decreases the total efficiency of the boiler. In recent years, the concept of partly or entirely replacing the silica sand with an oxygen carrier as bed material has been developed. By introducing an oxygen carrier to the combustion chamber, combustion can be spread out both temporally and spatially in the boiler. Specifically, the oxygen carrier can take up oxygen from the combustion air where it is in abundance and release it to combustible gases where oxygen is in deficit. The concept is referred to as oxygen carrier aided combustion (OCAC) where the natural ore ilmenite (FeTiO3) has been the oxygen carrier used. The authors have validated the oxygen buffering ability of ilmenite during combustion of biomass in Chalmers 12-MWth CFB boiler in previous publications. Furthermore, the concept has been demonstrated on full industrial scale during combustion of municipal solid waste (MSW) in E.ON’s 75 MWth CFB boiler. The experimental campaigns have showed increased mass transfer of oxygen inside the boiler when combustion both biomass and MSW. As a result, a higher degree of burnout is achieved inside the combustion chamber and the plant can be operated at a lower surplus of air. Moreover, the buffer of oxygen provided by the oxygen carrier makes the system less sensitive to disruptions in operation. In conclusion, combusting difficult fuels with OCAC results in higher operation stability and an increase in boiler efficiency.

Keywords: OCAC, ilmenite, combustion, CFB

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4 A Strategic Sustainability Analysis of Electric Vehicles in EU Today and Towards 2050

Authors: Sven Borén, Henrik Ny

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Ambitions within the EU for moving towards sustainable transport include major emission reductions for fossil fuel road vehicles, especially for buses, trucks, and cars. The electric driveline seems to be an attractive solution for such development. This study first applied the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development to compare sustainability effects of today’s fossil fuel vehicles with electric vehicles that have batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. The study then addressed a scenario were electric vehicles might be in majority in Europe by 2050. The methodology called Strategic Lifecycle Assessment was first used, were each life cycle phase was assessed for violations against sustainability principles. This indicates where further analysis could be done in order to quantify the magnitude of each violation, and later to create alternative strategies and actions that lead towards sustainability. A Life Cycle Assessment of combustion engine cars, plug-in hybrid cars, battery electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell cars was then conducted to compare and quantify environmental impacts. The authors found major violations of sustainability principles like use of fossil fuels, which contribute to the increase of emission related impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion, and particulate matters. Other violations were found, such as use of scarce materials for batteries and fuel cells, and also for most life cycle phases for all vehicles when using fossil fuel vehicles for mining, production and transport. Still, the studied current battery and hydrogen fuel cell cars have less severe violations than fossil fuel cars. The life cycle assessment revealed that fossil fuel cars have overall considerably higher environmental impacts compared to electric cars as long as the latter are powered by renewable electricity. By 2050, there will likely be even more sustainable alternatives than the studied electric vehicles when the EU electricity mix mainly should stem from renewable sources, batteries should be recycled, fuel cells should be a mature technology for use in vehicles (containing no scarce materials), and electric drivelines should have replaced combustion engines in other sectors. An uncertainty for fuel cells in 2050 is whether the production of hydrogen will have had time to switch to renewable resources. If so, that would contribute even more to a sustainable development. Except for being adopted in the GreenCharge roadmap, the authors suggest that the results can contribute to planning in the upcoming decades for a sustainable increase of EVs in Europe, and potentially serve as an inspiration for other smaller or larger regions. Further studies could map the environmental effects in LCA further, and include other road vehicles to get a more precise perception of how much they could affect sustainable development.

Keywords: strategic, electric vehicles, sustainability, LCA

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3 Neuroprotection against N-Methyl-D-Aspartate-Induced Optic Nerve and Retinal Degeneration Changes by Philanthotoxin-343 to Alleviate Visual Impairments Involve Reduced Nitrosative Stress

Authors: Izuddin Fahmy Abu, Mohamad Haiqal Nizar Mohamad, Muhammad Fattah Fazel, Renu Agarwal, Igor Iezhitsa, Nor Salmah Bakar, Henrik Franzyk, Ian Mellor

Abstract:

Glaucoma is the global leading cause of irreversible blindness. Currently, the available treatment strategy only involves lowering intraocular pressure (IOP); however, the condition often progresses despite lowered or normal IOP in some patients. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) excitotoxicity often occurs in neurodegeneration-related glaucoma; thus it is a relevant target to develop a therapy based on neuroprotection approach. This study investigated the effects of Philanthotoxin-343 (PhTX-343), an NMDAR antagonist, on the neuroprotection of NMDA-induced glaucoma to alleviate visual impairments. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were equally divided: Groups 1 (control) and 2 (glaucoma) were intravitreally injected with phosphate buffer saline (PBS) and NMDA (160nM), respectively, while group 3 was pre-treated with PhTX-343 (160nM) 24 hours prior to NMDA injection. Seven days post-treatments, rats were subjected to visual behavior assessments and subsequently euthanized to harvest their retina and optic nerve tissues for histological analysis and determination of nitrosative stress level using 3-nitrotyrosine ELISA. Visual behavior assessments via open field, object, and color recognition tests demonstrated poor visual performance in glaucoma rats indicated by high exploratory behavior. PhTX-343 pre-treatment appeared to preserve visual abilities as all test results were significantly improved (p < 0.05). H&E staining of the retina showed a marked reduction of ganglion cell layer thickness in the glaucoma group; in contrast, PhTX-343 significantly increased the number by 1.28-folds (p < 0.05). PhTX-343 also increased the number of cell nuclei/100μm2 within inner retina by 1.82-folds compared to the glaucoma group (p < 0.05). Toluidine blue staining of optic nerve tissues showed that PhTX-343 reduced the degeneration changes compared to the glaucoma group which exhibited vacuolation overall sections. PhTX-343 also decreased retinal 3- nitrotyrosine concentration by 1.74-folds compared to the glaucoma group (p < 0.05). All results in PhTX-343 group were comparable to control (p > 0.05). We conclude that PhTX-343 protects against NMDA-induced changes and visual impairments in the rat model by reducing nitrosative stress levels.

Keywords: excitotoxicity, glaucoma, nitrosative stress , NMDA receptor , N-methyl-D-aspartate , philanthotoxin, visual behaviour

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2 Barriers to Business Model Innovation in the Agri-Food Industry

Authors: Pia Ulvenblad, Henrik Barth, Jennie Cederholm BjöRklund, Maya Hoveskog, Per-Ola Ulvenblad

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The importance of business model innovation (BMI) is widely recognized. This is also valid for firms in the agri-food industry, closely connected to global challenges. Worldwide food production will have to increase 70% by 2050 and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals prioritize research and innovation on food security and sustainable agriculture. The firms of the agri-food industry have opportunities to increase their competitive advantage through BMI. However, the process of BMI is complex and the implementation of new business models is associated with high degree of risk and failure. Thus, managers from all industries and scholars need to better understand how to address this complexity. Therefore, the research presented in this paper (i) explores different categories of barriers in research literature on business models in the agri-food industry, and (ii) illustrates categories of barriers with empirical cases. This study is addressing the rather limited understanding on barriers for BMI in the agri-food industry, through a systematic literature review (SLR) of 570 peer-reviewed journal articles that contained a combination of ‘BM’ or ‘BMI’ with agriculture-related and food-related terms (e.g. ‘agri-food sector’) published in the period 1990-2014. The study classifies the barriers in several categories and illustrates the identified barriers with ten empirical cases. Findings from the literature review show that barriers are mainly identified as outcomes. It can be assumed that a perceived barrier to growth can often be initially exaggerated or underestimated before being challenged by appropriate measures or courses of action. What may be considered by the public mind to be a barrier could in reality be very different from an actual barrier that needs to be challenged. One way of addressing barriers to growth is to define barriers according to their origin (internal/external) and nature (tangible/intangible). The framework encompasses barriers related to the firm (internal addressing in-house conditions) or to the industrial or national levels (external addressing environmental conditions). Tangible barriers can include asset shortages in the area of equipment or facilities, while human resources deficiencies or negative willingness towards growth are examples of intangible barriers. Our findings are consistent with previous research on barriers for BMI that has identified human factors barriers (individuals’ attitudes, histories, etc.); contextual barriers related to company and industry settings; and more abstract barriers (government regulations, value chain position, and weather). However, human factor barriers – and opportunities - related to family-owned businesses with idealistic values and attitudes and owning the real estate where the business is situated, are more frequent in the agri-food industry than other industries. This paper contributes by generating a classification of the barriers for BMI as well as illustrating them with empirical cases. We argue that internal barriers such as human factors barriers; values and attitudes are crucial to overcome in order to develop BMI. However, they can be as hard to overcome as for example institutional barriers such as governments’ regulations. Implications for research and practice are to focus on cognitive barriers and to develop the BMI capability of the owners and managers of agri-industry firms.

Keywords: agri-food, barriers, business model, innovation

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1 Design of Evaluation for Ehealth Intervention: A Participatory Study in Italy, Israel, Spain and Sweden

Authors: Monika Jurkeviciute, Amia Enam, Johanna Torres Bonilla, Henrik Eriksson

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Introduction: Many evaluations of eHealth interventions conclude that the evidence for improved clinical outcomes is limited, especially when the intervention is short, such as one year. Often, evaluation design does not address the feasibility of achieving clinical outcomes. Evaluations are designed to reflect upon clinical goals of intervention without utilizing the opportunity to illuminate effects on organizations and cost. A comprehensive design of evaluation can better support decision-making regarding the effectiveness and potential transferability of eHealth. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to present a feasible and comprehensive design of evaluation for eHealth intervention, including the design process in different contexts. Methodology: The situation of limited feasibility of clinical outcomes was foreseen in the European Union funded project called “DECI” (“Digital Environment for Cognitive Inclusion”) that is run under the “Horizon 2020” program with an aim to define and test a digital environment platform within corresponding care models that help elderly people live independently. A complex intervention of eHealth implementation into elaborate care models in four different countries was planned for one year. To design the evaluation, a participative approach was undertaken using Pettigrew’s lens of change and transformations, including context, process, and content. Through a series of workshops, observations, interviews, and document analysis, as well as a review of scientific literature, a comprehensive design of evaluation was created. Findings: The findings indicate that in order to get evidence on clinical outcomes, eHealth interventions should last longer than one year. The content of the comprehensive evaluation design includes a collection of qualitative and quantitative methods for data gathering which illuminates non-medical aspects. Furthermore, it contains communication arrangements to discuss the results and continuously improve the evaluation design, as well as procedures for monitoring and improving the data collection during the intervention. The process of the comprehensive evaluation design consists of four stages: (1) analysis of a current state in different contexts, including measurement systems, expectations and profiles of stakeholders, organizational ambitions to change due to eHealth integration, and the organizational capacity to collect data for evaluation; (2) workshop with project partners to discuss the as-is situation in relation to the project goals; (3) development of general and customized sets of relevant performance measures, questionnaires and interview questions; (4) setting up procedures and monitoring systems for the interventions. Lastly, strategies are presented on how challenges can be handled during the design process of evaluation in four different countries. The evaluation design needs to consider contextual factors such as project limitations, and differences between pilot sites in terms of eHealth solutions, patient groups, care models, national and organizational cultures and settings. This implies a need for the flexible approach to evaluation design to enable judgment over the effectiveness and potential for adoption and transferability of eHealth. In summary, this paper provides learning opportunities for future evaluation designs of eHealth interventions in different national and organizational settings.

Keywords: ehealth, elderly, evaluation, intervention, multi-cultural

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