Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Nuno Fouto

11 Industrial Ecology Perspectives of Food Supply Chains: A Framework of Analysis

Authors: Luciano Batista, Sylvia Saes, Nuno Fouto, Liam Fassam

Abstract:

This paper introduces the theoretical and methodological basis of an analytical framework conceived with the purpose of bringing industrial ecology perspectives into the core of the underlying disciplines supporting analyses in studies concerned with environmental sustainability aspects beyond the product cycle in a supply chain. Given the pressing challenges faced by the food sector, the framework focuses upon waste minimization through industrial linkages in food supply chains. The combination of industrial ecology practice with basic LCA elements, the waste hierarchy model, and the spatial scale of industrial symbiosis allows the standardization of qualitative analyses and associated outcomes. Such standardization enables comparative analysis not only between different stages of a supply chain, but also between different supply chains. The analytical approach proposed contributes more coherently to the wider circular economy aspiration of optimizing the flow of goods to get the most out of raw materials and cuts wastes to a minimum.

Keywords: Industrial Ecology, Industrial Symbiosis, Food Supply Chain, by-product synergy

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10 Correlates of Coping in Individuals with Tinnitus

Authors: Antonio Oliveira, Rute F. Meneses, Nuno Trigueiros-Cunha

Abstract:

Tinnitus is commonly defined as an aberrant perception of sound without external stimulus. It is a chronic condition, with consequences on the QOL. The coping strategies used were not always effective and coping was identified as a predictor of QOL in individuals with tinnitus, which reinforces the idea that in health the use of effective coping styles should be promoted. This work intend to verify relations between coping strategies assessed by BriefCope in subjects with tinnitus and variables such as gender, age and severity of tinnitus measured by THI and the Visual Analogue Scale and also hearing and hyperacusis. The results indicate that there are any statistically significant relationships between the variables assessed in relation to the results of BriefCope except in the Visual Analogue Scale. These results, indicating no relationship between almost all variables, reinforce the need for further study of coping strategies use by these patients.

Keywords: Tinnitus, Brief Cope, coping strategies, quality of live, THI

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9 Automatic Speech Recognition Systems Performance Evaluation Using Word Error Rate Method

Authors: João Rato, Nuno Costa

Abstract:

The human verbal communication is a two-way process which requires a mutual understanding that will result in some considerations. This kind of communication, also called dialogue, besides the supposed human agents it can also be performed between human agents and machines. The interaction between Men and Machines, by means of a natural language, has an important role concerning the improvement of the communication between each other. Aiming at knowing the performance of some speech recognition systems, this document shows the results of the accomplished tests according to the Word Error Rate evaluation method. Besides that, it is also given a set of information linked to the systems of Man-Machine communication. After this work has been made, conclusions were drawn regarding the Speech Recognition Systems, among which it can be mentioned their poor performance concerning the voice interpretation in noisy environments.

Keywords: Speech Recognition, Automatic Speech Recognition, man-machine conversation, spoken dialogue systems, word error rate

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8 From Conflicts to Synergies between Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change: The Case of Lisbon Downtown 2010-2030

Authors: Nuno M. Pereira

Abstract:

In the last thirty years, European cities have been addressing global climate change and its local impacts by implementing mitigation and adaptation strategies. Lisbon Downtown is no exception with 10 plans under implementation since 2010 with completion scheduled for 2030 valued 1 billion euros of public investment. However, the gap between mitigation and adaptation strategies is not yet sufficiently studied alongside with its nuances- vulnerability and risk mitigation, resilience and adaptation. In Lisbon Downtown, these plans are being implemented separately, therefore compromising the effectiveness of public investment. The research reviewed the common ground of mitigation and adaptation strategies of the theoretical framework and analyzed the current urban development actions in Lisbon Downtown in order to identify potential conflicts and synergies. The empirical fieldwork supported by a sounding board of experts has been developed during two years and the results suggest that the largest public investment in Lisbon on flooding mitigation will conflict with the new Cruise ship terminal and old Downton building stock, therefore increasing risk and vulnerability factors. The study concludes that the Lisbon Downtown blue infrastructure plan should be redesigned in some areas in a trans- disciplinary and holistic approach and that the current theoretical framework on climate change should focus more on mitigation and adaptation synergies articulating the gray, blue and green infrastructures, combining old knowledge tested by resilient communities and new knowledge emerging from the digital era.

Keywords: Climate Change, Mitigation, Conflict, Adaptation, Synergy, Lisbon Downtown

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7 Investigating the Impact of Job-Related and Organisational Factors on Employee Engagement: An Emotionally Relevant Approach Based on Psychological Climate and Organisational Emotional Intelligence (OEI)

Authors: Nuno Da Camara, Victor Dulewicz, Malcolm Higgs

Abstract:

Factors on employee engagement: In particular, although theorists have described the critical role of emotional cognition of the workplace environment as antecedents to employee engagement, empirical research on the impact of emotional cognition on employee engagement is limited. However, previous researchers have typically provided evidence of the link between emotional cognition of the workplace environment and workplace attitudes such as job satisfaction and organisational commitment. This study therefore aims to investigate the impact of emotional cognition of job, role, leader and organisation domains of the work environment – as represented by measures of psychological climate and organizational emotional intelligence (OEI) - on employee engagement. The research is based on a quantitative cross-sectional survey of employees in a UK charity organization (n=174). The research instruments applied include the psychological climate scale, the organisational emotional intelligence questionnaire (OEIQ) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). The data were analysed using hierarchical regression and partial least squares (PLS) analytical techniques. The results of the study show that both psychological climate and OEI, which represent emotional cognition of job, role, leader and organisation domains in the workplace are significant drivers of employee engagement. In particular, the study found that a sense of contribution and challenge at work are the strongest drivers of vigour, dedication and absorption and highlights the importance of emotionally relevant approaches in furthering our understanding of workplace engagement.

Keywords: Employee Engagement, organisational emotional intelligence, psychological climate, workplace attitudes

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6 Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Degradation of Ibuprofen in Ultrapure Water, Municipal and Pharmaceutical Industry Wastewaters Using a TiO2/UV-LED System

Authors: Nabil Jallouli, Luisa M. Pastrana-Martínez, Ana R. Ribeiro, Nuno F. F. Moreira, Joaquim L. Faria, Olfa Hentati, Adrián M. T. Silva, Mohamed Ksibi

Abstract:

Degradation and mineralization of ibuprofen (IBU) were investigated using Ultraviolet (UV) Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in TiO2 photocatalysis. Samples of ultrapure water (UP) and a secondary treated effluent of a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), both spiked with IBU, as well as a highly concentrated IBU (230 mgL-1) pharmaceutical industry wastewater (PIWW), were tested in the TiO2/UV-LED system. Three operating parameters, namely, pH, catalyst load and number of LEDs were optimized. The process efficiency was evaluated in terms of IBU removal using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). Additionally, the mineralization was investigated by determining the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content. The chemical structures of transformation products were proposed based on the data obtained using liquid chromatography with a high resolution mass spectrometer ion trap/time-of-flight (LC-MS-IT-TOF). A possible pathway of IBU degradation was accordingly proposed. Bioassays were performed using the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri to evaluate the potential acute toxicity of original and treated wastewaters. TiO2 heterogeneous photocatalysis was efficient to remove IBU from UP and from PIWW, and less efficient in treating the wastewater from the municipal WWTP. The acute toxicity decreased by ca. 40% after treatment, regardless of the studied matrix.

Keywords: Wastewaters, acute toxicity, ibuprofen, UV-LEDs

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5 An Integrated Experimental and Numerical Approach to Develop an Electronic Instrument to Study Apple Bruise Damage

Authors: Paula Pascoal-Faria, Ines Sousa, Rúben Pereira, Elodie Pinto, Miguel Belbut, Ana Rosa, Nuno Alves

Abstract:

Apple bruise damage from harvesting, handling, transporting and sorting is considered to be the major source of reduced fruit quality, resulting in loss of profits for the entire fruit industry. The three factors which can physically cause fruit bruising are vibration, compression load and impact, the latter being the most common source of bruise damage. Therefore, prediction of the level of damage, stress distribution and deformation of the fruits under external force has become a very important challenge. In this study, experimental and numerical methods were used to better understand the impact caused when an apple is dropped from different heights onto a plastic surface and a conveyor belt. Results showed that the extent of fruit damage is significantly higher for plastic surface, being dependent on the height. In order to support the development of a biomimetic electronic device for the determination of fruit damage, the mechanical properties of the apple fruit were determined using mechanical tests. Preliminary results showed different values for the Young’s modulus according to the zone of the apple tested. Along with the mechanical characterization of the apple fruit, the development of the first two prototypes is discussed and the integration of the results obtained to construct the final element model of the apple is presented. This work will help to reduce significantly the bruise damage of fruits or vegetables during the entire processing which will allow the introduction of exportation destines and consequently an increase in the economic profits in this sector.

Keywords: Apple, fruit damage, impact during crop and post-crop, mechanical characterization of the apple, numerical evaluation of fruit damage, electronic device

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4 Economic Decision Making under Cognitive Load: The Role of Numeracy and Financial Literacy

Authors: Vânia Costa, Nuno De Sá Teixeira, Ana C. Santos, Eduardo Santos

Abstract:

Financial literacy and numeracy have been regarded as paramount for rational household decision making in the increasing complexity of financial markets. However, financial decisions are often made under sub-optimal circumstances, including cognitive overload. The present study aims to clarify how financial literacy and numeracy, taken as relevant expert knowledge for financial decision-making, modulate possible effects of cognitive load. Participants were required to perform a choice between a sure loss or a gambling pertaining a financial investment, either with or without a competing memory task. Two experiments were conducted varying only the content of the competing task. In the first, the financial choice task was made while maintaining on working memory a list of five random letters. In the second, cognitive load was based upon the retention of six random digits. In both experiments, one of the items in the list had to be recalled given its serial position. Outcomes of the first experiment revealed no significant main effect or interactions involving cognitive load manipulation and numeracy and financial literacy skills, strongly suggesting that retaining a list of random letters did not interfere with the cognitive abilities required for financial decision making. Conversely, and in the second experiment, a significant interaction between the competing mnesic task and level of financial literacy (but not numeracy) was found for the frequency of choice of a gambling option. Overall, and in the control condition, both participants with high financial literacy and high numeracy were more prone to choose the gambling option. However, and when under cognitive load, participants with high financial literacy were as likely as their illiterate counterparts to choose the gambling option. This outcome is interpreted as evidence that financial literacy prevents intuitive risk-aversion reasoning only under highly favourable conditions, as is the case when no other task is competing for cognitive resources. In contrast, participants with higher levels of numeracy were consistently more prone to choose the gambling option in both experimental conditions. These results are discussed in the light of the opposition between classical dual-process theories and fuzzy-trace theories for intuitive decision making, suggesting that while some instances of expertise (as numeracy) are prone to support easily accessible gist representations, other expert skills (as financial literacy) depend upon deliberative processes. It is furthermore suggested that this dissociation between types of expert knowledge might depend on the degree to which they are generalizable across disparate settings. Finally, applied implications of the present study are discussed with a focus on how it informs financial regulators and the importance and limits of promoting financial literacy and general numeracy.

Keywords: Decision Making, Financial Literacy, Cognitive Load, numeracy

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3 Sentiment Analysis of Tourist Online Reviews Concerning Lisbon Cultural Patrimony, as a Contribute to the City Attractiveness Evaluation

Authors: Joao Ferreira Do Rosario, Maria De Lurdes Calisto, Ana Teresa Machado, Nuno Gustavo, Rui Gonçalves

Abstract:

The tourism sector is increasingly important to the economic performance of countries and a relevant theme to academic research, increasing the importance of understanding how and why tourists evaluate tourism locations. The city of Lisbon is currently a tourist destination of excellence in the European and world-wide panorama, registering a significant growth of the economic weight of its tourist activities in the Gross Added Value of the region. Although there is research on the feedback of those who visit tourist sites and different methodologies for studying tourist sites have been applied, this research seeks to be innovative in the objective of obtaining insights on the competitiveness in terms of attractiveness of the city of Lisbon as a tourist destination, based the feedback of tourists in the Facebook pages of the most visited museums and monuments of Lisbon, an interpretation that is relevant in the development of strategies of tourist attraction. The intangible dimension of the tourism offer, due to its unique condition of simultaneous production and consumption, makes eWOM particularly relevant. The testimony of consumers is thus a decisive factor in the decision-making and buying process in tourism. Online social networks are one of the most used platforms for tourists to evaluate the attractiveness's points of a tourism destination (e.g. cultural and historical heritage), with this user-generated feedback enabling relevant information about the customer-tourists. This information is related to the tourist experience representing the true voice of the customer. Furthermore, this voice perceived by others as genuine, opposite to marketing messages, may have a powerful word-of-mouth influence on other potential tourists. The relevance of online reviews sharing, however, becomes particularly complex, considering social media users’ different profiles or the possible and different sources of information available, as well as their associated reputation associated with each source. In the light of these trends, our research focuses on the tourists’ feedback on Facebook pages of the most visited museums and monuments of Lisbon that contribute to its attractiveness as a tourism destination. Sentiment Analysis is the methodology selected for this research, using public available information in the online context, which was deemed as an appropriate non-participatory observation method. Data will be collected from two museums (Museu dos Coches and Museu de Arte Antiga) and three monuments ((Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém and Panteão Nacional) Facebook pages during a period of one year. The research results will help in the evaluation of the considered places by the tourists, their contribution to the city attractiveness and present insights helpful for the management decisions regarding this museums and monuments. The results of this study will also contribute to a better knowledge of the tourism sector, namely the identification of attributes in the evaluation and choice of the city of Lisbon as a tourist destination. Further research will evaluate the Lisbon attraction points for tourists in different categories beyond museums and monuments, will also evaluate the tourist feedback from other sources like TripAdvisor and apply the same methodology in other cities and country regions.

Keywords: Opinion mining, sentiment analysis, Lisbon tourism, tourism location attractiveness evaluation

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2 [email protected]: Birdwatching Augmented Reality Mobile Application

Authors: Jose A. C. Venancio, Alexandrino J. M. Goncalves, Anabela Marto, Nuno C. S. Rodrigues, Rita M. T. Ascenso

Abstract:

Nowadays, it is common to find people who are concerned about getting away from the everyday life routine, looking forward to outcome well-being and pleasant emotions. Trying to disconnect themselves from the usual places of work and residence, they pursue different places, such as tourist destinations, aiming to have unexpected experiences. In order to make this exploration process easier, cities and tourism agencies seek new opportunities and solutions, creating routes with diverse cultural landmarks, including natural landscapes and historic buildings. These offers frequently aspire to the preservation of the local patrimony. In nature and wildlife, birdwatching is an activity that has been increasing, both in cities and in the countryside. This activity seeks to find, observe and identify the diversity of birds that live permanently or temporarily in these places, and it is usually supported by birdwatching guides. Leiria (Portugal) is a well-known city, presenting several historical and natural landmarks, like the Lis river and the castle where King D. Dinis lived in the 13th century. Along the Lis River, a conservation process was carried out and a pedestrian route was created (Polis project). This is considered an excellent spot for birdwatching, especially for the gray heron (Ardea cinerea) and for the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis). There is also a route through the city, from the riverside to the castle, which encloses a characterized variety of species, such as the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), known for passing through different seasons of the year. Birdwatching is sometimes a difficult task since it is not always possible to see all bird species that inhabit a given place. For this reason, a need to create a technological solution was found to ease this activity. This project aims to encourage people to learn about the various species of birds that live along the Lis River and to promote the preservation of nature in a conscious way. This work is being conducted in collaboration with Leiria Municipal Council and with the Environmental Interpretation Centre. It intends to show the majesty of the Lis River, a place visited daily by several people, such as children and families, who use it for didactic and recreational activities. We are developing a mobile multi-platform application ([email protected]) that allows bird species to be observed along a given route, using representative digital 3D models through the integration of augmented reality technologies. [email protected] displays a route with points of interest for birdwatching and a list of species for each point of interest, along with scientific information, images and sounds for every species. For some birds, to ensure their observation, the user can watch them in loco, in their real and natural environment, with their mobile device by means of augmented reality, giving the sensation of presence of these birds, even if they cannot be seen in that place at that moment. The augmented reality feature is being developed with Vuforia SDK, using a hybrid approach to recognition and tracking processes, combining marks and geolocation techniques. This application proposes routes and notifies users with alerts for the possibility of viewing models of augmented reality birds. The final [email protected] prototype will be tested by volunteers in-situ.

Keywords: Mobile Application, Augmented Reality, birdwatching route, nature tourism, watch birds using augmented reality

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1 Planning Railway Assets Renewal with a Multiobjective Approach

Authors: João Coutinho-Rodrigues, Nuno Sousa, Luís Alçada-Almeida

Abstract:

Transportation infrastructure systems are fundamental in modern society and economy. However, they need modernizing, maintaining, and reinforcing interventions which require large investments. In many countries, accumulated intervention delays arise from aging and intense use, being magnified by financial constraints of the past. The decision problem of managing the renewal of large backlogs is common to several types of important transportation infrastructures (e.g., railways, roads). This problem requires considering financial aspects as well as operational constraints under a multidimensional framework. The present research introduces a linear programming multiobjective model for managing railway infrastructure asset renewal. The model aims at minimizing three objectives: (i) yearly investment peak, by evenly spreading investment throughout multiple years; (ii) total cost, which includes extra maintenance costs incurred from renewal backlogs; (iii) priority delays related to work start postponements on the higher priority railway sections. Operational constraints ensure that passenger and freight services are not excessively delayed from having railway line sections under intervention. Achieving a balanced annual investment plan, without compromising the total financial effort or excessively postponing the execution of the priority works, was the motivation for pursuing the research which is now presented. The methodology, inspired by a real case study and tested with real data, reflects aspects of the practice of an infrastructure management company and is generalizable to different types of infrastructure (e.g., railways, highways). It was conceived for treating renewal interventions in infrastructure assets, which is a railway network may be rails, ballasts, sleepers, etc.; while a section is under intervention, trains must run at reduced speed, causing delays in services. The model cannot, therefore, allow for an accumulation of works on the same line, which may cause excessively large delays. Similarly, the lines do not all have the same socio-economic importance or service intensity, making it is necessary to prioritize the sections to be renewed. The model takes these issues into account, and its output is an optimized works schedule for the renewal project translatable in Gantt charts The infrastructure management company provided all the data for the first test case study and validated the parameterization. This case consists of several sections to be renewed, over 5 years and belonging to 17 lines. A large instance was also generated, reflecting a problem of a size similar to the USA railway network (considered the largest one in the world), so it is not expected that considerably larger problems appear in real life; an average of 25 years backlog and ten years of project horizon was considered. Despite the very large increase in the number of decision variables (200 times as large), the computational time cost did not increase very significantly. It is thus expectable that just about any real-life problem can be treated in a modern computer, regardless of size. The trade-off analysis shows that if the decision maker allows some increase in max yearly investment (i.e., degradation of objective ii), solutions improve considerably in the remaining two objectives.

Keywords: Transport Infrastructure, asset renewal, railway maintenance, multiobjective modeling

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