Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 654

Search results for: balance

654 Performance Comparison of Cooperative Banks in the EU, USA and Canada

Authors: Matěj Kuc

Abstract:

This paper compares different types of profitability measures of cooperative banks from two developed regions: the European Union and the United States of America together with Canada. We created balanced dataset of more than 200 cooperative banks covering 2011-2016 period. We made series of tests and run Random Effects estimation on panel data. We found that American and Canadian cooperatives are more profitable in terms of return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). There is no significant difference in net interest margin (NIM). Our results show that the North American cooperative banks accommodated better to the current market environment.

Keywords: Cooperative banking, panel data, profitability measures, random effects.

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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652 Comparative Effect of Self-Myofascial Release as a Warm-Up Exercise on Functional Fitness of Young Adults

Authors: Gopal Chandra Saha, Sumanta Daw

Abstract:

Warm-up is an essential component for optimizing performance in various sports before a physical fitness training session. This study investigated the immediate comparative effect of Self-Myofascial Release through vibration rolling (VR), non-vibration rolling (NVR), and static stretching as a part of a warm-up treatment on the functional fitness of young adults. Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. For the present study 20male physical education students were selected as subjects. The age of the subjects was ranged from 20-25 years. The functional fitness variables undertaken in the present study were flexibility, muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. Each of the three warm-up protocol was administered on consecutive days, i.e. 24 hr time gap and all tests were administered in the morning. The mean and SD were used as descriptive statistics. The significance of statistical differences among the groups was measured by applying ‘F’-test, and to find out the exact location of difference, Post Hoc Test (Least Significant Difference) was applied. It was found from the study that only flexibility showed significant difference among three types of warm-up exercise. The observed result depicted that VR has more impact on myofascial release in flexibility in comparison with NVR and stretching as a part of warm-up exercise as ‘p’ value was less than 0.05. In the present study, within the three means of warm-up exercises, vibration roller showed better mean difference in terms of NVR, and static stretching exercise on functional fitness of young physical education practitioners, although the results were found insignificant in case of muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. These findings suggest that sports professionals and coaches may take VR into account for designing more efficient and effective pre-performance routine for long term to improve exercise performances. VR has high potential to interpret into an on-field practical application means.

Keywords: Self-myofascial release, functional fitness, foam roller, physical education.

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651 Considering Aerosol Processes in Nuclear Transport Package Containment Safety Cases

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

Abstract:

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

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

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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649 Project Objective Structure Model: An Integrated, Systematic and Balanced Approach in Order to Achieve Project Objectives

Authors: Mohammad Reza Oftadeh

Abstract:

The purpose of the article is to describe project objective structure (POS) concept that was developed on research activities and experiences about project management, Balanced Scorecard (BSC) and European Foundation Quality Management Excellence Model (EFQM Excellence Model). Furthermore, this paper tries to define a balanced, systematic, and integrated measurement approach to meet project objectives and project strategic goals based on a process-oriented model. In this paper, POS is suggested in order to measure project performance in the project life cycle. After using the POS model, the project manager can ensure in order to achieve the project objectives on the project charter. This concept can help project managers to implement integrated and balanced monitoring and control project work.

Keywords: Project objectives, project performance management, PMBOK, key performance indicators, integration management.

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648 Combined Model Predictive Controller Technique for Enhancing NAO Gait Stabilization

Authors: Brahim Brahmi, Mohammed Hamza Laraki, Mohammad Habibur Rahman, Islam M. Rasedul, M. Assad Uz-Zaman

Abstract:

The humanoid robot, specifically the NAO robot must be able to provide a highly dynamic performance on the soccer field. Maintaining the balance of the humanoid robot during the required motion is considered as one of a challenging problems especially when the robot is subject to external disturbances, as contact with other robots. In this paper, a dynamic controller is proposed in order to ensure a robust walking (stabilization) and to improve the dynamic balance of the robot during its contact with the environment (external disturbances). The generation of the trajectory of the center of mass (CoM) is done by a model predictive controller (MPC) conjoined with zero moment point (ZMP) technique. Taking into account the properties of the rotational dynamics of the whole-body system, a modified previous control mixed with feedback control is employed to manage the angular momentum and the CoM’s acceleration, respectively. This latter is dedicated to provide a robust gait of the robot in the presence of the external disturbances. Simulation results are presented to show the feasibility of the proposed strategy.

Keywords: Preview control, walking, stabilization, humanoid robot.

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647 Triple Intercell Bar for Electrometallurgical Processes: A Design to Increase PV Energy Utilization

Authors: Eduardo P. Wiechmann, Jorge A. Henríquez, Pablo E. Aqueveque, Luis G. Muñoz

Abstract:

PV energy prices are declining rapidly. To take advantage of the benefits of those prices and lower the carbon footprint, operational practices must be modified. Undoubtedly, it challenges the electrowinning practice to operate at constant current throughout the day. This work presents a technology that contributes in providing modulation capacity to the electrode current distribution system. This is to raise the day time dc current and lower it at night. The system is a triple intercell bar that operates in current-source mode. The design is a capping board free dogbone type of bar that ensures an operation free of short circuits, hot swapability repairs and improved current balance. This current-source system eliminates the resetting currents circulating in equipotential bars. Twin auxiliary connectors are added to the main connectors providing secure current paths to bypass faulty or impaired contacts. All system conductive elements are positioned over a baseboard offering a large heat sink area to the ventilation of a facility. The system works with lower temperature than a conventional busbar. Of these attributes, the cathode current balance property stands out and is paramount for day/night modulation and the use of photovoltaic energy. A design based on a 3D finite element method model predicting electric and thermal performance under various industrial scenarios is presented. Preliminary results obtained in an electrowinning facility with industrial prototypes are included.

Keywords: Electrowinning, intercell bars, PV energy, current modulation.

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646 The Impact of Protein Content on Athletes’ Body Composition

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

Abstract:

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

Keywords: Body composition, diet, exercise, protein.

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645 The U.S. Missile Defense Shield and Global Security Destabilization: An Inconclusive Link

Authors: Michael A. Unbehauen, Gregory D. Sloan, Alberto J. Squatrito

Abstract:

Missile proliferation and global stability are intrinsically linked. Missile threats continually appear at the forefront of global security issues. North Korea’s recently demonstrated nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities, for the first time since the Cold War, renewed public interest in strategic missile defense capabilities. To protect from limited ICBM attacks from so-called rogue actors, the United States developed the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. This study examines if the GMD missile defense shield has contributed to a safer world or triggered a new arms race. Based upon increased missile-related developments and the lack of adherence to international missile treaties, it is generally perceived that the GMD system is a destabilizing factor for global security. By examining the current state of arms control treaties as well as existing missile arsenals and ongoing efforts in technologies to overcome U.S. missile defenses, this study seeks to analyze the contribution of GMD to global stability. A thorough investigation cannot ignore that, through the establishment of this limited capability, the U.S. violated longstanding, successful weapons treaties and caused concern among states that possess ICBMs. GMD capability contributes to the perception that ICBM arsenals could become ineffective, creating an imbalance in favor of the United States, leading to increased global instability and tension. While blame for the deterioration of global stability and non-adherence to arms control treaties is often placed on U.S. missile defense, the facts do not necessarily support this view. The notion of a renewed arms race due to GMD is supported neither by current missile arsenals nor by the inevitable development of new and enhanced missile technology, to include multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRVs), maneuverable reentry vehicles (MaRVs), and hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). The methodology in this study encapsulates a period of time, pre- and post-GMD introduction, while analyzing international treaty adherence, missile counts and types, and research in new missile technologies. The decline in international treaty adherence, coupled with a measurable increase in the number and types of missiles or research in new missile technologies during the period after the introduction of GMD, could be perceived as a clear indicator of GMD contributing to global instability. However, research into improved technology (MIRV, MaRV and HGV) prior to GMD, as well as a decline of various global missile inventories and testing of systems during this same period, would seem to invalidate this theory. U.S. adversaries have exploited the perception of the U.S. missile defense shield as a destabilizing factor as a pretext to strengthen and modernize their militaries and justify their policies. As a result, it can be concluded that global stability has not significantly decreased due to GMD; but rather, the natural progression of technological and missile development would inherently include innovative and dynamic approaches to target engagement, deterrence, and national defense.

Keywords: Arms control, arms race, global security, GMD, ICBM, missile defense, proliferation.

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644 Monte Carlo Estimation of Heteroscedasticity and Periodicity Effects in a Panel Data Regression Model

Authors: Nureni O. Adeboye, Dawud A. Agunbiade

Abstract:

This research attempts to investigate the effects of heteroscedasticity and periodicity in a Panel Data Regression Model (PDRM) by extending previous works on balanced panel data estimation within the context of fitting PDRM for Banks audit fee. The estimation of such model was achieved through the derivation of Joint Lagrange Multiplier (LM) test for homoscedasticity and zero-serial correlation, a conditional LM test for zero serial correlation given heteroscedasticity of varying degrees as well as conditional LM test for homoscedasticity given first order positive serial correlation via a two-way error component model. Monte Carlo simulations were carried out for 81 different variations, of which its design assumed a uniform distribution under a linear heteroscedasticity function. Each of the variation was iterated 1000 times and the assessment of the three estimators considered are based on Variance, Absolute bias (ABIAS), Mean square error (MSE) and the Root Mean Square (RMSE) of parameters estimates. Eighteen different models at different specified conditions were fitted, and the best-fitted model is that of within estimator when heteroscedasticity is severe at either zero or positive serial correlation value. LM test results showed that the tests have good size and power as all the three tests are significant at 5% for the specified linear form of heteroscedasticity function which established the facts that Banks operations are severely heteroscedastic in nature with little or no periodicity effects.

Keywords: Audit fee, heteroscedasticity, Lagrange multiplier test, periodicity.

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643 The Effects of Distribution Channels on the Selling Prices of Hotels in Time of Crisis

Authors: Y. Yılmaz, C. Ünal, A. Dursun

Abstract:

Distribution channels play significant role for hotels. Direct and indirect selling options of hotel rooms have been increased especially with the help of new technologies, i.e. hotel’s own web sites and online booking sites. Although these options emerged as tools for diversifying the distribution channels, vast number of hotels -mostly resort hotels- is still heavily dependent upon international tour operators when selling their products. On the other hand, hotel sector is so vulnerable against crises. Economic, political or any other crisis can affect hotels very badly and so it is critical to have the right balance of distribution channel to avoid the adverse impacts of a crisis. In this study, it is aimed to search the impacts of a general crisis on the selling prices of hotels which have different weights of distribution channels. The study was done in Turkey where various crises occurred in 2015 and 2016 which had great negative impacts on Turkish tourism and led enormous occupancy rate and selling price reductions. 112 upscale resort hotel in Antalya, which is the most popular tourism destination of Turkey, joined to the research. According to the results, hotels with high dependency to international tour operators are more forced to reduce their room prices in crisis time compared to the ones which use their own web sites more. It was also found that the decline in room prices is limited for hotels which are working with national tour operators and travel agencies in crisis time.

Keywords: Marketing channels, crisis, hotel, international tour operators, online travel agencies.

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642 Application of a Generalized Additive Model to Reveal the Relations between the Density of Zooplankton with Other Variables in the West Daya Bay, China

Authors: Weiwen Li, Hao Huang, Chengmao You, Jianji Liao, Lei Wang, Lina An

Abstract:

Zooplankton are a central issue in the ecology which makes a great contribution to maintaining the balance of an ecosystem. It is critical in promoting the material cycle and energy flow within the ecosystems. A generalized additive model (GAM) was applied to analyze the relationships between the density (individuals per m³) of zooplankton and other variables in West Daya Bay. All data used in this analysis (the survey month, survey station (longitude and latitude), the depth of the water column, the superficial concentration of chlorophyll a, the benthonic concentration of chlorophyll a, the number of zooplankton species and the number of zooplankton species) were collected through monthly scientific surveys during January to December 2016. GLM model (generalized linear model) was used to choose the significant variables’ impact on the density of zooplankton, and the GAM was employed to analyze the relationship between the density of zooplankton and the significant variables. The results showed that the density of zooplankton increased with an increase of the benthonic concentration of chlorophyll a, but decreased with a decrease in the depth of the water column. Both high numbers of zooplankton species and the overall total number of zooplankton individuals led to a higher density of zooplankton.

Keywords: Density, generalized linear model, generalized additive model, the West Daya Bay, zooplankton.

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641 Design and Motion Control of a Two-Wheel Inverted Pendulum Robot

Authors: Shiuh-Jer Huang, Su-Shean Chen, Sheam-Chyun Lin

Abstract:

Two-wheel inverted pendulum robot (TWIPR) is designed with two-hub DC motors for human riding and motion control evaluation. In order to measure the tilt angle and angular velocity of the inverted pendulum robot, accelerometer and gyroscope sensors are chosen. The mobile robot’s moving position and velocity were estimated based on DC motor built in hall sensors. The control kernel of this electric mobile robot is designed with embedded Arduino Nano microprocessor. A handle bar was designed to work as steering mechanism. The intelligent model-free fuzzy sliding mode control (FSMC) was employed as the main control algorithm for this mobile robot motion monitoring with different control purpose adjustment. The intelligent controllers were designed for balance control, and moving speed control purposes of this robot under different operation conditions and the control performance were evaluated based on experimental results.

Keywords: Balance control, speed control, intelligent controller and two wheel inverted pendulum.

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640 The Virtual Container Yard: Identifying the Persuasive Factors in Container Interchange

Authors: L. Edirisinghe, Zhihong Jin, A. W. Wijeratne, R. Mudunkotuwa

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The virtual container yard is an effective solution to the container inventory imbalance problem which is a global issue. It causes substantial cost to carriers, which inadvertently adds to the prices of consumer goods. The virtual container yard is rooted in the fundamentals of container interchange between carriers. If carriers opt to interchange their excess containers with those who are deficit, a substantial part of the empty reposition cost could be eliminated. Unlike in other types of ships, cargo cannot be directly loaded to a container ship. Slots and containers are supplementary components; thus, without containers, a carrier cannot ship cargo if the containers are not available and vice versa. Few decades ago, carriers recognized slot (the unit of space in a container ship) interchange as a viable solution for the imbalance of shipping space. Carriers interchange slots among them and it also increases the advantage of scale of economies in container shipping. Some of these service agreements between mega carriers have provisions to interchange containers too. However, the interchange mechanism is still not popular among carriers for containers. This is the paradox that prevails in the liner shipping industry. At present, carriers reposition their excess empty containers to areas where they are in demand. This research applied factor analysis statistical method. The paper reveals that five major components may influence the virtual container yard namely organisation, practice and culture, legal and environment, international nature, and marketing. There are 12 variables that may impact the virtual container yard, and these are explained in the paper.

Keywords: Virtual container yard, imbalance, management, inventory.

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639 Calculation of Water Economy Balance for Water Management

Authors: Vakhtang Geladze, Nana Bolashvili, Tamazi Karalashvili, Nino Machavariani, Ana Karalashvili, George Geladze, Nana Kvirkvelia

Abstract:

Fresh water deficit is one of the most important global problems today. It must be taken into consideration that in the nearest future fresh water crisis will become even more acute owing to the global climate warming and fast desertification processes in the world. Georgia is rich in water resources, but there are disbalance between the eastern and western parts of the country. The goal of the study is to integrate the recent mechanisms compatible with European standards into Georgian water resources management system on the basis of GIS. Moreover, to draw up water economy balance for the purpose of proper determination of water consumption priorities that will be an exchange ratio of water resources and water consumption of the concrete territory. For study region was choose south-eastern part of country, Kvemo kartli Region. This is typical agrarian region, tends to the desertification. The water supply of the region was assessed on the basis of water economy balance, which was first time calculated for this region.

Keywords: GIS, water economy balance, water resources.

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638 Mitigating the Cost of Empty Container Repositioning through the Virtual Container Yard: An Appraisal of Carriers’ Perceptions

Authors: L. Edirisinghe, Z. Jin, A. W. Wijeratne, R. Mudunkotuwa

Abstract:

Empty container repositioning is a fundamental problem faced by the shipping industry. The virtual container yard is a novel strategy underpinning the container interchange between carriers that could substantially reduce this ever-increasing shipping cost. This paper evaluates the shipping industry perception of the virtual container yard using chi-square tests. It examines if the carriers perceive that the selected independent variables, namely culture, organization, decision, marketing, attitudes, legal, independent, complexity, and stakeholders of carriers, impact the efficiency and benefits of the virtual container yard. There are two major findings of the research. Firstly, carriers view that complexity, attitudes, and stakeholders may impact the effectiveness of container interchange and may influence the perceived benefits of the virtual container yard. Secondly, the three factors of legal, organization, and decision influence only the perceived benefits of the virtual container yard. Accordingly, the implementation of the virtual container yard will be influenced by six key factors, namely complexity, attitudes, stakeholders, legal, organization and decision. Since the virtual container yard could reduce overall shipping costs, it is vital to examine the carriers’ perception of this concept.

Keywords: Virtual container yard, imbalance, management, inventory.

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637 The Application of a Neural Network in the Reworking of Accu-Chek to Wrist Bands to Monitor Blood Glucose in the Human Body

Authors: J. K Adedeji, O. H Olowomofe, C. O Alo, S.T Ijatuyi

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The issue of high blood sugar level, the effects of which might end up as diabetes mellitus, is now becoming a rampant cardiovascular disorder in our community. In recent times, a lack of awareness among most people makes this disease a silent killer. The situation calls for urgency, hence the need to design a device that serves as a monitoring tool such as a wrist watch to give an alert of the danger a head of time to those living with high blood glucose, as well as to introduce a mechanism for checks and balances. The neural network architecture assumed 8-15-10 configuration with eight neurons at the input stage including a bias, 15 neurons at the hidden layer at the processing stage, and 10 neurons at the output stage indicating likely symptoms cases. The inputs are formed using the exclusive OR (XOR), with the expectation of getting an XOR output as the threshold value for diabetic symptom cases. The neural algorithm is coded in Java language with 1000 epoch runs to bring the errors into the barest minimum. The internal circuitry of the device comprises the compatible hardware requirement that matches the nature of each of the input neurons. The light emitting diodes (LED) of red, green, and yellow colors are used as the output for the neural network to show pattern recognition for severe cases, pre-hypertensive cases and normal without the traces of diabetes mellitus. The research concluded that neural network is an efficient Accu-Chek design tool for the proper monitoring of high glucose levels than the conventional methods of carrying out blood test.

Keywords: Accu-Chek, diabetes, neural network, pattern recognition.

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636 Flood Modeling in Urban Area Using a Well-Balanced Discontinuous Galerkin Scheme on Unstructured Triangular Grids

Authors: Rabih Ghostine, Craig Kapfer, Viswanathan Kannan, Ibrahim Hoteit

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Urban flooding resulting from a sudden release of water due to dam-break or excessive rainfall is a serious threatening environment hazard, which causes loss of human life and large economic losses. Anticipating floods before they occur could minimize human and economic losses through the implementation of appropriate protection, provision, and rescue plans. This work reports on the numerical modelling of flash flood propagation in urban areas after an excessive rainfall event or dam-break. A two-dimensional (2D) depth-averaged shallow water model is used with a refined unstructured grid of triangles for representing the urban area topography. The 2D shallow water equations are solved using a second-order well-balanced discontinuous Galerkin scheme. Theoretical test case and three flood events are described to demonstrate the potential benefits of the scheme: (i) wetting and drying in a parabolic basin (ii) flash flood over a physical model of the urbanized Toce River valley in Italy; (iii) wave propagation on the Reyran river valley in consequence of the Malpasset dam-break in 1959 (France); and (iv) dam-break flood in October 1982 at the town of Sumacarcel (Spain). The capability of the scheme is also verified against alternative models. Computational results compare well with recorded data and show that the scheme is at least as efficient as comparable second-order finite volume schemes, with notable efficiency speedup due to parallelization.

Keywords: Flood modeling, dam-break, shallow water equations, Discontinuous Galerkin scheme, MUSCL scheme.

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635 Net Interest Margin of Cooperative Banks in Low Interest Rate Environment

Authors: Karolína Vozková, Matěj Kuc

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This paper deals with the impact of decrease in interest rates on the performance of commercial and cooperative banks in the Eurozone measured by net interest margin. The analysis was performed on balanced dataset of 268 commercial and 726 cooperative banks spanning the 2008-2015 period. We employed Fixed Effects estimation panel method. As expected, we found a negative relationship between market rates and net interest margin. Our results suggest that the impact of negative interest income differs across individual banking business models. More precisely, those cooperative banks were much more hit by the decrease of market interest rates which might be due to their ownership structure and more restrictive business regulation.

Keywords: Cooperative banks, performance, negative interest rates, risk management.

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634 An Approach to Measure Snow Depth of Winter Accumulation at Basin Scale Using Satellite Data

Authors: M. Geetha Priya, D. Krishnaveni

Abstract:

Snow depth estimation and monitoring studies have been carried out for decades using empirical relationship or extrapolation of point measurements carried out in field. With the development of advanced satellite based remote sensing techniques, a modified approach is proposed in the present study to estimate the winter accumulated snow depth at basin scale. Assessment of snow depth by differencing Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generated at the beginning and end of winter season can be experimented for the region of interest (Himalayan and polar regions) accounting for winter accumulation (solid precipitation). The proposed approach is based on existing geodetic method that is being used for glacier mass balance estimation. Considering the satellite datasets purely acquired during beginning and end of winter season, it is possible to estimate the change in depth or thickness for the snow that is accumulated during the winter as it takes one year for the snow to get transformed into firn (snow that has survived one summer or one-year old snow).

Keywords: Digital elevation model, snow depth, geodetic method, snow cover.

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633 A Neural Network Control for Voltage Balancing in Three-Phase Electric Power System

Authors: Dana M. Ragab, Jasim A. Ghaeb

Abstract:

The three-phase power system suffers from different challenging problems, e.g. voltage unbalance conditions at the load side. The voltage unbalance usually degrades the power quality of the electric power system. Several techniques can be considered for load balancing including load reconfiguration, static synchronous compensator and static reactive power compensator. In this work an efficient neural network is designed to control the unbalanced condition in the Aqaba-Qatrana-South Amman (AQSA) electric power system. It is designed for highly enhanced response time of the reactive compensator for voltage balancing. The neural network is developed to determine the appropriate set of firing angles required for the thyristor-controlled reactor to balance the three load voltages accurately and quickly. The parameters of AQSA power system are considered in the laboratory model, and several test cases have been conducted to test and validate the proposed technique capabilities. The results have shown a high performance of the proposed Neural Network Control (NNC) technique for correcting the voltage unbalance conditions at three-phase load based on accuracy and response time.

Keywords: Three-phase power system, reactive power control, voltage unbalance factor, neural network, power quality.

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632 A Linear Relation for Voltage Unbalance Factor Evaluation in Three-Phase Electrical Power System Using Space Vector

Authors: Dana M. Ragab, Jasim A Ghaeb

Abstract:

The Voltage Unbalance Factor (VUF) index is recommended to evaluate system performance under unbalanced operation. However, its calculation requires complex algebra which limits its use in the field. Furthermore, one system cycle is required at least to detect unbalance using the VUF. Ideally unbalance mitigation must be performed within 10 ms for 50 Hz systems. In this work, a linear relation for VUF evaluation in three-phase electrical power system using space vector (SV) is derived. It is proposed to determine the voltage unbalance quickly and accurately and to overcome the constraints associated with the traditional methods of VUF evaluation. Aqaba-Qatrana-South Amman (AQSA) power system is considered to study the system performance under unbalanced conditions. The results show that both the complexity of calculations and the time required to evaluate VUF are reduced significantly.

Keywords: Power quality, space vector, unbalance evaluation.

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631 Changes in Amino Acids Content in Muscle of European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) in Relation to Body Size

Authors: L. Gómez-Limia, I. Franco, T. Blanco, S. Martínez

Abstract:

European eels (Anguilla anguilla) belong to Anguilliformes order and Anguillidae family. They are generally classified as warm-water fish. Eels have a great commercial value in Europe and Asian countries. Eels can reach high weights, although their commercial size is relatively low in some countries. The capture of larger eels would facilitate the recovery of the species, as well as having a greater number of either glass eels or elvers for aquaculture. In the last years, the demand and the price of eels have increased significantly. However, European eel is considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The biochemical composition of fishes is an important aspect of quality and affects the nutritional value and consumption quality of fish. In addition, knowing this composition can help predict an individual’s condition for their recovery. Fish is known to be important source of protein rich in essential amino acids. However, there is very little information about changes in amino acids composition of European eels with increase in size. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two different weight categories on the amino acids content in muscle tissue of wild European eels. European eels were caught in River Ulla (Galicia, NW Spain), during winter. The eels were slaughtered in ice water immersion. Then, they were purchased and transferred to the laboratory. The eels were subdivided into two groups, according to the weight. The samples were kept frozen (-20 °C) until their analysis. Frozen eels were defrosted and the white muscle between the head and the anal hole. was extracted, in order to obtain amino acids composition. Thirty eels for each group were used. Liquid chromatography was used for separation and quantification of amino a cids. The results conclude that the eels are rich in glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, threonine, valine, isoleucine and phenylalanine. The analysis showed that there are significant differences (p < 0.05) among the eels with different sizes. Histidine, threonine, lysine, hydroxyproline, serine, glycine, arginine, alanine and proline were higher in small eels. European eels muscle presents between 45 and 46% of essential amino acids in the total amino acids. European eels have a well-balanced and high quality protein source in the respect of E/NE ratio. However, eels with higher weight showed a better ratio of essential and non-essential amino acid.

Keywords: European eels, amino acids, HPLC, body size.

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630 Rotor Dynamic Analysis for a Shaft Train by Using Finite Element Method

Authors: M. Najafi

Abstract:

In the present paper, a large turbo-generator shaft train including a heavy-duty gas turbine engine, a coupling, and a generator is established. The method of analysis is based on finite element simplified model for lateral and torsional vibration calculation. The basic elements of rotor are the shafts and the disks which are represented as circular cross section flexible beams and rigid body elements, respectively. For more accurate results, the gyroscopic effect and bearing dynamics coefficients and function of rotation are taken into account, and for the influence of shear effect, rotor has been modeled in the form of Timoshenko beam. Lateral critical speeds, critical speed map, damped mode shapes, Campbell diagram, zones of instability, amplitudes, phase angles response due to synchronous forces of excitation and amplification factor are calculated. Also, in the present paper, the effect of imbalanced rotor and effects of changing in internal force and temperature are studied.

Keywords: Rotor dynamic analysis, Finite element method, shaft train, Campbell diagram.

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629 The Effectiveness of National Fiscal Rules in the Asia-Pacific Countries

Authors: Chiung-Ju Huang, Yuan-Hong Ho

Abstract:

This study utilizes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Rules Dataset focusing on four specific fiscal rules such as expenditure rule, revenue rule, budget balance rule, and debt rule and five main characteristics of each fiscal rule those are monitoring, enforcement, coverage, legal basis, and escape clause to construct the Fiscal Rule Index for nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region from 1996 to 2015. After constructing the fiscal rule index for each country, we utilize the Panel Generalized Method of Moments (Panel GMM) by using the constructed fiscal rule index to examine the effectiveness of fiscal rules in reducing procyclicality. Empirical results show that national fiscal rules have a significantly negative impact on procyclicality of government expenditure. Additionally, stricter fiscal rules combined with high government effectiveness are effective in reducing procyclicality of government expenditure. Results of this study indicate that for nine Asia-Pacific countries, policymakers’ use of fiscal rules and government effectiveness to reducing procyclicality of fiscal policy are effective.

Keywords: Counter-cyclical policy, fiscal rules, government effectiveness, procyclical policy.

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628 Effective Planning of Public Transportation Systems: A Decision Support Application

Authors: Ferdi Sönmez, Nihal Yorulmaz

Abstract:

Decision making on the true planning of the public transportation systems to serve potential users is a must for metropolitan areas. To take attraction of travelers to projected modes of transport, adequately fair overall travel times should be provided. In this fashion, other benefits such as lower traffic congestion, road safety and lower noise and atmospheric pollution may be earned. The congestion which comes with increasing demand of public transportation is becoming a part of our lives and making residents’ life difficult. Hence, regulations should be done to reduce this congestion. To provide a constructive and balanced regulation in public transportation systems, right stations should be located in right places. In this study, it is aimed to design and implement a Decision Support System (DSS) Application to determine the optimal bus stop places for public transport in Istanbul which is one of the biggest and oldest cities in the world. Required information is gathered from IETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tram and Tunnel) Enterprises which manages all public transportation services in Istanbul Metropolitan Area. By using the most real-like values, cost assignments are made. The cost is calculated with the help of equations produced by bi-level optimization model. For this study, 300 buses, 300 drivers, 10 lines and 110 stops are used. The user cost of each station and the operator cost taken place in lines are calculated. Some components like cost, security and noise pollution are considered as significant factors affecting the solution of set covering problem which is mentioned for identifying and locating the minimum number of possible bus stops. Preliminary research and model development for this study refers to previously published article of the corresponding author. Model results are represented with the intent of decision support to the specialists on locating stops effectively.

Keywords: User cost, bi-level optimization model, decision support, operator cost, transportation.

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627 Real-Time Data Stream Partitioning over a Sliding Window in Real-Time Spatial Big Data

Authors: Sana Hamdi, Emna Bouazizi, Sami Faiz

Abstract:

In recent years, real-time spatial applications, like location-aware services and traffic monitoring, have become more and more important. Such applications result dynamic environments where data as well as queries are continuously moving. As a result, there is a tremendous amount of real-time spatial data generated every day. The growth of the data volume seems to outspeed the advance of our computing infrastructure. For instance, in real-time spatial Big Data, users expect to receive the results of each query within a short time period without holding in account the load of the system. But with a huge amount of real-time spatial data generated, the system performance degrades rapidly especially in overload situations. To solve this problem, we propose the use of data partitioning as an optimization technique. Traditional horizontal and vertical partitioning can increase the performance of the system and simplify data management. But they remain insufficient for real-time spatial Big data; they can’t deal with real-time and stream queries efficiently. Thus, in this paper, we propose a novel data partitioning approach for real-time spatial Big data named VPA-RTSBD (Vertical Partitioning Approach for Real-Time Spatial Big data). This contribution is an implementation of the Matching algorithm for traditional vertical partitioning. We find, firstly, the optimal attribute sequence by the use of Matching algorithm. Then, we propose a new cost model used for database partitioning, for keeping the data amount of each partition more balanced limit and for providing a parallel execution guarantees for the most frequent queries. VPA-RTSBD aims to obtain a real-time partitioning scheme and deals with stream data. It improves the performance of query execution by maximizing the degree of parallel execution. This affects QoS (Quality Of Service) improvement in real-time spatial Big Data especially with a huge volume of stream data. The performance of our contribution is evaluated via simulation experiments. The results show that the proposed algorithm is both efficient and scalable, and that it outperforms comparable algorithms.

Keywords: Real-Time Spatial Big Data, Quality Of Service, Vertical partitioning, Horizontal partitioning, Matching algorithm, Hamming distance, Stream query.

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626 A Finite Element/Finite Volume Method for Dam-Break Flows over Deformable Beds

Authors: Alia Alghosoun, Ashraf Osman, Mohammed Seaid

Abstract:

A coupled two-layer finite volume/finite element method was proposed for solving dam-break flow problem over deformable beds. The governing equations consist of the well-balanced two-layer shallow water equations for the water flow and a linear elastic model for the bed deformations. Deformations in the topography can be caused by a brutal localized force or simply by a class of sliding displacements on the bathymetry. This deformation in the bed is a source of perturbations, on the water surface generating water waves which propagate with different amplitudes and frequencies. Coupling conditions at the interface are also investigated in the current study and two mesh procedure is proposed for the transfer of information through the interface. In the present work a new procedure is implemented at the soil-water interface using the finite element and two-layer finite volume meshes with a conservative distribution of the forces at their intersections. The finite element method employs quadratic elements in an unstructured triangular mesh and the finite volume method uses the Rusanove to reconstruct the numerical fluxes. The numerical coupled method is highly efficient, accurate, well balanced, and it can handle complex geometries as well as rapidly varying flows. Numerical results are presented for several test examples of dam-break flows over deformable beds. Mesh convergence study is performed for both methods, the overall model provides new insight into the problems at minimal computational cost.

Keywords: Dam-break flows, deformable beds, finite element method, finite volume method, linear elasticity, Shallow water equations.

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625 Continuous Plug Flow and Discrete Particle Phase Coupling Using Triangular Parcels

Authors: Anders Schou Simonsen, Thomas Condra, Kim Sørensen

Abstract:

Various processes are modelled using a discrete phase, where particles are seeded from a source. Such particles can represent liquid water droplets, which are affecting the continuous phase by exchanging thermal energy, momentum, species etc. Discrete phases are typically modelled using parcel, which represents a collection of particles, which share properties such as temperature, velocity etc. When coupling the phases, the exchange rates are integrated over the cell, in which the parcel is located. This can cause spikes and fluctuating exchange rates. This paper presents an alternative method of coupling a discrete and a continuous plug flow phase. This is done using triangular parcels, which span between nodes following the dynamics of single droplets. Thus, the triangular parcels are propagated using the corner nodes. At each time step, the exchange rates are spatially integrated over the surface of the triangular parcels, which yields a smooth continuous exchange rate to the continuous phase. The results shows that the method is more stable, converges slightly faster and yields smooth exchange rates compared with the steam tube approach. However, the computational requirements are about five times greater, so the applicability of the alternative method should be limited to processes, where the exchange rates are important. The overall balances of the exchanged properties did not change significantly using the new approach.

Keywords: CFD, coupling, discrete phase, parcel.

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