Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1018

Search results for: visual perceptual skills.

778 Metal Ship and Robotic Car: A Hands-On Activity to Develop Scientific and Engineering Skills for High School Students

Authors: Jutharat Sunprasert, Ekapong Hirunsirisawat, Narongrit Waraporn, Somporn Peansukmanee

Abstract:

Metal Ship and Robotic Car is one of the hands-on activities in the course, the Fundamental of Engineering that can be divided into three parts. The first part, the metal ships, was made by using engineering drawings, physics and mathematics knowledge. The second part is where the students learned how to construct a robotic car and control it using computer programming. In the last part, the students had to combine the workings of these two objects in the final testing. This aim of study was to investigate the effectiveness of hands-on activity by integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts to develop scientific and engineering skills. The results showed that the majority of students felt this hands-on activity lead to an increased confidence level in the integration of STEM. Moreover, 48% of all students engaged well with the STEM concepts. Students could obtain the knowledge of STEM through hands-on activities with the topics science and mathematics, engineering drawing, engineering workshop and computer programming; most students agree and strongly agree with this learning process. This indicated that the hands-on activity: “Metal Ship and Robotic Car” is a useful tool to integrate each aspect of STEM. Furthermore, hands-on activities positively influence a student’s interest which leads to increased learning achievement and also in developing scientific and engineering skills.

Keywords: Hands-on activity, STEM education, computer programming, metal work.

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777 Autonomous Virtual Agent Navigation in Virtual Environments

Authors: Jafreezal Jaafar, Eric McKenzie

Abstract:

This paper presents a solution for the behavioural animation of autonomous virtual agent navigation in virtual environments. We focus on using Dempster-Shafer-s Theory of Evidence in developing visual sensor for virtual agent. The role of the visual sensor is to capture the information about the virtual environment or identifie which part of an obstacle can be seen from the position of the virtual agent. This information is require for vitual agent to coordinate navigation in virtual environment. The virual agent uses fuzzy controller as a navigation system and Fuzzy α - level for the action selection method. The result clearly demonstrates the path produced is reasonably smooth even though there is some sharp turn and also still not diverted too far from the potential shortest path. This had indicated the benefit of our method, where more reliable and accurate paths produced during navigation task.

Keywords: Agent, Navigation, Demster Shafer, Fuzzy Logic.

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776 Extraction of Data from Web Pages: A Vision Based Approach

Authors: P. S. Hiremath, Siddu P. Algur

Abstract:

With the explosive growth of information sources available on the World Wide Web, it has become increasingly difficult to identify the relevant pieces of information, since web pages are often cluttered with irrelevant content like advertisements, navigation-panels, copyright notices etc., surrounding the main content of the web page. Hence, tools for the mining of data regions, data records and data items need to be developed in order to provide value-added services. Currently available automatic techniques to mine data regions from web pages are still unsatisfactory because of their poor performance and tag-dependence. In this paper a novel method to extract data items from the web pages automatically is proposed. It comprises of two steps: (1) Identification and Extraction of the data regions based on visual clues information. (2) Identification of data records and extraction of data items from a data region. For step1, a novel and more effective method is proposed based on visual clues, which finds the data regions formed by all types of tags using visual clues. For step2 a more effective method namely, Extraction of Data Items from web Pages (EDIP), is adopted to mine data items. The EDIP technique is a list-based approach in which the list is a linear data structure. The proposed technique is able to mine the non-contiguous data records and can correctly identify data regions, irrespective of the type of tag in which it is bound. Our experimental results show that the proposed technique performs better than the existing techniques.

Keywords: Web data records, web data regions, web mining.

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775 Managerial Styles of Asian Executives: The Case of Thailand

Authors: Teerayout Wattanasupachoke

Abstract:

This research project is developed in order to study managerial styles of modern Thai executives. The thorough understanding will lead to continuous improvement and efficient performance of Thai business organizations. Regarding managerial skills, Thai executives focus heavily upon human skills. Also, the negotiator roles are most emphasis in their management. In addition, Thai executives pay most attention to the fundamental management principles including Harmony and Unity of Direction of the organizations. Moreover, the management techniques, consisting of Team work and Career Planning are of their main concern. Finally, Thai executives wish to enhance their firms- image and employees- morale through conducting the ethical and socially responsible activities. The major tactic deployed to stimulate employees- ethical behaviors and mindset is Code of Ethics development.

Keywords: Management, Managerial Styles, Asian Executives, Thailand.

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774 Entropy Based Data Hiding for Document Images

Authors: Swetha Kurup, Sridhar G., Sridhar V.

Abstract:

In this paper we present a novel technique for data hiding in binary document images. We use the concept of entropy in order to identify document specific least distortive areas throughout the binary document image. The document image is treated as any other image and the proposed method utilizes the standard document characteristics for the embedding process. Proposed method minimizes perceptual distortion due to embedding and allows watermark extraction without the requirement of any side information at the decoder end.

Keywords: Entropy, Steganography, Watermarking.

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773 Basic Research for Electroretinogram Moving the Center of the Multifocal Hexagonal Stimulus Array

Authors: Naoto Suzuki

Abstract:

Many ophthalmologists can examine declines in visual sensitivity at arbitrary points on the retina using a precise perimetry device with a fundus camera function. However, the retinal layer causing the decline in visual sensitivity cannot be identified by this method. We studied an electroretinogram (ERG) function that can move the center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array in order to investigate cryptogenic diseases, such as macular dystrophy, acute zonal occult outer retinopathy, and multiple evanescent white dot syndrome. An electroretinographic optical system, specifically a perimetric optical system, was added to an experimental device carrying the same optical system as a fundus camera. We also added an infrared camera, a cold mirror, a halogen lamp, and a monitor. The software was generated to show the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array on the monitor using C++Builder XE8 and to move the center of the array up and down as well as back and forth. We used a multifunction I/O device and its design platform LabVIEW for data retrieval. The plate electrodes were used to measure electrodermal activities around the eyes. We used a multifocal hexagonal stimulus array with 37 elements in the software. The center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array could be adjusted to the same position as the examination target of the precise perimetry. We successfully added the moving ERG function to the experimental ophthalmologic device.

Keywords: Moving ERG, precise perimetry, retinal layers, visual sensitivity.

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772 Deep Learning and Virtual Environment

Authors: Danielle Morin, Jennifer D.E.Thomas, Raafat G. Saade

Abstract:

While computers are known to facilitate lower levels of learning, such as rote memorization of facts, measurable through electronically administered and graded multiple-choice questions, yes/no, and true/false answers, the imparting and measurement of higher-level cognitive skills is more vexing. These require more open-ended delivery and answers, and may be more problematic in an entirely virtual environment, notwithstanding the advances in technologies such as wikis, blogs, discussion boards, etc. As with the integration of all technology, merit is based more on the instructional design of the course than on the technology employed in, and of, itself. With this in mind, this study examined the perceptions of online students in an introductory Computer Information Systems course regarding the fostering of various higher-order thinking and team-building skills as a result of the activities, resources and technologies (ART) used in the course.

Keywords: Critical thinking, deep learning, distance learning, elearning, online learning, virtual environments.

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771 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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770 Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

Authors: Satu Lautamäki

Abstract:

This paper presents findings from a multidisciplinary course (bachelor level) implemented at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The course aims to develop innovative thinking of students, by having projects given by companies, using design thinking methods as a tool for creativity and by integrating students into multidisciplinary teams working on the given projects. The course is obligatory for all first year bachelor students across four faculties (business and culture, food and agriculture, health care and social work, and technology). The course involves around 800 students and 30 pedagogical coaches, and it is implemented as an intensive one-week course each year. The paper discusses the pedagogy, structure and coordination of the course. Also, reflections on methods for the development of creative skills are given. Experts in contemporary, global context often work in teams, which consist of people who have different areas of expertise and represent various professional backgrounds. That is why there is a strong need for new training methods where multidisciplinary approach is at the heart of learning. Creative learning takes place when different parties bring information to the discussion and learn from each other. When students in different fields are looking for professional growth for themselves and take responsibility for the professional growth of other learners, they form a mutual learning relationship with each other. Multidisciplinary team members make decisions both individually and collectively, which helps them to understand and appreciate other disciplines. Our results show that creative and multidisciplinary project learning can develop diversity of knowledge and competences, for instance, students’ cultural knowledge, teamwork and innovation competences, time management and presentation skills as well as support a student’s personal development as an expert. It is highly recommended that higher education curricula should include various studies for students from different study fields to work in multidisciplinary teams.

Keywords: Multidisciplinary learning, creative skills, innovative thinking, project-based learning.

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769 Modernization of the Economic Price Adjustment Software

Authors: Roger L Goodwin

Abstract:

The US Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) measures hundreds of items in the US economy. Many social programs and government benefits index to the CPIs. The purpose of this project is to modernize an existing process. This paper will show the development of a small, visual, software product that documents the Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) for longterm contracts. The existing workbook does not provide the flexibility to calculate EPAs where the base-month and the option-month are different. Nor does the workbook provide automated error checking. The small, visual, software product provides the additional flexibility and error checking. This paper presents the feedback to project.

Keywords: Consumer Price Index, Economic Price Adjustment, contracts, visualization tools, database, reports, forms, event procedures.

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768 A Revisited View to the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) in Female and Male Normal Subjects

Authors: Javad Razjouyan, Shahriar Gharibzadeh, Ali Fallah, Mehdi Moghaddasi, Mohsen Seyfi, Amir Kasaeian

Abstract:

Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) has been used as a common research tool for different neurological disorders like Multiple Sclerosis. Recently, technology let researchers to introduce a new versions of the visual test, the paced visual serial addition test (PVSAT). In this paper, the computerized version of these two tests is introduced. Beside the number of true responses are interpreted, the reaction time of subjects are calculated by the software. We hypothesize that paying attention to the reaction time may be valuable. For this purpose, sixty eight female normal subjects and fifty eight male normal subjects are enrolled in the study. We investigate the similarity between the PASAT3 and PVSAT3 in number of true responses and the new criterion (the average reaction time of each subject). The similarity between two tests were rejected (p-value = 0.000) which means that these two test differ. The effect of sex in the tests were not approved since the pvalues of different between PASAT3 and PVSAT3 in both sex is the same (p-value = 0.000) which means that male and female subjects performed the tests at no different level of performance. The new criterion shows a negative correlation with the age which offers aged normal subjects may have the same number of true responses as the young subjects but they have latent responses. This will give prove for the importance of reaction time.

Keywords: Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test, Pace Visual Serial Addition Test, reaction time.

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767 A Proposed Program for Postgraduates in Egypt to Acquire the Skills and Techniques for Producing Concept Cartoons for Kindergarten Children

Authors: Ahmed Amin Mousa, M. Abd El Salam

Abstract:

The current study presents a proposed program for acquisition the skills and techniques needed to produce concept cartoon. The proposed program has been prepared for non-specialist students who have never used neither graphics nor animating software. It was presented to postgraduates in Faculty of Education for Early Childhood, Cairo University, during the spring term of the 2014-2015 academic year. The program works in three different aspects: Drawing and images editing, sound manipulation, and creating animation. In addition, the researchers have prepared a questionnaire for measuring the quality of the concept cartoons produced by the students. The questionnaire was used as a pre-test and post-test, and at the end of the study, a significant difference was determined in favour of post-test results.

Keywords: Cartoon, concept cartoon, kindergarten, animation.

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766 A Software for Calculation of Optimum Conditions for Cotton Bobbin Drying in a Hot-Air Bobbin Dryer

Authors: Hilmi Kuscu, Ahmet Cihan, Kamil Kahveci, Ugur Akyol

Abstract:

In this study, a software has been developed to predict the optimum conditions for drying of cotton based yarn bobbins in a hot air dryer. For this purpose, firstly, a suitable drying model has been specified using experimental drying behavior for different values of drying parameters. Drying parameters in the experiments were drying temperature, drying pressure, and volumetric flow rate of drying air. After obtaining a suitable drying model, additional curve fittings have been performed to obtain equations for drying time and energy consumption taking into account the effects of drying parameters. Then, a software has been developed using Visual Basic programming language to predict the optimum drying conditions for drying time and energy consumption.

Keywords: Drying, bobbin, cotton, PLC control, Visual Basic.

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765 Impact of Fixation Time on Subjective Video Quality Metric: a New Proposal for Lossy Compression Impairment Assessment

Authors: M. G. Albanesi, R. Amadeo

Abstract:

In this paper, a new approach for quality assessment tasks in lossy compressed digital video is proposed. The research activity is based on the visual fixation data recorded by an eye tracker. The method involved both a new paradigm for subjective quality evaluation and the subsequent statistical analysis to match subjective scores provided by the observer to the data obtained from the eye tracker experiments. The study brings improvements to the state of the art, as it solves some problems highlighted in literature. The experiments prove that data obtained from an eye tracker can be used to classify videos according to the level of impairment due to compression. The paper presents the methodology, the experimental results and their interpretation. Conclusions suggest that the eye tracker can be useful in quality assessment, if data are collected and analyzed in a proper way.

Keywords: eye tracker, video compression, video qualityassessment, visual attention

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764 Dempster-Shafer's Approach for Autonomous Virtual Agent Navigation in Virtual Environments

Authors: Jafreezal Jaafar, Eric McKenzie

Abstract:

This paper presents a solution for the behavioural animation of autonomous virtual agent navigation in virtual environments. We focus on using Dempster-Shafer-s Theory of Evidence in developing visual sensor for virtual agent. The role of the visual sensor is to capture the information about the virtual environment or identifie which part of an obstacle can be seen from the position of the virtual agent. This information is require for vitual agent to coordinate navigation in virtual environment. The virual agent uses fuzzy controller as a navigation system and Fuzzy α - level for the action selection method. The result clearly demonstrates the path produced is reasonably smooth even though there is some sharp turn and also still not diverted too far from the potential shortest path. This had indicated the benefit of our method, where more reliable and accurate paths produced during navigation task.

Keywords: Agent, navigation, Dempster Shafer, fuzzy logic.

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763 Correlates of Coping in Individuals with Tinnitus

Authors: Vasco de Oliveira, Rute F. Meneses, Nuno Trigueiros-Cunha

Abstract:

Tinnitus is commonly defined as an aberrant  perception of sound without external stimulus. It’s a chronic  condition with consequences on the QOL. The coping strategies used  were not always effective and coping was identified as a predictor of  QOL in individuals with tinnitus, which reinforces the idea that in  health the use of effective coping styles should be promoted. This  work intend to verify relations between coping strategies assessed by  BriefCope in subjects with tinnitus and variables such as gender, age  and severity of tinnitus measured by THI and the Visual Analogue  Scale and also hearing and hyperacusis. The results indicate that there  are any statistically significant relationships between the variables  assessed in relation to the results of BriefCope except in the Visual  Analogue Scale.These results, indicating no relationship between  almost all variables, reinforce the need for further study of coping  strategies use by these patients.

 

Keywords: BriefCope, Coping strategies, Quality of Live, THI, Tinnitus.

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762 Learning Outcomes Alignment across Engineering Core Courses

Authors: A. Bouabid, B. Bielenberg, S. Ainane, N. Pasha

Abstract:

In this paper, a team of faculty members of the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE representing six different courses across General Engineering (ENGR), Communication (COMM), and Design (STPS) worked together to establish a clear developmental progression of learning outcomes and performance indicators for targeted knowledge, areas of competency, and skills for the first three semesters of the Bachelor of Sciences in Engineering curriculum. The sequences of courses studied in this project were ENGR/COMM, COMM/STPS, and ENGR/STPS. For each course’s nine areas of knowledge, competency, and skills, the research team reviewed the existing learning outcomes and related performance indicators with a focus on identifying linkages across disciplines as well as within the courses of a discipline. The team reviewed existing performance indicators for developmental progression from semester to semester for same discipline related courses (vertical alignment) and for different discipline courses within the same semester (horizontal alignment). The results of this work have led to recommendations for modifications of the initial indicators when incoherence was identified, and/or for new indicators based on best practices (identified through literature searches) when gaps were identified. It also led to recommendations for modifications of the level of emphasis within each course to ensure developmental progression. The exercise has led to a revised Sequence Performance Indicator Mapping for the knowledge, skills, and competencies across the six core courses.

Keywords: Curriculum alignment, horizontal and vertical progression, performance indicators, skill level.

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761 The Survey and the Comparison of Maximum Likelihood, Mahalanobis Distance and Minimum Distance Methods in Preparing Landuse Map in the Western Part of Isfahan Province

Authors: Ali Gholami, M.Esfadiari, M.H.Masihabadi

Abstract:

In this research three methods of Maximum Likelihood, Mahalanobis Distance and Minimum Distance were analyzed in the Western part of Isfahan province in the Iran country. For this purpose, the IRS satellite images and various land preparation uses in region including rangelands, irrigation farming, dry farming, gardens and urban areas were separated and identified. In these methods, matrix error and Kappa index were calculated and accuracy of each method, based on percentages: 53.13, 56.64 and 48.44, were obtained respectively. Considering the low accuracy of these methods to separate land uses due to spread of the land uses, it-s suggested the visual interpretation of the map, to preparing the land use map in this region. The map prepared by visual interpretation is in high accuracy if it will be accompany with the visit of the region.

Keywords: Aghche Region, land use map, MaximumLikelihood, Mahalanobis Distance and Minimum Distance.

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760 Further the Future: The Exploratory Study in 3D Animation Marketing Trend and Industry in Thailand

Authors: Pawit Mongkolprasit, Proud Arunrangsiwed

Abstract:

Lately, many media organizations in Thailand have started to produce 3D animation, so the quality of personnel should be identified. As an instructor in the school of Animation and Multimedia, the researchers have to prepare the students, suitable for the need of industry. The current study used exploratory research design to establish the knowledge of about this issue, including the required qualification of employees and the potential of animation industry in Thailand. The interview sessions involved three key informants from three well-known organizations. The interview data was used to design a questionnaire for the confirmation phase. The overall results showed that the industry needed an individual with 3D animation skill, computer graphic skills, good communication skills, a high responsibility, and an ability to finish the project on time. Moreover, it is also found that there were currently various kinds of media where 3D animation has been involved, such as films, TV variety, TV advertising, online advertising, and application on mobile device.

Keywords: Animation, marketing trend, animation industry, Thailand animation.

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759 Segmentation of Korean Words on Korean Road Signs

Authors: Lae-Jeong Park, Kyusoo Chung, Jungho Moon

Abstract:

This paper introduces an effective method of segmenting Korean text (place names in Korean) from a Korean road sign image. A Korean advanced directional road sign is composed of several types of visual information such as arrows, place names in Korean and English, and route numbers. Automatic classification of the visual information and extraction of Korean place names from the road sign images make it possible to avoid a lot of manual inputs to a database system for management of road signs nationwide. We propose a series of problem-specific heuristics that correctly segments Korean place names, which is the most crucial information, from the other information by leaving out non-text information effectively. The experimental results with a dataset of 368 road sign images show 96% of the detection rate per Korean place name and 84% per road sign image.

Keywords: Segmentation, road signs, characters, classification.

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758 Vocational Teaching Method: A Conceptual Model in Teaching Automotive Practical Work

Authors: Adnan Ahmad, Yusri Kamin, Asnol Dahar Minghat, Mohd. Khir Nordin, Dayana Farzeha, Ahmad Nabil

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to identify the teaching method practices of the practical work subject in Vocational Secondary School. This study examined the practice of Vocational Teaching Method in Automotive Practical Work. The quantitative method used the sets of the questionnaire. 283 students and 63 teachers involved from ten VSS involved in this research. Research finding showed in conducting the introduction session teachers prefer used the demonstration method and questioning technique. While in deliver the content of practical task, teachers applied group monitoring and problem solving approach. To conclude the task of automotive practical work, teachers choose re-explain and report writing to make sure students really understand all the process of teaching. VTM-APW also involved the competency-based concept to embed in the model. Derived from factors investigated, research produced the combination of elements in teaching skills and vocational skills which could be used as the best teaching method in automotive practical work for school level. As conclusion this study has concluded that the VTM-APW model is able to apply in teaching to make an improvement with current practices in Vocational Secondary School. Hence, teachers are suggested to use this method to enhance student's knowledge in Automotive and teachers will deliver skills to the current and future workforce relevant with the required competency skilled in workplace.

Keywords: Vocational Teaching Method, Practical Task, Teacher Preferences, Student Preferences.

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757 Enhancing Learning for Research Higher Degree Students

Authors: Jenny Hall, Alison Jaquet

Abstract:

Universities’ push toward the production of high quality research is not limited to academic staff and experienced researchers. In this environment of research rich agendas, Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are increasingly expected to engage in the publishing of good quality papers in high impact journals. IFN001: Advanced Information Research Skills (AIRS) is a credit bearing mandatory coursework requirement for Queensland University of Technology (QUT) doctorates. Since its inception in 1989, this unique blended learning program has provided the foundations for new researchers to produce original and innovative research. AIRS was redeveloped in 2012, and has now been evaluated with reference to the university’s strategic research priorities. Our research is the first comprehensive evaluation of the program from the learner perspective. We measured whether the program develops essential transferrable skills and graduate capabilities to ensure best practice in the areas of publishing and data management. In particular, we explored whether AIRS prepares students to be agile researchers with the skills to adapt to different research contexts both within and outside academia. The target group for our study consisted of HDR students and supervisors at QUT. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used for data collection. Gathering data was by survey and focus groups with qualitative responses analyzed using NVivo. The results of the survey show that 82% of students surveyed believe that AIRS assisted their research process and helped them learn skills they need as a researcher. The 18% of respondents who expressed reservation about the benefits of AIRS were also examined to determine the key areas of concern. These included trends related to the timing of the program early in the candidature and a belief among some students that their previous research experience was sufficient for postgraduate study. New insights have been gained into how to better support HDR learners in partnership with supervisors and how to enhance learning experiences of specific cohorts, including international students and mature learners.

Keywords: Data management, enhancing learning experience, publishing, research higher degree students.

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756 A Visualized Framework for Representing Uncertain and Incomplete Temporal Knowledge

Authors: Yue Wang, Jixin Ma, Brian Knight

Abstract:

This paper presents a visualized computer aided case tool for non-expert, called Visual Time, for representing and reasoning about incomplete and uncertain temporal information. It is both expressive and versatile, allowing logical conjunctions and disjunctions of both absolute and relative temporal relations, such as “Before”, “Meets”, “Overlaps”, “Starts”, “During”, and “Finishes”, etc. In terms of a visualized framework, Visual Time provides a user-friendly environment for describing scenarios with rich temporal structure in natural language, which can be formatted as structured temporal phrases and modeled in terms of Temporal Relationship Diagrams (TRD). A TRD can be automatically and visually transformed into a corresponding Time Graph, supported by automatic consistency checker that derives a verdict to confirm if a given scenario is temporally consistent or inconsistent.

Keywords: Time Visualization, Uncertainty, Incompleteness, Consistency Checking.

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755 Discrepant Views of Social Competence and Links with Social Phobia

Authors: Pamela-Zoe Topalli, Niina Junttila, Päivi M. Niemi, Klaus Ranta

Abstract:

Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Keywords: Adolescence, latent profile analysis, perceptual discrepancies, social competence, social phobia.

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754 A Project-Orientated Training Concept to Prepare Students for Systems Engineering Activities

Authors: Elke Mackensen

Abstract:

Systems Engineering plays a key role during industrial product development of complex technical systems. The need for systems engineers in industry is growing. But there is a gap between the industrial need and the academic education. Normally the academic education is focused on the domain specific design, implementation and testing of technical systems. Necessary systems engineering expertise like knowledge about requirements analysis, product cost estimation, management or social skills are poorly taught. Thus there is the need of new academic concepts for teaching systems engineering skills. This paper presents a project-orientated training concept to prepare students from different technical degree programs for systems engineering activities. The training concept has been initially implemented and applied in the industrial engineering master program of the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg.

Keywords: Educational systems engineering training, requirements analysis, system modelling, SysML.

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753 A Wavelet-Based Watermarking Method Exploiting the Contrast Sensitivity Function

Authors: John N. Ellinas, Panagiotis Kenterlis

Abstract:

The efficiency of an image watermarking technique depends on the preservation of visually significant information. This is attained by embedding the watermark transparently with the maximum possible strength. The current paper presents an approach for still image digital watermarking in which the watermark embedding process employs the wavelet transform and incorporates Human Visual System (HVS) characteristics. The sensitivity of a human observer to contrast with respect to spatial frequency is described by the Contrast Sensitivity Function (CSF). The strength of the watermark within the decomposition subbands, which occupy an interval on the spatial frequencies, is adjusted according to this sensitivity. Moreover, the watermark embedding process is carried over the subband coefficients that lie on edges where distortions are less noticeable. The experimental evaluation of the proposed method shows very good results in terms of robustness and transparency.

Keywords: Image watermarking, wavelet transform, human visual system, contrast sensitivity function.

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752 Business Intelligence and Strategic Decision Simulation

Authors: S. Sabbour, H. Lasi, P. von Tessin

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, it attempts to explore potential opportunities for utilizing visual interactive simulations along with Business Intelligence (BI) as a decision support tool for strategic decision making. Second, it tries to figure out the essential top-level managerial requirements that would transform strategic decision simulation into an integral component of BI systems. The domain of particular interest was the application of visual interactive simulation capabilities in the field of supply chains. A qualitative exploratory method was applied, through the use of interviews with two leading companies. The collected data was then analysed to demonstrate the difference between the literature perspective and the practical managerial perspective on the issue. The results of the study suggest that although the use of simulation particularly in managing supply chains is very evident in literature, yet, in practice such utilization is still in its infancy, particularly regarding strategic decisions. Based on the insights a prototype of a simulation based BI-solution-extension was developed and evaluated.

Keywords: Business Intelligence, decision support, strategic decisions, simulation, SCM.

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751 The Nature of the Complicated Fabric Textures: How to Represent in Primary Visual Cortex

Authors: J. L. Liu, L. Wang, B. Zhu, J. Zhou, W. D. Gao

Abstract:

Fabric textures are very common in our daily life. However, the representation of fabric textures has never been explored from neuroscience view. Theoretical studies suggest that primary visual cortex (V1) uses a sparse code to efficiently represent natural images. However, how the simple cells in V1 encode the artificial textures is still a mystery. So, here we will take fabric texture as stimulus to study the response of independent component analysis that is established to model the receptive field of simple cells in V1. We choose 140 types of fabrics to get the classical fabric textures as materials. Experiment results indicate that the receptive fields of simple cells have obvious selectivity in orientation, frequency and phase when drifting gratings are used to determine their tuning properties. Additionally, the distribution of optimal orientation and frequency shows that the patch size selected from each original fabric image has a significant effect on the frequency selectivity.

Keywords: Fabric Texture, Receptive Filed, Simple Cell, Spare Coding.

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750 The Strange Relationship between Literacy and Well-Being: The Results of an International Survey with Special Focus on Italy

Authors: Federica Cornali

Abstract:

Does education matter to the quality of our life? The results of extensive studies offer an affirmative answer to this question: high education levels are positively associated with higher income, with more highly qualified professions, with lower risk of unemployment, with better physical health and also, it is said, with more happiness. However, exploring these relationships is far from straightforward. Aside from educational credentials, what properties distinguish functionally literate individuals? How can their personal level of satisfaction be measured? What are the social mechanisms whereby education affects well-being?Using a literacy index and several measures for well-being developed by secondary analysis of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey database, this investigation examined the relationship between literacy skills and subjective wellbeing in several OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Special attention was been addressed to Italy, and in particular to two regions representing territorial differences in this country: Piedmont and Campania.

Keywords: Cultural Divide, Literacy Index, Life Satisfaction, Subjective Well-being Index

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749 Contribution of Vitaton (Β-Carotene) to the Rearing Factors Survival Rate and Visual Flesh Color of Rainbow Trout Fish in Comparison With Astaxanthin

Authors: M.Ghotbi, M.Ghotbi, Gh. Azari Takami

Abstract:

In this study Vitaton (an organic supplement which contains fermentative β-carotene) and synthetic astaxanthin (CAROPHYLL® Pink) were evaluated as pro-growth factors in Rainbow trout diet. An 8 week feeding trial was conducted to determine the effects of Vitaton versus astaxanthin on rearing factors, survival rate and visual flesh color of Rainbow trout (Oncorhnchynchus mykiss) with initial weight of 196±5. Four practical diets were formulated to contain 50 and 80 (ppm) of β- carotene and astaxanthin and also a control diet was prepared without any pigment. Each diet was fed to triplicate groups of fish rearing in fresh water. Fish were fed twice daily. The water temperature fluctuated from 12 to 15 (C˚) and also dissolved oxygen content was between 7 to 7.5 (mg/lit) during the experimental period. At the end of the experiment, growth and food utilization parameters and survival rate were unaffected by dietary treatments (p>0.05). Also, there was no significant difference between carcass yield within treatments (p>0.05). No significant difference recognized between visual flesh color (SalmoFan score) of fish fed Vitaton-containing diets. On the contrary, feeding on diets containing 50 and 80 (ppm) of astaxanthin, increased SalmoFan score (flesh astaxanthin concentration) from <20 (<1 mg/kg) to 23.33 (2.03 mg/kg) and 27.67 (5.74 mg/kg), respectively. Ultimately, a significant difference was seen between flesh carotenoid concentrations of fish feeding on astaxanthin containing treatments and control treatment (P<0.05). It should be mentioned that just raw fillet color of fish belonged to 80 (ppm) of astaxanthin treatment was seen to be close to color targets (SalmoFan scores) adopted for harvest-size fish.

Keywords: Astaxanthin, Flesh color, Rainbow trout, Vitaton, β- carotene,

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