Abstract: Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms where users share their opinions on different subjects. Twitter can be considered a great source for mining text due to the high volumes of data generated through the platform daily. Many industries such as telecommunication companies can leverage the availability of Twitter data to better understand their markets and make an appropriate business decision. This study performs topic modeling on Twitter data using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). The obtained results are benchmarked with another topic modeling technique, Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). The study aims to retrieve topics on a Twitter dataset containing user tweets on South African Telcos. Results from this study show that LSI is much faster than LDA. However, LDA yields better results with higher topic coherence by 8% for the best-performing model in this experiment. A higher topic coherence score indicates better performance of the model.
Abstract: The most demanded organic foods worldwide are those that are consumed fresh, such as fruits and vegetables. However, there is a knowledge gap about some aspects of organic food microbiological quality and safety. Organic fruits and vegetables are more exposed to pathogenic microorganisms due to surface contact with natural fertilizers such as animal manure, wastes and vermicompost used during farming. Therefore, the objective of this work was to study the contamination of organic fresh green leafy vegetables by two emergent pathogens, Arcobacter spp. and Helicobacter pylori. For this purpose, a total of 24 vegetable samples, 13 lettuce and 11 spinach were acquired from 10 different ecological supermarkets and greengroceries and analyzed by culture and PCR. Arcobacter spp. was detected in five samples (20%) by PCR, four spinach and one lettuce. One spinach sample was found to be also positive by culture. For H. pylori, the H. pylori VacA gene-specific band was detected in 12 vegetable samples (50%), 10 lettuces and two spinach. Isolation in the selective medium did not yield any positive result, possibly because of low contamination levels together with the presence of the organism in its viable but non-culturable form. Results showed significant levels of H. pylori and Arcobacter contamination in organic vegetables that are generally consumed raw, which seems to confirm that these foods can act as transmission vehicles to humans.
Abstract: China’s declared transformation towards a ‘new electricity system dominated by renewable energy’ requires a cleaner electricity consumption mix with high shares of renewable energy sourced-electricity (RES-E). Unfortunately, integration of RES-E into Chinese electricity markets remains a problem pending more robust legal support, evidenced by the curtailment of wind and solar power due to integration constraints. The upcoming Energy Law of the PRC (Energy Law) is expected to provide such long-awaiting support and coordinate the existing diverse sector-specific laws to deal with the weak implementation that dampening the delivery of their desired regulatory effects. However, in the shadow of the COVID-19 crisis, it remains uncertain how this new Energy Law brings synergies to RES-E integration, mindful of the significant impacts of the pandemic. Through the theoretical lens of the interplay between China’s electricity market reform and legislative development, this paper investigates whether there is a paradigm shift in Energy Law regarding renewable energy integration compared with the existing sector-specific energy laws. It examines the 2020 Draft for Comments on the Energy Law and analyses its relationship with sector-specific energy laws focusing on RES-E integration. The comparison is drawn upon five critical aspects of the RES-E integration issue, including the status of renewables, marketisation, incentive schemes, consumption mechanisms, access to power grids and dispatching. The analysis shows that it is reasonable to expect a more open and well-organised electricity market, enabling the absorption of high shares of RES-E. The present paper concludes that a period of prosperous development of RES-E in the post-COVID-19 era can be anticipated with the legal support by the upcoming Energy Law. It contributes to understanding the signals China is sending regarding the transition towards a cleaner energy future.
Abstract: Construction Industry is evolving amid the fourth industrial revolution. Transportation, commerce, manufacturing and many other industries ripened the current technological advancement and are striving to utilise every development in the IT sector. The procurement of construction works is known to be very conventional and backward in the adoption of digitalisation. The construction industry's procurement and supply chain are blamed for the most inflated cost of construction projects, mainly attributed to a lack of transparency and trust between the industry stakeholders. This research explores the challenges of e-procurement adoption in the industry and identifies the potential opportunities for its usage. This investigation's data are acquired through interviews, and the data are analysed using qualitative content analysis. This study reveals compounding challenges (i.e., corruption and lack of commitment) that lead to the failure of such efforts in Nigeria and the potential prospects (i.e., transparency and efficiency). This study is essential in developing a more effective and transparent process of procurement so that the Nigerian construction industry is not be left behind in the fast-digitalising markets.
Abstract: Organic agriculture is a kind of living and dynamic agriculture that was introduced in the early 20th century. The fundamental basis for organic agriculture is in harmony with nature. This version of farming emphasizes removing growth hormones, chemical fertilizers, toxins, radiation, genetic manipulation and instead, integration of modern scientific techniques (such as biologic and microbial control) that leads to the production of healthy food and the preservation of the environment and use of agricultural products such as forage and manure. Supports from governments for the markets producing organic products and taking advantage of the experiences from other successful societies in this field can help progress the positive and effective aspects of this technology, especially in developing countries. This research proves that till 2030, 25% of the global agricultural lands would be covered by organic farming. Consequently Iran, due to its rich genetic resources and various climates, can be a pioneer in promoting organic products. In addition, for sustainable farming, blend of organic and other innovative systems is needed. Important limitations exist to accept these systems, also a diversity of policy instruments will be required to comfort their development and implementation. The paper was conducted to results of compilation of reports, issues, books, articles related to the subject with library studies and research. Likewise we combined experimental and survey to get data.
Abstract: Competition law promotes market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by undertakings. There is a need for a third party to regulate the market for efficiency and supervision, since, if the market is left unchecked, it may be skewed against the consumers and the economy. Competition law is geared towards the protection of consumers from economic exploitation. It is the duty of every rational government to optimally manage its economic system by employing the best regulatory practices over the market to ensure it functions effectively and efficiently. The Nigerian government has done this by enacting the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018 (FCCPA). This is a comprehensive legal framework with the objective of governing competition issues in Nigeria. Prior to its enactment, the competition law regime in Nigeria was grossly inadequate despite Nigeria being the biggest economy in Africa. This latest legislation has become a bold step in the right direction. This study will use the doctrinal methodology in analyzing the FCCPA, 2018 in order to discover the extent to which the Act will guard against anti-competitive practices and promote competitive markets for the benefit of the Nigerian economy and consumers. The study finds that although the FCCPA, 2018 provides for the regulation of competition in Nigeria, there is a need to effectively tackle the challenges to the implementation of the Act and the development of anti-trust jurisprudence in Nigeria. This study concludes that incisive implementation of competition law in Nigeria will help protect consumers and create a conducive environment for economic growth, development, and protection of consumers from obnoxious competition practices.
Abstract: In Liberia, many of the agricultural households cultivate cassava for either sustenance purposes, or to generate farm income. Many of the concentrated cassava farmers reside in Nimba, a north-eastern County that borders two other economies: the Republics of Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea. With a high demand for cassava output and products in emerging Asian markets coupled with an objective of the Liberia agriculture policies to increase the competitiveness of valued agriculture crops; there is a need to examine the level of resource-use efficiency for many agriculture crops. However, there is a scarcity of information on the efficiency of many agriculture crops, including cassava. Hence the study applying an output-oriented method seeks to assess the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba County, Liberia. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to generate a sample for the study. From 216 cassava farmers, data related to on-farm attributes, socio-economic and institutional factors were collected. The stochastic frontier models, using the Translog functional forms, of production and revenue, were used to determine the level of revenue efficiency and its determinants. The result showed that most of the cassava farmers are male (60%). Many of the farmers are either married, engaged or living together with a spouse (83%), with a mean household size of nine persons. Farmland is prevalently obtained by inheritance (95%), average farm size is 1.34 hectares, and most cassava farmers did not access agriculture credits (76%) and extension services (91%). The mean cassava output per hectare is 1,506.02 kg, which estimates average revenue of L$23,551.16 (Liberian dollars). Empirical results showed that the revenue efficiency of cassava farmers varies from 0.1% to 73.5%; with the mean revenue efficiency of 12.9%. This indicates that on average, there is a vast potential of 87.1% to increase the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba by improving technical and allocative efficiencies. For the significant determinants of revenue efficiency, age and group membership had negative effects on revenue efficiency of cassava production; while farming experience, access to extension, formal education, and average wage rate have positive effects. The study recommends the setting-up and incentivizing of farmer field schools for cassava farmers to primarily share their farming experiences with others and to learn robust cultivation techniques of sustainable agriculture. Also, farm managers and farmers should consider a fix wage rate in labor contracts for all stages of cassava farming.
Abstract: The patenting of inventions is the result of an organized effort to achieve technological improvement and its consequent positive impact on the population's standard of living. Technology exports, either of high-tech goods or of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services, represent the level of acceptance that world markets have of that technology acquired or developed by a country, either in public or private settings. A quantitative measure of the above variables is expected to have a positive and relevant impact on the level of economic development of the countries, measured on this first occasion through their level of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And in that sense, it not only explains the performance of an economy but the difference between nations. We present an econometric model where we seek to explain the difference between the GDP levels of 178 countries through their different performance in the outputs of the technological production process. We take the variables of Patenting, ICT Exports and High Technology Exports as results of the innovation process. This model achieves an explanatory power for four annual cuts (2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015) equivalent to an adjusted r2 of 0.91, 0.87, 0.91 and 0.96, respectively.
Abstract: In the past few decades, international research on the country of origin of products has garnered significant interest, particularly in investigating the effects of consumers’ evaluation and perception. As globalization and market competition rise, international firms are seeking ways to control their labour costs and minimise taxes. Many products are outsourced and manufactured in countries with cheap labour. Consequently, the proliferation of ‘bi-national’ products has increased, raising important questions related to consumers’ perception. Moreover, the rapid growth in emerging markets, especially in Asia, has made these countries attractive options for international brands. Therefore, studying the country of origin allows firms and researchers to understand how customers perceive such information regarding the country of manufacture and the country of the brand. This study aims to investigate the influence of the country of manufacture (COM) and country of brand (COB) on Thai consumers’ perception of the brand. In addition, it embraces a different perspective on brand experience as a moderating factor. A sample of 403 Thai respondents was collected through face-to-face survey questionnaires in central Bangkok. This research employs an experiment using a factorial design to test the hypotheses. SPSS statistics software was adopted to analyse and validate the reliability of the testing of the constructs and model hypotheses. The results of this research show that the respondents positively respond to the COB more than the COM, and brand experience plays a moderating role in this research. This research provides a significant contribution to the existing literature and managerial practicality by using multi-dimensional information on the country and analyses the relationships between these dimensions.
Abstract: The Product-Service System (PSS) has received widespread attention due to the increasing global competition in manufacturing and service markets. Today’s smart products and services are driven by Internet of things (IoT) technologies which will promote the transformation from traditional PSS to smart PSS. Although the smart PSS has some of technological achievements in businesses, it often ignores the real demands of target users when using products and services. Therefore, designers should know and learn the User Experience (UX) of smart products, services and systems. However, both of academia and industry still lack relevant development experience of smart PSS since it is an emerging field. In doing so, this is a case study of Xiaomi’s Chunmi, the largest IoT platform in the world, and addresses the two major issues: (1) why Chunmi should develop smart PSS strategies with UX; and (2) how Chunmi could successfully implement the strategic objectives of smart PSS through the design. The case study results indicated that: (1) the smart PSS can distinguish competitors by their unique UX which is difficult to duplicate; (2) early user engagement is crucial for the success of smart PSS; and (3) interaction, expectation, and enjoyment can be treated as a three-dimensional evaluation of UX design for smart PSS innovation. In conclusion, the smart PSS can gain competitive advantages through good UX design in the market.
Abstract: Customer relationship analysis is vital for retail stores, especially for supermarkets. The point of sale (POS) systems make it possible to record the daily purchasing behaviors of customers as an identification point of sale (ID-POS) database, which can be used to analyze customer behaviors of a supermarket. The customer value is an indicator based on ID-POS database for detecting the customer loyalty of a store. In general, there are many supermarkets in a city, and other nearby competitor supermarkets significantly affect the customer value of customers of a supermarket. However, it is impossible to get detailed ID-POS databases of competitor supermarkets. This study firstly focused on the customer value and distance between a customer's home and supermarkets in a city, and then constructed the models based on logistic regression analysis to analyze correlations between distance and purchasing behaviors only from a POS database of a supermarket chain. During the modeling process, there are three primary problems existed, including the incomparable problem of customer values, the multicollinearity problem among customer value and distance data, and the number of valid partial regression coefficients. The improved customer value, Huff’s gravity model, and inverse attractiveness frequency are considered to solve these problems. This paper presents three types of models based on these three methods for loyal customer classification and competitors’ influence analysis. In numerical experiments, all types of models are useful for loyal customer classification. The type of model, including all three methods, is the most superior one for evaluating the influence of the other nearby supermarkets on customers' purchasing of a supermarket chain from the viewpoint of valid partial regression coefficients and accuracy.
Abstract: Skillful management is one of the most important success factors for today’s farms. When a farm is well managed, it can generate funds for its sustainability. Grape is one of the most diffused fruits in the world and one of the most important cash crops with high potential of production in Afghanistan as well. While there are several organizations intervening for improvement of this cash crop, the quality and quantity are still not satisfactory for producers and external markets. The situation has not changed over the years. Therefore, a survey was conducted in 2017 with 60 grape growers, supported by questionnaires in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara districts of Kabul province. The purpose was to get an understanding of the current socio-demographic characteristics of farmers, management methods, constraints, farm size, yield and contribution of grape farming to household income. Findings indicate that grape farming was predominant 83.3% male, 16.6% female and small-scale farmers were the main grape producers, 60% < 1 ha of land under grape production. Likewise, 50% had more than > 10 years and 33.3% between 1-5 years’ experience in grape farming. The high level of illiteracy and diseases had significant digit effect on growth, yield and quality of grapes. The results showed that vineyard management operations to protect grapes from mechanical damage are very poor or completely absent. Comparing developed countries, table grape is one of the fruits with the highest input of technology, while in developing countries the cost of labor is low but the purchase of the equipment is very high due to financial situation. Hence the low quality and quantity of grape are influenced by poor management methods, such as non-availability of experts and lack of technical guidance in the study site. Thereby, the study suggested that improved agricultural extension services and managerial skills could contribute to addressing the problems.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to call education professionals to implement etiquette and public speaking skills for preschoolers, primary, middle and higher school students. In this paper the author aims to present importance of etiquette learning and public speaking curriculum for preschoolers, reflect on experiences from implementation of the curriculum and discuss the effect of the said implementation on higher education/global job market. Author’s aim to introduce this curriculum was to provide children with innovative learning and all around development. This training of soft skills at kindergarten level can have a long term effect on their social behaviors which in turn can contribute to professional success once they are ready for campus recruitment/global job markets. Additionally, if preschoolers learn polite, appropriate behavior at early age, it will enable them to become more socially attentive and display good manners as an adult. It is easier to nurture these skills in a child rather than changing bad manners at adulthood. Preschool/Kindergarten education can provide the platform for children to learn these crucial soft skills irrespective of the ethnicity, economic or social background they come from. These skills developed at such early years can go a long way to shape them into better and confident individuals. Unfortunately, accessibility of the etiquette learning and public speaking skill education is not standardized in pre-primary or primary level and most of the time embedding into the kindergarten curriculum is next to nil. All young children should be provided with equal opportunity to learn these soft skills which are essential for finding their place in job market.
Abstract: Taking Japanese and Chinese animation industry as research objects with a detailed analysis and comparison of the industrial models and status quo in two countries, this study fully reveals the development mechanism and internal and external situations of the industry. It is believed that the Japanese animation industry's continuous pursuit of low-cost production models, virtuous recycling mechanisms, and active expansion of overseas markets are valuable experiences; whereas China needs to strengthen national and local support for animation and emphasis on the protection of the copyright. The targeted and forward-looking suggestions and conclusions proposed in this study provides not only an insight into the animation industry but also inspirations for development in the animation industry around the world through an analysis of experiences and shortcomings.
Abstract: The concentration of heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Fe, Zn, Cu) in Clarias gariepinus collected from fish markets; Fanibi (Station I) and Fiwasaye (Station II) in Akure metropolis, Ondo state, Nigeria were investigated to ascertain the safety for the consumers. 60 samples were collected from the two markets in three batches (I, II, III) for a period of six months and analyzed for heavy metals in the gills and muscles of the fish. Also, the Health Risk Index (HRI) was used to determine the health risk of these metals to the consumer. The results showed that the investigated metal concentration was higher in station I than station II, except Pb having higher concentration in station II than station I. In both stations, the highest concentration of Fe was recorded in the gills (12.60 ± 1.51; 6.94 ± 1.38) and muscles (3.72 ± 0.09; 3.86 ± 0.33) of samples in batch I. Also, the HRI revealed that consumption of Clarias gariepinus from these study areas did not pose any health risk (HRI < 1). In addition, concentrations of the heavy metals were all below the permissible limits recommended by FAO/WHO.
Abstract: Infrastructure projects are often subjected to delays and cost overruns and mistakenly described as unsuccessful projects. These projects have many peculiarities such as public attention, impact on the environment, subjected to special regulations, etc. They also deal with several stakeholders with different motivations and face unique risks. With this in mind we need to reconsider our approach to manage them, define their success factors and implement these success factors. Infrastructure projects are not only lacking a unified meaning of project success or a definition of success factors, but also a clear method to implement these factors. This paper investigates this gap and introduces a concept to implement success factors in an efficient way, taking into consideration the specific characteristics of infrastructure projects. This concept consists of six enablers such as project organization, project team, project management workflow, contract management, communication and knowledge transfer and project documentations. These enablers allow other success factors to be efficiently implemented in projects. In conclusion, this paper provides project managers as well as company managers with a tool to define and implement success factors efficiently in their projects, along with upgrading their assets for the coming projects. This tool consists of processes and validated checklists to ensure the best use of company resources and knowledge. Due to the special features of infrastructure projects this tool will be tested in the German infrastructure market. However, it is meant to be adaptable to other markets and industries.
Abstract: The service of passenger waterway transportation lacks economic models that help in designing and implementing strategies to ensure its sustainability in several aspects (economic, social and environmental). The size of costs, though not the only one, is of particular importance in these models. However, traditionally, cost management has been focused only on reducing production costs, for the purpose of companies to keep prices low and gain market competitiveness. Although, with all the technological advances, and other restrictions imposed by the market in terms of service, in the case of passengers waterway transportation: intermodal competition; quality of service; or by regulatory environment for public concession and; in the aspect of business: to stay in the market with natural, demand and institutional restrictions, this view is not enough. Thus, there is an evolution of a traditional cost accounting to strategic cost management. On the other hand, it is important to consider other important dimensions and recognize that companies no longer exist in isolation, but they are part of highly integrated value and supplies chains. Therefore, this work will explore and analyze the sustainable value chain of passenger waterway transportation service using the tools of strategic cost management. The method will start from three components of analysis: (1) definition of basic elements of sustainable value chain; (2) identification of main restrictions to the chain development and aspects critical for service sustainability; (3) development of a cost model and propositions to overcome the bottlenecks found, to add value. Whether in the internal cost structure of the company; operational cost reduction strategies; in search of new markets, or to establish new partnerships or even; in the broadest level, in terms of investments in infrastructure or recommendations involving governance decisions to improve the current institutional environment. The case study will be developed in passenger transport companies located in the Lower Amazon, consolidated in this market, with defined enterprise structure of business sustainability, and who have already been willing to collaborate with the investigation. As results, it is expected to understand the cost structures that support sustainable value chains, namely, costs of activities and relevant cost objects in order to determine the cost drivers, profitability margins, cost reduction opportunities and conditions conducive to competitive advantages related to the different strategic options to cost leadership, differentiation or approach. Finally, in the model to be developed, the proper characterization of cost structure and value creation in transport processes under study may constitute reference points for future more sophisticated applied works of optimizing the resources involved and supporting the decision making, in particular with regard to operations research and quantitative methods more robust.
Abstract: The shift towards decision making (DM) based on artificial intelligence (AI) techniques will change the way in which consumer markets and our societies function. Through AI, predictive analytics is being used by businesses to identify these patterns and major trends with the objective to improve the DM and influence future business outcomes. This paper proposes an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) approach to predict the success of telemarketing calls for selling bank long-term deposits. To validate the proposed model, we uses the bank marketing data of 41188 phone calls. The ANN attains 98.93% of accuracy which outperforms other conventional classifiers and confirms that it is credible and valuable approach for telemarketing campaign managers.
Abstract: Air transport links markets and individuals, promoting social and economic development. The review of management direction towards social responsibility and especially for the enhancement of passengers with autism is the key objective of this paper. According to a top-down approach, the key dimensions that affect the basic principles and directions of airport enterprises management towards social responsibility for the case of passengers with autism are presented. Conventional wisdom is to present actions undertaken in improving accessibility for special population groups and highlight the social dimension in the management of transport hubs. The target is to focus on transport hubs serving special groups of passengers such as passengers with autism and highlight good practices and motivate transport infrastructure management authorities and decision makers to promote the social footprint of transport. The highlights and key findings are essential for managers and decision makers to support actions and plans towards management of airport enterprises towards social responsibility, focusing on the case of passengers traveling with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Abstract: In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.