Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 182

Search results for: Confidence

182 A Multiple Linear Regression Model to Predict the Price of Cement in Nigeria

Authors: Kenneth M. Oba

Abstract:

This study investigated factors affecting the price of cement in Nigeria, and developed a mathematical model that can predict future cement prices. Cement is key in the Nigerian construction industry. The changes in price caused by certain factors could affect economic and infrastructural development; hence there is need for proper proactive planning. Secondary data were collected from published information on cement between 2014 and 2019. In addition, questionnaires were sent to some domestic cement retailers in Port Harcourt in Nigeria, to obtain the actual prices of cement between the same periods. The study revealed that the most critical factors affecting the price of cement in Nigeria are inflation rate, population growth rate, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate. With the use of data from United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and Central Bank of Nigeria databases, amongst others, a Multiple Linear Regression model was formulated. The model was used to predict the price of cement for 2020-2025. The model was then tested with 95% confidence level, using a two-tailed t-test and an F-test, resulting in an R2 of 0.8428 and R2 (adj.) of 0.6069. The results of the tests and the correlation factors confirm the model to be fit and adequate. This study will equip researchers and stakeholders in the construction industry with information for planning, monitoring, and management of present and future construction projects that involve the use of cement.

Keywords: multiple linear regression model, Nigerian construction industry, price prediction, Cement price

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181 Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure, Tax Aggressiveness and Sustainability Report Assurance: Evidence from Thailand

Authors: Eko Budi Santoso, Kazia Laturette, Stanislaus Adnanto Mastan

Abstract:

This study aims to examine the association between disclosure of social responsibility and tax aggressiveness in developing countries, namely Thailand. This is due to the increasing trend of disclosure of social responsibility in developing countries, even though this disclosure of information is still voluntary. On the other hand, developing countries have low taxation rate and investor protection infrastructures that allow the disclosure of social responsibility to be used opportunistically as a tool to fool the attainment of interests. This study also examines the role of assurance on the association between corporate social responsibility disclosure and tax aggressiveness. The assurance aims to provide confidence that the disclosure of social responsibility by the company is valid. This research builds an index to measure the disclosure of social responsibility based on the rules issued by the innovative Global Reporting. The results of the study are based on a sample of publicly traded companies in Thailand, which showed a positive association between disclosure of corporate social responsibility and tax aggressiveness, but it was further discovered that these results were mitigated by the existence of assurance against disclosure of corporate social responsibility. The results of this study indicate that the disclosure of corporate social responsibility can show that the company cares about the issue of social responsibility but does not automatically make the company as one that holds ethical values ​​in its business practices.

Keywords: Business Ethics, corporate social responsibility disclosure, tax aggressiveness, sustainability assurance

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180 Amelioration of Cardiac Arrythmias Classification Performance Using Artificial Neural Network, Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy and Fuzzy Inference Systems Classifiers

Authors: Alexandre Boum, Salomon Madinatou

Abstract:

This paper aims at bringing a scientific contribution to the cardiac arrhythmia biomedical diagnosis systems; more precisely to the study of the amelioration of cardiac arrhythmia classification performance using artificial neural network, adaptive neuro-fuzzy and fuzzy inference systems classifiers. The purpose of this amelioration is to enable cardiologists to make reliable diagnosis through automatic cardiac arrhythmia analyzes and classifications based on high confidence classifiers. In this study, six classes of the most commonly encountered arrhythmias are considered: the Right Bundle Branch Block, the Left Bundle Branch Block, the Ventricular Extrasystole, the Auricular Extrasystole, the Atrial Fibrillation and the Normal Cardiac rate beat. From the electrocardiogram (ECG) extracted parameters, we constructed a matrix (360x360) serving as an input data sample for the classifiers based on neural networks and a matrix (1x6) for the classifier based on fuzzy logic. By varying three parameters (the quality of the neural network learning, the data size and the quality of the input parameters) the automatic classification permitted us to obtain the following performances: in terms of correct classification rate, 83.6% was obtained using the fuzzy logic based classifier, 99.7% using the neural network based classifier and 99.8% for the adaptive neuro-fuzzy based classifier. These results are based on signals containing at least 360 cardiac cycles. Based on the comparative analysis of the aforementioned three arrhythmia classifiers, the classifiers based on neural networks exhibit a better performance.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Network, Fuzzy Inference Systems, Adaptive neuro-fuzzy, cardiac arrythmias

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179 Assessment and Uncertainty Analysis of ROSA/LSTF Test on Pressurized Water Reactor 1.9% Vessel Upper Head Small-Break Loss-of-Coolant Accident

Authors: Takeshi Takeda

Abstract:

An experiment utilizing the ROSA/LSTF (rig of safety assessment/large-scale test facility) simulated a 1.9% vessel upper head small-break loss-of-coolant accident with an accident management (AM) measure under the total failure of high-pressure injection system of emergency core cooling system in a pressurized water reactor. Steam generator (SG) secondary-side depressurization on the AM measure was started by fully opening relief valves in both SGs when the maximum core exit temperature rose to 623 K. A large increase took place in the cladding surface temperature of simulated fuel rods on account of a late and slow response of core exit thermocouples during core boil-off. The author analyzed the LSTF test by reference to the matrix of an integral effect test for the validation of a thermal-hydraulic system code. Problems remained in predicting the primary coolant distribution and the core exit temperature with the RELAP5/MOD3.3 code. The uncertainty analysis results of the RELAP5 code confirmed that the sample size with respect to the order statistics influences the value of peak cladding temperature with a 95% probability at a 95% confidence level, and the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.

Keywords: Uncertainty analysis, LOCA, RELAP5, LSTF

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178 Discovering Semantic Links Between Synonyms, Hyponyms and Hypernyms

Authors: Ricardo Avila, Gabriel Lopes, Vania Vidal, Jose Macedo

Abstract:

This proposal aims for semantic enrichment between glossaries using the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) vocabulary to discover synonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms semiautomatically, in Brazilian Portuguese, generating new semantic relationships based on WordNet. To evaluate the quality of this proposed model, experiments were performed by the use of two sets containing new relations, being one generated automatically and the other manually mapped by the domain expert. The applied evaluation metrics were precision, recall, f-score, and confidence interval. The results obtained demonstrate that the applied method in the field of Oil Production and Extraction (E&P) is effective, which suggests that it can be used to improve the quality of terminological mappings. The procedure, although adding complexity in its elaboration, can be reproduced in others domains.

Keywords: linked data, ontology matching, SKOS, mapping enrichment, semantic web

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177 Branding Good Corporate Governance: A Pathway to Strengthen Investors’ Perception and Brand Equity

Authors: Azaz Zaman, Imtiaz Uddin Chowdhury, Mohammad Shariful Islam

Abstract:

Corporate governance has become a crucial issue in both the business and academic world as a result of world-wide financial scandals and lack of trust in corporate practices. There is no doubt that in order to thrive and attain growth in the market, a company must earn the trust of its stakeholders by consistently delivering on its commitments. Directors of the companies thus comprehend the importance of upfront communication with relevant stakeholders to increase their confidence. The authors of this article argue that practicing good corporate governance is not enough in this highly competitive market place; corporate leaders need to market their good corporate governance practices in order to make the company more attractive to investors. This article also contends that the strength of corporate governance relies wholly upon the extent to which it is communicated simply, effectively and unceasingly to its stakeholders. The main objective of this study, therefore, is to explore the importance of branding good corporate governance in order to increase corporate brand equity, attract investors, and capture market share. A structured questionnaire comprising three sections and a total of 34 questions was prepared and surveyed by the authors among respondents residing in Bangladesh and who also have an academic and corporate background, to investigate the potential impact of branding good corporate governance in the market place. High mean values for individual questions and overall section depict that communicating and branding good corporate governance to the stakeholders will not only boost the investors’ confidence but also increase the corporate brand equity, yielding both profitable and sustainable business environment.

Keywords: Brand Equity, good corporate governance, investors’ preference, sustainable business environment

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176 The Quality of Fishery Product on the Moldovan Market, Regulations, National Institutions, Controls and Non-Compliant Products

Authors: Mihaela Munteanu (Pila), Silvius Stanciu

Abstract:

This paper presents the aspects of the official control of fishery in the Republic of Moldova. Currently, the regulations and the activity of national institutions with responsibilities in the field of food quality are in a process of harmonization with the European rules, aiming at European integration, quality improvement and providing a higher level of food safety. The National Agency for Food Safety is the main national body with responsibilities in the field of food safety. In the field of fishery products, the Agency carries out an intensive activity of informing the citizen and controlling the products marketed. The paper presents the dangers related to the consumption of fish and fishery products traded on the national market, the sanitary-veterinary inspections conducted by the profile institution and the improper situations identified. The national market of fishery products depends largely on imports, mainly focused on ocean fish. The research carried out has shown that during the period 2011-2018, following the inspections carried out on fishery products traded on the national market, a number of inconsistencies have been identified. Thus, indigenous products were frequently detected with sensory characteristics unfit for consumption, and being commercialized in inappropriate locations or contaminated with chemical pollutants. On import products controlled, the most frequent inconsistent situations have been represented by inconsistent sensory aspects and by parasite contamination. Taking into account the specific aspects of aquatic products, including the high level of alterability, special conditions of growth, marketing, culinary preparation and consumption are necessary in order to decrease the risk of disease over the population. Certificates, attestations and other documents certifying the quality of batches, completed by additional laboratory examinations, are necessary in order to increase the level of confidence on the quality of products marketed in the Republic. The implementation of various control procedures and mechanisms at national level, correlated with the focused activity of the specialized institutions, can decrease the risk of contamination and avoid cases of disease on the population due to the consumption of fishery products.

Keywords: Food Safety, Insurance, Inspection, Fishery Products, Republic of Moldova

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175 Experimental and Numerical Study of Ultra-High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Column Subjected to Axial and Eccentric Loads

Authors: Chengfeng Fang, Mohamed Ali Sadakkathulla, Abdul Sheikh

Abstract:

Ultra-high-performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) is a specially formulated cement-based composite characterized with an ultra-high compressive strength (fc = 240 MPa) and a low water-cement ratio (W/B= 0.2). With such material characteristics, UHPFRC is favored for the design and constructions of structures required high structural performance and slender geometries. Unlike conventional concrete, the structural performance of members manufactured with UHPFRC has not yet been fully studied, particularly, for UHPFRC columns with high slenderness. In this study, the behaviors of slender UHPFRC columns under concentric or eccentric load will be investigated both experimentally and numerically. Four slender UHPFRC columns were tested under eccentric loads with eccentricities, of 0 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, and 85 mm, respectively, and one UHPFRC beam was tested under four-point bending. Finite element (FE) analysis was conducted with concrete damage plasticity (CDP) modulus to simulating the load-middle height or middle span deflection relationships and damage patterns of all UHPFRC members. Simulated results were compared against the experimental results and observation to gain the confidence of FE model, and this model was further extended to conduct parametric studies, which aim to investigate the effects of slenderness regarding failure modes and load-moment interaction relationships. Experimental results showed that the load bearing capacities of the slender columns reduced with an increase in eccentricity. Comparisons between load-middle height and middle span deflection relationships as well as damage patterns of all UHPFRC members obtained both experimentally and numerically demonstrated high accuracy of the FE simulations. Based on the available FE model, the following parametric study indicated that a further increase in the slenderness of column resulted in significant decreases in the load-bearing capacities, ductility index, and flexural bending capacities.

Keywords: RC column, UHPFRC, eccentric loads, ductility index, slenderness

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174 Investigating the Role of Community in Heritage Conservation through the Ladder of Citizen Participation Approach: Case Study, Port Said, Egypt

Authors: Sara S. Fouad, Omneya Messallam

Abstract:

Egypt has countless prestigious buildings and diversity of cultural heritage which are located in many cities. Most of the researchers, archaeologists, stakeholders and governmental bodies are paying more attention to the big cities such as Cairo and Alexandria, due to the country’s centralization nature. However, there are other historic cities that are grossly neglected and in need of emergency conservation. For instance, Port Said which is a former colonial city that was established in nineteenth century located at the edge of the northeast Egyptian coast between the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal. This city is chosen because it presents one of the important Egyptian archaeological sites that archive Egyptian architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries. The historic urban fabric is divided into three main districts; the Arab, the European (Al-Afrang), and Port Fouad. The European district is selected to be the research case study as it has culture diversity, significant buildings, and includes the largest number of the listed heritage buildings in Port Said. Based on questionnaires and interviews, since 2003 several initiative trials have been taken by Alliance Francaise, the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH), some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and few number of community residents to highlight the important city legacy and protect it from being demolished. Unfortunately, the limitation of their participation in decision-making policies is considered a crucial threat facing sustainable heritage conservation. Therefore, encouraging the local community to participate in their architecture heritage conservation would create a self-confident one, capable of making decisions for the city’s future development. This paper aims to investigate the role of the local inhabitants in protecting their buildings heritage through listing the community level of participations twice (2012 and 2018) in preserving their heritage based on the ladder citizen participation approach. Also, it is to encourage community participation in order to promote city architecture conservation, heritage management, and sustainable development. The methodology followed in this empirical research involves using several data assembly methods such as structural observations, questionnaires, interviews, and mental mapping. The questionnaire was distributed among 92 local inhabitants aged 18-60 years. However, the outset of this research at the beginning demonstrated the majority negative attitude, motivation, and confidence of the local inhabitants’ role to safeguard their architectural heritage. Over time, there was a change in the negative attitudes. Therefore, raising public awareness and encouraging community participation by providing them with a real opportunity to take part in the decision-making. This may lead to a positive relationship between the community residents and the built heritage, which is essential for promoting its preservation and sustainable development.

Keywords: Heritage Conservation, community participation, NGOs, ladder of citizen participation, Al-Afrang/Port Said

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173 The Use of Software and Internet Search Engines to Develop the Encoding and Decoding Skills of a Dyslexic Learner: A Case Study

Authors: Rabih Joseph Nabhan

Abstract:

This case study explores the impact of two major computer software programs Learn to Speak English and Learn English Spelling and Pronunciation, and some Internet search engines such as Google on mending the decoding and spelling deficiency of Simon X, a dyslexic student. The improvement in decoding and spelling may result in better reading comprehension and composition writing. Some computer programs and Internet materials can help regain the missing awareness and consequently restore his self-confidence and self-esteem. In addition, this study provides a systematic plan comprising a set of activities (four computer programs and Internet materials) which address the problem from the lowest to the highest levels of phoneme and phonological awareness. Four methods of data collection (accounts, observations, published tests, and interviews) create the triangulation to validly and reliably collect data before the plan, during the plan, and after the plan. The data collected are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Sometimes the analysis is either quantitative or qualitative, and some other times a combination of both. Tables and figures are utilized to provide a clear and uncomplicated illustration of some data. The improvement in the decoding, spelling, reading comprehension, and composition writing skills that occurred is proved through the use of authentic materials performed by the student under study. Such materials are a comparison between two sample passages written by the learner before and after the plan, a genuine computer chat conversation, and the scores of the academic year that followed the execution of the plan. Based on these results, the researcher recommends further studies on other Lebanese dyslexic learners using the computer to mend their language problem in order to design and make a most reliable software program that can address this disability more efficiently and successfully.

Keywords: software, Analysis, awareness, dyslexic

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172 The Effects of Physical Activity and Serotonin on Depression, Anxiety, Body Image and Mental Health

Authors: Sh. Khoshemehry, M. E. Bahram, M. J. Pourvaghar

Abstract:

Sport has found a special place as an effective phenomenon in all societies of the contemporary world. The relationship between physical activity and exercise with different sciences has provided new fields for human study. The range of issues related to exercise and physical education is such that it requires specialized sciences and special studies. In this article, the psychological and social sections of exercise have been investigated for children and adults. It can be used for anyone in different age groups. Exercise and regular physical movements have a great impact on the mental and social health of the individual in addition to body health. It affects the individual's adaptability in society and his/her personality. Exercise affects the treatment of diseases such as depression, anxiety, stress, body image, and memory. Exercise is a safe haven for young people to achieve the optimum human development in its shelter. The effects of sensorimotor skills on mental actions and mental development are such a way that many psychologists and sports science experts believe these activities should be included in training programs in the first place. Familiarity of students and scholars with different programs and methods of sensorimotor activities not only causes their mental actions; but also increases mental health and vitality, enhances self-confidence and, therefore, mental health.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Mental Health, Anxiety, Serotonin

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171 Carcass Characteristics and Qualities of Philippine White Mallard (Anas boschas L.) and Pekin (Anas platyrhynchos L.) Duck

Authors: Jerico M. Consolacion, Maria Cynthia R. Oliveros

Abstract:

The Philippine White Mallard duck was compared with Pekin duck for potential meat production. A total of 50 ducklings were randomly assigned to five (5) pens per treatment after one month of brooding. Each pen containing five (5) ducks was considered as a replicate. The ducks were raised until 12 weeks of age and slaughtered at the end of the growing period. Meat from both breeds was analyzed. The data were subjected to the Independent-Sample T-test at 5% level of confidence. Results showed that post-mortem pH (0, 20 minutes, 50 minutes, 1 hour and 20 minutes, 1 hour and 50 minutes, and 24 hours ) did not differ significantly (P>0.05) between breeds. However, Pekin ducks (89.84±0.71) had a significantly higher water-holding capacity than Philippine White Mallard ducks (87.93±0.63) (P<0.05). Also, meat color (CIE L, a, b) revealed that no significant differences among the lightness, redness, and yellowness of the skin (breast) in both breeds (P>0.05) except for the yellowness of the lean muscles of the Pekin duck breast. Pekin duck meat (1.15±0.04) had significantly higher crude fat content than Philippine White Mallard (0.47±0.58). The study clearly showed that breed is a factor and provided some pronounced effects among the parameters. However, these results are considered as preliminary information on the meat quality of Philippine White Mallard duck. Hence, further studies are needed to understand and fully utilize it for meat production and develop different meat products from this breed.

Keywords: Meat Quality, crude fat, water-holding capacity

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170 Safety Assessment of Traditional Ready-to-Eat Meat Products Vended at Retail Outlets in Kebbi and Sokoto States, Nigeria

Authors: M. I. Ribah, M. Jibir, Y. A. Bashar, S. S. Manga

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Food safety is a significant and growing public health problem in the world and Nigeria as a developing country, since food-borne diseases are important contributors to the huge burden of sickness and death of humans. In Nigeria, traditional ready-to-eat meat products (RTE-MPs) like balangu, tsire, guru and dried meat products like kilishi, dambun nama, banda, were reported to be highly appreciated because of their eating qualities. The consumption of these products was considered as safe due to the treatments that are usually involved during their production process. However, during processing and handling, the products could be contaminated by pathogens that could cause food poisoning. Therefore, a hazard identification for pathogenic bacteria on some traditional RTE-MPs was conducted in Kebbi and Sokoto States, Nigeria. A total of 116 RTE-MPs (balangu-38, kilishi-39 and tsire-39) samples were obtained from retail outlets and analyzed using standard cultural microbiological procedures in general and selective enrichment media to isolate the target pathogens. A six-fold serial dilution was prepared and using the pour plating method, colonies were counted. Serial dilutions were selected based on the prepared pre-labeled Petri dishes for each sample. A volume of 10-12 ml of molten Nutrient agar cooled to 42-45°C was poured into each Petri dish and 1 ml each from dilutions of 102, 104 and 106 for every sample was respectively poured on a pre-labeled Petri plate after which colonies were counted. The isolated pathogens were identified and confirmed after series of biochemical tests. Frequencies and percentages were used to describe the presence of pathogens. The General Linear Model was used to analyze data on pathogen presence according to RTE-MPs and means were separated using the Tukey test at 0.05 confidence level. Of the 116 RTE-MPs samples collected, 35 (30.17%) samples were found to be contaminated with some tested pathogens. Prevalence results showed that Escherichia coli, salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus were present in the samples. Mean total bacterial count was 23.82×106 cfu/g. The frequency of individual pathogens isolated was; Staphylococcus aureus 18 (15.51%), Escherichia coli 12 (10.34%) and Salmonella 5 (4.31%). Also, among the RTE-MPs tested, the total bacterial counts were found to differ significantly (P < 0.05), with 1.81, 2.41 and 2.9×104 cfu/g for tsire, kilishi, and balangu, respectively. The study concluded that the presence of pathogenic bacteria in balangu could pose grave health risks to consumers, and hence, recommended good manufacturing practices in the production of balangu to improve the products’ safety.

Keywords: Public Health, Safety Assessment, ready-to-eat meat products, retail outlets

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169 Assessing the Impact of High Fidelity Human Patient Simulation on Teamwork among Nursing, Medicine and Pharmacy Undergraduate Students

Authors: S. MacDonald, A. Manuel, R. Law, N. Bandruak, A. Dubrowski, V. Curran, J. Smith-Young, K. Simmons, A. Warren

Abstract:

High fidelity human patient simulation has been used for many years by health sciences education programs to foster critical thinking, engage learners, improve confidence, improve communication, and enhance psychomotor skills. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of research on the use of high fidelity human patient simulation to foster teamwork among nursing, medicine and pharmacy undergraduate students. This study compared the impact of high fidelity and low fidelity simulation education on teamwork among nursing, medicine and pharmacy students. For the purpose of this study, two innovative teaching scenarios were developed based on the care of an adult patient experiencing acute anaphylaxis: one high fidelity using a human patient simulator and one low fidelity using case based discussions. A within subjects, pretest-posttest, repeated measures design was used with two-treatment levels and random assignment of individual subjects to teams of two or more professions. A convenience sample of twenty-four (n=24) undergraduate students participated, including: nursing (n=11), medicine (n=9), and pharmacy (n=4). The Interprofessional Teamwork Questionnaire was used to assess for changes in students’ perception of their functionality within the team, importance of interprofessional collaboration, comprehension of roles, and confidence in communication and collaboration. Student satisfaction was also assessed. Students reported significant improvements in their understanding of the importance of interprofessional teamwork and of the roles of nursing and medicine on the team after participation in both the high fidelity and the low fidelity simulation. However, only participants in the high fidelity simulation reported a significant improvement in their ability to function effectively as a member of the team. All students reported that both simulations were a meaningful learning experience and all students would recommend both experiences to other students. These findings suggest there is merit in both high fidelity and low fidelity simulation as a teaching and learning approach to foster teamwork among undergraduate nursing, medicine and pharmacy students. However, participation in high fidelity simulation may provide a more realistic opportunity to practice and function as an effective member of the interprofessional health care team.

Keywords: interprofessional education, acute anaphylaxis, high fidelity human patient simulation, low fidelity simulation

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168 Probabilistic Life Cycle Assessment of the Nano Membrane Toilet

Authors: A. Anastasopoulou, A. Kolios, T. Somorin, A. Sowale, Y. Jiang, B. Fidalgo, A. Parker, L. Williams, M. Collins, E. J. McAdam, S. Tyrrel

Abstract:

Developing countries are nowadays confronted with great challenges related to domestic sanitation services in view of the imminent water scarcity. Contemporary sanitation technologies established in these countries are likely to pose health risks unless waste management standards are followed properly. This paper provides a solution to sustainable sanitation with the development of an innovative toilet system, called Nano Membrane Toilet (NMT), which has been developed by Cranfield University and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The particular technology converts human faeces into energy through gasification and provides treated wastewater from urine through membrane filtration. In order to evaluate the environmental profile of the NMT system, a deterministic life cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted in SimaPro software employing the Ecoinvent v3.3 database. The particular study has determined the most contributory factors to the environmental footprint of the NMT system. However, as sensitivity analysis has identified certain critical operating parameters for the robustness of the LCA results, adopting a stochastic approach to the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) will comprehensively capture the input data uncertainty and enhance the credibility of the LCA outcome. For that purpose, Monte Carlo simulations, in combination with an artificial neural network (ANN) model, have been conducted for the input parameters of raw material, produced electricity, NOX emissions, amount of ash and transportation of fertilizer. The given analysis has provided the distribution and the confidence intervals of the selected impact categories and, in turn, more credible conclusions are drawn on the respective LCIA (Life Cycle Impact Assessment) profile of NMT system. Last but not least, the specific study will also yield essential insights into the methodological framework that can be adopted in the environmental impact assessment of other complex engineering systems subject to a high level of input data uncertainty.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Network, Monte Carlo simulations, LCA, sanitation systems, stochastic uncertainty analysis, nano membrane toilet

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167 Comparative Evaluation of Accuracy of Selected Machine Learning Classification Techniques for Diagnosis of Cancer: A Data Mining Approach

Authors: Rajvir Kaur, Jeewani Anupama Ginige

Abstract:

With recent trends in Big Data and advancements in Information and Communication Technologies, the healthcare industry is at the stage of its transition from clinician oriented to technology oriented. Many people around the world die of cancer because the diagnosis of disease was not done at an early stage. Nowadays, the computational methods in the form of Machine Learning (ML) are used to develop automated decision support systems that can diagnose cancer with high confidence in a timely manner. This paper aims to carry out the comparative evaluation of a selected set of ML classifiers on two existing datasets: breast cancer and cervical cancer. The ML classifiers compared in this study are Decision Tree (DT), Support Vector Machine (SVM), k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN), Logistic Regression, Ensemble (Bagged Tree) and Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). The evaluation is carried out based on standard evaluation metrics Precision (P), Recall (R), F1-score and Accuracy. The experimental results based on the evaluation metrics show that ANN showed the highest-level accuracy (99.4%) when tested with breast cancer dataset. On the other hand, when these ML classifiers are tested with the cervical cancer dataset, Ensemble (Bagged Tree) technique gave better accuracy (93.1%) in comparison to other classifiers.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks, Precision, Machine Learning, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Logistic Regression, support vector machine, classifiers, recall, F-score, cancer dataset

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166 Comparison of Different Methods to Produce Fuzzy Tolerance Relations for Rainfall Data Classification in the Region of Central Greece

Authors: N. Samarinas, C. Evangelides, C. Vrekos

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is the comparison of three different methods, in order to produce fuzzy tolerance relations for rainfall data classification. More specifically, the three methods are correlation coefficient, cosine amplitude and max-min method. The data were obtained from seven rainfall stations in the region of central Greece and refers to 20-year time series of monthly rainfall height average. Three methods were used to express these data as a fuzzy relation. This specific fuzzy tolerance relation is reformed into an equivalence relation with max-min composition for all three methods. From the equivalence relation, the rainfall stations were categorized and classified according to the degree of confidence. The classification shows the similarities among the rainfall stations. Stations with high similarity can be utilized in water resource management scenarios interchangeably or to augment data from one to another. Due to the complexity of calculations, it is important to find out which of the methods is computationally simpler and needs fewer compositions in order to give reliable results.

Keywords: Fuzzy Logic, classification, rainfall data, tolerance relations

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165 Comparisons of Surveying with Terrestrial Laser Scanner and Total Station for Volume Determination of Overburden and Coal Excavations in Large Open-Pit Mine

Authors: B. Keawaram, P. Dumrongchai

Abstract:

The volume of overburden and coal excavations in open-pit mine is generally determined by conventional survey such as total station. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) used to measure overburden and coal excavations, and to compare TLS survey data sets with the data of the total station. Results revealed that, the reference points measured with the total station showed 0.2 mm precision for both horizontal and vertical coordinates. When using TLS on the same points, the standard deviations of 4.93 cm and 0.53 cm for horizontal and vertical coordinates, respectively, were achieved. For volume measurements covering the mining areas of 79,844 m2, TLS yielded the mean difference of about 1% and the surface error margin of 6 cm at the 95% confidence level when compared to the volume obtained by total station.

Keywords: Mine, Survey, terrestrial laser scanner, total station

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164 Comparison of Diagnostic Performance of Soluble Transferrin Receptor and Soluble Transferrin Receptor-Ferritin Index Tests in the Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Authors: Hafiz Muhammad Obaid, Bilal Wajid, Nauman Haider, Muhammad Zafrullah

Abstract:

In this research article, a comprehensive analysis is performed to compare the diagnostic performance of soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and sTfR/log ferritin index tests in the differential diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and anemia of chronic disease (ACD). The analysis is performed for both sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index using a set of 11 studies. The overall odds ratios for sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index were 36.79 and 119.32 respectively, using 95% confidence interval. The relative sensitivity, specificity. positive likelihood ratio (LR) and negative LR values for sTfR in relation to sTfR/log ferritin index were 81% vs 85%, 84% vs 93%, 6.31 vs 13.95 and 0.18 vs 0.14 respectively. The summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curves are also plotted for both sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index. The area under SROC curves for sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index was found to be 0.9296 and 0.9825 respectively. Although both tests are useful, the sTfR/log ferritin index seems to be more effective when compared with sTfR.

Keywords: Anemia, Sensitivity, ferritin, iron deficiency, sTfR, odds ratio

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163 Measuring the Academic Self-Efficacy of Undergraduates: The Role of Gender and Academic Year Experience

Authors: Vilani Sachitra, Udari Bandara

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Self-efficacy beliefs provide the foundation for human motivation, well-being, and personal accomplishment. This study measured the levels of academic self-efficacy of undergraduates and also examined whether there any differences in academic self-efficacy with respect to gender and academic year. A structured questionnaire was employed to collect data from undergraduates who enrolled the Bachelor of Commerce degree programme at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The outcome of the study revealed that undergraduates lacked the confidence to ask and answer questions, seek help from lecturers, have a study plan and engage in academic discussion and note-taking. However, the findings also demonstrated that undergraduates were not hesitant about seeking help from friends, had confidence on meeting the deadlines and completing the degree within four years. Interestingly, females displayed higher academic self-efficacy than males. Specifically, the data were supported to conclude that there were significant differences in academic self-efficacy with respect to academic years.

Keywords: Gender, Self-efficacy, academic year, bachelor of commerce undergraduates

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162 Comparison of Statins Dose Intensity on HbA1c Control in Outpatients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study

Authors: Mohamed A. Hammad, Dzul Azri Mohamed Noor, Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman, Ahmed A. Khamis, Abeer Kharshid, Nor Azizah Aziz

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The effect of statins dose intensity (SDI) on glycemic control in patients with existing diabetes is unclear. Also, there are many contradictory findings were reported in the literature; thus, it is limiting the possibility to draw conclusions. This project was designed to compare the effect of SDI on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c%) control in outpatients with Type 2 diabetes in the endocrine clinic at Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, between July 2015 and August 2016. A prospective cohort study was conducted, where records of 345 patients with Type 2 diabetes (Moderate-SDI group 289 patients and high-SDI cohort 56 patients) were reviewed to identify demographics and laboratory tests. The target of glycemic control (HbA1c < 7% for patient < 65 years, and < 8% for patient ≥ 65 years) was estimated, and the results were presented as descriptive statistics. From 289 moderate-SDI cohorts with a mean age of 57.3 ± 12.4 years, only 86 (29.8%) cases were shown to have controlled glycemia, while there were 203 (70.2%) cases with uncontrolled glycemia with confidence interval (CI) of 95% (6.2–10.8). On the other hand, the high-SDI group of 56 patients with Type 2 diabetes with a mean age 57.7±12.4 years is distributed among 11 (19.6%) patients with controlled diabetes, and 45 (80.4%) of them had uncontrolled glycemia, CI: 95% (7.1–11.9). The study has demonstrated that the relative risk (RR) of uncontrolled glycemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes that used high-SDI is 1.15, and the excessive relative risk (ERR) is 15%. The absolute risk (AR) is 10.2%, and the number needed to harm (NNH) is 10. Outpatients with Type 2 diabetes who use high-SDI of statin have a higher risk of uncontrolled glycemia than outpatients who had been treated with a moderate-SDI.

Keywords: Malaysia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, HbA1C, statin, cohort study, uncontrolled glycemia, diabetes control, dose intensity

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161 Modeling of a UAV Longitudinal Dynamics through System Identification Technique

Authors: Asadullah I. Qazi, Mansoor Ahsan, Zahir Ashraf, Uzair Ahmad

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System identification of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), to acquire its mathematical model, is a significant step in the process of aircraft flight automation. The need for reliable mathematical model is an established requirement for autopilot design, flight simulator development, aircraft performance appraisal, analysis of aircraft modifications, preflight testing of prototype aircraft and investigation of fatigue life and stress distribution etc.  This research is aimed at system identification of a fixed wing UAV by means of specifically designed flight experiment. The purposely designed flight maneuvers were performed on the UAV and aircraft states were recorded during these flights. Acquired data were preprocessed for noise filtering and bias removal followed by parameter estimation of longitudinal dynamics transfer functions using MATLAB system identification toolbox. Black box identification based transfer function models, in response to elevator and throttle inputs, were estimated using least square error   technique. The identification results show a high confidence level and goodness of fit between the estimated model and actual aircraft response.

Keywords: System Identification, black box modeling, longitudinal dynamics, least square error, fixed wing aircraft

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160 On Improving Breast Cancer Prediction Using GRNN-CP

Authors: Kefaya Qaddoum

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The aim of this study is to predict breast cancer and to construct a supportive model that will stimulate a more reliable prediction as a factor that is fundamental for public health. In this study, we utilize general regression neural networks (GRNN) to replace the normal predictions with prediction periods to achieve a reasonable percentage of confidence. The mechanism employed here utilises a machine learning system called conformal prediction (CP), in order to assign consistent confidence measures to predictions, which are combined with GRNN. We apply the resulting algorithm to the problem of breast cancer diagnosis. The results show that the prediction constructed by this method is reasonable and could be useful in practice.

Keywords: Neural Network, Regression, cancer classification, conformal prediction

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159 The Influence of Project-Based Learning and Outcome-Based Education: Interior Design Tertiary Students in Focus

Authors: Omneya Messallam

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Technology has been developed dramatically in most of the educational disciplines. For instance, digital rendering subject, which is being taught in both Interior and Architecture fields, is witnessing almost annually updated software versions. A lot of students and educators argued that there will be no need for manual rendering techniques to be learned. Therefore, the Interior Design Visual Presentation 1 course (ID133) has been chosen from the first level of the Interior Design (ID) undergraduate program, as it has been taught for six years continually. This time frame will facilitate sound observation and critical analysis of the use of appropriate teaching methodologies. Furthermore, the researcher believes in the high value of the manual rendering techniques. The course objectives are: to define the basic visual rendering principles, to recall theories and uses of various types of colours and hatches, to raise the learners’ awareness of the value of studying manual render techniques, and to prepare them to present their work professionally. The students are female Arab learners aged between 17 and 20. At the outset of the course, the majority of them demonstrated negative attitude, lacking both motivation and confidence in manual rendering skills. This paper is a reflective appraisal of deploying two student-centred teaching pedagogies which are: Project-based learning (PBL) and Outcome-based education (OBE) on ID133 students. This research aims of developing some teaching strategies to enhance the quality of teaching in this given course over an academic semester. The outcome of this research emphasized the positive influence of applying such educational methods on improving the quality of students’ manual rendering skills in terms of: materials, textiles, textures, lighting, and shade and shadow. Furthermore, it greatly motivated the students and raised the awareness of the importance of learning the manual rendering techniques.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, outcome-based education, personal competences, Manual renders, and visual presentation

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158 The Way Digitized Lectures and Film Presence Coaching Impact Academic Identity: An Expert Facilitated Participatory Action Research Case Study

Authors: Amanda Burrell, Tonia Gary, David Wright, Kumara Ward

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This paper explores the concept of academic identity as it relates to the lecture, in particular, the digitized lecture delivered to a camera, in the absence of a student audience. Many academics have the performance aspect of the role thrust upon them with little or no training. For the purpose of this study, we look at the performance of the academic identity and examine tailored film presence coaching for its contributions toward academic identity, specifically in relation to feelings of self-confidence and diminishment of discomfort or stage fright. The case is articulated through the lens of scholar-practitioners, using expert facilitated participatory action research. It demonstrates in our sample of experienced academics, all reported some feelings of uncertainty about presenting lectures to camera prior to coaching. We share how power poses and reframing fear, produced improvements in the ease and competency of all participants. We share exactly how this insight could be adapted for self-coaching by any academic when called to present to a camera and consider the relationship between this and academic identity.

Keywords: Embodied Learning, academic identity, digitized lecture, performance coaching

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157 Metal Ship and Robotic Car: A Hands-On Activity to Develop Scientific and Engineering Skills for High School Students

Authors: Jutharat Sunprasert, Ekapong Hirunsirisawat, Narongrit Waraporn, Somporn Peansukmanee

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Metal Ship and Robotic Car is one of the hands-on activities in the course, the Fundamental of Engineering that can be divided into three parts. The first part, the metal ships, was made by using engineering drawings, physics and mathematics knowledge. The second part is where the students learned how to construct a robotic car and control it using computer programming. In the last part, the students had to combine the workings of these two objects in the final testing. This aim of study was to investigate the effectiveness of hands-on activity by integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts to develop scientific and engineering skills. The results showed that the majority of students felt this hands-on activity lead to an increased confidence level in the integration of STEM. Moreover, 48% of all students engaged well with the STEM concepts. Students could obtain the knowledge of STEM through hands-on activities with the topics science and mathematics, engineering drawing, engineering workshop and computer programming; most students agree and strongly agree with this learning process. This indicated that the hands-on activity: “Metal Ship and Robotic Car” is a useful tool to integrate each aspect of STEM. Furthermore, hands-on activities positively influence a student’s interest which leads to increased learning achievement and also in developing scientific and engineering skills.

Keywords: STEM Education, Computer Programming, hands-on activity, metal work

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156 Integrating Geographic Information into Diabetes Disease Management

Authors: Tsu-Yun Chiu, Tsung-Hsueh Lu, Tain-Junn Cheng

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Background: Traditional chronic disease management did not pay attention to effects of geographic factors on the compliance of treatment regime, which resulted in geographic inequality in outcomes of chronic disease management. This study aims to examine the geographic distribution and clustering of quality indicators of diabetes care. Method: We first extracted address, demographic information and quality of care indicators (number of visits, complications, prescription and laboratory records) of patients with diabetes for 2014 from medical information system in a medical center in Tainan City, Taiwan, and the patients’ addresses were transformed into district- and village-level data. We then compared the differences of geographic distribution and clustering of quality of care indicators between districts and villages. Despite the descriptive results, rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for indices of care in order to compare the quality of diabetes care among different areas. Results: A total of 23,588 patients with diabetes were extracted from the hospital data system; whereas 12,716 patients’ information and medical records were included to the following analysis. More than half of the subjects in this study were male and between 60-79 years old. Furthermore, the quality of diabetes care did indeed vary by geographical levels. Thru the smaller level, we could point out clustered areas more specifically. Fuguo Village (of Yongkang District) and Zhiyi Village (of Sinhua District) were found to be “hotspots” for nephropathy and cerebrovascular disease; while Wangliau Village and Erwang Village (of Yongkang District) would be “coldspots” for lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to blood lipids examination. On the other hand, Yuping Village (in Anping District) was the area with the lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to all laboratory examination. Conclusion: In spite of examining the geographic distribution, calculating rate ratios and their 95% CI could also be a useful and consistent method to test the association. This information is useful for health planners, diabetes case managers and other affiliate practitioners to organize care resources to the areas most needed.

Keywords: Geocoding, chronic disease management, quality of diabetes care, rate ratio

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155 Reinforced Concrete Bridge Deck Condition Assessment Methods Using Ground Penetrating Radar and Infrared Thermography

Authors: Nicole M. Martino

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Reinforced concrete bridge deck condition assessments primarily use visual inspection methods, where an inspector looks for and records locations of cracks, potholes, efflorescence and other signs of probable deterioration. Sounding is another technique used to diagnose the condition of a bridge deck, however this method listens for damage within the subsurface as the surface is struck with a hammer or chain. Even though extensive procedures are in place for using these inspection techniques, neither one provides the inspector with a comprehensive understanding of the internal condition of a bridge deck – the location where damage originates from.  In order to make accurate estimates of repair locations and quantities, in addition to allocating the necessary funding, a total understanding of the deck’s deteriorated state is key. The research presented in this paper collected infrared thermography and ground penetrating radar data from reinforced concrete bridge decks without an asphalt overlay. These decks were of various ages and their condition varied from brand new, to in need of replacement. The goals of this work were to first verify that these nondestructive evaluation methods could identify similar areas of healthy and damaged concrete, and then to see if combining the results of both methods would provide a higher confidence than if the condition assessment was completed using only one method. The results from each method were presented as plan view color contour plots. The results from one of the decks assessed as a part of this research, including these plan view plots, are presented in this paper. Furthermore, in order to answer the interest of transportation agencies throughout the United States, this research developed a step-by-step guide which demonstrates how to collect and assess a bridge deck using these nondestructive evaluation methods. This guide addresses setup procedures on the deck during the day of data collection, system setups and settings for different bridge decks, data post-processing for each method, and data visualization and quantification.

Keywords: infrared thermography, ground penetrating radar, bridge deck deterioration, NDT of bridge decks

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154 Patient Support Program in Pharmacovigilance: Foster Patient Confidence and Compliance

Authors: Atul Khurana, Rajul Rastogi, Hans-Joachim Gamperl

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The pharmaceutical companies are getting more inclined towards patient support programs (PSPs) which assist patients and/or healthcare professionals (HCPs) in more desirable disease management and cost-effective treatment. The utmost objective of these programs is patient care. The PSPs may include financial assistance to patients, medicine compliance programs, access to HCPs via phone or online chat centers, etc. The PSP has a crucial role in terms of customer acquisition and retention strategies. During the conduct of these programs, Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH) may receive information related to concerned medicinal products, which is usually reported by patients or involved HCPs. This information may include suspected adverse reaction(s) during/after administration of medicinal products. Hence, the MAH should design PSP to comply with regulatory reporting requirements and avoid non-compliance during PV inspection. The emergence of wireless health devices is lowering the burden on patients to manually incorporate safety data, and building a significant option for patients to observe major swings in reference to drug safety. Therefore, to enhance the adoption of these programs, MAH not only needs to aware patients about advantages of the program, but also recognizes the importance of time of patients and commitments made in a constructive manner. It is indispensable that strengthening the public health is considered as the topmost priority in such programs, and the MAH is compliant to Pharmacovigilance (PV) requirements along with regulatory obligations.

Keywords: Drug Safety, Pharmacovigilance, Good Pharmacovigilance Practice, patient support program

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153 Establishing Econometric Modeling Equations for Lumpy Skin Disease Outbreaks in the Nile Delta of Egypt under Current Climate Conditions

Authors: Abdelgawad, Salah El-Tahawy

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This paper aimed to establish econometrical equation models for the Nile delta region in Egypt, which will represent a basement for future predictions of Lumpy skin disease outbreaks and its pathway in relation to climate change. Data of lumpy skin disease (LSD) outbreaks were collected from the cattle farms located in the provinces representing the Nile delta region during 1 January, 2015 to December, 2015. The obtained results indicated that there was a significant association between the degree of the LSD outbreaks and the investigated climate factors (temperature, wind speed, and humidity) and the outbreaks peaked during the months of June, July, and August and gradually decreased to the lowest rate in January, February, and December. The model obtained depicted that the increment of these climate factors were associated with evidently increment on LSD outbreaks on the Nile Delta of Egypt. The model validation process was done by the root mean square error (RMSE) and means bias (MB) which compared the number of LSD outbreaks expected with the number of observed outbreaks and estimated the confidence level of the model. The value of RMSE was 1.38% and MB was 99.50% confirming that this established model described the current association between the LSD outbreaks and the change on climate factors and also can be used as a base for predicting the of LSD outbreaks depending on the climatic change on the future.

Keywords: Climate Factors, Econometric Models, LSD, Nile Delta

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