International Science Index

983
10008961
From Industry 4.0 to Agriculture 4.0: A Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability
Abstract:

Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.

Paper Detail
61
downloads
982
10008962
Managing Uncertainty in Unmanned Aircraft System Safety Performance Requirements Compliance Process
Abstract:

System Safety Regulations (SSR) are a central component to the airworthiness certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). There is significant debate on the setting of appropriate SSR for UAS. Putting this debate aside, the challenge lies in how to apply the system safety process to UAS, which lacks the data and operational heritage of conventionally piloted aircraft. The limited knowledge and lack of operational data result in uncertainty in the system safety assessment of UAS. This uncertainty can lead to incorrect compliance findings and the potential certification and operation of UAS that do not meet minimum safety performance requirements. The existing system safety assessment and compliance processes, as used for conventional piloted aviation, do not adequately account for the uncertainty, limiting the suitability of its application to UAS. This paper discusses the challenges of undertaking system safety assessments for UAS and presents current and envisaged research towards addressing these challenges. It aims to highlight the main advantages associated with adopting a risk based framework to the System Safety Performance Requirement (SSPR) compliance process that is capable of taking the uncertainty associated with each of the outputs of the system safety assessment process into consideration. Based on this study, it is made clear that developing a framework tailored to UAS, would allow for a more rational, transparent and systematic approach to decision making. This would reduce the need for conservative assumptions and take the risk posed by each UAS into consideration while determining its state of compliance to the SSR.

Paper Detail
50
downloads
981
10008983
Pilot Scale Investigation on the Removal of Pollutants from Secondary Effluent to Meet Botswana Irrigation Standards Using Roughing and Slow Sand Filters
Abstract:

Botswana is an arid country that needs to start reusing wastewater as part of its water security plan. Pilot scale slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter was investigated for the treatment of effluent from Botswana International University of Science and Technology to meet Botswana irrigation standards. The system was operated at hydraulic loading rates of 0.04 m/hr and 0.12 m/hr. The results show that the system was able to reduce turbidity from 262 Nephelometric Turbidity Units to a range between 18 and 0 Nephelometric Turbidity Units which was below 30 Nephelometric Turbidity Units threshold limit. The overall efficacy ranged between 61% and 100%. Suspended solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Chemical Oxygen Demand removal efficiency averaged 42.6%, 45.5%, and 77% respectively and all within irrigation standards. Other physio-chemical parameters were within irrigation standards except for bicarbonate ion which averaged 297.7±44 mg L-1 in the influent and 196.22±50 mg L-1 in the effluent which was above the limit of 92 mg L-1, therefore averaging a reduction of 34.1% by the system. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli in the effluent were initially averaging 1.1 log counts, 0.5 log counts, and 1.3 log counts respectively compared to corresponding influent log counts of 3.4, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively. As time passed, it was observed that only roughing filter was able to reach reductions of 97.5%, 86% and 100% respectively for faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and total coliforms. These organism numbers were observed to have increased in slow sand filter effluent suggesting multiplication in the tank. Water quality index value of 22.79 for the physio-chemical parameters suggests that the effluent is of excellent quality and can be used for irrigation purposes. However, the water quality index value for the microbial parameters (1820) renders the quality unsuitable for irrigation. It is concluded that slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter is a viable option for the treatment of secondary effluent for reuse purposes. However, further studies should be conducted especially for the removal of microbial parameters using the system.

Paper Detail
55
downloads
980
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.
Paper Detail
37
downloads
979
10008744
Seismic Protection of Automated Stocker System by Customized Viscous Fluid Dampers
Abstract:

The hi-tech industries in the Science Park at southern Taiwan were heavily damaged by a strong earthquake early 2016. The financial loss in this event was attributed primarily to the automated stocker system handling fully processed products, and recovery of the automated stocker system from the aftermath proved to contribute major lead time. Therefore, development of effective means for protection of stockers against earthquakes has become the highest priority for risk minimization and business continuity. This study proposes to mitigate the seismic response of the stockers by introducing viscous fluid dampers in between the ceiling and the top of the stockers. The stocker is expected to vibrate less violently with a passive control force on top. Linear damper is considered in this application with an optimal damping coefficient determined from a preliminary parametric study. The damper is small in size in comparison with those adopted for building or bridge applications. Component test of the dampers has been carried out to make sure they meet the design requirement. Shake table tests have been further conducted to verify the proposed scheme under realistic earthquake conditions. Encouraging results have been achieved by effectively reducing the seismic responses of up to 60% and preventing the FOUPs from falling off the shelves that would otherwise be the case if left unprotected. Effectiveness of adopting a viscous fluid damper for seismic control of the stocker on top against the ceiling has been confirmed. This technique has been adopted by Macronix International Co., LTD for seismic retrofit of existing stockers. Demonstrative projects on the application of the proposed technique are planned underway for other companies in the display industry as well.

Paper Detail
88
downloads
978
10008869
Study on Construction of 3D Topography by UAV-Based Images
Abstract:

In this paper, a method of fast 3D topography modeling using the high-resolution camera images is studied based on the characteristics of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system for low altitude aerial photogrammetry and the need of three dimensional (3D) urban landscape modeling. Firstly, the existing high-resolution digital camera with special design of overlap images is designed by reconstructing and analyzing the auto-flying paths of UAVs, which improves the self-calibration function to achieve the high precision imaging by software, and further increased the resolution of the imaging system. Secondly, several-angle images including vertical images and oblique images gotten by the UAV system are used for the detail measure of urban land surfaces and the texture extraction. Finally, the aerial photography and 3D topography construction are both developed in campus of Chang-Jung University and in Guerin district area in Tainan, Taiwan, provide authentication model for construction of 3D topography based on combined UAV-based camera images from system. The results demonstrated that the UAV system for low altitude aerial photogrammetry can be used in the construction of 3D topography production, and the technology solution in this paper offers a new, fast, and technical plan for the 3D expression of the city landscape, fine modeling and visualization.

Keywords:
Paper Detail
72
downloads
977
10008871
Biodegradable Cellulose-Based Materials for the Use in Food Packaging
Abstract:

Cellulose acetate (CA) is a natural biodegradable polymer. It forms transparent films by the casting technique. CA suffers from high degree of water permeability as well as the low thermal stability at high temperatures. To adjust the CA polymeric films to the manufacture of food packaging, its thermal and mechanical properties should be improved. The modification of CA by grafting it with N-Amino phenyl maleimide (N-APhM) led to the construction of hydrophobic branches throughout the polymeric matrix which reduced its wettability as compared to the parent CA. The branches built onto the polymeric chains had been characterized by UV/Vis, 13C-NMR and ESEM. The improvement of the thermal properties was investigated and compared to the parent CA using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), differential thermal analysis (DTA), contact angle and mechanical testing measurements. The results revealed that the water-uptake was reduced by increasing the graft percentage. The thermal and mechanical properties were also improved.

Paper Detail
90
downloads
976
10008976
Impact of Positive Psychology Education and Interventions on Well-Being: A Study of Students Engaged in Pastoral Care
Abstract:

Positive psychology investigates human strengths and virtues and promotes well-being. Relying on this assumption, positive interventions have been continuously designed to build pleasure and happiness, joy and contentment, engagement and meaning, hope and optimism, satisfaction and gratitude, spirituality, and various other positive measures of well-being. In line with this model of positive psychology and interventions, this study investigated certain measures of well-being in a group of 45 students enrolled in an 18-week positive psychology course and simultaneously engaged in service-oriented interventions that they chose for themselves based on the course content and individual interests. Students’ well-being was measured at the beginning and end of the course. The well-being indicators included positive automatic thoughts, optimism and hope, satisfaction with life, and spirituality. A paired-samples t-test conducted to evaluate the impact of class content and service-oriented interventions on students’ scores of well-being indicators indicated statistically significant increase from pre-class to post-class scores. There were also significant gender differences in post-course well-being scores, with females having higher levels of well-being than males. A two-way between groups analysis of variance indicated a significant interaction effect of age by gender on the post-course well-being scores, with females in the age group of 56-65 having the highest scores of well-being in comparison to the males in the same age group. Regression analyses indicated that positive automatic thought significantly predicted hope and satisfaction with life in the pre-course analysis. In the post-course regression analysis, spiritual transcendence made a significant contribution to optimism, and positive automatic thought made a significant contribution to both hope and satisfaction with life. Finally, a significant test between pre-course and post-course regression coefficients indicated that the regression coefficients at pre-course were significantly different from post-course coefficients, suggesting that the positive psychology course and the interventions were helpful in raising the levels of well-being. The overall results suggest a substantial increase in the participants’ well-being scores after engaging in the positive-oriented interventions, implying a need for designing more positive interventions in education to promote well-being.  

Paper Detail
31
downloads
975
10008576
Analysis of Green Wood Preservation Chemicals
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
116
downloads
974
10008629
Effect of Using Crumb Rubber with Warm-Mix-Asphalt Additive in Laboratory and Field Aging
Abstract:

Using a waste material such as crumb rubber (CR) obtained by waste tires has become an important issue in respect to sustainability. However, the CR modified mixture also requires high manufacture temperature as a polymer modified mixture. For this reason in this study, it is intended to produce a CR modified mixture with warm mix asphalt additives in the same mixture. Asphalt mixtures produced by pure, 10%CR, 10%CR+3% Sasobit and 10%CR+0.7% Evotherm were subjected to aging procedure in the laboratory and the field. The indirect tensile repeated tests were applied to aged and original specimens. It was concluded that the fatigue life of the mixtures increased significantly with the increase of aging time. CR+Sasobit modified mixture aged at the both field and laboratory gave the highest load cycle among the mixtures.

Paper Detail
104
downloads
973
10008652
Strategic Entrepreneurship: Model Proposal for Post-Troika Sustainable Cultural Organizations
Abstract:

Recent literature on issues of Cultural Management (also called Strategic Management for cultural organizations) systematically seeks for models that allow such equipment to adapt to the constant change that occurs in contemporary societies. In the last decade, the world, and in particular Europe has experienced a serious financial problem that has triggered defensive mechanisms, both in the direction of promoting the balance of public accounts and in the sense of the anonymous loss of the democratic and cultural values of each nation. If in the first case emerged the Troika that led to strong cuts in funding for Culture, deeply affecting those organizations; in the second case, the commonplace citizen is seen fighting for the non-closure of cultural equipment. Despite this, the cultural manager argues that there is no single formula capable of solving the need to adapt to change. In another way, it is up to this agent to know the existing scientific models and to adapt them in the best way to the reality of the institution he coordinates. These actions, as a rule, are concerned with the best performance vis-à-vis external audiences or with the financial sustainability of cultural organizations. They forget, therefore, that all this mechanics cannot function without its internal public, without its Human Resources. The employees of the cultural organization must then have an entrepreneurial posture - must be intrapreneurial. This paper intends to break this form of action and lead the cultural manager to understand that his role should be in the sense of creating value for society, through a good organizational performance. This is only possible with a posture of strategic entrepreneurship. In other words, with a link between: Cultural Management, Cultural Entrepreneurship and Cultural Intrapreneurship. In order to prove this assumption, the case study methodology was used with the symbol of the European Capital of Culture (Casa da Música) as well as qualitative and quantitative techniques. The qualitative techniques included the procedure of in-depth interviews to managers, founders and patrons and focus groups to public with and without experience in managing cultural facilities. The quantitative techniques involved the application of a questionnaire to middle management and employees of Casa da Música. After the triangulation of the data, it was proved that contemporary management of cultural organizations must implement among its practices, the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variables. Also, the topics which characterize the Cultural Intrapreneurship notion (job satisfaction, the quality in organizational performance, the leadership and the employee engagement and autonomy) emerged. The findings show then that to be sustainable, a cultural organization should meet the concerns of both external and internal forum. In other words, it should have an attitude of citizenship to the communities, visible on a social responsibility and a participatory management, only possible with the implementation of the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variable of Cultural Intrapreneurship.

Paper Detail
152
downloads
972
10008657
Integrated Waste-to-Energy Approach: An Overview
Abstract:

This study evaluates the benefits of advanced waste management practices in unlocking waste-to-energy opportunities within the solid waste industry. The key drivers of sustainable waste management practices, specifically with respect to packaging waste-to-energy technology options are discussed. The success of a waste-to-energy system depends significantly on the appropriateness of available technologies, including those that are well established as well as those that are less so. There are hard and soft interventions to be considered when packaging an integrated waste treatment solution. Technology compatibility with variation in feedstock (waste) quality and quantities remains a key factor. These factors influence the technology reliability in terms of production efficiencies and product consistency, which in turn, drives the supply and demand network. Waste treatment technologies rely on the waste material as feedstock; the feedstock varies in quality and quantities depending on several factors; hence, the technology fails, as a result. It is critical to design an advanced waste treatment technology in an integrated approach to minimize the possibility of technology failure due to unpredictable feedstock quality, quantities, conversion efficiencies, and inconsistent product yield or quality. An integrated waste-to-energy approach offers a secure system design that considers sustainable waste management practices.

Paper Detail
131
downloads
971
10008707
Communication Design in Newspapers: A Comparative Study of Graphic Resources in Portuguese and Spanish Publications
Abstract:

As a way of managing the increasing volume and complexity of information that circulates in the present time, graphical representations are increasingly used, which add meaning to the information presented in communication media, through an efficient communication design. The visual culture itself, driven by technological evolution, has been redefining the forms of communication, so that contemporary visual communication represents a major impact on society. This article presents the results and respective comparative analysis of four publications in the Iberian press, focusing on the formal aspects of newspapers and the space they dedicate to the various communication elements. Two Portuguese newspapers and two Spanish newspapers were selected for this purpose. The findings indicated that the newspapers show a similarity in the use of graphic solutions, which corroborate a visual trend in communication design. The results also reveal that Spanish newspapers are more meticulous with graphic consistency. This study intended to contribute to improving knowledge of the Iberian generalist press.

Paper Detail
144
downloads
970
10008912
Procedure to Use Quantitative Bone-Specific SPECT/CT in North Karelia Central Hospital
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
63
downloads
969
10008828
Energy Saving, Heritage Conserving Renovation Methods in Case of Historical Building Stock
Abstract:

The majority of the building stock of Budapest inner districts was built around the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Although the structural stability of the buildings is not questioned, as the load bearing structures are in sufficient state, the secondary structures are aged, resulting unsatisfactory energetic state. The renovation of these historical buildings requires special methodology and technology: their ornamented facades and custom-made fenestration cannot be insulated or exchanged with conventional solutions without damaging the heritage values. The present paper aims to introduce and systematize the possible technological solutions for heritage respecting energy retrofit in case of a historical residential building stock. Through case study, the possible energy saving potential is also calculated using multiple renovation scenarios.

Paper Detail
60
downloads
968
10009002
Selection of Strategic Suppliers for Partnership: A Model with Two Stages Approach
Abstract:

Strategic partnerships with suppliers play a vital role for the long-term value-based supply chain. This strategic collaboration keeps still being one of the top priority of many business organizations in order to create more additional value; benefiting mainly from supplier’s specialization, capacity and innovative power, securing supply and better managing costs and quality. However, many organizations encounter difficulties in initiating, developing and managing those partnerships and many attempts result in failures. One of the reasons for such failure is the incompatibility of members of this partnership or in other words wrong supplier selection which emphasize the significance of the selection process since it is the beginning stage. An effective selection process of strategic suppliers is critical to the success of the partnership. Although there are several research studies to select the suppliers in literature, only a few of them is related to strategic supplier selection for long-term partnership. The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual model for the selection of strategic partnership suppliers. A two-stage approach has been used in proposed model incorporating first segmentation and second selection. In the first stage; considering the fact that not all suppliers are strategically equal and instead of a long list of potential suppliers, Kraljic’s purchasing portfolio matrix can be used for segmentation. This supplier segmentation is the process of categorizing suppliers based on a defined set of criteria in order to identify types of suppliers and determine potential suppliers for strategic partnership. In the second stage, from a pool of potential suppliers defined at first phase, a comprehensive evaluation and selection can be performed to finally define strategic suppliers considering various tangible and intangible criteria. Since a long-term relationship with strategic suppliers is anticipated, criteria should consider both current and future status of the supplier. Based on an extensive literature review; strategical, operational and organizational criteria have been determined and elaborated. The result of the selection can also be used to determine suppliers who are not ready for a partnership but to be developed for strategic partnership. Since the model is based on multiple criteria for both stages, it provides a framework for further utilization of Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) techniques. The model may also be applied to a wide range of industries and involve managerial features in business organizations.

Paper Detail
35
downloads
967
10008399
Improvement of GVPI Insulation System Characteristics by Curing Process Modification
Authors:
Abstract:
The curing process of insulation system for electrical machines plays a determinative role for its durability and reliability. Polar structure of insulating resin molecules and used filler of insulation system can be taken as an occasion to leverage it to enhance overall characteristics of insulation system, mechanically and electrically. The curing process regime for insulating system plays an important role for its mechanical and electrical characteristics by arranging the polymerization of chain structure for resin. In this research, the effect of electrical field application on in-curing insulating system for Global Vacuum Pressurized Impregnation (GVPI) system for traction motor was considered by performing the dissipation factor, polarization and de-polarization current (PDC) and voltage endurance (aging) measurements on sample test objects. Outcome results depicted obvious improvement in mechanical strength of the insulation system as well as higher electrical characteristics with routing and long-time (aging) electrical tests. Coming together, polarization of insulation system during curing process would enhance the machine life time. 
Paper Detail
129
downloads
966
10008503
Happiness, Media and Sustainability of Communities in Donkeaw, Mearim District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Abstract:
This study of the ‘happiness’ and ‘sustainability’ in the community of Donkeaw, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chiang Mai Province during the non-election period in Thailand, noted that their happiness levels are in the middle-average range. This was found using a mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative methods (N = 386, α = 0.05). The study explores indicators for six aspects of well-being and happiness, including, good local governance, administrative support for the health system that maintains people’s mental and physical health, environment and weather, job security and a regular income aids them in managing a sustainable lifestyle. The impact of economic security and community relationships on social and cultural capital, and the way these aspects impact on the life style of the community, affects the sustainable well-being of people. Moreover, living with transparency and participatory communication led to diverse rewards in many areas.
Paper Detail
158
downloads
965
10008541
Knowledge Sharing Behavior and Cognitive Dissonance: The Influence of Assertive Conflict Management Strategy and Team Psychological Safety
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
201
downloads
964
10008751
The Effect of Information vs. Reasoning Gap Tasks on the Frequency of Conversational Strategies and Accuracy in Speaking among Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners
Abstract:

Speaking skills merit meticulous attention both on the side of the learners and the teachers. In particular, accuracy is a critical component to guarantee the messages to be conveyed through conversation because a wrongful change may adversely alter the content and purpose of the talk. Different types of tasks have served teachers to meet numerous educational objectives. Besides, negotiation of meaning and the use of different strategies have been areas of concern in socio-cultural theories of SLA. Negotiation of meaning is among the conversational processes which have a crucial role in facilitating the understanding and expression of meaning in a given second language. Conversational strategies are used during interaction when there is a breakdown in communication that leads to the interlocutor attempting to remedy the gap through talk. Therefore, this study was an attempt to investigate if there was any significant difference between the effect of reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks on the frequency of conversational strategies used in negotiation of meaning in classrooms on one hand, and on the accuracy in speaking of Iranian intermediate EFL learners on the other. After a pilot study to check the practicality of the treatments, at the outset of the main study, the Preliminary English Test was administered to ensure the homogeneity of 87 out of 107 participants who attended the intact classes of a 15 session term in one control and two experimental groups. Also, speaking sections of PET were used as pretest and posttest to examine their speaking accuracy. The tests were recorded and transcribed to estimate the percentage of the number of the clauses with no grammatical errors in the total produced clauses to measure the speaking accuracy. In all groups, the grammatical points of accuracy were instructed and the use of conversational strategies was practiced. Then, different kinds of reasoning gap tasks (matchmaking, deciding on the course of action, and working out a time table) and information gap tasks (restoring an incomplete chart, spot the differences, arranging sentences into stories, and guessing game) were manipulated in experimental groups during treatment sessions, and the students were required to practice conversational strategies when doing speaking tasks. The conversations throughout the terms were recorded and transcribed to count the frequency of the conversational strategies used in all groups. The results of statistical analysis demonstrated that applying both the reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks significantly affected the frequency of conversational strategies through negotiation. In the face of the improvements, the reasoning gap tasks had a more significant impact on encouraging the negotiation of meaning and increasing the number of conversational frequencies every session. The findings also indicated both task types could help learners significantly improve their speaking accuracy. Here, applying the reasoning gap tasks was more effective than the information gap tasks in improving the level of learners’ speaking accuracy.

Paper Detail
77
downloads
963
10008259
An Improved C-Means Model for MRI Segmentation
Abstract:

Medical images are important to help identifying different diseases, for example, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to investigate the brain, spinal cord, bones, joints, breasts, blood vessels, and heart. Image segmentation, in medical image analysis, is usually the first step to find out some characteristics with similar color, intensity or texture so that the diagnosis could be further carried out based on these features. This paper introduces an improved C-means model to segment the MRI images. The model is based on information entropy to evaluate the segmentation results by achieving global optimization. Several contributions are significant. Firstly, Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used for achieving global optimization in this model where fuzzy C-means clustering algorithm (FCMA) is not capable of doing that. Secondly, the information entropy after segmentation is used for measuring the effectiveness of MRI image processing. Experimental results show the outperformance of the proposed model by comparing with traditional approaches.

Paper Detail
159
downloads
962
10008298
Object Detection in Digital Images under Non-Standardized Conditions Using Illumination and Shadow Filtering
Abstract:
In recent years, object detection has gained much attention and very encouraging research area in the field of computer vision. The robust object boundaries detection in an image is demanded in numerous applications of human computer interaction and automated surveillance systems. Many methods and approaches have been developed for automatic object detection in various fields, such as automotive, quality control management and environmental services. Inappropriately, to the best of our knowledge, object detection under illumination with shadow consideration has not been well solved yet. Furthermore, this problem is also one of the major hurdles to keeping an object detection method from the practical applications. This paper presents an approach to automatic object detection in images under non-standardized environmental conditions. A key challenge is how to detect the object, particularly under uneven illumination conditions. Image capturing conditions the algorithms need to consider a variety of possible environmental factors as the colour information, lightening and shadows varies from image to image. Existing methods mostly failed to produce the appropriate result due to variation in colour information, lightening effects, threshold specifications, histogram dependencies and colour ranges. To overcome these limitations we propose an object detection algorithm, with pre-processing methods, to reduce the interference caused by shadow and illumination effects without fixed parameters. We use the Y CrCb colour model without any specific colour ranges and predefined threshold values. The segmented object regions are further classified using morphological operations (Erosion and Dilation) and contours. Proposed approach applied on a large image data set acquired under various environmental conditions for wood stack detection. Experiments show the promising result of the proposed approach in comparison with existing methods.
Paper Detail
197
downloads
961
10008341
Studying the Behavior of Asphalt Mix and Their Properties in the Presence of Nano Materials
Abstract:

Due to rapid development, increase in the traffic load, higher traffic volume and seasonal variation in temperature, asphalt pavement shows distresses like rutting, fatigue and thermal cracking etc. because of this pavement fails during service life so that bitumen needs to be modified with some additive. In this study VG30 grade bitumen modify with addition of nanosilica with 1% to 5% (increment of 1%) by weight of bitumen. Hot mix asphalt (HMA) have higher mixing, laying and rolling temperatures which leads to higher consumption of fuel. To address this issue, a nano material named ZycoTherm which is chemical warm mix asphalt (WMA) additive is added to bitumen. Nanosilica modification (NSMB) results in the increase in stability compared to unmodified bitumen (UMB). WMA modified mix shows slightly higher stability than UMB and NSMB in a lower bitumen content. The Retained stability and tensile strength ratio (TSR) is more than 75% and 80% respectively for both mixes. Nanosilica with WMA has more resistant to temperature susceptibility, moisture susceptibility and short term aging than NSMB.

Paper Detail
161
downloads
960
10008353
Classification of State Transition by Using a Microwave Doppler Sensor for Wandering Detection
Abstract:
With global aging, people who require care, such as people with dementia (PwD), are increasing within many developed countries. And PwDs may wander and unconsciously set foot outdoors, it may lead serious accidents, such as, traffic accidents. Here, round-the-clock monitoring by caregivers is necessary, which can be a burden for the caregivers. Therefore, an automatic wandering detection system is required when an elderly person wanders outdoors, in which case the detection system transmits a ‘moving’ followed by an ‘absence’ state. In this paper, we focus on the transition from the ‘resting’ to the ‘absence’ state, via the ‘moving’ state as one of the wandering transitions. To capture the transition of the three states, our method based on the hidden Markov model (HMM) is built. Using our method, the restraint where the ‘resting’ state and ‘absence’ state cannot be transmitted to each other is applied. To validate our method, we conducted the experiment with 10 subjects. Our results show that the method can classify three states with 0.92 accuracy.
Paper Detail
192
downloads
959
10008139
An Image Segmentation Algorithm for Gradient Target Based on Mean-Shift and Dictionary Learning
Abstract:

In electromagnetic imaging, because of the diffraction limited system, the pixel values could change slowly near the edge of the image targets and they also change with the location in the same target. Using traditional digital image segmentation methods to segment electromagnetic gradient images could result in lots of errors because of this change in pixel values. To address this issue, this paper proposes a novel image segmentation and extraction algorithm based on Mean-Shift and dictionary learning. Firstly, the preliminary segmentation results from adaptive bandwidth Mean-Shift algorithm are expanded, merged and extracted. Then the overlap rate of the extracted image block is detected before determining a segmentation region with a single complete target. Last, the gradient edge of the extracted targets is recovered and reconstructed by using a dictionary-learning algorithm, while the final segmentation results are obtained which are very close to the gradient target in the original image. Both the experimental results and the simulated results show that the segmentation results are very accurate. The Dice coefficients are improved by 70% to 80% compared with the Mean-Shift only method.

Paper Detail
150
downloads
958
10008171
Pythagorean-Platonic Lattice Method for Finding all Co-Prime Right Angle Triangles
Abstract:

This paper presents a method for determining all of the co-prime right angle triangles in the Euclidean field by looking at the intersection of the Pythagorean and Platonic right angle triangles and the corresponding lattice that this produces. The co-prime properties of each lattice point representing a unique right angle triangle are then considered. This paper proposes a conjunction between these two ancient disparaging theorists. This work has wide applications in information security where cryptography involves improved ways of finding tuples of prime numbers for secure communication systems. In particular, this paper has direct impact in enhancing the encryption and decryption algorithms in cryptography.

Paper Detail
262
downloads
957
10008223
Scattering Operator and Spectral Clustering for Ultrasound Images: Application on Deep Venous Thrombi
Abstract:
Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a thrombus is formed within a deep vein (most often in the legs). This disease can be deadly if a part or the whole thrombus reaches the lung and causes a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). This disorder, often asymptomatic, has multifactorial causes: immobilization, surgery, pregnancy, age, cancers, and genetic variations. Our project aims to relate the thrombus epidemiology (origins, patient predispositions, PE) to its structure using ultrasound images. Ultrasonography and elastography were collected using Toshiba Aplio 500 at Brest Hospital. This manuscript compares two classification approaches: spectral clustering and scattering operator. The former is based on the graph and matrix theories while the latter cascades wavelet convolutions with nonlinear modulus and averaging operators.
Paper Detail
155
downloads
956
10008488
Status and Management of Grape Stem Borer, Celosterna scrabrator with Soil Application of Chlorantraniliprole 0.4 gr
Abstract:

Grape stem borer, Celosterna scrabrator is an important production constraint in grapes in India. Hitherto this pest was a severe menace only on the aged and unmanaged fields but during the recent past it has also started damaging the newly established fields. In India, since Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are the major grape production states, the incidence of stem borer is also restricted and severe in these states. The grubs of the beetle bore in to the main stem and even the branches, which affect the translocation of nutrients to the areal parts of the plant. Since, the grubs bore inside the stem, the chewed material along with its excreta is discharged outside the holes and the frass is found on the ground just below the bored holes. The portion of vines above the damaged part has a sticky appearance. The leaves become pale yellow which looks like a deficiency of micronutrients. The leaves ultimately dry and drop down. The status of the incidence of the grape stem borer in different grape growing districts of Northern Karnataka was carried out during three years. In each taluka five locations were surveyed for the incidence of grape stem borer. Further, the experiment on management of stem borer was carried out in the grape gardens of Vijayapur districts under farmers field during three years. Stem borer infested plants that show live holes were selected per treatments and it was replicated three times. Live and dead holes observed during pre-treatment were closely monitored and only plants with live holes were selected and tagged. Different doses of chlorantraniliprole 0.4% GR were incorporated into the soil around the vine basins near root zone surrounded to trunk region by removing soils up to 5-10 cm with a peripheral distance of 1 to 1.5 feet from the main trunk where feeder roots are present. Irrigation was followed after application of insecticide for proper incorporation of the test chemical. The results indicated that there was sever to moderate incidence of the stem borer in all the grape growing districts of northern Karnataka. Maximum incidence was recorded in Belagavi (11 holes per vine) and minimum was in Gadag district (8.5 holes per vine). The investigations carried out to study the efficacy of chlorantraniliprole on grape stem borer for successive three years under farmers field indicated that chlorantraniliprole @ 15g/vine applied just near the active root zone of the plant followed by irrigation has successfully managed the pest. The insecticide has translocated to all the parts of the plants and thereby stopped the activity of the pest which has resulted in to better growth of the plant and higher berry yield compared to other treatments under investigation. Thus, chlorantraniliprole 0.4 GR @ 15g/vine can be effective means in managing the stem borer.

Paper Detail
107
downloads
955
10008736
Case Study of the Exercise Habits and Aging Anxiety of Taiwanese Insurance Agents
Abstract:

The rapid aging of the population is a common trend in the world. However, the progress of modern medical technology has increased the average life expectancy. The global population structure has changed dramatically, and the elderly population has risen rapidly. In the face of rapid population growth, it must be noted issues of the aging population must face up to, which are the physiological, psychological, and social problems associated with aging. This study aims to investigate how insurance agents are actively dealing with an aging society, their own aging anxiety, and their exercise habits. Purposive sampling was the sampling method of this study, a total of 204 respondents were surveyed and 204 valid surveys were returned. The returned valid ratio was 100%. Statistical method included descriptive statistics, t-test, and one-way ANOVA. The results of the study found that the insurance agent’s age, seniority, exercise habits to aging anxiety are significantly different.

Paper Detail
54
downloads
954
10008071
Improving the Quality of Transport Management Services with Fuzzy Signatures
Abstract:

Nowadays the significance of road transport is gradually increasing. All transport companies are working in the same external environment where the speed of transport is defined by traffic rules. The main objective is to accelerate the speed of service and it is only dependent on the individual abilities of the managing members. These operational control units make decisions quickly (in a typically experiential and/or intuitive way). For this reason, support for these decisions is an important task. Our goal is to create a decision support model based on fuzzy signatures that can assist the work of operational management automatically. If the model sets parameters properly, the management of transport could be more economical and efficient.

Paper Detail
162
downloads