41,607 research outputs found

    Analysis of reliable deployment of TDOA local positioning architectures

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    .Local Positioning Systems (LPS) are supposing an attractive research topic over the last few years. LPS are ad-hoc deployments of wireless sensor networks for particularly adapt to the environment characteristics in harsh environments. Among LPS, those based on temporal measurements stand out for their trade-off among accuracy, robustness and costs. But, regardless the LPS architecture considered, an optimization of the sensor distribution is required for achieving competitive results. Recent studies have shown that under optimized node distributions, time-based LPS cumulate the bigger error bounds due to synchronization errors. Consequently, asynchronous architectures such as Asynchronous Time Difference of Arrival (A-TDOA) have been recently proposed. However, the A-TDOA architecture supposes the concentration of the time measurement in a single clock of a coordinator sensor making this architecture less versatile. In this paper, we present an optimization methodology for overcoming the drawbacks of the A-TDOA architecture in nominal and failure conditions with regards to the synchronous TDOA. Results show that this optimization strategy allows the reduction of the uncertainties in the target location by 79% and 89.5% and the enhancement of the convergence properties by 86% and 33% of the A-TDOA architecture with regards to the TDOA synchronous architecture in two different application scenarios. In addition, maximum convergence points are more easily found in the A-TDOA in both configurations concluding the benefits of this architecture in LPS high-demanded applicationS

    The labour supply and retirement of older workers: an empirical analysis

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    This thesis examines the labour supply of older workers, their movement into retirement, and any movement out of retirement and back into work. In particular the labour force participation, labour supply and wage elasticity and other income elasticity of work hours are estimated for older workers and compared to younger workers. The thesis goes on to look at the movement into retirement for older workers as a whole by examining cohorts by gender, wave and age. The thesis also presents a descriptive and quantitative ‚ÄĘ examination of the changes in income and happiness that occur as an individual retires. Finally the thesis examines the reasons why an individual may return to work from v . retirement. The results of the findings suggest: that younger workers are significantly more responsive to wage and household income changes than older worker

    Reforming the United Nations

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    The thesis deals with the financial crisis that the United Nations faced starting in 1985 when the US Congress decided to withhold a significant part of the US contribution to the UN regular budget in order to force a greater say for the major contributors on budgetary issues, budgetary restraint and greater efficiency. The UN responded by the adoption of resolution 41/213 of 19 December 1986 that was based on the recommendations of a Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts ("G-18") set up a year earlier. A new system was introduced regarding the formulation of the regular budget of the United Nations Organisation and a broader process of reform was initiated including a restructuring of the Secretariat and of the intergovernmental machinery in the economic and social fields. After an introductory chapter (Chapter I), the thesis examines the UN problems at the budgetary/financial and administrative/structural levels, the solutions proposed from within and without the United Nations established framework and the actual attempts at reform (Chapters II and ifi). The realisation that the implementation of reforms is rather disjointed and often unsuccessful (e.g. the failure to restructure the intergovernmental machi.neiy) prompts a search for the deeper causes of the UN problems at the political level and the attitudes of the main actors, namely the USA, the USSR, some up-and-coming states, notably Japan, the Third World states and, finally, of the UN Secretary-General and the Secretariat (Chapter 1V). Although the financial crisis may have subsided since 1988 and the USA seem committed to paying up their dues, the deeper UN crisis of identity has not been resolved and is expected to resurface if no bold steps are taken. In that direction, some possible alternative courses for the UN in the future are discussed drawing upon theory and practice (Chapte

    The empty space in abstract photography: a psychoanalytical perspective

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    The aim of the research that this thesis is based on is to explore the theoretical problems raised by the concept of photographic abstraction. These consist in the tension between the two aspects of the photographic sign, the indexical and iconic, and are examined in the context of the particular exploration of the empty space in abstract photography which I have pursued through my practice. The investigation draws mainly upon the psychoanalytic theory of transitional phenomena as proposed by Winnicott, as well as other art theories (Deleuze & Guattari, Ehrenzweig, Fer, Fuller, Greenberg, Joselit, Kuspit, Leider, Worringer) of abstraction. It explores the relationship of the abstract photographic image to notions of exteriority and interiority as these relate to the transition from the unconscious to conscious reality. The development of this research suggests the psychoanalytical concept of potential space as a contribution to an aesthetic model of abstraction. This concept is employed as a methodological tool in the development of the practical work and creates a framework for its interpretation. The concept of potential space is based on Winnicott's ideas around "playing with the real" in an intermediate area of experience between the internal and external reality, where creativity originates as a zone of fictive play that facilitates the subject's journey from "what is subjectively conceived of' to "what is objectively perceived. " The outcome of this investigation constitutes the production of a series of photographs describing an empty abstract space, one that is invested with a psychic dimension that produces the effect of ambiguity between its representational and abstract readings. It provides a redefinition of abstraction in a space of tension between the iconic and indexical aspects of the sign and opens up the space of abstraction in photography as one in which the relationship between inner and outer reality can be performed and can become a space of action and intervention

    The impact of intellectual disability and sport expertise on cognitive and executive functions.

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    Our aim was to identify the suitability of three assessment tools (i.e., Flanker test, Updating Word Span, and Color Trails Test) for future inclusion in the classification process of elite Paralympic athletes with intellectual disability and to assess the strength of the relation between Executive function (EF) and intelligence. Cognitive and EF assessments were performed on 59 participants, divided into four groups according to their cognitive level (with versus without intellectual disability) and sport expertise (athlete versus novice). Inhibition and working memory update skills were implicated in people with intellectual disability. For set-shifting, a more nuanced picture was observed. Strong associations between EF and intelligence was found in people with intellectual disability. Working memory updating and set-shifting are relevant EF skills to assess in the context of elite sport; however, culture-free alternatives for the Updating Word Span test are needed, and alternatives to the Color Trails Test, less reliant on literacy skills are required

    M&S highlight: Constantinides et al. (2003), On the use of nanoindentation for cementitious materials

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    Selective isolation and taxonomic analysis of the genus Micromonospora

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    Micromonosporae were isolated from a diverse range of environmental habitats and geographic locations. The dispersion and differential centrifugation technique, coupled with a phenol pre-treatment and the use of colloidal chitin and M3 agars as selective media proved to be highly efficient for the recovery of micromonosporae from environmental samples. The dispersion and centrifugation technique yielded recoveries of up to 10,000 fold more micromonosporae than the traditional vortex technique. Counts varied between 0 and 9 * 104 colony forming units/g for the terrestrial samples and from 6 to 5 * 102 colony forming units/g for the marine samples. The highest counts of micromonosporae (9 * 104 colony forming units/g) were recovered from a Namibian sample. A number of alkali tolerant micromonosporae were isolated from the Indonesian samples using the same procedure but with the medium adjusted to pH 10. Counts of alkalitolerant micromonosporae ranged from 0 to 5 * 103 colony forming units/g of sample, with the highest counts being recovered from a rice paddy field. Representative alkalitolerant micromonosporae grew well on media at pH 7 to 8. Pyrolysis mass spectrometry (PyMS) was used to rapidly screen representatives of Micromonospora isolates from all environmental habitats and geographical locations sampled. PyMS revealed a number of pyro-groups containing isolates distinct from the Type strains suggesting that these isolates may represent novel taxa. There was some evidence of isolates forming pyro-groups based on their sample location. One hundred and eighty representatives of the genus micromonospora and 15 duplicated strains were examined for 134 unit characters and the resultant data analysed using the Jaccard (SJ) and simple matching SSM coefficients. Clustering was achieved using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages algorithm (UPGMA). Good congruence was found between the classifications based on the SJ and SSM, UPGMA analyses. The numerical phenetic data were difficult to interpret but a measure of confidence can be placed in the numerical classification based on the SJ, UPGMA analysis given the acceptable cophenetic correlation and test error values and the congruence observed with the results from the SSM, UPGMA analysis. The test strains were assigned to major (4 or more strains), minor (2-3 strains) and single membered clusters defined at the 69% similarity level in the S], UPGMA classification. There was good agreement between the pyrogroups formed in the PyMS analyses and the clusters generated from the numerical taxonomy analysis. The PyMS and numerical taxonomic analyses revealed that there is some evidence for Micromonospora isolates existing as geovars as both techniques revealed some evidence for isolates grouping according to their sample location. Attempts to sequence the 16S gene of Micromonospora isolates were unsuccessful due to difficulties in obtaining high quantities of pure DNA and because questions have been raised over whether this genus contains more than one rRNA operon. The single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) technique demonstrated that differences in 16S rONA sequences between isolates could be detected and individual profiles for the isolates could be generated. The SSCP technique also highlighted the discrepancies that may exist between supposedly identical type strains in culture collections

    In search of 'The people of La Manche': A comparative study of funerary practices in the Transmanche region during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (250BC-1500BC)

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    This research project sets out to discover whether archaeological evidence dating between 2500 BC - 1500 BC from supposed funerary contexts in Kent, flanders and north-eastern Transmanche France is sufficient to make valid comparisons between social and cultural structures on either side of the short-sea Channel region. Evidence from the beginning of the period primarily comes in the form of the widespread Beaker phenomenon. Chapter 5 shows that this class of data is abundant in Kent but quite sparse in the Continental zones - most probably because it has not survived well. This problem also affects the human depositional evidence catalogued in Chapter 6, particularly in Fanders but also in north-eastern Transmanche France. This constricts comparative analysis, however, the abundant data from Kent means that general trends are still discernible. The quality and volume of data relating to the distribution, location, morphology and use of circular monuments in all three zones is far better - as demonstrated in Chapter 7 -mostly due to extensive aerial surveying over several decades. When the datasets are taken as a whole, it becomes possible to successfully apply various forms of comparative analyses. Most remarkably, this has revealed that some monuments apparently have encoded within them a sophisticated and potentially symbolically charged geometric shape. This, along with other less contentious evidence, demonstrates a level of conformity that strongly suggests a stratum of cultural homogeneity existed throughout the Transmanche region during the period 2500 BC - 1500 BC. The fact that such changes as are apparent seem to have developed simultaneously in each of the zones adds additional weight to the theory that contact throughout the Transmanche region was endemic. Even so, it may not have been continuous; there may actually have been times of relative isolation - the data is simply too course to eliminate such a possibility

    Anytime algorithms for ROBDD symmetry detection and approximation

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    Reduced Ordered Binary Decision Diagrams (ROBDDs) provide a dense and memory efficient representation of Boolean functions. When ROBDDs are applied in logic synthesis, the problem arises of detecting both classical and generalised symmetries. State-of-the-art in symmetry detection is represented by Mishchenko's algorithm. Mishchenko showed how to detect symmetries in ROBDDs without the need for checking equivalence of all co-factor pairs. This work resulted in a practical algorithm for detecting all classical symmetries in an ROBDD in O(|G|³) set operations where |G| is the number of nodes in the ROBDD. Mishchenko and his colleagues subsequently extended the algorithm to find generalised symmetries. The extended algorithm retains the same asymptotic complexity for each type of generalised symmetry. Both the classical and generalised symmetry detection algorithms are monolithic in the sense that they only return a meaningful answer when they are left to run to completion. In this thesis we present efficient anytime algorithms for detecting both classical and generalised symmetries, that output pairs of symmetric variables until a prescribed time bound is exceeded. These anytime algorithms are complete in that given sufficient time they are guaranteed to find all symmetric pairs. Theoretically these algorithms reside in O(n³+n|G|+|G|³) and O(n³+n²|G|+|G|³) respectively, where n is the number of variables, so that in practice the advantage of anytime generality is not gained at the expense of efficiency. In fact, the anytime approach requires only very modest data structure support and offers unique opportunities for optimisation so the resulting algorithms are very efficient. The thesis continues by considering another class of anytime algorithms for ROBDDs that is motivated by the dearth of work on approximating ROBDDs. The need for approximation arises because many ROBDD operations result in an ROBDD whose size is quadratic in the size of the inputs. Furthermore, if ROBDDs are used in abstract interpretation, the running time of the analysis is related not only to the complexity of the individual ROBDD operations but also the number of operations applied. The number of operations is, in turn, constrained by the number of times a Boolean function can be weakened before stability is achieved. This thesis proposes a widening that can be used to both constrain the size of an ROBDD and also ensure that the number of times that it is weakened is bounded by some given constant. The widening can be used to either systematically approximate an ROBDD from above (i.e. derive a weaker function) or below (i.e. infer a stronger function). The thesis also considers how randomised techniques may be deployed to improve the speed of computing an approximation by avoiding potentially expensive ROBDD manipulation

    The Influence of Quality on eWOM: A Digital Transformation in Hotel Management

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    612324There is no doubt that the use of Internet for purchasing products and services has constituted a crucial change in how people go about buying them. In the era of digital transformation, the possibility of accessing information provided by other users about their personal experiences has taken on more weight in the selection and buying processes. On these lines, traditional word-of-mouth (WOM) has given way to electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), which constitutes a major social change. This behavior is particularly relevant in the services area, where potential users cannot in advance assess what is on offer. There is an abundant literature analyzing the effects of eWOM on different variables of interest in this sector. However, little is known about the factors that determine eWOM. Thus, the main objective of the present paper is to analyze the impact of two variables (objective quality and perceived quality) on eWOM. Both of them are crucial for potential customers in the process of finding hotel accommodations and they can motivate people to make such comments. The results demonstrate that these variables truly have a significant impact on whether or not users make comments on line. Moreover, it proved possible to observe certain differences according to the profile of the tourist involved and the destination where the hotel is located. In the current changing environment, this information is of great use for hotel managers in order to design strategies according to the type of guest they wish to attract.S
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