International Science Index

321
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
131
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320
10007397
Generic Data Warehousing for Consumer Electronics Retail Industry
Abstract:

The dynamic and highly competitive nature of the consumer electronics retail industry means that businesses in this industry are experiencing different decision making challenges in relation to pricing, inventory control, consumer satisfaction and product offerings. To overcome the challenges facing retailers and create opportunities, we propose a generic data warehousing solution which can be applied to a wide range of consumer electronics retailers with a minimum configuration. The solution includes a dimensional data model, a template SQL script, a high level architectural descriptions, ETL tool developed using C#, a set of APIs, and data access tools. It has been successfully applied by ASK Outlets Ltd UK resulting in improved productivity and enhanced sales growth.

Paper Detail
69
downloads
319
10007498
Decision Making under Strict Uncertainty: Case Study in Sewer Network Planning
Abstract:

In decision making under strict uncertainty, decision makers have to choose a decision without any information about the states of nature. The classic criteria of Laplace, Wald, Savage, Hurwicz and Starr are introduced and compared in a case study of sewer network planning. Furthermore, results from different criteria are discussed and analyzed. Moreover, this paper discusses the idea that decision making under strict uncertainty (DMUSU) can be viewed as a two-player game and thus be solved by a solution concept in game theory: Nash equilibrium.

Paper Detail
49
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318
10007687
An Investigation into the Use of an Atomistic, Hermeneutic, Holistic Approach in Education Relating to the Architectural Design Process
Authors:
Abstract:

Within architectural education, students arrive fore-armed with; their life-experience; knowledge gained from subject-based learning; their brains and more specifically their imaginations. The learning-by-doing that they embark on in studio-based/project-based learning calls for supervision that allows the student to proactively undertake research and experimentation with design solution possibilities. The degree to which this supervision includes direction is subject to debate and differing opinion. It can be argued that if the student is to learn-by-doing, then design decision making within the design process needs to be instigated and owned by the student so that they have the ability to personally reflect on and evaluate those decisions. Within this premise lies the problem that the student's endeavours can become unstructured and unfocused as they work their way into a new and complex activity. A resultant weakness can be that the design activity is compartmented and not holistic or comprehensive, and therefore, the student's reflections are consequently impoverished in terms of providing a positive, informative feedback loop. The construct proffered in this paper is that a supportive 'armature' or 'Heuristic-Framework' can be developed that facilitates a holistic approach and reflective learning. The normal explorations of architectural design comprise: Analysing the site and context, reviewing building precedents, assimilating the briefing information. However, the student can still be compromised by 'not knowing what they need to know'. The long-serving triad 'Firmness, Commodity and Delight' provides a broad-brush framework of considerations to explore and integrate into good design. If this were further atomised in subdivision formed from the disparate aspects of architectural design that need to be considered within the design process, then the student could sieve through the facts more methodically and reflectively in terms of considering their interrelationship conflict and alliances. The words facts and sieve hold the acronym of the aspects that form the Heuristic-Framework: Function, Aesthetics, Context, Tectonics, Spatial, Servicing, Infrastructure, Environmental, Value and Ecological issues. The Heuristic could be used as a Hermeneutic Model with each aspect of design being focused on and considered in abstraction and then considered in its relation to other aspect and the design proposal as a whole. Importantly, the heuristic could be used as a method for gathering information and enhancing the design brief. The more poetic, mysterious, intuitive, unconscious processes should still be able to occur for the student. The Heuristic-Framework should not be seen as comprehensive prescriptive formulaic or inhibiting to the wide exploration of possibilities and solutions within the architectural design process.

Paper Detail
25
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317
10007263
HelpMeBreathe: A Web-Based System for Asthma Management
Abstract:

We present in this paper a web-based system called “HelpMeBreathe” for managing asthma. The proposed system provides analytical tools, which allow better understanding of environmental triggers of asthma, hence better support of data-driven decision making. The developed system provides warning messages to a specific asthma patient if the weather in his/her area might cause any difficulty in breathing or could trigger an asthma attack. HelpMeBreathe collects, stores, and analyzes individuals’ moving trajectories and health conditions as well as environmental data. It then processes and displays the patients’ data through an analytical tool that leads to an effective decision making by physicians and other decision makers.

Paper Detail
63
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316
10007412
Payment for Pain: Differences between Hypothetical and Real Preferences
Abstract:

Decision-makers tend to prefer the first alternative over subsequent alternatives which is called the primacy effect. To reliably measure this effect, we conducted an experiment with real consequences for preference statements. Therefore, we elicit preferences of subjects using a rating scale, i.e. hypothetical preferences, and willingness to pay, i.e. real preferences, for two sequences of pain. Within these sequences, both overall intensity and duration of pain are identical. Hence, a rational decision-maker should be indifferent, whereas the primacy effect predicts a stronger preference for the first sequence. What we see is a primacy effect only for hypothetical preferences. This effect vanishes for real preferences.

Paper Detail
51
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315
10007423
Evidence Theory Enabled Quickest Change Detection Using Big Time-Series Data from Internet of Things
Abstract:
Traditionally in sensor networks and recently in the Internet of Things, numerous heterogeneous sensors are deployed in distributed manner to monitor a phenomenon that often can be model by an underlying stochastic process. The big time-series data collected by the sensors must be analyzed to detect change in the stochastic process as quickly as possible with tolerable false alarm rate. However, sensors may have different accuracy and sensitivity range, and they decay along time. As a result, the big time-series data collected by the sensors will contain uncertainties and sometimes they are conflicting. In this study, we present a framework to take advantage of Evidence Theory (a.k.a. Dempster-Shafer and Dezert-Smarandache Theories) capabilities of representing and managing uncertainty and conflict to fast change detection and effectively deal with complementary hypotheses. Specifically, Kullback-Leibler divergence is used as the similarity metric to calculate the distances between the estimated current distribution with the pre- and post-change distributions. Then mass functions are calculated and related combination rules are applied to combine the mass values among all sensors. Furthermore, we applied the method to estimate the minimum number of sensors needed to combine, so computational efficiency could be improved. Cumulative sum test is then applied on the ratio of pignistic probability to detect and declare the change for decision making purpose. Simulation results using both synthetic data and real data from experimental setup demonstrate the effectiveness of the presented schemes.
Paper Detail
49
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314
10007656
Building Information Modelling for Construction Delay Management
Abstract:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the growth of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays to project completion. Delays in delivering a construction project are a global issue and while theories such as Optimism Bias have been used to explain such delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are also significant. The objective of this paper is to develop a framework-based approach to explore how the country’s construction industry can manage and reduce delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM) in order to mitigate the cost consequences of such delays.  It comprehensively and systematically reviewed the global literature on the subject and identified gaps, critical delay factors and the specific benefits that BIM can deliver for the delay management.  A case study comprising of nine hospital projects that have experienced delay and cost overruns was also carried out. Five critical delay factors related to the clients were identified as candidates that can be mitigated through BIM’s benefits. These factors are: Ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. In addition, data from the case study projects strongly suggest that optimism bias is present in many of the hospital projects. Further validation via key stakeholder interviews and documentations are planned.

Paper Detail
46
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313
10007061
Exploring the Spatial Characteristics of Mortality Map: A Statistical Area Perspective
Abstract:

The analysis of geographic inequality heavily relies on the use of location-enabled statistical data and quantitative measures to present the spatial patterns of the selected phenomena and analyze their differences. To protect the privacy of individual instance and link to administrative units, point-based datasets are spatially aggregated to area-based statistical datasets, where only the overall status for the selected levels of spatial units is used for decision making. The partition of the spatial units thus has dominant influence on the outcomes of the analyzed results, well known as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). A new spatial reference framework, the Taiwan Geographical Statistical Classification (TGSC), was recently introduced in Taiwan based on the spatial partition principles of homogeneous consideration of the number of population and households. Comparing to the outcomes of the traditional township units, TGSC provides additional levels of spatial units with finer granularity for presenting spatial phenomena and enables domain experts to select appropriate dissemination level for publishing statistical data. This paper compares the results of respectively using TGSC and township unit on the mortality data and examines the spatial characteristics of their outcomes. For the mortality data between the period of January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2010 of the Taitung County, the all-cause age-standardized death rate (ASDR) ranges from 571 to 1757 per 100,000 persons, whereas the 2nd dissemination area (TGSC) shows greater variation, ranged from 0 to 2222 per 100,000. The finer granularity of spatial units of TGSC clearly provides better outcomes for identifying and evaluating the geographic inequality and can be further analyzed with the statistical measures from other perspectives (e.g., population, area, environment.). The management and analysis of the statistical data referring to the TGSC in this research is strongly supported by the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. An integrated workflow that consists of the tasks of the processing of death certificates, the geocoding of street address, the quality assurance of geocoded results, the automatic calculation of statistic measures, the standardized encoding of measures and the geo-visualization of statistical outcomes is developed. This paper also introduces a set of auxiliary measures from a geographic distribution perspective to further examine the hidden spatial characteristics of mortality data and justify the analyzed results. With the common statistical area framework like TGSC, the preliminary results demonstrate promising potential for developing a web-based statistical service that can effectively access domain statistical data and present the analyzed outcomes in meaningful ways to avoid wrong decision making.

Paper Detail
63
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312
10007084
A Comparative Analysis of Solid Waste Treatment Technologies on Cost and Environmental Basis
Authors:
Abstract:

Waste management decision making in developing countries has moved towards being more pragmatic, transparent, sustainable and comprehensive. Turkey is required to make its waste related legislation compatible with European Legislation as it is a candidate country of the European Union. Improper Turkish practices such as open burning and open dumping practices must be abandoned urgently, and robust waste management systems have to be structured. The determination of an optimum waste management system in any region requires a comprehensive analysis in which many criteria are taken into account by stakeholders. In conducting this sort of analysis, there are two main criteria which are evaluated by waste management analysts; economic viability and environmentally friendliness. From an analytical point of view, a central characteristic of sustainable development is an economic-ecological integration. It is predicted that building a robust waste management system will need significant effort and cooperation between the stakeholders in developing countries such as Turkey. In this regard, this study aims to provide data regarding the cost and environmental burdens of waste treatment technologies such as an incinerator, an autoclave (with different capacities), a hydroclave and a microwave coupled with updated information on calculation methods, and a framework for comparing any proposed scenario performances on a cost and environmental basis.

Paper Detail
88
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311
10007407
Autonomic Sonar Sensor Fault Manager for Mobile Robots
Abstract:
NASA, ESA, and NSSC space agencies have plans to put planetary rovers on Mars in 2020. For these future planetary rovers to succeed, they will heavily depend on sensors to detect obstacles. This will also become of vital importance in the future, if rovers become less dependent on commands received from earth-based control and more dependent on self-configuration and self-decision making. These planetary rovers will face harsh environments and the possibility of hardware failure is high, as seen in missions from the past. In this paper, we focus on using Autonomic principles where self-healing, self-optimization, and self-adaption are explored using the MAPE-K model and expanding this model to encapsulate the attributes such as Awareness, Analysis, and Adjustment (AAA-3). In the experimentation, a Pioneer P3-DX research robot is used to simulate a planetary rover. The sonar sensors on the P3-DX robot are used to simulate the sensors on a planetary rover (even though in reality, sonar sensors cannot operate in a vacuum). Experiments using the P3-DX robot focus on how our software system can be adapted with the loss of sonar sensor functionality. The autonomic manager system is responsible for the decision making on how to make use of remaining ‘enabled’ sonars sensors to compensate for those sonar sensors that are ‘disabled’. The key to this research is that the robot can still detect objects even with reduced sonar sensor capability.
Paper Detail
32
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310
10007654
Evaluation Framework for Investments in Rail Infrastructure Projects
Abstract:

Transport infrastructures are high-cost, long-term investments that serve as vital foundations for the operation of a region or nation and are essential to a country’s or business’s economic development and prosperity, by improving well-being and generating jobs and income. The development of appropriate financing options is of key importance in the decision making process in order develop viable transport infrastructures. The development of transport infrastructure has increasingly been shifting toward alternative methods of project financing such as Public Private Partnership (PPPs) and hybrid forms. In this paper, a methodological decision-making framework based on the evaluation of the financial viability of transportation infrastructure for different financial schemes is presented. The framework leads to an assessment of the financial viability which can be achieved by performing various financing scenarios analyses. To illustrate the application of the proposed methodology, a case study of rail transport infrastructure financing scenario analysis in Greece is developed.

Paper Detail
29
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309
10007755
Persuasive Communication on Social Egg Freezing in California from a Framing Theory Perspective
Abstract:

This paper presents the impact of persuasive communication implemented by fertility clinics websites, and how this information influences women at their decision-making for undertaking this procedure. The influential factors for women decisions to do social egg freezing (SEF) are analyzed from a framing theory perspective, with a specific focus on the impact of persuasive information on women’s decision making. This study follows a quantitative approach. A two-phase survey has been conducted to examine the interest rate to undertake SEF. In the first phase, a questionnaire was available during a month (May 2015) to women to answer whether or not they knew enough information of this process, with a total of 230 answers. The second phase took place in the two last weeks of July 2015. All the respondents were invited to a seminars called ‘All about egg freezing’ and afretwards they were requested to answer the second questionnaire. After the seminar, in which they were given an extensive amount of information about egg freezing, a total of 115 women replied the questionnaire. The collected data during this process were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Most of the respondents changed their opinion in the second questionaire which was after receiving information. Although in the first questionnaire their self-evaluation of having knowledge about this process and the implemented technologies was very high, they realized that they still need to access more information from different sources in order to be able to make a decision. The study reached the conclusion that persuasive and framed information by clinics would affect the decisions of these women. Despite the reasons women have to do egg freezing and their motivations behind it, providing people necessary information and unprejudiced data about this process (such as its positive and negative aspects, requirements, suppositions, possibilities and consequences) would help them to make a more precise and reasonable decision about what they are buying.

Paper Detail
19
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308
10006605
Hybrid Adaptive Modeling to Enhance Robustness of Real-Time Optimization
Abstract:

Real-time optimization has been considered an effective approach for improving energy efficient operation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. In model-based real-time optimization, model mismatches cannot be avoided. When model mismatches are significant, the performance of the real-time optimization will be impaired and hence the expected energy saving will be reduced. In this paper, the model mismatches for chiller plant on real-time optimization are considered. In the real-time optimization of the chiller plant, simplified semi-physical or grey box model of chiller is always used, which should be identified using available operation data. To overcome the model mismatches associated with the chiller model, hybrid Genetic Algorithms (HGAs) method is used for online real-time training of the chiller model. HGAs combines Genetic Algorithms (GAs) method (for global search) and traditional optimization method (i.e. faster and more efficient for local search) to avoid conventional hit and trial process of GAs. The identification of model parameters is synthesized as an optimization problem; and the objective function is the Least Square Error between the output from the model and the actual output from the chiller plant. A case study is used to illustrate the implementation of the proposed method. It has been shown that the proposed approach is able to provide reliability in decision making, enhance the robustness of the real-time optimization strategy and improve on energy performance.

Paper Detail
165
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307
10006688
Risk Management Approach for Lean, Agile, Resilient and Green Supply Chain
Abstract:

Implementation of LARG (Lean, Agile, Resilient, Green) practices in the supply chain management is a complex task mainly because ecological, economical and operational goals are usually in conflict. To implement these LARG practices successfully, companies’ need relevant decision making tools allowing processes performance control and improvement strategies visibility. To contribute to this issue, this work tries to answer the following research question: How to master performance and anticipate problems in supply chain LARG practices implementation? To answer this question, a risk management approach (RMA) is adopted. Indeed, the proposed RMA aims basically to assess the ability of a supply chain, guided by “Lean, Green and Achievement” performance goals, to face “agility and resilience risk” factors. To proof its relevance, a logistics academic case study based on simulation is used to illustrate all its stages. It shows particularly how to build the “LARG risk map” which is the main output of this approach.

Paper Detail
199
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306
10006879
Entropy Measures on Neutrosophic Soft Sets and Its Application in Multi Attribute Decision Making
Abstract:
The focus of the paper is to furnish the entropy measure for a neutrosophic set and neutrosophic soft set which is a measure of uncertainty and it permeates discourse and system. Various characterization of entropy measures are derived. Further we exemplify this concept by applying entropy in various real time decision making problems.
Paper Detail
101
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305
10007105
The Impact of Online Advertising on Generation Y’s Purchase Decision in Malaysia
Abstract:

Advertising is commonly used to foster sales and reputation of an institution. It is at first the growth of print advertising that has increased the population and number of periodicals of newspaper and its circulation. The rise of Internet and online media has somehow blurred the role of media and advertising though the intention is still to reach out to audience and to increase sales. The relationship between advertising and audience on a product purchase through persuasion has been developing from print media to online media. From the changing media environment and audience, it is the concern of this research to study the impact of online advertising to such a relationship cycle. The content of online advertisements is much of text, multimedia, photo, audio and video. The messages of such content format may indeed bring impacts to its audience and its credibility. This study is therefore reflecting the effectiveness of online advertisement and its influences on generation Y in their purchasing behavior. This study uses Media Dependency Theory to analyze the relationship between the impact of online advertisement and media usage pattern of generation Y. Hierarchy of Effectiveness Model is used as a marketing communication model to study the effectiveness of advertising and further to determine the impact of online advertisement on generation Y in their purchasing decision making. This research uses online survey to reach out the sample of generation Y. The results have shown that online advertisements do not affect much on purchase decision making even though generation Y relies much on the media content including online advertisement for its information and believing in its credibility. There are few other external factors that may interrupt the effectiveness of online advertising. The very obvious influence of purchasing behavior is actually derived from the peers.

Paper Detail
116
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304
10007294
Evaluation of Leagile Criteria Using DEMATEL Approach
Abstract:

There is drastic change in manufacturing era in last two decades. It has become mandatory for the industries to become aware of latest and advanced manufacturing technologies and strategies. Leagile manufacturing focuses on minimizing the wastes and meeting customers’ requirements in minimum time possible. However, it becomes difficult to implement all leagile tools simultaneously in industry. In this paper, 17 main criteria of leagile manufacturing have been found and DEMATEL (Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory) approach has been applied to analyze importance of criteria and casual relations among these criteria.

Paper Detail
60
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303
10007770
Selection of Material for Gear Used in Fuel Pump Using Graph Theory and Matrix Approach
Abstract:

Material selection is one of the key issues for the production of reliable and quality products in industries. A number of materials are available for a single product due to which material selection become a difficult task. The aim of this paper is to select appropriate material for gear used in fuel pump by using Graph Theory and Matrix Approach (GTMA). GTMA is a logical and systematic approach that can be used to model and analyze various engineering systems. In present work, four alternative material and their seven attributes are used to identify the best material for given product.

Paper Detail
17
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302
10006978
The Modulation of Self-interest Instruction on the Fair-Proposing Behavior in Ultimatum Game
Abstract:
Ultimatum game is an experimental paradigm to study human decision making. There are two players, a proposer and a responder, to split a fixed amount of money. According to the traditional economic theory on ultimatum game, proposer should propose the selfish offers to responder as much as possible to maximize proposer’s own outcomes. However, most evidences had showed that people chose more fair offers, hence two hypotheses – fairness favoring and strategic concern were proposed. In current study, we induced the motivation in participants to be either selfish or altruistic, and manipulated the task variables, the stake sizes (NT$100, 1000, 10000) and the share sizes (the 40%, 30%, 20%, 10% of the sum as selfish offers, and the 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% of the sum as altruistic offers), to examine the two hypotheses. The results showed that most proposers chose more fair offers with longer reaction times (RTs) no matter in choosing between the fair and selfish offers, or between the fair and altruistic offers. However, the proposers received explicit self-interest instruction chose more selfish offers accompanied with longer RTs in choosing between the fair and selfish offers. Therefore, the results supported the strategic concern hypothesis that previous proposers choosing the fair offers might be resulted from the fear of rejection by responders. Proposers would become more self-interest if the fear of being rejected is eliminated.
Paper Detail
76
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301
10006261
Understanding Help Seeking among Black Women with Clinically Significant Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms
Abstract:
Understanding the help seeking decision making process and experiences of health disparity populations with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is central to development of trauma-informed, culturally centered, and patient focused services. Yet, little is known about the decision making process among adult Black women who are non-treatment seekers as they are, by definition, not engaged in services. Methods: Audiotaped interviews were conducted with 30 African American adult women with clinically significant PTSD symptoms who were engaged in primary care, but not in treatment for PTSD despite symptom burden. A qualitative interview guide was used to elucidate key themes. Independent coding of themes mapped to theory and identification of emergent themes were conducted using qualitative methods. An existing quantitative dataset was analyzed to contextualize responses and provide a descriptive summary of the sample. Results: Emergent themes revealed that active mental avoidance, the intermittent nature of distress, ambivalence, and self-identified resilience as undermining to help seeking decisions. Participants were stuck within the help-seeking phase of ‘recognition’ of illness and retained a sense of “it is my decision” despite endorsing significant social and environmental negative influencers. Participants distinguished ‘help acceptance’ from ‘help seeking’ with greater willingness to accept help and importance placed on being of help to others. Conclusions: Elucidation of the decision-making process from the perspective of non-treatment seekers has implications for outreach and treatment within models of integrated and specialty systems care. The salience of responses to trauma symptoms and stagnation in the help seeking recognition phase are findings relevant to integrated care service design and community engagement.
Paper Detail
212
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300
10006347
Sustainability Assessment of Municipal Wastewater Treatment
Abstract:

In this paper, our methodology to assess sustainability of wastewater treatment technologies in Egypt is presented. The preliminary list of factors to be considered, as well as their ranking listed. The factors include, but are not limited to pollutants removal efficiency and energy consumption under the environmental dimension, construction cost, operation and maintenance costs and required land area cost under the economic dimension and public acceptance, noise and generating job opportunities for local residents. This methodology is intended to be a user-friendly screening tool to support the decision making process when investigating different wastewater treatment technologies in Egypt. Based on the research work results presented in this paper, it can be generally concluded that the categorization of some of the social and environmental aspects of sustainability is subjective and highly dependent on the local conditions and researchers’ background.

Paper Detail
233
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299
10006748
Competitiveness and Pricing Policy Assessment for Resilience Surface Access System at Airports
Abstract:

Considering a worldwide tendency, air transports are growing very fast and many changes have taken place in planning, management and decision making process. Given the complexity of airport operation, the best use of existing capacity is the key driver of efficiency and productivity. This paper deals with the evaluation framework for the ground access at airports, by using a set of mode choice indicators providing key messages towards airport’s ground access performance. The application presents results for a sample of 12 European airports, illustrating recommendations to define policy and improve service for the air transport access chain.

Paper Detail
84
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298
10006088
Web-Based Tools to Increase Public Understanding of Nuclear Technology and Food Irradiation
Abstract:

Food irradiation is a processing and preservation technique to eliminate insects and parasites and reduce disease-causing microorganisms. Moreover, the process helps to inhibit sprouting and delay ripening, extending fresh fruits and vegetables shelf-life. Nevertheless, most Brazilian consumers seem to misunderstand the difference between irradiated food and radioactive food and the general public has major concerns about the negative health effects and environmental contamination. Society´s judgment and decision making are directly linked to perceived benefits and risks. The web-based project entitled ‘Scientific information about food irradiation: Internet as a tool to approach science and society’ was created by the Nuclear and Energetic Research Institute (IPEN), in order to offer an interdisciplinary approach to science education, integrating economic, ethical, social and political aspects of food irradiation. This project takes into account that, misinformation and unfounded preconceived ideas impact heavily on the acceptance of irradiated food and purchase intention by the Brazilian consumer. Taking advantage of the potential value of the Internet to enhance communication and education among general public, a research study was carried out regarding the possibilities and trends of Information and Communication Technologies among the Brazilian population. The content includes concepts, definitions and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about processes, safety, advantages, limitations and the possibilities of food irradiation, including health issues, as well as its impacts on the environment. The project counts on eight self-instructional interactive web courses, situating scientific content in relevant social contexts in order to encourage self-learning and further reflections. Communication is a must to improve public understanding of science. The use of information technology for quality scientific divulgation shall contribute greatly to provide information throughout the country, spreading information to as many people as possible, minimizing geographic distances and stimulating communication and development.

Paper Detail
521
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297
10005958
Environmental Decision Making Model for Assessing On-Site Performances of Building Subcontractors
Authors:
Abstract:

Buildings cause a variety of loads on the environment due to activities performed at each stage of the building life cycle. Construction is the first stage that affects both the natural and built environments at different steps of the process, which can be defined as transportation of materials within the construction site, formation and preparation of materials on-site and the application of materials to realize the building subsystems. All of these steps require the use of technology, which varies based on the facilities that contractors and subcontractors have. Hence, environmental consequences of the construction process should be tackled by focusing on construction technology options used in every step of the process. This paper presents an environmental decision-making model for assessing on-site performances of subcontractors based on the construction technology options which they can supply. First, construction technologies, which constitute information, tools and methods, are classified. Then, environmental performance criteria are set forth related to resource consumption, ecosystem quality, and human health issues. Finally, the model is developed based on the relationships between the construction technology components and the environmental performance criteria. The Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (FAHP) method is used for weighting the environmental performance criteria according to environmental priorities of decision-maker(s), while the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method is used for ranking on-site environmental performances of subcontractors using quantitative data related to the construction technology components. Thus, the model aims to provide an insight to decision-maker(s) about the environmental consequences of the construction process and to provide an opportunity to improve the overall environmental performance of construction sites.

Paper Detail
322
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296
10006234
Contemplating Preference Ratings of Corporate Social Responsibility Practices for Supply Chain Performance System Implementation
Abstract:

The objective of this research work is to identify and analyze the significant corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices with an aim to improve the supply chain performance of automobile industry located at National Capital Region (NCR) of India. To achieve the objective, 6 CSR practices have been considered and analyzed using expert’s preference rating (EPR) approach. The considered CSR practices are namely, Top management and employee awareness about CSR (P1), Employee involvement in social and environmental problems (P2), Protection of human rights (P3), Waste reduction, energy saving and water conservation (P4), Proper visibility of CSR guidelines (P5) and Broad perception towards CSR initiatives (P6). The outcomes of this research may help mangers in decision making processes and framing polices for SCP implementation under CSR context.

Paper Detail
132
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295
10005599
Decision Making during the Project Management Life Cycle of Infrastructure Projects
Abstract:

The various disciplines in the construction industry and the co-existence of the people in the various disciplines are what builds well-developed, closely-knit interpersonal skills at various hierarchical levels thus leading to a varied way of leadership. The varied decision making aspects during the lifecycle of a project include: autocratic, participatory and last but not least, free-rein. We can classify some of the decision makers in the construction industry in a hierarchical manner as follows: project executive, project manager, superintendent, office engineer and finally the field engineer. This survey looked at how decisions are made during the construction period by the key stakeholders in the project. From the paper it is evident that the three decision making aspects can be used at different times or at times together in order to bring out the best leadership decision. A blend of different leadership styles should be used to enhance the success rate during the project lifecycle.

Paper Detail
471
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294
10005674
Financial Portfolio Optimization in Electricity Markets: Evaluation via Sharpe Ratio
Abstract:

Electricity plays an indispensable role in human life and the economy. It is a unique product or service that must be balanced instantaneously, as electricity is not stored, generation and consumption should be proportional. Effective and efficient use of electricity is very important not only for society, but also for the environment. A competitive electricity market is one of the best ways to provide a suitable platform for effective and efficient use of electricity. On the other hand, it carries some risks that should be carefully managed by the market players. Risk management is an essential part in market players’ decision making. In this paper, risk management through diversification is applied with the help of Markowitz’s Mean-variance, Down-side and Semi-variance methods for a case study. Performance of optimal electricity sale solutions are measured and evaluated via Sharpe-Ratio, and the optimal portfolio solutions are improved. Two years of historical weekdays’ price data of the Turkish Day Ahead Market are used to demonstrate the approach.

Paper Detail
349
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293
10005795
Decision Framework for Cross-Border Railway Infrastructure Projects
Abstract:

Transport infrastructure assets are key components of the national asset portfolio. The decision to invest in a new infrastructure in transports could take from a few years to some decades. This is mainly because of the need to reserve and spent many capitals, the long payback period, the number of the stakeholders involved in decision process and –many times- the investment and business risks are high. Therefore, the decision assessment framework is an essential challenge linked with the key decision factors meet the stakeholder expectations highlighting project trade-offs, financial risks, business uncertainties and market limitations. This paper examines the decision process for new transport infrastructure projects in cross border regions, where a wide range of stakeholders with different expectation is involved. According to a consequences analysis systemic approach, the relationship of transport infrastructure development, economic system development and stakeholder expectation is analyzed. Adopting the on system of system methodological approach, the decision making framework, variables, inputs and outputs are defined, highlighting the key shareholder’s role and expectations. The application provides the methodology outputs presenting the proposed decision framework for a strategic railway project in north Greece deals with the upgrade of the existing railway corridor connecting Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.

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Financial Portfolio Optimization in Turkish Electricity Market via Value at Risk
Abstract:
Electricity has an indispensable role in human daily life, technological development and economy. It is a special product or service that should be instantaneously generated and consumed. Sources of the world are limited so that effective and efficient use of them is very important not only for human life and environment but also for technological and economic development. Competitive electricity market is one of the important way that provides suitable platform for effective and efficient use of electricity. Besides benefits, it brings along some risks that should be carefully managed by a market player like Electricity Generation Company. Risk management is an essential part in market players’ decision making. In this paper, risk management through diversification is applied with the help of Value at Risk methods for case studies. Performance of optimal electricity sale solutions are measured and the portfolio performance has been evaluated via Sharpe-Ratio, and compared with conventional approach. Biennial historical electricity price data of Turkish Day Ahead Market are used to demonstrate the approach.
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