Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 267

Search results for: adaptation

267 Leveraging xAPI in a Corporate e-Learning Environment to Facilitate the Tracking, Modelling, and Predictive Analysis of Learner Behaviour

Authors: Libor Zachoval, Daire O Broin, Oisin Cawley

Abstract:

E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).

Keywords: Compliance Course, Corporate Training, Learner Behaviours, xAPI.

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266 A Legal Opinion on Mitigation and Adaptation on Air Pollution Strategies for Local Governments in South Africa

Authors: Marjone Van Der Bank, C. M. Van Der Bank

Abstract:

This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.

Keywords: Adaptation, climate change, disaster, local governments, mitigation.

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265 An Application of Path Planning Algorithms for Autonomous Inspection of Buried Pipes with Swarm Robots

Authors: Richard Molyneux, Christopher Parrott, Kirill Horoshenkov

Abstract:

This paper aims to demonstrate how various algorithms can be implemented within swarms of autonomous robots to provide continuous inspection within underground pipeline networks. Current methods of fault detection within pipes are costly, time consuming and inefficient. As such, solutions tend toward a more reactive approach, repairing faults, as opposed to proactively seeking leaks and blockages. The paper presents an efficient inspection method, showing that autonomous swarm robotics is a viable way of monitoring underground infrastructure. Tailored adaptations of various Vehicle Routing Problems (VRP) and path-planning algorithms provide a customised inspection procedure for complicated networks of underground pipes. The performance of multiple algorithms is compared to determine their effectiveness and feasibility. Notable inspirations come from ant colonies and stigmergy, graph theory, the k-Chinese Postman Problem ( -CPP) and traffic theory. Unlike most swarm behaviours which rely on fast communication between agents, underground pipe networks are a highly challenging communication environment with extremely limited communication ranges. This is due to the extreme variability in the pipe conditions and relatively high attenuation of acoustic and radio waves with which robots would usually communicate. This paper illustrates how to optimise the inspection process and how to increase the frequency with which the robots pass each other, without compromising the routes they are able to take to cover the whole network.

Keywords: Autonomous inspection, buried pipes, stigmergy, swarm intelligence, vehicle routing problem.

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264 The Role of Glutamine-Rich Region of Candida Albicans Tec1p in Mediating Morphological Transition and Invasive Growth

Authors: W. Abu Rayyan, A. Singh, A. M. Al-Jaafreh, W. Abu Dayyih, M. Bustami, S. Salem, N. Seder, K. Schröppel

Abstract:

Hyphal growth and the transcriptional regulation to the host environment are key issues during the pathogenesis of C. albicans. Tec1p is the C. albicans homolog of a TEA transcription factor family, which share a conserved DNA-binding TEA domain in their N-terminal. In order to define a structure-function relationship of the C. albicans Tec1p protein, we constructed several mutations on the N terminal, C terminal or in the TEA binding domain itself by homologous recombination technology. The modifications in the open reading frame of TEC1 were tested for reconstitution of the morphogenetic development of the tec1/tec1 mutant strain CaAS12. Mutation in the TEA consensus sequence did not confer transition to hyphae whereas the reconstitution of the full-length Tec1p has reconstituted hyphal development. A deletion in one of glutamine-rich regions either in the Tec1p N-terminal or the C-terminal in regions of 53-212 or 637–744 aa, respectively, did not restore morphological development in mutant CaAS12 strain. Whereas, the reconstitution with Tec1p mutants other than the glutamate-rich region has restored the morphogenetic switch. Additionally, the deletion of the glutamine-rich region has attenuated the invasive growth and the heat shock resistance of C. albicans. In conclusion, we show that a glutamine-rich region of Tec1p is essential for the hyphal development and mediating adaptation to the host environment of C. albicans.

Keywords: Candida albicans, transcription factor, TEA domain, hyphal formation, morphogenetic development, TEC1, Tet-induced.

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263 Machine Translation Analysis of Chinese Dish Names

Authors: Xinyu Zhang, Olga Torres-Hostench

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This article presents a comparative study evaluating and comparing the quality of machine translation (MT) output of Chinese gastronomy nomenclature. Chinese gastronomic culture is experiencing an increased international acknowledgment nowadays. The nomenclature of Chinese gastronomy not only reflects a specific aspect of culture, but it is related to other areas of society such as philosophy, traditional medicine, etc. Chinese dish names are composed of several types of cultural references, such as ingredients, colors, flavors, culinary techniques, cooking utensils, toponyms, anthroponyms, metaphors, historical tales, among others. These cultural references act as one of the biggest difficulties in translation, in which the use of translation techniques is usually required. Regarding the lack of Chinese food-related translation studies, especially in Chinese-Spanish translation, and the current massive use of MT, the quality of the MT output of Chinese dish names is questioned. Fifty Chinese dish names with different types of cultural components were selected in order to complete this study. First, all of these dish names were translated by three different MT tools (Google Translate, Baidu Translate and Bing Translator). Second, a questionnaire was designed and completed by 12 Chinese online users (Chinese graduates of a Hispanic Philology major) in order to find out user preferences regarding the collected MT output. Finally, human translation techniques were observed and analyzed to identify what translation techniques would be observed more often in the preferred MT proposals. The result reveals that the MT output of the Chinese gastronomy nomenclature is not of high quality. It would be recommended not to trust the MT in occasions like restaurant menus, TV culinary shows, etc. However, the MT output could be used as an aid for tourists to have a general idea of a dish (the main ingredients, for example). Literal translation turned out to be the most observed technique, followed by borrowing, generalization and adaptation, while amplification, particularization and transposition were infrequently observed. Possibly because that the MT engines at present are limited to relate equivalent terms and offer literal translations without taking into account the whole context meaning of the dish name, which is essential to the application of those less observed techniques. This could give insight into the post-editing of the Chinese dish name translation. By observing and analyzing translation techniques in the proposals of the machine translators, the post-editors could better decide which techniques to apply in each case so as to correct mistakes and improve the quality of the translation.

Keywords: Chinese dish names, cultural references, machine translation, translation techniques.

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262 Assessing the Physiological, Psychological Stressors and Coping Strategies among Hemodialysis Patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: A. Seham A. Elgamal, Reham H. Saleh

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Chronic kidney disease became a global health problem worldwide. Therefore, in order to maintain a patient’s life and improve the survival rate, hemodialysis is essential to replace the function of their kidneys. However, those patients may complain about multiple physical and psychological stressors due to the nature of the disease and the need for frequent hemodialysis sessions. So, those patients use various strategies to cope with the stressors related to their disease and the treatment procedures. Cross-sectional, descriptive study was carried out to achieve the aim of the study. A convenient sample including all adult patients was recruited for this study. Hemodialysis Stressors Scale (HSS) and Jalowiec Coping Scale (JCS) were used to investigate the stressors and coping strategies of 89 hemodialysis patients, at a governmental hospital (King Khalid Hospital-Jeddah). Results of the study revealed that 50.7% experienced physiological stressors and 38% experienced psychosocial stressors. Also, optimistic, fatalistic, and supportive coping strategies were the most common coping strategies used by the patients with mean scores (2.88 + 0.75, 2.87 + 0.75, and 1.82 + 0.71), respectively. In conclusion, being familiar with the types of stressors and the effective coping strategies of hemodialysis patients and their families are important in order to enhance their adaptation with chronic kidney diseases.

Keywords: Coping strategies, hemodialysis, physiological stressors, psychological stressors.

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261 LEED Empirical Evidence in Northern and Southern Europe

Authors: Svetlana Pushkar

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The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system is recognized in Europe. LEED uses regional priority (RP) points that are adapted to different environmental conditions. However, the appropriateness of the RP points is still a controversial question. To clarify this issue, two different parts of Europe: northern Europe (Finland and Sweden) and southern Europe (Turkey and Spain) were considered. Similarities and differences in the performances of LEED 2009-new construction (LEED-NC 2009) in these four countries were analyzed. It was found that LEED-NC 2009 performances in northern and southern parts of Europe in terms of Sustainable Sites (SS), Water Efficiency (WE), Materials and Resources (MR), and Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) were similar, whereas in Energy and Atmosphere (EA), their performances were different. WE and SS revealed high performances (70-100%); EA and EQ demonstrated intermediate performance (40-60%); and MR displayed low performance (20-40%). It should be recommended introducing the following new RP points: for Turkey - water-related points and for all four observed countries - green power-related points for improving the LEED adaptation in Europe.

Keywords: Green building, Europe, LEED, regional priority points.

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260 An Integrative Review of Changes of Family Relationship and Mental Health that Chinese Men Experience during Transition to Fatherhood

Authors: Mo Zhou, Samantha Ashby, Lyn Ebert

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In China, the changes that men experience in the perinatal period are not well researched. Men are also at risk of maladaptation to parenthood. The aim of this research is to review current studies regarding changes that Chinese men experience during transitioning to parenthood. 5 databases were employed to search relevant papers. The search found 128 articles. Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 35 articles were included in this integrative review. Results showed the changes that Chinese fathers experienced during the transition to parenthood can be divided into two aspects: family relationships and mental problems. During transition to parenthood, fathers usually experienced an increase in their disappointment with marital conflict resolution and decreased sexual intimacy with their partner. Mental health declined, with fathers often feeling depressed and/or anxious during this time. Some men were diagnosed with clinical depression. The predictors of these changes included three domains: personal background (age and income), family background (gender of infant, relationship status and unplanned child) and cultural background (‘doing the month’, Confucianism, policy, social support).

Keywords: China, fathers, life change, prenatal, postpartum.

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259 An Intelligent Scheme Switching for MIMO Systems Using Fuzzy Logic Technique

Authors: Robert O. Abolade, Olumide O. Ajayi, Zacheaus K. Adeyemo, Solomon A. Adeniran

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Link adaptation is an important strategy for achieving robust wireless multimedia communications based on quality of service (QoS) demand. Scheme switching in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems is an aspect of link adaptation, and it involves selecting among different MIMO transmission schemes or modes so as to adapt to the varying radio channel conditions for the purpose of achieving QoS delivery. However, finding the most appropriate switching method in MIMO links is still a challenge as existing methods are either computationally complex or not always accurate. This paper presents an intelligent switching method for the MIMO system consisting of two schemes - transmit diversity (TD) and spatial multiplexing (SM) - using fuzzy logic technique. In this method, two channel quality indicators (CQI) namely average received signal-to-noise ratio (RSNR) and received signal strength indicator (RSSI) are measured and are passed as inputs to the fuzzy logic system which then gives a decision – an inference. The switching decision of the fuzzy logic system is fed back to the transmitter to switch between the TD and SM schemes. Simulation results show that the proposed fuzzy logic – based switching technique outperforms conventional static switching technique in terms of bit error rate and spectral efficiency.

Keywords: Channel quality indicator, fuzzy logic, link adaptation, MIMO, spatial multiplexing, transmit diversity.

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258 Tools and Techniques in Risk Assessment in Public Risk Management Organisations

Authors: Atousa Khodadadyan, Gabe Mythen, Hirbod Assa, Beverley Bishop

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Risk assessment and the knowledge provided through this process is a crucial part of any decision-making process in the management of risks and uncertainties. Failure in assessment of risks can cause inadequacy in the entire process of risk management, which in turn can lead to failure in achieving organisational objectives as well as having significant damaging consequences on populations affected by the potential risks being assessed. The choice of tools and techniques in risk assessment can influence the degree and scope of decision-making and subsequently the risk response strategy. There are various available qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques that are deployed within the broad process of risk assessment. The sheer diversity of tools and techniques available to practitioners makes it difficult for organisations to consistently employ the most appropriate methods. This tools and techniques adaptation is rendered more difficult in public risk regulation organisations due to the sensitive and complex nature of their activities. This is particularly the case in areas relating to the environment, food, and human health and safety, when organisational goals are tied up with societal, political and individuals’ goals at national and international levels. Hence, recognising, analysing and evaluating different decision support tools and techniques employed in assessing risks in public risk management organisations was considered. This research is part of a mixed method study which aimed to examine the perception of risk assessment and the extent to which organisations practise risk assessment’ tools and techniques. The study adopted a semi-structured questionnaire with qualitative and quantitative data analysis to include a range of public risk regulation organisations from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The results indicated the public risk management organisations mainly use diverse tools and techniques in the risk assessment process. The primary hazard analysis; brainstorming; hazard analysis and critical control points were described as the most practiced risk identification techniques. Within qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, the participants named the expert judgement, risk probability and impact assessment, sensitivity analysis and data gathering and representation as the most practised techniques.

Keywords: Decision-making, public risk management organisations, risk assessment, tools and techniques.

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257 Climate Change and Its Impacts: The Case of Coastal Fishing Communities of the Meghna River in South-Central Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Royhanur Islam, Thomas Cansse, Md. Sahidul Islam, Atiqur Rahman Sunny

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The geographical location of Bangladesh makes it one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Climate-induced phenomena mainly affect the south-central region of Bangladesh (Laxmipur district) where they have begun to occur more frequently. The aim of the study was to identify the hydro-climatic factors that lead to weather-related disasters in the coastal areas and analyse the consequences of these factors on coastal livelihoods, with possible adaptation options using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools. The present study showed several disasters such as land erosion, depressions and cyclones, coastal flooding, storm surge, and precipitation. The frequency of these disasters is of a noticeable rate. Surveys have also discovered that land erosion is ongoing. Tidal water is being introduced directly into the mainland, and as a result of the salt intrusion, production capacity is declining. The coastal belt is an important area for fishing activities, but due to changed fishing times and a lack of Alternative Income Generating Activities (AIGAs), people have been forced to search for alternative livelihood options by taking both short-term and long-term adaptation options. Therefore, in order to increase awareness and minimize the losses, vulnerable communities must be fully incorporated into disaster response strategies. The government as well as national and international donor organizations should come forward and resolve the present situation of these vulnerable groups since otherwise, they will have to endure endless and miserable suffering due to the effects of climate change ahead in their lives.

Keywords: Adaptation, community, fishery development, livelihood.

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256 Use of Cellulosic Fibres in Double Layer Porous Asphalt

Authors: Márcia Afonso, Marisa Dinis-Almeida, Cristina Fael

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Climate change, namely precipitation patterns alteration, has led to extreme conditions such as floods and droughts. In turn, excessive construction has led to the waterproofing of the soil, increasing the surface runoff and decreasing the groundwater recharge capacity. The permeable pavements used in areas with low traffic lead to a decrease in the probability of floods peaks occurrence and the sediments reduction and pollutants transport, ensuring rainwater quality improvement. This study aims to evaluate the porous asphalt performance, developed in the laboratory, with addition of cellulosic fibres. One of the main objectives of cellulosic fibres use is to stop binder drainage, preventing its loss during storage and transport. Comparing to the conventional porous asphalt the cellulosic fibres addition improved the porous asphalt performance. The cellulosic fibres allowed the bitumen content increase, enabling retention and better aggregates coating and, consequently, a greater mixture durability. With this solution, it is intended to develop better practices of resilience and adaptation to the extreme climate changes and respond to the sustainability current demands, through the eco-friendly materials use. The mix design was performed for different size aggregates (with fine aggregates – PA1 and with coarse aggregates – PA2). The percentage influence of the fibres to be used was studied. It was observed that overall, the binder drainage decreases as the cellulose fibres percentage increases. It was found that the PA2 mixture obtained most binder drainage relative to PA1 mixture, irrespective of the fibres percentage used. Subsequently, the performance was evaluated through laboratory tests of indirect tensile stiffness modulus, water sensitivity, permeability and permanent deformation. The stiffness modulus for the two mixtures groups (with and without cellulosic fibres) presented very similar values between them. For the water sensitivity test it was observed that porous asphalt containing more fine aggregates are more susceptible to the water presence than mixtures with coarse aggregates. The porous asphalt with coarse aggregates have more air voids which allow water to pass easily leading to ITSR higher values. In the permeability test was observed that asphalt porous without cellulosic fibres presented had lower permeability than asphalt porous with cellulosic fibres. The resistance to permanent deformation results indicates better behaviour of porous asphalt with cellulosic fibres, verifying a bigger rut depth in porous asphalt without cellulosic fibres. In this study, it was observed that porous asphalt with bitumen higher percentages improve the performance to permanent deformation. This fact was only possible due to the bitumen retention by the cellulosic fibres.

Keywords: Binder drainage, cellulosic fibres, permanent deformation, porous asphalt.

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255 Effects of an Inclusive Educational Model for Students with High Intellectual Capacity and Special Educational Needs: A Case Study in Talentos UdeC, Chile

Authors: Gracia V. Navarro, María C. González, María G. González, María V. González

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In Chile, since 2002, there are extracurricular enrichment programs complementary to regular education for students with high intellectual capacity. This paper describes a model for the educational inclusion of students, with special educational needs associated with high intellectual capacity, developed at the University of Concepción and its effects on its students, academics and undergraduate students that collaborate with the program. The Talentos UdeC Program was created in 2003 and is intended for 240 children and youth from 11 to 18 years old, from 15 communes of the Biobio region. The case Talentos UdeC is analyzed from a mixed qualitative study in which those participating in the educational model are considered. The sample was composed of 30 students, 30 academics, and 30 undergraduate students. In the case of students, pre and post program measurements were made to analyze their socio-emotional adaptation, academic motivation and socially responsible behavior. The mentioned variables are measured through questionnaires designed and validated by the University of Concepcion that included: The Socially Responsible Behavior Questionnaire (CCSR); the Academic Motivation Questionnaire (CMA) and the Socio-Emotional Adaptation Questionnaire (CASE). The information obtained by these questionnaires was analyzed through a quantitative analysis. Academics and undergraduate students were interviewed to learn their perception of the effects of the program on themselves, on students and on society. The information obtained is analyzed using qualitative analysis based on the identification of common themes and descriptors for the construction of conceptual categories of answers. Quantitative results show differences in the first three variables analyzed in the students, after their participation for two years in Talentos UdeC. Qualitative results demonstrate perception of effects in the vision of world, project of life and in other areas of the students’ development; perception of effects in a personal, professional and organizational plane by academics and a perception of effects in their personal-social development and training in generic competencies by undergraduates students.

Keywords: Educational model, high intellectual capacity, inclusion, special educational needs.

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254 Methodology for Developing an Intelligent Tutoring System Based on Marzano’s Taxonomy

Authors: Joaquin Navarro Perales, Ana Lidia Franzoni Velázquez, Francisco Cervantes Pérez

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The Mexican educational system faces diverse challenges related with the quality and coverage of education. The development of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) may help to solve some of them by helping teachers to customize their classes according to the performance of the students in online courses. In this work, we propose the adaptation of a functional ITS based on Bloom’s taxonomy called Sistema de Apoyo Generalizado para la Enseñanza Individualizada (SAGE), to measure student’s metacognition and their emotional response based on Marzano’s taxonomy. The students and the system will share the control over the advance in the course, so they can improve their metacognitive skills. The system will not allow students to get access to subjects not mastered yet. The interaction between the system and the student will be implemented through Natural Language Processing techniques, thus avoiding the use of sensors to evaluate student’s response. The teacher will evaluate student’s knowledge utilization, which is equivalent to the last cognitive level in Marzano’s taxonomy.

Keywords: Intelligent tutoring systems, student modelling, metacognition, affective computing, natural language processing.

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253 Knowledge Representation and Inconsistency Reasoning of Class Diagram Maintenance in Big Data

Authors: Chi-Lun Liu

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Requirements modeling and analysis are important in successful information systems' maintenance. Unified Modeling Language (UML) class diagrams are useful standards for modeling information systems. To our best knowledge, there is a lack of a systems development methodology described by the organism metaphor. The core concept of this metaphor is adaptation. Using the knowledge representation and reasoning approach and ontologies to adopt new requirements are emergent in recent years. This paper proposes an organic methodology which is based on constructivism theory. This methodology is a knowledge representation and reasoning approach to analyze new requirements in the class diagrams maintenance. The process and rules in the proposed methodology automatically analyze inconsistencies in the class diagram. In the big data era, developing an automatic tool based on the proposed methodology to analyze large amounts of class diagram data is an important research topic in the future.

Keywords: Knowledge representation, reasoning, ontology, class diagram, software engineering.

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252 Modern Spectrum Sensing Techniques for Cognitive Radio Networks: Practical Implementation and Performance Evaluation

Authors: Antoni Ivanov, Nikolay Dandanov, Nicole Christoff, Vladimir Poulkov

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Spectrum underutilization has made cognitive radio a promising technology both for current and future telecommunications. This is due to the ability to exploit the unused spectrum in the bands dedicated to other wireless communication systems, and thus, increase their occupancy. The essential function, which allows the cognitive radio device to perceive the occupancy of the spectrum, is spectrum sensing. In this paper, the performance of modern adaptations of the four most widely used spectrum sensing techniques namely, energy detection (ED), cyclostationary feature detection (CSFD), matched filter (MF) and eigenvalues-based detection (EBD) is compared. The implementation has been accomplished through the PlutoSDR hardware platform and the GNU Radio software package in very low Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) conditions. The optimal detection performance of the examined methods in a realistic implementation-oriented model is found for the common relevant parameters (number of observed samples, sensing time and required probability of false alarm).

Keywords: Cognitive radio, dynamic spectrum access, GNU Radio, spectrum sensing.

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251 Adaption Model for Building Agile Pronunciation Dictionaries Using Phonemic Distance Measurements

Authors: Akella Amarendra Babu, Rama Devi Yellasiri, Natukula Sainath

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Where human beings can easily learn and adopt pronunciation variations, machines need training before put into use. Also humans keep minimum vocabulary and their pronunciation variations are stored in front-end of their memory for ready reference, while machines keep the entire pronunciation dictionary for ready reference. Supervised methods are used for preparation of pronunciation dictionaries which take large amounts of manual effort, cost, time and are not suitable for real time use. This paper presents an unsupervised adaptation model for building agile and dynamic pronunciation dictionaries online. These methods mimic human approach in learning the new pronunciations in real time. A new algorithm for measuring sound distances called Dynamic Phone Warping is presented and tested. Performance of the system is measured using an adaptation model and the precision metrics is found to be better than 86 percent.

Keywords: Pronunciation variations, dynamic programming, machine learning, natural language processing.

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250 Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin

Authors: Claudineia Brazil, Elison Eduardo Bierhals, Francisco Pereira, José Leandro Néris, Matheus Rippel, Luciane Salvi

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The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Keywords: Climate change, hydrological potential, precipitation, mitigation.

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249 A Fast, Portable Computational Framework for Aerodynamic Simulations

Authors: Mehdi Ghommem, Daniel Garcia, Nathan Collier, Victor Calo

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We develop a fast, user-friendly implementation of a potential flow solver based on the unsteady vortex lattice method (UVLM). The computational framework uses the Python programming language which has easy integration with the scripts requiring computationally-expensive operations written in Fortran. The mixed-language approach enables high performance in terms of solution time and high flexibility in terms of easiness of code adaptation to different system configurations and applications. This computational tool is intended to predict the unsteady aerodynamic behavior of multiple moving bodies (e.g., flapping wings, rotating blades, suspension bridges...) subject to an incoming air. We simulate different aerodynamic problems to validate and illustrate the usefulness and effectiveness of the developed computational tool.

Keywords: Unsteady aerodynamics, numerical simulations, mixed-language approach, potential flow.

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248 Proposing of an Adaptable Land Readjustment Model for Developing of the Informal Settlements in Kabul City

Authors: Habibi Said Mustafa, Hiroko Ono

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Since 2006, Afghanistan is dealing with one of the most dramatic trend of urban movement in its history, cities and towns are expanding in size and number. Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan and as well as the fast-growing city in the Asia. The influx of the returnees from neighbor countries and other provinces of Afghanistan caused high rate of artificial growth which slums increased. As an unwanted consequence of this growth, today informal settlements have covered a vast portion of the city. Land Readjustment (LR) has proved to be an important tool for developing informal settlements and reorganizing urban areas but its implementation always varies from country to country and region to region within the countries. Consequently, to successfully develop the informal settlements in Kabul, we need to define an Afghan model of LR specifically for Afghanistan which needs to incorporate all those factors related to the socio-economic condition of the country. For this purpose, a part of the old city of Kabul has selected as a study area which is located near the Central Business District (CBD). After the further analysis and incorporating all needed factors, the result shows a positive potential for the implementation of an adaptable Land Readjustment model for Kabul city which is more sustainable and socio-economically friendly. It will enhance quality of life and provide better urban services for the residents. Moreover, it will set a vision and criteria by which sustainable developments shall proceed in other similar informal settlements of Kabul.

Keywords: Adaptation, informal settlements, Kabul, land readjustment, preservation.

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247 Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and Mini Mental State Examination-2 in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Case Studies

Authors: Cornelia-Eugenia Munteanu

Abstract:

From a psychological perspective, psychopathology is the area of clinical psychology that has at its core psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In day-to-day clinical practice, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy are used independently, according to their intended purpose and their specific methods of application. The paper explores how the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Mini Mental State Examination-2 (MMSE-2) psychological tools contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This combined approach, psychotherapy in conjunction with assessment of personality and cognitive functions, is illustrated by two cases, a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms and a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. The order in which CBT, MMPI-2, and MMSE-2 were used in the diagnostic and therapeutic process was determined by the particularities of each case. In the first case, the sequence started with psychotherapy, followed by the administration of blue form MMSE-2, MMPI-2, and red form MMSE-2. In the second case, the cognitive screening with blue form MMSE-2 led to a personality assessment using MMPI-2, followed by red form MMSE-2; reapplication of the MMPI-2 due to the invalidation of the first profile, and finally, psychotherapy. The MMPI-2 protocols gathered useful information that directed the steps of therapeutic intervention: a detailed symptom picture of potentially self-destructive thoughts and behaviors otherwise undetected during the interview. The memory loss and poor concentration were confirmed by MMSE-2 cognitive screening. This combined approach, psychotherapy with psychological assessment, aligns with the trend of adaptation of the psychological services to the everyday life of contemporary man and paves the way for deepening and developing the field.

Keywords: Assessment, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, MMPI-2, MMSE-2, psychopathology.

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246 Quality of Life Assessment across the Cancer Continuum: Understanding the Role of an Exercise Rehabilitation Programme

Authors: Bernat-Carles Serdà Ferrer, Arantza Del Valle Gómez

Abstract:

The Quality of Life (QoL) paradigm is multidimensional, dynamic and modular and its definition differs across the cancer continuum. The challenge in the interpretation of QoL data in clinical research is that QoL is influenced by psychological phenomena such as adaptation to illness. This research aims to obtain a valid and sensitive assessment of QoL change over the continuum disease, and to evaluate a rehabilitation programme aimed at inverting the observed decrease in QoL when patients return to daily living activities. The sample comprised 66 men. Patients were first assessed to establish a baseline (P1-diagnosis). This was followed by a post-test (P2-discharge) and a then-test measurement (P3-retrospective evaluation) and after returning home patients were randomized in experimental and control groups. The experimental group attended a rehabilitation programme over 24 weeks (P4). Results show that from baseline to post-test, QoL decreased significantly. The recalibration then-test confirmed a low QoL in all periods evaluated. Significant differences between the experimental and control groups prove the positive effect of the Exercise Rehabilitation Programme (ERP) on QoL. Understanding the real dynamic of QoL over time would help to adapt rehabilitation programmes by improving sensitivity and efficacy and provide professionals with a more accurate perception of the impact of treatment and side effects on patients’ QoL. Our results underline the importance of changing the approach adopted by health professionals towards one of watchful waiting on patients’ QoL until their complete recovery in daily life.

Keywords: Prostate cancer, quality of life, rehabilitation programme, response shift.

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245 A Numerical Description of a Fibre Reinforced Concrete Using a Genetic Algorithm

Authors: Henrik L. Funke, Lars Ulke-Winter, Sandra Gelbrich, Lothar Kroll

Abstract:

This work reports about an approach for an automatic adaptation of concrete formulations based on genetic algorithms (GA) to optimize a wide range of different fit-functions. In order to achieve the goal, a method was developed which provides a numerical description of a fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) mixture regarding the production technology and the property spectrum of the concrete. In a first step, the FRC mixture with seven fixed components was characterized by varying amounts of the components. For that purpose, ten concrete mixtures were prepared and tested. The testing procedure comprised flow spread, compressive and bending tensile strength. The analysis and approximation of the determined data was carried out by GAs. The aim was to obtain a closed mathematical expression which best describes the given seven-point cloud of FRC by applying a Gene Expression Programming with Free Coefficients (GEP-FC) strategy. The seven-parametric FRC-mixtures model which is generated according to this method correlated well with the measured data. The developed procedure can be used for concrete mixtures finding closed mathematical expressions, which are based on the measured data.

Keywords: Concrete design, fibre reinforced concrete, genetic algorithms, GEP-FC.

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244 Unmet English Needs of the Non-Engineering Staff: The Case of Algerian Hydrocarbon Industry

Authors: N. Khiati

Abstract:

The present paper attempts to report on some findings that emerged out of a larger scale doctorate research into English language needs of a renowned Algerian company of Hydrocarbon industry. From a multifaceted English for specific purposes (ESP) research perspective, the paper considers the English needs of the finance/legal department staff in the midst of the conflicting needs perspectives involving both objective needs indicators (i.e., the pressure of globalised business) and the general negative attitudes among the administrative -mainly jurists- staff towards English (favouring a non-adaptation strategy). The researcher’s unearthing of the latter’s needs is an endeavour to concretise the concepts of unmet, or unconscious needs, among others. This is why, these initially uncovered hidden needs will be detailed questioning educational background, namely previous language of instruction; training experiences and expectations; as well as the actual communicative practices derived from the retrospective interviews and preliminary quantitative data of the questionnaire. Based on these rough clues suggesting real needs, the researcher will tentatively propose some implications for both pre-service and in-service training organisers as well as for educational policy makers in favour of an English course in legal English for the jurists mainly from pre-graduate phases to in-service training.

Keywords: English for specific purposes, ESP, legal and finance staff, needs analysis, unmet/unconscious needs, training implications.

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243 Formex Algebra Adaptation into Parametric Design Tools: Dome Structures

Authors: Réka Sárközi, Péter Iványi, Attila B. Széll

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to present the adaptation of the dome construction tool for formex algebra to the parametric design software Grasshopper. Formex algebra is a mathematical system, primarily used for planning structural systems such like truss-grid domes and vaults, together with the programming language Formian. The goal of the research is to allow architects to plan truss-grid structures easily with parametric design tools based on the versatile formex algebra mathematical system. To produce regular structures, coordinate system transformations are used and the dome structures are defined in spherical coordinate system. Owing to the abilities of the parametric design software, it is possible to apply further modifications on the structures and gain special forms. The paper covers the basic dome types, and also additional dome-based structures using special coordinate-system solutions based on spherical coordinate systems. It also contains additional structural possibilities like making double layer grids in all geometry forms. The adaptation of formex algebra and the parametric workflow of Grasshopper together give the possibility of quick and easy design and optimization of special truss-grid domes.

Keywords: Parametric design, structural morphology, space structures, spherical coordinate system.

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242 Learning Object Interface Adapted to the Learner's Learning Style

Authors: Zenaide Carvalho da Silva, Leandro Rodrigues Ferreira, Andrey Ricardo Pimentel

Abstract:

Learning styles (LS) refer to the ways and forms that the student prefers to learn in the teaching and learning process. Each student has their own way of receiving and processing information throughout the learning process. Therefore, knowing their LS is important to better understand their individual learning preferences, and also, understand why the use of some teaching methods and techniques give better results with some students, while others it does not. We believe that knowledge of these styles enables the possibility of making propositions for teaching; thus, reorganizing teaching methods and techniques in order to allow learning that is adapted to the individual needs of the student. Adapting learning would be possible through the creation of online educational resources adapted to the style of the student. In this context, this article presents the structure of a learning object interface adaptation based on the LS. The structure created should enable the creation of the adapted learning object according to the student's LS and contributes to the increase of student’s motivation in the use of a learning object as an educational resource.

Keywords: Adaptation, interface, learning object, learning style.

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241 A Design-Based Approach to Developing a Mobile Learning System

Authors: Martina Holenko Dlab, Natasa Hoic-Bozic, Ivica Boticki

Abstract:

This paper presents technologically innovative and scalable mobile learning solution within the SCOLLAm project (“Opening up education through Seamless and COLLAborative mobile learning on tablet computers”). The main research method applied during the development of the SCOLLAm mobile learning system is design-based research. It assumes iterative refinement of the system guided by collaboration between researches and practitioners. Following the identification of requirements, a multiplatform mobile learning system SCOLLAm [in]Form was developed. Several experiments were designed and conducted in the first and second grade of elementary school. SCOLLAm [in]Form system was used to design learning activities for math classes during which students practice calculation. System refinements were based on experience and interaction data gathered during class observations. In addition to implemented improvements, the data were used to outline possible improvements and deficiencies of the system that should be addressed in the next phase of the SCOLLAm [in]Form development.

Keywords: Adaptation, collaborative learning, educational technology, mobile learning, tablet computers.

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240 Permeable Asphalt Pavement as a Measure of Urban Green Infrastructure in the Extreme Events Mitigation

Authors: Márcia Afonso, Cristina Fael, Marisa Dinis-Almeida

Abstract:

Population growth in cities has led to an increase in the infrastructures construction, including buildings and roadways. This aspect leads directly to the soils waterproofing. In turn, changes in precipitation patterns are developing into higher and more frequent intensities. Thus, these two conjugated aspects decrease the rainwater infiltration into soils and increase the volume of surface runoff. The practice of green and sustainable urban solutions has encouraged research in these areas. The porous asphalt pavement, as a green infrastructure, is part of practical solutions set to address urban challenges related to land use and adaptation to climate change. In this field, permeable pavements with porous asphalt mixtures (PA) have several advantages in terms of reducing the runoff generated by the floods. The porous structure of these pavements, compared to a conventional asphalt pavement, allows the rainwater infiltration in the subsoil, and consequently, the water quality improvement. This green infrastructure solution can be applied in cities, particularly in streets or parking lots to mitigate the floods effects. Over the years, the pores of these pavements can be filled by sediment, reducing their function in the rainwater infiltration. Thus, double layer porous asphalt (DLPA) was developed to mitigate the clogging effect and facilitate the water infiltration into the lower layers. This study intends to deepen the knowledge of the performance of DLPA when subjected to clogging. The experimental methodology consisted on four evaluation phases of the DLPA infiltration capacity submitted to three precipitation events (100, 200 and 300 mm/h) in each phase. The evaluation first phase determined the behavior after DLPA construction. In phases two and three, two 500 g/m2 clogging cycles were performed, totaling a 1000 g/m2 final simulation. Sand with gradation accented in fine particles was used as clogging material. In the last phase, the DLPA was subjected to simple sweeping and vacuuming maintenance. A precipitation simulator, type sprinkler, capable of simulating the real precipitation was developed for this purpose. The main conclusions show that the DLPA has the capacity to drain the water, even after two clogging cycles. The infiltration results of flows lead to an efficient performance of the DPLA in the surface runoff attenuation, since this was not observed in any of the evaluation phases, even at intensities of 200 and 300 mm/h, simulating intense precipitation events. The infiltration capacity under clogging conditions decreased about 7% on average in the three intensities relative to the initial performance that is after construction. However, this was restored when subjected to simple maintenance, recovering the DLPA hydraulic functionality. In summary, the study proved the efficacy of using a DLPA when it retains thicker surface sediments and limits the fine sediments entry to the remaining layers. At the same time, it is guaranteed the rainwater infiltration and the surface runoff reduction and is therefore a viable solution to put into practice in permeable pavements.

Keywords: Clogging, double layer porous asphalt, infiltration capacity, rainfall intensity.

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239 Life Cycle Datasets for the Ornamental Stone Sector

Authors: Isabella Bianco, Gian Andrea Blengini

Abstract:

The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.

Keywords: LCA datasets, life cycle assessment, ornamental stone, stone environmental impact.

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238 Family Functionality in Mexican Children with Congenital and Non-Congenital Deafness

Authors: D. Estrella, A. Silva, R. Zapata, H. Rubio

Abstract:

A total of 100 primary caregivers (mothers, fathers, grandparents) with at least one child or grandchild with a diagnosis of congenital bilateral profound deafness were assessed in order to evaluate the functionality of families with a deaf member, who was evaluated by specialists in audiology, molecular biology, genetics and psychology. After confirmation of the clinical diagnosis, DNA from the patients and parents were analyzed in search of the 35delG deletion of the GJB2 gene to determine who possessed the mutation. All primary caregivers were provided psychological support, regardless of whether or not they had the mutation, and prior and subsequent, the family APGAR test was applied. All parents, grandparents were informed of the results of the genetic analysis during the psychological intervention. The family APGAR, after psychological and genetic counseling, showed that 14% perceived their families as functional, 62% moderately functional and 24% dysfunctional. This shows the importance of psychological support in family functionality that has a direct impact on the quality of life of these families.

Keywords: Deafness, psychological support, family, adaptation to disability.

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