Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1528

Search results for: regime shift

1528 On the Importance of Quality, Liquidity Level and Liquidity Risk: A Markov-Switching Regime Approach

Authors: Tarik Bazgour, Cedric Heuchenne, Danielle Sougne


We examine time variation in the market beta of portfolios sorted on quality, liquidity level and liquidity beta characteristics across stock market phases. Using US stock market data for the period 1970-2010, we find, first, the US stock market was driven by four regimes. Second, during the crisis regime, low (high) quality, high (low) liquidity beta and illiquid (liquid) stocks exhibit an increase (a decrease) in their market betas. This finding is consistent with the flight-to-quality and liquidity phenomena. Third, we document the same pattern across stocks when the market volatility is low. We argue that, during low volatility times, investors shift their portfolios towards low quality and illiquid stocks to seek portfolio gains. The pattern observed in the tranquil regime can be, therefore, explained by a flight-to-low-quality and to illiquidity. Finally, our results reveal that liquidity level is more important than liquidity beta during the crisis regime.

Keywords: financial crises, quality, liquidity, liquidity risk, regime-switching models

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1527 An Alternative Proof for the Topological Entropy of the Motzkin Shift

Authors: Fahad Alsharari, Mohd Salmi Md. Noorani


A Motzkin shift is a mathematical model for constraints on genetic sequences. In terms of the theory of symbolic dynamics, the Motzkin shift is nonsofic, and therefore, we cannot use the Perron-Frobenius theory to calculate its topological entropy. The Motzkin shift M(M,N) which comes from language theory, is defined to be the shift system over an alphabet A that consists of N negative symbols, N positive symbols and M neutral symbols. For an x in the full shift AZ, x is in M(M,N) if and only if every finite block appearing in x has a non-zero reduced form. Therefore, the constraint for x cannot be bounded in length. K. Inoue has shown that the entropy of the Motzkin shift M(M,N) is log(M + N + 1). In this paper, we find a new method of calculating the topological entropy of the Motzkin shift M(M,N) without any measure theoretical discussion.

Keywords: entropy, Motzkin shift, mathematical model, theory

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1526 The Long-Run Impact of Financial Development on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in India: An Application of Regime Shift Based Cointegration Approach

Authors: Javaid Ahmad Dar, Mohammad Asif


The present study investigates the long-run impact of financial development, energy consumption and economic growth on greenhouse gas emissions for India, in presence of endogenous structural breaks, over a period of 1971-2013. Autoregressive distributed lag bounds testing procedure and Hatemi-J threshold cointegration technique have been used to test the variables for cointegration. ARDL bounds test did not confirm any cointegrating relationship between the variables. The threshold cointegration test establishes the presence of long-run impact of financial development, energy use and economic growth on greenhouse gas emissions in India. The results reveal that the long-run relationship between the variables has witnessed two regime shifts, in 1978 and 2002. The empirical evidence shows that financial sector development and energy consumption in India degrade environment. Unlike previous studies, this paper finds no statistical evidence of long-run relationship between economic growth and environmental deterioration. The study also challenges the existence of environmental Kuznets curve in India.

Keywords: cointegration, financial development, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, regime shift, unit root

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1525 Political Corruption in an Authoritarian Regime: a Story from the Kingdom of Morocco

Authors: Noureddine Radouai


Corruption is an endemic phenomenon in many countries around the globe. Morocco, as an authoritarian regime, relies on corruption for monarchy survival. I analyze the Makhzen structure and methods that it follows to exchange corruption for political loyalty. The abuse of power in Morocco is sponsored by the monarch itself as it is its way to remain its importance in the regime.

Keywords: corruption, Clientelism, authoritarian regime, Morocco

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1524 Climate Related Variability and Stock-Recruitment Relationship of the North Pacific Albacore Tuna

Authors: Ashneel Ajay Singh, Naoki Suzuki, Kazumi Sakuramoto,


The North Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga) is a temperate tuna species distributed in the North Pacific which is of significant economic importance to the Pacific Island Nations and Territories. Despite its importance, the stock dynamics and ecological characteristics of albacore still, have gaps in knowledge. The stock-recruitment relationship of the North Pacific stock of albacore tuna was investigated for different density-dependent effects and a regime shift in the stock characteristics in response to changes in environmental and climatic conditions. Linear regression analysis for recruit per spawning biomass (RPS) and recruitment (R) against the female spawning stock biomass (SSB) were significant for the presence of different density-dependent effects and positive for a regime shift in the stock time series. Application of Deming regression to RPS against SSB with the assumption for the presence of observation and process errors in both the dependent and independent variables confirmed the results of simple regression. However, R against SSB results disagreed given variance level of < 3 and agreed with linear regression results given the assumption of variance ≥ 3. Assuming the presence of different density-dependent effects in the albacore tuna time series, environmental and climatic condition variables were compared with R, RPS, and SSB. The significant relationship of R, RPS and SSB were determined with the sea surface temperature (SST), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) with SST being the principal variable exhibiting significantly similar trend with R and RPS. Recruitment is significantly influenced by the dynamics of the SSB as well as environmental conditions which demonstrates that the stock-recruitment relationship is multidimensional. Further investigation of the North Pacific albacore tuna age-class and structure is necessary for further support the results presented here. It is important for fishery managers and decision makers to be vigilant of regime shifts in environmental conditions relating to albacore tuna as it may possibly cause regime shifts in the albacore R and RPS which should be taken into account to effectively and sustainability formulate harvesting plans and management of the species in the North Pacific oceanic region.

Keywords: Albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, recruitment, spawning stock biomass, recruits per spawning biomass, sea surface temperature, pacific decadal oscillation, El Niño southern oscillation, density-dependent effects, regime shift

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1523 The Current And Prospective Legal Regime of Non-Orbital Flights

Authors: Olga Koutsika


The paper deals primarily with the question of the legal framework of non-orbital flights. The submission is based upon two pillars, starting with the ill-defined current legal regime and proceeding to further recommendations for the prospective legal regime for non-orbital flights. For this reason, the paper focuses on certain key legal aspects of the topic, including among other things liability, responsibility, jurisdiction, registration and authorisation. Furthermore, taking into consideration the hybrid nature of both the craft conducting non-orbital flights and of the flights themselves, which exit airspace but do not enter an orbit in outer space, the paper addresses each legal question from the perspective of both air law and space law and concludes to a number of recommendations regarding the applicability of each legal regime for each legal question individually.

Keywords: current regime, legal framework, non-orbital flights, prospective regime

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1522 A New Approach to Achieve the Regime Equations in Sand-Bed Rivers

Authors: Farhad Imanshoar


The regime or equilibrium geometry of alluvial rivers remains a topic of fundamental scientific and engineering interest. There are several approaches to analyze the problem, namely: empirical formulas, semi-theoretical methods and rational (extreme) procedures. However, none of them is widely accepted at present, due to lack of knowledge of some physical processes associated with channel formation and the simplification hypotheses imposed in order to reduce the high quantity of involved variables. The study presented in this paper shows a new approach to estimate stable width and depth of sand-bed rivers by using developed stream power equation (DSPE). At first, a new procedure based on theoretical analysis and by considering DSPE and ultimate sediment concentration were developed. Then, experimental data for regime condition in sand-bed rivers (flow depth, flow width, sediment feed rate for several cases) were gathered. Finally, the results of this research (regime equations) are compared with the field data and other regime equations. A good agreement was observed between the field data and the values resulted from developed regime equation.

Keywords: regime equations, developed stream power equation, sand-bed rivers, semi-theoretical methods

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1521 Influence of Shift Work on Fasting Blood Sugar in Hospital Workers

Authors: Sheila R. Pai, N. K. Subbalakshmi, C. Vidya


Background: Accumulating evidence from prospective studies suggests an increased risk of type 2 diabetes associated with sleep deprivation and sleep disorders. Shift work by disrupting the circadian rhythm, could possibly cause metabolic disturbances. Objective: To investigate the influence of shift work on fasting blood glucose in hospital workers population. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study including 90 night shift workers (study group) and 90 day workers (controls) drawn from paramedical personnel. Night shift work was on a forward rotation basis, with an average of one night shift every 4 weeks. Each night shift rotation was for a period of 7 days, with a total of 8 hours of shift work per night. In the entire subjects body mass index (BMI) and fasting blood sugar (FBS) was measured. Statistical analysis included unpaired t test, Mann-Whitney ‘U’ test and Chi-square test. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant. Result: The study and control groups were comparable with regard to age, sex distribution and duration of employment. FBS was higher in study group compared to controls (p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in BMI between control and study group. Conclusion: Shift work may adversely influence glucose metabolism.

Keywords: shift work, fasting blood sugar, sleep disturbances, diabetes

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1520 Experiments of a Free Surface Flow in a Hydraulic Channel over an Uneven Bottom

Authors: M. Bouinoun, M. Bouhadef


The present study is concerned with the problem of determining the shape of the free surface flow in a hydraulic channel which has an uneven bottom. For the mathematical formulation of the problem, the fluid of the two-dimensional irrotational steady flow in water is assumed inviscid and incompressible. The solutions of the nonlinear problem are obtained by using the usual conformal mapping theory and Hilbert’s technique. An experimental study, for comparing the obtained results, has been conducted in a hydraulic channel (subcritical regime and supercritical regime).

Keywords: free-surface flow, experiments, numerical method, uneven bottom, supercritical regime, subcritical regime

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1519 Volatility Model with Markov Regime Switching to Forecast Baht/USD

Authors: Nop Sopipan


In this paper, we forecast the volatility of Baht/USDs using Markov Regime Switching GARCH (MRS-GARCH) models. These models allow volatility to have different dynamics according to unobserved regime variables. The main purpose of this paper is to find out whether MRS-GARCH models are an improvement on the GARCH type models in terms of modeling and forecasting Baht/USD volatility. The MRS-GARCH is the best performance model for Baht/USD volatility in short term but the GARCH model is best perform for long term.

Keywords: volatility, Markov Regime Switching, forecasting, Baht/USD

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1518 Bit Error Rate (BER) Performance of Coherent Homodyne BPSK-OCDMA Network for Multimedia Applications

Authors: Morsy Ahmed Morsy Ismail


In this paper, the structure of a coherent homodyne receiver for the Binary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK) Optical Code Division Multiple Access (OCDMA) network is introduced based on the Multi-Length Weighted Modified Prime Code (ML-WMPC) for multimedia applications. The Bit Error Rate (BER) of this homodyne detection is evaluated as a function of the number of active users and the signal to noise ratio for different code lengths according to the multimedia application such as audio, voice, and video. Besides, the Mach-Zehnder interferometer is used as an external phase modulator in homodyne detection. Furthermore, the Multiple Access Interference (MAI) and the receiver noise in a shot-noise limited regime are taken into consideration in the BER calculations.

Keywords: OCDMA networks, bit error rate, multiple access interference, binary phase-shift keying, multimedia

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1517 The Nexus between Country Risk and Exchange Rate Regimes: A Global Investigation

Authors: Jie Liu, Wei Wei, Chun-Ping Chang


Using a sample of 110 countries over the period 1984-2013, this paper examines the impacts of country risks on choosing a specific exchange rate regime (first by utilizing the Levy-Yeyati and Sturzenegger de facto classification and then robusting it by the IMF de jure measurement) relative to other regimes via the panel multinomial logit approach. Empirical findings are as follows. First, in the full samples case we provide evidence that government is more likely to implement a flexible regime, but less likely to adopt a fixed regime, under a low level of composite and financial risk. Second, we find that Eurozone countries are more likely to choose a fixed exchange rate regime with a decrease in the level of country risk and favor a flexible regime in response to a shock from an increase of risk, which is opposite to non-Eurozone countries. Third, we note that high-risk countries are more likely to choose a fixed regime with a low level of composite and political risk in the government, but do not adjust the exchange rate regime as a shock absorber when facing economic and financial risks. It is interesting to see that those countries with relatively low risk display almost opposite results versus high-risk economies. Overall, we believe that it is critically important to account for political economy variables in a government’s exchange rate policy decisions, especially for country risks. All results are robust to the panel ordered probit model.

Keywords: country risk, political economy, exchange rate regimes, shock absorber

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1516 The Sustainability of Public Debt in Taiwan

Authors: Chiung-Ju Huang


This study examines whether the Taiwan’s public debt is sustainable utilizing an unrestricted two-regime threshold autoregressive (TAR) model with an autoregressive unit root. The empirical results show that Taiwan’s public debt appears as a nonlinear series and is stationary in regime 1 but not in regime 2. This result implies that while Taiwan’s public debt was mostly sustainable over the 1996 to 2013 period examined in the study, it may no longer be sustainable in the most recent two years as the public debt ratio has increased cumulatively to 3.618%.

Keywords: nonlinearity, public debt, sustainability, threshold autoregressive model

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1515 Impact of Climate Shift on Rainfall and Temperature Trend in Eastern Ganga Canal Command

Authors: Radha Krishan, Deepak Khare, Bhaskar R. Nikam, Ayush Chandrakar


Every irrigation project is planned considering long-term historical climatic conditions; however, the prompt climatic shift and change has come out with such circumstances which were inconceivable in the past. Considering this fact, scrutiny of rainfall and temperature trend has been carried out over the command area of Eastern Ganga Canal project for pre-climate shift period and post-climate shift periods in the present study. Non-parametric Mann-Kendall and Sen’s methods have been applied to study the trends in annual rainfall, seasonal rainfall, annual rainy day, monsoonal rainy days, average annual temperature and seasonal temperature. The results showed decreasing trend of 48.11 to 42.17 mm/decade in annual rainfall and 79.78 tSo 49.67 mm/decade in monsoon rainfall in pre-climate to post-climate shift periods, respectively. The decreasing trend of 1 to 4 days/decade has been observed in annual rainy days from pre-climate to post-climate shift period. Trends in temperature revealed that there were significant decreasing trends in annual (-0.03 ºC/yr), Kharif (-0.02 ºC/yr), Rabi (-0.04 ºC/yr) and summer (-0.02 ºC/yr) season temperature during pre-climate shift period, whereas the significant increasing trend (0.02 ºC/yr) has been observed in all the four parameters during post climate shift period. These results will help project managers in understanding the climate shift and lead them to develop alternative water management strategies.

Keywords: climate shift, rainfall trend, temperature trend, Mann-Kendall test, sen slope estimator, eastern Ganga canal command

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1514 Application of the Best Technique for Estimating the Rest-Activity Rhythm Period in Shift Workers

Authors: Rakesh Kumar Soni


Under free living conditions, human biological clocks show a periodicity of 24 hour for numerous physiological, behavioral and biochemical variables. However, this period is not the original period; rather it merely exhibits synchronization with the solar clock. It is, therefore, most important to investigate characteristics of human circadian clock, essentially in shift workers, who normally confront with contrasting social clocks. Aim of the present study was to investigate rest-activity rhythm and to vouch for the best technique for the computation of periods in this rhythm in subjects randomly selected from different groups of shift workers. The rest-activity rhythm was studied in forty-eight shift workers from three different organizations, namely Newspaper Printing Press (NPP), Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) and Raipur Alloys (RA). Shift workers of NPP (N = 20) were working on a permanent night shift schedule (NS; 20:00-04:00). However, in CSEB (N = 14) and RA (N = 14), shift workers were working in a 3-shift system comprising of rotations from night (NS; 22:00-06:00) to afternoon (AS; 14:00-22:00) and to morning shift (MS; 06:00-14:00). Each subject wore an Actiwatch (AW64, Mini Mitter Co. Inc., USA) for 7 and/or 21 consecutive days, only after furnishing a certificate of consent. One-minute epoch length was chosen for the collection of wrist activity data. Period was determined by using Actiware sleep software (Periodogram), Lomb-Scargle Periodogram (LSP) and Spectral analysis software (Spectre). Other statistical techniques, such as ANOVA and Duncan’s multiple-range test were also used whenever required. A statistically significant circadian rhythm in rest-activity, gauged by cosinor, was documented in all shift workers, irrespective of shift work. Results indicate that the efficiency of the technique to determine the period (τ) depended upon the clipping limits of the τs. It appears that the technique of spectre is more reliable.

Keywords: biological clock, rest activity rhythm, spectre, periodogram

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1513 Impacts of Hydrologic and Topographic Changes on Water Regime Evolution of Poyang Lake, China

Authors: Feng Huang, Carlos G. Ochoa, Haitao Zhao


Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China, is located at the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin. It has great value in socioeconomic development and is internationally recognized as an important lacustrine and wetland ecosystem with abundant biodiversity. Impacted by ongoing climate change and anthropogenic activities, especially the regulation of the Three Gorges Reservoir since 2003, Poyang Lake has experienced significant water regime evolution, resulting in challenges for the management of water resources and the environment. Quantifying the contribution of hydrologic and topographic changes to water regime alteration is necessary for policymakers to design effective adaption strategies. Long term hydrologic data were collected and the back-propagation neural networks were constructed to simulate the lake water level. The impacts of hydrologic and topographic changes were differentiated through scenario analysis that considered pre-impact and post-impact hydrologic and topographic scenarios. The lake water regime was characterized by hydrologic indicators that describe monthly water level fluctuations, hydrologic features during flood and drought seasons, and frequency and rate of hydrologic variations. The results revealed different contributions of hydrologic and topographic changes to different features of the lake water regime.Noticeable changes were that the water level declined dramatically during the period of reservoir impoundment, and the drought was enhanced during the dry season. The hydrologic and topographic changes exerted a synergistic effect or antagonistic effect on different lake water regime features. The findings provide scientific reference for lacustrine and wetland ecological protection associated with water regime alterations.

Keywords: back-propagation neural network, scenario analysis, water regime, Poyang Lake

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1512 Mean Shift-Based Preprocessing Methodology for Improved 3D Buildings Reconstruction

Authors: Nikolaos Vassilas, Theocharis Tsenoglou, Djamchid Ghazanfarpour


In this work we explore the capability of the mean shift algorithm as a powerful preprocessing tool for improving the quality of spatial data, acquired from airborne scanners, from densely built urban areas. On one hand, high resolution image data corrupted by noise caused by lossy compression techniques are appropriately smoothed while at the same time preserving the optical edges and, on the other, low resolution LiDAR data in the form of normalized Digital Surface Map (nDSM) is upsampled through the joint mean shift algorithm. Experiments on both the edge-preserving smoothing and upsampling capabilities using synthetic RGB-z data show that the mean shift algorithm is superior to bilateral filtering as well as to other classical smoothing and upsampling algorithms. Application of the proposed methodology for 3D reconstruction of buildings of a pilot region of Athens, Greece results in a significant visual improvement of the 3D building block model.

Keywords: 3D buildings reconstruction, data fusion, data upsampling, mean shift

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1511 Pricing European Continuous-Installment Options under Regime-Switching Models

Authors: Saghar Heidari


In this paper, we study the valuation problem of European continuous-installment options under Markov-modulated models with a partial differential equation approach. Due to the opportunity for continuing or stopping to pay installments, the valuation problem under regime-switching models can be formulated as coupled partial differential equations (CPDE) with free boundary features. To value the installment options, we express the truncated CPDE as a linear complementarity problem (LCP), then a finite element method is proposed to solve the resulted variational inequality. Under some appropriate assumptions, we establish the stability of the method and illustrate some numerical results to examine the rate of convergence and accuracy of the proposed method for the pricing problem under the regime-switching model.

Keywords: continuous-installment option, European option, regime-switching model, finite element method

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1510 Off-Grid Sparse Inverse Synthetic Aperture Imaging by Basis Shift Algorithm

Authors: Mengjun Yang, Zhulin Zong, Jie Gao


In this paper, a new and robust algorithm is proposed to achieve high resolution for inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging in the compressive sensing (CS) framework. Traditional CS based methods have to assume that unknown scatters exactly lie on the pre-divided grids; otherwise, their reconstruction performance dropped significantly. In this processing algorithm, several basis shifts are utilized to achieve the same effect as grid refinement does. The detailed implementation of the basis shift algorithm is presented in this paper. From the simulation we can see that using the basis shift algorithm, imaging precision can be improved. The effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed method are investigated by the simulation results.

Keywords: ISAR imaging, sparse reconstruction, off-grid, basis shift

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1509 Object Tracking in Motion Blurred Images with Adaptive Mean Shift and Wavelet Feature

Authors: Iman Iraei, Mina Sharifi


A method for object tracking in motion blurred images is proposed in this article. This paper shows that object tracking could be improved with this approach. We use mean shift algorithm to track different objects as a main tracker. But, the problem is that mean shift could not track the selected object accurately in blurred scenes. So, for better tracking result, and increasing the accuracy of tracking, wavelet transform is used. We use a feature named as blur extent, which could help us to get better results in tracking. For calculating of this feature, we should use Harr wavelet. We can look at this matter from two different angles which lead to determine whether an image is blurred or not and to what extent an image is blur. In fact, this feature left an impact on the covariance matrix of mean shift algorithm and cause to better performance of tracking. This method has been concentrated mostly on motion blur parameter. transform. The results reveal the ability of our method in order to reach more accurately tracking.

Keywords: mean shift, object tracking, blur extent, wavelet transform, motion blur

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1508 Night Shift Work as an Oxidative Stressor: A Systematic Review

Authors: Madeline Gibson


Night shift workers make up an essential part of the modern workforce. However, night shift workers have higher incidences of late in life diseases and earlier mortality. Night shift workers are exposed to constant light and experience circadian rhythm disruption. Sleep disruption is thought to increase oxidative stress, defined as an imbalance of excess pro-oxidative factors and reactive oxygen species over anti-oxidative activity. Oxidative stress can damage cells, proteins and DNA and can eventually lead to varied chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia. This review aimed to understand whether night shift workers were at greater risk of oxidative stress and to contribute to a consensus on this relationship. Twelve studies published in 2001-2019 examining 2,081 workers were included in the review. Studies compared both the impact of working a single shift and in comparisons between those who regularly work night shifts and only day shifts. All studies had evidence to support this relationship across a range of oxidative stress indicators, including increased DNA damage, reduced DNA repair capacity, increased lipid peroxidation, higher levels of reactive oxygen species, and to a lesser extent, a reduction in antioxidant defense. This research supports the theory that melatonin and the sleep-wake cycle mediate the relationship between shift work and oxidative stress. It is concluded that night shift work increases the risk for oxidative stress and, therefore, future disease. Recommendations are made to promote the long-term health of shift workers considering these findings.

Keywords: night shift work, coxidative stress, circadian rhythm, melatonin, disease, circadian rhythm disruption

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1507 Democratic Action as Insurgency: On Claude Lefort's Concept of the Political Regime

Authors: Lorenzo Buti


This paper investigates the nature of democratic action through a critical reading of Claude Lefort’s notion of the democratic ‘regime’. Lefort provides one of the most innovative accounts of the essential features of a democratic regime. According to him, democracy is a political regime that acknowledges the indeterminacy of a society and stages it as a contestation between competing political actors. As such, democracy provides the symbolic markers of society’s openness towards the future. However, despite their democratic features, the recent decades in late capitalist societies attest to a sense of the future becoming fixed and predetermined. This suggests that Lefort’s conception of democracy harbours a misunderstanding of the character and experience of democratic action. This paper examines this underlying tension in Lefort’s work. It claims that Lefort underestimates how a democratic regime, next to its symbolic function, also takes a materially constituted form with its particular dynamics of power relations. Lefort’s systematic dismissal of this material dimension for democratic action can lead to the contemporary paradoxical situation where democracy’s symbolic markers are upheld (free elections, public debate, dynamic between government and opposition in parliament,…) but the room for political decision-making is constrained due to a myriad of material constraints (e.g., market pressures, institutional inertias). The paper draws out the implications for the notion of democratic action. Contra Lefort, it argues that democratic action necessarily targets the material conditions that impede the capacity for decision-making on the basis of equality and liberty. This analysis shapes our understanding of democratic action in two ways. First, democratic action takes an asymmetrical, insurgent form, as a contestation of material power relations from below. Second, it reveals an ambivalent position vis-à-vis the political regime: democratic action is symbolically made possible by the democratic dispositive, but it contests the constituted form that the democratic regime takes.

Keywords: Claude Lefort, democratic action, material constitution, political regime

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1506 Comparison of Regime Transition between Ellipsoidal and Spherical Particle Assemblies in a Model Shear Cell

Authors: M. Hossain, H. P. Zhu, A. B. Yu


This paper presents a numerical investigation of regime transition of flow of ellipsoidal particles and a comparison with that of spherical particle assembly. Particle assemblies constituting spherical and ellipsoidal particle of 2.5:1 aspect ratio are examined at separate instances in similar flow conditions in a shear cell model that is numerically developed based on the discrete element method. Correlations among elastically scaled stress, kinetically scaled stress, coordination number and volume fraction are investigated, and show important similarities and differences for the spherical and ellipsoidal particle assemblies. In particular, volume fractions at points of regime transition are identified for both types of particles. It is found that compared with spherical particle assembly, ellipsoidal particle assembly has higher volume fraction for the quasistatic to intermediate regime transition and lower volume fraction for the intermediate to inertial regime transition. Finally, the relationship between coordination number and volume fraction shows strikingly distinct features for the two cases, suggesting that different from spherical particles, the effect of the shear rate on the coordination number is not significant for ellipsoidal particles. This work provides a glimpse of currently running work on one of the most attractive scopes of research in this field and has a wide prospect in understanding rheology of more complex shaped particles in light of the strong basis of simpler spherical particle rheology.

Keywords: DEM, granular rheology, non-spherical particles, regime transition

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1505 From Reform to Revolt: Bashar al-Assad and the Arab Tribes in Syria

Authors: Haian Dukhan


The death of Hafez al-Assad and the ascension of his son, Bashar, to rule brought an end to the state-society dynamics that his father worked on for decades. Hafez al-Assad built an authoritarian state that rests on patronage networks that connected his regime to the society. During Bashar’s reign, these patronage relationships have been affected by the policies of privatization and liberalization. Privatization and liberalisation of the economy have created new economic and social players that transformed the populist nature of the authoritarian regime into a regime that is connected mainly with bourgeoisie and the upper class neglecting the rural tribal constituency that was a vital part of Hafez al-Assad’s authoritarian state. Drawing on different data gathered through interviews as well as written literature, this paper will explore the policies that Bashar al-Assad carried out towards the Arab tribes in the period extended from 2000 until 2010. The paper starts by outlining how Bashar al-Assad narrowed the coalition of his rule to depend mainly on his family, the city merchants excluding the lower and middle strata in the periphery. It will then trace the disintegration of the social contract between the regime and the Arab tribe as a result of the latter’s failure to deliver adequate development services in their regions. Losing the support of the tribes undermined the stability of the regime resulting in different clashes between the tribes themselves, the tribes and the Kurds, the tribes and the druze (a sect of Islam situated in Southern Syria), which will be investigated in detail in this paper. In similar policies adopted by his father who used the tribes as leverage against the Islamists and the Kurds, Bashar al-Assad’s regime encouragement of Syrian tribal youth to join the Iraqi insurgency against the Americans will be explored in detail. The regime’s tolerance of Iran missionary activities in the tribal regions and its accommodation of Islamists group’s activities in those regions have erased the regime’s secular foundation. This paper will argue that Bashar al-Assad’s policies towards the Arab tribes have chipped away the regime’s ideological pillars and threatened the longer-term cohesion of its social base which paved the way for the uprising to start in the tribal regions.

Keywords: Syria, tribes, uprising, regime

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1504 Water Gas Shift Activity of PtBi/CeO₂ Catalysts for Hydrogen Production

Authors: N. Laosiripojana, P. Tepamatr


The influence of bismuth on the water gas shift activities of Pt on ceria was studied. The flow reactor was used to study the activity of the catalysts in temperature range 100-400°C. The feed gas composition contains 5%CO, 10% H₂O and balance N₂. The total flow rate was 100 mL/min. The outlet gas was analyzed by on-line gas chromatography with thermal conductivity detector. The catalytic activities of bimetallic 1%Pt1%Bi/CeO₂ catalyst were greatly enhanced when compared with the activities of monometallic 2%Pt/CeO₂ catalyst. The catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Temperature-Programmed Reduction (TPR) and surface area analysis. X-ray diffraction pattern of Pt/CeO₂ and PtBi/CeO₂ indicated slightly shift of diffraction angle when compared with pure ceria. This result was due to strong metal-support interaction between platinum and ceria solid solution, causing conversion of Ce⁴⁺ to larger Ce³⁺. The distortions inside ceria lattice structure generated strain into the oxide lattice and facilitated the formation of oxygen vacancies which help to increase water gas shift performance. The H₂-Temperature Programmed Reduction indicated that the reduction peak of surface oxygen of 1%Pt1%Bi/CeO₂ shifts to lower temperature than that of 2%Pt/CeO₂ causing the enhancement of the water gas shift activity of this catalyst. Pt played an important role in catalyzing the surface reduction of ceria and addition of Bi alter the reduction temperature of surface ceria resulting in the improvement of the water gas shift activity of Pt catalyst.

Keywords: bismuth, platinum, water gas shift, ceria

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1503 Multi-Band Frequency Conversion Scheme with Multi-Phase Shift Based on Optical Frequency Comb

Authors: Tao Lin, Shanghong Zhao, Yufu Yin, Zihang Zhu, Wei Jiang, Xuan Li, Qiurong Zheng


A simple operated, stable and compact multi-band frequency conversion and multi-phase shift is proposed to satisfy the demands of multi-band communication and radar phase array system. The dual polarization quadrature phase shift keying (DP-QPSK) modulator is employed to support the LO sideband and the optical frequency comb simultaneously. Meanwhile, the fiber is also used to introduce different phase shifts to different sidebands. The simulation result shows that by controlling the DC bias voltages and a C band microwave signal with frequency of 4.5 GHz can be simultaneously converted into other signals that cover from C band to K band with multiple phases. It also verifies that the multi-band and multi-phase frequency conversion system can be stably performed based on current manufacturing art and can well cope with the DC drifting. It should be noted that the phase shift of the converted signal also partly depends of the length of the optical fiber.

Keywords: microwave photonics, multi-band frequency conversion, multi-phase shift, conversion efficiency

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1502 Shift Work and Its Consequences

Authors: Parastoo Vasli


In today's society, more and more people work during ‘non-standard’ working hours, including shift and night work, which are perceived danger factors for health, safety and social prosperity. Appropriate preventive and protective measures are needed to reduce side effects and ensure that the worker can adapt sufficiently. Of the many health effects associated with shift work, sleep disorders are the most widely recognized. The most troubling acute symptoms are difficulty falling asleep, short sleep, and drowsiness during working hours that last for days on end. The outcomes checked on plainly exhibit that shift work is related to expanded mental, social, and physiological drowsiness. Apparently, the effects are due to circadian and hemostatic compounds (sleep loss). Drowsiness is especially evident during night shifts and may lead to drowsiness in real workplace accidents. In some occupations, this is clearly a risk that could endanger human lives and has enormous financial outcomes. These dangers clearly affect a large number of people and should be of great importance to society. In particular, safety in night shifts is consistently reduced.

Keywords: shift work, night work, safety, health, drowsiness

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1501 Effect of Irrigation Regime and Plant Density on Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Yield in a Semi-Arid Environment

Authors: Atif Naim, Faisal E. Ahmed, Sershen


A field experiment was conducted for two consecutive winter seasons at the Demonstration Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Sudan, to study effects of different levels of irrigation regime and plant density on yield of introduced small seeded (desi type) chickpea cultivar (ILC 482). The experiment was laid out in a 3X3 factorial split-plot design with 4 replications. The treatments consisted of three irrigation regimes (designated as follows: I1 = optimum irrigation, I2 = moderate stress and I3 = severe stress; this corresponded with irrigation after drainage of 50%, 75% and 100% of available water based on 70%, 60% and 50% of field capacity, respectively) assigned as main plots and three plant densities (D₁=20, D₂= 40 and D₃= 60 plants/m²) assigned as subplots. The results indicated that the yield components (number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, 100 seed weight), seed yield per plant, harvest index and yield per unit area of chickpea were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by irrigation regime. Decreasing irrigation regime significantly (p < 0.05) decreased all measured parameters. Alternatively, increasing plant density significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the number of pods and seed yield per plant and increased seed yield per unit area. While number of seeds per pod and harvest index were not significantly (p > 0.05) affected by plant density. Interaction between irrigation regime and plant density was also significantly (p < 0.05) affected all measured parameters of yield, except for harvest index. It could be concluded that the best irrigation regime was full irrigation (after drainage of 50% available water at 70% field capacity) and the optimal plant density was 20 plants/m² under conditions of semi-arid regions.

Keywords: irrigation regime, Cicer arietinum, chickpea, plant density

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1500 Frequency-Dependent and Full Range Tunable Phase Shifter

Authors: Yufu Yin, Tao Lin, Shanghong Zhao, Zihang Zhu, Xuan Li, Wei Jiang, Qiurong Zheng, Hui Wang


In this paper, a frequency-dependent and tunable phase shifter is proposed and numerically analyzed. The key devices are the dual-polarization binary phase shift keying modulator (DP-BPSK) and the fiber Bragg grating (FBG). The phase-frequency response of the FBG is employed to determine the frequency-dependent phase shift. The simulation results show that a linear phase shift of the recovered output microwave signal which depends on the frequency of the input RF signal is achieved. In addition, by adjusting the power of the RF signal, the full range phase shift from 0° to 360° can be realized. This structure shows the spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) of 70.90 dB·Hz2/3 and 72.11 dB·Hz2/3 under different RF powers.

Keywords: microwave photonics, phase shifter, spurious free dynamic range, frequency-dependent

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1499 An Image Segmentation Algorithm for Gradient Target Based on Mean-Shift and Dictionary Learning

Authors: Yanwen Li, Shuguo Xie


In electromagnetic imaging, because of the diffraction limited system, the pixel values could change slowly near the edge of the image targets and they also change with the location in the same target. Using traditional digital image segmentation methods to segment electromagnetic gradient images could result in lots of errors because of this change in pixel values. To address this issue, this paper proposes a novel image segmentation and extraction algorithm based on Mean-Shift and dictionary learning. Firstly, the preliminary segmentation results from adaptive bandwidth Mean-Shift algorithm are expanded, merged and extracted. Then the overlap rate of the extracted image block is detected before determining a segmentation region with a single complete target. Last, the gradient edge of the extracted targets is recovered and reconstructed by using a dictionary-learning algorithm, while the final segmentation results are obtained which are very close to the gradient target in the original image. Both the experimental results and the simulated results show that the segmentation results are very accurate. The Dice coefficients are improved by 70% to 80% compared with the Mean-Shift only method.

Keywords: gradient image, segmentation and extract, mean-shift algorithm, dictionary iearning

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