Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: Kenneth A. Okpala

16 Exchange Rate Volatility, Its Determinants and Effects on the Manufacturing Sector in Nigeria

Authors: Chimaobi V. Okolo, Onyinye S. Ugwuanyi, Kenneth A. Okpala

Abstract:

This study evaluated the effect of exchange rate volatility on the manufacturing sector of Nigeria. The flow and stock market theories of exchange rate determination was adopted considering macroeconomic determinants such as balance of trade, trade openness, and net international investment. Furthermore, the influence of changes in parallel exchange rate, official exchange rate and real effective exchange rate was modeled on the manufacturing sector output. Vector autoregression techniques and vector error correction mechanism were adopted to explore the macroeconomic determinants of exchange rate fluctuation in Nigeria and to examine the influence of exchange rate volatility on the manufacturing sector output in Nigeria. The exchange rate showed an unstable and volatile movement in Nigeria. Official exchange rate significantly impacted on the manufacturing sector of Nigeria and shock to previous manufacturing sector output caused 60.76% of the fluctuation in the manufacturing sector output in Nigeria. Trade balance, trade openness and net international investments did not significantly determine exchange rate in Nigeria. However, own shock accounted for about 95% of the variation of exchange rate fluctuation in the short-run and long-run. Among other macroeconomic variables, net international investment accounted for about 2.85% variation of the real effective exchange rate fluctuation in the short-run and in the long-run. Monetary authorities should maintain stability of the exchange rates through proper management so as to encourage local production and government should formulate and implement policies that will develop other sectors of the economy as this will widen the country’s revenue base, reduce our over reliance on oil sector for our foreign exchange earnings and in turn reduce the shocks on our domestic economy.

Keywords: Exchange rate volatility, exchange rate determinants, manufacturing sector, official exchange rate, parallel exchange rate, real effective exchange rate.

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15 Impact Assessment of Credit Policy and Medical Credit Facility (MCF) on Nigerian Private Sector Health Market: Evidence from Eight Nigerian States

Authors: Chimaobi V. Okolo, Kenneth A. Okpala, Johnbull S. Ogboi

Abstract:

A teeming set of doctors that graduated from various universities within and outside Nigeria with the hope of practicing in the country, has their hope shattered because of poor financing, lack of medical equipments and a very weak healthcare systems. Such hydra headed challenges, allows room for quackery which increasingly contributes to the cause of mortality in Nigeria. With a view of reversing the challenges of healthcare delivery and financing in Nigeria, African Health Market for Equity (AHME), a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation [With contribution from Department For International Development (DFID)] and currently implemented in three African Countries (Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana) over a Five (5) year period supports the healthcare sector via Medical credit fund (MCF). The study examines the impact of credit policy and medical credit funding on Nigerian health market. Ordinary least square analysis, correlation and granger causality tests were employed to measure the extent to which the Nigerian healthcare market has been influenced. Medical credit fund significantly and positively influenced average monthly turnover of private healthcare providers and Commercial bank’s lending rate had a weak relationship with access to credit/approved loans (13.46%). The programme has so far made 13.91% progress, which is very poor, considering the minimum targeted private health care providers (437.6) and expected number of loan approvals (180.4) for the two years. Medical credit policy in Nigeria should be revised to include private healthcare providers in rural area for more positive impact and increased returns. Good brand advert and sensitization of the programme to stakeholders and health pressure group, and an extension of the programme beyond five years is necessary to better address the issues raised in the study.

Keywords: Credit, health market, medical credit facility, policy.

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14 A Neural Computing-Based Approach for the Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Authors: Marina Gorunescu, Florin Gorunescu, Kenneth Revett

Abstract:

Hepatocellular carcinoma, also called hepatoma, most commonly appears in a patient with chronic viral hepatitis. In patients with a higher suspicion of HCC, such as small or subtle rising of serum enzymes levels, the best method of diagnosis involves a CT scan of the abdomen, but only at high cost. The aim of this study was to increase the ability of the physician to early detect HCC, using a probabilistic neural network-based approach, in order to save time and hospital resources.

Keywords: Early HCC diagnosis, probabilistic neural network.

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13 Gait Recognition System: Bundle Rectangle Approach

Authors: Edward Guillen, Daniel Padilla, Adriana Hernandez, Kenneth Barner

Abstract:

Biometrics methods include recognition techniques such as fingerprint, iris, hand geometry, voice, face, ears and gait. The gait recognition approach has some advantages, for example it does not need the prior concern of the observed subject and it can record many biometric features in order to make deeper analysis, but most of the research proposals use high computational cost. This paper shows a gait recognition system with feature subtraction on a bundle rectangle drawn over the observed person. Statistical results within a database of 500 videos are shown.

Keywords: Autentication, Biometrics, Gait Recognition, Human Identification, Security.

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12 Developing a Research Framework for Investigating the Transparency of ePortfolios

Authors: Elizabeth Downs, Judith Repman, Kenneth Clark

Abstract:

This paper describes the evolution of strategies to evaluate ePortfolios in an online Master-s of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Instructional Technology. The ePortfolios are required as a culminating activity for students in the program. By using Web 2.0 tools to develop the ePortfolios, students are able to showcase their technical skills, integrate national standards, demonstrate their professional understandings, and reflect on their individual learning. Faculty have created assessment strategies to evaluate student achievement of these skills. To further develop ePortfolios as a tool promoting authentic learning, faculty are moving toward integrating transparency as part of the evaluation process.

Keywords: e-learning evaluation, ePortfolios, transparency, Web 2.0

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11 Robust Design and Optimization of Production Wastes: An Application for Industries

Authors: Christopher C. Ihueze, Charles C. Okpala, Christian E. Okafor, Peter O. Ogbobe

Abstract:

This paper focuses on robust design and optimization of industrial production wastes. Past literatures were reviewed to case study Clamason Industries Limited (CIL) - a leading ladder-tops manufacturer. A painstaking study of the firm-s practices at the shop floor revealed that Over-production, Waiting time, Excess inventory, and Defects are the major wastes that are impeding their progress and profitability. Design expert8 software was used to apply Taguchi robust design and response surface methodology in order to model, analyse and optimise the wastes cost in CIL. Waiting time and overproduction rank first and second in contributing to the costs of wastes in CIL. For minimal wastes cost the control factors of overproduction, waiting-time, defects and excess-inventory must be set at 0.30, 390.70, 4 and 55.70 respectively for CIL. The optimal value of cost of wastes for the months studied was 22.3679. Finally, a recommendation was made that for the company to enhance their profitability and customer satisfaction, they must adopt the Shingeo Shingo-s Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED), which will immediately tackle the waste of waiting by drastically reducing their setup time.

Keywords: Excess-inventory, setup time, single minute exchange of dies, optimal value, over-production, robust design.

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10 Modeling Erosion Control in Oil Production Wells

Authors: Kenneth I.Eshiet, Yong Sheng

Abstract:

The sand production problem has led researchers into making various attempts to understand the phenomenon. The generally accepted concept is that the occurrence of sanding is due to the in-situ stress conditions and the induced changes in stress that results in the failure of the reservoir sandstone during hydrocarbon production from wellbores. By using a hypothetical cased (perforated) well, an approach to the problem is presented here by using Finite Element numerical modelling techniques. In addition to the examination of the erosion problem, the influence of certain key parameters is studied in order to ascertain their effect on the failure and subsequent erosion process. The major variables investigated include: drawdown, perforation depth, and the erosion criterion. Also included is the determination of the optimal mud pressure for given operational and reservoir conditions. The improved understanding between parameters enables the choice of optimal values to minimize sanding during oil production.

Keywords: Equivalent Plastic Strain, Erosion, Hydrocarbon Production.

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9 Creating a Virtual Perception for Upper Limb Rehabilitation

Authors: Nina Robson, Kenneth John Faller II, Vishalkumar Ahir, Arthur Ricardo Deps Miguel Ferreira, John Buchanan, Amarnath Banerjee

Abstract:

This paper describes the development of a virtual-reality system ARWED, which will be used in physical rehabilitation of patients with reduced upper extremity mobility to increase limb Active Range of Motion (AROM). The ARWED system performs a symmetric reflection and real-time mapping of the patient’s healthy limb on to their most affected limb, tapping into the mirror neuron system and facilitating the initial learning phase. Using the ARWED, future experiments will test the extension of the action-observation priming effect linked to the mirror-neuron system on healthy subjects and then stroke patients.

Keywords: Physical rehabilitation, mirror neuron, virtual reality, stroke therapy.

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8 Developing Models for Predicting Physiologically Impaired Arm Reaching Paths

Authors: Nina Robson, Kenneth John Faller II, Vishalkumar Ahir, Mustafa Mhawesh, Reza Langari

Abstract:

This paper describes the development of a model of an impaired human arm performing a reaching motion, which will be used to predict hand path trajectories for people with reduced arm joint mobility. Assuming that the arm was in contact with a surface during the entire movement, the contact conditions at the initial and final task locations were determined and used to generate the entire trajectory. The model was validated by comparing it to experimental data, which simulated an arm joint impairment by physically constraining the joint motion with a brace. Future research will include using the model in the development of physical training protocols that avoid early recruitment of “healthy” Degrees-Of-Freedom (DOF) for reaching motions, thus facilitating an Active Range-Of-Motion Recovery (AROM) for a particular impaired joint.

Keywords: Higher order kinematic specifications, human motor coordination, impaired movement, kinematic synthesis.

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7 The Rank-scaled Mutation Rate for Genetic Algorithms

Authors: Mike Sewell, Jagath Samarabandu, Ranga Rodrigo, Kenneth McIsaac

Abstract:

A novel method of individual level adaptive mutation rate control called the rank-scaled mutation rate for genetic algorithms is introduced. The rank-scaled mutation rate controlled genetic algorithm varies the mutation parameters based on the rank of each individual within the population. Thereby the distribution of the fitness of the papulation is taken into consideration in forming the new mutation rates. The best fit mutate at the lowest rate and the least fit mutate at the highest rate. The complexity of the algorithm is of the order of an individual adaptation scheme and is lower than that of a self-adaptation scheme. The proposed algorithm is tested on two common problems, namely, numerical optimization of a function and the traveling salesman problem. The results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms both the fixed and deterministic mutation rate schemes. It is best suited for problems with several local optimum solutions without a high demand for excessive mutation rates.

Keywords: Genetic algorithms, mutation rate control, adaptive mutation.

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6 Orthogonal Array Application and Response Surface Method Approach for Optimal Product Values: An Application for Oil Blending Process

Authors: Christopher C. Ihueze, Constance C. Obiuto, Christian E. Okafor, Charles C. Okpala

Abstract:

This paper presents a methodical approach for designing and optimizing process parameters in oil blending industries. Twenty seven replicated experiments were conducted for production of A-Z crown super oil (SAE20W/50) employing L9 orthogonal array to establish process response parameters. Power law model was fitted to experimental data and the obtained model was optimized applying the central composite design (CCD) of response surface methodology (RSM). Quadratic model was found to be significant for production of A-Z crown supper oil. The study recognized and specified four new lubricant formulations that conform to ISO oil standard in the course of analyzing the batch productions of A-Z crown supper oil as: L1: KV = 21.8293Cst, BS200 = 9430.00Litres, Ad102=11024.00Litres, PVI = 2520 Litres, L2: KV = 22.513Cst, BS200 = 12430.00 Litres, Ad102 = 11024.00 Litres, PVI = 2520 Litres, L3: KV = 22.1671Cst, BS200 = 9430.00 Litres, Ad102 = 10481.00 Litres, PVI= 2520 Litres, L4: KV = 22.8605Cst, BS200 = 12430.00 Litres, Ad102 = 10481.00 Litres, PVI = 2520 Litres. The analysis of variance showed that quadratic model is significant for kinematic viscosity production while the R-sq value statistic of 0.99936 showed that the variation of kinematic viscosity is due to its relationship with the control factors. This study therefore resulted to appropriate blending proportions of lubricants base oil and additives and recommends the optimal kinematic viscosity of A-Z crown super oil (SAE20W/50) to be 22.86Cst.

Keywords: Additives, control factors, kinematic viscosity, lubricant, orthogonal array, process parameter.

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5 Taguchi Robust Design for Optimal Setting of Process Wastes Parameters in an Automotive Parts Manufacturing Company

Authors: Charles Chikwendu Okpala, Christopher Chukwutoo Ihueze

Abstract:

As a technique that reduces variation in a product by lessening the sensitivity of the design to sources of variation, rather than by controlling their sources, Taguchi Robust Design entails the designing of ideal goods, by developing a product that has minimal variance in its characteristics and also meets the desired exact performance. This paper examined the concept of the manufacturing approach and its application to brake pad product of an automotive parts manufacturing company. Although the firm claimed that only defects, excess inventory, and over-production were the few wastes that grossly affect their productivity and profitability, a careful study and analysis of their manufacturing processes with the application of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) tool showed that the waste of waiting is the fourth waste that bedevils the firm. The selection of the Taguchi L9 orthogonal array which is based on the four parameters and the three levels of variation for each parameter revealed that with a range of 2.17, that waiting is the major waste that the company must reduce in order to continue to be viable. Also, to enhance the company’s throughput and profitability, the wastes of over-production, excess inventory, and defects with ranges of 2.01, 1.46, and 0.82, ranking second, third, and fourth respectively must also be reduced to the barest minimum. After proposing -33.84 as the highest optimum Signal-to-Noise ratio to be maintained for the waste of waiting, the paper advocated for the adoption of all the tools and techniques of Lean Production System (LPS), and Continuous Improvement (CI), and concluded by recommending SMED in order to drastically reduce set up time which leads to unnecessary waiting.

Keywords: Taguchi Robust Design, signal to noise ratio, Single Minute Exchange of Dies, lean production system, waste.

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4 Multivariate Output-Associative RVM for Multi-Dimensional Affect Predictions

Authors: Achut Manandhar, Kenneth D. Morton, Peter A. Torrione, Leslie M. Collins

Abstract:

The current trends in affect recognition research are to consider continuous observations from spontaneous natural interactions in people using multiple feature modalities, and to represent affect in terms of continuous dimensions, incorporate spatio-temporal correlation among affect dimensions, and provide fast affect predictions. These research efforts have been propelled by a growing effort to develop affect recognition system that can be implemented to enable seamless real-time human-computer interaction in a wide variety of applications. Motivated by these desired attributes of an affect recognition system, in this work a multi-dimensional affect prediction approach is proposed by integrating multivariate Relevance Vector Machine (MVRVM) with a recently developed Output-associative Relevance Vector Machine (OARVM) approach. The resulting approach can provide fast continuous affect predictions by jointly modeling the multiple affect dimensions and their correlations. Experiments on the RECOLA database show that the proposed approach performs competitively with the OARVM while providing faster predictions during testing.

Keywords: Dimensional affect prediction, Output-associative RVM, Multivariate regression.

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3 A Multiple Linear Regression Model to Predict the Price of Cement in Nigeria

Authors: Kenneth M. Oba

Abstract:

This study investigated factors affecting the price of cement in Nigeria, and developed a mathematical model that can predict future cement prices. Cement is key in the Nigerian construction industry. The changes in price caused by certain factors could affect economic and infrastructural development; hence there is need for proper proactive planning. Secondary data were collected from published information on cement between 2014 and 2019. In addition, questionnaires were sent to some domestic cement retailers in Port Harcourt in Nigeria, to obtain the actual prices of cement between the same periods. The study revealed that the most critical factors affecting the price of cement in Nigeria are inflation rate, population growth rate, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate. With the use of data from United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and Central Bank of Nigeria databases, amongst others, a Multiple Linear Regression model was formulated. The model was used to predict the price of cement for 2020-2025. The model was then tested with 95% confidence level, using a two-tailed t-test and an F-test, resulting in an R2 of 0.8428 and R2 (adj.) of 0.6069. The results of the tests and the correlation factors confirm the model to be fit and adequate. This study will equip researchers and stakeholders in the construction industry with information for planning, monitoring, and management of present and future construction projects that involve the use of cement.

Keywords: Cement price, multiple linear regression model, Nigerian Construction Industry, price prediction.

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2 Implementing a Strategy of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) in the Libyan Cement Industry

Authors: Khalid M. Albarkoly, Kenneth S. Park

Abstract:

The substantial development of the construction industry has forced the cement industry, its major support, to focus on achieving maximum productivity to meet the growing demand for this material. This means that the reliability of a cement production system needs to be at the highest level that can be achieved by good maintenance. This paper studies the extent to which the implementation of RCM is needed as a strategy for increasing the reliability of the production systems component can be increased, thus ensuring continuous productivity. In a case study of four Libyan cement factories, 80 employees were surveyed and 12 top and middle managers interviewed. It is evident that these factories usually breakdown more often than once per month which has led to a decline in productivity. In many times they cannot achieve the minimum level of production amount. This has resulted from the poor reliability of their production systems as a result of poor or insufficient maintenance. It has been found that most of the factories’ employees misunderstand maintenance and its importance. The main cause of this problem is the lack of qualified and trained staff, but in addition it has been found that most employees are not found to be motivated as a result of a lack of management support and interest. In response to these findings, it has been suggested that the RCM strategy should be implemented in the four factories. The results show the importance of the development of maintenance strategies through the implementation of RCM in these factories. The purpose of it would be to overcome the problems that could secure the reliability of the production systems. This study could be a useful source of information for academic researchers and the industrial organizations which are still experiencing problems in maintenance practices.

Keywords: Libyan cement industry, maintenance, production, reliability centered maintenance, reliability.

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1 The Effects of Wood Ash on Ignition Point of Wood

Authors: Kenneth A. Ibe, Justina I. Mbonu, Godgift K. Umukoro

Abstract:

The effects of wood ash from five common tropical woods on the ignition point of four common tropical woods in Nigeria were investigated. The ash and moisture contents of the wood sawdust from Mahogany (Khaya ivorensis), Opepe (Sarcocephalus latifolius), Abura (Mitragyna ciliata), Rubber (Heavea brasilensis) and Poroporo (Sorghum bicolour) used, were determined using a furnace (Vecstar furnaces, model ECF2, serial no. f3077) and oven (Genlab laboratory oven, model MINO/040) respectively. The metal contents of the five wood sawdust ash samples were determined using a Perkin Elmer optima 3000 dv atomic absorption spectrometer while the ignition points were determined using Vecstar furnaces model ECF2. Poroporo had the highest ash content, 2.263g while rubber had the least, 0.710g. The results for the moisture content range from 2.971g to 0.903g. Magnesium metal had the highest concentration of all the metals, in all the wood ash samples; with mahogany ash having the highest concentration, 9.196ppm while rubber ash had the least concentration of magnesium metal, 2.196 ppm. The ignition point results showed that the wood ashes from mahogany and opepe increased the ignition points of the test wood samples, Danta (Nesogordonia papaverifera), Ekpaya, Akomu (Pycnanthus angolensis) and Oleku when coated on them while the ashes from poroporo, rubber and abura decreased the ignition points of the test wood samples when coated on them. However, Opepe saw dust ash decreased the ignition point in one of the test wood samples, suggesting that the metal content of the test wood sample was more than that of the Opepe saw dust ash. Therefore, Mahogany and Opepe saw dust ashes could be used in the surface treatment of wood to enhance their fire resistance or retardancy. However, the caution to be exercised in this application is that the metal content of the test wood samples should be evaluated as well.

Keywords: Ash, fire, ignition point, retardant, wood saw dust.

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