Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 673

Search results for: drivers of deforestation and forest degradation

673 An Initial Assessment of the Potential Contribution of ‘Community Empowerment’ to Mitigating the Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation, in Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve

Authors: A. Sunkar, Y. Santosa, S. B. Rushayati

Abstract:

Indonesia has experienced annual forest fires that have rapidly destroyed and degraded its forests. Fires in the peat swamp forests of Riau Province, have set the stage for problems to worsen, this being the ecosystem most prone to fires (which are also the most difficult, to extinguish). Despite various efforts to curb deforestation, and forest degradation processes, severe forest fires are still occurring. To find an effective solution, the basic causes of the problems must be identified. It is therefore critical to have an indepth understanding of the underlying causal factors that have contributed to deforestation and forest degradation as a whole, in order to attain reductions in their rates. An assessment of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation was carried out, in order to design and implement measures that could slow these destructive processes. Research was conducted in Giam Siak Kecil–Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve (GSKBB BR), in the Riau Province of Sumatera, Indonesia. A biosphere reserve was selected as the study site because such reserves aim to reconcile conservation with sustainable development. A biosphere reserve should promote a range of local human activities, together with development values that are in line spatially and economically with the area conservation values, through use of a zoning system. Moreover, GSKBB BR is an area with vast peatlands, and is experiencing forest fires annually. Various factors were analysed to assess the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in GSKBB BR; data were collected from focus group discussions with stakeholders, key informant interviews with key stakeholders, field observation and a literature review. Landsat satellite imagery was used to map forest-cover changes for various periods. Analysis of landsat images, taken during the period 2010-2014, revealed that within the non-protected area of core zone, there was a trend towards decreasing peat swamp forest areas, increasing land clearance, and increasing areas of community oilpalm and rubber plantations. Fire was used for land clearing and most of the forest fires occurred in the most populous area (the transition area). The study found a relationship between the deforested/ degraded areas, and certain distance variables, i.e. distance from roads, villages and the borders between the core area and the buffer zone. The further the distance from the core area of the reserve, the higher was the degree of deforestation and forest degradation. Research findings suggested that agricultural expansion may be the direct cause of deforestation and forest degradation in the reserve, whereas socio-economic factors were the underlying driver of forest cover changes; such factors consisting of a combination of sociocultural, infrastructural, technological, institutional (policy and governance), demographic (population pressure) and economic (market demand) considerations. These findings indicated that local factors/problems were the critical causes of deforestation and degradation in GSKBB BR. This research therefore concluded that reductions in deforestation and forest degradation in GSKBB BR could be achieved through ‘local actor’-tailored approaches such as community empowerment.

Keywords: Actor-led solution, community empowerment, drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, Giam Siak Kecil– Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve.

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672 The Threats of Deforestation, Forest Fire, and CO2 Emission toward Giam Siak Kecil Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve in Riau, Indonesia

Authors: S. B. Rushayati, R. Meilani, R. Hermawan

Abstract:

A biosphere reserve is developed to create harmony amongst economic development, community development, and environmental protection, through partnership between human and nature. Giam Siak Kecil Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve (GSKBB BR) in Riau Province, Indonesia, is unique in that it has peat soil dominating the area, many springs essential for human livelihood, high biodiversity. Furthermore, it is the only biosphere reserve covering privately managed production forest areas. In this research, we aimed at analyzing the threat of deforestation and forest fire, and the potential of CO2 emission at GSKBB BR. We used Landsat image, arcView software, and ERDAS IMAGINE 8.5 Software to conduct spatial analysis of land cover and land use changes, calculated CO2 emission based on emission potential from each land cover and land use type, and exercised simple linear regression to demonstrate the relation between CO2 emission potential and deforestation. The result showed that, beside in the buffer zone and transition area, deforestation also occurred in the core area. Spatial analysis of land cover and land use changes from years 2010, 2012, and 2014 revealed that there were changes of land cover and land use from natural forest and industrial plantation forest to other land use types, such as garden, mixed garden, settlement, paddy fields, burnt areas, and dry agricultural land. Deforestation in core area, particularly at the Giam Siak Kecil Wildlife Reserve and Bukit Batu Wildlife Reserve, occurred in the form of changes from natural forest in to garden, mixed garden, shrubs, swamp shrubs, dry agricultural land, open area, and burnt area. In the buffer zone and transition area, changes also happened, what once swamp forest changed into garden, mixed garden, open area, shrubs, swamp shrubs, and dry agricultural land. Spatial analysis on land cover and land use changes indicated that deforestation rate in the biosphere reserve from 2010 to 2014 had reached 16 119 ha/year. Beside deforestation, threat toward the biosphere reserve area also came from forest fire. The occurrence of forest fire in 2014 had burned 101 723 ha of the area, in which 9 355 ha of core area, and 92 368 ha of buffer zone and transition area. Deforestation and forest fire had increased CO2 emission as much as 24 903 855 ton/year.

Keywords: Biosphere reserve, CO2 emission, deforestation, forest fire.

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671 A Study of Classification Models to Predict Drill-Bit Breakage Using Degradation Signals

Authors: Bharatendra Rai

Abstract:

Cutting tools are widely used in manufacturing processes and drilling is the most commonly used machining process. Although drill-bits used in drilling may not be expensive, their breakage can cause damage to expensive work piece being drilled and at the same time has major impact on productivity. Predicting drill-bit breakage, therefore, is important in reducing cost and improving productivity. This study uses twenty features extracted from two degradation signals viz., thrust force and torque. The methodology used involves developing and comparing decision tree, random forest, and multinomial logistic regression models for classifying and predicting drill-bit breakage using degradation signals.

Keywords: Degradation signal, drill-bit breakage, random forest, multinomial logistic regression.

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670 Comparative Study of Fatigue and Drowsiness in the Night-time Passenger Transportation Industry in Japan

Authors: Hiroshi Ikeda

Abstract:

In this research, a questionnaire survey was conducted to measure nap, drowsiness and fatigue of drivers who work for long shifts, to discuss about the work environment and health conditions for taxi and bus drivers who work at night-time. The questionnaire sheet used for this research was organized into the following categories: tension/tiredness, drowsiness while driving, and the nap situation during night-time work. The number of taxi drivers was 127 and the number of bus drivers was 40. Concerning the results of a comparison of nap hours of taxi and bus drivers, the taxi drivers’ nap hours are overwhelmingly shorter, and also the frequency of drivers who experience drowsiness is higher. The burden on bus drivers does not change because of the system of a two-driver rotation shift. In particular, the working environment of the taxi driver may lead to greater fatigue accumulation than the bus driver’s environment.

Keywords: Bus and taxi, drowsiness, fatigue, nap.

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669 LED Lighting Interviews and Assessment in Forest Machines

Authors: Rauno Pääkkönen, Fabriziomaria Gobba, Leena Korpinen

Abstract:

The objective of the study is to assess the implementation of LED lighting into forest machine work in the dark. In addition, the paper includes a wide variety of important and relevant safety and health parameters. In modern, computerized work in the cab of forest machines, artificial illumination is a demanding task when performing duties, such as the visual inspections of wood and computer calculations. We interviewed entrepreneurs and gathered the following as the most pertinent themes: (1) safety, (2) practical problems, and (3) work with LED lighting. The most important comments were in regards to the practical problems of LED lighting. We found indications of technical problems in implementing LED lighting, like snow and dirt on the surfaces of lamps that dim the emission of light. Moreover, service work in the dark forest is dangerous and increases the risks of on-site accidents. We also concluded that the amount of blue light to the eyes should be assessed, especially, when the drivers are working in a semi-dark cab.

Keywords: Forest machines, health, LED, safety.

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668 The Relationship between Personality Characteristics and Driving Behavior

Authors: Bahram Esmaeili, Hamid Reza Imani Far, Hossein Hosseini, Mohammad Sharifi

Abstract:

The present study investigated the relationship between personality characteristics of drivers and the number and amount of fines they have in a year .This study was carried out on 120 male taxi drivers that worked at least seven hours in a day in Lamerd - a city in the south of IRAN. Subjects were chosen voluntarily among those available. Predictive variables were the NEO –five great personality factors (1. conscientiousness 2. Openness to Experience 3.Neuroticism4 .Extraversion 5.Agreeableness ) thecriterion variables were the number and amount of fines the drivers have had the last three years. the result of regression analysis showed that conscientiousness factor was able to negatively predict the number and amount of financial fines the drivers had during the last three years. The openness factor positively predicted the number of fines they had in last 3 years and the amount of financial fines during the last year. The extraversion factor both meaningfully and positively could predict only the amount of financial fines they had during the last year. Increasing age was associated with decreasing driving offenses as well as financial loss.The findings can be useful in recognizing the high-risk drivers and leading them to counseling centers .They can also be used to inform the drivers about their personality and it’s relation with their accident rate. Such criteria would be of great importance in employing drivers in different places such as companies, offices etc…

Keywords: drivers, financial fines, neo five-factor personality

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667 Managing Truck Drivers’ Fatigue: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies

Authors: Mozhgan Aliakbari, Sara Moridpour

Abstract:

In recent years, much attention has been given to truck drivers’ fatigue management. Long working hours negatively influence truck drivers’ physiology, health, and safety. However, there is little empirical research in the heavy vehicle transport sector in Australia to identify the influence of working hours’ management on drivers’ fatigue and consequently, on the risk of crashes and injuries. There is no national legislation regulating the number of hours or kilometres travelled by truck drivers. Consequently, it is almost impossible to define a standard number of hours or kilometres for truck drivers in a safety management system. This paper reviews the existing studies concerning safe system interventions such as tachographs in relation to fatigue caused by long working hours. This paper also reviews the literature to identify the influence of frequency of rest breaks on the reduction of work-related road transport accidents involving trucks. A framework is presented to manage truck drivers’ fatigue, which may result in the reduction of injuries and fatalities involving heavy vehicles.

Keywords: Fatigue, time management, trucks, traffic safety.

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666 Trial Development the Evaluation Method of Quantification the Feeling of Preventing Visibility by Front A Pillar

Authors: T. Arakawa, H. Sato

Abstract:

There are many drivers who feel right A pillar of Japanese right-hand-drive car preventing visibility on turning right or left at intersection. On the other hand, there is a report that almost pedestrian accident is caused by the delay of finding pedestrian by drivers and this is found by drivers’ eye movement. Thus, we developed the evaluation method of quantification using drivers’ eye movement data by least squares estimation and we applied this method to commercial vehicle and evaluation the visibility. It is suggested that visibility of vehicle can be quantified and estimated by linear model obtained from experimental eye fixation data and information of vehicle dimensions.

Keywords: Eye fixation, modeling, obstacle feeling, right A pillar.

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665 Detecting Older Drivers- Stress Level during Real-World Driving Tasks

Authors: Weihong Guo, Dan Brennan, Phil Blythe

Abstract:

This paper presents the effect of driving a motor vehicle on the stress levels of older drivers, indicated by monitoring their hear rate increase whilst completing various everyday driving tasks. Results suggest that whilst older female drivers heart rate varied more significantly than males, the actual age of a participant did not result in a significant change in heart rate due to stress, within the age group tested. The analysis of the results indicates the most stressful manoeuvres undertaken by the older drivers and highlights the tasks which were found difficult with a view to implementing technologies to aid the more senior driver in automotive travel.

Keywords: Driver stress, heart rate, older driver, road safety, speeding.

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664 Effect of Different pH on Canthaxanthin Degradation

Authors: N. Seyedrazi, S. H. Razavi, Z. Emam-Djomeh

Abstract:

In this research, natural canthaxanthin as one of the most important carotenoids was extracted from Dietzia natronolimnaea HS-1. The changes of canthaxanthin enriched in oilin- water emulsions with vegetable oil (5 mg/ 100 mL), Arabic gum (5 mg/100 mL), and potassium sorbate (0.5 g/100 mL) was investigated. The effects of different pH (3, 5 and 7), as well as, time treatment (3, 18 and 33 days) in the environmental temperature (24°C) on the degradation were studied by response surface methodology (RSM). The Hunter values (L*, a*, and b*) and the concentration of canthaxanthin (C, mg/L) illustrated more degradation of this pigment at low pHs (pH≤ 4) by passing the time (days≥10) with R² 97.00%, 91.31%, 97.60%, and 99.54% for C, L*, a*, and b* respectively. The predicted model were found to be significant (p<0.05).

Keywords: Degradation, Emulsion, Response SurfaceMethodology (RSM)

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663 Analyzing the Changing Pattern of Nigerian Vegetation Zones and Its Ecological and Socio-Economic Implications Using Spot-Vegetation Sensor

Authors: B. L. Gadiga

Abstract:

This study assesses the major ecological zones in Nigeria with the view to understanding the spatial pattern of vegetation zones and the implications on conservation within the period of sixteen (16) years. Satellite images used for this study were acquired from the SPOT-VEGETATION between 1998 and 2013. The annual NDVI images selected for this study were derived from SPOT-4 sensor and were acquired within the same season (November) in order to reduce differences in spectral reflectance due to seasonal variations. The images were sliced into five classes based on literatures and knowledge of the area (i.e. <0.16 Non-Vegetated areas; 0.16-0.22 Sahel Savannah; 0.22-0.40 Sudan Savannah, 0.40-0.47 Guinea Savannah and >0.47 Forest Zone). Classification of the 1998 and 2013 images into forested and non forested areas showed that forested area decrease from 511,691 km2 in 1998 to 478,360 km2 in 2013. Differencing change detection method was performed on 1998 and 2013 NDVI images to identify areas of ecological concern. The result shows that areas undergoing vegetation degradation covers an area of 73,062 km2 while areas witnessing some form restoration cover an area of 86,315 km2. The result also shows that there is a weak correlation between rainfall and the vegetation zones. The non-vegetated areas have a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.0088, Sahel Savannah belt 0.1988, Sudan Savannah belt -0.3343, Guinea Savannah belt 0.0328 and Forest belt 0.2635. The low correlation can be associated with the encroachment of the Sudan Savannah belt into the forest belt of South-eastern part of the country as revealed by the image analysis. The degradation of the forest vegetation is therefore responsible for the serious erosion problems witnessed in the South-east. The study recommends constant monitoring of vegetation and strict enforcement of environmental laws in the country.

Keywords: Vegetation, NDVI, SPOT-vegetation, ecology, degradation.

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662 An Evaluation of Drivers in Implementing Sustainable Manufacturing in India: Using DEMATEL Approach

Authors: D. Garg, S. Luthra, A. Haleem

Abstract:

Due to growing concern about environmental and social consequences throughout the world, a need has been felt to incorporate sustainability concepts in conventional manufacturing. This paper is an attempt to identify and evaluate drivers in implementing sustainable manufacturing in Indian context. Nine possible drivers for successful implementation of sustainable manufacturing have been identified from extensive review. Further, Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) approach has been utilized to evaluate and categorize these identified drivers for implementing sustainable manufacturing in to the cause and effect groups. Five drivers (Societal Pressure and Public Concerns; Regulations and Government Policies; Top Management Involvement, Commitment and Support; Effective Strategies and Activities towards Socially Responsible Manufacturing and Market Trends) have been categorized into the cause group and four drivers (Holistic View in Manufacturing Systems; Supplier Participation; Building Sustainable culture in Organization; and Corporate Image and Benefits) have been categorized into the effect group. “Societal Pressure and Public Concerns” has been found the most critical driver and “Corporate Image and Benefits” as least critical or the most easily influenced driver to implementing sustainable manufacturing in Indian context. This paper may surely help practitioners in better understanding of these drivers and their priorities towards effective implementation of sustainable manufacturing.

Keywords: Drivers, Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL), India, Sustainable Manufacturing (SM).

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661 Theory of Planned Behaviour and Young Romanians’ Self-Reported Speed

Authors: Alexandra Gheorghiu, Marie-Line Félonneau

Abstract:

Speeding represents one of the main concerns for road safety and it still is a subject for research. The need to address this problem and to understand why drivers over speed increases especially in Romania, where in 2011, speed was the main cause of car accidents. This article addresses this problem by using the theory of planned behaviour. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of young Romanian drivers (18 to 25 years) and several path analyses were made in order to verify if the model proposed by the theory of planned behaviour fits the data. One interesting result is that perceived behavioural control does not predict the intention to speed or self-reported driving speed, but subjective norms do. This implies that peers and social environment have a greater impact on young Romanian drivers than we thought.

Keywords: Speed, traffic safety, theory of planned behaviour, young drivers.

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660 Spatial Abilities, Memory and Intellect of Drivers with Different Level of Professional Experience

Authors: N. Khon, A. Kim, T. Mukhitdinova

Abstract:

The aim of this research was to reveal the link between mental variables, such as spatial abilities, memory, intellect and professional experience of drivers. Participants were allocated to four groups: no experience, inexperienced, skilled and professionals (total 85 participants). The level of ability for spatial navigation and indicator of nonverbal memory grow along the process of accumulation of driving experience. At high levels of driving experience, this tendency is especially noticeable. The professionals having personal achievements in driving (racing) differ from skilled drivers in better feeling of direction, which is specific for them not just in a short-term situation of an experimental task, but also in life-size perspective. The level of ability of mental rotation does not grow with the growth of driving experience, which confirms the multiple intelligence theory according to which spatial abilities represent specific, other than logical intelligence type of intellect. The link between spatial abilities, memory, intellect and professional experience of drivers seems to be different relating spatial navigation or mental rotation as different kinds of spatial abilities.

Keywords: Memory, spatial abilities, intellect, drivers.

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659 Software Obsolescence Drivers in Aerospace: An Industry Analysis

Authors: Raúl González Muñoz, Essam Shehab, Martin Weinitzke, Chris Fowler, Paul Baguley

Abstract:

Software applications have become crucial for the aerospace industry, providing a wide range of functionalities and capabilities. However, due to the considerable time difference between aircraft and software life cycles, obsolescence has turned into a major challenge for industry in last decades. This paper aims to provide a view on the different causes of software obsolescence within aerospace industry, as well as a perception on the importance of each of them. The key research question addressed is what drives software obsolescence in the aerospace industry, managing large software application portfolios. This question has been addressed by conducting firstly an in depth review of current literature and secondly by arranging an industry workshop with professionals from aerospace and consulting companies. The result is a set of drivers of software obsolescence, distributed among three different environments and several domains. By incorporating monitoring methodologies to assess those software obsolescence drivers, benefits in maintenance efforts and operations disruption avoidance are expected.

Keywords: Aerospace industry, obsolescence drivers, software lifecycle, software obsolescence.

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658 A Statistical Study on Young UAE Driver’s Behavior towards Road Safety

Authors: Sadia Afroza, Rakiba Rouf

Abstract:

Road safety and associated behaviors have received significant attention in recent years, reflecting general public concern. This paper portrays a statistical scenario of the young drivers in UAE with emphasis on various concern points of young driver’s behavior and license issuance. Although there are many factors contributing to road accidents, statistically it is evident that age plays a major role in road accidents. Despite ensuring strict road safety laws enforced by the UAE government, there is a staggering correlation among road accidents and young driver’s at UAE. However, private organizations like BMW and RoadSafetyUAE have extended its support on conducting surveys on driver’s behavior with an aim to ensure road safety. Various strategies such as road safety law enforcement, license issuance, adapting new technologies like safety cameras and raising awareness can be implemented to improve the road safety concerns among young drivers.

Keywords: Driving behavior, GLDS, road safety, UAE drivers, young drivers.

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657 Photocatalytic and Sonophotocatalytic Degradation of Reactive Red 120 using Dye Sensitized TiO2 under Visible Light

Authors: S.K.Kavitha, P.N.Palanisamy

Abstract:

The accelerated sonophotocatalytic degradation of Reactive Red (RR) 120 dye under visible light using dye sensitized TiO2 activated by ultrasound has been carried out. The effect of sonolysis, photocatalysis and sonophotocatalysis under visible light has been examined to study the influence on the degradation rates by varying the initial substrate concentration, pH and catalyst loading to ascertain the synergistic effect on the degradation techniques. Ultrasonic activation contributes degradation through cavitation leading to the splitting of H2O2 produced by both photocatalysis and sonolysis. This results in the formation of oxidative species, such as singlet oxygen (1O2) and superoxide (O2 -●) radicals in the presence of oxygen. The increase in the amount of reactive radical species which induce faster oxidation of the substrate and degradation of intermediates and also the deaggregation of the photocatalyst are responsible for the synergy observed under sonication. A comparative study of photocatalysis and sonophotocatalysis using TiO2, Hombikat UV 100 and ZnO was also carried out.

Keywords: Photocatalysis, Reactive Red 120, Sonophotocatalysis, Sonolysis.

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656 Diffusion of Mobile Entertainment in Malaysia: Drivers and Barriers

Authors: C. C. Wong, P. L. Hiew

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This research aims to examine the key success factors for the diffusion of mobile entertainment services in Malaysia. The drivers and barriers observed in this research include perceived benefit; concerns pertaining to pricing, product and technological standardization, privacy and security; as well as influences from peers and community. An analysis of a Malaysian survey of 384 respondents between 18 to 25 years shows that subscribers placed greater importance on perceived benefit of mobile entertainment services compared to other factors. Results of the survey also show that there are strong positive correlations between all the factors, with pricing issue–perceived benefit showing the strongest relationship. This paper aims to provide an extensive study on the drivers and barriers that could be used to derive architecture for entertainment service provision to serve as a guide for telcos to outline suitable approaches in order to encourage mass market adoption of mobile entertainment services in Malaysia.

Keywords: Barriers, Correlations, Diffusion, Drivers, Mobile Entertainment.

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655 Optimization of Human Comfort Reaction for Suspended Cabin Tractor Semitrailer Drivers

Authors: L.A.Kumaraswamidhas, P.Velmurugan, K.Sankaranarayanasamy

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This work has been conducted to study on comfort level of drivers of suspended cabin tractor semitrailer. Some drivers suffer from low back pain caused by vibration. The practical significance of applying suspended cabin type of tractor semi trailer was tested at different road conditions, different speed as well as different load conditions for comfortable driver seat interface (x, y, z ) and the process parameters have been prioritized using Taguchi-s L27 orthogonal array. Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used to optimize the human comfort vibration of suspended cabin tractor semitrailer drivers. The practical significance of applying GA to human comfort to reaction of suspended cabin tractor semitrailer has been validated by means of computing the deviation between predicted and experimentally obtained human comfort to vibration. The optimized acceleration data indicate a little uncomfortable ride for suspended cabin tractor semitrailer.

Keywords: Genetic Algorithm, Ride Comfort, Taguchi Method, Tractor Semitrailer

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654 Destination Decision Model for Cruising Taxis Based on Embedding Model

Authors: Kazuki Kamada, Haruka Yamashita

Abstract:

In Japan, taxi is one of the popular transportations and taxi industry is one of the big businesses. However, in recent years, there has been a difficult problem of reducing the number of taxi drivers. In the taxi business, mainly three passenger catching methods are applied. One style is "cruising" that drivers catches passengers while driving on a road. Second is "waiting" that waits passengers near by the places with many requirements for taxies such as entrances of hospitals, train stations. The third one is "dispatching" that is allocated based on the contact from the taxi company. Above all, the cruising taxi drivers need the experience and intuition for finding passengers, and it is difficult to decide "the destination for cruising". The strong recommendation system for the cruising taxies supports the new drivers to find passengers, and it can be the solution for the decreasing the number of drivers in the taxi industry. In this research, we propose a method of recommending a destination for cruising taxi drivers. On the other hand, as a machine learning technique, the embedding models that embed the high dimensional data to a low dimensional space is widely used for the data analysis, in order to represent the relationship of the meaning between the data clearly. Taxi drivers have their favorite courses based on their experiences, and the courses are different for each driver. We assume that the course of cruising taxies has meaning such as the course for finding business man passengers (go around the business area of the city of go to main stations) and course for finding traveler passengers (go around the sightseeing places or big hotels), and extract the meaning of their destinations. We analyze the cruising history data of taxis based on the embedding model and propose the recommendation system for passengers. Finally, we demonstrate the recommendation of destinations for cruising taxi drivers based on the real-world data analysis using proposing method.

Keywords: Taxi industry, decision making, recommendation system, embedding model.

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653 Well-Being of Lagos Urban Mini-Bus Drivers: The Influence of Age and Marital Status

Authors: Bolajoko I. Malomo, Maryam O. Yusuf

Abstract:

Lagos urban mini bus drivers play a critical role in the transportation sector. The current major mode of transportation within Lagos metropolis remains road transportation and this confirms the relevance of urban mini-bus drivers in transporting the populace to their various destinations. Other modes of transportation such as the train and waterways are currently inadequate. Various threats to the well-being of urban bus drivers include congested traffic typical of modern day lifestyles, dwindling financial returns due to long hours in traffic, fewer hours of sleep, inadequate diet, time pressure, and assaults related to fare disputes. Several healthrelated problems have been documented to be associated with urban bus driving. For instance, greater rates of hypertension, obesity and cholesterol level have been reported. Research studies are yet to identify the influence of age and marital status on the well-being of urban mini-bus drivers in Lagos metropolis. A study of this nature is necessary as it is culturally perceived in Nigeria that older and married people are especially influenced by family affiliation and would behave in ways that would project positive outcomes. The study sample consisted of 150 urban mini-bus drivers who were conveniently sampled from six (6) different terminuses where their journey begins and terminates. The well-being questionnaire was administered to participants. The criteria for inclusion in the study included the ability to read in English language and the confirmation that interested participants were on duty and suited to be driving mini-buses. Due to the nature of the job of bus driving, the researcher administered the questionnaires on participants who were free and willing to respond to the survey. All participants were males of various age groups and of different marital statuses. Results of analyses conducted revealed no significant influence of age and marital status on the well-being of urban mini-bus drivers. This indicates that the well-being of urban mini bus drivers is not influenced by age or marital status. The findings of this study have cultural implications. It negates the popularly held belief that older and married people care more about their well-being than younger and single people. It brings to fore the need to also identify and consider other factors when certifying people for the job of urban bus driving.

Keywords: Age, Lagos metropolis, marital status, well-being of urban mini bus drivers.

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652 Dynamic Modelling and Virtual Simulation of Digital Duty-Cycle Modulation Control Drivers

Authors: J. Mbihi

Abstract:

This paper presents a dynamic architecture of digital duty-cycle modulation control drivers. Compared to most oversampling digital modulation schemes encountered in industrial electronics, its novelty is founded on a number of relevant merits including; embedded positive and negative feedback loops, internal modulation clock, structural simplicity, elementary building operators, no explicit need of samples of the nonlinear duty-cycle function when computing the switching modulated signal, and minimum number of design parameters. A prototyping digital control driver is synthesized and well tested within MATLAB/Simulink workspace. Then, the virtual simulation results and performance obtained under a sample of relevant instrumentation and control systems are presented, in order to show the feasibility, the reliability, and the versatility of target applications, of the proposed class of low cost and high quality digital control drivers in industrial electronics.

Keywords: Dynamic architecture, virtual simulation, duty-cycle modulation, digital control drivers, industrial electronics.

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651 Moroccan Mountains: Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity Conservation Strategies

Authors: Mohammed Sghir Taleb

Abstract:

Forest ecosystems in Morocco are subject increasingly to natural and human pressures. Conscious of this problem, Morocco set a strategy that focuses on programs of in-situ and ex-situ biodiversity conservation. This study is the result of a synthesis of various existing studies on biodiversity and forest ecosystems. It gives an overview of Moroccan mountain forest ecosystems and flora diversity. It also focuses on the efforts made by Morocco to conserve and sustainably manage biodiversity.

Keywords: Mountain, forest, ecosystems, conservation, Morocco.

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650 Rail Degradation Modelling Using ARMAX: A Case Study Applied to Melbourne Tram System

Authors: M. Karimpour, N. Elkhoury, L. Hitihamillage, S. Moridpour, R. Hesami

Abstract:

There is a necessity among rail transportation authorities for a superior understanding of the rail track degradation overtime and the factors influencing rail degradation. They need an accurate technique to identify the time when rail tracks fail or need maintenance. In turn, this will help to increase the level of safety and comfort of the passengers and the vehicles as well as improve the cost effectiveness of maintenance activities. An accurate model can play a key role in prediction of the long-term behaviour of railroad tracks. An accurate model can decrease the cost of maintenance. In this research, the rail track degradation is predicted using an autoregressive moving average with exogenous input (ARMAX). An ARMAX has been implemented on Melbourne tram data to estimate the values for the tram track degradation. Gauge values and rail usage in Million Gross Tone (MGT) are the main parameters used in the model. The developed model can accurately predict the future status of the tram tracks.

Keywords: ARMAX, Dynamic systems, MGT, Prediction, Rail degradation.

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649 Kinetic Study of Thermal Degradation of a Lignin Nanoparticle-Reinforced Phenolic Foam

Authors: Juan C. Domínguez, Belén Del Saz-Orozco, María V. Alonso, Mercedes Oliet, Francisco Rodríguez

Abstract:

In the present study, the kinetics of thermal degradation of a phenolic and lignin reinforced phenolic foams, and the lignin used as reinforcement were studied and the activation energies of their degradation processes were obtained by a DAEM model. The average values for five heating rates of the mean activation energies obtained were: 99.1, 128.2, and 144.0 kJ.mol-1 for the phenolic foam; 109.5, 113.3, and 153.0 kJ.mol-1 for the lignin reinforcement; and 82.1, 106.9, and 124.4 kJ.mol-1 for the lignin reinforced phenolic foam. The standard deviation ranges calculated for each sample were 1.27-8.85, 2.22-12.82, and 3.17-8.11 kJ.mol-1 for the phenolic foam, lignin and the reinforced foam, respectively. The DAEM model showed low mean square errors (<1x10-5), proving that is a suitable model to study the kinetics of thermal degradation of the foams and the reinforcement.

Keywords: Kinetics, lignin, phenolic foam, thermal degradation.

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648 Degradation in Organic Light Emitting Diodes

Authors: Saba Zare Zardareh, Farhad Akbari Boroumand

Abstract:

The objective is to fabricate organic light emitting diode and to study its degradation process in atmosphere condition in which PFO as an emitting material and PEDOT:PSS as a hole injecting material were used on ITO substrate. Thus degradation process of the OLED was studied upon its current-voltage characteristic. By fabricating this OLED and obtaining blue light and analysis of current-voltage characteristic during the time after fabrication, it was observed that the current of the OLED was exponentially decreased. Current reduction during the initial hours of fabrication was outstanding and after few days its reduction rate was dropped significantly, while the diode was dying.

Keywords: OLED, Degradation, Dark spot.

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647 Chemical Analysis of PM2.5 during Dry Deforestation Season in Southeast Asia

Authors: Bahareh Khezri, Richard D. Webster

Abstract:

In Southeast Asia, during the dry season (August to October) forest fires in Indonesia emit pollutants into the atmosphere. For two years during this period, a total of 67 samples of 2.5 μm particulate matters were collected and analyzed for total mass and elemental composition with ICP - MS after microwave digestion. A study of 60 elements measured during these periods suggest that the concentration of most of elements, even those usually related to crustal source, are extremely high and unpredictable during the haze period. In By contrast, trace element concentration in non - haze months is more stable and covers a lower range. Other unexpected events and their effects on the findings are discussed.

Keywords: Haze, ICP - MS, Particulate Patter, Transboundary Air Pollution.

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646 The Mechanistic and Oxidative Study of Methomyl and Parathion Degradation by Fenton Process

Authors: Chihhao Fan, Ming-Chu Liao

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the chemical degradation of the organophosphorus pesticide of parathion and carbamate insecticide of methomyl in the aqueous phase through Fenton process. With the employment of batch Fenton process, the degradation of the two selected pesticides at different pH, initial concentration, humic acid concentration, and Fenton reagent dosages was explored. The Fenton process was found effective to degrade parathion and methomyl. The optimal dosage of Fenton reagents (i.e., molar concentration ratio of H2O2 to Fe2+) at pH 7 for parathion degradation was equal to 3, which resulted in 50% removal of parathion. Similarly, the optimal dosage for methomyl degradation was 1, resulting in 80% removal of methomyl. This study also found that the presence of humic substances has enhanced pesticide degradation by Fenton process significantly. The mass spectroscopy results showed that the hydroxyl free radical may attack the single bonds with least energy of investigated pesticides to form smaller molecules which is more easily to degrade either through physio-chemical or bilolgical processes.

Keywords: Fenton Process, humic acid, methomyl, parathion, pesticides

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645 The Use of Degradation Measures to Design Reliability Test Plans

Authors: Stephen V. Crowder, Jonathan W. Lane

Abstract:

With short production development times, there is an increased need to demonstrate product reliability relatively quickly with minimal testing. In such cases there may be few if any observed failures. Thus it may be difficult to assess reliability using the traditional reliability test plans that measure only time (or cycles) to failure. For many components, degradation measures will contain important information about performance and reliability. These measures can be used to design a minimal test plan, in terms of number of units placed on test and duration of the test, necessary to demonstrate a reliability goal. In this work we present a case study involving an electronic component subject to degradation. The data, consisting of 42 degradation paths of cycles to failure, are first used to estimate a reliability function. Bootstrapping techniques are then used to perform power studies and develop a minimal reliability test plan for future production of this component. 

Keywords: Degradation Measure, Time to Failure Distribution, Bootstrap.

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644 Degradation Model of Optical Characteristics of Zno-Pigmented White Paint by Electron Radiation

Authors: Tian Hai, Yang Shengsheng, Jr., Wang Yi

Abstract:

Based on an analysis of the mechanism of degradation of optical characteristics of the ZnO-pigmented white paint by electron irradiation, a model of single molecular color centers is built. An equation that explains the relationship between the changes of variation of the ZnO-pigmented white paint-s spectrum absorptance and electron fluence is derived. The uncertain parameters in the equation can be calculated using the curve fitting by experimental data. The result indicates that the model can be applied to predict the degradation of optical characteristics of ZnO-pigmented white paint by electron radiation.

Keywords: ZnO-pigmented white pain, effects of electron radiation, optical characteristics degradation, prediction model.

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