Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.
Mining industry is known for its appetite to spend sizeable capital on mine equipment. However, in the current scenario, the mining industry is challenged by daunting factors of non-uniform geological conditions, uneven ore grade, uncontrollable and volatile mineral commodity prices and the ever increasing quest to optimize the capital and operational costs. Thus, the role of equipment reliability and maintenance planning inherits a significant role in augmenting the equipment availability for the operation and in turn boosting the mine productivity. This paper presents the Risk Based Maintenance (RBM) planning conducted on mine loading equipment namely Load Haul Dumpers (LHDs) at Vedanta Resources Ltd subsidiary Hindustan Zinc Limited operated Sindesar Khurd Mines, an underground zinc and lead mine situated in Dariba, Rajasthan, India. The mining equipment at the location is maintained by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) namely Sandvik and Atlas Copco, who carry out the maintenance and inspection operations for the equipment. Based on the downtime data extracted for the equipment fleet over the period of 6 months spanning from 1st January 2017 until 30th June 2017, it was revealed that significant contribution of three downtime issues related to namely Engine, Hydraulics, and Transmission to be common among all the loading equipment fleet and substantiated by Pareto Analysis. Further scrutiny through Bubble Matrix Analysis of the given factors revealed the major influence of selective factors namely Overheating, No Load Taken (NTL) issues, Gear Changing issues and Hose Puncture and leakage issues. Utilizing the equipment wise analysis of all the downtime factors obtained, spares consumed, and the alarm logs extracted from the machines, technical design changes in the equipment and pre shift critical alarms checklist were proposed for the equipment maintenance. The given analysis is beneficial to allow OEMs or mine management to focus on the critical issues hampering the reliability of mine equipment and design necessary maintenance strategies to mitigate them.
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.
The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.
In an energy-intensive world, minimizing energy consumption is paramount to cost saving and reducing the carbon footprint. Improving mixture procedures utilizing warm mix additive Fischer-Tropsch (FT) wax in ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and modified bitumen highlights a greener and sustainable approach to modified bitumen. In this study, the impact of FT wax on optimized EVA/waste crumb rubber modified bitumen is assayed with a maximum loading of 2.5%. The rationale of the FT wax loading is to maintain the original maximum loading of EVA in the optimized mixture. The phase change abilities of FT wax enable EVA co-crystallization with the support of the elastomeric backbone of crumb rubber. Less than 1% loading of FT wax worked in the EVA/crumb rubber modified bitumen energy-sustainability nexus. Response surface methodology approach to the mixture design is implemented amongst the different loadings of FT wax, EVA for a consistent amount of crumb rubber and bitumen. Rheological parameters (complex shear modulus, phase angle and rutting parameter) were the factors used as performance indicators of the different optimized mixtures. The low temperature chemistry of the optimized mixtures is analyzed using elementary beam theory and the elastic-viscoelastic correspondence principle. Master curves and black space diagrams are developed and used to predict age-induced cracking of the different long term aged mixtures. Modified binder rheology reveals that the strain response is not linear and that there is substantial re-arrangement of polymer chains as stress is increased, this is based on the age state of the mixture and the FT wax and EVA loadings. Dominance of individual effects is evident over effects of synergy in co-interaction of EVA and FT wax. All-inclusive FT wax and EVA formulations were best optimized in mixture 4 with mixture 7 reflecting increase in ease of workability. Findings show that interaction chemistry of bitumen, crumb rubber EVA, and FT wax is first and second order in all cases involving individual contributions and co-interaction amongst the components of the mixture.
The use of alternative energy sources to meet energy demand reduces environmental damage. To diversify an energy matrix and to minimize global warming, a solar energy is gaining space, being an important source of renewable energy, and its potential depends on the climatic conditions of the region. Brazil presents a great solar potential for a generation of electric energy, so the knowledge of solar radiation and its characteristics are fundamental for the study of energy use. Due to the above reasons, this article aims to verify the climatic variability corresponding to the variations in solar radiation anomalies, in the face of climate change scenarios. The data used in this research are part of the Intercomparison of Interconnected Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which contributed to the preparation of the fifth IPCC-AR5 report. The solar radiation data were extracted from The Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model using the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios that represent an intermediate structure and a pessimistic framework, the latter being the most worrisome in all cases. In order to allow the use of solar radiation as a source of energy in a given location and/or region, it is important, first, to determine its availability, thus justifying the importance of the study. The results pointed out, for the 75-year period (2026-2100), based on a pessimistic scenario, indicate a drop in solar radiation of the approximately 12% in the eastern region of Rio Grande do Sul. Factors that influence the pessimistic prospects of this scenario should be better observed by the responsible authorities, since they can affect the possibility to produce electricity from solar radiation.
Wood decay is addressed continuously within the wood industry through use and development of wood preservatives. The increasing awareness on the negative effects of many chemicals towards the environment is causing political restrictions in their use and creating more urgent need for research on green alternatives. This paper discusses some of the possible natural extracts for wood preserving applications and compares the analytical methods available for testing their behavior and efficiency against decay fungi. The results indicate that natural extracts have interesting chemical constituents that delay fungal growth but vary in efficiency depending on the chemical concentration and substrate used. Results also suggest that presence and redistribution of preservatives in wood during exposure trials can be assessed by spectral imaging methods although standardized methods are not available. This study concludes that, in addition to the many standard methods available, there is a need to develop new faster methods for screening potential preservative formulation while maintaining the comparability and relevance of results.
Due to their fluidity and simplicity of use, self-compacting concretes (SCCs) have undeniable advantages. In recent years, the role of metakaolin as a one of pozzolanic materials in concrete has been considered by researchers. It can modify various properties of concrete, due to high pozzolanic reactions and also makes a denser microstructure. The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of three type of Portland cement and metakaolin on fresh state, compressive strength and sulfuric acid attacks in self- consolidating concrete at early age up to 90 days of curing in lime water. Six concrete mixtures were prepared with three types of different cement as Portland cement type II, Portland Slag Cement (PSC), Pozzolanic Portland Cement (PPC) and 15% substitution of metakaolin by every cement. The results show that the metakaolin admixture increases the viscosity and the demand amount of superplasticizer. According to the compressive strength results, the highest value of compressive strength was achieved for PSC and without any metakaolin at age of 90 days. Conversely, the lowest level of compressive strength at all ages of conservation was obtained for PPC and containing 15% metakaolin. According to this study, the total substitution of PSC and PPC by Portland cement type II is beneficial to the increasing in the chemical resistance of the SCC with respect to the sulfuric acid attack. On the other hand, this increase is more noticeable by the use of 15% of metakaolin. Therefore, it can be concluded that metakaolin has a positive effect on the chemical resistance of SCC containing of Portland cement type II, PSC, and PPC.
The self-consolidating concrete (SCC) performance over ordinary concrete is generally related to the ingredients used. The metakaolin can modify various properties of concrete, due to high pozzolanic reactions and also makes a denser microstructure. The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of three types of Portland cement and metakaolin on compressive strength and transport properties of SCC at early ages and up to 90 days. Six concrete mixtures were prepared with three types of different cements and substitution of 15% metakaolin. The results show that the highest value of compressive strength was achieved for Portland Slag Cement (PSC) and without any metakaolin at age of 90 days. Conversely, the lowest level of compressive strength at all ages of conservation was obtained for Pozzolanic Portland Cement (PPC) and containing 15% metakaolin. As can be seen in the results, compressive strength in SCC containing Portland cement type II with metakaolin is higher compared to that relative to SCC without metakaolin from 28 days of age. On the other hand, the samples containing PSC and PPC with metakaolin had a lower compressive strength than the plain samples. Therefore, it can be concluded that metakaolin has a negative effect on the compressive strength of SCC containing PSC and PPC. In addition, results show that metakaolin has enhanced chloride durability of SCCs and reduced capillary water absorption at 28, 90 days.
Since the presence of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) has raised specific concerns related to the privacy and security, due to its vulnerable, low-level of security and limited payload. In this paper, the authors introduce and analyze the combination of Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) and Phase Shift Keying (PSK) Modulation in conventional ADS-B, forming Secure ADS-B (SADS-B) avionics. In order to demonstrate the potential of this combination, Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation was used. The tests' results show that, on the one hand, SADS-B can offer five times the payload as its predecessor. This additional payload of SADS-B can be used in various applications, therefore enhancing the ability and efficiency of the current ADS-B. On the other hand, by using the extra phase modulated bits as a digital signature to authenticate ADS-B messages, SADS-B can increase the security of ADS-B, thus ensure a more secure aviation as well. More importantly, SADS-B is compatible with the current ADS-B In and Out. Hence, no significant modifications will be needed to implement this idea. As a result, SADS-B can be considered the most promising approach to enhance the capability and security of ADS-B.
We study the temperature dependence of the interaction energies (IEs) of X (=Ru, Rh) impurities in Pd, due to the Fermi-Dirac (FD) distribution and the thermal vibration effect by the Debye-Grüneisen model. The n-body (n=2~4) IEs among X impurities in Pd, being used to calculate the internal energies in the free energies of the Pd-rich PdX alloys, are determined uniquely and successively from the lower-order to higher-order, by the full-potential Korringa-Kohn-Rostoker Green’s function method (FPKKR), combined with the generalized gradient approximation in the density functional theory. We found that the temperature dependence of IEs due to the FD distribution, being usually neglected, is very important to reproduce the X-concentration dependence of the observed solvus temperatures of the Pd-rich PdX (X=Ru, Rh) alloys.
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are generally synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using Fe, Co, and Ni as catalysts. However, due to the Ostwald ripening of metal catalysts, the diameter distribution of the grown SWCNTs is considerably wide (>2 nm), which is not suitable for electronics applications. In addition, reduction in the growth temperature is desirable for fabricating SWCNT devices compatible with the LSI process. Herein, we performed SWCNT growth by alcohol catalytic CVD using platinum-group metal catalysts (Pt, Rh, and Pd) because these metals have high melting points, and the reduction in the Ostwald ripening of catalyst particles is expected. Our results revealed that web-like SWCNTs were obtained from Pt and Rh catalysts at growth temperature between 500 °C and 600 °C by optimizing the ethanol pressure. The SWCNT yield from Pd catalysts was considerably low. By decreasing the growth temperature, the diameter and chirality distribution of SWCNTs from Pt and Rh catalysts became small and narrow. In particular, the diameters of most SWCNTs grown using Pt catalysts were below 1 nm and their diameter distribution was considerably narrow. On the contrary, SWCNTs can grow from Rh catalysts even at 300 °C by optimizing the growth condition, which is the lowest temperature recorded for SWCNT growth. Our results demonstrated that platinum-group metals are useful for the growth of small-diameter SWCNTs and facilitate low-temperature growth.
Various types of additives are used frequently in order to improve the rheological and mechanical properties of bituminous mixtures. Small devices instead of full scale machines are used for bitumen modification in the laboratory. These laboratory scale devices vary in terms of their properties such as mixing rate, mixing blade and the amount of binder. In this study, the effect of mixing rate and time during the bitumen modification processes on conventional and rheological properties of pure and crumb rubber modified binder were investigated. Penetration, softening point, rotational viscosity (RV) and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were applied to pure and CR modified bitumen. It was concluded that the penetration and softening point test did not show the efficiency of CR obtained by different mixing conditions. Besides, oxidation that occurred during the preparation processes plays a great part in the improvement effects of the modified binder.
This study aimed to describe procedures that we developed to use in the quantitative, bone-specific SPECT/CT at our hospital. Our procedures included the following questions for choosing imaging protocols, which were based on a clinical doctor's referral: (1) Is she/he a cancer patient or not? (2) Are there any indications of inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis? We performed about 1,106 skeletal scintigraphies over two years. About 394 patients were studied with quantitative bone-specific single-photon emission computed tomography/computerized tomography (SPECT/CT) (i.e., about 36% of all bone scintigraphies). Approximately 64% of the patients were studied using the conventional Anterior-Posterior/Posterior-Anterior imaging. Our procedure has improved efficiency and decreased cycle times.
The aeronautics sector is currently living an unprecedented growth largely due to innovative projects. In several cases, such innovative developments are being carried out by Small and Medium sized-Enterprises (SMEs). For instance, in Europe, a handful of SMEs are leading projects like airships, large civil drones, or flying cars. These SMEs have all limited resources, must make strategic decisions, take considerable financial risks and in the same time must take into account the constraints of safety, cost, time and performance as any commercial organization in this industry. Moreover, today, no international regulations fully exist for the development and certification of this kind of projects. The absence of such a precise and sufficiently detailed regulatory framework requires a very close contact with regulatory instances. But, SMEs do not always have sufficient resources and internal knowledge to handle this complexity and to discuss these issues. This poses additional challenges for those SMEs that have system integration responsibilities and that must provide all the necessary means of compliance to demonstrate their ability to design, produce, and operate airships with the expected level of safety and reliability. The final objective of our research is thus to provide a methodological framework supporting SMEs in their development taking into account recent innovation and institutional rules of the sector. We aim to provide a contribution to the problematic by developing a specific Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach. Airspace regulation, aeronautics standards and international norms on systems engineering are taken on board to be formalized in a set of models. This paper presents the on-going research project combining Systems Engineering and Project Management process modeling and taking into account the metamodeling problematic.
Energy transmission pipelines are one of the most vital parts of each country which several strict laws have been conducted to enhance the safety of these lines and their vicinity. One of these laws is the safety distance around high pressure gas pipelines. Safety distance refers to the minimum distance from the pipeline where people and equipment do not confront with serious damages. In the present study, safety distance around high pressure gas transmission pipelines were determined by using numerical methods. For this purpose, gas leakages from cracked pipeline and created jet fires were simulated as continuous ignition, three dimensional, unsteady and turbulent cases. Numerical simulations were based on finite volume method and turbulence of flow was considered using k-ω SST model. Also, the combustion of natural gas and air mixture was applied using the eddy dissipation method. The results show that, due to the high pressure difference between pipeline and environment, flow chocks in the cracked area and velocity of the exhausted gas reaches to sound speed. Also, analysis of the incident radiation results shows that safety distances around 42 inches high pressure natural gas pipeline based on 5 and 15 kW/m2 criteria are 205 and 272 meters, respectively.
Gas release from the pipelines is one of the main factors in the gas industry accidents. Released gas ejects from the pipeline as a free jet and in the growth process, the fuel gets mixed with the ambient air. Accordingly, an accidental spark will release the chemical energy of the mixture with an explosion. Gas explosion damages the equipment and endangers the life of staffs. So due to importance of safety in gas industries, prevision of accident can reduce the number of the casualties. In this paper, natural gas leakages from the low pressure pipelines are studied in two steps: 1) the simulation of mixing process and identification of flammable zones and 2) the simulation of wind effects on the mixing process. The numerical simulations were performed by using the finite volume method and the pressure-based algorithm. Also, for the grid generation the structured method was used. The results show that, in just 6.4 s after accident, released natural gas could penetrate to 40 m in vertical and 20 m in horizontal direction. Moreover, the results show that the wind speed is a key factor in dispersion process. In fact, the wind transports the flammable zones into the downstream. Hence, to improve the safety of the people and human property, it is preferable to construct gas facilities and buildings in the opposite side of prevailing wind direction.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.
This paper presents the results of the development of asphalt nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with high resistance to permanent deformation, aiming to increase the performance of asphalt surfaces in relation to the rutting problem. Asphalt nanocomposites were prepared with the addition of different proportions of CNTs (1%, 2% and 3%) in relation to the weight of asphalt binder. The base binder used was a conventional binder (50-70 penetration) classified as PG 58-22. The optimum percentage of CNT addition in the asphalt binder (base) was determined through the evaluation of the rheological and empirical characteristics of the nanocomposites produced. In order to evaluate the contribution and the effects of the nanocomposite (optimized) in relation to the rutting, the conventional and nanomodified asphalt mixtures were tested in a French traffic simulator (Orniéreur). The results obtained demonstrate the efficient contribution of the asphalt nanocomposite containing CNTs to the resistance to permanent deformation of the asphalt mixture.
Peace-building organisations act as a network of information for communities. Through fieldwork, it was highlighted that grassroots organisations and activists may cooperate with each other in their actions of peace-building; however, they would not collaborate. Within two divided societies; Nicosia in Cyprus and Jerusalem in Israel, there is a distinction made by organisations and activists with regards to activities being more ‘co-operative’ than ‘collaborative’. This theme became apparent when having informal conversations and semi-structured interviews with various members of the activist communities. This idea needs further exploration as these distinctions could impact upon the efficiency of peacebuilding activities within divided societies. Civil societies within divided landscapes, both physically and socially, play an important role in conflict resolution. How organisations and activists interact with each other has the possibility to be very influential with regards to peacebuilding activities. Working together sets a positive example for divided communities. Cooperation may be considered a primary level of interaction between CSOs. Therefore, at the beginning of a working relationship, organisations cooperate over basic agendas, parallel power structures and focus, which led to the same objective. Over time, in some instances, due to varying factors such as funding, more trust and understanding within the relationship, it could be seen that processes progressed to more collaborative ways. It is evident to see that NGOs and activist groups are highly independent and focus on their own agendas before coming together over shared issues. At this time, there appears to be more collaboration in Nicosia among CSOs and activists than Jerusalem. The aims and objectives of agendas also influence how organisations work together. In recent years, Nicosia, and Cyprus in general, have perhaps changed their focus from peace-building initiatives to more environmental issues which have become new-age reconciliation topics. Civil society does not automatically indicate like-minded organisations however solidarity within social groups can create ties that bring people and resources together. In unequal societies, such as those in Nicosia and Jerusalem, it is these ties that cut across groups and are essential for social cohesion. Societies are a collection of social groups; individuals who have come together over common beliefs. These groups in turn shape the identities and determine the values and structures within societies. At many different levels and stages, social groups work together through cooperation and collaboration. These structures in turn have the capabilities to open up networks to less powerful or excluded groups, with the aim to produce social cohesion which may contribute social stability and economic welfare over any extended period.
In this paper, an improved motion estimation (ME) approach based on weighted constrained one-bit transform is proposed for block-based ME employed in video encoders. Binary ME approaches utilize low bit-depth representation of the original image frames with a Boolean exclusive-OR based hardware efficient matching criterion to decrease computational burden of the ME stage. Weighted constrained one-bit transform (WC‑1BT) based approach improves the performance of conventional C-1BT based ME employing 2-bit depth constraint mask instead of a 1-bit depth mask. In this work, the range of constraint mask is further extended to increase ME performance of WC-1BT approach. Experiments reveal that the proposed method provides better ME accuracy compared existing similar ME methods in the literature.
Nowadays, demand for using real-time video transmission capable devices is ever-increasing. So, high resolution videos have made efficient video compression techniques an essential component for capturing and transmitting video data. Motion estimation has a critical role in encoding raw video. Hence, various motion estimation methods are introduced to efficiently compress the video. Low bit‑depth representation based motion estimation methods facilitate computation of matching criteria and thus, provide small hardware footprint. In this paper, a hardware implementation of a two-bit transformation based low-complexity motion estimation method using local binary pattern approach is proposed. Image frames are represented in two-bit depth instead of full-depth by making use of the local binary pattern as a binarization approach and the binarization part of the hardware architecture is explained in detail. Experimental results demonstrate the difference between the proposed hardware architecture and the architectures of well-known low-complexity motion estimation methods in terms of important aspects such as resource utilization, energy and power consumption.
Bitumen is one of the most applicable materials in pavement engineering. It is a binding material with unique viscoelastic properties, especially when it mixes with polymer. In this study, to figure out the viscoelastic behaviour of the polymer modified with bitumen (PMB), a series of dynamic shearing rheological (DSR) tests were conducted. Four percentages of lime (i.e. 1%, 2%, 4% and 5%) were mixed with PMB and tested under four different temperatures including 64ºC, 70ºC, 76ºC and 82ºC. The results indicated that complex shearing modulus (G*) increased by increasing the frequency due to raised resistance against deformation. The phase angle (δ) showed a decreasing trend by incrementing the frequency. The addition of lime percentages increased the complex modulus value and declined phase angle parameter. Increasing the temperature decreased the complex modulus and increased the phase angle until 70ºC. The decreasing trend of rutting factor with increasing temperature revealed that rutting factor improved by the addition of the lime to the PMB.
Malaysian Public Sector departments or agencies are responsible to provide efficient public services with zero corruption. However, corruption continues to occur due to the absence of ethical leadership and well-execution of ethical guidelines. Thus, the objective of this paper is to explore the attributes of ethical leadership and ethical guidelines. This study employs a qualitative research by analyzing data from interviews with key informers of public sector using conceptual content analysis (NVivo11). The study reveals eight attributes of ethical leadership which are role model, attachment, ethical support, knowledgeable, discipline, leaders’ spirituality encouragement, virtue values and shared values. Meanwhile, five attributes (guidelines, communication, check and balance, concern on stakeholders and compliance) of ethical guidelines are identified. These identified attributes should become the ethical identity and ethical direction of Malaysian Public Sector. This could enhance the public trust as well as the international community trust towards the public sector.
Today’s workers face more numerous and complex challenges and are required to be increasingly interdependent and faster learners. Knowledge sharing activities between people have been understood as a significant element affecting organizational innovation performance. While they do have the potential to spark cognitive conflict, disagreement is important from an organizational perspective because it can stimulate the development of new ideas and perhaps pave the way for creativity, innovation, and competitive advantage. How teams cope with the cognitive conflict dimension of knowledge sharing and the associated interpersonal risk is what captures our attention. Specifically, assertive conflict management strategies have a positive influence on knowledge sharing behaviors, and team psychological safety has a positive influence on knowledge sharing intention. This paper focuses on explaining the impact that these factors have on the shaping of an individual’s decision to engage or not in knowledge sharing activities. To accomplish this, we performed an empirical analysis on the results of our questionnaire about knowledge-sharing related conflict management and team psychological safety in pharmaceutical enterprises located in North America, Europe, and Asia. First, univariate analysis is used to characterize behavior regarding conflict management strategy into two groups. Group 1 presents assertive conflict management strategies and group 2 shows unassertive ones. Then, by using SEM methodology, we evaluated the relationships between them and the team psychological safety construct with the knowledge sharing process. The results of the SEM analysis show that assertive conflict management strategies affect the knowledge sharing process the most with a small, but significant effect from team psychological safety. The findings suggest that assertive conflict management strategies are just as important as knowledge sharing intentions for encouraging knowledge sharing behavior. This paper provides clear insights into how employees manage the sharing of their knowledge in the face of conflict and interpersonal risk and the relative importance of these factors in sustaining productive knowledge sharing activities.