Prioritization Assessment of Housing Development Risk Factors: A Fuzzy Hierarchical Process-Based Approach

The construction industry and housing subsector are fraught with risks that have the potential of negatively impacting on the achievement of project objectives. The success or otherwise of most construction projects depends to large extent on how well these risks have been managed. The recent paradigm shift by the subsector to use of formal risk management approach in contrast to hitherto developed rules of thumb means that risks must not only be identified but also properly assessed and responded to in a systematic manner. The study focused on identifying risks associated with housing development projects and prioritisation assessment of the identified risks in order to provide basis for informed decision. The study used a three-step identification framework: review of literature for similar projects, expert consultation and questionnaire based survey to identify potential risk factors. Delphi survey method was employed in carrying out the relative prioritization assessment of the risks factors using computer-based Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) software. The results show that 19 out of the 50 risks significantly impact on housing development projects. The study concludes that although significant numbers of risk factors have been identified as having relevance and impacting to housing construction projects, economic risk group and, in particular, ‘changes in demand for houses’ is prioritised by most developers as posing a threat to the achievement of their housing development objectives. Unless these risks are carefully managed, their effects will continue to impede success in these projects. The study recommends the adoption and use of the combination of multi-technique identification framework and AHP prioritization assessment methodology as a suitable model for the assessment of risks in housing development projects.

Modified Plastic-Damage Model for Fiber Reinforced Polymer-Confined Repaired Concrete Columns

Concrete Damaged Plasticity Model (CDPM) is capable of modeling the stress-strain behavior of confined concrete. Nevertheless, the accuracy of the model largely depends on its parameters. To date, most research works mainly focus on the identification and modification of the parameters for fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) confined concrete prior to damage. And, it has been established that the FRP-strengthened concrete behaves differently to FRP-repaired concrete. This paper presents a modified plastic damage model within the context of the CDPM in ABAQUS for modelling of a uniformly FRP-confined repaired concrete under monotonic loading. The proposed model includes infliction damage, elastic stiffness, yield criterion and strain hardening rule. The distinct feature of damaged concrete is elastic stiffness reduction; this is included in the model. Meanwhile, the test results were obtained from a physical testing of repaired concrete. The dilation model is expressed as a function of the lateral stiffness of the FRP-jacket. The finite element predictions are shown to be in close agreement with the obtained test results of the repaired concrete. It was observed from the study that with necessary modifications, finite element method is capable of modeling FRP-repaired concrete structures.

From Electroencephalogram to Epileptic Seizures Detection by Using Artificial Neural Networks

Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.

Mechanical Qualification Test Campaign on the Demise Observation Capsule

This paper describes the qualification test campaign performed on the Demise Observation Capsule DOC-EQM as part of the Future Launch Preparatory Program FLPP3. The mechanical environment experienced during launch ascent and separation phase was first identified and then replicated in terms of sine, random and shock vibration. The loads identification is derived by selecting the worst possible case. Vibration and shock qualification test performed at CIRA Space Qualification laboratory is herein described. Mechanical fixtures’ design and validation, carried out by means of FEM, is also addressed due to its fundamental role in the vibrational test campaign. The Demise Observation Capsule (DOC) successfully passed the qualification test campaign. Functional test and resonance search have not been point any fault and damages of the capsule.

Identification of Risks Associated with Process Automation Systems

A need exists to identify the sources of risks associated with the process automation systems within petrochemical companies or similar energy related industries. These companies use many different process automation technologies in its value chain. A crucial part of the process automation system is the information technology component featuring in the supervisory control layer. The ever-changing technology within the process automation layers and the rate at which it advances pose a risk to safe and predictable automation system performance. The age of the automation equipment also provides challenges to the operations and maintenance managers of the plant due to obsolescence and unavailability of spare parts. The main objective of this research was to determine the risk sources associated with the equipment that is part of the process automation systems. A secondary objective was to establish whether technology managers and technicians were aware of the risks and share the same viewpoint on the importance of the risks associated with automation systems. A conceptual model for risk sources of automation systems was formulated from models and frameworks in literature. This model comprised six categories of risk which forms the basis for identifying specific risks. This model was used to develop a questionnaire that was sent to 172 instrument technicians and technology managers in the company to obtain primary data. 75 completed and useful responses were received. These responses were analyzed statistically to determine the highest risk sources and to determine whether there was difference in opinion between technology managers and technicians. The most important risks that were revealed in this study are: 1) the lack of skilled technicians, 2) integration capability of third-party system software, 3) reliability of the process automation hardware, 4) excessive costs pertaining to performing maintenance and migrations on process automation systems, and 5) requirements of having third-party communication interfacing compatibility as well as real-time communication networks.

Fault Location Identification in High Voltage Transmission Lines

This paper introduces a digital method for fault section identification in transmission lines. The method uses digital set of the measured short circuit current to locate faults in electrical power systems. The digitized current is used to construct a set of overdetermined system of equations. The problem is then constructed and solved using the proposed digital optimization technique to find the fault distance. The proposed optimization methodology is an application of simulated annealing optimization technique. The method is tested using practical case study to evaluate the proposed method. The accurate results obtained show that the algorithm can be used as a powerful tool in the area of power system protection.

Optimizing the Probabilistic Neural Network Training Algorithm for Multi-Class Identification

In this work, a training algorithm for probabilistic neural networks (PNN) is presented. The algorithm addresses one of the major drawbacks of PNN, which is the size of the hidden layer in the network. By using a cross-validation training algorithm, the number of hidden neurons is shrunk to a smaller number consisting of the most representative samples of the training set. This is done without affecting the overall architecture of the network. Performance of the network is compared against performance of standard PNN for different databases from the UCI database repository. Results show an important gain in network size and performance.

Classification of Health Risk Factors to Predict the Risk of Falling in Older Adults

Cognitive decline and frailty is apparent in older adults leading to an increased likelihood of the risk of falling. Currently health care professionals have to make professional decisions regarding such risks, and hence make difficult decisions regarding the future welfare of the ageing population. This study uses health data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), focusing on adults over the age of 50 years, in order to analyse health risk factors and predict the likelihood of falls. This prediction is based on the use of machine learning algorithms whereby health risk factors are used as inputs to predict the likelihood of falling. Initial results show that health risk factors such as long-term health issues contribute to the number of falls. The identification of such health risk factors has the potential to inform health and social care professionals, older people and their family members in order to mitigate daily living risks.

Comparative Forensic Analysis of Lipsticks Using Thin Layer Chromatography and Gas Chromatography

Lipsticks constitute a significant source of transfer evidence, and can, therefore, provide corroborative or inclusionary evidence in criminal investigation. This study aimed to determine the uniqueness and persistence of different lipstick smears using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), and Gas Chromatography with a Flame Ionisation Detector (GC-FID). In this study, we analysed lipstick smears retrieved from tea cups exposed to the environment for up to four weeks. The n-alkane content of each sample was determined using GC-FID, while TLC was used to determine the number of bands, and retention factor of each band per smear. This study shows that TLC gives more consistent results over a 4-week period than GC-FID. It also proposes a maximum exposure time of two weeks for the analysis of lipsticks left in the open using GC-FID. Finally, we conclude that neither TLC nor GC-FID can distinguish lipstick evidence recovered from hypothetical crime scenes.

An Approach towards Designing an Energy Efficient Building through Embodied Energy Assessment: A Case of Apartment Building in Composite Climate

In today’s world, the growing demand for urban built forms has resulted in the production and consumption of building materials i.e. embodied energy in building construction, leading to pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, new buildings will offer a unique opportunity to implement more energy efficient building without compromising on building performance of the building. Embodied energy of building materials forms major contribution to embodied energy in buildings. The paper results in an approach towards designing an energy efficient apartment building through embodied energy assessment. This paper discusses the trend of residential development in Rourkela, which includes three case studies of the contemporary houses, followed by architectural elements, number of storeys, predominant material use and plot sizes using primary data. It results in identification of predominant material used and other characteristics in urban area. Further, the embodied energy coefficients of various dominant building materials and alternative materials manufactured in Indian Industry is taken in consideration from secondary source i.e. literature study. The paper analyses the embodied energy by estimating materials and operational energy of proposed building followed by altering the specifications of the materials based on the building components i.e. walls, flooring, windows, insulation and roof through res build India software and comparison of different options is assessed with consideration of sustainable parameters. This paper results that autoclaved aerated concrete block only reaches the energy performance Index benchmark i.e. 69.35 kWh/m2 yr i.e. by saving 4% of operational energy and as embodied energy has no particular index, out of all materials it has the highest EE 23206202.43  MJ.

Formation of Protective Silicide-Aluminide Coating on Gamma-TiAl Advanced Material

In this study, the Si-aluminide coating was prepared on gamma-TiAl [Ti-45Al-2Nb-2Mn-1B (at. %)] via liquid-phase slurry procedure. The high temperature oxidation resistance of this diffusion coating was evaluated at 1100 °C for 400 hours. The results of the isothermal oxidation showed that the formation of Si-aluminide coating can remarkably improve the high temperature oxidation of bare gamma-TiAl alloy. The identification of oxide scale microstructure showed that the formation of protective Al2O3+SiO2 mixed oxide scale along with a continuous, compact and uniform layer of Ti5Si3 beneath the surface oxide scale can act as an oxygen diffusion barrier during the high temperature oxidation. The other possible mechanisms related to the formation of Si-aluminide coating and oxide scales were also discussed.

Diagnosis on Environmental Impacts of Tourism at Caju Beach in Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil

Environmental impacts are the changes in the physical, chemical or biological properties of natural areas that are most often caused by human actions on the environment and which have consequences for human health, society and the elements of nature. The identification of the environmental impacts is important so that they are mitigated, and above all that the mitigating measures are applied in the area. This work aims to identify the environmental impacts generated in the Praia do Caju area in the city of Palmas/Brazil and show that the lack of structure on the beach intensifies the environmental impacts. The present work was carried out having as parameter, the typologies of exploratory and descriptive and quantitative research through a matrix of environmental impacts through direct observation and registration. The study took place during the holidays from August to December 2016 and photographic record of impacts. From the collected data it was possible to verify that Caju beach suffers constant degradation due to irregular deposition.

Specific Emitter Identification Based on Refined Composite Multiscale Dispersion Entropy

The wireless communication network is developing rapidly, thus the wireless security becomes more and more important. Specific emitter identification (SEI) is an vital part of wireless communication security as a technique to identify the unique transmitters. In this paper, a SEI method based on multiscale dispersion entropy (MDE) and refined composite multiscale dispersion entropy (RCMDE) is proposed. The algorithms of MDE and RCMDE are used to extract features for identification of five wireless devices and cross-validation support vector machine (CV-SVM) is used as the classifier. The experimental results show that the total identification accuracy is 99.3%, even at low signal-to-noise ratio(SNR) of 5dB, which proves that MDE and RCMDE can describe the communication signal series well. In addition, compared with other methods, the proposed method is effective and provides better accuracy and stability for SEI.

Monitoring of Spectrum Usage and Signal Identification Using Cognitive Radio

The monitoring of spectrum usage and signal identification, using cognitive radio, is done to identify frequencies that are vacant for reuse. It has been established that ‘internet of things’ device uses secondary frequency which is free, thereby facing the challenge of interference from other users, where some primary frequencies are not being utilised. The design was done by analysing a specific frequency spectrum, checking if all the frequency stations that range from 87.5-108 MHz are presently being used in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. From the results, it was noticed that by using Software Defined Radio/Simulink, we were able to identify vacant frequencies in the range of frequency under consideration. Also, we were able to use the significance of energy detection threshold to reuse this vacant frequency spectrum, when the cognitive radio displays a zero output (that is decision H0), meaning that the channel is unoccupied. Hence, the analysis was able to find the spectrum hole and identify how it can be reused.

An Overview of the Porosity Classification in Carbonate Reservoirs and Their Challenges: An Example of Macro-Microporosity Classification from Offshore Miocene Carbonate in Central Luconia, Malaysia

Biological and chemical activities in carbonates are responsible for the complexity of the pore system. Primary porosity is generally of natural origin while secondary porosity is subject to chemical reactivity through diagenetic processes. To understand the integrated part of hydrocarbon exploration, it is necessary to understand the carbonate pore system. However, the current porosity classification scheme is limited to adequately predict the petrophysical properties of different reservoirs having various origins and depositional environments. Rock classification provides a descriptive method for explaining the lithofacies but makes no significant contribution to the application of porosity and permeability (poro-perm) correlation. The Central Luconia carbonate system (Malaysia) represents a good example of pore complexity (in terms of nature and origin) mainly related to diagenetic processes which have altered the original reservoir. For quantitative analysis, 32 high-resolution images of each thin section were taken using transmitted light microscopy. The quantification of grains, matrix, cement, and macroporosity (pore types) was achieved using a petrographic analysis of thin sections and FESEM images. The point counting technique was used to estimate the amount of macroporosity from thin section, which was then subtracted from the total porosity to derive the microporosity. The quantitative observation of thin sections revealed that the mouldic porosity (macroporosity) is the dominant porosity type present, whereas the microporosity seems to correspond to a sum of 40 to 50% of the total porosity. It has been proven that these Miocene carbonates contain a significant amount of microporosity, which significantly complicates the estimation and production of hydrocarbons. Neglecting its impact can increase uncertainty about estimating hydrocarbon reserves. Due to the diversity of geological parameters, the application of existing porosity classifications does not allow a better understanding of the poro-perm relationship. However, the classification can be improved by including the pore types and pore structures where they can be divided into macro- and microporosity. Such studies of microporosity identification/classification represent now a major concern in limestone reservoirs around the world.

Identification of the Best Blend Composition of Natural Rubber-High Density Polyethylene Blends for Roofing Applications

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a multifunctional polymeric material which possesses a combination of excellent properties of parent materials. Basically, TPE has a rubber phase and a thermoplastic phase which gives processability as thermoplastics. When the rubber phase is partially or fully crosslinked in the thermoplastic matrix, TPE is called as thermoplastic elastomer vulcanizate (TPV). If the rubber phase is non-crosslinked, it is called as thermoplastic elastomer olefin (TPO). Nowadays TPEs are introduced into the commercial market with different products. However, the application of TPE as a roofing material is limited. Out of the commercially available roofing products from different materials, only single ply roofing membranes and plastic roofing sheets are produced from rubbers and plastics. Natural rubber (NR) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are used in various industrial applications individually with some drawbacks. Therefore, this study was focused to develop both TPO and TPV blends from NR and HDPE at different compositions and then to identify the best blend composition to use as a roofing material. A series of blends by varying NR loading from 10 wt% to 50 wt%, at 10 wt% intervals, were prepared using a twin screw extruder. Dicumyl peroxide was used as a crosslinker for TPV. The standard properties for a roofing material like tensile properties tear strength, hardness, impact strength, water absorption, swell/gel analysis and thermal characteristics of the blends were investigated. Change of tensile strength after exposing to UV radiation was also studied. Tensile strength, hardness, tear strength, melting temperature and gel content of TPVs show higher values compared to TPOs at every loading studied, while water absorption and swelling index show lower values, suggesting TPVs are more suitable than TPOs for roofing applications. Most of the optimum properties were shown at 10/90 (NR/HDPE) composition. However, high impact strength and gel content were shown at 20/80 (NR/HDPE) composition. Impact strength, as being an energy absorbing property, is the most important for a roofing material in order to resist impact loads. Therefore, 20/80 (NR/HDPE) is identified as the best blend composition. UV resistance and other properties required for a roofing material could be achieved by incorporating suitable additives to TPVs.

Evaluation of the Quality of Education Offered to Students with Special Needs in Public Schools in the City of Bauru, Brazil

A paradigm shift is a process. The process of implementing inclusive education, a system constructed to support all learners, requires planning, identification, experimentation, and evaluation. In this vein, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the capacity of one Brazilian state school systems to provide special education students with a quality inclusive education. This study originated at the behest of concerned families of students with special needs who filed complaints with the Municipality of Bauru, São Paulo. These families claimed, 1) children with learning differences and educational needs had not been identified for services, and 2) those who had been identified had not received sufficient specialized educational assistance (SEA) in schools across the City of Bauru. Hence, the Office of Civil Rights for the state of São Paulo (Ministério Público de São Paulo) summoned the local higher education institution, UNESP, to design a research study to investigate these allegations. In this exploratory study, descriptive data were gathered from all elementary and middle schools including 58 state schools and 17 city schools, for a total of 75 schools overall. Data collection consisted of each school's annual strategic action plan, surveys and interviews with all school stakeholders to determine their perceptions of the inclusive education available to students with Special Education Needs (SEN). The data were collected as one of four stages in a larger study which also included field observations of a focal students' experience and a continuing education course for all teachers and administrators in both state and city schools. For the purposes of this study, the researchers were interested in understanding the perceptions of school staff, parents, and students across all schools. Therefore, documents and surveys from 75 schools were analyzed for adherence to federal legislation guaranteeing students with SEN the right to special education assistance within the regular school setting. Results shows that while some schools recognized the legal rights of SEN students to receive special education, the plans to actually deliver services were absent. In conclusion, the results of this study revealed both school staff and families have insufficient planning and accessibility resources, and the schools have inadequate infrastructure for full-time support to SEN students, i.e., structures and systems to support the identification of SEN and delivery of services within schools of Bauru, SP. Having identified the areas of need, the city is now prepared to take next steps in the process toward preparing all schools to be inclusive.

An Efficient Fall Detection Method for Elderly Care System

Fall detection is one of the challenging problems in elderly care system. The objective of this paper is to identify falls in elderly care system. In this paper, an efficient fall detection method is proposed to identify falls using correlation factor and Motion History Image (MHI). The proposed method is tested on URF (University of Rzeszow Fall detection) dataset and evaluated with some efficient measures like sensitivity, specificity, precision and classification accuracy. It is compared with other recent methods. The experimental results substantially proved that the proposed method achieves 1.5% higher sensitivity when compared to other methods.

Vitamin Content of Swordfish (Xhiphias gladius) Affected by Salting and Frying

The swordfish (Xiphias gladius) is a large oceanic fish of high commercial value, which is widely distributed in waters of the world’s oceans. They are considered to be an important source of high quality proteins, vitamins and essential fatty acids, although only half of the population follows the recommendation of nutritionists to consume fish at least twice a week. Swordfish is consumed worldwide because of its low fat content and high protein content. It is generally sold as fresh, frozen, and as pieces or slices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of salting and frying on the composition of the water-soluble vitamins (B2, B3, B9 and B12) and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) of swordfish. Three loins of swordfish from Pacific Ocean were analyzed. All the fishes had a weight between 50 and 70 kg and were transported to the laboratory frozen (-18 ºC). Before the processing, they were defrosted at 4 ºC. Each loin was sliced and salted in brine. After cleaning the slices, they were divided into portions (10×2 cm) and fried in olive oil. The identification and quantification of vitamins were carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), using methanol and 0.010% trifluoroacetic acid as mobile phases at a flow-rate of 0.7 mL min-1. The UV-Vis detector was used for the detection of the water- and fat-soluble vitamins (A and D), as well as the fluorescence detector for the detection of the vitamin E. During salting, water and fat-soluble vitamin contents remained constant, observing an evident decrease in the values of vitamin B2. The diffusion of salt into the interior of the pieces and the loss of constitution water that occur during this stage would be related to this significant decrease. In general, after frying water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins showed a great thermolability with high percentages of retention with values among 50–100%. Vitamin B3 is the one that exhibited higher percentages of retention with values close to 100%. However, vitamin B9 presented the highest losses with a percentage of retention of less than 20%.

Performance Analysis of Search Medical Imaging Service on Cloud Storage Using Decision Trees

Telemedicine services use a large amount of data, most of which are diagnostic images in Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) and Health Level Seven (HL7) formats. Metadata is generated from each related image to support their identification. This study presents the use of decision trees for the optimization of information search processes for diagnostic images, hosted on the cloud server. To analyze the performance in the server, the following quality of service (QoS) metrics are evaluated: delay, bandwidth, jitter, latency and throughput in five test scenarios for a total of 26 experiments during the loading and downloading of DICOM images, hosted by the telemedicine group server of the Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Bogotá, Colombia. By applying decision trees as a data mining technique and comparing it with the sequential search, it was possible to evaluate the search times of diagnostic images in the server. The results show that by using the metadata in decision trees, the search times are substantially improved, the computational resources are optimized and the request management of the telemedicine image service is improved. Based on the experiments carried out, search efficiency increased by 45% in relation to the sequential search, given that, when downloading a diagnostic image, false positives are avoided in management and acquisition processes of said information. It is concluded that, for the diagnostic images services in telemedicine, the technique of decision trees guarantees the accessibility and robustness in the acquisition and manipulation of medical images, in improvement of the diagnoses and medical procedures in patients.