Research

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  • Utility Assessment of a Map-Based Online Geo-Collaboration Tool
    Utility Assessment of a Map-Based Online Geo-Collaboration Tool
    Spatial group decision-making processes often include both informal and analytical components. Discussions among stakeholders or planning experts are an example of an informal component. When participants discuss spatial planning projects they typically express concerns and comments by pointing to places on a map. The Argumentation Map model provides a conceptual basis for collaborative tools that enable explicit linkages of arguments to the places to which they refer. These tools allow for the input of explicitly geo-referenced arguments as well as the visual access to arguments through a map interface. In this paper, we will review previous utility studies in geo-collaboration and evaluate a case study of a Web-based Argumentation Map application. The case study was conducted in the summer of 2005 when student participants discussed planning issues on the University of Toronto St. George campus. During a one-week unmoderated discussion phase, 11 participants wrote 60 comments on issues such as safety, facilities, parking, and building aesthetics. By measuring the participants’ use of geographic references, we draw conclusions on how well the software tool supported the potential of the underlying concept. This research aims to contribute to a scientific approach to geo-collaboration in which the engineering of novel spatial decision support methods is complemented by a critical assessment of their utility in controlled, realistic experiments.
    Validating an infrared thermal switch as a novel access technology
    Validating an infrared thermal switch as a novel access technology
    Background Recently, a novel single-switch access technology based on infrared thermography was proposed. The technology exploits the temperature differences between the inside and surrounding areas of the mouth as a switch trigger, thereby allowing voluntary switch activation upon mouth opening. However, for this technology to be clinically viable, it must be validated against a gold standard switch, such as a chin switch, that taps into the same voluntary motion. Methods In this study, we report an experiment designed to gauge the concurrent validity of the infrared thermal switch. Ten able-bodied adults participated in a series of 3 test sessions where they simultaneously used both an infrared thermal and conventional chin switch to perform multiple trials of a number identification task with visual, auditory and audiovisual stimuli. Participants also provided qualitative feedback about switch use. User performance with the two switches was quantified using an efficiency measure based on mutual information. Results User performance (p = 0.16) and response time (p = 0.25) with the infrared thermal switch were comparable to those of the gold standard. Users reported preference for the infrared thermal switch given its non-contact nature and robustness to changes in user posture. Conclusions Thermal infrared access technology appears to be a valid single switch alternative for individuals with disabilities who retain voluntary mouth opening and closing., Memarian, N., Venetsanopoulos, A. N., & Chau, T. (2010). Validating an infrared thermal switch as a novel access technology. Biomedical Engineering Online, 9(1), 38-38. doi:10.1186/1475-925X-9-38
    Validity of a theoretical model to examine blood oxygenation dependent optoacoustics
    Validity of a theoretical model to examine blood oxygenation dependent optoacoustics
    A theoretical model investigating the dependence of optoacoustic (OA) signal on blood oxygen saturation (SO2) is discussed. The derivations for the nonbandlimited and bandlimited OA signals from many red blood cells (RBCs) are presented. The OA field generated by many RBCs was obtained by summing the OA field emitted by each RBC approximated as a fluid sphere. A Monte Carlo technique was employed generating the spatial organizations of RBCs in two-dimensional. The RBCs were assumed to have the same SO2 level in a simulated configuration. The fractional number of oxyhemoglobin molecules, confined in a cell, determined the cellular SO2 and also defined the blood SO2. For the nonbandlimited case, the OA signal amplitude decreased and increased linearly with blood SO2 when illuminated by 700 and 1000 nm radiations, respectively. The power spectra exhibited similar trends over the entire frequency range (MHz to GHz). For the bandlimited case, three acoustic receivers with 2, 10, and 50 MHz as the center frequencies were considered. The linear variations of the OA amplitude with blood SO2 were also observed for each receiver at those laser sources. The good agreement between simulated and published experimental results validates the model qualitatively., Saha, R. (2012). Validity of a theoretical model to examine blood oxygenation dependent optoacoustics. J. Biomed. Opt, 17(5), p.055002.
    Vasculotide, an Angiopoietin-1 mimetic, reduces acute skin ionizing radiation damage in a preclinical mouse model
    Vasculotide, an Angiopoietin-1 mimetic, reduces acute skin ionizing radiation damage in a preclinical mouse model
    Background Most cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy, but the treatment can also damage the surrounding normal tissue. Acute skin damage from cancer radiotherapy diminishes patients’ quality of life, yet effective biological interventions for this damage are lacking. Protecting microvascular endothelial cells from irradiation-induced perturbations is emerging as a targeted damage-reduction strategy. Since Angiopoetin-1 signaling through the Tie2 receptor on endothelial cells opposes microvascular perturbations in other disease contexts, we used a preclinical Angiopoietin-1 mimic called Vasculotide to investigate its effect on skin radiation toxicity using a preclinical model. Methods Athymic mice were treated intraperitoneally with saline or Vasculotide and their flank skin was irradiated with a single large dose of ionizing radiation. Acute cutaneous damage and wound healing were evaluated by clinical skin grading, histology and immunostaining. Diffuse reflectance optical spectroscopy, myeloperoxidase-dependent bioluminescence imaging of neutrophils and a serum cytokine array were used to assess inflammation. Microvascular endothelial cell response to radiation was tested with in vitro clonogenic and Matrigel tubule formation assays. Tumour xenograft growth delay experiments were also performed. Appreciable differences between treatment groups were assessed mainly using parametric and non-parametric statistical tests comparing areas under curves, followed by post-hoc comparisons. Results In vivo, different schedules of Vasculotide treatment reduced the size of the irradiation-induced wound. Although skin damage scores remained similar on individual days, Vasculotide administered post irradiation resulted in less skin damage overall. Vasculotide alleviated irradiation-induced inflammation in the form of reduced levels of oxygenated hemoglobin, myeloperoxidase bioluminescence and chemokine MIP-2. Surprisingly, Vasculotide-treated animals also had higher microvascular endothelial cell density in wound granulation tissue. In vitro, Vasculotide enhanced the survival and function of irradiated endothelial cells. Conclusions Vasculotide administration reduces acute skin radiation damage in mice, and may do so by affecting several biological processes. This radiation protection approach may have clinical impact for cancer radiotherapy patients by reducing the severity of their acute skin radiation damage., Korpela, E., Yohan, D., Chin, L. C., Kim, A., Huang, X., Sade, S.. . Liu, S. K. (2014). Vasculotide, an angiopoietin-1 mimetic, reduces acute skin ionizing radiation damage in a preclinical mouse model. BMC Cancer, 14(1), 614-614. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-614
    Vehicle path planning for complete field coverage using genetic algorithms
    Vehicle path planning for complete field coverage using genetic algorithms
    In farming operations, one of the fundamental issues facing farmer is the cost of running the farm. If the equipment the farmer is using can be made more efficient, the cost of farming will be reduced. One way of making agricultural equipment more efficient is to develop automated or autonomous functions for the equipment. One of the fundamental tasks for autonomous equipment is to plan the path for the equipment to travel. This paper reports the research on the feasibility of creating an automated method of path planning for autonomous agricultural equipment. Genetic algorithms were chosen to plan the paths with a primary goal of creating an optimal path guiding the equipment to completely cover a field while avoiding all known obstacles. Two example fields were designed for evaluating the feasibility of this concept on simple problems. While simulation results verified the feasibility of this conceptual path planning method, they also indicated that further development would be required before the algorithm could actually be implemented on agricultural equipment for real-world field applications. Keywords: Automonous equipment, genetic algorithms, off-road vehicle, path planning, Ryerson, A. F., & Zhang, Q. (2007, July). Vehicle Path Planning for Complete Field Coverage Using Genetic Algorithms. Agricultural Engineering International: The CIGR Ejournal, IX.
    Vertical phosphorus migration in a biosolids-amended sandy loam soil in laboratory settings: concentrations in soils and leachates
    Vertical phosphorus migration in a biosolids-amended sandy loam soil in laboratory settings: concentrations in soils and leachates
    The impacts of biosolids land application on soil phosphorus and subsequent vertical migration to tile drainage were assessed in a laboratory setup. Soil, representing typical “nonresponse” Ontario soil as specified by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), was amended with anaerobically digested biosolids at a rate of 8Mgha−1 (dry weight). Over five months, these amended soil samples from two different depths were sequentially fractionated to determine various inorganic and organic phosphorus pools in order to evaluate phosphorus vertical migration within a soil profile. Soil leachate was analyzed for soluble reactive phosphorus.The results indicated that biosolids application did not significantly affect phosphorus concentrations in soil and did not cause phosphorus vertical migration. The concentrations of soluble reactive phosphorus also were not significantly affected by biosolids., Markunas, Y., Bostan, V., Laursen, A., Payne, M., & McCarthy, L. (2016). Vertical phosphorus migration in a biosolids-amended sandy loam soil in laboratory settings: Concentrations in soils and leachates. Applied and Environmental Soil Science, 2016 doi:10.1155/2016/3460939
    Vibration-based, nondestructive methodology for detecting multiple cracks in bending-torsion coupled laminated
composite beams
    Vibration-based, nondestructive methodology for detecting multiple cracks in bending-torsion coupled laminated composite beams
    Damage to composite structures occurs from impact, fatigue, or over stress and can be critical in the safe operation of wings or any structural member. This paper presents a method for detection of multiple cracks present in laminated composite bending-torsion coupled cantilevered beams using natural frequency data, a type of Nondestructive testing (NDT). This methodology relies on both experimentally collected natural frequencies and frequencies calculated using a mathematical model. Precise natural frequencies are calculated using a new dynamic finite cracked element (DFCE) formulated within and based on dynamic trigonometric shape functions. An algorithm is devised based on the Adam–Cawley criterion and extended to laminated composites with multiple cracks. This method has shown exceptional convergence on the size and location of cracks using a number of modes of free vibration with and without error in measured frequencies., Stephen R. Borneman and Seyed M. Hashemi, “Vibration-Based, Nondestructive Methodology for Detecting Multiple Cracks in Bending-Torsion Coupled Laminated Composite Beams,” Shock and Vibration, vol. 2018, Article ID 9628141, 10 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9628141
    Virtual Tools for Assessing Human and Organisational Factors in Production System Design
    Virtual Tools for Assessing Human and Organisational Factors in Production System Design
    For a more in-depth look on this subject, please see: Kazmierczak, K., Neumann, W.P. and Winkel, J., 2007. A case study of serial-flow car disassembly: ergonomics, productivity, and potential system performance. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, 17(4): 331-351. DOI: 10.1002/hfm.20078 Neumann, W.P. and Medbo, P., 2009. Integrating human factors into discrete event simulations of parallel and serial flow strategies. Production Planning & Control, 20(1): 3-16. DOI: 10.1080/09537280802601444 Perez, J. and Neumann, W.P., 2010. The Use of Virtual Human Factors Tools in Industry – A Workshop Investigation, Ryerson University, Toronto.http://digitalcommons.ryerson.ca/ie/1/
    Virtual identity: applying narrative theory to online character development
    Virtual identity: applying narrative theory to online character development
    This paper will explore the realm of virtual identity within the context of the online virtual world, Second Life. The creation of virtual identities involves the complex process of constructing an online self-presentation. With the prevalence of online forums and virtual reality, ordinary people are crafting identities online and digressing from their actual identities in real life. In order to explain this phenomenon, I draw on narrative theory’s conceptualization of character in order to understand how people craft online identities., Yumansky, S. (2008, Spring). Virtual identity: applying narrative theory to online character development. Stream: Culture/Politics/Technology, 1(1). Retrieved from http://journals.sfu.ca/stream/index.php/stream/article/view/4/4
    Visible minority status and philanthropy
    Visible minority status and philanthropy
    Recognition of the multi-cultural nature of the Canadian population has led many companies across a wide array of business domains to consider ways of reaching beyond their traditional bases of support to target hitherto untapped ethnic communities. Market conditions within the voluntary sector are pushing nonprofits along this same path. Unfortunately, there is no systematic Canadian research on the attitudes, social norms, benefits sought, expectations, opportunities, experiences or behaviours of ethnic communities in the voluntary sector. This paper contributes to this gap by looking at philanthropic behaviour by visible minority status Keywords: CVSS, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Working Paper Series,TRSM, Ted Rogers School of Management Citation:, Berger, I., & Azaria, J. (2004). Visible minority status and philanthropy (Working Paper Series Volume 2004 (1)). Toronto: Ted Rogers School of Management, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Ryerson University.