Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1045

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1045 Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure, Tax Aggressiveness and Sustainability Report Assurance: Evidence from Thailand

Authors: Eko Budi Santoso, Kazia Laturette, Stanislaus Adnanto Mastan

Abstract:

This study aims to examine the association between disclosure of social responsibility and tax aggressiveness in developing countries, namely Thailand. This is due to the increasing trend of disclosure of social responsibility in developing countries, even though this disclosure of information is still voluntary. On the other hand, developing countries have low taxation rate and investor protection infrastructures that allow the disclosure of social responsibility to be used opportunistically as a tool to fool the attainment of interests. This study also examines the role of assurance on the association between corporate social responsibility disclosure and tax aggressiveness. The assurance aims to provide confidence that the disclosure of social responsibility by the company is valid. This research builds an index to measure the disclosure of social responsibility based on the rules issued by the innovative Global Reporting. The results of the study are based on a sample of publicly traded companies in Thailand, which showed a positive association between disclosure of corporate social responsibility and tax aggressiveness, but it was further discovered that these results were mitigated by the existence of assurance against disclosure of corporate social responsibility. The results of this study indicate that the disclosure of corporate social responsibility can show that the company cares about the issue of social responsibility but does not automatically make the company as one that holds ethical values ​​in its business practices.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility disclosure, tax aggressiveness, sustainability assurance, business ethics.

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1044 Evaluation of the Execution Effect of the Minimum Grain Purchase Price in Rural Areas

Authors: Zhaojun Wang, Zongdi Sun, Yongjie Chen, Manman Chen, Linghui Wang

Abstract:

This paper uses the analytic hierarchy process to study the execution effect of the minimum purchase price of grain in different regions and various grain crops. Firstly, for different regions, five indicators including grain yield, grain sown area, gross agricultural production, grain consumption price index, and disposable income of rural residents were selected to construct an evaluation index system. We collect data of six provinces including Hebei Province, Heilongjiang Province and Shandong Province from 2006 to 2017. Then, the judgment matrix is constructed, and the hierarchical single ordering and consistency test are carried out to determine the scoring standard for the minimum purchase price of grain. The ranking of the execution effect from high to low is: Heilongjiang Province, Shandong Province, Hebei Province, Guizhou Province, Shaanxi Province, and Guangdong Province. Secondly, taking Shandong Province as an example, we collect the relevant data of sown area and yield of cereals, beans, potatoes and other crops from 2006 to 2017. The weight of area and yield index is determined by expert scoring method. And the average sown area and yield of cereals, beans and potatoes in 2006-2017 were calculated, respectively. On this basis, according to the sum of products of weights and mean values, the execution effects of different grain crops are determined. It turns out that among the cereals, the minimum purchase price had the best execution effect on paddy, followed by wheat and finally maize. Moreover, among major categories of crops, cereals perform best, followed by beans and finally potatoes. Lastly, countermeasures are proposed for different regions, various categories of crops, and different crops of the same category.

Keywords: Analytic hierarchy process, grain yield, grain sown area, minimum grain purchase price.

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1043 Reliability Based Investigation on the Choice of Characteristic Soil Properties

Authors: Jann-Eike Saathoff, Kirill Alexander Schmoor, Martin Achmus, Mauricio Terceros

Abstract:

By using partial factors of safety, uncertainties due to the inherent variability of the soil properties and loads are taken into account in the geotechnical design process. According to the reliability index concept in Eurocode-0 in conjunction with Eurocode-7 a minimum safety level of β = 3.8 for reliability class RC2 shall be established. The reliability of the system depends heavily on the choice of the prespecified safety factor and the choice of the characteristic soil properties. The safety factors stated in the standards are mainly based on experience. However, no general accepted method for the calculation of a characteristic value within the current design practice exists. In this study, a laterally loaded monopile is investigated and the influence of the chosen quantile values of the deterministic system, calculated with p-y springs, will be presented. Monopiles are the most common foundation concepts for offshore wind energy converters. Based on the calculations for non-cohesive soils, a recommendation for an appropriate quantile value for the necessary safety level according to the standards for a deterministic design is given.

Keywords: Asymptotic sampling, characteristic value, monopile foundation, probabilistic design, quantile values.

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1042 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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1041 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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1040 Multistage Data Envelopment Analysis Model for Malmquist Productivity Index Using Grey's System Theory to Evaluate Performance of Electric Power Supply Chain in Iran

Authors: Mesbaholdin Salami, Farzad Movahedi Sobhani, Mohammad Sadegh Ghazizadeh

Abstract:

Evaluation of organizational performance is among the most important measures that help organizations and entities continuously improve their efficiency. Organizations can use the existing data and results from the comparison of units under investigation to obtain an estimation of their performance. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is an important index in the evaluation of overall productivity, which considers technological developments and technical efficiency at the same time. This article proposed a model based on the multistage MPI, considering limited data (Grey’s theory). This model can evaluate the performance of units using limited and uncertain data in a multistage process. It was applied by the electricity market manager to Iran’s electric power supply chain (EPSC), which contains uncertain data, to evaluate the performance of its actors. Results from solving the model showed an improvement in the accuracy of future performance of the units under investigation, using the Grey’s system theory. This model can be used in all case studies, in which MPI is used and there are limited or uncertain data.

Keywords: Malmquist Index, Grey's Theory, Charnes Cooper & Rhodes (CCR) Model, network data envelopment analysis, Iran electricity power chain.

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1039 Price Prediction Line, Investment Signals and Limit Conditions Applied for the German Financial Market

Authors: Cristian Păuna

Abstract:

In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.

Keywords: Algorithmic trading, automated investment system, DAX Deutscher Aktienindex.

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1038 MHD Natural Convection Flow of Tangent Hyperbolic Nanofluid Past a Vertical Permeable Cone

Authors: A. Mahdy

Abstract:

In this paper, a non-similraity analysis has been presented to exhibit the two-dimensional boundary layer flow of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) natural convection of tangent hyperbolic nanofluid nearby a vertical permeable cone in the presence of variable wall temperature impact. The mutated boundary layer nonlinear governing equations are solved numerically by the an efficient implicit finite difference procedure. For both nanofluid effective viscosity and nanofluid thermal conductivity, a number of experimental relations have been recognized. For characterizing the nanofluid, the compatible nanoparticle volume fraction model has been used. Nusselt number and skin friction coefficient are calculated for some values of Weissenberg number W, surface temperature exponent n, magnetic field parameter Mg, power law index m and Prandtl number Pr as functions of suction parameter. The rate of heat transfer from a vertical permeable cone in a regular fluid is less than that in nanofluids. A best convection has been presented by Copper nanoparticle among all the used nanoparticles.

Keywords: Tangent hyperbolic nanofluid, finite difference, non-similarity, isothermal cone.

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1037 Operating Model of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients in North Karelia Central Hospital

Authors: L. Korpinen, T. Kava, I. Salmi

Abstract:

This study aimed to describe the operating model of obstructive sleep apnea. Due to the large number of patients, the role of nurses in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea was important. Pulmonary physicians met only a minority of the patients. The sleep apnea study in 2018 included about 800 patients, of which about 28% were normal and 180 patients were classified as severe (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] over 30). The operating model has proven to be workable and appropriate. The patients understand well that they may not be referred to a pulmonary doctor. However, specialized medical follow-up on professional drivers continues every year.

Keywords: Sleep, apnea patient, operating model, hospital.

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1036 Forecast of Polyethylene Properties in the Gas Phase Polymerization Aided by Neural Network

Authors: Nasrin Bakhshizadeh, Ashkan Forootan

Abstract:

A major problem that affects the quality control of polymer in the industrial polymerization is the lack of suitable on-line measurement tools to evaluate the properties of the polymer such as melt and density indices. Controlling the polymerization in ordinary method is performed manually by taking samples, measuring the quality of polymer in the lab and registry of results. This method is highly time consuming and leads to producing large number of incompatible products. An online application for estimating melt index and density proposed in this study is a neural network based on the input-output data of the polyethylene production plant. Temperature, the level of reactors' bed, the intensity of ethylene mass flow, hydrogen and butene-1, the molar concentration of ethylene, hydrogen and butene-1 are used for the process to establish the neural model. The neural network is taught based on the actual operational data and back-propagation and Levenberg-Marquart techniques. The simulated results indicate that the neural network process model established with three layers (one hidden layer) for forecasting the density and the four layers for the melt index is able to successfully predict those quality properties.

Keywords: Polyethylene, polymerization, density, melt index, neural network.

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1035 Modeling Thermo-Photo-Voltaic Selective Emitter Based on a Semi-Transparent Emitter with Integrated Narrow Band-Pass Pre-Filter

Authors: F. Stake

Abstract:

This work is a parametric study combining simple and well known optical theories. These simple theories are arranged to form part of one answer to the question: “Can a semi-transparent Thermo-Photo-Voltaic (TPV) emitter have an optical extinction spectrum so much greater than its optical absorption spectrum that it becomes its own band-pass pre-filter, and if so, how well might it be expected to suppress light of undesired wavelengths?” In the report, hypothetical materials and operating temperatures will be used for comparative analyses only. Thermal emission properties of these hypothetical materials were created using two openly available FORTRAN programs. Results indicate that if using highly transparent materials it may be possible to create a thermal emitter that is its own band-pass pre-filter.

Keywords: Christensen effect, DISORT, index of refraction, scattering.

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1034 Computation of Flood and Drought Years over the North-West Himalayan Region Using Indian Meteorological Department Rainfall Data

Authors: Sudip Kumar Kundu, Charu Singh

Abstract:

The climatic condition over Indian region is highly dependent on monsoon. India receives maximum amount of rainfall during southwest monsoon. Indian economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The presence of flood and drought years influenced the total cultivation system as well as the economy of the country as Indian agricultural systems is still highly dependent on the monsoon rainfall. The present study has been planned to investigate the flood and drought years for the north-west Himalayan region from 1951 to 2014 by using area average Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall data. For this investigation the Normalized index (NI) has been utilized to find out whether the particular year is drought or flood. The data have been extracted for the north-west Himalayan (NWH) region states namely Uttarakhand (UK), Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to find out the rainy season average rainfall for each year, climatological mean and the standard deviation. After calculation it has been plotted by the diagrams (or graphs) to show the results- some of the years associated with drought years, some are flood years and rest are neutral. The flood and drought years can also relate with the large-scale phenomena El-Nino and La-Lina.

Keywords: Indian Meteorological Department, Rainfall, Normalized index, Flood, Drought, NWH.

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1033 Detailed Sensitive Detection of Impurities in Waste Engine Oils Using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Rotating Disk Electrode Optical Emission Spectroscopy and Surface Plasmon Resonance

Authors: Cherry Dhiman, Ayushi Paliwal, Mohd. Shahid Khan, M. N. Reddy, Vinay Gupta, Monika Tomar

Abstract:

The laser based high resolution spectroscopic experimental techniques such as Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Rotating Disk Electrode Optical Emission spectroscopy (RDE-OES) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) have been used for the study of composition and degradation analysis of used engine oils. Engine oils are mainly composed of aliphatic and aromatics compounds and its soot contains hazardous components in the form of fine, coarse and ultrafine particles consisting of wear metal elements. Such coarse particulates matter (PM) and toxic elements are extremely dangerous for human health that can cause respiratory and genetic disorder in humans. The combustible soot from thermal power plants, industry, aircrafts, ships and vehicles can lead to the environmental and climate destabilization. It contributes towards global pollution for land, water, air and global warming for environment. The detection of such toxicants in the form of elemental analysis is a very serious issue for the waste material management of various organic, inorganic hydrocarbons and radioactive waste elements. In view of such important points, the current study on used engine oils was performed. The fundamental characterization of engine oils was conducted by measuring water content and kinematic viscosity test that proves the crude analysis of the degradation of used engine oils samples. The microscopic quantitative and qualitative analysis was presented by RDE-OES technique which confirms the presence of elemental impurities of Pb, Al, Cu, Si, Fe, Cr, Na and Ba lines for used waste engine oil samples in few ppm. The presence of such elemental impurities was confirmed by LIBS spectral analysis at various transition levels of atomic line. The recorded transition line of Pb confirms the maximum degradation which was found in used engine oil sample no. 3 and 4. Apart from the basic tests, the calculations for dielectric constants and refractive index of the engine oils were performed via SPR analysis.

Keywords: Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, rotating disk electrode optical emission spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, ICCD spectrometer, Nd:YAG laser, engine oil.

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1032 Cost Efficient Receiver Tube Technology for Eco-Friendly Concentrated Solar Thermal Applications

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

Abstract:

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

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

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1031 Measuring Banks’ Antifragility via Fuzzy Logic

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

Abstract:

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

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

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1030 Israeli Households Caring for Children and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: An Explorative Study

Authors: Ayelet Gur

Abstract:

Background: In recent years we are witnessing a welcome trend in which more children/persons with disabilities are living at home with their families and within their communities. This trend is related to various policy innovations as the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities that reflect a shift from the medical-institutional model to a human rights approach. We also witness the emergence of family centered approaches that perceive the family and not just the individual with the disability as a worthy target of policy planning, implementation and evaluation efforts. The current investigation aims to explore economic, psychological and social factors among households of families of children or adults with intellectual disabilities in Israel and to present policy recommendation. Methods: A national sample of 301 households was recruited through the education and employment settings of persons with intellectual disability. The main caregiver of the person with the disability (a parent) was interviewed. Measurements included the income and expense surveys; assets and debts questionnaire; the questionnaire on resources and stress; the social involvement questionnaire and Personal Wellbeing Index. Results: Findings indicate significant gaps in financial circumstances between households of families of children with intellectual disabilities and households of the general Israeli society. Households of families of children with intellectual disabilities report lower income and higher expenditures and loans than the general society. They experience difficulties in saving and coping with unexpected expenses. Caregivers (the parents) experience high stress, low social participation, low financial support from family, friend and non-governmental organizations and decreased well-being. They are highly dependent on social security allowances which constituted 40% of the household's income. Conclusions: Households' dependency on social security allowances may seem contradictory to the encouragement of persons with intellectual disabilities to favor independent living in light of the human rights approach to disability. New policy should aim at reducing caregivers' stress and enhance their social participation and support, with special emphasis on families of lower socio-economic status. Finally, there is a need to continue monitoring the economic and psycho-social needs of households of families of children with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities.

Keywords: Disability policy, family policy, intellectual and developmental disabilities, Israel, households study, parents of children with disabilities.

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1029 Evaluation of Bone and Body Mineral Profile in Association with Protein Content, Fat, Fat-Free, Skeletal Muscle Tissues According to Obesity Classification among Adult Men

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Obesity is associated with increased fat mass as well as fat percentage. Minerals are the elements, which are of vital importance. In this study, the relationships between body as well as bone mineral profile and the percentage as well as mass values of fat, fat-free portion, protein, skeletal muscle were evaluated in adult men with normal body mass index (N-BMI), and those classified according to different stages of obesity. A total of 103 adult men classified into five groups participated in this study. Ages were within 19-79 years range. Groups were N-BMI (Group 1), overweight (OW) (Group 2), first level of obesity (FLO) (Group 3), second level of obesity (SLO) (Group 4) and third level of obesity (TLO) (Group 5). Anthropometric measurements were performed. BMI values were calculated. Obesity degree, total body fat mass, fat percentage, basal metabolic rate (BMR), visceral adiposity, body mineral mass, body mineral percentage, bone mineral mass, bone mineral percentage, fat-free mass, fat-free percentage, protein mass, protein percentage, skeletal muscle mass and skeletal muscle percentage were determined by TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. Statistical package (SPSS) for Windows Version 16.0 was used for statistical evaluations. The values below 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. All the groups were matched based upon age (p > 0.05). BMI values were calculated as 22.6 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 27.1 ± 1.4 kg/m2, 32.0 ± 1.2 kg/m2, 37.2 ± 1.8 kg/m2, and 47.1 ± 6.1 kg/m2 for groups 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Visceral adiposity and BMR values were also within an increasing trend. Percentage values of mineral, protein, fat-free portion and skeletal muscle masses were decreasing going from normal to TLO. Upon evaluation of the percentages of protein, fat-free portion and skeletal muscle, statistically significant differences were noted between NW and OW as well as OW and FLO (p < 0.05). However, such differences were not observed for body and bone mineral percentages. Correlation existed between visceral adiposity and BMI was stronger than that detected between visceral adiposity and obesity degree. Correlation between visceral adiposity and BMR was significant at the 0.05 level. Visceral adiposity was not correlated with body mineral mass but correlated with bone mineral mass whereas significant negative correlations were observed with percentages of these parameters (p < 0.001). BMR was not correlated with body mineral percentage whereas a negative correlation was found between BMR and bone mineral percentage (p < 0.01). It is interesting to note that mineral percentages of both body as well as bone are highly affected by the visceral adiposity. Bone mineral percentage was also associated with BMR. From these findings, it is plausible to state that minerals are highly associated with the critical stages of obesity as prominent parameters.

Keywords: Bone, men, minerals, obesity.

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1028 A Development of Creative Instruction Model through Digital Media

Authors: Kathaleeya Chanda, Panupong Chanplin, Suppara Charoenpoom

Abstract:

This purposes of the development of creative instruction model through digital media are to: 1) enable learners to learn from instruction media application; 2) help learners implementing instruction media correctly and appropriately; and 3) facilitate learners to apply technology for searching information and practicing skills to implement technology creatively. The sample group consists of 130 cases of secondary students studying in Bo Kluea School, Bo Kluea Nuea Sub-district, Bo Kluea District, Nan Province. The probability sampling was selected through the simple random sampling and the statistics used in this research are percentage, mean, standard deviation and one group pretest – posttest design. The findings are summarized as follows: The congruence index of instruction media for occupation and technology subjects is appropriate. By comparing between learning achievements before implementing the instruction media and learning achievements after implementing the instruction media, it is found that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. For the learning achievements from instruction media implementation, pretest mean is 16.24 while posttest mean is 26.28. Besides, pretest and posttest results are compared and differences of mean are tested, the test results show that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. This can be interpreted that the learners achieve better learning progress.

Keywords: Teaching learning model, digital media, creative instruction model, facilitate learners.

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1027 Water Management Scheme: Panacea to Development Using Nigeria’s University of Ibadan Water Supply Scheme as a Case Study

Authors: Sunday Olufemi Adesogan

Abstract:

The supply of potable water at least is a very important index in national development. Water tariffs depend on the treatment cost which carries the highest percentage of the total operation cost in any water supply scheme. In order to keep water tariffs as low as possible, treatment costs have to be minimized. The University of Ibadan, Nigeria, water supply scheme consists of a treatment plant with three distribution stations (Amina way, Kurumi and Lander) and two raw water supply sources (Awba dam and Eleyele dam). An operational study of the scheme was carried out to ascertain the efficiency of the supply of potable water on the campus to justify the need for water supply schemes in tertiary institutions. The study involved regular collection, processing and analysis of periodic operational data. Data collected include supply reading (water production on daily basis) and consumers metered reading for a period of 22 months (October 2013 - July 2015), and also collected, were the operating hours of both plants and human beings. Applying the required mathematical equations, total loss was determined for the distribution system, which was translated into monetary terms. Adequacies of the operational functions were also determined. The study revealed that water supply scheme is justified in tertiary institutions. It was also found that approximately 10.7 million Nigerian naira (N) is lost to leakages during the 22-month study period; the system’s storage capacity is no longer adequate, especially for peak water production. The capacity of the system as a whole is insufficient for the present university population and that the existing water supply system is not being operated in an optimal manner especially due to personnel, power and system ageing constraints.

Keywords: Operational, efficiency, production, supply, water treatment plant, water loss.

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1026 Masquerade and “What Comes Behind Six Is More Than Seven”: Thoughts on Art History and Visual Culture Research Methods

Authors: Osa D Egonwa

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In the 21st century, the disciplinary boundaries of past centuries that we often create through mainstream art historical classification, techniques and sources may have been eroded by visual culture, which seems to provide a more inclusive umbrella for the new ways artists go about the creative process and its resultant commodities. Over the past four decades, artists in Africa have resorted to new materials, techniques and themes which have affected our ways of research on these artists and their art. Frontline artists such as El Anatsui, Yinka Shonibare, Erasmus Onyishi are demonstrating that any material is just suitable for artistic expression. Most of times, these materials come with their own techniques/effects and visual syntax: a combination of materials compounds techniques, formal aesthetic indexes, halo effects, and iconography. This tends to challenge the categories and we lean on to view, think and talk about them. This renders our main stream art historical research methods inadequate, thus suggesting new discursive concepts, terms and theories. This paper proposed the Africanist eclectic methods derived from the dual framework of Masquerade Theory and What Comes Behind Six is More Than Seven. This paper shares thoughts/research on art historical methods, terminological re-alignments on classification/source data, presentational format and interpretation arising from the emergent trends in our subject. The outcome provides useful tools to mediate new thoughts and experiences in recent African art and visual culture.

Keywords: Art Historical Methods, Classifications, Concepts , Re-alignment.

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1025 An Improved Adaptive Dot-Shape Beamforming Algorithm Research on Frequency Diverse Array

Authors: Yanping Liao, Zenan Wu, Ruigang Zhao

Abstract:

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

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

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1024 A Comparison between Russian and Western Approach for Deep Foundation Design

Authors: Saeed Delara, Kendra MacKay

Abstract:

Varying methodologies are considered for pile design for both Russian and Western approaches. Although both approaches rely on toe and side frictional resistances, different calculation methods are proposed to estimate pile capacity. The Western approach relies on compactness (internal friction angle) of soil for cohesionless soils and undrained shear strength for cohesive soils. The Russian approach relies on grain size for cohesionless soils and liquidity index for cohesive soils. Though most recommended methods in the Western approaches are relatively simple methods to predict pile settlement, the Russian approach provides a detailed method to estimate single pile and pile group settlement. Details to calculate pile axial capacity and settlement using the Russian and Western approaches are discussed and compared against field test results.

Keywords: Pile capacity, pile settlement, Russian approach, western approach.

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1023 Technological Value of Selected Spring Wheat Cultivars Depending on the Sowing Date

Authors: Marta Wyzińska, Jerzy Grabiński, Alicja Sułek

Abstract:

The grain quality is a decisive factor in its use. In Poland, spring wheat is characterized by more favorable quality parameters in relation to the winter form of this species. In the present study, the effects of three different sowing dates (autumn, delayed autumn, and spring) and cultivar (Tybalt, Cytra, Bombona, Monsun, and Parabola) on the selected technological value parameters of spring wheat over three years were studied. The field trials were carried out in two locations (Bezek, Czesławice) in the Lubelskie Vivodeship, Poland. It was found that the falling number of spring wheat grains from autumn sowing dates was at a similar level to wheat sown in spring. The amount of wet gluten in the grain was variable in years, and its quality was better in wheat sown in spring. Sedimentation index was dependent upon on the cultivar.

Keywords: Sowing term, spring wheat, technological value, quality.

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1022 Coalescence of Insulin and Triglyceride/High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Ratio for the Derivation of a Laboratory Index to Predict Metabolic Syndrome in Morbid Obese Children

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

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

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

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1021 Understanding the Nature of Blood Pressure as Metabolic Syndrome Component in Children

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

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

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

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1020 Evaluation of the Weight-Based and Fat-Based Indices in Relation to Basal Metabolic Rate-to-Weight Ratio

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Basal metabolic rate is questioned as a risk factor for weight gain. The relations between basal metabolic rate and body composition have not been cleared yet. The impact of fat mass on basal metabolic rate is also uncertain. Within this context, indices based upon total body mass as well as total body fat mass are available. In this study, the aim is to investigate the potential clinical utility of these indices in the adult population. 287 individuals, aged from 18 to 79 years, were included into the scope of the study. Based upon body mass index values, 10 underweight, 88 normal, 88 overweight, 81 obese, and 20 morbid obese individuals participated. Anthropometric measurements including height (m), and weight (kg) were performed. Body mass index, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II, basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio were calculated. Total body fat mass (kg), fat percent (%), basal metabolic rate, metabolic age, visceral adiposity, fat mass of upper as well as lower extremities and trunk, obesity degree were measured by TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. Statistical evaluations were performed by statistical package (SPSS) for Windows Version 16.0. Scatterplots of individual measurements for the parameters concerning correlations were drawn. Linear regression lines were displayed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The strong correlations between body mass index and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I as well as diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II were obtained (p < 0.001). A much stronger correlation was detected between basal metabolic rate and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I in comparison with that calculated for basal metabolic rate and body mass index (p < 0.001). Upon consideration of the associations between basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio and these three indices, the best association was observed between basal metabolic rate-to-weight and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II. In a similar manner, this index was highly correlated with fat percent (p < 0.001). Being independent of the indices, a strong correlation was found between fat percent and basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio (p < 0.001). Visceral adiposity was much strongly correlated with metabolic age when compared to that with chronological age (p < 0.001). In conclusion, all three indices were associated with metabolic age, but not with chronological age. Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II values were highly correlated with body mass index values throughout all ranges starting with underweight going towards morbid obesity. This index is the best in terms of its association with basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio, which can be interpreted as basal metabolic rate unit.

Keywords: Basal metabolic rate, body mass index, children, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index, obesity.

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1019 Links between Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Children with Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

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

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

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1018 Importance of Macromineral Ratios and Products in Association with Vitamin D in Pediatric Obesity Including Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

Metabolisms of macrominerals, those of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, are closely associated with the metabolism of vitamin D. Particularly magnesium, the second most abundant intracellular cation, is related to biochemical and metabolic processes in the body, such as those of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. The status of each mineral was investigated in obesity to some extent. Their products and ratios may possibly give much more detailed information about the matter. The aim of this study is to investigate possible relations between each macromineral and some obesity-related parameters. This study was performed on 235 children, whose ages were between 06-18 years. Aside from anthropometric measurements, hematological analyses were performed. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to establish some obesity-related parameters including basal metabolic rate (BMR), total fat, mineral and muscle masses. World Health Organization body mass index (BMI) percentiles for age and sex were used to constitute the groups. The values above 99th percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Those between 95th and 99th percentiles were included into the obese group. The overweight group comprised of children whose percentiles were between 95 and 85. Children between the 85th and 15th percentiles were defined as normal. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) components (waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, triacylglycerol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure) were determined. High performance liquid chromatography was used to determine Vitamin D status by measuring 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol (25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D). Vitamin D values above 30.0 ng/ml were accepted as sufficient. SPSS statistical package program was used for the evaluation of data. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The important points were the correlations found between vitamin D and magnesium as well as phosphorus (p < 0.05) that existed in the group with normal BMI values. These correlations were lost in the other groups. The ratio of phosphorus to magnesium was even much more highly correlated with vitamin D (p < 0.001). The negative correlation between magnesium and total fat mass (p < 0.01) was confined to the MetS group showing the inverse relationship between magnesium levels and obesity degree. In this group, calcium*magnesium product exhibited the highest correlation with total fat mass (p < 0.001) among all groups. Only in the MetS group was a negative correlation found between BMR and calcium*magnesium product (p < 0.05). In conclusion, magnesium is located at the center of attraction concerning its relationships with vitamin D, fat mass and MetS. The ratios and products derived from macrominerals including magnesium have pointed out stronger associations other than each element alone. Final considerations have shown that unique correlations of magnesium as well as calcium*magnesium product with total fat mass have drawn attention particularly in the MetS group, possibly due to the derangements in some basic elements of carbohydrate as well as lipid metabolism.

Keywords: Macrominerals, metabolic syndrome, pediatric obesity, vitamin D.

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1017 Institutional Determinants of Economic Growth in Georgia and in Other Post-Communist Economies

Authors: Nazira Kakulia, Tsotne Zhghenti

Abstract:

The institutional development is one of the actual topics in economics science. New trends and directions of institutional development mostly depend on its structure and framework. Transformation of institutions is an important problem for every economy, especially for developing countries. The first research goal is to determine the importance and interactions between different institutions in Georgia. Using World Governance Indicators and Economic Freedom indexes it can be calculated the size for each institutional group. The second aim of this research is to evaluate Georgian institutional backwardness in comparison to other post-communist economies. We use statistical and econometric methods to evaluate the difference between the levels of institutional development in Georgia and in leading post-communist economies. Within the scope of this research, major findings are coefficients which are an assessment of their deviation (i.e. lag) of institutional indicators between Georgia and leading post-communist country which should be compared. The last part of the article includes analysis around the selected coefficients.

Keywords: Post-communist transition, institutions, economic growth, institutional development.

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1016 Parallel Querying of Distributed Ontologies with Shared Vocabulary

Authors: Sharjeel Aslam, Vassil Vassilev, Karim Ouazzane

Abstract:

Ontologies and various semantic repositories became a convenient approach for implementing model-driven architectures of distributed systems on the Web. SPARQL is the standard query language for querying such. However, although SPARQL is well-established standard for querying semantic repositories in RDF and OWL format and there are commonly used APIs which supports it, like Jena for Java, its parallel option is not incorporated in them. This article presents a complete framework consisting of an object algebra for parallel RDF and an index-based implementation of the parallel query engine capable of dealing with the distributed RDF ontologies which share common vocabulary. It has been implemented in Java, and for validation of the algorithms has been applied to the problem of organizing virtual exhibitions on the Web.

Keywords: Distributed ontologies, parallel querying, semantic indexing, shared vocabulary, SPARQL.

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