The Development of a Comprehensive Sustainable Supply Chain Performance Measurement Theoretical Framework in the Oil Refining Sector

The oil refining industry plays vital role in the world economy. Oil refining companies operate in a more complex and dynamic environment than ever before. In addition, oil refining companies and the public are becoming more conscious of crude oil scarcity and climate changes. Hence, sustainability in the oil refining industry is becoming increasingly critical to the industry's long-term viability and to the environmental sustainability. Mainly, it is relevant to the measurement and evaluation of the company's sustainable performance to support the company in understanding their performance and its implication more objectively and establishing sustainability development plans. Consequently, the oil refining companies attempt to re-engineer their supply chain to meet the sustainable goals and standards. On the other hand, this research realized that previous research in oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurements reveals that there is a lack of studies that consider the integration of sustainability in the supply chain performance measurement practices in the oil refining industry. Therefore, there is a need for research that provides performance guidance, which can be used to measure sustainability and assist in setting sustainable goals for oil refining supply chains. Accordingly, this paper aims to present a comprehensive oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurement theoretical framework. In development of this theoretical framework, the main characteristics of oil refining industry have been identified. For this purpose, a thorough review of relevant literature on performance measurement models and sustainable supply chain performance measurement models has been conducted. The comprehensive oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurement theoretical framework introduced in this paper aims to assist oil refining companies in measuring and evaluating their performance from a sustainability aspect to achieve sustainable operational excellence.

A Relative Analysis of Carbon and Dust Uptake by Important Tree Species in Tehran, Iran

Air pollution, particularly with dust, is one of the biggest issues Tehran is dealing with, and the city's green space which consists of trees has a critical role in absorption of it. The question this study aimed to investigate was which tree species the highest uptake capacity of the dust and carbon have suspended in the air. On this basis, 30 samples of trees from two different districts in Tehran were collected, and after washing and centrifuging, the samples were oven dried. The results of the study revealed that Ulmus minor had the highest amount of deposited dust in both districts. In addition, it was found that in Chamran district Ailanthus altissima and in Gandi district Ulmus minor has had the highest absorption of deposited carbon. Therefore, it could be argued that decision making on the selection of species for urban green spaces should take the above-mentioned parameters into account.

An Analysis of Digital Forensic Laboratory Development among Malaysia’s Law Enforcement Agencies

Cybercrime is on the rise, and yet many Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Malaysia have no Digital Forensics Laboratory (DFL) to assist them in the attrition and analysis of digital evidence. From the estimated number of 30 LEAs in Malaysia, sadly, only eight of them owned a DFL. All of the DFLs are concentrated in the capital of Malaysia and none at the state level. LEAs are still depending on the national DFL (CyberSecurity Malaysia) even for simple and straightforward cases. A survey was conducted among LEAs in Malaysia owning a DFL to understand their history of establishing the DFL, the challenges that they faced and the significance of the DFL to their case investigation. The results showed that the while some LEAs faced no challenge in establishing a DFL, some of them took seven to 10 years to do so. The reason was due to the difficulty in convincing their management because of the high costs involved. The results also revealed that with the establishment of a DFL, LEAs were better able to get faster forensic result and to meet agency’s timeline expectation. It is also found that LEAs were also able to get more meaningful forensic results on cases that require niche expertise, compared to sending off cases to the national DFL. Other than that, cases are getting more complex, and hence, a continuous stream of budget for equipment and training is inevitable. The result derived from the study is hoped to be used by other LEAs in justifying to their management the benefits of establishing an in-house DFL.

Benzpyrimoxan: An Insecticide for the Control of Rice Plant Hoppers

Rice plant hoppers (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) have been causing extensive economic damage in rice and are considered as serious threat in rice producing countries of Asia. They have developed resistance to major groups of chemical insecticide, and severe outbreaks occur commonly throughout Asia. To control these nuisance pests, Nihon Nohyaku Co., Ltd., recently discovered an insecticide, benzpyrimoxan (proposed ISO name), which is under development as NNI-1501 (development code). Benzpyrimoxan has a unique chemical structure which contains benzyloxy and cyclic acetal groups on pyrimidine moiety (5-(1,3-dioxan-2-yl)-4-[4- (trifluoromethyl)benzyloxy]pyrimidine). In order to clarify the biological properties of benzpyrimoxan, we conducted several experiments and found the following results. Benzpyrimoxan has high activity against nymphal stages of rice plant hoppers without any adulticidal activity. It provides excellent and long lasting control against rice plant hoppers, including populations that have developed resistance to several other chemical groups of insecticide. The study on its mode of action is undergoing. These features highlight the versatility of this insecticide as an effective and valuable tool from the viewpoints of insecticide resistance management and integrated pest management program. With the use of benzpyrimoxan, farmers shall be able to lead the best yield potential by keeping the population density of rice plant hoppers and associated virus diseases under control.

Multilayer Neural Network and Fuzzy Logic Based Software Quality Prediction

In the software development lifecycle, the quality prediction techniques hold a prime importance in order to minimize future design errors and expensive maintenance. There are many techniques proposed by various researchers, but with the increasing complexity of the software lifecycle model, it is crucial to develop a flexible system which can cater for the factors which in result have an impact on the quality of the end product. These factors include properties of the software development process and the product along with its operation conditions. In this paper, a neural network (perceptron) based software quality prediction technique is proposed. Using this technique, the stakeholders can predict the quality of the resulting software during the early phases of the lifecycle saving time and resources on future elimination of design errors and costly maintenance. This technique can be brought into practical use using successful training.

A Two-Phase Flow Interface Tracking Algorithm Using a Fully Coupled Pressure-Based Finite Volume Method

Two-phase and multi-phase flows are common flow types in fluid mechanics engineering. Among the basic and applied problems of these flow types, two-phase parallel flow is the one that two immiscible fluids flow in the vicinity of each other. In this type of flow, fluid properties (e.g. density, viscosity, and temperature) are different at the two sides of the interface of the two fluids. The most challenging part of the numerical simulation of two-phase flow is to determine the location of interface accurately. In the present work, a coupled interface tracking algorithm is developed based on Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) approach using a cell-centered, pressure-based, coupled solver. To validate this algorithm, an analytical solution for fully developed two-phase flow in presence of gravity is derived, and then, the results of the numerical simulation of this flow are compared with analytical solution at various flow conditions. The results of the simulations show good accuracy of the algorithm despite using a nearly coarse and uniform grid. Temporal variations of interface profile toward the steady-state solution show that a greater difference between fluids properties (especially dynamic viscosity) will result in larger traveling waves. Gravity effect studies also show that favorable gravity will result in a reduction of heavier fluid thickness and adverse gravity leads to increasing it with respect to the zero gravity condition. However, the magnitude of variation in favorable gravity is much more than adverse gravity.

A Review on Cloud Computing and Internet of Things

Cloud Computing is a convenient model for on-demand networks that uses shared pools of virtual configurable computing resources, such as servers, networks, storage devices, applications, etc. The cloud serves as an environment for companies and organizations to use infrastructure resources without making any purchases and they can access such resources wherever and whenever they need. Cloud computing is useful to overcome a number of problems in various Information Technology (IT) domains such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Scientific Research, e-Governance Systems, Decision Support Systems, ERP, Web Application Development, Mobile Technology, etc. Companies can use Cloud Computing services to store large amounts of data that can be accessed from anywhere on Earth and also at any time. Such services are rented by the client companies where the actual rent depends upon the amount of data stored on the cloud and also the amount of processing power used in a given time period. The resources offered by the cloud service companies are flexible in the sense that the user companies can increase or decrease their storage requirements or the processing power requirements at any time, thus minimizing the overall rental cost of the service they receive. In addition, the Cloud Computing service providers offer fast processors and applications software that can be shared by their clients. This is especially important for small companies with limited budgets which cannot afford to purchase their own expensive hardware and software. This paper is an overview of the Cloud Computing, giving its types, principles, advantages, and disadvantages. In addition, the paper gives some example engineering applications of Cloud Computing and makes suggestions for possible future applications in the field of engineering.

Development of an Implicit Physical Influence Upwind Scheme for Cell-Centered Finite Volume Method

An essential component of a finite volume method (FVM) is the advection scheme that estimates values on the cell faces based on the calculated values on the nodes or cell centers. The most widely used advection schemes are upwind schemes. These schemes have been developed in FVM on different kinds of structured and unstructured grids. In this research, the physical influence scheme (PIS) is developed for a cell-centered FVM that uses an implicit coupled solver. Results are compared with the exponential differencing scheme (EDS) and the skew upwind differencing scheme (SUDS). Accuracy of these schemes is evaluated for a lid-driven cavity flow at Re = 1000, 3200, and 5000 and a backward-facing step flow at Re = 800. Simulations show considerable differences between the results of EDS scheme with benchmarks, especially for the lid-driven cavity flow at high Reynolds numbers. These differences occur due to false diffusion. Comparing SUDS and PIS schemes shows relatively close results for the backward-facing step flow and different results in lid-driven cavity flow. The poor results of SUDS in the lid-driven cavity flow can be related to its lack of sensitivity to the pressure difference between cell face and upwind points, which is critical for the prediction of such vortex dominant flows.

Study of Crashworthiness Behavior of Thin-Walled Tube under Axial Loading by Using Computational Mechanics

This paper presents the computationally mechanics analysis of energy absorption for cylindrical and square thin wall tubed structure by using ABAQUS/explicit. The crashworthiness behavior of AISI 1020 mild steel thin-walled tube under axial loading has been studied. The influence effects of different model’s cross-section, as well as model length on the crashworthiness behavior of thin-walled tube, are investigated. The model was placed on loading platform under axial loading with impact velocity of 5 m/s to obtain the deformation results of each model under quasi-static loading. The results showed that model undergoes different deformation mode exhibits different energy absorption performance.

Flexural Properties of Halloysite Nanotubes-Polyester Nanocomposites Exposed to Aggressive Environment

This study aimed to investigate the effect of aggressive environment on the flexural properties of halloysite nanotubes-polyester nanocomposites. Results showed that the addition of halloysite nanotubes into polyester matrix was found to improve flexural properties of the nanocomposites in dry condition and after water-methanol exposure. Significant increase in surface roughness was also observed and measured by Alicona Infinite Focus optical microscope.

On the Optimality of Blocked Main Effects Plans

In this article, experimental situations are considered where a main effects plan is to be used to study m two-level factors using n runs which are partitioned into b blocks, not necessarily of same size. Assuming the block sizes to be even for all blocks, for the case n ≡ 2 (mod 4), optimal designs are obtained with respect to type 1 and type 2 optimality criteria in the class of designs providing estimation of all main effects orthogonal to the block effects. In practice, such orthogonal estimation of main effects is often a desirable condition. In the wider class of all available m two level even sized blocked main effects plans, where the factors do not occur at high and low levels equally often in each block, E-optimal designs are also characterized. Simple construction methods based on Hadamard matrices and Kronecker product for these optimal designs are presented.

Arabic Light Stemmer for Better Search Accuracy

Arabic is one of the most ancient and critical languages in the world. It has over than 250 million Arabic native speakers and more than twenty countries having Arabic as one of its official languages. In the past decade, we have witnessed a rapid evolution in smart devices, social network and technology sector which led to the need to provide tools and libraries that properly tackle the Arabic language in different domains. Stemming is one of the most crucial linguistic fundamentals. It is used in many applications especially in information extraction and text mining fields. The motivation behind this work is to enhance the Arabic light stemmer to serve the data mining industry and leverage it in an open source community. The presented implementation works on enhancing the Arabic light stemmer by utilizing and enhancing an algorithm that provides an extension for a new set of rules and patterns accompanied by adjusted procedure. This study has proven a significant enhancement for better search accuracy with an average 10% improvement in comparison with previous works.

The Application of Bayesian Heuristic for Scheduling in Real-Time Private Clouds

The emergence of Cloud data centers has revolutionized the IT industry. Private Clouds in specific provide Cloud services for certain group of customers/businesses. In a real-time private Cloud each task that is given to the system has a deadline that desirably should not be violated. Scheduling tasks in a real-time private CLoud determine the way available resources in the system are shared among incoming tasks. The aim of the scheduling policy is to optimize the system outcome which for a real-time private Cloud can include: energy consumption, deadline violation, execution time and the number of host switches. Different scheduling policies can be used for scheduling. Each lead to a sub-optimal outcome in a certain settings of the system. A Bayesian Scheduling strategy is proposed for scheduling to further improve the system outcome. The Bayesian strategy showed to outperform all selected policies. It also has the flexibility in dealing with complex pattern of incoming task and has the ability to adapt.

Evaluation of Bakery Products Made from Barley-Gelatinized Corn Flour and Wheat-Defatted Rice Bran Flour Composites

In the present research, whole meal barley flour (WBF) was supplemented with gelatinized corn flour (GCF) in 0 and 30%. Whole meal wheat flour (WWF) was mixed with defatted rice bran (DRB) to produce 0, 20, 25, and 30% replacement levels. Rheological properties of dough were studied. Thermal properties and starch crystallinity of flours were evaluated. Flat bread, balady bread and pie were prepared from the different flour blends. The different bakeries were sensory evaluated. Color of raw materials and crust of bakery products were determined. Nutrients contents of raw flours and food products were assessed. Results showed that addition of GCF to WBF increased the viscosity and falling number of the produced dough. Water absorption, dough development time and dough stability increased with increasing the level of DRB in dough while, weakening and mixing tolerance index decreased. Extensibility and energy decreased, while, resistance to extension increased as DRB level increased. Gelatinized temperature of WWF, WBF, GCF, and DRB were 13.26, 35.09, 28.33, and 39.63, respectively. Starch crystallinity was affected when DRB was added to WWF. The highest protein content was present in balady bread made from 70% WWF and 30% DRB. The highest calcium, phosphorus, and potassium levels were present in products made from 100% WBF. Sensory attributes of the products were slightly affected by adding DRB and GCF. Conclusion: Addition of DRB or GCF to WWF or WBF, respectively affect the physical, chemical, rheological and sensory properties of balady bread, flat bread, and pie while improved their nutritive values.

Gold Nanoparticle: Synthesis, Characterization, Clinico-Pathological, Pathological, and Bio-Distribution Studies in Rabbits

This study evaluated the acute toxicity and tissue distribution of intravenously administered gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in male rabbits. Rabbits were exposed to single dose of AuNPs (300 μg/ kg). Toxic effects were assessed via general behavior, hematological parameters, serum biochemical parameters, and histopathological examination of various rabbits’ organs. Inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to determine gold concentrations in tissue samples collected at predetermined time intervals. After one week, AuNPs exerted no obvious acute toxicity in rabbits. However, inflammatory reactions were observed in liver, lungs and kidneys accompanied with mild absolute neutrophilia and significant monocytosis. The highest gold levels were found in the spleen and liver followed by lungs, and kidneys. These results indicated that AuNPs could be distributed extensively to various tissues in the body, but primarily in the spleen and liver.

A Simple Autonomous Hovering and Operating Control of Multicopter Using Only Web Camera

In this paper, an autonomous hovering control method of multicopter using only Web camera is proposed. Recently, various control method of an autonomous flight for multicopter are proposed. But, in the previous proposed methods, a motion capture system (i. e., OptiTrack) and laser range finder are often used to measure the position and posture of multicopter. To achieve an autonomous flight control of multicopter with simple equipments, we propose an autonomous flight control method using AR marker and Web camera. AR marker can measure the position of multicopter with Cartesian coordinate in three dimensional, then its position connects with aileron, elevator, and accelerator throttle operation. A simple PID control method is applied to the each operation and adjust the controller gains. Experimental results are given to show the effectiveness of our proposed method. Moreover, another simple operation method for autonomous flight control multicopter is also proposed.

An Approximate Engineering Method for Aerodynamic Heating Solution around Blunt Body Nose

This paper is devoted to predict laminar and turbulent heating rates around blunt re-entry spacecraft at hypersonic conditions. Heating calculation of a hypersonic body is normally performed during the critical part of its flight trajectory. The procedure is of an inverse method, where a shock wave is assumed, and the body shape that supports this shock, as well as the flowfield between the shock and body, are calculated. For simplicity the normal momentum equation is replaced with a second order pressure relation; this simplification significantly reduces computation time. The geometries specified in this research, are parabola and ellipsoids which may have conical after bodies. An excellent agreement is observed between the results obtained in this paper and those calculated by others- research. Since this method is much faster than Navier-Stokes solutions, it can be used in preliminary design, parametric study of hypersonic vehicles.

Information content of Islamic Private Debt Announcement: Evidence from Malaysia

Different types of Islamic debts have been increasingly utilized as preferred means of debt funding by Malaysian private firms in recent years. This study examines the impact of Islamic debts announcement on private firms- stock returns. Our sample includes forty five listed companies on Bursa Malaysia involved in issuing of Islamic debts during 2005 to 2008. The abnormal returns and cumulative average abnormal returns are calculated and tested using standard event study methodology. The results show that a significant, negative abnormal return occurs one day before announcement date. This negative abnormal return is representing market participant-s adverse attitude toward Islamic private debt announcement during the research period.

A New Approach for Effect Evaluation of Sediment Management

Safety, river environment, and sediment utilization are the elements of the target of sediment management. As a change in an element by sediment management, may affect the other two elements, and the priority among three elements depends on stakeholders. It is necessary to develop a method to evaluate the effect of sediment management on each element and an integrated evaluation method for socio-economic effect. In this study, taking Mount Merapi basin as an investigation field, the method for an active volcanic basin was developed. An integrated evaluation method for sediment management was discussed from a socio-economic point on safety, environment, and sediment utilization and a case study of sediment management was evaluated by means of this method. To evaluate the effect of sediment management, some parameters on safety, utilization, and environment have been introduced. From a utilization point of view, job opportunity, additional income of local people, and tax income to local government were used to evaluate the effectiveness of sediment management. The risk degree of river infrastructure was used to describe the effect of sediment management on a safety aspect. To evaluate the effects of sediment management on environment, the mean diameter of grain size distribution of riverbed surface was used. On the coordinate system designating these elements, the direction of change in basin condition by sediment management can be predicted, so that the most preferable sediment management can be decided. The results indicate that the cases of sediment management tend to give the negative impacts on sediment utilization. However, these sediment managements will give positive impacts on safety and environment condition. Evaluation result from a social-economic point of view shows that the case study of sediment management reduces job opportunity and additional income for inhabitants as well as tax income for government. Therefore, it is necessary to make another policy for creating job opportunity for inhabitants to support these sediment managements.

Factors of Vocational Identity for Social Welfare University Students in Japan

The study aimed to verify a hypothesis that a sense of fulfillment in student life and perceived stress in training in the facilities could affect vocational identity among social welfare university students, in order to acquire implications for enhancing the vocational consciousness. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 388 third- and fourth-year students of training course for certified social workers in three universities in A prefecture in Japan. The questionnaire was returned by 338 students, and 288 responses (85.2%) were valid and used for the analysis. As a SEM result, the hypothesized model proved to be fit to the data. Path coefficient of sense of fulfillment of student life to vocational identity was statistically positive. Path coefficient of training stress to vocational identity was statistically negative.