International Science Index

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

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

Paper Detail
778
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5368
10009045
Design and Performance Comparison of Metamaterial Based Antenna for 4G/5G Mobile Devices
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
39
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5367
10009046
A Mixed Integer Linear Programming Model for Flexible Job Shop Scheduling Problem
Authors:
Abstract:
In this paper, a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model is presented to solve the flexible job shop scheduling problem (FJSP). This problem is one of the hardest combinatorial problems. The objective considered is the minimization of the makespan. The computational results of the proposed MILP model were compared with those of the best known mathematical model in the literature in terms of the computational time. The results show that our model has better performance with respect to all the considered performance measures including relative percentage deviation (RPD) value, number of constraints, and total number of variables. By this improved mathematical model, larger FJS problems can be optimally solved in reasonable time, and therefore, the model would be a better tool for the performance evaluation of the approximation algorithms developed for the problem.
Paper Detail
12
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5366
10009047
A Speeded up Robust Scale-Invariant Feature Transform Currency Recognition Algorithm
Abstract:

All currencies around the world look very different from each other. For instance, the size, color, and pattern of the paper are different. With the development of modern banking services, automatic methods for paper currency recognition become important in many applications like vending machines. One of the currency recognition architecture’s phases is Feature detection and description. There are many algorithms that are used for this phase, but they still have some disadvantages. This paper proposes a feature detection algorithm, which merges the advantages given in the current SIFT and SURF algorithms, which we call, Speeded up Robust Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SR-SIFT) algorithm. Our proposed SR-SIFT algorithm overcomes the problems of both the SIFT and SURF algorithms. The proposed algorithm aims to speed up the SIFT feature detection algorithm and keep it robust. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed SR-SIFT algorithm decreases the average response time, especially in small and minimum number of best key points, increases the distribution of the number of best key points on the surface of the currency. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm increases the accuracy of the true best point distribution inside the currency edge than the other two algorithms.

Paper Detail
15
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5365
10009051
Applying p-Balanced Energy Technique to Solve Liouville-Type Problems in Calculus
Abstract:

We are interested in solving Liouville-type problems to explore constancy properties for maps or differential forms on Riemannian manifolds. Geometric structures on manifolds, the existence of constancy properties for maps or differential forms, and energy growth for maps or differential forms are intertwined. In this article, we concentrate on discovery of solutions to Liouville-type problems where manifolds are Euclidean spaces (i.e. flat Riemannian manifolds) and maps become real-valued functions. Liouville-type results of vanishing properties for functions are obtained. The original work in our research findings is to extend the q-energy for a function from finite in Lq space to infinite in non-Lq space by applying p-balanced technique where q = p = 2. Calculation skills such as Hölder's Inequality and Tests for Series have been used to evaluate limits and integrations for function energy. Calculation ideas and computational techniques for solving Liouville-type problems shown in this article, which are utilized in Euclidean spaces, can be universalized as a successful algorithm, which works for both maps and differential forms on Riemannian manifolds. This innovative algorithm has a far-reaching impact on research work of solving Liouville-type problems in the general settings involved with infinite energy. The p-balanced technique in this algorithm provides a clue to success on the road of q-energy extension from finite to infinite.

Paper Detail
11
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5364
10009052
Optimized Approach for Secure Data Sharing in Distributed Database
Abstract:

In the current age of technology, information is the most precious asset of a company. Today, companies have a large amount of data. As the data become larger, access to data for some particular information is becoming slower day by day. Faster data processing to shape it in the form of information is the biggest issue. The major problems in distributed databases are the efficiency of data distribution and response time of data distribution. The security of data distribution is also a big issue. For these problems, we proposed a strategy that can maximize the efficiency of data distribution and also increase its response time. This technique gives better results for secure data distribution from multiple heterogeneous sources. The newly proposed technique facilitates the companies for secure data sharing efficiently and quickly.

Paper Detail
9
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5363
10009068
An Earth Mover’s Distance Algorithm Based DDoS Detection Mechanism in SDN
Abstract:
Software-defined networking (SDN) provides a solution for scalable network framework with decoupled control and data plane. However, this architecture also induces a particular distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that can affect or even overwhelm the SDN network. DDoS attack detection problem has to date been mostly researched as entropy comparison problem. However, this problem lacks the utilization of SDN, and the results are not accurate. In this paper, we propose a DDoS attack detection method, which interprets DDoS detection as a signature matching problem and is formulated as Earth Mover’s Distance (EMD) model. Considering the feasibility and accuracy, we further propose to define the cost function of EMD to be a generalized Kullback-Leibler divergence. Simulation results show that our proposed method can detect DDoS attacks by comparing EMD values with the ones computed in the case without attacks. Moreover, our method can significantly increase the true positive rate of detection.
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10008872
A Literature Review on Nutritional Supplements for the Treatment of Obesity
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
89
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5361
10008875
Immunolabeling of TGF-β during Muscle Regeneration
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
72
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5360
10008883
Forced Vibration of a Fiber Metal Laminated Beam Containing a Delamination
Abstract:

Forced vibration problem of a delaminated beam made of fiber metal laminates is studied in this paper. Firstly, a delamination is considered to divide the beam into four sections. The classic beam theory is assumed to dominate each section. The layers on two sides of the delamination are constrained to have the same deflection. This hypothesis approves the conditions of compatibility as well. Consequently, dynamic response of the beam is obtained by the means of differential transform method (DTM). In order to verify the correctness of the results, a model is constructed using commercial software ABAQUS 6.14. A linear spring with constant stiffness takes the effect of contact between delaminated layers into account. The attained semi-analytical outcomes are in great agreement with finite element analysis.

Paper Detail
78
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5359
10008886
Accuracy of Autonomy Navigation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems through Imagery
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
147
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5358
10008938
Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Using a Combination of Images Processing and Brain Signals
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
60
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10008939
Reliability and Cost Focused Optimization Approach for a Communication Satellite Payload Redundancy Allocation Problem
Abstract:

A typical reliability engineering problem regarding communication satellites has been considered to determine redundancy allocation scheme of power amplifiers within payload transponder module, whose dominant function is to amplify power levels of the received signals from the Earth, through maximizing reliability against mass, power, and other technical limitations. Adding each redundant power amplifier component increases not only reliability but also hardware, testing, and launch cost of a satellite. This study investigates a multi-objective approach used in order to solve Redundancy Allocation Problem (RAP) for a communication satellite payload transponder, focusing on design cost due to redundancy and reliability factors. The main purpose is to find the optimum power amplifier redundancy configuration satisfying reliability and capacity thresholds simultaneously instead of analyzing respectively or independently. A mathematical model and calculation approach are instituted including objective function definitions, and then, the problem is solved analytically with different input parameters in MATLAB environment. Example results showed that payload capacity and failure rate of power amplifiers have remarkable effects on the solution and also processing time.

Paper Detail
110
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5356
10008940
Performance of the Strong Stability Method in the Univariate Classical Risk Model
Abstract:
In this paper, we study the performance of the strong stability method of the univariate classical risk model. We interest to the stability bounds established using two approaches. The first based on the strong stability method developed for a general Markov chains. The second approach based on the regenerative processes theory . By adopting an algorithmic procedure, we study the performance of the stability method in the case of exponential distribution claim amounts. After presenting numerically and graphically the stability bounds, an interpretation and comparison of the results have been done.
Paper Detail
62
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10008943
Indoor Air Quality Analysis for Renovating Building: A Case Study of Student Studio, Department of Landscape, Chiangmai, Thailand
Abstract:

The rapidly increasing number of population in the limited area creates an effect on the idea of the improvement of the area to suit the environment and the needs of people. Faculty of architecture Chiang Mai University is also expanding in both variety fields of study and quality of education. In 2020, the new department will be introduced in the faculty which is Department of Landscape Architecture. With the limitation of the area in the existing building, the faculty plan to renovate some parts of its school for anticipates the number of students who will join the program in the next two years. As a result, the old wooden workshop area is selected to be renovated as student studio space. With such condition, it is necessary to study the restriction and the distinctive environment of the site prior to the improvement in order to find ways to manage the existing space due to the fact that the primary functions that have been practiced in the site, an old wooden workshop space and the new function, studio space, are too different. 72.9% of the annual times in the room are considered to be out of the thermal comfort condition with high relative humidity. This causes non-comfort condition for occupants which could promote mould growth. This study aims to analyze thermal comfort condition in the Landscape Learning Studio Area for finding the solution to improve indoor air quality and respond to local conditions. The research methodology will be in two parts: 1) field gathering data on the case study 2) analysis and finding the solution of improving indoor air quality. The result of the survey indicated that the room needs to solve non-comfort condition problem. This can be divided into two ways which are raising ventilation and indoor temperature, e.g. improving building design and stack driven ventilation, using fan for enhancing more internal ventilation.

Paper Detail
48
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10008952
Failure Cases Analysis in Petrochemical Industry
Abstract:
In recent years, the failure accidents in petrochemical industry have been frequent, and have posed great security problems in personnel and property. The improvement of petrochemical safety is highly requested in order to prevent re-occurrence of severe accident. This study focuses on surveying the failure cases occurred in petrochemical field, which were extracted from journals of engineering failure, including engineering failure analysis and case studies in engineering failure analysis. The relation of failure mode, failure mechanism, type of components, and type of materials was analyzed in this study. And the analytical results showed that failures occurred more frequently in vessels and piping among the petrochemical equipment. Moreover, equipment made of carbon steel and stainless steel accounts for the majority of failures compared to other materials. This may be related to the application of the equipment and the performance of the material. In addition, corrosion failures were the largest in number of occurrence in the failure of petrochemical equipment, in which stress corrosion cracking accounts for a large proportion. This may have a lot to do with the service environment of the petrochemical equipment. Therefore, it can be concluded that the corrosion prevention of petrochemical equipment is particularly important.
Paper Detail
54
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5353
10008955
Design and Experiment of Orchard Gas Explosion Subsoiling and Fertilizer Injection Machine
Abstract:

At present, the orchard ditching and fertilizing technology has a series of problems, such as easy tree roots damage, high energy consumption and uneven fertilizing. In this paper, a gas explosion subsoiling and fertilizer injection machine was designed, which used high pressure gas to shock soil body and then injected fertilizer. The drill pipe mechanism with pneumatic chipping hammer excitation and hydraulic assistance was designed to drill the soil. The operation of gas and liquid fertilizer supply was controlled by PLC system. The 3D model of the whole machine was established by using SolidWorks software. The machine prototype was produced, and field experiments were carried out. The results showed that soil fractures were created and diffused by gas explosion, and the subsoiling effect radius reached 40 cm under the condition of 0.8 MPa gas pressure and 30 cm drilling depth. What’s more, the work efficiency is 0.048 hm2/h at least. This machine could meet the agronomic requirements of orchard, garden and city greening fertilization, and the tree roots were not easily damaged and the fertilizer evenly distributed, which was conducive to nutrient absorption of root growth.

Paper Detail
42
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5352
10008963
Potential of High Performance Ring Spinning Based on Superconducting Magnetic Bearing
Abstract:

Due to the best quality of yarn and the flexibility of the machine, the ring spinning process is the most widely used spinning method for short staple yarn production. However, the productivity of these machines is still much lower in comparison to other spinning systems such as rotor or air-jet spinning process. The main reason for this limitation lies on the twisting mechanism of the ring spinning process. In the ring/traveler twisting system, each rotation of the traveler along with the ring inserts twist in the yarn. The rotation of the traveler at higher speed includes strong frictional forces, which in turn generates heat. Different ring/traveler systems concerning with its geometries, material combinations and coatings have already been implemented to solve the frictional problem. However, such developments can neither completely solve the frictional problem nor increase the productivity. The friction free superconducting magnetic bearing (SMB) system can be a right alternative replacing the existing ring/traveler system. The unique concept of SMB bearings is that they possess a self-stabilizing behavior, i.e. they remain fully passive without any necessity for expensive position sensing and control. Within the framework of a research project funded by German research foundation (DFG), suitable concepts of the SMB-system have been designed, developed, and integrated as a twisting device of ring spinning replacing the existing ring/traveler system. With the help of the developed mathematical model and experimental investigation, the physical limitations of this innovative twisting device in the spinning process have been determined. The interaction among the parameters of the spinning process and the superconducting twisting element has been further evaluated, which derives the concrete information regarding the new spinning process. Moreover, the influence of the implemented SMB twisting system on the yarn quality has been analyzed with respect to different process parameters. The presented work reveals the enormous potential of the innovative twisting mechanism, so that the productivity of the ring spinning process especially in case of thermoplastic materials can be at least doubled for the first time in a hundred years. The SMB ring spinning tester has also been presented in the international fair “International Textile Machinery Association (ITMA) 2015”.

Paper Detail
49
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10008967
A Fast, Portable Computational Framework for Aerodynamic Simulations
Abstract:
We develop a fast, user-friendly implementation of a potential flow solver based on the unsteady vortex lattice method (UVLM). The computational framework uses the Python programming language which has easy integration with the scripts requiring computationally-expensive operations written in Fortran. The mixed-language approach enables high performance in terms of solution time and high flexibility in terms of easiness of code adaptation to different system configurations and applications. This computational tool is intended to predict the unsteady aerodynamic behavior of multiple moving bodies (e.g., flapping wings, rotating blades, suspension bridges...) subject to an incoming air. We simulate different aerodynamic problems to validate and illustrate the usefulness and effectiveness of the developed computational tool.
Paper Detail
72
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5350
10008971
Impact of Terrorism as an Asymmetrical Threat on the State's Conventional Security Forces
Authors:
Abstract:

The main focus of this research will be on analyzing correlative links between terrorism as an asymmetrical threat and the consequences it leaves on conventional security forces. The methodology behind the research will include qualitative research methods focusing on comparative analysis of books, scientific papers, documents and other sources, in order to deduce, explore and formulate the results of the research. With the coming of the 21st century and the rising multi-polar, new world threats quickly emerged. The realistic approach in international relations deems that relations among nations are in a constant state of anarchy since there are no definitive rules and the distribution of power varies widely. International relations are further characterized by egoistic and self-orientated human nature, anarchy or absence of a higher government, security and lack of morality. The asymmetry of power is also reflected on countries' security capabilities and its abilities to project power. With the coming of the new millennia and the rising multi-polar world order, the asymmetry of power can be also added as an important trait of the global society which consequently brought new threats. Among various others, terrorism is probably the most well-known, well-based and well-spread asymmetric threat. In today's global political arena, terrorism is used by state and non-state actors to fulfill their political agendas. Terrorism is used as an all-inclusive tool for regime change, subversion or a revolution. Although the nature of terrorist groups is somewhat inconsistent, terrorism as a security and social phenomenon has a one constant which is reflected in its political dimension. The state's security apparatus, which was embodied in the form of conventional armed forces, is now becoming fragile, unable to tackle new threats and to a certain extent outdated. Conventional security forces were designed to defend or engage an exterior threat which is more or less symmetric and visible. On the other hand, terrorism as an asymmetrical threat is a part of hybrid, special or asymmetric warfare in which specialized units, institutions or facilities represent the primary pillars of security. In today's global society, terrorism is probably the most acute problem which can paralyze entire countries and their political systems. This problem, however, cannot be engaged on an open field of battle, but rather it requires a different approach in which conventional armed forces cannot be used traditionally and their role must be adjusted. The research will try to shed light on the phenomena of modern day terrorism and to prove its correlation with the state conventional armed forces. States are obliged to adjust their security apparatus to the new realism of global society and terrorism as an asymmetrical threat which is a side-product of the unbalanced world.

Paper Detail
65
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10008972
Memory Types in Hemodialysis Patients: A Study Based on Hemodialysis Duration, Zahedan, South East of Iran
Abstract:

Neuropsychological problems are more common in hemodialysis (HD) patients than in healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long term HD on memory types of HD patients. To assess the different type of memory, we used memory parts of the Persian Papers and Pencil Cognitive assessment package (PCAP) and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-R). Our study included 80 HD patients of whom 39 had less than six months of HD and 41 patients and another group which had a history of HD more than six months. The population had a mean age of 51.60 years old and 27.5% of them were female. The scores of patients who have been hemodialyzed for a long time (median time of HD was up to 4 years) had lower score in anterograde, explicit, visual, recall and recognition memory (5.44±1.07, 9.49±3.472, 22.805±6.6913, 5.59±10.435, 11.02±3.190 score) than the HD patients who underwent HD for a shorter term, where the median time was 3 to 5 months (P<0.01). The regression result shows that, by increasing the HD duration, all memory types are reduced (R2=0.600, P<0.01). The present study demonstrated that HD patients who were under HD for a long time had significantly lower scores in the different types of memory. However, additional researches are needed in this area.

Paper Detail
48
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10008973
Assessing the Social Impacts of Regional Services: The Case of a Portuguese Municipality
Abstract:

In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.

Paper Detail
47
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10008977
When Psychology Meets Ecology: Cognitive Flexibility for Quarry Rehabilitation
Abstract:

Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.

Paper Detail
53
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10008978
Hygrothermal Assessment of Internally Insulated Prefabricated Concrete Wall in Polish Climatic Condition
Authors:
Abstract:

Internal insulation of external walls is often problematic due to increased moisture content in the wall and interstitial or surface condensation risk. In this paper, the hygrothermal performance of prefabricated, concrete, large panel, external wall typical for WK70 system, commonly used in Poland in the 70’s, with inside, additional insulation was investigated. Thermal insulation board made out of hygroscopic, natural materials with moisture buffer capacity and extruded polystyrene (EPS) board was used as interior insulation. Experience with this natural insulation is rare in Poland. The analysis was performed using WUFI software. First of all, the impact of various standard boundary conditions on the behavior of the different wall assemblies was tested. The comparison of results showed that the moisture class according to the EN ISO 13788 leads to too high values of total moisture content in the wall since the boundary condition according to the EN 15026 should be usually applied. Then, hygrothermal 1D-simulations were conducted by WUFI Pro for analysis of internally added insulation, and the weak point like the joint of the wall with the concrete ceiling was verified using 2D simulations. Results showed that, in the Warsaw climate and the indoor conditions adopted in accordance with EN 15026, in the tested wall assemblies, regardless of the type of interior insulation, there would not be any problems with moisture - inside the structure and on the interior surface.

Paper Detail
47
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10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

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

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10008996
Application of Rapidly Exploring Random Tree Star-Smart and G2 Quintic Pythagorean Hodograph Curves to the UAV Path Planning Problem
Abstract:
This work approaches the automatic planning of paths for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) through the application of the Rapidly Exploring Random Tree Star-Smart (RRT*-Smart) algorithm. RRT*-Smart is a sampling process of positions of a navigation environment through a tree-type graph. The algorithm consists of randomly expanding a tree from an initial position (root node) until one of its branches reaches the final position of the path to be planned. The algorithm ensures the planning of the shortest path, considering the number of iterations tending to infinity. When a new node is inserted into the tree, each neighbor node of the new node is connected to it, if and only if the extension of the path between the root node and that neighbor node, with this new connection, is less than the current extension of the path between those two nodes. RRT*-smart uses an intelligent sampling strategy to plan less extensive routes by spending a smaller number of iterations. This strategy is based on the creation of samples/nodes near to the convex vertices of the navigation environment obstacles. The planned paths are smoothed through the application of the method called quintic pythagorean hodograph curves. The smoothing process converts a route into a dynamically-viable one based on the kinematic constraints of the vehicle. This smoothing method models the hodograph components of a curve with polynomials that obey the Pythagorean Theorem. Its advantage is that the obtained structure allows computation of the curve length in an exact way, without the need for quadratural techniques for the resolution of integrals.
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10008998
Study on Sharp V-Notch Problem under Dynamic Loading Condition Using Symplectic Analytical Singular Element
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V-notch problem under dynamic loading condition is considered in this paper. In the time domain, the precise time domain expanding algorithm is employed, in which a self-adaptive technique is carried out to improve computing accuracy. By expanding variables in each time interval, the recursive finite element formulas are derived. In the space domain, a Symplectic Analytical Singular Element (SASE) for V-notch problem is constructed addressing the stress singularity of the notch tip. Combining with the conventional finite elements, the proposed SASE can be used to solve the dynamic stress intensity factors (DSIFs) in a simple way. Numerical results show that the proposed SASE for V-notch problem subjected to dynamic loading condition is effective and efficient.
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10009000
Replicating Brain’s Resting State Functional Connectivity Network Using a Multi-Factor Hub-Based Model
Abstract:
The brain’s functional connectivity while temporally non-stationary does express consistency at a macro spatial level. The study of stable resting state connectivity patterns hence provides opportunities for identification of diseases if such stability is severely perturbed. A mathematical model replicating the brain’s spatial connections will be useful for understanding brain’s representative geometry and complements the empirical model where it falls short. Empirical computations tend to involve large matrices and become infeasible with fine parcellation. However, the proposed analytical model has no such computational problems. To improve replicability, 92 subject data are obtained from two open sources. The proposed methodology, inspired by financial theory, uses multivariate regression to find relationships of every cortical region of interest (ROI) with some pre-identified hubs. These hubs acted as representatives for the entire cortical surface. A variance-covariance framework of all ROIs is then built based on these relationships to link up all the ROIs. The result is a high level of match between model and empirical correlations in the range of 0.59 to 0.66 after adjusting for sample size; an increase of almost forty percent. More significantly, the model framework provides an intuitive way to delineate between systemic drivers and idiosyncratic noise while reducing dimensions by more than 30 folds, hence, providing a way to conduct attribution analysis. Due to its analytical nature and simple structure, the model is useful as a standalone toolkit for network dependency analysis or as a module for other mathematical models.
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10009008
Quick Similarity Measurement of Binary Images via Probabilistic Pixel Mapping
Abstract:

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

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10009013
Multidimensional Performance Tracking
Authors:
Abstract:
In this study, a model, together with a software tool that implements it, has been developed to determine the performance ratings of employees in an organization operating in the information technology sector using the indicators obtained from employees' online study data. Weighted Sum (WS) Method and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method based on multidimensional decision making approach were used in the study. WS and TOPSIS methods provide multidimensional decision making (MDDM) methods that allow all dimensions to be evaluated together considering specific weights, allowing employees to objectively evaluate the problem of online performance tracking. The application of WS and TOPSIS mathematical methods, which can combine alternatives with a large number of dimensions and reach simultaneous solution, has been implemented through an online performance tracking software. In the application of WS and TOPSIS methods, objective dimension weights were calculated by using entropy information (EI) and standard deviation (SD) methods from the data obtained by employees' online performance tracking method, decision matrix was formed by using performance scores for each employee, and a single performance score was calculated for each employee. Based on the calculated performance score, employees were given a performance evaluation decision. The results of Pareto set evidence and comparative mathematical analysis validate that employees' performance preference rankings in WS and TOPSIS methods are closely related. This suggests the compatibility, applicability, and validity of the proposed method to the MDDM problems in which a large number of alternative and dimension types are taken into account. With this study, an objective, realistic, feasible and understandable mathematical method, together with a software tool that implements it has been demonstrated. This is considered to be preferable because of the subjectivity, limitations and high cost of the methods traditionally used in the measurement and performance appraisal in the information technology sector.
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