Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: Vasilis Peristeras

12 Government (Big) Data Ecosystem: Definition, Classification of Actors, and Their Roles

Authors: Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Vasilis Peristeras, Ioannis Magnisalis

Abstract:

Organizations, including governments, generate (big) data that are high in volume, velocity, veracity, and come from a variety of sources. Public Administrations are using (big) data, implementing base registries, and enforcing data sharing within the entire government to deliver (big) data related integrated services, provision of insights to users, and for good governance. Government (Big) data ecosystem actors represent distinct entities that provide data, consume data, manipulate data to offer paid services, and extend data services like data storage, hosting services to other actors. In this research work, we perform a systematic literature review. The key objectives of this paper are to propose a robust definition of government (big) data ecosystem and a classification of government (big) data ecosystem actors and their roles. We showcase a graphical view of actors, roles, and their relationship in the government (big) data ecosystem. We also discuss our research findings. We did not find too much published research articles about the government (big) data ecosystem, including its definition and classification of actors and their roles. Therefore, we lent ideas for the government (big) data ecosystem from numerous areas that include scientific research data, humanitarian data, open government data, industry data, in the literature.

Keywords: big data, big data ecosystem, classification of big data actors, big data actors roles, definition of government (big) data ecosystem, data-driven government, eGovernment, gaps in data ecosystems, government (big) data, public administration, systematic literature review

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11 Government Big Data Ecosystem: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors: Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Vasilis Peristeras, Ioannis Magnisalis

Abstract:

Data that is high in volume, velocity, veracity and comes from a variety of sources is usually generated in all sectors including the government sector. Globally public administrations are pursuing (big) data as new technology and trying to adopt a data-centric architecture for hosting and sharing data. Properly executed, big data and data analytics in the government (big) data ecosystem can be led to data-driven government and have a direct impact on the way policymakers work and citizens interact with governments. In this research paper, we conduct a systematic literature review. The main aims of this paper are to highlight essential aspects of the government (big) data ecosystem and to explore the most critical socio-technical factors that contribute to the successful implementation of government (big) data ecosystem. The essential aspects of government (big) data ecosystem include definition, data types, data lifecycle models, and actors and their roles. We also discuss the potential impact of (big) data in public administration and gaps in the government data ecosystems literature. As this is a new topic, we did not find specific articles on government (big) data ecosystem and therefore focused our research on various relevant areas like humanitarian data, open government data, scientific research data, industry data, etc.

Keywords: applications of big data, big data, big data types. big data ecosystem, critical success factors, data-driven government, egovernment, gaps in data ecosystems, government (big) data, literature review, public administration, systematic review

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10 An Examination of Low Engagement in a Group-Based ACT Intervention for Chronic Pain Management: Highlighting the Need for User-Attainment Focused Digitalised Interventions

Authors: Orestis Kasinopoulos, Maria Karekla, Vasilis Vasiliou, Evangelos Karademas

Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically supported intervention for treating Chronic Pain Patients, yet its effectiveness for some chronic conditions or when adapted to other languages, has not been explored. An ACT group intervention was designed to explore the effectiveness of treating a Greek speaking heterogeneous sample of Chronic Pain patients with the aim of increasing quality of life, acceptance of pain and functionality. Sixty-nine patients were assessed and randomly assigned to an ACT or control group (relaxation techniques) for eight, 90-minute, sessions. Results are currently being analysed and follow-ups (6 and 12 month) are being completed. Low adherence rates and high attrition rates observed in the study, however point to the direction of future modified interventions. Such modifications may include web-based and smartphone interventions and their benefits in being implemented in chronic pain patients.

Keywords: chronic pain, ACT, internet-delivered, digitalised intervention, adherence, attrition

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9 The Use and Safety of Leave from an Acute Inpatient Psychiatry Unit: A Retrospective Review of Pass Outcomes Over Four Years Abstract

Authors: Vasilis C. Hristidis, Ricardo Caceda, Ji Soo Kim, Brian Bronson, Emily A. Hill

Abstract:

Objective: Leave passes to provide authorized leave for hospitalized patients from a psychiatric inpatient unit. Though providing day passes was once a relatively common practice, there is relatively little data describing their safety and efficacy. Methods: This descriptive study examines the use of leave passes in an adult inpatient unit at a university hospital between 2017 and 2021, with attention to reasons for granting the day pass, duration, and outcome of the pass. Results: During the study period, ten patients with primary psychotic or mood disorders received 12 passes for either housing coordination, COVID-19 vaccination, or major family events. There were no fatalities or elopements. One patient experienced severe agitation and engaged in non-suicidal self-injurious behavior. A second patient showed mild, redirectable psychomotor agitation upon return to the unit. The remaining 10 passes were uneventful. Conclusions: Our findings support the view that patients with diverse diagnoses can safely be provided leave from an inpatient setting with adequate planning and support, yielding a low incidence of adverse events.

Keywords: passes, inpatient, psychiatry, inpatient leave, outcome

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8 Discrete Choice Modeling in Education: Evaluating Early Childhood Educators’ Practices

Authors: Michalis Linardakis, Vasilis Grammatikopoulos, Athanasios Gregoriadis, Kalliopi Trouli

Abstract:

Discrete choice models belong to the family of Conjoint analysis that are applied on the preferences of the respondents towards a set of scenarios that describe alternative choices. The scenarios have been pre-designed to cover all the attributes of the alternatives that may affect the choices. In this study, we examine how preschool educators integrate physical activities into their everyday teaching practices through the use of discrete choice models. One of the advantages of discrete choice models compared to other more traditional data collection methods (e.g. questionnaires and interviews that use ratings) is that the respondent is called to select among competitive and realistic alternatives, rather than objectively rate each attribute that the alternatives may have. We present the effort to construct and choose representative attributes that would cover all possible choices of the respondents, and the scenarios that have arisen. For the purposes of the study, we used a sample of 50 preschool educators in Greece that responded to 4 scenarios (from the total of 16 scenarios that the orthogonal design resulted), with each scenario having three alternative teaching practices. Seven attributes of the alternatives were used in the scenarios. For the analysis of the data, we used multinomial logit model with random effects, multinomial probit model and generalized mixed logit model. The conclusions drawn from the estimated parameters of the models are discussed.

Keywords: conjoint analysis, discrete choice models, educational data, multivariate statistical analysis

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7 Under the 'Umbrella' Project: A Volunteer-Mentoring Approach for Socially Disadvantaged University Students

Authors: Evridiki Zachopoulou, Vasilis Grammatikopoulos, Michail Vitoulis, Athanasios Gregoriadis

Abstract:

In the last ten years, the recent economic crisis in Greece has decreased the financial ability and strength of several families when it comes to supporting their children’s studies. As a result, the number of students who are significantly delaying or even dropping out of their university studies is constantly increasing. The students who are at greater risk for academic failure are those who are facing various problems and social disadvantages, like health problems, special needs, family poverty or unemployment, single-parent students, immigrant students, etc. The ‘Umbrella’ project is a volunteer-based initiative to tackle this problem at International Hellenic University. The main purpose of the project is to provide support to disadvantaged students at a socio-emotional, academic, and practical level in order to help them complete their undergraduate studies. More specifically, the ‘Umbrella’ project has the following goals: (a) to develop a consulting-supporting network based on volunteering senior students, called ‘i-mentors’. (b) to train the volunteering i-mentors and create a systematic and consistent support procedure for students at-risk, (c), to develop a service that, parallel to the i-mentor network will be ensuring opportunities for at-risk students to find a job, (d) to support students who are coping with accessibility difficulties, (e) to secure the sustainability of the ‘Umbrella’ project after the completion of the funding of the project. The innovation of the Umbrella project is in its holistic-person-centered approach that will be providing individualized support -via the i-mentors network- to any disadvantaged student that will come ‘under the Umbrella.’

Keywords: peer mentoring, student support, socially disadvantaged students, volunteerism in higher education

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6 Bench-scale Evaluation of Alternative-to-Chlorination Disinfection Technologies for the Treatment of the Maltese Tap-water

Authors: Georgios Psakis, Imren Rahbay, David Spiteri, Jeanice Mallia, Martin Polidano, Vasilis P. Valdramidis

Abstract:

Absence of surface water and progressive groundwater quality deterioration have exacerbated scarcity rapidly, making the Mediterranean island of Malta one of the most water-stressed countries in Europe. Water scarcity challenges have been addressed by reverse osmosis desalination of seawater, 60% of which is blended with groundwater to form the current potable tap-water supply. Chlorination has been the adopted method of water disinfection prior to distribution. However, with the Malteseconsumer chlorine sensory-threshold being as low as 0.34 ppm, presence of chorine residuals and chlorination by-products in the distributed tap-water impacts negatively on its organoleptic attributes, deterring the public from consuming it. As part of the PURILMA initiative, and with the aim of minimizing the impact of chlorine residual on the quality of the distributed water, UV-C, and hydrosonication, have been identified as cost- and energy-effective decontamination alternatives, paving the way for more sustainable water management. Bench-scale assessment of the decontamination efficiency of UV-C (254 nm), revealed 4.7-Log10 inactivation for both Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis at 36 mJ/cm2. At >200 mJ/cm2fluence rates, there was a systematic 2-Log10 difference in the reductions exhibited by E. coli and E. faecalis to suggest that UV-C disinfection was more effective against E. coli. Hybrid treatment schemes involving hydrosonication(at 9.5 and 12.5 dm3/min flow rates with 1-5 MPa maximum pressure) and UV-C showed at least 1.1-fold greater bactericidal activity relative to the individualized UV-C treatments. The observed inactivation appeared to have stemmed from additive effects of the combined treatments, with hydrosonication-generated reactive oxygen species enhancing the biocidal activity of UV-C.

Keywords: disinfection, groundwater, hydrosonication, UV-C

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5 Antioxidant Capacity, Proximate Biomass Composition and Fatty Acid Profile of Five Marine Microalgal Species with Potential as Aquaculture Feed

Authors: Vasilis Andriopoulos, Maria D. Gkioni, Elena Koutra, Savvas G. Mastropetros, Fotini N. Lamari, Sofia Hatziantoniou, Michalis Kornaros

Abstract:

In the present study, the antioxidant activity of aqueous and methanolic extracts of Chlorella minutissima, Dunaliella salina, Isochrysis galbana, Nannochloropsis oculata and Tisohrysis lutea, as well as the proximate composition and fatty acid profile were evaluated, with the aim to select species suitable for co-production of antioxidants and aquaculture feed. Batch cultivation was performed at 25oC in a modified f/2 medium under continuous illumination and aeration with ambient air. Biomass was collected via centrifugation and extracted first with H2O and subsequently with methanol at two growth phases (early and late stationary). Total phenolic content and antioxidant and reducing activity of the extracts were evaluated. The highest phenolic content was found in the methanolic extract of C. minutissima at the early stationary phase (9.04±0.68 mg Gallic Acid Equivalent g-1 dry weight), and the aqueous extract of D. salina at the late stationary phase (8.78±1.49 mg Gallic Acid Equivalent g-1 Dry weight). Antioxidant activity, measured as 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity, and Ferric reducing antioxidant power assay of methanolic extracts were comparable to the literature and correlated to Total phenolic content and Chlorophyll content of the biomass. No such correlation was found in the aqueous extracts. N. oculata and T. lutea were high in protein (39.88±1.72% Dry weight and 43.30±1.33% Dry weight, respectively) and carotenoids (0.64±0.13% and 0.92±0.02%, respectively). Additionally, they presented high eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid levels (33.74±9.98 mg eicosapentaenoic acid g-1 DW and 31.31±2.92 mg docosahexaenoic acid g-1 dry weight, respectively). N. oculata and T. lutea are promising candidates for the co-production of antioxidants and aquaculture feed, while C. minutissima and D. salina showed promise due to their higher antioxidant content.

Keywords: aquaculture fee, antioxidant activity, fatty acids, microalgae, total phenolic content

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4 A Risk Assessment Tool for the Contamination of Aflatoxins on Dried Figs Based on Machine Learning Algorithms

Authors: Kottaridi Klimentia, Demopoulos Vasilis, Sidiropoulos Anastasios, Ihara Diego, Nikolaidis Vasileios, Antonopoulos Dimitrios

Abstract:

Aflatoxins are highly poisonous and carcinogenic compounds produced by species of the genus Aspergillus spp. that can infect a variety of agricultural foods, including dried figs. Biological and environmental factors, such as population, pathogenicity, and aflatoxinogenic capacity of the strains, topography, soil, and climate parameters of the fig orchards, are believed to have a strong effect on aflatoxin levels. Existing methods for aflatoxin detection and measurement, such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), can provide accurate results, but the procedures are usually time-consuming, sample-destructive, and expensive. Predicting aflatoxin levels prior to crop harvest is useful for minimizing the health and financial impact of a contaminated crop. Consequently, there is interest in developing a tool that predicts aflatoxin levels based on topography and soil analysis data of fig orchards. This paper describes the development of a risk assessment tool for the contamination of aflatoxin on dried figs, based on the location and altitude of the fig orchards, the population of the fungus Aspergillus spp. in the soil, and soil parameters such as pH, saturation percentage (SP), electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter, particle size analysis (sand, silt, clay), the concentration of the exchangeable cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na), extractable P, and trace of elements (B, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu), by employing machine learning methods. In particular, our proposed method integrates three machine learning techniques, i.e., dimensionality reduction on the original dataset (principal component analysis), metric learning (Mahalanobis metric for clustering), and k-nearest neighbors learning algorithm (KNN), into an enhanced model, with mean performance equal to 85% by terms of the Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) between observed and predicted values.

Keywords: aflatoxins, Aspergillus spp., dried figs, k-nearest neighbors, machine learning, prediction

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3 The Role of Twitter Bots in Political Discussion on 2019 European Elections

Authors: Thomai Voulgari, Vasilis Vasilopoulos, Antonis Skamnakis

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the European election campaigns (May 23-26, 2019) on Twitter achieving with artificial intelligence tools such as troll factories and automated inauthentic accounts. Our research focuses on the last European Parliamentary elections that took place between 23 and 26 May 2019 specifically in Italy, Greece, Germany and France. It is difficult to estimate how many Twitter users are actually bots (Echeverría, 2017). Detection for fake accounts is becoming even more complicated as AI bots are made more advanced. A political bot can be programmed to post comments on a Twitter account for a political candidate, target journalists with manipulated content or engage with politicians and artificially increase their impact and popularity. We analyze variables related to 1) the scope of activity of automated bots accounts and 2) degree of coherence and 3) degree of interaction taking into account different factors, such as the type of content of Twitter messages and their intentions, as well as the spreading to the general public. For this purpose, we collected large volumes of Twitter accounts of party leaders and MEP candidates between 10th of May and 26th of July based on content analysis of tweets based on hashtags while using an innovative network analysis tool known as MediaWatch.io (https://mediawatch.io/). According to our findings, one of the highest percentage (64.6%) of automated “bot” accounts during 2019 European election campaigns was in Greece. In general terms, political bots aim to proliferation of misinformation on social media. Targeting voters is a way that it can be achieved contribute to social media manipulation. We found that political parties and individual politicians create and promote purposeful content on Twitter using algorithmic tools. Based on this analysis, online political advertising play an important role to the process of spreading misinformation during elections campaigns. Overall, inauthentic accounts and social media algorithms are being used to manipulate political behavior and public opinion.

Keywords: artificial intelligence tools, human-bot interactions, political manipulation, social networking, troll factories

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2 Environmental Related Mortality Rates through Artificial Intelligence Tools

Authors: Stamatis Zoras, Vasilis Evagelopoulos, Theodoros Staurakas

Abstract:

The association between elevated air pollution levels and extreme climate conditions (temperature, particulate matter, ozone levels, etc.) and mental consequences has been, recently, the focus of significant number of studies. It varies depending on the time of the year it occurs either during the hot period or cold periods but, specifically, when extreme air pollution and weather events are observed, e.g. air pollution episodes and persistent heatwaves. It also varies spatially due to different effects of air quality and climate extremes to human health when considering metropolitan or rural areas. An air pollutant concentration and a climate extreme are taking a different form of impact if the focus area is countryside or in the urban environment. In the built environment the climate extreme effects are driven through the formed microclimate which must be studied more efficiently. Variables such as biological, age groups etc may be implicated by different environmental factors such as increased air pollution/noise levels and overheating of buildings in comparison to rural areas. Gridded air quality and climate variables derived from the land surface observations network of West Macedonia in Greece will be analysed against mortality data in a spatial format in the region of West Macedonia. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools will be used for data correction and prediction of health deterioration with climatic conditions and air pollution at local scale. This would reveal the built environment implications against the countryside. The air pollution and climatic data have been collected from meteorological stations and span the period from 2000 to 2009. These will be projected against the mortality rates data in daily, monthly, seasonal and annual grids. The grids will be operated as AI-based warning models for decision makers in order to map the health conditions in rural and urban areas to ensure improved awareness of the healthcare system by taken into account the predicted changing climate conditions. Gridded data of climate conditions, air quality levels against mortality rates will be presented by AI-analysed gridded indicators of the implicated variables. An Al-based gridded warning platform at local scales is then developed for future system awareness platform for regional level.

Keywords: air quality, artificial inteligence, climatic conditions, mortality

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1 Supporting 'vulnerable' Students to Complete Their Studies During the Economic Crisis in Greece: The Umbrella Program of International Hellenic University

Authors: Rigas Kotsakis, Nikolaos Tsigilis, Vasilis Grammatikopoulos, Evridiki Zachopoulou

Abstract:

During the last decade, Greece has faced an unprecedented financial crisis, affecting various aspects and functionalities of Higher Education. Besides the restricted funding of academic institutions, the students and their families encountered economical difficulties that undoubtedly influenced the effective completion of their studies. In this context, a fairly large number of students in Alexander campus of International Hellenic University (IHU) delay, interrupt, or even abandon their studies, especially when they come from low-income families, belong to sensitive social or special needs groups, they have different cultural origins, etc. For this reason, a European project, named “Umbrella”, was initiated aiming at providing the necessary psychological support and counseling, especially to disadvantaged students, towards the completion of their studies. To this end, a network of various academic members (academic staff and students) from IHU, namely iMentor, were implicated in different roles. Specifically, experienced academic staff trained students to serve as intermediate links for the integration and educational support of students that fall into the aforementioned sensitive social groups and face problems for the completion of their studies. The main idea of the project is held upon its person-centered character, which facilitates direct student-to-student communication without the intervention of the teaching staff. The backbone of the iMentors network are senior students that face no problem in their academic life and volunteered for this project. It should be noted that there is a provision from the Umbrella structure for substantial and ethical rewards for their engagement. In this context, a well-defined, stringent methodology was implemented for the evaluation of the extent of the problem in IHU and the detection of the profile of the “candidate” disadvantaged students. The first phase included two steps, (a) data collection and (b) data cleansing/ preprocessing. The first step involved the data collection process from the Secretary Services of all Schools in IHU, from 1980 to 2019, which resulted in 96.418 records. The data set included the School name, the semester of studies, a student enrolling criteria, the nationality, the graduation year or the current, up-to-date academic state (still studying, delayed, dropped off, etc.). The second step of the employed methodology involved the data cleansing/preprocessing because of the existence of “noisy” data, missing and erroneous values, etc. Furthermore, several assumptions and grouping actions were imposed to achieve data homogeneity and an easy-to-interpret subsequent statistical analysis. Specifically, the duration of 40 years recording was limited to the last 15 years (2004-2019). In 2004 the Greek Technological Institutions were evolved into Higher Education Universities, leading into a stable and unified frame of graduate studies. In addition, the data concerning active students were excluded from the analysis since the initial processing effort was focused on the detection of factors/variables that differentiated graduate and deleted students. The final working dataset included 21.432 records with only two categories of students, those that have a degree and those who abandoned their studies. Findings of the first phase are presented across faculties and further discussed.

Keywords: higher education, students support, economic crisis, mentoring

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