Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Radim Matula

8 The Effects of Stand Density, Standards and Species Composition on Biomass Production in Traditional Coppices

Authors: Marek Mejstřík, Radim Matula, Martin Šrámek

Abstract:

Traditional coppices and coppice-with-standards were widely used throughout Europe and Asia for centuries but were largely abandoned in the second half of the 19th century, especially in central and northwestern Europe. In the last decades, there has been a renewed interest in traditional coppicing for nature conservation and most often, for rapid woody biomass production. However, there is little information on biomass productivity of traditional coppices and what affects it. Here, we focused on the effects of stand density, standards and tree species composition on sprout biomass production in newly restored coppices in the Czech Republic. We measured sprouts and calculated sprout biomass 7 years after the harvest from 2013 resprouting stumps in two 4 ha experimental plots. Each plot was divided into 64 subplots with different densities of standards and sprouting stumps. Total sprout biomass declined with increasing density of standards, but the effect of standards differed significantly among studied species. Whereas increasing density of standards decreased sprout biomass in Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus, it did not affect sprout biomass productivity in Acer campestre and Tilia cordata. Sprout biomass on stand-level increased linearly with an increasing number of sprouting stumps and we observed no leveling of this relationship even in the highest densities of stumps. We also found a significant shift in tree species composition with the steeply declining relative abundance of Quercus in favor of other studied tree species.

Keywords: traditional coppice, coppice with standards, sprout biomass, forest management

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7 Web Application for Evaluating Tests in Distance Learning Systems

Authors: Bogdan Walek, Vladimir Bradac, Radim Farana

Abstract:

Distance learning systems offer useful methods of learning and usually contain final course test or another form of test. The paper proposes web application for evaluating tests using expert system in distance learning systems. Proposed web application is appropriate for didactic tests or tests with results for subsequent studying follow-up courses. Web application works with test questions and uses expert system and LFLC tool for test evaluation. After test evaluation the results are visualized and shown to student.

Keywords: distance learning, test, uncertainty, fuzzy, expert system, student

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6 Using High Performance Computing for Online Flood Monitoring and Prediction

Authors: Stepan Kuchar, Martin Golasowski, Radim Vavrik, Michal Podhoranyi, Boris Sir, Jan Martinovic

Abstract:

The main goal of this article is to describe the online flood monitoring and prediction system Floreon+ primarily developed for the Moravian-Silesian region in the Czech Republic and the basic process it uses for running automatic rainfall-runoff and hydrodynamic simulations along with their calibration and uncertainty modeling. It takes a long time to execute such process sequentially, which is not acceptable in the online scenario, so the use of high-performance computing environment is proposed for all parts of the process to shorten their duration. Finally, a case study on the Ostravice river catchment is presented that shows actual durations and their gain from the parallel implementation.

Keywords: flood prediction process, high performance computing, online flood prediction system, parallelization

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5 Advantages of Fuzzy Control Application in Fast and Sensitive Technological Processes

Authors: Radim Farana, Bogdan Walek, Michal Janosek, Jaroslav Zacek

Abstract:

This paper presents the advantages of fuzzy control use in technological processes control. The paper presents a real application of the Linguistic Fuzzy-Logic Control, developed at the University of Ostrava for the control of physical models in the Intelligent Systems Laboratory. The paper presents an example of a sensitive non-linear model, such as a magnetic levitation model and obtained results which show how modern information technologies can help to solve actual technical problems. A special method based on the LFLC controller with partial components is presented in this paper followed by the method of automatic context change, which is very helpful to achieve more accurate control results. The main advantage of the used system is its robustness in changing conditions demonstrated by comparing with conventional PID controller. This technology and real models are also used as a background for problem-oriented teaching, realized at the department for master students and their collaborative as well as individual final projects.

Keywords: control, fuzzy logic, sensitive system, technological proves

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4 Low-Dose Chest Computed Tomography Can Help in Differential Diagnosis of Asthma–COPD Overlap Syndrome in Children

Authors: Frantisek Kopriva, Kamila Michalkova, Radim Dudek, Jana Volejnikova

Abstract:

Rationale: Diagnostic criteria of asthma–COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS) are controversial in pediatrics. Emphysema is characteristic of COPD and usually does not occur in typical asthma; its presence in patients with asthma suggests the concurrence with COPD. Low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) allows a non-invasive assessment of the lung tissue structure. Here we present CT findings of emphysematous changes in a child with ACOS. Patient and Methods: In a 6-year-old boy, atopy was confirmed by a skin prick test using common allergen extracts (grass and tree pollen, house dust mite, molds, cat, dog; manufacturer Stallergenes Greer, London, UK), where reactions over 3 mm were considered positive. Treatment with corticosteroids was started during the course of severe asthma. At 12 years of age, his spirometric parameters deteriorated despite treatment adjustment (VC 1.76 L=85%, FEV1 1.13 L=67%, TI%VCmax 64%, MEF25 19%, TLC 144%) and the bronchodilator test became negative. Results: Low-dose chest CT displayed irregular regions with increased radiolucency of pulmonary parenchyma (typical for hyperinflation in emphysematous changes) in both lungs. This was in accordance with the results of spirometric examination. Conclusions: ACOS is infrequent in children. However, low-dose chest CT scan can be considered to confirm this diagnosis or eliminate other diagnoses when the clinical condition is deteriorating and treatment response is poor.

Keywords: child, asthma, low-dose chest CT, ACOS

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3 A Comparison of Sulfur Mustard Cytotoxic Effects on the Two Human Lung Origin Cell Lines

Authors: P. Jost, L. Muckova, M. Matula, J. Pejchal, D. Jun, R. Stetina

Abstract:

Sulfur mustard (bis(2-chlorethyl) sulfide) is highly toxic, chemical warfare agent that has been used in the past in several armed conflicts. Except for the skin, respiratory tract is one of the important routes of exposure. The elucidation and understanding of the mechanism of toxicity of SM have been effort intensive research. The multiple targets character of SM caused cellular damage resulted in activation of many different mechanisms which contribute to cellular response and participate in the final cytopathology effect. In our present work, we compared time-dependent changes in sulfur mustard exposed adult human lung fibroblasts NHLF and lung epithelial alveolar cell line A-549. Cell viability (MTT assay, Calcein-AM assay, and xCELLigence - real-time cell analysis), apoptosis (flow cytometry), mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm, flow cytometry), reactive oxygen species induction (DC and cell cycle distribution (flow cytometry) were studied. We observed significantly decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and subsequent induction of apoptosis correlating with decreased cellular viability in the sulfur mustard exposed cells. In low concentrations, sulfur mustard-induced S-phase cell cycle arrest, on the other hand, high concentrations, cell cycle phase distribution of sulfur mustard exposed cells resembled cell cycle phase distribution of control group, which implies nonspecific cell cycle inhibition. Epithelial cells A-549 was found as more sensible to sulfur mustard toxicity. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a long-term organization development plan Medical Aspects of Weapons of Mass Destruction of the Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defence.

Keywords: apoptosis, cell cycle, cytotoxicity, sulfur mustard

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2 Constructivism and Situational Analysis as Background for Researching Complex Phenomena: Example of Inclusion

Authors: Radim Sip, Denisa Denglerova

Abstract:

It’s impossible to capture complex phenomena, such as inclusion, with reductionism. The most common form of reductionism is the objectivist approach, where processes and relationships are reduced to entities and clearly outlined phases, with a consequent search for relationships between them. Constructivism as a paradigm and situational analysis as a methodological research portfolio represent a way to avoid the dominant objectivist approach. They work with a situation, i.e. with the essential blending of actors and their environment. Primary transactions are taking place between actors and their surroundings. Researchers create constructs based on their need to solve a problem. Concepts therefore do not describe reality, but rather a complex of real needs in relation to the available options how such needs can be met. For examination of a complex problem, corresponding methodological tools and overall design of the research are necessary. Using an original research on inclusion in the Czech Republic as an example, this contribution demonstrates that inclusion is not a substance easily described, but rather a relationship field changing its forms in response to its actors’ behaviour and current circumstances. Inclusion consists of dynamic relationship between an ideal, real circumstances and ways to achieve such ideal under the given circumstances. Such achievement has many shapes and thus cannot be captured by description of objects. It can be expressed in relationships in the situation defined by time and space. Situational analysis offers tools to examine such phenomena. It understands a situation as a complex of dynamically changing aspects and prefers relationships and positions in the given situation over a clear and final definition of actors, entities, etc. Situational analysis assumes creation of constructs as a tool for solving a problem at hand. It emphasizes the meanings that arise in the process of coordinating human actions, and the discourses through which these meanings are negotiated. Finally, it offers “cartographic tools” (situational maps, socials worlds / arenas maps, positional maps) that are able to capture the complexity in other than linear-analytical ways. This approach allows for inclusion to be described as a complex of phenomena taking place with a certain historical preference, a complex that can be overlooked if analyzed with a more traditional approach.

Keywords: constructivism, situational analysis, objective realism, reductionism, inclusion

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1 Journey to Inclusive School: Description of Crucial Sensitive Concepts in the Context of Situational Analysis

Authors: Denisa Denglerova, Radim Sip

Abstract:

Academic sources as well as international agreements and national documents define inclusion in terms of several criteria: equal opportunities, fulfilling individual needs, development of human resources, community participation. In order for these criteria to be met, the community must be cohesive. Community cohesion, which is a relatively new concept, is not determined by homogeneity, but by the acceptance of diversity among the community members and utilisation of its positive potential. This brings us to a central category of inclusion - appreciating diversity and using it to a positive effect. However, school diversity is a real phenomenon, which schools need to tackle more and more often. This is also indicated by the number of publications focused on diversity in schools. These sources present recent analyses of using identity as a tool of coping with the demands of a diversified society. The aim of this study is to identify and describe in detail the processes taking place in selected schools, which contribute to their pro-inclusive character. The research is designed around a multiple case study of three pro-inclusive schools. Paradigmatically speaking, the research is rooted in situational epistemology. This is also related to the overall framework of interpretation, for which we are going to use innovative methods of situational analysis. In terms of specific research outcomes this will manifest itself in replacing the idea of “objective theory” by the idea of “detailed cartography of a social world”. The cartographic approach directs both the logic of data collection and the choice of methods of their analysis and interpretation. The research results include detection of the following sensitive concepts: Key persons. All participants can contribute to promoting an inclusion-friendly environment; however, some do so with greater motivation than others. These could include school management, teachers with a strong vision of equality, or school counsellors. They have a significant effect on the transformation of the school, and are themselves deeply convinced that inclusion is necessary. Accordingly, they select suitable co-workers; they also inspire some of the other co-workers to make changes, leading by example. Employees with strongly opposing views gradually leave the school, and new members of staff are introduced to the concept of inclusion and openness from the beginning. Manifestations of school openness in working with diversity on all important levels. By this we mean positive manipulation with diversity both in the relationships between “traditional” school participants (directors, teachers, pupils) and school-parent relationships, or relationships between schools and the broader community, in terms of teaching methods as well as ways how the school culture affects the school environment. Other important detected concepts significantly helping to form a pro-inclusive environment in the school are individual and parallel classes; freedom and responsibility of both pupils and teachers, manifested on the didactic level by tendencies towards an open curriculum; ways of asserting discipline in the school environment.

Keywords: inclusion, diversity, education, sensitive concept, situational analysis

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