Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 552

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552 Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation

Authors: Kalsoom Sumra

Abstract:

The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

Keywords: Public service ethics, accountability and transparency, public service reforms, public administration, organizational ethical climate.

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551 Internet of Health Things as a Win-Win Solution for Mitigating the Paradigm Shift inside Senior Patient-Physician Shared Health Management

Authors: Marilena Ianculescu, Adriana Alexandru

Abstract:

Internet of Health Things (IoHT) has already proved to be a persuasive means to support a proper assessment of the living conditions by collecting a huge variety of data. For a customized health management of a senior patient, IoHT provides the capacity to build a dynamic solution for sustaining the shift inside the patient-physician relationship by allowing a real-time and continuous remote monitoring of the health status, well-being, safety and activities of the senior, especially in a non-clinical environment. Thus, is created a win-win solution in which both the patient and the physician enhance their involvement and shared decision-making, with significant outcomes. Health monitoring systems in smart environments are becoming a viable alternative to traditional healthcare solutions. The ongoing “Non-invasive monitoring and health assessment of the elderly in a smart environment (RO-SmartAgeing)” project aims to demonstrate that the existence of complete and accurate information is critical for assessing the health condition of the seniors, improving wellbeing and quality of life in relation to health. The researches performed inside the project aim to highlight how the management of IoHT devices connected to the RO-SmartAgeing platform in a secure way by using a role-based access control system, can allow the physicians to provide health services at a high level of efficiency and accessibility, which were previously only available in hospitals. The project aims to identify deficient aspects in the provision of health services tailored to a senior patient’s specificity and to offer a more comprehensive perspective of proactive and preventive medical acts.

Keywords: Health management, Internet of Health Things, remote monitoring, senior patient.

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550 Transferring of Digital DIY Potentialities through a Co-Design Tool

Authors: Marita Canina, Carmen Bruno

Abstract:

Digital Do It Yourself (DIY) is a contemporary socio-technological phenomenon, enabled by technological tools. The nature and potential long-term effects of this phenomenon have been widely studied within the framework of the EU funded project ‘Digital Do It Yourself’, in which the authors have created and experimented a specific Digital Do It Yourself (DiDIY) co-design process. The phenomenon was first studied through a literature research to understand its multiple dimensions and complexity. Therefore, co-design workshops were used to investigate the phenomenon by involving people to achieve a complete understanding of the DiDIY practices and its enabling factors. These analyses allowed the definition of the DiDIY fundamental factors that were then translated into a design tool. The objective of the tool is to shape design concepts by transferring these factors into different environments to achieve innovation. The aim of this paper is to present the ‘DiDIY Factor Stimuli’ tool, describing the research path and the findings behind it.

Keywords: Co-design process, digital DIY, innovation, toolkit.

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549 Durability of Slurry Infiltrated Fiber Concrete to Corrosion in Chloride Environment: An Experimental Study, Part I

Authors: M. F. Alrubaie, S. A. Salih, W. A. Abbas

Abstract:

Slurry infiltrated fiber concrete (SIFCON) is considered as a special type of high strength high-performance fiber reinforced concrete, extremely strong, and ductile. The objective of this study is to investigate the durability of SIFCON to corrosion in chloride environments. Six different SIFCON mixes were made in addition to two refinance mixes with 0% and 1.5% steel fiber content. All mixes were exposed to 10% chloride solution for 180 days. Half of the specimens were partially immersed in chloride solution, and the others were exposed to weekly cycles of wetting and drying in 10% chloride solution. The effectiveness of using corrosion inhibitors, mineral admixture, and epoxy protective coating were also evaluated as protective measures to reduce the effect of chloride attack and to improve the corrosion resistance of SIFCON mixes. Corrosion rates, half-cell potential, electrical resistivity, total permeability tests had been monitored monthly. The results indicated a significant improvement in performance for SIFCON mixes exposed to chloride environment, when using corrosion inhibitor or epoxy protective coating, whereas SIFCON mix contained mineral admixture (metakaolin) did not improve the corrosion resistance at the same level. The cyclic wetting and drying exposure were more aggressive to the specimens than the partial immersion in chloride solution although the observed surface corrosion for the later was clearer.

Keywords: Chloride attack, chloride environments, corrosion inhibitor, corrosion resistance, durability, SIFCON, Slurry infiltrated fiber concrete.

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548 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

Abstract:

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, microporosity, overview of porosity classification, reservoir characterization.

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547 Studies on the Characterization and Machinability of Duplex Stainless Steel 2205 during Dry Turning

Authors: Gaurav D. Sonawane, Vikas G. Sargade

Abstract:

The present investigation is a study of the effect of advanced Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coatings on cutting temperature residual stresses and surface roughness during Duplex Stainless Steel (DSS) 2205 turning. Austenite stabilizers like nickel, manganese, and molybdenum reduced the cost of DSS. Surface Integrity (SI) plays an important role in determining corrosion resistance and fatigue life. Resistance to various types of corrosion makes DSS suitable for applications with critical environments like Heat exchangers, Desalination plants, Seawater pipes and Marine components. However, lower thermal conductivity, poor chip control and non-uniform tool wear make DSS very difficult to machine. Cemented carbide tools (M grade) were used to turn DSS in a dry environment. AlTiN and AlTiCrN coatings were deposited using advanced PVD High Pulse Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS) technique. Experiments were conducted with cutting speed of 100 m/min, 140 m/min and 180 m/min. A constant feed and depth of cut of 0.18 mm/rev and 0.8 mm were used, respectively. AlTiCrN coated tools followed by AlTiN coated tools outperformed uncoated tools due to properties like lower thermal conductivity, higher adhesion strength and hardness. Residual stresses were found to be compressive for all the tools used for dry turning, increasing the fatigue life of the machined component. Higher cutting temperatures were observed for coated tools due to its lower thermal conductivity, which results in very less tool wear than uncoated tools. Surface roughness with uncoated tools was found to be three times higher than coated tools due to lower coefficient of friction of coating used.

Keywords: Cutting temperatures, DSS2205, dry turning, HiPIMS, surface integrity.

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546 The Internet of Healthcare Things: A European Perspective and a Review of Ethical Concerns

Authors: M. Emmanouilidou

Abstract:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a disruptive technological paradigm that is at the center of the digital evolution by integrating physical and virtual worlds leading to the creation of extended interconnected ecosystems that are characterized as smart environments. The concept of the IoT has a broad range of applications in different industries including the healthcare sector. The Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT), a branch of the IoT, is expected to bring promising benefits to all involved stakeholders and accelerate the revolution of the healthcare sector through a transition towards preventive and personalized medicine. The socio-economic challenges that the healthcare sector is facing further emphasize the need for a radical transformation of healthcare systems in both developed and developing countries with the role of pervasive technological innovations, such as IoHT, recognized as key to counteract the relevant challenges. Besides the number of potential opportunities that IoHT presents, there are fundamental ethical concerns that need to be considered and addressed in relation to the application of IoHT. This paper contributes to the discussion of the emerging topic of IoHT by providing an overview of the role and potential of IoHT, highlighting the characteristics of the current and future healthcare landscape, reporting on the up-to-date status of IoHT in Europe and reflecting upon existing research in the ethics of IoHT by incorporating additional ethical dimensions that have been ignored which can provide pathways for future research in the field.

Keywords: Ethics, Europe, healthcare, internet of things.

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545 Individual Differences and Paired Learning in Virtual Environments

Authors: Patricia M. Boechler, Heather M. Gautreau

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In this research study, postsecondary students completed an information learning task in an avatar-based 3D virtual learning environment. Three factors were of interest in relation to learning; 1) the influence of collaborative vs. independent conditions, 2) the influence of the spatial arrangement of the virtual environment (linear, random and clustered), and 3) the relationship of individual differences such as spatial skill, general computer experience and video game experience to learning. Students completed pretest measures of prior computer experience and prior spatial skill. Following the premeasure administration, students were given instruction to move through the virtual environment and study all the material within 10 information stations. In the collaborative condition, students proceeded in randomly assigned pairs, while in the independent condition they proceeded alone. After this learning phase, all students individually completed a multiple choice test to determine information retention. The overall results indicated that students in pairs did not perform any better or worse than independent students. As far as individual differences, only spatial ability predicted the performance of students. General computer experience and video game experience did not. Taking a closer look at the pairs and spatial ability, comparisons were made on pairs high/matched spatial ability, pairs low/matched spatial ability and pairs that were mismatched on spatial ability. The results showed that both high/matched pairs and mismatched pairs outperformed low/matched pairs. That is, if a pair had even one individual with strong spatial ability they would perform better than pairs with only low spatial ability individuals. This suggests that, in virtual environments, the specific individuals that are paired together are important for performance outcomes. The paper also includes a discussion of trends within the data that have implications for virtual environment education.

Keywords: Avatar-based, virtual environment, paired learning, individual differences.

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544 An Improved Dynamic Window Approach with Environment Awareness for Local Obstacle Avoidance of Mobile Robots

Authors: Baoshan Wei, Shuai Han, Xing Zhang

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Local obstacle avoidance is critical for mobile robot navigation. It is a challenging task to ensure path optimality and safety in cluttered environments. We proposed an Environment Aware Dynamic Window Approach in this paper to cope with the issue. The method integrates environment characterization into Dynamic Window Approach (DWA). Two strategies are proposed in order to achieve the integration. The local goal strategy guides the robot to move through openings before approaching the final goal, which solves the local minima problem in DWA. The adaptive control strategy endows the robot to adjust its state according to the environment, which addresses path safety compared with DWA. Besides, the evaluation shows that the path generated from the proposed algorithm is safer and smoother compared with state-of-the-art algorithms.

Keywords: Adaptive control, dynamic window approach, environment aware, local obstacle avoidance, mobile robots.

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543 Managing the Baltic Sea Region Resilience: Prevention, Treatment Actions and Circular Economy

Authors: J. Burlakovs, Y. Jani, L. Grinberga, M. Kriipsalu, O. Anne, I. Grinfelde, W. Hogland

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The worldwide future sustainable economies are oriented towards the sea: the maritime economy is becoming one of the strongest driving forces in many regions as population growth is the highest in coastal areas. For hundreds of years sea resources were depleted unsustainably by fishing, mining, transportation, tourism, and waste. European Sustainable Development Strategy is identifying and developing actions to enable the EU to achieve a continuous, long-term improvement of the quality of life through the creation of sustainable communities. The aim of this paper is to provide insight in Baltic Sea Region case studies on implemented actions on tourism industry waste and beach wrack management in coastal areas, hazardous contaminants and plastic flow treatment from waste, wastewaters and stormwaters. These projects mentioned in study promote successful prevention of contaminant flows to the sea environments and provide perspectives for creation of valuable new products from residuals for future circular economy are the step forward to green innovation winning streak.

Keywords: Resilience, hazardous waste, phytoremediation, water management, circular economy.

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542 Behavioral Mapping and Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Meeting-Point Design in an International Airport

Authors: Meng-Cong Zheng, Yu-Sheng Chen

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The meeting behavior is a pervasive kind of interaction, which often occurs between the passenger and the shuttle. However, the meeting point set up at the Taoyuan International Airport is too far from the entry-exit, often causing passengers to stop searching near the entry-exit. When the number of people waiting for the rush hour increases, it often results in chaos in the waiting area. This study tried to find out what is the key factor to promote the rapid finding of each other between the passengers and the pick-ups. Then we implemented several design proposals to improve the meeting behavior of passengers and pick-ups based on behavior mapping and post-occupancy evaluation to enhance their meeting efficiency in unfamiliar environments. The research base is the reception hall of the second terminal of Taoyuan International Airport. Behavioral observation and mapping are implemented on the entry of inbound passengers into the welcome space, including the crowd distribution of the people who rely on the separation wall in the waiting area, the behavior of meeting and the interaction between the inbound passengers and the pick-ups. Then we redesign the space planning and signage design based on post-occupancy evaluation to verify the effectiveness of space plan and signage design. This study found that passengers ignore existing meeting-point designs which are placed on distant pillars at both ends. The position of the screen affects the area where the receiver is stranded, causing the pick-ups to block the passenger's moving line. The pick-ups prefer to wait where it is easy to watch incoming passengers and where it is closest to the mode of transport they take when leaving. Large visitors tend to gather next to landmarks, and smaller groups have a wide waiting area in the lobby. The location of the meeting point chosen by the pick-ups is related to the view of the incoming passenger. Finally, this study proposes an improved design of the meeting point, setting the traffic information in it, so that most passengers can see the traffic information when they enter the country. At the same time, we also redesigned the pick-ups desk to improve the efficiency of passenger meeting.

Keywords: Meeting point design, post-occupancy evaluation, behavioral mapping, international airport.

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541 Smart Lean Manufacturing in the Context of Industry 4.0: A Case Study

Authors: M. Ramadan, B. Salah

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This paper introduces a framework to digitalize lean manufacturing tools to enhance smart lean-based manufacturing environments or Lean 4.0 manufacturing systems. The paper discusses the integration between lean tools and the powerful features of recent real-time data capturing systems with the help of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to develop an intelligent real-time monitoring and controlling system of production operations concerning lean targets. This integration is represented in the Lean 4.0 system called Dynamic Value Stream Mapping (DVSM). Moreover, the paper introduces the practice of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and ICT to smartly support lean tools and practices during daily production runs to keep the lean system alive and effective. This work introduces a practical description of how the lean method tools 5S, standardized work, and poka-yoke can be digitalized and smartly monitored and controlled through DVSM. A framework of the three tools has been discussed and put into practice in a German switchgear manufacturer.

Keywords: Lean manufacturing, Industry 4.0, radio frequency identification, value stream mapping.

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540 Investigating the Accessibility of Physically Disabled Individuals in Corporate Offices: A Case of Dhaka City

Authors: Ishrar Tabassum, Jay Andrew Saptok, Khalid Raihan Kabir, Elmee Tabassum

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The purpose of this study is to bring light to the current state of the working environments in the corporate environment and other such institutions with a particular focus on the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) and its guidelines for accommodating the physically disabled. Data were collected via semi-formal interviews, site visits and focus groups conducted using a preset questionnaire as the guidelines. After conducting surveys at corporate offices of 20 organizations from major commercial sectors in Dhaka city, the auditing showed many inadequacies, as aside from the larger corporate offices, the offices have little to no accessibility for the physically disabled. This study hopes to shed light on the fact that the existing BNBCs lack of emphasis on ensuring the accessibility of the handicapped in corporate buildings in the hope that, in the future, the physically disabled will have greater opportunities at being productive members of the workforce.

Keywords: Person with disability, PWD, corporate buildings, Dhaka City.

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539 Weaving Social Development: An Exploratory Study of Adapting Traditional Textiles Using Indigenous Organic Wool for the Modern Interior Textiles Market

Authors: Seema Singh, Puja Anand, Alok Bhasin

Abstract:

The interior design profession aims to create aesthetically pleasing design solutions for human habitats but of late, growing awareness about depleting environmental resources, both tangible and intangible, and damages to the eco-system led to the quest for creating healthy and sustainable interior environments. The paper proposes adapting traditionally produced organic wool textiles for the mainstream interior design industry. This can create sustainable livelihoods whereby eco-friendly bridges can be built between Interior designers and consumers and pastoral communities. This study focuses on traditional textiles produced by two pastoral communities from India that use organic wool from indigenous sheep varieties. The Gaddi communities of Himachal Pradesh use wool from the Gaddi sheep breed to create Pattu (a multi-purpose textile). The Kurumas of Telangana weave a blanket called the Gongadi, using wool from the Black Deccani variety of sheep. These communities have traditionally reared indigenous sheep breeds for their wool and produce hand-spun and hand-woven textiles for their own consumption, using traditional processes that are chemical free. Based on data collected personally from field visits and documentation of traditional crafts of these pastoral communities, and using traditionally produced indigenous organic wool, the authors have developed innovative textile samples by including design interventions and exploring dyeing and weaving techniques. As part of the secondary research, the role of pastoralism in sustaining the eco-systems of Himachal Pradesh and Telangana was studied, and also the role of organic wool in creating healthy interior environments. The authors found that natural wool from indigenous sheep breeds can be used to create interior textiles that have the potential to be marketed to an urban audience, and this will help create earnings for pastoral communities. Literature studies have shown that organic & sustainable wool can reduce indoor pollution & toxicity levels in interiors and further help in creating healthier interior environments. Revival of indigenous breeds of sheep can further help in rejuvenating dying crafts, and promotion of these indigenous textiles can help in sustaining traditional eco-systems and the pastoral communities whose way of life is endangered today. Based on research and findings, the authors propose that adapting traditional textiles can have potential for application in Interiors, creating eco-friendly spaces. Interior textiles produced through such sustainable processes can help reduce indoor pollution, give livelihood opportunities to traditional economies, and leave almost zero carbon foot-print while being in sync with available natural resources, hence ultimately benefiting the society. The win-win situation for all the stakeholders in this eco-friendly model makes it pertinent to re-think how we design lifestyle textiles for interiors. This study illustrates a specific example from the two pastoral communities and can be used as a model that can work equally well in any community, regardless of geography.

Keywords: Design Intervention, Eco-Friendly, Healthy Interiors, Indigenous, Organic Wool, Pastoralism, Sustainability.

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538 The Impact of Gamification on Self-Assessment for English Language Learners in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Wala A. Bagunaid, Maram Meccawy, Arwa Allinjawi, Zilal Meccawy

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Continuous self-assessment becomes crucial in self-paced online learning environments. Students often depend on themselves to assess their progress; which is considered an essential requirement for any successful learning process. Today’s education institutions face major problems around student motivation and engagement. Thus, personalized e-learning systems aim to help and guide the students. Gamification provides an opportunity to help students for self-assessment and social comparison with other students through attempting to harness the motivational power of games and apply it to the learning environment. Furthermore, Open Social Student Modeling (OSSM) as considered as the latest user modeling technologies is believed to improve students’ self-assessment and to allow them to social comparison with other students. This research integrates OSSM approach and gamification concepts in order to provide self-assessment for English language learners at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). This is achieved through an interactive visual representation of their learning progress.

Keywords: E-learning system, gamification, motivation, social comparison, visualization.

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537 Received Signal Strength Indicator Based Localization of Bluetooth Devices Using Trilateration: An Improved Method for the Visually Impaired People

Authors: Muhammad Irfan Aziz, Thomas Owens, Uzair Khaleeq uz Zaman

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The instantaneous and spatial localization for visually impaired people in dynamically changing environments with unexpected hazards and obstacles, is the most demanding and challenging issue faced by the navigation systems today. Since Bluetooth cannot utilize techniques like Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) and Time of Arrival (TOA), it uses received signal strength indicator (RSSI) to measure Receive Signal Strength (RSS). The measurements using RSSI can be improved significantly by improving the existing methodologies related to RSSI. Therefore, the current paper focuses on proposing an improved method using trilateration for localization of Bluetooth devices for visually impaired people. To validate the method, class 2 Bluetooth devices were used along with the development of a software. Experiments were then conducted to obtain surface plots that showed the signal interferences and other environmental effects. Finally, the results obtained show the surface plots for all Bluetooth modules used along with the strong and weak points depicted as per the color codes in red, yellow and blue. It was concluded that the suggested improved method of measuring RSS using trilateration helped to not only measure signal strength affectively but also highlighted how the signal strength can be influenced by atmospheric conditions such as noise, reflections, etc.

Keywords: Bluetooth, indoor/outdoor localization, received signal strength indicator, visually impaired.

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536 Algorithm for Path Recognition in-between Tree Rows for Agricultural Wheeled-Mobile Robots

Authors: Anderson Rocha, Pedro Miguel de Figueiredo Dinis Oliveira Gaspar

Abstract:

Machine vision has been widely used in recent years in agriculture, as a tool to promote the automation of processes and increase the levels of productivity. The aim of this work is the development of a path recognition algorithm based on image processing to guide a terrestrial robot in-between tree rows. The proposed algorithm was developed using the software MATLAB, and it uses several image processing operations, such as threshold detection, morphological erosion, histogram equalization and the Hough transform, to find edge lines along tree rows on an image and to create a path to be followed by a mobile robot. To develop the algorithm, a set of images of different types of orchards was used, which made possible the construction of a method capable of identifying paths between trees of different heights and aspects. The algorithm was evaluated using several images with different characteristics of quality and the results showed that the proposed method can successfully detect a path in different types of environments.

Keywords: Agricultural mobile robot, image processing, path recognition, Hough transform.

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535 Current Status and Future Trends of Mechanized Fruit Thinning Devices and Sensor Technology

Authors: Marco Lopes, Pedro D. Gaspar, Maria P. Simões

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This paper reviews the different concepts that have been investigated concerning the mechanization of fruit thinning as well as multiple working principles and solutions that have been developed for feature extraction of horticultural products, both in the field and industrial environments. The research should be committed towards selective methods, which inevitably need to incorporate some kinds of sensor technology. Computer vision often comes out as an obvious solution for unstructured detection problems, although leaves despite the chosen point of view frequently occlude fruits. Further research on non-traditional sensors that are capable of object differentiation is needed. Ultrasonic and Near Infrared (NIR) technologies have been investigated for applications related to horticultural produce and show a potential to satisfy this need while simultaneously providing spatial information as time of flight sensors. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology also shows a huge potential but it implies much greater costs and the related equipment is usually much larger, making it less suitable for portable devices, which may serve a purpose on smaller unstructured orchards. Portable devices may serve a purpose on these types of orchards. In what concerns sensor methods, on-tree fruit detection, major challenge is to overcome the problem of fruits’ occlusion by leaves and branches. Hence, nontraditional sensors capable of providing some type of differentiation should be investigated.

Keywords: Fruit thinning, horticultural field, portable devices, sensor technologies.

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534 Map Matching Performance under Various Similarity Metrics for Heterogeneous Robot Teams

Authors: M. C. Akay, A. Aybakan, H. Temeltas

Abstract:

Aerial and ground robots have various advantages of usage in different missions. Aerial robots can move quickly and get a different sight of view of the area, but those vehicles cannot carry heavy payloads. On the other hand, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are slow moving vehicles, since those can carry heavier payloads than unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In this context, we investigate the performances of various Similarity Metrics to provide a common map for Heterogeneous Robot Team (HRT) in complex environments. Within the usage of Lidar Odometry and Octree Mapping technique, the local 3D maps of the environment are gathered.  In order to obtain a common map for HRT, informative theoretic similarity metrics are exploited. All types of these similarity metrics gave adequate as allowable simulation time and accurate results that can be used in different types of applications. For the heterogeneous multi robot team, those methods can be used to match different types of maps.

Keywords: Common maps, heterogeneous robot team, map matching, informative theoretic similarity metrics.

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533 The Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Education: Opportunities and Challenges

Authors: M. Nadeem, S. Nasir, K. A. Moazzam, R. Kashif

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The remarkable growth and evolution in information and communication technology (ICT) in the past few decades has transformed modern society in almost every aspect of life. The impact and application of ICT have been observed in almost all walks of life including science, arts, business, health, management, engineering, sports, and education. ICT in education is being used extensively for student learning, creativity, interaction, and knowledge sharing and as a valuable source of teaching instrument. Apart from the student’s perspective, it plays a vital role for teacher education, instructional methods and curriculum development. There is a significant difference in growth of ICT enabled education in developing countries compared to developed nations and according to research, this gap is widening. ICT gradually infiltrate in almost every aspect of life. It has a deep and profound impact on our social, economic, health, environment, development, work, learning, and education environments. ICT provides very effective and dominant tools for information and knowledge processing. It is firmly believed that the coming generation should be proficient and confident in the use of ICT to cope with the existing international standards. This is only possible if schools can provide basic ICT infrastructure to students and to develop an ICT-integrated curriculum which covers all aspects of learning and creativity in students. However, there is a digital divide and steps must be taken to reduce this digital divide considerably to have the profound impact of ICT in education all around the globe. This study is based on theoretical approach and an extensive literature review is being conducted to see the successful implementations of ICT integration in education and to identify technologies and models which have been used in education in developed countries. This paper deals with the modern applications of ICT in schools for both teachers and students to uplift the learning and creativity amongst the students. A brief history of technology in education is presented and discussed are some important ICT tools for both student and teacher’s perspective. Basic ICT-based infrastructure for academic institutions is presented. The overall conclusion leads to the positive impact of ICT in education by providing an interactive, collaborative and challenging environment to students and teachers for knowledge sharing, learning and critical thinking.

Keywords: Information and communication technology, ICT, education, ICT infrastructure, teacher education.

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532 The System for Root Canal Length Measurement Based on Multifrequency Impedance Method

Authors: Zheng Zhang, Xin Chen, Guoqing Ding

Abstract:

Electronic apex locators (EAL) has been widely used clinically for measuring root canal working length with high accuracy, which is crucial for successful endodontic treatment. In order to maintain high accuracy in different measurement environments, this study presented a system for root canal length measurement based on multifrequency impedance method. This measuring system can generate a sweep current with frequencies from 100 Hz to 1 MHz through a direct digital synthesizer. Multiple impedance ratios with different combinations of frequencies were obtained and transmitted by an analog-to-digital converter and several of them with representatives will be selected after data process. The system analyzed the functional relationship between these impedance ratios and the distance between the file and the apex with statistics by measuring plenty of teeth. The position of the apical foramen can be determined by the statistical model using these impedance ratios. The experimental results revealed that the accuracy of the system based on multifrequency impedance ratios method to determine the position of the apical foramen was higher than the dual-frequency impedance ratio method. Besides that, for more complex measurement environments, the performance of the system was more stable.

Keywords: Root canal length, apex locator, multifrequency impedance, sweep frequency.

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531 Influence Analysis of Macroeconomic Parameters on Real Estate Price Variation in Taipei, Taiwan

Authors: Li Li, Kai-Hsuan Chu

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It is well known that the real estate price depends on a lot of factors. Each house current value is dependent on the location, room number, transportation, living convenience, year and surrounding environments. Although, there are different experienced models for housing agent to estimate the price, it is a case by case study without overall dynamic variation investigation. However, many economic parameters may more or less influence the real estate price variation. Here, the influences of most macroeconomic parameters on real estate price are investigated individually based on least-square scheme and grey correlation strategy. Then those parameters are classified into leading indices, simultaneous indices and laggard indices. In addition, the leading time period is evaluated based on least square method. The important leading and simultaneous indices can be used to establish an artificial intelligent neural network model for real estate price variation prediction. The real estate price variation of Taipei, Taiwan during 2005 ~ 2017 are chosen for this research data analysis and validation. The results show that the proposed method has reasonable prediction function for real estate business reference.

Keywords: Real estate price, least-square, grey correlation, macroeconomics.

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530 Implicit Responses for Assessment of Autism Based on Natural Behaviors Obtained Inside Immersive Virtual Environment

Authors: E. Olmos-Raya, A. Cascales Martínez, N. Minto de Sousa, M. Alcañiz Raya

Abstract:

The late detection and subjectivity of the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imposed a difficulty for the children’s clinical and familiar environment. The results showed in this paper, are part of a research project about the assessment and training of social skills in children with ASD, whose overall goal is the use of virtual environments together with physiological measures in order to find a new model of objective ASD assessment based on implicit brain processes measures. In particular, this work tries to contribute by studying the differences and changes in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and Eye Tracking (ET) between a typical development group (TD group) and an ASD group (ASD group) after several combined stimuli using a low cost Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE). Subjects were exposed to a virtual environment that showed natural scenes that stimulated visual, auditory and olfactory perceptual system. By exposing them to the IVE, subjects showed natural behaviors while measuring SCR and ET. This study compared measures of subjects diagnosed with ASD (N = 18) with a control group of subjects with typical development (N=10) when exposed to three different conditions: only visual (V), visual and auditory (VA) and visual, auditory and olfactory (VAO) stimulation. Correlations between SCR and ET measures were also correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) test. SCR measures showed significant differences among the experimental condition between groups. The ASD group presented higher level of SCR while we did not find significant differences between groups regarding DF. We found high significant correlations among all the experimental conditions in SCR measures and the subscale of ADOS test of imagination and symbolic thinking. Regarding the correlation between ET measures and ADOS test, the results showed significant relationship between VA condition and communication scores.

Keywords: Autism, electrodermal activity, eye tracking, immersive virtual environment, virtual reality.

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

Authors: Sana Hamdi, Emna Bouazizi, Sami Faiz

Abstract:

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

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

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528 A Comparative Analysis of Asymmetric Encryption Schemes on Android Messaging Service

Authors: Mabrouka Algherinai, Fatma Karkouri

Abstract:

Today, Short Message Service (SMS) is an important means of communication. SMS is not only used in informal environment for communication and transaction, but it is also used in formal environments such as institutions, organizations, companies, and business world as a tool for communication and transactions. Therefore, there is a need to secure the information that is being transmitted through this medium to ensure security of information both in transit and at rest. But, encryption has been identified as a means to provide security to SMS messages in transit and at rest. Several past researches have proposed and developed several encryption algorithms for SMS and Information Security. This research aims at comparing the performance of common Asymmetric encryption algorithms on SMS security. The research employs the use of three algorithms, namely RSA, McEliece, and RABIN. Several experiments were performed on SMS of various sizes on android mobile device. The experimental results show that each of the three techniques has different key generation, encryption, and decryption times. The efficiency of an algorithm is determined by the time that it takes for encryption, decryption, and key generation. The best algorithm can be chosen based on the least time required for encryption. The obtained results show the least time when McEliece size 4096 is used. RABIN size 4096 gives most time for encryption and so it is the least effective algorithm when considering encryption. Also, the research shows that McEliece size 2048 has the least time for key generation, and hence, it is the best algorithm as relating to key generation. The result of the algorithms also shows that RSA size 1024 is the most preferable algorithm in terms of decryption as it gives the least time for decryption.

Keywords: SMS, RSA, McEliece, RABIN.

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527 Experimental Study on Recycled Aggregate Pervious Concrete

Authors: Ji Wenzhan, Zhang Tao, Li Guoyou

Abstract:

Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world. At the same time, the world produces a large amount of construction waste each year. Waste concrete is processed and treated, and the recycled aggregate is used to make pervious concrete, which enables the construction waste to be recycled. Pervious concrete has many advantages such as permeability to water, protection of water resources, and so on. This paper tests the recycled aggregate obtained by crushing high-strength waste concrete (TOU) and low-strength waste concrete (PU), and analyzes the effect of porosity, amount of cement, mineral admixture and recycled aggregate on the strength of permeable concrete. The porosity is inversely proportional to the strength, and the amount of cement used is proportional to the strength. The mineral admixture can effectively improve the workability of the mixture. The quality of recycled aggregates had a significant effect on strength. Compared with concrete using "PU" aggregates, the strength of 7d and 28d concrete using "TOU" aggregates increased by 69.0% and 73.3%, respectively. Therefore, the quality of recycled aggregates should be strictly controlled during production, and the mix ratio should be designed according to different use environments and usage requirements. This test prepared a recycled aggregate permeable concrete with a compressive strength of 35.8 MPa, which can be used for light load roads and provides a reference for engineering applications.

Keywords: Recycled aggregate, pervious concrete, compressive strength, permeability.

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526 Urban Intensification and the Character of Urban Landscape: A Morphological Perspective

Authors: Xindong An, Kai Gu

Abstract:

Urban intensification is regarded as the prevalent strategy in many cities of the world to ease the pressures of urban sprawl and deliver sustainable development through increasing the density of built form and activities. However, within the context of intensive development, planning and design control measures that help to maintain and promote the character of existing residential environments have been slow to develop. This causes the possible loss of the character of an area that makes a place unique and distinctive. The purpose of this paper is to explore the way of identifying the character of an urban area for the planning of urban landscape in the implementation of intensification. By employing the theory of urban morphology, the concept of morphological region is used for the analysis and characterisation of the spatial structure of the urban landscape in terms of ground plans, building types, and building and land utilisation. The morphological mapping of the character of urban landscape is suggested, which lays a foundation for more sensitive planning of urban landscape changes.

Keywords: Character areas, urban intensification, urban morphology, urban landscape.

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525 Ear Protectors and Their Action in Protecting Hearing System of Workers against Occupational Noise

Authors: F. Forouharmajd, S. Pourabdian, N. Ziayi Ghahnavieh

Abstract:

For many years, the ear protectors have been used to preventing the audio and non-audio effects of received noise from occupation environments. Despite performing hearing protection programs, there are many people which still suffer from noise-induced hearing loss. This study was conducted with the aim of determination of human hearing system response to received noise and the effectiveness of ear protectors on preventing of noise-induced hearing loss. Sound pressure microphones were placed in a simulated ear canal. The severity of noise measured inside and outside of ear canal. The noise reduction values due to installing ear protectors were calculated in the octave band frequencies and LabVIEW programmer. The results of noise measurement inside and outside of ear canal showed a different in received sound levels by ear canal. The effectiveness of ear protectors has been considerably reduced for the low frequency limits. A change in resonance frequency also was observed after using ear protectors. The study indicated the ear canal structure may affect the received noise and it may lead a difference between the received sound from the measured sound by a sound level meter, and hearing system. It means the human hearing system may probably respond different from a sound level meter. Hearing protectors’ efficiency declines by increasing the noise levels, and thus, they are not suitable to protect workers against industrial noise particularly low frequency noise. Hearing protectors may be solely a reason to damaging of hearing system in a special frequency via changing of human hearing system acoustical structure. We need developing the subjective method of hearing protectors testing, because their evaluation is not designed based on industrial noise or in the field.

Keywords: Ear protector, hearing system, occupational noise, workers.

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524 Accessible Facilities in Home Environment for Elderly Family Members in Sri Lanka

Authors: M. A. N. Rasanjalee Perera

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The world is facing several problems due to increasing elderly population. In Sri Lanka, along with the complexity of the modern society and structural and functional changes of the family, “caring for elders” seems as an emerging social problem. This situation may intensify as the county is moving into a middle income society. Seeking higher education and related career opportunities, and urban living in modern housing are new trends, through which several problems are generated. Among many issues related with elders, “lack of accessible and appropriate facilities in their houses as well as public buildings” can be identified as a major problem. This study argues that welfare facilities provided for the elderly people, particularly in the home environment, in the country are not adequate. Modern housing features such as bathrooms, pantries, lobbies, and leisure areas etc. are questionable as to whether they match with elders’ physical and mental needs. Consequently, elders have to face domestic accidents and many other difficulties within their living environments. Records of hospitals in the country also proved this fact. Therefore, this study tries to identify how far modern houses are suited with elders’ needs. The study further questioned whether “aging” is a considerable matter when people are buying, planning and renovating houses. A randomly selected sample of 50 houses were observed and 50 persons were interviewed around the Maharagama urban area in Colombo district to obtain primary data, while relevant secondary data and information were used to have a depth analysis. The study clearly found that none of the houses included to the sample are considering elders’ needs in planning, renovating, or arranging the home. Instead, most of the families were giving priority to the rich and elegant appearance and modern facilities of the houses. Particularly, to the bathrooms, pantry, large setting areas, balcony, parking slots for two vehicles, ad parapet walls with roller-gates are the main concerns. A significant factor found here is that even though, many children of the aged are in middle age and reaching their older years at present, they do not plan their future living within a safe and comfortable home, despite that they are hoping to spent the latter part of their lives in the their current homes. This fact highlights that not only the other responsible parts of the society, but also those who are reaching their older ages are ignoring the problems of the aged. At the same time, it was found that more than 80% of old parents do not like to stay at their children’s homes as the living environments in such modern homes are not familiar or convenient for them. Due to this context, the aged in Sri Lanka may have to be alone in their own homes due to current trend of society of migrating to urban living in modern houses. At the same time, current urban families who live in modern houses may have to face adding accessible facilities in their home environment, as current modern housing facilities may not be appropriate them for a better life in their latter part of life.

Keywords: Aging population, elderly care, home environment, housing facilities.

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523 Embodied Cognition and Its Implications in Education: An Overview of Recent Literature

Authors: Panagiotis Kosmas, Panayiotis Zaphiris

Abstract:

Embodied Cognition (EC) as a learning paradigm is based on the idea of an inseparable link between body, mind, and environment. In recent years, the advent of theoretical learning approaches around EC theory has resulted in a number of empirical studies exploring the implementation of the theory in education. This systematic literature overview identifies the mainstream of EC research and emphasizes on the implementation of the theory across learning environments. Based on a corpus of 43 manuscripts, published between 2013 and 2017, it sets out to describe the range of topics covered under the umbrella of EC and provides a holistic view of the field. The aim of the present review is to investigate the main issues in EC research related to the various learning contexts. Particularly, the study addresses the research methods and technologies that are utilized, and it also explores the integration of body into the learning context. An important finding from the overview is the potential of the theory in different educational environments and disciplines. However, there is a lack of an explicit pedagogical framework from an educational perspective for a successful implementation in various learning contexts.

Keywords: Embodied cognition, embodied learning, education, technology, schools.

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