International Science Index

1946
10009027
Affective Robots: Evaluation of Automatic Emotion Recognition Approaches on a Humanoid Robot towards Emotionally Intelligent Machines
Abstract:
One of the main aims of current social robotic research is to improve the robots’ abilities to interact with humans. In order to achieve an interaction similar to that among humans, robots should be able to communicate in an intuitive and natural way and appropriately interpret human affects during social interactions. Similarly to how humans are able to recognize emotions in other humans, machines are capable of extracting information from the various ways humans convey emotions—including facial expression, speech, gesture or text—and using this information for improved human computer interaction. This can be described as Affective Computing, an interdisciplinary field that expands into otherwise unrelated fields like psychology and cognitive science and involves the research and development of systems that can recognize and interpret human affects. To leverage these emotional capabilities by embedding them in humanoid robots is the foundation of the concept Affective Robots, which has the objective of making robots capable of sensing the user’s current mood and personality traits and adapt their behavior in the most appropriate manner based on that. In this paper, the emotion recognition capabilities of the humanoid robot Pepper are experimentally explored, based on the facial expressions for the so-called basic emotions, as well as how it performs in contrast to other state-of-the-art approaches with both expression databases compiled in academic environments and real subjects showing posed expressions as well as spontaneous emotional reactions. The experiments’ results show that the detection accuracy amongst the evaluated approaches differs substantially. The introduced experiments offer a general structure and approach for conducting such experimental evaluations. The paper further suggests that the most meaningful results are obtained by conducting experiments with real subjects expressing the emotions as spontaneous reactions.
Paper Detail
20
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1945
10009045
Design and Performance Comparison of Metamaterial Based Antenna for 4G/5G Mobile Devices
Abstract:

This paper presents the design and performance evaluation of multiband metamaterial based antenna operating in the 3.6 GHz (4G), 14.33 GHz, and 28.86 GHz (5G) frequency bands, for future mobile and handheld devices. The radiating element of the proposed design is made up of a conductive material supported by a 1.524 mm thicker Rogers-4003 substrate, having a relative dielectric constant and loss tangent of 3.55 and 0.0027, respectively. The substrate is backed by truncated ground plane. The future mobile communication system is based on higher frequencies, which are highly affected by the atmospheric conditions. Therefore, to overcome the path loss problem, essential enhancements and improvements must be made in the overall performance of the antenna. The traditional ground plane does not provide the in-phase reflection and surface wave suppression due to which side and back lobes are produced. This will affect the antenna performance in terms of gain and efficiency. To enhance the overall performance of the antenna, a metamaterial acting as a high impedance surface (HIS) is used as a reflector in the proposed design. The simulated gain of the metamaterial based antenna is enhanced from {2.76-6.47, 4.83-6.71 and 7.52-7.73} dB at 3.6, 14.33 and 28.89 GHz, respectively relative to the gain of the antenna backed by a traditional ground plane. The proposed antenna radiated efficiently with a radiated efficiency (>85 %) in all the three frequency bands with and without metamaterial surface. The total volume of the antenna is (L x W x h=45 x 40 x 1.524) mm3. The antenna can be potentially used for wireless handheld devices and mobile terminal. All the simulations have been performed using the Computer Simulation Technology (CST) software.

Paper Detail
39
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1944
10009046
A Mixed Integer Linear Programming Model for Flexible Job Shop Scheduling Problem
Authors:
Abstract:
In this paper, a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model is presented to solve the flexible job shop scheduling problem (FJSP). This problem is one of the hardest combinatorial problems. The objective considered is the minimization of the makespan. The computational results of the proposed MILP model were compared with those of the best known mathematical model in the literature in terms of the computational time. The results show that our model has better performance with respect to all the considered performance measures including relative percentage deviation (RPD) value, number of constraints, and total number of variables. By this improved mathematical model, larger FJS problems can be optimally solved in reasonable time, and therefore, the model would be a better tool for the performance evaluation of the approximation algorithms developed for the problem.
Paper Detail
12
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1943
10008873
Comparison of Electrical Parameters of Oil-Immersed and Dry-Type Transformer Using Finite Element Method
Abstract:

The choice evaluation between oil-immersed and dry-type transformers is often controlled by cost, location, and application. This paper compares the electrical performance of liquid- filled and dry-type transformers, which will assist the customer to choose the right and efficient ones for particular applications. An accurate assessment of the time-average flux density, electric field intensity and voltage distribution in an oil-insulated and a dry-type transformer have been computed and investigated. The detailed transformer modeling and analysis has been carried out to determine electrical parameter distributions. The models of oil-immersed and dry-type transformers are developed and solved by using the finite element method (FEM) to compare the electrical parameters. The effects of non-uniform and non-coherent voltage gradient, flux density and electric field distribution on the power losses and insulation properties of transformers are studied in detail. The results show that, for the same voltage and kilo-volt-ampere (kVA) rating, oil-immersed transformers have better insulation properties and less hysteresis losses than the dry-type.

Paper Detail
70
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1942
10008934
Attribute Based Comparison and Selection of Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robot Using Multiple Attribute Decision Making Approach
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
53
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1941
10008975
The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Paper Detail
52
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1940
10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

Paper Detail
50
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1939
10009013
Multidimensional Performance Tracking
Authors:
Abstract:
In this study, a model, together with a software tool that implements it, has been developed to determine the performance ratings of employees in an organization operating in the information technology sector using the indicators obtained from employees' online study data. Weighted Sum (WS) Method and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method based on multidimensional decision making approach were used in the study. WS and TOPSIS methods provide multidimensional decision making (MDDM) methods that allow all dimensions to be evaluated together considering specific weights, allowing employees to objectively evaluate the problem of online performance tracking. The application of WS and TOPSIS mathematical methods, which can combine alternatives with a large number of dimensions and reach simultaneous solution, has been implemented through an online performance tracking software. In the application of WS and TOPSIS methods, objective dimension weights were calculated by using entropy information (EI) and standard deviation (SD) methods from the data obtained by employees' online performance tracking method, decision matrix was formed by using performance scores for each employee, and a single performance score was calculated for each employee. Based on the calculated performance score, employees were given a performance evaluation decision. The results of Pareto set evidence and comparative mathematical analysis validate that employees' performance preference rankings in WS and TOPSIS methods are closely related. This suggests the compatibility, applicability, and validity of the proposed method to the MDDM problems in which a large number of alternative and dimension types are taken into account. With this study, an objective, realistic, feasible and understandable mathematical method, together with a software tool that implements it has been demonstrated. This is considered to be preferable because of the subjectivity, limitations and high cost of the methods traditionally used in the measurement and performance appraisal in the information technology sector.
Paper Detail
52
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1938
10009041
Evaluation of Toxic Elements in Thai Rice Samples
Abstract:
Toxic elements in rice samples are great concern in Thailand because rice (Oryza sativa) is a staple food for Thai people. Furthermore, rice is an economic crop of Thailand for export. In this study, the concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in rice samples collected from the paddy fields in the northern, northeastern and southern regions of Thailand were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The mean concentrations of As, Cd and Pb in 55 rice samples were 0.112±0.056, 0.029±0.037 and 0.031±0.033 mg kg-1, respectively. All rice samples showed As, Cd and Pb lower than the limit data of Codex. The estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of As, Cd, and Pb from rice consumption were 0.026±0.013, 0.007±0.009 and 0.007±0.008 mg day-1, respectively. The percentage contribution to Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) values of As, Cd and Pb for Thai male (body weight of 69 kg) was 17.6%, 9.7%, and 2.9%, respectively, and for Thai female (body weight of 57 kg) was 21.3%, 11.7% and 3.5%, respectively. The findings indicated that all studied rice samples are safe for consumption.
Paper Detail
15
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1937
10008745
Evaluating 8D Reports Using Text-Mining
Abstract:

Increasing quality requirements make reliable and effective quality management indispensable. This includes the complaint handling in which the 8D method is widely used. The 8D report as a written documentation of the 8D method is one of the key quality documents as it internally secures the quality standards and acts as a communication medium to the customer. In practice, however, the 8D report is mostly faulty and of poor quality. There is no quality control of 8D reports today. This paper describes the use of natural language processing for the automated evaluation of 8D reports. Based on semantic analysis and text-mining algorithms the presented system is able to uncover content and formal quality deficiencies and thus increases the quality of the complaint processing in the long term.

Paper Detail
119
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1936
10008747
Evaluation of Negative Air Ions in Bioaerosol Removal: Indoor Concentration of Airborne Bacterial and Fungal in Residential Building in Qom City, Iran
Abstract:

The present investigation was conducted to detect the type and concentrations of bacterial and fungal bioaerosols in one room (bedroom) of each selected residential building located in different regions of Qom during February 2015 (n=9) to July 2016 (n=11). Moreover, we evaluated the efficiency of negative air ions (NAIs) in bioaerosol reduction in indoor air in residential buildings. In the first step, the mean concentrations of bacterial and fungal in nine sampling sites evaluated in winter were 744 and 579 colony forming units (CFU)/m3, while these values were 1628.6 and 231 CFU/m3 in the 11 sampling sites evaluated in summer, respectively. The most predominant genera between bacterial and fungal in all sampling sites were detected as Micrococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. and also, Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp., respectively. The 95% and 45% of sampling sites have bacterial and fungal concentrations over the recommended levels, respectively. In the removal step, we achieved a reduction with a range of 38% to 93% for bacterial genera and 25% to 100% for fungal genera by using NAIs. The results suggested that NAI is a highly effective, simple and efficient technique in reducing the bacterial and fungal concentration in the indoor air of residential buildings.

Paper Detail
85
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1935
10008766
A Fundamental Study for Real-Time Safety Evaluation System of Landing Pier Using FBG Sensor
Abstract:

A landing pier is subjected to safety assessment by visual inspection and design data, but it is difficult to check the damage in real-time. In this study, real - time damage detection and safety evaluation methods were studied. As a result of structural analysis of the arbitrary landing pier structure, the inflection point of deformation and moment occurred at 10%, 50%, and 90% of pile length. The critical value of Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensor was set according to the safety factor, and the FBG sensor application method for real - time safety evaluation was derived.

Paper Detail
96
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1934
10008803
Discrepant Views of Social Competence and Links with Social Phobia
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
96
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1933
10008806
Development of a Standardization Methodology Assessing the Comfort Performance for Hanok
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
101
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1932
10008808
Geology, Geomorphology and Genesis of Andarokh Karstic Cave, North-East Iran
Abstract:

Andarokh basin is one of the main karstic regions in Khorasan Razavi province NE Iran. This basin is part of Kopeh-Dagh mega zone extending from Caspian Sea in the east to northern Afghanistan in the west. This basin is covered by Mozdooran Formation, Ngr evaporative formation and quaternary alluvium deposits in descending order of age. Mozdooran carbonate formation is notably karstified. The main surface karstic features in Mozdooran formation are Groove karren, Cleft karren, Rain pit, Rill karren, Tritt karren, Kamintza, Domes, and Table karren. In addition to surface features, deep karstic feature Andarokh Cave also exists in the region. Studying Ca, Mg, Mn, Sr, Fe concentration and Sr/Mn ratio in Mozdooran formation samples with distance to main faults and joints system using PCA analyses demonstrates intense meteoric digenesis role in controlling carbonate rock geochemistry. The karst evaluation in Andarokh basin varies from early stages 'deep seated karst' in Mesozoic to mature karstic system 'Exhumed karst' in quaternary period. Andarokh cave (the main cave in Andarokh basin) is rudimentary branch work consists of three passages of A, B and C and two entrances Andarokh and Sky.

Paper Detail
73
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1931
10008817
Evaluation of NH3-Slip from Diesel Vehicles Equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems by Neural Networks Approach
Abstract:
Selective catalytic reduction systems for nitrogen oxides reduction by ammonia has been the chosen technology by most of diesel vehicle (i.e. bus and truck) manufacturers in Brazil, as also in Europe. Furthermore, at some conditions, over-stoichiometric ammonia availability is also needed that increases the NH3 slips even more. Ammonia (NH3) by this vehicle exhaust aftertreatment system provides a maximum efficiency of NOx removal if a significant amount of NH3 is stored on its catalyst surface. In the other words, the practice shows that slightly less than 100% of the NOx conversion is usually targeted, so that the aqueous urea solution hydrolyzes to NH3 via other species formation, under relatively low temperatures. This paper presents a model based on neural networks integrated with a road vehicle simulator that allows to estimate NH3-slip emission factors for different driving conditions and patterns. The proposed model generates high NH3slips which are not also limited in Brazil, but more efforts needed to be made to elucidate the contribution of vehicle-emitted NH3 to the urban atmosphere.
Paper Detail
108
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1930
10008821
Experimental and Simulation Stress Strain Comparison of Hot Single Point Incremental Forming
Abstract:
Induction assisted single point incremental forming (IASPIF) is a flexible method and can be simply utilized to form a high strength alloys. Due to the interaction between the mechanical and thermal properties during IASPIF an evaluation for the process is necessary to be performed analytically. Therefore, a numerical simulation was carried out in this paper. The numerical analysis was operated at both room and elevated temperatures then compared with experimental results. Fully coupled dynamic temperature displacement explicit analysis was used to simulated the hot single point incremental forming. The numerical analysis was indicating that during hot single point incremental forming were a combination between complicated compression, tension and shear stresses. As a result, the equivalent plastic strain was increased excessively by rising both the formed part depth and the heating temperature during forming. Whereas, the forming forces were decreased from 5 kN at room temperature to 0.95 kN at elevated temperature. The simulation shows that the maximum true strain was occurred in the stretching zone which was the same as in experiment.
Paper Detail
71
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1929
10008918
Teaching Contemporary Power Distribution and Industrial Networks in Higher Education Vocational Studies
Abstract:

The paper shows the development and implementation of the syllabus of the subject 'Distribution and Industrial Networks', attended by the vocational specialist Year 4 students of the Electric Power Engineering study programme at the Higher Education Technical School of Vocational Studies in Novi Sad. The aim of the subject is to equip students with the knowledge necessary for planning, exploitation and management of distributive and industrial electric power networks in an open electricity market environment. The results of the evaluation of educational outcomes on the subject are presented and discussed.

Paper Detail
61
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1928
10008984
Identification of Promiscuous Epitopes for Cellular Immune Responses in the Major Antigenic Protein Rv3873 Encoded by Region of Difference 1 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Abstract:

Rv3873 is a relatively large size protein (371 amino acids in length) and its gene is located in the immunodominant genomic region of difference (RD)1 that is present in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis but deleted from the genomes of all the vaccine strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and most other mycobacteria. However, when tested for cellular immune responses using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and BCG-vaccinated healthy subjects, this protein was found to be a major stimulator of cell mediated immune responses in both groups of subjects. In order to further identify the sequence of immunodominant epitopes and explore their Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-restriction for epitope recognition, 24 peptides (25-mers overlapping with the neighboring peptides by 10 residues) covering the sequence of Rv3873 were synthesized chemically using fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chemistry and tested in cell mediated immune responses. The results of these experiments helped in the identification of an immunodominant peptide P9 that was recognized by people expressing varying HLA-DR types. Furthermore, it was also predicted to be a promiscuous binder with multiple epitopes for binding to HLA-DR, HLA-DP and HLA-DQ alleles of HLA-class II molecules that present antigens to T helper cells, and to HLA-class I molecules that present antigens to T cytotoxic cells. In addition, the evaluation of peptide P9 using an immunogenicity predictor server yielded a high score (0.94), which indicated a greater probability of this peptide to elicit a protective cellular immune response. In conclusion, P9, a peptide with multiple epitopes and ability to bind several HLA class I and class II molecules for presentation to cells of the cellular immune response, may be useful as a peptide-based vaccine against tuberculosis.

Paper Detail
38
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1927
10008625
Evaluation of the MCFLIRT Correction Algorithm in Head Motion from Resting State fMRI Data
Abstract:

In the last few years, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was widely used to investigate the architecture of brain networks by investigating the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent response. This technique represented an interesting, robust and reliable approach to compare pathologic and healthy subjects in order to investigate neurodegenerative diseases evolution. On the other hand, the elaboration of rs-fMRI data resulted to be very prone to noise due to confounding factors especially the head motion. Head motion has long been known to be a source of artefacts in task-based functional MRI studies, but it has become a particularly challenging problem in recent studies using rs-fMRI. The aim of this work was to evaluate in MS patients a well-known motion correction algorithm from the FMRIB's Software Library - MCFLIRT - that could be applied to minimize the head motion distortions, allowing to correctly interpret rs-fMRI results.

Paper Detail
143
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1926
10008657
Integrated Waste-to-Energy Approach: An Overview
Abstract:

This study evaluates the benefits of advanced waste management practices in unlocking waste-to-energy opportunities within the solid waste industry. The key drivers of sustainable waste management practices, specifically with respect to packaging waste-to-energy technology options are discussed. The success of a waste-to-energy system depends significantly on the appropriateness of available technologies, including those that are well established as well as those that are less so. There are hard and soft interventions to be considered when packaging an integrated waste treatment solution. Technology compatibility with variation in feedstock (waste) quality and quantities remains a key factor. These factors influence the technology reliability in terms of production efficiencies and product consistency, which in turn, drives the supply and demand network. Waste treatment technologies rely on the waste material as feedstock; the feedstock varies in quality and quantities depending on several factors; hence, the technology fails, as a result. It is critical to design an advanced waste treatment technology in an integrated approach to minimize the possibility of technology failure due to unpredictable feedstock quality, quantities, conversion efficiencies, and inconsistent product yield or quality. An integrated waste-to-energy approach offers a secure system design that considers sustainable waste management practices.

Paper Detail
131
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1925
10008662
Quality Function Deployment Application in Sewer Pipeline Assessment
Abstract:

Infrastructure assets are essential in urban cities; their purpose is to facilitate the public needs. As a result, their conditions and states shall always be monitored to avoid any sudden malfunction. Sewer systems, one of the assets, are an essential part of the underground infrastructure as they transfer sewer medium to designated areas. However, their conditions are subject to deterioration due to ageing. Therefore, it is of great significance to assess the conditions of pipelines to avoid sudden collapses. Current practices of sewer pipeline assessment rely on industrial protocols that consider distinct defects and grades to conclude the limited average or peak score of the assessed assets. This research aims to enhance the evaluation by integrating the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) methods in assessing the condition of sewer pipelines. The methodology shall study the cause and effect relationship of the systems’ defects to deduce the relative influence weights of each defect. Subsequently, the overall grade is calculated by aggregating the WHAT’s and HOW’s of the House of Quality (HOQ) using the computed relative weights. Thus, this study shall enhance the evaluation of the assets to conclude informative rehabilitation and maintenance plans for decision makers.

Paper Detail
100
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1924
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
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1923
10008705
Comparative Study of Ad Hoc Routing Protocols in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks for Smart City
Abstract:

In this paper, we perform the investigation of some routing protocols in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network (VANET) context. Indeed, we study the efficiency of protocols like Dynamic Source Routing (DSR), Ad hoc On-demand Distance Vector Routing (AODV), Destination Sequenced Distance Vector (DSDV), Optimized Link State Routing convention (OLSR) and Vehicular Multi-hop algorithm for Stable Clustering (VMASC) in terms of packet delivery ratio (PDR) and throughput. The performance evaluation and comparison between the studied protocols shows that the VMASC is the best protocols regarding fast data transmission and link stability in VANETs. The validation of all results is done by the NS3 simulator.

Paper Detail
101
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1922
10008716
Synthesis, Physicochemical Characterization and Study of the Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorobutanol
Abstract:

Introduction and objectives: Chlorobutanol is a raw material, mainly used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial preservative in injectable and ophthalmic preparations. The main objective of our study was the synthesis and evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of chlorobutanol hemihydrates. Material and methods: Chlorobutanol was synthesized according to the nucleophilic addition reaction of chloroform to acetone, identified by an infrared absorption using Spectrum One FTIR spectrometer, melting point, Scanning electron microscopy and colorimetric reactions. The dosage of Carvedilol active substance was carried out by assaying the degradation products of chlorobutanol in a basic solution. The chlorobutanol obtained was subjected to bacteriological tests in order to study its antimicrobial activity. The antibacterial activity was evaluated against strains such as Escherichia coli (ATCC 25 922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25 923) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (ATCC = American type culture collection). The antifungal activity was evaluated against human pathogenic fungal strains, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger provided by the parasitology laboratory of the Hospital of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. Results and discussion: Chlorobutanol was obtained in an acceptable yield. The characterization tests of the product obtained showed a white and crystalline appearance (confirmed by scanning electron microscopy), solubilities (in water, ethanol and glycerol), and a melting temperature in accordance with the requirements of the European pharmacopoeia. The colorimetric reactions were directed towards the presence of a trihalogenated carbon and an alcohol function. The spectral identification (IR) showed the presence of characteristic chlorobutanol peaks and confirmed the structure of the latter. The microbiological study revealed an antimicrobial effect on all strains tested (Sataphylococcus aureus (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), E. coli (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Pseudomonas aeroginosa (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Candida albicans (MIC =2500 µg/ml), Aspergillus niger (MIC =2500 µg/ml)) with MIC values close to literature data. Conclusion: Thus, on the whole, the synthesized chlorobutanol satisfied the requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia, and possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity; nevertheless it is necessary to insist on the purification step of the product in order to eliminate the maximum impurities.

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120
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1921
10008721
Power Transformer Risk-Based Maintenance by Optimization of Transformer Condition and Transformer Importance
Abstract:
This paper presents a risk-based maintenance strategy of a power transformer in order to optimize operating and maintenance costs. The methodology involves the study and preparation of a database for the collection the technical data and test data of a power transformer. An evaluation of the overall condition of each transformer is performed by a program developed as a result of the measured results; in addition, the calculation of the main equipment separation to the overall condition of the transformer (% HI) and the criteria for evaluating the importance (% ImI) of each location where the transformer is installed. The condition assessment is performed by analysis test data such as electrical test, insulating oil test and visual inspection. The condition of the power transformer will be classified from very poor to very good condition. The importance is evaluated from load criticality, importance of load and failure consequence. The risk matrix is developed for evaluating the risk of each power transformer. The high risk power transformer will be focused firstly. The computerized program is developed for practical use, and the maintenance strategy of a power transformer can be effectively managed.
Paper Detail
114
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1920
10008739
Performance Evaluation of Parallel Surface Modeling and Generation on Actual and Virtual Multicore Systems
Abstract:
Even though past, current and future trends suggest that multicore and cloud computing systems are increasingly prevalent/ubiquitous, this class of parallel systems is nonetheless underutilized, in general, and barely used for research on employing parallel Delaunay triangulation for parallel surface modeling and generation, in particular. The performances, of actual/physical and virtual/cloud multicore systems/machines, at executing various algorithms, which implement various parallelization strategies of the incremental insertion technique of the Delaunay triangulation algorithm, were evaluated. T-tests were run on the data collected, in order to determine whether various performance metrics differences (including execution time, speedup and efficiency) were statistically significant. Results show that the actual machine is approximately twice faster than the virtual machine at executing the same programs for the various parallelization strategies. Results, which furnish the scalability behaviors of the various parallelization strategies, also show that some of the differences between the performances of these systems, during different runs of the algorithms on the systems, were statistically significant. A few pseudo superlinear speedup results, which were computed from the raw data collected, are not true superlinear speedup values. These pseudo superlinear speedup values, which arise as a result of one way of computing speedups, disappear and give way to asymmetric speedups, which are the accurate kind of speedups that occur in the experiments performed.
Paper Detail
86
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1919
10008740
Quality of Life Assessment across the Cancer Continuum: Understanding the Role of an Exercise Rehabilitation Programme
Abstract:

The Quality of Life (QoL) paradigm is multidimensional, dynamic and modular and its definition differs across the cancer continuum. The challenge in the interpretation of QoL data in clinical research is that QoL is influenced by psychological phenomena such as adaptation to illness. This research aims to obtain a valid and sensitive assessment of QoL change over the continuum disease, and to evaluate a rehabilitation programme aimed at inverting the observed decrease in QoL when patients return to daily living activities. The sample comprised 66 men. Patients were first assessed to establish a baseline (P1-diagnosis). This was followed by a post-test (P2-discharge) and a then-test measurement (P3-retrospective evaluation) and after returning home patients were randomized in experimental and control groups. The experimental group attended a rehabilitation programme over 24 weeks (P4). Results show that from baseline to post-test, QoL decreased significantly. The recalibration then-test confirmed a low QoL in all periods evaluated. Significant differences between the experimental and control groups prove the positive effect of the Exercise Rehabilitation Programme (ERP) on QoL. Understanding the real dynamic of QoL over time would help to adapt rehabilitation programmes by improving sensitivity and efficacy and provide professionals with a more accurate perception of the impact of treatment and side effects on patients’ QoL. Our results underline the importance of changing the approach adopted by health professionals towards one of watchful waiting on patients’ QoL until their complete recovery in daily life.

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120
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1918
10008742
E-Learning Network Support Services: A Comparative Case Study of Australian and United States Universities
Abstract:

This research study examines the current state of support services for e-network practice in an Australian and an American university. It identifies information that will be of assistance to Australian and American universities to improve their existing online programs. The study investigated the two universities using a quantitative methodological approach. Participants were students, lecturers and admins of universities engaged with online courses and learning management systems. The support services for e-network practice variables, namely academic support services, administrative support and technical support, were investigated for e-practice. Evaluations of e-network support service and its sub factors were above average and excellent in both countries, although the American admins and lecturers tended to evaluate this factor higher than others did. Support practice was evaluated higher by all participants of an American university than by Australians. One explanation for the results may be that most suppliers of the Australian university e-learning system were from eastern Asian cultural backgrounds with a western networking support perspective about e-learning.

Paper Detail
98
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1917
10008743
A Resource Survey of Lateritic Soils and Impact Evaluation toward Community Members Living Nearby the Excavation Pits
Abstract:

The objectives of the research are to find the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil and to predict the impact on community members who live nearby the excavation pits in the area of Amphur Pak Thor, Ratchaburi Province in the western area of Thailand. The research was conducted by collecting soil samples from four excavation pits for basic engineering properties, testing and collecting questionnaire data from 120 community members who live nearby the excavation pits, and applying statistical analysis. The results found that the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil can be classified into silt soil type which is cohesionless as the loess or collapsible soil which is not suitable to be used for a pavement structure for commuting highway because it could lead to structural and functional failure in the long run. In terms of opinion from community members toward the impact, the highest impact was on the dust from excavation activities. The prediction from the logistic regression in terms of impact on community members was at 84.32 which can be adapted and applied onto other areas with the same context as a guideline for risk prevention and risk communication since it could impact the infrastructures and also impact the health of community members.

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84
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