Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: pause

21 Towards a Deconstructive Text: Beyond Language and the Politics of Absences in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot

Authors: Afia Shahid

Abstract:

The writing of Samuel Beckett is associated with meaning in the meaninglessness and the production of what he calls ‘literature of unword’. The casual escape from the world of words in the form of silences and pauses, in his play Waiting for Godot, urges to ask question of their existence and ultimately leads to investigate the theory behind their use in the play. This paper proposes that these absences (silence and pause) in Beckett’s play force to think ‘beyond’ language. This paper asks how silence and pause in Beckett’s text speak for the emergence of poststructuralist text. It aims to identify the significant features of the philosophy of deconstruction in the play of Beckett to demystify the hostile complicity between literature and philosophy. With the interpretive paradigm of poststructuralism this research focuses on the text as a research data. It attempts to delineate the relationship between poststructuralist theoretical concerns and text of Beckett. Keeping in view the theoretical concerns of Poststructuralist theorist Jacques Derrida, the main concern of the discussion is directed towards the notion of ‘beyond’ language into the absences that are aimed at silencing the existing discourse with the ‘radical irony’ of this anti-formal art that contains its own denial and thus represents the idea of ceaseless questioning and radical contradiction in art and any text. This article asks how text of Beckett vibrates with loud silence and has disrupted language to demonstrate the emptiness of words and thus exploring the limitless void of absences. Beckett’s text resonates with silence and pause that is neither negation nor affirmation rather a poststructuralist’s suspension of reality that is ever changing with the undecidablity of all meanings. Within the theoretical notion of Derrida’s Différance this study interprets silence and pause in Beckett’s art. The silence and pause behave like Derrida’s Différance and have questioned their own existence in the text to deconstruct any definiteness and finality of reality to extend an undecidable threshold of poststructuralists that aims to evade the ‘labyrinth of language’.

Keywords: Différance, language, pause, poststructuralism, silence, text

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20 Performance Evaluation of DSR and OLSR Routing Protocols in MANET Using Varying Pause Time

Authors: Yassine Meraihi, Dalila Acheli, Rabah Meraihi

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MANET for Mobile Ad hoc NETwork is a collection of wireless mobile nodes that communicates with each other without using any existing infrastructure, access point or centralized administration, due to the higher mobility and limited radio transmission range, routing is an important issue in ad hoc network, so in order to ensure reliable and efficient route between to communicating nodes quickly, an appropriate routing protocol is needed. In this paper, we present the performance analysis of two mobile ad hoc network routing protocols namely DSR and OLSR using NS2.34, the performance is determined on the basis of packet delivery ratio, throughput, average jitter and end to end delay with varying pause time.

Keywords: DSR, OLSR, quality of service, routing protocols, MANET

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19 Describing Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease via a Picture Description Writing Task

Authors: Marielle Leijten, Catherine Meulemans, Sven De Maeyer, Luuk Van Waes

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For the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a large variety of neuropsychological tests are available. In some of these tests, linguistic processing - both oral and written - is an important factor. Language disturbances might serve as a strong indicator for an underlying neurodegenerative disorder like AD. However, the current diagnostic instruments for language assessment mainly focus on product measures, such as text length or number of errors, ignoring the importance of the process that leads to written or spoken language production. In this study, it is our aim to describe and test differences between cognitive and impaired elderly on the basis of a selection of writing process variables (inter- and intrapersonal characteristics). These process variables are mainly related to pause times, because the number, length, and location of pauses have proven to be an important indicator of the cognitive complexity of a process. Method: Participants that were enrolled in our research were chosen on the basis of a number of basic criteria necessary to collect reliable writing process data. Furthermore, we opted to match the thirteen cognitively impaired patients (8 MCI and 5 AD) with thirteen cognitively healthy elderly. At the start of the experiment, participants were each given a number of tests, such as the Mini-Mental State Examination test (MMSE), the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the forward and backward digit span and the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). Also, a questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic information (age, gender, eduction) of the subjects as well as more details on their level of computer literacy. The tests and questionnaire were followed by two typing tasks and two picture description tasks. For the typing tasks participants had to copy (type) characters, words and sentences from a screen, whereas the picture description tasks each consisted of an image they had to describe in a few sentences. Both the typing and the picture description tasks were logged with Inputlog, a keystroke logging tool that allows us to log and time stamp keystroke activity to reconstruct and describe text production processes. The main rationale behind keystroke logging is that writing fluency and flow reveal traces of the underlying cognitive processes. This explains the analytical focus on pause (length, number, distribution, location, etc.) and revision (number, type, operation, embeddedness, location, etc.) characteristics. As in speech, pause times are seen as indexical of cognitive effort. Results. Preliminary analysis already showed some promising results concerning pause times before, within and after words. For all variables, mixed effects models were used that included participants as a random effect and MMSE scores, GDS scores and word categories (such as determiners and nouns) as a fixed effect. For pause times before and after words cognitively impaired patients paused longer than healthy elderly. These variables did not show an interaction effect between the group participants (cognitively impaired or healthy elderly) belonged to and word categories. However, pause times within words did show an interaction effect, which indicates pause times within certain word categories differ significantly between patients and healthy elderly.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, keystroke logging, matching, writing process

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18 The Relation between Cognitive Fluency and Utterance Fluency in Second Language Spoken Fluency: Studying Fluency through a Psycholinguistic Lens

Authors: Tannistha Dasgupta

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This study explores the aspects of second language (L2) spoken fluency that are related to L2 linguistic knowledge and processing skill. It draws on Levelt’s ‘blueprint’ of the L2 speaker which discusses the cognitive issues underlying the act of speaking. However, L2 speaking assessments have largely neglected the underlying mechanism involved in language production; emphasis is given on the relationship between subjective ratings of L2 speech sample and objectively measured aspects of fluency. Hence, in this study, the relation between L2 linguistic knowledge and processing skill i.e. Cognitive Fluency (CF), and objectively measurable aspects of L2 spoken fluency i.e. Utterance Fluency (UF) is examined. The participants of the study are L2 learners of English, studying at high school level in Hyderabad, India. 50 participants with intermediate level of proficiency in English performed several lexical retrieval tasks and attention-shifting tasks to measure CF, and 8 oral tasks to measure UF. Each aspect of UF (speed, pause, and repair) were measured against the scores of CF to find out those aspects of UF which are reliable indicators of CF. Quantitative analysis of the data shows that among the three aspects of UF; speed is the best predictor of CF, and pause is weakly related to CF. The study suggests that including the speed aspect of UF could make L2 fluency assessment more reliable, valid, and objective. Thus, incorporating the assessment of psycholinguistic mechanisms into L2 spoken fluency testing, could result in fairer evaluation.

Keywords: attention-shifting, cognitive fluency, lexical retrieval, utterance fluency

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17 Life in the Fermata

Authors: Liza Michaeli

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Fermata, from fermare, means to be on hold, conjoining contenere (contain), fissare (fasten), and rimanere (stay). It is a musical indication that a note should be (that is, calls to be) prolonged beyond the "normal duration" the note value would indicate. To be "held up" is to be held impractically in the lunga pausa, where the breath "is to be taken," taken in, but the release is impeded. In this pause of unspecified length, life is being prolonged against your discretion but given to you to inhabit. That is why the note value, the recognized "normative value," does not "accept" the significance of the prolongation. The value is interested in "saving time." The query at the heart of "Life in the fermata" will therefore be: is this life on hold, or rather, life holding. The paper shall meditate, via musical notation, on the significance of experience "inside": namely, the hold.

Keywords: fermata, experience, significance, the hold, prolongation

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16 Reactive Analysis of Different Protocol in Mobile Ad Hoc Network

Authors: Manoj Kumar

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Routing protocols have a central role in any mobile ad hoc network (MANET). There are many routing protocols that exhibit different performance levels in different scenarios. In this paper, we compare AODV, DSDV, DSR, and ZRP routing protocol in mobile ad hoc networks to determine the best operational conditions for each protocol. We analyze these routing protocols by extensive simulations in OPNET simulator and show how to pause time and the number of nodes affect their performance. In this study, performance is measured in terms of control traffic received, control traffic sent, data traffic received, sent data traffic, throughput, retransmission attempts.

Keywords: AODV, DSDV, DSR, ZRP

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15 Performance Comparison of Reactive, Proactive and Hybrid Routing Protocols in Wireless Ad Hoc Networks

Authors: Kumar Manoj, Ramesh Kumar, Kumari Arti, Kumar Prashant

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Routing protocols have a central role in any mobile ad hoc network (MANET). There are many routing protocols that exhibit different performance levels in different scenarios. In this paper we compare AODV, DSDV, DSR and ZRP routing protocol in mobile ad hoc networks to determine the best operational conditions for each protocol. We analyses these routing protocols by extensive simulations in OPNET simulator and show that how pause time and the number of nodes affect their performance. In this study, performance is measured in terms of control traffic received, control traffic sent, data traffic received, data traffic sent, throughput, retransmission attempts.

Keywords: MANET, AODV, DSDV, DSR, ZRP

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14 Performance Analysis and Energy Consumption of Routing Protocol in Manet Using Grid Topology

Authors: Vivek Kumar Singh, Tripti Singh

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An ad hoc wireless network consists of mobile networks which creates an underlying architecture for communication without the help of traditional fixed-position routers. Ad-hoc On-demand Distance Vector (AODV) is a routing protocol used for Mobile Ad hoc Network (MANET). Nevertheless, the architecture must maintain communication routes although the hosts are mobile and they have limited transmission range. There are different protocols for handling the routing in the mobile environment. Routing protocols used in fixed infrastructure networks cannot be efficiently used for mobile ad-hoc networks, so that MANET requires different protocols. This paper presents the performance analysis of the routing protocols used various parameter-patterns with Two-ray model.

Keywords: AODV, packet transmission rate, pause time, ZRP, QualNet 6.1

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13 Investigating the Effect of Juncture on Comprehension among Adult Learners of English in Nigeria

Authors: Emmanuel Uba, Oluwasegun Omidiora, Eugenia Abiodun-Eniayekan

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The role of phonology on reading comprehension is long established in the literature. However, the vast majority of studies on the relationship between phonology and reading or comprehension among adults involve investigating the role of intonation, stress, and segmental knowledge on understanding texts. Not much attention is paid to junctural observation and its effect on the interpretation of texts. This study, therefore, presents a preliminary case-study investigation of the effect of juncture on comprehension of texts among adult Nigerian learners of English. Eighty adult learners of English in Nigeria were presented with fifteen seemingly ambiguous sentences to interpret. The sentences were structured in a way that pausing at different points would produce different interpretations. The results reveal that wrong application of pause is capable of affecting comprehension even when other phonological factors such as stress and intonation are observed properly.

Keywords: comprehension, juncture, phonology, reading

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12 The Effect of Physical and Functional Structure on Citizens` Social Behavior: Case Study of Valiasr Crossroads, Tehran, Iran

Authors: Seyedeh Samaneh Hosseini Yousefi

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Space does not play role just in mentioning the place or locations. It also takes part in people attendance and social structures. Urban space is of substantial aspects of city which is a public sphere for free and unlimited appearance of citizens. Along with such appearances and regarding physical, environmental and functional conditions, different personal and social behaviors can be seen and analyzed toward people. The main principle of an urban space is including social relations and communications. In this survey, urban space has been referred to one in which physical, environmental and functional attractions cause pause and staying of people. Surveys have shown that urban designers have discussed about place more than architects or planners. With attention to mutual relations between urban space, society and civilization, proper policy making and planning are essential due to achieving an ideal urban space. The survey has been decided to analyze the effect of functional and physical structure of urban spaces on citizens' social behaviors. Hence, Valiasr crossroads, Tehran identified public space, has been selected in which analytic-descriptive method utilized. To test the accuracy of assumptions, statistical test has been accomplished by SPSS. Findings have shown that functional structure affects social behaviors, relations, integration and participation more than physical structure does.

Keywords: citizens' social behavior, functional structure, physical structure, urban space

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11 Subject, Language, and Representation: Snyder's Poetics of Emptiness

Authors: Son Hyesook

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This project explores the possibility of poetics of emptiness in the poetry of Gary Snyder, one of the most experimental American poets, interpreting his works as an expression of his Buddhist concept, emptiness. This philosophical term demonstrates the lack of intrinsic nature in all phenomena and the absence of an independent, perduring self. Snyder’s poetics of emptiness locates the extralinguistic reality, emptiness, within the contingent nexus of language itself instead of transcending or discarding it. Language, therefore, plays an important role in his poetry, a medium intentionally applied to the carrying out of this Buddhist telos. Snyder’s poetry is characterized by strangeness and disruptiveness of language as is often the case with Asian Zen discourses. The elision of a lyric ‘I’ and transitive verbs, for example, is his grammatic attempt to represent the illusory nature of the self. He replaces the solitary speaker with sparely modified, concrete but generic images to prevent any anthropocentric understanding of the world and to demonstrate human enactment into a harmonious interplay with other elements of life as a part of a vast web of interconnections, where everything is interrelated to every other thing. In many of his poems, Snyder employs grammatical and structural ellipses and paratactical construction to avoid a facile discursive relation and to help the reader illogically imagine the inexpressible, the void. Through various uses of typographical and semantical space, his poetry forces the reader to experience the ‘thought-pause’ and intuitively perceive things-as-they-are. Snyder enacts in his Poetics an alternative to postmodern perspectives on the subject, language, and representation, and revitalizes their skeptical look at any account of human agency and the possibility of language.

Keywords: subject, language, representation, poetics of emptiness

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10 Design of SAE J2716 Single Edge Nibble Transmission Digital Sensor Interface for Automotive Applications

Authors: Jongbae Lee, Seongsoo Lee

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Modern sensors often embed small-size digital controller for sensor control, value calibration, and signal processing. These sensors require digital data communication with host microprocessors, but conventional digital communication protocols are too heavy for price reduction. SAE J2716 SENT (single edge nibble transmission) protocol transmits direct digital waveforms instead of complicated analog modulated signals. In this paper, a SENT interface is designed in Verilog HDL (hardware description language) and implemented in FPGA (field-programmable gate array) evaluation board. The designed SENT interface consists of frame encoder/decoder, configuration register, tick period generator, CRC (cyclic redundancy code) generator/checker, and TX/RX (transmission/reception) buffer. Frame encoder/decoder is implemented as a finite state machine, and it controls whole SENT interface. Configuration register contains various parameters such as operation mode, tick length, CRC option, pause pulse option, and number of nibble data. Tick period generator generates tick signals from input clock. CRC generator/checker generates or checks CRC in the SENT data frame. TX/RX buffer stores transmission/received data. The designed SENT interface can send or receives digital data in 25~65 kbps at 3 us tick. Synthesized in 0.18 um fabrication technologies, it is implemented about 2,500 gates.

Keywords: digital sensor interface, SAE J2716, SENT, verilog HDL

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9 The Interaction between Blood-Brain Barrier and the Cerebral Lymphatics Proposes Therapeutic Method for Alzheimer’S Disease

Authors: M. Klimova, O. Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya, J. Kurts, E. Zinchenko, N. Navolokin, A. Shirokov, A. Dubrovsky, A. Abdurashitov, A. Terskov, A. Mamedova, I. Agranovich, T. Antonova, I. Blokhina

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The direction for research of Alzheimer's disease is to find an effective non-invasive and non-pharmacological way of treatment. Here we tested our hypothesis that the opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) induces activation of lymphatic drainage and clearing functions that can be used as a method for non-invasive stimulation of clearance of beta-amyloid and therapy of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To test our hypothesis, in this study on healthy male mice we analyzed the interaction between BBB opening by repeated loud music (100-10000 Hz, 100 dB, duration 2 h: 60 sec – sound; 60 sec - pause) and functional changes in the meningeal lymphatic vessels (MLVs). We demonstrate clearance of dextran 70 kDa (i.v. injection), fluorescent beta-amyloid (intrahippocampal injection) and gold nanorods (intracortical injection) via MLV that significantly increased after the opening of BBB. Our studies also demonstrate that the BBB opening was associated with the improvement of neurocognitive status in mice with AD. Thus, we uncover therapeutic effects of BBB opening by loud music, such as non-invasive stimulation of lymphatic clearance of beta-amyloid in mice with AD, accompanied by improvement of their neurocognitive status. Our data are consistent with other results suggesting the therapeutic effect of BBB opening by focused ultrasound without drugs for patients with AD. This research was supported by a grant from RSF 18-75-10033

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, beta-amyloid, blood-brain barrier, meningeal lymphatic vessels, repeated loud music

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8 Maximizing Profit Using Optimal Control by Exploiting the Flexibility in Thermal Power Plants

Authors: Daud Mustafa Minhas, Raja Rehan Khalid, Georg Frey

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The next generation power systems are equipped with abundantly available free renewable energy resources (RES). During their low-cost operations, the price of electricity significantly reduces to a lower value, and sometimes it becomes negative. Therefore, it is recommended not to operate the traditional power plants (e.g. coal power plants) and to reduce the losses. In fact, it is not a cost-effective solution, because these power plants exhibit some shutdown and startup costs. Moreover, they require certain time for shutdown and also need enough pause before starting up again, increasing inefficiency in the whole power network. Hence, there is always a trade-off between avoiding negative electricity prices, and the startup costs of power plants. To exploit this trade-off and to increase the profit of a power plant, two main contributions are made: 1) introducing retrofit technology for state of art coal power plant; 2) proposing optimal control strategy for a power plant by exploiting different flexibility features. These flexibility features include: improving ramp rate of power plant, reducing startup time and lowering minimum load. While, the control strategy is solved as mixed integer linear programming (MILP), ensuring optimal solution for the profit maximization problem. Extensive comparisons are made considering pre and post-retrofit coal power plant having the same efficiencies under different electricity price scenarios. It concludes that if the power plant must remain in the market (providing services), more flexibility reflects direct economic advantage to the plant operator.

Keywords: discrete optimization, power plant flexibility, profit maximization, unit commitment model

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7 Comparative Analysis of Data Gathering Protocols with Multiple Mobile Elements for Wireless Sensor Network

Authors: Bhat Geetalaxmi Jairam, D. V. Ashoka

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Wireless Sensor Networks are used in many applications to collect sensed data from different sources. Sensed data has to be delivered through sensors wireless interface using multi-hop communication towards the sink. The data collection in wireless sensor networks consumes energy. Energy consumption is the major constraints in WSN .Reducing the energy consumption while increasing the amount of generated data is a great challenge. In this paper, we have implemented two data gathering protocols with multiple mobile sinks/elements to collect data from sensor nodes. First, is Energy-Efficient Data Gathering with Tour Length-Constrained Mobile Elements in Wireless Sensor Networks (EEDG), in which mobile sinks uses vehicle routing protocol to collect data. Second is An Intelligent Agent-based Routing Structure for Mobile Sinks in WSNs (IAR), in which mobile sinks uses prim’s algorithm to collect data. Authors have implemented concepts which are common to both protocols like deployment of mobile sinks, generating visiting schedule, collecting data from the cluster member. Authors have compared the performance of both protocols by taking statistics based on performance parameters like Delay, Packet Drop, Packet Delivery Ratio, Energy Available, Control Overhead. Authors have concluded this paper by proving EEDG is more efficient than IAR protocol but with few limitations which include unaddressed issues likes Redundancy removal, Idle listening, Mobile Sink’s pause/wait state at the node. In future work, we plan to concentrate more on these limitations to avail a new energy efficient protocol which will help in improving the life time of the WSN.

Keywords: aggregation, consumption, data gathering, efficiency

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6 Ozone Therapy and Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Interplay in Controlling Tumor Growth, Symptom and Pain Management: A Case Report

Authors: J. F. Pollo Gaspary, F. Peron Gaspary, E. M. Simão, R. Concatto Beltrame, G. Orengo de Oliveira, M. S. Ristow Ferreira, F. Sartori Thies, I. F. Minello, F. dos Santos de Oliveira

Abstract:

Background: The immune system has evolved several mechanisms to protect the host against cancer, and it has now been suggested that the expansion of its functions may prevent tumor growth and control the symptoms of cancer patients. Two techniques, ozone therapy and pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF), are independently associated with an increase in the immune system functions and they maybe help palliative care of patients in these conditions. Case Report: A patient with rectal adenocarcinoma with metastases decides to interrupt the clinical chemotherapy protocol due to refractoriness and side effects. As a palliative care alternative treatment it is suggested to the patient the use of ozone therapy associated with PEMF techniques. Results: The patient reports an improvement in well-being, in autonomy and in pain control. Imaging tests confirm a pause in tumor growth despite more than 60 days without using classic treatment. These results associated with palliative care alternative treatment stimulate the return to the chemotherapy protocol. Discussion: This case illustrates that these two techniques can contribute to the control of tumor growth and refractory symptoms, such as pain, probably by enhancing the immune system. Conclusions: The potential use of the combination of these two therapies, ozone therapy and PEMF therapy, can contribute to palliation of cancer patients, alone or in combination with pharmacological therapies. The conduct of future investigations on this paradigm can elucidate how much these techniques contribute to the survival and well-being of these patients.

Keywords: cancer, complementary and alternative medicine , ozone therapy, palliative care, PEMF therapy

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5 Object Detection in Digital Images under Non-Standardized Conditions Using Illumination and Shadow Filtering

Authors: Waqqas-ur-Rehman Butt, Martin Servin, Marion Pause

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In recent years, object detection has gained much attention and very encouraging research area in the field of computer vision. The robust object boundaries detection in an image is demanded in numerous applications of human computer interaction and automated surveillance systems. Many methods and approaches have been developed for automatic object detection in various fields, such as automotive, quality control management and environmental services. Inappropriately, to the best of our knowledge, object detection under illumination with shadow consideration has not been well solved yet. Furthermore, this problem is also one of the major hurdles to keeping an object detection method from the practical applications. This paper presents an approach to automatic object detection in images under non-standardized environmental conditions. A key challenge is how to detect the object, particularly under uneven illumination conditions. Image capturing conditions the algorithms need to consider a variety of possible environmental factors as the colour information, lightening and shadows varies from image to image. Existing methods mostly failed to produce the appropriate result due to variation in colour information, lightening effects, threshold specifications, histogram dependencies and colour ranges. To overcome these limitations we propose an object detection algorithm, with pre-processing methods, to reduce the interference caused by shadow and illumination effects without fixed parameters. We use the Y CrCb colour model without any specific colour ranges and predefined threshold values. The segmented object regions are further classified using morphological operations (Erosion and Dilation) and contours. Proposed approach applied on a large image data set acquired under various environmental conditions for wood stack detection. Experiments show the promising result of the proposed approach in comparison with existing methods.

Keywords: image processing, illumination equalization, shadow filtering, object detection

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4 Structural Stress of Hegemon’s Power Loss: A Pestle Analysis for Pacification and Security Policy Plan

Authors: Sehrish Qayyum

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Active military power contention is shifting to economic and cyberwar to retain hegemony. Attuned Pestle analysis confirms that structural stress of hegemon’s power loss drives a containment approach towards caging actions. Ongoing diplomatic, asymmetric, proxy and direct wars are increasing stress hegemon’s power retention due to tangled military and economic alliances. It creates the condition of catalepsy with defective reflexive control which affects the core warfare operations. When one’s own power is doubted it gives power to one’s own doubt to ruin all planning either done with superlative cost-benefit analysis. Strategically calculated estimation of Hegemon’s power game since the early WWI to WWII, WWII-to Cold War and then to the current era in three chronological periods exposits that Thucydides’s trap became the reason for war broke out. Thirst for power is the demise of imagination and cooperation for better sense to prevail instead it drives ashes to dust. Pestle analysis is a wide array of evaluation from political and economic to legal dimensions of the state matters. It helps to develop the Pacification and Security Policy Plan (PSPP) to avoid hegemon’s structural stress of power loss in fact, in turn, creates an alliance with maximum amicable outputs. PSPP may serve to regulate and pause the hurricane of power clashes. PSPP along with a strategic work plan is based on Pestle analysis to deal with any conceivable war condition and approach for saving international peace. Getting tangled into self-imposed epistemic dilemmas results in regret that becomes the only option of performance. It is a generic application of probability tests to find the best possible options and conditions to develop PSPP for any adversity possible so far. Innovation in expertise begets innovation in planning and action-plan to serve as a rheostat approach to deal with any plausible power clash.

Keywords: alliance, hegemon, pestle analysis, pacification and security policy plan, security

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3 In-Vitro Evaluation of the Long-Term Stability of PEDOT:PSS Coated Microelectrodes for Chronic Recording and Electrical Stimulation

Authors: A. Schander, T. Tessmann, H. Stemmann, S. Strokov, A. Kreiter, W. Lang

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For the chronic application of neural prostheses and other brain-computer interfaces, long-term stable microelectrodes for electrical stimulation are essential. In recent years many developments were done to investigate different appropriate materials for these electrodes. One of these materials is the electrical conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), which has lower impedance and higher charge injection capacity compared to noble metals like gold and platinum. However the long-term stability of this polymer is still unclear. Thus this paper reports on the in-vitro evaluation of the long-term stability of PEDOT coated gold microelectrodes. For this purpose a highly flexible electrocorticography (ECoG) electrode array, based on the polymer polyimide, is used. This array consists of circular gold electrodes with a diameter of 560 µm (0.25 mm2). In total 25 electrodes of this array were coated simultaneously with the polymer PEDOT:PSS in a cleanroom environment using a galvanostatic electropolymerization process. After the coating the array is additionally sterilized using a steam sterilization process (121°C, 1 bar, 20.5 min) to simulate autoclaving prior to the implantation of such an electrode array. The long-term measurements were performed in phosphate-buffered saline solution (PBS, pH 7.4) at the constant body temperature of 37°C. For the in-vitro electrical stimulation a one channel bipolar current stimulator is used. The stimulation protocol consists of a bipolar current amplitude of 5 mA (cathodal phase first), a pulse duration of 100 µs per phase, a pulse pause of 50 µs and a frequency of 1 kHz. A PEDOT:PSS coated gold electrode with an area of 1 cm2 serves as the counter electrode. The electrical stimulation is performed continuously with a total amount of 86.4 million bipolar current pulses per day. The condition of the PEDOT coated electrodes is monitored in between with electrical impedance spectroscopy measurements. The results of this study demonstrate that the PEDOT coated electrodes are stable for more than 3.6 billion bipolar current pulses. Also the unstimulated electrodes show currently no degradation after the time period of 5 months. These results indicate an appropriate long-term stability of this electrode coating for chronic recording and electrical stimulation. The long-term measurements are still continuing to investigate the life limit of this electrode coating.

Keywords: chronic recording, electrical stimulation, long-term stability, microelectrodes, PEDOT

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2 The Efficacy of Video Education to Improve Treatment or Illness-Related Knowledge in Patients with a Long-Term Physical Health Condition: A Systematic Review

Authors: Megan Glyde, Louise Dye, David Keane, Ed Sutherland

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Background: Typically patient education is provided either verbally, in the form of written material, or with a multimedia-based tool such as videos, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or via the internet. By providing patients with effective educational tools, this can help to meet their information needs and subsequently empower these patients and allow them to participate within medical-decision making. Video education may have some distinct advantages compared to other modalities. For instance, whilst eHealth is emerging as a promising modality of patient education, an individual’s ability to access, read, and navigate through websites or online modules varies dramatically in relation to health literacy levels. Literacy levels may also limit patients’ ability to understand written education, whereas video education can be watched passively by patients and does not require high literacy skills. Other benefits of video education include that the same information is provided consistently to each patient, it can be a cost-effective method after the initial cost of producing the video, patients can choose to watch the videos by themselves or in the presence of others, and they can pause and re-watch videos to suit their needs. Health information videos are not only viewed by patients in formal educational sessions, but are increasingly being viewed on websites such as YouTube. Whilst there is a lot of anecdotal and sometimes misleading information on YouTube, videos from government organisations and professional associations contain trustworthy and high-quality information and could enable YouTube to become a powerful information dissemination platform for patients and carers. This systematic review will examine the efficacy of video education to improve treatment or illness-related knowledge in patients with various long-term conditions, in comparison to other modalities of education. Methods: Only studies which match the following criteria will be included: participants will have a long-term physical health condition, video education will aim to improve treatment or illness related knowledge and will be tested in isolation, and the study must be a randomised controlled trial. Knowledge will be the primary outcome measure, with modality preference, anxiety, and behaviour change as secondary measures. The searches have been conducted in the following databases: OVID Medline, OVID PsycInfo, OVID Embase, CENTRAL and ProQuest, and hand searching for relevant published and unpublished studies has also been carried out. Screening and data extraction will be conducted independently by 2 researchers. Included studies will be assessed for their risk of bias in accordance with Cochrane guidelines, and heterogeneity will also be assessed before deciding whether a meta-analysis is appropriate or not. Results and Conclusions: Appropriate synthesis of the studies in relation to each outcome measure will be reported, along with the conclusions and implications.

Keywords: long-term condition, patient education, systematic review, video

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1 The Development of Congeneric Elicited Writing Tasks to Capture Language Decline in Alzheimer Patients

Authors: Lise Paesen, Marielle Leijten

Abstract:

People diagnosed with probable Alzheimer disease suffer from an impairment of their language capacities; a gradual impairment which affects both their spoken and written communication. Our study aims at characterising the language decline in DAT patients with the use of congeneric elicited writing tasks. Within these tasks, a descriptive text has to be written based upon images with which the participants are confronted. A randomised set of images allows us to present the participants with a different task on every encounter, thus allowing us to avoid a recognition effect in this iterative study. This method is a revision from previous studies, in which participants were presented with a larger picture depicting an entire scene. In order to create the randomised set of images, existing pictures were adapted following strict criteria (e.g. frequency, AoA, colour, ...). The resulting data set contained 50 images, belonging to several categories (vehicles, animals, humans, and objects). A pre-test was constructed to validate the created picture set; most images had been used before in spoken picture naming tasks. Hence the same reaction times ought to be triggered in the typed picture naming task. Once validated, the effectiveness of the descriptive tasks was assessed. First, the participants (n=60 students, n=40 healthy elderly) performed a typing task, which provided information about the typing speed of each individual. Secondly, two descriptive writing tasks were carried out, one simple and one complex. The simple task contains 4 images (1 animal, 2 objects, 1 vehicle) and only contains elements with high frequency, a young AoA (<6 years), and fast reaction times. Slow reaction times, a later AoA (≥ 6 years) and low frequency were criteria for the complex task. This task uses 6 images (2 animals, 1 human, 2 objects and 1 vehicle). The data were collected with the keystroke logging programme Inputlog. Keystroke logging tools log and time stamp keystroke activity to reconstruct and describe text production processes. The data were analysed using a selection of writing process and product variables, such as general writing process measures, detailed pause analysis, linguistic analysis, and text length. As a covariate, the intrapersonal interkey transition times from the typing task were taken into account. The pre-test indicated that the new images lead to similar or even faster reaction times compared to the original images. All the images were therefore used in the main study. The produced texts of the description tasks were significantly longer compared to previous studies, providing sufficient text and process data for analyses. Preliminary analysis shows that the amount of words produced differed significantly between the healthy elderly and the students, as did the mean length of production bursts, even though both groups needed the same time to produce their texts. However, the elderly took significantly more time to produce the complex task than the simple task. Nevertheless, the amount of words per minute remained comparable between simple and complex. The pauses within and before words varied, even when taking personal typing abilities (obtained by the typing task) into account.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, experimental design, language decline, writing process

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