Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 534

Effect of Ambient Oxygen Content and Lifting Frequency on the Participant’s Lifting Capabilities, Muscle Activities, and Perceived Exertion

The aim of this study is to assesses the lifting capabilities of persons experiencing hypoxia. It also examines the behavior of the physiological response induced through the lifting process related to changing in the hypoxia and lifting frequency variables. For this purpose, the study performed two consecutive tests by using; (1) training and acclimatization; and (2) an actual collection of data. A total of 10 male students from King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were recruited in the study. A two-way repeated measures design, with two independent variables (ambient oxygen (15%, 18% and 21%)) and lifting frequency (1 lift/min and 4 lifts/min) and four dependent variables i.e., maximum acceptable weight of lift (MAWL), Electromyography (EMG) of four muscle groups (anterior deltoid, trapezius, biceps brachii, and erector spinae), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and rating of oxygen feeling (ROF) were used in this study. The results show that lifting frequency has significantly impacted the MAWL and muscles’ activities. The oxygen content had a significant effect on the RPE and ROE. The study has revealed that acclimatization and training sessions significantly reduce the effect of the hypoxia on the human physiological parameters during the manual materials handling tasks.

Design of an Ensemble Learning Behavior Anomaly Detection Framework
Data assets protection is a crucial issue in the cybersecurity field. Companies use logical access control tools to vault their information assets and protect them against external threats, but they lack solutions to counter insider threats. Nowadays, insider threats are the most significant concern of security analysts. They are mainly individuals with legitimate access to companies information systems, which use their rights with malicious intents. In several fields, behavior anomaly detection is the method used by cyber specialists to counter the threats of user malicious activities effectively. In this paper, we present the step toward the construction of a user and entity behavior analysis framework by proposing a behavior anomaly detection model. This model combines machine learning classification techniques and graph-based methods, relying on linear algebra and parallel computing techniques. We show the utility of an ensemble learning approach in this context. We present some detection methods tests results on an representative access control dataset. The use of some explored classifiers gives results up to 99% of accuracy.
Using Textual Pre-Processing and Text Mining to Create Semantic Links
This article offers a approach to the automatic discovery of semantic concepts and links in the domain of Oil Exploration and Production (E&P). Machine learning methods combined with textual pre-processing techniques were used to detect local patterns in texts and, thus, generate new concepts and new semantic links. Even using more specific vocabularies within the oil domain, our approach has achieved satisfactory results, suggesting that the proposal can be applied in other domains and languages, requiring only minor adjustments.
River Stage-Discharge Forecasting Based on Multiple-Gauge Strategy Using EEMD-DWT-LSSVM Approach
This study presented hybrid pre-processing approach along with a conceptual model to enhance the accuracy of river discharge prediction. In order to achieve this goal, Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition algorithm (EEMD), Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Mutual Information (MI) were employed as a hybrid pre-processing approach conjugated to Least Square Support Vector Machine (LSSVM). A conceptual strategy namely multi-station model was developed to forecast the Souris River discharge more accurately. The strategy used herein was capable of covering uncertainties and complexities of river discharge modeling. DWT and EEMD was coupled, and the feature selection was performed for decomposed sub-series using MI to be employed in multi-station model. In the proposed feature selection method, some useless sub-series were omitted to achieve better performance. Results approved efficiency of the proposed DWT-EEMD-MI approach to improve accuracy of multi-station modeling strategies.
Characterizations of Γ-Semirings by Their Cubic Ideals
Cubic ideals, cubic bi-ideals and cubic quasi-ideals of a Γ-semiring are introduced and various properties of these ideals are investigated. Among all other results, some characterizations of regular Γ-semirings are achieved.
Discovering Semantic Links Between Synonyms, Hyponyms and Hypernyms
This proposal aims for semantic enrichment between glossaries using the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) vocabulary to discover synonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms semiautomatically, in Brazilian Portuguese, generating new semantic relationships based on WordNet. To evaluate the quality of this proposed model, experiments were performed by the use of two sets containing new relations, being one generated automatically and the other manually mapped by the domain expert. The applied evaluation metrics were precision, recall, f-score, and confidence interval. The results obtained demonstrate that the applied method in the field of Oil Production and Extraction (E&P) is effective, which suggests that it can be used to improve the quality of terminological mappings. The procedure, although adding complexity in its elaboration, can be reproduced in others domains.
Deep Injection Wells for Flood Prevention and Groundwater Management
With its arid climate, Qatar experiences low annual rainfall, intense storms, and high evaporation rates. However, the fast-paced rate of infrastructure development in the capital city of Doha has led to recurring instances of surface water flooding as well as rising groundwater levels. Public Work Authority (PWA/ASHGHAL) has implemented an approach to collect and discharge the flood water into a) positive gravity systems; b) Emergency Flooding Area (EFA) – Evaporation, Infiltration or Storage off-site using tankers; and c) Discharge to deep injection wells. As part of the flood prevention scheme, 21 deep injection wells have been constructed to discharge the collected surface and groundwater table in Doha city. These injection wells function as an alternative in localities that do not possess either positive gravity systems or downstream networks that can accommodate additional loads. These injection wells are 400-m deep and are constructed in a complex karstic subsurface condition with large cavities. The injection well system will discharge collected groundwater and storm surface runoff into the permeable Umm Er Radhuma Formation, which is an aquifer present throughout the Persian Gulf Region. The Umm Er Radhuma formation contains saline water that is not being used for water supply. The injection zone is separated by an impervious gypsum formation which acts as a barrier between upper and lower aquifer. State of the art drilling, grouting, and geophysical techniques have been implemented in construction of the wells to assure that the shallow aquifer would not be contaminated and impacted by injected water. Injection and pumping tests were performed to evaluate injection well functionality (injectability). The results of these tests indicated that majority of the wells can accept injection rate of 200 to 300 m3 /h (56 to 83 l/s) under gravity with average value of 250 m3 /h (70 l/s) compared to design value of 50 l/s. This paper presents design and construction process and issues associated with these injection wells, performing injection/pumping tests to determine capacity and effectiveness of the injection wells, the detailed design of collection system and conveying system into the injection wells, and the operation and maintenance process. This system is completed now and is under operation, and therefore, construction of injection wells is an effective option for flood control.
Social Semantic Web-Based Analytics Approach to Support Lifelong Learning

The purpose of this paper is to describe how learning analytics approaches based on social semantic web techniques can be applied to enhance the lifelong learning experiences in a connectivist perspective. For this reason, a prototype of a system called SoLearn (Social Learning Environment) that supports this approach. We observed and studied literature related to lifelong learning systems, social semantic web and ontologies, connectivism theory, learning analytics approaches and reviewed implemented systems based on these fields to extract and draw conclusions about necessary features for enhancing the lifelong learning process. The semantic analytics of learning can be used for viewing, studying and analysing the massive data generated by learners, which helps them to understand through recommendations, charts and figures their learning and behaviour, and to detect where they have weaknesses or limitations. This paper emphasises that implementing a learning analytics approach based on social semantic web representations can enhance the learning process. From one hand, the analysis process leverages the meaning expressed by semantics presented in the ontology (relationships between concepts). From the other hand, the analysis process exploits the discovery of new knowledge by means of inferring mechanism of the semantic web.

Parallel Querying of Distributed Ontologies with Shared Vocabulary

Ontologies and various semantic repositories became a convenient approach for implementing model-driven architectures of distributed systems on the Web. SPARQL is the standard query language for querying such. However, although SPARQL is well-established standard for querying semantic repositories in RDF and OWL format and there are commonly used APIs which supports it, like Jena for Java, its parallel option is not incorporated in them. This article presents a complete framework consisting of an object algebra for parallel RDF and an index-based implementation of the parallel query engine capable of dealing with the distributed RDF ontologies which share common vocabulary. It has been implemented in Java, and for validation of the algorithms has been applied to the problem of organizing virtual exhibitions on the Web.

Predictive Semi-Empirical NOx Model for Diesel Engine

Accurate prediction of NOx emission is a continuous challenge in the field of diesel engine-out emission modeling. Performing experiments for each conditions and scenario cost significant amount of money and man hours, therefore model-based development strategy has been implemented in order to solve that issue. NOx formation is highly dependent on the burn gas temperature and the O2 concentration inside the cylinder. The current empirical models are developed by calibrating the parameters representing the engine operating conditions with respect to the measured NOx. This makes the prediction of purely empirical models limited to the region where it has been calibrated. An alternative solution to that is presented in this paper, which focus on the utilization of in-cylinder combustion parameters to form a predictive semi-empirical NOx model. The result of this work is shown by developing a fast and predictive NOx model by using the physical parameters and empirical correlation. The model is developed based on the steady state data collected at entire operating region of the engine and the predictive combustion model, which is developed in Gamma Technology (GT)-Power by using Direct Injected (DI)-Pulse combustion object. In this approach, temperature in both burned and unburnt zone is considered during the combustion period i.e. from Intake Valve Closing (IVC) to Exhaust Valve Opening (EVO). Also, the oxygen concentration consumed in burnt zone and trapped fuel mass is also considered while developing the reported model.  Several statistical methods are used to construct the model, including individual machine learning methods and ensemble machine learning methods. A detailed validation of the model on multiple diesel engines is reported in this work. Substantial numbers of cases are tested for different engine configurations over a large span of speed and load points. Different sweeps of operating conditions such as Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), injection timing and Variable Valve Timing (VVT) are also considered for the validation. Model shows a very good predictability and robustness at both sea level and altitude condition with different ambient conditions. The various advantages such as high accuracy and robustness at different operating conditions, low computational time and lower number of data points requires for the calibration establishes the platform where the model-based approach can be used for the engine calibration and development process. Moreover, the focus of this work is towards establishing a framework for the future model development for other various targets such as soot, Combustion Noise Level (CNL), NO2/NOx ratio etc.

Semantic Preference across Research Articles: A Corpus-Based Study of Adjectives in English

The goal of the present study is to investigate the semantic preference of the most frequent adjectives in research articles through a corpus-based analysis of texts published in journals in Applied Linguistics (AL). The corpus used in this study contains texts published in the period from 2014 to 2018 in the three journals: Language Learning and Technology; English for Academic Purposes, and TESOL Quaterly, totaling more than one million words. A corpus-based analysis was carried out on the corpus to identify the most frequent adjectives that co-occurred in the three journals. By observing the concordance lines of the adjectives and analyzing the words they associated with, the semantic preferences of each adjective were determined. Later, the AL corpus analysis was compared to the investigation of the same adjectives in a corpus of Chemistry. This second part of the study aimed to identify possible differences and similarities between the two corpora in relation to the use of the adjectives in research articles from both areas. The results show that there are some preferences which seem to be closely related not only to the academic genre of the texts but also to the specific domain of the discipline and, to a lesser extent, to the context of research in each journal. This research illustrates a possible contribution of Corpus Linguistics to explore the concept of semantic preference in more detail, considering the complex nature of the phenomenon.

Measuring Text-Based Semantics Relatedness Using WordNet

Measuring semantic similarity between texts is calculating semantic relatedness between texts using various techniques. Our web application (Measuring Relatedness of Concepts-MRC) allows user to input two text corpuses and get semantic similarity percentage between both using WordNet. Our application goes through five stages for the computation of semantic relatedness. Those stages are: Preprocessing (extracts keywords from content), Feature Extraction (classification of words into Parts-of-Speech), Synonyms Extraction (retrieves synonyms against each keyword), Measuring Similarity (using keywords and synonyms, similarity is measured) and Visualization (graphical representation of similarity measure). Hence the user can measure similarity on basis of features as well. The end result is a percentage score and the word(s) which form the basis of similarity between both texts with use of different tools on same platform. In future work we look forward for a Web as a live corpus application that provides a simpler and user friendly tool to compare documents and extract useful information.

Suicide Conceptualization in Adolescents through Semantic Networks

Suicide is a global, multidimensional and dynamic problem of mental health, which requires a constant study for its understanding and prevention. When research of this phenomenon is done, it is necessary to consider the different characteristics it may have because of the individual and sociocultural variables, the importance of this consideration is related to the generation of effective treatments and interventions. Adolescents are a vulnerable population due to the characteristics of the development stage. The investigation was carried out with the objective of identifying and describing the conceptualization of adolescents of suicide, and in this process, we find possible differences between men and women. The study was carried out in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. The sample was composed of 418 volunteer students aged between 11 and 18 years. The ethical aspects of the research were reviewed and considered in all the processes of the investigation with the participants, their parents and the schools to which they belonged, psychological attention was offered to the participants and preventive workshops were carried in the educational institutions. Natural semantic networks were the instrument used, since this hybrid method allows to find and analyze the social concept of a phenomenon; in this case, the word suicide was used as an evocative stimulus and participants were asked to evoke at least five words and a maximum 10 that they thought were related to suicide, and then hierarchize them according to the closeness with the construct. The subsequent analysis was carried with Excel, yielding the semantic weights, affective loads and the distances between each of the semantic fields established according to the words reported by the subjects. The results showed similarities in the conceptualization of suicide in adolescents, men and women. Seven semantic fields were generated; the words were related in the discourse analysis: 1) death, 2) possible triggering factors, 3) associated moods, 4) methods used to carry it out, 5) psychological symptomatology that could affect, 6) words associated with a rejection of suicide, and finally, 7) specific objects to carry it out. One of the necessary aspects to consider in the investigations of complex issues such as suicide is to have a diversity of instruments and techniques that adjust to the characteristics of the population and that allow to understand the phenomena from the social constructs and not only theoretical. The constant study of suicide is a pressing need, the loss of a life from emotional difficulties that can be solved through psychiatry and psychological methods requires governments and professionals to pay attention and work with the risk population.

Multi-Modal Visualization of Working Instructions for Assembly Operations
Growing individualization and higher numbers of variants in industrial assembly products raise the complexity of manufacturing processes. Technical assistance systems considering both procedural and human factors allow for an increase in product quality and a decrease in required learning times by supporting workers with precise working instructions. Due to varying needs of workers, the presentation of working instructions leads to several challenges. This paper presents an approach for a multi-modal visualization application to support assembly work of complex parts. Our approach is integrated within an interconnected assistance system network and supports the presentation of cloud-streamed textual instructions, images, videos, 3D animations and audio files along with multi-modal user interaction, customizable UI, multi-platform support (e.g. tablet-PC, TV screen, smartphone or Augmented Reality devices), automated text translation and speech synthesis. The worker benefits from more accessible and up-to-date instructions presented in an easy-to-read way.
A Domain Specific Modeling Language Semantic Model for Artefact Orientation

Since the process of transforming user requirements to modeling constructs are not very well supported by domain-specific frameworks, it became necessary to integrate domain requirements with the specific architectures to achieve an integrated customizable solutions space via artifact orientation. Domain-specific modeling language specifications of model-driven engineering technologies focus more on requirements within a particular domain, which can be tailored to aid the domain expert in expressing domain concepts effectively. Modeling processes through domain-specific language formalisms are highly volatile due to dependencies on domain concepts or used process models. A capable solution is given by artifact orientation that stresses on the results rather than expressing a strict dependence on complicated platforms for model creation and development. Based on this premise, domain-specific methods for producing artifacts without having to take into account the complexity and variability of platforms for model definitions can be integrated to support customizable development. In this paper, we discuss methods for the integration capabilities and necessities within a common structure and semantics that contribute a metamodel for artifact-orientation, which leads to a reusable software layer with concrete syntax capable of determining design intents from domain expert. These concepts forming the language formalism are established from models explained within the oil and gas pipelines industry.

The Study of Formal and Semantic Errors of Lexis by Persian EFL Learners

Producing a text in a language which is not one’s mother tongue can be a demanding task for language learners. Examining lexical errors committed by EFL learners is a challenging area of investigation which can shed light on the process of second language acquisition. Despite the considerable number of investigations into grammatical errors, few studies have tackled formal and semantic errors of lexis committed by EFL learners. The current study aimed at examining Persian learners’ formal and semantic errors of lexis in English. To this end, 60 students at three different proficiency levels were asked to write on 10 different topics in 10 separate sessions. Finally, 600 essays written by Persian EFL learners were collected, acting as the corpus of the study. An error taxonomy comprising formal and semantic errors was selected to analyze the corpus. The formal category covered misselection and misformation errors, while the semantic errors were classified into lexical, collocational and lexicogrammatical categories. Each category was further classified into subcategories depending on the identified errors. The results showed that there were 2583 errors in the corpus of 9600 words, among which, 2030 formal errors and 553 semantic errors were identified. The most frequent errors in the corpus included formal error commitment (78.6%), which were more prevalent at the advanced level (42.4%). The semantic errors (21.4%) were more frequent at the low intermediate level (40.5%). Among formal errors of lexis, the highest number of errors was devoted to misformation errors (98%), while misselection errors constituted 2% of the errors. Additionally, no significant differences were observed among the three semantic error subcategories, namely collocational, lexical choice and lexicogrammatical. The results of the study can shed light on the challenges faced by EFL learners in the second language acquisition process.

Closed Greenhouse Production Systems for Smart Plant Production in Urban Areas

The integration of agricultural production systems into urban areas is a challenge for the coming decades. Because of increasing greenhouse gas emission and rising resource consumption as well as costs in animal husbandry, the dietary habits of people in the 21st century have to focus on herbal foods. Intensive plant cultivation systems in large cities and megacities require a smart coupling of information, material and energy flow with the urban infrastructure in terms of Horticulture 4.0. In recent years, many puzzle pieces have been developed for these closed processes at the Humboldt University. To compile these for an urban plant production, it has to be optimized and networked with urban infrastructure systems. In the field of heat energy production, it was shown that with closed greenhouse technology and patented heat exchange and storage technology energy can be provided for heating and domestic hot water supply in the city. Closed water circuits can be drastically reducing the water requirements of plant production in urban areas. Ion sensitive sensors and new disinfection methods can help keep circulating nutrient solutions in the system for a longer time in urban plant production greenhouses.

Detection of Keypoint in Press-Fit Curve Based on Convolutional Neural Network
The quality of press-fit assembly is closely related to reliability and safety of product. The paper proposed a keypoint detection method based on convolutional neural network to improve the accuracy of keypoint detection in press-fit curve. It would provide an auxiliary basis for judging quality of press-fit assembly. The press-fit curve is a curve of press-fit force and displacement. Both force data and distance data are time-series data. Therefore, one-dimensional convolutional neural network is used to process the press-fit curve. After the obtained press-fit data is filtered, the multi-layer one-dimensional convolutional neural network is used to perform the automatic learning of press-fit curve features, and then sent to the multi-layer perceptron to finally output keypoint of the curve. We used the data of press-fit assembly equipment in the actual production process to train CNN model, and we used different data from the same equipment to evaluate the performance of detection. Compared with the existing research result, the performance of detection was significantly improved. This method can provide a reliable basis for the judgment of press-fit quality.
Gender and Advertisements: A Content Analysis of Pakistani Prime Time Advertisements

Advertisements carry a great potential to influence our lives because they are crafted to meet particular ends. Stereotypical representation in advertisements is capable of forming unconscious attitudes among people towards any gender and their abilities. This study focuses on gender representation in Pakistani prime time advertisements. For this purpose, 13 advertisements were selected from three different categories of foods and beverages, cosmetics, cell phones and cellular networks from the prime time slots of one of the leading Pakistani entertainment channel, ‘Urdu 1’. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are carried out for range of variables like gender, age, roles, activities, setting, appearance and voice overs. The results revealed that gender representation in advertisements is stereotypical. Moreover, in few instances, the portrayal of women is not only culturally inappropriate but is demeaning to the image of women as well. Their bodily charm is used to promote products. Comparing different entertainment channels for their prime time advertisements and broadening the scope of this research will yield greater implications for the researchers who want to carry out the similar research. It is hoped that the current study would help in the promotion of media literacy among the viewers and media authorities in Pakistan.

Optimizing the Capacity of a Convolutional Neural Network for Image Segmentation and Pattern Recognition
In this paper, we study the factors which determine the capacity of a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model and propose the ways to evaluate and adjust the capacity of a CNN model for best matching to a specific pattern recognition task. Firstly, a scheme is proposed to adjust the number of independent functional units within a CNN model to make it be better fitted to a task. Secondly, the number of independent functional units in the capsule network is adjusted to fit it to the training dataset. Thirdly, a method based on Bayesian GAN is proposed to enrich the variances in the current dataset to increase its complexity. Experimental results on the PASCAL VOC 2010 Person Part dataset and the MNIST dataset show that, in both conventional CNN models and capsule networks, the number of independent functional units is an important factor that determines the capacity of a network model. By adjusting the number of functional units, the capacity of a model can better match the complexity of a dataset.
Introduce Applicability of Multi-Layer Perceptron to Predict the Behaviour of Semi-Interlocking Masonry Panel
The Semi Interlocking Masonry (SIM) system has been developed in Masonry Research Group at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The main purpose of this system is to enhance the seismic resistance of framed structures with masonry panels. In this system, SIM panels dissipate energy through the sliding friction between rows of SIM units during earthquake excitation. This paper aimed to find the applicability of artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the displacement behaviour of the SIM panel under out-of-plane loading. The general concept of ANN needs to be trained by related force-displacement data of SIM panel. The overall data to train and test the network are 70 increments of force-displacement from three tests, which comprise of none input nodes. The input data contain height and length of panels, height, length and width of the brick and friction and geometry angle of brick along the compressive strength of the brick with the lateral load applied to the panel. The aim of designed network is prediction displacement of the SIM panel by Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP). The mean square error (MSE) of network was 0.00042 and the coefficient of determination (R2) values showed the 0.91. The result revealed that the ANN has significant agreement to predict the SIM panel behaviour.
Semi-Supervised Outlier Detection Using a Generative and Adversary Framework
In many outlier detection tasks, only training data belonging to one class, i.e., the positive class, is available. The task is then to predict a new data point as belonging either to the positive class or to the negative class, in which case the data point is considered an outlier. For this task, we propose a novel corrupted Generative Adversarial Network (CorGAN). In the adversarial process of training CorGAN, the Generator generates outlier samples for the negative class, and the Discriminator is trained to distinguish the positive training data from the generated negative data. The proposed framework is evaluated using an image dataset and a real-world network intrusion dataset. Our outlier-detection method achieves state-of-the-art performance on both tasks.
Impact of Negative News on Ethical Fashion: Case Study to Investigate the Effect of Fashion CSR Ad Framing on Purchase Intention

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the fashion corporate social responsibility (CSR) ad framing and consumer purchase behaviours with the focus on consumer’s concern and involvement towards fashion brands. A self-completion questionnaire was administered to 200 respondents. Factor analysis and other statistical analyses were applied to test hypotheses. The results suggested that the quality of the product was the most important factor when consumers purchase fashion brand products with high level of responsibility towards unethical practices but surprisingly favourability for fast fashion. Unexpectedly, it was shown that consumers took the plenty of blame, but not much responsibility on buying fast fashion evading their responsibility to CSR ad, and their purchase intentions remained unchanged. The result, on the other hand, showed that fashion CSR ads can significantly moderate individuals’ emotions even though this had no significant correlation with the purchase intentions. Despite the limited sample size and geographical region, this research has important implications for contemporary fashion brands that use ad framing to understand how consumers’ involvement and concernedness toward the CSR actions in ad, influence their favourability (purchase intention) for fashion brands.

Suitability of Class F Flyash for Construction Industry: An Indian Scenario

The present study evaluates the properties of class F fly ash as a replacement of natural materials in civil engineering construction industry. The low-lime flash similar to class F is the prime variety generated in India, although it has significantly smaller volumes of high-lime fly ash as compared to class C. The chemical and physical characterization of the sample is carried out with the number of experimental approaches in order to investigate all relevant features present in the samples. For chemical analysis, elementary quantitative results from point analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques were used to identify the element images of different fractions. The physical properties found very close to the range of common soils. Furthermore, the fly ash-based bricks were prepared by the same sample of class F fly ash and the results of compressive strength similar to that of Standard Clay Brick Grade 1 available in the local market of India.

A Numerical Study on Semi-Active Control of a Bridge Deck under Seismic Excitation

This study investigates the benefits of implementing the semi-active devices in relation to passive viscous damping in the context of seismically isolated bridge structures. Since the intrinsically nonlinear nature of semi-active devices prevents the direct evaluation of Laplace transforms, frequency response functions are compiled from the computed time history response to sinusoidal and pulse-like seismic excitation. A simple semi-active control policy is used in regard to passive linear viscous damping and an optimal non-causal semi-active control strategy. The control strategy requires optimization. Euler-Lagrange equations are solved numerically during this procedure. The optimal closed-loop performance is evaluated for an idealized controllable dash-pot. A simplified single-degree-of-freedom model of an isolated bridge is used as numerical example. Two bridge cases are investigated. These cases are; bridge deck without the isolation bearing and bridge deck with the isolation bearing. To compare the performances of the passive and semi-active control cases, frequency dependent acceleration, velocity and displacement response transmissibility ratios Ta(w), Tv(w), and Td(w) are defined. To fully investigate the behavior of the structure subjected to the sinusoidal and pulse type excitations, different damping levels are considered. Numerical results showed that, under the effect of external excitation, bridge deck with semi-active control showed better structural performance than the passive bridge deck case.

A Condition-Based Maintenance Policy for Multi-Unit Systems Subject to Deterioration
In this paper, we propose a condition-based maintenance policy for multi-unit systems considering the existence of economic dependency among units. We consider a system composed of N identical units, where each unit deteriorates independently. Deterioration process of each unit is modeled as a three-state continuous time homogeneous Markov chain with two working states and a failure state. The average production rate of units varies in different working states and demand rate of the system is constant. Units are inspected at equidistant time epochs, and decision regarding performing maintenance is determined by the number of units in the failure state. If the total number of units in the failure state exceeds a critical level, maintenance is initiated, where units in failed state are replaced correctively and deteriorated state units are maintained preventively. Our objective is to determine the optimal number of failed units to initiate maintenance minimizing the long run expected average cost per unit time. The problem is formulated and solved in the semi-Markov decision process (SMDP) framework. A numerical example is developed to demonstrate the proposed policy and the comparison with the corrective maintenance policy is presented.
The Importance of Zenithal Lighting Systems for Natural Light Gains and for Local Energy Generation in Brazil

This paper presents an approach on the advantages of using adequate coverage in the zenithal lighting typology in various areas of architectural production, while at the same time to encourage to the design concerns inherent in this choice of roofing in Brazil. Understanding that sustainability needs to cover several aspects, a roofing system such as zenithal lighting system can contribute to the provision of better quality natural light for the interior of the building, which is related to the good health and welfare; it will also be able to contribute for the sustainable aspects and environmental needs, when it allows the generation of energy in semitransparent or opacity photovoltaic solutions and economize the artificial lightning. When the energy balance in the building is positive, that is, when the building generates more energy than it consumes, it may fit into the Net Zero Energy Building concept. The zenithal lighting systems could be an important ally in Brazil, when solved the burden of heat gains, participate in the set of pro-efficiency actions in search of "zero energy buildings". The paper presents comparative three cases of buildings that have used this feature in search of better environmental performance, both in light comfort and sustainability as a whole. Two of these buildings are examples in Europe: the Notley Green School in the UK and the Isofóton factory in Spain. The third building with these principles of shed´s roof is located in Brazil: the Ipel´s factory in São Paulo.

Effect of Needle Diameter on the Morphological Structure of Electrospun n-Bi2O3/Epoxy-PVA Nanofiber Mats

The effect of needle diameter on the morphological structure of electrospun n-Bi2O3/epoxy-PVA nanofibers has been investigated using three different types of needle diameters. The results were observed and investigated using two techniques of scanning electron microscope (SEM). The first technique is backscattered SEM while the second is secondary electron SEM. The results demonstrate that there is a correlation between the needle diameter and the morphology of electrospun nanofibers. As the internal needle diameter decreases, the average nanofiber diameter decreases and the fibers get thinner and smoother without agglomeration or beads formation. Moreover, with small needle diameter the nanofibrous porosity get larger compared with large needle diameter.

Fuzzy Set Approach to Study Appositives and Its Impact Due to Positional Alterations

Computing with Words (CWW) and Possibilistic Relational Universal Fuzzy (PRUF) are the two concepts which widely represent and measure the vaguely defined natural phenomenon. In this paper, we study the positional alteration of the phrases by which the impact of a natural language proposition gets affected and/or modified. We observe the gradations due to sensitivity/feeling of a statement towards the positional alterations. We derive the classification and modification of the meaning of words due to the positional alteration. We present the results with reference to set theoretic interpretations.

Automated Buffer Box Assembly Cell Concept for the Canadian Used Fuel Packing Plant

The Canadian Used Fuel Container (UFC) is a mid-size hemispherical headed copper coated steel container measuring 2.5 meters in length and 0.5 meters in diameter containing 48 used fuel bundles. The contained used fuel produces significant gamma radiation requiring automated assembly processes to complete the assembly. The design throughput of 2,500 UFCs per year places constraints on equipment and hot cell design for repeatability, speed of processing, robustness and recovery from upset conditions. After UFC assembly, the UFC is inserted into a Buffer Box (BB). The BB is made from adequately pre-shaped blocks (lower and upper block) and Highly Compacted Bentonite (HCB) material. The blocks are practically ‘sandwiching’ the UFC between them after assembly. This paper identifies one possible approach for the BB automatic assembly cell and processes. Automation of the BB assembly will have a significant positive impact on nuclear safety, quality, productivity, and reliability.

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