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- An energy-saving dimmer switch for streetlighting
A new approach to reducing the energy costs of streetlighting without compromising the safety and activities of pedestrians and drivers in towns and cities is discussed by researchers from India in the International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing.
The team of Pragna Labani Sikdar, Abhinav Anurag, and Parag Kumar Guha Thakurta in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the National Institute of Technology in Durgapur, West Bengal, reveals an approach to energy-efficient street lighting that strikes a balance between energy conservation and providing sufficient lighting for the people using the streets. The implications of this research are far-reaching, as it has the potential to revolutionize how cities and communities approach their street lighting infrastructure and reduce energy costs as well as a city's carbon footprint.
The key lies in equipping each street light with a sensor and dividing them into zones along a street. The sensor network of the streetlights can, based on detecting the nearest pedestrians or vehicles, control illumination levels appropriately so that nobody is left in the dark, but less energy is used lighting empty streets. This segmentation approach to lighting could offer precise control of total output across a city. To achieve optimal energy efficiency, the researchers take into account the length of each zone and a factor known as "brightness decrement per zone." By fine-tuning this factor, they can strike a delicate balance between energy savings and maintaining an adequate level of lighting utility.
The team has carried out extensive simulations to evaluate the approach with successful results. The implications are far reaching for cities the world over where environmental concerns and energy costs are both vying for space at the top of planning agendas. Moreover, the notion of light pollution, which affects the natural world as well as astronomical studies, might be reduced somewhat with the implementation of a dimmer switch for streetlighting.
Sikdar, P.L., Anurag, A. and Thakurta, P.K.G. (2023) 'Efficacious tuning in energy efficient street lighting', Int. J. Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp.53–63.
- Booting up artificial personality in AI systems
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used increasingly in many different walks of life from the large language models and image-generation tools that can produce readable text and intriguing graphics based on a prompt to the algorithms that analyse input and predict a feasible output for modelling climate and weather systems, road traffic, and even human behaviour.
There are AI tools that are being developed for online customer services, healthcare, education, art and music, and many other aspects of our lives. These systems would inevitably involve a person addressing an AI via a computer interface, a touchscreen, or an audio-video system of camera and microphone, and receiving answers to their questions or being asked questions by the AI itself to help them in some way. At the moment, such interfaces, which are often referred to as AI chatbots lack the versatility and human touch of a real person and so there is some way to go before we see them truly integrated into our lives.
Research in the International Journal of Computational Systems Engineering introduces the concept of artificial personality (AP). In this work, Takayuki Fujimoto of the Department of Information Sciences and Arts at Toyo University in Saitama, Japan, promises to bridge the gap between the bland bots and bots that respond with more human-like characteristics. This next generation of AP-enabled AI, would likely make our working with and using such tools much more appealing to a wider range of people, especially those so far reluctant to engage with this rapidly advancing technology.
Fujimoto challenges the state-of-the-art paradigm in AI and suggests ways in which its limitations might be overcome, side-stepping the existing AI frameworks and developing AP from the ground up. Ultimately, he foresees a time when AP allows us to develop versatile AI systems that seamlessly integrate into human lives. The research focuses on the concept of eXtended Intelligence (XI) as the basis for designing a system that reproduces humanness in computer systems, XI represents the technological successor to AI and incorporates the ideas of AP.
XI will blend the strengths of human intelligence – processing sensory data, understanding, abstract thought, and free association – with the strengths of artificial intelligence – information storage and retrieval, processing, prediction, and objective analysis, explains Fujimoto.
We are yet to consider in detail the ethics and morality, the privacy concerns, and the technical obstacles of AI, let alone AP and XI but researchers are making rapid progress.
Nevertheless, the future paradigm shift from AI to AP and XI will have far-reaching implications taking us to the next level of computer intelligence away from the industrial narrow AI or the entertainment-focused AI. XI with its inbuilt AP will not only perform tasks tirelessly, but will be able to respond to our emotions, preferences, and needs in much more subtle and useful ways than current AI technologies. One might even imagine XI acting as a caring personal assistant, providing companionship, and offering serious advice, all because the technology can comprehend and respond to our unique personalities.
Fujimoto, T. (2022) 'Reproduction of humanness based on eXtended intelligence: concept of artificial personality and its mechanism', Int. J. Computational Systems Engineering, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp.30–40.
- Patient, heal thyself! With the help of bioinformatics
Healthcare costs continue to rise due to the burden of major diseases like cardiovascular, oncological, neurological, and metabolic conditions. These conditions account for about three-quarters of costs and resources. However, modern medicine does not generally seek to prevent or cure such problems, rather it addresses symptoms when they arise and then, if complete remission is not achieved, largely manages the conditions as chronic illnesses.
The next advances in medicine could help us avoid certain health problems altogether and to treat acutely those that do arise so that they are reversed or the person goes into complete remission. There are, according to optimistic research in the International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations opportunities to use the body's natural ability to repair itself within a short timeframe with the help of bioinformatics.
Luuk P.A. Simons Department of the department of Computer Science at Delft University of Technology, in The Netherlands, recognises that healthcare and medicine has many challenges to overcome before we approach this self-healing utopia. But, the latest advances in rapid recovery research point towards using daily bioinformatics feedback and biomarkers (natural chemicals in our body that are associated with different health or disease states) in our bodies to guide treatment. Simons suggests that this approach would allow people to develop a quantified self-profile, which he refers to as an "endoself." The endoself would offer a person crucial insights into their health and potentially give them biological opportunities for self-repair and cure.
This approach might be described as a paradigm shift. It entails moving away from our reliance on symptomatic diagnostics and the subsequent pharmaceutical and surgical interventions, towards an approach that uses bioinformatics and biomarkers to identify health problems the moment they arise and to trigger a wound-healing paradigm, perhaps with the minimal of interventions we might refer to as external fixes. Ultimately, this approach would be to the benefit of everyone in terms of individual health and costs to healthcare systems.
This healthcare shift relies on our knowing the biomarkers, of having ways to monitor them in near real-time, and to have means to stimulate the body to respond to potentially detrimental changes in the levels of those biomarkers in our bodies. Obviously, such stimulation might be pharmaceutical, but the paradigm shift is that it would be proactive in addressing a problem before obvious symptoms arise, rather than simply reacting to symptoms. There are barriers but Simons is optimistic that we can overcome these although one of the biggest obstacles, he suggests, is the shift from reimbursement-based medicine to evidence-based medicine.
We have seen with social media during the last decade or so a shift to a new paradigm in the dissemination and interpretation of news and information, one that involves individuals using tools to share and comment, rather than relying on traditional corporations to pick and choose what we read and watch. Simons' healthcare paradigm would, similarly, empower the individual to take up the new tools of the trade to take care of themselves rather than relying wholly on the medical-industrial complex.
Simons, L.P.A. (2023) 'Health 2050: faster cure via bioinformatics and quantified self; a design analysis', Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organisations, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp.36–52.
- Introverted leaders in the spotlight
A review in the International Journal of Management Development has highlighted the crucial role of personality types in the workplace. The study specifically focuses on dispelling the various misconceptions around leaders with introverted personalities. It reveals the key characteristics and qualities that make for effective leadership and compares the leadership styles of introverts and extroverts. The review could guide recruiters and human resource managers in improving their hiring practices and leadership development processes, making them more inclusive of introverts when identifying and nurturing potential leaders.
Hevvon A. Barnes of the University of Hartford, Connecticut and Susan M. Stewart of Western Illinois University, Moline, Illinois, USA, suggest that introverted leaders have long been misunderstood and their review seeks to challenge the deceived wisdom about their abilities. It is possible that by recognizing and valuing the unique strengths, talents, perspectives, and values of introverted leaders organizations could gain a deeper understanding of their contribution and build on it.
The team emphasizes that biases abound and while organisations with introverted leaders are obviously effective, the suggestion is that removing those biases and recognising the potential of introverted leaders could give a significant boost to an organisation. Taking proactive steps to address the misconceptions and foster a more balanced and diverse leadership culture, more accepting and respectful of introverts would allow those kinds of leaders to thrive and be more effective in their roles to the ultimate benefit of the organisation as a whole. The researchers add that interventions such as training programs, mentorship opportunities, and adjustments to organizational structures and practices might be used to achieve this efficiently.
There remain several areas for future research. For instance, there is still a need to explore the experiences of introverted leaders themselves in various organizational contexts and industries. There will also be a need to follow up on how effective particular interventions aimed at promoting the development and success of introverted leaders have been once implemented.
Barnes, H.A. and Stewart, S.M. (2022) 'Misconceptions about introverted leaders: how quiet personality types influence the workplace', Int. J. Management Development, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.217–235.
- Seeding food security in rural Burkina Faso
Research in the International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies has highlighted the significant contribution of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in bolstering food security among households residing in rural areas, such as those near the Pô-Nazinga-Sissili protected area in Burkina Faso. The work emphasizes how policymakers must integrate NTFPs into food security strategies there and in other regions.
Soumaïla Sawadogo of the Thomas Sankara University in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and also at the University of Liège, Belgium, surveyed some 263 randomly selected households. He employed two essential indicators to assess food security: the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) and the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS). His analysis of the correlation between economic dependence on NTFPs and food security revealed a positive association confirming that NTFPs play a critical role for households in this region.
NTFPs encompass a diverse range of forest resources, excluding timber. They provide various benefits to local communities. Sawadogo's research highlights how optimizing the use of forests can tackle food insecurity in rural households by providing them with wild food, giving them a cash income, and improving dietary diversity. Forest goods and services, including NTFPs like honey, nere seeds, and shea nuts, act as natural sources of sustenance, contributing significantly to a household's food security. Moreover, in a crisis, NTFPs can act as a safety net for the most vulnerable households.
Indeed, the research suggests that households are actually more food secure if they utilise NTFPs than other measures may have indicated. Households that derived almost a quarter of their total income from NTFP activities were, the work found, more likely to live in food security, as measured by the food diversity indicator. A more secure household is likely to put more diverse foods on the table, whereas a household in an insecure position will likely only have a limited range of food types, mainly basic carbohydrate foods to eat. The food diversity indicators shows that 70% of households are in a good food security position, whereas a measurement based only on the HFIAS would suggest just 11% of those households are food secure.
Sawadogo suggests that policymakers ought to harness the potential of NTFPs to enhance food security. He also points out that improving household literacy can have a synergistic effect, increasing food security and emphasizes that there is a need for educational programs focused on sustainable forest management and NTFP utilization.
Sawadogo, S. (2023) 'Contribution of non-timber forest products to food security of households bordering the Pô-Nazinga-Sissili ecological complex in Burkina Faso', Int. J. Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp.420–443.
- SSA economies cleared for takeoff with grounded governance
Research in the International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies has examined the relationship between capital flight, tax revenue, economic growth, and good governance indicators in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from 1996 to 2018. The study found that capital flight hampers economic growth in the region, while an increase in tax revenue has a positive impact. The counterpart is that increase in tax revenue acts as a catalyst for economic growth in SSA, the team found. However, the effects of capital flight and tax revenue on economic growth depend on the presence of good governance indicators.
Capital flight occurs when individuals, businesses, or investors transfer funds and assets out of their home country. It can negatively affect economic growth in that country or in this case a whole region. It is usually driven by concerns on the part of the investors regarding economic or political instability, unfavourable business conditions, legislation and regulations, or simply a lack of confidence in the local economy.
James Atta Peprah of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and Harold Ngalawa and Evelyn Derera of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa demonstrate that the positive impact of tax revenue is influenced by good governance indicators and this can mitigate the negative effects of capital flight on economic growth. The work underscores the importance of implementing policies that promote good governance and thus growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, SSA.
The team explains that factors such as the rule of law, government stability, and effective control of corruption are crucial in good governance. There is a pressing need to strengthen democratic processes, promote economic freedom, and encourage private initiatives to attract investment and drive economic growth and development.
The researchers point out that given the limited availability of external financing sources, governments in SSA need to prioritize the enhancement of tax revenue mobilization and the promotion of domestic capital investment. This will require improvement in internal organizational structures, more training opportunities, and the fostering of stronger relationships with local governments. With the political will, SSA can create an environment conducive to economic development to support long-term economic prosperity in the region.
Peprah, J.A., Ngalawa, H. and Derera, E. (2023) 'Capital flight, tax revenue and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: the role of good governance', Int. J. Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp.444–464.
- Island life and obesity
Obesity represents a public health problem across the globe with an ever-increasing prevalence despite educational and other strategies being in place to address the issue. The consequences for long-term health crises remain. For children in two small island groups – Malta and the Canary Islands – there is growing concern regarding the incidence of overweight and obesity.
Writing in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, a team from Malta and The Canary Islands have looked at the issues and offer some suggestions for addressing them.
Childhood obesity rates in these two regions have reached distressing levels, with two out of every five children being classed as overweight or obese. The team reports that a move away from a Mediterranean diet towards unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles as well as factors such as a reliance on imported food and the potential effects of climate change are all contributing to this growing problem. The researchers point out that there are strategies in place but there is little surveillance of how effective they are.
There is an urgent need for much more targeted and effective solutions as well as monitoring of the effects in these two regions, especially given their relative isolation and limited availability of local, fresh produce. Any strategies that are put in place must take a medium and longer-term view rather than offering quick fixes that may not persist. It will also be critical to ensure that new approaches to tackling childhood obesity are equitable and do not widen any existing socio-economic gaps or create new social divisions that simply worsen the situation.
Fundamentally, these island regions have many problems that are not necessarily apparent in mainland regions. To address childhood obesity in these places, public health proposals must focus on the underlying issues and find ways to address them as well as to monitor the impact so that policies can be fine-tuned for greater benefit to those affected.
Calleja, P., Darias-Curvo, S., Copperstone, C. and Cauchi, D. (2023) 'Childhood obesity, food insecurity and climate change: a tale of two island groups', Int. J. Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp.167–184.
- Closing the loop on circular economics
Many of us are looking for ways to make our lives and activities more sustainable and reduce the amount of waste we generate. One way to achieve these goals is by embracing the concept of a circular economy. In a circular economy, resources are used more efficiently, waste is minimized, and materials are recycled or repurposed, creating a closed-loop system where materials and products are constantly reused or regenerated.
One trend that goes around in this economic circle is the emergence of peer-to-peer (P2P) online platforms that connect people with something to sell or donate to people who need or want a given product. Within this, we also see the upcycling or repurposing of old products for sale to others.
Research in the International Journal of Export Marketing, has looked at why people resell second-hand products on such online platforms. The study, by Saleem Ur Rahman and Hannu Makkonen of the School of Marketing and Communication at the University of Vaasa in Finland, collected and analysed data from over 3,000 people in Finland. The team found that there are various disparate reasons why people choose to resell items they no longer need on these platforms. Some simply want to make money, others do it for the fun of it, and yet others find it an engaging part of their being social. Interestingly, the study found that practical, generative, and protestor motives do not influence reselling behaviour.
The researchers suggest that these findings might help policymakers keen to improve society's green credentials, to understand how people use these platforms, and develop regulations to ensure consumer protection as well as to encourage this kind of circular economic activity with a view to reducing waste. The research also offers some insights for platform developers and operators who might now tailor specific services based on the motives of their users.
Closing the loop on the circular economy could help us reduce waste and materials destined for simple recycling or, worse, landfill, create new economic opportunities, and promote sustainable use of resources.
Rahman, S.U. and Makkonen, H. (2022) 'Is this a new era for old goods? Analysing the motives for second-hand product resale in the platform economy', Int. J. Export Marketing, Vol. 5, Nos. 3/4, pp.296–319.
- Recycling children: Teaching youngsters to follow a sustainable path
Research in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management has shed light on the behaviour of households in Claremont, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, when it comes to recycling as a sustainable means of waste management revealing that about two-thirds of households do not recycle waste. The results suggest that there is a long way to go in this typical suburb, and perhaps many others, to improve recycling facilities and opportunities and education.
R.O. Anyasi and H.I. Atagana of the University of South Africa in Pretoria conducted a survey of 400 households, selected at random, in the area. The results showed that a majority of households, a staggering 67.3%, do not recycle generally recyclable waste materials. Recycling, of course, should be a key component of reducing the negative environmental impact of our everyday consumption of food and other products.
The researchers found that lack of basic recycling education and inadequate infrastructure are mainly to blame for the lack of interest and participation in recycling. Moreover, they analyzed the relationship between waste management interests and the recycling ability of individual households using Pearson correlation analysis. This showed a significant and positive relationship meaning that the minority of households with a greater interest in waste management were the ones that were more likely to recycle, as one might expect.
The study concludes that there is a need for more convenient recycling depots and environmental awareness campaigns to encourage more households to recycle in this region. This is a necessary part of moving society to a cleaner and more sustainable future. With more convenient recycling depots and greater awareness, households can become better equipped to manage waste sustainably and contribute to a cleaner future for everyone, the research suggests. The team points out that there is a high proportion of schoolchildren in households and it is this younger generation that might be addressed with educational resources to help flip that 67 to 33 ratio.
Anyasi, R.O. and Atagana, H.I. (2023) 'Recycling behaviour of people in South Africa', Int. J. Environment and Waste Management, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp.325–338.
- A spoonful of tech delivers food industry boost
Research in the World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development has shown how food delivery apps for smartphones and other mobile devices are boosting customer satisfaction and giving companies a competitive advantage in one of the biggest areas of growth – urban India.
Food delivery apps are rapidly gaining popularity in urban areas across India, according to Shamsher Singh of BCIPS (GGSIP University) in New Delhi, India. He suggests that these apps are revolutionizing the way food is ordered there. Singh has delved into the impact of technology on the food industry, exploring the role of food apps in creating a competitive edge and enhancing customer satisfaction. The study gathered primary data from 100 participants through a survey to gauge the satisfaction levels and the usage of food apps.
Singh used frequency analysis and ANOVA statistical tools to test the validity of the data in the system, SPSS, originally known as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences but now more often known as Statistical Product and Service Solutions. His work shows that customers rank highly various features, such as clarity of price, variety of food items, food served hot and fresh, and correct and complete food delivery. This, he reports, was the same across all demographic profiles. Other factors such as timely delivery, promotional schemes, neat and clean delivery personnel, and service excellence were also important.
The findings hold important implications for the food industry and the larger economy. By embracing technology and leveraging food apps, food businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and gain a competitive advantage. This trend could also have a significant impact on employment, as the food industry is a major employer in India. As food delivery apps continue to grow in popularity, it is likely that they will reshape the industry and create new job opportunities in the process.
Singh, S. (2023) 'Food apps to create competitive advantage and enhance customer satisfaction', World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 19, Nos. 3/4/5, pp.218–229.
Prof. Charbel Salloum appointed as new Editor in Chief of EuroMed Journal of Management
Prof. Charbel Salloum from EM Normandie Business School in France has been appointed to take over editorship of the EuroMed Journal of Management. The journal's departing Editor in Chief, Prof. Jacques Digout, will remain with EMJM as Honorary Editor in Chief.
Dr. Mark Tampuri appointed as new Editor in Chief of American Journal of Finance and Accounting
Dr. Mark Tampuri from the Academic City University College in Ghana has been appointed to take over editorship of the American Journal of Finance and Accounting.
Associate Prof. Jinyang Xu appointed as new Editor for International Journal of Precision Technology
Associate Prof. Jinyang Xu from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Precision Technology.
Prof. Guangwei Huang appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Global Environmental Issues
Prof. Guangwei Huang from Sophia University in Japan has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues.
International Journal of Vehicle Performance in Scimago second quartile
Inderscience is pleased to report that the International Journal of Vehicle Performance has moved to Quartile 2 in Scimago's Automotive Engineering category.
Dr. Xiaobo Yang, the journal's Editor in Chief, said, "Without the sustained efforts of IJVP's editorial board members, authors and many reviewers, the journal would not be able to make such positive progress. I sincerely thank all who have been making contributions to IJVP."