Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5888

Search results for: Action research

5888 The Application of Action Research to Integrate the Innovation in Learning Experience in a Design Course

Authors: Walaa Mohammed Metwally

Abstract:

This case study used the action research concept as a tool to integrate the innovation in a learning experience on a design course. The action research was investigated at Prince Sultan University, College of Engineering in the Interior Design and Architecture Department in January 2015, through the Higher Education Academy program. The action research was presented first with the definition of the research, leading to how it was used and how solutions were found. It concluded by showing that once the action research application in interior design and architecture were studied it was an effective tool to improve student’s learning, develop their practice in design courses, and it discussed the negative and positive issues that were encountered.

Keywords: Action research, innovation, intervention, learning experience, peer review.

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5887 Promoting Reflection through Action Learning in a 3D Virtual World

Authors: R.L. Sanders, L. McKeown

Abstract:

An international cooperation between educators in Australia and the US has led to a reconceptualization of the teaching of a library science course at Appalachian State University. The pedagogy of Action Learning coupled with a 3D virtual learning environment immerses students in a social constructivist learning space that incorporates and supports interaction and reflection. The intent of this study was to build a bridge between theory and practice by providing students with a tool set that promoted personal and social reflection, and created and scaffolded a community of practice. Besides, action learning is an educational process whereby the fifty graduate students experienced their own actions and experience to improve performance.

Keywords: action learning, action research, reflection, metacognition, virtual worlds

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5886 Research on the Influence of Emotional Labor Strategy used by Public Transportation Employee on Service Satisfaction

Authors: Ming-Hsiung Wu, Yu-Hsi Yuan

Abstract:

The aim of the research is to understand whether the accuracy of customer detection of employee emotional labor strategy would influence the overall service satisfaction. From path analysis, it was found that employee-s positive emotions positively influenced service quality. Service quality in turn influenced Customer detection of employee emotional deep action strategy and Customer detection of employee emotional surface action strategy. Lastly, Customer detection of employee emotional deep action strategy and Customer detection of employee emotional surface action strategy positively influenced service satisfaction. Based on the analysis results, suggestions are proposed to provide reference for human resource management and use in relative fields.

Keywords: Emotional labor, Emotional deep action strategy, Emotional surface action strategy, Service satisfaction

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5885 Simulating Action Potential as a Linear Combination of Gating Dynamics

Authors: S. H. Sabzpoushan

Abstract:

In this research we show that the dynamics of an action potential in a cell can be modeled with a linear combination of the dynamics of the gating state variables. It is shown that the modeling error is negligible. Our findings can be used for simplifying cell models and reduction of computational burden i.e. it is useful for simulating action potential propagation in large scale computations like tissue modeling. We have verified our finding with the use of several cell models.

Keywords: Linear model, Action potential, gating dynamics.

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5884 The use of ICT for Learning Guidance for Junior High School in Indonesia

Authors: Tri Prasetyaningrum, Suyoto

Abstract:

In this paper, we will be present Guidance and Councelling (GC) class action research. The research was done because a fact that some students are still learning ways such as in elementary school. The research objective is to enhance the value of “academic performance report" grade by using ICT as GC Learning Guidance services. The research method was carried out with two cycles. First cycle is applying Learning Guidance services indirectly and not programmed. Second cycle into two implementing Learning Guidance services indirectly, programmed and using ICTs primarily mobile phones and computer media applications i.e. “m-NingBK©: Learning Guidance" and “screen saver: Learning Guidance". A research subject is a class VII student who has the lowest value of “academic performance report". The result is by using an indirect GC services with ICT there were significant changes.

Keywords: ICT, Learning Guidance, action research and Guidance and Councelling

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5883 Using Critical Systems Thinking to Improve Student Performance in Networking

Authors: Albertus G. Joubert, Roelien Goede

Abstract:

This paper explores how Critical Systems Thinking and Action Research can be used to improve student performance in Networking. When describing a system from a systems thinking perspective, the following aspects can be identified: the total system performance, the systems environment, the resources, the components and the management of the system. Following the history of system thinking we observe three emerged methodologies namely, hard systems, soft systems, and critical systems. This paper uses Critical Systems Thinking (CST) which describes systems in terms of contradictions and conflict. It demonstrates how CST can be used in an Action Research (AR) project to improve the performance of students. Intervention in terms of student assessment is discussed and the impact of the intervention is discussed.

Keywords: Action research, computer networks, critical systems thinking, higher education.

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5882 A Case Study of Collective Action in Fishermen's Wives Group (KUNITA), Malaysia

Authors: Nor Hafizah S., Salfarina A. G., Intan Hashimah H., Juliana A. W.

Abstract:

Collective action can be an effective means for local development as well as important strategy to enhance livelihoods especially among rural people. This article explores the level of collective action among members of Fishermen-s Wives Group (KUNITA) in Malaysia. KUNITA was established by the Malaysian Fishery Development Authority (LKIM) with an objective to increase the socio-economic status of fishermen-s families. The members who are mostly the wives and daughters of fishermen are strongly encouraged by LKIM to venture into entrepreneurship activities. The objective of this research was to see the level of collective action among members in KUNITA groups in the state of Selangor. The finding shows that high level of collective action among KUNITA members is strongly based on volunteerism. However, the level of cooperation among members in the group is relatively low. The findings present significant challenges for the group in maintaining the sustainability of KUNITA organization.

Keywords: Collective action, entrepreneurship, fishermen' swives group, LKIM.

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5881 An Experimental Consideration of the Hybrid Architecture Based on the Situated Action Generator

Authors: Serin Lee, Takashi Kubota, Ichiro Nakatani

Abstract:

The approaches to make an agent generate intelligent actions in the AI field might be roughly categorized into two ways–the classical planning and situated action system. It is well known that each system have its own strength and weakness. However, each system also has its own application field. In particular, most of situated action systems do not directly deal with the logical problem. This paper first briefly mentions the novel action generator to situatedly extract a set of actions, which is likely to help to achieve the goal at the current situation in the relaxed logical space. After performing the action set, the agent should recognize the situation for deciding the next likely action set. However, since the extracted action is an approximation of the action which helps to achieve the goal, the agent could be caught into the deadlock of the problem. This paper proposes the newly developed hybrid architecture to solve the problem, which combines the novel situated action generator with the conventional planner. The empirical result in some planning domains shows that the quality of the resultant path to the goal is mostly acceptable as well as deriving the fast response time, and suggests the correlation between the structure of problems and the organization of each system which generates the action.

Keywords: Situated reasoning, situated action, planning, hybrid architecture

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5880 Information Security Risk Management in IT-Based Process Virtualization: A Methodological Design Based on Action Research

Authors: Jefferson Camacho Mejía, Jenny Paola Forero Pachón, Luis Carlos Gómez Flórez

Abstract:

Action research is a qualitative research methodology, which leads the researcher to delve into the problems of a community in order to understand its needs in depth and finally, to propose actions that lead to a change of social paradigm. Although this methodology had its beginnings in the human sciences, it has attracted increasing interest and acceptance in the field of information systems research since the 1990s. The countless possibilities offered nowadays by the use of Information Technologies (IT) in the development of different socio-economic activities have meant a change of social paradigm and the emergence of the so-called information and knowledge society. According to this, governments, large corporations, small entrepreneurs and in general, organizations of all kinds are using IT to virtualize their processes, taking them from the physical environment to the digital environment. However, there is a potential risk for organizations related with exposing valuable information without an appropriate framework for protecting it. This paper shows progress in the development of a methodological design to manage the information security risks associated with the IT-based processes virtualization, by applying the principles of the action research methodology and it is the result of a systematic review of the scientific literature. This design consists of seven fundamental stages. These are distributed in the three stages described in the action research methodology: 1) Observe, 2) Analyze and 3) Take actions. Finally, this paper aims to offer an alternative tool to traditional information security management methodologies with a view to being applied specifically in the planning stage of IT-based process virtualization in order to foresee risks and to establish security controls before formulating IT solutions in any type of organization.

Keywords: Action research, information security, information technology, methodological design, process virtualization, risk management.

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5879 Collaborative Reflexive/Reflective Teaching and Action Research in TESL

Authors: O. F. Elkommos

Abstract:

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) has become a very rich area of research. Practitioners or teachers of English as a foreign or a second language are now promoting both collaborative learning and collaborative teaching. Students learning a language collaboratively and cooperatively are learning in a better environment of team work where they learn from each other. Further, teaching English collaboratively also creates an enriching environment that is also very enriching to students’ and teachers’ experiences of learning and teaching. Moreover, action research stems from actual teacher concerns and students’ needs. Reflection in turn, on the experience of the material taught and the delivery of material is becoming an integral part of the teaching and learning experience self- evaluation and self-development. In this case, the concern of the research field in the area of TESL will be the development of teaching delivery, material and quality of learning. In the present research, the TESL module taught to year two students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, British University in Egypt (BUE) will be evaluated reflexively by the students and teachers. The module was taught to students in two different specialisms. It was taught and delivered through collaborative teaching and was evaluated by both teachers and students as very successful and enjoyable. The reflections of both teachers and students as well as student results confirm that it was a success.

Keywords: Action research, addressing differentiation, collaborative teaching, reflective teaching and learning, reflexive learning, reflexive teaching, self-development, self-evaluation, TESL.

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5878 SIFT Accordion: A Space-Time Descriptor Applied to Human Action Recognition

Authors: Olfa.Ben Ahmed, Mahmoud. Mejdoub, Chokri. Ben Amar

Abstract:

Recognizing human action from videos is an active field of research in computer vision and pattern recognition. Human activity recognition has many potential applications such as video surveillance, human machine interaction, sport videos retrieval and robot navigation. Actually, local descriptors and bag of visuals words models achieve state-of-the-art performance for human action recognition. The main challenge in features description is how to represent efficiently the local motion information. Most of the previous works focus on the extension of 2D local descriptors on 3D ones to describe local information around every interest point. In this paper, we propose a new spatio-temporal descriptor based on a spacetime description of moving points. Our description is focused on an Accordion representation of video which is well-suited to recognize human action from 2D local descriptors without the need to 3D extensions. We use the bag of words approach to represent videos. We quantify 2D local descriptor describing both temporal and spatial features with a good compromise between computational complexity and action recognition rates. We have reached impressive results on publicly available action data set

Keywords: Accordion, Bag of Features, Human action, Motion, Moving point, Space-Time Descriptor, SIFT, Video.

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5877 Research Action Fields at the Nexus of Digital Transformation and Supply Chain Management: Findings from Practitioner Focus Group Workshops

Authors: Brandtner Patrick, Staberhofer Franz

Abstract:

Logistics and Supply Chain Management are of crucial importance for organisational success. In the era of Digitalization, several implications and improvement potentials for these domains arise, which at the same time could lead to decreased competitiveness and could endanger long-term company success if ignored or neglected. However, empirical research on the issue of Digitalization and benefits purported to it by practitioners is scarce and mainly focused on single technologies or separate, isolated Supply Chain blocks as e.g. distribution logistics or procurement only. The current paper applies a holistic focus group approach to elaborate practitioner use cases at the nexus of the concepts of Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Digitalization. In the course of three focus group workshops with over 45 participants from more than 20 organisations, a comprehensive set of benefit entitlements and areas for improvement in terms of applying digitalization to SCM is developed. The main results of the paper indicate the relevance of Digitalization being realized in practice. In the form of seventeen concrete research action fields, the benefit entitlements are aggregated and transformed into potential starting points for future research projects in this area. The main contribution of this paper is an empirically grounded basis for future research projects and an overview of actual research action fields from practitioners’ point of view.

Keywords: Digital transformation, supply chain management, digital supply chain, value networks.

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5876 Involving Action Potential Morphology on a New Cellular Automata Model of Cardiac Action Potential Propagation

Authors: F. Pourhasanzade, S. H. Sabzpoushan

Abstract:

Computer modeling has played a unique role in understanding electrocardiography. Modeling and simulating cardiac action potential propagation is suitable for studying normal and pathological cardiac activation. This paper presents a 2-D Cellular Automata model for simulating action potential propagation in cardiac tissue. We demonstrate a novel algorithm in order to use minimum neighbors. This algorithm uses the summation of the excitability attributes of excited neighboring cells. We try to eliminate flat edges in the result patterns by inserting probability to the model. We also preserve the real shape of action potential by using linear curve fitting of one well known electrophysiological model.

Keywords: Cellular Automata, Action Potential Propagation, cardiac tissue, Isotropic Pattern, accurate shape of cardiac actionpotential.

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5875 Marketing Management and Cultural Learning Center: The Case Study of Arts and Cultural Office, Suansunandha Rajabhat University

Authors: Pirada Techaratpong

Abstract:

This qualitative research has 2 objectives: to study marketing management of the cultural learning center in Suansunandha Rajabhat University and to suggest guidelines to improve its marketing management. This research is based on a case study of the Arts and Culture Office in Suansunandha Rajabhat University, Bangkok. This research found the Art and Culture Office has no formal marketing management. However, the marketing management is partly covered in the overall business plan, strategic plan, and action plan. The process can be divided into 5 stages. The marketing concept has long been introduced to its policy but not apparently put into action due to inflexible system. Some gaps are found in the process. The research suggests the Art and Culture Office implement the concept of marketing orientation, meeting the needs and wants of its target customers and adapt to the changing situation. Minor guidelines for improvement are provided.

Keywords: Marketing, management, museum, cultural learning center.

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5874 Dialogue Meetings as an Arena for Collaboration and Reflection among Researchers and Practitioners

Authors: Kerstin Grunden, Ann Svensson, Berit Forsman, Christina Karlsson, Ayman Obeid

Abstract:

The research question of the article is to explore whether the dialogue meetings method could be relevant for reflective learning among researchers and practitioners when welfare technology should be implemented in municipalities, or not. A testbed was planned to be implemented in a retirement home in a Swedish municipality, and the practitioners worked with a pre-study of that testbed. In the article, the dialogue between the researchers and the practitioners in the dialogue meetings is described and analyzed. The potential of dialogue meetings as an arena for learning and reflection among researchers and practitioners is discussed. The research methodology approach is participatory action research with mixed methods (dialogue meetings, focus groups, participant observations). The main findings from the dialogue meetings were that the researchers learned more about the use of traditional research methods, and the practitioners learned more about how they could improve their use of the methods to facilitate change processes in their organization. These findings have the potential both for the researchers and the practitioners to result in more relevant use of research methods in change processes in organizations. It is concluded that dialogue meetings could be relevant for reflective learning among researchers and practitioners when welfare technology should be implemented in a health care organization.

Keywords: Dialogue meetings, implementation, reflection, test bed, welfare technology, participatory action research.

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5873 A Secondary Disaster Due To Inhabitant's Action after a Strong Earthquake: A Case Study of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

Authors: Douangmala Kounsana, Xiang Wen, Toru Takahashi

Abstract:

After a strong earthquake occurs, a secondary disaster due to strong aftershocks, flood, landslide or heavy snow can possible to occur and the secondary disaster due to resident-s action also can possible to happen. However, until now seldom researchers have paid attention at it. This paper focused on the Inhabitant-s action after the strong earthquake occurs when a terrible even becomes calm. An inappropriate behavior of people with disadvantaged climate after the worse earthquake can bring a tragedy to their life.

Keywords: Sichuan Earthquake, Secondary Disaster, Inhabitant's Action, inappropriate behavior.

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5872 Innovative Teaching in Systems Analysis and Design - an Action Research Project

Authors: Imelda Smit

Abstract:

Systems Analysis and Design is a key subject in Information Technology courses, but students do not find it easy to cope with, since it is not “precise" like programming and not exact like Mathematics. It is a subject working with many concepts, modeling ideas into visual representations and then translating the pictures into a real life system. To complicate matters users who are not necessarily familiar with computers need to give their inputs to ensure that they get the system the need. Systems Analysis and Design also covers two fields, namely Analysis, focusing on the analysis of the existing system and Design, focusing on the design of the new system. To be able to test the analysis and design of a system, it is necessary to develop a system or at least a prototype of the system to test the validity of the analysis and design. The skills necessary in each aspect differs vastly. Project Management Skills, Database Knowledge and Object Oriented Principles are all necessary. In the context of a developing country where students enter tertiary education underprepared and the digital divide is alive and well, students need to be motivated to learn the necessary skills, get an opportunity to test it in a “live" but protected environment – within the framework of a university. The purpose of this article is to improve the learning experience in Systems Analysis and Design through reviewing the underlying teaching principles used, the teaching tools implemented, the observations made and the reflections that will influence future developments in Systems Analysis and Design. Action research principles allows the focus to be on a few problematic aspects during a particular semester.

Keywords: Action Research, Project Development, Systems Analysis and Design, Technology in Teaching.

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5871 Human Action Recognition System Based on Silhouette

Authors: S. Maheswari, P. Arockia Jansi Rani

Abstract:

Human action is recognized directly from the video sequences. The objective of this work is to recognize various human actions like run, jump, walk etc. Human action recognition requires some prior knowledge about actions namely, the motion estimation, foreground and background estimation. Region of interest (ROI) is extracted to identify the human in the frame. Then, optical flow technique is used to extract the motion vectors. Using the extracted features similarity measure based classification is done to recognize the action. From experimentations upon the Weizmann database, it is found that the proposed method offers a high accuracy.

Keywords: Background subtraction, human silhouette, optical flow, classification.

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5870 Action Recognition in Video Sequences using a Mealy Machine

Authors: L. Rodriguez-Benitez, J. Moreno-Garcia, J.J. Castro-Schez, C. Solana, L. Jimenez

Abstract:

In this paper the use of sequential machines for recognizing actions taken by the objects detected by a general tracking algorithm is proposed. The system may deal with the uncertainty inherent in medium-level vision data. For this purpose, fuzzification of input data is performed. Besides, this transformation allows to manage data independently of the tracking application selected and enables adding characteristics of the analyzed scenario. The representation of actions by means of an automaton and the generation of the input symbols for finite automaton depending on the object and action compared are described. The output of the comparison process between an object and an action is a numerical value that represents the membership of the object to the action. This value is computed depending on how similar the object and the action are. The work concludes with the application of the proposed technique to identify the behavior of vehicles in road traffic scenes.

Keywords: Approximate reasoning, finite state machines, video analysis.

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5869 A Two-Phase Mechanism for Agent's Action Selection in Soccer Simulation

Authors: Vahid Salmani, Mahmoud Naghibzadeh, Farid Seifi, Amirhossein Taherinia

Abstract:

Soccer simulation is an effort to motivate researchers and practitioners to do artificial and robotic intelligence research; and at the same time put into practice and test the results. Many researchers and practitioners throughout the world are continuously working to polish their ideas and improve their implemented systems. At the same time, new groups are forming and they bring bright new thoughts to the field. The research includes designing and executing robotic soccer simulation algorithms. In our research, a soccer simulation player is considered to be an intelligent agent that is capable of receiving information from the environment, analyze it and to choose the best action from a set of possible ones, for its next move. We concentrate on developing a two-phase method for the soccer player agent to choose its best next move. The method is then implemented into our software system called Nexus simulation team of Ferdowsi University. This system is based on TsinghuAeolus[1] team that was the champion of the world RoboCup soccer simulation contest in 2001 and 2002.

Keywords: RoboCup, Soccer simulation, multi-agent environment, intelligent soccer agent, ball controller agent.

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5868 Effectiveness of Radon Remedial Action Implemented in a School on the Island of Ischia

Authors: F. Loffredo, M. Quarto, M. Pugliese, A. Mazzella, F. De Cicco, V. Roca

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of radon remedial action in a school on the Ischia island, South Italy, affected by indoor radon concentration higher than the value of 500 Bq/m3. This value is the limit imposed by the Italian legislation, to above which corrective actions in schools are necessary. Before the application of remedial action, indoor radon concentrations were measured in 9 rooms of the school. The measurements were performed with LR-115 passive alpha detectors (SSNTDs) and E-Perm. The remedial action was conducted in one of the office affected by high radon concentration using a Radonstop paint applied after the construction of a concrete slab under the floor. The effect of remedial action was the reduction of the concentration of radon of 41% and moreover it has demonstrated to be durable over time. The chosen method is cheap and easy to apply and it could be designed for various types of building. This method can be applied to new and existing buildings that show high dose values.

Keywords: E-Perm, LR 115 detectors, radon remediation, school.

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5867 A Critical Social Research Perspective on Self-Directed Learning and Information Technology Practitioners

Authors: Roelien Goede

Abstract:

Information systems practitioners are frequently required to master new technology, often without the aid of formal training. They require the skill to manage their own learning and, when this skill is developed in their formal training, their adaptability to new technology may be improved. Self- directed learning is the ability of the learner to manage his or her own learning experience with some guidance from a facilitator. Self-directed learning skills are best improved when practiced. This paper reflects on a critical social research project to improve the self-directed learning skills of fourth year Information Systems students. Critical social research differs from other research paradigms in that the researcher is viewed as the agent of change to achieve the desired outcome in the problem situation.

Keywords: Action Research, Critical Social Research, Information Systems Education, Self-directed Learning.

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5866 Transnational Higher Education: Developing a Transnational Student Success 'Signature' for Pre-Clinical Medical Students – An Action Research Project

Authors: W. Maddison

Abstract:

This paper describes an Action Research project which was undertaken to inform professional practice in order to develop a newly created Centre for Student Success in the specific context of transnational medical and nursing education in the Middle East. The objectives were to enhance the academic performance, persistence, integration and personal and professional development of a multinational study body, in particular in relation to pre-clinical medical students, and to establish a comfortable, friendly and student-driven environment within an Irish medical university recently established in Bahrain. The outcomes of the project resulted in the development of a specific student success ‘signature’ for this particular transnational higher education context.

Keywords: Global-Local, pre-clinical medical students, student success, transnational higher education, Middle East.

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5865 Increasing Value Added of Recycling Business Management: A Case of Thailand

Authors: Yananda Siraphatthada

Abstract:

This policy participation action research explores the roles of Thai government units during its 2010 fiscal year on how to create value added to recycling business in the central part of Thailand. The research aims to a) study how the government plays a role to support the business, and its problems and obstacles on supporting the business, b) to design a strategic action – short, medium, and long term plans -- to create value added to the recycling business, particularly in local full-loop companies/organizations licensed by Wongpanit Waste Separation Plant as well as those licensed by the Department of Provincial Administration. Mixed method research design, i.e., a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is utilized in the present study in both data collection and analysis procedures. Quantitative data was analyzed by frequency, percent value, mean scores, and standard deviation, and aimed to note trend and generalizations. Qualitative data was collected via semi-structured interviews/focus group interviews to explore in-depth views of the operators. The sampling included 1,079 operators in eight provinces in the central part of Thailand.

Keywords: Management, Recycling Business, Value Added.

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5864 Human Action Recognition Based on Ridgelet Transform and SVM

Authors: A. Ouanane, A. Serir

Abstract:

In this paper, a novel algorithm based on Ridgelet Transform and support vector machine is proposed for human action recognition. The Ridgelet transform is a directional multi-resolution transform and it is more suitable for describing the human action by performing its directional information to form spatial features vectors. The dynamic transition between the spatial features is carried out using both the Principal Component Analysis and clustering algorithm K-means. First, the Principal Component Analysis is used to reduce the dimensionality of the obtained vectors. Then, the kmeans algorithm is then used to perform the obtained vectors to form the spatio-temporal pattern, called set-of-labels, according to given periodicity of human action. Finally, a Support Machine classifier is used to discriminate between the different human actions. Different tests are conducted on popular Datasets, such as Weizmann and KTH. The obtained results show that the proposed method provides more significant accuracy rate and it drives more robustness in very challenging situations such as lighting changes, scaling and dynamic environment

Keywords: Human action, Ridgelet Transform, PCA, K-means, SVM.

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5863 Action Potential Propagation in Inhomogeneous 2D Mouse Ventricular Tissue Model

Authors: Mouse, cardiac myocytes, computer simulation, action potential.

Abstract:

Heterogeneous repolarization causes dispersion of the T-wave and has been linked to arrhythmogenesis. Such heterogeneities appear due to differential expression of ionic currents in different regions of the heart, both in healthy and diseased animals and humans. Mice are important animals for the study of heart diseases because of the ability to create transgenic animals. We used our previously reported model of mouse ventricular myocytes to develop 2D mouse ventricular tissue model consisting of 14,000 cells (apical or septal ventricular myocytes) and to study the stability of action potential propagation and Ca2+ dynamics. The 2D tissue model was implemented as a FORTRAN program code for highperformance multiprocessor computers that runs on 36 processors. Our tissue model is able to simulate heterogeneities not only in action potential repolarization, but also heterogeneities in intracellular Ca2+ transients. The multicellular model reproduced experimentally observed velocities of action potential propagation and demonstrated the importance of incorporation of realistic Ca2+ dynamics for action potential propagation. The simulations show that relatively sharp gradients of repolarization are predicted to exist in 2D mouse tissue models, and they are primarily determined by the cellular properties of ventricular myocytes. Abrupt local gradients of channel expression can cause alternans at longer pacing basic cycle lengths than gradual changes, and development of alternans depends on the site of stimulation.

Keywords: Mouse, cardiac myocytes, computer simulation, action potential

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5862 Factors Affecting Employee Performance: A Case Study in Marketing and Trading Directorate, Pertamina Ltd.

Authors: Saptiadi Nugroho, A. Nur Muhamad Afif

Abstract:

Understanding factors that influence employee performance is very important. By finding the significant factors, organization could intervene to improve the employee performance that simultaneously will affect organization itself. In this research, four aspects consist of PCCD training, education level, corrective action, and work location were tested to identify their influence on employee performance. By using correlation analysis and T-Test, it was found that employee performance significantly influenced by PCCD training, work location, and corrective action. Meanwhile the education level did not influence employee performance.

Keywords: Training, employee development, performance management system.

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5861 Action Functional of the Electomagnetic Field: Effect of Gravitation

Authors: Arti Vaish, Harish Parthasarathy

Abstract:

The scalar wave equation for a potential in a curved space time, i.e., the Laplace-Beltrami equation has been studied in this work. An action principle is used to derive a finite element algorithm for determining the modes of propagation inside a waveguide of arbitrary shape. Generalizing this idea, the Maxwell theory in a curved space time determines a set of linear partial differential equations for the four electromagnetic potentials given by the metric of space-time. Similar to the Einstein-s formulation of the field equations of gravitation, these equations are also derived from an action principle. In this paper, the expressions for the action functional of the electromagnetic field have been derived in the presence of gravitational field.

Keywords: General theory of relativity, electromagnetism, metric tensor, Maxwells equations, test functions, finite element method.

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5860 A Development of English Pronunciation Using Principles of Phonetics for English Major Students at Loei Rajabhat University

Authors: Pongthep Bunrueng

Abstract:

This action research accentuates the outcome of a development in English pronunciation, using principles of phonetics for English major students at Loei Rajabhat University. The research is split into 5 separate modules: 1) Organs of Speech and How to Produce Sounds, 2) Monopthongs, 3) Diphthongs, 4) Consonant sounds, and 5) Suprasegmental Features. Each module followed a 4 step action research process, 1) Planning, 2) Acting, 3) Observing, and 4) Reflecting. The research targeted 2nd year students who were majoring in English Education at Loei Rajabhat University during the academic year of 2011. A mixed methodology employing both quantitative and qualitative research was used, which put theory into action, taking segmental features up to suprasegmental features. Multiple tools were employed which included the following documents: pre-test and post-test papers, evaluation and assessment papers, group work assessment forms, a presentation grading form, an observation of participants form and a participant self-reflection form.

All 5 modules for the target group showed that results from the post-tests were higher than those of the pre-tests, with 0.01 statistical significance. All target groups attained results ranging from low to moderate and from moderate to high performance. The participants who attained low to moderate results had to re-sit the second round. During the first development stage, participants attended classes with group participation, in which they addressed planning through mutual co-operation and sharing of responsibility. Analytic induction of strong points for this operation illustrated that learner cognition, comprehension, application, and group practices were all present whereas the participants with weak results could be attributed to biological differences, differences in life and learning, or individual differences in responsiveness and self-discipline.

Participants who were required to be re-treated in Spiral 2 received the same treatment again. Results of tests from the 5 modules after the 2nd treatment were that the participants attained higher scores than those attained in the pre-test. Their assessment and development stages also showed improved results. They showed greater confidence at participating in activities, produced higher quality work, and correctly followed instructions for each activity. Analytic induction of strong and weak points for this operation remains the same as for Spiral 1, though there were improvements to problems which existed prior to undertaking the second treatment.

Keywords: Action research, English pronunciation, phonetics, segmental features, suprasegmental features.

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5859 Building a Service-Centric Business Model in SMEs in the Business-to-Business Context

Authors: Päivi J. Tossavainen , Leena Alakoski, Katri Ojasalo

Abstract:

Building a service-centric business model requires new knowledge and capabilities in companies. This paper enlightens the challenges small and medium sized firms (SMEs) face when developing their service-centric business models. This paper examines the premise for knowledge transfer and capability development required. The objective of this paper is to increase knowledge about SME-s transformation to service-centric business models.This paper reports an action research based case study. The paper provides empirical evidence from three case companies. The empirical data was collected through multiple methods. The findings of the paper are: First, the developed model to analyze the current state in companies. Second, the process of building the service – centric business models. Third, the selection of suitable service development methods. The lack of a holistic understanding on service logic suggests that SMEs need practical and easy to use methods to improve their business

Keywords: service-centric business model, service development, action research, case study

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