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J, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 22 articles

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14 pages, 2423 KiB  
Article
Food Service Inspection Capacity: Needs Assessment in a Philippine Local Government Unit
by Wessam M. Atif and Craig MacDonald
J 2021, 4(3), 531-543; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030039 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 14789
Abstract
Applying scientific evidence through risk analysis is an important orientation for the international frameworks that have informed the Philippines’ current food-safety legislation. When implementing this legislation, local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines deal with manifold critical responsibilities using various product-based inspection procedures. [...] Read more.
Applying scientific evidence through risk analysis is an important orientation for the international frameworks that have informed the Philippines’ current food-safety legislation. When implementing this legislation, local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines deal with manifold critical responsibilities using various product-based inspection procedures. This qualitative study was conducted at the end of 2017 with a focus on exploring one LGU’s food service inspection practices. The twofold aim was to find needs in the current food inspection capacity, and to illuminate how risk-based legislation is enacted among LGUs in the Philippines. Taking a discursive approach to help explain and describe the LGU’s practices and needs, the methods included an analysis of administrative documents, focus-group discussions, and observational research. This study explains the LGU’s role in carrying out food agencies’ national responsibilities; it also describes how, if adequate resources were available, new roles could exist for food safety officers and food inspectors. In conclusion, fulfilling the LGU’s needs with respect to national and regional standards would require implementation of a risk-based approach for food inspection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Patterns for Food Safety, Quality and Consumer Protection)
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32 pages, 9577 KiB  
Review
Photocatalysis and Li-Ion Battery Applications of {001} Faceted Anatase TiO2-Based Composites
by Anuja Bokare and Folarin Erogbogbo
J 2021, 4(3), 500-530; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030038 - 6 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3476
Abstract
Anatase TiO2 are the most widely used photocatalysts because of their unique electronic, optical and catalytic properties. Surface chemistry plays a very important role in the various applications of anatase TiO2 especially in the catalysis, photocatalysis, energy conversion and energy storage. [...] Read more.
Anatase TiO2 are the most widely used photocatalysts because of their unique electronic, optical and catalytic properties. Surface chemistry plays a very important role in the various applications of anatase TiO2 especially in the catalysis, photocatalysis, energy conversion and energy storage. Control of the surface structure by crystal facet engineering has become an important strategy for tuning and optimizing the physicochemical properties of TiO2. For anatase TiO2, the {001} crystal facets are the most reactive because they exhibit unique surface characteristics such as visible light responsiveness, dissociative adsorption, efficient charge separation capabilities and photocatalytic selectivity. In this review, a concise survey of the literature in the field of {001} dominated anatase TiO2 crystals and their composites is presented. To begin, the existing strategies for the synthesis of {001} dominated anatase TiO2 and their composites are discussed. These synthesis strategies include both fluorine-mediated and fluorine-free synthesis routes. Then, a detailed account of the effect of {001} facets on the physicochemical properties of TiO2 and their composites are reviewed, with a particular focus on photocatalysis and Li-ion batteries applications. Finally, an outlook is given on future strategies discussing the remaining challenges for the development of {001} dominated TiO2 nanomaterials and their potential applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry & Material Sciences)
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15 pages, 400 KiB  
Article
Artificial Intelligence ante portas: Reactions of Law
by Rolf H. Weber
J 2021, 4(3), 486-499; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030037 - 6 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2833
Abstract
Artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making causes new (technological) challenges for the normative environment around the globe. Fundamental legal principles (such as non-discrimination, human rights, transparency) need to be strengthened by regulatory interventions. The contribution pleads for a combination of regulatory models (hard law [...] Read more.
Artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making causes new (technological) challenges for the normative environment around the globe. Fundamental legal principles (such as non-discrimination, human rights, transparency) need to be strengthened by regulatory interventions. The contribution pleads for a combination of regulatory models (hard law and soft law); based on this assessment, the recent European legislative initiatives are analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Law)
10 pages, 540 KiB  
Review
Thromboembolism and Bleeding in COVID-19
by Koray Durak
J 2021, 4(3), 476-485; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030036 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3419
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by a coagulation dysfunction which has different underlying mechanisms and factors. Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have an increased risk for thromboembolic and bleeding complications. Incidences are high, and mainly consist of venous thromboembolism [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by a coagulation dysfunction which has different underlying mechanisms and factors. Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have an increased risk for thromboembolic and bleeding complications. Incidences are high, and mainly consist of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which significantly contributes to morbidity and mortality in affected patients. Thromboprophylaxis is recommended in all hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Therapeutic doses of antithrombotic agents are only beneficial in noncritically ill patients, and usual care thromboprophylaxis is sufficient in critically ill patients at the ICU. Regarding screening for VTE, high quality evidence is warranted to investigate the significance of asymptomatic DVT in the ICU setting and its influence on PE and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicine & Pharmacology)
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25 pages, 392 KiB  
Article
The Question of Algorithmic Personhood and Being (Or: On the Tenuous Nature of Human Status and Humanity Tests in Virtual Spaces—Why All Souls Are ‘Necessarily’ Equal When Considered as Energy)
by Tyler Lance Jaynes
J 2021, 4(3), 452-475; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030035 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3541
Abstract
What separates the unique nature of human consciousness and that of an entity that can only perceive the world via strict logic-based structures? Rather than assume that there is some potential way in which logic-only existence is non-feasible, our species would be better [...] Read more.
What separates the unique nature of human consciousness and that of an entity that can only perceive the world via strict logic-based structures? Rather than assume that there is some potential way in which logic-only existence is non-feasible, our species would be better served by assuming that such sentient existence is feasible. Under this assumption, artificial intelligence systems (AIS), which are creations that run solely upon logic to process data, even with self-learning architectures, should therefore not face the opposition they have to gaining some legal duties and protections insofar as they are sophisticated enough to display consciousness akin to humans. Should our species enable AIS to gain a digital body to inhabit (if we have not already done so), it is more pressing than ever that solid arguments be made as to how humanity can accept AIS as being cognizant of the same degree as we ourselves claim to be. By accepting the notion that AIS can and will be able to fool our senses into believing in their claim to possessing a will or ego, we may yet have a chance to address them as equals before some unforgivable travesty occurs betwixt ourselves and these super-computing beings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Law)
8 pages, 1849 KiB  
Communication
Rethinking Figure-of-Merits of Liquid Crystals Shielded Coplanar Waveguide Phase Shifters at 60 GHz
by Jinfeng Li
J 2021, 4(3), 444-451; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030034 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3814
Abstract
The demand for reconfigurable millimetre-wave (mm-Wave) components based on highly anisotropic liquid crystals (LC) is higher than ever before for the UK and worldwide. In this work, 60 GHz investigation on a bespoke shielded coplanar waveguide (SCPW) phase shifter structure filled with 16 [...] Read more.
The demand for reconfigurable millimetre-wave (mm-Wave) components based on highly anisotropic liquid crystals (LC) is higher than ever before for the UK and worldwide. In this work, 60 GHz investigation on a bespoke shielded coplanar waveguide (SCPW) phase shifter structure filled with 16 types of microwave-enabled nematic LCs respectively indicates that the patterns of the device’s figure-of-merit (FoM, defined as the ratio of maximum differential phase shift to maximum insertion loss) reshuffle from those of the characterised LC materials’ FoM (defined as the ratio of tunability to maximum dissipation factor). To be more specific, GT7-29001- and MDA-03-2838-based phase shifters exhibit the highest FoM for devices, outperforming phase shifters based on GT5-28004 and TUD-566 with the highest FoM for materials. Such a mismatch between the device’s FoM and LC’s FoM implies a nonlinearly perturbed wave-occupied volume ratio effect. Furthermore, the relationship between insertion loss and the effective delay line length is nonlinear, as evidenced by measurement results of two phase shifters (0–π and 0–2π, respectively). Such nonlinearities complicate the established FoM metrics and potentially lead to a renewed interest in the selection and material synthesis of LCs to optimise reconfigurable mmWave devices, and promote their technological exploitation in phased array systems targeting demanding applications such as inter-satellite links and satellite internet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Engineering)
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14 pages, 995 KiB  
Article
Nutritional, Textural, and Sensory Quality of Aloe Vera Leaf Gel Powder Fortified Plain Cake
by Dhrubajyoti Singha, Md. Fahad Jubayer, Kumkum Devnath, Delara Akhter, Thottiam Vasudevan Ranganathan, Md. Towhidur Rahman and Md. Anisur Rahman Mazumder
J 2021, 4(3), 430-443; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030033 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3616
Abstract
Aloe Vera leaves have great potential as an economic supplement with an adequate nutritional profile. The current study aimed to fortify plain (loaf) cakes with Aloe Vera leaf gel (AVG) powder. AVG was freeze-dried to produce Aloe Vera powder (ALP), and four plain [...] Read more.
Aloe Vera leaves have great potential as an economic supplement with an adequate nutritional profile. The current study aimed to fortify plain (loaf) cakes with Aloe Vera leaf gel (AVG) powder. AVG was freeze-dried to produce Aloe Vera powder (ALP), and four plain (loaf) cakes were prepared with different proportions of ALP (0, 4, 6, and 8%). ALP contained significantly (p < 0.05) more protein (22.23 vs. 12.24), ash (19.83 vs. 0.64), and iron (175 vs. 3.05) than refined wheat flour (RWF). Along with total polyphenols and total flavonoids, ALP demonstrated good antioxidant activity. ALP-cakes and RWF-cakes were also evaluated for their nutritional and functional properties. The addition of 6 and 8% ALP to the formulation increased total polyphenols, total flavonoids, and antioxidant activity in plain (loaf) cakes. Hardness and chewiness increased in ALP-cakes but decreased in RWF-cakes, while cohesiveness and springiness decreased in ALP-cakes. In conclusion, the best formulation was a 4% ALP incorporated cake, and ALP can be supplemented in plain cakes at a rate of up to 8% to improve nutrient value. This is the first study to evaluate the quality characteristics of fortified plain (loaf) cakes using ALP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Patterns for Food Safety, Quality and Consumer Protection)
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10 pages, 5243 KiB  
Article
Effect of Land Surface Temperature on Urban Heat Island in Varanasi City, India
by Amit Kumar, Vivek Agarwal, Lalit Pal, Surendra Kumar Chandniha and Vishal Mishra
J 2021, 4(3), 420-429; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030032 - 6 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5254
Abstract
Crucial changes in urban climate can be witnessed due to rapid urbanisation of cities across the world. It is important to find a balance between urban expansion and thermal environment quality to guarantee sustainable urban development. Thus, it is a major research priority [...] Read more.
Crucial changes in urban climate can be witnessed due to rapid urbanisation of cities across the world. It is important to find a balance between urban expansion and thermal environment quality to guarantee sustainable urban development. Thus, it is a major research priority to study the urban heat island (UHI) in various fields, i.e., climate change urban ecology, urban climatology, urban planning, mitigation and management, urban geography, etc. The present study highlighted the interrelationship between land surface temperature (LST) and the abundance of impervious cover and green cover in the Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh, India. For this purpose, we used various GIS and remote-sensing techniques. Landsat 8 images, land-use–land-cover pattern including urban/rural gradients, and grid- and metric-based multi-resolution techniques were used for the analysis. From the study, it was noticed that LST, density of impervious cover, and density of green cover were correlated significantly, and an urban gradient existed over the entire city, depicting a typical UHI profile. It was also concluded that the orientation, randomness, and aggregation of impervious cover and green cover have a strong correlation with LST. From this study, it is recommended that, when planning urban extension, spatial variation of impervious cover and green cover are designed properly to ensure the comfort of all living beings as per the ecological point of view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sciences)
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16 pages, 1948 KiB  
Article
Subjective Quality Assessment for Cloud Gaming
by Abdul Wahab, Nafi Ahmad, Maria G. Martini and John Schormans
J 2021, 4(3), 404-419; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030031 - 5 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2941
Abstract
Using subjective testing, we study the effect of the network parameters, delay and packet loss ratio, on the QoE of cloud gaming. We studied three different games, selected based on genre, popularity, content complexity and pace, and tested them in a controlled network [...] Read more.
Using subjective testing, we study the effect of the network parameters, delay and packet loss ratio, on the QoE of cloud gaming. We studied three different games, selected based on genre, popularity, content complexity and pace, and tested them in a controlled network environment, using a novel emulator to create realistic lognormal delay distributions instead of relying on a static mean delay, as used previously; we also used Parsec as a good representative of the state of the art. We captured user ratings on an ordinal Absolute Category Rating scale for three quality dimensions: Video QoE, Game-Playability QoE, and Overall QoE. We show that Mean Opinion Scores (MOS) for the game with the highest levels of content complexity and pace are most severely affected by network impairments. We also show that the QoE of interactive cloud applications rely more on the game playability than the video quality of the game. Unlike earlier studies, the differences in MOS are validated using the distributions of the underlying dimensions. A Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test showed that the distributions of Video QoE and Game Playability QoE are not significantly different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computer Science & Mathematics)
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10 pages, 525 KiB  
Article
Compost Functions as Effective Replacement for Peat-Based Potting Media in Organic Greenhouse Transplant Production
by Tsuzuchi Isaka, Sean Clark and Janet Meyer
J 2021, 4(3), 394-403; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030030 - 5 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2548
Abstract
Commercial horticulture in many regions of the world depends upon Sphagnum peat as a potting-media substrate, but extracting peat has serious environmental consequences. Composts may be able to serve as effective substitutes for peat and offer potential environmental advantages. The suitability of compost [...] Read more.
Commercial horticulture in many regions of the world depends upon Sphagnum peat as a potting-media substrate, but extracting peat has serious environmental consequences. Composts may be able to serve as effective substitutes for peat and offer potential environmental advantages. The suitability of compost as potting media depends upon the raw materials as well as processing methods used. This study includes two related experiments—one with beet (Beta vulgaris L.) and the other with tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)—aimed at assessing the potential viability of farm-produced, food-residuals compost as a replacement for peat-based potting media in the production of organic vegetable transplants. The experiments were conducted in 2021 on the Berea College Farm in Kentucky, USA, a USDA certified organic farm. The results indicated that potting media composed of 75% to 100% compost performed as well as fertilized, peat-based growing media for plant growth. Further, although weeds were present in the compost, weed pressure was not severe enough to adversely affect crop growth. Thus, sterilization of compost, which did eliminate weeds in the compost, was not deemed necessary for using the compost as a partial or complete potting medium. Compost pasteurization was also assessed but was ineffective in destroying weed seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biology & Life Sciences)
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18 pages, 9456 KiB  
Article
Emotions Evoked by Geometric Patterns
by Laura Trautmann
J 2021, 4(3), 376-393; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030029 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 9739
Abstract
Many studies have shown that the appearance of products has a great impact on consumers. In addition to functionality, aesthetics is of paramount importance in many branches of product design. Visual appearance includes, among other things, the colour, shape, and pattern of the [...] Read more.
Many studies have shown that the appearance of products has a great impact on consumers. In addition to functionality, aesthetics is of paramount importance in many branches of product design. Visual appearance includes, among other things, the colour, shape, and pattern of the product. The effect of shapes and colours is often studied, but not much data are available on the emotional impact of patterns. This study specifically examines the impact of geometric patterns, which may be of help in the work of product designers. Interviews and questionnaires based on a newly introduced method revealed, for instance, that the basic geometry that makes up geometric patterns and the way the pattern is arranged fundamentally influence the effect of the pattern on consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Engineering)
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9 pages, 244 KiB  
Review
Pyoderma Gangrenosum: A Review of Updates in Diagnosis, Pathophysiology and Management
by Maria Skopis and Ayse Bag-Ozbek
J 2021, 4(3), 367-375; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030028 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 6336
Abstract
Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare entity that is characterized by infiltration of neutrophils into the dermis, causing the formation of rapidly enlarging, painful and necrotic skin ulcers. The pathophysiology of PG is still poorly understood. However, genetic, autoimmune and autoinflammatory mechanisms have [...] Read more.
Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare entity that is characterized by infiltration of neutrophils into the dermis, causing the formation of rapidly enlarging, painful and necrotic skin ulcers. The pathophysiology of PG is still poorly understood. However, genetic, autoimmune and autoinflammatory mechanisms have been proposed that could potentially explain the etiology of this ulcerating skin disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment are key, as the disease course is rapidly progressive and can leave disfiguring, cribriform scars. However, the diagnosis of PG proves difficult, firstly because there are multiple variants of the disease and secondly because it is a clinical diagnosis and can appear similar to that of other diseases such as vasculitis, skin/soft tissue infections and malignancy. Additionally, there are no official diagnostic criteria to aid in the recognition of PG, which often leads to significant delays in diagnosis. The treatment of PG consists in immunosuppression. However, due to a lack of standardized guidelines, therapeutic regimens are usually dependent upon the individual clinician’s experience and are based on little evidence. Knowledge of the clinical features and pathophysiology of PG can aid in early diagnosis and targeted treatment strategies, which in turn results in improved patient outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicine & Pharmacology)
11 pages, 4776 KiB  
Article
A Cost-Effective IoT Model for a Smart Sewerage Management System Using Sensors
by Jahid Hasan Rony, Nazmul Karim, MD. Abdur Rouf, Md. Monirul Islam, Jia Uddin and Momotaz Begum
J 2021, 4(3), 356-366; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030027 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4888
Abstract
The sewerage system is a primary element of a city and is responsible for the congestion of both rain and gray water from homes and industries. It is essential to have a monitoring system and a plan to perform prior expansion in the [...] Read more.
The sewerage system is a primary element of a city and is responsible for the congestion of both rain and gray water from homes and industries. It is essential to have a monitoring system and a plan to perform prior expansion in the sewerage management system, to avoid massive disruption. However, there is no monitoring system in several overpopulated cities in the world, and the expansion process faces myriad difficulties and takes much time. This paper presents a model for an intelligent sewerage management system that provides real-time monitoring without any major changes to the previous system, using water sensors, a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) module, and a micro-controller. The condition of the sewerage acts as an input through the sensors; then, the microcontroller stores the value in the cloud and performs waste collection depending on the current situation. Meanwhile, after processing, the information reaches the monitoring system. Various trial installations of the proposed system have shown that it enables real-time monitoring to observe live conditions and helps to prevent sewerage blockage caused by solid waste. Considering a deficient cost model, this system can intensify the performance of poorly managed sewerage systems. Full article
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15 pages, 13802 KiB  
Article
Semi-Dilute Dumbbells: Solutions of the Fokker–Planck Equation
by Stephen Chaffin and Julia Rees
J 2021, 4(3), 341-355; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030026 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2183
Abstract
Spring bead models are commonly used in the constitutive equations for polymer melts. One such model based on kinetic theory—the finitely extensible nonlinear elastic dumbbell model incorporating a Peterlin closure approximation (FENE-P)—has previously been applied to study concentration-dependent anisotropy with the inclusion of [...] Read more.
Spring bead models are commonly used in the constitutive equations for polymer melts. One such model based on kinetic theory—the finitely extensible nonlinear elastic dumbbell model incorporating a Peterlin closure approximation (FENE-P)—has previously been applied to study concentration-dependent anisotropy with the inclusion of a mean-field term to account for intermolecular forces in dilute polymer solutions for background profiles of weak shear and elongation. These investigations involved the solution of the Fokker–Planck equation incorporating a constitutive equation for the second moment. In this paper, we extend this analysis to include the effects of large background shear and elongation beyond the Hookean regime. Further, the constitutive equation is solved for the probability density function which permits the computation of any macroscopic variable, allowing direct comparison of the model predictions with molecular dynamics simulations. It was found that if the concentration effects at equilibrium are taken into account, the FENE-P model gives qualitatively the correct predictions, although the over-shoot in extension in comparison to the infinitely dilute case is significantly underpredicted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computer Science & Mathematics)
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13 pages, 520 KiB  
Article
Global Stability and Exponential Decay of Processes in Nonlinear Feedback Systems with Different Fractional Orders
by Tadeusz Kaczorek and Łukasz Sajewski
J 2021, 4(3), 328-340; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030025 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1497
Abstract
The global stability of continuous-time multi-input multi-output nonlinear feedback systems with different fractional orders and interval matrices of positive linear parts is investigated. New sufficient conditions for the global stability of this class of positive nonlinear systems are established. Sufficient conditions for the [...] Read more.
The global stability of continuous-time multi-input multi-output nonlinear feedback systems with different fractional orders and interval matrices of positive linear parts is investigated. New sufficient conditions for the global stability of this class of positive nonlinear systems are established. Sufficient conditions for the exponential decay of processes in fractional nonlinear systems are given. Procedures for computation of a gain matrix characterizing the class of nonlinear elements are proposed and illustrated by examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Stability Analysis Non-Linear Systems)
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20 pages, 1132 KiB  
Article
Filtering-Based Instance Selection Method for Overlapping Problem in Imbalanced Datasets
by Marcio Rubbo and Leandro A. Silva
J 2021, 4(3), 308-327; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030024 - 9 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2432
Abstract
The overlapping problem occurs when a region of the dimensional data space is shared in a similar proportion by different classes. It has an impact on a classifier’s performance due to the difficulty in correctly separating the classes. Further, an imbalanced dataset consists [...] Read more.
The overlapping problem occurs when a region of the dimensional data space is shared in a similar proportion by different classes. It has an impact on a classifier’s performance due to the difficulty in correctly separating the classes. Further, an imbalanced dataset consists of a situation in which one class has more instances than another, and this is another aspect that impacts a classifier’s performance. In general, these two problems are treated separately. On the other hand, Prototype Selection (PS) approaches are employed as strategies for selecting appropriate instances from a dataset by filtering redundant and noise data, which can cause misclassification performance. In this paper, we introduce Filtering-based Instance Selection (FIS), using as a base the Self-Organizing Maps Neural Network (SOM) and information entropy. In this sense, SOM is trained with a dataset, and, then, the instances of the training set are mapped to the nearest prototype (SOM neurons). An analysis with entropy is conducted in each prototype region. From a threshold, we propose three decision methods: filtering the majority class (H-FIS (High Filter IS)), the minority class (L-FIS (Low Filter IS)), and both classes (B-FIS). The experiments using artificial and real dataset showed that the methods proposed in combination with 1NN improved the accuracy, F-Score, and G-mean values when compared with the 1NN classifier without the filter methods. The FIS approach is also compatible with the approaches mentioned in the relevant literature. Full article
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20 pages, 4366 KiB  
Article
Topical Emulsion Containing Lavandula stoechas Essential Oil as a Therapeutic Agent for Cutaneous Wound Healing
by Mohamed Nadjib Boukhatem, Henni Chader, Aicha Houche, Faiza Oudjida, Fatma Benkebaili and Yahia Hakim
J 2021, 4(3), 288-307; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030023 - 8 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4517
Abstract
Background and objectives: The present research was designed to evaluate the chemical composition of Lavandula stoechas essential oil (EOLS) as well as the in vivo wound-healing property. The chemical composition of EOLS was identified by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Nineteen compounds of EOLS [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The present research was designed to evaluate the chemical composition of Lavandula stoechas essential oil (EOLS) as well as the in vivo wound-healing property. The chemical composition of EOLS was identified by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Nineteen compounds of EOLS were reported. Linalool was identified as the major chemical compound (24.87%), followed by linalyl acetate (19.10%). EOLS showed a high content of oxygenated compounds (63.54%). In vivo wound healing activity of the topical cream prepared from EOLS (0.5% w/w) was assessed using a circular excision wound model. The wound area (mm2) in all animal groups was estimated and measured on day 0, 4, 8, 11, and 16. Results: The EOLS formulation cream (0.5% v/w) showed the highest effect on wound models when compared to reference Madecassol® (Asiaticoside). On days 4, 11, and 16, wound contractions were 26.4%, 78%, and 96.3% for the EOLS-treated group, and 8.5%, 64.1%, and 86.1% for the vehicle cream-treated group. Animals treated with EOLS cream showed a significant decrease in the epithelization period, wound area, and scar thickness, whereas the rate of wound contraction significantly increased. This is the first such report to be published. Histological analyses were also consistent with the results of the excision experimental method. Treatment with EOLS cream formulation resulted in decreased inflammation and an increased rate of tissue perfusion and proliferation as well as remodeling, along with re-epithelization. Conclusions: Our results support the use of EOLS in the development of pharmaceuticals for the management of wounds, and/or inflammatory-related diseases. Additional studies are needed to elucidate and explain the exact mechanism of its pharmacological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicine & Pharmacology)
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22 pages, 2804 KiB  
Review
Hydrogen Production by Fluidized Bed Reactors: A Quantitative Perspective Using the Supervised Machine Learning Approach
by Zheng Lian, Yixiao Wang, Xiyue Zhang, Abubakar Yusuf, Lord Famiyeh, David Murindababisha, Huan Jin, Yiyang Liu, Jun He, Yunshan Wang, Gang Yang and Yong Sun
J 2021, 4(3), 266-287; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030022 - 7 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6459
Abstract
The current hydrogen generation technologies, especially biomass gasification using fluidized bed reactors (FBRs), were rigorously reviewed. There are involute operational parameters in a fluidized bed gasifier that determine the anticipated outcomes for hydrogen production purposes. However, limited reviews are present that link these [...] Read more.
The current hydrogen generation technologies, especially biomass gasification using fluidized bed reactors (FBRs), were rigorously reviewed. There are involute operational parameters in a fluidized bed gasifier that determine the anticipated outcomes for hydrogen production purposes. However, limited reviews are present that link these parametric conditions with the corresponding performances based on experimental data collection. Using the constructed artificial neural networks (ANNs) as the supervised machine learning algorithm for data training, the operational parameters from 52 literature reports were utilized to perform both the qualitative and quantitative assessments of the performance, such as the hydrogen yield (HY), hydrogen content (HC) and carbon conversion efficiency (CCE). Seven types of operational parameters, including the steam-to-biomass ratio (SBR), equivalent ratio (ER), temperature, particle size of the feedstock, residence time, lower heating value (LHV) and carbon content (CC), were closely investigated. Six binary parameters have been identified to be statistically significant to the performance parameters (hydrogen yield (HY)), hydrogen content (HC) and carbon conversion efficiency (CCE) by analysis of variance (ANOVA). The optimal operational conditions derived from the machine leaning were recommended according to the needs of the outcomes. This review may provide helpful insights for researchers to comprehensively consider the operational conditions in order to achieve high hydrogen production using fluidized bed reactors during biomass gasification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Production by Fluidized Bed Reactor)
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9 pages, 645 KiB  
Article
Postural Control and Sleep Quality in Cognitive Dual Tasking in Healthy Young Adults
by Marina Saraiva, Joel Marouvo, Orlando Fernandes, Maria António Castro and João Paulo Vilas-Boas
J 2021, 4(3), 257-265; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030021 - 5 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2298
Abstract
Although sleep quality disorders can have a negative effect on postural control, studies about this subject are scarce. The aim of this study is to assess the differences in standing posture performance during dual tasking between healthy young adults with a good and [...] Read more.
Although sleep quality disorders can have a negative effect on postural control, studies about this subject are scarce. The aim of this study is to assess the differences in standing posture performance during dual tasking between healthy young adults with a good and poor sleep quality. Thirty-five healthy participants (23.09 ± 3.97 years) performed a postural task (standing posture single task ((ST)) and a dual task (DT): quiet standing while performing a concurrent cognitive task, while the total excursion of the center of pressure (TOTEX CoP), the displacement anterior–posterior (CoP-AP) and medial–lateral (CoP-ML), the mean total velocity displacement of CoP (MVELO CoP) and ellipse sway area (CEA) were measured with a force plate. After assessing the sleep quality with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, they were divided into two groups (good ((n = 21)) and poor ((n = 14)) sleep quality) to establish comparisons. This study revealed no significant differences in TOTEX CoP, CoP-ML, CoP-AP, MVELO CoP, and CEA among both sleep quality groups. In conclusion, differences in the sleep quality (good or poor sleep quality) among young adults appear not to be a relevant factor in the CoP variation, but the DT versus ST can compromise postural control performance independently of the sleep quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health & Healthcare)
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13 pages, 3554 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Satellite Imagery (NDVI) to Identify Terroir and Vineyard Yeast Differences according to Appellation of Origin (AOP) and Biogeographic Origin
by Sergio Vélez, Enrique Barajas, Pilar Blanco, José Antonio Rubio and David Castrillo
J 2021, 4(3), 244-256; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030020 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2471
Abstract
Terroir is one of the core concepts associated with wine and presumes that the land from which the grapes are grown, the plant habitat, imparts a unique quality that is specific to that growing site. Additionally, numerous factors can influence yeast diversity, and [...] Read more.
Terroir is one of the core concepts associated with wine and presumes that the land from which the grapes are grown, the plant habitat, imparts a unique quality that is specific to that growing site. Additionally, numerous factors can influence yeast diversity, and terroir is among the most relevant. Therefore, it can be interesting to use Remote Sensing tools that help identify and give helpful information about the terroir and key characteristics that define the AOP (Appellation of Origin). In this study, the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) calculated from Landsat 8 imagery was used to perform a spatio-temporal analysis during 2013, 2014, and 2015 of several vineyards belonging to four different AOP in Galicia (Spain). This work shows that it is possible to use Remote Sensing for AOP delimitation. Results suggest: (i) satellite imagery can establish differences in terroir, (ii) the higher the NDVI, the higher the yeast species richness, (iii) the relationship between NDVI, terroir, and yeasts shows a stable trend over the years (Pearson’s r = 0.3894, p = 0.0119). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Engineering)
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11 pages, 1532 KiB  
Article
Correlation between Different Methods to Diagnose Foot Posture Condition
by Joel Marouvo, Maria António Castro, Carlos Santos and Filipa Sousa
J 2021, 4(3), 233-243; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030019 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2421
Abstract
Background: Authors refer to different methods to assess subjects’ foot posture. All methods present several limitations depending on the examiner or the chosen test. This study aims to investigate the relationship between different tests and Footprints parameters to diagnose subjects with a flat [...] Read more.
Background: Authors refer to different methods to assess subjects’ foot posture. All methods present several limitations depending on the examiner or the chosen test. This study aims to investigate the relationship between different tests and Footprints parameters to diagnose subjects with a flat and neutral foot. Methods: The sample consisted of 37 participants, where 16 were included in the flatfoot group and 21 in the neutral foot group. Only subjects who presented a Navicular Drop Test value of >9 mm were included in the flatfooted group. All participants were submitted to Resting Calcaneal Stance Position and plantar pressure platform assessment for Footprints analysis. Associations between all tests and Footprints parameters were determined by Pearson’s correlation analysis. Results: Regarding both groups, significant correlations between tests were moderate to nearly perfect to identified both conditions of foot posture. All correlations were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The diagnosis accuracy of foot posture condition can be compromised depending on the used test. The Navicular Drop Test and the Resting Calcaneal Stance Position were shown to mislead foot posture condition assessment, unlike Footprints parameters that can be important evaluation tools in a clinical environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health & Healthcare)
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10 pages, 2360 KiB  
Article
Reactivity of Ground Coal Bottom Ash to Be Used in Portland Cement
by Esperanza Menéndez, Cristina Argiz and Miguel Ángel Sanjuán
J 2021, 4(3), 223-232; https://doi.org/10.3390/j4030018 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2270
Abstract
Ground coal bottom ash is considered a novel material when used in common cement production as a blended cement. This new application must be evaluated by means of the study of its pozzolanic properties. Coal bottom ash, in some countries, is being used [...] Read more.
Ground coal bottom ash is considered a novel material when used in common cement production as a blended cement. This new application must be evaluated by means of the study of its pozzolanic properties. Coal bottom ash, in some countries, is being used as a replacement for natural sand, but in some others, it is disposed of in a landfill, leading thus to environmental problems. The pozzolanic properties of ground coal bottom ash and coal fly ash cements were investigated in order to assess their pozzolanic performance. Proportions of coal fly ash and ground coal bottom ash in the mixes were 100:0, 90:10, 80:20, 50:50, 0:100. Next, multicomponent cements were formulated using 10%, 25% or 35% of ashes. In general, the pozzolanic performance of the ground coal bottom ash is quite similar to that of the coal fly ash. As expected, the pozzolanic reaction of both of them proceeds slowly at early ages, but the reaction rate increases over time. Ground coal bottom ash is a promising novel material with pozzolanic properties which are comparable to that of coal fly ashes. Then, coal bottom ash subjected to an adequate mechanical grinding is suitable to be used to produce common coal-ash cements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry & Material Sciences)
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