Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2418

Search results for: SSO

2418 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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2417 Canada Deuterium Uranium Updated Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment Model for Canadian Nuclear Plants

Authors: Hossam Shalabi, George Hadjisophocleous

Abstract:

The Canadian Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) use some portions of NUREG/CR-6850 in carrying out Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). An assessment for the applicability of NUREG/CR-6850 to CANDU reactors was performed and a CANDU Fire PRA was introduced. There are 19 operating CANDU reactors in Canada at five sites (Bruce A, Bruce B, Darlington, Pickering and Point Lepreau). A fire load density survey was done for all Fire Safe Shutdown Analysis (FSSA) fire zones in all CANDU sites in Canada. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 557 proposes that a fire load survey must be conducted by either the weighing method or the inventory method or a combination of both. The combination method results in the most accurate values for fire loads. An updated CANDU Fire PRA model is demonstrated in this paper that includes the fuel survey in all Canadian CANDU stations. A qualitative screening step for the CANDU fire PRA is illustrated in this paper to include any fire events that can damage any part of the emergency power supply in addition to FSSA cables.

Keywords: Fire safety, CANDU, nuclear, fuel densities, FDS, qualitative analysis, fire probabilistic risk assessment.

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2416 A Comparative Study of Cardio Respiratory Efficiency between Aquatic and Track and Field Performers

Authors: Sumanta Daw, Gopal Chandra Saha

Abstract:

The present study was conducted to explore the basic pulmonary functions which may generally vary according to the bio-physical characteristics including age, height, body weight, and environment etc. of the sports performers. Regular and specific training exercises also change the characteristics of an athlete’s prowess and produce a positive effect on the physiological functioning, mostly upon cardio-pulmonary efficiency and thereby improving the body mechanism. The objective of the present study was to compare the differences in cardio-respiratory functions between aquatics and track and field performers. As cardio-respiratory functions are influenced by pulse rate and blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), so both of the factors were also taken into consideration. The component selected under cardio-respiratory functions for the present study were i) FEVI/FVC ratio (forced expiratory volume divided by forced vital capacity ratio, i.e. the number represents the percentage of lung capacity to exhale in one second) ii) FVC1 (this is the amount of air which can force out of lungs in one second) and iii) FVC (forced vital capacity is the greatest total amount of air forcefully breathe out after breathing in as deeply as possible). All the three selected components of the cardio-respiratory efficiency were measured by spirometry method. Pulse rate was determined manually. The radial artery which is located on the thumb side of our wrist was used to assess the pulse rate. Blood pressure was assessed by sphygmomanometer. All the data were taken in the resting condition. 36subjects were selected for the present study out of which 18were water polo players and rest were sprinters. The age group of the subjects was considered between 18 to 23 years. In this study the obtained data inform of digital score were treated statistically to get result and draw conclusions. The Mean and Standard Deviation (SD) were used as descriptive statistics and the significant difference between the two subject groups was assessed with the help of statistical ‘t’-test. It was found from the study that all the three components i.e. FEVI/FVC ratio (p-value 0.0148 < 0.01), FVC1 (p-value 0.0010 < 0.01) and FVC (p-value 0.0067 < 0.01) differ significantly as water polo players proved to be better in terms of cardio-respiratory functions than sprinters. Thus study clearly suggests that the exercise training as well as the medium of practice arena associated with water polo players has played an important role to determine better cardio respiratory efficiency than track and field athletes. The outcome of the present study revealed that the lung function in land-based activities may not provide much impact than that of in water activities.

Keywords: Cardio-respiratory efficiency, spirometry, water polo players, sprinters.

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2415 Prioritization Assessment of Housing Development Risk Factors: A Fuzzy Hierarchical Process-Based Approach

Authors: Yusuf Garba Baba

Abstract:

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

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

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2414 Incorporating Circular Economy into Passive Design Strategies in Tropical Nigeria

Authors: Noah G. Akhimien, Eshrar Latif

Abstract:

The natural environment is in need for an urgent rescue due to dilapidation and recession of resources. Passive design strategies have proven to be one of the effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions and to improve building performance. On the other hand, there is a huge drop in material availability due to poor recycling culture. Consequently, building waste pose environmental hazard due to unrecycled building materials from construction and deconstruction. Buildings are seen to be material banks for a circular economy, therefore incorporating circular economy into passive housing will not only safe guide the climate but also improve resource efficiency. The study focuses on incorporating a circular economy in passive design strategies for an affordable energy and resource efficient residential building in Nigeria. Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is still on the increase as buildings are responsible for a significant amount of this emission globally. Therefore, prompt measures need to be taken to combat the effect of global warming and associated threats. Nigeria is rapidly growing in human population, resources on the other hand have receded greatly, and there is an abrupt need for recycling even in the built environment. It is necessary that Nigeria responds to these challenges effectively and efficiently considering building resource and energy. Passive design strategies were assessed using simulations to obtain qualitative and quantitative data which were inferred to case studies as it relates to the Nigeria climate. Building materials were analysed using the ReSOLVE model in order to explore possible recycling phase. This provided relevant information and strategies to illustrate the possibility of circular economy in passive buildings. The study offers an alternative approach, as it is the general principle for the reworking of an economy on ecological lines in passive housing and by closing material loops in circular economy.

Keywords: Building, circular economy, efficiency, passive design, sustainability.

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2413 Machinability Analysis in Drilling Flax Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Bio-Composite Laminates

Authors: Amirhossein Lotfi, Huaizhong Li, Dzung Viet Dao

Abstract:

Interest in natural fiber-reinforced composites (NFRC) is progressively growing both in terms of academia research and industrial applications thanks to their abundant advantages such as low cost, biodegradability, eco-friendly nature and relatively good mechanical properties. However, their widespread use is still presumed as challenging because of the specificity of their non-homogeneous structure, limited knowledge on their machinability characteristics and parameter settings, to avoid defects associated with the machining process. The present work is aimed to investigate the effect of the cutting tool geometry and material on the drilling-induced delamination, thrust force and hole quality produced when drilling a fully biodegradable flax/poly (lactic acid) composite laminate. Three drills with different geometries and material were used at different drilling conditions to evaluate the machinability of the fabricated composites. The experimental results indicated that the choice of cutting tool, in terms of material and geometry, has a noticeable influence on the cutting thrust force and subsequently drilling-induced damages. The lower value of thrust force and better hole quality was observed using high-speed steel (HSS) drill, whereas Carbide drill (with point angle of 130o) resulted in the highest value of thrust force. Carbide drill presented higher wear resistance and stability in variation of thrust force with a number of holes drilled, while HSS drill showed the lower value of thrust force during the drilling process. Finally, within the selected cutting range, the delamination damage increased noticeably with feed rate and moderately with spindle speed.

Keywords: Natural fiber-reinforced composites, machinability, thrust force, delamination.

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2412 Linear Quadratic Gaussian/Loop Transfer Recover Control Flight Control on a Nonlinear Model

Authors: T. Sanches, K. Bousson

Abstract:

As part of the development of a 4D autopilot system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), i.e. a time-dependent robust trajectory generation and control algorithm, this work addresses the problem of optimal path control based on the flight sensors data output that may be unreliable due to noise on data acquisition and/or transmission under certain circumstances. Although several filtering methods, such as the Kalman-Bucy filter or the Linear Quadratic Gaussian/Loop Transfer Recover Control (LQG/LTR), are available, the utter complexity of the control system, together with the robustness and reliability required of such a system on a UAV for airworthiness certifiable autonomous flight, required the development of a proper robust filter for a nonlinear system, as a way of further mitigate errors propagation to the control system and improve its ,performance. As such, a nonlinear algorithm based upon the LQG/LTR, is validated through computational simulation testing, is proposed on this paper.

Keywords: Autonomous flight, LQG/LTR, nonlinear state estimator, robust flight control and stability.

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2411 Finite Element Approach to Evaluate Time Dependent Shear Behavior of Connections in Hybrid Steel-PC Girder under Sustained Loading

Authors: Mohammad Najmol Haque, Takeshi Maki, Jun Sasaki

Abstract:

Headed stud shear connections are widely used in the junction or embedded zone of hybrid girder to achieve whole composite action with continuity that can sustain steel-concrete interfacial tensile and shear forces. In Japan, Japan Road Association (JRA) specifications are used for hybrid girder design that utilizes very low level of stud capacity than those of American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) specifications, Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) specifications and EURO code. As low design shear strength is considered in design of connections, the time dependent shear behavior due to sustained external loading is not considered, even not fully studied. In this study, a finite element approach was used to evaluate the time dependent shear behavior for headed studs used as connections at the junction. This study clarified, how the sustained loading distinctively impacted on changing the interfacial shear of connections with time which was sensitive to lodging history, positions of flanges, neighboring studs, position of prestress bar and reinforcing bar, concrete strength, etc. and also identified a shear influence area. Stud strength was also confirmed through pushout tests. The outcome obtained from the study may provide an important basis and reference data in designing connections of hybrid girders with enhanced stud capacity with due consideration of their long-term shear behavior.

Keywords: Finite element approach, hybrid girder, headed stud shear connections, sustained loading, time dependent shear behavior.

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2410 Numerical and Experimental Investigation of the Aerodynamic Performances of Counter-Rotating Rotors

Authors: Ibrahim Beldjilali, Adel Ghenaiet

Abstract:

The contra-rotating axial machine is a promising solution for several applications, where high pressure and efficiencies are needed. Also, they allow reducing the speed of rotation, the radial spacing and a better flexibility of use. However, this requires a better understanding of their operation, including the influence of second rotor on the overall aerodynamic performances. This work consisted of both experimental and numerical studies to characterize this counter-rotating fan, especially the analysis of the effects of the blades stagger angle and the inter-distance between the rotors. The experimental study served to validate the computational fluid dynamics model (CFD) used in the simulations. The numerical study permitted to cover a wider range of parameter and deeper investigation on flow structures details, including the effects of blade stagger angle and inter-distance, associated with the interaction between the rotors. As a result, there is a clear improvement in aerodynamic performance compared with a conventional machine.

Keywords: Aerodynamic performance, axial fan, counter rotating rotors, CFD, experimental study.

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2409 Professional Management on Ecotourism and Conservation to Ensure the Future of Komodo National Park

Authors: Daningsih Sulaeman, Achmad Sjarmidi, Djoko T. Iskandar

Abstract:

Komodo National Park can be associated with the implementation of ecotourism program. The result of Principal Components Analysis is synthesized, tested, and compared to the basic concept of ecotourism with some field adjustments. Principal aspects of professional management should involve ecotourism and wildlife welfare. The awareness should be focused on the future of the Natural Park as 7th Wonder Natural Heritage and its wildlife components, free from human wastes and beneficial to wildlife and local people. According to perceptions and expectations of visitors from various results of tourism programs, the visitor’s perceptions showed that the tourism management in Komodo National Park should pay more attention to visitor's satisfaction and expectation and gives positive impact directly to the ecosystem sustainability, local community and transparency to the conservation program.

Keywords: 7th Wonders of Nature, Ecotourism, Komodo dragon, visitor’s perceptions, wildlife management.

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2408 Segmentation of Arabic Handwritten Numeral Strings Based on Watershed Approach

Authors: Nidal F. Shilbayeh, Remah W. Al-Khatib, Sameer A. Nooh

Abstract:

Arabic offline handwriting recognition systems are considered as one of the most challenging topics. Arabic Handwritten Numeral Strings are used to automate systems that deal with numbers such as postal code, banking account numbers and numbers on car plates. Segmentation of connected numerals is the main bottleneck in the handwritten numeral recognition system.  This is in turn can increase the speed and efficiency of the recognition system. In this paper, we proposed algorithms for automatic segmentation and feature extraction of Arabic handwritten numeral strings based on Watershed approach. The algorithms have been designed and implemented to achieve the main goal of segmenting and extracting the string of numeral digits written by hand especially in a courtesy amount of bank checks. The segmentation algorithm partitions the string into multiple regions that can be associated with the properties of one or more criteria. The numeral extraction algorithm extracts the numeral string digits into separated individual digit. Both algorithms for segmentation and feature extraction have been tested successfully and efficiently for all types of numerals.

Keywords: Handwritten numerals, segmentation, courtesy amount, feature extraction, numeral recognition.

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2407 Diagnosis of Intermittent High Vibration Peaks in Industrial Gas Turbine Using Advanced Vibrations Analysis

Authors: Abubakar Rashid, Muhammad Saad, Faheem Ahmed

Abstract:

This paper provides a comprehensive study pertaining to diagnosis of intermittent high vibrations on an industrial gas turbine using detailed vibrations analysis, followed by its rectification. Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited, a Chlor-Vinyl complex located in Pakistan has a captive combined cycle power plant having two 28 MW gas turbines (make Hitachi) & one 15 MW steam turbine. In 2018, the organization faced an issue of high vibrations on one of the gas turbines. These high vibration peaks appeared intermittently on both compressor’s drive end (DE) & turbine’s non-drive end (NDE) bearing. The amplitude of high vibration peaks was between 150-170% on the DE bearing & 200-300% on the NDE bearing from baseline values. In one of these episodes, the gas turbine got tripped on “High Vibrations Trip” logic actuated at 155µm. Limited instrumentation is available on the machine, which is monitored with GE Bently Nevada 3300 system having two proximity probes installed at Turbine NDE, Compressor DE &at Generator DE & NDE bearings. Machine’s transient ramp-up & steady state data was collected using ADRE SXP & DSPI 408. Since only 01 key phasor is installed at Turbine high speed shaft, a derived drive key phasor was configured in ADRE to obtain low speed shaft rpm required for data analysis. By analyzing the Bode plots, Shaft center line plot, Polar plot & orbit plots; rubbing was evident on Turbine’s NDE along with increased bearing clearance of Turbine’s NDE radial bearing. The subject bearing was then inspected & heavy deposition of carbonized coke was found on the labyrinth seals of bearing housing with clear rubbing marks on shaft & housing covering at 20-25 degrees on the inner radius of labyrinth seals. The collected coke sample was tested in laboratory & found to be the residue of lube oil in the bearing housing. After detailed inspection & cleaning of shaft journal area & bearing housing, new radial bearing was installed. Before assembling the bearing housing, cleaning of bearing cooling & sealing air lines was also carried out as inadequate flow of cooling & sealing air can accelerate coke formation in bearing housing. The machine was then taken back online & data was collected again using ADRE SXP & DSPI 408 for health analysis. The vibrations were found in acceptable zone as per ISO standard 7919-3 while all other parameters were also within vendor defined range. As a learning from subject case, revised operating & maintenance regime has also been proposed to enhance machine’s reliability.

Keywords: ADRE, bearing, gas turbine, GE Bently Nevada, Hitachi, vibration.

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2406 Peridynamic Modeling of an Isotropic Plate under Tensile and Flexural Loading

Authors: Eda Gök

Abstract:

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

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

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2405 Effect of Sodium Aluminate on Compressive Strength of Geopolymer at Elevated Temperatures

Authors: Ji Hoi Heo, Jun Seong Park, Hyo Kim

Abstract:

Geopolymer is an inorganic material synthesized by alkali activation of source materials rich in soluble SiO2 and Al2O3. Many researches have studied the effect of aluminum species on the synthesis of geopolymer. However, it is still unclear about the influence of Al additives on the properties of geopolymer. The current study identified the role of the Al additive on the thermal performance of fly ash based geopolymer and observing the microstructure development of the composite. NaOH pellets were dissolved in water for 14 M (14 moles/L) sodium hydroxide solution which was used as an alkali activator. The weight ratio of alkali activator to fly ash was 0.40. Sodium aluminate powder was employed as an Al additive and added in amounts of 0.5 wt.% to 2 wt.% by the weight of fly ash. The mixture of alkali activator and fly ash was cured in a 75°C dry oven for 24 hours. Then, the hardened geopolymer samples were exposed to 300°C, 600°C and 900°C for 2 hours, respectively. The initial compressive strength after oven curing increased with increasing sodium aluminate content. It was also observed in SEM results that more amounts of geopolymer composite were synthesized as sodium aluminate was added. The compressive strength increased with increasing heating temperature from 300°C to 600°C regardless of sodium aluminate addition. It was consistent with the ATR-FTIR results that the peak position related to asymmetric stretching vibrations of Si-O-T (T: Si or Al) shifted to higher wavenumber as the heating temperature increased, indicating the further geopolymer reaction. In addition, geopolymer sample with higher content of sodium aluminate showed better compressive strength. It was also reflected on the IR results by more shift of the peak position assigned to Si-O-T toward the higher wavenumber. However, the compressive strength decreased after being exposed to 900°C in all samples. The degree of reduction in compressive strength was decreased with increasing sodium aluminate content. The deterioration in compressive strength was most severe in the geopolymer sample without sodium aluminate additive, while the samples with sodium aluminate addition showed better thermal durability at 900°C. This is related to the phase transformation with the occurrence of nepheline phase at 900°C, which was most predominant in the sample without sodium aluminate. In this work, it was concluded that sodium aluminate could be a good additive in the geopolymer synthesis by showing the improved compressive strength at elevated temperatures.

Keywords: Compressive strength, fly ash based geopolymer, microstructure development, sodium aluminate.

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2404 Intelligent Parking Systems for Quasi-Close Communities

Authors: Ayodele Adekunle Faiyetole, Olumide Olawale Jegede

Abstract:

This paper presents the experimental design and needs justifications for a localized intelligent parking system (L-IPS), ideal for quasi-close communities with increasing vehicular volume that depends on limited or constant parking facilities. For a constant supply in parking facilities, the demand for an increasing vehicular volume could lead to poor time conservation or extended travel time, traffic congestion or impeded mobility, and safety issues. Increased negative environmental and economic externalities are other associated and consequent downsides of disparities in demand and supply. This L-IPS is designed using a microcontroller, ultrasonic sensors, LED indicators, such that the current status, in terms of parking spots availability, can be known from the main entrance to the community or a parking zone on a LCD screen. As an advanced traffic management system (ATMS), the L-IPS is designed to resolve aspects of infrastructure-to-driver (I2D) communication and parking detection issues. Thus, this L-IPS can act as a timesaver for users by helping them know the availability of parking spots. Providing on-time, informed routing, to a next preference or seamless moving to berth on the available spot on a proximate facility as the case may be. Its use could also increase safety and increase mobility, and fuel savings and costs, therefore, reducing negative environmental and economic externalities due to transportation systems.

Keywords: Intelligent parking systems, localized intelligent parking system, intelligent transport systems, advanced traffic management systems, infrastructure-to-drivers communication.

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2403 Effects of Polyvictimization in Suicidal Ideation among Children and Adolescents in Chile

Authors: Oscar E. Cariceo

Abstract:

In Chile, there is a lack of evidence about the impact of polyvictimization on the emergence of suicidal thoughts among children and young people. Thus, this study aims to explore the association between the episodes of polyvictimization suffered by Chilean children and young people and the manifestation of signs related to suicidal tendencies. To achieve this purpose, secondary data from the First Polyvictimization Survey on Children and Adolescents of 2017 were analyzed, and a binomial logistic regression model was applied to establish the probability that young people are experiencing suicidal ideation episodes. The main findings show that women between the ages of 13 and 15 years, who are in seventh grade and second in subsidized schools, are more likely to express suicidal ideas, which increases if they have suffered different types of victimization, particularly physical violence, psychological aggression, and sexual abuse.

Keywords: Chile, polyvictimization, suicidal ideation, youth.

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2402 Association of Smoking with Chest Radiographic and Lung Function Findings in Retired Bauxite Mining Workers

Authors: L. R. Ferreira, R. C. G. Bianchi, L. C.R. Ferreira, C. M. Galhardi, E. P. Baciuk, L. H. Oliveira

Abstract:

Inhalation hazards are associated with potentially injurious exposure and increased risk for lung diseases, within the bauxite mining industry, especially for the smelter workers. Smoking is related to decreased lung function and leads to chronic lung diseases. This study had the objective to evaluate whether smoking is related to functional and radiographic respiratory changes in retired bauxite mining workers. Methods: This was a retrospective and cross-sectional study involving the analysis of database information of 140 retired bauxite mining workers from Poços de Caldas-MG evaluated at Worker’s Health Reference Center and at the Social Security Brazilian National Institute, from July 1st, 2015 until June 30th, 2016. The workers were divided into three groups: non-smokers (n = 47), ex-smokers (n = 46), and smokers (n = 47). The data included: age, gender, spirometry results, and the presence or not of pulmonary pleural and/or parenchymal changes in chest radiographs. Chi-Squared test was used (p < 0,05). Results: In the smokers’ group, 83% of spirometry tests and 64% of chest x-rays were altered. In the non-smokers’ group, 19% of spirometry tests and 13% of chest x-rays were altered. In the ex-smokers’ group, 35% of spirometry tests and 30% of chest x-rays were altered. Most of the results were statistically significant. Results demonstrated a significant difference between smokers’ and non-smokers’ groups in regard to spirometric and radiographic pulmonary alterations. Ex-smokers’ and non-smokers’ group demonstrated better results when compared to the smokers’ group in relation to altered spirometry and radiograph findings. These data may contribute to planning strategies to enhance smoking cessation programs within the bauxite mining industry.

Keywords: Bauxite mining, spirometry, chest radiography, smoking.

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2401 A Review on Geomembrane Characteristics and Application in Geotechnical Engineering

Authors: Sandra Ghavam Shirazi, Komeil Valipourian, Mohammad Reza Golhashem

Abstract:

This paper represents the basic idea and mechanisms associated with the durability of geomembranes and discusses the factors influencing the service life and temperature of geomembrane liners. Geomembrane durability is stated as field performance and laboratory test outcomes under various conditions. Due to the high demand of geomembranes as landfill barriers and their crucial role in sensitive projects, sufficient service life of geomembranes is very important, therefore in this paper, the durability, the effect of temperature on geomembrane and the role of this type of reinforcement in different types of soil will be discussed. Also, the role of geomembrane in the earthquake will be considered in the last part of the paper.

Keywords: Geomembrane, durability temperature soil mechanic.

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2400 How Children Synchronize with Their Teacher: Evidence from a Real-World Elementary School Classroom

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

Abstract:

This paper reports on how synchrony occurs between children and their teacher, and what prevents or facilitates synchrony. The aim of the experiment conducted in this study was to precisely analyze their movements and synchrony and reveal the process of synchrony in a real-world classroom. Specifically, the experiment was conducted for around 20 minutes during an English as a foreign language (EFL) lesson. The participants were 11 fourth-grade school children and their classroom teacher in a public elementary school in Japan. Previous researchers assert that synchrony causes the state of flow in a class. For checking the level of flow, Short Flow State Scale (SFSS) was adopted. The experimental procedure had four steps: 1) The teacher read aloud the first half of an English storybook to the children. Both the teacher and the children were at their own desks. 2) The children were subjected to an SFSS check. 3) The teacher read aloud the remaining half of the storybook to the children. She made the children remove their desks before reading. 4) The children were again subjected to an SFSS check. The movements of all participants were recorded with a video camera. From the movement analysis, it was found that the children synchronized better with the teacher in Step 3 than in Step 1, and that the teacher’s movement became free and outstanding without a desk. This implies that the desk acted as a barrier between the children and the teacher. Removal of this barrier resulted in the children’s reactions becoming synchronized with those of the teacher. The SFSS results proved that the children experienced more flow without a barrier than with a barrier. Apparently, synchrony is what caused flow or social emotions in the classroom. The main conclusion is that synchrony leads to cognitive outcomes such as children’s academic performance in EFL learning.

Keywords: Movement synchrony, teacher–child relationships, English as a foreign language, EFL learning.

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2399 Clinical Utility of Salivary Cytokines for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Authors: Masaki Yamaguchi, Daimei Sasayama, Shinsuke Washizuka

Abstract:

The goal of this study was to examine the possibility of salivary cytokines for the screening of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. We carried out a case-control study, including 19 children with ADHD and 17 healthy children (controls). A multiplex bead array immunoassay was used to conduct a multi-analysis of 27 different salivary cytokines. Six salivary cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, IL12p70, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)) were significantly associated with the presence of ADHD (p < 0.05). An informative salivary cytokine panel was developed using VEGF by logistic regression analysis (odds ratio: 0.251). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that assessment of a panel using VEGF showed “good” capability for discriminating between ADHD patients and controls (area under the curve: 0.778). ADHD has been hypothesized to be associated with reduced cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex, due to reduced VEGF levels. Our study highlights the possibility of utilizing differential salivary cytokine levels for point-of-care testing (POCT) of biomarkers in children with ADHD.

Keywords: Cytokine, saliva, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, child, biomarker.

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2398 Sustainability of Healthcare Insurance in India: A Review of Health Insurance Scheme Launched by States in India

Authors: Mohd Zuhair, Ram Babu Roy

Abstract:

This paper presents an overview of the accessibility, design, and functioning of health insurance plans launched by state governments in India. In recent years, the governments of several states in India have come forward to provide health insurance coverage for the low-income group and rural population to reduce the out of pocket expenditure (OPE) on healthcare. Different health insurance schemes have different structures and offerings which differ in the different demographic factors. This study will portray a comparative analysis of the various health insurance schemes by analyzing different offerings and finance generation of the schemes. The comparative analysis will explain the lesson to be learned from these schemes and extend the existing knowledge of the health insurance in India. This would help in recognizing tension between various drivers and identifying issues pertaining to the sustainability of health insurance schemes in India.

Keywords: Health insurance, out of pocket expenditure, universal healthcare, sustainability.

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2397 Developing a Web-Based Tender Evaluation System Based on Fuzzy Multi-Attributes Group Decision Making for Nigerian Public Sector Tendering

Authors: Bello Abdullahi, Yahaya M. Ibrahim, Ahmed D. Ibrahim, Kabir Bala

Abstract:

Public sector tendering has traditionally been conducted using manual paper-based processes which are known to be inefficient, less transparent and more prone to manipulations and errors. The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web has led to the development of numerous e-Tendering systems that addressed some of the problems associated with the manual paper-based tendering system. However, most of these systems rarely support the evaluation of tenders and where they do it is mostly based on the single decision maker which is not suitable in public sector tendering, where for the sake of objectivity, transparency, and fairness, it is required that the evaluation is conducted through a tender evaluation committee. Currently, in Nigeria, the public tendering process in general and the evaluation of tenders, in particular, are largely conducted using manual paper-based processes. Automating these manual-based processes to digital-based processes can help in enhancing the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. This paper is part of a larger study to develop an electronic tendering system that supports the whole tendering lifecycle based on Nigerian procurement law. Specifically, this paper presents the design and implementation of part of the system that supports group evaluation of tenders based on a technique called fuzzy multi-attributes group decision making. The system was developed using Object-Oriented methodologies and Unified Modelling Language and hypothetically applied in the evaluation of technical and financial proposals submitted by bidders. The system was validated by professionals with extensive experiences in public sector procurement. The results of the validation showed that the system called NPS-eTender has an average rating of 74% with respect to correct and accurate modelling of the existing manual tendering domain and an average rating of 67.6% with respect to its potential to enhance the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. Thus, based on the results of the validation, the automation of the evaluation process to support tender evaluation committee is achievable and can lead to a more proficient public sector tendering system.

Keywords: e-Tendering, e-Procurement, public tendering, tender evaluation, tender evaluation committee, web-based group decision support system.

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2396 Optimal Production and Maintenance Policy for a Partially Observable Production System with Stochastic Demand

Authors: Leila Jafari, Viliam Makis

Abstract:

In this paper, the joint optimization of the economic manufacturing quantity (EMQ), safety stock level, and condition-based maintenance (CBM) is presented for a partially observable, deteriorating system subject to random failure. The demand is stochastic and it is described by a Poisson process. The stochastic model is developed and the optimization problem is formulated in the semi-Markov decision process framework. A modification of the policy iteration algorithm is developed to find the optimal policy. A numerical example is presented to compare the optimal policy with the policy considering zero safety stock.

Keywords: Condition-based maintenance, economic manufacturing quantity, safety stock, stochastic demand.

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2395 Computation of Flood and Drought Years over the North-West Himalayan Region Using Indian Meteorological Department Rainfall Data

Authors: Sudip Kumar Kundu, Charu Singh

Abstract:

The climatic condition over Indian region is highly dependent on monsoon. India receives maximum amount of rainfall during southwest monsoon. Indian economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The presence of flood and drought years influenced the total cultivation system as well as the economy of the country as Indian agricultural systems is still highly dependent on the monsoon rainfall. The present study has been planned to investigate the flood and drought years for the north-west Himalayan region from 1951 to 2014 by using area average Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall data. For this investigation the Normalized index (NI) has been utilized to find out whether the particular year is drought or flood. The data have been extracted for the north-west Himalayan (NWH) region states namely Uttarakhand (UK), Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to find out the rainy season average rainfall for each year, climatological mean and the standard deviation. After calculation it has been plotted by the diagrams (or graphs) to show the results- some of the years associated with drought years, some are flood years and rest are neutral. The flood and drought years can also relate with the large-scale phenomena El-Nino and La-Lina.

Keywords: Indian Meteorological Department, Rainfall, Normalized index, Flood, Drought, NWH.

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2394 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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2393 Evaluation of Hazardous Status of Avenue Trees in University of Port Harcourt

Authors: F. S. Eguakun, T. C. Nkwor

Abstract:

Trees in the university environment are uniquely position; however, they can also present a millstone to the infrastructure and humans they coexist with. The numerous benefits of trees can be negated due to poor tree health and anthropogenic activities and as such can become hazardous. The study aims at evaluating the hazardous status of avenue trees in University of Port Harcourt. Data were collected from all the avenue trees within the selected major roads in the University. Tree growth variables were measured and health condition of the avenue trees were assessed as an indicator of some structural defects. The hazard status of the avenue trees was determined. Several tree species were used as avenue trees in the University however, Azadirachta indica (81%) was found to be most abundant. The result shows that only 0.3% avenue tree species was found to pose severe harzard in Abuja part of the University. Most avenue trees (55.2%) were rated as medium hazard status. Due to the danger and risk associated with hazardous trees, the study recommends that good and effective management strategies be implemented so as to prevent future damages from trees with small or medium hazard status.

Keywords: Avenue tree, hazard status, inventory, urban.

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2392 The Association between Affective States and Sexual/Health-Related Status among Men Who Have Sex with Men in China: An Exploration Study Using Social Media Data

Authors: Zhi-Wei Zheng, Zhong-Qi Liu, Jia-Ling Qiu, Shan-Qing Guo, Zhong-Wei Jia, Chun Hao

Abstract:

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to understand and examine the association between diurnal mood variation and sexual/health-related status among men who have sex with men (MSM) using data from MSM Chinese Twitter messages. The study consists of 843,745 postings of 377,610 MSM users located in Guangdong that were culled from the MSM Chinese Twitter App. Positive affect, negative affect, sexual related behaviors, and health-related status were measured using the Simplified Chinese Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count. Emotions, including joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust were measured using the Weibo Basic Mood Lexicon. A positive sentiment score and a positive emotions score were also calculated. Linear regression models based on a permutation test were used to assess associations between affective states and sexual/health-related status. In the results, 5,871 active MSM users and their 477,374 postings were finally selected. MSM expressed positive affect and joy at 8 a.m. and expressed negative affect and negative emotions between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. In addition, 25.1% of negative postings were directly related to health and 13.4% reported seeking social support during that sensitive period. MSM who were senior, educated, overweight or obese, self-identified as performing a versatile sex role, and with less followers, more followers, and less chat groups mainly expressed more negative affect and negative emotions. MSM who talked more about sexual-related behaviors had a higher positive sentiment score (β=0.29, p < 0.001) and a higher positive emotions score (β = 0.16, p < 0.001). MSM who reported more on their health status had a lower positive sentiment score (β = -0.83, p < 0.001) and a lower positive emotions score (β = -0.37, p < 0.001). The study concluded that psychological intervention based on an app for MSM should be conducted, as it may improve mental health.

Keywords: Affect, men who have sex with men, sexual-related behaviors, health-related status, social media.

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2391 The Mouth and Gastrointestinal Tract of the African Lung Fish Protopterus annectens in River Niger at Agenebode, Nigeria

Authors: Marian Agbugui

Abstract:

The West African Lung fishes are fishes rich in protein and serve as an important source of food supply for man. The kind of food ingested by this group of fishes is dependent on the alimentary canal as well as the fish’s digestive processes which provide suitable modifications for maximum utilization of food taken. A study of the alimentary canal of P. annectens will expose the best information on the anatomy and histology of the fish. Samples of P. annectens were dissected to reveal the liver, pancreas and entire gut wall. Digital pictures of the mouth, jaws and the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) were taken. The entire gut was identified, sectioned and micro graphed. P. annectens was observed to possess a terminal mouth that opens up to 10% of its total body length, an adaptive feature to enable the fish to swallow the whole of its pry. Its dentition is made up of incisors- scissor-like teeth which also help to firmly grip, seize and tear through the skin of prey before swallowing. A short, straight and longitudinal GIT was observed in P. annectens which is known to be common feature in lungfishes, though it is thought to be a primitive characteristic similar to the lamprey. The oesophagus is short and distensible similar to other predatory and carnivorous species. Food is temporarily stored in the stomach before it is passed down into the intestine. A pyloric aperture is seen at the end of the double folded pyloric valve which leads into an intestine that makes up 75% of the whole GIT. The intestine begins at the posterior end of the pyloric aperture and winds down in six coils through the whole length intestine and ends at the cloaca. From this study it is concluded that P. annectens possess a composite GIT with organs similar to other lung fishes; it is a detritor with carnivorous abilities.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal tract, incisors scissor-like teeth, intestine, mucus, Protopterus annectens, serosa.

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2390 Laboratory Investigation of the Pavement Condition in Lebanon: Implementation of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement in the Base Course and Asphalt Layer

Authors: Marinelle El-Khoury, Lina Bouhaya, Nivine Abbas, Hassan Sleiman

Abstract:

The road network in the north of Lebanon is a prime example of the lack of pavement design and execution in Lebanon.  These roads show major distresses and hence, should be tested and evaluated. The aim of this research is to investigate and determine the deficiencies in road surface design in Lebanon, and to propose an environmentally friendly asphalt mix design. This paper consists of several parts: (i) evaluating pavement performance and structural behavior, (ii) identifying the distresses using visual examination followed by laboratory tests, (iii) deciding the optimal solution where rehabilitation or reconstruction is required and finally, (iv) identifying a sustainable method, which uses recycled material in the proposed mix. The asphalt formula contains Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) in the base course layer and in the asphalt layer. Visual inspection of the roads in Tripoli shows that these roads face a high level of distress severity. Consequently, the pavement should be reconstructed rather than simply rehabilitated. Coring was done to determine the pavement layer thickness. The results were compared to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design methodology and showed that the existing asphalt thickness is lower than the required asphalt thickness. Prior to the pavement reconstruction, the road materials were tested according to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification to identify whether the materials are suitable. Accordingly, the ASTM tests that were performed on the base course are Sieve analysis, Atterberg limits, modified proctor, Los Angeles, and California Bearing Ratio (CBR) tests. Results show a CBR value higher than 70%. Hence, these aggregates could be used as a base course layer. The asphalt layer was also tested and the results of the Marshall flow and stability tests meet the ASTM specifications. In the last section, an environmentally friendly mix was proposed. An optimal RAP percentage of 30%, which produced a well graded base course and asphalt mix, was determined through a series of trials.

Keywords: Asphalt mix, reclaimed asphalt pavement, California bearing ratio, sustainability.

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2389 Measuring Banks’ Antifragility via Fuzzy Logic

Authors: Danielle Sandler dos Passos, Helder Coelho, Flávia Mori Sarti

Abstract:

Analysing the world banking sector, we realize that traditional risk measurement methodologies no longer reflect the actual scenario with uncertainty and leave out events that can change the dynamics of markets. Considering this, regulators and financial institutions began to search more realistic models. The aim is to include external influences and interdependencies between agents, to describe and measure the operationalization of these complex systems and their risks in a more coherent and credible way. Within this context, X-Events are more frequent than assumed and, with uncertainties and constant changes, the concept of antifragility starts to gain great prominence in comparison to others methodologies of risk management. It is very useful to analyse whether a system succumbs (fragile), resists (robust) or gets benefits (antifragile) from disorder and stress. Thus, this work proposes the creation of the Banking Antifragility Index (BAI), which is based on the calculation of a triangular fuzzy number – to "quantify" qualitative criteria linked to antifragility.

Keywords: Complex adaptive systems, X-events, risk management, antifragility, banking antifragility index, triangular fuzzy number.

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