The present study considers the effect of variation of different geotechnical random variables in the design of stone column-foundation systems for assessing the bearing capacity and consolidation settlement of highly compressible soil. The soil and stone column properties, spacing, diameter and arrangement of stone columns are considered as the random variables. Probability of failure (Pf) is computed for a target degree of consolidation and a target safe load by Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS). The study shows that the variation in coefficient of radial consolidation (cr) and cohesion of soil (cs) are two most important factors influencing Pf. If the coefficient of variation (COV) of cr exceeds 20%, Pf exceeds 0.001, which is unsafe following the guidelines of US Army Corps of Engineers. The bearing capacity also exceeds its safe value for COV of cs > 30%. It is also observed that as the spacing between the stone column increases, the probability of reaching a target degree of consolidation decreases. Accordingly, design guidelines, considering both consolidation and bearing capacity of improved ground, are proposed for different spacing and diameter of stone columns and geotechnical random variables.
Road networks are increasingly expanding all over the world. The construction and maintenance of the road pavements require large amounts of aggregates. Considerable usage of various natural aggregates for constructing roads as well as the increasing rate at which solid waste is generated have attracted the attention of many researchers in the pavement industry to investigate the feasibility of the application of some of the waste materials as alternative materials in pavement construction. Among various waste materials, construction and demolition wastes, including Recycled Construction Aggregate (RCA) constitute a major part of the municipal solid wastes in Australia. Creating opportunities for the application of RCA in civil and geotechnical engineering applications is an efficient way to increase the market value of RCA. However, in spite of such promising potentials, insufficient and inconclusive data and information on the engineering properties of RCA had limited the reliability and design specifications of RCA to date. In light of this, this paper, as a first step of a comprehensive research, aims to investigate the feasibility of the application of RCA obtained from construction and demolition wastes for the replacement of part of coarse aggregates in asphalt mixture. As the suitability of aggregates for using in asphalt mixtures is determined based on the aggregate characteristics, including physical and mechanical properties of the aggregates, an experimental program is set up to evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of RCA. This laboratory investigation included the measurement of compressive strength and workability of RCA, particle shape, water absorption, flakiness index, crushing value, deleterious materials and weak particles, wet/dry strength variation, and particle density. In addition, the comparison of RCA properties with virgin aggregates has been included as part of this investigation and this paper presents the results of these investigations on RCA, basalt, and the mix of RCA/basalt.
Health for all is considered as a sign of well-being and inclusive growth. New healthcare technologies are contributing to the quality of human lives by promoting health education and awareness, leading to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms of diseases. Healthcare technologies have now migrated from the medical and institutionalized settings to the home and everyday life. This paper explores these new technologies and investigates how they contribute to health education and awareness, promoting the objective of high-value health system for all. The methodology used for the research is literature review. The paper also discusses the opportunities and challenges with futuristic healthcare technologies. The combined advances in genomics medicine, wearables and the IoT with enhanced data collection in electronic health record (EHR) systems, environmental sensors, and mobile device applications can contribute in a big way to high-value health system for all. The promise by these technologies includes reduced total cost of healthcare, reduced incidence of medical diagnosis errors, and reduced treatment variability. The major barriers to adoption include concerns with security, privacy, and integrity of healthcare data, regulation and compliance issues, service reliability, interoperability and portability of data, and user friendliness and convenience of these technologies.
We introduce the redundancy matrix that expresses clearly the geometrical/topological configuration of the structure. With the matrix, the redundancy of the structure is resolved into redundant components and assigned to each member or rigid joint. The values of the diagonal elements in the matrix indicates the importance of the corresponding members or rigid joints, and the geometrically correlations can be shown with the non-diagonal elements. If a member or rigid joint failures, reassignment of the redundant components can be calculated with the recursive method given in the paper. By combining the indexes of reliability and redundancy components, we define an index concerning the structural robustness. To further explain the properties of the redundancy matrix, we cited several examples of statically indeterminate structures, including two trusses and a rigid frame. With the examples, some simple results and the properties of the matrix are discussed. The examples also illustrate that the redundancy matrix and the relevant concepts are valuable in structural safety analysis.
The reliability of the power grid depends on the successful operation of thousands of protective relays. The failure of one relay to operate as intended may lead the entire power grid to blackout. In fact, major power system failures during transient disturbances may be caused by unnecessary protective relay tripping rather than by the failure of a relay to operate. Adequate relay testing provides a first defense against false trips of the relay and hence improves power grid stability and prevents catastrophic bulk power system failures. The goal of this research project is to design and enhance the relay tester using a technology such as Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) card NI 7851. A PC based tester framework has been developed using Simulink power system model for generating signals under different conditions (faults or transient disturbances) and LabVIEW for developing the graphical user interface and configuring the FPGA. Besides, the interface system has been developed for outputting and amplifying the signals without distortion. These signals should be like the generated ones by the real power system and large enough for testing the relay’s functionality. The signals generated that have been displayed on the scope are satisfactory. Furthermore, the proposed testing system can be used for improving the performance of protective relay.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between transaction fairness, social capital, supply chain integration and sustainability. Based on the previous studies, measurement items were determined by using SPSS 22 and exploratory factor analysis was performed, and again, using AMOS 21 for confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis was performed by using study items that satisfy reliability, validity, and appropriateness of measurement model. It has shown that transaction fairness has a (+) significant effect on social capital, social capital on supply chain integration, supply chain integration on economic sustainability and social sustainability, and has a (+), but not significant effect on environmental sustainability. It has shown that supply chain integration has been proven to play a role as a parameter between social capital and economic and social sustainability, but not as a parameter between environmental sustainability. Through this study, it is suggested that clearly examining the relationship between fairness of trade, social capital, supply chain integration and sustainability, maintaining fairness of the transaction make formation of social capital, and further integration of supply chain, and achieve sustainability of entire supply chain.
Main purpose of this study was to assess adoption level of farmers for quinoa cultivation after they had been taught through training and visit extension approach. At this time of the 21st century, population structure, climate change, food requirements and eating habits of people are changing rapidly. In this scenario, farmers must play their key role in sustainable crop development and production through adoption of new crops that may also be helpful to overcome the issue of food insecurity as well as reducing poverty in rural areas. Its cultivation in Pakistan is at the early stages and there is a need to raise awareness among farmers to grow quinoa crops. In the middle of the 2015, a training and visit extension approach was used to raise awareness and convince farmers to grow quinoa in the area. During training and visit extension program, 80 farmers were randomly selected for the training of quinoa cultivation. Later on, these farmers trained 60 more farmers living into their neighborhood. After six months, a survey was conducted with all 140 farmers to assess the impact of the training and visit program on adoption level of respondents for the quinoa crop. The survey instrument was developed with the help of literature review and other experts of the crop. Validity and reliability of the instrument were checked before complete data collection. The data were analyzed by using SPSS. Multiple regression analysis was used for interpretation of the results from the survey, which indicated that factors like information/ training, change in agronomic and plant protection practices play a key role in the adoption of quinoa cultivation by respondents. In addition, the model explains more than 50% of variation in the adoption level of respondents. It is concluded that farmers need timely information for improved knowledge of agronomic and plant protection practices to adopt cultivation of the quinoa crop in the area.
The main objective of this paper is to optimize series-parallel system reliability using Genetic Algorithm (GA) and statistical analysis; considering system reliability constraints which involve the redundant numbers of selected components, total cost, and total weight. To perform this work, firstly the mathematical model which maximizes system reliability subject to maximum system cost and maximum system weight constraints is presented; secondly, a statistical analysis is used to optimize GA parameters, and thirdly GA is used to optimize series-parallel systems reliability. The objective is to determine the strategy choosing the redundancy level for each subsystem to maximize the overall system reliability subject to total cost and total weight constraints. Finally, the series-parallel system case study reliability optimization results are showed, and comparisons with the other previous results are presented to demonstrate the performance of our GA.
Although it is known that interpersonal skills are essential for personal development, the debate however continues as to how to measure those skills, especially in youths. This study was conducted to develop a measurement model of interpersonal skills by suggesting three construct namely personal, skills and relationship; six function namely self, perception, listening, conversation, emotion and conflict management; and 30 behaviours as indicators. This cross-sectional survey by questionnaires was applied in east side of peninsula of Malaysia for 150 respondents, and analyzed by structural equation modelling (SEM) by AMOS. The suggested constructs, functions and indicators were consider accepted as measurement elements by observing on regression weight for standard loading, average variance extracted (AVE) for convergent validity, square root of AVE for discriminant validity, composite reliability (CR), and at least three fit indexes for model fitness. Finally, a measurement model of interpersonal skill for youth was successfully developed.
Non-parametric reliability technique is useful for assessment of reliability of systems for which failure rates are not available. This is useful when detection of malfunctioning of any component is the key purpose during ongoing operation of the system. The main purpose of the Heat Exchanger Cycle discussed in this paper is to provide hot water at a constant temperature for longer periods of time. In such a cycle, certain components play a crucial role and this paper presents an effective way to predict the malfunctioning of the components by determination of system reliability. The method discussed in the paper is feasible and this is clarified with the help of various test cases.
The aim of this study was to investigate the current and ideal situations of the process of talent identification in Iranian football from the point of view of Iranian instructors of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). This research was a descriptive-analytical study; in data collection phase a questionnaire was used, whose face validity was confirmed by experts of Physical Education and Sports Science. The reliability of questionnaire was estimated through the use of Cronbach's alpha method (0.91). This study involved 122 participants of Iranian instructors of the AFC who were selected based on stratified random sampling method. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the variables and inferential statistics (Chi-square) were used to test the hypotheses of the study at significant level (p ≤ 0.05). The results of Chi-square test related to the point of view of Iranian instructors of the AFC showed that the grass-roots scientific method was the best way to identify football players (0.001), less than 10 years old were the best ages for talent identification (0.001), the Football Federation was revealed to be the most important organization in talent identification (0.002), clubs were shown to be the most important institution in developing talents (0.001), trained scouts of Football Federation were demonstrated to be the best and most appropriate group for talent identification (0.001), and being referred by the football academy coaches was shown to be the best way to attract talented football players in Iran (0.001). It was also found that there was a huge difference between the current and ideal situation of the process of talent identification in Iranian football from the point of view of Iranian instructors of the AFC. Hence, it is recommended that the policy makers of talent identification for Iranian football provide a comprehensive, clear and systematic model of talent identification and development processes for the clubs and football teams, so that the talent identification process helps to nurture football talents more efficiently.
Real-time optimization has been considered an effective approach for improving energy efficient operation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. In model-based real-time optimization, model mismatches cannot be avoided. When model mismatches are significant, the performance of the real-time optimization will be impaired and hence the expected energy saving will be reduced. In this paper, the model mismatches for chiller plant on real-time optimization are considered. In the real-time optimization of the chiller plant, simplified semi-physical or grey box model of chiller is always used, which should be identified using available operation data. To overcome the model mismatches associated with the chiller model, hybrid Genetic Algorithms (HGAs) method is used for online real-time training of the chiller model. HGAs combines Genetic Algorithms (GAs) method (for global search) and traditional optimization method (i.e. faster and more efficient for local search) to avoid conventional hit and trial process of GAs. The identification of model parameters is synthesized as an optimization problem; and the objective function is the Least Square Error between the output from the model and the actual output from the chiller plant. A case study is used to illustrate the implementation of the proposed method. It has been shown that the proposed approach is able to provide reliability in decision making, enhance the robustness of the real-time optimization strategy and improve on energy performance.
In sub micrometer technology, the aging phenomenon starts to have a significant impact on the reliability of integrated circuits by bringing performance degradation. For that reason, it is important to have a capability to evaluate the aging effects accurately. This paper presents an accurate aging measurement approach based on phase-locked loop (PLL) and voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) circuit. The architecture is rejecting the circuit self-aging effect from the characteristics of PLL, which is generating the frequency without any aging phenomena affects. The aging monitor is implemented in low power 32 nm CMOS technology, and occupies a pretty small area. Aging simulation results show that the proposed aging measurement circuit improves accuracy by about 2.8% at high temperature and 19.6% at high voltage.
Adverse weather conditions, particularly those with low visibility, are critical to the driving tasks. However, the direct relationship between visibility distances and traffic flow/roadway safety is uncertain due to the limitation of visibility data availability. The recent growth of deployment of Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) makes segment-specific visibility information available which can be integrated with other Intelligent Transportation System, such as automated warning system and variable speed limit, to improve mobility and safety. Before applying the RWIS visibility measurements in traffic study and operations, it is critical to validate the data. Therefore, an attempt was made in the paper to examine the validity and viability of RWIS visibility data by comparing visibility measurements among RWIS, airport weather stations, and weather information recorded by police in crash reports, based on Ohio data. The results indicated that RWIS visibility measurements were significantly different from airport visibility data in Ohio, but no conclusion regarding the reliability of RWIS visibility could be drawn in the consideration of no verified ground truth in the comparisons. It was suggested that more objective methods are needed to validate the RWIS visibility measurements, such as continuous in-field measurements associated with various weather events using calibrated visibility sensors.
This paper outlines the design and development of the MENDEPRO questionnaire, designed to analyze mentoring performance within a professional development process carried out with professors at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. The study took into account the international research carried out over the past two decades into teachers' professional development, and was also based on a thorough review of the most common instruments used to identify and analyze mentoring styles, many of which fail to provide sufficient psychometric guarantees. The present study aimed to gather empirical data in order to verify the metric quality of the questionnaire developed. To this end, the process followed to validate the theoretical construct was as follows: The formulation of the items and indicators in accordance with the study variables; the analysis of the validity and reliability of the initial questionnaire; the review of the second version of the questionnaire and the definitive measurement instrument. Content was validated through the formal agreement and consensus of 12 university professor training experts. A reduced sample of professors who had participated in a lifelong learning program was then selected for a trial evaluation of the instrument developed. After the trial, 18 items were removed from the initial questionnaire. The final version of the instrument, comprising 33 items, was then administered to a sample group of 99 participants. The results revealed a five-dimensional structure matching theoretical expectations. Also, the reliability data for both the instrument as a whole (.98) and its various dimensions (between .91 and .97) were very high. The questionnaire was thus found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and can therefore be considered apt for studying the performance of mentoring in both induction programs for young professors and lifelong learning programs for senior faculty members.
Information quality is a major performance measure for an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system of any firm. This study identifies various critical success factors of information quality. The effect of various critical success factors like project management, reengineering efforts and interdepartmental communications on information quality is analyzed using a multiple regression model. Here quantitative data are collected from respondents from various firms through structured questionnaire for assessment of the information quality, project management, reengineering efforts and interdepartmental communications. The validity and reliability of the data are ensured using techniques like factor analysis, computing of Cronbach’s alpha. This study gives relative importance of each of the critical success factors. The findings suggest that among the various factors influencing information quality careful reengineering efforts are the most influencing factor. This paper gives clear insight to managers and practitioners regarding the relative importance of critical success factors influencing information quality so that they can formulate a strategy at the beginning of ERP system implementation.
Thermal power technology such as the TEG (Thermo-Electric Generator) arouses significant attention worldwide for waste heat recovery. Despite the potential benefits of marine application due to the permanent heat sink from sea water, no significant studies on this application were to be found. In this study, a test rig has been designed and built to test the performance of the TEG on engine operating points. The TEG device is built from commercially available materials for the sake of possible economical application. Two types of commercial TEM (thermo electric module) have been studied separately on the test rig. The engine data were extracted from a commercial Diesel engine since it shares the same principle in terms of engine efficiency and exhaust with the marine Diesel engine. An open circuit water cooling system is used to replicate the sea water cold source. The characterization tests showed that the silicium-germanium alloys TEM proved a remarkable reliability on all engine operating points, with no significant deterioration of performance even under sever variation in the hot source conditions. The performance of the bismuth-telluride alloys was 100% better than the first type of TEM but it showed a deterioration in power generation when the air temperature exceeds 300 °C. The temperature distribution on the heat exchange surfaces revealed no useful combination of these two types of TEM with this tube length, since the surface temperature difference between both ends is no more than 10 °C. This study exposed the perspective of use of TEG technology for marine engine exhaust heat recovery. Although the results suggested non-sufficient power generation from the low cost commercial TEM used, it provides valuable information about TEG device optimization, including the design of heat exchanger and the types of thermo-electric materials.