Taxonomy of Threats and Vulnerabilities in Smart Grid Networks

Electric power is a fundamental necessity in the 21st century. Consequently, any break in electric power is probably going to affect the general activity. To make the power supply smooth and efficient, a smart grid network is introduced which uses communication technology. In any communication network, security is essential. It has been observed from several recent incidents that adversary causes an interruption to the operation of networks. In order to resolve the issues, it is vital to understand the threats and vulnerabilities associated with the smart grid networks. In this paper, we have investigated the threats and vulnerabilities in Smart Grid Networks (SGN) and the few solutions in the literature. Proposed solutions showed developments in electricity theft countermeasures, Denial of services attacks (DoS) and malicious injection attacks detection model, as well as malicious nodes detection using watchdog like techniques and other solutions.

Attribute Analysis of Quick Response Code Payment Users Using Discriminant Non-negative Matrix Factorization

Recently, the system of quick response (QR) code is getting popular. Many companies introduce new QR code payment services and the services are competing with each other to increase the number of users. For increasing the number of users, we should grasp the difference of feature of the demographic information, usage information, and value of users between services. In this study, we conduct an analysis of real-world data provided by Nomura Research Institute including the demographic data of users and information of users’ usages of two services; LINE Pay, and PayPay. For analyzing such data and interpret the feature of them, Nonnegative Matrix Factorization (NMF) is widely used; however, in case of the target data, there is a problem of the missing data. EM-algorithm NMF (EMNMF) to complete unknown values for understanding the feature of the given data presented by matrix shape. Moreover, for comparing the result of the NMF analysis of two matrices, there is Discriminant NMF (DNMF) shows the difference of users features between two matrices. In this study, we combine EMNMF and DNMF and also analyze the target data. As the interpretation, we show the difference of the features of users between LINE Pay and Paypay.

Searching for an Effective Marketing in the Food Supplement Industry in Japan

The market for "functional foods" and "foods with functional claims" that are effective in maintaining and improving health, has expanded year by year due to the entry of major food and beverage manufacturers following the introduction of the specified health food system in 1991 in Japan. To bring health claims related products or services to the market, it is necessary to let consumers to learn about these products or services; an effective marketing through advertising are important. This research proposes a framework for an effective advertisement medium for the food supplement industry by using survey data of 2,500 people.

Ex-Offenders’ Labelling, Stigmatisation and Unsuccessful Re-Integration as Factors Leading into Recidivism: A South African Context

For successful re-integration, the individual offender must adapt and transform, which requires that the offender should adopt and internalise socially approved norms, attitudes, values, and beliefs. However, the offender’s labelling and community stigmatisation decide the destination of the offender. Community involvement in ex-offenders’ re-integration is an important issue in efforts to reduce recidivism and to control overcrowding in our correctional facilities. Crime is a social problem that requires society to come together to fight against it. This study was conducted in the Limpopo Province in Vhembe District Municipality within four local municipalities, namely Musina, Makhado, Mutale, and Thulamela. A total number of 30 participants were interviewed, and all were members of the Community Corrections Forums. This was necessitated by the fact that Musina is a very small area, which compelled the Department of Correctional Services to combine the two (Musina and Makhado) into one social re-integration entity. This is a qualitative research study where participants were selected through the use of purposive sampling. Participants were selected based on the value they would add to this study in order to achieve the objectives. The data collection method of this study was the focus group, which comprised of three groups of 10 participants each. Thulamela and Mutale local municipalities formed a group with (10) participants each, whereas Musina (2) and Makhado (8) formed another. Results indicate that the current situation is not conducive for re-integration to be successful. Participants raised many factors that need serious redress, namely offenders’ discrimination, lack of forgiveness by members of the community, which is fuelled by lack of community awareness due to the failure of the Department of Correctional Services in educating communities on ex-offenders’ re-integration.

Native Plants Marketing by Entrepreneurs in the Landscaping Industry in Japan

Entrepreneurs are welcomed to the landscaping industry, conserving practically and theoretically biological diversity in landscaping construction, although there are limited reports on corporative trials making a market with a new logistics system of native plants (NP) between landscaping companies and nurserymen. This paper explores the entrepreneurial process of a landscaping company, “5byMidori” for NP marketing. This paper employs a case study design. Data are collected in interviews with the manager and designer of 5byMidori, 2 scientists, 1 organization, and 18 nurserymen, fieldworks at two nurseries, observations of marketing activities in three years, and texts from published documents about the business concept and marketing strategy with NP. These data are analyzed by qualitative methods. The results show that NP is suitable for the vision of 5byMidori improving urban desertified environment with closer urban-rural linkage. Professional landscaping team changes a forestry organization into NP producers conserving a large nursery of a mountain. Multifaceted PR based on the entrepreneurial context and personal background of a landscaping venture can foster team members' businesses and help customers and users to understand the biodiversity value of the product. Wider partnerships with existing nurserymen at other sites in many regions need socio-economic incentives and environmental reliability. In conclusion, the entrepreneurial marketing of a landscaping company needs to add more meanings and a variety of merits in terms of ecosystem services, as NP tends to be in academic definition and independent from the cultures like nurseryman and forestry.

Qualitative Profiling in Practice: The Italian Public Employment Services Experience

The development of a qualitative method to profile jobseekers is needed to improve the quality of the Public Employment Services (PES) in Italy. This is why the National Agency for Active Labour Market Policies (ANPAL) decided to introduce a Qualitative Profiling Service in the context of the activities carried out by local employment offices’ operators. The qualitative profiling service provides information and data regarding the jobseeker’s personal transition status, through a semi-structured questionnaire administered to PES clients during the guidance interview. The questionnaire responses allow PES staff to identify, for each client, proper activities and policy measures to support jobseekers in their reintegration into the labour market. Data and information gathered by the qualitative profiling tool are the following: frequency, modalities and motivations for clients to apply to local employment offices; clients’ expectations and skills; difficulties that they have faced during the previous working experiences; strategies, actions undertaken and activated channels for job search. These data are used to assess jobseekers’ personal and career characteristics and to measure their employability level (qualitative profiling index), in order to develop and deliver tailor-made action programmes for each client. This paper illustrates the use of the above-mentioned qualitative profiling service on the national territory and provides an overview of the main findings of the survey: concerning the difficulties that unemployed people face in finding a job and their perception of different aspects related to the transition in the labour market. The survey involved over 10.000 jobseekers registered with the PES. Most of them are beneficiaries of the “citizens' income”, a specific active labour policy and social inclusion measure. Furthermore, data analysis allows classifying jobseekers into a specific group of clients with similar features and behaviours, on the basis of socio-demographic variables, customers' expectations, needs and required skills for the profession for which they seek employment. Finally, the survey collects PES staff opinions and comments concerning clients’ difficulties in finding a new job and also their strengths. This is a starting point for PESs’ operators to define adequate strategies to facilitate jobseekers’ access or reintegration into the labour market.

Development of an Intelligent Decision Support System for Smart Viticulture

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the best option for smart vineyard applications, even if it is necessary to integrate the technologies required for the development. This article is based on the research and the results obtained in the DISAVIT project. For Smart Agriculture, the project aims to provide a trustworthy, intelligent, integrated vineyard management solution that is based on the IoT. To have interoperability through the use of a multiprotocol technology (being the future connected wireless IoT) it is necessary to adopt an agnostic approach, providing a reliable environment to address cyber security, IoT-based threats and traceability through blockchain-based design, but also creating a concept for long-term implementations (modular, scalable). The ones described above represent the main innovative technical aspects of this project. The DISAVIT project studies and promotes the incorporation of better management tools based on objective data-based decisions, which are necessary for agriculture adapted and more resistant to climate change. It also exploits the opportunities generated by the digital services market for smart agriculture management stakeholders. The project's final result aims to improve decision-making, performance, and viticulturally infrastructure and increase real-time data accuracy and interoperability. Innovative aspects such as end-to-end solutions, adaptability, scalability, security and traceability, place our product in a favorable situation over competitors. None of the solutions in the market meet every one of these requirements by a unique product being innovative.

Entrepreneur Universal Education System: Future Evolution

The success of education is dependent on evolution and adaptation, while the traditional system has worked before, one type of education evolved with the digital age is virtual education that has influenced efficiency in today’s learning environments. Virtual learning has indeed proved its efficiency to overcome the drawbacks of the physical environment such as time, facilities, location, etc., but despite what it had accomplished, the educational system over all is not adequate for being a productive system yet. Earning a degree is not anymore enough to obtain a career job; it is simply missing the skills and creativity. There are always two sides of a coin; a college degree or a specialized certificate, each has its own merits, but having both can put you on a successful IT career path. For many of job-seeking individuals across world to have a clear meaningful goal for work and education and positively contribute the community, a productive correlation and cooperation among employers, universities alongside with the individual technical skills is a must for generations to come. Fortunately, the proposed research “Entrepreneur Universal Education System” is an evolution to meet the needs of both employers and students, in addition to gaining vital and real-world experience in the chosen fields is easier than ever. The new vision is to empower the education to improve organizations’ needs which means improving the world as its primary goal, adopting universal skills of effective thinking, effective action, effective relationships, preparing the students through real-world accomplishment and encouraging them to better serve their organization and their communities faster and more efficiently.

Consequential Influences of Work-Induced Emotions on the Work-Induced Happiness of Frontline Workers in Finance-Oriented Firms

Frontline workers performing client service duties in finance-oriented firms in most sub-Saharan African countries, such as Ghana, are known to be challenged in the conduct of their activities. The challenge is attributed to clients’ continued demand for real-time services from such workers, despite the introduction of technological interventions to offset the situation. This has caused such frontline workers to experience increases in their work-induced emotions with consequential effects on their work-induced happiness. This study, therefore, explored the effect of frontline workers’ work-induced emotions on their worked-induced happiness when providing tellering services to clients. A cross-sectional design and quantitative technique were used. Data were collected from a sample of 280 frontline workers using questionnaire. Based on the analysis, it was found that an increase in the frontline workers’ work-induced emotions, caused by their feelings of strain, burnout, frustration, and hard work, had consequential effect on their work-induced happiness. This consequential effect was also found to be aggravated by the workers’ senses of being stretched beyond limit, being emotionally drained, and being used up by their work activities. It is concluded that frontline workers in finance-oriented firms can provide quality real-time services to clients without increases in their work-induced emotions, but with enhanced work-induced happiness, when the psychological and physiological emotional factors associated with the challenged work activities are understood and remedied. Management of the firms can use such understanding to redesign the activities of their frontline workers and improve the quality of their service delivery interactivity with clients.

Improving Cyber Resilience in Mobile Field Hospitals: Towards an Assessment Model

The Mobile field hospital is critical in terms of managing emergencies in crisis. It is a sub-section of the main hospitals and the health sector, tasked with delivering responsive, immediate, and efficient medical services during a crisis. With the aim to prevent further crisis, the assessment of the cyber assets follows different methods, to distinguish its strengths and weaknesses, and in turn achieve cyber resiliency. The work focuses on assessments of cyber resilience in field hospitals with trends growing in both the field hospital and the health sector in general. This creates opportunities for the adverse attackers and the response improvement objectives for attaining cyber resilience, as the assessments allow users and stakeholders to know the level of risks with regards to its cyber assets. Thus, the purpose is to show the possible threat vectors which open up opportunities, with contrast to current trends in the assessment of the mobile field hospitals’ cyber assets.

Effect of Social Media on Knowledge Work

This paper examines the impact of social media on knowledge work. It discloses and highlights which specific aspects, areas and tasks of knowledge work can be improved by the use of social media. Moreover, the study includes a survey about higher education students’ viewpoints in regard to the use of social media as a means to enhance knowledge work and knowledge sharing. The analysis has been conducted based both on empirical data and on discussions about the sources dealing with knowledge work and how it can be enhanced by using social media. The results show that social media can improve knowledge work, knowledge building and maintenance tasks in which communication, information sharing and collaboration play a vital role. Additionally, by using social media, personal, collaborative and supplementary work activities can be enhanced. Based on the results of the study, we suggest how knowledge work can be enhanced when using the contemporary information and communications technologies (ICTs) of the 21st century and recommend future directions towards improving knowledge work.

Reduction of Energy Consumption Using Smart Home Techniques in the Household Sector

Outcomes of exhaustion of natural resources started influencing each spirit on this planet. Energy is an essential factor in this aspect. To restore the circumstance to the appropriate track, all attempts must focus on two fundamental branches: producing electricity from clean and renewable reserves and decreasing the overall unnecessary consumption of energy. The focal point of this paper will be on lessening the power consumption in the household's segment. This paper is an attempt to give a clear understanding of a framework called Reduction of Energy Consumption in Household Sector (RECHS) and how it should help householders to reduce their power consumption by substituting their household appliances, turning-off the appliances when stand-by modus is detected, and scheduling their appliances operation periods. Technically, the framework depends on utilizing Z-Wave compatible plug-ins which will be connected to the usual house devices to gauge and control them remotely and semi-automatically. The suggested framework underpins numerous quality characteristics, for example, integrability, scalability, security and adaptability.

Digital Transformation of Payment Systems Using Field Service Management

Like many other industries, the payment industry has been affected by digital transformation. The importance of digital transformation in the payment industry is very crucial. Because the payment industry is considered a leading industry in digital and emerging technologies, and the digitalization of other industries such as retail, health, and telecommunication, it also depends on the growth rate of digitalized payment systems. One of the technological innovations in service management is Field Service Management (FSM). Despite the widespread use of FSM in various industries such as petrochemical, health, maintenance, etc., this technology can also be recruited in the payment industry, transforming the payment industry into a more agile and efficient one. Accordingly, the present study pays close attention to the application of FSM in the payment industry. Given the importance of merchants' bargaining power in the payment industry, this study aims to use FSM in the digital transformation initiative with a targeted focus on providing real-time services to merchants. The research method consists of three parts. Firstly, conducting the review of past research, applications of FSM in the payment industry are considered. In the next step, merchants' benefits such as emotional, functional, economic, and social benefits in using FSM are identified using in-depth interviews and content analysis methods. The related business model in helping the payment industry transforming into a more agile and efficient industry is considered in the following step. The results revealed the 10 main pillars required to realize the digital transformation of payment systems using FSM.

Provision of Basic Water and Sanitation Services in South Africa through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant Programme

Although South Africa has made good progress in providing basic water and sanitation services to its citizens, there is still a large section of the population that has no access to these services. This paper reviews the performance of the government’s municipal infrastructure grant programme in providing basic water and sanitation services which are part of the constitutional requirements to the citizens. The method used to gather data and information was a desk top study which sought to review the progress made in rolling out the programme. The successes and challenges were highlighted and possible solutions were identified that can accelerate the elimination of the remaining backlogs and improve the level of service to the citizens. Currently, approximately 6.5 million citizens are without access to basic water services and approximately 10 million are without access to basic sanitation services.

Survey of Access Controls in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is one of the most significant technologies that the world deals with, in different sectors with different purposes and capabilities. The cloud faces various challenges in securing data from unauthorized access or modification. Consequently, security risks and levels have greatly increased. Therefore, cloud service providers (CSPs) and users need secure mechanisms that ensure that data are kept secret and safe from any disclosures or exploits. For this reason, CSPs need a number of techniques and technologies to manage and secure access to the cloud services to achieve security goals, such as confidentiality, integrity, identity access management (IAM), etc. Therefore, this paper will review and explore various access controls implemented in a cloud environment that achieve different security purposes. The methodology followed in this survey was conducting an assessment, evaluation, and comparison between those access controls mechanisms and technologies based on different factors, such as the security goals it achieves, usability, and cost-effectiveness. This assessment resulted in the fact that the technology used in an access control affects the security goals it achieves as well as there is no one access control method that achieves all security goals. Consequently, such a comparison would help decision-makers to choose properly the access controls that meet their requirements.

Economic Efficiency of Cassava Production in Nimba County, Liberia: An Output-Oriented Approach

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.

The Importance of Patenting and Technology Exports as Indicators of Economic Development

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.

Process Optimization and Automation of Information Technology Services in a Heterogenic Digital Environment

With customers’ ever-increasing expectations for fast services provisioning for all their business needs, information technology (IT) organizations, as business partners, have to cope with this demanding environment and deliver their services in the most effective and efficient way. The purpose of this paper is to identify optimization and automation opportunities for the top requested IT services in a heterogenic digital environment and widely spread customer base. In collaboration with systems, processes, and subject matter experts (SMEs), the processes in scope were approached by analyzing four-year related historical data, identifying and surveying stakeholders, modeling the as-is processes, and studying systems integration/automation capabilities. This effort resulted in identifying several pain areas, including standardization, unnecessary customer and IT involvement, manual steps, systems integration, and performance measurement. These pain areas were addressed by standardizing the top five requested IT services, eliminating/automating 43 steps, and utilizing a single platform for end-to-end process execution. In conclusion, the optimization of IT service request processes in a heterogenic digital environment and widely spread customer base is challenging, yet achievable without compromising the service quality and customers’ added value. Further studies can focus on measuring the value of the eliminated/automated process steps to quantify the enhancement impact. Moreover, a similar approach can be utilized to optimize other IT service requests, with a focus on business criticality.

Churn Prediction for Telecommunication Industry Using Artificial Neural Networks

Telecommunication service providers demand accurate and precise prediction of customer churn probabilities to increase the effectiveness of their customer relation services. The large amount of customer data owned by the service providers is suitable for analysis by machine learning methods. In this study, expenditure data of customers are analyzed by using an artificial neural network (ANN). The ANN model is applied to the data of customers with different billing duration. The proposed model successfully predicts the churn probabilities at 83% accuracy for only three months expenditure data and the prediction accuracy increases up to 89% when the nine month data is used. The experiments also show that the accuracy of ANN model increases on an extended feature set with information of the changes on the bill amounts.

Spatial Planning and Tourism Development with Sustainability Model of the Territorial Tourist with Land Use Approach

In the last decade, with increasing tourism destinations and tourism growth, we are witnessing the widespread impacts of tourism on the economy, environment and society. Tourism and its related economy are now undergoing a transformation and as one of the key pillars of business economics, it plays a vital role in the world economy. Activities related to tourism and providing services appropriate to it in an area, like many economic sectors, require the necessary context on its origin. Given the importance of tourism industry and tourism potentials of Yazd province in Iran, it is necessary to use a proper procedure for prioritizing different areas for proper and efficient planning. One of the most important goals of planning is foresight and creating balanced development in different geographical areas. This process requires an accurate study of the areas and potential and actual talents, as well as evaluation and understanding of the relationship between the indicators affecting the development of the region. At the global and regional level, the development of tourist resorts and the proper distribution of tourism destinations are needed to counter environmental impacts and risks. The main objective of this study is the sustainable development of suitable tourism areas. Given that tourism activities in different territorial areas require operational zoning, this study deals with the evaluation of territorial tourism using concepts such as land use, fitness and sustainable development. It is essential to understand the structure of tourism development and the spatial development of tourism using land use patterns, spatial planning and sustainable development. Tourism spatial planning implements different approaches. However, the development of tourism as well as the spatial development of tourism is complex, since tourist activities can be carried out in different areas with different purposes. Multipurpose areas have great important for tourism because it determines the flow of tourism. Therefore, in this paper, by studying the development and determination of tourism suitability that is related to spatial development, it is possible to plan tourism spatial development by developing a model that describes the characteristics of tourism. The results of this research determine the suitability of multi-functional territorial tourism development in line with spatial planning of tourism.