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Article
Joint Capacity Investment, Collecting and Pricing Decisions in a Capacity Constraint Closed-Loop Supply Chain Considering Cooperation
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8725; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168725 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
In this paper, a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) consisting of one manufacturer and one supplier is considered. The capacity of the manufacturer is limited, the manufacturer can increase capacity by investing in capacity, and there are different cooperation contracts among the supply chain [...] Read more.
In this paper, a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) consisting of one manufacturer and one supplier is considered. The capacity of the manufacturer is limited, the manufacturer can increase capacity by investing in capacity, and there are different cooperation contracts among the supply chain members. This paper pushes collecting activities upstream, assumes that the collecting activity can be completed by the supplier, and accepts that there is cooperation between the members, which increases supplier involvement. Dynamic game models among CLSC members are formulated. The optimal decisions of pricing, capacity investment, and collecting channels of the CLSC members are obtained, and the impacts of some important factors, for example, the capacity investment cost coefficient and the cost-sharing factors, on optimal decisions are investigated. The results reveal that the supplier collecting mode performs better in some scenarios; therefore, the management enlightenment desired by the supplier can be obtained. Additionally, the coordination between the manufacturer and the supplier sometimes fails to increase the closed-loop supply chain’s sustainability, which is a finding quite different from some current research results. Full article
Article
Influence of Thermal Phenomena on the Characteristics of Selected Electronics Networks
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4750; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164750 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
This paper presents the results of investigations on the influence of thermal phenomena—self-heating in semiconductor devices and mutual thermal couplings between them—on the characteristics of selected electronics networks containing bipolar transistors (BJTs) or insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). Using the authors’ compact electrothermal [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of investigations on the influence of thermal phenomena—self-heating in semiconductor devices and mutual thermal couplings between them—on the characteristics of selected electronics networks containing bipolar transistors (BJTs) or insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). Using the authors’ compact electrothermal models of the transistors mentioned above, the non-isothermal DC and dynamic characteristics of these devices and selected networks with these devices are calculated. Their selected characteristics are compared with the measurement results. The waveforms of currents in the considered networks are also determined taking into account thermal phenomena. Discrepancies between the obtained calculation and measurement results and the calculation results obtained without thermal phenomena are indicated. In particular, attention is paid to cooling conditions at which the networks under consideration may be damaged due to thermal phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Thermal Management)
Article
Biodiversity of Russian Local Sheep Breeds Based on Pattern of Runs of Homozygosity
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080360 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Russian sheep breeds traditionally raised in specific environments are valuable parts of sociocultural heritage and economic component of the regions. However, the import of commercial breeds negatively influences the population sizes of local sheep populations and might lead to biodiversity loss. Estimation of [...] Read more.
Russian sheep breeds traditionally raised in specific environments are valuable parts of sociocultural heritage and economic component of the regions. However, the import of commercial breeds negatively influences the population sizes of local sheep populations and might lead to biodiversity loss. Estimation of the runs of homozygosity (ROH) in local sheep genomes is an informative tool to address their current genetic state. In this work, we aimed to address the ROH distribution and to estimate genome inbreeding based on SNP data to evaluate genetic diversity in Russian local sheep breeds. Materials for this study included SNP-genotypes from twenty-seven Russian local sheep breeds which were generated using the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip (n = 391) or the Illumina Ovine Infinium HD BeadChip (n = 315). A consecutive runs method was used to calculate ROH which were estimated for each animal and then categorized in the ROH length classes. The ROH were found in all breeds. The mean ROH length varied from 86 to 280 Mb, while the ROH number ranged from 37 to 123. The genomic inbreeding coefficient varied from 0.033 to 0.106. Our findings provide evidence of low to moderate genomic inbreeding in major local sheep populations. Full article
Article
Analysis of Antioxidant Capacity and Antimicrobial Properties of Selected Polish Grape Vinegars Obtained by Spontaneous Fermentation
Molecules 2021, 26(16), 4727; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26164727 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Nowadays, products of natural origin with health-promoting properties are increasingly more common. Research shows that fruit vinegars can be a source of compounds with antioxidant activity. Research on the total antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content, and antimicrobial properties against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia [...] Read more.
Nowadays, products of natural origin with health-promoting properties are increasingly more common. Research shows that fruit vinegars can be a source of compounds with antioxidant activity. Research on the total antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content, and antimicrobial properties against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans of grape vinegars were conducted. Moreover, gas chromatography was used to measure acetic acid content in the vinegars. The research material consisted of vinegars produced from five different grape varieties. For each variety, two variants were prepared: with and without the addition of sugar in the fermentation process. The highest antimicrobial activity against all micro-organisms was observed in vinegar produced from Solaris grapes with added sugar. The highest polyphenol content was observed in vinegar produced from the Prior grape variety with added sugar and the highest total antioxidant capacity is the Johanniter grape variety with added sugar. The vinegars examined in this study differed, depending on grape variety, in terms of antimicrobial properties, antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content, as well as acetic acid content. Sugar addition caused significant differences in the antioxidant capacity of vinegar samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Product-Inspired Molecules: From Weed to Remedy)
Article
Evaluation of a Novel Teleradiology Technology for Image-Based Distant Consultations: Applications in Neurosurgery
Diagnostics 2021, 11(8), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11081413 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
In emergency settings, fast access to medical imaging for diagnostic is pivotal for clinical decision making. Hence, a need has emerged for solutions that allow rapid access to images on small mobile devices (SMD) without local data storage. Our objective was to evaluate [...] Read more.
In emergency settings, fast access to medical imaging for diagnostic is pivotal for clinical decision making. Hence, a need has emerged for solutions that allow rapid access to images on small mobile devices (SMD) without local data storage. Our objective was to evaluate access times to full quality anonymized DICOM datasets, comparing standard access through an authorized hospital computer (AHC) to a zero-footprint teleradiology technology (ZTT) used on a personal computer (PC) or SMD using national and international networks at a regional neurosurgical center. Image datasets were sent to a senior neurosurgeon, outside the hospital network using either an AHC and a VPN connection or a ZTT (Image Over Globe (IOG)), on a PC or an SMD. Time to access DICOM images was measured using both solutions. The mean time using AHC and VPN was 250 ± 10 s (median 249 s (233–274)) while the same procedure using IOG took 50 ± 8 s (median 49 s (42–60)) on a PC and 47 ± 20 s (median 39 (33–88)) on a SMD. Similarly, an international consultation was performed requiring 23 ± 5 s (median 21 (16–33)) and 27 ± 1 s (median 27 (25–29)) for PC and SMD respectively. IOG is a secure, rapid and easy to use telemedicine technology facilitating efficient clinical decision making and remote consultations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
Article
A Study of OWA Operators Learned in Convolutional Neural Networks
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7195; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167195 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA) operators have been integrated in Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for image classification through the OWA layer. This layer lets the CNN integrate global information about the image in the early stages, where most CNN architectures only allow for the [...] Read more.
Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA) operators have been integrated in Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for image classification through the OWA layer. This layer lets the CNN integrate global information about the image in the early stages, where most CNN architectures only allow for the exploitation of local information. As a side effect of this integration, the OWA layer becomes a practical method for the determination of OWA operator weights, which is usually a difficult task that complicates the integration of these operators in other fields. In this paper, we explore the weights learned for the OWA operators inside the OWA layer, characterizing them through their basic properties of orness and dispersion. We also compare them to some families of OWA operators, namely the Binomial OWA operator, the Stancu OWA operator and the exponential RIM OWA operator, finding examples that are currently impossible to generalize through these parameterizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Vision in the Era of Deep Learning)
Article
New Results on Controllability for a Class of Fractional Integrodifferential Dynamical Systems with Delay in Banach Spaces
Fractal Fract. 2021, 5(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/fractalfract5030089 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
The present work addresses some new controllability results for a class of fractional integrodifferential dynamical systems with a delay in Banach spaces. Under the new definition of controllability , first introduced by us, we obtain some sufficient conditions of controllability for the considered [...] Read more.
The present work addresses some new controllability results for a class of fractional integrodifferential dynamical systems with a delay in Banach spaces. Under the new definition of controllability , first introduced by us, we obtain some sufficient conditions of controllability for the considered dynamic systems. To conquer the difficulties arising from time delay, we also introduce a suitable delay item in a special complete space. In this work, a nonlinear item is not assumed to have Lipschitz continuity or other growth hypotheses compared with most existing articles. Our main tools are resolvent operator theory and fixed point theory. At last, an example is presented to explain our abstract conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Fractional-Order Neural Networks)
Article
Rapid Foreign Object Detection System on Seaweed Using VNIR Hyperspectral Imaging
Sensors 2021, 21(16), 5279; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21165279 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
The consumption of seaweed is increasing year by year worldwide. Therefore, the foreign object inspection of seaweed is becoming increasingly important. Seaweed is mixed with various materials such as laver and sargassum fusiforme. So it has various colors even in the same seaweed. [...] Read more.
The consumption of seaweed is increasing year by year worldwide. Therefore, the foreign object inspection of seaweed is becoming increasingly important. Seaweed is mixed with various materials such as laver and sargassum fusiforme. So it has various colors even in the same seaweed. In addition, the surface is uneven and greasy, causing diffuse reflections frequently. For these reasons, it is difficult to detect foreign objects in seaweed, so the accuracy of conventional foreign object detectors used in real manufacturing sites is less than 80%. Supporting real-time inspection should also be considered when inspecting foreign objects. Since seaweed requires mass production, rapid inspection is essential. However, hyperspectral imaging techniques are generally not suitable for high-speed inspection. In this study, we overcome this limitation by using dimensionality reduction and using simplified operations. For accuracy improvement, the proposed algorithm is carried out in 2 stages. Firstly, the subtraction method is used to clearly distinguish seaweed and conveyor belts, and also detect some relatively easy to detect foreign objects. Secondly, a standardization inspection is performed based on the result of the subtraction method. During this process, the proposed scheme adopts simplified and burdenless calculations such as subtraction, division, and one-by-one matching, which achieves both accuracy and low latency performance. In the experiment to evaluate the performance, 60 normal seaweeds and 60 seaweeds containing foreign objects were used, and the accuracy of the proposed algorithm is 95%. Finally, by implementing the proposed algorithm as a foreign object detection platform, it was confirmed that real-time operation in rapid inspection was possible, and the possibility of deployment in real manufacturing sites was confirmed. Full article
Review
Contemporary Business Analytics: An Overview
Data 2021, 6(8), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/data6080086 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
We examine the state-of-the-art of the business analytics field by identifying and describing the four types of analytics and the three pillars of modeling. Further, we offer a framework of the interplay between the types of analytics and those pillars of modeling. The [...] Read more.
We examine the state-of-the-art of the business analytics field by identifying and describing the four types of analytics and the three pillars of modeling. Further, we offer a framework of the interplay between the types of analytics and those pillars of modeling. The article describes the architectural framework and outlines an analytics methodology life cycle. Additionally, key contemporary design issues and challenges are highlighted. In this paper, we offer researchers and practitioners a contemporary overview of business analytics. As business analytics has emerged as a distinct discipline with the key objective to gain insight to make informed decisions, this state-of-the art survey sheds light on recent developments in the business analytics discipline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Business Intelligence)
Article
Low-Level Tolerance to Antibiotic Trimethoprim in QAC-Adapted Subpopulations of Listeria monocytogenes
Foods 2021, 10(8), 1800; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10081800 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Between January and July 2021, there were as many as 30 recalls in the U.S. due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination from a variety of food products including muffins, kimchi, chicken salad, ready-to-eat chicken, smoked fish, mushrooms, queso fresco cheese, ice cream, turkey [...] Read more.
Between January and July 2021, there were as many as 30 recalls in the U.S. due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination from a variety of food products including muffins, kimchi, chicken salad, ready-to-eat chicken, smoked fish, mushrooms, queso fresco cheese, ice cream, turkey sandwiches, squash, and other foods. A contaminated food chain can serve as a potential vehicle for transmitting antibiotic resistant bacteria since there is a slow emergence of multi-drug antibiotic resistance in L. monocytogenes. Biocides are essential for safe food processing, but they may also induce unintended selective pressure at sublethal doses for the expression of antibiotic resistance in L. monocytogenes. To better understand the sources of such slow emergence of antibiotic resistance through biocide residues present in the food environments, we are working on the role of sublethal doses of commonly used biocides in defined broth and water models for understanding L. monocytogenes adaptation. We recently published the development of low-level tolerance to fluoroquinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin in quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) adapted subpopulations of L. monocytogenes (Microorganisms 9, 1052). Of the six different antibiotics tested to determine heterologous stress adaptation in eight strains of L. monocytogenes, trimethoprim was the second one that exhibited low-level tolerance development after continuous exposure (by three approaches) to sublethal concentrations of QAC against actively growing planktonic cells of L. monocytogenes. When adapted to daily cycles of fixed or gradually increasing sublethal concentrations of QAC, we observed three main findings in eight L. monocytogenes strains against trimethoprim: (a) 3 of the 8 strains exhibited significant increase in short-range minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of trimethoprim by 1.7 to 2.5 fold in QAC-adapted subpopulations compared to non-adapted cells (p < 0.05); (b) 2 of the 8 strains exhibited significant increase in growth rate in trimethoprim (optical density (OD) by 600 nm at 12 h) by 1.4 to 4.8 fold in QAC-adapted subpopulations compared to non-adapted cells (p < 0.05); and (c) 5 of the 8 strains yielded significantly higher survival by 1.3-to-3.1 log CFU/mL in trimethoprim in QAC-adapted subpopulations compared to the non-adapted control (p < 0.05). However, for 3/8 strains of L. monocytogenes, there was no increase in the survival of QAC-adapted subpopulations compared to non-adapted control in trimethoprim. These findings suggest the potential formation of low-level trimethoprim tolerant subpopulations in some L. monocytogenes strains where QAC may be used widely. These experimental models are useful in developing early detection methods for tracking the slow emergence of antibiotic tolerant strains through food chain. Also, these findings are useful in understanding the predisposing conditions leading to slow emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of L. monocytogenes in various food production and food processing environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Food Chain in the Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance)
Article
The Role of Structural Inequality on COVID-19 Incidence Rates at the Neighborhood Scale in Urban Areas
COVID 2021, 1(1), 186-202; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1010016 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
The lockdown policies enacted in the spring of 2020, in response to the growing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, have remained a contentious policy tool due to the variability of outcomes they produced for some populations. While ongoing research has [...] Read more.
The lockdown policies enacted in the spring of 2020, in response to the growing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, have remained a contentious policy tool due to the variability of outcomes they produced for some populations. While ongoing research has illustrated the unequal impact of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on minority populations, research in this area has been unable to fully explain the mechanisms that produce these findings. To understand why some groups have been at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, we employ structural inequality theory to better understand how inequality may impact disease transmission in a pandemic. We used a novel approach that enabled us to focus on the microprocesses of structural inequality at the zip code level to study the impact of stay-at-home pandemic policies on COVID-19 positive case rates in an urban setting across three periods of policy implementation. We then analyzed data on traffic volume, income, race, occupation, and instances of COVID-19 positive cases for each zip code in Salt Lake County, Utah (USA) between 17 February 2020 and 12 June 2020. We found that higher income, percent white, and white-collar zip codes had a greater response to the local stay-at-home order and reduced vehicular traffic by nearly 50% during lockdown. The least affluent zip codes only showed a 15% traffic decrease and had COVID-19 rates nearly 10 times higher. At this level of granularity, income and occupation were both associated with COVID-19 outcomes across all three stages of policy implementation, while race was only predictive of outcomes after the lockdown period. Our findings illuminate underlying mechanisms of structural inequality that may have facilitated unequal COVID-19 incidence rates. This study illustrates the need for more granular analyses in policy research and adds to the literature on how structural factors such as income, race, and occupation contribute to disease transmission in a pandemic. Full article
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Article
Dairy Cows Activity under Heat Stress: A Case Study in Spain
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082305 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Heat stress plays a role in livestock production in warm climates. Heat stress conditions impair animal welfare and compromise the productive and reproductive performance of dairy cattle. Under heat stress conditions, dairy cattle modify their behavior. Thus, the assessment of behavior alterations can [...] Read more.
Heat stress plays a role in livestock production in warm climates. Heat stress conditions impair animal welfare and compromise the productive and reproductive performance of dairy cattle. Under heat stress conditions, dairy cattle modify their behavior. Thus, the assessment of behavior alterations can be an indicator of environmental or physiological anomalies. Moreover, precision livestock farming allows for the individual and constant monitoring of animal behavior, arising as a tool to assess animal welfare. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of heat stress on the behavior of dairy cows using activity sensors. The study was carried out in Tinajeros (Albacete, Spain) during the summer of 2020. Activity sensors were installed in 40 cows registering 6 different behaviors. Environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) were also monitored. Hourly data was calculated for both animal behavior and environmental conditions. Temperature and Heat Index (THI) was calculated for each hour. The accumulated THI during the previous 24 h period was determined for each hour, and the hours were statistically classified in quartiles according to the accumulated THI. Two groups were defined as Q4 for no stress and Q1 for heat stress. The results showed that animal behavior was altered under heat stress conditions. Increasing THI produces an increase in general activity, changes in feeding patterns and a decrease in rumination and resting behaviors, which is detrimental to animal welfare. Daily behavioral patterns were also affected. Under heat stress conditions, a reduction in resting behavior during the warmest hours and in rumination during the night was observed. In conclusion, heat stress affected all behaviors recorded as well as the daily patterns of the cows. Precision livestock farming sensors and the modelling of daily patterns were useful tools for monitoring animal behavior and detecting changes due to heat stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Activity in Farms)
Article
Bacitracin and Rutin Regulate Tissue Factor Production in Inflammatory Monocytes and Acute Myeloid Leukemia Blasts
Cancers 2021, 13(16), 3941; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13163941 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Aberrant expression of tissue factor (TF) by transformed myeloblasts and inflammatory monocytes drives coagulation activation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although regulation of TF procoagulant activity (PCA) involves thiol-disulfide exchange reactions, the specific role of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and other thiol isomerases [...] Read more.
Aberrant expression of tissue factor (TF) by transformed myeloblasts and inflammatory monocytes drives coagulation activation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although regulation of TF procoagulant activity (PCA) involves thiol-disulfide exchange reactions, the specific role of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and other thiol isomerases in AML-associated TF biology is unclear. THP1 cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy controls or AML patients were analyzed for thiol isomerase-dependent TF production under various experimental conditions. Total cellular and membrane TF antigen, TF PCA and TF mRNA were analyzed by ELISA, flow cytometry, clotting or Xa generation assay and qPCR, respectively. PBMCs and THP1 cells showed significant insulin reductase activity, which was inhibited by bacitracin or rutin. Co-incubation with these thiol isomerase inhibitors prevented LPS-induced TF production by CD14-positive monocytes and constitutive TF expression by THP1 cells and AML blasts. Downregulation of the TF antigen was mainly restricted to the cryptic pool of TF, efficiently preventing phosphatidylserine-dependent TF activation by daunorubicin, and at least partially regulated on the mRNA level in LPS-stimulated monocytes. Our study thus delineates a complex role of thiol isomerases in the regulation of myeloid TF PCA, with PDI being a promising therapeutic target in the management of AML-associated coagulopathies. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Moviegoer Intention to Attend Cinemas based on the Theory of Planned Behavior
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8724; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168724 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
The present research aims to determine which factors of the theory of planned behavior most influence the intention to watch Mexican movies, and, at the same time, to measure the impact of eWOM and the level of audience involvement in the intention. For [...] Read more.
The present research aims to determine which factors of the theory of planned behavior most influence the intention to watch Mexican movies, and, at the same time, to measure the impact of eWOM and the level of audience involvement in the intention. For this purpose, an online questionnaire was applied through social networks, obtaining a sample of 334 Mexican people over 18 years old. The data were analyzed using a partial least squares structural equation model (PLS-SEM). The results confirmed that the variables that explained the intention to watch Mexican movies were attitude, perceived purchase control, and involvement, with the latter being the attitude variable the one that contributed the most to intention. The present research contributes to the literature on movie consumption in Mexico with an empirical perspective from the marketing field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
Article
Polarimetric Model-Based Decomposition with Refined Double-Bounce Orientation Angle and Scattering Model
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(16), 3070; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13163070 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Oriented manmade targets can produce significant cross-polarization power. The scattering mechanism interpretation of them is still challenging. Within the framework of traditional scattering models, the scattering mechanism of oriented manmade targets will be interpreted as volume scattering. Recently, many advanced approaches have been [...] Read more.
Oriented manmade targets can produce significant cross-polarization power. The scattering mechanism interpretation of them is still challenging. Within the framework of traditional scattering models, the scattering mechanism of oriented manmade targets will be interpreted as volume scattering. Recently, many advanced approaches have been proposed to mitigate the cross-polarization terms of the coherency matrix or distribute the power of cross-polarization to new scattering models, such as orientation angle compensation and multiple scattering components decomposition. Among these methods, the general model-based decomposition with physically meaningful double-bounce and odd-bounce scattering models has been proposed by modeling their independent orientation angles and becomes a widely accepted method. However, the two vital parameters of generalized scattering models: double- and odd-bounce orientation angles are derived through nonlinear optimization procedure. These generalized models lead to a heavy computation burden for parameters inversion. In this paper, we disclose the latent relationship between the double-bounce orientation angle and polarization orientation angle by data fitting experiments. With this simplified relationship, a refined double-bounce scattering model is established. Then, the odd-bounce orientation angle can be derived through equations. In this way, the nonlinear optimization procedure can be converted to a linear solution. A fast generalized model-based decomposition is developed thereafter. The main contribution of this work is to inherit the generalized models while speeding up the parameter calculation procedure. The comparison studies are carried out with X-band airborne PiSAR, L-band spaceborne ALOS-2, and C-band spaceborne Radarsat-2 PolSAR datasets. Compared with the state-of-the-art approaches, the proposed decomposition achieves improved interpretation performance from both visual and quantitative investigations especially for oriented built-up areas. Full article
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Article
Linear Sensitivity Modelling Useful for Voltage Control Analysis Using Power Injections from DER
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4749; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164749 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
The injection of apparent power to self-consumption buses generates voltage variations during network operation, which, when properly monitored, could support voltage regulation and control. In this paper, we propose a linear sensitivity modelling, quite useful for studies of voltage regulation with distributed energy [...] Read more.
The injection of apparent power to self-consumption buses generates voltage variations during network operation, which, when properly monitored, could support voltage regulation and control. In this paper, we propose a linear sensitivity modelling, quite useful for studies of voltage regulation with distributed energy resources (DER). This modelling consists of two analytical improvement steps: first, a full formulation for the voltage deviations, and second, the influence of line capacitance as Q-injections at the points of common couplings (PCCs). Our proposal is based on the linear topological sensitivity of an existing network (as a function of the line parameters X, R, and Bc), branch power flow (active–reactive power (P-Q)), and power injections at the PCCs. Here, the linear sensitivity algorithm is applied to a modified IEEE 33-bus distribution system to demonstrate its extended effectiveness to voltage monitoring and control scenarios. Its application estimates and compensates in a better way the voltage deviations with regard to the operating desired voltage (|V|op) constraints, using distributed power injections at the PCCs. Numerical results always showed a curtailment of the relative error against common simplifications of the electrical modelling in steady-state, thus simulating two critical scenarios of operation production–consumption for the existing system response. The proposed algorithm was validated considering as reference the voltage profile outputs of the load flow analysis, using the Newton–Raphson method via DIgSILENT, in terms of its accuracy, silhouette shape along the feeder and with regard to the application of reactive compensation as an analytical case study for voltage improvement in active distribution networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distribution Grids Modernization II)
Article
Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis of Sustainable Urban Public Transport Systems
Mathematics 2021, 9(16), 1844; https://doi.org/10.3390/math9161844 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Urban public transport systems must be economically efficient and additionally environmentally sustainable. Available decision support systems, including multiple criteria decision models, allow identifying which urban public transport vehicles are acceptable and those that should no longer be used in efficient and environmentally friendly [...] Read more.
Urban public transport systems must be economically efficient and additionally environmentally sustainable. Available decision support systems, including multiple criteria decision models, allow identifying which urban public transport vehicles are acceptable and those that should no longer be used in efficient and environmentally friendly cities. Previous research has ranked urban public transport vehicles by applying analytic hierarchy process multi-criteria decision-making models, from economic and non-polluting perspectives. However, until now, the types of vehicles acceptable for fleet renewal have not been identified. This study proposes a consistent combination of the ELECTRE TRI multiple criteria decision sorting method and the DELPHI procedure, the objective of which is to identify which urban public transport vehicles are acceptable, taking into consideration a suggested sustainable threshold, which includes economic and environmental strict requirements. The proposed model is based on 2020 Madrid urban public road transport data, published by Madrid City Council, which were compiled by the authors, and assessed by a panel of 20 experts to identify criteria and factors included in the model. Findings help local administrations to identify which urban public transport vehicles should be progressively replaced by those classified as economically efficient and additionally environmentally sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis)
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Article
Specific Hygiene Procedures and Practices Assessment: A Cross-Sectional Study in Fresh Fishery Product Retailers of Lisbon’s Traditional Food Markets
Foods 2021, 10(8), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10081805 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the compliance of specific hand hygiene and food contact surfaces hygiene in fresh fishery product retailers (FFPR) and its relation to socio-demographic characteristics that might influence the observed procedures and practices. A cross-sectional study was conducted in traditional [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the compliance of specific hand hygiene and food contact surfaces hygiene in fresh fishery product retailers (FFPR) and its relation to socio-demographic characteristics that might influence the observed procedures and practices. A cross-sectional study was conducted in traditional food markets’ FFPRs (N = 74) using interviews and audits for data collection purposes. Results revealed that women were overrepresented among FFPR managers; most were over 50 years of age and had a long working experience in fish retail activities, despite a low educational level. The majority had attended training courses in food hygiene, safety, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points-based procedures. Both documental assessment and hand hygiene procedures and practices verification revealed a low level of compliance. Many documents supporting hygiene practices were lacking. Several non-conforming requisites were identified related to the handwashing procedure and equipment and to glove wearing practices. A higher level of compliance was obtained in food contact surfaces hygiene procedures and practices verification, with complete hygiene procedures applied and proper cleaning of utensils and chemical products management in several cases. These findings reflect an ambiguous understanding and misconceptions related to hygiene procedures and practices, suggesting the need to improve and update FFPR food handler training regarding basic food hygiene and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile and Bioactive Compounds in Raw and Processed Food)
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Review
Decoding the Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Lymphoid Malignancies
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(16), 3462; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163462 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immature myeloid precursors which emerged as a potent regulator of the immune system, exerting suppressive properties in diverse disease settings. In regards to cancer, MDSCs have an established role in solid tumors; however, their contribution to immune regulation [...] Read more.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immature myeloid precursors which emerged as a potent regulator of the immune system, exerting suppressive properties in diverse disease settings. In regards to cancer, MDSCs have an established role in solid tumors; however, their contribution to immune regulation during hematologic malignancies and particularly in lymphomas remains ill-defined. Herein focused on lymphoma, we discuss the literature on MDSC cells in all histologic types, and we also refer to lessons learned by animal models of lymphoma. Furthermore, we elaborate on future directions and unmet needs and challenges in the MDSC field related to lymphoma malignancies which may shed light on the complex nature of the immune system in malignancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs) in Haematology)
Communication
Casual Rerouting of AERONET Sun/Sky Photometers: Toward a New Network of Ground Measurements Dedicated to the Monitoring of Surface Properties?
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(16), 3072; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13163072 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
This paper presents an innovative method for observing vegetation health at a very high spatial resolution (~5 × 5 cm) and low cost by upgrading an existing Aerosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) ground station dedicated to the observation of aerosols in the atmosphere. This [...] Read more.
This paper presents an innovative method for observing vegetation health at a very high spatial resolution (~5 × 5 cm) and low cost by upgrading an existing Aerosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) ground station dedicated to the observation of aerosols in the atmosphere. This study evaluates the capability of a sun/sky photometer to perform additional surface reflectance observations. The ground station of Toulouse, France, which belongs to the AERONET sun/sky photometer network, is used for this feasibility study. The experiment was conducted for a 5-year period (between 2016 and 2020). The sun/sky photometer was mounted on a metallic structure at a height of 2.5 m, and the acquisition software was adapted to add a periodical (every hour) ground-observation scenario with the sun/sky photometer observing the surface instead of being inactive. Evaluation is performed by using a classical metric characterizing the vegetation health: the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), using as reference the satellite NDVI derived from a Sentinel-2 (S2) sensor at 10 × 10 m resolution. Comparison for the 5-year period showed good agreement between the S2 and sun/sky photometer NDVIs (i.e., bias = 0.004, RMSD = 0.082, and R = 0.882 for a mean value of S2A NDVI around 0.6). Discrepancies could have been due to spatial-representativeness issues (of the ground measurement compared to S2), the differences between spectral bands, and the quality of the atmospheric correction applied on S2 data (accuracy of the sun/sky photometer instrument was better than 0.1%). However, the accuracy of the atmospheric correction applied on S2 data in this station appeared to be of good quality, and no dependence on the presence of aerosols was observed. This first analysis of the potential of the CIMEL CE318 sun/sky photometer to monitor the surface is encouraging. Further analyses need to be carried out to estimate the potential in different AERONET stations. The occasional rerouting of AERONET stations could lead to a complementary network of surface reflectance observations. This would require an update of the software, and eventual adaptations of the measurement platforms to the station environments. The additional cost, based on the existing AERONET network, would be quite limited. These new surface measurements would be interesting for measurements of vegetation health (monitoring of NDVI, and also of other vegetation indices such as the leaf area and chlorophyll indices), for validation and calibration exercise purposes, and possibly to refine various scientific algorithms (i.e., algorithms dedicated to cloud detection or the AERONET aerosol retrieval algorithm itself). CIMEL is ready to include the ground scenario used in this study in all new sun/sky photometers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Satellite Derived Global Land Product Validation)
Article
Spatial Patterns of ‘Ōhi‘a Mortality Associated with Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death and Ungulate Presence
Forests 2021, 12(8), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12081035 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Effective forest management, particularly during forest disturbance events, requires timely and accurate monitoring information at appropriate spatial scales. In Hawai‘i, widespread ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud.) mortality associated with introduced fungal pathogens affects forest stands across the archipelago, further impacting native ecosystems already under [...] Read more.
Effective forest management, particularly during forest disturbance events, requires timely and accurate monitoring information at appropriate spatial scales. In Hawai‘i, widespread ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud.) mortality associated with introduced fungal pathogens affects forest stands across the archipelago, further impacting native ecosystems already under threat from invasive species. Here, we share results from an integrated monitoring program based on high resolution (<5 cm) aerial imagery, field sampling, and confirmatory laboratory testing to detect and monitor ‘ōhi‘a mortality at the individual tree level across four representative sites on Hawai‘i island. We developed a custom imaging system for helicopter operations to map thousands of hectares (ha) per flight, a more useful scale than the ten to hundreds of ha typically covered using small, unoccupied aerial systems. Based on collected imagery, we developed a rating system of canopy condition to identify ‘ōhi‘a trees suspected of infection by the fungal pathogens responsible for rapid ‘ōhi‘a death (ROD); we used this system to quickly generate and share suspect tree candidate locations with partner agencies to rapidly detect new mortality outbreaks and prioritize field sampling efforts. In three of the four sites, 98% of laboratory samples collected from suspect trees assigned a high confidence rating (n = 50) and 89% of those assigned a medium confidence rating (n = 117) returned positive detections for the fungal pathogens responsible for ROD. The fourth site, which has a history of unexplained ‘ōhi‘a mortality, exhibited much lower positive detection rates: only 6% of sampled trees assigned a high confidence rating (n = 16) and 0% of the sampled suspect trees assigned a medium confidence rating (n = 20) were found to be positive for the pathogen. The disparity in positive detection rates across study sites illustrates challenges to definitively determine the cause of ‘ōhi‘a mortality from aerial imagery alone. Spatial patterns of ROD-associated ‘ōhi‘a mortality were strongly affected by ungulate presence or absence as measured by the density of suspected ROD trees in fenced (i.e., ungulate-free) and unfenced (i.e., ungulate present) areas. Suspected ROD tree densities in neighboring areas containing ungulates were two to 69 times greater than those found in ungulate-free zones. In one study site, a fence line breach occurred during the study period, and feral ungulates entered an area that was previously ungulate-free. Following the breach, suspect ROD tree densities in this area rose from 0.02 to 2.78 suspect trees/ha, highlighting the need for ungulate control to protect ‘ōhi‘a stands from Ceratocystis-induced mortality and repeat monitoring to detect forest changes and resource threats. Full article
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Review
Classification of Textile Polymer Composites: Recent Trends and Challenges
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2592; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162592 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Polymer based textile composites have gained much attention in recent years and gradually transformed the growth of industries especially automobiles, construction, aerospace and composites. The inclusion of natural polymeric fibres as reinforcement in carbon fibre reinforced composites manufacturing delineates an economic way, enhances [...] Read more.
Polymer based textile composites have gained much attention in recent years and gradually transformed the growth of industries especially automobiles, construction, aerospace and composites. The inclusion of natural polymeric fibres as reinforcement in carbon fibre reinforced composites manufacturing delineates an economic way, enhances their surface, structural and mechanical properties by providing better bonding conditions. Almost all textile-based products are associated with quality, price and consumer’s satisfaction. Therefore, classification of textiles products and fibre reinforced polymer composites is a challenging task. This paper focuses on the classification of various problems in textile processes and fibre reinforced polymer composites by artificial neural networks, genetic algorithm and fuzzy logic. Moreover, their limitations associated with state-of-the-art processes and some relatively new and sequential classification methods are also proposed and discussed in detail in this paper. Full article
Article
Selecting Freight Transportation Modes in Last-Mile Urban Distribution in Pamplona (Spain): An Option for Drone Delivery in Smart Cities
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4748; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164748 (registering DOI) - 04 Aug 2021
Abstract
Urban distribution in medium-sized cities faces a major challenge, mainly when deliveries are difficult in the city center due to: an increase of e-commerce, weak public transportation system, and the promotion of urban sustainability plans. As a result, private cars, public transportation, and [...] Read more.
Urban distribution in medium-sized cities faces a major challenge, mainly when deliveries are difficult in the city center due to: an increase of e-commerce, weak public transportation system, and the promotion of urban sustainability plans. As a result, private cars, public transportation, and freight transportation compete for the same space. This paper analyses the current state for freight logistics in the city center of Pamplona (Spain) and proposes alternative transportation routes and transportation modes in the last-mile city center distribution according to different criteria evaluated by residents. An analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was developed. A number of alternatives have been assessed considering routes and transportation modes: the shortest route criterion and avoiding some city center area policies are combined with traditional van-based, bike, and aerial (drone) distribution protocols for delivering parcels and bar/restaurant supplies. These alternatives have been evaluated within a multicriteria framework in which economic, environmental, and social objectives are considered at the same time. The point in this multicriteria framework is that the criteria/alternative AHP weights and priorities have been set according to a survey deployed in the city of Pamplona (Navarre, Spain). The survey and AHP results show the preference for the use of drone or bike distribution in city center in order to reduce social and environmental issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technologies in Smart Cities)

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