|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 25|
Data on various aspects of education are collected at the institutional and government level regularly. In Australia, for example, students at various levels of schooling undertake examinations in numeracy and literacy as part of NAPLAN testing, enabling longitudinal assessment of such data as well as comparisons between schools and states within Australia. Another source of educational data collected internationally is via the PISA study which collects data from several countries when students are approximately 15 years of age and enables comparisons in the performance of science, mathematics and English between countries as well as ranking of countries based on performance in these standardised tests. As well as student and school outcomes based on the tests taken as part of the PISA study, there is a wealth of other data collected in the study including parental demographics data and data related to teaching strategies used by educators. Overall, an abundance of educational data is available which has the potential to be used to help improve educational attainment and teaching of content in order to improve learning outcomes. A multivariate assessment of such data enables multiple variables to be considered simultaneously and will be used in the present study to help develop profiles of students based on performance in mathematics using data obtained from the PISA study.
In the design cycle, a main design task is to determine the external shape of the product. The external shape of a product is one of the key factors that can affect the customers’ preferences linking to the motivation to buy the product, especially in the case of a consumer electronic product such as a mobile phone. The relationship between the external shape and the customer preferences needs to be studied to enhance the customer’s purchase desire and action. In this research, a design for customer preferences model is developed for investigating the relationships between the external shape and the customer preferences of a product. In the first stage, the names of the geometric features are collected and evaluated from the data of the specified internet web pages using the developed text miner. The key geometric features can be determined if the number of occurrence on the web pages is relatively high. For each key geometric feature, the numerical values are explored using the text miner to collect the internet data from the web pages. In the second stage, a cluster analysis model is developed to evaluate the numerical values of the key geometric features to divide the external shapes into several groups. Several design suggestion cases can be proposed, for example, large model, mid-size model, and mini model, for designing a mobile phone. A customer preference index is developed by evaluating the numerical data of each of the key geometric features of the design suggestion cases. The design suggestion case with the top ranking of the customer preference index can be selected as the final design of the product. In this paper, an example product of a notebook computer is illustrated. It shows that the external shape of a product can be used to drive customer preferences. The presented design for customer preferences model is useful for determining a suitable external shape of the product to increase customer preferences.
Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.
The research examines the factors that affect customer churn (CC) in the Jordanian telecom industry. A total of 700 surveys were distributed. Cluster analysis revealed three main clusters. Results showed that CC and customer satisfaction (CS) were the key determinants in forming the three clusters. In two clusters, the center values of CC were high, indicating that the customers were loyal and SC was expensive and time- and energy-consuming. Still, the mobile service provider (MSP) should enhance its communication (COM), and value added services (VASs), as well as customer complaint management systems (CCMS). Finally, for the third cluster the center of the CC indicates a poor level of loyalty, which facilitates customers churn to another MSP. The results of this study provide valuable feedback for MSP decision makers regarding approaches to improving their performance and reducing CC.
A number of studies discussed the topic of benefits of retailers-manufacturers cooperation and coopetition. However, there are only few publications focused on the benefits of cooperation and coopetition between retailers and their suppliers of durable consumer goods; especially in the context of business model of cooperating partners. This paper aims to provide a clustering approach to segment retailers selling consumer durables according to the benefits they obtain from their cooperation with key manufacturers and differentiate the said retailers’ in term of the business models of cooperating partners. For the purpose of the study, a survey (with a CATI method) collected data on 603 consumer durables retailers present on the Polish market. Retailers are clustered both, with hierarchical and non-hierarchical methods. Five distinctive groups of consumer durables’ retailers are (based on the studied benefits) identified using the two-stage clustering approach. The clusters are then characterized with a set of exogenous variables, key of which are business models employed by the retailer and its partnering key manufacturer. The paper finds that the a combination of a medium sized retailer classified as an Integrator with a chiefly domestic capital and a manufacturer categorized as a Market Player will yield the highest benefits. On the other side of the spectrum is medium sized Distributor retailer with solely domestic capital – in this case, the business model of the cooperating manufactrer appears to be irreleveant. This paper is the one of the first empirical study using cluster analysis on primary data that defines the types of cooperation between consumer durables’ retailers and manufacturers – their key suppliers. The analysis integrates a perspective of both retailers’ and manufacturers’ business models and matches them with individual and joint benefits.
In recent years, the intellectual capital reporting in higher education institutions has been acquiring progressive importance worldwide. Intellectual capital approaches becomes critical at universities, mainly due to the fact that knowledge is the main output as well as input in these institutions. Universities produce knowledge, either through scientific and technical research (the results of investigation, publications, etc.) or through teaching (students trained and productive relationships with their stakeholders). The purpose of the present paper is to identify the intangible elements about which university stakeholders demand most information. The results of a study done at Spanish universities are used to see which groups of universities have stakeholders who are more proactive to the disclosure of intellectual capital.
Apple juice is the main raw material for cider production. In this study apple juices obtained from 14 dessert and crab variety apples grown in Latvia were investigated. For all samples soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH and sugar content were determined. Crab apples produce more dry matter, total sugar and acid content compared to the dessert apples but it depends on the apple variety. Total sugar content of crab apple juices was 1.3 to 1.8 times larger than in dessert apple juices. Titratable acidity of dessert apple juices is in the range of 4.1g L-1 to 10.83g L-1 and in crab apple juices titratable acidity is from 7.87g L-1 to 19.6g L-1. Fructose was detected as the main sugar whereas glucose level varied depending on the variety. The highest titratable acidity and content of sugars was detected in ‘Cornelia’ apples juice.
Clustering in data mining is an unsupervised learning technique of aggregating the data objects into meaningful groups such that the intra cluster similarity of objects are maximized and inter cluster similarity of objects are minimized. Over the past decades several clustering tools were emerged in which clustering algorithms are inbuilt and are easier to use and extract the expected results. Data mining mainly deals with the huge databases that inflicts on cluster analysis and additional rigorous computational constraints. These challenges pave the way for the emergence of powerful expansive data mining clustering softwares. In this survey, a variety of clustering tools used in data mining are elucidated along with the pros and cons of each software.
Measurement of competitiveness between countries or regions is an important topic of many economic analysis and scientific papers. In European Union (EU), there is no mainstream approach of competitiveness evaluation and measuring. There are many opinions and methods of measurement and evaluation of competitiveness between states or regions at national and European level. The methods differ in structure of using the indicators of competitiveness and ways of their processing. The aim of the paper is to analyze main sources of competitive potential of the EU Member States with the help of Factor analysis (FA) and to classify the EU Member States to homogeneous units (clusters) according to the similarity of selected indicators of competitiveness factors by Cluster analysis (CA) in reference years 2000 and 2011. The theoretical part of the paper is devoted to the fundamental bases of competitiveness and the methodology of FA and CA methods. The empirical part of the paper deals with the evaluation of competitiveness factors in the EU Member States and cluster comparison of evaluated countries by cluster analysis.
The paper deals with an application of quantitative analysis – the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method to performance evaluation of the European Union Member States, in the reference years 2000 and 2011. The main aim of the paper is to measure efficiency changes over the reference years and to analyze a level of productivity in individual countries based on DEA method and to classify the EU Member States to homogeneous units (clusters) according to efficiency results. The theoretical part is devoted to the fundamental basis of performance theory and the methodology of DEA. The empirical part is aimed at measuring degree of productivity and level of efficiency changes of evaluated countries by basic DEA model – CCR CRS model, and specialized DEA approach – the Malmquist Index measuring the change of technical efficiency and the movement of production possibility frontier. Here, DEA method becomes a suitable tool for setting a competitive/uncompetitive position of each country because there is not only one factor evaluated, but a set of different factors that determine the degree of economic development.
The paper contains a review of the literature in terms of the critical analysis of methodologies of university ranking systems. Furthermore, the initiatives supported by the European Commission (U-Map, U-Multirank) and CHE Ranking are described. Special attention is paid to the tendencies in the development of ranking systems. According to the author, the ranking organizations should abandon the classic form of ranking, namely a hierarchical ordering of universities from “the best" to “the worse". In the empirical part of this paper, using one of the method of cluster analysis called k-means clustering, the author presents university classifications of the top universities from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University-s (SJTU) Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
The study on the tree growth for four species groups of commercial timber in Koh Kong province, Cambodia-s tropical rainforest is described. The simulation for these four groups had been successfully developed in the 5-year interval through year-60. Data were obtained from twenty permanent sample plots in the duration of thirteen years. The aim for this study was to develop stand table simulation system of tree growth by the species group. There were five steps involved in the development of the tree growth simulation: aggregate the tree species into meaningful groups by using cluster analysis; allocate the trees in the diameter classes by the species group; observe the diameter movement of the species group. The diameter growth rate, mortality rate and recruitment rate were calculated by using some mathematical formula. Simulation equation had been created by combining those parameters. Result showed the dissimilarity of the diameter growth among species groups.
This research is a comparative study of complexity, as a multidimensional concept, in the context of streetscape composition in Algeria and Japan. 80 streetscapes visual arrays have been collected and then presented to 20 participants, with different cultural backgrounds, in order to be categorized and classified according to their degrees of complexity. Three analysis methods have been used in this research: cluster analysis, ranking method and Hayashi Quantification method (Method III). The results showed that complexity, disorder, irregularity and disorganization are often conflicting concepts in the urban context. Algerian daytime streetscapes seem to be balanced, ordered and regular, and Japanese daytime streetscapes seem to be unbalanced, regular and vivid. Variety, richness and irregularity with some aspects of order and organization seem to characterize Algerian night streetscapes. Japanese night streetscapes seem to be more related to balance, regularity, order and organization with some aspects of confusion and ambiguity. Complexity characterized mainly Algerian avenues with green infrastructure. Therefore, for Japanese participants, Japanese traditional night streetscapes were complex. And for foreigners, Algerian and Japanese avenues nightscapes were the most complex visual arrays.
Clustering algorithms are attractive for the task of class identification in spatial databases. However, the application to large spatial databases rises the following requirements for clustering algorithms: minimal requirements of domain knowledge to determine the input parameters, discovery of clusters with arbitrary shape and good efficiency on large databases. The well-known clustering algorithms offer no solution to the combination of these requirements. In this paper, a density based clustering algorithm (DCBRD) is presented, relying on a knowledge acquired from the data by dividing the data space into overlapped regions. The proposed algorithm discovers arbitrary shaped clusters, requires no input parameters and uses the same definitions of DBSCAN algorithm. We performed an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of it, and compared this results with that of DBSCAN. The results of our experiments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is significantly efficient in discovering clusters of arbitrary shape and size.
Cluster analysis is the name given to a diverse collection of techniques that can be used to classify objects (e.g. individuals, quadrats, species etc). While Kohonen's Self-Organizing Feature Map (SOFM) or Self-Organizing Map (SOM) networks have been successfully applied as a classification tool to various problem domains, including speech recognition, image data compression, image or character recognition, robot control and medical diagnosis, its potential as a robust substitute for clustering analysis remains relatively unresearched. SOM networks combine competitive learning with dimensionality reduction by smoothing the clusters with respect to an a priori grid and provide a powerful tool for data visualization. In this paper, SOM is used for creating a toroidal mapping of two-dimensional lattice to perform cluster analysis on results of a chemical analysis of wines produced in the same region in Italy but derived from three different cultivators, referred to as the “wine recognition data" located in the University of California-Irvine database. The results are encouraging and it is believed that SOM would make an appealing and powerful decision-support system tool for clustering tasks and for data visualization.