Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 37

Search results for: Benjamin Valdes

37 Exact Three-wave Solutions for High Nonlinear Form of Benjamin-Bona-Mahony-Burgers Equations

Authors: Mohammad Taghi Darvishi, Maliheh Najafi, Mohammad Najafi

Abstract:

By means of the idea of three-wave method, we obtain some analytic solutions for high nonlinear form of Benjamin-Bona- Mahony-Burgers (shortly BBMB) equations in its bilinear form.

Keywords: Benjamin-Bona-Mahony-Burgers equations, Hirota's bilinear form, three-wave method.

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36 Non-Invasive Technology on a Classroom Chair for Detection of Emotions Used for the Personalization of Learning Resources

Authors: Carlos Ramirez, Carlos Concha, Benjamin Valdes

Abstract:

Emotions are related with learning processes and physiological signals can be used to detect them for the personalization of learning resources and to control the pace of instruction. A model of relevant emotions has been developed, where specific combinations of emotions and cognition processes are connected and integrated with the concept of 'flow', in order to improve learning. The cardiac pulse is a reliable signal that carries useful information about the subject-s emotional condition; it is detected using a classroom chair adapted with non invasive EMFi sensor and an acquisition system that generates a ballistocardiogram (BCG), the signal is processed by an algorithm to obtain characteristics that match a specific emotional condition. The complete chair system is presented in this work, along with a framework for the personalization of learning resources.

Keywords: Ballistocardiogram, emotions in learning, noninvasive sensors, personalization of learning resources.

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35 Cubic B-spline Collocation Method for Numerical Solution of the Benjamin-Bona-Mahony-Burgers Equation

Authors: M. Zarebnia, R. Parvaz

Abstract:

In this paper, numerical solutions of the nonlinear Benjamin-Bona-Mahony-Burgers (BBMB) equation are obtained by a method based on collocation of cubic B-splines. Applying the Von-Neumann stability analysis, the proposed method is shown to be unconditionally stable. The method is applied on some test examples, and the numerical results have been compared with the exact solutions. The L∞ and L2 in the solutions show the efficiency of the method computationally.

Keywords: Benjamin-Bona-Mahony-Burgers equation, Cubic Bspline, Collocation method, Finite difference.

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34 Battery Grading Algorithm in 2nd-Life Repurposing Li-ion Battery System

Authors: Ya Lv, Benjamin Ong Wei Lin, Wanli Niu, Benjamin Seah Chin Tat

Abstract:

This article presents a methodology that improves reliability and cyclability of 2nd-life Li-ion battery system repurposed as energy storage system (ESS). Most of the 2nd-life retired battery systems in market have module/pack-level state of health (SOH) indicator, which is utilized for guiding appropriate depth of discharge (DOD) in the application of ESS. Due to the lack of cell-level SOH indication, the different degrading behaviors among various cells cannot be identified upon reaching retired status; in the end, considering end of life (EOL) loss and pack-level DOD, the repurposed ESS has to be oversized by > 1.5 times to complement the application requirement of reliability and cyclability. This proposed battery grading algorithm, using non-invasive methodology, is able to detect outlier cells based on historical voltage data and calculate cell-level historical maximum temperature data using semi-analytic methodology. In this way, the individual battery cell in the 2nd-life battery system can be graded in terms of SOH on basis of the historical voltage fluctuation and estimated historical maximum temperature variation. These grades will have corresponding DOD grades in the application of the repurposed ESS to enhance the system reliability and cyclability. In all, this introduced battery grading algorithm is non-invasive, compatible with all kinds of retired Li-ion battery systems which lack of cell-level SOH indication, as well as potentially being embedded into battery management software for preventive maintenance and real-time cyclability optimization.

Keywords: Battery grading algorithm, 2nd-life repurposing battery system, semi-analytic methodology, reliability and cyclability.

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33 Sensitivity Analysis of Real-Time Systems

Authors: Benjamin Gorry, Andrew Ireland, Peter King

Abstract:

Verification of real-time software systems can be expensive in terms of time and resources. Testing is the main method of proving correctness but has been shown to be a long and time consuming process. Everyday engineers are usually unwilling to adopt formal approaches to correctness because of the overhead associated with developing their knowledge of such techniques. Performance modelling techniques allow systems to be evaluated with respect to timing constraints. This paper describes PARTES, a framework which guides the extraction of performance models from programs written in an annotated subset of C.

Keywords: Performance Modelling, Real-time, SensitivityAnalysis.

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32 Cross-Industry Innovations–Systematic Identification of Ideas for Radical Problem Solving

Authors: Niklas Echterhoff, Benjamin Amshoff, Jürgen Gausemeier

Abstract:

Creativity is often based on an unorthodox recombination of knowledge; in fact: 80% of all innovations use given knowledge and put it into a new combination. Cross-industry innovations follow this way of thinking and bring together problems and solution ideas from different industries. Therefore analogies and search strategies have to be developed. Taking this path, the questions where to search, what to search and how to search have to be answered. Afterwards, the gathered information can be used within a planned search process. Identified solution ideas have to be assessed and analyzed in detail for the success promising adaption planning.

Keywords: analogy building, cross-industry innovations, knowledge transfer, solution adaption.

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31 Concerns Regarding the Adoption of the Model Driven Architecture in the Development of Safety Critical Avionics Applications

Authors: Benjamin Gorry

Abstract:

Safety Critical hard Real-Time Systems are ever present in the avionics industry. The Model Driven Architecture (MDA) offers different levels of model abstraction and generation. This paper discusses our concerns relating to model development and generation when using the MDA approach in the avionics industry. These concerns are based on our experience when looking into adopting the MDA as part of avionics systems development. We place emphasis on transformations between model types and discuss possible benefits of adopting an MDA approach as part of the software development life cycle.

Keywords: Model Driven Architecture, Real-Time AvionicsApplications.

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30 Misleading Node Detection and Response Mechanism in Mobile Ad-Hoc Network

Authors: Earleen Jane Fuentes, Regeene Melarese Lim, Franklin Benjamin Tapia, Alexis Pantola

Abstract:

Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) is an infrastructure-less network of mobile devices, also known as nodes. These nodes heavily rely on each other’s resources such as memory, computing power, and energy. Thus, some nodes may become selective in forwarding packets so as to conserve their resources. These nodes are called misleading nodes. Several reputation-based techniques (e.g. CORE, CONFIDANT, LARS, SORI, OCEAN) and acknowledgment-based techniques (e.g. TWOACK, S-TWOACK, EAACK) have been proposed to detect such nodes. These techniques do not appropriately punish misleading nodes. Hence, this paper addresses the limitations of these techniques using a system called MINDRA.

Keywords: Mobile ad-hoc network, selfish nodes, reputation-based techniques, acknowledgment-based techniques.

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29 Evaluating 8D Reports Using Text-Mining

Authors: Benjamin Kuester, Bjoern Eilert, Malte Stonis, Ludger Overmeyer

Abstract:

Increasing quality requirements make reliable and effective quality management indispensable. This includes the complaint handling in which the 8D method is widely used. The 8D report as a written documentation of the 8D method is one of the key quality documents as it internally secures the quality standards and acts as a communication medium to the customer. In practice, however, the 8D report is mostly faulty and of poor quality. There is no quality control of 8D reports today. This paper describes the use of natural language processing for the automated evaluation of 8D reports. Based on semantic analysis and text-mining algorithms the presented system is able to uncover content and formal quality deficiencies and thus increases the quality of the complaint processing in the long term.

Keywords: 8D report, complaint management, evaluation system, text-mining.

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28 Reliability of Eyewitness Statements in Fire and Explosion Investigations

Authors: Jeff D. Colwell, Benjamin W. Knox

Abstract:

While fire and explosion incidents are often observed by eyewitnesses, the weight that fire investigators should place on those observations in their investigations is a complex issue. There is no doubt that eyewitness statements can be an important component to an investigation, particularly when other evidence is sparse, as is often the case when damage to the scene is severe. However, it is well known that eyewitness statements can be incorrect for a variety of reasons, including deception. In this paper, we reviewed factors that can have an effect on the complex processes associated with the perception, retention, and retrieval of an event. We then review the accuracy of eyewitness statements from unique criminal and civil incidents, including fire and explosion incidents, in which the accuracy of the statements could be independently evaluated. Finally, the motives for deceptive eyewitness statements are described, along with techniques that fire and explosion investigators can employ, to increase the accuracy of the eyewitness statements that they solicit.

Keywords: Explosion, eyewitness, fire, reliability.

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27 Cross-Industry Innovations – Systematic Identification and Adaption

Authors: Niklas Echterhoff, Benjamin Amshoff, Jürgen Gausemeier

Abstract:

Due to today-s fierce competition, companies have to be proactive creators of the future by effectively developing innovations. Especially radical innovations allow high profit margins – but they also entail high risks. One possibility to realize radical innovations and reduce the risk of failure is cross-industry innovation (CII). CII brings together problems and solution ideas from different industries. However, there is a lack of systematic ways towards CII. Bridging this gap, the present paper provides a systematic approach towards planned CII. Starting with the analysis of potentials, the definition of promising search strategies is crucial. Subsequently, identified solution ideas need to be assessed. For the most promising ones, the adaption process has to be systematically planned – regarding the risk affinity of a company. The introduced method is explained on a project from the furniture industry.

Keywords: Analogy building, cross-industry innovations, knowledge transfer, solution adaption.

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26 The Keys to Innovation: Defining and Evaluating Attributes that Measure Innovation Capabilities

Authors: Mohammad Samarah, Benjamin Stark, Jennifer Kindle, Langley Payton

Abstract:

Innovation is a key driver for companies, society, and economic growth. However, assessing and measuring innovation for individuals as well as organizations remains difficult. Our i5-Score presented in this study will help to overcome this difficulty and facilitate measuring the innovation potential. The score is based on a framework we call the 5Gs of innovation which defines specific innovation attributes. Those are 1) the drive for long-term goals 2) the audacity to generate new ideas, 3) the openness to share ideas with others, 4) the ability to grow, and 5) the ability to maintain high levels of optimism. To validate the i5-Score, we conducted a study at Florida Polytechnic University. The results show that the i5-Score is a good measure reflecting the innovative mindset of an individual or a group. Thus, the score can be utilized for evaluating, refining and enhancing innovation capabilities.

Keywords: Change management, innovation attributes, organizational development, STEM and venture creation.

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25 Evaluation of Sensor Pattern Noise Estimators for Source Camera Identification

Authors: Benjamin Anderson-Sackaney, Amr Abdel-Dayem

Abstract:

This paper presents a comprehensive survey of recent source camera identification (SCI) systems. Then, the performance of various sensor pattern noise (SPN) estimators was experimentally assessed, under common photo response non-uniformity (PRNU) frameworks. The experiments used 1350 natural and 900 flat-field images, captured by 18 individual cameras. 12 different experiments, grouped into three sets, were conducted. The results were analyzed using the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves. The experimental results demonstrated that combining the basic SPN estimator with a wavelet-based filtering scheme provides promising results. However, the phase SPN estimator fits better with both patch-based (BM3D) and anisotropic diffusion (AD) filtering schemes.

Keywords: Sensor pattern noise, source camera identification, photo response non-uniformity, anisotropic diffusion, peak to correlation energy ratio.

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24 Exons and Introns Classification in Human and Other Organisms

Authors: Benjamin Y. M. Kwan, Jennifer Y. Y. Kwan, Hon Keung Kwan

Abstract:

In the paper, the relative performances on spectral classification of short exon and intron sequences of the human and eleven model organisms is studied. In the simulations, all combinations of sixteen one-sequence numerical representations, four threshold values, and four window lengths are considered. Sequences of 150-base length are chosen and for each organism, a total of 16,000 sequences are used for training and testing. Results indicate that an appropriate combination of one-sequence numerical representation, threshold value, and window length is essential for arriving at top spectral classification results. For fixed-length sequences, the precisions on exon and intron classification obtained for different organisms are not the same because of their genomic differences. In general, precision increases as sequence length increases.

Keywords: Exons and introns classification, Human genome, Model organism genome, Spectral analysis

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23 Impulse Noise Reduction in Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Using Fuzzy Filters

Authors: Benjamin Y. M. Kwan, Hon Keung Kwan

Abstract:

Noise contamination in a magnetic resonance (MR) image could occur during acquisition, storage, and transmission in which effective filtering is required to avoid repeating the MR procedure. In this paper, an iterative asymmetrical triangle fuzzy filter with moving average center (ATMAVi filter) is used to reduce different levels of salt and pepper noise in a brain MR image. Besides visual inspection on filtered images, the mean squared error (MSE) is used as an objective measurement. When compared with the median filter, simulation results indicate that the ATMAVi filter is effective especially for filtering a higher level noise (such as noise density = 0.45) using a smaller window size (such as 3x3) when operated iteratively or using a larger window size (such as 5x5) when operated non-iteratively.

Keywords: Brain images, Fuzzy filters, Magnetic resonance imaging, Salt and pepper noise reduction.

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22 Improved Lung Nodule Visualization on Chest Radiographs using Digital Filtering and Contrast Enhancement

Authors: Benjamin Y. M. Kwan, Hon Keung Kwan

Abstract:

Early detection of lung cancer through chest radiography is a widely used method due to its relatively affordable cost. In this paper, an approach to improve lung nodule visualization on chest radiographs is presented. The approach makes use of linear phase high-frequency emphasis filter for digital filtering and histogram equalization for contrast enhancement to achieve improvements. Results obtained indicate that a filtered image can reveal sharper edges and provide more details. Also, contrast enhancement offers a way to further enhance the global (or local) visualization by equalizing the histogram of the pixel values within the whole image (or a region of interest). The work aims to improve lung nodule visualization of chest radiographs to aid detection of lung cancer which is currently the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

Keywords: Chest radiographs, Contrast enhancement, Digital filtering, Lung nodule detection

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21 Analysis of Food Security Situation among Nigerian Rural Farmers

Authors: Victoria A. Okwoche, Benjamin C. Asogwa

Abstract:

This paper analysed the food security situation among Nigerian rural farmers. Data collected on 202 rural farmers from Benue State were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed that majority of the respondents (60.83%) had medium dietary diversity. Furthermore, household daily calorie requirement for the food secure households was 10,723 and the household daily calorie consumption was 12,598, with a surplus index of 0.04. The food security index was 1.16. The Household daily per capita calorie consumption was 3,221.2. For the food insecure households, the household daily calorie requirement was 20,213 and the household daily calorie consumption was 17,393. The shortfall index was 0.14. The food security index was 0.88. The Household daily per capita calorie consumption was 2,432.8. The most commonly used coping strategies during food stress included intercropping (99.2%), reliance on less preferred food (98.1%), limiting portion size at meal times (85.8%) and crop diversification (70.8%).

Keywords: Analysis, food security, rural areas, farmers, Nigeria.

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20 Silver Nanoparticles-Enhanced Luminescence Spectra of Silicon Nanocrystals

Authors: Khamael M. Abualnaja, Lidija Šiller, Benjamin R. Horrocks

Abstract:

Metal-enhanced Luminescence of silicon nanocrystals (SiNCs) was determined using two different particle sizes of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). SiNCs have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). It is found that the SiNCs are crystalline with an average diameter of 65 nm and FCC lattice. AgNPs were synthesized using photochemical reduction of AgNO3 with sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). The enhanced luminescence of SiNCs by AgNPs was evaluated by confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Enhancement up to x9 and x3 times were observed for SiNCs that mixed with AgNPs which have an average particle size of 100 nm and 30 nm, respectively. Silver NPs-enhanced luminescence of SiNCs occurs as a result of the coupling between the excitation laser light and the plasmon bands of AgNPs; thus this intense field at AgNPs surface couples strongly to SiNCs.

Keywords: Luminescence, Silicon Nanocrystals, Silver Nanoparticles, Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS).

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19 Fully Printed Strain Gauges: A Comparison of Aerosoljet-Printing and Micropipette-Dispensing

Authors: Benjamin Panreck, Manfred Hild

Abstract:

Strain sensors based on a change in resistance are well established for the measurement of forces, stresses, or material fatigue. Within the scope of this paper, fully additive manufactured strain sensors were produced using an ink of silver nanoparticles. Their behavior was evaluated by periodic tensile tests. Printed strain sensors exhibit two advantages: Their measuring grid is adaptable to the use case and they do not need a carrier-foil, as the measuring structure can be printed directly onto a thin sprayed varnish layer on the aluminum specimen. In order to compare quality characteristics, the sensors have been manufactured using two different technologies, namely aerosoljet-printing and micropipette-dispensing. Both processes produce structures which exhibit continuous features (in contrast to what can be achieved with droplets during inkjet printing). Briefly summarized the results show that aerosoljet-printing is the preferable technology for specimen with non-planar surfaces whereas both technologies are suitable for flat specimen.

Keywords: Aerosoljet-printing, micropipette-dispensing, printed electronics, printed sensors, strain gauge.

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18 A Large Dataset Imputation Approach Applied to Country Conflict Prediction Data

Authors: Benjamin D. Leiby, Darryl K. Ahner

Abstract:

This study demonstrates an alternative stochastic imputation approach for large datasets when preferred commercial packages struggle to iterate due to numerical problems. A large country conflict dataset motivates the search to impute missing values well over a common threshold of 20% missingness. The methodology capitalizes on correlation while using model residuals to provide the uncertainty in estimating unknown values. Examination of the methodology provides insight toward choosing linear or nonlinear modeling terms. Static tolerances common in most packages are replaced with tailorable tolerances that exploit residuals to fit each data element. The methodology evaluation includes observing computation time, model fit, and the comparison of known  values to replaced values created through imputation. Overall, the country conflict dataset illustrates promise with modeling first-order interactions, while presenting a need for further refinement that mimics predictive mean matching.

Keywords: Correlation, country conflict, imputation, stochastic regression.

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17 School Architecture of the Future Supported by Evidence-Based Design and Design Patterns

Authors: Pedro Padilha Gonçalves, Doris C. C. K. Kowaltowski, Benjamin Cleveland

Abstract:

Trends in education affect schooling, needing incorporation into design concepts to support desired learning processes with appropriate and stimulating environments. A design process for school architecture demands research, debates, reflections, and efficient decision-making methods. This paper presents research on evidence-based design, related to middle schools, based on a systematic literature review and the elaboration of a set of architectural design patterns, through a graphic translation of new concepts for classroom configurations, to support programming debates and the synthesis phase of design. The investigation resulted in nine patterns that configure the concepts of boundaries, flexibility, levels of openness, mindsets, neighborhoods, movement and interaction, territories, opportunities for learning, and sightlines for classrooms. The research is part of a continuous investigation of design methods, on contemporary school architecture to produce an architectural pattern matrix based on scientific information translated into an insightful graphic design language.

Keywords: School architecture, design process, design patterns, evidence-based design.

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16 Photoluminescence Study of Erbium-Mixed Alkylated Silicon Nanocrystals

Authors: Khamael M. Abualnaja, Lidija Šiller, Benjamin R. Horrocks

Abstract:

Alkylated silicon nanocrystals (C11-SiNCs) were prepared successfully by galvanostatic etching of p-Si(100) wafers followed by a thermal hydrosilation reaction of 1-undecene in refluxing toluene in order to extract C11-SiNCs from porous silicon. Erbium trichloride was added to alkylated SiNCs using a simple mixing chemical route. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first investigation on mixing SiNCs with erbium ions (III) by this chemical method. The chemical characterization of C11-SiNCs and their mixtures with Er3+(Er/C11-SiNCs) were carried out using X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS). The optical properties of C11- SiNCs and their mixtures with Er3+ were investigated using Raman spectroscopy and photoluminescence (PL). The erbium mixed alkylated SiNCs shows an orange PL emission peak at around 595 nm that originates from radiative recombination of Si. Er/C11-SiNCs mixture also exhibits a weak PL emission peak at 1536 nm that originates from the intra-4f transition in erbium ions (Er3+). The PL peak of Si in Er/C11-SiNCs mixture is increased in the intensity up to three times as compared to pure C11-SiNCs. The collected data suggest that this chemical mixing route leads instead to a transfer of energy from erbium ions to alkylated SiNCs.

Keywords: Photoluminescence, Silicon Nanocrystals, Erbium, Raman Spectroscopy.

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15 Reliability Levels of Reinforced Concrete Bridges Obtained by Mixing Approaches

Authors: Adrián D. García-Soto, Alejandro Hernández-Martínez, Jesús G. Valdés-Vázquez, Reyna A. Vizguerra-Alvarez

Abstract:

Reinforced concrete bridges designed by code are intended to achieve target reliability levels adequate for the geographical environment where the code is applicable. Several methods can be used to estimate such reliability levels. Many of them require the establishment of an explicit limit state function (LSF). When such LSF is not available as a close-form expression, the simulation techniques are often employed. The simulation methods are computing intensive and time consuming. Note that if the reliability of real bridges designed by code is of interest, numerical schemes, the finite element method (FEM) or computational mechanics could be required. In these cases, it can be quite difficult (or impossible) to establish a close-form of the LSF, and the simulation techniques may be necessary to compute reliability levels. To overcome the need for a large number of simulations when no explicit LSF is available, the point estimate method (PEM) could be considered as an alternative. It has the advantage that only the probabilistic moments of the random variables are required. However, in the PEM, fitting of the resulting moments of the LSF to a probability density function (PDF) is needed. In the present study, a very simple alternative which allows the assessment of the reliability levels when no explicit LSF is available and without the need of extensive simulations is employed. The alternative includes the use of the PEM, and its applicability is shown by assessing reliability levels of reinforced concrete bridges in Mexico when a numerical scheme is required. Comparisons with results by using the Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) technique are included. To overcome the problem of approximating the probabilistic moments from the PEM to a PDF, a well-known distribution is employed. The approach mixes the PEM and other classic reliability method (first order reliability method, FORM). The results in the present study are in good agreement whit those computed with the MCS. Therefore, the alternative of mixing the reliability methods is a very valuable option to determine reliability levels when no close form of the LSF is available, or if numerical schemes, the FEM or computational mechanics are employed.

Keywords: Structural reliability, reinforced concrete bridges, mixing approaches, point estimate method, Monte Carlo simulation.

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14 Using Mean-Shift Tracking Algorithms for Real-Time Tracking of Moving Images on an Autonomous Vehicle Testbed Platform

Authors: Benjamin Gorry, Zezhi Chen, Kevin Hammond, Andy Wallace, Greg Michaelson

Abstract:

This paper describes new computer vision algorithms that have been developed to track moving objects as part of a long-term study into the design of (semi-)autonomous vehicles. We present the results of a study to exploit variable kernels for tracking in video sequences. The basis of our work is the mean shift object-tracking algorithm; for a moving target, it is usual to define a rectangular target window in an initial frame, and then process the data within that window to separate the tracked object from the background by the mean shift segmentation algorithm. Rather than use the standard, Epanechnikov kernel, we have used a kernel weighted by the Chamfer distance transform to improve the accuracy of target representation and localization, minimising the distance between the two distributions in RGB color space using the Bhattacharyya coefficient. Experimental results show the improved tracking capability and versatility of the algorithm in comparison with results using the standard kernel. These algorithms are incorporated as part of a robot test-bed architecture which has been used to demonstrate their effectiveness.

Keywords: Hume, functional programming, autonomous vehicle, pioneer robot, vision.

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13 Suicide Conceptualization in Adolescents through Semantic Networks

Authors: K. P. Valdés García, E. I. Rodríguez Fonseca, L. G. Juárez Cantú

Abstract:

Suicide is a global, multidimensional and dynamic problem of mental health, which requires a constant study for its understanding and prevention. When research of this phenomenon is done, it is necessary to consider the different characteristics it may have because of the individual and sociocultural variables, the importance of this consideration is related to the generation of effective treatments and interventions. Adolescents are a vulnerable population due to the characteristics of the development stage. The investigation was carried out with the objective of identifying and describing the conceptualization of adolescents of suicide, and in this process, we find possible differences between men and women. The study was carried out in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. The sample was composed of 418 volunteer students aged between 11 and 18 years. The ethical aspects of the research were reviewed and considered in all the processes of the investigation with the participants, their parents and the schools to which they belonged, psychological attention was offered to the participants and preventive workshops were carried in the educational institutions. Natural semantic networks were the instrument used, since this hybrid method allows to find and analyze the social concept of a phenomenon; in this case, the word suicide was used as an evocative stimulus and participants were asked to evoke at least five words and a maximum 10 that they thought were related to suicide, and then hierarchize them according to the closeness with the construct. The subsequent analysis was carried with Excel, yielding the semantic weights, affective loads and the distances between each of the semantic fields established according to the words reported by the subjects. The results showed similarities in the conceptualization of suicide in adolescents, men and women. Seven semantic fields were generated; the words were related in the discourse analysis: 1) death, 2) possible triggering factors, 3) associated moods, 4) methods used to carry it out, 5) psychological symptomatology that could affect, 6) words associated with a rejection of suicide, and finally, 7) specific objects to carry it out. One of the necessary aspects to consider in the investigations of complex issues such as suicide is to have a diversity of instruments and techniques that adjust to the characteristics of the population and that allow to understand the phenomena from the social constructs and not only theoretical. The constant study of suicide is a pressing need, the loss of a life from emotional difficulties that can be solved through psychiatry and psychological methods requires governments and professionals to pay attention and work with the risk population.

Keywords: Adolescents, semantic networks, speech analysis, suicide.

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12 Evaluation of Food Safety Management Systems of Food Service Establishments within the Greater Accra Region

Authors: Benjamin Osei-Tutu

Abstract:

Food contaminated with biological, chemical and physical hazards usually leads to foodborne illnesses which in turn increase the disease burden of developing and developed economies. Restaurants play a key role in the food service industry and violations in application of standardized food safety management systems in these establishments have been associated with foodborne disease outbreaks. This study was undertaken to assess the level of compliance to the Code of practice that was developed and implemented after conducting needs assessment of the food safety management systems employed by the Food Service Establishments in Ghana. Data on pre-licence inspections were reviewed to assess the compliance of the Food Service Establishments. During the period under review (2012-2016), 74.52% of the food service facilities in the hospitality industry were in compliance with the FDA’s code of practice. Main violations observed during the study bordered on facility layout and fabrication (61.8%) and this is because these facilities may not have been built for use as a food service establishment. Another fact that came to the fore was that the redesigning of the facilities to bring them into compliance required capital intensive investments, which some establishments are not prepared for. Other challenges faced by the industry regarded issues on records and documentations, personnel facilities and hygiene, raw materials acquisition, storage and control, and cold storage.

Keywords: Assessment, Accra, food safety management systems, restaurants, hotel.

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11 Effect of Poultry Manure and Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (15:15:15) Soil Amendment on Growth and Yield of Carrot (Daucus carota)

Authors: Benjamin Osae Agyei, Hypolite Bayor

Abstract:

This present experiment was carried out during the 2012 cropping season, at the Farming for the Future Experimental Field of the University for Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus in the Northern Region of Ghana. The objective of the experiment was to determine the carrot growth and yield responses to poultry manure and N.P.K (15:15:15). Six treatments (Control (no amendment), 20 t/ha poultry manure (PM), 40 t/ha PM, 70 t/ha PM, 35 t/ha PM + 0.11t/ha N.P.K and 0.23 t/ha N.P.K) with three replications for each were laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Data were collected on plant height, number of leaves per plant, canopy spread, root diameter, root weight, and root length. Microsoft Excel and Genstat Statistical Package (9th edition) were used for the data analysis. The treatment means were compared by using Least Significant Difference at 10%. Generally, the results showed that there were no significant differences (P>0.1) among the treatments with respect to number of leaves per plant, root diameter, root weight, and root length. However, significant differences occurred among plant heights and canopy spreads. Plant height treated with 40 t/ha PM at the fourth week after planting and canopy spread at eight weeks after planting and ten weeks after planting by 70 t/ha PM and 20 t/ha PM respectively showed significant difference (P<0.1). The study recommended that any of the amended treatments can be applied at their recommended rates to plots for carrot production, since there were no significant differences among the treatments.

Keywords: Poultry manure, N.P.K., soil amendment, growth, yield, carrot.

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10 Construction and Validation of a Hybrid Lumbar Spine Model for the Fast Evaluation of Intradiscal Pressure and Mobility

Authors: Ali Hamadi Dicko, Nicolas Tong-Yette, Benjamin Gilles, François Faure, Olivier Palombi

Abstract:

A novel hybrid model of the lumbar spine, allowing fast static and dynamic simulations of the disc pressure and the spine mobility, is introduced in this work. Our contribution is to combine rigid bodies, deformable finite elements, articular constraints, and springs into a unique model of the spine. Each vertebra is represented by a rigid body controlling a surface mesh to model contacts on the facet joints and the spinous process. The discs are modeled using a heterogeneous tetrahedral finite element model. The facet joints are represented as elastic joints with six degrees of freedom, while the ligaments are modeled using non-linear one-dimensional elastic elements. The challenge we tackle is to make these different models efficiently interact while respecting the principles of Anatomy and Mechanics. The mobility, the intradiscal pressure, the facet joint force and the instantaneous center of rotation of the lumbar spine are validated against the experimental and theoretical results of the literature on flexion, extension, lateral bending as well as axial rotation. Our hybrid model greatly simplifies the modeling task and dramatically accelerates the simulation of pressure within the discs, as well as the evaluation of the range of motion and the instantaneous centers of rotation, without penalizing precision. These results suggest that for some types of biomechanical simulations, simplified models allow far easier modeling and faster simulations compared to usual full-FEM approaches without any loss of accuracy.

Keywords: Hybrid, modeling, fast simulation, lumbar spine.

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9 Investigating the Efficacy of HIV/AIDS Psycho-Education and Behavioural Skills Training in Reducing Sexual Risk Behaviours in a Trucking Population in Nigeria

Authors: Abiodun M. Lawal, Benjamin O. Olley

Abstract:

Long Distance Truck Drivers (LDTDs) have been found to be a high risk group in the spread of HIV/AIDS globally; perhaps, due to their high Sexual Risk Behaviours (SRBs). Interventions for reducing SRBs in trucking population have not been fully exploited. A quasi-experimental control group pretest-posttest design was used to assess the efficacy of psycho-education and behavioural skills training in reducing SRBs among LDTDs. Sixteen drivers rivers were randomly assigned into either experimental or control groups using balloting technique. Questionnaire was used as an instrument for data collection. Repeated measures t-test and independent t-test were used to test hypotheses. Intervention had significant effect on the SRBs among LDTDs at post-test (t{7}= 6.01, p<.01) and at follow up (t{7} = 6.42, p<.01). No significant difference in sexual risk behaviour of LDTDs at post-test and at follow-up stage. Similarly, intervention had significant effects on sexual risk behaviour at post-test (t {14} = - 4.69, p<.05) and at follow-up (t {14} = -9.56, p<.05) respectively. At post-test and follow-up stages, drivers in experimental group reported reduced SRBs than those in control group. Drivers in experimental group reported lower sexual risk behaviour a week after intervention as well as at three months follow-up than those in control group. It is concluded that HIV/AIDS preventive intervention that provides the necessary informational and behavioural skills content can significantly impact long distance truck drivers’ sexual risk behaviours.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS interventions, Long distance truck drivers, Nigeria, Sexual risk behaviours.

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8 CBIR Using Multi-Resolution Transform for Brain Tumour Detection and Stages Identification

Authors: H. Benjamin Fredrick David, R. Balasubramanian, A. Anbarasa Pandian

Abstract:

Image retrieval is the most interesting technique which is being used today in our digital world. CBIR, commonly expanded as Content Based Image Retrieval is an image processing technique which identifies the relevant images and retrieves them based on the patterns that are extracted from the digital images. In this paper, two research works have been presented using CBIR. The first work provides an automated and interactive approach to the analysis of CBIR techniques. CBIR works on the principle of supervised machine learning which involves feature selection followed by training and testing phase applied on a classifier in order to perform prediction. By using feature extraction, the image transforms such as Contourlet, Ridgelet and Shearlet could be utilized to retrieve the texture features from the images. The features extracted are used to train and build a classifier using the classification algorithms such as Naïve Bayes, K-Nearest Neighbour and Multi-class Support Vector Machine. Further the testing phase involves prediction which predicts the new input image using the trained classifier and label them from one of the four classes namely 1- Normal brain, 2- Benign tumour, 3- Malignant tumour and 4- Severe tumour. The second research work includes developing a tool which is used for tumour stage identification using the best feature extraction and classifier identified from the first work. Finally, the tool will be used to predict tumour stage and provide suggestions based on the stage of tumour identified by the system. This paper presents these two approaches which is a contribution to the medical field for giving better retrieval performance and for tumour stages identification.

Keywords: Brain tumour detection, content based image retrieval, classification of tumours, image retrieval.

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