Abstract: Although digitization is a buzzword in almost every election campaign, the political parties leave voters largely in the dark about their specific positions on digital issues. In the run-up to the 2019 elections in Switzerland, the ‘Digitization Monitor’ project (DMP) was launched in order to change this situation. Within the framework of the DMP, all 4,736 candidates were surveyed about their digital policy positions and values. The DMP is designed as a digital policy supplement to the existing ‘smartvote’ voting advice application. This enabled a direct comparison of the digital policy attitudes according to the DMP with the topics of the ‘smartvote’ questionnaire which are comprehensive in content but mainly related to conventional policy areas. This paper’s main research goal is to analyze and visualize possible differences between conventional and digital policy areas in terms of response patterns between and within political parties. The analysis is based on dimensionality reduction methods (multidimensional scaling and principal component analysis) for the visualization of inter-party differences, and on standard deviation as a measure of variation for the evaluation of intra-party unity. The results reveal that digital issues show a lower degree of inter-party polarization compared to conventional policy areas. Thus, the parties have more common ground in issues on digitization than in conventional policy areas. In contrast, the study reveals a mixed picture regarding intra-party unity. Homogeneous parties show a lower degree of unity in digitization issues whereas parties with heterogeneous positions in conventional areas have more united positions in digital areas. All things considered, the findings are encouraging as less polarized conditions apply to the debate on digital development compared to conventional politics. For the future, it would be desirable if in further countries similar projects to the DMP could emerge to broaden the basis for conclusions.
Abstract: In this paper, we report the development of a portable and inexpensive infrared lightbox for improving the detection limits of paper-based phosphate devices. Commercial paper-based devices utilize the molybdenum blue protocol to detect phosphate in the environment. Although these devices are easy to use and have a long shelf life, their main deficiency is their low sensitivity based on the qualitative results obtained via a color chart. To improve the results, we constructed a compact infrared lightbox that communicates wirelessly with a smartphone. The system measures the absorbance of radiation for the molybdenum blue reaction in the infrared region of the spectrum. It consists of a lightbox illuminated by four infrared light-emitting diodes, an infrared digital camera, a Raspberry Pi microcontroller, a mini-router, and an iPhone to control the microcontroller. An iPhone application was also developed to analyze images captured by the infrared camera in order to quantify phosphate concentrations. Additionally, the app connects to an online data center to present a highly scalable worldwide system for tracking and analyzing field measurements. In this study, the detection limits for two popular commercial devices were improved by a factor of 4 for the Quantofix devices (from 1.3 ppm using visible light to 300 ppb using infrared illumination) and a factor of 6 for the Indigo units (from 9.2 ppm to 1.4 ppm) with repeatability of less than or equal to 1.2% relative standard deviation (RSD). The system also provides more granular concentration information compared to the discrete color chart used by commercial devices and it can be easily adapted for use in other applications.
Abstract: Participation in games and sports in the contemporary times has become more competing with the developed scientific knowledge, skills and methods, along with the equipment and applied research in the field. In spite of India being a large country having vast resources and potential, its performance in the world of sports on the whole needs sincere attention for better achievements. Beside numerous factors responsible for the dismal performance of a sportsperson, the physique and body composition, including the size, shape and form are known to play a significant role. The present investigation was undertaken to study the specific morphological characteristics of Indian female Track and Field athletes. A total of 300 athletes were randomly selected as sample for the purpose of the study from the six events having 50 athletes in each event including 100m., 400m., Shot Put, Discus Throw, Long Jump and High Jump. The study included body weight, body fat percentage, lean body weight, endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy as variables. The data were computed statistically by using Mean, Standard Deviation and Analysis of Variance. The post-hoc analysis was conducted where the F-ratio was found to be significant at .05 level. The study concluded that there is a significant difference with regard to the selected variables among the Indian female athletes of different track and field events.
Abstract: Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.
Abstract: Intelligibility is an essential characteristic of a speech
signal, which is used to help in the understanding of information in
speech signal. Background noise in the environment can deteriorate
the intelligibility of a recorded speech. In this paper, we presented a
simple variance subtracted - variable level discrete wavelet transform,
which improve the intelligibility of speech. The proposed algorithm
does not require an explicit estimation of noise, i.e., prior knowledge
of the noise; hence, it is easy to implement, and it reduces the
computational burden. The proposed algorithm decides a separate
decomposition level for each frame based on signal dominant and
dominant noise criteria. The performance of the proposed algorithm
is evaluated with speech intelligibility measure (STOI), and results
obtained are compared with Universal Discrete Wavelet Transform
(DWT) thresholding and Minimum Mean Square Error (MMSE)
methods. The experimental results revealed that the proposed scheme
outperformed competing methods
Abstract: Blood pressure helps the physicians greatly to have a deep insight into the cardiovascular system. The determination of individual blood pressure is a standard clinical procedure considered for cardiovascular system problems. The conventional techniques to measure blood pressure (e.g. cuff method) allows a limited number of readings for a certain period (e.g. every 5-10 minutes). Additionally, these systems cause turbulence to blood flow; impeding continuous blood pressure monitoring, especially in emergency cases or critically ill persons. In this paper, the most important statistical features in the photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals were extracted to estimate the blood pressure noninvasively. PPG signals from more than 40 subjects were measured and analyzed and 12 features were extracted. The features were fed to principal component analysis (PCA) to find the most important independent features that have the highest correlation with blood pressure. The results show that the stiffness index means and standard deviation for the beat-to-beat heart rate were the most important features. A model representing both features for Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) was obtained using a statistical regression technique. Surface fitting is used to best fit the series of data and the results show that the error value in estimating the SBP is 4.95% and in estimating the DBP is 3.99%.
Abstract: Anthropometry helps in associating the physical properties of an individual with their racial, cultural, and psychological attributes. Numerous research studies have included different skeletal diameters as a variable. However, most of the studies suggest their inclusion describing specific characteristics/traits of the body. However, there seems to be a scarcity of literature related to the effect of any kind of longitudinal physical training on human skeletal diameters. Hence, the present investigation was conducted to study the variability of covariance of selected skeletal diameters of females in a longitudinal physical training programme. The sample for the study was 78 college going students of the University of Delhi, classified equally in three groups, i.e. viz. (a) Progressive load of training or conditioning group coded as PLT; (b) Constant load of training or non-conditioning group coded as CLT; and (c) No-load or control or sedentary group coded as NL. Collectively, mean age of the sample was 19.54±1.79 years. The randomly selected samples were given maximum consideration to maintain their homogeneity. The variables included biacromial diameter, biiliocristal diameter, bitrochantaerion diameter, humeral bicondylar, femoral bicondylar, wrist diameter, ankle diameter, and foot breadth. Multi-group repeated measure design was adopted for the experimentation. Each group was measured four times after completion of each of the three meso-cycles of six-weeks duration. The measurements were taken following the standard landmarks and procedures. Mean, standard deviation, analysis of co-variance and its post-hoc analysis were computed to analyze the data statistically. The study concluded that both the progressive and constant load of physical training bring changes in the selected skeletal diameters of females. It also reflected the increase due to growth also along with training.
Abstract: Various length dimensions of the body have been a variable of interest in the research areas of kinanthropometry. However the inclusion of length measurements in various studies remains restricted to reflect characteristics of a particular game/sport at a particular time. Hence, the present investigation was conducted to study various length dimensions correlates of a longitudinal physical conditioning program on Indian male youth. The study was conducted on 90 Indian male youth. The sample was equally divided into three groups namely, progressive load training (PLT), constant load training (CLT) and no load training (NL). The variables included sitting height, leg length, arm length and foot length. The study was conducted by adopting the multi group repeated measure design. Three different groups were measured four times after completion of each of the three meso-cycles of six-weeks duration each. The measurements were taken using the standard landmarks and procedures. Mean, standard deviation and analysis of co-variance were computed to analyze the data statistically. The post-hoc analysis was conducted for the significant F-ratios at 0.05 level. The study concluded that the followed longitudinal physical conditioning program had significant effect on various length dimensions of Indian male youth.
Abstract: A precise, sensitive, rapid and selective method for the solvent extraction, spectrophotometric determination of palladium(II) using para-methylphenyl thiourea (PMPT) as an extractant is developed. Palladium(II) forms yellow colored complex with PMPT which shows an absorption maximum at 300 nm. The colored complex obeys Beer’s law up to 7.0 µg ml-1 of palladium. The molar absorptivity and Sandell’s sensitivity were found to be 8.486 x 103 l mol-1cm-1 and 0.0125 μg cm-2 respectively. The optimum conditions for the extraction and determination of palladium have been established by monitoring the various experimental parameters. The precision of the method has been evaluated and the relative standard deviation has been found to be less than 0.53%. The proposed method is free from interference from large number of foreign ions. The method has been successfully applied for the determination of palladium from alloy, synthetic mixtures corresponding to alloy samples.
Abstract: The present study was conducted to explore the basic pulmonary functions which may generally vary according to the bio-physical characteristics including age, height, body weight, and environment etc. of the sports performers. Regular and specific training exercises also change the characteristics of an athlete’s prowess and produce a positive effect on the physiological functioning, mostly upon cardio-pulmonary efficiency and thereby improving the body mechanism. The objective of the present study was to compare the differences in cardio-respiratory functions between aquatics and track and field performers. As cardio-respiratory functions are influenced by pulse rate and blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), so both of the factors were also taken into consideration. The component selected under cardio-respiratory functions for the present study were i) FEVI/FVC ratio (forced expiratory volume divided by forced vital capacity ratio, i.e. the number represents the percentage of lung capacity to exhale in one second) ii) FVC1 (this is the amount of air which can force out of lungs in one second) and iii) FVC (forced vital capacity is the greatest total amount of air forcefully breathe out after breathing in as deeply as possible). All the three selected components of the cardio-respiratory efficiency were measured by spirometry method. Pulse rate was determined manually. The radial artery which is located on the thumb side of our wrist was used to assess the pulse rate. Blood pressure was assessed by sphygmomanometer. All the data were taken in the resting condition. 36subjects were selected for the present study out of which 18were water polo players and rest were sprinters. The age group of the subjects was considered between 18 to 23 years. In this study the obtained data inform of digital score were treated statistically to get result and draw conclusions. The Mean and Standard Deviation (SD) were used as descriptive statistics and the significant difference between the two subject groups was assessed with the help of statistical ‘t’-test. It was found from the study that all the three components i.e. FEVI/FVC ratio (p-value 0.0148 < 0.01), FVC1 (p-value 0.0010 < 0.01) and FVC (p-value 0.0067 < 0.01) differ significantly as water polo players proved to be better in terms of cardio-respiratory functions than sprinters. Thus study clearly suggests that the exercise training as well as the medium of practice arena associated with water polo players has played an important role to determine better cardio respiratory efficiency than track and field athletes. The outcome of the present study revealed that the lung function in land-based activities may not provide much impact than that of in water activities.
Abstract: Headed reinforcement bars are increasingly used for anchorage in concrete structures. Applications include connections in composite steel-concrete structures, such as beam-column joints, in several strengthening situations as well as in more traditional uses in cast-in-place and precast structural systems. This paper investigates the reduction in the ultimate tensile capacity of embedded cast-in headed anchors due to concrete cracking. A series of nine laboratory tests are carried out to evaluate the influence of cracking on the concrete breakout strength in tension. The experimental results show that cracking affects both the resistance and load-slip response of the headed bar anchors. The strengths measured in these tests are compared to theoretical resistances calculated following the recommendations presented by fib Bulletin no. 58 (2011), ETAG 001 (2010) and ACI 318 (2014). The influences of parameters such as the effective embedment depth (hef), bar diameter (ds), and the concrete compressive strength (fc) are analysed and discussed. The theoretical recommendations are shown to be over-conservative for both embedment depths and were, in general, inaccurate in comparison to the experimental trends. The ACI 318 (2014) was the design code which presented the best performance regarding to the predictions of the ultimate load, with an average of 1.42 for the ratio between the experimental and estimated strengths, standard deviation of 0.36, and coefficient of variation equal to 0.25.
Abstract: The climatic condition over Indian region is highly dependent on monsoon. India receives maximum amount of rainfall during southwest monsoon. Indian economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The presence of flood and drought years influenced the total cultivation system as well as the economy of the country as Indian agricultural systems is still highly dependent on the monsoon rainfall. The present study has been planned to investigate the flood and drought years for the north-west Himalayan region from 1951 to 2014 by using area average Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall data. For this investigation the Normalized index (NI) has been utilized to find out whether the particular year is drought or flood. The data have been extracted for the north-west Himalayan (NWH) region states namely Uttarakhand (UK), Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to find out the rainy season average rainfall for each year, climatological mean and the standard deviation. After calculation it has been plotted by the diagrams (or graphs) to show the results- some of the years associated with drought years, some are flood years and rest are neutral. The flood and drought years can also relate with the large-scale phenomena El-Nino and La-Lina.
Abstract: This purposes of the development of creative instruction model through digital media are to: 1) enable learners to learn from instruction media application; 2) help learners implementing instruction media correctly and appropriately; and 3) facilitate learners to apply technology for searching information and practicing skills to implement technology creatively. The sample group consists of 130 cases of secondary students studying in Bo Kluea School, Bo Kluea Nuea Sub-district, Bo Kluea District, Nan Province. The probability sampling was selected through the simple random sampling and the statistics used in this research are percentage, mean, standard deviation and one group pretest – posttest design. The findings are summarized as follows: The congruence index of instruction media for occupation and technology subjects is appropriate. By comparing between learning achievements before implementing the instruction media and learning achievements after implementing the instruction media, it is found that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. For the learning achievements from instruction media implementation, pretest mean is 16.24 while posttest mean is 26.28. Besides, pretest and posttest results are compared and differences of mean are tested, the test results show that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. This can be interpreted that the learners achieve better learning progress.
Abstract: The aims of this research were twofold: 1) to brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province and 2) to study the level of tourist satisfaction towards brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province. tourist satisfaction was measured using six criteria: clear brand positioning, likeable brand personality, memorable logo, attractive color palette, professional typography and on-brand supporting graphics. The researcher utilized a probability sampling method via simple random sampling. The sample consisted of 30 tourists in the Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise. Statistics utilized for data analysis were percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The results suggest that tourist had high levels of satisfaction towards all six criteria of the brand identity design that was designed to target them. This study proposes that specifically brand identity designed of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise could also be implemented with other real media already available on the market.
Abstract: Holistic management of schizophrenia involves mainstream pharmacological intervention, complimentary medicine intervention, therapeutic intervention and other psychosocial factors such as accommodation, education, job training, employment, relationship, friendship, exercise, overall well-being, smoking, substance abuse, suicide prevention, stigmatisation, recreation, entertainment, violent behaviour, arrangement of public trusteeship and guardianship, day-day-living skill, integration with community, and management of overweight due to medications and other health complications related to medications amongst others. Our review shows that there is no integrated survey by combining all these factors. An international web-based survey was conducted to evaluate the significance of all these factors and present them in a unified manner. It is believed this investigation will contribute positively towards holistic management of schizophrenia. There will be two surveys. In the pharmacological intervention survey, five popular drugs for schizophrenia will be chosen and their efficacy as well as harmful side effects will be evaluated on a scale of 0 -10. This survey will be done by psychiatrists. In the second survey, each element of therapeutic intervention and psychosocial factors will be evaluated according to their significance on a scale of 0 - 10. This survey will be done by care givers, psychologists, case managers and case workers. For the first survey, professional bodies of psychiatrists in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. For the second survey, professional bodies of clinical psychologist and care givers in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. Additionally, for both the surveys, relevant professionals will be contacted through personal contact networks. For both the surveys, mean, mode, median, standard deviation and net promoter score will be calculated for each factor and then presented in a statistically significant manner. Subsequently each factor will be ranked according to their statistical significance. Additionally, country specific variation will be highlighted to identify the variation pattern. The results of these surveys will identify the relative significance of each type of pharmacological intervention, each type of therapeutic intervention and each type of psychosocial factor. The determination of this relative importance will definitely contribute to the improvement in quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia.
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to gather the consensus of experts regarding the use of moral guidance amongst preschool teachers vis-a-vis the Islamic Project module (I-Project Module). This I-Project Module seeks to provide pertinent data on the assimilation of noble values in subject-matter teaching. To obtain consensus for the various components of the module, the Modified Delphi technique was used to develop the module. 12 subject experts from various educational fields of Islamic education, early childhood education, counselling and language fully participated in the development of this module. The Modified Delphi technique was administered in two mean cycles. The standard deviation value derived from questionnaires completed by the participating panel of experts provided the value of expert consensus reached. This was subsequently analyzed using SPSS version 22. Findings revealed that the panel of experts reached a discernible degree of agreement on five topics outlined in the module, viz; content (mean value 3.36), teaching strategy (mean value 3.28), programme duration (mean value 3.0), staff involved and attention-grabbing strategy of target group participating in the value program (mean value 3.5), and strategy to attract attention of target group to utilize i-project (mean value 3.0). With regard to the strategy to attract the attention of the target group, the experts proposed for creative activities to be added in order to enhance teachers’ creativity.
Abstract: In this research, the Balkan peninsula countries' developmental integration into European Union represents the strategic economic development objectives of the countries in the region. In order to objectively analyze the level of economic development competition of Balkan Peninsula countries, the mathematical compromise programming technique of multicriteria evaluation is used in this ranking problem. The primary aim of this research is to explain the role and significance of the multicriteria method evaluation using a real example of compromise solutions. Using the mathematical compromise programming technique, twelve countries of the Balkan Peninsula are economically evaluated and mutually compared. The economic development evaluation of the countries is performed according to five evaluation criteria forming the basis for economic development evaluation. The multiattribute model is solved using the mathematical compromise programming technique for producing different Pareto solutions. The results obtained by the multicriteria evaluation gives the possibility of identification and evaluation of the most eminent economic development indicators for each country separately. Finally, in this way, the proposed method has proved to be a successful model for the evaluation of the Balkan peninsula countries' economic development competition.
Abstract: The Earth system generates different phenomena that are observable at the surface of the Earth such as mass deformations and displacements leading to plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanism. The dynamic processes associated with the interior, surface, and atmosphere of the Earth affect the three pillars of geodesy: shape of the Earth, its gravity field, and its rotation. Geodesy establishes a characteristic structure in order to define, monitor, and predict of the whole Earth system. The traditional and new instruments, observables, and techniques in geodesy are related to the gravity field. Therefore, the geodesy monitors the gravity field and its temporal variability in order to transform the geodetic observations made on the physical surface of the Earth into the geometrical surface in which positions are mathematically defined. In this paper, the main components of the gravity field modeling, (Free-air and Bouguer) gravity anomalies are calculated via recent global models (EGM2008, EIGEN6C4, and GECO) over a selected study area. The model-based gravity anomalies are compared with the corresponding terrestrial gravity data in terms of standard deviation (SD) and root mean square error (RMSE) for determining the best fit global model in the study area at a regional scale in Turkey. The least SD (13.63 mGal) and RMSE (15.71 mGal) were obtained by EGM2008 for the Free-air gravity anomaly residuals. For the Bouguer gravity anomaly residuals, EIGEN6C4 provides the least SD (8.05 mGal) and RMSE (8.12 mGal). The results indicated that EIGEN6C4 can be a useful tool for modeling the gravity field of the Earth over the study area.
Abstract: This study analyzed the transient signals of central region void fraction of air-water two-phase flow in a 3x3 rod bundle. Experimental tests were carried out utilizing a vertical rod bundle test section along with a set of air-water supply/flow control system, and the transient signals of the central region void fraction were collected through the electrical conductivity sensors as well as visualized via high speed photography. By converting the electric signals, transient void fraction can be obtained through the voltage ratios. With a fixed superficial water velocity (Jf=0.094 m/s), two different superficial air velocities (Jg=0.094 m/s and 0.236 m/s) were tested and presented, which were corresponding to the flow conditions of bubbly flows and cap/slug flows, respectively. The time averaged central region void fraction was obtained as 0.109-0.122 with 0.028 standard deviation for the selected bubbly flow and 0.188-0.221with 0.101 standard deviation for the selected cap/slug flow, respectively. Through Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis, no clear frequency peak was found in bubbly flow, while two dominant frequencies were identified around 1.6 Hz and 2.5 Hz in the present cap/slug flow.
Abstract: Multidimensional compromise programming evaluation of digital commerce websites is essential not only to have recommendations for improvement, but also to make comparisons with global business competitors. This research provides a multidimensional decision making model that prioritizes the objective criteria weights of various commerce websites using multidimensional compromise solution. Evaluation of digital commerce website quality can be considered as a complex information system structure including qualitative and quantitative factors for a multicriteria decision making problem. The proposed multicriteria decision making approach mainly consists of three sequential steps for the selection problem. In the first step, three major different evaluation criteria are characterized for website ranking problem. In the second step, identified critical criteria are weighted using the standard deviation procedure. In the third step, the multidimensional compromise programming is applied to rank the digital commerce websites.