International Science Index

3246
10009059
Effects of Audit Quality and Corporate Governance on Earnings Management of Quoted Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria
Abstract:

The stakeholders’ pressure on corporate managers to maintain firm’s profitability has created economic incentives for management to engage in earnings management practices. Therefore, this study examines the effects of audit quality and corporate governance on earnings management of quoted deposit money banks (DMBs) in Nigeria. This study specifically investigates the influence of audit tenure, audit fee, board independence, and board size on earnings management of DMBs. Explanatory research design was employed in carrying out the study while secondary data were sourced from the annual reports and accounts of all the 15 quoted DMBs in Nigerian Stock Exchange as at December 31, 2015 for a period of 10 years covering from 2006 to 2015. The data obtained for the study were analyzed using panel regression analysis approach. The findings reveal that board independence has a negative significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.002), while audit fee has a positive significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.013) and audit tenure has a negative significant effect on earnings management of DMBs at a 5% level of significance (p=0.003). Surprisingly, board size was statistically not significant at a 5% level of significance (p=0.086). The study concludes that high audit quality and sound corporate governance could improve the earnings quality of DMBs. Hence, the study recommends that the authorities saddled with the responsibility of banking supervision in Nigeria such the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and CBN to advise the National Assembly in Nigeria to pass into law the three years professional requirement for audit tenure.

Paper Detail
11
downloads
3245
10009061
Estimation of Train Operation Using an Exponential Smoothing Method
Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to improve the convenience of waiting for trains at level crossings and stations and to prevent accidents resulting from forcible entry into level crossings, by providing level crossing users and passengers with information that tells them when the next train will pass through or arrive. For this paper, we proposed methods for estimating operation by means of an average value method, variable response smoothing method, and exponential smoothing method, on the basis of open data, which has low accuracy, but for which performance schedules are distributed in real time. We then examined the accuracy of the estimations. The results showed that the application of an exponential smoothing method is valid.

3244
10009062
The Classical Islamic Laws of Apostasy in the Present Context
Authors:
Abstract:

The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether or not the earthly punishments in regards to apostates that are often found in classical Islamic sources are applicable in the present context. The paper indeed addresses how Muslims should understand the question of apostasy in the contemporary context. To do so, the paper first argues that an accurate understanding of the way the Quranic verses and prophetic hadiths deal with the concept of apostasy could help us rethink and re-examine the classical Islamic laws on apostasy in the present context. In addition, building on Abdolkarim Soroush’s theory of contraction and expansion of religious knowledge, this article argues that approaches to apostasy in the present context can move away from what prescribed by classical Islamic laws. Finally, it argues that instances of persecution of apostates in the early days of Islam during the Medinan period of Muhammad’s prophetic mission should be interpreted in their own socio-historical context. Rereading these reports within our modern context supports the mutability of the traditional corporal punishments of apostasy.

3243
10009063
Investigation of Microstructure of Differently Sub-Zero Treated Vanadis 6 Steel
Abstract:

Ledeburitic tool steel Vanadis 6 has been subjected to sub-zero treatment (SZT) at -140 °C and -196 °C, for different durations up to 48 h. The microstructure and hardness have been examined with reference to the same material after room temperature quenching, by using the light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Vickers hardness testing method. The microstructure of the material consists of the martensitic matrix with certain amount of retained austenite, and of several types of carbides – eutectic carbides, secondary carbides, and small globular carbides. SZT reduces the retained austenite amount – this is more effective at -196 °C than at -140 °C. Alternatively, the amount of small globular carbides increases more rapidly after SZT at -140 °C than after the treatment at -140 °C. The hardness of sub-zero treated material is higher than that of conventionally treated steel when tempered at low temperature. Compressive hydrostatic stresses are developed in the retained austenite due to the application of SZT, as a result of more complete martensitic transformation. This is also why the population density of small globular carbides is substantially increased due to the SZT. In contrast, the hardness of sub-zero treated samples decreases more rapidly compared to that of conventionally treated steel, and in addition, sub-zero treated material induces a loss the secondary hardening peak.

3242
10009064
Conceptualizing of Priorities in the Dynamics of Public Administration Contemporary Reforms
Abstract:

The article presents the results of the creative analysis and comparison of trends in the development of the theory of public administration during the period from the second half of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. The process of conceptualization of the priorities of public administration in the dynamics of reforming was held under the influence of such factors as globalization, integration, information and technological changes and human rights is examined. The priorities of the social state in the concepts of the second half of the 20th century are studied. Peculiar approaches to determining the priorities of public administration in the countries of "Soviet dictatorship" in Central and Eastern Europe in the same period are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the priorities of public administration regarding the interaction between public power and society and the development of conceptual foundations for the modern managerial process. There is a thought that the dynamics of the formation of concepts of the European governance is characterized by the sequence of priorities: from socio-economic and moral-ethical to organizational-procedural and non-hierarchical ones. The priorities of the "welfare state" were focused on the decent level of material wellbeing of population. At the same time, the conception of "minimal state" emphasized priorities of human responsibility for their own fate under the conditions of minimal state protection. Later on, the emphasis was placed on horizontal ties and redistribution of powers and competences of "effective state" with its developed procedures and limits of responsibility at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the civil society. The priorities of the contemporary period are concentrated on human rights in the concepts of "good governance" and all the following ones, which recognize the absolute priority of public administration with compliance, provision and protection of human rights. There is a proved point of view that civilizational changes taking place under the influence of information and technological imperatives also stipulate changes in priorities, redistribution of emphases and update principles of managerial concepts on the basis of publicity, transparency, departure from traditional forms of hierarchy and control in favor of interactivity and inter-sectoral interaction, decentralization and humanization of managerial processes. The necessity to permanently carry out the reorganization, by establishing the interaction between different participants of public power and social relations, to establish a balance between political forces and social interests on the basis of mutual trust and mutual understanding determines changes of social, political, economic and humanitarian paradigms of public administration and their theoretical comprehension. The further studies of theoretical foundations of modern public administration in interdisciplinary discourse in the context of ambiguous consequences of the globalizational and integrational processes of modern European state-building would be advisable. This is especially true during the period of political transformations and economic crises which are the characteristic of the contemporary Europe, especially for democratic transition countries.

3241
10008887
Wind Farm Power Performance Verification Using Non-Parametric Statistical Inference
Abstract:

Accurate determination of wind turbine performance is necessary for economic operation of a wind farm. At present, the procedure to carry out the power performance verification of wind turbines is based on a standard of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In this paper, nonparametric statistical inference is applied to designing a simple, inexpensive method of verifying the power performance of a wind turbine. A statistical test is explained, examined, and the adequacy is tested over real data. The methods use the information that is collected by the SCADA system (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) from the sensors embedded in the wind turbines in order to carry out the power performance verification of a wind farm. The study has used data on the monthly output of wind farm in the Republic of Macedonia, and the time measuring interval was from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. At the end, it is concluded whether the power performance of a wind turbine differed significantly from what would be expected. The results of the implementation of the proposed methods showed that the power performance of the specific wind farm under assessment was acceptable.

Paper Detail
67
downloads
3240
10008915
Application of De Novo Programming Approach for Optimizing the Business Process
Abstract:
The linear programming model is sometimes difficult to apply in real business situations due to its assumption of proportionality. This paper shows an example of how to use De Novo programming approach instead of linear programming. In the De Novo programming, resources are not fixed like in linear programming but resource quantities depend only on available budget. Budget is a new, important element of the De Novo approach. Two different production situations are presented: increasing costs and quantity discounts of raw materials. The focus of this paper is on advantages of the De Novo approach in the optimization of production plan for production company which produces souvenirs made from famous stone from the island of Brac, one of the greatest islands from Croatia.
Paper Detail
59
downloads
3239
10008934
Attribute Based Comparison and Selection of Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robot Using Multiple Attribute Decision Making Approach
Abstract:

From the last decades, there is a significant technological advancement in the field of robotics, and a number of modular self-reconfigurable robots were introduced that can help in space exploration, bucket to stuff, search, and rescue operation during earthquake, etc. As there are numbers of self-reconfigurable robots, choosing the optimum one is always a concern for robot user since there is an increase in available features, facilities, complexity, etc. The objective of this research work is to present a multiple attribute decision making based methodology for coding, evaluation, comparison ranking and selection of modular self-reconfigurable robots using a technique for order preferences by similarity to ideal solution approach. However, 86 attributes that affect the structure and performance are identified. A database for modular self-reconfigurable robot on the basis of different pertinent attribute is generated. This database is very useful for the user, for selecting a robot that suits their operational needs. Two visual methods namely linear graph and spider chart are proposed for ranking of modular self-reconfigurable robots. Using five robots (Atron, Smores, Polybot, M-Tran 3, Superbot), an example is illustrated, and raking of the robots is successfully done, which shows that Smores is the best robot for the operational need illustrated, and this methodology is found to be very effective and simple to use.

Paper Detail
53
downloads
3238
10008939
Reliability and Cost Focused Optimization Approach for a Communication Satellite Payload Redundancy Allocation Problem
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
110
downloads
3237
10008941
Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity
Abstract:

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

Paper Detail
58
downloads
3236
10008942
Associations between Metabolic Syndrome and Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Postmenopausal Women with Non-Vertebral Fractures
Abstract:

Medical, social, and economic relevance of osteoporosis is caused by reducing quality of life, increasing disability and mortality of the patients as a result of fractures due to the low-energy trauma. This study is aimed to examine the associations of metabolic syndrome components, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in menopausal women with non-vertebral fractures. 1161 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into three groups: A included 419 women with increased body weight (BMI - 25.0-29.9 kg/m2), B – 442 females with obesity (BMI >29.9 kg/m2)i and C – 300 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm was investigated with usage of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The bone quality indexes were measured according to Med-Imaps installation. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package 6.0. BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body, and ultradistal radius was significant higher in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to the pre-obese ones (p<0.001). TBS was significantly higher in women with increased body weight compared to obese and metabolic syndrome patients. Analysis showed significant positive correlation between waist circumference, triglycerides level and BMD of lumbar spine and femur. Significant negative association between serum HDL level and BMD of investigated sites was established. The TBS (L1-L4) indexes positively correlated with HDL (high-density lipoprotein) level. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were better in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of non-vertebral fractures was significantly higher in this group of patients.

Paper Detail
49
downloads
3235
10008957
Application of Design Thinking for Technology Transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for the Creative Industry
Abstract:

With this contribution, we want to show a successful example of the application of the Design Thinking methodology, in the European project 'Technology transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the creative industry'. The use of this methodology has allowed us to design and build a drone, based on the real needs of prospective users. It has demonstrated that this is a powerful tool for generating innovative ideas in the field of robotics, by focusing its effectiveness on understanding and solving real user needs. In this way, with the support of an interdisciplinary team, comprised of creatives, engineers and economists, together with the collaboration of prospective users from three European countries, a non-linear work dynamic has been created. This teamwork has generated a sense of appreciation towards the creative industries, through continuously adaptive, inventive, and playful collaboration and communication, which has facilitated the development of prototypes. These have been designed to enable filming and photography in interior spaces, within 13 sectors of European creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Antiques and Museums, Music, Photography, Televison, Performing Arts, Publishing, Arts and Crafts, Design and Software. Furthermore, it has married the real needs of the creative industries, with what is technologically and commercially viable. As a result, a product of great value has been obtained, which offers new business opportunities for small companies across this sector.

Paper Detail
78
downloads
3234
10008970
Child Homicide Victimization and Community Context: A Research Note
Authors:
Abstract:

Among serious crimes, child homicide is a rather rare event. However, the killing of children stirs up a special type of emotion in society that pales other criminal acts. This study examines the relevancy of three possible community-level explanations for child homicide: social deprivation, female empowerment, and social isolation. The social deprivation hypothesis posits that child homicide results from lack of resources in communities. The female empowerment hypothesis argues that a higher female status translates into a higher level of capability to prevent child homicide. Finally, the social isolation hypothesis regards child homicide as a result of lack of social connectivity. Child homicide data, aggregated by US postal ZIP codes in California from 1990 to 1999, were analyzed with a negative binomial regression. The results of the negative binomial analysis demonstrate that social deprivation is the most salient and consistent predictor among all other factors in explaining child homicide victimization at the ZIP-code level. Both social isolation and female labor force participation are weak predictors of child homicide victimization across communities. Further, results from the negative binomial regression show that it is the communities with a higher, not lower, degree of female labor force participation that are associated with a higher count of child homicide. It is possible that poor communities with a higher level of female employment have a lesser capacity to provide the necessary care and protection for the children. Policies aiming at reducing social deprivation and strengthening female empowerment possess the potential to reduce child homicide in the community.

Paper Detail
39
downloads
3233
10008972
Memory Types in Hemodialysis Patients: A Study Based on Hemodialysis Duration, Zahedan, South East of Iran
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
48
downloads
3232
10009008
Quick Similarity Measurement of Binary Images via Probabilistic Pixel Mapping
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
41
downloads
3231
10009036
Analysis and Modeling of Stresses and Creeps Resulting from Soil Mechanics in Southern Plains of Kerman Province
Abstract:
Many of the engineering materials, such as behavioral metals, have at least a certain level of linear behavior. It means that if the stresses are doubled, the deformations would be also doubled. In fact, these materials have linear elastic properties. Soils do not follow this law, for example, when compressed, soils become gradually tighter. On the surface of the ground, the sand can be easily deformed with a finger, but in high compressive stresses, they gain considerable hardness and strength. This is mainly due to the increase in the forces among the separate particles. Creeps also deform the soils under a constant load over time. Clay and peat soils have creep behavior. As a result of this phenomenon, structures constructed on such soils will continue their collapse over time. In this paper, the researchers analyzed and modeled the stresses and creeps in the southern plains of Kerman province in Iran through library-documentary, quantitative and software techniques, and field survey. The results of the modeling showed that these plains experienced severe stresses and had a collapse of about 26 cm in the last 15 years and also creep evidence was discovered in an area with a gradient of 3-6 degrees.
Paper Detail
12
downloads
3230
10008748
On the Bootstrap P-Value Method in Identifying out of Control Signals in Multivariate Control Chart
Authors:
Abstract:

In any production process, every product is aimed to attain a certain standard, but the presence of assignable cause of variability affects our process, thereby leading to low quality of product. The ability to identify and remove this type of variability reduces its overall effect, thereby improving the quality of the product. In case of a univariate control chart signal, it is easy to detect the problem and give a solution since it is related to a single quality characteristic. However, the problems involved in the use of multivariate control chart are the violation of multivariate normal assumption and the difficulty in identifying the quality characteristic(s) that resulted in the out of control signals. The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of non-parametric control chart (the bootstrap approach) for obtaining control limit to overcome the problem of multivariate distributional assumption and the p-value method for detecting out of control signals. Results from a performance study show that the proposed bootstrap method enables the setting of control limit that can enhance the detection of out of control signals when compared, while the p-value method also enhanced in identifying out of control variables.

Paper Detail
125
downloads
3229
10008803
Discrepant Views of Social Competence and Links with Social Phobia
Abstract:

Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Paper Detail
96
downloads
3228
10008806
Development of a Standardization Methodology Assessing the Comfort Performance for Hanok
Abstract:

Korean traditional residences have been built with deep design issues for various values such as social, cultural, and environmental influences to be started from a few thousand years ago, but its meaning is being vanished due to the different lifestyles these days. It is necessary, therefore, to grasp the meaning of the Korea traditional building called Hanok and to get Korean people understand its real advantages. The purpose of this study is to propose a standardization methodology for evaluating comfort features towards Korean traditional houses. This paper is also trying to build an official standard evaluation system and to integrate aesthetic and psychological values induced from Hanok. Its comfort performance values could be divided into two large categories that are physical and psychological, and fourteen methods have been defined as the Korean Standards (KS). For this research, field survey data from representative Hanok types were collected for each method. This study also contains a qualitative in-depth analysis of the Hanok comfort index by the professions using AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process) and has examined the effect of the methods. As a result, this paper could define what methods can provide trustful outcomes and how to evaluate the own strengths in aspects of spatial comfort of Hanok using suggested procedures towards the spatial configuration of the traditional dwellings. This study has finally proposed an integrated development of a standardization methodology assessing the comfort performance for Korean traditional residences, and it is expected that they could evaluate inhabitants of the residents and interior environmental conditions especially structured by wood materials like Hanok.

Paper Detail
101
downloads
3227
10008851
Research on Spatial Morphology and Protection of Traditional Rural Settlements Based on Space Syntax: Taking Xiazhuang Village and Shijia Village in Huzhou as Example
Authors:
Abstract:
Space syntax, a paradigm of the urban research, which manifests people’s intuitive and abstract perception of a material space with a solid mathematical way, explores how space represents its social characteristics. Taking Xiazhuang village and Shijia Village in Huzhou as an example and focusing on inward structure and street space, this article recognizes the connotative significance of the settlement with the aid of space syntax theory and quantitative analysis method from the perspective of spatial configuration to present relevant suggestions for its future planning and provides references for traditional rural settlement protection.
Paper Detail
72
downloads
3226
10008855
Comparing Test Equating by Item Response Theory and Raw Score Methods with Small Sample Sizes on a Study of the ARTé: Mecenas Learning Game
Abstract:
The purpose of the present research is to equate two test forms as part of a study to evaluate the educational effectiveness of the ARTé: Mecenas art history learning game. The researcher applied Item Response Theory (IRT) procedures to calculate item, test, and mean-sigma equating parameters. With the sample size n=134, test parameters indicated “good” model fit but low Test Information Functions and more acute than expected equating parameters. Therefore, the researcher applied equipercentile equating and linear equating to raw scores and compared the equated form parameters and effect sizes from each method. Item scaling in IRT enables the researcher to select a subset of well-discriminating items. The mean-sigma step produces a mean-slope adjustment from the anchor items, which was used to scale the score on the new form (Form R) to the reference form (Form Q) scale. In equipercentile equating, scores are adjusted to align the proportion of scores in each quintile segment. Linear equating produces a mean-slope adjustment, which was applied to all core items on the new form. The study followed a quasi-experimental design with purposeful sampling of students enrolled in a college level art history course (n=134) and counterbalancing design to distribute both forms on the pre- and posttests. The Experimental Group (n=82) was asked to play ARTé: Mecenas online and complete Level 4 of the game within a two-week period; 37 participants completed Level 4. Over the same period, the Control Group (n=52) did not play the game. The researcher examined between group differences from post-test scores on test Form Q and Form R by full-factorial Two-Way ANOVA. The raw score analysis indicated a 1.29% direct effect of form, which was statistically non-significant but may be practically significant. The researcher repeated the between group differences analysis with all three equating methods. For the IRT mean-sigma adjusted scores, form had a direct effect of 8.39%. Mean-sigma equating with a small sample may have resulted in inaccurate equating parameters. Equipercentile equating aligned test means and standard deviations, but resultant skewness and kurtosis worsened compared to raw score parameters. Form had a 3.18% direct effect. Linear equating produced the lowest Form effect, approaching 0%. Using linearly equated scores, the researcher conducted an ANCOVA to examine the effect size in terms of prior knowledge. The between group effect size for the Control Group versus Experimental Group participants who completed the game was 14.39% with a 4.77% effect size attributed to pre-test score. Playing and completing the game increased art history knowledge, and individuals with low prior knowledge tended to gain more from pre- to post test. Ultimately, researchers should approach test equating based on their theoretical stance on Classical Test Theory and IRT and the respective  assumptions. Regardless of the approach or method, test equating requires a representative sample of sufficient size. With small sample sizes, the application of a range of equating approaches can expose item and test features for review, inform interpretation, and identify paths for improving instruments for future study.
Paper Detail
90
downloads
3225
10008889
Dynamic Reroute Modeling for Emergency Evacuation: Case Study of Brunswick City, Germany
Abstract:

The human behaviors during evacuations are quite complex. One of the critical behaviors which affect the efficiency of evacuation is route choice. Therefore, the respective simulation modeling work needs to function properly. In this paper, Simulation of Urban Mobility’s (SUMO) current dynamic route modeling during evacuation, i.e. the rerouting functions, is examined with a real case study. The result consistency of the simulation and the reality is checked as well. Four influence factors (1) time to get information, (2) probability to cancel a trip, (3) probability to use navigation equipment, and (4) rerouting and information updating period are considered to analyze possible traffic impacts during the evacuation and to examine the rerouting functions in SUMO. Furthermore, some behavioral characters of the case study are analyzed with use of the corresponding detector data and applied in the simulation. The experiment results show that the dynamic route modeling in SUMO can deal with the proposed scenarios properly. Some issues and function needs related to route choice are discussed and further improvements are suggested.

Paper Detail
71
downloads
3224
10008897
The Difficulties Witnessed by People with Intellectual Disability in Transition to Work in Saudi Arabia
Abstract:

The transition of a student with a disability from school to work is the most crucial phase while moving from the stage of adolescence into early adulthood. In this process, young individuals face various difficulties and challenges in order to accomplish the next venture of life successfully. In this respect, this paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by the individuals with intellectual disabilities in transition to work in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, this study has undertaken a qualitative research-based methodology; wherein interpretivist philosophy has been followed along with inductive approach and exploratory research design. The data for the research has been gathered with the help of semi-structured interviews, whose findings are analysed with the help of thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, officials, supervisors and specialists of two vocational rehabilitation centres providing training to intellectually disabled students, in addition to that, directors of companies and websites in hiring those individuals. The total number of respondents for the interview was 15. The purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents for the interview. This sampling method is a non-probability sampling method which draws respondents from a known population and allows flexibility and suitability in selecting the participants for the study. The findings gathered from the interview revealed that the lack of awareness among their parents regarding the rights of their children who are intellectually disabled; the lack of adequate communication and coordination between various entities; concerns regarding their training and subsequent employment are the key difficulties experienced by the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Training in programmes such as bookbinding, carpentry, computing, agriculture, electricity and telephone exchange operations were involved as key training programmes. The findings of this study also revealed that information technology and media were playing a significant role in smoothing the transition to employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, religious and cultural attitudes have been identified to be restricted for people with such disabilities in seeking advantages from job opportunities. On the basis of these findings, it can be implied that the information gathered through this study will serve to be highly beneficial for Saudi Arabian schools/ rehabilitation centres for individuals with intellectual disability to facilitate them in overcoming the problems they encounter during the transition to work.

Paper Detail
89
downloads
3223
10008904
A Corpus-Based Analysis on Code-Mixing Features in Mandarin-English Bilingual Children in Singapore
Abstract:

This paper investigated the code-mixing features in Mandarin-English bilingual children in Singapore. First, it examined whether the code-mixing rate was different in Mandarin Chinese and English contexts. Second, it explored the syntactic categories of code-mixing in Singapore bilingual children. Moreover, this study investigated whether morphological information was preserved when inserting syntactic components into the matrix language. Data are derived from the Singapore Bilingual Corpus, in which the recordings and transcriptions of sixty English-Mandarin 5-to-6-year-old children were preserved for analysis. Results indicated that the rate of code-mixing was asymmetrical in the two language contexts, with the rate being significantly higher in the Mandarin context than that in the English context. The asymmetry is related to language dominance in that children are more likely to code-mix when using their nondominant language. Concerning the syntactic categories of code-mixing words in the Singaporean bilingual children, we found that noun-mixing, verb-mixing, and adjective-mixing are the three most frequently used categories in code-mixing in the Mandarin context. This pattern mirrors the syntactic categories of code-mixing in the Cantonese context in Cantonese-English bilingual children, and the general trend observed in lexical borrowing. Third, our results also indicated that English vocabularies that carry morphological information are embedded in bare forms in the Mandarin context. These findings shed light upon how bilingual children take advantage of the two languages in mixed utterances in a bilingual environment.

Paper Detail
61
downloads
3222
10008989
Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and Mini Mental State Examination-2 in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Case Studies
Abstract:

From a psychological perspective, psychopathology is the area of clinical psychology that has at its core psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In day-to-day clinical practice, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy are used independently, according to their intended purpose and their specific methods of application. The paper explores how the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Mini Mental State Examination-2 (MMSE-2) psychological tools contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This combined approach, psychotherapy in conjunction with assessment of personality and cognitive functions, is illustrated by two cases, a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms and a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. The order in which CBT, MMPI-2, and MMSE-2 were used in the diagnostic and therapeutic process was determined by the particularities of each case. In the first case, the sequence started with psychotherapy, followed by the administration of blue form MMSE-2, MMPI-2, and red form MMSE-2. In the second case, the cognitive screening with blue form MMSE-2 led to a personality assessment using MMPI-2, followed by red form MMSE-2; reapplication of the MMPI-2 due to the invalidation of the first profile, and finally, psychotherapy. The MMPI-2 protocols gathered useful information that directed the steps of therapeutic intervention: a detailed symptom picture of potentially self-destructive thoughts and behaviors otherwise undetected during the interview. The memory loss and poor concentration were confirmed by MMSE-2 cognitive screening. This combined approach, psychotherapy with psychological assessment, aligns with the trend of adaptation of the psychological services to the everyday life of contemporary man and paves the way for deepening and developing the field.

Paper Detail
64
downloads
3221
10008646
Resistance to Sulfuric Acid Attacks of Self-Consolidating Concrete: Effect Metakaolin and Various Cements Types
Abstract:

Due to their fluidity and simplicity of use, self-compacting concretes (SCCs) have undeniable advantages. In recent years, the role of metakaolin as a one of pozzolanic materials in concrete has been considered by researchers. It can modify various properties of concrete, due to high pozzolanic reactions and also makes a denser microstructure. The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of three type of Portland cement and metakaolin on fresh state, compressive strength and sulfuric acid attacks in self- consolidating concrete at early age up to 90 days of curing in lime water. Six concrete mixtures were prepared with three types of different cement as Portland cement type II, Portland Slag Cement (PSC), Pozzolanic Portland Cement (PPC) and 15% substitution of metakaolin by every cement. The results show that the metakaolin admixture increases the viscosity and the demand amount of superplasticizer. According to the compressive strength results, the highest value of compressive strength was achieved for PSC and without any metakaolin at age of 90 days. Conversely, the lowest level of compressive strength at all ages of conservation was obtained for PPC and containing 15% metakaolin. According to this study, the total substitution of PSC and PPC by Portland cement type II is beneficial to the increasing in the chemical resistance of the SCC with respect to the sulfuric acid attack. On the other hand, this increase is more noticeable by the use of 15% of metakaolin. Therefore, it can be concluded that metakaolin has a positive effect on the chemical resistance of SCC containing of Portland cement type II, PSC, and PPC.

Paper Detail
103
downloads
3220
10008647
Influence of Metakaolin and Cements Types on Compressive Strength and Transport Properties of Self-Consolidating Concrete
Abstract:

The self-consolidating concrete (SCC) performance over ordinary concrete is generally related to the ingredients used. The metakaolin can modify various properties of concrete, due to high pozzolanic reactions and also makes a denser microstructure. The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of three types of Portland cement and metakaolin on compressive strength and transport properties of SCC at early ages and up to 90 days. Six concrete mixtures were prepared with three types of different cements and substitution of 15% metakaolin. The results show that the highest value of compressive strength was achieved for Portland Slag Cement (PSC) and without any metakaolin at age of 90 days. Conversely, the lowest level of compressive strength at all ages of conservation was obtained for Pozzolanic Portland Cement (PPC) and containing 15% metakaolin. As can be seen in the results, compressive strength in SCC containing Portland cement type II with metakaolin is higher compared to that relative to SCC without metakaolin from 28 days of age. On the other hand, the samples containing PSC and PPC with metakaolin had a lower compressive strength than the plain samples. Therefore, it can be concluded that metakaolin has a negative effect on the compressive strength of SCC containing PSC and PPC. In addition, results show that metakaolin has enhanced chloride durability of SCCs and reduced capillary water absorption at 28, 90 days.

Paper Detail
108
downloads
3219
10008650
Optimal Selling Prices for Small Sized Poultry Farmers
Abstract:
In Japan, meat-type chickens are mainly classified into three categories: (1) Broilers, (2) Branded chickens, and (3) Jidori (Free-range local traditional pedigree chickens). The Jidori chickens are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, whilst, for the Branded chickens, there is no regulation with respect to their breed (genotype) or methods for rearing them. It is, therefore, relatively easy for poultry farmers to introduce Branded than Jidori chickens. The Branded chickens are normally fed a low-calorie diet with ingredients such as herbs, which lengthens their breeding period (compared with that of the Broilers) and increases their market value. In the field of inventory management, fast-growing animals such as broilers are categorised as ameliorating items. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous studies that have explicitly considered smaller sized poultry farmers with limited breeding areas. This study develops an inventory model for a small sized poultry farmer that produces both the Broilers (Product 1) and the Branded chickens (Product 2) with different amelioration rates. The poultry farmer’s total profit per unit of time is formulated as a function of selling prices by using a price-dependent demand function. The existence of a unique optimal selling price for each product, which maximises the total profit, established. It has also been confirmed through numerical examples that, when the breeding area is fixed, the total profit could increase if the poultry farmer reduced the product quantity of Product 1 to introduce Product 2.
Paper Detail
102
downloads
3218
10008651
Third Places for Social Sustainability: A Planning Framework Based on Local and International Comparisons
Abstract:

Social sustainability, as an independent perspective of sustainable development, has gained some acknowledgement, becoming an important aspect in sustainable urban planning internationally. However, limited research aiming at promoting social sustainability within urban areas exists within the South African context. This is mainly due to the different perspectives of sustainable development (e.g., Environmental, Economic, and Social) not being equally prioritized by policy makers and supported by implementation strategies, guidelines, and planning frameworks. The enhancement of social sustainability within urban areas relies on urban dweller satisfaction and the quality of urban life. Inclusive cities with high-quality public spaces are proposed within this research through implementing the third place theory. Third places are introduced as any place other than our homes (first place) and work (second place) and have become an integrated part of sustainable urban planning. As Third Places consist of every place 'in between', the approach has taken on a large role of the everyday life of city residents, and the importance of planning for such places can only be measured through identifying and highlighting the social sustainability benefits thereof. The aim of this research paper is to introduce third place planning within the urban area to ultimately enhance social sustainability. Selected background planning approaches influencing the planning of third places will briefly be touched on, as the focus will be placed on the social sustainability benefits provided through third place planning within an urban setting. The study will commence by defining and introducing the concept of third places within urban areas as well as a discussion on social sustainability, acting as one of the three perspectives of sustainable development. This will gain the researcher an improved understanding on social sustainability in order for the study to flow into an integrated discussion of the benefits Third places provide in terms of social sustainability and the impact it has on improved quality of life within urban areas. Finally, a visual case study comparison of local and international examples of third places identified will be illustrated. These international case studies will contribute towards the conclusion of this study where a local gap analysis will be formulated, based on local third place evidence and international best practices in order to formulate a strategic planning framework on improving social sustainability through third place planning within the local South African context.

Paper Detail
146
downloads
3217
10008925
Nonlinear Modelling of Sloshing Waves and Solitary Waves in Shallow Basins
Abstract:

The earliest theories of sloshing waves and solitary waves based on potential theory idealisations and irrotational flow have been extended to be applicable to more realistic domains. To this end, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods are widely used. Three-dimensional CFD methods such as Navier-Stokes solvers with volume of fluid treatment of the free surface and Navier-Stokes solvers with mappings of the free surface inherently impose high computational expense; therefore, considerable effort has gone into developing depth-averaged approaches. Examples of such approaches include Green–Naghdi (GN) equations. In Cartesian system, GN velocity profile depends on horizontal directions, x-direction and y-direction. The effect of vertical direction (z-direction) is also taken into consideration by applying weighting function in approximation. GN theory considers the effect of vertical acceleration and the consequent non-hydrostatic pressure. Moreover, in GN theory, the flow is rotational. The present study illustrates the application of GN equations to propagation of sloshing waves and solitary waves. For this purpose, GN equations solver is verified for the benchmark tests of Gaussian hump sloshing and solitary wave propagation in shallow basins. Analysis of the free surface sloshing of even harmonic components of an initial Gaussian hump demonstrates that the GN model gives predictions in satisfactory agreement with the linear analytical solutions. Discrepancies between the GN predictions and the linear analytical solutions arise from the effect of wave nonlinearities arising from the wave amplitude itself and wave-wave interactions. Numerically predicted solitary wave propagation indicates that the GN model produces simulations in good agreement with the analytical solution of the linearised wave theory. Comparison between the GN model numerical prediction and the result from perturbation analysis confirms that nonlinear interaction between solitary wave and a solid wall is satisfactorilly modelled. Moreover, solitary wave propagation at an angle to the x-axis and the interaction of solitary waves with each other are conducted to validate the developed model.

Paper Detail
53
downloads