Fight against migrant smuggling has been put as a priority issues at the European Union policy agenda for more than a decade. The trafficked person, who has been targeted as the object of criminal exploitation, is specifically unique for human trafficking. Generally, the beginning of human trafficking activities is related to profit from the victim’s exploitation. The objective of this paper is to present measures that could result in the limitation of corruption mainly through analyzing the existing legislation framework against corruption in Europe. The analysis is focused on exploring the multiple origins of factors influencing migration processes in Europe, as corruption could be characterized as one of the most significant reasons for refugees to flee their countries. The main results show that law enforcement must turn the focus on the financing of the organized crime groups that are involved in migrant smuggling activities. Corruption has a significant role in managing smuggling operations and in particular when criminal organizations and networks are involved. Illegal migrants and refugees usually represent significant sources of additional income for officials involved in the process of boarding protection and immigration control within the European Union borders.
Road networks are increasingly expanding all over the world. The construction and maintenance of the road pavements require large amounts of aggregates. Considerable usage of various natural aggregates for constructing roads as well as the increasing rate at which solid waste is generated have attracted the attention of many researchers in the pavement industry to investigate the feasibility of the application of some of the waste materials as alternative materials in pavement construction. Among various waste materials, construction and demolition wastes, including Recycled Construction Aggregate (RCA) constitute a major part of the municipal solid wastes in Australia. Creating opportunities for the application of RCA in civil and geotechnical engineering applications is an efficient way to increase the market value of RCA. However, in spite of such promising potentials, insufficient and inconclusive data and information on the engineering properties of RCA had limited the reliability and design specifications of RCA to date. In light of this, this paper, as a first step of a comprehensive research, aims to investigate the feasibility of the application of RCA obtained from construction and demolition wastes for the replacement of part of coarse aggregates in asphalt mixture. As the suitability of aggregates for using in asphalt mixtures is determined based on the aggregate characteristics, including physical and mechanical properties of the aggregates, an experimental program is set up to evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of RCA. This laboratory investigation included the measurement of compressive strength and workability of RCA, particle shape, water absorption, flakiness index, crushing value, deleterious materials and weak particles, wet/dry strength variation, and particle density. In addition, the comparison of RCA properties with virgin aggregates has been included as part of this investigation and this paper presents the results of these investigations on RCA, basalt, and the mix of RCA/basalt.
Emissions are a consequence of electricity generation. A major option for low carbon generation, local energy systems featuring Combined Heat and Power with solar PV (CHPV) has significant potential to increase energy performance, increase resilience, and offer greater control of local energy prices while complementing the UK’s emissions standards and targets. Recent advances in dynamic modelling and simulation of buildings and clusters of buildings using the IDEAS framework have successfully validated a novel multi-vector (simultaneous control of both heat and electricity) approach to integrating the wide range of primary and secondary plant typical of local energy systems designs including CHP, solar PV, gas boilers, absorption chillers and thermal energy storage, and associated electrical and hot water networks, all operating under a single unified control strategy. Results from this work indicate through simulation that integrated control of thermal storage can have a pivotal role in optimizing system performance well beyond the present expectations. Environmental impact analysis and reporting of all energy systems including CHPV LES presently employ a static annual average carbon emissions intensity for grid supplied electricity. This paper focuses on establishing and validating CHPV environmental performance against conventional emissions values and assessment benchmarks to analyze emissions performance without and with an active thermal store in a notional group of non-domestic buildings. Results of this analysis are presented and discussed in context of performance validation and quantifying the reduced environmental impact of CHPV systems with active energy storage in comparison with conventional LES designs.
In the inter-connected power systems, a phenomenon called inter-area oscillation may be caused by several defects. In this paper, a study of the Maghreb countries inter-area power networks oscillation has been investigated. The inter-area oscillation monitoring can be enhanced by integrating Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) technology installed in different places. The data provided by PMU and recorded by PDC will be used for the monitoring, analysis, and control purposes. The proposed approach has been validated by simulation using MATLAB/Simulink.
IEEE 802.15.4 is a Low Rate Wireless Personal Area Networks (LR-WPAN) standard combined with ZigBee, which is going to enable new applications in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and Internet of Things (IoT) domain. In recent years, it has become a popular standard for WSNs. Wireless communication among sensor motes, enabled by IEEE 802.15.4 standard, is extensively replacing the existing wired technology in a wide range of monitoring and control applications. Researchers have proposed a routing framework and mechanism that interacts with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard using software platform. In this paper, we have designed and implemented MAC based routing (MBR) based on IEEE 802.15.4 standard using a hardware platform “SENSEnuts”. The experimental results include data through light and temperature sensors obtained from communication between PAN coordinator and source node through coordinator, MAC address of some modules used in the experimental setup, topology of the network created for simulation and the remaining battery power of the source node. Our experimental effort on a WSN Testbed has helped us in bridging the gap between theoretical and practical aspect of implementing IEEE 802.15.4 for WSNs applications.
Causal relation identification is a crucial task in information extraction and knowledge discovery. In this work, we present two approaches to causal relation identification. The first is a classification model trained on a set of knowledge-based features. The second is a deep learning based approach training a model using convolutional neural networks to classify causal relations. We experiment with several different convolutional neural networks (CNN) models based on previous work on relation extraction as well as our own research. Our models are able to identify both explicit and implicit causal relations as well as the direction of the causal relation. The results of our experiments show a higher accuracy than previously achieved for causal relation identification tasks.
Quality of Experience (QoE) drives churn in the broadband networks industry, and good QoE plays a large part in the retention of customers. QoE is known to be affected by the Quality of Service (QoS) factors packet loss probability (PLP), delay and delay jitter caused by the network. Earlier results have shown that the relationship between these QoS factors and QoE is non-linear, and may vary from application to application. We use the network emulator Netem as the basis for experimentation, and evaluate how QoE varies as we change the emulated QoS metrics. Focusing on Video-on-Demand, we discovered that the reported QoE may differ widely for users of different age groups, and that the most demanding age group (the youngest) can require an order of magnitude lower PLP to achieve the same QoE than is required by the most widely studied age group of users. We then used a bottleneck TCP model to evaluate the capacity cost of achieving an order of magnitude decrease in PLP, and found it be (almost always) a 3-fold increase in link capacity that was required.
Cloud computing is one of the most sharp and important movement in various computing technologies. It provides flexibility to users, cost effectiveness, location independence, easy maintenance, enables multitenancy, drastic performance improvements, and increased productivity. On the other hand, there are also major issues like security. Being a common server, security for a cloud is a major issue; it is important to provide security to protect user’s private data, and it is especially important in e-commerce and social networks. In this paper, encryption algorithms such as Advanced Encryption Standard algorithms, their vulnerabilities, risk of attacks, optimal time and complexity management and comparison with other algorithms based on software implementation is proposed. Encryption techniques to improve the performance of AES algorithms and to reduce risk management are given. Secure Hash Algorithms, their vulnerabilities, software implementations, risk of attacks and comparison with other hashing algorithms as well as the advantages and disadvantages between hashing techniques and encryption are given.
Electrical distribution networks are prone to power quality disturbances originating from the complexity of the distribution network, mode of distribution (overhead or underground) and types of loads used by customers. Data on the types of disturbances present and frequency of occurrence is needed for economic evaluation and hence finding solution to the problem. Utility companies have resorted to using secondary power quality devices such as smart meters to help gather the required data. Even though this approach is easier to adopt, data gathered from these devices may not serve the required purpose, since the installation of these devices in the electrical network usually does not conform to available PQM placement methods. This paper presents a design of a PQM that is capable of integrating into an existing DAS infrastructure to take advantage of available placement methodologies. The monitoring component of the design is implemented and installed to monitor an existing LV network. Data from the monitor is analyzed and presented. A portion of the LV network of the Electricity Company of Ghana is modeled in MATLAB-Simulink and analyzed under various earth fault conditions. The results presented show the ability of the PQM to detect and analyze PQ disturbance such as voltage sag and overvoltage. By adopting a placement methodology and installing these nodes, utilities are assured of accurate and reliable information with respect to the quality of power delivered to consumers.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have always been characterized for application-specific sensing, relaying and collection of information for further analysis. However, software development was not considered as a separate entity in this process of data collection which has posed severe limitations on the software development for WSN. Software development for WSN is a complex process since the components involved are data-driven, network-driven and application-driven in nature. This implies that there is a tremendous need for the separation of concern from the software development perspective. A layered approach for developing data acquisition design based on Model Driven Development (MDD) has been proposed as the sensed data collection process itself varies depending upon the application taken into consideration. This work focuses on the layered view of the data acquisition process so as to ease the software point of development. A metamodel has been proposed that enables reusability and realization of the software development as an adaptable component for WSN systems. Further, observing users perception indicates that proposed model helps in improving the programmer's productivity by realizing the collaborative system involved.
The use of decision support systems in agriculture may help monitoring large fields of crops by automatically detecting the symptoms of foliage diseases. In our work, we designed and implemented a decision support system for small tomatoes producers. This work investigates ways to recognize the late blight disease from the analysis of digital images of tomatoes, using a pair of multilayer perceptron neural networks. The networks outputs are used to generate repainted tomato images in which the injuries on the plant are highlighted, and to calculate the damage level of each plant. Those levels are then used to construct a situation map of a farm where a cellular automata simulates the outbreak evolution over the fields. The simulator can test different pesticides actions, helping in the decision on when to start the spraying and in the analysis of losses and gains of each choice of action.
This study focused on tourism logistic services in the border areas of Thailand by an analysis and comparison of the opinions of tourists, villagers, and entrepreneurs of these services. Sample representatives of this study were a total of 600 villagers and 15 entrepreneurs in the three border areas consisting of Chong Anma, Chong Sa-Ngam, and Chong Jom checkpoints. For methodology, survey questionnaires, situation analysis, TOWS matrix, and focus group discussions were used for data collection, as well as descriptive analysis and statistics such as arithmetic means and standard deviations, were employed for data analysis. The findings revealed that business potential was at the medium level and entrepreneurs were satisfied with their turnovers. However, perspectives of transportation and tourism services provided for tourists need to be immediately improved. Recommendations for the potential development included promotion of border tourism destinations and foreign investments into accommodation, restaurants, and transport, as well as the establishment of business networks between Thailand and Cambodia, along with the introduction of new tourism destinations by co-operation between entrepreneurs in both countries. These initiatives may lead to increased visitors, collaboration of security offices, and an improved image of tourism security.
Cloud Computing is a convenient model for on-demand networks that uses shared pools of virtual configurable computing resources, such as servers, networks, storage devices, applications, etc. The cloud serves as an environment for companies and organizations to use infrastructure resources without making any purchases and they can access such resources wherever and whenever they need. Cloud computing is useful to overcome a number of problems in various Information Technology (IT) domains such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Scientific Research, e-Governance Systems, Decision Support Systems, ERP, Web Application Development, Mobile Technology, etc. Companies can use Cloud Computing services to store large amounts of data that can be accessed from anywhere on Earth and also at any time. Such services are rented by the client companies where the actual rent depends upon the amount of data stored on the cloud and also the amount of processing power used in a given time period. The resources offered by the cloud service companies are flexible in the sense that the user companies can increase or decrease their storage requirements or the processing power requirements at any time, thus minimizing the overall rental cost of the service they receive. In addition, the Cloud Computing service providers offer fast processors and applications software that can be shared by their clients. This is especially important for small companies with limited budgets which cannot afford to purchase their own expensive hardware and software. This paper is an overview of the Cloud Computing, giving its types, principles, advantages, and disadvantages. In addition, the paper gives some example engineering applications of Cloud Computing and makes suggestions for possible future applications in the field of engineering.
A 900 MHz three-stage SiGe power amplifier (PA) with high power gain is presented in this paper. Volterra Series is applied to analyze nonlinearity sources of SiGe HBT device model clearly. Meanwhile, the influence of operating current to IMD3 is discussed. Then a β-helper current mirror bias circuit is applied to improve linearity, since the β-helper current mirror bias circuit can offer stable base biasing voltage. Meanwhile, it can also work as predistortion circuit when biasing voltages of three bias circuits are fine-tuned, by this way, the power gain and operating current of PA are optimized for best linearity. The three power stages which fabricated by 0.18 μm SiGe technology are bonded to the printed circuit board (PCB) to obtain impedances by Load-Pull system, then matching networks are done for best linearity with discrete passive components on PCB. The final measured three-stage PA exhibits 21.1 dBm of output power at 1 dB compression point (OP1dB) with power added efficiency (PAE) of 20.6% and 33 dB power gain under 3.3 V power supply voltage.
Social networks play an important role in the lives of children and young people. Along with the high penetration of mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets among the younger generation, there is an increasing use of social networks already in elementary school. The paper presents the results of research, which was realized at schools in the Hradec Králové region. In this research, the authors focused on issues related to communications on social networks for children, teenagers and young people in the Czech Republic. This research was conducted at selected elementary, secondary and high schools using anonymous questionnaires. The results are evaluated and compared with the results of the research, which has been realized in 2008. The authors focused on the possibilities of using social networks in education. The paper presents the possibility of using the most popular social networks in education, with emphasis on increasing motivation for learning. The paper presents comparative analysis of social networks, with regard to the possibility of using in education as well.
More than half of the urban population in Romania lives today in residential buildings made out of large prefabricated reinforced concrete panels. Since their initial design was made in the 1960’s, these housing units are now being technically and morally outdated, consuming large amounts of energy for heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting, while failing to meet the needs of the contemporary life-style. Due to their widespread use, the design of a system that improves their energy efficiency would have a real impact, not only on the energy consumption of the residential sector, but also on the quality of life that it offers. Furthermore, with the transition of today’s existing power grid to a “smart grid”, buildings could become an active element for future electricity networks by contributing in micro-generation and energy storage. One of the most addressed issues today is to find locally adapted strategies that can be applied considering the 20-20-20 EU policy criteria and to offer sustainable and innovative solutions for the cost-optimal energy performance of buildings adapted on the existing local market. This paper presents a possible adaptive design scenario towards sustainable retrofitting of these housing units. The apartments are transformed in order to meet the current living requirements and additional extensions are placed on top of the building, replacing the unused roof space, acting not only as housing units, but as active solar energy collection systems. An adaptive building envelope is ensured in order to achieve overall air-tightness and an elevator system is introduced to facilitate access to the upper levels.
The purpose of this study is to investigate Alahsa Governorate status and its vulnerability to generate urban heat islands. Alahsa Governorate is a famous oasis in the Arabic Peninsula including several oil centers. Extensive literature review was done to collect previous relative data on the urban heat island of Alahsa Governorate. Data used for the purpose of this research were collected from authorized bodies who control weather station networks over Alahsa Governorate, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Although, the number of weather station networks within the region is very limited and the analysis using GIS software and its techniques is difficult and limited, the data analyzed confirm an increase in temperature for more than 2 °C from 2004 to 2014. Such increase is considerable whenever human health and comfort are the concern. The increase of temperature within one decade confirms the availability of urban heat islands. The study concludes that, Alahsa Governorate is vulnerable to create urban heat islands and more attention should be drawn to strategic planning of the governorate that is developing with a high pace and considerable increasing levels of urbanization.
Teachers and university lecturers face an unsolved problem, which is students’ multitasking behaviors during class time, such as texting or playing a game. It is important to examine the most powerful predictor that can result in students’ educational performances. Meta-analysis was used to analyze the research articles, which were published with the keywords, multitasking, class performance, and texting. We selected 14 research articles published during 2008-2013 from online databases, and four articles met the predetermined inclusion criteria. Effect size of each pair of variables was used as the dependent variable. The findings revealed that the students’ expectancy and value on SNSs usages is the best significant predictor of their educational performances, followed by their motivation and ability in using SNSs, prior educational performances, usage behaviors of SNSs in class, and their personal characteristics, respectively. Future study should conduct a longitudinal design to better understand the effect of multitasking in the classroom.
The harmonic distortion of voltage is important in relation to power quality due to the interaction between the large diffusion of non-linear and time-varying single-phase and three-phase loads with power supply systems. However, harmonic distortion levels can be reduced by improving the design of polluting loads or by applying arrangements and adding filters. The application of passive filters is an effective solution that can be used to achieve harmonic mitigation mainly because filters offer high efficiency, simplicity, and are economical. Additionally, possible different frequency response characteristics can work to achieve certain required harmonic filtering targets. With these ideas in mind, the objective of this paper is to determine what size single tuned passive filters work in distribution networks best, in order to economically limit violations caused at a given point of common coupling (PCC). This article suggests that a single tuned passive filter could be employed in typical industrial power systems. Furthermore, constrained optimization can be used to find the optimal sizing of the passive filter in order to reduce both harmonic voltage and harmonic currents in the power system to an acceptable level, and, thus, improve the load power factor. The optimization technique works to minimize voltage total harmonic distortions (VTHD) and current total harmonic distortions (ITHD), where maintaining a given power factor at a specified range is desired. According to the IEEE Standard 519, both indices are viewed as constraints for the optimal passive filter design problem. The performance of this technique will be discussed using numerical examples taken from previous publications.