Abstract: Composting is one of the conventional techniques adopted for organic waste management but the practice is very limited in emerging cities despite that most of the waste generated is organic. This paper aims to examine the viability of composting for organic waste management in the emerging city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by addressing the composting practice, quality of compost and application of compost in urban agriculture. The study collects data using compost laboratory testing and urban farm households’ survey and uses descriptive analysis on the state of compost production and application, physicochemical analysis of the compost samples, and regression analysis on the urban farmer’s willingness to pay for compost. The findings of the study indicated that there is composting practice at a small scale, most of the producers use unsorted feedstock materials, aerobic composting is dominantly used and the maturation period ranged from four to 10 weeks. The carbon content of the compost ranges from 30.8 to 277.1 due to the type of feedstock applied and this surpasses the ideal proportions for C:N ratio. The total nitrogen, pH, organic matter and moisture content are relatively optimal. The levels of heavy metals measured for Mn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Cr6+ in the compost samples are also insignificant. In the urban agriculture sector, chemical fertilizer is the dominant type of soil input in crop productions but vegetable producers use a combination of both fertilizer and other organic inputs including compost. The willingness to pay for compost depends on income, household size, gender, type of soil inputs, monitoring soil fertility, the main product of the farm, farming method and farm ownership. Finally, this study recommends the need for collaboration among stakeholders along the value chain of waste, awareness creation on the benefits of composting and addressing challenges faced by both compost producers and users.
Abstract: Si-based double-junction tandem solar cells have become a popular research topic because of the advantages of low manufacturing cost and high energy conversion efficiency. However, there is no set of calculations to select the appropriate top cell materials. Therefore, this paper will propose a simple but practical selection method. First of all, we calculate the S-Q limit and explain the reasons for developing tandem solar cells. Secondly, we calculate the theoretical energy conversion efficiency of the double-junction tandem solar cells while combining the commercial monocrystalline Si and materials' practical efficiency to consider the actual situation. Finally, we conservatively conclude that if considering 75% performance of the theoretical energy conversion efficiency of the top cell, the suitable bandgap energy range will fall between 1.38 eV to 2.5 eV. Besides, we also briefly describe some improvements of several proper materials, CZTS, CdSe, Cu2O, ZnTe, and CdS, hoping that future research can select and manufacture high-efficiency Si-based tandem solar cells based on this paper successfully. Most importantly, our calculation method is not limited to silicon solely. If other materials’ performances match or surpass silicon's ability in the future, researchers can also apply this set of deduction processes.
Abstract: Analysis of the human microbiome using metagenomic
sequencing data has demonstrated high ability in discriminating
various human diseases. Raw metagenomic sequencing data require
multiple complex and computationally heavy bioinformatics steps
prior to data analysis. Such data contain millions of short sequences
read from the fragmented DNA sequences and stored as fastq files.
Conventional processing pipelines consist in multiple steps including
quality control, filtering, alignment of sequences against genomic
catalogs (genes, species, taxonomic levels, functional pathways,
etc.). These pipelines are complex to use, time consuming and
rely on a large number of parameters that often provide variability
and impact the estimation of the microbiome elements. Training
Deep Neural Networks directly from raw sequencing data is a
promising approach to bypass some of the challenges associated with
mainstream bioinformatics pipelines. Most of these methods use the
concept of word and sentence embeddings that create a meaningful
and numerical representation of DNA sequences, while extracting
features and reducing the dimensionality of the data. In this paper
we present an end-to-end approach that classifies patients into disease
groups directly from raw metagenomic reads: metagenome2vec. This
approach is composed of four steps (i) generating a vocabulary of
k-mers and learning their numerical embeddings; (ii) learning DNA
sequence (read) embeddings; (iii) identifying the genome from which
the sequence is most likely to come and (iv) training a multiple
instance learning classifier which predicts the phenotype based on
the vector representation of the raw data. An attention mechanism
is applied in the network so that the model can be interpreted,
assigning a weight to the influence of the prediction for each genome.
Using two public real-life data-sets as well a simulated one, we
demonstrated that this original approach reaches high performance,
comparable with the state-of-the-art methods applied directly on
processed data though mainstream bioinformatics workflows. These
results are encouraging for this proof of concept work. We believe
that with further dedication, the DNN models have the potential to
surpass mainstream bioinformatics workflows in disease classification
Abstract: The use of deep learning for species identification in camera trap images has revolutionised our ability to study, conserve and monitor species in a highly efficient and unobtrusive manner, with state-of-the-art models achieving accuracies surpassing the accuracy of manual human classification. The high imbalance of camera trap datasets, however, results in poor accuracies for minority (rare or endangered) species due to their relative insignificance to the overall model accuracy. This paper investigates the use of Focal Loss, in comparison to the traditional Cross Entropy Loss function, to improve the identification of minority species in the “255 Bird Species” dataset from Kaggle. The results show that, although Focal Loss slightly decreased the accuracy of the majority species, it was able to increase the F1-score by 0.06 and improve the identification of the bottom two, five and ten (minority) species by 37.5%, 15.7% and 10.8%, respectively, as well as resulting in an improved overall accuracy of 2.96%.
Abstract: This paper briefly reviews the range of curatorial interventions made to preserve and display the Timbuktu Manuscripts. The government of South Africa and Mali collaborated to preserve the manuscripts, and brief notes will be presented about the value of archives in those specific spaces. The research initiatives of the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project, based at the University of Cape Town, feature prominently in the text. A brief overview of the history of the archive will be presented and its preservation as a key turning point in curating the intellectual history of the continent. The strategies of preservation, curation, publication and digitization are presented as complimentary interventions. Each materialization of the manuscripts contributes something significant; the complexity of the contribution is dependent primarily on the format of presentation. This integrated reading of the manuscripts is presented as a means to gain a more nuanced understanding of the past, which greatly surpasses how much information would be gleaned from relying on a single media format.
Abstract: The United States military is now commonly responding to complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters around the world. From catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti to typhoons devastating the Philippines, U.S. military assistance is requested when the event exceeds the local government's ability to assist the population. This study assesses the characteristics of catastrophes that surpass a nation’s individual ability to respond and recover from the event. The paper begins with a historical summary of military aid and then analyzes over 40 years of the United States military humanitarian response. Over 300 military operations were reviewed and coded based on the nature of the disaster. This in-depth study reviewed the U.S. military’s deployment events for cyclones and earthquakes to determine the strength of the natural disaster requiring external assistance. The climatological data for cyclone landfall and magnitude data for earthquake epicenters were identified, grouped into regions and analyzed for time-based trends. The results showed that foreign countries will likely request the U.S. military for cyclones with speeds greater or equal to 125 miles an hour and earthquakes at the magnitude of 7.4 or higher. These results of this study will assist the geographic combatant commands in determining future military response requirements.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to compare and discuss better classifier algorithm options for credit risk assessment by applying different Machine Learning techniques. Using records from a Brazilian financial institution, this study uses a database of 5,432 companies that are clients of the bank, where 2,600 clients are classified as non-defaulters, 1,551 are classified as defaulters and 1,281 are temporarily defaulters, meaning that the clients are overdue on their payments for up 180 days. For each case, a total of 15 attributes was considered for a one-against-all assessment using four different techniques: Artificial Neural Networks Multilayer Perceptron (ANN-MLP), Artificial Neural Networks Radial Basis Functions (ANN-RBF), Logistic Regression (LR) and finally Support Vector Machines (SVM). For each method, different parameters were analyzed in order to obtain different results when the best of each technique was compared. Initially the data were coded in thermometer code (numerical attributes) or dummy coding (for nominal attributes). The methods were then evaluated for each parameter and the best result of each technique was compared in terms of accuracy, false positives, false negatives, true positives and true negatives. This comparison showed that the best method, in terms of accuracy, was ANN-RBF (79.20% for non-defaulter classification, 97.74% for defaulters and 75.37% for the temporarily defaulter classification). However, the best accuracy does not always represent the best technique. For instance, on the classification of temporarily defaulters, this technique, in terms of false positives, was surpassed by SVM, which had the lowest rate (0.07%) of false positive classifications. All these intrinsic details are discussed considering the results found, and an overview of what was presented is shown in the conclusion of this study.
Abstract: Helium market is continuously growing due to its essential uses in the electronic and healthcare sectors. Currently, helium is produced by cryogenic distillation but the process is uneconomical especially for low production volumes. On the other hand, polymeric membranes can provide a cost-effective solution for helium purification due to their low operating energy. However, the preparation of membranes involves the use of very toxic solvents such as chloroform. In this work, polyetherimide membranes were prepared using a less toxic solvent, n-methylpyrrolidone with a polymer-to-solvent ratio of 27 wt%. The developed membrane showed a superior helium permeability of 15.9 Barrer that surpassed the permeability of membranes made by chloroform.
Abstract: Due to climate change, population growth and rapid urbanization, the demand for water in South Africa is inevitably surpassing supply. To address similar challenges globally, there has been a paradigm shift from conventional urban waste water management “government” to a “governance” paradigm. From the governance paradigm, Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) principle emerged. This principle emphasizes efficient urban waste water treatment and production of high-quality recyclable effluent. In so doing mimicking natural water systems, in their processes of recycling water efficiently, and averting depletion of natural water resources. The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of shifting the current urban waste water management approach from a “government” paradigm towards “governance”. The study was conducted through Interactive Management soft systems research methodology which follows a qualitative research design. A case study methodology was employed, guided by realism research philosophy. Qualitative data gathered were analyzed through interpretative structural modelling using Concept Star for Professionals Decision-Making tools (CSPDM) version 3.64. The constructed model deduced that the main drivers in shifting the Stellenbosch municipal urban waste water management towards IUWM “governance” principles are mainly social elements characterized by overambitious expectations of the public on municipal water service delivery, mis-interpretation of the constitution on access to adequate clean water and sanitation as a human right and perceptions on recycling water by different communities. Inadequate public participation also emerged as a strong driver. However, disruptive events such as draught may play a positive role in raising an awareness on the value of water, resulting in a shift on the perceptions on recycled water. Once the social elements are addressed, the alignment of governance and administration elements towards IUWM are achievable. Hence, the point of departure for the desired paradigm shift is the change of water service authorities and serviced communities’ perceptions and behaviors towards shifting urban waste water management approaches from “government” to “governance” paradigm.
Abstract: With this contribution, we want to show how the AiRT system could change the future way of working of a part of the creative industry and what new economic opportunities could arise for them. Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also more commonly known as drones, are now essential tools used by many different companies for their creative outdoor work. However, using this very flexible applicable tool indoor is almost impossible, since safe navigation cannot be guaranteed by the operator due to the lack of a reliable and affordable indoor positioning system which ensures a stable flight, among other issues. Here we present our first results of a European project, which consists of developing an indoor drone for professional footage especially designed for the creative industries. One of the main achievements of this project is the successful implication of the end-users in the overall design process from the very beginning. To ensure safe flight in confined spaces, our drone incorporates a positioning system based on ultra-wide band technology, an RGB-D (depth) camera for 3D environment reconstruction and the possibility to fully pre-program automatic flights. Since we also want to offer this tool for inexperienced pilots, we have always focused on user-friendly handling of the whole system throughout the entire process.
Abstract: With this contribution, we want to show a successful example of the application of the Design Thinking methodology, in the European project 'Technology transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the creative industry'. The use of this methodology has allowed us to design and build a drone, based on the real needs of prospective users. It has demonstrated that this is a powerful tool for generating innovative ideas in the field of robotics, by focusing its effectiveness on understanding and solving real user needs. In this way, with the support of an interdisciplinary team, comprised of creatives, engineers and economists, together with the collaboration of prospective users from three European countries, a non-linear work dynamic has been created. This teamwork has generated a sense of appreciation towards the creative industries, through continuously adaptive, inventive, and playful collaboration and communication, which has facilitated the development of prototypes. These have been designed to enable filming and photography in interior spaces, within 13 sectors of European creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Antiques and Museums, Music, Photography, Televison, Performing Arts, Publishing, Arts and Crafts, Design and Software. Furthermore, it has married the real needs of the creative industries, with what is technologically and commercially viable. As a result, a product of great value has been obtained, which offers new business opportunities for small companies across this sector.
Abstract: Collaborative research has become more prevalent and important across disciplines because it stimulates innovation and interaction between scholars. Seeing as existing studies relatively disregarded the institutional conditions triggering collaborative research, this work aims to analyze the changing trend in collaborative work patterns among Korean social scientists. The focus of this research is the performance of social scientists who received research grants through the government’s Social Science Korea (SSK) program. Using quantitative statistical methods, collaborative research patterns in a total of 2,354 papers published under the umbrella of the SSK program in peer-reviewed scholarly journals from 2013 to 2016 were examined to identify changing trends and triggering factors in collaborative research. A notable finding is that the share of collaborative research is overwhelmingly higher than that of individual research. In particular, levels of collaborative research surpassed 70%, increasing much quicker compared to other research done in the social sciences. Additionally, the most common composition of collaborative research was for two or three researchers to conduct joint research as coauthors, and this proportion has also increased steadily. Finally, a strong association between international journals and co-authorship patterns was found for the papers published by SSK program researchers from 2013 to 2016. The SSK program can be seen as the driving force behind collaboration between social scientists. Its emphasis on competition through a merit-based financial support system along with a rigorous evaluation process seems to have influenced researchers to cooperate with those who have similar research interests.
Abstract: Coal mining is well known to cause considerable environmental impacts, including trace element contamination of soil. This study aimed to assess the trace element (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn) contamination of soil in the vicinity of coal mining activities, using the case study of Asam-asam River basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and to assess the human health risk, incorporating total and bioavailable (water-leachable and acid-leachable) concentrations. The results show the enrichment of As and Co in soil, surpassing the background soil value. Contamination was evaluated based on the index of geo-accumulation, Igeo and the pollution index, PI. Igeo values showed that the soil was generally uncontaminated (Igeo ≤ 0), except for elevated As and Co. Mean PI for Ni and Cu indicated slight contamination. Regarding the assessment of health risks, the Hazard Index, HI showed adverse risks (HI > 1) for Ni, Co, and As. Further, Ni and As were found to pose unacceptable carcinogenic risk (risk > 1.10-5). Farming, settlement, and plantation were found to present greater risk than coal mines. These results show that coal mining activity in the study area contaminates the soils by particular elements and may pose potential human health risk in its surrounding area. This study is important for setting appropriate countermeasure actions and improving basic coal mining management in Indonesia.
Abstract: With the favourable geographical conditions at Indian-subcontinent, it is suitable for flourishing renewable energy. Increasing amount of dependence on coal and other conventional sources is driving the world into pollution and depletion of resources. This paper presents the statistics of energy consumption and energy generation in Indian Sub-continent, which notifies us with the increasing energy demands surpassing energy generation. With the aggrandizement in demand for energy, usage of coal has increased, since the major portion of energy production in India is from thermal power plants. The increase in usage of thermal power plants causes pollution and depletion of reserves; hence, a paradigm shift to renewable sources is inevitable. In this work, the capacity and potential of renewable sources in India are analyzed. Based on the analysis of this work, future potential of these sources is estimated.
Abstract: One of the most important factors for air pollution is that the concentrations of PM10 maintain a constant trend, with the exception of some places where that frequently surpasses the allowed ranges established by Colombian legislation. The community that surrounds the Universidad Libre Bogotá is inhabited by a considerable number of students and workers, all of whom are possibly being exposed to PM10 for long periods of time while on campus. Thus, the chemical characterization of PM10 found in the ambient air at the Universidad Libre Bogotá was identified as a problem. A Hi-Vol sampler and EPA Test Method 5 were used to determine if the quality of air is adequate for the human respiratory system. Additionally, quartz fiber filters were utilized during sampling. Samples were taken three days a week during a dry period throughout the months of November and December 2015. The gravimetric analysis method was used to determine PM10 concentrations. The chemical characterization includes non-conventional carcinogenic pollutants. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) was used for the determination of metals and VOCs were analyzed using the FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) method. In this way, concentrations of PM10, ranging from values of 13 µg/m3 to 66 µg/m3, were obtained; these values were below standard conditions. This evidence concludes that the PM10 concentrations during an exposure period of 24 hours are lower than the values established by Colombian law, Resolution 610 of 2010; however, when comparing these with the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO), these concentrations could possibly exceed permissible levels.
Abstract: There is a call to ensure that the issues of safety and efficient throughput are considered during design; the solutions to these issues can also be retrofitted at locations where they were not captured during design, but have become problems to road users over time. This paper adopts several methods to analyze the performance of an intersection which was formerly a ‘priority-controlled’ intersection, but has now been converted to a ‘signal-controlled’ intersection. Extensive review of literature helped form the basis for result analysis and discussion. The Ikot-Ekpene/Anagha-Ezikpe intersection, located at the heart of Umuahia was adopted as case study; considering the high traffic volume on the route. Anecdotal evidence revealed that traffic signals imposed enormous delays at the intersection, especially for traffic on the major road. The major road has arrival flow which surpasses the saturation flow obtained from modelling of the isolated signalized intersection. Similarly, there were several geometric elements that did not agree with the specific function of the road. A roundabout, particularly flower roundabout was recommended as a better traffic control measure.
Abstract: Ship detection is nowadays quite an important issue
in tasks related to sea traffic control, fishery management and ship
search and rescue. Although it has traditionally been carried out
by patrol ships or aircrafts, coverage and weather conditions and
sea state can become a problem. Synthetic aperture radars can
surpass these coverage limitations and work under any climatological
condition. A fast CFAR ship detector based on a robust statistical
modeling of sea clutter with respect to sea states in SAR images
is used. In this paper, the minimum SNR required to obtain a
given detection probability with a given false alarm rate for any
sea state is determined. A Gaussian target model using real SAR
data is considered. Results show that SNR does not depend heavily
on the class considered. Provided there is some variation in the
backscattering of targets in SAR imagery, the detection probability
is limited and a post-processing stage based on morphology would
Abstract: This paper provides a description of a Collision Avoidance algorithm that has been developed starting from the mathematical modeling of the flight of insects, in terms of spirals and conchospirals geometric paths. It is able to calculate a proper avoidance manoeuver aimed to prevent the infringement of a predefined distance threshold between ownship and the considered intruder, while minimizing the ownship trajectory deviation from the original path and in compliance with the aircraft performance limitations and dynamic constraints. The algorithm is designed in order to be suitable for real-time applications, so that it can be considered for the implementation in the most recent airborne automatic collision avoidance systems using the traffic data received through an ADS-B IN device. The presented approach is able to take into account the rules-of-the-air, due to the possibility to select, through specifically designed decision making logic based on the consideration of the encounter geometry, the direction of the calculated collision avoidance manoeuver that allows complying with the rules-of-the-air, as for instance the fundamental right of way rule. In the paper, the proposed collision avoidance algorithm is presented and its preliminary design and software implementation is described. The applicability of this method has been proved through preliminary simulation tests performed in a 2D environment considering single intruder encounter geometries, as reported and discussed in the paper.
Abstract: Deconstruction is an approach that is entirely incompatible with the traditional prevalent architecture. Considering the fact that this approach attempts to put architecture in sharp contrast with its opposite events and transpires with attending to the neglected and missing aspects of architecture and deconstructing its stable structures. It also recklessly proceeds beyond the existing frameworks and intends to create a different and more efficient prospect for space. The aim of deconstruction architecture is to satisfy both the prospective and retrospective visions as well as takes into account all tastes of the present in order to transcend time. Likewise, it ventures to fragment the facts and symbols of the past and extract new concepts from within their heart, which coincide with today’s circumstances. Since this approach is an attempt to surpass the limits of the prevalent architecture, it can be employed to design places in which creative events occur and imagination and ambition flourish. Thought-provoking artistic events can grow and mature in such places and be represented in the best way possible to all people. The concept of event proposed in the plan grows out of the interaction between space and creation. In addition to triggering surprise and high impressions, it is also considered as a bold journey into the suspended realms of the traditional conflicts in architecture such as architecture-landscape, interior-exterior, center-margin, product-process, and stability-instability. In this project, at first, through interpretive-historical research method and examining the inputs and data collection, recognition and organizing takes place. After evaluating the obtained data using deductive reasoning, the data is eventually interpreted. Given the fact that the research topic is in its infancy and there is not a similar case in Iran with limited number of corresponding instances across the world, the selected topic helps to shed lights on the unrevealed and neglected parts in architecture. Similarly, criticizing, investigating and comparing specific and highly prized cases in other countries with the project under study can serve as an introduction into this architecture style.
Abstract: In order to retrieve images efficiently from a large
database, a unique method integrating color and texture features
using genetic programming has been proposed. Opponent color
histogram which gives shadow, shade, and light intensity invariant
property is employed in the proposed framework for extracting color
features. For texture feature extraction, fast discrete curvelet
transform which captures more orientation information at different
scales is incorporated to represent curved like edges. The recent
scenario in the issues of image retrieval is to reduce the semantic gap
between user’s preference and low level features. To address this
concern, genetic algorithm combined with relevance feedback is
embedded to reduce semantic gap and retrieve user’s preference
images. Extensive and comparative experiments have been conducted
to evaluate proposed framework for content based image retrieval on
two databases, i.e., COIL-100 and Corel-1000. Experimental results
clearly show that the proposed system surpassed other existing
systems in terms of precision and recall. The proposed work achieves
highest performance with average precision of 88.2% on COIL-100
and 76.3% on Corel, the average recall of 69.9% on COIL and 76.3%
on Corel. Thus, the experimental results confirm that the proposed
content based image retrieval system architecture attains better
solution for image retrieval.