Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Zeineb Ben Azzouz

13 From User's Requirements to UML Class Diagram

Authors: Zeineb Ben Azzouz, Wahiba Ben Abdessalem Karaa


The automated extraction of UML class diagram from natural language requirements is a highly challenging task. Many approaches, frameworks and tools have been presented in this field. Nonetheless, the experiments of these tools have shown that there is no approach that can work best all the time. In this context, we propose a new accurate approach to facilitate the automatic mapping from textual requirements to UML class diagram. Our new approach integrates the best properties of statistical Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to reduce ambiguity when analysing natural language requirements text. In addition, our approach follows the best practices defined by conceptual modelling experts to determine some patterns indispensable for the extraction of basic elements and concepts of the class diagram. Once the relevant information of class diagram is captured, a XMI document is generated and imported with a CASE tool to build the corresponding UML class diagram.

Keywords: Software Engineering, class diagram, user’s requirements, XMI

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12 Effects of Acute Exposure to WIFI Signals (2,45 GHz) on Heart Variability and Blood Pressure in Albinos Rabbit

Authors: Zihad Bouslama, Linda Saili, Amel Hanini, Chiraz Smirani, Iness Azzouz, Amina Azzouz, Hafedh Abdemelek


Electrocardiogram and arterial pressure measurements were studied under acute exposures to WIFI (2.45 GHz) during one hour in adult male rabbits. Antennas of WIFI were placed at 25 cm at the right side near the heart. Acute exposure of rabbits to WIFI increased heart frequency (+ 22%) and arterial blood pressure (+14%). Moreover, analysis of ECG revealed that WIFI induced a combined increase of PR and QT intervals. By contrast, the same exposure failed to alter the maximum amplitude and P waves. After intravenously injection of dopamine (0.50 ml/kg) and epinephrine (0.50ml/kg) under acute exposure to RF we found that WIFI alter catecholamines(dopamine, epinephrine) action on heart variability and blood pressure compared to control. These results suggest for the first time, as far as we know, that exposure to WIFI affect heart rhythm, blood pressure, and catecholamines efficacy on cardiovascular system; indicating that radio frequency can act directly and/or indirectly on the cardiovascular system.

Keywords: Epinephrine, Dopamine, electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate (HR), arterial pressure (PA), the efficacy of catecholamines

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11 Merging of Results in Distributed Information Retrieval Systems

Authors: Larbi Guezouli, Imane Azzouz


This work is located in the domain of distributed information retrieval ‘DIR’. A simplified view of the DIR requires a multi-search in a set of collections, which forces the system to analyze results found in these collections, and merge results back before sending them to the user in a single list. Our work is to find a fusion method based on the relevance score of each result received from collections and the relevance of the local search engine of each collection.

Keywords: Information Retrieval, Datamining, distributed IR systems, merging results

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10 Smart Grids Cyber Security Issues and Challenges

Authors: Imen Aouini, Lamia Ben Azzouz


The energy need is growing rapidly due to the population growth and the large new usage of power. Several works put considerable efforts to make the electricity grid more intelligent to reduce essentially energy consumption and provide efficiency and reliability of power systems. The Smart Grid is a complex architecture that covers critical devices and systems vulnerable to significant attacks. Hence, security is a crucial factor for the success and the wide deployment of Smart Grids. In this paper, we present security issues of the Smart Grid architecture and we highlight open issues that will make the Smart Grid security a challenging research area in the future.

Keywords: Smart Grids, Smart Meters, home area network, neighbor area network

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9 Effect of Marine Stress Starvation Conditions on Survival and Retention of the Properties of Potential Probiotic Bacillus Strains

Authors: Abdelkarim Mahdhi, Fdhila Kais, Faouzi Lamari, Zeineb Hmila, Fathi Kamoun, Maria Ángeles Esteban, Amina Bakhrouf


Pathogenic bacteria are considered to be responsible for several infectious diseases in aquaculture. To overcome diseases in fish culture, the use of antimicrobial drugs as strategy, have been adopted. The use of probiotic was a promising approach to avoid the risk associated to pathogenic bacteria. To find a biological control treatment against pathogens, we undertook this investigation to study the maintain of the probiotic properties of Bacillus sp., such as viability, adhesive ability to abiotic surface, antibacterial activity and pathogenicity/toxicity, under marine starvation conditions. Our data revealed that the tested strains maintained their capacity to inhibit pathogens in vivo and in vitro conditions. These strains maintain their adhesive capacity to polystyrene and do not demonstrate the pathogenic or toxic effect to the host. The obtained results give insight about the effect of starvation conditions on the physiological responses of these Bacillus strains that can be considered as a potential candidate’s probiotic.

Keywords: bacillus, probiotic, cell viability, starvation conditions

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8 Recycling of Post-Industrial Cotton Wastes: Quality and Rotor Spinning of Reclaimed Fibers

Authors: Béchir Wanassi, Béchir Azzouz, Taher Halimi, Mohamed Ben Hassen


Mechanical recycling of post-industrial cotton yarn wastes, as well as the effects of passage number on the properties of reclaimed fibers, have been investigated. A new Modified Fiber Quality Index (MFQI) and Spinning Consistency Index (MSCI) for the characterization of the quality are presented. This index gives the real potential of spinnability according to its physical properties. The best quality of reclaimed fibers (after 7th passage) was used to produce rotor yarns. 100% recycling cotton yarns were produced in open-end spinning system with different rotor speed (i.e. 65000, 70000, and 80000 rpm), opening roller speed (i.e. 7700, 8200, and 8700 rpm) and twist factor (i.e. 137, 165, and 183). The effects of spinning parameters were investigated to evaluate a 100% recycling cotton yarns quality (TQI, hairiness, thin places, and thick places) using DOE method.

Keywords: Rotor Spinning, DOE, cotton wastes, mechanical recycling

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7 Online Language Learning and Teaching Pedagogy: Constructivism and Beyond

Authors: Zeineb Deymi-Gheriani


In the last two decades, one can clearly observe a boom of interest for e-learning and web-supported programs. However, one can also notice that many of these programs focus on the accumulation and delivery of content generally as a business industry with no much concern for theoretical underpinnings. The existing research, at least in online English language teaching (ELT), has demonstrated a lack of an effective online teaching pedagogy anchored in a well-defined theoretical framework. Hence, this paper comes as an attempt to present constructivism as one of the theoretical bases for the design of an effective online language teaching pedagogy which is at the same time technologically intelligent and theoretically informed to help envision how education can best take advantage of the information and communication technology (ICT) tools. The present paper discusses the key principles underlying constructivism, its implications for online language teaching design, as well as its limitations that should be avoided in the e-learning instructional design. Although the paper is theoretical in nature, essentially based on an extensive literature survey on constructivism, it does have practical illustrations from an action research conducted by the author both as an e-tutor of English using Moodle online educational platform at the Virtual University of Tunis (VUT) from 2007 up to 2010 and as a face-to-face (F2F) English teaching practitioner in the Professional Certificate of English Language Teaching Training (PCELT) at AMIDEAST, Tunisia (April-May, 2013).

Keywords: Active Learning, constructivism, Piaget, Experiential Learning, Vygotsky

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6 Survival and Retention of the Probiotic Properties of Bacillus sp. Strains under Marine Stress Starvation Conditions and Their Potential Use as a Probiotic for Aquaculture Objectives

Authors: Abdelkarim Mahdhi, Fdhila Kais, Faouzi Lamari, Zeineb Hmila, Fathi Kamoun, Maria Ángeles Esteban, Amina Bakhrouf


Aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing food-production sector. However, one of the most serious problems regarding the culture of marine fishes is the mortality associated with pathogenic bacteria that occurs in the critical phases of larval development. Conventional approaches, such as the use of antimicrobial drugs to control diseases, have had limited success in the prevention or cure of aquatic diseases. Promising alternatives to antibiotics are probiotics, which are food supplements consisting of live microorganisms that benefit the host organism. In the search for more effective and environmentally friendly treatments with probionts against pathogenic species in shrimp larval culture, the probiotic properties of Bacillus strains isolated from Artemia culture such as antibacterial activity, adhesion, pathogenicity, toxicity and the effect of marine stress on viability and survival were investigated, as well as the changes occurring in their properties. Analyses showed that these bacteria corresponded to the genus Bacillus sp. Antagonism and adherence assays revealed that these strains have an inhibitory effect against pathogenic bacteria in vitro and in vivo conditions and are fairly adherent. Challenge tests performed with Artemia larvae provided evidence that the tested Bacillus strains were neither pathogenic nor toxic to the host. The tested strains maintained their viability and their probiotic properties during the period of study. The results suggest that the tested strains have suffered changes allowing them to survive in seawater in the absence of nutrients and outside their natural host, identifying them as potential probiotic candidates for Artemia culture.

Keywords: Stress Response, bacillus, probiotic, cell viability

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5 Investigation of Fumaric Acid Radiolysis Using Gamma Irradiation

Authors: Wafa Jahouach-Rabai, Khouloud Ouerghi, Zohra Azzouz-Berriche, Faouzi Hosni


Widely used organic products in the pharmaceutical industry have been detected in environmental systems, essentially carboxylic acids. In this purpose, the degradation efficiency of these contaminants was evaluated using an advanced oxidation process (AOP), namely ionization process as an alternative to conventional water treatment technologies. This process permitted the generation of radical reactions to directly degrade organic pollutants in wastewater. In fact, gamma irradiation of aqueous solutions produces several reactive radicals, essentially hydroxyl radical (OH), to destroy recalcitrant pollutants. Different concentrations of aqueous solutions of Fumaric acid (FA) were considered in this study (0.1-1 mmol/L), which were treated by irradiation doses from 1 to 15 kGy with 6.1 kGy/h rate by ionizing system in pilot scale (⁶⁰Co irradiator). Variations of main parameters influencing degradation efficiency versus absorbed doses were released in the aim to optimize total mineralization of considered pollutants. Preliminary degradation pathway until complete mineralization into CO₂ has been suggested based on detection of residual degradation derivatives using different techniques, namely high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). Results revealed total destruction of treated compound, which improve the efficiency of this process in water remediation. We investigated the reactivity of hydroxyl radicals generated by irradiation on dicarboxylic acid (FA) in aqueous solutions, leading to its degradation into other smaller molecules. In fact, gamma irradiation of FA leads to the formation of hydroxylated intermediates such as hydroxycarbonyl radical which were identified by EPR spectroscopy. Finally, pilot plant irradiation facilities improved the applicability of radiation technology on large scale.

Keywords: EPR, HPLC, gamma irradiation, hydroxyl radical, AOP, radiolysis, fumaric acid

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4 The Conservation of the Roman Mosaics in the Museum of Sousse, Tunisia: Between Doctrines and Practices

Authors: Zeineb Yousse, Fakher Kharrat


Mosaic is a part of a broad universal cultural heritage; sometimes it represents a rather essential source for the researches on the everyday life of some of the previous civilizations. Tunisia has one of the finest and largest collections of mosaics in the world, which is essentially exhibited in the Museums of Bardo and Sousse. Restored and reconstituted, they bear witnesses to hard work. Our paper deals with the discipline of conservation of Roman mosaics based on the proceedings of the workshop of the Museum of Sousse. Thus, we highlight two main objectives. In the first place, it is a question of revealing the techniques adopted by professionals to handle mosaics and to which school of conservation these techniques belong. In the second place, we are going to interpret the works initiated to preserve the archaeological heritage in order to protect it in present time and transmit it to future generations. To this end, we paid attention to four Roman mosaics currently exhibited in the Museum of Sousse. These Mosaics show different voids or gaps at the level of their surfaces and the method used to fill these gaps seems to be interesting to analyze. These mosaics are known under the names of: Orpheus Charming the Animals, Gladiator and Bears, Stud farm of Sorothus and finally Head of Medusa. The study on the conservation passes through two chained phases. We start with a small historical overview in order to gather information related to the original location, the date of its composition as well as the description of its image. Afterward, the intervention process is analyzed by handling three complementary elements which are: diagnosis of the existing state, the study of the medium processing and the study of the processing of the tesselatum surface which includes the pictorial composition of the mosaic. Furthermore, we have implemented an evaluation matrix with six operating principles allowing the assessment of the appropriateness of the intervention. These principles are the following: minimal intervention, reversibility, compatibility, visibility, durability, authenticity and enhancement. Various accumulated outcomes are pointing out the techniques used to fill the gaps as well as the level of compliance with the principles of conservation. Accordingly, the conservation of mosaics in Tunisia is a practice that combines various techniques without really arguing about the choice of a particular theory.

Keywords: Conservation, Principles, matrix, museum of Sousse, operating particular theory, Roman mosaics

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3 Degradation of Emerging Pharmaceuticals by Gamma Irradiation Process

Authors: W. Jahouach-Rabai, J. Aribi, Z. Azzouz-Berriche, R. Lahsni, F. Hosni


Gamma irradiation applied in removing pharmaceutical contaminants from wastewater is an effective advanced oxidation process (AOP), considered as an alternative to conventional water treatment technologies. In this purpose, the degradation efficiency of several detected contaminants under gamma irradiation was evaluated. In fact, radiolysis of organic pollutants in aqueous solutions produces powerful reactive species, essentially hydroxyl radical ( ·OH), able to destroy recalcitrant pollutants in water. Pharmaceuticals considered in this study are aqueous solutions of paracetamol, ibuprofen, and diclofenac at different concentrations 0.1-1 mmol/L, which were treated with irradiation doses from 3 to 15 kGy. The catalytic oxidation of these compounds by gamma irradiation was investigated using hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) as a convenient oxidant. Optimization of the main parameters influencing irradiation process, namely irradiation doses, initial concentration and oxidant volume (H₂O₂) were investigated, in the aim to release high degradation efficiency of considered pharmaceuticals. Significant modifications attributed to these parameters appeared in the variation of degradation efficiency, chemical oxygen demand removal (COD) and concentration of radio-induced radicals, confirming them synergistic effect to attempt total mineralization. Pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics could be used to depict the degradation process of these compounds. A sophisticated analytical study was released to quantify the detected radio-induced radicals (electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)). All results showed that this process is effective for the degradation of many pharmaceutical products in aqueous solutions due to strong oxidative properties of generated radicals mainly hydroxyl radical. Furthermore, the addition of an optimal amount of H₂O₂ was efficient to improve the oxidative degradation and contribute to the high performance of this process at very low doses (0.5 and 1 kGy).

Keywords: Pharmaceuticals, EPR, HPLC, gamma irradiation, hydroxyl radical, COD, AOP

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2 Green-Synthesized β-Cyclodextrin Membranes for Humidity Sensors

Authors: Zeineb Baatout, Safa Teka, Nejmeddine Jaballah, Nawfel Sakly, Xiaonan Sun, Mustapha Majdoub


Currently, the economic interests linked to the development of bio-based materials make biomass one of the most interesting areas for science development. We are interested in the β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), one of the popular bio-sourced macromolecule, produced from the starch via enzymatic conversion. It is a cyclic oligosaccharide formed by the association of seven glucose units. It presents a rigid conical and amphiphilic structure with hydrophilic exterior, allowing it to be water-soluble. It has also a hydrophobic interior enabling the formation of inclusion complexes, which support its application for the elaboration of electrochemical and optical sensors. Nevertheless, the solubility of β-CD in water makes its use as sensitive layer limit and difficult due to their instability in aqueous media. To overcome this limitation, we chose to precede by modification of the hydroxyl groups to obtain hydrophobic derivatives which lead to water-stable sensing layers. Hence, a series of benzylated β-CDs were synthesized in basic aqueous media in one pot. This work reports the synthesis of a new family of substituted amphiphilic β-CDs using a green methodology. The obtained β-CDs showed different degree of substitution (DS) between 0.85 and 2.03. These organic macromolecular materials were soluble in common organic volatile solvents, and their structures were investigated by NMR, FT-IR and MALDI-TOF spectroscopies. Thermal analysis showed a correlation between the thermal properties of these derivatives and the benzylation degree. The surface properties of the thin films based on the benzylated β-CDs were characterized by contact angle measurements and atomic force microscopy (AFM). These organic materials were investigated as sensitive layers, deposited on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) gravimetric transducer, for humidity sensor at room temperature. The results showed that the performances of the prepared sensors are greatly influenced by the benzylation degree of β-CD. The partially modified β-CD (DS=1) shows linear response with best sensitivity, good reproducibility, low hysteresis, fast response time (15s) and recovery time (17s) at higher relative humidity levels (RH) between 11% and 98% in room temperature.

Keywords: Green Synthesis, humidity sensor, β-cyclodextrin, quartz crystal microbalance

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1 Transcriptional Response of Honey Bee to Differential Nutritional Status and Nosema Infection

Authors: Farida Azzouz-Olden, Arthur G. Hunt, Gloria Degrandi-Hoffman


Bees are confronting several environmental challenges, including the intermingled effects of malnutrition and disease. Intuitively, pollen is the healthiest nutritional choice; however, commercial substitutes, such as BeePro and MegaBee, are widely used. Herein we examined how feeding natural and artificial diets shapes transcription in the abdomen of the honey bee, and how transcription shifts in combination with Nosema parasitism. Gene ontology enrichment revealed that, compared with poor diet (carbohydrates (C)), bees fed pollen (P > C), BeePro (B > C), and MegaBee (M > C) showed a broad upregulation of metabolic processes, especially lipids; however, pollen feeding promoted more functions and superior proteolysis. The superiority of the pollen diet was also evident through the remarkable overexpression of vitellogenin in bees fed pollen instead of MegaBee or BeePro. Upregulation of bioprocesses under carbohydrates feeding compared to pollen (C > P) provided a clear poor nutritional status, uncovering stark expression changes that were slight or absent relatively to BeePro (C > B) or MegaBee (C > M). Poor diet feeding (C > P) induced starvation response genes and hippo signaling pathway, while it repressed growth through different mechanisms. Carbohydrate feeding (C > P) also elicited ‘adult behavior’, and developmental processes suggesting transition to foraging. Finally, it altered the ‘circadian rhythm’, reflecting the role of this mechanism in the adaptation to nutritional stress in mammals. Nosema-infected bees fed pollen compared to carbohydrates (PN > CN) upheld certain bioprocesses of uninfected bees (P > C). Poor nutritional status was more apparent against pollen (CN > PN) than BeePro (CN > BN) or MegaBee (CN > MN). Nosema accentuated the effects of malnutrition since more starvation-response genes and stress response mechanisms were upregulated in CN > PN compared to C > P. The bioprocess ‘Macromolecular complex assembly’ was also enriched in CN > PN, and involved genes associated with human HIV and/or influenza, thus providing potential candidates for bee-Nosema interactions. Finally, the enzyme Duox emerged as essential for guts defense in bees, similarly to Drosophila. These results provide evidence of the superior nutritional status of bees fed pollen instead of artificial substitutes in terms of overall health, even in the presence of a pathogen.

Keywords: Nutrition, Immunity, RNA-Seq, honeybee, Nosema

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