International Science Index

365
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
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364
10008914
Neuropalliative Care in Patients with Progressive Neurological Disease in Czech Republic: Study Protocol
Abstract:

Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.

Paper Detail
55
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363
10008998
Study on Sharp V-Notch Problem under Dynamic Loading Condition Using Symplectic Analytical Singular Element
Abstract:
V-notch problem under dynamic loading condition is considered in this paper. In the time domain, the precise time domain expanding algorithm is employed, in which a self-adaptive technique is carried out to improve computing accuracy. By expanding variables in each time interval, the recursive finite element formulas are derived. In the space domain, a Symplectic Analytical Singular Element (SASE) for V-notch problem is constructed addressing the stress singularity of the notch tip. Combining with the conventional finite elements, the proposed SASE can be used to solve the dynamic stress intensity factors (DSIFs) in a simple way. Numerical results show that the proposed SASE for V-notch problem subjected to dynamic loading condition is effective and efficient.
Paper Detail
51
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362
10008746
Mathematical Modeling of Drip Emitter Discharge of Trapezoidal Labyrinth Channel
Authors:
Abstract:

The influence of the geometric parameters of trapezoidal labyrinth channel on the emitter discharge is investigated in this work. The impact of the dentate angle, the dentate spacing, and the dentate height are studied among the geometric parameters of the labyrinth channel. Numerical simulations of the water flow movement are performed according to central cubic composite design using Commercial codes GAMBIT and FLUENT. Inlet pressure of the dripper is set up to be 1 bar. The objective of this paper is to derive a mathematical model of the emitter discharge depending on the dentate angle, the dentate spacing, the dentate height of the labyrinth channel. As a result, the obtained mathematical model is a second-order polynomial reporting 2-way interactions among the geometric parameters. The dentate spacing has the most important and positive influence on the emitter discharge, followed by the simultaneous impact of the dentate spacing and the dentate height. The dentate angle in the observed interval has no significant effect on the emitter discharge. The obtained model can be used as a basis for a future emitter design.

Paper Detail
114
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361
10008842
NewPerceptual Organization within Temporal Displacement
Abstract:
The psychological present has an actual extension. When a sequence of instantaneous stimuli falls in this short interval of time, observers perceive a compresence of events in succession and the temporal order depends on the qualitative relationships between the perceptual properties of the events. Two experiments were carried out to study the influence of perceptual grouping, with and without temporal displacement, on the duration of auditory sequences. The psychophysical method of adjustment was adopted. The first experiment investigated the effect of temporal displacement of a white noise on sequence duration. The second experiment investigated the effect of temporal displacement, along the pitch dimension, on temporal shortening of sequence. The results suggest that the temporal order of sounds, in the case of temporal displacement, is organized along the pitch dimension.
Paper Detail
86
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360
10008862
Design Approach to Incorporate Unique Performance Characteristics of Special Concrete
Abstract:

The advancement in various concrete ingredients like plasticizers, additives and fibers, etc. has enabled concrete technologists to develop many viable varieties of special concretes in recent decades. Such various varieties of concrete have significant enhancement in green as well as hardened properties of concrete. A prudent selection of appropriate type of concrete can resolve many design and application issues in construction projects. This paper focuses on usage of self-compacting concrete, high early strength concrete, structural lightweight concrete, fiber reinforced concrete, high performance concrete and ultra-high strength concrete in the structures. The modified properties of strength at various ages, flowability, porosity, equilibrium density, flexural strength, elasticity, permeability etc. need to be carefully studied and incorporated into the design of the structures. The paper demonstrates various mixture combinations and the concrete properties that can be leveraged. The selection of such products based on the end use of structures has been proposed in order to efficiently utilize the modified characteristics of these concrete varieties. The study involves mapping the characteristics with benefits and savings for the structure from design perspective. Self-compacting concrete in the structure is characterized by high shuttering loads, better finish, and feasibility of closer reinforcement spacing. The structural design procedures can be modified to specify higher formwork strength, height of vertical members, cover reduction and increased ductility. The transverse reinforcement can be spaced at closer intervals compared to regular structural concrete. It allows structural lightweight concrete structures to be designed for reduced dead load, increased insulation properties. Member dimensions and steel requirement can be reduced proportionate to about 25 to 35 percent reduction in the dead load due to self-weight of concrete. Steel fiber reinforced concrete can be used to design grade slabs without primary reinforcement because of 70 to 100 percent higher tensile strength. The design procedures incorporate reduction in thickness and joint spacing. High performance concrete employs increase in the life of the structures by improvement in paste characteristics and durability by incorporating supplementary cementitious materials. Often, these are also designed for slower heat generation in the initial phase of hydration. The structural designer can incorporate the slow development of strength in the design and specify 56 or 90 days strength requirement. For designing high rise building structures, creep and elasticity properties of such concrete also need to be considered. Lastly, certain structures require a performance under loading conditions much earlier than final maturity of concrete. High early strength concrete has been designed to cater to a variety of usages at various ages as early as 8 to 12 hours. Therefore, an understanding of concrete performance specifications for special concrete is a definite door towards a superior structural design approach.

Paper Detail
58
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359
10008309
Water End-Use Classification with Contemporaneous Water-Energy Data and Deep Learning Network
Abstract:

‘Water-related energy’ is energy use which is directly or indirectly influenced by changes to water use. Informatics applying a range of mathematical, statistical and rule-based approaches can be used to reveal important information on demand from the available data provided at second, minute or hourly intervals. This study aims to combine these two concepts to improve the current water end use disaggregation problem through applying a wide range of most advanced pattern recognition techniques to analyse the concurrent high-resolution water-energy consumption data. The obtained results have shown that recognition accuracies of all end-uses have significantly increased, especially for mechanised categories, including clothes washer, dishwasher and evaporative air cooler where over 95% of events were correctly classified.

Paper Detail
394
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358
10008226
A Study on the Waiting Time for the First Employment of Arts Graduates in Sri Lanka
Abstract:

Transition from tertiary level education to employment is one of the challenges that many fresh university graduates face after graduation. The transition period or the waiting time to obtain the first employment varies with the socio-economic factors and the general characteristics of a graduate. Compared to other fields of study, Arts graduates in Sri Lanka, have to wait a long time to find their first employment. The objective of this study is to identify the determinants of the transition from higher education to employment of these graduates using survival models. The study is based on a survey that was conducted in the year 2016 on a stratified random sample of Arts graduates from Sri Lankan universities who had graduated in 2012. Among the 469 responses, 36 (8%) waiting times were interval censored and 13 (3%) were right censored. Waiting time for the first employment varied between zero to 51 months. Initially, the log-rank and the Gehan-Wilcoxon tests were performed to identify the significant factors. Gender, ethnicity, GCE Advanced level English grade, civil status, university, class received, degree type, sector of first employment, type of first employment and the educational qualifications required for the first employment were significant at 10%. The Cox proportional hazards model was fitted to model the waiting time for first employment with these significant factors. All factors, except ethnicity and type of employment were significant at 5%. However, since the proportional hazard assumption was violated, the lognormal Accelerated failure time (AFT) model was fitted to model the waiting time for the first employment. The same factors were significant in the AFT model as in Cox proportional model.

Paper Detail
221
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357
10008659
Comparison of Diagnostic Performance of Soluble Transferrin Receptor and Soluble Transferrin Receptor-Ferritin Index Tests in the Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Abstract:

In this research article, a comprehensive analysis is performed to compare the diagnostic performance of soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and sTfR/log ferritin index tests in the differential diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and anemia of chronic disease (ACD). The analysis is performed for both sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index using a set of 11 studies. The overall odds ratios for sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index were 36.79 and 119.32 respectively, using 95% confidence interval. The relative sensitivity, specificity. positive likelihood ratio (LR) and negative LR values for sTfR in relation to sTfR/log ferritin index were 81% vs 85%, 84% vs 93%, 6.31 vs 13.95 and 0.18 vs 0.14 respectively. The summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curves are also plotted for both sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index. The area under SROC curves for sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index was found to be 0.9296 and 0.9825 respectively. Although both tests are useful, the sTfR/log ferritin index seems to be more effective when compared with sTfR.

Paper Detail
93
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356
10008674
Humic Acid and Azadirachtin Derivatives for the Management of Crop Pests
Abstract:

Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture.  Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control.  The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.

Paper Detail
68
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355
10008301
Inter-Specific Differences in Leaf Phenology, Growth of Seedlings of Cork OAK (Quercus suber L.), Zeen Oak (Quercus canariensis Willd.) and Their Hybrid Afares Oak (Quercus afares Pomel) in the Nursery
Abstract:

Leaf Life Span (LLS) is used to classify trees into two main groups: evergreen and deciduous species. It varies according to the forms of life between taxonomic groups. Co-occurrence of deciduous and evergreen oaks is common in some Mediterranean type climate areas. Nevertheless, in the Tunisian forests, there is no enough information about the functional inter-specific diversity among oak species, especially in the mixed stand marked by the simultaneous presence of Q. suber L., Q. canariensis Willd. and their hybrid (Q. afares), the latter being an endemic oak species threatened with extinction. This study has been conducted to estimate the LLS, the relative growth rate, and the count of different growth flushes of samplings in semi-controlled conditions. Our study took 17 months, with an observation's interval of 4 weeks. The aim is to characterize and compare the hybrid species to the parental ones. Differences were observed among species, both for phenology and growth. Indeed, Q. suber saplings reached higher total height and number of growth flushes then Q. canariensis, while Q. afares showed much less growth flushes than the parental species. The LLS of parental species has exceeded the duration of the experiment, but their hybrid lost all leaves on all cohorts. The short LLSs of hybrid species are in accordance with this phenology in the field, but for Q. canariensis there was a contrast with observations in the field where phenology is strictly annual. This study allowed us to differentiate the hybrid from both parental species.

Paper Detail
168
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354
10008486
Integration of Big Data to Predict Transportation for Smart Cities
Abstract:

The Intelligent transportation system is essential to build smarter cities. Machine learning based transportation prediction could be highly promising approach by delivering invisible aspect visible. In this context, this research aims to make a prototype model that predicts transportation network by using big data and machine learning technology. In detail, among urban transportation systems this research chooses bus system.  The research problem that existing headway model cannot response dynamic transportation conditions. Thus, bus delay problem is often occurred. To overcome this problem, a prediction model is presented to fine patterns of bus delay by using a machine learning implementing the following data sets; traffics, weathers, and bus statues. This research presents a flexible headway model to predict bus delay and analyze the result. The prototyping model is composed by real-time data of buses. The data are gathered through public data portals and real time Application Program Interface (API) by the government. These data are fundamental resources to organize interval pattern models of bus operations as traffic environment factors (road speeds, station conditions, weathers, and bus information of operating in real-time). The prototyping model is designed by the machine learning tool (RapidMiner Studio) and conducted tests for bus delays prediction. This research presents experiments to increase prediction accuracy for bus headway by analyzing the urban big data. The big data analysis is important to predict the future and to find correlations by processing huge amount of data. Therefore, based on the analysis method, this research represents an effective use of the machine learning and urban big data to understand urban dynamics.

Paper Detail
104
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353
10008607
3D-Vehicle Associated Research Fields for Smart City via Semantic Search Approach
Abstract:

This paper presents 15-year trends for scientific studies in a scientific database considering 3D and vehicle words. Two words are selected to find their associated publications in IEEE scholar database. Both of keywords are entered individually for the years 2002, 2012, and 2016 on the database to identify the preferred subjects of researchers in same years. We have classified closer research fields after searching and listing. Three years (2002, 2012, and 2016) have been investigated to figure out progress in specified time intervals. The first one is assumed as the initial progress in between 2002-2012, and the second one is in 2012-2016 that is fast development duration. We have found very interesting and beneficial results to understand the scholars’ research field preferences for a decade. This information will be highly desirable in smart city-based research purposes consisting of 3D and vehicle-related issues.

Paper Detail
75
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352
10007579
The Effects of Three Months of HIIT on Plasma Adiponectin on Overweight College Men
Abstract:

Adiponectin is a cytokine secreted by the adipose tissue that functions as an anti-inflammatory, antiathrogenic and anti-diabetic substance. Its density is inversely correlated with body mass index. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of 12 weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT) with the level of serum adiponectin and some selected adiposity markers in overweight and fat college students. This was a clinical research in which 24 students with BMI between 25 kg/m2 to 30 kg/m2. The sample was purposefully selected and then randomly assigned into two groups of experimental (age =22.7±1.5 yr.; weight = 85.8±3.18 kg and height =178.7±3.29 cm) and control (age =23.1±1.1 yr.; weight = 79.1±2.4 kg and height =181.3±4.6 cm), respectively. The experimental group participated in an aerobic exercise program for 12 weeks, three sessions per weeks at a high intensity between 85% to 95% of maximum heart rate (considering the over load principle). Prior and after the termination of exercise protocol, the level of serum adiponectin, BMI, waist to hip ratio, and body fat percentages were calculated. The data were analyzed by using SPSS: PC 16.0 and statistical procedure such as ANCOVA, was used. The results indicated that 12 weeks of intensive interval training led to the increase of serum adiponectin level and decrease of body weight, body fat percent, body mass index and waist to hip ratio (P < 0.05). Based on the results of this research, it may be concluded that participation in intensive interval training for 12 weeks is a non-invasive treatment to increase the adiponectin level while decreasing some of the anthropometric indices associated with obesity or being overweight.

Paper Detail
337
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351
10007661
Comparison of Statins Dose Intensity on HbA1c Control in Outpatients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study
Abstract:

The effect of statins dose intensity (SDI) on glycemic control in patients with existing diabetes is unclear. Also, there are many contradictory findings were reported in the literature; thus, it is limiting the possibility to draw conclusions. This project was designed to compare the effect of SDI on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c%) control in outpatients with Type 2 diabetes in the endocrine clinic at Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, between July 2015 and August 2016. A prospective cohort study was conducted, where records of 345 patients with Type 2 diabetes (Moderate-SDI group 289 patients and high-SDI cohort 56 patients) were reviewed to identify demographics and laboratory tests. The target of glycemic control (HbA1c < 7% for patient < 65 years, and < 8% for patient ≥ 65 years) was estimated, and the results were presented as descriptive statistics. From 289 moderate-SDI cohorts with a mean age of 57.3 ± 12.4 years, only 86 (29.8%) cases were shown to have controlled glycemia, while there were 203 (70.2%) cases with uncontrolled glycemia with confidence interval (CI) of 95% (6.2–10.8). On the other hand, the high-SDI group of 56 patients with Type 2 diabetes with a mean age 57.7±12.4 years is distributed among 11 (19.6%) patients with controlled diabetes, and 45 (80.4%) of them had uncontrolled glycemia, CI: 95% (7.1–11.9). The study has demonstrated that the relative risk (RR) of uncontrolled glycemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes that used high-SDI is 1.15, and the excessive relative risk (ERR) is 15%. The absolute risk (AR) is 10.2%, and the number needed to harm (NNH) is 10. Outpatients with Type 2 diabetes who use high-SDI of statin have a higher risk of uncontrolled glycemia than outpatients who had been treated with a moderate-SDI.

Paper Detail
313
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350
10008009
Optimization of Lead Bioremediation by Marine Halomonas sp. ES015 Using Statistical Experimental Methods
Abstract:

Bioremediation technology is now used for treatment instead of traditional metal removal methods. A strain was isolated from Marsa Alam, Red sea, Egypt showed high resistance to high lead concentration and was identified by the 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique as Halomonas sp. ES015. Medium optimization was carried out using Plackett-Burman design, and the most significant factors were yeast extract, casamino acid and inoculums size. The optimized media obtained by the statistical design raised the removal efficiency from 84% to 99% from initial concentration 250 ppm of lead. Moreover, Box-Behnken experimental design was applied to study the relationship between yeast extract concentration, casamino acid concentration and inoculums size. The optimized medium increased removal efficiency to 97% from initial concentration 500 ppm of lead. Immobilized Halomonas sp. ES015 cells on sponge cubes, using optimized medium in loop bioremediation column, showed relatively constant lead removal efficiency when reused six successive cycles over the range of time interval. Also metal removal efficiency was not affected by flow rate changes. Finally, the results of this research refer to the possibility of lead bioremediation by free or immobilized cells of Halomonas sp. ES015. Also, bioremediation can be done in batch cultures and semicontinuous cultures using column technology.

Paper Detail
171
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349
10007184
Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses
Abstract:

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.

Paper Detail
363
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348
10007253
Optimal Opportunistic Maintenance Policy for a Two-Unit System
Abstract:
This paper presents a maintenance policy for a system consisting of two units. Unit 1 is gradually deteriorating and is subject to soft failure. Unit 2 has a general lifetime distribution and is subject to hard failure. Condition of unit 1 of the system is monitored periodically and it is considered as failed when its deterioration level reaches or exceeds a critical level N. At the failure time of unit 2 system is considered as failed, and unit 2 will be correctively replaced by the next inspection epoch. Unit 1 or 2 are preventively replaced when deterioration level of unit 1 or age of unit 2 exceeds the related preventive maintenance (PM) levels. At the time of corrective or preventive replacement of unit 2, there is an opportunity to replace unit 1 if its deterioration level reaches the opportunistic maintenance (OM) level. If unit 2 fails in an inspection interval, system stops operating although unit 1 has not failed. A mathematical model is derived to find the preventive and opportunistic replacement levels for unit 1 and preventive replacement age for unit 2, that minimize the long run expected average cost per unit time. The problem is formulated and solved in the semi-Markov decision process (SMDP) framework. Numerical example is provided to illustrate the performance of the proposed model and the comparison of the proposed model with an optimal policy without opportunistic maintenance level for unit 1 is carried out.
Paper Detail
240
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347
10007265
Optimal Maintenance Clustering for Rail Track Components Subject to Possession Capacity Constraints
Abstract:

This paper studies the optimal maintenance planning of preventive maintenance and renewal activities for components in a single railway track when the available time for maintenance is limited. The rail-track system consists of several types of components, such as rail, ballast, and switches with different preventive maintenance and renewal intervals. To perform maintenance or renewal on the track, a train free period for maintenance, called a possession, is required. Since a major possession directly affects the regular train schedule, maintenance and renewal activities are clustered as much as possible. In a highly dense and utilized railway network, the possession time on the track is critical since the demand for train operations is very high and a long possession has a severe impact on the regular train schedule. We present an optimization model and investigate the maintenance schedules with and without the possession capacity constraint. In addition, we also integrate the social-economic cost related to the effects of the maintenance time to the variable possession cost into the optimization model. A numerical example is provided to illustrate the model.

Paper Detail
252
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346
10007298
Effects of Irrigation Scheduling and Soil Management on Maize (Zea mays L.) Yield in Guinea Savannah Zone of Nigeria
Abstract:

The main objective of any irrigation program is the development of an efficient water management system to sustain crop growth and development and avoid physiological water stress in the growing plants. Field experiment to evaluate the effects of some soil moisture conservation practices on yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of maize was carried out in three locations (i.e. Mubi and Yola in the northern Guinea Savannah and Ganye in the southern Guinea Savannah of Adamawa State, Nigeria) during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014. The experiment consisted of three different irrigation levels (7, 10 and 12 day irrigation intervals), two levels of mulch (mulch and un-mulched) and two tillage practices (no tillage and minimum tillage) arranged in a randomized complete block design with split-split plot arrangement and replicated three times. The Blaney-Criddle method was used for measuring crop evapotranspiration. The results indicated that seven-day irrigation intervals and mulched treatment were found to have significant effect (P>0.05) on grain yield and water use efficiency in all the locations. The main effect of tillage was non-significant (P<0.05) on grain yield and WUE. The interaction effects of irrigation and mulch were significant (P>0.05) on grain yield and WUE at Mubi and Yola. Generally, higher grain yield and WUE were recorded on mulched and seven-day irrigation intervals, whereas lower values were recorded on un-mulched with 12-day irrigation intervals. Tillage exerts little influence on the yield and WUE. Results from Ganye were found to be generally higher than those recorded in Mubi and Yola; it also showed that an irrigation interval of 10 days with mulching could be adopted for the Ganye area, while seven days interval is more appropriate for Mubi and Yola.

Paper Detail
297
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345
10007365
Displaying of GnRH Peptides on Bacteriophage T7 and Its Immunogenicity in Mice Model
Abstract:

T7 phage could be used as a perfect vector for peptides expression and haptens presentation. T7-3GnRH recombinant phage was constructed by inserting three copies of Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) gene into the multiple cloning site of T7 Select 415-1b phage genome. The positive T7-3GnRH phage was selected by using polymerase chain reaction amplification, and the p10B-3GnRH fusion protein was verified by SDS-PAGE and Western-blotting assay. T7-3GnRH vaccine was made and immunized with 1010 pfu in 0.2 ml per dose in mice. Blood samples were collected at an interval in weeks, and anti-GnRH antibody and testosterone concentrations were detected by ELISA and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The results show that T7-3GnRH phage particles confer a high immunogenicity to the GnRH-derived epitope. Moreover, the T7-3GnRH vaccine induced higher level of anti-GnRH antibody than ImproVac®. However, the testosterone concentrations in both immunized groups were at a similar level, and the testis developments were significantly inhibited compared to controls. These findings demonstrated that the anti-GnRH antibody could neutralize the endogenous GnRH to down regulate testosterone level and limit testis development, highlighting the potential value of T7-3GnRH in the immunocastration vaccine research.

Paper Detail
222
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344
10007366
BeamGA Median: A Hybrid Heuristic Search Approach
Abstract:
The median problem is significantly applied to derive the most reasonable rearrangement phylogenetic tree for many species. More specifically, the problem is concerned with finding a permutation that minimizes the sum of distances between itself and a set of three signed permutations. Genomes with equal number of genes but different order can be represented as permutations. In this paper, an algorithm, namely BeamGA median, is proposed that combines a heuristic search approach (local beam) as an initialization step to generate a number of solutions, and then a Genetic Algorithm (GA) is applied in order to refine the solutions, aiming to achieve a better median with the smallest possible reversal distance from the three original permutations. In this approach, any genome rearrangement distance can be applied. In this paper, we use the reversal distance. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed approach was not applied before for solving the median problem. Our approach considers true biological evolution scenario by applying the concept of common intervals during the GA optimization process. This allows us to imitate a true biological behavior and enhance genetic approach time convergence. We were able to handle permutations with a large number of genes, within an acceptable time performance and with same or better accuracy as compared to existing algorithms.
Paper Detail
226
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343
10007923
Study of Unsteady Behaviour of Dynamic Shock Systems in Supersonic Engine Intakes
Abstract:

An analytical investigation is performed to study the unsteady response of a one-dimensional, non-linear dynamic shock system to external downstream pressure perturbations in a supersonic flow in a varying area duct. For a given pressure ratio across a wind tunnel, the normal shock's location can be computed as per one-dimensional steady gas dynamics. Similarly, for some other pressure ratio, the location of the normal shock will change accordingly, again computed using one-dimensional gas dynamics. This investigation focuses on the small-time interval between the first steady shock location and the new steady shock location (corresponding to different pressure ratios). In essence, this study aims to shed light on the motion of the shock from one steady location to another steady location. Further, this study aims to create the foundation of the Unsteady Gas Dynamics field enabling further insight in future research work. According to the new pressure ratio, a pressure pulse, generated at the exit of the tunnel which travels and perturbs the shock from its original position, setting it into motion. During such activity, other numerous physical phenomena also happen at the same time. However, three broad phenomena have been focused on, in this study - Traversal of a Wave, Fluid Element Interactions and Wave Interactions. The above mentioned three phenomena create, alter and kill numerous waves for different conditions. The waves which are created by the above-mentioned phenomena eventually interact with the shock and set it into motion. Numerous such interactions with the shock will slowly make it settle into its final position owing to the new pressure ratio across the duct, as estimated by one-dimensional gas dynamics. This analysis will be extremely helpful in the prediction of inlet 'unstart' of the flow in a supersonic engine intake and its prominence with the incoming flow Mach number, incoming flow pressure and the external perturbation pressure is also studied to help design more efficient supersonic intakes for engines like ramjets and scramjets.

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177
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10007109
Eosinophils and Platelets: Players of the Game in Morbid Obese Boys with Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:
Childhood obesity, which may lead to increased risk for heart diseases in children as well as adults, is one of the most important health problems throughout the world. Prevalences of morbid obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are being increased during childhood age group. MetS is a cluster of metabolic and vascular abnormalities including hypercoagulability and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). There are also some relations between some components of MetS and leukocytes. The aim of this study is to investigate complete blood cell count parameters that differ between morbidly obese boys and girls with MetS diagnosis. A total of 117 morbid obese children with MetS consulted to Department of Pediatrics in Faculty of Medicine Hospital at Namik Kemal University were included into the scope of the study. The study population was classified based upon their genders (60 girls and 57 boys). Their heights and weights were measured and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Waist-to-hip and head-to-neck ratios as well as homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were calculated. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Hematological variables were measured. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p ≤ 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the ages (11.2±2.6 years vs 11.2±3.0 years) and BMIs (28.6±5.2 kg/m2 vs 29.3±5.2 kg/m2) of boys and girls (p ≥ 0.05), respectively. Significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios were obtained for boys (0.94±0.08 vs 0.91±0.06; p=0.023). Significantly elevated values of hemoglobin (13.55±0.98 vs 13.06±0.82; p=0.004), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (33.79±0.91 vs 33.21±1.14; p=0.003), eosinophils (0.300±0.253 vs 0.196±0.197; p=0.014), and platelet (347.1±81.7 vs 319.0±65.9; p=0.042) were detected for boys. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratios as well as HOMA-IR values (p ≥ 0.05). Statistically significant gender-based differences were found for hemoglobin as well as mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and hence, separate reference intervals for two genders should be considered for these parameters. Eosinophils may contribute to the development of thrombus in acute coronary syndrome. Eosinophils are also known to make an important contribution to mechanisms related to thrombosis pathogenesis in acute myocardial infarction. Increased platelet activity is observed in patients with MetS and these individuals are more susceptible to CVDs. In our study, elevated platelets described as dominant contributors to hypercoagulability and elevated eosinophil counts suggested to be related to the development of CVDs observed in boys may be the early indicators of the future cardiometabolic complications in this gender.
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292
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10007278
Characterization of the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique as a Biological Cementing Agent for Sand Deposits
Abstract:

The population increase in Egypt is urging for horizontal land development which became a demand to allow the benefit of different natural resources and expand from the narrow Nile valley. However, this development is facing challenges preventing land development and agriculture development. Desertification and moving sand dunes in the west sector of Egypt are considered the major obstacle that is blocking the ideal land use and development. In the proposed research, the sandy soil is treated biologically using Bacillus pasteurii bacteria as these bacteria have the ability to bond the sand partials to change its state of loose sand to cemented sand, which reduces the moving ability of the sand dunes. The procedure of implementing the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique (MICP) technique is examined, and the different factors affecting on this process such as the medium of bacteria sample preparation, the optical density (OD600), the reactant concentration, injection rates and intervals are highlighted. Based on the findings of the MICP treatment for sandy soil, conclusions and future recommendations are reached.

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188
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10007761
Integrating Geographic Information into Diabetes Disease Management
Abstract:

Background: Traditional chronic disease management did not pay attention to effects of geographic factors on the compliance of treatment regime, which resulted in geographic inequality in outcomes of chronic disease management. This study aims to examine the geographic distribution and clustering of quality indicators of diabetes care. Method: We first extracted address, demographic information and quality of care indicators (number of visits, complications, prescription and laboratory records) of patients with diabetes for 2014 from medical information system in a medical center in Tainan City, Taiwan, and the patients’ addresses were transformed into district- and village-level data. We then compared the differences of geographic distribution and clustering of quality of care indicators between districts and villages. Despite the descriptive results, rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for indices of care in order to compare the quality of diabetes care among different areas. Results: A total of 23,588 patients with diabetes were extracted from the hospital data system; whereas 12,716 patients’ information and medical records were included to the following analysis. More than half of the subjects in this study were male and between 60-79 years old. Furthermore, the quality of diabetes care did indeed vary by geographical levels. Thru the smaller level, we could point out clustered areas more specifically. Fuguo Village (of Yongkang District) and Zhiyi Village (of Sinhua District) were found to be “hotspots” for nephropathy and cerebrovascular disease; while Wangliau Village and Erwang Village (of Yongkang District) would be “coldspots” for lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to blood lipids examination. On the other hand, Yuping Village (in Anping District) was the area with the lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to all laboratory examination. Conclusion: In spite of examining the geographic distribution, calculating rate ratios and their 95% CI could also be a useful and consistent method to test the association. This information is useful for health planners, diabetes case managers and other affiliate practitioners to organize care resources to the areas most needed.

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224
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10006660
Dicotyledon Weed Quantification Algorithm for Selective Herbicide Application in Maize Crops: Statistical Evaluation of the Potential Herbicide Savings
Abstract:
This work contributes a statistical model and simulation framework yielding the best estimate possible for the potential herbicide reduction when using the MoDiCoVi algorithm all the while requiring a efficacy comparable to conventional spraying. In June 2013 a maize field located in Denmark were seeded. The field was divided into parcels which was assigned to one of two main groups: 1) Control, consisting of subgroups of no spray and full dose spraty; 2) MoDiCoVi algorithm subdivided into five different leaf cover thresholds for spray activation. In addition approximately 25% of the parcels were seeded with additional weeds perpendicular to the maize rows. In total 299 parcels were randomly assigned with the 28 different treatment combinations. In the statistical analysis, bootstrapping was used for balancing the number of replicates. The achieved potential herbicide savings was found to be 70% to 95% depending on the initial weed coverage. However additional field trials covering more seasons and locations are needed to verify the generalisation of these results. There is a potential for further herbicide savings as the time interval between the first and second spraying session was not long enough for the weeds to turn yellow, instead they only stagnated in growth.
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250
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10007067
The Effects of a Circuit Training Program on Muscle Strength, Agility, Anaerobic Performance and Cardiovascular Endurance
Abstract:

This study aimed to examine the effects of a circuit training program on muscle strength, agility, anaerobic performance and cardiovascular endurance. The study involved 24 freshmen (age 18.87+0.68 yr.) male students of the Faculty of Sport Science, Burapha University. They sample study were randomly divided into two groups: Circuit Training group (CT; n=12) and a Control group (C; n=12). Baseline data on height, weight, muscle strength (hand grip dynamometer and leg strength dynamometer), agility (agility T-Test), and anaerobic performance (Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Test) and cardiovascular endurance (20 m Endurance Shuttle Run Test) were collected. The circuit training program included one circuit of eight stations of 30/60 seconds of work/rest interval with two cycles in Week 1-4, and 60/90 seconds of work/rest interval with three cycles in Week 5-8, performed three times per week. Data were analyzed using paired t-tests and independent sample t-test. Statistically significance level was set at 0.05. The results show that after 8 weeks of a training program, muscle strength, agility, anaerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance increased significantly in the CT Group (p < 0.05), while significant increase was not observed in the C Group (p < 0.05). The results of this study suggest that the circuit training program improved muscle strength, agility, anaerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance of the study subjects. This program may be used as a guideline for selecting a set of exercise to improve physical fitness.

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556
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10008334
Variability in Near-Surface Ultraviolet Radiation and Its Dependence on Atmospheric Parameters
Abstract:

Natural radiations such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation sourced from sun are known to be the main causes of skin cancer, sunburn, eye damage, premature aging of skin and other skin related diseases. Its percentage of radiation reaching the earth populace and its impacts are not well known. Its variability in near-surface relating to its impacts on populace depends on some atmospheric parameters. Hence, this work was embarked on to determine the variability in near-surface UV radiation and its dependency on some atmospheric parameters at different time of the day in Offa, Nigeria. The variability was determined using the data obtained from meteorological garden, Science Laboratory Technology Department, Federal Polytechnic Offa, Nigeria. The data obtained were solar UV radiation, solar radiation, temperature, humidity and pressure at 30 minutes interval. Relationships were determined and correlations were derived using SPSS Pearson Correlation tool. The results showed a significant level of correlation with p-value of 0.01 and 0.05 levels. Thus, the results revealed some good relationships between the solar UV radiation and other atmospheric parameters with significance level less than p-value obtained. Inferentially, interdependent relationships were found to exist. Therefore, the nature of relationship obtained could be a yardstick for decision making in short term environmental planning on solar UV radiation depending of some atmospheric parameters within Offa locality.

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97
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10006508
A Retrospective Study of Vaginal Stenosis Following Treatment of Cervical Cancers and the Effectiveness of Rehabilitation Interventions
Abstract:

Vaginal stenosis is a common side effect associated with pelvic radiotherapy in cervical cancer patients which contributes negatively to woman’s health and prevents adequate vaginal/cervical examination. Vaginal dilation with a dilator is routine practice and is internationally advocated as a prophylactic measure to preserve vaginal patency. This retrospective study was carried out with the aim to know the usefulness of vaginal dilation following pelvic radiation therapy in cervical cancer patients in India. Data from medical records of 183 cervical cancer patients, which met the study criteria, were collected related to the stage of the disease, treatment received, commencement period of dilation post radiation therapy, sexual status and side effects associated to dilation practice. Data related to vaginal dimensions as per the length of insertion of a small, medium and large dilator were collected on regular follow-ups until 36 months and/or more. Vaginal dimensions as measured with the length of medium dilator insertion were used for analysis of dilation therapy results using paired t-test. Patients who underwent vaginal dilation with dilator maintained vaginal patency, also the mean vaginal length significantly increased, from 8.02 cm ± 2.69 to 9.96 ± 2.89 cm with a p value <0.001. There was no significant difference found on vaginal patency with different intervals of initiation of dilation therapy. At the third year and more following dilation therapy, significant increase in vaginal length observed with a p value of 0.0001 in both sexually active and inactive patients. Compilation of vaginal dosage during brachytherapy was inadequate, and hence, the secondary objective of the study to determine the effect of radiotherapy on the outcome of rehabilitation intervention was not studied in detail. This retrospective study has found that dilation therapy with vaginal dilators post pelvic radiotherapy is effective in preventing vaginal stenosis and improving vaginal patency and cannot be substituted with vaginal intercourse. Sexual quality of life assessment in the Indian population needs much attention.

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407
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