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

Search results for: Travis Morris

13 Analyzing Environmental Emotive Triggers in Terrorist Propaganda

Authors: Travis Morris

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to measure the intersection of environmental security entities in terrorist propaganda. To the best of author’s knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to examine this intersection within terrorist propaganda. Rosoka, natural language processing software and frame analysis are used to advance our understanding of how environmental frames function as emotive triggers. Violent jihadi demagogues use frames to suggest violent and non-violent solutions to their grievances. Emotive triggers are framed in a way to leverage individual and collective attitudes in psychological warfare. A comparative research design is used because of the differences and similarities that exist between two variants of violent jihadi propaganda that target western audiences. Analysis is based on salience and network text analysis, which generates violent jihadi semantic networks. Findings indicate that environmental frames are used as emotive triggers across both data sets, but also as tactical and information data points. A significant finding is that certain core environmental emotive triggers like “water,” “soil,” and “trees” are significantly salient at the aggregate level across both data sets. All environmental entities can be classified into two categories, symbolic and literal. Importantly, this research illustrates how demagogues use environmental emotive triggers in cyber space from a subcultural perspective to mobilize target audiences to their ideology and praxis. Understanding the anatomy of propaganda construction is necessary in order to generate effective counter narratives in information operations. This research advances an additional method to inform practitioners and policy makers of how environmental security and propaganda intersect.

Keywords: Emotive triggers, environmental security, natural language processing, propaganda analysis.

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12 Limit Cycle Behaviour of a Neural Controller with Delayed Bang-Bang Feedback

Authors: Travis Wiens, Greg Schoenau, Rich Burton

Abstract:

It is well known that a linear dynamic system including a delay will exhibit limit cycle oscillations when a bang-bang sensor is used in the feedback loop of a PID controller. A similar behaviour occurs when a delayed feedback signal is used to train a neural network. This paper develops a method of predicting this behaviour by linearizing the system, which can be shown to behave in a manner similar to an integral controller. Using this procedure, it is possible to predict the characteristics of the neural network driven limit cycle to varying degrees of accuracy, depending on the information known about the system. An application is also presented: the intelligent control of a spark ignition engine.

Keywords: Control and automation, artificial neural networks, limit cycle

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11 Antimicrobial Properties of Copper in Gram-Negative and Gram-Positive Bacteria

Authors: Travis J. Meyer, Jasodra Ramlall, Phyo Thu, Nidhi Gadura

Abstract:

For centuries humans have used the antimicrobial properties of copper to their advantage. Yet, after all these years the underlying mechanisms of copper mediated cell death in various microbes remain unclear. We had explored the hypothesis that copper mediated increased levels of lipid peroxidation in the membrane fatty acids is responsible for increased killing in Escherichia coli. In this study we show that in both gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and gram negative (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) bacteria there is a strong correlation between copper mediated cell death and increased levels of lipid peroxidation. Interestingly, the non-spore forming gram positive bacteria as well as gram negative bacteria show similar patterns of cell death, increased levels of lipid peroxidation, as well as genomic DNA degradation, however there is some difference in loss in membrane integrity upon exposure to copper alloy surface.

Keywords: Antimicrobial, copper, gram positive, gram negative.

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10 Usability Evaluation Framework for Computer Vision Based Interfaces

Authors: Muhammad Raza Ali, Tim Morris

Abstract:

Human computer interaction has progressed considerably from the traditional modes of interaction. Vision based interfaces are a revolutionary technology, allowing interaction through human actions, gestures. Researchers have developed numerous accurate techniques, however, with an exception to few these techniques are not evaluated using standard HCI techniques. In this paper we present a comprehensive framework to address this issue. Our evaluation of a computer vision application shows that in addition to the accuracy, it is vital to address human factors

Keywords: Usability evaluation, cognitive walkthrough, think aloud, gesture recognition.

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9 Method of Parameter Calibration for Error Term in Stochastic User Equilibrium Traffic Assignment Model

Authors: Xiang Zhang, David Rey, S. Travis Waller

Abstract:

Stochastic User Equilibrium (SUE) model is a widely used traffic assignment model in transportation planning, which is regarded more advanced than Deterministic User Equilibrium (DUE) model. However, a problem exists that the performance of the SUE model depends on its error term parameter. The objective of this paper is to propose a systematic method of determining the appropriate error term parameter value for the SUE model. First, the significance of the parameter is explored through a numerical example. Second, the parameter calibration method is developed based on the Logit-based route choice model. The calibration process is realized through multiple nonlinear regression, using sequential quadratic programming combined with least square method. Finally, case analysis is conducted to demonstrate the application of the calibration process and validate the better performance of the SUE model calibrated by the proposed method compared to the SUE models under other parameter values and the DUE model.

Keywords: Parameter calibration, sequential quadratic programming, Stochastic User Equilibrium, traffic assignment, transportation planning.

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8 Combining Skin Color and Optical Flow for Computer Vision Systems

Authors: Muhammad Raza Ali, Tim Morris

Abstract:

Skin color is an important visual cue for computer vision systems involving human users. In this paper we combine skin color and optical flow for detection and tracking of skin regions. We apply these techniques to gesture recognition with encouraging results. We propose a novel skin similarity measure. For grouping detected skin regions we propose a novel skin region grouping mechanism. The proposed techniques work with any number of skin regions making them suitable for a multiuser scenario.

Keywords: Bayesian tracking, chromaticity space, optical flowgesture recognition

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7 Towards Benchmarking English Residential Gas Consumption

Authors: J.Morris, D.Allinson, J.Harrison, K.J. Lomas

Abstract:

The UK Government has emphasized the role of Local Authorities as a key player in its flagship residential energy efficiency strategies, by identifying and targeting areas for energy efficiency improvements. Residential energy consumption in England is characterized by significant geographical variation in energy demand, which makes centralized targeting of areas for energy efficiency intervention difficult. This paper draws on research which aims to understand how demographic, social, economic, urban form and climatic factors influence the geographical variations in English residential gas consumption. The paper reports the findings of a multiple regression model that shows how 64% of the geographical variation in residential gas consumption is accounted for by variations in these factors. Results from this study, after further refinement and validation, can be used by Local Authorities to identify areas within their boundaries that have higher than expected gas consumption, these may be prime targets for energy efficiency initiatives.

Keywords: UK Housing, Heating Energy, Socio-Economics, Statistical Modelling

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6 Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a HAWK Signal on Compliance in Las Vegas Nevada

Authors: A. Paz, M. Khadka, N. Veeramisti, B. Morris

Abstract:

There is a continuous large number of crashes involving pedestrians in Nevada despite the numerous safety mechanisms currently used at roadway crossings. Hence, additional as well as more effective mechanisms are required to reduce crashes in Las Vegas, in particular, and Nevada in general. A potential mechanism to reduce conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles is a High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signal. This study evaluates the effects of such signals at a particular site in Las Vegas. Video data were collected using two cameras, facing the eastbound and westbound traffic. One week of video data before and after the deployment of the signal were collected to capture the behavior of both pedestrians and drivers. T-test analyses of pedestrian waiting time at the curb, curb-to-curb crossing time, total crossing time, jaywalking events, and near-crash events show that the HAWK system provides significant benefits.

Keywords: Pedestrian crashes, HAWK signal, traffic safety, pedestrian danger index.

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5 Molecular Characterization of Free Radicals Decomposing Genes on Plant Developmental Stages

Authors: R. Haddad, K. Morris, V. Buchanan-Wollaston

Abstract:

Biochemical and molecular analysis of some antioxidant enzyme genes revealed different level of gene expression on oilseed (Brassica napus). For molecular and biochemical analysis, leaf tissues were harvested from plants at eight different developmental stages, from young to senescence. The levels of total protein and chlorophyll were increased during maturity stages of plant, while these were decreased during the last stages of plant growth. Structural analysis (nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence, and phylogenic tree) of a complementary DNA revealed a high level of similarity for a family of Catalase genes. The expression of the gene encoded by different Catalase isoforms was assessed during different plant growth phase. No significant difference between samples was observed, when Catalase activity was statistically analyzed at different developmental stages. EST analysis exhibited different transcripts levels for a number of other relevant antioxidant genes (different isoforms of SOD and glutathione). The high level of transcription of these genes at senescence stages was indicated that these genes are senescenceinduced genes.

Keywords: Biochemical analysis, Oilseed, Expression pattern, Growth phases

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4 The Relationship between Motivation for Physical Activity and Level of Physical Activity over Time

Authors: Keyvan Molanorouzi, Selina Khoo, Tony Morris

Abstract:

In recent years, there has been a decline in physical activity among adults. Motivation has been shown to be a crucial factor in maintaining physical activity. The purpose of this study was to whether PA motives measured by the Physical Activity and Leisure Motivation Scale PALMS predicted the actual amount of PA at a later time to provide evidence for the construct validity of the PALMS. A quantitative, cross-sectional descriptive research design was employed. The Demographic Form, PALMS, and International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short form (IPAQ-S) questionnaires were used to assess motives and amount for physical activity in adults on two occasions. A sample of 489 male undergraduate students aged 18 to 25 years (mean ±SD; 22.30±8.13 years) took part in the study. Participants were divided into three types of activities, namely exercise, racquet sport, and team sports and female participants only took part in one type of activity, namely team sports. After 14 weeks, all 489 undergraduate students who had filled in the initial questionnaire (Occasion 1) received the questionnaire via email (Occasion 2). Of the 489 students, 378 males emailed back the completed questionnaire. The results showed that not only were pertinent sub-scales of PALMS positively related to amount of physical activity, but separate regression analyses showed the positive predictive effect of PALMS motives for amount of physical activity for each type of physical activity among participants. This study supported the construct validity of the PALMS by showing that the motives measured by PALMS did predict amount of PA. This information can be obtained to match people with specific sport or activity which in turn could potentially promote longer adherence to the specific activity.

Keywords: Physical activity, motivation, the level of physical activity, types of physical activities.

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3 Grade and Maximum Tumor Dimension as Determinants of Lymphadenectomy in Patients with Endometrioid Endometrial Cancer (EEC)

Authors: Ali A. Bazzi, Ameer Hamza, Riley O’Hara, Kimberly Kado, Karen H. Hagglund, Lamia Fathallah, Robert T. Morris

Abstract:

Introduction: Endometrial Cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy primarily treated with complete surgical staging, which may include complete pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. The role of lymphadenectomy is controversial, especially the intraoperative indications for the procedure. Three factors are important in decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy: Myometrial invasion, maximum tumor dimension, and histology. Many institutions incorporate these criteria in varying degrees in the decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy. This investigation assesses the use of intraoperatively measured MTD with and without pre-operative histologic grade. Methods: This study compared retrospectively EEC patients with intraoperatively measured MTD ≤2 cm to those with MTD >2 cm from January 1, 2002 to August 31, 2017. This assessment compared those with MTD ≤ 2cm with endometrial biopsy (EB) grade 1-2 to patients with MTD > 2cm with EB grade 3. Lymph node metastasis (LNM), recurrence, and survival were compared in these groups. Results: This study reviewed 222 patient cases. In tumors > 2 cm, LNM occurred in 20% cases while in tumors ≤ 2 cm, LNM was found in 6% cases (p=0.04). Recurrence and mean survival based on last follow up visit in these two groups were not statistically different (p=0.78 and 0.36 respectively). Data demonstrated a trend that when combined with preoperative EB International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade, a higher proportion of patients with EB FIGO Grade 3 and MTD > 2 cm had LNM compared to those with EB FIGO Grade 1-2 and MTD ≤ 2 cm (43% vs, 11%, p=0.06). LNM was found in 15% of cases in which lymphadenectomy was performed based on current practices, whereas if the criteria of EB FIGO 3 and MTD > 2 cm were used the incidence of LNM would have been 44% cases. However, using this criterion, two patients would not have had their nodal metastases detected. Compared to the current practice, the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed criteria would be 60% and 81%, respectively. The PPV and NPV would be 43% and 90%, respectively. Conclusion: The results indicate that MTD combined with EB FIGO grade can detect LNM in a higher proportion of cases when compared to current practice. MTD combined with EB FIGO grade may eliminate the need of frozen section sampling in a substantial number of cases.

Keywords: Endometrial cancer, FIGO grade, lymphadenectomy, tumor size.

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2 Exercise and Cognitive Function: Time Course of the Effects

Authors: Simon B. Cooper, Stephan Bandelow, Maria L. Nute, John G. Morris, Mary E. Nevill

Abstract:

Previous research has indicated a variable effect of exercise on adolescents’ cognitive function. However, comparisons between studies are difficult to make due to differences in: the mode, intensity and duration of exercise employed; the components of cognitive function measured (and the tests used to assess them); and the timing of the cognitive function tests in relation to the exercise. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the time course (10 and 60min post-exercise) of the effects of 15min intermittent exercise on cognitive function in adolescents. 45 adolescents were recruited to participate in the study and completed two main trials (exercise and resting) in a counterbalanced crossover design. Participants completed 15min of intermittent exercise (in cycles of 1 min exercise, 30s rest). A battery of computer based cognitive function tests (Stroop test, Sternberg paradigm and visual search test) were completed 30 min pre- and 10 and 60min post-exercise (to assess attention, working memory and perception respectively).The findings of the present study indicate that on the baseline level of the Stroop test, 10min following exercise response times were slower than at any other time point on either trial (trial by session time interaction, p = 0.0308). However, this slowing of responses also tended to produce enhanced accuracy 10min post-exercise on the baseline level of the Stroop test (trial by session time interaction, p = 0.0780). Similarly, on the complex level of the visual search test there was a slowing of response times 10 min post-exercise (trial by session time interaction, p = 0.0199). However, this was not coupled with an improvement in accuracy (trial by session time interaction, p = 0.2349). The mid-morning bout of exercise did not affect response times or accuracy across the morning on the Sternberg paradigm. In conclusion, the findings of the present study suggest an equivocal effect of exercise on adolescents' cognitive function. The mid-morning bout of exercise appears to cause a speed-accuracy trade off immediately following exercise on the Stroop test (participants become slower but more accurate), whilst slowing response times on the visual search test and having no effect on performance on the Sternberg paradigm. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of the timing of the cognitive function tests relative to the exercise and the components of cognitive function examined in future studies. 

Keywords: Adolescents, cognitive function, exercise.

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1 Modeling Aerosol Formation in an Electrically Heated Tobacco Product

Authors: Markus Nordlund, Arkadiusz K. Kuczaj

Abstract:

Philip Morris International (PMI) is developing a range of novel tobacco products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. One of these products is the Tobacco Heating System 2.2 (THS 2.2), (named as the Electrically Heated Tobacco System (EHTS) in this paper), already commercialized in a number of countries (e.g., Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Portugal and Romania). During use, the patented EHTS heats a specifically designed tobacco product (Electrically Heated Tobacco Product (EHTP)) when inserted into a Holder (heating device). The EHTP contains tobacco material in the form of a porous plug that undergoes a controlled heating process to release chemical compounds into vapors, from which an aerosol is formed during cooling. The aim of this work was to investigate the aerosol formation characteristics for realistic operating conditions of the EHTS as well as for relevant gas mixture compositions measured in the EHTP aerosol consisting mostly of water, glycerol and nicotine, but also other compounds at much lower concentrations. The nucleation process taking place in the EHTP during use when operated in the Holder has therefore been modeled numerically using an extended Classical Nucleation Theory (CNT) for multicomponent gas mixtures. Results from the performed simulations demonstrate that aerosol droplets are formed only in the presence of an aerosol former being mainly glycerol. Minor compounds in the gas mixture were not able to reach a supersaturated state alone and therefore could not generate aerosol droplets from the multicomponent gas mixture at the operating conditions simulated. For the analytically characterized aerosol composition and estimated operating conditions of the EHTS and EHTP, glycerol was shown to be the main aerosol former triggering the nucleation process in the EHTP. This implies that according to the CNT, an aerosol former, such as glycerol needs to be present in the gas mixture for an aerosol to form under the tested operating conditions. To assess if these conclusions are sensitive to the initial amount of the minor compounds and to include and represent the total mass of the aerosol collected during the analytical aerosol characterization, simulations were carried out with initial masses of the minor compounds increased by as much as a factor of 500. Despite this extreme condition, no aerosol droplets were generated when glycerol, nicotine and water were treated as inert species and therefore not actively contributing to the nucleation process. This implies that according to the CNT, an aerosol cannot be generated without the help of an aerosol former, from the multicomponent gas mixtures at the compositions and operating conditions estimated for the EHTP, even if all minor compounds are released or generated in a single puff.

Keywords: Aerosol, Classical Nucleation Theory (CNT), Electrically Heated Tobacco Product (EHTP), Electrically Heated Tobacco System (EHTS), modeling, multicomponent, nucleation.

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