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  • Geothermal energy can be used to sustainably keep a house cool in notoriously hot parts of the world, thanks to the design of a new cooling system by researchers in Italy and Turkey. Writing in the International Journal of Exergy, the team explains how their vapour absorption chiller (VAC) was designed to meet the cooling demands of a 140 square metre, detached family home in Izmir, Turkey.

    Hot geothermal fluid from deep beneath the house is transported to the VAC in which water and ammonia are used as an absorbent and a refrigerant, respectively. The system runs at temperatures of 30, 90, and 2 degrees Celsius at the condenser, boiler, and evaporator. The system runs at an equivalent of about 4.5 kilowatts based on cooling load calculations.

    Under optimal conditions, the team estimates that costs would be offset by electricity saved running a conventional air-conditioning unit within six and a half years. This takes into account an up-front estimated cost of US$3500. Moreover, the use of sustainable energy to drive the system means a greatly reduced carbon footprint.

    It is critical as we face rising global average temperatures and sharply rising local temperatures because of anthropogenic climate change, that we find alternative, sustainable ways to keep people cool in their homes without simply burning more fossil fuels to generate electricity to do so.

    Ozcan, B., Aykurt, I.E., Akpak, M., Tacer, T., Yildirim, N., Hepbasli, A. and Ozcan, H.G. (2019) 'Thermodynamic analysis and assessment of a geothermal cooling system for a house', Int. J. Exergy, Vol. 29, Nos. 2/3/4, pp.350-369.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEX.2019.100370

  • Remote or computer-controlled aircraft, commonly referred to as "drones" could revolutionize the way in which emergency medical supplies, such as bags of blood plasma, are delivered to areas hit by disaster, accidents or other life-threatening situations. Of course, drones are costly and require skilled operators. Writing in the International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management, a team from the USA has undertaken a cost analysis of using drones for this purpose.

    The team hoped to show that the delivery of emergency supplies using drones is economically viable in the context of road-traffic accidents. By looking at a range of scenarios where drones might be used the team's cost analysis supports their hopes, especially as the timely use of drones rather than ground vehicles could ultimately be a matter of life and death. Their particular focus could readily be generalized to other emergency situations given adequate additional data and the construction of appropriate scenarios for other types of emergency.

    The team's analysis focused on two locations in Florida, one near Tampa, the other near Orlando. Both areas have at least one fatality every week due to a road traffic accident and so an improvement in the medical response in those areas could have a significant impact on total lives lost each year in the state. Of course, a road traffic accident will inevitably increase the level of congestion on already congested road networks and make it more difficult for paramedics and ambulances to reach the accident quickly. The use of drones could allow equipment and supplies to get to a site where paramedics may well have arrived on a motorbike, for instance.

    Poudel, S.R., Chowdhury, S., Marufuzzaman, M., Bian, L., Mudbari, M. and Pradhan, G. (2019) 'Drone transportation cost analysis for emergency medical products', Int. J. Business Continuity and Risk Management, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp.251-282.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBCRM.2019.100416

  • Untreated glaucoma is a major cause of sight loss. There are several forms and they are all essentially caused by damage to the optic nerve due to increased pressure within the eye. A collaboration between scientists in Algeria and Belgium has led to a new "intelligent system" for glaucoma detection that promises to help diagnose the condition sooner rather than later and allow patients to be treated in a timely manner and their sight saved.

    Mohammed El Amine Lazouni and Amel Feroui of the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, at Abou Bekr Belkaid Tlemcen University in Tlemcen, Algeria and Saïd Mahmoudi of the Computer Science Department at the University of Mons, in Belgium discuss their approach in detail in the International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology.

    Technically, glaucoma originates from an increase in the intraocular pressure (IOP). In the healthy eye, the aqueous humour behind the cornea is maintained in equilibrium with and equal quantity of liquid being discharged by the eye and this region refilled with fluid continuously. However, in glaucoma the rate of flow of liquid out of this cavity is slower than the flow into the space and the pressure within rise, putting damaging pressure on the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form but another condition called normal tension glaucoma can be just as debilitating. Closed-angle glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. The most common form causes no pain, but gradually leads to damage of one's peripheral vision and ultimately the whole field of vision, causing complete blindness.

    The team's approach involves one of the standard tests for the early stages of glaucoma measuring the ratio of cup to disc measurements of the retina. Machine learning built on a database of these ratios allows an early diagnosis for a new patient to be made very quickly and accurately, almost 9%%. Such accuracy would allow the ophthalmologist to make a much more precise estimate of glaucoma risk for their patient.

    Lazouni, M.E.A., Feroui, A. and Mahmoudi, S. (2019) 'A new intelligent system for glaucoma disease detection', Int. J. Computer Aided Engineering and Technology, Vol. 11, Nos. 4/5, pp.613-633.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJCAET.2019.100457

  • Text messaging remains an important means of electronic communication for many people requiring only the simplest connection to the cell phone network. Nevertheless, other more sophisticated tools such as Whatsapp are increasingly prevalent given their multimedia capabilities and the near ubiquity of smartphones and almost universal wireless broadband connectivity in major towns and cities and beyond. Julian Bühler and Markus Bick Chair of Business Information Systems at the ESCP Europe Business School Berlin, Germany, ask what influences how quickly such technologies are adopted in different parts of the world and how the novel displaces the old.

    Writing in the International Journal of Mobile Communications, the team has looked at the use of text messaging and Whatsapp and how these have a cultural impact on mobile commerce in two countries: the United Kingdom and Russia. Fundamentally, the team found, the expectations of users in the UK are higher than those in Russia when interacting with mobile commerce sites. This is particularly true of user expectations for hedonic services. It seems, however, that social surroundings actually play a minor role in the user decision-making process. UK users are often early adopters especially in the hedonic sphere seeking out new technology whereas Russian users maintain inertia with the initial services and systems and stay with them in the long term. When Russian users do change they are eager and keen to try out all the new functionality of a service.

    The team suggests that their findings have implications for how companies hoping to introduce new technology and services might assess the putative market. They should introduce the service in the UK first as a testing ground for early adoption and move to the Russian market if the UK proves enthusiastic.

    Bühler, J. and Bick, M. (2019) 'From text messages to WhatsApp: cultural effects on m-commerce service adoption in the UK and Russia', Int. J. Mobile Communications, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp.441-464.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2019.100506

  • There is a significant negative correlation between environmental uncertainty and corporate social responsibility, according to a study published in the International Journal of Business and Systems Research. The conclusion drawn from 23 years of data associated with more than 3000 companies in the USA suggests that an ethics view should be taken when it comes to corporate social responsibility rather than allowing a changing environment to determine whether or not a company makes a positive ethical decision or not.

    Brian Chabowski and Li Sun of the Collins College of Business at the University of Tulsa, in Oklahoma and Sharon Xuerong of the Huang Miller College of Business at Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana, explain that their insights could offer policymakers solid guidance on taking an ethical stance rather than allowing the business environment to steer policy. A new ethical stance could provide clearer and more positive approaches to employee lay-offs, union relations, health & safety, retirement benefits, as well as recycling, pollution limitation and clean energy, and even in some instances human rights, whether those of indigenous people in the company's own country.

    "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that performs a direct empirical test on the relationship between environmental uncertainty and corporate social responsibility (CSR)," the team writes. "Overall, our study shows that managers engage in less CSR activities when in an uncertain environment," they add. This is perhaps to be expected after all CSR might be costly and when markets are not in favour of a particular company then cuts have to be made. However, the team suggests that there are practical implications that would preclude the need for a company to abandon its ethical stance and instead simply temper its CSR to some degree when the firm is faced with a volatile environment.

    Chabowski, B., Huang, S.X. and Sun, L. (2019) 'Environmental uncertainty and corporate social responsibility', Int. J. Business and Systems Research, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp.364-389.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2019.100378

  • Throughout civilisation, coastal defences have been an issue for those people who live by the sea. Now, climate change and its implications for rising sea levels make the issue increasingly pressing for more and more people. Research published in the International Journal of Lifecycle Performance Engineering, discusses the issue of over-topping of sea defences in the face of a changing environment.

    Mehrdad Bahari Mehrabani of the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Greenwich, in Chatham, Kent, UK and Hua-Peng Chen of East China Jiaotong University, Jiangxi, China, have looked at how our changing climate makes it all the more urgent to find ways of assessing coastal defences and ensuring that they are maintained not only on a critical schedule but can be re-engineered on an ad hoc basis when time and tide require it.

    Earth sea dykes of the kind that edge lowland coasts and protect towns and cities and the people that live and work on land reclaimed from the sea or vulnerable former marshland, are widespread. Higher than normal tides, storm conditions, and rising sea levels all conspire to breach such sea dykes. The team has demonstrated that it might be possible to predict the demise of a given sea dyke given particular conditions and so offer the possibility of shoring up and improving such coastal defences before problems arise.

    Mehrabani, M.B. and Chen, H-P. (2019) 'Lifetime wave overtopping assessment of coastal defences under changing environments', Int. J. Lifecycle Performance Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp.93-110.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJLCPE.2019.100334

  • Medical information and healthcare advice abound on the internet, both genuine, science-based information as well as spurious and fake. Research published in the International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology, looks to using a crowd-sourcing approach to the validation of medication information on one particular niche of the internet – the well-known microblogging platform known as Twitter.

    Scott Duberstein, Daniel Adomako Asamoah, Derek Doran, and Shu Schiller of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, point out that social media, of which Twitter can be said to be one of the popular, can be a very useful place to gather information. However, it remains challenging for the lay person to know whether the information they glean from such a system is valid or whether, in the parlance of the modern political vernacular, it is "fake news". This might not matter so much when the information pertains to celebrity gossip, but it is important in the political realm, and very often a matter of life and death when the subject is medicine.

    The team has attempted to develop a system that might automate the validation of information on the internet and specifically Twitter. It utilises the Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) crowdsourcing platform and focused, as a proof of principle, on information about major depressive disorder, an important medical condition that is frequently discussed on social media. "The core of our approach entailed the design of a custom survey and the use of a crowdsourcing mechanism to generate a collective understanding and validation of the information collected," the team writes.

    The team has demonstrated that it is possible to use crowdsourcing to successfully extract and validate information about a specific medical topic from a platform like Twitter. They suggest that the same approach might be extended to other medical topics, and perhaps beyond and to other platforms that carry a large body of unvalidated information that might be tested and validated or otherwise. Automation of some aspects of the processing would remove the risk of human error at various stages. It might even be possible for the algorithms employed to differentiate between valid statements and ironic ones that might, with earlier approaches, be confused.

    Duberstein, S.J., Asamoah, D.A., Doran, D. and Schiller, S.Z. (2019) 'Finding and validating medical information shared on Twitter: experiences using a crowdsourcing approach', Int. J. Web Engineering and Technology, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp.80-98.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJWET.2019.100344

  • A statistical analysis of volatility in cryptocurrencies has been carried out using a news impact curve. The analysis provides empirical evidence that could help economists decide whether these modern digital currencies are trust-based but intrinsically worthless like the "fiat" paper money system of familiar currencies we use or the new "gold standard". The research team offers details of their analysis and their conclusions in the International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance.

    Anwar Hasan Abdullah Othman, Syed Musa Alhabshi, and Razali Haron of the IIUM Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance at the International Islamic University Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, explain that trading in Bitcoin, perhaps the most well known of the cryptocurrencies is more on a par with trading in precious metals, specifically gold, as opposed to trading in hard currency. The analysis shows that the volatility and response to economic shockwaves are similar for Bitcoin and gold but that hard currency, such as the US dollar, responds differently in terms of how value changes with the ups and downs of trading and the wider economic conditions.

    The team adds that their analysis supports the notion that Bitcoin and gold represent safe-haven assets and could be exploited in hedging against market risk especially during ebullient economic times. "Evidence suggests that cryptocurrency is a potential alternative to the current fiat money system," the team writes, "offering benefits to policymakers and a good investment option for positional investors in terms of hedging, portfolio diversification strategy, and risk management."

    The next step with this research will be to extend a similar analytical processing to other cryptocurrencies to determine whether or not these conclusions might be generalized beyond Bitcoin.

    Othman, A.H.A., Alhabshi, S.M. and Haron, R. (2019) 'Cryptocurrencies, Fiat money or gold standard: empirical evidence from volatility structure analysis using news impact curve', Int. J. Monetary Economics and Finance, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.75-97.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMEF.2019.10019878

  • Cybersquatting was rife in the early days of the World Web of the 1990s. An individual would register a domain name that was perhaps associated with an organisation or company and even a trademarked term. The cybersquatter might then use the domain for their own purposes whatever they might be or endeavour to sell the domain to the organisation. At first, it was unclear whether cybersquatting was illegal. Laws were tightened, domain registrars would take a dim view of such activity and commonly the domain would be handed over to what would appear to be the more legitimate owner. However, there are blurred lines when it comes to generic terms rather than company names or trademarks.

    Some pundits perceive cybersquatting as unethical. It still goes on. Others suggest that it is beyond unethical it is criminal. Writing in the International Journal of Social Computing and Cyber-Physical Systems, a team from India suggests that cybersquatting, rather than being an artefact of an immature Web of a quarter of a century ago, is still rife and exploitative. The team offers many examples of cybersquatting and highlights how the activity is detrimental to the growth of the internet and society as a whole.

    There may well be instances where cybersquatting was intentional. This author can point to a US government website that has essentially hijacked the name of a well-known personal and commercial website for its own use by using the domain with the .gov suffix where the .com already existed!

    The team points out that there are no useful methods to prevent cybersquatting and in India and elsewhere it is increasing on a daily basis as new companies emerge only to find that the most pertinent domain for the website has been taken by a third party. There is a need to increase awareness of the problem before algorithms could be implemented at the registrar level to help preclude this unethical and often criminal activity on the internet.

    Chandra, R. and Bhatnagar, V. (2019) 'Cyber-squatting: a cyber crime more than an unethical act', Int. J. Social Computing and Cyber-Physical Systems, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.146-150.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSCCPS.2019.10021909

  • Gaming technology can assist with physical therapy and rehabilitation, according to a team from Brazil. Writing in the International Journal of Auditing Technology, the team discusses the potential for the Microsoft Xbox games console and its motion sensor system, Kinect. The team has reviewed the use of this technology in the rehabilitation arena and concludes from their analysis, that the system has a positive role to play.

    Ivo Pedro Gonzalez Junior, Fábio Madureira Garcia, Karla Souza Caggy Costa da Silva, Fernanda Xavier Ferreira, Jaqueline Ribeiro da Silva and Wylena Monteiro das Chagas of the Faculdade Adventista da Bahia, Brazil, point out that there have been many advances in the techniques, methods, resources, and instruments used to enable improvements in patient treatment and to reduce the time taken for an individual to return to "normal" life following injury, accident, surgery, or acute medical condition, such as non-lethal cerebral or spinal stroke.

    The team points out that the games available promote movement, particular of the upper limbs and upper body, but perhaps more importantly than that "games tend to make patients momentarily forget their limitations and move motivated by the fun and immersive factor." This is a crucial insight into the development and further implementation of gaming technology for physiotherapy in a wide range of conditions. Moreover, where conventional physiotherapy may be perceived as a boring necessity and see many patients skip sessions through lack of motivation, the gaming approach could, for many, avoid the sinking into apathy and provide its own motivation for engaging with the therapy and improving patient outcomes.

    Gonzalez Jr., I.P., Garcia, F.M., da Silva, K.S.C.C., Ferreira, F.X., da Silva, J.R. and das Chagas, W.M. (2018) 'A review of the use of new technologies in physical therapy rehabilitation: possibilities and challenges with Xbox and kinect', Int. J. Auditing Technology, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp.1-15.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJAUDIT.2018.10021899

News

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.