Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 61079

14
52569
A Stochastic Diffusion Process Based on the Two-Parameters Weibull Density Function
Abstract:
Stochastic modeling concerns the use of probability to model real-world situations in which uncertainty is present. Therefore, the purpose of stochastic modeling is to estimate the probability of outcomes within a forecast, i.e. to be able to predict what conditions or decisions might happen under different situations. In the present study, we present a model of a stochastic diffusion process based on the bi-Weibull distribution function (its trend is proportional to the bi-Weibull probability density function). In general, the Weibull distribution has the ability to assume the characteristics of many different types of distributions. This has made it very popular among engineers and quality practitioners, who have considered it the most commonly used distribution for studying problems such as modeling reliability data, accelerated life testing, and maintainability modeling and analysis. In this work, we start by obtaining the probabilistic characteristics of this model, as the explicit expression of the process, its trends, and its distribution by transforming the diffusion process in a Wiener process as shown in the Ricciaardi theorem. Then, we develop the statistical inference of this model using the maximum likelihood methodology. Finally, we analyse with simulated data the computational problems associated with the parameters, an issue of great importance in its application to real data with the use of the convergence analysis methods. Overall, the use of a stochastic model reflects only a pragmatic decision on the part of the modeler. According to the data that is available and the universe of models known to the modeler, this model represents the best currently available description of the phenomenon under consideration.
13
102366
Two-Dimensional Analysis and Numerical Simulation of the Navier-Stokes Equations for Principles of Turbulence around Isothermal Bodies Immersed in Incompressible Newtonian Fluids
Abstract:
In this present paper, the thermos-fluid dynamics considering the mixed convection (natural and forced convections) and the principles of turbulence flow around complex geometries have been studied. In these applications, it was necessary to analyze the influence between the flow field and the heated immersed body with constant temperature on its surface. This paper presents a study about the Newtonian incompressible two-dimensional fluid around isothermal geometry using the immersed boundary method (IBM) with the virtual physical model (VPM). The numerical code proposed for all simulations satisfy the calculation of temperature considering Dirichlet boundary conditions. Important dimensionless numbers such as Strouhal number is calculated using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), Nusselt number, drag and lift coefficients, velocity and pressure. Streamlines and isothermal lines are presented for each simulation showing the flow dynamics and patterns. The Navier-Stokes and energy equations for mixed convection were discretized using the finite difference method for space and a second order Adams-Bashforth and Runge-Kuta 4th order methods for time considering the fractional step method to couple the calculation of pressure, velocity, and temperature. This work used for simulation of turbulence, the Smagorinsky, and Spalart-Allmaras models. The first model is based on the local equilibrium hypothesis for small scales and hypothesis of Boussinesq, such that the energy is injected into spectrum of the turbulence, being equal to the energy dissipated by the convective effects. The Spalart-Allmaras model, use only one transport equation for turbulent viscosity. The results were compared with numerical data, validating the effect of heat-transfer together with turbulence models. The IBM/VPM is a powerful tool to simulate flow around complex geometries. The results showed a good numerical convergence in relation the references adopted.
12
109705
Environmental Law and Payment for Environmental Services: Perceptions of the Family Farmers of the Federal District, Brazil
Abstract:
Payment for Environmental Services (PSA) has been a strategy used since the late 1990s by Latin American countries to finance environmental conservation. Payment for Environmental Services has been absorbing a growing amount of time in the discussions around environmentally sustainable development strategies in the world. In Brazil, this theme has permeated the discussions since the publication of the new Forest Code. The objective of this work was to verify the perception of the resident farmers in the region of Ponte Alta, Gama, Federal District, Brazil, on environmental legislation and Payments for Environmental Services. The work was carried out in 99 rural properties of the family farmers of the Rural Nucleus Ponte Alta, Administrative Region of Gama, in the city of Brasília, Federal District, Brazil. The present research is characterized methodologically as a quantitative, exploratory, and descriptive nature. The data treatment was performed through descriptive statistical analysis and hypothesis testing. The perceptions about environmental legislation in the rural area of Ponte Alta, Gama, DF respondents were positive. Although most of the family farmers interviewed have some knowledge about environmental legislation, it is perceived that in practice, the environmental adequacy of property is ineffective given the current situation of sustainable rural development; there is an abyss between what is envisaged by legislation and reality in the field. Thus, as in the reports of other researchers, it is verified that the majority of respondents are not aware of PSA (62.62%). Among those interviewed who were aware of the subject, two learned through the course, three through the university, two through TV and five through other people. The planting of native forest species on the rural property was the most informed practice by farmers if they received some Environmental Service Payment (PSA). Reflections on the environment allow us to infer that the effectiveness and fulfillment of the incentives and rewards in the scope of public policies to encourage the maintenance of environmental services, already existing in all spheres of government, are of great relevance to the process of environmental sustainability of rural properties. The relevance of the present research is an important tool to promote the discussion and formulation of public policies focused on sustainable rural development, especially on payments for environmental services; it is a space of great interest for the strengthening of the social group dedicated to production. Public policies that are efficient and accessible to the small rural producers become decisive elements for the promotion of changes in behavior in the field, be it economic, social, or environmental.
11
82714
A Case Study on the Guidelines for Application of Project Management Methods in Infrastructure Projects
Abstract:
Motivated by the importance of public infrastructure projects in the civil construction chain, this research shows the study of project management methods and the infrastructure projects’ characteristics. The research aims at the objective of improving management efficiency by proposing guidelines for the application of project management methods in infrastructure projects. Through literature review and case studies, the research analyses two major infrastructure projects underway in Brazil, identifying the critical points for achieving its success. As a result, the proposed guidelines indicate that special attention should be given to the management of stakeholders, focusing on their knowledge and experience, their different interests, the efficient management of their communication, and their behavior in the day-by-day project management process.
10
23141
Modeling of Wind Loads on Heliostats Installed in South Algeria of Various Pylon Height
Abstract:
Knowledge of wind loads is important to develop a heliostat with good performance. These loads can be calculated by mathematical equations based on several parameters: the density, wind velocity, the aspect ratio of the mirror (height/width) and the coefficient of the height of the tower. Measurement data of the wind velocity and the density of the air are used in a numerical simulation of wind profile that was performed on heliostats with different pylon heights, with 1m^2 mirror areas and with aspect ratio of mirror equal to 1. These measurement data are taken from the meteorological station installed in Ghardaia, Algeria. The main aim of this work is to find a mathematical correlation between the wind loads and the height of the tower.
9
25033
Collective Intelligence-Based Early Warning Management for Agriculture
Abstract:
The important objective of the CyberBrain Mass Agriculture Alarm Acquisition and Analysis (CBMa4) project is to minimize the impacts of diseases and disasters on rice cultivation. For example, early detection of insects will reduce the volume of insecticides that is applied to the rice fields through the use of CBMa4 platform. In order to reach this goal, two major factors need to be considered: (1) the social network of smart farmers; and (2) the warning data alarm acquisition and analysis component. This paper outlines the process for collecting the warning and improving the decision-making result to the warning. It involves two sub-processes: the warning collection and the understanding enrichment. Human sensors combine basic suitable data processing techniques in order to extract warning related semantic according to collective intelligence. We identify each warning by a semantic content called 'warncons' with multimedia metaphors and metadata related to these metaphors. It is important to describe the metric to measuring the relation among warncons. With this knowledge, a collective intelligence-based decision-making approach determines the action(s) to be launched regarding one or a set of warncons.
8
103312
A Framework for Automating Software Testing: A Practical Approach
Abstract:
Context: The quality of a software product can be directly influenced by the quality of its development process. Therefore, immature or ad-hoc test processes are means that are unsuited for introducing systematic test automation, and should not be used to support improving the quality of software. Objective: In order to conduct this research, the benefits and limitations of and gaps in automating software testing had to be assessed in order to identify the best practices and to propose a strategy for systematically introducing test automation into software development processes. Method: To conduct this research, an exploratory bibliographical survey was undertaken so as to underpin the search by theory and the recent literature. After defining the proposal, two case studies were conducted so as to analyze the proposal in a real-world environment. In addition, the proposal was also assessed through a focus group with specialists in the field. Results: The proposal of a Framework for Automating Software Testing (FAST), which is a theoretical framework consisting of a hierarchical structure to introduce test automation. Conclusion: The findings of this research showed that the absence of systematic processes is one of the factors that hinder the introduction of test automation. Based on the results of the case studies, FAST can be considered as a satisfactory alternative that lies within the scope of introducing and maintaining test automation in software development.
7
83285
A Preparatory Method for Building Construction Implemented in a Case Study in Brazil
Abstract:
During the last twenty years, the construction field in Brazil has evolved significantly in response to its market growing and competitiveness. However, this evolving path has faced many obstacles such as cultural barriers and the lack of efforts to achieve quality at the construction site. At the same time, the greatest amount of information generated on the designing or construction phases is lost due to the lack of an effective coordination of these activities. Face this problem, the aim of this research was to implement a French method named PEO which means preparation for building construction (in Portuguese) seeking to understand the design management process and its interface with the building construction phase. The research method applied was qualitative, and it was carried out through two case studies in the city of Goiania, in Goias, Brazil. The research was divided into two stages called pilot study at Company A and implementation of PEO at Company B. After the implementation; the results demonstrated the PEO method's effectiveness and feasibility while a booster on the quality improvement of design management. The analysis showed that the method has a purpose to improve the design and allow the reduction of failures, errors and rework commonly found in the production of buildings. Therefore, it can be concluded that the PEO is feasible to be applied to real estate and building companies. But, companies need to believe in the contribution they can make to the discovery of design failures in conjunction with other stakeholders forming a construction team. The result of PEO can be maximized when adopting the principles of simultaneous engineering and insertion of new computer technologies, which use a three-dimensional model of the building with BIM process.
6
69661
Standards of Toxicity and Food Security in Brazil
Abstract:
This article aims to discuss the problem of food insecurity in Brazil in what it refers to contamination of food by chemical substances such as herbicides, pesticides, and other contaminants. The issue will be faced by analyzing, on the one hand, the standards that guide the food system in the world and, on the other hand, human rights indicators whose purpose is to provide an effective monitoring of the State's obligations to guarantee food security, analyzing the implications of the former for the success of the latter. The methodology adopted in this article was bibliographic-documentary and consists of three moments of analysis. The first moment consists in the analysis of the reports of the Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States to identify the set of progress indicators developed by the Commission. This analysis will involve the new methodology used to evaluate the efficiency in monitoring food security in Brazil the case of using pesticides in the production of food at levels of toxicity not admitted by the inspection bodies. The second moment consists in evaluating the mechanism for monitoring food security in Brazil, which was initially established by the National Food Security Plan (PLANSAN) for 2012-2015 and improved by the II National Food Security Plan for 2016-2019. Those mechanisms were prepared by the Chamber (CAISAN), and have the function to compare the monitoring proposals with the results presented by CAISAN on the Indicators and Results Report of the National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security 2012-2015. The third moment was intended to understand, analyze and evaluate the standardization process of the agri-food system, especially regarding the level of toxicity standards, that is related to food safety monitoring as a guarantee of pesticide-free food. The results show the dependence between private standards of toxicity and the indicators of food safety that leads to inefficiency on monitoring that mechanism in Brazil.
5
29336
Pretherapy Initial Dosimetry Results in Prostat Cancer Radionuclide Therapy with Lu-177-PSMA-DOTA-617
Abstract:
Aim: Targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) is an increasingly used treatment modality for wide range of cancers. Presently dosimetry is highly required either to plan treatment or to ascertain the absorbed dose delivered to critical organs during treatment. Methods and Materials: The study comprised 7 patients suffered from prostate cancer with progressive disease and candidate to undergo Lu-177-DOTA-617 therapy following to PSMA- PET/CT imaging for all patients. (5.2±0.3 mCi) was intravenously injected. To evaluate bone marrow absorbed dose 2 cc blood samples were withdrawn in short variable times (3, 15, 30, 60, 180 minutes) after injection. Furthermore, whole body scans were performed using scintillation gama camera in 4, 24, 48, and 120 hours after injection and in order to quantify the activity taken up in the body, kidneys , liver, right parotid, and left parotid the geometric mean of anterior and posterior counts were determined through ROI analysis, after that background subtraction and attenuation correction were applied using patients PSMA- PET/CT images taking in a consideration: organ thickness, body thickness, and Hounsfield unites from CT scan. OLINDA/EXM dosimetry program was used for curve fitting, residence time calculation, and absorbed dose calculations. Findings: Absorbed doses of bone marrow, left kidney, right kidney, liver, left parotid, right parotid, total body were 1.28±0.52, 32.36±16.36, 32.7±13.68, 10.35±3.45, 38.67±21.29, 37.55±19.77, 2.25±0.95 (mGy/mCi), respectively. Conclusion: Our first results clarify that Lu-177-DOTA-617 is safe and reliable therapy as there were no complications seen. In the other hand, the observable variation in the absorbed dose of the critical organs among the patients necessitate patient-specific dosimetry approach to save body organs and particularly highly exposed kidneys and parotid gland.
4
72560
Use of SUDOKU Design to Assess the Implications of the Block Size and Testing Order on Efficiency and Precision of Dulce De Leche Preference Estimation
Abstract:
This study aimed to evaluate the implications of the block size and testing order on efficiency and precision of preference estimation for Dulce de leche samples. Efficiency was defined as the inverse of the average variance of pairwise comparisons among treatments. Precision was defined as the inverse of the variance of treatment means (or effects) estimates. The experiment was originally designed to test 16 treatments as a series of 8 Sudoku 16x16 designs being 4 randomized independently and 4 others in the reverse order, to yield balance in testing order. Linear mixed models were assigned to the whole experiment with 112 testers and all their grades, as well as their partially balanced subgroups, namely: a) experiment with the four initial EU; b) experiment with EU 5 to 8; c) experiment with EU 9 to 12; and b) experiment with EU 13 to 16. To record responses we used a nine-point hedonic scale, it was assumed a mixed linear model analysis with random tester and treatments effects and with fixed test order effect. Analysis of a cumulative random effects probit link model was very similar, with essentially no different conclusions and for simplicity, we present the results using Gaussian assumption. R-CRAN library lme4 and its function lmer (Fit Linear Mixed-Effects Models) was used for the mixed models and libraries Bayesthresh (default Gaussian threshold function) and ordinal with the function clmm (Cumulative Link Mixed Model) was used to check Bayesian analysis of threshold models and cumulative link probit models. It was noted that the number of samples tested in the same session can influence the acceptance level, underestimating the acceptance. However, proving a large number of samples can help to improve the samples discrimination.
3
67388
The Relationship between the Social Entrepreneur and the Social Dimension of Sustainability: A Bibliometric Survey of the Last Twelve Years
Abstract:
The way social entrepreneurs act and can positively impact on our society engages the interest of academics, companies and governments, who seek solutions to solve or alleviate issues related to the abuse of natural resources, as well as the increase of poverty (social aspects). Studies on social entrepreneurship have been characterized by diverse ramifications and their transdisciplinary character, permeating various disciplines and approaches. Different bibliometric studies were conducted within the theme of social entrepreneurship. In this context, because it is a topic in development and multifaceted, the aim of this article is to present the main interfaces of the studies on the Social Entrepreneur figure in relation to the social concern of sustainability, highlighting the relevant researches and their trends, as well as their relationship with the organizations. Aiming to achieve this purpose, the specific goals are: to identify the most cited authors and articles, to verify the authors and journals with the greatest number of publications and their approaches and to point out their affiliations, countries, and languages of publications. It is still a secondary objective to identify the emerging trends in relation to the social entrepreneur and his social concern stemming from the discussions on sustainability. This way, we analyzed articles from two international databases (Scopus and Web of Science), from 2004 to 2016. The main results were the increase in the number of publications, with most of them in English language, coming mainly from the United States institutions (such as Indiana University and Harvard University) and the United Kingdom (whose main institutions are University of London and Robert Gordon University). Although publications in Spanish and Portuguese are the least expressive in quantity, some tendencies point to publications that discuss the social entrepreneur in terms of gender (that relates to female entrepreneurship) and social class (that relates to the need of building communities that contemplate the Social entrepreneur at the base of the pyramid). It should be noted that the trends of the themes emerged from the analysis of the publication titles only in Portuguese, since this is the native language of the authors who carry out their studies mainly in Brazil. When considering articles in Portuguese (57 indicated by WOS and 9 by Scopus), a previous analysis of the titles was carried out to identify how researchers were approaching the theme social entrepreneur in a joint way to the social dimension of sustainability. However, the analysis of the titles themselves brought a limitation to our study, since it was felt a need to carry out a qualitative study, in which it could be possible to consider the abstracts of the available articles.
2
83328
The Role of Building Information Modeling as a Design Teaching Method in Architecture, Engineering and Construction Schools in Brazil
Abstract:
Despite the significant advances made by the construction industry in recent years, the crystalized absence of integration between the design and construction phases is still an evident and costly problem in building construction. Globally, the construction industry has sought to adopt collaborative practices through new technologies to mitigate impacts of this fragmented process and to optimize its production. In this new technological business environment, professionals are required to develop new methodologies based on the notion of collaboration and integration of information throughout the building lifecycle. This scenario also represents the industry’s reality in developing nations, and the increasing need for overall efficiency has demanded new educational alternatives at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. In countries like Brazil, it is the common understanding that Architecture, Engineering and Building Construction educational programs are being required to review the traditional design pedagogical processes to promote a comprehensive notion about integration and simultaneity between the phases of the project. In this context, the coherent inclusion of computation design to all segments of the educational programs of construction related professionals represents a significant research topic that, in fact, can affect the industry practice. Thus, the main objective of the present study was to comparatively measure the effectiveness of the Building Information Modeling courses offered by the University of Sao Paulo, the most important academic institution in Brazil, at the Schools of Architecture and Civil Engineering and the courses offered in well recognized BIM research institutions, such as the School of Design in the College of Architecture of the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, to evaluate the dissemination of BIM knowledge amongst students in post graduate level. The qualitative research methodology was developed based on the analysis of the program and activities proposed by two BIM courses offered in each of the above-mentioned institutions, which were used as case studies. The data collection instruments were a student questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, participatory evaluation and pedagogical practices. The found results have detected a broad heterogeneity of the students regarding their professional experience, hours dedicated to training, and especially in relation to their general knowledge of BIM technology and its applications. The research observed that BIM is mostly understood as an operational tool and not as methodological project development approach, relevant to the whole building life cycle. The present research offers in its conclusion an assessment about the importance of the incorporation of BIM, with efficiency and in its totality, as a teaching method in undergraduate and graduate courses in the Brazilian architecture, engineering and building construction schools.
1
91081
Cultivation of Halophytes: Effect of Salinity on Nutritional and Functional Properties
Abstract:
In the last century, the world witnessed an exponential demographic increase that has put an enormous pressure on agriculture and food production. Associated also with climate changes, there has been a decrease in the amount of available freshwater and an increased salinization of soils which can affect the production of most food crops. Halophytes, however, are plants able to withstand high salinities while maintaining a good growth productivity. To cope with the excess salt, they produce secondary metabolites (e.g. vitamins and phenolic compounds) which, along with the natural presence of some minerals, makes them not only nutritionally rich but also functional foods. Some halophytes, as quinoa or salicornia, are already used in some countries, mostly as gourmet food. Hydroponic cultivation of halophytes using seawater or diluted seawater for watering can decrease the pressure on freshwater resources while producing a nutritional and functional food. The XtremeGourmet project funded by the EU aims to develop and optimize the production of different halophytes by hydroponics. One of the more specific objectives of this project is the study of halophytes’ productivity and chemical composition under different abiotic conditions, e.g. salt and nutrient concentration and light intensity. Three species of halophytes commonly occurring in saltmarshes of the South of Portugal (Inula chrithmoides, Salicornia ramosissima and Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum) were cultivated using hydroponics under different salinities, ranging from 5 to 45 dS/m. For each condition, several parameters were assessed namely: total and commercial productivity, electrical conductivity, total soluble solids, proximal composition, mineral profile, total phenolics, flavonoids and condensed tannins content and antioxidant activity. Results show that productivity was significantly reduced for all plants with increasing salinity up to salinity 29 dS/m and remained low onwards. Oppositely, the electrical conductivity and the total soluble solids content of the produced plants increased with salinity, reaching a plateau at 29 dS/m. It seems that plants reflect the salt concentration of the water up to some point, being able to regulate their salt content for higher salinities. The same tendency was observed for the ash content of these plants, which is related to the mineral uptake from the cultivating media and the plants’ capacity to both accumulate and regulate ions’ concentration in their tissues. Nonetheless, this comes with a metabolic cost which is observed by a decrease in productivity. The mineral profile of these plants shows high concentrations of sodium but also high amounts of potassium. In what concerns the microelements, these plants appear to be a good source of manganese and iron and the low amounts of toxic metals account for their safe consumption in moderate amounts. Concerning the phenolics composition, plants presented moderate concentrations of phenolics but high amounts of condensed tannins, particularly I. crithmoides which accounts for its characteristic sour and spicy taste. Contrary to some studies in which higher amounts of phenolics were found in plants cultivated under higher salinities, in this study, the highest amount of phenolic compounds were found in plants grown at the lowest or intermediate salinities. Nonetheless, there was a positive correlation between the concentration of these compounds and the antioxidant capacity of the plants’ extracts.