International Science Index
CPU Architecture Based on Static Hardware Scheduler Engine and Multiple Pipeline Registers
The development of CPUs and of real-time systems based on them made it possible to use time at increasingly low resolutions. Together with the scheduling methods and algorithms, time organizing has been improved so as to respond positively to the need for optimization and to the way in which the CPU is used. This presentation contains both a detailed theoretical description and the results obtained from research on improving the performances of the nMPRA (Multi Pipeline Register Architecture) processor by implementing specific functions in hardware. The proposed CPU architecture has been developed, simulated and validated by using the FPGA Virtex-7 circuit, via a SoC project. Although the nMPRA processor hardware structure with five pipeline stages is very complex, the present paper presents and analyzes the tests dedicated to the implementation of the CPU and of the memory on-chip for instructions and data. In order to practically implement and test the entire SoC project, various tests have been performed. These tests have been performed in order to verify the drivers for peripherals and the boot module named Bootloader.
Activity-Based Costing in the Hospitality Industry: A Case Study in a Hotel
The purpose of this study is to provide some empirical evidence about implementing Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in the hospitality industry in Iran. For this purpose, we consider the Tabriz International Hotel as our sample hotel and then gather the relevant data from its cost accounting system in 2012. Then, we use ABC as our costing method and compare the cost of each service unit with that cost which had been extracted for the traditional costing method. The results show a different cost per unit for two methods. Also, because of its more precise and detailed provided information, an ABC system facilitates the decision-making process for managers on decisions related to profitability analysis, budgeting, pricing, and so on.
Revised Technology Acceptance Model Framework for M-Commerce Adoption
Following the E-Commerce era, M-Commerce is the next big phase in the technology involvement and advancement. This paper intends to explore how Indian consumers are influenced to adopt the M-commerce. In this paper, the revised Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) has been presented on the basis of the most dominant factors that affect the adoption of M-Commerce in Indian scenario. Furthermore, an analytical questionnaire approach was carried out to collect data from Indian consumers. These collected data were further used for the validation of the presented model. Findings indicate that customization, convenience, instant connectivity, compatibility, security, download speed in M-Commerce affect the adoption behavior. Furthermore, the findings suggest that perceived usefulness and attitude towards M-Commerce are positively influenced by number of M-Commerce drivers (i.e. download speed, compatibility, convenience, security, customization, connectivity, and input mechanism).
Latent Factors of Severity in Truck-Involved and Non-Truck-Involved Crashes on Freeways
Truck-involved crashes have higher crash severity than non-truck-involved crashes. There have been many studies about the frequency of crashes and the development of severity models, but those studies only analyzed the relationship between observed variables. To identify why more people are injured or killed when trucks are involved in the crash, we must examine to quantify the complex causal relationship between severity of the crash and risk factors by adopting the latent factors of crashes. The aim of this study was to develop a structural equation or model based on truck-involved and non-truck-involved crashes, including five latent variables, i.e. a crash factor, environmental factor, road factor, driver’s factor, and severity factor. To clarify the unique characteristics of truck-involved crashes compared to non-truck-involved crashes, a confirmatory analysis method was used. To develop the model, we extracted crash data from 10,083 crashes on Korean freeways from 2008 through 2014. The results showed that the most significant variable affecting the severity of a crash is the crash factor, which can be expressed by the location, cause, and type of the crash. For non-truck-involved crashes, the crash and environment factors increase severity of the crash; conversely, the road and driver factors tend to reduce severity of the crash. For truck-involved crashes, the driver factor has a significant effect on severity of the crash although its effect is slightly less than the crash factor. The multiple group analysis employed to analyze the differences between the heterogeneous groups of drivers.
Moving Object Detection Using Histogram of Uniformly Oriented Gradient
Moving object detection (MOD) is an important issue in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). There are two important moving objects, pedestrians and scooters in ADAS. In real-world systems, there exist two important challenges for MOD, including the computational complexity and the detection accuracy. The histogram of oriented gradient (HOG) features can easily detect the edge of object without invariance to changes in illumination and shadowing. However, to reduce the execution time for real-time systems, the image size should be down sampled which would lead the outlier influence to increase. For this reason, we propose the histogram of uniformly-oriented gradient (HUG) features to get better accurate description of the contour of human body. In the testing phase, the support vector machine (SVM) with linear kernel function is involved. Experimental results show the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed method. With SVM classifiers, the real testing results show the proposed HUG features achieve better than classification performance than the HOG ones.
Evaluating the Nexus between Energy Demand and Economic Growth Using the VECM Approach: Case Study of Nigeria, China, and the United States
The effectiveness of energy demand policy depends on identifying the key drivers of energy demand both in the short-run and the long-run. This paper examines the influence of regional differences on the link between energy demand and other explanatory variables for Nigeria, China and USA using the Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) approach. This study employed annual time series data on energy consumption (ED), real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (RGDP), real energy prices (P) and urbanization (N) for a thirty-six-year sample period. The utilized time-series data are sourced from World Bank’s World Development Indicators (WDI, 2016) and US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Results from the study, shows that all the independent variables (income, urbanization, and price) substantially affect the long-run energy consumption in Nigeria, USA and China, whereas, income has no significant effect on short-run energy demand in USA and Nigeria. In addition, the long-run effect of urbanization is relatively stronger in China. Urbanization is a key factor in energy demand, it therefore recommended that more attention should be given to the development of rural communities to reduce the inflow of migrants into urban communities which causes the increase in energy demand and energy excesses should be penalized while energy management should be incentivized.
Family Carers' Experiences in Striving for Medical Care and Finding Their Solutions for Family Members with Mental Illnesses
Wishes and choices being respected, and the right to be supported rather than coerced, have been internationally recognized as the human rights of persons with mental illness. In Taiwan, ‘coerced hospitalization’ has become difficult since the revision of the mental health legislation in 2007. Despite trend towards human rights, the real problem families face when their family members are in mental health crisis is the lack of alternative services. This study aims to explore: 1) When is hospitalization seen as the only solution by family members? 2) What are the barriers for arranging hospitalization, and how are they managed? 3) What have family carers learned, in their experiences of caring for their family members with mental illness? To answer these questions, qualitative approach was adopted, and focus group interviews were taken to collect data. This study includes 24 family carers. The main findings of this research include: First, hospital is the last resort for carers in helplessness. Family carers tend to do everything they could to provide care at home for their family members with mental illness. Carers seek hospitalization only when a patient’s behavior is too violent, weird, and/or abnormal, and beyond their ability to manage. Hospitalization, nevertheless, is never an easy choice. Obstacles emanate from the attitudes of the medical doctors, the restricted areas of ambulance service, and insufficient information from the carers’ part. On the other hand, with some professionals’ proactive assistance, access to medical care while in crisis becomes possible. Some family carers obtained help from the medical doctor, nurse, therapist and social workers. Some experienced good help from policemen, taxi drivers, and security guards at the hospital. The difficulty in accessing medical care prompts carers to work harder on assisting their family members with mental illness to stay in stable states. Carers found different ways of helping the ‘person’ to get along with the ‘illness’ and have better quality of life. Taking back ‘the right to control’ in utilizing medication, from passiveness to negotiating with medical doctors and seeking alternative therapies, are seen in many carers’ efforts. Besides, trying to maintain regular activities in daily life and play normal family roles are also experienced as important. Furthermore, talking with the patient as a person is also important. The authors conclude that in order to protect the human rights of persons with mental illness, it is crucial to make the medical care system more flexible and to make the services more humane: sufficient information should be provided and communicated, and efforts should be made to maintain the person’s social roles and to support the family.
Community Perceptions and Attitudes Regarding Wildlife Crime in South Africa
Wildlife crime is a complex problem with many interconnected facets, which are generally responded to in parts or fragments in efforts to “break down” the complexity into manageable components. However, fragmentation increases complexity as coherence and cooperation become diluted. A whole-of-society approach has been developed towards finding a common goal and integrated approach to preventing wildlife crime. As part of this development, research was conducted in rural communities adjacent to conservation areas in South Africa to define and comprehend the challenges faced by them, and to understand their perceptions of wildlife crime. The results of the research showed that the perceptions of community members varied - most were in favor of conservation and of protecting rhinos, only if they derive adequate benefit from it. Regardless of gender, income level, education level, or access to services, conservation was perceived to be good and bad by the same people. Even though people in the communities are poor, a willingness to stop rhino poaching does exist amongst them, but their perception of parks not caring about people triggered an attitude of not being willing to stop, prevent or report poaching. Understanding the nuances, the history, the interests and values of community members, and the drivers behind poaching mind-sets (intrinsic or driven by transnational organized crime) is imperative to create sustainable and resilient communities on multiple levels that make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives, but also conserve wildlife for posterity.
Competitiveness and Pricing Policy Assessment for Resilience Surface Access System at Airports
Considering a worldwide tendency, air transports are growing very fast and many changes have taken place in planning, management and decision making process. Given the complexity of airport operation, the best use of existing capacity is the key driver of efficiency and productivity. This paper deals with the evaluation framework for the ground access at airports, by using a set of mode choice indicators providing key messages towards airport’s ground access performance. The application presents results for a sample of 12 European airports, illustrating recommendations to define policy and improve service for the air transport access chain.
Quantification of GHGs Emissions from Electricity and Diesel Fuel Consumption in Basalt Mining Industry in Thailand
The mineral and mining industry is necessary for countries to have an adequate and reliable supply of materials to meet their socio-economic development. Despite its importance, the environmental impacts from mineral exploration are hugely significant. This study aimed to investigate and quantify the amount of GHGs emissions emitted from both electricity and diesel vehicle fuel consumption in basalt mining in Thailand. Plant A, located in the northeastern region of Thailand, was selected as a case study. Results indicated that total GHGs emissions from basalt mining and operation (Plant A) were approximately 2,501,086 kgCO2e and 1,997,412 kgCO2e in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The estimated carbon intensity ranged between 1.824 kgCO2e to 2.284 kgCO2e per ton of rock product. Scope 1 (direct emissions) was the dominant driver of its total GHGs compared to scope 2 (indirect emissions). As such, transport related combustion of diesel fuels generated the highest GHGs emission (65%) compared to emissions from purchased electricity (35%). Some of the potential implications for mining entities were also presented.
Fuzzy Inference Based Modelling of Perception Reaction Time of Drivers
Perception reaction time of drivers is an outcome of human thought process, which is vague and approximate in nature and also varies from driver to driver. So, in this study a fuzzy logic based model for prediction of the same has been presented, which seems suitable. The control factors, like, age, experience, intensity of driving of the driver, speed of the vehicle and distance of stimulus have been considered as premise variables in the model, in which the perception reaction time is the consequence variable. Results show that the model is able to explain the impacts of the control factors on perception reaction time properly.
Sound Selection for Gesture Sonification and Manipulation of Virtual Objects
New sensors and technologies – such as microphones,
touchscreens or infrared sensors – are currently making their
appearance in the automotive sector, introducing new kinds of
Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs). The interactions with such tools
might be cognitively expensive, thus unsuitable for driving tasks.
It could for instance be dangerous to use touchscreens with a
visual feedback while driving, as it distracts the driver’s visual
attention away from the road. Furthermore, new technologies in
car cockpits modify the interactions of the users with the central
system. In particular, touchscreens are preferred to arrays of buttons
for space improvement and design purposes. However, the buttons’
tactile feedback is no more available to the driver, which makes
such interfaces more difficult to manipulate while driving. Gestures
combined with an auditory feedback might therefore constitute an
interesting alternative to interact with the HMI. Indeed, gestures can
be performed without vision, which means that the driver’s visual
attention can be totally dedicated to the driving task. In fact, the
auditory feedback can both inform the driver with respect to the task
performed on the interface and on the performed gesture, which might
constitute a possible solution to the lack of tactile information. As
audition is a relatively unused sense in automotive contexts, gesture
sonification can contribute to reducing the cognitive load thanks
to the proposed multisensory exploitation. Our approach consists
in using a virtual object (VO) to sonify the consequences of the
gesture rather than the gesture itself. This approach is motivated
by an ecological point of view: Gestures do not make sound, but
their consequences do. In this experiment, the aim was to identify
efficient sound strategies, to transmit dynamic information of VOs to
users through sound. The swipe gesture was chosen for this purpose,
as it is commonly used in current and new interfaces. We chose
two VO parameters to sonify, the hand-VO distance and the VO
velocity. Two kinds of sound parameters can be chosen to sonify the
VO behavior: Spectral or temporal parameters. Pitch and brightness
were tested as spectral parameters, and amplitude modulation as a
temporal parameter. Performances showed a positive effect of sound
compared to a no-sound situation, revealing the usefulness of sounds
to accomplish the task.
Understanding Walkability in the Libyan Urban Space: Policies, Perceptions and Smart Design for Sustainable Tripoli
Walkability in civic and public spaces in Libyan cities is challenging due to the lack of accessibility design, informal merging into car traffic, and the general absence of adequate urban and space planning. The lack of accessible and pedestrian-friendly public spaces in Libyan cities has emerged as a major concern for the government if it is to develop smart and sustainable spaces for the 21st century. A walkable urban space has become a driver for urban development and redistribution of land use to ensure pedestrian and walkable routes between sites of living and workplaces. The characteristics of urban open space in the city centre play a main role in attracting people to walk when attending their daily needs, recreation and daily sports. There is significant gap in the understanding of perceptions, feasibility and capabilities of Libyan urban space to accommodate enhance or support the smart design of a walkable pedestrian-friendly environment that is safe and accessible to everyone. The paper aims to undertake observations of walkability and walkable space in the city of Tripoli as a benchmark for Libyan cities; assess the validity and consistency of the seven principal aspects of smart design, safety, accessibility and 51 factors that affect the walkability in open urban space in Tripoli, through the analysis of 10 local urban spaces experts (town planner, architect, transport engineer and urban designer); and explore user groups’ perceptions of accessibility in walkable spaces in Libyan cities through questionnaires. The study sampled 200 respondents in 2015-16. The results of this study are useful for urban planning, to classify the walkable urban space elements which affect to improve the level of walkability in the Libyan cities and create sustainable and liveable urban spaces.
Mobile Assembly of Electric Vehicles: Decentralized, Low-Invest and Flexible
The growing speed of innovation in related industries requires the automotive industry to adapt and increase release frequencies of new vehicle derivatives which implies a significant reduction of investments per vehicle and ramp-up times. Emerging markets in various parts of the world augment the currently dominating established main automotive markets. Local content requirements such as import tariffs on final products impede the accessibility of these micro markets, which is why in the future market exploitation will not be driven by pure sales activities anymore but rather by setting up local assembly units. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the concept of decentralized assembly and to discuss and critically assess some currently researched and crucial approaches in production technology. In order to determine the scope in which complementary mobile assembly can be profitable for manufacturers, a general cost model is set up and each cost driver is assessed with respect to varying levels of decentralization. One main result of the paper is that the presented approaches offer huge cost-saving potentials and are thus critical for future production strategies. Nevertheless, they still need to be further exploited in order for decentralized assembly to be profitable for companies. The optimal level of decentralization must, however, be specifically determined in each case and cannot be defined in general.
Managing Truck Drivers’ Fatigue: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies
In recent years, much attention has been given to truck drivers’ fatigue management. Long working hours negatively influence truck drivers’ physiology, health, and safety. However, there is little empirical research in the heavy vehicle transport sector in Australia to identify the influence of working hours’ management on drivers’ fatigue and consequently, on the risk of crashes and injuries. There is no national legislation regulating the number of hours or kilometres travelled by truck drivers. Consequently, it is almost impossible to define a standard number of hours or kilometres for truck drivers in a safety management system. This paper reviews the existing studies concerning safe system interventions such as tachographs in relation to fatigue caused by long working hours. This paper also reviews the literature to identify the influence of frequency of rest breaks on the reduction of work-related road transport accidents involving trucks. A framework is presented to manage truck drivers’ fatigue, which may result in the reduction of injuries and fatalities involving heavy vehicles.
Development of Configuration Software of Space Environment Simulator Control System Based on Linux
This paper presents a configuration software solution in Linux, which is used for the control of space environment simulator. After introducing the structure and basic principle, it is said that the developing of QT software frame and the dynamic data exchanging between PLC and computer. The OPC driver in Linux is also developed. This driver realizes many-to-many communication between hardware devices and SCADA software. Moreover, an algorithm named “Scan PRI” is put forward. This algorithm is much more optimizable and efficient compared with "Scan in sequence" in Windows. This software has been used in practical project. It has a good control effect and can achieve the expected goal.
Proposal of Commutation Protocol in Hybrid Sensors and Vehicular Networks for Intelligent Transport Systems
Hybrid Sensors and Vehicular Networks (HSVN), represent a hybrid network, which uses several generations of Ad-Hoc networks. It is used especially in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The HSVN allows making collaboration between the Wireless Sensors Network (WSN) deployed on the border of the road and the Vehicular Network (VANET). This collaboration is defined by messages exchanged between the two networks for the purpose to inform the drivers about the state of the road, provide road safety information and more information about traffic on the road. Moreover, this collaboration created by HSVN, also allows the use of a network and the advantage of improving another network. For example, the dissemination of information between the sensors quickly decreases its energy, and therefore, we can use vehicles that do not have energy constraint to disseminate the information between sensors. On the other hand, to solve the disconnection problem in VANET, the sensors can be used as gateways that allow sending the messages received by one vehicle to another. However, because of the short communication range of the sensor and its low capacity of storage and processing of data, it is difficult to ensure the exchange of road messages between it and the vehicle, which can be moving at high speed at the time of exchange. This represents the time where the vehicle is in communication range with the sensor. This work is the proposition of a communication protocol between the sensors and the vehicle used in HSVN. The latter has as the purpose to ensure the exchange of road messages in the available time of exchange.
Enhancing Transit Trade, Facilitation System and Supply Chain Security for Local, Regional and an International Corridor
Recently, and due to Arab spring and terrorism around the globe, pushing and driving most governments potentially to harmonize their border measures particularly the regional and an international transit trade within and among Customs Unions. The main purpose of this study is to investigate and provide an insight for monitoring and controlling the trade supply chain within and among different countries by using technological advancement (i.e. an electronic tracking system, etc.); furthermore, facilitate the local and intra-regional trade among countries through reviewing the recent trends and practical implementation of an electronic transit traffic and cargo that related to customs measures by introducing and supporting some case studies of several international and landlocked transit trade countries. The research methodology employed in this study was described as qualitative by conducting few interviews with managers, transit truck drivers, and traders and reviewing the related literature to collect qualitative data from secondary sources such as statistical reports, previous studies, etc. The results in this study show that Jordan and other countries around the globe that used an electronic tracking system for monitoring transit trade has led to a significant reduction in cost, effort and time in physical movement of goods internally and crossing through other countries. Therefore, there is no need to escort transit trucks by customs staff; hence, the rate of escort transit trucks is reduced by more than ninety percent, except the bulky and high duty goods. Electronic transit traffic has been increased; the average transit time journey has been reduced by more than seventy percent and has led to decrease in rates of smuggling up to fifty percent. The researcher recommends considering Jordan as regional and international office for tracking electronically and monitoring the transit trade for many considerations.
Enlightening Malaysia's Energy Policies and Strategies for Modernization and Sustainable Development
Malaysia has achieved remarkable economic growth since 1957, moving toward modernization from a predominantly agriculture base to manufacturing and—now—modern services. The development policies (i.e., New Economic Policy [1970–1990], the National Development Policy [1990–2000], and Vision 2020) have been recognized as the most important drivers of this transformation. The transformation of the economic structure has moved along with rapid gross domestic product (GDP) growth, urbanization growth, and greater demand for energy from mainly fossil fuel resources, which in turn, increase CO2 emissions. Malaysia faced a great challenge to bring down the CO2 emissions without compromising economic development. Solid policies and a strategy to reduce dependencies on fossil fuel resources and reduce CO2 emissions are needed in order to achieve sustainable development. This study provides an overview of the Malaysian economic, energy, and environmental situation, and explores the existing policies and strategies related to energy and the environment. The significance is to grasp a clear picture on what types of policies and strategies Malaysia has in hand. In the future, this examination should be extended by drawing a comparison with other developed countries and highlighting several options for sustainable development.
Vehicle Risk Evaluation in Low Speed Accidents: Consequences for Relevant Test Scenarios
Projects of accident research analysis are mostly focused on accidents involving personal damage. Property damage only has a high frequency of occurrence combined with high economic impact. This paper describes main influencing parameters for the extent of damage and presents a repair cost model. For a prospective evaluation method of the monetary effect of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), it is necessary to be aware of and quantify all influencing parameters. Furthermore, this method allows the evaluation of vehicle concepts in combination with an ADAS at an early point in time of the product development process. In combination with a property damage database and the introduced repair cost model relevant test scenarios for specific vehicle configurations and their individual property damage risk may be determined. Currently, equipment rates of ADAS are low and a purchase incentive for customers would be beneficial. The next ADAS generation will prevent property damage to a large extent or at least reduce damage severity. Both effects may be a purchasing incentive for the customer and furthermore contribute to increased traffic safety.
Understanding the Influence on Drivers’ Recommendation and Review-Writing Behavior in the P2P Taxi Service
The booming mobile business has been penetrating the taxi industry worldwide with P2P (peer to peer) taxi services, as an emerging business model, transforming the industry. Parallel with other mobile businesses, member recommendations and online reviews are believed to be very effective with regard to acquiring new users for P2P taxi services. Based on an empirical dataset of the taxi industry in China, this study aims to reveal which factors influence users’ recommendations and review-writing behaviors. Differing from the existing literature, this paper takes the taxi driver’s perspective into consideration and hence selects a group of variables related to the drivers. We built two models to reflect the factors that influence the number of recommendations and reviews posted on the platform (i.e., the app). Our models show that all factors, except the driver’s score, significantly influence the recommendation behavior. Likewise, only one factor, passengers’ bad reviews, is insignificant in generating more drivers’ reviews. In the conclusion, we summarize the findings and limitations of the research.
Effects of Corruption and Logistics Performance Inefficiencies on Container Throughput: The Latin America Case
Trade liberalizations measures, as import tariff cuts, are not a sufficient trigger for trade growth. Given that price margins are narrow, traders and cargo operators tend to opt out of markets where the process of goods clearance is slow and costly. Excess paperwork and slow customs dispatch not only lead to institutional breakdowns and corruption but also to increasing transaction cost and trade constraints. The objective of this paper is, therefore, two-fold: First, to evaluate the relationship between institutional and infrastructural performance indexes and trade growth in container throughput; and, second, to investigate the causes for differences in container demurrage and detention fees in Latin American countries (using other emerging countries as benchmarking). The analysis is focused on manufactured goods, typically transported by containers. Institutional and infrastructure bottlenecks and, therefore, the country logistics efficiency – measured by the Logistics Performance Index (LPI, World Bank-WB) – are compared with other indexes, such as the Doing Business index (WB) and the Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International). The main results based on the comparison between Latin American countries and the others emerging countries point out in that the growth in containers trade is directly related to LPI performance. It has also been found that the main hypothesis is valid as aspects that more specifically identify trade facilitation and corruption are significant drivers of logistics performance. The exam of port efficiency (demurrage and detention fees) has demonstrated that not necessarily higher level of efficiency is related to lower charges; however, reductions in fees have been more significant within non-Latin American emerging countries.
Integration GIS–SCADA Power Systems to Enclosure Air Dispersion Model
This paper will explore integration model between GIS–SCADA system and enclosure quantification model to approach the impact of failure-safe event. There are real demands to identify spatial objects and improve control system performance. Nevertheless, the employed methodology is predicting electro-mechanic operations and corresponding time to environmental incident variations. Open processing, as object systems technology, is presented for integration enclosure database with minimal memory size and computation time via connectivity drivers such as ODBC:JDBC during main stages of GIS–SCADA connection. The function of Geographic Information System is manipulating power distribution in contrast to developing issues. In other ward, GIS-SCADA systems integration will require numerical objects of process to enable system model calibration and estimation demands, determine of past events for analysis and prediction of emergency situations for response training.
Measuring Enterprise Growth: Pitfalls and Implications
Enterprise growth is generally considered as a key driver of competitiveness, employment, economic development and social inclusion. As such, it is perceived to be a highly desirable outcome of entrepreneurship for scholars and decision makers. The huge academic debate resulted in the multitude of theoretical frameworks focused on explaining growth stages, determinants and future prospects. It has been widely accepted that enterprise growth is most likely nonlinear, temporal and related to the variety of factors which reflect the individual, firm, organizational, industry or environmental determinants of growth. However, factors that affect growth are not easily captured, instruments to measure those factors are often arbitrary, causality between variables and growth is elusive, indicating that growth is not easily modeled. Furthermore, in line with heterogeneous nature of the growth phenomenon, there is a vast number of measurement constructs assessing growth which are used interchangeably. Differences among various growth measures, at conceptual as well as at operationalization level, can hinder theory development which emphasizes the need for more empirically robust studies. In line with these highlights, the main purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to compare structure and performance of three growth prediction models based on the main growth measures: Revenues, employment and assets growth. Secondly, to explore the prospects of financial indicators, set as exact, visible, standardized and accessible variables, to serve as determinants of enterprise growth. Finally, to contribute to the understanding of the implications on research results and recommendations for growth caused by different growth measures. The models include a range of financial indicators as lag determinants of the enterprises’ performances during the 2008-2013, extracted from the national register of the financial statements of SMEs in Croatia. The design and testing stage of the modeling used the logistic regression procedures. Findings confirm that growth prediction models based on different measures of growth have different set of predictors. Moreover, the relationship between particular predictors and growth measure is inconsistent, namely the same predictor positively related to one growth measure may exert negative effect on a different growth measure. Overall, financial indicators alone can serve as good proxy of growth and yield adequate predictive power of the models. The paper sheds light on both methodology and conceptual framework of enterprise growth by using a range of variables which serve as a proxy for the multitude of internal and external determinants, but are unlike them, accessible, available, exact and free of perceptual nuances in building up the model. Selection of the growth measure seems to have significant impact on the implications and recommendations related to growth. Furthermore, the paper points out to potential pitfalls of measuring and predicting growth. Overall, the results and the implications of the study are relevant for advancing academic debates on growth-related methodology, and can contribute to evidence-based decisions of policy makers.
Multi-Faceted Growth in Creative Industries
The purpose of this study is to explore the different facets of growth among micro, small and medium-sized firms in Croatia and to analyze the differences between models designed for all micro, small and medium-sized firms and those in creative industries. Three growth prediction models were designed and tested using the growth of sales, employment and assets of the company as dependent variables. The key drivers of sales growth are: prudent use of cash, industry affiliation and higher share of intangible assets. Growth of assets depends on retained profits, internal and external sources of financing, as well as industry affiliation. Growth in employment is closely related to sources of financing, in particular, debt and it occurs less frequently than growth in sales and assets. The findings confirm the assumption that growth strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creative industries have specific differences in comparison to SMEs in general. Interestingly, only 2.2% of growing enterprises achieve growth in employment, assets and sales simultaneously.
Drivers of Digital Product Innovation in Firms: An Empirical Study of Technological, Organizational, and Environmental Factors
With digitalization increasingly changing the rules of competition, firms face the need to adapt and assimilate digital technologies in order to remain competitive. Firms can choose from various possibilities to integrate digital technologies including the option to embed digital technologies aiming to innovate products or to develop digital products. However, the question of which specific factors influence a firm’s decision to pursue digital product innovation remains unanswered in research. By adopting the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE)-framework we have designed a qualitative exploratory study including eleven German practitioners to investigate relevant contingency factors. Our results indicate that the most critical factors for a company’s decision to pursue digital product innovation can be found in the technological and environmental dimensions, namely customers, competitive pressure, technological change, as well as digitalization fit.
Innovative Entrepreneurship in Tourism Business: An International Comparative Study of Key Drivers
Entrepreneurship is mostly related to the beginning of organization. In growing business organizations, entrepreneurship expands its conceptualization. It reveals itself through new business creation in the active organization, through renewal, change, innovation, creation and development of current organization, through breaking and changing of established rules inside or outside the organization and becomes more flexible, adaptive and competitive, also improving effectiveness of organization activity. Therefore, the topic of entrepreneurship, relates the creation of firms to personal / individual characteristics of the entrepreneurs and their social context. This paper is an empirical study, which aims to address these two gaps in the literature. For this endeavor, we use the latest available data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project. This data set is widely regarded as a unique source of information about entrepreneurial activity, as well as the aspirations and attitudes of individuals across a wide number of countries and territories worldwide. This paper tries to contribute to fill this gap, by exploring the key drivers of innovative entrepreneurship in the tourism sector. Our findings are consistent with the existing literature in terms of the individual characteristics of entrepreneurs, but quite surprisingly we find an inverted U-shape relation between human development and innovative entrepreneurship in tourism sector. It has been revealed that tourism entrepreneurs are less likely to have innovative products, compared with entrepreneurs in medium developed countries.
The Role of Acoustical Design within Architectural Design in the Early Design Phase
This research responded to anecdotal evidence that suggested inefficiencies within the Architect and Acoustician relationship may lead to ineffective acoustic design decisions. The acoustician spoken to believed that he was approached too late in the design phase. The approached architect valued acoustical qualities, yet, struggled to interpret common measurement parameters. The preliminary investigation of these opinions indicated a gap in the current New Zealand Architectural discourse and currently informs the creation of a 2016 Master of Architecture (Prof) thesis research. Little meaningful information about acoustic intervention in the early design phase could be found from past literature. In the information that was sourced, authors focus on software as an incorporation tool without investigating why the flaws in the relationship originally exist. To further explore this relationship, a survey was designed. It underwent three phases to ensure its consistency, and was delivered to a group of 51 acousticians from one international Acoustics company. The results were then separated between New Zealand and off-shore to identify trends. The survey results suggest that 75% of acousticians meet the architect less than 5 times per project. Instead of regular contact, a mediated method is adopted though a mix of telecommunication and written reports. Acousticians tend to be introduced later into New Zealand building project than the corresponding off-shore building. This delay corresponds to an increase in remedial action for each of the building types in the survey except Auditoria and Office Buildings. 31 participants have had their specifications challenged by an architect. Furthermore, 71% of the acousticians believe that architects do not have the knowledge to understand why the acoustic specifications are in place. The issues raised in this investigation align to the colloquial evidence expressed by the two consultants. It identifies a larger gap in the industry were acoustics is remedially treated rather than identified as a possible design driver. Further research through design is suggested to understand the role of acoustics within architectural design and potential tools for its inclusion during, not after, the design process.
Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a HAWK Signal on Compliance in Las Vegas Nevada
There is a continuous large number of crashes involving pedestrians in Nevada despite the numerous safety mechanisms currently used at roadway crossings. Hence, additional as well as more effective mechanisms are required to reduce crashes in Las Vegas, in particular, and Nevada in general. A potential mechanism to reduce conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles is a High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signal. This study evaluates the effects of such signals at a particular site in Las Vegas. Video data were collected using two cameras, facing the eastbound and westbound traffic. One week of video data before and after the deployment of the signal were collected to capture the behavior of both pedestrians and drivers. T-test analyses of pedestrian waiting time at the curb, curb-to-curb crossing time, total crossing time, jaywalking events, and near-crash events show that the HAWK system provides significant benefits.
Estimation of Time Loss and Costs of Traffic Congestion: The Contingent Valuation Method
The reduction of road congestion which is inherent to the use of vehicles is an obvious priority to public authority. Therefore, assessing the willingness to pay of an individual in order to save trip-time is akin to estimating the change in price which was the result of setting up a new transport policy to increase the networks fluidity and improving the level of social welfare. This study holds an innovative perspective. In fact, it initiates an economic calculation that has the objective of giving an estimation of the monetized time value during the trips made in Sfax. This research is founded on a double-objective approach. The aim of this study is to i) give an estimation of the monetized value of time; an hour dedicated to trips, ii) determine whether or not the consumer considers the environmental variables to be significant, iii) analyze the impact of applying a public management of the congestion via imposing taxation of city tolls on urban dwellers. This article is built upon a rich field survey led in the city of Sfax. With the use of the contingent valuation method, we analyze the “declared time preferences” of 450 drivers during rush hours. Based on the fond consideration of attributed bias of the applied method, we bring to light the delicacy of this approach with regards to the revelation mode and the interrogative techniques by following the NOAA panel recommendations bearing the exception of the valorization point and other similar studies about the estimation of transportation externality.