Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4866

Search results for: ABO

4866 Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models

Authors: Hai Ming Wong, Kuen Wai Ma, Lavender Yu Xin Yang, Yanqi Yang

Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Keywords: Problem-Based learning, curriculum, dental education, 3-D electronic models.

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4865 Exporting Physiochemical Changes during the Fermentation of Aloe Vera

Authors: Kyaw Hla Myint, Phyoe Wai Htun

Abstract:

Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed succulent plant which is commonly used in Myanmar traditional medicine. A. vera gel was also used as food addictive. This study aims to improve the Myanmar folk medicine to a functional beverage. In this research, Aloe vera was fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae for 6 months. Three different processes were carried out. Process I contains A. vera 10%, sugar 30%, water 50%, and starter culture 10%, process II contains A. vera 10%, sugar 15%, honey 15%, and water 50%, starter culture 10%; process III contains A. vera 10%, honey 30%, water 50%, starter culture 10%. During wine fermentation, the wine parameters such as alcohol content, total soluble solid (ºBrix), pH, color and cell population were analyzed. After 30 days of fermentation, total cell population remained 2.8x106 in P-I, P-II and 3.2x106 in P-III. Total soluble solid content dropped to 15.8 in P-I, P-II and 15.7 in P-III. After 30 days, clear wine was transferred to other vassals for racking. After 6 months of racking, microbial population reached under detectable level and alcohol content was round about 11% but not significantly different among these processes. P-II was found to have the highest color intensity at 450 nm and it got the most taster satisfaction when sensory evaluation was carried out using five hedonic scales after 6 month of racking.

Keywords: Aloe vera, fermentation, S. cerevisiae, functional beverage, folk medicine.

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4864 Influence of Instructors in Engaging Online Graduate Students in Active Learning in the United States

Authors: Ehi E. Aimiuwu

Abstract:

As of 2017, many online learning professionals, institutions, and journals are still wondering how instructors can keep student engaged in the online learning environment to facilitate active learning effectively. The purpose of this qualitative single-case and narrative research is to explore whether online professors understand their role as mentors and facilitators of students’ academic success by keeping students engaged in active learning based on personalized experience in the field. Data collection tools that were used in the study included an NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software, an interview protocol, a digital audiotape, an observation sheet, and a transcription. Seven online professors in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online teaching techniques from previous research were used as the study framework. Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to achieve saturation. About 85.7% of professors agreed on rubric as the preferred online grading technique. About 57.1% agreed on professors logging in daily, students logging in about 2-5 times weekly, knowing students to increase accountability, email as preferred communication tool, and computer access for adequate online learning. About 42.9% agreed on syllabus for clear class expectations, participation to show what has been learned, and energizing students for creativity.

Keywords: Class facilitation, class management, online teaching, online education, pedagogy.

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4863 The Role of Satisfaction on Performance among Afe Babalola University Team Sports

Authors: B. O. Diyaolu

Abstract:

Viability and competency during competition is the dream of every team sports so as to have a good result. But it seems factors abound which deter the performance of even a good sports team. Different individuals with different state of mind all come together to perform in team sports with different degree of satisfaction. This study investigated the role of satisfaction on performance among Afe Babalola University team sports. Descriptive survey research design was used and the population consists of all male and female athletes in the team sports that participated in the last 2019 Ekiti State Higher Institution games (ESHIGA). Total enumeration technique was used for the three team sports; football (44), basketball (24) and volleyball (24). A total of 92 participants were involved in the research. The instrument used for the study was a modified Athlete Satisfaction Scale (ASS). The questionnaire was divided into two sections. The Cronbach’s Alpha reliability coefficient of 0.71 was obtained. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 significant levels. The completed questionnaire was collated, coded, and analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentage and inferential statistics of chi-square (X2). Findings of this study revealed that satisfaction significantly influences team sports performance among Athletes of Afe Babalola University. The responsibility of satisfying athlete lies on the coaches, fans, sports administrators as well as organizers of such event, as it is not only financial reward that gives satisfaction. The performance of a team sports is quiet important and its being determined by the degree of satisfaction of each individual that make up the team. All effort must be made to satisfy athlete in order to guarantee optimum performance.

Keywords: Athlete satisfaction, Optimum achievement, Optimum performance, Sports performance, Team sports.

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4862 The Gravitational Impact of the Sun and the Moon on Heavy Mineral Deposits and Dust Particles in Low Gravity Regions of the Earth

Authors: T. B. Karu Jayasundara

Abstract:

The Earth’s gravity is not uniform. The satellite imageries of the Earth’s surface from NASA reveal a number of different gravity anomaly regions all over the globe. When the moon rotates around the earth, its gravity has a major physical influence on a number of regions on the earth. This physical change can be seen by the tides. The tides make sea levels high and low in coastal regions. During high tide, the gravitational force of the Moon pulls the Earth’s gravity so that the total gravitational intensity of Earth is reduced; it is further reduced in the low gravity regions of Earth. This reduction in gravity helps keep the suspended particles such as dust in the atmosphere, sand grains in the sea water for longer. Dramatic differences can be seen from the floating dust in the low gravity regions when compared with other regions. The above phenomena can be demonstrated from experiments. The experiments have to be done in high and low gravity regions of the earth during high and low tide, which will assist in comparing the final results. One of the experiments that can be done is by using a water filled cylinder about 80 cm tall, a few particles, which have the same density and same diameter (about 1 mm) and a stop watch. The selected particles were dropped from the surface of the water in the cylinder and the time taken for the particles to reach the bottom of the cylinder was measured using the stop watch. The times of high and low tide charts can be obtained from the regional government authorities. This concept is demonstrated by the particle drop times taken at high and low tides. The result of the experiment shows that the particle settlement time is less in low tide and high in high tide. The experiment for dust particles in air can be collected on filters, which are cellulose ester membranes and using a vacuum pump. The dust on filters can be used to make slides according to the NOHSC method. Counting the dust particles on the slides can be done using a phase contrast microscope. The results show that the concentration of dust is high at high tide and low in low tide. As a result of the high tides, a high concentration of heavy minerals deposit on placer deposits and dust particles retain in the atmosphere for longer in low gravity regions. These conditions are remarkably exhibited in the lowest low gravity region of the earth, mainly in the regions of India, Sri Lanka and in the middle part of the Indian Ocean. The biggest heavy mineral placer deposits are found in coastal regions of India and Sri Lanka and heavy dust particles are found in the atmosphere of India, particularly in the Delhi region.

Keywords: Dust particles, high and low tides, heavy minerals. low gravity.

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4861 Suitability of Alternative Insulating Fluid for Power Transformer: A Laboratory Investigation

Authors: S. N. Deepa, A. D. Srinivasan, K. T. Veeramanju, R. Sandeep Kumar, Ashwini Mathapati

Abstract:

Power transformer is a vital element in a power system as it continuously regulates power flow, maintaining good voltage regulation. The working of transformer much depends on the oil insulation, the oil insulation also decides the aging of transformer and hence its reliability. The mineral oil based liquid insulation is globally accepted for power transformer insulation; however it is potentially hazardous due to its non-biodegradability. In this work efficient alternative biodegradable insulating fluid is presented as a replacement to conventional mineral oil. Dielectric tests are performed as distinct alternating fluid to evaluate the suitability for transformer insulation. The selection of the distinct natural esters for an insulation system is carried out by the laboratory investigation of Breakdown voltage, Oxidation stability, Dissipation factor, Permittivity, Viscosity, Flash and Fire point. It is proposed to study and characterize the properties of natural esters to be used in power transformer. Therefore for the investigation of the dielectric behavior rice bran oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil are considered for the study. The investigated results have been compared with the mineral oil to validate the dielectric behavior of natural esters.

Keywords: Alternative insulating fluid, dielectric properties, natural esters, power transformers.

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4860 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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4859 Demographic and Socio-Economic Study of the Elderly Population in Kolkata, India

Authors: Ambika Roy Bardhan

Abstract:

Kolkata, the City of Joy, is a greying metropolis not only in respect of its concrete jungle but also because of the largest population of 60-plus residents that it shelters among all other cities in India. Declining birth and death rates and a negative growth of population indicate that the city has reached the last stage of demographic transition. Thus, the obvious consequence has been the ageing of its population. With this background, the present paper attempts to study the demographic and socio-economic status of the elderly population in Kolkata. Analysis and findings have been based on secondary data obtained from Census of India of various years, Sample Registration System Reports and reports by HelpAge India. Findings show that the elderly population is increasing continuously. With respect to gender, the male elderly outnumbers the female elderly population. The percentage of households having one elderly member is more in the city due to the emergence of the nuclear families and erosion of joint family system. With respect to socio-economic status, those elderly who are the heads of the family are lower in percentages than those in the other age groups. Also, male elderly as head of the family are greater in percentage than female elderly. Elderly in the category of currently married records the highest percentage followed by widowed, never married and lastly, separated or divorced. Male elderly outnumber the female elderly as currently married, while female elderly outnumbers the male elderly in the category of widowed. In terms of living status, the percentage of elderly who are living alone is highest in Kolkata and the reason for staying alone as no support from children also happens to be highest in this city. The literacy rate and higher level of education is higher among the male than female elderly. Higher percentages of female elderly have been found to be with disability. Disability in movement and multiple disabilities have been found to be more common among the elderly population in Kolkata. Percentages of male literate pensioners are highest than other categories. Also, in terms of levels of education male elderly who are graduate and above other than technical degree are the highest receivers of pension. Also, in terms of working status, elderly as non-workers are higher in percentages with the population of elderly females outnumbering the males. The old age dependency ratio in the city is increasing continuously and the ratio is higher among females than male. Thus, it can be stated that Kolkata is witnessing continuous and rapid ageing of its population. Increasing dependency ratio is likely to create pressure on the working population, available civic, social and health amenities. This requires intervention in the form of planning, formulation and implementation of laws, policies, programs and measures to safeguard and improve the conditions of the elderly in Kolkata.

Keywords: Demographic, Elderly, Population, Socio-economic.

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4858 Impact of Social Media on the Functioning of the Indian Government: A Critical Analysis

Authors: Priya Sepaha

Abstract:

Social media has loomed as the most effective tool in recent times to flag the causes, contents, opinions and direction of any social movement and has demonstrated that it will have a far-reaching effect on government as well. This study focuses on India which has emerged as the fastest growing community on social media. Social movement activists, in particular, have extensively utilized the power of digital social media to streamline the effectiveness of social protest on a particular issue through extensive successful mass mobilizations. This research analyses the role and impact of social media as a power to catalyze the social movements in India and further seeks to describe how certain social movements are resisted, subverted, co-opted and/or deployed by social media. The impact assessment study has been made with the help of cases, policies and some social movement which India has witnessed the assertion of numerous social issues perturbing the public which eventually paved the way for remarkable judicial decisions. The paper concludes with the observations that despite its pros and cons, the impacts of social media on the functioning of the Indian Government have demonstrated that it has already become an indispensable tool in the hands of social media-suave Indians who are committed to bring about a desired change.

Keywords: Impact, Indian government, misuse, social media, social movement.

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4857 Automatic Detection of Proliferative Cells in Immunohistochemically Images of Meningioma Using Fuzzy C-Means Clustering and HSV Color Space

Authors: Vahid Anari, Mina Bakhshi

Abstract:

Visual search and identification of immunohistochemically stained tissue of meningioma was performed manually in pathologic laboratories to detect and diagnose the cancers type of meningioma. This task is very tedious and time-consuming. Moreover, because of cell's complex nature, it still remains a challenging task to segment cells from its background and analyze them automatically. In this paper, we develop and test a computerized scheme that can automatically identify cells in microscopic images of meningioma and classify them into positive (proliferative) and negative (normal) cells. Dataset including 150 images are used to test the scheme. The scheme uses Fuzzy C-means algorithm as a color clustering method based on perceptually uniform hue, saturation, value (HSV) color space. Since the cells are distinguishable by the human eye, the accuracy and stability of the algorithm are quantitatively compared through application to a wide variety of real images.

Keywords: Positive cell, color segmentation, HSV color space, immunohistochemistry, meningioma, thresholding, fuzzy c-means.

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4856 Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety

Authors: Klementina Puto, Ermelinda Nexhipi, Evi Llaka

Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Keywords: Consumer, health, dairy, by-products, microbial.

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4855 Evaluation of the Hepatitis C Virus and Classical and Modern Immunoassays Used Nowadays to Diagnose It in Tirana

Authors: Stela Papa, Klementina Puto, Migena Pllaha

Abstract:

HCV is a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route, which causes progressive disease such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV nowadays is a global healthcare problem. A variety of immunoassays including old and new technologies are being applied to detect HCV in our country. These methods include Immunochromatography assays (ICA), Fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect HCV antibodies in blood serum, which lately is being slowly replaced by more sensitive methods such as rapid automated analyzer chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The aim of this study is to estimate HCV infection in carriers and chronic acute patients and to evaluate the use of new diagnostic methods. This study was realized from September 2016 to May 2018. During this study period, 2913 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV by taking samples from their blood serum. The immunoassays performed were ICA, FIA, ELFA, ELISA, and CLIA assays. Concluding, 82% of patients taken in this study, resulted infected with HCV. Diagnostic methods in clinical laboratories are crucial in the early stages of infection, in the management of chronic hepatitis and in the treatment of patients during their disease.

Keywords: CLIA, ELISA, hepatitis C virus, immunoassay.

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4854 Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment

Authors: Tatsuya Kasuga, Hidehisa Shimada, Kimio Oguchi

Abstract:

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Keywords: Electric power consumption, LED color, LED lighting, plant factory.

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4853 Online Graduate Students’ Perspective on Engagement in Active Learning in the United States

Authors: Ehi E. Aimiuwu

Abstract:

As of 2017, many researchers in educational journals are still wondering if students are effectively and efficiently engaged in active learning in the online learning environment. The goal of this qualitative single case study and narrative research is to explore if students are actively engaged in their online learning. Seven online students in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online learning techniques from research were used as a framework.  Data collection tools were used for the study that included a digital audiotape, observation sheet, interview protocol, transcription, and NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software.  Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to reach saturation. About 85.7% of students preferred individual grading. About 71.4% of students valued professor’s interacting 2-3 times weekly, participating through posts and responses, having good internet access, and using email.  Also, about 57.1% said students log in 2-3 times weekly to daily, professor’s social presence helps, regular punctuality in work submission, and prefer assessments style of research, essay, and case study.  About 42.9% appreciated syllabus usefulness and professor’s expertise.

Keywords: Class facilitation, course management, online teaching, online education, student engagement.

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4852 Assessment of Soil Contamination on the Content of Macro and Microelements and the Quality of Grass Pea Seeds (Lathyrus sativus L.)

Authors: Violina R. Angelova

Abstract:

Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the content of macro and microelements in the vegetative and reproductive organs of grass pea and the quality of grass pea seeds, as well as to identify the possibility of grass pea growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals. The experiment was conducted on an agricultural field subjected to contamination from the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances of 0.5 km and 8 km, respectively, from the source of pollution. On reaching commercial ripeness the grass pea plants were gathered. The composition of the macro and microelements in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds), and the dry matter content, sugars, proteins, fats and ash contained in the grass pea seeds were determined. Translocation factors (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BCF) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out through inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). The grass pea plant can successfully be grown on soils contaminated by heavy metals. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the grass pea seeds. The seeds of the grass pea contain significant amounts of nutrients (K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn) and protein (23.18-29.54%). The distribution of heavy metals in the organs of the grass pea has a selective character, which reduces in the following order: leaves > roots > stems > seeds. BCF and TF values were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the above ground parts of grass pea plant. Grass pea is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the accumulator plants. The results provide valuable information about the chemical and nutritional composition of the seeds of the grass pea grown on contaminated soils in Bulgaria. The high content of macro and microelements and the low concentrations of toxic elements in the grass pea grown in contaminated soil make it possible to use the seeds of the grass pea as animal feed.

Keywords: Grass pea, heavy metals, micro and macroelements, polluted soils, quality.

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4851 A Bayesian Classification System for Facilitating an Institutional Risk Profile Definition

Authors: Roman Graf, Sergiu Gordea, Heather M. Ryan

Abstract:

This paper presents an approach for easy creation and classification of institutional risk profiles supporting endangerment analysis of file formats. The main contribution of this work is the employment of data mining techniques to support set up of the most important risk factors. Subsequently, risk profiles employ risk factors classifier and associated configurations to support digital preservation experts with a semi-automatic estimation of endangerment group for file format risk profiles. Our goal is to make use of an expert knowledge base, accuired through a digital preservation survey in order to detect preservation risks for a particular institution. Another contribution is support for visualisation of risk factors for a requried dimension for analysis. Using the naive Bayes method, the decision support system recommends to an expert the matching risk profile group for the previously selected institutional risk profile. The proposed methods improve the visibility of risk factor values and the quality of a digital preservation process. The presented approach is designed to facilitate decision making for the preservation of digital content in libraries and archives using domain expert knowledge and values of file format risk profiles. To facilitate decision-making, the aggregated information about the risk factors is presented as a multidimensional vector. The goal is to visualise particular dimensions of this vector for analysis by an expert and to define its profile group. The sample risk profile calculation and the visualisation of some risk factor dimensions is presented in the evaluation section.

Keywords: linked open data, information integration, digital libraries, data mining.

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4850 The Governance of Islamic Banks in Morocco: Meaning, Strategic Vision and Purposes Attributed to the Governance System

Authors: Lalla Nezha Lakmiti, Abdelkahar Zahid

Abstract:

Due to the setbacks on the international scene and the wave of cacophonic financial scandals affecting large international groups, the new Islamic finance industry is not immune despite its initial resistance. The purpose of this paper is to understand and analyze the meaning of the Corporate Governance (CG) concept in Moroccan Islamic banking systems with specific reference to their institutions. The research objective is to identify also the path taken and adopted by these banks recently set up in Morocco. The foundation is rooted in shari'a, in particular, no stakeholder (the shareholding approach) must be harmed, and the ethical value is reflected into these parties’ behavior. We chose a qualitative method, semi-structured interviews where six managers provided answers about their banking systems. Since these respondents held a senior position (directors) within their organizations, it is felt that they are well placed and have the necessary knowledge to provide us with information to answer the questions asked. The results identified the orientation of participating banks and assessing how governance works, while determining which party is fovoured: shareholders, stakeholders or both. This study discusses the favorable condition to the harmonization of the regulations and therefore a better integration between Islamic finance and conventional ones in the economic context of Morocco.

Keywords: Corporate governance, participating banks, stakeholders, shareholders, and interests.

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4849 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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4848 Investigating Iraqi EFL University Students' Productive Knowledge of Grammatical Collocations in English

Authors: Adnan Z. Mkhelif

Abstract:

Grammatical collocations (GCs) are word combinations containing a preposition or a grammatical structure, such as an infinitive (e.g. smile at, interested in, easy to learn, etc.). Such collocations tend to be difficult for Iraqi EFL university students (IUS) to master. To help address this problem, it is important to identify the factors causing it. This study aims at investigating the effects of L2 proficiency, frequency of GCs and their transparency on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. The study involves 112 undergraduate participants with different proficiency levels, learning English in formal contexts in Iraq. The data collection instruments include (but not limited to) a productive knowledge test (designed by the researcher using the British National Corpus (BNC)), as well as the grammar part of the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The study findings have shown that all the above-mentioned factors have significant effects on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. In addition to establishing evidence of which factors of L2 learning might be relevant to learning GCs, it is hoped that the findings of the present study will contribute to more effective methods of teaching that can better address and help overcome the problems IUSs encounter in learning GCs. The study is thus hoped to have significant theoretical and pedagogical implications for researchers, syllabus designers as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

Keywords: Corpus linguistics, frequency, grammatical collocations, L2 vocabulary learning, productive knowledge, proficiency, transparency.

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4847 The Use of Webquests in Developing Inquiry Based Learning: Views of Teachers and Students in Qatar

Authors: Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Carol Murphy, Nigel Calder, Nasser Mansour

Abstract:

This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.

Keywords: Digital technology, inquiry-based learning, mathematics and science education, professional development.

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4846 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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4845 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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4844 Bio-Psycho-Social Consequences and Effects in Fall-Efficacy Scale in Seniors Using Exercise Intervention of Motor Learning According to Yoga Techniques

Authors: Milada Krejci, Martin Hill, Vaclav Hosek, Dobroslava Jandova, Jiri Kajzar, Pavel Blaha

Abstract:

The paper declares effects of exercise intervention of the research project “Basic research of balance changes in seniors”, granted by the Czech Science Foundation. The objective of the presented study is to define predictors, which influence bio-psycho-social consequences and effects of balance ability in senior 65 years old and above. We focused on the Fall-Efficacy Scale changes evaluation in seniors. Comprehensive hypothesis of the project declares, that motion uncertainty (dyskinesia) can negatively affect the well-being of a senior in bio-psycho-social context. In total, random selection and testing of 100 seniors (30 males, 70 females) from Prague and Central Bohemian region was provided. The sample was divided by stratified random selection into experimental and control groups, who underwent input and output testing. For diagnostics the methods of Medical Anamnesis, Functional anthropological examinations, Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool, SF-36 Health Survey, Anamnestic comparative self-assessment scale were used. Intervention method called "Life in Balance" based on yoga techniques was applied in four-week cycle. Results of multivariate regression were verified by repeated measures ANOVA: subject factor, phase of intervention (between-subject factor), body fluid (within-subject factor) and phase of intervention × body fluid interaction). ANOVA was performed with a repetition involving the factors of subjects, experimental/control group, phase of intervention (independent variable), and x phase interaction followed by Bonferroni multiple comparison assays with a test strength of at least 0.8 on the probability level p < 0.05. In the paper results of the first-year investigation of the three years running project are analysed. Results of balance tests confirmed no significant difference between females and males in pre-test. Significant improvements in balance and walking ability were observed in experimental group in females comparing to males (F = 128.4, p < 0.001). In the females control group, there was no significant change in post- test, while in the female experimental group positive changes in posture and spine flexibility in post-tests were found. It seems that females even in senior age react better to incentives of intervention in balance and spine flexibility. On the base of results analyses, we can declare the significant improvement in social balance markers after intervention in the experimental group (F = 10.5, p < 0.001). In average, seniors are used to take four drugs daily. Number of drugs can contribute to allergy symptoms and balance problems. It can be concluded that static balance and walking ability of seniors according Tinetti Balance scale correlate significantly with psychic and social monitored markers.

Keywords: Exercises, balance, seniors 65+, health, mental and social balance.

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4843 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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4842 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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4841 Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

Authors: Francesco Ruscio, Paolo Paoletti, Jens Thomas, Paul Myers, Sebastiano Fichera

Abstract:

This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Keywords: Automation, hydroponics, internet of things, monitoring system, urban farming.

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4840 Failure Analysis of a Medium Duty Vehicle Leaf Spring

Authors: Gül Çevik

Abstract:

This paper summarizes the work conducted to assess the root cause of the failure of a medium commercial vehicle leaf spring failed in service. Macro- and micro-fractographic analyses by scanning electron microscope as well as material verification tests were conducted in order to understand the failure mechanisms and root cause of the failure. Findings from the fractographic analyses indicated that failure mechanism is fatigue. Crack initiation was identified to have occurred from a point on the top surface near to the front face and to the left side. Two other crack initiation points were also observed, however, these cracks did not propagate. The propagation mode of the fatigue crack revealed that the cyclic loads resulting in crack initiation and propagation were unidirectional bending. Fractographic analyses have also showed that the root cause of the fatigue crack initiation and propagation was loading the part above design stress. Material properties of the part were also verified by chemical composition analysis, microstructural analysis by optical microscopy and hardness tests.

Keywords: Leaf spring, failure analysis, fatigue, fractography.

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4839 Influence of Concrete Cracking in the Tensile Strength of Cast-in Headed Anchors

Authors: W. Nataniel, B. Lima, J. Manoel, M. P. Filho, H. Marcos, Oliveira Mauricio, P. Ferreira

Abstract:

Headed reinforcement bars are increasingly used for anchorage in concrete structures. Applications include connections in composite steel-concrete structures, such as beam-column joints, in several strengthening situations as well as in more traditional uses in cast-in-place and precast structural systems. This paper investigates the reduction in the ultimate tensile capacity of embedded cast-in headed anchors due to concrete cracking. A series of nine laboratory tests are carried out to evaluate the influence of cracking on the concrete breakout strength in tension. The experimental results show that cracking affects both the resistance and load-slip response of the headed bar anchors. The strengths measured in these tests are compared to theoretical resistances calculated following the recommendations presented by fib Bulletin no. 58 (2011), ETAG 001 (2010) and ACI 318 (2014). The influences of parameters such as the effective embedment depth (hef), bar diameter (ds), and the concrete compressive strength (fc) are analysed and discussed. The theoretical recommendations are shown to be over-conservative for both embedment depths and were, in general, inaccurate in comparison to the experimental trends. The ACI 318 (2014) was the design code which presented the best performance regarding to the predictions of the ultimate load, with an average of 1.42 for the ratio between the experimental and estimated strengths, standard deviation of 0.36, and coefficient of variation equal to 0.25.

Keywords: Cast-in headed anchors, concrete cone failure, uncracked concrete, cracked concrete.

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4838 Uvulars Alternation in Hasawi Arabic: A Harmonic Serialism Approach

Authors: Huda Ahmed Al Taisan

Abstract:

This paper investigates a phonological phenomenon, which exhibits variation ‘alternation’ in terms of the uvular consonants [q] and [ʁ] in Hasawi Arabic. This dialect is spoken in Alahsa city, which is located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. To the best of our knowledge, no such research has systematically studied this phenomenon in Hasawi Arabic dialect. This paper is significant because it fills the gap in the literature about this alternation phenomenon in this understudied dialect. A large amount of the data is extracted from several interviews the author has conducted with 10 participants, native speakers of the dialect, and complemented by additional forms from social media. The latter method of collecting the data adds to the significance of the research. The analysis of the data is carried out in Harmonic Serialism Optimality Theory (HS-OT), a version of the Optimality Theoretic (OT) framework, which holds that linguistic forms are the outcome of the interaction among violable universal constraints, and in the recent development of OT into a model that accounts for linguistic variation in harmonic derivational steps. This alternation process is assumed to be phonologically unconditioned and in free variation in other varieties of Arabic dialects in the area. The goal of this paper is to investigate whether this phenomenon is in free variation or governed, what governs this alternation between [q] and [ʁ] and whether the alternation is phonological or other linguistic constraints are in action. The results show that the [q] and [ʁ] alternation is not free and it occurs due to different assimilation processes. Positional, segmental sequence and vowel adjacency factors are in action in Hasawi Arabic.

Keywords: Harmonic serialism, Hasawi, uvular, alternation.

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4837 The Effects of Rumah Panggung Environment, Social Culture, and Behavior on Malaria Incidence in Kori Village, Indonesia

Authors: Sri Ratna Rahayu, Oktia Woro Kasmini Handayani, Lourensiana Y. S. Ngaga, Imade Sudana, Irwan Budiono

Abstract:

Malaria is an infectious disease that still cannot be solved in Kori village, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, where the most of people live in rumah panggung (Stilts House). The purpose of this study was to know whether there were the effects of rumah panggung environment, social culture, and behavior on malaria incidence in the Kori village. A cross-sectional study was performed to explore the effects of rumah panggung environment, social culture and behavior on malaria incidence. This study recruited 280 respondents, who live in the rumah panggung, permanent residents in Kori village, were age above 17 years old, and suffered from malaria in the past year. The collected data were analyzed with path analysis. The results of this study showed that the environment of rumah panggung and behavior have a direct effect on the incidence of malaria (p < 0.05). It could be concluded that improvement of environmental conditions of rumah panggung, sociocultural, and behavioral changes to maintain a healthy environment are needed to reduce the malaria incidence.

Keywords: Rumah panggung, socio cultural, behavior, malaria.

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