Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Azhar Equbal

30 An Investigation on Material Removal Rate of EDM Process: A Response Surface Methodology Approach

Authors: Azhar Equbal, Anoop Kumar Sood, M. Asif Equbal, M. Israr Equbal

Abstract:

In the present work response surface methodology (RSM) based central composite design (CCD) is used for analyzing the electrical discharge machining (EDM) process. For experimentation, mild steel is selected as work piece and copper is used as electrode. Three machining parameters namely current (I), spark on time (Ton) and spark off time (Toff) are selected as the input variables. The output or response chosen is material removal rate (MRR) which is to be maximized. To reduce the number of runs face centered central composite design (FCCCD) was used. ANOVA was used to determine the significance of parameter and interactions. The suitability of model is tested using Anderson darling (AD) plot. The results conclude that different parameters considered i.e. current, pulse on and pulse off time; all have dominant effect on the MRR. At last, the optimized parameter setting for maximizing MRR is found through main effect plot analysis.

Keywords: Electrical discharge machining, electrode, MRR, RSM, ANOVA.

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29 Performance of Bio-Composite Carbonized Materials in Probiotic Applications

Authors: Irina S. Savitskaya, Aida S. Kistaubayeva, Nuraly S. Akimbekov, Ilya E. Digel, Azhar A. Zhubanova

Abstract:

A new composite sorbent based on carbonized rice husk (CRH) and immobilized on it living cells and inactivated cultural liquid containing antimicrobials metabolites of Bacillus subtilis CK-245 is developed. The sorption and antimicrobic activity of CRH concerning five species of Enterobacteriaceae is studied. Prospects of use of developed sorbent in medicine and veterinary science is shown.

Keywords: CRH, probiotic, concentrated fugate, sorption and antimicrobial activity.

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28 Cultural Integration as a Factor of Genesis of the Kazakh Nation in the Conditions of Multicultural Society

Authors: Kadyraliyeva Altynay Mustafayevna, Zholdubayeva Azhar Kuanyshbekovna, Alimzhanova Aliya Sharabekovna, Zhiyenbekova Ainur Abdurakhmanovna, Asanov Seylbek Sadikovich

Abstract:

The article analyses historical aspects of the formation of the Kazakh nation in the conditions of the multicultural society. The authors underline cultural integration as a significant stage of the cultural advancement of the Kazakh nation. The transition to the modern-style houses, the adoption and development of the secular education gave a rise to the development of the society and culture on the whole.

Keywords: Assimilation, culture genesis, cultural integration, multiculturalism

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27 A Longitudinal Study of the Readability of the Chairman’s Narratives in Corporate Reports: Malaysian Evidence

Authors: Azhar Abdul Rahman

Abstract:

This paper examines the readability of the chairman’s narratives, as determined by the Flesch score, of a Malaysian public listed company’s corporate reports from 1962 to 2009. It partially supports earlier studies which demonstrated that corporate reports were difficult to read, and had shown very negligible decrease in difficulty over time. Net profit to sales and readability was significantly positively correlated but number of financial statements was significantly negatively correlated with readability.

Keywords: Chairman’s narratives, corporate communications, readability, longitudinal.

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26 The Impact of Strategic HRM Practices on Employee’s Job Satisfaction: The Moderating Effect of Transformational Leadership

Authors: Zeeshan Hamid, Sarwar Mehmood Azhar

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the positive impact of SHRM practices and transformational leadership style on employees job satisfaction and to develop a conceptual understanding of the moderating role of transformational leadership between the relationship of SHRM practices and employees job satisfaction. This study focuses on four SHRM practices that have positive relationship with employee’s job satisfaction.

Keywords: Employee’s job satisfaction, moderating effect of transformational leadership, SHRM practices, transformational leadership, theoretical framework.

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25 A Review on Light Shafts Rendering for Indoor Scenes

Authors: Hatam H. Ali, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, Hoshang Kolivand, Mohd Azhar Bin M. Arsad

Abstract:

Rendering light shafts is one of the important topics in computer gaming and interactive applications. The methods and models that are used to generate light shafts play crucial role to make a scene more realistic in computer graphics. This article discusses the image-based shadows and geometric-based shadows that contribute in generating volumetric shadows and light shafts, depending on ray tracing, radiosity, and ray marching technique. The main aim of this study is to provide researchers with background on a progress of light scattering methods so as to make it available for them to determine the technique best suited to their goals. It is also hoped that our classification helps researchers find solutions to the shortcomings of each method.

Keywords: Shaft of lights, realistic images, image-based, and geometric-based.

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24 Pakistan Sign Language Recognition Using Statistical Template Matching

Authors: Aleem Khalid Alvi, M. Yousuf Bin Azhar, Mehmood Usman, Suleman Mumtaz, Sameer Rafiq, RaziUr Rehman, Israr Ahmed

Abstract:

Sign language recognition has been a topic of research since the first data glove was developed. Many researchers have attempted to recognize sign language through various techniques. However none of them have ventured into the area of Pakistan Sign Language (PSL). The Boltay Haath project aims at recognizing PSL gestures using Statistical Template Matching. The primary input device is the DataGlove5 developed by 5DT. Alternative approaches use camera-based recognition which, being sensitive to environmental changes are not always a good choice.This paper explains the use of Statistical Template Matching for gesture recognition in Boltay Haath. The system recognizes one handed alphabet signs from PSL.

Keywords: Gesture Recognition, Pakistan Sign Language, DataGlove, Human Computer Interaction, Template Matching, BoltayHaath

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23 Eurasian Economic Integration: Eurasian Economic Community and Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Authors: Azhar E. Serikkaliyeva, Nurzhamal A. Aldabek

Abstract:

The purpose of this article is to analyze economic and political tendencies of development of integration processes with different developing level and speed on the Eurasian space, by considering two organizations at the region – Eurasian Economic Community and Shanghai Cooperation Organization, by considering the interests of participations in organizations of Russia and China as a global powers and Kazakhstan as a leader among the Central Asian countries. This article investigates what certain goals Eurasian countries (especially Russia, Kazakhstan and China) are waiting from integration within the SCO and the EurAsEC, linking the process with the theories of regional integration. After European debt crisis it is more topically to research the integration within the specific region's conditions.

Keywords: Eurasian Economic Community, China, Kazakhstan, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Regional integration, Russia.

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22 Forgeability Study of Medium Carbon Micro-Alloyed Forging Steel

Authors: M. I. Equbal, R.K. Ohdar, B. Singh, P. Talukdar

Abstract:

Micro-alloyed steel components are used in automotive industry for the necessity to make the manufacturing process cycles shorter when compared to conventional steel by eliminating heat treatment cycles, so an important saving of costs and energy can be reached by reducing the number of operations. Microalloying elements like vanadium, niobium or titanium have been added to medium carbon steels to achieve grain refinement with or without precipitation strengthening along with uniform microstructure throughout the matrix. Present study reports the applicability of medium carbon vanadium micro-alloyed steel in hot forging. Forgeability has been determined with respect to different cooling rates, after forging in a hydraulic press at 50% diameter reduction in temperature range of 900-11000C. Final microstructures, hardness, tensile strength, and impact strength have been evaluated. The friction coefficients of different lubricating conditions, viz., graphite in hydraulic oil, graphite in furnace oil, DF 150 (Graphite, Water-Based) die lubricant and dry or without any lubrication were obtained from the ring compression test for the above micro-alloyed steel. Results of ring compression tests indicate that graphite in hydraulic oil lubricant is preferred for free forging and dry lubricant is preferred for die forging operation. Exceptionally good forgeability and high resistance to fracture, especially for faster cooling rate has been observed for fine equiaxed ferrite-pearlite grains, some amount of bainite and fine precipitates of vanadium carbides and carbonitrides. The results indicated that the cooling rate has a remarkable effect on the microstructure and mechanical properties at room temperature.

Keywords: Cooling rate, Hot forging, Micro-alloyed, Ring compression.

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21 Project Management Maturity Models and Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®): A Critical Morphological Evaluation

Authors: Farrokh J., Azhar K. Mansur

Abstract:

There exists a strong correlation between efficient project management and competitive advantage for organizations. Therefore, organizations are striving to standardize and assess the rigor of their project management processes and capabilities i.e. project management maturity. Researchers and standardization organizations have developed several project management maturity models (PMMMs) to assess project management maturity of the organizations. This study presents a critical evaluation of some of the leading PMMMs against OPM3® in a multitude of ways to look at which PMMM is the most comprehensive model - which could assess most aspects of organizations and also help the organizations in gaining competitive advantage over competitors. After a detailed morphological analysis of the models, it is concluded that OPM3® is the most promising maturity model that can really provide a competitive advantage to the organizations due to its unique approach of assessment and improvement strategies.

Keywords: Project management maturity, project managemen tmaturity models, competitive advantage.

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20 Development and Characterization of Normoxic Polyhydroxyethylacrylate (PHEA) Gel Dosimeter using Raman Spectroscopy

Authors: Aifa Afirah Rozlan, Mohamad Suhaimi Jaafar, Azhar Abdul Rahman

Abstract:

Raman spectroscopy are used to characterize the chemical changes in normoxic polyhydroxyethylacrylate gel dosimeter (PHEA) induced by radiation. Irradiations in the low dose region are performed and the polymerizations of PHEA gels are monitored by the observing the changes of Raman shift intensity of the carbon covalent bond of PHEA originated from both monomer and the cross-linker. The variation in peak intensities with absorbed dose was observed. As the dose increase, the peak intensities of covalent bond of carbon in the polymer gels decrease. This point out that the amount of absorbed dose affect the polymerization of polymer gels. As the absorbed dose increase, the polymerizations also increase. Results verify that PHEA gel dosimeters are sensitive even in lower dose region.

Keywords: normoxic polymer gel, ascorbic acid, Ramanspectroscopy, radiation dosimetry.

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19 Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Literature Review and Value Chain Activities Filter

Authors: Zeeshan Hamid, Sarwar Mehmood Azhar, Hammad Basir

Abstract:

In today’s era, it is no news that organizations should demonstrate honest conduct as well as ethical administration. Therefore, the concept of corporate social responsibility (subsequently CSR) has created its tag upon the company’s focal point as well as marketing communications, and will continue in the future. The importance of CSR has increased in the last decade, and this concept has attracted global attention. The notion of CSR has strategic significance for many organizations. However, businesses are not adapting the activities of CSR that benefit to all of its stakeholders (including society). The main reason is the practitioners are unfortunately unable to comprehend its importance; and therefore, the activities of the CSR are so detached from the business activities. Hence, it is required to develop an understanding that the activities of CSR are not only beneficial for the society but it also benefit to business. This paper focuses on the concept of strategic CSR, and develops a theoretical framework that will help practitioners to filter and chose the activities of CSR that are strategic in nature.

Keywords: Economic responsibility, ethical responsibility, legal responsibility, philanthropic responsibility, strategic corporate social responsibility, value chain activities filter.

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18 Real Time Speed Estimation of Vehicles

Authors: Azhar Hussain, Kashif Shahzad, Chunming Tang

Abstract:

this paper gives a novel approach towards real-time speed estimation of multiple traffic vehicles using fuzzy logic and image processing techniques with proper arrangement of camera parameters. The described algorithm consists of several important steps. First, the background is estimated by computing median over time window of specific frames. Second, the foreground is extracted using fuzzy similarity approach (FSA) between estimated background pixels and the current frame pixels containing foreground and background. Third, the traffic lanes are divided into two parts for both direction vehicles for parallel processing. Finally, the speeds of vehicles are estimated by Maximum a Posterior Probability (MAP) estimator. True ground speed is determined by utilizing infrared sensors for three different vehicles and the results are compared to the proposed algorithm with an accuracy of ± 0.74 kmph.

Keywords: Defuzzification, Fuzzy similarity approach, lane cropping, Maximum a Posterior Probability (MAP) estimator, Speed estimation

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17 Structural and Computational Studies of N-[(2,6-Diethylphenyl) carbamothioyl]-2,2-diphenylacetamide, N-[(3 Ethylphenyl) carbamothioyl]-2,2-diphenylacetamide and 2,2-Diphenyl-N-{[2-(trifluoromethyl) phenyl]carbamothioyl}acetamide

Authors: Ibrahim Abdul Razak, Suhana Arshad, Nur Rafikah Razali, Azhar Abdul Rahman, Mohd Sukeri Mohd Yusof

Abstract:

Theoretical investigations are performed by DFT method of B3LYP/6-31G+(2d,p) and B3LYP/6-311G+(2d,p) basis sets for three carbonyl thiourea compounds, namely N-[(2,6-Diethylphenyl)carbamothioyl]-2,2-diphenylacetamide (Compound I), N-[(3-Ethylphenyl)carbamothioyl]-2,2-diphenylacetamide (Compound II) and 2,2-Diphenyl-N-{[2-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]carbamothioyl}acetamide (Compound III). Theoretical calculations for bond parameters, harmonic vibration frequencies and isotropic chemical shifts are in good agreement with the experimental results. The calculated molecular vibrations show good correlation values, which are 0.998 and 0.999 with the experimental data. The energy gap for compounds I, II and III calculated at B3LYP/6-31G+(2d,p) basis set are 4.455866117, 4.297495791 and 4.313550514 eV respectively, while for B3LYP/6-311G+(2d,p) basis set the energy gap obtained are 4.453689205 (Compound I), 4.311373603 (Compound II) and 4.315727426 (Compound III) eV.

Keywords: Crystallization, DFT studies, Spectroscopic Analysis, Thiourea.

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16 A Fast Silhouette Detection Algorithm for Shadow Volumes in Augmented Reality

Authors: Hoshang Kolivand, Mahyar Kolivand, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, Mohd Azhar M. Arsad

Abstract:

Real-time shadow generation in virtual environments and Augmented Reality (AR) was always a hot topic in the last three decades. Lots of calculation for shadow generation among AR needs a fast algorithm to overcome this issue and to be capable of implementing in any real-time rendering. In this paper, a silhouette detection algorithm is presented to generate shadows for AR systems. Δ+ algorithm is presented based on extending edges of occluders to recognize which edges are silhouettes in the case of real-time rendering. An accurate comparison between the proposed algorithm and current algorithms in silhouette detection is done to show the reduction calculation by presented algorithm. The algorithm is tested in both virtual environments and AR systems. We think that this algorithm has the potential to be a fundamental algorithm for shadow generation in all complex environments.

Keywords: Silhouette detection, shadow volumes, real-time shadows, rendering, augmented reality.

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15 Influence of Moringa Leaves Extract on the Response of Hb Molecule to Dose Rates’ Changes: II. Relaxation Time and Its Thermodynamic Driven State Functions

Authors: Mohamed M. M. Elnasharty, Azhar M. Elwan

Abstract:

Irradiation deposits energy through ionisation changing the bio-system’s net dipole, allowing the use of dielectric parameters and thermodynamic state functions related to these parameters as biophysical detectors to electrical inhomogeneity within the biosystem. This part is concerned with the effect of Moringa leaves extract, natural supplement, on the response of the biosystem to two different dose rates of irradiation. Having Hb molecule as a representative to the biosystem to be least invasive to the biosystem, dielectric measurements were used to extract the relaxation time of certain process found in the Hb spectrum within the indicated frequency window and the interrelated thermodynamic state functions were calculated from the deduced relaxation time. The results showed that relaxation time was decreased for both dose rates indicating a strong influence of Moringa on the response of biosystem and consequently Hb molecule. This influence was presented in the relaxation time and other parameters as well.

Keywords: Activation energy, DC conductivity, dielectric relaxation, enthalpy change, moringa leaves extract, relaxation time.

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14 Periodic Control of a Wastewater Treatment Process to Improve Productivity

Authors: Muhammad Rizwan Azhar, Emadadeen Ali

Abstract:

In this paper, periodic force operation of a wastewater treatment process has been studied for the improved process performance. A previously developed dynamic model for the process is used to conduct the performance analysis. The static version of the model was utilized first to determine the optimal productivity conditions for the process. Then, feed flow rate in terms of dilution rate i.e. (D) is transformed into sinusoidal function. Nonlinear model predictive control algorithm is utilized to regulate the amplitude and period of the sinusoidal function. The parameters of the feed cyclic functions are determined which resulted in improved productivity than the optimal productivity under steady state conditions. The improvement in productivity is found to be marginal and is satisfactory in substrate conversion compared to that of the optimal condition and to the steady state condition, which corresponds to the average value of the periodic function. Successful results were also obtained in the presence of modeling errors and external disturbances.

Keywords: Dilution rate, nonlinear model predictive control, sinusoidal function, wastewater treatment.

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13 Diversity Management of Gender, Age and Disability in the Banking Sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: Nada Azhar

Abstract:

As a developing country, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) needs to make the best possible use of its workforce for social and economic reasons. The workforce is diverse, calling for appropriate diversity management (DM). The thesis focuses on the banking sector in KSA. To date, there have been no studies on DM in the banking sector in this country. Many organizations have introduced specific policies and programmes to improve the recruitment, inclusion, promotion, and retention of diverse employees, in addition to the legal requirements existing in many countries. However, Western-centric models of DM may not be applicable, at least not in their entirety, in other regions.

The aim of the study is to devise a framework for understanding gender, age and disability DM in the banking sector in KSA in order to enhance DM in this sector. A sample of 24 managers, 2 from each of the 12 banks, was interviewed to obtain their views on DM in the banking sector in KSA. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. These themes were used to develop the questionnaire, which was administered to 10 managers in each of the 12 banks. After analysis of these data, and completion of the study, the research will make a theoretical contribution to the knowledge on DM and a practical contribution to the management of diversity in Saudi banks. This paper concerns a work in progress.

Keywords: Age, disability, diversity, gender, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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12 Ethnobotany and Distribution of Wild Edible Tubers in Pulau Redang and Nearby Islands of Terengganu, Malaysia

Authors: M. Nashriyah, M. Y. Nur Athiqah, H. Syahril Amin, N. Norhayati, A. W. Mohamad Azhar, M. Khairil

Abstract:

An ethnobotanical study was conducted to document local knowledge and potentials of wild edible tubers that has been reported and sighted and to investigate and record their distribution in Pulau Redang and nearby islands of Terengganu, Malaysia. Information was gathered from 42 villagers by using semi-structured questionnaire. These respondents were selected randomly and no appointment was made prior to the visits. For distribution, the locations of wild edible tubers were recorded by using the Global Positioning System (GPS). The wild edible tubers recorded were ubi gadung, ubi toyo, ubi kasu, ubi jaga, ubi seratus and ubi kertas. Dioscorea or commonly known as yam is reported to be one of the major food sources worldwide. The majority of villagers used Dioscorea hispida Dennst. or ubi gadung in many ways in their life such as for food, medicinal purposes and fish poison. The villagers have identified this ubi gadung by looking at the morphological characteristics; that include leaf shape, stem and the color of the tuber-s flesh.

Keywords: Ethnobotany, distribution, wild edible tubers, Dioscorea hispida Dennst., ubi gadung

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11 Triangular Geometric Feature for Offline Signature Verification

Authors: Zuraidasahana Zulkarnain, Mohd Shafry Mohd Rahim, Nor Anita Fairos Ismail, Mohd Azhar M. Arsad

Abstract:

Handwritten signature is accepted widely as a biometric characteristic for personal authentication. The use of appropriate features plays an important role in determining accuracy of signature verification; therefore, this paper presents a feature based on the geometrical concept. To achieve the aim, triangle attributes are exploited to design a new feature since the triangle possesses orientation, angle and transformation that would improve accuracy. The proposed feature uses triangulation geometric set comprising of sides, angles and perimeter of a triangle which is derived from the center of gravity of a signature image. For classification purpose, Euclidean classifier along with Voting-based classifier is used to verify the tendency of forgery signature. This classification process is experimented using triangular geometric feature and selected global features. Based on an experiment that was validated using Grupo de Senales 960 (GPDS-960) signature database, the proposed triangular geometric feature achieves a lower Average Error Rates (AER) value with a percentage of 34% as compared to 43% of the selected global feature. As a conclusion, the proposed triangular geometric feature proves to be a more reliable feature for accurate signature verification.

Keywords: biometrics, euclidean classifier, feature extraction, offline signature verification, VOTING-based classifier

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10 Serum Nitric Oxide and Sialic Acid: Possible Biochemical Markers for Progression of Diabetic Nephropathy

Authors: Syed M. Shahid, Rozeena Shaikh, Syeda N. Nawab, Shah A. Qader, Abid Azhar, Tabassum Mahboob

Abstract:

This study was designed to investigate the role of serum nitric oxide and sialic acid in the development of diabetic nephropathy as disease marker. Total 210 diabetic patients (age and sex matched) were selected followed by informed consent and divided into four groups (70 each) as I: control; II: diabetic; III: diabetic hypertensive; IV: diabetic nephropathy. The blood samples of all subjects were collected and analyzed for serum nitric oxide, sialic acid, fasting blood glucose, serum urea, creatinine, HbA1c and GFR. The BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, blood glucose, HbA1c and serum sialic acid levels were high (p<0.01) in group II as compared to control subjects. The higher levels (p<0.01) of BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, blood glucose, HbA1c, serum urea, creatinine and sialic acid were observed in group III and IV as compared to controls. Significantly low levels of GFR and serum nitric oxide (p<0.01) were observed in group III and IV as compared to controls. Results indicated that serum nitric oxide and sialic acid are the major biochemical indicators for micro and macrovascular complications of diabetes such as hypertension and nephropathy. These should be taken into account during screening procedures regarding identifications of the diabetic patients to get them rid of progressive renal impairment to ESRD.

Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy, hypertension, nitric oxide, sialic acid.

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9 A Comparative Study of Fine Grained Security Techniques Based on Data Accessibility and Inference

Authors: Azhar Rauf, Sareer Badshah, Shah Khusro

Abstract:

This paper analyzes different techniques of the fine grained security of relational databases for the two variables-data accessibility and inference. Data accessibility measures the amount of data available to the users after applying a security technique on a table. Inference is the proportion of information leakage after suppressing a cell containing secret data. A row containing a secret cell which is suppressed can become a security threat if an intruder generates useful information from the related visible information of the same row. This paper measures data accessibility and inference associated with row, cell, and column level security techniques. Cell level security offers greatest data accessibility as it suppresses secret data only. But on the other hand, there is a high probability of inference in cell level security. Row and column level security techniques have least data accessibility and inference. This paper introduces cell plus innocent security technique that utilizes the cell level security method but suppresses some innocent data to dodge an intruder that a suppressed cell may not necessarily contain secret data. Four variations of the technique namely cell plus innocent 1/4, cell plus innocent 2/4, cell plus innocent 3/4, and cell plus innocent 4/4 respectively have been introduced to suppress innocent data equal to 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 percent of the true secret data inside the database. Results show that the new technique offers better control over data accessibility and inference as compared to the state-of-theart security techniques. This paper further discusses the combination of techniques together to be used. The paper shows that cell plus innocent 1/4, 2/4, and 3/4 techniques can be used as a replacement for the cell level security.

Keywords: Fine Grained Security, Data Accessibility, Inference, Row, Cell, Column Level Security.

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8 Evaluating Health-Related Quality of Life of Lost to Follow-Up Tuberculosis Patients in Yemen

Authors: Ammar Ali Saleh Jaber, Amer Hayat Khan, Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman

Abstract:

Tuberculosis (TB) is considered as a major disease that affects daily activities and impairs health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The impact of TB on HRQoL can affect treatment outcome and may lead to treatment defaulting. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the HRQoL of TB treatment lost to follow-up during and after treatment in Yemen. For this aim, this prospective study enrolled a total of 399 TB lost to follow-up patients between January 2011 and December 2015. By applying HRQoL criteria, only 136 fill the survey during treatment. Moreover, 96 were traced and fill out the HRQoL survey. All eight HRQol domains were categorized into the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS), which were calculated using QM scoring software. Results show that all lost to follow-up TB patients reported a score less than 47 for all eight domains, except general health (67.3) during their treatment period. Low scores of 27.9 and 29.8 were reported for emotional role limitation (RE) and mental health (MH), respectively. Moreover, the mental component score (MCS) was found to be only 28.9. The trace lost follow-up shows a significant improvement in all eight domains and a mental component score of 43.1. The low scores of 27.9 and 29.8 for role emotion and mental health, respectively, in addition to the MCS score of 28.9, show that severe emotional condition and reflect the higher depression during treatment period that can result to lost to follow-up. The low MH, RE, and MCS can be used as a clue for predicting future TB treatment lost to follow-up.

Keywords: Yemen, tuberculosis, health-related quality of life, khat.

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7 Removal of Elemental Mercury from Dry Methane Gas with Manganese Oxides

Authors: Junya Takenami, Md. Azhar Uddin, Eiji Sasaoka, Yasushi Shioya, Tsuneyoshi Takase

Abstract:

In this study, we sought to investigate the mercury removal efficiency of manganese oxides from natural gas. The fundamental studies on mercury removal with manganese oxides sorbents were carried out in a laboratory scale fixed bed reactor at 30 °C with a mixture of methane (20%) and nitrogen gas laden with 4.8 ppb of elemental mercury. Manganese oxides with varying surface area and crystalline phase were prepared by conventional precipitation method in this study. The effects of surface area, crystallinity and other metal oxides on mercury removal efficiency were investigated. Effect of Ag impregnation on mercury removal efficiency was also investigated. Ag supported on metal oxide such titania and zirconia as reference materials were also used in this study for comparison. The characteristics of mercury removal reaction with manganese oxide was investigated using a temperature programmed desorption (TPD) technique. Manganese oxides showed very high Hg removal activity (about 73-93% Hg removal) for first time use. Surface area of the manganese oxide samples decreased after heat-treatment and resulted in complete loss of Hg removal ability for repeated use after Hg desorption in the case of amorphous MnO2, and 75% loss of the initial Hg removal activity for the crystalline MnO2. Mercury desorption efficiency of crystalline MnO2 was very low (37%) for first time use and high (98%) after second time use. Residual potassium content in MnO2 may have some effect on the thermal stability of the adsorbed Hg species. Desorption of Hg from manganese oxides occurs at much higher temperatures (with a peak at 400 °C) than Ag/TiO2 or Ag/ZrO2. Mercury may be captured on manganese oxides in the form of mercury manganese oxide.

Keywords: Mercury removal, Metal and metal oxide sorbents, Methane, Natural gas.

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6 Fungi Associated with Decline of Kikar (Acacia nilotica) and Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in Faisalabad

Authors: I. Ahmad, A. Hannan, S. Ahmad, M. Asif, M. F. Nawaz, M. A. Tanvir, M. F. Azhar

Abstract:

During this research, a comprehensive survey of tree growing areas of Faisalabad district of Pakistan was conducted to observe the symptoms, spectrum, occurrence and severity of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis decline. Objective of current research was to investigate specific fungal pathogens involved in decline of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis. For this purpose, infected roots, bark, neck portion, stem, branches, leaves and infected soils were collected to identify associated fungi. Potato dextrose agar (PDA) and Czepak dox agar media were used for isolations. Identification of isolated fungi was done microscopically and different fungi were identified. During survey of urban locations of Faisalabad, disease incidence on Kikar and Eucalyptus was recorded as 3.9-7.9% and 2.6-7.1% respectively. Survey of Agroforest zones of Faisalabad revealed decline incidence on kikar 7.5% from Sargodha road while on Satiana and Jhang road it was not planted. In eucalyptus trees, 4%, 8% and 0% disease incidence was observed on Jhang road, Sargodha road and Satiana road respectively. The maximum fungus isolated from the kikar tree was Drechslera australiensis (5.00%) from the stem part. Aspergillus flavus also gave the maximum value of (3.05%) from the bark. Alternaria alternata gave the maximum value of (2.05%) from leaves. Rhizopus and Mucor spp. were recorded minimum as compared to the Drechslera, Alternaria and Aspergillus. The maximum fungus isolated from the Eucalyptus tree was Armillaria luteobubalina (5.00%) from the stem part. The other fungi isolated were Macrophamina phaseolina and A. niger.

Keywords: Decline, frequency of mycoflora, A. nilotica, E. camaldulensis, Drechslera australiensis, Armillaria luteobubalina.

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5 The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility in the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Nada Azhar

Abstract:

The aim of the paper is to investigate the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) CSR on the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Saudi Arabia. In order to achieve this, a case study was made of the CSR activities of this bank from the perspective of its branch managers. The NCB was chosen as it was one of the first Saudi banks to engage in CSR and currently has a wide range of CSR initiatives. A qualitative research method was used. Open-ended questionnaires were administered to eighty branch managers of the NCB, with fifty-five usable questionnaires returned and twenty managers were interviewed as part of the primary research. Data from both questionnaires and interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Six themes emerged from the questionnaire findings were used to develop the interview questions. These themes are the following: Awareness of employees about CSR in the NCB; CSR activities as a type of investment; Government and media support; Increased employee loyalty in the NCB; Prestige and profit to the NCB; and View of CSR in Islam. This paper makes a theoretical contribution in that it investigates and increases understanding of the effect of CSR on the NCB in Saudi Arabia. In addition, it makes a practical contribution by making recommendations which can support the development of CSR in the NCB. A limitation of the paper is that it is a case study of only one bank. It is therefore recommended that future research could be conducted with other banks in Saudi Arabia, or indeed, with a range of other types of firm within the financial services area in Saudi Arabia. In this way, the same issues could be explored but with a greater potential generalisability of findings of CSR within the Saudi Arabian financial services industry. In addition, this paper takes a qualitative approach and it is suggested that future research be carried out using mixed methods, which could provide a greater depth of analysis.

Keywords: Branch managers, corporate social responsibility. national commercial bank, Saudi Arabia.

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4 Comparison of Statins Dose Intensity on HbA1c Control in Outpatients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study

Authors: Mohamed A. Hammad, Dzul Azri Mohamed Noor, Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman, Ahmed A. Khamis, Abeer Kharshid, Nor Azizah Aziz

Abstract:

The effect of statins dose intensity (SDI) on glycemic control in patients with existing diabetes is unclear. Also, there are many contradictory findings were reported in the literature; thus, it is limiting the possibility to draw conclusions. This project was designed to compare the effect of SDI on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c%) control in outpatients with Type 2 diabetes in the endocrine clinic at Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, between July 2015 and August 2016. A prospective cohort study was conducted, where records of 345 patients with Type 2 diabetes (Moderate-SDI group 289 patients and high-SDI cohort 56 patients) were reviewed to identify demographics and laboratory tests. The target of glycemic control (HbA1c < 7% for patient < 65 years, and < 8% for patient ≥ 65 years) was estimated, and the results were presented as descriptive statistics. From 289 moderate-SDI cohorts with a mean age of 57.3 ± 12.4 years, only 86 (29.8%) cases were shown to have controlled glycemia, while there were 203 (70.2%) cases with uncontrolled glycemia with confidence interval (CI) of 95% (6.2–10.8). On the other hand, the high-SDI group of 56 patients with Type 2 diabetes with a mean age 57.7±12.4 years is distributed among 11 (19.6%) patients with controlled diabetes, and 45 (80.4%) of them had uncontrolled glycemia, CI: 95% (7.1–11.9). The study has demonstrated that the relative risk (RR) of uncontrolled glycemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes that used high-SDI is 1.15, and the excessive relative risk (ERR) is 15%. The absolute risk (AR) is 10.2%, and the number needed to harm (NNH) is 10. Outpatients with Type 2 diabetes who use high-SDI of statin have a higher risk of uncontrolled glycemia than outpatients who had been treated with a moderate-SDI.

Keywords: Cohort study, diabetes control, dose intensity, HbA1c, Malaysia, statin, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, uncontrolled glycemia.

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3 Palestine Smart Tourism Augmented Reality Mobile Application

Authors: Murad Al-Rajab, Sherin Hazboun, Azhar Al-Hamamreh, Nirmeen Odeh, Siham Halaseh

Abstract:

Tourism is considered an important sector for most countries, while maintaining good tourism attractions can promote national economic development. The State of Palestine is historically considered a wealthy country full of many archaeological places. In the city of Bethlehem, for example, the Church of the Nativity is the most important touristic site, but it does not have enough technology development to attract tourists. In this paper, we propose a smart mobile application named “Pal-STAR” (Palestine Smart Tourist Augmented Reality) as an innovative solution which targets tourists and assists them to make a visit inside the Church of the Nativity. The application will use augmented reality and feature a virtual tourist guide showing views of the church while providing historical information in a smart, easy, effective and user-friendly way. The proposed application is compatible with multiple mobile platforms and is considered user friendly. The findings show that this application will improve the practice of the tourism sector in the Holy Land, it will also increase the number of tourists visiting the Church of the Nativity and it will facilitate access to historical data that have been difficult to obtain using traditional tourism guidance. The value that tourism adds to a country cannot be denied, and the more technological advances are incorporated in this sector, the better the country’s tourism sector can be served. Palestine’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism in many of its main cities, despite several limitations, and technological development is needed to enable this sector to flourish. The proposed mobile application would definitely have a good impact on the development of the tourism sector by creating an Augmented Reality environment for tourists inside the church, helping them to navigate and learn about holy places in a non-traditional way, using a virtual tourist guide.

Keywords: Smartphones, tourism, tourists guide, augmented reality, Palestine.

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2 Disability Diversity Management: A Case Study of the Banking Sector in the KSA

Authors: Nada Azhar

Abstract:

This paper is drawn from a wider study of the management of gender, age and disability diversity in the banking sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which aims to develop a framework for diversity management (DM) in this sector. The paper focuses on the management of disability diversity. The purpose of the paper is to assist in understanding disability DM in the banking sector in KSA and to make suggestions for its enhancement. Hence, it contributes to filling a research gap, as there is a dearth of literature on disability DM, in KSA in general, and in the banking sector specifically. Discrimination against people with disabilities is a social issue that has not been entirely overcome in any society. However, in KSA, Islam informs almost every aspect of daily life including work, and Islam is against discrimination. Hence, in KSA, there are regulations to accommodate people with disabilities; however, employers are still free not to hire job applicants with disabilities specifically because of their condition. Indeed, disabled people are almost entirely absent from the labour market. There are 12 Saudi-owned or part-Saudi-owned banks in KSA and two managers from each of these were interviewed, making a total of 24. The interviews aimed to investigate empirically the understanding of managers in the banking sector in KSA of diversity management, including disability DM, in the banking sector. The interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. Two interviewees stated that banks used the employment of people with disabilities to enhance their corporate image, while five expressed the opinion that disabled employees could contribute to the bank provided they did not have to deal with customers face-to-face. Nine of the interviewees perceived that disabled employees could be of value to the bank for their own sake, not only in ‘behind the scenes’ roles. Another two interviewees mentioned that employing disabled people could be part of the bank’s community service programme and one thought it would be part of the bank’s Saudisation efforts. The remaining five interviewees did not know how disabled people could contribute to the bank. The findings show that disability DM in the banking sector in KSA is a relatively new concept, and is not yet well understood. In the light of the findings, in order to achieve the purpose of the paper, the following suggestions were made for the enhancement of disability DM in the banking sector in KSA. A change in attitudes towards disabled people is necessary. Such a change in the workplace can only be achieved if a top-down approach is taken to the integration of disabled people. Hence, it is suggested that management and employees follow a course in disability awareness. Further, a diversity officer in the HR department could enhance the integration of disabled people into the banking workforce. It is also suggested that greater government support is required through closely monitored and enforced anti-discrimination legislation. Moreover, flexible working arrangements such as part-time work would facilitate the employment of disabled people and benefit other groups of employees.

Keywords: Banking, disability, diversity management, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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1 A Multi-Phase Methodology for Investigating Localisation Policies within the GCC: The Hotel Industry in the KSA and the UAE

Authors: Areej Azhar, Peter Duncan, David Edgar

Abstract:

Due to a high unemployment rate among local people and a high reliance on expatriate workers, the governments in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries have been implementing programmes of localisation (replacing foreign workers with GCC nationals). These programmes have been successful in the public sector but much less so in the private sector. However, there are now insufficient jobs for locals in the public sector and the onus to provide employment has fallen on the private sector. This paper is concerned with a study, which is a work in progress (certain elements are complete but not the whole study), investigating the effective implementation of localisation policies in four- and five-star hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The purpose of the paper is to identify the research gap, and to present the need for the research. Further, it will explain how this research was conducted. Studies of localisation in the GCC countries are under-represented in scholarly literature. Currently, the hotel sectors in KSA and UAE play an important part in the countries’ economies. However, the total proportion of Saudis working in the hotel sector in KSA is slightly under 8%, and in the UAE, the hotel sector remains highly reliant on expatriates. There is therefore a need for research on strategies to enhance the implementation of the localisation policies in general and in the hotel sector in particular. Further, despite the importance of the hotel sector to their economies, there remains a dearth of research into the implementation of localisation policies in this sector. Indeed, as far as the researchers are aware, there is no study examining localisation in the hotel sector in KSA, and few in the UAE. This represents a considerable research gap. Regarding how the research was carried out, a multiple case study strategy was used. The four- and five-star hotel sector in KSA is one of the cases, while the four- and five-star hotel sector in the UAE is the other case. Four- and five-star hotels in KSA and the UAE were chosen as these countries have the longest established localisation policies of all the GCC states and there are more hotels of these classifications in these countries than in any of the other Gulf countries. A literature review was carried out to underpin the research. The empirical data were gathered in three phases. In order to gain a pre-understanding of the issues pertaining to the research context, Phase I involved eight unstructured interviews with officials from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (three interviewees); the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund (one); the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (three); and the Abu Dhabi Development Fund (one).

In Phase II, a questionnaire was administered to 24 managers and 24 employees in four- and five-star hotels in each country to obtain their beliefs, attitudes, opinions, preferences and practices concerning localisation. Unstructured interviews were carried out in Phase III with six managers in each country in order to allow them to express opinions that may not have been explored in sufficient depth in the questionnaire. The interviews in Phases I and III were analysed using thematic analysis and SPSS will be used to analyse the questionnaire data. It is recommended that future research be undertaken on a larger scale, with a larger sample taken from all over KSA and the UAE rather than from only four cities (i.e., Riyadh and Jeddah in KSA and Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE), as was the case in this research.

Keywords: KSA, UAE, localisation, hotels, Human Resource Management.

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