Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: R. Venkatesh

24 The Impact of Facebook Brand Pages Engagement on Consumers Purchase Behaviour

Authors: Sudarsan Jayasingh, R. Venkatesh

Abstract:

Increasing number of customers gets connected to social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter to details about the brand communications. This survey, based on a convenience sample, aimed to find the reason for the participants to like Facebook fan pages, how often they visit and interact with the pages that they like, and how is it related with their purchase behaviour. 104 respondents completed the online survey. Overall, the study aimed at determining whether or not creating and maintaining a Facebook fan page is a beneficial tool for brands to communicate with their consumer base.

Keywords: facebook brand pages, social media, consumer engagement, digital engagement, purchase behaviour

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23 Application of Low-order Modeling Techniques and Neural-Network Based Models for System Identification

Authors: Venkatesh Pulletikurthi, Karthik B. Ariyur, Luciano Castillo

Abstract:

The system identification from the turbulence wakes will lead to the tactical advantage to prepare and also, to predict the trajectory of the opponents’ movements. A low-order modeling technique, POD, is used to predict the object based on the wake pattern and compared with pre-trained image recognition neural network (NN) to classify the wake patterns into objects. It is demonstrated that low-order modeling, POD, is able to predict the objects better compared to pretrained NN by ~30%.

Keywords: the bluff body wakes, low-order modeling, neural network, system identification

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22 IACOP - Route Optimization in Wireless Networks Using Improved Ant Colony Optimization Protocol

Authors: S. Vasundra, D. Venkatesh

Abstract:

Wireless networks have gone through an extraordinary growth in the past few years, and will keep on playing a crucial role in future data communication. The present wireless networks aim to make communication possible anywhere and anytime. With the converging of mobile and wireless communications with Internet services, the boundary between mobile personal telecommunications and wireless computer networks is disappearing. Wireless networks of the next generation need the support of all the advances on new architectures, standards, and protocols. Since an ad hoc network may consist of a large number of mobile hosts, this imposes a significant challenge on the design of an effective and efficient routing protocol that can work well in an environment with frequent topological changes. This paper proposes improved ant colony optimization (IACO) technique. It also maintains load balancing in wireless networks. The simulation results show that the proposed IACO performs better than existing routing techniques.

Keywords: wireless networks, ant colony optimization, load balancing, architecture

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21 Design, Development and Evaluation of Ketoconazole Loaded Nanosponges in Hydrogel for the Management of Topical Fungal Infections

Authors: Nagasamy Venkatesh Dhandapani

Abstract:

This work aims at investigating the use of β-Cyclodextrin as a cross linker, in an attempt to formulate nanosponges containing ketoconazole. The nanosponges were prepared by cross-linking method. The excipients used in this study did not alter the physicochemical properties of a drug as revealed by FTIR spectroscopy. Studies on various formulation variables revealed that all the variables are inter-related with the formulation. The ideal batch among the formulation was selected based on the higher entrapment efficiency and drug loading. The in vitro release studies of ketoconazole nanosponges in hydrogel exhibited a sustained release over a period of 24 hours. Mathematical analysis of drug release from the formulation followed non-Fickian diffusion obeying first order kinetics. The anti-fungal activity of the formulation exhibited better zone of inhibition when compared to pure drug (ketoconazole) against Tinea corporis.

Keywords: nanosponges, beta-cyclodextrin, ketoconazole, tinea corporis

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20 Designing Expressive Behaviors to Improve Human-Robot Relationships

Authors: Sahil Anand, John Luetke, Nikhil Venkatesh, Dorothy Wong

Abstract:

Trust plays an important role in building and sustaining long-term relationships between people. In this paper, we present a robot that communicates using nonverbal behaviors such as facial expressions and body movements. Our study reports on an experiment in which participants were asked to team up with the robot to perform specific tasks. We varied the expressivity of the robot and measured the effects on trust, quality of interactions as well as on the praising and punishing behavior of the participant towards the robot. We found that participants developed a stronger affinity towards the expressive robot, but did not show any significant differences in the level of trust. When the same robot made mistakes, participants unconsciously punished it with lesser intensity compared to the neutral robot. The results emphasize the role of expressive behaviors on participant’s perception of the robot and also on the quality of interactions between humans and robots.

Keywords: human-robot interaction, nonverbal communication, relationships, social robot, trust

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19 Privacy Preserving Data Publishing Based on Sensitivity in Context of Big Data Using Hive

Authors: P. Srinivasa Rao, K. Venkatesh Sharma, G. Sadhya Devi, V. Nagesh

Abstract:

Privacy Preserving Data Publication is the main concern in present days because the data being published through the internet has been increasing day by day. This huge amount of data was named as Big Data by its size. This project deals the privacy preservation in the context of Big Data using a data warehousing solution called hive. We implemented Nearest Similarity Based Clustering (NSB) with Bottom-up generalization to achieve (v,l)-anonymity. (v,l)-Anonymity deals with the sensitivity vulnerabilities and ensures the individual privacy. We also calculate the sensitivity levels by simple comparison method using the index values, by classifying the different levels of sensitivity. The experiments were carried out on the hive environment to verify the efficiency of algorithms with Big Data. This framework also supports the execution of existing algorithms without any changes. The model in the paper outperforms than existing models.

Keywords: sensitivity, sensitive level, clustering, Privacy Preserving Data Publication (PPDP), bottom-up generalization, Big Data

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18 Formulation and in vitro Evaluation of Sustained Release Matrix Tablets of Levetiracetam for Better Epileptic Treatment

Authors: Nagasamy Venkatesh Dhandapani

Abstract:

The objective of the present study was to develop sustained release oral matrix tablets of anti epileptic drug levetiracetam. The sustained release matrix tablets of levetiracetam were prepared using hydrophilic matrix hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) as a release retarding polymer by wet granulation method. Prior to compression, FTIR studies were performed to understand the compatibility between the drug and excipients. The study revealed that there was no chemical interaction between drug and excipients used in the study. The tablets were characterized by physical and chemical parameters and results were found in acceptable limits. In vitro release study was carried out for the tablets using 0.1 N HCl for 2 hours and in phosphate buffer pH 7.4 for remaining time up to 12 hours. The effect of polymer concentration was studied. Different dissolution models were applied to drug release data in order to evaluate release mechanisms and kinetics. The drug release data fit well to zero order kinetics. Drug release mechanism was found as a complex mixture of diffusion, swelling and erosion.

Keywords: levetiracetam, sustained-release, hydrophilic matrix tablet, HPMC grade K 100 MCR, wet granulation, zero order release kinetics

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17 Mitigating Supply Chain Risk for Sustainability Using Big Data Knowledge: Evidence from the Manufacturing Supply Chain

Authors: Mani Venkatesh, Catarina Delgado, Purvishkumar Patel

Abstract:

The sustainable supply chain is gaining popularity among practitioners because of increased environmental degradation and stakeholder awareness. On the other hand supply chain, risk management is very crucial for the practitioners as it potentially disrupts supply chain operations. Prediction and addressing the risk caused by social issues in the supply chain is paramount importance to the sustainable enterprise. More recently, the usage of Big data analytics for forecasting business trends has been gaining momentum among professionals. The aim of the research is to explore the application of big data, predictive analytics in successfully mitigating supply chain social risk and demonstrate how such mitigation can help in achieving sustainability (environmental, economic & social). The method involves the identification and validation of social issues in the supply chain by an expert panel and survey. Later, we used a case study to illustrate the application of big data in the successful identification and mitigation of social issues in the supply chain. Our result shows that the company can predict various social issues through big data, predictive analytics and mitigate the social risk. We also discuss the implication of this research to the body of knowledge and practice.

Keywords: big data, sustainability, supply chain social sustainability, social risk, case study

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16 Solid Dispersions of Cefixime Using β-Cyclodextrin: Characterization and in vitro Evaluation

Authors: Nagasamy Venkatesh Dhandapani, Amged Awad El-Gied

Abstract:

Cefixime, a BCS class II drug, is insoluble in water but freely soluble in acetone and in alcohol. The aqueous solubility of cefixime in water is poor and exhibits exceptionally slow and intrinsic dissolution rate. In the present study, cefixime and β-Cyclodextrin (β-CD) solid dispersions were prepared with a view to study the effect and influence of β-CD on the solubility and dissolution rate of this poorly aqueous soluble drug. Phase solubility profile revealed that the solubility of cefixime was increased in the presence of β-CD and was classified as AL-type. Effect of variable, such as drug:carrier ratio, was studied. Physical characterization of the solid dispersion was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). These studies revealed that a distinct loss of drug crystallinity in the solid molecular dispersions is ostensibly accounting for enhancement of dissolution rate in distilled water. The drug release from the prepared solid dispersion exhibited a first order kinetics. Solid dispersions of cefixime showed a 6.77 times fold increase in dissolution rate over the pure drug.

Keywords: β-cyclodextrin, cefixime, dissolution, Kneading method, solid dispersions, release kinetics

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15 Vapor Phase Transesterification of Dimethyl Malonate with Phenol over Cordierite Honeycomb Coated with Zirconia and Its Modified Forms

Authors: Prathap S. Raghavendra, Mohamed S. Z. Shamshuddin, Thimmaraju N. Venkatesh

Abstract:

The transesterification of dimethyl malonate (DMM) with phenol has been studied in vapour phase over cordierite honeycomb coated with solid acid catalysts such as ZrO2,Mo(VI)/ZrO2 and SO42-/ZrO2. The catalytic materials were prepared honeycomb coated and powder forms and characterized for their total surface acidity by NH3-TPD and crystalinity by powder XRD methods. Phenyl methyl malonate (PMM) and diphenyl malonate (DPM) were obtained as the reaction products. A good conversion of DMM (up to 82%) of MPM with 95% selectivity was observed when the reactions were carried out at a catalyst bed temperature of 200 °C and flow-rate of 10 mL/h in presence of Mo(VI)/ZrO2 as catalyst. But over SO42-/ZrO2 catalyst, the yield of DPM was found to be higher. The results have been interpreted based on the variation of acidic properties and powder XRD phases of zirconia on incorporation of Mo(VI) or SO42– ions. Transesterification reactions were also carried out over powder forms of the catalytic materials and the yield of the desired phenyl ester products were compared with that of the HC coated catalytic materials. The solid acids were found to be reusable when used for at least 5 reaction cycles.

Keywords: cordierite honeycomb, methyl phenyl malonate, vapour phase transesterification, zirconia

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14 A Comparative Study on the Dimensional Error of 3D CAD Model and SLS RP Model for Reconstruction of Cranial Defect

Authors: L. Siva Rama Krishna, Sriram Venkatesh, M. Sastish Kumar, M. Uma Maheswara Chary

Abstract:

Rapid Prototyping (RP) is a technology that produces models and prototype parts from 3D CAD model data, CT/MRI scan data, and model data created from 3D object digitizing systems. There are several RP process like Stereolithography (SLA), Solid Ground Curing (SGC), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), 3D Printing (3DP) among them SLS and FDM RP processes are used to fabricate pattern of custom cranial implant. RP technology is useful in engineering and biomedical application. This is helpful in engineering for product design, tooling and manufacture etc. RP biomedical applications are design and development of medical devices, instruments, prosthetics and implantation; it is also helpful in planning complex surgical operation. The traditional approach limits the full appreciation of various bony structure movements and therefore the custom implants produced are difficult to measure the anatomy of parts and analyse the changes in facial appearances accurately. Cranioplasty surgery is a surgical correction of a defect in cranial bone by implanting a metal or plastic replacement to restore the missing part. This paper aims to do a comparative study on the dimensional error of CAD and SLS RP Models for reconstruction of cranial defect by comparing the virtual CAD with the physical RP model of a cranial defect.

Keywords: rapid prototyping, selective laser sintering, cranial defect, dimensional error

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13 Q-Map: Clinical Concept Mining from Clinical Documents

Authors: Sheikh Shams Azam, Manoj Raju, Venkatesh Pagidimarri, Vamsi Kasivajjala

Abstract:

Over the past decade, there has been a steep rise in the data-driven analysis in major areas of medicine, such as clinical decision support system, survival analysis, patient similarity analysis, image analytics etc. Most of the data in the field are well-structured and available in numerical or categorical formats which can be used for experiments directly. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, there exists a wide expanse of data that is intractable for direct analysis owing to its unstructured nature which can be found in the form of discharge summaries, clinical notes, procedural notes which are in human written narrative format and neither have any relational model nor any standard grammatical structure. An important step in the utilization of these texts for such studies is to transform and process the data to retrieve structured information from the haystack of irrelevant data using information retrieval and data mining techniques. To address this problem, the authors present Q-Map in this paper, which is a simple yet robust system that can sift through massive datasets with unregulated formats to retrieve structured information aggressively and efficiently. It is backed by an effective mining technique which is based on a string matching algorithm that is indexed on curated knowledge sources, that is both fast and configurable. The authors also briefly examine its comparative performance with MetaMap, one of the most reputed tools for medical concepts retrieval and present the advantages the former displays over the latter.

Keywords: information retrieval, unified medical language system, syntax based analysis, natural language processing, medical informatics

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12 Effect of Recycled Grey Water on Bacterial Concrete

Authors: T. Deepa, S. R. Inchara, S. V. Venkatesh, Seema Tharannum

Abstract:

Concrete is the most widely used structural material. It is made using locally available materials. However, Concrete has low tensile strength and may crack in the early days with exothermic hydration. Bacillus subtilis bacteria that form endospores is the biological agent considered in this study for Biomineralization or MICP (Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation) Technique and to address the increased Construction water demand, Recycled Grey Water which is obtained from STP of PES University, opted in place of Potable water. In this work, M30 grade conventional concrete is designed using OPC 53 grade cement, Manufactured Sand, Natural coarse aggregates, and Potable water. Conventional Concrete (CC), Bacterial Concrete with Potable water (BS), and Recycled Grey Water concrete (RGW) are the three different concrete specimens casted. Experimental studies such as the strength test and the surface hardness test are conducted on Conventional and Bacterial concrete samples after 7, 28, and 56 days of curing. Concrete cubes are subjected to a temperature of 50° C to investigate the effect of higher temperature. Cracked cube specimens are observed for Self-healing - as well as microstructure analysis with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDAX), and X-Ray Diffraction Analysis (XRD).Noticeable Calcium salt deposition is observed on the surface of BS and RGW cracked specimen. Surface hardness and EDAX test gave promising result on the advantage of using spore-forming bacteria in concrete. This is followed by the strength gain in Compression and Flexure. Results also indicate that Recycled Grey Water can be a substitute for Normal water in concrete.

Keywords: bacillus subtilis, bacterial concrete, recycled grey water, self-healing, surface hardness of concrete

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11 Behavioural Studies on Multidirectional Reinforced 4-D Orthogonal Composites on Various Preform Configurations

Authors: Sriram Venkatesh, V. Murali Mohan, T. V. Karthikeyan

Abstract:

The main advantage of multi-directionally reinforced composites is the freedom to orient selected fibre types and hence derives the benefits of varying fibre volume fractions and there by accommodate the design loads of the final structure of composites. This technology provides the means to produce tailored composites with desired properties. Due to the high level of fibre integrity with through thickness reinforcement those composites are expected to exhibit superior load bearing characteristics with capability to carry load even after noticeable and apparent fracture. However a survey of published literature indicates inadequacy in the design and test data base for the complete characterization of the multidirectional composites. In this paper the research objective is focused on the development and testing of 4-D orthogonal composites with different preform configurations and resin systems. A preform is the skeleton 4D reinforced composite other than the matrix. In 4-D preforms fibre bundles are oriented in three directions at 1200 with respect to each other and they are on orthogonal plane with the fibre in 4th direction. This paper addresses the various types of 4-D composite manufacturing processes and the mechanical test methods followed for the material characterization. A composite analysis is also made, experiments on course and fine woven preforms are conducted and the findings of test results are discussed in this paper. The interpretations of the test results reveal several useful and interesting features. This should pave the way for more widespread use of the perform configurations for allied applications.

Keywords: multi-directionally reinforced composites, 4-D orthogonal preform, course weave, fine weave, fibre bundle spools, unit cell, fibre architecture, fibre volume fraction, fibre distribution

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10 Classic Modelled Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using The Power of Internet Of Things

Authors: Venkatesh Krishna Murthy

Abstract:

The era before government-regulated automotive designs gave us some astonishing vehicles that are well worth to keep on the road. The fact that restoring an automobile in 2015 does not mean it will perform like one designed in 2021. This is one of the reasons that manufacturers continue to turn to vintage hardware for future enhancements in their vehicles. Now we need to understand that a modern chassis could possibly allow manufacturers to give vintage performance cars a level of braking capability, compatibility with tires, chassis rigidity, suspension sophistication, and steering response, an experience only racers got until now. However, half a century of advancements in engineering can have a great impact on design in any field, and the automotive realm which holds no exception. In the current situation, a growing number of companies offer chassis and braking components to onboard manufacturers to retrofit contemporary technology for their vintage vehicles to modernize them at the foundation level. The recent question arises on performance on lithium batteries, as opposed to simply bolting upgraded components, for ex. lithium batteries with graphene as superconductive material to enhance performance, an area deeply investigated. Serving as the “bones” of the vehicle, the chassis and frame play a central role in dictating how that automobile will perform. While the desire to maintain originality is alluring for many, the benefits of a modern chassis are vast. In some situations, it also allows builders to put cars back on the road that might otherwise be too far gone. “There’s a couple of different factors at play here – one of them being that these older cars from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s have seen a lot of weather and a lot of road miles over the years, more often than not,” says Craig Morrison of Art Morrison Enterprises.

Keywords: hybrid electric vehicles, internet of things, lithium graphene batteries, classic car chassis

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9 Life Cycle Assessment of Residential Buildings: A Case Study in Canada

Authors: Venkatesh Kumar, Kasun Hewage, Rehan Sadiq

Abstract:

Residential buildings consume significant amounts of energy and produce a large amount of emissions and waste. However, there is a substantial potential for energy savings in this sector which needs to be evaluated over the life cycle of residential buildings. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been employed to study the primary energy uses and associated environmental impacts of different phases (i.e., product, construction, use, end of life, and beyond building life) for residential buildings. Four different alternatives of residential buildings in Vancouver (BC, Canada) with a 50-year lifespan have been evaluated, including High Rise Apartment (HRA), Low Rise Apartment (LRA), Single family Attached House (SAH), and Single family Detached House (SDH). Life cycle performance of the buildings is evaluated for embodied energy, embodied environmental impacts, operational energy, operational environmental impacts, total life-cycle energy, and total life cycle environmental impacts. Estimation of operational energy and LCA are performed using DesignBuilder software and Athena Impact estimator software respectively. The study results revealed that over the life span of the buildings, the relationship between the energy use and the environmental impacts are identical. LRA is found to be the best alternative in terms of embodied energy use and embodied environmental impacts; while, HRA showed the best life-cycle performance in terms of minimum energy use and environmental impacts. Sensitivity analysis has also been carried out to study the influence of building service lifespan over 50, 75, and 100 years on the relative significance of embodied energy and total life cycle energy. The life-cycle energy requirements for SDH is found to be a significant component among the four types of residential buildings. The overall disclose that the primary operations of these buildings accounts for 90% of the total life cycle energy which far outweighs minor differences in embodied effects between the buildings.

Keywords: building simulation, environmental impacts, life cycle assessment, life cycle energy analysis, residential buildings

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8 Design and Development of High Strength Aluminium Alloy from Recycled 7xxx-Series Material Using Bayesian Optimisation

Authors: Alireza Vahid, Santu Rana, Sunil Gupta, Pratibha Vellanki, Svetha Venkatesh, Thomas Dorin

Abstract:

Aluminum is the preferred material for lightweight applications and its alloys are constantly improving. The high strength 7xxx alloys have been extensively used for structural components in aerospace and automobile industries for the past 50 years. In the next decade, a great number of airplanes will be retired, providing an obvious source of valuable used metals and great demand for cost-effective methods to re-use these alloys. The design of proper aerospace alloys is primarily based on optimizing strength and ductility, both of which can be improved by controlling the additional alloying elements as well as heat treatment conditions. In this project, we explore the design of high-performance alloys with 7xxx as a base material. These designed alloys have to be optimized and improved to compare with modern 7xxx-series alloys and to remain competitive for aircraft manufacturing. Aerospace alloys are extremely complex with multiple alloying elements and numerous processing steps making optimization often intensive and costly. In the present study, we used Bayesian optimization algorithm, a well-known adaptive design strategy, to optimize this multi-variable system. An Al alloy was proposed and the relevant heat treatment schedules were optimized, using the tensile yield strength as the output to maximize. The designed alloy has a maximum yield strength and ultimate tensile strength of more than 730 and 760 MPa, respectively, and is thus comparable to the modern high strength 7xxx-series alloys. The microstructure of this alloy is characterized by electron microscopy, indicating that the increased strength of the alloy is due to the presence of a high number density of refined precipitates.

Keywords: aluminum alloys, Bayesian optimization, heat treatment, tensile properties

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7 A Game-Based Product Modelling Environment for Non-Engineer

Authors: Guolong Zhong, Venkatesh Chennam Vijay, Ilias Oraifige

Abstract:

In the last 20 years, Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) has shown its advantages in product development in different engineering areas such as automation, mechanical, civil and aerospace engineering in terms of digital design automation and cost reduction by automating repetitive design tasks through capturing, integrating, utilising and reusing the existing knowledge required in various aspects of the product design. However, in primary design stages, the descriptive information of a product is discrete and unorganized while knowledge is in various forms instead of pure data. Thus, it is crucial to have an integrated product model which can represent the entire product information and its associated knowledge at the beginning of the product design. One of the shortcomings of the existing product models is a lack of required knowledge representation in various aspects of product design and its mapping to an interoperable schema. To overcome the limitation of the existing product model and methodologies, two key factors are considered. First, the product model must have well-defined classes that can represent the entire product information and its associated knowledge. Second, the product model needs to be represented in an interoperable schema to ensure a steady data exchange between different product modelling platforms and CAD software. This paper introduced a method to provide a general product model as a generative representation of a product, which consists of the geometry information and non-geometry information, through a product modelling framework. The proposed method for capturing the knowledge from the designers through a knowledge file provides a simple and efficient way of collecting and transferring knowledge. Further, the knowledge schema provides a clear view and format on the data that needed to be gathered in order to achieve a unified knowledge exchange between different platforms. This study used a game-based platform to make product modelling environment accessible for non-engineers. Further the paper goes on to test use case based on the proposed game-based product modelling environment to validate the effectiveness among non-engineers.

Keywords: game-based learning, knowledge based engineering, product modelling, design automation

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6 Multi-Indicator Evaluation of Agricultural Drought Trends in Ethiopia: Implications for Dry Land Agriculture and Food Security

Authors: Dawd Ahmed, Venkatesh Uddameri

Abstract:

Agriculture in Ethiopia is the main economic sector influenced by agricultural drought. A simultaneous assessment of drought trends using multiple drought indicators is useful for drought planning and management. Intra-season and seasonal drought trends in Ethiopia were studied using a suite of drought indicators. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), and Z-index for long-rainy, dry, and short-rainy seasons are used to identify drought-causing mechanisms. The Statistical software package R version 3.5.2 was used for data extraction and data analyses. Trend analysis indicated shifts in late-season long-rainy season precipitation into dry in the southwest and south-central portions of Ethiopia. Droughts during the dry season (October–January) were largely temperature controlled. Short-term temperature-controlled hydrologic processes exacerbated rainfall deficits during the short rainy season (February–May) and highlight the importance of temperature- and hydrology-induced soil dryness on the production of short-season crops such as tef. Droughts during the long-rainy season (June–September) were largely driven by precipitation declines arising from the narrowing of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Increased dryness during long-rainy season had severe consequences on the production of corn and sorghum. PDSI was an aggressive indicator of seasonal droughts suggesting the low natural resilience to combat the effects of slow-acting, moisture-depleting hydrologic processes. The lack of irrigation systems in the nation limits the ability to combat droughts and improve agricultural resilience. There is an urgent need to monitor soil moisture (a key agro-hydrologic variable) to better quantify the impacts of meteorological droughts on agricultural systems in Ethiopia.

Keywords: autocorrelation, climate change, droughts, Ethiopia, food security, palmer z-index, PDSI, SPEI, SPI, trend analysis

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5 Analysis of Ancient and Present Lightning Protection Systems of Large Heritage Stupas in Sri Lanka

Authors: J.R.S.S. Kumara, M.A.R.M. Fernando, S.Venkatesh, D.K. Jayaratne

Abstract:

Protection of heritage monuments against lightning has become extremely important as far as their historical values are concerned. When such structures are large and tall, the risk of lightning initiated from both cloud and ground can be high. This paper presents a lightning risk analysis of three giant stupas in Anuradhapura era (fourth century BC onwards) in Sri Lanka. The three stupas are Jethawaaramaya (269-296 AD), Abayagiriya (88-76 BC) and Ruwanweliseya (161-137 BC), the third, fifth and seventh largest ancient structures in the world. These stupas are solid brick structures consisting of a base, a near hemispherical dome and a conical spire on the top. The ancient stupas constructed with a dielectric crystal on the top and connected to the ground through a conducting material, was considered as the hypothesis for their original lightning protection technique. However, at present, all three stupas are protected with Franklin rod type air termination systems located on top of the spire. First, a risk analysis was carried out according to IEC 62305 by considering the isokeraunic level of the area and the height of the stupas. Then the standard protective angle method and rolling sphere method were used to locate the possible touching points on the surface of the stupas. The study was extended to estimate the critical current which could strike on the unprotected areas of the stupas. The equations proposed by (Uman 2001) and (Cooray2007) were used to find the striking distances. A modified version of rolling sphere method was also applied to see the effects of upward leaders. All these studies were carried out for two scenarios: with original (i.e. ancient) lightning protection system and with present (i.e. new) air termination system. The field distribution on the surface of the stupa in the presence of a downward leader was obtained using finite element based commercial software COMSOL Multiphysics for further investigations of lightning risks. The obtained results were analyzed and compared each other to evaluate the performance of ancient and new lightning protection methods and identify suitable methods to design lightning protection systems for stupas. According to IEC standards, all three stupas with new and ancient lightning protection system has Level IV protection as per protection angle method. However according to rolling sphere method applied with Uman’s equation protection level is III. The same method applied with Cooray’s equation always shows a high risk with respect to Uman’s equation. It was found that there is a risk of lightning strikes on the dome and square chamber of the stupa, and the corresponding critical current values were different with respect to the equations used in the rolling sphere method and modified rolling sphere method.

Keywords: Stupa, heritage, lightning protection, rolling sphere method, protection level

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4 Homeostatic Analysis of the Integrated Insulin and Glucagon Signaling Network: Demonstration of Bistable Response in Catabolic and Anabolic States

Authors: Pramod Somvanshi, Manu Tomar, K. V. Venkatesh

Abstract:

Insulin and glucagon are responsible for homeostasis of key plasma metabolites like glucose, amino acids and fatty acids in the blood plasma. These hormones act antagonistically to each other during the secretion and signaling stages. In the present work, we analyze the effect of macronutrients on the response from integrated insulin and glucagon signaling pathways. The insulin and glucagon pathways are connected by DAG (a calcium signaling component which is part of the glucagon signaling module) which activates PKC and inhibits IRS (insulin signaling component) constituting a crosstalk. AKT (insulin signaling component) inhibits cAMP (glucagon signaling component) through PDE3 forming the other crosstalk between the two signaling pathways. Physiological level of anabolism and catabolism is captured through a metric quantified by the activity levels of AKT and PKA in their phosphorylated states, which represent the insulin and glucagon signaling endpoints, respectively. Under resting and starving conditions, the phosphorylation metric represents homeostasis indicating a balance between the anabolic and catabolic activities in the tissues. The steady state analysis of the integrated network demonstrates the presence of a bistable response in the phosphorylation metric with respect to input plasma glucose levels. This indicates that two steady state conditions (one in the homeostatic zone and other in the anabolic zone) are possible for a given glucose concentration depending on the ON or OFF path. When glucose levels rise above normal, during post-meal conditions, the bistability is observed in the anabolic space denoting the dominance of the glycogenesis in liver. For glucose concentrations lower than the physiological levels, while exercising, metabolic response lies in the catabolic space denoting the prevalence of glycogenolysis in liver. The non-linear positive feedback of AKT on IRS in insulin signaling module of the network is the main cause of the bistable response. The span of bistability in the phosphorylation metric increases as plasma fatty acid and amino acid levels rise and eventually the response turns monostable and catabolic representing diabetic conditions. In the case of high fat or protein diet, fatty acids and amino acids have an inhibitory effect on the insulin signaling pathway by increasing the serine phosphorylation of IRS protein via the activation of PKC and S6K, respectively. Similar analysis was also performed with respect to input amino acid and fatty acid levels. This emergent property of bistability in the integrated network helps us understand why it becomes extremely difficult to treat obesity and diabetes when blood glucose level rises beyond a certain value.

Keywords: bistability, diabetes, feedback and crosstalk, obesity

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3 Exploring Bio-Inspired Catecholamine Chemistry to Design Durable Anti-Fungal Wound Dressings

Authors: Chetna Dhand, Venkatesh Mayandi, Silvia Marrero Diaz, Roger W. Beuerman, Seeram Ramakrishna, Rajamani Lakshminarayanan

Abstract:

Sturdy Insect Cuticle Sclerotization, Incredible Substrate independent Mussel’s bioadhesion, Tanning of Leather are some of catechol(amine)s mediated natural processes. Chemical contemplation spots toward a mechanism instigated with the formation of the quinone moieties from the respective catechol(amine)s, via oxidation, followed by the nucleophilic addition of the amino acids/proteins/peptides to this quinone leads to the development of highly strong, cross-linked and water-resistant proteinacious structures. Inspired with this remarkable catechol(amine)s chemistry towards amino acids/proteins/peptides, we attempted to design highly stable and water-resistant antifungal wound dressing mats with exceptional durability using collagen (protein), dopamine (catecholamine) and antifungal drugs (Amphotericin B and Caspofungin) as the key materials. Electrospinning technique has been used to fabricate desired nanofibrous mat including Collagen (COLL), COLL/Dopamine (COLL/DP) and calcium incorporated COLL/DP (COLL-DP-Ca2+). The prepared protein-based scaffolds have been studied for their microscopic investigations (SEM, TEM, and AFM), structural analysis (FT-IR), mechanical properties, water wettability characteristics and aqueous stability. Biocompatibility of these scaffolds has been analyzed for dermal fibroblast cells using MTS assay, Cell TrackerTM Green CMFDA and confocal imaging. Being the winner sample, COLL-DP-Ca2+ scaffold has been selected for incorporating two antifungal drugs namely Caspofungin (Peptide based) and Amphotericin B (Non-Peptide based). Antifungal efficiency of the designed mats has been evaluated for eight diverse fungal strains employing different microbial assays including disc diffusion, cell-viability assay, time kill kinetics etc. To confirm the durability of these mats, in term of their antifungal activity, drug leaching studies has been performed and monitored using disc diffusion assay each day. Ex-vivo fungal infection model has also been developed and utilized to validate the antifungal efficacy of the designed wound dressings. Results clearly reveal dopamine mediated crosslinking within COLL-antifungal scaffolds that leads to the generation of highly stable, mechanical tough, biocompatible wound dressings having the zone of inhabitation of ≥ 2 cm for almost all the investigated fungal strains. Leaching studies and Ex-vivo model has confirmed the durability of these wound dressing for more than 3 weeks and certified their suitability for commercialization. A model has also been proposed to enlighten the chemical mechanism involved for the development of these antifungal wound dressings with exceptional robustness.

Keywords: catecholamine chemistry, electrospinning technique, antifungals, wound dressings, collagen

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2 Sustainable Antimicrobial Biopolymeric Food & Biomedical Film Engineering Using Bioactive AMP-Ag+ Formulations

Authors: Eduardo Lanzagorta Garcia, Chaitra Venkatesh, Romina Pezzoli, Laura Gabriela Rodriguez Barroso, Declan Devine, Margaret E. Brennan Fournet

Abstract:

New antimicrobial interventions are urgently required to combat rising global health and medical infection challenges. Here, an innovative antimicrobial technology, providing price competitive alternatives to antibiotics and readily integratable with currently technological systems is presented. Two cutting edge antimicrobial materials, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and uncompromised sustained Ag+ action from triangular silver nanoplates (TSNPs) reservoirs, are merged for versatile effective antimicrobial action where current approaches fail. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) exist widely in nature and have recently been demonstrated for broad spectrum of activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. TSNP’s are highly discrete, homogenous and readily functionisable Ag+ nanoreseviors that have a proven amenability for operation within in a wide range of bio-based settings. In a design for advanced antimicrobial sustainable plastics, antimicrobial TSNPs are formulated for processing within biodegradable biopolymers. Histone H5 AMP was selected for its reported strong antimicrobial action and functionalized with the TSNP (AMP-TSNP) in a similar fashion to previously reported TSNP biofunctionalisation methods. A synergy between the propensity of biopolymers for degradation and Ag+ release combined with AMP activity provides a novel mechanism for the sustained antimicrobial action of biopolymeric thin films. Nanoplates are transferred from aqueous phase to an organic solvent in order to facilitate integration within hydrophobic polymers. Extrusion is used in combination with calendering rolls to create thin polymerc film where the nanoplates are embedded onto the surface. The resultant antibacterial functional films are suitable to be adapted for food packing and biomedical applications. TSNP synthesis were synthesized by adapting a previously reported seed mediated approach. TSNP synthesis was scaled up for litre scale batch production and subsequently concentrated to 43 ppm using thermally controlled H2O removal. Nanoplates were transferred from aqueous phase to an organic solvent in order to facilitate integration within hydrophobic polymers. This was acomplised by functionalizing the TSNP with thiol terminated polyethylene glycol and using centrifugal force to transfer them to chloroform. Polycaprolactone (PCL) and Polylactic acid (PLA) were individually processed through extrusion, TSNP and AMP-TSNP solutions were sprayed onto the polymer immediately after exiting the dye. Calendering rolls were used to disperse and incorporate TSNP and TSNP-AMP onto the surface of the extruded films. Observation of the characteristic blue colour confirms the integrity of the TSNP within the films. Antimicrobial tests were performed by incubating Gram + and Gram – strains with treated and non-treated films, to evaluate if bacterial growth was reduced due to the presence of the TSNP. The resulting films successfully incorporated TSNP and AMP-TSNP. Reduced bacterial growth was observed for both Gram + and Gram – strains for both TSNP and AMP-TSNP compared with untreated films indicating antimicrobial action. The largest growth reduction was observed for AMP-TSNP treated films demonstrating the additional antimicrobial activity due to the presence of the AMPs. The potential of this technology to impede bacterial activity in food industry and medical surfaces will forge new confidence in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, serving to greatly inhibit infections and facilitate patient recovery.

Keywords: antimicrobial, biodegradable, peptide, polymer, nanoparticle

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1 A Study on the Use Intention of Smart Phone

Authors: Zhi-Zhong Chen, Jun-Hao Lu, Jr., Shih-Ying Chueh

Abstract:

Based on Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), the study investigates people’s intention on using smart phones. The study additionally incorporates two new variables: 'self-efficacy' and 'attitude toward using'. Samples are collected by questionnaire survey, in which 240 are valid. After Correlation Analysis, Reliability Test, ANOVA, t-test and Multiple Regression Analysis, the study finds that social impact and self-efficacy have positive effect on use intentions, and the use intentions also have positive effect on use behavior.

Keywords: [1] Ajzen & Fishbein (1975), “Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research”, Reading MA: Addison-Wesley. [2] Bandura (1977) Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioural change. Psychological Review , 84, 191–215. [3] Bandura( 1986) A. Bandura, Social foundations of though and action, Prentice-Hall. Englewood Cliffs. [4] Ching-Hui Huang (2005). The effect of Regular Exercise on Elderly Optimism: The Self-efficacy and Theory of Reasoned Action Perspectives.(Master's dissertation, National Taiwan Sport University, 2005).National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan。 [5] Chun-Mo Wu (2007).The Effects of Perceived Risk and Service Quality on Purchase Intention - an Example of Taipei City Long-Term Care Facilities. (Master's dissertation, Ming Chuan University, 2007).National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. [6] Compeau, D.R., and Higgins, C.A., (1995) “Application of social cognitive theory to training for computer skills.”, Information Systems Research, 6(2), pp.118-143. [7] computer-self-efficacy and mediators of the efficacy-performance relationship. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 62, 737-758. [8] Davis et al(1989), “User acceptance of computer technology: A comparison of two theoretical models ”, Management Science, 35(8), p.982-1003. [9] Davis et al(1989), “User acceptance of computer technology:A comparison of two theoretical models ”, Management Science, 35(8), p.982-1003. [10] Davis, F.D. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319-340。 [11] Davis. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319–340. doi:10.2307/249008 [12] Johnson, R. D. (2005). An empirical investigation of sources of application-specific [13] Mei-yin Hsu (2010).The Study on Attitude and Satisfaction of Electronic Documents System for Administrators of Elementary Schools in Changhua County.(Master's dissertation , Feng Chia University, 2010).National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. [14] Ming-Chun Hsieh (2010). Research on Parents’ Attitudes Toward Electronic Toys: The case of Taichung City.(Master's dissertation, Chaoyang University of Technology,2010).National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. [15] Moon and Kim(2001). Extending the TAM for a World-Wide-Web context, Information and Management, v.38 n.4, p.217-230. [16] Shang-Yi Hu (2010).The Impacts of Knowledge Management on Customer Relationship Management – Enterprise Characteristicsand Corporate Governance as a Moderator.(Master's dissertation, Leader University, 2010)。National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. [17] Sheng-Yi Hung (2013, September10).Worldwide sale of smartphones to hit one billion IDC:Android dominate the market. ETtoday. Retrieved data form the available protocol:2013/10/3. [18] Thompson, R.L., Higgins, C.A., and Howell, J.M.(1991), “Personal Computing: Toward a Conceptual Model of Utilization”, MIS Quarterly(15:1), pp. 125-143. [19] Venkatesh, V., M.G. Morris, G.B. Davis, and F. D. Davis (2003), “User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view, ” MIS Quarterly, 27, No. 3, pp.425-478. [20] Vijayasarathy, L. R. (2004), Predicting Consumer Intentions to Use On-Line Shopping: The Case for an Augmented Technology Acceptance Model, Information and Management, Vol.41, No.6, pp.747-762. [21] Wikipedia - smartphone (http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E6%99%BA%E8%83%BD%E6%89%8B%E6%9C%BA)。 [22] Wu-Minsan (2008).The impacts of self-efficacy, social support on work adjustment with hearing impaired. (Master's dissertation, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, 2008).National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. [23] Yu-min Lin (2006). The Influence of Business Employee’s MSN Self-efficacy On Instant Messaging Usage Behavior and Communicaiton Satisfaction.(Master's dissertation, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, 2006).National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.

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