Research

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  • Active Collection of Land Cover Sample Data from Geo-Tagged Web Texts
    Active Collection of Land Cover Sample Data from Geo-Tagged Web Texts
    Sample data plays an important role in land cover (LC) map validation. Traditionally, they are collected through field survey or image interpretation, either of which is costly, labor-intensive and time-consuming. In recent years, massive geo-tagged texts are emerging on the web and they contain valuable information for LC map validation. However, this kind of special textual data has seldom been analyzed and used for supporting LC map validation. This paper examines the potential of geo-tagged web texts as a new cost-free sample data source to assist LC map validation and proposes an active data collection approach. The proposed approach uses a customized deep web crawler to search for geo-tagged web texts based on land cover-related keywords and string-based rules matching. A data transformation based on buffer analysis is then performed to convert the collected web texts into LC sample data. Using three provinces and three municipalities directly under the Central Government in China as study areas, geo-tagged web texts were collected to validate artificial surface class of China’s 30-meter global land cover datasets (GlobeLand30-2010). A total of 6283 geo-tagged web texts were collected at a speed of 0.58 texts per second. The collected texts about built-up areas were transformed into sample data. User’s accuracy of 82.2% was achieved, which is close to that derived from formal expert validation. The preliminary results show that geo-tagged web texts are valuable ancillary data for LC map validation and the proposed approach can improve the efficiency of sample data collection., Hou, D., Chen, J., Wu, H., Li, S., Chen, F., & Zhang, W. (2015). Active collection of land cover sample data from geo-tagged web texts. Remote Sensing, 7(5), 5805-5827. doi:10.3390/rs70505805
    Adapting Engineering Design Tools to Include Human Factors
    Adapting Engineering Design Tools to Include Human Factors
    OCCUPATIONAL APPLICATIONS In a longitudinal collaboration with engineers and human factors specialists at an electronics manufacturer, five engineering design tools were adapted to include human factors. The tools, many with required human factors targets, were integrated at each stage of assembly design to increase the proactive application of human factors. This article describes the process of adapting the five tools within the collaborating organization. Findings suggest 12 key features of human factors tools, most importantly that they “fit” with engineering processes, language, and tools; directly address business goals and influence key metrics; and are quantifiable and can demonstrate change. To be effective in an engineering design environment, it is suggested that human factors specialists increase their understanding of their organization’s design process, learn which tools are commonly used in engineering, focus on important metrics for the business goals, and incorporate human factors into engineering-based tools and worksystem design practices in their organizations. TECHNICAL ABSTRACT Rationale: Design engineers use diverse tools in design, but few incorporate human factors, even though optimizing human performance can further improve operational performance. There is a need for practical tools to help engineers integrate human factors into production design processes. Purpose: This article demonstrates how five engineering design tools were adapted to include human factors and were integrated into design processes within the case study organization. It also provides features of an effective human factors tool and recommendations for practitioners. Method: A longitudinal collaboration with engineers and human factors specialists in a large electronics manufacturing organization allowed in vivo adaptation and testing of various tools in an action research methodology. Qualitative data were recorded from multiple sources, then transcribed and analyzed over a 3-year period. Results: The adapted tools integrated into each stage of the design process included the human factors process failure mode effects analysis, human factors design for assembly, human factors design for fixtures, workstation efficiency evaluator, and human factors kaizens. Each tool had a unique participatory development process; 12 features are recommended for effective human factors tools based on the findings herein. Most importantly, tools should “fit” with existing engineering processes, language, and tools; directly address business goals and influence key metrics; and be quantifiable and demonstrate change. Conclusions: Engineers and management responded positively to the five tools adapted for human factors because they were designed to help improve assembly design and achieve their business goals. Several of the human factors tools became required targets within the design process, ensuring that human factors considerations are built into all future design processes. Adapting engineering tools, rather than using human factors tools, required a shift for human factors specialists, who needed to expand their knowledge of engineering processes, tools, techniques, language, metrics, and goals., Judy Village, Michael Greig, S. Zolfaghari, F. Salustri & W. P. Neumann (2014) Adapting Engineering Design Tools to Include Human Factors, IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, 2:1, 1-14, DOI:10.1080/21577323.2014.905884
    Adapting the failure modes effect analysis (FMEA) for early detection of human factors concerns
    Adapting the failure modes effect analysis (FMEA) for early detection of human factors concerns
    As one of many initiatives underway in a collaborative action research project with a large manufacturer, this paper presents the development of a "human factors" failure modes effect analysis (HF-FMEA). FMEA is an engineering reliability tool that helps define, identify, prioritize and eliminate known or potential failures of a system, design or manufacturing assembly process, generally to optimize quality or systems safety for consumers. The goal of the HF-FMEA is to detect and minimize risk of injury for the operator who will assemble products, prior to design of an assembly line. Scoring procedures for "severity", "occurrence" and "detection" from a HF perspective are presented with examples. Embedding the HF-FMEA into software templates, and structuring a process for support and integration helps ensure its continued use. The process may be useful for other organizations with hand-intensive assemblies to optimize worker health together with assembly quality.
    Advancing biomimetic materials through ISO standards
    Advancing biomimetic materials through ISO standards
    This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities of developing standards for biomimetic materials, based on the authors experience with International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/Technical Committee 266 Biomimetics. With the expansion of global trade, international standards are increasingly called on to protect the interests of consumers, improve business productivity and facilitate trade. In the past, standards typically addressed form/fit/function specifications and were associated with mature industries. Recently some ISO standards are focusing on processes, quality and consistency, which can support advances in emerging fields. ISO has the potential to advance biomimetic materials and biomimetics in general by developing and promoting frameworks that reflect the evolving nature of biomimetics., Hoeller, N., & Salustri, F. A. (2016). Dvancing biomimetic materials through ISO standards. Bioinspired, Biomimetic and Nanobiomaterials, 5(4), 171-175.
    Age Discrimination and Early Retirement Policies: A Comparison of Labor Market Regulation in Canada and the United States
    Age Discrimination and Early Retirement Policies: A Comparison of Labor Market Regulation in Canada and the United States
    As public policy issues, mandatory retirement and age discrimination are approached differently in Canada and the United States. TIle legal frameworks, enforcement procedures, and judicial decisions are distinct in the two jurisdictions. The United States, unlike Canada, has specific legislation to protect the rights of older workers, and has a centralized enforcement system. The differences between the two countries are accounted for by the greater emphasis on individual rights in the United States and on communitariarnsm in Canada. The different policy choices of each society highlight the tensions inherent in North American labor markets. The United States seems to be in a better position to shift toward a labor-management policy which encourages older workers to remain in the workforce., Journal of Aging & Social Policy, Vol. 7(1) 1995
    Aging, Culture, and Memory for Socially Meaningful Item-Context Associations: An East-West Cross-Cultural Comparison Study
    Aging, Culture, and Memory for Socially Meaningful Item-Context Associations: An East-West Cross-Cultural Comparison Study
    Research suggests that people in Eastern interdependent cultures process information more holistically and attend more to contextual information than do people in Western independent cultures. The current study examined the effects of culture and age on memory for socially meaningful item-context associations in 71 Canadians of Western European descent (35 young and 36 older) and 72 native Chinese citizens (36 young and 36 older). All participants completed two blocks of context memory tasks. During encoding, participants rated pictures of familiar objects. In one block, objects were rated either for their meaningfulness in the independent living context or their typicality in daily life. In the other block, objects were rated for their meaningfulness in the context of fostering relationships with others or for their typicality in daily life. The encoding in each block was followed by a recognition test in which participants identified pictures and their associated contexts. The results showed that Chinese outperformed Canadians in context memory, though both culture groups showed similar age-related deficits in item and context memory. The results suggest that Chinese are at an advantage in memory for socially meaningful item-context associations, an advantage that continues from young adulthood into old age., Yang L, Li J, Spaniol J, Hasher L, Wilkinson AJ, Yu J, et al. (2013) Aging, Culture, and Memory for Socially Meaningful Item-Context Associations: An East-West Cross-Cultural Comparison Study. PLoS ONE 8(4): e60703.
    Airfoil Performance at Low Reynolds Numbers in the Presence of Periodic Disturbances
    Airfoil Performance at Low Reynolds Numbers in the Presence of Periodic Disturbances
    The boundary-layer separation and wake structure of a NACA 0025 airfoil and the effect of external excitations in presence of structural vibrations on airfoil performance were studied experimentally. Wind tunnel experiments were carried out for three Reynolds numbers and three angles of attack, involving hot-wire measurements and complementary surface flow visualization. The results establish that external acoustic excitation at a particular frequency and appropriate amplitude suppresses or reduces the separation region and decreases the airfoil wake, i.e., produces an increase of the lift and/or decrease of the drag. The acoustic excitation also alters characteristics of the vortical structures in the wake, decreasing the vortex length scale and coherency. Optimum excitation frequencies were found to correlate with the fundamental frequencies of the naturally amplified disturbances in the separated shear layer. The results suggest that acoustic waves play a dominant role in exciting the separated shear layer of the airfoil. Moreover, low-frequency structural vibrations are found to have a significant effect on airfoil performance, as they enhance the sound pressure levels within the test section., Journal of Fluids Engineering. May 2006, Vol. 128. DOI: 10.1115/1.2175165
    Alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, and related mortality in Italy in 2004: effects of treatment-based interventions on alcohol dependence
    Alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, and related mortality in Italy in 2004: effects of treatment-based interventions on alcohol dependence
    Background The tradition of consuming alcohol has long been a part of Italian culture and is responsible for a large health burden. This burden may be reduced with effective interventions, one of the more important of which is treatment for Alcohol Dependence (AD). The aim of this article is to estimate the burden of disease in Italy attributable to alcohol consumption, heavy alcohol consumption, and AD. An additional aim of this paper is to examine the effects of increasing the coverage of treatment for AD on the alcohol-attributable burden of disease. Methods Alcohol-attributable deaths and the effects of treatments for AD were estimated using alcohol-attributable fractions and simulations. Deaths, potential years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability adjusted life years lost were obtained for 2004 for Italy and for the European Union from the Global Burden of Disease study. Alcohol consumption data were obtained from the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health. The prevalences of current drinkers, former drinkers, and lifetime abstainers were obtained from the GENder Alcohol and Culture International Study. The prevalence of AD was obtained from the World Mental Health Survey. Alcohol relative risks were obtained from various meta-analyses. Results 5,320 deaths (1,530 female deaths; 3,790 male deaths) or 5.9% of all deaths (4.9% of all female deaths; 6.3% of all male deaths) of people 15 to 64 years of age were estimated to be alcohol-attributable. Of these deaths, 74.5% (61.3% for females; 79.8% for males) were attributable to heavy drinking, and 26.9% (25.6% for females; 27.5% for males) were attributable to AD. Increasing pharmacological AD treatment coverage to 40% would result in an estimated reduction of 3.3% (50 deaths/year) of all female and 7.6% (287 deaths/year) of all male alcohol-attributable deaths. Conclusions Alcohol was responsible for a large proportion of the burden of disease in Italy in 2004. Increasing treatment coverage for AD in Italy could reduce that country’s alcohol-attributable burden of disease., Shield, K. D., Rehm, J., Gmel, G., Rehm, M. X., & Allamani, A. (2013). Alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, and related mortality in italy in 2004: Effects of treatment-based interventions on alcohol dependence. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 8(1), 21-21. doi:10.1186/1747-597X-8-21
    Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland
    Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland
    Abstract Rehm, J., Rehm, M. X., Alho, H., Allamani, A., Aubin, H., Bühringerm G,m Daeppen, J., Frick, U., Gual, A., & Heather, N. (2013). Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 2(2), 53-67. doi: 10.7895/ijadr.v2i2.89 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v2i2.89) Aim: To describe guidelines and common practices for alcohol dependence treatment in Europe. Design: Systematic and qualitative review; for each country, guidelines were identified via systematic literature research, followed by interviews with treatment experts. Setting: European Union (EU) countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. Participants: Experts in alcohol dependence treatments and treatment systems. Measure: Semi-structured questionnaire for interviews. Findings: While fewer than half of EU countries have formal national guidelines for alcohol dependence treatment, a majority of these countries have guidelines by professional organizations such as psychiatric or neuropsychopharmacologic societies, and several are currently developing such guidelines. Abstinence is the usual treatment goal, but the majority of countries accept reduction of drinking as an intermediate or secondary goal, in practice even more than in the guidelines. Psychotherapy, mainly cognitive-behavioral approaches, motivational interviewing, and family therapy, is the most common treatment for relapse prevention, in part accompanied by pharmacotherapy (disulfiram, acamprosate and naltrexone being used most often). Conclusions: There are differences in treatment for alcohol dependence in Europe. The introduction of reduction of drinking as one treatment goal may attract more patients. Keywords alcohol dependence, treatment, abstinence, reduced drinking, pharmacotherapy, Rehm, J., Rehm, M., Alho, H., Allamani, A., Aubin, H., Bühringer, G., Daeppen, J., Frick, U., Gual, A., & Heather, N. (2013). Alcohol dependence treatment in the EU: A literature search and expert consultation about the availability and use of guidelines in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 2(2), 53-67. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v2i2.89
    Alexithymia and eating disorders: a critical review of the literature
    Alexithymia and eating disorders: a critical review of the literature
    Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties identifying feelings and differentiating between feelings and bodily sensations, difficulties communicating feelings, and a concrete cognitive style focused on the external environment. Individuals with eating disorders have elevated levels of alexithymia, particularly difficulties identifying and describing their feelings. A number of theoretical models have suggested that individuals with eating disorders may find emotions unacceptable and/or frightening and may use their eating disorder symptoms (i.e., restricting food intake, bingeing, and/or purging) as a way to avoid or cope with their feelings. The current critical review synthesizes the literature on alexithymia and eating disorders and examines alexithymia levels across eating disorders (i.e., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified), the role of alexithymia in binge eating disorder, and the influence of alexithymia on the development of eating disorders as well as treatment outcome. The clinical implications of the research conducted to date and directions for future research are discussed., Nowakowski, M. E., McFarlane, T., & Cassin, S. (2013). Alexithymia and eating disorders: A critical review of the literature. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1(1), 21-21. doi:10.1186/2050-2974-1-21
    All-fiber passively mode-locked femtosecond fiber lasers
    All-fiber passively mode-locked femtosecond fiber lasers
    This dissertation presents three all-fiber designs of passively mode-locked lasers in order to achieve high pulse energy, environmentally-stable dissipative soliton (DS) operation in all-normal-dispersion cavities. A numerical model for DS mode-locked fiber lasers based on the nonlinear Schrodinger equation has been used to guide the experimental designs. Firstly, an environmentally-stable and ultra-compact SESAM mode-locked fiber laser is demonstrated. The all-fiber design is realized using a mode-field-adaptor (MFA) to couple light onto the SESAM. A polarization-maintaining fiber loop mirror serves multiple functions as a highly reflective mirror, an output coupler and polarization selector. Self-starting and stable DS mode-locking operation is achieved with 1.7 nJ pulse energy and a 22 ps pulse width. Secondly, an ultra-stable DS mode-locking was demonstrated in a long cavity ring laser with a nonlinear amplified loop mirror (NALM) as a mode-locking device. The output pulses of 32 nJ, 615 fs de-chirped pulse width were obtained with the Raman signal suppressed below -20 dB in a 81 m long cavity. The mode-locking is self-starting and the mode-locked pulse train shows excellent stability. Thirdly, the mode-laser cavity was extended with a piece of large-mode-area (LMA) fiber with a low dispersion to further scaling up the pulse energy to 56.8 nJ. The laser pulses were compressed to 750 fs by a pair of volume gratings. In the processing of scaling-up the pulse energy of the NALM mode-locked fiber laser, some interesting physical phenomena were observed, such as the operation regime transition from noise-like to DS with a sudden reduction of Raman signal and a unique waves-splitting with a stable temporal spacing. The phenomena were studied and explained in this dissertation. In addition to the mode-locked fiber laser, a CW and a Q-switched fiber lasers were also designed with a single-mode- multimode- single-mode (SMS) filter as an effective mean of overcoming nonlinear effects. The transmission spectral property of the SMS was studied which fits well with theoretical calculation. One high efficiency SMS CW fiber lasers and one SMS Q-switched fiber laser were designed which showed the effectiveness of the SMS filter for inhibiting the SRS and significantly reducing SPM.