Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 296

296
10010913
The Effect of Eight Weeks of Aerobic Training on Indices of Cardio-Respiratory and Exercise Tolerance in Overweight Women with Chronic Asthma
Abstract:

Asthma, obesity and overweight are the main factors causing change within the heart and respiratory airways. Asthma symptoms are normally observed during exercising. Epidemiological studies have indicated asthma symptoms occurring due to certain lifestyle habits; for example, a sedentary lifestyle. In this study, eight weeks of aerobic exercises resulted in a positive effect overall in overweight women experiencing mild chronic asthma. The quasi-experimental applied research has been done based on experimental and control groups. The experimental group (seven patients) and control group (n = 7) were graded before and after the test. According to the Borg dyspnea and fatigue Perception Index, the training intensity has determined. Participants in the study performed a sub-maximal aerobic activity schedule (45% to 80% of maximum heart rate) for two months, while the control group (n = 7) stayed away from aerobic exercise. Data evaluation and analysis of covariance compared both the pre-test and post-test with paired t-test at significance level of P≤ 0.05. After eight weeks of exercise, the results of the experimental group show a significant decrease in resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure, minute ventilation, while a significant increase in maximal oxygen uptake and tolerance activity (P ≤ 0.05). In the control group, there was no significant difference in these parameters ((P ≤ 0.05). The results indicate the aerobic activity can strengthen the respiratory muscles, while other physiological factors could result in breathing and heart recovery. Aerobic activity also resulted in favorable changes in cardiovascular parameters, and exercise tolerance of overweight women with chronic asthma.

295
10010717
Multistage Data Envelopment Analysis Model for Malmquist Productivity Index Using Grey's System Theory to Evaluate Performance of Electric Power Supply Chain in Iran
Abstract:

Evaluation of organizational performance is among the most important measures that help organizations and entities continuously improve their efficiency. Organizations can use the existing data and results from the comparison of units under investigation to obtain an estimation of their performance. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is an important index in the evaluation of overall productivity, which considers technological developments and technical efficiency at the same time. This article proposed a model based on the multistage MPI, considering limited data (Grey’s theory). This model can evaluate the performance of units using limited and uncertain data in a multistage process. It was applied by the electricity market manager to Iran’s electric power supply chain (EPSC), which contains uncertain data, to evaluate the performance of its actors. Results from solving the model showed an improvement in the accuracy of future performance of the units under investigation, using the Grey’s system theory. This model can be used in all case studies, in which MPI is used and there are limited or uncertain data.

294
10010724
Price Prediction Line, Investment Signals and Limit Conditions Applied for the German Financial Market
Abstract:

In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.

293
10010647
Forecast of Polyethylene Properties in the Gas Phase Polymerization Aided by Neural Network
Abstract:

A major problem that affects the quality control of polymer in the industrial polymerization is the lack of suitable on-line measurement tools to evaluate the properties of the polymer such as melt and density indices. Controlling the polymerization in ordinary method is performed manually by taking samples, measuring the quality of polymer in the lab and registry of results. This method is highly time consuming and leads to producing large number of incompatible products. An online application for estimating melt index and density proposed in this study is a neural network based on the input-output data of the polyethylene production plant. Temperature, the level of reactors' bed, the intensity of ethylene mass flow, hydrogen and butene-1, the molar concentration of ethylene, hydrogen and butene-1 are used for the process to establish the neural model. The neural network is taught based on the actual operational data and back-propagation and Levenberg-Marquart techniques. The simulated results indicate that the neural network process model established with three layers (one hidden layer) for forecasting the density and the four layers for the melt index is able to successfully predict those quality properties.

292
10010694
Modeling Thermo-Photo-Voltaic Selective Emitter Based on a Semi-Transparent Emitter with Integrated Narrow Band-Pass Pre-Filter
Authors:
Abstract:
This work is a parametric study combining simple and well known optical theories. These simple theories are arranged to form part of one answer to the question: “Can a semi-transparent Thermo-Photo-Voltaic (TPV) emitter have an optical extinction spectrum so much greater than its optical absorption spectrum that it becomes its own band-pass pre-filter, and if so, how well might it be expected to suppress light of undesired wavelengths?” In the report, hypothetical materials and operating temperatures will be used for comparative analyses only. Thermal emission properties of these hypothetical materials were created using two openly available FORTRAN programs. Results indicate that if using highly transparent materials it may be possible to create a thermal emitter that is its own band-pass pre-filter.
291
10010550
Computation of Flood and Drought Years over the North-West Himalayan Region Using Indian Meteorological Department Rainfall Data
Abstract:

The climatic condition over Indian region is highly dependent on monsoon. India receives maximum amount of rainfall during southwest monsoon. Indian economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The presence of flood and drought years influenced the total cultivation system as well as the economy of the country as Indian agricultural systems is still highly dependent on the monsoon rainfall. The present study has been planned to investigate the flood and drought years for the north-west Himalayan region from 1951 to 2014 by using area average Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall data. For this investigation the Normalized index (NI) has been utilized to find out whether the particular year is drought or flood. The data have been extracted for the north-west Himalayan (NWH) region states namely Uttarakhand (UK), Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to find out the rainy season average rainfall for each year, climatological mean and the standard deviation. After calculation it has been plotted by the diagrams (or graphs) to show the results- some of the years associated with drought years, some are flood years and rest are neutral. The flood and drought years can also relate with the large-scale phenomena El-Nino and La-Lina.

290
10010587
Cost Efficient Receiver Tube Technology for Eco-Friendly Concentrated Solar Thermal Applications
Abstract:

The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.

289
10010598
Measuring Banks’ Antifragility via Fuzzy Logic
Abstract:

Analysing the world banking sector, we realize that traditional risk measurement methodologies no longer reflect the actual scenario with uncertainty and leave out events that can change the dynamics of markets. Considering this, regulators and financial institutions began to search more realistic models. The aim is to include external influences and interdependencies between agents, to describe and measure the operationalization of these complex systems and their risks in a more coherent and credible way. Within this context, X-Events are more frequent than assumed and, with uncertainties and constant changes, the concept of antifragility starts to gain great prominence in comparison to others methodologies of risk management. It is very useful to analyse whether a system succumbs (fragile), resists (robust) or gets benefits (antifragile) from disorder and stress. Thus, this work proposes the creation of the Banking Antifragility Index (BAI), which is based on the calculation of a triangular fuzzy number – to "quantify" qualitative criteria linked to antifragility.

288
10010522
An Improved Adaptive Dot-Shape Beamforming Algorithm Research on Frequency Diverse Array
Abstract:

Frequency diverse array (FDA) beamforming is a technology developed in recent years, and its antenna pattern has a unique angle-distance-dependent characteristic. However, the beam is always required to have strong concentration, high resolution and low sidelobe level to form the point-to-point interference in the concentrated set. In order to eliminate the angle-distance coupling of the traditional FDA and to make the beam energy more concentrated, this paper adopts a multi-carrier FDA structure based on proposed power exponential frequency offset to improve the array structure and frequency offset of the traditional FDA. The simulation results show that the beam pattern of the array can form a dot-shape beam with more concentrated energy, and its resolution and sidelobe level performance are improved. However, the covariance matrix of the signal in the traditional adaptive beamforming algorithm is estimated by the finite-time snapshot data. When the number of snapshots is limited, the algorithm has an underestimation problem, which leads to the estimation error of the covariance matrix to cause beam distortion, so that the output pattern cannot form a dot-shape beam. And it also has main lobe deviation and high sidelobe level problems in the case of limited snapshot. Aiming at these problems, an adaptive beamforming technique based on exponential correction for multi-carrier FDA is proposed to improve beamforming robustness. The steps are as follows: first, the beamforming of the multi-carrier FDA is formed under linear constrained minimum variance (LCMV) criteria. Then the eigenvalue decomposition of the covariance matrix is ​​performed to obtain the diagonal matrix composed of the interference subspace, the noise subspace and the corresponding eigenvalues. Finally, the correction index is introduced to exponentially correct the small eigenvalues ​​of the noise subspace, improve the divergence of small eigenvalues ​​in the noise subspace, and improve the performance of beamforming. The theoretical analysis and simulation results show that the proposed algorithm can make the multi-carrier FDA form a dot-shape beam at limited snapshots, reduce the sidelobe level, improve the robustness of beamforming, and have better performance.

287
10010330
Coalescence of Insulin and Triglyceride/High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Ratio for the Derivation of a Laboratory Index to Predict Metabolic Syndrome in Morbid Obese Children
Abstract:

Morbid obesity is a health threatening condition particularly in children. Generally, it leads to the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) characterized by central obesity, elevated fasting blood glucose (FBG), triglyceride (TRG), blood pressure values and suppressed high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. However, some ambiguities exist during the diagnosis of MetS in children below 10 years of age. Therefore, clinicians are in the need of some surrogate markers for the laboratory assessment of pediatric MetS. In this study, the aim is to develop an index, which will be more helpful during the evaluation of further risks detected in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 235 children with normal body mass index (N-BMI), with varying degrees of obesity; overweight (OW), obese (OB), MO as well as MetS participated in this study. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee. Informed consent forms were obtained from the parents of the children. Obesity states of the children were classified using BMI percentiles adjusted for age and sex. For the purpose, tabulated data prepared by WHO were used. MetS criteria were defined. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were measured. Parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms were determined. FBG, insulin (INS), HDL-C, TRG concentrations were determined. Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Laboratory (DONMALAB) Index [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] was introduced. Commonly used insulin resistance (IR) indices such as Homeostatic Model Assessment for IR (HOMA-IR) as well as ratios such as TRG/HDL-C, TRG/HDL-C*INS, HDL-C/TRG*INS, TRG/HDL-C*INS/FBG, log, and ln versions of these ratios were calculated. Results were interpreted using statistical package program (SPSS Version 16.0) for Windows. The data were evaluated using appropriate statistical tests. The degree for statistical significance was defined as 0.05. 35 N, 20 OW, 47 OB, 97 MO children and 36 with MetS were investigated. Mean ± SD values of TRG/HDL-C were 1.27 ± 0.69, 1.86 ± 1.08, 2.15 ± 1.22, 2.48 ± 2.35 and 4.61 ± 3.92 for N, OW, OB, MO and MetS children, respectively. Corresponding values for the DONMALAB index were 2.17 ± 1.07, 3.01 ± 0.94, 3.41 ± 0.93, 3.43 ± 1.08 and 4.32 ± 1.00. TRG/HDL-C ratio significantly differed between N and MetS groups. On the other hand, DONMALAB index exhibited statistically significant differences between N and all the other groups except the OW group. This index was capable of discriminating MO children from those with MetS. Statistically significant elevations were detected in MO children with MetS (p < 0.05). Multiple parameters are commonly used during the assessment of MetS. Upon evaluation of the values obtained for N, OW, OB, MO groups and for MO children with MetS, the [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] value was unique in discriminating children with MetS.

286
10010331
Understanding the Nature of Blood Pressure as Metabolic Syndrome Component in Children
Abstract:

Pediatric overweight and obesity need attention because they may cause morbid obesity, which may develop metabolic syndrome (MetS). Criteria used for the definition of adult MetS cannot be applied for pediatric MetS. Dynamic physiological changes that occur during childhood and adolescence require the evaluation of each parameter based upon age intervals. The aim of this study is to investigate the distribution of blood pressure (BP) values within diverse pediatric age intervals and the possible use and clinical utility of a recently introduced Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Tension (DONMA tense) Index derived from systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) [SBP+DBP/200]. Such a formula may enable a more integrative picture for the assessment of pediatric obesity and MetS due to the use of both SBP and DBP. 554 children, whose ages were between 6-16 years participated in the study; the study population was divided into two groups based upon their ages. The first group comprises 280 cases aged 6-10 years (72-120 months), while those aged 10-16 years (121-192 months) constituted the second group. The values of SBP, DBP and the formula (SBP+DBP/200) covering both were evaluated. Each group was divided into seven subgroups with varying degrees of obesity and MetS criteria. Two clinical definitions of MetS have been described. These groups were MetS3 (children with three major components), and MetS2 (children with two major components). The other groups were morbid obese (MO), obese (OB), overweight (OW), normal (N) and underweight (UW). The children were included into the groups according to the age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile values tabulated by WHO. Data were evaluated by SPSS version 16 with p < 0.05 as the statistical significance degree. Tension index was evaluated in the groups above and below 10 years of age. This index differed significantly between N and MetS as well as OW and MetS groups (p = 0.001) above 120 months. However, below 120 months, significant differences existed between MetS3 and MetS2 (p = 0.003) as well as MetS3 and MO (p = 0.001). In comparison with the SBP and DBP values, tension index values have enabled more clear-cut separation between the groups. It has been detected that the tension index was capable of discriminating MetS3 from MetS2 in the group, which was composed of children aged 6-10 years. This was not possible in the older group of children. This index was more informative for the first group. This study also confirmed that 130 mm Hg and 85 mm Hg cut-off points for SBP and DBP, respectively, are too high for serving as MetS criteria in children because the mean value for tension index was calculated as 1.00 among MetS children. This finding has shown that much lower cut-off points must be set for SBP and DBP for the diagnosis of pediatric MetS, especially for children under-10 years of age. This index may be recommended to discriminate MO, MetS2 and MetS3 among the 6-10 years of age group, whose MetS diagnosis is problematic.

285
10010333
Evaluation of the Weight-Based and Fat-Based Indices in Relation to Basal Metabolic Rate-to-Weight Ratio
Abstract:

Basal metabolic rate is questioned as a risk factor for weight gain. The relations between basal metabolic rate and body composition have not been cleared yet. The impact of fat mass on basal metabolic rate is also uncertain. Within this context, indices based upon total body mass as well as total body fat mass are available. In this study, the aim is to investigate the potential clinical utility of these indices in the adult population. 287 individuals, aged from 18 to 79 years, were included into the scope of the study. Based upon body mass index values, 10 underweight, 88 normal, 88 overweight, 81 obese, and 20 morbid obese individuals participated. Anthropometric measurements including height (m), and weight (kg) were performed. Body mass index, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II, basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio were calculated. Total body fat mass (kg), fat percent (%), basal metabolic rate, metabolic age, visceral adiposity, fat mass of upper as well as lower extremities and trunk, obesity degree were measured by TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. Statistical evaluations were performed by statistical package (SPSS) for Windows Version 16.0. Scatterplots of individual measurements for the parameters concerning correlations were drawn. Linear regression lines were displayed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The strong correlations between body mass index and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I as well as diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II were obtained (p < 0.001). A much stronger correlation was detected between basal metabolic rate and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I in comparison with that calculated for basal metabolic rate and body mass index (p < 0.001). Upon consideration of the associations between basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio and these three indices, the best association was observed between basal metabolic rate-to-weight and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II. In a similar manner, this index was highly correlated with fat percent (p < 0.001). Being independent of the indices, a strong correlation was found between fat percent and basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio (p < 0.001). Visceral adiposity was much strongly correlated with metabolic age when compared to that with chronological age (p < 0.001). In conclusion, all three indices were associated with metabolic age, but not with chronological age. Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II values were highly correlated with body mass index values throughout all ranges starting with underweight going towards morbid obesity. This index is the best in terms of its association with basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio, which can be interpreted as basal metabolic rate unit.

284
10010391
Parallel Querying of Distributed Ontologies with Shared Vocabulary
Abstract:

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.

283
10010418
An Approach towards Designing an Energy Efficient Building through Embodied Energy Assessment: A Case of Apartment Building in Composite Climate
Authors:
Abstract:

In today’s world, the growing demand for urban built forms has resulted in the production and consumption of building materials i.e. embodied energy in building construction, leading to pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, new buildings will offer a unique opportunity to implement more energy efficient building without compromising on building performance of the building. Embodied energy of building materials forms major contribution to embodied energy in buildings. The paper results in an approach towards designing an energy efficient apartment building through embodied energy assessment. This paper discusses the trend of residential development in Rourkela, which includes three case studies of the contemporary houses, followed by architectural elements, number of storeys, predominant material use and plot sizes using primary data. It results in identification of predominant material used and other characteristics in urban area. Further, the embodied energy coefficients of various dominant building materials and alternative materials manufactured in Indian Industry is taken in consideration from secondary source i.e. literature study. The paper analyses the embodied energy by estimating materials and operational energy of proposed building followed by altering the specifications of the materials based on the building components i.e. walls, flooring, windows, insulation and roof through res build India software and comparison of different options is assessed with consideration of sustainable parameters. This paper results that autoclaved aerated concrete block only reaches the energy performance Index benchmark i.e. 69.35 kWh/m2 yr i.e. by saving 4% of operational energy and as embodied energy has no particular index, out of all materials it has the highest EE 23206202.43  MJ.

282
10010224
Business Process Management and Organizational Culture in Big Companies: Cross-Country Analysis
Abstract:

Business process management (BPM) is widely used approach focused on designing, mapping, changing, managing and analyzing business processes of an organization, which eventually leads to better performance and derives many other benefits. Since every organization strives to improve its performance in order to be sustainable and to remain competitive on the market in long-term period, numerous organizations are nowadays adopting and implementing BPM. However, not all organizations are equally successful in that. One of the ways of measuring BPM success is by measuring its maturity by calculating Process Performance Index (PPI) using ten BPM success factors. Still, although BPM is a holistic concept, organizational culture is not taken into consideration in calculating PPI. Hence, aim of this paper is twofold; first, it aims to explore and analyze the current state of BPM success factors within the big organizations from Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria and second, it aims to analyze the structure of organizational culture within the observed companies, focusing on the link with BPM success factors as well. The presented study is based on the results of the questionnaire conducted as the part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729) and financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results of the questionnaire reveal differences in the achieved levels of BPM success factors and therefore BPM maturity in total between the three observed countries. Moreover, the structure of organizational culture across three countries also differs. This paper discusses the revealed differences between countries as well as the link between organizational culture and BPM success factors.

281
10010004
The Relation between Body Mass Index and Menstrual Cycle Disorders in Medical Students of University Pelita Harapan, Indonesia
Abstract:

Introduction: There are several things affecting menstrual cycle, namely, nutritional status, diet, financial status of one’s household and exercises. The most commonly used parameter to calculate the fat in a human body is body mass index. Therefore, it is necessary to do research to prevent complications caused by menstrual disorder in the future. Design Study: This research is an observational analytical study with the cross-sectional-case control approach. Participants (n = 124; median age = 19.5 years ± SD 3.5) were classified into 2 groups: normal, NM (n = 62; BMI = 18-23 kg/m2) and obese, OB (n = 62; BMI = > 25 kg/m2). BMI was calculated from the equation; BMI = weight, kg/height, m2. Results: There were 79.10% from obese group who experienced menstrual cycle disorders (n=53, 79.10%; p value 0.00; OR 5.25) and 20.90% from normal BMI group with menstrual cycle disorders. There were several factors in this research that also influence the menstrual cycle disorders such as stress (44.78%; p value 0.00; OR 1.85), sleep disorders (25.37%; p value 0.00; OR 1.01), physical activities (25.37%; p value 0.00; OR 1.24) and diet (10.45%; p value 0.00; OR 1.07). Conclusion: There is a significant relation between body mass index (obese) and menstrual cycle disorders. However, BMI is not the only factor that affects the menstrual cycle disorders. There are several factors that also can affect menstrual cycle disorders, in this study we use stress, sleep disorders, physical activities and diet, in which none of them are dominant.

280
10010065
Experimental and Numerical Study of Ultra-High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Column Subjected to Axial and Eccentric Loads
Abstract:

Ultra-high-performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) is a specially formulated cement-based composite characterized with an ultra-high compressive strength (fc’ = 240 MPa) and a low water-cement ratio (W/B= 0.2). With such material characteristics, UHPFRC is favored for the design and constructions of structures required high structural performance and slender geometries. Unlike conventional concrete, the structural performance of members manufactured with UHPFRC has not yet been fully studied, particularly, for UHPFRC columns with high slenderness. In this study, the behaviors of slender UHPFRC columns under concentric or eccentric load will be investigated both experimentally and numerically. Four slender UHPFRC columns were tested under eccentric loads with eccentricities, of 0 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, and 85 mm, respectively, and one UHPFRC beam was tested under four-point bending. Finite element (FE) analysis was conducted with concrete damage plasticity (CDP) modulus to simulating the load-middle height or middle span deflection relationships and damage patterns of all UHPFRC members. Simulated results were compared against the experimental results and observation to gain the confidence of FE model, and this model was further extended to conduct parametric studies, which aim to investigate the effects of slenderness regarding failure modes and load-moment interaction relationships. Experimental results showed that the load bearing capacities of the slender columns reduced with an increase in eccentricity. Comparisons between load-middle height and middle span deflection relationships as well as damage patterns of all UHPFRC members obtained both experimentally and numerically demonstrated high accuracy of the FE simulations. Based on the available FE model, the following parametric study indicated that a further increase in the slenderness of column resulted in significant decreases in the load-bearing capacities, ductility index, and flexural bending capacities.

279
10009891
Multi-Level Air Quality Classification in China Using Information Gain and Support Vector Machine
Abstract:

Machine Learning and Data Mining are the two important tools for extracting useful information and knowledge from large datasets. In machine learning, classification is a wildly used technique to predict qualitative variables and is generally preferred over regression from an operational point of view. Due to the enormous increase in air pollution in various countries especially China, Air Quality Classification has become one of the most important topics in air quality research and modelling. This study aims at introducing a hybrid classification model based on information theory and Support Vector Machine (SVM) using the air quality data of four cities in China namely Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin from Jan 1, 2014 to April 30, 2016. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has classified the daily air quality into 6 levels namely Serious Pollution, Severe Pollution, Moderate Pollution, Light Pollution, Good and Excellent based on their respective Air Quality Index (AQI) values. Using the information theory, information gain (IG) is calculated and feature selection is done for both categorical features and continuous numeric features. Then SVM Machine Learning algorithm is implemented on the selected features with cross-validation. The final evaluation reveals that the IG and SVM hybrid model performs better than SVM (alone), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and K-Nearest Neighbours (KNN) models in terms of accuracy as well as complexity.

278
10009805
Identifying Neighborhoods at Potential Risk of Food Insecurity in Rural British Columbia
Abstract:

Substantial research has indicated that socioeconomic and demographic characteristics’ of neighborhoods are strong determinants of food security. The aim of this study was to develop a Food Insecurity Neighborhood Index (FINI) based on the associated socioeconomic and demographic variables to identify the areas at potential risk of food insecurity in rural British Columbia (BC). Principle Component Analysis (PCA) technique was used to calculate the FINI for each rural Dissemination Area (DA) using the food security determinant variables from Canadian Census data. Using ArcGIS, the neighborhoods with the top quartile FINI values were classified as food insecure. The results of this study indicated that the most food insecure neighborhood with the highest FINI value of 99.1 was in the Bulkley-Nechako (central BC) area whereas the lowest FINI with the value of 2.97 was for a rural neighborhood in the Cowichan Valley area. In total, 98.049 (19%) of the rural population of British Columbians reside in high food insecure areas. Moreover, the distribution of food insecure neighborhoods was found to be strongly dependent on the degree of rurality in BC. In conclusion, the cluster of food insecure neighbourhoods was more pronounced in Central Coast, Mount Wadington, Peace River, Kootenay Boundary, and the Alberni-Clayoqout Regional Districts.

277
10009473
Evaluation of Systemic Immune-Inflammation Index in Obese Children
Abstract:

A growing list of cancers might be influenced by obesity. Obesity is associated with an increased risk for the occurrence and development of some cancers. Inflammation can lead to cancer. It is one of the characteristic features of cancer and plays a critical role in cancer development. C-reactive protein (CRP) is under evaluation related to the new and simple prognostic factors in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. Obesity can predict and promote systemic inflammation in healthy adults. BMI is correlated with hs-CRP. In this study, SII index and CRP values were evaluated in children with normal BMI and those within the range of different obesity grades to detect the tendency towards cancer in pediatric obesity. A total of one hundred and ninety-four children; thirty-five children with normal BMI, twenty overweight (OW), forty-seven obese (OB) and ninety-two morbid obese (MO) participated in the study. Age- and sex-matched groups were constituted using BMI-for age percentiles. Informed consent was obtained. Ethical Committee approval was taken. Weight, height, waist circumference (C), hip C, head C and neck C of the children were measured. The complete blood count test was performed. C-reactive protein analysis was performed. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p≤0.05. SII index values were progressively increasing starting from normal weight (NW) to MO children. There is a statistically significant difference between NW and OB as well as MO children. No significant difference was observed between NW and OW children, however, a correlation was observed between NW and OW children. MO constitutes the only group, which exhibited a statistically significant correlation between SII index and CRP. Obesity-related bladder, kidney, cervical, liver, colorectal, endometrial cancers are still being investigated. Obesity, characterized as a chronic low-grade inflammation, is a crucial risk factor for colon cancer. Elevated childhood BMI values may be indicative of processes leading to cancer, initiated early in life. Prevention of childhood adiposity may decrease the cancer incidence in adults. To authors’ best knowledge, this study is the first to introduce SII index values during obesity of varying degrees of severity. It is suggested that this index seems to affect all stages of obesity with an increasing tendency and may point out the concomitant status of obesity and cancer starting from very early periods of life.

276
10009103
Development of Groundwater Management Model Using Groundwater Sustainability Index
Abstract:

Development of a groundwater management model is an important step in the exploitation and management of any groundwater aquifer as it assists in the long-term sustainable planning of the resource. The current study was conducted in Central Limpopo province of South Africa with the overall objective of determining how much water can be withdrawn from the aquifer without producing nonreversible impacts on the groundwater quantity, hence developing a model which can sustainably protect the aquifer. The development was done through the computation of Groundwater Sustainability Index (GSI). Values of GSI close to unity and above indicated overexploitation. In this study, an index of 0.8 was considered as overexploitation. The results indicated that there is potential for higher abstraction rates compared to the current abstraction rates. GSI approach can be used in the management of groundwater aquifer to sustainably develop the resource and also provides water managers and policy makers with fundamental information on where future water developments can be carried out.

275
10009116
Effects of Different Dietary Crude Fiber Levels on the Growth Performance of Finishing Su-Shan Pigs
Abstract:

The utilization of dietary crude fiber in different breed pigs is not the same. Su-shan pigs are a new breed formed by crossing Taihu pigs and Yorkshire pigs. In order to understand the resistance of Su-shan pigs to dietary crude fiber, 150 Su-shan pigs with 60 kg of average body weight and similar body conditions were allocated to three groups randomly, and there are 50 pigs in each group. The percentages of dietary crude fiber were 8.35%, 9.10%, and 11.39%, respectively. At the end of the experiment, 15 pigs randomly selected from each group were slaughtered. The results showed as follows: average daily gain of the 9.10% group was higher than that of the 8.35% group and the 11.39% group; there was a significant difference between the 9.10% group and the 8.35% group (p < 0.05. Levels of urea nitrogen, total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein in the 9.10% group were significantly higher than those in the 8.35% group and the 11.39% group (p < 0.05). Ratios of meat to fat in the 9.10% group and the 11.39% group were significantly higher than that in the 8.35% group (p < 0.05). Lean percentage of 9.10% group was higher than that of 8.35% group and 11.39% group, but there was no significant difference in three groups (p > 0.05). The weight of small intestine and large intestine in the 11.39% group was higher than that in the 8.35% group, and the 9.10% group and the difference reached a significant level (p < 0.05). In conclusion, increasing dietary crude fiber properly could reduce fat percentage, and improve the ratio of meat to fat of finishing Su-shan pigs. The digestion and metabolism of dietary crude fiber promoted the development of stomach and intestine of finishing Su-shan pig.

274
10009135
Construction of a Low Carbon Eco-City Index System Based on CAS Theory: A Case of Hexi Newtown in Nanjing, China
Abstract:

The practice of urban planning and construction based on the concept of the “low carbon eco-city” has been universally accepted by the academic community in response to urban issues such as population, resources, environment, and social development. Based on this, the current article first analyzes the concepts of low carbon eco-city, then builds a complex adaptive system (CAS) theory based on Chinese traditional philosophical thinking, and analyzes the adaptive relationship between material and non-material elements. A three-dimensional evaluation model of natural ecology, economic low carbon, and social harmony was constructed. Finally, the construction of a low carbon eco-city index system in Hexi Newtown of Nanjing was used as an example to verify the effectiveness of the research results; this paradigm provides a new way to achieve a low carbon eco-city system.

273
10008941
Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity
Abstract:

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

272
10008983
Pilot Scale Investigation on the Removal of Pollutants from Secondary Effluent to Meet Botswana Irrigation Standards Using Roughing and Slow Sand Filters
Abstract:

Botswana is an arid country that needs to start reusing wastewater as part of its water security plan. Pilot scale slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter was investigated for the treatment of effluent from Botswana International University of Science and Technology to meet Botswana irrigation standards. The system was operated at hydraulic loading rates of 0.04 m/hr and 0.12 m/hr. The results show that the system was able to reduce turbidity from 262 Nephelometric Turbidity Units to a range between 18 and 0 Nephelometric Turbidity Units which was below 30 Nephelometric Turbidity Units threshold limit. The overall efficacy ranged between 61% and 100%. Suspended solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Chemical Oxygen Demand removal efficiency averaged 42.6%, 45.5%, and 77% respectively and all within irrigation standards. Other physio-chemical parameters were within irrigation standards except for bicarbonate ion which averaged 297.7±44 mg L-1 in the influent and 196.22±50 mg L-1 in the effluent which was above the limit of 92 mg L-1, therefore averaging a reduction of 34.1% by the system. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli in the effluent were initially averaging 1.1 log counts, 0.5 log counts, and 1.3 log counts respectively compared to corresponding influent log counts of 3.4, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively. As time passed, it was observed that only roughing filter was able to reach reductions of 97.5%, 86% and 100% respectively for faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and total coliforms. These organism numbers were observed to have increased in slow sand filter effluent suggesting multiplication in the tank. Water quality index value of 22.79 for the physio-chemical parameters suggests that the effluent is of excellent quality and can be used for irrigation purposes. However, the water quality index value for the microbial parameters (1820) renders the quality unsuitable for irrigation. It is concluded that slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter is a viable option for the treatment of secondary effluent for reuse purposes. However, further studies should be conducted especially for the removal of microbial parameters using the system.

271
10009151
Mechanical, Thermal and Biodegradable Properties of Bioplast-Spruce Green Wood Polymer Composites
Abstract:

Environmental and sustainability concerns push the industries to manufacture alternative materials having less environmental impact. The Wood Plastic Composites (WPCs) produced by blending the biopolymers and natural fillers permit not only to tailor the desired properties of materials but also are the solution to meet the environmental and sustainability requirements. This work presents the elaboration and characterization of the fully green WPCs prepared by blending a biopolymer, BIOPLAST® GS 2189 and spruce sawdust used as filler with different amounts. Since both components are bio-based, the resulting material is entirely environmentally friendly. The mechanical, thermal, structural properties of these WPCs were characterized by different analytical methods like tensile, flexural and impact tests, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD). Their water absorption properties and resistance to the termite and fungal attacks were determined in relation with different wood filler content. The tensile and flexural moduli of WPCs increased with increasing amount of wood fillers into the biopolymer, but WPCs became more brittle compared to the neat polymer. Incorporation of spruce sawdust modified the thermal properties of polymer: The degradation, cold crystallization, and melting temperatures shifted to higher temperatures when spruce sawdust was added into polymer. The termite, fungal and water absorption resistance of WPCs decreased with increasing wood amount in WPCs, but remained in durability class 1 (durable) concerning fungal resistance and quoted 1 (attempted attack) in visual rating regarding to the termites resistance except that the WPC with the highest wood content (30 wt%) rated 2 (slight attack) indicating a long term durability. All the results showed the possibility to elaborate the easy injectable composite materials with adjustable properties by incorporation of BIOPLAST® GS 2189 and spruce sawdust. Therefore, lightweight WPCs allow both to recycle wood industry byproducts and to produce a full ecologic material.

270
10009153
Evaluating the Factors Influencing the Efficiency and Usage of Public Sports Services in a Chinese Province
Abstract:

The efficiency of public sports service of prefecture-level cities in Zhejiang from 2008 to 2012 was evaluated by applying the DEA method, then its influencing factors were also analyzed through Tobit model. Upon analysis, the results revealed the following; (i) the change in average efficiency of public sports service in Zhejiang present a smooth uptrend and at a relatively high level from 2008 to 2012 (ii) generally, the productivity of public sports service in Zhejiang improved from 2008 to 2012, the productivity efficiency varied greatly in different years, and the regional difference of production efficiency increased. (iii) The correlations for urbanization rate, aging rate, per capita GDP and the population density were significantly positive with the public sports service efficiency in Zhejiang, of which the most significant was the aging rate. However, the population density and per capita GDP had less impact on the efficiency of public sports service in Zhejiang. In addition, whether the efficiency of public sports services in different areas in Zhejiang reciprocates to overall benefits in public wellbeing in both rural and urban settings is still arguable.

269
10008721
Power Transformer Risk-Based Maintenance by Optimization of Transformer Condition and Transformer Importance
Abstract:
This paper presents a risk-based maintenance strategy of a power transformer in order to optimize operating and maintenance costs. The methodology involves the study and preparation of a database for the collection the technical data and test data of a power transformer. An evaluation of the overall condition of each transformer is performed by a program developed as a result of the measured results; in addition, the calculation of the main equipment separation to the overall condition of the transformer (% HI) and the criteria for evaluating the importance (% ImI) of each location where the transformer is installed. The condition assessment is performed by analysis test data such as electrical test, insulating oil test and visual inspection. The condition of the power transformer will be classified from very poor to very good condition. The importance is evaluated from load criticality, importance of load and failure consequence. The risk matrix is developed for evaluating the risk of each power transformer. The high risk power transformer will be focused firstly. The computerized program is developed for practical use, and the maintenance strategy of a power transformer can be effectively managed.
268
10008755
Dynamic Correlations and Portfolio Optimization between Islamic and Conventional Equity Indexes: A Vine Copula-Based Approach
Authors:
Abstract:

This study examines conditional Value at Risk by applying the GJR-EVT-Copula model, and finds the optimal portfolio for eight Dow Jones Islamic-conventional pairs. Our methodology consists of modeling the data by a bivariate GJR-GARCH model in which we extract the filtered residuals and then apply the Peak over threshold model (POT) to fit the residual tails in order to model marginal distributions. After that, we use pair-copula to find the optimal portfolio risk dependence structure. Finally, with Monte Carlo simulations, we estimate the Value at Risk (VaR) and the conditional Value at Risk (CVaR). The empirical results show the VaR and CVaR values for an equally weighted portfolio of Dow Jones Islamic-conventional pairs. In sum, we found that the optimal investment focuses on Islamic-conventional US Market index pairs because of high investment proportion; however, all other index pairs have low investment proportion. These results deliver some real repercussions for portfolio managers and policymakers concerning to optimal asset allocations, portfolio risk management and the diversification advantages of these markets.

267
10008847
Improvement to Pedestrian Walkway Facilities to Enhance Pedestrian Safety-Initiatives in India
Abstract:
Deteriorating quality of the pedestrian environment and the increasing risk of pedestrian crashes are major concerns for most of the cities in India. The recent shift in the priority to motorized transport and the abating condition of existing pedestrian facilities can be considered as prime reasons for the increasing pedestrian related crashes in India. Bengaluru City – the IT capital hub of the nation is not much different from this. The increase in number of pedestrian crashes in Bengaluru reflects the same. To resolve this issue and to ensure safe, sustainable and pedestrian friendly sidewalks, Govt. of Karnataka, India has implemented newfangled pedestrian sidewalks popularized programme named Tender S.U.R.E. (Specifications for Urban Road Execution) projects. Tender SURE adopts unique urban street design guidelines where the pedestrians are given prime preference. The present study presents an assessment of the quality and performance of the pedestrian side walk and the walkability index of the newly built pedestrian friendly sidewalks. Various physical and environmental factors affecting pedestrian safety are identified and studied in detail. The pedestrian mobility is quantified through Pedestrian Level of Service (PLoS) and the pedestrian walking comfort is measured by calculating the Walkability Index (WI). It is observed that the new initiatives taken in reference to improving pedestrian safety have succeeded in Bengaluru by attaining a level of Service of ‘A’ and with a good WI score.

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