Engagement with non-human animals is a rapidly-growing field of study within the animal science and social science sectors, with human-interactions occurring in many forms; interactions, encounters and animal-assisted therapy. To our knowledge, there has been a wide array of research published on domestic and livestock human-animal interactions, however, there appear to be fewer publications relating to zoo animals and the effect these interactions have on the animal, human and establishment. The aim of this study was to identify if there were any perceivable benefits from the human-animal interaction for the cheetah, the human and the establishment. Behaviour data were collected before, during and after the interaction on the behaviour of the cheetah and the human participants to highlight any trends with nine interactions conducted. All 35 participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire prior to the interaction and immediately after to ascertain if their perceptions changed following an interaction with the cheetah. An online questionnaire was also distributed for three months to gain an understanding of the perceptions of human-animal interactions from members of the public, gaining 229 responses. Both questionnaires contained qualitative and quantitative questions to allow for specific definitive answers to be analysed, but also expansion on the participants perceived perception of human-animal interactions. In conclusion, it was found that participants’ perceptions of human-animal interactions saw a positive change, with 64% of participants altering their opinion and viewing the interaction as beneficial for the cheetah (reduction in stress assumed behaviours) following participation in a 15-minute interaction. However, it was noted that many participants felt the interaction lacked educational values and therefore this is an area in which zoological establishments can work to further improve upon. The results highlighted many positive benefits for the human, animal and establishment, however, the study does indicate further areas for research in order to promote positive perceptions of human-animal interactions and to further increase the welfare of the animal during these interactions, with recommendations to create and regulate legislation.
The current study investigates the behaviour of time-varying parameters that are based on the score function of the predictive model density at time t. The mechanism to update the parameters over time is the scaled score of the likelihood function. The results revealed that there is high persistence of time-varying, as the location parameter is higher and the skewness parameter implied the departure of scale parameter from the normality with the unconditional parameter as 1.5. The results also revealed that there is a perseverance of the leptokurtic behaviour in stock returns which implies the returns are heavily tailed. Prior to model estimation, the White Neural Network test exposed that the stock price can be modelled by a GAS model. Finally, we proposed further researches specifically to model the existence of time-varying parameters with a more detailed model that encounters the heavy tail distribution of the series and computes the risk measure associated with the returns.
Concrete, despite being one of the most produced materials in the world, still has weaknesses and drawbacks. Significant concern of the cementitious materials in structural applications is their quasi-brittle behavior, which causes the material to crack and lose its durability. One of the very recently proposed mitigations for this problem is the implementation of nanotechnology in the concrete mix by adding carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to it. CNTs can enhance the critical mechanical properties of concrete as a structural material. Thus, this paper demonstrates a state-of-the-art review of reinforcing concrete with CNTs, emphasizing on the structural performance. It also goes over the properties of CNTs alone, the present methods and costs associated with producing them, the possible special applications of concretes reinforced with CNTs, the key challenges and drawbacks that this new technology still encounters, and the most reliable practices and methodologies to produce CNT-reinforced concrete in the lab. This work has shown that the addition of CNTs to the concrete mix in percentages as low as 0.25% weight of cement could increase the flexural strength and toughness of concrete by more than 45% and 25%, respectively, and enhance other durability-related properties, given that an effective dispersion of CNTs in the cementitious mix is achieved. Since nano reinforcement for cementitious materials is a new technology, many challenges have to be tackled before it becomes practiced at the mass level.
Attempts to split the construct of emotional intelligence (EI) into separate components – ability to understand own and others’ emotions and ability to control own and others’ emotions may be meaningful more theoretically than practically. In real life, a personality encounters various emotional situations that require exhibition of complex EI to solve them. Emotional situation solution tests enable measurement of such undivided EI. The object of the present study is to determine sociodemographic and other factors that are important for emotional situation solutions. The study involved 1,430 participants from various regions of Lithuania. The age of participants varied from 17 years to 27 years. Emotional social and interpersonal situation scale EI-DARL-V2 was used. Each situation had two mandatory answering formats: The first format contained assignments associated with hypothetical theoretical knowledge of how the situation should be solved, while the second format included the question of how the participant would personally resolve the given situation in reality. A questionnaire that contained various sociodemographic data of subjects was also presented. Factors, statistically significant for emotional situation solution, have been determined: gender, family structure, the subject’s relation with his or her mother, mother’s occupation, subjectively assessed financial situation of the family, level of education of the subjects and his or her parents, academic achievement, etc. The best solvers of emotional situations are women with high academic achievements. According to their chosen study profile/acquired profession, they are related to the fields in social sciences and humanities. The worst solvers of emotional situations are men raised in foster homes. They are/were bad students and mostly choose blue-collar professions.
In the anticipation of demand fluctuations, services cannot be inventoried and hence it creates a difficult problem in marketing of services. The inability to meet customers (patients) requirements in healthcare context has more serious consequences than other service sectors. In order to meet patient requirements in the current uncertain environment, healthcare organizations are seeking ways for improved service delivery. Flexibility provides a mechanism for reducing variability in service encounters and improved performance. Flexibility is defined as the ability of the organization to cope with changing circumstances or instability caused by the environment. Patient satisfaction is an important performance outcome of healthcare organizations. However, the paucity of information exists in healthcare delivery context to examine the impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. The present study is an attempt to develop a conceptual foundation for investigating overall impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Several dimensions of flexibility in healthcare context are examined and proposed to have a significant impact on patient satisfaction and intention. Furthermore, the study involves a critical examination of determinants of patient satisfaction and development of a comprehensive view the relationship between flexibility, patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Finally, theoretical contributions and implications for healthcare professionals are suggested from flexibility perspective.
World, nowadays, encounters serious water scarcity problem. During the past few years, by advent of Smart Energy and Water Meter (SEWM) and its installation at the electro-pumps of the water wells, one had believed that it could be the golden key to address the groundwater resources over-pumping issue. In fact, implementation of these Smart Meters managed to control the water table drawdown for short; but it was not a sustainable approach. SEWM has been considered as law enforcement facility at first; however, for solving a complex socioeconomic problem like shared groundwater resources management, more than just enforcement is required: participation to conserve common resources. The well owners or farmers, as water consumers, are the main and direct stakeholders of this system and other stakeholders could be government sectors, investors, technology providers, privet sectors or ordinary people. Designing a socio-technical system not only defines the role of each stakeholder but also can lubricate the communication to reach the system goals while benefits of each are considered and provided. Farmers, as the key participators for solving groundwater problem, do not trust governments but they would trust a fair system in which responsibilities, privileges and benefits are clear. Technology could help this system remained impartial and productive. Social aspects provide rules, regulations, social objects and etc. for the system and help it to be more human-centered. As the design methodology, Design Thinking provides probable solutions for the challenging problems and ongoing conflicts; it could enlighten the way in which the final system could be designed. Using Human Centered Design approach of IDEO helps to keep farmers in the center of the solution and provides a vision by which stakeholders’ requirements and needs are addressed effectively. Farmers would be considered to trust the system and participate in their groundwater resources management if they find the rules and tools of the system fair and effective. Besides, implementation of the socio-technical system could change farmers’ behavior in order that they concern more about their valuable shared water resources as well as their farm profit. This socio-technical system contains nine main subsystems: 1) Measurement and Monitoring system, 2) Legislation and Governmental system, 3) Information Sharing system, 4) Knowledge based NGOs, 5) Integrated Farm Management system (using IoT), 6) Water Market and Water Banking system, 7) Gamification, 8) Agribusiness ecosystem, 9) Investment system.
This paper presents a tracked robot with blade arms powered to assist movement in difficult environments. As a result, the tracked robot is able to pass a ramp or climb stairs. The main feature is a pair of blade arms on both sides of the vehicle body working in collaboration with previously validated transformable track system. When the robot encounters an obstacle in a terrain, it enlists the blade arms with power to overcome the obstacle. In disaster areas, there usually will be terrains that are full of broken and complicated slopes, broken walls, rubbles, and ditches. Thereupon, a robot, which is instructed to pass through such disaster areas, needs to have a good off-road capability for such complicated terrains. The robot with crawling-assisting blade arms would overcome the obstacles along the terrains, and possibly become to be a rescue robot. A prototype has been developed and built; experiments were carried out to validate the enhanced crawling capability of the robot.
This study explores the experiences of cross-linguistic medical encounters by patients, and their views of receiving language support therein, with a particular focus on Japanese-English cases. The aim of this study is to investigate the reason for the frequent use of a spouse as a communication mediator from a Japanese perspective, through a comparison with that of English speakers. This study conducts an empirical qualitative analysis of the accounts of informants. A total of 31 informants who have experienced Japanese-English cross-linguistic medical encounters were recruited in Australia and Japan for semi-structured in-depth interviews. A breakdown of informants is 15 English speakers and 16 Japanese speakers. In order to obtain a further insight into collected data, additional interviews were held with 4 Australian doctors who are familiar with using interpreters. This study was approved by the Australian National University Human Research Ethics Committee, and written consent to participate in this study was obtained from all participants. The interviews lasted up to over one hour. They were audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed by the author. Japanese transcriptions were translated into English by the author. An analysis of interview data found that patients value relationship in communication. Particularly, Japanese informants, who have an English-speaking spouse, value trust-based communication interventions by their spouse, regardless of the language proficiency of the spouse. In Australia, health care interpreters are required to abide by the national code of ethics for interpreters. The Code defines the role of an interpreter exclusively to be language rendition and enshrines the tenets of accuracy, confidentiality and professional role boundaries. However, the analysis found that an interpreter who strictly complies with the Code sometimes fails to render the real intentions of the patient and their doctor. Findings from the study suggest that an interpreter should not be detached from the context and should be more engaged in the needs of patients. Their needs are not always communicated by an interpreter when they simply follow a professional code of ethics. The concept of relationship-centred care should be incorporated in the professional practice of health care interpreters.
Selling has changed. Selling has taken on aspects of relationship marketing and sales force play a critical role in developing long-term relationships between buyers and sellers which is seen to serve the company’s targets and create success for a long run. The purpose of this study was to examine what really matters in buyer-seller encounters and determine what expectations business buyers have. We studied 17 business buyers by a qualitative interview. We found that buyers appreciate encounters where the salesperson face the buyer as a way he or she is as a person, map the real needs to improve buyers’ business and build up cooperation for long-term relationship. This study show that personality matters are a key elements when satisfying business buyers’ expectations.
One of the most important aspects expected from ERP systems is to integrate various operations existing in administrative, financial, commercial, human resources, and production departments of the consumer organization. Also, it is often needed to integrate the new ERP system with the organization legacy systems when implementing the ERP package in the organization. Without relying on an appropriate software architecture to realize the required integration, ERP implementation processes become error prone and time consuming; in some cases, the ERP implementation may even encounters serious risks. In this paper, we propose a new architecture that is based on the agent oriented vision and supplies the integration expected from ERP systems using several independent but cooperator agents. Besides integration which is the main issue of this paper, the presented architecture will address some aspects of intelligence and learning capabilities existing in ERP systems
Bicycle configuration is not as large as those of motorcycles or automobiles, while it indeed composes a complicated dynamic system. People-s requirements on comfortability, controllability and safety grow higher as the research and development technologies improve. The shock absorber affects the vehicle suspension performances enormously. The absorber takes the vibration energy and releases it at a suitable time, keeping the wheel under a proper contact condition with road surface, maintaining the vehicle chassis stability. Suspension design for mountain bicycles is more difficult than that of city bikes since it encounters dynamic variations on road and loading conditions. Riders need a stiff damper as they exert to tread on the pedals when climbing, while a soft damper when they descend downhill. Various switchable shock absorbers are proposed in markets, however riders have to manually switch them among soft, hard and lock positions. This study proposes a novel design of the bicycle shock absorber, which provides automatic smooth tuning of the damping coefficient, from a predetermined lower bound to theoretically unlimited. An automatic quick releasing valve is involved in this design so that it can release the peak pressure when the suspension fork runs into a square-wave type obstacle and prevent the chassis from damage, avoiding the rider skeleton from injury. This design achieves the automatic tuning process by innovative plunger valve and fluidic passage arrangements without any electronic devices. Theoretical modelling of the damper and spring are established in this study. Design parameters of the valves and fluidic passages are determined. Relations between design parameters and shock absorber performances are discussed in this paper. The analytical results give directions to the shock absorber manufacture.
The present work encounters the solution of the defect identification problem with the use of an evolutionary algorithm combined with a simplex method. In more details, a Matlab implementation of Genetic Algorithms is combined with a Simplex method in order to lead to the successful identification of the defect. The influence of the location and the orientation of the depressed ellipsoidal flaw was investigated as well as the use of different amount of static data in the cost function. The results were evaluated according to the ability of the simplex method to locate the global optimum in each test case. In this way, a clear impression regarding the performance of the novel combination of the optimization algorithms, and the influence of the geometrical parameters of the flaw in defect identification problems was obtained.