International Science Index

7910
10007281
Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models
Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Paper Detail
778
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7909
10007112
A Study on the Power Control of Wind Energy Conversion System
Abstract:
The present research presents a direct active and reactive power control (DPC) of a wind energy conversion system (WECS) for the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) based on a doubly fed induction generator (DFIG) connected to electric power grid. The control strategy of the Rotor Side Converter (RSC) is targeted in extracting a maximum of power under fluctuating wind speed. A fuzzy logic speed controller (FLC) has been used to ensure the MPPT. The Grid Side Converter is directed in a way to ensure sinusoidal current in the grid side and a smooth DC voltage. To reduce fluctuations, rotor torque and voltage use of multilevel inverters is a good way to remove the rotor harmony.
Paper Detail
1012
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7908
10009027
Affective Robots: Evaluation of Automatic Emotion Recognition Approaches on a Humanoid Robot towards Emotionally Intelligent Machines
Abstract:
One of the main aims of current social robotic research is to improve the robots’ abilities to interact with humans. In order to achieve an interaction similar to that among humans, robots should be able to communicate in an intuitive and natural way and appropriately interpret human affects during social interactions. Similarly to how humans are able to recognize emotions in other humans, machines are capable of extracting information from the various ways humans convey emotions—including facial expression, speech, gesture or text—and using this information for improved human computer interaction. This can be described as Affective Computing, an interdisciplinary field that expands into otherwise unrelated fields like psychology and cognitive science and involves the research and development of systems that can recognize and interpret human affects. To leverage these emotional capabilities by embedding them in humanoid robots is the foundation of the concept Affective Robots, which has the objective of making robots capable of sensing the user’s current mood and personality traits and adapt their behavior in the most appropriate manner based on that. In this paper, the emotion recognition capabilities of the humanoid robot Pepper are experimentally explored, based on the facial expressions for the so-called basic emotions, as well as how it performs in contrast to other state-of-the-art approaches with both expression databases compiled in academic environments and real subjects showing posed expressions as well as spontaneous emotional reactions. The experiments’ results show that the detection accuracy amongst the evaluated approaches differs substantially. The introduced experiments offer a general structure and approach for conducting such experimental evaluations. The paper further suggests that the most meaningful results are obtained by conducting experiments with real subjects expressing the emotions as spontaneous reactions.
Paper Detail
20
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7907
10009045
Design and Performance Comparison of Metamaterial Based Antenna for 4G/5G Mobile Devices
Abstract:

This paper presents the design and performance evaluation of multiband metamaterial based antenna operating in the 3.6 GHz (4G), 14.33 GHz, and 28.86 GHz (5G) frequency bands, for future mobile and handheld devices. The radiating element of the proposed design is made up of a conductive material supported by a 1.524 mm thicker Rogers-4003 substrate, having a relative dielectric constant and loss tangent of 3.55 and 0.0027, respectively. The substrate is backed by truncated ground plane. The future mobile communication system is based on higher frequencies, which are highly affected by the atmospheric conditions. Therefore, to overcome the path loss problem, essential enhancements and improvements must be made in the overall performance of the antenna. The traditional ground plane does not provide the in-phase reflection and surface wave suppression due to which side and back lobes are produced. This will affect the antenna performance in terms of gain and efficiency. To enhance the overall performance of the antenna, a metamaterial acting as a high impedance surface (HIS) is used as a reflector in the proposed design. The simulated gain of the metamaterial based antenna is enhanced from {2.76-6.47, 4.83-6.71 and 7.52-7.73} dB at 3.6, 14.33 and 28.89 GHz, respectively relative to the gain of the antenna backed by a traditional ground plane. The proposed antenna radiated efficiently with a radiated efficiency (>85 %) in all the three frequency bands with and without metamaterial surface. The total volume of the antenna is (L x W x h=45 x 40 x 1.524) mm3. The antenna can be potentially used for wireless handheld devices and mobile terminal. All the simulations have been performed using the Computer Simulation Technology (CST) software.

Paper Detail
39
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7906
10009055
A Pilot Study of Robot Reminiscence in Dementia Care
Abstract:

In care for older adults, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) like agitation and aggression are distressing for patients and their caretakers, often resulting in premature institutionalization with increased costs of care. To improve mood and mitigate symptoms, as a non-pharmaceutical approach, emotion-oriented therapy like reminiscence work is adopted in face-to-face communication. Telecommunication support is expected to be provided by robotic media as a bridge for digital divide for those with dementia and facilitate social interaction both verbally and nonverbally. The purpose of this case study is to explore the conditions in which robotic media can effectively attract attention from older adults with dementia and promote their well-being. As a pilot study, we introduced the pillow-phone Hugvie®, a huggable humanly shaped communication medium to five residents with dementia at a care facility, to investigate how the following conditions work for the elderly when they use the medium; 1) no sound, 2) radio, non-interactive, 3) daily conversation, and 4) reminiscence work. As a result, under condition 4, reminiscence work, the five participants kept concentration in interacting with the medium for a longer duration than other conditions. In condition 4, they also showed larger amount of utterances than under other conditions. These results indicate that providing topics related to personal histories through robotic media could affect communication positively and should, therefore, be further investigated. In addition, the issue of ethical implications by using persuasive technology that affects emotions and behaviors of older adults is also discussed.

Paper Detail
10
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7905
10009057
Ultrasound Assisted Extraction and Microwave Assisted Extraction of Carotenoids from Melon Shells
Abstract:
Cantaloupes (muskmelon and watermelon) contain biologically active molecules such as carotenoids which are natural pigments used as food colorants and afford health benefits. ß-carotene is the major source of carotenoids present in muskmelon and watermelon shell. Carotenoids were extracted using Microwave assisted extraction (MAE) and Ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) utilising organic lipophilic solvents such as acetone, methanol, and hexane. Extraction conditions feed-solvent ratio, microwave power, ultrasound frequency, temperature and particle size were varied and optimized. It was found that the yield of carotenoids was higher using UAE than MAE, and muskmelon had the highest yield of carotenoids when was ethanol used as a solvent for 0.5 mm particle size.
Paper Detail
10
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7904
10009063
Investigation of Microstructure of Differently Sub-Zero Treated Vanadis 6 Steel
Abstract:

Ledeburitic tool steel Vanadis 6 has been subjected to sub-zero treatment (SZT) at -140 °C and -196 °C, for different durations up to 48 h. The microstructure and hardness have been examined with reference to the same material after room temperature quenching, by using the light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Vickers hardness testing method. The microstructure of the material consists of the martensitic matrix with certain amount of retained austenite, and of several types of carbides – eutectic carbides, secondary carbides, and small globular carbides. SZT reduces the retained austenite amount – this is more effective at -196 °C than at -140 °C. Alternatively, the amount of small globular carbides increases more rapidly after SZT at -140 °C than after the treatment at -140 °C. The hardness of sub-zero treated material is higher than that of conventionally treated steel when tempered at low temperature. Compressive hydrostatic stresses are developed in the retained austenite due to the application of SZT, as a result of more complete martensitic transformation. This is also why the population density of small globular carbides is substantially increased due to the SZT. In contrast, the hardness of sub-zero treated samples decreases more rapidly compared to that of conventionally treated steel, and in addition, sub-zero treated material induces a loss the secondary hardening peak.

7903
10009068
An Earth Mover’s Distance Algorithm Based DDoS Detection Mechanism in SDN
Abstract:
Software-defined networking (SDN) provides a solution for scalable network framework with decoupled control and data plane. However, this architecture also induces a particular distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that can affect or even overwhelm the SDN network. DDoS attack detection problem has to date been mostly researched as entropy comparison problem. However, this problem lacks the utilization of SDN, and the results are not accurate. In this paper, we propose a DDoS attack detection method, which interprets DDoS detection as a signature matching problem and is formulated as Earth Mover’s Distance (EMD) model. Considering the feasibility and accuracy, we further propose to define the cost function of EMD to be a generalized Kullback-Leibler divergence. Simulation results show that our proposed method can detect DDoS attacks by comparing EMD values with the ones computed in the case without attacks. Moreover, our method can significantly increase the true positive rate of detection.
7902
10008841
Regulation, Co-Regulation and Self-Regulation of Civil Unmanned Aircrafts in Europe
Abstract:
Safety and security concerns play a key role during the design of civil UAs (aircraft controlled by a pilot who is not onboard it) by the producers and the offer of different services by the operators. At present, European countries have fragmented regulations about the manufacture and use of civil drones, therefore the European institutions are trying to approach all these regulations into a common one. In this sense, not only law but also ethics can give guidelines to the industry in order to obtain better reports from their clients. With our results, we would like to give advice to the European industry, as well as give new insights to the academia and policymakers.
Paper Detail
94
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7901
10008872
A Literature Review on Nutritional Supplements for the Treatment of Obesity
Abstract:

The problem of obesity is one that continues to be faced in the United States health care system and across the developing world. Prescription medications are available, but are often very expensive with minimal insurance coverage. The over-the-counter diet aid industry is a robust one, selling billions of dollars in products every year. It is important for clinicians to understand the myriad of different nutritional supplements marketed for obesity, and to weigh the evidence behind these products. This manuscript outlines the most commonly used nutritional supplements currently marketed for weight loss, reviewing the evidence with a focus on the efficacy and safety of these products.

Paper Detail
89
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7900
10008875
Immunolabeling of TGF-β during Muscle Regeneration
Abstract:

Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration. They are secreted by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. On the other hand, it has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. Therefore, we investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. Muscle regeneration was studied in an irradiated muscle of minipig animal model in presence or absence of ASC treatment (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). We characterized macrophage populations by immunolabeling in the different conditions. In our study, we found mostly M2 and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, only few M2b macrophages were noticed in the IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization and immunolabeling, we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages and we showed that M2d macrophage are the most abundant in the IRR+ASC samples. By in situ hybridization, strong expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed in the IRR+ASC but very week in the IRR samples. But when we analyzed TGF-β level with immunolabeling the expression was very different: many M2 macrophages showed week expression in IRR+ASC and few cells expressing stronger level in IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.

Paper Detail
72
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7899
10008885
Proximity-Inset Fed Triple Band Antenna for Global Position System with High Gain
Abstract:
A triple band circularly polarized antenna covering 1.17, 1.22, and 1.57 GHz is presented. To extend to the triple-band operation, we need to add one more ring while maintaining the mechanism to independently control each ring. The inset-part in the feeding scheme is used to excite the band at 1.22 GHz, while the proximate-part of the feeding scheme is used to excite not only the band at 1.57 GHz but also the band at 1.17 GHz. This is achieved by up-vertically coupled with one ring to radiate at 1.57 GHz and down-vertically coupled another ring to radiate at 1.17 GHz. It is also noted that the inset-part in our feeding scheme is by horizontal coupling. Furthermore, to increase the gain at all three bands, three air-layers are added to make the total height of the antenna be 7.8 mm. The total thickness of the three air-layers is 3 mm. The gains of the three bands are all greater than 5 dBiC after adding the air-layers.
Paper Detail
59
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7898
10008886
Accuracy of Autonomy Navigation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems through Imagery
Abstract:

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) usually navigate through the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) associated with an Inertial Navigation System (INS). However, GNSS can have its accuracy degraded at any time or even turn off the signal of GNSS. In addition, there is the possibility of malicious interferences, known as jamming. Therefore, the image navigation system can solve the autonomy problem, because if the GNSS is disabled or degraded, the image navigation system would continue to provide coordinate information for the INS, allowing the autonomy of the system. This work aims to evaluate the accuracy of the positioning though photogrammetry concepts. The methodology uses orthophotos and Digital Surface Models (DSM) as a reference to represent the object space and photograph obtained during the flight to represent the image space. For the calculation of the coordinates of the perspective center and camera attitudes, it is necessary to know the coordinates of homologous points in the object space (orthophoto coordinates and DSM altitude) and image space (column and line of the photograph). So if it is possible to automatically identify in real time the homologous points the coordinates and attitudes can be calculated whit their respective accuracies. With the methodology applied in this work, it is possible to verify maximum errors in the order of 0.5 m in the positioning and 0.6º in the attitude of the camera, so the navigation through the image can reach values equal to or higher than the GNSS receivers without differential correction. Therefore, navigating through the image is a good alternative to enable autonomous navigation.

Paper Detail
147
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7897
10008898
Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin
Abstract:

The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Paper Detail
84
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7896
10008933
Fuzzy Set Approach to Study Appositives and Its Impact Due to Positional Alterations
Abstract:

Computing with Words (CWW) and Possibilistic Relational Universal Fuzzy (PRUF) are the two concepts which widely represent and measure the vaguely defined natural phenomenon. In this paper, we study the positional alteration of the phrases by which the impact of a natural language proposition gets affected and/or modified. We observe the gradations due to sensitivity/feeling of a statement towards the positional alterations. We derive the classification and modification of the meaning of words due to the positional alteration. We present the results with reference to set theoretic interpretations.

Paper Detail
60
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7895
10008934
Attribute Based Comparison and Selection of Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robot Using Multiple Attribute Decision Making Approach
Abstract:

From the last decades, there is a significant technological advancement in the field of robotics, and a number of modular self-reconfigurable robots were introduced that can help in space exploration, bucket to stuff, search, and rescue operation during earthquake, etc. As there are numbers of self-reconfigurable robots, choosing the optimum one is always a concern for robot user since there is an increase in available features, facilities, complexity, etc. The objective of this research work is to present a multiple attribute decision making based methodology for coding, evaluation, comparison ranking and selection of modular self-reconfigurable robots using a technique for order preferences by similarity to ideal solution approach. However, 86 attributes that affect the structure and performance are identified. A database for modular self-reconfigurable robot on the basis of different pertinent attribute is generated. This database is very useful for the user, for selecting a robot that suits their operational needs. Two visual methods namely linear graph and spider chart are proposed for ranking of modular self-reconfigurable robots. Using five robots (Atron, Smores, Polybot, M-Tran 3, Superbot), an example is illustrated, and raking of the robots is successfully done, which shows that Smores is the best robot for the operational need illustrated, and this methodology is found to be very effective and simple to use.

Paper Detail
53
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7894
10008938
Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Using a Combination of Images Processing and Brain Signals
Abstract:

Alzheimer's prevalence is on the rise, and the disease comes with problems like cessation of treatment, high cost of treatment, and the lack of early detection methods. The pathology of this disease causes the formation of protein deposits in the brain of patients called plaque amyloid. Generally, the diagnosis of this disease is done by performing tests such as a cerebrospinal fluid, CT scan, MRI, and spinal cord fluid testing, or mental testing tests and eye tracing tests. In this paper, we tried to use the Medial Temporal Atrophy (MTA) method and the Leave One Out (LOO) cycle to extract the statistical properties of the three Fz, Pz, and Cz channels of ERP signals for early diagnosis of this disease. In the process of CT scan images, the accuracy of the results is 81% for the healthy person and 88% for the severe patient. After the process of ERP signaling, the accuracy of the results for a healthy person in the delta band in the Cz channel is 81% and in the alpha band the Pz channel is 90%. In the results obtained from the signal processing, the results of the severe patient in the delta band of the Cz channel were 89% and in the alpha band Pz channel 92%.

Paper Detail
60
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7893
10008940
Performance of the Strong Stability Method in the Univariate Classical Risk Model
Abstract:
In this paper, we study the performance of the strong stability method of the univariate classical risk model. We interest to the stability bounds established using two approaches. The first based on the strong stability method developed for a general Markov chains. The second approach based on the regenerative processes theory . By adopting an algorithmic procedure, we study the performance of the stability method in the case of exponential distribution claim amounts. After presenting numerically and graphically the stability bounds, an interpretation and comparison of the results have been done.
Paper Detail
62
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7892
10008952
Failure Cases Analysis in Petrochemical Industry
Abstract:
In recent years, the failure accidents in petrochemical industry have been frequent, and have posed great security problems in personnel and property. The improvement of petrochemical safety is highly requested in order to prevent re-occurrence of severe accident. This study focuses on surveying the failure cases occurred in petrochemical field, which were extracted from journals of engineering failure, including engineering failure analysis and case studies in engineering failure analysis. The relation of failure mode, failure mechanism, type of components, and type of materials was analyzed in this study. And the analytical results showed that failures occurred more frequently in vessels and piping among the petrochemical equipment. Moreover, equipment made of carbon steel and stainless steel accounts for the majority of failures compared to other materials. This may be related to the application of the equipment and the performance of the material. In addition, corrosion failures were the largest in number of occurrence in the failure of petrochemical equipment, in which stress corrosion cracking accounts for a large proportion. This may have a lot to do with the service environment of the petrochemical equipment. Therefore, it can be concluded that the corrosion prevention of petrochemical equipment is particularly important.
Paper Detail
54
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7891
10008954
Mapping of Solar Radiation Anomalies Based on Climate Change
Abstract:

The use of alternative energy sources to meet energy demand reduces environmental damage. To diversify an energy matrix and to minimize global warming, a solar energy is gaining space, being an important source of renewable energy, and its potential depends on the climatic conditions of the region. Brazil presents a great solar potential for a generation of electric energy, so the knowledge of solar radiation and its characteristics are fundamental for the study of energy use. Due to the above reasons, this article aims to verify the climatic variability corresponding to the variations in solar radiation anomalies, in the face of climate change scenarios. The data used in this research are part of the Intercomparison of Interconnected Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which contributed to the preparation of the fifth IPCC-AR5 report. The solar radiation data were extracted from The Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model using the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios that represent an intermediate structure and a pessimistic framework, the latter being the most worrisome in all cases. In order to allow the use of solar radiation as a source of energy in a given location and/or region, it is important, first, to determine its availability, thus justifying the importance of the study. The results pointed out, for the 75-year period (2026-2100), based on a pessimistic scenario, indicate a drop in solar radiation of the approximately 12% in the eastern region of Rio Grande do Sul. Factors that influence the pessimistic prospects of this scenario should be better observed by the responsible authorities, since they can affect the possibility to produce electricity from solar radiation.

Paper Detail
72
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7890
10008957
Application of Design Thinking for Technology Transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for the Creative Industry
Abstract:

With this contribution, we want to show a successful example of the application of the Design Thinking methodology, in the European project 'Technology transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the creative industry'. The use of this methodology has allowed us to design and build a drone, based on the real needs of prospective users. It has demonstrated that this is a powerful tool for generating innovative ideas in the field of robotics, by focusing its effectiveness on understanding and solving real user needs. In this way, with the support of an interdisciplinary team, comprised of creatives, engineers and economists, together with the collaboration of prospective users from three European countries, a non-linear work dynamic has been created. This teamwork has generated a sense of appreciation towards the creative industries, through continuously adaptive, inventive, and playful collaboration and communication, which has facilitated the development of prototypes. These have been designed to enable filming and photography in interior spaces, within 13 sectors of European creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Antiques and Museums, Music, Photography, Televison, Performing Arts, Publishing, Arts and Crafts, Design and Software. Furthermore, it has married the real needs of the creative industries, with what is technologically and commercially viable. As a result, a product of great value has been obtained, which offers new business opportunities for small companies across this sector.

Paper Detail
78
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7889
10008960
Statistical Analysis of Failure Cases in Aerospace
Abstract:

The major concern in the aviation industry is the flight safety. Although great effort has been put onto the development of material and system reliability, the failure cases of fatal accidents still occur nowadays. Due to the complexity of the aviation system, and the interaction among the failure components, the failure analysis of the related equipment is a little difficult. This study focuses on surveying the failure cases in aviation, which are extracted from failure analysis journals, including Engineering Failure Analysis and Case studies in Engineering Failure Analysis, in order to obtain the failure sensitive factors or failure sensitive parts. The analytical results show that, among the failure cases, fatigue failure is the largest in number of occurrence. The most failed components are the disk, blade, landing gear, bearing, and fastener. The frequently failed materials consist of steel, aluminum alloy, superalloy, and titanium alloy. Therefore, in order to assure the safety in aviation, more attention should be paid to the fatigue failures.

Paper Detail
50
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7888
10008962
Managing Uncertainty in Unmanned Aircraft System Safety Performance Requirements Compliance Process
Abstract:

System Safety Regulations (SSR) are a central component to the airworthiness certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). There is significant debate on the setting of appropriate SSR for UAS. Putting this debate aside, the challenge lies in how to apply the system safety process to UAS, which lacks the data and operational heritage of conventionally piloted aircraft. The limited knowledge and lack of operational data result in uncertainty in the system safety assessment of UAS. This uncertainty can lead to incorrect compliance findings and the potential certification and operation of UAS that do not meet minimum safety performance requirements. The existing system safety assessment and compliance processes, as used for conventional piloted aviation, do not adequately account for the uncertainty, limiting the suitability of its application to UAS. This paper discusses the challenges of undertaking system safety assessments for UAS and presents current and envisaged research towards addressing these challenges. It aims to highlight the main advantages associated with adopting a risk based framework to the System Safety Performance Requirement (SSPR) compliance process that is capable of taking the uncertainty associated with each of the outputs of the system safety assessment process into consideration. Based on this study, it is made clear that developing a framework tailored to UAS, would allow for a more rational, transparent and systematic approach to decision making. This would reduce the need for conservative assumptions and take the risk posed by each UAS into consideration while determining its state of compliance to the SSR.

Paper Detail
50
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7887
10008964
Causes and Implications of Obesity in Urban School Going Children
Abstract:

Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.

Paper Detail
54
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7886
10008975
The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Paper Detail
52
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7885
10008979
Analysis of Construction Waste Generation and Its Effect in a Construction Site
Abstract:

The generation of solid waste and its effective management are debated topics in Sri Lanka as well as in the global environment. It was estimated that the most of the waste generated in global was originated from construction and demolition of buildings. Thus, the proportion of construction waste in solid waste generation cannot be underestimated. The construction waste, which is the by-product generated and removed from work sites is collected in direct and indirect processes. Hence, the objectives of this research are to identify the proportion of construction waste which can be reused and identify the methods to reduce the waste generation without reducing the quality of the process. A 6-storey building construction site was selected for this research. The site was divided into six zones depending on the process. Ten waste materials were identified by considering the adverse effects on safety and health of people and the economic value of them. The generated construction waste in each zone was recorded per week for a period of five months. The data revealed that sand, cement, wood used for form work and rusted steel rods were the generated waste which has higher economic value in all zones. Structured interviews were conducted to gather information on how the materials are categorized as waste and the capability of reducing, reusing and recycling the waste. It was identified that waste is generated in following processes; ineffective storage of material for a longer time and improper handling of material during the work process. Further, the alteration of scheduled activities of construction work also yielded more waste. Finally, a proper management of construction waste is suggested to reduce and reuse waste.

Paper Detail
54
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7884
10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

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10009000
Replicating Brain’s Resting State Functional Connectivity Network Using a Multi-Factor Hub-Based Model
Abstract:
The brain’s functional connectivity while temporally non-stationary does express consistency at a macro spatial level. The study of stable resting state connectivity patterns hence provides opportunities for identification of diseases if such stability is severely perturbed. A mathematical model replicating the brain’s spatial connections will be useful for understanding brain’s representative geometry and complements the empirical model where it falls short. Empirical computations tend to involve large matrices and become infeasible with fine parcellation. However, the proposed analytical model has no such computational problems. To improve replicability, 92 subject data are obtained from two open sources. The proposed methodology, inspired by financial theory, uses multivariate regression to find relationships of every cortical region of interest (ROI) with some pre-identified hubs. These hubs acted as representatives for the entire cortical surface. A variance-covariance framework of all ROIs is then built based on these relationships to link up all the ROIs. The result is a high level of match between model and empirical correlations in the range of 0.59 to 0.66 after adjusting for sample size; an increase of almost forty percent. More significantly, the model framework provides an intuitive way to delineate between systemic drivers and idiosyncratic noise while reducing dimensions by more than 30 folds, hence, providing a way to conduct attribution analysis. Due to its analytical nature and simple structure, the model is useful as a standalone toolkit for network dependency analysis or as a module for other mathematical models.
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37
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10009007
Extending BDI Multiagent Systems with Agent Norms
Abstract:
Open Multiagent Systems (MASs) are societies in which heterogeneous and independently designed entities (agents) work towards similar, or different ends. Software agents are autonomous and the diversity of interests among different members living in the same society is a fact. In order to deal with this autonomy, these open systems use mechanisms of social control (norms) to ensure a desirable social order. This paper considers the following types of norms: (i) obligation — agents must accomplish a specific outcome; (ii) permission — agents may act in a particular way, and (iii) prohibition — agents must not act in a specific way. All of these characteristics mean to encourage the fulfillment of norms through rewards and to discourage norm violation by pointing out the punishments. Once the software agent decides that its priority is the satisfaction of its own desires and goals, each agent must evaluate the effects associated to the fulfillment of one or more norms before choosing which one should be fulfilled. The same applies when agents decide to violate a norm. This paper also introduces a framework for the development of MASs that provide support mechanisms to the agent’s decision-making, using norm-based reasoning. The applicability and validation of this approach is demonstrated applying a traffic intersection scenario.
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Quick Similarity Measurement of Binary Images via Probabilistic Pixel Mapping
Abstract:

In this paper we present a quick technique to measure the similarity between binary images. The technique is based on a probabilistic mapping approach and is fast because only a minute percentage of the image pixels need to be compared to measure the similarity, and not the whole image. We exploit the power of the Probabilistic Matching Model for Binary Images (PMMBI) to arrive at an estimate of the similarity. We show that the estimate is a good approximation of the actual value, and the quality of the estimate can be improved further with increased image mappings. Furthermore, the technique is image size invariant; the similarity between big images can be measured as fast as that for small images. Examples of trials conducted on real images are presented.

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