Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: M. Rami

22 A Framework for Event-Based Monitoring of Business Processes in the Supply Chain Management of Industry 4.0

Authors: Johannes Atug, Andreas Radke, Mitchell Tseng, Gunther Reinhart

Abstract:

In modern supply chains, large numbers of SKU (Stock-Keeping-Unit) need to be timely managed, and any delays in noticing disruptions of items often limit the ability to defer the impact on customer order fulfillment. However, in supply chains of IoT-connected enterprises, the ERP (Enterprise-Resource-Planning), the MES (Manufacturing-Execution-System) and the SCADA (Supervisory-Control-and-Data-Acquisition) systems generate large amounts of data, which generally glean much earlier notice of deviations in the business process steps. That is, analyzing these streams of data with process mining techniques allows the monitoring of the supply chain business processes and thus identification of items that deviate from the standard order fulfillment process. In this paper, a framework to enable event-based SCM (Supply-Chain-Management) processes including an overview of core enabling technologies are presented, which is based on the RAMI (Reference-Architecture-Model for Industrie 4.0) architecture. The application of this framework in the industry is presented, and implications for SCM in industry 4.0 and further research are outlined.

Keywords: cyber-physical production systems, event-based monitoring, supply chain management, RAMI (Reference-Architecture-Model for Industrie 4.0)

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21 Randomized, Controlled Blind Study Comparing Sacroiliac Intra-Articular Steroid Injection to Radiofrequency Denervation for Management of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Authors: Ossama Salman

Abstract:

Background and objective: Sacroiliac joint pain is a common cause for chronic axial low back pain, with up to 20% prevalence rate. To date, no effective long-term treatment intervention has been embarked on yet. The aim of our study was to compare steroid block to radiofrequency ablation for SIJ pain conditions. Methods: A randomized, blind, study was conducted in 30 patients with sacroiliac joint pain. Fifteen patients received radiofrequency denervation of L4-5 primary dorsal rami and S1-3 lateral sacral branch, and 15 patients received steroid under fluoroscopy. Those in the steroid group who did not respond to steroid injections were offered to cross over to get radiofrequency ablation. Results: At 1-, 3- and 6-months post-intervention, 73%, 60% and 53% of patients, respectively, gained ≥ 50 % pain relief in the radiofrequency (RF) ablation group. In the steroid group, at one month post intervention follow up, only 20% gained ≥ 50 % pain relief, but failed to show any improvement at 3 months and 6 months follow up. Conclusions: Radiofrequency ablation at L4 and L5 primary dorsal rami and S1-3 lateral sacral branch may provide effective and longer pain relief compared to the classic intra-articular steroid injection, in properly selected patients with suspected sacroiliac joint pain. Larger studies are called for to confirm our results and lay out the optimal patient selection and treatment parameters for this poorly comprehended disorder.

Keywords: lateral branch denervation, LBD, radio frequency, RF, sacroiliac joint, SIJ, visual analogue scale, VAS

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20 Arabic Text Representation and Classification Methods: Current State of the Art

Authors: Rami Ayadi, Mohsen Maraoui, Mounir Zrigui

Abstract:

In this paper, we have presented a brief current state of the art for Arabic text representation and classification methods. We decomposed Arabic Task Classification into four categories. First we describe some algorithms applied to classification on Arabic text. Secondly, we cite all major works when comparing classification algorithms applied on Arabic text, after this, we mention some authors who proposing new classification methods and finally we investigate the impact of preprocessing on Arabic TC.

Keywords: text classification, Arabic, impact of preprocessing, classification algorithms

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19 A Fast and Robust Protocol for Reconstruction and Re-Enactment of Historical Sites

Authors: Sanaa I. Abu Alasal, Madleen M. Esbeih, Eman R. Fayyad, Rami S. Gharaibeh, Mostafa Z. Ali, Ahmed A. Freewan, Monther M. Jamhawi

Abstract:

This research proposes a novel reconstruction protocol for restoring missing surfaces and low-quality edges and shapes in photos of artifacts at historical sites. The protocol starts with the extraction of a cloud of points. This extraction process is based on four subordinate algorithms, which differ in the robustness and amount of resultant. Moreover, they use different -but complementary- accuracy to some related features and to the way they build a quality mesh. The performance of our proposed protocol is compared with other state-of-the-art algorithms and toolkits. The statistical analysis shows that our algorithm significantly outperforms its rivals in the resultant quality of its object files used to reconstruct the desired model.

Keywords: meshes, point clouds, surface reconstruction protocols, 3D reconstruction

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18 On the Design of Robust Governors of Steam Power Systems Using Polynomial and State-Space Based H∞ Techniques: A Comparative Study

Authors: Rami A. Maher, Ibraheem K. Ibraheem

Abstract:

This work presents a comparison study between the state-space and polynomial methods for the design of the robust governor for load frequency control of steam turbine power systems. The robust governor is synthesized using the two approaches and the comparison is extended to include time and frequency domains performance, controller order, and uncertainty representation, weighting filters, optimality and sub-optimality. The obtained results are represented through tables and curves with reasons of similarities and dissimilarities.

Keywords: robust control, load frequency control, steam turbine, H∞-norm, system uncertainty, load disturbance

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17 Learning Model Applied to Cope with Professional Knowledge Gaps in Final Project of Information System Students

Authors: Ilana Lavy, Rami Rashkovits

Abstract:

In this study, we describe Information Systems students' learning model which was applied by students in order to cope with professional knowledge gaps in the context of their final project. The students needed to implement a software system according to specifications and design they have made beforehand. They had to select certain technologies and use them. Most of them decided to use programming environments that were learned during their academic studies. The students had to cope with various levels of knowledge gaps. For that matter they used learning strategies that were organized by us as a learning model which includes two phases each suitable for different learning tasks. We analyze the learning model, describing advantages and shortcomings as perceived by the students, and provide excerpts to support our findings.

Keywords: knowledge gaps, independent learner skills, self-regulated learning, final project

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16 Defect-Based Urgency Index for Bridge Maintenance Ranking and Prioritization

Authors: Saleh Abu Dabous, Khaled Hamad, Rami Al-Ruzouq

Abstract:

Bridge condition assessment and rating provide essential information needed for bridge management. This paper reviews bridge inspection and condition rating practices and introduces a defect-based urgency index. The index is estimated at the element-level based on the extent and severity of the different defects typical to the bridge element. The urgency index approach has the following advantages: (1) It facilitates judgment submission, i.e. instead of rating the bridge element with a specific linguistic overall expression (which can be subjective and used differently by different people), the approach is based on assessing the defects; (2) It captures multiple defects that can be present within a deteriorated element; and (3) It reflects how critical the element is through quantifying critical defects and their severity. The approach can be further developed and validated. It is expected to be useful for practical purposes as an early-warning system for critical bridge elements.

Keywords: condition rating, deterioration, inspection, maintenance

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15 The Impact of Ramadan Fasting on Blood Pressure: Observational Study and a Meta-Analysis

Authors: Rami Al Jafar, Paul Elliott, Konstantinos K. Tsilidis, Abbas Dehghan

Abstract:

Although Ramadan fasting is a ritual that is practiced every year by millions of Muslims, studies on Ramadan fasting are still scarce. To the best of our knowledge, none of the previous studies comprehensively explored the effect on the metabolic profile. In London Ramadan Fasting Study, blood samples were collected from 81 participants before and 10-14 days after Ramadan. Blood samples were analysed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy which covers 249 metabolites. Mixed-effects models were used to analyse collected data and assess the effect of Ramadan fasting on the metabolic profile. Our observational study involved 85 individuals with a mean age of 45.2 years, and 53.1% of them were males. After Ramadan, forty metabolites were affected significantly by Ramadan fasting. Most of these metabolites were metabolites ratios (24), and the rest were three Glycolysis, three ketone bodies, nine Lipoprotein subclasses and one inflammation marker. This study suggests that Ramadan fasting is significantly associated with changes in the metabolic profile. However, the changes are assumed to be temporary, and the long-term effect of these changes is unknown.

Keywords: metabolic profile, Ramadan fasting, metabolites, intermittent fasting

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14 Predicting Global Solar Radiation Using Recurrent Neural Networks and Climatological Parameters

Authors: Rami El-Hajj Mohamad, Mahmoud Skafi, Ali Massoud Haidar

Abstract:

Several meteorological parameters were used for the prediction of monthly average daily global solar radiation on horizontal using recurrent neural networks (RNNs). Climatological data and measures, mainly air temperature, humidity, sunshine duration, and wind speed between 1995 and 2007 were used to design and validate a feed forward and recurrent neural network based prediction systems. In this paper we present our reference system based on a feed-forward multilayer perceptron (MLP) as well as the proposed approach based on an RNN model. The obtained results were promising and comparable to those obtained by other existing empirical and neural models. The experimental results showed the advantage of RNNs over simple MLPs when we deal with time series solar radiation predictions based on daily climatological data.

Keywords: recurrent neural networks, global solar radiation, multi-layer perceptron, gradient, root mean square error

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13 Keypoints Extraction for Markerless Tracking in Augmented Reality Applications: A Case Study in Dar As-Saraya Museum

Authors: Jafar W. Al-Badarneh, Abdalkareem R. Al-Hawary, Abdulmalik M. Morghem, Mostafa Z. Ali, Rami S. Al-Gharaibeh

Abstract:

Archeological heritage is at the heart of each country’s national glory. Moreover, it could develop into a source of national income. Heritage management requires socially-responsible marketing that achieves high visitor satisfaction while maintaining high site conservation. We have developed an Augmented Reality (AR) experience for heritage and cultural reservation at Dar-As-Saraya museum in Jordan. Our application of this notion relied on markerless-based tracking approach. This approach uses keypoints extraction technique where features of the environment are identified and defined into the system as keypoints. A set of these keypoints forms a tracker for an augmented object to be displayed and overlaid with a real scene at Dar As-Saraya museum. We tested and compared several techniques for markerless tracking and then applied the best technique to complete a mosaic artifact with AR content. The successful results from our application open the door for applications in open archeological sites where markerless tracking is mostly needed.

Keywords: augmented reality, cultural heritage, keypoints extraction, virtual recreation

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12 Flexural Behavior of Heat-Damaged Concrete Beams Reinforced with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Bars

Authors: Mohammad R. Irshidat, Rami H. Haddad, Hanadi Al-Mahmoud

Abstract:

Reinforced concrete (RC) is the most common used material for construction in the world. In the past decades, fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) bars had been widely used to substitute the steel bars due to their high resistance to corrosion, high tensile capacity, and low weight in comparison with steel. Experimental studies on the behavior of FRP bar reinforced concrete beams had been carried out worldwide for a few decades. While the research on such structural members under elevated temperatures is still very limited. In this research, the flexural behavior of heat-damaged concrete beams reinforced with FRP bars is studied. Two types of FRP rebar namely, carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) and glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP), are used. The beams are subjected to four levels of temperature before tested to monitor their flexural behavior. The results are compared with other concrete beams reinforced with regular steel bars. The results show that the beams reinforced with CFRP bars and GFRP bars had higher flexural capacity than the beams reinforced with steel bars even if heated up to 400°C and 300°C, respectively. After that the beams reinforced with steel bars had the superiority.

Keywords: concrete beams, FRP rebar, flexural behavior, heat-damaged

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11 Adherence of Hypertensive Patients to Lifestyle Modification Factors: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Fadwa Alhalaiqa, Ahmad Al-Nawafleh, Abdul-Monim Batiha, Rami Masadeh, Aida Abd Alrazek

Abstract:

Healthy lifestyle recommendations (e.g. physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, increased cholesterol levels, obesity, and poor stress management) play an important role in controlling BP. This study aimed to assess lifestyle modification factors among patient diagnosed with hypertension. Methods and materials: A cross section-survey design was used. Data was collected by four questionnaires one was the beliefs about medication (BMQ) and rest were developed to collect data about demographics and clinical characteristics and lifestyle modification factors. Results: Total 312 questionnaires had been completed. The participants had a mean age of 57.6 years (SD =11.8). The results revealed that our participants did not follow healthy lifestyle recommendations; for example the means BS level, BMI, and cholesterol levels were 155 mg/dl (SD= 71.9), 29 kg/2m (SD= 5.4) and 197 mg/dl (SD= 86.6) respectively. A significant correlation was shown between age and BP (P= 0.000). Increase in DBP correlates with a significant increase in cholesterol level (P= .002) and BMI (P= .006). Conclusion: Hypertensive patients did not adhere to healthy lifestyle modification factors. Therefore, an urgent action by addressing behavioral risk factors has a positive impact on preventing and controlling hypertension.

Keywords: adherence, healthy lifestyle, hypertension, patients

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10 Automated Vehicle Traffic Control Tower: A Solution to Support the Next Level Automation

Authors: Xiaoyun Zhao, Rami Darwish, Anna Pernestål

Abstract:

Automated vehicles (AVs) have the potential to enhance road capacity, improving road safety and traffic efficiency. Research and development on AVs have been going on for many years. However, when the complicated traffic rules and real situations interacted, AVs fail to make decisions on contradicting situations, and are not able to have control in all conditions due to highly dynamic driving scenarios. This limits AVs’ usage and restricts the full potential benefits that they can bring. Furthermore, regulations, infrastructure development, and public acceptance cannot keep up at the same pace as technology breakthroughs. Facing these challenges, this paper proposes automated vehicle traffic control tower (AVTCT) acting as a safe, efficient and integrated solution for AV control. It introduces a concept of AVTCT for control, management, decision-making, communication and interaction with various aspects in transportation. With the prototype demonstrations and simulations, AVTCT has the potential to overcome the control challenges with AVs and can facilitate AV reaching their full potential. Possible functionalities, benefits as well as challenges of AVTCT are discussed, which set the foundation for the conceptual model, simulation and real application of AVTCT.

Keywords: automated vehicle, connectivity and automation, intelligent transport system, traffic control, traffic safety

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9 Using Power Flow Analysis for Understanding UPQC’s Behaviors

Authors: O. Abdelkhalek, A. Naimi, M. Rami, M. N. Tandjaoui, A. Kechich

Abstract:

This paper deals with the active and reactive power flow analysis inside the unified power quality conditioner (UPQC) during several cases. The UPQC is a combination of shunt and series active power filter (APF). It is one of the best solutions towards the mitigation of voltage sags and swells problems on distribution network. This analysis can provide the helpful information to well understanding the interaction between the series filter, the shunt filter, the DC bus link and electrical network. The mathematical analysis is based on active and reactive power flow through the shunt and series active power filter. Wherein series APF can absorb or deliver the active power to mitigate a swell or sage voltage where in the both cases it absorbs a small reactive power quantity whereas the shunt active power absorbs or releases the active power for stabilizing the storage capacitor’s voltage as well as the power factor correction. The voltage sag and voltage swell are usually interpreted through the DC bus voltage curves. These two phenomena are introduced in this paper with a new interpretation based on the active and reactive power flow analysis inside the UPQC. For simplifying this study, a linear load is supposed in this digital simulation. The simulation results are carried out to confirm the analysis done.

Keywords: UPQC, Power flow analysis, shunt filter, series filter.

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8 Shear Layer Investigation through a High-Load Cascade in Low-Pressure Gas Turbine Conditions

Authors: Mehdi Habibnia Rami, Shidvash Vakilipour, Mohammad H. Sabour, Rouzbeh Riazi, Hossein Hassannia

Abstract:

This paper deals with the steady and unsteady flow behavior on the separation bubble occurring on the rear portion of the suction side of T106A blade. The first phase was to implement the steady condition capturing the separation bubble. To accurately predict the separated region, the effects of three different turbulence models and computational grids were separately investigated. The results of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model on the finest grid structure are acceptably in a good agreement with its relevant experimental results. The second phase is mainly to address the effects of wake entrance on bubble disappearance in unsteady situation. In the current simulations, from what was suggested in an experiment, simulating the flow unsteadiness, with concentrations on small scale disturbances instead of simulating a complete oncoming wake, is the key issue. Subsequently, the results from the current strategy to apply the effects of the wake and two other experimental work were compared to be in a good agreement. Between the two experiments, one of them deals with wake passing unsteady flow, and the other one implements experimentally the same approach as the current Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation.

Keywords: low-pressure turbine cascade, large-Eddy simulation (LES), RANS turbulence models, unsteady flow measurements, flow separation

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7 Formation of an Empire in the 21st Century: Theoretical Approach in International Relations and a Worldview of the New World Order

Authors: Rami Georg Johann

Abstract:

Against the background of the current geopolitical constellations, the author looks at various empire models, which are discussed and compared with each other with regard to their stability and functioning. The focus is on the fifth concept as a possible new world order in the 21st century. These will be discussed and compared to one another according to their stability and functioning. All empires to be designed will be conceptualised based on one, two, three, four, and five worlds. All worlds are made up of a different constellation of states and relating coalitions. All systems will be discussed in detail. The one-world-system, the“Western Empire,” will be presented as a possible solution to a new world order in the 21st century (fifth concept). The term “Western” in “Western Empire” describes the Western concept after World War II. This Western concept was the result of two horrible world wars in the 20th century.” With this in mind, the fifth concept forms a stable empire system, the “Western Empire,” by political measures tied to two issues. Thus, this world order provides a significantly higher long-term stability in contrast to all other empire models (comprising five, four, three, or two worlds). Confrontations and threats of war are reduced to a minimum. The two issues mentioned are “merger” and “competition.” These are the main differences in forming an empire compared to all empires and realms in the history of mankind. The fifth concept of this theory, the “Western Empire,” acts explicitly as a counter model. The Western Empire (fifth concept) is formed by the merger of world powers without war. Thus, a world order without competition is created. This merged entity secures long-term peace, stability, democratic values, freedom, human rights, equality, and justice in the new world order.

Keywords: empire formation, theory of international relations, Western Empire, world order

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6 Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis of Geogrid-Reinforced Piled Embankments on Soft Clay

Authors: Mahmoud Y. Shokry, Rami M. El-Sherbiny

Abstract:

This paper aims to highlight the role of some parameters that may be of a noticeable impact on numerical analysis/design of embankments. It presents the results of a three-dimensional (3-D) finite element analysis of a monitored earth embankment that was constructed on soft clay formation stabilized by cast in-situ piles using software PLAXIS 3D. A comparison between the predicted and the monitored responses is presented to assess the adequacy of the adopted numerical model. The model was used in the targeted parametric study. Moreover, a comparison was performed between the results of the 3-D analyses and the analytical solutions. This paper concluded that the effect of using mono pile caps led to decrease both the total and differential settlement and increased the efficiency of the piled embankment system. The study of using geogrids revealed that it can contribute in decreasing the settlement and maximizing the part of the embankment load transferred to piles. Moreover, it was found that increasing the stiffness of the geogrids provides higher values of tensile forces and hence has more effective influence on embankment load carried by piles rather than using multi-number of layers with low values of geogrid stiffness. The efficiency of the piled embankments system was also found to be greater when higher embankments are used rather than the low height embankments. The comparison between the numerical 3-D model and the theoretical design methods revealed that many analytical solutions are conservative and non-accurate rather than the 3-D finite element numerical models.

Keywords: efficiency, embankment, geogrids, soft clay

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5 Abnormal Branching Pattern of Lumbar Plexus in an Adult Male Cadaver: A Case Report

Authors: Deepthinath Reghunathan, Satheesha Nayak, Sudarshan S., Prasad Alathady Maloor, Prakash Shetty

Abstract:

Lumbar plexus is formed by the union of ventral rami of T12, L1, L2, L3 spinal nerves and the larger upper division of L4 lumbar spinal nerves. Variations in the normal anatomy of the lumbar and sacral plexus might be seen in some cases and are reported in the literature, but finding such an unusual case comprising of multiple variations which is normally not expected in a clinical setup, proves to be a vital piece of information for clinicians and medical practitioners. During the dissection of the abdomen and pelvis of an approximately 70 year old cadaver, we observed the following variations in the formation of the lumbar and sacral nerves. 1. The genitofemoral nerve bifurcated at a higher level; genital branch of genitofemoral nerve gave branches to the anterior abdominal wall muscles, 2. A communicating branch was given from the lateral cutaneous nerve of thigh to the medial cutaneous nerve of thigh, 3. A muscular branch was given from femoral nerve to psoas major, 4. There was absence of contribution of L4 spinal nerve in the formation of the lumbosacral trunk and 5. Lumbosacral trunk gave communicating branches to the femoral and obturator nerves. Most of the variations found were rare and finding all the above said variations in a single cadaver is even rare. Documentation of such rare cases with multiple variations in the formation of nerves from the lumbar plexus provides vital information on such occurrences. This information would in turn improve the knowledge of clinicians and surgeons dealing with this region. Emphasizing such knowledge of this region would prevent accidental damage to the structures with a variant anatomy.

Keywords: femoral nerve, genitofemoral nerve, lumbar plexus, lumbosacral trunk

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4 The Impact of Rising Architectural Façade in Improving Terms of the Physical Urban Ambience Inside the Free Space for Urban Fabric - the Street- Case Study the City of Biskra

Authors: Rami Qaoud, Alkama Djamal

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When we ask about the impact of rising architectural façade in improving the terms physical urban ambiance inside the free space for urban fabric. Considered as bringing back life and culture values and civilization to these cities. And This will be the theme of this search. Where we have conducted the study about the relationship that connects the empty and full of in the urban fabric in terms of the density construction and the architectural elevation of its façade to street view. In this framework, we adopted in the methodology of this research the technical field experience. And according to three types of Street engineering(H≥2W, H=W, H≤0.5W). Where we conducted a field to raise the values of the physical ambiance according to three main axes of ambiance. The first axe 1 - Thermal ambiance. Where the temperature values were collected, relative humidity, wind speed, temperature of surfaces (the outer wall-ground). The second axe 2- Visual ambiance. Where we took the values of natural lighting levels during the daytime. The third axe 3- Acoustic ambiance . Where we take sound values during the entire day. That experience, which lasted for three consecutive days, and through six stations of measuring, where it has been one measuring station for each type of the street engineering and in two different way street. Through the obtained results and with the comparison of those values. We noticed the difference between this values and the three type of street engineering. Where the difference the calorific values of air equal 4 ° C , in terms of the visual ambiance the difference in the direct lighting natural periods amounted six hours between the three types of street engineering. As well in terms of sound ambience, registered a difference in values of up 15 (db) between the three types. This difference in values indicates The impact of rising architectural façade in improving the physical urban ambiance within the free field - street- for urban fabric.

Keywords: street, physical urban ambience, rising architectural façade, urban fabric

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3 Proposed Algorithms to Assess Concussion Potential in Rear-End Motor Vehicle Collisions: A Meta-Analysis

Authors: Rami Hashish, Manon Limousis-Gayda, Caitlin McCleery

Abstract:

Introduction: Mild traumatic brain injuries, also referred to as concussions, represent an increasing burden to society. Due to limited objective diagnostic measures, concussions are diagnosed by assessing subjective symptoms, often leading to disputes to their presence. Common biomechanical measures associated with concussion are high linear and/or angular acceleration to the head. With regards to linear acceleration, approximately 80g’s has previously been shown to equate with a 50% probability of concussion. Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) are a leading cause of concussion, due to high head accelerations experienced. The change in velocity (delta-V) of a vehicle in an MVC is an established metric for impact severity. As acceleration is the rate of delta-V with respect to time, the purpose of this paper is to determine the relation between delta-V (and occupant parameters) with linear head acceleration. Methods: A meta-analysis was conducted for manuscripts collected using the following keywords: head acceleration, concussion, brain injury, head kinematics, delta-V, change in velocity, motor vehicle collision, and rear-end. Ultimately, 280 studies were surveyed, 14 of which fulfilled the inclusion criteria as studies investigating the human response to impacts, reporting head acceleration, and delta-V of the occupant’s vehicle. Statistical analysis was conducted with SPSS and R. The best fit line analysis allowed for an initial understanding of the relation between head acceleration and delta-V. To further investigate the effect of occupant parameters on head acceleration, a quadratic model and a full linear mixed model was developed. Results: From the 14 selected studies, 139 crashes were analyzed with head accelerations and delta-V values ranging from 0.6 to 17.2g and 1.3 to 11.1 km/h, respectively. Initial analysis indicated that the best line of fit (Model 1) was defined as Head Acceleration = 0.465

Keywords: acceleration, brain injury, change in velocity, Delta-V, TBI

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2 Patterns of Self-Reported Overweight, Obesity, and Other Chronic Diseases Among University Students in the United Arab Emirates: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Maryam M. Bashir, Luai A. Ahmed, Meera R. Alshamsi, Sara Almahrooqi, Taif Alyammahi, Shooq A. Alshehhi, Waad I. Alhammadi, Fatima H. Alhammadi, Hind A. Alhosani, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Fatma Al-Maskari

Abstract:

Obesity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has exponentially increased over the past five decades due to rapid urbanization and unhealthy lifestyle changes. It has been well established that overweight and obesity increase the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and are the leading cause of mortality and economic burden locally, and globally. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there is a growing epidemic of obesity and other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in UAE range up to 70% depending on the group being studied. Hence, there is a need to explore their patterns in the country for more targeted and responsive interventions. Our study aimed to explore the patterns of overweight and obesity and some self-reported chronic diseases among university students in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of UAE. A validated online self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from UAE University (UAEU) students, 18years and above, from August to September 2021. Students’ characteristics were summarized using appropriate descriptive statistics. Overweight, obesity and self-reported chronic diseases were described and compared between male and female students using chi-square and t tests. Other associated factors were also explored in relation to overweight and obesity. All analyses were conducted using STATA statistical software version 16.1 (StataCorp LLC, College Station, TX, USA). 902 students participated in the study. 79.8% were females and mean age was 21.90 ± 5.19 years. Majority of the respondents were undergraduate students (80.71%). The prevalence of self-reported chronic diseases was 22.95%. Obesity (BMI≥30kg/m2), Diabetes Mellitus, and Asthma/Allergies were the commonest diseases (12.48%, 4.21% & 3.22%, respectively). Approximately 5% of the students reported more than one chronic disease. Out of the 833 participating students who had complete weight and height data, prevalence of overweight and obesity was 34.81% (22.33% and 12.48%, respectively). More than half of the male students (54.36%) were overweight or obese. This is significantly higher than in female students (30.56%, p=0.001). Overweight/obesity when compared to normal weight is associated with increasing mean age [23.40 vs 21.01, respectively (p=0.001)]. In addition to gender and age, being married [57.63% vs 31.05% (p=0.001)], being a postgraduate student [51.59% vs 30.92% (p=0.001)] and having two or more chronic diseases [65.85% vs 33.21% (p=0.001)] were also significantly associated with overweight/obesity. Our study showed that almost a quarter of the participating university students reported at least one chronic disease. Obesity was the commonest and more than 1 in 3 students were either overweight or obese. This shows the need for intensive health promotion and screening programs on obesity and other chronic diseases to meet the health needs of these students. This study is also a basis for further research, especially qualitative, to explore the relevant risk factors and risk groups for more targeted interventions.

Keywords: chronic disease, obesity, overweight, students, United Arab Emirates

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1 The Incident of Concussion across Popular American Youth Sports: A Retrospective Review

Authors: Rami Hashish, Manon Limousis-Gayda, Caitlin H. McCleery

Abstract:

Introduction: A leading cause of emergency room visits among youth (in the United States), is sports-related traumatic brain injuries. Mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), also called concussions, are caused by linear and/or angular acceleration experienced at the head and represent an increasing societal burden. Due to the developing nature of the brain in youth, there is a great risk for long-term neuropsychological deficiencies following a concussion. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to investigate incidence rates of concussion across gender for the five most common youth sports in the United States. These include basketball, track and field, soccer, baseball (boys), softball (girls), football (boys), and volleyball (girls). Methods: A PubMed search was performed for four search themes combined. The first theme identified the outcomes (concussion, brain injuries, mild traumatic brain injury, etc.). The second theme identified the sport (American football, soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, track, and field, etc.). The third theme identified the population (adolescence, children, youth, boys, girls). The last theme identified the study design (prevalence, frequency, incidence, prospective). Ultimately, 473 studies were surveyed, with 15 fulfilling the criteria: prospective study presenting original data and incidence of concussion in the relevant youth sport. The following data were extracted from the selected studies: population age, total study population, total athletic exposures (AE) and incidence rate per 1000 athletic exposures (IR/1000). Two One-Way ANOVA and a Tukey’s post hoc test were conducted using SPSS. Results: From the 15 selected studies, statistical analysis revealed the incidence of concussion per 1000 AEs across the considered sports ranged from 0.014 (girl’s track and field) to 0.780 (boy’s football). Average IR/1000 across all sports was 0.483 and 0.268 for boys and girls, respectively; this difference in IR was found to be statistically significant (p=0.013). Tukey’s post hoc test showed that football had significantly higher IR/1000 than boys’ basketball (p=0.022), soccer (p=0.033) and track and field (p=0.026). No statistical difference was found for concussion incidence between girls’ sports. Removal of football was found to lower the IR/1000 for boys without a statistical difference (p=0.101) compared to girls. Discussion: Football was the only sport showing a statistically significant difference in concussion incidence rate relative to other sports (within gender). Males were overall more likely to be concussed than females when football was included (1.8x), whereas concussion was more likely for females when football was excluded. While the significantly higher rate of concussion in football is not surprising because of the nature and rules of the sport, it is concerning that research has shown higher incidence of concussion in practices than games. Interestingly, findings indicate that girls’ sports are more concussive overall when football is removed. This appears to counter the common notion that boys’ sports are more physically taxing and dangerous. Future research should focus on understanding the concussive mechanisms of injury in each sport to enable effective rule changes.

Keywords: gender, football, soccer, traumatic brain injury

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