Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 335

Search results for: Paul C. Okolie

65 Money Laundering Risk Assessment in the Banking Institutions: An Experimental Approach

Authors: Yusarina Mat-Isa, Zuraidah Mohd-Sanusi, Mohd-Nizal Haniff, Paul A. Barnes

Abstract:

In view that money laundering has become eminent for banking institutions, it is an obligation for the banking institutions to adopt a risk-based approach as the integral component of the accepted policies on anti-money laundering. In doing so, those involved with the banking operations are the most critical group of personnel as these are the people who deal with the day-to-day operations of the banking institutions and are obligated to form a judgement on the level of impending risk. This requirement is extended to all relevant banking institutions staff, such as tellers and customer account representatives for them to identify suspicious customers and escalate it to the relevant authorities. Banking institutions staffs, however, face enormous challenges in identifying and distinguishing money launderers from other legitimate customers seeking genuine banking transactions. Banking institutions staffs are mostly educated and trained with the business objective in mind to serve the customers and are not trained to be “detectives with a detective’s power of observation”. Despite increasing awareness as well as trainings conducted for the banking institutions staff, their competency in assessing money laundering risk is still insufficient. Several gaps have prompted this study including the lack of behavioural perspectives in the assessment of money laundering risk in the banking institutions. Utilizing experimental approach, respondents are randomly assigned within a controlled setting with manipulated situations upon which judgement of the respondents is solicited based on various observations related to the situations. The study suggests that it is imperative that informed judgement is exercised in arriving at the decision to proceed with the banking services required by the customers. Judgement forms a basis of opinion for the banking institution staff to decide if the customers posed money laundering risk. Failure to exercise good judgement could results in losses and absorption of unnecessary risk into the banking institutions. Although the banking institutions are exposed with choices of automated solutions in assessing money laundering risk, the human factor in assessing the risk is indispensable. Individual staff in the banking institutions is the first line of defence who are responsible for screening the impending risk of any customer soliciting for banking services. At the end of the spectrum, the individual role involvement on the subject of money laundering risk assessment is not a substitute for automated solutions as human judgement is inimitable.

Keywords: banking institutions, experimental approach, money laundering, risk assessment

Procedia PDF Downloads 159
64 Mural Exhibition as a Promotive Strategy to Proper Hygiene and Sanitation Practices among Children: A Case Study from Urban Slum Schools in Nairobi, Kenya

Authors: Abdulaziz Kikanga, Kellen Muchira, Styvers Kathuni, Paul Saitoti

Abstract:

Background: Provision of adequate levels of water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools is a strategic objective in achieving universal primary education among children in low and middle-income countries. However, lack of proper sanitation and hygiene practices in schools, especially those in informal settlement has resulted to an increased rate of school absenteeism thereby affecting the education and health outcomes of the children in those setting. Intervention or Response: Catholic Relief Services in Kenya supports five schools in informal settlements of Nairobi by painting of key hygiene messages on school walls to promote proper hygiene and sanitation practices among the school children. The mural exhibitions depict the essence of proper hygiene practices, proper latrine use, and hand washing after visiting the latrine. The artwork is context specific and its aimed at improving the uptake of proper hygiene and sanitation practices among the school children. Review of project related documents was conducted including interviews with the school children. Thematic analysis was used to interpret the qualitative information generated. Results and Lessons Learnt: 12 school children have interviewed on proper hygiene and sanitation practices and the exercise revealed that painted murals were the best communication platforms for creating awareness on proper sanitation on issues relating to water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools. The painting mural provided a strong knowledge base for the formation of healthy habits in both the school and informal settlement. In addition, these sanitation messages on the school walls empower the children to share these practices with their siblings, parents, and other family members thereby acting as agents of change to proper hygiene and sanitation in those informal settlements. The findings revealed that by adopting proper sanitation and hygiene practices, there has been a reduction of school absenteeism due to a decrease in disease related to inadequate sanitation and hygiene in schools. Conclusion: The adoption of proper sanitation in schools entails more than just a painted mural wall. Insights revealed that to have a lasting sanitation and hygiene intervention, there is a need to invest in effective hygiene educational programming that encourages the formation of proper hygiene habits and promotes changes in behavior.

Keywords: education outcomes, informal settlement, mural exhibition, school hygiene and sanitation

Procedia PDF Downloads 94
63 Molecular Implication of Interaction of Human Enteric Pathogens with Phylloplane of Tomato

Authors: Shilpi, Indu Gaur, Neha Bhadauria, Susmita Goswami, Prabir K. Paul

Abstract:

Cultivation and consumption of organically grown fruits and vegetables have increased by several folds. However, the presence of Human Enteric Pathogens on the surface of organically grown vegetables causing Gastro-intestinal diseases, are most likely due to contaminated water and fecal matter of farm animals. Human Enteric Pathogens are adapted to colonize the human gut, and also colonize plant surface. Microbes on plant surface communicate with each other to establish quorum sensing. The cross talk study is important because the enteric pathogens on phylloplane have been reported to mask the beneficial resident bacteria of plant. In the present study, HEPs and bacterial colonizers were identified using 16s rRNA sequencing. Microbial colonization patterns after interaction between Human Enteric Pathogens and natural bacterial residents on tomato phylloplane was studied. Tomato plants raised under aseptic conditions were inoculated with a mixture of Serratia fonticola and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The molecules involved in cross-talk between Human Enteric Pathogens and regular bacterial colonizers were isolated and identified using molecular techniques and HPLC. The colonization pattern was studied by leaf imprint method after 48 hours of incubation. The associated protein-protein interaction in the host cytoplasm was studied by use of crosslinkers. From treated leaves the crosstalk molecules and interaction proteins were separated on 1D SDS-PAGE and analyzed by MALDI-TOF-TOF analysis. The study is critical in understanding the molecular aspects of HEP’s adaption to phylloplane. The study revealed human enteric pathogens aggressively interact among themselves and resident bacteria. HEPs induced establishment of a signaling cascade through protein-protein interaction in the host cytoplasm. The study revealed that the adaptation of Human Enteric Pathogens on phylloplane of Solanum lycopersicum involves the establishment of complex molecular interaction between the microbe and the host including microbe-microbe interaction leading to an establishment of quorum sensing. The outcome will help in minimizing the HEP load on fresh farm produce, thereby curtailing incidences of food-borne diseases.

Keywords: crosslinkers, human enteric pathogens (HEPs), phylloplane, quorum sensing

Procedia PDF Downloads 148
62 A One-Dimensional Model for Contraction in Burn Wounds: A Sensitivity Analysis and a Feasibility Study

Authors: Ginger Egberts, Fred Vermolen, Paul van Zuijlen

Abstract:

One of the common complications in post-burn scars is contractions. Depending on the extent of contraction and the wound dimensions, the contracture can cause a limited range-of-motion of joints. A one-dimensional morphoelastic continuum hypothesis-based model describing post-burn scar contractions is considered. The beauty of the one-dimensional model is the speed; hence it quickly yields new results and, therefore, insight. This model describes the movement of the skin and the development of the strain present. Besides these mechanical components, the model also contains chemical components that play a major role in the wound healing process. These components are fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, the so-called signaling molecules, and collagen. The dermal layer is modeled as an isotropic morphoelastic solid, and pulling forces are generated by myofibroblasts. The solution to the model equations is approximated by the finite-element method using linear basis functions. One of the major challenges in biomechanical modeling is the estimation of parameter values. Therefore, this study provides a comprehensive description of skin mechanical parameter values and a sensitivity analysis. Further, since skin mechanical properties change with aging, it is important that the model is feasible for predicting the development of contraction in burn patients of different ages, and hence this study provides a feasibility study. The variability in the solutions is caused by varying the values for some parameters simultaneously over the domain of computation, for which the results of the sensitivity analysis are used. The sensitivity analysis shows that the most sensitive parameters are the equilibrium concentration of collagen, the apoptosis rate of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, and the secretion rate of signaling molecules. This suggests that most of the variability in the evolution of contraction in burns in patients of different ages might be caused mostly by the decreasing equilibrium of collagen concentration. As expected, the feasibility study shows this model can be used to show distinct extents of contractions in burns in patients of different ages. Nevertheless, contraction formation in children differs from contraction formation in adults because of the growth. This factor has not been incorporated in the model yet, and therefore the feasibility results for children differ from what is seen in the clinic.

Keywords: biomechanics, burns, feasibility, fibroblasts, morphoelasticity, sensitivity analysis, skin mechanics, wound contraction

Procedia PDF Downloads 18
61 Physiological Insight into an Age Old Biocontrol Practice in Banana Cultivation

Authors: Susmita Goswami, Joyeeta Mitra, Indu Gaur, Neha Bhadauria, Shilpi Shilpi, Prabir K. Paul

Abstract:

'Malbhog’, an indigenous banana variety, much prized for its flavour and delicacy suffers production losses due to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense. The pathogen enters young plants through feeder roots causing wilting of plants ultimately leading to death of plants. The pathogen spreads rapidly to other plants in the field. In eastern part of India, this variety escapes the onslaught of the pathogen when either co-cultivated or rotated with Amorphophallus campanulatus (yam). The present study provides an insight into the physiological aspect of the biocontrol by yam. In vitro application of sterile aqueous extract of yam tuber (100gm/100ml distilled water and its 1:10 and 1:100 dilutions) were mixed with PDA media which was substantially inoculated with spores of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense. The extract could significantly reduce germination of pathogen spores. Banana variety susceptible to Fusarium sp was raised in soil rite under aseptic conditions. Spores of the pathogen (106 spores/ml) were inoculated into the soil rite. The plants were spread with aqueous extract of yam. The control plants were treated with sterilized distilled water. The activity of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POX) were estimated in leaves and roots at interval of 24 hours for 5 days after treatment. The incidence of wilt disease was recorded after two weeks. The results demonstrated that yam extract could induce significant activity of PAL, PPO and POX along with accumulation of phenols in both roots and leaves of banana plants. However, significantly high activity of enzymes and phenol accumulation was observed in roots. The disease incidence was significantly low in yam treated plants. The results clearly demonstrated the control of the pathogen due to induction of defense mechanism in the host by the extract. The observed control of the pathogen in the field could possibly be due to induction of such defense responses in host by exudates leached into the soil from yam tubers. Yam extract could be a potential source of environment-friendly biocide against Panama wilt of banana.

Keywords: Amorphophallus campanulatus, banana, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POX)

Procedia PDF Downloads 118
60 Decision Making Regarding Spouse Selection and Women's Autonomy in India: Exploring the Linkage

Authors: Nivedita Paul

Abstract:

The changing character of marriage be it arranged marriage, love marriage, polygamy, informal unions, all signify different gender relations in everyday lives. Marriages in India are part and parcel of the kinship and cultural practices. Arranged marriage is still the dominant form of marriage where spouse selection is the initiative and decision of the parents; but its form is changing, as women are now actively participating in spouse selection but with parental consent. Spouse selection related decision making is important because marriage as an institution brings social change and gender inequality; especially in a women’s life as marriages in India are mostly patrilocal. Moreover, the amount of say in spouse selection can affect a woman’s reproductive rights, domestic violence issues, household resource allocation, communication possibilities with the spouse/husband, marital life, etc. The present study uses data from Indian Human Development Survey II (2011-12) which is a nationally representative multitopic survey that covers 41,554 households. Currently, married women of age group 15-49 in their first marriage; whose year of marriage is from 1970s to 2000s have been taken for the study. Based on spouse selection experiences, the sample of women has been divided into three marriage categories-self, semi and family arranged. Women in self arranged or love marriage is the sole decision maker in choosing the partner, in semi arranged marriage or arranged marriage with consent both parents and women together take the decision, whereas in family arranged or arranged marriage without consent only parents take the decision. The main aim of the study is to find the relationship between spouse selection experiences and women’s autonomy in India. Decision making in economic matters, child and health related decision making, mobility and access to resources are taken to be proxies of autonomy. Method of ordinal regression has been used to find the relationship between spouse selection experiences and autonomy after marriage keeping other independent variables as control factors. Results show that women in semi arranged marriage have more decision making power regarding financial matters of the household, health related matters, mobility and accessibility to resources, when compared to women in family, arranged marriages. For freedom of movement and access to resources women in self arranged marriage have the highest say or exercise greatest power. Therefore, greater participation of women (even though not absolute control) in spouse selection may lead to greater autonomy after marriage.

Keywords: arranged marriage, autonomy, consent, spouse selection

Procedia PDF Downloads 30
59 Cultural Collisions, Ethics and HIV: On Local Values in a Globalized Medical World

Authors: Norbert W. Paul

Abstract:

In 1988, parts of the scientific community still heralded findings to support that AIDS was likely to remain largely a ‘gay disease’. The value-ladden terminology of some of the articles suggested that rectum and fragile urethra are not sufficiently robust to provide a barrier against infectious fluids, especially body fluids contaminated with HIV while the female vagina, would provide natural protection against injuries and trauma facilitating HIV-infection. Anal sexual intercourse was constituted not only as dangerous but also as unnatural practice, while penile-vaginal intercourse would follow natural design and thus be relatively safe practice minimizing the risk of HIV. Statements like the latter were not uncommon in the early times of HIV/AIDS and contributed to captious certainties and an underestimation of heterosexual risks. Pseudo-scientific discourses on the origin of HIV were linked to local and global health politics in the 1980ies. The pathways of infection were related to normative concepts like deviant, subcultural behavior, cultural otherness, and guilt used to target, tag and separate specific groups at risk from the ‘normal’ population. Controlling populations at risk became the top item on the agenda rather than controlling modes of transmission and the virus. Hence, the Thai strategy to cope with HIV/AIDS by acknowledging social and sexual practices as they were – not as they were imagined – has become a role model for successful prevention in the highly scandalized realm of sexually transmitted disease. By accepting the globalized character of local HIV-risk and projecting the risk onto populations which are neither particularly vocal groups nor vested with the means to strive for health and justice Thailand managed to culturally implement knowledge-based tools of prevention. This paper argues, that pertinent cultural collisions regarding our strategies to cope with HIV/AIDS are deeply rooted in misconceptions, misreadings and scandalizations brought about in the early history of HIV in the 1980ties. The Thai strategy is used to demonstrate how local values can be balanced against globalized health risk and used to effectuated prevention by which knowledge and norms are translated into local practices. Issues of global health and injustice will be addressed in the final part of the paper dealing with the achievability of health as a human right.

Keywords: bioethics, HIV, global health, justice

Procedia PDF Downloads 155
58 Development of Vertically Integrated 2D Lake Victoria Flow Models in COMSOL Multiphysics

Authors: Seema Paul, Jesper Oppelstrup, Roger Thunvik, Vladimir Cvetkovic

Abstract:

Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water body in the world, located in East Africa with a catchment area of 250,000 km², of which 68,800 km² is the actual lake surface. The hydrodynamic processes of the shallow (40–80 m deep) water system are unique due to its location at the equator, which makes Coriolis effects weak. The paper describes a St.Venant shallow water model of Lake Victoria developed in COMSOL Multiphysics software, a general purpose finite element tool for solving partial differential equations. Depth soundings taken in smaller parts of the lake were combined with recent more extensive data to resolve the discrepancies of the lake shore coordinates. The topography model must have continuous gradients, and Delaunay triangulation with Gaussian smoothing was used to produce the lake depth model. The model shows large-scale flow patterns, passive tracer concentration and water level variations in response to river and tracer inflow, rain and evaporation, and wind stress. Actual data of precipitation, evaporation, in- and outflows were applied in a fifty-year simulation model. It should be noted that the water balance is dominated by rain and evaporation and model simulations are validated by Matlab and COMSOL. The model conserves water volume, the celerity gradients are very small, and the volume flow is very slow and irrotational except at river mouths. Numerical experiments show that the single outflow can be modelled by a simple linear control law responding only to mean water level, except for a few instances. Experiments with tracer input in rivers show very slow dispersion of the tracer, a result of the slow mean velocities, in turn, caused by the near-balance of rain with evaporation. The numerical and hydrodynamical model can evaluate the effects of wind stress which is exerted by the wind on the lake surface that will impact on lake water level. Also, model can evaluate the effects of the expected climate change, as manifest in changes to rainfall over the catchment area of Lake Victoria in the future.

Keywords: bathymetry, lake flow and steady state analysis, water level validation and concentration, wind stress

Procedia PDF Downloads 89
57 Teaching Behaviours of Effective Secondary Mathematics Teachers: A Study in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Authors: Asadullah Sheikh, Kerry Barnett, Paul Ayres

Abstract:

Despite significant progress in access, equity and public examination success, poor student performance in mathematics in secondary schools has become a major concern in Bangladesh. A substantial body of research has emphasised the important contribution of teaching practices to student achievement. However, this has not been investigated in Bangladesh. Therefore, the study sought to find out the effectiveness of mathematics teaching practices as a means of improving secondary school mathematics in Dhaka Municipality City (DMC) area, Bangladesh. The purpose of this study was twofold, first, to identify the 20 highest performing secondary schools in mathematics in DMC, and second, to investigate the teaching practices of mathematics teachers in these schools. A two-phase mixed method approach was adopted. In the first phase, secondary source data were obtained from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Dhaka and value-added measures used to identify the 20 highest performing secondary schools in mathematics. In the second phase, a concurrent mixed method design, where qualitative methods were embedded within a dominant quantitative approach was utilised. A purposive sampling strategy was used to select fifteen teachers from the 20 highest performing secondary schools. The main sources of data were classroom teaching observations, and teacher interviews. The data from teacher observations were analysed with descriptive and nonparametric statistics. The interview data were analysed qualitatively. The main findings showed teachers adopt a direct teaching approach which incorporates orientation, structuring, modelling, practice, questioning and teacher-student interaction that creates an individualistic learning environment. The variation in developmental levels of teaching skill indicate that teachers do not necessarily use the qualitative (i.e., focus, stage, quality and differentiation) aspects of teaching behaviours effectively. This is the first study to investigate teaching behaviours of effective secondary mathematics teachers within Dhaka, Bangladesh. It contributes in an international dimension to the field of educational effectiveness and raise questions about existing constructivist approaches. Further, it contributes to important insights about teaching behaviours that can be used to inform the development of evidence-based policy and practice on quality teaching in Bangladesh.

Keywords: effective teaching, mathematics, secondary schools, student achievement, value-added measures

Procedia PDF Downloads 142
56 Simons, Ehrlichs and the Case for Polycentricity – Why Growth-Enthusiasts and Growth-Sceptics Must Embrace Polycentricity

Authors: Justus Enninga

Abstract:

Enthusiasts and skeptics about economic growth have not much in common in their preference for institutional arrangements that solve ecological conflicts. This paper argues that agreement between both opposing schools can be found in the Bloomington Schools’ concept of polycentricity. Growth-enthusiasts who will be referred to as Simons after the economist Julian Simon and growth-skeptics named Ehrlichs after the ecologist Paul R. Ehrlich both profit from a governance structure where many officials and decision structures are assigned limited and relatively autonomous prerogatives to determine, enforce and alter legal relationships. The paper advances this argument in four steps. First, it will provide clarification of what Simons and Ehrlichs mean when they talk about growth and what the arguments for and against growth-enhancing or degrowth policies are for them and for the other site. Secondly, the paper advances the concept of polycentricity as first introduced by Michael Polanyi and later refined to the study of governance by the Bloomington School of institutional analysis around the Nobel Prize laureate Elinor Ostrom. The Bloomington School defines polycentricity as a non-hierarchical, institutional, and cultural framework that makes possible the coexistence of multiple centers of decision making with different objectives and values, that sets the stage for an evolutionary competition between the complementary ideas and methods of those different decision centers. In the third and fourth parts, it is shown how the concept of polycentricity is of crucial importance for growth-enthusiasts and growth-skeptics alike. The shorter third part demonstrates the literature on growth-enhancing policies and argues that large parts of the literature already accept that polycentric forms of governance like markets, the rule of law and federalism are an important part of economic growth. Part four delves into the more nuanced question of how a stagnant steady-state economy or even an economy that de-grows will still find polycentric governance desirable. While the majority of degrowth proposals follow a top-down approach by requiring direct governmental control, a contrasting bottom-up approach is advanced. A decentralized, polycentric approach is desirable because it allows for the utilization of tacit information dispersed in society and an institutionalized discovery process for new solutions to the problem of ecological collective action – no matter whether you belong to the Simons or Ehrlichs in a green political economy.

Keywords: degrowth, green political theory, polycentricity, institutional robustness

Procedia PDF Downloads 22
55 Reaching New Levels: Using Systems Thinking to Analyse a Major Incident Investigation

Authors: Matthew J. I. Woolley, Gemma J. M. Read, Paul M. Salmon, Natassia Goode

Abstract:

The significance of high consequence, workplace failures within construction continues to resonate with a combined average of 12 fatal incidents occurring daily throughout Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Within the Australian construction domain, more than 35 serious, compensable injury incidents are reported daily. These alarming figures, in conjunction with the continued occurrence of fatal and serious, occupational injury incidents globally suggest existing approaches to incident analysis may not be achieving required injury prevention outcomes. One reason may be that, incident analysis methods used in construction have not kept pace with advances in the field of safety science and are not uncovering the full range system-wide contributory factors that are required to achieve optimal levels of construction safety performance. Another reason underpinning this global issue may also be the absence of information surrounding the construction operating and project delivery system. For example, it is not clear who shares the responsibility for construction safety in different contexts. To respond to this issue, to the author’s best knowledge, a first of its kind, control structure model of the construction industry is presented and then used to analyse a fatal construction incident. The model was developed by applying and extending the Systems Theoretic and Incident Model and Process method to hierarchically represent the actors, constraints, feedback mechanisms, and relationships that are involved in managing construction safety performance. The Causal Analysis based on Systems Theory (CAST) method was then used to identify the control and feedback failures involved in the fatal incident. The conclusions from the Coronial investigation into the event are compared with the findings stemming from the CAST analysis. The CAST analysis highlighted additional issues across the construction system that were not identified in the coroner’s recommendations, suggested there is a potential benefit in applying a systems theory approach to incident analysis in construction. The findings demonstrate the utility applying systems theory-based methods to the analysis of construction incidents. Specifically, this study shows the utility of the construction control structure and the potential benefits for project leaders, construction entities, regulators, and construction clients in controlling construction performance.

Keywords: construction project management, construction performance, incident analysis, systems thinking

Procedia PDF Downloads 18
54 The Impact Of Environmental Management System ISO 14001 Adoption on Firm Performance

Authors: Raymond Treacy, Paul Humphreys, Ronan McIvor, Trevor Cadden, Alan McKittrick

Abstract:

This study employed event study methodology to examine the role of institutions, resources and dynamic capabilities in the relationship between the Environmental Management System ISO 14001 adoption and firm performance. Utilising financial data from 140 ISO 14001 certified firms and 320 non-certified firms, the results of the study suggested that the UK and Irish manufacturers were not implementing ISO 14001 solely to gain legitimacy. In contrast, the results demonstrated that firms were fully integrating the ISO 14001 standard within their operations as certified firms were able to improve both financial and operating performance when compared to non-certified firms. However, while there were significant and long lasting improvements for employee productivity, manufacturing cost efficiency, return on assets and sales turnover, the sample firms operating cycle and fixed asset efficiency displayed evidence of diminishing returns in the long-run, underlying the observation that no operating advantage based on incremental improvements can be everlasting. Hence, there is an argument for investing in dynamic capabilities which help renew and refresh the resource base and help the firm adapt to changing environments. Indeed, the results of the regression analysis suggest that dynamic capabilities for innovation acted as a moderator in the relationship between ISO 14001 certification and firm performance. This, in turn, will have a significant and symbiotic influence on sustainability practices within the participating organisations. The study not only provides new and original insights, but demonstrates pragmatically how firms can take advantage of environmental management systems as a moderator to significantly enhance firm performance. However, while it was shown that firm innovation aided both short term and long term ROA performance, adaptive market capabilities only aided firms in the short-term at the marketing strategy deployment stage. Finally, the results have important implications for firms operating in an economic recession as the results suggest that firms should scale back investment in R&D while operating in an economic downturn. Conversely, under normal trading conditions, consistent and long term investments in R&D was found to moderate the relationship between ISO 14001 certification and firm performance. Hence, the results of the study have important implications for academics and management alike.

Keywords: supply chain management, environmental management systems, quality management, sustainability, firm performance

Procedia PDF Downloads 175
53 Effects of Nutrients Supply on Milk Yield, Composition and Enteric Methane Gas Emissions from Smallholder Dairy Farms in Rwanda

Authors: Jean De Dieu Ayabagabo, Paul A.Onjoro, Karubiu P. Migwi, Marie C. Dusingize

Abstract:

This study investigated the effects of feed on milk yield and quality through feed monitoring and quality assessment, and the consequent enteric methane gas emissions from smallholder dairy farms in drier areas of Rwanda, using the Tier II approach for four seasons in three zones, namely; Mayaga and peripheral Bugesera (MPB), Eastern Savanna and Central Bugesera (ESCB), and Eastern plateau (EP). The study was carried out using 186 dairy cows with a mean live weight of 292 Kg in three communal cowsheds. The milk quality analysis was carried out on 418 samples. Methane emission was estimated using prediction equations. Data collected were subjected to ANOVA. The dry matter intake was lower (p<0.05) in the long dry season (7.24 Kg), with the ESCB zone having the highest value of 9.10 Kg, explained by the practice of crop-livestock integration agriculture in that zone. The Dry matter digestibility varied between seasons and zones, ranging from 52.5 to 56.4% for seasons and from 51.9 to 57.5% for zones. The daily protein supply was higher (p<0.05) in the long rain season with 969 g. The mean daily milk production of lactating cows was 5.6 L with a lower value (p<0.05) during the long dry season (4.76 L), and the MPB zone having the lowest value of 4.65 L. The yearly milk production per cow was 1179 L. The milk fat varied from 3.79 to 5.49% with a seasonal and zone variation. No variation was observed with milk protein. The seasonal daily methane emission varied from 150 g for the long dry season to 174 g for the long rain season (p<0.05). The rain season had the highest methane emission as it is associated with high forage intake. The mean emission factor was 59.4 Kg of methane/year. The present EFs were higher than the default IPPC value of 41 Kg from developing countries in African, the Middle East, and other tropical regions livestock EFs using Tier I approach due to the higher live weight in the current study. The methane emission per unit of milk production was lower in the EP zone (46.8 g/L) due to the feed efficiency observed in that zone. Farmers should use high-quality feeds to increase the milk yield and reduce the methane gas produced per unit of milk. For an accurate assessment of the methane produced from dairy farms, there is a need for the use of the Life Cycle Assessment approach that considers all the sources of emissions.

Keywords: footprint, forage, girinka, tier

Procedia PDF Downloads 37
52 Bayesian Estimation of Hierarchical Models for Genotypic Differentiation of Arabidopsis thaliana

Authors: Gautier Viaud, Paul-Henry Cournède

Abstract:

Plant growth models have been used extensively for the prediction of the phenotypic performance of plants. However, they remain most often calibrated for a given genotype and therefore do not take into account genotype by environment interactions. One way of achieving such an objective is to consider Bayesian hierarchical models. Three levels can be identified in such models: The first level describes how a given growth model describes the phenotype of the plant as a function of individual parameters, the second level describes how these individual parameters are distributed within a plant population, the third level corresponds to the attribution of priors on population parameters. Thanks to the Bayesian framework, choosing appropriate priors for the population parameters permits to derive analytical expressions for the full conditional distributions of these population parameters. As plant growth models are of a nonlinear nature, individual parameters cannot be sampled explicitly, and a Metropolis step must be performed. This allows for the use of a hybrid Gibbs--Metropolis sampler. A generic approach was devised for the implementation of both general state space models and estimation algorithms within a programming platform. It was designed using the Julia language, which combines an elegant syntax, metaprogramming capabilities and exhibits high efficiency. Results were obtained for Arabidopsis thaliana on both simulated and real data. An organ-scale Greenlab model for the latter is thus presented, where the surface areas of each individual leaf can be simulated. It is assumed that the error made on the measurement of leaf areas is proportional to the leaf area itself; multiplicative normal noises for the observations are therefore used. Real data were obtained via image analysis of zenithal images of Arabidopsis thaliana over a period of 21 days using a two-step segmentation and tracking algorithm which notably takes advantage of the Arabidopsis thaliana phyllotaxy. Since the model formulation is rather flexible, there is no need that the data for a single individual be available at all times, nor that the times at which data is available be the same for all the different individuals. This allows to discard data from image analysis when it is not considered reliable enough, thereby providing low-biased data in large quantity for leaf areas. The proposed model precisely reproduces the dynamics of Arabidopsis thaliana’s growth while accounting for the variability between genotypes. In addition to the estimation of the population parameters, the level of variability is an interesting indicator of the genotypic stability of model parameters. A promising perspective is to test whether some of the latter should be considered as fixed effects.

Keywords: bayesian, genotypic differentiation, hierarchical models, plant growth models

Procedia PDF Downloads 208
51 Regional Variations in Spouse Selection Patterns of Women in India

Authors: Nivedita Paul

Abstract:

Marriages in India are part and parcel of kinship and cultural practices. Marriage practices differ in India because of cross-regional diversities in social relations which itself has evolved as a result of causal relationship between space and culture. As the place is important for the formation of culture and other social structures, therefore there is regional differentiation in cultural practices and marital customs. Based on the cultural practices some scholars have divided India into North and South kinship regions where women in the North get married early and have lesser autonomy compared to women in the South where marriages are mostly consanguineous. But, the emergence of new modes and alternative strategies such as matrimonial advertisements becoming popular, as well as the increase in women’s literacy and work force participation, matchmaking process in India has changed to some extent. The present study uses data from Indian Human Development Survey II (2011-12) which is a nationally representative multitopic survey that covers 41,554 households. Currently married women of age group 15-49 in their first marriage; whose year of marriage is from the 1970s to 2000s have been taken for the study. Based on spouse selection experiences, the sample of women has been divided into three marriage categories-self, semi and family arranged. Women in self-arranged or love marriage is the sole decision maker in choosing the partner, in semi-arranged marriage or arranged marriage with consent both parents and women together take the decision, whereas in family arranged or arranged marriage without consent only parents take the decision. The main aim of the study is to show the spatial and regional variations in spouse selection decision making. The basis for regionalization has been taken from Irawati Karve’s pioneering work on kinship studies in India called Kinship Organization in India. India is divided into four kinship regions-North, Central, South and East. Since this work was formulated in 1953, some of the states have experienced changes due to modernization; hence these have been regrouped. After mapping spouse selection patterns using GIS software, it is found that the northern region has mostly family arranged marriages (around 64.6%), the central zone shows a mixed pattern since family arranged marriages are less than north but more than south and semi-arranged marriages are more than north but less than south. The southern zone has the dominance of semi-arranged marriages (around 55%) whereas the eastern zone has more of semi-arranged marriage (around 53%) but there is also a high percentage of self-arranged marriage (around 42%). Thus, arranged marriage is the dominant form of marriage in all four regions, but with a difference in the degree of the involvement of the female and her parents and relatives.

Keywords: spouse selection, consent, kinship, regional pattern

Procedia PDF Downloads 28
50 Hybrid Model: An Integration of Machine Learning with Traditional Scorecards

Authors: Golnush Masghati-Amoli, Paul Chin

Abstract:

Over the past recent years, with the rapid increases in data availability and computing power, Machine Learning (ML) techniques have been called on in a range of different industries for their strong predictive capability. However, the use of Machine Learning in commercial banking has been limited due to a special challenge imposed by numerous regulations that require lenders to be able to explain their analytic models, not only to regulators but often to consumers. In other words, although Machine Leaning techniques enable better prediction with a higher level of accuracy, in comparison with other industries, they are adopted less frequently in commercial banking especially for scoring purposes. This is due to the fact that Machine Learning techniques are often considered as a black box and fail to provide information on why a certain risk score is given to a customer. In order to bridge this gap between the explain-ability and performance of Machine Learning techniques, a Hybrid Model is developed at Dun and Bradstreet that is focused on blending Machine Learning algorithms with traditional approaches such as scorecards. The Hybrid Model maximizes efficiency of traditional scorecards by merging its practical benefits, such as explain-ability and the ability to input domain knowledge, with the deep insights of Machine Learning techniques which can uncover patterns scorecard approaches cannot. First, through development of Machine Learning models, engineered features and latent variables and feature interactions that demonstrate high information value in the prediction of customer risk are identified. Then, these features are employed to introduce observed non-linear relationships between the explanatory and dependent variables into traditional scorecards. Moreover, instead of directly computing the Weight of Evidence (WoE) from good and bad data points, the Hybrid Model tries to match the score distribution generated by a Machine Learning algorithm, which ends up providing an estimate of the WoE for each bin. This capability helps to build powerful scorecards with sparse cases that cannot be achieved with traditional approaches. The proposed Hybrid Model is tested on different portfolios where a significant gap is observed between the performance of traditional scorecards and Machine Learning models. The result of analysis shows that Hybrid Model can improve the performance of traditional scorecards by introducing non-linear relationships between explanatory and target variables from Machine Learning models into traditional scorecards. Also, it is observed that in some scenarios the Hybrid Model can be almost as predictive as the Machine Learning techniques while being as transparent as traditional scorecards. Therefore, it is concluded that, with the use of Hybrid Model, Machine Learning algorithms can be used in the commercial banking industry without being concerned with difficulties in explaining the models for regulatory purposes.

Keywords: machine learning algorithms, scorecard, commercial banking, consumer risk, feature engineering

Procedia PDF Downloads 21
49 [Keynote Talk]: Monitoring of Ultrafine Particle Number and Size Distribution at One Urban Background Site in Leicester

Authors: Sarkawt M. Hama, Paul S. Monks, Rebecca L. Cordell

Abstract:

Within the Joaquin project, ultrafine particles (UFP) are continuously measured at one urban background site in Leicester. The main aims are to examine the temporal and seasonal variations in UFP number concentration and size distribution in an urban environment, and to try to assess the added value of continuous UFP measurements. In addition, relations of UFP with more commonly monitored pollutants such as black carbon (BC), nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate matter (PM2.5), and the lung deposited surface area(LDSA) were evaluated. The effects of meteorological conditions, particularly wind speed and direction, and also temperature on the observed distribution of ultrafine particles will be detailed. The study presents the results from an experimental investigation into the particle number concentration size distribution of UFP, BC, and NOX with measurements taken at the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) monitoring site in Leicester. The monitoring was performed as part of the EU project JOAQUIN (Joint Air Quality Initiative) supported by the INTERREG IVB NWE program. The total number concentrations (TNC) were measured by a water-based condensation particle counter (W-CPC) (TSI model 3783), the particle number concentrations (PNC) and size distributions were measured by an ultrafine particle monitor (UFP TSI model 3031), the BC by MAAP (Thermo-5012), the NOX by NO-NO2-NOx monitor (Thermos Scientific 42i), and a Nanoparticle Surface Area Monitor (NSAM, TSI 3550) was used to measure the LDSA (reported as μm2 cm−3) corresponding to the alveolar region of the lung between November 2013 and November 2015. The average concentrations of particle number concentrations were observed in summer with lower absolute values of PNC than in winter might be related mainly to particles directly emitted by traffic and to the more favorable conditions of atmospheric dispersion. Results showed a traffic-related diurnal variation of UFP, BC, NOX and LDSA with clear morning and evening rush hour peaks on weekdays, only an evening peak at the weekends. Correlation coefficients were calculated between UFP and other pollutants (BC and NOX). The highest correlation between them was found in winter months. Overall, the results support the notion that local traffic emissions were a major contributor of the atmospheric particles pollution and a clear seasonal pattern was found, with higher values during the cold season.

Keywords: size distribution, traffic emissions, UFP, urban area

Procedia PDF Downloads 219
48 The Role of People and Data in Complex Spatial-Related Long-Term Decisions: A Case Study of Capital Project Management Groups

Authors: Peter Boyes, Sarah Sharples, Paul Tennent, Gary Priestnall, Jeremy Morley

Abstract:

Significant long-term investment projects can involve complex decisions. These are often described as capital projects, and the factors that contribute to their complexity include budgets, motivating reasons for investment, stakeholder involvement, interdependent projects, and the delivery phases required. The complexity of these projects often requires management groups to be established involving stakeholder representatives; these teams are inherently multidisciplinary. This study uses two university campus capital projects as case studies for this type of management group. Due to the interaction of projects with wider campus infrastructure and users, decisions are made at varying spatial granularity throughout the project lifespan. This spatial-related context brings complexity to the group decisions. Sensemaking is the process used to achieve group situational awareness of a complex situation, enabling the team to arrive at a consensus and make a decision. The purpose of this study is to understand the role of people and data in the complex spatial related long-term decision and sensemaking processes. The paper aims to identify and present issues experienced in practical settings of these types of decision. A series of exploratory semi-structured interviews with members of the two projects elicit an understanding of their operation. From two stages of thematic analysis, inductive and deductive, emergent themes are identified around the group structure, the data usage, and the decision making within these groups. When data were made available to the group, there were commonly issues with the perception of veracity and validity of the data presented; this impacted the ability of group to reach consensus and, therefore, for decisions to be made. Similarly, there were different responses to forecasted or modelled data, shaped by the experience and occupation of the individuals within the multidisciplinary management group. This paper provides an understanding of further support required for team sensemaking and decision making in complex capital projects. The paper also discusses the barriers found to effective decision making in this setting and suggests opportunities to develop decision support systems in this team strategic decision-making process. Recommendations are made for further research into the sensemaking and decision-making process of this complex spatial-related setting.

Keywords: decision making, decisions under uncertainty, real decisions, sensemaking, spatial, team decision making

Procedia PDF Downloads 10
47 Identification, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of the Major Human Metabolite of NLRP3 Inflammasome Inhibitor MCC950

Authors: Manohar Salla, Mark S. Butler, Ruby Pelingon, Geraldine Kaeslin, Daniel E. Croker, Janet C. Reid, Jong Min Baek, Paul V. Bernhardt, Elizabeth M. J. Gillam, Matthew A. Cooper, Avril A. B. Robertson

Abstract:

MCC950 is a potent and selective inhibitor of the NOD-like receptor pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome that shows early promise for treatment of inflammatory diseases. The identification of major metabolites of lead molecule is an important step during drug development process. It provides an information about the metabolically labile sites in the molecule and thereby helping medicinal chemists to design metabolically stable molecules. To identify major metabolites of MCC950, the compound was incubated with human liver microsomes and subsequent analysis by (+)- and (−)-QTOF-ESI-MS/MS revealed a major metabolite formed due to hydroxylation on 1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-s-indacene moiety of MCC950. This major metabolite can lose two water molecules and three possible regioisomers were synthesized. Co-elution of major metabolite with each of the synthesized compounds using HPLC-ESI-SRM-MS/MS revealed the structure of the metabolite (±) N-((1-hydroxy-1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-s-indacen-4-yl)carbamoyl)-4-(2-hydroxypropan-2-yl)furan-2-sulfonamide. Subsequent synthesis of individual enantiomers and coelution in HPLC-ESI-SRM-MS/MS using a chiral column revealed the metabolite was R-(+)- N-((1-hydroxy-1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-s-indacen-4-yl)carbamoyl)-4-(2-hydroxypropan-2-yl)furan-2-sulfonamide. To study the possible cytochrome P450 enzyme(s) responsible for the formation of major metabolite, MCC950 was incubated with a panel of cytochrome P450 enzymes. The result indicated that CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C18, CYP2C19, CYP2J2 and CYP3A4 are most likely responsible for the formation of the major metabolite. The biological activity of the major metabolite and the other synthesized regioisomers was also investigated by screening for for NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitory activity and cytotoxicity. The major metabolite had 170-fold less inhibitory activity (IC50-1238 nM) than MCC950 (IC50-7.5 nM). Interestingly, one regioisomer had shown nanomolar inhibitory activity (IC50-232 nM). However, no evidence of cytotoxicity was observed with any of these synthesized compounds when tested in human embryonic kidney 293 cells (HEK293) and human liver hepatocellular carcinoma G2 cells (HepG2). These key findings give an insight into the SAR of the hexahydroindacene moiety of MCC950 and reveal a metabolic soft spot which could be blocked by chemical modification.

Keywords: Cytochrome P450, inflammasome, MCC950, metabolite, microsome, NLRP3

Procedia PDF Downloads 149
46 Security Issues in Long Term Evolution-Based Vehicle-To-Everything Communication Networks

Authors: Mujahid Muhammad, Paul Kearney, Adel Aneiba

Abstract:

The ability for vehicles to communicate with other vehicles (V2V), the physical (V2I) and network (V2N) infrastructures, pedestrians (V2P), etc. – collectively known as V2X (Vehicle to Everything) – will enable a broad and growing set of applications and services within the intelligent transport domain for improving road safety, alleviate traffic congestion and support autonomous driving. The telecommunication research and industry communities and standardization bodies (notably 3GPP) has finally approved in Release 14, cellular communications connectivity to support V2X communication (known as LTE – V2X). LTE – V2X system will combine simultaneous connectivity across existing LTE network infrastructures via LTE-Uu interface and direct device-to-device (D2D) communications. In order for V2X services to function effectively, a robust security mechanism is needed to ensure legal and safe interaction among authenticated V2X entities in the LTE-based V2X architecture. The characteristics of vehicular networks, and the nature of most V2X applications, which involve human safety makes it significant to protect V2X messages from attacks that can result in catastrophically wrong decisions/actions include ones affecting road safety. Attack vectors include impersonation attacks, modification, masquerading, replay, MiM attacks, and Sybil attacks. In this paper, we focus our attention on LTE-based V2X security and access control mechanisms. The current LTE-A security framework provides its own access authentication scheme, the AKA protocol for mutual authentication and other essential cryptographic operations between UEs and the network. V2N systems can leverage this protocol to achieve mutual authentication between vehicles and the mobile core network. However, this protocol experiences technical challenges, such as high signaling overhead, lack of synchronization, handover delay and potential control plane signaling overloads, as well as privacy preservation issues, which cannot satisfy the adequate security requirements for majority of LTE-based V2X services. This paper examines these challenges and points to possible ways by which they can be addressed. One possible solution, is the implementation of the distributed peer-to-peer LTE security mechanism based on the Bitcoin/Namecoin framework, to allow for security operations with minimal overhead cost, which is desirable for V2X services. The proposed architecture can ensure fast, secure and robust V2X services under LTE network while meeting V2X security requirements.

Keywords: authentication, long term evolution, security, vehicle-to-everything

Procedia PDF Downloads 49
45 Non-Newtonian Fluid Flow Simulation for a Vertical Plate and a Square Cylinder Pair

Authors: Anamika Paul, Sudipto Sarkar

Abstract:

The flow behaviour of non-Newtonian fluid is quite complicated, although both the pseudoplastic (n < 1, n being the power index) and dilatant (n > 1) fluids under this category are used immensely in chemical and process industries. A limited research work is carried out for flow over a bluff body in non-Newtonian flow environment. In the present numerical simulation we control the vortices of a square cylinder by placing an upstream vertical splitter plate for pseudoplastic (n=0.8), Newtonian (n=1) and dilatant (n=1.2) fluids. The position of the upstream plate is also varied to calculate the critical distance between the plate and cylinder, below which the cylinder vortex shedding suppresses. Here the Reynolds number is considered as Re = 150 (Re = U∞a/ν, where U∞ is the free-stream velocity of the flow, a is the side of the cylinder and ν is the maximum value of kinematic viscosity of the fluid), which comes under laminar periodic vortex shedding regime. The vertical plate is having a dimension of 0.5a × 0.05a and it is placed at the cylinder centre-line. Gambit 2.2.30 is used to construct the flow domain and to impose the boundary conditions. In detail, we imposed velocity inlet (u = U∞), pressure outlet (Neumann condition), symmetry (free-slip boundary condition) at upper and lower domain. Wall boundary condition (u = v = 0) is considered both on the cylinder and the splitter plate surfaces. The unsteady 2-D Navier Stokes equations in fully conservative form are then discretized in second-order spatial and first-order temporal form. These discretized equations are then solved by Ansys Fluent 14.5 implementing SIMPLE algorithm written in finite volume method. Here, fine meshing is used surrounding the plate and cylinder. Away from the cylinder, the grids are slowly stretched out in all directions. To get an account of mesh quality, a total of 297 × 208 grid points are used for G/a = 3 (G being the gap between the plate and cylinder) in the streamwise and flow-normal directions respectively after a grid independent study. The computed mean flow quantities obtained from Newtonian flow are agreed well with the available literatures. The results are depicted with the help of instantaneous and time-averaged flow fields. Qualitative and quantitative noteworthy differences are obtained in the flow field with the changes in rheology of fluid. Also, aerodynamic forces and vortex shedding frequencies differ with the gap-ratio and power index of the fluid. We can conclude from the present simulation that fluent is capable to capture the vortex dynamics of unsteady laminar flow regime even in the non-Newtonian flow environment.

Keywords: CFD, critical gap-ratio, splitter plate, wake-wake interactions, dilatant, pseudoplastic

Procedia PDF Downloads 28
44 Call-Back Laterality and Bilaterality: Possible Screening Mammography Quality Metrics

Authors: Samson Munn, Virginia H. Kim, Huija Chen, Sean Maldonado, Michelle Kim, Paul Koscheski, Babak N. Kalantari, Gregory Eckel, Albert Lee

Abstract:

In terms of screening mammography quality, neither the portion of reports that advise call-back imaging that should be bilateral versus unilateral nor how much the unilateral call-backs may appropriately diverge from 50–50 (left versus right) is known. Many factors may affect detection laterality: display arrangement, reflections preferentially striking one display location, hanging protocols, seating positions with respect to others and displays, visual field cuts, health, etc. The call-back bilateral fraction may reflect radiologist experience (not in our data) or confidence level. Thus, laterality and bilaterality of call-backs advised in screening mammography reports could be worthy quality metrics. Here, laterality data did not reveal a concern until drilling down to individuals. Bilateral screening mammogram report recommendations by five breast imaging, attending radiologists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (Torrance, California) 9/1/15--8/31/16 and 9/1/16--8/31/17 were retrospectively reviewed. Recommended call-backs for bilateral versus unilateral, and for left versus right, findings were counted. Chi-square (χ²) statistic was applied. Year 1: of 2,665 bilateral screening mammograms, reports of 556 (20.9%) recommended call-back, of which 99 (17.8% of the 556) were for bilateral findings. Of the 457 unilateral recommendations, 222 (48.6%) regarded the left breast. Year 2: of 2,106 bilateral screening mammograms, reports of 439 (20.8%) recommended call-back, of which 65 (14.8% of the 439) were for bilateral findings. Of the 374 unilateral recommendations, 182 (48.7%) regarded the left breast. Individual ranges of call-backs that were bilateral were 13.2–23.3%, 10.2–22.5%, and 13.6–17.9%, by year(s) 1, 2, and 1+2, respectively; these ranges were unrelated to experience level; the two-year mean was 15.8% (SD=1.9%). The lowest χ² p value of the group's sidedness disparities years 1, 2, and 1+2 was > 0.4. Regarding four individual radiologists, the lowest p value was 0.42. However, the fifth radiologist disfavored the left, with p values of 0.21, 0.19, and 0.07, respectively; that radiologist had the greatest number of years of experience. There was a concerning, 93% likelihood that bias against left breast findings evidenced by one of our radiologists was not random. Notably, very soon after the period under review, he retired, presented with leukemia, and died. We call for research to be done, particularly by large departments with many radiologists, of two possible, new, quality metrics in screening mammography: laterality and bilaterality. (Images, patient outcomes, report validity, and radiologist psychological confidence levels were not assessed. No intervention nor subsequent data collection was conducted. This uncomplicated collection of data and simple appraisal were not designed, nor had there been any intention to develop or contribute, to generalizable knowledge (per U.S. DHHS 45 CFR, part 46)).

Keywords: mammography, screening mammography, quality, quality metrics, laterality

Procedia PDF Downloads 19
43 Predictors of Pericardial Effusion Requiring Drainage Following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: A Retrospective Analysis

Authors: Nicholas McNamara, John Brookes, Michael Williams, Manish Mathew, Elizabeth Brookes, Tristan Yan, Paul Bannon

Abstract:

Objective: Pericardial effusions are an uncommon but potentially fatal complication after cardiac surgery. The goal of this study was to describe the incidence and risk factors associated with the development of pericardial effusion requiring drainage after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). Methods: A retrospective analysis was undertaken using prospectively collected data. All adult patients who underwent CABG at our institution between 1st January 2017 and 31st December 2018 were included. Pericardial effusion was diagnosed using transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) performed for clinical suspicion of pre-tamponade or tamponade. Drainage was undertaken if considered clinically necessary and performed via a sub-xiphoid incision, pericardiocentesis, or via re-sternotomy at the discretion of the treating surgeon. Patient demographics, operative characteristics, anticoagulant exposure, and postoperative outcomes were examined to identify those variables associated with the development of pericardial effusion requiring drainage. Tests of association were performed using the Fischer exact test for dichotomous variables and the Student t-test for continuous variables. Logistic regression models were used to determine univariate predictors of pericardial effusion requiring drainage. Results: Between January 1st, 2017, and December 31st, 2018, a total of 408 patients underwent CABG at our institution, and eight (1.9%) required drainage of pericardial effusion. There was no difference in age, gender, or the proportion of patients on preoperative therapeutic heparin between the study and control groups. Univariate analysis identified preoperative atrial arrhythmia (37.5% vs 8.8%, p = 0.03), reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (47% vs 56%, p = 0.04), longer cardiopulmonary bypass (130 vs 84 min, p < 0.01) and cross-clamp (107 vs 62 min, p < 0.01) times, higher drain output in the first four postoperative hours (420 vs 213 mL, p <0.01), postoperative atrial fibrillation (100% vs 32%, p < 0.01), and pleural effusion requiring drainage (87.5% vs 12.5%, p < 0.01) to be associated with development of pericardial effusion requiring drainage. Conclusion: In this study, the incidence of pericardial effusion requiring drainage was 1.9%. Several factors, mainly related to preoperative or postoperative arrhythmia, length of surgery, and pleural effusion requiring drainage, were identified to be associated with developing clinically significant pericardial effusions. High clinical suspicion and low threshold for transthoracic echo are pertinent to ensure this potentially lethal condition is not missed.

Keywords: coronary artery bypass, pericardial effusion, pericardiocentesis, tamponade, sub-xiphoid drainage

Procedia PDF Downloads 23
42 Model-Driven and Data-Driven Approaches for Crop Yield Prediction: Analysis and Comparison

Authors: Xiangtuo Chen, Paul-Henry Cournéde

Abstract:

Crop yield prediction is a paramount issue in agriculture. The main idea of this paper is to find out efficient way to predict the yield of corn based meteorological records. The prediction models used in this paper can be classified into model-driven approaches and data-driven approaches, according to the different modeling methodologies. The model-driven approaches are based on crop mechanistic modeling. They describe crop growth in interaction with their environment as dynamical systems. But the calibration process of the dynamic system comes up with much difficulty, because it turns out to be a multidimensional non-convex optimization problem. An original contribution of this paper is to propose a statistical methodology, Multi-Scenarios Parameters Estimation (MSPE), for the parametrization of potentially complex mechanistic models from a new type of datasets (climatic data, final yield in many situations). It is tested with CORNFLO, a crop model for maize growth. On the other hand, the data-driven approach for yield prediction is free of the complex biophysical process. But it has some strict requirements about the dataset. A second contribution of the paper is the comparison of these model-driven methods with classical data-driven methods. For this purpose, we consider two classes of regression methods, methods derived from linear regression (Ridge and Lasso Regression, Principal Components Regression or Partial Least Squares Regression) and machine learning methods (Random Forest, k-Nearest Neighbor, Artificial Neural Network and SVM regression). The dataset consists of 720 records of corn yield at county scale provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the associated climatic data. A 5-folds cross-validation process and two accuracy metrics: root mean square error of prediction(RMSEP), mean absolute error of prediction(MAEP) were used to evaluate the crop prediction capacity. The results show that among the data-driven approaches, Random Forest is the most robust and generally achieves the best prediction error (MAEP 4.27%). It also outperforms our model-driven approach (MAEP 6.11%). However, the method to calibrate the mechanistic model from dataset easy to access offers several side-perspectives. The mechanistic model can potentially help to underline the stresses suffered by the crop or to identify the biological parameters of interest for breeding purposes. For this reason, an interesting perspective is to combine these two types of approaches.

Keywords: crop yield prediction, crop model, sensitivity analysis, paramater estimation, particle swarm optimization, random forest

Procedia PDF Downloads 125
41 Returns to Communities of the Social Entrepreneurship and Environmental Design (SEED) Integration Results in Architectural Training

Authors: P. Kavuma, J. Mukasa, M. Lusunku

Abstract:

Background and Problem: The widespread poverty in Africa- together with the negative impacts of climate change-are two great global challenges that call for everyone’s involvement including Architects. This in particular places serious challenges on architects to have additional skills in both Entrepreneurship and Environmental Design (SEED). Regrettably, while Architectural Training in most African Universities including those from Uganda lack comprehensive implementation of SEED in their curricula, regulatory bodies have not contributed towards the effective integration of SEED in their professional practice. In response to these challenges, Nkumba University (NU) under Architect Kavuma Paul supported by the Uganda Chambers of Architects– initiated the SEED integration in the undergraduate Architectural curricula to cultivate SEED know-how and examples of best practices. Main activities: Initiated in 2007, going beyond the traditional Architectural degree curriculum, the NU Architect department offers SEED courses including provoking passions for creating desirable positive changes in communities. Learning outcomes are assessed theoretically and practically through field projects. The first set of SEED graduates came out in 2012. As part of the NU post-graduation and alumni survey, in October 2014, the pioneer SEED graduates were contacted through automated reminder emails followed by individual, repeated personal follow-ups via email and phone. Out of the 36 graduates who responded to the survey, 24 have formed four (4) private consortium agencies of 5-7 graduates all of whom have pioneered Ugandan-own-cultivated Architectural social projects that include: fishing farming in shipping containers; solar powered mobile homes in shipping containers, solar powered retail kiosks in rural and fishing communities, and floating homes in the flood-prone areas. Primary outcomes: include being business self –reliant in creating the social change the architects desired in the communities. Examples of the SEED project returns to communities reported by the graduates include; employment creation via fabrication, retail business, marketing, improved diets, safety of life and property, decent shelter in the remote mining and oil exploration areas. Negative outcomes-though not yet evaluated include the disposal of used-up materials. Conclusion: The integration of SEED in Architectural Training has established a baseline benchmark and a replicable model based on best practice projects.

Keywords: architectural training, entrepreneurship, environment, integration

Procedia PDF Downloads 320
40 Incidence and Molecular Mechanism of Human Pathogenic Bacterial Interaction with Phylloplane of Solanum lycopersicum

Authors: Indu Gaur, Neha Bhadauria, Shilpi Shilpi, Susmita Goswami, Prem D. Sharma, Prabir K. Paul

Abstract:

The concept of organic agriculture has been accepted as novelty in Indian society, but there is no data available on the human pathogens colonizing plant parts due to such practices. Also, the pattern and mechanism of their colonization need to be understood in order to devise possible strategies for their prevention. In the present study, human pathogenic bacteria were isolated from organically grown tomato plants and five of them were identified as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter ludwigii, Serratia fonticola, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Chryseobacterium jejuense. Tomato plants were grown in controlled aseptic conditions with 25±1˚C, 70% humidity and 12 hour L/D photoperiod. Six weeks old plants were divided into 6 groups of 25 plants each and treated as follows: Group 1: K. pneumonia, Group 2: E. ludwigii, Group 3: S. fonticola, Group 4: S. maltophilia, Group 5: C. jejuense, Group 6: Sterile distilled water (control). The inoculums for all treatments were prepared by overnight growth with uniform concentration of 108 cells/ml. Leaf samples from above groups were collected at 0.5, 2, 4, 6 and 24 hours post inoculation for the colony forming unit counts (CFU/cm2 of leaf area) of individual pathogens using leaf impression method. These CFU counts were used for the in vivo colonization assay and adherence assay of individual pathogens. Also, resistance of these pathogens to at least 12 antibiotics was studied. Based on these findings S. fonticola was found to be most prominently colonizing the phylloplane of tomato and was further studied. Tomato plants grown in controlled aseptic conditions same as mentioned above were divided into 2 groups of 25 plants each and treated as follows: Group 1: S. fonticola, Group 2: Sterile distilled water (control). Leaf samples from above groups were collected at 0, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours post inoculation and homogenized in suitable buffers for surface and cell wall protein isolation. Protein samples thus obtained were subjected to isocratic SDS-gel electrophoresis and analyzed. It was observed that presence of S. fonticola could induce the expression of at least 3 additional cell wall proteins at different time intervals. Surface proteins also showed variation in the expression pattern at different sampling intervals. Further identification of these proteins by MALDI-MS and bioinformatics tools revealed the gene(s) involved in the interaction of S. fonticola with tomato phylloplane.

Keywords: cell wall proteins, human pathogenic bacteria, phylloplane, solanum lycopersicum

Procedia PDF Downloads 124
39 Biosorption of Nickel by Penicillium simplicissimum SAU203 Isolated from Indian Metalliferous Mining Overburden

Authors: Suchhanda Ghosh, A. K. Paul

Abstract:

Nickel, an industrially important metal is not mined in India, due to the lack of its primary mining resources. But, the chromite deposits occurring in the Sukinda and Baula-Nuasahi region of Odhisa, India, is reported to contain around 0.99% of nickel entrapped in the goethite matrix of the lateritic iron rich ore. Weathering of the dumped chromite mining overburden often leads to the contamination of the ground as well as the surface water with toxic nickel. Microbes inherent to this metal contaminated environment are reported to be capable of removal as well as detoxification of various metals including nickel. Nickel resistant fungal isolates obtained in pure form from the metal rich overburden were evaluated for their potential to biosorb nickel by using their dried biomass. Penicillium simplicissimum SAU203 was the best nickel biosorbant among the 20 fungi tested and was capable to sorbing 16.85 mg Ni/g biomass from a solution containing 50 mg/l of Ni. The identity of the isolate was confirmed using 18S rRNA gene analysis. The sorption capacity of the isolate was further standardized following Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models and the results reflected energy efficient sorption. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy studies of the nickel loaded and control biomass in a comparative basis revealed the involvement of hydroxyl, amine and carboxylic groups in Ni binding. The sorption process was also optimized for several standard parameters like initial metal ion concentration, initial sorbet concentration, incubation temperature and pH, presence of additional cations and pre-treatment of the biomass by different chemicals. Optimisation leads to significant improvements in the process of nickel biosorption on to the fungal biomass. P. simplicissimum SAU203 could sorb 54.73 mg Ni/g biomass with an initial Ni concentration of 200 mg/l in solution and 21.8 mg Ni/g biomass with an initial biomass concentration of 1g/l solution. Optimum temperature and pH for biosorption was recorded to be 30°C and pH 6.5 respectively. Presence of Zn and Fe ions improved the sorption of Ni(II), whereas, cobalt had a negative impact. Pre-treatment of biomass with various chemical and physical agents has affected the proficiency of Ni sorption by P. simplicissimum SAU203 biomass, autoclaving as well as treatment of biomass with 0.5 M sulfuric acid and acetic acid reduced the sorption as compared to the untreated biomass, whereas, NaOH and Na₂CO₃ and Twin 80 (0.5 M) treated biomass resulted in augmented metal sorption. Hence, on the basis of the present study, it can be concluded that P. simplicissimum SAU203 has the potential for the removal as well as detoxification of nickel from contaminated environments in general and particularly from the chromite mining areas of Odhisa, India.

Keywords: nickel, fungal biosorption, Penicillium simplicissimum SAU203, Indian chromite mines, mining overburden

Procedia PDF Downloads 93
38 A Systematic Analysis of Knowledge Development Trends in Industrial Maintenance Projects

Authors: Lilian Ogechi Iheukwumere-Esotu, Akilu Yunusa-Kaltungo, Paul Chan

Abstract:

Industrial assets are prone to degradation and eventual failures due to repetitive loads and harsh environments in which they operate. These failures often lead to costly downtimes, which may involve loss of critical assets and/or human lives. The rising pressures from stakeholders for optimized systems’ outputs have further placed strains on business organizations. Traditional means of combating such failures are by adopting strategies capable of predicting, controlling, and/or reducing the likelihood of systems’ failures. Turnarounds, shutdowns, and outages (TSOs) projects are popular maintenance management activities conducted over a certain period of time. However, despite the critical and significant cost implications of TSOs, the management of the interface of knowledge between academia and industry to our best knowledge has not been fully explored in comparison to other aspects of industrial operations. This is perhaps one of the reasons for the limited knowledge transfer between academia and industry, which has affected the outcomes of most TSOs. Prior to now, the study of knowledge development trends as a failure analysis tool in the management of TSOs projects have not gained the required level of attention. Hence, this review provides useful references and their implications for future studies in this field. This study aims to harmonize the existing research trends of TSOs through a systematic review of more than 3,000 research articles published over 7 decades (1940- till date) which were extracted using very specific research criteria and later streamlined using nominated inclusion and exclusion parameters. The information obtained from the analysis were then synthesized and coded into 8 parameters, thereby allowing for a transformation into actionable outputs. The study revealed a variety of information, but the most critical findings can be classified into 4 folds: (1) Empirical validation of available conceptual frameworks and models is still a far cry in practice, (2) traditional project management views for managing uncertainties are still dominant, (3) Inconsistent approaches towards the adoption and promotion of knowledge management systems which supports creation, transfer and application of knowledge within and outside the project organization and, (4) exploration of social practices in industrial maintenance project environments are under-represented within the existing body of knowledge. Thus, the intention of this study is to depict the usefulness of a framework which incorporates fact findings emanating from careful analysis and illustrations of evidence based results as a suitable approach which can tackle reoccurring failures in industrial maintenance projects.

Keywords: industrial maintenance, knowledge management, maintenance projects, systematic review, TSOs

Procedia PDF Downloads 17
37 Capacity Building in Dietary Monitoring and Public Health Nutrition in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Authors: Marisol Warthon-Medina, Jenny Plumb, Ayoub Aljawaldeh, Mark Roe, Ailsa Welch, Maria Glibetic, Paul M. Finglas

Abstract:

Similar to Western Countries, the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) also presents major public health issues associated with the increased consumption of sugar, fat, and salt. Therefore, one of the policies of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) EMR is to reduce the intake of salt, sugar, and fat (Saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids) to address the risk of non-communicable diseases (i.e. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer) and obesity. The project objective is to assess status and provide training and capacity development in the use of improved standardized methodologies for updated food composition data, dietary intake methods, use of suitable biomarkers of nutritional value and determine health outcomes in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Training exchanges have been developed with clusters of countries created resulting from regional needs including Sudan, Egypt and Jordan; Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania; and other Middle Eastern countries. This capacity building will lead to the development and sustainability of up-to-date national and regional food composition databases in LMIC for use in dietary monitoring assessment in food and nutrient intakes. Workshops were organized to provide training and capacity development in the use of improved standardized methodologies for food composition and food intake. Training needs identified and short-term scientific missions organized for LMIC researchers including (1) training and knowledge exchange workshops, (2) short-term exchange of researchers, (3) development and application of protocols and (4) development of strategies to reduce sugar and fat intake. An initial training workshop, Morocco 2018 was attended by 25 participants from 10 EMR countries to review status and support development of regional food composition. 4 training exchanges are in progress. The use of improved standardized methodologies for food composition and dietary intake will produce robust measurements that will reinforce dietary monitoring and policy in LMIC. The capacity building from this project will lead to the development and sustainability of up-to-date national and regional food composition databases in EMR countries. Supported by the UK Medical Research Council, Global Challenges Research Fund, (MR/R019576/1), and the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Keywords: dietary intake, food composition, low and middle-income countries, status.

Procedia PDF Downloads 43
36 Evaluation of Prehabilitation Prior to Surgery for an Orthopaedic Pathway

Authors: Stephen McCarthy, Joanne Gray, Esther Carr, Gerard Danjoux, Paul Baker, Rhiannon Hackett

Abstract:

Background: The Go Well Health (GWH) platform is a web-based programme that allows patients to access personalised care plans and resources, aimed at prehabilitation prior to surgery. The online digital platform delivers essential patient education and support for patients prior to undergoing total hip replacements (THR) and total knee replacements (TKR). This study evaluated the impact of an online digital platform (ODP) in terms of functional health outcomes, health related quality of life and hospital length of stay following surgery. Methods: A retrospective cohort study comparing a cohort of patients who used the online digital platform (ODP) to deliver patient education and support (PES) prior to undergoing THR and TKR surgery relative to a cohort of patients who did not access the ODP and received usual care. Routinely collected Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) data was obtained on 2,406 patients who underwent a knee replacement (n=1,160) or a hip replacement (n=1,246) between 2018 and 2019 in a single surgical centre in the United Kingdom. The Oxford Hip and Knee Score and the European Quality of Life Five-Dimensional tool (EQ5D-5L) was obtained both pre-and post-surgery (at 6 months) along with hospital LOS. Linear regression was used to compare the estimate the impact of GWH on both health outcomes and negative binomial regressions were used to impact on LOS. All analyses adjusted for age, sex, Charlson Comorbidity Score and either pre-operative Oxford Hip/Knee scores or pre-operative EQ-5D scores. Fractional polynomials were used to represent potential non-linear relationships between the factors included in the regression model. Findings: For patients who underwent a knee replacement, GWH had a statistically significant impact on Oxford Knee Scores and EQ5D-5L utility post-surgery (p=0.039 and p=0.002 respectively). GWH did not have a statistically significant impact on the hospital length of stay. For those patients who underwent a hip replacement, GWH had a statistically significant impact on Oxford Hip Scores and EQ5D-5L utility post (p=0.000 and p=0.009 respectively). GWH also had a statistically significant reduction in the hospital length of stay (p=0.000). Conclusion: Health Outcomes were higher for patients who used the GWH platform and underwent THR and TKR relative to those who received usual care prior to surgery. Patients who underwent a hip replacement and used GWH also had a reduced hospital LOS. These findings are important for health policy and or decision makers as they suggest that prehabilitation via an ODP can maximise health outcomes for patients following surgery whilst potentially making efficiency savings with reductions in LOS.

Keywords: digital prehabilitation, online digital platform, orthopaedics, surgery

Procedia PDF Downloads 38