Abstract: The present study examines the way Gioachino Rossini’s librettos are selected and formed demonstrating the evolutionary trajectory of the composer during his operatic career. Rossini, a dominant figure in the early 19th century Italian opera, is demanding in his choice of librettos and has a preference for subjects inspired by European literature, of his time or earlier. He begins his operatic career with farsae and operas buffae, but he mainly continues with operas seriae, to end it with a grand opera that conforms to the spirit of romanticism as manifested in Paris of his time. His farsae, operas buffae and comic operas in general are representative of the trends of the time: in some the irrational and the exaggeration prevail, in others the upheavals, others are semi-serious and emotional with a happy ending and others are comedies with more realistic characters, but usually the styles are mixed and complement each other. The stories that refer to his modern era unfold mocking human characters, beliefs attitudes and their expressions in every day habits, satirizing current affairs, presenting innovative elements in dramatic intervention and dealing with a variety of social and national issues. Count Ory, his final comic work, consists of a complex witty urban comic opera entwined with romantic sensitivity. The themes he chooses for his operas seriae are characterized by tragic passion, take place in the era of the Trojan War, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, and the Age of the Crusades and are set in Italy, England, Poland, Greece, Switzerland, Israel and Egypt. In his early works he sketches the characters remotely, objectively and with static, reflexive emotional expression and a happy ending. Then he continues with operas for the San Carlo Theater, which are characterized by experimentation and innovation to end up his Italian operatic career with the ostensibly backward but in fact tragic Semiramis followed in Paris by William Tell, his ultimate dramatic achievement. There are indirect references to burning issues of his era but the censorship of the time does not allow direct reference to topics that would upset the status quo. In addition, Rossini lives in a temporal period of peace after the Napoleonic Wars and by temperament he resists openly engaging in political strife. Furthermore, the need for survival necessitates the search for the more profitable contracts. In conclusion, Rossini, as a liberal personality, shapes his librettos without interruptions or setbacks, with ideas that come out after a lot of thought and a strong sense of purpose. He moves from the moral and aesthetic clarity of the classic tradition of his early works to a more elaborate and morally ambiguous romantic style in a moderate and hesitant way.
Abstract: This paper highlights skills that a leader needs to acquire to lead a team successfully. With an appropriate vision and strategy, a team can be inspired, influenced and easily led. The importance of setting codes of conduct and establishing mutual agreements between the team members can help in minimizing issues and improving overall productivity. Leadership skills include the power of questioning (PoQ), effective communication, identification of team member responsibilities, and assessment of self and the team. This paper will highlight the impact of good leadership on work progress and overall team performance. The paper explains how leaders make correct decisions by avoiding hasty actions that could generate new errors, mistakes, and issues. The importance of positive expectations for the team is addressed in this paper that could result in efficient control of the work with better outcomes.
Abstract: We present a decision-support tool to assist an operator in the detection and tracking of a suspect vehicle traveling to an unknown target destination. Multiple data sources, such as traffic cameras, traffic information, weather, etc., are integrated and processed in real-time to infer a suspect’s intended destination chosen from a list of pre-determined high-value targets. Previously, we presented our work in the detection and tracking of vehicles using traffic and airborne cameras. Here, we focus on the fusion and processing of that information to predict a suspect’s behavior. The network of cameras is represented by a directional graph, where the edges correspond to direct road connections between the nodes and the edge weights are proportional to the average time it takes to travel from one node to another. For our experiments, we construct our graph based on the greater Los Angeles subset of the Caltrans’s “Performance Measurement System” (PeMS) dataset. We propose a Bayesian approach where a posterior probability for each target is continuously updated based on detections of the suspect in the live video feeds. Additionally, we introduce the concept of ‘soft interventions’, inspired by the field of Causal Inference. Soft interventions are herein defined as interventions that do not immediately interfere with the suspect’s movements; rather, a soft intervention may induce the suspect into making a new decision, ultimately making their intent more transparent. For example, a soft intervention could be temporarily closing a road a few blocks from the suspect’s current location, which may require the suspect to change their current course. The objective of these interventions is to gain the maximum amount of information about the suspect’s intent in the shortest possible time. Our system currently operates in a human-on-the-loop mode where at each step, a set of recommendations are presented to the operator to aid in decision-making. In principle, the system could operate autonomously, only prompting the operator for critical decisions, allowing the system to significantly scale up to larger areas and multiple suspects. Once the intended target is identified with sufficient confidence, the vehicle is reported to the authorities to take further action. Other recommendations include a selection of road closures, i.e., soft interventions, or to continue monitoring. We evaluate the performance of the proposed system using simulated scenarios where the suspect, starting at random locations, takes a noisy shortest path to their intended target. In all scenarios, the suspect’s intended target is unknown to our system. The decision thresholds are selected to maximize the chances of determining the suspect’s intended target in the minimum amount of time and with the smallest number of interventions. We conclude by discussing the limitations of our current approach to motivate a machine learning approach, based on reinforcement learning in order to relax some of the current limiting assumptions.
Abstract: Nature has perfected her designs over 3.5 billion years of evolution. Research fields such as biomimicry, biomimetics, bionics, bio-inspired computing, and nature-inspired designs have explored nature-made artifacts and systems to understand nature’s mechanisms and intelligence. Learning from nature, the researchers have generated sustainable designs and innovation in a variety of fields such as energy, architecture, agriculture, transportation, communication, and medicine. Axiomatic design offers a method to judge if a design is good. This paper analyzes design aspects of one of the nature’s amazing object: chicken egg. The functional requirements (FRs) of components of the object are tabulated and mapped on to nature-chosen design parameters (DPs). The ‘independence axiom’ of the axiomatic design methodology is applied to analyze couplings and to evaluate if eggs’ design is good (i.e., uncoupled design) or bad (i.e., coupled design). The analysis revealed that eggs design is a good design, i.e., uncoupled design. This approach can be applied to any nature’s artifacts to judge whether their design is a good or a bad. This methodology is valuable for biomimicry studies. This approach can also be a very useful teaching design consideration of biology and bio-inspired innovation.
Abstract: The article presents results from the AF3 project “Advanced Forest Fire Fighting” focused on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)-based 3D surveillance and 3D area mapping using high-resolution photogrammetric methods from multispectral imaging, also taking advantage of the 3D scanning techniques from the SCAN4RECO project. We also present a proprietary embedded sensor system used for the detection of fire ignitions in the forest using near-infrared based scanner with weight and form factors allowing it to be easily deployed on standard commercial micro-UAVs, such as DJI Inspire or Mavic. Results from real-life pilot trials in Greece, Spain, and Israel demonstrated added-value in the use of UAS for precise and reliable detection of forest fires, as well as high-resolution 3D aerial modeling for accurate quantification of human resources and equipment required for firefighting.
Abstract: This article presents the application of the semi-analytic method (SAM) in the thermal management solution (TMS) of the energy storage system (ESS). The TMS studied in this work is fluid cooling. In fluid cooling, both effective heat conduction and heat convection are indispensable due to the heat transfer from solid to fluid. Correspondingly, an efficient TMS requires a design investigation of the following parameters: fluid inlet temperature, ESS initial temperature, fluid flow rate, working c rate, continuous working time, and materials properties. Their variation induces a change of thermal performance in the battery module, which is usually evaluated by numerical simulation. Compared to complicated computation resources and long computation time in simulation, the SAM is developed in this article to predict the thermal influence within a few seconds. In SAM, a fast prediction model is reckoned by combining numerical simulation with theoretical/empirical equations. The SAM can explore the thermal effect of boundary parameters in both steady-state and transient heat transfer scenarios within a short time. Therefore, the SAM developed in this work can simplify the design cycle of TMS and inspire more possibilities in TMS design.
Abstract: With its spatial data reliability, interpretation and questioning capabilities, Geographical Information Systems make significant contributions to scientists, planners and practitioners. Geographic information systems have received great attention in today's digital world, growing rapidly, and increasing the efficiency of use. Access to and use of current and accurate geographical data, which are the most important components of the Geographical Information System, has become a necessity rather than a need for sustainable and economic development. This project aims to enable sharing of data collected by public institutions and organizations on a web-based platform. Within the scope of the project, INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community) data specifications are considered as a road-map. In this context, Turkey's National Geographic Information System (TUCBS) Integration Project supports sharing spatial data within 61 pilot public institutions as complied with defined national standards. In this paper, which is prepared by the project team members in the TUCBS Integration Project, the technical process with a detailed methodology is explained. In this context, the main technical processes of the Project consist of Geographic Data Analysis, Geographic Data Harmonization (Standardization), Web Service Creation (WMS, WFS) and Metadata Creation-Publication. In this paper, the integration process carried out to provide the data produced by 61 institutions to be shared from the National Geographic Data Portal (GEOPORTAL), have been trying to be conveyed with a detailed methodology.
Abstract: Accurate segmentation of the optic disc is very
important for computer-aided diagnosis of several ocular diseases
such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and hypertensive retinopathy.
The paper presents an accurate and fast optic disc detection and
segmentation method using an attention based fully convolutional
network. The network is trained from scratch using the fundus images
of extended MESSIDOR database and the trained model is used for
segmentation of optic disc. The false positives are removed based on
morphological operation and shape features. The result is evaluated
using three-fold cross-validation on six public fundus image databases
such as DIARETDB0, DIARETDB1, DRIVE, AV-INSPIRE, CHASE
DB1 and MESSIDOR. The attention based fully convolutional
network is robust and effective for detection and segmentation of
optic disc in the images affected by diabetic retinopathy and it
outperforms existing techniques.
Abstract: Since the beginning of the 20th century, sportswear has a major contribution to the impact of fashion on our lives. Nowadays, the embracing of sportswear fashion/looks is undoubtedly noticeable, as the modern consumer searches for high comfort and linear aesthetics for its clothes. This compromise lead to the arise of the athleisure trend. Athleisure surges as a new style area that combines both wearability and fashion sense, differentiated from the archetypal sportswear, usually associated to “gym clothes”. Additionally, the possibility to functionalize and implement new technologies have shifted and progressively empowers the connection between the concepts of physical activities practice and well-being, allowing clothing to be more interactive and responsive with its surroundings. In this study, a design inspired in retro and urban lifestyle was envisioned, engineering textile structures that can respond to external stimuli. These structures are enhanced to be responsive to heat, water vapor and humidity, integrating shape memory polymers (SMP) to improve the breathability and heat-responsive behavior of the textiles and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) to heighten the surface hydrophobic properties. The best results for hydrophobic exhibited superhydrophobic behavior with water contact angle (WAC) of more than 150 degrees. For the breathability and heat-response properties, SMP-coated samples showed an increase in water vapour permeability values of about 50% when compared with non SMP-coated samples. These innovative technological approaches were endorsed to design innovative clothing, in line with circular economy and eco-design principles, by assigning a substantial degree of mutability and versatility to the clothing. The development of a coat and shirt, in which different parts can be purchased separately to create multiple products, aims to combine the technicality of both the fabrics used and the making of the garments. This concept translates itself into a real constructive mechanism through the symbiosis of high-tech functionalities and the timeless design that follows the athleisure aesthetics.
Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to redefine the levels of structure of corporate, business and functional strategies that were established over the past several decades, to a conceptual model, consisting of corporate, business and operations strategies, that are reinforced by functional strategies. We will propose a conceptual framework of different perspectives in the role of strategic operations as a separate strategic place and reposition the remaining functional strategies as supporting tools, existing at all three levels. The proposed model is called ‘the strategic engine’, since the mutual relationships of its ingredients are identical with main elements and working principle of the internal combustion engine. Based on theoretical essence, related to every strategic level, we will prove that the strategic engine model is useful for managers seeking to safeguard the competitive advantage of their companies. Each strategy level is researched through its basic elements. At the corporate level we examine the scope of firm’s product, the vertical and geographical coverage. At the business level, the point of interest is limited to the SWOT analysis’ basic elements. While at operations level, the key research issue relates to the scope of the following performance indicators: cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability. In this relationship, the paper provides a different view for the role of operations strategy within the overall strategy concept. We will prove that the theoretical essence of operations goes far beyond the scope of traditionally accepted business functions. Exploring the applications of Resource-based theory and Market-based theory within the strategic levels framework, we will prove that there is a logical consequence of the theoretical impact in corporate, business and operations strategy – at every strategic level, the validity of one theory is substituted to the level of the other. Practical application of the conceptual model is tested in automotive industry. Actually, the proposed theoretical concept is inspired by a leading global automotive group – Inchcape PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
Abstract: Recent high-profile terrorist events in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe – the London Bridge attacks, the terrorist attacks in Nice, France and Barcelona, Spain, the 2014 Ottawa Parliament attacks and the 2017 attacks in Edmonton – have all raised levels of public and academic concern with so-called “lone-wolf” and “radicalized” terrorism. Similarly, several countries outside of the “Western” world have been dealing with radicalization to violent extremism for several years. Many South East Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines have all had experience with what might be described as ISIS or extremist-inspired acts of terrorism. Indeed, it appears the greatest strength of groups such as ISIS has been their ability to spread a global message of violent extremism that has led to radicalization in markedly different jurisdictions throughout the world. These markedly different jurisdictions have responded with counter-radicalization strategies that warrant further comparative analysis. This paper utilizes an inter-disciplinary legal methodology. In doing so, it compares legal, political, cultural and historical aspects of the counter-radicalization strategies employed by Canada, the United Kingdom and several South East Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines). Whilst acknowledging significant legal and political differences between these jurisdictions, the paper engages in these analyses with an eye towards understanding which best practices might be shared between the jurisdictions. In doing so, it presents valuable findings of a comparative nature that are useful to both academic and practitioner audiences in several jurisdictions.
Abstract: High Voltage Substations (HVS) are the intermediate step between production of power and successfully transmitting it to clients, making them one of the most important checkpoints in power grids. Nowadays - renewable resources and consequently distributed generation are growing fast, the construction of HVS is of high importance both in terms of quality and time completion so that new energy producers can quickly and safely intergrade in power grids. The resources needed, such as machines and workers, should be carefully allocated so that the construction of a HVS is completed on time, with the lowest possible cost (e.g. not spending additional cost that were not taken into consideration, because of project delays), but in the highest quality. In addition, there are milestones and several checkpoints to be precisely achieved during construction to ensure the cost and timeline control and to ensure that the percentage of governmental funding will be granted. The management of such a demanding project is a NP-hard problem that consists of prerequisite constraints and resource limits for each task of the project. In this work, a hybrid meta-heuristic method is implemented to solve this problem. Meta-heuristics have been proven to be quite useful when dealing with high-dimensional constraint optimization problems. Hybridization of them results in boost of their performance.
Abstract: The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.
Abstract: Nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithms, particularly those founded on swarm intelligence, have attracted much attention over the past decade. Firefly algorithm has appeared in approximately seven years ago, its literature has enlarged considerably with different applications. It is inspired by the behavior of fireflies. The aim of this paper is the application of firefly algorithm for solving a nonlinear algebraic system. This resolution is needed to study the Selective Harmonic Eliminated Pulse Width Modulation strategy (SHEPWM) to eliminate the low order harmonics; results have been applied on multilevel inverters. The final results from simulations indicate the elimination of the low order harmonics as desired. Finally, experimental results are presented to confirm the simulation results and validate the efficaciousness of the proposed approach.
Abstract: Islamism is a very debated topic in the West but almost exclusively explored in its violent forms. Nevertheless, a number of “vocal radical Islamist” groups exist in the West and legally operate because of their non-violent nature. Vocal radicals continually inspire individuals and lead them towards specific goals and priorities, sometimes even towards violence. This paper uses the long-living group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) to explore the elements that make the organization appealing to segments of Muslim community in the West. This paper uses three agency variables - reflexive monitoring, the rationalization of action and the motivations for actions – to analyze HT’s appeal vis-à-vis two other Islamist groups, Ikhwan al-Muslimun and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), having similar goals and the same high international profile. This paper concludes that HT’s uniqueness is given by its method, detailed vision of the caliphate, consistency over time and the emphasis placed on the caliphate as the leading force of HT’s unchanged motivation for action.
Abstract: Peace diplomacy is the most important international tool to maintain peace all over the World. This study consists of three parts. In the first part, the leadership of Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, will be introduced as a tool of peace communication and peace management. Also, in this part, peace communication will be explained by the peace leadership traits of Devlet Bahçeli, who is one of the efficient political leaders representing the concepts of compromise and agreement on different sides of politics. In the second part of study, it is aimed to analyze Devlet Bahçeli’s leadership within the frame of peace communication and the final part of this study is about creating an original public communication model for public diplomacy based on Devlet Bahçeli as an example. As a result, the main purpose of this study is to develop an original peace communication model including peace modules, peace management projects, original dialogue procedures and protocols exhibited in the policies of Devlet Bahçeli. The political leadership represented by Devlet Bahçeli inspires political leaders to provide peace communication. In this study, principles and policies of peace leadership of Devlet Bahçeli will be explained as an original model on a peace communication platform.
Abstract: In soilless culture, the management of the nutrient
solution is the most important aspect for crop growing. Fertigation
dose, frequency and nutrient concentration must be planned with
the objective of reaching an optimal crop growth by limiting
the utilized resources and the associated costs. The definition of
efficient fertigation strategies is a complex problem since fertigation
requirements vary on the basis of different factors, and crops are
sensitive to small variations on fertigation parameters. To the best
of author knowledge, a small-scale test bench that is flexible for
both nutrient solution preparation and precise irrigation is currently
missing, limiting the investigations in standard practices for soilless
culture. Starting from the analysis of the state of the art, this paper
proposes a small-scale system that is potentially able to concurrently
test different fertigation strategies. The system will be designed and
implemented throughout a three year project started on August 2018.
However, due to the importance of the topic within current challenges
as food security and climate change, this work is spread considering
that may inspire other universities and organizations.
Abstract: Passive resonant vibration absorbers are among the most widely used dynamic control systems in civil engineering. They typically consist in a single-degree-of-freedom mechanical appendage of the main structure, tuned to one structural target mode through frequency and damping optimization. One classical scheme is the pendulum absorber, whose mass is constrained to move along a curved trajectory and is damped by viscous dashpots. Even though the principle is well known, the search for improved arrangements is still under way. In recent years this investigation inspired a type of bidirectional pendulum absorber (BPA), consisting of a mass constrained to move along an optimal three-dimensional (3D) concave surface. For such a BPA, the surface principal curvatures are designed to ensure a bidirectional tuning of the absorber to both principal modes of the main structure, while damping is produced either by horizontal viscous dashpots or by vertical friction dashpots, connecting the BPA to the main structure. In this paper, a variant of BPA is proposed, where damping originates from the variable tangential friction force which develops between the pendulum mass and the 3D surface as a result of a spatially-varying friction coefficient pattern. Namely, a friction coefficient is proposed that varies along the pendulum surface in proportion to the modulus of the 3D surface gradient. With such an assumption, the dissipative model of the absorber can be proven to be nonlinear homogeneous in the small displacement domain. The resulting homogeneous BPA (HBPA) has a fundamental advantage over conventional friction-type absorbers, because its equivalent damping ratio results independent on the amplitude of oscillations, and therefore its optimal performance does not depend on the excitation level. On the other hand, the HBPA is more compact than viscously damped BPAs because it does not need the installation of dampers. This paper presents the analytical model of the HBPA and an optimal methodology for its design. Numerical simulations of single- and multi-story building structures under wind and earthquake loads are presented to compare the HBPA with classical viscously damped BPAs. It is shown that the HBPA is a promising alternative to existing BPA types and that homogeneous tangential friction is an effective means to realize systems provided with amplitude-independent damping.
Abstract: This paper attempts to develop a wireless feedback control system as a primary step eventually toward a bio-inspired structure system where inanimate structure behaves like a life form autonomously. It is a standalone wireless control system which is supposed to measure externally caused structural responses, analyze structural state from acquired data, and take its own action on the basis of the analysis with an embedded logic. For an experimental examination of its effectiveness, we applied it on a model of two-span bridge and performed a wireless control test. Experimental tests have been conducted for comparison on both the wireless and the wired system under the conditions of Un-control, Passive-off, Passive-on, and Lyapunov control algorithm. By proving the congruence of the test result of the wireless feedback control system with the wired control system, its control performance was proven to be effective. Besides, it was found to be economical in energy consumption and also autonomous by means of a command algorithm embedded into it, which proves its basic capacity as a bio-inspired system.
Abstract: The Modernist Movement initially flourished in France, Holland, Germany and the Soviet Union. Many architects and designers were inspired and followed its principles. Two of its most important architects (Gerrit Rietveld and Ludwig Mies van de Rohe) were introduced in this paper. Each did not follow the other’s principles and had their own particular rules; however, they shared the same features of the Modernist International Style, such as Anti-historicism, Abstraction, Technology, Function and Internationalism/ Universality. Key Modernist principles translated into high expectations, which sometimes did not meet the inhabitants’ aspirations of living comfortably; consequently, leading to a conflict and misunderstanding between the designer and their clients’ needs. Therefore, historical case studies (the Schroder and the Farnsworth houses) involving two Modernist pioneer architects have been chosen. This paper is an attempt to explore some of the influential factors affecting buildings design such as: needs, gender, and question concerning commonalities between both designers and their clients. The three aspects and two designers explored here have been chosen because they have been influenced the researchers to understand the impact of those factors on the design process, building’s performance, and the dweller’s satisfaction. This is a descriptive/ analytical research based on two historical comparative case studies that involve several steps such as: key evaluation questions (KEQs), observations, document analysis, etc. The methodology is based on data collation and finding validations. The research aims to state a manifest to regulate the relation between architects and their clients to reach the optimum building performance and functional interior design that suits their clients’ needs, reflects the architects’ character, and the school they belong to. At the end, through the investigation in this paper, the different needs between both the designers and the clients have been seen not only in the building itself but also it could convert the inhabitant’s life in various ways. Moreover, a successful relationship between the architect and their clients could play a significant role in the success of projects. In contrast, not every good design or celebrated building could end up with a successful relationship between the designer and their client or full-fill the inhabitant’s aspirations.