Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 35

Search results for: Ridha Khelifa

35 Identification and Quantification of Acid Sites of M(X)X Zeolites (M= Cu2+ and/or Zn2+,X = Level of Exchange): An In situ FTIR Study Using Pyridine Adsorption/Desorption

Authors: H. Hammoudi, S. Bendenia, I. Batonneau-Gener, J. Comparot, K. Marouf-Khelifa, A. Khelifa


X zeolites were prepared by ion-exchange with Cu2+ and/or Zn2+ cations, at different concentrations of the exchange solution, and characterised by thermal analysis and nitrogen adsorption. The acidity of the samples was investigated by pyridine adsorption–desorption followed by in situ Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Desorption was carried out at 150, 250 and 350 °C. The objective is to estimate the nature and concentration of acid sites. A comparison between the binary (Cu(x)X, Zn(x)X) and ternary (CuZn(x)X) exchanges was also established (x = level of exchange) through the Cu(43)X, Zn(48)X and CuZn(50)X samples. Lewis acidity decreases overall with desorption temperature and the level of exchange. As the latter increases, there is a conversion of some Lewis sites into those of Brønsted during thermal treatment. In return, the concentration of Brønsted sites increases with the degree of exchange. The Brønsted acidity of CuZn(50)X at 350 °C is more important than the sum of those of Cu(43)X and Zn(48)X. The found values were 73, 32 and 15 μmol g-1, respectively. Besides, the concentration of Brønsted sites for CuZn(50)X increases with desorption temperature. These features indicate the presence of a synergistic effect amplifying the strength of these sites when Cu2+ and Zn2+ cations compete for the occupancy of sites distributed inside zeolitic cavities.

Keywords: acidity, adsorption, pyridine, zeolites

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34 Detection of JC Virus DNA and T-Ag Expression in a Subpopulation of Tunisian Colorectal Carcinomas

Authors: Wafa Toumi, Alessandro Ripalti, Luigi Ricciardiello, Dalila Gargouri, Jamel Kharrat, Abderraouf Cherif, Ahmed Bouhafa, Slim Jarboui, Mohamed Zili, Ridha Khelifa


Background & aims: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies throughout the world. Several risk factors, both genetic and environmental, including viral infections, have been linked to colorectal carcinogenesis. A few studies report the detection of human polyomavirus JC (JCV) DNA and transformation antigen (T-Ag) in a fraction of the colorectal tumors studied and suggest an association of this virus with CRC. In order to investigate whether such an association of JCV with CRC will hold in a different epidemiological setting, we looked for the presence of JCV DNA and T-Ag expression in a group of Tunisian CRC patients. Methods: Fresh colorectal mucosa biopsies were obtained from 17 healthy volunteers and from both colorectal tumors and adjacent normal tissues of 47 CRC patients. DNA was extracted from fresh biopsies or from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections using the Invitrogen Purelink Genomic DNA mini Kit. A simple PCR and a nested PCR were used to amplify a region of the T-Ag gene. The obtained PCR products revealed a 154 bp and a 98 bp bands, respectively. Specificity was confirmed by sequencing of the PCR products. T-Ag expression was determined by immunohistochemical staining using a mouse monoclonal antibody (clone PAb416) directed against SV40 T-Ag that cross reacts with JCV T-Ag. Results: JCV DNA was found in 12 (25%) and 22 (46%) of the CRC tumors by simple PCR and by nested PCR, respectively. All paired adjacent normal mucosa biopsies were negative for viral DNA. Sequencing of the DNA amplicons obtained confirmed the authenticity of T-Ag sequences. Immunohistochemical staining showed nuclear T-Ag expression in all 22 JCV DNA- positive samples and in 3 additional tumor samples which appeared DNA-negative by PCR. Conclusions: These results suggest an association of JCV with a subpopulation of Tunisian colorectal tumors.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, immunohistochemistry, Polyomavirus JC, PCR

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33 Effect of the Binary and Ternary Exchanges on Crystallinity and Textural Properties of X Zeolites

Authors: H. Hammoudi, S. Bendenia, K. Marouf-Khelifa, R. Marouf, J. Schott, A. Khelifa


The ionic exchange of the NaX zeolite by Cu2+ and/or Zn2+ cations is progressively driven while following the development of some of its characteristic: crystallinity by XR diffraction, profile of isotherms, RI criterion, isosteric adsorption heat and microporous volume using both the Dubinin–Radushkevich (DR) equation and the t-plot through the Lippens–de Boer method which also makes it possible to determine the external surface area. Results show that the cationic exchange process, in the case of Cu2+ introduced at higher degree, is accompanied by crystalline degradation for Cu(x)X, in contrast to Zn2+-exchanged zeolite X. This degradation occurs without significant presence of mesopores, because the RI criterion values were found to be much lower than 2.2. A comparison between the binary and ternary exchanges shows that the curves of CuZn(x)X are clearly below those of Zn(x)X and Cu(x)X, whatever the examined parameter. On the other hand, the curves relating to CuZn(x)X tend towards those of Cu(x)X. This would again confirm the sensitivity of the crystalline structure of CuZn(x)X with respect to the introduction of Cu2+ cations. An original result is the distortion of the zeolitic framework of X zeolites at middle exchange degree, when Cu2+ competes with another divalent cation, such as Zn2+, for the occupancy of sites distributed within zeolitic cavities. In other words, the ternary exchange accentuates the crystalline degradation of X zeolites. An unexpected result also is the no correlation between crystal damage and the external surface area.

Keywords: adsorption, crystallinity, ion exchange, zeolite

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32 Mathematical Model to Quantify the Phenomenon of Democracy

Authors: Mechlouch Ridha Fethi


This paper presents a recent mathematical model in political sciences concerning democracy. The model is represented by a logarithmic equation linking the Relative Index of Democracy (RID) to Participation Ratio (PR). Firstly the meanings of the different parameters of the model were presented; and the variation curve of the RID according to PR with different critical areas was discussed. Secondly, the model was applied to a virtual group where we show that the model can be applied depending on the gender. Thirdly, it was observed that the model can be extended to different language models of democracy and that little use to assess the state of democracy for some International organizations like UNO.

Keywords: democracy, mathematic, modelization, quantification

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31 Modeling and Simulation of Practical Metamaterial Structures

Authors: Ridha Salhi, Mondher Labidi, Fethi Choubani


Metamaterials have attracted much attention in recent years because of their electromagnetic exquisite proprieties. We will present, in this paper, the modeling of three metamaterial structures by equivalent circuit model. We begin by modeling the SRR (Split Ring Resonator), then we model the HIS (High Impedance Surfaces), and finally, we present the model of the CPW (Coplanar Wave Guide). In order to validate models, we compare the results obtained by an equivalent circuit models with numerical simulation.

Keywords: metamaterials, SRR, HIS, CPW, IDC

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30 A Survey on a Critical Infrastructure Monitoring Using Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors: Khelifa Benahmed, Tarek Benahmed


There are diverse applications of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in the real world, typically invoking some kind of monitoring, tracking, or controlling activities. In an application, a WSN is deployed over the area of interest to sense and detect the events and collect data through their sensors in a geographical area and transmit the collected data to a Base Station (BS). This paper presents an overview of the research solutions available in the field of environmental monitoring applications, more precisely the problems of critical area monitoring using wireless sensor networks.

Keywords: critical infrastructure monitoring, environment monitoring, event region detection, wireless sensor networks

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29 A Low Power Consumption Routing Protocol Based on a Meta-Heuristics

Authors: Kaddi Mohammed, Benahmed Khelifa D. Benatiallah


A sensor network consists of a large number of sensors deployed in areas to monitor and communicate with each other through a wireless medium. The collected routing data in the network consumes most of the energy of the sensor nodes. For this purpose, multiple routing approaches have been proposed to conserve energy resource at the sensors and to overcome the challenges of its limitation. In this work, we propose a new low energy consumption routing protocol for wireless sensor networks based on a meta-heuristic methods. Our protocol is to operate more fairly energy when routing captured data to the base station.

Keywords: WSN, routing, energy, heuristic

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28 Analysis of Flexural Behavior of Wood-Concrete Beams

Authors: M. Li, V. D. Thi, M. Khelifa, M. El Ganaoui


This study presents an overview of the work carried out by the use of wood waste as coarse aggregate in mortar. The paper describes experimental and numerical investigations carried on pervious concrete made of wood chips and also sheds lights on the mechanical properties of this new product. The properties of pervious wood-concrete such as strength, elastic modulus, and failure modes are compared and evaluated. The characterization procedure of the mechanical properties of wood waste ash are presented and discussed. The numerical and tested load–deflection response results are compared. It was observed that the numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental results.

Keywords: wood waste ash, characterization, mechanical properties, bending tests

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27 Comparative Study of Two New Configurations of Solar Photovoltaic Thermal Collectors

Authors: K. Touafek, A. Khelifa, E. H. Khettaf, A. Embarek


Hybrid photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) solar system comprises a solar collector which is disposed on photovoltaic solar cells. The disadvantage of a conventional photovoltaic cell is that its performance decreases as the temperature increases. Indeed, part of the solar radiation is converted into electricity and is dissipated as heat, increasing the temperature of the photovoltaic cell with respect to the ambient temperature. The objective of this work is to study experimentally and implement a hybrid prototype to evaluate electrical and thermal performance. In this paper, an experimental study of two new configurations of hybrid collectors is exposed. The results are given and interpreted. The two configurations of absorber studied are a new combination with tubes and galvanized tank, the other is a tubes and sheet.

Keywords: experimental, photovoltaic, solar, temperature

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26 Numerical Prediction of Wall Eroded Area by Cavitation

Authors: Ridha Zgolli, Ahmed Belhaj, Maroua Ennouri


This study presents a new method to predict cavitation area that may be eroded. It is based on the post-treatment of URANS simulations in cavitant flows. The most RANS calculations with incompressible consideration are based on cavitation model using mixture fluid with density (ρm) calculated as a function of liquid density (ρliq), vapour or gas density (ρvap) and vapour or gas volume fraction α (ρm = αρvap + (1-α) ρliq). The calculations are performed on hydrofoil geometries and compared with experimental works concerning flows characteristics (size of pocket, pressure, velocity). We present here the used cavitation model and the approach followed to evaluate the value of α fixing the shape of pocket around wall before collapsing.

Keywords: flows, CFD, cavitation, erosion

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25 Numerical Solution to Coupled Heat and Moisture Diffusion in Bio-Sourced Composite Materials

Authors: Mnasri Faiza, El Ganaoui Mohammed, Khelifa Mourad, Gabsi Slimane


The main objective of this paper is to describe the hydrothermal behavior through porous material of construction due to temperature gradient. The construction proposed a bi-layer structure which composed of two different materials. The first is a bio-sourced panel named IBS-AKU (inertia system building), the second is the Neopor material. This system (IBS-AKU Neopor) is developed by a Belgium company (Isohabitat). The study suggests a multi-layer structure of the IBS-AKU panel in one dimension. A numerical method was proposed afterwards, by using the finite element method and a refined mesh area to strong gradients. The evolution of temperature fields and the moisture content has been processed.

Keywords: heat transfer, moisture diffusion, porous media, composite IBS-AKU, simulation

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24 Comparative Study of Scheduling Algorithms for LTE Networks

Authors: Samia Dardouri, Ridha Bouallegue


Scheduling is the process of dynamically allocating physical resources to User Equipment (UE) based on scheduling algorithms implemented at the LTE base station. Various algorithms have been proposed by network researchers as the implementation of scheduling algorithm which represents an open issue in Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. This paper makes an attempt to study and compare the performance of PF, MLWDF and EXP/PF scheduling algorithms. The evaluation is considered for a single cell with interference scenario for different flows such as Best effort, Video and VoIP in a pedestrian and vehicular environment using the LTE-Sim network simulator. The comparative study is conducted in terms of system throughput, fairness index, delay, packet loss ratio (PLR) and total cell spectral efficiency.

Keywords: LTE, multimedia flows, scheduling algorithms, mobile computing

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23 Thermal Performance of Hybrid PVT Collector with Natural Circulation

Authors: K. Touafek, A. Khelifa, I. Tabet, H. Haloui, H. Bencheikh El Houcine, M. Adouane


Hybrid photovoltaic thermal (PVT) collectors allow simultaneous production of electrical energy thus heat energy. There are several configurations of hybrid collectors (to produce water or air). For hybrids water collectors, there are several configurations that differ by the nature of the absorber (serpentine, tubes...). In this paper, an absorber tank is studied. The circulation of the coolant is natural (we do not use the pump). We present the obtained results in our experimental study and we analyzed the data, and then we compare the results with the theory practices. The electrical performances of the hybrid collector are compared with those of conventional photovoltaic module mounted on the same structure and measured under the same conditions. We conducted experiments with natural circulation of the coolant (Thermosyphon), for a flow rate of 0.025kg/m².

Keywords: experimental, photovoltaic, solar, temperature, tank

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22 Dilation Effect on 3D Passive Earth Pressure Coefficients for Retaining Wall

Authors: Khelifa Tarek, Benmebarek Sadok


The 2D passive earth pressures acting on rigid retaining walls problem has been widely treated in the literature using different approaches (limit equilibrium, limit analysis, slip line and numerical computation), however, the 3D passive earth pressures problem has received less attention. This paper is concerned with the numerical study of 3D passive earth pressures induced by the translation of a rigid rough retaining wall for associated and non-associated soils. Using the explicit finite difference code FLAC3D, the increase of the passive earth pressures due to the decrease of the wall breadth is investigated. The results given by the present numerical analysis are compared with other investigation. The influence of the angle of dilation on the coefficients is also studied.

Keywords: numerical modeling, FLAC3D, retaining wall, passive earth pressures, angle of dilation

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21 Numerical Modeling the Cavitating Flow in Injection Nozzle Holes

Authors: Ridha Zgolli, Hatem Kanfoudi


Cavitating flows inside a diesel injection nozzle hole were simulated using a mixture model. A 2D numerical model is proposed in this paper to simulate steady cavitating flows. The Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations are solved for the liquid and vapor mixture, which is considered as a single fluid with variable density which is expressed as function of the vapor volume fraction. The closure of this variable is provided by the transport equation with a source term TEM. The processes of evaporation and condensation are governed by changes in pressure within the flow. The source term is implanted in the CFD code ANSYS CFX. The influence of numerical and physical parameters is presented in details. The numerical simulations are in good agreement with the experimental data for steady flow.

Keywords: cavitation, injection nozzle, numerical simulation, k–ω

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20 Neural Nets Based Approach for 2-Cells Power Converter Control

Authors: Kamel Laidi, Khelifa Benmansour, Ouahid Bouchhida


Neural networks-based approach for 2-cells serial converter has been developed and implemented. The approach is based on a behavioural description of the different operating modes of the converter. Each operating mode represents a well-defined configuration, and for which is matched an operating zone satisfying given invariance conditions, depending on the capacitors' voltages and the load current of the converter. For each mode, a control vector whose components are the control signals to be applied to the converter switches has been associated. Therefore, the problem is reduced to a classification task of the different operating modes of the converter. The artificial neural nets-based approach, which constitutes a powerful tool for this kind of task, has been adopted and implemented. The application to a 2-cells chopper has allowed ensuring efficient and robust control of the load current and a high capacitors voltages balancing.

Keywords: neural nets, control, multicellular converters, 2-cells chopper

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19 Finite Element Modeling of Heat and Moisture Transfer in Porous Material

Authors: V. D. Thi, M. Li, M. Khelifa, M. El Ganaoui, Y. Rogaume


This paper presents a two-dimensional model to study the heat and moisture transfer through porous building materials. Dynamic and static coupled models of heat and moisture transfer in porous material under low temperature are presented and the coupled models together with variable initial and boundary conditions have been considered in an analytical way and using the finite element method. The resulting coupled model is converted to two nonlinear partial differential equations, which is then numerically solved by an implicit iterative scheme. The numerical results of temperature and moisture potential changes are compared with the experimental measurements available in the literature. Predicted results demonstrate validation of the theoretical model and effectiveness of the developed numerical algorithms. It is expected to provide useful information for the porous building material design based on heat and moisture transfer model.

Keywords: finite element method, heat transfer, moisture transfer, porous materials, wood

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18 A Novel Multi-Block Selective Mapping Scheme for PAPR Reduction in FBMC/OQAM Systems

Authors: Laabidi Mounira, Zayani Rafk, Bouallegue Ridha


Filter Bank Multicarrier with Offset Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (FBMC/OQAM) is presently known as a sustainable alternative to conventional Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) for signal transmission over multi-path fading channels. Like all multicarrier systems, FBMC/OQAM suffers from high Peak to Average Power Ratio (PAPR). Due to the symbol overlap inherent in the FBMC/OQAM system, the direct application of conventional OFDM PAPR reduction scheme is far from being effective. This paper suggests a novel scheme termed Multi-Blocks Selective Mapping (MB-SLM) whose simulation results show that its performance in terms of PAPR reduction is almost identical to that of OFDM system.

Keywords: FBMC/OQAM, multi-blocks, OFDM, PAPR, SLM

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17 Modelling the Anaerobic Digestion of Esparto Paper Industry Wastewater Effluent in a Batch Digester Using IWA Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1 (ADM1)

Authors: Boubaker Fezzani, Ridha Ben Cheikh, Tarek Rouissi


In this work the original ADM1, implemented in the simulation software package MATLAB/Simulink, was modified and adapted and applied to reproduce the experimental results of the mesophilic anaerobic digestion of Esperto paper industry wastewater in a batch digester. The data set from lab-scale experiment runs were used to calibrate and validate the model. The simulations’ results indicated that the modified ADM1 was able to predict reasonably well the steady state results of gas flows, methane and carbon dioxide contents, pH and total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) observed with all influents concentrations.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, mathematical modelling, Simulation, ADM1, batch digester, esparto paper industry effluent, mesophilic temperature

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16 Mathematical Modeling of Carotenoids and Polyphenols Content of Faba Beans (Vicia faba L.) during Microwave Treatments

Authors: Ridha Fethi Mechlouch, Ahlem Ayadi, Ammar Ben Brahim


Given the importance of the preservation of polyphenols and carotenoids during thermal processing, we attempted in this study to investigate the variation of these two parameters in faba beans during microwave treatment using different power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g), then to perform a mathematical modeling by using non-linear regression analysis to evaluate the models constants. The variation of the carotenoids and polyphenols ratio of faba beans and the models are tested to validate the experimental results. Exponential models were found to be suitable to describe the variation of caratenoid ratio (R²= 0.945, 0.927 and 0.946) for power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g) respectively, and polyphenol ratio (R²= 0.931, 0.989 and 0.982) for power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g) respectively. The effect of microwave power density Pd(W/g) on the coefficient k of models were also investigated. The coefficient is highly correlated (R² = 1) and can be expressed as a polynomial function.

Keywords: microwave treatment, power density, carotenoid, polyphenol, modeling

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15 Room Level Indoor Localization Using Relevant Channel Impulse Response Parameters

Authors: Raida Zouari, Iness Ahriz, Rafik Zayani, Ali Dziri, Ridha Bouallegue


This paper proposes a room level indoor localization algorithm based on the use Multi-Layer Neural Network (MLNN) classifiers and one versus one strategy. Seven parameters of the Channel Impulse Response (CIR) were used and Gram-Shmidt Orthogonalization was performed to study the relevance of the extracted parameters. Simulation results show that when relevant CIR parameters are used as position fingerprint and when optimal MLNN architecture is selected good room level localization score can be achieved. The current study showed also that some of the CIR parameters are not correlated to the location and can decrease the localization performance of the system.

Keywords: mobile indoor localization, multi-layer neural network (MLNN), channel impulse response (CIR), Gram-Shmidt orthogonalization

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14 Improved Active Constellation Extension for the PAPR Reduction of FBMC-OQAM Signals

Authors: Mounira Laabidi, Rafik Zayani, Ridha Bouallegue, Daniel Roviras


The Filter Bank multicarrier with Offset Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (FBMC-OQAM) has been introduced to overcome the poor spectral characteristics and the waste in both bandwidth and energy caused by the use of the cyclic prefix. However, the FBMC-OQAM signals suffer from the high Peak to Average Power Ratio (PAPR) problem. Due to the overlapping structure of the FBMC-OQAM signals, directly applying the PAPR reduction schemes conceived for the OFDM one turns out to be ineffective. In this paper, we address the problem of PAPR reduction for FBMC-OQAM systems by suggesting a new scheme based on an improved version of Active Constellation Extension scheme (ACE) of OFDM. The proposed scheme, named Rolling Window ACE, takes into consideration the overlapping naturally emanating from the FBMC-OQAM signals.

Keywords: ACE, FBMC, OQAM, OFDM, PAPR, rolling-window

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13 Numerical Analysis of Fire Performance of Timber Structures

Authors: Van Diem Thi, Mourad Khelifa, Mohammed El Ganaoui, Yann Rogaume


An efficient numerical method has been developed to incorporate the effects of heat transfer in timber panels on partition walls exposed to real building fires. The procedure has been added to the software package Abaqus/Standard as a user-defined subroutine (UMATHT) and has been verified using both time-and spatially dependent heat fluxes in two- and three-dimensional problems. The aim is to contribute to the development of simulation tools needed to assist structural engineers and fire testing laboratories in technical assessment exercises. The presented method can also be used under the developmental stages of building components to optimize performance in real fire conditions. The accuracy of the used thermal properties and the finite element models was validated by comparing the predicted results with three different available fire tests in literature. It was found that the model calibrated to results from standard fire conditions provided reasonable predictions of temperatures within assemblies exposed to real building fire.

Keywords: Timber panels, heat transfer, thermal properties, standard fire tests

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12 Antioxidant Activities, Chemical Components, Physicochemical, and Sensory Characteristics of Kecombrang Tea (Etlingera elatior)

Authors: Rifda Naufalin, Nurul Latifasari, Siti Nuryanti, Muna Ridha Hanifah


Kecombrang is a Zingiberaceae plant which has antioxidant properties. The high antioxidant content in kecombrang flowers has the potential to be processed as a functional beverage raw material so that it can be used as an ingredient in making herbal teas. The purpose of this study was to determine the chemical components, physicochemistry, antioxidant activity and sensory characteristics of kecombrang tea. The research methodology was carried out by using a completely randomized design with processing factors of kecombrang tea namely blanching and non-blanching, fermentation and non-fermentation, and the optimal time for drying kecombrang tea. The best treatment combination based on the effective index method is the treatment of the blanching process followed by drying at a temperature of 50ᵒC until the 2% moisture content can produce kecombrang tea with a total phenol content of 5.95 mg Tannic Acid Equivalent (TAE) / gram db, total flavonoid 3%, pH 4.5, and antioxidant activity 82.95%, red color, distinctive aroma of tea, fresh taste, and preferred by panelists.

Keywords: kecombrang tea, blanching, fermentation, total phenol, and antioxidant activity

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11 Study of the Effect of Using Corn-Cob Ash on Mortar and Concrete Properties: Case Study of Sudan

Authors: Taghried I. M. Abdel-Magid, Gheida T. A. Al-Khelifa, Ahmed O. Adam, Esra G. A. Mohamed, Saeed M. S. Saeed


The use of pozzolanic materials in concrete industry is facing challenges due to unpredictable behavior of natural materials. Corncob ash (CCA) is considered to be one of the promising plant-based materials that possess cementitious properties. Corn is one of the major planted crops in Sudan. Corncob is considered as waste and normally thrown away or burnt. The main purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that CCA can sufficiently replace cement in a concrete mixture or a cement mortar. In this study, CCA was used to replace cement in mortar in three percentages: 0, 20, and 25%. The effect of this replacement was found to be positive in terms of long-term compressive strength, while not as such in short-term compressive strength. In the concrete mix, the introduction of CCA was found to have a positive impact on the slump test characteristics, whereas the early and late compressive strengths deteriorated by approximately 30%. More research is needed in this area to upgrade the efficient use of CCA in cement mortar and concrete properties.

Keywords: cementitious materials, compressive strength, corncob ash, pozzolanic materials

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10 Towards a Distributed Computation Platform Tailored for Educational Process Discovery and Analysis

Authors: Awatef Hicheur Cairns, Billel Gueni, Hind Hafdi, Christian Joubert, Nasser Khelifa


Given the ever changing needs of the job markets, education and training centers are increasingly held accountable for student success. Therefore, education and training centers have to focus on ways to streamline their offers and educational processes in order to achieve the highest level of quality in curriculum contents and managerial decisions. Educational process mining is an emerging field in the educational data mining (EDM) discipline, concerned with developing methods to discover, analyze and provide a visual representation of complete educational processes. In this paper, we present our distributed computation platform which allows different education centers and institutions to load their data and access to advanced data mining and process mining services. To achieve this, we present also a comparative study of the different clustering techniques developed in the context of process mining to partition efficiently educational traces. Our goal is to find the best strategy for distributing heavy analysis computations on many processing nodes of our platform.

Keywords: educational process mining, distributed process mining, clustering, distributed platform, educational data mining, ProM

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9 Analytical Downlink Effective SINR Evaluation in LTE Networks

Authors: Marwane Ben Hcine, Ridha Bouallegue


The aim of this work is to provide an original analytical framework for downlink effective SINR evaluation in LTE networks. The classical single carrier SINR performance evaluation is extended to multi-carrier systems operating over frequency selective channels. Extension is achieved by expressing the link outage probability in terms of the statistics of the effective SINR. For effective SINR computation, the exponential effective SINR mapping (EESM) method is used on this work. Closed-form expression for the link outage probability is achieved assuming a log skew normal approximation for single carrier case. Then we rely on the lognormal approximation to express the exponential effective SINR distribution as a function of the mean and standard deviation of the SINR of a generic subcarrier. Achieved formulas is easily computable and can be obtained for a user equipment (UE) located at any distance from its serving eNodeB. Simulations show that the proposed framework provides results with accuracy within 0.5 dB.

Keywords: LTE, OFDMA, effective SINR, log skew normal approximation

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8 Quaternary Ammonium Salts Based Algerian Petroleum Products: Synthesis and Characterization

Authors: Houria Hamitouche, Abdellah Khelifa


Quaternary ammonium salts (QACs) are the most common cationic surfactants of natural or synthetic origin usually. They possess one or more hydrophobic hydrocarbon chains and hydrophilic cationic group. In fact, the hydrophobic groups are derived from three main sources: petrochemicals, vegetable oils, and animal fats. These QACs have attracted the attention of chemists for a long time, due to their general simple synthesis and their broad application in several fields. They are important as ingredients of cosmetic products and are also used as corrosion inhibitors, in emulsion polymerization and textile processing. Within biological applications, QACs show a good antimicrobial activity and can be used as medicines, gene delivery agents or in DNA extraction methods. The 2004 worldwide annual consumption of QACs was reported as 500,000 tons. The petroleum product is considered a true reservoir of a variety of chemical species, which can be used in the synthesis of quaternary ammonium salts. The purpose of the present contribution is to synthesize the quaternary ammonium salts by Menschutkin reaction, via chloromethylation/quaternization sequences, from Algerian petroleum products namely: reformate, light naphtha and kerosene and characterize.

Keywords: quaternary ammonium salts, reformate, light naphtha, kerosene

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7 Secure Distance Bounding Protocol on Ultra-WideBand Based Mapping Code

Authors: Jamel Miri, Bechir Nsiri, Ridha Bouallegue


Ultra WidBand-IR physical layer technology has seen a great development during the last decade which makes it a promising candidate for short range wireless communications, as they bring considerable benefits in terms of connectivity and mobility. However, like all wireless communication they suffer from vulnerabilities in terms of security because of the open nature of the radio channel. To face these attacks, distance bounding protocols are the most popular counter measures. In this paper, we presented a protocol based on distance bounding to thread the most popular attacks: Distance Fraud, Mafia Fraud and Terrorist fraud. In our work, we study the way to adapt the best secure distance bounding protocols to mapping code of ultra-wideband (TH-UWB) radios. Indeed, to ameliorate the performances of the protocol in terms of security communication in TH-UWB, we combine the modified protocol to ultra-wideband impulse radio technology (IR-UWB). The security and the different merits of the protocols are analyzed.

Keywords: distance bounding, mapping code ultrawideband, terrorist fraud, physical layer technology

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6 Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes toward the Use of Physical Restraints

Authors: Fatema Salman, Ridha Hammam, Fatima Khairallah, Fatima Aradi, Nafeesa Abdulla, Mohammed Alsafar


Purpose: This study aims at measuring the extent of nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward the use of physical restraints in different hospital wards at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC). Background: The habitual use of physical restraint is a widespread practice among nurses working in the clinical settings. Restraints inflict many deleterious consequences on patients physically and psychologically which in turn increases their morbidity and mortality risk and jeopardizes care quality. Nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward physical restraints are crucial determinants of the persistence of this practice. Literature review: the evidence of lack of knowledge among nurses regarding the use of physical restraints is overwhelming in various clinical settings, especially in two main areas which are the negative consequences and the available alternatives to physical restraints. Studies explored nurses’ attitudes toward physical restraints yielded inconsistent findings. Equally comparable, some studies found that nurses hold positive attitudes toward the use of physical restraints while some others reported just the opposite. Methods: Self-administered knowledge and attitudes scales to 106 nurses working in the SMC. Findings: nurses hold the moderate level of knowledge about restraints (M=58%) with weak negative attitudes (M = -20%) toward using it. Significant moderately-strong negative correlation (r= -0.57, r2= 0.32, p= 0.000) was uncovered between nurses knowledge and their attitudes which provided an empirical explanation of this phenomenon (use of physical restraints). Recommendations: Induction of awareness program that especially focuses on the negative consequences and encourages the use of alternatives is an evident need. This effort necessarily should be adjoined with policy and procedure adjustments.

Keywords: attitudes, knowledge, nurses, restraints

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