Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 768

Search results for: criteria

768 Content-Based Image Retrieval Using HSV Color Space Features

Authors: Hamed Qazanfari, Hamid Hassanpour, Kazem Qazanfari

Abstract:

In this paper, a method is provided for content-based image retrieval. Content-based image retrieval system searches query an image based on its visual content in an image database to retrieve similar images. In this paper, with the aim of simulating the human visual system sensitivity to image's edges and color features, the concept of color difference histogram (CDH) is used. CDH includes the perceptually color difference between two neighboring pixels with regard to colors and edge orientations. Since the HSV color space is close to the human visual system, the CDH is calculated in this color space. In addition, to improve the color features, the color histogram in HSV color space is also used as a feature. Among the extracted features, efficient features are selected using entropy and correlation criteria. The final features extract the content of images most efficiently. The proposed method has been evaluated on three standard databases Corel 5k, Corel 10k and UKBench. Experimental results show that the accuracy of the proposed image retrieval method is significantly improved compared to the recently developed methods.

Keywords: Content-based image retrieval, color difference histogram, efficient features selection, entropy, correlation.

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

Authors: Yusuf Garba Baba

Abstract:

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

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

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766 Impact of Changes of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting on the Indicators of the Financial Statement

Authors: Nadezhda Kvatashidze

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The International Accounting Standards Board updated the conceptual framework for financial reporting. The main reason behind it is to resolve the tasks of the accounting, which are caused by the market development and business-transactions of a new economic content. Also, the investors call for higher transparency of information and responsibility for the results in order to make a more accurate risk assessment and forecast. All these make it necessary to further develop the conceptual framework for financial reporting so that the users get useful information. The market development and certain shortcomings of the conceptual framework revealed in practice require its reconsideration and finding new solutions. Some issues and concepts, such as disclosure and supply of information, its qualitative characteristics, assessment, and measurement uncertainty had to be supplemented and perfected. The criteria of recognition of certain elements (assets and liabilities) of reporting had to be updated, too and all this is set out in the updated edition of the conceptual framework for financial reporting, a comprehensive collection of concepts underlying preparation of the financial statement. The main objective of conceptual framework revision is to improve financial reporting and development of clear concepts package. This will support International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to set common “Approach & Reflection” for similar transactions on the basis of mutually accepted concepts. As a result, companies will be able to develop coherent accounting policies for those transactions or events that are occurred from particular deals to which no standard is used or when standard allows choice of accounting policy.

Keywords: Conceptual framework, measurement basis, measurement uncertainty, neutrality, prudence, stewardship.

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765 Considering Aerosol Processes in Nuclear Transport Package Containment Safety Cases

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

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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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764 Segmentation of Arabic Handwritten Numeral Strings Based on Watershed Approach

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

Abstract:

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

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

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763 Development of Requirements Analysis Tool for Medical Autonomy in Long-Duration Space Exploration Missions

Authors: Lara Dutil-Fafard, Caroline Rhéaume, Patrick Archambault, Daniel Lafond, Neal W. Pollock

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Improving resources for medical autonomy of astronauts in prolonged space missions, such as a Mars mission, requires not only technology development, but also decision-making support systems. The Advanced Crew Medical System - Medical Condition Requirements study, funded by the Canadian Space Agency, aimed to create knowledge content and a scenario-based query capability to support medical autonomy of astronauts. The key objective of this study was to create a prototype tool for identifying medical infrastructure requirements in terms of medical knowledge, skills and materials. A multicriteria decision-making method was used to prioritize the highest risk medical events anticipated in a long-term space mission. Starting with those medical conditions, event sequence diagrams (ESDs) were created in the form of decision trees where the entry point is the diagnosis and the end points are the predicted outcomes (full recovery, partial recovery, or death/severe incapacitation). The ESD formalism was adapted to characterize and compare possible outcomes of medical conditions as a function of available medical knowledge, skills, and supplies in a given mission scenario. An extensive literature review was performed and summarized in a medical condition database. A PostgreSQL relational database was created to allow query-based evaluation of health outcome metrics with different medical infrastructure scenarios. Critical decision points, skill and medical supply requirements, and probable health outcomes were compared across chosen scenarios. The three medical conditions with the highest risk rank were acute coronary syndrome, sepsis, and stroke. Our efforts demonstrate the utility of this approach and provide insight into the effort required to develop appropriate content for the range of medical conditions that may arise.

Keywords: Decision support system, event sequence diagram, exploration mission, medical autonomy, scenario-based queries, space medicine.

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762 Simultaneous Optimization of Design and Maintenance through a Hybrid Process Using Genetic Algorithms

Authors: O. Adjoul, A. Feugier, K. Benfriha, A. Aoussat

Abstract:

In general, issues related to design and maintenance are considered in an independent manner. However, the decisions made in these two sets influence each other. The design for maintenance is considered an opportunity to optimize the life cycle cost of a product, particularly in the nuclear or aeronautical field, where maintenance expenses represent more than 60% of life cycle costs. The design of large-scale systems starts with product architecture, a choice of components in terms of cost, reliability, weight and other attributes, corresponding to the specifications. On the other hand, the design must take into account maintenance by improving, in particular, real-time monitoring of equipment through the integration of new technologies such as connected sensors and intelligent actuators. We noticed that different approaches used in the Design For Maintenance (DFM) methods are limited to the simultaneous characterization of the reliability and maintainability of a multi-component system. This article proposes a method of DFM that assists designers to propose dynamic maintenance for multi-component industrial systems. The term "dynamic" refers to the ability to integrate available monitoring data to adapt the maintenance decision in real time. The goal is to maximize the availability of the system at a given life cycle cost. This paper presents an approach for simultaneous optimization of the design and maintenance of multi-component systems. Here the design is characterized by four decision variables for each component (reliability level, maintainability level, redundancy level, and level of monitoring data). The maintenance is characterized by two decision variables (the dates of the maintenance stops and the maintenance operations to be performed on the system during these stops). The DFM model helps the designers choose technical solutions for the large-scale industrial products. Large-scale refers to the complex multi-component industrial systems and long life-cycle, such as trains, aircraft, etc. The method is based on a two-level hybrid algorithm for simultaneous optimization of design and maintenance, using genetic algorithms. The first level is to select a design solution for a given system that considers the life cycle cost and the reliability. The second level consists of determining a dynamic and optimal maintenance plan to be deployed for a design solution. This level is based on the Maintenance Free Operating Period (MFOP) concept, which takes into account the decision criteria such as, total reliability, maintenance cost and maintenance time. Depending on the life cycle duration, the desired availability, and the desired business model (sales or rental), this tool provides visibility of overall costs and optimal product architecture.

Keywords: Availability, design for maintenance, DFM, dynamic maintenance, life cycle cost, LCC, maintenance free operating period, MFOP, simultaneous optimization.

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761 The Importance of Analysis of Internal Quality Management Systems and Self-Examination Processes in Engineering Accreditation Processes

Authors: Wilfred Fritz

Abstract:

The accreditation process of engineering degree programmes is based on various reports evaluated by the relevant governing bodies of the institution of higher education. One of the aforementioned reports for the accreditation process is a self-assessment report which is to be completed by the applying institution. This paper seeks to emphasise the importance of analysis of internal quality management systems and self-examination processes in the engineering accreditation processes. A description of how the programme fulfils the criteria should be given. Relevant stakeholders all need to contribute in the writing and structuring of the self-assessment report. The last step is to gather evidence in the form of supporting documentation. In conclusion, the paper also identifies learning outcomes in a case study in seeking accreditation from an international relevant professional body.

Keywords: Accreditation, governing bodies, self-assessment report, quality management.

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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759 Investigating the Effective Parameters in Determining the Type of Traffic Congestion Pricing Schemes in Urban Streets

Authors: Saeed Sayyad Hagh Shomar

Abstract:

Traffic congestion pricing – as a strategy in travel demand management in urban areas to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and noise pollution – has drawn many attentions towards itself. Unlike the satisfying findings in this method, there are still problems in determining the best functional congestion pricing scheme with regard to the situation. The so-called problems in this process will result in further complications and even the scheme failure. That is why having proper knowledge of the significance of congestion pricing schemes and the effective factors in choosing them can lead to the success of this strategy. In this study, first, a variety of traffic congestion pricing schemes and their components are introduced; then, their functional usage is discussed. Next, by analyzing and comparing the barriers, limitations and advantages, the selection criteria of pricing schemes are described. The results, accordingly, show that the selection of the best scheme depends on various parameters. Finally, based on examining the effective parameters, it is concluded that the implementation of area-based schemes (cordon and zonal) has been more successful in non-diversion of traffic. That is considering the topology of the cities and the fact that traffic congestion is often created in the city centers, area-based schemes would be notably functional and appropriate.

Keywords: Congestion pricing, demand management, flat toll, variable toll.

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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757 Measuring Banks’ Antifragility via Fuzzy Logic

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

Abstract:

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

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

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756 Screening of Strategic Management Criterions in Hospitals Using Delphi-Fuzzy Method

Authors: Helia Moayedi, Mahdi Moaidi

Abstract:

Nowadays, the managing and planning of hospitals is facing many problems. Failure to recognize the main criteria for strategic management to ensure long-term hospital performance can lead to many health problems. To achieve this goal, a qualitative-quantitate method titled Delphi-Fuzzy has been applied. This strategy makes it possible for experts to screen among the most important criteria in strategic management. To conduct this operation, a statistical society consisting of 20 experts in Ahwaz hospitals has been questioned. The final model confirms the key criterions after three stages of Delphi. This model provides the possibility to focus on the basic criteria and can determine the organization’s main orientation.

Keywords: Delphi-Fuzzy Method, hospital management, long-term planning, qualitative-quantitate method, screening of strategic criteria, strategic planning.

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755 Identifying Missing Component in the Bechdel Test Using Principal Component Analysis Method

Authors: Raghav Lakhotia, Chandra Kanth Nagesh, Krishna Madgula

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A lot has been said and discussed regarding the rationale and significance of the Bechdel Score. It became a digital sensation in 2013, when Swedish cinemas began to showcase the Bechdel test score of a film alongside its rating. The test has drawn criticism from experts and the film fraternity regarding its use to rate the female presence in a movie. The pundits believe that the score is too simplified and the underlying criteria of a film to pass the test must include 1) at least two women, 2) who have at least one dialogue, 3) about something other than a man, is egregious. In this research, we have considered a few more parameters which highlight how we represent females in film, like the number of female dialogues in a movie, dialogue genre, and part of speech tags in the dialogue. The parameters were missing in the existing criteria to calculate the Bechdel score. The research aims to analyze 342 movies scripts to test a hypothesis if these extra parameters, above with the current Bechdel criteria, are significant in calculating the female representation score. The result of the Principal Component Analysis method concludes that the female dialogue content is a key component and should be considered while measuring the representation of women in a work of fiction.

Keywords: Bechdel test, dialogue genre, parts of speech tags, principal component analysis.

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754 The Tourist Satisfaction on Brand Identity Design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province

Authors: Panupong Chanplin, Kathaleeya Chanda., Wilailuk Mepracha

Abstract:

The aims of this research were twofold: 1) to brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province and 2) to study the level of tourist satisfaction towards brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province. tourist satisfaction was measured using six criteria: clear brand positioning, likeable brand personality, memorable logo, attractive color palette, professional typography and on-brand supporting graphics. The researcher utilized a probability sampling method via simple random sampling. The sample consisted of 30 tourists in the Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise. Statistics utilized for data analysis were percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The results suggest that tourist had high levels of satisfaction towards all six criteria of the brand identity design that was designed to target them. This study proposes that specifically brand identity designed of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise could also be implemented with other real media already available on the market.

Keywords: Satisfaction, brand identity, logo, creative agriculture community enterprise.

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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752 Corporate Governance Mechanisms, Whistle-Blowing Policy and Earnings Management Practices of Firms in Malaysia

Authors: Mujeeb Saif Mohsen Al-Absy, Ku Nor Izah Ku Ismail, Sitraselvi Chandren

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This study examines whether corporate governance (CG) mechanisms in firms that have a whistle-blowing policy (WHBLP) are more effective in constraining earnings management (EM), than those without. A sample of 288 Malaysian firms for the years 2013 to 2015, amounting to 864 firm-years were grouped into firms with and without WHBLP. Results show that for firms without WHBLP, the board chairman tenure would minimize EM activities. Meanwhile, for firms with WHBLP, board chairman independence, board chairman tenure, audit committee size, audit committee meeting and women in the audit committees are found to be associated with less EM activities. Further, it is found that ownership concentration and Big 4 auditing firms help to reduce EM activities in firms with WHBLP, while not in firms without WHBLP. Hence, functional and effective governance can be achieved by having a WHBLP, which is in line with agency and resource dependent theories. Therefore, this study suggests that firms should have a WHBLP in place, and policymakers should come up with enhanced criteria to strengthen the mechanisms of WHBLP.

Keywords: Corporate governance, earnings management, whistle-blowing policy, audit committee, board of directors.

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751 Bibliometric Analysis of the Research Progress on Graphene Inks from 2008 to 2018

Authors: Jean C. A. Sousa, Julio Cesar Maciel Santos, Andressa J. Rubio, Edneia A. S. Paccola, Natália U. Yamaguchi

Abstract:

A bibliometric analysis in the Web of Science database was used to identify overall scientific results of graphene inks to date (2008 to 2018). The objective of this study was to evaluate the evolutionary tendency of graphene inks research and to identify its aspects, aiming to provide data that can guide future work. The contributions of different researches, languages, thematic categories, periodicals, place of publication, institutes, funding agencies, articles cited and applications were analyzed. The results revealed a growing number of annual publications, of 258 papers found, 107 were included because they met the inclusion criteria. Three main applications were identified: synthesis and characterization, electronics and surfaces. The most relevant research on graphene inks has been summarized in this article, and graphene inks for electronic devices presented the most incident theme according to the research trends during the studied period. It is estimated that this theme will remain in evidence and will contribute to the direction of future research in this area.

Keywords: Bibliometric, coating, nanomaterials, scientometrics.

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750 An Improved Adaptive Dot-Shape Beamforming Algorithm Research on Frequency Diverse Array

Authors: Yanping Liao, Zenan Wu, Ruigang Zhao

Abstract:

Frequency diverse array (FDA) beamforming is a technology developed in recent years, and its antenna pattern has a unique angle-distance-dependent characteristic. However, the beam is always required to have strong concentration, high resolution and low sidelobe level to form the point-to-point interference in the concentrated set. In order to eliminate the angle-distance coupling of the traditional FDA and to make the beam energy more concentrated, this paper adopts a multi-carrier FDA structure based on proposed power exponential frequency offset to improve the array structure and frequency offset of the traditional FDA. The simulation results show that the beam pattern of the array can form a dot-shape beam with more concentrated energy, and its resolution and sidelobe level performance are improved. However, the covariance matrix of the signal in the traditional adaptive beamforming algorithm is estimated by the finite-time snapshot data. When the number of snapshots is limited, the algorithm has an underestimation problem, which leads to the estimation error of the covariance matrix to cause beam distortion, so that the output pattern cannot form a dot-shape beam. And it also has main lobe deviation and high sidelobe level problems in the case of limited snapshot. Aiming at these problems, an adaptive beamforming technique based on exponential correction for multi-carrier FDA is proposed to improve beamforming robustness. The steps are as follows: first, the beamforming of the multi-carrier FDA is formed under linear constrained minimum variance (LCMV) criteria. Then the eigenvalue decomposition of the covariance matrix is ​​performed to obtain the diagonal matrix composed of the interference subspace, the noise subspace and the corresponding eigenvalues. Finally, the correction index is introduced to exponentially correct the small eigenvalues ​​of the noise subspace, improve the divergence of small eigenvalues ​​in the noise subspace, and improve the performance of beamforming. The theoretical analysis and simulation results show that the proposed algorithm can make the multi-carrier FDA form a dot-shape beam at limited snapshots, reduce the sidelobe level, improve the robustness of beamforming, and have better performance.

Keywords: Multi-carrier frequency diverse array, adaptive beamforming, correction index, limited snapshot, robust.

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749 Coalescence of Insulin and Triglyceride/High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Ratio for the Derivation of a Laboratory Index to Predict Metabolic Syndrome in Morbid Obese Children

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Morbid obesity is a health threatening condition particularly in children. Generally, it leads to the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) characterized by central obesity, elevated fasting blood glucose (FBG), triglyceride (TRG), blood pressure values and suppressed high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. However, some ambiguities exist during the diagnosis of MetS in children below 10 years of age. Therefore, clinicians are in the need of some surrogate markers for the laboratory assessment of pediatric MetS. In this study, the aim is to develop an index, which will be more helpful during the evaluation of further risks detected in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 235 children with normal body mass index (N-BMI), with varying degrees of obesity; overweight (OW), obese (OB), MO as well as MetS participated in this study. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee. Informed consent forms were obtained from the parents of the children. Obesity states of the children were classified using BMI percentiles adjusted for age and sex. For the purpose, tabulated data prepared by WHO were used. MetS criteria were defined. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were measured. Parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms were determined. FBG, insulin (INS), HDL-C, TRG concentrations were determined. Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Laboratory (DONMALAB) Index [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] was introduced. Commonly used insulin resistance (IR) indices such as Homeostatic Model Assessment for IR (HOMA-IR) as well as ratios such as TRG/HDL-C, TRG/HDL-C*INS, HDL-C/TRG*INS, TRG/HDL-C*INS/FBG, log, and ln versions of these ratios were calculated. Results were interpreted using statistical package program (SPSS Version 16.0) for Windows. The data were evaluated using appropriate statistical tests. The degree for statistical significance was defined as 0.05. 35 N, 20 OW, 47 OB, 97 MO children and 36 with MetS were investigated. Mean ± SD values of TRG/HDL-C were 1.27 ± 0.69, 1.86 ± 1.08, 2.15 ± 1.22, 2.48 ± 2.35 and 4.61 ± 3.92 for N, OW, OB, MO and MetS children, respectively. Corresponding values for the DONMALAB index were 2.17 ± 1.07, 3.01 ± 0.94, 3.41 ± 0.93, 3.43 ± 1.08 and 4.32 ± 1.00. TRG/HDL-C ratio significantly differed between N and MetS groups. On the other hand, DONMALAB index exhibited statistically significant differences between N and all the other groups except the OW group. This index was capable of discriminating MO children from those with MetS. Statistically significant elevations were detected in MO children with MetS (p < 0.05). Multiple parameters are commonly used during the assessment of MetS. Upon evaluation of the values obtained for N, OW, OB, MO groups and for MO children with MetS, the [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] value was unique in discriminating children with MetS.

Keywords: Children, index, laboratory, metabolic syndrome, obesity.

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748 Understanding the Nature of Blood Pressure as Metabolic Syndrome Component in Children

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

Pediatric overweight and obesity need attention because they may cause morbid obesity, which may develop metabolic syndrome (MetS). Criteria used for the definition of adult MetS cannot be applied for pediatric MetS. Dynamic physiological changes that occur during childhood and adolescence require the evaluation of each parameter based upon age intervals. The aim of this study is to investigate the distribution of blood pressure (BP) values within diverse pediatric age intervals and the possible use and clinical utility of a recently introduced Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Tension (DONMA tense) Index derived from systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) [SBP+DBP/200]. Such a formula may enable a more integrative picture for the assessment of pediatric obesity and MetS due to the use of both SBP and DBP. 554 children, whose ages were between 6-16 years participated in the study; the study population was divided into two groups based upon their ages. The first group comprises 280 cases aged 6-10 years (72-120 months), while those aged 10-16 years (121-192 months) constituted the second group. The values of SBP, DBP and the formula (SBP+DBP/200) covering both were evaluated. Each group was divided into seven subgroups with varying degrees of obesity and MetS criteria. Two clinical definitions of MetS have been described. These groups were MetS3 (children with three major components), and MetS2 (children with two major components). The other groups were morbid obese (MO), obese (OB), overweight (OW), normal (N) and underweight (UW). The children were included into the groups according to the age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile values tabulated by WHO. Data were evaluated by SPSS version 16 with p < 0.05 as the statistical significance degree. Tension index was evaluated in the groups above and below 10 years of age. This index differed significantly between N and MetS as well as OW and MetS groups (p = 0.001) above 120 months. However, below 120 months, significant differences existed between MetS3 and MetS2 (p = 0.003) as well as MetS3 and MO (p = 0.001). In comparison with the SBP and DBP values, tension index values have enabled more clear-cut separation between the groups. It has been detected that the tension index was capable of discriminating MetS3 from MetS2 in the group, which was composed of children aged 6-10 years. This was not possible in the older group of children. This index was more informative for the first group. This study also confirmed that 130 mm Hg and 85 mm Hg cut-off points for SBP and DBP, respectively, are too high for serving as MetS criteria in children because the mean value for tension index was calculated as 1.00 among MetS children. This finding has shown that much lower cut-off points must be set for SBP and DBP for the diagnosis of pediatric MetS, especially for children under-10 years of age. This index may be recommended to discriminate MO, MetS2 and MetS3 among the 6-10 years of age group, whose MetS diagnosis is problematic.

Keywords: Blood pressure, children, index, metabolic syndrome, obesity.

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747 Links between Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Children with Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

Obesity is a clinical state associated with low-grade inflammation. It is also a major risk factor for insulin resistance (IR). In its advanced stages, metabolic syndrome (MetS), a much more complicated disease which may lead to life-threatening problems, may develop. Obesity-mediated IR seems to correlate with the inflammation. Human studies performed particularly on pediatric population are scarce. The aim of this study is to detect possible associations between inflammation and IR in terms of some related ratios. 549 children were grouped according to their age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile tables of WHO. MetS components were determined. Informed consent and approval from the Ethics Committee for Clinical Investigations were obtained. The principles of the Declaration of Helsinki were followed. The exclusion criteria were infection, inflammation, chronic diseases and those under drug treatment. Anthropometric measurements were obtained. Complete blood cell, fasting blood glucose, insulin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) analyses were performed. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), systemic immune inflammation (SII) index, tense index, alanine aminotransferase to aspartate aminotransferase ratio (ALT/AST), neutrophils to lymphocyte (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte, and lymphocyte to monocyte ratios were calculated. Data were evaluated by statistical analyses. The degree for statistical significance was 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found among the BMI values of the groups (p < 0.001). Strong correlations were detected between the BMI and waist circumference (WC) values in all groups. Tense index values were also correlated with both BMI and WC values in all groups except overweight (OW) children. SII index values of children with normal BMI were significantly different from the values obtained in OW, obese, morbid obese and MetS groups. Among all the other lymphocyte ratios, NLR exhibited a similar profile. Both HOMA-IR and ALT/AST values displayed an increasing profile from N towards MetS3 group. BMI and WC values were correlated with HOMA-IR and ALT/AST. Both in morbid obese and MetS groups, significant correlations between CRP versus SII index as well as HOMA-IR versus ALT/AST were found. ALT/AST and HOMA-IR values were correlated with NLR in morbid obese group and with SII index in MetS group, (p < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, these findings showed that some parameters may exhibit informative differences between the early and late stages of obesity. Important associations among HOMA-IR, ALT/AST, NLR and SII index have come to light in the morbid obese and MetS groups. This study introduced the SII index and NLR as important inflammatory markers for the discrimination of normal and obese children. Interesting links were observed between inflammation and IR in morbid obese children and those with MetS, both being late stages of obesity.

Keywords: Children, inflammation, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity.

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746 Developing Proof Demonstration Skills in Teaching Mathematics in the Secondary School

Authors: M. Rodionov, Z. Dedovets

Abstract:

The article describes the theoretical concept of teaching secondary school students proof demonstration skills in mathematics. It describes in detail different levels of mastery of the concept of proof-which correspond to Piaget’s idea of there being three distinct and progressively more complex stages in the development of human reflection. Lessons for each level contain a specific combination of the visual-figurative components and deductive reasoning. It is vital at the transition point between levels to carefully and rigorously recalibrate teaching to reflect the development of more complex reflective understanding. This can apply even within the same age range, since students will develop at different speeds and to different potential. The authors argue that this requires an aware and adaptive approach to lessons to reflect this complexity and variation. The authors also contend that effective teaching which enables students to properly understand the implementation of proof arguments must develop specific competences. These are: understanding of the importance of completeness and generality in making a valid argument; being task focused; having an internalised locus of control and being flexible in approach and evaluation. These criteria must be correlated with the systematic application of corresponding methodologies which are best likely to achieve success. The particular pedagogical decisions which are made to deliver this objective are illustrated by concrete examples from the existing secondary school mathematics courses. The proposed theoretical concept formed the basis of the development of methodological materials which have been tested in 47 secondary schools.

Keywords: Education, teaching of mathematics, proof, deductive reasoning, secondary school.

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745 Technical and Economic Analysis of Smart Micro-Grid Renewable Energy Systems: An Applicable Case Study

Authors: M. A. Fouad, M. A. Badr, Z. S. Abd El-Rehim, Taher Halawa, Mahmoud Bayoumi, M. M. Ibrahim

Abstract:

Renewable energy-based micro-grids are presently attracting significant consideration. The smart grid system is presently considered a reliable solution for the expected deficiency in the power required from future power systems. The purpose of this study is to determine the optimal components sizes of a micro-grid, investigating technical and economic performance with the environmental impacts. The micro grid load is divided into two small factories with electricity, both on-grid and off-grid modes are considered. The micro-grid includes photovoltaic cells, back-up diesel generator wind turbines, and battery bank. The estimated load pattern is 76 kW peak. The system is modeled and simulated by MATLAB/Simulink tool to identify the technical issues based on renewable power generation units. To evaluate system economy, two criteria are used: the net present cost and the cost of generated electricity. The most feasible system components for the selected application are obtained, based on required parameters, using HOMER simulation package. The results showed that a Wind/Photovoltaic (W/PV) on-grid system is more economical than a Wind/Photovoltaic/Diesel/Battery (W/PV/D/B) off-grid system as the cost of generated electricity (COE) is 0.266 $/kWh and 0.316 $/kWh, respectively. Considering the cost of carbon dioxide emissions, the off-grid will be competitive to the on-grid system as COE is found to be (0.256 $/kWh, 0.266 $/kWh), for on and off grid systems.

Keywords: Optimum energy systems, renewable energy sources, smart grid, micro-grid system, on- grid system, off-grid system, modeling and simulation, economical evaluation, net present value, cost of energy, environmental impacts.

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744 Comparing the Educational Effectiveness of eHealth to Deliver Health Knowledge between Higher Literacy Users and Lower Literacy Users

Authors: Yah-Ling Hung

Abstract:

eHealth is undoubtedly emerging as a promising vehicle to provide information for individual self-care management. However, the accessing ability, reading strategies and navigating behavior between higher literacy users and lower literacy users are significantly different. Yet, ways to tailor audiences’ health literacy and develop appropriate eHealth to feed their need become a big challenge. The purpose of this study is to compare the educational effectiveness of eHealth to deliver health knowledge between higher literacy users and lower literacy users, thus establishing useful design strategies of eHealth for users with different level of health literacy. The study was implemented in four stages, the first of which developed a website as the testing media to introduce health care knowledge relating to children’s allergy. Secondly, a reliability and validity test was conducted to make sure that all of the questions in the questionnaire were good indicators. Thirdly, a pre-post knowledge test was conducted with 66 participants, 33 users with higher literacy and 33 users with lower literacy respectively. Finally, a usability evaluation survey was undertaken to explore the criteria used by users with different levels of health literacy to evaluate eHealth. The results demonstrated that the eHealth Intervention in both groups had a positive outcome. There was no significant difference between the effectiveness of eHealth intervention between users with higher literacy and users with lower literacy. However, the average mean of lower literacy group was marginally higher than the average mean of higher literacy group. The findings also showed that the criteria used to evaluate eHealth could be analyzed in terms of the quality of information, appearance, appeal and interaction, but the users with lower literacy have different evaluation criteria from those with higher literacy. This is an interdisciplinary research which proposes the sequential key steps that incorporate the planning, developing and accessing issues that need to be considered when designing eHealth for patients with varying degrees of health literacy.

Keywords: eHealth, health intervention, health literacy, usability evaluation.

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743 Improvement of Soft Clay Using Floating Cement Dust-Lime Columns

Authors: Adel Belal, Sameh Aboelsoud, Mohy Elmashad, Mohammed Abdelmonem

Abstract:

The two main criteria that control the design and performance of footings are bearing capacity and settlement of soil. In soft soils, the construction of buildings, storage tanks, warehouse, etc. on weak soils usually involves excessive settlement problems. To solve bearing capacity or reduce settlement problems, soil improvement may be considered by using different techniques, including encased cement dust–lime columns. The proposed research studies the effect of adding floating encased cement dust and lime mix columns to soft clay on the clay-bearing capacity. Four experimental tests were carried out. Columns diameters of 3.0 cm, 4.0 cm, and 5.0 cm and columns length of 60% of the clay layer thickness were used. Numerical model was constructed and verified using commercial finite element package (PLAXIS 2D, V8.5). The verified model was used to study the effect of distributing columns around the footing at different distances. The study showed that the floating cement dust lime columns enhanced the clay-bearing capacity with 262%. The numerical model showed that the columns around the footing have a limit effect on the clay improvement.

Keywords: Bearing capacity, cement dust – lime columns, ground improvement, soft clay.

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742 Design Application Procedures of 15 Storied 3D Reinforced Concrete Shear Wall-Frame Structure

Authors: H. Nikzad, S. Yoshitomi

Abstract:

This paper presents the design application and reinforcement detailing of 15 storied reinforced concrete shear wall-frame structure based on linear static analysis. Databases are generated for section sizes based on automated structural optimization method utilizing Active-set Algorithm in MATLAB platform. The design constraints of allowable section sizes, capacity criteria and seismic provisions for static loads, combination of gravity and lateral loads are checked and determined based on ASCE 7-10 documents and ACI 318-14 design provision. The result of this study illustrates the efficiency of proposed method, and is expected to provide a useful reference in designing of RC shear wall-frame structures.

Keywords: Structural optimization, linear static analysis, ETABS, MATLAB, RC shear wall-frame structures.

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741 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

Abstract:

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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740 Investigation of Seismic T-Resisting Frame with Shear and Flexural Yield of Horizontal Plate Girders

Authors: Helia Barzegar Sedigh, Farzaneh Hamedi, Payam Ashtari

Abstract:

There are some limitations in common structural systems, such as providing appropriate lateral stiffness, adequate ductility, and architectural openings at the same time. Consequently, the concept of T-Resisting Frame (TRF) has been introduced to overcome all these deficiencies. The configuration of TRF in this study is a Vertical Plate Girder (VPG) which is placed within the span and two Horizontal Plate Girders (HPGs) connect VPG to side columns at each story level by the use of rigid connections. System performance is improved by utilizing rigid connections in side columns base joint. Shear yield of HPGs causes energy dissipation in TRF; therefore, high plastic deformation in web of HPGs and VPG affects the ductility of system. Moreover, in order to prevent shear buckling in web of TRF’s members and appropriate criteria for placement of web stiffeners are applied. In this paper, an experimental study is conducted by applying cyclic loading and using finite element models and numerical studies such as push over method are assessed on shear and flexural yielding of HPGs. As a result, seismic parameters indicate adequate lateral stiffness, and high ductility factor of 6.73, and HPGs’ shear yielding achieved as a proof of TRF’s better performance.

Keywords: Experimental study, finite element model, flexural and shear yielding, T-resisting frame.

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739 Proposal of Optimality Evaluation for Quantum Secure Communication Protocols by Taking the Average of the Main Protocol Parameters: Efficiency, Security and Practicality

Authors: Georgi Bebrov, Rozalina Dimova

Abstract:

In the field of quantum secure communication, there is no evaluation that characterizes quantum secure communication (QSC) protocols in a complete, general manner. The current paper addresses the problem concerning the lack of such an evaluation for QSC protocols by introducing an optimality evaluation, which is expressed as the average over the three main parameters of QSC protocols: efficiency, security, and practicality. For the efficiency evaluation, the common expression of this parameter is used, which incorporates all the classical and quantum resources (bits and qubits) utilized for transferring a certain amount of information (bits) in a secure manner. By using criteria approach whether or not certain criteria are met, an expression for the practicality evaluation is presented, which accounts for the complexity of the QSC practical realization. Based on the error rates that the common quantum attacks (Measurement and resend, Intercept and resend, probe attack, and entanglement swapping attack) induce, the security evaluation for a QSC protocol is proposed as the minimum function taken over the error rates of the mentioned quantum attacks. For the sake of clarity, an example is presented in order to show how the optimality is calculated.

Keywords: Quantum cryptography, quantum secure communcation, quantum secure direct communcation security, quantum secure direct communcation efficiency, quantum secure direct communcation practicality.

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