Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8841

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8841 In vitro Effects of Berberine on the Vitality and Oxidative Profile of Bovine Spermatozoa

Authors: Eva Tvrdá, Hana Greifová, Peter Ivanič, Norbert Lukáč

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the dose- and time-dependent in vitro effects of berberine (BER), a natural alkaloid with numerous biological properties on bovine spermatozoa during three time periods (0 h, 2 h, 24 h). Bovine semen samples were diluted and cultivated in physiological saline solution containing 0.5% DMSO together with 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, and 1 μmol/L BER. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the computer assisted semen analyzer. The viability of spermatozoa was assessed by the metabolic (MTT) assay, production of superoxide radicals was quantified using the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) test, and chemiluminescence was used to evaluate the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cell lysates were prepared and the extent of lipid peroxidation (LPO) was evaluated using the TBARS assay. The results of the movement activity showed a significant increase in the motility during long term cultivation in case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 10 μmol/L BER (P < 0.01; P < 0.001; 24 h). At the same time, supplementation of 1, 5 and 10 μmol/L BER led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P < 0.001; 24 h). BER addition at a range of 1-50 μmol/L also provided a significantly higher protection against superoxide (P < 0.05) and ROS (P < 0.001; P < 0.01) overgeneration as well as LPO (P < 0.01; P<0.05) after a 24 h cultivation. We may suggest that supplementation of BER to bovine spermatozoa, particularly at concentrations ranging between 1 and 50 μmol/L, may offer protection to the motility, viability and oxidative status of the spermatozoa, particularly notable at 24 h.

Keywords: Berberine, bulls, motility, oxidative profile, spermatozoa, viability.

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8840 Studying the Moisture Sources and the Stable Isotope Characteristic of Moisture in Northern Khorasan Province, North-Eastern Iran

Authors: Mojtaba Heydarizad, Hamid Ghalibaf Mohammadabadi

Abstract:

Iran is a semi-arid and arid country in south-western Asia in the Middle East facing intense climatological drought from the early times. Therefore, studying the precipitation events and the moisture sources and air masses causing precipitation has great importance in this region. In this study, the moisture sources and stable isotope content of precipitation moisture in three main events in 2015 have been studied in North-Eastern Iran. HYSPLIT model backward trajectories showed that the Caspian Sea and the mixture of the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas are dominant moisture sources for the studied events. This showed the role of cP (Siberian) and Mediterranean (MedT) air masses. Stable isotope studies showed that precipitation events originated from the Caspian Sea with lower Sea Surface Temperature (SST) have more depleted isotope values. However, precipitation events sourced from the mixture of the Caspian and the Mediterranean Seas (with higher SST) showed more enriched isotope values.

Keywords: HYSPLIT, Iran, Northern Khorasan, stable isotopes.

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8839 Total Organic Carbon, Porosity and Permeability Correlation: A Tool for Carbon Dioxide Storage Potential Evaluation in Irati Formation of the Parana Basin, Brazil

Authors: Richardson M. Abraham-A., Colombo Celso Gaeta Tassinari

Abstract:

The correlation between Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and flow units have been carried out to predict and compare the carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential of the shale and carbonate rocks in Irati Formation of the Parana Basin. The equations for permeability (K), reservoir quality index (RQI) and flow zone indicator (FZI) are redefined and engaged to evaluate the flow units in both potential reservoir rocks. Shales show higher values of TOC compared to carbonates, as such,  porosity (Ф) is most likely to be higher in shales compared to carbonates. The increase in Ф corresponds to the increase in K (in both rocks). Nonetheless, at lower values of Ф, K is higher in carbonates compared to shales. This shows that at lower values of TOC in carbonates, Ф is low, yet, K is likely to be high compared to shale. In the same vein, at higher values of TOC in shales, Ф is high, yet, K is expected to be low compared to carbonates.  Overall, the flow unit factors (RQI and FZI) are better in the carbonates compared to the shales. Moreso, within the study location,  there are some portions where the thicknesses of the carbonate units are higher compared to the shale units. Most parts of the carbonate strata in the study location are fractured in situ, hence,  this could provide easy access for the storage of CO2. Therefore, based on these points and the disparities between the flow units in the evaluated rock types, the carbonate units are expected to show better potentials for the storage of CO2. The shale units may be considered as potential cap rocks or seals.

Keywords: Total organic carbon, flow units, carbon dioxide storage.

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8838 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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8837 Comparison between Open and Closed System for Dewatering with Geotextile: Field and Comparative Study

Authors: Matheus Müller, Delma Vidal

Abstract:

The present paper aims to expose two techniques of dewatering for sludge, analyzing its operations and dewatering processes, aiming at improving the conditions of disposal of residues with high liquid content. It describes the field tests performed on two geotextile systems, a closed geotextile tube and an open geotextile drying bed, both of which are submitted to two filling cycles. The sludge used in the filling cycles for the field trials is from the water treatment plant of the Technological Center of Aeronautics – CTA, in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Data about volume and height abatement due to the dewatering and consolidation were collected per time, until it was observed constancy. With the laboratory analysis of the sludge allied to the data collected in the field, it was possible to perform a critical comparative study between the observed and the scientific literature, in this way, this paper expresses the data obtained and compares them with the bibliography. The tests were carried out on three fronts: field tests, including the filling cycles of the systems with the sludge from CTA, taking measurements of filling time per cycle and maximum filling height per cycle, heights against the abatement by dewatering of the systems over time; tests carried out in the laboratory, including the characterization of the sludge and removal of material samples from the systems to ascertain the solids content within the systems per time and; comparing the data obtained in the field and laboratory tests with the scientific literature. Through the study, it was possible to perceive that the process of densification of the material inside a closed system, such as the geotextile tube, occurs faster than the observed in the drying bed system. This process of accelerated densification can be brought about by the pumping pressure of the sludge in its filling and by the confinement of the residue through the permeable geotextile membrane (allowing water to pass through), accelerating the process of densification and dewatering by its own weight after the filling with sludge.

Keywords: Consolidation, dewatering, geotextile drying bed, geotextile tube.

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8836 Applications of Drones in Infrastructures: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Jin Fan, M. Ala Saadeghvaziri

Abstract:

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also referred to as drones, equipped with various kinds of advanced detecting or surveying systems, are effective and low-cost in data acquisition, data delivery and sharing, which can benefit the building of infrastructures. This paper will give an overview of applications of drones in planning, designing, construction and maintenance of infrastructures. The drone platform, detecting and surveying systems, and post-data processing systems will be introduced, followed by cases with details of the applications. Challenges from different aspects will be addressed. Opportunities of drones in infrastructure include but not limited to the following. Firstly, UAVs equipped with high definition cameras or other detecting equipment are capable of inspecting the hard to reach infrastructure assets. Secondly, UAVs can be used as effective tools to survey and map the landscape to collect necessary information before infrastructure construction. Furthermore, an UAV or multi-UVAs are useful in construction management. UVAs can also be used in collecting roads and building information by taking high-resolution photos for future infrastructure planning. UAVs can be used to provide reliable and dynamic traffic information, which is potentially helpful in building smart cities. The main challenges are: limited flight time, the robustness of signal, post data analyze, multi-drone collaboration, weather condition, distractions to the traffic caused by drones. This paper aims to help owners, designers, engineers and architects to improve the building process of infrastructures for higher efficiency and better performance.

Keywords: Bridge, construction, drones, infrastructure, information.

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8835 Blockchain Security in MANETs

Authors: Nada Mouchfiq, Ahmed Habbani, Chaimae Benjbara

Abstract:

The security aspect of the IoT occupies a place of great importance especially after the evolution that has known this field lastly because it must take into account the transformations and the new applications .Blockchain is a new technology dedicated to the data sharing. However, this does not work the same way in the different systems with different operating principles. This article will discuss network security using the Blockchain to facilitate the sending of messages and information, enabling the use of new processes and enabling autonomous coordination of devices. To do this, we will discuss proposed solutions to ensure a high level of security in these networks in the work of other researchers. Finally, our article will propose a method of security more adapted to our needs as a team working in the ad hoc networks, this method is based on the principle of the Blockchain and that we named ”MPR Blockchain”.

Keywords: Ad hoc networks, blockchain, MPR, security.

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8834 Analysis of Structural and Photocatalytical Properties of Anatase, Rutile and Mixed Phase TiO2 Films Deposited by Pulsed-Direct Current and Radio Frequency Magnetron Co-Sputtering

Authors: S. Varnagiris, M. Urbonavicius, S. Tuckute, M. Lelis, K. Bockute

Abstract:

Amongst many water purification techniques, TiO2 photocatalysis is recognized as one of the most promising sustainable methods. It is known that for photocatalytical applications anatase is the most suitable TiO2 phase, however heterojunction of anatase/rutile phases could improve the photocatalytical activity of TiO2 even further. Despite the relative simplicity of TiO2 different synthesis methods lead to the highly dispersed crystal phases and photocatalytic activity of the corresponding samples. Accordingly, suggestions and investigations of various innovative methods of TiO2 synthesis are still needed. In this work structural and photocatalytical properties of TiO2 films deposited by the unconventional method of simultaneous co-sputtering from two magnetrons powered by pulsed-Direct Current (pDC) and Radio Frequency (RF) power sources with negative bias voltage have been studied. More specifically, TiO2 film thickness, microstructure, surface roughness, crystal structure, optical transmittance and photocatalytical properties were investigated by profilometer, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, X-ray diffractometer and UV-Vis spectrophotometer respectively. The proposed unconventional two magnetron co-sputtering based TiO2 film formation method showed very promising results for crystalline TiO2 film formation while keeping process temperatures below 100 °C. XRD analysis revealed that by using proper combination of power source type and bias voltage various TiO2 phases (amorphous, anatase, rutile or their mixture) can be synthesized selectively. Moreover, strong dependency between power source type and surface roughness, as well as between the bias voltage and band gap value of TiO2 films was observed. Interestingly, TiO2 films deposited by two magnetron co-sputtering without bias voltage had one of the highest band gap values between the investigated films but its photocatalytic activity was superior compared to all other samples. It is suggested that this is due to the dominating nanocrystalline anatase phase with various exposed surfaces including photocatalytically the most active {001}.

Keywords: Films, magnetron co-sputtering, photocatalysis, TiO2.

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8833 Detergent Removal from Rinsing Water by Peroxi Electrocoagulation Process

Authors: A. Benhadji, M. Taleb Ahmed

Abstract:

Among the various methods of treatment, advanced oxidation processes (AOP) are the most promising ones. In this study, Peroxi Electrocoagulation Process (PEP) was investigated for the treatment of detergent wastewater. The process was compared with electrooxidation treatment. The results showed that chemical oxygen demand (COD) was high 7584 mgO2.L-1, while the biochemical oxygen demand was low (250 mgO2.L-1). This wastewater was hardly biodegradable. Electrochemical process was carried out for the removal of detergent using a glass reactor with a volume of 1 L and fitted with three electrodes. A direct current (DC) supply was used. Samples were taken at various current density (0.0227 A/cm2 to 0.0378 A/cm2) and reaction time (1-2-3-4 and 5 hour). Finally, the COD was determined. The results indicated that COD removal efficiency of PEP was observed to increase with current intensity and reached to 77% after 5 h. The highest removal efficiency was observed after 5 h of treatment.

Keywords: Advanced oxidation processes, chemical oxygen demand, COD, detergent, peroxi electrocoagulation process, PEP, wastewater

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8832 Design of an Ensemble Learning Behavior Anomaly Detection Framework

Authors: Abdoulaye Diop, Nahid Emad, Thierry Winter, Mohamed Hilia

Abstract:

Data assets protection is a crucial issue in the cybersecurity field. Companies use logical access control tools to vault their information assets and protect them against external threats, but they lack solutions to counter insider threats. Nowadays, insider threats are the most significant concern of security analysts. They are mainly individuals with legitimate access to companies information systems, which use their rights with malicious intents. In several fields, behavior anomaly detection is the method used by cyber specialists to counter the threats of user malicious activities effectively. In this paper, we present the step toward the construction of a user and entity behavior analysis framework by proposing a behavior anomaly detection model. This model combines machine learning classification techniques and graph-based methods, relying on linear algebra and parallel computing techniques. We show the utility of an ensemble learning approach in this context. We present some detection methods tests results on an representative access control dataset. The use of some explored classifiers gives results up to 99% of accuracy.

Keywords: Cybersecurity, data protection, access control, insider threat, user behavior analysis, ensemble learning, high performance computing.

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8831 Dopamine and Serotonin Levels in Blood Samples of Jordanian Children Who Stutter

Authors: Mazin Alqhazo, Ayat Bani Rashaid

Abstract:

This study examines the levels of dopamine and serotonin in blood samples of children who stutter compared with normal fluent speakers. Blood specimens from 50 children who stutter (6 females, 44 males) and 50 normal children matched age and gender were collected for the purpose of the current study. The concentrations of dopamine and serotonin were measured using the 1100 series high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultraviolet detector instrument (HPLC-UV). It was revealed that dopamine level in the blood samples of stuttering group and fluent group was not significant (P = 0.769), whereas the level of serotonin was significantly higher in the blood samples of stuttering group than the blood samples of fluent normal group (P = 0.015). It is concluded that serotonin blockers could be used in future studies to evaluate its role as a medication for the treatment of stuttering.

Keywords: Dopamine, serotonin, stuttering, fluent.

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8830 Assessment of Pier Foundations for Onshore Wind Turbines in Non-cohesive Soil

Authors: Mauricio Terceros, Jann-Eike Saathoff, Martin Achmus

Abstract:

In non-cohesive soil, onshore wind turbines are often found on shallow foundations with a circular or octagonal shape. For the current generation of wind turbines, shallow foundations with very large breadths are required. The foundation support costs thus represent a considerable portion of the total construction costs. Therefore, an economic optimization of the type of foundation is highly desirable. A conceivable alternative foundation type would be a pier foundation, which combines the load transfer over the foundation area at the pier base with the transfer of horizontal loads over the shaft surface of the pier. The present study aims to evaluate the load-bearing behavior of a pier foundation based on comprehensive parametric studies. Thereby, three-dimensional numerical simulations of both pier and shallow foundations are developed. The evaluation of the results focuses on the rotational stiffnesses of the proposed soil-foundation systems. In the design, the initial rotational stiffness is decisive for consideration of natural frequencies, whereas the rotational secant stiffness for a maximum load is decisive for serviceability considerations. A systematic analysis of the results at different load levels shows that the application of the typical pier foundation is presumably limited to relatively small onshore wind turbines.

Keywords: Onshore wind foundation, pier foundation, rotational stiffness of soil-foundation system, shallow foundation.

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8829 Comparative Effect of Self-Myofascial Release as a Warm-Up Exercise on Functional Fitness of Young Adults

Authors: Gopal Chandra Saha, Sumanta Daw

Abstract:

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

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

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8828 Performing Diagnosis in Building with Partially Valid Heterogeneous Tests

Authors: Houda Najeh, Mahendra Pratap Singh, Stéphane Ploix, Antoine Caucheteux, Karim Chabir, Mohamed Naceur Abdelkrim

Abstract:

Building system is highly vulnerable to different kinds of faults and human misbehaviors. Energy efficiency and user comfort are directly targeted due to abnormalities in building operation. The available fault diagnosis tools and methodologies particularly rely on rules or pure model-based approaches. It is assumed that model or rule-based test could be applied to any situation without taking into account actual testing contexts. Contextual tests with validity domain could reduce a lot of the design of detection tests. The main objective of this paper is to consider fault validity when validate the test model considering the non-modeled events such as occupancy, weather conditions, door and window openings and the integration of the knowledge of the expert on the state of the system. The concept of heterogeneous tests is combined with test validity to generate fault diagnoses. A combination of rules, range and model-based tests known as heterogeneous tests are proposed to reduce the modeling complexity. Calculation of logical diagnoses coming from artificial intelligence provides a global explanation consistent with the test result. An application example shows the efficiency of the proposed technique: an office setting at Grenoble Institute of Technology.

Keywords: Heterogeneous tests, validity, building system, sensor grids, sensor fault, diagnosis, fault detection and isolation.

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8827 Influence of the Granular Mixture Properties on the Rheological Properties of Concrete: Yield Stress Determination Using Modified Chateau et al. Model

Authors: Rachid Zentar, Mokrane Bala, Pascal Boustingorry

Abstract:

The prediction of the rheological behavior of concrete is at the center of current concerns of the concrete industry for different reasons. The shortage of good quality standard materials combined with variable properties of available materials imposes to improve existing models to take into account these variations at the design stage of concrete. The main reasons for improving the predictive models are, of course, saving time and cost at the design stage as well as to optimize concrete performances. In this study, we will highlight the different properties of the granular mixtures that affect the rheological properties of concrete. Our objective is to identify the intrinsic parameters of the aggregates which make it possible to predict the yield stress of concrete. The work was done using two typologies of grains: crushed and rolled aggregates. The experimental results have shown that the rheology of concrete is improved by increasing the packing density of the granular mixture using rolled aggregates. The experimental program realized allowed to model the yield stress of concrete by a modified model of Chateau et al. through a dimensionless parameter following Krieger-Dougherty law. The modelling confirms that the yield stress of concrete depends not only on the properties of cement paste but also on the packing density of the granular skeleton and the shape of grains.

Keywords: Crushed aggregates, intrinsic viscosity, packing density, rolled aggregates, slump, yield stress of concrete.

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8826 Synergistic Impacts and Optimization of Gas Flow Rate, Concentration of CO2, and Light Intensity on CO2 Biofixation in Wastewater Medium by Chlorella vulgaris

Authors: Ahmed Arkoazi, Hussein Znad, Ranjeet Utikar

Abstract:

The synergistic impact and optimization of gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity on CO2 biofixation rate were investigated using wastewater as a medium to cultivate Chlorella vulgaris under different conditions (gas flow rate 1-8 L/min), CO2 concentration (0.03-7%), and light intensity (150-400 µmol/m2.s)). Response Surface Methodology and Box-Behnken experimental Design were applied to find optimum values for gas flow rate, CO2 concentration, and light intensity. The optimum values of the three independent variables (gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity) and desirability were 7.5 L/min, 3.5%, and 400 µmol/m2.s, and 0.904, respectively. The highest amount of biomass produced and CO2 biofixation rate at optimum conditions were 5.7 g/L, 1.23 gL-1d-1, respectively. The synergistic effect between gas flow rate and concentration of CO2, and between gas flow rate and light intensity was significant on the three responses, while the effect between CO2 concentration and light intensity was less significant on CO2 biofixation rate. The results of this study could be highly helpful when using microalgae for CO2 biofixation in wastewater treatment.

Keywords: Synergistic impact, optimization, CO2 biofixation, airlift reactor.

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8825 Experimental Characterization of the Thermal Behavior of a Sawdust Mortar

Authors: F. Taouche-Kheloui, O. Fedaoui-Akmoussi, K. Ait tahar, Li. Alex

Abstract:

Currently, the reduction of energy consumption, through the use of abundant and recyclable natural materials, for better thermal insulation represents an important area of research. To this end, the use of bio-sourced materials has been identified as one of the green sectors with a very high economic development potential for the future. Because of its role in reducing the consumption of fossil-based raw materials, it contributes significantly to the storage of atmospheric carbon, limits greenhouse gas emissions and creates new economic opportunities. This study constitutes a contribution to the elaboration and the experimental characterization of the thermal behavior of a sawdust-reduced mortar matrix. We have taken into account the influence of the size of the grain fibers of sawdust, hence the use of three different ranges and also different percentage in the different confections. The intended practical application consists of producing a light weight compound at a lower cost to ensure a better thermal and acoustic behavior compared to that existing in the field, in addition to the desired resistances. Improving energy performance, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, is amongst the objectives to be achieved. The results are very encouraging and highlight the value of the proposed design of organic-source mortar panels which have specific mechanical properties acceptable for their use, low densities, lower cost of manufacture and labor, and above all a positive impact on the environment.

Keywords: Mortar, sawdust waste, thermal, experimental, analysis.

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8824 An Automated Stock Investment System Using Machine Learning Techniques: An Application in Australia

Authors: Carol Anne Hargreaves

Abstract:

A key issue in stock investment is how to select representative features for stock selection. The objective of this paper is to firstly determine whether an automated stock investment system, using machine learning techniques, may be used to identify a portfolio of growth stocks that are highly likely to provide returns better than the stock market index. The second objective is to identify the technical features that best characterize whether a stock’s price is likely to go up and to identify the most important factors and their contribution to predicting the likelihood of the stock price going up. Unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as cluster analysis, were applied to the stock data to identify a cluster of stocks that was likely to go up in price – portfolio 1. Next, the principal component analysis technique was used to select stocks that were rated high on component one and component two – portfolio 2. Thirdly, a supervised machine learning technique, the logistic regression method, was used to select stocks with a high probability of their price going up – portfolio 3. The predictive models were validated with metrics such as, sensitivity (recall), specificity and overall accuracy for all models. All accuracy measures were above 70%. All portfolios outperformed the market by more than eight times. The top three stocks were selected for each of the three stock portfolios and traded in the market for one month. After one month the return for each stock portfolio was computed and compared with the stock market index returns. The returns for all three stock portfolios was 23.87% for the principal component analysis stock portfolio, 11.65% for the logistic regression portfolio and 8.88% for the K-means cluster portfolio while the stock market performance was 0.38%. This study confirms that an automated stock investment system using machine learning techniques can identify top performing stock portfolios that outperform the stock market.

Keywords: Machine learning, stock market trading, logistic principal component analysis, automated stock investment system.

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8823 Voluntary Information of Intellectual Capital Disclosed Online by Public Spanish Universities

Authors: Yolanda Ramírez, Ángel Tejada, Agustín Baidez

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of voluntary intellectual capital disclosure by public Spanish universities on their websites. To this end, a content analysis was used to analyze the websites of 50 public Spanish universities i 2016. The results of this study show that human capital was the most disclosed category with relational capital being the least frequently disclosed in Spain. However, the quality of structural capital disclosures was higher than relational and human capital. Finally, most IC disclosures were narrative in nature.

Keywords: Intellectual capital, quality disclosure, websites, universities, Spain.

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8822 An Application of Path Planning Algorithms for Autonomous Inspection of Buried Pipes with Swarm Robots

Authors: Richard Molyneux, Christopher Parrott, Kirill Horoshenkov

Abstract:

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

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

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8821 Impact of Changes of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting on the Indicators of the Financial Statement

Authors: Nadezhda Kvatashidze

Abstract:

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

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

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8820 Design of a Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Radio-Frequency Receiver for Small Satellites Based on Commercial Off-The-Shelf Components

Authors: A. Lovascio, A. D’Orazio, V. Centonze

Abstract:

From several years till now the aerospace industry is developing more and more small satellites for Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) missions. Such satellites have a low cost of making and launching since they have a size and weight smaller than other types of satellites. However, because of size limitations, small satellites need integrated electronic equipment based on digital logic. Moreover, the LEOs require telecommunication modules with high throughput to transmit to earth a big amount of data in a short time. In order to meet such requirements, in this paper we propose a Telemetry, Tracking & Command module optimized through the use of the Commercial Off-The-Shelf components. The proposed approach exploits the major flexibility offered by these components in reducing costs and optimizing the performance. The method has been applied in detail for the design of the front-end receiver, which has a low noise figure (1.5 dB) and DC power consumption (smaller than 2 W). Such a performance is particularly attractive since it allows fulfilling the energy budget stringent constraints that are typical for LEO small platforms.

Keywords: COTS, small satellites, sub-sampling, TT&C.

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8819 Measuring the Effect of Ventilation on Cooking in Indoor Air Quality by Low-Cost Air Sensors

Authors: Andres Gonzalez, Adam Boies, Jacob Swanson, David Kittelson

Abstract:

The concern of the indoor air quality (IAQ) has been increasing due to its risk to human health. The smoking, sweeping, and stove and stovetop use are the activities that have a major contribution to the indoor air pollution. Outdoor air pollution also affects IAQ. The most important factors over IAQ from cooking activities are the materials, fuels, foods, and ventilation. The low-cost, mobile air quality monitoring (LCMAQM) sensors, is reachable technology to assess the IAQ. This is because of the lower cost of LCMAQM compared to conventional instruments. The IAQ was assessed, using LCMAQM, during cooking activities in a University of Minnesota graduate-housing evaluating different ventilation systems. The gases measured are carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The particles measured are particle matter (PM) 2.5 micrometer (µm) and lung deposited surface area (LDSA). The measurements are being conducted during April 2019 in Como Student Community Cooperative (CSCC) that is a graduate housing at the University of Minnesota. The measurements are conducted using an electric stove for cooking. The amount and type of food and oil using for cooking are the same for each measurement. There are six measurements: two experiments measure air quality without any ventilation, two using an extractor as mechanical ventilation, and two using the extractor and windows open as mechanical and natural ventilation. 3The results of experiments show that natural ventilation is most efficient system to control particles and CO2. The natural ventilation reduces the concentration in 79% for LDSA and 55% for PM2.5, compared to the no ventilation. In the same way, CO2 reduces its concentration in 35%. A well-mixed vessel model was implemented to assess particle the formation and decay rates. Removal rates by the extractor were significantly higher for LDSA, which is dominated by smaller particles, than for PM2.5, but in both cases much lower compared to the natural ventilation. There was significant day to day variation in particle concentrations under nominally identical conditions. This may be related to the fat content of the food. Further research is needed to assess the impact of the fat in food on particle generations.

Keywords: Cooking, indoor air quality, low-cost sensor, ventilation.

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8818 Machinability Analysis in Drilling Flax Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Bio-Composite Laminates

Authors: Amirhossein Lotfi, Huaizhong Li, Dzung Viet Dao

Abstract:

Interest in natural fiber-reinforced composites (NFRC) is progressively growing both in terms of academia research and industrial applications thanks to their abundant advantages such as low cost, biodegradability, eco-friendly nature and relatively good mechanical properties. However, their widespread use is still presumed as challenging because of the specificity of their non-homogeneous structure, limited knowledge on their machinability characteristics and parameter settings, to avoid defects associated with the machining process. The present work is aimed to investigate the effect of the cutting tool geometry and material on the drilling-induced delamination, thrust force and hole quality produced when drilling a fully biodegradable flax/poly (lactic acid) composite laminate. Three drills with different geometries and material were used at different drilling conditions to evaluate the machinability of the fabricated composites. The experimental results indicated that the choice of cutting tool, in terms of material and geometry, has a noticeable influence on the cutting thrust force and subsequently drilling-induced damages. The lower value of thrust force and better hole quality was observed using high-speed steel (HSS) drill, whereas Carbide drill (with point angle of 130o) resulted in the highest value of thrust force. Carbide drill presented higher wear resistance and stability in variation of thrust force with a number of holes drilled, while HSS drill showed the lower value of thrust force during the drilling process. Finally, within the selected cutting range, the delamination damage increased noticeably with feed rate and moderately with spindle speed.

Keywords: Natural fiber-reinforced composites, machinability, thrust force, delamination.

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8817 Residual Modulus of Elasticity of Self-Compacting Concrete Incorporated Unprocessed Waste Fly Ash after Expose to the Elevated Temperature

Authors: Mohammed Abed, Rita Nemes, Salem Nehme

Abstract:

The present study experimentally investigated the impact of incorporating unprocessed waste fly ash (UWFA) on the residual mechanical properties of self-compacting concrete (SCC) after exposure to elevated temperature. Three mixtures of SCC have been produced by replacing the cement mass by 0%, 15% and 30% of UWFA. Generally, the fire resistance of SCC has been enhanced by replacing the cement up to 15% of UWFA, especially in case of residual modulus of elasticity which considers more sensitive than other mechanical properties at elevated temperature. However, a strong linear relationship has been observed between the residual flexural strength and modulus of elasticity, where both of them affected significantly by the cracks appearance and propagation as a result of elevated temperature. Sustainable products could be produced by incorporating unprocessed waste powder materials in the production of concrete, where the waste materials, CO2 emissions, and the energy needed for processing are reduced.

Keywords: Self-compacting high-performance concrete, unprocessed waste fly ash, fire resistance, residual modulus of elasticity.

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8816 Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

Authors: Satu Lautamäki

Abstract:

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: Multidisciplinary learning, creative skills, innovative thinking, project-based learning.

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8815 Educating the Educators: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Science Teaching

Authors: Denise Levy, Anna Lucia C. H. Villavicencio

Abstract:

In a rapid-changing world, science teachers face considerable challenges. In addition to the basic curriculum, there must be included several transversal themes, which demand creative and innovative strategies to be arranged and integrated to traditional disciplines. In Brazil, nuclear science is still a controversial theme, and teachers themselves seem to be unaware of the issue, most often perpetuating prejudice, errors and misconceptions. This article presents the authors’ experience in the development of an interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal to include nuclear science in the basic curriculum, in a transversal and integrating way. The methodology applied was based on the analysis of several normative documents that define the requirements of essential learning, competences and skills of basic education for all schools in Brazil. The didactic materials and resources were developed according to the best practices to improve learning processes privileging constructivist educational techniques, with emphasis on active learning process, collaborative learning and learning through research. The material consists of an illustrated book for students, a book for teachers and a manual with activities that can articulate nuclear science to different disciplines: Portuguese, mathematics, science, art, English, history and geography. The content counts on high scientific rigor and articulate nuclear technology with topics of interest to society in the most diverse spheres, such as food supply, public health, food safety and foreign trade. Moreover, this pedagogical proposal takes advantage of the potential value of digital technologies, implementing QR codes that excite and challenge students of all ages, improving interaction and engagement. The expected results include the education of the educators for nuclear science communication in a transversal and integrating way, demystifying nuclear technology in a contextualized and significant approach. It is expected that the interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal contributes to improving attitudes towards knowledge construction, privileging reconstructive questioning, fostering a culture of systematic curiosity and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Science education, interdisciplinary learning, nuclear science; scientific literacy.

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8814 Considering Aerosol Processes in Nuclear Transport Package Containment Safety Cases

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

Abstract:

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

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

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8813 Optimization of Solar Rankine Cycle by Exergy Analysis and Genetic Algorithm

Authors: R. Akbari, M. A. Ehyaei, R. Shahi Shavvon

Abstract:

Nowadays, solar energy is used for energy purposes such as the use of thermal energy for domestic, industrial and power applications, as well as the conversion of the sunlight into electricity by photovoltaic cells. In this study, the thermodynamic simulation of the solar Rankin cycle with phase change material (paraffin) was first studied. Then energy and exergy analyses were performed. For optimization, a single and multi-objective genetic optimization algorithm to maximize thermal and exergy efficiency was used. The parameters discussed in this paper included the effects of input pressure on turbines, input mass flow to turbines, the surface of converters and collector angles on thermal and exergy efficiency. In the organic Rankin cycle, where solar energy is used as input energy, the fluid selection is considered as a necessary factor to achieve reliable and efficient operation. Therefore, silicon oil is selected for a high-temperature cycle and water for a low-temperature cycle as an operating fluid. The results showed that increasing the mass flow to turbines 1 and 2 would increase thermal efficiency, while it reduces and increases the exergy efficiency in turbines 1 and 2, respectively. Increasing the inlet pressure to the turbine 1 decreases the thermal and exergy efficiency, and increasing the inlet pressure to the turbine 2 increases the thermal efficiency and exergy efficiency. Also, increasing the angle of the collector increased thermal efficiency and exergy. The thermal efficiency of the system was 22.3% which improves to 33.2 and 27.2% in single-objective and multi-objective optimization, respectively. Also, the exergy efficiency of the system was 1.33% which has been improved to 1.719 and 1.529% in single-objective and multi-objective optimization, respectively. These results showed that the thermal and exergy efficiency in a single-objective optimization is greater than the multi-objective optimization.

Keywords: Exergy analysis, Genetic algorithm, Rankine cycle, Single and Multi-objective function.

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8812 Harrison’s Stolen: Addressing Aboriginal and Indigenous Islanders Human Rights

Authors: M. Shukry

Abstract:

According to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, every human being is entitled to rights in life that should be respected by others and protected by the state and community. Such rights are inherent regardless of colour, ethnicity, gender, religion or otherwise, and it is expected that all humans alike have the right to live without discrimination of any sort. However, that has not been the case with Aborigines in Australia. Over a long period of time, the governments of the State and the Territories and the Australian Commonwealth denied the Aboriginal and Indigenous inhabitants of the Torres Strait Islands such rights. Past Australian governments set policies and laws that enabled them to forcefully remove Indigenous children from their parents, which resulted in creating lost generations living the trauma of the loss of cultural identity, alienation and even their own selfhood. Intending to reduce that population of natives and their Aboriginal culture while, on the other hand, assimilate them into mainstream society, they gave themselves the right to remove them from their families with no hope of return. That practice has led to tragic consequences due to the trauma that has affected those children, an experience that is depicted by Jane Harrison in her play Stolen. The drama is the outcome of a six-year project on lost children and which was first performed in 1997 in Melbourne. Five actors only appear on the stage, playing the role of all the different characters, whether the main protagonists or the remaining cast, present or non-present ones as voices. The play outlines the life of five children who have been taken from their parents at an early age, entailing a disastrous negative impact that differs from one to the other. Unknown to each other, what connects between them is being put in a children’s home. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the play’s text in light of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, using it as a lens that reflects the atrocities practiced against the Aborigines. It highlights how such practices formed an outrageous violation of those natives’ rights as human beings. Harrison’s dramatic technique in conveying the children’s experiences is through a non-linear structure, fluctuating between past and present that are linked together within each of the five characters, reflecting their suffering and pain to create an emotional link between them and the audience. Her dramatic handling of the issue by fusing tragedy with humour as well as symbolism is a successful technique in revealing the traumatic memory of those children and their present life. The play has made a difference in commencing to address the problem of the right of all children to be with their families, which renders the real meaning of having a home and an identity as people.

Keywords: Aboriginal, audience, Australia, children, culture, drama, home, human rights, identity, indigenous, Jane Harrison, memory, scenic effects, setting, stage, stage directions, Stolen, trauma.

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