Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Delimitating Urban Commercial Central Districts by Combining Kernel Density Estimation and Road Intersections: A Case Study in Nanjing City, China
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8020093 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
An urban, commercial central district is often regarded as the heart of a city. Therefore, quantitative research on commercial central districts plays an important role when studying the development and evaluation of urban spatial layouts. However, conventional planar kernel density estimation (KDE) and [...] Read more.
An urban, commercial central district is often regarded as the heart of a city. Therefore, quantitative research on commercial central districts plays an important role when studying the development and evaluation of urban spatial layouts. However, conventional planar kernel density estimation (KDE) and network kernel density estimation (network KDE) do not reflect the fact that the road network density is high in urban, commercial central districts. To solve this problem, this paper proposes a new method (commercial-intersection KDE), which combines road intersections with KDE to identify commercial central districts based on point of interest (POI) data. First, we extracted commercial POIs from Amap (a Chinese commercial, navigation electronic map) based on existing classification standards for urban development land. Second, we calculated the commercial kernel density in the road intersection neighborhoods and used those values as parameters to build a commercial intersection density surface. Finally, we used the three standard deviations method and the commercial center area indicator to differentiate commercial central districts from areas with only commercial intersection density. Testing the method using Nanjing City as a case study, we show that our new method can identify seven municipal, commercial central districts and 26 nonmunicipal, commercial central districts. Furthermore, we compare the results of the traditional planar KDE with those of our commercial-intersection KDE to demonstrate our method’s higher accuracy and practicability for identifying urban commercial central districts and evaluating urban planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of the TEI Program for Bullying and Cyberbullying Reduction and School Climate Improvement
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040580 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The increase in the prevalence of bullying and cyberbullying in recent years worldwide is undeniable. Although several intervention programs oriented towards the reduction of bullying and cyberbullying have been developed and implemented, significant disparities have been found regarding their efficacy. In most of [...] Read more.
The increase in the prevalence of bullying and cyberbullying in recent years worldwide is undeniable. Although several intervention programs oriented towards the reduction of bullying and cyberbullying have been developed and implemented, significant disparities have been found regarding their efficacy. In most of the cases, the lack of the implementation of interventions involving all of the school community could be on the basis of this limited efficacy. The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the TEI Program, an intervention based on peer tutoring, in the reduction of bullying and cyberbullying, and in the improvement of school climate. The design of the study was quasi-experimental, in which 2057 Spanish students (aged 11 to 16 years) participated from 22 schools, and were randomly assigned to the experimental group (10 schools, 987 students) or the control group (12 schools, 1070 students). The obtained results showed a significant reduction in bullying behavior, peer victimization, fighting, cyberbullying and cybervictimization in the experimental group after the intervention implementation. Similarly, a significant improvement in factors of school climate was found only in this group. The obtained results demonstrated that the TEI program is effective in reducing bully and cyberbully behavior, and at the same time, improving the school climate. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Superpixel-Based Segmentation of Polarimetric SAR Images through Two-Stage Merging
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(4), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11040402 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Image segmentation plays a fundamental role in image understanding and region-based applications. This paper presents a superpixel-based segmentation method for Polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) data, in which a two-stage merging strategy is proposed. First, based on the initial superpixel partition, the Wishart-merging stage (WMS) [...] Read more.
Image segmentation plays a fundamental role in image understanding and region-based applications. This paper presents a superpixel-based segmentation method for Polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) data, in which a two-stage merging strategy is proposed. First, based on the initial superpixel partition, the Wishart-merging stage (WMS) simultaneously merges the regions in homogeneous areas. The edge penalty is combined with the Wishart energy loss to ensure that the superpixels to be merged are from the same land cover. The second stage follows the iterative merging procedure, and applies the doubly flexible KummerU distribution to better characterize the resultant regions from WMS, which are usually located in heterogeneous areas. Moreover, the edge penalty and the proposed homogeneity penalty are adopted in the KummerU-merging stage (KUMS) to further improve the segmentation accuracy. The two-stage merging strategy applies the general statistical model for the superpixels without ambiguity, and more advanced model for the regions with ambiguity. Therefore, the implementing efficiency can be improved based on the WMS, and the accuracy can be increased through the KUMS. Experimental results on two real PolSAR datasets show that the proposed method can effectively improve the computation efficiency and segmentation accuracy compared with the classical merging-based methods. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Copper Recovery from a New Copper Deposit (Nussir) in Northern-Norway: Thionocarbamates and Xanthate-Thionocarbamate Blend as Collectors
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020118 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Norway has newly seen an upsurge of interest in exploiting its mineral deposits influenced by fresh Government focus and survey support for previously under-prospected areas. One of the major areas of interest is a huge copper deposit, operated by Nussir ASA, located in [...] Read more.
Norway has newly seen an upsurge of interest in exploiting its mineral deposits influenced by fresh Government focus and survey support for previously under-prospected areas. One of the major areas of interest is a huge copper deposit, operated by Nussir ASA, located in the Repparfjord tectonic window in the Caledonides of west Finnmark. The latest mineral resource estimation is from July 2014, which states that Nussir consists of 5.8 million tonnes of indicated resources and 60.2 million tonnes of inferred resources, giving 66 million tonnes of copper ore. This paper represents the first study on processing characteristics of this ore to date. Our parallel studies using xanthates and dithiophosphates as collectors for Nussir ore flotation examined the grade and recovery of copper, silver, gold, and platinum group (PGM) minerals. Therefore, in this subsequent study, a chelating agent n-Butoxycarbonyl-O-n-butyl thionocarbamate (BBT) is used as a collector and it was found that the recovery and grades of the economically interesting minerals are improved at as low as 2 × 10−5 M collector concentration. Zeta potential, Hallimond flotation and adsorption studies were initially performed in order to assess the selective interaction of BBT and its blend with SIBX (Sodium Isobutyl xanthate) on the three copper minerals of the ore. The bench scale flotation experiments were performed using mixtures of xanthate and thionocarbamate collectors of the Nussir ore and both the resulting copper recovery and grade employing these collector mixtures is observed to be 2–8% superior to the use of a single collector system. Additionally, the current study revealed that the metallurgical results are strongly influenced by the ratio of the collectors in the mixture and particularly the sequence of the collector addition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Fuzzy Analytical Network Process (ANP) and VIKOR for the Assessment of Green Agility Critical Success Factors in Dairy Companies
Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11020250 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Manufacturing companies are facing rapid and unanticipated changes in their business environment. Most of these companies need to find new strategies to remain competitive in the market. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to integrate the Fuzzy Analytical Network Process (ANP) [...] Read more.
Manufacturing companies are facing rapid and unanticipated changes in their business environment. Most of these companies need to find new strategies to remain competitive in the market. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to integrate the Fuzzy Analytical Network Process (ANP) and VIKOR methods to evaluate the green agile factors and sub-factors in the dairy companies in Iran. To find the green agile factors and sub-factors, this study used the expert’s opinions and literature review. Data is collected from four dairy companies. The results of this study showed that the most important green agility factors are: trust-based relationship with suppliers, flexible production capacity, versatile workers, compliance with quality standards for a new product, and workers’ willingness to learn. In addition, the results indicated that the green agility organization is one of the strategies that help companies to stay in the market. To validate the results, this study used four methods, including TOPSIS, ARAS, EDAS, and MABAC. The necessity of a reaction to the increasing customer choices, environmental concerns, and competitiveness among manufacturers across the globe has engaged the industry to embrace innovative manufacturing strategies. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Approximation by Sequence of Operators Involving Analytic Functions
Mathematics 2019, 7(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/math7020188 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this contribution, we define a new operator sequence which contains analytic functions. Using approximation techniques found by Korovkin, some results are derived. Moreover, a generalization of this operator sequence called Kantorovich type generalization is introduced. Full article
Open AccessReview
Wine Lees as a Source of Antioxidant Compounds
Antioxidants 2019, 8(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8020045 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The winemaking industry produces large amount of byproducts, including grape pomace, stalks, and lees. Wine lees are a natural source of phenolic compounds, which have important antioxidant and biological properties. Due to the high quantities produced worldwide, this byproduct can be an ideal [...] Read more.
The winemaking industry produces large amount of byproducts, including grape pomace, stalks, and lees. Wine lees are a natural source of phenolic compounds, which have important antioxidant and biological properties. Due to the high quantities produced worldwide, this byproduct can be an ideal raw material for obtaining phenolic compounds that could be of interest in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In this mini review, the main characteristics of wine lees as well as their phenolic composition and antioxidant activity have been summarized from the information in the literature. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Associations between Urban Green Spaces and Health are Dependent on the Analytical Scale and How Urban Green Spaces are Measured
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040578 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Although the benefits from exposure to urban green spaces (UGS) are increasingly reported, there are important knowledge gaps in the nature of UGS-health relationships. One such unknown area is the dependence of UGS-health associations on the types of UGS studied, the way they [...] Read more.
Although the benefits from exposure to urban green spaces (UGS) are increasingly reported, there are important knowledge gaps in the nature of UGS-health relationships. One such unknown area is the dependence of UGS-health associations on the types of UGS studied, the way they are quantified, and the spatial scale used in the analysis. These knowledge gaps have important ramifications on our ability to develop generalizations to promote implementation and facilitate comparative studies across different socio-cultural and socio-economic contexts. We conducted a study in Singapore to examine the dependence of UGS-health associations on the metrics for quantifying UGS (vegetation cover, canopy cover and park area) in different types of buffer area (circular, nested and network) at different spatial scales. A population-based household survey (n = 1000) was used to collect information on self-reported health and perception and usage pattern of UGS. The results showed that although all three UGS metrics were positively related to mental health at certain scales, overall, canopy cover showed the strongest associations with mental health at most scales. There also appears to be minimum and maximum threshold levels of spatial scale at which UGS and health have significant associations, with the strongest associations consistently shown between 400 m to 1600 m in different buffer types. We discuss the significance of these results for UGS-health studies and applications in UGS planning for improved health of urban dwellers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contact Modelling and Tactile Data Processing for Robot Skins
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040814 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Tactile sensing is a key enabling technology to develop complex behaviours for robots interacting with humans or the environment. This paper discusses computational aspects playing a significant role when extracting information about contact events. Considering a large-scale, capacitance-based robot skin technology we developed [...] Read more.
Tactile sensing is a key enabling technology to develop complex behaviours for robots interacting with humans or the environment. This paper discusses computational aspects playing a significant role when extracting information about contact events. Considering a large-scale, capacitance-based robot skin technology we developed in the past few years, we analyse the classical Boussinesq–Cerruti’s solution and the Love’s approach for solving a distributed inverse contact problem, both from a qualitative and a computational perspective. Our contribution is the characterisation of the algorithms’ performance using a freely available dataset and data originating from surfaces provided with robot skin. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Recent Progress on Irradiation-Induced Defect Engineering of Two-Dimensional 2H-MoS2 Few Layers
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9040678 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Atom-thick two-dimensional materials usually possess unique properties compared to their bulk counterparts. Their properties are significantly affected by defects, which could be uncontrollably introduced by irradiation. The effects of electromagnetic irradiation and particle irradiation on 2H MoS2 two-dimensional nanolayers are reviewed in [...] Read more.
Atom-thick two-dimensional materials usually possess unique properties compared to their bulk counterparts. Their properties are significantly affected by defects, which could be uncontrollably introduced by irradiation. The effects of electromagnetic irradiation and particle irradiation on 2H MoS2 two-dimensional nanolayers are reviewed in this paper, covering heavy ions, protons, electrons, gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet light, terahertz, and infrared irradiation. Various defects in MoS2 layers were created by the defect engineering. Here we focus on their influence on the structural, electronic, catalytic, and magnetic performance of the 2D materials. Additionally, irradiation-induced doping is discussed and involved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
From Early Contraction to Post-Folding Fluid Evolution in the Frontal Part of the Bóixols Thrust Sheet (Southern Pyrenees) as Revealed by the Texture and Geochemistry of Calcite Cements
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020117 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Structural, petrological and geochemical (δ13C, δ18O, clumped isotopes, 87Sr/86Sr and ICP-MS) analyses of fracture-related calcite cements and host rocks are used to establish a fluid-flow evolution model for the frontal part of the Bóixols thrust sheet [...] Read more.
Structural, petrological and geochemical (δ13C, δ18O, clumped isotopes, 87Sr/86Sr and ICP-MS) analyses of fracture-related calcite cements and host rocks are used to establish a fluid-flow evolution model for the frontal part of the Bóixols thrust sheet (Southern Pyrenees). Five fracture events associated with the growth of the thrust-related Bóixols anticline and Coll de Nargó syncline during the Alpine orogeny are distinguished. These fractures were cemented with four generations of calcite cements, revealing that such structures allowed the migration of different marine and meteoric fluids through time. During the early contraction stage, Lower Cretaceous seawater circulated and precipitated calcite cement Cc1, whereas during the main folding stage, the system opened to meteoric waters, which mixed with the connate seawater and precipitated calcite cement Cc2. Afterwards, during the post-folding stages, connate evaporated marine fluids circulated through newly formed NW-SE and NE-SW conjugate fractures and later through strike-slip faults and precipitated calcite cements Cc3 and Cc4. The overall paragenetic sequence reveals the progressive dewatering of Cretaceous marine host sediments during progressive burial, deformation and fold tightening and the input of meteoric waters only during the main folding stage. This study illustrates the changes of fracture systems and the associated fluid-flow regimes during the evolution of fault-associated folds during orogenic growth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Acylated Flavonoid Glycosides are the Main Pigments that Determine the Flower Colour of the Brazilian Native Tree Tibouchina pulchra (Cham.) Cogn.
Molecules 2019, 24(4), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24040718 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Tibouchina pulchra (Cham.) Cogn. is a plant native to Brazil whose genus and family (Melastomataceae) are poorly studied with regards to its metabolite profile. Phenolic pigments of pink flowers were studied by ultra-performance liquid chromatography with a photodiode array detector and electrospray ionization [...] Read more.
Tibouchina pulchra (Cham.) Cogn. is a plant native to Brazil whose genus and family (Melastomataceae) are poorly studied with regards to its metabolite profile. Phenolic pigments of pink flowers were studied by ultra-performance liquid chromatography with a photodiode array detector and electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Therein, twenty-three flavonoids were identified with eight flavonols isolated by preparative high-performance liquid chromatography and analysed by one- and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance. Kaempferol derivatives were the main flavonols, encompassing almost half of the detected compounds with different substitution patterns, such as glucoside, pentosides, galloyl-glucoside, p-coumaroyl-glucoside, and glucuronide. Concerning the anthocyanins, petunidin p-coumaroyl-hexoside acetylpentoside and malvidin p-coumaroyl-hexoside acetylpentoside were identified and agreed with previous reports on acylated anthocyanins from Melastomataceae. A new kaempferol glucoside was identified as kaempferol-(2′′-O-methyl)-4′-O-α-d-glucopyranoside. Moreover, twelve compounds were described for the first time in the genus with five being new to the family, contributing to the chemical characterisation of these taxa. Full article
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