The purpose of this study is to provide some empirical evidence about implementing Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in the hospitality industry in Iran. For this purpose, we consider the Tabriz International Hotel as our sample hotel and then gather the relevant data from its cost accounting system in 2012. Then, we use ABC as our costing method and compare the cost of each service unit with that cost which had been extracted for the traditional costing method. The results show a different cost per unit for two methods. Also, because of its more precise and detailed provided information, an ABC system facilitates the decision-making process for managers on decisions related to profitability analysis, budgeting, pricing, and so on.
Traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a combinatorial integer optimization problem that asks "What is the optimal route for a vehicle to traverse in order to deliver requests to a given set of customers?”. It is widely used by the package carrier companies’ distribution centers. The main goal of applying the TSP in courier organizations is to minimize the time that it takes for the courier in each trip to deliver or pick up the shipments during a day. In this article, an optimization model is constructed to create a new TSP variant to optimize the routing in a courier organization with a consideration of congestion in Amman, the capital of Jordan. Real data were collected by different methods and analyzed. Then, concert technology - CPLEX was used to solve the proposed model for some random generated data instances and for the real collected data. At the end, results have shown a great improvement in time compared with the current trip times, and an economic study was conducted afterwards to figure out the impact of using such models.
Antoni Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava have reputation for designing bio-inspired creative and technical buildings. Even though they have followed different independent approaches towards design, the source of bio-inspiration seems to be common. Taking a closer look at their projects reveals that Calatrava has been influenced by Gaudi in terms of interpreting nature and applying natural principles into the design process. This research firstly discusses the dialogue between Biomimicry and architecture. This review also explores human/nature discourse during the history by focusing on how nature revealed itself to the fine arts. This is explained by introducing naturalism and romantic style in architecture as the outcome of designers’ inclination towards nature. Reviewing the literature, theoretical background and practical illustration of nature have been included. The most dominant practical aspects of imitating nature are form and function. Nature has been reflected in architectural science resulted in shaping different architectural styles such as organic, green, sustainable, bionic, and biomorphic. By defining a set of common aspects of Gaudi and Calatrava‘s design approach and by considering biomimetic design categories (organism, ecosystem, and behaviour as the main division and form, function, process, material, and construction as subdivisions), Gaudi’s and Calatrava’s project have been analysed. This analysis explores if their design approaches are equivalent or different. Based on this analysis, Gaudi’s architecture can be recognised as biomorphic while Calatrava’s projects are literally biomimetic. Referring to these architects, this review suggests a new set of principles by which a bio-inspired project can be determined either biomorphic or biomimetic.
Universities and higher education institutes are finding it increasingly difficult to engage students fruitfully through traditional pedagogic tools. Web 2.0 technologies comprising social networking sites (SNSs) offer a platform for students to collaborate and share information, thereby enhancing their learning experience. Despite the potential and reach of SNSs, its use has been limited in academic settings promoting higher education. The purpose of this paper is to assess the perception of social networking sites among business school students in India and analyze its role in enhancing quality of student experiences in a business school leading to the proposal of an agenda for future research. In this study, more than 300 students of a reputed business school were involved in a survey of their preferences of different social networking sites and their perceptions and attitudes towards these sites. A questionnaire with three major sections was designed, validated and distributed among a sample of students, the research method being descriptive in nature. Crucial questions were addressed to the students concerning time commitment, reasons for usage, nature of interaction on these sites, and the propensity to share information leading to direct and indirect modes of learning. It was further supplemented with focus group discussion to analyze the findings. The paper notes the resistance in the adoption of new technology by a section of business school faculty, who are staunch supporters of the classical “face-to-face” instruction. In conclusion, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide new avenues for students to express themselves and to interact with one another. Universities could take advantage of the new ways in which students are communicating with one another. Although interactive educational options such as Moodle exist, social networking sites are rarely used for academic purposes. Using this medium opens new ways of academically-oriented interactions where faculty could discover more about students' interests, and students, in turn, might express and develop more intellectual facets of their lives. hitherto unknown intellectual facets. This study also throws up the enormous potential of mobile phones as a tool for “blended learning” in business schools going forward.
This paper explores the need for a national baseline study on understanding the level of cyber security situational awareness among primary and secondary school students in Malaysia. The online survey method was deployed to administer the data collection exercise. The target groups were divided into three categories: Group 1 (primary school aged 7-9 years old), Group 2 (primary school aged 10-12 years old), and Group 3 (secondary school aged 13-17 years old). A different questionnaire set was designed for each group. The survey topics/areas included Internet and digital citizenship knowledge. Respondents were randomly selected from rural and urban areas throughout all 14 states in Malaysia. A total of 9,158 respondents participated in the survey, with most states meeting the minimum sample size requirement to represent the country’s demographics. The findings and recommendations from this baseline study are fundamental to develop teaching modules required for children to understand the security risks and threats associated with the Internet throughout their years in school. Early exposure and education will help ensure healthy cyber habits among millennials in Malaysia.
The principle of sustainability has been studied by different sciences with the purpose of formulating clear and concrete models. Much has been discussed about sustainability, and several points of view have been used to try to explain it; environmental science emerges from various environmental discourses that are willing to establish a new concept for understanding this complexity. This way, we focus on the activity of ecotourism as a way to integrate sustainable practices proposed by environmental science, and thus, make it possible to create a new perspective for eco-tourists and the managers of tourist destinations towards nature. The aim of this study was to suggest a direction for environmental awareness, based on environmental science, to change the eco-tourist's view of nature in ecotourism tours. The methodology used was based on a case study concerning the Jalapão State Park - JSP, located in the State of Tocantins, Northern Brazil. The study was based on discussions, theoretical studies, bibliographical research and on-site research. We have identified that to incite the tourists’ awareness, they need to visit nature to understand the environmental problems and promote actions for its preservation. We highlight in this study actions to drive their human perception through environmental science, so that the ecotourism itinerary tours to the JSP, promote a balance between the natural environment and the tourist, making them, in this way, environmental tourists.
Crop coefficient (Kc) is an important factor contributing to estimation of evapotranspiration, and is also used to determine the irrigation schedule. This study investigated and determined the monthly Kc of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using five vegetation indices (VIs): Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Difference Vegetation Index (DVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Infrared Percentage Vegetation Index (IPVI), and Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI) of four basins in Golestan province, Iran. 14 Landsat-8 images according to crop growth stage were used to estimate monthly Kc of wheat. VIs were calculated based on infrared and near infrared bands of Landsat 8 images using Geographical Information System (GIS) software. The best VIs were chosen after establishing a regression relationship among these VIs with FAO Kc and Kc that was modified for the study area by the previous research based on R² and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). The result showed that local modified SAVI with R²= 0.767 and RMSE= 0.174 was the best index to produce monthly wheat Kc maps.
In decision making under strict uncertainty, decision makers have to choose a decision without any information about the states of nature. The classic criteria of Laplace, Wald, Savage, Hurwicz and Starr are introduced and compared in a case study of sewer network planning. Furthermore, results from different criteria are discussed and analyzed. Moreover, this paper discusses the idea that decision making under strict uncertainty (DMUSU) can be viewed as a two-player game and thus be solved by a solution concept in game theory: Nash equilibrium.
The United Arab Emirates is clearly facing a multitude of challenges in curbing its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its pre-allotted framework of Kyoto protocol and COP21 targets due to its hunger for modernization, industrialization, infrastructure growth, soaring population and oil and gas activity. In this work, we focus on the bonafide zero emission electric vehicles market penetration in the country’s transport industry for emission reduction. We study the global electric vehicle market trends, the complementary battery technologies and the trends by manufacturers, emission standards across borders and prioritized advancements which will ultimately dictate the terms of future conditions for the United Arab Emirate transport industry. Based on our findings and analysis at every stage of current viability and state-of-transport-affairs, we postulate policy recommendations to local governmental entities from a supply and demand perspective covering aspects of technology, infrastructure requirements, change in power dynamics, end user incentives program, market regulators behavior and communications amongst key stakeholders.
Water is the most important and valuable resource not only for human life but also for all living things on the planet. The water supply utilities should fulfill the water requirement quantitatively and qualitatively. Drinking water systems are exposed to both natural (hurricanes and flood) and manmade hazards (risks) that are common in Palestine. Non-Revenue Water (NRW) is a manmade risk which remains a major concern in Palestine, as the NRW levels are estimated to be at a high level. In this research, Hebron city water distribution network was taken as a case study to estimate and audit the NRW levels. The research also investigated the state of the existing water distribution system in the study area by investigating the water losses and obtained more information on NRW prevention and management practices. Data and information have been collected from the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and Hebron Municipality (HM) archive. In addition to that, a questionnaire has been designed and administered by the researcher in order to collect the necessary data for water auditing. The questionnaire also assessed the views of stakeholder in PWA and HM (staff) on the current status of the NRW in the Hebron water distribution system. The important result obtained by this research shows that NRW in Hebron city was high and in excess of 30%. The main factors that contribute to NRW were the inaccuracies in billing volumes, unauthorized consumption, and the method of estimating consumptions through faulty meters. Policy for NRW reduction is available in Palestine; however, it is clear that the number of qualified staff available to carry out the activities related to leak detection is low, and that there is a lack of appropriate technologies to reduce water losses and undertake sufficient system maintenance, which needs to be improved to enhance the performance of the network and decrease the level of NRW losses.
Machine vision system provides automatic inspection to reduce manufacturing costs considerably. However, only a few principles have been found to optimize machine vision system and help it function more accurately in industrial practice. Mostly, there were complicated and impractical design techniques to improve the accuracy of machine vision system. This paper discusses implementing the Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) approach to optimize the setup parameters of machine vision system when it is used as a direct measurement technique. This research follows a case study showing how Six Sigma DMAIC methodology has been put into use.
The process of the translation is not merely the linguistic aspects. It is also considered in the cultural framework of both the source and target text cultures. The translation process and translated texts are confronted the new aspect in 20th century which is considered mostly in the patronage framework and ideological grillwork of the target language. To have these factors scrutinized in the process of the translation both micro-element factors and macro-element factors can be taken into consideration. For the purpose of this study through a qualitative type of research based on critical discourse analysis approach, the case study of the novel “1984” written by George Orwell was chosen as the corpus of the study to have the contrastive analysis by its Persian translated texts. Results of the study revealed some distortions embedded in the target texts which were overshadowed by ideological aspect and patronage network. The outcomes of the manipulated terms were different in various categories which revealed the manipulation aspects in the texts translated.
This paper explores the concept of academic identity as it relates to the lecture, in particular, the digitized lecture delivered to a camera, in the absence of a student audience. Many academics have the performance aspect of the role thrust upon them with little or no training. For the purpose of this study, we look at the performance of the academic identity and examine tailored film presence coaching for its contributions toward academic identity, specifically in relation to feelings of self-confidence and diminishment of discomfort or stage fright. The case is articulated through the lens of scholar-practitioners, using expert facilitated participatory action research. It demonstrates in our sample of experienced academics, all reported some feelings of uncertainty about presenting lectures to camera prior to coaching. We share how power poses and reframing fear, produced improvements in the ease and competency of all participants. We share exactly how this insight could be adapted for self-coaching by any academic when called to present to a camera and consider the relationship between this and academic identity.
With the development of social economy and the popularization of quality education, the Chinese government invests more and more funding in education. Campus constructions are experiencing a great development phase. Under the trend of sustainable development, modern green campus design needs to meet new requirements of contemporary, informational and diversified education means and adapt to future education development. Educators, designers and other participants of campus design are facing new challenges. By studying and analyzing the universal unsatisfied current situations and sustainable development requirements of Chinese campuses, this paper summarizes the strategies and intentions of the whole-life-cycle campus design. In addition, a Chinese high school in Zhejiang province is added to illustrate the design cycle in an actual case. It is aimed to make all participants of campus design, especially the designers, to realize the importance of whole-life-cycle campus design and cooperate better. Sustainable campus design is expected to come true in deed instead of becoming a slogan in this way.
Along with large population and great demands for urban development, Hong Kong serves as a typical high-density city with multiple altitudes, advanced three-dimensional traffic system, rich city open space, etc. This paper contributes to analyzing its complex urban form and evolution mechanism from three aspects of view, separately as time, space and buildings. Taking both horizontal and vertical dimension into consideration, this paper provides a perspective to explore the fascinating process of growing and space folding in the urban form of high-density city, also as a research reference for related high-density urban design.
This paper is a qualitative case study analysis of the development of a fully online learning community of graduate students through arts-based community building activities. With increasing numbers and types of online learning spaces, it is incumbent upon educators to continue to push the edge of what best practices look like in digital learning environments. In digital learning spaces, instructors can no longer be seen as purveyors of content knowledge to be examined at the end of a set course by a final test or exam. The rapid and fluid dissemination of information via Web 3.0 demands that we reshape our approach to teaching and learning, from one that is content-focused to one that is process-driven. Rather than having instructors as formal leaders, today’s digital learning environments require us to share expertise, as it is the collective experiences and knowledge of all students together with the instructors that help to create a very different kind of learning community. This paper focuses on innovations pursued in a 36 hour 12 week graduate course in higher education entitled “Critical and Reflective Practice”. The authors chronicle their journey to developing a fully online learning community (FOLC) by emphasizing the elements of social, cognitive, emotional and digital spaces that form a moving interplay through the community. In this way, students embrace anywhere anytime learning and often take the learning, as well as the relationships they build and skills they acquire, beyond the digital class into real world situations. We argue that in order to increase student online engagement, pedagogical approaches need to stem from two primary elements, both creativity and critical reflection, that are essential pillars upon which instructors can co-design learning environments with students. The theoretical framework for the paper is based on the interaction and interdependence of Creativity, Intuition, Critical Reflection, Social Constructivism and FOLCs. By leveraging students’ embedded familiarity with a wide variety of technologies, this case study of a graduate level course on critical reflection in education, examines how relationships, quality of work produced, and student engagement can improve by using creative and imaginative pedagogical strategies. The authors examine their professional pedagogical strategies through the lens that the teacher acts as facilitator, guide and co-designer. In a world where students can easily search for and organize information as self-directed processes, creativity and connection can at times be lost in the digitized course environment. The paper concludes by posing further questions as to how institutions of higher education may be challenged to restructure their credit granting courses into more flexible modules, and how students need to be considered an important part of assessment and evaluation strategies. By introducing creativity and critical reflection as central features of the digital learning spaces, notions of best practices in digital teaching and learning emerge.
Power distribution systems are essential and crucial infrastructures for the development and maintenance of a sustainable society. These systems are extremely vulnerable to various types of natural and man-made disasters. The assessment of resilience focuses on preparedness and mitigation actions under pre-disaster conditions. It also concentrates on response and recovery actions under post-disaster situations. The aim of this study is to present a methodology to assess the resilience of electric power distribution poles against wind-related events. The proposed methodology can improve the accuracy and rapidity of the evaluation of the conditions and the assessment of the resilience of poles. The methodology provides a metric for the evaluation of the resilience of poles under pre-disaster and post-disaster conditions. The metric was developed using mathematical expressions for physical forces that involve various variables, such as physical dimensions of the pole, the inclination of the pole, and wind speed. A three-dimensional imaging technology (photogrammetry) was used to determine the inclination of poles. Based on expert opinion, the proposed metric was used to define zones to visualize resilience. Visual representation of resilience is helpful for decision makers to prioritize their resources before and after experiencing a wind-related disaster. Multiple electric poles in the City of Beaumont, TX were used in a case study to evaluate the proposed methodology.
Transformation under the reconfiguration of urban-rural relation in Liuzhou city has never been as radical and visible as it has been since the tremendous turn of the last century in China. Huanjiang village is located in Linhuashan Scenic Area in the middle east of Liuzhou city, with spectacular landscape and traditional features. Nowadays Huanjiang village has become a so-called "village in city", which is considered full of great potential for development because of the economic value of regional advantages during the urban sprawl. Communities of village found it difficult to acclimatize with the dramatic changes, which later led to numerous problems including ecological damage, unemployment of landless farmers and loss of traditional culture. Government has started up a series of renewal planings to resolve the problems, which are based on advanced technology and conform to sustainable and integrated strategies of city planning considering the original context and historical culture, superseding the traditional arrangements based on the guide of extensive economic growth. This paper aims to elaborate the context of Liuzhou city and Huanjiang village offered to both the traditional and sustainable planning approaches, in order to understand challenges and solutions of the rebuilding process. Through the analysis of the place relevant to architecture, society and culture, it will establish the corresponding systematic strategies. Considering the local features, it concludes with a comprehensive perspective on organic renewal in the case of Huanjiang village.
Along with the acceleration of Chinese urbanization, the expansion, renovation and demolition of old buildings is on the stage together with the design and construction of new buildings every day in downtown of the old city area. The coordinative symbiosis between new and old buildings is an important problem which needs to be solved in the process of urban development. By studying and analyzing the case of Shanghai Citic Plaza and surroundings, this paper contributes to discussing the concept, value and problems to be solved of the coordination of new and old buildings, meanwhile, striking the balance between new and old buildings from the aspects of architectural form, space, function and local context. As a result, the strategy of the coordinative symbiosis between new and old buildings is summarized, which can offer some guiding principles to urban development from now on.
Often a Grade 12 certificate is perceived as a passport to tertiary education and the minimum requirement to enter the world of work. In spite of its importance, many students do not make this milestone in South Africa. It is important to find out why so many students still fail in spite of transformation in the education system in the post-apartheid era. Given the complexity of education and its context, this study adopted a case study design to examine one historically underperforming high school in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in 2013. The aim was to gain a understanding of the inner and outer school contextual factors associated with the high failure rate among Grade 12 students. Government documents and reports were consulted to identify factors in the district and the village surrounding the school and a student survey was conducted to identify school, home and student factors. The randomly-sampled half of the population of Grade 12 students (53) participated in the survey and quantitative data are analyzed using descriptive statistical methods. The findings showed that a host of factors is at play. The school is located in a village within a municipality which has been one of the poorest three municipalities in South Africa and the lowest Grade 12 pass rate in the Mpumalanga province. Moreover, over half of the families of the students are single parents, 43% are unemployed and the majority has a low level of education. In addition, most families (83%) do not have basic study materials such as a dictionary, books, tables, and chairs. A significant number of students (70%) are over-aged (+19 years old); close to half of them (49%) are grade repeaters. The school itself lacks essential resources, namely computers, science laboratories, library, and enough furniture and textbooks. Moreover, teaching and learning are negatively affected by the teachers’ occasional absenteeism, inadequate lesson preparation, and poor communication skills. Overall, the continuous low performance of students in this school mirrors the vicious circle of multiple negative conditions present within and outside of the school. The complexity of factors associated with the underperformance of Grade 12 students in this school calls for a multi-dimensional intervention from government and stakeholders. One important intervention should be the placement of over-aged students and grade-repeaters in suitable educational institutions for the benefit of other students.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the growth of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays to project completion. Delays in delivering a construction project are a global issue and while theories such as Optimism Bias have been used to explain such delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are also significant. The objective of this paper is to develop a framework-based approach to explore how the country’s construction industry can manage and reduce delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM) in order to mitigate the cost consequences of such delays. It comprehensively and systematically reviewed the global literature on the subject and identified gaps, critical delay factors and the specific benefits that BIM can deliver for the delay management. A case study comprising of nine hospital projects that have experienced delay and cost overruns was also carried out. Five critical delay factors related to the clients were identified as candidates that can be mitigated through BIM’s benefits. These factors are: Ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. In addition, data from the case study projects strongly suggest that optimism bias is present in many of the hospital projects. Further validation via key stakeholder interviews and documentations are planned.
Quick growth of electronic commerce in developed countries means that developing nations must change in their commerce strategies fundamentally. Most organizations are aware of the impact of the Internet and e-Commerce on the future of their firm, and thus, they have to focus on organizational factors that have an effect on the deployment of an e-Commerce strategy. In this situation, it is essential to identify organizational factors such as the organizational culture, human resources, size, structure and product/service that impact an e-commerce strategy. Accordingly, this research specifies the effects of organizational factors on applying an e-commerce strategy in the Namakin food industry. The statistical population of this research is 95 managers and employees. Cochran's formula is used for determination of the sample size that is 77 of the statistical population. Also, SPSS and Smart PLS software were utilized for analyzing the collected data. The results of hypothesis testing show that organizational factors have positive and significant effects of applying an e-Commerce strategy. On the other hand, sub-hypothesizes show that effectiveness of the organizational culture and size criteria were rejected and other sub-hypothesis were accepted.
This paper aims to determine the best environmental and economic scenario for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management of the Maku city by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The functional elements of this study are collection, transportation, and disposal of MSW in Maku city. Waste composition and density, as two key parameters of MSW, have been determined by field sampling, and then, the other important specifications of MSW like chemical formula, thermal energy and water content were calculated. These data beside other information related to collection and disposal facilities are used as a reliable source of data to assess the environmental impacts of different waste management options, including landfills, composting, recycling and energy recovery. The environmental impact of MSW management options has been investigated in 15 different scenarios by Integrated Waste Management (IWM) software. The photochemical smog, greenhouse gases, acid gases, toxic emissions, and energy consumption of each scenario are measured. Then, the environmental indices of each scenario are specified by weighting these parameters. Economic costs of scenarios have been also compared with each other based on literature. As final result, since the organic materials make more than 80% of the waste, compost can be a suitable method. Although the major part of the remaining 20% of waste can be recycled, due to the high cost of necessary equipment, the landfill option has been suggested. Therefore, the scenario with 80% composting and 20% landfilling is selected as superior environmental and economic scenario. This study shows that, to select a scenario with practical applications, simultaneously environmental and economic aspects of different scenarios must be considered.