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  • American Institute of Physics (AIP)  (154,286)
  • MDPI Publishing  (6,544)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-05-28
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1725: Reduced Dimension Based Two-Dimensional DOA Estimation with Full DOFs for Generalized Co-Prime Planar Arrays Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061725 Authors: Fenggang Sun Peng Lan Guowei Zhang In this paper, we investigate the problem of two-dimensional (2D) direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation for generalized co-prime planar arrays. The classic multiple signal classification (MUSIC)-based methods can provide a superior estimation performance, but suffer from a tremendous computational burden caused by the 2D spectral search. To this end, we reduce the 2D problem into a one-dimensional (1D) one and propose a reduced dimension partial spectral search estimation method, which can compress the search region into a small 1D sector. Moreover, the proposed method can utilize the full information of the entire array without degrees-of-freedom loss. Furthermore, an iterative approach is also proposed to reduce complexity and improve performance. Simulation results show that the proposed methods can provide improved performance with substantially reduced complexity, as compared to other state-of-the-art methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1108: Contact Allergy: A Review of Current Problems from a Clinical Perspective International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061108 Authors: Wolfgang Uter Thomas Werfel Ian R. White Jeanne D. Johansen Contact allergy is common, affecting 27% of the general population in Europe. Original publications, including case reports, published since 2016 (inclusive) were identified with the aim of collating a full review of current problems in the field. To this end, a literature search employing methods of systematic reviewing was performed in the Medline® and Web of Science™ databases on 28 January 2018, using the search terms (“contact sensitization” or “contact allergy”). Of 446 non-duplicate publications identified by above search, 147 were excluded based on scrutiny of title, abstract and key words. Of the remaining 299 examined in full text, 291 were deemed appropriate for inclusion, and main findings were summarised in topic sections. In conclusion, diverse sources of exposures to chemicals of widely-differing types and structures, continue to induce sensitisation in man and may result in allergic contact dermatitis. Many of the chemicals are “evergreen” but others are “newcomers”. Vigilance and proper investigation (patch testing) are required to detect and inform of the presence of these haptens to which our populations remain exposed.
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1107: Functioning and Disability Profile of Children with Microcephaly Associated with Congenital Zika Virus Infection International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061107 Authors: Haryelle Náryma Confessor Ferreira Veronica Schiariti Isabelly Cristina Rodrigues Regalado Klayton Galante Sousa Silvana Alves Pereira Carla Patrícia Novaes dos Santos Fechine Egmar Longo Introduction: The increase in the number of cases of microcephaly in Brazil and its association with the Zika virus (ZIKV) is a global public health problem. The International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) model is a powerful tool and extremely relevant in managing disability. Objective: Describe the functioning profile of children with microcephaly associated with ZIKV in two states of northeastern Brazil. Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. The sociodemographic characteristics, head circumference, and other clinical data were collected from medical charts, physical examinations, measuring instruments, and interviews with the children and their parents. The Brazilian Portuguese version of the Brief Common ICF Core Set for cerebral palsy (CP) was used. Each ICF category was assigned a qualifier, which ranged from 0 to 4 (no problem, mild problem, moderate problem, severe problem, complete problem). For environmental factors, 0 represents no barrier and 4 represents complete barrier; +0, no facilitator and +4, complete facilitator. Results: A total of 34 children with microcephaly caused by ZIKV were recruited (18 girls and 16 boys) at four rehabilitation facilities in Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba states, Brazil. The average age of the participants was 21 months, monthly income was ≈USD 300.00, and head circumference z-scores ranged between 0.92 and −5.51. The functioning profile revealed complete disability in most of the body function categories (b). The activity and participation areas (d) were highly impacted, particularly in mobility-related categories. With respect to environmental factors (e), most of the sample reported a complete facilitator for the immediate family, friends, and health services, systems, and policies, as well as a complete barrier to societal attitudes. Conclusion: This is the first study that describes the functioning profile of children with microcephaly associated with ZIKV, using a tool based on the ICF in Brazil. Our findings reinforce the need to maximize health care and access to information, based on the ICF, for multiprofessional teams, administrators, family members, and children.
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1109: The Human Health Assessment to Phthalate Acid Esters (PAEs) and Potential Probability Prediction by Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter EEM-FRI Fluorescence in Erlong Lake International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061109 Authors: Meichen Ji Sijia Li Jiquan Zhang Hui Di Fengxu Li Tianji Feng Phthalate acid esters (PAEs) are suspected to cause wide environmental pollution and have adverse effects on human health. Three priority control phthalates, namely dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), were determined in 45 water samples from the largest drinking water source in Jilin Province. Chromophoric-dissolved organic matter (CDOM), which are composed of complex compounds and are a proxy for water quality, can be monitored using a fluorometer. This study attempted to understand the correlations of the CDOM fluorescence regional integration (FRI) components with PAEs and CDOM characteristics under seasonal and spatial variations in the Erlong Lake. The characteristics of the CDOM absorption parameters in different water samples showed a higher aromatic content and molecular weight in October because of increased terrestrial inputs. The Σ3PAEs concentrations ranged from 0.231 mg L−1 to 0.435 mg L−1 in water, and DEP contributed to more than 90% of the Σ3PAEs. The FRI method identified five fluorescence components: one tyrosine-like (R1), one tryptophan-like (R2), one fulvic-like (R3), one microbial protein-like (R4), and one humic-like (R5) component. However, significant relationships exist between DEP and R3 (R2 = 0.78, p < 0.001), R4 (R2 = 0.77, p < 0.001), and R5 (R2 = 0.58, p < 0.001). Quantifying the relationship between CDOM and PAEs was highly significant, because the results will simplify the componential analysis of pollutants from a spatiotemporal perspective as compared to traditional chemical measurements. The human health risk assessment results revealed no human health risk (HQ < 1) in the Erlong Lake basin.
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1105: Mosses Are Better than Leaves of Vascular Plants in Monitoring Atmospheric Heavy Metal Pollution in Urban Areas International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061105 Authors: Yanbin Jiang Miao Fan Ronggui Hu Jinsong Zhao Yupeng Wu Mosses and leaves of vascular plants have been used as bioindicators of environmental contamination by heavy metals originating from various sources. This study aims to compare the metal accumulation capabilities of mosses and vascular species in urban areas and quantify the suitability of different taxa for monitoring airborne heavy metals. One pleurocarpous feather moss species, Haplocladium angustifolium, and two evergreen tree species, Cinnamomum bodinieri Osmanthus fragrans, and substrate soil were sampled in the urban area of different land use types in Wuhan City in China. The concentrations of Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Mo, Ni, V, Pb, and Zn in these samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The differences of heavy metals concentration in the three species showed that the moss species was considerably more capable of accumulating heavy metals than tree leaves (3 times to 51 times). The accumulated concentration of heavy metals in the moss species depended on the metal species and land use type. The enrichment factors of metals for plants and the correlations of metals in plants with corresponding metals in soil reflected that the accumulated metals in plants stemmed mostly from atmospheric deposition, rather than the substrate soil. Anthropogenic factors, such as traffic emissions from automobile transportation and manufacturing industries, were primarily responsible for the variations in metal pollutants in the atmosphere and subsequently influenced the metal accumulation in the mosses. This study elucidated that the moss species H. angustifolium is relatively more suitable than tree leaves of C. bodinieri and O. fragrans in monitoring heavy metal pollution in urban areas, and currently Wuhan is at a lower contamination level of atmospheric heavy metals than some other cities in China.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1104: Involving Patients and Families in the Analysis of Suicides, Suicide Attempts, and Other Sentinel Events in Mental Healthcare: A Qualitative Study in The Netherlands International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061104 Authors: Renée Bouwman Bert de Graaff Derek de Beurs Hester van de Bovenkamp Ian Leistikow Roland Friele Involving patients and families in mental healthcare is becoming more commonplace, but little is known about how they are involved in the aftermath of serious adverse events related to quality of care (sentinel events, including suicides). This study explores the role patients and families have in formal processes after sentinel events in Dutch mental healthcare. We analyzed the existing policies of 15 healthcare organizations and spoke with 35 stakeholders including patients, families, their counselors, the national regulator, and professionals. Respondents argue that involving patients and families is valuable to help deal with the event emotionally, provide additional information, and prevent escalation. Results indicate that involving patients and families is only described in sentinel event policies to a limited extent. In practice, involvement consists mostly of providing aftercare and sharing information about the event by providers. Complexities such as privacy concerns and involuntary admissions are said to hinder involvement. Respondents also emphasize that involvement should not be obligatory and stress the need for patients and families to be involved throughout the process of treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for involving patients and families after sentinel events. The first step seems to be early involvement during treatment process itself.
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1103: Association between Serum 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Levels and the Prevalence of Adult-Onset Asthma International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061103 Authors: Mark P. C. Cherrie Christophe Sarran Nicholas J. Osborne The major circulating metabolite of vitamin D (25(OH)D) has been implicated in the pathogenesis for atopic dermatitis, asthma and other allergic diseases due to downstream immunomodulatory effects. However, a consistent association between 25(OH)D and asthma during adulthood has yet to be found in observational studies. We aimed to test the association between 25(OH)D and asthma during adulthood and hypothesised that this association would be stronger in non-atopic participants. Using information collected on the participants of the 1958 birth cohort, we developed a novel measure of atopic status using total and specific IgE values and reported history of eczema and allergic rhinitis. We designed a nested case-control analysis, stratified by atopic status, and using logistic regression models investigated the association between 25(OH)D measured at age 46 years with the prevalence of asthma and wheezy bronchitis at age 50 years, excluding participants who reported ever having asthma or wheezy bronchitis before the age of 42. In the fully adjusted models, a 10 nmol/L increase in serum 25(OH)D prevalence had a significant association with asthma (aOR 0.94; 95% CI 0.88–1.00). There was some evidence of an atopic dependent trend in the association between 25(OH)D levels and asthma. Further analytical work on the operationalisation of atopy status would prove useful to uncover whether there is a role for 25(OH)D and other risk factors for asthma.
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1106: Sexual Risk Behaviors of Patients with HIV/AIDS over the Course of Antiretroviral Treatment in Northern Vietnam International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061106 Authors: Thuc Minh Thi Vu Victoria L. Boggiano Bach Xuan Tran Long Hoang Nguyen Tung Thanh Tran Carl A. Latkin Cyrus S. H. Ho Roger C. M. Ho Antiretroviral therapy (ART) improves the health and well-being of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, PLWH), and reduces their risk of transmitting the virus to sexual partners. However, patterns of sexual risk behavior among HIV-positive patients taking ART in Vietnam remain largely unknown. In this study, we sought to examine sexual risk behaviors and their associated factors among HIV-positive patients receiving ART in northern Vietnam. The socio-demographic characteristics, ART use, health status, and sexual behaviors of 1133 patients taking ART in the Hanoi and Nam Dinh provinces were explored through face-to-face interviews. There were 63.5% of patients who had one sex partner, while 3.6% and 5.6% of patients had sexual intercourse with casual partners or sex workers, respectively, in the previous 12 months. Most participants tended to use condoms more often with commercial sex partners (90.2%) and intimate partners (79.7%), and less often with casual partners (60.9%). Higher age (odds ratio, OR = 1.0; 95% CIs = 1.0, 1.1) or suffering pain/discomfort (OR = 1.7; 95% CIs = 1.2, 2.4) were factors more likely to be associated with multiple sex partners. Patients who were self-employed were more likely to have sexual intercourse with casual partners/sex workers (OR = 2.1; 95% CIs = 1.1, 4.0). Meanwhile, a higher score on the EuroQol visual analog scale (EQ-VAS), an unknown HIV stage, and a longer duration of ART were adversely associated with not using condoms with casual partners/sex workers. Patients with longer durations of ART had a lower likelihood of not using a condom with casual partners/sex workers (OR = 0.5; 95% CIs = 0.3, 0.8). Our study underscored a relatively high rate of unsafe sexual behaviors among HIV-positive patients. Continuing to improve the physical and psychological well-being of HIV-positive patients in Vietnam is important in reducing the spread of HIV via risky sexual behaviors. In addition, safe-sex education should be provided to older people, and to those who are self-employed.
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1088: Evaluation of Self-Propelled High-Energy Ultrasonic Atomizer on Azoxystrobin and Tebuconazole Application in Sunlit Greenhouse Tomatoes International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061088 Authors: Yan-Jie Li Yi-Fan Li Rong-Hua Chen Xue-Sheng Li Can-Ping Pan Jian-Li Song In this study, a self-propelled high-energy ultrasonic atomizer was evaluated in terms of deposition on the canopy, the loss to the ground, and fungicide residues in cherry tomato and tomato. Artificial collectors fixed to the upper side and underside of the leaves at different depths and heights were used to collect the depositions. A reliable analytical method for determination of azoxystrobin and tebuconazole in artificial collectors and residue samples was developed by using liquid chromatography triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry. The results showed that the atomizer distributed the droplets evenly throughout the greenhouse with good uniformity (CVs below 39%). The ratio of depositions on the internal and external sides was 66–83%, and the ratio of depositions on the underside and upper side was 39–50%. There were no significant differences in depositions between two different height crops. The residues of azoxystrobin and tebuconazole in tomato and cherry tomato fruits were far below the maximum residue limits at harvest time. In general, self-propelled high-energy ultrasonic atomizer used in a greenhouse could increase the depositions, especially on the underside and internal side of the canopies, and lead to a reduction of operator exposure risk.
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1091: The Impact of Industrial Odors on the Subjective Well-Being of Communities in Colorado International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061091 Authors: Mohamed A. Eltarkawe Shelly L. Miller Odor pollution was identified as a top priority of the community of North Denver. Previous studies that investigated the impact of air pollution in North Denver focused on adverse health effects, rather than mental well-being. This study assessed the impact of odors from industrial sources on the subjective well-being (SWB) of North Denver residents, and of four similar communities in Colorado for comparison. An online survey was sent to participants from Greeley, Fort Collins, Fort Lupton, North Denver, and Pueblo, asking questions about SWB and odors in their areas (n = 351). The evaluation of SWB was performed using a novel approach that appraises three aspects of SWB. This approach of evaluating SWB has not been used in odor exposure studies. A proportional odds logistic regression model was used to estimate nine measures of SWB. The results showed that participants who reported that the air is very fresh or the odor is highly acceptable had higher levels of SWB. This association suggests that residents who live in areas exposed to strong industrial odors had lower levels of SWB. A subset of participants in this study took the survey four times in one year. Longitudinal analysis showed that evaluative satisfaction was slightly associated with seasonality. Both satisfaction with how life turned out and satisfaction with standards of living slightly increased during the fourth quarter of the year. The study also found that four of the nine measures can be used to represent SWB in future studies. Two of those measures were evaluative SWB, and the other two were positive hedonic SWB measures. A comparison between the five communities showed that well-being levels in North Denver and Greeley were not significantly different than those in Fort Collins or Fort Lupton. The comparison, however, showed that Pueblo had the lowest levels of well-being among all communities.
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  • 11
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1086: Environmental Lead Exposure and Adult Literacy in Myanmar: An Exploratory Study of Potential Associations at the Township Level International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061086 Authors: Robert C. MacTavish Liam W. Rémillard Colleen M. Davison Environmental lead exposure is a population health concern in many low- and middle-income countries. Lead is found throughout Myanmar and prior to the 1940s the country was the largest producer of lead worldwide. The aim of this study was to examine any potential association between lead mining and adult literacy rates at the level of 330 townships in Myanmar. Townships were identified as lead or non-lead mining areas and 2015 census data were examined with association being identified using descriptive, analytical and spatial statistical methods. Overall, there does appear to be a significant relationship between lead mining activity and adult literacy levels among townships with both low access (p = 0.05; OR = 2.701 (1.136–6.421)) as well with high access to safe sanitation (p = 0.01; OR = 18.40 (1.794–188.745)). Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) cluster maps confirm these findings. This exploratory analysis is a first step in the examination of potential environmental lead exposure and its implications in Myanmar.
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1083: Alcoholism: A Multi-Systemic Cellular Insult to Organs International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061083 Authors: Ucee Dguzeh Natasha C. Haddad Kathia T. S. Smith John O. Johnson Angelia A. Doye Judith K. Gwathmey Georges E. Haddad Alcohol abuse can affect more than the heart and the liver. Many observers often do not appreciate the complex and differing aspects of alcohol’s effects in pathophysiologies that have been reported in multiple organs. Chronic alcohol abuse is known to be associated with pathophysiological changes that often result in life-threatening clinical outcomes, e.g., breast and colon cancer, pancreatic disease, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney disease, immune system dysfunction, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and can be as far-reaching as to cause central nervous system disorders. In this review article, we will discuss the various organs impacted by alcohol abuse. The lack of clear guidelines on the amount and frequency of alcohol intake, complicated by personal demographics, make extrapolations to real-life practices at best difficult for public health policy-makers.
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1089: Racial Disparities and Preventive Measures to Renal Cell Carcinoma International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061089 Authors: Jennifer N. Sims Clement G. Yedjou Daniel Abugri Marinelle Payton Timothy Turner Lucio Miele Paul B. Tchounwou Kidney cancer ranks among the top 10 cancers in the United States. Although it affects both male and female populations, it is more common in males. The prevalence rate of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which represents about 85% of kidney cancers, has been increasing gradually in many developed countries. Family history has been considered as one of the most relevant risk factors for kidney cancer, although most forms of an inherited predisposition for RCC only account for less than four percent. Lifestyle and other factors such as occupational exposure, high blood pressure, poor diet, and heavy cigarette smoking are highly associated with its incidence and mortality rates. In the United States, White populations have the lowest prevalence of RCC compared to other ethnic groups, while Black Americans suffer disproportionally from the adverse effects of RCC. Hence, this review article aims at identifying the major risk factors associated with RCC and highlighting the new therapeutic approaches for its control/prevention. To achieve this specific aim, articles in peer-reviewed journals with a primary focus on risk factors related to kidney cancer and on strategies to reduce RCC were identified. The review was systematically conducted by searching the databases of MEDLINE, PUBMED Central, and Google Scholar libraries for original articles. From the search, we found that the incidence and mortality rates of RCC are strongly associated with four main risk factors, including family history (genetics), lifestyle (poor diet, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol drinking), environment (community where people live), and occupation (place where people work). In addition, unequal access to improvement in RCC cancer treatment, limited access to screening and diagnosis, and limited access to kidney transplant significantly contribute to the difference observed in survival rate between African Americans and Caucasians. There is also scientific evidence suggesting that some physicians contribute to racial disparities when performing kidney transplant among minority populations. New therapeutic measures should be taken to prevent or reduce RCC, especially among African Americans, the most vulnerable population group.
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1740: Research on a Novel MEMS Sensor for Spatial DC Electric Field Measurements in an Ion Flows Field Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061740 Authors: Ya Mou Zhanqing Yu Kaitian Huang Qing Ma Rong Zeng Zheyao Wang Thus far, despite the development of electric field sensors (EFSs) such as field mills, optoelectronic EFSs and microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based EFSs, no sensor can accurately measure an electric field in space due to the existence of space charge and the influence of charge attachment. To measure a spatial synthetic electric field in an ion flow field, a double potential independent differential EFS based on MEMS is proposed. Compared with other EFSs, this method has the advantages of independent potential (without grounding) and the ability to support the measurement of the synthetic ion flow electric field in space. First, to analyse the charge distribution after the sensor is involved exposed to an electric field, a simulation model was constructed. Then, given the redistribution of the spatial electric field in space and the influence of the surface charge on the sensor, the quantitative relationship between the electric field to be measured and that measured by the proposed sensor was obtained. To improve the performance of the EFS, a set of synthetic field strength sensor calibration systems that consider spatial ion flow injection was established. Furthermore, the parameter λ, which is related to the relative position of the differential chips, was determined. Finally, a series of comparative experiments indicated that the differential EFS highlighted in the present study exhibits good linearity and accuracy.
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1735: Planetary Gear Fault Diagnosis via Feature Image Extraction Based on Multi Central Frequencies and Vibration Signal Frequency Spectrum Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061735 Authors: Yong Li Gang Cheng Yusong Pang Moshen Kuai Poor working environment leads to frequent failures of planetary gear trains. However, complex structure and variable transmission make the vibration signal strongly non-linear and non-stationary, which brings big problems to fault diagnosis. A method of planetary gear fault diagnosis via feature image extraction based on multi central frequencies and vibration signal frequency spectrum is proposed. The original vibration signal is decomposed by variational mode decomposition (VMD), and four components with narrow bands and independent central frequencies are decomposed. In order to retain the feature spectrum of the original vibration signal as far as possible, the corresponding feature bands are intercepted from the frequency spectrum of original vibration signal based on the central frequency of each component. Then, the feature images of fault signals are constructed as the inputs of the convolution neural network (CNN), and the parameters of the neural network are optimized by sample training. Finally, the optimized CNN is used to identify fault signals. The overall fault recognition rate is up to 98.75%. Compared with the feature bands extracted directly from the component spectrums, the extraction method of the feature bands proposed in this paper needs fewer iterations under the same network structure. The method of planetary gear fault diagnosis proposed in this paper is effective.
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1733: A Capsule-Type Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer for Fast Screening of External Corrosion in Nonmagnetic Pipes Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061733 Authors: Yong Li Rui Cai Bei Yan Ilham Mukriz Zainal Abidin Haoqing Jing Yi Wang For fuel transmission and structural strengthening, small-diameter pipes of nonmagnetic materials are extensively adopted in engineering fields including aerospace, energy, transportation, etc. However, the hostile and corrosive environment leaves them vulnerable to external corrosion which poses a severe threat to structural integrity of pipes. Therefore, it is imperative to nondestructively detect and evaluate the external corrosion in nonmagnetic pipes. In light of this, a capsule-type Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) for in-situ nondestructive evaluation of nonmagnetic pipes and fast screening of external corrosion is proposed in this paper. A 3D hybrid model for efficient prediction of responses from the proposed transducer to external corrosion is established. Closed-form expressions of field quantities of electromagnetics and EMAT signals are formulated. Simulations based on the hybrid model indicate feasibility of the proposed transducer in detection and evaluation of external corrosion in nonmagnetic pipes. In parallel, experiments with the fabricated transducer have been carried out. Experimental results are supportive of the conclusion drawn from simulations. The investigation via simulations and experiments implies that the proposed capsule-type EMAT is capable of fast screening of external corrosion, which is beneficial to the in-situ nondestructive evaluation of small-diameter nonmagnetic pipes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1732: Design of Compressed Sensing Algorithm for Coal Mine IoT Moving Measurement Data Based on a Multi-Hop Network and Total Variation Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061732 Authors: Gang Wang Zhikai Zhao Yongjie Ning As the application of a coal mine Internet of Things (IoT), mobile measurement devices, such as intelligent mine lamps, cause moving measurement data to be increased. How to transmit these large amounts of mobile measurement data effectively has become an urgent problem. This paper presents a compressed sensing algorithm for the large amount of coal mine IoT moving measurement data based on a multi-hop network and total variation. By taking gas data in mobile measurement data as an example, two network models for the transmission of gas data flow, namely single-hop and multi-hop transmission modes, are investigated in depth, and a gas data compressed sensing collection model is built based on a multi-hop network. To utilize the sparse characteristics of gas data, the concept of total variation is introduced and a high-efficiency gas data compression and reconstruction method based on Total Variation Sparsity based on Multi-Hop (TVS-MH) is proposed. According to the simulation results, by using the proposed method, the moving measurement data flow from an underground distributed mobile network can be acquired and transmitted efficiently.
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1734: Reader Architectures for Wireless Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061734 Authors: Fabian Lurz Thomas Ostertag Benedict Scheiner Robert Weigel Alexander Koelpin Wireless surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors have some unique features that make them promising for industrial metrology. Their decisive advantage lies in their purely passive operation and the wireless readout capability allowing the installation also at particularly inaccessible locations. Furthermore, they are small, low-cost and rugged components on highly stable substrate materials and thus particularly suited for harsh environments. Nevertheless, a sensor itself does not carry out any measurement but always requires a suitable excitation and interrogation circuit: a reader. A variety of different architectures have been presented and investigated up to now. This review paper gives a comprehensive survey of the present state of reader architectures such as time domain sampling (TDS), frequency domain sampling (FDS) and hybrid concepts for both SAW resonators and reflective SAW delay line sensors. Furthermore, critical performance parameters such as measurement accuracy, dynamic range, update rate, and hardware costs of the state of the art in science and industry are presented, compared and discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1729: Miniaturized Sensors Registering the Long-Term Course of Suture Tension In Vivo under Varying Intra-Abdominal Pressure Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061729 Authors: Jörg Höer Oliver Wetter Background: Failure of laparotomy closure develops after up to 20% of abdominal operations. Suture tension has an influence on the quality of tissue regeneration. No sensors are available to register suture tension dynamics in vivo. Methods: In a series of animal experiments, the effect of suture tension on the ultrastructure of the healing incision was examined. Surgeons’ ability to suture with target tension was tested. An implantable sensor and data logger were developed and tested experimentally in sutures closing midline laparotomies in pigs both under normal and elevated intra-abdominal pressure. Results: High suture tension has a negative influence on the regeneration of laparotomy incisions. Running sutures for laparotomy closure lose 45% of their initial tension over periods of 23 h. Intermittent elevation of intra-abdominal pressure to 30 mm Hg leads to a near total loss of suture tension after 23 h. Conclusion: Surgeons are not able to control and reproduce suture tension. Suture tension dynamics can be measured in vivo by the sensor developed. Further research is needed to define a tissue-specific suture tension optimum to reduce the incidence of complications after laparotomy. Techniques for laparotomy closure need to be modified.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1728: Energy Modeling of IoT Mobile Terminals on WiFi Environmental Impacts † Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061728 Authors: Yuxia Sun Junxian Chen Yong Tang Yanjia Chen With the popularity of various IoT mobile terminals such as mobile phones and sensors, the energy problems of IoT mobile terminals have attracted increasingly more attention. In this paper, we explore the impacts of some important factors of WiFi environments on the energy consumption of mobile phones, which are typical IoT end devices. The factors involve the WiFi signal strength under good signal conditions, the type and the amount of protocol packets that are initiated by WiFi APs (Access Points) to maintain basic network communication with the phones. Controlled experiments are conducted to quantitatively study the phone energy impacts by the above WiFi environmental factors. To describe such impacts, we construct a time-based signal strength-aware energy model and packet type/amount-aware energy models. The models constructed in the paper corroborate the following user experience on phone energy consumption: (1) a phone’s energy is drawn faster under higher WiFi signal strengths than under lower ones even in normal signal conditions; (2) phones consume energy faster in a public WiFi network than in a private one even in the basic phone state. The energy modeling methods proposed in the paper enable ordinary developers to analyze phone energy draw conveniently by utilizing inexpensive power meters as measurement tools. The modeling methods are general and are able to be used for phones of any type and any platform.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1726: A Simplified Hollow-Core Photonic Crystal Fiber SERS Probe with a Fully Filled Photoreduction Silver Nanoprism Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061726 Authors: Youfu Geng Yiwen Xu Xiaoling Tan Lina Wang Xuejin Li Yu Du Xueming Hong In this paper, a simplified hollow-core photonic crystal fiber surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) probe is presented. Silver nanoprisms are grown with a photoreduction method and account for the SERS, which have better electromagnetic enhancement than spherical silver nanoparticles at 785 nm. Due to the antiresonant reflecting guidance mechanism, the excited laser and SERS signal are effectively guided in such a fully filled hollow-core photonic crystal fiber SERS probe and complicated selective filling with target sample is avoided. Rhodamine 6G molecules are used as probe molecules and the simplified hollow-core photonic crystal fiber SERS probe is test. Detection of low concentration Rhodamine 6G down to 10−8 M is achieved with a short integration time of 300 ms.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1742: Reply to Comments: A Novel Low-Cost Instrumentation System for Measuring the Water Content and Apparent Electrical Conductivity of Soils, Sensors, 15, 25546–25563 Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061742 Authors: Alan Rêgo Segundo Marco da Silva Gustavo Freitas Paulo de Barros Monteiro José Martins In this article we respond to the comments made by Chavanne et al., who have questioned: (i) the name of the technique used; (ii) the ability of the system to determine both soil water content and salinity due to potential instrument biases and choice of sensor frequencies; and (iii) the procedure used to determine temperature effect on readings presented in the article “A Novel Low-Cost Instrumentation System for Measuring the Water Content and Apparent Electrical Conductivity of Soils” (Sensors 2015, 15, 25546–25563). We have carefully analyzed the arguments in the comment, and have concluded that they only partially affect the previous conclusions, as will be discussed in this reply. We show here that the findings and conclusions previously drawn are valid and supported by the many experiments previously conducted.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1739: An Unambiguous Delay-And-Multiply Acquisition Scheme for GPS L1C Signals Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061739 Authors: Duk-Sun Shim Jin-Seok Jeon The GPS provides positioning information almost anytime and anywhere on Earth, regardless of the weather conditions, and has become an essential technology for positioning and navigation. As a modernization program, the fourth civil GPS signal, denoted as L1C, will be transmitted from Block III satellites. One distinction of the L1C signal from the former signals is the use of binary offset carrier (BOC) modulation, which is necessary for compatibility and the reduction of interference between the legacy L1 signal and L1C signal, despite their use of the same carrier frequency. One drawback of using BOC modulation is the ambiguity problem, which comes from the multiple peaks in the correlation function and causes difficulties finding the code phase in the acquisition process. In this paper we suggest two delay-and-multiply (DM) methods for the L1C signal to solve the ambiguity problem. For the DM acquisition schemes we suggest the optimal delay time for the delay signal, and prove that the correlation function of the received DM signal and the generated DM signal has a triangular shape, as seen in the legacy GPS L1 signal. The noise characteristics of the decision variable are obtained and the performance of the DM acquisition scheme is given in terms of the probability of detection, and compared with that of the conventional method. We provide the procedure to find the Doppler frequency after obtaining the code phase through the proposed DM method.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1741: Two-Dimensional Direction-of-Arrival Fast Estimation of Multiple Signals with Matrix Completion Theory in Coprime Planar Array Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061741 Authors: Haiyun Xu Yankui Zhang Bin Ba Daming Wang Xiangzhi Li In estimating the two-dimensional (2D) direction-of-arrival (DOA) using a coprime planar array, the main issues are the high complexity of spectral peak search and the limited degree of freedom imposed by the number of sensors. In this paper, we present an algorithm based on the matrix completion theory in coprime planar array that reduces the computational complexity and obtains a high degree of freedom. The algorithm first analyzes the covariance matrix of received signals to estimate the covariance matrix of a virtual uniform rectangular array, which has the same aperture as the coprime planar array. Matrix completion theory is then applied to estimate the missing elements of the virtual array covariance matrix. Finally, a closed-form DOA solution is obtained using the unitary estimation signal parameters via rotational invariance techniques (Unitary-ESPRIT). Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm has a high degree of freedom, enabling the estimation of more signal DOAs than the number of sensors. The proposed algorithm has reduced computational complexity because the spectral peak search is replaced by Unitary-ESPRIT, but attains similarly high levels accuracy to those of the 2D multiple signal classification algorithm.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1738: Multifunctionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide Biosensors for Simultaneous Monitoring of Structural Changes in Amyloid-β 40 Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061738 Authors: Dahye Jeong Jinsik Kim Myung-Sic Chae Wonseok Lee Seung-Hoon Yang YoungSoo Kim Seung Min Kim Jin San Lee Jeong Hoon Lee Jungkyu Choi Dae Sung Yoon Kyo Seon Hwang Determination of the conformation (monomer, oligomer, or fibril) of amyloid peptide aggregates in the human brain is essential for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Accordingly, systematic investigation of amyloid conformation using analytical tools is essential for precisely quantifying the relative amounts of the three conformations of amyloid peptide. Here, we developed a reduced graphene oxide (rGO) based multiplexing biosensor that could be used to monitor the relative amounts of the three conformations of various amyloid-β 40 (Aβ40) fluids. The electrical rGO biosensor was composed of a multichannel sensor array capable of individual detection of monomers, oligomers, and fibrils in a single amyloid fluid sample. From the performance test of each sensor, we showed that this method had good analytical sensitivity (1 pg/mL) and a fairly wide dynamic range (1 pg/mL to 10 ng/mL) for each conformation of Aβ40. To verify whether the rGO biosensor could be used to evaluate the relative amounts of the three conformations, various amyloid solutions (monomeric Aβ40, aggregated Aβ40, and disaggregated Aβ40 solutions) were employed. Notably, different trends in the relative amounts of the three conformations were observed in each amyloid solution, indicating that this information could serve as an important parameter in the clinical setting. Accordingly, our analytical tool could precisely detect the relative amounts of the three conformations of Aβ40 and may have potential applications as a diagnostic system for AD.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1737: Estimation of Temporal Gait Parameters Using a Human Body Electrostatic Sensing-Based Method Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061737 Authors: Mengxuan Li Pengfei Li Shanshan Tian Kai Tang Xi Chen Accurate estimation of gait parameters is essential for obtaining quantitative information on motor deficits in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, which helps determine disease progression and therapeutic interventions. Due to the demand for high accuracy, unobtrusive measurement methods such as optical motion capture systems, foot pressure plates, and other systems have been commonly used in clinical environments. However, the high cost of existing lab-based methods greatly hinders their wider usage, especially in developing countries. In this study, we present a low-cost, noncontact, and an accurate temporal gait parameters estimation method by sensing and analyzing the electrostatic field generated from human foot stepping. The proposed method achieved an average 97% accuracy on gait phase detection and was further validated by comparison to the foot pressure system in 10 healthy subjects. Two results were compared using the Pearson coefficient r and obtained an excellent consistency (r = 0.99, p < 0.05). The repeatability of the purposed method was calculated between days by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), and showed good test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.87, p < 0.01). The proposed method could be an affordable and accurate tool to measure temporal gait parameters in hospital laboratories and in patients’ home environments.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 186: Predicting Ground Settlement Due to Symmetrical Tunneling through an Energy Conservation Method Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10060186 Authors: Xiang Liu Qian Fang Qiushuang Zhou Yan Liu This paper presents an analytical method using the energy conservation principle to predict ground settlement due to symmetrically shaped tunnel construction in elastic ground conditions. Ground settlement is calculated by balancing the energy in shearing the soil, the work done by gravity, and the negative work done along the tunnel boundary. The proposed method was validated by finite-difference numerical simulations. According to the simulations, it was found that the direction of maximum shear stress under shear strain extension (SSE) was opposite to that under shear strain compression (SSC). The energy in shearing the soil can be obtained by using both the differential of ground displacement, and the fitted expression of maximum shear strain. Subsequently, ground deformation was predicted by the proposed method under three different conditions, and then compared with numerical results. Specific cases of ground settlement due to tunneling can be predicted by the proposed method, using the differential of the proposed empirical solutions. Ground settlements calculated by fitted expressions of maximum shear strain were closer to numerical results than those calculated by differentials. Deriving an empirical equation of maximum engineering shear strain from fitted expressions may be an innovative way for the proposed method to predict ground settlement.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 184: Incubation under Climate Warming Affects Behavioral Lateralisation in Port Jackson Sharks Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10060184 Authors: Catarina Vila Pouca Connor Gervais Joshua Reed Culum Brown Climate change is warming the world’s oceans at an unprecedented rate. Under predicted end-of-century temperatures, many teleosts show impaired development and altered critical behaviors, including behavioral lateralisation. Since laterality is an expression of brain functional asymmetries, changes in the strength and direction of lateralisation suggest that rapid climate warming might impact brain development and function. However, despite the implications for cognitive functions, the potential effects of elevated temperature in lateralisation of elasmobranch fishes are unknown. We incubated and reared Port Jackson sharks at current and projected end-of-century temperatures and measured preferential detour responses to left or right. Sharks incubated at elevated temperature showed stronger absolute laterality and were significantly biased towards the right relative to sharks reared at current temperature. We propose that animals reared under elevated temperatures might have more strongly lateralized brains to cope with deleterious effects of climate change on brain development and growth. However, far more research in elasmobranch lateralisation is needed before the significance of these results can be fully comprehended. This study provides further evidence that elasmobranchs are susceptible to the effects of future ocean warming, though behavioral mechanisms might allow animals to compensate for some of the challenges imposed by climate change.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2018-05-29
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 185: Resonance Dipole–Dipole Interaction between Two Accelerated Atoms in the Presence of a Reflecting Plane Boundary Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10060185 Authors: Wenting Zhou Roberto Passante Lucia Rizzuto We study the resonant dipole–dipole interaction energy between two non-inertial identical atoms, one excited and the other in the ground state, prepared in a correlated Bell-type state, and interacting with the scalar field or the electromagnetic field nearby a perfectly reflecting plate. We suppose the two atoms move with the same uniform acceleration, parallel to the plane boundary, and that their separation is constant during the motion. By separating the contributions of radiation reaction field and vacuum fluctuations to the resonance energy shift of the two-atom system, we show that Unruh thermal fluctuations do not affect the resonance interaction, which is exclusively related to the radiation reaction field. However, non-thermal effects of acceleration in the radiation-reaction contribution, beyond the Unruh acceleration–temperature equivalence, affect the resonance interaction energy. By considering specific geometric configurations of the two-atom system relative to the plate, we show that the presence of the mirror significantly modifies the resonance interaction energy between the two accelerated atoms. In particular, we find that new and different features appear with respect to the case of atoms in the free-space, related to the presence of the boundary and to the peculiar structure of the quantum electromagnetic field vacuum in the locally inertial frame. Our results suggest the possibility to exploit the resonance interaction between accelerated atoms as a probe for detecting the elusive effects of atomic acceleration on radiative processes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1752: Supervoxels-Based Histon as a New Alzheimer’s Disease Imaging Biomarker Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061752 Authors: César A. Ortiz Toro Consuelo Gonzalo Martín Angel García-Pedrero Ernestina Menasalvas Ruiz Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents the prevalent type of dementia in the elderly, and is characterized by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques that eventually leads to the loss of neurons, resulting in atrophy in specific brain areas. Although the process of degeneration can be visualized through various modalities of medical imaging and has proved to be a valuable biomarker, the accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease remains a challenge, especially in its early stages. In this paper, we propose a novel classification method for Alzheimer’s disease/cognitive normal discrimination in structural magnetic resonance images (MRI), based on the extension of the concept of histons to volumetric images. The proposed method exploits the relationship between grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid degeneration by means of a segmentation using supervoxels. The calculated histons are then processed for a reduction in dimensionality using principal components analysis (PCA) and the resulting vector is used to train an support vector machine (SVM) classifier. Experimental results using the OASIS-1 database have proven to be a significant improvement compared to a baseline classification made using the pipeline provided by Clinica software.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1743: Waveform Optimization for Target Estimation by Cognitive Radar with Multiple Antennas Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061743 Authors: Yu Yao Junhui Zhao Lenan Wu A new scheme based on Kalman filtering to optimize the waveforms of an adaptive multi-antenna radar system for target impulse response (TIR) estimation is presented. This work aims to improve the performance of TIR estimation by making use of the temporal correlation between successive received signals, and minimize the mean square error (MSE) of TIR estimation. The waveform design approach is based upon constant learning from the target feature at the receiver. Under the multiple antennas scenario, a dynamic feedback loop control system is established to real-time monitor the change in the target features extracted form received signals. The transmitter adapts its transmitted waveform to suit the time-invariant environment. Finally, the simulation results show that, as compared with the waveform design method based on the MAP criterion, the proposed waveform design algorithm is able to improve the performance of TIR estimation for extended targets with multiple iterations, and has a relatively lower level of complexity.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2018-05-30
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1745: Inverse Piezoresistive Nanocomposite Sensors for Identifying Human Sitting Posture Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061745 Authors: Zhe Qian Anton E. Bowden Dong Zhang Jia Wan Wei Liu Xiao Li Daniel Baradoy David T. Fullwood Sitting posture is the position in which one holds his/her body upright against gravity while sitting. Poor sitting posture is regarded as an aggravating factor for various diseases. In this paper, we present an inverse piezoresistive nanocomposite sensor, and related deciphering neural network, as a new tool to identify human sitting postures accurately. As a low power consumption device, the proposed tool has simple structure, and is easy to use. The strain gauge is attached to the back of the user to acquire sitting data. A three-layer BP neural network is employed to distinguish normal sitting posture, slight hunchback and severe hunchback according to the acquired data. Experimental results show that our method is both realizable and effective, achieving 98.75% posture identification accuracy. This successful application of inverse piezoresistive nanocomposite sensors reveals that the method could potentially be used for monitoring of diverse physiological parameters in the future.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 417: Modeling the Comovement of Entropy between Financial Markets Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060417 Authors: Petre Caraiani In this paper, I propose a methodology to study the comovement between the entropy of different financial markets. The entropy is derived using singular value decomposition of the components of stock market indices in financial markets from selected developed economies, i.e., France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. I study how a shock in the entropy in the United States affects the entropy in the other financial markets. I also model the entropy using a dynamic factor model and derive a common factor behind the entropy movements in these four markets.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1120: Key Dimensions for the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases in Institutional Settings: A Scoping Review to Guide the Development of a Tool to Strengthen Preparedness at Migrant Holding Centres in the EU/EEA International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061120 Authors: Flavia Riccardo Jonathan E. Suk Laura Espinosa Antonino Bella Cristina Giambi Martina Del Manso Christian Napoli Maria Grazia Dente Gloria Nacca Silvia Declich Migrant centres, as other institutions hosting closed or semi-open communities, may face specific challenges in preventing and controlling communicable disease transmission, particularly during times of large sudden influx. However, there is dearth of evidence on how to prioritise investments in aspects such as human resources, medicines and vaccines, sanitation and disinfection, and physical infrastructures to prevent/control communicable disease outbreaks. We analysed frequent drivers of communicable disease transmission/issues for outbreak management in institutions hosting closed or semi-open communities, including migrant centres, and reviewed existing assessment tools to guide the development of a European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) checklist tool to strengthen preparedness against communicable disease outbreaks in migrant centres. Among articles/reports focusing specifically on migrant centres, outbreaks through multiple types of disease transmission were described as possible/occurred. Human resources and physical infrastructure were the dimensions most frequently identified as crucial for preventing and mitigating outbreaks. This review also recognised a lack of common agreed standards to guide and assess preparedness activities in migrant centres, thereby underscoring the need for a capacity-oriented ECDC preparedness checklist tool.
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1118: Influence of Personal Factors on Sound Perception and Overall Experience in Urban Green Areas. A Case Study of a Cycling Path Highly Exposed to Road Traffic Noise International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061118 Authors: Francesco Aletta Timothy Van Renterghem Dick Botteldooren In contemporary urban design, green public areas play a vital role. They have great societal value, but if exposed to undue environmental noise their restorative potential might be compromised. On the other hand, research has shown that the presence of greenery can moderate noise annoyance in areas with high sound levels, while personal factors are expected to play an important role too. A cycling path bordered by vegetation, but highly exposed to road traffic noise, was here considered as a case study. A sound perception survey was submitted to participants on site and they were subsequently sorted into groups according to their noise sensitivity, visual attention and attitude towards greenery. The aim of this study was testing whether these three personal factors could affect their noise perception and overall experience of the place. Results showed that people highly sensitive to noise and more sceptical towards greenery’s potential as an environmental moderator reported worse soundscape quality, while visually attentive people reported better quality. These three personal factors were found to be statistically independent. This study shows that several person-related factors impact the assessment of the sound environment in green areas. Although the majority of the respondents benefit from the presence of visual green, policy-makers and planners should be aware that for a significant subset of the population, it should be accompanied by a tranquil soundscape to be fully appreciated.
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1119: Primary Care Patients’ Preference for Hospitals over Clinics in Korea International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061119 Authors: Agnus M. Kim Seongcheol Cho Hyun Joo Kim Hyemin Jung Min-Woo Jo Jin Yong Lee Sang Jun Eun Korea is in a unique condition to observe whether patients, when equal access to the levels of health care facilities is guaranteed by the support of the national health insurance, choose the appropriate levels of health care facilities. This study was performed to investigate the primary care patients’ preference for hospitals over clinics under no restriction for their choice. We used the 2011 National Inpatient Sample database of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service in Korea. A primary care patient was defined as a patient who visited as an outpatient in health care facilities with one of the 52 minor conditions defined by the Korean government. We found that approximately 15% of outpatient visits of the patients who were eligible for primary care in Korea happened in hospitals. In terms of cost, the outpatient visits in hospitals accounted for about 29% of total cost of outpatient visits. This arbitrary access to hospitals can lead to an inefficient use of health care resources. In order to ensure that health care facilities are stratified in terms of access as well as size and function, interventions to distribute patients to the appropriate level of care are required.
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1113: Research Trend Visualization by MeSH Terms from PubMed International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061113 Authors: Heyoung Yang Hyuck Jai Lee Motivation: PubMed is a primary source of biomedical information comprising search tool function and the biomedical literature from MEDLINE which is the US National Library of Medicine premier bibliographic database, life science journals and online books. Complimentary tools to PubMed have been developed to help the users search for literature and acquire knowledge. However, these tools are insufficient to overcome the difficulties of the users due to the proliferation of biomedical literature. A new method is needed for searching the knowledge in biomedical field. Methods: A new method is proposed in this study for visualizing the recent research trends based on the retrieved documents corresponding to a search query given by the user. The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are used as the primary analytical element. MeSH terms are extracted from the literature and the correlations between them are calculated. A MeSH network, called MeSH Net, is generated as the final result based on the Pathfinder Network algorithm. Results: A case study for the verification of proposed method was carried out on a research area defined by the search query (immunotherapy and cancer and “tumor microenvironment”). The MeSH Net generated by the method is in good agreement with the actual research activities in the research area (immunotherapy). Conclusion: A prototype application generating MeSH Net was developed. The application, which could be used as a “guide map for travelers”, allows the users to quickly and easily acquire the knowledge of research trends. Combination of PubMed and MeSH Net is expected to be an effective complementary system for the researchers in biomedical field experiencing difficulties with search and information analysis.
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1112: Time and Place as Modifiers of Personal UV Exposure International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061112 Authors: Brian L. Diffey It is a common belief that, if we want to limit our sun exposure during outdoor recreational activities and holidays in order to avoid sunburn or reduce our risk of skin cancer, we need to reach for the bottle of sunscreen or cover up with clothing. As important as these measures are, there is another way to enjoy our time outdoors and still benefit from the experience. In this article, we consider the impact of time, place, and behaviour outdoors on our exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Some of the simple actions we can take in controlling our UV exposure include being aware of the position of the sun in the sky, understanding how we can use the UV index to guide our outdoor exposure, and the importance of reducing our sun exposure around the middle of the day. Finally we review our preferred holiday activities and destinations, and the influence of outdoor leisure pursuits. By planning where and when we spend our leisure time in the sun, we can maximise our enjoyment whilst limiting our UV exposure.
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1111: A Rapid Public Health Needs Assessment Framework for after Major Earthquakes Using High-Resolution Satellite Imagery International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061111 Authors: Jian Zhao Fan Ding Zhe Wang Jinghuan Ren Jing Zhao Yeping Wang Xuefeng Tang Yong Wang Jianyi Yao Qun Li Background: Earthquakes causing significant damage have occurred frequently in China, producing enormous health losses, damage to the environment and public health issues. Timely public health response is crucial to reduce mortality and morbidity and promote overall effectiveness of rescue efforts after a major earthquake. Methods: A rapid assessment framework was established based on GIS technology and high-resolution remote sensing images. A two-step casualties and injures estimation method was developed to evaluate health loss with great rapidity. Historical data and health resources information was reviewed to evaluate the damage condition of medical resources and public health issues. Results: The casualties and injures are estimated within a few hours after an earthquake. For the Wenchuan earthquake, which killed about 96,000 people and injured about 288,000, the estimation accuracy is about 77%. 242/294 (82.3%) of the medical existing institutions were severely damaged. About 40,000 tons of safe drinking water was needed every day to ensure basic living needs. The risk of water-borne and foodborne disease, respiratory and close contact transmission disease is high. For natural foci diseases, the high-risk area of schistosomiasis was mapped in Lushan County as an example. Finally, temporary settlements for victims of earthquake were mapped. Conclusions: High resolution Earth observation technology can provide a scientific basis for public health emergency management in the major disasters field, which will be of great significance in helping policy makers effectively improve health service ability and public health emergency management in prevention and control of infectious diseases and risk assessment.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1110: Interactions of Genes and Sodium Intake on the Development of Hypertension: A Cohort-Based Case-Control Study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061110 Authors: Mei-Ling Chen Tzu-Pi Huang Tai-Wei Chen Hsin-Hua Chan Bing-Fang Hwang There have been few studies investigating interactions of G-protein beta3 subunit (GNB3) C825T (rs5443) and dietary sodium intake on the risk of hypertension, i.e., BP salt sensitivity. The study aims to evaluate joint effects of GNB3 polymorphisms and sodium consumption on the development of hypertension. A cohort-based case-control study was conducted in 2014. There are 233 participants with newly diagnosed hypertension in the case group and 699 participants in the gender-matched control group. The primary outcome is the development of hypertension over a 10-year period. The determinants of hypertension were three genotypes of SNP in GNB3 (TT; CT; and CC) and two dietary salt categories on the basis of the level of sodium consumption representing high (>4800 mg/day) and low-sodium (<2400 mg/day) diets. The development of hypertension increased with participants carrying TT genotype and high-sodium diets comparing with those carrying TC or CC genotype with low-sodium diets (adjusted OR 3.23, 95% CI 1.52–6.83) (Rothman synergy index = 3.79). The study suggests that GNB3 C825T polymorphism may influence the response of the renin-angiotensin system to high-sodium diet. It implies that GNB3 can be served as an easy, inexpensive, and early genetic marker of salt sensitivity to blood pressure. Salt-sensitive individuals should pay more attention to salt intake to reduce cardiovascular morbidity or mortality.
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2018-05-31
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1756: Phenol-Formaldehyde Resin for Optical-Chemical Temperature Sensing Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061756 Authors: Steven Claucherty Hirotaka Sakaue The application of phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin as an optical temperature sensor is investigated. Recent developments in optical luminescent sensors allow for global measurements to be made over the surface of a test article, extending beyond conventional point measurements. Global temperature distributions are particularly helpful when validating computational models or when mapping temperature over complex geometries, and can be used to calculate surface heat flux values. Temperature-sensitive paint (TSP) is a novel chemical approach to obtaining these global temperature measurements, but there are still challenges to overcome to make it a reliable tool. A sensor with a wide range of temperature sensitivity is desired to provide the maximum amount of utility, especially for tests spanning large temperature gradients. Naturally luminescent materials such as PF resin provide an attractive alternative to chemical sensor coatings, and PF resin is studied for this reason. Static tests of different PF resin samples are conducted using two binder materials to strengthen the material: cloth and paper. The material shows temperature sensitivities up to −0.8%/K, demonstrating the usefulness of PF resin as a temperature sensor.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 420: Developments in Quantum Probability and the Copenhagen Approach Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060420 Authors: Gregg Jaeger In the Copenhagen approach to quantum mechanics as characterized by Heisenberg, probabilities relate to the statistics of measurement outcomes on ensembles of systems and to individual measurement events via the actualization of quantum potentiality. Here, brief summaries are given of a series of key results of different sorts that have been obtained since the final elements of the Copenhagen interpretation were offered and it was explicitly named so by Heisenberg—in particular, results from the investigation of the behavior of quantum probability since that time, the mid-1950s. This review shows that these developments have increased the value to physics of notions characterizing the approach which were previously either less precise or mainly symbolic in character, including complementarity, indeterminism, and unsharpness.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 423: Quantum Thermodynamics at Strong Coupling: Operator Thermodynamic Functions and Relations Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060423 Authors: Jen-Tsung Hsiang Bei-Lok Hu Identifying or constructing a fine-grained microscopic theory that will emerge under specific conditions to a known macroscopic theory is always a formidable challenge. Thermodynamics is perhaps one of the most powerful theories and best understood examples of emergence in physical sciences, which can be used for understanding the characteristics and mechanisms of emergent processes, both in terms of emergent structures and the emergent laws governing the effective or collective variables. Viewing quantum mechanics as an emergent theory requires a better understanding of all this. In this work we aim at a very modest goal, not quantum mechanics as thermodynamics, not yet, but the thermodynamics of quantum systems, or quantum thermodynamics. We will show why even with this minimal demand, there are many new issues which need be addressed and new rules formulated. The thermodynamics of small quantum many-body systems strongly coupled to a heat bath at low temperatures with non-Markovian behavior contains elements, such as quantum coherence, correlations, entanglement and fluctuations, that are not well recognized in traditional thermodynamics, built on large systems vanishingly weakly coupled to a non-dynamical reservoir. For quantum thermodynamics at strong coupling, one needs to reexamine the meaning of the thermodynamic functions, the viability of the thermodynamic relations and the validity of the thermodynamic laws anew. After a brief motivation, this paper starts with a short overview of the quantum formulation based on Gelin & Thoss and Seifert. We then provide a quantum formulation of Jarzynski’s two representations. We show how to construct the operator thermodynamic potentials, the expectation values of which provide the familiar thermodynamic variables. Constructing the operator thermodynamic functions and verifying or modifying their relations is a necessary first step in the establishment of a viable thermodynamics theory for quantum systems. We mention noteworthy subtleties for quantum thermodynamics at strong coupling, such as in issues related to energy and entropy, and possible ambiguities of their operator forms. We end by indicating some fruitful pathways for further developments.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 421: Entropy SVM–Based Recognition of Transient Surges in HVDC Transmissions Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060421 Authors: Guomin Luo Changyuan Yao Yinglin Liu Yingjie Tan Jinghan He Protection based on transient information is the primary protection of high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems. As a major part of protection function, accurate identification of transient surges is quite crucial to ensure the performance and accuracy of protection algorithms. Recognition of transient surges in an HVDC system faces two challenges: signal distortion and small number of samples. Entropy, which is stable in representing frequency distribution features, and support vector machine (SVM), which is good at dealing with samples with limited numbers, are adopted and combined in this paper to solve the transient recognition problems. Three commonly detected transient surges—single-pole-to-ground fault (GF), lightning fault (LF), and lightning disturbance (LD)—are simulated in various scenarios and recognized with the proposed method. The proposed method is proved to be effective in both feature extraction and type classification and shows great potential in protection applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 424: Energy and Entropy Measures of Fuzzy Relations for Data Analysis Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060424 Authors: Ferdinando Di Martino Salvatore Sessa We present a new method for assessing the strength of fuzzy rules with respect to a dataset, based on the measures of the greatest energy and smallest entropy of a fuzzy relation. Considering a fuzzy automaton (relation), in which A is the input fuzzy set and B the output fuzzy set, the fuzzy relation R1 with greatest energy provides information about the greatest strength of the input-output, and the fuzzy relation R2 with the smallest entropy provides information about uncertainty of the input-output relationship. We consider a new index of the fuzziness of the input-output based on R1 and R2. In our method, this index is calculated for each pair of input and output fuzzy sets in a fuzzy rule. A threshold value is set in order to choose the most relevant fuzzy rules with respect to the data.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 422: On the Explanation of Born-Rule Statistics in the de Broglie-Bohm Pilot-Wave Theory Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060422 Authors: Travis Norsen The de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave theory promises not only a realistic description of the microscopic world (in particular, a description in which observers and observation play no fundamental role) but also the ability to derive and explain aspects of the quantum formalism that are, instead, (awkwardly and problematically) postulated in orthodox versions of quantum theory. Chief among these are the various “measurement axioms” and in particular the Born rule expressing the probability distribution of measurement outcomes. Compared to other candidate non-orthodox quantum theories, the pilot-wave theory suffers from something of an embarrassment of riches in regard to explaining the Born rule statistics, in the sense that there exist, in the literature, not just one but two rather compelling proposed explanations. This paper is an attempt to critically review and clarify these two competing arguments. We summarize both arguments and also survey some objections that have been given against them. In the end, we suggest that there is somewhat less conflict between the two approaches than existing polemics might suggest, and that indeed elements from both arguments may be combined to provide a unified and fully-compelling explanation, from the postulated dynamical first principles, of the Born rule.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1133: A Comparison of Mental Health Care Systems in Northern and Southern Europe: A Service Mapping Study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061133 Authors: Minna Sadeniemi Nerea Almeda Jose A. Salinas-Pérez Mencía R. Gutiérrez-Colosía Carlos García-Alonso Taina Ala-Nikkola Grigori Joffe Sami Pirkola Kristian Wahlbeck Jordi Cid Luis Salvador-Carulla Mental health services (MHS) have gone through vast changes during the last decades, shifting from hospital to community-based care. Developing the optimal balance and use of resources requires standard comparisons of mental health care systems across countries. This study aimed to compare the structure, personnel resource allocation, and the productivity of the MHS in two benchmark health districts in a Nordic welfare state and a southern European, family-centered country. The study is part of the REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care) project. The study areas were the Helsinki and Uusimaa region in Finland and the Girona region in Spain. The MHS were mapped by using the DESDE-LTC (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories for Long Term Care) tool. There were 6.7 times more personnel resources in the MHS in Helsinki and Uusimaa than in Girona. The resource allocation was more residential-service-oriented in Helsinki and Uusimaa. The difference in mental health personnel resources is not explained by the respective differences in the need for MHS among the population. It is important to make a standard comparison of the MHS for supporting policymaking and to ensure equal access to care across European countries.
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1760: Analysis of Wide-Lane Ambiguities Derived from Geometry-Free and Geometry-Based Precise Point Positioning Models and Their Implication for Orbit and Clock Quality Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061760 Authors: Gang Chen Sijing Liu Qile Zhao Orbit and clock products are used in real-time global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) precise point positioning (PPP) without knowing their quality. This study develops a new approach to detect orbit and clock errors through comparing geometry-free and geometry-based wide-lane ambiguities in a PPP model. The reparameterization and estimation procedures of the geometry-free and geometry-based ambiguities are described in detail. The effects of orbit and clock errors on ambiguities are given in analytical expressions. The numerical similarity and differences of geometry-free and geometry-based wide-lane ambiguities are analyzed using different orbit and clock products. Furthermore, two types of typical errors in orbit and clock are simulated and their effects on wide-lane ambiguities are numerically produced and analyzed. The contribution discloses that the geometry-free and geometry-based wide-lane ambiguities are equivalent in terms of their formal errors. Although they are very close in terms of their estimates when the used orbit and clock for geometry-based ambiguities are precise enough, they are not the same, in particular, in the case that the used orbit and clock, as a combination, contain significant errors. It is discovered that the discrepancies of geometry-free and geometry-based wide-lane ambiguities coincide with the actual time-variant errors in the used orbit and clock at the line-of-sight direction. This provides a quality index for real-time users to detect the errors in real-time orbit and clock products, which potentially improves the accuracy of positioning.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 188: Stability of the Non-Hyperbolic Zero Equilibrium of Two Close-to-Symmetric Systems of Difference Equations with Exponential Terms Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10060188 Authors: Chrysoula Mylona Nikolaos Psarros Garyfalos Papaschinopoulos Christos Schinas In this paper, we study the stability of the zero equilibria of two close-to-symmetric systems of difference equations with exponential terms in the special case in which one of their eigenvalues is equal to − 1 and the other eigenvalue has an absolute value of less than 1. In the present study, we use the approach of center manifold theory.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 42: Estimating Fish Species Richness across Multiple Watersheds Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020042 Authors: Michael H. Paller Assessing fish species richness at the scale of an entire watershed or multiple watersheds is important when designing conservation areas and maintaining aquatic biodiversity. Estimating biodiversity at this scale requires considering the effects of habitat heterogeneity within and across drainages on the species-area relationship (SAR). I examined the SAR using unusually complete data to assess fish species richness in minimally disturbed watersheds on large public lands in the Sand Hills ecoregion, southeastern United States of America (USA). My objectives were to compare (1) true richness with estimates produced by different species richness estimators and sampling designs and (2) species richness among reservations. Accurate estimates were obtained for five contiguous watersheds (780 km2 total) by using Chao 2 or first-order jackknife estimators, coupled with (1) a stratified design that apportioned sampling effort over 25 sample sites based on major spatial correlates of assemblage composition, including stream size and drainage basin identity and (2) sufficient sampling effort to collect enough individuals to include rare species. The greatest species richness was in streams within a large land holding characterized by greater instream habitat diversity, less disturbed land coverage, more forested land, and closer proximity to source pools than other reservations. Species richness in these streams was within the range observed in high diversity Neotropical and Indomalayan realms.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 425: Hierarchical Cosine Similarity Entropy for Feature Extraction of Ship-Radiated Noise Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060425 Authors: Zhe Chen Yaan Li Hongtao Liang Jing Yu The classification performance of passive sonar can be improved by extracting the features of ship-radiated noise. Traditional feature extraction methods neglect the nonlinear features in ship-radiated noise, such as entropy. The multiscale sample entropy (MSE) algorithm has been widely used for quantifying the entropy of a signal, but there are still some limitations. To remedy this, the hierarchical cosine similarity entropy (HCSE) is proposed in this paper. Firstly, the hierarchical decomposition is utilized to decompose a time series into some subsequences. Then, the sample entropy (SE) is modified by utilizing Shannon entropy rather than conditional entropy and employing angular distance instead of Chebyshev distance. Finally, the complexity of each subsequence is quantified by the modified SE. Simulation results show that the HCSE method overcomes some limitations in MSE. For example, undefined entropy is not likely to occur in HCSE, and it is more suitable for short time series. Compared with MSE, the experimental results illustrate that the classification accuracy of real ship-radiated noise is significantly improved from 75% to 95.63% by using HCSE. Consequently, the proposed HCSE can be applied in practical applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1152: Physical Activity, Lifestyle Factors and Oxidative Stress in Middle Age Healthy Subjects International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061152 Authors: Elisabetta Carraro Tiziana Schilirò Felicina Biorci Valeria Romanazzi Raffaella Degan Daniela Buonocore Manuela Verri Maurizia Dossena Sara Bonetta Giorgio Gilli Oxidative stress (OS) has been recognized to play a primary role in many acute and chronic diseases. Environmental and lifestyle factors, such as physical activity and dietary intake are involved in the oxidative balance, but their specific influence remains unclear. In order to contribute to a greater characterization of the oxidative status in relation to exercise training and to environmental and lifestyle factors, different biomarkers—pro-oxidant capacity (d-ROMs), anti-oxidant capacity (BAP), radical scavenging activity (DPPH) and DNA damage (8-OHdGuo)—were measured in biological samples of a group of healthy middle aged subjects. The evaluation of the investigated biomarkers highlighted a significant effect of exercise training on OS, measured as d-ROMs and 8OhdGuo, in subjects playing regular physical activity. An association of the OS status measured by DPPH and 8-OhdGuo with the condition of living in urban high traffic areas was also found. Otherwise dietary habits did not reveal any significant effect on OS levels by the investigated biomarkers. As a whole the results obtained in this investigation suggested that a correct lifestyle, with regular physical activity practice, contributes to control the OS status in middle age subjects.
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1145: The Impact of Austerity on Mental Health Service Provision: A UK Perspective International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061145 Authors: Ian Cummins This is a discussion paper which examines the impact of austerity policies on the provision of mental health services in the United Kingdom. Austerity is a shorthand for a series of policies introduced by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition government in the UK from 2010 onwards. In response to the fiscal crisis following the bail out of the banks in 2008, it was argued that significant reductions in public spending were required. The background to these policies is examined before a consideration of their impact on mental health services. These policies had a disproportionate impact on people living in poverty. People with health problems including mental problems are overrepresented in this group. At the same time, welfare and community services are under increasing financial pressures having to respond to increased demand within a context of reduced budgets. There is increasing recognition of the role that social factors and adverse childhood experiences have in the development and trajectory of mental health problems. Mental health social workers, alongside other professionals, seek to explain mental distress by the use of some variant of a biopsychosocial model. The extent of mental health problems as a one of their measures of the impact of inequality. More unequal societies create greater levels of distress. There is a social gradient in the extent of mental health problems—the impact of severe mental illness means that many individuals are unable to work or, if they can return to work, they find it difficult to gain employment because of discrimination. The paper concludes that austerity and associated policies have combined to increase the overall burden of mental distress and marginalisation within the UK.
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1147: Health and Well-Being of International University Students, and Comparison with Domestic Students, in Tasmania, Australia International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061147 Authors: Sarah Skromanis Nick Cooling Bryan Rodgers Terry Purton Frances Fan Heather Bridgman Keith Harris Jennifer Presser Jonathan Mond International students comprise an increasingly larger proportion of higher education students globally. Empirical evidence about the health and well-being of these students is, however, limited. We sought to examine the health and well-being of international students, primarily from Asian countries, attending the University of Tasmania, Australia, using domestic students as a comparison group. Ethics approval was given to invite (via email) all currently enrolled students to participate in the study by completing a pilot-tested, online survey. The survey was completed by 382 international students (response rate = 8.9%) and 1013 domestic students (9.2%). Independent samples t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and chi-square tests were used for bivariate comparisons between international and domestic students, and between subgroups of international students. Regression models were used to examine the associations between student status (international vs. domestic) and health outcomes, controlling for demographic and enrolment variables. International students, particularly male students, were found to be at increased risk of several adverse health outcomes while also being less likely to seek help for mental health and related problems. The findings indicate the need for accessible, targeted, culturally-sensitive health promotion and early intervention programs.
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1149: Adverse Events Following Immunization in Brazil: Age of Child and Vaccine-Associated Risk Analysis Using Logistic Regression International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061149 Authors: Sílvia R.C. Lopes João L.R. Perin Taiane S. Prass Sandra Maria D. Carvalho Sérgio C. Lessa José G. Dórea Objective: Vaccines are effective in controlling and eradicating infectious diseases. However, adverse events following immunization (AEFI) can occur in susceptible individuals. The objective of this study was to analyze the Brazilian AEFI database and compare eight vaccines in order to profile risks of AEFIs related to the mandated pediatric schedule of immunization, considering the age and sex of the child, type of vaccine, and reported adverse events. Methods: We analyzed the Brazilian AEFI database integrating reports between 2005 and 2010 for children less than 10-years old immunized with eight mandated vaccines: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type b (TETRA); diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP); Bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG); oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV); measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); oral rotavirus vaccine (ORV); hepatitis B (HB); and yellow fever (YF). We compared the children’s age regarding types of AEFI, evaluated AEFI factors associated with the chance of hospitalization of the child, and estimated the chance of notification of an AEFI as a function of the type of vaccine. In total, 47,105 AEFIs were observed for the mandated vaccines. Results: The highest AEFI rate was for the TETRA vaccine and the lowest was for the OPV vaccine, with 60.1 and 2.3 events per 100,000 inoculations, respectively. The TETRA vaccine showed the highest rate of hypotonic hyporesponsive episode, followed by convulsion and fever. The MMR and YF vaccines were associated with generalized rash. BCG was associated with enlarged lymph glands but showed the largest negative (protective) association with hyporesponsive events and seizures. Compared with children aged 5–9-years old, young children (<1 year) showed significantly higher odds of hospitalization. Conclusions: The Brazilian AEFI registry is useful to compare the magnitude and certain characteristics of adverse events associated with mandated pediatric vaccines.
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1142: Validity of a Short Food Frequency Questionnaire Assessing Macronutrient and Fiber Intakes in Patients of Han Chinese Descent with Type 2 Diabetes International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061142 Authors: Meng-Chuan Huang Kun-Der Lin Hung-Jiun Chen Yu-Ju Wu Chiao-I Chang Shyi-Jang Shin Hsin-Chia Hung Chien-Hung Lee Ya-Fang Huang Chih-Cheng Hsu Few food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) have been developed to assess diet in diabetes patients. This cross-sectional study examined the validity of a 45-item FFQ assessing the intake of macronutrients against three 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDRs) in Taiwan, and compared vegetable and fruit intakes with carotenoid biomarkers. We recruited 126 adults with type 2 diabetes who completed the FFQ and three 24-HDRs administered by a registered dietitian. We measured plasma carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene and lutein) in 71 subjects. Partial Pearson correlation coefficients derived from the FFQs and three 24-HDRs and adjusted for energy were of 0.651, 0.587, 0.639 and 0.664 for protein, fat, carbohydrate and fiber, respectively. Cross-classification analysis revealed that 71.5–81% of the macronutrients and fiber were categorized into the same or adjacent quartiles by the FFQ and 24-HDRs. Bland–Altman plots revealed good agreement for energy/macronutrients/fiber across the range of intakes. Multiple linear regression of backward elimination revealed that tertile levels of dark- or light-colored vegetables obtained by the FFQ were significantly associated with plasma α-carotene and β-carotene, but not lutein. Fruit consumption did not correlate with carotenoid biomarkers. In conclusion, this short FFQ provided a valid assessment of macronutrients and fiber intake in type 2 diabetes patients. Vegetable consumption estimated by the FFQ corresponded to plasma α-carotene and β-carotene concentrations.
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 45: A Multiple Access Protocol Based on Gray Forecast for Satellite Network Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10060045 Authors: Chong Han Zilong Li Jian Zhou Lijuan Sun Siyu Chen A satellite network’s multiple access protocol must be well designed to efficiently occupy channel resources and meet various qualities of service requirements. In this paper, a combined free/demand assignment multiple access protocol based on gray forecast is proposed. In terms of access, the adoption of the gray forecast method allows the user to book the number of timeslots to have more than the existing number of burst of packets. In terms of bandwidth allocation, a user priority allocation method is used to prioritize users with high needs and focus on the allocation of satellite resources. Experimental results show that the proposed protocol can effectively improve the channel utilization of the entire system. Thus, this protocol has some advantages over existing protocols in network throughput and end-to-end delay.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1150: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment and Opportunist Waterborne Infections–Are There Too Many Gaps to Fill? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061150 Authors: Richard Bentham Harriet Whiley Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is a relatively new approach in identifying health risks associated with the ubiquitous presence of pathogens and opportunists in the human environment. The methodology builds on experimental and meta-analytical data to identify measurable factors that contribute to, and can quantify, the likely extent of disease given a particular exposure. Early modelling was particularly focused on food-borne disease, and subsequently water-borne disease, with the emphasis focused on ingestion and its role in enteric disease. More recently, there has been a focus on translating these principles to opportunist waterborne infections (OWI) with primary focus on Legionella spp. Whereas dose and susceptibility are well documented via the ingestion route of exposure there is considerably less certainty regarding both factors when understanding Legionella spp. and other OWI. Many OWI can arise through numerous routes of transmission with greatly differing disease presentations. Routes of Legionella spp. infection do not include ingestion, but rather aspiration and inhalation of contaminated water are the routes of exposure. The susceptible population for OWI is a vulnerable sub-set of the population unlike those associated with enteric disease pathogens. These variabilities in dose, exposure and susceptibility call in to question whether QMRA can be a useful tool in managing risks associated with OWI. Consideration of Legionella spp. as a well-documented subject of research calls into question whether QMRA of OWI is likely to be a useful tool in developing risk management strategies.
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1143: Awareness and Work-Related Factors Associated with Scrub Typhus: A Case-Control Study from South Korea International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061143 Authors: Dong-Seob Kim Dilaram Acharya Kwan Lee Seok-Ju Yoo Ji-Hyuk Park Hyun-Sul Lim This study aimed to examine the awareness and the work-related factors associated with scrub typhus to provide data essential for evidence-based preventive strategies. A community-based case control study was carried out in the rural areas of Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. Confirmed cases of scrub typhus (n = 57) were based on laboratory tests performed by the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 114 matched neighborhood controls, age (±6 years), gender and area of residence in the Gyeongsangbuk-do of South Korea. These cases were contracted over the 12-month period of January to December 2015. Overall, 61.4% cases and 79.8% of the control group had heard about scrub typhus. Cases were less aware about the fact that mites are mainly found in the bushes and that long sleeves and full-length pants and boots helped prevent scrub typhus. However, more were aware of the eschar lesion as a characteristic sign of scrub typhus. Work related risk factors such as having a wetland or puddles of water surrounding the house, dry field farming and working in the livestock industry were significantly associated with the scrub typhus. Health promotion strategies, such as creating general awareness, personal protection methods and improving personal hygiene and environmental sanitation in collaboration with relevant sectors, are recommended to reduce the burden of scrub typhus. Further intervention studies on awareness and behavioral and environmental modifications are required to investigate the effectiveness of such interventions.
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1144: An Interactive Model among Potential Human Risk Factors: 331 Cases of Coal Mine Roof Accidents in China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061144 Authors: Ruipeng Tong Cunli Zhai Qingli Jia Chunlin Wu Yan Liu Surui Xue In order to explore optimal strategies for managing potential human risk factors, this paper developed an interactive model among potential human risk factors based on the development processes of accidents. This model was divided into four stages, i.e., risk latency stage, risk accumulation stage, risk explosion stage and risk residue stage. Based on this model, this paper analyzed risk management procedures and relevant personal’s responsibility in each stage, and then probed into the interactive mechanism among human risk factors in three aspects, i.e., knowledge, information and communication. The validity and feasibility of the model was validated by analyzing a coal mine roof accident in China. In addition, the contribution of different functional levels’ personnel in risk evolution was discussed. It showed that this model can effectively reveal the interactive mechanism of potential human risk factors, and can thus give significant insights into the development of risk management theories and practices. It also proves that the contribution of different functional levels’ personnel in the model is different. This can further help practitioners design enhanced Behavioral-Based Safety (BBS) intervention approaches which can have a more sustainable and persistent impact on corporate personnel’s safety behavior. Specific recommendations and suggestions are provided fundamentally for future BBS practices in the coal mine industry.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1788: Realistic Indoor Radio Propagation for Sub-GHz Communication Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061788 Authors: Ben Bellekens Rudi Penne Maarten Weyn This research article proposes a novel ray-launching propagation loss model that is able to use an environment model that contains the real geometry. This environment model is made by applying a Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithm. As a solution to the rising demands of Internet of Things applications for indoor environments, this deterministic radio propagation loss model is able to simulate an accurate coverage map that can be used for localization applications or network optimizations. Since this propagation loss model uses a 2D environment model that was captured by a moving robot, an automated validation model is developed so that a wireless sensor network can be used for validating the propagation loss model. We validated the propagation loss model by evaluated two environment models towards the lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), the Mean Absolute Error (MAE), and the Mean Error (ME). Furthermore, the correlation between the number of rays and the RMSE is analyzed and the correlation between the number of reflections versus the RMSE is also analyzed. Finally, the performance of the radio propagation loss model is analyzed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1787: A Survey on Proactive, Active and Passive Fault Diagnosis Protocols for WSNs: Network Operation Perspective Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061787 Authors: Amjad Mehmood Nabil Alrajeh Mithun Mukherjee Salwani Abdullah Houbing Song Although wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been the object of research focus for the past two decades, fault diagnosis in these networks has received little attention. This is an essential requirement for wireless networks, especially in WSNs, because of their ad-hoc nature, deployment requirements and resource limitations. Therefore, in this paper we survey fault diagnosis from the perspective of network operations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first survey from such a perspective. We survey the proactive, active and passive fault diagnosis schemes that have appeared in the literature to date, accenting their advantages and limitations of each scheme. In addition to illuminating the details of past efforts, this survey also reveals new research challenges and strengthens our understanding of the field of fault diagnosis.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1781: Energy Harvesting over Rician Fading Channel: A Performance Analysis for Half-Duplex Bidirectional Sensor Networks under Hardware Impairments Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061781 Authors: Tan N. Nguyen Tran Hoang Quang Minh Phuong T. Tran Miroslav Vozňák In this paper, a rigorous analysis of the performance of time-switching energy harvesting strategy that is applied for a half-duplex bidirectional wireless sensor network with intermediate relay over a Rician fading channel is presented to provide the exact-form expressions of the outage probability, achievable throughput and the symbol-error-rate (SER) of the system under the hardware impairment condition. Using the proposed probabilistic models for wireless channels between mobile nodes as well as for the hardware noises, we derive the outage probability of the system, and then the throughput and SER can be obtained as a result. Both exact analysis and asymptotic analysis at high signal-power-to-noise-ratio regime are provided. Monte Carlo simulation is also conducted to verify the analysis. This work confirms the effectiveness of energy harvesting applied in wireless sensor networks over a Rician fading channel, and can provide an insightful understanding about the effect of various parameters on the system performance.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1783: Disentangling the Contribution of Spatial Reference Frames to Executive Functioning in Healthy and Pathological Aging: An Experimental Study with Virtual Reality Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061783 Authors: Silvia Serino Francesca Morganti Desirée Colombo Elisa Pedroli Pietro Cipresso Giuseppe Riva A growing body of evidence pointed out that a decline in effectively using spatial reference frames for categorizing information occurs both in normal and pathological aging. Moreover, it is also known that executive deficits primarily characterize the cognitive profile of older individuals. Acknowledging this literature, the current study was aimed to specifically disentangle the contribution of the cognitive abilities related to the use of spatial reference frames to executive functioning in both healthy and pathological aging. 48 healthy elderly individuals and 52 elderly suffering from probable Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) took part in the study. We exploited the potentiality of Virtual Reality to specifically measure the abilities in retrieving and syncing between different spatial reference frames, and then we administrated different neuropsychological tests for evaluating executive functions. Our results indicated that allocentric functions contributed significantly to the planning abilities, while syncing abilities influenced the attentional ones. The findings were discussed in terms of previous literature exploring relationships between cognitive deficits in the first phase of AD.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1779: Study of the Home-Auxiliary Robot Based on BCI Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061779 Authors: Fuwang Wang Xiaolei Zhang Rongrong Fu Guangbin Sun A home-auxiliary robot platform is developed in the current study which could assist patients with physical disabilities and older persons with mobility impairments. The robot, mainly controlled by brain computer interface (BCI) technology, can not only perform actions in a person’s field of vision, but also work outside the field of vision. The wavelet decomposition (WD) is used in this study to extract the δ (0~4 Hz) and θ (4~8 Hz) sub-bands of subjects’ electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. The correlation between pairs of 14 EEG channels is determined with synchronization likelihood (SL), and the brain network structure is generated. Then, the motion characteristics are analyzed using the brain network parameters clustering coefficient (C) and global efficiency (G). Meanwhile, the eye movement characteristics in the F3 and F4 channels are identified. Finally, the motion characteristics identified by brain networks and eye movement characteristics can be used to control the home-auxiliary robot platform. The experimental result shows that the accuracy rate of left and right motion recognition using this method is more than 93%. Additionally, the similarity between that autonomous return path and the real path of the home-auxiliary robot reaches up to 0.89.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1774: Combining Motion Compensation with Spatiotemporal Constraint for Video Deblurring Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061774 Authors: Jing Li Weiguo Gong Weihong Li We propose a video deblurring method by combining motion compensation with spatiotemporal constraint for restoring blurry video caused by camera shake. The proposed method makes effective full use of the spatiotemporal information not only in the blur kernel estimation, but also in the latent sharp frame restoration. Firstly, we estimate a motion vector between the current and the previous blurred frames, and introduce the estimated motion vector for deriving the motion-compensated frame with the previous restored frame. Secondly, we proposed a blur kernel estimation strategy by applying the derived motion-compensated frame to an improved regularization model for improving the quality of the estimated blur kernel and reducing the processing time. Thirdly, we propose a spatiotemporal constraint algorithm that can not only enhance temporal consistency, but also suppress noise and ringing artifacts of the deblurred video through introducing a temporal regularization term. Finally, we extend Fast Total Variation de-convolution (FTVd) for solving the minimization problem of the proposed spatiotemporal constraint energy function. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed method achieve the state-of-the-art results either in subjective vision or objective evaluation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1771: Sensor Network Configuration Learning for Maximizing Application Performance Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061771 Authors: Joel Helkey Lawrence Holder Numerous applications rely on data obtained from a wireless sensor network where application performance is of utmost importance. However, energy usage is also important, and oftentimes, a subset of sensors can be selected to maximize application performance. We cast the problem of sensor selection as a local search optimization problem and solve it using a variant of stochastic hill climbing extended with novel heuristics. This paper introduces sensor network configuration learning, a feedback-based heuristic algorithm that dynamically reconfigures the sensor network to maximize the performance of the target application. The proposed algorithm is described in detail, along with experiments conducted and a scalability study. A quick method for launching the algorithm from a better starting point than random is also detailed. The performance of the algorithm is compared to that of two other well-known algorithms and randomness. Our simulation results obtained from running sensor network configuration learning on a number of scenarios show the effectiveness and scalability of our approach.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1768: Parameter Estimation of SAR Signal Based on SVD for the Nyquist Folding Receiver Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061768 Authors: Tao Li Qian Zhu Zengping Chen The Nyquist Folding Receiver (NYFR) is a novel ultra-wideband (UWB) receiver structure that can realize wideband signal monitoring with fewer components. The NYFR induces a Nyquist zone (NZ)-dependent sinusoidal frequency modulation (SFM) by a modulated local oscillator (LOS), and the intercepted linear frequency modulated (LFM) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) signal will be converted into an LFM/SFM hybrid modulated signal. In this paper, a parameter estimation algorithm is proposed for the complicated NYFR output signal. According to the NYFR prior information, a chirp singular value ratio (CSVR) spectrum method based on singular value decomposition (SVD) is proposed to estimate the chirp rate directly before estimating the NZ index. Then, a fast search algorithm based on golden section method for the CSVR spectrum is analyzed, which can obviously reduce the computational complexity. The simulation shows that the presented algorithm can accurately estimate the parameters of the LFM/SFM hybrid modulated output signal by the NYFR.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1762: Progress of Inertial Microfluidics in Principle and Application Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061762 Authors: Yixing Gou Yixuan Jia Peng Wang Changku Sun Inertial microfluidics has become a popular topic in microfluidics research for its good performance in particle manipulation and its advantages of simple structure, high throughput, and freedom from an external field. Compared with traditional microfluidic devices, the flow field in inertial microfluidics is between Stokes state and turbulence, whereas the flow is still regarded as laminar. However, many mechanical effects induced by the inertial effect are difficult to observe in traditional microfluidics, making particle motion analysis in inertial microfluidics more complicated. In recent years, the inertial migration effect in straight and curved channels has been explored theoretically and experimentally to realize on-chip manipulation with extensive applications from the ordinary manipulation of particles to biochemical analysis. In this review, the latest theoretical achievements and force analyses of inertial microfluidics and its development process are introduced, and its applications in circulating tumor cells, exosomes, DNA, and other biological particles are summarized. Finally, the future development of inertial microfluidics is discussed. Owing to its special advantages in particle manipulation, inertial microfluidics will play a more important role in integrated biochips and biomolecule analysis.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 196: Exponential Aggregation Operator of Interval Neutrosophic Numbers and Its Application in Typhoon Disaster Evaluation Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10060196 Authors: Ruipu Tan Wende Zhang Shengqun Chen In recent years, typhoon disasters have occurred frequently and the economic losses caused by them have received increasing attention. This study focuses on the evaluation of typhoon disasters based on the interval neutrosophic set theory. An interval neutrosophic set (INS) is a subclass of a neutrosophic set (NS). However, the existing exponential operations and their aggregation methods are primarily for the intuitionistic fuzzy set and the single-valued neutrosophic set (SVNS). So, this paper defines new exponential operational laws of interval neutrosophic numbers (INNs) in which the bases are positive real numbers and the exponents are interval neutrosophic numbers. Several properties based on the exponential operational law are discussed. Then, the interval neutrosophic weighted exponential aggregation (INWEA) operator is proposed. Finally, a multiple attribute decision making (MADM) approach based on the INWEA operator is introduced and applied to the evaluation of typhoon disasters in Fujian Province, China. Results show that the proposed new approach is feasible and effective in practical applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 195: Vortex Creation without Stirring in Coupled Ring Resonators with Gain and Loss Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10060195 Authors: Aleksandr Ramaniuk Nguyen Viet Hung Michael Giersig Krzysztof Kempa Vladimir V. Konotop Marek Trippenbach We present the study of the dynamics of a two-ring waveguide structure with space-dependent coupling, linear gain and nonlinear absorption; the system that can be implemented in polariton condensates, optical waveguides and nanocavities. We show that by turning on and off local coupling between rings, one can selectively generate a permanent vortex in one of the rings. We find that due to the modulation instability, it is also possible to observe several complex nonlinear phenomena, including spontaneous symmetry breaking, stable inhomogeneous states with an interesting structure of currents flowing between rings, the generation of stable symmetric and asymmetric circular flows with various vorticities, etc. The latter can be created in pairs (for relatively narrow coupling length) or as a single vortex in one of the channels, which later alternates between channels.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2018-06-02
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 192: A Bidirectional Diagnosis Algorithm of Fuzzy Petri Net Using Inner-Reasoning-Path Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10060192 Authors: Kai-Qing Zhou Wei-Hua Gui Li-Ping Mo Azlan Mohd Zain Fuzzy Petri net (FPN) is a powerful tool to execute the fault diagnosis function for various industrial applications. One of the most popular approaches for fault diagnosis is to calculate the corresponding algebra forms which record flow information and three parameters of value of all places and transitions of the FPN model. However, with the rapid growth of the complexity of the real system, the scale of the corresponding FPN is also increased sharply. It indicates that the complexity of the fault diagnosis algorithm is also raised due to the increased scale of vectors and matrix. Focusing on this situation, a bidirectional adaptive fault diagnosis algorithm is presented in this article to reduce the complexity of the fault diagnosis process via removing irrelevant places and transitions of the large-scale FPN, followed by the correctness and algorithm complexity of the proposed approach that are also discussed in detail. A practical example is utilized to show the feasibility and efficacy of the proposed method. The results of the experiments illustrated that the proposed algorithm owns the ability to simplify the inference process and to reduce the algorithm complexity due to the removal of unnecessary places and transitions in the reasoning path of the appointed output place.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2018-06-03
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 43: Diversity and Conservation of Cave-Dwelling Bats in the Brunca Region of Costa Rica Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020043 Authors: Stanimira Deleva Gloriana Chaverri The Brunca region in Costa Rica contains the largest number of caves in the country, yet the diversity and distribution of bat species within those caves is currently unknown. Without this information, it is not possible to assess changes in populations and assemblages that may indicate severe damages to these critical roosting habitats, and to take evidence-based conservation actions. We present the first study to describe the diversity of cave-dwelling bat species in the Brunca region of Costa Rica in a large number of caves. We collected data of bat species diversity by direct observation and capturing bats inside roosts. Bats were observed in 38 of the 44 surveyed caves, representing 20 species from 4 families, with colony sizes ranging from a few individuals to >7500. In addition, we collected information about the human activities carried out in and around the roosts to assess potential threats that these sites face. Data indicate that caves suffer mostly from unregulated tourist visitation and that one of the most visited caves is also the one with the most species-rich bat assemblages. Our study determined the most important and vulnerable bat roosts in the region and shows the need for urgent conservation actions to protect them.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2018-06-03
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1161: Impacts of Haze on Housing Prices: An Empirical Analysis Based on Data from Chengdu (China) International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061161 Authors: Runqiu Liu Chao Yu Canmian Liu Jian Jiang Jing Xu Based on cross-section data of 20 districts in Chengdu, this article reviews the relationships between haze and housing prices with the combined application of Spatial Error Model (SEM) and Spatial Lag Model (SLM). The results illustrate that haze significantly have negative impacts on both the selling and rental prices of houses. Controlling other variables, if the air quality index rises by 0.1, the housing selling prices and rental prices will drop by 3.97% and 4.01%, respectively. Interestingly, housing rental prices have a more significant response to the air quality than housing sale prices. Residents are willing to pay a premium for better air quality and the influence of air quality is partially