Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: Steve J. Drew

27 Challenges of e-Government Services Adoption in Saudi Arabia from an e-Ready Citizen Perspective

Authors: Mohammed Alshehri, Steve Drew

Abstract:

More and more governments around the world are introducing e-government as a means of reducing costs, improving services, saving time and increasing effectiveness and efficiency in the public sector Therefore e-government has been identified as one of the top priorities for Saudi government and all its agencies. However, the adoption of e-government is facing many challenges and barriers such as technological, cultural, organizational, and social issues which must be considered and treated carefully by any government contemplating its adoption. This paper reports on a pilot study amongst online (e-ready) citizens to identify the challenges and barriers that affect the adoption of e-government services especially from their perspective in Saudi society. Based on the analysis of data collected from an online survey the researcher was able to identify some of the important barriers and challenges from the e-ready citizen perspective. As a result, this study has generated a list of possible strategies to move towards successful adoption of egovernment services in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Challenges, E-government services, adoption, SaudiArabia

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26 PRO-Teaching – Sharing Ideas to Develop Capabilities

Authors: Steve J. Drew, Christopher J. Klopper

Abstract:

In this paper, the action research driven design of a context relevant, developmental peer review of teaching model, its implementation strategy and its impact at an Australian university is presented. PRO-Teaching realizes an innovative process that triangulates contemporaneous teaching quality data from a range of stakeholders including students, discipline academics, learning and teaching expert academics, and teacher reflection to create reliable evidence of teaching quality. Data collected over multiple classroom observations allows objective reporting on development differentials in constructive alignment, peer, and student evaluations. Further innovation is realized in the application of this highly structured developmental process to provide summative evidence of sufficient validity to support claims for professional advancement and learning and teaching awards. Design decision points and contextual triggers are described within the operating domain. Academics and developers seeking to introduce structured peer review of teaching into their organization will find this paper a useful reference.

Keywords: Development loop, Multiple data sources, Objective reporting, Peer review of teaching.

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25 Realization of Fractional-Order Capacitors with Field-Effect Transistors

Authors: Steve Hung-Lung Tu, Yu-Hsuan Cheng

Abstract:

A novel and efficient approach to realize fractional-order capacitors is investigated in this paper. Meanwhile, a new approach which is more efficient for semiconductor implementation of fractional-order capacitors is proposed. The feasibility of the approach has been verified with the preliminary measured results.

Keywords: Fractional-order, field-effect transistors, RC transmission lines.

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24 Clinical Benefits of an Embedded Decision Support System in Anticoagulant Control

Authors: Tony Austin, Shanghua Sun, Nathan Lea, Steve Iliffe, Dipak Kalra, David Ingram, David Patterson

Abstract:

Computer-based decision support (CDSS) systems can deliver real patient care and increase chances of long-term survival in areas of chronic disease management prone to poor control. One such CDSS, for the management of warfarin, is described in this paper and the outcomes shown. Data is derived from the running system and show a performance consistently around 20% better than the applicable guidelines.

Keywords: "Decision Support", "Anticoagulant Control"

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23 A PWM Controller with Multiple-Access Table Look-up for DC-DC Buck Conversion

Authors: Steve Hung-Lung Tu, Chu-Tse Lee

Abstract:

A new power regulator controller with multiple-access PID compensator is proposed, which can achieve a minimum memory requirement for fully table look-up. The proposed regulator controller employs hysteresis comparators, an error process unit (EPU) for voltage regulation, a multiple-access PID compensator and a lowpower- consumption digital PWM (DPWM). Based on the multipleaccess mechanism, the proposed controller can alleviate the penalty of large amount of memory employed for fully table look-up based PID compensator in the applications of power regulation. The proposed controller has been validated with simulation results.

Keywords: Multiple access, PID compensator, PWM, Buck conversion.

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22 Government Initiatives: The Missing Key for E-commerce Growth in KSA

Authors: R. AlGhamdi, S. Drew, S. Alkhalaf

Abstract:

This paper explores the issues that influence online retailing in Saudi Arabia. Retailers in Saudi Arabia have been reserved in their adoption of electronically delivered aspects of their business. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has the largest and fastest growth of ICT marketplaces in the Arab region, e-commerce activities are not progressing at the same speed. Only very few Saudi companies, mostly medium and large companies from the manufacturing sector, are involved in e-commerce implementation. Based on qualitative data collected by conducting interviews with 16 retailers and 16 potential customers in Saudi Arabia, several factors influencing online retailing diffusion in Saudi Arabia are identified. However, government support comes the highest and most influencing factor for online retailing growth as identified by both parties; retailers and potential customers in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: government support, key factor, online retailing growth, Saudi Arabia

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21 Artificial Neural Network Model for a Low Cost Failure Sensor: Performance Assessment in Pipeline Distribution

Authors: Asar Khan, Peter D. Widdop, Andrew J. Day, Aliaster S. Wood, Steve, R. Mounce, John Machell

Abstract:

This paper describes an automated event detection and location system for water distribution pipelines which is based upon low-cost sensor technology and signature analysis by an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The development of a low cost failure sensor which measures the opacity or cloudiness of the local water flow has been designed, developed and validated, and an ANN based system is then described which uses time series data produced by sensors to construct an empirical model for time series prediction and classification of events. These two components have been installed, tested and verified in an experimental site in a UK water distribution system. Verification of the system has been achieved from a series of simulated burst trials which have provided real data sets. It is concluded that the system has potential in water distribution network management.

Keywords: Detection, leakage, neural networks, sensors, water distribution networks

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20 Understanding and Political Participation in Constitutional Monarchy of Dusit District Residents

Authors: Sudaporn Arundee

Abstract:

The purposes of this research were to study in three areas: 1) to study political understanding and participating of the constitutional monarchy, 2) to study the level of participation. This paper drew upon data collected from 395 Dusit residents by using questionnaire. In addition, a simple random sampling was utilized to collect data.

The findings revealed that 94 percent of respondents had a very good understanding of constitution monarchy with a mean of 4.8. However, the respondents overall had a very low level of participation with the mean score of 1.69 and standard deviation of .719. 

Keywords: Constitution Monarchy, Political Understanding, Political Participating.

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19 How Learning Efficiency Affects Job Performance Effectiveness

Authors: Prateep Wajeetongratana

Abstract:

The purpose of this research was to study the influence of learning efficiency on local accountants’ job performance effectiveness. This paper drew upon the survey data collected from 335 local accountants survey conducted at Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand. The statistics utilized in this paper included percentage, mean, standard deviation, and regression analysis. The findings revealed that the majority of samples were between 31-40 years old, married, held an undergraduate degree, and had an average income between 10,000-15,000 baht. The majority of respondents had less than five years of accounting experience and worked for local administrations. The overall learning efficiency score was in the highest level while the local accountants’ job performance effectiveness score was also in the high level. The hypothesis testing’s result disclosed that learning efficiency factors which were knowledge, Skill, and Attitude had an influence on local accountants’ job the performance effectiveness.

Keywords: Accountants, Leaning Efficiency, Performance Effectiveness.

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18 Factors Related to Behaviour Trend of Roasted Coffee Consumers

Authors: Anocha Kimkong

Abstract:

The purpose of this research was to study the behavior trend factors of consumers to roasted coffee at the petrol station on the route of Rangsit to Nakhon Nayok. The research drew upon data collected from the regular consumers of roasted coffee stands. The majority of respondents was male, 33-39 years old, and holding a bachelor degree. The majority of respondents considered themselves private business proprietors or entrepreneurs and had a monthly income of between 10,000-16,000 baht. The regular coffee consumers spent a minimum coffee expense of between 45 and 300 baht per day. These consumers also displayed good attitude and good motivation which can be ranked as very high. From the hypothesis testing of the behavior trend for the roasted coffee consumers in repurchasing coffee and recommended the coffee to others, the findings revealed that it had a significant correlation. Moreover, the overall attitude towards the marketing mix factors also had a significant correlation with the behavior trend consumers.

Keywords: Factors Related, Consuming Behaviour, Coffee Consumers.

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17 The Relation between Proactive Coping and Well-Being: An Example of Middle-Aged and Older Learners from Taiwan

Authors: Ya-Hui Lee, Ching-Yi Lu, Hui-Chuan Wei

Abstract:

The purpose of this research was to explore the relation between proactive coping and well-being of middle-aged adults. We conducted survey research that with t-test, one way ANOVA, Pearson correlation and stepwise multiple regression to analyze. This research drew on a sample of 395 participants from the senior learning centers of Taiwan. The results provided the following findings: 1.The participants from different residence areas associated significant difference with proactive coping, but not with well-being. 2. The participants’ perceived of financial level associated significant difference with both proactive coping and well-being. 3. There was significant difference between participants’ income and well-being. 4. The proactive coping was positively correlated with well-being. 5. From stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that two dimensions of proactive coping had positive predictability. Finally, these results of this study can be provided as references for designing older adult educational programs in Taiwan.

Keywords: Middle-age adults, learners, proactive coping, well-being.

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16 Effect of Miniature Cracks on the Fracture Strength and Strain of Tensile Armour Wires

Authors: Kazeem K. Adewole, Steve J. Bull

Abstract:

Tensile armour wires provide a flexible pipe's resistance to longitudinal stresses. Flexible pipe manufacturers need to know the effect of defects such as scratches and cracks, with dimensions less than 0.2mm which is the limit of the current nondestructive detection technology, on the fracture stress and fracture strain of the wire for quality assurance purposes. Recent research involving the determination of the fracture strength of cracked wires employed laboratory testing and classical fracture mechanics approach using non-standardised fracture mechanics specimens because standard test specimens could not be manufactured from the wires owing to their sizes. In this work, the effect of miniature cracks on the fracture properties of tensile armour wires was investigated using laboratory and finite element tensile testing simulations with the phenomenological shear fracture model. The investigation revealed that the presence of cracks shallower than 0.2mm is worse on the fracture strain of the wire.

Keywords: Cracks, Finite Element Simulations, Fracture Mechanics, Shear Fracture Model, Tensile Armour Wire

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15 Female Executive Career Success and Satisfaction in Bangkok, Thailand

Authors: Nipon Sasithornsaowapa

Abstract:

The objective of this research was to study the career success and the satisfaction of female executives working for schools in Bangkok, Thailand. This paper drew upon the survey data collected from 68 female executives. The survey conducted in on Bangkok schools. The statistics utilized in this paper included percentage, mean, standard deviation as well as t-test. The findings revealed that the majority of samples had more than 30 years of experience, held a master degree, and had an average income of less than 40,000 baht. The majority of respondents worked not more than 50 hours per week. In addition, the mean score revealed career development was ranked as their number one career satisfaction and having a job related to education was ranked as their number one job satisfaction. Also, the mean score of all categories of satisfaction was 4.61 with standard deviation of 1.677 which indicated that female executive level of satisfaction was high. In terms of the subjectivity career success, the hypothesis testing’s result disclosed that female executives with different married status had a difference in their job satisfaction which was significant at the 0.05 confidence level.

Keywords: Female executives, Career Success, Satisfaction.

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14 Business Domain Modelling Using an Integrated Framework

Authors: Mohammed Salahat, Steve Wade

Abstract:

This paper presents an application of a “Systematic Soft Domain Driven Design Framework” as a soft systems approach to domain-driven design of information systems development. The framework use SSM as a guiding methodology within which we have embedded a sequence of design tasks based on the UML leading to the implementation of a software system using the Naked Objects framework. This framework have been used in action research projects that have involved the investigation and modelling of business processes using object-oriented domain models and the implementation of software systems based on those domain models. Within this framework, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is used as a guiding methodology to explore the problem situation and to develop the domain model using UML for the given business domain. The framework is proposed and evaluated in our previous works, and a real case study “Information Retrieval System for academic research” is used, in this paper, to show further practice and evaluation of the framework in different business domain. We argue that there are advantages from combining and using techniques from different methodologies in this way for business domain modelling. The framework is overviewed and justified as multimethodology using Mingers multimethodology ideas.

Keywords: SSM, UML, domain-driven design, soft domaindriven design, naked objects, soft language, information retrieval, multimethodology.

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13 The Citizen Participation in Preventing Illegal Drugs Program in Bangkok, Thailand

Authors: Ratthapong Bunyanuwat

Abstract:

The purposes of this research were to study the citizen participation in preventing illegal drugs in one of a poor and small community of Bangkok, Thailand and to compare the level of participation and concern of illegal drugs problem by using demographic variables. This paper drew upon data collected from a local citizens survey conducted in Bangkok, Thailand during summer of 2012. A total of 200 respondents were elicited as data input for, and one way ANOVA test. The findings revealed that the overall citizen participation was in the level of medium. The mean score showed that benefit from the program was ranked as the highest and the decision to participate was ranked as second while the follow-up of the program was ranked as the lowest. In terms of the difference in demographic such as gender, age, level of education, income, and year of residency, the hypothesis testing’s result disclosed that there were no difference in their level of participation. However, difference in occupation showed a difference in their level of participation and concern which was significant at the 0.05 confidence level.

Keywords: Citizen Participation, Illegal drug, Preventing drug problem, Resolving drug problem

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12 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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11 Domain Driven Design vs Soft Domain Driven Design Frameworks

Authors: Mohammed Salahat, Steve Wade

Abstract:

This paper presents and compares the SSDDD “Systematic Soft Domain Driven Design Framework” to DDD “Domain Driven Design Framework” as a soft system approach of information systems development. The framework use SSM as a guiding methodology within which we have embedded a sequence of design tasks based on the UML leading to the implementation of a software system using the Naked Objects framework. This framework has been used in action research projects that have involved the investigation and modelling of business processes using object-oriented domain models and the implementation of software systems based on those domain models. Within this framework, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is used as a guiding methodology to explore the problem situation and to develop the domain model using UML for the given business domain. The framework is proposed and evaluated in our previous works, a comparison between SSDDD and DDD is presented in this paper, to show how SSDDD improved DDD as an approach to modelling and implementing business domain perspectives for Information Systems Development. The comparison process, the results, and the improvements are presented in the following sections of this paper.

Keywords: SSM, UML, domain-driven design, soft domain-driven design, naked objects, soft language, information retrieval, multimethodology.

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10 The Mentoring in Professional Development of University Teachers

Authors: Nagore Guerra Bilbao, Clemente Lobato Fraile

Abstract:

Mentoring is provided by professionals with a higher level of experience and competence as part of the professional development of a university faculty. This paper explores the characteristics of the mentoring provided by those teachers participating in the development of an active methodology program run at the University of the Basque Country: to examine and to analyze mentors’ performance with the aim of providing empirical evidence regarding its value as a lifelong learning strategy for teaching staff. A total of 183 teachers were trained during the first three programs. The analysis method uses a coding technique and is based on flexible, systematic guidelines for gathering and analyzing qualitative data. The results have confirmed the conception of mentoring as a methodological innovation in higher education. In short, university teachers in general assessed the mentoring they received positively, considering it to be a valid, useful strategy in their professional development. They highlighted the methodological expertise of their mentor and underscored how they monitored the learning process of the active method and provided guidance and advice when necessary. Finally, they also drew attention to traits such as availability, personal commitment and flexibility in. However, a minority critique is pointed to some aspects of the performance of some mentors.

Keywords: Higher education, Mentoring, Professional development, University teachers.

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9 Real-Time Recognition of Dynamic Hand Postures on a Neuromorphic System

Authors: Qian Liu, Steve Furber

Abstract:

To explore how the brain may recognise objects in its general,accurate and energy-efficient manner, this paper proposes the use of a neuromorphic hardware system formed from a Dynamic Video Sensor (DVS) silicon retina in concert with the SpiNNaker real-time Spiking Neural Network (SNN) simulator. As a first step in the exploration on this platform a recognition system for dynamic hand postures is developed, enabling the study of the methods used in the visual pathways of the brain. Inspired by the behaviours of the primary visual cortex, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are modelled using both linear perceptrons and spiking Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (LIF) neurons. In this study’s largest configuration using these approaches, a network of 74,210 neurons and 15,216,512 synapses is created and operated in real-time using 290 SpiNNaker processor cores in parallel and with 93.0% accuracy. A smaller network using only 1/10th of the resources is also created, again operating in real-time, and it is able to recognise the postures with an accuracy of around 86.4% - only 6.6% lower than the much larger system. The recognition rate of the smaller network developed on this neuromorphic system is sufficient for a successful hand posture recognition system, and demonstrates a much improved cost to performance trade-off in its approach.

Keywords: Spiking neural network (SNN), convolutional neural network (CNN), posture recognition, neuromorphic system.

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8 Working Motivation Factors Affecting Job Performance Effectiveness

Authors: Supattra Kanchanopast

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper was to study motivation factors affecting job performance effectiveness. This paper drew upon data collected from an Internal Audit Staffs of Internal Audit Line of Head Office of Krung Thai Public Company Limited. Statistics used included frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation, t-test, and one-way ANOVA test. The finding revealed that the majority of the respondents were female of 46 years of age and over, married and live together, hold a bachelor degree, with an average monthly income over 70,001 Baht. The majority of respondents had over 15 years of work experience. They generally had high working motivation as well as high job performance effectiveness. The hypotheses testing disclosed that employees with different working status had different level of job performance effectiveness at a 0.01 level of significance. Working motivation factors had an effect on job performance in the same direction with high level. Individual working motivation included working completion, reorganization, working progression, working characteristic, opportunity, responsibility, management policy, supervision, relationship with their superior, relationship with co-worker, working position, working stability, safety, privacy, working conditions, and payment. All of these factors related to job performance effectiveness in the same direction with medium level.

Keywords: Internal Audit Staffs, Job Performance Effectiveness, Working Motivation.

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7 Students' Acceptance of Incorporating Emerging Communication Technologies in Higher Education in Kuwait

Authors: Bashaiar Alsanaa

Abstract:

Never has a revolution affected all aspects of humanity as the communication revolution during the past two decades. This revolution, with all its advances and utilities, swept the world thus becoming an integral part of our lives, hence giving way to emerging applications at the social, economic, political, and educational levels. More specifically, such applications have changed the delivery system through which learning is acquired by students. Interaction with educators, accessibility to content, and creative delivery options are but a few facets of the new learning experience now being offered through the use of technology in the educational field. With different success rates, third world countries have tried to pace themselves with use of educational technology in advanced parts of the world. One such country is the small rich-oil state of Kuwait which has tried to adopt the e-educational model, however, an evaluation of such trial is yet to be done. This study aimed to fill the void of research conducted around that topic. The study explored students' acceptance of incorporating communication technologies in higher education in Kuwait. Students' responses to survey questions presented an overview of the e-learning experience in this country, and drew a framework through which implications and suggestions for future research were discussed to better serve the advancement of e-education in developing countries.

Keywords: Communication technologies, E-learning, Kuwait, Social media

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6 Application of a Systemic Soft Domain-Driven Design Framework

Authors: Mohammed Salahat, Steve Wade, Izhar Ul-Haq

Abstract:

This paper proposes a “soft systems" approach to domain-driven design of computer-based information systems. We propose a systemic framework combining techniques from Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), the Unified Modelling Language (UML), and an implementation pattern known as “Naked Objects". We have used this framework in action research projects that have involved the investigation and modelling of business processes using object-oriented domain models and the implementation of software systems based on those domain models. Within the proposed framework, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is used as a guiding methodology to explore the problem situation and to generate a ubiquitous language (soft language) which can be used as the basis for developing an object-oriented domain model. The domain model is further developed using techniques based on the UML and is implemented in software following the “Naked Objects" implementation pattern. We argue that there are advantages from combining and using techniques from different methodologies in this way. The proposed systemic framework is overviewed and justified as multimethodologyusing Mingers multimethodology ideas. This multimethodology approach is being evaluated through a series of action research projects based on real-world case studies. A Peer-Tutoring case study is presented here as a sample of the framework evaluation process

Keywords: SSM, UML, Domain-Driven Design, Soft Domain-Driven Design, Naked Objects, Soft Languag e.

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5 Investigating Ultra Violet (UV) Strength against Different Level of Altitude using New Environmental Data Management System

Authors: M. Amir Abas, M. Dahlui

Abstract:

This paper presents the investigation results of UV measurement at different level of altitudes and the development of a new portable instrument for measuring UV. The rapid growth of industrial sectors in developing countries including Malaysia, brings not only income to the nation, but also causes pollution in various forms. Air pollution is one of the significant contributors to global warming by depleting the Ozone layer, which would reduce the filtration of UV rays. Long duration of exposure to high to UV rays has many devastating health effects to mankind directly or indirectly through destruction of the natural resources. This study aimed to show correlation between UV and altitudes which indirectly can help predict Ozone depletion. An instrument had been designed to measure and monitors the level of UV. The instrument comprises of two main blocks namely data logger and Graphic User Interface (GUI). Three sensors were used in the data logger to detect changes in the temperature, humidity and ultraviolet. The system has undergone experimental measurement to capture data at two different conditions; industrial area and high attitude area. The performance of the instrument showed consistency in the data captured and the results of the experiment drew a significantly high reading of UV at high altitudes.

Keywords: Ozone Layer, Monitoring, Global Warming, Measurement, Ultraviolet

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4 Food Safety Management: Concerns from EU Tourists in Thailand

Authors: Kevin Wongleedee

Abstract:

Culinary culture differences can cause health problems for international tourists in Thailand. This paper drew upon data collected from an international tourist survey conducted in Bangkok, Thailand during summer of 2012. Summer is the period that a variety food safety issues and incidents are often publicized in Thailand. The survey targeted European Union tourists- concerns toward a variety of food safety issues that they encountered during their trip in Thailand. A total of 400 respondents were elicited as data input for t-test, and one way ANOVA test. The findings revealed an astonishing result that up to 46.5 percent of respondents were sick at least one time or more in Thailand. However, the majority of respondents trusted that the Thai hotel and Thai restaurants would ensure food safety, but they did not trust street vendors to ensure food safety. The level of food safety concern can be ranked from most concern to least concern by using the value of mean scores as follows: 1) artificial coloring, 2) use of preservatives, 3) antibiotics, 4) growth hormones, 5) chemical residues, and 6) bacterial contamination. The overall mean score for level of concerns was 3.493 with standard deviation of 1.677 which did not indicate a very high level of concern. In addition, the result for t-test and one way ANOVA test revealed that there was not much effect from the demographic differences to level of food safety concerns.

Keywords: Concerns, European Union Tourists, Food Safety Management.

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3 Route Training in Mobile Robotics through System Identification

Authors: Roberto Iglesias, Theocharis Kyriacou, Ulrich Nehmzow, Steve Billings

Abstract:

Fundamental sensor-motor couplings form the backbone of most mobile robot control tasks, and often need to be implemented fast, efficiently and nevertheless reliably. Machine learning techniques are therefore often used to obtain the desired sensor-motor competences. In this paper we present an alternative to established machine learning methods such as artificial neural networks, that is very fast, easy to implement, and has the distinct advantage that it generates transparent, analysable sensor-motor couplings: system identification through nonlinear polynomial mapping. This work, which is part of the RobotMODIC project at the universities of Essex and Sheffield, aims to develop a theoretical understanding of the interaction between the robot and its environment. One of the purposes of this research is to enable the principled design of robot control programs. As a first step towards this aim we model the behaviour of the robot, as this emerges from its interaction with the environment, with the NARMAX modelling method (Nonlinear, Auto-Regressive, Moving Average models with eXogenous inputs). This method produces explicit polynomial functions that can be subsequently analysed using established mathematical methods. In this paper we demonstrate the fidelity of the obtained NARMAX models in the challenging task of robot route learning; we present a set of experiments in which a Magellan Pro mobile robot was taught to follow four different routes, always using the same mechanism to obtain the required control law.

Keywords: Mobile robotics, system identification, non-linear modelling, NARMAX.

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2 A Mixed-Methods Approach to Developing and Evaluating an SME Business Support Model for Innovation in Rural England

Authors: Steve Fish, Chris Lambert

Abstract:

Cumbria is a geo-political county in Northwest England within which the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Whilst the area has a formidable reputation for natural beauty and historic assets, the innovation ecosystem is described as ‘patchy’ for a number of reasons. The county is one of the largest in England by area and is sparsely populated. This paper describes the needs, development and delivery of an SME business-support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. The Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) Project has been designed to respond to the nuanced needs of SMEs in this locale, whilst promoting the adoption of research and innovation. CUSP utilizes a funnel method to support rural businesses with access to university innovation intervention. CUSP has been built on a three-tier model: Communicate, Collaborate and Create. The paper describes this project in detail and presents results in terms of output indicators achieved, a beneficiary telephone survey and wider economic forecasts. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the paper provides experiences and reflections of those people who are delivering and evaluating knowledge exchange. The authors discuss some of the benefits, challenges and implications for both policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the paper aims to serve as an invitation to others who may consider adopting a similar method of university-industry collaboration in their own region.

Keywords: Regional business support, rural business support, university-industry collaboration, collaborative R&D, SMEs, knowledge exchange.

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1 Mobile App versus Website: A Comparative Eye-Tracking Case Study of Topshop

Authors: Zofija Tupikovskaja-Omovie, David Tyler, Sam Dhanapala, Steve Hayes

Abstract:

The UK is leading in online retail and mobile adoption. However, there is a dearth of information relating to mobile apparel retail, and developing an understanding about consumer browsing and purchase behaviour in m-retail channel would provide apparel marketers, mobile website and app developers with the necessary understanding of consumers’ needs. Despite the rapid growth of mobile retail businesses, no published study has examined shopping behaviour on fashion mobile apps and websites. A mixed method approach helped to understand why fashion consumers prefer websites on smartphones, when diverse mobile apps are also available. The following research methods were employed: survey, eye-tracking experiments, observation, and interview with retrospective think aloud. The mobile gaze tracking device by SensoMotoric Instruments was used to understand frustrations in navigation and other issues facing consumers in mobile channel. This method helped to validate and compliment other traditional user-testing approaches in order to optimize user experience and enhance the development of mobile retail channel. The study involved eight participants - females aged 18 to 35 years old, who are existing mobile shoppers. The participants used the Topshop mobile app and website on a smart phone to complete a task according to a specified scenario leading to a purchase. The comparative study was based on: duration and time spent at different stages of the shopping journey, number of steps involved and product pages visited, search approaches used, layout and visual clues, as well as consumer perceptions and expectations. The results from the data analysis show significant differences in consumer behaviour when using a mobile app or website on a smart phone. Moreover, two types of problems were identified, namely technical issues and human errors. Having a mobile app does not guarantee success in satisfying mobile fashion consumers. The differences in the layout and visual clues seem to influence the overall shopping experience on a smart phone. The layout of search results on the website was different from the mobile app. Therefore, participants, in most cases, behaved differently on different platforms. The number of product pages visited on the mobile app was triple the number visited on the website due to a limited visibility of products in the search results. Although, the data on traffic trends held by retailers to date, including retail sector breakdowns for visits and views, data on device splits and duration, might seem a valuable source of information, it cannot explain why consumers visit many product pages, stay longer on the website or mobile app, or abandon the basket. A comprehensive list of pros and cons was developed by highlighting issues for website and mobile app, and recommendations provided. The findings suggest that fashion retailers need to be aware of actual consumers’ behaviour on the mobile channel and their expectations in order to offer a seamless shopping experience. Added to which is the challenge of retaining existing and acquiring new customers. There seem to be differences in the way fashion consumers search and shop on mobile, which need to be explored in further studies.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour, eye-tracking technology, fashion retail, mobile app, m-retail, smart phones, Topshop, user experience, website.

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