Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: Toshio Yoshii

9 Combining the Deep Neural Network with the K-Means for Traffic Accident Prediction

Authors: Celso L. Fernando, Toshio Yoshii, Takahiro Tsubota


Understanding the causes of a road accident and predicting their occurrence is key to preventing deaths and serious injuries from road accident events. Traditional statistical methods such as the Poisson and the Logistics regressions have been used to find the association of the traffic environmental factors with the accident occurred; recently, an artificial neural network, ANN, a computational technique that learns from historical data to make a more accurate prediction, has emerged. Although the ability to make accurate predictions, the ANN has difficulty dealing with highly unbalanced attribute patterns distribution in the training dataset; in such circumstances, the ANN treats the minority group as noise. However, in the real world data, the minority group is often the group of interest; e.g., in the road traffic accident data, the events of the accident are the group of interest. This study proposes a combination of the k-means with the ANN to improve the predictive ability of the neural network model by alleviating the effect of the unbalanced distribution of the attribute patterns in the training dataset. The results show that the proposed method improves the ability of the neural network to make a prediction on a highly unbalanced distributed attribute patterns dataset; however, on an even distributed attribute patterns dataset, the proposed method performs almost like a standard neural network.

Keywords: accident risks estimation, artificial neural network, deep learning, k-mean, road safety

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8 Current Status of Nitrogen Saturation in the Upper Reaches of the Kanna River, Japan

Authors: Sakura Yoshii, Masakazu Abe, Akihiro Iijima


Nitrogen saturation has become one of the serious issues in the field of forest environment. The watershed protection forests located in the downwind hinterland of Tokyo Metropolitan Area are believed to be facing nitrogen saturation. In this study, we carefully focus on the balance of nitrogen between load and runoff. Annual nitrogen load via atmospheric deposition was estimated to 461.1 t-N/year in the upper reaches of the Kanna River. Annual nitrogen runoff to the forested headwater stream of the Kanna River was determined to 184.9 t-N/year, corresponding to 40.1% of the total nitrogen load. Clear seasonal change in NO3-N concentration was still observed. Therefore, watershed protection forest of the Kanna River is most likely to be in Stage-1 on the status of nitrogen saturation.

Keywords: atmospheric deposition, nitrogen accumulation, denitrification, forest ecosystems

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7 Revising the Student Experiment Materials and Practices at the National University of Laos

Authors: Syhalath Xaphakdy, Toshio Nagata, Saykham Phommathat, Pavy Souwannavong, Vilayvanh Srithilat, Phoxay Sengdala, Bounaom Phetarnousone, Boualay Siharath, Xaya Chemcheng


The National University of Laos (NUOL) invited a group of volunteers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to revise the physics experiments to utilize the materials that were already available to students. The intension was to review and revise the materials regularly utilized in physics class. The project had access to limited materials and a small budget for the class in the unit; however, by developing experimental textbooks related to mechanics, electricity, and wave and vibration, the group found a way to apply them in the classroom and enhance the students teaching activities. The aim was to introduce a way to incorporate the materials and practices in the classroom to enhance the students learning and teaching skills, particularly when they graduate and begin working as high school teachers.

Keywords: NUOL, JICA, physics experiment materials, small budget, mechanics, electricity

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6 Interaction between Unsteady Supersonic Jet and Vortex Rings

Authors: Kazumasa Kitazono, Hiroshi Fukuoka, Nao Kuniyoshi, Minoru Yaga, Eri Ueno, Naoaki Fukuda, Toshio Takiya


The unsteady supersonic jet formed by a shock tube with a small high-pressure chamber was used as a simple alternative model for pulsed laser ablation. Understanding the vortex ring formed by the shock wave is crucial in clarifying the behavior of unsteady supersonic jet discharged from an elliptical cell. Therefore, this study investigated the behavior of vortex rings and a jet. The experiment and numerical calculation were conducted using the schlieren method and by solving the axisymmetric two-dimensional compressible Navier–Stokes equations, respectively. In both, the calculation and the experiment, laser ablation is conducted for a certain duration, followed by discharge through the exit. Moreover, a parametric study was performed to demonstrate the effect of pressure ratio on the interaction among vortex rings and the supersonic jet. The interaction between the supersonic jet and the vortex rings increased the velocity of the supersonic jet up to the magnitude of the velocity at the center of the vortex rings. The interaction between the vortex rings increased the velocity at the center of the vortex ring.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics, shock-wave, unsteady jet, vortex ring

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5 Surveying Earthquake Vulnerabilities of District 13 of Kabul City, Afghanistan

Authors: Mohsen Mohammadi, Toshio Fujimi


High population and irregular urban development in Kabul city, Afghanistan's capital, are among factors that increase its vulnerability to earthquake disasters (on top of its location in a high seismic region); this can lead to widespread economic loss and casualties. This study aims to evaluate earthquake risks in Kabul's 13th district based on scientific data. The research data, which include hazard curves of Kabul, vulnerability curves, and a questionnaire survey through sampling in district 13, have been incorporated to develop risk curves. To estimate potential casualties, we used a set of M parameters in a model developed by Coburn and Spence. The results indicate that in the worst case scenario, more than 90% of district 13, which comprises mostly residential buildings, is exposed to high risk; this may lead to nearly 1000 million USD economic loss and 120 thousand casualties (equal to 25.88% of the 13th district's population) for a nighttime earthquake. To reduce risks, we present the reconstruction of the most vulnerable buildings, which are primarily adobe and masonry buildings. A comparison of risk reduction between reconstructing adobe and masonry buildings indicates that rebuilding adobe buildings would be more effective.

Keywords: earthquake risk evaluation, Kabul, mitigation, vulnerability

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4 Risk Analysis of Flood Physical Vulnerability in Residential Areas of Mathare Nairobi, Kenya

Authors: James Kinyua Gitonga, Toshio Fujimi


Vulnerability assessment and analysis is essential to solving the degree of damage and loss as a result of natural disasters. Urban flooding causes a major economic loss and casualties, at Mathare residential area in Nairobi, Kenya. High population caused by rural-urban migration, Unemployment, and unplanned urban development are among factors that increase flood vulnerability in Mathare area. This study aims to analyse flood risk physical vulnerabilities in Mathare based on scientific data, research data that includes the Rainfall data, River Mathare discharge rate data, Water runoff data, field survey data and questionnaire survey through sampling of the study area have been used to develop the risk curves. Three structural types of building were identified in the study area, vulnerability and risk curves were made for these three structural types by plotting the relationship between flood depth and damage for each structural type. The results indicate that the structural type with mud wall and mud floor is the most vulnerable building to flooding while the structural type with stone walls and concrete floor is least vulnerable. The vulnerability of building contents is mainly determined by the number of floors, where households with two floors are least vulnerable, and households with a one floor are most vulnerable. Therefore more than 80% of the residential buildings including the property in the building are highly vulnerable to floods consequently exposed to high risk. When estimating the potential casualties/injuries we discovered that the structural types of houses were major determinants where the mud/adobe structural type had casualties of 83.7% while the Masonry structural type had casualties of 10.71% of the people living in these houses. This research concludes that flood awareness, warnings and observing the building codes will enable reduce damage to the structural types of building, deaths and reduce damage to the building contents.

Keywords: flood loss, Mathare Nairobi, risk curve analysis, vulnerability

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3 Green Space and Their Possibilities of Enhancing Urban Life in Dhaka City, Bangladesh

Authors: Ummeh Saika, Toshio Kikuchi


Population growth and urbanization is a global phenomenon. As the rapid progress of technology, many cities in the international community are facing serious problems of urbanization. There is no doubt that the urbanization will proceed to have significant impact on the ecology, economy and society at local, regional, and global levels. The inhabitants of Dhaka city suffer from lack of proper urban facilities. The green spaces are needed for different functional and leisure activities of the urban dwellers. Again growing densification, a number of green space are transferred into open space in the Dhaka city. As a result greenery of the city's decreases gradually. Moreover, the existing green space is frequently threatened by encroachment. The role of green space, both at community and city level, is important to improve the natural environment and social ties for future generations. Therefore, it seems that the green space needs to be more effective for public interaction. The main objective of this study is to address the effectiveness of urban green space (Urban Park) of Dhaka City. Two approaches are selected to fulfill the study. Firstly, analyze the long-term spatial changes of urban green space using GIS and secondly, investigate the relationship of urban park network with physical and social environment. The case study site covers eight urban parks of Dhaka metropolitan area of Bangladesh. Two aspects (Physical and Social) are applied for this study. For physical aspect, satellite images and aerial photos of different years are used to find out the changes of urban parks. And for social aspect, methods are used as questionnaire survey, interview, observation, photographs, sketch and previous information of parks to analyze about the social environment of parks. After calculation of all data by descriptive statistics, result is shown by maps using GIS. According to physical size, parks of Dhaka city are classified into four types: Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large parks. The observed result showed that the physical and social environment of urban parks varies with their size. In small size parks physical environment is moderate by newly tree plantation and area expansion. However, in medium size parks physical environment are poor, example- tree decrease, exposed soil increase. On the other hand, physical environment of large size and extra large size parks are in good condition, because of plenty of vegetation and well management. Again based on social environment, in small size parks people mainly come from surroundings area and mainly used as waiting place. In medium-size parks, people come to attend various occasion from different places. In large size and extra large size parks, people come from every part of the city area for tourism purpose. Urban parks are important source of green space. Its influence both physical and social environment of urban area. Nowadays green space area gradually decreases and transfer into open space. The consequence of this research reveals that changes of urban parks influence both physical and social environment and also impact on urban life.

Keywords: physical environment, social environment, urban life, urban parks

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2 Local Community's Response on Post-Disaster and Role of Social Capital towards Recovery Process: A Case Study of Kaminani Community in Bhaktapur Municipality after 2015 Gorkha Nepal Earthquake

Authors: Lata Shakya, Toshio Otsuki, Saori Imoto, Bijaya Krishna Shrestha, Umesh Bahadur Malla


2015 Gorkha Nepal earthquake have damaged the human settlements in 14 districts of Nepal. Historic core areas of three principal cities namely Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur including numerous traditional ‘newari’ settlements in the peripheral areas have been either collapsed or severely damaged. Despite Government of Nepal and (international) non-government organisations’ attempt towards disaster risk management through the preparation of policies and guidelines and implementation of community-based activities, the recent ‘Gorkha’ earthquake has demonstrated the inadequate preparedness, poor implementation of a legal instrument, resource constraints, and managerial weakness. However, the social capital through community based institutions, self-help attitude, and community bond has helped a lot not only in rescue and relief operation but also in a post-disaster temporary shelter living thereby exhibiting the resilient power of the local community. Conducting a detailed case study of ‘Kaminani’ community with 42 houses at ward no. 16 of Bhaktapur municipality, this paper analyses the local community’s response and activities on the Gorkha earthquake in rescue and relief operation as well as in post disaster work. Leadership, the existence of internal/external aid, physical and human support are also analyzed. Social resource and networking are also explained through critical review of the existing community organisation and their activities. The research methodology includes literature review, field survey, and interview with community leaders and residents based on a semi-structured questionnaire. The study reveals that community carried their recovery process in four different phases: (i) management of emergency evacuation, (ii) constructing community owed temporary shelter for individuals, (iii) demolishing upper floors of the damaged houses, and (iv) planning for collaborative housing reconstruction. As territorial based organization, religion based agency and aim based institution exist in the survey area from pre-disaster time, it can be assumed that the community activists including leaders are well experienced to create aim-based group and manage teamwork to deal with various issues and problems collaboratively. Physical and human support including partial financial aid from external source as a result of community leader’s personal networking is extended to the community members. Thus, human/social resource and personal/social network play a crucial role in the recovery process. And to build such social capital, community should have potential from pre-disaster time.

Keywords: Gorkha Nepal earthquake, local community, recovery process, social resource, social network

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1 A Peg Board with Photo-Reflectors to Detect Peg Insertion and Pull-Out Moments

Authors: Hiroshi Kinoshita, Yasuto Nakanishi, Ryuhei Okuno, Toshio Higashi


Various kinds of pegboards have been developed and used widely in research and clinics of rehabilitation for evaluation and training of patient’s hand function. A common measure in these peg boards is a total time of performance execution assessed by a tester’s stopwatch. Introduction of electrical and automatic measurement technology to the apparatus, on the other hand, has been delayed. The present work introduces the development of a pegboard with an electric sensor to detect moments of individual peg’s insertion and removal. The work also gives fundamental data obtained from a group of healthy young individuals who performed peg transfer tasks using the pegboard developed. Through trails and errors in pilot tests, two 10-hole peg-board boxes installed with a small photo-reflector and a DC amplifier at the bottom of each hole were designed and built by the present authors. The amplified electric analogue signals from the 20 reflectors were automatically digitized at 500 Hz per channel, and stored in a PC. The boxes were set on a test table at different distances (25, 50, 75, and 125 mm) in parallel to examine the effect of hole-to-hole distance. Fifty healthy young volunteers (25 in each gender) as subjects of the study performed successive fast 80 time peg transfers at each distance using their dominant and non-dominant hands. The data gathered showed a clear-cut light interruption/continuation moment by the pegs, allowing accurately (no tester’s error involved) and precisely (an order of milliseconds) to determine the pull out and insertion times of each peg. This further permitted computation of individual peg movement duration (PMD: from peg-lift-off to insertion) apart from hand reaching duration (HRD: from peg insertion to lift-off). An accidental drop of a peg led to an exceptionally long ( < mean + 3 SD) PMD, which was readily detected from an examination of data distribution. The PMD data were commonly right-skewed, suggesting that the median can be a better estimate of individual PMD than the mean. Repeated measures ANOVA using the median values revealed significant hole-to-hole distance, and hand dominance effects, suggesting that these need to be fixed in the accurate evaluation of PMD. The gender effect was non-significant. Performance consistency was also evaluated by the use of quartile variation coefficient values, which revealed no gender, hole-to-hole, and hand dominance effects. The measurement reliability was further examined using interclass correlation obtained from 14 subjects who performed the 25 and 125 mm hole distance tasks at two 7-10 days separate test sessions. Inter-class correlation values between the two tests showed fair reliability for PMD (0.65-0.75), and for HRD (0.77-0.94). We concluded that a sensor peg board developed in the present study could provide accurate (excluding tester’s errors), and precise (at a millisecond rate) time information of peg movement separated from that used for hand movement. It could also easily detect and automatically exclude erroneous execution data from his/her standard data. These would lead to a better evaluation of hand dexterity function compared to the widely used conventional used peg boards.

Keywords: hand, dexterity test, peg movement time, performance consistency

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