Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 228

Search results for: decision-making

48 Research on Rail Safety Security System

Authors: Cai Guoqiang, Jia Limin, Zhou Liming, Liang yu, Li xi

Abstract:

This paper analysis the integrated use of safety monitoring with the domestic and international latest research on rail safety protection system, and focus on the implementation of an organic whole system, with the monitoring and early warning, risk assessment, predictive control and emergency rescue system. The system framework, contents and system structure of Security system is proposed completely. It-s pointed out that the Security system is a negative feedback system composed of by safety monitoring and warning system, risk assessment and emergency rescue system. Safety monitoring and warning system focus on the monitoring target monitoring, early warning, tracking, integration of decision-making, for objective and subjective risks factors. Risk assessment system analysis the occurrence of a major Security risk mechanism, determines the standard of the future short, medium and long term safety conditions, and give prop for development of safety indicators, accident analysis and safety standards. Emergency rescue system is with the goal of rapid and effective rescue work for accident, to minimize casualties and property losses.

Keywords: Risk Assessment, emergency rescue, rail safety protection, monitoring and early warning

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47 The Impact of Recommendation Sources on Online Purchase Intentions: The Moderating Effects of Gender and Perceived Risk

Authors: Chiao-Chen Chang, Yang-Chieh Chin

Abstract:

This study examines the issue of recommendation sources from the perspectives of gender and consumers- perceived risk, and validates a model for the antecedents of consumer online purchases. The method of obtaining quantitative data was that of the instrument of a survey questionnaire. Data were collected via questionnaires from 396 undergraduate students aged 18-24, and a multiple regression analysis was conducted to identify causal relationships. Empirical findings established the link between recommendation sources (word-of-mouth, advertising, and recommendation systems) and the likelihood of making online purchases and demonstrated the role of gender and perceived risk as moderators in this context. The results showed that the effects of word-of-mouth on online purchase intentions were stronger than those of advertising and recommendation systems. In addition, female consumers have less experience with online purchases, so they may be more likely than males to refer to recommendations during the decision-making process. The findings of the study will help marketers to address the recommendation factor which influences consumers- intention to purchase and to improve firm performances to meet consumer needs.

Keywords: Gender Differences, perceived risk, Recommendation sources, Online purchaseintentions

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46 The Application of Real Options to Capital Budgeting

Authors: George Yungchih Wang

Abstract:

Real options theory suggests that managerial flexibility embedded within irreversible investments can account for a significant value in project valuation. Although the argument has become the dominant focus of capital investment theory over decades, yet recent survey literature in capital budgeting indicates that corporate practitioners still do not explicitly apply real options in investment decisions. In this paper, we explore how real options decision criteria can be transformed into equivalent capital budgeting criteria under the consideration of uncertainty, assuming that underlying stochastic process follows a geometric Brownian motion (GBM), a mixed diffusion-jump (MX), or a mean-reverting process (MR). These equivalent valuation techniques can be readily decomposed into conventional investment rules and “option impacts", the latter of which describe the impacts on optimal investment rules with the option value considered. Based on numerical analysis and Monte Carlo simulation, three major findings are derived. First, it is shown that real options could be successfully integrated into the mindset of conventional capital budgeting. Second, the inclusion of option impacts tends to delay investment. It is indicated that the delay effect is the most significant under a GBM process and the least significant under a MR process. Third, it is optimal to adopt the new capital budgeting criteria in investment decision-making and adopting a suboptimal investment rule without considering real options could lead to a substantial loss in value.

Keywords: Capital Budgeting, real options, geometric Brownianmotion, mixed diffusion-jump, mean-reverting process

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45 Wangle the Organizational Internal and External Knowledge – A New Horizon for Sustaining the Business Stability

Authors: Asim N., M. Mazhar Manzoor, Shariq A.

Abstract:

Knowledge is renowned as a significant component for sustaining competitive advantage and gives leading edge in business. This study emphasizes towards proper and effectuate utilization of internal and external (both either explicit or tacit) knowledge comes from stakeholders, highly supportive to combat with the challenges and enhance organizational productivity. Furthermore, it proposed a model under context of IRSA framework which facilitates the organization including flow of knowledge and experience sharing among employees. In discussion section an innovative model which indulges all functionality as mentioned in analysis section.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Effective Decision-Making, Internal & ExternalKnowledge, Tacit & Explicit Knowledge

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44 Water and Soil Environment Pollution Reduction by Filter Strips

Authors: Roy R. Gu, Mahesh Sahu, Xianggui Zhao

Abstract:

Contour filter strips planted with perennial vegetation can be used to improve surface and ground water quality by reducing pollutant, such as NO3-N, and sediment outflow from cropland to a river or lake. Meanwhile, the filter strips of perennial grass with biofuel potentials also have economic benefits of producing ethanol. In this study, The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was applied to the Walnut Creek Watershed to examine the effectiveness of contour strips in reducing NO3-N outflows from crop fields to the river or lake. Required input data include watershed topography, slope, soil type, land-use, management practices in the watershed and climate parameters (precipitation, maximum/minimum air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed and relative humidity). Numerical experiments were conducted to identify potential subbasins in the watershed that have high water quality impact, and to examine the effects of strip size and location on NO3-N reduction in the subbasins under various meteorological conditions (dry, average and wet). Variable sizes of contour strips (10%, 20%, 30% and 50%, respectively, of a subbasin area) planted with perennial switchgrass were selected for simulating the effects of strip size and location on stream water quality. Simulation results showed that a filter strip having 10%-50% of the subbasin area could lead to 55%- 90% NO3-N reduction in the subbasin during an average rainfall year. Strips occupying 10-20% of the subbasin area were found to be more efficient in reducing NO3-N when placed along the contour than that when placed along the river. The results of this study can assist in cost-benefit analysis and decision-making in best water resources management practices for environmental protection.

Keywords: Modeling, Water Quality, watershed, SWAT, NO₃-N

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43 The Characteristics of the Factors that Govern the Preferred Force in the Social Force Model of Pedestrian Movement

Authors: Zarita Zainuddin, Mohammed Mahmod Shuaib, Ibtesam M. Abu-Sulyman

Abstract:

The social force model which belongs to the microscopic pedestrian studies has been considered as the supremacy by many researchers and due to the main feature of reproducing the self-organized phenomena resulted from pedestrian dynamic. The Preferred Force which is a measurement of pedestrian-s motivation to adapt his actual velocity to his desired velocity is an essential term on which the model was set up. This Force has gone through stages of development: first of all, Helbing and Molnar (1995) have modeled the original force for the normal situation. Second, Helbing and his co-workers (2000) have incorporated the panic situation into this force by incorporating the panic parameter to account for the panic situations. Third, Lakoba and Kaup (2005) have provided the pedestrians some kind of intelligence by incorporating aspects of the decision-making capability. In this paper, the authors analyze the most important incorporations into the model regarding the preferred force. They make comparisons between the different factors of these incorporations. Furthermore, to enhance the decision-making ability of the pedestrians, they introduce additional features such as the familiarity factor to the preferred force to let it appear more representative of what actually happens in reality.

Keywords: Familiarity, Pedestrian movement, social force model, preferredforce

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42 Ethiopian Opposition Political Parties and Rebel Fronts: Past and Present

Authors: Wondwosen Teshome B.

Abstract:

In a representative democracy political parties promote vital competition on different policy issues and play essential roles by offering ideological alternatives. They also give channels for citizens- participation in government decision-making processes and they are significant conduits and interpreters of information about government. This paper attempts to examine how opposition political parties and rebel fronts emerged in Ethiopia, and examines their present conditions. In this paper, selected case studies of political parties and rebel fronts are included to highlight the status and the role of opposition groups in the country in the three successive administrations: Haile Selassie (1930-1974), Derg (1974- 1991), and EPRDF (1991-Present).

Keywords: Political Party, Ethiopia, Hybrid regime, Opposition party, Incumbent, Multi-Partyelection, Rebel fronts

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41 Business Rules for Data Warehouse

Authors: Rajeev Kaula

Abstract:

Business rules and data warehouse are concepts and technologies that impact a wide variety of organizational tasks. In general, each area has evolved independently, impacting application development and decision-making. Generating knowledge from data warehouse is a complex process. This paper outlines an approach to ease import of information and knowledge from a data warehouse star schema through an inference class of business rules. The paper utilizes the Oracle database for illustrating the working of the concepts. The star schema structure and the business rules are stored within a relational database. The approach is explained through a prototype in Oracle-s PL/SQL Server Pages.

Keywords: Web Application, Business Rules, data warehouse, PL/SQL ServerPages, Relational model

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40 Design Considerations of Scheduling Systems Suitable for PCB Manufacturing

Authors: Oscar Fernandez-Flores, Tony Speer, Rodney Day

Abstract:

This paper identifies five key design characteristics of production scheduling software systems in printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. The authors consider that, in addition to an effective scheduling engine, a scheduling system should be able to process a preventative maintenance calendar, to give the user the flexibility to handle data using a variety of electronic sources, to run simulations to support decision-making, and to have simple and customisable graphical user interfaces. These design considerations were the result of a review of academic literature, the evaluation of commercial applications and a compilation of requirements of a PCB manufacturer. It was found that, from those systems that were evaluated, those that effectively addressed all five characteristics outlined in this paper were the most robust of all and could be used in PCB manufacturing.

Keywords: Scheduling, Decision-making, ERP, PCB

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39 A Two-Stage Multi-Agent System to Predict the Unsmoothed Monthly Sunspot Numbers

Authors: Mak Kaboudan

Abstract:

A multi-agent system is developed here to predict monthly details of the upcoming peak of the 24th solar magnetic cycle. While studies typically predict the timing and magnitude of cycle peaks using annual data, this one utilizes the unsmoothed monthly sunspot number instead. Monthly numbers display more pronounced fluctuations during periods of strong solar magnetic activity than the annual sunspot numbers. Because strong magnetic activities may cause significant economic damages, predicting monthly variations should provide different and perhaps helpful information for decision-making purposes. The multi-agent system developed here operates in two stages. In the first, it produces twelve predictions of the monthly numbers. In the second, it uses those predictions to deliver a final forecast. Acting as expert agents, genetic programming and neural networks produce the twelve fits and forecasts as well as the final forecast. According to the results obtained, the next peak is predicted to be 156 and is expected to occur in October 2011- with an average of 136 for that year.

Keywords: Computational techniques, discrete wavelet transformations, solar cycle prediction, sunspot numbers

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38 Interactive Compromise Approach with Particle Swarm Optimization for Environmental/Economic Power Dispatch

Authors: Ming-Tang Tsai, Chih-Wei Yen

Abstract:

In this paper, an Interactive Compromise Approach with Particle Swarm Optimization(ICA-PSO) is presented to solve the Economic Emission Dispatch(EED) problem. The cost function and emission function are modeled as the nonsmooth functions, respectively. The bi-objective including both the minimization of cost and emission is formulated in this paper. ICA-PSO is proposed to solve EED problem for finding a better compromise solution. The solution methodology can offer a global or near-global solution for decision-making requirements. The effectiveness and efficiency of ICA-PSO are demonstrated by a sample test system. Test results can be shown that the proposed method provide a practical and flexible framework for power dispatch.

Keywords: Particle Swarm Optimization, Emission Control, economic dispatch, Interactive Compromise Approach

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37 Roadmapping as a Collaborative Strategic Decision-Making Process: Shaping Social Dialogue Options for the European Banking Sector

Authors: Christos A. Ioannou, Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos, Lampros Stergioulas

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The new status generated by technological advancements and changes in the global economy raises important issues on how communities and organisations need to innovate upon their traditional processes in order to adapt to the challenges of the Knowledge Society. The DialogoS+ European project aims to study the role of and promote social dialogue in the banking sector, strengthen the link between old and new members and make social dialogue at the European level a force for innovation and change, also given the context of the international crisis emerging in 2008- 2009. Under the scope of DialogoS+, this paper describes how the community of Europe-s banking sector trade unions attempted to adapt to the challenges of the Knowledge Society by exploiting the benefits of new channels of communication, learning, knowledge generation and diffusion focusing on the concept of roadmapping. Important dimensions of social dialogue such as collective bargaining and working conditions are addressed.

Keywords: Knowledge Society, banking sector, road mapping, social dialogue

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36 High-Speed Train Planning in France, Lessons from Mediterranean TGV-Line

Authors: Stéphanie Leheis

Abstract:

To fight against the economic crisis, French Government, like many others in Europe, has decided to give a boost to high-speed line projects. This paper explores the implementation and decision-making process in TGV projects, their evolutions, especially since the Mediterranean TGV-line. This project was probably the most controversial, but paradoxically represents today a huge success for all the actors involved. What kind of lessons we can learn from this experience? How to evaluate the impact of this project on TGV-line planning? How can we characterize this implementation and decision-making process regards to the sustainability challenges? The construction of Mediterranean TGV-line was the occasion to make several innovations: to introduce more dialog into the decisionmaking process, to take into account the environment, to introduce a new project management and technological innovations. That-s why this project appears today as an example in terms of integration of sustainable development. In this paper we examine the different kinds of innovations developed in this project, by using concepts from sociology of innovation to understand how these solutions emerged in a controversial situation. Then we analyze the lessons which were drawn from this decision-making process (in the immediacy and a posteriori) and the way in which procedures evolved: creation of new tools and devices (public consultation, project management...). Finally we try to highlight the impact of this evolution on TGV projects governance. In particular, new methods of implementation and financing involve a reconfiguration of the system of actors. The aim of this paper is to define the impact of this reconfiguration on negotiations between stakeholders.

Keywords: Innovation, Governance, Sustainability, high-speed train

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35 The Urban Development Boundary as a Planning Tool for Sustainable Urban Form: The South African Situation

Authors: E. J. Cilliers

Abstract:

It is the living conditions in the cities that determine the future of our livelihood. “To change life, we must first change space"- Henri Lefebvre. Sustainable development is a utopian aspiration for South African cities (especially the case study of the Gauteng City Region), which are currently characterized by unplanned growth and increasing urban sprawl. While the reasons for poor environmental quality and living conditions are undoubtedly diverse and complex, having political, economical and social dimensions, it is argued that the prevailing approach to layout planning in South Africa is part of the problem. This article seeks a solution to the problem of sustainability, from a spatial planning perspective. The spatial planning tool, the urban development boundary, is introduced as the concept that will ensure empty talk being translated into a sustainable vision. The urban development boundary is a spatial planning tool that can be used and implemented to direct urban growth towards a more sustainable form. The urban development boundary aims to ensure planned urban areas, in contrast to the current unplanned areas characterized by urban sprawl and insufficient infrastructure. However, the success of the urban development boundary concept is subject to effective implementation measures, as well as adequate and efficient management. The concept of sustainable development can function as a driving force underlying societal change and transformation, but the interface between spatial planning and environmental management needs to be established (as this is the core aspects underlying sustainable development), and authorities needs to understand and implement this interface consecutively. This interface can, however, realize in terms of the objectives of the planning tool – the urban development boundary. The case study, the Gauteng City Region, is depicted as a site of economic growth and innovation, but there is a lack of good urban and regional governance, impacting on the design (layout) and function of urban areas and land use, as current authorities make uninformed decisions in terms of development applications, leading to unsustainable urban forms and unsustainable nodes. Place and space concepts are thus critical matters applicable to planning of the Gauteng City Region. The urban development boundary are thus explored as a planning tool to guide decision-making, and create a sustainable urban form, leading to better environmental and living conditions, and continuous sustainability.

Keywords: Urban Planning, sustainable urban form, urbandevelopment boundary, planning tool

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34 Development of a Project Selection Method on Information System Using ANP and Fuzzy Logic

Authors: Ingu Kim, Shangmun Shin, Yongsun Choi, Nguyen Manh Thang, Edwin R. Ramos, Won-Joo Hwang

Abstract:

Project selection problems on management information system (MIS) are often considered a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) for a solving method. These problems contain two aspects, such as interdependencies among criteria and candidate projects and qualitative and quantitative factors of projects. However, most existing methods reported in literature consider these aspects separately even though these two aspects are simultaneously incorporated. For this reason, we proposed a hybrid method using analytic network process (ANP) and fuzzy logic in order to represent both aspects. We then propose a goal programming model to conduct an optimization for the project selection problems interpreted by a hybrid concept. Finally, a numerical example is conducted as verification purposes.

Keywords: Fuzzy Logic, Goal Programming, analytic network process (ANP), Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM), Information System Project Selection

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33 A Context-Aware Supplier Selection Model

Authors: Mohammadreza Razzazi, Maryam Bayat

Abstract:

Selection of the best possible set of suppliers has a significant impact on the overall profitability and success of any business. For this reason, it is usually necessary to optimize all business processes and to make use of cost-effective alternatives for additional savings. This paper proposes a new efficient context-aware supplier selection model that takes into account possible changes of the environment while significantly reducing selection costs. The proposed model is based on data clustering techniques while inspiring certain principles of online algorithms for an optimally selection of suppliers. Unlike common selection models which re-run the selection algorithm from the scratch-line for any decision-making sub-period on the whole environment, our model considers the changes only and superimposes it to the previously defined best set of suppliers to obtain a new best set of suppliers. Therefore, any recomputation of unchanged elements of the environment is avoided and selection costs are consequently reduced significantly. A numerical evaluation confirms applicability of this model and proves that it is a more optimal solution compared with common static selection models in this field.

Keywords: Supplier Selection, Data Clustering, Context-Awareness, OnlineAlgorithms

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32 Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Selection Model with Application to Chemical Engineering Management Decisions

Authors: Mohsen Pirdashti, Arezou Ghadi, Mehrdad Mohammadi, Gholamreza Shojatalab

Abstract:

Chemical industry project management involves complex decision making situations that require discerning abilities and methods to make sound decisions. Project managers are faced with decision environments and problems in projects that are complex. In this work, case study is Research and Development (R&D) project selection. R&D is an ongoing process for forward thinking technology-based chemical industries. R&D project selection is an important task for organizations with R&D project management. It is a multi-criteria problem which includes both tangible and intangible factors. The ability to make sound decisions is very important to success of R&D projects. Multiple-criteria decision making (MCDM) approaches are major parts of decision theory and analysis. This paper presents all of MCDM approaches for use in R&D project selection. It is hoped that this work will provide a ready reference on MCDM and this will encourage the application of the MCDM by chemical engineering management.

Keywords: Chemical Engineering, Selection, MCDM, R&D Project

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31 Model-Based Small Area Estimation with Application to Unemployment Estimates

Authors: Hichem Omrani, Philippe Gerber, Patrick Bousch

Abstract:

The problem of Small Area Estimation (SAE) is complex because of various information sources and insufficient data. In this paper, an approach for SAE is presented for decision-making at national, regional and local level. We propose an Empirical Best Linear Unbiased Predictor (EBLUP) as an estimator in order to combine several information sources to evaluate various indicators. First, we present the urban audit project and its environmental, social and economic indicators. Secondly, we propose an approach for decision making in order to estimate indicators. An application is used to validate the theoretical proposal. Finally, a decision support system is presented based on open-source environment.

Keywords: Decision-making, Sampling, Small area estimation, statistical method, empirical best linear unbiased predictor (EBLUP)

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30 Info-participation of the Disabled Using the Mixed Preference Data in Improving Their Travel Quality

Authors: Y. Duvarci, S. Mizokami

Abstract:

Today, the preferences and participation of the TD groups such as the elderly and disabled is still lacking in decision-making of transportation planning, and their reactions to certain type of policies are not well known. Thus, a clear methodology is needed. This study aimed to develop a method to extract the preferences of the disabled to be used in the policy-making stage that can also guide to future estimations. The method utilizes the combination of cluster analysis and data filtering using the data of the Arao city (Japan). The method is a process that follows: defining the TD group by the cluster analysis tool, their travel preferences in tabular form from the household surveys by policy variableimpact pairs, zones, and by trip purposes, and the final outcome is the preference probabilities of the disabled. The preferences vary by trip purpose; for the work trips, accessibility and transit system quality policies with the accompanying impacts of modal shifts towards public mode use as well as the decreasing travel costs, and the trip rate increase; for the social trips, the same accessibility and transit system policies leading to the same mode shift impact, together with the travel quality policy area leading to trip rate increase. These results explain the policies to focus and can be used in scenario generation in models, or any other planning purpose as decision support tool.

Keywords: disabled, Transportation Disadvantaged, Mixed Preference, Stated Preference Data

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29 An Autonomous Collaborative Forecasting System Implementation – The First Step towards Successful CPFR System

Authors: Yun-Shiow Chen, Chi-Fang Huang, Yun-Kung Chung

Abstract:

In the past decade, artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been regarded as an instrument for problem-solving and decision-making; indeed, they have already done with a substantial efficiency and effectiveness improvement in industries and businesses. In this paper, the Back-Propagation neural Networks (BPNs) will be modulated to demonstrate the performance of the collaborative forecasting (CF) function of a Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR®) system. CPFR functions the balance between the sufficient product supply and the necessary customer demand in a Supply and Demand Chain (SDC). Several classical standard BPN will be grouped, collaborated and exploited for the easy implementation of the proposed modular ANN framework based on the topology of a SDC. Each individual BPN is applied as a modular tool to perform the task of forecasting SKUs (Stock-Keeping Units) levels that are managed and supervised at a POS (point of sale), a wholesaler, and a manufacturer in an SDC. The proposed modular BPN-based CF system will be exemplified and experimentally verified using lots of datasets of the simulated SDC. The experimental results showed that a complex CF problem can be divided into a group of simpler sub-problems based on the single independent trading partners distributed over SDC, and its SKU forecasting accuracy was satisfied when the system forecasted values compared to the original simulated SDC data. The primary task of implementing an autonomous CF involves the study of supervised ANN learning methodology which aims at making “knowledgeable" decision for the best SKU sales plan and stocks management.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks, Global Logistics, CPFR, supply and demand chain

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28 Interactive Fuzzy Multi-objective Programming in Land Re-organisational Planning for Sustainable Rural Development

Authors: Bijaya Krushna Mangaraj, Deepak Kumar Das

Abstract:

Sustainability in rural production system can only be achieved if it can suitably satisfy the local requirement as well as the outside demand with the changing time. With the increased pressure from the food sector in a globalised world, the agrarian economy needs to re-organise its cultivable land system to be compatible with new management practices as well as the multiple needs of various stakeholders and the changing resource scenario. An attempt has been made to transform this problem into a multi-objective decisionmaking problem considering various objectives, resource constraints and conditional constraints. An interactive fuzzy multi-objective programming approach has been used for such a purpose taking a case study in Indian context to demonstrate the validity of the method.

Keywords: fuzzy goal programming, Land re-organisation, Crop planning, Multiobjective Decision-Making

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27 Integrating Security Indifference Curve to Formal Decision Evaluation

Authors: Anon Yantarasri, Yachai Limpiyakorn

Abstract:

Decisions are regularly made during a project or daily life. Some decisions are critical and have a direct impact on project or human success. Formal evaluation is thus required, especially for crucial decisions, to arrive at the optimal solution among alternatives to address issues. According to microeconomic theory, all people-s decisions can be modeled as indifference curves. The proposed approach supports formal analysis and decision by constructing indifference curve model from the previous experts- decision criteria. These knowledge embedded in the system can be reused or help naïve users select alternative solution of the similar problem. Moreover, the method is flexible to cope with unlimited number of factors influencing the decision-making. The preliminary experimental results of the alternative selection are accurately matched with the expert-s decisions.

Keywords: multi-criteria decision making, Decision Analysis and Resolution, Indifference Curve

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26 Evaluation of Urban Development Proposals An ANP Approach

Authors: M. García-Melón, T. Gómez-Navarro, D. Díaz-Martín, S. Acuna-Dutra

Abstract:

In this paper a new approach to prioritize urban planning projects in an efficient and reliable way is presented. It is based on environmental pressure indices and multicriteria decision methods. The paper introduces a rigorous method with acceptable complexity of rank ordering urban development proposals according to their environmental pressure. The technique combines the use of Environmental Pressure Indicators, the aggregation of indicators in an Environmental Pressure Index by means of the Analytic Network Process method and interpreting the information obtained from the experts during the decision-making process. The ANP method allows the aggregation of the experts- judgments on each of the indicators into one Environmental Pressure Index. In addition, ANP is based on utility ratio functions which are the most appropriate for the analysis of uncertain data, like experts- estimations. Finally, unlike the other multicriteria techniques, ANP allows the decision problem to be modelled using the relationships among dependent criteria. The method has been applied to the proposal for urban development of La Carlota airport in Caracas (Venezuela). The Venezuelan Government would like to see a recreational project develop on the abandoned area and mean a significant improvement for the capital. There are currently three options on their table which are currently under evaluation. They include a Health Club, a Residential area and a Theme Park. The participating experts coincided in the appreciation that the method proposed in this paper is useful and an improvement from traditional techniques such as environmental impact studies, lifecycle analysis, etc. They find the results obtained coherent, the process seems sufficiently rigorous and precise, and the use of resources is significantly less than in other methods.

Keywords: analytic network process, multicriteria decision analysis, Environmental pressure indicators

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25 The Impact of Local Decision-Making in Regional Development Schemes on the Achievement of Efficiency in EU Funds

Authors: Kuyucu Helvacioglu Asli Deniz, Tektas Arzu

Abstract:

European Union candidate status provides a strong motivation for decision-making in the candidate countries in shaping the regional development policy where there is an envisioned transfer of power from center to the periphery. The process of Europeanization anticipates the candidate countries configure their regional institutional templates in the context of the requirements of the European Union policies and introduces new instruments of incentive framework of enlargement to be employed in regional development schemes. It is observed that the contribution of the local actors to the decision making in the design of the allocation architectures enhances the efficiency of the funds and increases the positive effects of the projects funded under the regional development objectives. This study aims at exploring the performances of the three regional development grant schemes in Turkey, established and allocated under the pre-accession process with a special emphasis given to the roles of the national and local actors in decision-making for regional development. Efficiency analyses have been conducted using the DEA methodology which has proved to be a superior method in comparative efficiency and benchmarking measurements. The findings of this study as parallel to similar international studies, provides that the participation of the local actors to the decision-making in funding contributes both to the quality and the efficiency of the projects funded under the EU schemes.

Keywords: Turkey, Efficiency, European Union Funds, RegionalDevelopment

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24 Security, Securitization and Human Capital: The New Wave of Canadian Immigration Laws

Authors: Robert M. Russo

Abstract:

This paper analyzes the linkage between migration, economic globalization and terrorism concerns. On a broad level, I analyze Canadian economic and political considerations, searching for causal relationships between political and economic actors on the one hand, and Canadian immigration law on the other. Specifically, the paper argues that there are contradictory impulses affecting state sovereignty. These impulses are are currently being played out in the field of Canadian immigration law through several proposed changes to Canada-s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). These changes reflect an ideological conception of sovereignty that is intrinsically connected with decision-making capacity centered on an individual. This conception of sovereign decision-making views Parliamentary debate and bureaucratic inefficiencies as both equally responsible for delaying essential decisions relating to the protection of state sovereignty, economic benefits and immigration control This paper discusses these concepts in relation to Canadian immigration policy under Canadian governments over the past twenty five years.

Keywords: Security, Immigration Law, Globalization, anti-terrorism

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23 Stakeholder Analysis: Who are the Key Actorsin Establishing and Developing Thai Independent Consumer Organizations?

Authors: P. Ondee, S. Pannarunothai

Abstract:

In Thailand, both the 1997 and the current 2007 Thai Constitutions have mentioned the establishment of independent organizations as a new mechanism to play a key role in proposing policy recommendations to national decision-makers in the interest of collective consumers. Over the last ten years, no independent organizations have yet been set up. Evidently, nobody could point out who should be key players in establishing provincial independent consumer bodies. The purpose of this study was to find definitive stakeholders in establishing and developing independent consumer bodies in a Thai context. This was a cross-sectional study between August and September 2007, using a postal questionnaire with telephone follow-up. The questionnaire was designed and used to obtain multiple stakeholder assessment of three key attributes (power, interest and influence). Study population was 153 stakeholders associated with policy decision-making, formulation and implementation processes of civil-based consumer protection in pilot provinces. The population covered key representatives from five sectors (academics, government officers, business traders, mass media and consumer networks) who participated in the deliberative forums at 10 provinces. A 49.7% response rate was achieved. Data were analyzed, comparing means of three stakeholder attributes and classification of stakeholder typology. The results showed that the provincial health officers were the definitive stakeholders as they had legal power, influence and interest in establishing and sustaining the independent consumer bodies. However, only a few key representatives of the provincial health officers expressed their own paradigm on the civil-based consumer protection. Most provincial health officers put their own standpoint of building civic participation at only a plan-implementation level. For effective policy implementation by the independent consumer bodies, the Thai government should provide budgetary support for the operation of the provincial health officers with their paradigm shift as well as their own clarified standpoint on corporate governance.

Keywords: Civic Participation, Civil Society, Stakeholder Analysis, consumerprotection, independent organization, policy decision-making

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22 A New Method for Detection of Artificial Objects and Materials from Long Distance Environmental Images

Authors: H. Dujmic, V. Papic, H. Turic

Abstract:

The article presents a new method for detection of artificial objects and materials from images of the environmental (non-urban) terrain. Our approach uses the hue and saturation (or Cb and Cr) components of the image as the input to the segmentation module that uses the mean shift method. The clusters obtained as the output of this stage have been processed by the decision-making module in order to find the regions of the image with the significant possibility of representing human. Although this method will detect various non-natural objects, it is primarily intended and optimized for detection of humans; i.e. for search and rescue purposes in non-urban terrain where, in normal circumstances, non-natural objects shouldn-t be present. Real world images are used for the evaluation of the method.

Keywords: Image Segmentation, target detection, Landscape surveillance, mean shift algorithm

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21 On the Parameter Optimization of Fuzzy Inference Systems

Authors: Rene V. Mayorga, Erika Martinez Ramirez

Abstract:

Nowadays, more engineering systems are using some kind of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the development of their processes. Some well-known AI techniques include artificial neural nets, fuzzy inference systems, and neuro-fuzzy inference systems among others. Furthermore, many decision-making applications base their intelligent processes on Fuzzy Logic; due to the Fuzzy Inference Systems (FIS) capability to deal with problems that are based on user knowledge and experience. Also, knowing that users have a wide variety of distinctiveness, and generally, provide uncertain data, this information can be used and properly processed by a FIS. To properly consider uncertainty and inexact system input values, FIS normally use Membership Functions (MF) that represent a degree of user satisfaction on certain conditions and/or constraints. In order to define the parameters of the MFs, the knowledge from experts in the field is very important. This knowledge defines the MF shape to process the user inputs and through fuzzy reasoning and inference mechanisms, the FIS can provide an “appropriate" output. However an important issue immediately arises: How can it be assured that the obtained output is the optimum solution? How can it be guaranteed that each MF has an optimum shape? A viable solution to these questions is through the MFs parameter optimization. In this Paper a novel parameter optimization process is presented. The process for FIS parameter optimization consists of the five simple steps that can be easily realized off-line. Here the proposed process of FIS parameter optimization it is demonstrated by its implementation on an Intelligent Interface section dealing with the on-line customization / personalization of internet portals applied to E-commerce.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Fuzzy Logic, Nonlinear Optimization, Fuzzy InferenceSystems

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20 An Overall Approach to the Communication of Organizations in Conventional and Virtual Offices

Authors: Mehmet Altınöz

Abstract:

Organizational communication is an administrative function crucial especially for executives in the implementation of organizational and administrative functions. Executives spend a significant part of their time on communicative activities. Doing his or her daily routine, arranging meeting schedules, speaking on the telephone, reading or replying to business correspondence, or fulfilling the control functions within the organization, an executive typically engages in communication processes. Efficient communication is the principal device for the adequate implementation of administrative and organizational activities. For this purpose, management needs to specify the kind of communication system to be set up and the kind of communication devices to be used. Communication is vital for any organization. In conventional offices, communication takes place within the hierarchical pyramid called the organizational structure, and is known as formal or informal communication. Formal communication is the type that works in specified structures within the organizational rules and towards the organizational goals. Informal communication, on the other hand, is the unofficial type taking place among staff as face-to-face or telephone interaction. Communication in virtual as well as conventional offices is essential for obtaining the right information in administrative activities and decision-making. Virtual communication technologies increase the efficiency of communication especially in virtual teams. Group communication is strengthened through an inter-group central channel. Further, ease of information transmission makes it possible to reach the information at the source, allowing efficient and correct decisions. Virtual offices can present as a whole the elements of information which conventional offices produce in different environments. At present, virtual work has become a reality with its pros and cons, and will probably spread very rapidly in coming years, in line with the growth in information technologies.

Keywords: Communication, Organization, conventional office, virtual office, communication model, communication functions, communication methods, vertical communication, linear communication, diagonal communication

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19 Reform-Oriented Teaching of Introductory Statistics in the Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences – Historical Context and Rationale

Authors: Rossi A. Hassad

Abstract:

There is widespread emphasis on reform in the teaching of introductory statistics at the college level. Underpinning this reform is a consensus among educators and practitioners that traditional curricular materials and pedagogical strategies have not been effective in promoting statistical literacy, a competency that is becoming increasingly necessary for effective decision-making and evidence-based practice. This paper explains the historical context of, and rationale for reform-oriented teaching of introductory statistics (at the college level) in the health, social and behavioral sciences (evidence-based disciplines). A firm understanding and appreciation of the basis for change in pedagogical approach is important, in order to facilitate commitment to reform, consensus building on appropriate strategies, and adoption and maintenance of best practices. In essence, reform-oriented pedagogy, in this context, is a function of the interaction among content, pedagogy, technology, and assessment. The challenge is to create an appropriate balance among these domains.

Keywords: Learning, Teaching, Psychology, Behavioral Sciences, Health, Reform, evidence-based, Reform-oriented, introductory statistics

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