The article presents the results of the creative analysis and comparison of trends in the development of the theory of public administration during the period from the second half of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. The process of conceptualization of the priorities of public administration in the dynamics of reforming was held under the influence of such factors as globalization, integration, information and technological changes and human rights is examined. The priorities of the social state in the concepts of the second half of the 20th century are studied. Peculiar approaches to determining the priorities of public administration in the countries of "Soviet dictatorship" in Central and Eastern Europe in the same period are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the priorities of public administration regarding the interaction between public power and society and the development of conceptual foundations for the modern managerial process. There is a thought that the dynamics of the formation of concepts of the European governance is characterized by the sequence of priorities: from socio-economic and moral-ethical to organizational-procedural and non-hierarchical ones. The priorities of the "welfare state" were focused on the decent level of material wellbeing of population. At the same time, the conception of "minimal state" emphasized priorities of human responsibility for their own fate under the conditions of minimal state protection. Later on, the emphasis was placed on horizontal ties and redistribution of powers and competences of "effective state" with its developed procedures and limits of responsibility at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the civil society. The priorities of the contemporary period are concentrated on human rights in the concepts of "good governance" and all the following ones, which recognize the absolute priority of public administration with compliance, provision and protection of human rights. There is a proved point of view that civilizational changes taking place under the influence of information and technological imperatives also stipulate changes in priorities, redistribution of emphases and update principles of managerial concepts on the basis of publicity, transparency, departure from traditional forms of hierarchy and control in favor of interactivity and inter-sectoral interaction, decentralization and humanization of managerial processes. The necessity to permanently carry out the reorganization, by establishing the interaction between different participants of public power and social relations, to establish a balance between political forces and social interests on the basis of mutual trust and mutual understanding determines changes of social, political, economic and humanitarian paradigms of public administration and their theoretical comprehension. The further studies of theoretical foundations of modern public administration in interdisciplinary discourse in the context of ambiguous consequences of the globalizational and integrational processes of modern European state-building would be advisable. This is especially true during the period of political transformations and economic crises which are the characteristic of the contemporary Europe, especially for democratic transition countries.
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.
In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.
An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.
The motorcycle has become one of the most common type of vehicles used on the road, particularly in the Asia region, including Malaysia, due to its size-convenience and affordable price. This study focuses only on crashes involving motorcycles with passenger cars consisting 43 real world crashes obtained from in-depth crash investigation process from June 2016 till July 2017. The study collected and analyzed vehicle and site parameters obtained during crash investigation and injury information acquired from the patient-treating hospital. The investigation team, consisting of two personnel, is stationed at the Emergency Department of the treatment facility, and was dispatched to the crash scene once receiving notification of the related crashes. The injury information retrieved was coded according to the level of severity using the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) and classified into different body regions. The data revealed that weekend crashes were significantly higher for the night time period and the crash occurrence was the highest during morning hours (commuting to work period) for weekdays. Bad weather conditions play a minimal effect towards the occurrence of motorcycle – passenger vehicle crashes and nearly 90% involved motorcycles with single riders. Riders up to 25 years old are heavily involved in crashes with passenger vehicles (60%), followed by 26-55 year age group with 35%. Male riders were dominant in each of the age segments. The majority of the crashes involved side impacts, followed by rear impacts and cars outnumbered the rest of the passenger vehicle types in terms of crash involvement with motorcycles. The investigation data also revealed that passenger vehicles were the most at-fault counterpart (62%) when involved in crashes with motorcycles and most of the crashes involved situations whereby both of the vehicles are travelling in the same direction and one of the vehicles is in a turning maneuver. More than 80% of the involved motorcycle riders had sustained yellow severity level during triage process. The study also found that nearly 30% of the riders sustained injuries to the lower extremities, while MAIS level 3 injuries were recorded for all body regions except for thorax region. The result showed that crashes in which the motorcycles were found to be at fault were more likely to occur during night and raining conditions. These types of crashes were also found to be more likely to involve other types of passenger vehicles rather than cars and possess higher likelihood in resulting higher ISS (>6) value to the involved rider. To reduce motorcycle fatalities, it first has to understand the characteristics concerned and focus may be given on crashes involving passenger vehicles as the most dominant crash partner on Malaysian roads.
In this paper, we present the comparative subjective analysis of Improved Minima Controlled Recursive Averaging (IMCRA) Algorithm, the Kalman filter and the cascading of IMCRA and Kalman filter algorithms. Performance of speech enhancement algorithms can be predicted in two different ways. One is the objective method of evaluation in which the speech quality parameters are predicted computationally. The second is a subjective listening test in which the processed speech signal is subjected to the listeners who judge the quality of speech on certain parameters. The comparative objective evaluation of these algorithms was analyzed in terms of Global SNR, Segmental SNR and Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality (PESQ) by the authors and it was reported that with cascaded algorithms there is a substantial increase in objective parameters. Since subjective evaluation is the real test to judge the quality of speech enhancement algorithms, the authenticity of superiority of cascaded algorithms over individual IMCRA and Kalman algorithms is tested through subjective analysis in this paper. The results of subjective listening tests have confirmed that the cascaded algorithms perform better under all types of noise conditions.
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.
The time delay and the structural stability are major issues in big size projects due to several factors. Improper planning and poor coordination lead to delay in construction, which sometimes result in reworking or rebuilding. This definitely increases the cost and time of project. This situation stresses the structural engineers to plan out of the limits of contemporary technology utilizing non-chronological approach with creative ideas. One of the strategies to solve this issue is through structural integrity solutions in a cost-effective way. We have faced several problems in a project worth 470 million USD, and one such issue is crane girder installation with composite steel beams. We have applied structural integrity approach with the proper and revised planning schedule to solve the problem efficiently with minimal expenses.
In the current situation, the automobile has become the main means of locomotion. It allows traveling long distances, encouraging urban sprawl. To counteract this trend, the train is often proposed as an alternative to the car. Simultaneously, the favoring of urban development around public transport nodes such as railway stations is one of the main issues of the coordination between urban planning and transportation and the keystone of the sustainable urban development implementation. In this context, this paper focuses on the study of the spatial structuring dynamics around the railway. Specifically, it is a question of studying the demographic dynamics in rail corridors of Nantes, Angers and Le Mans (Western France) basing on the radiation of railway stations. Consequently, the methodology is concentrated on the knowledge of demographic weight and gains of these corridors, the index of urban intensity and the mobility behaviors (workers’ travels, scholars' travels, modal practices of travels). The perimeter considered to define the rail corridors includes the communes of urban area which have a railway station and communes with an access time to the railway station is less than fifteen minutes by car (time specified by the Regional Transport Scheme of Travelers). The main tools used are the statistical data from the census of population, the basis of detailed tables and databases on mobility flows. The study reveals that the population is not tightened along rail corridors and train use is minimal despite the presence of a nearby railway station. These results lead to propose guidelines to make the train, a real vector of mobility across the rail corridors.
A 3C-2D PIV technique was applied to investigate the swirling flow generated by an axial plus tangential type swirl generator. This work is focused on the near-exit region of an isothermal swirling jet to characterize the effect of swirl on the flow field and to identify the large coherent structures both in unconfined and confined conditions for geometrical swirl number, Sg = 4.6. Effects of the Reynolds number on the flow structure were also studied. The experimental results show significant effects of the confinement on the mean velocity fields and its fluctuations. The size of the recirculation zone was significantly enlarged upon confinement compared to the free swirling jet. Increasing in the Reynolds number further enhanced the recirculation zone. The frequency characteristics have been measured with a capacitive microphone which indicates the presence of periodic oscillation related to the existence of precessing vortex core, PVC. Proper orthogonal decomposition of the jet velocity field was carried out, enabling the identification of coherent structures. The time coefficients of the first two most energetic POD modes were used to reconstruct the phase-averaged velocity field of the oscillatory motion in the swirling flow. The instantaneous minima of negative swirl strength values calculated from the instantaneous velocity field revealed the presence of two helical structures located in the inner and outer shear layers and this structure fade out at an axial location of approximately z/D = 1.5 for unconfined case and z/D = 1.2 for confined case. By phase averaging the instantaneous swirling strength maps, the 3D helical vortex structure was reconstructed.
The traditional k-means algorithm has been widely used as a simple and efficient clustering method. However, the algorithm often converges to local minima for the reason that it is sensitive to the initial cluster centers. In this paper, an algorithm for selecting initial cluster centers on the basis of minimum spanning tree (MST) is presented. The set of vertices in MST with same degree are regarded as a whole which is used to find the skeleton data points. Furthermore, a distance measure between the skeleton data points with consideration of degree and Euclidean distance is presented. Finally, MST-based initialization method for the k-means algorithm is presented, and the corresponding time complexity is analyzed as well. The presented algorithm is tested on five data sets from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. The experimental results illustrate the effectiveness of the presented algorithm compared to three existing initialization methods.
While South Africa has been the chosen host country for over 1,2 million asylum seekers/refugees it has at the same time, been struggling to address the needs of its own people who are still trapped in poverty with little prospects of employment. This limited exploratory, qualitative study was undertaken in Cape Town with a purposive sample of 21 key personnel from various NPOs providing a service to asylum seekers/refugees. Individual in-depth face to face interviews were carried out and the main findings were: Some of the officials at the Department of Home Affairs, health personnel, landlords, school principals, employers, bank officials and police officers were prejudicial in their practices towards asylum seekers/ refugees. The major constraints experienced by NPOs in this study were linked to a lack of funding and minimal government support, strained relationship with the Department of Home Affairs and difficulties in accessing refugees. And finally, the strategies adopted by these NPOs included networking with other service providers, engaging in advocacy, raising community awareness and liaising with government. Thus, more focused intervention strategies are needed to build social cohesion, address prejudices which fuels xenophobic attacks and raise awareness/educate various sectors about refugee rights. Given this burgeoning global problem, social work education and training should include curriculum content on migrant issues. Furthermore, larger studies using mixed methodology approaches would yield more nuanced data and provide for more strategic interventions.
In the present paper, increasing of energy efficiency of a thrust hybrid bearing with a central feeding chamber is considered. The mathematical model was developed to determine the pressure distribution and the reaction forces, based on the Reynolds equation and static characteristics’ equations. The boundary problem of pressure distribution calculation was solved using the method of finite differences. For various types of lubricants, geometry and operational characteristics, axial gaps can be determined, where the minimal friction coefficient is provided. The next part of the study considers the application of servovalves in order to maintain the desired position of the rotor. The report features the calculation results and the analysis of the influence of the operational and geometric parameters on the energy efficiency of mechatronic fluid-film bearings.
One of the tasks in contemporary biotechnology, pharmacology and other fields of human activities is to obtain biologically active substances from plants. They are very essential in the treatment of many diseases due to their actually high therapeutic value without visible side effects. However, sometimes the possibility of obtaining the metabolites is limited due to the reduction of wild-growing plants. That is why the plant cell cultures are of great interest as alternative sources of biologically active substances. Besides, during the monitored cultivation, it is possible to obtain substances that are not synthesized by plants in nature. Isolated culture of Ajuga genevensis with high growth activity and ability of regeneration was obtained using MS nutrient medium. The agar-diffusion method showed that aqueous extracts of callus culture revealed high antimicrobial activity towards various gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis A1WT; B. mesentericus WDCM 1873; Staphylococcus aureus WDCM 5233; Staph. citreus WT) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli WKPM M-17; Salmonella typhimurium TA 100) microorganisms. The broth dilution method revealed that the minimal and half maximal inhibitory concentration values against E. coli corresponded to the 70 μg/mL and 140 μg/mL concentration of the extract respectively. According to the photochemiluminescent analysis, callus tissue extracts of leaf and root origin showed higher antioxidant activity than the same quantity of A. genevensis intact plant extract. A. genevensis intact plant and callus culture extracts showed no cytotoxic effect on K-562 suspension cell line of human chronic myeloid leukemia. The GC-MS analysis showed deep differences between the qualitative and quantitative composition of callus culture and intact plant extracts. Hexacosane (11.17%); n-hexadecanoic acid (9.33%); and 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol (4.28%) were the main components of intact plant extracts. 10-Methylnonadecane (57.0%); methoxyacetic acid, 2-tetradecyl ester (17.75%) and 1-Bromopentadecane (14.55%) were the main components of A. genevensis callus culture extracts. Obtained data indicate that callus culture of A. genevensis can be used as an alternative source of biologically active substances.
The impact that urban green spaces have on sustainability and quality of life is phenomenal. This is also true for the local South African environment. However, in reality green spaces in urban environments are decreasing due to growing populations, increasing urbanization and development pressure. This further impacts on the provision of child-friendly spaces, a concept that is already limited in local context. Child-friendly spaces are described as environments in which people (children) feel intimately connected to, influencing the physical, social, emotional, and ecological health of individuals and communities. The benefits of providing such spaces for the youth are well documented in literature. This research therefore aimed to investigate the concept of child-friendly spaces and its applicability to the South African planning context, in order to guide the planning of such spaces for future communities and use. Child-friendly spaces in the urban environment of the city of Durban, was used as local case study, along with two international case studies namely Mullerpier public playground in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Kadidjiny Park in Melville, Australia. The aim was to determine how these spaces were planned and developed and to identify tools that were used to accomplish the goal of providing successful child-friendly green spaces within urban areas. The need and significance of planning for such spaces was portrayed within the international case studies. It is confirmed that minimal provision is made for green space planning within the South African context, when there is reflected on the international examples. As a result international examples and disciples of providing child-friendly green spaces should direct planning guidelines within local context. The research concluded that child-friendly green spaces have a positive impact on the urban environment and assist in a child’s development and interaction with the natural environment. Regrettably, the planning of these child-friendly spaces is not given priority within current spatial plans, despite the proven benefits of such.
The issue of unintentional islanding detection of grid connected synchronous distributed generation (SDG) remains the most challenging task faced by the distributed generation (DG) industry as SDG is highly capable of prolonging an island. This paper gives an insight of anti-islanding detection techniques mainly applied for SDG. Different techniques conclude that it is challenging to point out a generic method for a distinct purpose as the application of particular practice depends on nature of the end use and system dependent elements. Also, the setup and operational cost affect the selection of anti-islanding technique to achieve minimal compromising between cost and system quality. A test bench is created in the MATLAB/Simulink® to demonstrate the results of a 33 kV system. The results are highly satisfactory and they are according to the current practices.
Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) notions in education and three basic processes of education (teaching, learning and assessment) can bring benefits to the pupils and the professional development of teachers. In this matter, we refer to these notions as concepts taken from the informatics area and apply them to the domain of education. These notions refer to genetic algorithms and arborescent structures, used in the specific process of assessment or evaluation. This paper uses these kinds of notions to generate subtrees from a main tree of tests related between them by their degree of difficulty. These subtrees must contain the highest number of connections between the nodes and the lowest number of missing edges (which are subtrees of the main tree) and, in the particular case of the non-existence of a subtree with no missing edges, the subtrees which have the lowest (minimal) number of missing edges between the nodes, where a node is a test and an edge is a direct connection between two tests which differs by one degree of difficulty. The subtrees are represented as sequences. The tests are the same (a number coding a test represents that test in every sequence) and they are reused for each sequence of tests.