Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 751

Georgia Case: Tourism Expenses of International Visitors on the Basis of Growing Attractiveness

At present actual tourism indicators cannot be calculated in Georgia, making it impossible to perform their quantitative analysis. Therefore, the study conducted by us is highly important from a theoretical as well as practical standpoint. The main purpose of the article is to make complex statistical analysis of tourist expenses of foreign visitors and to calculate statistical attractiveness indices of the tourism potential of Georgia. During the research, the method involving random and proportional selection has been applied. Computer software SPSS was used to compute statistical data for corresponding analysis. Corresponding methodology of tourism statistics was implemented according to international standards. Important information was collected and grouped from major Georgian airports, and a representative population of foreign visitors and a rule of selection of respondents were determined. The results show a trend of growth in tourist numbers and the share of tourists from post-soviet countries are constantly increasing. The level of satisfaction with tourist facilities and quality of service has improved, but still we have a problem of disparity between the service quality and the prices. The design of tourist expenses of foreign visitors is diverse; competitiveness of tourist products of Georgian tourist companies is higher. Attractiveness of popular cities of Georgia has increased by 43%.

Lateral Torsional Buckling Investigation on Welded Q460GJ Structural Steel Unrestrained Beams under a Point Load

This study aims to investigate the lateral torsional buckling of I-shaped cross-section beams fabricated from Q460GJ structural steel plates. Both experimental and numerical simulation results are presented in this paper. A total of eight specimens were tested under a three-point bending, and the corresponding numerical models were established to conduct parametric studies. The effects of some key parameters such as the non-dimensional member slenderness and the height-to-width ratio, were investigated based on the verified numerical models. Also, the results obtained from the parametric studies were compared with the predictions calculated by different design codes including the Chinese design code (GB50017-2003, 2003), the new draft version of Chinese design code (GB50017-201X, 2012), Eurocode 3 (EC3, 2005) and the North America design code (ANSI/AISC360-10, 2010). These comparisons indicated that the sectional height-to-width ratio does not play an important role to influence the overall stability load-carrying capacity of Q460GJ structural steel beams with welded I-shaped cross-sections. It was also found that the design methods in GB50017-2003 and ANSI/AISC360-10 overestimate the overall stability and load-carrying capacity of Q460GJ welded I-shaped cross-section beams.

Consumer Market of Agricultural Products and Agricultural Policy in Georgia

The article discusses the consumer market of agricultural products and agricultural policy in Georgia. It is noted that development of the strategic areas of the agricultural sector needs a special support. These strategic areas should create the country's major export potential. It is important to develop strategies to access to the international markets, form extensive marketing network etc., which will become the basis for the promotion and revenue growth of the country. The Georgian agricultural sector, with the right state policy and support, can achieve success and gain access to the world market with competitive agricultural products. The paper discusses the current condition of agriculture, export and import of agricultural products and agricultural policy in Georgia. The conducted research concludes the information that there is an increasing demand on the green goods in the world market. Natural and climatic conditions of Georgia give a serious possibility of implementing it. The research presents an agricultural development strategy in Georgia and the findings and based on them recommendations are proposed.

Business Skills Laboratory in Action: Combining a Practice Enterprise Model and an ERP-Simulation to a Comprehensive Business Learning Environment
Business education has been criticized for being too theoretical and distant from business life. Different types of experiential learning environments ranging from manual role-play to computer simulations and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been used to introduce the realistic and practical experience into business learning. Each of these learning environments approaches business learning from a different perspective. The implementations tend to be individual exercises supplementing the traditional courses. We suggest combining them into a business skills laboratory resembling an actual workplace. In this paper, we present a concrete implementation of an ERP-supported business learning environment that is used throughout the first year undergraduate business curriculum. We validate the implementation by evaluating the learning outcomes through the different domains of Bloom’s taxonomy. We use the role-play oriented practice enterprise model as a comparison group. Our findings indicate that using the ERP simulation improves the poor and average students’ lower-level cognitive learning. On the affective domain, the ERP-simulation appears to enhance motivation to learn as well as perceived acquisition of practical hands-on skills.
Risk of Occupational Exposure to Cytotoxic Drugs: The Role of Handling Procedures of Hospital Workers

In order to study environmental contamination by cytostatic drugs in Portugal hospitals, sampling campaigns were conducted in three hospitals in 2015 (112 samples). Platinum containing drugs and fluorouracil were chosen because both were administered in high amounts. The detection limit was 0.01 pg/cm² for platinum and 0.1 pg/cm² for fluorouracil. The results show that spills occur mainly on the patient`s chair, while the most referenced occurrence is due to an inadequately closed wrapper. Day hospitals facilities were detected as having the largest number of contaminated samples and with higher levels of contamination.

Plants as Alternative Covers at Contaminated Sites

Evapotranspiration (ET) covers are an alternative cover system that utilizes water balance approach to maximize the ET process to reduce the contaminants leaching through the soil profile. Microcosm tests allow to identify in a short time the most suitable plant species to be used as alternative covers, their survival capacity, and simultaneously the transpiration and evaporation rate of the cover in a specific contaminated soil. This work shows the soil characterization and ET results of microcosm tests carried out on two contaminated soils by using Triticum durum and Helianthus annuus species. The data indicated that transpiration was higher than evaporation, supporting the use of plants as alternative cover at this contaminated site.

A Real Time Expert System for Decision Support in Nuclear Power Plants

In case of abnormal situations, the nuclear power plant (NPP) operators must follow written procedures to check the condition of the plant and to classify the type of emergency. In this paper, we proposed a Real Time Expert System in order to improve operator’s performance in case of transient or accident with reactor shutdown. The expert system’s knowledge is based on the sequence of events (SoE) of known accident and two emergency procedures of the Brazilian Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) NPP and uses two kinds of knowledge representation: rule and logic trees. The results show that the system was able to classify the response of the automatic protection systems, as well as to evaluate the conditions of the plant, diagnosing the type of occurrence, recovery procedure to be followed, indicating the shutdown root cause, and classifying the emergency level.

Analysis of the Elastic Energy Released and Characterization of the Eruptive Episodes Intensity’s during 2014-2015 at El Reventador Volcano, Ecuador
The elastic energy released through Strombolian explosions has been quite studied, detailing various processes, sources, and precursory events at several volcanoes. We realized an analysis based on the relative partitioning of the elastic energy radiated into the atmosphere and ground by Strombolian-type explosions recorded at El Reventador volcano, using infrasound and seismic signals at high and moderate seismicity episodes during intense eruptive stages of explosive and effusive activity. Our results show that considerable values of Volcano Acoustic-Seismic Ratio (VASR or η) are obtained at high seismicity stages. VASR is a physical diagnostic of explosive degassing that we used to compare eruption mechanisms at El Reventador volcano for two datasets of explosions recorded at a Broad-Band BB seismic and infrasonic station located at ~5 kilometers from the vent. We conclude that the acoustic energy EA released during explosive activity (VASR η = 0.47, standard deviation σ = 0.8) is higher than the EA released during effusive activity; therefore, producing the highest values of η. Furthermore, we realized the analysis and characterization of the eruptive intensity for two episodes at high seismicity, calculating a η three-time higher for an episode of effusive activity with an occasional explosive component (η = 0.32, and σ = 0.42), than a η for an episode of only effusive activity (η = 0.11, and σ = 0.18), but more energetic.
Triplet Shear Tests on Retrofitted Brickwork Masonry Walls

The main objective of this experimental study is to assess the shear strength and the crack behavior of the triplets built of perforated brickwork masonry elements. In order to observe the influence of shear resistance and energy dissipating before and after retrofitting applications by using the reinforcing system, static-cyclic shear tests were employed in the structural mechanics laboratory of Sakarya University. The reinforcing system is composed of hybrid multiaxial seismic fabric consisting of alkali resistant glass and polypropylene fibers. The plaster as bonding material used in the specimen’s retrofitting consists of expanded glass granular. In order to acquire exact measuring data about the failure behavior of the two mortar joints under shear stressing, vertical load-controlled cylinder having force capacity of 50 kN and loading rate of 1.5 mm/min. with an internal inductive displacement transducers is carried out perpendicular to the triplet specimens. In this study, a total of six triplet specimens with textile reinforcement were prepared for these shear bond tests. The three of them were produced as single-sided reinforced triplets with seismic fabric, while the others were strengthened on both sides. In addition, three triplet specimens without retrofitting and plaster were also tested as reference samples. The obtained test results were given in the manner of force-displacement relationships, ductility coefficients and shear strength parameters comparatively. It is concluded that two-side seismic textile applications on masonry elements with relevant plaster have considerably increased the sheer force resistance and the ductility capacity.

Measurement and Prediction of Speed of Sound in Petroleum Fluids

Seismic methods play an important role in the exploration for hydrocarbon reservoirs. However, the success of the method depends strongly on the reliability of the measured or predicted information regarding the velocity of sound in the media. Speed of sound has been used to study the thermodynamic properties of fluids. In this study, experimental data are reported and analyzed on the speed of sound in toluene and octane binary mixture. Three-factor three-level Box-Benhkam design is used to determine the significance of each factor, the synergetic effects of the factors, and the most significant factors on speed of sound. The developed mathematical model and statistical analysis provided a critical analysis of the simultaneous interactive effects of the independent variables indicating that the developed quadratic models were highly accurate and predictive.

An Evolutionary Algorithm for Optimal Fuel-Type Configurations in Car Lines
Although environmental concern is on the rise across Europe, current market data indicate that adoption rates of environmentally friendly vehicles remain extremely low. Against this background, the aim of this paper is to a) assess preferences of European consumers for clean-fuel cars and their characteristics and b) design car lines that optimize the combination of fuel types among models in the line-up. In this direction, the authors introduce a new evolutionary mechanism and implement it to stated-preference data derived from a large-scale choice-based conjoint experiment that measures consumer preferences for various factors affecting clean-fuel vehicle (CFV) adoption. The proposed two-step methodology provides interesting insights into how new and existing fuel-types can be combined in a car line that maximizes customer satisfaction.
Resistive Switching Characteristics of Resistive Random Access Memory Devices after Furnace Annealing Processes

In this study, the RRAM devices with the TiN/Ti/HfOx/TiN structure were fabricated, then the electrical characteristics of the devices without annealing and after 400 °C and 500 °C of the furnace annealing (FA) temperature processes were compared. The RRAM devices after the FA’s 400 °C showed the lower forming, set and reset voltages than the other devices without annealing. However, the RRAM devices after the FA’s 500 °C did not show any electrical characteristics because the TiN/Ti/HfOx/TiN device was oxidized, as shown in the XPS analysis. From these results, the RRAM devices after the FA’s 400 °C showed the best electrical characteristics.

Genetic Algorithm Optimization of a Small Scale Natural Gas Liquefaction Process

An optimization scheme based on COM server is suggested for communication between Genetic Algorithm (GA) toolbox of MATLAB and Aspen HYSYS. The structure and details of the proposed framework are discussed. The power of the developed scheme is illustrated by its application to the optimization of a recently developed natural gas liquefaction process in which Aspen HYSYS was used for minimization of the power consumption by optimizing the values of five operating variables. In this work, optimization by coupling between the GA in MATLAB and Aspen HYSYS model of the same process using the same five decision variables enabled improvements in power consumption by 3.3%, when 77% of the natural gas feed is liquefied. Also on inclusion of the flow rates of both nitrogen and carbon dioxide refrigerants as two additional decision variables, the power consumption decreased by 6.5% for a 78% liquefaction of the natural gas feed.

A Developmental Study of the Flipped Classroom Approach on Students’ Learning in English Language Modules in British University in Egypt

The flipped classroom approach as a mode of blended learning was formally introduced to students of the English language modules at the British University in Egypt (BUE) at the start of the academic year 2015/2016. This paper aims to study the impact of the flipped classroom approach after three semesters of implementation. It will restrict itself to the examination of students’ achievement rates, student satisfaction, and how different student cohorts have benefited differently from the flipped practice. The paper concludes with recommendations of how the experience can be further developed.

Heritage Tree Expert Assessment and Classification: Malaysian Perspective
Heritage trees are natural large, individual trees with exceptionally value due to association with age or event or distinguished people. In Malaysia, there is an abundance of tropical heritage trees throughout the country. It is essential to set up a repository of heritage trees to prevent valuable trees from being cut down. In this cross domain study, a web-based online expert system namely the Heritage Tree Expert Assessment and Classification (HTEAC) is developed and deployed for public to nominate potential heritage trees. Based on the nomination, tree care experts or arborists would evaluate and verify the nominated trees as heritage trees. The expert system automatically rates the approved heritage trees according to pre-defined grades via Delphi technique. Features and usability test of the expert system are presented. Preliminary result is promising for the system to be used as a full scale public system.
Single Phase Fluid Flow in Series of Microchannel Connected via Converging-Diverging Section with or without Throat
Single phase fluid flow through series of uniform microchannels connected via transition section (converging-diverging section with or without throat) was analytically and numerically studied to characterize the flow within the channel and in the transition sections. Three sets of microchannels of diameters 100, 184, and 249 μm were considered for investigation. Each set contains 10 numbers of microchannels of length 20 mm, connected to each other in series via transition sections. Transition section consists of either converging-diverging section with throat or without throat. The effect of non-uniformity in microchannels on pressure drop was determined by passing water/air through the set of channels for Reynolds number 50 to 1000. Compressibility and rarefaction effects in transition sections were also tested analytically and numerically for air flow. The analytical and numerical results show that these configurations can be used in enhancement of transport processes. However, converging-diverging section without throat shows superior performance over with throat configuration.
General Formula for Water Surface Profile over Side Weir in the Combined, Trapezoidal and Exponential, Channels

A side weir is a hydraulic structure set into the side of a channel. This structure is used for water level control in channels, to divert flow from a main channel into a side channel when the water level in the main channel exceeds a specific limit and as storm overflows from urban sewerage system. Computation of water surface over the side weirs is essential to determine the flow rate of the side weir. Analytical solutions for water surface profile along rectangular side weir are available only for the special cases of rectangular and trapezoidal channels considering constant specific energy. In this paper, a rectangular side weir located in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel was considered. Expanding binominal series of integer and fraction powers and the using of reduction formula of cosine function integrals, a general analytical formula was obtained for water surface profile along a side weir in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel. Since triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal and parabolic cross-sections are special cases of the combined cross section, the derived formula, is applicable to triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal cross-sections as analytical solution and semi-analytical solution to parabolic cross-section with maximum relative error smaller than 0.76%. The proposed solution should be a useful engineering tool for the evaluation and design of side weirs in open channel.

The Spectral Power Amplification on the Regular Lattices

We show that a simple transformation between the regular lattices (the square, the triangular, and the honeycomb) belonging to the same dimensionality can explain in a natural way the universality of the critical exponents found in phase transitions and critical phenomena. It suffices that the Hamiltonian and the lattice present similar writing forms. In addition, it appears that if a property can be calculated for a given lattice then it can be extrapolated simply to any other lattice belonging to the same dimensionality. In this study, we have restricted ourselves on the spectral power amplification (SPA), we note that the SPA does not have an effect on the critical exponents but does have an effect by the criticality temperature of the lattice; the generalisation to other lattice could be shown according to the containment principle.

Power of Doubling: Population Growth and Resource Consumption

Sustainability starts with conserving resources for future generations. Since human’s existence on this earth, he has been consuming natural resources. The resource consumption pace in the past was very slow, but industrialization in 18th century brought a change in the human lifestyle. New inventions and discoveries upgraded the human workforce to machines. The mass manufacture of goods provided easy access to products. In the last few decades, the globalization and change in technologies brought consumer oriented market. The consumption of resources has increased at a very high scale. This overconsumption pattern brought economic boom and provided multiple opportunities, but it also put stress on the natural resources. This paper tries to put forth the facts and figures of the population growth and consumption of resources with examples. This is explained with the help of the mathematical expression of doubling known as exponential growth. It compares the carrying capacity of the earth and resource consumption of humans’ i.e. ecological footprint and bio-capacity. Further, it presents the need to conserve natural resources and re-examine sustainable resource use approach for sustainability.

O-Functionalized CNT Mediated CO Hydro-Deoxygenation and Chain Growth

Worldwide energy independence is reliant on the ability to leverage locally available resources for fuel production. Recently, syngas produced through gasification of carbonaceous materials provided a gateway to a host of processes for the production of various chemicals including transportation fuels. The basis of the production of gasoline and diesel-like fuels is the Fischer Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) process: A catalyzed chemical reaction that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) into long chain hydrocarbons. Until now, it has been argued that only transition metal catalysts (usually Co or Fe) are active toward the CO hydrogenation and subsequent chain growth in the presence of hydrogen. In this paper, we demonstrate that carbon nanotube (CNT) surfaces are also capable of hydro-deoxygenating CO and producing long chain hydrocarbons similar to that obtained through the FTS but with orders of magnitude higher conversion efficiencies than the present state-of-the-art FTS catalysts. We have used advanced experimental tools such as XPS and microscopy techniques to characterize CNTs and identify C-O functional groups as the active sites for the enhanced catalytic activity. Furthermore, we have conducted quantum Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations to confirm that C-O groups (inherent on CNT surfaces) could indeed be catalytically active towards reduction of CO with H2, and capable of sustaining chain growth. The DFT calculations have shown that the kinetically and thermodynamically feasible route for CO insertion and hydro-deoxygenation are different from that on transition metal catalysts. Experiments on a continuous flow tubular reactor with various nearly metal-free CNTs have been carried out and the products have been analyzed. CNTs functionalized by various methods were evaluated under different conditions. Reactor tests revealed that the hydrogen pre-treatment reduced the activity of the catalysts to negligible levels. Without the pretreatment, the activity for CO conversion as found to be 7 µmol CO/g CNT/s. The O-functionalized samples showed very activities greater than 85 µmol CO/g CNT/s with nearly 100% conversion. Analyses show that CO hydro-deoxygenation occurred at the C-O/O-H functional groups. It was found that while the products were similar to FT products, differences in selectivities were observed which, in turn, was a result of a different catalytic mechanism. These findings now open a new paradigm for CNT-based hydrogenation catalysts and constitute a defining point for obtaining clean, earth abundant, alternative fuels through the use of efficient and renewable catalyst.

Water Resources Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Basin of South India

This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.

Improvement of Antibacterial Activity for Ceftazidime by Partially Purified Tannase from Penicillium expansum

Tannase has wide applications in food, beverage, brewing, cosmetics and chemical industries and one of the major applications of tannase is the production of gallic acid. Gallic acid is used for manufacturing of trimethoprim. In the present study, a local fungal strain of Penicillium expansum A4 isolated from spoilt apple samples gave the highest production level of tannase. Tannase was partially purified with a recovery yield of 92.52% and 6.32 fold of purification by precipitation using ammonium sulfate at 50% saturation. Tannase led to increased antimicrobial activity of ceftazidime against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and S. aureus and had a synergism effect at low concentrations of ceftazidime, and thus, tannase may be a useful adjuvant agent for the treatment of many bacterial infections in combination with ceftazidime.

Human Resources Management Practices in Hospitality Companies

Human Resources Management (HRM) has been recognized by academics and practitioners as an important element in organizations. Therefore, this paper explores the best practices of HRM and seeks to understand the level of participation in the development of these practices by human resources managers in the hospitality industry and compare it with other industries. Thus, the study compared the HRM practices of companies in the hospitality sector with HRM practices of companies in other sectors, and identifies the main differences between their HRM practices. The results show that the most frequent HRM practices in all companies, independently of its sector of activity, are hiring and training. When comparing hospitality sector with other sectors of activity, some differences were noticed, namely in the adoption of the practices of communication and information sharing, and of recruitment and selection. According to these results, the paper discusses the major theoretical and practical implications. Suggestions for future research are also presented.

An Analysis of Gamification in the Post-Secondary Classroom

Gamification has now started to take root in the post-secondary classroom. Educators have learned much about gamification to date but there is still a great deal to learn. One definition of gamification is the ability to engage post-secondary students with games that are fun and correlate to class room curriculum. There is no shortage of literature illustrating the advantages of gamification in the class room. This study is an extension of similar thought as well as an extension of a previous study where in class testing proved with the used of paired T-test that gamification did significantly improve the students’ understanding of subject material. Gamification itself in the class room can range from high end computer simulated software to paper based games of which both have advantages and disadvantages. This analysis used a paper based game to highlight certain qualitative advantages of gamification. The paper based game in this analysis was inexpensive, required low preparation time for the faculty member and consumed approximately 20 minutes of class room time. Data for the study was collected through in class student feedback surveys and narrative from the faculty member moderating the game. Students were randomly selected into groups of four. Qualitative advantages identified in this analysis included: 1. Students had a chance to meet, connect and know other students. 2. Students enjoyed the gamification process given there was a sense of fun and competition. 3. The post assessment that followed the simulation game was not part of their grade calculation therefore it was an opportunity to participate in a low risk activity whereby students could subsequently self-assess their understanding of the subject material. 4. In the view of the student, content knowledge did increase after the gamification process. These qualitative advantages identified in this analysis contribute to the argument that there should be an attempt to use gamification in today’s post-secondary class room. The analysis also highlighted that eighty (80) percent of the respondents believe twenty minutes devoted to the gamification process was appropriate, however twenty (20) percentage of respondents believed that rather than scheduling a gamification process and its post quiz in the last week, a review for the final exam may have been more useful. An additional study to this hopes to determine if the scheduling of the gamification had any correlation to a percentage of the students not wanting to be engaged in the process. As well, the additional study hopes to determine at what incremental level of time invested in class room gamification produce no material incremental benefits to the student as well as determine if any correlation exist between respondents preferring not to have it at the end of the semester to students not believing the gamification process added to the increase of their curricular knowledge.

Research on Urban Point of Interest Generalization Method Based on Mapping Presentation

Without taking account of the attribute richness of POI (point of interest) data and spatial distribution limited by roads, a POI generalization method considering both attribute information and spatial distribution has been proposed against the existing point generalization algorithm merely focusing on overall information of point groups. Hierarchical characteristic of urban POI information expression has been firstly analyzed to point out the measurement feature of the corresponding hierarchy. On this basis, an urban POI generalizing strategy has been put forward: POIs urban road network have been divided into three distribution pattern; corresponding generalization methods have been proposed according to the characteristic of POI data in different distribution patterns. Experimental results showed that the method taking into account both attribute information and spatial distribution characteristics of POI can better implement urban POI generalization in the mapping presentation.

Video-On-Demand QoE Evaluation across Different Age-Groups and Its Significance for Network Capacity

Quality of Experience (QoE) drives churn in the broadband networks industry, and good QoE plays a large part in the retention of customers. QoE is known to be affected by the Quality of Service (QoS) factors packet loss probability (PLP), delay and delay jitter caused by the network. Earlier results have shown that the relationship between these QoS factors and QoE is non-linear, and may vary from application to application. We use the network emulator Netem as the basis for experimentation, and evaluate how QoE varies as we change the emulated QoS metrics. Focusing on Video-on-Demand, we discovered that the reported QoE may differ widely for users of different age groups, and that the most demanding age group (the youngest) can require an order of magnitude lower PLP to achieve the same QoE than is required by the most widely studied age group of users. We then used a bottleneck TCP model to evaluate the capacity cost of achieving an order of magnitude decrease in PLP, and found it be (almost always) a 3-fold increase in link capacity that was required.

A Partially Accelerated Life Test Planning with Competing Risks and Linear Degradation Path under Tampered Failure Rate Model
In this paper, we propose a method to model the relationship between failure time and degradation for a simple step stress test where underlying degradation path is linear and different causes of failure are possible. It is assumed that the intensity function depends only on the degradation value. No assumptions are made about the distribution of the failure times. A simple step-stress test is used to shorten failure time of products and a tampered failure rate (TFR) model is proposed to describe the effect of the changing stress on the intensities. We assume that some of the products that fail during the test have a cause of failure that is only known to belong to a certain subset of all possible failures. This case is known as masking. In the presence of masking, the maximum likelihood estimates (MLEs) of the model parameters are obtained through an expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm by treating the causes of failure as missing values. The effect of incomplete information on the estimation of parameters is studied through a Monte-Carlo simulation. Finally, a real example is analyzed to illustrate the application of the proposed methods.
To Know the Way to the Unknown: A Semi-Experimental Study on the Implication of Skills and Knowledge for Creative Processes in Higher Education
From a theoretical perspective, expertise is generally considered a precondition for creativity. The assumption is that an individual needs to master the common and accepted rules and techniques within a certain knowledge-domain in order to create something new and valuable. However, real life cases, and a limited amount of empirical studies, demonstrate that this assumption may be overly simple. In this article, this question is explored through a number of semi-experimental case studies conducted within the fields of music, technology, and youth culture. The studies indicate that, in various ways, expertise plays an important part in creative processes. However, the case studies also indicate that expertise sometimes leads to an entrenched perspective, in the sense that knowledge and experience may work as a path into the well-known rather than into the unknown. In this article, these issues are explored with reference to different theoretical approaches to creativity and learning, including actor-network theory, the theory of blind variation and selective retention, and Csikszentmihalyi’s system model. Finally, some educational aspects and implications of this are discussed.
On the Free-Surface Generated by the Flow over an Obstacle in a Hydraulic Channel

The aim of this paper is to report the different experimental studies, conducted in the laboratory, dealing with the flow in the presence of an obstacle lying in a rectangular hydraulic channel. Both subcritical and supercritical regimes are considered. Generally, when considering the theoretical problem of the free-surface flow, in a fluid domain of finite depth, due to the presence of an obstacle, we suppose that the water is an inviscid fluid, which means that there is no sheared velocity profile, but constant upstream. In a hydraulic channel, it is impossible to satisfy this condition. Indeed, water is a viscous fluid and its velocity is null at the bottom. The two configurations are presented, i.e. a flow over an obstacle and a towed obstacle in a resting fluid.

Potentials and Influencing Factors of Dynamic Pricing in Business: Empirical Insights of European Experts
With a continuously increasing speed of information exchange on the World Wide Web, retailers in the E-Commerce sector are faced with immense possibilities regarding different online purchase processes like dynamic price settings. By use of Dynamic Pricing, retailers are able to set short time price changes in order to optimize producer surplus. The empirical research illustrates the basics of Dynamic Pricing and identifies six influencing factors of Dynamic Pricing. The results of a structural equation modeling approach show five main drivers increasing the potential of dynamic price settings in the E-Commerce. Influencing factors are the knowledge of customers’ individual willingness to pay, rising sales, the possibility of customization, the data volume and the information about competitors’ pricing strategy.
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Vol:1 No:12 2007Vol:1 No:11 2007Vol:1 No:10 2007Vol:1 No:09 2007Vol:1 No:08 2007Vol:1 No:07 2007Vol:1 No:06 2007Vol:1 No:05 2007Vol:1 No:04 2007Vol:1 No:03 2007Vol:1 No:02 2007Vol:1 No:01 2007