International Science Index

1648
10009027
Affective Robots: Evaluation of Automatic Emotion Recognition Approaches on a Humanoid Robot towards Emotionally Intelligent Machines
Abstract:
One of the main aims of current social robotic research is to improve the robots’ abilities to interact with humans. In order to achieve an interaction similar to that among humans, robots should be able to communicate in an intuitive and natural way and appropriately interpret human affects during social interactions. Similarly to how humans are able to recognize emotions in other humans, machines are capable of extracting information from the various ways humans convey emotions—including facial expression, speech, gesture or text—and using this information for improved human computer interaction. This can be described as Affective Computing, an interdisciplinary field that expands into otherwise unrelated fields like psychology and cognitive science and involves the research and development of systems that can recognize and interpret human affects. To leverage these emotional capabilities by embedding them in humanoid robots is the foundation of the concept Affective Robots, which has the objective of making robots capable of sensing the user’s current mood and personality traits and adapt their behavior in the most appropriate manner based on that. In this paper, the emotion recognition capabilities of the humanoid robot Pepper are experimentally explored, based on the facial expressions for the so-called basic emotions, as well as how it performs in contrast to other state-of-the-art approaches with both expression databases compiled in academic environments and real subjects showing posed expressions as well as spontaneous emotional reactions. The experiments’ results show that the detection accuracy amongst the evaluated approaches differs substantially. The introduced experiments offer a general structure and approach for conducting such experimental evaluations. The paper further suggests that the most meaningful results are obtained by conducting experiments with real subjects expressing the emotions as spontaneous reactions.
Paper Detail
20
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1647
10009055
A Pilot Study of Robot Reminiscence in Dementia Care
Abstract:

In care for older adults, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) like agitation and aggression are distressing for patients and their caretakers, often resulting in premature institutionalization with increased costs of care. To improve mood and mitigate symptoms, as a non-pharmaceutical approach, emotion-oriented therapy like reminiscence work is adopted in face-to-face communication. Telecommunication support is expected to be provided by robotic media as a bridge for digital divide for those with dementia and facilitate social interaction both verbally and nonverbally. The purpose of this case study is to explore the conditions in which robotic media can effectively attract attention from older adults with dementia and promote their well-being. As a pilot study, we introduced the pillow-phone Hugvie®, a huggable humanly shaped communication medium to five residents with dementia at a care facility, to investigate how the following conditions work for the elderly when they use the medium; 1) no sound, 2) radio, non-interactive, 3) daily conversation, and 4) reminiscence work. As a result, under condition 4, reminiscence work, the five participants kept concentration in interacting with the medium for a longer duration than other conditions. In condition 4, they also showed larger amount of utterances than under other conditions. These results indicate that providing topics related to personal histories through robotic media could affect communication positively and should, therefore, be further investigated. In addition, the issue of ethical implications by using persuasive technology that affects emotions and behaviors of older adults is also discussed.

Paper Detail
10
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1646
10009064
Conceptualizing of Priorities in the Dynamics of Public Administration Contemporary Reforms
Abstract:

The article presents the results of the creative analysis and comparison of trends in the development of the theory of public administration during the period from the second half of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. The process of conceptualization of the priorities of public administration in the dynamics of reforming was held under the influence of such factors as globalization, integration, information and technological changes and human rights is examined. The priorities of the social state in the concepts of the second half of the 20th century are studied. Peculiar approaches to determining the priorities of public administration in the countries of "Soviet dictatorship" in Central and Eastern Europe in the same period are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the priorities of public administration regarding the interaction between public power and society and the development of conceptual foundations for the modern managerial process. There is a thought that the dynamics of the formation of concepts of the European governance is characterized by the sequence of priorities: from socio-economic and moral-ethical to organizational-procedural and non-hierarchical ones. The priorities of the "welfare state" were focused on the decent level of material wellbeing of population. At the same time, the conception of "minimal state" emphasized priorities of human responsibility for their own fate under the conditions of minimal state protection. Later on, the emphasis was placed on horizontal ties and redistribution of powers and competences of "effective state" with its developed procedures and limits of responsibility at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the civil society. The priorities of the contemporary period are concentrated on human rights in the concepts of "good governance" and all the following ones, which recognize the absolute priority of public administration with compliance, provision and protection of human rights. There is a proved point of view that civilizational changes taking place under the influence of information and technological imperatives also stipulate changes in priorities, redistribution of emphases and update principles of managerial concepts on the basis of publicity, transparency, departure from traditional forms of hierarchy and control in favor of interactivity and inter-sectoral interaction, decentralization and humanization of managerial processes. The necessity to permanently carry out the reorganization, by establishing the interaction between different participants of public power and social relations, to establish a balance between political forces and social interests on the basis of mutual trust and mutual understanding determines changes of social, political, economic and humanitarian paradigms of public administration and their theoretical comprehension. The further studies of theoretical foundations of modern public administration in interdisciplinary discourse in the context of ambiguous consequences of the globalizational and integrational processes of modern European state-building would be advisable. This is especially true during the period of political transformations and economic crises which are the characteristic of the contemporary Europe, especially for democratic transition countries.

1645
10008898
Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin
Abstract:

The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Paper Detail
84
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1644
10008964
Causes and Implications of Obesity in Urban School Going Children
Abstract:

Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.

Paper Detail
54
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1643
10008971
Impact of Terrorism as an Asymmetrical Threat on the State's Conventional Security Forces
Authors:
Abstract:

The main focus of this research will be on analyzing correlative links between terrorism as an asymmetrical threat and the consequences it leaves on conventional security forces. The methodology behind the research will include qualitative research methods focusing on comparative analysis of books, scientific papers, documents and other sources, in order to deduce, explore and formulate the results of the research. With the coming of the 21st century and the rising multi-polar, new world threats quickly emerged. The realistic approach in international relations deems that relations among nations are in a constant state of anarchy since there are no definitive rules and the distribution of power varies widely. International relations are further characterized by egoistic and self-orientated human nature, anarchy or absence of a higher government, security and lack of morality. The asymmetry of power is also reflected on countries' security capabilities and its abilities to project power. With the coming of the new millennia and the rising multi-polar world order, the asymmetry of power can be also added as an important trait of the global society which consequently brought new threats. Among various others, terrorism is probably the most well-known, well-based and well-spread asymmetric threat. In today's global political arena, terrorism is used by state and non-state actors to fulfill their political agendas. Terrorism is used as an all-inclusive tool for regime change, subversion or a revolution. Although the nature of terrorist groups is somewhat inconsistent, terrorism as a security and social phenomenon has a one constant which is reflected in its political dimension. The state's security apparatus, which was embodied in the form of conventional armed forces, is now becoming fragile, unable to tackle new threats and to a certain extent outdated. Conventional security forces were designed to defend or engage an exterior threat which is more or less symmetric and visible. On the other hand, terrorism as an asymmetrical threat is a part of hybrid, special or asymmetric warfare in which specialized units, institutions or facilities represent the primary pillars of security. In today's global society, terrorism is probably the most acute problem which can paralyze entire countries and their political systems. This problem, however, cannot be engaged on an open field of battle, but rather it requires a different approach in which conventional armed forces cannot be used traditionally and their role must be adjusted. The research will try to shed light on the phenomena of modern day terrorism and to prove its correlation with the state conventional armed forces. States are obliged to adjust their security apparatus to the new realism of global society and terrorism as an asymmetrical threat which is a side-product of the unbalanced world.

Paper Detail
65
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1642
10008999
Automatic Landmark Selection Based on Feature Clustering for Visual Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Navigation
Abstract:
The selection of specific landmarks for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ Visual Navigation systems based on Automatic Landmark Recognition has significant influence on the precision of the system’s estimated position. At the same time, manual selection of the landmarks does not guarantee a high recognition rate, which would also result on a poor precision. This work aims to develop an automatic landmark selection that will take the image of the flight area and identify the best landmarks to be recognized by the Visual Navigation Landmark Recognition System. The criterion to select a landmark is based on features detected by ORB or AKAZE and edges information on each possible landmark. Results have shown that disposition of possible landmarks is quite different from the human perception.
Paper Detail
43
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1641
10008806
Development of a Standardization Methodology Assessing the Comfort Performance for Hanok
Abstract:

Korean traditional residences have been built with deep design issues for various values such as social, cultural, and environmental influences to be started from a few thousand years ago, but its meaning is being vanished due to the different lifestyles these days. It is necessary, therefore, to grasp the meaning of the Korea traditional building called Hanok and to get Korean people understand its real advantages. The purpose of this study is to propose a standardization methodology for evaluating comfort features towards Korean traditional houses. This paper is also trying to build an official standard evaluation system and to integrate aesthetic and psychological values induced from Hanok. Its comfort performance values could be divided into two large categories that are physical and psychological, and fourteen methods have been defined as the Korean Standards (KS). For this research, field survey data from representative Hanok types were collected for each method. This study also contains a qualitative in-depth analysis of the Hanok comfort index by the professions using AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process) and has examined the effect of the methods. As a result, this paper could define what methods can provide trustful outcomes and how to evaluate the own strengths in aspects of spatial comfort of Hanok using suggested procedures towards the spatial configuration of the traditional dwellings. This study has finally proposed an integrated development of a standardization methodology assessing the comfort performance for Korean traditional residences, and it is expected that they could evaluate inhabitants of the residents and interior environmental conditions especially structured by wood materials like Hanok.

Paper Detail
101
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1640
10008837
Experimental Simulation Set-Up for Validating Out-Of-The-Loop Mitigation when Monitoring High Levels of Automation in Air Traffic Control
Abstract:

An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.

Paper Detail
121
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1639
10008854
Knowledge Reactor: A Contextual Computing Work in Progress for Eldercare
Abstract:
The world-wide population of people over 60 years of age is growing rapidly. The explosion is placing increasingly onerous demands on individual families, multiple industries and entire countries. Current, human-intensive approaches to eldercare are not sustainable, but IoT and AI technologies can help. The Knowledge Reactor (KR) is a contextual, data fusion engine built to address this and other similar problems. It fuses and centralizes IoT and System of Record/Engagement data into a reactive knowledge graph. Cognitive applications and services are constructed with its multiagent architecture. The KR can scale-up and scaledown, because it exploits container-based, horizontally scalable services for graph store (JanusGraph) and pub-sub (Kafka) technologies. While the KR can be applied to many domains that require IoT and AI technologies, this paper describes how the KR specifically supports the challenging domain of cognitive eldercare. Rule- and machine learning-based analytics infer activities of daily living from IoT sensor readings. KR scalability, adaptability, flexibility and usability are demonstrated.
Paper Detail
110
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1638
10008889
Dynamic Reroute Modeling for Emergency Evacuation: Case Study of Brunswick City, Germany
Abstract:

The human behaviors during evacuations are quite complex. One of the critical behaviors which affect the efficiency of evacuation is route choice. Therefore, the respective simulation modeling work needs to function properly. In this paper, Simulation of Urban Mobility’s (SUMO) current dynamic route modeling during evacuation, i.e. the rerouting functions, is examined with a real case study. The result consistency of the simulation and the reality is checked as well. Four influence factors (1) time to get information, (2) probability to cancel a trip, (3) probability to use navigation equipment, and (4) rerouting and information updating period are considered to analyze possible traffic impacts during the evacuation and to examine the rerouting functions in SUMO. Furthermore, some behavioral characters of the case study are analyzed with use of the corresponding detector data and applied in the simulation. The experiment results show that the dynamic route modeling in SUMO can deal with the proposed scenarios properly. Some issues and function needs related to route choice are discussed and further improvements are suggested.

Paper Detail
71
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1637
10008890
Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots
Abstract:
Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living, but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not previously been automated, since there existed no description of a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.
Paper Detail
84
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1636
10008976
Impact of Positive Psychology Education and Interventions on Well-Being: A Study of Students Engaged in Pastoral Care
Abstract:

Positive psychology investigates human strengths and virtues and promotes well-being. Relying on this assumption, positive interventions have been continuously designed to build pleasure and happiness, joy and contentment, engagement and meaning, hope and optimism, satisfaction and gratitude, spirituality, and various other positive measures of well-being. In line with this model of positive psychology and interventions, this study investigated certain measures of well-being in a group of 45 students enrolled in an 18-week positive psychology course and simultaneously engaged in service-oriented interventions that they chose for themselves based on the course content and individual interests. Students’ well-being was measured at the beginning and end of the course. The well-being indicators included positive automatic thoughts, optimism and hope, satisfaction with life, and spirituality. A paired-samples t-test conducted to evaluate the impact of class content and service-oriented interventions on students’ scores of well-being indicators indicated statistically significant increase from pre-class to post-class scores. There were also significant gender differences in post-course well-being scores, with females having higher levels of well-being than males. A two-way between groups analysis of variance indicated a significant interaction effect of age by gender on the post-course well-being scores, with females in the age group of 56-65 having the highest scores of well-being in comparison to the males in the same age group. Regression analyses indicated that positive automatic thought significantly predicted hope and satisfaction with life in the pre-course analysis. In the post-course regression analysis, spiritual transcendence made a significant contribution to optimism, and positive automatic thought made a significant contribution to both hope and satisfaction with life. Finally, a significant test between pre-course and post-course regression coefficients indicated that the regression coefficients at pre-course were significantly different from post-course coefficients, suggesting that the positive psychology course and the interventions were helpful in raising the levels of well-being. The overall results suggest a substantial increase in the participants’ well-being scores after engaging in the positive-oriented interventions, implying a need for designing more positive interventions in education to promote well-being.  

Paper Detail
31
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1635
10008984
Identification of Promiscuous Epitopes for Cellular Immune Responses in the Major Antigenic Protein Rv3873 Encoded by Region of Difference 1 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Abstract:

Rv3873 is a relatively large size protein (371 amino acids in length) and its gene is located in the immunodominant genomic region of difference (RD)1 that is present in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis but deleted from the genomes of all the vaccine strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and most other mycobacteria. However, when tested for cellular immune responses using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and BCG-vaccinated healthy subjects, this protein was found to be a major stimulator of cell mediated immune responses in both groups of subjects. In order to further identify the sequence of immunodominant epitopes and explore their Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-restriction for epitope recognition, 24 peptides (25-mers overlapping with the neighboring peptides by 10 residues) covering the sequence of Rv3873 were synthesized chemically using fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chemistry and tested in cell mediated immune responses. The results of these experiments helped in the identification of an immunodominant peptide P9 that was recognized by people expressing varying HLA-DR types. Furthermore, it was also predicted to be a promiscuous binder with multiple epitopes for binding to HLA-DR, HLA-DP and HLA-DQ alleles of HLA-class II molecules that present antigens to T helper cells, and to HLA-class I molecules that present antigens to T cytotoxic cells. In addition, the evaluation of peptide P9 using an immunogenicity predictor server yielded a high score (0.94), which indicated a greater probability of this peptide to elicit a protective cellular immune response. In conclusion, P9, a peptide with multiple epitopes and ability to bind several HLA class I and class II molecules for presentation to cells of the cellular immune response, may be useful as a peptide-based vaccine against tuberculosis.

Paper Detail
38
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1634
10008623
A Close Study on the Nitrate Fertilizer Use and Environmental Pollution for Human Health in Iran
Abstract:

Nitrogen accumulates in soils during the process of fertilizer addition to promote the plant growth. When the organic matter decomposes, the form of available nitrogen produced is in the form of nitrate, which is highly mobile. The most significant health effect of nitrate ingestion is methemoglobinemia in infants under six months of age (blue baby syndrome). The mobile nutrients, like nitrate nitrogen, are not stored in the soil as the available forms for the long periods and in large amounts. It depends on the needs for the crops such as vegetables. On the other hand, the vegetables will compete actively for nitrate nitrogen as a mobile nutrient and water. The mobile nutrients must be shared. The fewer the plants, the larger this share is for each plant. Also, this nitrate nitrogen is poisonous for the people who use these vegetables. Nitrate is converted to nitrite by the existing bacteria in the stomach and the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. When nitrite is entered into the blood cells, it converts the hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which causes the anoxemia and cyanosis. The increasing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, especially the fertilizers with nitrates compounds, which have been common for the increased production of agricultural crops, has caused the nitrate pollution in the (soil, water, and environment). They have caused a lot of damage to humans and animals. In this research, the nitrate accumulation in different kind of vegetables such as; green pepper, tomatoes, egg plants, watermelon, cucumber, and red pepper were observed in the suburbs of Mashhad, Neisabour, and Sabzevar cities. In some of these cities, the information forms of agronomical practices collected were such as; different vegetable crops fertilizer recommendations, varieties, pesticides, irrigation schedules, etc., which were filled out by some of our colleagues in the research areas mentioned above. Analysis of the samples was sent to the soil and water laboratory in our department in Mashhad. The final results from the chemical analysis of samples showed that the mean levels of nitrates from the samples of the fruit crops in the mentioned cities above were all lower than the critical levels. These fruit crop samples were in the order of: 35.91, 8.47, 24.81, 6.03, 46.43, 2.06 mg/kg dry matter, for the following crops such as; tomato, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, green pepper, and red pepper. Even though, this study was conducted with limited samples and by considering the mean levels, the use of these crops from the nutritional point of view will not cause the poisoning of humans.

Paper Detail
173
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1633
10008652
Strategic Entrepreneurship: Model Proposal for Post-Troika Sustainable Cultural Organizations
Abstract:

Recent literature on issues of Cultural Management (also called Strategic Management for cultural organizations) systematically seeks for models that allow such equipment to adapt to the constant change that occurs in contemporary societies. In the last decade, the world, and in particular Europe has experienced a serious financial problem that has triggered defensive mechanisms, both in the direction of promoting the balance of public accounts and in the sense of the anonymous loss of the democratic and cultural values of each nation. If in the first case emerged the Troika that led to strong cuts in funding for Culture, deeply affecting those organizations; in the second case, the commonplace citizen is seen fighting for the non-closure of cultural equipment. Despite this, the cultural manager argues that there is no single formula capable of solving the need to adapt to change. In another way, it is up to this agent to know the existing scientific models and to adapt them in the best way to the reality of the institution he coordinates. These actions, as a rule, are concerned with the best performance vis-à-vis external audiences or with the financial sustainability of cultural organizations. They forget, therefore, that all this mechanics cannot function without its internal public, without its Human Resources. The employees of the cultural organization must then have an entrepreneurial posture - must be intrapreneurial. This paper intends to break this form of action and lead the cultural manager to understand that his role should be in the sense of creating value for society, through a good organizational performance. This is only possible with a posture of strategic entrepreneurship. In other words, with a link between: Cultural Management, Cultural Entrepreneurship and Cultural Intrapreneurship. In order to prove this assumption, the case study methodology was used with the symbol of the European Capital of Culture (Casa da Música) as well as qualitative and quantitative techniques. The qualitative techniques included the procedure of in-depth interviews to managers, founders and patrons and focus groups to public with and without experience in managing cultural facilities. The quantitative techniques involved the application of a questionnaire to middle management and employees of Casa da Música. After the triangulation of the data, it was proved that contemporary management of cultural organizations must implement among its practices, the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variables. Also, the topics which characterize the Cultural Intrapreneurship notion (job satisfaction, the quality in organizational performance, the leadership and the employee engagement and autonomy) emerged. The findings show then that to be sustainable, a cultural organization should meet the concerns of both external and internal forum. In other words, it should have an attitude of citizenship to the communities, visible on a social responsibility and a participatory management, only possible with the implementation of the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variable of Cultural Intrapreneurship.

Paper Detail
152
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1632
10008661
University Students Sport’s Activities Assessment in Harsh Weather Conditions
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This paper addresses the application of physiological status monitoring (PSM) for assessing the impact of harsh weather conditions on sports activities in universities in Saudi Arabia. Real sports measurement was conducted during sports activities such that the physiological status (HR and BR) of five students were continuously monitored by using Zephyr BioHarnessTM 3.0 sensors in order to identify the physiological bonds and zones. These bonds and zones were employed as indicators of the associated physiological risks of the performed sports activities. Furthermore, a short yes/no questionnaire was applied to collect information on participants’ health conditions and opinions of the applied PSM sensors. The results show the absence of a warning system as a protective aid for the hazardous levels of extremely hot and humid weather conditions that may cause dangerous and fatal circumstances. The applied formulas for estimating maximum HR provides accurate estimations for Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax). The physiological results reveal that the performed activities by the participants are considered the highest category (90–100%) in terms of activity intensity. This category is associated with higher HR, BR and physiological risks including losing the ability to control human body behaviors. Therefore, there is a need for immediate intervention actions to reduce the intensity of the performed activities to safer zones. The outcomes of this study assist the safety improvement of sports activities inside universities and athletes performing their sports activities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to represent a special case of the application of PSM technology for assessing sports activities in universities considering the impacts of harsh weather conditions on students’ health and safety.

Paper Detail
138
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1631
10008663
A Performance Analysis Study of an Active Solar Still Integrating Fin at the Basin Plate
Abstract:

Water is one of the most important and vulnerable natural resources due to human activities and climate change. Water-level continues declining year after year and it is primarily caused by sustained, extensive, and traditional usage methods. Improving water utilization becomes an urgent issue in order satisfy the increasing population needs. Desalination of seawater or brackish water could help in increasing water potential. However, a cost-effective desalination process is required. The most appropriate method for performing this desalination is solar-driven distillation, given its simplicity, low cost and especially the availability of the solar energy source. The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate the influence of coupling integrated basin plate by fins with preheating by solar collector on the performance of solar still. The energy balance equations for the various elements of the solar still are introduced. A numerical example is used to show the efficiency of the proposed solution.

Paper Detail
96
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1630
10008716
Synthesis, Physicochemical Characterization and Study of the Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorobutanol
Abstract:

Introduction and objectives: Chlorobutanol is a raw material, mainly used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial preservative in injectable and ophthalmic preparations. The main objective of our study was the synthesis and evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of chlorobutanol hemihydrates. Material and methods: Chlorobutanol was synthesized according to the nucleophilic addition reaction of chloroform to acetone, identified by an infrared absorption using Spectrum One FTIR spectrometer, melting point, Scanning electron microscopy and colorimetric reactions. The dosage of Carvedilol active substance was carried out by assaying the degradation products of chlorobutanol in a basic solution. The chlorobutanol obtained was subjected to bacteriological tests in order to study its antimicrobial activity. The antibacterial activity was evaluated against strains such as Escherichia coli (ATCC 25 922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25 923) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (ATCC = American type culture collection). The antifungal activity was evaluated against human pathogenic fungal strains, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger provided by the parasitology laboratory of the Hospital of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. Results and discussion: Chlorobutanol was obtained in an acceptable yield. The characterization tests of the product obtained showed a white and crystalline appearance (confirmed by scanning electron microscopy), solubilities (in water, ethanol and glycerol), and a melting temperature in accordance with the requirements of the European pharmacopoeia. The colorimetric reactions were directed towards the presence of a trihalogenated carbon and an alcohol function. The spectral identification (IR) showed the presence of characteristic chlorobutanol peaks and confirmed the structure of the latter. The microbiological study revealed an antimicrobial effect on all strains tested (Sataphylococcus aureus (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), E. coli (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Pseudomonas aeroginosa (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Candida albicans (MIC =2500 µg/ml), Aspergillus niger (MIC =2500 µg/ml)) with MIC values close to literature data. Conclusion: Thus, on the whole, the synthesized chlorobutanol satisfied the requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia, and possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity; nevertheless it is necessary to insist on the purification step of the product in order to eliminate the maximum impurities.

Paper Detail
120
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1629
10008737
Apparent Temperature Distribution on Scaffoldings during Construction Works
Abstract:

People on construction scaffoldings work in dynamically changing, often unfavourable climate. Additionally, this kind of work is performed on low stiffness structures at high altitude, which increases the risk of accidents. It is therefore desirable to define the parameters of the work environment that contribute to increasing the construction worker occupational safety level. The aim of this article is to present how changes in microclimate parameters on scaffolding can impact the development of dangerous situations and accidents. For this purpose, indicators based on the human thermal balance were used. However, use of this model under construction conditions is often burdened by significant errors or even impossible to implement due to the lack of precise data. Thus, in the target model, the modified parameter was used – apparent environmental temperature. Apparent temperature in the proposed Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model has been a perceived outdoor temperature, caused by the combined effects of air temperature, radiative temperature, relative humidity and wind speed (wind chill index, heat index). In the paper, correlations between component factors and apparent temperature for facade scaffolding with a width of 24.5 m and a height of 42.3 m, located at south-west side of building are presented. The distribution of factors on the scaffolding has been used to evaluate fitting of the microclimate model. The results of the studies indicate that observed ranges of apparent temperature on the scaffolds frequently results in a worker’s inability to adapt. This leads to reduced concentration and increased fatigue, adversely affects health, and consequently increases the risk of dangerous situations and accidental injuries

Paper Detail
101
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1628
10008756
Urban and Rural Children’s Knowledge on Biodiversity in Bizkaia: Tree Identification Skills and Animal and Plant Listing
Abstract:
Biodiversity provides humans with a great range of ecosystemic services; it is therefore an indispensable resource and a legacy to coming generations. However, in the last decades, the increasing exploitation of the Planet has caused a great loss of biodiversity and its acquaintance has decreased remarkably; especially in urbanized areas, due to the decreasing attachment of humans to nature. Yet, the Primary Education curriculum primes the identification of flora and fauna to guarantee the knowledge of children on their surroundings, so that they care for the environment as well as for themselves. In order to produce effective didactic material that meets the needs of both teachers and pupils, it is fundamental to diagnose the current situation. In the present work, the knowledge on biodiversity of 3rd cycle Primary Education students in Biscay (n=98) and its relation to the size of the town/city of their school is discussed. Two tests have been used with such aim: one for tree identification and the other one so that the students enumerated the species of trees and animals they knew. Results reveal that knowledge of students on tree identification is scarce regardless the size of the city/town and of their school. On the other hand, animal species are better known than tree species.
Paper Detail
139
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1627
10008762
Humans as Enrichment: Human-Animal Interactions and the Perceived Benefit to the Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Human and Zoological Establishment
Abstract:

Engagement with non-human animals is a rapidly-growing field of study within the animal science and social science sectors, with human-interactions occurring in many forms; interactions, encounters and animal-assisted therapy. To our knowledge, there has been a wide array of research published on domestic and livestock human-animal interactions, however, there appear to be fewer publications relating to zoo animals and the effect these interactions have on the animal, human and establishment. The aim of this study was to identify if there were any perceivable benefits from the human-animal interaction for the cheetah, the human and the establishment. Behaviour data were collected before, during and after the interaction on the behaviour of the cheetah and the human participants to highlight any trends with nine interactions conducted. All 35 participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire prior to the interaction and immediately after to ascertain if their perceptions changed following an interaction with the cheetah. An online questionnaire was also distributed for three months to gain an understanding of the perceptions of human-animal interactions from members of the public, gaining 229 responses. Both questionnaires contained qualitative and quantitative questions to allow for specific definitive answers to be analysed, but also expansion on the participants perceived perception of human-animal interactions. In conclusion, it was found that participants’ perceptions of human-animal interactions saw a positive change, with 64% of participants altering their opinion and viewing the interaction as beneficial for the cheetah (reduction in stress assumed behaviours) following participation in a 15-minute interaction. However, it was noted that many participants felt the interaction lacked educational values and therefore this is an area in which zoological establishments can work to further improve upon. The results highlighted many positive benefits for the human, animal and establishment, however, the study does indicate further areas for research in order to promote positive perceptions of human-animal interactions and to further increase the welfare of the animal during these interactions, with recommendations to create and regulate legislation.

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237
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1626
10008920
Human Factors as the Main Reason of the Accident in Scaffold Use Assessment
Abstract:

Main goal of the research project is Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model (SURAM) formulation, developed for the assessment of risk levels as a various construction process stages with various work trades. Finally, in 2016, the project received financing by the National Center for Research and development according to PBS3/A2/19/2015–Research Grant. The presented data, calculations and analyzes discussed in this paper were created as a result of the completion on the first and second phase of the PBS3/A2/19/2015 project. Method: One of the arms of the research project is the assessment of worker visual concentration on the sight zones as well as risky visual point inadequate observation. In this part of research, the mobile eye-tracker was used to monitor the worker observation zones. SMI Eye Tracking Glasses is a tool, which allows us to analyze in real time and place where our eyesight is concentrated on and consequently build the map of worker's eyesight concentration during a shift. While the project is still running, currently 64 construction sites have been examined, and more than 600 workers took part in the experiment including monitoring of typical parameters of the work regimen, workload, microclimate, sound vibration, etc. Full equipment can also be useful in more advanced analyses. Because of that technology we have verified not only main focus of workers eyes during work on or next to scaffolding, but we have also examined which changes in the surrounding environment during their shift influenced their concentration. In the result of this study it has been proven that only up to 45.75% of the shift time, workers’ eye concentration was on one of three work-related areas. Workers seem to be distracted by noisy vehicles or people nearby. In opposite to our initial assumptions and other authors’ findings, we observed that the reflective parts of the scaffoldings were not more recognized by workers in their direct workplaces. We have noticed that the red curbs were the only well recognized part on a very few scaffoldings. Surprisingly on numbers of samples, we have not recognized any significant number of concentrations on those curbs. Conclusion: We have found the eye-tracking method useful for the construction of the SURAM model in the risk perception and worker’s behavior sub-modules. We also have found that the initial worker's stress and work visual conditions seem to be more predictive for assessment of the risky developing situation or an accident than other parameters relating to a work environment.

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52
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1625
10008513
Development of a Multi-Factorial Instrument for Accident Analysis Based on Systemic Methods
Abstract:

The present research is built on three major pillars, commencing by making some considerations on accident investigation methods and pointing out both defining aspects and differences between linear and non-linear analysis. The traditional linear focus on accident analysis describes accidents as a sequence of events, while the latest systemic models outline interdependencies between different factors and define the processes evolution related to a specific (normal) situation. Linear and non-linear accident analysis methods have specific limitations, so the second point of interest is mirrored by the aim to discover the drawbacks of systemic models which becomes a starting point for developing new directions to identify risks or data closer to the cause of incidents/accidents. Since communication represents a critical issue in the interaction of human factor and has been proved to be the answer of the problems made by possible breakdowns in different communication procedures, from this focus point, on the third pylon a new error-modeling instrument suitable for risk assessment/accident analysis will be elaborated.

Paper Detail
177
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1624
10008516
Similarity Solutions of Nonlinear Stretched Biomagnetic Flow and Heat Transfer with Signum Function and Temperature Power Law Geometries
Abstract:

Biomagnetic fluid dynamics is an interdisciplinary field comprising engineering, medicine, and biology. Bio fluid dynamics is directed towards finding and developing the solutions to some of the human body related diseases and disorders. This article describes the flow and heat transfer of two dimensional, steady, laminar, viscous and incompressible biomagnetic fluid over a non-linear stretching sheet in the presence of magnetic dipole. Our model is consistent with blood fluid namely biomagnetic fluid dynamics (BFD). This model based on the principles of ferrohydrodynamic (FHD). The temperature at the stretching surface is assumed to follow a power law variation, and stretching velocity is assumed to have a nonlinear form with signum function or sign function. The governing boundary layer equations with boundary conditions are simplified to couple higher order equations using usual transformations. Numerical solutions for the governing momentum and energy equations are obtained by efficient numerical techniques based on the common finite difference method with central differencing, on a tridiagonal matrix manipulation and on an iterative procedure. Computations are performed for a wide range of the governing parameters such as magnetic field parameter, power law exponent temperature parameter, and other involved parameters and the effect of these parameters on the velocity and temperature field is presented. It is observed that for different values of the magnetic parameter, the velocity distribution decreases while temperature distribution increases. Besides, the finite difference solutions results for skin-friction coefficient and rate of heat transfer are discussed. This study will have an important bearing on a high targeting efficiency, a high magnetic field is required in the targeted body compartment.

Paper Detail
117
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10008524
Risk and Uncertainty in Aviation: A Thorough Analysis of System Vulnerabilities
Abstract:

Hazard assessment and risks quantification are key components for estimating the impact of existing regulations. But since regulatory compliance cannot cover all risks in aviation, the authors point out that by studying causal factors and eliminating uncertainty, an accurate analysis can be outlined. The research debuts by making delimitations on notions, as confusion on the terms over time has reflected in less rigorous analysis. Throughout this paper, it will be emphasized the fact that the variation in human performance and organizational factors represent the biggest threat from an operational perspective. Therefore, advanced risk assessment methods analyzed by the authors aim to understand vulnerabilities of the system given by a nonlinear behavior. Ultimately, the mathematical modeling of existing hazards and risks by eliminating uncertainty implies establishing an optimal solution (i.e. risk minimization).

Paper Detail
273
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1622
10008538
Development of Soft-Core System for Heart Rate and Oxygen Saturation
Abstract:

This paper is about the development of non-invasive heart rate and oxygen saturation in human blood using Altera NIOS II soft-core processor system. In today's world, monitoring oxygen saturation and heart rate is very important in hospitals to keep track of low oxygen levels in blood. We have designed an Embedded System On Peripheral Chip (SOPC) reconfigurable system by interfacing two LED’s of different wavelengths (660 nm/940 nm) with a single photo-detector to measure the absorptions of hemoglobin species at different wavelengths. The implementation of the interface with Finger Probe and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) was carried out using NIOS II soft-core system running on Altera NANO DE0 board having target as Cyclone IVE. This designed system is used to monitor oxygen saturation in blood and heart rate for different test subjects. The designed NIOS II processor based non-invasive heart rate and oxygen saturation was verified with another Operon Pulse oximeter for 50 measurements on 10 different subjects. It was found that the readings taken were very close to the Operon Pulse oximeter.

Paper Detail
134
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1621
10008547
Numerical Simulation of Natural Gas Dispersion from Low Pressure Pipelines
Abstract:

Gas release from the pipelines is one of the main factors in the gas industry accidents. Released gas ejects from the pipeline as a free jet and in the growth process, the fuel gets mixed with the ambient air. Accordingly, an accidental spark will release the chemical energy of the mixture with an explosion. Gas explosion damages the equipment and endangers the life of staffs. So due to importance of safety in gas industries, prevision of accident can reduce the number of the casualties. In this paper, natural gas leakages from the low pressure pipelines are studied in two steps: 1) the simulation of mixing process and identification of flammable zones and 2) the simulation of wind effects on the mixing process. The numerical simulations were performed by using the finite volume method and the pressure-based algorithm. Also, for the grid generation the structured method was used. The results show that, in just 6.4 s after accident, released natural gas could penetrate to 40 m in vertical and 20 m in horizontal direction. Moreover, the results show that the wind speed is a key factor in dispersion process. In fact, the wind transports the flammable zones into the downstream. Hence, to improve the safety of the people and human property, it is preferable to construct gas facilities and buildings in the opposite side of prevailing wind direction.

Paper Detail
117
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1620
10008555
Design and Modeling of Human Middle Ear for Harmonic Response Analysis
Abstract:

The human middle ear (ME) is a delicate and vital organ. It has a complex structure that performs various functions such as receiving sound pressure and producing vibrations of eardrum and propagating it to inner ear. It consists of Tympanic Membrane (TM), three auditory ossicles, various ligament structures and muscles. Incidents such as traumata, infections, ossification of ossicular structures and other pathologies may damage the ME organs. The conditions can be surgically treated by employing prosthesis. However, the suitability of the prosthesis needs to be examined in advance prior to the surgery. Few decades ago, this issue was addressed and analyzed by developing an equivalent representation either in the form of spring mass system, electrical system using R-L-C circuit or developing an approximated CAD model. But, nowadays a three-dimensional ME model can be constructed using micro X-Ray Computed Tomography (μCT) scan data. Moreover, the concern about patient specific integrity pertaining to the disease can be examined well in advance. The current research work emphasizes to develop the ME model from the stacks of μCT images which are used as input file to MIMICS Research 19.0 (Materialise Interactive Medical Image Control System) software. A stack of CT images is converted into geometrical surface model to build accurate morphology of ME. The work is further extended to understand the dynamic behaviour of Harmonic response of the stapes footplate and umbo for different sound pressure levels applied at lateral side of eardrum using finite element approach. The pathological condition Cholesteatoma of ME is investigated to obtain peak to peak displacement of stapes footplate and umbo. Apart from this condition, other pathologies, mainly, changes in the stiffness of stapedial ligament, TM thickness and ossicular chain separation and fixation are also explored. The developed model of ME for pathologies is validated by comparing the results available in the literatures and also with the results of a normal ME to calculate the percentage loss in hearing capability.

Paper Detail
116
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1619
10008574
Cercarial Diversity in Freshwater Snails from Selected Freshwater Bodies and Its Implication for Veterinary and Public Health in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Abstract:

A study conducted to determine cercariae diversity and prevalence of trematode infection in freshwater snails from six freshwater bodies selected by systematic random sampling in Kaduna State was carried from January 2013 to December 2013. Freshwater snails and cercariae harvested from the study sites were morphologically identified. A total of 23,823 freshwater snails were collected from the six freshwater bodies: Bagoma dam, Gimbawa dam, Kangimi dam, Kubacha dam, Manchok water intake and Saminaka water intake. The observed freshwater snail species were: Melanoides tuberculata, Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Bulinus globosus, Lymnaea natalensis, Physa sp., Cleopatra bulimoides, Bellamya unicolor and Lanistes varicus. The freshwater snails were exposed to artificial bright light from a 100 Watt electric bulb in the laboratory to induce cercarial shedding. Of the total freshwater snails collected, 10.55% released one or more types of cercariae. Seven morphological types of cercariae were shed by six freshwater snail species namely: Brevifurcate-apharyngeate distome, Amphistome, Gymnocephalus, Longifurcate-pharyngeate monostome, Longifurcate-pharyngeate distome, Echinostome and Xiphidio cercariae. Infection was monotype in most of the freshwater snails collected; however, Physa species presented a mixed infection with Gymnocephalus and Longifurcate-pharyngeate distome cercariae. B. globosus and B. pfeifferi were the most preferred intermediate hosts with the prevalence of 13.48% and 13.46%, respectively. The diversity and prevalence of cercariae varied among the six freshwater bodies with Manchok water intake having the highest infestation (14.3%) and the least recorded in Kangimi dam (3.9%). There was a correlation trend between the number of freshwater snails and trematode infection with Manchok exhibiting the highest and Bagoma none. The highest cercarial diversity was observed in B. pfeifferi and B. globosus with four morphotypes each, and the lowest was in M. tuberculata with one morphotype. The general distribution of freshwater snails and the trematode cercariae they shed suggests the risk of human and animals to trematodiasis in Manchok community. Public health education to raise awareness on individual and communal action that may control snail breeding sites, prevent transmission and provide access to treatment should be intensified.

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122
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