System for Monitoring Marine Turtles Using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data

The conservation of marine biodiversity keeps ecosystems in balance and ensures the sustainable use of resources. In this context, technological resources have been used for monitoring marine species to allow biologists to obtain data in real-time. There are different mobile applications developed for data collection for monitoring purposes, but these systems are designed to be utilized only on third-generation (3G) phones or smartphones with Internet access and in rural parts of the developing countries, Internet services and smartphones are scarce. Thus, the objective of this work is to develop a system to monitor marine turtles using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), which users can access through basic mobile phones. The system aims to improve the data collection mechanism and enhance the effectiveness of current systems in monitoring sea turtles using any type of mobile device without Internet access. The system will be able to report information related to the biological activities of marine turtles. Also, it will be used as a platform to assist marine conservation entities to receive reports of illegal sales of sea turtles. The system can also be utilized as an educational tool for communities, providing knowledge and allowing the inclusion of communities in the process of monitoring marine turtles. Therefore, this work may contribute with information to decision-making and implementation of contingency plans for marine conservation programs.

Author Profiling: Prediction of Learners’ Gender on a MOOC Platform Based on Learners’ Comments

The more an educational system knows about a learner, the more personalised interaction it can provide, which leads to better learning. However, asking a learner directly is potentially disruptive, and often ignored by learners. Especially in the booming realm of MOOC Massive Online Learning platforms, only a very low percentage of users disclose demographic information about themselves. Thus, in this paper, we aim to predict learners’ demographic characteristics, by proposing an approach using linguistically motivated Deep Learning Architectures for Learner Profiling, particularly targeting gender prediction on a FutureLearn MOOC platform. Additionally, we tackle here the difficult problem of predicting the gender of learners based on their comments only – which are often available across MOOCs. The most common current approaches to text classification use the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model, considering sentences as sequences. However, human language also has structures. In this research, rather than considering sentences as plain sequences, we hypothesise that higher semantic - and syntactic level sentence processing based on linguistics will render a richer representation. We thus evaluate, the traditional LSTM versus other bleeding edge models, which take into account syntactic structure, such as tree-structured LSTM, Stack-augmented Parser-Interpreter Neural Network (SPINN) and the Structure-Aware Tag Augmented model (SATA). Additionally, we explore using different word-level encoding functions. We have implemented these methods on Our MOOC dataset, which is the most performant one comparing with a public dataset on sentiment analysis that is further used as a cross-examining for the models' results.

Influence of Humidity on Environmental Sustainability, Air Quality and Occupant Health

Nowadays, sustainable development issues have a key role in the planning of the man-made environment. Ensuring this development means limiting the impact of human activity on nature. It is essential to secure healthy places and good living conditions. For these reasons, indoor air quality and building materials play a fundamental role in sustainable architectural projects. These factors significantly affect human health: they can radically change the quality of the internal environment and energy consumption. The use of natural materials such as earth has many beneficial aspects in comfort and indoor air quality. As well as advantages in the environmental impact of the construction, they ensure a low energy consumption. Since they are already present in nature, their production and use do not require a high-energy consumption. Furthermore, they have a high thermo-hygrometric capacity, being able to absorb moisture, contributing positively to indoor conditions. Indoor air quality is closely related to relative humidity. For these reasons, it can be affirmed that the use of earth materials guarantees a sustainable development and at the same time improves the health of the building users. This paper summarizes several researches that demonstrate the importance of indoor air quality for human health and how it strictly depends on the building materials used. Eco-efficient plasters are also considered: earth and ash mortar. The bibliography consulted has the objective of supporting future experimental and laboratory analyzes. It is necessary to carry on with research by the use of simulations and testing to confirm the hygrothermal properties of eco-efficient plasters and therefore their ability to improve indoor air quality.

User Requirements Analysis for the Development of Assistive Navigation Mobile Apps for Blind and Visually Impaired People

In the context of the development process of two assistive navigation mobile apps for blind and visually impaired people (BVI) an extensive qualitative analysis of the requirements of potential users has been conducted. The analysis was based on interviews with BVIs and aimed to elicit not only their needs with respect to autonomous navigation but also their preferences on specific features of the apps under development. The elicited requirements were structured into four main categories, namely, requirements concerning the capabilities, functionality and usability of the apps, as well as compatibility requirements with respect to other apps and services. The main categories were then further divided into nine sub-categories. This classification, along with its content, aims to become a useful tool for the researcher or the developer who is involved in the development of digital services for BVI.

Providing a Secure Hybrid Method for Graphical Password Authentication to Prevent Shoulder Surfing, Smudge and Brute Force Attack

Nowadays, purchase rate of the smart device is increasing and user authentication is one of the important issues in information security. Alphanumeric strong passwords are difficult to memorize and also owners write them down on papers or save them in a computer file. In addition, text password has its own flaws and is vulnerable to attacks. Graphical password can be used as an alternative to alphanumeric password that users choose images as a password. This type of password is easier to use and memorize and also more secure from pervious password types. In this paper we have designed a more secure graphical password system to prevent shoulder surfing, smudge and brute force attack. This scheme is a combination of two types of graphical passwords recognition based and Cued recall based. Evaluation the usability and security of our proposed scheme have been explained in conclusion part.

Impact of Changes of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting on the Indicators of the Financial Statement

The International Accounting Standards Board updated the conceptual framework for financial reporting. The main reason behind it is to resolve the tasks of the accounting, which are caused by the market development and business-transactions of a new economic content. Also, the investors call for higher transparency of information and responsibility for the results in order to make a more accurate risk assessment and forecast. All these make it necessary to further develop the conceptual framework for financial reporting so that the users get useful information. The market development and certain shortcomings of the conceptual framework revealed in practice require its reconsideration and finding new solutions. Some issues and concepts, such as disclosure and supply of information, its qualitative characteristics, assessment, and measurement uncertainty had to be supplemented and perfected. The criteria of recognition of certain elements (assets and liabilities) of reporting had to be updated, too and all this is set out in the updated edition of the conceptual framework for financial reporting, a comprehensive collection of concepts underlying preparation of the financial statement. The main objective of conceptual framework revision is to improve financial reporting and development of clear concepts package. This will support International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to set common “Approach & Reflection” for similar transactions on the basis of mutually accepted concepts. As a result, companies will be able to develop coherent accounting policies for those transactions or events that are occurred from particular deals to which no standard is used or when standard allows choice of accounting policy.

Review of the Road Crash Data Availability in Iraq

Iraq is a middle income country where the road safety issue is considered one of the leading causes of deaths. To control the road risk issue, the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, General Statistical Organization started to organise a collection system of traffic accidents data with details related to their causes and severity. These data are published as an annual report. In this paper, a review of the available crash data in Iraq will be presented. The available data represent the rate of accidents in aggregated level and classified according to their types, road users’ details, and crash severity, type of vehicles, causes and number of causalities. The review is according to the types of models used in road safety studies and research, and according to the required road safety data in the road constructions tasks. The available data are also compared with the road safety dataset published in the United Kingdom as an example of developed country. It is concluded that the data in Iraq are suitable for descriptive and exploratory models, aggregated level comparison analysis, and evaluation and monitoring the progress of the overall traffic safety performance. However, important traffic safety studies require disaggregated level of data and details related to the factors of the likelihood of traffic crashes. Some studies require spatial geographic details such as the location of the accidents which is essential in ranking the roads according to their level of safety, and name the most dangerous roads in Iraq which requires tactic plan to control this issue. Global Road safety agencies interested in solve this problem in low and middle-income countries have designed road safety assessment methodologies which are basing on the road attributes data only. Therefore, in this research it is recommended to use one of these methodologies.

Influence of Power Flow Controller on Energy Transaction Charges in Restructured Power System

The demand for power supply increases day by day in developing countries like India henceforth demand of reactive power support in the form of ancillary services provider also has been increased. The multi-line and multi-type Flexible alternating current transmission system (FACTS) controllers are playing a vital role to regulate power flow through the transmission line. Unified power flow controller and interline power flow controller can be utilized to control reactive power flow through the transmission line. In a restructured power system, the demand of such controller is being popular due to their inherent capability. The transmission pricing by using reactive power cost allocation through modified matrix methodology has been proposed. The FACTS technologies have quite costly assembly, so it is very useful to apportion the expenses throughout the restructured electricity industry. Therefore, in this work, after embedding the FACTS devices into load flow, the impact on the costs allocated to users in fraction to the transmission framework utilization has been analyzed. From the obtained results, it is clear that the total cost recovery is enhanced towards the Reactive Power flow through the different transmission line for 5 bus test system. The fair pricing policy towards reactive power can be achieved by the proposed method incorporating FACTS controller towards cost recovery of the transmission network.

Evaluation of Japanese Kyoto Park in Terms of User Satisfaction

The need for open space, which is an important problem especially since the 19th century, has become more important in today's conditions. The most important factor in increasing the livability of cities is the open and green areas. Parks are the most important of the urban open and green space elements that provide the most benefit to users. In this context, the user satisfaction of the Japanese Kyoto Park, which is the subject of the research, was evaluated in the light of the questionnaires. With this analysis, the satisfaction level of the user using the park was determined. Suggestions have been developed for the park to be handled and regulated according to the user requests and requirements changing over time.

Challenges for Interface Designers in Designing Sensor Dashboards in the Context of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity of machine to machine, human to machine and human to human via Internet of Things (IoT). Technologies of industry 4.0 facilitate communication between human and machine through IoT and forms Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS). In CPPS, multiple shop floors sensor data are connected through IoT and displayed through sensor dashboard to the operator. These sensor dashboards have enormous amount of information to be presented which becomes complex for operators to perform monitoring, controlling and interpretation tasks. Designing handheld sensor dashboards for supervision task will become a challenge for the interface designers. This paper reports emerging technologies of industry 4.0, changing context of increasing information complexity in consecutive industrial revolutions and upcoming design challenges for interface designers in context of Industry 4.0. Authors conclude that information complexity of sensor dashboards design has increased with consecutive industrial revolutions and designs of sensor dashboard causes cognitive load on users. Designing such complex dashboards interfaces in Industry 4.0 context will become main challenges for the interface designers.

Intelligent Parking Systems for Quasi-Close Communities

This paper presents the experimental design and needs justifications for a localized intelligent parking system (L-IPS), ideal for quasi-close communities with increasing vehicular volume that depends on limited or constant parking facilities. For a constant supply in parking facilities, the demand for an increasing vehicular volume could lead to poor time conservation or extended travel time, traffic congestion or impeded mobility, and safety issues. Increased negative environmental and economic externalities are other associated and consequent downsides of disparities in demand and supply. This L-IPS is designed using a microcontroller, ultrasonic sensors, LED indicators, such that the current status, in terms of parking spots availability, can be known from the main entrance to the community or a parking zone on a LCD screen. As an advanced traffic management system (ATMS), the L-IPS is designed to resolve aspects of infrastructure-to-driver (I2D) communication and parking detection issues. Thus, this L-IPS can act as a timesaver for users by helping them know the availability of parking spots. Providing on-time, informed routing, to a next preference or seamless moving to berth on the available spot on a proximate facility as the case may be. Its use could also increase safety and increase mobility, and fuel savings and costs, therefore, reducing negative environmental and economic externalities due to transportation systems.

Study on Optimization of Air Infiltration at Entrance of a Commercial Complex in Zhejiang Province

In the past decade, with the rapid development of China's economy, the purchasing power and physical demand of residents have been improved, which results in the vast emergence of public buildings like large shopping malls. However, the architects usually focus on the internal functions and streamlines of these buildings, ignoring the impact of the environment on the subjective feelings of building users. Only in Zhejiang province, the infiltration of cold air in winter frequently occurs at the entrance of sizeable commercial complex buildings that have been in operation, which will affect the environmental comfort of the building lobby and internal public spaces. At present, to reduce these adverse effects, it is usually adopted to add active equipment, such as setting air curtains to block air exchange or adding heating air conditioners. From the perspective of energy consumption, the infiltration of cold air into the entrance will increase the heat consumption of indoor heating equipment, which will indirectly cause considerable economic losses during the whole winter heating stage. Therefore, it is of considerable significance to explore the suitable entrance forms for improving the environmental comfort of commercial buildings and saving energy. In this paper, a commercial complex with apparent cold air infiltration problem in Hangzhou is selected as the research object to establish a model. The environmental parameters of the building entrance, including temperature, wind speed, and infiltration air volume, are obtained by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation, from which the heat consumption caused by the natural air infiltration in the winter and its potential economic loss is estimated as the objective metric. This study finally obtains the optimization direction of the building entrance form of the commercial complex by comparing the simulation results of other local commercial complex projects with different entrance forms. The conclusions will guide the entrance design of the same type of commercial complex in this area.

The South African Polycentric Water Resource Governance-Management Nexus: Parlaying an Institutional Agent and Structured Social Engagement

South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.

The Role of Fluid Catalytic Cracking in Process Optimisation for Petroleum Refineries

Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation.  Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions.  Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.

Fire Resilient Cities: The Impact of Fire Regulations, Technological and Community Resilience

Building resilience, sustainable buildings, urbanization, climate change, resilient cities, are just a few examples of where the focus of research has been in the last few years. It is obvious that there is a need to rethink how we are building our cities and how we are renovating our existing buildings. However, the question remaining is how can we assure that we are building sustainable yet resilient cities? There are many aspects one can touch upon when discussing resilience in cities, but after the event of Grenfell in June 2017, it has become clear that fire resilience must be a priority. We define resilience as a holistic approach including communities, society and systems, focusing not only on resisting the effects of a disaster, but also how it will cope and recover from it. Cities are an example of such a system, where components such as buildings have an important role to play. A building on fire will have an impact on the community, the economy, the environment, and so the entire system. Therefore, we believe that fire and resilience go hand in hand when we discuss building resilient cities. This article aims at discussing the current state of the concept of fire resilience and suggests actions to support the built of more fire resilient buildings. Using the case of Grenfell and the fire safety regulations in the UK, we will briefly compare the fire regulations in other European countries, more precisely France, Germany and Denmark, to underline the difference and make some suggestions to increase fire resilience via regulation. For this research, we will also include other types of resilience such as technological resilience, discussing the structure of buildings itself, as well as community resilience, considering the role of communities in building resilience. Our findings demonstrate that to increase fire resilience, amending existing regulations might be necessary, for example, how we performed reaction to fire tests and how we classify building products. However, as we are looking at national regulations, we are only able to make general suggestions for improvement. Another finding of this research is that the capacity of the community to recover and adapt after a fire is also an essential factor. Fundamentally, fire resilience, technological resilience and community resilience are closely connected. Building resilient cities is not only about sustainable buildings or energy efficiency; it is about assuring that all the aspects of resilience are included when building or renovating buildings. We must ask ourselves questions as: Who are the users of this building? Where is the building located? What are the components of the building, how was it designed and which construction products have been used? If we want to have resilient cities, we must answer these basic questions and assure that basic factors such as fire resilience are included in our assessment.

The Association between Affective States and Sexual/Health-Related Status among Men Who Have Sex with Men in China: An Exploration Study Using Social Media Data

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to understand and examine the association between diurnal mood variation and sexual/health-related status among men who have sex with men (MSM) using data from MSM Chinese Twitter messages. The study consists of 843,745 postings of 377,610 MSM users located in Guangdong that were culled from the MSM Chinese Twitter App. Positive affect, negative affect, sexual related behaviors, and health-related status were measured using the Simplified Chinese Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count. Emotions, including joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust were measured using the Weibo Basic Mood Lexicon. A positive sentiment score and a positive emotions score were also calculated. Linear regression models based on a permutation test were used to assess associations between affective states and sexual/health-related status. In the results, 5,871 active MSM users and their 477,374 postings were finally selected. MSM expressed positive affect and joy at 8 a.m. and expressed negative affect and negative emotions between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. In addition, 25.1% of negative postings were directly related to health and 13.4% reported seeking social support during that sensitive period. MSM who were senior, educated, overweight or obese, self-identified as performing a versatile sex role, and with less followers, more followers, and less chat groups mainly expressed more negative affect and negative emotions. MSM who talked more about sexual-related behaviors had a higher positive sentiment score (β=0.29, p < 0.001) and a higher positive emotions score (β = 0.16, p < 0.001). MSM who reported more on their health status had a lower positive sentiment score (β = -0.83, p < 0.001) and a lower positive emotions score (β = -0.37, p < 0.001). The study concluded that psychological intervention based on an app for MSM should be conducted, as it may improve mental health.

Vr-GIS and Ar-GIS In Education: A Case Study

ICT tools and platforms endorse more and more educational process. Many models and techniques for people to be educated and trained about specific topics and skills do exist, as classroom lectures with textbooks, computers, handheld devices and others. The choice to what extent ICT is applied within learning contexts is related to personal access to technologies as well as to the infrastructure surrounding environment. Among recent techniques, the adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) provides significant impulse in fully engaging users senses. In this paper, an application of AR/VR within Geographic Information Systems (GIS) context is presented. It aims to provide immersive environment experiences for educational and training purposes (e.g. for civil protection personnel), useful especially for situations where real scenarios are not easily accessible by humans. First acknowledgments are promising for building an effective tool that helps civil protection personnel training with risk reduction.

Analysis and Evaluation of the Public Responses to Traffic Congestion Pricing Schemes in Urban Streets

Traffic congestion pricing in urban streets is one of the most suitable options for solving the traffic problems and environment pollutions in the cities of the country. Unlike its acceptable outcomes, there are problems concerning the necessity to pay by the mass. Regarding the fact that public response in order to succeed in this strategy is so influential, studying their response and behavior to get the feedback and improve the strategies is of great importance. In this study, a questionnaire was used to examine the public reactions to the traffic congestion pricing schemes at the center of Tehran metropolis and the factors involved in people’s decision making in accepting or rejecting the congestion pricing schemes were assessed based on the data obtained from the questionnaire as well as the international experiences. Then, by analyzing and comparing the schemes, guidelines to reduce public objections to them are discussed. The results of reviewing and evaluating the public reactions show that all the pros and cons must be considered to guarantee the success of these projects. Consequently, with targeted public education and consciousness-raising advertisements, prior to initiating a scheme and ensuring the mechanism of the implementation after the start of the project, the initial opposition is reduced and, with the gradual emergence of the real and tangible benefits of its implementation, users’ satisfaction will increase.

Modeling Jordan University of Science and Technology Parking Using Arena Program

Over the last decade, the over population that has happened in urban areas has been reflecting on the services that various local institutions provide to car users in the form of car parks, which is becoming a daily necessity in our lives. This study focuses on car parks at Jordan University of Science and Technology, in Irbid, Jordan, to understand the university parking needs. Data regarding arrival and departure times of cars and the parking utilization were collected, to find various options that the university can implement to solve and develop an efficient car parking system. Arena software was used to simulate a parking model. This model allows measuring the different solutions that solve the parking problem at Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Investigating the Pedestrian Willingness to Pay to Choose Appropriate Policies for Improving the Safety of Pedestrian Facilities

Road traffic accidents lead to a higher rate of death and injury, especially in vulnerable road users such as pedestrians. Improving the safety of facilities for pedestrians is a major concern for policymakers because of the high number of pedestrian fatalities and direct and indirect costs which are imposed to the society. This study focuses on the idea of determining the willingness to pay of pedestrians for increasing their safety while crossing the street. In this study, three different scenarios including crossing the street with zebra crossing facilities, crossing the street with zebra crossing facilities and installing a pedestrian traffic light and constructing a pedestrian bridge with escalator are presented. The research was conducted based on stated preferences method. The required data were collected from a questionnaire that consisted of three parts: pedestrian’s demographic characteristics, travel characteristics and scenarios. Four different payment amounts are presented for each scenario and a logit model has been built for each proposed payment. The results show that sex, age, education, average household income and individual salary have significant effect on choosing a scenario. Among the policies that have been mentioned through the questionnaire scenarios, the scenario of crossing the street with zebra crossing facilities and installing a traffic lights is the most frequent, with willingness to pay 10,000 Rials and the scenario of crossing the street with a zebra crossing with a willingness to pay 100,000 Rials having the least frequency. For all scenarios, as the payment is increasing, the willingness to pay decreases.