Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 388

Search results for: Investment

388 Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment

Authors: Tatsuya Kasuga, Hidehisa Shimada, Kimio Oguchi

Abstract:

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Keywords: Electric power consumption, LED color, LED lighting, plant factory.

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387 Leveraging xAPI in a Corporate e-Learning Environment to Facilitate the Tracking, Modelling, and Predictive Analysis of Learner Behaviour

Authors: Libor Zachoval, Daire O Broin, Oisin Cawley

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E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).

Keywords: Compliance Course, Corporate Training, Learner Behaviours, xAPI.

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386 An Automated Stock Investment System Using Machine Learning Techniques: An Application in Australia

Authors: Carol Anne Hargreaves

Abstract:

A key issue in stock investment is how to select representative features for stock selection. The objective of this paper is to firstly determine whether an automated stock investment system, using machine learning techniques, may be used to identify a portfolio of growth stocks that are highly likely to provide returns better than the stock market index. The second objective is to identify the technical features that best characterize whether a stock’s price is likely to go up and to identify the most important factors and their contribution to predicting the likelihood of the stock price going up. Unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as cluster analysis, were applied to the stock data to identify a cluster of stocks that was likely to go up in price – portfolio 1. Next, the principal component analysis technique was used to select stocks that were rated high on component one and component two – portfolio 2. Thirdly, a supervised machine learning technique, the logistic regression method, was used to select stocks with a high probability of their price going up – portfolio 3. The predictive models were validated with metrics such as, sensitivity (recall), specificity and overall accuracy for all models. All accuracy measures were above 70%. All portfolios outperformed the market by more than eight times. The top three stocks were selected for each of the three stock portfolios and traded in the market for one month. After one month the return for each stock portfolio was computed and compared with the stock market index returns. The returns for all three stock portfolios was 23.87% for the principal component analysis stock portfolio, 11.65% for the logistic regression portfolio and 8.88% for the K-means cluster portfolio while the stock market performance was 0.38%. This study confirms that an automated stock investment system using machine learning techniques can identify top performing stock portfolios that outperform the stock market.

Keywords: Machine learning, stock market trading, logistic principal component analysis, automated stock investment system.

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385 Price Prediction Line, Investment Signals and Limit Conditions Applied for the German Financial Market

Authors: Cristian Păuna

Abstract:

In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.

Keywords: Algorithmic trading, automated investment system, DAX Deutscher Aktienindex.

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384 Performance Evaluation of Distributed Deep Learning Frameworks in Cloud Environment

Authors: Shuen-Tai Wang, Fang-An Kuo, Chau-Yi Chou, Yu-Bin Fang

Abstract:

2016 has become the year of the Artificial Intelligence explosion. AI technologies are getting more and more matured that most world well-known tech giants are making large investment to increase the capabilities in AI. Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed, and deep learning is a subset of machine learning that uses deep neural network to train a machine to learn  features directly from data. Deep learning realizes many machine learning applications which expand the field of AI. At the present time, deep learning frameworks have been widely deployed on servers for deep learning applications in both academia and industry. In training deep neural networks, there are many standard processes or algorithms, but the performance of different frameworks might be different. In this paper we evaluate the running performance of two state-of-the-art distributed deep learning frameworks that are running training calculation in parallel over multi GPU and multi nodes in our cloud environment. We evaluate the training performance of the frameworks with ResNet-50 convolutional neural network, and we analyze what factors that result in the performance among both distributed frameworks as well. Through the experimental analysis, we identify the overheads which could be further optimized. The main contribution is that the evaluation results provide further optimization directions in both performance tuning and algorithmic design.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, convolutional neural networks.

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383 Analysis of Pressure Drop in a Concentrated Solar Collector with Direct Steam Production

Authors: Sara Sallam, Mohamed Taqi, Naoual Belouaggadia

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Solar thermal power plants using parabolic trough collectors (PTC) are currently a powerful technology for generating electricity. Most of these solar power plants use thermal oils as heat transfer fluid. The latter is heated in the solar field and transfers the heat absorbed in an oil-water heat exchanger for the production of steam driving the turbines of the power plant. Currently, we are seeking to develop PTCs with direct steam generation (DSG). This process consists of circulating water under pressure in the receiver tube to generate steam directly into the solar loop. This makes it possible to reduce the investment and maintenance costs of the PTCs (the oil-water exchangers are removed) and to avoid the environmental risks associated with the use of thermal oils. The pressure drops in these systems are an important parameter to ensure their proper operation. The determination of these losses is complex because of the presence of the two phases, and most often we limit ourselves to describing them by models using empirical correlations. A comparison of these models with experimental data was performed. Our calculations focused on the evolution of the pressure of the liquid-vapor mixture along the receiver tube of a PTC-DSG for pressure values and inlet flow rates ranging respectively from 3 to 10 MPa, and from 0.4 to 0.6 kg/s. The comparison of the numerical results with experience allows us to demonstrate the validity of some models according to the pressures and the flow rates of entry in the PTC-DSG receiver tube. The analysis of these two parameters’ effects on the evolution of the pressure along the receiving tub, shows that the increase of the inlet pressure and the decrease of the flow rate lead to minimal pressure losses.

Keywords: Direct steam generation, parabolic trough collectors, pressure drop.

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382 Effect of Supplementary Premium on the Optimal Portfolio Policy in a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme with Refund of Premium Clauses

Authors: Edikan E. Akpanibah Obinichi C. Mandah Imoleayo S. Asiwaju

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In this paper, we studied the effect of supplementary premium on the optimal portfolio policy in a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme with refund of premium clauses. This refund clause allows death members’ next of kin to withdraw their relative’s accumulated wealth during the accumulation period. The supplementary premium is to help sustain the scheme and is assumed to be stochastic. We considered cases when the remaining wealth is equally distributed and when it is not equally distributed among the remaining members. Next, we considered investments in cash and equity to help increase the remaining accumulated funds to meet up with the retirement needs of the remaining members and composed the problem as a continuous time mean-variance stochastic optimal control problem using the actuarial symbol and established an optimization problem from the extended Hamilton Jacobi Bellman equations. The optimal portfolio policy, the corresponding optimal fund size for the two assets and also the efficient frontier of the pension members for the two cases was obtained. Furthermore, the numerical simulations of the optimal portfolio policies with time were presented and the effect of the supplementary premium on the optimal portfolio policy was discussed and observed that the supplementary premium decreases the optimal portfolio policy of the risky asset (equity). Secondly we observed a disparity between the optimal policies for the two cases.

Keywords: Defined contribution pension scheme, extended Hamilton Jacobi Bellman equations, optimal portfolio policies, refund of premium clauses, supplementary premium.

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381 Investment Trend Analysis of Dhaka Stock Exchange: A Comparative Study

Authors: Azaz Zaman, Mirazur Rahman

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Capital market is a crucial financial market place where companies and the government can raise long-term funds and, at the same time, investors get the opportunity to invest in the listed companies. Capital markets play a vital role not only in shifting the funds from surplus entity to deficit for investment, but also in the overall economic development of any developing country like Bangladesh. Being the first and biggest capital market of Bangladesh, Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) is the prime bourse of the country. The differences in the investment preference— among three broad categories of investors in DSE including individual investors, institutional investors, and government— are easily observed. Authors of this article have used five categories of investors such as sponsors or directors of the company, institutional investors, foreign investors, government, and the general public in order to present a comparative analysis of their investment patterns. Obtaining data on the percentage of investment by these five types of investors in different sectors from the DSE website, this study aims to analyze the sector-wise investment preference of these investors using August 2018 data. The study has found that the sponsors or directors of the company have the highest percentage of investment in the textile industry which is close to 16%. The Bangladesh government, as an investor, has the highest percentage of investment in the fuel & power sector, approximately 32%. It has also found that the mutual funds' sector is mostly financed by institutional investors, nearly 28%. Foreign investors have their most investments in the banking sector, which is close to 22%. It has also revealed that the textile sector is mostly financed by the general public, close to 17%. Nevertheless, general public, surprisingly, has the lowest percentage of investment in the telecommunication sector, which is 0.10%.

Keywords: Stock market investment, Dhaka stock exchange, capital market, Bangladesh.

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380 An Overview of Georgia’s Economic Growth Since 2012: Current Status, Challenges, and Opportunities for Future Development

Authors: V. Benidze

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After the Rose Revolution of 2003, Georgia has achieved an unparalleled socioeconomic success. However, economic growth since 2012 has been sluggish and certainly not enough to rapidly improve the county’s standard of living that still remains substantially low compared to that in developed nations. Recent poor economic performance has shown that some key challenges need to be addressed if Georgia is to achieve high future economic growth that will decrease the poverty rate and create a middle class in the country. This paper offers in detail analysis of the economic performance of Georgia since 2012 and identifies key challenges facing the country’s economy. The main challenge going forward will be transforming Georgia from a consumption-driven to a production-oriented economy. It is identified that mobilizing domestic investment through savings, attracting foreign investment in tradable sectors and expanding the country’s export base will be crucial in the facilitation of the above-mentioned structural transformation. As the outcome of the research, the paper suggests a strategy for accelerating Georgia’ future economic growth and offers recommendations based on the relevant conclusions.

Keywords: Challenges, development, economic growth, economic policy, Georgia.

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379 A Prediction Model Using the Price Cyclicality Function Optimized for Algorithmic Trading in Financial Market

Authors: Cristian Păuna

Abstract:

After the widespread release of electronic trading, automated trading systems have become a significant part of the business intelligence system of any modern financial investment company. An important part of the trades is made completely automatically today by computers using mathematical algorithms. The trading decisions are taken almost instantly by logical models and the orders are sent by low-latency automatic systems. This paper will present a real-time price prediction methodology designed especially for algorithmic trading. Based on the price cyclicality function, the methodology revealed will generate price cyclicality bands to predict the optimal levels for the entries and exits. In order to automate the trading decisions, the cyclicality bands will generate automated trading signals. We have found that the model can be used with good results to predict the changes in market behavior. Using these predictions, the model can automatically adapt the trading signals in real-time to maximize the trading results. The paper will reveal the methodology to optimize and implement this model in automated trading systems. After tests, it is proved that this methodology can be applied with good efficiency in different timeframes. Real trading results will be also displayed and analyzed in order to qualify the methodology and to compare it with other models. As a conclusion, it was found that the price prediction model using the price cyclicality function is a reliable trading methodology for algorithmic trading in the financial market.

Keywords: Algorithmic trading, automated trading systems, financial markets, high-frequency trading, price prediction.

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378 Gender Differences in Risk Aversion Behavior: Case Study of Saudi Arabia and Jordan

Authors: Razan Salem

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Men and women have different approaches towards investing, both in terms of strategies and risk attitudes. This study aims to focus mainly on investigating the financial risk behaviors of Arab women investors and to examine the financial risk tolerance levels of Arab women relative to Arab men investors. Using survey data on 547 Arab men and women investors, the results of Wilcoxon Signed-Rank (One-Sample) test Mann-Whitney U test reveal that Arab women are risk-averse investors and have lower financial risk tolerance levels relative to Arab men. Such findings can be explained by the fact of women's nature and lower investment literacy levels. Further, the current political uncertainty in the Arab region may be considered as another explanation of Arab women’s risk aversion behavior. The study's findings support the existing literature by validating the stereotype of “women are more risk-averse than men” in the Arab region. Overall, when it comes to investment and financial behaviors, women around the world behave similarly.

Keywords: Arab region, financial risk behavior, gender differences, women investors.

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377 Feasibility Study of a Solar Farm Project with an Executive Approach

Authors: Amir Reza Talaghat

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Since 2015, a new approach and policy regarding energy resources protection and using renewable energies has been started in Iran which was developing new projects. Investigating about the feasibility study of these new projects helped to figure out five steps to prepare an executive feasibility study of the concerned projects, which are proper site selections, authorizations, design and simulation, economic study and programming, respectively. The results were interesting and essential for decision makers and investors to start implementing of these projects in reliable condition. The research is obtained through collection and study of the project's documents as well as recalculation to review conformity of the results with GIS data and the technical information of the bidders. In this paper, it is attempted to describe the result of the performed research by describing the five steps as an executive methodology, for preparing a feasible study of installing a 10 MW – solar farm project. The corresponding results of the research also help decision makers to start similar projects is explained in this paper as follows: selecting the best location for the concerned PV plant, reliable and safe conditions for investment and the required authorizations to start implementing the solar farm project in the concerned region, selecting suitable component to achieve the best possible performance for the plant, economic profit of the investment, proper programming to implement the project on time.

Keywords: Solar farm, solar energy, execution of PV power plant, PV power plant, feasibility study.

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376 UEFA Super Cup: Economic Effects on Georgian Economy

Authors: Giorgi Bregadze

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Tourism is the most viable and sustainable economic development option for Georgia and one of the main sources of foreign exchange earnings. Events are considered as one of the most effective ways to attract foreign visitors to the country, and, recently, the government of Georgia has begun investing in this sector very actively. This article stresses the necessity of research based economic policy in the tourism sector. In this regard, it is of paramount importance to measure the economic effects of the events which are subsidized by taxpayers’ money. The economic effect of events can be analyzed from two perspectives; financial perspective of the government and perspective of economic effects of the tourism administration. The article emphasizes more realistic and all-inclusive focus of the economic effect analysis of the tourism administration as it concentrates on the income of residents and local businesses, part of which generate tax revenues for the government. The public would like to know what the economic returns to investment are. In this article, the methodology used to describe the economic effects of UEFA Super Cup held in Tbilisi, will help to answer this question. Methodology is based on three main principles and covers three stages. Using the suggested methodology article estimates the direct economic effect of UEFA Super cup on Georgian economy. Although the attempt to make an economic effect analysis of the event was successful in Georgia, some obstacles and insufficiencies were identified during the survey. The article offers several recommendations that will help to refine methodology and improve the accuracy of the data. Furthermore, it is very important to receive the correct standard of measurement of events in Georgia. In this caseü non-ethical acts of measurement which are widely utilized by different research companies will not trigger others to show overestimated effects. It is worth mentioning that to author’s best knowledge, this is the first attempt to measure the economic effect of an event held in Georgia.

Keywords: Biased economic effect analysis, expenditure of local citizens, time switchers and casuals, UEFA super cup.

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375 Multi-Objective Optimization of Run-of-River Small-Hydropower Plants Considering Both Investment Cost and Annual Energy Generation

Authors: Amèdédjihundé H. J. Hounnou, Frédéric Dubas, François-Xavier Fifatin, Didier Chamagne, Antoine Vianou

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This paper presents the techno-economic evaluation of run-of-river small-hydropower plants. In this regard, a multi-objective optimization procedure is proposed for the optimal sizing of the hydropower plants, and NSGAII is employed as the optimization algorithm. Annual generated energy and investment cost are considered as the objective functions, and number of generator units (n) and nominal turbine flow rate (QT) constitute the decision variables. Site of Yeripao in Benin is considered as the case study. We have categorized the river of this site using its environmental characteristics: gross head, and first quartile, median, third quartile and mean of flow. Effects of each decision variable on the objective functions are analysed. The results gave Pareto Front which represents the trade-offs between annual energy generation and the investment cost of hydropower plants, as well as the recommended optimal solutions. We noted that with the increase of the annual energy generation, the investment cost rises. Thus, maximizing energy generation is contradictory with minimizing the investment cost. Moreover, we have noted that the solutions of Pareto Front are grouped according to the number of generator units (n). The results also illustrate that the costs per kWh are grouped according to the n and rise with the increase of the nominal turbine flow rate. The lowest investment costs per kWh are obtained for n equal to one and are between 0.065 and 0.180 €/kWh. Following the values of n (equal to 1, 2, 3 or 4), the investment cost and investment cost per kWh increase almost linearly with increasing the nominal turbine flowrate while annual generated. Energy increases logarithmically with increasing of the nominal turbine flowrate. This study made for the Yeripao river can be applied to other rivers with their own characteristics.

Keywords: Hydropower plant, investment cost, multi-objective optimization, number of generator units.

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374 Reinvestment of the Urban Context in Historic Cities: The Case Study of El Sheikh Kandil Street, Rosetta, Egypt

Authors: Riham A. Ragheb, Ingy M. Naguib

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Conservation and urban investment are a prerequisite to improve the quality of life. Since the historic street is a part of the economic system, it should be able to play an important role in the city development by upgrading all services, public open spaces and reuse of historical buildings and sites. Furthermore, historical conservation enriches the political, economic, social, cultural and functional aspects of the site. Rosetta has been selected as an area of study because it has a unique character due to its possession of a variety of monuments and historical buildings. The aim of this research is to analyze the existing situation of an historic street named El Sheikh Kandil, to be able to identify the potentials and problems. The paper gives a proposal for the redesign and reinvestment of the street and the reuse for the historical buildings to serve the community, users and visitors. Then, it concludes with recommendations to improve quality of life through the rehabilitation of the historical buildings and strengthening of the cultural and historical identity of the street. Rosetta city can benefit from these development proposals by preserving and revitalizing its unique character which leads to tourism development and benefits from the new investments.

Keywords: Adaptive reuse, heritage street, historic investment, restoration, urban design.

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373 Stimulating Policy for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in Georgia

Authors: G. Erkomaishvili, M. Kobalava, T. Lazariashvili, N. Damenia

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Current state of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Georgia is analyzed and evaluated in the paper, the existing legislative background for regulating investments and stimulating policies to attract investments are shown. It is noted that in developing countries encouragement of investment activity, support and implementation are of the most important tasks, implying a consistent investment policy, investor-friendly tax regime and the legal system, reducing administrative barriers and restrictions, fare competitive conditions and business development infrastructure. The work deals with the determining factor of FDIs and the main directions of stimulation, as well as prospective industries where new investments are needed. Contributing and hindering factors and stimulating measures are analyzed. As a result of the research, the direct and indirect factors attracting FDI have been identified. Facilitating factors to FDI inflow are as follows: simplicity of starting business, geopolitical location, low taxes, access to credit, ease of ownership registration, natural resources, low burden of regulations, low level of corruption and low crime rates. Hindering factors to FDI inflow are as follows: small market, lack of policy for attracting investments, low qualification of the workforce (despite the large number of unemployed people it is difficult to find workers with necessary special skills and qualifications), high interest rates, instability of national currency exchange rate, presence of conflict zones within the country and so forth.

Keywords: Foreign direct investment, investment attracting policies, investor, reinvestment.

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372 Social Enterprise Concept in Sustaining Agro-Industry Development in Indonesia: Case Study of Yourgood Social Business

Authors: Koko Iwan Agus Kurniawan, Dwi Purnomo, Anas Bunyamin, Arif Rahman Jaya

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Fruters model is a concept of technopreneurship-based on empowerment, in which technology research results were designed to create high value-added products and implemented as a locomotive of collaborative empowerment; thereby, the impact was widely spread. This model still needs to be inventoried and validated concerning the influenced variables in the business growth process. Model validation accompanied by mapping was required to be applicable to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) agro-industry based on sustainable social business and existing real cases. This research explained the empowerment model of Yourgood, an SME, which emphasized on empowering the farmers/ breeders in farmers in rural areas, Cipageran, Cimahi, to housewives in urban areas, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. This research reviewed some works of literature discussing the agro-industrial development associated with the empowerment and social business process and gained a unique business model picture with the social business platform as well. Through the mapped business model, there were several advantages such as technology acquisition, independence, capital generation, good investment growth, strengthening of collaboration, and improvement of social impacts that can be replicated on other businesses. This research used analytical-descriptive research method consisting of qualitative analysis with design thinking approach and that of quantitative with the AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process). Based on the results, the development of the enterprise’s process was highly affected by supplying farmers with the score of 0.248 out of 1, being the most valuable for the existence of the enterprise. It was followed by university (0.178), supplying farmers (0.153), business actors (0.128), government (0.100), distributor (0.092), techno-preneurship laboratory (0.069), banking (0.033), and Non-Government Organization (NGO) (0.031).

Keywords: Agro-Industry, small medium enterprises (SMEs), empowerment, design thinking, AHP, business model canvas, social business.

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371 Quantifying Uncertainties in an Archetype-Based Building Stock Energy Model by Use of Individual Building Models

Authors: Morten Brøgger, Kim Wittchen

Abstract:

Focus on reducing energy consumption in existing buildings at large scale, e.g. in cities or countries, has been increasing in recent years. In order to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings, political incentive schemes are put in place and large scale investments are made by utility companies. Prioritising these investments requires a comprehensive overview of the energy consumption in the existing building stock, as well as potential energy-savings. However, a building stock comprises thousands of buildings with different characteristics making it difficult to model energy consumption accurately. Moreover, the complexity of the building stock makes it difficult to convey model results to policymakers and other stakeholders. In order to manage the complexity of the building stock, building archetypes are often employed in building stock energy models (BSEMs). Building archetypes are formed by segmenting the building stock according to specific characteristics. Segmenting the building stock according to building type and building age is common, among other things because this information is often easily available. This segmentation makes it easy to convey results to non-experts. However, using a single archetypical building to represent all buildings in a segment of the building stock is associated with loss of detail. Thermal characteristics are aggregated while other characteristics, which could affect the energy efficiency of a building, are disregarded. Thus, using a simplified representation of the building stock could come at the expense of the accuracy of the model. The present study evaluates the accuracy of a conventional archetype-based BSEM that segments the building stock according to building type- and age. The accuracy is evaluated in terms of the archetypes’ ability to accurately emulate the average energy demands of the corresponding buildings they were meant to represent. This is done for the buildings’ energy demands as a whole as well as for relevant sub-demands. Both are evaluated in relation to the type- and the age of the building. This should provide researchers, who use archetypes in BSEMs, with an indication of the expected accuracy of the conventional archetype model, as well as the accuracy lost in specific parts of the calculation, due to use of the archetype method.

Keywords: Building stock energy modelling, energy-savings, archetype.

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370 The Impact of Female Characters on a Movie’s Return on Investment

Authors: Raghav Lakhotia, Sameer Ganu, Anshul Goel, Abhishek Kumar

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In the age and times where women’s empowerment is a significant topic of discussion, we aim to analyze the potential gender diversity influence on box office revenues. The following research is carried out by collecting data from 400 Hollywood movies between the years 2014-2017 and performing regression analysis to find a correlation between the presence of female characters in movies and their return on investment (ROI). The paper finds that there is a positive relationship between the performance of the movies (its ROI) and the gender diversity i.e. the more the number of female characters, the higher the revenue generated. Another factor such as Number of Votes also has a direct impact on the revenue of the movie. The research not only takes into consideration the mere presence of women on screen but also the exchange of at least one dialogue among themselves, which is presented by the Bechdel Score of the movie.

Keywords: Bechdel, diversity, Hollywood, return on investment.

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369 A Geographical Spatial Analysis on the Benefits of Using Wind Energy in Kuwait

Authors: Obaid AlOtaibi, Salman Hussain

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Wind energy is associated with many geographical factors including wind speed, climate change, surface topography, environmental impacts, and several economic factors, most notably the advancement of wind technology and energy prices. It is the fastest-growing and least economically expensive method for generating electricity. Wind energy generation is directly related to the characteristics of spatial wind. Therefore, the feasibility study for the wind energy conversion system is based on the value of the energy obtained relative to the initial investment and the cost of operation and maintenance. In Kuwait, wind energy is an appropriate choice as a source of energy generation. It can be used in groundwater extraction in agricultural areas such as Al-Abdali in the north and Al-Wafra in the south, or in fresh and brackish groundwater fields or remote and isolated locations such as border areas and projects away from conventional power electricity services, to take advantage of alternative energy, reduce pollutants, and reduce energy production costs. The study covers the State of Kuwait with an exception of metropolitan area. Climatic data were attained through the readings of eight distributed monitoring stations affiliated with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). The data were used to assess the daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual available wind energy accessible for utilization. The researchers applied the Suitability Model to analyze the study by using the ArcGIS program. It is a model of spatial analysis that compares more than one location based on grading weights to choose the most suitable one. The study criteria are: the average annual wind speed, land use, topography of land, distance from the main road networks, urban areas. According to the previous criteria, the four proposed locations to establish wind farm projects are selected based on the weights of the degree of suitability (excellent, good, average, and poor). The percentage of areas that represents the most suitable locations with an excellent rank (4) is 8% of Kuwait’s area. It is relatively distributed as follows: Al-Shqaya, Al-Dabdeba, Al-Salmi (5.22%), Al-Abdali (1.22%), Umm al-Hayman (0.70%), North Wafra and Al-Shaqeeq (0.86%). The study recommends to decision-makers to consider the proposed location (No.1), (Al-Shqaya, Al-Dabdaba, and Al-Salmi) as the most suitable location for future development of wind farms in Kuwait, this location is economically feasible.

Keywords: Kuwait, renewable energy, spatial analysis, wind energy.

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368 The Politics of Foreign Direct Investment for Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria: An Assessment of the Fourth Republic Strategies (1999 - 2014)

Authors: Muritala Babatunde Hassan

Abstract:

In the contemporary global political economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) is gaining currency on daily basis. Notably, the end of the Cold War has brought about the dominance of neoliberal ideology with its mantra of private-sector-led economy. As such, nation-states now see FDI attraction as an important element in their approach to national development. Governments and policy makers are preoccupying themselves with unraveling the best strategies to not only attract more FDI but also to attain the desired socio-economic development status. In Nigeria, the perceived development potentials of FDI have brought about aggressive hunt for foreign investors, most especially since transition to civilian rule in May 1999. Series of liberal and market oriented strategies are being adopted not only to attract foreign investors but largely to stimulate private sector participation in the economy. It is on this premise that this study interrogates the politics of FDI attraction for domestic development in Nigeria between 1999 and 2014, with the ultimate aim of examining the nexus between regime type and the ability of a state to attract and benefit from FDI. Building its analysis within the framework of institutional utilitarianism, the study posits that the essential FDI strategies for achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of Nigerians are political not economic. Both content analysis and descriptive survey methodology were employed in carrying out the study. Content analysis involves desk review of literatures that culminated in the development of the study’s conceptual and theoretical framework of analysis. The study finds no significant relationship between transition to democracy and FDI inflows in Nigeria, as most of the attracted investments during the period of the study were market and resource seeking as was the case during the military regime, thereby contributing minimally to the socio-economic development of the country. It is also found that the country placed much emphasis on liberalization and incentives for FDI attraction at the neglect of improving the domestic investment environment. Consequently, poor state of infrastructure, weak institutional capability and insecurity were identified as the major factors seriously hindering the success of Nigeria in exploiting FDI for domestic development. Given the reality of the currency of FDI as a vector of economic globalization and that Nigeria is trailing the line of private-sector-led approach to development, it is recommended that emphasis should be placed on those measures aimed at improving the infrastructural facilities, building solid institutional framework, enhancing skill and technological transfer and coordinating FDI promotion activities by different agencies and at different levels of government.

Keywords: Foreign capital, politics, socio-economic development, FDI attraction strategies, Redemocratization.

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367 CRYPTO COPYCAT: A Fashion Centric Blockchain Framework for Eliminating Fashion Infringement

Authors: Magdi Elmessiry, Adel Elmessiry

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The fashion industry represents a significant portion of the global gross domestic product, however, it is plagued by cheap imitators that infringe on the trademarks which destroys the fashion industry's hard work and investment. While eventually the copycats would be found and stopped, the damage has already been done, sales are missed and direct and indirect jobs are lost. The infringer thrives on two main facts: the time it takes to discover them and the lack of tracking technologies that can help the consumer distinguish them. Blockchain technology is a new emerging technology that provides a distributed encrypted immutable and fault resistant ledger. Blockchain presents a ripe technology to resolve the infringement epidemic facing the fashion industry. The significance of the study is that a new approach leveraging the state of the art blockchain technology coupled with artificial intelligence is used to create a framework addressing the fashion infringement problem. It transforms the current focus on legal enforcement, which is difficult at best, to consumer awareness that is far more effective. The framework, Crypto CopyCat, creates an immutable digital asset representing the actual product to empower the customer with a near real time query system. This combination emphasizes the consumer's awareness and appreciation of the product's authenticity, while provides real time feedback to the producer regarding the fake replicas. The main findings of this study are that implementing this approach can delay the fake product penetration of the original product market, thus allowing the original product the time to take advantage of the market. The shift in the fake adoption results in reduced returns, which impedes the copycat market and moves the emphasis to the original product innovation.

Keywords: Fashion, infringement, Blockchain, artificial intelligence, textiles supply.

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366 Energy Loss Reduction in Oil Refineries through Flare Gas Recovery Approaches

Authors: Majid Amidpour, Parisa Karimi, Marzieh Joda

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For the last few years, release of burned undesirable by-products has become a challenging issue in oil industries. Flaring, as one of the main sources of air contamination, involves detrimental and long-lasting effects on human health and is considered a substantial reason for energy losses worldwide. This research involves studying the implications of two main flare gas recovery methods at three oil refineries, all in Iran as the case I, case II, and case III in which the production capacities are increasing respectively. In the proposed methods, flare gases are converted into more valuable products, before combustion by the flare networks. The first approach involves collecting, compressing and converting the flare gas to smokeless fuel which can be used in the fuel gas system of the refineries. The other scenario includes utilizing the flare gas as a feed into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) production unit already established in the refineries. The processes of these scenarios are simulated, and the capital investment is calculated for each procedure. The cumulative profits of the scenarios are evaluated using Net Present Value method. Furthermore, the sensitivity analysis based on total propane and butane mole fraction is carried out to make a rational comparison for LPG production approach, and the results are illustrated for different mole fractions of propane and butane. As the mole fraction of propane and butane contained in LPG differs in summer and winter seasons, the results corresponding to LPG scenario are demonstrated for each season. The results of the simulations show that cumulative profit in fuel gas production scenario and LPG production rate increase with the capacity of the refineries. Moreover, the investment return time in LPG production method experiences a decline, followed by a rising trend with an increase in C3 and C4 content. The minimum value of time return occurs at propane and butane sum concentration values of 0.7, 0.6, and 0.7 in case I, II, and III, respectively. Based on comparison of the time of investment return and cumulative profit, fuel gas production is the superior scenario for three case studies.

Keywords: Flare gas reduction, liquefied petroleum gas, fuel gas, net present value method, sensitivity analysis.

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365 Augmenting History: Case Study Measuring Motivation of Students Using Augmented Reality Apps in History Classes

Authors: Kevin. S. Badni

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Due to the rapid advances in the use of information technology and students’ familiarity with technology, learning styles in higher education are being reshaped. One of the technology developments that has gained considerable attention in recent years is Augmented Reality (AR), where technology is used to combine overlays of digital data on physical real-world settings. While AR is being heavily promoted for entertainment by mobile phone manufacturers, it has had little adoption in higher education due to the required upfront investment that an instructor needs to undertake in creating relevant AR applications. This paper discusses a case study that uses a low upfront development approach and examines the impact on generation-Z students’ motivation whilst studying design history over a four-semester period. Even though the upfront investment in creating the AR support was minimal, the results showed a noticeable increase in student motivation. The approach used in this paper can be easily transferred to other disciplines and other areas of design education.

Keywords: Augmented reality, history, motivation, technology.

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364 Effects of the In-Situ Upgrading Project in Afghanistan: A Case Study on the Formally and Informally Developed Areas in Kabul

Authors: Maisam Rafiee, Chikashi Deguchi, Akio Odake, Minoru Matsui, Takanori Sata

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Cities in Afghanistan have been rapidly urbanized; however, many parts of these cities have been developed with no detailed land use plan or infrastructure. In other words, they have been informally developed without any government leadership. The new government started the In-situ Upgrading Project in Kabul to upgrade roads, the water supply network system, and the surface water drainage system on the existing street layout in 2002, with the financial support of international agencies. This project is an appropriate emergency improvement for living life, but not an essential improvement of living conditions and infrastructure problems because the life expectancies of the improved facilities are as short as 10–15 years, and residents cannot obtain land tenure in the unplanned areas. The Land Readjustment System (LRS) conducted in Japan has good advantages that rearrange irregularly shaped land lots and develop the infrastructure effectively. This study investigates the effects of the In-situ Upgrading Project on private investment, land prices, and residents’ satisfaction with projects in Kart-e-Char, where properties are registered, and in Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, where properties are unregistered. These projects are located 5 km and 7 km from the CBD area of Kabul, respectively. This study discusses whether LRS should be applied to the unplanned area based on the questionnaire and interview responses of experts experienced in the In-situ Upgrading Project who have knowledge of LRS. The analysis results reveal that, in Kart-e-Char, a lot of private investment has been made in the construction of medium-rise (five- to nine-story) buildings for commercial and residential purposes. Land values have also incrementally increased since the project, and residents are commonly satisfied with the road pavement, drainage systems, and water supplies, but dissatisfied with the poor delivery of electricity as well as the lack of public facilities (e.g., parks and sport facilities). In Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, basic infrastructures like paved roads and surface water drainage systems have improved from the project. After the project, a few four- and five-story residential buildings were built with very low-level private investments, but significant increases in land prices were not evident. The residents are satisfied with the contribution ratio, drainage system, and small increase in land price, but there is still no drinking water supply system or tenure security; moreover, there are substandard paved roads and a lack of public facilities, such as parks, sport facilities, mosques, and schools. The results of the questionnaire and interviews with the four engineers highlight the problems that remain to be solved in the unplanned areas if LRS is applied—namely, land use differences, types and conditions of the infrastructure still to be installed by the project, and time spent for positive consensus building among the residents, given the project’s budget limitation.

Keywords: In-Situ Upgrading, Kabul, Land Readjustment, Land value, Planned areas, Private investment, Resident satisfaction, Unplanned areas.

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363 Mean-Variance Optimization of Portfolios with Return of Premium Clauses in a DC Pension Plan with Multiple Contributors under Constant Elasticity of Variance Model

Authors: Bright O. Osu, Edikan E. Akpanibah, Chidinma Olunkwa

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In this paper, mean-variance optimization of portfolios with the return of premium clauses in a defined contribution (DC) pension plan with multiple contributors under constant elasticity of variance (CEV) model is studied. The return clauses which permit death members to claim their accumulated wealth are considered, the remaining wealth is not equally distributed by the remaining members as in literature. We assume that before investment, the surplus which includes funds of members who died after retirement adds to the total wealth. Next, we consider investments in a risk-free asset and a risky asset to meet up the expected returns of the remaining members and obtain an optimized problem with the help of extended Hamilton Jacobi Bellman equation. We obtained the optimal investment strategies for the two assets and the efficient frontier of the members by using a stochastic optimal control technique. Furthermore, we studied the effect of the various parameters of the optimal investment strategies and the effect of the risk-averse level on the efficient frontier. We observed that the optimal investment strategy is the same as in literature, secondly, we observed that the surplus decreases the proportion of the wealth invested in the risky asset.

Keywords: DC pension fund, Hamilton Jacobi Bellman equation, optimal investment strategies, stochastic optimal control technique, return of premiums clauses, mean-variance utility.

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362 Architectural and Structural Analysis of Selected Tall Buildings in Warsaw, Poland

Authors: J. Szolomicki, H. Golasz-Szolomicka

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This paper presents elements of architectural and structural analysis of selected high-rise buildings in the Polish capital city of Warsaw. When analyzing the architecture of Warsaw, it can be concluded that it is currently a rapidly growing city with technologically advanced skyscrapers that belong to the category of intelligent buildings. The constructional boom over the last dozen years has seen the erection of postmodern skyscrapers for office and residential use. This article focuses on how Warsaw has recently joined the most architecturally interesting cities in Europe. Warsaw is currently in fifth place in Europe in terms of the number of skyscrapers and is considered the second most preferred city in Europe (after London) for investment related to them. However, the architectural development of the city could not take place without the participation of eminent Polish and foreign architects such as Stefan Kuryłowicz, Lary Oltmans, Helmut Jahn or Daniel Libeskind.

Keywords: Core structure, raft foundation, tall buildings.

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361 Contribution to the Success of the Energy Audit in the Industrial Environment: A Case Study about Audit of Interior Lighting for an Industrial Site in Morocco

Authors: Abdelkarim Ait Brik, Abdelaziz Khoukh, Mustapha Jammali, Hamid Chaikhy

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The energy audit is the essential initial step to ensure a good definition of energy control actions. The in-depth study of the various energy-consuming equipments makes it possible to determine the actions and investments with best cost for the company. The analysis focuses on the energy consumption of production equipment and utilities (lighting, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, transport). Successful implementation of this approach requires, however, to take into account a number of prerequisites. This paper proposes a number of useful recommendations concerning the energy audit in order to achieve better results, and a case study concerning the lighting audit of a Moroccan company by showing the gains that can be made through this audit.

Keywords: Energy audit, energy diagnosis, consumption, electricity, energy efficiency, lighting audit.

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360 Dynamic Correlations and Portfolio Optimization between Islamic and Conventional Equity Indexes: A Vine Copula-Based Approach

Authors: Imen Dhaou

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This study examines conditional Value at Risk by applying the GJR-EVT-Copula model, and finds the optimal portfolio for eight Dow Jones Islamic-conventional pairs. Our methodology consists of modeling the data by a bivariate GJR-GARCH model in which we extract the filtered residuals and then apply the Peak over threshold model (POT) to fit the residual tails in order to model marginal distributions. After that, we use pair-copula to find the optimal portfolio risk dependence structure. Finally, with Monte Carlo simulations, we estimate the Value at Risk (VaR) and the conditional Value at Risk (CVaR). The empirical results show the VaR and CVaR values for an equally weighted portfolio of Dow Jones Islamic-conventional pairs. In sum, we found that the optimal investment focuses on Islamic-conventional US Market index pairs because of high investment proportion; however, all other index pairs have low investment proportion. These results deliver some real repercussions for portfolio managers and policymakers concerning to optimal asset allocations, portfolio risk management and the diversification advantages of these markets.

Keywords: CVaR, Dow Jones Islamic index, GJR-GARCH-EVT-pair copula, portfolio optimization.

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359 The Role of ICT for Income Inequality: The Model and the Simulations

Authors: Shoji Katagiri

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This paper is to clarify the relationship between ICT and income inequality. To do so, we develop the general equilibrium model with ICT investment, obtain the equilibrium solutions, and then simulate the model with these solutions for some OECD countries. As a result, generally, during the corresponding periods we confirm that the relationship between ICT investment and income inequality is positive. In this mode, the increment of the ratio of ICT investment to the aggregated investment in stock enhances the capital’s share of income, and finally leads to income inequality such as the increase of the share of the top decile income. Although we confirm the positive relationship between ICT investment and income inequality, the upward trend for that relationship depends on the values of parameters for the making use of the simulations and these parameters are not deterministic in the magnitudes on the calculated results for the simulations.

Keywords: ICT, inequality, capital accumulation, technology.

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