Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 292

Search results for: diversity

292 SVID: Structured Vulnerability Intelligence for Building Deliberated Vulnerable Environment

Authors: Wenqing Fan, Yixuan Cheng, Wei Huang

Abstract:

The diversity and complexity of modern IT systems make it almost impossible for internal teams to find vulnerabilities in all software before the software is officially released. The emergence of threat intelligence and vulnerability reporting policy has greatly reduced the burden on software vendors and organizations to find vulnerabilities. However, to prove the existence of the reported vulnerability, it is necessary but difficult for security incident response team to build a deliberated vulnerable environment from the vulnerability report with limited and incomplete information. This paper presents a structured, standardized, machine-oriented vulnerability intelligence format, that can be used to automate the orchestration of Deliberated Vulnerable Environment (DVE). This paper highlights the important role of software configuration and proof of vulnerable specifications in vulnerability intelligence, and proposes a triad model, which is called DIR (Dependency Configuration, Installation Configuration, Runtime Configuration), to define software configuration. Finally, this paper has also implemented a prototype system to demonstrate that the orchestration of DVE can be automated with the intelligence.

Keywords:

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291 Cutting Propagation Studies in Pennisetum divisum and Tamarix aucheriana as Native Plant Species of Kuwait

Authors: L. Almulla

Abstract:

Native plants are better adapted to the local environment providing a more natural effect on landscape projects; their use will both conserve natural resources and produce sustainable greenery. Continuation of evaluation of additional native plants is essential to increase diversity of plant resources for greenery projects. Therefore, in this project an effort was made to study the mass multiplication of further native plants for greenery applications. Standardization of vegetative propagation methods is essential for conservation and sustainable utilization of native plants in restoration projects. Moreover, these simple propagation methods can be readily adapted by the local nursery sector in Kuwait. In the present study, various treatments were used to mass multiply selected plants using vegetative parts to secure maximum rooting and initial growth. Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings of selected native plants were collected from mother plants and subjected to different treatments. Pennisetum divisum can be vegetatively propagated by cuttings/off-shoots. However, Tamarix aucheriana showed maximum number of rooted cuttings and stronger vigor seedlings with the lowest growth hormone concentration. Standardizing the propagation techniques for the native plant species will add to the rehabilitation and landscape revegetation projects in Kuwait.

Keywords: Landscape, Kuwait desert, rooting percentage vegetative propagation

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

Authors: Satu Lautamäki

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

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, multidisciplinary learning, creative skills, innovative thinking

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289 Cost Efficient Receiver Tube Technology for Eco-Friendly Concentrated Solar Thermal Applications

Authors: M. Shiva Prasad, S. R. Atchuta, T. Vijayaraghavan, S. Sakthivel

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The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.

Keywords: concentrated solar thermal system, solar selective coating, tandem absorber, ultralow refractive index

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288 Study of Polyphenol Profile and Antioxidant Capacity in Italian Ancient Apple Varieties by Liquid Chromatography

Authors: A. M. Tarola, R. Preti, A. M. Girelli, P. Campana

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Safeguarding, studying and enhancing biodiversity play an important and indispensable role in re-launching agriculture. The ancient local varieties are therefore a precious resource for genetic and health improvement. In order to protect biodiversity through the recovery and valorization of autochthonous varieties, in this study we analyzed 12 samples of four ancient apple cultivars representative of Friuli Venezia Giulia, selected by local farmers who work on a project for the recovery of ancient apple cultivars. The aim of this study is to evaluate the polyphenolic profile and the antioxidant capacity that characterize the organoleptic and functional qualities of this fruit species, besides having beneficial properties for health. In particular, for each variety, the following compounds were analyzed, both in the skins and in the pulp: gallic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, rutin, phlorizin, phloretin and quercetin to highlight any differences in the edible parts of the apple. The analysis of individual phenolic compounds was performed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled with a diode array UV detector (DAD), the antioxidant capacity was estimated using an in vitro essay based on a Free Radical Scavenging Method and the total phenolic compounds was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteau method. From the results, it is evident that the catechins are the most present polyphenols, reaching a value of 140-200 μg/g in the pulp and of 400-500 μg/g in the skin, with the prevalence of epicatechin. Catechins and phlorizin, a dihydrohalcone typical of apples, are always contained in larger quantities in the peel. Total phenolic compounds content was positively correlated with antioxidant activity in apple pulp (r2 = 0,850) and peel (r2 = 0,820). Comparing the results, differences between the varieties analyzed and between the edible parts (pulp and peel) of the apple were highlighted. In particular, apple peel is richer in polyphenolic compounds than pulp and flavonols are exclusively present in the peel. In conclusion, polyphenols, being antioxidant substances, have confirmed the benefits of fruit in the diet, especially as a prevention and treatment for degenerative diseases. They demonstrated to be also a good marker for the characterization of different apple cultivars. The importance of protecting biodiversity in agriculture was also highlighted through the exploitation of native products and ancient varieties of apples now forgotten.

Keywords: Characterization, Biodiversity, polyphenols, antioxidant activity, Apple, HPLC-DAD

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287 Effect of Different Media and Mannitol Concentrations on Growth and Development of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. under Slow Growth Conditions

Authors: J. Linjikao, P. Inthima, A. Kongbangkerd

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In vitro conservation of orchid germplasm provides an effective technique for ex situ conservation of orchid diversity. In this study, an efficient protocol for in vitro conservation of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. plantlet under slow growth conditions was investigated. Plantlets were cultured on different strength of Vacin and Went medium (½VW and ¼VW) supplemented with different concentrations of mannitol (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8%), sucrose (0 and 3%) and 50 g/L potato extract, 150 mL/L coconut water. The cultures were incubated at 25±2 °C and maintained under 20 µmol/m2s light intensity for 24 weeks without subculture. At the end of preservation period, the plantlets were subcultured to fresh medium for growth recovery. The results found that the highest leaf number per plantlet could be observed on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol while the highest root number per plantlet was found on ½VW added with 3% sucrose without adding mannitol after 24 weeks of in vitro storage. The results showed that the maximum number of leaves (5.8 leaves) and roots (5.0 roots) of preserved plantlets were produced on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol. Therefore, ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol was the best minimum growth conditions for medium-term storage of V. lissochiloides plantlets.

Keywords: Germplasm, Preservation, In vitro, vandopsis

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286 State of Play of Mobile Government Apps on Google Play Store

Authors: Abdelbaset Rabaiah

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e-Government mobile applications provide an extension for effective e-government services in today’s omniconnected world. They constitute part of m-government platforms. This study explores the usefulness, availability, discoverability and maturity of such applications. While this study impacts theory by addressing a relatively lacking area, it impacts practice more. The outcomes of this study suggest valuable recommendations for practitioners-developers of e-government applications. The methodology followed is to examine a large number of e-government smartphone applications. The focus is on applications available at the Google Play Store. Moreover, the study investigates applications published on government portals of a number of countries. A sample of 15 countries is researched. The results show a diversity in the level of discoverability, development, maturity, and usage of smartphone apps dedicated for use of e-government services. It was found that there are major issues in discovering e-government applications on both the Google Play Store and as-well-as on local government portals. The study found that only a fraction of mobile government applications was published on the Play Store. Only 19% of apps were multilingual, and 43% were developed by third parties including private individuals. Further analysis was made, and important recommendations are suggested in this paper for a better utilization of e-government smartphone applications. These recommendations will result in better discoverability, maturity, and usefulness of e-government applications.

Keywords: e-Government, Mobile Applications, apps, App Store

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285 An Overview of the Porosity Classification in Carbonate Reservoirs and Their Challenges: An Example of Macro-Microporosity Classification from Offshore Miocene Carbonate in Central Luconia, Malaysia

Authors: Hammad T. Janjuhah, Josep Sanjuan, Mohamed K. Salah

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Biological and chemical activities in carbonates are responsible for the complexity of the pore system. Primary porosity is generally of natural origin while secondary porosity is subject to chemical reactivity through diagenetic processes. To understand the integrated part of hydrocarbon exploration, it is necessary to understand the carbonate pore system. However, the current porosity classification scheme is limited to adequately predict the petrophysical properties of different reservoirs having various origins and depositional environments. Rock classification provides a descriptive method for explaining the lithofacies but makes no significant contribution to the application of porosity and permeability (poro-perm) correlation. The Central Luconia carbonate system (Malaysia) represents a good example of pore complexity (in terms of nature and origin) mainly related to diagenetic processes which have altered the original reservoir. For quantitative analysis, 32 high-resolution images of each thin section were taken using transmitted light microscopy. The quantification of grains, matrix, cement, and macroporosity (pore types) was achieved using a petrographic analysis of thin sections and FESEM images. The point counting technique was used to estimate the amount of macroporosity from thin section, which was then subtracted from the total porosity to derive the microporosity. The quantitative observation of thin sections revealed that the mouldic porosity (macroporosity) is the dominant porosity type present, whereas the microporosity seems to correspond to a sum of 40 to 50% of the total porosity. It has been proven that these Miocene carbonates contain a significant amount of microporosity, which significantly complicates the estimation and production of hydrocarbons. Neglecting its impact can increase uncertainty about estimating hydrocarbon reserves. Due to the diversity of geological parameters, the application of existing porosity classifications does not allow a better understanding of the poro-perm relationship. However, the classification can be improved by including the pore types and pore structures where they can be divided into macro- and microporosity. Such studies of microporosity identification/classification represent now a major concern in limestone reservoirs around the world.

Keywords: carbonate reservoirs, Reservoir Characterization, overview of porosity classification, microporosity

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284 The Use of Different Methodological Approaches to Teaching Mathematics at Secondary Level

Authors: M. Rodionov, N. Sharapova, Z. Dedovets

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The article describes methods of preparation of future teachers that includes the entire diversity of traditional and computer-oriented methodological approaches. The authors reveal how, in the specific educational environment, a teacher can choose the most effective combination of educational technologies based on the nature of the learning task. The key conditions that determine such a choice are that the methodological approach corresponds to the specificity of the problem being solved and that it is also responsive to the individual characteristics of the students. The article refers to the training of students in the proper use of mathematical electronic tools for educational purposes. The preparation of future mathematics teachers should be a step-by-step process, building on specific examples. At the first stage, students optimally solve problems aided by electronic means of teaching. At the second stage, the main emphasis is on modeling lessons. At the third stage, students develop and implement strategies in the study of one of the topics within a school mathematics curriculum. The article also recommended the implementation of this strategy in preparation of future teachers and stated the possible benefits.

Keywords: Education, Mathematics, students, traditional approach, lesson, Computer-oriented approach, future teachers

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283 A Preliminary Study on Factors Determining the Success of High Conservation Value Area in Oil Palm Plantations

Authors: Yanto Santosa, Rozza Tri Kwatrina

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High Conservation Value (HCV) is an area with conservation function within oil palm plantation. Despite the important role of HCV area in biodiversity conservation and various studies on HCV, there was a lack of research studying the factors determining its success. A preliminary study was conducted to identify the determinant factor of HCV that affected the diversity. Line transect method was used to calculate the species diversity of butterfly, birds, mammals, and herpetofauna species as well as their richness. Specifically for mammals, camera traps were also used. The research sites comprised of 12 HCV areas in 3 provinces of Indonesia (Central Kalimantan, Riau, and Palembang). The relationship between the HCV biophysical factor with the species number and species diversity for each wildlife class was identified using Chi-Square analysis with Cross tab (contingency table). Results of the study revealed that species diversity varied by research locations. Four factors determining the success of HCV area in relations to the number and diversity of wildlife species are land cover types for mammals, the width of area and distance to rivers for birds, and distance to settlements for butterflies.

Keywords: Ecological factors, oil palm plantation, wildlife diversity, high conservation value area

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282 Reduction of Plants Biodiversity in Hyrcanian Forest by Coal Mining Activities

Authors: Mahsa Tavakoli, Seyed Mohammad Hojjati, Yahya Kooch

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Considering that coal mining is one of the important industrial activities, it may cause damages to environment. According to the author’s best knowledge, the effect of traditional coal mining activities on plant biodiversity has not been investigated in the Hyrcanian forests. Therefore, in this study, the effect of coal mining activities on vegetation and tree diversity was investigated in Hyrcanian forest, North Iran. After filed visiting and determining the mine, 16 plots (20×20 m2) were established by systematic-randomly (60×60 m2) in an area of 4 ha (200×200 m2-mine entrance placed at center). An area adjacent to the mine was not affected by the mining activity, and it is considered as the control area. In each plot, the data about trees such as number and type of species were recorded. The biodiversity of vegetation cover was considered 5 square sub-plots (1 m2) in each plot. PAST software and Ecological Methodology were used to calculate Biodiversity indices. The value of Shannon Wiener and Simpson diversity indices for tree cover in control area (1.04±0.34 and 0.62±0.20) was significantly higher than mining area (0.78±0.27 and 0.45±0.14). The value of evenness indices for tree cover in the mining area was significantly lower than that of the control area. The value of Shannon Wiener and Simpson diversity indices for vegetation cover in the control area (1.37±0.06 and 0.69±0.02) was significantly higher than the mining area (1.02±0.13 and 0.50±0.07). The value of evenness index in the control area was significantly higher than the mining area. Plant communities are a good indicator of the changes in the site. Study about changes in vegetation biodiversity and plant dynamics in the degraded land can provide necessary information for forest management and reforestation of these areas.

Keywords: Species Composition, traditional coal mining, Caspian forest, vegetation biodiversity

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281 Suicide Conceptualization in Adolescents through Semantic Networks

Authors: K. P. Valdés García, E. I. Rodríguez Fonseca, L. G. Juárez Cantú

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Suicide is a global, multidimensional and dynamic problem of mental health, which requires a constant study for its understanding and prevention. When research of this phenomenon is done, it is necessary to consider the different characteristics it may have because of the individual and sociocultural variables, the importance of this consideration is related to the generation of effective treatments and interventions. Adolescents are a vulnerable population due to the characteristics of the development stage. The investigation was carried out with the objective of identifying and describing the conceptualization of adolescents of suicide, and in this process, we find possible differences between men and women. The study was carried out in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. The sample was composed of 418 volunteer students aged between 11 and 18 years. The ethical aspects of the research were reviewed and considered in all the processes of the investigation with the participants, their parents and the schools to which they belonged, psychological attention was offered to the participants and preventive workshops were carried in the educational institutions. Natural semantic networks were the instrument used, since this hybrid method allows to find and analyze the social concept of a phenomenon; in this case, the word suicide was used as an evocative stimulus and participants were asked to evoke at least five words and a maximum 10 that they thought were related to suicide, and then hierarchize them according to the closeness with the construct. The subsequent analysis was carried with Excel, yielding the semantic weights, affective loads and the distances between each of the semantic fields established according to the words reported by the subjects. The results showed similarities in the conceptualization of suicide in adolescents, men and women. Seven semantic fields were generated; the words were related in the discourse analysis: 1) death, 2) possible triggering factors, 3) associated moods, 4) methods used to carry it out, 5) psychological symptomatology that could affect, 6) words associated with a rejection of suicide, and finally, 7) specific objects to carry it out. One of the necessary aspects to consider in the investigations of complex issues such as suicide is to have a diversity of instruments and techniques that adjust to the characteristics of the population and that allow to understand the phenomena from the social constructs and not only theoretical. The constant study of suicide is a pressing need, the loss of a life from emotional difficulties that can be solved through psychiatry and psychological methods requires governments and professionals to pay attention and work with the risk population.

Keywords: Adolescents, Suicide, speech analysis, semantic networks

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280 Non-Timber Forest Products and Livelihood Linkages: A Case of Lamabagar, Nepal

Authors: Sandhya Rijal, Saroj Adhikari, Ramesh R. Pant

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Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) have attracted substantial interest in the recent years with the increasing recognition that these can provide essential community needs for improved and diversified rural livelihood and support the objectives of biodiversity conservation. Nevertheless, various challenges are witnessed in their sustainable harvest and management. Assuming that sustainable management with community stewardship can offer one of the solutions to existing challenges, the study assesses the linkages between NTFPs and rural livelihood in Lamabagar village of Dolakha, Nepal. The major objective was to document the status of NTFPs and their contributions in households of Lamabagar. For status documentation, vegetation sampling was done using systematic random sampling technique. 30 plots of 10 m × 10 m were laid down in six parallel transect lines at horizontal distance of 160 m in two different community forests. A structured questionnaire survey was conducted in 76 households (excluding non-response rate) using stratified random sampling technique for contribution analysis. Likewise, key informant interview and focus group discussions were also conducted for data triangulations. 36 different NTFPs were recorded from the vegetation sample in two community forests of which 50% were used for medicinal purposes. The other uses include fodder, religious value, and edible fruits and vegetables. Species like Juniperus indica, Daphne bholua Aconitum spicatum, and Lyonia ovalifolia were frequently used for trade as a source of income, which was sold in local market. The protected species like Taxus wallichiana and Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora were also recorded in the area for which the trade is prohibited. The protection of these species urgently needs community stewardship. More than half of the surveyed households (55%) were depending on NTFPs for their daily uses, other than economic purpose whereas 45% of them sold those products in the market directly or in the form of local handmade products as a source of livelihood. NTFPs were the major source of primary health curing agents especially for the poor and unemployed people in the study area. Hence, the NTFPs contributed to livelihood under three different categories: subsistence, supplement income and emergency support, depending upon the economic status of the households. Although the status of forest improved after handover to the user group, the availability of valuable medicinal herbs like Rhododendron anthopogon, Swertia nervosa, Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora, and Aconitum spicatum were declining. Inadequacy of technology, lack of easy transport access, and absence of good market facility were the major limitations for external trade of NTFPs in the study site. It was observed that people were interested towards conservation only if they could get some returns: economic in terms of rural settlements. Thus, the study concludes that NTFPs could contribute rural livelihood and support conservation objectives only if local communities are provided with the easy access of technology, market and capital.

Keywords: Medicinal, contribution, subsistence, sustainable harvest

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279 Exploring the Applicability of a Rapid Health Assessment in India

Authors: Claudia Carbajal, Jija Dutt, Smriti Pahwa, Sumukhi Vaid, Karishma Vats

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ASER Centre, the research and assessment arm of Pratham Education Foundation sees measurement as the first stage of action. ASER uses primary research to push and give empirical foundations to policy discussions at a multitude of levels. At a household level, common citizens use a simple assessment (a floor-level test) to measure learning across rural India. This paper presents the evidence on the applicability of an ASER approach to the health sector. A citizen-led assessment was designed and executed that collected information from young mothers with children up to a year of age. The pilot assessments were rolled-out in two different models: Paid surveyors and student volunteers. The survey covered three geographic areas: 1,239 children in the Jaipur District of Rajasthan, 2,086 in the Rae Bareli District of Uttar Pradesh, and 593 children in the Bhuj Block in Gujarat. The survey tool was designed to study knowledge of health-related issues, daily practices followed by young mothers and access to relevant services and programs. It provides insights on behaviors related to infant and young child feeding practices, child and maternal nutrition and supplementation, water and sanitation, and health services. Moreover, the survey studies the reasons behind behaviors giving policy-makers actionable pathways to improve implementation of social sector programs. Although data on health outcomes are available, this approach could provide a rapid annual assessment of health issues with indicators that are easy to understand and act upon so that measurements do not become an exclusive domain of experts. The results give many insights into early childhood health behaviors and challenges. Around 98% of children are breastfed, and approximately half are not exclusively breastfed (for the first 6 months). Government established diet diversity guidelines are met for less than 1 out of 10 children. Although most households are satisfied with the quality of drinking water, most tested households had contaminated water.

Keywords: water and sanitation, maternal nutrition, citizen-led assessment, Infant and Young Children Feeding, rapid health assessment supplementation

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278 Implementation of a Multimodal Biometrics Recognition System with Combined Palm Print and Iris Features

Authors: Rabab M. Ramadan, Elaraby A. Elgallad

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With extensive application, the performance of unimodal biometrics systems has to face a diversity of problems such as signal and background noise, distortion, and environment differences. Therefore, multimodal biometric systems are proposed to solve the above stated problems. This paper introduces a bimodal biometric recognition system based on the extracted features of the human palm print and iris. Palm print biometric is fairly a new evolving technology that is used to identify people by their palm features. The iris is a strong competitor together with face and fingerprints for presence in multimodal recognition systems. In this research, we introduced an algorithm to the combination of the palm and iris-extracted features using a texture-based descriptor, the Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT). Since the feature sets are non-homogeneous as features of different biometric modalities are used, these features will be concatenated to form a single feature vector. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is used as a feature selection technique to reduce the dimensionality of the feature. The proposed algorithm will be applied to the Institute of Technology of Delhi (IITD) database and its performance will be compared with various iris recognition algorithms found in the literature.

Keywords: Feature Extraction, Feature selection, Particle Swarm Optimization, iris recognition, palm print, scale invariant feature transform

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277 Indigenous Dayak People’s Perceptions of Wildlife Loss and Gain Related to Oil Palm Development

Authors: A. Sunkar, A. Saraswati, Y. Santosa

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Controversies surrounding the impacts of oil palm plantations have resulted in some heated debates, especially concerning biodiversity loss and indigenous people well-being. The indigenous people of Dayak generally used wildlife to fulfill their daily needs thus were assumed to have experienced negative impacts due to oil palm developments within and surrounding their settlement areas. This study was conducted to identify the characteristics of the Dayak community settled around an oil palm plantation, to determine their perceptions of wildlife loss or gain as the results of the development of oil palm plantations, and to identify the determinant characteristic of the perceptions. The research was conducted on March 2018 in Nanga Tayap and Tajok Kayong Villages, which were located around the oil palm plantation of NTYE of Ketapang, West Kalimantan-Indonesia. Data were collected through in depth-structured interview, using closed and semi-open questionnaires and three-scale Likert statements. Interviews were conducted with 74 respondents using accidental sampling, and categorized into respondents who were dependent on oil palm for their livelihoods and those who were not. Data were analyzed using quantitative statistics method, Likert Scale, Chi-Square Test, Spearman Test, and Mann-Whitney Test. The research found that the indigenous Dayak people were aware of wildlife species loss and gain since the establishment of the plantation. Nevertheless, wildlife loss did not affect their social, economic, and cultural needs since they could find substitutions. It was found that prior to the plantation’s development, the local Dayak communities were already slowly experiencing some livelihood transitions through local village development. The only determinant characteristic of the community that influenced their perceptions of wildlife loss/gain was level of education.

Keywords: Wildlife, oil palm plantations, indigenous Dayak, biodiversity loss and gain

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276 Compression Study on Velvet and Termeh in Iranian Brocade

Authors: R. Moosazadeh

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From ancient times, in some cultures, the way of choosing the colour and pattern of the fabric, and its decoration, represents a message about their beliefs, traditions and ethnical origins. Due to the diversity of clothing in the Middle East, two special types of Iranian fabrics have been investigated. The process of knitting with a weaving-loom is always accompanied by passing the fibres of the warp in different ways. This study presented the historical investigation of brocades and explanation about traditional Iranian brocades in terms of fabric, shape, and patterns. Moreover, the compression results between characteristics of Termeh and velvet have been reported. The aim of the study was to focus on the history of fabric texture in Iran and general information about brocades and Termeh fabrics in expressions of their historical traditions. In conclusion, it is attempted to introduce knitting techniques and designed models which have been presented for this traditional and expensive Iranian fabric.

Keywords: Texture, brocade, Termeh, Velvet Braid

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275 The Touristic Development of the Archaeological and Heritage Areas in Alexandria City, Egypt

Authors: Salma I. Dwidar, Amal A. Abdelsattar

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Alexandria city is one of the greatest cities in the world. It confronted different civilizations throughout the ages due to its special geographical location and climate which left many archaeological areas of great heritage (Ptolemaic, Greek, Romanian, especially sunken monuments, Coptic, Islamic, and finally, the Modern). Also, Alexandria city contains areas with different patterns of urban planning, both Hellenistic and compacted planning which merited the diversity in planning. Despite the magnitude of this city, which contains all the elements of tourism, the city was not included in the tourism map of Egypt properly comparing with similar cities in Egypt. This paper discusses the importance of heritage areas in Alexandria and the relationship between heritage areas and modern buildings. It highlights the absence of a methodology to deal with heritage areas as touristic areas. Also, the paper aims to develop multiple touristic routes to visit archaeological areas and other sights of significance in Alexandria. The research methodology is divided into two main frameworks. The first framework is a historical study of the urban development of Alexandria and the most important remaining monuments throughout the ages, as well as an analytical study of sunken monuments and their importance in increasing the rate of tourism. Moreover, it covers a study of the importance of the Library of Alexandria and its effect on the international focus of the city. The second framework focuses on the proposal of some tourism routes to visit the heritage areas, archaeological monuments, sunken monuments and the sights of Alexandria. The study concludes with the proposal of three tourism routes. The first route, which is the longest one, passes by all the famous monuments of the city as well as its modern sights. The second route passes through the heritage areas, sunken monuments, and Library of Alexandria. The third route includes the sunken monuments and Library of Alexandria. These three tourism routes will ensures the touristic development of the city which leads to the economic growth of the city and the country.

Keywords: Heritage Tourism, heritage buildings, archeological buildings, planning of Islamic cities

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

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

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

Keywords: Fuzzy Logic, mimo, channel quality indicator, link adaptation, spatial multiplexing, transmit diversity

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273 A Review on Image Segmentation Techniques and Performance Measures

Authors: David Libouga Li Gwet, Marius Otesteanu, Ideal Oscar Libouga, Laurent Bitjoka, Gheorghe D. Popa

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Image segmentation is a method to extract regions of interest from an image. It remains a fundamental problem in computer vision. The increasing diversity and the complexity of segmentation algorithms have led us firstly, to make a review and classify segmentation techniques, secondly to identify the most used measures of segmentation performance and thirdly, discuss deeply on segmentation philosophy in order to help the choice of adequate segmentation techniques for some applications. To justify the relevance of our analysis, recent algorithms of segmentation are presented through the proposed classification.

Keywords: classification, Image Segmentation, measures of performance

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272 Investigating the Role of Community in Heritage Conservation through the Ladder of Citizen Participation Approach: Case Study, Port Said, Egypt

Authors: Sara S. Fouad, Omneya Messallam

Abstract:

Egypt has countless prestigious buildings and diversity of cultural heritage which are located in many cities. Most of the researchers, archaeologists, stakeholders and governmental bodies are paying more attention to the big cities such as Cairo and Alexandria, due to the country’s centralization nature. However, there are other historic cities that are grossly neglected and in need of emergency conservation. For instance, Port Said which is a former colonial city that was established in nineteenth century located at the edge of the northeast Egyptian coast between the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal. This city is chosen because it presents one of the important Egyptian archaeological sites that archive Egyptian architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries. The historic urban fabric is divided into three main districts; the Arab, the European (Al-Afrang), and Port Fouad. The European district is selected to be the research case study as it has culture diversity, significant buildings, and includes the largest number of the listed heritage buildings in Port Said. Based on questionnaires and interviews, since 2003 several initiative trials have been taken by Alliance Francaise, the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH), some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and few number of community residents to highlight the important city legacy and protect it from being demolished. Unfortunately, the limitation of their participation in decision-making policies is considered a crucial threat facing sustainable heritage conservation. Therefore, encouraging the local community to participate in their architecture heritage conservation would create a self-confident one, capable of making decisions for the city’s future development. This paper aims to investigate the role of the local inhabitants in protecting their buildings heritage through listing the community level of participations twice (2012 and 2018) in preserving their heritage based on the ladder citizen participation approach. Also, it is to encourage community participation in order to promote city architecture conservation, heritage management, and sustainable development. The methodology followed in this empirical research involves using several data assembly methods such as structural observations, questionnaires, interviews, and mental mapping. The questionnaire was distributed among 92 local inhabitants aged 18-60 years. However, the outset of this research at the beginning demonstrated the majority negative attitude, motivation, and confidence of the local inhabitants’ role to safeguard their architectural heritage. Over time, there was a change in the negative attitudes. Therefore, raising public awareness and encouraging community participation by providing them with a real opportunity to take part in the decision-making. This may lead to a positive relationship between the community residents and the built heritage, which is essential for promoting its preservation and sustainable development.

Keywords: Heritage Conservation, community participation, NGOs, ladder of citizen participation, Al-Afrang/Port Said

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271 An Enhanced Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm for Multiobjective Problems

Authors: Houda Abadlia, Nadia Smairi, Khaled Ghedira

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Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) has shown an effective performance for solving test functions and real-world optimization problems. However, this method has a premature convergence problem, which may lead to lack of diversity. In order to improve its performance, this paper presents a hybrid approach which embedded the MOPSO into the island model and integrated a local search technique, Variable Neighborhood Search, to enhance the diversity into the swarm. Experiments on two series of test functions have shown the effectiveness of the proposed approach. A comparison with other evolutionary algorithms shows that the proposed approach presented a good performance in solving multiobjective optimization problems.

Keywords: Migration, Multiobjective optimization, Particle Swarm Optimization, variable neighborhood search

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270 Challenges of Sustainable Marine Fishing in Ghana

Authors: Eric K. W. Aikins

Abstract:

Traditionally, Ghana is a marine fishing country. The fishing industry dominated by artisanal marine fishing helps Ghana to meet its fish and protein requirements. Also, it provides employment for most coastal dwellers that depend on fishing as their main economic enterprise. Nonetheless, the marine fishing industry is confronted with challenges that have contributed to a declining fish production in recent past decade. Bad fishing practices and the general limited knowledge on sustainable management of fisheries resources are the limiting factors that affect sustainable fish production and sustainable marine biodiversity management in Ghana. This paper discusses the challenges and strategies for attaining and maintaining sustainable marine fishing in Ghana as well as the state of marine fishing in Ghana. It concludes that an increase in the level of involvement of local fishers in the management of fisheries resources of the country could help local fishers to employ sustainable fisheries resources exploitation methods that could result in an improvement in the spatio-economic development and wellbeing of affected fishing communities in particular and Ghana in general.

Keywords: pair trawling, sargassum, spatio-economic development, sustainable marine fishing

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

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

Abstract:

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

Keywords: Risk Assessment, Decision-making, public risk management organisations, tools and techniques

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268 Reviewing the Relation of Language and Minorities' Rights

Authors: Mohsen Davarzani, Ehsan Lame, Mohammad Taghi Hassan Zadeh

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Language is considered as a powerful and outstanding feature of ethnicity. However, humiliating and prohibiting using human language is one the most heinous and brutal acts in the form of racism. In other words, racism can be a product of physiological humiliations and discrimination, such as skin color, and can also be resulted from ethnic humiliation and discrimination such as language, customs and so on. Ethnic and racial discrimination is one of the main problems of the world that minorities and occasionally the majority have suffered from. Nowadays, few states can be found in which all individuals and its citizens are of the same race and ethnicity, culture and language. In these countries, referred to as the multinational states, (eg, Iran, Switzerland, India, etc.), there are the communities and groups which have their own linguistic, cultural and historical characteristics. Characteristics of human rights issues, diversity of issues and plurality of meanings indicate that they appear in various aspects. The states are obliged to respect, as per national and international obligations, the rights of all citizens from different angles, especially different groups that require special attention in order of the particular aspects such as ethnicity, religious and political minorities, children, women, workers, unions and in case the states are in breach of any of these items, they are faced with challenges in local, regional or international fields.

Keywords: Law, Language, Ethnicity, Minorities

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267 Diversity of Short-Horned Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Caelifera) from Forested Region of Kolhapur District, Maharashtra, India of Northern Western Ghats

Authors: Sunil M. Gaikwad, Yogesh J. Koli, Gopal A. Raut, Ganesh P. Bhawane

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The present investigation was directed to study the diversity of short-horned grasshoppers from a forested area of Kolhapur district, Maharashtra, India, which is spread along the hilly terrain of the Northern Western Ghats. The collection was made during 2013 to 2015, and identified with the help of a reference collection of ZSI, Kolkata, and recent literature and dry preserved. The study resulted in the enumeration of 40 species of short-horned grasshoppers belonging to four families of suborder: Caelifera. The family Acrididae was dominant (27 species) followed by Tetrigidae (eight species), Pyrgomorphidae (four species) and Chorotypidae (one species). The report of 40 species from the forest habitat of the study region highlights the significance of the Western Ghats. Ecologically, short-horned grasshoppers are integral to food chains, being consumed by a wide variety of animals. The observations of the present investigation may prove useful for conservation of the Diversity in Northern Western Ghats.

Keywords: Diversity, Kolhapur, northern western Ghats, short-horned grasshoppers

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266 The Study of Biodiversity of Thirty Two Families of Useful Plants Existed in Georgia

Authors: Kacharava Tamar, Korakhashvili Avtandil, Epitashvili Tinatin

Abstract:

The article deals with the database, which was created by the authors, related to biodiversity of some families of useful plants (medicinal, aromatic, spices, dye and poisonous) existing in Georgia considering important taxonomy. Our country is also rich with endemic genera. The results of monitoring of the phytogenetic resources to reveal perspective species and situation of endemic species and resources are also discussed in this paper. To get some new medicinal and preventive treatments using plant raw material in the phytomedicine, phytocosmetics and phytoculinary, the unique phytogenetic resources should be protected because the application of useful plants is becoming irreversible. This can be observed along with intensification and sustainable use of ethnobotanical traditions and promotion of phytoproduction based on the international requirements on biodiversity (Convention on Biological Diversity - CBD). Though Georgian phytopharmacy has the centuries-old traditions, today it is becoming the main concern.

Keywords: Medicinal, GIS, ELISA, endemic, aromatic, poisonous, spicy, dye plants, endemic biodiversity

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265 Cloning, Expression and Protein Purification of AV1 Gene of Okra Leaf Curl Virus Egyptian Isolate and Genetic Diversity between Whitefly and Different Plant Hosts

Authors: Dalia. G. Aseel

Abstract:

Begomoviruses are economically important plant viruses that infect dicotyledonous plants and exclusively transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Here, replicative form was isolated from Okra, Cotton, Tomato plants and whitefly infected with Begomoviruses. Using coat protein specific primers (AV1), the viral infection was verified with amplicon at 450 bp. The sequence of OLCuV-AV1 gene was recorded and received an accession number (FJ441605) from Genebank. The phylogenetic tree of OLCuV was closely related to Okra leaf curl virus previously isolated from Cameroon and USA with nucleotide sequence identity of 92%. The protein purification was carried out using His-Tag methodology by using Affinity Chromatography. The purified protein was separated on SDS-PAGE analysis and an enriched expected size of band at 30 kDa was observed. Furthermore, RAPD and SDS-PAGE were used to detect genetic variability between different hosts of okra leaf curl virus (OLCuV), cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCuV) and the whitefly vector. Finally, the present study would help to understand the relationship between the whitefly and different economical crops in Egypt.

Keywords: Cloning, Cotton, Sequence, tomato, RAPD, begomovirus, okra, whitefly, AV1 gene, phylogenetic tree and SDS-PAGE

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264 Impacts of Tillage on Biodiversity of Microarthropod Communities in Two Different Crop Systems

Authors: Leila Ramezani, Mohammad Saeid Mossadegh

Abstract:

Different uses of land by humans alter the physico chemical characteristics of the soil and affect the soil microhabitat. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of tillage in three different human land uses on microarthropods biodiversity in Khuzestan province, southwest of Iran. Three microhabitats including a permanent grassland with old Date-Palms around and no till system, and two wheat fields, one with conservative agricultural practices and low till system and the other with conventional agricultural practices (deep tillage), were compared for the biodiversity of the two main groups of soil microarthropods (Oribatida and Collembola). Soil samples were collected from the top to a depth of 15 cm bimonthly during a period of two years. Significant differences in the biodiversity index of microarthropods were observed between the different tillage systems (F = 36.748, P =0.000). Indeed, analysis of species diversity showed that the diversity index at the conservative field with low till (2.58 ± 0.01) was higher (p < 0.05) than the conventional tilled field (2.45 ± 0.08) and the diversity of natural grassland was the highest (2.79 ± 0.19, p < 0.05). Indeed, the index of biodiversity and population abundance differed significantly in different seasons (p < 0.00).

Keywords: Biodiversity, Collembola, microarthropods, Oribatida

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263 The Impact of Female Characters on a Movie’s Return on Investment

Authors: Raghav Lakhotia, Sameer Ganu, Anshul Goel, Abhishek Kumar

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In the age and times where women’s empowerment is a significant topic of discussion, we aim to analyze the potential gender diversity influence on box office revenues. The following research is carried out by collecting data from 400 Hollywood movies between the years 2014-2017 and performing regression analysis to find a correlation between the presence of female characters in movies and their return on investment (ROI). The paper finds that there is a positive relationship between the performance of the movies (its ROI) and the gender diversity i.e. the more the number of female characters, the higher the revenue generated. Another factor such as Number of Votes also has a direct impact on the revenue of the movie. The research not only takes into consideration the mere presence of women on screen but also the exchange of at least one dialogue among themselves, which is presented by the Bechdel Score of the movie.

Keywords: Diversity, return on investment, Bechdel, Hollywood

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