Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Julia Kantorovitch

13 An Interactive Ontology Visualization Approach for the Networked Home Environment

Authors: Ilkka Niskanen, Jarmo Kalaoja, Julia Kantorovitch, Toni Piirainen

Abstract:

Ontologies are broadly used in the context of networked home environments. With ontologies it is possible to define and store context information, as well as to model different kinds of physical environments. Ontologies are central to networked home environments as they carry the meaning. However, ontologies and the OWL language is complex. Several ontology visualization approaches have been developed to enhance the understanding of ontologies. The domain of networked home environments sets some special requirements for the ontology visualization approach. The visualization tool presented here, visualizes ontologies in a domain-specific way. It represents effectively the physical structures and spatial relationships of networked home environments. In addition, it provides extensive interaction possibilities for editing and manipulating the visualization. The tool shortens the gap from beginner to intermediate OWL ontology reader by visualizing instances in their actual locations and making OWL ontologies more interesting and concrete, and above all easier to comprehend.

Keywords: Ontologies, visualization, interaction.

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12 Video Quality Assessment using Visual Attention Approach for Sign Language

Authors: Julia Kucerova, Jaroslav Polec, Darina Tarcsiova

Abstract:

Visual information is very important in human perception of surrounding world. Video is one of the most common ways to capture visual information. The video capability has many benefits and can be used in various applications. For the most part, the video information is used to bring entertainment and help to relax, moreover, it can improve the quality of life of deaf people. Visual information is crucial for hearing impaired people, it allows them to communicate personally, using the sign language; some parts of the person being spoken to, are more important than others (e.g. hands, face). Therefore, the information about visually relevant parts of the image, allows us to design objective metric for this specific case. In this paper, we present an example of an objective metric based on human visual attention and detection of salient object in the observed scene.

Keywords: sign language, objective video quality, visual attention, saliency

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11 An Ontology Abstract Machine

Authors: Leong Lee, Jennifer Leopold, Julia Albath, Alton Coalter

Abstract:

As more people from non-technical backgrounds are becoming directly involved with large-scale ontology development, the focal point of ontology research has shifted from the more theoretical ontology issues to problems associated with the actual use of ontologies in real-world, large-scale collaborative applications. Recently the National Science Foundation funded a large collaborative ontology development project for which a new formal ontology model, the Ontology Abstract Machine (OAM), was developed to satisfy some unique functional and data representation requirements. This paper introduces the OAM model and the related algorithms that enable maintenance of an ontology that supports node-based user access. The successful software implementation of the OAM model and its subsequent acceptance by a large research community proves its validity and its real-world application value.

Keywords: Ontology, Abstract Machine, Ontology Editor, WebbasedOntology Management System.

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10 Context Generation with Image Based Sensors: An Interdisciplinary Enquiry on Technical and Social Issues and their Implications for System Design

Authors: Julia Moehrmann, Gunter Heidemann, Oliver Siemoneit, Christoph Hubig, Uwe-Philipp Kaeppeler, Paul Levi

Abstract:

Image data holds a large amount of different context information. However, as of today, these resources remain largely untouched. It is thus the aim of this paper to present a basic technical framework which allows for a quick and easy exploitation of context information from image data especially by non-expert users. Furthermore, the proposed framework is discussed in detail concerning important social and ethical issues which demand special requirements in system design. Finally, a first sensor prototype is presented which meets the identified requirements. Additionally, necessary implications for the software and hardware design of the system are discussed, rendering a sensor system which could be regarded as a good, acceptable and justifiable technical and thereby enabling the extraction of context information from image data.

Keywords: Context-aware computing, ethical and social issues, image recognition, requirements in system design.

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9 Between Legal Authority and Epistemic Competence: A Case Study of the Brazilian Supreme Court

Authors: Júlia Massadas

Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to analyze the role played by the institute of the public hearings in the Brazilian Supreme Court. The public hearings are regulated since 1999 by the Brazilian Laws nº 9.868, nº 9.882 and by the Intern Regiment of the Brazilian Supreme Court. According to this legislation, the public hearings are supposed to be called when a matter of circumstance of fact must be clarified, what can be done through the hearing of the testimonies of persons with expertise and authority in the theme related to the cause. This work aims to investigate what is the role played by the public hearings and by the experts in the Brazilian Supreme Court. The hypothesis of this research is that: (I) The public hearings in the Brazilian Supreme Court are used to uphold a rhetoric of a democratic legitimacy of the Court`s decisions; (II) The Legislative intentions have been distorted. To test this hypothesis, the adopted methodology involves an empirical study of the Brazilian jurisprudence. As a conclusion, it follows that the public hearings convened by the Brazilian Supreme Court do not correspond, in practice, to the role assigned to them by the Congress since they do not serve properly to epistemic interests. The public hearings not only do not legitimate democratically the decisions, but also, do not properly clarify technical issues.

Keywords: Brazilian Supreme Court, constitutional law, public hearings, epistemic competence, legal authority.

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8 Negotiating Across Cultures: The Case of Hungarian Negotiators

Authors: Júlia Szőke

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Negotiating across cultures needs consideration as different cultures have different norms, habits and behavioral patterns. The significance of cross-cultural negotiations lies in the fact that many business relationships have already failed due to the lack of cultural knowledge. Therefore, the paper deals with cross-cultural negotiations in case of Hungarian business negotiators. The aim of the paper is to introduce the findings of a two-phase research conducted among Hungarian business negotiators. In the first phase a qualitative research was conducted to reveal the importance of cultural differences in case of cross-cultural business negotiations from the viewpoint of Hungarian negotiators, whereas in the second phase a quantitative one was conducted to figure out whether cultural stereotypes affect the way how the respondents negotiate with people coming from different cultures. The research found out that in case of Hungarian negotiators it is mostly the lack of cultural knowledge that lurks behind the problems and miscommunication occurring during the negotiations. The research also revealed that stereotypes have an influence on the negotiation styles of Hungarian negotiators. The paper concludes that culture and cultural differences must be taken into consideration in case of cross-cultural negotiations so that problems and misunderstandings could be avoided.

Keywords: Business, culture, negotiations, stereotypes.

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7 Identification of Micromechanical Fracture Model for Predicting Fracture Performance of Steel Wires for Civil Engineering Applications

Authors: Kazeem K. Adewole, Julia M. Race, Steve J. Bull

Abstract:

The fracture performance of steel wires for civil engineering applications remains a major concern in civil engineering construction and maintenance of wire reinforced structures. The need to employ approaches that simulate micromechanical material processes which characterizes fracture in civil structures has been emphasized recently in the literature. However, choosing from the numerous micromechanics-based fracture models, and identifying their applicability and reliability remains an issue that still needs to be addressed in a greater depth. Laboratory tensile testing and finite element tensile testing simulations with the shear, ductile and Gurson-Tvergaard-Needleman’s micromechanics-based models conducted in this work reveal that the shear fracture model is an appropriate fracture model to predict the fracture performance of steel wires used for civil engineering applications. The need to consider the capability of the micromechanics-based fracture model to predict the “cup and cone” fracture exhibited by the wire in choosing the appropriate fracture model is demonstrated.

Keywords: Fracture performance, FE simulation, Shear fracture model, Ductile fracture model, Gurson-Tvergaard-Needleman fracture model, Wires.

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6 Apolipoprotein E Gene Polymorphism and Its Association with Cardiovascular Heart Disease Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Authors: Amani Ashari, Julia Omar, Arif Hashim, Shahrul Hamid

Abstract:

Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene polymorphism has influence on serum lipids which relates to cardiovascular risk. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency distribution of APOE alleles among Malaysian Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) patients with and without coronary artery disease (CAD) and their association with serum lipid profiles. A total of 115 patients were recruited in which 78 patients had Type 2 DM without CAD and 37 patients had Type 2 DM with CAD. The APOE polymorphism was detected by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). The APOE ɛ3 allele was the most common one in both groups. There was no significant association between the APOE genotypes and the CAD status in Type 2 DM using Pearson χ2 test. Further analysis indicated there were no significant differences in all lipid parameters between E2, E3 and E4 subgroups in both groups. The study showed that the E4 allele carriers of Type 2 DM with CAD patients had higher LDL-C level and lower HDL-C level compared to the other allele carriers. However, analyses showed these levels were not statistically different. The study also showed that the Type 2 DM with CAD group with E2 allele had higher triglyceride (TG). In conclusion, further study with larger sample size is needed to confirm role of E4 as a marker of CAD among Type 2 DM patients in Malaysian population.

Keywords: Apolipoprotein E, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, lipids.

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5 Analysis of the Influence of Reshoring on the Structural Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams

Authors: Keith Danila Aquino Neves, Júlia Borges dos Santos

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There is little published research about the influence of execution methods on structural behavior. Structural analysis is typically based on a constructed building, considering the actions of all forces under which it was designed. However, during construction, execution loads do not match those designed, and in some cases the loads begin to act when the concrete has not yet reached its maximum strength. Changes to structural element support conditions may occur, resulting in unforeseen alterations to the structure’s behavior. Shoring is an example of a construction process that, if executed improperly, will directly influence the structural performance, and may result in unpredicted cracks and displacements. The NBR 14931/2004 standard, which guides the execution of reinforced concrete structures, mentions that shoring must be executed in a way that avoids unpredicted loads and that it may be removed after previous analysis of the structure’s behavior by the professional responsible for the structure’s design. Differences in structural behavior are reduced for small spans. It is important to qualify and quantify how the incorrect placement of shores can compromise a structure’s safety. The results of this research allowed a more precise acknowledgment of the relationship between spans and loads, for which the influence of execution processes can be considerable, and reinforced that civil engineering practice must be performed with the presence of a qualified professional, respecting existing standards’ guidelines.

Keywords: Structural analysis, structural behavior, reshoring, static scheme, reinforced concrete.

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4 Fluidised Bed Gasification of Multiple Agricultural Biomass Derived Briquettes

Authors: Rukayya Ibrahim Muazu, Aiduan Li Borrion, Julia A. Stegemann

Abstract:

Biomass briquette gasification is regarded as a promising route for efficient briquette use in energy generation, fuels and other useful chemicals. However, previous research has been focused on briquette gasification in fixed bed gasifiers such as updraft and downdraft gasifiers. Fluidised bed gasifier has the potential to be effectively sized to medium or large scale. This study investigated the use of fuel briquettes produced from blends of rice husks and corn cobs biomass, in a bubbling fluidised bed gasifier. The study adopted a combination of numerical equations and Aspen Plus simulation software, to predict the product gas (syngas) composition base on briquette density and biomass composition (blend ratio of rice husks to corn cobs). The Aspen Plus model was based on an experimentally validated model from the literature. The results based on a briquette size 32 mm diameter and relaxed density range of 500 to 650kg/m3, indicated that fluidisation air required in the gasifier increased with increase in briquette density, and the fluidisation air showed to be the controlling factor compared with the actual air required for gasification of the biomass briquettes. The mass flowrate of CO2 in the predicted syngas composition increased with an increase in air flow, in the gasifier, while CO decreased and H2 was almost constant. The ratio of H2 to CO for various blends of rice husks and corn cobs did not significantly change at the designed process air, but a significant difference of 1.0 was observed between 10/90 and 90/10 % blend of rice husks and corn cobs.

Keywords: Briquettes, fluidised bed, gasification, Aspen Plus, syngas.

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3 Is HR in a State of Transition? An International Comparative Study on the Development of HR Competencies

Authors: Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, Sabine Groblschegg, Bernhard Klaus, Julia Domnanovich

Abstract:

Research Objectives: The roles and activities of Human Resource Management (HRM) have changed a lot in the past years. Driven by a changing environment and therefore new business requirements, the scope of human resource (HR) activities has widened. The extent to which these activities should focus on strategic issues to support the long term success of a company has been discussed in science for many years. As many economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) experienced a phase of transition after the socialist era and are now recovering from the 2008 global crisis it is needed to examine the current state of HR positioning. Furthermore a trend in HR work developing from rather administrative units to being strategic partners of management can be noticed. This leads to the question of better understanding the underlying competencies which are necessary to support organisations. This topic was addressed by the international study “HR Competencies in international comparison”. The quantitative survey was conducted by the Institute for Human Resources & Organisation of FHWien University of Applied Science of WKW (A) in cooperation with partner universities in the countries Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Methodology: Using the questionnaire developed by Dave Ulrich we tested whether the HR Competency model can be used for Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. After performing confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis for the whole data set containing all five countries we could clearly distinguish between four competencies. In a further step our analysis focused on median and average comparisons between the HR competency dimensions. Conclusion: Our literature review, in alignment with other studies, shows a relatively rapid pace of development of HR Roles and HR Competencies in BCSS in the past decades. Comparing data from BCSS and Austria we still can notice that regards strategic orientation there is a lack in BCSS countries, thus competencies are not as developed as in Austria. This leads us to the tentative conclusion that HR has undergone a rapid change but is still in a State of Transition from being a rather administrative unit to performing the role of a strategic partner.

Keywords: Comparative study, HR competencies, HRM, HR Roles.

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2 Analysis of Stress and Strain in Head Based Control of Cooperative Robots through Tetraplegics

Authors: Jochen Nelles, Susanne Kohns, Julia Spies, Friederike Schmitz-Buhl, Roland Thietje, Christopher Brandl, Alexander Mertens, Christopher M. Schlick

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Industrial robots as part of highly automated manufacturing are recently developed to cooperative (light-weight) robots. This offers the opportunity of using them as assistance robots and to improve the participation in professional life of disabled or handicapped people such as tetraplegics. Robots under development are located within a cooperation area together with the working person at the same workplace. This cooperation area is an area where the robot and the working person can perform tasks at the same time. Thus, working people and robots are operating in the immediate proximity. Considering the physical restrictions and the limited mobility of tetraplegics, a hands-free robot control could be an appropriate approach for a cooperative assistance robot. To meet these requirements, the research project MeRoSy (human-robot synergy) develops methods for cooperative assistance robots based on the measurement of head movements of the working person. One research objective is to improve the participation in professional life of people with disabilities and, in particular, mobility impaired persons (e.g. wheelchair users or tetraplegics), whose participation in a self-determined working life is denied. This raises the research question, how a human-robot cooperation workplace can be designed for hands-free robot control. Here, the example of a library scenario is demonstrated. In this paper, an empirical study that focuses on the impact of head movement related stress is presented. 12 test subjects with tetraplegia participated in the study. Tetraplegia also known as quadriplegia is the worst type of spinal cord injury. In the experiment, three various basic head movements were examined. Data of the head posture were collected by a motion capture system; muscle activity was measured via surface electromyography and the subjective mental stress was assessed via a mental effort questionnaire. The muscle activity was measured for the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), the upper trapezius (UT) or trapezius pars descendens, and the splenius capitis (SPL) muscle. For this purpose, six non-invasive surface electromyography sensors were mounted on the head and neck area. An analysis of variance shows differentiated muscular strains depending on the type of head movement. Systematically investigating the influence of different basic head movements on the resulting strain is an important issue to relate the research results to other scenarios. At the end of this paper, a conclusion will be drawn and an outlook of future work will be presented.

Keywords: Assistance robot, human-robot-interaction, motion capture, stress-strain-concept, surface electromyography, tetraplegia.

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1 Smart Meters and In-Home Displays to Encourage Water Conservation through Behavioural Change

Authors: Julia Terlet, Thomas H. Beach, Yacine Rezgui

Abstract:

Urbanization, population growth, climate change and the current increase in water demand have made the adoption of innovative demand management strategies crucial to the water industry. Water conservation in urban areas has to be improved by encouraging consumers to adopt more sustainable habits and behaviours. This includes informing and educating them about their households’ water consumption and advising them about ways to achieve significant savings on a daily basis. This paper presents a study conducted in the context of the European FP7 WISDOM Project. By integrating innovative Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) frameworks, this project aims at achieving a change in water savings. More specifically, behavioural change will be attempted by implementing smart meters and in-home displays in a trial group of selected households within Cardiff (UK). Using this device, consumers will be able to receive feedback and information about their consumption but will also have the opportunity to compare their consumption to the consumption of other consumers and similar households. Following an initial survey, it appeared necessary to implement these in-home displays in a way that matches consumer's motivations to save water. The results demonstrated the importance of various factors influencing people’s daily water consumption. Both the relevant literature on the subject and the results of our survey therefore led us to include within the in-home device a variety of elements. It first appeared crucial to make consumers aware of the economic aspect of water conservation and especially of the significant financial savings that can be achieved by reducing their household’s water consumption on the long term. Likewise, reminding participants of the impact of their consumption on the environment by making them more aware of water scarcity issues around the world will help increasing their motivation to save water. Additionally, peer pressure and social comparisons with neighbours and other consumers, accentuated by the use of online social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, will likely encourage consumers to reduce their consumption. Participants will also be able to compare their current consumption to their past consumption and to observe the consequences of their efforts to save water through diverse graphs and charts. Finally, including a virtual water game within the display will help the whole household, children and adults, to achieve significant reductions by providing them with simple tips and advice to save water on a daily basis. Moreover, by setting daily and weekly goals for them to reach, the game will expectantly generate cooperation between family members. Members of each household will indeed be encouraged to work together to reduce their water consumption within different rooms of the house, such as the bathroom, the kitchen, or the toilets. Overall, this study will allow us to understand the elements that attract consumers the most and the features that are most commonly used by the participants. In this way, we intend to determine the main factors influencing water consumption in order to identify the measures that will most encourage water conservation in both the long and short term.

Keywords: Behavioural change, ICT technologies, water consumption, water conservation.

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