Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 133

Search results for: Australia

133 An Automated Stock Investment System Using Machine Learning Techniques: An Application in Australia

Authors: Carol Anne Hargreaves

Abstract:

A key issue in stock investment is how to select representative features for stock selection. The objective of this paper is to firstly determine whether an automated stock investment system, using machine learning techniques, may be used to identify a portfolio of growth stocks that are highly likely to provide returns better than the stock market index. The second objective is to identify the technical features that best characterize whether a stock’s price is likely to go up and to identify the most important factors and their contribution to predicting the likelihood of the stock price going up. Unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as cluster analysis, were applied to the stock data to identify a cluster of stocks that was likely to go up in price – portfolio 1. Next, the principal component analysis technique was used to select stocks that were rated high on component one and component two – portfolio 2. Thirdly, a supervised machine learning technique, the logistic regression method, was used to select stocks with a high probability of their price going up – portfolio 3. The predictive models were validated with metrics such as, sensitivity (recall), specificity and overall accuracy for all models. All accuracy measures were above 70%. All portfolios outperformed the market by more than eight times. The top three stocks were selected for each of the three stock portfolios and traded in the market for one month. After one month the return for each stock portfolio was computed and compared with the stock market index returns. The returns for all three stock portfolios was 23.87% for the principal component analysis stock portfolio, 11.65% for the logistic regression portfolio and 8.88% for the K-means cluster portfolio while the stock market performance was 0.38%. This study confirms that an automated stock investment system using machine learning techniques can identify top performing stock portfolios that outperform the stock market.

Keywords: Machine learning, stock market trading, logistic principal component analysis, automated stock investment system.

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132 Harrison’s Stolen: Addressing Aboriginal and Indigenous Islanders Human Rights

Authors: M. Shukry

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According to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, every human being is entitled to rights in life that should be respected by others and protected by the state and community. Such rights are inherent regardless of colour, ethnicity, gender, religion or otherwise, and it is expected that all humans alike have the right to live without discrimination of any sort. However, that has not been the case with Aborigines in Australia. Over a long period of time, the governments of the State and the Territories and the Australian Commonwealth denied the Aboriginal and Indigenous inhabitants of the Torres Strait Islands such rights. Past Australian governments set policies and laws that enabled them to forcefully remove Indigenous children from their parents, which resulted in creating lost generations living the trauma of the loss of cultural identity, alienation and even their own selfhood. Intending to reduce that population of natives and their Aboriginal culture while, on the other hand, assimilate them into mainstream society, they gave themselves the right to remove them from their families with no hope of return. That practice has led to tragic consequences due to the trauma that has affected those children, an experience that is depicted by Jane Harrison in her play Stolen. The drama is the outcome of a six-year project on lost children and which was first performed in 1997 in Melbourne. Five actors only appear on the stage, playing the role of all the different characters, whether the main protagonists or the remaining cast, present or non-present ones as voices. The play outlines the life of five children who have been taken from their parents at an early age, entailing a disastrous negative impact that differs from one to the other. Unknown to each other, what connects between them is being put in a children’s home. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the play’s text in light of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, using it as a lens that reflects the atrocities practiced against the Aborigines. It highlights how such practices formed an outrageous violation of those natives’ rights as human beings. Harrison’s dramatic technique in conveying the children’s experiences is through a non-linear structure, fluctuating between past and present that are linked together within each of the five characters, reflecting their suffering and pain to create an emotional link between them and the audience. Her dramatic handling of the issue by fusing tragedy with humour as well as symbolism is a successful technique in revealing the traumatic memory of those children and their present life. The play has made a difference in commencing to address the problem of the right of all children to be with their families, which renders the real meaning of having a home and an identity as people.

Keywords: Aboriginal, audience, Australia, children, culture, drama, home, human rights, identity, indigenous, Jane Harrison, memory, scenic effects, setting, stage, stage directions, Stolen, trauma.

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131 An Exploratory Study Regarding the Effects of Auditor Switch, Auditee’s Industry, and Auditee’s Location on Audit Fees in Australia

Authors: Ashkan Mirzay Fashami

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This study examines the effects of auditor switch, auditee’s industry, and auditee’s location on audit fees in Australia. It uses fee data of Australian Securities Exchange 500 companies, considering all industry classifications throughout the country from 2006 until 2016. Main findings show that auditor switch does not affect audit fees. However, auditee’s industry affects audit fees. This effect occurs in information technology, financials, energy, and materials sectors among the top 500 companies. Financials, energy, and materials sectors face a fee rise, whereas information technology has a fee cut. The extent of fee changes is different among various industries, wherein the financial sector has the highest increase. Further, auditee’s location affects audit fees. Top 500 companies in Hobart, Perth, and Brisbane face a fee reduction, wherein the highest cut is in Hobart. Further analysis suggests that the Australian audit market is being increasingly concentrated in the hands of the Big Four audit firms.

Keywords: Audit fee, auditor switch, Australia, industry, location.

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130 Evaluating Emission Reduction Due to a Proposed Light Rail Service: A Micro-Level Analysis

Authors: Saeid Eshghi, Neeraj Saxena, Abdulmajeed Alsultan

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Carbon dioxide (CO2) alongside other gas emissions in the atmosphere cause a greenhouse effect, resulting in an increase of the average temperature of the planet. Transportation vehicles are among the main contributors of CO2 emission. Stationary vehicles with initiated motors produce more emissions than mobile ones. Intersections with traffic lights that force the vehicles to become stationary for a period of time produce more CO2 pollution than other parts of the road. This paper focuses on analyzing the CO2 produced by the traffic flow at Anzac Parade Road - Barker Street intersection in Sydney, Australia, before and after the implementation of Light rail transport (LRT). The data are gathered during the construction phase of the LRT by collecting the number of vehicles on each path of the intersection for 15 minutes during the evening rush hour of 1 week (6-7 pm, July 04-31, 2018) and then multiplied by 4 to calculate the flow of vehicles in 1 hour. For analyzing the data, the microscopic simulation software “VISSIM” has been used. Through the analysis, the traffic flow was processed in three stages: before and after implementation of light rail train, and one during the construction phase. Finally, the traffic results were input into another software called “EnViVer”, to calculate the amount of CO2 during 1 h. The results showed that after the implementation of the light rail, CO2 will drop by a minimum of 13%. This finding provides an evidence that light rail is a sustainable mode of transport.

Keywords: Carbon dioxide, emission modeling, light rail, microscopic model, traffic flow.

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129 Multivariate Assessment of Mathematics Test Scores of Students in Qatar

Authors: Ali Rashash Alzahrani, Elizabeth Stojanovski

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Data on various aspects of education are collected at the institutional and government level regularly. In Australia, for example, students at various levels of schooling undertake examinations in numeracy and literacy as part of NAPLAN testing, enabling longitudinal assessment of such data as well as comparisons between schools and states within Australia. Another source of educational data collected internationally is via the PISA study which collects data from several countries when students are approximately 15 years of age and enables comparisons in the performance of science, mathematics and English between countries as well as ranking of countries based on performance in these standardised tests. As well as student and school outcomes based on the tests taken as part of the PISA study, there is a wealth of other data collected in the study including parental demographics data and data related to teaching strategies used by educators. Overall, an abundance of educational data is available which has the potential to be used to help improve educational attainment and teaching of content in order to improve learning outcomes. A multivariate assessment of such data enables multiple variables to be considered simultaneously and will be used in the present study to help develop profiles of students based on performance in mathematics using data obtained from the PISA study.

Keywords: Cluster analysis, education, mathematics, profiles.

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128 A Review on Building Information Modelling in Nigeria and Its Potentials

Authors: Mansur Hamma-Adama, Tahar Kouider

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Construction Industry has been evolving since the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This technological process is unstoppable; it is out to the market with remarkable case studies of solving the long industry’s history of fragmentation. This industry has been changing over time; United States has recorded the most significant development in construction digitalization, Australia, United Kingdom and some other developed nations are also amongst promoters of BIM process and its development. Recently, a developing country like China and Malaysia are keying into the industry’s digital shift, while very little move is seen in South Africa whose development is considered higher and perhaps leader in the digital transition amongst the African countries. To authors’ best knowledge, Nigerian construction industry has never engaged in BIM discussions hence has no attention at national level. Consequently, Nigeria has no “Noteworthy BIM publications.” Decision makers and key stakeholders need to be informed on the current trend of the industry’s development (BIM in specific) and the opportunities of adopting this digitalization trend in relation to the identified challenges. BIM concept can be traced mostly in Architectural practices than engineering practices in Nigeria. A superficial BIM practice is found to be at organisational level only and operating a model based - “BIM stage 1.” Research to adopting this innovation has received very little attention. This piece of work is literature review based, aimed at exploring BIM in Nigeria and its prospects. The exploration reveals limitations in the literature availability as to extensive research in the development of BIM in the country. Numerous challenges were noticed including building collapse, inefficiencies, cost overrun and late project delivery. BIM has potentials to overcome the above challenges and even beyond. Low level of BIM adoption with reasonable level of awareness is noticed. However, lack of policy and guideline as well as serious lack of experts in the field are amongst the major barriers to BIM adoption. The industry needs to embrace BIM to possibly compete with its global counterpart.

Keywords: Adoption, BIM, CAD, construction industry, Nigeria, opportunities.

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127 Comparison of E-Waste Management in Switzerland and in Australia: A Qualitative Content Analysis

Authors: Md Tasbirul Islam, Pablo Dias, Nazmul Huda

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E-waste/Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams across the globe. This paper aims to compare the e-waste management system in Switzerland and Australia in terms of four features - legislative initiatives, disposal practice, collection and financial mechanisms. The qualitative content analysis is employed as a research method in the study. Data were collected from various published academic research papers, industry reports, and web sources. In addition, a questionnaire survey is conducted in Australia to understand the public awareness and opinions on the features. The results of the study provide valuable insights to policymakers in Australia developing better e-waste management system in conjunction with the public consensus, and the state-of-the-art operational strategies currently being practiced in Switzerland.

Keywords: E-waste management, WEEE, awareness, pro-environmental behavior, Australia, Switzerland.

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126 Introduce Applicability of Multi-Layer Perceptron to Predict the Behaviour of Semi-Interlocking Masonry Panel

Authors: O. Zarrin, M. Ramezanshirazi

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The Semi Interlocking Masonry (SIM) system has been developed in Masonry Research Group at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The main purpose of this system is to enhance the seismic resistance of framed structures with masonry panels. In this system, SIM panels dissipate energy through the sliding friction between rows of SIM units during earthquake excitation. This paper aimed to find the applicability of artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the displacement behaviour of the SIM panel under out-of-plane loading. The general concept of ANN needs to be trained by related force-displacement data of SIM panel. The overall data to train and test the network are 70 increments of force-displacement from three tests, which comprise of none input nodes. The input data contain height and length of panels, height, length and width of the brick and friction and geometry angle of brick along the compressive strength of the brick with the lateral load applied to the panel. The aim of designed network is prediction displacement of the SIM panel by Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP). The mean square error (MSE) of network was 0.00042 and the coefficient of determination (R2) values showed the 0.91. The result revealed that the ANN has significant agreement to predict the SIM panel behaviour.

Keywords: Semi interlocking masonry, artificial neural network, ANN, multi-layer perceptron, MLP, displacement, prediction.

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125 Socio-Economic Insight of the Secondary Housing Market in Colombo Suburbs: Seller’s Point of Views

Authors: R. G. Ariyawansa, M. A. N. R. M. Perera

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“House” is a powerful symbol of socio-economic background of individuals and families. In fact, housing provides all types of needs/wants from basic needs to self-actualization needs. This phenomenon can be realized only having analyzed hidden motives of buyers and sellers of the housing market. Hence, the aim of this study is to examine the socio-economic insight of the secondary housing market in Colombo suburbs. This broader aim was achieved via analyzing the general pattern of the secondary housing market, identifying socio-economic motives of sellers of the secondary housing market, and reviewing sellers’ experience of buyer behavior. A purposive sample of 50 sellers from popular residential areas in Colombo such as Maharagama, Kottawa, Piliyandala, Punnipitiya, and Nugegoda was used to collect primary data instead of relevant secondary data from published and unpublished reports. The sample was limited to selling price ranging from Rs15 million to Rs25 million, which apparently falls into middle and upper-middle income houses in the context. Participatory observation and semi-structured interviews were adopted as key data collection tools. Data were descriptively analyzed. This study found that the market is mainly handled by informal agents who are unqualified and unorganized. People such as taxi/tree-wheel drivers, boutique venders, security personals etc. are engaged in housing brokerage as a part time career. Few fulltime and formally organized agents were found but they were also not professionally qualified. As far as housing quality is concerned, it was observed that 90% of houses was poorly maintained and illegally modified. They are situated in poorly maintained neighborhoods as well. Among the observed houses, 2% was moderately maintained and 8% was well maintained and modified. Major socio-economic motives of sellers were “migrating foreign countries for education and employment” (80% and 10% respectively), “family problems” (4%), and “social status” (3%). Other motives were “health” and “environmental/neighborhood problems” (3%). This study further noted that the secondary middle income housing market in the area directly related with the migrants who motivated for education in foreign countries, mainly Australia, UK and USA. As per the literature, families motivated for education tend to migrate Colombo suburbs from remote areas of the country. They are seeking temporary accommodation in lower middle income housing. However, the secondary middle income housing market relates with the migration from Colombo to major global cities. Therefore, final transaction price of this market may depend on migration related dates such as university deadlines, visa and other agreements. Hence, it creates a buyers’ market lowering the selling price. Also it was revealed that the buyers tend to trust more on this market as far as the quality of construction of houses is concerned than brand new houses which are built for selling purpose.

Keywords: Informal housing market, hidden motives of buyers and sellers, secondary housing market, socio-economic insight.

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124 Evaluation of the Performance of ACTIFLO® Clarifier in the Treatment of Mining Wastewaters: Case Study of Costerfield Mining Operations, Victoria, Australia

Authors: Seyed Mohsen Samaei, Shirley Gato-Trinidad

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A pre-treatment stage prior to reverse osmosis (RO) is very important to ensure the long-term performance of the RO membranes in any wastewater treatment using RO. This study aims to evaluate the application of the Actiflo® clarifier as part of a pre-treatment unit in mining operations. It involves performing analytical testing on RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit. Water samples prior to RO plant stage were obtained on different dates from Costerfield mining operations in Victoria, Australia. Tests were conducted in an independent laboratory to determine the concentration of various compounds in RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit during the entire evaluated period from December 2015 to June 2018. Water quality analysis shows that the quality of RO feed water has remarkably improved since installation of Actiflo® clarifier. Suspended solids (SS) and turbidity removal efficiencies has been improved by 91 and 85 percent respectively in pre-treatment system since the installation of Actiflo®. The Actiflo® clarifier proved to be a valuable part of pre-treatment system prior to RO. It has the potential to conveniently condition the mining wastewater prior to RO unit, and reduce the risk of RO physical failure and irreversible fouling. Consequently, reliable and durable operation of RO unit with minimum requirement for RO membrane replacement is expected with Actiflo® in use.

Keywords: Actiflo® clarifier, membrane, mining wastewater, reverse osmosis, wastewater treatment.

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123 International Comparative Study of International Financial Reporting Standards Adoption and Earnings Quality: Effects of Differences in Accounting Standards, Industry Category, and Country Characteristics

Authors: Ichiro Mukai

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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether firms applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), provide high-quality and comparable earnings information that is useful for decision making of information users relative to firms applying local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Focus is placed on the earnings quality of listed firms in several developed countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). Except for Japan and the US, the adoption of IFRS is mandatory for listed firms in these countries. In Japan, the application of IFRS is allowed for specific listed firms. In the US, the foreign firms listed on the US securities market are permitted to apply IFRS but the listed domestic firms are prohibited from doing so. In this paper, the differences in earnings quality are compared between firms applying local GAAP and those applying IFRS in each country and industry category, and the reasons of differences in earnings quality are analyzed using various factors. The results show that, although the earnings quality of firms applying IFRS is higher than that of firms applying local GAAP, this varies with country and industry category. Thus, even if a single set of global accounting standards is used for all listed firms worldwide, it is difficult to establish comparability of financial information among global firms. These findings imply that various circumstances surrounding firms, industries, and countries etc. influence business operations and affect the differences in earnings quality.

Keywords: Accruals, earnings quality, IFRS, information comparability.

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122 A Posterior Predictive Model-Based Control Chart for Monitoring Healthcare

Authors: Yi-Fan Lin, Peter P. Howley, Frank A. Tuyl

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Quality measurement and reporting systems are used in healthcare internationally. In Australia, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards records and reports hundreds of clinical indicators (CIs) nationally across the healthcare system. These CIs are measures of performance in the clinical setting, and are used as a screening tool to help assess whether a standard of care is being met. Existing analysis and reporting of these CIs incorporate Bayesian methods to address sampling variation; however, such assessments are retrospective in nature, reporting upon the previous six or twelve months of data. The use of Bayesian methods within statistical process control for monitoring systems is an important pursuit to support more timely decision-making. Our research has developed and assessed a new graphical monitoring tool, similar to a control chart, based on the beta-binomial posterior predictive (BBPP) distribution to facilitate the real-time assessment of health care organizational performance via CIs. The BBPP charts have been compared with the traditional Bernoulli CUSUM (BC) chart by simulation. The more traditional “central” and “highest posterior density” (HPD) interval approaches were each considered to define the limits, and the multiple charts were compared via in-control and out-of-control average run lengths (ARLs), assuming that the parameter representing the underlying CI rate (proportion of cases with an event of interest) required estimation. Preliminary results have identified that the BBPP chart with HPD-based control limits provides better out-of-control run length performance than the central interval-based and BC charts. Further, the BC chart’s performance may be improved by using Bayesian parameter estimation of the underlying CI rate.

Keywords: Average run length, Bernoulli CUSUM chart, beta binomial posterior predictive distribution, clinical indicator, health care organization, highest posterior density interval.

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121 Mapping of Solar Radiation Anomalies Based on Climate Change

Authors: Elison Eduardo Jardim Bierhals, Claudineia Brazil, Francisco Pereira, Elton Rossini

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The use of alternative energy sources to meet energy demand reduces environmental damage. To diversify an energy matrix and to minimize global warming, a solar energy is gaining space, being an important source of renewable energy, and its potential depends on the climatic conditions of the region. Brazil presents a great solar potential for a generation of electric energy, so the knowledge of solar radiation and its characteristics are fundamental for the study of energy use. Due to the above reasons, this article aims to verify the climatic variability corresponding to the variations in solar radiation anomalies, in the face of climate change scenarios. The data used in this research are part of the Intercomparison of Interconnected Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which contributed to the preparation of the fifth IPCC-AR5 report. The solar radiation data were extracted from The Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model using the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios that represent an intermediate structure and a pessimistic framework, the latter being the most worrisome in all cases. In order to allow the use of solar radiation as a source of energy in a given location and/or region, it is important, first, to determine its availability, thus justifying the importance of the study. The results pointed out, for the 75-year period (2026-2100), based on a pessimistic scenario, indicate a drop in solar radiation of the approximately 12% in the eastern region of Rio Grande do Sul. Factors that influence the pessimistic prospects of this scenario should be better observed by the responsible authorities, since they can affect the possibility to produce electricity from solar radiation.

Keywords: Climate change, solar radiation, energy utilization.

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120 Road Vehicle Recognition Using Magnetic Sensing Feature Extraction and Classification

Authors: Xiao Chen, Xiaoying Kong, Min Xu

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This paper presents a road vehicle detection approach for the intelligent transportation system. This approach mainly uses low-cost magnetic sensor and associated data collection system to collect magnetic signals. This system can measure the magnetic field changing, and it also can detect and count vehicles. We extend Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients to analyze vehicle magnetic signals. Vehicle type features are extracted using representation of cepstrum, frame energy, and gap cepstrum of magnetic signals. We design a 2-dimensional map algorithm using Vector Quantization to classify vehicle magnetic features to four typical types of vehicles in Australian suburbs: sedan, VAN, truck, and bus. Experiments results show that our approach achieves a high level of accuracy for vehicle detection and classification.

Keywords: Vehicle classification, signal processing, road traffic model, magnetic sensing.

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119 E-Learning Network Support Services: A Comparative Case Study of Australian and United States Universities

Authors: Sayed Hadi Sadeghi

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This research study examines the current state of support services for e-network practice in an Australian and an American university. It identifies information that will be of assistance to Australian and American universities to improve their existing online programs. The study investigated the two universities using a quantitative methodological approach. Participants were students, lecturers and admins of universities engaged with online courses and learning management systems. The support services for e-network practice variables, namely academic support services, administrative support and technical support, were investigated for e-practice. Evaluations of e-network support service and its sub factors were above average and excellent in both countries, although the American admins and lecturers tended to evaluate this factor higher than others did. Support practice was evaluated higher by all participants of an American university than by Australians. One explanation for the results may be that most suppliers of the Australian university e-learning system were from eastern Asian cultural backgrounds with a western networking support perspective about e-learning.

Keywords: Support services, e-network practice, Australian universities, United States universities.

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118 Considerations for Effectively Using Probability of Failure as a Means of Slope Design Appraisal for Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Rock Masses

Authors: Neil Bar, Andrew Heweston

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Probability of failure (PF) often appears alongside factor of safety (FS) in design acceptance criteria for rock slope, underground excavation and open pit mine designs. However, the design acceptance criteria generally provide no guidance relating to how PF should be calculated for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses, or what qualifies a ‘reasonable’ PF assessment for a given slope design. Observational and kinematic methods were widely used in the 1990s until advances in computing permitted the routine use of numerical modelling. In the 2000s and early 2010s, PF in numerical models was generally calculated using the point estimate method. More recently, some limit equilibrium analysis software offer statistical parameter inputs along with Monte-Carlo or Latin-Hypercube sampling methods to automatically calculate PF. Factors including rock type and density, weathering and alteration, intact rock strength, rock mass quality and shear strength, the location and orientation of geologic structure, shear strength of geologic structure and groundwater pore pressure influence the stability of rock slopes. Significant engineering and geological judgment, interpretation and data interpolation is usually applied in determining these factors and amalgamating them into a geotechnical model which can then be analysed. Most factors are estimated ‘approximately’ or with allowances for some variability rather than ‘exactly’. When it comes to numerical modelling, some of these factors are then treated deterministically (i.e. as exact values), while others have probabilistic inputs based on the user’s discretion and understanding of the problem being analysed. This paper discusses the importance of understanding the key aspects of slope design for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses and how they can be translated into reasonable PF assessments where the data permits. A case study from a large open pit gold mine in a complex geological setting in Western Australia is presented to illustrate how PF can be calculated using different methods and obtain markedly different results. Ultimately sound engineering judgement and logic is often required to decipher the true meaning and significance (if any) of some PF results.

Keywords: Probability of failure, point estimate method, Monte-Carlo simulations, sensitivity analysis, slope stability.

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117 Touristification of Industrial Waterfronts: The Rocks and Darling Harbour

Authors: Ece Kaya

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Industrial heritage reflects the traces of an industrial past that have contributed to the economic development of a country. This heritage should be included within the scope of preservation to remind of and to connect the city and its inhabitants to the past. Through adaptive conservation, industrial heritage can be reintroduced into contemporary urban life, with suitable functions and unique identities sustained. The conservation of industrial heritage should protect the material fabric of such heritage and maintain its cultural significance. Emphasising the historical and cultural significance of industrial areas, this research argues that industrial heritage is primarily impacted by political and economic thinking rather than by informed heritage and conservation issues. Waterfront redevelopment projects create similar landscapes around the world, transforming industrial identities and cultural significances. In the case of The Rocks and Darling Harbour, the goal of redevelopment was the creation of employment opportunities, and the provision of places to work, live and shop, through tourism promoted by the NSW State Government. The two case study areas were pivotal to the European industrial development of Sydney. Sydney Cove was one of the largest commercial wharves used to handle cargo in Australia. This paper argues, together with many historians, planners and heritage experts, that these areas have not received the due diligence deserved in regards to their significance to the industrial history of Sydney and modern Australia.

Keywords: Industrial heritage, post-industrial city, transformation of waterfronts, tourism, consumption.

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116 An Analytical Study on the Politics of Defection in India

Authors: Diya Sarkar, Prafulla C. Mishra

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In a parliamentary system, party discipline is the impulse; when it falls short, the government usually falls. Conceivably, the platform of Indian politics suffers with innumerous practical disorders. The politics of defection is one such specie entailing gross miscarriage of fair conduct turning politics into a game of thrones (powers). This practice of political nomaditude can trace its seed in the womb of British House of Commons. Therein, if a legislator was found to cross the floor, the party considered him disloyal. In other words, the legislator lost his allegiance to his former party by joining another party. This very phenomenon, in practice has a two way traffic i.e. ruling party to the opposition party or vice versa. The democracies like USA, Australia and Canada were also aware of this fashion of swapping loyalties. There have been several instances of great politicians changing party allegiance, for example Winston Churchill, Ramsay McDonald, William Gladstone etc. Nevertheless, it is interesting to cite that irrespective of such practice of changing party allegiance, none of the democracies in the west ever desired or felt the need to legislatively ban defections. But, exceptionally India can be traced to have passed anti-defection laws. The politics of defection had been a unique popular phenomenon on the floor of Indian Parliamentary system gradually gulping the democratic essence and synchronization of the Federation. This study is both analytical and doctrinal, which tries to examine whether representative democracy has lost its essence due to political nomadism. The present study also analyzes the classical as well as contemporary pulse of floor crossing amidst dynastic politics in a representative democracy. It will briefly discuss the panorama of defections under the Indian federal structure in the light of the anti-defection law and an attempt has been made to add valuable suggestions to streamline remedy for the still prevalent political defections.

Keywords: Constitutional law, defection, democracy, political anti-trust.

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115 Topographic Mapping of Farmland by Integration of Multiple Sensors on Board Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial System

Authors: Mengmeng Du, Noboru Noguchi, Hiroshi Okamoto, Noriko Kobayashi

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This paper introduced a topographic mapping system with time-saving and simplicity advantages based on integration of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and Post Processing Kinematic Global Positioning System (PPK GPS) data. This topographic mapping system used a low-altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as a platform to conduct land survey in a low-cost, efficient, and totally autonomous manner. An experiment in a small-scale sugarcane farmland was conducted in Queensland, Australia. Subsequently, we synchronized LiDAR distance measurements that were corrected by using attitude information from gyroscope with PPK GPS coordinates for generation of precision topographic maps, which could be further utilized for such applications like precise land leveling and drainage management. The results indicated that LiDAR distance measurements and PPK GPS altitude reached good accuracy of less than 0.015 m.

Keywords: Land survey, light detection and ranging, post processing kinematic global positioning system, precision agriculture, topographic map, unmanned aerial vehicle.

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114 Surface Elevation Dynamics Assessment Using Digital Elevation Models, Light Detection and Ranging, GPS and Geospatial Information Science Analysis: Ecosystem Modelling Approach

Authors: Ali K. M. Al-Nasrawi, Uday A. Al-Hamdany, Sarah M. Hamylton, Brian G. Jones, Yasir M. Alyazichi

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Surface elevation dynamics have always responded to disturbance regimes. Creating Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to detect surface dynamics has led to the development of several methods, devices and data clouds. DEMs can provide accurate and quick results with cost efficiency, in comparison to the inherited geomatics survey techniques. Nowadays, remote sensing datasets have become a primary source to create DEMs, including LiDAR point clouds with GIS analytic tools. However, these data need to be tested for error detection and correction. This paper evaluates various DEMs from different data sources over time for Apple Orchard Island, a coastal site in southeastern Australia, in order to detect surface dynamics. Subsequently, 30 chosen locations were examined in the field to test the error of the DEMs surface detection using high resolution global positioning systems (GPSs). Results show significant surface elevation changes on Apple Orchard Island. Accretion occurred on most of the island while surface elevation loss due to erosion is limited to the northern and southern parts. Concurrently, the projected differential correction and validation method aimed to identify errors in the dataset. The resultant DEMs demonstrated a small error ratio (≤ 3%) from the gathered datasets when compared with the fieldwork survey using RTK-GPS. As modern modelling approaches need to become more effective and accurate, applying several tools to create different DEMs on a multi-temporal scale would allow easy predictions in time-cost-frames with more comprehensive coverage and greater accuracy. With a DEM technique for the eco-geomorphic context, such insights about the ecosystem dynamic detection, at such a coastal intertidal system, would be valuable to assess the accuracy of the predicted eco-geomorphic risk for the conservation management sustainability. Demonstrating this framework to evaluate the historical and current anthropogenic and environmental stressors on coastal surface elevation dynamism could be profitably applied worldwide.

Keywords: DEMs, eco-geomorphic-dynamic processes, geospatial information science. Remote sensing, surface elevation changes.

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113 Building the Professional Readiness of Graduates from Day One: An Empirical Approach to Curriculum Continuous Improvement

Authors: Fiona Wahr, Sitalakshmi Venkatraman

Abstract:

Industry employers require new graduates to bring with them a range of knowledge, skills and abilities which mean these new employees can immediately make valuable work contributions. These will be a combination of discipline and professional knowledge, skills and abilities which give graduates the technical capabilities to solve practical problems whilst interacting with a range of stakeholders. Underpinning the development of these disciplines and professional knowledge, skills and abilities, are “enabling” knowledge, skills and abilities which assist students to engage in learning. These are academic and learning skills which are essential to common starting points for both the learning process of students entering the course as well as forming the foundation for the fully developed graduate knowledge, skills and abilities. This paper reports on a project created to introduce and strengthen these enabling skills into the first semester of a Bachelor of Information Technology degree in an Australian polytechnic. The project uses an action research approach in the context of ongoing continuous improvement for the course to enhance the overall learning experience, learning sequencing, graduate outcomes, and most importantly, in the first semester, student engagement and retention. The focus of this is implementing the new curriculum in first semester subjects of the course with the aim of developing the “enabling” learning skills, such as literacy, research and numeracy based knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). The approach used for the introduction and embedding of these KSAs, (as both enablers of learning and to underpin graduate attribute development), is presented. Building on previous publications which reported different aspects of this longitudinal study, this paper recaps on the rationale for the curriculum redevelopment and then presents the quantitative findings of entering students’ reading literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills degree as well as their perceived research ability. The paper presents the methodology and findings for this stage of the research. Overall, the cohort exhibits mixed KSA levels in these areas, with a relatively low aggregated score. In addition, the paper describes the considerations for adjusting the design and delivery of the new subjects with a targeted learning experience, in response to the feedback gained through continuous monitoring. Such a strategy is aimed at accommodating the changing learning needs of the students and serves to support them towards achieving the enabling learning goals starting from day one of their higher education studies.

Keywords: Enabling skills, student retention, embedded learning support, continuous improvement.

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112 Geotechnical Design of Bridge Foundations and Approaches in Hilly Granite Formation

Authors: Q. J. Yang

Abstract:

This paper presents a case study of geotechnical design of bridge foundations and approaches in hilly granite formation in northern New South Wales of Australia. Firstly, the geological formation and existing cut slope conditions which have high risks of rock fall will be described. The bridge has three spans to be constructed using balanced cantilever method with a middle span of 150 m. After concept design option engineering, it was decided to change from pile foundation to pad footing with ground anchor system to optimize the bridge foundation design. The geotechnical design parameters were derived after two staged site investigations. The foundation design was carried out to satisfy both serviceability limit state and ultimate limit state during construction and in operation. It was found that the pad footing design was governed by serviceability limit state design loading cases. The design of bridge foundation also considered presence of weak rock layer intrusion and a layer of “no core” to ensure foundation stability. The precast mass concrete block system was considered for the retaining walls for the bridge approaches to resolve the constructability issue over hilly terrain. The design considered the retaining wall block sliding stability, while the overturning and internal stabilities are satisfied.

Keywords: Pad footing, hilly formation, stability, block works.

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111 Implementation of Congestion Management Strategies on Arterial Roads: Case Study of Geelong

Authors: A. Das, L. Hitihamillage, S. Moridpour

Abstract:

Natural disasters are inevitable to the biodiversity. Disasters such as flood, tsunami and tornadoes could be brutal, harsh and devastating. In Australia, flooding is a major issue experienced by different parts of the country. In such crisis, delays in evacuation could decide the life and death of the people living in those regions. Congestion management could become a mammoth task if there are no steps taken before such situations. In the past to manage congestion in such circumstances, many strategies were utilised such as converting the road shoulders to extra lanes or changing the road geometry by adding more lanes. However, expansion of road to resolving congestion problems is not considered a viable option nowadays. The authorities avoid this option due to many reasons, such as lack of financial support and land space. They tend to focus their attention on optimising the current resources they possess and use traffic signals to overcome congestion problems. Traffic Signal Management strategy was considered a viable option, to alleviate congestion problems in the City of Geelong, Victoria. Arterial road with signalised intersections considered in this paper and the traffic data required for modelling collected from VicRoads. Traffic signalling software SIDRA used to model the roads, and the information gathered from VicRoads. In this paper, various signal parameters utilised to assess and improve the corridor performance to achieve the best possible Level of Services (LOS) for the arterial road.

Keywords: Congestion, constraints, management, LOS.

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110 Laboratory Investigations on the Utilization of Recycled Construction Aggregates in Asphalt Mixtures

Authors: Farzaneh Tahmoorian, Bijan Samali, John Yeaman

Abstract:

Road networks are increasingly expanding all over the world. The construction and maintenance of the road pavements require large amounts of aggregates. Considerable usage of various natural aggregates for constructing roads as well as the increasing rate at which solid waste is generated have attracted the attention of many researchers in the pavement industry to investigate the feasibility of the application of some of the waste materials as alternative materials in pavement construction. Among various waste materials, construction and demolition wastes, including Recycled Construction Aggregate (RCA) constitute a major part of the municipal solid wastes in Australia. Creating opportunities for the application of RCA in civil and geotechnical engineering applications is an efficient way to increase the market value of RCA. However, in spite of such promising potentials, insufficient and inconclusive data and information on the engineering properties of RCA had limited the reliability and design specifications of RCA to date. In light of this, this paper, as a first step of a comprehensive research, aims to investigate the feasibility of the application of RCA obtained from construction and demolition wastes for the replacement of part of coarse aggregates in asphalt mixture. As the suitability of aggregates for using in asphalt mixtures is determined based on the aggregate characteristics, including physical and mechanical properties of the aggregates, an experimental program is set up to evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of RCA. This laboratory investigation included the measurement of compressive strength and workability of RCA, particle shape, water absorption, flakiness index, crushing value, deleterious materials and weak particles, wet/dry strength variation, and particle density. In addition, the comparison of RCA properties with virgin aggregates has been included as part of this investigation and this paper presents the results of these investigations on RCA, basalt, and the mix of RCA/basalt.

Keywords: Asphalt, basalt, pavement, recycled aggregate.

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109 Foreign Real Estate Investment and the Australian Residential Property Market: A Study on Chinese Investors

Authors: Peng Yew Wong

Abstract:

House prices in the Australian capital cities were at record levels subsequent to Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2008 and many believed that foreign investors, especially the Chinese investors, were the main reason for the Australian capital cities’ house prices escalation. This research conducted an Australian cross border semi-structured interviews in Shanghai, China to uncover historical evidence and emerging trend supporting the existence of a significant relationship between overseas investors and residential housing markets performance in Australia subsequent to the GFC 2008. Some unique investment strategies of private investors from China which emphasised on non-capitalist factors such as early education were identified, alongside with some insights on the significant China government policies that have incentivised the cross border investments from China. It is believed that this understanding will assist policy makers to effectively manage the overheated Australian residential property market without compromising the steady flow of FREI.

Keywords: Australian housing market, residential property, foreign real estate investment, education, China investor.

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108 Application of Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Evaluation of the Main Digestion Methods for Determination of Macroelements in Plant Tissue

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Penka S. Zapryanova, Stefan V. Krustev, Violina R. Angelova

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Three commonly used digestion methods (dry ashing, acid digestion, and microwave digestion) in different variants were compared for digestion of tobacco leaves. Three main macroelements (K, Ca and Mg) were analysed using AAS Spectrometer Spectra АА 220, Varian, Australia. The accuracy and precision of the measurements were evaluated by using Polish reference material CTR-VTL-2 (Virginia tobacco leaves). To elucidate the problems with elemental recovery X-Ray and SEM–EDS analysis of all residues after digestion were performed. The X-ray investigation showed a formation of KClO4 when HClO4 was used as a part of the acids mixture. The use of HF at Ca and Mg determination led to the formation of CaF2 and MgF2. The results were confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. SPSS program for Windows was used for statistical data processing.

Keywords: Digestion methods, determination of macroelements, plant tissue.

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107 Droning the Pedagogy: Future Prospect of Teaching and Learning

Authors: Farha Sattar, Laurence Tamatea, Muhammad Nawaz

Abstract:

Drones, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are playing an important role in real-world problem-solving. With the new advancements in technology, drones are becoming available, affordable and user- friendly. Use of drones in education is opening new trends in teaching and learning practices in an innovative and engaging way. Drones vary in types and sizes and possess various characteristics and capabilities which enhance their potential to be used in education from basic to advanced and challenging learning activities which are suitable for primary, middle and high school level. This research aims to provide an insight to explore different types of drones and their compatibility to be used in teaching different subjects at various levels. Research focuses on integrating the drone technology along with Australian curriculum content knowledge to reinforce the understanding of the fundamental concepts and helps to develop the critical thinking and reasoning in the learning process.

Keywords: Critical thinking, drone technology, drone types, innovative learning.

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106 The Learning Impact of a 4-Dimensional Digital Construction Learning Environment

Authors: Chris Landorf, Stephen Ward

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This paper addresses a virtual environment approach to work integrated learning for students in construction-related disciplines. The virtual approach provides a safe and pedagogically rigorous environment where students can apply theoretical knowledge in a simulated real-world context. The paper describes the development of a 4-dimensional digital construction environment and associated learning activities funded by the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching. The environment was trialled with over 1,300 students and evaluated through questionnaires, observational studies and coursework analysis. Results demonstrate a positive impact on students’ technical learning and collaboration skills, but there is need for further research in relation to critical thinking skills and work-readiness.

Keywords: Architectural education, construction industry, digital learning environments, immersive learning.

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105 Impact of Coal Mining on River Sediment Quality in the Sydney Basin, Australia

Authors: A. Ali, V. Strezov, P. Davies, I. Wright, T. Kan

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The environmental impacts arising from mining activities affect the air, water, and soil quality. Impacts may result in unexpected and adverse environmental outcomes. This study reports on the impact of coal production on sediment in Sydney region of Australia. The sediment samples upstream and downstream from the discharge points from three mines were taken, and 80 parameters were tested. The results were assessed against sediment quality based on presence of metals. The study revealed the increment of metal content in the sediment downstream of the reference locations. In many cases, the sediment was above the Australia and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council and international sediment quality guidelines value (SQGV). The major outliers to the guidelines were nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn).

Keywords: Coal mine, environmental impact, produced water, sediment quality guidelines value.

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104 Potential Climate Change Impacts on the Hydrological System of the Harvey River Catchment

Authors: Hashim Isam Jameel Al-Safi, P. Ranjan Sarukkalige

Abstract:

Climate change is likely to impact the Australian continent by changing the trends of rainfall, increasing temperature, and affecting the accessibility of water quantity and quality. This study investigates the possible impacts of future climate change on the hydrological system of the Harvey River catchment in Western Australia by using the conceptual modelling approach (HBV mode). Daily observations of rainfall and temperature and the long-term monthly mean potential evapotranspiration, from six weather stations, were available for the period (1961-2015). The observed streamflow data at Clifton Park gauging station for 33 years (1983-2015) in line with the observed climate variables were used to run, calibrate and validate the HBV-model prior to the simulation process. The calibrated model was then forced with the downscaled future climate signals from a multi-model ensemble of fifteen GCMs of the CMIP3 model under three emission scenarios (A2, A1B and B1) to simulate the future runoff at the catchment outlet. Two periods were selected to represent the future climate conditions including the mid (2046-2065) and late (2080-2099) of the 21st century. A control run, with the reference climate period (1981-2000), was used to represent the current climate status. The modelling outcomes show an evident reduction in the mean annual streamflow during the mid of this century particularly for the A1B scenario relative to the control run. Toward the end of the century, all scenarios show a relatively high reduction trends in the mean annual streamflow, especially the A1B scenario, compared to the control run. The decline in the mean annual streamflow ranged between 4-15% during the mid of the current century and 9-42% by the end of the century.

Keywords: Climate change impact, Harvey catchment, HBV model, hydrological modelling, GCMs, LARS-WG, Australia.

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