Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1902

Search results for: PET

1902 Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models

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

Abstract:

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

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

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1901 In vitro Effects of Berberine on the Vitality and Oxidative Profile of Bovine Spermatozoa

Authors: Eva Tvrdá, Hana Greifová, Peter Ivanič, Norbert Lukáč

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the dose- and time-dependent in vitro effects of berberine (BER), a natural alkaloid with numerous biological properties on bovine spermatozoa during three time periods (0 h, 2 h, 24 h). Bovine semen samples were diluted and cultivated in physiological saline solution containing 0.5% DMSO together with 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, and 1 μmol/L BER. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the computer assisted semen analyzer. The viability of spermatozoa was assessed by the metabolic (MTT) assay, production of superoxide radicals was quantified using the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) test, and chemiluminescence was used to evaluate the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cell lysates were prepared and the extent of lipid peroxidation (LPO) was evaluated using the TBARS assay. The results of the movement activity showed a significant increase in the motility during long term cultivation in case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 10 μmol/L BER (P < 0.01; P < 0.001; 24 h). At the same time, supplementation of 1, 5 and 10 μmol/L BER led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P < 0.001; 24 h). BER addition at a range of 1-50 μmol/L also provided a significantly higher protection against superoxide (P < 0.05) and ROS (P < 0.001; P < 0.01) overgeneration as well as LPO (P < 0.01; P<0.05) after a 24 h cultivation. We may suggest that supplementation of BER to bovine spermatozoa, particularly at concentrations ranging between 1 and 50 μmol/L, may offer protection to the motility, viability and oxidative status of the spermatozoa, particularly notable at 24 h.

Keywords: Berberine, bulls, motility, oxidative profile, spermatozoa, viability.

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1900 Bio-Psycho-Social Consequences and Effects in Fall-Efficacy Scale in Seniors Using Exercise Intervention of Motor Learning According to Yoga Techniques

Authors: Milada Krejci, Martin Hill, Vaclav Hosek, Dobroslava Jandova, Jiri Kajzar, Pavel Blaha

Abstract:

The paper declares effects of exercise intervention of the research project “Basic research of balance changes in seniors”, granted by the Czech Science Foundation. The objective of the presented study is to define predictors, which influence bio-psycho-social consequences and effects of balance ability in senior 65 years old and above. We focused on the Fall-Efficacy Scale changes evaluation in seniors. Comprehensive hypothesis of the project declares, that motion uncertainty (dyskinesia) can negatively affect the well-being of a senior in bio-psycho-social context. In total, random selection and testing of 100 seniors (30 males, 70 females) from Prague and Central Bohemian region was provided. The sample was divided by stratified random selection into experimental and control groups, who underwent input and output testing. For diagnostics the methods of Medical Anamnesis, Functional anthropological examinations, Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool, SF-36 Health Survey, Anamnestic comparative self-assessment scale were used. Intervention method called "Life in Balance" based on yoga techniques was applied in four-week cycle. Results of multivariate regression were verified by repeated measures ANOVA: subject factor, phase of intervention (between-subject factor), body fluid (within-subject factor) and phase of intervention × body fluid interaction). ANOVA was performed with a repetition involving the factors of subjects, experimental/control group, phase of intervention (independent variable), and x phase interaction followed by Bonferroni multiple comparison assays with a test strength of at least 0.8 on the probability level p < 0.05. In the paper results of the first-year investigation of the three years running project are analysed. Results of balance tests confirmed no significant difference between females and males in pre-test. Significant improvements in balance and walking ability were observed in experimental group in females comparing to males (F = 128.4, p < 0.001). In the females control group, there was no significant change in post- test, while in the female experimental group positive changes in posture and spine flexibility in post-tests were found. It seems that females even in senior age react better to incentives of intervention in balance and spine flexibility. On the base of results analyses, we can declare the significant improvement in social balance markers after intervention in the experimental group (F = 10.5, p < 0.001). In average, seniors are used to take four drugs daily. Number of drugs can contribute to allergy symptoms and balance problems. It can be concluded that static balance and walking ability of seniors according Tinetti Balance scale correlate significantly with psychic and social monitored markers.

Keywords: Exercises, balance, seniors 65+, health, mental and social balance.

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1899 Sedimentological Study of Bivalve Fossils Site Locality in Hong Hoi Formation, Lampang, Thailand

Authors: Kritsada Moonpa, Kannipa Motanated, Weerapan Srichan

Abstract:

Hong Hoi Formation is a Middle Triassic deep marine succession presented in outcrops throughout the Lampang Basin of northern Thailand. The primary goal of this research is to diagnose the paleoenvironment, petrographic compositions, and sedimentary sources of the Hong Hoi Formation in Ban Huat, Ngao District. The Triassic Hong Hoi Formation is chosen because the outcrops are continuous and fossils are greatly exposed and abundant. Depositional environment is reconstructed through sedimentological studies along with facies analysis. The Hong Hoi Formation is petrographically divided into two major facies, they are: sandstones with mudstone interbeds, and mudstones or shale with sandstone interbeds. Sandstone beds are lithic arenite and lithic greywacke, volcanic lithic fragments are dominated. Sedimentary structures, paleocurrent data and lithofacies arrangement indicate that the formation deposited in a part of deep marine abyssal plain environment. The sedimentological and petrographic features suggest that during the deposition the Hong Hoi Formation received sediment supply from nearby volcanic arc. This suggested that the intensive volcanic activity within the Sukhothai Arc during the Middle Triassic is the main sediment source.

Keywords: Sukhothai Zone, petrography, Hong Hoi Formation, Lampang, Triassic.

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1898 Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

Authors: Satu Lautamäki

Abstract:

This paper presents findings from a multidisciplinary course (bachelor level) implemented at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The course aims to develop innovative thinking of students, by having projects given by companies, using design thinking methods as a tool for creativity and by integrating students into multidisciplinary teams working on the given projects. The course is obligatory for all first year bachelor students across four faculties (business and culture, food and agriculture, health care and social work, and technology). The course involves around 800 students and 30 pedagogical coaches, and it is implemented as an intensive one-week course each year. The paper discusses the pedagogy, structure and coordination of the course. Also, reflections on methods for the development of creative skills are given. Experts in contemporary, global context often work in teams, which consist of people who have different areas of expertise and represent various professional backgrounds. That is why there is a strong need for new training methods where multidisciplinary approach is at the heart of learning. Creative learning takes place when different parties bring information to the discussion and learn from each other. When students in different fields are looking for professional growth for themselves and take responsibility for the professional growth of other learners, they form a mutual learning relationship with each other. Multidisciplinary team members make decisions both individually and collectively, which helps them to understand and appreciate other disciplines. Our results show that creative and multidisciplinary project learning can develop diversity of knowledge and competences, for instance, students’ cultural knowledge, teamwork and innovation competences, time management and presentation skills as well as support a student’s personal development as an expert. It is highly recommended that higher education curricula should include various studies for students from different study fields to work in multidisciplinary teams.

Keywords: Multidisciplinary learning, creative skills, innovative thinking, project-based learning.

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1897 Educating the Educators: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Science Teaching

Authors: Denise Levy, Anna Lucia C. H. Villavicencio

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In a rapid-changing world, science teachers face considerable challenges. In addition to the basic curriculum, there must be included several transversal themes, which demand creative and innovative strategies to be arranged and integrated to traditional disciplines. In Brazil, nuclear science is still a controversial theme, and teachers themselves seem to be unaware of the issue, most often perpetuating prejudice, errors and misconceptions. This article presents the authors’ experience in the development of an interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal to include nuclear science in the basic curriculum, in a transversal and integrating way. The methodology applied was based on the analysis of several normative documents that define the requirements of essential learning, competences and skills of basic education for all schools in Brazil. The didactic materials and resources were developed according to the best practices to improve learning processes privileging constructivist educational techniques, with emphasis on active learning process, collaborative learning and learning through research. The material consists of an illustrated book for students, a book for teachers and a manual with activities that can articulate nuclear science to different disciplines: Portuguese, mathematics, science, art, English, history and geography. The content counts on high scientific rigor and articulate nuclear technology with topics of interest to society in the most diverse spheres, such as food supply, public health, food safety and foreign trade. Moreover, this pedagogical proposal takes advantage of the potential value of digital technologies, implementing QR codes that excite and challenge students of all ages, improving interaction and engagement. The expected results include the education of the educators for nuclear science communication in a transversal and integrating way, demystifying nuclear technology in a contextualized and significant approach. It is expected that the interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal contributes to improving attitudes towards knowledge construction, privileging reconstructive questioning, fostering a culture of systematic curiosity and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Science education, interdisciplinary learning, nuclear science; scientific literacy.

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1896 Considering Aerosol Processes in Nuclear Transport Package Containment Safety Cases

Authors: Andrew Cummings, Rhianne Boag, Sarah Bryson, Gordon Turner

Abstract:

Packages designed for transport of radioactive material must satisfy rigorous safety regulations specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Higher Activity Waste (HAW) transport packages have to maintain containment of their contents during normal and accident conditions of transport (NCT and ACT). To ensure containment criteria is satisfied these packages are required to be leak-tight in all transport conditions to meet allowable activity release rates. Package design safety reports are the safety cases that provide the claims, evidence and arguments to demonstrate that packages meet the regulations and once approved by the competent authority (in the UK this is the Office for Nuclear Regulation) a licence to transport radioactive material is issued for the package(s). The standard approach to demonstrating containment in the RWM transport safety case is set out in BS EN ISO 12807. In this document a method for measuring a leak rate from the package is explained by way of a small interspace test volume situated between two O-ring seals on the underside of the package lid. The interspace volume is pressurised and a pressure drop measured. A small interspace test volume makes the method more sensitive enabling the measurement of smaller leak rates. By ascertaining the activity of the contents, identifying a releasable fraction of material and by treating that fraction of material as a gas, allowable leak rates for NCT and ACT are calculated. The adherence to basic safety principles in ISO12807 is very pessimistic and current practice in the demonstration of transport safety, which is accepted by the UK regulator. It is UK government policy that management of HAW will be through geological disposal. It is proposed that the intermediate level waste be transported to the geological disposal facility (GDF) in large cuboid packages. This poses a challenge for containment demonstration because such packages will have long seals and therefore large interspace test volumes. There is also uncertainty on the releasable fraction of material within the package ullage space. This is because the waste may be in many different forms which makes it difficult to define the fraction of material released by the waste package. Additionally because of the large interspace test volume, measuring the calculated leak rates may not be achievable. For this reason a justification for a lower releasable fraction of material is sought. This paper considers the use of aerosol processes to reduce the releasable fraction for both NCT and ACT. It reviews the basic coagulation and removal processes and applies the dynamic aerosol balance equation. The proposed solution includes only the most well understood physical processes namely; Brownian coagulation and gravitational settling. Other processes have been eliminated either on the basis that they would serve to reduce the release to the environment further (pessimistically in keeping with the essence of nuclear transport safety cases) or that they are not credible in the conditions of transport considered.

Keywords: Aerosol processes, Brownian coagulation, gravitational settling, transport regulations.

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1895 Impact of Dynamic Capabilities on Knowledge Management Processes

Authors: Farzad Yavari, Fereydoun Ohadi

Abstract:

Today, with the development and growth of technology and extreme environmental changes, organizations need to identify opportunities and create creativity and innovation in order to be able to maintain or improve their position in competition with others. In this regard, it is necessary that the resources and assets of the organization are coordinated and reviewed in accordance with the orientation of the strategy. One of the competitive advantages of the present age is knowledge management, which is to equip the organization with the knowledge of the day and disseminate among employees and use it in the development of products and services. Therefore, in the forthcoming research, the impact of dynamic capabilities components (sense, seize, and reconfiguration) has been investigated on knowledge management processes (acquisition, integration and knowledge utilization) in the MAPNA Engineering and Construction Company using a field survey and applied research method. For this purpose, a questionnaire was filled out in the form of 15 questions for dynamic components and 15 questions for measuring knowledge management components and distributed among 46 employees of the knowledge management organization. Validity of the questionnaire was evaluated through content validity and its reliability with Cronbach's coefficient. Pearson correlation test and structural equation technique were used to analyze the data. The results of the research indicate a positive significant correlation between the components of dynamic capabilities and knowledge management.

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, knowledge management, sense capability, seize capability, reconfigurable capability, knowledge acquisition, knowledge integrity, knowledge utilization.

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1894 The Role of Social Civil Competencies in Organizational Performance

Authors: I. Martins, A. Martins

Abstract:

The European Union supports social and civil competencies as being a core element to develop sustainability of organizations, people and regions. These competencies are fundamental for the well-being of the community because they include interpersonal, intrapersonal as well as their civil, active and democratic participation in organizations. The combination of these competencies reveals the organizational socio-emotional maturity and allows relevant levels of performance. It also allows the development of various capitals, namely, human, structural, relational and social, with direct influence on performance. But along this path, the emotional aspect has not been valued as a capital, given that contemporary society is based on knowledge capital and is flooded with information viewed as a capital. The present study, based on the importance of these socio-emotional capitals, aims to show that the competencies of cooperation, interpersonal understanding, empathy, kindness, ability to listen, and tolerance, to mention a few, are strategic in consolidating knowledge within organizations. This implies that the humanizing processes, both inside and outside the organizations, are revitalized. The question is how to go about doing this and its implementation; as well as, where to begin and which guidelines to take on. These are the foci that guide the present study, bearing in mind the directions of the knowledge economy.

Keywords: Social competencies, civil competencies, humanizing, performance.

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1893 Nigerian Football System: Examining Meso-Level Practices against a Global Model for Integrated Development of Mass and Elite Sport

Authors: I. Derek Kaka’an, P. Smolianov, D. Koh Choon Lian, S. Dion, C. Schoen, J. Norberg

Abstract:

This study was designed to examine mass participation and elite football performance in Nigeria with reference to advance international football management practices. Over 200 sources of literature on sport delivery systems were analyzed to construct a globally applicable model of elite football integrated with mass participation, comprising of the following three levels: macro- (socio-economic, cultural, legislative, and organizational), meso- (infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs) and micro-level (operations, processes, and methodologies for development of individual athletes). The model has received scholarly validation and showed to be a framework for program analysis that is not culturally bound. The Smolianov and Zakus model has been employed for further understanding of sport systems such as US soccer, US Rugby, swimming, tennis, and volleyball as well as Russian and Dutch swimming. A questionnaire was developed using the above-mentioned model. Survey questions were validated by 12 experts including academicians, executives from sport governing bodies, football coaches, and administrators. To identify best practices and determine areas for improvement of football in Nigeria, 120 coaches completed the questionnaire. Useful exemplars and possible improvements were further identified through semi-structured discussions with 10 Nigerian football administrators and experts. Finally, content analysis of Nigeria Football Federation’s website and organizational documentation was conducted. This paper focuses on the meso-level of Nigerian football delivery, particularly infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs. This includes training centers, competition systems, and intellectual services. Results identified remarkable achievements coupled with great potential to further develop football in different types of public and private organizations in Nigeria. These include: assimilating football competitions with other cultural and educational activities, providing favorable conditions for employees of all possible organizations to partake and help in managing football programs and events, providing football coaching integrated with counseling for prevention of antisocial conduct, and improving cooperation between football programs and organizations for peace-making and advancement of international relations, tourism, and socio-economic development. Accurate reporting of the sports programs from the media should be encouraged through staff training for better awareness of various events. The systematic integration of these meso-level practices into the balanced development of mass and high-performance football will contribute to international sport success as well as national health, education, and social harmony.

Keywords: Football, high performance, mass participation, Nigeria, sport development.

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1892 Effect of Particle Size on Alkali-Activation of Slag

Authors: E. Petrakis, V. Karmali, K. Komnitsas

Abstract:

In this study grinding experiments were performed in a laboratory ball mill using Polish ferronickel slag in order to study the effect of the particle size on alkali activation and the properties of the produced alkali activated materials (AAMs). In this regard, the particle size distribution and the specific surface area of the grinding products in relation to grinding time were assessed. The experimental results show that products with high compressive strength, e.g. higher than 60 MPa, can be produced when the slag median size decreased from 39.9 μm to 11.9 μm. Also, finer fractions are characterized by higher reactivity and result in the production of AAMs with lower porosity and better mechanical properties.

Keywords: Alkali activated materials, compressive strength, particle size distribution, slag.

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1891 Limits Problem Solving in Engineering Careers: Competences and Errors

Authors: Veronica Diaz Quezada

Abstract:

In this article, the performance and errors are featured and analysed in the limit problems solving of a real-valued function, in correspondence to competency-based education in engineering careers, in the south of Chile. The methodological component is contextualised in a qualitative research, with a descriptive and explorative design, with elaboration, content validation and application of quantitative instruments, consisting of two parallel forms of open answer tests, based on limit application problems. The mathematical competences and errors made by students from five engineering careers from a public University are identified and characterized. Results show better performance only to solve routine-context problem-solving competence, thus they are oriented towards a rational solution or they use a suitable problem-solving method, achieving the correct solution. Regarding errors, most of them are related to techniques and the incorrect use of theorems and definitions of real-valued function limits of real variable.

Keywords: Engineering education, errors, limits, mathematics competences, problem solving.

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1890 A Process of Forming a Single Competitive Factor in the Digital Camera Industry

Authors: Kiyohiro Yamazaki

Abstract:

This paper considers a forming process of a single competitive factor in the digital camera industry from the viewpoint of product platform. To make product development easier for companies and to increase product introduction ratios, development efforts concentrate on improving and strengthening certain product attributes, and it is born in the process that the product platform is formed continuously. It is pointed out that the formation of this product platform raises product development efficiency of individual companies, but on the other hand, it has a trade-off relationship of causing unification of competitive factors in the whole industry. This research tries to analyze product specification data which were collected from the web page of digital camera companies. Specifically, this research collected all product specification data released in Japan from 1995 to 2003 and analyzed the composition of image sensor and optical lens; and it identified product platforms shared by multiple products and discussed their application. As a result, this research found that the product platformation was born in the development of the standard product for major market segmentation. Every major company has made product platforms of image sensors and optical lenses, and as a result, this research found that the competitive factors were unified in the entire industry throughout product platformation. In other words, this product platformation brought product development efficiency of individual firms; however, it also caused industrial competition factors to be unified in the industry.

Keywords: Digital camera industry, product evolution trajectory, product platform, unification of competitive factors.

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1889 Main Cause of Children's Deaths in Indigenous Wayuu Community from Department of La Guajira: A Research Developed through Data Mining Use

Authors: Isaura Esther Solano Núñez, David Suarez

Abstract:

The main purpose of this research is to discover what causes death in children of the Wayuu community, and deeply analyze those results in order to take corrective measures to properly control infant mortality. We consider important to determine the reasons that are producing early death in this specific type of population, since they are the most vulnerable to high risk environmental conditions. In this way, the government, through competent authorities, may develop prevention policies and the right measures to avoid an increase of this tragic fact. The methodology used to develop this investigation is data mining, which consists in gaining and examining large amounts of data to produce new and valuable information. Through this technique it has been possible to determine that the child population is dying mostly from malnutrition. In short, this technique has been very useful to develop this study; it has allowed us to transform large amounts of information into a conclusive and important statement, which has made it easier to take appropriate steps to resolve a particular situation.

Keywords: Malnutrition, datamining, analytical, descriptive, population, wayuu, indigenous.

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1888 The Impact of Protein Content on Athletes’ Body Composition

Authors: G. Vici, L. Cesanelli, L. Belli, R. Ceci, V. Polzonetti

Abstract:

Several factors contribute to success in sport and diet is one of them. Evidence-based sport nutrition guidelines underline the importance of macro- and micro-nutrients’ balance and timing in order to improve athlete’s physical status and performance. Nevertheless, a high content of proteins is commonly found in resistance training athletes’ diet with carbohydrate intake that is not enough or not well planned. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of different protein and carbohydrate diet contents on body composition and sport performance on a group of resistance training athletes. Subjects were divided as study group (n=16) and control group (n=14). For a period of 4 months, both groups were subjected to the same resistance training fitness program with study group following a specific diet and control group following an ab libitum diet. Body compositions were evaluated trough anthropometric measurement (weight, height, body circumferences and skinfolds) and Bioimpedence Analysis. Physical strength and training status of individuals were evaluated through the One Repetition Maximum test (RM1). Protein intake in studied group was found to be lower than in control group. There was a statistically significant increase of body weight, free fat mass and body mass cell of studied group respect to the control group. Fat mass remains almost constant. Statistically significant changes were observed in quadriceps and biceps circumferences, with an increase in studied group. The MR1 test showed improvement in study group’s strength but no changes in control group. Usually people consume hyper-proteic diet to achieve muscle mass development. Through this study, it was possible to show that protein intake fixed at 1,7 g/kg/d can meet the individual's needs. In parallel, the increased intake of carbohydrates, focusing on quality and timing of assumption, has enabled the obtainment of desired results with a training protocol supporting a hypertrophic strategy. Therefore, the key point seems related to the planning of a structured program both from a nutritional and training point of view.

Keywords: Body composition, diet, exercise, protein.

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1887 Improving the Voltage Level in High Voltage Direct Current Systems by Using Modular Multilevel Converter

Authors: G. Kishor Babu, B. Madhu Kiran

Abstract:

This paper presented an intend scheme of Modular-Multilevel-Converter (MMC) levels for move towering the practical conciliation flanked by the precision and divisional competence. The whole process is standard by a Thevenin-equivalent 133-level MMC model. Firstly the computation scheme of the fundamental limit imitation time step is offered to faithfully represent each voltage level of waveforms. Secondly the earlier industrial Improved Analytic Hierarchy Process (IAHP) is adopted to integrate the relative errors of all the input electrical factors interested in one complete virtual fault on each converter level. Thirdly the stable AC and DC ephemeral condition in virtual faults effects of all the forms stabilize and curve integral stand on the standard form. Finally the optimal MMC level will be obtained by the drown curves and it will give individual weights allowing for the precision and efficiency. And the competence and potency of the scheme are validated by model on MATLAB Simulink.

Keywords: Modular multilevel converter, improved analytic hierarchy process, ac and dc transient, high voltage direct current, voltage sourced converter.

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1886 The Role of Fluid Catalytic Cracking in Process Optimisation for Petroleum Refineries

Authors: Chinwendu R. Nnabalu, Gioia Falcone, Imma Bortone

Abstract:

Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation.  Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions.  Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.

Keywords: Design, emissions, fluid catalytic cracking, petroleum refineries.

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1885 Chemical Composition, Petrology and P-T Conditions of Ti-Mg-Biotites within Syenitic Rocks from the Lar Igneous Suite, East of Iran

Authors: Sasan Ghafaribijar, Javad Hakimi, Mohsen Arvin, Peyman Tahernezhad

Abstract:

The Lar Igneous Suite (LIS), east of Iran, is part of post collisional alkaline magmatism related to Late Cretaceous- mid Eocene Sistan suture zone. The suite consists of a wide variety of igneous rocks, from volcanic to intrusive and hypabissal rocks such as tuffs, trachyte, monzonite, syenites and lamprophyres. Syenitic rocks which mainly occur in a giant ring dike and stocks, are shoshonitic to potassic-ultrapotassic (K2O/Na2O > 2 wt.%; MgO > 3 wt.%; K2O > 3 wt.%) in composition and are also associated with Cu-Mo mineralization. In this study, chemical composition of biotites within the Lar syenites (LS) is determined by electron microprobe analysis. The results show that LS biotites are Ti-Mg-biotites (phlogopite) which contain relatively high Ti and Mg, and low Fe concentrations. The Mg/(Fe2++ Mg) ratio in these biotites range between 0.56 and 0.73 that represent their transitionally chemical evolution. TiO2 content in these biotites is high and in the range of 3.0-5.4 wt.%. These chemical characteristics indicate that the LS biotites are primary and have been crystallized directly from magma. The investigations also demonstrate that the LS biotites have crystallized from a magma of orogenic nature. Temperature and pressure are the most significant factors controlling Mg and Ti content in the LS biotites, respectively. The results show that the LS biotites crystallized at temperatures (T) between 800 to 842 °C and pressures (P) between 0.99 to 1.44 kbar. These conditions are indicative of a crystallization depth of 3.26-4.74 km.

Keywords: Sistan suture zone, Lar Igneous Suite, Zahedan, syenite, biotite.

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1884 The Appeal of Vocal Islamism in the West: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir vis-à-vis Its Competitors

Authors: Elisa Orofino

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Islamism is a very debated topic in the West but almost exclusively explored in its violent forms. Nevertheless, a number of “vocal radical Islamist” groups exist in the West and legally operate because of their non-violent nature. Vocal radicals continually inspire individuals and lead them towards specific goals and priorities, sometimes even towards violence. This paper uses the long-living group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) to explore the elements that make the organization appealing to segments of Muslim community in the West. This paper uses three agency variables - reflexive monitoring, the rationalization of action and the motivations for actions – to analyze HT’s appeal vis-à-vis two other Islamist groups, Ikhwan al-Muslimun and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), having similar goals and the same high international profile. This paper concludes that HT’s uniqueness is given by its method, detailed vision of the caliphate, consistency over time and the emphasis placed on the caliphate as the leading force of HT’s unchanged motivation for action.

Keywords: Agency, Caliphate, Radicalization, Vocal Radicals.

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1883 Consumer Perception of 3D Body Scanning While Online Shopping for Clothing

Authors: A. Grilec, S. Petrak, M. Mahnic Naglic

Abstract:

Technological development and the globalization in production and sales of clothing in the last decade have significantly influenced the changes in consumer relationship with the industrial-fashioned apparel and in the way of clothing purchasing. The Internet sale of clothing is in a constant and significant increase in the global market, but the possibilities offered by modern computing technologies in the customization segment are not yet fully involved, especially according to the individual customer requirements and body sizes. Considering the growing trend of online shopping, the main goal of this paper is to investigate the differences in customer perceptions towards online apparel shopping and particularly to discover the main differences in perceptions between customers regarding three different body sizes. In order to complete the research goal, the quantitative study on the sample of 85 Croatian consumers was conducted in 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement according to a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). To analyze attitudes of respondents, simple and descriptive statistics were used. The main findings highlight the differences in respondent perception of 3D body scanning, using 3D body scanning in Internet shopping, online apparel shopping habits regarding their body sizes.

Keywords: Consumer behavior, online shopping, 3D body scanning.

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1882 Identification of Risks Associated with Process Automation Systems

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

Abstract:

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

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

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1881 The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Exercise on Motor Skills and Attention of Male Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Masoume Pourmohamadreza-Tajrishi, Parviz Azadfallah

Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve myriad aberrant perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, and social behaviors. The term spectrum emphasizes that the disabilities associated with ASD fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe. People with ASD may display stereotyped behaviors such as twirling, spinning objects, flapping the hands, and rocking. The individuals with ASD exhibit communication problems due to repetitive/restricted behaviors. Children with ASD who lack the motivation to learn, who do not enjoy physical challenges, or whose sensory perception results in confusing or unpleasant feedback from movement may not become sufficiently motivated to practice motor activities. As a result, they may show both a delay in developing certain motor skills. Additionally, attention is an important component of learning. As far as children with ASD have problems in joint attention, many education-based programs are needed to consider some aspects of attention and motor activities development for students with ASD. These programs focus on the basic movement skills that are crucial for the future development of the more complex skills needed in games, dance, sports, gymnastics, active play, and recreational physical activities. The purpose of the present research was to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise on motor skills and attention of male students with ASD. This was an experimental study with a control group. The population consisted of 8-10 year-old male students with ASD and 30 subjects were selected randomly from an available center suitable for the children with ASD. They were evaluated by the Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT) and Persian version of computerized Stroop color-word test and randomly assigned to an experimental and control group (15 students in per group). The experimental group participated in 16 therapeutic exercise sessions and received therapeutic exercise program (twice a week; each lasting for 45 minutes) designed based on the Spark motor program while the control group did not. All subjects were evaluated by BMAT and Stroop color-word test after the last session again. The collected data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). The results of MANCOVA showed that experimental and control groups had a significant difference in motor skills and at least one of the components of attention (correct responses, incorrect responses, no responses, the reaction time of congruent words and reaction time of incongruent words in the Stroop test). The findings showed that the therapeutic exercise had a significant effect on motor skills and all components of attention in students with ASD. We can conclude that the therapeutic exercise led to promote the motor skills and attention of students with ASD, so it is necessary to design or plan such programs for ASD students to prevent their communication or academic problems.

Keywords: Attention, autism spectrum disorder, motor skills, therapeutic exercise.

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1880 Making Waves: Preparing the Next Generation of Bilingual Medical Doctors

Authors: Edith Esparza-Young, Ángel M. Matos, Yaritza Gonzalez, Kirthana Sugunathevan

Abstract:

Introduction: This research describes the existing medical school program which supports a multicultural setting and bilingualism. The rise of Spanish speakers in the United States has led to the recruitment of bilingual medical students who can serve the evolving demographics. This paper includes anecdotal evidence, narratives and the latest research on the outcomes of supporting a multilingual academic experience in medical school and beyond. People in the United States will continue to need health care from physicians who have experience with multicultural competence. Physicians who are bilingual and possess effective communication skills will be in high demand. Methodologies: This research is descriptive. Through this descriptive research, the researcher will describe the qualities and characteristics of the existing medical school programs, curriculum, and student services. Additionally, the researcher will shed light on the existing curriculum in the medical school and also describe specific programs which help to serve as safety nets to support diverse populations. The method included observations of the existing program and the implementation of the medical school program, specifically the Accelerated Review Program, the Language Education and Professional Communication Program, student organizations and the Global Health Institute. Concluding Statement: This research identified and described characteristics of the medical school’s program. The research explained and described the current and present phenomenon of this medical program, which has focused on increasing the graduation of bilingual and minority physicians. The findings are based on observations of the curriculum, programs and student organizations which evolves and remains innovative to stay current with student enrollment.

Keywords: Bilingual, English, medicine, doctor.

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1879 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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1878 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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1877 Game-Theory-Based on Downlink Spectrum Allocation in Two-Tier Networks

Authors: Yu Zhang, Ye Tian, Fang Ye Yixuan Kang

Abstract:

The capacity of conventional cellular networks has reached its upper bound and it can be well handled by introducing femtocells with low-cost and easy-to-deploy. Spectrum interference issue becomes more critical in peace with the value-added multimedia services growing up increasingly in two-tier cellular networks. Spectrum allocation is one of effective methods in interference mitigation technology. This paper proposes a game-theory-based on OFDMA downlink spectrum allocation aiming at reducing co-channel interference in two-tier femtocell networks. The framework is formulated as a non-cooperative game, wherein the femto base stations are players and frequency channels available are strategies. The scheme takes full account of competitive behavior and fairness among stations. In addition, the utility function reflects the interference from the standpoint of channels essentially. This work focuses on co-channel interference and puts forward a negative logarithm interference function on distance weight ratio aiming at suppressing co-channel interference in the same layer network. This scenario is more suitable for actual network deployment and the system possesses high robustness. According to the proposed mechanism, interference exists only when players employ the same channel for data communication. This paper focuses on implementing spectrum allocation in a distributed fashion. Numerical results show that signal to interference and noise ratio can be obviously improved through the spectrum allocation scheme and the users quality of service in downlink can be satisfied. Besides, the average spectrum efficiency in cellular network can be significantly promoted as simulations results shown.

Keywords: Femtocell networks, game theory, interference mitigation, spectrum allocation.

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1876 Behavioral Response of Dogs to Interior Environment: An Exploratory Study on Design Parameters for Designing Dog Boarding Centers in Indian Context

Authors: M. R. Akshaya, Veena Rao

Abstract:

Pet population in India is increasing phenomenally owing to the changes in urban lifestyle with increasing number of single professionals, single parents, delayed parenthood etc. The animal companionship as a means of reducing stress levels, deriving emotional support, and unconditional love provided by dogs are a few reasons attributed for increasing pet ownership. The consequence is the booming of the pet care products and dog care centers catering to the different requirements of rearing the pets. Dog care centers quite popular in tier 1 metros of India cater to the requirement of the dog owners providing space for the dogs in absence of the owner. However, it is often reported that the absence of the owner leads to destructive and exploratory behavior issues; the main being the anxiety disorders. In the above context, it becomes imperative for a designer to design dog boarding centers that help in reducing the separation anxiety in dogs keeping in mind the different interior design parameters. An exploratory research with focus group discussion is employed involving a group of dog owners, behaviorists, proprietors of day care as well as boarding centers, and veterinarians to understand their perception on the significance of different interior parameters of color, texture, ventilation, aroma therapy and acoustics as a means of reducing the stress levels in dogs sent to the boarding centers. The data collected is organized as thematic networks thus enabling the listing of the interior design parameters that needs to be considered in designing dog boarding centers. 

Keywords: Behavioral response, design parameters, dog boarding centers, interior environment.

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1875 Physicochemical Characterization of Medium Alkyd Resins Prepared with a Mixture of Linum usitatissimum L. and Plukenetia volubilis L. Oils

Authors: Antonella Hadzich, Santiago Flores

Abstract:

Alkyds have become essential raw materials in the coating and paint industry, due to their low cost, good application properties and lower environmental impact in comparison with petroleum-based polymers. The properties of these oil-modified materials depend on the type of polyunsaturated vegetable oil used for its manufacturing, since a higher degree of unsaturation provides a better crosslinking of the cured paint. Linum usitatissimum L. (flax) oil is widely used to develop alkyd resins due to its high degree of unsaturation. Although it is intended to find non-traditional sources and increase their commercial value, to authors’ best knowledge a natural source that can replace flaxseed oil has not yet been found. However, Plukenetia volubilis L. oil, of Peruvian origin, contains a similar fatty acid polyunsaturated content to the one reported for Linum usitatissimum L. oil. In this perspective, medium alkyd resins were prepared with a mixture of 50% of Linum usitatissimum L. oil and 50% of Plukenetia volubilis L. oil. Pure Linum usitatissimum L. oil was also used for comparison purposes. Three different resins were obtained by varying the amount of glycerol and pentaerythritol. The synthesized alkyd resins were characterized by FT-IR, and physicochemical properties like acid value, colour, viscosity, density and drying time were evaluated by standard methods. The pencil hardness and chemical resistance behaviour of the cured resins were also studied. Overall, it can be concluded that medium alkyd resins containing Plukenetia volubilis L. oil have an equivalent behaviour compared to those prepared purely with Linum usitatissimum L. oil. Both Plukenetia volubilis L. oil and pentaerythritol have a remarkable influence on certain physicochemical properties of medium alkyd resins.

Keywords: Alkyd resins, flaxseed oil, pentaerythritol, Plukenetia volubilis L. oil, protective coating.

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1874 Recovery of Post-Consumer PET Bottles in a Composite Material Preparation

Authors: Rafenomananjara Tsinjo Nirina, Tomoo Sekito, Andrianaivoravelona Jaconnet Oliva

Abstract:

Manufacturing a composite material from post-consumer bottles is an interesting outlet since Madagascar is still facing the challenges of managing plastic waste on the one hand and appropriate waste treatment facilities are not yet developed on the other hand. New waste management options are needed to divert End-Of-Life (EOL) soft plastic wastes from landfills and incineration. Waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles might be considered as a valuable resource and recovered into polymer concrete. The methodology is easy to implement and appropriate to the local context in Madagascar. This approach will contribute to the production of ecological building materials that might be profitable for the environment and the construction sector. This work aims to study the feasibility of using the post-consumer PET bottles as an alternative binding agent instead of the conventional Portland cement and water. Then, the mechanical and physical properties of the materials were evaluated.

Keywords: PET recycling, polymer concrete, ecological building materials, pollution mitigation.

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1873 Prediction of the Lateral Bearing Capacity of Short Piles in Clayey Soils Using Imperialist Competitive Algorithm-Based Artificial Neural Networks

Authors: Reza Dinarvand, Mahdi Sadeghian, Somaye Sadeghian

Abstract:

Prediction of the ultimate bearing capacity of piles (Qu) is one of the basic issues in geotechnical engineering. So far, several methods have been used to estimate Qu, including the recently developed artificial intelligence methods. In recent years, optimization algorithms have been used to minimize artificial network errors, such as colony algorithms, genetic algorithms, imperialist competitive algorithms, and so on. In the present research, artificial neural networks based on colonial competition algorithm (ANN-ICA) were used, and their results were compared with other methods. The results of laboratory tests of short piles in clayey soils with parameters such as pile diameter, pile buried length, eccentricity of load and undrained shear resistance of soil were used for modeling and evaluation. The results showed that ICA-based artificial neural networks predicted lateral bearing capacity of short piles with a correlation coefficient of 0.9865 for training data and 0.975 for test data. Furthermore, the results of the model indicated the superiority of ICA-based artificial neural networks compared to back-propagation artificial neural networks as well as the Broms and Hansen methods.

Keywords: Lateral bearing capacity, short pile, clayey soil, artificial neural network, Imperialist competition algorithm.

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