Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 34

Search results for: skewness

34 Examining the Relationship between Chi-Square Test Statistics and Skewness of Weibull Distribution: Simulation Study

Authors: Rafida M. Elobaid


Most of the literature on goodness-of-fit test try to provide a theoretical basis for studying empirical distribution functions. Such goodness-of-fit tests are Kolmogorove-Simirnov and Crumer-Von Mises Type tests. However, it is likely that most of literature has not focused in details on the relationship of the values of the test statistics and skewness or kurtosis. The aim of this study is to investigate the behavior of the values of the χ2 test statistic with the variation of the skewness of right skewed distribution. A simulation study is conducted to generate random numbers from Weibull distribution. For a fixed sample sizes, different levels of skewness are considered, and the corresponding values of the χ2 test statistic are calculated. Using different sample sizes, the results show an inverse relationship between the value of χ2 test and the level of skewness for Wiebull distribution, i.e the value of χ2 test statistic decreases as the value of skewness increases. The research results also show that with large values of skewness we are more confident that the data follows the assumed distribution. Nonparametric Kendall τ test is used to confirm these results.

Keywords: goodness-of-fit test, chi-square test, simulation, continuous right skewed distributions

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33 A Mean–Variance–Skewness Portfolio Optimization Model

Authors: Kostas Metaxiotis


Portfolio optimization is one of the most important topics in finance. This paper proposes a mean–variance–skewness (MVS) portfolio optimization model. Traditionally, the portfolio optimization problem is solved by using the mean–variance (MV) framework. In this study, we formulate the proposed model as a three-objective optimization problem, where the portfolio's expected return and skewness are maximized whereas the portfolio risk is minimized. For solving the proposed three-objective portfolio optimization model we apply an adapted version of the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGAII). Finally, we use a real dataset from FTSE-100 for validating the proposed model.

Keywords: evolutionary algorithms, portfolio optimization, skewness, stock selection

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32 Contrasted Mean and Median Models in Egyptian Stock Markets

Authors: Mai A. Ibrahim, Mohammed El-Beltagy, Motaz Khorshid


Emerging Markets return distributions have shown significance departure from normality were they are characterized by fatter tails relative to the normal distribution and exhibit levels of skewness and kurtosis that constitute a significant departure from normality. Therefore, the classical Markowitz Mean-Variance is not applicable for emerging markets since it assumes normally-distributed returns (with zero skewness and kurtosis) and a quadratic utility function. Moreover, the Markowitz mean-variance analysis can be used in cases of moderate non-normality and it still provides a good approximation of the expected utility, but it may be ineffective under large departure from normality. Higher moments models and median models have been suggested in the literature for asset allocation in this case. Higher moments models have been introduced to account for the insufficiency of the description of a portfolio by only its first two moments while the median model has been introduced as a robust statistic which is less affected by outliers than the mean. Tail risk measures such as Value-at Risk (VaR) and Conditional Value-at-Risk (CVaR) have been introduced instead of Variance to capture the effect of risk. In this research, higher moment models including the Mean-Variance-Skewness (MVS) and Mean-Variance-Skewness-Kurtosis (MVSK) are formulated as single-objective non-linear programming problems (NLP) and median models including the Median-Value at Risk (MedVaR) and Median-Mean Absolute Deviation (MedMAD) are formulated as a single-objective mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) problems. The higher moment models and median models are compared to some benchmark portfolios and tested on real financial data in the Egyptian main Index EGX30. The results show that all the median models outperform the higher moment models were they provide higher final wealth for the investor over the entire period of study. In addition, the results have confirmed the inapplicability of the classical Markowitz Mean-Variance to the Egyptian stock market as it resulted in very low realized profits.

Keywords: Egyptian stock exchange, emerging markets, higher moment models, median models, mixed-integer linear programming, non-linear programming

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31 Dialect and Gender Variations in the Place and Manner of Articulation of the Korean Fricatives

Authors: Kyung-Im Han


This study examines dialect and gender variations in the place and manner of articulation between the two Korean fricatives, /s/ and /s’/, as produced by speakers of the Daegu and Jeju dialects. The acoustic parameters of center of gravity and skewness for the place of articulation, and the rise time and the amplitude rise slope for the manner of articulation were measured. The study results revealed a gender effect, but no dialect effect, for the center of gravity and the skewness. No main effect for either the gender or dialect was found for the rise time and the amplitude rise slope. These findings indicated that, with regard to the place of articulation, Korean fricative sound differences are a gender distinction, not a dialectal one.

Keywords: dialect, gender, Korean fricative, manner of articulation, place of articulation, spectral moments

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30 Reliable Line-of-Sight and Non-Line-of-Sight Propagation Channel Identification in Ultra-Wideband Wireless Networks

Authors: Mohamed Adnan Landolsi, Ali F. Almutairi


The paper addresses the problem of line-of-sight (LOS) vs. non-line-of-sight (NLOS) propagation link identification in ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless networks, which is necessary for improving the accuracy of radiolocation and positioning applications. A LOS/NLOS likelihood hypothesis testing approach is applied based on exploiting distinctive statistical features of the channel impulse response (CIR) using parameters related to the “skewness” of the CIR and its root mean square (RMS) delay spread. A log-normal fit is presented for the probability densities of the CIR parameters. Simulation results show that different environments (residential, office, outdoor, etc.) have measurable differences in their CIR parameters’ statistics, which is then exploited in determining the nature of the propagation channels. Correct LOS/NLOS channel identification rates exceeding 90% are shown to be achievable for most types of environments. Additional improvement is also obtained by combining both CIR skewness and RMS delay statistics.

Keywords: UWB, propagation, LOS, NLOS, identification

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29 The Influence of Beta Shape Parameters in Project Planning

Authors: Αlexios Kotsakis, Stefanos Katsavounis, Dimitra Alexiou


Networks can be utilized to represent project planning problems, using nodes for activities and arcs to indicate precedence relationship between them. For fixed activity duration, a simple algorithm calculates the amount of time required to complete a project, followed by the activities that comprise the critical path. Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) generalizes the above model by incorporating uncertainty, allowing activity durations to be random variables, producing nevertheless a relatively crude solution in planning problems. In this paper, based on the findings of the relevant literature, which strongly suggests that a Beta distribution can be employed to model earthmoving activities, we utilize Monte Carlo simulation, to estimate the project completion time distribution and measure the influence of skewness, an element inherent in activities of modern technical projects. We also extract the activity criticality index, with an ultimate goal to produce more accurate planning estimations.

Keywords: beta distribution, PERT, Monte Carlo simulation, skewness, project completion time distribution

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28 Spatial Climate Changes in the Province of Macerata, Central Italy, Analyzed by GIS Software

Authors: Matteo Gentilucci, Marco Materazzi, Gilberto Pambianchi


Climate change is an increasingly central issue in the world, because it affects many of human activities. In this context regional studies are of great importance because they sometimes differ from the general trend. This research focuses on a small area of central Italy which overlooks the Adriatic Sea, the province of Macerata. The aim is to analyze space-based climate changes, for precipitation and temperatures, in the last 3 climatological standard normals (1961-1990; 1971-2000; 1981-2010) through GIS software. The data collected from 30 weather stations for temperature and 61 rain gauges for precipitation were subject to quality controls: validation and homogenization. These data were fundamental for the spatialization of the variables (temperature and precipitation) through geostatistical techniques. To assess the best geostatistical technique for interpolation, the results of cross correlation were used. The co-kriging method with altitude as independent variable produced the best cross validation results for all time periods, among the methods analysed, with 'root mean square error standardized' close to 1, 'mean standardized error' close to 0, 'average standard error' and 'root mean square error' with similar values. The maps resulting from the analysis were compared by subtraction between rasters, producing 3 maps of annual variation and three other maps for each month of the year (1961/1990-1971/2000; 1971/2000-1981/2010; 1961/1990-1981/2010). The results show an increase in average annual temperature of about 0.1°C between 1961-1990 and 1971-2000 and 0.6 °C between 1961-1990 and 1981-2010. Instead annual precipitation shows an opposite trend, with an average difference from 1961-1990 to 1971-2000 of about 35 mm and from 1961-1990 to 1981-2010 of about 60 mm. Furthermore, the differences in the areas have been highlighted with area graphs and summarized in several tables as descriptive analysis. In fact for temperature between 1961-1990 and 1971-2000 the most areally represented frequency is 0.08°C (77.04 Km² on a total of about 2800 km²) with a kurtosis of 3.95 and a skewness of 2.19. Instead, the differences for temperatures from 1961-1990 to 1981-2010 show a most areally represented frequency of 0.83 °C, with -0.45 as kurtosis and 0.92 as skewness (36.9 km²). Therefore it can be said that distribution is more pointed for 1961/1990-1971/2000 and smoother but more intense in the growth for 1961/1990-1981/2010. In contrast, precipitation shows a very similar shape of distribution, although with different intensities, for both variations periods (first period 1961/1990-1971/2000 and second one 1961/1990-1981/2010) with similar values of kurtosis (1st = 1.93; 2nd = 1.34), skewness (1st = 1.81; 2nd = 1.62 for the second) and area of the most represented frequency (1st = 60.72 km²; 2nd = 52.80 km²). In conclusion, this methodology of analysis allows the assessment of small scale climate change for each month of the year and could be further investigated in relation to regional atmospheric dynamics.

Keywords: climate change, GIS, interpolation, co-kriging

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27 Generic Early Warning Signals for Program Student Withdrawals: A Complexity Perspective Based on Critical Transitions and Fractals

Authors: Sami Houry


Complex systems exhibit universal characteristics as they near a tipping point. Among them are common generic early warning signals which precede critical transitions. These signals include: critical slowing down in which the rate of recovery from perturbations decreases over time; an increase in the variance of the state variable; an increase in the skewness of the state variable; an increase in the autocorrelations of the state variable; flickering between different states; and an increase in spatial correlations over time. The presence of the signals has management implications, as the identification of the signals near the tipping point could allow management to identify intervention points. Despite the applications of the generic early warning signals in various scientific fields, such as fisheries, ecology and finance, a review of literature did not identify any applications that address the program student withdrawal problem at the undergraduate distance universities. This area could benefit from the application of generic early warning signals as the program withdrawal rate amongst distance students is higher than the program withdrawal rate at face-to-face conventional universities. This research specifically assessed the generic early warning signals through an intensive case study of undergraduate program student withdrawal at a Canadian distance university. The university is non-cohort based due to its system of continuous course enrollment where students can enroll in a course at the beginning of every month. The assessment of the signals was achieved through the comparison of the incidences of generic early warning signals among students who withdrew or simply became inactive in their undergraduate program of study, the true positives, to the incidences of the generic early warning signals among graduates, the false positives. This was achieved through significance testing. Research findings showed support for the signal pertaining to the rise in flickering which is represented in the increase in the student’s non-pass rates prior to withdrawing from a program; moderate support for the signals of critical slowing down as reflected in the increase in the time a student spends in a course; and moderate support for the signals on increase in autocorrelation and increase in variance in the grade variable. The findings did not support the signal on the increase in skewness of the grade variable. The research also proposes a new signal based on the fractal-like characteristic of student behavior. The research also sought to extend knowledge by investigating whether the emergence of a program withdrawal status is self-similar or fractal-like at multiple levels of observation, specifically the program level and the course level. In other words, whether the act of withdrawal at the program level is also present at the course level. The findings moderately supported self-similarity as a potential signal. Overall, the assessment of the signals suggests that the signals, with the exception with the increase of skewness, could be utilized as a predictive management tool and potentially add one more tool, the fractal-like characteristic of withdrawal, as an additional signal in addressing the student program withdrawal problem.

Keywords: critical transitions, fractals, generic early warning signals, program student withdrawal

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26 A Simplified Distribution for Nonlinear Seas

Authors: M. A. Tayfun, M. A. Alkhalidi


The exact theoretical expression describing the probability distribution of nonlinear sea-surface elevations derived from the second-order narrowband model has a cumbersome form that requires numerical computations, not well-disposed to theoretical or practical applications. Here, the same narrowband model is re-examined to develop a simpler closed-form approximation suitable for theoretical and practical applications. The salient features of the approximate form are explored, and its relative validity is verified with comparisons to other readily available approximations, and oceanic data.

Keywords: ocean waves, probability distributions, second-order nonlinearities, skewness coefficient, wave steepness

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25 The Effect of Outliers on the Economic and Social Survey on Income and Living Conditions

Authors: Encarnación Álvarez, Rosa M. García-Fernández, Francisco J. Blanco-Encomienda, Juan F. Muñoz


The European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) is a popular survey which provides information on income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions of households and individuals in the European Union. The EUSILC contains variables which may contain outliers. The presence of outliers can have an impact on the measures and indicators used by the EU-SILC. In this paper, we used data sets from various countries to analyze the presence of outliers. In addition, we obtain some indicators after removing these outliers, and a comparison between both situations can be observed. Finally, some conclusions are obtained.

Keywords: poverty line, headcount index, risk of poverty, skewness coefficient

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24 An EWMA P-Chart Based on Improved Square Root Transformation

Authors: Saowanit Sukparungsee


Generally, the traditional Shewhart p chart has been developed by for charting the binomial data. This chart has been developed using the normal approximation with condition as low defect level and the small to moderate sample size. In real applications, however, are away from these assumptions due to skewness in the exact distribution. In this paper, a modified Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA) control chat for detecting a change in binomial data by improving square root transformations, namely ISRT p EWMA control chart. The numerical results show that ISRT p EWMA chart is superior to ISRT p chart for small to moderate shifts, otherwise, the latter is better for large shifts.

Keywords: number of defects, exponentially weighted moving average, average run length, square root transformations

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23 Integrated Nested Laplace Approximations For Quantile Regression

Authors: Kajingulu Malandala, Ranganai Edmore


The asymmetric Laplace distribution (ADL) is commonly used as the likelihood function of the Bayesian quantile regression, and it offers different families of likelihood method for quantile regression. Notwithstanding their popularity and practicality, ADL is not smooth and thus making it difficult to maximize its likelihood. Furthermore, Bayesian inference is time consuming and the selection of likelihood may mislead the inference, as the Bayes theorem does not automatically establish the posterior inference. Furthermore, ADL does not account for greater skewness and Kurtosis. This paper develops a new aspect of quantile regression approach for count data based on inverse of the cumulative density function of the Poisson, binomial and Delaporte distributions using the integrated nested Laplace Approximations. Our result validates the benefit of using the integrated nested Laplace Approximations and support the approach for count data.

Keywords: quantile regression, Delaporte distribution, count data, integrated nested Laplace approximation

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22 Copula Markov Switching Multifractal Models for Forecasting Value-at-Risk

Authors: Giriraj Achari, Malay Bhattacharyya


In this paper, the effectiveness of Copula Markov Switching Multifractal (MSM) models at forecasting Value-at-Risk of a two-stock portfolio is studied. The innovations are allowed to be drawn from distributions that can capture skewness and leptokurtosis, which are well documented empirical characteristics observed in financial returns. The candidate distributions considered for this purpose are Johnson-SU, Pearson Type-IV and α-Stable distributions. The two univariate marginal distributions are combined using the Student-t copula. The estimation of all parameters is performed by Maximum Likelihood Estimation. Finally, the models are compared in terms of accurate Value-at-Risk (VaR) forecasts using tests of unconditional coverage and independence. It is found that Copula-MSM-models with leptokurtic innovation distributions perform slightly better than Copula-MSM model with Normal innovations. Copula-MSM models, in general, produce better VaR forecasts as compared to traditional methods like Historical Simulation method, Variance-Covariance approach and Copula-Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity (Copula-GARCH) models.

Keywords: Copula, Markov Switching, multifractal, value-at-risk

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21 X̄ and S Control Charts based on Weighted Standard Deviation Method

Authors: Derya Karagöz


A Shewhart chart based on normality assumption is not appropriate for skewed distributions since its Type-I error rate is inflated. This study presents X̄ and S control charts for monitoring the process variability for skewed distributions. We propose Weighted Standard Deviation (WSD) X̄ and S control charts. Standard deviation estimator is applied to monitor the process variability for estimating the process standard deviation, in the case of the W SD X̄ and S control charts as this estimator is simple and easy to compute. Unlike the Shewhart control chart, the proposed charts provide asymmetric limits in accordance with the direction and degree of skewness to construct the upper and lower limits. The performances of the proposed charts are compared with other heuristic charts for skewed distributions by using Simulation study. The Simulation studies show that the proposed control charts have good properties for skewed distributions and large sample sizes.

Keywords: weighted standard deviation, MAD, skewed distributions, S control charts

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20 Combining a Continuum of Hidden Regimes and a Heteroskedastic Three-Factor Model in Option Pricing

Authors: Rachid Belhachemi, Pierre Rostan, Alexandra Rostan


This paper develops a discrete-time option pricing model for index options. The model consists of two key ingredients. First, daily stock return innovations are driven by a continuous hidden threshold mixed skew-normal (HTSN) distribution which generates conditional non-normality that is needed to fit daily index return. The most important feature of the HTSN is the inclusion of a latent state variable with a continuum of states, unlike the traditional mixture distributions where the state variable is discrete with little number of states. The HTSN distribution belongs to the class of univariate probability distributions where parameters of the distribution capture the dependence between the variable of interest and the continuous latent state variable (the regime). The distribution has an interpretation in terms of a mixture distribution with time-varying mixing probabilities. It has been shown empirically that this distribution outperforms its main competitor, the mixed normal (MN) distribution, in terms of capturing the stylized facts known for stock returns, namely, volatility clustering, leverage effect, skewness, kurtosis and regime dependence. Second, heteroscedasticity in the model is captured by a threeexogenous-factor GARCH model (GARCHX), where the factors are taken from the principal components analysis of various world indices and presents an application to option pricing. The factors of the GARCHX model are extracted from a matrix of world indices applying principal component analysis (PCA). The empirically determined factors are uncorrelated and represent truly different common components driving the returns. Both factors and the eight parameters inherent to the HTSN distribution aim at capturing the impact of the state of the economy on price levels since distribution parameters have economic interpretations in terms of conditional volatilities and correlations of the returns with the hidden continuous state. The PCA identifies statistically independent factors affecting the random evolution of a given pool of assets -in our paper a pool of international stock indices- and sorting them by order of relative importance. The PCA computes a historical cross asset covariance matrix and identifies principal components representing independent factors. In our paper, factors are used to calibrate the HTSN-GARCHX model and are ultimately responsible for the nature of the distribution of random variables being generated. We benchmark our model to the MN-GARCHX model following the same PCA methodology and the standard Black-Scholes model. We show that our model outperforms the benchmark in terms of RMSE in dollar losses for put and call options, which in turn outperforms the analytical Black-Scholes by capturing the stylized facts known for index returns, namely, volatility clustering, leverage effect, skewness, kurtosis and regime dependence.

Keywords: continuous hidden threshold, factor models, GARCHX models, option pricing, risk-premium

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19 Application of Generalized Autoregressive Score Model to Stock Returns

Authors: Katleho Daniel Makatjane, Diteboho Lawrence Xaba, Ntebogang Dinah Moroke


The current study investigates the behaviour of time-varying parameters that are based on the score function of the predictive model density at time t. The mechanism to update the parameters over time is the scaled score of the likelihood function. The results revealed that there is high persistence of time-varying, as the location parameter is higher and the skewness parameter implied the departure of scale parameter from the normality with the unconditional parameter as 1.5. The results also revealed that there is a perseverance of the leptokurtic behaviour in stock returns which implies the returns are heavily tailed. Prior to model estimation, the White Neural Network test exposed that the stock price can be modelled by a GAS model. Finally, we proposed further researches specifically to model the existence of time-varying parameters with a more detailed model that encounters the heavy tail distribution of the series and computes the risk measure associated with the returns.

Keywords: generalized autoregressive score model, South Africa, stock returns, time-varying

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18 Exploring Service Performance of Area-Based Bus Service for Dhaka: A Case Study of Dhaka Chaka

Authors: Md. Musfiqur Rahman Bhuiya Nidalia Islam, Hossain Mohiuddin, Md. Kawser Bin Zaman


Dhaka North City Corporation introduced first area-based bus service on 10 August 2016 to run through Gulshan and Banani area to dilute sufferings of the people which started with the ban on movement of the bus in these areas after Holy Artisan terrorist attack. This study explores service quality performance of Dhaka Chaka on the basis of information provided by its riders on a questionnaire survey. Total thirteen service quality indicators have been ranked on a scale of 1-5, and they have been classified under three latent variables based on their correlation using eigenvalue and rotated factor matrix derived through factor analysis process. Mean, and skewness has been calculated for each indicator. It has been found that ticket price and ticketing system have relatively poor average service quality rank than other factors. All other factors have moderately good performance. The study also suggests some recommendation to improve service quality of Dhaka Chaka based on the interrelation between considered parameters.

Keywords: area based bus service, eigen value, factor analysis, correlation

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17 The Wear Recognition on Guide Surface Based on the Feature of Radar Graph

Authors: Youhang Zhou, Weimin Zeng, Qi Xie


Abstract: In order to solve the wear recognition problem of the machine tool guide surface, a new machine tool guide surface recognition method based on the radar-graph barycentre feature is presented in this paper. Firstly, the gray mean value, skewness, projection variance, flat degrees and kurtosis features of the guide surface image data are defined as primary characteristics. Secondly, data Visualization technology based on radar graph is used. The visual barycentre graphical feature is demonstrated based on the radar plot of multi-dimensional data. Thirdly, a classifier based on the support vector machine technology is used, the radar-graph barycentre feature and wear original feature are put into the classifier separately for classification and comparative analysis of classification and experiment results. The calculation and experimental results show that the method based on the radar-graph barycentre feature can detect the guide surface effectively.

Keywords: guide surface, wear defects, feature extraction, data visualization

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16 Grain Size Characteristics and Sediments Distribution in the Eastern Part of Lekki Lagoon

Authors: Mayowa Philips Ibitola, Abe Oluwaseun Banji, Olorunfemi Akinade-Solomon


A total of 20 bottom sediment samples were collected from the Lekki Lagoon during the wet and dry season. The study was carried out to determine the textural characteristics, sediment distribution pattern and energy of transportation within the lagoon system. The sediment grain sizes and depth profiling was analyzed using dry sieving method and MATLAB algorithm for processing. The granulometric reveals fine grained sand both for the wet and dry season with an average mean value of 2.03 ϕ and -2.88 ϕ, respectively. Sediments were moderately sorted with an average inclusive standard deviation of 0.77 ϕ and -0.82 ϕ. Skewness varied from strongly coarse and near symmetrical 0.34- ϕ and 0.09 ϕ. The kurtosis average value was 0.87 ϕ and -1.4 ϕ (platykurtic and leptokurtic). Entirely, the bathymetry shows an average depth of 4.0 m. The deepest and shallowest area has a depth of 11.2 m and 0.5 m, respectively. High concentration of fine sand was observed at deep areas compared to the shallow areas during wet and dry season. Statistical parameter results show that the overall sediments are sorted, and deposited under low energy condition over a long distance. However, sediment distribution and sediment transport pattern of Lekki Lagoon is controlled by a low energy current and the down slope configuration of the bathymetry enhances the sorting and the deposition rate in the Lekki Lagoon.

Keywords: Lekki Lagoon, Marine sediment, bathymetry, grain size distribution

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15 Influence of Processing Parameters on the Reliability of Sieving as a Particle Size Distribution Measurements

Authors: Eseldin Keleb


In the pharmaceutical industry particle size distribution is an important parameter for the characterization of pharmaceutical powders. The powder flowability, reactivity and compatibility, which have a decisive impact on the final product, are determined by particle size and size distribution. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of processing parameters on the particle size distribution measurements. Different Size fractions of α-lactose monohydrate and 5% polyvinylpyrrolidone were prepared by wet granulation and were used for the preparation of samples. The influence of sieve load (50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 350 g), processing time (5, 10, and 15 min), sample size ratios (high percentage of small and large particles), type of disturbances (vibration and shaking) and process reproducibility have been investigated. Results obtained showed that a sieve load of 50 g produce the best separation, a further increase in sample weight resulted in incomplete separation even after the extension of the processing time for 15 min. Performing sieving using vibration was rapider and more efficient than shaking. Meanwhile between day reproducibility showed that particle size distribution measurements are reproducible. However, for samples containing 70% fines or 70% large particles, which processed at optimized parameters, the incomplete separation was always observed. These results indicated that sieving reliability is highly influenced by the particle size distribution of the sample and care must be taken for samples with particle size distribution skewness.

Keywords: sieving, reliability, particle size distribution, processing parameters

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14 A Quantitative Study on the Structure of Corporate Social Responsibility in India

Authors: Raj C. Aparna


In India, the mandatory clause on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Companies Act, 2013 has led to varying responses from the companies. From excessive spending to resistance, the private and the public stakeholders have been considering the law from different perspectives. This paper tends to study the characteristics of CSR spending in India with emphasis on the locations to which the funds are routed. This study examines the effects of CSR fund flow on regional development by considering the growth in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), agriculture, education and healthcare using panel data for the 29 States in the country. The results confirm that the CSR funds have been instrumental in improving the quality of teaching and healthcare in the areas around the industrial hubs. However, the study shows that the corporates mostly invest in regions which are easily accessible to them, by their physical presence, irrespective of whether the area is developed or not. Such a skewness is visible in the extensive spending in and around the metropolitan cities, the established centers, in the country to which large chunks of CSR funds are channeled. The results show that there is a variation from what the government had proposed while initiating the CSR law to promote social inclusion and equality in the rural and isolated areas in the country. The implication is that even though societal improvement is the aim of CSR, ease of access to the needy is an essential factor in corporate choices. As poverty and lack of facilities are found in the innermost parts, it is vital to have government policies for their aid as corporate help.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, geographic spread, panel data analysis, strategic implementation

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13 Multivariate Rainfall Disaggregation Using MuDRain Model: Malaysia Experience

Authors: Ibrahim Suliman Hanaish


Disaggregation daily rainfall using stochastic models formulated based on multivariate approach (MuDRain) is discussed in this paper. Seven rain gauge stations are considered in this study for different distances from the referred station starting from 4 km to 160 km in Peninsular Malaysia. The hourly rainfall data used are covered the period from 1973 to 2008 and July and November months are considered as an example of dry and wet periods. The cross-correlation among the rain gauges is considered for the available hourly rainfall information at the neighboring stations or not. This paper discussed the applicability of the MuDRain model for disaggregation daily rainfall to hourly rainfall for both sources of cross-correlation. The goodness of fit of the model was based on the reproduction of fitting statistics like the means, variances, coefficients of skewness, lag zero cross-correlation of coefficients and the lag one auto correlation of coefficients. It is found the correlation coefficients based on extracted correlations that was based on daily are slightly higher than correlations based on available hourly rainfall especially for neighboring stations not more than 28 km. The results showed also the MuDRain model did not reproduce statistics very well. In addition, a bad reproduction of the actual hyetographs comparing to the synthetic hourly rainfall data. Mean while, it is showed a good fit between the distribution function of the historical and synthetic hourly rainfall. These discrepancies are unavoidable because of the lowest cross correlation of hourly rainfall. The overall performance indicated that the MuDRain model would not be appropriate choice for disaggregation daily rainfall.

Keywords: rainfall disaggregation, multivariate disaggregation rainfall model, correlation, stochastic model

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12 Comparing Accuracy of Semantic and Radiomics Features in Prognosis of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Authors: Mahya Naghipoor


Purpose: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common lung cancer type. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation is the main reason which causes NSCLC. Computed tomography (CT) is used for diagnosis and prognosis of lung cancers because of low price and little invasion. Semantic analyses of qualitative CT features are based on visual evaluation by radiologist. However, the naked eye ability may not assess all image features. On the other hand, radiomics provides the opportunity of quantitative analyses for CT images features. The aim of this review study was comparing accuracy of semantic and radiomics features in prognosis of EGFR mutation in NSCLC. Methods: For this purpose, the keywords including: non-small cell lung cancer, epidermal growth factor receptor mutation, semantic, radiomics, feature, receiver operating characteristics curve (ROC) and area under curve (AUC) were searched in PubMed and Google Scholar. Totally 29 papers were reviewed and the AUC of ROC analyses for semantic and radiomics features were compared. Results: The results showed that the reported AUC amounts for semantic features (ground glass opacity, shape, margins, lesion density and presence or absence of air bronchogram, emphysema and pleural effusion) were %41-%79. For radiomics features (kurtosis, skewness, entropy, texture, standard deviation (SD) and wavelet) the AUC values were found %50-%86. Conclusions: In conclusion, the accuracy of radiomics analysis is a little higher than semantic in prognosis of EGFR mutation in NSCLC.

Keywords: lung cancer, radiomics, computer tomography, mutation

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11 Comparison of Mini-BESTest versus Berg Balance Scale to Evaluate Balance Disorders in Parkinson's Disease

Authors: R. Harihara Prakash, Shweta R. Parikh, Sangna S. Sheth


The purpose of this study was to explore the usefulness of the Mini-BESTest compared to the Berg Balance Scale in evaluating balance in people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) of varying severity. Evaluation were done to obtain (1) the distribution of patients scores to look for ceiling effects, (2) concurrent validity with severity of disease, and (3) the sensitivity & specificity of separating people with or without postural response deficits. Methods and Material: Seventy-seven(77) people with Parkinson's Disease were tested for balance deficits using the Berg Balance Scale, Mini-BESTest. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) III and the Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) disease severity scales were used for classification. Materials used in this study were case record sheet, chair without arm rests or wheels, Incline ramp, stopwatch, a box, 3 meter distance measured out and marked on the floor with tape [from chair]. Statistical analysis used: Multiple Linear regression was carried out of UPDRS jointly on the two scores for the Berg and Mini-BESTest. Receiver operating characteristic curves for classifying people into two groups based on a threshold for the H&Y score, to discriminate between mild PD versus more severe PD.Correlation co-efficient to find relativeness between the two variables. Results: The Mini-BESTest is highly correlated with the Berg (r = 0.732,P < 0.001), but avoids the ceiling compression effect of the Berg for mild PD (skewness −0.714 Berg, −0.512 Mini-BESTest). Consequently, the Mini-BESTest is more effective than the Berg for predicting UPDRS Motor score (P < 0.001 Mini-BESTest versus P = 0.72 Berg), and for discriminating between those with and without postural response deficits as measured by the H&Y (ROC).

Keywords: balance, berg balance scale, MINI BESTest, parkinson's disease

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10 Effect of Depth on Texture Features of Ultrasound Images

Authors: M. A. Alqahtani, D. P. Coleman, N. D. Pugh, L. D. M. Nokes


In diagnostic ultrasound, the echo graphic B-scan texture is an important area of investigation since it can be analyzed to characterize the histological state of internal tissues. An important factor requiring consideration when evaluating ultrasonic tissue texture is the depth. The effect of attenuation with depth of ultrasound, the size of the region of interest, gain, and dynamic range are important variables to consider as they can influence the analysis of texture features. These sources of variability have to be considered carefully when evaluating image texture as different settings might influence the resultant image. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of depth on the texture features in-vivo using a 3D ultrasound probe. The left leg medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle of 10 healthy subjects were scanned. Two regions A and B were defined at different depth within the gastrocnemius muscle boundary. The size of both ROI’s was 280*20 pixels and the distance between region A and B was kept constant at 5 mm. Texture parameters include gray level, variance, skewness, kurtosis, co-occurrence matrix; run length matrix, gradient, autoregressive (AR) model and wavelet transform were extracted from the images. The paired t –test was used to test the depth effect for the normally distributed data and the Wilcoxon–Mann-Whitney test was used for the non-normally distributed data. The gray level, variance, and run length matrix were significantly lowered when the depth increased. The other texture parameters showed similar values at different depth. All the texture parameters showed no significant difference between depths A and B (p > 0.05) except for gray level, variance and run length matrix (p < 0.05). This indicates that gray level, variance, and run length matrix are depth dependent.

Keywords: ultrasound image, texture parameters, computational biology, biomedical engineering

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9 Reliability Analysis of Construction Schedule Plan Based on Building Information Modelling

Authors: Lu Ren, You-Liang Fang, Yan-Gang Zhao


In recent years, the application of BIM (Building Information Modelling) to construction schedule plan has been the focus of more and more researchers. In order to assess the reasonable level of the BIM-based construction schedule plan, that is whether the schedule can be completed on time, some researchers have introduced reliability theory to evaluate. In the process of evaluation, the uncertain factors affecting the construction schedule plan are regarded as random variables, and probability distributions of the random variables are assumed to be normal distribution, which is determined using two parameters evaluated from the mean and standard deviation of statistical data. However, in practical engineering, most of the uncertain influence factors are not normal random variables. So the evaluation results of the construction schedule plan will be unreasonable under the assumption that probability distributions of random variables submitted to the normal distribution. Therefore, in order to get a more reasonable evaluation result, it is necessary to describe the distribution of random variables more comprehensively. For this purpose, cubic normal distribution is introduced in this paper to describe the distribution of arbitrary random variables, which is determined by the first four moments (mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis). In this paper, building the BIM model firstly according to the design messages of the structure and making the construction schedule plan based on BIM, then the cubic normal distribution is used to describe the distribution of the random variables due to the collecting statistical data of the random factors influencing construction schedule plan. Next the reliability analysis of the construction schedule plan based on BIM can be carried out more reasonably. Finally, the more accurate evaluation results can be given providing reference for the implementation of the actual construction schedule plan. In the last part of this paper, the more efficiency and accuracy of the proposed methodology for the reliability analysis of the construction schedule plan based on BIM are conducted through practical engineering case.

Keywords: BIM, construction schedule plan, cubic normal distribution, reliability analysis

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8 Evaluation of Key Performance Indicators as Determinants of Dividend Paid on Ordinary Shares in Nigeria Banking Sector

Authors: Oliver Ikechukwu Inyiama, Boniface Uche Ugwuanyi


The aim of the research is to evaluate the key financial performance indicators that help both managers and their shareholders of Nigerian Banks to determine the appropriate dividend payout to their ordinary shareholders in an accounting year. Profitability, total asset, and earnings of commercial banks were selected as key performance indicators in Nigeria Banking Sector. They represent the independent variables of the study while dividend per share is the proxy for the dividend paid on ordinary shares which represent the dependent variable. The effect of profitability, total asset and earnings on dividend per share were evaluated through the ordinary least square method of multiple regression analysis. Test for normality of frequency distribution was conducted through descriptive statistics such as Jacque Bera Statistic, skewness and kurtosis. Rate of dividend payout was subsequently applied as an alternate dependent variable to test for robustness of the earlier results. The 64% adjusted R-squared of the pooled data indicates that profitability, total asset, and earnings explain the variation in dividend per share during the period under research while the remaining 36% variation in dividend per share could be explained by changes in other variables not captured by this study as well as the error term. The study concentrated on four leading Nigeria Commercial Banks namely; First Bank of Nigeria Plc, GTBank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Zenith International Bank Plc. Dividend per share was found to be positively affected by total assets and earnings of the commercial banks. However, profitability which was proxied by profit after tax had a negative effect on dividend per share. The implication of the findings is that commercial banks in Nigeria pay more dividend when they are having a dwindling fortune in order to retain the confidence of the shareholders provided their gross earnings and size is on the increase. Therefore, the management and board of directors of Nigeria commercial banks should apply decent marketing strategies to enhance earnings through investment in profitable ventures for an improved dividend payout rate.

Keywords: assets, banks, indicators, performance, profitability, shares

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7 In Search of Commonalities in the Determinants of Child Sex Ratios in India and People's of Republic of China

Authors: Suddhasil Siddhanta, Debasish Nandy


Child sex ratios pattern in the Asian Population is highly masculine mainly due to birth masculinity and gender bias in child mortality. The vast and the growing literature of female deficit in world population points out the diffusion of child sex ratio pattern in many Asian as well as neighboring European countries. However, little attention has been given to understand the common factors in different demographics in explaining child sex ratio pattern. Such a scholarship is extremely important as level of gender inequity is different in different country set up. Our paper tries to explain the major structural commonalities in the child masculinity pattern in two demographic billionaires - India and China. The analysis reveals that apart from geographical diffusion of sex selection technology, patrilocal social structure, as proxied by households with more than one generation in China and proportion of population aged 65 years and above in India, can explain significant variation of missing girl child in these two countries. Even after controlling for individual capacity building factors like educational attainment, or work force participation, the measure of social stratification is coming out to be the major determinant of child sex ratio variation. Other socio economic factors that perform much well are the agency building factors of the females, like changing pattern of marriage customs which is proxied by divorce and remarriage ratio for china and percentage of female marrying at or after the age of 20 years in India and the female workforce participation. Proportion of minorities in socio-religious composition of the population and gender bias in scholastic attainment in both these counties are also found to be significant in modeling child sex ratio variations. All these significant common factors associated with child sex ratio point toward the one single most important factor: the historical evolution of patriarchy and its contemporary perpetuation in both the countries. It seems that prohibition of sex selection might not be sufficient to combat the peculiar skewness of excessive maleness in child population in both these countries. Demand sided policies is therefore utmost important to root out the gender bias in child sex ratios.

Keywords: child sex ratios, gender bias, structural factors, prosperity, patrilocality

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6 Features of Normative and Pathological Realizations of Sibilant Sounds for Computer-Aided Pronunciation Evaluation in Children

Authors: Zuzanna Miodonska, Michal Krecichwost, Pawel Badura


Sigmatism (lisping) is a speech disorder in which sibilant consonants are mispronounced. The diagnosis of this phenomenon is usually based on the auditory assessment. However, the progress in speech analysis techniques creates a possibility of developing computer-aided sigmatism diagnosis tools. The aim of the study is to statistically verify whether specific acoustic features of sibilant sounds may be related to pronunciation correctness. Such knowledge can be of great importance while implementing classifiers and designing novel tools for automatic sibilants pronunciation evaluation. The study covers analysis of various speech signal measures, including features proposed in the literature for the description of normative sibilants realization. Amplitudes and frequencies of three fricative formants (FF) are extracted based on local spectral maxima of the friction noise. Skewness, kurtosis, four normalized spectral moments (SM) and 13 mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCC) with their 1st and 2nd derivatives (13 Delta and 13 Delta-Delta MFCC) are included in the analysis as well. The resulting feature vector contains 51 measures. The experiments are performed on the speech corpus containing words with selected sibilant sounds (/ʃ, ʒ/) pronounced by 60 preschool children with proper pronunciation or with natural pathologies. In total, 224 /ʃ/ segments and 191 /ʒ/ segments are employed in the study. The Mann-Whitney U test is employed for the analysis of stigmatism and normative pronunciation. Statistically, significant differences are obtained in most of the proposed features in children divided into these two groups at p < 0.05. All spectral moments and fricative formants appear to be distinctive between pathology and proper pronunciation. These metrics describe the friction noise characteristic for sibilants, which makes them particularly promising for the use in sibilants evaluation tools. Correspondences found between phoneme feature values and an expert evaluation of the pronunciation correctness encourage to involve speech analysis tools in diagnosis and therapy of sigmatism. Proposed feature extraction methods could be used in a computer-assisted stigmatism diagnosis or therapy systems.

Keywords: computer-aided pronunciation evaluation, sigmatism diagnosis, speech signal analysis, statistical verification

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5 Spatial Distribution and Source Identification of Trace Elements in Surface Soil from Izmir Metropolitan Area

Authors: Melik Kara, Gulsah Tulger Kara


The soil is a crucial component of the ecosystem, and in industrial and urban areas it receives large amounts of trace elements from several sources. Therefore, accumulated pollutants in surface soils can be transported to different environmental components, such as deep soil, water, plants, and dust particles. While elemental contamination of soils is caused mainly by atmospheric deposition, soil also affects the air quality since enriched trace elemental contents in atmospheric particulate matter originate from resuspension of polluted soils. The objectives of this study were to determine the total and leachate concentrations of trace elements in soils of city area in Izmir and characterize their spatial distribution and to identify the possible sources of trace elements in surface soils. The surface soil samples were collected from 20 sites. They were analyzed for total element concentrations and leachate concentrations. Analyses of trace elements (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Bi, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Dy, Er, Eu, Fe, Ga, Gd, Hf, Ho, K, La, Li, Lu, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Nd, Ni, P, Pb, Pr, Rb, Sb, Sc, Se, Si, Sm, Sn, Sr, Tb, Th, Ti, Tl, Tm, U, V, W, Y, Yb, Zn and Zr) were carried out using ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer). The elemental concentrations were calculated along with overall median, kurtosis, and skewness statistics. Elemental composition indicated that the soil samples were dominated by crustal elements such as Si, Al, Fe, Ca, K, Mg and the sea salt element, Na which is typical for Aegean region. These elements were followed by Ti, P, Mn, Ba and Sr. On the other hand, Zn, Cr, V, Pb, Cu, and Ni (which are anthropogenic based elements) were measured as 61.6, 39.4, 37.9, 26.9, 22.4, and 19.4 mg/kg dw, respectively. The leachate element concentrations were showed similar sorting although their concentrations were much lower than total concentrations. In the study area, the spatial distribution patterns of elemental concentrations varied among sampling sites. The highest concentrations were measured in the vicinity of industrial areas and main roads. To determine the relationships among elements and to identify the possible sources, PCA (Principal Component Analysis) was applied to the data. The analysis resulted in six factors. The first factor exhibited high loadings of Co, K, Mn, Rb, V, Al, Fe, Ni, Ga, Se, and Cr. This factor could be interpreted as residential heating because of Co, K, Rb, and Se. The second factor associated positively with V, Al, Fe, Na, Ba, Ga, Sr, Ti, Se, and Si. Therefore, this factor presents mixed city dust. The third factor showed high loadings with Fe, Ni, Sb, As, Cr. This factor could be associated with industrial facilities. The fourth factor associated with Cu, Mo, Zn, Sn which are the marker elements of traffic. The fifth factor presents crustal dust, due to its high correlation with Si, Ca, and Mg. The last factor is loaded with Pb and Cd emitted from industrial activities.

Keywords: trace elements, surface soil, source apportionment, Izmir

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