This paper interrogates online representations of robot companions for children, including promotional material by manufacturers, media articles and technology blogs. The significance of the study lies in its contribution to understanding attitudes to robots. The prospect of childcare robots is particularly controversial ethically, and is associated with emotive arguments. The sampled material is restricted to relatively recent posts (the past three years) though the analysis identifies both continuous and changing themes across the past decade. The method extrapolates social representations theory towards examining the ways in which information about robotic products is provided for the general public. Implications for social acceptance of robot companions for the home and robot ethics are considered.
Supply Chain Resilience has been broadly studied during the last decade, focusing the research on many aspects of Supply Chain performance. Consequently, different definitions of Supply Chain Resilience have been developed by the research community, drawing inspiration also from other fields of study such as ecology, sociology, psychology, economy et al. This way, the definitions so far developed in the extant literature are therefore very heterogeneous, and many authors have pointed out a lack of consensus in this field of analysis. The aim of this research is to find common points between these definitions, through the development of a framework of study: the Resilience Triangle. The Resilience Triangle is a tool developed in the field of civil engineering, with the objective of modeling the loss of resilience of a given structure during and after the occurrence of a disruption such as an earthquake. The Resilience Triangle is a simple yet powerful tool: in our opinion, it can summarize all the features that authors have captured in the Supply Chain Resilience definitions over the years. This research intends to recapitulate within this framework all these heterogeneities in Supply Chain Resilience research. After collecting a various number of Supply Chain Resilience definitions present in the extant literature, the methodology approach provides a taxonomy step with the scope of collecting and analyzing all the data gathered. The next step provides the comparison of the data obtained with the plotting of a disruption profile, in order to contextualize the Resilience Triangle in the Supply Chain context. The tool and the results developed in this research will allow to lay the foundation for future Supply Chain Resilience modeling and measurement work.
Computer-aided design (CAD) tools have been extensively used by the architects for the several decades. It has evolved from being a simple drafting tool to being an intelligent architectural software and a powerful means of communication for architects. CAD plays an essential role in the profession of architecture and is a basic tool for any architectural firm. It is not possible for an architectural firm to compete without taking the advantage of computer software, due to the high demand and competition in the architectural industry. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impacts of CAD on the architectural design process from conceptual level to final product, particularly in architectural practice. It examines the range of benefits of integrating CAD into the industry and discusses the possible defects limiting the architects. Method of this study is qualitatively based on data collected from the professionals’ perspective. The identified benefits and limitations of CAD on the architectural design process will raise the awareness of professionals on the potentials of CAD and proper utilization of that in the industry, which would result in a higher productivity along with a better quality in the architectural offices.
Educational institutions are today facing increasing pressures due to economic, political and social upheaval. This is only exacerbated by the nature of education as an intangible good which relies upon the intellectual assets of the organisation, its staff. Top management support has been acknowledged as having a positive general influence on knowledge management and creativity. However, there is a lack of models linking top management support, knowledge sharing, and innovation within higher education institutions, in general within developing countries, and particularly in Iraq. This research sought to investigate the impact of top management support on innovation through the mediating role of knowledge sharing in Iraqi private HEIs. A quantitative approach was taken and 262 valid responses were collected to test the causal relationships between top management support, knowledge sharing, and innovation. Employing structural equation modelling with AMOS v.25, the research demonstrated that knowledge sharing plays a pivotal role in the relationship between top management support and innovation. The research has produced some guidelines for researchers as well as leaders, and provided evidence to support the use of knowledge sharing to increase innovation within the higher education environment in developing countries, particularly Iraq.
During the last few decades, the continuously increasing demand for accurate and reliable magnetic measurements has paved the way for the development of different types of magnetic sensing systems as well as different measurement techniques. Sensor sensitivity and linearity, signal-to-noise ratio, measurement range, cross-talk between sensors in multi-sensor applications are only some of the aspects that have been examined in the past. In this paper, a fully analog closed loop system in order to optimize the performance of AMR sensors has been developed. The operation of the proposed system has been tested using a Helmholtz coil calibration setup in order to control both the amplitude and direction of magnetic field in the vicinity of the AMR sensor. Experimental testing indicated that improved linearity of sensor response, as well as low noise levels can be achieved, when the system is employed.
Fight against migrant smuggling has been put as a priority issues at the European Union policy agenda for more than a decade. The trafficked person, who has been targeted as the object of criminal exploitation, is specifically unique for human trafficking. Generally, the beginning of human trafficking activities is related to profit from the victim’s exploitation. The objective of this paper is to present measures that could result in the limitation of corruption mainly through analyzing the existing legislation framework against corruption in Europe. The analysis is focused on exploring the multiple origins of factors influencing migration processes in Europe, as corruption could be characterized as one of the most significant reasons for refugees to flee their countries. The main results show that law enforcement must turn the focus on the financing of the organized crime groups that are involved in migrant smuggling activities. Corruption has a significant role in managing smuggling operations and in particular when criminal organizations and networks are involved. Illegal migrants and refugees usually represent significant sources of additional income for officials involved in the process of boarding protection and immigration control within the European Union borders.
The flipped classroom approach as a mode of blended learning was formally introduced to students of the English language modules at the British University in Egypt (BUE) at the start of the academic year 2015/2016. This paper aims to study the impact of the flipped classroom approach after three semesters of implementation. It will restrict itself to the examination of students’ achievement rates, student satisfaction, and how different student cohorts have benefited differently from the flipped practice. The paper concludes with recommendations of how the experience can be further developed.
DNA data have been used in forensics for decades. However, current research looks at using the DNA as a biometric identity verification modality. The goal is to improve the speed of identification. We aim at using gene data that was initially used for autism detection to find if and how accurate is this data for identification applications. Mainly our goal is to find if our data preprocessing technique yields data useful as a biometric identification tool. We experiment with using the nearest neighbor classifier to identify subjects. Results show that optimal classification rate is achieved when the test set is corrupted by normally distributed noise with zero mean and standard deviation of 1. The classification rate is close to optimal at higher noise standard deviation reaching 3. This shows that the data can be used for identity verification with high accuracy using a simple classifier such as the k-nearest neighbor (k-NN).
Universities and higher education institutes are finding it increasingly difficult to engage students fruitfully through traditional pedagogic tools. Web 2.0 technologies comprising social networking sites (SNSs) offer a platform for students to collaborate and share information, thereby enhancing their learning experience. Despite the potential and reach of SNSs, its use has been limited in academic settings promoting higher education. The purpose of this paper is to assess the perception of social networking sites among business school students in India and analyze its role in enhancing quality of student experiences in a business school leading to the proposal of an agenda for future research. In this study, more than 300 students of a reputed business school were involved in a survey of their preferences of different social networking sites and their perceptions and attitudes towards these sites. A questionnaire with three major sections was designed, validated and distributed among a sample of students, the research method being descriptive in nature. Crucial questions were addressed to the students concerning time commitment, reasons for usage, nature of interaction on these sites, and the propensity to share information leading to direct and indirect modes of learning. It was further supplemented with focus group discussion to analyze the findings. The paper notes the resistance in the adoption of new technology by a section of business school faculty, who are staunch supporters of the classical “face-to-face” instruction. In conclusion, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide new avenues for students to express themselves and to interact with one another. Universities could take advantage of the new ways in which students are communicating with one another. Although interactive educational options such as Moodle exist, social networking sites are rarely used for academic purposes. Using this medium opens new ways of academically-oriented interactions where faculty could discover more about students' interests, and students, in turn, might express and develop more intellectual facets of their lives. hitherto unknown intellectual facets. This study also throws up the enormous potential of mobile phones as a tool for “blended learning” in business schools going forward.
The catalytic oxidation of CO and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is considered as one of the most efficient ways to reduce harmful emissions from various chemical industries. The effectiveness of gold-based catalysts for many reactions of environmental significance was proven during the past three decades. The aim of this work was to combine the favorable features of Au and Cu-Ce mixed oxides in the design of new catalytic materials of improved efficiency and economic viability for removal of air pollutants in waste gases from formaldehyde production. Supported oxides of copper and cerium with Cu: Ce molar ratio 2:1 and 1:5 were prepared by wet impregnation of g-alumina. Gold (2 wt.%) catalysts were synthesized by a deposition-precipitation method. Catalysts characterization was carried out by texture measurements, powder X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed reduction and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The catalytic activity in the oxidation of CO, CH3OH and (CH3)2O was measured using continuous flow equipment with fixed bed reactor. Both Cu-Ce/alumina samples demonstrated similar catalytic behavior. The addition of gold caused significant enhancement of CO and methanol oxidation activity (100 % degree of CO and CH3OH conversion at about 60 and 140 oC, respectively). The composition of Cu-Ce mixed oxides affected the performance of gold-based samples considerably. Gold catalyst on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 1:5 exhibited higher activity for CO and CH3OH oxidation in comparison with Au on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 2:1. The better performance of Au/Cu-Ce 1:5 was related to the availability of highly dispersed gold particles and copper oxide clusters in close contact with ceria.
Indoor air environment is a big concern in the last few decades in the developing countries, with increased focus on monitoring the air quality. In this work, an experimental study has been conducted to establish the existence of carbon nanoparticles below the size range of 10 nm in the non-sooting zone of a LPG/air partially premixed flame. Mainly, four optical techniques, UV absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering and TEM have been used to characterize and measure the size of carbon nanoparticles in the sampled materials collected from the inner surface of the flame front. The existence of the carbon nanoparticles in the sampled material has been confirmed with the typical nature of the absorption and fluorescence spectra already reported in the literature. The band gap energy shows that the particles are made up of three to six aromatic rings. The size measurement by DLS technique also shows that the particles below the size range of 10 nm. The results of DLS are also corroborated by the TEM image of the same material.
Although there seems to be a growing interest in the study of the citizen’s happiness as an alternative measure of a country’s progress to GDP, happiness as a public concern is still an ambiguous concept, hard to define. Moreover, different notions are used indiscriminately to talk about the same thing. This investigation aims to determine the conceptions of happiness, well-being and quality of life that originate from the indexes that different governments and public institutions around the world have created to study them. Through the Scoping Review method, this study identifies the recent academic research in this field (a total of 267 documents between 2006 and 2016) from some of the most popular social sciences databases around the world, Web of Science, Scopus, JSTOR, Sage, EBSCO, IBSS and Google Scholar, and in Spain, ISOC and Dialnet. These 267 documents referenced 53 different indexes and researches. The Grounded Theory method has been applied to a sample of 13 indexes in order to identify the main categories they use to determine these three concepts. The results show that these are multi-dimensional concepts and similar indicators are used indistinctly to measure happiness, well-being and quality of life.
Several decades ago, food and drinks were disallowed in most Japanese libraries. However, as discussions of “Library as a Place” have increased in recent years, the number of public and university libraries that have relaxed their policies to allow food and drinks have been increasing. This study focused on the opinions of library users on allowing food and drinks in public libraries and conducted a questionnaire survey among users of nine Japanese libraries. The results indicated that many users favored allowing food and drinks in libraries. Furthermore, it was found that users tend to frequently visit and stay longer in libraries where food and drinks are allowed.
Sustainability starts with conserving resources for future generations. Since human’s existence on this earth, he has been consuming natural resources. The resource consumption pace in the past was very slow, but industrialization in 18th century brought a change in the human lifestyle. New inventions and discoveries upgraded the human workforce to machines. The mass manufacture of goods provided easy access to products. In the last few decades, the globalization and change in technologies brought consumer oriented market. The consumption of resources has increased at a very high scale. This overconsumption pattern brought economic boom and provided multiple opportunities, but it also put stress on the natural resources. This paper tries to put forth the facts and figures of the population growth and consumption of resources with examples. This is explained with the help of the mathematical expression of doubling known as exponential growth. It compares the carrying capacity of the earth and resource consumption of humans’ i.e. ecological footprint and bio-capacity. Further, it presents the need to conserve natural resources and re-examine sustainable resource use approach for sustainability.
Land-cover maps were important for many scientific, ecological and land management purposes and during the last decades, rapid decrease of soil fertility was observed to be due to land use practices such as rice cultivation. High-precision land-cover maps are not yet available in the area which is important in an economy management. To assure accurate mapping of land cover to provide information, remote sensing is a very suitable tool to carry out this task and automatic land use and cover detection. The study did not only provide high precision land cover maps but it also provides estimates of rice production area that had undergone chemical degradation due to fertility decline. Land-cover were delineated and classified into pre-defined classes to achieve proper detection features. After generation of Land-cover map, of high intensity of rice cultivation, soil fertility degradation assessment in rice production area due to fertility decline was created to assess the impact of soils used in agricultural production. Using Simple spatial analysis functions and ArcGIS, the Land-cover map of Municipality of Quezon in Nueva Ecija, Philippines was overlaid to the fertility decline maps from Land Degradation Assessment Philippines- Bureau of Soils and Water Management (LADA-Philippines-BSWM) to determine the area of rice crops that were most likely where nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur deficiencies were induced by high dosage of urea and imbalance N:P fertilization. The result found out that 80.00 % of fallow and 99.81% of rice production area has high soil fertility decline.
This paper attempted on emphasize on the station buildings façade elements. Station buildings were essential part of the transportation that reflected the technology. Comparative analysis on architectural styles will also be made between the railway station buildings of Malaysia and any railway station buildings which have similarities. The Malay Peninsula which is strategically situated between the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea makes it an ideal location for trade. Malacca became an important trading port whereby merchants from around the world stopover to exchange various products. The Portuguese ruled Malacca for 130 years (1511–1641) and for the next century and a half (1641–1824), the Dutch endeavoured to maintain an economic monopoly along the coasts of Malaya. Malacca came permanently under British rule under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty, 1824. Up to Malaysian independence in 1957, Malaya saw a great influx of Chinese and Indian migrants as workers to support its growing industrial needs facilitated by the British. The growing tin ore mining and rubber industry resulted as the reason of the development of the railways as urgency to transport it from one place to another. The existence of railway transportation becomes more significant when the city started to bloom and the British started to build grandeur buildings that have different functions; administrative buildings, town and city halls, railway stations, public works department, courts, and post offices.
Based on the acoustics cascade sound theory, the mechanism of air leak sound producing, transmitting and signal detecting has been analyzed. A formula of the sound power, leak size and air pressure in the spacecraft has been built, and the relationship between leak sound pressure and receiving direction and distance has been studied. The center frequency in millimeter diameter leak is more than 20 kHz. The situation of air leaking from spacecraft to space has been simulated and an experiment of different leak size and testing distance and direction has been done. The sound pressure is in direct proportion to the cosine of the angle of leak to sensor. The portable ultrasonic leak detector has been developed, whose minimal leak rate is 10-1 Pa·m3/s, the testing radius is longer than 20 mm, the mass is less than 1.0 kg, and the electric power is less than 2.2 W.
This paper examines the theoretical construct of transformative practices, and reports some evidence of transformative practices from a couple of Bangladeshi English teachers. The idea of transformative practices calls for teachers’ capabilities to invest their intellectual labor in teaching with an assumption that along with the academic advancement of the learners, it aims for the personal transformation for both the learners as well for themselves. Following an ethnographic research approach, data for this study were collected through in-depth interviews, informal talks and classroom observations for a period of one year. In relevance to the English classroom of the Bangladeshi context, from this study, references of transformative practices have been underlined from the participant teachers’ views on English language teaching as well as from their actual practices. According to data of this research, some evidence of transformative practices in the form of critical language awareness and personal theories of practices emerge from the participants’ articulation of the beliefs on teaching; and from the participant teachers’ classroom practices evidence of self-directed acts of teaching, self-directed acts of professional development, and liberatory autonomy have been highlighted as the reflections of transformative practices. The implication of this paper refers to the significance of practicing teachers’ articulation of beliefs and views on teaching along with their orientation to critical pedagogical relations.
A growing demand for sustainability makes sustainability as one of the significant debates of nowadays. Energy saving is one of the main criteria to be considered in the context of sustainability. Reducing energy use in buildings is one of the most important ways to reduce humans’ overall environmental impact. Taking this into consideration, study of different design strategies, which can assist in reducing energy use and subsequently improving the sustainability level of today's buildings would be an essential task. The sustainability level of a building is highly affected by the sustainability performance of its components. One of the main building components, which can have a great impact on energy saving and sustainability level of the building, is its facade. The aim of this study is to investigate on the role of facade in sustainability enhancement of the contemporary buildings of Iran. In this study, the concept of sustainability in architecture, the building facades, and their relationship to sustainability are explained briefly. Following that, a number of contemporary Iranian buildings are discussed and analyzed in terms of different design strategies used in their facades in accordance to the sustainability concepts. The methods used in this study are descriptive and analytic. The results of this paper would assist in generating a wider vision and a source of inspiration for the current designers to design and create environmental and sustainable buildings for the future.
Due to the acquisition of huge amounts of brain tumor magnetic resonance images (MRI) in clinics, it is very difficult for radiologists to manually interpret and segment these images within a reasonable span of time. Computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems can enhance the diagnostic capabilities of radiologists and reduce the time required for accurate diagnosis. An intelligent computer-aided technique for automatic detection of a brain tumor through MRI is presented in this paper. The technique uses the following computational methods; the Level Set for segmentation of a brain tumor from other brain parts, extraction of features from this segmented tumor portion using gray level co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM), and the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to classify brain tumor images according to their respective types. The entire work is carried out on 50 images having five types of brain tumor. The overall classification accuracy using this method is found to be 98% which is significantly good.
Statements of facts have been made about Nollywood, a segment of the Nigerian film industry that has in recent times become phenomenal due largely to its quantity of production and specific production style. In the face of recent transformations reshaping the industry, matters have been arising which have not been given due academic attention from an industry player perspective. While re-addressing such issues like structure, policy and informality, this study benefits from a new perspective – that of a community member adopting participant observation to research into a familiar culture. With data drawn from an extensive ethnographic study of the industry, this paper examines these matters with an emphasis on structure and the industry’s overall political economy. Drawing from discourses on the new and old Nollywood labels and other current matters arising within the industry such as the MOPICON bill redraft, corporate financing and possibilities of regeneration, this paper examines structure and power struggle within Nollywood. These are championing regenerative processes that bring about formalization, professionalism and the quest for a transnational presence, which have only been superficially evaluated. Focused essentially on Nollywood’s political economy, this study critically analyses the transforming face of an informal industry, the consistent quest for structure, quality and standard, and issues of corporate sponsorship as possible trends of regeneration. It evaluates them as indicators of regeneration, questioning the possibilities of their sustenance in an industry experiencing increased interactions with the formal economy and an influx of young professionals. With findings that make sustained regeneration both certain (due to increased formal economy interaction) and uncertain (due to the dysfunctionality of the society and its political system), it concludes that the transforming face of the industry suggests impending gentrification of the industry.
One of the significant and continual public health problems in the world is breast cancer. Early detection is very important to fight the disease, and mammography has been one of the most common and reliable methods to detect the disease in the early stages. However, it is a difficult task, and computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems are needed to assist radiologists in providing both accurate and uniform evaluation for mass in mammograms. In this study, a multiresolution statistical method to classify mammograms as normal and abnormal in digitized mammograms is used to construct a CAD system. The mammogram images are represented by wave atom transform, and this representation is made by certain groups of coefficients, independently. The CAD system is designed by calculating some statistical features using each group of coefficients. The classification is performed by using support vector machine (SVM).
Roller-compacted concrete (RCC) has been used for decades in many pavement applications due to its economic cost and high construction speed. However, due to the lack of deep researches and experiences, this material has not been widely employed. An RCC mixture with appropriate consistency can induce high compacted density, while high density can induce good aggregate interlock and high strength. Consistency of RCC is mainly known to define its constructability. However, it was not well specified how this property may affect other properties of a constructed RCC pavement (RCCP). This study suggested the possibility of an ideal range of consistency that may provide adequate quality of RCCP. In this research, five sections of RCCP consisted of both 13 mm and 19 mm aggregate sections were investigated. The effects of consistency on compacted depth, strength, international roughness index (IRI), skid resistance are examined. From this study, a new range of consistency is suggested for RCCP application.
Attempts to split the construct of emotional intelligence (EI) into separate components – ability to understand own and others’ emotions and ability to control own and others’ emotions may be meaningful more theoretically than practically. In real life, a personality encounters various emotional situations that require exhibition of complex EI to solve them. Emotional situation solution tests enable measurement of such undivided EI. The object of the present study is to determine sociodemographic and other factors that are important for emotional situation solutions. The study involved 1,430 participants from various regions of Lithuania. The age of participants varied from 17 years to 27 years. Emotional social and interpersonal situation scale EI-DARL-V2 was used. Each situation had two mandatory answering formats: The first format contained assignments associated with hypothetical theoretical knowledge of how the situation should be solved, while the second format included the question of how the participant would personally resolve the given situation in reality. A questionnaire that contained various sociodemographic data of subjects was also presented. Factors, statistically significant for emotional situation solution, have been determined: gender, family structure, the subject’s relation with his or her mother, mother’s occupation, subjectively assessed financial situation of the family, level of education of the subjects and his or her parents, academic achievement, etc. The best solvers of emotional situations are women with high academic achievements. According to their chosen study profile/acquired profession, they are related to the fields in social sciences and humanities. The worst solvers of emotional situations are men raised in foster homes. They are/were bad students and mostly choose blue-collar professions.