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

Search results for: Marina Bouzon

33 Optimization of Extraction of Phenolic Compounds from Avicennia marina (Forssk.)Vierh using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: V.Bharathi, Jamila Patterson, R.Rajendiran

Abstract:

Optimization of extraction of phenolic compounds from Avicennia marina using response surface methodology was carried out during the present study. Five levels, three factors rotatable design (CCRD) was utilized to examine the optimum combination of extraction variables based on the TPC of Avicennia marina leaves. The best combination of response function was 78.41 °C, drying temperature; 26.18°C; extraction temperature and 36.53 minutes of extraction time. However, the procedure can be promptly extended to the study of several others pharmaceutical processes like purification of bioactive substances, drying of extracts and development of the pharmaceutical dosage forms for the benefit of consumers.

Keywords: Avicennia marina, Central Composite RotatableDesign (CCRD), Response Surface Methodology, Total Phenoliccontents (TPC)

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32 Impact Assessment of Lean Practices on Social Sustainability Indicators: An Approach Using ISM Method

Authors: Aline F. Marcon, Eduardo F. da Silva, Marina Bouzon

Abstract:

The impact of lean management on environmental sustainability is the research line that receives the most attention from academicians. Therefore, the social dimension of sustainable development has so far received less attention. This paper aims to evaluate the impact of intra-plant lean manufacturing practices on social sustainability indicators extracted from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) parameters. The method is two-phased, including MCDM approach to uncover the most relevant practices regarding social performance and Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) method to reveal the structural relationship among lean practices. Professionals from the academic and industrial fields answered the questionnaires. From the results of this paper, it is possible to verify that practices such as “Safety Improvement Programs”, “Total Quality Management” and “Cross-functional Workforce” are the ones which have the most positive influence on the set of GRI social indicators.

Keywords: Indicators, ISM, lean, social, sustainability.

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31 In Vitro and Experimental Screening of Mangrove Herbal Extract against Vibrio Alginolyticus in Marine Ornamental Fish

Authors: N. B. Dhayanithi, T. T. Ajith Kumar, T. Balasubramanian

Abstract:

Present study summarizes the control of Vibrio alginolyticus infection in hatchery reared Clownfish, Amphiprion sebae with the extract of the mangrove plant, Avicennia marina. Fishes with visible symptoms of hemorrhagic spots were chosen and the genomic DNA of the causative bacterium was isolated and sequenced based on 16S rDNA gene. The in vitro assay revealed that a fraction of A. marina leaf extract elucidated with ethyl acetate: methanol (6:4) showed a high activity (28 mm) at 125 μg/ml concentrations. About 4 % of the fraction fed along with live V. alginolyticus was significantly decreased the cumulative mortality (P<0.05) in the experimental groups than the control group. The responsible fraction was investigated by gas chromatography - mass spectroscopy and found the presence of active compounds. This is the first research in India to control vibriosis infection in marine ornamental fish with mangrove leaf extract.

Keywords: Amphiprion seabe, Avicennia marina, Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectroscopy, Vibrio alginolyticus

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30 Use of Caffeine and Human Pharmaceutical Compounds to Identify Sewage Contamination

Authors: Jingming Wu, Junqi Yue, Ruikang Hu, Zhaoguang Yang, Lifeng Zhang

Abstract:

Fecal coliform bacteria are widely used as indicators of sewage contamination in surface water. However, there are some disadvantages in these microbial techniques including time consuming (18-48h) and inability in discriminating between human and animal fecal material sources. Therefore, it is necessary to seek a more specific indicator of human sanitary waste. In this study, the feasibility was investigated to apply caffeine and human pharmaceutical compounds to identify the human-source contamination. The correlation between caffeine and fecal coliform was also explored. Surface water samples were collected from upstream, middle-stream and downstream points respectively, along Rochor Canal, as well as 8 locations of Marina Bay. Results indicate that caffeine is a suitable chemical tracer in Singapore because of its easy detection (in the range of 0.30-2.0 ng/mL), compared with other chemicals monitored. Relative low concentrations of human pharmaceutical compounds (< 0.07 ng/mL) in Rochor Canal and Marina Bay water samples make them hard to be detected and difficult to be chemical tracer. However, their existence can help to validate sewage contamination. In addition, it was discovered the high correlation exists between caffeine concentration and fecal coliform density in the Rochor Canal water samples, demonstrating that caffeine is highly related to the human-source contamination.

Keywords: Caffeine, Human Pharmaceutical Compounds, Chemical Tracer, Sewage Contamination.

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29 Application of Argumentation for Improving the Classification Accuracy in Inductive Concept Formation

Authors: Vadim Vagin, Marina Fomina, Oleg Morosin

Abstract:

This paper contains the description of argumentation approach for the problem of inductive concept formation. It is proposed to use argumentation, based on defeasible reasoning with justification degrees, to improve the quality of classification models, obtained by generalization algorithms. The experiment’s results on both clear and noisy data are also presented.

Keywords: Argumentation, justification degrees, inductive concept formation, noise, generalization.

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28 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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27 New Laguerre-s Type Method for Solving of a Polynomial Equations Systems

Authors: Oleksandr Poliakov, Yevgen Pashkov, Marina Kolesova, Olena Chepenyuk, Mykhaylo Kalinin, Vadym Kramar

Abstract:

In this paper we present a substantiation of a new Laguerre-s type iterative method for solving of a nonlinear polynomial equations systems with real coefficients. The problems of its implementation, including relating to the structural choice of initial approximations, were considered. Test examples demonstrate the effectiveness of the method at the solving of many practical problems solving.

Keywords: Iterative method, Laguerre's method, Newton's method, polynomial equation, system of equations

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26 BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene) Degradation by Cold Plasma

Authors: Anelise Leal Vieira Cubas, Marina de Medeiros Machado, Marília de Medeiros Machado

Abstract:

The volatile organic compounds - BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene) petroleum derivatives, have high rates of toxicity, which may carry consequences for human health, biota and environment. In this directon, this paper proposes a method of treatment of these compounds by using corona discharge plasma technology. The efficiency of the method was tested by analyzing samples of BTEX after going through a plasma reactor by gas chromatography method. The results show that the optimal residence time of the sample in the reactor was 8 minutes.

Keywords: BTEX, Degradation, Cold plasma.

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25 Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making Using Information and Communication Technology

Authors: Marina Diković

Abstract:

By giving personal opinions, suggestions and criticism through e-democracy, young people can reinforce the adoption of decisions which they have an impact on. The purpose of this research was to examine the opinion of university students about the possibility of their decision-making by using information and communication technology (ICT). The questionnaire examined young people's values and behaviour associated with e-democracy and the related decision-making. Students are most active online when it comes to finding information connected with their academic responsibilities, but less frequently take part in democratic processes in society, both at the national and local level. E-democracy as a tool can be learned in programmes of Human Rights Education and Citizenship Education. 

Keywords: Active citizens, e-democracy, information and communication technology, university students.

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24 Solving Partially Monotone Problems with Neural Networks

Authors: Marina Velikova, Hennie Daniels, Ad Feelders

Abstract:

In many applications, it is a priori known that the target function should satisfy certain constraints imposed by, for example, economic theory or a human-decision maker. Here we consider partially monotone problems, where the target variable depends monotonically on some of the predictor variables but not all. We propose an approach to build partially monotone models based on the convolution of monotone neural networks and kernel functions. The results from simulations and a real case study on house pricing show that our approach has significantly better performance than partially monotone linear models. Furthermore, the incorporation of partial monotonicity constraints not only leads to models that are in accordance with the decision maker's expertise, but also reduces considerably the model variance in comparison to standard neural networks with weight decay.

Keywords: Mixture models, monotone neural networks, partially monotone models, partially monotone problems.

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23 Impact of Electronic Guest Relationship Management (e-GRM) on Brand Loyalty: The Case of Croatian Hotels

Authors: Marina Laškarin, Vlado Galičić

Abstract:

Quick adoption of e-business and emerging influence of “Electronic Word of Mouth e-WOM” communication on guests made leading hotel brands successful examples of electronic guest relationship management. Main reasons behind such success are well established procedures in collection, analysis and usage of highly valuable data available on the Internet, generated through some form of e-GRM programme. E-GRM is more than just a technology solution. It’s a system which balance respective guest demands, hotel technological capabilities and organizational culture of employees, discharging the universal approach in guest relations “same for all”. The purpose of this research derives from the necessity of determining the importance of monitoring and applying e-WOM communication as one of the methods used in managing guest relations. This paper analyses and compares different hotelier’s opinions on e-WOM communication.

Keywords: Brand loyalty, e-WOM communication, GRM programmes.

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22 Development of Knowledge Portal using Open Source Tools: A Case Study of FIIT, UNISEL

Authors: Nur Razia Mohd Suradi, Hema Subramaniam, Marina Hassan, Siti Fatimah Omar

Abstract:

Knowledge sharing culture contributes to a positive working environment. Currently, there is no platform for the Faculty of Industrial Information Technology (FIIT), Unisel academic staff to share knowledge among them. As it is done manually, the sharing process is through common meeting or by any offline discussions. There is no repository for future retrieval. However, with open source solution the development of knowledge based application may reduce the cost tremendously. In this paper we discuss about the domain on which this knowledge portal is being developed and also the deployment of open source tools such as JOOMLA, PHP programming language and MySQL. This knowledge portal is evidence that open source tools also reliable in developing knowledge based portal. These recommendations will be useful to the open source community to produce more open source products in future.

Keywords: Knowledge management, Portal, ContentManagement, JOOMLA.

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21 Plants and Microorganisms for Phytoremediation of Soils Polluted with Organochlorine Pesticides

Authors: Maritsa Kurashvili, George Adamia, Tamar Ananiashvili, Lia Amiranasvili, Tamar Varazi, Marina Pruidze, Marlen Gordeziani, Gia Khatisashvili

Abstract:

The goal of presented work is the development phytoremediation method targeted to cleaning environment polluted with organochlorine pesticides, based on joint application of plants and microorganisms. For this aim the selection of plants and microorganisms with corresponding capabilities towards three organochlorine pesticides (Lindane, DDT and PCP) has been carried out.

The tolerance of plants to tested pesticides and induction degree of plant detoxification enzymes by these compounds have been used as main criteria for estimating the applicability of plants in proposed technology. Obtained results show that alfalfa, maize and soybean among tested six plant species have highest tolerance to pesticides.

As a result of screening, more than 30 strains from genera Pseudomonas have been selected. As a result of GC analysis of incubation area, 11 active cultures for investigated pesticides are carefully chosen.

Keywords: DDT, Lindane, organochlorine pesticides, PCP, phytoremediation.

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20 Mechanical Properties of the Palm Fibers Reinforced HDPE Composites

Authors: Daniella R. Mulinari, Araujo J. F. Marina, Gabriella S. Lopes

Abstract:

Natural fibers are used in polymer composites to improve mechanical properties to replace inorganic reinforcing agents produced by non-renewable resources. The present study investigates the tensile and flexural behaviors of palm fibers-high density polyethylene (HDPE) composite as a function of volume fraction. The surface of the fibers was treated by mercerization treatments to improve the wetting behavior of the apolar HDPE. The treatment characterization was obtained by scanning electron microscopy, X-Ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy. Results evidences that a good adhesion interfacial between fibers-matrix caused an increase strength and modulus flexural as well as tensile strength in the modified fibers/HDPE composites when compared to the pure HDPE and untreated fibers reinforced composites.

Keywords: Mechanical properties, palm fibers, polymer composites, surface treatment.

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19 Utilizing Dredged Sediment for Enhancing Growth of Eelgrass in Artificially Prepared Substrates

Authors: Amelia B. Hizon-Fradejas, Yoichi Nakano, Satoshi Nakai, Wataru Nishijima, Mitsumasa Okada

Abstract:

Dredged sediment (DS) was utilized as source of silt-clay and organic matter in artificially prepared eelgrass substrates with mountain sand (MS) as the sand media. Addition of DS showed improved growth of eelgrass in the mixed substrates. Increase in added DS up to 15% silt-clay showed increased shoot growth but additional DS in 20% silt-clay mixture didn-t result to further increase in eelgrass growth. Improved root establishment were also found for plants in pots with added DS as shown by the increased resistance to uprooting, increased number of rhizome nodes and longer roots. Results demonstrated that addition of DS may be beneficial to eelgrass up to a certain extent only and too much of it might be harmful to eelgrass plants.

Keywords: Dredged sediment, eelgrass, eelgrass bed restoration, mountain sand, Zostera marina.

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18 Modeling of Flood Mitigation Structures for Sarawak River Sub-basin Using Info Works River Simulation (RS)

Authors: Rosmina Bustami, Charles Bong, Darrien Mah, Afnie Hamzah, Marina Patrick

Abstract:

The distressing flood scenarios that occur in recent years at the surrounding areas of Sarawak River have left damages of properties and indirectly caused disruptions of productive activities. This study is meant to reconstruct a 100-year flood event that took place in this river basin. Sarawak River Subbasin was chosen and modeled using the one-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling approach using InfoWorks River Simulation (RS), in combination with Geographical Information System (GIS). This produces the hydraulic response of the river and its floodplains in extreme flooding conditions. With different parameters introduced to the model, correlations of observed and simulated data are between 79% – 87%. Using the best calibrated model, flood mitigation structures are imposed along the sub-basin. Analysis is done based on the model simulation results. Result shows that the proposed retention ponds constructed along the sub-basin provide the most efficient reduction of flood by 34.18%.

Keywords: Flood, Flood mitigation structure, InfoWorks RS, Retention pond, Sarawak River sub-basin.

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17 Preparation of CuAlO2 Thin Films on Si or Sapphire Substrate by Sol-Gel Method Using Metal Acetate or Nitrate

Authors: Takashi Ehara, Takayoshi Nakanishi, Kohei Sasaki, Marina Abe, Hiroshi Abe, Kiyoaki Abe, Ryo Iizaka, Takuya Sato

Abstract:

CuAlO2 thin films are prepared on Si or sapphire substrate by sol-gel method using two kinds of sols. One is combination of Cu acetate and Al acetate basic, and the other is Cu nitrate and Al nitrate. In the case of acetate sol, XRD peaks of CuAlO2 observed at annealing temperature of 800-950 ºC on both Si and sapphire substrates. In contrast, in the case of the films prepared using nitrate on Si substrate, XRD peaks of CuAlO2 have been observed only at the annealing temperature of 800-850 ºC. At annealing temperature of 850ºC, peaks of other species have been observed beside the CuAlO2 peaks, then, the CuAlO2 peaks disappeared at annealing temperature of 900 °C with increasing in intensity of the other peaks. Intensity of the other peaks decreased at annealing temperature of 950 ºC with appearance of broad SiO2 peak. In the present, we ascribe these peaks as metal silicide.

Keywords: CuAlO2, silicide, thin films, transparent conducting oxide, sol-gel.

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16 Validity and Reliability of Competency Assessment Implementation (CAI) Instrument Using Rasch Model

Authors: Nurfirdawati Muhamad Hanafi, Azmanirah Ab Rahman, Marina Ibrahim Mukhtar, Jamil Ahmad, Sarebah Warman

Abstract:

This study was conducted to generate empirical evidence on validity and reliability of the item of Competency Assessment Implementation (CAI) Instrument using Rasch Model for polythomous data aided by Winstep software version 3.68. The construct validity was examined by analyzing the point-measure correlation index (PTMEA), infit and outfit MNSQ values; meanwhile the reliability was examined by analyzing item reliability index. A survey technique was used as the major method with the CAI instrument on 156 teachers from vocational schools. The results have shown that the reliability of CAI Instrument items were between 0.80 and 0.98. PTMEA Correlation is in positive values, in which the item is able to distinguish between the ability of the respondent. Statistical data obtained show that out of 154 items, 12 items from the instrument suggested to be omitted. This study is hoped could bring a new direction to the process of data analysis in educational research.

Keywords: Competency Assessment, Reliability, Validity, Item Analysis.

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15 Use of Natural Fibers in Landfill Leachate Treatment

Authors: J. F. Marina Araujo, F. Marcus Vinicius Araujo, R. Daniella Mulinari

Abstract:

Due to the resultant leachate from waste decomposition in landfills has polluter potential hundred times greater than domestic sewage, this is considered a problem related to the depreciation of environment requiring pre-disposal treatment.In seeking to improve this situation, this project proposes the treatment of landfill leachate using natural fibers intercropped with advanced oxidation processes. The selected natural fibers were palm, coconut and banana fiber.These materials give sustainability to the project because, besides having adsorbent capacity, are often part of waste discarded. The study was conducted in laboratory scale.In trials, the effluents were characterized as Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Turbidity and Color. The results indicate that is technically promising since that there were extremely oxidative conditions, the use of certain natural fibers in the reduction of pollutants in leachate have been obtained results of COD removals between 67.9% and 90.9%, Turbidity between 88.0% and 99.7% and Color between 67.4% and 90.4%.The expectation generated is to continue evaluating the association of efficiency of other natural fibers with other landfill leachate treatment processes.

Keywords: Landfill leachate, chemical treatment, natural Fibers, advanced oxidation processes.

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14 The Determinants of Voluntary Disclosure in Croatia

Authors: Zeljana Aljinovic Barac, Marina Granic, Tina Vuko

Abstract:

Study investigates the level and extent of voluntary disclosure practice in Croatia. The research was conducted on the sample of 130 medium and large companies. Findings indicate that two thirds of the companies analyzed disclose below-average number of additional information. The explanatory analyses has shown that firm size, listing status and industrial sector significantly and positively affect the level and extent of voluntary disclosure in the annual report of Croatian companies. On the other hand, profitability and ownership structure were found statistically insignificant. Unlike previous studies, this paper deals with level of voluntary disclosure of medium and large companies, as well as companies whose shares are not listed on the organized capital market, which can be found as our contribution. Also, the research makes contribution by providing the insights into voluntary disclosure practices in Croatia, as a case of macro-oriented accounting system economy, i.e. bank oriented economy with an emerging capital market.

Keywords: Annual report, Croatian companies, Disclosure index, Voluntary disclosure.

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13 Induction of Hsp70 and Antioxidant Status in Porcine Granulosa Cells in Response to Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone Exposure in vitro

Authors: Marcela Capcarova, Adriana Kolesarova, Marina Medvedova, Peter Petruska, Alexander V. Sirotkin

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to determine the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total antioxidant status (TAS) and accumulation of Hsp70 in porcine ovarian granulosa cells after deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA) exposure in vitro. Porcine ovarian granulosa cells were incubated with DON/ZEA administrations as follows: group A (10/10 ng/mL), group B (100/100 ng/mL), group C (1000/1000 ng/mL), and the control group without any additions for 24h. In this study mycotoxins developed stress reaction of porcine ovarian granulosa cells and increased accumulation of Hsp70 what resulted in increasing activities of SOD and GPx in groups with lower doses of mycotoxins. High dose of DON and ZEA had opposite effect on GPx activity than the lower doses. Slight increase in TAS of porcine granulosa cells was observed after mycotoxins exposure. These results contribute towards the understanding of cellular stress and its response.

Keywords: Deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, antioxidants, Hsp70, granulosa cells.

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12 A Proposal on the Educational Transactional Analysis as a Dialogical Vision of Culture: Conceptual Signposts and Practical Tools for Educators

Authors: Marina Sartor Hoffer

Abstract:

The multicultural composition of today's societies poses new challenges to educational contexts. Schools are therefore called first to develop dialogic aptitudes and communicative skills adapted to the complex reality of post-modern societies. It is indispensable for educators and for young people to learn theoretical and practical tools during their scholastic path, in order to allow the knowledge of themselves and of the others with the aim of recognizing the value of the others regardless of their culture. Dialogic Skills help to understand and manage individual differences by allowing the solution of problems and preventing conflicts. The Educational Sector of Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis offers a range of methods and techniques for this purpose. Educational Transactional Analysis is firmly anchored in the Personalist Philosophy and deserves to be promoted as a theoretical frame suitable to face the challenges of contemporary education. The goal of this paper is therefore to outline some conceptual and methodological signposts for the education to dialogue by drawing concepts and methodologies from educational transactional analysis.

Keywords: Dialogic process, education to dialogue, educational transactional analysis, personalism, the good of the relationship.

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11 Hyperspectral Mapping Methods for Differentiating Mangrove Species along Karachi Coast

Authors: Sher Muhammad, Mirza Muhammad Waqar

Abstract:

It is necessary to monitor and identify mangroves types and spatial extent near coastal areas because it plays an important role in coastal ecosystem and environmental protection. This research aims at identifying and mapping mangroves types along Karachi coast ranging from 24.790 to 24.850 in latitude and 66.910 to 66.970 in longitude using hyperspectral remote sensing data and techniques. Image acquired during February, 2012 through Hyperion sensor have been used for this research. Image pre processing includes geometric and radiometric correction followed by Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF) and Pixel Purity Index (PPI). The output of MNF and PPI has been analyzed by visualizing it in n-dimensions for end member extraction. Well distributed clusters on the n-dimensional scatter plot have been selected with the region of interest (ROI) tool as end members. These end members have been used as an input for classification techniques applied to identify and map mangroves species including Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM), Spectral Feature Fitting (SFF) and Spectral Information Diversion (SID). Only two types of mangroves namely Avicennia Marina (White Mangroves) and Avicennia germinans (Black Mangroves) have been observed throughout the study area.

Keywords: Mangrove, Hyperspectral, SAM, SFF, SID.

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10 Multi-Faceted Growth in Creative Industries

Authors: Sanja Pfeifer, Nataša Šarlija, Marina Jeger, Ana Bilandžić

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to explore the different facets of growth among micro, small and medium-sized firms in Croatia and to analyze the differences between models designed for all micro, small and medium-sized firms and those in creative industries. Three growth prediction models were designed and tested using the growth of sales, employment and assets of the company as dependent variables. The key drivers of sales growth are: prudent use of cash, industry affiliation and higher share of intangible assets. Growth of assets depends on retained profits, internal and external sources of financing, as well as industry affiliation. Growth in employment is closely related to sources of financing, in particular, debt and it occurs less frequently than growth in sales and assets. The findings confirm the assumption that growth strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creative industries have specific differences in comparison to SMEs in general. Interestingly, only 2.2% of growing enterprises achieve growth in employment, assets and sales simultaneously.

Keywords: Creative industries, growth prediction model, growth determinants, growth measures.

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9 Enzymatic Activity of Alfalfa in a Phenanthrene-contaminated Environment

Authors: Anna Yu. Muratova, Vera V. Kapitonova, Marina P. Chernyshova, Olga V. Turkovskaya

Abstract:

This research was undertaken to study enzymatic activity in the shoots, roots, and rhizosphere of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) grown in quartz sand that was uncontaminated and contaminated with phenanthrene at concentrations of 10 and 100 mg kg-1. The higher concentration of phehanthrene had a distinct phytotoxic effect on alfalfa, inhibiting seed germination energy, plant survival, and biomass accumulation. The plant stress response to the environmental pollution was an increase in peroxidase activity. Peroxidases were the predominant enzymes in the alfalfa shoots and roots. The peroxidase profile in the shoots differed from that in the roots and had different isoenzyme numbers. 2,2'-Azinobis-(3-ethylbenzo-thiazoline-6-sulphonate) (ABTS) peroxidase was predominant in the shoots, and 2,7-diaminofluorene (2,2-DAF) peroxidase was predominant in the roots. Under the influence of phenanthrene, the activity of 2,7-DAF peroxidase increased in the shoots, and the activity of ABTS peroxidase increased in the roots. Alfalfa root peroxidases were the prevalent enzyme systems in the rhizosphere sand. Examination of the activity of alfalfa root peroxidase toward phenanthrene revealed the possibility of involvement of the plant enzyme in rhizosphere degradation of the PAH.

Keywords: Medicago sativa, enzymatic activity, peroxidase, phenanthrene.

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8 Kinematic Hardening Parameters Identification with Respect to Objective Function

Authors: Marina Franulovic, Robert Basan, Bozidar Krizan

Abstract:

Constitutive modeling of material behavior is becoming increasingly important in prediction of possible failures in highly loaded engineering components, and consequently, optimization of their design. In order to account for large number of phenomena that occur in the material during operation, such as kinematic hardening effect in low cycle fatigue behavior of steels, complex nonlinear material models are used ever more frequently, despite of the complexity of determination of their parameters. As a method for the determination of these parameters, genetic algorithm is good choice because of its capability to provide very good approximation of the solution in systems with large number of unknown variables. For the application of genetic algorithm to parameter identification, inverse analysis must be primarily defined. It is used as a tool to fine-tune calculated stress-strain values with experimental ones. In order to choose proper objective function for inverse analysis among already existent and newly developed functions, the research is performed to investigate its influence on material behavior modeling.

Keywords: Genetic algorithm, kinematic hardening, material model, objective function

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7 Awareness about HIV-Infection among HIV-Infected Individuals Attending Medical Moscow Center, Russia

Authors: Marina Nosik, Irina Rymanova, Sergei Sevostyanihin, Natalya Sergeeva, Alexander Sobkin

Abstract:

This paper presents results of the survey regarding the awareness about HIV/AIDS among HIV-infected individuals. A questionnaire covering various aspects of HIV-infection was conducted among 110 HIV-infected individuals who attended the G.A. Zaharyan Moscow Tuberculosis Clinic, Department for treatment of TB patients with HIV. The questionnaire included questions about modes of HIV transmission and preventive measures against HIV/AIDS, as well as questions about age, gender, education and employment status. The survey revealed that the respondents in the whole had a good knowledge regarding modes of HIV transmission and preventive measures against HIV/AIDS: about 83,6% male respondents and 85,7% female respondents gave an accurate answers regarding the HIV-infection. However, the overwhelming majority of the study participants, that is, 88,5% men and 98% women, was quite ignorant about the risk of acquiring HIV through saliva and toothbrush of HIV-infected individual. Though that risk is rather insignificant, it is still biologically possible. And this gap in knowledge needs to be filled. As the study showed another point of concern was the fact, that despite the knowledge of HIV transmission risk through unprotected sex about 40% percent of HIVpositive men and 25% of HIV-positive women did not insist on using condoms with their sexual partners. These findings indicate that there are still some aspects about HIV-infection which needed to be clarified and explained through more detailed and specific educational programs.

Keywords: AIDS, HIV transmission risks, HIV misconceptions, risk behavior.

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6 Techno-Economic Prospects of High Wind Energy Share in Remote vs. Interconnected Island Grids

Authors: Marina Kapsali, John S. Anagnostopoulos

Abstract:

On the basis of comparative analysis of alternative “development scenarios” for electricity generation, the main objective of the present study is to investigate the techno-economic viability of high wind energy (WE) use at the local (island) level. An integrated theoretical model is developed based on first principles assuming two main possible scenarios for covering future electrification needs of a medium–sized Greek island, i.e. Lesbos. The first scenario (S1), assumes that the island will keep using oil products as the main source for electricity generation. The second scenario (S2) involves the interconnection of the island with the mainland grid to satisfy part of the electricity demand, while remarkable WE penetration is also achieved. The economic feasibility of the above solutions is investigated in terms of determining their Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for the time-period 2020-2045, including also a sensitivity analysis on the worst/reference/best Cases. According to the results obtained, interconnection of Lesbos Island with the mainland grid (S2) presents considerable economic interest in comparison to autonomous development (S1) with WE having a prominent role to this effect.

Keywords: Electricity generation cost, levelized cost of energy, mainland, wind energy surplus.

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5 Mixtures of Monotone Networks for Prediction

Authors: Marina Velikova, Hennie Daniels, Ad Feelders

Abstract:

In many data mining applications, it is a priori known that the target function should satisfy certain constraints imposed by, for example, economic theory or a human-decision maker. In this paper we consider partially monotone prediction problems, where the target variable depends monotonically on some of the input variables but not on all. We propose a novel method to construct prediction models, where monotone dependences with respect to some of the input variables are preserved by virtue of construction. Our method belongs to the class of mixture models. The basic idea is to convolute monotone neural networks with weight (kernel) functions to make predictions. By using simulation and real case studies, we demonstrate the application of our method. To obtain sound assessment for the performance of our approach, we use standard neural networks with weight decay and partially monotone linear models as benchmark methods for comparison. The results show that our approach outperforms partially monotone linear models in terms of accuracy. Furthermore, the incorporation of partial monotonicity constraints not only leads to models that are in accordance with the decision maker's expertise, but also reduces considerably the model variance in comparison to standard neural networks with weight decay.

Keywords: mixture models, monotone neural networks, partially monotone models, partially monotone problems.

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4 Dew and Rain Water Collection in South Croatia

Authors: Daniel Beysens, Imad Lekouch, Marina Mileta, Iryna Milimouk, Marc Muselli

Abstract:

Dew harvesting needs only weak investment and exploits a free, clean and inexhaustible energy. This study aims to measure the relative contributions of dew and rain water in the Mediterranean Dalmatian coast and islands of Croatia and determine whether dew water is potable. Two sites were chosen, an open site on the coast favourable to dew formation (Zadar) and a less favourable site in a circus of mountains in Komiža (Vis Island). Between July 1st, 2003 and October 31st, 2006, dew hasbeen daily collected on a 1 m2 tilted (30°) test dew condenser together with ordinary meteorological data (air temperature and relative humidity, cloud coverage, windspeed and direction). The mean yearly cumulative dew yields were found to be 20 mm (Zadar) and 9.3 mm (Komiža ). During the dry season (May to October), monthly cumulative dew water yield can represent up to 38% of water collected by rain fall. In July 2003 and 2006, dew water represented about 120% of the monthly cumulative rain water. Dew and rain water were analyzed in Zadar. The corresponding parameters were measured: pH, electrical conductivity, major anions (HCO3 -, Cl-, SO4 2- , NO3 - , ,) and major cations (NH4 +, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+. Both dew and rain water are in conformity with the WHO directives for potability except Mg2+. Using existing roofs and refurbishing the abandoned impluviums to permit dew collection could then provide a useful supplementary amount of water, especially during the dry season.

Keywords: atmospheric water, dew chemistry, dew collection, radiative cooling, rain chemistry.

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