Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1879

Search results for: software

1879 Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models

Authors: Hai Ming Wong, Kuen Wai Ma, Lavender Yu Xin Yang, Yanqi Yang

Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Keywords: Problem-Based learning, curriculum, dental education, 3-D electronic models.

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1878 A Corpus-Based Approach to Understanding Market Access in Fisheries and Aquaculture: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors: Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Abstract:

Although fisheries and aquaculture studies might seem marginal to international business (IB) studies in general, fisheries and aquaculture IB (FAIB) management is currently facing increasing pressure to meet global demand and consumption for fish in the next coming decades. In part address to this challenge, the purpose of this systematic review of literature (SLR) study is to investigate the use of the term ‘market access’ in its context of use in the generic literature and business sector discourse, in comparison to the more specific literature and discourse in fisheries, aquaculture and seafood. This SLR aims to uncover the knowledge/interest gaps between the academic subject discourses and business sector practices. Corpus driven in methodology and using a triangulation method of three different text analysis software including AntConc, VOSviewer and Web of Science (WoS) analytics, the SLR results indicate a gap in conceptual knowledge and business practices in how ‘market access’ is conceived and used in the context of the pharmaceutical healthcare industry and FAIB research and practice. While it is acknowledged that the product orientation of different business sectors might differ, this SLR study works with the assumption that both business sectors are global in orientation. These business sectors are complex in their operations from product to market. This SLR suggests a conceptual model in understanding the challenges, the potential barriers as well as avenues for solutions to developing market access for FAIB.

Keywords: Market access, fisheries and aquaculture, international business, systematic literature review.

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1877 Development of a Small-Group Teaching Method for Enhancing the Learning of Basic Acupuncture Manipulation Optimized with the Theory of Motor Learning

Authors: Wen-Chao Tang, Tang-Yi Liu, Ming Gao, Gang Xu, Hua-Yuan Yang

Abstract:

This study developed a method for teaching acupuncture manipulation in small groups optimized with the theory of motor learning. Sixty acupuncture students and their teacher participated in our research. Motion videos were recorded of their manipulations using the lifting-thrusting method. These videos were analyzed using Simi Motion software to acquire the movement parameters of the thumb tip. The parameter velocity curves along Y axis was used to generate small teaching groups clustered by a self-organized map (SOM) and K-means. Ten groups were generated. All the targeted instruction based on the comparative results groups as well as the videos of teacher and student was provided to the members of each group respectively. According to the theory and research of motor learning, the factors or technologies such as video instruction, observational learning, external focus and summary feedback were integrated into this teaching method. Such efforts were desired to improve and enhance the effectiveness of current acupuncture teaching methods in limited classroom teaching time and extracurricular training.

Keywords: Acupuncture, group teaching, video instruction, observational learning, external focus, summary feedback.

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1876 Prioritization Assessment of Housing Development Risk Factors: A Fuzzy Hierarchical Process-Based Approach

Authors: Yusuf Garba Baba

Abstract:

The construction industry and housing subsector are fraught with risks that have the potential of negatively impacting on the achievement of project objectives. The success or otherwise of most construction projects depends to large extent on how well these risks have been managed. The recent paradigm shift by the subsector to use of formal risk management approach in contrast to hitherto developed rules of thumb means that risks must not only be identified but also properly assessed and responded to in a systematic manner. The study focused on identifying risks associated with housing development projects and prioritisation assessment of the identified risks in order to provide basis for informed decision. The study used a three-step identification framework: review of literature for similar projects, expert consultation and questionnaire based survey to identify potential risk factors. Delphi survey method was employed in carrying out the relative prioritization assessment of the risks factors using computer-based Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) software. The results show that 19 out of the 50 risks significantly impact on housing development projects. The study concludes that although significant numbers of risk factors have been identified as having relevance and impacting to housing construction projects, economic risk group and, in particular, ‘changes in demand for houses’ is prioritised by most developers as posing a threat to the achievement of their housing development objectives. Unless these risks are carefully managed, their effects will continue to impede success in these projects. The study recommends the adoption and use of the combination of multi-technique identification framework and AHP prioritization assessment methodology as a suitable model for the assessment of risks in housing development projects.

Keywords: Risk identification, risk assessment, analytical hierarchical process, multi-criteria decision.

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1875 A Survey of Key Challenges of Adopting Agile in Global Software Development: A Case Study with Malaysia Perspective

Authors: Amna Batool

Abstract:

Agile methodology is the current most popular technique in software development projects. Agile methods in software development bring optimistic impact on software performances, quality and customer satisfaction. There are some organizations and small-medium enterprises adopting agile into their local software development projects as well as in distributed software development projects. Adopting agile methods in local software development projects is valuable. However, agile global software deployment needs an attention. There are different key challenges in agile global software development that need to resolve and enhance the global software development cycles. The proposed systematic literature review investigates all key challenges of agile in global software development. Moreover, a quantitative methodology (an actual survey) targeted to present a real case scenario of these particular key challenges faced by one of the software houses that is BestWeb Malaysia. The outcomes of systematic literature and the results of quantitative methodology are compared with each other to evaluate if the key challenges pointed out in systematic review still exist. The proposed research and its exploratory results can assist small medium enterprises to avoid these challenges by adopting the best practices in their global software development projects. Moreover, it is helpful for novice researchers to get valuable information altogether.

Keywords: Agile software development, ASD challenges, agile global software development. challenges in agile global software development.

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1874 Price Prediction Line, Investment Signals and Limit Conditions Applied for the German Financial Market

Authors: Cristian Păuna

Abstract:

In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.

Keywords: Algorithmic trading, automated investment system, DAX Deutscher Aktienindex.

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1873 Open-Loop Vector Control of Induction Motor with Space Vector Pulse Width Modulation Technique

Authors: Karchung, S. Ruangsinchaiwanich

Abstract:

This paper presents open-loop vector control method of induction motor with space vector pulse width modulation (SVPWM) technique. Normally, the closed loop speed control is preferred and is believed to be more accurate. However, it requires a position sensor to track the rotor position which is not desirable to use it for certain workspace applications. This paper exhibits the performance of three-phase induction motor with the simplest control algorithm without the use of a position sensor nor an estimation block to estimate rotor position for sensorless control. The motor stator currents are measured and are transformed to synchronously rotating (d-q-axis) frame by use of Clarke and Park transformation. The actual control happens in this frame where the measured currents are compared with the reference currents. The error signal is fed to a conventional PI controller, and the corrected d-q voltage is generated. The controller outputs are transformed back to three phase voltages and are fed to SVPWM block which generates PWM signal for the voltage source inverter. The open loop vector control model along with SVPWM algorithm is modeled in MATLAB/Simulink software and is experimented and validated in TMS320F28335 DSP board.

Keywords: Electric drive, induction motor, open-loop vector control, space vector pulse width modulation technique.

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1872 Energy and Exergy Performance Optimization on a Real Gas Turbine Power Plant

Authors: Farhat Hajer, Khir Tahar, Cherni Rafik, Dakhli Radhouen, Ammar Ben Brahim

Abstract:

This paper presents the energy and exergy optimization of a real gas turbine power plant performance of 100 MW of power, installed in the South East of Tunisia. A simulation code is established using the EES (Engineering Equation Solver) software. The parameters considered are those of the actual operating conditions of the gas turbine thermal power station under study. The results show that thermal and exergetic efficiency decreases with the increase of the ambient temperature. Air excess has an important effect on the thermal efficiency. The emission of NOx rises in the summer and decreases in the winter. The obtained rates of NOx are compared with measurements results.

Keywords: Efficiency, exergy, gas turbine, temperature.

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1871 Studying the Theoretical and Laboratory Design of a Concrete Frame and Optimizing Its Design for Impact and Earthquake Resistance

Authors: Mehrdad Azimzadeh, Seyed Mohammadreza Jabbari, Mohammadreza Hosseinzadeh Alherd

Abstract:

This paper includes experimental results and analytical studies about increasing resistance of single-span reinforced concreted frames against impact factor and their modeling according to optimization methods and optimizing the behavior of these frames under impact loads. During this study, about 30 designs for different frames were modeled and made using specialized software like ANSYS and Sap and their behavior were examined under variable impacts. Then suitable strategies were offered for frames in terms of concrete mixing in order to optimize frame modeling. To reduce the weight of the frames, we had to use fine-grained stones. After designing about eight types of frames for each type of frames, three samples were designed with the aim of controlling the impact strength parameters, and a good shape of the frame was created for the impact resistance, which was a solid frame with muscular legs, and as a bond away from each other as much as possible with a 3 degree gradient in the upper part of the beam.

Keywords: Optimization, reinforced concrete, single-span frames, optimization methods of impact load.

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1870 Peridynamic Modeling of an Isotropic Plate under Tensile and Flexural Loading

Authors: Eda Gök

Abstract:

Peridynamics is a new modeling concept of non-local interactions for solid structures. The formulations of Peridynamic (PD) theory are based on integral equations rather than differential equations. Through, undefined equations of associated problems are avoided. PD theory might be defined as continuum version of molecular dynamics. The medium is usually modeled with mass particles bonded together. Particles interact with each other directly across finite distances through central forces named as bonds. The main assumption of this theory is that the body is composed of material points which interact with other material points within a finite distance. Although, PD theory developed for discontinuities, it gives good results for structures which have no discontinuities. In this paper, displacement control of the isotropic plate under the effect of tensile and bending loading has been investigated by means of PD theory. A MATLAB code is generated to create PD bonds and corresponding surface correction factors. Using generated MATLAB code the geometry of the specimen is generated, and the code is implemented in Finite Element Software. The results obtained from non-local continuum theory are compared with the Finite Element Analysis results and analytical solution. The results show good agreement.

Keywords: Flexural loading, non-local continuum mechanics, Peridynamic theory, solid structures, tensile loading.

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1869 From Electroencephalogram to Epileptic Seizures Detection by Using Artificial Neural Networks

Authors: Gaetano Zazzaro, Angelo Martone, Roberto V. Montaquila, Luigi Pavone

Abstract:

Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Network, Data Mining, Electroencephalogram, Epilepsy, Feature Extraction, Seizure Detection, Signal Processing.

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1868 Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Equations in 2D by Finite Difference Method

Authors: N. Fusun Oyman Serteller

Abstract:

In this paper, the techniques to solve time dependent electromagnetic wave propagation equations based on the Finite Difference Method (FDM) are proposed by comparing the results with Finite Element Method (FEM) in 2D while discussing some special simulation examples.  Here, 2D dynamical wave equations for lossy media, even with a constant source, are discussed for establishing symbolic manipulation of wave propagation problems. The main objective of this contribution is to introduce a comparative study of two suitable numerical methods and to show that both methods can be applied effectively and efficiently to all types of wave propagation problems, both linear and nonlinear cases, by using symbolic computation. However, the results show that the FDM is more appropriate for solving the nonlinear cases in the symbolic solution. Furthermore, some specific complex domain examples of the comparison of electromagnetic waves equations are considered. Calculations are performed through Mathematica software by making some useful contribution to the programme and leveraging symbolic evaluations of FEM and FDM.

Keywords: Finite difference method, finite element method, linear-nonlinear PDEs, symbolic computation, wave propagation equations.

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1867 Estimation of Tensile Strength for Granitic Rocks by Using Discrete Element Approach

Authors: Aliakbar Golshani, Armin Ramezanzad

Abstract:

Tensile strength which is an important parameter of the rock for engineering applications is difficult to measure directly through physical experiment (i.e. uniaxial tensile test). Therefore, indirect experimental methods such as Brazilian test have been taken into consideration and some relations have been proposed in order to obtain the tensile strength for rocks indirectly. In this research, to calculate numerically the tensile strength for granitic rocks, Particle Flow Code in three-dimension (PFC3D) software were used. First, uniaxial compression tests were simulated and the tensile strength was determined for Inada granite (from a quarry in Kasama, Ibaraki, Japan). Then, by simulating Brazilian test condition for Inada granite, the tensile strength was indirectly calculated again. Results show that the tensile strength calculated numerically agrees well with the experimental results obtained from uniaxial tensile tests on Inada granite samples.

Keywords: Numerical Simulation, PFC, Tensile Strength, Brazilian Test.

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1866 Evaluation of Model-Based Code Generation for Embedded Systems–Mature Approach for Development in Evolution

Authors: Nikolay P. Brayanov, Anna V. Stoynova

Abstract:

Model-based development approach is gaining more support and acceptance. Its higher abstraction level brings simplification of systems’ description that allows domain experts to do their best without particular knowledge in programming. The different levels of simulation support the rapid prototyping, verifying and validating the product even before it exists physically. Nowadays model-based approach is beneficial for modelling of complex embedded systems as well as a generation of code for many different hardware platforms. Moreover, it is possible to be applied in safety-relevant industries like automotive, which brings extra automation of the expensive device certification process and especially in the software qualification. Using it, some companies report about cost savings and quality improvements, but there are others claiming no major changes or even about cost increases. This publication demonstrates the level of maturity and autonomy of model-based approach for code generation. It is based on a real live automotive seat heater (ASH) module, developed using The Mathworks, Inc. tools. The model, created with Simulink, Stateflow and Matlab is used for automatic generation of C code with Embedded Coder. To prove the maturity of the process, Code generation advisor is used for automatic configuration. All additional configuration parameters are set to auto, when applicable, leaving the generation process to function autonomously. As a result of the investigation, the publication compares the quality of generated embedded code and a manually developed one. The measurements show that generally, the code generated by automatic approach is not worse than the manual one. A deeper analysis of the technical parameters enumerates the disadvantages, part of them identified as topics for our future work.

Keywords: Embedded code generation, embedded C code quality, embedded systems, model-based development.

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1865 Study of Temperature Distribution in Coolant Channel of Nuclear Power with Fuel Cylinder Element Using Fluent Software

Authors: Elham Zamiri

Abstract:

In this research, we have focused on numeral simulation of a fuel rod in order to examine distribution of heat temperature in components of fuel rod by Fluent software by providing steady state, single phase fluid flow, frequency heat flux in a fuel rod in nuclear reactor to numeral simulation. Results of examining different layers of a fuel rod consist of fuel layer, gap, pod, and fluid cooling flow, also examining thermal properties and fluids such as heat transition rate and pressure drop. The obtained results through analytical method and results of other sources have been compared and have appropriate correspondence. Results show that using heavy water as cooling fluid along with few layers of gas and pod have the ability of reducing the temperature from above 300 C to 70 C. This investigation is developable for any geometry and material used in the nuclear reactor.

Keywords: Nuclear fuel fission, numberal simulation, fuel rod, reactor, fluent software.

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1864 Economical and Technical Analysis of Urban Transit System Selection Using TOPSIS Method According to Constructional and Operational Aspects

Authors: Ali Abdi Kordani, Meysam Rooyintan, Sid Mohammad Boroomandrad

Abstract:

Nowadays, one the most important problems in megacities is public transportation and satisfying citizens from this system in order to decrease the traffic congestions and air pollution. Accordingly, to improve the transit passengers and increase the travel safety, new transportation systems such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), tram, and monorail have expanded that each one has different merits and demerits. That is why comparing different systems for a systematic selection of public transportation systems in a big city like Tehran, which has numerous problems in terms of traffic and pollution, is essential. In this paper, it is tried to investigate the advantages and feasibility of using monorail, tram and BRT systems, which are widely used in most of megacities in all over the world. In Tehran, by using SPSS statistical analysis software and TOPSIS method, these three modes are compared to each other and their results will be assessed. Experts, who are experienced in the transportation field, answer the prepared matrix questionnaire to select each public transportation mode (tram, monorail, and BRT). The results according to experts’ judgments represent that monorail has the first priority, Tram has the second one, and BRT has the third one according to the considered indices like execution costs, wasting time, depreciation, pollution, operation costs, travel time, passenger satisfaction, benefit to cost ratio and traffic congestion.

Keywords: Bus Rapid Transit, Costs, Monorail, Pollution, Tram.

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1863 Identification of Risks Associated with Process Automation Systems

Authors: J. K. Visser, H. T. Malan

Abstract:

A need exists to identify the sources of risks associated with the process automation systems within petrochemical companies or similar energy related industries. These companies use many different process automation technologies in its value chain. A crucial part of the process automation system is the information technology component featuring in the supervisory control layer. The ever-changing technology within the process automation layers and the rate at which it advances pose a risk to safe and predictable automation system performance. The age of the automation equipment also provides challenges to the operations and maintenance managers of the plant due to obsolescence and unavailability of spare parts. The main objective of this research was to determine the risk sources associated with the equipment that is part of the process automation systems. A secondary objective was to establish whether technology managers and technicians were aware of the risks and share the same viewpoint on the importance of the risks associated with automation systems. A conceptual model for risk sources of automation systems was formulated from models and frameworks in literature. This model comprised six categories of risk which forms the basis for identifying specific risks. This model was used to develop a questionnaire that was sent to 172 instrument technicians and technology managers in the company to obtain primary data. 75 completed and useful responses were received. These responses were analyzed statistically to determine the highest risk sources and to determine whether there was difference in opinion between technology managers and technicians. The most important risks that were revealed in this study are: 1) the lack of skilled technicians, 2) integration capability of third-party system software, 3) reliability of the process automation hardware, 4) excessive costs pertaining to performing maintenance and migrations on process automation systems, and 5) requirements of having third-party communication interfacing compatibility as well as real-time communication networks.

Keywords: Distributed control system, identification of risks, information technology, process automation system.

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1862 Architecture Performance-Related Design Based on Graphic Parameterization

Authors: Wenzhe Li, Xiaoyu Ying, Grace Ding

Abstract:

Architecture plane form is an important consideration in the design of green buildings due to its significant impact on energy performance. The most effective method to consider energy performance in the early design stages is parametric modelling. This paper presents a methodology to program plane forms using MATLAB language, generating 16 kinds of plane forms by changing four designed parameters. DesignBuilder (an energy consumption simulation software) was proposed to simulate the energy consumption of the generated planes. A regression mathematical model was established to study the relationship between the plane forms and their energy consumption. The main finding of the study suggested that there was a cubic function relationship between the depth-ratio of U-shaped buildings and energy consumption, and there is also a cubic function relationship between the width-ratio and energy consumption. In the design, the depth-ratio of U-shaped buildings should not be less than 2.5, and the width-ratio should not be less than 2.

Keywords: Graphic parameterization, green building design, mathematical model, U-shaped buildings.

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1861 Non-Invasive Data Extraction from Machine Display Units Using Video Analytics

Authors: Ravneet Kaur, Joydeep Acharya, Sudhanshu Gaur

Abstract:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform manufacturing by improving shop floor processes such as production, maintenance and quality. However, industrial datasets are notoriously difficult to extract in a real-time, streaming fashion thus, negating potential AI benefits. The main example is some specialized industrial controllers that are operated by custom software which complicates the process of connecting them to an Information Technology (IT) based data acquisition network. Security concerns may also limit direct physical access to these controllers for data acquisition. To connect the Operational Technology (OT) data stored in these controllers to an AI application in a secure, reliable and available way, we propose a novel Industrial IoT (IIoT) solution in this paper. In this solution, we demonstrate how video cameras can be installed in a factory shop floor to continuously obtain images of the controller HMIs. We propose image pre-processing to segment the HMI into regions of streaming data and regions of fixed meta-data. We then evaluate the performance of multiple Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies such as Tesseract and Google vision to recognize the streaming data and test it for typical factory HMIs and realistic lighting conditions. Finally, we use the meta-data to match the OCR output with the temporal, domain-dependent context of the data to improve the accuracy of the output. Our IIoT solution enables reliable and efficient data extraction which will improve the performance of subsequent AI applications.

Keywords: Human machine interface, industrial internet of things, internet of things, optical character recognition, video analytic.

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1860 The Risk Assessment of Cancer Risk during Normal Operation of Tehran Research Reactor Due to Radioactive Gas Emission

Authors: B. Salmasian, A. Rabiee, T. Yousefzadeh

Abstract:

In this research, the risk assessment of radiation hazard for the Research Nuclear Reactor has been studied. In the current study, the MCNPx computational code has been used and coupled with a developed program using MATLAB software to evaluate Total Effective Dose Equivalent (TEDE) and cancer risk according to the BEIR equations for various human organs. In this study, the risk assessment of cancer has been calculated for ten years after exposure, in each of body organs of different ages and sexes. Also, the risk assessment of cancer has been calculated in each of body organs of different ages and sexes due to exposure after the retirement of the reactor staff. According to obtained results, a conservative whole-body dose rate, during a year, is 0.261 Sv and the probability the cancer risk for women is more than men and for children is more than adults. It has been shown that thyroid cancer was more possible than others.

Keywords: MCNPx code, BEIR equation, equivalent dose, risk analysis.

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1859 Research of the Factors Affecting the Administrative Capacity of Enterprises in the Logistic Sector of Bulgaria

Authors: R. Kenova, K. Anguelov, R. Nikolova

Abstract:

The human factor plays a major role in boosting the competitive capacity of logistic enterprises. This is of particular importance when it comes to logistic companies. On the one hand they should be strictly compliant with legislation; on the other hand, they should be competitive in terms of pricing and of delivery timelines. Moreover, their policies should allow them to be as flexible as possible. All these circumstances are reason for very serious challenges for the qualification, motivation and experience of the human resources, working in logistic companies or in logistic departments of trade and industrial enterprises. The geographic place of Bulgaria puts it in position of a country with some specific competitive advantages in the goods transport from Europe to Asia and back. Along with it, there is a number of logistic companies, that operate in this sphere in Bulgaria. In the current paper, the authors aim to establish the condition of the administrative capacity and human resources in the logistic companies and logistic departments of trade and industrial companies in Bulgaria in order to propose some guidelines for improving of their effectiveness. Due to independent empirical research, conducted in Bulgarian logistic, trade and industrial enterprises, the authors investigate both the impact degree and the interdependence of various factors that characterize the administrative capacity. The study is conducted with a prepared questionnaire, in format of direct interview with the respondents. The volume of the poll is 50 respondents, representatives of: general managers of industrial or trade enterprises; logistic managers of industrial or trade enterprises; general managers of forwarding companies – either with own or with hired transport; experts from Bulgarian association of logistics; logistic lobbyist and scientists of the relevant area. The data are gathered for 3 months, then arranged by a specialized software program and analyzed by preset criteria. Based on the results of this methodological toolbox, it can be claimed that there is a correlation between the individual criteria. Also, a commitment between the administrative capacity and other factors that determine the competitiveness of the studied companies is established. In this paper, the authors present results of the empirical research that concerns the number and the workload in the logistic departments of the enterprises. Also, what is commented is the experience, related to logistic processes management and human resources competence. Moreover, the overload level of the logistic specialists is analyzed as one of the main threats for making mistakes and losing clients. The paper stands behind the thesis that there is indispensability of forming an effective and efficient administrative capacity, based on the number, qualification, experience and motivation of the staff in the logistic companies. The paper ends with recommendations about the qualification and experience of the specialists in logistic departments; providing effective and efficient administrative capacity in the logistic departments; interdependence of the human factor and the other factors that influence the enterprise competitiveness.

Keywords: Administrative capacity, human resources, logistic competitiveness, staff qualification.

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1858 Evaluation of Settlement of Coastal Embankments Using Finite Elements Method

Authors: Sina Fadaie, Seyed Abolhassan Naeini

Abstract:

Coastal embankments play an important role in coastal structures by reducing the effect of the wave forces and controlling the movement of sediments. Many coastal areas are underlain by weak and compressible soils. Estimation of during construction settlement of coastal embankments is highly important in design and safety control of embankments and appurtenant structures. Accordingly, selecting and establishing of an appropriate model with a reasonable level of complication is one of the challenges for engineers. Although there are advanced models in the literature regarding design of embankments, there is not enough information on the prediction of their associated settlement, particularly in coastal areas having considerable soft soils. Marine engineering study in Iran is important due to the existence of two important coastal areas located in the northern and southern parts of the country. In the present study, the validity of Terzaghi’s consolidation theory has been investigated. In addition, the settlement of these coastal embankments during construction is predicted by using special methods in PLAXIS software by the help of appropriate boundary conditions and soil layers. The results indicate that, for the existing soil condition at the site, some parameters are important to be considered in analysis. Consequently, a model is introduced to estimate the settlement of the embankments in such geotechnical conditions.

Keywords: Consolidation, coastal embankments, settlement, numerical methods, finite elements method.

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1857 Modeling Jordan University of Science and Technology Parking Using Arena Program

Authors: T. Qasim, M. Alqawasmi, M. Hawash, M. Betar, W. Qasim

Abstract:

Over the last decade, the over population that has happened in urban areas has been reflecting on the services that various local institutions provide to car users in the form of car parks, which is becoming a daily necessity in our lives. This study focuses on car parks at Jordan University of Science and Technology, in Irbid, Jordan, to understand the university parking needs. Data regarding arrival and departure times of cars and the parking utilization were collected, to find various options that the university can implement to solve and develop an efficient car parking system. Arena software was used to simulate a parking model. This model allows measuring the different solutions that solve the parking problem at Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Keywords: Car park, modeling, service time, simulation.

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1856 Genotypic and Allelic Distribution of Polymorphic Variants of Gene SLC47A1 Leu125Phe (rs77474263) and Gly64Asp (rs77630697) and Their Association to the Clinical Response to Metformin in Adult Pakistani T2DM Patients

Authors: Sadaf Moeez, Madiha Khalid, Zoya Khalid, Sania Shaheen, Sumbul Khalid

Abstract:

Background: Inter-individual variation in response to metformin, which has been considered as a first line therapy for T2DM treatment is considerable. In the current study, it was aimed to investigate the impact of two genetic variants Leu125Phe (rs77474263) and Gly64Asp (rs77630697) in gene SLC47A1 on the clinical efficacy of metformin in T2DM Pakistani patients. Methods: The study included 800 T2DM patients (400 metformin responders and 400 metformin non-responders) along with 400 ethnically matched healthy individuals. The genotypes were determined by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction. In-silico analysis was done to confirm the effect of the two SNPs on the structure of genes. Association was statistically determined using SPSS software. Results: Minor allele frequency for rs77474263 and rs77630697 was 0.13 and 0.12. For SLC47A1 rs77474263 the homozygotes of one mutant allele ‘T’ (CT) of rs77474263 variant were fewer in metformin responders than metformin non-responders (29.2% vs. 35.5 %). Likewise, the efficacy was further reduced (7.2% vs. 4.0 %) in homozygotes of two copies of ‘T’ allele (TT). Remarkably, T2DM cases with two copies of allele ‘C’ (CC) had 2.11 times more probability to respond towards metformin monotherapy. For SLC47A1 rs77630697 the homozygotes of one mutant allele ‘A’ (GA) of rs77630697 variant were fewer in metformin responders than metformin non-responders (33.5% vs. 43.0 %). Likewise, the efficacy was further reduced (8.5% vs. 4.5%) in homozygotes of two copies of ‘A’ allele (AA). Remarkably, T2DM cases with two copies of allele ‘G’ (GG) had 2.41 times more probability to respond towards metformin monotherapy. In-silico analysis revealed that these two variants affect the structure and stability of their corresponding proteins. Conclusion: The present data suggest that SLC47A1 Leu125Phe (rs77474263) and Gly64Asp (rs77630697) polymorphisms were associated with the therapeutic response of metformin in T2DM patients of Pakistan.

Keywords: Diabetes, T2DM, SLC47A1, Pakistan, polymorphism.

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1855 Investigation of Slope Stability in Gravel Soils in Unsaturated State

Authors: Seyyed Abolhasan Naeini, Ehsan Azini

Abstract:

In this paper, we consider the stability of a slope of 10 meters in silty gravel soils with modeling in the Geostudio Software.  we intend to use the parameters of the volumetric water content and suction dependent permeability and provides relationships and graphs using the parameters obtained from gradation tests and Atterberg’s limits. Also, different conditions of the soil will be investigated, including: checking the factor of safety and deformation rates and pore water pressure in drained, non-drained and unsaturated conditions, as well as the effect of reducing the water level on other parameters. For this purpose, it is assumed that the groundwater level is at a depth of 2 meters from the ground.  Then, with decreasing water level, the safety factor of slope stability was investigated and it was observed that with decreasing water level, the safety factor increased.

Keywords: Slope stability analysis, factor of safety, matric suction, unsaturated silty gravel soil.

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1854 Investigating the Regulation System of the Synchronous Motor Excitation Mode Serving as a Reactive Power Source

Authors: Baghdasaryan Marinka, Ulikyan Azatuhi

Abstract:

The efficient usage of the compensation abilities of the electrical drive synchronous motors used in production processes can essentially improve the technical and economic indices of the process.  Reducing the flows of the reactive electrical energy due to the compensation of reactive power allows to significantly reduce the load losses of power in the electrical networks. As a result of analyzing the scientific works devoted to the issues of regulating the excitation of the synchronous motors, the need for comprehensive investigation and estimation of the excitation mode has been substantiated. By means of the obtained transmission functions, in the Simulink environment of the software package MATLAB, the transition processes of the excitation mode have been studied. As a result of obtaining and estimating the graph of the Nyquist plot and the transient process, the necessity of developing the Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) regulator has been justified. The transient processes of the system of the PID regulator have been investigated, and the amplitude–phase characteristics of the system have been estimated. The analysis of the obtained results has shown that the regulation indices of the developed system have been improved. The developed system can be successfully applied for regulating the excitation voltage of different-power synchronous motors, operating with a changing load, ensuring a value of the power coefficient close to 1.

Keywords: Transient process, synchronous motor, excitation mode, regulator, reactive power.

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1853 Pre-Operative Tool for Facial-Post-Surgical Estimation and Detection

Authors: Ayat E. Ali, Christeen R. Aziz, Merna A. Helmy, Mohammed M. Malek, Sherif H. El-Gohary

Abstract:

Goal: Purpose of the project was to make a plastic surgery prediction by using pre-operative images for the plastic surgeries’ patients and to show this prediction on a screen to compare between the current case and the appearance after the surgery. Methods: To this aim, we implemented a software which used data from the internet for facial skin diseases, skin burns, pre-and post-images for plastic surgeries then the post- surgical prediction is done by using K-nearest neighbor (KNN). So we designed and fabricated a smart mirror divided into two parts a screen and a reflective mirror so patient's pre- and post-appearance will be showed at the same time. Results: We worked on some skin diseases like vitiligo, skin burns and wrinkles. We classified the three degrees of burns using KNN classifier with accuracy 60%. We also succeeded in segmenting the area of vitiligo. Our future work will include working on more skin diseases, classify them and give a prediction for the look after the surgery. Also we will go deeper into facial deformities and plastic surgeries like nose reshaping and face slim down. Conclusion: Our project will give a prediction relates strongly to the real look after surgery and decrease different diagnoses among doctors. Significance: The mirror may have broad societal appeal as it will make the distance between patient's satisfaction and the medical standards smaller.

Keywords: K-nearest neighbor, face detection, vitiligo, bone deformity.

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1852 Stress Analysis of Hexagonal Element for Precast Concrete Pavements

Authors: J. Novak, A. Kohoutkova, V. Kristek, J. Vodicka, M. Sramek

Abstract:

While the use of cast-in-place concrete for an airfield and highway pavement overlay is very common, the application of precast concrete elements is very limited today. The main reasons consist of high production costs and complex structural behavior. Despite that, several precast concrete systems have been developed and tested with the aim to provide a system with rapid construction. The contribution deals with the reinforcement design of a hexagonal element developed for a proposed airfield pavement system. The sub-base course of the system is composed of compacted recycled concrete aggregates and fiber reinforced concrete with recycled aggregates place on top of it. The selected element belongs to a group of precast concrete elements which are being considered for the construction of a surface course. Both high costs of full-scale experiments and the need to investigate various elements force to simulate their behavior in a numerical analysis software by using finite element method instead of performing expensive experiments. The simulation of the selected element was conducted on a nonlinear model in order to obtain such results which could fully compensate results from experiments. The main objective was to design reinforcement of the precast concrete element subject to quasi-static loading from airplanes with respect to geometrical imperfections, manufacturing imperfections, tensile stress in reinforcement, compressive stress in concrete and crack width. The obtained findings demonstrate that the position and the presence of imperfection in a pavement highly affect the stress distribution in the precast concrete element. The precast concrete element should be heavily reinforced to fulfill all the demands. Using under-reinforced concrete elements would lead to the formation of wide cracks and cracks permanently open.

Keywords: Imperfection, numerical simulation, pavement, precast concrete element, reinforcement design, stress analysis.

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1851 Monitoring of Belt-Drive Defects Using the Vibration Signals and Simulation Models

Authors: A. Nabhan, Mohamed R. El-Sharkawy, A. Rashed

Abstract:

The main aim of this paper is to dedicate the belt drive system faults like cogs missing, misalignment and belt worm using vibration analysis technique. Experimentally, the belt drive test-rig is equipped to measure vibrations signals under different operating conditions. Finite element 3D model of belt drive system is created and vibration response analyzed using commercial finite element software ABAQUS/CAE.  Root mean square (RMS) and Crest Factor will serve as indicators of average amplitude of envelope analysis signals. The vibration signals pattern obtained from the simulation model and experimental data have the same characteristics. It can be concluded that each case of the RMS is more effective in detecting the defect for acceleration response. While Crest Factor parameter has a response with the displacement and velocity of vibration signals. Also it can be noticed that the model has difficulty in completing the solution when the misalignment angle is higher than 1 degree.

Keywords: Simulation model, misalignment, cogs missing and vibration analysis.

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1850 A Brain Controlled Robotic Gait Trainer for Neurorehabilitation

Authors: Qazi Umer Jamil, Abubakr Siddique, Mubeen Ur Rehman, Nida Aziz, Mohsin I. Tiwana

Abstract:

This paper discusses a brain controlled robotic gait trainer for neurorehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients. Patients suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) become unable to execute motion control of their lower proximities due to degeneration of spinal cord neurons. The presented approach can help SCI patients in neuro-rehabilitation training by directly translating patient motor imagery into walkers motion commands and thus bypassing spinal cord neurons completely. A non-invasive EEG based brain-computer interface is used for capturing patient neural activity. For signal processing and classification, an open source software (OpenVibe) is used. Classifiers categorize the patient motor imagery (MI) into a specific set of commands that are further translated into walker motion commands. The robotic walker also employs fall detection for ensuring safety of patient during gait training and can act as a support for SCI patients. The gait trainer is tested with subjects, and satisfactory results were achieved.

Keywords: Brain Computer Interface (BCI), gait trainer, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), neurorehabilitation.

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