Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: Younès Saoud

26 Trophic Ecology of Sarotherodon Melanotheron Heudelotii and Tilapia Guineensis from the Banc D'Arguin National Park, Mauritania

Authors: Néné Gallé Kide, Mamadou Dia, Lemhaba Ould Yarba, Youssouf Kone, Fatimetou Mint Khalil, Hajar Bouksir, Ghislane Salhi, Younès Saoud

Abstract:

The diet of Sarotherodon melanotheron and Tilapia guineensis were investigated in the National Park of Banc d'Arguin (PNBA) from September 2012 to October 2013. A total of 499 individuals ranging in size between 219 and 400 mm total length of S. melanotheron (253 males and 246 females), and 280 individuals of T.guineensis (229 males and 51 females) ranged between 180 and 424mm total length. We used for studying the feeding habits of both two species the frequency of occurrence method. The coefficient of emptiness was 40.88% for S. melanotheron and 38.57% for T. guineensis. Both two species were herbivorous and very close feedings. Their diet consists of Seagrass, green, red, blue, and brown algae, diatoms, gastropods, bivalves, Crustaceans, and mud. The Seagrass and green algae were prey preference of these two species. The diet feeding showed that the composition varies slightly depending on the season and size of individuals.

Keywords: national park, Cichlidae, trophic ecology, Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania

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25 Community Structure Detection in Networks Based on Bee Colony

Authors: Bilal Saoud

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose a new method to find the community structure in networks. Our method is based on bee colony and the maximization of modularity to find the community structure. We use a bee colony algorithm to find the first community structure that has a good value of modularity. To improve the community structure, that was found, we merge communities until we get a community structure that has a high value of modularity. We provide a general framework for implementing our approach. We tested our method on computer-generated and real-world networks with a comparison to very known community detection methods. The obtained results show the effectiveness of our proposition.

Keywords: Networks, Modularity, bee colony, normalized mutual information

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24 Towards a Goal-Question-Metric Based Approach to Assess Social Sustainability of Software Systems

Authors: Narjès Bellamine Ben Saoud, Rahma Amri

Abstract:

Sustainable development or sustainability is one of the most urgent issues in actual debate in almost domains. Particularly the significant way the software pervades our live should make it in the center of sustainability concerns. The social aspects of sustainability haven’t been well studied in the context of software systems and still immature research field that needs more interest among researchers’ community. This paper presents a Goal-Question-Metric based approach to assess social sustainability of software systems. The approach is based on a generic social sustainability model taken from Social sciences.

Keywords: Social Sustainability, software assessment approach, goal-question-metric paradigm, software project metrics

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23 Socio-Cultural Adaptation Approach to Enhance Intercultural Collaboration and Learning

Authors: Fadoua Ouamani, Narjès Bellamine Ben Saoud, Henda Hajjami Ben Ghézala

Abstract:

In the last few years and over the last decades, there was a growing interest in the development of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) environments. However, the existing systems ignore the variety of learners and their socio-cultural differences, especially in the case of distant and networked learning. In fact, within such collaborative learning environments, learners from different socio-cultural backgrounds may interact together. These learners evolve within various cultures and social contexts and acquire different socio-cultural values and behaviors. Thus, they should be assisted while communicating and collaborating especially in an intercultural group. Besides, the communication and collaboration tools provided to each learner must depend on and be adapted to her/his socio-cultural profile. The main goal of this paper is to present the proposed socio-cultural adaptation approach based on and guided by ontologies to adapt CSCL environments to the socio-cultural profiles of its users (learners or others).

Keywords: Ontology, Adaptation, CSCL, socio-cultural profile

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22 CFD Simulation of Forced Convection Nanofluid Heat Transfer in the Automotive Radiator

Authors: Sina Movafagh, Younes Bakhshan

Abstract:

Heat transfer of coolant flow through the automobile radiators is of great importance for the optimization of fuel consumption. In this study, the heat transfer performance of the automobile radiator is evaluated numerically. Different concentrations of nanofluids have been investigated by the addition of Al2O3 nano-particles into the water. Also, the effect of the inlet temperature of nanofluid on the performance of radiator is studied. Results show that with an increase of inlet temperature the outlet temperature and pressure drop along the radiator increase. Also, it has been observed that increase of nono-particle concentration will result in an increase in heat transfer rate within the radiator.

Keywords: Heat Transfer, Nanofluid, CFD simulation, car radiator

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21 Effect of Mineral Additives on Improving the Geotechnical Properties of Soils in Chief

Authors: Rabah Younes

Abstract:

The reduction of available land resources and the increased cout associated with the use of high quality materials have led to the need for local soils to be used in geotechnical construction, however; poor engineering properties of these soils pose difficulties for constructions project and need to be stabilized to improve their properties in other works unsuitable soils with low bearing capacity , high plasticity coupled with high instability are frequently encountered hence, there is a need to improve the physical and mechanical characteristics of these soils to make theme more suitable for construction this can be done by using different mechanical and chemical methods clayey soil stabilization has been practiced for sometime but mixing additives, such us cement, lime and fly ash to the soil to increase its strength.

Keywords: Soil Stabilization, Clay, atterberg limits, compaction, naturaln pozzolana, compressive strength shear strength, curing

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20 A Numerical and Experimental Analysis of the Performance of a Combined Solar Unit for Air Conditioning and Water Desalination

Authors: Zied Guidara, Alexander Morgenstern, Aref Younes Maalej

Abstract:

In this paper, a desiccant solar unit for air conditioning and desalination is presented first. Secondly, a dynamic modelling study of the desiccant wheel is developed. After that, a simulation study and an experimental investigation of the behaviour of desiccant wheel are developed. The experimental investigation is done in the chamber of commerce in Freiburg-Germany. Indeed, the variations of calculated and measured temperatures and specific humidity of dehumidified and rejected air are presented where a good agreement is found when comparing the model predictions with experimental data under the considered range of operating conditions. Finally, the study of the compartments of desalination and water condensation shows that the unit can produce an acceptable quantity of water at the same time of the air conditioning operation.

Keywords: Air Conditioning, Design, Desalination, Condensation, desiccant wheel

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19 Optimization of Fenton Process for the Treatment of Young Municipal Leachate

Authors: Bouchra Wassate, Younes Karhat, Khadija El Falaki

Abstract:

Leachate is a source of surface water and groundwater contamination if it has not been pretreated. Indeed, due to its complex structure and its pollution load make its treatment extremely difficult to achieve the standard limits required. The objective of this work is to show the interest of advanced oxidation processes on leachate treatment of urban waste containing high concentrations of organic pollutants. The efficiency of Fenton (Fe2+ +H2O2 + H+) reagent for young leachate recovered from collection trucks household waste in the city of Casablanca, Morocco, was evaluated with the objectives of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and discoloration reductions. The optimization of certain physicochemical parameters (initial pH value, reaction time, and [Fe2+], [H2O2]/ [Fe2+] ratio) has yielded good results in terms of reduction of COD and discoloration of the leachate.

Keywords: Leachate, COD removal, color removal, Fenton process, oxidation process

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18 Market-Power, Stability, and Risk-Taking: An Analysis Surrounding the Riba-Free Banking

Authors: Louati Salma, Louhichi Awatef, Boujelbene Younes

Abstract:

Analysis of the trade-off between competition and financial stability has been at the center of academic and policy debate for over two decades and especially since the 2007-2008 global financial crises. We use information on 10 OIC countries from 2005 to 2014 to investigate the influence of bank competition on individual bank stability and risk-taking. Alternatively, we explore whether the quality of prudential regulation may affect the nexus between competition and banking stability/risk-taking. We provide a particular attention to the Islamic banking system which principally involves with the Riba-free instruments as compared to the conventional interest-based system. We first run a dynamic panel regression (GMM), and then we apply a panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) methodology to compare both banking business models.

Keywords: Islamic banks, Z-score, non-performing loans, Lerner index, prudential regulations

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17 Heterogeneity, Asymmetry and Extreme Risk Perception; Dynamic Evolution Detection From Implied Risk Neutral Density

Authors: Abderrahmen Aloulou, Younes Boujelbene

Abstract:

The current paper displays a new method of extracting information content from options prices by eliminating biases caused by daily variation of contract maturity. Based on Kernel regression tool, this non-parametric technique serves to obtain a spectrum of interpolated options with constant maturity horizons from negotiated optional contracts on the S&P TSX 60 index. This method makes it plausible to compare daily risk neutral densities from which extracting time continuous indicators allows the detection traders attitudes’ evolution, such as, belief homogeneity, asymmetry and extreme Risk Perception. Our findings indicate that the applied method contribute to develop effective trading strategies and to adjust monetary policies through controlling trader’s reactions to economic and monetary news.

Keywords: kernel, Homogeneity, risk neutral densities, constant maturity horizons, asymmetry and extreme risk perception

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16 Linear Semi Active Controller of Magneto-Rheological Damper for Seismic Vibration Attenuation

Authors: Zizouni Khaled, Fali Leyla, Sadek Younes, Bousserhane Ismail Khalil

Abstract:

In structural vibration caused principally by an earthquake excitation, the most vibration’s attenuation system used recently is the semi active control with a Magneto Rheological Damper device. This control was a subject of many researches and works in the last years. The big challenges of searchers in this case is to propose an adequate controller with a robust algorithm of current or tension adjustment. In this present paper, a linear controller is proposed to control the MR damper using to reduce a vibrations of three story structure exposed to El Centro’s 1940 and Boumerdès 2003 earthquakes. In this example, the MR damper is installed in the first floor of the structure. The numerical simulations results of the proposed linear control with a feedback law based on clipped optimal algorithm showed the feasibility of the semi active control to protecting civil structures. The comparison of the controlled structure and uncontrolled structures responses illustrate clearly the performance and the effectiveness of the simple proposed approach.

Keywords: Seismic Vibration, MR damper, semi-active control

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15 Algal Mat Shift to Marsh Domain in Sandy and Muddy Tidal Flat: Examples the Gulf of Gabes, SE Tunisia

Authors: Maher Gzam, Noureddine Elmejdoub, Younes Jedoui

Abstract:

Physical parameters involved in the depositional process on stromatolites, which grow in salt marsh domain, are elucidated in this study. Stromatolites start to grow where surface altimetry of the intertidal flat is high enough to reduce water cover (above mean high tide) and to guarantee a lamellar stream flow. Stromatolite aggrades as a thick laminated layer (stromatolite package) allowing pioneer vascular plants (Salicornia Arabica) to colonize this elevated area (6 cm a.m.s.l). In turn halophytic plant, regularly flooded on spring tide, reduce hydrodynamics velocities causing deposition of sediment, as a result, intertidal zone shift on the flat surface with an expanded marsh domain. This positive feedback invokes self organization between stromatolite growth, vegetation proliferation and deposition of sediment and may be applicable to ancient progradational sequence.

Keywords: Tunisia, stromatolites, marsh, deposition of sediment, aggradation, progradation, gulf of Gabes

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14 Study of Synergetic Effect by Combining Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) Plasma and Photocatalysis for Abatement of Pollutants in Air Mixture System: Influence of Some Operating Conditions and Identification of Byproducts

Authors: Wala Abou Saoud, Aymen Amine Assadi, Monia Guiza, Abdelkrim Bouzaza, Wael Aboussaoud, Abdelmottaleb Ouederni, Dominique Wolbert

Abstract:

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) constitute one of the most important families of chemicals involved in atmospheric pollution, causing damage to the environment and human health, and need, consequently, to be eliminated. Among the promising technologies, dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma - photocatalysis coupling reveals very interesting prospects in terms of process synergy of compounds mineralization’s, with low energy consumption. In this study, the removal of organic compounds such butyraldehyde (BUTY) and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) (exhaust gasses from animal quartering centers.) in air mixture using DBD plasma coupled with photocatalysis was tested, in order to determine whether or not synergy effect was present. The removal efficiency of these pollutants, a selectivity of CO₂ and CO, and byproducts formation such as ozone formation were investigated in order to evaluate the performance of the combined process. For this purpose, a series of experiments were carried out in a continuous reactor. Many operating parameters were also investigated such as the specific energy of discharge, the inlet concentration of pollutant and the flowrate. It appears from this study that, the performance of the process has enhanced and a synergetic effect is observed. In fact, we note an enhancement of 10 % on removal efficiency. It is interesting to note that the combined system leads to better CO₂ selectivity than for plasma. Consequently, intermediates by-products have been reduced due to various other species (O•, N, OH•, O₂•-, O₃, NO₂, NOx, etc.). Additionally, the behavior of combining DBD plasma and photocatalysis has shown that the ozone can be easily also decomposed in presence of photocatalyst.

Keywords: photocatalysis, combined process, VOCs, pilot scale, DBD plasma, synergetic effect

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13 Comparisons Growth Indices of Huso huso Prebroodstock Rearing Environments (Pond and Concrete Tank) for Production of Meat

Authors: Mohamad Ali Yazdani Sadati, Mir Hamed Sayed Hassani, Mahmoud Shakorian, Rezvanollah Kazemi, Bahareh Younes Haghighi

Abstract:

The efficiency of two rearing environments in culture and effect on growth performance of beluga (Huso huso) were investigated. In accordance two group of three years Huso huso ((Average weight of 9.93±0.305 and 10±0.5Kg) density (0.5 and 25 kg/m2)) with 3 replicate were stocked in two culture environment and reared with formulated diet including protein 43% and energy 22 MJ/ kg for 12 month from 2014.6.19 to 2015.9.10 A.D. In the end of rearing period, indices of Final weight, final biomass, daily growth and body percent weight fish reared in cement tank (20.1±0.6, 2016.66±5.77,0.112±0.00239 and 102.35±1.1kg) were significantly higher than fish reared in pond (17.4±0.4, 1746.66±7.2, 0.082±0.118 and 74.15±4.71 kg), respectively P < 0.05). Food efficiency ratio between two group was not significantly different (P > 0.05). The result of this study indicated that except of primary cost of building concrete tank, Huso huso prebroodstocking in cement tank is better than pond for result of increasing growth rate in culture rearing and more effective management.

Keywords: cement tank, earthen pond, Huso huso, prebroodstocking

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12 Effect of Innovation and Its Determinants on the Performance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Younes Boujelbene, Rihab Hentati

Abstract:

Nowadays we realize more and more than the value of a company is not only a function of its means of production but depends essentially on the managerial aptitude and orientation to implement the material and human means for generating profitability. Indeed, a productive R&D activity, a good strategy, and innovation are originally supplementary benefits that increase the value of the business. Is this ‘value-added’ closely linked to innovation? The purpose of our research is to Meta-analyze the results of 56 empirical studies in order to explain the overall effect of innovation on performance of small and medium-sized enterprises. In order to justify the differences in the results, we look for the moderating factors that may affect the innovation-performance relationship. We find a positive and significant relationship between innovation and performance in small and medium-sized enterprises. The results also note a positive relationship between entrepreneurial orientation, research and development (R&D), and performance in SMEs. In addition, innovation has a strong impact on performance measured both with accounting and market index. The originality of the article is based on a rigorous synthesis, based on several statistical tools, of an important subject of research in finance.

Keywords: Innovation, Performance, Meta-analysis, entrepreneurial orientation, moderator variables

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11 Mechanical and Hydraulic Behavior of Arid Zone Soils Treated with Lime: Case of Abadla, Bechar Clays, South of Algeria

Authors: Zizouni Khaled, Fali Leyla, Sadek Younes, Rikioui Tayeb

Abstract:

Stabilization of clay with lime as bearing stratum is an alternative to replacement of original soil. By adding lime to clay soil, the soil workability is improved due to the combination of calcium ions to the clay minerals, which means, modified soil properties. The paper investigates the effect of hydrated lime on the behaviour of lime treated, arid zones clay (Abadla Clay). A number of mechanical and hydraulic tests were performed to identify the effect of lime dosage and compaction water content on the compressibility, permeability, and shear strength parameters of the soil. Test results show that the soil parameters can be improved through additives such as lime. Overall, the addition percentages of 6% and 9% lime give the best desired results. Also, results revealed that the compressibility behavior of lime-treated soil strongly affected by lime content. The results are presented in terms of modern interpretation of the behaviour of treated soils, in comparison with the parameters of the untreated soil.

Keywords: lime, Soil Stabilization, Soil Behaviour, unsaturated soil, compressibility, arid zones

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10 Artificial Intelligence Methods for Returns Expectations in Financial Markets

Authors: Younes Boujelbene, Yosra Mefteh Rekik

Abstract:

We introduce in this paper a new conceptual model representing the stock market dynamics. This model is essentially based on cognitive behavior of the intelligence investors. In order to validate our model, we build an artificial stock market simulation based on agent-oriented methodologies. The proposed simulator is composed of market supervisor agent essentially responsible for executing transactions via an order book and various kinds of investor agents depending to their profile. The purpose of this simulation is to understand the influence of psychological character of an investor and its neighborhood on its decision-making and their impact on the market in terms of price fluctuations. Therefore, the difficulty of the prediction is due to several features: the complexity, the non-linearity and the dynamism of the financial market system, as well as the investor psychology. The Artificial Neural Networks learning mechanism take on the role of traders, who from their futures return expectations and place orders based on their expectations. The results of intensive analysis indicate that the existence of agents having heterogeneous beliefs and preferences has provided a better understanding of price dynamics in the financial market.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence Methods, artificial stock market, behavioral modeling, multi-agent based simulation

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9 Diagnostic and Analysis of the Performance of Freight Transportation on Urban Logistics System in the City of Sfax

Authors: Younes Boujelbene, Tarak Barhoumi

Abstract:

Nowadays, the problems of freight transport pose logistical constraints on the urban system in the city. The aim of this article is to gain a better understanding of the interactions between local traffic and interurban traffic on the one hand and between the location system and the transport system on the other hand. Thus, in a simulation and analysis approach cannot be restricted to the only transport system. The proposed approach is based on an assessment of the impact of freight transport, which is closely linked to the diagnostic method, based on two surveys carried out on the territory of the urban community of Sfax. These surveys are based on two main components 'establishment component' first and 'driver component' second. The results propose a reorganization of freight transport in the city of Sfax. First, an orientation of the heavy goods vehicles traffic towards the major axes of transport namely the ring roads (ring road N° 2, ring road N° 4 and ring road N° 11) and the penetrating news of the city. Then, the implementation of a retail goods delivery policy and the strengthening of logistics in the city. The creation of a logistics zone at the ring road N° 11 where various modes of freight transport meet, in order to decongest the roads of heavy goods traffic, reduce the cost of transport and thus improve the competitiveness of the economy regional.

Keywords: Diagnostics, Evaluation, Transport Freight, urban logistics systems

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8 A Data Driven Approach for the Degradation of a Lithium-Ion Battery Based on Accelerated Life Test

Authors: Alyaa M. Younes, Nermine Harraz, Mohammad H. Elwany

Abstract:

Lithium ion batteries are currently used for many applications including satellites, electric vehicles and mobile electronics. Their ability to store relatively large amount of energy in a limited space make them most appropriate for critical applications. Evaluation of the life of these batteries and their reliability becomes crucial to the systems they support. Reliability of Li-Ion batteries has been mainly considered based on its lifetime. However, another important factor that can be considered critical in many applications such as in electric vehicles is the cycle duration. The present work presents the results of an experimental investigation on the degradation behavior of a Laptop Li-ion battery (type TKV2V) and the effect of applied load on the battery cycle time. The reliability was evaluated using an accelerated life test. Least squares linear regression with median rank estimation was used to estimate the Weibull distribution parameters needed for the reliability functions estimation. The probability density function, failure rate and reliability function under each of the applied loads were evaluated and compared. An inverse power model is introduced that can predict cycle time at any stress level given.

Keywords: Lithium-Ion Battery, Weibull distribution, reliability evaluation, Accelerated Life Test, inverse power law

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7 Effect of Post Circuit Resistance Exercise Glucose Feeding on Energy and Hormonal Indexes in Plasma and Lymphocyte in Free-Style Wrestlers

Authors: Ahmad Abdi, Saeid Fazelifar, Miesam Golzadeh Gangraj, Younes Parvasi, Mohammad Ghasemi

Abstract:

The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of glucose feeding on energy and hormonal indexes in plasma and lymphocyte immediately after wrestling – base techniques circuit exercise (WBTCE) in young male freestyle wrestlers. Sixteen wrestlers (weight = 75/45 ± 12/92 kg, age = 22/29 ± 0/90 years, BMI = 26/23 ± 2/64 kg/m²) were randomly divided into two groups: control (water), glucose (2 gr per kg body weight). Blood samples were obtained before, immediately, and 90 minutes of the post-exercise recovery period. Glucose (2 g/kg of body weight, 1W/5V) and water (equal volumes) solutions were given immediately after the second blood sampling. Data were analyzed by using an ANOVA (a repeated measure) and a suitable post hoc test (LSD). A significant decrease was observed in lymphocytes glycogen immediately after exercise (P < 0.001). In the experimental group, increase Lymphocyte glycogen concentration (P < 0.028) than in the control group in 90 min post-exercise. Plasma glucose concentrations increased in all groups immediately after exercise (P < 0.05). Plasma insulin concentrations in both groups decreased immediately after exercise, but at 90 min after exercise, its level was significantly increased only in glucose group (P < 0.001). Our results suggested that WBTCE protocol could be affected cellular energy sources and hormonal response. Furthermore, Glucose consumption can increase the lymphocyte glycogen and better energy within the cell.

Keywords: Exercise, lymphocyte, glucose feeding, Wrestling – base techniques circuit

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6 Parameters Identification of Granular Soils around PMT Test by Inverse Analysis

Authors: Younes Abed

Abstract:

The successful application of in-situ testing of soils heavily depends on development of interpretation methods of tests. The pressuremeter test simulates the expansion of a cylindrical cavity and because it has well defined boundary conditions, it is more unable to rigorous theoretical analysis (i. e. cavity expansion theory) then most other in-situ tests. In this article, and in order to make the identification process more convenient, we propose a relatively simple procedure which involves the numerical identification of some mechanical parameters of a granular soil, especially, the elastic modulus and the friction angle from a pressuremeter curve. The procedure, applied here to identify the parameters of generalised prager model associated to the Drucker & Prager criterion from a pressuremeter curve, is based on an inverse analysis approach, which consists of minimizing the function representing the difference between the experimental curve and the curve obtained by integrating the model along the loading path in in-situ testing. The numerical process implemented here is based on the established finite element program. We present a validation of the proposed approach by a database of tests on expansion of cylindrical cavity. This database consists of four types of tests; thick cylinder tests carried out on the Hostun RF sand, pressuremeter tests carried out on the Hostun sand, in-situ pressuremeter tests carried out at the site of Fos with marine self-boring pressuremeter and in-situ pressuremeter tests realized on the site of Labenne with Menard pressuremeter.

Keywords: Finite Element Method, granular soils, cavity expansion, pressuremeter test, identification procedure

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5 Prediction of B-Cell Epitope for 24 Mite Allergens: An in Silico Approach towards Epitope-Based Immune Therapeutics

Authors: Narjes Ebrahimi, Soheila Alyasin, Navid Nezafat, Hossein Esmailzadeh, Younes Ghasemi, Seyed Hesamodin Nabavizadeh

Abstract:

Immunotherapy with allergy vaccines is of great importance in allergen-specific immunotherapy. In recent years, B-cell epitope-based vaccines have attracted considerable attention and the prediction of epitopes is crucial to design these types of allergy vaccines. B-cell epitopes might be linear or conformational. The prerequisite for the identification of conformational epitopes is the information about allergens' tertiary structures. Bioinformatics approaches have paved the way towards the design of epitope-based allergy vaccines through the prediction of tertiary structures and epitopes. Mite allergens are one of the major allergy contributors. Several mite allergens can elicit allergic reactions; however, their structures and epitopes are not well established. So, B-cell epitopes of various groups of mite allergens (24 allergens in 6 allergen groups) were predicted in the present work. Tertiary structures of 17 allergens with unknown structure were predicted and refined with RaptorX and GalaxyRefine servers, respectively. The predicted structures were further evaluated by Rampage, ProSA-web, ERRAT and Verify 3D servers. Linear and conformational B-cell epitopes were identified with Ellipro, Bcepred, and DiscoTope 2 servers. To improve the accuracy level, consensus epitopes were selected. Fifty-four conformational and 133 linear consensus epitopes were predicted. Furthermore, overlapping epitopes in each allergen group were defined, following the sequence alignment of the allergens in each group. The predicted epitopes were also compared with the experimentally identified epitopes. The presented results provide valuable information for further studies about allergy vaccine design.

Keywords: Immunotherapy, B-cell epitope, In silico prediction, Mite allergens, Tertiary structure

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4 Household Knowledge, Attitude, and Determinants in Solid Waste Segregation: The Case of Sfax City

Authors: Younes Boujelbene, Leila Kharrat

Abstract:

In recent decades, solid waste management (SWM) has become a global concern because rapid population growth and overexploitation of non-renewable resources have generated enormous amounts of waste far exceeding carrying capacity; too, it poses serious threats to the environment and health. However, it is still difficult to combat the growing amount of solid waste before assessing the condition of people. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitudes, perception, and practices on the separation of solid waste in Sfax City. Nowadays, GDS is essential for sustainable development, hence the need for intensive research. Respondents from seven different districts in the city of Sfax were analyzed through a questionnaire survey with 342 households. This paper presents a qualitative exploratory study on the behavior of the citizens in the field of waste separation. The objective knows the antecedents of waste separation and the representation that individuals have about sorting waste on a specific territory which presents some characteristics regarding waste management in Sfax city. Source separation is not widely practiced and people usually sweep their places throwing waste components into the streets or neighboring plots. The results also indicate that participation in solid waste separation activities depends on the level of awareness of separating activities in the area, household income and educational level. It is, therefore, argued that increasing quality of municipal service is the best means of promoting positive attitudes to solid waste separation activities. One of the effective strategies identified by households that can be initiated by policymakers to increase the rate of participation in separation activities and eventually encourage them to participate in recycling activities is to provide a financial incentive in all residential areas in Sfax city.

Keywords: Public Policy, Solid waste management, waste separation, econometric modelling

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3 Syntheses in Polyol Medium of Inorganic Oxides with Various Smart Optical Properties

Authors: Manuel Gaudon, Thierry Cardinal, Shian Guan, Marie Bourdin, Isabelle Trenque, Younes Messaddeq, Nicolas Penin, Issam Mjejri, Aline Rougier, Etienne Duguet, Stephane Mornet

Abstract:

At the interface of the studies performed by 3 Ph.D. students: Shian Guan (2017-2020), Marie Bourdin (2016-2019) and Isabelle Trenque (2012-2015), a single synthesis route: polyol-mediated process, was used with success for the preparation of different inorganic oxides. Both of these inorganic oxides were elaborated for their potential application as smart optical compounds. This synthesis route has allowed us to develop nanoparticles of zinc oxide, vanadium oxide or tungsten oxide. This route is with easy implementation, inexpensive and with large-scale production potentialities and leads to materials of high purity. The obtaining by this route of nanometric particles, however perfectly crystalline, has notably led to the possibility of doping these matrix materials with high doping ion concentrations (high solubility limits). Thus, Al3+ or Ga3+ doped-ZnO powder, with high doping rate in comparison with the literature, exhibits remarkable infrared absorption properties thanks to their high free carrier density. Note also that due to the narrow particle size distribution of the as-prepared nanometric doped-ZnO powder, the original correlation between crystallite size and unit-cell parameters have been established. Also, depending on the annealing atmosphere use to treat vanadium precursors, VO2, V2O3 or V2O5 oxides with thermochromic or electrochromic properties can be obtained without any impurity, despite the versatility of the oxidation state of vanadium. This is of more particular interest on vanadium dioxide, a relatively difficult-to-prepare oxide, whose first-order metal-insulator phase transition is widely explored in the literature for its thermochromic behavior (in smart windows with optimal thermal insulation). Finally, the reducing nature of the polyol solvents ensures the production of oxygen-deficient tungsten oxide, thus conferring to the nano-powders exotic colorimetric properties, as well as optimized photochromic and electrochromic behaviors.

Keywords: electrochromic, inorganic oxides, photochromic, thermochromic

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2 Framing the Dynamics and Functioning of Different Variants of Terrorist Organizations: A Business Model Perspective

Authors: Eisa Younes Alblooshi

Abstract:

Counterterrorism strategies, to be effective and efficient, require a sound understanding of the dynamics, the interlinked organizational elements of the terrorist outfits being combated, with a view to having cognizance of their strong points to be guarded against, as well as the vulnerable zones that can be targeted for optimal results in a timely fashion by counterterrorism agencies. A unique model regarding the organizational imperatives was evolved in this research through likening the terrorist organizations with the traditional commercial ones, with a view to understanding in detail the dynamics of interconnectivity and dependencies, and the related compulsions facing the leaderships of such outfits that provide counterterrorism agencies with opportunities for forging better strategies. It involved assessing the evolving organizational dynamics and imperatives of different types of terrorist organizations, to enable the researcher to construct a prototype model that defines the progression and linkages of the related organizational elements of such organizations. It required detailed analysis of how the various elements are connected, with sequencing identified, as any outfit positions itself with respect to its external environment and internal dynamics. A case study focusing on a transnational radical religious state-sponsored terrorist organization was conducted to validate the research findings and to further strengthen the specific counterterrorism strategies. Six different variants of the business model of terrorist organizations were identified, categorized based on their outreach, mission, and status of any state sponsorship. The variants represent vast majority of the range of terrorist organizations acting locally or globally. The model shows the progression and dynamics of these organizations through various dimensions including mission, leadership, outreach, state sponsorship status, resulting in the organizational structure, state of autonomy, preference divergence in its fold, recruitment core, propagation avenues, down to their capacity to adapt, resulting critically in their own life cycles. A major advantage of the model is the utility of mapping terrorist organizations according to their fits to the sundry identified variants, allowing for flexibility and differences within, enabling the researchers and counterterrorism agencies to observe a neat blueprint of the organization’s footprint, along with highlighting the areas to be evaluated for focused target zone selection and timing of counterterrorism interventions. Special consideration is given to the dimension of financing, keeping in context the latest developments regarding cryptocurrencies, hawala, and global anti-money laundering initiatives. Specific counterterrorism strategies and intervention points have been identified for each of the respective model variants, with a view to efficient and effective deployment of resources.

Keywords: Strategy, Terrorism, Counterterrorism, model

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1 Formulation of Lipid-Based Tableted Spray-Congealed Microparticles for Zero Order Release of Vildagliptin

Authors: Husam Younes, Hend Ben Tkhayat, Khaled Al Zahabi

Abstract:

Introduction: Vildagliptin (VG), a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP-4), was proven to be an active agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. VG works by enhancing and prolonging the activity of incretins which improves insulin secretion and decreases glucagon release, therefore lowering blood glucose level. It is usually used with various classes, such as insulin sensitizers or metformin. VG is currently only marketed as an immediate-release tablet that is administered twice daily. In this project, we aim to formulate an extended-release with a zero-order profile tableted lipid microparticles of VG that could be administered once daily ensuring the patient’s convenience. Method: The spray-congealing technique was used to prepare VG microparticles. Compritol® was heated at 10 oC above its melting point and VG was dispersed in the molten carrier using a homogenizer (IKA T25- USA) set at 13000 rpm. VG dispersed in the molten Compritol® was added dropwise to the molten Gelucire® 50/13 and PEG® (400, 6000, and 35000) in different ratios under manual stirring. The molten mixture was homogenized and Carbomer® amount was added. The melt was pumped through the two-fluid nozzle of the Buchi® Spray-Congealer (Buchi B-290, Switzerland) using a Pump drive (Master flex, USA) connected to a silicone tubing wrapped with silicone heating tape heated at the same temperature of the pumped mix. The physicochemical properties of the produced VG-loaded microparticles were characterized using Mastersizer, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) and X‐Ray Diffractometer (XRD). VG microparticles were then pressed into tablets using a single punch tablet machine (YDP-12, Minhua pharmaceutical Co. China) and in vitro dissolution study was investigated using Agilent Dissolution Tester (Agilent, USA). The dissolution test was carried out at 37±0.5 °C for 24 hours in three different dissolution media and time phases. The quantitative analysis of VG in samples was realized using a validated High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC-UV) method. Results: The microparticles were spherical in shape with narrow distribution and smooth surface. DSC and XRD analyses confirmed the crystallinity of VG that was lost after being incorporated into the amorphous polymers. The total yields of the different formulas were between 70% and 80%. The VG content in the microparticles was found to be between 99% and 106%. The in vitro dissolution study showed that VG was released from the tableted particles in a controlled fashion. The adjustment of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic ratio of excipients, their concentration and the molecular weight of the used carriers resulted in tablets with zero-order kinetics. The Gelucire 50/13®, a hydrophilic polymer was characterized by a time-dependent profile with an important burst effect that was decreased by adding Compritol® as a lipophilic carrier to retard the release of VG which is highly soluble in water. PEG® (400,6000 and 35 000) were used for their gelling effect that led to a constant rate delivery and achieving a zero-order profile. Conclusion: Tableted spray-congealed lipid microparticles for extended-release of VG were successfully prepared and a zero-order profile was achieved.

Keywords: controlled release, Microparticles, vildagliptin, spray congealing

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