Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Mudassir Mukhtar

30 Analysis of Fixed Beamforming Algorithms for Smart Antenna Systems

Authors: Muhammad Umair Shahid, Abdul Rehman, Mudassir Mukhtar, Muhammad Nauman

Abstract:

The smart antenna is the prominent technology that has become known in recent years to meet the growing demands of wireless communications. In an overcrowded atmosphere, its application is growing gradually. A methodical evaluation of the performance of Fixed Beamforming algorithms for smart antennas such as Multiple Sidelobe Canceller (MSC), Maximum Signal-to-interference ratio (MSIR) and minimum variance (MVDR) has been comprehensively presented in this paper. Simulation results show that beamforming is helpful in providing optimized response towards desired directions. MVDR beamformer provides the most optimal solution.

Keywords: fixed weight beamforming, array pattern, signal to interference ratio, power efficiency, element spacing, array elements, optimum weight vector

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29 Antioxidant and Acute Toxicity of Stem Extracts of the Ficus Iteophylla

Authors: Muhammad Mukhtar

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The aim of this study is to evaluate the antioxidant activity and acute toxicity of the extracts of Ficus iteophylla by reactions with 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picryhydrazyl radical (DPPH) and method developed by Lork 1983, respectively. Stem bark of Ficus iteophylla was collected, air dried, pulverized to fine powdered and sequentially extracted using acetone, methanol and water in order of increasing polarity. The result shows strong radical scavenging activity against DPPH for all the extracts when compared with ascorbic acid. The LD50 of 316 mg/kg was calculated for all the three extras, and the values were found to be within the practically toxic range, and therefore, care should be taken when using the plants in traditional medicine.

Keywords: antioxidant, acute toxicity, Ficus iteophylla

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28 The Different Ways to Describe Regular Languages by Using Finite Automata and the Changing Algorithm Implementation

Authors: Abdulmajid Mukhtar Afat

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This paper aims at introducing finite automata theory, the different ways to describe regular languages and create a program to implement the subset construction algorithms to convert nondeterministic finite automata (NFA) to deterministic finite automata (DFA). This program is written in c++ programming language. The program reads FA 5tuples from text file and then classifies it into either DFA or NFA. For DFA, the program will read the string w and decide whether it is acceptable or not. If accepted, the program will save the tracking path and point it out. On the other hand, when the automation is NFA, the program will change the Automation to DFA so that it is easy to track and it can decide whether the w exists in the regular language or not.

Keywords: finite automata, subset construction, DFA, NFA

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27 Using ε Value in Describe Regular Languages by Using Finite Automata, Operation on Languages and the Changing Algorithm Implementation

Authors: Abdulmajid Mukhtar Afat

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This paper aims at introducing nondeterministic finite automata with ε value which is used to perform some operations on languages. a program is created to implement the algorithm that converts nondeterministic finite automata with ε value (ε-NFA) to deterministic finite automata (DFA).The program is written in c++ programming language. The program inputs are FA 5-tuples from text file and then classifies it into either DFA/NFA or ε -NFA. For DFA, the program will get the string w and decide whether it is accepted or rejected. The tracking path for an accepted string is saved by the program. In case of NFA or ε-NFA automation, the program changes the automation to DFA to enable tracking and to decide if the string w exists in the regular language or not.

Keywords: DFA, NFA, ε-NFA, eclose, finite automata, operations on languages

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26 A Problem-Based Learning Approach in a Writing Classroom: Tutors’ Experiences and Perceptions

Authors: Muhammad Mukhtar Aliyu

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This study investigated tutors’ experiences and perceptions of a problem-based learning approach (PBL) in a writing classroom. The study involved two Nigerian lecturers who facilitated an intact class of second-year students in an English composition course for the period of 12 weeks. Semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data of the study. The lecturers were interviewed before and after the implementation of the PBL process. The overall findings of the study show that the lecturers had positive perceptions of the use of PBL in a writing classroom. Specifically, the findings reveal the lecturers’ positive experiences and perception of the group activities. Finally, the paper gives some pedagogical implications which would give insight for better implementation of the PBL approach.

Keywords: experiences and perception, Nigeria, problem-based learning approach, writing classroom

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25 Electroencephalogram Signals Controlling a Parallax Boe-Bot Robot

Authors: Nema M. Salem, Hanan A. Altukhaifi, Amal Mukhtar, Reemaz K. Hetaimish

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Recently, BCI field of research has gained a lot of interest. Apart from motor neuroprosthetics, many studies showed the possibility of controlling a virtual environment of a videogame using the acquired electroencephalogram signals (EEG) from the gamer. In addition, another study had successfully moved a farm tractor using the human’s EEG signals. This article utilizes the use of EEG signals, as a source of technology, in controlling a Parallax Boe-Bot robot. The commercial Emotive Epoc headset has been used in acquiring the EEG signals from rested subjects. Because the human's visual cortex can successfully differentiate between different colors, the red and green colors are used as visual stimuli for generating EEG signals using the Epoc. Arduino and Labview are used to translate the virtually pressed keys into instructions controlling the motion and rotation of the robot. Optimistic results have been achieved except for minor delay and accuracy in the robot’s response.

Keywords: BCI, Emotiv Epoc headset, EEG, Labview, Arduino applications, robot

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24 Supply Chain Competitiveness with the Perspective of Service Performance Between Supply Chain Actors and Functions: A Theoretical Model

Authors: Umer Mukhtar

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Supply Chain Competitiveness is the capability of a supply chain to deliver value to the customer for the sake of competitive advantage. Service Performance and Quality intervene between supply chain actors including functions inside the firm in a significant way for the supply chain to achieve a competitive position in the market to gain competitive advantage. Supply Chain competitiveness is the current issue of interest because of supply chains’ competition for competitive advantage rather than firms’. A proposed theoretical model is developed by extracting and integrating different theories to pursue further inquiry based on case studies and survey design. It is also intended to develop a scale of service performance for functions of the focal firm that is a revolving center for a whole supply chain.

Keywords: supply chain competitiveness, service performance in supply chain, service quality in supply chain, competitive advantage by supply chain, networks and supply chain, customer value, value supply chain, value chain

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23 Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities: Using Wastewater and Urban Wetlands as Resource

Authors: Hussnain Mukhtar, Yu-Pin Lin

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This paper deals with the concept of ecologically engineered system for sustainable agriculture production with the view of sustainable cities development. Sustainable cities offer numerous eco-services to its inhabitants, and where, among other issues, wastewater nutrients can be considered to be a valuable resource to be used for a sustainable enhancement of urban agriculture in wetlands. Existing cities can be transferred from being only consumer of food and other agriculture product into important resource conserving and sustainable generators of these products. The review provides the food production capacity through introduction of wastewater into urban wetlands, potential for nutrient recovery and ecological engineering intervention to reduce the risk of food contamination by pathogens. Finally, we discuss the potential nutrients accumulating in our cities, as an important aspect of sustainable urban development.

Keywords: ecological engineering, nutrient recovery, pathogens, urban agriculture, wetlands

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22 Validity and Reliability of Competency Assessment Implementation (CAI) Instrument Using Rasch Model

Authors: Nurfirdawati Muhamad Hanafi, Azmanirah Ab Rahman, Marina Ibrahim Mukhtar, Jamil Ahmad, Sarebah Warman

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This study was conducted to generate empirical evidence on validity and reliability of the item of Competency Assessment Implementation (CAI) Instrument using Rasch Model for polythomous data aided by Winstep software version 3.68. The construct validity was examined by analyzing the point-measure correlation index (PTMEA), in fit and outfit MNSQ values; meanwhile the reliability was examined by analyzing item reliability index. A survey technique was used as the major method with the CAI instrument on 156 teachers from vocational schools. The results have shown that the reliability of CAI Instrument items were between 0.80 and 0.98. PTMEA Correlation is in positive values, in which the item is able to distinguish between the ability of the respondent. Statistical data obtained shows that out of 154 items, 12 items from the instrument suggested to be omitted. This study is hoped could bring a new direction to the process of data analysis in educational research.

Keywords: competency assessment, reliability, validity, item analysis

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21 Assessment and Evaluation of Football Performance

Authors: Bulus Kpame, Mukhtar Mohammed Alhaji, Garba Jibril

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In any team sport, the most important variables that should be used to measure performance are physical condition, and technical and tactical performance. In a complex game like football, it is extremely difficult to measure the relative importance of each of these variables. However, physical fitness itself has been shown to consist of several components, like endurance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination and speed. Each of these components has been shown to consist of several subcomponents. This paper attempts to describe a test battery to assess and evaluate physical performance in football players. This battery comprises a functional, structured training session of about 2.5hrs. it consists of quality rating of the warm-up procedure, tests of flexibility, football skills, power, speed, and endurance. Acceptable values for performance in each of the tests are also presented under each test. It is hoped that this battery of tests will be helpful to the coach in determining the effect of a specific training program. It would also be helpful to train physician and trainer, to monitor progress during rehabilitation after sustaining any injury.

Keywords: assessment, evaluation, performance, programs

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20 Flow Field Analysis of Different Intake Bump (Compression Surface) Configurations on a Supersonic Aircraft

Authors: Mudassir Ghafoor, Irsalan Arif, Shuaib Salamat

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This paper presents modeling and analysis of different intake bump (compression surface) configurations and comparison with an existing supersonic aircraft having bump intake configuration. Many successful aircraft models have shown that Diverter less Supersonic Inlet (DSI) as compared to conventional intake can reduce weight, complexity and also maintenance cost. The research is divided into two parts. In the first part, four different intake bumps are modeled for comparative analysis keeping in view the consistency of outer perimeter dimensions of fighter aircraft and various characteristics such as flow behavior, boundary layer diversion and pressure recovery are analyzed. In the second part, modeled bumps are integrated with intake duct for performance analysis and comparison with existing supersonic aircraft data is carried out. The bumps are named as uniform large (Config 1), uniform small (Config 2), uniform sharp (Config 3), non-uniform (Config 4) based on their geometric features. Analysis is carried out at different Mach Numbers to analyze flow behavior in subsonic and supersonic regime. Flow behavior, boundary layer diversion and Pressure recovery are examined for each bump characteristics, and comparative study is carried out. The analysis reveals that at subsonic speed, Config 1 and Config 2 give similar pressure recoveries as diverterless supersonic intake, but difference in pressure recoveries becomes significant at supersonic speed. It was concluded from research that Config 1 gives better results as compared to Config 3. Also, higher amplitude (Config 1) is preferred over lower (Config 2 and 4). It was observed that maximum height of bump is preferred to be placed near cowl lip of intake duct.

Keywords: bump intake, boundary layer, computational fluid dynamics, diverter-less supersonic inlet

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19 Weathering of a Calcarenite Stone in the Archaeological Site of Volubilis – Morocco

Authors: Issam Aalil, Kevin Beck, Khalid Cherkaoui, Xavier Brunetaud, Ali Chaaba, Muzahim Al-Mukhtar

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Volubilis is the most important archaeological site in Morocco. It was founded in the 3rd century B.C about thirty kilometres north of Meknes and has been registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1997. The site is located in a region where reigns the semi-arid continental climate, characterized by strong thermal amplitudes. A beige-yellowish calcarenite limestone is the most largely used on Volubilis site, representing about 60% of the total volume of building stones. This limestone is mainly affected by scaling and sanding according to field observations. In order to preserve monuments of this site, characterization of calcarenite weathering is essential. This work aims at investigating the nature of the dominant weathering. For this goal, mineralogical compositions of deteriorated and fresh samples are compared. Besides, the risk of damage by thermal stresses is estimated. The results of this study show that there is no major difference observed between the mineralogy of the fresh and weathered calcarenite samples. Otherwise, thermal stresses may have an important role in the weathering of calcarenite limestone by fatigue.

Keywords: characterisation, stone, thermal stresses, Volubilis, weathering

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18 An Improved Tracking Approach Using Particle Filter and Background Subtraction

Authors: Amir Mukhtar, Dr. Likun Xia

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An improved, robust and efficient visual target tracking algorithm using particle filtering is proposed. Particle filtering has been proven very successful in estimating non-Gaussian and non-linear problems. In this paper, the particle filter is used with color feature to estimate the target state with time. Color distributions are applied as this feature is scale and rotational invariant, shows robustness to partial occlusion and computationally efficient. The performance is made more robust by choosing the different (YIQ) color scheme. Tracking is performed by comparison of chrominance histograms of target and candidate positions (particles). Color based particle filter tracking often leads to inaccurate results when light intensity changes during a video stream. Furthermore, background subtraction technique is used for size estimation of the target. The qualitative evaluation of proposed algorithm is performed on several real-world videos. The experimental results demonstrate that the improved algorithm can track the moving objects very well under illumination changes, occlusion and moving background.

Keywords: tracking, particle filter, histogram, corner points, occlusion, illumination

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17 Assessing the Role of Human Mobility on Malaria Transmission in South Sudan

Authors: A. Y. Mukhtar, J. B. Munyakazi, R. Ouifki

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Over the past few decades, the unprecedented increase in mobility has raised considerable concern about the relationship between mobility and vector-borne diseases and malaria in particular. Thus, one can claim that human mobility is one of the contributing factors to the resurgence of malaria. To assess human mobility on malaria burden among hosts, we formulate a movement-based model on a network of patches. We then extend human multi-group SEIAR deterministic epidemic models into a system of stochastic differential equations (SDEs). Our quantitative stochastic model which is expressed in terms of average rates of movement between compartments is fitted to time-series data (weekly malaria data of 2011 for each patch) using the maximum likelihood approach. Using the metapopulation (multi-group) model, we compute and analyze the basic reproduction number. The result shows that human movement is sufficient to preserve malaria disease firmness in the patches with the low transmission. With these results, we concluded that the sensitivity of malaria to the human mobility is turning to be greatly important over the implications of future malaria control in South Sudan.

Keywords: basic reproduction number, malaria, maximum likelihood, movement, stochastic model

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16 JENOSYS: Application of a Web-Based Online Energy Performance Reporting Tool for Government Buildings in Malaysia

Authors: Norhayati Mat Wajid, Abdul Murad Zainal Abidin, Faiz Fadzil, Mohd Yusof Aizad Mukhtar

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One of the areas that present an opportunity to reduce the national carbon emission is the energy management of public buildings. To our present knowledge, there is no easy-to-use and centralized mechanism that enables the government to monitor the overall energy performance, as well as the carbon footprint, of Malaysia’s public buildings. Therefore, the Public Works Department Malaysia, or PWD, has developed a web-based energy performance reporting tool called JENOSYS (JKR Energy Online System), which incorporates a database of utility account numbers acquired from the utility service provider for analysis and reporting. For test case purposes, 23 buildings under PWD were selected and monitored for their monthly energy performance (in kWh), carbon emission reduction (in tCO₂eq) and utility cost (in MYR), against the baseline. This paper demonstrates the simplicity with which buildings without energy metering can be monitored centrally and the benefits that can be accrued by the government in terms of building energy disclosure and concludes with the recommendation of expanding the system to all the public buildings in Malaysia.

Keywords: energy-efficient buildings, energy management systems, government buildings, JENOSYS

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15 Genetic Association of SIX6 Gene with Pathogenesis of Glaucoma

Authors: Riffat Iqbal, Sidra Ihsan, Andleeb Batool, Maryam Mukhtar

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Glaucoma is a gathering of optic neuropathies described by dynamic degeneration of retinal ganglionic cells. It is clinically and innately heterogenous illness containing a couple of particular forms each with various causes and severities. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most generally perceived kind of glaucoma. This study investigated the genetic association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs10483727 and rs33912345) at the SIX1/SIX6 locus with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in the Pakistani population. The SIX6 gene plays an important role in ocular development and has been associated with morphology of the optic nerve. A total of 100 patients clinically diagnosed with glaucoma and 100 control individuals of age over 40 were enrolled in the study. Genomic DNA was extracted by organic extraction method. The SNP genotyping was done by (i) PCR based restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequencing method. Significant genetic associations were observed for rs10483727 (risk allele T) and rs33912345 (risk allele C) with POAG. Hence, it was concluded that Six6 gene is genetically associated with pathogenesis of Glaucoma in Pakistan.

Keywords: genotyping, Pakistani population, primary open-angle glaucoma, SIX6 gene

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

Authors: Sumaira Mukhtar

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

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

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13 Screening the Best Integrated Pest Management Treatments against Helicoverpa armigera

Authors: Ajmal Khan Kassi, Humayun Javed, Tariq Mukhtar

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The research was conducted to screen out resistance and susceptibility of okra varieties against Helicoverpa armigera under field conditions 2016. In this experiment, the different management practices viz. release Trichogramma chilonis, hoeing, and weeding, clipping, and lufenuron were tested individually and with all possible combinations for the controlling of American bollworm at 3 diverse localities viz. University research farm Koont, National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) and farmer field Taxila by using resistant variety Arka Anamika. All the treatment combinations regarding damage of shoot and fruit showed significant results. The minimum fruit infestation, i.e., 3.20% and 3.58% was recorded with combined treatment (i.e., T. chilonis + hoeing + weeding + lufenuron) in two different localities. The minimum shoot infestation, i.e., 7.18%, 7.08%, and 6.85% was also observed with (T. chilonis + hoeing + weeding + lufenuron) combined treatment at all three different localities. The above-combined treatment (T. chilonis + hoeing + weeding + lufenuron) also resulted in maximum yield at NARC and Taxila, i.e., 57.67 and 62.66 q/ha respectively. On the basis of combined treatment (i.e., T. chilonis + hoeing + weeding + lufenuron) in three different localities, Arka Anamika variety proved to be comparatively resistant against H. armigera. So this variety is recommended for the cultivation in Pothwar region to get maximum yield and minimum losses against H. armigera.

Keywords: okra, screening, combine treatment, Helicoverpa armigera

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12 Streptavidin-Biotin Attachment on Modified Silicon Nanowires

Authors: Shalini Singh, Sanjay K. Srivastava, Govind, Mukhtar. A. Khan, P. K. Singh

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Nanotechnology is revolutionizing the development of biosensors. Nanomaterials and nanofabrication technologies are increasingly being used to design novel biosensors. Sensitivity and other attributes of biosensors can be improved by using nanomaterials with unique chemical, physical, and mechanical properties in their construction. Silicon is a promising biomaterial that is non-toxic and biodegradable and can be exploited in chemical and biological sensing. Present study demonstrated the streptavidin–biotin interaction on silicon surfaces with different topographies such as flat and nanostructured silicon (nanowires) surfaces. Silicon nanowires with wide range of surface to volume ratio were prepared by electrochemical etching of silicon wafer. The large specific surface of silicon nanowires can be chemically modified to link different molecular probes (DNA strands, enzymes, proteins and so on), which recognize the target analytes, in order to enhance the selectivity and specificity of the sensor device. The interaction of streptavidin with biotin was carried out on 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTS) functionalized silicon surfaces. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) studies have been performed to characterize the surface characteristics to ensure the protein attachment. Silicon nanowires showed the enhance protein attachment, as compared to flat silicon surface due to its large surface area and good molecular penetration to its surface. The methodology developed herein could be generalized to a wide range of protein-ligand interactions, since it is relatively easy to conjugate biotin with diverse biomolecules such as antibodies, enzymes, peptides, and nucleotides.

Keywords: FTIR, silicon nanowires, streptavidin-biotin, XPS

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11 Opinion Mining to Extract Community Emotions on Covid-19 Immunization Possible Side Effects

Authors: Yahya Almurtadha, Mukhtar Ghaleb, Ahmed M. Shamsan Saleh

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The world witnessed a fierce attack from the Covid-19 virus, which affected public life socially, economically, healthily and psychologically. The world's governments tried to confront the pandemic by imposing a number of precautionary measures such as general closure, curfews and social distancing. Scientists have also made strenuous efforts to develop an effective vaccine to train the immune system to develop antibodies to combat the virus, thus reducing its symptoms and limiting its spread. Artificial intelligence, along with researchers and medical authorities, has accelerated the vaccine development process through big data processing and simulation. On the other hand, one of the most important negatives of the impact of Covid 19 was the state of anxiety and fear due to the blowout of rumors through social media, which prompted governments to try to reassure the public with the available means. This study aims to proposed using Sentiment Analysis (AKA Opinion Mining) and deep learning as efficient artificial intelligence techniques to work on retrieving the tweets of the public from Twitter and then analyze it automatically to extract their opinions, expression and feelings, negatively or positively, about the symptoms they may feel after vaccination. Sentiment analysis is characterized by its ability to access what the public post in social media within a record time and at a lower cost than traditional means such as questionnaires and interviews, not to mention the accuracy of the information as it comes from what the public expresses voluntarily.

Keywords: deep learning, opinion mining, natural language processing, sentiment analysis

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10 Demographic Factors Influence on Awareness of Islamic Financing among Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Entrepreneurs in the North East Region of Nigeria

Authors: Bashir Ahmad, Daneji, Hamidu Aminu, Ahmad, Aliyu Mukhtar, Daneji, Haruna Mohammed

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It has been established and universally agreed that vibrant Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play significant roles in economic growth and development. In Nigeria, MSMEs are not playing the expected roles. Notable among the plethora of reasons is lack of prompt and sufficient finance. Government and other stakeholders attempted in several ways at different times to provide the required finance to MSMEs but the results were not encouraging and consequently, many failed. In recent past, Islamic financing emerged world over as promising alternative source of financing. However, its awareness among MSMEs entrepreneurs in north east region of Nigeria stands to be questioned. This study explored the 'Demographic Factors Influence on Awareness of Islamic Financing among MSMEs entrepreneurs in the North East Region of Nigeria'. The primary data used in this study were collected through questionnaire. In analyzing the collected data, the study used frequency, percentages, Pearson correlation, ANOVA and test of homogeneity test (Levene’s test) parameters generated from SPSS (version 15). The findings of the study revealed that entrepreneurs’ age, state of origin, religion and educational level influence their MSMEs awareness of Islamic Financing in the north east region of Nigeria. The study recommended that Islamic Financing institutions, government and relevant agencies should do more to enhance the awareness of Islamic financing among MSMEs entrepreneurs in the north east region of Nigeria.

Keywords: awareness, demographic factors, entrepreneurs, Islamic financing

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9 Modeling Factors Influencing Online Shopping Intention among Consumers in Nigeria: A Proposed Framework

Authors: Abubakar Mukhtar Yakasai, Muhammad Tahir Jan

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Purpose: This paper is aimed at exploring factors influencing online shopping intention among the young consumers in Nigeria. Design/Methodology/approach: The paper adopted and extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as the basis for literature review. Additionally, the paper proposed a framework with the inclusion of culture as a moderating factor of consumer online shopping intention among consumers in Nigeria. Findings: Despite high rate of internet penetration in Nigerian, as well as the rapid advancement of online shopping in the world, little attention was paid to this important revolution specifically among Nigeria’s consumers. Based on the review of extant literature, the TAM extended to include perceived risk and enjoyment (PR and PE) was discovered to be a better alternative framework for predicting Nigeria’s young consumers’ online shopping intention. The moderating effect of culture in the proposed model is shown to help immensely in ascertaining differences, if any, between various cultural groups among online shoppers in Nigeria. Originality/ value: The critical analysis of different factors will assist practitioners (like online retailers, e-marketing managers, website developers, etc.) by signifying which combinations of factors can best predict consumer online shopping behaviour in particular instances, thereby resulting in effective value delivery. Online shopping is a newly adopted technology in Nigeria, hence the paper will give a clear focus for effective e-marketing strategy. In addition, the proposed framework in this paper will guide future researchers by providing a tool for systematic evaluation and testing of real empirical situation of online shopping in Nigeria.

Keywords: online shopping, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment, technology acceptance model, Nigeria

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8 The Roles of Muslims Scholars in Minifying Religious Extremism for Religious Tolerance and Peace Building in Nigeria

Authors: Mukhtar Sarkin-Kebbi

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Insurgency, religious extremism and other related religious crises become hydra-headed in Nigeria, which caused destruction of human lives and properties worth of billions naira. As result, millions people were displaced and million children were out of school most of whom from Muslims community. The wrong teaching and misinterpretation of Islam by some Muslim community fuel the spread of extremist ideology hatred among Muslim sects, non-Muslims and emergency of extremist groups, like Boko Haram. A multi-religious country like Nigeria to realise its development in all human aspects, there must be unity and religious tolerance. Many agreed that changing the ideologies of insurgents and religious extremism will require intellectual role with vigorous campaign. Muslim scholars can play a vital role in promoting social reform and peaceful coexistence. This paper discusses the importance of unity among Muslim community and religious tolerance in light of the Qur’an and the Hadith. The paper also reviews the relationship between Muslims and non Muslims during the life time the Prophet (S.A.W.) in order to serve as exemplary model. Contemporary issues such as religious extremism, sectarians, intolerance and their consequences were examined. To minify religious intolerance and extremism,the paper identifies the roles to be played by Muslim scholars with references from Qur’an and Sunnah. The paper concludes that to realise overall human development and eternal salvation, Muslim should shun away from any religious crises and embrace unity and religious tolerance. Finally the paper recommends among others that only pious and learned scholars should be allowed to preach in any religious gathering, Muslim should exercise patience, tolerance in dealing with Muslims and non Muslims. Muslims should leave by example from the teaching of Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A.W.).

Keywords: Muslim scholars, peace building, religious extremism, religious tolerance

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7 Implications of Humanizing Pedagogy on Learning Design in a Technology-Enhanced Language Learning Environment: Critical Reflections on Student Identity and Agency

Authors: Mukhtar Raban

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Nelson Mandela University subscribes to a humanizing pedagogy (HP), as housed under broader critical pedagogy, that underpins and informs learning and teaching activities at the institution. The investigation sought to explore the implications of humanizing and critical pedagogical considerations for a technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) environment in a university course. The paper inquires into the design of a learning resource in an online learning environment of an English communication module, that applied HP principles. With an objective of creating agentive spaces for foregrounding identity, student voice, critical self-reflection, and recognition of others’ humanity; a flexible and open 'My Presence' feature was added to the TELL environment that allowed students and lecturers to share elements of their backgrounds in a ‘mutually vulnerable’ manner as a way of establishing digital identity and a more ‘human’ presence in the online language learning encounter, serving as a catalyst for the recognition of the ‘other’. Following a qualitative research design, the study adopted an auto-ethnographic approach, complementing the critical inquiry nature embedded into the activity’s practices. The study’s findings provide critical reflections and deductions on the possibilities of leveraging digital human expression within a humanizing pedagogical framework to advance the realization of HP-adoption in language learning and teaching encounters. It was found that the consideration of humanizing pedagogical principles in the design of online learning was more effective when the critical outcomes were explicated to students and lecturers prior to the completion of the activities. The integration of humanizing pedagogy also led to a contextual advancement of ‘affective’ language learning. Upon critical reflection and analysis, student identity and agency can flourish in a technology-enhanced learning environment when humanizing, and critical pedagogy influences the learning design.

Keywords: critical reflection, humanizing pedagogy, student identity, technology-enhanced language learning

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6 Developing and Enacting a Model for Institutional Implementation of the Humanizing Pedagogy: Case Study of Nelson Mandela University

Authors: Mukhtar Raban

Abstract:

As part of Nelson Mandela University’s journey of repositioning its learning and teaching agenda, the university adopted and foregrounded a humanizing pedagogy-aligning with institutional goals of critically transforming the academic project. The university established the Humanizing Pedagogy Praxis and Research Niche (HPPRN) as a centralized hub for coordinating institutional work exploring and advancing humanizing pedagogies and tasked the unit with developing and enacting a model for humanizing pedagogy exploration. This investigation endeavored to report on the development and enactment of a model that sought to institutionalize a humanizing pedagogy at a South African university. Having followed a qualitative approach, the investigation presents the case study of Nelson Mandela University’s HPPRN and the model it subsequently established and enacted for the advancement towards a more common institutional understanding, interpretation and application of the humanizing pedagogy. The study adopted an interpretive lens for analysis, complementing the qualitative approach of the investigation. The primary challenge that confronted the HPPRN was the development of a ‘living model’ that had to complement existing institutional initiatives while accommodating a renewed spirit of critical reflection, innovation and research of continued and new humanizing pedagogical exploration and applications. The study found that the explicit consideration of tenets of humanizing and critical pedagogies in underpinning and framing the HPPRN Model contributed to the sense of ‘lived’ humanizing pedagogy experiences during enactment. The multi-leveled inclusion of critical reflection in the development and enactment stages was found to further the processes of praxis employed at the university, which is integral to the advancement of humanizing and critical pedagogies. The development and implementation of a model that seeks to institutionalize the humanizing pedagogy at a university rely not only on sound theoretical conceptualization but also on the ‘richness of becoming more human’ explicitly expressed and encountered in praxes and application.

Keywords: humanizing pedagogy, critical pedagogy, institutional implementation, praxis

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5 Cotton Fiber Quality Improvement by Introducing Sucrose Synthase (SuS) Gene into Gossypium hirsutum L.

Authors: Ahmad Ali Shahid, Mukhtar Ahmed

Abstract:

The demand for long staple fiber having better strength and length is increasing with the introduction of modern spinning and weaving industry in Pakistan. Work on gene discovery from developing cotton fibers has helped to identify dozens of genes that take part in cotton fiber development and several genes have been characterized for their role in fiber development. Sucrose synthase (SuS) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of sucrose in a plant cell, in cotton fiber it catalyzes a reversible reaction, but preferentially converts sucrose and UDP into fructose and UDP-glucose. UDP-glucose (UDPG) is a nucleotide sugar act as a donor for glucose residue in many glycosylation reactions and is essential for the cytosolic formation of sucrose and involved in the synthesis of cell wall cellulose. The study was focused on successful Agrobacterium-mediated stable transformation of SuS gene in pCAMBIA 1301 into cotton under a CaMV35S promoter. Integration and expression of the gene were confirmed by PCR, GUS assay, and real-time PCR. Young leaves of SuS overexpressing lines showed increased total soluble sugars and plant biomass as compared to non-transgenic control plants. Cellulose contents from fiber were significantly increased. SEM analysis revealed that fibers from transgenic cotton were highly spiral and fiber twist number increased per unit length when compared with control. Morphological data from field plants showed that transgenic plants performed better in field conditions. Incorporation of genes related to cotton fiber length and quality can provide new avenues for fiber improvement. The utilization of this technology would provide an efficient import substitution and sustained production of long-staple fiber in Pakistan to fulfill the industrial requirements.

Keywords: agrobacterium-mediated transformation, cotton fiber, sucrose synthase gene, staple length

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4 Surveillance of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in Pet, Game and Free Flying Birds

Authors: Shamas Ul Hassan, Nasir Mukhtar, Sajjad Ur Rehman, Asghar Ali Mian, Iftikhar Hussain, Muhammad Safdar Anjum

Abstract:

The Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is the major cause of economic looses in birds which is transmitted by free flying birds in the environment. These demands for improving the biosecurity measures at farm level including proper disposal of farm mortality and other wastes along with the inclusion of zoos and wild life parks in the MG surveillance programme. For the purpose of doing surveillance of MG in different pet, game and free flying birds a total of 12 samples each of peacocks, pheasants, ducks, pigeons, parrots, and house crows were included in the first ever study of its nature in Pakistan. During the study, the relevant samples along with recording clinical and postmortem findings were subjected to sero-prevalence, culture isolation and PCR system. Further PCR being more sensitive proves to be a better epidemiological tool. Seropositive findings revealed in peacocks, pheasants, ducks, pigeons, parrots, and crows were 66.7%, 58.3%, 41.7%, 41.7%, 16.7% and 16.7% respectively with some free flying birds giving ambiguous reactions. Whereas in the same order the culture/isolation positive results were recorded as 25%, 16.7%, 8.3%, 16.7%, 16.7%, and 25%. The samples were further confirmed on the basis of 732 bp product in PCR system. High rate of prevalence of MG in the pet, game and free flying birds regardless to their clinical findings demands to improve the biosecurity measures at the farm level with the minimum interaction of these birds with commercial poultry. Further the proper and timely disposal of all sorts of carcasses contaminated litter and wasted feed in such ways that the free flying birds are denied of picking up at those wastages. Moreover, MG surveillance system including the advances diagnostic techniques in wildlife parks and zoos be devised with proper timely preventive and therapeutic measures. The study proves that a variety of birds other then chicken either with or without clinical exhibitions carry MG organism which could be the potential source of infection for commercial poultry. The routine surveillance will be done to reduce the economic losses in poultry production.

Keywords: epidemiology, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), free flying birds, surveillance, PCR

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3 A Systematic Review of the Psychometric Properties of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assessment Tools in Adolescents with Complex Communication Needs

Authors: Nadwah Onwi, Puspa Maniam, Azmawanie A. Aziz, Fairus Mukhtar, Nor Azrita Mohamed Zin, Nurul Haslina Mohd Zin, Nurul Fatehah Ismail, Mohamad Safwan Yusoff, Susilidianamanalu Abd Rahman, Siti Munirah Harris, Maryam Aizuddin

Abstract:

Objective: Malaysia has a growing number of individuals with complex communication needs (CCN). The initiation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention may facilitate individuals with CCN to understand and express themselves optimally and actively participate in activities in their daily life. AAC is defined as multimodal use of communication ability to allow individuals to use every mode possible to communicate with others using a set of symbols or systems that may include the symbols, aids, techniques, and strategies. It is consequently critical to evaluate the deficits to inform treatment for AAC intervention. However, no known measurement tools are available to evaluate the user with CCN available locally. Design: A systematic review (SR) is designed to analyze the psychometric properties of AAC assessment for adolescents with CCN published in peer-reviewed journals. Tools are rated by the methodological quality of studies and the psychometric measurement qualities of each tool. Method: A literature search identifying AAC assessment tools with psychometrically robust properties and conceptual framework was considered. Two independent reviewers screened the abstracts and full-text articles and review bibliographies for further references. Data were extracted using standardized forms and study risk of bias was assessed. Result: The review highlights the psychometric properties of AAC assessment tools that can be used by speech-language therapists applicable to be used in the Malaysian context. The work outlines how systematic review methods may be applied to the consideration of published material that provides valuable data to initiate the development of Malay Language AAC assessment tools. Conclusion: The synthesis of evidence has provided a framework for Malaysia Speech-Language therapists in making an informed decision for AAC intervention in our standard operating procedure in the Ministry of Health, Malaysia.

Keywords: augmentative and alternative communication, assessment, adolescents, complex communication needs

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2 Evaluation of Zr/NH₄ClO₄ and Zr/KClO₄ Compositions for Development of Igniter for Ammonium Perchlorate and Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene Based Base Bleed System

Authors: Amir Mukhtar, Habib Nasir

Abstract:

To achieve an enhanced range of large calibre artillery a base bleed unit equipped with ammonium perchlorate and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (AP/HTPB) based composite propellant grain is installed at the bottom of a projectile which produces jet of hot gasses and reduces base drag during flight of the projectile. Upon leaving the muzzle at very high muzzle velocity, due to sudden pressure drop, the propellant grain gets quenched. Therefore, base-bleed unit is equipped with an igniter to ensure ignition as well as reignition of the propellant grain. Pyrotechnic compositions based on Zr/NH₄ClO₄ and Zr/KClO₄ mixtures have been studied for the effect of fuel/oxidizer ratio and oxidizer type on ballistic properties. Calorific values of mixtures were investigated by bomb calorimeter, the average burning rate was measured by fuse wire technique at ambient conditions, and high-pressure closed vessel was used to record pressure-time profile, maximum pressure achieved (Pmax), time to achieve Pmax and differential pressure (dP/dt). It was observed that the 30, 40, 50 and 60 wt.% of Zr has a very significant effect on ballistic properties of mixtures. Compositions with NH₄ClO₄ produced higher values of Pmax, dP/dt and Calorific value as compared to Zr/KClO₄ based mixtures. Composition containing KClO₄ comparatively produced higher burning rate and maximum burning rate was recorded at 8.30 mm/s with 60 wt.% Zr in Zr/KClO₄ pyrotechnic mixture. Zr/KClO₄ with 50 wt. % of Zr was tests fired in igniter assembly by electric initiation method. Igniter assembly was test fired several times and average burning time of 3.5 sec with igniter mass burning rate of 6.85 g/sec was recorded. Igniter was finally fired on static and dynamic level with base bleed unit which gave successful ignition to the base bleed grain and extended range was achieved with 155 mm artillery projectile.

Keywords: base bleed, closed vessel, igniter, zirconium

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1 Peculiar Mineralogical and Chemical Evolution of Contaminated Igneous Rocks at a Gabbro-Carbonate Contact, Wadai Bayhan, Yemen

Authors: Murad Ali, Shoji Arai, Mohamed Khedr, Mukhtar Nasher, Shawki Nasr

Abstract:

The Wadi Bayhan area of southeastern Yemen is about 60 km NW of Al-Bayda city in the Al-Bayda uplift terrane at the southeast margin of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. Intrusion of alkali gabbro into carbonate rocks apparently produced an 8m to 10 m thick reaction zone at the contact. This had been identified as nepheline pyroxenite. We have observed this to be mineralogically zoned with calc-silicate assemblages (e.g. pyroxene, calcite, spinel, garnet and melilite). The presence of melilite implies a skarn. The sinuous embayed pyroxenite-skarn contact, the presence of skarn minerals in pyroxenite, and textural evidence for growth of calc-silicate skarn by replacement of both carbonate rocks and solid pyroxenite indicate that reaction involved assimilation of carbonate wall rock by magma and loss of Al and Si to the skarn. Textural relationships between minerals provide evidence for a metasomatic development of the skarn at the expense of the pyroxenite. This process, related to the circulation of fluids equilibrated with carbonates, is responsible for those pyroxenite-spinel (± calcite) skarns. The uneven modal distribution of euhedral pyroxenite and enveloping nepheline in pyroxenite, the restricted occurrence of alkali gabbro as dikes in pyroxenite and skarn and the leucocratic matrix of pyroxenite suggest that pyroxenite represents an accumulation of titanaugite cemented by an alkali-rich residual magma and that alkali gabbro represents a part of the residual contaminated magma that was squeezed out of the pyroxene crystal mush. Carbonate assimilation is modeled by reaction of calcite and magmatic plagioclase, which results in resorption of plagioclase, growth of pyroxene enriched in Ca, Fe, Ti, and Al, and solution of nepheline in residual contaminated magma. The composition of nepheline pyroxenite evolved by addition of Ca from dissolved carbonate rocks, loss of Al and Si to skarn, and local segregation of solid pyroxene and alkali gabbro magma. The predominance of pyroxenite among contaminated rocks and their restriction to a large zone along the intrusive contact provide little evidence for the genesis of a significant volume of alkaline magmatic surroundings by carbonate assimilation.

Keywords: Yemen, Wadi Bayhan, skarn, pyroxenite, carbonatite, metasomatic

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