Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 60597

15
19903
Speeding-up Gray-Scale FIC by Moments
Abstract:
In this work, fractal compression (FIC) technique is introduced based on using moment features to block indexing the zero-mean range-domain blocks. The moment features have been used to speed up the IFS-matching stage. Its moments ratio descriptor is used to filter the domain blocks and keep only the blocks that are suitable to be IFS matched with tested range block. The results of tests conducted on Lena picture and Cat picture (256 pixels, resolution 24 bits/pixel) image showed a minimum encoding time (0.89 sec for Lena image and 0.78 of Cat image) with appropriate PSNR (30.01dB for Lena image and 29.8 of Cat image). The reduction in ET is about 12% for Lena and 67% for Cat image.
14
50121
Millennial Teachers of Canada: Innovation within the Boxed-In Constraints of Tradition
Abstract:
Every year, schools aim to develop and adopt new technology and pedagogy as a way to equip today's students with the needed 21st Century skills. However, the field of primary and secondary education may not be as open to embracing change in reality. Despite the drive to reform and innovation, the field of education in Canada is still very much steeped in tradition and uses many of the practices that came into effect over 50 years ago. Among those are employment and retention practices. Millennials are the youngest generation of professionals entering the workplace at this time and the ones leaving their jobs within just a few years. Almost half of new teachers leave Canadian schools within their first five years on the job. This paper discusses one of the contributing factors that lead Canadian millennial teachers to either leave or stay in the profession - standardized education system. Using an exploratory case study approach, in-depth interviews with former and current millennial teachers were conducted to learn about their experiences within the K-12 system. Among the findings were the young teachers' concerns about the constant changes to teaching practices and technological implementations that claimed to advance teaching and learning, and yet in reality only disguised and reiterated the same traditional, outdated, and standardized practices that already existed. Furthermore, while many millennial teachers aspired to be innovative with their curriculum and teaching practices, they felt trapped and helpless in the hands of school leaders who were very reluctant to change. While many new program ideas and technological advancements are being made openly available to teachers on a regular basis, it is important to consider the education field as a whole and how it plays into the teachers' ability to realistically implement changes. By the year 2025, millennials will make up approximately 75% of the North American workforce. It is important to examine generational differences among teachers and understand how millennial teachers may be shaping the future of primary and secondary schools, either by staying or leaving the profession.
13
32084
Female Subjectivity in William Faulkner's Light in August
Authors:
Abstract:
Introduction: In the work of William Faulkner, characters often evade the boundaries and categories of patriarchal standards of order. Female characters like Lena Grove and Joanna Burden cross thresholds in attempts to gain liberation, while others fail to do so. They stand as non-conformists and refuse established patterns of feminine behavior, such as marriage and motherhood after. They refute submissiveness, domesticity and abstinence to reshape their own identities. The presence of independent and creative women represents new, unconventional images of female subjectivity. This paper will examine the structures of submission and oppression faced by Lena and Joanna, and will show how, in the end, they reshape themselves and their identities, and disrupt or even destroy patriarchal structures. Objectives: Participants will understand through the examples of Lena Grove and Joanna Burden that female subjectivities are constructions, and are constantly subject to change. Approaches: Two approaches will be used in the analysis of the subjectivity formation of Lena Grove and Joanna Burden. Following the arguments propounded by Judith Butler, We explore the ways in which Lena Grove maneuvers around the restrictions and the limitations imposed on her without any physical or psychological violence. She does this by properly performing the roles prescribed to her gendered body. Her repetitious performances of these roles are both the ones that are constructed to confine women and the vehicle for her travel. Her performance parodies the prescriptive roles and thereby reveals that they are cultural constructions. Second, We will explore the argument propounded by Kristeva that subjectivity is always in a state of development because we are always changing in context with changing circumstances. For example, in Light in August, Lena Grove changes the way she defines herself in light of the events of the novel. Also, Kristeva talks about stages of development: the semiotic stage and the symbolic stage. In Light in August, Joanna shows different levels of subjectivity as time passes. Early in the novel, Joanna is very connected to her upbringing. This suggests Kristeva’s concept of the semiotic, in which the daughter identifies closely to her parents. Kristeva relates the semiotic to a strong daughter/mother connection, but in the novel it is strong daughter/father/grandfather identification instead. Then as Joanna becomes sexually involved with Joe, she breaks off, and seems to go into an identity crisis. To me, this represents Kristeva’s move from the semiotic to the symbolic. When Joanna returns to a religious fanaticism, she is returning to a semiotic state. Detailed outline: At the outset of this paper, We will investigate the subjugation of women: social constraints, and the formation of the feminine identity in Light in August. Then, through the examples of Lena Grove’s attempt to cross the boundaries of community moralities and Joanna Burden’s refusal to submit to the standards of submissiveness, domesticity, and obstinance, We will reveal the tension between progressive conceptions of individual freedom and social constraints that limit this freedom. In the second part of the paper, We will underscore the rhetoric of femininity in Light in August: subjugation through naming. The implications of both female’s names offer a powerful contrast between the two different forms of subjectivity. Conclusion: Through Faulkner’s novel, We demonstrate that female subjectivity is an open-ended issue. The spiral shaping of its form maintains its characteristics as a process changing according to different circumstances.
12
6450
Modeling and Control Design of a Centralized Adaptive Cruise Control System
Abstract:
A vehicle driving with an Adaptive Cruise Control System (ACC) is usually controlled decentrally, based on the information of radar systems and in some publications based on C2X-Communication (CACC) to guarantee stable platoons. In this paper, we present a Model Predictive Control (MPC) design of a centralized, server-based ACC-System, whereby the vehicular platoon is modeled and controlled as a whole. It is then proven that the proposed MPC design guarantees asymptotic stability and hence string stability of the platoon. The Networked MPC design is chosen to be able to integrate system constraints optimally as well as to reduce the effects of communication delay and packet loss. The performance of the proposed controller is then simulated and analyzed in an LTE communication scenario using the LTE/EPC Network Simulator LENA, which is based on the ns-3 network simulator.
11
68806
Investigating the Mechanical Properties of Geopolymer Concrete Containing Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials
Abstract:
Micro encapsulated phase change materials (MPCM) may be utilized to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by the addition of MPCM to concrete structures. However, addition of MPCM to Portland cement concrete is known to reduce the compressive strength of the concrete. Accordingly, it is interesting to also examine the effect of adding MPCM to geopolymer concrete. Geopolymer binder is synthesized by mixing aluminosilicate materials in amorphous form with a strong alkali activator, and have a much lower CO2 footprint than Portland cement concrete. In this study, the mechanical properties of fly ash-based geopolymer concrete with different types and contents of MPCM were investigated at different curing temperatures. The aim was to find the optimum amount of MPCM which still maintain the workability and compressive strength at an acceptable level. The results revealed that both workability and compressive strength of geopolymer concrete decrease after adding MPCM. Also, the percentage of strength reduction can be variable by different types of MPCM.
10
29055
Robust Data Image Watermarking for Data Security
Abstract:
In this paper, we propose secure and robust data hiding algorithm based on DCT by Arnold transform and chaotic sequence. The watermark image is scrambled by Arnold cat map to increases its security and then the chaotic map is used for watermark signal spread in middle band of DCT coefficients of the cover image The chaotic map can be used as pseudo-random generator for digital data hiding, to increase security and robustness .Performance evaluation for robustness and imperceptibility of proposed algorithm has been made using bit error rate (BER), normalized correlation (NC), and peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR) value for different watermark and cover images such as Lena, Girl, Tank images and gain factor .We use a binary logo image and text image as watermark. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm achieves higher security and robustness against JPEG compression as well as other attacks such as addition of noise, low pass filtering and cropping attacks compared to other existing algorithm using DCT coefficients. Moreover, to recover watermarks in proposed algorithm, there is no need to original cover image.
9
26137
Growing Architecture, Technical Product Harvesting of Near Net Shape Building Components
Abstract:
The demand for bio-based materials and components in architecture has increased in recent years due to society’s heightened environmental awareness. Nowadays, most components are being developed via a substitution approach, which aims at replacing conventional components with natural alternatives who are then being processed, shaped and manufactured to fit the desired application. This contribution introduces a novel approach to the development of bio-based products that decreases resource consumption and increases recyclability. In this approach, natural organisms like plants or trees are not being used in a processed form, but grow into a near net shape before then being harvested and utilized as building components. By minimizing the conventional production steps, the amount of resources used in manufacturing decreases whereas the recyclability increases. This paper presents the approach of technical product harvesting, explains the theoretical basis as well as the matching process of product requirements and biological properties, and shows first results of the growth manipulation studies.
8
46489
Role of Social Workers in Juvenile Justice Board as a Child Protection Mechanism for Children in Conflict with Law
Abstract:
Every child has a fundamental right to be protected and it is only a safe, supported child who can effectively cope with difficult circumstances and lead a happy childhood. The vulnerability of children has increased due to emerging lifestyles, raising cost of living, higher expectations from adults, parental and care-giver stress /burn-out and a general raise in demand for services for children. A major area of concern is the rise of juvenile crimes in the overall crimes committed in the country. The UNCRC 1989 and JJ Act 2000 enables the structures to handle the juvenile children in care and concern in its real terms. One of the mechanisms to protect the children is the JJB a justice system. The aim is to hold a child culpable (guilty) for offence they committed, not through punishment, but counseling the child to understand their actions and persuade them away from such deviated activities in the future. The JJB consists of two social workers and a judicial magistrate and one of whom should be a woman. This study aims at understanding the role of social workers in best practices in deciding the best course of action for the rehabilitation of the child. Two case studies were carried out through in-depth interviews with the social worker member of the JJB of two Udupi and Mangalore districts. The best practices reported in which children are being allowed to express themselves in a child friendly environment and in the best interest of the child. The study highlighted team work to be very effective in understanding the child in their reformation.
7
92388
Family Caregiver Transitions and Health in Old Age: A Longitudinal Perspective
Abstract:
The conditions of increased morbidity in an aging population cause the need for family care to become more common at an advanced age. The role of family caregivers may well last for a long time but may also change over time, from being caregivers to being non-caregivers or vice versa. Although demands associated with family caring change as individuals enter into, engage with, and exit from this role, the evidence regarding the impact of family caregiving transitions on the health of older carers is still limited. This study comprised individuals (n=2294, 60+years) from the southern part of Sweden included in the project Swedish National study of Aging and Care. Caregiving transitions are discussed in the categories: enter, exit, and continuing during a six-year period. Individuals who exited caregiving during the time were older than those who continued or entered into the role of caregiving. At the six-year follow-up, caregivers who were continuing or had exited caregiving were more often worried about their own health compared to baseline. Resembling findings were not found in those who entered caregiving. Family caregiving transitions of exiting, entering or continuing had no effect on the individuals’ functional, physical and mental health expect for participants who entered in caregiving. For them, entering the role of family caregiving was associated with an improvement in physical health during the six years follow up period. Conclusion: Although the health impact of different caregiving transitions in late life does not differ, individual conditions and health at baseline are important parameters to take into consideration to improve long-term health in family caregivers.
6
59234
German for Business Lawyers: A Practical Example of a German University of Applied Sciences
Abstract:
Writing in the disciplines plays a major role at Universities. On the one hand, lectures look at the substance of assignments and on the other hand, they expect students to meet professional standards of layout and proofreading. However, the integration of writing concepts into the range of subjects is new to German Universities of Applied Sciences, which are focused on technical and scientific contexts. The Westphalian University of Applied Sciences (WH) established a successful program Talente_schreiben (Writing_Talents) that was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to improve written language skills for first-semester students at the WH. Besides having the main focus on basic language skills on all language levels, we also concentrate on subject-specific programs such as writing in the disciplines and are pioneers in this field in Germany. Since 2013, we started to include learning-to-write programs since first-semester students of Business Law studies must complete a writing assignment in the form and writing style of a legal opinion in order to fulfill their undergraduate degree requirements. To support our students at its best, our course for business lawyers focuses not only on the writing skills per se, but also on teaching both, the content and the particular discourse of the discipline. Hence, a specialist in German studies and a faculty tutor share the experience of processing, producing and reflecting a text. Whereas the German studies specialist refers to the rhetorical context such as orthography, grammar etc., the tutor acts as a guide on the side referring to the course content itself. In our presentation, we want to give an insight of the practice of a business law discipline, the combination of rhetoric and composition and discuss the methodological and didactic approaches.
5
68879
The Influence of Microcapsulated Phase Change Materials on Thermal Performance of Geopolymer Concrete
Abstract:
The total energy consumption is dramatically increasing on over the world, especially for building energy consumption where a significant proportion of energy is used for heating and cooling purposes. One of the solutions to reduce the energy consumption for the building is to improve construction techniques and enhance material technology. Recently, microcapsulated phase change materials (MPCM) with high energy storage capacity within the phase transition temperature of the materials is a potential method to conserve and save energy. A new composite materials with high energy storage capacity by mixing MPCM into concrete for passive building technology is the promising candidate to reduce the energy consumption. One of the most untilized building materials for mixing with MPCM is Portland cement concrete. However, the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to producing cement which plays the important role in the global warming is the main drawback of PCC. Accordingly, an environmentally friendly building material, geopolymer, which is synthesized by the reaction between the industrial waste material (aluminosilicate) and a strong alkali activator, is a potential materials to mixing with MPCM. Especially, the effect of MPCM on the thermal and mechanical properties of geopolymer concrete (GPC) is very limited. In this study, high thermal energy storage capacity materials were fabricated by mixing MPCM into geopolymer concrete. This article would investigate the effect of MPCM concentration on thermal and mechanical properties of GPC. The target is to balance the effect of MPCM on improving the thermal performance and maintaining the compressive strength of the geopolymer concrete at an acceptable level for building application.
4
53782
Rheological Properties and Thermal Performance of Suspensions of Microcapsules Containing Phase Change Materials
Abstract:
The increasing cost of energy supply for the purposes of heating and cooling creates a demand for more energy efficient buildings. Improved construction techniques and enhanced material technology can greatly reduce the energy consumption needed for the buildings. Microencapsulated phase change materials (MPCM) suspensions utilized as heat transfer fluids for energy storage and heat transfer applications provide promising potential solutions. A full understanding of the flow and thermal characteristics of microcapsule suspensions is needed to optimize the design of energy storage systems, in order to reduce the capital cost, system size, and energy consumption. The MPCM suspensions exhibited pseudoplastic and thixotropic behaviour, and significantly improved the thermal performance of the suspensions. Three different models were used to characterize the thixotropic behaviour of the MPCM suspensions: the second-order structural, kinetic model was found to give a better fit to the experimental data than the Weltman and Figoni-Shoemaker models. For all samples, the initial shear stress increased, and the breakdown rate accelerated significantly with increasing concentration. The thermal performance and rheological properties, especially the selection of rheological models, will be useful for developing the applications of microcapsules as heat transfer fluids in thermal energy storage system such as calculation of an optimum MPCM concentration, pumping power requirement, and specific power consumption. The effect of temperature on the shear thinning properties of the samples suggests that some of the phase change material is located outside the capsules, and contributes to agglomeration of the samples.
3
24427
Heterogeneity of Genes Encoding the Structural Proteins of Avian Infectious Bronchitis Virus
Abstract:
Infectious bronchitis is an acute, highly contagious respiratory, nephropathogenic and reproductive disease of poultry that is caused by infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). The present study used a large data set of structural gene sequences, including newly generated ones and sequences available in the GenBank database to further analyze the diversity and to identify selective pressures and recombination spots. There were some deletions or insertions in the analyzed regions in isolates of the Italy-02 and D274 genotypes. Whereas, there were no insertions or deletions observed in the isolates of the Massachusetts and 4/91 genotype. The hypervariable nucleotide sequence regions spanned positions 152–239, 554–582, 686–737 and 802–912 in the S1 sub-unit of the all analyzed genotypes. The nucleotide sequence data of the E gene showed that this gene was comparatively unstable and subjected to a high frequency of mutations. The M gene showed substitutions consistently distributed except for a region between nucleotide positions 250–680 that remained conserved. The lowest variation in the nucleotide sequences of ORF5a was observed in the isolates of the D274 genotype. While, ORF5b and N gene sequences showed highly conserved regions and were less subjected to variation. Genes ORF3a, ORF3b, M, ORF5a, ORF5b and N presented negative selective pressure among the analyzed isolates. However, some regions of the ORFs showed favorable selective pressure(s). The S1 and E proteins were subjected to a high rate of mutational substitutions and non-synonymous amino acids. Strong signals of recombination breakpoints and ending break point were observed in the S and N genes. Overall, the results of this study revealed that very likely the strong selective pressures in E, M and the high frequency of substitutions in the S gene can probably be considered the main determinants in the evolution of IBV.
2
58564
A Simple Olfactometer for Odour and Lateralization Thresholds of Chemical Vapours
Abstract:
A simple inexpensive olfactometer was constructed to enable valid measures of detection threshold of low concentrations of vapours of chemicals. The delivery system consists of seven syringe pumps, each connected to a Tedlar bag containing a predefined concentration of the test chemical in the air. The seven pumps are connected to a 8-way mixing valve which in turn connects to a birhinal nose piece. Chemical vapor of known concentration is generated by injection of an appropriate amount of the test chemical into a Tedlar bag with a known volume of clean air. Complete vaporization is assured by gentle heating of the bag from the outside with a heat flow. The six test concentrations are obtained by adding different volumes from the starting bag to six new Tedlar bags with known volumes of clean air. One bag contains clean air only. Thus, six different test concentrations and clean air can easily be tested in series by shifting the valve to new positions. Initial in-line measurement with a photoionization detector showed that the delivery system quickly responded to a shift in valve position. Thus 90% of the desired concentration was reached within 15 seconds. The concentrations in the bags are verified daily by gas chromatography. The stability of the system in terms of chemical concentration is monitored in real time by means of a photo-ionization detector. To determine lateralization thresholds, an additional pump supplying clean air is added to the delivery system in a way so that the nostrils can be separately and interchangeably be exposed to clean air and test chemical. Odor and lateralization thresholds were determined for three aldehydes; acrolein, crotonaldehyde, and hexanal in 20 healthy naïve individuals. Aldehydes generally have a strong odour, and the selected aldehydes are also considered to be irritating to mucous membranes. The median odor thresholds of the three aldehydes were 0.017, 0.0008, and 0.097 ppm, respectively. No lateralization threshold could be identified for acrolein, whereas the medians for crotonaldehyde and hexanal were 0.003 and 0.39 ppm, respectively. In conclusion, we constructed a simple, inexpensive olfactometer that allows for stable and easily measurable concentrations of vapors of the test chemical. Our test with aldehydes demonstrates that the system produces valid detection among volunteers in terms of odour and lateralization thresholds.
1
96178
The Gut Microbiome in Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Characterization of Disease-Related Microbial Signature and the Possible Impact of Life Style and Nutrition
Abstract:
Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer related mortality worldwide. Liver Cirrhosis is the main predisposing risk factor for the development of HCC. The factor(s) influencing disease progression from Cirrhosis to HCC remain unknown. Gut microbiota has recently emerged as a major player in different liver diseases, however its association with HCC is still a mystery. Moreover, there might be an important association between the gut microbiota, nutrition, life style and the progression of Cirrhosis and HCC. The aim of our study was to characterize the gut microbial signature in association with life style and nutrition of patients with Cirrhosis, HCC-Cirrhosis and healthy controls. Design: Stool samples were collected from 95 individuals (30 patients with HCC, 38 patients with Cirrhosis and 27 age, gender and BMI-matched healthy volunteers). All participants answered lifestyle and Food Frequency Questionnaires. 16S rRNA sequencing of fecal DNA was performed (MiSeq Illumina). Results: There was a significant decrease in alpha diversity in patients with Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.033) and in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.032) compared to healthy controls. The microbiota of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to patients with Cirrhosis, was characterized by a significant overrepresentation of Clostridium (pvalue=0.024) and CF231 (pvalue=0.010) and lower expression of Alphaproteobacteria (pvalue=0.039) and Verrucomicrobia (pvalue=0.036) in several taxonomic levels: Verrucomicrobiae, Verrucomicrobiales, Verrucomicrobiaceae and the genus Akkermansia (pvalue=0.039). Furthermore, we performed an analysis of predicted metabolic pathways (Kegg level 2) that resulted in a significant decrease in the diversity of metabolic pathways in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.015) compared to controls, one of which was amino acid metabolism. Furthermore, investigating the life style and nutrition habits of patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, we found significant correlations between intake of artificial sweeteners and Verrucomicrobia (qvalue=0.12), High sugar intake and Synergistetes (qvalue=0.021) and High BMI and the pathogen Campylobacter (qvalue=0.066). Furthermore, overweight in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis modified bacterial diversity (qvalue=0.023) and composition (qvalue=0.033). Conclusions: To the best of the our knowledge, we present the first report of the gut microbial composition in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, compared with Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. We have demonstrated in our study that there are significant differences in the gut microbiome of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. Our findings are even more pronounced because the significantly increased bacteria Clostridium and CF231 in HCC-Cirrhosis weren't influenced by diet and lifestyle, implying this change is due to the development of HCC. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and assess causality.