Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 250

Search results for: critical infrastructure

190 Estimation of Critical Period for Weed Control in Corn in Iran

Authors: Sohrab Mahmoodi, Ali Rahimi

Abstract:

The critical period for weed control (CPWC) is the period in the crop growth cycle during which weeds must be controlled to prevent unacceptable yield losses. Field studies were conducted in 2005 and 2006 in the University of Birjand at the south east of Iran to determine CPWC of corn using a randomized complete block design with 14 treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of two different periods of weed interference, a critical weed-free period and a critical time of weed removal, were imposed at V3, V6, V9, V12, V15, and R1 (based on phonological stages of corn development) with a weedy check and a weed-free check. The CPWC was determined with the use of 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20% acceptable yield loss levels by non-linear Regression method and fitting Logistic and Gompertz nonlinear equations to relative yield data. The CPWC of corn was from 5- to 15-leaf stage (19-55 DAE) to prevent yield losses of 5%. This period to prevent yield losses of 2.5, 10 and 20% was 4- to 17-leaf stage (14-59 DAE), 6- to 12-leaf stage (25-47 DAE) and 8- to 9-leaf stage (31-36 DAE) respectively. The height and leaf area index of corn were significantly decreased by weed competition in both weed free and weed infested treatments (P<0.01). Results also showed that there was a significant positive correlation between yield and LAI of corn at silk stage when competing with weeds (r= 0.97).

Keywords: Corn, Critical period, Gompertz, Logistic, Weed control.

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189 A Design of the Infrastructure and Computer Network for Distance Education, Online Learning via New Media, E-Learning and Blended Learning

Authors: Sumitra Nuanmeesri

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The research focus on study, analyze and design the model of the infrastructure and computer networks for distance education, online learning via new media, e-learning and blended learning. The collected information from study and analyze process that information was evaluated by the index of item objective congruence (IOC) by 9 specialists to design model. The results of evaluate the model with the mean and standard deviation by the sample of 9 specialists value is 3.85. The results showed that the infrastructure and computer networks are designed to be appropriate to a great extent appropriate to a great extent.

Keywords: Blended Learning, New Media, Infrastructure and Computer Network, Tele-Education, Online Learning.

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188 Investigating the Critical Factors in Implementing Enterprise Resource Planning System in Malaysian Business Firms

Authors: Mahadevan Supramaniam, Mudiarasan Kuppusamy

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In order to survive in a rapidly changing business environment, Malaysian business firms must improve their own business practices and procedures. This paper describes the impact of Critical Success Factors (CSFs) during the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementations using the responses from 151 organizations that completed or are in the process of completing an ERP implementation and identifying the key benefits of ERP implementation in the firm. The importance of these factors was investigated within Malaysian companies using questionnaire survey method. Our results provide advice to management on how best to utilize their limited resources to choose those CSFs that are most likely to have an impact upon the implementation of the ERP system.

Keywords: Critical Success Factors (CSFs), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), system, vendor.

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187 A Study of Development to Take for the Enterprise of the Critical Success Factors in the Taiwan Szuchung Creek Hot Springs

Authors: Jui-Liang Hsu

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the development of Szuchung Creek take for the cause of the critical success factors, This research is to use the depth interviews, document analysis and Modified-Delphi technique survey of nine depth interviews with experts and 14 experts of Modified-Delphi technique questionnaire and inviting as the research object, Szuchung Creek Hot Springs for the scope of the study. The results show, Szuchung Creek Hot Springs development take for career success factors for the following reasons: 1. Government. 2. Opportunities. 3. Factors of production. 4. Demand conditions. 5. Corporate structure and the degree of competition. 6. Related and supporting industries. Furthermore, Szuchung Creek hot springs, itself already has a number of critical success factors. Contingent less than or inadequacies by Szuchung Creek take for the enterprise development to take for the cause of the critical success factors as the basis for correcting, planning out for local use improvement strategies to achieve the objective of sustainable management.

Keywords: Hot spring industry, Critical Success Fators, Szuchung Creek, Take for the enterprise, Modified-Delphi technique, Hot Spring Areas.

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186 A Framework for Identifying the Critical Factors Affecting the Decision to Adopt and Use Inter-Organizational Information Systems

Authors: K. Bouchbout, Z. Alimazighi

Abstract:

The importance of inter-organizational system (IOS) has been increasingly recognized by organizations. However, IOS adoption has proved to be difficult and, at this stage, why this is so is not fully uncovered. In practice, benefits have often remained concentrated, primarily accruing to the dominant party, resulting in low rates of adoption and usage, and often culminating in the failure of the IOS. The main research question is why organizations initiate or join IOS and what factors influence their adoption and use levels. This paper reviews the literature on IOS adoption and proposes a theoretical framework in order to identify the critical factors to capture a complete picture of IOS adoption. With our proposed critical factors, we are able to investigate their relative contributions to IOS adoption decisions. We obtain findings that suggested that there are five groups of factors that significantly affect the adoption and use decision of IOS in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) context: 1) interorganizational context, 2) organizational context, 3) technological context, 4) perceived costs, and 5) perceived benefits.

Keywords: Business-to-Business relationships, buyer-supplier relationships, Critical factors, Interorganizational Information Systems, IOS adoption and use.

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185 The Islamic Element of Al-‘Adl in Critical Thinking: the Perception of Muslim Engineering Undergraduates in Malaysia

Authors: Mohd Nuri Al-Amin Endut, Wan Suhaimi Wan Abdullah, Zulqarnain Abu Bakar

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The element of justice or al-‘adl in the context of Islamic critical thinking deals with the notion of justice in a thinking process which critically rationalizes the truth in a fair and objective manner with no irrelevant interference that can jeopardize a sound judgment. This Islamic axiological element is vital in technological decision making as it addresses the issues of religious values and ethics that are primarily set to fulfill the purpose of human life on earth. The main objective of this study was to examine and analyze the perception of Muslim engineering students in Malaysian higher education institutions towards the concept of al-‘adl as an essential element of Islamic critical thinking. The study employed mixed methods approach that comprises data collection from the questionnaire survey and the interview responses. A total of 557 Muslim engineering undergraduates from six Malaysian universities participated in the study. The study generally indicated that Muslim engineering undergraduates in the higher institutions have rather good comprehension and consciousness for al-‘adl with a slight awareness on the importance of objective thinking. Nonetheless there were a few items on the concept that have implied a comparatively low perception on the rational justice in Islam as the means to grasp the ultimate truth.

Keywords: Engineering education, Islamic critical thinking, rational justice, perception, tertiary education.

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184 Enhancing Critical Reflective Practice in Fieldwork Education: An Exploratory Study of the Role of Social Work Agencies in the Welfare Context of Hong Kong

Authors: Yee-May Chan

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In recent decades, it is observed that social work agencies have participated actively, and thus, have gradually been more influential in social work education in Hong Kong. The neo-liberal welfare ideologies and changing funding mode have transformed the landscape in social work practice and have also had a major influence on the fieldwork environment in Hong Kong. The aim of this research is to explore the educational role of social work agencies and examine in particular whether they are able to enhance or hinder critical reflective learning in fieldwork. In-depth interviews with 15 frontline social workers and managers in different social work agencies were conducted to collect their views and experience in helping social work students in fieldwork. The overall findings revealed that under the current social welfare context most social workers consider that the most important role of social work agencies in fieldwork is to help students prepare to fit-in the practice requirements and work within agencies’ boundary. The fit-for-purpose and down-to-earth view of fieldwork practice is seen as prevalent among most social workers. This narrow perception of agency’s role seems to be more favourable to competence-based approaches. In contrast, though critical reflection has been seen as important in addressing the changing needs of service users, the role of enhancing critical reflective learning has not been clearly expected or understood by most agency workers. The notion of critical reflection, if considered, has been narrowly perceived in fieldwork learning. The findings suggest that the importance of critical reflection is found to be subordinate to that of practice competence. The lack of critical reflection in the field is somehow embedded in the competence-based social work practice. In general, social work students’ critical reflection has not been adequately supported or enhanced in fieldwork agencies, nor critical reflective practice has been encouraged in fieldwork process. To address this situation, the role of social work agencies in fieldwork should be re-examined. To maximise critical reflective learning in the field, critical reflection as an avowed objective in fieldwork learning should be clearly stated. Concrete suggestions are made to help fieldwork agencies become more prepared to critical reflective learning. It is expected that the research can help social work communities to reflect upon the current realities of fieldwork context and to identify ways to strengthen agencies’ capacities to enhance critical reflective learning and practice of social work students.

Keywords: Competence-based social work, fieldwork, neo-liberal welfare, critical reflective learning.

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183 Property Aggregation and Uncertainty with Links to the Management and Determination of Critical Design Features

Authors: Steven Whittle, Ingrida Valiusaityte

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Within the domain of Systems Engineering the need to perform property aggregation to understand, analyze and manage complex systems is unequivocal. This can be seen in numerous domains such as capability analysis, Mission Essential Competencies (MEC) and Critical Design Features (CDF). Furthermore, the need to consider uncertainty propagation as well as the sensitivity of related properties within such analysis is equally as important when determining a set of critical properties within such a system. This paper describes this property breakdown in a number of domains within Systems Engineering and, within the area of CDFs, emphasizes the importance of uncertainty analysis. As part of this, a section of the paper describes possible techniques which may be used within uncertainty propagation and in conclusion an example is described utilizing one of the techniques for property and uncertainty aggregation within an aircraft system to aid the determination of Critical Design Features.

Keywords: Complex Systems, Critical Design Features, Property Aggregation, Uncertainty.

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182 A Framework on the Critical Success Factors of E-Learning Implementation in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature

Authors: Sujit K. Basak, Marguerite Wotto, Paul Bélanger

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This paper presents a conceptual framework on the critical success factors of e-learning implementation in higher education, derived from an in-depth survey of literature review. The aim of this study was achieved by identifying critical success factors that affect for the successful implementation of e-learning. The findings help to articulate issues that are related to e-learning implementation in both formal and non-formal higher education and in this way contribute to the development of programs designed to address the relevant issues.

Keywords: Critical success factors, e-learning, higher education, life-long learning.

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181 Students’ Level of Participation, Critical Thinking, Types of Action and Influencing Factors in Online Forum Environment

Authors: N. I. Bazid, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Due to the advancement of Internet technology, online learning is widely used in higher education institutions. Online learning offers several means of communication, including online forum. Through online forum, students and instructors are able to discuss and share their knowledge and expertise without having a need to attend the face-to-face, ordinary classroom session. The purposes of this study are to analyze the students’ levels of participation and critical thinking, types of action and factors influencing their participation in online forum. A total of 41 postgraduate students undertaking a course in educational technology from a public university in Malaysia were involved in this study. In this course, the students participated in a weekly online forum as part of the course requirement. Based on the log data file extracted from the online forum, the students’ type of actions (view, add, update, delete posts) and their levels of participation (passive, moderate or active) were identified. In addition, the messages posted in the forum were analyzed to gauge their level of critical thinking. Meanwhile, the factors that might influence their online forum participation were measured using a 24-items questionnaire. Based on the log data, a total of 105 posts were sent by the participants. In addition, the findings show that (i) majority of the students are moderate participants, with an average of two to three posts per person, (ii) viewing posts are the most frequent type of action (85.1%), and followed by adding post (9.7%). Furthermore, based on the posts they made, the most frequent type of critical thinking observed was justification (50 input or 19.0%), followed by linking ideas and interpretation (47 input or 18%), and novelty (38 input or 14.4%). The findings indicate that online forum allows for social interaction and can be used to measure the students’ critical thinking skills. In order to achieve this, monitoring students’ activities in the online forum is recommended.

Keywords: Critical thinking, learning management system, level of online participation, online forum.

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180 A Study of Current Maintenance Strategies and the Reliability of Critical Medical Equipment in Hospitals in Relation to Patient Outcomes

Authors: Khelood A. Mkalaf, Peter Gibson, John Flanagan

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This study investigates the relationship between the reliability of critical medical equipment (CME) and the effectiveness of CME maintenance management strategies in relation to patient outcomes in 84 public hospitals of a top 20 OECD country. The work has examined the effectiveness of CME maintenance management strategies used by the public hospital system of a large state run health organization. The conceptual framework was designed to examine the significance of the relationship between six variables: (1) types of maintenance management strategies, (2) maintenance services, (3) maintenance practice, (4) medical equipment reliability, (5) maintenance costs and (6) patient outcomes. The results provide interesting insights into the effectiveness of the maintenance strategies used. For example, there appears to be about a 1 in 10 000 probability of failure of anesthesia equipment, but these seem to be confined to specific maintenance situations. There are also some findings in relation to outsourcing of maintenance. For each of the variables listed, results are reported in relation to the various types of maintenance strategies and services. Decision-makers may use these results to evaluate more effective maintenance strategies for their CME and generate more effective patient outcomes.

Keywords: Critical medical equipment, maintenance strategy, patient outcomes, reliability.

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179 A Critical Social Research Perspective on Self-Directed Learning and Information Technology Practitioners

Authors: Roelien Goede

Abstract:

Information systems practitioners are frequently required to master new technology, often without the aid of formal training. They require the skill to manage their own learning and, when this skill is developed in their formal training, their adaptability to new technology may be improved. Self- directed learning is the ability of the learner to manage his or her own learning experience with some guidance from a facilitator. Self-directed learning skills are best improved when practiced. This paper reflects on a critical social research project to improve the self-directed learning skills of fourth year Information Systems students. Critical social research differs from other research paradigms in that the researcher is viewed as the agent of change to achieve the desired outcome in the problem situation.

Keywords: Action Research, Critical Social Research, Information Systems Education, Self-directed Learning.

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178 A study of the ERP Project Life Cycles in Small-and-Medium–Sized Enterprises: Critical Issues and Lessons Learned

Authors: Eli Hustad, Aurilla A. Bechina

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The purpose of this research is to increase our knowledge as regards how Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) tackle ERP implementation projects to achieve successful adoption and use of these systems within the organization. SMEs have scare resources to handle these kinds of projects which have proved to be risky and costly. There are several studies focusing on ERP implementation in larger companies, however, few studies report on challenges experienced by SMEs. Our research seeks to bridge this gap. Through a multiple case study of four companies, we identified challenges and critical elements within the different phases (pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation) of the ERP life cycle. To interpret our findings, we utilize a well-know ERP life cycle model and critical success factors developed for larger companies which are reported in former research literature. We discuss if these models are relevant for SMEs and suggest additional critical elements identified in this study to make a framework more adapted to the SME context.

Keywords: ERP implementation challenges, ERP implementation framework, ERP life cycle model, Small-and- Medium-Sized Enterprises, ERP critical success factors

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177 A Study of Quality Assurance and Unit Verification Methods in Safety Critical Environment

Authors: Miklos Taliga

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In the present case study we examined the development and testing methods of systems that contain safety-critical elements in different industrial fields. Consequentially, we observed the classical object-oriented development and testing environment, as both medical technology and automobile industry approaches the development of safety critical elements that way. Subsequently, we examined model-based development. We introduce the quality parameters that define development and testing. While taking modern agile methodology (scrum) into consideration, we examined whether and to what extent the methodologies we found fit into this environment.

Keywords: Safety-critical elements, quality management, unit verification, model base testing, agile methods, scrum, metamodel, object-oriented programming, field specific modelling, sprint, user story, UML Standard.

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176 Analysis of the Learners’ Responses of the Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System: Critical Psychological Perspective

Authors: Mokgadi Moletsane-Kekae, Robert Kananga Mukuna

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The study focused on the analysis of the Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System’s responses. The objective of this study is to analyse the participants’ response rate of the Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System with regards to critical psychology approach. The use of critical psychology theory in this study was crucial because it responds to the current inadequate western theory or practice in the field of psychology. The study adopted a qualitative approach and a case study design. The study was grounded on interpretivist paradigm. The sample size comprised six learners (three boys and three girls, aged of 14 years) from historically disadvantaged school in the Western Cape, South Africa. The Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System (ARCS) administration procedure, biographical information, semi-structured interviews, and observation were used to collect data. Data was analysed using thematic framework. The study found out that, factors that increased the response rates during the administration of ARCS were, language, seating arrangement, drawing, viewing, and describing. The study recommended that, psychological test designers take into consideration the philosophy or worldviews of the local people for whom the test is designed to minimize low response rates.

Keywords: Adjusted Rorschach comprehensive system, critical psychology, learners, responses.

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175 A Review of Critical Success Factor in Building Maintenance Management Practice for University Sector

Authors: S.H. Zulkarnain, E.M.A Zawawi, M.Y. A. Rahman, N.K.F. Mustafa

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Building maintenance plays an important role among other activities in building operation. Building defect and damages are part of the building maintenance 'bread and butter' as their input indicated in the building inspection is very much justified, particularly as to determine the building performance. There will be no escape route or short cut from building maintenance work. This study attempts to identify a competitive performance that translates the Critical Success Factor achievements and satisfactorily meet the university-s expectation. The quality and efficiency of maintenance management operation of building depends, to some extent, on the building condition information, the expectation from the university sector and the works carried out for each maintenance activity. This paper reviews the critical success factor in building maintenance management practice for university sectors from four (4) perspectives which include (1) customer (2) internal processes (3) financial and (4) learning and growth perspective. The enhancement of these perspectives is capable to reach the maintenance management goal for a better living environment in university campus.

Keywords: Building maintenance, Critical Success Factor, Management, University

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174 Radical Technological Innovation–Comparison of a Critical Success Factors Framework with Existing Literature

Authors: Florian Wohlfeil, Orestis Terzidis, Louisa Hellmann

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Radical technological innovations enable companies to reach strong market positions and are thus desirable. On the other hand, the innovation process is related to significant costs and risks. Hence, the knowledge of the factors that influence success is crucial for technology driven companies. Taking a previously developed framework of Critical Success Factors for radical technological innovations as a reference model, we conducted a structured and focused literature review of eleven standard books within the field of technology and innovation management. With this approach we aim to evaluate, expand, and clarify the set of Critical Success Factors detailed in this framework. Overall, the set of factors and their allocation to the main categories of the framework could be confirmed. However, the factor organizational home is not emphasized and discussed in most of the reviewed literature. On the other hand, an additional factor that has not been part of the framework is described to be important – strategy fit. Furthermore, the factors strategic alliances and platform strategy appear in the literature but in a different context compared to the reference model.

Keywords: Critical success factors, radical technological innovation, TOMP framework, innovation process.

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173 Using Knowledge Management and Critical Thinking to Understand Thai Perceptions and Decisions towards Work-Life Balance in a Multinational Software Development Firm

Authors: N. Mantalay, N. Chakpitak, W. Janchai, P. Sureepong

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Work-life balance has been acknowledged and promoted for the sake of employee retention. It is essential for a manager to realize the human resources situation within a company to help employees work happily and perform at their best. This paper suggests knowledge management and critical thinking are useful to motivate employees to think about their work-life balance. A qualitative case study is presented, which aimed to discover the meaning of work-life balance-s meaning from the perspective of Thai knowledge workers and how it affects their decision-making towards work resignation. Results found three types of work-life balance dimensions; a work- life balance including a workplace and a private life setting, an organizational working life balance only, and a worklife balance only in a private life setting. These aspects all influenced the decision-making of the employees. Factors within a theme of an organizational work-life balance were involved with systematic administration, fair treatment, employee recognition, challenging assignments to gain working experience, assignment engagement, teamwork, relationship with superiors, and working environment, while factors concerning private life settings were about personal demands such as an increasing their salary or starting their own business.

Keywords: knowledge management, work-life balance, knowledge workers, decision-making, critical thinking, diverse workforce

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172 Critical Success Factors Influencing Construction Project Performance for Different Objectives: Procurement Phase

Authors: Samart Homthong, Wutthipong Moungnoi

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Critical success factors (CSFs) and the criteria to measure project success have received much attention over the decades and are among the most widely researched topics in the context of project management. However, although there have been extensive studies on the subject by different researchers, to date, there has been little agreement on the CSFs. The aim of this study is to identify the CSFs that influence the performance of construction projects, and determine their relative importance for different objectives across five stages in the project life cycle. A considerable literature review was conducted that resulted in the identification of 179 individual factors. These factors were then grouped into nine major categories. A questionnaire survey was used to collect data from three groups of respondents: client representatives, consultants, and contractors. Out of 164 questionnaires distributed, 93 were returned, yielding a response rate of 56.7%. Using the mean score, relative importance index, and weighted average method, the top 10 critical factors for each category were identified. The agreement of survey respondents on those categorised factors were analysed using Spearman’s rank correlation. A one-way analysis of variance was then performed to determine whether the mean scores among the various groups of respondents were statistically significant. The findings indicate the most CSFs in each category in procurement phase are: proper procurement programming of materials (time), stability in the price of materials (cost), and determining quality in the construction (quality). They are then followed by safety equipment acquisition and maintenance (health and safety), budgeting allowed in a contractual arrangement for implementing environmental management activities (environment), completeness of drawing documents (productivity), accurate measurement and pricing of bill of quantities (risk management), adequate communication among the project team (human resource), and adequate cost control measures (client satisfaction). An understanding of CSFs would help all interested parties in the construction industry to improve project performance. Furthermore, the results of this study would help construction professionals and practitioners take proactive measures for effective project management.

Keywords: Critical success factors, procurement phase, project life cycle, project performance.

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171 Temporal Change of Fractal Dimension of Explosion Earthquakes and Harmonic Tremors at Semeru Volcano, East Java, Indonesia, using Critical Exponent Method

Authors: Sukir Maryanto, Iyan Mulyana

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Fractal analyses of successive event of explosion earthquake and harmonic tremor recorded at Semeru volcano were carried out to investigate the dynamical system regarding to their generating mechanism. The explosive eruptions accompanied by explosion earthquakes and following volcanic tremor which are generated by continuous emission of volcanic ash. The fractal dimension of successive event of explosion and harmonic tremor was estimated by Critical Exponent Method (CEM). It was found that the method yield a higher fractal dimension of explosion earthquakes and gradually decrease during the occurrence of harmonic tremor, and can be considerably as correlated complexity of the source mechanism from the variance of fractal dimension.

Keywords: Fractal dimension, Semeru volcano, explosionearthquake, harmonic tremor, Critical Exponent Method

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170 Analysis of Critical Success Factors of Six Sigma in Pakistani Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Zanjbeel Tabassum, Cahit Ali Bayraktar, Asfa Muhammad Din, Murat Durucu

Abstract:

Six Sigma is a widely adapted quality improvement methodology applied throughout the world. Through this paper, an attempt has been made to identify Critical Success Factors (CSF) for successful implementation of Six Sigma in Pakistani Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). A survey methodology was used to collect the data from SMEs in Pakistan. The results of this exploratory empirical research reflect the importance of different CSFs of Six Sigma implementation in SMEs in Pakistan. On the basis of extracted factors, a framework has been proposed for successful Six Sigma implementation in Pakistani SMEs. This study will provide a base for Pakistani SMEs and future researchers working in Six Sigma implementation and help them to prepare a road map to eradicate the hurdles in Six Sigma implementation.

Keywords: Critical success factors, small and medium-sized enterprises, Six Sigma, Pakistan.

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169 The Potential Benefits of Multimedia Information Representation in Enhancing Students’ Critical Thinking and History Reasoning

Authors: Ang Ling Weay, Mona Masood

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This paper discusses the potential benefits of an interactive multimedia information representation in enhancing students’ critical thinking aligned with history reasoning in learning history amongst Secondary School students in Malaysia. Two modes of multimedia information representation were implemented; chronologic and thematic information representations. A qualitative study of an unstructured interview was conducted among two history teachers, one history education lecturer, two i-think experts, and five students from Form Four secondary school. The interview was to elicit their opinions on the implementation of thinking maps and interactive multimedia information representation in history learning. The key elements of the interactive multimedia (e.g. multiple media, user control, interactivity and use of timelines and concept maps) were then considered to improve the learning process. Findings of the preliminary investigation reveal that the interactive multimedia information representations have the potential benefits to be implemented as an instructional resource in enhancing students’ higher order thinking skills (HOTs). This paper concludes by giving suggestions for future work.

Keywords: Multimedia Information Representation, Critical Thinking, History Reasoning, Chronological and Thematic Information Representation.

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168 EEG-Based Fractal Analysis of Different Motor Imagery Tasks using Critical Exponent Method

Authors: Montri Phothisonothai, Masahiro Nakagawa

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The objective of this paper is to characterize the spontaneous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signals of four different motor imagery tasks and to show hereby a possible solution for the present binary communication between the brain and a machine ora Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). The processing technique used in this paper was the fractal analysis evaluated by the Critical Exponent Method (CEM). The EEG signal was registered in 5 healthy subjects,sampling 15 measuring channels at 1024 Hz.Each channel was preprocessed by the Laplacian space ltering so as to reduce the space blur and therefore increase the spaceresolution. The EEG of each channel was segmented and its Fractaldimension (FD) calculated. The FD was evaluated in the time interval corresponding to the motor imagery and averaged out for all the subjects (each channel). In order to characterize the FD distribution,the linear regression curves of FD over the electrodes position were applied. The differences FD between the proposed mental tasks are quantied and evaluated for each experimental subject. The obtained results of the proposed method are a substantial fractal dimension in the EEG signal of motor imagery tasks and can be considerably utilized as the multiple-states BCI applications.

Keywords: electroencephalogram (EEG), motor imagery tasks, mental tasks, biomedical signals processing, human-machine interface, fractal analysis, critical exponent method (CEM).

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167 Development of EREC IF Model to Increase Critical Thinking and Creativity Skills of Undergraduate Nursing Students

Authors: Kamolrat Turner, Boontuan Wattanakul

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Critical thinking and creativity are prerequisite skills for working professionals in the 21st century. A survey conducted in 2014 at the Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chon Buri, Thailand, revealed that these skills within students across all academic years was at a low to moderate level. An action research study was conducted to develop the EREC IF Model, a framework which includes the concepts of experience, reflection, engagement, culture and language, ICT, and flexibility and fun, to guide pedagogic activities for 75 sophomores of the undergraduate nursing science program at the college. The model was applied to all professional nursing courses. Prior to implementation, workshops were held to prepare lecturers and students. Both lecturers and students initially expressed their discomfort and pointed to the difficulties with the model. However, later they felt more comfortable, and by the end of the project they expressed their understanding and appreciation of the model. A survey conducted four and eight months after implementation found that the critical thinking and creativity skills of the sophomores were significantly higher than those recorded in the pretest. It could be concluded that the EREC IF model is efficient for fostering critical thinking and creativity skills in the undergraduate nursing science program. This model should be used for other levels of students.

Keywords: Critical thinking, creativity, undergraduate nursing students, EREC IF model.

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166 Disturbance Observer-Based Predictive Functional Critical Control of a Table Drive System

Authors: Toshiyuki Satoh, Hiroki Hara, Naoki Saito, Jun-ya Nagase, Norihiko Saga

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This paper addresses a control system design for a table drive system based on the disturbance observer (DOB)-based predictive functional critical control (PFCC). To empower the previously developed DOB-based PFC to handle constraints on controlled outputs, we propose to take a critical control approach. To this end, we derive the transfer function representation of the PFC controller and yield a detailed design procedure. The effectiveness of the proposed method is confirmed through an experimental evaluation.

Keywords: Critical control, disturbance observer, mechatronics, motion control, predictive functional control, table drive systems.

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165 Identifying Critical Success Factors for Data Quality Management through a Delphi Study

Authors: Maria Paula Santos, Ana Lucas

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Organizations support their operations and decision making on the data they have at their disposal, so the quality of these data is remarkably important and Data Quality (DQ) is currently a relevant issue, the literature being unanimous in pointing out that poor DQ can result in large costs for organizations. The literature review identified and described 24 Critical Success Factors (CSF) for Data Quality Management (DQM) that were presented to a panel of experts, who ordered them according to their degree of importance, using the Delphi method with the Q-sort technique, based on an online questionnaire. The study shows that the five most important CSF for DQM are: definition of appropriate policies and standards, control of inputs, definition of a strategic plan for DQ, organizational culture focused on quality of the data and obtaining top management commitment and support.

Keywords: Critical success factors, data quality, data quality management, Delphi, Q-Sort.

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164 The Engineering Eportfolio: Enhancing Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Teamwork Skills?

Authors: Linda Mei Sui Khoo, Dorit Maor, Renato Schibeci

Abstract:

Graduate attributes have received increasing attention over recent years as universities incorporate these attributes into the curriculum. Graduates who have adequate technical knowledge only are not sufficiently equipped to compete effectively in the work place; they also need non disciplinary skills ie, graduate attributes. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of an eportfolio in a technical communication course to enhance engineering students- graduate attributes: namely, learning of communication, critical thinking and problem solving and teamwork skills. Two questionnaires were used to elicit information from the students: one on their preferred and the other on the actual learning process. In addition, student perceptions of the use of eportfolio as a learning tool were investigated. Preliminary findings showed that most of the students- expectations have been met with their actual learning. This indicated that eportfolio has the potential as a tool to enhance students- graduate attributes.

Keywords: Eportfolio, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills and Teamwork Skills

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163 Critical Success Factors for Successful Energy Management Implementation towards Sustainability in Malaysian Universities

Authors: A. Abdullah Saleh, A. H. Mohammed, M. N. Abdullah

Abstract:

Recently, universities are increasingly consuming energy to support various activities. A large population of staff and students in Malaysian universities has led to excessive energy consumption which directly gives an impact to the environment. The key question then ascended “How well is an energy management (EM) been practiced in universities without taking the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) into consideration to ensure the management of university achieves the goals in reducing energy consumption. Review on past literature is carried out to establish CSFs for EM best practices. Thus, this paper highlighted the CSFs which have to be focused on by management of university to successfully measure the EM implementation and its performance. At the end of this paper, a theoretical framework is developed for EM success factors towards sustainable university.

Keywords: Critical success factors, energy management, sustainability, Malaysian universities.

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162 Public-Private Partnership Projects in Canada: A Case Study Approach

Authors: Samuel Carpintero

Abstract:

Public-private partnerships (PPP) arrangements have been extensively used in Canada, where the participation of private companies in financing and managing infrastructure projects has increased significantly in the last decade, particularly in the transportation sector. This paper analyses the evolution of the PPP market for transportation projects in Canada and examines the participation of Spanish developers in this market, which have been particularly successful in winning PPP contracts during the last decade.

Keywords: PPP, concession, infrastructure, construction.

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161 Determination of Sensitive Transmission Lines Due to the Effect of Protection System Hidden Failure in a Critical System Cascading Collapse

Authors: N. A. Salim, M. M. Othman, I. Musirin, M. S. Serwan

Abstract:

Protection system hidden failures have been identified as one of the main causes of system cascading collapse resulting to power system instability. In this paper, a systematic approach is presented in order to identify the probability of a system cascading collapse by taking into consideration the effect of protection system hidden failure. This includes the accurate calculation of the probability of hidden failure as it will provide significant impinge on the findings of the probability of system cascading collapse. The probability of a system cascading collapse is then used to identify the initial tripping of sensitive transmission lines which will contribute to a critical system cascading collapse. Based on the results obtained from this study, it is important to decide on the accurate value of the hidden failure probability as it will affect the probability of a system cascading collapse.

Keywords: Critical system cascading collapse, hidden failure, probability of cascading collapse, sensitive transmission lines.

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