Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1359

Search results for: MPI

1359 Arduino Pressure Sensor Cushion for Tracking and Improving Sitting Posture

Authors: Andrew Hwang

Abstract:

The average American worker sits for thirteen hours a day, often with poor posture and infrequent breaks, which can lead to health issues and back problems. The Smart Cushion was created to alert individuals of their poor postures, and may potentially alleviate back problems and correct poor posture. The Smart Cushion is a portable, rectangular, foam cushion, with five strategically placed pressure sensors, that utilizes an Arduino Uno circuit board and specifically designed software, allowing it to collect data from the five pressure sensors and store the data on an SD card. The data is then compiled into graphs and compared to controlled postures. Before volunteers sat on the cushion, their levels of back pain were recorded on a scale from 1-10. Data was recorded for an hour during sitting, and then a new, corrected posture was suggested. After using the suggested posture for an hour, the volunteers described their level of discomfort on a scale from 1-10. Different patterns of sitting postures were generated that were able to serve as early warnings of potential back problems. By using the Smart Cushion, the areas where different volunteers were applying the most pressure while sitting could be identified, and the sitting postures could be corrected. Further studies regarding the relationships between posture and specific regions of the body are necessary to better understand the origins of back pain; however, the Smart Cushion is sufficient for correcting sitting posture and preventing the development of additional back pain.

Keywords: Arduino Sketch Algorithm, biomedical technology, pressure sensors, Smart Cushion.

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1358 Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation

Authors: Kalsoom Sumra

Abstract:

The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

Keywords: Public service ethics, accountability and transparency, public service reforms, public administration, organizational ethical climate.

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1357 Comparison between Open and Closed System for Dewatering with Geotextile: Field and Comparative Study

Authors: Matheus Müller, Delma Vidal

Abstract:

The present paper aims to expose two techniques of dewatering for sludge, analyzing its operations and dewatering processes, aiming at improving the conditions of disposal of residues with high liquid content. It describes the field tests performed on two geotextile systems, a closed geotextile tube and an open geotextile drying bed, both of which are submitted to two filling cycles. The sludge used in the filling cycles for the field trials is from the water treatment plant of the Technological Center of Aeronautics – CTA, in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Data about volume and height abatement due to the dewatering and consolidation were collected per time, until it was observed constancy. With the laboratory analysis of the sludge allied to the data collected in the field, it was possible to perform a critical comparative study between the observed and the scientific literature, in this way, this paper expresses the data obtained and compares them with the bibliography. The tests were carried out on three fronts: field tests, including the filling cycles of the systems with the sludge from CTA, taking measurements of filling time per cycle and maximum filling height per cycle, heights against the abatement by dewatering of the systems over time; tests carried out in the laboratory, including the characterization of the sludge and removal of material samples from the systems to ascertain the solids content within the systems per time and; comparing the data obtained in the field and laboratory tests with the scientific literature. Through the study, it was possible to perceive that the process of densification of the material inside a closed system, such as the geotextile tube, occurs faster than the observed in the drying bed system. This process of accelerated densification can be brought about by the pumping pressure of the sludge in its filling and by the confinement of the residue through the permeable geotextile membrane (allowing water to pass through), accelerating the process of densification and dewatering by its own weight after the filling with sludge.

Keywords: Consolidation, dewatering, geotextile drying bed, geotextile tube.

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1356 The Influence of Meteorological Properties on the Power of Night Radiation Cooling

Authors: Othmane Fahim, Naoual Belouaggadia. Charifa David, Mohamed Ezzine

Abstract:

To make better use of cooling resources, systems have been derived on the basis of the use of night radiator systems for heat pumping. Using the TRNSYS tool we determined the influence of the climatic characteristics of the two zones in Morocco on the temperature of the outer surface of a Photovoltaic Thermal Panel “PVT” made of aluminum. The proposal to improve the performance of the panel allowed us to have little heat absorption during the day and give the same performance of a panel made of aluminum at night. The variation in the granite-based panel temperature recorded a deviation from the other materials of 0.5 °C, 2.5 °C on the first day respectively in Marrakech and Casablanca, and 0.2 °C and 3.2 °C on the second night. Power varied between 110.16 and 32.01 W/m² marked in Marrakech, to be the most suitable area to practice night cooling by night radiation.

Keywords: Morocco, TRANSYS, radiative cooling.

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1355 Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

Authors: Francesco Ruscio, Paolo Paoletti, Jens Thomas, Paul Myers, Sebastiano Fichera

Abstract:

This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Keywords: Automation, hydroponics, internet of things, monitoring system, urban farming.

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1354 Multistage Data Envelopment Analysis Model for Malmquist Productivity Index Using Grey's System Theory to Evaluate Performance of Electric Power Supply Chain in Iran

Authors: Mesbaholdin Salami, Farzad Movahedi Sobhani, Mohammad Sadegh Ghazizadeh

Abstract:

Evaluation of organizational performance is among the most important measures that help organizations and entities continuously improve their efficiency. Organizations can use the existing data and results from the comparison of units under investigation to obtain an estimation of their performance. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is an important index in the evaluation of overall productivity, which considers technological developments and technical efficiency at the same time. This article proposed a model based on the multistage MPI, considering limited data (Grey’s theory). This model can evaluate the performance of units using limited and uncertain data in a multistage process. It was applied by the electricity market manager to Iran’s electric power supply chain (EPSC), which contains uncertain data, to evaluate the performance of its actors. Results from solving the model showed an improvement in the accuracy of future performance of the units under investigation, using the Grey’s system theory. This model can be used in all case studies, in which MPI is used and there are limited or uncertain data.

Keywords: Malmquist Index, Grey's Theory, Charnes Cooper & Rhodes (CCR) Model, network data envelopment analysis, Iran electricity power chain.

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1353 Towards the Prediction of Aesthetic Requirements for Women’s Apparel Product

Authors: Yu Zhao, Min Zhang, Yuanqian Wang, Qiuyu Yu

Abstract:

The prediction of aesthetics of apparel is helpful for the development of a new type of apparel. This study is to build the quantitative relationship between the aesthetics and its design parameters. In particular, women’s pants have been preliminarily studied. This aforementioned relationship has been carried out by statistical analysis. The contributions of this study include the development of a more personalized apparel design mechanism and the provision of some empirical knowledge for the development of other products in the aspect of aesthetics.

Keywords: Aesthetics, crease line, cropped straight leg pants, knee width.

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1352 Assessment of Ultra-High Cycle Fatigue Behavior of EN-GJL-250 Cast Iron Using Ultrasonic Fatigue Testing Machine

Authors: Saeedeh Bakhtiari, Johannes Depessemier, Stijn Hertelé, Wim De Waele

Abstract:

High cycle fatigue comprising up to 107 load cycles has been the subject of many studies, and the behavior of many materials was recorded adequately in this regime. However, many applications involve larger numbers of load cycles during the lifetime of machine components. In this ultra-high cycle regime, other failure mechanisms play, and the concept of a fatigue endurance limit (assumed for materials such as steel) is often an oversimplification of reality. When machine component design demands a high geometrical complexity, cast iron grades become interesting candidate materials. Grey cast iron is known for its low cost, high compressive strength, and good damping properties. However, the ultra-high cycle fatigue behavior of cast iron is poorly documented. The current work focuses on the ultra-high cycle fatigue behavior of EN-GJL-250 (GG25) grey cast iron by developing an ultrasonic (20 kHz) fatigue testing system. Moreover, the testing machine is instrumented to measure the temperature and the displacement of  the specimen, and to control the temperature. The high resonance frequency allowed to assess the  behavior of the cast iron of interest within a matter of days for ultra-high numbers of cycles, and repeat the tests to quantify the natural scatter in fatigue resistance.

Keywords: GG25, cast iron, ultra-high cycle fatigue, ultrasonic test.

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1351 Spatial Disparity in Education and Medical Facilities: A Case Study of Barddhaman District, West Bengal, India

Authors: Amit Bhattacharyya

Abstract:

The economic scenario of any region does not show the real picture for the measurement of overall development. Therefore, economic development must be accompanied by social development to be able to make an assessment to measure the level of development. The spatial variation with respect to social development has been discussed taking into account the quality of functioning of a social system in a specific area. In this paper, an attempt has been made to study the spatial distribution of social infrastructural facilities and analyze the magnitude of regional disparities at inter- block level in Barddhman district. It starts with the detailed account of the selection process of social infrastructure indicators and describes the methodology employed in the empirical analysis. Analyzing the block level data, this paper tries to identify the disparity among the blocks in the levels of social development. The results have been subsequently explained using both statistical analysis and geo spatial technique. The paper reveals that the social development is not going on at the same rate in every part of the district. Health facilities and educational facilities are concentrated at some selected point. So overall development activities come to be concentrated in a few centres and the disparity is seen over the blocks.

Keywords: Disparity, inter-block, social development, spatial variation.

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1350 Religion versus Secularism on Women’s Liberation: The Question of Women Liberation and Modern Education

Authors: Kinda AlSamara

Abstract:

The nineteenth century was characterized by major educational reforms in the Arab World. One of the unintended outcomes of colonization in Arab countries was the initiation of women liberation as well as the introduction of modern education and its application in sensitizing people on the rights of women and their liberation. The reforms were often attributed to various undercurrents that took place at different levels within the Ottoman Empire, and particularly the arrival and influence of the Christian missionaries were supported by the American and European governments. These trends were also significantly attributed to the increase in the presence of Europeans in the region, as well as the introduction of secular ideas and approaches related to the meaning of modernity. Using literary analysis as a method, this paper examines the role of an important male figure like the political activist and writer Qāsim Amīn and the religious reformer Muḥammad ʻAbduh in starting this discourse and shows their impact on the emancipation of women movement (Taḥrīr), and how later women led the movement with their published work. This paper explores Arab Salons and the initiation of women’s literary circles. Women from wealthy families in Egypt and Syria who had studied in Europe or interacted with European counterparts began these circles. These salons acted as central locations where people could meet and hold discussions on political, social, and literary trends as they happened each day. The paper concludes with a discussion of current debates between the Islamist and the secularist branches of the movement today. While the Islamists believe that adhering to the core of Islam with some of its contested position on women is a modern ideology of liberation that fits the current culture of modern time Egypt; the secularists argue that the influence that Islam has on the women’s liberation movement in Egypt has been a threat to the natural success and progress of the movement, which was initiated in the early nineteenth century independent of the more recent trends towards religiosity in the country.

Keywords: Educational model, crisis of terminologies, Arab awakening, nineteenth century.

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1349 The Relationship between Procurement Strategies and Sustainability Outcomes: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors: Cathy T. Mpanga Kowet, Aghaegbuna Obinna U. Ozumba

Abstract:

This study examined and identified the inconsistencies, relationships, gaps and recurring themes in literature regarding the relationship between procurement strategies employed in the construction projects for sustainable buildings and realization of sustainability goals. A systematic literature review of studies on the relationship between various procurement strategies and attainment of sustainability outcomes was conducted. Using specific terms, papers published between 2002 and 2018 were identified and screened according to an inclusion and exclusion criteria. Current findings reveal that, although the attainment of sustainability goals is achievable with both traditional and contemporary procurement strategies, only projects delivered using modern procurement strategies are capable of meeting and exceeding targeted sustainability objectives. However, traditional procurement strategy remains the preferred method for most green building construction projects. The results suggest implications for decision makers in considering the impact of selected procurement strategies on targeted sustainability goals, in the early stages of sustainable building construction projects. The study shows that there is a gap between the reported appropriate procurement strategies and what is being practiced currently. Theoretically, the study expands on the literature on adoption and diffusion of contemporary procurement strategies, by consolidating existing studies to highlight the current gaps. While the study is at the literature review stage, deductions will serve as basis for field work involving empirical data.

Keywords: Green building, green construction, procurement method, procurement strategy, sustainability objectives, sustainability outcomes.

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1348 Simplified Empirical Method for Predicting Liquefaction Potential and Its Application to Kaohsiung Areas in Taiwan

Authors: Darn H. Hsiao, Zhu-Yun Zheng

Abstract:

Since Taiwan is located between the Eurasian and Filipino plates and earthquakes often thus occur. The coastal plains in western Taiwan are alluvial plains, and the soils of the alluvium are mostly from the Lao-Shan belt in the central mountainous area of ​​southern Taiwan. It could come mostly from sand/shale and slate. The previous investigation found that the soils in the Kaohsiung area of ​​southern Taiwan are mainly composed of slate, shale, quartz, low-plastic clay, silt, silty sand and so on. It can also be found from the past earthquakes that the soil in Kaohsiung is highly susceptible to soil subsidence due to liquefaction. Insufficient bearing capacity of building will cause soil liquefaction disasters. In this study, the boring drilling data from nine districts among the Love River Basin in the city center, and some factors affecting liquefaction include the content of fines (FC), standard penetration test N value (SPT N), the thickness of clay layer near ground-surface, and the thickness of possible liquefied soil were further discussed for liquefaction potential as well as groundwater level. The results show that the liquefaction potential is higher in the areas near the riverside, the backfill area, and the west area of ​​the study area. This paper also uses the old paleo-geological map, soil particle distribution curve, compared with LPI map calculated from the analysis results. After all the parameters finally were studied for five sub zones in the Love River Basin by maximum-minimum method, it is found that both of standard penetration test N value and the thickness of the clay layer will be most influential.

Keywords: Liquefaction, western Taiwan, liquefaction potential map, factors influence high liquefaction potential areas, LPI analysis.

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1347 Assessment of Analytical Equations for the Derivation of Young’s Modulus of Bonded Rubber Materials

Authors: Z. N. Haji, S. O. Oyadiji, H. Samami, O. Farrell

Abstract:

The prediction of the vibration response of rubber products by analytical or numerical method depends mainly on the predefined intrinsic material properties such as Young’s modulus, damping factor and Poisson’s ratio. Such intrinsic properties are determined experimentally by subjecting a bonded rubber sample to compression tests. The compression tests on such a sample yield an apparent Young’s modulus which is greater in magnitude than the intrinsic Young’s modulus of the rubber. As a result, many analytical equations have been developed to determine Young’s modulus from an apparent Young’s modulus of bonded rubber materials. In this work, the applicability of some of these analytical equations is assessed via experimental testing. The assessment is based on testing of vulcanized nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR70) samples using tensile test and compression test methods. The analytical equations are used to determine the intrinsic Young’s modulus from the apparent modulus that is derived from the compression test data of the bonded rubber samples. Then, these Young’s moduli are compared with the actual Young’s modulus that is derived from the tensile test data. The results show significant discrepancy between the Young’s modulus derived using the analytical equations and the actual Young’s modulus.

Keywords: Bonded rubber, quasi-static test, shape factor, apparent Young’s modulus.

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1346 River Stage-Discharge Forecasting Based on Multiple-Gauge Strategy Using EEMD-DWT-LSSVM Approach

Authors: Farhad Alizadeh, Alireza Faregh Gharamaleki, Mojtaba Jalilzadeh, Houshang Gholami, Ali Akhoundzadeh

Abstract:

This study presented hybrid pre-processing approach along with a conceptual model to enhance the accuracy of river discharge prediction. In order to achieve this goal, Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition algorithm (EEMD), Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Mutual Information (MI) were employed as a hybrid pre-processing approach conjugated to Least Square Support Vector Machine (LSSVM). A conceptual strategy namely multi-station model was developed to forecast the Souris River discharge more accurately. The strategy used herein was capable of covering uncertainties and complexities of river discharge modeling. DWT and EEMD was coupled, and the feature selection was performed for decomposed sub-series using MI to be employed in multi-station model. In the proposed feature selection method, some useless sub-series were omitted to achieve better performance. Results approved efficiency of the proposed DWT-EEMD-MI approach to improve accuracy of multi-station modeling strategies.

Keywords: River stage-discharge process, LSSVM, discrete wavelet transform (DWT), ensemble empirical decomposition mode (EEMD), multi-station modeling.

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1345 The South African Polycentric Water Resource Governance-Management Nexus: Parlaying an Institutional Agent and Structured Social Engagement

Authors: J. H. Boonzaaier, A. C. Brent

Abstract:

South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.

Keywords: Institutional agent, water governance, polycentric water resource management, water resource management.

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1344 Analysis of Pressure Drop in a Concentrated Solar Collector with Direct Steam Production

Authors: Sara Sallam, Mohamed Taqi, Naoual Belouaggadia

Abstract:

Solar thermal power plants using parabolic trough collectors (PTC) are currently a powerful technology for generating electricity. Most of these solar power plants use thermal oils as heat transfer fluid. The latter is heated in the solar field and transfers the heat absorbed in an oil-water heat exchanger for the production of steam driving the turbines of the power plant. Currently, we are seeking to develop PTCs with direct steam generation (DSG). This process consists of circulating water under pressure in the receiver tube to generate steam directly into the solar loop. This makes it possible to reduce the investment and maintenance costs of the PTCs (the oil-water exchangers are removed) and to avoid the environmental risks associated with the use of thermal oils. The pressure drops in these systems are an important parameter to ensure their proper operation. The determination of these losses is complex because of the presence of the two phases, and most often we limit ourselves to describing them by models using empirical correlations. A comparison of these models with experimental data was performed. Our calculations focused on the evolution of the pressure of the liquid-vapor mixture along the receiver tube of a PTC-DSG for pressure values and inlet flow rates ranging respectively from 3 to 10 MPa, and from 0.4 to 0.6 kg/s. The comparison of the numerical results with experience allows us to demonstrate the validity of some models according to the pressures and the flow rates of entry in the PTC-DSG receiver tube. The analysis of these two parameters’ effects on the evolution of the pressure along the receiving tub, shows that the increase of the inlet pressure and the decrease of the flow rate lead to minimal pressure losses.

Keywords: Direct steam generation, parabolic trough collectors, pressure drop.

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1343 Empirical Modeling of Air Dried Rubberwood Drying System

Authors: S. Khamtree, T. Ratanawilai, C. Nuntadusit

Abstract:

Rubberwood is a crucial commercial timber in Southern Thailand. All processes in a rubberwood production depend on the knowledge and expertise of the technicians, especially the drying process. This research aims to develop an empirical model for drying kinetics in rubberwood. During the experiment, the temperature of the hot air and the average air flow velocity were kept at 80-100 °C and 1.75 m/s, respectively. The moisture content in the samples was determined less than 12% in the achievement of drying basis. The drying kinetic was simulated using an empirical solver. The experimental results illustrated that the moisture content was reduced whereas the drying temperature and time were increased. The coefficient of the moisture ratio between the empirical and the experimental model was tested with three statistical parameters, R-square (), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Chi-square (χ²) to predict the accuracy of the parameters. The experimental moisture ratio had a good fit with the empirical model. Additionally, the results indicated that the drying of rubberwood using the Henderson and Pabis model revealed the suitable level of agreement. The result presented an excellent estimation (= 0.9963) for the moisture movement compared to the other models. Therefore, the empirical results were valid and can be implemented in the future experiments.

Keywords: Empirical models, hot air, moisture ratio, rubberwood.

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1342 Modeling Drying and Pyrolysis of Moist Wood Particles at Slow Heating Rates

Authors: Avdhesh K. Sharma

Abstract:

Formulation for drying and pyrolysis process in packed beds at slow heating rates is presented. Drying of biomass particles bed is described by mass diffusion equation and local moisture-vapour-equilibrium relations. In gasifiers, volatilization rate during pyrolysis of biomass is modeled by using apparent kinetic rate expression, while product compositions at slow heating rates is modeled using empirical fitted mass ratios (i.e., CO/CO2, ME/CO2, H2O/CO2) in terms of pyrolysis temperature. The drying module is validated fairly with available chemical kinetics scheme and found that the testing zone in gasifier bed constituted of relatively smaller particles having high airflow with high isothermal temperature expedite the drying process. Further, volatile releases more quickly within the shorter zone height at high temperatures (isothermal). Both, moisture loss and volatile release profiles are found to be sensitive to temperature, although the influence of initial moisture content on volatile release profile is not so sensitive.

Keywords: Modeling downdraft gasifier, drying, pyrolysis, moist woody biomass.

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1341 Research of the Factors Affecting the Administrative Capacity of Enterprises in the Logistic Sector of Bulgaria

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

Abstract:

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

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

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1340 Rain Cell Ratio Technique in Path Attenuation for Terrestrial Radio Links

Authors: Peter Odero Akuon

Abstract:

A rain cell ratio model is proposed that computes attenuation of the smallest rain cell which represents the maximum rain rate value i.e. the cell size when rainfall rate is exceeded 0.01% of the time, R0.01 and predicts attenuation for other cells as the ratio with this maximum. This model incorporates the dependence of the path factor r on the ellipsoidal path variation of the Fresnel zone at different frequencies. In addition, the inhomogeneity of rainfall is modeled by a rain drop packing density factor. In order to derive the model, two empirical methods that can be used to find rain cell size distribution Dc are presented. Subsequently, attenuation measurements from different climatic zones for terrestrial radio links with frequencies F in the range 7-38 GHz are used to test the proposed model. Prediction results show that the path factor computed from the rain cell ratio technique has improved reliability when compared with other path factor and effective rain rate models, including the current ITU-R 530-15 model of 2013.

Keywords: Packing density of rain drops, prediction model, rain attenuation, rain cell ratio technique.

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1339 Effect of Silt Presence on Shear Strength Parameters of Unsaturated Sandy Soils

Authors: R. Ziaie Moayed, E. Khavaninzadeh, M. Ghorbani Tochaee

Abstract:

Direct shear test is widely used in soil mechanics experiment to determine the shear strength parameters of granular soils. For analysis of soil stability problems such as bearing capacity, slope stability and lateral pressure on soil retaining structures, the shear strength parameters must be known well. In the present study, shear strength parameters are determined in silty-sand mixtures. Direct shear tests are performed on 161 Firoozkooh sand with different silt content at a relative density of 70% in three vertical stress of 100, 150, and 200 kPa. Wet tamping method is used for soil sample preparation, and the results include diagrams of shear stress versus shear deformation and sample height changes against shear deformation. Accordingly, in different silt percent, the shear strength parameters of the soil such as internal friction angle and dilation angle are calculated and compared. According to the results, when the sample contains up to 10% silt, peak shear strength and internal friction angle have an upward trend. However, if the sample contains 10% to 50% of silt a downward trend is seen in peak shear strength and internal friction angle.

Keywords: Shear strength parameters, direct shear test, silty sand, shear stress, shear deformation.

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1338 A National Survey of Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Attitudes toward Psychotherapy Treatment Manuals: A Replication Study

Authors: B. Bergström, A. Ladd, A. Jones, L. Rosso, P. Michael

Abstract:

Attitudes toward treatment manuals serve as a meaningful predictor of general attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Despite demonstrating high effectiveness in treating many mental disorders, manualized treatments have been underutilized by practitioners. Thus, one can assess the state of the field regarding the adoption of evidence-based practices by surveying practitioner attitudes towards manualized treatments. This study is an adapted replication that assesses psychology graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments, as a general marker for attitudes towards evidence-based practice. Training programs provide future clinicians with the foundation for critical skills in clinical practice. Research demonstrates that post-graduate continuing education has little to no effect on clinical practice; thus, graduate programs serve as the primary, and often final platform for all future practice. However, there are little empirical data identifying the attitudes and training of graduate students in utilizing manualized treatments. The empirical analysis of this study indicates an increase in positive attitudes among graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments (within the United States), when compared to past surveys of professional psychologists. Findings from this study may inform graduate programs of barriers for students in developing positive attitudes toward manualized treatments and evidence-based practice. This study also serves as a preliminary predictor of the state-of-the field, in regards to professional psychologists attitudes towards evidence-based practice, if attitudes remain stable. This study indicates that the attitudes toward utilizing evidence-based practices, such as treatment manuals, has become more positive since year 2000.

Keywords: Evidence based treatment, Future of clinical science, Manualized treatment, Student attitudes towards evidence based treatments.

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1337 Seismic Performance of Slopes Subjected to Earthquake Mainshock Aftershock Sequences

Authors: Alisha Khanal, Gokhan Saygili

Abstract:

It is commonly observed that aftershocks follow the mainshock. Aftershocks continue over a period of time with a decreasing frequency and typically there is not sufficient time for repair and retrofit between a mainshock–aftershock sequence. Usually, aftershocks are smaller in magnitude; however, aftershock ground motion characteristics such as the intensity and duration can be greater than the mainshock due to the changes in the earthquake mechanism and location with respect to the site. The seismic performance of slopes is typically evaluated based on the sliding displacement predicted to occur along a critical sliding surface. Various empirical models are available that predict sliding displacement as a function of seismic loading parameters, ground motion parameters, and site parameters but these models do not include the aftershocks. The seismic risks associated with the post-mainshock slopes ('damaged slopes') subjected to aftershocks is significant. This paper extends the empirical sliding displacement models for flexible slopes subjected to earthquake mainshock-aftershock sequences (a multi hazard approach). A dataset was developed using 144 pairs of as-recorded mainshock-aftershock sequences using the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) database. The results reveal that the combination of mainshock and aftershock increases the seismic demand on slopes relative to the mainshock alone; thus, seismic risks are underestimated if aftershocks are neglected.

Keywords: Seismic slope stability, sliding displacement, mainshock, aftershock, landslide, earthquake.

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1336 Coverage Probability Analysis of WiMAX Network under Additive White Gaussian Noise and Predicted Empirical Path Loss Model

Authors: Chaudhuri Manoj Kumar Swain, Susmita Das

Abstract:

This paper explores a detailed procedure of predicting a path loss (PL) model and its application in estimating the coverage probability in a WiMAX network. For this a hybrid approach is followed in predicting an empirical PL model of a 2.65 GHz WiMAX network deployed in a suburban environment. Data collection, statistical analysis, and regression analysis are the phases of operations incorporated in this approach and the importance of each of these phases has been discussed properly. The procedure of collecting data such as received signal strength indicator (RSSI) through experimental set up is demonstrated. From the collected data set, empirical PL and RSSI models are predicted with regression technique. Furthermore, with the aid of the predicted PL model, essential parameters such as PL exponent as well as the coverage probability of the network are evaluated. This research work may assist in the process of deployment and optimisation of any cellular network significantly.

Keywords: WiMAX, RSSI, path loss, coverage probability, regression analysis.

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1335 Deep Injection Wells for Flood Prevention and Groundwater Management

Authors: Mohammad R. Jafari, Francois G. Bernardeau

Abstract:

With its arid climate, Qatar experiences low annual rainfall, intense storms, and high evaporation rates. However, the fast-paced rate of infrastructure development in the capital city of Doha has led to recurring instances of surface water flooding as well as rising groundwater levels. Public Work Authority (PWA/ASHGHAL) has implemented an approach to collect and discharge the flood water into a) positive gravity systems; b) Emergency Flooding Area (EFA) – Evaporation, Infiltration or Storage off-site using tankers; and c) Discharge to deep injection wells. As part of the flood prevention scheme, 21 deep injection wells have been constructed to discharge the collected surface and groundwater table in Doha city. These injection wells function as an alternative in localities that do not possess either positive gravity systems or downstream networks that can accommodate additional loads. These injection wells are 400-m deep and are constructed in a complex karstic subsurface condition with large cavities. The injection well system will discharge collected groundwater and storm surface runoff into the permeable Umm Er Radhuma Formation, which is an aquifer present throughout the Persian Gulf Region. The Umm Er Radhuma formation contains saline water that is not being used for water supply. The injection zone is separated by an impervious gypsum formation which acts as a barrier between upper and lower aquifer. State of the art drilling, grouting, and geophysical techniques have been implemented in construction of the wells to assure that the shallow aquifer would not be contaminated and impacted by injected water. Injection and pumping tests were performed to evaluate injection well functionality (injectability). The results of these tests indicated that majority of the wells can accept injection rate of 200 to 300 m3 /h (56 to 83 l/s) under gravity with average value of 250 m3 /h (70 l/s) compared to design value of 50 l/s. This paper presents design and construction process and issues associated with these injection wells, performing injection/pumping tests to determine capacity and effectiveness of the injection wells, the detailed design of collection system and conveying system into the injection wells, and the operation and maintenance process. This system is completed now and is under operation, and therefore, construction of injection wells is an effective option for flood control.

Keywords: Deep injection well, wellhead assembly system, emergency flood area, flood prevention scheme, geophysical tests, pumping and injection tests, Qatar geology.

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1334 High Speed Rail vs. Other Factors Affecting the Tourism Market in Italy

Authors: F. Pagliara, F. Mauriello

Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the increase of accessibility brought by high speed rail (HSR) systems and the tourism market in Italy. The impacts of HSR projects on tourism can be quantified in different ways. In this manuscript, an empirical analysis has been carried out with the aid of a dataset containing information both on tourism and transport for 99 Italian provinces during the 2006-2016 period. Panel data regression models have been considered, since they allow modelling a wide variety of correlation patterns. Results show that HSR has an impact on the choice of a given destination for Italian tourists while the presence of a second level hub mainly affects foreign tourists. Attraction variables are also significant for both categories and the variables concerning security, such as number of crimes registered in a given destination, have a negative impact on the choice of a destination.

Keywords: Tourists, overnights, high speed rail, attractions, security.

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1333 Elastic and Plastic Collision Comparison Using Finite Element Method

Authors: Gustavo Rodrigues, Hans Weber, Larissa Driemeier

Abstract:

The prevision of post-impact conditions and the behavior of the bodies during the impact have been object of several collision models. The formulation from Hertz’s theory is generally used dated from the 19th century. These models consider the repulsive force as proportional to the deformation of the bodies under contact and may consider it proportional to the rate of deformation. The objective of the present work is to analyze the behavior of the bodies during impact using the Finite Element Method (FEM) with elastic and plastic material models. The main parameters to evaluate are, the contact force, the time of contact and the deformation of the bodies. An advantage of using the FEM approach is the possibility to apply a plastic deformation to the model according to the material definition: there will be used Johnson–Cook plasticity model whose parameters are obtained through empirical tests of real materials. This model allows analyzing the permanent deformation caused by impact, phenomenon observed in real world depending on the forces applied to the body. These results are compared between them and with the model-based Hertz theory.

Keywords: Collision, finite element method, Hertz’s Theory, impact models.

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1332 A Comparative Study on the Performance of Viscous and Friction Dampers under Seismic Excitation

Authors: Apetsi K. Ampiah, Zhao Xin

Abstract:

Earthquakes over the years have been known to cause devastating damage on buildings and induced huge loss on human life and properties. It is for this reason that engineers have devised means of protecting buildings and thus protecting human life. Since the invention of devices such as the viscous and friction dampers, scientists/researchers have been able to incorporate these devices into buildings and other engineering structures. The viscous damper is a hydraulic device which dissipates the seismic forces by pushing fluid through an orifice, producing a damping pressure which creates a force. In the friction damper, the force is mainly resisted by converting the kinetic energy into heat by friction. Devices such as viscous and friction dampers are able to absorb almost all the earthquake energy, allowing the structure to remain undamaged (or with some amount of damage) and ready for immediate reuse (with some repair works). Comparing these two devices presents the engineer with adequate information on the merits and demerits of these devices and in which circumstances their use would be highly favorable. This paper examines the performance of both viscous and friction dampers under different ground motions. A two-storey frame installed with both devices under investigation are modeled in commercial computer software and analyzed under different ground motions. The results of the performance of the structure are then tabulated and compared. Also included in this study is the ease of installation and maintenance of these devices.

Keywords: Friction damper, seismic, slip load, viscous damper.

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1331 Collaborative Stylistic Group Project: A Drama Practical Analysis Application

Authors: Omnia F. Elkommos

Abstract:

In the course of teaching stylistics to undergraduate students of the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the linguistic tool kit of theories comes in handy and useful for the better understanding of the different literary genres: Poetry, drama, and short stories. In the present paper, a model of teaching of stylistics is compiled and suggested. It is a collaborative group project technique for use in the undergraduate diverse specialisms (Literature, Linguistics and Translation tracks) class. Students initially are introduced to the different linguistic tools and theories suitable for each literary genre. The second step is to apply these linguistic tools to texts. Students are required to watch videos performing the poems or play, for example, and search the net for interpretations of the texts by other authorities. They should be using a template (prepared by the researcher) that has guided questions leading students along in their analysis. Finally, a practical analysis would be written up using the practical analysis essay template (also prepared by the researcher). As per collaborative learning, all the steps include activities that are student-centered addressing differentiation and considering their three different specialisms. In the process of selecting the proper tools, the actual application and analysis discussion, students are given tasks that request their collaboration. They also work in small groups and the groups collaborate in seminars and group discussions. At the end of the course/module, students present their work also collaboratively and reflect and comment on their learning experience. The module/course uses a drama play that lends itself to the task: ‘The Bond’ by Amy Lowell and Robert Frost. The project results in an interpretation of its theme, characterization and plot. The linguistic tools are drawn from pragmatics, and discourse analysis among others.

Keywords: Applied linguistic theories, collaborative learning, cooperative principle, discourse analysis, drama analysis, group project, online acting performance, pragmatics, speech act theory, stylistics, technology enhanced learning.

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1330 Labview-Based System for Fiber Links Events Detection

Authors: Bo Liu, Qingshan Kong, Weiqing Huang

Abstract:

With the rapid development of modern communication, diagnosing the fiber-optic quality and faults in real-time is widely focused. In this paper, a Labview-based system is proposed for fiber-optic faults detection. The wavelet threshold denoising method combined with Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) is applied to denoise the optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) signal. Then the method based on Gabor representation is used to detect events. Experimental measurements show that signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the OTDR signal is improved by 1.34dB on average, compared with using the wavelet threshold denosing method. The proposed system has a high score in event detection capability and accuracy. The maximum detectable fiber length of the proposed Labview-based system can be 65km.

Keywords: Empirical mode decomposition (EMD), events detection, Gabor transform, optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR), wavelet threshold denoising.

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