Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 315

Search results for: ANOVA

315 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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314 Selenium Content in Agricultural Soils and Wheat from the Balkan Peninsula

Authors: S. Krustev, V. Angelova, P. Zaprjanova

Abstract:

Selenium (Se) is an essential micro-nutrient for human and animals but it is highly toxic. Its organic compounds play an important role in biochemistry and nutrition of the cells. Concentration levels of this element in the different regions of the world vary considerably. This study aimed to compare the availability and levels of the Se in some rural areas of the Balkan Peninsula and relationship with the concentrations of other trace elements. For this purpose soil samples and wheat grains from different regions of Bulgaria, Serbia, Nord Macedonia, Romania, and Greece situated far from large industrial centers have been analyzed. The main methods for their determination were the atomic spectral techniques – atomic absorption and plasma atomic emission. As a result of this study, data on microelements levels from the main grain-producing regions of the Balkan Peninsula were determined and systematized. The presented results confirm the low levels of Se in this region: 0.222– 0.962 mg.kg-1 in soils and 0.001 - 0.005 mg.kg-1 in wheat grains and require measures to offset the effect of this deficiency.

Keywords: Agricultural soils, Balkan Peninsula, rural areas, selenium.

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313 Impact of Foliar Application of Zinc on Micro and Macro Elements Distribution in Phyllanthus amarus

Authors: Nguyen Cao Nguyen, Krasimir I. Ivanov, Penka S. Zapryanova

Abstract:

The present study was carried out to investigate the interaction of foliar applied zinc with other elements in Phyllanthus amarus plants. The plant samples for our experiment were collected from Lam Dong province, Vietnam. Seven suspension solutions of nanosized zinc hydroxide nitrate (Zn5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O) with different Zn concentration were used. Fertilization and irrigation were the same for all variants. The Zn content and the content of selected micro (Cu, Fe, Mn) and macro (Ca, Mg, P and K) nutrients in plant roots, and stems and leaves were determined. It was concluded that the zinc content of plant roots varies narrowly, with no significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The same trend can be seen in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients. The zinc content of plant stems and leaves varies within wide limits, with the significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The trends in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients are kept the same as in the root, whereas the iron trends to increase its content at increasing the zinc content.

Keywords: Zinc fertilizers, micro and macro elements, Phyllanthus amarus.

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312 Millennials' Viewpoints about Sustainable Hotels' Practices in Egypt: Promoting Responsible Consumerism

Authors: Jailan Mohamed El Demerdash

Abstract:

Millennials are a distinctive and dominant consumer group whose behavior, preferences and purchase decisions are broadly explored but not fully understood yet. Making up the largest market segment in the world, and in Egypt, they have the power to reinvent the hospitality industry and contribute to forming prospective demand for green hotels by showing willingness to adopting their environmental-friendly practices. The current study aims to enhance better understanding of Millennials' perception about sustainable initiatives and to increase the prediction power of their intentions regarding green hotel practices in Egypt. In doing so, the study is exploring the relation among different factors; Millennials' environmental awareness, their acceptance of green practices and their willingness to pay more for them. Millennials' profile, their preferences and environmental decision-making process are brought under light to stimulate actions of hospitality decision-makers and hoteliers. Bearing in mind that responsible consumerism is depending on understanding the different influences on consumption. The study questionnaire was composed of four sections and it was distributed to random Egyptian travelers' blogs and Facebook groups, with approximately 8000 members. Analysis of variance test (ANOVA) was used to examine the study variables. The findings indicated that Millennials' environmental awareness will not be a significant factor in their acceptance of hotel green practices, as well as, their willingness to pay more for them. However, Millennials' acceptance of the level of hotel green practices will have an impact on their willingness to pay more. Millennials were found to have a noticeable level of environmental awareness but lack commitment to tolerating hotel green practices and their associated high prices.

Keywords: Millennials, environment, awareness, green practices, paying more, Egypt.

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311 Satisfaction of Distance Education University Students with the Use of Audio Media as a Medium of Instruction: The Case of Mountains of the Moon University in Uganda

Authors: Mark Kaahwa, Chang Zhu, Moses Muhumuza

Abstract:

This study investigates the satisfaction of distance education university students (DEUS) with the use of audio media as a medium of instruction. Studying students’ satisfaction is vital because it shows whether learners are comfortable with a certain instructional strategy or not. Although previous studies have investigated the use of audio media, the satisfaction of students with an instructional strategy that combines radio teaching and podcasts as an independent teaching strategy has not been fully investigated. In this study, all lectures were delivered through the radio and students had no direct contact with their instructors. No modules or any other material in form of text were given to the students. They instead, revised the taught content by listening to podcasts saved on their mobile electronic gadgets. Prior to data collection, DEUS received orientation through workshops on how to use audio media in distance education. To achieve objectives of the study, a survey, naturalistic observations and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data from a sample of 211 undergraduate and graduate students. Findings indicate that there was no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction between male and female students. The results from post hoc analysis show that there is a statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction regarding the use of audio media between diploma and graduate students. Diploma students are more satisfied compared to their graduate counterparts. T-test results reveal that there was no statistically significant difference in the general satisfaction with audio media between rural and urban-based students. And ANOVA results indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction with the use of audio media across age groups. Furthermore, results from observations and interviews reveal that DEUS found learning using audio media a pleasurable medium of instruction. This is an indication that audio media can be considered as an instructional strategy on its own merit.

Keywords: Audio media, distance education, distance education university students, medium of instruction, satisfaction.

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310 Assessment of the Illustrated Language Activities of the Portage Guide to Early Education

Authors: Ofelia A. Damag

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The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.

Keywords: Illustrated language activities, inclusion, portage guide to early education, special educational needs.

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309 Analyses and Optimization of Physical and Mechanical Properties of Direct Recycled Aluminium Alloy (AA6061) Wastes by ANOVA Approach

Authors: Mohammed H. Rady, Mohd Sukri Mustapa, S Shamsudin, M. A. Lajis, A. Wagiman

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The present study is aimed at investigating microhardness and density of aluminium alloy chips when subjected to various settings of preheating temperature and preheating time. Three values of preheating temperature were taken as 450 °C, 500 °C, and 550 °C. On the other hand, three values of preheating time were chosen (1, 2, 3) hours. The influences of the process parameters (preheating temperature and time) were analyzed using Design of Experiments (DOE) approach whereby full factorial design with center point analysis was adopted. The total runs were 11 and they comprise of two factors of full factorial design with 3 center points. The responses were microhardness and density. The results showed that the density and microhardness increased with decreasing the preheating temperature. The results also found that the preheating temperature is more important to be controlled rather than the preheating time in microhardness analysis while both the preheating temperature and preheating time are important in density analysis. It can be concluded that setting temperature at 450 °C for 1 hour resulted in the optimum responses.

Keywords: AA6061, density, DOE, hot extrusion, microhardness.

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308 Analysis of Image Segmentation Techniques for Diagnosis of Dental Caries in X-ray Images

Authors: V. Geetha, K. S. Aprameya

Abstract:

Early diagnosis of dental caries is essential for maintaining dental health. In this paper, method for diagnosis of dental caries is proposed using Laplacian filter, adaptive thresholding, texture analysis and Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier. Analysis of the proposed method is compared with Otsu thresholding, watershed segmentation and active contouring method. Adaptive thresholding has comparatively better performance with 96.9% accuracy and 96.1% precision. The results are validated using statistical method, two-way ANOVA, at significant level of 5%, that shows the interaction of proposed method on performance parameter measures are significant. Hence the proposed technique could be used for detection of dental caries in automated computer assisted diagnosis system.

Keywords: Computer assisted diagnosis, dental caries, dental radiography, image segmentation.

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307 Determination of Soil Loss by Erosion in Different Land Covers Categories and Slope Classes in Bovilla Watershed, Tirana, Albania

Authors: Valmir Baloshi, Fran Gjoka, Nehat Çollaku, Elvin Toromani

Abstract:

As a sediment production mechanism, soil erosion is the main environmental threat to the Bovilla watershed, including the decline of water quality of the Bovilla reservoir that provides drinking water to Tirana city (the capital of Albania). Therefore, an experiment with 25 erosion plots for soil erosion monitoring has been set up since June 2017. The aim was to determine the soil loss on plot and watershed scale in Bovilla watershed (Tirana region) for implementation of soil and water protection measures or payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs. The results of erosion monitoring for the period June 2017 - May 2018 showed that the highest values of surface runoff were noted in bare land of 38829.91 liters on slope of 74% and the lowest values in forest land of 12840.6 liters on slope of 64% while the highest values of soil loss were found in bare land of 595.15 t/ha on slope of 62% and lowest values in forest land of 18.99 t/ha on slope of 64%. These values are much higher than the average rate of soil loss in the European Union (2.46 ton/ha/year). In the same sloping class, the soil loss was reduced from orchard or bare land to the forest land, and in the same category of land use, the soil loss increased with increasing land slope. It is necessary to conduct chemical analyses of sediments to determine the amount of chemical elements leached out of the soil and end up in the reservoir of Bovilla. It is concluded that PES programs should be implemented for rehabilitation of sub-watersheds Ranxe, Vilez and Zall-Bastar of the Bovilla watershed with valuable conservation practices.

Keywords: ANOVA, Bovilla, land cover, slope, soil loss, watershed management.

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306 Utilization of Industrial Byproducts in Concrete Applications by Adopting Grey Taguchi Method for Optimization

Authors: V. K. Bansal, M. Kumar, P. P. Bansal, A. Batish

Abstract:

This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation carried out to evaluate the effects of partial replacement of cement and fine aggregate with industrial waste by-products on concrete strength properties. The Grey Taguchi approach has been used to optimize the mix proportions for desired properties. In this research work, a ternary combination of industrial waste by-products has been used. The experiments have been designed using Taguchi's L9 orthogonal array with four factors having three levels each. The cement was partially replaced by ladle furnace slag (LFS), fly ash (FA) and copper slag (CS) at 10%, 25% and 40% level and fine aggregate (sand) was partially replaced with electric arc furnace slag (EAFS), iron slag (IS) and glass powder (GP) at 20%, 30% and 40% level. Three water to binder ratios, fixed at 0.40, 0.44 and 0.48, were used, and the curing age was fixed at 7, 28 and 90 days. Thus, a series of nine experiments was conducted on the specimens for water to binder ratios of 0.40, 0.44 and 0.48 at 7, 28 and 90 days of the water curing regime. It is evident from the investigations that Grey Taguchi approach for optimization helps in identifying the factors affecting the final outcomes, i.e. compressive strength and split tensile strength of concrete. For the materials and a range of parameters used in this research, the present study has established optimum mixes in terms of strength properties. The best possible levels of mix proportions were determined for maximization through compressive and splitting tensile strength. To verify the results, the optimal mix was produced and tested. The mixture results in higher compressive strength and split tensile strength than other mixes. The compressive strength and split tensile strength of optimal mixtures are also compared with the control concrete mixtures. The results show that compressive strength and split tensile strength of concrete made with partial replacement of cement and fine aggregate is more than control concrete at all ages and w/c ratios. Based on the overall observations, it can be recommended that industrial waste by-products in ternary combinations can effectively be utilized as partial replacements of cement and fine aggregates in all concrete applications.

Keywords: Analysis of variance, ANOVA, compressive strength, concrete, grey Taguchi method, industrial by-products, split tensile strength.

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305 Mathematical Expression for Machining Performance

Authors: Md. Ashikur Rahman Khan, M. M. Rahman

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In electrical discharge machining (EDM), a complete and clear theory has not yet been established. The developed theory (physical models) yields results far from reality due to the complexity of the physics. It is difficult to select proper parameter settings in order to achieve better EDM performance. However, modelling can solve this critical problem concerning the parameter settings. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to develop mathematical model to predict performance characteristics of EDM on Ti-5Al-2.5Sn titanium alloy. Response surface method (RSM) and artificial neural network (ANN) are employed to develop the mathematical models. The developed models are verified through analysis of variance (ANOVA). The ANN models are trained, tested, and validated utilizing a set of data. It is found that the developed ANN and mathematical model can predict performance of EDM effectively. Thus, the model has found a precise tool that turns EDM process cost-effective and more efficient.

Keywords: Analysis of variance, artificial neural network, material removal rate, modelling, response surface method, surface finish.

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304 Factors Determining Intention to Pursue Genetic Testing for People in Taiwan

Authors: Ju-Chun Chien

Abstract:

The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion proposed that the role of health services should shift the focus from cure to prevention. Nowadays, besides having physical examinations, people could also conduct genetic tests to provide important information for diagnosing, treating, and/or preventing illnesses. However, because of the incompletion of the Chinese Genetic Database, people in Taiwan were still unfamiliar with genetic testing. The purposes of the present study were to: (1) Figure out people’s attitudes towards genetic testing. (2) Examine factors that influence people’s intention to pursue genetic testing by means of the Health Belief Model (HBM). A pilot study was conducted on 249 Taiwanese in 2017 to test the feasibility of the self-developed instrument. The reliability and construct validity of scores on the self-developed questionnaire revealed that this HBM-based questionnaire with 40 items was a well-developed instrument. A total of 542 participants were recruited and the valid participants were 535 (99%) between the ages of 20 and 86. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, two-way contingency table analysis, Pearson’s correlation, and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used in this study. The main results were that only 32 participants (6%) had already undergone genetic testing; moreover, their attitude towards genetic testing was more positive than those who did not have the experience. Compared with people who never underwent genetic tests, those who had gone for genetic testing had higher self-efficacy, greater intention to pursue genetic testing, had academic majors in health-related fields, had chronic and genetic diseases, possessed Catastrophic Illness Cards, and all of them had heard about genetic testing. The variables that best predicted people’s intention to pursue genetic testing were cues to action, self-efficacy, and perceived benefits (the three variables all correlated with one another positively at high magnitudes). To sum up, the HBM could be effective in designing and identifying the needs and priorities of the target population to pursue genetic testing.

Keywords: Genetic testing, intention to pursue genetic testing, Taiwan, health belief model.

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303 Optimization of Technical and Technological Solutions for the Development of Offshore Hydrocarbon Fields in the Kaliningrad Region

Authors: Pavel Shcherban, Viktoria Ivanova, Alexander Neprokin, Vladislav Golovanov

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Currently, LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft» is implementing a comprehensive program for the development of offshore fields of the Kaliningrad region. This is largely associated with the depletion of the resource base of land in the region, as well as the positive results of geological investigation surrounding the Baltic Sea area and the data on the volume of hydrocarbon recovery from a single offshore field are working on the Kaliningrad region – D-6 «Kravtsovskoye».The article analyzes the main stages of the LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft»’s development program for the development of the hydrocarbon resources of the region's shelf and suggests an optimization algorithm that allows managing a multi-criteria process of development of shelf deposits. The algorithm is formed on the basis of the problem of sequential decision making, which is a section of dynamic programming. Application of the algorithm during the consolidation of the initial data, the elaboration of project documentation, the further exploration and development of offshore fields will allow to optimize the complex of technical and technological solutions and increase the economic efficiency of the field development project implemented by LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft».

Keywords: Offshore fields of hydrocarbons of the Baltic Sea, Development of offshore oil and gas fields, Optimization of the field development scheme, Solution of multi-criteria tasks in the oil and gas complex, Quality management of technical and technological processes.

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302 Characterization of Aluminium Alloy 6063 Hybrid Metal Matrix Composite by Using Stir Casting Method

Authors: Balwinder Singh

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The present research is a paper on the characterization of aluminum alloy-6063 hybrid metal matrix composites using three different reinforcement materials (SiC, red mud, and fly ash) through stir casting method. The red mud was used in solid form, and particle size range varies between 103-150 µm. During this investigation, fly ash is received from Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP), Bathinda. The study has been done by using Taguchi’s L9 orthogonal array by taking fraction wt.% (SiC 5%, 7.5%, and 10% and Red Mud and Fly Ash 2%, 4%, and 6%) as input parameters with their respective levels. The study of the mechanical properties (tensile strength, impact strength, and microhardness) has been done by using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with the help of MINITAB 17 software. It is revealed that silicon carbide is the most significant parameter followed by red mud and fly ash affecting the mechanical properties, respectively. The fractured surface morphology of the composites using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) shows that there is a good mixing of reinforcement particles in the matrix. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was performed to know the presence of the phases of the reinforced material.

Keywords: Reinforcement, silicon carbide, fly ash, red mud.

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301 Study Habits and Level of Difficulty Encountered by Maltese Students Studying Biology Advanced Level Topics

Authors: Marthese Azzopardi, Liberato Camilleri

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This research was performed to investigate the study habits and level of difficulty perceived by post-secondary students in Biology at Advanced-level topics after completing their first year of study. At the end of a two-year ‘sixth form’ course, Maltese students sit for the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Advanced-level biology exam as a requirement to pursue science-related studies at the University of Malta. The sample was composed of 23 students (16 taking Chemistry and seven taking some ‘Other’ subject at the Advanced Level). The cohort comprised seven males and 16 females. A questionnaire constructed by the authors, was answered anonymously during the last lecture at the end of the first year of study, in May 2016. The Chi square test revealed that gender plays no effect on the various study habits (c2 (6) = 5.873, p = 0.438). ‘Reading both notes and textbooks’ was the most common method adopted by males (71.4%), whereas ‘Writing notes on each topic’ was that mostly used by females (81.3%). The Mann-Whitney U test showed no significant difference in the study habits of students and the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course (p = 0.231). Statistical difference was found with the One-ANOVA test when comparing the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course when students are clustered by their Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) grade (p < 0.001). Those obtaining a SEC grade of 2 and 3 got the highest mean assessment of 68.33% and 66.9%, respectively [SEC grading is 1-7, where 1 is the highest]. The Friedman test was used to compare the mean difficulty rating scores provided for the difficulty of each topic. The mean difficulty rating score ranges from 1 to 4, where the larger the mean rating score, the higher the difficulty. When considering the whole group of students, nine topics out of 21 were perceived as significantly more difficult than the other topics. Protein synthesis, DNA Replication and Biomolecules were the most difficult, in that order. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules is significantly lower for students taking Chemistry compared to those not choosing the subject (p = 0.018). Protein Synthesis was claimed as the most difficult by Chemistry students and Biomolecules by those not studying Chemistry. DNA Replication was the second most difficult topic perceived by both groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the effect of gender on the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending various topics. It was found that females have significantly more difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules than males (p=0.039). Protein synthesis was perceived as the most difficult topic by males (mean difficulty rating score = 3.14), while Biomolecules, DNA Replication and Protein synthesis were of equal difficulty for females (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Males and females perceived DNA Replication as equally difficult (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Discovering the students’ study habits and perceived level of difficulty of specific topics is vital for the lecturer to offer guidance that leads to higher academic achievement.

Keywords: Biology, Perceived difficulty, Post-secondary, Study habits.

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300 The Effects of Negative Electronic Word-of-Mouth and Webcare on Thai Online Consumer Behavior

Authors: Pongsatorn Tantrabundit, Lersak Phothong, Ong-art Chanprasitchai

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Due to the emergence of the Internet, it has extended the traditional Word-of-Mouth (WOM) to a new form called “Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM).” Unlike traditional WOM, eWOM is able to present information in various ways by applying different components. Each eWOM component generates different effects on online consumer behavior. This research investigates the effects of Webcare (responding message) from product/ service providers on negative eWOM by applying two types of products (search and experience). The proposed conceptual model was developed based on the combination of the stages in consumer decision-making process, theory of reasoned action (TRA), theory of planned behavior (TPB), the technology acceptance model (TAM), the information integration theory and the elaboration likelihood model. The methodology techniques used in this study included multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and multiple regression analysis. The results suggest that Webcare does slightly increase Thai online consumer’s perceptions on perceived eWOM trustworthiness, information diagnosticity and quality. For negative eWOM, we also found that perceived eWOM Trustworthiness, perceived eWOM diagnosticity and quality have a positive relationship with eWOM influence whereas perceived valence has a negative relationship with eWOM influence in Thai online consumers.

Keywords:

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299 Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Sunflower Oil Using Central Composite Design

Authors: Pascal Mwenge, Jefrey Pilusa, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

The current study investigated the effect of catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio on biodiesel production by using central composite design. Biodiesel was produced by transesterification using sodium hydroxide as a homogeneous catalyst, a laboratory scale reactor consisting of flat bottom flask mounts with a reflux condenser and a heating plate was used to produce biodiesel. Key parameters, including, time, temperature and mixing rate were kept constant at 60 minutes, 60 oC and 600 RPM, respectively. From the results obtained, it was observed that the biodiesel yield depends on catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio. The highest yield of 50.65% was obtained at catalyst ratio of 0.5 wt.% and methanol to oil mole ratio 10.5. The analysis of variances of biodiesel yield showed the R Squared value of 0.8387. A quadratic mathematical model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield in the specified parameters ranges.

Keywords: ANOVA, biodiesel, catalyst, CCD, transesterification.

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298 Comparing Test Equating by Item Response Theory and Raw Score Methods with Small Sample Sizes on a Study of the ARTé: Mecenas Learning Game

Authors: Steven W. Carruthers

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The purpose of the present research is to equate two test forms as part of a study to evaluate the educational effectiveness of the ARTé: Mecenas art history learning game. The researcher applied Item Response Theory (IRT) procedures to calculate item, test, and mean-sigma equating parameters. With the sample size n=134, test parameters indicated “good” model fit but low Test Information Functions and more acute than expected equating parameters. Therefore, the researcher applied equipercentile equating and linear equating to raw scores and compared the equated form parameters and effect sizes from each method. Item scaling in IRT enables the researcher to select a subset of well-discriminating items. The mean-sigma step produces a mean-slope adjustment from the anchor items, which was used to scale the score on the new form (Form R) to the reference form (Form Q) scale. In equipercentile equating, scores are adjusted to align the proportion of scores in each quintile segment. Linear equating produces a mean-slope adjustment, which was applied to all core items on the new form. The study followed a quasi-experimental design with purposeful sampling of students enrolled in a college level art history course (n=134) and counterbalancing design to distribute both forms on the pre- and posttests. The Experimental Group (n=82) was asked to play ARTé: Mecenas online and complete Level 4 of the game within a two-week period; 37 participants completed Level 4. Over the same period, the Control Group (n=52) did not play the game. The researcher examined between group differences from post-test scores on test Form Q and Form R by full-factorial Two-Way ANOVA. The raw score analysis indicated a 1.29% direct effect of form, which was statistically non-significant but may be practically significant. The researcher repeated the between group differences analysis with all three equating methods. For the IRT mean-sigma adjusted scores, form had a direct effect of 8.39%. Mean-sigma equating with a small sample may have resulted in inaccurate equating parameters. Equipercentile equating aligned test means and standard deviations, but resultant skewness and kurtosis worsened compared to raw score parameters. Form had a 3.18% direct effect. Linear equating produced the lowest Form effect, approaching 0%. Using linearly equated scores, the researcher conducted an ANCOVA to examine the effect size in terms of prior knowledge. The between group effect size for the Control Group versus Experimental Group participants who completed the game was 14.39% with a 4.77% effect size attributed to pre-test score. Playing and completing the game increased art history knowledge, and individuals with low prior knowledge tended to gain more from pre- to post test. Ultimately, researchers should approach test equating based on their theoretical stance on Classical Test Theory and IRT and the respective  assumptions. Regardless of the approach or method, test equating requires a representative sample of sufficient size. With small sample sizes, the application of a range of equating approaches can expose item and test features for review, inform interpretation, and identify paths for improving instruments for future study.

Keywords: Effectiveness, equipercentile equating, IRT, learning games, linear equating, mean-sigma equating.

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297 The Role of Food Labeling on Consumers’ Buying Decision: Georgian Case

Authors: Nugzar Todua

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The paper studies the role of food labeling in order to promote healthy eating issue in Georgia. The main focus of the research is directed to consumer attitudes regarding food labeling. The methodology of the paper is based on the focus group work, as well as online and face to face surveys. The data analysis has been provided through ANOVA. The study proves that the impact of variables such as the interest, awareness, reliability, assurance and satisfaction of consumers' on buying decision, is statistically important. The study reveals that consumers’ perception regarding to food labeling is positive, but their level of knowledge and ability is rather low. It is urgent to strengthen marketing promotions strategies in the process of implementations of food security policy in Georgia.

Keywords: Food labeling, buying decision, Georgian consumers, marketing research.

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296 Off-Policy Q-learning Technique for Intrusion Response in Network Security

Authors: Zheni S. Stefanova, Kandethody M. Ramachandran

Abstract:

With the increasing dependency on our computer devices, we face the necessity of adequate, efficient and effective mechanisms, for protecting our network. There are two main problems that Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) attempt to solve. 1) To detect the attack, by analyzing the incoming traffic and inspect the network (intrusion detection). 2) To produce a prompt response when the attack occurs (intrusion prevention). It is critical creating an Intrusion detection model that will detect a breach in the system on time and also challenging making it provide an automatic and with an acceptable delay response at every single stage of the monitoring process. We cannot afford to adopt security measures with a high exploiting computational power, and we are not able to accept a mechanism that will react with a delay. In this paper, we will propose an intrusion response mechanism that is based on artificial intelligence, and more precisely, reinforcement learning techniques (RLT). The RLT will help us to create a decision agent, who will control the process of interacting with the undetermined environment. The goal is to find an optimal policy, which will represent the intrusion response, therefore, to solve the Reinforcement learning problem, using a Q-learning approach. Our agent will produce an optimal immediate response, in the process of evaluating the network traffic.This Q-learning approach will establish the balance between exploration and exploitation and provide a unique, self-learning and strategic artificial intelligence response mechanism for IDS.

Keywords: Intrusion prevention, network security, optimal policy, Q-learning.

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295 Study on the Impact of Size and Position of the Shear Field in Determining the Shear Modulus of Glulam Beam Using Photogrammetry Approach

Authors: Niaz Gharavi, Hexin Zhang

Abstract:

The shear modulus of a timber beam can be determined using torsion test or shear field test method. The shear field test method is based on shear distortion measurement of the beam at the zone with the constant transverse load in the standardized four-point bending test. The current code of practice advises using two metallic arms act as an instrument to measure the diagonal displacement of the constructing square. The size and the position of the constructing square might influence the shear modulus determination. This study aimed to investigate the size and the position effect of the square in the shear field test method. A binocular stereo vision system has been employed to determine the 3D displacement of a grid of target points. Six glue laminated beams were produced and tested. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed on the acquired data to evaluate the significance of the size effect and the position effect of the square. The results have shown that the size of the square has a noticeable influence on the value of shear modulus, while, the position of the square within the area with the constant shear force does not affect the measured mean shear modulus.

Keywords: Shear field test method, structural-sized test, shear modulus of Glulam beam, photogrammetry approach.

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294 Performance Assessment of Multi-Level Ensemble for Multi-Class Problems

Authors: Rodolfo Lorbieski, Silvia Modesto Nassar

Abstract:

Many supervised machine learning tasks require decision making across numerous different classes. Multi-class classification has several applications, such as face recognition, text recognition and medical diagnostics. The objective of this article is to analyze an adapted method of Stacking in multi-class problems, which combines ensembles within the ensemble itself. For this purpose, a training similar to Stacking was used, but with three levels, where the final decision-maker (level 2) performs its training by combining outputs from the tree-based pair of meta-classifiers (level 1) from Bayesian families. These are in turn trained by pairs of base classifiers (level 0) of the same family. This strategy seeks to promote diversity among the ensembles forming the meta-classifier level 2. Three performance measures were used: (1) accuracy, (2) area under the ROC curve, and (3) time for three factors: (a) datasets, (b) experiments and (c) levels. To compare the factors, ANOVA three-way test was executed for each performance measure, considering 5 datasets by 25 experiments by 3 levels. A triple interaction between factors was observed only in time. The accuracy and area under the ROC curve presented similar results, showing a double interaction between level and experiment, as well as for the dataset factor. It was concluded that level 2 had an average performance above the other levels and that the proposed method is especially efficient for multi-class problems when compared to binary problems.

Keywords: Stacking, multi-layers, ensemble, multi-class.

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293 Noise Reduction in Web Data: A Learning Approach Based on Dynamic User Interests

Authors: Julius Onyancha, Valentina Plekhanova

Abstract:

One of the significant issues facing web users is the amount of noise in web data which hinders the process of finding useful information in relation to their dynamic interests. Current research works consider noise as any data that does not form part of the main web page and propose noise web data reduction tools which mainly focus on eliminating noise in relation to the content and layout of web data. This paper argues that not all data that form part of the main web page is of a user interest and not all noise data is actually noise to a given user. Therefore, learning of noise web data allocated to the user requests ensures not only reduction of noisiness level in a web user profile, but also a decrease in the loss of useful information hence improves the quality of a web user profile. Noise Web Data Learning (NWDL) tool/algorithm capable of learning noise web data in web user profile is proposed. The proposed work considers elimination of noise data in relation to dynamic user interest. In order to validate the performance of the proposed work, an experimental design setup is presented. The results obtained are compared with the current algorithms applied in noise web data reduction process. The experimental results show that the proposed work considers the dynamic change of user interest prior to elimination of noise data. The proposed work contributes towards improving the quality of a web user profile by reducing the amount of useful information eliminated as noise.

Keywords: Web log data, web user profile, user interest, noise web data learning, machine learning.

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292 Optimization of Process Parameters Affecting on Spring-Back in V-Bending Process for High Strength Low Alloy Steel HSLA 420 Using FEA (HyperForm) and Taguchi Technique

Authors: Navajyoti Panda, R. S. Pawar

Abstract:

In this study, process parameters like punch angle, die opening, grain direction, and pre-bend condition of the strip for deep draw of high strength low alloy steel HSLA 420 are investigated. The finite element method (FEM) in association with the Taguchi and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) techniques are carried out to investigate the degree of importance of process parameters in V-bending process for HSLA 420&ST12 grade material. From results, it is observed that punch angle had a major influence on the spring-back. Die opening also showed very significant role on spring back. On the other hand, it is revealed that grain direction had the least impact on spring back; however, if strip from flat sheet is taken, then it is less prone to spring back as compared to the strip from sheet metal coil. HyperForm software is used for FEM simulation and experiments are designed using Taguchi method. Percentage contribution of the parameters is obtained through the ANOVA techniques.

Keywords: Bending, V-bending, FEM, spring-back, Taguchi, HyperForm, profile projector, HSLA 420 & St12 materials.

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291 Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane for Selective Extraction and Separation of Dysprosium

Authors: Maliheh Raji, Hossein Abolghasemi, Jaber Safdari, Ali Kargari

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Dysprosium is a rare earth element which is essential for many growing high-technology applications. Dysprosium along with neodymium plays a significant role in different applications such as metal halide lamps, permanent magnets, and nuclear reactor control rods preparation. The purification and separation of rare earth elements are challenging because of their similar chemical and physical properties. Among the various methods, membrane processes provide many advantages over the conventional separation processes such as ion exchange and solvent extraction. In this work, selective extraction and separation of dysprosium from aqueous solutions containing an equimolar mixture of dysprosium and neodymium by emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) was investigated. The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisting of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as carrier, kerosene as base fluid, and nitric acid solution as internal aqueous phase. Factors affecting separation of dysprosium such as carrier concentration, MWCNT concentration, feed phase pH and stripping phase concentration were analyzed using Taguchi method. Optimal experimental condition was obtained using analysis of variance (ANOVA) after 10 min extraction. Based on the results, using MWCNT nanofluid in ELM process leads to increase the extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement and separation factor of 6 for dysprosium over neodymium can be achieved under the optimum conditions. Additionally, demulsification process was successfully performed and the membrane phase reused effectively in the optimum condition.

Keywords: Emulsion liquid membrane, MWCNT nanofluid, separation, Taguchi Method.

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290 Minimizing the Drilling-Induced Damage in Fiber Reinforced Polymeric Composites

Authors: S. D. El Wakil, M. Pladsen

Abstract:

Fiber reinforced polymeric (FRP) composites are finding wide-spread industrial applications because of their exceptionally high specific strength and specific modulus of elasticity. Nevertheless, it is very seldom to get ready-for-use components or products made of FRP composites. Secondary processing by machining, particularly drilling, is almost always required to make holes for fastening components together to produce assemblies. That creates problems since the FRP composites are neither homogeneous nor isotropic. Some of the problems that are encountered include the subsequent damage in the region around the drilled hole and the drilling – induced delamination of the layer of ply, that occurs both at the entrance and the exit planes of the work piece. Evidently, the functionality of the work piece would be detrimentally affected. The current work was carried out with the aim of eliminating or at least minimizing the work piece damage associated with drilling of FPR composites. Each test specimen involves a woven reinforced graphite fiber/epoxy composite having a thickness of 12.5 mm (0.5 inch). A large number of test specimens were subjected to drilling operations with different combinations of feed rates and cutting speeds. The drilling induced damage was taken as the absolute value of the difference between the drilled hole diameter and the nominal one taken as a percentage of the nominal diameter. The later was determined for each combination of feed rate and cutting speed, and a matrix comprising those values was established, where the columns indicate varying feed rate while and rows indicate varying cutting speeds. Next, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) approach was employed using Minitab software, in order to obtain the combination that would improve the drilling induced damage. Experimental results show that low feed rates coupled with low cutting speeds yielded the best results.

Keywords: Drilling of Composites, dimensional accuracy of holes drilled in composites, delamination and charring, graphite-epoxy composites.

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289 Case Study of the Exercise Habits and Aging Anxiety of Taiwanese Insurance Agents

Authors: W. T. Hsu, H. L. Tsai

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The rapid aging of the population is a common trend in the world. However, the progress of modern medical technology has increased the average life expectancy. The global population structure has changed dramatically, and the elderly population has risen rapidly. In the face of rapid population growth, it must be noted issues of the aging population must face up to, which are the physiological, psychological, and social problems associated with aging. This study aims to investigate how insurance agents are actively dealing with an aging society, their own aging anxiety, and their exercise habits. Purposive sampling was the sampling method of this study, a total of 204 respondents were surveyed and 204 valid surveys were returned. The returned valid ratio was 100%. Statistical method included descriptive statistics, t-test, and one-way ANOVA. The results of the study found that the insurance agent’s age, seniority, exercise habits to aging anxiety are significantly different.

Keywords: Insurance agent, aging anxiety, exercise habits, elderly.

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288 A Study of Students’ Perceptions Regarding the Effectiveness of Semester and Annual Examination System at Institute of Education and Research

Authors: Ayesha Batool, Saghir Ahmad, Abid Hussain Ch.

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The art of the examination is probably the most difficult one in the whole range of educational practices. Semester system is the system of examination, which is set with an institute by its own teachers. Annual system is the system of examination, which is constructed and administrated by some agency outside the institute, it enables the teacher to estimate the effectiveness of the instruction, and students to estimate the progress made by them. On the other hand, semester system of examinations requires following the curriculum strictly and methods of teaching are to be employed by the choice of teachers. The main purpose of the study was to investigate university students’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of semester system and annual system. The study was quantitative in nature. The sample consisted of 200 students. A five point Likert type scale was used to collect the data. The statistical measures like frequencies, mean, standard deviation, and One Way ANOVA test were applied to analyze the data. The major findings of the study indicated that in semester system students do not spend much time in political activities and develop their study habits. It also revealed that annual system of examination does not satisfy the educational aspirations of the students.

Keywords: Effectiveness, semester system, annual system.

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287 The Effect of Strength Training and Consumption of Glutamine Supplement on GH/IGF1 Axis

Authors: Alireza Barari

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Physical activity and diet are factors that influence the body's structure. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of four weeks of resistance training, and glutamine supplement consumption on growth hormone (GH), and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) Axis. 40 amateur male bodybuilders, participated in this study. They were randomly divided into four equal groups, Resistance (R), Glutamine (G), Resistance with Glutamine (RG), and Control (C). The R group was assigned to a four week resistance training program, three times/week, three sets of 10 exercises with 6-10 repetitions, at the 80-95% 1RM (One Repetition Maximum), with 120 seconds rest between sets), G group is consuming l-glutamine (0.1 g/kg-1/day-1), RG group resistance training with consuming L-glutamine, and C group continued their normal lifestyle without exercise training. GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels were measured before and after the protocol. One-way ANOVA indicated significant change in GH, IGF, and IGFBP-III between the four groups, and the Tukey test demonstrated significant increase in GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels in R, and RG group. Based upon these findings, we concluded that resistance training at 80-95% 1RM intensity, and resistance training along with oral glutamine shows significantly increase secretion of GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III in amateur males, but the addition of oral glutamine to the exercise program did not show significant difference in GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III.

Keywords: Strength, glutamine, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1.

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286 Methods for Preparation of Soil Samples for Determination of Trace Elements

Authors: S. Krustev, V. Angelova, K. Ivanov, P. Zaprjanova

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It is generally accepted that only about ten microelements are vitally important to all plants, and approximately ten more elements are proved to be significant for the development of some species. The main methods for their determination in soils are the atomic spectral techniques - AAS and ICP-OAS. Critical stage to obtain correct results for content of heavy metals and nutrients in the soil is the process of mineralization. A comparative study of the most widely spread methods for soil sample preparation for determination of some trace elements was carried out. Three most commonly used methods for sample preparation were used as follows: ISO11466, EPA Method 3051 and BDS ISO 14869-1. Their capabilities were assessed and their bounds of applicability in determining the levels of the most important microelements in agriculture were defined.

Keywords: Comparative study, mineralization methods, trace elements.

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