Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Craig M. Allen

21 Market Acceptance of a Murabaha-Based Finance Structure within a Social Network of Non-Islamic Small and Medium Enterprise Owners in African Procurement

Authors: Craig M. Allen

Abstract:

Twenty two African entrepreneurs with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in a single social network centered around a non-Muslim population in a smaller African country, selected an Islamic financing structure, a form of Murabaha, based solely on market rationale. These entrepreneurs had all won procurement contracts from major purchasers of goods within their country and faced difficulty arranging traditional bank financing to support their supply-chain needs. The Murabaha-based structure satisfied their market-driven demand and provided an attractive alternative to the traditional bank-offered lending products. The Murabaha-styled trade-financing structure was not promoted with any religious implications, but solely as a market solution to the existing problems associated with bank-related financing. This indicates the strong market forces that draw SMEs to financing structures that are traditionally considered within the framework of Islamic finance.

Keywords: Africa, entrepreneurs, Islamic finance, market acceptance, Murabaha, SMEs.

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20 Instability of Soliton Solutions to the Schamel-nonlinear Schrödinger Equation

Authors: Sarun Phibanchon, Michael A. Allen

Abstract:

A variational method is used to obtain the growth rate of a transverse long-wavelength perturbation applied to the soliton solution of a nonlinear Schr¨odinger equation with a three-half order potential. We demonstrate numerically that this unstable perturbed soliton will eventually transform into a cylindrical soliton.

Keywords: Soliton, instability, variational method, spectral method.

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19 Development of Fen4/C And Fen2/C Catalysts for Hydrodesulfurization and Hydrodearomitization of Model Compounds of Heavy Oil

Authors: Chaojie Song, Lianhui Ding, Craig Fairbridge, Hansan Liu, Rob Hui, Jiujun Zhang

Abstract:

Two novel hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalysts: FeN4/C and FeN2/C, were prepared using an impregnation-pyrolysis method. The two materials were investigated as catalysts for hydrodesulfurization (HDS) and hydrodearomitization (HDA) of model compounds. The turnover frequency of the two FeN catalysts is comparable to (FeN4/C) or even higher (FeN2/C) than that of MoNi/Al2O3. The FeN4/C catalyst also exhibited catalytic activity toward HDA.

Keywords: catalyst, FeN2/C, FeN4/C, HDS, HDA

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18 The Variation of Software Development Productivity 1995-2005

Authors: Zhizhong Jiang, Peter Naudé, Craig Comstock

Abstract:

Software development has experienced remarkable progress in the past decade. However, due to the rising complexity and magnitude of the project the development productivity has not been consistently improved. By analyzing the latest ISBSG data repository with 4106 projects, we discovered that software development productivity has actually undergone irregular variations between the years 1995 and 2005. Considering the factors significant to the productivity, we found its variations are primarily caused by the variations of average team size and the unbalanced uses of the less productive language 3GL.

Keywords: Productivity, Programming Languages, SoftwareEngineering, Team Size.

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17 Strategic Software Development: Productivity Comparisons of General Development Programs

Authors: Craig Comstock, Zhizhong Jiang, Peter Naudé

Abstract:

Productivity has been one of the major concerns with the increasingly high cost of software development. Choosing the right development language with high productivity is one approach to reduce development costs. Working on the large database with 4106 projects ever developed, we found the factors significant to productivity. After the removal of the effects of other factors on productivity, we compare the productivity differences of the ten general development programs. The study supports the fact that fourth-generation languages are more productive than thirdgeneration languages.

Keywords: Functional point, language, productivity, software engineering.

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16 The Factors Significant to Software Development Productivity

Authors: Zhizhong Jiang, Craig Comstock

Abstract:

The past decade has seen enormous growth in the amount of software produced. However, given the ever increasing complexity of the software being developed and the concomitant rise in the typical project size, managers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of issues that influence the productivity levels of the project teams involved. By analyzing the latest release of ISBSG data repository, we report on the factors found to significantly influence the productivity among which average team size and language type are the two most essential ones. Building on this we present an original model for evaluating the potential productivity during the project planning stage.

Keywords: ISBSG, Linear Model, Productivity, SoftwareEngineering.

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15 The Global Crisis, Remittance Transfers, and Livelihoods of the Poor

Authors: Craig Loschmann

Abstract:

With the global financial crisis turning into what more and more appears to be a prolonged “Great Recession", we are witnessing marked reductions in remittance transfers to developing countries with the likely possibility that overall flows will decline even further in the near future. With countless families reliant on remittance inflows as a source of income maintaining their economic livelihood, a reduction would put many at risk of falling below or deeper into poverty. Recognizing the importance of remittance inflows as a lifeline to the poor, policy should aim to (1) reduce the barriers to remit in both sending and receiving nations thus easing the decline in transfers; (2) leverage the development impacts of remittances; and (3) buffer vulnerable groups dependent on remittance transfers as a source of livelihood through sound countercyclical macroeconomic policies.

Keywords: crisis, migration, remittance, livelihood.

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14 An Investigation on the Variation of Software Development Productivity

Authors: Zhizhong Jiang, Peter Naudé, Craig Comstock

Abstract:

The productivity of software development is one of the major concerns for project managers. Given the increasing complexity of the software being developed and the concomitant rise in the typical project size, the productivity has not consistently improved. By analyzing the latest release of ISBSG data repository with 4106 projects ever developed, we report on the factors found to significantly influence productivity, and present an original model for the estimation of productivity during project design. We further illustrate that software development productivity has experienced irregular variations between the years 1995 and 2005. Considering the factors significant to productivity, we found its variations are primarily caused by the variations of average team size for the development and the unbalanced use of the less productive development language 3GL.

Keywords: Development Platform, Function Point, Language, Productivity, Software Engineering, Team Size.

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13 Effects of Reversible Watermarking on Iris Recognition Performance

Authors: Andrew Lock, Alastair Allen

Abstract:

Fragile watermarking has been proposed as a means of adding additional security or functionality to biometric systems, particularly for authentication and tamper detection. In this paper we describe an experimental study on the effect of watermarking iris images with a particular class of fragile algorithm, reversible algorithms, and the ability to correctly perform iris recognition. We investigate two scenarios, matching watermarked images to unmodified images, and matching watermarked images to watermarked images. We show that different watermarking schemes give very different results for a given capacity, highlighting the importance ofinvestigation. At high embedding rates most algorithms cause significant reduction in recognition performance. However, in many cases, for low embedding rates, recognition accuracy is improved by the watermarking process.

Keywords: Biometrics, iris recognition, reversible watermarking.

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12 Echo State Networks for Arabic Phoneme Recognition

Authors: Nadia Hmad, Tony Allen

Abstract:

This paper presents an ESN-based Arabic phoneme recognition system trained with supervised, forced and combined supervised/forced supervised learning algorithms. Mel-Frequency Cepstrum Coefficients (MFCCs) and Linear Predictive Code (LPC) techniques are used and compared as the input feature extraction technique. The system is evaluated using 6 speakers from the King Abdulaziz Arabic Phonetics Database (KAPD) for Saudi Arabia dialectic and 34 speakers from the Center for Spoken Language Understanding (CSLU2002) database of speakers with different dialectics from 12 Arabic countries. Results for the KAPD and CSLU2002 Arabic databases show phoneme recognition performances of 72.31% and 38.20% respectively.

Keywords: Arabic phonemes recognition, echo state networks (ESNs), neural networks (NNs), supervised learning.

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11 Organizational Commitment of Anadolu University Open Education Faculty Students

Authors: Emine Demiray, Şensu Curabay

Abstract:

Distance education program is a dimension of contemporary and new education technologies. Concepts and applications in this field are the results of a series of educational demands and developments in various communication and education technologies. Distance education applications have some conceptual bases. These are creating new education opportunities, realizing work-education unity, getting democratic in education, lifelong education, tendency to individual matters, effective use of institutions, integration of technology and education, tendency to individual and social needs, taking three dimensional integration as the main principle (publishing, printed materials and face to face education), reaching maximum mass, individual and mass education integrity and education demand and financial matters balance. Economics, Business Administration and Open Education faculties, which have been giving education within Anadolu University since 1982 in Turkey, are carrying on education with nearly 1.000.000 students. The aim of this study is to determine organizational commitment levels of students who have been studying at Anadolu University Economics, Business Administration and Open Education faculties in the scope of affective, continuance and nominative commitment in Allen&Meyer model. In the study, organizational commitment of the Economics, Business Administration and Open Education faculty students, who are receiving education by means of distance education, to their faculties is dealt after introducing Anadolu University Distance Education system which gives higher education via distance education method in Turkey. In order to increase the success level of faculties it is required for students to have high level of organizational commitment to their faculties. A questionnaire has been applied by using “Organizational Commitment Scale", developed by Meyer&Allen to determine organizational commitments of Economics, Business Administration and Open Education students. Organizational commitment is dealt with as affective, continuance and nominative commitment. The questionnaire was applied face to face to randomly chosen 500 students living in Eskişehir and the data was downloaded to the computer by using SPSS program and the results were analyzed in terms of demographic features (gender, age, marital status, years of study, work and income level) of students by using frequency test, ttest and ANOVA test. As a result of these analyses, when the comments of Open Education Faculty students on levels of affective, continuance and nominative commitment to their faculties were examined, it has been revealed that continuance commitment level has the highest rate. Among the female participants; continuance commitment is high in the age range of 30-40, for normative commitment it is 17-22. However no dominant age range was defined for affective commitment. Regarding the marital status; continuance commitment average is higher among married participants; but nominative affective commitment average is higher among single participants. As to the years of study, affective and continuance commitment is higher among senior students while normative commitment is higher among junior students. Moreover; in terms of continuance, affective and normative commitment, those who do not work and have low income have higher level of all there commitment types than those who work and have relatively high income.

Keywords: Open education, Organizational commitment, Distance education.

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10 The Effect of Closed Circuit Television Image Patch Layout on Performance of a Simulated Train-Platform Departure Task

Authors: Aaron J. Small, Craig A. Fletcher

Abstract:

This study investigates the effect of closed circuit television (CCTV) image patch layout on performance of a simulated train-platform departure task. The within-subjects experimental design measures target detection rate and response latency during a CCTV visual search task conducted as part of the procedure for safe train dispatch. Three interface designs were developed by manipulating CCTV image patch layout. Eye movements, perceived workload and system usability were measured across experimental conditions. Task performance was compared to identify significant differences between conditions. The results of this study have not been determined.

Keywords: Rail human factors, workload, closed circuit television, platform departure, attention, information processing, interface design.

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9 Indoor Localization Algorithm and Appropriate Implementation Using Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors: Adeniran Ademuwagun, Alastair Allen

Abstract:

The relationship dependence between RSS and distance in an enclosed environment is an important consideration because it is a factor that can influence the reliability of any localization algorithm founded on RSS. Several algorithms effectively reduce the variance of RSS to improve localization or accuracy performance. Our proposed algorithm essentially avoids this pitfall and consequently, its high adaptability in the face of erratic radio signal. Using 3 anchors in close proximity of each other, we are able to establish that RSS can be used as reliable indicator for localization with an acceptable degree of accuracy. Inherent in this concept, is the ability for each prospective anchor to validate (guarantee) the position or the proximity of the other 2 anchors involved in the localization and vice versa. This procedure ensures that the uncertainties of radio signals due to multipath effects in enclosed environments are minimized. A major driver of this idea is the implicit topological relationship among sensors due to raw radio signal strength. The algorithm is an area based algorithm; however, it does not trade accuracy for precision (i.e the size of the returned area).

Keywords: Anchor nodes, centroid algorithm, communication graph, received signal strength (RSS).

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8 Enhanced Method of Conceptual Sizing of Aircraft Electro-Thermal De-icing System

Authors: Ahmed Shinkafi, Craig Lawson

Abstract:

There is a great advancement towards the All-Electric Aircraft (AEA) technology. The AEA concept assumes that all aircraft systems will be integrated into one electrical power source in the future. The principle of the electro-thermal system is to transfer the energy required for anti/de-icing to the protected areas in electrical form. However, powering a large aircraft anti-icing system electrically could be quite excessive in cost and system weight. Hence, maximising the anti/de-icing efficiency of the electro-thermal system in order to minimise its power demand has become crucial to electro-thermal de-icing system sizing. In this work, an enhanced methodology has been developed for conceptual sizing of aircraft electro-thermal de-icing System. The work factored those critical terms overlooked in previous studies which were critical to de-icing energy consumption. A case study of a typical large aircraft wing de-icing was used to test and validate the model. The model was used to optimise the system performance by a trade-off between the de-icing peak power and system energy consumption. The optimum melting surface temperatures and energy flux predicted enabled the reduction in the power required for de-icing. The weight penalty associated with electro-thermal anti-icing/de-icing method could be eliminated using this method without under estimating the de-icing power requirement.

Keywords: Aircraft de-icing system, electro-thermal, in-flight icing.

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7 Multivariate Analytical Insights into Spatial and Temporal Variation in Water Quality of a Major Drinking Water Reservoir

Authors: Azadeh Golshan, Craig Evans, Phillip Geary, Abigail Morrow, Zoe Rogers, Marcel Maeder

Abstract:

22 physicochemical variables have been determined in water samples collected weekly from January to December in 2013 from three sampling stations located within a major drinking water reservoir. Classical Multivariate Curve Resolution Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) analysis was used to investigate the environmental factors associated with the physico-chemical variability of the water samples at each of the sampling stations. Matrix augmentation MCR-ALS (MA-MCR-ALS) was also applied, and the two sets of results were compared for interpretative clarity. Links between these factors, reservoir inflows and catchment land-uses were investigated and interpreted in relation to chemical composition of the water and their resolved geographical distribution profiles. The results suggested that the major factors affecting reservoir water quality were those associated with agricultural runoff, with evidence of influence on algal photosynthesis within the water column. Water quality variability within the reservoir was also found to be strongly linked to physical parameters such as water temperature and the occurrence of thermal stratification. The two methods applied (MCR-ALS and MA-MCR-ALS) led to similar conclusions; however, MA-MCR-ALS appeared to provide results more amenable to interpretation of temporal and geological variation than those obtained through classical MCR-ALS.

Keywords: Catchment management, drinking water reservoir, multivariate curve resolution alternating least squares, thermal stratification, water quality.

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6 GIS-Based Spatial Distribution and Evaluation of Selected Heavy Metals Contamination in Topsoil around Ecton Mining Area, Derbyshire, UK

Authors: Zahid O. Alibrahim, Craig D. Williams, Clive L. Roberts

Abstract:

The study area (Ecton mining area) is located in the southern part of the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. It is bounded by the River Manifold from the west. This area has been mined for a long period. As a result, huge amounts of potentially toxic metals were released into the surrounding area and are most likely to be a significant source of heavy metal contamination to the local soil, water and vegetation. In order to appraise the potential heavy metal pollution in this area, 37 topsoil samples (5-20 cm depth) were collected and analysed for their total content of Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, Cr, Ni and V using ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) optical emission spectroscopy. Multivariate Geospatial analyses using the GIS technique were utilised to draw geochemical maps of the metals of interest over the study area. A few hotspot points, areas of elevated concentrations of metals, were specified, which are presumed to be the results of anthropogenic activities. In addition, the soil’s environmental quality was evaluated by calculating the Mullers’ Geoaccumulation index (I geo), which suggests that the degree of contamination of the investigated heavy metals has the following trend: Pb > Zn > Cu > Mn > Ni = Cr = V. Furthermore, the potential ecological risk, using the enrichment factor (EF), was also specified. On the basis of the calculated amount or the EF, the levels of pollution for the studied metals in the study area have the following order: Pb>Zn>Cu>Cr>V>Ni>Mn.

Keywords: Heavy metals, GIS, multivariate analysis, geoaccumulation index, enrichment factor.

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5 Flood Modeling in Urban Area Using a Well-Balanced Discontinuous Galerkin Scheme on Unstructured Triangular Grids

Authors: Rabih Ghostine, Craig Kapfer, Viswanathan Kannan, Ibrahim Hoteit

Abstract:

Urban flooding resulting from a sudden release of water due to dam-break or excessive rainfall is a serious threatening environment hazard, which causes loss of human life and large economic losses. Anticipating floods before they occur could minimize human and economic losses through the implementation of appropriate protection, provision, and rescue plans. This work reports on the numerical modelling of flash flood propagation in urban areas after an excessive rainfall event or dam-break. A two-dimensional (2D) depth-averaged shallow water model is used with a refined unstructured grid of triangles for representing the urban area topography. The 2D shallow water equations are solved using a second-order well-balanced discontinuous Galerkin scheme. Theoretical test case and three flood events are described to demonstrate the potential benefits of the scheme: (i) wetting and drying in a parabolic basin (ii) flash flood over a physical model of the urbanized Toce River valley in Italy; (iii) wave propagation on the Reyran river valley in consequence of the Malpasset dam-break in 1959 (France); and (iv) dam-break flood in October 1982 at the town of Sumacarcel (Spain). The capability of the scheme is also verified against alternative models. Computational results compare well with recorded data and show that the scheme is at least as efficient as comparable second-order finite volume schemes, with notable efficiency speedup due to parallelization.

Keywords: Flood modeling, dam-break, shallow water equations, Discontinuous Galerkin scheme, MUSCL scheme.

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4 Understanding Grip Choice and Comfort Whilst Hoovering

Authors: S.R.Kamat, A.Yoxall, C.Craig , M.J.Carré, J.Rowson

Abstract:

The hand is one of the essential parts of the body for carrying out Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Individuals use their hands and fingers in everyday activities in the both the workplace and home. Hand-intensive tasks require diverse and sometimes extreme levels of exertion, depending on the action, movement or manipulation involved. The authors have undertaken several studies looking at grip choice and comfort. It is hoped that in providing improved understanding of discomfort during ADLs this will aid in the design of consumer products. Previous work by the authors outlined a methodology for calculating pain frequency and pain level for a range of tasks. From an online survey undertaken by the authors with regards manipulating objects during everyday tasks, tasks involving gripping were seen to produce the highest levels of pain and discomfort. Questioning of the participants showed that cleaning tasks were seen to be ADL's that produced the highest levels of discomfort, with women feeling higher levels of discomfort than men. This paper looks at the methodology for calculating pain frequency and pain level with particular regards to gripping activities. This methodology shows that activities such as mopping, sweeping and hoovering shows the highest numbers of pain frequency and pain level at 3112.5 frequency per month while the pain level per person doing this action was 0.78.The study then uses thin-film force sensors to analyze the force distribution in the hand whilst hoovering and compares this for differing grip styles and genders. Women were seen to have more of their hand under a higher pressure than men when undertaking hoovering. This suggests that women may feel greater discomfort than men since their hand is at a higher pressure more of the time.

Keywords: hovering, grip, pain

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3 Methane versus Carbon Dioxide: Mitigation Prospects

Authors: Alexander J. Severinsky, Allen L. Sessoms

Abstract:

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has dominated the discussion around the causes of climate change. This is a reflection of a 100-year time horizon for all greenhouse gases that became a norm.  The 100-year time horizon is much too long – and yet, almost all mitigation efforts, including those set in the near-term frame of within 30 years, are still geared toward it. In this paper, we show that for a 30-year time horizon, methane (CH4) is the greenhouse gas whose radiative forcing exceeds that of CO2. In our analysis, we use the radiative forcing of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, because they directly affect the rise in temperature on Earth. We found that in 2019, the radiative forcing (RF) of methane was ~2.5 W/m2 and that of carbon dioxide was ~2.1 W/m2. Under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario until 2050, such forcing would be ~2.8 W/m2 and ~3.1 W/m2 respectively. There is a substantial spread in the data for anthropogenic and natural methane (CH4) emissions, along with natural gas, (which is primarily CH4), leakages from industrial production to consumption. For this reason, we estimate the minimum and maximum effects of a reduction of these leakages, and assume an effective immediate reduction by 80%. Such action may serve to reduce the annual radiative forcing of all CH4 emissions by ~15% to ~30%. This translates into a reduction of RF by 2050 from ~2.8 W/m2 to ~2.5 W/m2 in the case of the minimum effect that can be expected, and to ~2.15 W/m2 in the case of the maximum effort to reduce methane leakages. Under the BAU, we find that the RF of CO2 will increase from ~2.1 W/m2 now to ~3.1 W/m2 by 2050. We assume a linear reduction of 50% in anthropogenic emission over the course of the next 30 years, which would reduce the radiative forcing of CO2 from ~3.1 W/m2 to ~2.9 W/m2. In the case of "net zero," the other 50% of only anthropogenic CO2 emissions reduction would be limited to being either from sources of emissions or directly from the atmosphere. In this instance, the total reduction would be from ~3.1 W/m2 to ~2.7 W/m2, or ~0.4 W/m2. To achieve the same radiative forcing as in the scenario of maximum reduction of methane leakages of ~2.15 W/m2, an additional reduction of radiative forcing of CO2 would be approximately 2.7 -2.15 = 0.55 W/m2. In total, one would need to remove ~660 GT of CO2 from the atmosphere in order to match the maximum reduction of current methane leakages, and ~270 GT of CO2 from emitting sources, to reach "negative emissions". This amounts to over 900 GT of CO2.

Keywords: Methane Leakages, Methane Radiative Forcing, Methane Mitigation, Methane Net Zero.

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2 Assessing the Theoretical Suitability of Sentinel-2 and WorldView-3 Data for Hydrocarbon Mapping of Spill Events, Using HYSS

Authors: K. Tunde Olagunju, C. Scott Allen, F.D. (Freek) van der Meer

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Identification of hydrocarbon oil in remote sensing images is often the first step in monitoring oil during spill events. Most remote sensing methods adopt techniques for hydrocarbon identification to achieve detection in order to model an appropriate cleanup program. Identification on optical sensors does not only allow for detection but also for characterization and quantification. Until recently, in optical remote sensing, quantification and characterization were only potentially possible using high-resolution laboratory and airborne imaging spectrometers (hyperspectral data). Unlike multispectral, hyperspectral data are not freely available, as this data category is mainly obtained via airborne survey at present. In this research, two operational high-resolution multispectral satellites (WorldView-3 and Sentinel-2) are theoretically assessed for their suitability for hydrocarbon characterization, using the Hydrocarbon Spectra Slope model (HYSS). This method utilized the two most persistent hydrocarbon diagnostic/absorption features at 1.73 µm and 2.30 µm for hydrocarbon mapping on multispectral data. In this research, spectra measurement of seven different hydrocarbon oils (crude and refined oil) taken on 10 different substrates with the use of laboratory ASD Fieldspec were convolved to Sentinel-2 and WorldView-3 resolution, using their full width half maximum (FWHM) parameter. The resulting hydrocarbon slope values obtained from the studied samples enable clear qualitative discrimination of most hydrocarbons, despite the presence of different background substrates, particularly on WorldView-3. Due to close conformity of central wavelengths and narrow bandwidths to key hydrocarbon bands used in HYSS, the statistical significance for qualitative analysis on WorldView-3 sensors for all studied hydrocarbon oil returned with 95% confidence level (P-value ˂ 0.01), except for Diesel. Using multifactor analysis of variance (MANOVA), the discriminating power of HYSS is statistically significant for most hydrocarbon-substrate combinations on Sentinel-2 and WorldView-3 FWHM, revealing the potential of these two operational multispectral sensors as rapid response tools for hydrocarbon mapping. One notable exception is highly transmissive hydrocarbons on Sentinel-2 data due to the non-conformity of spectral bands with key hydrocarbon absorptions and the relatively coarse bandwidth (> 100 nm).

Keywords: hydrocarbon, oil spill, remote sensing, hyperspectral, multispectral, hydrocarbon – substrate combination, Sentinel-2, WorldView-3

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1 A Study on the Relation among Primary Care Professionals Serving the Disadvantaged Community, Socioeconomic Status, and Adverse Health Outcome

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, Juanita Buford, Colette Davis, Raisha Allen, John Hughes, Jr., James Tyus, Dexter Samuels

Abstract:

During the post-Civil War era, the city of Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest mortality rate in the United States. The elevated death and disease rates among former slaves were attributable to lack of quality healthcare. To address the paucity of healthcare services, Meharry Medical College, an institution with the mission of educating minority professionals and serving the underserved population, was established in 1876. Purpose: The social ecological framework and partial least squares (PLS) path modeling were used to quantify the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Thus, the study results could demonstrate the accomplishment of the College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas. Methods: Various statistical methods were used to analyze alumni data from 1975 – 2013. K-means cluster analysis was utilized to identify individual medical and dental graduates in the cluster groups of the practice communities (Disadvantaged or Non-disadvantaged Communities). Discriminant analysis was implemented to verify the classification accuracy of cluster analysis. The independent t-test was performed to detect the significant mean differences of respective clustering and criterion variables. Chi-square test was used to test if the proportions of primary care and non-primary care specialists are consistent with those of medical and dental graduates practicing in the designated community clusters. Finally, the PLS path model was constructed to explore the construct validity of analytic model by providing the magnitude effects of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Results: Approximately 83% (3,192/3,864) of Meharry Medical College’s medical and dental graduates from 1975 to 2013 were practicing in disadvantaged communities. Independent t-test confirmed the content validity of the cluster analysis model. Also, the PLS path modeling demonstrated that alumni served as primary care professionals in communities with significantly lower socioeconomic status and higher adverse health outcome (p < .001). The PLS path modeling exhibited the meaningful interrelation between primary care professionals practicing communities and surrounding environments (socioeconomic statues and adverse health outcome), which yielded model reliability, validity, and applicability. Conclusion: This study applied social ecological theory and analytic modeling approaches to assess the attainment of Meharry Medical College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas, particularly in communities with low socioeconomic status and high rates of adverse health outcomes. In summary, the majority of medical and dental graduates from Meharry Medical College provided primary care services to disadvantaged communities with low socioeconomic status and high adverse health outcome, which demonstrated that Meharry Medical College has fulfilled its mission. The high reliability, validity, and applicability of this model imply that it could be replicated for comparable universities and colleges elsewhere.

Keywords: Disadvantaged Community, K-means Cluster Analysis, PLS Path Modeling, Primary care.

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