In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.
The transition of a student with a disability from school to work is the most crucial phase while moving from the stage of adolescence into early adulthood. In this process, young individuals face various difficulties and challenges in order to accomplish the next venture of life successfully. In this respect, this paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by the individuals with intellectual disabilities in transition to work in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, this study has undertaken a qualitative research-based methodology; wherein interpretivist philosophy has been followed along with inductive approach and exploratory research design. The data for the research has been gathered with the help of semi-structured interviews, whose findings are analysed with the help of thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, officials, supervisors and specialists of two vocational rehabilitation centres providing training to intellectually disabled students, in addition to that, directors of companies and websites in hiring those individuals. The total number of respondents for the interview was 15. The purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents for the interview. This sampling method is a non-probability sampling method which draws respondents from a known population and allows flexibility and suitability in selecting the participants for the study. The findings gathered from the interview revealed that the lack of awareness among their parents regarding the rights of their children who are intellectually disabled; the lack of adequate communication and coordination between various entities; concerns regarding their training and subsequent employment are the key difficulties experienced by the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Training in programmes such as bookbinding, carpentry, computing, agriculture, electricity and telephone exchange operations were involved as key training programmes. The findings of this study also revealed that information technology and media were playing a significant role in smoothing the transition to employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, religious and cultural attitudes have been identified to be restricted for people with such disabilities in seeking advantages from job opportunities. On the basis of these findings, it can be implied that the information gathered through this study will serve to be highly beneficial for Saudi Arabian schools/ rehabilitation centres for individuals with intellectual disability to facilitate them in overcoming the problems they encounter during the transition to work.
One of the main concerns of miners is to increase the quality level of their products because the mining metals price depends on their quality level; however, increasing the quality level of these products has different costs at different levels of the supply chain. These costs usually increase after extractor level. This paper studies the coordination issue of a decentralized three-level supply chain with one supplier (extractor), one mineral processor and one manufacturer in which the increasing product quality level cost at the processor level is higher than the supplier and at the level of the manufacturer is more than the processor. We identify the optimal product quality level for each supply chain member by designing a revenue sharing contract. Finally, numerical examples show that the designed contract not only increases the final product quality level but also provides a win-win condition for all supply chain members and increases the whole supply chain profit.
This work aims to compare various techniques used in order to mitigate Inter-Cell Interference (ICI) in Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced systems. For that, we will evaluate the performance of each one. In mobile communication networks, systems are limited by ICI particularly caused by deployment of small cells in conventional cell’s implementation. Therefore, various mitigation techniques, named Inter-Cell Interference Coordination techniques (ICIC), enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) techniques and Coordinated Multi-Point transmission and reception (CoMP) are proposed. This paper presents a comparative study of these strategies. It can be concluded that CoMP techniques can ameliorate SINR and capacity system compared to ICIC and eICIC. In fact, SINR value reaches 15 dB for a distance of 0.5 km between user equipment and servant base station if we use CoMP technology whereas it cannot exceed 12 dB and 9 dB for eICIC and ICIC approaches respectively as reflected in simulations.
Along with the acceleration of Chinese urbanization, the expansion, renovation and demolition of old buildings is on the stage together with the design and construction of new buildings every day in downtown of the old city area. The coordinative symbiosis between new and old buildings is an important problem which needs to be solved in the process of urban development. By studying and analyzing the case of Shanghai Citic Plaza and surroundings, this paper contributes to discussing the concept, value and problems to be solved of the coordination of new and old buildings, meanwhile, striking the balance between new and old buildings from the aspects of architectural form, space, function and local context. As a result, the strategy of the coordinative symbiosis between new and old buildings is summarized, which can offer some guiding principles to urban development from now on.
Interoperable medical devices (IMDs) face threats due to the increased attack surface accessible by interoperability and the corresponding infrastructure. Initiating networking and coordination functionalities primarily modify medical systems' security properties. Understanding the threats is a vital first step in ultimately crafting security solutions for such systems. The key to this problem is coming up with some common types of threats or attacks with those of security and privacy, and providing this information as a roadmap. This paper analyses the security issues in interoperability of devices and presents the main types of threats that have to be considered to build a secured system.
The time delay and the structural stability are major issues in big size projects due to several factors. Improper planning and poor coordination lead to delay in construction, which sometimes result in reworking or rebuilding. This definitely increases the cost and time of project. This situation stresses the structural engineers to plan out of the limits of contemporary technology utilizing non-chronological approach with creative ideas. One of the strategies to solve this issue is through structural integrity solutions in a cost-effective way. We have faced several problems in a project worth 470 million USD, and one such issue is crane girder installation with composite steel beams. We have applied structural integrity approach with the proper and revised planning schedule to solve the problem efficiently with minimal expenses.
In the current situation, the automobile has become the main means of locomotion. It allows traveling long distances, encouraging urban sprawl. To counteract this trend, the train is often proposed as an alternative to the car. Simultaneously, the favoring of urban development around public transport nodes such as railway stations is one of the main issues of the coordination between urban planning and transportation and the keystone of the sustainable urban development implementation. In this context, this paper focuses on the study of the spatial structuring dynamics around the railway. Specifically, it is a question of studying the demographic dynamics in rail corridors of Nantes, Angers and Le Mans (Western France) basing on the radiation of railway stations. Consequently, the methodology is concentrated on the knowledge of demographic weight and gains of these corridors, the index of urban intensity and the mobility behaviors (workers’ travels, scholars' travels, modal practices of travels). The perimeter considered to define the rail corridors includes the communes of urban area which have a railway station and communes with an access time to the railway station is less than fifteen minutes by car (time specified by the Regional Transport Scheme of Travelers). The main tools used are the statistical data from the census of population, the basis of detailed tables and databases on mobility flows. The study reveals that the population is not tightened along rail corridors and train use is minimal despite the presence of a nearby railway station. These results lead to propose guidelines to make the train, a real vector of mobility across the rail corridors.
In this paper, we present an adaptive controller for decentralized coordination problem of multiple non-holonomic agents. The performance of the presented Multi-Agent Bounded Gain Forgetting (BGF) Composite Adaptive controller is compared against the tracking error criterion with a Feedback Linearization controller. By using the method, the sensor nodes move and reconfigure themselves in a coordinated way in response to a sensed environment. The multi-agent coordination is achieved through Centroidal Voronoi Tessellations and Coverage Control. Also, a consensus protocol is used for synchronization of the parameter vectors. The two controllers are given with their Lyapunov stability analysis and their stability is verified with simulation results. The simulations are carried out in MATLAB and ROS environments. Better performance is obtained with BGF Adaptive Controller.
Planning for natural disasters and emergencies is something every school or educational institution must consider, regardless of its size or location. Preparedness is the key to save lives if a disaster strikes. School disaster management mirrors individual and family disaster prevention, and wider community disaster prevention efforts. This paper presents the usage of E-PreS System as a helpful, managerial tool during the school earthquake drill, in order to support schools in developing effective disaster and emergency plans specific to their local needs. The project comes up with a holistic methodology using real-time evaluation involving different categories of actors, districts, steps and metrics. The main outcomes of E-PreS project are the development of E-PreS web platform that host the needed data of school emergency planning; the development of E-PreS System; the implementation of disaster drills using E-PreS System in educational premises and local schools; and the evaluation of E-PreS System. Taking into consideration that every disaster drill aims to test and valid school plan and procedures; clarify and train personnel in roles and responsibilities; improve interagency coordination; identify gaps in resources; improve individual performance; and identify opportunities for improvement, E-PreS Project was submitted and approved by the European Commission (EC).
Obese children will probably become obese adults, consequently exposed to an increased risk of comorbidity and premature mortality. Body weight may be indirectly determined by continuous development of coordination and motor skills. The level of motor skills and abilities is an important factor that promotes physical activity since early childhood. The aim of the study is to thoroughly understand the internal relations between motor coordination abilities and the somatic development of prepubertal children and to determine the effect of excess body weight on motor coordination by comparing the motor ability levels of children with different body mass index (BMI) values. The data were collected from 436 children aged 7–10 years, without health limitations, fully participating in school physical education classes. Body height was measured with portable stadiometers (Harpenden, Holtain Ltd.), and body mass—with a digital scale (HN-286, Omron). Motor coordination was evaluated with the Kiphard-Schilling body coordination test, Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder. The normality test by Shapiro-Wilk was used to verify the data distribution. The correlation analysis revealed a statistically significant negative association between the dynamic balance and BMI, as well as between the motor quotient and BMI (p<0.01) for both boys and girls. The results showed no effect of gender on the difference in the observed trends. The analysis of variance proved statistically significant differences between normal weight children and their overweight or obese counterparts. Coordination abilities probably play an important role in preventing or moderating the negative trajectory leading to childhood overweight and obesity. At this age, the development of coordination abilities should become a key strategy, targeted at long-term prevention of obesity and the promotion of an active lifestyle in adulthood. Motor performance is essential for implementing a healthy lifestyle in childhood already. Physical inactivity apparently results in motor deficits and a sedentary lifestyle in children, which may be accompanied by excess energy intake and overweight.
Gymnastics is the umbrella term that represents seven different and unique disciplines of gymnastics. Men and women of all ages and abilities practice this sport, and participation in gymnastics can develop both gross and fine motor skills, strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. There are various social factors, such as a family’s socioeconomic status or accessibility to sports facilities that may play a role in affecting levels of participation. The aim of this study is to investigate the social factors that have an influence on gymnastics participation in the Western Cape. To this end, a qualitative approach is adopted to collect data. This study also adopts the ecological systems theory as the theoretical framework, and is used to analyze and interpret current social factors that directly or indirectly influence participation in gymnastics. The study’s objectives were to ascertain which social factors hinder participation, and which social factors promote participation, thus, coaches, parents and gymnasts participated in focus group discussions. Key informant interviews took place with experts in the field of gymnastics in the Western Cape. A thematic analysis was conducted on transcriptions from the focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Social factors investigated in this study occurred in the chronosystem, macrosystem, exosystem, mesosystem, and microsystem, and had both a direct and indirect influence on the gymnast’s continued participation. These systems are defined as the environment of the individual, in which they grow and develop. The research findings of this paper are used to draw conclusions and make specific recommendations for practice and further research. The information gathered in this study can assist all stakeholders within the field of gymnastics, such as parents, judges, coaches, gymnasts, and the supporting community which surround the participating gymnast.
This paper presents a contribution to the design of a multi-agent for the energy management system in a hybrid energy system (SEH). The multi-agent-based energy-coordination management system (MA-ECMS) is based mainly on coordination between agents. The agents share the tasks and exchange information through communications protocols to achieve the main goal. This intelligent system can fully manage the consumption and production or simply to make proposals for action he thinks is best. The initial step is to give a presentation for the system that we want to model in order to understand all the details as much as possible. In our case, it is to implement a system for simulating a process control of energy management.
The prospects for the European power sector indicate that it has to almost fully decarbonize in order to reach the economy-wide target of CO2-emission reduction. We apply the EU-REGEN model to explain the penetration of RES from an economic perspective, their spatial distribution, and the complementary role of conventional generation technologies. Furthermore, we identify economic consequences of national energy and climate targets. Our study shows that onshore wind power will be the most crucial generation technology for the future European power sector. Its geographic distribution is driven by resource quality. Gas power will be the major conventional generation technology for backing-up wind power. Moreover, a complete phase out of coal power proves to be not economically optimal. The paper demonstrates that existing national targets have a negative impact, especially on the German region with higher prices and lower revenues. The remaining regions profit are hardly affected. We encourage an EU-wide coordination on the expansion of wind power with harmonized policies. Yet, this requires profitable market structures for both, RES and conventional generation technologies.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a holistic documentation process for operational visualization, design coordination, estimation and project scheduling. BIM software defines objects parametrically and it is a tool for virtual reality. Primary advantage of implementing BIM is the visual coordination of the building structure and systems such as Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) and it also identifies the possible conflicts between the building systems. This paper is an attempt to develop a risk based BIM model which would highlight the primary advantages of application of BIM pertaining to urban infrastructure transportation project. It has been observed that about 40% of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) companies use BIM but primarily for their outsourced projects. Also, 65% of the respondents agree that BIM would be used quiet strongly for future construction projects in India. The 3D models developed with Revit 2015 software would reduce co-ordination problems amongst the architects, structural engineers, contractors and building service providers (MEP). Integration of risk management along with BIM would provide enhanced co-ordination, collaboration and high probability of successful completion of the complex infrastructure transportation project within stipulated time and cost frame.
In the field of reverse engineering and creative industries, applying 3D scanning process to obtain geometric forms of the objects is a mature and common technique. For instance, organic objects such as faces and nonorganic objects such as products could be scanned to acquire the geometric information for further application. However, although the data resolution of 3D scanning device is increasing and there are more and more abundant complementary applications, the penetration rate of 3D scanning for the public is still limited by the relative high price of the devices. On the other hand, Kinect, released by Microsoft, is known for its powerful functions, considerably low price, and complete technology and database support. Therefore, related studies can be done with the applying of Kinect under acceptable cost and data precision. Due to the fact that Kinect utilizes optical mechanism to extracting depth information, limitations are found due to the reason of the straight path of the light. Thus, various angles are required sequentially to obtain the complete 3D information of the object when applying a single Kinect for 3D scanning. The integration process which combines the 3D data from different angles by certain algorithms is also required. This sequential scanning process costs much time and the complex integration process often encounter some technical problems. Therefore, this paper aimed to apply multiple Kinects simultaneously on the field of developing a rapid 3D mannequin scan platform and proposed suggestions on the number and angles of Kinects. In the content, a method of establishing the coordination based on the relation between mannequin and the specifications of Kinect is proposed, and a suggestion of angles and number of Kinects is also described. An experiment of applying multiple Kinect on the scanning of 3D mannequin is constructed by Microsoft API, and the results show that the time required for scanning and technical threshold can be reduced in the industries of fashion and garment design.
In connected vehicle systems where wireless communication is available among the involved vehicles and intersection controllers, it is possible to design an intersection coordination strategy that leads the connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) travel through the road intersections without the conventional traffic light control. In this paper, we present a distributed coordination strategy for the CAVs at multiple interconnected intersections that aims at improving system fuel efficiency and system mobility. We present a distributed control solution where in the higher level, the intersection controllers calculate the road desired average velocity and optimally assign reference velocities of each vehicle. In the lower level, every vehicle is considered to use model predictive control (MPC) to track their reference velocity obtained from the higher level controller. The proposed method has been implemented on a simulation-based case with two-interconnected intersection network. Additionally, the effects of mixed vehicle types on the coordination strategy has been explored. Simulation results indicate the improvement on vehicle fuel efficiency and traffic mobility of the proposed method.
An analysis of the distribution of nurses’ working time constitutes vital information for the management in planning employment. The objective of the study was to analyze the distribution of nurses’ working time in an emergency department. The study was conducted in an emergency department of a teaching hospital in Lublin, in Southeast Poland. The catalogue of activities performed by nurses was compiled by means of continuous observation. Identified activities were classified into four groups: Direct care, indirect care, coordination of work in the department and personal activities. Distribution of nurses’ working time was determined by work sampling observation (Tippett) at random intervals. The research project was approved by the Research Ethics Committee by the Medical University of Lublin (Protocol 0254/113/2010). On average, nurses spent 31% of their working time on direct care, 47% on indirect care, 12% on coordinating work in the department and 10% on personal activities. The most frequently performed direct care tasks were diagnostic activities – 29.23% and treatment-related activities – 27.69%. The study has provided information on the complexity of performed activities and utilization of nurses’ working time. Enhancing the effectiveness of nursing actions requires working out a strategy for improved management of the time nurses spent at work. Increasing the involvement of auxiliary staff and optimizing communication processes within the team may lead to reduction of the time devoted to indirect care for the benefit of direct care.
Thanks to a coordinated funding by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC) within the 7th framework program, the High-Speed Experimental Fly Vehicles – International (HEXAFLY-INT) project is aimed at the flight validation of hypersonics technologies enabling future trans-atmospheric flights. The project, which is currently involving partners from Europe, Russian Federation and Australia operating under ESA/ESTEC coordination, will achieve the goal of designing, manufacturing, assembling and flight testing an unpowered high speed vehicle in a glider configuration by 2018. The main technical challenges of the project are specifically related to the design of the vehicle gliding configuration and to the complexity of integrating breakthrough technologies with standard aeronautical technologies, e.g. high temperature protection system and airframe cold structures. Also, the sonic boom impact, which is one of the environmental challenges of the high speed flight, will be assessed. This paper provides a comprehensive and detailed update on all the current projects activities carried out to date on both the vehicle and mission design.
Industrial Control Systems (ICS) such as Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) can be seen in many different critical infrastructures, from nuclear management to utility, medical equipment, power, waste and engine management on ships and planes. The role SCADA plays in critical infrastructure has resulted in a call to secure them. Many lives depend on it for daily activities and the attack vectors are becoming more sophisticated. Hence, the security of ICS is vital as malfunction of it might result in huge risk. This paper describes how the application of Prey Predator (PP) approach in flocks of birds could enhance the detection of malicious activities on ICS. The PP approach explains how these animals in groups or flocks detect predators by following some simple rules. They are not necessarily very intelligent animals but their approach in solving complex issues such as detection through corporation, coordination and communication worth emulating. This paper will emulate flocking behavior seen in birds in detecting predators. The PP approach will adopt six nearest bird approach in detecting any predator. Their local and global bests are based on the individual detection as well as group detection. The PP algorithm was designed following MapReduce methodology that follows a Split Detection Convergence (SDC) approach.
Global Software Development (GSD) is becoming a common norm in software industry, despite of the fact that global distribution of the teams presents special issues for effective communication and coordination of the teams. Now trends are changing and project management for distributed teams is no longer in a limbo. GSD can be effectively established using agile and project managers can use different agile techniques/tools for solving the problems associated with distributed teams. Agile methodologies like scrum and XP have been successfully used with distributed teams. We have employed exploratory research method to analyze different recent studies related to challenges of GSD and their proposed solutions. In our study, we had deep insight in six commonly faced challenges: communication and coordination, temporal differences, cultural differences, knowledge sharing/group awareness, speed and communication tools. We have established that each of these challenges cannot be neglected for distributed teams of any kind. They are interlinked and as an aggregated whole can cause the failure of projects. In this paper we have focused on creating a scalable framework for detecting and overcoming these commonly faced challenges. In the proposed solution, our objective is to suggest agile techniques/tools relevant to a particular problem faced by the organizations related to the management of distributed teams. We focused mainly on scrum and XP techniques/tools because they are widely accepted and used in the industry. Our solution identifies the problem and suggests an appropriate technique/tool to help solve the problem based on globally shared knowledgebase. We can establish a cause and effect relationship using a fishbone diagram based on the inputs provided for issues commonly faced by organizations. Based on the identified cause, suitable tool is suggested, our framework suggests a suitable tool. Hence, a scalable, extensible, self-learning, intelligent framework proposed will help implement and assess GSD to achieve maximum out of it. Globally shared knowledgebase will help new organizations to easily adapt best practices set forth by the practicing organizations.
E-government has been adopted and used by many governments/countries around the world including Ghana to provide citizens and businesses with more accurate, real-time, and high quality services and information. The objective of this paper is to present an overview of the Government of Ghana’s (GoG) adoption and implement of e-government and its usage by the Ministries, Departments and its agencies (MDAs) as well as other public sector institutions to deliver efficient public service to the general public i.e. citizens, business etc. Government implementation of e-government focused on facilitating effective delivery of government service to the public and ultimately to provide efficient government-wide electronic means of sharing information and knowledge through a network infrastructure developed to connect all major towns and cities, Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other public sector organizations in Ghana. One aim for the Government of Ghana use of ICT in public administration is to improve productivity in government administration and service by facilitating exchange of information to enable better interaction and coordination of work among MDAs, citizens and private businesses. The study was prepared using secondary sources of data from government policy documents, national and international published reports, journal articles, and web sources. This study indicates that through the e-government initiative, currently citizens and businesses can access and pay for services such as renewal of driving license, business registration, payment of taxes, acquisition of marriage and birth certificates as well as application for passport through the GoG electronic service (eservice) and electronic payment (epay) portal. Further, this study shows that there is enormous commitment from GoG to adopt and implement e-government as a tool not only to transform the business of government but also to bring efficiency in public services delivered by the MDAs. To ascertain this, a further study need to be carried out to determine if the use of e-government has brought about the anticipated improvements and efficiency in service delivery of MDAs and other state institutions in Ghana.
Masonry dome structures had been widely used for covering large spans in the past. The seismic assessment of these historical structures is very complicated due to the nonlinear behavior of the material, their rigidness, and special stability configuration. The assessment method based on energy balance concept, as well as the standard pushover analysis, is used to evaluate the effectiveness of these methods in the case of masonry dome structures. The Soltanieh dome building is used as an example to which two methods are applied. The performance points are given from superimposing the capacity, and demand curves in Acceleration Displacement Response Spectra (ADRS) and energy coordination are compared with the nonlinear time history analysis as the exact result. The results show a good agreement between the dynamic analysis and the energy balance method, but standard pushover method does not provide an acceptable estimation.