Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 1040

The Necessity of Urban Boundaries in Planning Legislation: A Case Study in Bilecik, Turkey

In Turkey, while urban area boundaries are enlarged by making decisions on investment areas in cities, development plans are made according to government decisions, rather than scientific criteria. Even environment protection laws state that “if public interest is at stake”, areas under mandatory protection can be transformed into investment areas. This leads to destruction of valuable agricultural lands. Paper demonstrates loss of agricultural lands by superimposing plans, Suitability of the Lands for Agricultural Use and Google Earth Images in an exemplary settlement, and expresses that urban area boundaries should be included in legislation as an official boundary for all settlements.

Supporting Densification through the Planning and Implementation of Road Infrastructure in the South African Context

This paper demonstrates a proof of concept whereby shorter trips and land use densification can be promoted through an alternative approach to planning and implementation of road infrastructure in the South African context. It briefly discusses how the development of the Compact City concept relies on a combination of promoting shorter trips and densification through a change in focus in road infrastructure provision. The methodology developed in this paper uses a traffic model to test the impact of synthesized deterrence functions on congestion locations in the road network through the assignment of traffic on the study network. The results from this study demonstrate that intelligent planning of road infrastructure can indeed promote reduced urban sprawl, increased residential density and mixed-use areas which are supported by an efficient public transport system; and reduced dependence on the freeway network with a fixed road infrastructure budget. The study has resonance for all cities where urban sprawl is seemingly unstoppable.

Risk Assessment of Building Information Modelling Adoption in Construction Projects

Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.

Effect of Viscous Dissipation and Axial Conduction in Thermally Developing Region of the Channel Partially Filled with a Porous Material Subjected to Constant Wall Heat Flux

The present investigation has been undertaken to assess the effect of viscous dissipation and axial conduction on forced convection heat transfer in the entrance region of a parallel plate channel with the porous insert attached to both walls of the channel. The flow field is unidirectional. Flow in the porous region corresponds to Darcy-Brinkman model and the clear fluid region to that of plane Poiseuille flow. The effects of the parameters Darcy number, Da, Peclet number, Pe, Brinkman number, Br and a porous fraction γp on the local heat transfer coefficient are analyzed graphically. Effects of viscous dissipation employing the Darcy model and the clear fluid compatible model have been studied.

A Framework and Case Study for Sustainable Development of Urban Areas

This paper presents a multi-objective framework for sustainable urban development. The proposed framework aims to address different aspects of sustainability in urban development planning. These aspects include, but are not limited to education, health, job opportunities, architecture, culture, environment, mobility, energy, water, waste, and so on. Then, the proposed framework is applied to the Brackenridge Tract (an area in downtown Austin, Texas), to redevelop that area in a sustainable way. The detail of the implementation process is presented in this paper. The ultimate goal of this paper is to develop a sustainable area in downtown Austin with ensuring that it locally meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental, health as well as cultural aspects. Moreover, it helps the city with the population growth problem by accommodating more people in that area.

The Role of Food System in Promoting Environmental Planning

Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as food security, poverty and environmental problems. In fact, urban agriculture plays an important role in food system, which can provide citizens' income and become one of the components of economic, social and environmental systems. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the urban agriculture and urban food systems in order to understand the impact of urban foods production on environmental planning in non-western city region context. To achieve such objective, we carry out a case study in Mashhad city of Iran by using qualitative approaches. A survey on documentary studies and planning tools integrate with face to face interview with experts which explain the role of food system in environmental planning process. The paper extends the use of food in the environmental planning, specifically to examine this role to create agricultural garden as a mean to improve agricultural system in non-western country. The paper is concluded with a set of recommendations for researchers and policymakers who seek to create spaces in order to implement urban agriculture in cities for food justice.

Social Interaction Dynamics Exploration: The Case Study of El Sherouk City

In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore different social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.

Construction of Large Scale UAVs Using Homebuilt Composite Techniques

The unmanned aerial system (UAS) industry is growing at a rapid pace. This growth has increased the demand for low cost, custom made and high strength unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The area of most growth is in the area of 25 kg to 200 kg vehicles. Vehicles this size are beyond the size and scope of simple wood and fabric designs commonly found in hobbyist aircraft. These high end vehicles require stronger materials to complete their mission. Traditional aircraft construction materials such as aluminum are difficult to use without machining or advanced computer controlled tooling. However, by using general aviation composite aircraft homebuilding techniques and materials, a large scale UAV can be constructed cheaply and easily. Furthermore, these techniques could be used to easily manufacture cost made composite shapes and airfoils that would be cost prohibitive when using metals. These homebuilt aircraft techniques are being demonstrated by the researchers in the construction of a 75 kg aircraft.

Hairy Beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L. - Asteraceae) Control in Sunflower Fields Using Pre-Emergence Herbicides

One of the most damaging species in sunflower crops in Brazil is the hairy beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L.). The large number of seeds, the various vegetative cycles during the year, the staggered germination and the scarcity of selective and effective herbicides to control this weed in sunflower are some of attributes that hinder the effectiveness in controlling hairy beggarticks populations. The experiment was carried out with the objectives of evaluating the control of hairy beggarticks plants in sunflower crops, and to assess sunflower tolerance to residual herbicides. The treatments were as follows: S-metolachlor (1,200 and 2,400 g ai ha-1), flumioxazin (60 and 120 g ai ha-1), sulfentrazone (150 and 300 g ai ha-1) and two controls (weedy and weed-free check). Phytotoxicity on sunflower plants, percentage of control and density of hairy beggarticks plants, sunflower stand and plant height, head diameter, oil content and sunflower yield were evaluated. The herbicides flumioxazin and sulfentrazone were the most efficient in hairy beggarticks control. S-metolachlor provided acceptable control levels. S-metolachlor (1,200 g ha-1), flumioxazin (60 g ha-1) and sulfentrazone (150 g ha-1) were the most selective doses for sunflower crop.

Modified Hybrid Genetic Algorithm-Based Artificial Neural Network Application on Wall Shear Stress Prediction

Prediction of wall shear stress in a rectangular channel, with non-homogeneous roughness distribution, was studied. Estimation of shear stress is an important subject in hydraulic engineering, since it affects the flow structure directly. In this study, the Genetic Algorithm Artificial (GAA) neural network is introduced as a hybrid methodology of the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and modified Genetic Algorithm (GA) combination. This GAA method was employed to predict the wall shear stress. Various input combinations and transfer functions were considered to find the most appropriate GAA model. The results show that the proposed GAA method could predict the wall shear stress of open channels with high accuracy, by Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 0.064 in the test dataset. Thus, using GAA provides an accurate and practical simple-to-use equation.

Pilot-Assisted Direct-Current Biased Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing Visible Light Communication System

Visible light communication (VLC) is a new approach of optical wireless communication proposed to support the congested radio frequency (RF) spectrum. VLC systems are combined with orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) to achieve high rate transmission and high spectral efficiency. In this paper, we investigate the Pilot-Assisted Channel Estimation for DC biased Optical OFDM (PACE-DCO-OFDM) systems to reduce the effects of the distortion on the transmitted signal. Least-square (LS) and linear minimum mean-squared error (LMMSE) estimators are implemented in MATLAB/Simulink to enhance the bit-error-rate (BER) of PACE-DCO-OFDM. Results show that DCO-OFDM system based on PACE scheme has achieved better BER performance compared to conventional system without pilot assisted channel estimation. Simulation results show that the proposed PACE-DCO-OFDM based on LMMSE algorithm can more accurately estimate the channel and achieves better BER performance when compared to the LS based PACE-DCO-OFDM and the traditional system without PACE. For the same signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 25 dB, the achieved BER is about 5×10-4 for LMMSE-PACE and 4.2×10-3 with LS-PACE while it is about 2×10-1 for system without PACE scheme.

Deciphering Chinese Calligraphy as the Architectural Essence of Tao Fong Shan Christian Center in Hong Kong

Many buildings in Hong Kong are graced with enchanting works of Chinese calligraphy. An excellent example is Tao Fong Shan Christian Center founded by a Norwegian missionary, Karl Ludvig Reichelt (1877-1952) in 1930. Adorned with many inspiring works of Chinese calligraphy, the center functions as a place for the study of Christianity where people of different religions can meet to have religious discussions and intellectual exchanges. This paper examines the pivotal role played by Chinese calligraphy in creating a significant context for the center to fulfill her visions and missions. The methodology of this research involves stylistic and textual analyses of works of calligraphy, in particular through an examination and interpretation of their extended meanings in terms of architectural symbology and social and cultural contexts. Findings showed that Chinese calligraphy was effectively used as a powerful vehicle for a purposeful development of contextual Christian spirituality in Hong Kong.

The Mouth and Gastrointestinal Tract of the African Lung Fish Protopterus annectens in River Niger at Agenebode, Nigeria

The West African Lung fishes are fishes rich in protein and serve as an important source of food supply for man. The kind of food ingested by this group of fishes is dependent on the alimentary canal as well as the fish’s digestive processes which provide suitable modifications for maximum utilization of food taken. A study of the alimentary canal of P. annectens will expose the best information on the anatomy and histology of the fish. Samples of P. annectens were dissected to reveal the liver, pancreas and entire gut wall. Digital pictures of the mouth, jaws and the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) were taken. The entire gut was identified, sectioned and micro graphed. P. annectens was observed to possess a terminal mouth that opens up to 10% of its total body length, an adaptive feature to enable the fish to swallow the whole of its pry. Its dentition is made up of incisors- scissor-like teeth which also help to firmly grip, seize and tear through the skin of prey before swallowing. A short, straight and longitudinal GIT was observed in P. annectens which is known to be common feature in lungfishes, though it is thought to be a primitive characteristic similar to the lamprey. The oesophagus is short and distensible similar to other predatory and carnivorous species. Food is temporarily stored in the stomach before it is passed down into the intestine. A pyloric aperture is seen at the end of the double folded pyloric valve which leads into an intestine that makes up 75% of the whole GIT. The intestine begins at the posterior end of the pyloric aperture and winds down in six coils through the whole length intestine and ends at the cloaca. From this study it is concluded that P. annectens possess a composite GIT with organs similar to other lung fishes; it is a detritor with carnivorous abilities.

Consumer Perception of 3D Body Scanning While Online Shopping for Clothing

Technological development and the globalization in production and sales of clothing in the last decade have significantly influenced the changes in consumer relationship with the industrial-fashioned apparel and in the way of clothing purchasing. The Internet sale of clothing is in a constant and significant increase in the global market, but the possibilities offered by modern computing technologies in the customization segment are not yet fully involved, especially according to the individual customer requirements and body sizes. Considering the growing trend of online shopping, the main goal of this paper is to investigate the differences in customer perceptions towards online apparel shopping and particularly to discover the main differences in perceptions between customers regarding three different body sizes. In order to complete the research goal, the quantitative study on the sample of 85 Croatian consumers was conducted in 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement according to a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). To analyze attitudes of respondents, simple and descriptive statistics were used. The main findings highlight the differences in respondent perception of 3D body scanning, using 3D body scanning in Internet shopping, online apparel shopping habits regarding their body sizes.

Screening of Strategic Management Criterions in Hospitals Using Delphi-Fuzzy Method

Nowadays, the managing and planning of hospitals is facing many problems. Failure to recognize the main criteria for strategic management to ensure long-term hospital performance can lead to many health problems. To achieve this goal, a qualitative-quantitate method titled Delphi-Fuzzy has been applied. This strategy makes it possible for experts to screen among the most important criteria in strategic management. To conduct this operation, a statistical society consisting of 20 experts in Ahwaz hospitals has been questioned. The final model confirms the key criterions after three stages of Delphi. This model provides the possibility to focus on the basic criteria and can determine the organization’s main orientation.

Fault Location Identification in High Voltage Transmission Lines

This paper introduces a digital method for fault section identification in transmission lines. The method uses digital set of the measured short circuit current to locate faults in electrical power systems. The digitized current is used to construct a set of overdetermined system of equations. The problem is then constructed and solved using the proposed digital optimization technique to find the fault distance. The proposed optimization methodology is an application of simulated annealing optimization technique. The method is tested using practical case study to evaluate the proposed method. The accurate results obtained show that the algorithm can be used as a powerful tool in the area of power system protection.

Factors Influencing Intention to Engage in Long-term Care Services among Nursing Aide Trainees and the General Public

Rapid aging and depopulation could lead to serious problems, including workforce shortages and health expenditure costs. The current and predicted future LTC workforce shortages could be a real threat to Taiwan’s society. By means of comparison of data from 144 nursing aide trainees and 727 general public, the main purpose of the present study was to determine whether there were any notable differences between the two groups toward engaging in LTC services. Moreover, this study focused on recognizing the attributes of the general public who had the willingness to take LTC jobs but continue to ride the fence. A self-developed questionnaire was designed based on Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior model. After conducting exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and reliability analysis, the questionnaire was a reliable and valid instrument for both nursing aide trainees and the general public. The main results were as follows: Firstly, nearly 70% of nursing aide trainees showed interest in LTC jobs. Most of them were middle-aged female (M = 46.85, SD = 9.31), had a high school diploma or lower, had unrelated work experience in healthcare, and were mostly unemployed. The most common reason for attending the LTC training program was to gain skills in a particular field. The second most common reason was to obtain the license. The third and fourth reasons were to be interested in caring for people and to increase income. The three major reasons that might push them to leave LTC jobs were physical exhaustion, payment is bad, and being looked down on. Secondly, the variables that best-predicted nursing aide trainees’ intention to engage in LTC services were having personal willingness, perceived behavior control, with high school diploma or lower, and supported from family and friends. Finally, only 11.80% of the general public reported having interest in LTC jobs (the disapproval rating was 50% for the general public). In comparison to nursing aide trainees who showed interest in LTC settings, 64.8% of the new workforce for LTC among the general public was male and had an associate degree, 54.8% had relevant healthcare experience, 67.1% was currently employed, and they were younger (M = 32.19, SD = 13.19) and unmarried (66.3%). Furthermore, the most commonly reason for the new workforce to engage in LTC jobs were to gain skills in a particular field. The second priority was to be interested in caring for people. The third and fourth most reasons were to give back to society and to increase income, respectively. The top five most commonly reasons for the new workforce to quitting LTC jobs were listed as follows: physical exhaustion, being looked down on, excessive working hours, payment is bad, and excessive job stress.

The Effects of Distribution Channels on the Selling Prices of Hotels in Time of Crisis

Distribution channels play significant role for hotels. Direct and indirect selling options of hotel rooms have been increased especially with the help of new technologies, i.e. hotel’s own web sites and online booking sites. Although these options emerged as tools for diversifying the distribution channels, vast number of hotels -mostly resort hotels- is still heavily dependent upon international tour operators when selling their products. On the other hand, hotel sector is so vulnerable against crises. Economic, political or any other crisis can affect hotels very badly and so it is critical to have the right balance of distribution channel to avoid the adverse impacts of a crisis. In this study, it is aimed to search the impacts of a general crisis on the selling prices of hotels which have different weights of distribution channels. The study was done in Turkey where various crises occurred in 2015 and 2016 which had great negative impacts on Turkish tourism and led enormous occupancy rate and selling price reductions. 112 upscale resort hotel in Antalya, which is the most popular tourism destination of Turkey, joined to the research. According to the results, hotels with high dependency to international tour operators are more forced to reduce their room prices in crisis time compared to the ones which use their own web sites more. It was also found that the decline in room prices is limited for hotels which are working with national tour operators and travel agencies in crisis time.

Implementation-Oriented Discussion for Historical and Cultural Villages’ Conservation Planning
Since the State Council of China issued the Regulations on the Conservation of Historical Cultural Towns and Villages in 2008, formulation of conservation planning has been carried out in national, provincial and municipal historical and cultural villages for protection needs, which provides a legal basis for inheritance of historical culture and protection of historical resources. Although the quantity and content of the conservation planning are continually increasing, the implementation and application are still ambiguous. To solve the aforementioned problems, this paper explores methods to enhance the implementation of conservation planning from the perspective of planning formulation. Specifically, the technical framework of "overall objectives planning - sub-objectives planning - zoning guidelines - implementation by stages" is proposed to implement the planning objectives in different classifications and stages. Then combined with details of the Qiqiao historical and cultural village conservation planning project in Ningbo, five sub-objectives are set, which are implemented through the village zoning guidelines. At the same time, the key points and specific projects in the near-term, medium-term and long-term work are clarified, and the spatial planning is transformed into the action plan with time scale. The proposed framework and method provide a reference for the implementation and management of the conservation planning of historical and cultural villages in the future.
Vision-Based Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Recurrent Neural Networks
Due to the sensor technology, video surveillance has become the main way for security control in every big city in the world. Surveillance is usually used by governments for intelligence gathering, the prevention of crime, the protection of a process, person, group or object, or the investigation of crime. Many surveillance systems based on computer vision technology have been developed in recent years. Moving target tracking is the most common task for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to find and track objects of interest in mobile aerial surveillance for civilian applications. The paper is focused on vision-based collision avoidance for UAVs by recurrent neural networks. First, images from cameras on UAV were fused based on deep convolutional neural network. Then, a recurrent neural network was constructed to obtain high-level image features for object tracking and extracting low-level image features for noise reducing. The system distributed the calculation of the whole system to local and cloud platform to efficiently perform object detection, tracking and collision avoidance based on multiple UAVs. The experiments on several challenging datasets showed that the proposed algorithm outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.
Design and Analysis of Annular Combustion Chamber for a Micro Turbojet Engine
The design of high performance combustion chambers for turbojet engines is considered as one of the most challenges that face gas turbine designers, since the design approach depends on empirical correlations of data derived from the previous design experiences. The objective of this paper is to design a combustion chamber that suits the requirements of a micro-turbojet engine with 400 N output thrust and operates with kerosene as fuel. In this paper, only preliminary calculations related to the annular type of combustion chamber are explained in details. These calculations will cover the evaluation of reference quantities, calculation of required dimensions, calculation of air distribution and pressure drop, estimation of number and diameters for air admission holes, as well as aerodynamic considerations. The design process is then accompanied by analytical procedure using commercial CFD ANALYSIS tool; ANSYS 16 CFX software. After conducting CFD analysis, the design process will be then iterated in order to gain satisfactory results. It should be noted that the design of the fuel preparation and installation systems is beyond the scope of this work, and it will be discussed separately in another work.  
Performance of Coded Multi-Line Copper Wire for Communications in the Presence of Impulsive Noise
In this paper, we focus on the design of a multi-line copper wire (MLCW) communication system. First, we construct our proposed MLCW channel and verify its characteristics based on the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. In addition, we apply Middleton class A impulsive noise (IN) to the copper channel for further investigation. Second, the MIMO system is adopted utilizing the proposed MLCW channel model and is compared to a single line G-fast system. Second, the performance of the coded system is obtained utilizing concatenated interleaved Reed-Solomon (RS) code with four-dimensional trellis-coded modulation (4D TCM), and compared to the single line G-fast system. Simulations are obtained for high quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) constellations that are commonly used with G-fast communications, the results demonstrate that the bit error rate (BER) performance of the coded MLCW system shows an improvement compared to the single line G-fast systems.
Autonomous Vehicle Navigation Using Harmonic Functions via Modified Arithmetic Mean Iterative Method
Harmonic functions are solutions to Laplace’s equation that are known to have an advantage as a global approach in providing the potential values for autonomous vehicle navigation. However, the computation for obtaining harmonic functions is often too slow particularly when it involves very large environment. This paper presents a two-stage iterative method namely Modified Arithmetic Mean (MAM) method for solving 2D Laplace’s equation. Once the harmonic functions are obtained, the standard Gradient Descent Search (GDS) is performed for path finding of an autonomous vehicle from arbitrary initial position to the specified goal position. Details of the MAM method are discussed. Several simulations of vehicle navigation with path planning in a static known indoor environment were conducted to verify the efficiency of the MAM method. The generated paths obtained from the simulations are presented. The performance of the MAM method in computing harmonic functions in 2D environment to solve path planning problem for an autonomous vehicle navigation is also provided.
Comparison of Data Reduction Algorithms for Image-Based Point Cloud Derived Digital Terrain Models

Digital Terrain Model (DTM) is a digital numerical representation of the Earth's surface. DTMs have been applied to a diverse field of tasks, such as urban planning, military, glacier mapping, disaster management. In the expression of the Earth' surface as a mathematical model, an infinite number of point measurements are needed. Because of the impossibility of this case, the points at regular intervals are measured to characterize the Earth's surface and DTM of the Earth is generated. Hitherto, the classical measurement techniques and photogrammetry method have widespread use in the construction of DTM. At present, RADAR, LiDAR, and stereo satellite images are also used for the construction of DTM. In recent years, especially because of its superiorities, Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) has an increased use in DTM applications. A 3D point cloud is created with LiDAR technology by obtaining numerous point data. However recently, by the development in image mapping methods, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for photogrammetric data acquisition has increased DTM generation from image-based point cloud. The accuracy of the DTM depends on various factors such as data collection method, the distribution of elevation points, the point density, properties of the surface and interpolation methods. In this study, the random data reduction method is compared for DTMs generated from image based point cloud data. The original image based point cloud data set (100%) is reduced to a series of subsets by using random algorithm, representing the 75, 50, 25 and 5% of the original image based point cloud data set. Over the ANS campus of Afyon Kocatepe University as the test area, DTM constructed from the original image based point cloud data set is compared with DTMs interpolated from reduced data sets by Kriging interpolation method. The results show that the random data reduction method can be used to reduce the image based point cloud datasets to 50% density level while still maintaining the quality of DTM.

Performance Analysis of M-Ary Pulse Position Modulation in Multihop Multiple Input Multiple Output-Free Space Optical System over Uncorrelated Gamma-Gamma Atmospheric Turbulence Channels
The performance of Decode and Forward (DF) multihop Free Space Optical ( FSO) scheme deploying Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) configuration under Gamma-Gamma (GG) statistical distribution, that adopts M-ary Pulse Position Modulation (MPPM) coding, is investigated. We have extracted exact and estimated values of Symbol-Error Rates (SERs) respectively. A closed form formula related to the Probability Density Function (PDF) is expressed for our designed system. Thanks to the use of DF multihop MIMO FSO configuration and MPPM signaling, atmospheric turbulence is combatted; hence the transmitted signal quality is improved.
Routing Medical Images with Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing: A Study on Quality of Service

In telemedicine, the image repository service is important to increase the accuracy of diagnostic support of medical personnel. This study makes comparison between two routing algorithms regarding the quality of service (QoS), to be able to analyze the optimal performance at the time of loading and/or downloading of medical images. This study focused on comparing the performance of Tabu Search with other heuristic and metaheuristic algorithms that improve QoS in telemedicine services in Colombia. For this, Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing heuristic algorithms are chosen for their high usability in this type of applications; the QoS is measured taking into account the following metrics: Delay, Throughput, Jitter and Latency. In addition, routing tests were carried out on ten images in digital image and communication in medicine (DICOM) format of 40 MB. These tests were carried out for ten minutes with different traffic conditions, reaching a total of 25 tests, from a server of Universidad Militar Nueva Granada (UMNG) in Bogotá-Colombia to a remote user in Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH) - Chile. The results show that Tabu search presents a better QoS performance compared to Simulated Annealing, managing to optimize the routing of medical images, a basic requirement to offer diagnostic images services in telemedicine.

Fast Return Path Planning for Agricultural Autonomous Terrestrial Robot in a Known Field

The agricultural sector is becoming more critical than ever in view of the expected overpopulation of the Earth. The introduction of robotic solutions in this field is an increasingly researched topic to make the most of the Earth's resources, thus going to avoid the problems of wear and tear of the human body due to the harsh agricultural work, and open the possibility of a constant careful processing 24 hours a day. This project is realized for a terrestrial autonomous robot aimed to navigate in an orchard collecting fallen peaches below the trees. When it receives the signal indicating the low battery, it has to return to the docking station where it will replace its battery and then return to the last work point and resume its routine. Considering a preset path in orchards with tree rows with variable length by which the robot goes iteratively using the algorithm D*. In case of low battery, the D* algorithm is still used to determine the fastest return path to the docking station as well as to come back from the docking station to the last work point. MATLAB simulations were performed to analyze the flexibility and adaptability of the developed algorithm. The simulation results show an enormous potential for adaptability, particularly in view of the irregularity of orchard field, since it is not flat and undergoes modifications over time from fallen branch as well as from other obstacles and constraints. The D* algorithm determines the best route in spite of the irregularity of the terrain. Moreover, in this work, it will be shown a possible solution to improve the initial points tracking and reduce time between movements.

Low-Complexity Channel Estimation Algorithm for MIMO-OFDM Systems
One of the main challenges in MIMO-OFDM system to achieve the expected performances in terms of data rate and robustness against multi-path fading channels is the channel estimation. Several methods were proposed in the literature based on either least square (LS) or minimum mean squared error (MMSE) estimators. These methods present high implementation complexity as they require the inversion of large matrices. In order to overcome this problem and to reduce the complexity, this paper presents a solution that benefits from the use of the STBC encoder and transforms the channel estimation process into a set of simple linear operations. The proposed method is evaluated via simulation in AWGN-Rayleigh fading channel. Simulation results show a maximum reduction of 6.85% of the bit error rate (BER) compared to the one obtained with the ideal case where the receiver has a perfect knowledge of the channel.
Analysis of Risk-Based Disaster Planning in Local Communities

Planning for future disasters sets the stage for a variety of activities that may trigger multiple recurring operations and expose the community to opportunities to minimize risks. Local communities are increasingly embracing the necessity for planning based on local risks, but are also significantly challenged to effectively plan and response to disasters. This research examines basic risk-based disaster planning model and compares it with advanced risk-based planning that introduces the identification and alignment of varieties of local capabilities within and out of the local community that can be pivotal to facilitate the management of local risks and cascading effects prior to a disaster. A critical review shows that the identification and alignment of capabilities can potentially enhance risk-based disaster planning. A tailored holistic approach to risk based disaster planning is pivotal to enhance collective action and a reduction in disaster collective cost.

Attitude towards the Consumption of Social Media: Analyzing Young Consumers’ Travel Behavior
Advancement of new media technology and consumption of social media have altered the way of communication in the tourism industry, mostly for consumers’ travel planning, online purchase, and experience sharing activity. There is an accelerating trend among young consumers’ to utilize this new media technology. This paper aims to analyze the attitude of young consumers’ about social media use for travel purposes. The convenience random sample method used to collect data from an urban area of Shanghai (China), consists of 225 young consumers’. This survey identified behavioral determinants of social media consumption by the extended theory of planned behavior (TPB). The instrument developed support on previous research to test hypotheses. The results of structural analyses indicate that attitude towards the use of social media is affected by external factors such as availability and accessibility of technology. In addition, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control have partially influenced the attitude of respondents’. The results of this study could help to improve social media travel marketing and promotional strategies for respective groups.
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