|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 181|
The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.
Bars made of titanium grade 2 and grade 4 were subjected to rotary forging with up to 2.2 true strain reduction in the cross-section from 10 to 3.81 mm. During progressive deformation, grain refinement in the transverse direction took place. In the longitudinal direction, ultrafine microstructure has not developed. It has been demonstrated that titanium grade 2 strengthens more than grade 4. The ultimate tensile strength increased from 650 MPa to 1040 MPa in titanium grade 4. Hardness profiles on the cross section in both materials show an increase in the centre of the wire.
This study focuses on the effect of the addition of magnesium (Mg) and silver (Ag) on the mechanical properties of aluminum based alloys. The alloying elements will be added at different levels using the factorial design of experiments of 22; the two factors are Mg and Ag at two levels of concentration. The superior mechanical properties of the produced Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloys after aging will be resulted from a unique type of precipitation named as Ω-phase. The formed precipitate enhanced the tensile strength and thermal stability. This paper further investigated the microstructure and mechanical properties of as cast Al–Cu–Mg–Ag alloys after being complete homogenized treatment at 520 °C for 8 hours followed by isothermally age hardening process at 190 °C for different periods of time. The homogenization at 520 °C for 8 hours was selected based on homogenization study at various temperatures and times. The alloys’ microstructures were studied by using optical microscopy (OM). In addition to that, the fracture surface investigation was performed using a scanning electronic microscope (SEM). Studying the microstructure of aged Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloys reveal that the grains are equiaxed with an average grain size of about 50 µm. A detailed fractography study for fractured surface of the aged alloys exhibited a mixed fracture whereby the random fracture suggested crack propagation along the grain boundaries while the dimples indicated that the fracture was ductile. The present result has shown that alloy 5 has the highest hardness values and the best mechanical behaviors.
Radiologists routinely make follow-up imaging recommendations, usually based on established clinical practice guidelines, such as the Fleischner Society guidelines for managing lung nodules. In order to ensure optimal care, it is important to make guideline-compliant recommendations, and also for patients to follow-up on these imaging recommendations in a timely manner. However, determining such compliance rates after a specific finding has been observed usually requires many time-consuming manual steps. To address some of these limitations with current approaches, in this paper we discuss a methodology to automatically detect finding-specific follow-up recommendations from radiology reports and create a visualization for relevant subsequent exams showing the modality transitions. Nearly 5% of patients who had a lung related follow-up recommendation continued to have at least eight subsequent outpatient CT exams during a seven year period following the recommendation. Radiologist and section chiefs can use the proposed tool to better understand how a specific patient population is being managed, identify possible deviations from established guideline recommendations and have a patient-specific graphical representation of the imaging pathways for an abstract view of the overall treatment path thus far.
The world is facing several problems due to increasing elderly population. In Sri Lanka, along with the complexity of the modern society and structural and functional changes of the family, “caring for elders” seems as an emerging social problem. This situation may intensify as the county is moving into a middle income society. Seeking higher education and related career opportunities, and urban living in modern housing are new trends, through which several problems are generated. Among many issues related with elders, “lack of accessible and appropriate facilities in their houses as well as public buildings” can be identified as a major problem. This study argues that welfare facilities provided for the elderly people, particularly in the home environment, in the country are not adequate. Modern housing features such as bathrooms, pantries, lobbies, and leisure areas etc. are questionable as to whether they match with elders’ physical and mental needs. Consequently, elders have to face domestic accidents and many other difficulties within their living environments. Records of hospitals in the country also proved this fact. Therefore, this study tries to identify how far modern houses are suited with elders’ needs. The study further questioned whether “aging” is a considerable matter when people are buying, planning and renovating houses. A randomly selected sample of 50 houses were observed and 50 persons were interviewed around the Maharagama urban area in Colombo district to obtain primary data, while relevant secondary data and information were used to have a depth analysis. The study clearly found that none of the houses included to the sample are considering elders’ needs in planning, renovating, or arranging the home. Instead, most of the families were giving priority to the rich and elegant appearance and modern facilities of the houses. Particularly, to the bathrooms, pantry, large setting areas, balcony, parking slots for two vehicles, ad parapet walls with roller-gates are the main concerns. A significant factor found here is that even though, many children of the aged are in middle age and reaching their older years at present, they do not plan their future living within a safe and comfortable home, despite that they are hoping to spent the latter part of their lives in the their current homes. This fact highlights that not only the other responsible parts of the society, but also those who are reaching their older ages are ignoring the problems of the aged. At the same time, it was found that more than 80% of old parents do not like to stay at their children’s homes as the living environments in such modern homes are not familiar or convenient for them. Due to this context, the aged in Sri Lanka may have to be alone in their own homes due to current trend of society of migrating to urban living in modern houses. At the same time, current urban families who live in modern houses may have to face adding accessible facilities in their home environment, as current modern housing facilities may not be appropriate them for a better life in their latter part of life.
Cellulose acetate (CA) is a natural biodegradable polymer. It forms transparent films by the casting technique. CA suffers from high degree of water permeability as well as the low thermal stability at high temperatures. To adjust the CA polymeric films to the manufacture of food packaging, its thermal and mechanical properties should be improved. The modification of CA by grafting it with N-Amino phenyl maleimide (N-APhM) led to the construction of hydrophobic branches throughout the polymeric matrix which reduced its wettability as compared to the parent CA. The branches built onto the polymeric chains had been characterized by UV/Vis, 13C-NMR and ESEM. The improvement of the thermal properties was investigated and compared to the parent CA using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), differential thermal analysis (DTA), contact angle and mechanical testing measurements. The results revealed that the water-uptake was reduced by increasing the graft percentage. The thermal and mechanical properties were also improved.
Using a waste material such as crumb rubber (CR) obtained by waste tires has become an important issue in respect to sustainability. However, the CR modified mixture also requires high manufacture temperature as a polymer modified mixture. For this reason in this study, it is intended to produce a CR modified mixture with warm mix asphalt additives in the same mixture. Asphalt mixtures produced by pure, 10%CR, 10%CR+3% Sasobit and 10%CR+0.7% Evotherm were subjected to aging procedure in the laboratory and the field. The indirect tensile repeated tests were applied to aged and original specimens. It was concluded that the fatigue life of the mixtures increased significantly with the increase of aging time. CR+Sasobit modified mixture aged at the both field and laboratory gave the highest load cycle among the mixtures.
This study aimed to describe procedures that we developed to use in the quantitative, bone-specific SPECT/CT at our hospital. Our procedures included the following questions for choosing imaging protocols, which were based on a clinical doctor's referral: (1) Is she/he a cancer patient or not? (2) Are there any indications of inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis? We performed about 1,106 skeletal scintigraphies over two years. About 394 patients were studied with quantitative bone-specific single-photon emission computed tomography/computerized tomography (SPECT/CT) (i.e., about 36% of all bone scintigraphies). Approximately 64% of the patients were studied using the conventional Anterior-Posterior/Posterior-Anterior imaging. Our procedure has improved efficiency and decreased cycle times.
The rapid aging of the population is a common trend in the world. However, the progress of modern medical technology has increased the average life expectancy. The global population structure has changed dramatically, and the elderly population has risen rapidly. In the face of rapid population growth, it must be noted issues of the aging population must face up to, which are the physiological, psychological, and social problems associated with aging. This study aims to investigate how insurance agents are actively dealing with an aging society, their own aging anxiety, and their exercise habits. Purposive sampling was the sampling method of this study, a total of 204 respondents were surveyed and 204 valid surveys were returned. The returned valid ratio was 100%. Statistical method included descriptive statistics, t-test, and one-way ANOVA. The results of the study found that the insurance agent’s age, seniority, exercise habits to aging anxiety are significantly different.
This paper illustrates the concept of an algorithm to register specified markers on the neuroArm surgical manipulators, an image-guided MR-compatible tele-operated robot for microsurgery and stereotaxy. Two range-finding algorithms, namely time-of-flight and phase-shift, are evaluated for registration and supervisory control. The time-of-flight approach is implemented in a semi-field experiment to determine the precise position of a tiny retro-reflective moving object. The moving object simulates a surgical tool tip. The tool is a target that would be connected to the neuroArm end-effector during surgery inside the magnet bore of the MR imaging system. In order to apply flight approach, a 905-nm pulsed laser diode and an avalanche photodiode are utilized as the transmitter and receiver, respectively. For the experiment, a high frequency time to digital converter was designed using a field-programmable gate arrays. In the phase-shift approach, a continuous green laser beam with a wavelength of 530 nm was used as the transmitter. Results showed that a positioning error of 0.1 mm occurred when the scanner-target point distance was set in the range of 2.5 to 3 meters. The effectiveness of this non-contact approach exhibited that the method could be employed as an alternative for conventional mechanical registration arm. Furthermore, the approach is not limited by physical contact and extension of joint angles.
Mixing in the hyperspectral imaging occurs due to the low spatial resolutions of the used cameras. The existing pure materials “endmembers” in the scene share the spectra pixels with different amounts called “abundances”. Unmixing of the data cube is an important task to know the present endmembers in the cube for the analysis of these images. Unsupervised unmixing is done with no information about the given data cube. Sparsity is one of the recent approaches used in the source recovery or unmixing techniques. The l1-norm optimization problem “basis pursuit” could be used as a sparsity-based approach to solve this unmixing problem where the endmembers is assumed to be sparse in an appropriate domain known as dictionary. This optimization problem is solved using proximal method “iterative thresholding”. The l1-norm basis pursuit optimization problem as a sparsity-based unmixing technique was used to unmix real and synthetic hyperspectral data cubes.
The purpose of this study is providing an improved mode choice model considering parameters including age grouping of prime-aged and old age. In this study, 2010 Household Travel Survey data were used and improper samples were removed through the analysis. Chosen alternative, date of birth, mode, origin code, destination code, departure time, and arrival time are considered from Household Travel Survey. By preprocessing data, travel time, travel cost, mode, and ratio of people aged 45 to 55 years, 55 to 65 years and over 65 years were calculated. After the manipulation, the mode choice model was constructed using LIMDEP by maximum likelihood estimation. A significance test was conducted for nine parameters, three age groups for three modes. Then the test was conducted again for the mode choice model with significant parameters, travel cost variable and travel time variable. As a result of the model estimation, as the age increases, the preference for the car decreases and the preference for the bus increases. This study is meaningful in that the individual and households characteristics are applied to the aggregate model.
This study presented the seismic fragility framework of concrete weir structure subjected to strong seismic ground motions and in particular, concrete aging condition of the weir structure was taken into account in this study. In order to understand the influence of concrete aging on the weir structure, by using probabilistic risk assessment, the analytical seismic fragility of the weir structure was derived for pre- and post-deterioration of concrete. The performance of concrete weir structure after five years was assumed for the concrete aging or deterioration, and according to after five years’ condition, the elastic modulus was simply reduced about one–tenth compared with initial condition of weir structures. A 2D nonlinear finite element analysis was performed considering the deterioration of concrete in weir structures using ABAQUS platform, a commercial structural analysis program. Simplified concrete degradation was resulted in the increase of almost 45% of the probability of failure at Limit State 3, in comparison to initial construction stage, by analyzing the seismic fragility.
In sub micrometer technology, the aging phenomenon starts to have a significant impact on the reliability of integrated circuits by bringing performance degradation. For that reason, it is important to have a capability to evaluate the aging effects accurately. This paper presents an accurate aging measurement approach based on phase-locked loop (PLL) and voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) circuit. The architecture is rejecting the circuit self-aging effect from the characteristics of PLL, which is generating the frequency without any aging phenomena affects. The aging monitor is implemented in low power 32 nm CMOS technology, and occupies a pretty small area. Aging simulation results show that the proposed aging measurement circuit improves accuracy by about 2.8% at high temperature and 19.6% at high voltage.
Pulses are high in plant protein and dietary fiber, and contain slowly digestible starches. Innovative products from pulses could increase their consumption and benefit consumer health. This study was conducted to evaluate physicochemical stability of processed cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. cv. Fradel) and maple pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense L. cv. Bruno) spreads at 5 °C temperature during 62-day storage. Physicochemical stability of pulse spreads was compared after sous vide treatment (80 °C/15 min) and high pressure processing (700 MPa/10 min/20 °C). Pulse spreads were made by homogenizing cooked pulses in a food processor together with salt, citric acid, oil, and bruschetta seasoning. A total of four different pulse spreads were studied: Cowpea spread without and with seasoning, maple pea spread without and with seasoning. Transparent PA/PE and light proof PET/ALU/PA/PP film pouches were used for packaging of pulse spreads under vacuum. The parameters investigated were pH, water activity and mass losses. Pulse spreads were tested on days 0, 15, 29, 42, 50, 57 and 62. The results showed that sous-vide treatment and high pressure processing had an insignificant influence on pH, water activity and mass losses after processing, irrespective of packaging material did not change (p>0.1). pH and water activity of sous-vide treated and high pressure processed pulse spreads in different packaging materials proved to be stable throughout the storage. Mass losses during storage accounted to 0.1% losses. Chosen sous-vide treatment and high pressure processing regimes and packaging materials are suitable to maintain consistent physicochemical quality of the new products during 62-day storage.
Recently, Electric Vehicles (EVs) have received extensive consideration since they offer a more sustainable and greener transportation alternative compared to fossil-fuel propelled vehicles. Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries are increasingly being deployed in EVs because of their high energy density, high cell-level voltage, and low rate of self-discharge. Since Li-ion batteries represent the most expensive component in the EV powertrain, accurate monitoring and control strategies must be executed to ensure their prolonged lifespan. The Battery Management System (BMS) has to accurately estimate parameters such as the battery State-of-Charge (SOC), State-of-Health (SOH), and Remaining Useful Life (RUL). In order for the BMS to estimate these parameters, an accurate and control-oriented battery model has to work collaboratively with a robust state and parameter estimation strategy. Since battery physical parameters, such as the internal resistance and diffusion coefficient change depending on the battery state-of-life (SOL), the BMS has to be adaptive to accommodate for this change. In this paper, an extensive battery aging study has been conducted over 12-months period on 5.4 Ah, 3.7 V Lithium polymer cells. Instead of using fixed charging/discharging aging cycles at fixed C-rate, a set of real-world driving scenarios have been used to age the cells. The test has been interrupted every 5% capacity degradation by a set of reference performance tests to assess the battery degradation and track model parameters. As battery ages, the combined model parameters are optimized and tracked in an offline mode over the entire batteries lifespan. Based on the optimized model, a state and parameter estimation strategy based on the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and the relatively new Smooth Variable Structure Filter (SVSF) have been applied to estimate the SOC at various states of life.
The manufacture of composite parts is a major issue in many industrial domains. Polymer composite materials are ideal for structural applications where high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios are required. However, exposition to extreme environment conditions (temperature, humidity) affects mechanical properties of organic composite materials and lead to an undesirable degradation. Aging mechanisms in organic matrix are very diverse and vary according to the polymer and the aging conditions such as temperature, humidity etc. This paper studies the hygrothermal aging effect on the mechanical properties of fiber reinforced plastics laminates at 40 °C in different environment exposure. Two composite materials are used to conduct the study (carbon fiber/epoxy and glass fiber/vinyl ester with two stratifications for both the materials [904/04] and [454/04]). The experimental procedure includes a mechanical characterization of the materials in a virgin state and exposition of specimens to two environments (seawater and demineralized water). Absorption kinetics for the two materials and both the stratifications are determined. Three-point bending test is performed on the aged materials in order to determine the hygrothermal effect on the mechanical properties of the materials.
The present study addressed the nature of bilingual semantic processing in Mandarin Chinese and Southern Min and examined category effects and age effects. Nineteen bilingual adults of Mandarin Chinese and Southern Min, nine monolingual seniors of Mandarin Chinese, and ten monolingual seniors of Southern Min in Taiwan individually completed two semantic tasks: Picture naming and category fluency tasks. The instruments for the naming task were sixty black-and-white pictures, including thirty-five object pictures and twenty-five action pictures. The category fluency task also consisted of two semantic categories – objects (or nouns) and actions (or verbs). The reaction time for each picture/question was additionally calculated and analyzed. Oral productions in Mandarin Chinese and in Southern Min were compared and discussed to examine the category effects and age effects. The results of the category fluency task indicated that the content of information of these seniors was comparatively deteriorated, and thus they produced a smaller number of semantic-lexical items. Significant group differences were also found in the reaction time results. Category effects were significant for both adults and seniors in the semantic fluency task. The findings of the present study will help characterize the nature of the bilingual semantic processing of adults and seniors, and contribute to the fields of contrastive and corpus linguistics.
This study aimed to evaluate parameters influencing well-being and how to maintain well-being as long as possible after retirement. There is contradictory information on the health changes after retirement in Finland. This work is based on interviews, statistics, and literature evaluation of Finland. Most often, balance, multitasking reaction time, and adaptation of vision in dim and darks areas are worsened. Slowing is one characteristic that is difficult to measure properly. The most important is try to determine ways to manage daily activities and symptoms of disease after retirement. Medicine is advancing, problems are often also on the economic side. Information of technical aids is important. It is worth planning a retirement age.
In this paper, a degradation of the photopolymeric material (PhPM), used as printing plate in the flexography reproduction technique, caused by accelerated aging has been observed. Since the basis process for production of printing plates from the PhPM is a radical cross-linking process caused by exposing to UV wavelengths, the assumption was that improper storage or irregular handling of the PhPM plate can change the surface and structure characteristics of the plates. Results have shown that the aging process causes degradation in the structure and changes in the surface of the PhPM printing plate.
Through the exploration of the lived experiences, beliefs and values of instructional leaders, teachers and students in Finland, Germany and Canada, we investigated the factors which contribute to developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments for early adolescents. Student-centred leadership dimensions, effective instructional practices and student agency were examined through the lens of current policy and research on middle-level learning environments emerging from the Canadian province of Manitoba. Consideration of these three research perspectives in the context of early adolescent learning, placed against an international backdrop, provided a previously undocumented perspective on leading, teaching and learning in the middle years. Aligning with a social constructivist, qualitative research paradigm, the study incorporated collective case study methodology, along with constructivist grounded theory methods of data analysis. Data were collected through semi-structured individual and focus group interviews and document review, as well as direct and participant observation. Three case study narratives were developed to share the rich stories of study participants, who had been selected using maximum variation and intensity sampling techniques. Interview transcript data were coded using processes from constructivist grounded theory. A cross-case analysis yielded a conceptual framework highlighting key factors that were found to be significant in the establishment of developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments. Seven core categories emerged from the cross-case analysis as common to all three countries. Within the visual conceptual framework (which depicts the interconnected nature of leading, teaching and learning in middle-level learning environments), these seven core categories were grouped into Essential Factors (student agency, voice and choice), Contextual Factors (instructional practices; school culture; engaging families and the community), Synergistic Factors (instructional leadership) and Cornerstone Factors (education as a fundamental cultural value; preservice, in-service and ongoing teacher development). In addition, sub-factors emerged from recurring codes in the data and identified specific characteristics and actions found in developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments. Although this study focused on 12 schools in Finland, Germany and Canada, it informs the practice of educators working with early adolescent learners in middle-level learning environments internationally. The authentic voices of early adolescent learners are the most important resource educators have to gauge if they are creating effective learning environments for their students. Ongoing professional dialogue and learning is essential to ensure teachers are supported in their work and develop the pedagogical practices needed to meet the needs of early adolescent learners. It is critical to balance consistency, coherence and dependability in the school environment with the necessary flexibility in order to support the unique learning needs of early adolescents. Educators must intentionally create a school culture that unites teachers, students and their families in support of a common purpose, as well as nurture positive relationships between the school and its community. A large, urban school district in Canada has implemented a school cohort-based model to begin to bring developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments to scale.