Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 33

Search results for: Cristina Sanchez-Sanchez

33 Enhancing the Quality of Learning by Using an Innovative Approach for Teaching Energy in Secondary Schools

Authors: Adriana Alexandru, Ovidiu Bica, Eleonora Tudora, Cristina Simona Alecu, Cristina-Adriana Alexandru, Ioan Covalcic

Abstract:

This paper presents the results of the authors in designing, experimenting, assessing and transferring an innovative approach to energy education in secondary schools, aimed to enhance the quality of learning in terms of didactic curricula and pedagogic methods. The training is online delivered to youngsters via e-Books and portals specially designed for this purpose or by learning by doing via interactive games. An online educational methodology is available teachers.

Keywords: Education, eLearning, Energy Efficiency, InternetMethodology, Renewable Energy Sources.

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32 Ecosystem Model for Environmental Applications

Authors: Cristina Schreiner, Romeo Ciobanu, Marius Pislaru

Abstract:

This paper aims to build a system based on fuzzy models that can be implemented in the assessment of ecological systems, to determine appropriate methods of action for reducing adverse effects on environmental and implicit the population. The model proposed provides new perspective for environmental assessment, and it can be used as a practical instrument for decision –making.

Keywords: Ecosystem model, Environmental security, Fuzzy logic, Sustainability of habitable regions.

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31 A Multimodal Approach for Biometric Authentication with Multiple Classifiers

Authors: Sorin Soviany, Cristina Soviany, Mariana Jurian

Abstract:

The paper presents a multimodal approach for biometric authentication, based on multiple classifiers. The proposed solution uses a post-classification biometric fusion method in which the biometric data classifiers outputs are combined in order to improve the overall biometric system performance by decreasing the classification error rates. The paper shows also the biometric recognition task improvement by means of a carefully feature selection, as much as not all of the feature vectors components support the accuracy improvement.

Keywords: biometric fusion, multiple classifiers

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30 Molecular Docking on Recomposed versus Crystallographic Structures of Zn-Dependent Enzymes and their Natural Inhibitors

Authors: Tudor Petreuş, Andrei Neamţu, Cristina Dascălu, Paul Dan Sîrbu, Carmen E. Cotrutz

Abstract:

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are a class of structural and functional related enzymes involved in altering the natural elements of the extracellular matrix. Most of the MMP structures are cristalographycally determined and published in WorldWide ProteinDataBank, isolated, in full structure or bound to natural or synthetic inhibitors. This study proposes an algorithm to replace missing crystallographic structures in PDB database. We have compared the results of a chosen docking algorithm with a known crystallographic structure in order to validate enzyme sites reconstruction there where crystallographic data are missing.

Keywords: matrix metalloproteinases, molecular docking, structure superposition, surface complementarity.

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29 3D Dynamic Representation System for the Human Head

Authors: Laurenţiu Militeanu, Cristina Gena Dascâlu, D. Cristea

Abstract:

The human head representations usually are based on the morphological – structural components of a real model. Over the time became more and more necessary to achieve full virtual models that comply very rigorous with the specifications of the human anatomy. Still, making and using a model perfectly fitted with the real anatomy is a difficult task, because it requires large hardware resources and significant times for processing. That is why it is necessary to choose the best compromise solution, which keeps the right balance between the details perfection and the resources consumption, in order to obtain facial animations with real-time rendering. We will present here the way in which we achieved such a 3D system that we intend to use as a base point in order to create facial animations with real-time rendering, used in medicine to find and to identify different types of pathologies.

Keywords: 3D models, virtual reality.

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28 Fractional Order Controller Design for Vibration Attenuation in an Airplane Wing

Authors: Birs Isabela, Muresan Cristina, Folea Silviu, Prodan Ovidiu

Abstract:

The wing is one of the most important parts of an airplane because it ensures stability, sustenance and maneuverability of the airplane. Because of its shape, the airplane wing can be simplified to a smart beam. Active vibration suppression is realized using piezoelectric actuators that are mounted on the surface of the beam. This work presents a tuning procedure of fractional order controllers based on a graphical approach of the frequency domain representation. The efficacy of the method is proven by practically testing the controller on a laboratory scale experimental stand.

Keywords: Fractional order controller, piezoelectric actuators, smart beam, vibration suppression.

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27 Contribution for Rural Development through Training in Organic Farming

Authors: Raquel P. F. Guiné, Daniela V. T. A. Costa, Paula M. R. Correia, Moisés Castro, Luis T. Guerra, Cristina A. Costa

Abstract:

The aim of this work was to characterize a potential target group of people interested in participating into a training program in organic farming in the context of mobile-learning. The information sought addressed in particular, but not exclusively, possible contents, formats and forms of evaluation that will contribute to define the course objectives and curriculum, as well as to ensure that the course meets the needs of the learners and their preferences. The sample was selected among different European countries. The questionnaires were delivered electronically for answering on-line and in the end 135 consented valid questionnaires were obtained. The results allowed characterizing the target group and identifying their training needs and preferences towards m-learning formats, giving valuable tools to design the training offer.

Keywords: Mobile-learning, organic farming, rural development, survey.

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26 Assessing the Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Nanoparticles by Fluorescence-Labeling

Authors: Laidson P. Gomes, Cristina T. Andrade, Eduardo M. Del Aguila, Cameron Alexander, Vânia M. F. Paschoalin

Abstract:

Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide prepared by the N-deacetylation of chitin. In this study, the physicochemical and antibacterial properties of chitosan nanoparticles, produced by ultrasound irradiation, were evaluated. The physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles were determined by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analysis. Chitosan nanoparticles inhibited the growth of E. coli. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were lower than 0.5 mg/mL, and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were similar or higher than MIC values. Confocal laser scanning micrographs (CLSM) were used to observe the interaction between E. coli suspensions mixed with FITC-labeled chitosan polymers and nanoparticles.

Keywords: Chitosan nanoparticles, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, confocal microscopy, antibacterial activity.

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25 Model Discovery and Validation for the Qsar Problem using Association Rule Mining

Authors: Luminita Dumitriu, Cristina Segal, Marian Craciun, Adina Cocu, Lucian P. Georgescu

Abstract:

There are several approaches in trying to solve the Quantitative 1Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) problem. These approaches are based either on statistical methods or on predictive data mining. Among the statistical methods, one should consider regression analysis, pattern recognition (such as cluster analysis, factor analysis and principal components analysis) or partial least squares. Predictive data mining techniques use either neural networks, or genetic programming, or neuro-fuzzy knowledge. These approaches have a low explanatory capability or non at all. This paper attempts to establish a new approach in solving QSAR problems using descriptive data mining. This way, the relationship between the chemical properties and the activity of a substance would be comprehensibly modeled.

Keywords: association rules, classification, data mining, Quantitative Structure - Activity Relationship.

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24 Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Rapeseed Oil and Biodiesel from Winter Rape Produced in Romania

Authors: Raluca-Cristina Buţurcă, CarlesM.Gasol, Xavier Gabarrell, Dan Scarpete

Abstract:

The environmental performance of rapeseed oil (RO) and rapeseed methyl ester(RME) from winter rape as fuels produced in Romanian agroclimate is analyzed in this paper. The proposed methodology is life cycle assessment (LCA) and takes into consideration the influence of grain production and agroclimatic conditions. This study shows favorable results first for RO and then for RME. When compared to diesel fuel, both studied biofuels show better results in the following impact categories: Abiotic depletion potential (ADP), Ozone layer depletion (ODP) and Photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP).Furthermore, the environmental performance of the two biofuels studied can be improved by changing the type of fertilizer used and also by using biofuels instead of diesel in the field works.

Keywords: Biodiesel, life cycle assessment, rapeseed oil.

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23 Ageing Assessment of Insulation Systems by Absorption/Resorption Currents

Authors: Petru V. Notingher, Stefan Busoi, Laurentiu M. Dumitran, Cristina Stancu, Gabriel Tanasescu, Emanuel Balescu

Abstract:

Degradation of polymeric insulation systems of electrical equipments increases the space charge density and the concentration of electrical dipoles. By consequence, the maximum values and the slopes of absorption/resorption (A/R) currents can change with insulation systems ageing. In this paper, an analysis of the nature of the A/R currents and the importance of their components, especially the polarization current and the current given by the space charge, is presented. The experimental study concerns the A/R currents measurements of plane samples (made from CALMICAGLAS tapes), virgin and thermally accelerated aged. The obtained results show that the ageing process produces an increase of the values and a decrease of shapes of the A/R currents. Finally, the possibility of estimating insulations ageing state and lifetime from A/R currents measurements is discussed.

Keywords: Insulation Systems, Absorption/Resorption Currents, Ageing, Lifetime.

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22 Therapeutic Product Preparation Bioprocess Modeling

Authors: Mihai Caramihai, Irina Severin, Ana Aurelia Chirvase, Adrian Onu, Cristina Tanase, Camelia Ungureanu

Abstract:

An immunomodulator bioproduct is prepared in a batch bioprocess with a modified bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The bioprocess is performed in 100 L Bioengineering bioreactor with 42 L cultivation medium made of peptone, meat extract and sodium chloride. The optimal bioprocess parameters were determined: temperature – 37 0C, agitation speed - 300 rpm, aeration rate – 40 L/min, pressure – 0.5 bar, Dow Corning Antifoam M-max. 4 % of the medium volume, duration - 6 hours. This kind of bioprocesses are appreciated as difficult to control because their dynamic behavior is highly nonlinear and time varying. The aim of the paper is to present (by comparison) different models based on experimental data. The analysis criteria were modeling error and convergence rate. The estimated values and the modeling analysis were done by using the Table Curve 2D. The preliminary conclusions indicate Andrews-s model with a maximum specific growth rate of the bacterium in the range of 0.8 h-1.

Keywords: bioprocess modeling, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, kinetic models,

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21 Tax Morale Dimensions Analysis in Portugal and Spain

Authors: Cristina Sá, Carlos Gomes, António Martins

Abstract:

The reasons that explain different behaviors towards tax obligations in similar countries are not completely understood yet. The main purpose of this paper is to identify and compare the factors that influence tax morale levels in Portugal and Spain. We use data from European Values Study (EVS). Using a sample of 2,652 individuals, a factor analysis was used to extract the underlying dimensions of tax morale of Portuguese and Spanish taxpayers. Based on a factor analysis, the results of this paper show that sociological and behavioral factors, psychological factors and political factors are important for a good understanding of taxpayers’ behavior in Iberian Peninsula. This paper added value relies on the analyses of a wide range of variables and on the comparison between Portugal and Spain. Our conclusions provided insights that tax authorities and politicians can use to better focus their strategies and actions in order to increase compliance, reduce tax evasion, fight underground economy and increase country´s competitiveness.

Keywords: Compliance, tax morale, Portugal, Spain.

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20 Observations about the Principal Components Analysis and Data Clustering Techniques in the Study of Medical Data

Authors: Cristina G. Dascâlu, Corina Dima Cozma, Elena Carmen Cotrutz

Abstract:

The medical data statistical analysis often requires the using of some special techniques, because of the particularities of these data. The principal components analysis and the data clustering are two statistical methods for data mining very useful in the medical field, the first one as a method to decrease the number of studied parameters, and the second one as a method to analyze the connections between diagnosis and the data about the patient-s condition. In this paper we investigate the implications obtained from a specific data analysis technique: the data clustering preceded by a selection of the most relevant parameters, made using the principal components analysis. Our assumption was that, using the principal components analysis before data clustering - in order to select and to classify only the most relevant parameters – the accuracy of clustering is improved, but the practical results showed the opposite fact: the clustering accuracy decreases, with a percentage approximately equal with the percentage of information loss reported by the principal components analysis.

Keywords: Data clustering, medical data, principal components analysis.

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19 Deposit Guarantee Fund: One Perspective

Authors: Rute Abreu, Fátima David, Liliane Cristina Segura

Abstract:

The Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF) and its communication with the Society, in general, and with the deposit client of Financial Institutions, in particular, is discussed through the challenges of the accounting and financial report. The Bank of Portugal promotes the Portuguese Deposit Guarantee Fund (PDGF) as a financial institution that enhanced the market confidence and stability on the deposit-insurance system. Due to the nature of their functions, it must be subject to regulation and supervision that provides a first line of defense against adversely affect confidence on the Portuguese financial market. First, this research provides evidence of the effectiveness of the protection mechanisms on the deposit insurance system, which provides high and equal protection to all stakeholders. Second, it emphasizes the need of requirements of rigorous accounting process and effective financial report to reduce the moral hazard implications. Third, this research focuses on the need of total disclosure of the financial information which gives higher transparency and protection to deposit client of financial institutions.

Keywords: Deposit Guarantee Fund, Portugal, Accounting, Financial Report.

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18 Use and Relationship of Shell Nouns as Cohesive Devices in the Quality of Second Language Writing

Authors: Kristine D. de Leon, Junifer A. Abatayo, Jose Cristina M. Pariña

Abstract:

The current study is a comparative analysis of the use of shell nouns as a cohesive device (CD) in an English for Second Language (ESL) setting in order to identify their use and relationship in the quality of second language (L2) writing. As these nouns were established to anticipate the meaning within, across or outside the text, their use has fascinated writing researchers. The corpus of the study included published articles from reputable journals and graduate students’ papers in order to analyze the frequency of shell nouns using “highly prevalent” nouns in the academic community, to identify the different lexicogrammatical patterns where these nouns occur and to the functions connected with these patterns. The result of the study implies that published authors used more shell nouns in their paper than graduate students. However, the functions of the different lexicogrammatical patterns for the frequently occurring shell nouns are somewhat similar. These results could help students in enhancing the cohesion of their text and in comprehending it.

Keywords: Anaphoric-cataphoric, cohesive device, lexicogrammatical, shell nouns.

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17 Jointly Learning Python Programming and Analytic Geometry

Authors: Cristina-Maria Păcurar

Abstract:

The paper presents an original Python-based application that outlines the advantages of combining some elementary notions of mathematics with the study of a programming language. The application support refers to some of the first lessons of analytic geometry, meaning conics and quadrics and their reduction to a standard form, as well as some related notions. The chosen programming language is Python, not only for its closer to an everyday language syntax – and therefore, enhanced readability – but also for its highly reusable code, which is of utmost importance for a mathematician that is accustomed to exploit already known and used problems to solve new ones. The purpose of this paper is, on one hand, to support the idea that one of the most appropriate means to initiate one into programming is throughout mathematics, and reciprocal, one of the most facile and handy ways to assimilate some basic knowledge in the study of mathematics is to apply them in a personal project. On the other hand, besides being a mean of learning both programming and analytic geometry, the application subject to this paper is itself a useful tool for it can be seen as an independent original Python package for analytic geometry.

Keywords: Analytic geometry, conics, Python programming language, quadrics.

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16 Momentum Accounting in Public Management: A Case Study in a Brazilian Navy-s Services Provider Military Organization

Authors: Rodrigo Barreiros Leal, Aracéli Cristina de Sousa Ferreira

Abstract:

This study examines the possibility to apply the theory of multidimensional accounting (momentum accounting) in a Brazilian Navy-s Services Provider Military Organization (Organização Militar Prestadora de Serviços - OMPS). In general, the core of the said theory is the fact that Accounting does not recognize the inertia of transactions occurring in an entity, and that occur repeatedly in some cases, regardless of the implementation of new actions by its managers. The study evaluates the possibility of greater use of information recorded in the financial statements of the unit of analysis, within the strategic decisions of the organization. As a research strategy, we adopted the case study. The results infer that it is possible to use the theory in the context of a multidimensional OMPS, promoting useful information for decision-making and thereby contributing to the strengthening of the necessary alignment of its administration with the current desires of the Brazilian society.

Keywords: Multidimensional Accounting, Public Management, Decision Making.

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15 Methods for Data Selection in Medical Databases: The Binary Logistic Regression -Relations with the Calculated Risks

Authors: Cristina G. Dascalu, Elena Mihaela Carausu, Daniela Manuc

Abstract:

The medical studies often require different methods for parameters selection, as a second step of processing, after the database-s designing and filling with information. One common task is the selection of fields that act as risk factors using wellknown methods, in order to find the most relevant risk factors and to establish a possible hierarchy between them. Different methods are available in this purpose, one of the most known being the binary logistic regression. We will present the mathematical principles of this method and a practical example of using it in the analysis of the influence of 10 different psychiatric diagnostics over 4 different types of offences (in a database made from 289 psychiatric patients involved in different types of offences). Finally, we will make some observations about the relation between the risk factors hierarchy established through binary logistic regression and the individual risks, as well as the results of Chi-squared test. We will show that the hierarchy built using the binary logistic regression doesn-t agree with the direct order of risk factors, even if it was naturally to assume this hypothesis as being always true.

Keywords: Databases, risk factors, binary logisticregression, hierarchy.

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14 Training in Psychology in Brazil – Reflections on the Role of Early Supervised Internships in Undergraduate Courses

Authors: Ana Paula Melchiors Stahlschmidt, Cristina Py de Pinto Gomes Mairesse

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This paper presents observations on the early supervised internships in Psychology, currently called basic internships in Brazil, and its importance in professional training. The work is an experience report and focuses on the Professional training, illustrated by the reality of a Brazilian institution, used as a case study. It was developed from the authors' experience as academic supervisors of this kind of practice throughout this undergraduate course, combined with aspects investigated in the post-doctoral research of one of them. Theoretical references on the subject and related national legislation are analyzed, as well as reports of students who experienced at least one semester of this type of practice, articulated to the observations of the authors. The results demonstrate the importance of the early supervised internships as a way of creating opportunities for the students of a first contact with the professional reality and the practice of psychologists in different fields of insertion, preparing them for further experiments that require more involvement in activities of training and practices in Psychology.

Keywords: Training of psychologists, Internships in Psychology, Supervised internships, Combination of theory and practice.

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13 A Comparative Study of Malware Detection Techniques Using Machine Learning Methods

Authors: Cristina Vatamanu, Doina Cosovan, Dragoş Gavriluţ, Henri Luchian

Abstract:

In the past few years, the amount of malicious software increased exponentially and, therefore, machine learning algorithms became instrumental in identifying clean and malware files through (semi)-automated classification. When working with very large datasets, the major challenge is to reach both a very high malware detection rate and a very low false positive rate. Another challenge is to minimize the time needed for the machine learning algorithm to do so. This paper presents a comparative study between different machine learning techniques such as linear classifiers, ensembles, decision trees or various hybrids thereof. The training dataset consists of approximately 2 million clean files and 200.000 infected files, which is a realistic quantitative mixture. The paper investigates the above mentioned methods with respect to both their performance (detection rate and false positive rate) and their practicability.

Keywords: Detection Rate, False Positives, Perceptron, One Side Class, Ensembles, Decision Tree, Hybrid methods, Feature Selection.

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12 Estimation of the Drought Index Based on the Climatic Projections of Precipitation of the Uruguay River Basin

Authors: José Leandro Melgar Néris, Claudinéia Brazil, Luciane Teresa Salvi, Isabel Cristina Damin

Abstract:

The impact the climate change is not recent, the main variable in the hydrological cycle is the sequence and shortage of a drought, which has a significant impact on the socioeconomic, agricultural and environmental spheres. This study aims to characterize and quantify, based on precipitation climatic projections, the rainy and dry events in the region of the Uruguay River Basin, through the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The database is the image that is part of the Intercomparison of Model Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which provides condition prediction models, organized according to the Representative Routes of Concentration (CPR). Compared to the normal set of climates in the Uruguay River Watershed through precipitation projections, seasonal precipitation increases for all proposed scenarios, with a low climate trend. From the data of this research, the idea is that this article can be used to support research and the responsible bodies can use it as a subsidy for mitigation measures in other hydrographic basins.

Keywords: Drought index, climatic projections, precipitation of the Uruguay River Basin, Standardized Precipitation Index.

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11 Entrepreneurial Predisposition and Intention of Students from the IFRN – Mossoró, Brazil

Authors: Giovane Gurgel, Cristina S. Rodrigues, Filipa D. Vieira

Abstract:

IFRN – Mossoró is a Brazilian technical education institute that develops several activities to encourage entrepreneurship, such as a curricular discipline about enterprise management and the existence of a business incubator. Despite efforts, the business incubator does not produce the expected effects. Therefore, what predisposes students to start their own business? If literature review explores determinant factors like the family and personal characteristics, it can be sustained that entrepreneurship skills can be taught since primary level, until university level. This paper presents the results of research project “Empreende IFRN” to understand the entrepreneurial predisposition and intention of the students from technical level courses. Data from 365 students from technical level courses reveal an increased entrepreneurial intention of students during time (from a 2 years period to someday in the future). The entrepreneurial behavior of parents affects students’ perception about starting their own business. Students also present a cautions behavior, preferring bank deposit and investment fund instead starting a business.

Keywords: Brazil, Entrepreneurial intention, Entrepreneurship, Secondary technical students.

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10 Axiomatic Systems as an Alternative to Teach Physics

Authors: Liliana M. Marinelli, Cristina T. Varanese

Abstract:

In the last few years, students from higher education have difficulties in grasping mathematical concepts which support physical matters, especially those in the first years of this education. Classical Physics teaching turns to be complex when students are not able to make use of mathematical tools which lead to the conceptual structure of Physics. When derivation and integration rules are not used or developed in parallel with other disciplines, the physical meaning that we attempt to convey turns to be complicated. Due to this fact, it could be of great use to see the Classical Mechanics from an axiomatic approach, where the correspondence rules give physical meaning, if we expect students to understand concepts clearly and accurately. Using the Minkowski point of view adapted to a two-dimensional space and time where vectors, matrices, and straight lines (worked from an affine space) give mathematical and physical rigorosity even when it is more abstract. An interesting option would be to develop the disciplinary contents from an axiomatic version which embraces the Classical Mechanics as a particular case of Relativistic Mechanics. The observation about the increase in the difficulties stated by students in the first years of education allows this idea to grow as a possible option to improve performance and understanding of the concepts of this subject.

Keywords: Axiom, classical physics, physical concepts, relativity.

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9 Geometric Contrast of a 3D Model Obtained by Means of Digital Photogrametry with a Quasimetric Camera on UAV Classical Methods

Authors: Julio Manuel de Luis Ruiz, Javier Sedano Cibrián, Rubén Pérez Álvarez, Raúl Pereda García, Cristina Diego Soroa

Abstract:

Nowadays, the use of drones has been extended to practically any human activity. One of the main applications is focused on the surveying field. In this regard, software programs that process the images captured by the sensor from the drone in an almost automatic way have been developed and commercialized, but they only allow contrasting the results through control points. This work proposes the contrast of a 3D model obtained from a flight developed by a drone and a non-metric camera (due to its low cost), with a second model that is obtained by means of the historically-endorsed classical methods. In addition to this, the contrast is developed over a certain territory with a significant unevenness, so as to test the model generated with photogrammetry, and considering that photogrammetry with drones finds more difficulties in terms of accuracy in this kind of situations. Distances, heights, surfaces and volumes are measured on the basis of the 3D models generated, and the results are contrasted. The differences are about 0.2% for the measurement of distances and heights, 0.3% for surfaces and 0.6% when measuring volumes. Although they are not important, they do not meet the order of magnitude that is presented by salespeople.

Keywords: Accuracy, classical topographic, 3D model, photogrammetry, UAV.

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8 Moving towards a General Definition of Public Happiness: A Grounded Theory Approach to the Recent Academic Research on Well-Being

Authors: Cristina Sanchez-Sanchez

Abstract:

Although there seems to be a growing interest in the study of the citizen’s happiness as an alternative measure of a country’s progress to GDP, happiness as a public concern is still an ambiguous concept, hard to define. Moreover, different notions are used indiscriminately to talk about the same thing. This investigation aims to determine the conceptions of happiness, well-being and quality of life that originate from the indexes that different governments and public institutions around the world have created to study them. Through the Scoping Review method, this study identifies the recent academic research in this field (a total of 267 documents between 2006 and 2016) from some of the most popular social sciences databases around the world, Web of Science, Scopus, JSTOR, Sage, EBSCO, IBSS and Google Scholar, and in Spain, ISOC and Dialnet. These 267 documents referenced 53 different indexes and researches. The Grounded Theory method has been applied to a sample of 13 indexes in order to identify the main categories they use to determine these three concepts. The results show that these are multi-dimensional concepts and similar indicators are used indistinctly to measure happiness, well-being and quality of life.

Keywords: Grounded theory, happiness, happiness index, quality of life, scoping review, well-being.

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7 Development of Corn (Zea mays L.) Stalk Geotextile Net for Soil Erosion Mitigation

Authors: Cristina S. Decano, Vitaliana U. Malamug, Melissa E. Agulto, Helen F. Gavino

Abstract:

This study aimed to introduce new natural fiber to be used in the production of geotextile net for mitigation of soil erosion. Fiber extraction from the stalks was the main challenge faced during the processing of stalks to ropes. Thus, an investigation on the extraction procedures of corn (Zea mays L.) stalk under biological and chemical retting was undertaken. Results indicated significant differences among percent fiber yield as affected by the retting methods used with values of 15.07%, 12.97%, 11.60%, and 9.01%, for dew, water, chemical (1 day after harvest and15 days after harvest), respectively, with the corresponding average extracting duration of 70, 82, 89, and 94 minutes. Physical characterization of the developed corn stalk geotextile net resulted to average mass per unit area of 806.25 g/m2 and 241% water absorbing capacity. The effect of corn stalk geotextile net in mitigating soil erosion was evaluated in a laboratory experiment for 30o and 60o inclinations with three treatments: bare soil (A1), corn stalk geotextile net (A2) and combined cornstalk geotextile net and vegetation cover (A3). Results revealed that treatment A2 and A3 significantly decreased sediment yield and an increase in terms of soil loss reduction efficiency. The cost of corn stalk geotextile net is Php 62.41 per square meter.

Keywords: Corn stalk, natural geotextile, retting, soil erosion.

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6 Virtual Conciliation in Colombia: Evaluation of Maturity Level within the Framework of E-Government

Authors: Jenny Paola Forero Pachón, Sonia Cristina Gamboa Sarmiento, Luis Carlos Gómez Flórez

Abstract:

The Colombian government has defined an e-government strategy to take advantage of Information Technologies (IT) in order to contribute to the building of a more efficient, transparent and participative State that provides better services to citizens and businesses. In this regard, the Justice sector is one of the government sectors where IT has generated more expectation considering that the country has a judicial processes backlog. This situation has led to the search for alternative forms of access to justice that speed up the process while providing a low cost for citizens. To this end, the Colombian government has authorized the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods (ADR), a remedy where disputes can be resolved more quickly compared to judicial processes while facilitating greater communication between the parties, without recourse to judicial authority. One of these methods is conciliation, which includes a special modality that takes advantage of IT for the development of itself known as virtual conciliation. With this option the conciliation is supported by information systems, applications or platforms and communications are provided through it. This paper evaluates the level of maturity in how the service of virtual conciliation is under the framework of this strategy. This evaluation is carried out considering Shahkooh's 5-phase model for e-government. As a result, it is evident that in the context of conciliation, maturity does not reach the necessary level in the model so that it can be considered as virtual conciliation; therefore, it is necessary to define strategies to maximize the potential of IT in this context.

Keywords: Alternative dispute resolution, e-government, evaluation of maturity, Shahkooh model, virtual conciliation.

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5 The Role of Ideophones: Phonological and Morphological Characteristics in Literature

Authors: Cristina Bahón Arnaiz

Abstract:

Many Asian languages, such as Korean and Japanese, are well-known for their wide use of sound symbolic words or ideophones. This is a very particular characteristic which enriches its lexicon hugely. Ideophones are a class of sound symbolic words that utilize sound symbolism to express aspects, states, emotions, or conditions that can be experienced through the senses, such as shape, color, smell, action or movement. Ideophones have very particular characteristics in terms of sound symbolism and morphology, which distinguish them from other words. The phonological characteristics of ideophones are vowel ablaut or vowel gradation and consonant mutation. In the case of Korean, there are light vowels and dark vowels. Depending on the type of vowel that is used, the meaning will slightly change. Consonant mutation, also known as consonant ablaut, contributes to the level of intensity, emphasis, and volume of an expression. In addition to these phonological characteristics, there is one main morphological singularity, which is reduplication and it carries the meaning of continuity, repetition, intensity, emphasis, and plurality. All these characteristics play an important role in both linguistics and literature as they enhance the meaning of what is trying to be expressed with incredible semantic detail, expressiveness, and rhythm. The following study will analyze the ideophones used in a single paragraph of a Korean novel, which add incredible yet subtle detail to the meaning of the words, and advance the expressiveness and rhythm of the text. The results from analyzing one paragraph from a novel, after presenting the phonological and morphological characteristics of Korean ideophones, will evidence the important role that ideophones play in literature. 

Keywords: Ideophones, mimetic words, phonomimes, phenomimes, psychomimes, sound symbolism.

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4 Microwave-Assisted Alginate Extraction from Portuguese Saccorhiza polyschides – Influence of Acid Pretreatment

Authors: Mário Silva, Filipa Gomes, Filipa Oliveira, Simone Morais, Cristina Delerue-Matos

Abstract:

Brown seaweeds are abundant in Portuguese coastline and represent an almost unexploited marine economic resource. One of the most common species, easily available for harvesting in the northwest coast, is Saccorhiza polyschides grows in the lowest shore and costal rocky reefs. It is almost exclusively used by local farmers as natural fertilizer, but contains a substantial amount of valuable compounds, particularly alginates, natural biopolymers of high interest for many industrial applications. Alginates are natural polysaccharides present in cell walls of brown seaweed, highly biocompatible, with particular properties that make them of high interest for the food, biotechnology, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Conventional extraction processes are based on thermal treatment. They are lengthy and consume high amounts of energy and solvents. In recent years, microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) has shown enormous potential to overcome major drawbacks that outcome from conventional plant material extraction (thermal and/or solvent based) techniques, being also successfully applied to the extraction of agar, fucoidans and alginates. In the present study, acid pretreatment of brown seaweed Saccorhiza polyschides for subsequent microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) of alginate was optimized. Seaweeds were collected in Northwest Portuguese coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean between May and August, 2014. Experimental design was used to assess the effect of temperature and acid pretreatment time in alginate extraction. Response surface methodology allowed the determination of the optimum MAE conditions: 40 mL of HCl 0.1 M per g of dried seaweed with constant stirring at 20ºC during 14h. Optimal acid pretreatment conditions have enhanced significantly MAE of alginates from Saccorhiza polyschides, thus contributing for the development of a viable, more environmental friendly alternative to conventional processes.

Keywords: Acid pretreatment, Alginate, Brown seaweed, Microwave-assisted extraction, Response surface methodology.

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