International Science Index

796
10008977
When Psychology Meets Ecology: Cognitive Flexibility for Quarry Rehabilitation
Abstract:

Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.

Paper Detail
53
downloads
795
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
794
10008621
Construction 4.0: The Future of the Construction Industry in South Africa
Abstract:

The construction industry is a renowned latecomer to the efficiency offered by the adoption of information technology. Whereas, the banking, manufacturing, retailing industries have keyed into the future by using digitization and information technology as a new approach for ensuring competitive gain and efficiency. The construction industry has yet to fully realize similar benefits because the adoption of ICT is still at the infancy stage with a major concentration on the use of software. Thus, this study evaluates the awareness and readiness of construction professionals towards embracing a full digitalization of the construction industry using construction 4.0. The term ‘construction 4.0’ was coined from the industry 4.0 concept which is regarded as the fourth industrial revolution that originated from Germany. A questionnaire was utilized for sourcing data distributed to practicing construction professionals through a convenience sampling method. Using SPSS v24, the hypotheses posed were tested with the Mann Whitney test. The result revealed that there are no differences between the consulting and contracting organizations on the readiness for adopting construction 4.0 concepts in the construction industry. Using factor analysis, the study discovers that adopting construction 4.0 will improve the performance of the construction industry regarding cost and time savings and also create sustainable buildings. In conclusion, the study determined that construction professionals have a low awareness towards construction 4.0 concepts. The study recommends an increase in awareness of construction 4.0 concepts through seminars, workshops and training, while construction professionals should take hold of the benefits of adopting construction 4.0 concepts. The study contributes to the roadmap for the implementation of construction industry 4.0 concepts in the South African construction industry.

Paper Detail
236
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793
10008680
Performance Assessment of Multi-Level Ensemble for Multi-Class Problems
Abstract:
Many supervised machine learning tasks require decision making across numerous different classes. Multi-class classification has several applications, such as face recognition, text recognition and medical diagnostics. The objective of this article is to analyze an adapted method of Stacking in multi-class problems, which combines ensembles within the ensemble itself. For this purpose, a training similar to Stacking was used, but with three levels, where the final decision-maker (level 2) performs its training by combining outputs from the tree-based pair of meta-classifiers (level 1) from Bayesian families. These are in turn trained by pairs of base classifiers (level 0) of the same family. This strategy seeks to promote diversity among the ensembles forming the meta-classifier level 2. Three performance measures were used: (1) accuracy, (2) area under the ROC curve, and (3) time for three factors: (a) datasets, (b) experiments and (c) levels. To compare the factors, ANOVA three-way test was executed for each performance measure, considering 5 datasets by 25 experiments by 3 levels. A triple interaction between factors was observed only in time. The accuracy and area under the ROC curve presented similar results, showing a double interaction between level and experiment, as well as for the dataset factor. It was concluded that level 2 had an average performance above the other levels and that the proposed method is especially efficient for multi-class problems when compared to binary problems.
Paper Detail
85
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792
10008681
Optimized Preprocessing for Accurate and Efficient Bioassay Prediction with Machine Learning Algorithms
Abstract:

Bioassay is the measurement of the potency of a chemical substance by its effect on a living animal or plant tissue. Bioassay data and chemical structures from pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism screening are mined from and housed in multiple databases. Bioassay prediction is calculated accordingly to determine further advancement. This paper proposes a four-step preprocessing of datasets for improving the bioassay predictions. The first step is instance selection in which dataset is categorized into training, testing, and validation sets. The second step is discretization that partitions the data in consideration of accuracy vs. precision. The third step is normalization where data are normalized between 0 and 1 for subsequent machine learning processing. The fourth step is feature selection where key chemical properties and attributes are generated. The streamlined results are then analyzed for the prediction of effectiveness by various machine learning algorithms including Pipeline Pilot, R, Weka, and Excel. Experiments and evaluations reveal the effectiveness of various combination of preprocessing steps and machine learning algorithms in more consistent and accurate prediction.

Paper Detail
114
downloads
791
10008691
Using Music in the Classroom to Help Syrian Refugees Deal with Post-War Trauma
Abstract:

Millions of Syrian families have been displaced since the beginning of the Syrian war, and the negative effects of post-war trauma have shown detrimental effects on the mental health of refugee children. While educational strategies have focused on vocational training and academic achievement, little has been done to include music in the school curriculum to help these children improve their mental health. The literature of music education and psychology, on the other hand, shows the positive effects of music on traumatized children, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. This paper presents a brief literature review of trauma, music therapy, and music in the classroom, after having introduced the Syrian war and refugee situation. Furthermore, the paper highlights the benefits of using music with traumatized children from the literature and offers strategies for teachers (such as singing, playing an instrument, songwriting, and others) to include music in their classrooms to help Syrian refugee children deal with post-war trauma.

Paper Detail
168
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790
10008809
Unmet English Needs of the Non-Engineering Staff: The Case of Algerian Hydrocarbon Industry
Authors:
Abstract:

The present paper attempts to report on some findings that emerged out of a larger scale doctorate research into English language needs of a renowned Algerian company of Hydrocarbon industry. From a multifaceted English for specific purposes (ESP) research perspective, the paper considers the English needs of the finance/legal department staff in the midst of the conflicting needs perspectives involving both objective needs indicators (i.e., the pressure of globalised business) and the general negative attitudes among the administrative -mainly jurists- staff towards English (favouring a non-adaptation strategy). The researcher’s unearthing of the latter’s needs is an endeavour to concretise the concepts of unmet, or unconscious needs, among others. This is why, these initially uncovered hidden needs will be detailed questioning educational background, namely previous language of instruction; training experiences and expectations; as well as the actual communicative practices derived from the retrospective interviews and preliminary quantitative data of the questionnaire. Based on these rough clues suggesting real needs, the researcher will tentatively propose some implications for both pre-service and in-service training organisers as well as for educational policy makers in favour of an English course in legal English for the jurists mainly from pre-graduate phases to in-service training.

Paper Detail
85
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789
10008483
Cognition of Driving Context for Driving Assistance
Abstract:
In this paper, we presented our innovative way of determining the driving context for a driving assistance system. We invoke the fusion of all parameters that describe the context of the environment, the vehicle and the driver to obtain the driving context. We created a training set that stores driving situation patterns and from which the system consults to determine the driving situation. A machine-learning algorithm predicts the driving situation. The driving situation is an input to the fission process that yields the action that must be implemented when the driver needs to be informed or assisted from the given the driving situation. The action may be directed towards the driver, the vehicle or both. This is an ongoing work whose goal is to offer an alternative driving assistance system for safe driving, green driving and comfortable driving. Here, ontologies are used for knowledge representation.
Paper Detail
251
downloads
788
10008382
Development of Mechanisms of Value Creation and Risk Management Organization in the Conditions of Transformation of the Economy of Russia
Abstract:

In modern conditions, scientific judgment of problems in developing mechanisms of value creation and risk management acquires special relevance. Formation of economic knowledge has resulted in the constant analysis of consumer behavior for all players from national and world markets. Effective mechanisms development of the demand analysis, crucial for consumer's characteristics of future production, and the risks connected with the development of this production are the main objectives of control systems in modern conditions. The modern period of economic development is characterized by a high level of globalization of business and rigidity of competition. At the same time, the considerable share of new products and services costs has a non-material intellectual nature. The most successful in Russia is the contemporary development of small innovative firms. Such firms, through their unique technologies and new approaches to process management, which form the basis of their intellectual capital, can show flexibility and succeed in the market. As a rule, such enterprises should have very variable structure excluding the tough scheme of submission and demanding essentially new incentives for inclusion of personnel in innovative activity. Realization of similar structures, as well as a new approach to management, can be constructed based on value-oriented management which is directed to gradual change of consciousness of personnel and formation from groups of adherents included in the solution of the general innovative tasks. At the same time, valuable changes can gradually capture not only innovative firm staff, but also the structure of its corporate partners. Introduction of new technologies is the significant factor contributing to the development of new valuable imperatives and acceleration of the changing values systems of the organization. It relates to the fact that new technologies change the internal environment of the organization in a way that the old system of values becomes inefficient in new conditions. Introduction of new technologies often demands change in the structure of employee’s interaction and training in their new principles of work. During the introduction of new technologies and the accompanying change in the value system, the structure of the management of the values of the organization is changing. This is due to the need to attract more staff to justify and consolidate the new value system and bring their view into the motivational potential of the new value system of the organization.

Paper Detail
158
downloads
787
10008615
Automatic Classification of Periodic Heart Sounds Using Convolutional Neural Network
Abstract:
This paper presents an automatic normal and abnormal heart sound classification model developed based on deep learning algorithm. MITHSDB heart sounds datasets obtained from the 2016 PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge database were used in this research with the assumption that the electrocardiograms (ECG) were recorded simultaneously with the heart sounds (phonocardiogram, PCG). The PCG time series are segmented per heart beat, and each sub-segment is converted to form a square intensity matrix, and classified using convolutional neural network (CNN) models. This approach removes the need to provide classification features for the supervised machine learning algorithm. Instead, the features are determined automatically through training, from the time series provided. The result proves that the prediction model is able to provide reasonable and comparable classification accuracy despite simple implementation. This approach can be used for real-time classification of heart sounds in Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), e.g. remote monitoring applications of PCG signal.
Paper Detail
125
downloads
786
10008272
Method of Cluster Based Cross-Domain Knowledge Acquisition for Biologically Inspired Design
Abstract:
Biologically inspired design inspires inventions and new technologies in the field of engineering by mimicking functions, principles, and structures in the biological domain. To deal with the obstacles of cross-domain knowledge acquisition in the existing biologically inspired design process, functional semantic clustering based on functional feature semantic correlation and environmental constraint clustering composition based on environmental characteristic constraining adaptability are proposed. A knowledge cell clustering algorithm and the corresponding prototype system is developed. Finally, the effectiveness of the method is verified by the visual prosthetic device design.
Paper Detail
206
downloads
785
10008273
Automated Video Surveillance System for Detection of Suspicious Activities during Academic Offline Examination
Abstract:

This research work aims to develop a system that will analyze and identify students who indulge in malpractices/suspicious activities during the course of an academic offline examination. Automated Video Surveillance provides an optimal solution which helps in monitoring the students and identifying the malpractice event immediately. This work is organized into three modules. The first module deals with performing an impersonation check using a PCA-based face recognition method which is done by cross checking his profile with the database. The presence or absence of the student is even determined in this module by implementing an image registration technique wherein a grid is formed by considering all the images registered using the frontal camera at the determined positions. Second, detecting such facial malpractices in which a student gets involved in conversation with another, trying to obtain unauthorized information etc., based on the threshold range evaluated by considering his/her mouth state whether open or closed. The third module deals with identification of unauthorized material or gadgets used in the examination hall by training the positive samples of the object through various stages. Here, a top view camera feed is analyzed to detect the suspicious activities. The system automatically alerts the administration when any suspicious activities are identified, thereby reducing the error rate caused due to manual monitoring. This work is an improvement over our previous work published in identifying suspicious activities done by examinees in an offline examination.

Paper Detail
155
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784
10008279
Investigation of New Gait Representations for Improving Gait Recognition
Abstract:

This study presents new gait representations for improving gait recognition accuracy on cross gait appearances, such as normal walking, wearing a coat and carrying a bag. Based on the Gait Energy Image (GEI), two ideas are implemented to generate new gait representations. One is to append lower knee regions to the original GEI, and the other is to apply convolutional operations to the GEI and its variants. A set of new gait representations are created and used for training multi-class Support Vector Machines (SVMs). Tests are conducted on the CASIA dataset B. Various combinations of the gait representations with different convolutional kernel size and different numbers of kernels used in the convolutional processes are examined. Both the entire images as features and reduced dimensional features by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) are tested in gait recognition. Interestingly, both new techniques, appending the lower knee regions to the original GEI and convolutional GEI, can significantly contribute to the performance improvement in the gait recognition. The experimental results have shown that the average recognition rate can be improved from 75.65% to 87.50%.

Paper Detail
166
downloads
783
10008331
A Study of Applying the Use of Breathing Training to Palliative Care Patients, Based on the Bio-Psycho-Social Model
Abstract:

In clinical practices, it is common that while facing the unknown progress of their disease, palliative care patients may easily feel anxious and depressed. These types of reactions are a cause of psychosomatic diseases and may also influence treatment results. However, the purpose of palliative care is to provide relief from all kinds of pains. Therefore, how to make patients more comfortable is an issue worth studying. This study adopted the “bio-psycho-social model” proposed by Engel and applied spontaneous breathing training, in the hope of seeing patients’ psychological state changes caused by their physiological state changes, improvements in their anxious conditions, corresponding adjustments of their cognitive functions, and further enhancement of their social functions and the social support system. This study will be a one-year study. Palliative care outpatients will be recruited and assigned to the experimental group or the control group for six outpatient visits (once a month), with 80 patients in each group. The patients of both groups agreed that this study can collect their physiological quantitative data using an HRV device before the first outpatient visit. They also agreed to answer the “Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)”, the “Taiwanese version of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire” before the first outpatient visit, to fill a self-report questionnaire after each outpatient visit, and to answer the “Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)”, the “Taiwanese version of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire” after the last outpatient visit. The patients of the experimental group agreed to receive the breathing training under HRV monitoring during the first outpatient visit of this study. Before each of the following three outpatient visits, they were required to fill a self-report questionnaire regarding their breathing practices after going home. After the outpatient visits, they were taught how to practice breathing through an HRV device and asked to practice it after going home. Later, based on the results from the HRV data analyses and the pre-tests and post-tests of the “Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)”, the “Taiwanese version of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire”, the influence of the breathing training in the bio, psycho, and social aspects were evaluated. The data collected through the self-report questionnaires of the patients of both groups were used to explore the possible interfering factors among the bio, psycho, and social changes. It is expected that this study will support the “bio-psycho-social model” proposed by Engel, meaning that bio, psycho, and social supports are closely related, and that breathing training helps to transform palliative care patients’ psychological feelings of anxiety and depression, to facilitate their positive interactions with others, and to improve the quality medical care for them.

Paper Detail
191
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782
10008433
Effect of Pole Weight on Nordic Walking
Abstract:

The purpose of study was to investigate the effect of varying pole weights on energy expenditure, upper limb and lower limb muscle activity as Electromyogram during Nordic walking (NW). Four healthy men [age = 22.5 (±1.0) years, body mass = 61.4 (±3.6) kg, height = 170.3 (±4.3) cm] and three healthy women [age = 22.7 (±2.9) years, body mass = 53.0 (±1.7) kg, height = 156.7 (±4.5) cm] participated in the experiments after informed consent. Seven healthy subjects were tested on the treadmill, walking, walking (W) with Nordic Poles (NW) and walking with 1kg weight Nordic Poles (NW+1). Walking speed was 6 km per hours in all trials. Eight EMG activities were recorded by bipolar surface methods in biceps brachii, triceps brachii, trapezius, deltoideus, tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius, rectus femoris and biceps femoris muscles. And heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (VO2), and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. The level of significance was set at a = 0.05, with p < 0.05 regarded as statistically significant. Our results confirmed that use of NW poles increased HR at a given upper arm muscle activity but decreased lower limb EMGs in comparison with W. Moreover NW was able to increase more step lengths with hip joint extension during NW rather than W. Also, EMG revealed higher activation of upper limb for almost all NW and 1kgNW tests plus added masses compared to W (p < 0.05). Therefore, it was thought either of NW and 1kgNW were to have benefit as a physical exercise for safe, feasible, and readily training for a wide range of aged people in the quality of daily life. However, there was no significant effected in leg muscles activity by using 1kgNW except for upper arm muscle activity during Nordic pole walking.

Paper Detail
142
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781
10008732
Impact of Ownership Structure on Provision of Staff and Infrastructure for Implementing Computer Aided Design Curriculum in Universities in South-East Nigeria
Abstract:

Instruction towards acquiring skills in the use of Computer Aided Design technologies has become a vital part of architectural education curriculum in the digital era. Its implementation, however, requires deployment of extra resources to build new infrastructure, acquisition and maintenance of new equipment, retraining of staff and recruitment of new ones who are knowledgeable in this area. This study sought to examine the impact that ownership structure of Nigerian universities had on provision of staff and infrastructure for implementing computer aided design curriculum with a view to developing a framework for the evaluation for appropriate implementation by the institutions. Survey research design was employed. The focus was on departments of architecture in universities in south-east Nigeria accredited by the National Universities Commission. Data were obtained in the areas of infrastructure and personnel for CAD implementation. A multi-stage stratified random sampling method was adopted. The first stage of stratification involved the accredited departments. Random sampling by balloting was then carried out. At the second stage, sampling size formulae was applied to obtain respondents’ number. For data analysis, analysis of variance tool for testing differences of means was used. With ρ < 0.5, the study found that there was significant difference between private-funded, state-funded and federal-funded departments of architecture in the provision of personnel and infrastructure. The implications of these findings were that for successful implementation leading to attainment of CAD proficiency to occur in every institution regardless of ownership structure, minimum evaluation guidelines needed to be set. A regular comparison of implementation in institutions was recommended as a means of rating performance. This will inform better interaction with those who consistently show weakness to challenge them towards improvement.

Paper Detail
54
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780
10008064
The Enhancement of Training of Military Pilots Using Psychophysiological Methods
Abstract:

Optimal human performance is a key goal in the professional setting of military pilots, which is a highly challenging atmosphere. The aviation environment requires substantial cognitive effort and is rich in potential stressors. Therefore, it is important to analyze variables such as mental workload to ensure safe conditions. Pilot mental workload could be measured using several tools, but most of them are very subjective. This paper details research conducted with military pilots using psychophysiological methods such as electroencephalography (EEG) and heart rate (HR) monitoring. The data were measured in a simulator as well as under real flight conditions. All of the pilots were exposed to highly demanding flight tasks and showed big individual response differences. On that basis, the individual pattern for each pilot was created counting different EEG features and heart rate variations. Later on, it was possible to distinguish the most difficult flight tasks for each pilot that should be more extensively trained. For training purposes, an application was developed for the instructors to decide which of the specific tasks to focus on during follow-up training. This complex system can help instructors detect the mentally demanding parts of the flight and enhance the training of military pilots to achieve optimal performance.

Paper Detail
222
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779
10008240
A Case Study on Experiences of Clinical Preceptors in the Undergraduate Nursing Program
Abstract:

Clinical education is one of the most important components of a nursing curriculum as it develops the students’ cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills. Clinical teaching ensures the integration of knowledge into practice. As the numbers of students increase in the field of nursing coupled with the faculty shortage, clinical preceptors are the best choice to ensure student learning in the clinical settings. The clinical preceptor role has been introduced in the undergraduate nursing programme. In Pakistan, this role emerged due to a faculty shortage. Initially, two clinical preceptors were hired. This study will explore clinical preceptors views and experiences of precepting Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) students in an undergraduate program. A case study design was used. As case studies explore a single unit of study such as a person or very small number of subjects; the two clinical preceptors were fundamental to the study and served as a single case. Qualitative data were obtained through an iterative process using in depth interviews and written accounts from reflective journals that were kept by the clinical preceptors. The findings revealed that the clinical preceptors were dedicated to their roles and responsibilities. Another, key finding was that clinical preceptors’ prior knowledge and clinical experience were valuable assets to perform their role effectively. The clinical preceptors found their new role innovative and challenging; it was stressful at the same time. Findings also revealed that in the clinical agencies there were unclear expectations and role ambiguity. Furthermore, clinical preceptors had difficulty integrating theory into practice in the clinical area and they had difficulty in giving feedback to the students. Although this study is localized to one university, generalizations can be drawn from the results. The key findings indicate that the role of a clinical preceptor is demanding and stressful. Clinical preceptors need preparation prior to precepting students on clinicals. Also, institutional support is fundamental for their acceptance. This paper focuses on the views and experiences of clinical preceptors undertaking a newly established role and resonates with the literature. The following recommendations are drawn to strengthen the role of the clinical preceptors: A structured program for clinical preceptors is needed along with mentorship. Clinical preceptors should be provided with formal training in teaching and learning with emphasis on clinical teaching and giving feedback to students. Additionally, for improving integration of theory into practice, clinical modules should be provided ahead of the clinical. In spite of all the challenges, ten more clinical preceptors have been hired as the faculty shortage continues to persist.

Paper Detail
206
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778
10007977
An Overview of Evaluations Using Augmented Reality for Assembly Training Tasks
Abstract:

Augmented Reality (AR) is a strong growing research topic in different training domains such as medicine, sports, military, education and industrial use cases like assembly and maintenance tasks. AR claims to improve the efficiency and skill-transfer of training tasks. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of evaluations using AR for assembly and maintenance training tasks published between 1992 and 2017. We search in a structured way in four different online databases and get 862 results. We select 17 relevant articles focusing on evaluating AR-based training applications for assembly and maintenance tasks. This paper also indicates design guidelines which are necessary for creating a successful application for an AR-based training. We also present five scientific limitations in the field of AR-based training for assembly tasks. Finally, we show our approach to solve current research problems using Design Science Research (DSR).

Paper Detail
336
downloads
777
10007989
Key Issues in Transfer Stage of BOT Project: Experience from China
Abstract:

The build-operate-transfer (BOT) project delivery system has provided effective routes to mobilize private sector funds, innovative technologies, management skills and operational efficiencies for public infrastructure development and have been widely used in China during the last 20 years. Many BOT projects in China will be smoothly transferred to the government soon and the transfer stage, which is considered as the last stage, must be studied carefully and handled well to achieve the overall success of BOT projects. There will be many issues faced by both the public sector and private sector in the transfer stage of BOT projects, including project post-assessment, technology and documents transfer, personal training and staff transition, etc. and sometimes additional legislation is needed for future operation and management of facilities. However, most previous studies focused on the bidding, financing, and building and operation stages instead of transfer stage. This research identifies nine key issues in the transfer stage of BOT projects through a comprehensive study on three cases in China, and the expert interview and expert discussion meetings are held to validate the key issues and give detail analysis. A proposed framework of transfer management is prepared based on the experiences derived and lessons drawn from the case studies and expert interview and discussions, which is expected to improve the transfer management of BOT projects in practice.

Paper Detail
197
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776
10008047
The Capacity of Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients for Speech Recognition
Abstract:

Speech recognition is of an important contribution in promoting new technologies in human computer interaction. Today, there is a growing need to employ speech technology in daily life and business activities. However, speech recognition is a challenging task that requires different stages before obtaining the desired output. Among automatic speech recognition (ASR) components is the feature extraction process, which parameterizes the speech signal to produce the corresponding feature vectors. Feature extraction process aims at approximating the linguistic content that is conveyed by the input speech signal. In speech processing field, there are several methods to extract speech features, however, Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) is the popular technique. It has been long observed that the MFCC is dominantly used in the well-known recognizers such as the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Sphinx and the Markov Model Toolkit (HTK). Hence, this paper focuses on the MFCC method as the standard choice to identify the different speech segments in order to obtain the language phonemes for further training and decoding steps. Due to MFCC good performance, the previous studies show that the MFCC dominates the Arabic ASR research. In this paper, we demonstrate MFCC as well as the intermediate steps that are performed to get these coefficients using the HTK toolkit.

Paper Detail
376
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775
10008520
The Role of General Councils in the Supervision of the Organizational Performance of Higher Education Institutions
Abstract:

Higher Education Institutions (HEI), and other levels of Education, face important challenges. One of the most relevant one is the ability to adapt to a society that is changing over time, whilst guarantying levels of training that do not merely react to such changes. Thus, interacting with society, particularly with surrounding communities and key stakeholders, has become an essential requirement for the sustainability of these institutions. One of the formal mechanisms implemented in European educational institutions has been the design of organizational structures that include a top governance body sharing its constitution with both internal members, students and external members. Such frame holds the core mission of involving communities in the governance of educational institutions, assuming, both strategic decision-making functions, with the approval of the institutions’ strategic plans, and a supervision function, approved by activity reports. It also plays an essential role in the life of institutions by holding the responsibility of electing its top executives. In Portugal, it has been almost a decade since the publication of RJIES, the legal framework of Higher Education, such bodies being designated by General Councils. Thus, one may highlight that there has been a better understanding of the operative process of these bodies, as well as their added value to the education system. It has also been possible to analyse the extent to which their core mission has been fulfilled and to understand its growing relevance, particularly regarding the autonomy of institutions. This article aims to contribute to this theme by presenting the results of a study on the role of these bodies in the governance of Public Portuguese HEI, with a special focus on the supervisory competence of organizational performance. Through questionnaires made to board members and interviews with chairpersons of the bodies and top managers of the institutions, it was possible to conclude that there is a high concern with the connections to the external environment. However, regarding organizational performance and the role of the Council as a supervisor of that performance, the activity of the bodies has fallen short of what would be expected. Several reasons may be identified. It is important to emphasize the importance of the profile of the external members and the relationship between the organ’s standard functioning and the election of the head of the institution.

Paper Detail
81
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774
10007801
Eradication of Mental Illness through Buddhism
Abstract:

In this modern age, most people in developed and developing countries are affected by mental illness. There are many mental illnesses, and their differing symptoms impact peoples’ lives in different ways. These illnesses affect the way people think and feel, as well as how they behave with others. Mental illness results from compound interactions between the mind, body, and environment. New technologies and sciences make the world a better place. These technologies are becoming smarter and are being developed every day to help make daily life easier However, people suffer from mental illness in every part of the world. The philosophy propounded by the Buddha, Buddhism, teaches that all life is connected, from the microcosm to macrocosm. In the 2,500 years that elapsed since the death of the Buddha, his disciples have spread his teachings and developed sophisticated psycho-therapeutic methodologies. We can find many examples in Buddhist texts and in the modern age where Buddhist philosophy modern science could not solve. The Noble Eightfold Path, which is one of the main philosophies of Buddhism; it eradicates hatred and ill will and cultivates good deeds, kindness, and compassion. Buddhism, as a practice of dialectic conversation and mindfulness training, is full of rich therapeutic tools that the mental health community has adopted to help people. Similarly, Buddhist meditation is very necessary; it purifies thoughts and avoids unnecessary thinking. This research aims to study different causes of mental illness; analyzes the different approaches to eradicate mental illness problems and provides conclusions and recommendations present solutions through Buddhism in this modern age.

Paper Detail
241
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773
10007863
Multilayer Neural Network and Fuzzy Logic Based Software Quality Prediction
Abstract:
In the software development lifecycle, the quality prediction techniques hold a prime importance in order to minimize future design errors and expensive maintenance. There are many techniques proposed by various researchers, but with the increasing complexity of the software lifecycle model, it is crucial to develop a flexible system which can cater for the factors which in result have an impact on the quality of the end product. These factors include properties of the software development process and the product along with its operation conditions. In this paper, a neural network (perceptron) based software quality prediction technique is proposed. Using this technique, the stakeholders can predict the quality of the resulting software during the early phases of the lifecycle saving time and resources on future elimination of design errors and costly maintenance. This technique can be brought into practical use using successful training.
Paper Detail
204
downloads
772
10008039
An Immersive Serious Game for Firefighting and Evacuation Training in Healthcare Facilities
Abstract:

In healthcare facilities, training the staff for firefighting and evacuation in real buildings is very challenging due to the presence of a vulnerable population in such an environment. In a standard environment, traditional approaches, such as fire drills, are often used to train the occupants and provide them with information about fire safety procedures. However, those traditional approaches may be inappropriate for a vulnerable population and can be inefficient from an educational viewpoint as it is impossible to expose the occupants to scenarios similar to a real emergency. Immersive serious games could be used as an alternative to traditional approaches to overcome their limitations. Serious games are already being used in different safety domains such as fires, earthquakes and terror attacks for several building types (e.g., office buildings, train stations, tunnels, etc.). In this study, we developed an immersive serious game to improve the fire safety skills of staff in healthcare facilities. An accurate representation of the healthcare environment was built in Unity3D by including visual and audio stimuli inspired from those employed in commercial action games. The serious game is organised in three levels. In each of them, the trainee is presented with a specific fire emergency and s/he can perform protective actions (e.g., firefighting, helping non-ambulant occupants, etc.) or s/he can ignore the opportunity for action and continue the evacuation. In this paper, we describe all the steps required to develop such a prototype, as well as the key questions that need to be answered, to develop a serious game for firefighting and evacuation in healthcare facilities.

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238
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10008644
Coastal Resources Spatial Planning and Potential Oil Risk Analysis: Case Study of Misratah’s Coastal Resources, Libya
Abstract:

The goal of the Libyan Environmental General Authority (EGA) and National Oil Corporation (Department of Health, Safety & Environment) during the last 5 years has been to adopt a common approach to coastal and marine spatial planning. Protection and planning of the coastal zone is a significant for Libya, due to the length of coast and, the high rate of oil export, and spills’ potential negative impacts on coastal and marine habitats. Coastal resource scenarios constitute an important tool for exploring the long-term and short-term consequences of oil spill impact and available response options that would provide an integrated perspective on mitigation. To investigate that, this paper reviews the Misratah coastal parameters to present the physical and human controls and attributes of coastal habitats as the first step in understanding how they may be damaged by an oil spill. This paper also investigates costal resources, providing a better understanding of the resources and factors that impact the integrity of the ecosystem. Therefore, the study described the potential spatial distribution of oil spill risk and the coastal resources value, and also created spatial maps of coastal resources and their vulnerability to oil spills along the coast. This study proposes an analysis of coastal resources condition at a local level in the Misratah region of the Mediterranean Sea, considering the implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning over time as an indication of the will to manage urban development. Oil spill contamination analysis and their impact on the coastal resources depend on (1) oil spill sequence, (2) oil spill location, (3) oil spill movement near the coastal area. The resulting maps show natural, socio-economic activity, environmental resources along of the coast, and oil spill location. Moreover, the study provides significant geodatabase information which is required for coastal sensitivity index mapping and coastal management studies. The outcome of study provides the information necessary to set an Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) for the Misratah shoreline, which can be used for management of coastal resources and setting boundaries for each coastal sensitivity sectors, as well as to help planners measure the impact of oil spills on coastal resources. Geographic Information System (GIS) tools were used in order to store and illustrate the spatial convergence of existing socio-economic activities such as fishing, tourism, and the salt industry, and ecosystem components such as sea turtle nesting area, Sabkha habitats, and migratory birds feeding sites. These geodatabases help planners investigate the vulnerability of coastal resources to an oil spill.

Paper Detail
74
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770
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.

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337
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769
10007742
Lack of BIM Training: Investigating Practical Solutions for the State of Kuwait
Abstract:

Despite the evident benefits of building information modeling (BIM) to the construction industry, it faces significant implementation challenges in the State of Kuwait. This study investigates the awareness of construction stakeholders of BIM implementation challenges, and identifies various solutions to overcome these challenges. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are to: (1) characterize the barriers that deter utilization of BIM, (2) examine the awareness of engineers, architects, and construction stakeholders of these barriers, and (3) identify practical solutions to facilitate BIM utilization. A questionnaire survey was designed to collect data on the aforementioned objectives from local companies and senior BIM experts. It was found that engineers are highly aware of BIM implementation barriers. In addition, it was concluded from the questionnaire that the biggest barrier is the lack of BIM training. Based on expert feedback, the study concluded with a number of recommendations on how to overcome the barriers of BIM utilization. This should prove useful to the construction industry stakeholders and can lead to significant changes to design and construction practices.

Paper Detail
304
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768
10007765
Measuring Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Implementation in Riyadh Hospitals
Abstract:

Daily provision of high quality food and hygiene to patients is a challenging goal of the healthcare. In Saudi Arabia, matters related to food safety and hygiene are regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA). The purpose of this research is to discuss the food safety management inconsistencies and flaws, in particular the ones related to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) in Riyadh’s MOH hospitals. As required by law, written HACCP regulations must be implemented, and food handlers need to receive the training accordingly. However, in Saudi hospitals, this is not a requirement, and the food handlers do not need to hold training certificates in food safety or HACCP. Nowadays, the matter of food safety and hygiene have become increasingly important since the decision makers want to align these regulations with the majority of the world and to implement HACCP fully and for this purpose, the SFDA was established. 

Paper Detail
236
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767
10007842
Understanding Innovation by Analyzing the Pillars of the Global Competitiveness Index
Abstract:
Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) prepared by World Economic Forum has become a benchmark in studying the competitiveness of countries and for understanding the factors that enable competitiveness. Innovation is a key pillar in competitiveness and has the unique property of enabling exponential economic growth. This paper attempts to analyze how the pillars comprising the Global Competitiveness Index affect innovation and whether GDP growth can directly affect innovation outcomes for a country. The key objective of the study is to identify areas on which governments of developing countries can focus policies and programs to improve their country’s innovativeness. We have compiled a panel data set for top innovating countries and large emerging economies called BRICS from 2007-08 to 2014-15 in order to find the significant factors that affect innovation. The results of the regression analysis suggest that government should make policies to improve labor market efficiency, establish sophisticated business networks, provide basic health and primary education to its people and strengthen the quality of higher education and training services in the economy. The achievements of smaller economies on innovation suggest that concerted efforts by governments can counter any size related disadvantage, and in fact can provide greater flexibility and speed in encouraging innovation.
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200
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