Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 38

Search results for: Jaouadi Imen

38 Proposal for a Generic Context Meta-Model

Authors: Jaouadi Imen, Ben Djemaa Raoudha, Ben Abdallah Hanene

Abstract:

The access to relevant information that is adapted to users’ needs, preferences and environment is a challenge in many applications running. That causes an appearance of context-aware systems. To facilitate the development of this class of applications, it is necessary that these applications share a common context meta-model. In this article, we will present our context meta-model that is defined using the OMG Meta Object facility (MOF). This meta-model is based on the analysis and synthesis of context concepts proposed in literature.

Keywords: context, meta-model, MOF, awareness system

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37 FPGA Implementation of the BB84 Protocol

Authors: Jaouadi Ikram, Machhout Mohsen

Abstract:

The development of a quantum key distribution (QKD) system on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) platform is the subject of this paper. A quantum cryptographic protocol is designed based on the properties of quantum information and the characteristics of FPGAs. The proposed protocol performs key extraction, reconciliation, error correction, and privacy amplification tasks to generate a perfectly secret final key. We modeled the presence of the spy in our system with a strategy to reveal some of the exchanged information without being noticed. Using an FPGA card with a 100 MHz clock frequency, we have demonstrated the evolution of the error rate as well as the amounts of mutual information (between the two interlocutors and that of the spy) passing from one step to another in the key generation process.

Keywords: QKD, BB84, protocol, cryptography, FPGA, key, security, communication

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36 Infection of Phlebotomus Sergenti with Leishmania Tropica in a Classical Focus of Leishmania Major in Tunisia

Authors: Kaouther Jaouadi, Jihene Bettaieb, Amira Bennour, Ghassen Kharroubi, Sadok Salem, Afif Ben Salah

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In Tunisia, chronic cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania (L) tropica is an important health problem. Its spreading has not been fully elucidated. Information on sandfly vectors, as well as their associated Leishmania species, is of paramount importance since vector dispersion is one of the major factors responsible for pathogen dissemination. In total, 650 sandflies were captured between June and August 2015 using sticky paper traps in the governorate of Sidi Bouzid, a classical focus of L. major in the Central-West of Tunisia. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 1 and sequencing were used for Leishmania detection and identification. Ninety-seven unfed females were tested for the presence of Leishmania parasite DNA. Six Phlebotomus sergenti were found positive for L. tropica. This finding enhances the understanding of the cycle extension of L. tropica outside its original focus of Tataouine in the South-East of the country.

Keywords: cutaneous leishmaniasis, Leishmania tropica, sandflies, Tunisia

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35 A Comparative Study of Multi-SOM Algorithms for Determining the Optimal Number of Clusters

Authors: Imèn Khanchouch, Malika Charrad, Mohamed Limam

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The interpretation of the quality of clusters and the determination of the optimal number of clusters is still a crucial problem in clustering. We focus in this paper on multi-SOM clustering method which overcomes the problem of extracting the number of clusters from the SOM map through the use of a clustering validity index. We then tested multi-SOM using real and artificial data sets with different evaluation criteria not used previously such as Davies Bouldin index, Dunn index and silhouette index. The developed multi-SOM algorithm is compared to k-means and Birch methods. Results show that it is more efficient than classical clustering methods.

Keywords: clustering, SOM, multi-SOM, DB index, Dunn index, silhouette index

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34 Analysis of the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC Parameters to Achive Lower Packet Loss Rates

Authors: Imen Bouazzi

Abstract:

The IEEE-802.15.4 standard utilizes the CSMA-CA mechanism to control nodes access to the shared wireless communication medium. It is becoming the popular choice for various applications of surveillance and control used in wireless sensor network (WSN). The benefit of this standard is evaluated regarding of the packet loss probability who depends on the configuration of IEEE 802.15.4 MAC parameters and the traffic load. Our exigency is to evaluate the effects of various configurable MAC parameters on the performance of beaconless IEEE 802.15.4 networks under different traffic loads, static values of IEEE 802.15.4 MAC parameters (macMinBE, macMaxCSMABackoffs, and macMaxFrame Retries) will be evaluated. To performance analysis, we use ns-2[2] network simulator.

Keywords: WSN, packet loss, CSMA/CA, IEEE-802.15.4

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33 H-Infinity Controller Design for the Switched Reluctance Machine

Authors: Siwar Fadhel, Imen Bahri, Man Zhang

Abstract:

The switched reluctance machine (SRM) has undeniable qualities in terms of low cost and mechanical robustness. However, its highly nonlinear character and its uncertain parameters justify the development of complicated controls. In this paper, authors present the design of a robust H-infinity current controller for an 8/6 SRM with taking into account the nonlinearity of the SRM and with rejection of disturbances. The electromagnetic torque is indirectly regulated through the current controller. To show the performances of this control, a robustness analysis is performed by comparing the H-infinity and PI controller simulation results. This comparison demonstrates better performances for the presented controller. The effectiveness and robustness of the presented controller are also demonstrated by experimental tests.

Keywords: current regulation, experimentation, robust H-infinity control, switched reluctance machine

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32 Smart Grids Cyber Security Issues and Challenges

Authors: Imen Aouini, Lamia Ben Azzouz

Abstract:

The energy need is growing rapidly due to the population growth and the large new usage of power. Several works put considerable efforts to make the electricity grid more intelligent to reduce essentially energy consumption and provide efficiency and reliability of power systems. The Smart Grid is a complex architecture that covers critical devices and systems vulnerable to significant attacks. Hence, security is a crucial factor for the success and the wide deployment of Smart Grids. In this paper, we present security issues of the Smart Grid architecture and we highlight open issues that will make the Smart Grid security a challenging research area in the future.

Keywords: smart grids, smart meters, home area network, neighbor area network

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31 Survivable IP over WDM Network Design Based on 1 ⊕ 1 Network Coding

Authors: Nihed Bahria El Asghar, Imen Jouili, Mounir Frikha

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Inter-datacenter transport network is very bandwidth and delay demanding. The data transferred over such a network is also highly QoS-exigent mostly because a huge volume of data should be transported transparently with regard to the application user. To avoid the data transfer failure, a backup path should be reserved. No re-routing delay should be observed. A dedicated 1+1 protection is however not applicable in inter-datacenter transport network because of the huge spare capacity. In this context, we propose a survivable virtual network with minimal backup based on network coding (1 ⊕ 1) and solve it using a modified Dijkstra-based heuristic.

Keywords: network coding, dedicated protection, spare capacity, inter-datacenters transport network

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30 Social Innovation Rediscovered: An Analysis of Empirical Research

Authors: Imen Douzi, Karim Ben Kahla

Abstract:

In spite of the growing attention for social innovation, it is still considered to be in a stage of infancy with minimal progress in theory development. Upon examining the field of study, one would have to conclude that, over the past two decades, academic research has focused primarily on establishing a conceptual foundation. This has resulted in a considerable stream of conceptual papers which have outnumbered empirical articles. Nevertheless, despite its growing popularity, scholars and practitioners are far from reaching a consensus as to what social innovation actually means which resulted in competing definitions and approaches within the field of social innovation and lack of unifying conceptual framework. This paper reviews empirical research studies on social innovation, classifies them along three dimensions and summarizes research findings for each of these dimensions. Preliminary to the analysis of empirical researches, an overview of different perspectives of social innovation is presented.

Keywords: analysis of empirical research, definition, empirical research, social innovation perspectives

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29 Hepatoprotective Effect of Mycophenolate Mofetil against Tacrolimus Exposure in Rat

Authors: Ferjani Hanen, El Arem Amira, Boussema Ayed Imen, Bacha Hassen

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Tacrolimus (TAC), a calcineurin inhibitor, is clinically used as an immunosuppressive agent in the transplant recipient, but its use associated-hepatotoxicity. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), an anti-metabolite, is a potent immunosuppressive drug. MMF is not hepatotoxic and is the most common adjunctive immunosuppressant for TAC. The effects of TAC and MMF combination in the liver is still not well understood. This work aimed to investigate their combined effect against in liver in rats Wistar after 24 h. The oral median lethal doses (LD50) of TAC and MMF alone were evaluated in rats are 240 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg respectively. Oral administration of the MMF at 50 mg/kg to male Wistar intoxicated with TAC at 60 mg/kg, demonstrated a significant protective effect by lowering the levels of hepatic markers enzymes (AST, ALT) in the serum rat. MMF attenuated oxidative stress by restoring the activities of SOD, CAT and by reducing the malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl levels liver. This study provided evidence that MMF protects rat liver from TAC-induced injury and suggests a most combination use for organ transplantation.

Keywords: tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, combination, liver, rat

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28 The Improved Element Free Galerkin Method for 2D Heat Transfer Problems

Authors: Imen Debbabi, Hédi BelHadjSalah

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The Improved Element Free Galerkin (IEFG) method is presented to treat the steady states and the transient heat transfer problems. As a result of a combination between the Improved Moving Least Square (IMLS) approximation and the Element Free Galerkin (EFG) method, the IEFG's shape functions don't have the Kronecker delta property and the penalty method is used to impose the Dirichlet boundary conditions. In this paper, two heat transfer problems, transient and steady states, are studied to improve the efficiency of this meshfree method for 2D heat transfer problems. The performance of the IEFG method is shown using the comparison between numerical and analytic results.

Keywords: meshfree methods, the Improved Moving Least Square approximation (IMLS), the Improved Element Free Galerkin method (IEFG), heat transfer problems

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27 Physicochemical and Biochemical Characterization of Olea europea Var. Oleaster Oil and Determination of Its Effects on Blood Parameters

Authors: Asma Gherib, Imen Merzougui, Cherifa Henchiri

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This present study has allowed to evaluate the physico chemical characteristics, fatty acid composition and the hypolipidemic effect of Oleaster oil Olea europea var. Oleaster, from the area of El Kala, "Eastern Algeria" on rats "Wistar albinos". The physico chemical characteristics: acidity (0,73%), peroxide value (14, 16 meqO2/kg oil) and iodine value (74,08 g iodine/100 g of oil) are consistent with international standards. The dosage of FA revealed a wealth of oil with UFA (76,7%), mainly composed of 65.43% of MUFA whose major fatty acid is oleic acid (63,57%). The experiment on rats receiving a diet rich in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils revealed that the consumption of Oleaster oil at the dose of 10 g and 20 g for 15 and 30 days improves plasma lipid profile by decreasing the rates of TC, TG, TL, and LDL-C with an increase in the rate of HDL-C serum. The importance of these effects depends on the dose and period of treatment.

Keywords: oleaster oil, fatty acid, Olea europea, oleic acid, lipid profile

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26 Core Number Optimization Based Scheduler to Order/Mapp Simulink Application

Authors: Asma Rebaya, Imen Amari, Kaouther Gasmi, Salem Hasnaoui

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Over these last years, the number of cores witnessed a spectacular increase in digital signal and general use processors. Concurrently, significant researches are done to get benefit from the high degree of parallelism. Indeed, these researches are focused to provide an efficient scheduling from hardware/software systems to multicores architecture. The scheduling process consists on statically choose one core to execute one task and to specify an execution order for the application tasks. In this paper, we describe an efficient scheduler that calculates the optimal number of cores required to schedule an application, gives a heuristic scheduling solution and evaluates its cost. Our proposal results are evaluated and compared with Preesm scheduler results and we prove that ours allows better scheduling in terms of latency, computation time and number of cores.

Keywords: computation time, hardware/software system, latency, optimization, multi-cores platform, scheduling

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25 Tunisian Dung Beetles Fauna: Composition and Biogeographic Affinities

Authors: Imen Labidi, Said Nouira

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Dung beetles Scarabaeides of Tunisia constitute a major component of soil fauna, especially in the Mediterranean region. In the first phase of the present study, an intensive investigation of this group following the gathering of all the bibliographic, museological data and based on a recent collection of 17020 specimens in 106 localities in Tunisia, allowed to confirm with certainty the presence of 94 species distributed in 43 genera, 4 families and 3 sub-families. Only 81 species distributed in 38 genres, 4 families, and 3 sub-families, have been found during our prospections. The population of dung beetles Scarabaeides is composed of 58% of Aphodiidae, 39.51% of Scarabaeidae, and 8.64% of Geotrupidae. Biogeographic affinities of the species were determined and showed that 42% of the identified species have a wide Palaearctic distribution, the endemism is very low, only 3 species are endemic to Tunisia Mecynodes demoflysi, Neobodilus marani, and Thorectes demoflysi, 29 species have a wide distribution, 35 are northern and 17 are southern species. Moreover, others are dependent on very specific Biotopes like Sisyphus schaefferi linked to the northwest of Tunisia and Scarabaeus semipunctatus related to the coastal area north of Tunisia.

Keywords: dung beetles, Tunisia, composition, biogeography

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24 Autoimmune Diseases Associated to Autoimmune Hepatitis: A Retrospective Study of 24 Tunisian Patients

Authors: Soumaya Mrabet, Imen Akkari, Amira Atig, Elhem Ben Jazia

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Introduction: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic inflammatory liver disease of unknown cause. Concomitant autoimmune disorders have been described in 30–50% of patients with AIH. The aim of our study is to determine the prevalence and the type of autoimmune disorders associated with AIH. Material and Methods: It is a retrospective study over a period of 16 years (2000-2015) including all patients followed for AIH. The diagnosis of AHI was based on the criteria of the revised International AIH group scoring system (IAIHG). Results: Twenty-for patients (21 women and 3 men) followed for AIH were collected. The mean age was 39 years (17-65 years). Among these patients, 11 patients(45.8%) had at least one autoimmune disease associated to AIH. These diseases were Hashimoto's thyroiditis (n = 5), Gougerot Sjogren syndrome (n=5), Primary biliary cirrhosis (n=2), Primitive sclerosant Cholangitis (n=1), Addison disease (n = 1) and systemic sclerosis (n=1). Patients were treated with corticosteroids alone or with azathioprine associated to the specific treatment of associated diseases with complete remission of AIH in 90% of cases and clinical improvement of other diseases. Conclusion: In our study, the prevalence of autoimmune diseases in AIH patients was 45.8%. These diseases were dominated by autoimmune thyroiditis and Gougerot Sjogren syndrome. The investigation of autoimmune diseases in autoimmune hepatitis must be systematic because of their frequency and the importance of adequate management.

Keywords: autoimmune diseases, autoimmune hepatitis, autoimmune thyroiditis, gougerot sjogren syndrome

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23 Macroscopic Study of Reproductive Pathologies in Cows at the Souk-Ahras Communal Slaughterhouse

Authors: Besma Abdeltif, Chebabhi Imen

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Introduction: it is important to define the genital pathologies encountered in Algeria in postpartum dairy cows. The objective was to identify the different pathologies of reproduction in cows found at the communal abattoir of Souk Ahras. Materials and Methods: Our study was carried at the communal slaughterhouse of Souk-Ahras on 63 genital tracts were examined macroscopically after slaughter. Results: The results obtained reveal a high frequency of pregnant females (14.28%), most of the gestations were at their beginning. Uterine anomalies ranked first in the genital lesions of the cow (20.37%). The frequencies of these abnormalities are in ascending order: aplasia of the horns = 1.85%, traumatic cervical = 1.85%, cervical tumors = 1.85%, chronic endometritis = 3.70% and Acute endometritis = 11.11%. The ovarian cyst is the most common lesion, with a frequency of 3.70%, followed by smooth ovaries (1.85%). These are single, thin-walled cysts more present on the right ovary than the left ovary. Salpingitis is the only tubal lesion found on 5.55% of the non-pregnant genital tract. Neoformation is the only vaginal lesion identified in this work (1.85%). Conclusion: Our result, in general, conforms to the data of the literature.

Keywords: genital tract, cow, slaughterhouse, pathology

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22 Dynamic Correlations and Portfolio Optimization between Islamic and Conventional Equity Indexes: A Vine Copula-Based Approach

Authors: Imen Dhaou

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This study examines conditional Value at Risk by applying the GJR-EVT-Copula model, and finds the optimal portfolio for eight Dow Jones Islamic-conventional pairs. Our methodology consists of modeling the data by a bivariate GJR-GARCH model in which we extract the filtered residuals and then apply the Peak over threshold model (POT) to fit the residual tails in order to model marginal distributions. After that, we use pair-copula to find the optimal portfolio risk dependence structure. Finally, with Monte Carlo simulations, we estimate the Value at Risk (VaR) and the conditional Value at Risk (CVaR). The empirical results show the VaR and CVaR values for an equally weighted portfolio of Dow Jones Islamic-conventional pairs. In sum, we found that the optimal investment focuses on Islamic-conventional US Market index pairs because of high investment proportion; however, all other index pairs have low investment proportion. These results deliver some real repercussions for portfolio managers and policymakers concerning to optimal asset allocations, portfolio risk management and the diversification advantages of these markets.

Keywords: CVaR, Dow Jones Islamic index, GJR-GARCH-EVT-pair copula, portfolio optimization

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21 Speech Rhythm Variation in Languages and Dialects: F0, Natural and Inverted Speech

Authors: Imen Ben Abda

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Languages have been classified into different rhythm classes. 'Stress-timed' languages are exemplified by English, 'syllable-timed' languages by French and 'mora-timed' languages by Japanese. However, to our best knowledge, acoustic studies have not been unanimous in strictly establishing which rhythm category a given language belongs to and failed to show empirical evidence for isochrony. Perception seems to be a good approach to categorize languages into different rhythm classes. This study, within the scope of experimental phonetics, includes an account of different perceptual experiments using cues from natural and inverted speech, as well as pitch extracted from speech data. It is an attempt to categorize speech rhythm over a large set of Arabic (Tunisian, Algerian, Lebanese and Moroccan) and English dialects (Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Texan) as well as other languages such as Chinese, Japanese, French, and German. Listeners managed to classify the different languages and dialects into different rhythm classes using suprasegmental cues mainly rhythm and pitch (F0). They also perceived rhythmic differences even among languages and dialects belonging to the same rhythm class. This may show that there are different subclasses within very broad rhythmic typologies.

Keywords: F0, inverted speech, mora-timing, rhythm variation, stress-timing, syllable-timing

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20 Study of the Microflora of Cedar Forests with Different Degrees of Decline in the National Park Belezma (Batna, Algeria)

Authors: Cherak Imen, Sellami Mehdi

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The Atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica, is endemic to the mountains of North Africa. This is one of the most valuable softwood, both economically, ecologically, aesthetically and culturally. In Algeria, the cedar forests currently have worrying symptoms of decline which therefore require special monitoring. Fungal endophytes are involved in various diseases of the Atlas cedar. They attack all organs on which they cause many symptoms. These microflora live in complex interaction with plants. In this study, we identified a total of 09 mycotaxons collected needles Cedarwood at three stations with different degrees of decline (Talmet, Boumerzoug and Tuggurt) in the National Park Belezma (Batna, Algeria). The study conducted on a total of 12 trees were identified 08 mycoendophytes in Talmet station, 04 species in the Boumerzoug station and 03 in Tuggurt station. The total species richness mycoendophytes depending on the types of cedar forests showed that the largest diversity was recorded at the cedar forest healthy, Alternaria is the most common type in all stations. This work should be completed by further detailed studies to identify other endophyte species and better know its interactions with the Atlas cedar.

Keywords: Cedrus atlantica, endophytic fungi, microflora, mycotaxons, mycoendophyte

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19 A Fuzzy Inference Tool for Assessing Cancer Risk from Radiation Exposure

Authors: Bouharati Lokman, Bouharati Imen, Bouharati Khaoula, Bouharati Oussama, Bouharati Saddek

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Ionizing radiation exposure is an established cancer risk factor. Compared to other common environmental carcinogens, it is relatively easy to determine organ-specific radiation dose and, as a result, radiation dose-response relationships tend to be highly quantified. Nevertheless, there can be considerable uncertainty about questions of radiation-related cancer risk as they apply to risk protection and public policy, and the interpretations of interested parties can differ from one person to another. Examples of tools used in the analysis of the risk of developing cancer due to radiation are characterized by uncertainty. These uncertainties are related to the history of exposure and different assumptions involved in the calculation. We believe that the results of statistical calculations are characterized by uncertainty and imprecision. Having regard to the physiological variation from one person to another. In this study, we develop a tool based on fuzzy logic inference. As fuzzy logic deals with imprecise and uncertain, its application in this area is adequate. We propose a fuzzy system with three input variables (age, sex and body attainable cancer). The output variable expresses the risk of infringement rate of each organ. A base rule is established from recorded actual data. After successful simulation, this will instantly predict the risk of infringement rate of each body following chronic exposure to 0.1 Gy.

Keywords: radiation exposure, cancer, modeling, fuzzy logic

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18 The Effect of Temperature and Salinity on the Growth and Carotenogenesis of Three Dunaliella Species (Dunaliella sp. Lake Isolate, D. salina CCAP 19/18, and D. bardawil LB 2538) Cultivated under Laboratory Conditions

Authors: Imen Hamed, Burcu Ak, Oya Işık, Leyla Uslu, Kubilay Kazım Vursavuş

Abstract:

In this study, 3 species of Dunaliella (Dunaliella sp. Salt Lake isoalte (Tuz Gölü), Dunaliella salina CCAP19/18, and Dunaliella bardawil LB 2538) and their optical density, dry matter, chlorophyll a, total carotenoids, and β-carotene production were investigated in a batch system. The aim of this research was to compare carotenoids, and β-carotene production were investigated in a batch those 3 species. Therefore 2 stress factors were used: 2 different temperatures (20°C and 30°C) and 2 different salinities (30‰, and 60‰) were tested over a 17-day study. The highest growth and chlorophyll a was reported for Dunaliella sp. under 20°C/30‰ and 20°C/60‰ conditions respectively followed by D. bardawil and D. salina. Significant differences were noticed (p<0.05) for the other 3 species. The growth decreased as temperature and salinity increased since the lowest growth was noticed for the 30°C/60‰ group. The chlorophyll a content decreased also as temperature increased however when the NaCl concentration increased an augmentation of the content was noticed . In the 17th day of experiment the highest carotenoids concentration was reported for D. bardawil 20°C/30‰ (65,639±0,400 μg.mL1) and the most important β carotene concentration was for D. salina 20°C/60‰ (8,98E-07±0,013 mol/L).

Keywords: Dunaliella sp., Dunaliella salina, Dunaliella bardawil, growth, pigments, stress factors

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17 A Hybrid Algorithm Based on Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure and Chemical Reaction Optimization for the Vehicle Routing Problem with Hard Time Windows

Authors: Imen Boudali, Marwa Ragmoun

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The Vehicle Routing Problem with Hard Time Windows (VRPHTW) is a basic distribution management problem that models many real-world problems. The objective of the problem is to deliver a set of customers with known demands on minimum-cost vehicle routes while satisfying vehicle capacity and hard time windows for customers. In this paper, we propose to deal with our optimization problem by using a new hybrid stochastic algorithm based on two metaheuristics: Chemical Reaction Optimization (CRO) and Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure (GRASP). The first method is inspired by the natural process of chemical reactions enabling the transformation of unstable substances with excessive energy to stable ones. During this process, the molecules interact with each other through a series of elementary reactions to reach minimum energy for their existence. This property is embedded in CRO to solve the VRPHTW. In order to enhance the population diversity throughout the search process, we integrated the GRASP in our method. Simulation results on the base of Solomon’s benchmark instances show the very satisfactory performances of the proposed approach.

Keywords: Benchmark Problems, Combinatorial Optimization, Vehicle Routing Problem with Hard Time Windows, Meta-heuristics, Hybridization, GRASP, CRO

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16 Family Firms and Investment–Cash Flow Sensitivity: Empirical Evidence from Canada

Authors: Imen Latrous

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Family firm is the most common form of business organization in the world. Many family businesses rely heavily on their own capital to finance their expansion. This dependence on internal funds for their investment may be deliberate to maintain the family dominant position or involuntary as family firms have limited access to external funds. Our understanding of family firm’s choice to fund their own growth using existing capital is somewhat limited. The aim of this paper is to study whether the presence of a controlling family in the company either mitigates or exacerbates external financing constraints. The impact of family ownership on investment–cash flow sensitivity is ultimately an empirical question. We use a sample of 406 Canadian firms listed in Toronto Stock exchange (TSX) over the period 2005–2014 in order to explore this relationship. We distinguish between three elements in the definition of family firms, specifically ownership, control and management, to explore the issue whether family firms are more efficient organisational form. Our research contributes to the extant literature on family ownership in several ways. First, as our understanding of family firm’s investment cash flow sensitivity is somewhat limited in recession times, we explore the effect of family firms on the relation between investment and cash flow during the recent 2007-2009 financial crisis. We also analyse this relationship difference between family firms and non family firms before and during financial crisis. Finally, our paper addresses the endogeneity problem of family ownership and investment-cash flow sensitivity.

Keywords: family firms, investment–cash flow sensitivity, financial crisis, corporate governance

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15 Flexural Properties of Typha Fibers Reinforced Polyester Composite

Authors: Sana Rezig, Yosr Ben Mlik, Mounir Jaouadi, Foued Khoffi, Slah Msahli, Bernard Durand

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Increasing interest in environmental concerns, natural fibers are once again being considered as reinforcements for polymer composites. The main objective of this study is to explore another natural resource, Typha fiber; which is renewable without production cost and available abundantly in nature. The aim of this study was to study the flexural properties of composite resin with and without reinforcing Typha leaf and stem fibers. The specimens were made by the hand-lay-up process using polyester matrix. In our work, we focused on the effect of various treatment conditions (sea water, alkali treatment and a combination of the two treatments), as a surface modifier, on the flexural properties of the Typha fibers reinforced polyester composites. Moreover, weight ratio of Typha leaf or stem fibers was investigated. Besides, both fibers from leaf and stem of Typha plant were used to evaluate the reinforcing effect. Another parameter, which is reinforcement structure, was investigated. In fact, a first composite was made with air-laid nonwoven structure of fibers. A second composite was with a mixture of fibers and resin for each kind of treatment. Results show that alkali treatment and combined process provided better mechanical properties of composites in comparison with fiber treated by sea water. The fiber weight ratio influenced the flexural properties of composites. Indeed, a maximum value of flexural strength of 69.8 and 62,32 MPa with flexural modulus of 6.16 and 6.34 GPawas observed respectively for composite reinforced with leaf and stem fibers for 12.6 % fiber weight ratio. For the different treatments carried out, the treatment using caustic soda, whether alone or after retting seawater, show the best results because it improves adhesion between the polyester matrix and the fibers of reinforcement. SEM photographs were made to ascertain the effects of the surface treatment of the fibers. By varying the structure of the fibers of Typha, the reinforcement used in bulk shows more effective results as that used in the non-woven structure. In addition, flexural strength rises with about (65.32 %) in the case of composite reinforced with a mixture of 12.6% leaf fibers and (27.45 %) in the case of a composite reinforced with a nonwoven structure of 12.6 % of leaf fibers. Thus, to better evaluate the effect of the fiber origin, the reinforcing structure, the processing performed and the reinforcement factor on the performance of composite materials, a statistical study was performed using Minitab. Thus, ANOVA was used, and the patterns of the main effects of these parameters and interaction between them were established. Statistical analysis, the fiber treatment and reinforcement structure seem to be the most significant parameters.

Keywords: flexural properties, fiber treatment, structure and weight ratio, SEM photographs, Typha leaf and stem fibers

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14 Using the SMT Solver to Minimize the Latency and to Optimize the Number of Cores in an NoC-DSP Architectures

Authors: Imen Amari, Kaouther Gasmi, Asma Rebaya, Salem Hasnaoui

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The problem of scheduling and mapping data flow applications on multi-core architectures is notoriously difficult. This difficulty is related to the rapid evaluation of Telecommunication and multimedia systems accompanied by a rapid increase of user requirements in terms of latency, execution time, consumption, energy, etc. Having an optimal scheduling on multi-cores DSP (Digital signal Processors) platforms is a challenging task. In this context, we present a novel technic and algorithm in order to find a valid schedule that optimizes the key performance metrics particularly the Latency. Our contribution is based on Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) solving technologies which is strongly driven by the industrial applications and needs. This paper, describe a scheduling module integrated in our proposed Workflow which is advised to be a successful approach for programming the applications based on NoC-DSP platforms. This workflow transform automatically a Simulink model to a synchronous dataflow (SDF) model. The automatic transformation followed by SMT solver scheduling aim to minimize the final latency and other software/hardware metrics in terms of an optimal schedule. Also, finding the optimal numbers of cores to be used. In fact, our proposed workflow taking as entry point a Simulink file (.mdl or .slx) derived from embedded Matlab functions. We use an approach which is based on the synchronous and hierarchical behavior of both Simulink and SDF. Whence, results of running the scheduler which exist in the Workflow mentioned above using our proposed SMT solver algorithm refinements produce the best possible scheduling in terms of latency and numbers of cores.

Keywords: multi-cores DSP, scheduling, SMT solver, workflow

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13 Larvicidal Activity of Azadirachtin and Essential Oils from Thymus capitatus against Prays oleae Bern (Lepidoptera, Yponomeutidae)

Authors: Imen Blibech, Mohiedine Ksantini, Mohamed Bouaziz

Abstract:

Prays oleae is a major insect of olive in the Mediterranean Region. In an effort to find effective and affordable ways of controlling this pest, larvicidal activity of essential oils from Tunisian Thymus capitatus were analyzed in comparison to Azadirachtin, a biologically active compound insecticide. The essential oils were extracted by hydrodistillation, and their chemical composition was determined by gas liquid-chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy. The main components of chemical components were oxygenated monoterpenes (60.24%). The most abundant oxygenated monoterpenes were carvacrol (54.11%). Monoterpenes hydrocarbons were much more abundant and dominated by the o-cymene (16.68%). Both active compounds of Azadirachtin and Thymus capitatus oil extracts exhibited significant larvicidal activity against P. oleae with LC50 values 81.30 ppm and 52.49 ppm respectively. Dose-response relationships were established with almost 100% mortality when using the highest dose 100 ppm of T. capitatus oil extracts and 80 ppm of Azadirachtin. At the lowest dose (10 ppm), T. capitatus oil extracts and Azadirachtin caused 60% and 76% larval mortality in 48 hours respectively. The larval mortality rate greatly decreased with increases of the dilution of both oil extract compounds. Larval development duration appeared to be prolonged to about 12 days for larvae feeding on control diet. The maximum antifeedant activity was shown by both T. capitatus oil extract and Azadirachtin at LC90 values (47.5 and 50.1 ppm respectively). Tunisian T. capitatus oil extract used at low concentrations could be considered as eco-friendly promising insecticide similar to Azadirachtin that has significant potential for the biological control of P. oleae.

Keywords: Thymus capitatus, chemical composition, azadirachtin, larvicidal effects, antifeedant activity, Prays oleae

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12 A Discourse Completion Test Analysis of Email Request Strategies as Used by Tunisian Postgraduate Students

Authors: Imen Aribi Ben Amor

Abstract:

The aim of the present study is to analyze the performance of requests in emails among a group of Tunisian postgraduate students. It also seeks to determine the influence of the social factors on the participants’ requests performance. For this purpose, the data were collected using a discourse completion test (DCT). Accordingly, 42 Tunisian postgraduate students were asked to respond in English to eight different situations in which they carried out the speech act of request in emails. The data were analyzed based on the degree of directness. A detailed analysis of the head acts found in the DCT revealed that Tunisian Postgraduate students use a varied repertoire of request strategies (direct, conventionally indirect and non-conventionally indirect) but at the same time rely heavily on direct request strategies. They tended to address their requestees directly except for distant superiors. DCT results suggest that the participants are to some extent aware of the influence of the ranking of imposition and social distance but fail to acknowledge the weight of social power when performing requests in emails. The preference of the participants to use direct strategies may be the result of the effect of Tunisian culture and the negative transfer of Tunisian communicative strategies. Accordingly, this study suggests some pedagogical implications and suggestions for Tunisian EFL (English as a Foreign Language) instructors. They are required to pay closer attention to the pragmalinguistic nuances of the ways in which requests in emails are realized. Teachers can also help students understand academic email etiquettes by explicitly explaining what they expect in the student email. Thus, EFL teachers and syllabus designers should devote more attention to developing EFL learners’ pragmatic competence through teaching L2 pragmatics.

Keywords: directness, ranking of imposition, request strategies, social distance, social power

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11 Autoimmune Diseases Associated with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: A Retrospective Study of 51 Patients

Authors: Soumaya Mrabet, Imen Akkari, Amira Atig, Elhem Ben Jazia

Abstract:

Introduction: Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a cholestatic cholangitis of unknown etiology. It is frequently associated with autoimmune diseases, which explains their systematic screening. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence and the type of autoimmune disorders associated with PBC and to assess their impact on the prognosis of the disease. Material and methods: It is a retrospective study over a period of 16 years (2000-2015) including all patients followed for PBC. In all these patients we have systematically researched: dysthyroidism (thyroid balance, antithyroid autoantibodies), type 1 diabetes, dry syndrome (ophthalmologic examination, Schirmer test and lip biopsy in case of Presence of suggestive clinical signs), celiac disease(celiac disease serology and duodenal biopsies) and dermatological involvement (clinical examination). Results: Fifty-one patients (50 women and one men) followed for PBC were collected. The Mean age was 54 years (37-77 years). Among these patients, 30 patients(58.8%) had at least one autoimmune disease associated with PBC. The discovery of these autoimmune diseases preceded the diagnosis of PBC in 8 cases (26.6%) and was concomitant, through systematic screening, in the remaining cases. Autoimmune hepatitis was found in 12 patients (40%), defining thus an overlap syndrome. Other diseases were Hashimoto's thyroiditis (n = 10), dry syndrome (n = 7), Gougerot Sjogren syndrome (n=6), celiac disease (n = 3), insulin-dependent diabetes (n = 1), scleroderma (n = 1), rheumatoid arthritis (n = 1), Biermer Anemia (n=1) and Systemic erythematosus lupus (n=1). The two groups of patients with PBC with or without associated autoimmune disorders were comparable for bilirubin levels, Child-Pugh score, and response to treatment. Conclusion: In our series, the prevalence of autoimmune diseases in PBC was 58.8%. These diseases were dominated by autoimmune hepatitis and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Even if their association does not seem to alter the prognosis, screening should be systematic in order to institute an early and adequate management.

Keywords: autoimmune diseases, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, prognosis

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10 Osteoarticular Manifestations and Abnormalities of Bone Metabolism in Celiac Disease

Authors: Soumaya Mrabet, Imen Akkari, Amira Atig, Elhem Ben Jazia

Abstract:

Introduction: Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory enteropathy caused by gluten. The clinical presentation is very variable. Malabsorption in the MC is responsible for an alteration of the bone metabolism. Our purpose is to study the osteoarticular manifestations related to this condition. Material and methods: It is a retrospective study of 41 cases of CD diagnosed on clinical, immunological, endoscopic and histological arguments, in the Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology Department of Farhat Hached Hospital between September 2005 and January 2016. Results: Osteoarticular manifestations were found in 9 patients (22%) among 41 patients presenting CD. These were 7 women and 2 men with an average age of 35.7 years (25 to 67 years). These manifestations were revelatory of CD in 3 cases. Abdominal pain and diarrhea were present in 6 cases. Inflammatory polyarthralgia of wrists and knees has been reported in 7 patients. Mechanical mono arthralgia was noted in 2 patients. Biological tests revealed microcytic anemia by iron deficiency in 7 cases, hypocalcemia in 5 cases, Hypophosphatemia in 3 cases and elevated alkaline phosphatases in 3 cases. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with duodenal biopsy found villous atrophy in all cases. In immunology, Anti-transglutaminase antibodies were positive in all patients, Anti-endomysium in 7 cases. Measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) by biphotonic X-ray absorptiometer with evaluation of the T-score and the Z-score was performed in Twenty patients (48.8%). It was normal in 7 cases (33%) and showed osteopenia in 5 patients (25%) and osteoporosis in 2 patients (10%). All patients were treated with a Gluten-free diet associated with vitamin D and calcium substitution in 5 cases. The evolution was favorable in all cases with reduction of bone pain and normalization of the phosphocalcic balance. Conclusion: The bone impact of CD is frequent but often asymptomatic. Patients with CD should be evaluated by the measurement of bone mineral density and monitored for calcium and vitamin D deficiencies.

Keywords: bone mineral density, celiac disease, osteoarticular manifestations, vitamin D and calcium

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9 Autoimmune Diseases Associated with Celiac Disease in Adults

Authors: Soumaya Mrabet, Taieb Ach, Imen Akkari, Amira Atig, Neirouz Ghannouchi, Koussay Ach, Elhem Ben Jazia

Abstract:

Introduction: Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated small intestinal disorder that occurs in genetically susceptible people. It is significantly associated with other autoimmune disorders represented mainly by type 1 diabetes and autoimmune dysthyroidism. The aim of our study is to determine the prevalence and the type of the various autoimmune diseases associated with CD in adult patients. Material and methods: This is a retrospective study including patients diagnosed with CD, explored in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Endocrinology and Diabetology Departments of the Farhat Hached University Hospital, between January 2005 and January 2016. The diagnosis of CD was confirmed by serological tests and duodenal biopsy. The screening of autoimmune diseases was based on physical examination, biological and serological tests. Results: Sixty five patients with a female predominance were included, 48women (73.8%) and 17 men (26.2%). The mean age was 31.8 years (17-75). A family history of CD or other autoimmune diseases was present in 5 and 10 patients respectively. Clinical presentation of CD was made by recurrent abdominal pain in 49 cases, diarrhea in 29 cases, bloating in 17 cases, constipation in 25 cases and vomiting in 8 cases. Autoimmune diseases associated with CD were found in 30 cases (46.1%): type 1 diabetes in 15 patients attested by the positivity of anti-GAD antibodies in 11 cases and anti-IA2 in 4 cases, Hashimoto thyroiditis in 8 cases confirmed by the positivity of anti-TPO antibodies, Addison's disease in 2 patients, Anemia of Biermer in 2 patients, autoimmune hepatitis, Systemic erythematosus lupus, Gougerot Sjögren syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Vitiligo and antiphospholipid syndrome in one patient each. CD was associated with more than one autoimmune disease defining multiple autoimmune syndrome in 2 female patients. The first patient had Basedow disease, Addison disease and type 1 diabetes. The second patient had systemic erythematosus lupus and Gougerot Sjögren syndrome. Conclusion: In our study autoimmune diseases were associated with CD in 46.1% of cases and were dominated by diabetes and dysthroidism. After establishing the diagnosis of CD the search of associated autoimmune diseases is necessary in order to avoid any therapeutic delay which can alter the prognosis of the patient.

Keywords: association, autoimmune thyroiditis, celiac disease, diabetes

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