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Appl. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 12 (December 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The Bloch Surface Wave (BSW) is an evanescent electromagnetic mode found on the surface of a [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle A Bibliometric Study to Assess Bioprinting Evolution
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121331
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Bioprinting as a tissue engineering tool is one of the most promising technologies for overcoming organ shortage. However, the spread of populist articles among on this technology could potentially lead public opinion to idealize its readiness. This bibliometric study aimed to trace the
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Bioprinting as a tissue engineering tool is one of the most promising technologies for overcoming organ shortage. However, the spread of populist articles among on this technology could potentially lead public opinion to idealize its readiness. This bibliometric study aimed to trace the evolution of bioprinting literature over the past decade (i.e., 2000 to 2015) using the SCI-expanded database of Web of Science® (WoS, Thomson Reuters). The articles were analyzed by combining various bibliometric tools, such as science mapping and topic analysis, and a Technology Readiness Scale was adapted to assess the evolution of this emerging field. The number of analyzed publications was low (231), but the literature grew exceptionally fast. The “Engineering, Biomedical” was still the most represented WoS category. Some of the recent fronts were “hydrogels” and “stem cells”, while “in vitro” remained one of the most used keywords. The number of countries and journals involved in bioprinting literature grew substantially in one decade, also supporting the idea of an increasing community. Neither the United States’ leadership in bioprinting productivity nor the role of universities in publications were challenged. “Biofabrication” and “Biomaterials” journals were still the leaders of the bioprinting field. Bioprinting is a young but promising technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofabrication: from Additive Bio-Manufacturing to Bioprinting)
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Open AccessArticle Production and Characterization of Glass-Ceramic Materials for Potential Use in Dental Applications: Thermal and Mechanical Properties, Microstructure, and In Vitro Bioactivity
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121330
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Multicomponent silicate glasses and their corresponding glass-ceramic derivatives were prepared and tested for potential applications in dentistry. The glasses were produced via a melting-quenching process, ground and sieved to obtain fine-grained powders that were pressed in the form of small cylinders and thermally
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Multicomponent silicate glasses and their corresponding glass-ceramic derivatives were prepared and tested for potential applications in dentistry. The glasses were produced via a melting-quenching process, ground and sieved to obtain fine-grained powders that were pressed in the form of small cylinders and thermally treated to obtain sintered glass-ceramic samples. X-ray diffraction investigations were carried out on the materials before and after sintering to detect the presence of crystalline phases. Thermal analyses, mechanical characterizations (assessment of bending strength, Young’s modulus, Vickers hardness, fracture toughness), and in vitro bioactivity tests in simulated body fluid were performed. On the basis of the acquired results, different potential applications in the dental field were discussed for the proposed glass-ceramics. The use of such materials can be suggested for either restorative dentistry or dental implantology, mainly depending on their peculiar bioactive and mechanical properties. At the end of the work, the feasibility of a novel full-ceramic bilayered implant was explored and discussed. This implant, comprising a highly bioactive layer expected to promote osteointegration and another one mimicking the features of tooth enamel, can have an interesting potential for whole tooth substitution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Populating the Mix Space: Parametric Methods for Generating Multitrack Audio Mixtures
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121329
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The creation of multitrack mixes by audio engineers is a time-consuming activity and creating high-quality mixes requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. Previous studies on the perception of music mixes have been limited by the relatively small number of human-made mixes
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The creation of multitrack mixes by audio engineers is a time-consuming activity and creating high-quality mixes requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. Previous studies on the perception of music mixes have been limited by the relatively small number of human-made mixes analysed. This paper describes a novel “mix-space”, a parameter space which contains all possible mixes using a finite set of tools, as well as methods for the parametric generation of artificial mixes in this space. Mixes that use track gain, panning and equalisation are considered. This allows statistical methods to be used in the study of music mixing practice, such as Monte Carlo simulations or population-based optimisation methods. Two applications are described: an investigation into the robustness and accuracy of tempo-estimation algorithms and an experiment to estimate distributions of spectral centroid values within sets of mixes. The potential for further work is also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Music Computing) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Virtual Analog Models of the Lockhart and Serge Wavefolders
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121328
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Wavefolders are a particular class of nonlinear waveshaping circuits, and a staple of the “West Coast” tradition of analog sound synthesis. In this paper, we present analyses of two popular wavefolding circuits—the Lockhart and Serge wavefolders—and show that they achieve a very similar
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Wavefolders are a particular class of nonlinear waveshaping circuits, and a staple of the “West Coast” tradition of analog sound synthesis. In this paper, we present analyses of two popular wavefolding circuits—the Lockhart and Serge wavefolders—and show that they achieve a very similar audio effect. We digitally model the input–output relationship of both circuits using the Lambert-W function, and examine their time- and frequency-domain behavior. To ameliorate the issue of aliasing distortion introduced by the nonlinear nature of wavefolding, we propose the use of the first-order antiderivative method. This method allows us to implement the proposed digital models in real-time without having to resort to high oversampling factors. The practical synthesis usage of both circuits is discussed by considering the case of multiple wavefolder stages arranged in series. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Music Computing) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Day-Ahead Dispatch Model of Electro-Thermal Integrated Energy System with Power to Gas Function
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121326
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
The application of power to gas (P2G) provides a new way to absorb intermittent renewable energy generation, which improves the efficiency of renewable energy utilization and provides the necessary flexibility for operating the integrated energy system. The electro-thermal integrated energy system with P2G
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The application of power to gas (P2G) provides a new way to absorb intermittent renewable energy generation, which improves the efficiency of renewable energy utilization and provides the necessary flexibility for operating the integrated energy system. The electro-thermal integrated energy system with P2G is a new form of using energy efficiently. In this paper, we first introduce the technology and application of P2G. On the basis of considering the characteristics of P2G facilities, power systems, natural gas systems and heating systems, an optimal dispatching model of electro-thermal multi-energy system with P2G facilities is proposed. Particle swarm optimization is used to solve the optimal scheduling model. The simulation results are discussed for the six-bus and six-node integration system and show that when the volume fraction of hydrogen does not exceed 20% in the gas network, for the same operating mode, an integrated energy grid with P2G function will save about 20 tons of standard coal per day and the abandoned wind rate can be regarded as 0. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Accurate Perception Method for Low Contrast Bright Field Microscopy in Heterogeneous Microenvironments
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121327
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Automated optical tweezers-based robotic manipulation of microscale objects requires real-time visual perception for estimating the states, i.e., positions and orientations, of the objects. Such visual perception is particularly challenging in heterogeneous environments comprising mixtures of biological and colloidal objects, such as cells and
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Automated optical tweezers-based robotic manipulation of microscale objects requires real-time visual perception for estimating the states, i.e., positions and orientations, of the objects. Such visual perception is particularly challenging in heterogeneous environments comprising mixtures of biological and colloidal objects, such as cells and microspheres, when the popular imaging modality of low contrast bright field microscopy is used. In this paper, we present an accurate method to address this challenge. Our method combines many well-established image processing techniques such as blob detection, histogram equalization, erosion, and dilation with a convolutional neural network in a novel manner. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our processing pipeline in perceiving objects of both regular and irregular shapes in heterogeneous microenvironments of varying compositions. The neural network, in particular, helps in distinguishing the individual microspheres present in dense clusters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fog over Virtualized IoT: New Opportunity for Context-Aware Networked Applications and a Case Study
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121325
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we discuss the most significant application opportunities and outline the challenges in real-time and energy-efficient management of the distributed resources available in mobile devices and at the Internet-to-Data Center. We also present an energy-efficient adaptive scheduler for Vehicular Fog Computing
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In this paper, we discuss the most significant application opportunities and outline the challenges in real-time and energy-efficient management of the distributed resources available in mobile devices and at the Internet-to-Data Center. We also present an energy-efficient adaptive scheduler for Vehicular Fog Computing (VFC) that operates at the edge of a vehicular network, connected to the served Vehicular Clients (VCs) through an Infrastructure-to-Vehicular (I2V) over multiple Foglets (Fls). The scheduler optimizes the energy by leveraging the heterogeneity of Fls, where the Fl provider shapes the system workload by maximizing the task admission rate over data transfer and computation. The presented scheduling algorithm demonstrates that the resulting adaptive scheduler allows scalable and distributed implementation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bandwidth Widening of Piezoelectric Cantilever Beam Arrays by Mass-Tip Tuning for Low-Frequency Vibration Energy Harvesting
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121324
Received: 18 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Wireless sensor networks usually rely on internal permanent or rechargeable batteries as a power supply, causing high maintenance efforts. An alternative solution is to supply the entire system by harvesting the ambient energy, for example, by transducing ambient vibrations into electric energy by
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Wireless sensor networks usually rely on internal permanent or rechargeable batteries as a power supply, causing high maintenance efforts. An alternative solution is to supply the entire system by harvesting the ambient energy, for example, by transducing ambient vibrations into electric energy by virtue of the piezoelectric effect. The purpose of this paper is to present a simple engineering approach for the bandwidth optimization of vibration energy harvesting systems comprising multiple piezoelectric cantilevers (PECs). The frequency tuning of a particular cantilever is achieved by changing the tip mass. It is shown that the bandwidth enhancement by mass tuning is limited and requires several PECs with close resonance frequencies. At a fixed frequency detuning between subsequent PECs, the achievable bandwidth shows a saturation behavior as a function of the number of cantilevers used. Since the resonance frequency of each PEC is different, the output voltages at a particular excitation frequency have different amplitudes and phases. A simple power-transfer circuit where several PECs with an individual full wave bridge rectifier are connected in parallel allows one to extract the electrical power close to the theoretical maximum excluding the diode losses. The experiments performed on two- and three-PEC arrays show reasonable agreement with simulations and demonstrate that this power-transfer circuit additionally influences the frequency dependence of the harvested electrical power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting: Materials, Devices and Application)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the High Frequency Behavior of the Modified Grounding Scheme in Wind Farms
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121323
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Wind generators are exposed to numerous destructive forces such as lightning and are therefore vulnerable to these phenomena. To evaluate the transient behavior of a wind power plant during direct and indirect strikes, modeling of all relevant components is required. Among the protective
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Wind generators are exposed to numerous destructive forces such as lightning and are therefore vulnerable to these phenomena. To evaluate the transient behavior of a wind power plant during direct and indirect strikes, modeling of all relevant components is required. Among the protective and control components of wind turbines, the grounding system is the most important element for protection against lightning strikes. This paper examines the impact of nonlinear soil ionization behavior and frequency dependency on a wind turbine in order to model a sufficient protection scheme to reduce overvoltage and make the system tolerable against transitions. The high frequency models of other equipment such as transformers, horizontal conductors, vertical rods, surge arresters and underground cables must also be taken into account to design the grounding system. Our Proposed Modified Grounding Scheme (PMGS) is to reduce the maximum transient overvoltages. We simulate the model in a restructured version of the Electromagnetic Transient Program (EMTP-RV) software to examine the effectiveness of the system. We then apply the simulated results to pair of turbines that are interconnected with a frequency-dependent cable. We carry out the simulation for direct and indirect lightning strikes. The results indicate that the MGS can lead to considerably more than a 50% reduction in transient voltages for lightning and thus leads to more reliable networks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Current-Fluctuation Mechanism of Field Emitters Using Metallic Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with High Crystallinity
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121322
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Field emitters can be used as a cathode electrode in a cathodoluminescence device, and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that are synthesized by arc discharge are expected to exhibit good field emission (FE) properties. However, a cathodoluminescence device that uses field emitters radiates rays
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Field emitters can be used as a cathode electrode in a cathodoluminescence device, and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that are synthesized by arc discharge are expected to exhibit good field emission (FE) properties. However, a cathodoluminescence device that uses field emitters radiates rays whose intensity considerably fluctuates at a low frequency, and the radiant fluctuation is caused by FE current fluctuation. To solve this problem, is very important to obtain a stable output for field emitters in a cathodoluminescence device. The authors consider that the electron-emission fluctuation is caused by Fowler–Nordheim electron tunneling and that the electrons in the Fowler–Nordheim regime pass through an inelastic potential barrier. We attempted to develop a theoretical model to analyze the power spectrum of the FE current fluctuation using metallic SWCNTs as field emitters, owing to their electrical conductivity by determining their FE properties. Field emitters that use metallic SWCNTs with high crystallinity were successfully developed to achieve a fluctuating FE current from field emitters at a low frequency by employing inelastic electron tunneling. This paper is the first report of the successful development of an inelastic-electron-tunneling model with a Wentzel–Kramers–Brillouin approximation for metallic SWCNTs based on the evaluation of FE properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures)
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Open AccessArticle Playing for a Virtual Audience: The Impact of a Social Factor on Gestures, Sounds and Expressive Intents
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121321
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Can we measure the impact of the presence of an audience on musicians’ performances? By exploring both acoustic and motion features for performances in Immersive Virtual Environments (IVEs), this study highlights the impact of the presence of a virtual audience on both the
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Can we measure the impact of the presence of an audience on musicians’ performances? By exploring both acoustic and motion features for performances in Immersive Virtual Environments (IVEs), this study highlights the impact of the presence of a virtual audience on both the performance and the perception of authenticity and emotional intensity by listeners. Gestures and sounds produced were impacted differently when musicians performed at different expressive intents. The social factor made features converge towards values related to a habitual way of playing regardless of the expressive intent. This could be due to musicians’ habits to perform in a certain way in front of a crowd. On the listeners’ side, when comparing different expressive conditions, only one congruent condition (projected expressive intent in front of an audience) boosted the participants’ ratings for both authenticity and emotional intensity. At different values for kinetic energy and metrical centroid, stimuli recorded with an audience showed a different distribution of ratings, challenging the ecological validity of artificially created expressive intents. Finally, this study highlights the use of IVEs as a research tool and a training assistant for musicians who are eager to learn how to cope with their anxiety in front of an audience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Music Computing) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Wavefront Shaping and Its Application to Enhance Photoacoustic Imaging
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121320
Received: 14 October 2017 / Revised: 29 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Since its introduction to the field in mid-1990s, photoacoustic imaging has become a fast-developing biomedical imaging modality with many promising potentials. By converting absorbed diffused light energy into not-so-diffused ultrasonic waves, the reconstruction of the ultrasonic waves from the targeted area in photoacoustic
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Since its introduction to the field in mid-1990s, photoacoustic imaging has become a fast-developing biomedical imaging modality with many promising potentials. By converting absorbed diffused light energy into not-so-diffused ultrasonic waves, the reconstruction of the ultrasonic waves from the targeted area in photoacoustic imaging leads to a high-contrast sensing of optical absorption with ultrasonic resolution in deep tissue, overcoming the optical diffusion limit from the signal detection perspective. The generation of photoacoustic signals, however, is still throttled by the attenuation of photon flux due to the strong diffusion effect of light in tissue. Recently, optical wavefront shaping has demonstrated that multiply scattered light could be manipulated so as to refocus inside a complex medium, opening up new hope to tackle the fundamental limitation. In this paper, the principle and recent development of photoacoustic imaging and optical wavefront shaping are briefly introduced. Then we describe how photoacoustic signals can be used as a guide star for in-tissue optical focusing, and how such focusing can be exploited for further enhancing photoacoustic imaging in terms of sensitivity and penetration depth. Finally, the existing challenges and further directions towards in vivo applications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Photoacoustic and Thermoacoustic Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Tendon Force Distribution in Prestressed Concrete Girders Using Smart Strand
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1319; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121319
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
The recently developed smart strand offers the possibility of measuring the prestress force of the tendon from jacking and all along its service life. In the present study, a method estimating the force distribution in all the tendons of a prestressed concrete (PSC)
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The recently developed smart strand offers the possibility of measuring the prestress force of the tendon from jacking and all along its service life. In the present study, a method estimating the force distribution in all the tendons of a prestressed concrete (PSC) girder installed with one smart strand is proposed. The force distribution in the prestressed tendons is formulated by the friction and the anchorage slip, and is obtained through an optimization process with respect to the compatibility conditions and equilibrium of the forces in the section of the PSC girder. The validation of the proposed method through a numerical example and experiment shows that it can be used to estimate the force developed in the tendon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Mobile Music, Sensors, Physical Modeling, and Digital Fabrication: Articulating the Augmented Mobile Instrument
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121311
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Two concepts are presented, extended, and unified in this paper: mobile device augmentation towards musical instruments design and the concept of hybrid instruments. The first consists of using mobile devices at the heart of novel musical instruments. Smartphones and tablets are augmented with
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Two concepts are presented, extended, and unified in this paper: mobile device augmentation towards musical instruments design and the concept of hybrid instruments. The first consists of using mobile devices at the heart of novel musical instruments. Smartphones and tablets are augmented with passive and active elements that can take part in the production of sound (e.g., resonators, exciter, etc.), add new affordances to the device, or change its global aesthetics and shape. Hybrid instruments combine physical/acoustical and “physically informed” virtual/digital elements. Recent progress in physical modeling of musical instruments and digital fabrication is exploited to treat instrument parts in a multidimensional way, allowing any physical element to be substituted with a virtual one and vice versa (as long as it is physically possible). A wide range of tools to design mobile hybrid instruments is introduced and evaluated. Aesthetic and design considerations when making such instruments are also presented through a series of examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Music Computing) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Fidelity Multi-Objective Efficient Global Optimization Applied to Airfoil Design Problems
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1318; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121318
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
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Abstract
In this study, efficient global optimization (EGO) with a multi-fidelity hybrid surrogate model for multi-objective optimization is proposed to solve multi-objective real-world design problems. In the proposed approach, a design exploration is carried out assisted by surrogate models, which are constructed by adding
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In this study, efficient global optimization (EGO) with a multi-fidelity hybrid surrogate model for multi-objective optimization is proposed to solve multi-objective real-world design problems. In the proposed approach, a design exploration is carried out assisted by surrogate models, which are constructed by adding a local deviation estimated by the kriging method and a global model approximated by a radial basis function. An expected hypervolume improvement is then computed on the basis of the model uncertainty to determine additional samples that could improve the model accuracy. In the investigation, the proposed approach is applied to two-objective and three-objective optimization test functions. Then, it is applied to aerodynamic airfoil design optimization with two objective functions, namely minimization of aerodynamic drag and maximization of airfoil thickness at the trailing edge. Finally, the proposed method is applied to aerodynamic airfoil design optimization with three objective functions, namely minimization of aerodynamic drag at cruising speed, maximization of airfoil thickness at the trialing edge and maximization of lift at low speed assuming a landing attitude. XFOILis used to investigate the low-fidelity aerodynamic force, and a Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes simulation is applied for high-fidelity aerodynamics in conjunction with a high-cost approach. For comparison, multi-objective optimization is carried out using a kriging model only with a high-fidelity solver (single fidelity). The design results indicate that the non-dominated solutions of the proposed method achieve greater data diversity than the optimal solutions of the kriging method. Moreover, the proposed method gives a smaller error than the kriging method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Computing Techniques in Structural Engineering and Materials)
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