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  • Music is an essential element of both the tourism offering and promotion in branding a holiday destination, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Tourism Policy. Indeed, music can make a tourist destination unique and distinctive. Christian Stipanović, and Diana Grgurić of the University of Rijeka, working with Nataša Jurina of the City of Krk Tourist Board, Krk, Croatia, discuss the details.

    Krk is the most populous islands of the Adriatic Sea, lying towards the north near Rijeka on the Dalmatian Coast in the Bay of Kvarner. It covers more than 400 square kilometres as does the neighbouring island of Cres, although Cres has a population of three thousand or so compared with Krk's approximately 20000 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination being connected to the mainland by a concrete bridge and in relatively close proximity to Slovenia, Hungary, Southern Germany, Austria, and Northern Italy.

    The team reports that the traditional music of Krk, whether performed live or recorded music at various venues and locations across the island is an important part of the authenticity, culture, and heritage of the island. “Recently the destination has sought to innovate its music offering to reflect the island's sustainable development strategy and, by implementing its own development concept model,” the team writes.

    The team's study shows that audio management represents a crucial dimension of an integrated tourism product based on sustainable development and indigenous values. They add that it can improve the destination's tourist offering and the overall experience for visitors but only if there is planning for music, noise control, and acoustic design, in venues for instance.

    Stipanović, C., Grgurić, D. and Jurina, N. (2018) 'Audio management in the development and branding of Krk Island', Int. J. Tourism Policy, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp.319-336.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2018.098933

  • Research published in the International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy shows how a neural network can be trained with a genetic algorithm to forecasting short-term demands on electricity load. Chawalit Jeenanunta and Darshana Abeyrathna of Thammasat University, in Thani, Thailand, explain that it is critical for electricity producers to be able to estimate how much demand there will be on their systems in the next 48 hours. Without such predictions, there will inevitably be shortfalls in power generation when demand is higher than estimated or energy and resources wasted if demand is lower than expected.

    The team has used data from the electricity generating authority of Thailand (EGAT) to train a neural network via a genetic algorithm. The results are compared with the more conventional back-propagation approach to prediction and show that the system is much better and predict the rise and falls in electricity demand. The genetic algorithm neural network (GANN) approach takes about 30 minutes to train for prediction compared with 1 minute for back-propagation training of a neural network. However, the added value of much more accurate predictions far outweighs this additional time and effort.

    Jeenanunta, C. and Darshana Abeyrathna, K. (2019) 'Neural network with genetic algorithm for forecasting short-term electricity load demand', Int. J. Energy Technology and Policy, Vol. 15, Nos. 2/3, pp.337–350.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJETP.2019.098957

  • An ego network is one perspective on social network analysis, it looks at the individual and their circle of friends and the connections that fan out from that person. Writing in the International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, Tinghuai Ma of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China, and colleagues describe a way to look at an ego network and to automatically and accurately glean information about the community surrounding the person at its centre. Obviously, by applying such an analysis to different individuals it should be possible to build up a picture of the wider community. The approach developed by the team could be useful users themselves, allowing them to take control of their contacts in an automated manner.

    The team can build up circles of friends from their analysis. In a three-step process that looks for the similarities between user attributes, features of network structure, and the contact frequency between the central user, the ego, and their friends. "We compare the similarity among attributes of users first, the team reports, they can then "divide all friends by the similarity of properties between any friend and the central user.”

    Xing, F., Ma, T., Tang, M. and Guan, D. (2019) 'Friend circle identification in ego network based on hybrid method', Int. J. Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp.224–234.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJAHUC.2019.098860

  • A soundscape workshop offered young people an opportunity to participate in the conversation surrounding the urban sonic environment, changes in it, and its future. The outcomes are discussed in the International Journal of Electronic Governance in the context of a large, creative Europe project known as "The People's Smart Sculpture".

    Aura Neuvonen of the Department of Film and Television at Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, in Helsinki, Finland, examined the issues of creating and experiencing soundscapes in the mobile soundscape workshop. "The soundscape platform and the workshop method was created to experiment with mobile and participatory methods with sound and sonic experiences," she explains. The sub-project entitled "Neighbourhood as a living room" was focused on finding new ways to make exhibitions at the Helsinki Museum of Technology more interesting especially to young people. The findings could have wider implications for other museums, galleries outdoor installations, and events.

    During the workshops, participants generated soundscapes using a mobile tool known as "Soundspace" and an Audio Digital Asset Management System developed at Metropolia. Having created their soundscapes, they listened to each other's and discussed their experiences and opinions. "The participants' focus on hearing, listening and observing their surrounding sonic environment increased when emotional engagement and personal experiences were acknowledged during the workshop," Neuvonen explains, an important point in the wider context of taking part in the discussion about our aural environment.

    Neuvonen, A. (2019) 'Experiencing the soundscape with mobile mixing tools and participatory methods', Int. J. Electronic Governance, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp.44–61.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2019.098811

  • How might we ensure that our young people are safe and secure while being sociable online? That is the question addressed by a team in the International Journal of Business Innovation and Research.

    In the age of online social networks and social media, countless millions of us are connected to internet services other individuals and corporations almost constantly. We rely heavily on social media to obtain and share information, news, and multimedia content. Moreover, we share much of this information with relatives, friends, and other online users. What is not always obvious to many users is just how much of our personal and private information is being shared across these networks and with the corporations that offer the services, often at no obvious financial cost to us, but ultimately at some cost to our privacy and perhaps our security.

    Ajith Sundaram of Anna University, in Chennai and P. Radha of the SNT Global Academy of Management Studies and Technology, in Coimbatore, India, have investigated the impact of phishing, profile squatting, image tagging, spamming, cross profiling, and other activities on youth security and safety online. Their modelling of social media activity does show that security and privacy concerns have a moderating effect of perceived privacy on trust. The pair offers practical and theoretical implications that could be applied irrespective of whether an individual or an organization is being discussed. The researchers highlight best practice that might be employed to protect online privacy.

    Sundaram, A. and Radha, P. (2019) 'Social media security and privacy protection concerning youths. 'How to be safe, secure and social'', Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp.453-471.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2019.098761

  • Vaccination is the most effective and safe preventive strategy against many childhood infectious diseases. We can vaccinate effectively and safely against potentially lethal and debilitating diseases including measles, mumps, influenza, smallpox, tuberculosis, Rubella, poliomyelitis, and various other diseases. However, there are still outbreaks where vaccination is not available and increasingly in the era of contrarian thinking where vaccines are not taken as an option by some parents for their children, we are seeing the re-emergence of epidemics of these horrendous diseases.

    Now, mathematician Kazeem Oare Okosun of Vaal University of Technology, in Gauteng, and Oluwole Daniel Makinde of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, have derived and analysed a deterministic model for the transmission of childhood disease perform optimal control analysis of the model. Writing in the International Journal of Computing Science and Mathematics, they report on how a disease might be controlled optimally to reduce the devastating impact of an epidemic. Their approach also looks at how financial costs might be minimized in efforts to control a childhood disease.

    Vaccination has proven to be the most effective prevention strategy against childhood diseases, the team writes, the need to achieve an optimal level of vaccine coverage is essential to controlling the spread of childhood disease in the twenty-first century, they add. Prevention is ultimately better than cure the research suggests especially given that many of the most debilitating and lethal diseases have no effective pharmaceutical, or indeed, any other form of, treatment.

    Okosun, K.O. and Makinde, O.D. (2019) 'Mathematical model of childhood diseases outbreak with optimal control and cost effectiveness strategy', Int. J. Computing Science and Mathematics, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.115–128.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJCSM.2019.098743

  • Lead is a poisonous metal and a significant environmental pollutant. An important source of waste is the lead used in car batteries. Research published in Progress in Industrial Ecology - An International Journal shows how lead, scrap plastic, and sulfuric acid from used car batteries might be retrieved based on a mathematical reverse logistics network model.

    Najme Roghani Langarudi of the Department of Industrial Engineering, at Amirkabir University of Technology-Tehran Polytechnic, in Tehran, Abdolhossein Sadrnia of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Quchan University of Technology, both in Iran, and Amirreza Payandeh Sani of the Department of Industrial Engineering, at the Islamic Azad University of Semnan Branch, United Arab Emirates, explain a five-layer framework that involves reverse logistics based on collection, remanufacturing, repair, recycling, and disposal. The approach has two objective functions - to minimise costs and avoid carbon dioxide emissions. "In order to show the practicability of the presented model, a numerical example using general algebraic modelling system (GAMS) software was applied," the team explains.

    The team points out that traditional manufacturing is usually undertaken in a forward logistics management sense. With increasing environmental awareness, however, life cycle and cradle-to-grave assessment of a product and its end of life disposal or recycling are increasingly important. In this context the notion and benefits of reverse logistics become critical. A closed-loop supply chain offers a viable approach to automobile batteries, the team suggests.

    Langarudi, N.R., Sadrnia, A. and Sani, A.P. (2019) 'Recovering lead, plastic, and sulphuric acid from automobile used batteries by mathematical reverse logistics network modelling', Progress in Industrial Ecology - An International Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.63-83.
    DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2019.098786

  • Enterprise social media (ESM) is an open and public platform that facilitates employee discussions about work-related matters. However, there are known disadvantages. Now, writing in the International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, researchers reveal their findings with regards to the impact of ESM and employee psychological wellbeing and the modulating role played by communication quality in this context.

    Abdul Hameed Pitafi of the School of Management, at the University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, Shamsa Kanwal of the School of Public Affair there, and Adnan Pitafi of the Mehran University Institute of Science, Technology and Development (MUISTD), in Sindh, Pakistan, explain how researchers and even practitioners are rather vague about the advantages of ESM. The teams carried out a study based on information processing theory to investigate whether or not an employee's "psychological safety" is positively correlated with their "agility"; agility being their ability to react to and to adopt environmental changes rapidly and in an appropriate manner.

    A study of 167 employees who adopted ESM in the workplace, lends new understanding to the team's hypotheses. "The existing investment in ESM is insufficient to achieving better employee agility," the team says. "Managers should take appropriate steps in implementing ESM and improving the psychological safety and, consequently, the employee's agility. The findings in this study are an important attempt to provide guidance and knowledge to managers regarding the positive side of ESM."

    Pitafi, A.H., Kanwal, S. and Pitafi, A. (2019) 'Effect of enterprise social media and psychological safety on employee's agility: mediating role of communication quality', Int. J. Agile Systems and Management, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp.1–26.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2019.098708

  • Why have so many people become dependent on their smartphones. This almost ubiquitous communication and information tool seems to be perpetually in so many and taking our undivided attention even when the "real world" has much to offer. Research published in the International Journal of Mobile Communications discusses the various factors that have led to this state of dependence.

    Repeated studies show that large numbers of smartphone owners never disconnect, many check their device repeatedly throughout the day, every day, many keep their phones at their bedside, and for a large number of people, the smartphone has usurped more traditional information sources, such as radio, television, print publications, and even human conversation and face-to-face social interaction. To some extent where observers of the early adopters of smartphones perhaps saw them as the object of conspicuous consumption, today, with more mobile phones than people in the world, they have become something of a mundane artifact, despite their information, communication, and computational power.

    Sylvia Chan-Olmsted of the Department of Telecommunication at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, USA and Min Xiao of the Department of Advertising there have explored the role of dependency on and usage of other media platforms, multiplatform media use, mobile ownership and perceptions, smartphone functions, and various consumer characteristics. Their analysis suggests that while the television and the personal computer remain important information media, it is, perhaps obviously, the simple portability of the smartphone, which essentially combines television, computer, and telephone, that has enthralled so many in recent years.

    Chan-Olmsted, S. and Xiao, M. (2019) 'Factors affecting smartphone dependency of media consumers', Int. J. Mobile Communications, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp.353-375.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2019.098595

  • Computing with words is a computational method where the objects of computation are words and propositions drawn from a natural language rather than the ones and zeroes of binary. Computing with words is perhaps what makes humanity a unique animals species in many regards allowing us to communicate detailed abstract concepts, to reason, to make predictions based on experience and observation. Moreover, we can do those things even with a lack of empirical data, with imprecise, or fuzzy, information, and other deficits.

    Now, Arindam Dey of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, at Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology, Hooghly, working alongside Anita Pal of the Department of Mathematics, National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India, have proposed a generalized algorithm, a generalized Diskrtra’s algorithm, specifically, that might allow a computer to do some of what the human brain can do in the context of solving decision-making problems using information extracted from natural language.

    They have devised a computer model that can determine the rank of the shortest path which is a collection of words. In everyday language we would colloquially describe the shortest path between points in a space, the nodes, using fuzzy terms - adjectives - rather than numbers. The new model could allow a computer to describe paths in such fuzzy terms too without the need for raw numerical data.

    Such a computer tool could utilise words to make decisions based on information that lacks numerical data and be of real-world applications in designing and running transport systems, in logistics management, and many areas where nodes within a network and the connections between them need to be formulated and considered in an abstract rather than conventionally computational sense.

    Dey, A. and Pal, A. (2019) 'Computing the shortest path with words', Int. J. Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, Vol. 12, Nos. 3/4, pp.355-369.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJAIP.2019.098577


New Editor for International Journal of Earthquake and Impact Engineering

Dr. Ehsan Noroozinejad from the Graduate University of Advanced Technology in Iran has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Earthquake and Impact Engineering.

New Editor for International Journal of Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Prof. Xiao-Zhi Gao from the University of Eastern Finland has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology.

International Journal of Big Data Management invites special issue proposals

Dr. Riad Shams, Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Big Data Management, has released a call for special issue proposals for the journal. Details are available here.

New Editor for International Journal of High Performance Computing and Networking

Dr. Dharma P. Agrawal from the University of Cincinnati in the USA has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of High Performance Computing and Networking. Prof. B.B. Gupta of the National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra, India, will be working alongside Dr. Agrawal in the role of Editor.

New Editor for International Journal of Intercultural Information Management

Associate Prof. John Dong from University of Groningen in the Netherlands has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Intercultural Information Management.