Research

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  • A Scalable GeoWeb Tool for Argumentation Mapping
    A Scalable GeoWeb Tool for Argumentation Mapping
    Public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) support collaborative decision-making in the public realm. PPGIS provide advanced communication, deliberation, and conflict resolution mecha nisms to engage diverse stakeholder groups. Many of the functional characteristics of Web 2.0 echo basic PPGIS functions including the authoring, linking, and sharing of volunteered geographic information. However, with the increasing popularity of geospatial applications on the Web comes a need to develop concepts for scalable, reliable, and easy-to-maintain tools. In this paper, we propose a cloud computing implementation of a scalable argumentation mapping tool. The tool also illustrates the opportunities of applying a Web 2.0 model to PPGIS. The searching, linking, authoring, tagging, extension, and signalling (SLATES) functions are associated with PPGIS functionality to produce a participatory GeoWeb tool for deliberative democracy.
    A Simplified Ground Thermal Response  Model for Analyzing Solar-Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump Systems
    A Simplified Ground Thermal Response Model for Analyzing Solar-Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump Systems
    Ground source heat pump systems that are installed in areas with heating or cooling dominant seasons, or in buildings with utilization characteristics that lead to a disparity in demand, often encounter challenges related to ground thermal imbalance. This imbalance can lead to long-term ground temperature changes and may cause premature system failure. This paper focuses on combining a ground source heat pump system with a solar thermal array, with the goal of eliminating the effect of ground thermal imbalance, and minimizing system lifetime cost. A thermal mass ground heat transfer model is combined with a time-stepping model to analyze the system for a variety of solar array sizes. The details associated with this modelling technique are presented, and case studies are provided to illustrate the results of the calculations for three different buildings. It is shown that increasing the solar array size can offset ground thermal imbalances, but increasing the array size also results in a larger initial system cost. An economic analysis is then carried out to determine the system lifetime cost as a function of this solar array size, and an optimal array size from an economic perspective was found. The result of the study shows that hybridizing a ground source heat pump system with a solar array produces a viable system from a technical and economic standpoint, can be used to avoid premature system failure, and can reduce system lifetime cost., Fine, J. P., Nguyen, H. V., Friedman, J., Leong, W. H., & Dworkin, S. B. (2017). A Simplified Ground Thermal Response Model for Analyzing Solar-Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump Systems. Toronto, ON: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Ryerson University
    A Sketch of the Digital Page
    A Sketch of the Digital Page
    With today’s increasingly digitized culture, we are witnessing an ideological shift toward paperless communication and the emergence of the digital page. Yet, we continue to conceptualize the visual structure of information using the language of print, imposing unnecessary limitations. Recent efforts in e-book development most vividly highlight the need for study of the distinct features of the electronic format and, in turn, the associated range of effects on the way we interact with information. In the first half of the present paper, I situate the notion of the page in multiple socio-historic and theoretical contexts, rationalizing its broad viability as a visual solution for the digital display environment. In the second half, I describe some of the characteristics of digital pages, as viewed with a conventional personal computer, using examples from a cross-section of functional contexts, including Adobe Reader, NYTimes.com, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Maps. Drawing on the field of information design, I apply visual analysis to general characteristics (an exploratory term comprising dimensions, blank space, colour, content, printability, and interactivity), composition, and typographic legibility. Based on a very limited data set, my findings indicate that digital pages currently have a distinctly vertical orientation, requiring extensive use of scrolling, and do not utilize the full area of the computer screen. They offer a dynamic multimedia experience that does not lend itself to printing. Simple, streamlined grid structures and proven proportional relationships are found to produce the most balanced and accessible compositions, while typographic legibility is found to suffer from excessive column width. I thus generate an introductory sketch of the basic structure of the digital page to help advance our understanding of the electronic interface
    A Study of High Frequency Ultrasound Scattering from Non-nucleated Biological Specimens
    A Study of High Frequency Ultrasound Scattering from Non-nucleated Biological Specimens
    Online version of an article originally published as: A study of high frequency ultrasound scattering from non-nucleated biological specimens. Omar Falou, Ralph E. Baddour, George Nathanael, Gregory J. Czarnota, J. Carl Kumaradas and Michael C. Kolios (2008) The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124(5): EL278-EL283
    A Systems Perspective on Volunteered Geographic Information
    A Systems Perspective on Volunteered Geographic Information
    The presentation is attached - click download link to access PDF file.
    A Systems View of Bioinspiration: Bridging the Gaps
    A Systems View of Bioinspiration: Bridging the Gaps
    This paper provides an overview of biom*, an umbrella term for biomimicry, biomimetics, bio-inspired design and related fields. The paper explores three levels of biom* bridging, discusses benefits and implications of adopting a systems perspective, and proposes initiatives for further development. Searching for ‘sweet spots’ leveraging the synergy between aspiration, our growing knowledge of natural systems, and the market economy will improve the ability of biom* to deliver meaningful and impactful solutions.
    A Tale of Two Motives: Endogenous Time Preference, Cash-in-Advance Constraints and Monetary Policy
    A Tale of Two Motives: Endogenous Time Preference, Cash-in-Advance Constraints and Monetary Policy
    This paper demonstrates the effects of modeling an endogenous rate of time preference and two cash-in-advance constraints. If the constraint is levied on consumption and capital goods, time preference effects are neutral and cash-in-advance constraint effects invert the Tobin Effect. If the constraint applies solely to consumption goods, opposing motives are offsetting and monetary policy is super neutral., Kam, E. (2013). A Tale of Two Motives: Endogenous Time Preference, Cash-in-Advance Constraints and Monetary Policy. ME, 04(06), pp.427-430.
    A Tale of Two Systems: Success and Failure in a Single Information System Implementation
    A Tale of Two Systems: Success and Failure in a Single Information System Implementation
    This paper presents a case study of an information system implementation. The system, a computerized student record system, was introduced into a small university when the university opened. Unlike many other case studies of systems implementation, there was no existing system to replace, thus it was expected that there would be little resistance to the system. Successful implementation was anticipated, particularly as the systems designers were also the primary users. An evaluation of the system shows this was not the case. Two groups of users are identified, one pleased with the system, the other dissatisfied. The secondary users did not display their dissatisfaction with the system by resistance, however. They used the system frequently, but were denied the full access they required to do their jobs. Ostensibly due to technical limitations of the system, the primary users acted as gatekeepers. An examination of the culture and management structure of the university reveals strong political motivations for the primary users to exert power over the secondary users. Markus’s (1983) interpretation of interaction theory is used to discuss the political implications of the system design. It is concluded that senior management must be aware of the importance of information systems to their organizations, and understand the potential for designers to use these systems as sources of power. The case study is reconstructed from the author’s experiences as a staff member at the university during the system implementation, initially as a primary user of the system (but not an active member of the system design team), and later as a secondary user. The case is evaluated from the perspective of both user groups, using a framework derived from the literature on information systems failure and successful systems implementation., Middleton, Catherine. (1995). A Tale of Two Systems: Success and Failure in a Single Information System Implementation. (Working Paper 20-97). North York, ON: OBIR/Schulich School of Business.
    A Techno-economic Analysis of Heat-Pump Entering Fluid Temperatures, and CO2 Emissions for Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump Systems
    A Techno-economic Analysis of Heat-Pump Entering Fluid Temperatures, and CO2 Emissions for Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump Systems
    Hybrid ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) that include a ground loop for the base heating and cooling needs, and an auxiliary system (natural gas boiler and electric air conditioner) for peak loads, are an economical and environmentally cleaner alternative to conventional systems. For a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) system, the choice of entering fluid temperature (EFT) to the heat pump plays a crucial role in determining system efficiency of and operating costs. To continue expanding the knowledge base of efficiently sizing GSHPs as a component of a hybrid system, this study explores the economic effects of choosing an EFT for a heat pump. In addition, system CO2 emissions are calculated and analyzed for a variety of building types. Using a computational approach to size hybrid GSHP systems recently published in [Alavy et al., Renewable Energy, 57 (2013) 404-412], the effects of optimizing EFT for a heat pump, and CO2 emissions were studied for a variety of commercial installations. In the present study, using ten buildings situated in Southern Ontario, Canada, by varying cooling and heating EFTs for a heat pump, savings ranging from 0.47% to 3.6% can be achieved compared to using a fixed EFT pairfor a heat pump. In addition, comparisons were made between the CO2 emissions of optimally sized (based on economic factors) hybrid GHSPs and those of non-hybridized GSHPs. Both the optimally-sized hybrid GHSPs, and the non-hybridized GSHPs significantly reduce CO2 emissions compared to the use of conventional natural gas/electrical systems. The additional environmental benefit of the non-hybridized GSHPs over that of the optimally-sized hybrid GSHPs was found to be negligible in most cases analyzed., Nguyen, H. V., Law, X. E., Zhou, X., Leong, W. H., & Dworkin, S. B. (2016). A techno-economic analysis of heat-pump entering fluid temperatures and CO2 emissions for hybrid ground source heat pump systems. Geothermics, 61, 24-34. doi:10.1016/j.geothermics.2016.01.013
    A Unified Model for the Prediction of Yield Strength in Particulate-Reinforced Metal Matrix Nanocomposites
    A Unified Model for the Prediction of Yield Strength in Particulate-Reinforced Metal Matrix Nanocomposites
    Lightweighting in the transportation industry is today recognized as one of the most important strategies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce anthropogenic climate-changing, environment-damaging, and human death-causing emissions. However, the structural applications of lightweight alloys are often limited by some inherent deficiencies such as low stiffness, high wear rate and inferior strength. These properties could be effectively enhanced by the addition of stronger and stiffer reinforcements, especially nano-sized particles, into metal matrix to form composites. In most cases three common strengthening mechanisms (load-bearing effect, mismatch of coefficients of thermal expansion, and Orowan strengthening) have been considered to predict the yield strength of metal matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs). This study was aimed at developing a unified model by taking into account the matrix grain size and porosity (which is unavoidable in the materials processing such as casting and powder metallurgy) in the prediction of the yield strength of MMNCs. The Zener pinning effect of grain boundaries by the nano-sized particles has also been integrated. The model was validated using the experimental data of magnesium- and titanium-based nanocomposites containing different types of nano-sized particles (namely, Al2O3, Y2O3, and carbon nanotubes). The predicted results were observed to be in good agreement with the experimental data reported in the literature., Mirza, F. A., & Chen, D. L. (2015). A unified model for the prediction of yield strength in particulate-reinforced metal matrix nanocomposites. Materials, 8(8), 5138-5153. doi:10.3390/ma8085138, (This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)