Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Ioannis I. Αngeli

18 A Six-Year Case Study Evaluating the Stakeholders’ Requirements and Satisfaction in Higher Educational Establishments

Authors: Ioannis I. Αngeli

Abstract:

Worldwide and mainly in the European Union, many standards, regulations, models and systems exists for the evaluation and identification of stakeholders’ requirements of individual universities and higher education (HE) in general. All systems are targeting to measure or evaluate the Universities’ Quality Assurance Systems and the services offered to the recipients of HE, mainly the students. Numerous surveys were conducted in the past either by each university or by organized bodies to identify the students’ satisfaction or to evaluate to what extent these requirements are fulfilled. In this paper, the main results of an ongoing 6-year joint research will be presented very briefly. This research deals with an in depth investigation of student’s satisfaction, students personal requirements, a cup analysis among these two parameters and compares different universities. Through this research an attempt will be made to address four very important questions in higher education establishments (HEE): (1) Are there any common requirements, parameters, good practices or questions that apply to a large number of universities that will assure that students’ requirements are fulfilled? (2) Up to what extent the individual programs of HEE fulfil the requirements of the stakeholders? (3) Are there any similarities on specific programs among European HEE? (4) To what extent the knowledge acquired in a specific course program is utilized or used in a specific country? For the execution of the research an internationally accepted questionnaire(s) was used to evaluate up to what extent the students’ requirements and satisfaction were fulfilled in 2012 and five years later (2017). Samples of students and or universities were taken from many European Universities. The questionnaires used, the sampling method and methodology adopted, as well as the comparison tables and results will be very valuable to any university that is willing to follow the same route and methodology or compare the results with their own HHE. Apart from the unique methodology, valuable results are demonstrated from the four case studies. There is a great difference between the student’s expectations or importance from what they are getting from their universities (in all parameters they are getting less). When there is a crisis or budget cut in HEE there is a direct impact to students. There are many differences on subjects taught in European universities.

Keywords: education standards, quality in higher education, students' requirements, student's survey, stakeholder's requirements, mechanical engineering courses

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17 Consumer Load Profile Determination with Entropy-Based K-Means Algorithm

Authors: Marios N. Moschakis, Ioannis P. Panapakidis

Abstract:

With the continuous increment of smart meter installations across the globe, the need for processing of the load data is evident. Clustering-based load profiling is built upon the utilization of unsupervised machine learning tools for the purpose of formulating the typical load curves or load profiles. The most commonly used algorithm in the load profiling literature is the K-means. While the algorithm has been successfully tested in a variety of applications, its drawback is the strong dependence in the initialization phase. This paper proposes a novel modified form of the K-means that addresses the aforementioned problem. Simulation results indicate the superiority of the proposed algorithm compared to the K-means.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Clustering, Load modeling, load profiling, energy efficiency and quality

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16 Comparison of Machine Learning Models for the Prediction of System Marginal Price of Greek Energy Market

Authors: Marios N. Moschakis, Ioannis P. Panapakidis

Abstract:

The Greek Energy Market is structured as a mandatory pool where the producers make their bid offers in day-ahead basis. The System Operator solves an optimization routine aiming at the minimization of the cost of produced electricity. The solution of the optimization problem leads to the calculation of the System Marginal Price (SMP). Accurate forecasts of the SMP can lead to increased profits and more efficient portfolio management from the producer`s perspective. Aim of this study is to provide a comparative analysis of various machine learning models such as artificial neural networks and neuro-fuzzy models for the prediction of the SMP of the Greek market. Machine learning algorithms are favored in predictions problems since they can capture and simulate the volatilities of complex time series.

Keywords: Forecasting, Machine Learning, deregulated energy market, system marginal price

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15 An Extended Model for Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security in the Agrifood Sector

Authors: Ioannis Manikas

Abstract:

The increased consumer demand for environmentally friendly production and distribution practices and the stricter environmental regulations turned environmental aspects into important criteria in business decision-making. On the other hand, Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) has evolved dramatically during the last decades in theory and practice serving as a reference point for exchanging experiences among all agents involved in programs and projects to fostering policy and strategy development. Global pressures make it more important than ever to gain a better understanding of the contribution that agrifood businesses make to FNS and to examine ways to make them more resilient in an increasingly globalized and uncertain world. This study extends the standard three-dimensional model of sustainability to include two more dimensions: A technological dimension and a policy/political dimension. Apart from the economic, environmental and social dimensions regularly used in sustainability literature, the extended model will accurately represent the measures and policies addressing food and nutrition security.

Keywords: Food Safety, Sustainability, Resilience, Food and Nutrition Security

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14 Recovery and Εncapsulation of Μarine Derived Antifouling Agents

Authors: Marina Stramarkou, Sofia Papadaki, Maria Kaloupi, Ioannis Batzakas

Abstract:

Biofouling is a complex problem of the aquaculture industry, as it reduces the efficiency of the equipment and causes significant losses of cultured organisms. Nowadays, the current antifouling methods are proved to be labor intensive, have limited lifetime and use toxic substances that result in fish mortality. Several species of marine algae produce a wide variety of biogenic compounds with antibacterial and antifouling properties, which are effective in the prevention and control of biofouling and can be incorporated in antifouling coatings. In the present work, Fucus spiralis, a species of macro algae, and Chlorella vulgaris, a well-known species of microalgae, were used for the isolation and recovery of bioactive compounds, belonging to groups of fatty acids, lipopeptides and amides. The recovery of the compounds was achieved through the application of the ultrasound- assisted extraction, an environmentally friendly method, using green, non-toxic solvents. Moreover, the coating of the antifouling agents was done by innovative encapsulation and coating methods, such as electro-hydrodynamic process. For the encapsulation of the bioactive compounds natural matrices were used, such as polysaccharides and proteins. Water extracts that were incorporated in protein matrices were considered the most efficient antifouling coating.

Keywords: Electrospinning, Algae, Fatty Acids, ultrasound-assisted extraction

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13 Government Big Data Ecosystem: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors: Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Vasilis Peristeras, Ioannis Magnisalis

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Data that is high in volume, velocity, veracity and comes from a variety of sources is usually generated in all sectors including the government sector. Globally public administrations are pursuing (big) data as new technology and trying to adopt a data-centric architecture for hosting and sharing data. Properly executed, big data and data analytics in the government (big) data ecosystem can be led to data-driven government and have a direct impact on the way policymakers work and citizens interact with governments. In this research paper, we conduct a systematic literature review. The main aims of this paper are to highlight essential aspects of the government (big) data ecosystem and to explore the most critical socio-technical factors that contribute to the successful implementation of government (big) data ecosystem. The essential aspects of government (big) data ecosystem include definition, data types, data lifecycle models, and actors and their roles. We also discuss the potential impact of (big) data in public administration and gaps in the government data ecosystems literature. As this is a new topic, we did not find specific articles on government (big) data ecosystem and therefore focused our research on various relevant areas like humanitarian data, open government data, scientific research data, industry data, etc.

Keywords: Public Administration, Big Data, critical success factors, literature review, systematic review, applications of big data, big data types. big data ecosystem, data-driven government, egovernment, gaps in data ecosystems, government (big) data

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12 The Automated Soil Erosion Monitoring System (ASEMS)

Authors: George N. Zaimes, Paschalis Koutalakis, Valasia Iakovoglou, Konstantinos Ioannou, Ioannis Kosmadakis, Panagiotis Tsardaklis, Theodoros Laopoulos

Abstract:

The advancements in technology allow the development of a new system that can continuously measure surface soil erosion. Continuous soil erosion measurements are required in order to comprehend the erosional processes and propose effective and efficient conservation measures to mitigate surface erosion. Mitigating soil erosion, especially in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, is essential in order to maintain environmental and agricultural sustainability. In this paper, we present the Automated Soil Erosion Monitoring System (ASEMS) that measures surface soil erosion along with other factors that impact erosional process. Specifically, this system measures ground level changes (surface soil erosion), rainfall, air temperature, soil temperature and soil moisture. Another important innovation is that the data will be collected by remote communication. In addition, stakeholder’s awareness is a key factor to help reduce any environmental problem. The different dissemination activities that were utilized are described. The overall outcomes were the development of an innovative system that can measure erosion very accurately. These data from the system help study the process of erosion and find the best possible methods to reduce erosion. The dissemination activities enhance the stakeholder's and public's awareness on surface soil erosion problems and will lead to the adoption of more effective soil erosion conservation practices in Greece.

Keywords: Climate Change, New Technologies, Soil Management, conservation practices

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11 Contrast-to-Noise Ratio Comparison of Different Calcification Types in Dual Energy Breast Imaging

Authors: Vaia N. Koukou, Niki D. Martini, George P. Fountos, Christos M. Michail, Athanasios Bakas, Ioannis S. Kandarakis, George C. Nikiforidis

Abstract:

Various substitute materials of calcifications are used in phantom measurements and simulation studies in mammography. These include calcium carbonate, calcium oxalate, hydroxyapatite and aluminum. The aim of this study is to compare the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) values of the different calcification types using the dual energy method. The constructed calcification phantom consisted of three different calcification types and thicknesses: hydroxyapatite, calcite and calcium oxalate of 100, 200, 300 thicknesses. The breast tissue equivalent materials were polyethylene and polymethyl methacrylate slabs simulating adipose tissue and glandular tissue, respectively. The total thickness was 4.2 cm with 50% fixed glandularity. The low- (LE) and high-energy (HE) images were obtained from a tungsten anode using 40 kV filtered with 0.1 mm cadmium and 70 kV filtered with 1 mm copper, respectively. A high resolution complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensor (APS) X-ray detector was used. The total mean glandular dose (MGD) and entrance surface dose (ESD) from the LE and HE images were constrained to typical levels (MGD=1.62 mGy and ESD=1.92 mGy). On average, the CNR of hydroxyapatite calcifications was 1.4 times that of calcite calcifications and 2.5 times that of calcium oxalate calcifications. The higher CNR values of hydroxyapatite are attributed to its attenuation properties compared to the other calcification materials, leading to higher contrast in the dual energy image. This work was supported by Grant Ε.040 from the Research Committee of the University of Patras (Programme K. Karatheodori).

Keywords: X-rays, calcification materials, CNR, dual energy

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10 Liver Histopathological Findings after Treatment with Anastrazole and Letrozole in Ovariectomized Rats

Authors: Ioannis Boutas, Vasilios Pergialiotis, Nicolaos Salakos, George Agrogiannis, Panagiotis Konstantopoulos, Laskarina-Maria Korou, Theodoros Kalampokas, Odysseas Gregoriou, George Creatsas, Despina Perrea

Abstract:

Introduction: The effect of third generation aromatase inhibitors in the lipid profile among women with breast cancer, present diversities. It has been also shown that low levels of estrogens affect liver metabolism in mice in numerous ways, such as lipid accumulation and hepatic steatosis. Materials and Methods: Forty-five female Wistar rats underwent surgical ovariectomy. The animals were anesthetized with a combination of ketamine (75 mg/kg) and xylazine (10 mg/kg) which were administered intraperitoneally. After the ovariectomy, the operated animals were randomized in three groups. The first group did not receive any drug regimen (ovariectomized control group). The second group received Anastrazole and the third group received Letrozole. Four months after the initiation of the study, the animals were euthanized and livers were dissected immediately for further histopathological analysis. The histological features were grouped into 4 broad categories: steatosis, ballooning, portal inflammation and lobular activity. A score from 0 (absence) to 3 (severe) was assigned to each parameter. Results: The liver pathology analysis revealed significant differences among groups with favored mild steatosis and ballooning among animals that received Anastrazole or Letrozole. Conclusion: The effect of Anastrazole and Letrozole on liver function have not yet been clarified. In our study mild histological liver alterations seem also to occur and these alterations should be taken in mind in future clinical studies

Keywords: rats, Liver, letrozole, anastrazole

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9 Combined Effects of Thymol, Carvacrol and Packaging on the Shelf-Life of Marinated Chicken

Authors: Tahra El-Obeid, Layal Karam, Rayan Roustom, Mohamad G. Abiad, Ioannis N. Savvaidis

Abstract:

The demand for marinated chicken worldwide, is continuously growing. To date, limited data on addition of active components of Essential Oils (EOs) to marinades for chicken preservation are available. The antimicrobial effect of carvacrol and thymol, added at 0.4 and 0.8% v/w to marinated fresh chicken, stored in air and under vacuum packaging (VP), for 21 days at 4°C, was examined. The samples were monitored for microbiological (total viable count (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Brochothrix thermosphacta, Pseudomonas spp., total coliforms, Escherichia coli, yeasts and molds) and sensory attributes (odor characteristics). Our data supports that among the tested microorganisms, Pseudomonas spp., LAB and B. thermosphacta were the most dominant microbiota in the marinated chicken samples. Additionally, the use of active EOs components, especially the higher concentration (0.8% v/w) in combination with VP, retarded the growth of spoilage microbiota and resulted in a significant reduction of about 2.9-3.1 log cfu/g and a microbiological shelf-life extension of marinated chicken by > 6 days, as judged by TVC data. Interestingly, the combination of active components of EOs at the lower concentration (0.4% v/w) and packaging (air or vacuum) resulted in a significant sensorial shelf-life extension of 15 and >21 days, as compared to the controls’ shelf-life of 9 days. The results of our study demonstrated the potential of the active components, carvacrol and thymol, as natural effective antimicrobial hurdles to control the growth of spoilage microorganisms in marinated chicken meat.

Keywords: Preservation, Chicken, essential oils compounds, marination, meat spoilage

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8 Mitigation of Wind Loads on a Building Using Small Wind Turbines

Authors: Arindam Chowdhury, Andres Tremante, Mohammadtaghi Moravej, Bodhisatta Hajra, Ioannis Zisis, Peter Irwin

Abstract:

Extreme wind events, such as hurricanes, have caused significant damage to buildings, resulting in losses worth millions of dollars. The roof of a building is most vulnerable to wind-induced damage due to the high suctions experienced by the roof in extreme wind conditions. Wind turbines fitted to buildings can help generate energy, but to our knowledge, their application to wind load mitigation is not well known. This paper presents results from an experimental study to assess the effect of small wind turbines (developed and patented by the first and second authors) on the wind loads on a low rise building roof. The tests were carried out for an open terrain at the Wall of Wind (WOW) experimental facility at Florida International University (FIU), Miami, Florida, USA, for three cases – bare roof, roof fitted with wind turbines placed closer to the roof edges, and roof with wind turbines placed away from the roof edges. Results clearly indicate that the presence of the wind turbines reduced the mean and peak pressure coefficients (less suction) on the roof when compared to the bare deck case. Furthermore, the peak pressure coefficients were found to be lower (less suction) when the wind turbines were placed closer to the roof, than away from the roof. Flow visualization studies using smoke and gravel clearly showed that the presence of the turbines disrupted the formation of vortices formed by cornering winds, thereby reducing roof suctions and preventing lift off of roof coverings. This study shows that the wind turbines besides generating wind energy, can be used for mitigating wind induced damage to the building roof. Future research must be directed towards understanding the effect of these wind turbines on other roof geometries (e.g. hip/gable) in different terrain conditions.

Keywords: Building, Wind turbine, wall of wind, wind loads

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7 Conversion of Sweet Sorghum Bagasse to Sugars for Succinic Acid Production

Authors: Enlin Lo, Ioannis Dogaris, George Philippidis

Abstract:

Succinic acid is a compound used for manufacturing lacquers, resins, and other coating chemicals. It is also used in the food and beverage industry as a flavor additive. It is predominantly manufactured from petrochemicals, but it can also be produced by fermentation of sugars from renewable feedstocks, such as plant biomass. Bio-based succinic acid has great potential in becoming a platform chemical (building block) for commodity and high-value chemicals. In this study, the production of bio-based succinic acid from sweet sorghum was investigated. Sweet sorghum has high fermentable sugar content and can be cultivated in a variety of climates. In order to avoid competition with food feedstocks, its non-edible ‘bagasse’ (the fiber part after extracting the juice) was targeted. Initially, various conditions of pretreating sweet sorghum bagasse (SSB) were studied in an effort to remove most of the non-fermentable components and expose the cellulosic fiber containing the fermentable sugars (glucose). Concentrated (83%) phosphoric acid was utilized at temperatures 50-80 oC for 30-60 min at various SSB loadings (10-15%), coupled with enzymatic hydrolysis using commercial cellulase (Ctec2, Novozymes) enzyme, to identify the conditions that lead to the highest glucose yields for subsequent fermentation to succinic acid. As the pretreatment temperature and duration increased, the bagasse color changed from light brown to dark brown-black, indicating decomposition, which ranged from 15% to 72%, while the theoretical glucose yield is 91%. With Minitab software statistical analysis, a model was built to identify the optimal pretreatment condition for maximum glucose released. The projected theoretical bio-based succinic acid production is 23g per 100g of SSB, which will be confirmed with fermentation experiments using the bacterium Actinobacillus succinogenes.

Keywords: biomass, Fermentation, Pretreatment, Enzymatic Hydrolysis, Cellulose, succinic acid

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6 Detection of Flood Prone Areas Using Multi Criteria Evaluation, Geographical Information Systems and Fuzzy Logic. The Ardas Basin Case

Authors: Vasileiou Apostolos, Theodosiou Chrysa, Tsitroulis Ioannis, Maris Fotios

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The severity of extreme phenomena is due to their ability to cause severe damage in a small amount of time. It has been observed that floods affect the greatest number of people and induce the biggest damage when compared to the total of annual natural disasters. The detection of potential flood-prone areas constitutes one of the fundamental components of the European Natural Disaster Management Policy, directly connected to the European Directive 2007/60. The aim of the present paper is to develop a new methodology that combines geographical information, fuzzy logic and multi-criteria evaluation methods so that the most vulnerable areas are defined. Therefore, ten factors related to geophysical, morphological, climatological/meteorological and hydrological characteristics of the basin were selected. Afterwards, two models were created to detect the areas pronest to flooding. The first model defined the gravitas of each factor using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and the final map of possible flood spots were created using GIS and Boolean Algebra. The second model made use of the fuzzy logic and GIS combination and a respective map was created. The application area of the aforementioned methodologies was in Ardas basin due to the frequent and important floods that have taken place these last years. Then, the results were compared to the already observed floods. The result analysis shows that both models can detect with great precision possible flood spots. As the fuzzy logic model is less time-consuming, it is considered the ideal model to apply to other areas. The said results are capable of contributing to the delineation of high risk areas and to the creation of successful management plans dealing with floods.

Keywords: Fuzzy Logic, Geographic Information System, analytical hierarchy process, flood prone areas

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5 Climate Change Impact on Water Resources Management in Remote Islands Using Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems

Authors: Evangelos Baltas, Elissavet Feloni, Ioannis Kourtis, Konstantinos Kotsifakis

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Water inadequacy in small dry islands scattered in the Aegean Sea (Greece) is a major problem regarding Water Resources Management (WRM), especially during the summer period due to tourism. In the present work, various WRM schemes are designed and presented. The WRM schemes take into account current infrastructure and include Rainwater Harvesting tanks and Reverse Osmosis Desalination Units. The energy requirements are covered mainly by wind turbines and/or a seawater pumped storage system. Sizing is based on the available data for population and tourism per island, after taking into account a slight increase in the population (up to 1.5% per year), and it guarantees at least 80% reliability for the energy supply and 99.9% for potable water. Evaluation of scenarios is carried out from a financial perspective, after calculating the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of each investment for a lifespan of 30 years. The wind-powered desalination plant was found to be the most cost-effective practice, from an economic point of view. Finally, in order to estimate the Climate Change (CC) impact, six different CC scenarios were investigated. The corresponding rate of on-grid versus off-grid energy required for ensuring the targeted reliability for the zero and each climatic scenario was investigated per island. The results revealed that under CC the grid-on energy required would increase and as a result, the reduction in wind turbines and seawater pumped storage systems’ reliability will be in the range of 4 to 44%. However, the range of this percentage change does not exceed 22% per island for all examined CC scenarios. Overall, CC is proposed to be incorporated into the design process for WRM-related projects. Acknowledgements: This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund - ESF) through the Operational Program «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020» in the context of the project “Development of a combined rain harvesting and renewable energy-based system for covering domestic and agricultural water requirements in small dry Greek Islands” (MIS 5004775).

Keywords: Climate Change, Desalination, Water resources management, Rainwater Harvesting, small dry islands, RES, seawater pumped storage system

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4 Investigating Suicide Cases in Attica, Greece: Insight from an Autopsy-Based Study

Authors: Ioannis N. Sergentanis, Stavroula Papadodima, Maria Tsellou, Dimitrios Vlachodimitropoulos, Sotirios Athanaselis, Chara Spiliopoulou

Abstract:

Introduction: The aim of this study is the investigation of characteristics of suicide, as documented in autopsies during a five-year interval in the greater area of Attica, including the city of Athens. This could reveal possible protective or aggravating factors for suicide risk during a period strongly associated with the Greek debt crisis. Materials and Methods: Data was obtained following registration of suicide cases among autopsies performed in the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, during the time interval from January 2011 to December 2015. Anonymity and medical secret were respected. A series of demographic and social factors in addition to special characteristics of suicide were entered into a specially established pre-coded database. These factors include social data as well as psychiatric background and certain autopsy characteristics. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and Fisher’s exact test. The software used was STATA/SE 13 (Stata Corp., College Station, TX, USA). Results: A total of 162 cases were studied, 128 men and 34 women. Age ranged from 14 to 97 years old with an average of 53 years, presenting two peaks around 40 and 60 years. A 56% of cases were single/ divorced/ widowed. 25% of cases occurred during the weekend, and 66% of cases occurred in the house. A predominance of hanging as the leading method of suicide (41.4%) followed by jumping from a height (22.8%) and firearms (19.1%) was noted. Statistical analysis showed an association was found between suicide method and gender (P < 0.001, Fisher’s exact test); specifically, no woman used a firearm while only one man used medication overdose (against four women). Discussion: Greece has historically been one of the countries with the lowest suicide rates in Europe. Given a possible change in suicide trends during the financial crisis, further research seems necessary in order to establish risk factors. According to our study, suicide is more frequent in men who are not married, inside their house. Gender seems to be a factor affecting the method of suicide. These results seem in accordance with the international literature. Stronger than expected predominance in male suicide can be associated with failure to live up to social and family expectations for financial reasons.

Keywords: Suicide, Greece, Autopsy, Risk Factors

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3 Delving into Market-Driving Behavior: A Conceptual Roadmap to Delineating Its Key Antecedents and Outcomes

Authors: Konstantinos Kottikas, Vlasis Stathakopoulos, Ioannis G. Theodorakis, Efthymia Kottika

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Theorists have argued that Market Orientation is comprised of two facets, namely the Market Driven and the Market Driving components. The present theoretical paper centers on the latter, which to date has been notably under-investigated. The term Market Driving (MD) pertains to influencing the structure of the market, or the behavior of market players in a direction that enhances the competitive edge of the firm. Presently, the main objectives of the paper are the specification of key antecedents and outcomes of Market Driving behavior. Market Driving firms behave proactively, by leading their customers and changing the rules of the game rather than by responding passively to them. Leading scholars were the first to conceptually conceive the notion, followed by some qualitative studies and a limited number of quantitative publications. However, recently, academicians noted that research on the topic remains limited, expressing a strong necessity for further insights. Concerning the key antecedents, top management’s Transformational Leadership (i.e. the form of leadership which influences organizational members by aligning their values, goals and aspirations to facilitate value-consistent behaviors) is one of the key drivers of MD behavior. Moreover, scholars have linked the MD concept with Entrepreneurship. Finally, the role that Employee’s Creativity plays in the development of MD behavior has been theoretically exemplified by a stream of literature. With respect to the key outcomes, it has been demonstrated that MD Behavior positively triggers firm Performance, while theorists argue that it empowers the Competitive Advantage of the firm. Likewise, researchers explicate that MD Behavior produces Radical Innovation. In order to test the robustness of the proposed theoretical framework, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods is proposed. In particular, the conduction of in-depth interviews with distinguished executives and academicians, accompanied with a large scale quantitative survey will be employed, in order to triangulate the empirical findings. Given that it triggers overall firm’s success, the MD concept is of high importance to managers. Managers can become aware that passively reacting to market conditions is no longer sufficient. On the contrary, behaving proactively, leading the market, and shaping its status quo are new innovative approaches that lead to a paramount competitive posture and Innovation outcomes. This study also exemplifies that managers can foster MD Behavior through Transformational Leadership, Entrepreneurship and recruitment of Creative Employees. To date, the majority of the publications on Market Orientation is unilaterally directed towards the responsive (i.e. the Market Driven) component. The present paper further builds on scholars’ exhortations, and investigates the Market Driving facet, ultimately aspiring to conceptually integrate the somehow fragmented scientific findings, in a holistic framework.

Keywords: Market Orientation, entrepreneurial orientation, market driving behavior

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2 Leveraging Multimodal Neuroimaging Techniques to in vivo Address Compensatory and Disintegration Patterns in Neurodegenerative Disorders: Evidence from Cortico-Cerebellar Connections in Multiple Sclerosis

Authors: Efstratios Karavasilis, Foteini Christidi, Georgios Velonakis, Agapi Plousi, Kalliopi Platoni, Nikolaos Kelekis, Ioannis Evdokimidis, Efstathios Efstathopoulos

Abstract:

Introduction: Advanced structural and functional neuroimaging techniques contribute to the study of anatomical and functional brain connectivity and its role in the pathophysiology and symptoms’ heterogeneity in several neurodegenerative disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Aim: In the present study, we applied multiparametric neuroimaging techniques to investigate the structural and functional cortico-cerebellar changes in MS patients. Material: We included 51 MS patients (28 with clinically isolated syndrome [CIS], 31 with relapsing-remitting MS [RRMS]) and 51 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC) who underwent MRI in a 3.0T MRI scanner. Methodology: The acquisition protocol included high-resolution 3D T1 weighted, diffusion-weighted imaging and echo planar imaging sequences for the analysis of volumetric, tractography and functional resting state data, respectively. We performed between-group comparisons (CIS, RRMS, HC) using CAT12 and CONN16 MATLAB toolboxes for the analysis of volumetric (cerebellar gray matter density) and functional (cortico-cerebellar resting-state functional connectivity) data, respectively. Brainance suite was used for the analysis of tractography data (cortico-cerebellar white matter integrity; fractional anisotropy [FA]; axial and radial diffusivity [AD; RD]) to reconstruct the cerebellum tracts. Results: Patients with CIS did not show significant gray matter (GM) density differences compared with HC. However, they showed decreased FA and increased diffusivity measures in cortico-cerebellar tracts, and increased cortico-cerebellar functional connectivity. Patients with RRMS showed decreased GM density in cerebellar regions, decreased FA and increased diffusivity measures in cortico-cerebellar WM tracts, as well as a pattern of increased and mostly decreased functional cortico-cerebellar connectivity compared to HC. The comparison between CIS and RRMS patients revealed significant GM density difference, reduced FA and increased diffusivity measures in WM cortico-cerebellar tracts and increased/decreased functional connectivity. The identification of decreased WM integrity and increased functional cortico-cerebellar connectivity without GM changes in CIS and the pattern of decreased GM density decreased WM integrity and mostly decreased functional connectivity in RRMS patients emphasizes the role of compensatory mechanisms in early disease stages and the disintegration of structural and functional networks with disease progression. Conclusions: In conclusion, our study highlights the added value of multimodal neuroimaging techniques for the in vivo investigation of cortico-cerebellar brain changes in neurodegenerative disorders. An extension and future opportunity to leverage multimodal neuroimaging data inevitably remain the integration of such data in the recently-applied mathematical approaches of machine learning algorithms to more accurately classify and predict patients’ disease course.

Keywords: MRI, Multiple Sclerosis, cerebellum, advanced neuroimaging techniques

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1 Performance of the Abbott RealTime High Risk HPV Assay with SurePath Liquid Based Cytology Specimens from Women with Low Grade Cytological Abnormalities

Authors: Alexandra Sargent, Sarah Ferris, Ioannis Theofanous

Abstract:

The Abbott RealTime High Risk HPV test (RealTime HPV) is one of five assays clinically validated and approved by the English NHS Cervical Screening Programme (CSP) for HPV triage of low grade dyskaryosis and test-of-cure of treated Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia. The assay is a highly automated multiplex real-time PCR test for detecting 14 high risk (hr) HPV types, with simultaneous differentiation of HPV 16 and HPV 18 versus non-HPV 16/18 hrHPV. An endogenous internal control ensures sample cellularity, controls extraction efficiency and PCR inhibition. The original cervical specimen collected in SurePath (SP) liquid-based cytology (LBC) medium (BD Diagnostics) and the SP post-gradient cell pellets (SPG) after cytological processing are both CE marked for testing with the RealTime HPV test. During the 2011 NHSCSP validation of new tests only the original aliquot of SP LBC medium was investigated. Residual sample volume left after cytology slide preparation is low and may not always have sufficient volume for repeat HPV testing or for testing of other biomarkers that may be implemented in testing algorithms in the future. The SPG samples, however, have sufficient volumes to carry out additional testing and necessary laboratory validation procedures. This study investigates the correlation of RealTime HPV results of cervical specimens collected in SP LBC medium from women with low grade cytological abnormalities observed with matched pairs of original SP LBC medium and SP post-gradient cell pellets (SPG) after cytology processing. Matched pairs of SP and SPG samples from 750 women with borderline (N = 392) and mild (N = 351) cytology were available for this study. Both specimen types were processed and parallel tested for the presence of hrHPV with RealTime HPV according to the manufacturer´s instructions. HrHPV detection rates and concordance between test results from matched SP and SPGCP pairs were calculated. A total of 743 matched pairs with valid test results on both sample types were available for analysis. An overall-agreement of hrHPV test results of 97.5% (k: 0.95) was found with matched SP/SPG pairs and slightly lower concordance (96.9%; k: 0.94) was observed on 392 pairs from women with borderline cytology compared to 351 pairs from women with mild cytology (98.0%; k: 0.95). Partial typing results were highly concordant in matched SP/SPG pairs for HPV 16 (99.1%), HPV 18 (99.7%) and non-HPV16/18 hrHPV (97.0%), respectively. 19 matched pairs were found with discrepant results: 9 from women with borderline cytology and 4 from women with mild cytology were negative on SPG and positive on SP; 3 from women with borderline cytology and 3 from women with mild cytology were negative on SP and positive on SPG. Excellent correlation of hrHPV DNA test results was found between matched pairs of SP original fluid and post-gradient cell pellets from women with low grade cytological abnormalities tested with the Abbott RealTime High-Risk HPV assay, demonstrating robust performance of the test with both specimen types and reassuring the utility of the assay for cytology triage with both specimen types.

Keywords: HPV, Abbott realtime test, SurePath liquid based cytology, surepath post-gradient cell pellet

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