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- Waste management in developing cities
Waste is a big problem. It affects our environment, society, and the economy, as well as human health. Saurabh Srivastava and Divya Singh of the Jamwal School of Business at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, in Katra, India, have carried out an exploratory survey of more than 800 households to see what level of awareness exists and how the inhabitants of those homes deal with the disposal of their solid waste. They analysed the results with the appropriate statistical tools and techniques.
The team explains that their paper derives from the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and confirms the factors that would support the planning of effective management of solid waste. On the basis of their analysis, they suggest that there is a "need for a well-defined comprehensive and participative plan of action for resolving the issue of municipal solid waste management that can be implemented with defined objectives and timeline by the concerned municipal bodies." The team found that where there was a general lack of awareness concerning the legal aspects of waste disposal, the potential for pollution, and the impact on human and environmental health, participation in an appropriate waste disposal regime was low.
The United Nations recommends that the impact of solid household waste must be incorporated into municipal plans from the social, environmental, and economic perspectives. All of these perspectives are complicated with many so-called stakeholders involved from the members of those households to the local governing bodies, landowners, and companies involved in collecting, recycling, and disposing of solid waste, and many others.
Srivastava, S. and Jamwal, D.S. (2019) 'Determinants of awareness and disposal habits of households for effective municipal solid waste management', J. Global Business Advancement, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp.405-428.
- Choosing trees with a liking for heavy metal
Which species of trees should we be planting in the urban environment to best soak up pollutants containing toxic heavy metals? Stefanos Tsiaras of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Theano Samara of the Forest Research Institute of Thessaloniki, in Greece, hope to answer this question. The team discusses the requirements of the urban environment in terms of arboreal planting in the International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics.
The team has assessed five of the most common tree species found in green spaces in urban Greece – Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress), Albizia julibrissin (Persian silk tree), Platanus orientalis (Old world sycamore), Celtis australis (European nettle tree), and Ligustrum japonicum (wax-leaf privet). They used the PROMETHEE (Preference ranking organization method for enrichment evaluation) method to take into consideration various criteria and especially the sequestration of seven heavy metals: cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc.
"The best choice among the alternatives is Cupressus arizonica," the team reports. "Only one other tree species has a positive net flow [of heavy metals from its environment], Albizia julibrissin." They add that for the three tree species there is negative net flow of heavy metals. "The results are reasonable," the team suggests, "as the cypress is an evergreen species and it absorbs heavy metals during the whole year, in contrast to the deciduous tree species."
The selection of the beneficial species could have important implications for the "greening" of Thessaloniki, a densely populated city that lacks much urban greenery at the moment. "Forest policy planning for urban green is essential," the team suggests. In this particular case and elsewhere in the world with large traffic volumes, light and heavy industry, and few green spaces, the right trees can provide ecosystem services and improve the environment and the health of the citizens who live and work there.
Tsiaras, S. and Samara, T. (2019) 'Selection of the most suitable tree species in urban areas based on their capability of capturing heavy metals: a forest policy approach', Int. J. Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp.15-24.
- How severe are those software bugs?
The automated labelling and severity prediction of bug reports for computer software is the target of researchers at The Hashemite University in Zarqa, Jordan. Details of their efforts are mapped out in the International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering. Ultimately, they are developing an intelligent classifier that can predict whether a newly submitted bug report is of sufficient concern in the bug-tracking system to warrant urgent investigation and remediation.
To develop their system, the team build two datasets using 350 bug reports from the open-source community – Eclipse, Mozilla, and Gnome – reported in the monstrous, well-known, and aptly named database, Bugzilla. The datasets with have characteristic textual features, based on 51 important terms, the team explains and so based on this information, they could train various discriminative models to carry out automated labelling and severity prediction of any subsequent bug report submitted. They used a boosting algorithm to improve performance.
"For automated labelling, the accuracy reaches around 91% with the AdaBoost algorithm and cross-validation test," the team reports. However, they only saw a severity prediction classification of some 67% with the AdaBoost algorithm and the cross-validation test. Nevertheless, the team says their results are encouraging and offers hope of removing the bottleneck that is the manual assessment of bug reports used until now.
"The proposed feature sets have proved a good classification performance on two 'hard' problems," the team reports. "The results are encouraging and, in the future, we plan to work more on enhancing the classification algorithms component for better performance," the researchers conclude.
Otoom, A.F., Al-Shdaifat, D., Hammad, M., Abdallah, E.E. and Aljammal, A. (2019) 'Automated labelling and severity prediction of software bug reports', Int. J. Computational Science and Engineering, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp.334-342.
- Improving incubators in India
Business incubators can provide the requisite infrastructure, mentoring, and nurturing environment to allow startup companies to grow and thrive. At least that is the theory. Writing in the International Journal of Innovation and Learning, a team from India has investigated whether this is indeed the case.
Monika Dhochak of the Goa Institute of Management and Satya Ranjan Acharya and S.B. Sareen of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India in Ahmedabad, have looked at 29 such business incubators created under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) model.
"In today's competitive business world, business reinvention model based on disruptive innovation and technology has become the new source of sustainable competitive advantage," the team writes. "India being a developing and competitive economy aspires to realise the sustainable development through innovative startups," they add.
The team points out that business incubators offer four clear benefits to startups: First, they provide access to debt and equity capital to launch and sustain growth. Secondly, they allow links to be formed with investors through contacts. Thirdly, they create in-house equity and debt funds to seed a deal and to fill financing gaps. Finally, an incubator can create relationships with other entities and service providers that might otherwise be inaccessible.
In the context of the Indian incubators, there are limitations, such as inadequate computing facilities and a lack of mentoring in some areas. These issues could be overcome now that they are known, the team suggests. Virtual incubation and soft services might also be worth investigating further. "Offering such support could contribute significantly to the sustenance and growth graduated companies on one hand and offer a new revenue stream to the incubator on the other hand," the team concludes.
Dhochak, M., Acharya, S.R. and Sareen, S.B. (2019) 'Assessing the effectiveness of business incubators', Int. J. Innovation and Learning, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp.177–194.
- Setting sail in San Francisco
Windpower has been with us for millennia. Our ancestors used it to power vessels to sail the River Nile around 3400 BCE and the seven seas ever since. Now. A modern tack sees US scientists developing a "wingsail" to assist with the propulsion of an otherwise diesel-powered vessel that might be used as a ferry. They outline their plans in the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management.
Timothy Lipman and Jeffrey Lidicker of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley, USA, explain how a carbon-fibre, computer-controlled wingsail could be mounted on a 14-metre trimaran test vessel, which was then sailed through San Francisco Bay over a three-month test period.
The project demonstrated that for the test vessel sailing at seven knots on a given ferry route, wind of between 10 and 20 knots was sufficient to save between 25 and 40% of the fuel that would otherwise be burned running the vessel's engines; also assuming no seriously adverse effects of currents. This the team says not only makes sense economically but also could be useful in reducing carbon emissions and pollution from such vessels. The real-world benefits might be somewhat different given that the Bay ferryboat services operate at 17 or more knots, but the proof of concept is encouraging and could provide the basis for further investigations and optimisation of the system for ferries.
Lipman, T.E. and Lidicker, J. (2019) 'Wind-assist marine demonstration for ferries: prospects for saving diesel fuel with wind power', Int. J. Environmental Technology and Management, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp.68–83.
- Early sepsis detection with infrared
Sepsis is a major risk factor for patient death among those in intensive care not suffering from heart problems. In fact, it is the eleventh cause of death overall in the USA. It arises when infection causes a breakdown in the immune system leading to a major inflammatory response. Research published in the International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics suggests that infrared thermography could be used for the early detection of sepsis. Early detection is key to treating this condition and reducing the sepsis mortality rate.
Hasanain Al-Sadr, Mihail Popescu, and James Keller of the University of Missouri Columbia, USA, explain that abnormal patterns of body temperature can reveal the earliest stages of sepsis. "We suggest using thermography as a non-invasive tool capable of continuously measuring body temperature patterns and detecting abnormalities," the team writes. The add that of the odd patterns is temperature difference between body extremities and the patient's core temperature.
The team has now developed an automatic system that can calculate core versus extremity temperature differences based on a frontal and lateral infrared thermogram of the face. The measurements are determined for the inner and outer ear and tracking the tip of the nose by monitoring the position of the inner corner of a patient's eyes in the images. The statistical methods the researchers used can work successfully to detect sepsis almost irrespective of the angle of the head relative to the imager and if there are different backgrounds. The system works well in real-time, the team reports.
Al-Sadr, H., Popescu, M. and Keller, J.M. (2019) 'Early sepsis recognition based on infrared thermography', Int. J. Data Mining and Bioinformatics, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp.301-327.
- Fertility and prion disease
A high degree of uncertainty surrounds the issue of the prion disease risk associated with fertility drugs derived from urine, gonadotropins. Writing in the International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, a team from Canada hopes to address this issue. At the time of writing, the transmission of prion disease via this route is entirely theoretical as there have been no reported cases of incidence.
Neil Cashman of the Department of Neurology at the University of British Columbia, and colleagues at the University of Ottawa, Health Canada, the University of British Columbia, and at Bristol University in the UK, write that the international panel of experts ultimately concludes that the risk is very low although the use of bovine serum instead of urine lowers this small risk by 1200 times.
The team points out that Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a human neurodegenerative disorder that is currently incurable and invariably fatal. CJD is a prion disease transmitted by errant proteins and is closely related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (commonly known as mad cow disease), scrapie in sheep, and a range of other diseases that affect the mammalian brain and all of which have a specific prion associated with their development. Fundamentally, prion diseases are thought to be caused by the misfolding of an otherwise benign and ubiquitous protein in cells into a distinct pathological form that essentially self-replicates by inducing the benign form to transform into the pathological conformation.
The team concludes that "While a formal assessment of the likelihood of prion disease transmission through the use of urine-derived fertility drugs is impossible due to a current lack of relevant scientific data." Nevertheless, now that the theoretical possibility of prion transmission has been raised in this context, scientists and healthcare workers in the area of fertility treatment must be vigilant for any cases that might arise.
Cashman, N.R., Tyshenko, M.G., Cheung, R., Aspinall, W., Wong, M. and Krewski, D. (2019) 'Prion disease risk uncertainties associated with urine-derived and recombinant fertility drugs', Int. J. Risk Assessment and Management, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp.109–127.
- What price Bitcoin?
Spyros Papathanasiou and Dimitrios Balios of the Department of Economics at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, working with Nikolaos Papamatthaiou of EPAS OAED in Lamia, anticipate that Bitcoin will ultimately be used in everyday life. At present, there are subtleties that may be obvious to experts but entirely overlooked by the public. Their survey of experts and laypeople suggest that the public sees Bitcoin as mainly a means to carry out secure transactions and payments. This is in marked contrast to expert opinion where Bitcoin is seen primarily as an investment vehicle.
Digital currencies began to have a serious impact on world economies as the US financial crisis of 2007 deepened and spread to the rest of the world resulting in serious recession, bankruptcies, and bailouts the following year and through the following decade. Indeed, a public increasingly disgruntled with political measures to remedy the recession, such as austere budgets, and the multi-billion bailouts of financial institutions might also be to blame for the rise of populism in politics. Regardless, the reliance on anonymous, decentralized monetary systems coincides with this need to increasingly protect oneself and one's assets and resources even at the expense of others makes a cryptic currency an obvious, to the experts, way forward for investing. It is essentially off-limits to prying governmental or commercial eyes and also beyond the reach of conventional tax authorities.
Cryptocurrencies represented a negligible fraction of global wealth for a period after their invention, their net value is now perhaps several hundred billion dollars, if not more. The researchers describe the most well-known of these cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, as offering "the promise of a better financial system with anonymous transactions that are free from banks and government intervention." They add that "Bitcoin may be the greatest change to the current economic environment in relation to our perception about money, investments, means of transactions and payments."
Papathanasiou, S., Papamatthaiou, N. and Balios, D.P. (2019) 'Bitcoin as an alternative digital currency: exploring the publics' perception vs. experts', Int. J. Financial Engineering and Risk Management, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp.146–171.
- Hackers get stuck in an evolving honeypot
Malware, malicious software, is on the rise, whether in the form of Trojans, worms, and viruses, bot-net systems, denial of service tools, and hacking programs. Antivirus, firewall, and intrusion detection systems are all essential components of the protections a systems operator might put in place on their users' computers and the network they operate. Unfortunately, these are passive rather than active protections and so there are limitations to how well they can protect digital resources especially given the dynamic and evolving nature of attacks on seemingly robust systems.
Writing in the International Journal of High Performance Computing and Networking, researchers in China offer a somewhat novel paradigm – an evolving protection system that mimics the dynamics between predator and prey in the natural world.
Leyi Shi, Yuwen Cui, Xu Han, Honglong Chen, and Deli Liu of the China University of Petroleum (East China) in Qingdao, present a novel concept of a mimicry honeypot. This, they suggest, can bewilder adversaries (hackers and malware exploits) by evolving protective systems as network circumstances change when under attack. The team says that in tests their mimicry honeypot performs better than a conventional decoy system that might be in place on a network to attract and so distract malware and hackers away from the actual target. Fundamentally, the evolving honeypot adapts and so is never revealed as a honeypot, or honey-trap, to the attackers.
Shi, L., Cui, Y., Han, X., Chen, H. and Liu, D. (2019) 'Mimicry honeypot: an evolutionary decoy system', Int. J. High Performance Computing and Networking, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.157–164.
- Antibiotics through machine learning
Machine learning techniques can be used to search for new drugs for one of the most insidious causes of stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems, the bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori.
Ulcers are like open sores in the wall lining the stomach into which stomach acid can eat. These so-called peptic ulcers can be very painful and are a major risk factor for stomach cancer. In the late 1980s, Australian scientists demonstrated that the corkscrew-shaped H. pylori. This was the subject of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Medicine as it overturned decades of received wisdom regarding the nature of ulcers. It suggested that a multi-billion dollar drug industry based on acid inhibitors and other such agents was no longer needed as a course of antibiotics might suffice. This later proved to be the case in treating ulcers caused by H. pylori.
Unfortunately, bacteria quickly evolve resistance to antibiotics, so there is always a need to find new ones that can keep us one step ahead of the infectious pathogens. Now, work published in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications, points the way to a new approach to finding antibiotics to treat conditions associated with H. pylori infection.
The approach taken by Surekha Patil and Shivakumar Madagi of the Department of Bioinformatics at Karnataka State Women's University, Jnanashakti Campus in Karnataka, India, could truncate the drug discovery pipeline significantly in this area of medicinal chemistry. The researchers discuss which algorithms work best to screen a database of small molecules against the target proteins associated with the bacterium. Specifically, the enzyme peptide deformylase is the focus of the work. As candidates emerge from the computer, those that have the most promise can be screened in the laboratory against the target, before further testing against H. pylori in laboratory animals and then humans.
Patil, S. and Madagi, S.B. (2019) 'Application of machine learning techniques towards classification of drug molecules specific to peptide deformylase against Helicobacter pylori', Int. J. Bioinformatics Research and Applications, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp.221–242.
New Editor for International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering
Prof. Prof. Hamid Reza Karimi from Politecnico di Milano in Italy has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering.
New Editor for International Journal of Power Electronics
Dr. Dinesh Kumar from Danfoss Drives A/S in Denmark has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Power Electronics.
International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms is becoming an Open Access-only journal
We are pleased to announce that the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms is becoming an Open Access-only journal.
All accepted articles submitted from May 2019 onwards will be Open Access, and will require a fee payment of US $1600.
New Editor for International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties
Prof. ZhengMing Sun from Southeast University in China has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties.
New Editor for International Journal of International Journal of Virtual Technology and Multimedia
Prof. Charles Xiaoxue Wang from Florida Gulf Coast University in the USA has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Virtual Technology and Multimedia.