Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6712

Search results for: problem solving

6712 Young Children’s Use of Representations in Problem Solving

Authors: Kamariah Abu Bakar, Jennifer Way


This study investigated how young children (six years old) constructed and used representations in mathematics classroom; particularly in problem solving. The purpose of this study is to explore the ways children used representations in solving addition problems and to determine whether their representations can play a supportive role in understanding the problem situation and solving them correctly. Data collection includes observations, children’s artifact, photographs and conversation with children during task completion. The results revealed that children were able to construct and use various representations in solving problems. However, they have certain preferences in generating representations to support their problem solving.

Keywords: young children, representations, addition, problem solving

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6711 Using Convergent and Divergent Thinking in Creative Problem Solving in Mathematics

Authors: Keng Keh Lim, Zaleha Ismail, Yudariah Mohammad Yusof


This paper aims to find out how students using convergent and divergent thinking in creative problem solving to solve mathematical problems creatively. Eight engineering undergraduates in a local university took part in this study. They were divided into two groups. They solved the mathematical problems with the use of creative problem solving skills. Their solutions were collected and analyzed to reveal all the processes of problem solving, namely: problem definition, ideas generation, ideas evaluation, ideas judgment, and solution implementation. The result showed that the students were able to solve the mathematical problem with the use of creative problem solving skills.

Keywords: convergent thinking, divergent thinking, creative problem solving, creativity

Procedia PDF Downloads 273
6710 Number Sense Proficiency and Problem Solving Performance of Grade Seven Students

Authors: Laissa Mae Francisco, John Rolex Ingreso, Anna Krizel Menguito, Criselda Robrigado, Rej Maegan Tuazon


This study aims to determine and describe the existing relationship between number sense proficiency and problem-solving performance of grade seven students from Victorino Mapa High School, Manila. A paper pencil exam containing of 50-item number sense test and 5-item problem-solving test which measures their number sense proficiency and problem-solving performance adapted from McIntosh, Reys, and Bana were used as the research instruments. The data obtained from this study were interpreted and analyzed using the Pearson – Product Moment Coefficient of Correlation to determine the relationship between the two variables. It was found out that students who were low in number sense proficiency tend to be the students with poor problem-solving performance and students with medium number sense proficiency are most likely to have an average problem-solving performance. Likewise, students with high number sense proficiency are those who do excellently in problem-solving performance.

Keywords: number sense, performance, problem solving, proficiency

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6709 Teaching and Learning Physics via GPS and WikiS

Authors: Hashini E. Mohottala


We report the combine use of Wikispaces (WikiS) and Group Problem Solving (GPS) sessions conducted in the introductory level physics classes. As a part of this new teaching tool, some essay type problems were posted on the WikiS in weekly basis and students were encouraged to participate in problem solving without providing numerical final answers but the steps. Wikispace is used as a platform for students to meet online and create discussions. Each week students were further evaluated on problem solving skills opening up more opportunity for peer interaction through GPS. Each group was given a different problem to solve and the answers were graded. Students developed a set of skills in decision-making, problem solving, communication, negotiation, critical and independent thinking and teamwork through the combination of WikiS and GPS.

Keywords: group problem solving (GPS), wikispace (WikiS), physics education, learning

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6708 Strength of Gratitude Determining Subjective Well-Being: Evidence for Mediating Role of Problem-Solving Styles

Authors: Sarwat Sultan, Shahzad Gul


This study was carried out to see the mediating role of problem solving styles (sensing, intuitive, feeling, and thinking) in the predictive relationship of gratitude with subjective well-being. A sample of 454 college students aged 20-26 years old participated in this study and provided data on the measures of gratitude, problem solving styles, and subjective well-being. Results indicated the significant relationships of gratitude with subjective well-being and problem solving styles of intuitive and thinking. Results further indicated the positive link of intuitive and thinking styles with subjective well-being. Findings also provided the evidence for the significant mediating role of problem solving styles in the relationship of gratitude with subjective well-being. The implication for this study is likely to enhance the medium to long term effects of gratitude on subjective well-being among students and as well as assessing its value in promoting psychological health and problem solving strategies among students.

Keywords: gratitude, subjective well-being, problem solving styles, college students

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6707 Incorporating Polya’s Problem Solving Process: A Polytechnic Mathematics Module Case Study

Authors: Pei Chin Lim


School of Mathematics and Science of Singapore Polytechnic offers a Basic Mathematics module to students who did not pass GCE O-Level Additional Mathematics. These students are weaker in Mathematics. In particular, they struggle with word problems and tend to leave them blank in tests and examinations. In order to improve students’ problem-solving skills, the school redesigned the Basic Mathematics module to incorporate Polya’s problem-solving methodology. During tutorial lessons, students have to work through learning activities designed to raise their metacognitive awareness by following Polya’s problem-solving process. To assess the effectiveness of the redesign, students’ working for a challenging word problem in the mid-semester test were analyzed. Sixty-five percent of students attempted to understand the problem by making sketches. Twenty-eight percent of students went on to devise a plan and implement it. Only five percent of the students still left the question blank. These preliminary results suggest that with regular exposure to an explicit and systematic problem-solving approach, weak students’ problem-solving skills can potentially be improved.

Keywords: mathematics education, metacognition, problem solving, weak students

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6706 Pre-Service Teachers’ Experiences and Attitude towards Children’s Problem Solving Strategies in Early Mathematics Learning

Authors: Temitayo Ogunsanwo


Problem-solving is an important way of learning way of learning because it propels children to use previous experiences to deal with new situations. The purpose of this study is to find out the attitude of pre-service teachers to problem-solving as a strategy for promoting early mathematics learning in children. This qualitative study employed a descriptive design to investigate the experiences of twenty second-year undergraduate early childhood education Pre-service teachers in a teaching practice and their attitude towards five-year-old children’s problem-solving strategies in mathematics. Pre-service teachers were exposed to different strategies for teaching children how to solve problems in mathematics. They were taken through a micro teaching in class using different strategies to teach problem-solving in different topics in the five-year-old mathematics curriculum. The students were then made to teach five-year-olds in neighbouring schools for three weeks, working in pairs, observing and recording children’s problem-solving activities and strategies. After the three weeks exercise, their experiences and attitude towards children’s problem-solving strategies were collected using open-ended questions and analysed in themes. Findings were discussed.

Keywords: attitude, early mathematics learning, experience, pre-service teachers, problem-solving, strategies

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6705 The Effect of Peer Support to Interpersonal Problem Solving Tendencies and Skills in Nursing Students

Authors: B. Özlük, A. Karaaslan


This study has been conducted as a supplementary and relationship seeking study with the purpose of measuring the tendency and success of support among peers amid nursing students studying at university in solving interpersonal problems. The population of the study (N:279) is comprised of nursing students who are studying at one state and one private university in the province of Konya, while its sample is comprised of 231 nursing students who agreed to take part in the study voluntarily. As a result of this study, it has been determined that the peer support and interpersonal problem solving characteristics among students were at medium levels and that the interpersonal problem solving skills of students studying in the third year were higher than those of first and second year students. While the interpersonal problem solving characteristics of students who are aged 20 and over were found to be higher, no difference could be determined in terms of the interpersonal problem solving skills and tendencies among students, based on their gender and where they reside. A positive – to a medium degree – and significant relationship was determined between peer support and interpersonal problem solving skills, and it is possible to say that as peer support increases, so do the skills and tendencies to solve problems.

Keywords: nursing students, peer support, interpersonal problem, problem solving

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6704 Finite Element and Split Bregman Methods for Solving a Family of Optimal Control Problem with Partial Differential Equation Constraint

Authors: Mahmoud Lot


In this article, we will discuss the solution of elliptic optimal control problem. First, by using the nite element method, we obtain the discrete form of the problem. The obtained discrete problem is actually a large scale constrained optimization problem. Solving this optimization problem with traditional methods is difficult and requires a lot of CPU time and memory. But split Bergman method converts the constrained problem to an unconstrained, and hence it saves time and memory requirement. Then we use the split Bregman method for solving this problem, and examples show the speed and accuracy of split Bregman methods for solving these types of problems. We also use the SQP method for solving the examples and compare with the split Bregman method.

Keywords: Split Bregman Method, optimal control with elliptic partial differential equation constraint, finite element method

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6703 Predictive Power of Achievement Motivation on Student Engagement and Collaborative Problem Solving Skills

Authors: Theresa Marie Miller, Ma. Nympha Joaquin


The aim of this study was to check the predictive power of social-oriented and individual-oriented achievement motivation on student engagement and collaborative problem-solving skills in mathematics. A sample of 277 fourth year high school students from the Philippines were selected. Surveys and videos of collaborative problem solving activity were used to collect data from respondents. The mathematics teachers of the participants were interviewed to provide qualitative support on the data. Systemaitc correlation and regression analysis were employed. Results of the study showed that achievement motivations−SOAM and IOAM− linearly predicted student engagement but was not significantly associated to the collaborative problem-solving skills in mathematics. Student engagement correlated positively with collaborative problem-solving skills in mathematics. The results contribute to theorizing about the predictive power of achievement motivations, SOAM and IOAM on the realm of academic behaviors and outcomes as well as extend the understanding of collaborative problem-solving skills of 21st century learners.

Keywords: achievement motivation, collaborative problem-solving skills, individual-oriented achievement motivation, social-oriented achievement motivation, student engagement

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6702 Efficacy of Problem Solving Approach on the Achievement of Students in Mathematics

Authors: Akintunde O. Osibamowo, Abdulrasaq O. Olusanya


The present study was designed to examine the effect of problem-solving approach as a medium of instruction in teaching and learning of mathematics to improve the achievement of the student. One Hundred (100) students were randomly chosen from five (5) Junior Secondary School in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria. The data was collected through Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT) on the two groups (experimental and control group). The study confirmed that there is a significant different in the achievement of students exposed to problem-solving approach than those not exposed. The result also indicated that male students, however, had a greater mean-score than the female with no significant difference in their achievement. The result of the study supports the use of problem-solving approach in the teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary schools.

Keywords: problem, achievement, teaching phases, experimental control

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6701 Problem Solving: Process or Product? A Mathematics Approach to Problem Solving in Knowledge Management

Authors: A. Giannakopoulos, S. B. Buckley


Problem solving in any field is recognised as a prerequisite for any advancement in knowledge. For example in South Africa it is one of the seven critical outcomes of education together with critical thinking. As a systematic way to problem solving was initiated in mathematics by the great mathematician George Polya (the father of problem solving), more detailed and comprehensive ways in problem solving have been developed. This paper is based on the findings by the author and subsequent recommendations for further research in problem solving and critical thinking. Although the study was done in mathematics, there is no doubt by now in almost anyone’s mind that mathematics is involved to a greater or a lesser extent in all fields, from symbols, to variables, to equations, to logic, to critical thinking. Therefore it stands to reason that mathematical principles and learning cannot be divorced from any field. In management of knowledge situations, the types of problems are similar to mathematics problems varying from simple to analogical to complex; from well-structured to ill-structured problems. While simple problems could be solved by employees by adhering to prescribed sequential steps (the process), analogical and complex problems cannot be proceduralised and that diminishes the capacity of the organisation of knowledge creation and innovation. The low efficiency in some organisations and the low pass rates in mathematics prompted the author to view problem solving as a product. The authors argue that using mathematical approaches to knowledge management problem solving and treating problem solving as a product will empower the employee through further training to tackle analogical and complex problems. The question the authors asked was: If it is true that problem solving and critical thinking are indeed basic skills necessary for advancement of knowledge why is there so little literature of knowledge management (KM) about them and how they are connected and advance KM?This paper concludes with a conceptual model which is based on general accepted principles of knowledge acquisition (developing a learning organisation), knowledge creation, sharing, disseminating and storing thereof, the five pillars of knowledge management (KM). This model, also expands on Gray’s framework on KM practices and problem solving and opens the doors to a new approach to training employees in general and domain specific areas problems which can be adapted in any type of organisation.

Keywords: critical thinking, knowledge management, mathematics, problem solving

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6700 Ubiquitous Scaffold Learning Environment Using Problem-based Learning Activities to Enhance Problem-solving Skills and Context Awareness

Authors: Noppadon Phumeechanya, Panita Wannapiroon


The purpose of this research is to design the ubiquitous scaffold learning environment using problem-based learning activities that enhance problem-solving skills and context awareness, and to evaluate the suitability of the ubiquitous scaffold learning environment using problem-based learning activities. We divide the research procedures into two phases. The first phase is to design the ubiquitous scaffold learning environment using problem-based learning activities, and the second is to evaluate the ubiquitous scaffold learning environment using problem-based learning activities. The sample group in this study consists of five experts selected using the purposive sampling method. We analyse data by arithmetic mean and standard deviation. The research findings are as follows; the ubiquitous scaffold learning environment using problem-based learning activities consists of three major steps, the first is preparation before learning. This prepares learners to acknowledge details and learn through u-LMS. The second is the learning process, where learning activities happen in the ubiquitous learning environment and learners learn online with scaffold systems for each step of problem solving. The third step is measurement and evaluation. The experts agree that the ubiquitous scaffold learning environment using problem-based learning activities is highly appropriate.

Keywords: ubiquitous learning environment scaffolding, learning activities, problem-based learning, problem-solving skills, context awareness

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6699 Limits Problem Solving in Engineering Careers: Competences and Errors

Authors: Veronica Diaz Quezada


In this article, the performance and errors are featured and analysed in the limit problems solving of a real-valued function, in correspondence to competency-based education in engineering careers, in the south of Chile. The methodological component is contextualised in a qualitative research, with a descriptive and explorative design, with elaboration, content validation and application of quantitative instruments, consisting of two parallel forms of open answer tests, based on limit application problems. The mathematical competences and errors made by students from five engineering careers from a public University are identified and characterized. Results show better performance only to solve routine-context problem-solving competence, thus they are oriented towards a rational solution or they use a suitable problem-solving method, achieving the correct solution. Regarding errors, most of them are related to techniques and the incorrect use of theorems and definitions of real-valued function limits of real variable.

Keywords: engineering education, errors, limits, mathematics competences, problem solving

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6698 Solving of Types Mathematical Routine and Non-Routine Problems in Algebra

Authors: Verónica Díaz Quezada


The importance given to the development of the problem solving skill and the requirement to solve problems framed in mathematical or real life contexts, in practice, they are not evidence in relation to the teaching of proportional variations. This qualitative and descriptive study aims to (1) to improve problem solving ability of high school students in Chile, (ii) to elaborate and describe a didactic intervention strategy based on learning situations in proportional variations, focused on solving types of routine problems of various contexts and non-routine problems. For this purpose, participant observation was conducted, test of mathematics problems and an opinion questionnaire to thirty-six high school students. Through the results, the highest academic performance is evidenced in the routine problems of purely mathematical context, realistic, fantasy context, and non-routine problems, except in the routine problems of real context and compound proportionality problems. The results highlight the need to consider in the curriculum different types of problems in the teaching of mathematics that relate the discipline to everyday life situations

Keywords: algebra, high school, proportion variations, nonroutine problem solving, routine problem solving

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6697 The Relationship between Self Concept Clarity and Need for Absolute Truth and Problem Solving and Symptoms of Stress in Homosexual Male

Authors: Gizem Akcan, Erdinc Ozturk


When it is examined as historically, it has caught attention that homosexual people try to behave as heterosexual or come out to have a place in community. Homosexual people have identity confusion during identity development, they have high levels of need for absolute truth and their psychological well being is affected negatively because of high levels of need for absolute truth and they have problems about self concept clarity. People who have problems about self concept clarity have problems on problem solving and show lots of symptoms of stress. People who have clear self concept use healthier coping strategies to solve problems. The purpose of this study is to show whether need for absolute truth predicts problem solving and symptoms of stress via mediator effect of self concept clarity or not on homosexual men. The participants of this study were 200 homosexual men. The ages of participants were 20-50. In addition, Demographic Information Form, Self Concept Clarity Scale, Need for Absolute Truth Scale, Stres Self-Assessment Checklist and Problem Solving Inventory were applied to the participants. The assessment of the data was made with confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling analysis. According to the results of this study, need for absolute truth predicts problem solving and symptoms of stress via mediator effect of self concept clarity on homosexual men.

Keywords: need for absolute truth, self concept clarity, symptoms of stress, problem solving

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6696 Comparative Analysis of Two Different Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm for Solving Travelling Salesman Problem

Authors: Sourabh Joshi, Tarun Sharma, Anurag Sharma


Ant Colony Optimization is heuristic Algorithm which has been proven a successful technique applied on number of combinatorial optimization problems. Two variants of Ant Colony Optimization algorithm named Ant System and Max-Min Ant System are implemented in MATLAB to solve travelling Salesman Problem and the results are compared. In, this paper both systems are analyzed by solving the some Travelling Salesman Problem and depict which system solve the problem better in term of cost and time.

Keywords: Ant Colony Optimization, Travelling Salesman Problem, Ant System, Max-Min Ant System

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6695 Production Plan and Technological Variants Optimization by Goal Programming Methods

Authors: Tunjo Perić, Franjo Bratić


In this paper the goal programming methodology for solving multiple objective problem of the technological variants and production plan optimization has been applied. The optimization criteria are determined and the multiple objective linear programming model for solving a problem of the technological variants and production plan optimization is formed and solved. Then the obtained results are analysed. The obtained results point out to the possibility of efficient application of the goal programming methodology in solving the problem of the technological variants and production plan optimization. The paper points out on the advantages of the application of the goal programming methodolohy compare to the Surrogat Worth Trade-off method in solving this problem.

Keywords: goal programming, multi objective programming, production plan, SWT method, technological variants

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6694 Genetic Algorithm for Solving the Flexible Job-Shop Scheduling Problem

Authors: Guilherme Baldo Carlos


The flexible job-shop scheduling problem (FJSP) is an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem, which can be applied to model several applications in a wide array of industries. This problem will have its importance increase due to the shift in the production mode that modern society is going through. The demands are increasing and for products personalized and customized. This work aims to apply a meta-heuristic called a genetic algorithm (GA) to solve this problem. A GA is a meta-heuristic inspired by the natural selection of Charles Darwin; it produces a population of individuals (solutions) and selects, mutates, and mates the individuals through generations in order to find a good solution for the problem. The results found indicate that the GA is suitable for FJSP solving.

Keywords: genetic algorithm, evolutionary algorithm, scheduling, flexible job-shop scheduling

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6693 A Fuzzy Programming Approach for Solving Intuitionistic Fuzzy Linear Fractional Programming Problem

Authors: Sujeet Kumar Singh, Shiv Prasad Yadav


This paper develops an approach for solving intuitionistic fuzzy linear fractional programming (IFLFP) problem where the cost of the objective function, the resources, and the technological coefficients are triangular intuitionistic fuzzy numbers. Here, the IFLFP problem is transformed into an equivalent crisp multi-objective linear fractional programming (MOLFP) problem. By using fuzzy mathematical programming approach the transformed MOLFP problem is reduced into a single objective linear programming (LP) problem. The proposed procedure is illustrated through a numerical example.

Keywords: triangular intuitionistic fuzzy number, linear programming problem, multi objective linear programming problem, fuzzy mathematical programming, membership function

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6692 A Polynomial Time Clustering Algorithm for Solving the Assignment Problem in the Vehicle Routing Problem

Authors: Lydia Wahid, Mona F. Ahmed, Nevin Darwish


The vehicle routing problem (VRP) consists of a group of customers that needs to be served. Each customer has a certain demand of goods. A central depot having a fleet of vehicles is responsible for supplying the customers with their demands. The problem is composed of two subproblems: The first subproblem is an assignment problem where the number of vehicles that will be used as well as the customers assigned to each vehicle are determined. The second subproblem is the routing problem in which for each vehicle having a number of customers assigned to it, the order of visits of the customers is determined. Optimal number of vehicles, as well as optimal total distance, should be achieved. In this paper, an approach for solving the first subproblem (the assignment problem) is presented. In the approach, a clustering algorithm is proposed for finding the optimal number of vehicles by grouping the customers into clusters where each cluster is visited by one vehicle. Finding the optimal number of clusters is NP-hard. This work presents a polynomial time clustering algorithm for finding the optimal number of clusters and solving the assignment problem.

Keywords: vehicle routing problems, clustering algorithms, Clarke and Wright Saving Method, agglomerative hierarchical clustering

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6691 Two-Stage Approach for Solving the Multi-Objective Optimization Problem on Combinatorial Configurations

Authors: Liudmyla Koliechkina, Olena Dvirna


The statement of the multi-objective optimization problem on combinatorial configurations is formulated, and the approach to its solution is proposed. The problem is of interest as a combinatorial optimization one with many criteria, which is a model of many applied tasks. The approach to solving the multi-objective optimization problem on combinatorial configurations consists of two stages; the first is the reduction of the multi-objective problem to the single criterion based on existing multi-objective optimization methods, the second stage solves the directly replaced single criterion combinatorial optimization problem by the horizontal combinatorial method. This approach provides the optimal solution to the multi-objective optimization problem on combinatorial configurations, taking into account additional restrictions for a finite number of steps.

Keywords: discrete set, linear combinatorial optimization, multi-objective optimization, Pareto solutions, partial permutation set, structural graph

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6690 Architecture of a Preliminary Course on Computational Thinking

Authors: Mintu Philip, Renumol V. G.


An introductory programming course is a major challenge faced in Computing Education. Many of the introductory programming courses fail because student concentrate mainly on writing programs using a programming language rather than involving in problem solving. Computational thinking is a general approach to solve problems. This paper proposes a new preliminary course that aims to develop computational thinking skills in students, which may help them to become good programmers. The proposed course is designed based on the four basic components of computational thinking - abstract thinking, logical thinking, modeling thinking and constructive thinking. In this course, students are engaged in hands-on problem solving activities using a new problem solving model proposed in this paper.

Keywords: computational thinking, computing education, abstraction, constructive thinking, modelling thinking

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6689 Process Modeling and Problem Solving: Connecting Two Worlds by BPMN

Authors: Gionata Carmignani, Mario G. C. A. Cimino, Franco Failli


Business Processes (BPs) are the key instrument to understand how companies operate at an organizational level, taking an as-is view of the workflow, and how to address their issues by identifying a to-be model. In last year’s, the BP Model and Notation (BPMN) has become a de-facto standard for modeling processes. However, this standard does not incorporate explicitly the Problem-Solving (PS) knowledge in the Process Modeling (PM) results. Thus, such knowledge cannot be shared or reused. To narrow this gap is today a challenging research area. In this paper we present a framework able to capture the PS knowledge and to improve a workflow. This framework extends the BPMN specification by incorporating new general-purpose elements. A pilot scenario is also presented and discussed.

Keywords: business process management, BPMN, problem solving, process mapping

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6688 Applying Neural Networks for Solving Record Linkage Problem via Fuzzy Description Logics

Authors: Mikheil Kalmakhelidze


Record linkage (RL) problem has become more and more important in recent years due to the growing interest towards big data analysis. The problem can be formulated in a very simple way: Given two entries a and b of a database, decide whether they represent the same object or not. There are two classical deterministic and probabilistic ways of solving the RL problem. Using simple Bayes classifier in many cases produces useful results but sometimes they show to be poor. In recent years several successful approaches have been made towards solving specific RL problems by neural network algorithms including single layer perception, multilayer back propagation network etc. In our work, we model the RL problem for specific dataset of student applications in fuzzy description logic (FDL) where linkage of specific pair (a,b) depends on the truth value of corresponding formula A(a,b) in a canonical FDL model. As a main result, we build neural network for deciding truth value of FDL formulas in a canonical model and thus link RL problem to machine learning. We apply the approach to dataset with 10000 entries and also compare to classical RL solving approaches. The results show to be more accurate than standard probabilistic approach.

Keywords: description logic, fuzzy logic, neural networks, record linkage

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6687 E–Learning System in Virtual Learning Environment to Develop Problem Solving Ability and Team Learning for Learners in Higher Education

Authors: Noawanit Songkram


This paper is a report on the findings of a study conducted on e–learning system in virtual learning environment to develop problem solving ability and team learning for learners in higher education. The methodology of this study was R&D research. The subjects were 18 undergraduate students in Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University in the academic year of 2013. The research instruments were a problem solving ability assessment, a team learning evaluation form, and an attitude questionnaire. The data was statistically analyzed using mean, standard deviation, one way repeated measure ANOVA and t–test. The research findings discovered the e –learning system in virtual learning environment to develop problem solving ability and team learning for learners in higher education consisted of five components:(1) online collaborative tools, (2) active learning activities, (3) creative thinking, (4) knowledge sharing process, (5) evaluation and nine processes which were (1) preparing in group working, (2) identifying interested topic, (3) analysing interested topic, (4) collecting data, (5) concluding idea (6) proposing idea, (7) creating workings, (8) workings evaluation, (9) sharing knowledge from empirical experience.

Keywords: e-learning system, problem solving ability, team leaning, virtual learning environment

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6686 A Heuristic Approach for the General Flowshop Scheduling Problem to Minimize the Makespan

Authors: Mohsen Ziaee


Almost all existing researches on the flowshop scheduling problems focus on the permutation schedules and there is insufficient study dedicated to the general flowshop scheduling problems in the literature, since the modeling and solving of the general flowshop scheduling problems are more difficult than the permutation ones, especially for the large-size problem instances. This paper considers the general flowshop scheduling problem with the objective function of the makespan (F//Cmax). We first find the optimal solution of the problem by solving a mixed integer linear programming model. An efficient heuristic method is then presented to solve the problem. An ant colony optimization algorithm is also proposed for the problem. In order to evaluate the performance of the methods, computational experiments are designed and performed. Numerical results show that the heuristic algorithm can result in reasonable solutions with low computational effort and even achieve optimal solutions in some cases.

Keywords: scheduling, general flow shop scheduling problem, makespan, heuristic

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6685 Augmented Reality for Maintenance Operator for Problem Inspections

Authors: Chong-Yang Qiao, Teeravarunyou Sakol


Current production-oriented factories need maintenance operators to work in shifts monitoring and inspecting complex systems and different equipment in the situation of mechanical breakdown. Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that embeds data into the environment for situation awareness to help maintenance operators make decisions and solve problems. An application was designed to identify the problem of steam generators and inspection centrifugal pumps. The objective of this research was to find the best medium of AR and type of problem solving strategies among analogy, focal object method and mean-ends analysis. Two scenarios of inspecting leakage were temperature and vibration. Two experiments were used in usability evaluation and future innovation, which included decision-making process and problem-solving strategy. This study found that maintenance operators prefer build-in magnifier to zoom the components (55.6%), 3D exploded view to track the problem parts (50%), and line chart to find the alter data or information (61.1%). There is a significant difference in the use of analogy (44.4%), focal objects (38.9%) and mean-ends strategy (16.7%). The marked differences between maintainers and operators are of the application of a problem solving strategy. However, future work should explore multimedia information retrieval which supports maintenance operators for decision-making.

Keywords: augmented reality, situation awareness, decision-making, problem-solving

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6684 Expert and Novice Problem-Solvers Differences: A Discourse for Effective Teaching Delivery in Physics Classrooms

Authors: Abubakar Sa’adatu Mohammed


This paper reports on a study of problem solving differences between expert and novice Problem solvers for effective physics teaching. Significant differences were found both at the conceptual level and at the level of critical thinking, creative thinking and reasoning. It is suggested for a successful solution of a problem, conceptual knowledge alone may not be sufficient. There is the need of the knowledge of how the conceptual knowledge should be applied (problem solving skills). It is hoped that this research might contribute to efforts of exploring ways for students to acquire a powerful conceptual toolkit based on experts like problem solvers approach for effective teaching delivery.

Keywords: conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, critical thinking, creative thinking, reasoning ability

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6683 Solving the Set Covering Problem Using the Binary Cat Swarm Optimization Metaheuristic

Authors: Broderick Crawford, Ricardo Soto, Natalia Berrios, Eduardo Olguin


In this paper, we present a binary cat swarm optimization for solving the Set covering problem. The set covering problem is a well-known NP-hard problem with many practical applications, including those involving scheduling, production planning and location problems. Binary cat swarm optimization is a recent swarm metaheuristic technique based on the behavior of discrete cats. Domestic cats show the ability to hunt and are curious about moving objects. The cats have two modes of behavior: seeking mode and tracing mode. We illustrate this approach with 65 instances of the problem from the OR-Library. Moreover, we solve this problem with 40 new binarization techniques and we select the technical with the best results obtained. Finally, we make a comparison between results obtained in previous studies and the new binarization technique, that is, with roulette wheel as transfer function and V3 as discretization technique.

Keywords: binary cat swarm optimization, binarization methods, metaheuristic, set covering problem

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