WorldWideScience

Sample records for hospital-level performance improvement

  1. Development of a minimization instrument for allocation of a hospital-level performance improvement intervention to reduce waiting times in Ontario emergency departments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anderson Geoff

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rigorous evaluation of an intervention requires that its allocation be unbiased with respect to confounders; this is especially difficult in complex, system-wide healthcare interventions. We developed a short survey instrument to identify factors for a minimization algorithm for the allocation of a hospital-level intervention to reduce emergency department (ED waiting times in Ontario, Canada. Methods Potential confounders influencing the intervention's success were identified by literature review, and grouped by healthcare setting specific change stages. An international multi-disciplinary (clinical, administrative, decision maker, management panel evaluated these factors in a two-stage modified-delphi and nominal group process based on four domains: change readiness, evidence base, face validity, and clarity of definition. Results An original set of 33 factors were identified from the literature. The panel reduced the list to 12 in the first round survey. In the second survey, experts scored each factor according to the four domains; summary scores and consensus discussion resulted in the final selection and measurement of four hospital-level factors to be used in the minimization algorithm: improved patient flow as a hospital's leadership priority; physicians' receptiveness to organizational change; efficiency of bed management; and physician incentives supporting the change goal. Conclusion We developed a simple tool designed to gather data from senior hospital administrators on factors likely to affect the success of a hospital patient flow improvement intervention. A minimization algorithm will ensure balanced allocation of the intervention with respect to these factors in study hospitals.

  2. Development of a minimization instrument for allocation of a hospital-level performance improvement intervention to reduce waiting times in Ontario emergency departments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leaver, Chad Andrew; Guttmann, Astrid; Zwarenstein, Merrick; Rowe, Brian H; Anderson, Geoff; Stukel, Therese; Golden, Brian; Bell, Robert; Morra, Dante; Abrams, Howard; Schull, Michael J

    2009-06-08

    Rigorous evaluation of an intervention requires that its allocation be unbiased with respect to confounders; this is especially difficult in complex, system-wide healthcare interventions. We developed a short survey instrument to identify factors for a minimization algorithm for the allocation of a hospital-level intervention to reduce emergency department (ED) waiting times in Ontario, Canada. Potential confounders influencing the intervention's success were identified by literature review, and grouped by healthcare setting specific change stages. An international multi-disciplinary (clinical, administrative, decision maker, management) panel evaluated these factors in a two-stage modified-delphi and nominal group process based on four domains: change readiness, evidence base, face validity, and clarity of definition. An original set of 33 factors were identified from the literature. The panel reduced the list to 12 in the first round survey. In the second survey, experts scored each factor according to the four domains; summary scores and consensus discussion resulted in the final selection and measurement of four hospital-level factors to be used in the minimization algorithm: improved patient flow as a hospital's leadership priority; physicians' receptiveness to organizational change; efficiency of bed management; and physician incentives supporting the change goal. We developed a simple tool designed to gather data from senior hospital administrators on factors likely to affect the success of a hospital patient flow improvement intervention. A minimization algorithm will ensure balanced allocation of the intervention with respect to these factors in study hospitals.

  3. Mortality, readmission and length of stay have different relationships using hospital-level versus patient-level data: an example of the ecological fallacy affecting hospital performance indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofstede, Stefanie N; van Bodegom-Vos, Leti; Kringos, Dionne S; Steyerberg, Ewout; Marang-van de Mheen, Perla J

    2018-06-01

    Ecological fallacy refers to an erroneous inference about individuals on the basis of findings for the group to which those individuals belong. Suppose analysis of a large database shows that hospitals with a high proportion of long length of stay (LOS) patients also have higher than average in-hospital mortality. This may prompt efforts to reduce mortality among patients with long LOS. But patients with long LOS may not be the ones at higher risk of death. It may be that hospitals with higher mortality (regardless of LOS) also have more long LOS patients-either because of quality problems on both counts or because of unaccounted differences in case mix. To provide more insight how the ecological fallacy influences the evaluation of hospital performance indicators, we assessed whether hospital-level associations between in-hospital mortality, readmission and long LOS reflect patient-level associations. Patient admissions from the Dutch National Medical Registration (2007-2012) for specific diseases (stroke, colorectal carcinoma, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and hip/knee replacements in patients with osteoarthritis) were analysed, as well as all admissions. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess patient-level associations. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to quantify hospital-level associations. Overall, we observed 2.2% in-hospital mortality, 8.1% readmissions and a mean LOS of 5.9 days among 8 478 884 admissions in 95 hospitals. Of the 10 disease-specific associations tested, 2 were reversed at hospital-level, 3 were consistent and 5 were only significant at either hospital-level or patient-level. A reversed association was found for stroke: patients with long LOS had 58% lower in-hospital mortality (OR 0.42 (95% CI 0.40 to 0.44)), whereas the hospital-level association was reversed (r=0.30, plevel associations were found for each hospital, but LOS varied across hospitals, thereby resulting in a positive hospital-level association

  4. Public Reporting of Hospital-Level Cancer Surgical Volumes in California: An Opportunity to Inform Decision Making and Improve Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Christina A; Asch, Steven M; Baker, Laurence; Bilimoria, Karl; Dudley, R Adams; Fong, Niya; Holliday-Hanson, Merry L; Hopkins, David S P; Imholz, Elizabeth M; Malin, Jennifer; Moy, Lisa; O'Sullivan, Maryann; Parker, Joseph P; Saigal, Christopher S; Spurlock, Bruce; Teleki, Stephanie; Zingmond, David; Lang, Lance

    2016-10-01

    Most patients, providers, and payers make decisions about cancer hospitals without any objective data regarding quality or outcomes. We developed two online resources allowing users to search and compare timely data regarding hospital cancer surgery volumes. Hospital cancer surgery volumes for all California hospitals were calculated using ICD-9 coded hospital discharge summary data. Cancer surgeries included (bladder, brain, breast, colon, esophagus, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, rectum, and stomach) were selected on the basis of a rigorous literature review to confirm sufficient evidence of a positive association between volume and mortality. The literature could not identify threshold numbers of surgeries associated with better or worse outcomes. A multidisciplinary working group oversaw the project and ensured sound methodology. In California in 2014, about 60% of surgeries were performed at top-quintile-volume hospitals, but the per-hospital median numbers of surgeries for esophageal, pancreatic, stomach, liver, or bladder cancer surgeries were four or fewer. At least 670 patients received cancer surgery at hospitals that performed only one or two surgeries for a particular cancer type; 72% of those patients lived within 50 miles of a top-quintile-volume hospital. There is clear potential for more readily available information about hospital volumes to help patient, providers, and payers choose cancer surgery hospitals. Our successful public reporting of hospital volumes in California represents an important first step toward making publicly available even more provider-specific data regarding cancer care quality, costs, and outcomes, so those data can inform decision-making and encourage quality improvement.

  5. Costs and Quality at the Hospital Level in the Nordic Countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kittelsen, Sverre A C; Anthun, Kjartan S; Goude, Fanny

    2015-01-01

    performance measures as well as in productivity both at the national and hospital levels. For most quality indicators, the performance measures reveal room for improvement. There is a weak but statistical significant trade-off between productivity and inpatient readmissions within 30 days but a tendency...

  6. Improving fleet performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramjist, S.

    2015-01-01

    Use Fleet Initiatives to Improve Overall Fleet Performance . Tightly Integrated with Business Planning (Cause & Effect) . Leverage Strength of Broader Organization - Converge on Standard Business Practices . Ancillary Benefit of Improved Agility.

  7. Improving fleet performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramjist, S. [Ontario Power Generation, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2015-07-01

    Use Fleet Initiatives to Improve Overall Fleet Performance . Tightly Integrated with Business Planning (Cause & Effect) . Leverage Strength of Broader Organization - Converge on Standard Business Practices . Ancillary Benefit of Improved Agility.

  8. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Forrest B. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Bull, Jeffrey S. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Rising, Michael Evan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-04-14

    Twenty-eight slides give information about the work of the US DOE/NNSA Nuclear Criticality Safety Program on MCNP6 under the following headings: MCNP6.1.1 Release, with ENDF/B-VII.1; Verification/Validation; User Support & Training; Performance Improvements; and Work in Progress. Whisper methodology will be incorporated into the code, and run speed should be increased.

  9. Containment performance improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beckner, W.; Mitchell, J.; Soffer, L.; Chow, E.; Lane, J.; Ridgely, J.

    1990-01-01

    The Containment Performance Improvement (CPI) program has been one of the main elements in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) integrated approach to closure of severe accident issues for US nuclear power plants. During the course of the program, results from various probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) studies and from severe accident research programs for the five US containment types have been examined to identify significant containment challenges and to evaluate potential improvements. The five containment types considered are: the boiling water reactor (BMR) Mark I containment, the BWR Mark II containment, the BWR Mark III containment, the pressurized water reactor (PWR) ice condenser containment, and the PWR dry containments (including both subatmospheric and large subtypes). The focus of the CPI program has been containment performance and accident mitigation, however, insights are also being obtained in the areas of accident prevention and accident management

  10. Improving construction performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-03-01

    Design for Constructability's overall purpose was to identify and address changes in the nuclear industry to restore nuclear energy as an attractive option for new generating capacity. As the centerpiece of project control, a comprehensive, stable schedule should organize the project logically to accomplish the project's objectives. A good schedule will: integrate the project team; serve as a communications tool to all members of the project team; and provide a means to monitor and measure project performance

  11. Can training improve human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waylett, W.J. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    The nuclear industry has made a significant commitment to improve training through the implementation of performance-based training programs. Senior management expects that human performance improvement will result from this significant resource allocation. The author examines this hypothesis and discusses other issues that may interfere with enhancing human performance through training. The integration of quality improvement concepts to support training is also discussed by the author, who was a pioneer facilitator during the development of Florida Power and Light Company's Quality Improvement Program. Critical success factors are proposed based on the author's experience as a plant manager, training manager and quality facilitator

  12. Improved performance of the industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffrey, R.

    1994-01-01

    The remarkable improvements in the performance of AGR stations is illustrated. The underlying reasons for this improvement are discussed, emphasizing both the operational performance factors which have led to higher sustained output and the managerial and cultural changes which have focused attention at all levels on the need to be competitive. It is concluded that the UK nuclear industry has become world class with more improvements to come, an asset to the UK. (Author)

  13. Performance improvement: the organization's quest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinley, C O; Parmer, D E; Saint-Amand, R A; Harbin, C B; Roulston, J C; Ellis, R A; Buchanan, J R; Leonard, R B

    1999-01-01

    In today's health care marketplace, quality has become an expectation. Stakeholders are demanding quality clinical outcomes, and accrediting bodies are requiring clinical performance data. The Roosevelt Institute's quest was to define and quantify quality outcomes, develop an organizational culture of performance improvement, and ensure customer satisfaction. Several of the organization's leaders volunteered to work as a team to develop a specific performance improvement approach tailored to the organization. To date, over 200 employees have received an orientation to the model and its philosophy and nine problem action and process improvement teams have been formed.

  14. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doucett, J. [NB Nuclear Power, Point Lepreau, New Brunswick (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This presentation discusses Performance Improvement which is defined as 'the process of identifying and analyzing important organizational and individual performance gaps, planning for future performance improvement, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable intervention to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions and evaluating the financial and non-financial results', i.e. making things better. Specifically, it discusses the refurbishment outage at the Point Lepreau Power Plant that began at the end of March 2008. The business risks identified in 2008 were leadership, demographics and management system.

  15. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doucett, J.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation discusses Performance Improvement which is defined as 'the process of identifying and analyzing important organizational and individual performance gaps, planning for future performance improvement, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable intervention to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions and evaluating the financial and non-financial results', i.e. making things better. Specifically, it discusses the refurbishment outage at the Point Lepreau Power Plant that began at the end of March 2008. The business risks identified in 2008 were leadership, demographics and management system.

  16. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

    Heat loss through windows represents a considerable part of the total heat loss from houses. However, apart from providing daylight access and view, windows offer a unique potential for solar gain to be exploited during the heating season. Until now valuation of the energy performance of windows...... has primary focused on the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However, as the U-value, especially for the glazing part, has improved considerably during the last years, the total solar energy transmittance, g-value, has become equally important to the total energy performance of windows. Improved energy...... resulted in a window with a positive net energy gain (in short the Net Gain Window), which means that it contributes to the space heating of the building. All improvements are based on existing technology and manufacturing methods. The results from this work show that the energy performances of windows can...

  17. Techniques for Improving Spelling Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saylor, Paul

    Improving spelling performance of college students is a question of insuring that the correct information is in long-term memory and readily retrievable. Any system of spelling instruction should recognize the capacity limits of the sensory register and short-term memory; provide for identification of and concentration on the distinctive features…

  18. Programs to improve plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felmus, N.L.

    1987-01-01

    Looking toward the 1990's, we see a period in which our industry will face the challenge of improving the performance of the nuclear plants which are built and operating. The skills and technology are at hand to make good plant performance a reality and we believe the time has come to use them to achieve that end. As reserve margins decline, utilities and their regulators will increasingly seek to tap the unexploited capacity tied up in plants operating below their optimum availability. This paper describes a number of the programs, plant improvements and operations improvements which can yield a significant increase in nuclear plant availability and capacity factor now and into the 1990's. (author)

  19. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindh, A M; Peyrebrune, M C; Ingham, S A; Bailey, D M; Folland, J P

    2008-06-01

    Sodium bicarbonate ingestion has been shown to improve performance in single-bout, high intensity events, probably due to an increase in buffering capacity, but its influence on single-bout swimming performance has not been investigated. The effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 200 m freestyle swimming performance were investigated in elite male competitors. Following a randomised, double blind counterbalanced design, 9 swimmers completed maximal effort swims on 3 separate occasions: a control trial (C); after ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB: NaHCO3 300 mg . kg (-1) body mass); and after ingestion of a placebo (P: CaCO3 200 mg . kg (-1) body mass). The SB and P agents were packed in gelatine capsules and ingested 90 - 60 min prior to each 200 m swim. Mean 200 m performance times were significantly faster for SB than C or P (1 : 52.2 +/- 4.7; 1 : 53.7 +/- 3.8; 1 : 54.0 +/- 3.6 min : ss; p bicarbonate were all elevated pre-exercise in the SB compared to C and P trials (p < 0.05). Post-200 m blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher following the SB trial compared with P and C (p < 0.05). It was concluded that SB supplementation can improve 200 m freestyle performance time in elite male competitors, most likely by increasing buffering capacity.

  20. Bitumen nanocomposites with improved performance

    KAUST Repository

    Kosma, Vasiliki

    2017-11-29

    Bitumen-clay nanocomposite binders with styrene-butadienestyrene triblock copolymer, SBS, and combinations of SBS and crumb rubber (CR) with different CR/SBS ratios have been synthesized and characterized. In addition to the binder, samples containing the binder and concrete sand (with a weight ratio 1:9) were prepared. The modified binders were studied in terms of filler dispersion, storage stability, mechanical performance and water susceptibility. We demonstrate that the samples containing nanoclays consistently outperform those based only on the polymer additives. We also find that nanocomposite samples based on a combination of SBS and CR are best, since in addition to other improvements they show excellent storage stability. Our work shows that substituting CR with SBS as a bitumen additive and combining it with inexpensive nanoclays leads to new materials with enhanced performance and improved stability for practical asphalt applications.

  1. Improving engineers' performance with computers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purvis, E.E. III

    1984-01-01

    The problem addressed is how to improve the performance of engineers in the design, operation, and maintenance of nuclear power plants. The application of computer science to this problem offers a challenge in maximizing the use of developments outside the nuclear industry and setting priorities to address the most fruitful areas first. Areas of potential benefits include data base management through design, analysis, procurement, construction, operation maintenance, cost, schedule and interface control and planning, and quality engineering on specifications, inspection, and training

  2. Windows with improved energy performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Noyé, Peter Anders; Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2002-01-01

    According to the Danish energy protocol, Energy 21, one of the goals with highest priority is to reduce the CO2-emission. Energy consumption for domestic heating is a major contributor to the CO2-emission; hence one of the primary efforts to reach the goal is by saving energy in the households...... performances. During the last 20 years the U-value of the glazing part of windows has been improved considerably, but the frame part has not followed the same development with respect to energy performance. Therefore an increasingly large part of the total heat loss through windows is relating to the frame...... part, for which reason, as far as energy efficiency and total economy are concerned, it has become more interesting to further develop frame structures. Traditionally, the energy performance of windows has primarily been characterised by the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However as the heat loss has...

  3. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frandsen, S; Antoniou, I; Dahlberg, J A [and others

    1999-03-01

    The uncertainty of presently-used methods for retrospective assessment of the productive capacity of wind farms is unacceptably large. The possibilities of improving the accuracy have been investigated and are reported. A method is presented that includes an extended power curve and site calibration. In addition, blockage effects with respect to reference wind speed measurements are analysed. It is found that significant accuracy improvements are possible by the introduction of more input variables such as turbulence and wind shear, in addition to mean wind speed and air density. Also, the testing of several or all machines in the wind farm - instead of only one or two - may provide a better estimate of the average performance. (au)

  4. Performance improvement through management audits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arter, D.R.

    1986-01-01

    We should go back to the basics of what a quality assurance program is designed to accomplish and then use that program to provide confidence to the public that actions are correct. The quality assurance management audit, if done responsible with trained people, is the best tool we have to monitor the goal of conducting business safely and correctly. Audit report should be used to project future performance and should not be used as a forum for recommendations. They should be presented in such a manner as to allow the managers involved to continually improve the work activity

  5. improving performance of laying hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.P Sinurat

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A trial was conducted in order to study the effect of the supplementation of Avizyme 1500® (Danisco Animal Nutrition, Marlborough, UK on the performance of laying hens for one year. A control diet based on corn – soybean meal was formulated to meet nutrient requirement of ISA Brown laying hens. Two treatments, the control diet (C and C + 1000 g Avizyme/tonne diet were tested. Each diet was fed to 80 birds (20 replicates of 4 birds from 20 to 72 weeks of age, and performances of birds (feed intake, egg production, egg size, egg mass, feed conversion ratio, and egg quality were measured. All data were subject to analyses of variance following the t-test. Results showed that the addition of Avizyme 1500 to the feed reduced feed intake by 4% (P < 0.01, mortality by 75 % or from 15% to 3.75% (P < 0.01 and improved the feed conversion ratio by 3 % (P < 0.05. The high mortality of the control treatment (15% is explained by an E.coli infection that was observed following the post-mortem examination of dead birds. The egg production (HD and HH, egg size and egg mass however were not significantly affected by the Avizyme supplementation. Egg quality (HU, yolk colour score, yolk weight and shell thickness was not significantly affected by Avizyme supplementation. It can be concluded that the supplementation of 1000 g Avizyme /tonne of diet improved feed efficiency and this was mediated via a reduction in feed intake.

  6. Measuring and improving infrastructure performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Measuring and Improving Infrastructure Performance, National Research Council

    .... Developing a framework for guiding attempts at measuring the performance of infrastructure systems and grappling with the concept of defining good performance are the major themes of this book...

  7. Equipment improvements for performance enhancement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaestel, P.; Guesnon, H.; Sauze, G.

    1994-01-01

    In order to enhance the reactor availability, several improvements on reactor equipment have been developed: design optimization for stator maintenance replacement in the main alternator; adjustment modification of stator coils in the main alternator for an easier maintenance; improvement of the fuel handling line (pole crane, transfer equipment, loading machine); development of a loose part trapping system in the steam generator secondary circuit. 1 tab

  8. Benchmark for Strategic Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohlke, Annette

    1997-01-01

    Explains benchmarking, a total quality management tool used to measure and compare the work processes in a library with those in other libraries to increase library performance. Topics include the main groups of upper management, clients, and staff; critical success factors for each group; and benefits of benchmarking. (Author/LRW)

  9. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    OpenAIRE

    Buble, Marin; Dulčić, Želimir; Pavić, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  10. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marin Buble

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  11. Human performance improvement for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    The IAEA assists NPP operating organizations to improve plant performance through a focus on human performance improvement in areas like organizational and leadership development, senior management decision making, organization and management of HPI programmes including tools needed for effective HPI implementation, safety culture enhancement, knowledge management, personnel selection and staffing, career development, training and development, work design, scheduling and conditions, procedure and other job-aid development and use, effective communications, human performance monitoring, motivation. Many NPP operating organizations in Member States, are not yet achieving the full potential of their NPP technology/equipment regarding safety, operational or economic performance due to human performance weaknesses. The IAEA's HPI (Human Performance Improvement) services provide a means for these organizations to efficiently and effectively learn from international experts and the experiences of others in improving plant performance through human performance improvements. NPP operating organizations can benefit from these services in a number of ways, including requesting a national project, participating in a regional project, or requesting an assist visit. The types of activities provided through these services include assistance in benchmarking practices of successful organizations, providing information exchange and reviews of current practices through assist missions, conducting workshops on focused human performance topics, evaluating current human performance methods, including assistance in implementing self assessment programmes and providing support to safety culture enhancement programmes based on self-assessment

  12. Improving performance on core processes of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, John Matthew; Pronovost, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    This article describes the recent literature on using extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to improve performance on core processes of care, highlighting literature that describes general frameworks for quality improvement work. The literature supporting the effectiveness of extrinsic motivators to improve quality is generally positive for public reporting of performance, with mixed results for pay-for-performance. A four-element quality improvement framework developed by The Armstrong Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine was developed with intrinsic motivation in mind. The clear definition and communication of goals are important for quality improvement work. Training clinicians in improvement science, such as lean sigma, teamwork, or culture change provides clinicians with the skills they need to drive the improvement work. Peer learning communities offer the opportunity for clinicians to engage with each other and offer support in their work. The transparent reporting of performance helps ensure accountability of performance ranging from individual clinicians to governance. Quality improvement work that is led by and engages clinicians offers the opportunity for the work to be both meaningful and sustainable. The literature supports approaching quality improvement work in a systematic way, including the key elements of communication, infrastructure building, training, transparency, and accountability.

  13. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guglielmi, F. [Point Lepreau Generating Station, Maces Bay, New Brunswick (Canada)

    2015-07-01

    Following long 54 month refurbishment outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, operational performance had fallen below industry standards in a number of areas. Leadership development and succession planning had stalled. Operational focus was low primarily due to the construction focus during refurbishment. Condition of balance of plant was poor including several long standing deficiencies. In order to improve performance, the site implemented a framework based on INPO 12-011: Focus on Improving Behaviours; Set common goals and demonstrate results; Align and engage the organization; Drive to achieve high levels of performance and sustain performance.

  14. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guglielmi, F.

    2015-01-01

    Following long 54 month refurbishment outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, operational performance had fallen below industry standards in a number of areas. Leadership development and succession planning had stalled. Operational focus was low primarily due to the construction focus during refurbishment. Condition of balance of plant was poor including several long standing deficiencies. In order to improve performance, the site implemented a framework based on INPO 12-011: Focus on Improving Behaviours; Set common goals and demonstrate results; Align and engage the organization; Drive to achieve high levels of performance and sustain performance.

  15. Does Education Reform Improve Job Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wenger, J

    2003-01-01

    .... Examining military personnel data, which is a highly detailed source of information for recent high school graduate's performance, we find that the quality of Navy recruits improved during the 1990...

  16. Improving Process Heating System Performance v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-04-11

    Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry is a development of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). The AMO and IHEA undertook this project as part of an series of sourcebook publications developed by AMO on energy-consuming industrial systems, and opportunities to improve performance. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives

  17. Performance improvement plan in customer technical services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lachambre, L.

    1995-01-01

    This presentation centred around the philosophy, goals, and initiatives associated with Gaz Metropolitain's performance improvement plan. Various aspects of the plan including customer surveys, new customer service policies, the creation of small working units, the decentralization of the Montreal service department, and customer-harmonized shift schedules were explored. Implementation of new service plans and contracts, the formation of improvement groups related to human resources, human resource and productivity management, leadership training, and the use of performance indicators were also explained

  18. An Adaptive Middleware for Improved Computational Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Lars Frydendal

    , we are improving computational performance by exploiting modern hardware features, such as dynamic voltage-frequency scaling and transactional memory. Adapting software is an iterative process, requiring that we continually revisit it to meet new requirements or realities; a time consuming process......The performance improvements in computer systems over the past 60 years have been fueled by an exponential increase in energy efficiency. In recent years, the phenomenon known as the end of Dennard’s scaling has slowed energy efficiency improvements — but improving computer energy efficiency...... is more important now than ever. Traditionally, most improvements in computer energy efficiency have come from improvements in lithography — the ability to produce smaller transistors — and computer architecture - the ability to apply those transistors efficiently. Since the end of scaling, we have seen...

  19. Measuring patient safety culture: an assessment of the clustering of responses at unit level and hospital level

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, M.; Wagner, C.; Spreeuwenberg, P.; Wal, van der G.

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To test the claim that the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPS) measures patient safety culture instead of mere individual attitudes and to determine the most appropriate level (individual, unit or hospital level) for interventions aimed at improving the culture of patient

  20. Measuring patient safety culture : an assessment of the clustering of responses at unit level and hospital level

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, M.; Wagner, C.; Spreeuwenberg, P.; Wal, G. van der; Groenewegen, P.P.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives: To test the claim that the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPS) measures patient safety culture instead of mere individual attitudes and to determine the most appropriate level (individual, unit or hospital level) for interventions aimed at improving the culture of patient

  1. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  2. Do Leadership Changes Improve Electoral Performance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helboe Pedersen, H.; Schumacher, G.; Cross, W.; Pilet, J.-B.

    2015-01-01

    Does changing the leader improve a party’s electoral performance? And does it matter who for electoral performance who selects the leader? We hypothesize that in parties with inclusive selectorates leadership change is beneficial because the competition for the leadership is more open, receives more

  3. South Bank Coke Ovens heating performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fraser, A.J. [South Bank Coke Ovens (United Kingdom)

    1995-12-31

    The coke oven batteries at South Bank Coke Ovens had a history of refractory failure, overheating, and poor environmental performance despite repeated attempts to solve the problem. The fundamental design was poor, but previous upgrade attempts had a history of short term improvements followed by renewed decline, suggesting that the problem may not merely with the equipment. An audit of the area showed multiple morale, equipment and communications problems, although a significant proportion of the workforce were interested in improving the situation. A group of those interested in performance improvements was called together and objectives agreed upon. Communications were upgraded and problem walls analysed for their particular weaknesses. A team approach was used for maintenance, leading to slowly improving pushing emission factors. Temperature control equipment ensured better environmental performance and lower electricity consumption. 5 refs., 3 figs.

  4. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    OpenAIRE

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-01-01

    Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such a...

  5. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

    Performance improvement integration in health care organizations is a challenge for health care leaders. Required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission), performance improvement (PI) can be designed as a sustainable model for performance to survive in a turbulent period. Central Baptist Hospital developed a model for PI that focused on strategy established by the leadership team, delineated responsibility through the organizational structure of shared governance, and accountability for outcomes evidenced through the organization's profitability. Such an approach integrated into the culture of the organization can produce positive financial margins, positive customer satisfaction, and commendations from the Joint Commission.

  6. Do school inspections improve primary school performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Dinand Webbink; Rob Luginbuhl; I. de Wolf

    2007-01-01

    Inspectors from the Dutch Inspectorate of Education inspect primary schools, write inspection reports on each inspected school, and make recommendations as to how each school can improve. We test whether these inspections result in better school performance. Using a fixed-effects model, we find evidence that school inspections do lead to measurably better school performance. Our assessment of school performance is based on the Cito test scores of pupils in their final year of primary school. ...

  7. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veeger, Thom T J; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; Van Der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-10-16

    This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to assess their mobility performance. To determine which variables were the best predictors of mobility performance, forward stepwise linear regression analyses were performed on a set of 33 characteristics, including ten athlete, nineteen wheelchair and four athlete-wheelchair interface characteristics. Eight of the characteristics turned out to be significant predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Classification, experience, maximal isometric force, wheel axis height and hand rim diameter - which both interchangeable with each other and wheel diameter - camber angle, and the vertical distance between shoulder and rear wheel axis - which was interchangeable with seat height - were positively associated with mobility performance. The vertical distance between the front seat and the footrest was negatively associated with mobility performance. With this insight, coaches and biomechanical specialists are provided with statistical findings to determine which characteristics they could focus on best to improve mobility performance. Six out of eight predictors are modifiable and can be optimized to improve mobility performance. These adjustments could be carried out both in training (maximal isometric force) and in wheelchair configurations (e.g. camber angle).

  8. Goals and experience of performance improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, H. [CNNO, CNNP, Nuclear Power Operations Management Co., Ltd. (China)

    2015-07-01

    Performance improvement was achieved by reasonable arrangement of planned window for related work and optimization of time for important maintenance items, outage quality and duration. Unplanned output loss has been reduced through routine unit management and improvements to both personnel skill and equipment reliability. Planned power generation loss is reduced by controlling planned duration and quality of forced shutdowns and outages, to ensure safe and stable plant operation.

  9. Performance improvement using methodology: case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmelink, Stacy

    2008-01-01

    The department of radiology at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Sioux City, IA implemented meaningful workflow changes for reducing patient wait times and, at the same time, improved customer and employee satisfaction scores. Lean methodology and the 7 Deadly Wastes, along with small group interaction, was used to evaluate and change the process of a patient waiting for an exam in the radiology department. The most important key to the success of a performance improvement project is the involvement of staff.

  10. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco; Agueero Agueero, Jorge

    2010-01-01

    The continuous evolution and improvement of safety-related processes has included the analysis, design and development of training plans for the qualification of maintenance nuclear power plant personnel. In this respect, the international references in this area recommend the establishment of systematic qualification programmes for personnel performing functions or carrying out safety related tasks. Maintenance personnel qualification processes have improved significantly, and training plans have been designed and developed based on Systematic Approach to Training methodology to each job position. These improvements have been clearly reflected in recent training programmes with new training material and training facilities focused not only on developing technical knowledge and skills but also on improving attitudes and safety culture. The objectives of maintenance training facilities such as laboratories, mock-ups real an virtual, hydraulic loops, field simulators and other training material to be used in the maintenance training centre are to cover training necessities for initial and continuous qualification. Evidently, all these improvements made in the qualification of plant personnel should be extended to include supplemental personnel (external or contracted) performing safety-related tasks. The supplemental personnel constitute a very spread group, covering the performance of multiple activities entailing different levels of responsibility. Some of these activities are performed permanently at the plant, while others are occasional or sporadic. In order to establish qualification requirements for these supplemental workers, it is recommended to establish a rigorous analysis of job positions and tasks. The objective will be to identify the qualification requirements to assure competence and safety. (authors)

  11. Recent technology on steam turbine performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirada, M.; Watanabe, E.; Tashiro, H.

    1991-01-01

    Continuous efforts have been made to improve turbine efficiency by applying the latest aerodynamic technologies to meet the energy saving requirement. In recent years, there has been considerable improvement in the field of computational fluid dynamics and these new technologies have been applied to the new blade design for HP, IP and LP turbines. Experimental verification for the new blade in turbine tests has established the overall turbine performance improvement and the excellent correspondence of flow pattern to the predicted value. This paper introduces the latest design technologies for the newly developed high efficiency blade and the verification test results

  12. Design aspects of PHWR for improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, M.

    1989-01-01

    The PHWR fuel bundle is elegantly simple in design consisting of only six components. The unique features of the design include high density natural UO 2 pellets, collapsible zircaloy cladding, no gas plenums and short (50 cm), simple bundle configuration. Over the last 20 years, considerable efforts have been expended and still being continued on development of analytical tools and computer codes generation of technical specifications tests and experimental studies type tests on prototype bundles irradiation of special documented fuel bundles in power reactors and monitoring and analysis of fuel performance. The knowledge thus gained has helped us to modify design requirements, relax technical specifications and to evolve new, improved designs. The PHWR fuel technology in India can now be considered as well proven but there is considerable scope for further improvements both in design and manufacturing. For example, in design, use of thinner wall cladding (to improve burn up) bundle design with graded elements, double dished pellet, improved coatings, use of MOX fuel etc. are being explored. On the manufacturing side emphasis need to be given on maintaining the quality, improvement on production and process control. The use of automation and advances in machine control techniques, for example, using micro processors can effectively contribute to improvements in quality, productivity and lowering of fuel fabrication costs. In this paper, the PHWR fuel design features, different fuel designs evolved, fuel specifications, influence of fabrication variables and future direction in improved fuel performance are discussed. (author) 9 refs., 7 figs

  13. Purchasing to improve health systems performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robinson, Ray; Jakubowski, Elke; Figueras, Josep

    2005-01-01

    ... as they formulate purchasing strategies so that they can increase effectiveness and improve performance in their own national context An assessment of the intersecting roles of citizens, the government and the providers * * * Written by leading health policy analysts, this book is essential reading for health policy makers, planners and managers as well as resear...

  14. Improving the Performance of Justice Institutions

    OpenAIRE

    Decker, Klaus; Mohlen, Christian; Varela, David F.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a selection of experiences from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in managing justice institutions which are the most relevant for performance improvement of their counterparts in Latin America. The scope of the paper is mostly limited to the courts, but comprises all types of courts: specialized courts as well as courts of general j...

  15. The People Side of Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Richard F.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses 11 keys to the personal side of performance improvement, including positive attitude, high self esteem and positive self-image, communication skills, lifelong learning, caring about other people, health and well-being, motivation, goal setting, relaxation, visualization, and personal value system. (LRW)

  16. Improving engineering performance by utilizing process indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, T.E.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of the work discussed in this paper was to develop engineering performance indicators used to facilitate improvement to the technical quality, cost-effectiveness, and delivery of engineering products and service. This work was specifically tailored for engineering support products and service associated with operating Florida Power and Light Company (FP and L) nuclear plants. The engineering process for the development of plant change packages was reviewed to identify critical in-process activities. Because each engineering project usually deals with a specific component or plant system, the different tasks are usually technically unique and of varying magnitudes. Although each engineering product may employ different analytical techniques or industry code requirements, several activities in documenting the engineering design process are generic. The quality of performance in these activities can be monitored analogously to the steps in a manufacturing process. This concept builds quality concepts into the package in lieu of inspecting package quality at the end of the process. The work has resulted in a valuable self-assessment tool that serves as a basis for engineering process improvements. The indicators are published in a semi-yearly performance report for FP and L contractors as well as FP and L in-house engineering work. Contracts have been set up to base fees on meeting targets established for the performance report. The ability to meet performance targets continues to improve

  17. Visuospatial training improves elementary students' mathematics performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrie, Tom; Logan, Tracy; Ramful, Ajay

    2017-06-01

    Although spatial ability and mathematics performance are highly correlated, there is scant research on the extent to which spatial ability training can improve mathematics performance. This study evaluated the efficacy of a visuospatial intervention programme within classrooms to determine the effect on students' (1) spatial reasoning and (2) mathematics performance as a result of the intervention. The study involved grade six students (ages 10-12) in eight classes. There were five intervention classes (n = 120) and three non-intervention control classes (n = 66). A specifically designed 10-week spatial reasoning programme was developed collaboratively with the participating teachers, with the intervention replacing the standard mathematics curriculum. The five classroom teachers in the intervention programme presented 20 hr of activities aimed at enhancing students' spatial visualization, mental rotation, and spatial orientation skills. The spatial reasoning programme led to improvements in both spatial ability and mathematics performance relative to the control group who received standard mathematics instruction. Our study is the first to show that a classroom-based spatial reasoning intervention improves elementary school students' mathematics performance. © 2017 The British Psychological Society.

  18. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirmaul, B P; Dos Santos, R V; Da Silva Neto, L V

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-task music on swimming performance and other psychological variables. A randomized counterbalanced within-subjects (experimental and control condition) design was employed. Eighteen regional level male swimmers performed two 200-m freestyle swimming time trials. Participants were exposed to either 5 minutes of self-selected music (pre-task music condition) or 5 minutes of silence (control condition) and, after 1 minute, performed the swimming task. Swimming time was significantly shorter (-1.44%) in the pre-task music condition. Listening to pre-task music increased motivation to perform the swimming task, while arousal remained unchanged. While fatigue increased after the swimming task in both conditions, vigor, ratings of perceived exertion and affective valence were unaltered. It is concluded, for the first time, that pre-task music improves swimming performance.

  19. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Erik J.; West, William C.; Smart, Marshall C.; Gnanaraj, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature double-layer capacitor operation enabled by: - Base acetonitrile / TEATFB salt formulation - Addition of low melting point formates, esters and cyclic ethers center dot Key electrolyte design factors: - Volume of co-solvent - Concentration of salt center dot Capacity increased through higher capacity electrodes: - Zeolite templated carbons - Asymmetric cell designs center dot Continuing efforts - Improve asymmetric cell performance at low temperature - Cycle life testing Motivation center dot Benchmark performance of commercial cells center dot Approaches for designing low temperature systems - Symmetric cells (activated carbon electrodes) - Symmetric cells (zeolite templated carbon electrodes) - Asymmetric cells (lithium titanate/activated carbon electrodes) center dot Experimental results center dot Summary

  20. Cloud Computing for Maintenance Performance Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Kour, Ravdeep; Karim, Ramin; Parida, Aditya

    2013-01-01

    Cloud Computing is an emerging research area. It can be utilised for acquiring an effective and efficient information logistics. This paper uses cloud-based technology for the establishment of information logistics for railway system which requires information based on data from different data sources (e.g. railway maintenance, railway operation, and railway business data). In order to improve the performance of the maintenance process relevant data from various sources need to be acquired, f...

  1. Error review: Can this improve reporting performance?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tudor, Gareth R.; Finlay, David B.

    2001-01-01

    AIM: This study aimed to assess whether error review can improve radiologists' reporting performance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten Consultant Radiologists reported 50 plain radiographs, in which the diagnoses were established. Eighteen of the radiographs were normal, 32 showed an abnormality. The radiologists were shown their errors and then re-reported the series of radiographs after an interval of 4-5 months. The accuracy of the reports to the established diagnoses was assessed. Chi-square test was used to calculate the difference between the viewings. RESULTS: On re-reporting the radiographs, seven radiologists improved their accuracy score, two had a lower score and one radiologist showed no score difference. Mean accuracy pre-education was 82.2%, (range 78-92%) and post-education was 88%, (range 76-96%). Individually, two of the radiologists showed a statistically significant improvement post-education (P < 0.01,P < 0.05). Assessing the group as a whole, there was a trend for improvement post-education but this did not reach statistical significance. Assessing only the radiographs where errors were made on the initial viewing, for the group as a whole there was a 63% improvement post-education. CONCLUSION: We suggest that radiologists benefit from error review, although there was not a statistically significant improvement for the series of radiographs in total. This is partly explained by the fact that some radiologists gave incorrect responses post-education that had initially been correct, thus masking the effect of the educational intervention. Tudor, G.R. and Finlay, D.B. (2001

  2. Cleanliness criteria to improve steam generator performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwarz, T.; Bouecke, R.; Odar, S.

    2005-01-01

    High steam generator performance is a prerequisite for high plant availability and possible life time extension. The major opponent to that is corrosion and fouling of the heating tubes. Such steam generator degradation problems arise from the continuous ingress of non-volatile contaminants, i.e. corrosion products and salt impurities may accumulate in the steam generators. These impurities have their origin in the secondary side systems. The corrosion products generally accumulate in the steam generators and form deposits not only in the flow restricted areas, such as on top of tube sheet and tube support structure, but also build scales on the steam generator heating tubes. In addition, the tube scales in general affect the steam generator thermal performance, which ultimately causes a reduction of power output. The most effective ways of counteracting all these degradation problems, and thus of improving the steam generator performance is to keep them in clean conditions or, if judged necessary, to plan cleaning measures such as mechanical tube sheet lancing or chemical cleaning. This paper presents a methodology how to assess the cleanliness condition of a steam generator by bringing together all available operational and inspection data such as thermal performance and water chemistry data. By means of this all-inclusive approach the cleanliness condition is quantified in terms of a fouling index. The fouling index allows to monitor the condition of a specific steam generator, compare it to other plants and, finally, to serve as criterion for cleaning measures such as chemical cleaning. The application of the cleanliness criteria and the achieved field results with respect to improvements of steam generator performance will be presented. (author)

  3. Signal Processing for Improved Wireless Receiver Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Lars P.B.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with signal processing for improving the performance of wireless communication receivers for well-established cellular networks such as the GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA systems. The goal of doing so, is to improve the end-user experience and/or provide a higher system capacity...... by allowing an increased reuse of network resources. To achieve this goal, one must first understand the nature of the problem and an introduction is therefore provided. In addition, the concept of graph-based models and approximations for wireless communications is introduced along with various Belief...... Propagation (BP) methods for detecting the transmitted information, including the Turbo principle. Having established a framework for the research, various approximate detection schemes are discussed. First, the general form of linear detection is presented and it is argued that this may be preferable...

  4. Restructuring primary care for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fawcett, Kenneth J; Brummel, Stacy; Byrnes, John J

    2009-01-01

    Primary care practices can no longer consider ongoing quality assessment and management processes to be optional. There are ever-increasing demands from any number of interested parties for objectively measured proof of outcomes and quality of care. Primary Care Partners (PCP), a 16-site ambulatory affiliate of the Spectrum Health system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began such a continuous quality improvement (CQI) effort in 2005. The intent was to develop an ongoing systematic process that would raise its performance potential and improve patient outcomes in the areas of chronic disease management and preventive services. This article describes the partnerships PCP established, specific benchmarks and measurements used, processes utilized, and results to date. This could be used as a roadmap for other primary care systems that are working to establish CQI in their daily operations.

  5. Improved performance of the Sao Paulo Pelletron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sala, O.; Stier, M.; Acquadro, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The Sao Paulo Pelletron was the first Pelletron constructed by the NEC and also the first to become operational at the end of 1971. Although the Herb Pelletron design was demonstrated from the beginning to be very good (later this was proven by the successful operation of several larger Pelletrons) our machine did suffer from defects in engineering which limited its performance and its application as a reliable tool for research in nuclear physics. This paper describes some of the improvements which we have introduced to increase the reliability of our Pelletron as a research tool in the University. (orig.)

  6. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such as the underutilisation of available skills, tolerance for individual preferences, and dynamically, and informally refining a role objective while an employee is occupying a certain role. The important professional skills required by individuals to cope with these real life factors are also explored in the skills gaps management context. Moreover, these industries need a profile they refer to as Special Forces, which denotes a high calibre of worker that possesses well-developed professional skills whilst having advanced technical expertise and sufficient experience. This resource profile is required largely due to the poor management of human resource processes in practice and the current reported lack of adequate skills. Furthermore, this study refers to the recent lack of a working definition for these Special Forces leading to the omitted active development of these profiles in industry today, which appears to become a key human performance inhibiting factor.

  7. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  8. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

    Full Text Available Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  9. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  10. Association of Hospital-level Neuraxial Anesthesia Use for Hip Fracture Surgery with Outcomes: A Population-based Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIsaac, Daniel I; Wijeysundera, Duminda N; Huang, Allen; Bryson, Gregory L; van Walraven, Carl

    2018-03-01

    There is consistent and significant variation in neuraxial anesthesia use for hip fracture surgery across jurisdictions. We measured the association of hospital-level utilization of neuraxial anesthesia, independent of patient-level use, with 30-day survival (primary outcome) and length of stay and costs (secondary outcomes). We conducted a population-based cohort study using linked administrative data in Ontario, Canada. We identified all hip fracture patients more than 65 yr of age from 2002 to 2014. For each patient, we measured the proportion of hip fracture patients at their hospital who received neuraxial anesthesia in the year before their surgery. Multilevel, multivariable regression was used to measure the association of log-transformed hospital-level neuraxial anesthetic-use proportion with outcomes, controlling for patient-level anesthesia type and confounders. Of 107,317 patients, 57,080 (53.2%) had a neuraxial anesthetic; utilization varied from 0 to 100% between hospitals. In total, 9,122 (8.5%) of patients died within 30 days of surgery. Survival independently improved as hospital-level neuraxial use increased (P = 0.009). Primary and sensitivity analyses demonstrated that most of the survival benefit was realized with increase in hospital-level neuraxial use above 20 to 25%; there did not appear to be a substantial increase in survival above this point. No significant associations between hospital neuraxial anesthesia-use and other outcomes existed. Hip fracture surgery patients at hospitals that use more than 20 to 25% neuraxial anesthesia have improved survival independent of patient-level anesthesia type and other confounders. The underlying causal mechanism for this association requires a prospective study to guide improvements in perioperative care and outcomes of hip fracture patients. An online visual overview is available for this article at http://links.lww.com/ALN/B634.

  11. Hospital-level Variation in Utilization of Surgery for Clinical Stage I-II Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swords, Douglas S; Mulvihill, Sean J; Skarda, David E; Finlayson, Samuel R G; Stoddard, Gregory J; Ott, Mark J; Firpo, Matthew A; Scaife, Courtney L

    2017-07-11

    To (1) evaluate rates of surgery for clinical stage I-II pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), (2) identify predictors of not undergoing surgery, (3) quantify the degree to which patient- and hospital-level factors explain differences in hospital surgery rates, and (4) evaluate the association between adjusted hospital-specific surgery rates and overall survival (OS) of patients treated at different hospitals. Curative-intent surgery for potentially resectable PDAC is underutilized in the United States. Retrospective cohort study of patients ≤85 years with clinical stage I-II PDAC in the 2004 to 2014 National Cancer Database. Mixed effects multivariable models were used to characterize hospital-level variation across quintiles of hospital surgery rates. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the effect of adjusted hospital surgery rates on OS. Of 58,553 patients without contraindications or refusal of surgery, 63.8% underwent surgery, and the rate decreased from 2299/3528 (65.2%) in 2004 to 4412/7092 (62.2%) in 2014 (P < 0.001). Adjusted hospital rates of surgery varied 6-fold (11.4%-70.9%). Patients treated at hospitals with higher rates of surgery had better unadjusted OS (median OS 10.2, 13.3, 14.2, 16.5, and 18.4 months in quintiles 1-5, respectively, P < 0.001, log-rank). Treatment at hospitals in lower surgery rate quintiles 1-3 was independently associated with mortality [Hazard ratio (HR) 1.10 (1.01, 1.21), HR 1.08 (1.02, 1.15), and HR 1.09 (1.04, 1.14) for quintiles 1-3, respectively, compared with quintile 5] after adjusting for patient factors, hospital type, and hospital volume. Quality improvement efforts are needed to help hospitals with low rates of surgery ensure that their patients have access to appropriate surgery.

  12. Influence of hospital-level practices on readmission after ischemic stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skolarus, Lesli E.; Adelman, Eric E.; Reeves, Mathew J.; Brown, Devin L.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To inform stroke quality improvement initiatives by determining the relationship between hospital-level stroke practices and readmission after accounting for patient-level factors. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of adult patients hospitalized for ischemic stroke (principal ICD-9-CM codes 433.x1, 434.x1, and 436) in 5 states from 2003 to 2009 from State Inpatient Databases. The primary outcome was any unplanned readmission within 30 days. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate the association between hospital-level practice patterns of care (diagnostic testing, procedures, intensive care unit, tissue plasminogen activator, and therapeutic modalities) and readmission after adjustment for patient factors and whether individual patients received a given practice. Results: Thirty-day unplanned readmission occurred in 15.2% of stroke admissions; the median hospital readmission rate was 13.6% (interquartile range 9.8%–18.2%). Of the 25 hospital practice patterns of care analyzed, 3 practices were associated with readmission: hospitals with higher use of occupational therapy and higher proportion of transfers from other hospitals had lower adjusted readmission rates, whereas hospitals with higher use of hospice had higher predicted readmission rates. Readmission rates in lowest vs highest utilizing quintile were as follows: occupational therapy 16.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 14.5%–18.0%) vs 12.3% (95% CI 11.3%–13.2%); transfers 13.8% (95% CI 13.2%–14.5%) vs 12.5% (95% CI 11.6%–13.5%); and hospice 13.1% (95% CI 12.3%–14.0%) vs 14.8% (95% CI 13.5%–16.1%). Conclusions: Hospital practices have a role in stroke readmission that is complex and poorly understood. Further work is needed to identify specific strategies to reduce readmission rates and to ensure that public reporting of readmission rates will not result in adverse unintended consequences. PMID:24838793

  13. MEMS Actuators for Improved Performance and Durability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yearsley, James M.

    Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) devices take advantage of force-scaling at length scales smaller than a millimeter to sense and interact with directly with phenomena and targets at the microscale. MEMS sensors found in everyday devices like cell-phones and cars include accelerometers, gyros, pressure sensors, and magnetic sensors. MEMS actuators generally serve more application specific roles including micro- and nano-tweezers used for single cell manipulation, optical switching and alignment components, and micro combustion engines for high energy density power generation. MEMS rotary motors are actuators that translate an electric drive signal into rotational motion and can serve as rate calibration inputs for gyros, stages for optical components, mixing devices for micro-fluidics, etc. Existing rotary micromotors suffer from friction and wear issues that affect lifetime and performance. Attempts to alleviate friction effects include surface treatment, magnetic and electrostatic levitation, pressurized gas bearings, and micro-ball bearings. The present work demonstrates a droplet based liquid bearing supporting a rotary micromotor that improves the operating characteristics of MEMS rotary motors. The liquid bearing provides wear-free, low-friction, passive alignment between the rotor and stator. Droplets are positioned relative to the rotor and stator through patterned superhydrophobic and hydrophilic surface coatings. The liquid bearing consists of a central droplet that acts as the motor shaft, providing axial alignment between rotor and stator, and satellite droplets, analogous to ball-bearings, that provide tip and tilt stable operation. The liquid bearing friction performance is characterized through measurement of the rotational drag coefficient and minimum starting torque due to stiction and geometric effects. Bearing operational performance is further characterized by modeling and measuring stiffness, environmental survivability, and high

  14. Improving cardiac myocytes performance by CNTs platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eMartinelli

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The application of nanotechnology to the cardiovascular system has increasingly caught scientists’ attention as a potentially powerful tool for the development of new generation devices able to interface, repair or boost the performance of cardiac tissue. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs are considered as promising materials for nanomedicine applications in general and have been recently tested towards excitable cell growth. CNTs are cylindrically shaped structures made up of rolled-up graphene sheets, with unique electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, able to effectively conducting electrical current in electrochemical interfaces. CNTs-based scaffolds have been recently found to support the in vitro growth of cardiac cells: in particular, their ability to improve cardiomyocytes proliferation, maturation and electrical behavior are making CNTs extremely attractive for the development and exploitation of interfaces able to impact on cardiac cells physiology and function.

  15. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomes, Daniel S.; Muniz, Rafael O.R.; Giovedi, Claudia; Universidade de São Paulo

    2017-01-01

    After the Fukushima reactor accident, efforts to improve risk management in nuclear operations have included the intensification of research on accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs). In this investigation, the physical properties of recently developed ATFs were compared with those of the current standard fuel, UO 2 - Zr. The goals for innovative fuel design include a rigorous characterization of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical considerations. The intentions are to lengthen the burnup cycle, raise the power density, and improve safety. Fuels must have a high uranium density - above that supported by UO 2 - and possess a coating that exhibits better oxidation resistance than Zircaloys. ATFs such as U 3 Si 2 , UN, and UC contain a higher uranium density and thermal conductivity than UO 2 , providing significant benefits. The ideal combination of fuel and cladding must increase performance in a loss-of-coolant accident. However, U 3 Si 2 , UN, and UC have a disadvantage; their respective swelling rates are higher than that of UO 2 . These ATFs also have thermal conductivities approximately four times higher than that of UO 2 . A study was conducted investigating the hydrogen generated by the oxidation of zirconium alloys in contact with steam using cladding options such as Fe-Cr-Al and silicon carbide. It was confirmed that ferritic alloys offer a better response under severe conditions, because of their mechanical properties as creep rate. The findings of this study indicate that advanced fuels should replace UO 2 - Zr as the fuel system of choice. (author)

  16. Improving chemistry performance in CANDU plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, C.; Guzonas, D.

    2010-01-01

    system to facilitate improved chemistry control and to help staff to proactively identify and address emerging issues before they result in a loss of performance. This paper will outline AECL's chemistry control philosophy, and provide specific examples to illustrate how changes to plant design, materials, operational procedures, and chemistry specifications are being implemented to support improved chemistry performance in existing and new-build CANDU® plants. (author)

  17. Performance improvement of optical semiconductor sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Tokhy, M.E.M.E

    2009-01-01

    This thesis has been concerned with a detailed study of nano-technology quantum sources. From these sources, quantum cascaded laser (QCLs) and quantum dot lasers (QDs), are studied theoretically. Block diagram models based on VisSim environment in junction with mathematical models are developed to analyze these kinds of optical sources. The mathematical model is derived to express explicitly the performance of the device, while a block diagram model is implemented which implicitly describe the same device. By using these mathematical models, new expressions are obtained. Accurate and efficient modeling of these sources is being increasingly important in the design and optimization of optical integrated circuits and circuit component. In the case of QCLs, the diagram is used to calculate its characteristics such as potential voltage, output optical power, current, threshold current density, slope efficiency, differential efficiency, and optical gain of these devices. Furthermore, the effect of each parameter of the QCLs, such as number of periods; N p , operating temperature; T, waveguide losses; α w , mirror losses; α m , on its performance are discussed in details. To demonstrate these effects further, the changes in three dimensional are plotted. In another mean, improving the lasing properties of the QCLs through both block diagram and mathematical models is the main scope in this thesis. In order to enhance the performance of the underlined device, mathematical model parameters are tuned to obtain the optimum behavior. Additionally, it is important to model and analyze the effects of these physical parameters on the performance of QCLs. These parameters play the central role in specifying the optical characteristics of the considered laser source. Proposed relation that linked emitted power with QCLs parameters is deduced. Moreover, it is important to have a large amount of radiated power, where increasing the amount of radiated power represents the main

  18. Nanotechnological inventions considerably improve performance characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLASOV Vladimir Alexeevich

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The invention «The method of production of carbon nanomaterial (RU 2509053» can be used as an additive for concretes and polymers which significantly improves their performance characteristics. The method of production of carbon nanomaterial consists of the following stages: preliminary preparation of sphagnous moss when it is refined from foreign admixtures, dried up to 10% humidity and ground, then ground material is exposed to pyrolysis under the temperature 850–950оC for 1–2 hours and cooled up to the environment temperature. After that amorphous carbon obtained in pyrolysis is treated with mechanical activation in the variable planetary mill for 7–10 hours. The invention makes it possible to provide increased outcome of nanotubes with high cleanliness. The invention «The method of production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them (RU 2509626» relates to the powder metallurgy. Powder metal chloride or powder mixture at least of two metal chlorides is treated in the environment of the water steam which is supplied in reaction space at the rate of 50–100 ml/min at the temperature 400–800оC at the presence of absorbent carbon or introducing carbon oxide (II obtained during dissolution of formic acid HCOOH. The invention provides reliable production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them from 3-d metal range: Ni, Co, Cu, Fe, Zn which can be used in powder metallurgy to improve baking process, in chemical industry as the fillers of polymers and reaction catalysts; as additives to anticorrosive covers, etc.

  19. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomes, Daniel S.; Muniz, Rafael O.R.; Giovedi, Claudia, E-mail: dsgomes@ipen.br, E-mail: rafael.orm@gmail.com, E-mail: claudia.giovedi@ctmsp.mar.mil.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Universidade de São Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil). Departamento de Engenharia Naval e Oceânica

    2017-07-01

    After the Fukushima reactor accident, efforts to improve risk management in nuclear operations have included the intensification of research on accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs). In this investigation, the physical properties of recently developed ATFs were compared with those of the current standard fuel, UO{sub 2} - Zr. The goals for innovative fuel design include a rigorous characterization of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical considerations. The intentions are to lengthen the burnup cycle, raise the power density, and improve safety. Fuels must have a high uranium density - above that supported by UO{sub 2} - and possess a coating that exhibits better oxidation resistance than Zircaloys. ATFs such as U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC contain a higher uranium density and thermal conductivity than UO{sub 2}, providing significant benefits. The ideal combination of fuel and cladding must increase performance in a loss-of-coolant accident. However, U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC have a disadvantage; their respective swelling rates are higher than that of UO{sub 2}. These ATFs also have thermal conductivities approximately four times higher than that of UO{sub 2}. A study was conducted investigating the hydrogen generated by the oxidation of zirconium alloys in contact with steam using cladding options such as Fe-Cr-Al and silicon carbide. It was confirmed that ferritic alloys offer a better response under severe conditions, because of their mechanical properties as creep rate. The findings of this study indicate that advanced fuels should replace UO{sub 2} - Zr as the fuel system of choice. (author)

  20. Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearman, Gregory H.; Wilson, Daniel W.; Johnson, William R.

    2009-01-01

    Suitably formulated spatial modulation of a scene imaged by a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS) has been found to be useful as a means of improving the imaging performance of the CTIS. As used here, "spatial modulation" signifies the imposition of additional, artificial structure on a scene from within the CTIS optics. The basic principles of a CTIS were described in "Improvements in Computed- Tomography Imaging Spectrometry" (NPO-20561) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 12 (December 2000), page 38 and "All-Reflective Computed-Tomography Imaging Spectrometers" (NPO-20836), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 11 (November 2002), page 7a. To recapitulate: A CTIS offers capabilities for imaging a scene with spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution. The spectral disperser in a CTIS is a two-dimensional diffraction grating. It is positioned between two relay lenses (or on one of two relay mirrors) in a video imaging system. If the disperser were removed, the system would produce ordinary images of the scene in its field of view. In the presence of the grating, the image on the focal plane of the system contains both spectral and spatial information because the multiple diffraction orders of the grating give rise to multiple, spectrally dispersed images of the scene. By use of algorithms adapted from computed tomography, the image on the focal plane can be processed into an image cube a three-dimensional collection of data on the image intensity as a function of the two spatial dimensions (x and y) in the scene and of wavelength (lambda). Thus, both spectrally and spatially resolved information on the scene at a given instant of time can be obtained, without scanning, from a single snapshot; this is what makes the CTIS such a potentially powerful tool for spatially, spectrally, and temporally resolved imaging. A CTIS performs poorly in imaging some types of scenes in particular, scenes that contain little spatial or spectral variation. The computed spectra of

  1. Learning to improve path planning performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

    In robotics, path planning refers to finding a short. collision-free path from an initial robot configuration to a desired configuratioin. It has to be fast to support real-time task-level robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To remedy this situation, we present and analyze a learning algorithm that uses past experience to increase future performance. The algorithm relies on an existing path planner to provide solutions to difficult tasks. From these solutions, an evolving sparse network of useful robot configurations is learned to support faster planning. More generally, the algorithm provides a speedup-learning framework in which a slow but capable planner may be improved both cost-wise and capability-wise by a faster but less capable planner coupled with experience. The basic algorithm is suitable for stationary environments, and can be extended to accommodate changing environments with on-demand experience repair and object-attached experience abstraction. To analyze the algorithm, we characterize the situations in which the adaptive planner is useful, provide quantitative bounds to predict its behavior, and confirm our theoretical results with experiments in path planning of manipulators. Our algorithm and analysis are sufficiently, general that they may also be applied to other planning domains in which experience is useful

  2. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia, CAIA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available According to Gartner estimates, due to increased variety, speed and data volume, by 2015 there will be a global demand of 4.4 million professionals for real-time analysis of data from sources with different structures, but only one third of the demand will be met. The purpose of this research is to identify possible solutions for improved academic results in the IT domain, considering the time management policies, the content and the student motivations, as well as the business strategy tendencies. These proposals are targeted toward meeting the IT specialists demand. The research is composed of two parts: the first explores the Romanian IT labour market characteristics, while the second investigates the academic education policies that can help mitigate deficiencies and attain higher performance. The deficiencies are identified through a series of statistical research and analysis based on national level databases, adopting a quantitative approach. The policies proposed are supported by a flow model developed considering the students' activity, motivation, traits and results, measured and analysed quantitatively.

  3. Improved Bevatron local injector ion source performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stover, G.; Zajec, E.

    1985-05-01

    Performance tests of the improved Bevatron Local Injector PIG Ion Source using particles of Si 4 + , Ne 3 + , and He 2 + are described. Initial measurements of the 8.4 keV/nucleon Si 4 + beam show an intensity of 100 particle microamperes with a normalized emittance of .06 π cm-mrad. A low energy beam transport line provides mass analysis, diagnostics, and matching into a 200 MHz RFQ linac. The RFQ accelerates the beam from 8.4 to 200 keV/nucleon. The injector is unusual in the sense that all ion source power supplies, the ac distribution network, vacuum control equipment, and computer control system are contained in a four bay rack mounted on insulators which is located on a floor immediately above the ion source. The rack, transmission line, and the ion source housing are raised by a dc power supply to 80 kilovolts above earth ground. All power supplies, which are referenced to rack ground, are modular in construction and easily removable for maintenance. AC power is delivered to the rack via a 21 kVA, 3-phase transformer. 2 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab

  4. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeger, Thom T.J.; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; van der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. DESIGN: Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to

  5. Using business intelligence to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Tom; Graves, Brian; Glass, Steve; Harrison, A Marc; Donovan, Chris; Proctor, Andrew

    2009-10-01

    Cleveland Clinic's enterprise performance management program offers proof that comparisons of actual performance against strategic objectives can enable healthcare organization to achieve rapid organizational change. Here are four lessons Cleveland Clinic learned from this initiative: Align performance metrics with strategic initiatives. Structure dashboards for the CEO. Link performance to annual reviews. Customize dashboard views to the specific user.

  6. Engaging service providers in improving industry performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oberth, R.

    2012-01-01

    Effective task leadership is the key to achieving results in the nuclear industry and in most other industries. One of the themes of this conference is to discuss how the nuclear industry can undertake Issue-Identification and Definition as a means of 'identifying what needs attention' and then 'defining what needs to be done to make that happen'. I will explore this theme from the perspective of the 'Service Provider' - which by the definition of this conference includes everyone not within an operating utility - meaning 'those involved in everything from inspection and repair to research and plant architecture' - basically the member companies of my association, OCI. Our members take the definition of the roles and responsibilities of the 'Service Provider' community very seriously. In the context of this discussion a key utility function is the early definition of requirements and expectations of Service Providers in supplying to these requirements. Let's explore for a moment the Service Provider role and perspective. Service Providers are by nature pro-active - they seek ways to engage with utilities (and tier one vendors) to solve problems and achieve good outcomes. They come to industry conferences like this one to learn about upcoming utility programs and supply opportunities and how they can improve performance. Service Providers particularly want to hear senior utility people comment on emerging issues even those at the very early identification stage. Some Clarification of Roles is in Order - as that is the focus of this conference: 'Issue-Identification and Definition'. 'Issue-Identification' is the utility's job - it is the utility's role to identify as early as possible 'what needs attention and what their needs and expectations are'. This takes place before service provider engagement. 'Issue-Definition' is more challenging. It means 'determining and prioritizing what needs to be done to deal with the situation at hand'. This typically involves

  7. Improving File System Performance by Striping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Terance L.; Kutler, Paul (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    This document discusses the performance and advantages of striped file systems on the SGI AD workstations. Performance of several striped file system configurations are compared and guidelines for optimal striping are recommended.

  8. Performance samples on academic tasks : improving prediction of academic performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    This thesis is about the development and validation of a performance-based test, labeled as Performance Samples on academic tasks in Education and Child Studies (PSEd). PSEd is designed to identify students who are most able to perform the academic tasks involved in an Education and Child Studies

  9. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  10. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates "Playing for Success" (PfS), an extended school day program for underachieving…

  11. Football to improve math and reading performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates ‘Playing for Success’ (PfS), an extended

  12. 7804 PERFORMANCE OF IMPROVED BEAN VARIETIES IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Win7Ent

    2013-06-03

    Jun 3, 2013 ... 3. June 2013. ABSTRACT. A project aimed at improving bean production in Kigoma Region was carried out ... Some rain is required during the flowering and pod setting stages [2]. ..... library.ciat.cgiar.org/articulos/ciat/paperb.

  13. Measuring collections effort improves cash performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shutts, Joe

    2009-09-01

    Having a satisfied work force can lead to an improved collections effort. Hiring the right people and training them ensures employee engagement. Measuring collections effort and offering incentives is key to revenue cycle success.

  14. Performance improvement of professional printing systems : from theory to practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ezzeldin Mahdy Abdelmonem, M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance Improvement of Professional Printing Systems: from theory to practice Markets demand continuously for higher quality, higher speed, and more energy-efficient professional printers. In this thesis, control strategies have been developed to improve the performance of both professional

  15. Performance Results of CMMI-Based Process Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gibson, Diane L; Goldenson, Dennis R; Kost, Keith

    2006-01-01

    .... There now is evidence that process improvement using the CMMI Product Suite can result in improvements in schedule and cost performance, product quality, return on investment and other measures of performance outcome...

  16. Can visual arts training improve physician performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts - a subset of medical humanities - into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation.

  17. Can Visual Arts Training Improve Physician Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts — a subset of medical humanities — into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation. PMID:25125749

  18. Improvement of irradiation facilities performance in JMTR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanno, Masaru; Sakurai, Susumu; Honma, Kenzo; Sagawa, Hisashi; Nakazaki, Chousaburo

    1999-01-01

    Various kinds of irradiation facilities are installed in the JMTR for the purpose of irradiation tests on fuels and materials and of producing radioisotopes. The irradiation facilities have been improved so far at every opportunity of new irradiation requirements and of renewing them which reached the design lifetime. Of these irradiation facilities, improvements of the power ramping test facility (BOCA/OSF-1 facility) and the hydraulic rabbit No.2 (HR-2 facility) are described here. (author)

  19. Improving Student Performance Using Nudge Analytics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feild, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    Providing students with continuous and personalized feedback on their performance is an important part of encouraging self regulated learning. As part of our higher education platform, we built a set of data visualizations to provide feedback to students on their assignment performance. These visualizations give students information about how they…

  20. How Six Sigma Methodology Improved Doctors' Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafiropoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Six Sigma methodology was used in a District General Hospital to assess the effect of the introduction of an educational programme to limit unnecessary admissions. The performance of the doctors involved in the programme was assessed. Ishikawa Fishbone and 5 S's were initially used and Pareto analysis of their findings was performed. The results…

  1. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  2. Industry activities to improve valve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaway, C.

    1996-12-01

    Motor-operated valve issues refuse to go away. For over a decade the industry and the NRC have been focusing extraordinary resources on assuring these special components operate when called upon. Now that industry has fixed the design deficiencies, it is focusing on assuring that they perform their safety function within the current licensing basis for the remainder of plant life. NEI supported the efforts by ASME to develop OMN-1 and was encouraged that the industry and the NRC worked together to develop risk and performance based approaches to maintain MOV performance.

  3. Does Advertising Spending Improve Sales Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Assaf, A. George; Josiassen, Alexander; Mattila, Anna S.

    2015-01-01

    Hotel managers and investors commonly analyze the impact of advertising spending on firm performance. This paper investigates such an impact using a comprehensive framework incorporating the moderating effects of hotel size and star ratings. We estimated sales performance via dynamic, stochastic...... frontier modelling. Using longitudinal data from a sample of Slovenian and Croatian hotels, we demonstrate that advertising spending has a positive impact on hotel sales performance, and that the relationship strengthens for larger hotels and hotels with higher star ratings. Theoretical and managerial...

  4. Warehouse Performance Improvement at Linfox Logistics Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Pratama, Riyan Galuh; Simatupang, Togar M

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide alternative solutions for Linfox Logistics Indonesia (LLI) in facing warehouse performance issues. The main warehouse performance indicators called Customer Case Filling on Time (CCFOT) and Case Picking Productivity failed to achieve the target. Several analyses were carried out regarding current dispatch process, value stream mapping, and root causes identification. The results find that much waste occurred in dispatch process. Proposed improvemen...

  5. A Management Tool for Improvement (Improving) IMS Stations Performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohammad, D.; Pantin, A.; Quintana, E.

    2011-01-01

    IMS-Maintenance is a software under development by the personnel of ARN-CTBT office, intended for the technical management of IMS stations under ARN's responsibility. This software integrates the whole control of the equipment in an IMS station, including the management of consumables used in daily or periodic operation. It permits an easy retrieval (access) of the technical features, suppliers, etc. of each item of the equipment, as well as its maintenance history and scheduled task. Although this project is still in a starting phase, a preliminary version of this software is being used in radionuclide station RN01 (Buenos Aires), having already demonstrated its usefulness and potential for the improvement of IMS station management. (authors)

  6. Partnering through Training and Practice to Achieve Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    This article presents a partnership effort among managers, trainers, and employees to spring to life performance improvement using the performance templates (P-T) approach. P-T represents a process model as well as a method of training leading to performance improvement. Not only does it add to our repertoire of training and performance management…

  7. Improving operational performance by influencing shopfloor behavior via performance management practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Leeuw, S.L.J.M.; van den Berg, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    It is generally believed that companies applying performance management practices outperform those that do not measure and manage their performance. Studies examining the link between performance management and performance improvement implicitly assume that performance management affects behavior of

  8. Performance improvement by alumina coatings on Y

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, Z.; Zhou, Nan; Lu, Xiangyang; ten Kate, O.M.; Valdesueiro Gonzalez, D.; van Ommen, J.R.; Hintzen, H.T.J.M.

    2016-01-01

    To improve the thermal stability, Al2O3 has been successfully coated on a Y3Al5O12:Ce3+ (YAG:Ce) phosphor powder host by using the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) approach in a fluidized bed reactor. Transmission Electron Microscopy

  9. Reactor coolant pump seals: improving their performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pothier, N.E.; Metcalfe, R.

    1986-06-01

    Large CANDU plants are benefitting from transient-resistant four-year reliable reactor coolant pump seal lifetimes, a direct result of AECL's 20-year comprehensive seal improvement program involving R and D staff, manufacturers, and plant designers and operators. An overview of this program is presented, which covers seal modification design, testing, post-service examination, specialized maintenance and quality control. The relevancy of this technology to Light Water Reactor Coolant Pump Seals is also discussed

  10. Improvement an enterprises marketing performance measurement system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanković Ljiljana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Business conditions in which modern enterprises do business are more and more complex. The complexity of the business environment is caused by activities of external and internal factors, which imposes the need for the turn in management focus. One of key turns is related to the need of adaptation and development of new business performance evaluation systems. The evaluation of marketing contribution to business performance is very important however a complex task as well. The marketing theory and practice indicates the need for developing adequate standards and systems for evaluating the efficiency of marketing decisions. The better understanding of marketing standards and ways that managers use is a very important factor that affects the efficiency of strategic decision-making. The paper presents the results of researching the way in which managers perceive and apply marketing performance measures. The data that were received through the field research sample enabled the consideration of the managers' attitudes on practical ways of implementing marketing performance measurement and identifying measures that managers imply as used mostly in business practice.

  11. Does Negotiation Training Improve Negotiators' Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ElShenawy, Eman

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper's objective is to test the main effect of negotiation training-level on acquiring negotiation skills. Training level refers to the time a trainee spends in a negotiation training course receiving the standard style and methods of training. Negotiation skills are manifested through trainees' performance after receiving training.…

  12. Improving spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cordewener, K.A.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Bosman, A.M.T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of

  13. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  14. Tools for Measuring and Improving Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurow, Susan

    1993-01-01

    Explains the need for meaningful performance measures in libraries and the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach to data collection. Five tools representing different stages of a TQM inquiry are covered (i.e., the Shewhart Cycle, flowcharts, cause-and-effect diagrams, Pareto charts, and control charts), and benchmarking is addressed. (Contains…

  15. Improving Student Performance through Parent Involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steventon, Candace E.

    A personalized parenting program was implemented to address poor academic performance and low self-esteem of high school students. Student records, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, the Behavior Evaluation Scale, and teacher surveys were employed to identify and measure academic and/or self-perception growth. Parents participated in an 8-week…

  16. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezzini-Aouad, M.; Flahaut, P.; Hariri, S.; Winiar, L.

    2010-06-01

    Rail transport development offers economic and ecological interests. Nevertheless, it requires heavy investments in rolling material and infrastructure. To be competitive, this transportation means must rely on safe and reliable infrastructure, which requires optimization of all implemented techniques and structure. Rail thermite (or aluminothermic) welding is widely used within the railway industry for in-track welding during re-rail and defect replacement. The process provides numerous advantages against other welding technology commonly used. Obviously, future demands on train traffic are heavier axle loads, higher train speeds and increased traffic density. Thus, a new enhanced weld should be developed to prevent accidents due to fracture of welds and to lower maintenance costs. In order to improve such assembly process, a detailed metallurgical study coupled to a thermomechanical modelling of the phenomena involved in the thermite welding process is carried out. Obtained data enables us to develop a new improved thermite weld (type A). This joint is made by modifying the routinely specified procedure (type B) used in a railway rail by a standard gap alumino-thermic weld. Joints of type A and B are tested and compared. Based on experimental temperature measurements, a finite element analysis is used to calculate the thermal residual stresses induced. In the vicinity of the weld, the residual stress patterns depend on the thermal conditions during welding as it also shown by litterature [1, 2]. In parallel, X-Ray diffraction has been used to map the residual stress field that is generated in welded rail of types A and B. Their effect on fatigue crack growth in rail welds is studied. An experimental study based on fatigue tests of rails welded by conventional and improved processes adjudicates on the new advances and results will be shown.

  17. Improving Team Performance: Proceedings of the Rand Team Performance Workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-08-01

    Gene Gloye of ONR said at that time that by highlighting specific content areas for attention, one runs the risk of supporting "research by the yard...Meister The purpose of this paper is to describe how human factors engineering ( HFE ) relates to team performance. HFE is the application of...behavioral principles and data to the design and development of man-machine systems (MMS). HFE activities begin in the very early planning stages of MMS

  18. Benchmark and Continuous Improvement of Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Alecse Stanciu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The present Economic Environment is challenge us to perform, to think and re-think our personal strategies in according with our entities strategies, even if we are simply employed or we are entrepreneurs. Is an environment characterised by Volatility, Uncertainity, Complexity and Ambiguity - a VUCA World in which the entities must fight for their position gained in the market, disrupt new markets and new economies, developing their client portofolio, with the Performance as one final goal. The pressure of driving forces known as the 2030 Megatrends: Globalization 2.0, Environmental Crisis and the Scarcity of Resources, Individualism and Value Pluralism, Demographic Change, This paper examines whether using benchmark is an opportunity to increase the competitiveness of Romanian SMEs and the results show that benchmark is therefore a powerful instrument, combining reduced negative impact on the environment with a positive impact on the economy and society.

  19. Hospital-Level Care at Home for Acutely Ill Adults: a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, David M; Ouchi, Kei; Blanchfield, Bonnie; Diamond, Keren; Licurse, Adam; Pu, Charles T; Schnipper, Jeffrey L

    2018-05-01

    Hospitals are standard of care for acute illness, but hospitals can be unsafe, uncomfortable, and expensive. Providing substitutive hospital-level care in a patient's home potentially reduces cost while maintaining or improving quality, safety, and patient experience, although evidence from randomized controlled trials in the US is lacking. Determine if home hospital care reduces cost while maintaining quality, safety, and patient experience. Randomized controlled trial. Adults admitted via the emergency department with any infection or exacerbation of heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma. Home hospital care, including nurse and physician home visits, intravenous medications, continuous monitoring, video communication, and point-of-care testing. Primary outcome was direct cost of the acute care episode. Secondary outcomes included utilization, 30-day cost, physical activity, and patient experience. Nine patients were randomized to home, 11 to usual care. Median direct cost of the acute care episode for home patients was 52% (IQR, 28%; p = 0.05) lower than for control patients. During the care episode, home patients had fewer laboratory orders (median per admission: 6 vs. 19; p Home patients were more physically active (median minutes, 209 vs. 78; p home patients, one occurred in control patients. Median direct cost for the acute care plus 30-day post-discharge period for home patients was 67% (IQR, 77%; p home-care services (22% vs. 55%; p = 0.08) and fewer readmissions (11% vs. 36%; p = 0.32). Patient experience was similar in both groups. The use of substitutive home-hospitalization compared to in-hospital usual care reduced cost and utilization and improved physical activity. No significant differences in quality, safety, and patient experience were noted, with more definitive results awaiting a larger trial. Trial Registration NCT02864420.

  20. Does School Choice Improve Student Performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Kaja Høiseth Brugård

    2013-01-01

    This paper studies the relationship between school choice and student performance for high school students in Norway. The analysis exploits both the fact that the degree of school choice formally differs between counties, and detailed information on travelling distances to high schools, which more closely reflects the students' actual school choice possibilities. Information on students' residence, high school location, and the degree of formal school choice is used to estimate the effect on ...

  1. Improving performance by anchoring movement and "nerves".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iso-Ahola, Seppo E; Dotson, Charles O; Jagodinsky, Adam E; Clark, Lily C; Smallwood, Lorraine L; Wilburn, Christopher; Weimar, Wendi H; Miller, Matthew W

    2016-10-01

    Golf's governing bodies' recent decision to ban all putting styles "anchoring one end of the club against the body" bridges an important practical problem with psychological theory. We report the first experiment testing whether anchoring provides technical and/or psychological advantage in competitive performance. Many "greats" of professional golf from Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods have argued against anchoring, believing that it takes "nerves" out of competitive performance and therefore artificially levels the playing field. To shed more light on the issue, we tested participants' performance with anchored and unanchored putters under low and high pressure when controlling for the putter length. We found no statistically significant evidence for a technical advantage due to anchoring but a clear psychological advantage: participants who anchored their putters significantly outperformed unanchored counterparts under high, but not low, pressure. Results provide tentative evidence for the ban's justification from a competitive standpoint. However, before any definite conclusions can be made, more research is needed when using high-level golfers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Hybrid Modeling Improves Health and Performance Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Scientific Monitoring Inc. was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to create a new, simplified health-monitoring approach for flight vehicles and flight equipment. The project developed a hybrid physical model concept that provided a structured approach to simplifying complex design models for use in health monitoring, allowing the output or performance of the equipment to be compared to what the design models predicted, so that deterioration or impending failure could be detected before there would be an impact on the equipment's operational capability. Based on the original modeling technology, Scientific Monitoring released I-Trend, a commercial health- and performance-monitoring software product named for its intelligent trending, diagnostics, and prognostics capabilities, as part of the company's complete ICEMS (Intelligent Condition-based Equipment Management System) suite of monitoring and advanced alerting software. I-Trend uses the hybrid physical model to better characterize the nature of health or performance alarms that result in "no fault found" false alarms. Additionally, the use of physical principles helps I-Trend identify problems sooner. I-Trend technology is currently in use in several commercial aviation programs, and the U.S. Air Force recently tapped Scientific Monitoring to develop next-generation engine health-management software for monitoring its fleet of jet engines. Scientific Monitoring has continued the original NASA work, this time under a Phase III SBIR contract with a joint NASA-Pratt & Whitney aviation security program on propulsion-controlled aircraft under missile-damaged aircraft conditions.

  3. Continuing education for performance improvement: a creative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Patti-Ann; Hardesty, Ilana; White, Julie L; Zisblatt, Lara

    2012-10-01

    In an effort to improve patient safety and health care outcomes, continuing medical education has begun to focus on performance improvement initiatives for physician practices. Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) Continuing Nursing Education Accredited Provider Unit has begun a creative project to award nursing contact hours for nurses' participation in performance improvement activities. This column highlights its initial efforts. Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

  4. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, Second Edition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-23

    This sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The sourcebook is divided into three main sections: steam system basics, performance improvement opportunities, and where to find help.

  5. A hospital-level cost-effectiveness analysis model for toxigenic Clostridium difficile detection algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoye, E; Vandecandelaere, P; De Beenhouwer, H; Coppens, G; Cartuyvels, R; Van den Abeele, A; Frans, J; Laffut, W

    2015-10-01

    Despite thorough analyses of the analytical performance of Clostridium difficile tests and test algorithms, the financial impact at hospital level has not been well described. Such a model should take institution-specific variables into account, such as incidence, request behaviour and infection control policies. To calculate the total hospital costs of different test algorithms, accounting for days on which infected patients with toxigenic strains were not isolated and therefore posed an infectious risk for new/secondary nosocomial infections. A mathematical algorithm was developed to gather the above parameters using data from seven Flemish hospital laboratories (Bilulu Microbiology Study Group) (number of tests, local prevalence and hospital hygiene measures). Measures of sensitivity and specificity for the evaluated tests were taken from the literature. List prices and costs of assays were provided by the manufacturer or the institutions. The calculated cost included reagent costs, personnel costs and the financial burden following due and undue isolations and antibiotic therapies. Five different test algorithms were compared. A dynamic calculation model was constructed to evaluate the cost:benefit ratio of each algorithm for a set of institution- and time-dependent inputted variables (prevalence, cost fluctuations and test performances), making it possible to choose the most advantageous algorithm for its setting. A two-step test algorithm with concomitant glutamate dehydrogenase and toxin testing, followed by a rapid molecular assay was found to be the most cost-effective algorithm. This enabled resolution of almost all cases on the day of arrival, minimizing the number of unnecessary or missing isolations. Copyright © 2015 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The improvement of performances for PWR fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Debes

    2001-01-01

    UO 2 fuels used in French nuclear power plants are authorized for values of burn-ups up to 52 GWj/t. Constant technological progress concerning pellets, cladding, and the design of the assembly has led to better performance and a broader safety margin. EDF is gathering all the elements to qualify and back its demand to increase the limit burn-up to 65 GWj/t in 2004 and to 70 GWj/t in 2008. For the same amount of energy produced, this policy of higher burn-ups will allow: - a reduction of the number of spent fuel assemblies, - a direct economic spare by using less fuel assemblies, - a reduction of personnel dosimetry because of longer irradiation campaigns, and - less quantity of residual plutonium produced. (A.C.)

  7. Improving UV Resistance of High Performance Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanin, Ahmed

    High performance fibers are characterized by their superior properties compared to the traditional textile fibers. High strength fibers have high modules, high strength to weight ratio, high chemical resistance, and usually high temperature resistance. It is used in application where superior properties are needed such as bulletproof vests, ropes and cables, cut resistant products, load tendons for giant scientific balloons, fishing rods, tennis racket strings, parachute cords, adhesives and sealants, protective apparel and tire cords. Unfortunately, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes serious degradation to the most of high performance fibers. UV lights, either natural or artificial, cause organic compounds to decompose and degrade, because the energy of the photons of UV light is high enough to break chemical bonds causing chain scission. This work is aiming at achieving maximum protection of high performance fibers using sheathing approaches. The sheaths proposed are of lightweight to maintain the advantage of the high performance fiber that is the high strength to weight ratio. This study involves developing three different types of sheathing. The product of interest that need be protected from UV is braid from PBO. First approach is extruding a sheath from Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) loaded with different rutile TiO2 % nanoparticles around the braid from the PBO. The results of this approach showed that LDPE sheath loaded with 10% TiO2 by weight achieved the highest protection compare to 0% and 5% TiO2. The protection here is judged by strength loss of PBO. This trend noticed in different weathering environments, where the sheathed samples were exposed to UV-VIS radiations in different weatheromter equipments as well as exposure to high altitude environment using NASA BRDL balloon. The second approach is focusing in developing a protective porous membrane from polyurethane loaded with rutile TiO2 nanoparticles. Membrane from polyurethane loaded with 4

  8. Efficacy of a Template Creation Approach for Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the training and performance improvement approach, performance templates (P-T), and provides empirical evidence to support the efficacy of P-T. This approach involves a partnership among managers, trainers, and employees in the creation, use, and improvement of guides to affect the performance of critical tasks in the…

  9. Improved human performance through appropriate work scheduling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morisseau, D.S.; Lewis, P.M.; Persensky, J.J.

    1987-01-01

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has had a policy, Generic Letter 82-12, on hours of work since 1982. The policy states that licensees should establish controls to prevent situations where fatigue could reduce the ability of operating personnel to perform their duties safely (USNRC 1982). While that policy does give guidance on hours of work and overtime, it does not address periods of longer than 7 days or work schedules other than the routine 8-hour day, 40-hour week. Recognizing that NRC policy could provide broader guidance for shift schedules and hours of overtime work, the Division of Human Factors Safety conducted a project with Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNL) to help the NRC better understand the human factors principles and issues concerning hours of work so that the NRC could consider updating their policy as necessary. The results of this project are recommendations for guidelines and limits for periods of 14 days, 28 days, and 1 year to take into account the cumulative effects of fatigue. In addition, routine 12-hour shifts are addressed. This latter type of shift schedule has been widely adopted in the petroleum and chemical industries and several utilities operating nuclear power plants have adopted it as well. Since this is the case, it is important to consider including guidelines for implementing this type of schedule. This paper discusses the bases for the PNL recommendations which are currently being studied by the NRC

  10. Baking oven improvement by performance modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-01

    The first phase of the project included both the derivation of an oven model and the development of a portable, rapid-response heat-flux sensor. Heat flux (defined as the instantaneous rate of heat flow per unit at the surface of the baking biscuit and expressed in W/cm[sup 2]) has been shown to be a more useful measure of oven performance than temperature alone. Fixed-point heat-flux sensors have already been developed and marketed, but a need was expressed at the start of this project for a travelling sensor which could be used to construct a more detailed picture of heat-flux variation in an oven. The travelling monitor developed can be used to measure variations in the heat flux experienced at the surface of products being baked in a travelling oven, both when oven conditions are fixed and when they are varied. It can also be used to identify the optimum locations within an oven for fixed heat-flux probes. It has been used effectively throughout the project for both purposes. Fuel savings of 18% and 21%, respectively, were achieved with two ovens. (author)

  11. Hardfacing and packings for improved valve performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aikin, J.A.; Patrick, J.N.F.; Inglis, I.

    2003-01-01

    The CANDU Owners Group (COG), Chemistry, Materials and Components (CMC) Program has supported an ongoing program on valve maintenance and performance for several years. An overview is presented of recent work on iron-based hardfacing, packing qualification, friction testing of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) packings, and an investigation of re-torquing valve packing. Based on this program, two new valve-packing materials have been qualified for use in CANDU stations. By doing this, CANDU maintenance can avoid having only one packing qualified for station use, as well as assess the potential impact of the industry trend towards using lower gland loads. The results from corrosion tests by AECL and the coefficient of friction studies at Battelle' s tribology testing facilities on Delcrome 910, an iron-based hardfacing alloy, indicate it is an acceptable replacement for Stellite 6 under certain conditions. This information can be used to update in-line valve purchasing specifications. The renewed interest in friction characteristics, and environmental qualification (EQ) of packing containing PTFE has resulted in a new test program in these areas. The COG-funded valve programs have resulted in modifications to design specifications for nuclear station in-line valves and have led to better maintenance practices and valve reliability. In the end, this means lower costs and cheaper electricity. (author)

  12. Improving Vaginal Examinations Performed by Midwives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhoda S. Muliira

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available A vaginal examination (VE is an essential part of midwifery care, and is routinely performed when assessing the progress of labour. As evidence shows that during labour women may find VEs unpleasant,embarrassing and sometimes painful, the aim of this article is to review literature on the use of VEs during labour and to synthesise information from the available literature on how to provide an effective VE. The studies considered were retrieved from three databases (the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature [CINAHL], SCOPUS and MEDLINE using the following search terms: “VEs in labour”, “midwives and use of VEs” and “women experiences of VEs in labour”. The literature reviewed suggests that midwives are not careful about VEs. Therefore, a concerted effort is needed to pay attention to the frequency of VEs, the management ofpain and distress, information-giving and the preferences of the patient, so that the patient can feel in control during a VE.

  13. Complex Heat Exchangers for Improved Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bran, Gabriela Alejandra

    propagates along the channel. However, the sinusoidal behavior on one of the fluids does not fully translate to the other gets damped by the wall and the heat transfer coefficients that can be barely seen on the other flow. A scaling analysis and a parametric study were performed to determine the influence the different parameters on the system have on the time a heat exchanger takes to reach steady state. The results show the dependency of tst* (time a system takes to reach steady state) on the dimensionless parameters M, C, NTUh, NTUc, and Cw. t st* depends linearly on C and Cw, and it is a power function of M. It was also shown that tst* has a logarithmic dependency on NTUh and NTUc. A correlation was generated to approximate the time a system takes to reach steady state for systems where C w heat exchanger with the specific application of solar energy storage was also investigated. This application involves a counter-flow heat exchanger with a reacting flow in one of the channels, and it includes varying properties, heat generation, varying heat transfer coefficient, and axial conduction. The application for this reactor heat exchanger is on solar energy storage, and the goals is to heat up steam to 650 °C by using the ammonia synthesis heat of reaction. One of the concerns for this system is the start-up time and also how disturbances in reacting flow can affect the steam outlet temperature. The transient behavior during the system start-up was presented. In order to achieve the desired outlet steam temperature at a reasonable time, the system must operate at high gas mass flow rates. If the inlet temperature of the gas suffers a step change, it affects the reaction rate as well as the outlet steam temperature. A small perturbation on the gas mass flow rate has an effect on the profile shape. However, the maximum temperature reached by the gas due to reaction is not affected, and consequently, it has little effect on the steam temperature. Axial conduction in the

  14. Performance Improvement Quarterly. Volume 15, Number 1, 2002

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ) is a peer-reviewed journal whose goal is to stimulate professional discussion in the field and to advance the discipline of performance technology through the publication of scholarly works...

  15. Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    1995-01-01

    Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the Industrial Strategy Project. Couverture du livre Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa. Author(s):. Avril Joffe, David Kaplan, Raphael Kaplinsky et David Lewis. Publisher(s):. UCT Press, CRDI. January 1, 1995. ISBN: Épuisé. 264 pages.

  16. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casuso, Rafael A; Melskens, Lars; Bruhn, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise.......It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise....

  17. Improvement of Wind Farm Performance by Means of Spinner Anemometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis Pedersen, Troels; Demurtas, Giorgio; Gottschall, Julia

    This report is a project report on the EUDP research project SpinnerFarm. The objectives of the project were to improve software and hardware on the spinner anemometer concept and to demonstrate improvement of wind farm performance by opitmized yaw control. The hardware was improved by a more...

  18. Experience of safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gyoon Chang, Sang; Hee Lee, Dae

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to provide experience of safety and performance improvement of fuel handling equipment for nuclear power plants in Korea. The fuel handling equipment, which is used as an important part of critical processes during the refueling outage, has been improved to enhance safety and to optimize fuel handling procedures. Results of data measured during the fuel reloading are incorporated into design changes. The safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment could be achieved by simply modifying the components and improving the interlock system. The experience provided in this study can be useful lessons for further improvement of the fuel handling equipment. (authors)

  19. Improve strategic supplier performance using DMAIC to develop a Quality Improvement Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardim, Kevin P.

    Supplier performance that meets the requirements of the customer has long plagued quality professionals. Despite the vast efforts by organizations to improve supplier performance, little has been done to standardize the plan to improve performance. This project presents a guideline and problem-solving strategy using a Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) structured tool that will assist in the management and improvement of supplier performance. An analysis of benchmarked Quality Improvement Plans indicated that this topic needs more focus on how to accomplish improved supplier performance. This project is part of a growing body of supplier continuous improvement efforts. With the input of Zodiac Aerospace quality professionals this project's results provide a solution to Quality Improvement Plans and show objective evidence of its benefits. This project contributes to the future research on similar topics.

  20. Training Attentional Control Improves Cognitive and Motor Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-10-01

    Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.

  1. Impeller inlet geometry effect on performance improvement for centrifugal pumps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo, Xianwu; Zhang, Yao; Peng, Junqi; Xu, Hongyuan; Yu, Weiping

    2008-01-01

    This research treats the effect of impeller inlet geometry on performance improvement for a boiler feed pump, who is a centrifugal pump having specific speed of 183 m.m 3 min -1 .min -1 and close type impeller with exit diameter of 450 mm. The hydraulic performance and cavitation performance of the pump have been tested experimentally. In order to improve the pump, five impellers have been considered by extending the blade leading edge or applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet compared with the original impeller. The 3-D turbulent flow inside those pumps has been analyzed basing on RNG k-ε turbulence model and VOF cavitation model. It is noted that the numerical results are fairly good compared with the experiments. Based on the experimental test and numerical simulation, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Impeller inlet geometry has important influence on performance improvement in the case of centrifugal pump. Favorite effects on performance improvement have been achieved by both extending the blade leading edge and applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet: (2) It is suspected that the extended leading edge have favorite effect for improving hydraulic performance, and the much larger blade angle at impeller inlet have favorite effect for improving cavitation performance for the test pump: (3) Uniform flow upstream of impeller inlet is helpful for improving cavitation performance of the pump

  2. Impeller inlet geometry effect on performance improvement for centrifugal pumps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Xianwu; Zhang, Yao; Peng, Junqi; Xu, Hongyuan [Tsinghua University, Beijing (China); Yu, Weiping [Zhejiang Pump Works, Zhejiang (China)

    2008-10-15

    This research treats the effect of impeller inlet geometry on performance improvement for a boiler feed pump, who is a centrifugal pump having specific speed of 183 m.m{sup 3}min{sup -1}.min{sup -1} and close type impeller with exit diameter of 450 mm. The hydraulic performance and cavitation performance of the pump have been tested experimentally. In order to improve the pump, five impellers have been considered by extending the blade leading edge or applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet compared with the original impeller. The 3-D turbulent flow inside those pumps has been analyzed basing on RNG k-{epsilon} turbulence model and VOF cavitation model. It is noted that the numerical results are fairly good compared with the experiments. Based on the experimental test and numerical simulation, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Impeller inlet geometry has important influence on performance improvement in the case of centrifugal pump. Favorite effects on performance improvement have been achieved by both extending the blade leading edge and applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet: (2) It is suspected that the extended leading edge have favorite effect for improving hydraulic performance, and the much larger blade angle at impeller inlet have favorite effect for improving cavitation performance for the test pump: (3) Uniform flow upstream of impeller inlet is helpful for improving cavitation performance of the pump

  3. Benchmarking and performance improvement at Rocky Flats Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elliott, C.; Doyle, G.; Featherman, W.L.

    1997-03-01

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes

  4. Indonesian Private University Lecturer Performance Improvement Model to Improve a Sustainable Organization Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryaman

    2018-01-01

    Lecturer performance will affect the quality and carrying capacity of the sustainability of an organization, in this case the university. There are many models developed to measure the performance of teachers, but not much to discuss the influence of faculty performance itself towards sustainability of an organization. This study was conducted in…

  5. Parametric Study for MOV Performance Improvement Using PPM Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Seungho; Seon, Juhyoung; Han, Bongsub [SOOSAN INDUSTRIES, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    Nuclear power plants mainly use Air Operated Valve(hereinafter referred to as AOV) and Motor Operator Valve(hereinafter referred to as MOV) for protecting system, blocking and controlling flow. Field test(static, dynamic test) results and performance prediction program are used to evaluate if MOV currently installed on nuclear power plants has the operational performance. The improvement of operating performance for Flexible Gate valve was confirmed on changing input variables of performance program(PPM). here are several methods through reviewing design basis, changes operating procedures and maintenance work of stem(or packing, etc.) to improve operating performance of MOV generally installed in the nuclear power plants. This study verified the changes of the MOV operating performance through the improvement of stem and hydraulic parts(seat, guide etc.). Especially, MOV operating performance was much greater improved when the Disk Seat Angle was decreasing. Generally, improvement work to minimize friction of seat, disk and guide is limited and dynamic diagnostic testing has to be performed with change in valve factor for improvement of hydraulic parts.

  6. Improving the environmental performance of biofuels with industrial symbiosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Michael; Eklund, Mats

    2011-01-01

    In the production of biofuels for transport many critics have argued about the poor energy efficiency and environmental performance of the production industries. Optimism is thus set on the production of second generation biofuels, while first generation biofuels continue to dominate worldwide. Therefore it is interesting to consider how the environmental performance of first generation biofuel industries can be improved. The field of industrial symbiosis offers many possibilities for potential improvements in the biofuel industry and theories from this research field are used in this paper to highlight how environmental performance improvements can be accomplished. This comes in the form of by-product synergies and utility synergies which can improve material and energy handling. Furthermore, the processes and products can gain increased environmental performance improvements by the adaption of a renewable energy system which will act as a utility provider for many industries in a symbiotic network. By-products may thereafter be upcycled through biogas production processes to generate both energy and a bio-fertilizer. A case study of an actual biofuel industrial symbiosis is also reviewed to provide support for these theories. -- Highlights: → By-product and utility synergies may improve the production processes of biofuel industries for reduced energy consumption and improved environmental performance. → Upcycling tenants can make use of wastes to upgrade waste to a valuable product and/or energy source. → Energy systems for biofuel production have a large influence on the performance of biofuel industries.

  7. Improving Performances in the Public Sector: The Scientific ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improving Performances in the Public Sector: The Scientific Management Theory ... adopts the principles for enhanced productivity, efficiency and the attainment of ... of the public sector, as observed and reported by several scholars over time.

  8. Information Distribution in Complex Systems to Improve Team Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sperling, Brian K; Pritchett, Amy; Estrada, Arthur; Adam, Gina E

    2006-01-01

    .... Specifically, this study hypothesizes that providing task specific information to individual team members will improve coordination and decision-making, and therefore team performance, at time-critical tasks...

  9. Alternative Frameworks for Improving Government Organizational Performance: A Comparative Analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simon, Cary

    1997-01-01

    .... Six major frameworks emerging in the U.S. since 1980, applicable to the public sector, and designed to enhance organizational change toward improved performance are reviewed and analyzed: Total Quality; 'Excellence...

  10. Maintenance of hyperglycaemia does not improve performance in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    a glucose clamp, improves 100 km cycling time-trial (TT) performance. Design. .... each TT, subjects were permitted to ingest water ad libitum. statistical .... The effects of normal and glucose syrup work diets on the ... Fructose and glucose ...

  11. Improving the performance parameters of metal cylindrical grid shell ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improving the performance parameters of metal cylindrical grid shell structures. ... Finite element models are designed taking into account minimization of production and ... The force factors and deformation parameters of the basic circuits of a ...

  12. Improved Laser performance through Planar Waveguide Technology Development

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a laser technology development to improve efficiency and performance for a variety of science applications including: Lunar Ice, 2-Step Laser Tandem Mass...

  13. Improving Fan System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-04-01

    This is one of a series of sourcebooks on motor-driven equipment produced by the Industrial Technologies Program. It provides a reference for industrial fan systems users, outlining opportunities to improve fan system performance.

  14. Using international experience to improve performance of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calori, F.; Csik, B.J.; Strickert, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    Information on performance achievements will assist nuclear power plant operating organizations to develop initiatives for improved or continued high performance of their plants. The paper describes the activities of the IAEA in reviewing and analysing the reasons for good performance by contacting operating organizations identified by its Power Reactor Information System as showing continued good performance. Discussions with operations personnel of utilities have indicated practices which have a major positive impact on good performance and which are generally common to all well performing organizations contacted. The IAEA also promotes further activities directed primarily to the achievement of standards of excellence in nuclear power operation. These are briefly commented

  15. Performances and improvement of copper-hydrazine complexation deoxidising resin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Fenfen; Zhang Hao; Sun Haijun; Liu Xiaojie

    2012-01-01

    Copper-hydrazine complexation deoxidising resin is tested to examine its performances including effluent water quality and capacity of deoxidisation. By the means of changing the resin type and regeneration, the deoxidising capacity of the resin can be improved to 13 times more than before. At the same time, physical performances of the resin are also greatly improved while maintaining its velocity of deoxidisation and effluent quality. (authors)

  16. Improved operational performance through the use of business planning tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoelscher, H.L.

    1996-01-01

    Improved operational performance at Point Beach Nuclear Plant is based on a focused business plan. Quantitative goals that compare past performance with the performance of potential competitors are the basis of the business plan. This establishes goals for the nuclear power business unit which support corporate goals. Strategies and objectives are then developed to meet the established goals. To continue support for these strategies and objectives, individual performance plans are developed for all management personnel. These performance management plans identify individual contributor actions to support the goals, and also provide periodic feedback for changes to better prioritize individual actions. Performance criteria are also established to measure progress toward achieving the goals. The author also has a program to provide incentives for improved performance based upon success of the organization in achieving established goals

  17. Biochar Improves Performance of Plants for Mine Soil Revegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar (the solid by-product of pyrolysis of biomass), has the potential to improve plant performance for revegetation of mine soils by improving soil chemistry, fertility, moisture holding capacity and by binding heavy metals. We investigated the effect of gasified conifer sof...

  18. Performance improvement of silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon coating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhafarov T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper the method is shown to improve the photovoltaic parameters of screen-printed silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon film formation on the frontal surface of the cell using the electrochemical etching. The possible mechanisms responsible for observed improvement of silicon solar cell performance are discussed.

  19. Perceptual learning improves visual performance in juvenile amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Roger W; Young, Karen G; Hoenig, Pia; Levi, Dennis M

    2005-09-01

    To determine whether practicing a position-discrimination task improves visual performance in children with amblyopia and to determine the mechanism(s) of improvement. Five children (age range, 7-10 years) with amblyopia practiced a positional acuity task in which they had to judge which of three pairs of lines was misaligned. Positional noise was produced by distributing the individual patches of each line segment according to a Gaussian probability function. Observers were trained at three noise levels (including 0), with each observer performing between 3000 and 4000 responses in 7 to 10 sessions. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided. Four of the five observers showed significant improvement in positional acuity. In those four observers, on average, positional acuity with no noise improved by approximately 32% and with high noise by approximately 26%. A position-averaging model was used to parse the improvement into an increase in efficiency or a decrease in equivalent input noise. Two observers showed increased efficiency (51% and 117% improvements) with no significant change in equivalent input noise across sessions. The other two observers showed both a decrease in equivalent input noise (18% and 29%) and an increase in efficiency (17% and 71%). All five observers showed substantial improvement in Snellen acuity (approximately 26%) after practice. Perceptual learning can improve visual performance in amblyopic children. The improvement can be parsed into two important factors: decreased equivalent input noise and increased efficiency. Perceptual learning techniques may add an effective new method to the armamentarium of amblyopia treatments.

  20. Maintenance performance improvement with System Dynamics : A Corrective Maintenance showcase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deenen, R.E.M.; Van Daalen, C.E.; Koene, E.G.C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents a case study of an analysis of a Corrective Maintenance process to realize performance improvement. The Corrective Maintenance process is supported by SAP, which has indicated the performance realisation problem. System Dynamics is used in a Group Model Building process to

  1. Does Multiple Intelligence Improve Performance? Evidence from a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study reports the findings of a study that investigated the relationship between multiple intelligence (MI) and academic performance in higher education. It addresses one question: does MI improve academic performance? Taking the case of the finalist cohort of the university's Faculty of Education of the academic year ...

  2. Linear Motion Systems. A Modular Approach for Improved Straightness Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with straight motion systems. A modular approach has been applied in order to find ways to improve the performance. The main performance parameters that are considered are position accuracy, repeatability and, to a lesser extent, cost. Because of the increasing requirements to

  3. Improving Employee Satisfaction Priority through Performance Control Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun-Hsing Chen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The study addresses Performance Control Matrix (PCM to determine service quality items of priority for improvement. Most businesses focus on customer satisfaction when undertaking surveys of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, while generally neglecting employee satisfaction. Therefore, this study develops an integrated model to improve service quality in Taiwanese finance industry employees. A questionnaire is designed to determine the priority of improvement objectives derived from certain questionnaire items that fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. Ten items are found to fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. The present results show that the finance industry employees surveyed in Taiwan were dissatisfied with their job security, salaries, annual bonus, and fair distribution of operational profits. The ten improvement items mostly belong to two dimensions - ‘Pay and Benefits’ and ‘Motivation’. The managers of the financial institutions should seek to improve these quality attributes by devoting more resources to these items, thus promoting employee satisfaction.

  4. Physician Perceptions of Performance Feedback in a Quality Improvement Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eden, Aimee R; Hansen, Elizabeth; Hagen, Michael D; Peterson, Lars E

    2017-10-01

    Physician performance and peer comparison feedback can affect physician care quality and patient outcomes. This study aimed to understand family physician perspectives of the value of performance feedback in quality improvement (QI) activities. This study analyzed American Board of Family Medicine open-ended survey data collected between 2004 and 2014 from physicians who completed a QI module that provided pre- and post-QI project individual performance data and peer comparisons. Physicians made 3480 comments in response to a question about this performance feedback, which were generally positive in nature (86%). Main themes that emerged were importance of accurate feedback data, enhanced detail in the content of feedback, and ability to customize peer comparison groups to compare performance to peers with similar patient populations or practice characteristics. Meaningful and tailored performance feedback may be an important tool for physicians to improve their care quality and should be considered an integral part of QI project design.

  5. (Too) optimistic about optimism: the belief that optimism improves performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenney, Elizabeth R; Logg, Jennifer M; Moore, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A series of experiments investigated why people value optimism and whether they are right to do so. In Experiments 1A and 1B, participants prescribed more optimism for someone implementing decisions than for someone deliberating, indicating that people prescribe optimism selectively, when it can affect performance. Furthermore, participants believed optimism improved outcomes when a person's actions had considerable, rather than little, influence over the outcome (Experiment 2). Experiments 3 and 4 tested the accuracy of this belief; optimism improved persistence, but it did not improve performance as much as participants expected. Experiments 5A and 5B found that participants overestimated the relationship between optimism and performance even when their focus was not on optimism exclusively. In summary, people prescribe optimism when they believe it has the opportunity to improve the chance of success-unfortunately, people may be overly optimistic about just how much optimism can do. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  6. Healthcare Analytics: Creating a Prioritized Improvement System with Performance Benchmarking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolker, Eugene; Kolker, Evelyne

    2014-03-01

    The importance of healthcare improvement is difficult to overstate. This article describes our collaborative work with experts at Seattle Children's to create a prioritized improvement system using performance benchmarking. We applied analytics and modeling approaches to compare and assess performance metrics derived from U.S. News and World Report benchmarking data. We then compared a wide range of departmental performance metrics, including patient outcomes, structural and process metrics, survival rates, clinical practices, and subspecialist quality. By applying empirically simulated transformations and imputation methods, we built a predictive model that achieves departments' average rank correlation of 0.98 and average score correlation of 0.99. The results are then translated into prioritized departmental and enterprise-wide improvements, following a data to knowledge to outcomes paradigm. These approaches, which translate data into sustainable outcomes, are essential to solving a wide array of healthcare issues, improving patient care, and reducing costs.

  7. Implementing a Nurse Manager Profile to Improve Unit Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krugman, Mary E; Sanders, Carolyn L

    2016-06-01

    Nurse managers face significant pressures in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Staying current with multiple sources of data, including reports that detail institutional and unit performance outcomes, is particularly challenging. A Nurse Manager Customized Profile was developed at a western academic hospital to provide a 1-page visual of pertinent data to help managers and director supervisors focus coaching to improve unit performance. Use of the Decisional Involvement Scale provided new insights into measuring manager performance.

  8. New software for improving performance in wind farm operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Mark [Ekho for Wind (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    The performance of wind farms depends on multiple field and business systems. This makes operational planning difficult because of so many data being in separate systems, duplication of data and the impossibility of gathering all relevant data together in one place. The aim of this paper is to present a new software, Ekho for Wind, which helps improve performance in wind farm operations by providing features such as high level views, performance analysis, downtime tracking, quality data management and forecast generation. This new software provides operational intelligence which offers incentives for continuous improvement. Ekho for Wind can bring such benefits as maximization of generation, increased lifetime of assets, minimization of costs and increased profitability. This presentation introduced a new software for improving the performance of wind farms and the lifetime of assets, resulting in significant payback.

  9. Benchmarking and Performance Improvement at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, C. [Kaiser-Hill Co., LLC, Golden, CO (United States)], Doyle, D. [USDOE Rocky Flats Office, Golden, CO (United States)], Featherman, W.D. [Project Performance Corp., Sterline, VA (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes.

  10. Five training sessions improves 3000 meter running performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riiser, A; Ripe, S; Aadland, E

    2015-12-01

    The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of two weeks of endurance training on 3000-meter running performance. Secondary we wanted to assess the relationship between baseline running performance and change in running performance over the intervention period. We assigned 36 military recruits to a training group (N.=28) and a control group. The training group was randomly allocated to one of three sub-groups: 1) a 3000 meter group (test race); 2) a 4x4-minutes high-intensity interval group; 3) a continuous training group. The training group exercised five times over a two-week period. The training group improved its 3000 meter running performance with 50 seconds (6%) compared to the control group (P=0.003). Moreover, all sub-groups improved their performance by 37 to 73 seconds (4-8%) compared to the control group (Ptraining group. We conclude that five endurance training sessions improved 3000 meter running performance and the slowest runners achieved the greatest improvement in running performance.

  11. Do clinical safety charts improve paramedic key performance indicator results? (A clinical improvement programme evaluation).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebbs, Phillip; Middleton, Paul M; Bonner, Ann; Loudfoot, Allan; Elliott, Peter

    2012-07-01

    Is the Clinical Safety Chart clinical improvement programme (CIP) effective at improving paramedic key performance indicator (KPI) results within the Ambulance Service of New South Wales? The CIP intervention area was compared with the non-intervention area in order to determine whether there was a statistically significant improvement in KPI results. The CIP was associated with a statistically significant improvement in paramedic KPI results within the intervention area. The strategies used within this CIP are recommended for further consideration.

  12. Performance Improvement of a Centrifugal Compressor by Passive Means

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Sitaram

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The present experimental investigation deals with performance improvement of a low-speed centrifugal compressor by inexpensive passive means such as turbulence generator placed at different positions and partial shroud near the rotor blade tip. The experiments are carried out at three values of tip clearance, namely 2.2%, 5.1%, and 7.9% of rotor blade height at the exit. Performance tests are carried out for a total of 13 configurations. From these measurements, partial shroud is found to give the best performance. The improvement in the compressor performance may be due to the reduction of tip leakage flows by the small extension of partial shroud (2 mm on the pressure surface side. Although there is nominal change in performance due to turbulence generator (TG, TG has beneficial effect of increased operating range.

  13. Framework for continuous performance improvement in small drinking water systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bereskie, Ty; Haider, Husnain; Rodriguez, Manuel J; Sadiq, Rehan

    2017-01-01

    Continuous performance improvement (CPI) can be a useful approach to overcome water quality problems impacting small communities. Small drinking water systems (SDWSs) struggle to meet regulatory requirements and often lack the economic and human resource flexibility for immediate improvement. A CPI framework is developed to provide SDWS managers and operators an approach to gauge their current performance against similar systems and to track performance improvement from the implementation of the new technologies or innovations into the future. The proposed CPI framework incorporates the use of a water quality index (WQI) and functional performance benchmarking to evaluate and compare drinking water quality performance of an individual water utility against that of a representative benchmark. The results are then used to identify and prioritize the most vulnerable water quality indicators and subsequently identify and prioritize performance improvement strategies. The proposed CPI framework has been demonstrated using data collected from SDWSs in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada and using the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) WQI. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The Genesis of a Trauma Performance Improvement Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidgeon, Kristopher

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to assist the trauma medical and program director with developing a performance improvement and patients safety plan (PIPS), which is a required component of a successful trauma verification process by the American College of Surgeons. This article will review trauma quality standards and will describe in detail the required elements of a successful trauma center's performance improvement plan including a written comprehensive plan that outlines the mission and vision of the PIPS Program, authority of the PIPS Program, PIPS Program Committee reporting structure to the other hospital committees, list of required PIPS multidisciplinary team members, the operational components of the utilized data management system (trauma registry), list of indicators/audit filters, levels of review, peer determinations, corrective action plan with implementation, event resolution, and reevaluation. Strategies to develop a successful trauma performance improvement plan are presented.

  15. Performance analysis and improvement of WPAN MAC for home networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Saurabh; Kwak, Kyung Sup

    2010-01-01

    The wireless personal area network (WPAN) is an emerging wireless technology for future short range indoor and outdoor communication applications. The IEEE 802.15.3 medium access control (MAC) is proposed to coordinate the access to the wireless medium among the competing devices, especially for short range and high data rate applications in home networks. In this paper we use analytical modeling to study the performance analysis of WPAN (IEEE 802.15.3) MAC in terms of throughput, efficient bandwidth utilization, and delay with various ACK policies under error channel condition. This allows us to introduce a K-Dly-ACK-AGG policy, payload size adjustment mechanism, and Improved Backoff algorithm to improve the performance of the WPAN MAC. Performance evaluation results demonstrate the impact of our improvements on network capacity. Moreover, these results can be very useful to WPAN application designers and protocol architects to easily and correctly implement WPAN for home networking.

  16. Performance Analysis and Improvement of WPAN MAC for Home Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Mehta

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The wireless personal area network (WPAN is an emerging wireless technology for future short range indoor and outdoor communication applications. The IEEE 802.15.3 medium access control (MAC is proposed to coordinate the access to the wireless medium among the competing devices, especially for short range and high data rate applications in home networks. In this paper we use analytical modeling to study the performance analysis of WPAN (IEEE 802.15.3 MAC in terms of throughput, efficient bandwidth utilization, and delay with various ACK policies under error channel condition. This allows us to introduce a K-Dly-ACK-AGG policy, payload size adjustment mechanism, and Improved Backoff algorithm to improve the performance of the WPAN MAC. Performance evaluation results demonstrate the impact of our improvements on network capacity. Moreover, these results can be very useful to WPAN application designers and protocol architects to easily and correctly implement WPAN for home networking.

  17. Carbohydrate mouth rinse: does it improve endurance exercise performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Painelli Vitor

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract It is well known that carbohydrate (CHO supplementation can improve performance in endurance exercises through several mechanisms such as maintenance of glycemia and sparing endogenous glycogen as well as the possibility of a central nervous-system action. Some studies have emerged in recent years in order to test the hypothesis of ergogenic action via central nervous system. Recent studies have demonstrated that CHO mouth rinse can lead to improved performance of cyclists, and this may be associated with the activation of brain areas linked to motivation and reward. These findings have already been replicated in other endurance modalities, such as running. This alternative seems to be an attractive nutritional tool to improve endurance exercise performance.

  18. The impact of multi-criteria performance measurement on business performance improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Kasie, Fentahun Moges; Belay, Alemu Moges

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between multi-criteria performance measurement (MCPM) practice and business performance improvement using the raw data collected from 33 selected manufacturing companies. In addition, it proposes modified MCPM model as an effective approach to improve business performance of manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach:Research paper. Primary and secondary data were collected using questionnaire survey, interview an...

  19. Improving Building Performance through Integrating Constructability in the Design Process

    OpenAIRE

    Ezzat Othman, Ayman Ahmed

    2011-01-01

    The traditional procurment approaches commonly adopted in construction projects and the involvement of multitude of various project participants with diverse objectives, skills and interests tended to separate design from construction.This separation obstructs contractors from providing designers with construction feedback and suggestions for design improvement, which ultimately hampers the improvement of building performance. Because of the importance of the design phase and the vit...

  20. LP turbine retrofit modernization: Improvements in performance and operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Groenedaal, J.C.; Fowls, L.G.; Subbiah, R.; Maxwell, B.P.; Persson, B.

    1996-01-01

    Westinghouse Electric Corporation retrofitted six low pressure (LP) nuclear turbine rotors and associated blade path components at Ringhals 1, a 1960's vintage English Electric (GEC) unit located near Varobacka, Sweden, and operated by Vattenfall AB. This achieved significant performance improvements and provided improved mechanical features over the original equipment. This paper, discusses design, manufacture, installation, operation and project coordination. The retrofit processes employed for these units can be applied to any potential customers units

  1. Bacillus subtilis strain specificity affects performance improvement in broilers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhayat, L; Jacquier, V; Brinch, K S; Nielsen, P; Nelson, A; Geraert, P-A; Devillard, E

    2017-07-01

    The study reports the effects on broiler performance of a newly isolated Bacillus subtilis strain, which is phylogenetically not closely related to already well-described strains of B. subtilis. In the first experiment, birds were reared in battery cages and exposed to C. perfringens. An increase in growth performance was observed with the strain when compared to the challenged animals. Three additional growth trials were conducted to 35 d of age, in different rearing conditions (genetic breeds, corn-soybean meal-based diet with or without animal proteins, in presence or absence of phytase, on fresh or used litter) to investigate the efficacy and the specificity of this new B. subtilis strain on the improvement of BWG and FCR of broilers in comparison with a B. subtilis-based DFM already used in the field. Whatever the rearing conditions tested, the new B. subtilis strain led to an average 3.2% improvement in feed conversion ratio or bodyweight. Comparatively, the commercial Bacillus strain significantly improved broiler performance in only one trial out of 3 with an average improvement reaching 2%. All these results indicate that this new B. subtilis strain consistently improves broiler performances. © 2017 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  2. Outage preparation milestones - A tool to improve planned outage performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laplatney, Jere; Hwang, Euiyoub

    2006-01-01

    Sustainable development of Nuclear Energy depends heavily on excellent performance of the existing fleet which in turn depend heavily on the performance of planned outages. Nuclear Power Plants who have successfully undertaken outage optimization projects have demonstrated than an effective Outage Preparation Milestone program is a key component of their improvement programs. This paper will provide background into the field of 'Outage Optimization' including the philosophy, general approach, and results obtained in the U. S. industry. The significant safety improvements afforded by properly implementing outage improvement programs will be explained. Some specific examples of outage improvements will be given including the adoption of a strong Outage Preparation Milestone Program. The paper will then describe the attributes of an effective Outage Preparation Milestone Program and list a set of specific key milestones. The key milestones are defined and the reasons for each are explained. Suggested due dates for each key milestone relative to the outage start date are provided. Successful implementation of an Outage Preparation Milestone program depends heavily upon the management tools and methods used to assure that the organization meets the milestones on time and in a quality fashion. These include methods to handle cases where milestones are not met - either partially or fully. KHNP is investigating implementing an improved Outage Preparation Milestone program for its fleet of reactors as part of its overall program to improve its performance of planned outages

  3. Lightning Performance on Overhead Distribution Lines : After Improvement Field Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynaldo Zoro

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Two feeders of 20 kV overhead distribution lines which are located in a high lightning density area are chosen to be observed as a field study due to their good lightning performance after improvement of lightning protection system. These two feeders used the new overhead ground wire and new line arrester equipped with lightning counter on the main lines. The significant reduced of lines outages are reported. Study was carried out to observe these improvements by comparing to the other two feeders line which are not improved and not equipped yet with the ground wire and line arrester. These two feeders located in the nearby area. Two cameras were installed to record the trajectory of the lightning strikes on the improved lines. Lightning peak currents are measured using magnetic tape measurement system installed on the grounding lead of lightning arrester. Lightning overvoltage calculations are carried out by using several scenarios based on observation results and historical lightning data derived from lightning detection network. Lightning overvoltages caused by indirect or direct strikes are analyzed to get the lightning performance of the lines. The best scenario was chosen and performance of the lines were improved significantly by installing overhead ground wire and improvement of lightning arrester installation.

  4. Prioritising indicators in improving supply chain performance using fuzzy AHP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Govindan, Kannan; Mangla, Sachin Kumar; Luthra, Sunil

    2017-01-01

    In this contribution, we aim to prioritise the indicators to enhance the organisational supply chain’s (SC) effectiveness from an industrial perspective. It will help industries to develop strategies for managing the SC effectively and ensuring improvement in performance continuously. To achieve...... this, this work proposes to use a two-phase research methodology. First, 36 SC performance improvement indicators are recognised from a literature survey and from field and industrial expert’s inputs. Secondly, a structural model is proposed using the fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (AHP...

  5. Network Performance Improvement under Epidemic Failures in Optical Transport Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fagertun, Anna Manolova; Ruepp, Sarah Renée

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate epidemic failure spreading in large- scale GMPLS-controlled transport networks. By evaluating the effect of the epidemic failure spreading on the network, we design several strategies for cost-effective network performance improvement via differentiated repair times....... First we identify the most vulnerable and the most strategic nodes in the network. Then, via extensive simulations we show that strategic placement of resources for improved failure recovery has better performance than randomly assigning lower repair times among the network nodes. Our OPNET simulation...... model can be used during the network planning process for facilitating cost- effective network survivability design....

  6. Improvements in operational safety performance of the Magnox power stations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchese, C.J. [BNFL Magnox Generation, Berkeley (United Kingdom)

    2000-10-01

    In the 43 years since commencement of operation of Calder Hall, the first Magnox power station, there remain eight Magnox stations and 20 reactors still in operation, owned by BNFL Magnox Generation. This paper describes how the operational safety performance of these stations has significantly improved over the last ten years. This has been achieved against a background of commercial competition introduced by privatization and despite the fact that the Magnox base design belongs to the past. Finally, the company's future plans for continued improvements in operational safety performance are discussed. (author)

  7. Improve data integration performance by employing metadata management utility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei, M.; Sung, A.H. [New Mexico Petroleum Recovery Research Center, Socorro, NM (United States)

    2005-07-01

    This conference paper explored ways of integrating petroleum and exploration data obtained from different sources in order to provide more comprehensive data for various analysis purposes and to improve the integrity and consistency of integrated data. This paper proposes a methodology to enhance oil and gas industry data integration performance by cooperating data management utilities in Microsoft SQL Server database management system (DBMS) for small scale data integration without support of commercial software. By semi-automatically capturing metadata, data sources are investigated in detail, data quality problems are partially cleansed, and the performance of data integration is improved. 20 refs., 7 tabs., 1 fig.

  8. Good practices for improved nuclear power plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-04-01

    This report provides an overview of operational principles, practice and improvements which have contributed to good performance of eight selected world nuclear power stations. The IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) was used to identify a population of good performers. It is recognized that there are many other good performing nuclear power stations not included in this report. Specific criteria described in the introduction were used in selecting these eight stations. The information contained in this report was obtained by the staff from IAEA, Division of Nuclear Power. This was accomplished by visits to the stations and visits to a number of utility support groups and three independent organizations which provide support to more than one utility. The information in this report is intended as an aid for operating organizations to identify possible improvement initiatives to enhance plant performance. Figs and tabs

  9. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozas, W. J

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research. It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytechnic School “Horacio Cobiellas Domínguez” resulting in teachers’ academic and scientific development and a significant growth of the staff scientific potentials manifested in scientific forum enrolment. The resulting impact should lead to a general use of the proposed strategy in the Polytechnic school web. Key words: professional performance, pedagogic professional performance, didactic professional performance, teachers’ developmental strategy

  10. Managing Human Performance to Improve Nuclear Facility Operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-01-01

    One of the IAEA's statutory objectives is to 'seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.' One way this objective is achieved is through the publication of a range of technical series. Two of these are the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series and the IAEA Safety Standards Series. According to Article III.A.6 of the IAEA Statute, the safety standards establish 'standards of safety for protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property'. The safety standards include the Safety Fundamentals, Safety Requirements and Safety Guides. These standards are written primarily in a regulatory style, and are binding on the IAEA for its own programmes. The principal users are the regulatory bodies in Member States and other national authorities. The IAEA Nuclear Energy Series comprises reports designed to encourage and assist R and D on, and application of, nuclear energy for peaceful uses. This includes practical examples to be used by owners and operators of utilities in Member States, implementing organizations, academia, and government officials, among others. This information is presented in guides, reports on technology status and advances, and best practices for peaceful uses of nuclear energy based on inputs from international experts. The IAEA Nuclear Energy Series complements the IAEA Safety Standards Series. IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NG-G-2.1, Managing Human Resources in the Field of Nuclear Energy, was published in 2009. In that publication, four interrelated objectives of the management of human resources were identified and discussed: ensuring that nuclear industry personnel have the necessary competence for their jobs; effectively organizing work activities; anticipating human resource needs; and monitoring and continually improving performance. This publication addresses the fourth objective and, in particular, summarizes good practices in the area of managing human performance

  11. Thermal diagnostics in power plant to improve performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meister, H.

    1995-01-01

    The improvement of older power plants by changing poor performing components is a cost effective method to increase the capacity of the units. The necessary information for the detection of components that are to be replaced can be obtained from heat rate and component tests with accuracy instrumentation. The discussed methods and tools provided by ABB Were used with success in several power plants in Europe. These tools are in the process of permanent improvement and can be used in almost any type of power plant. Due to the reasons discussed above, there is a high potential for improvement of a lot of power plants in the next decade. (author)

  12. Access Agent Improving The Performance Of Access Control Lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thelis R. S.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The main focus of the proposed research is maintaining the security of a network. Extranet is a popular network among most of the organizations where network access is provided to a selected group of outliers. Limiting access to an extranet can be carried out using Access Control Lists ACLs method. However handling the workload of ACLs is an onerous task for the router. The purpose of the proposed research is to improve the performance and to solidify the security of the ACLs used in a small organization. Using a high performance computer as a dedicated device to share and handle the router workload is suggested in order to increase the performance of the router when handling ACLs. Methods of detecting and directing sensitive data is also discussed in this paper. A framework is provided to help increase the efficiency of the ACLs in an organization network using the above mentioned procedures thus helping the organizations ACLs performance to be improved to be more secure and the system to perform faster. Inbuilt methods of Windows platform or Software for open source platforms can be used to make a computer function as a router. Extended ACL features allow the determining of the type of packets flowing through the router. Combining these mechanisms allows the ACLs to be improved and perform in a more efficient manner.

  13. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2002-06-01

    The sourcebook is a reference for industrial steam system users, outlining opportunities to improve steam system performance. This Sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The Sourcebook is divided into the following three main sections: Section 1: Steam System Basics--For users unfamiliar with the basics of steam systems, or for users seeking a refresher, a brief discussion of the terms, relationships, and important system design considerations is provided. Users already familiar with industrial steam system operation may want to skip this section. This section describes steam systems using four basic parts: generation, distribution, end use, and recovery. Section 2: Performance Improvement Opportunities--This section discusses important factors that should be considered when industrial facilities seek to improve steam system performance and to lower operating costs. This section also provides an overview of the finance considerations related to steam system improvements. Additionally, this section discusses several resources and tools developed by the U. S. Department of Energy's (DOE) BestPractices Steam Program to identify and assess steam system improvement opportunities. Section 3: Programs, Contacts, and Resources--This section provides a directory of associations and other organizations involved in the steam system marketplace. This section also provides a description of the BestPractices Steam Program, a directory of contacts, and a listing of available resources and tools, such as publications, software, training courses, and videos.

  14. Improvement programme of safety performance indicators (SPIs) in Korea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    2001-01-01

    KINS has developed and used Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs), which are count based and composed of 10 indicators in 8 areas, to monitor the trend of performance of NPPs in Korea since 1997. However, the limited usage of SPIs and the increasing worldwide interest on SPIs became the motivation of the SPI improvement programme in Korea. Korea is planning to establish plant performance evaluation programme through analysis of SPI and result of inspection. The SPI improvement programme is a part of the plant performance evaluation programme and includes study on performance evaluation areas, indicator categories, selection and development of indicators, redefinition of indicators and introduction of graphical display system. The selected performance evaluation areas are general performance, reactor safety and radiation safety. Each area will have categories as sub-areas and a total of six categories are selected. One or two indicators for each category are determined or will be developed to make a set of Safety Performance Indicators. Also, a graphic display system will be introduced to extend the usage of SPIs. (author)

  15. Runtime buffer management to improve the performance in irregular ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S¯adhan¯a Vol. 40, Part 4, June 2015, pp. 1117–1137. c Indian Academy of Sciences. Runtime buffer management to improve the performance in irregular Network-on-Chip architecture. UMAMAHESWARI S1,∗, MEGANATHAN D2 and. RAJA PAUL PERINBAM J3. 1Department of Information Technology, Anna University, ...

  16. Size-based scheduling to improve web performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harchol-Balter, M.; Schroeder, B.; Bansal, N.; Agrawal, M.

    2003-01-01

    Is it possible to reduce the expected response time of every request at a web server, simply by changing the order in which we schedule the requests? That is the question we ask in this paper.This paper proposes a method for improving the performance of web servers servicing static HTTP requests.

  17. Performance improvement CME for quality: challenges inherent to the process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakani, Farhan Saeed; O'Beirne, Ronan

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the perspective debates upon the real-time challenges for a three-staged Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education (PI-CME) model, an innovative and potential approach for future CME, to inform providers to think, prepare and to act proactively. In this discussion, the challenges associated for adopting the American Medical Association's three-staged PI-CME model are reported. Not many institutions in USA are using a three-staged performance improvement model and then customizing it to their own healthcare context for the specific targeted audience. They integrate traditional CME methods with performance and quality initiatives, and linking with CME credits. Overall the US health system is interested in a structured PI-CME model with the potential to improve physicians practicing behaviors. Knowing the dearth of evidence for applying this structured performance improvement methodology into the design of CME activities, and the lack of clarity on challenges inherent to the process that learners and providers encounter. This paper establishes all-important first step to render the set of challenges for a three-staged PI-CME model.

  18. Developing a system engineering program to improve performance and reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keuter, D.

    1985-01-01

    After several maintenance, operational, and equipment problems last year, Trojan set out on a mission to improve plant performance and reliability by strengthening its on-site engineering organization. This paper presents Trojan's plans in developing an on-site system engineering organization

  19. Coaching as a Performance Improvement Tool at School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirci, Ramazan; Karakose, Turgut; Kocabas, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the current literature and have an insight about coaching as a performance improvement tool at school. In today's world, schools have to survive and keep their organizational success in the highest level because of the high expectations from school stakeholders. Taking place in such a fierce competitive…

  20. Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brule, Rik; Bijlstra, Gijsbert; Dotsch, Ron; Haselager, Pim; Wigboldus, Daniel HJ

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  1. Improving health worker performance : in search of promising practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, M.A.; Harnmeijer, JW

    2006-01-01

    Qualified and motivated human resources (HR) are essential for adequate health service provision, but HR shortages have now reached critical levels in many resource-poor settings, especially in rural areas. Strategies improving performance are essential to address shortages of the existing

  2. Educational Technology Research Journals: Performance Improvement Quarterly, 2001-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Alisha Rasmussen; Francis, Jenifer; Harrison, J. Buckley; McPhillen, Ammon S.; West, Richard E.

    2012-01-01

    This article is an analysis of "Performance Improvement Quarterly" (PIQ) for the years 2001-2010. The intent was to examine the article types used, the authors who contributed the most to the journal, the topics the journal most commonly focused on, and the citation frequency of the journal's articles. The analysis revealed that…

  3. Undergraduate Medical Academic Performance is Improved by Scientific Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Chong; Liu, Zhongming; Cai, Yunfei; Cao, Xingguo; He, Yushan; Liu, Guoxiang; Miao, Hongming

    2017-01-01

    The effect of scientific training on course learning in undergraduates is still controversial. In this study, we investigated the academic performance of undergraduate students with and without scientific training. The results show that scientific training improves students' test scores in general medical courses, such as biochemistry and…

  4. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  5. Improving the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire using Rasch analysis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Buuren, S. van; Beek, A.J. van der; Vet, H.C.W. de

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) version 0.2 was developed using Rasch analysis. The goal of the current study was to improve targeting of the IWPQ scales by including additional items. The IWPQ 0.2 (original) and 0.3 (including additional items) were examined using

  6. Motivation to Avoid Loss Improves Implicit Skill Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chon, Danbee; Thompson, Kelsey R.; Reber, Paul J.

    2018-01-01

    Implicit learning reflects learning from experience that occurs without intention or awareness of the information acquired and is hypothesized to contribute to skill acquisition by improving performance with practice. The role of motivation has not been examined because this kind of memory is represented outside awareness. We manipulated…

  7. Improvement on the Performance of Canal Network and Method of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper presents the required improvement on the performance of canal network and method of on-farm water application systems at Tunga-Kawo irrigation scheme, Wushishi, Niger state. The problems of poor delivery of water to the farmland were identified to include erosion of canal embarkment, lack of water ...

  8. Can Near-Peer Teaching Improve Academic Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Brett; Fowler, James

    2014-01-01

    Near peer teaching is becoming increasingly popular within healthcare education. The experiences and effects of near-peer teaching upon the near-peer teachers' academic performance are poorly understood. In order to address this, the objective of this study was to examine whether a near-peer teaching program improved the overall clinical unit…

  9. Influence of age on reproductive performance of the Improved Boer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Influence of age on reproductive performance of the Improved Boer goat doe. JA Erasmus, AJ Fourie, JJ Venter. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for ...

  10. Performance in physiology evaluation: possible improvement by active learning strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H

    2016-12-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages interaction with their peers, and stimulates thinking about physiological mechanisms. This study examined the performance of medical students on physiology over four semesters with and without active engagement methodologies. Four activities were used: a puzzle, a board game, a debate, and a video. The results show that engaging in activities with active methodologies before a physiology cognitive monitoring test significantly improved student performance compared with not performing the activities. We integrate the use of these methodologies with classic lectures, and this integration appears to improve the teaching/learning process in the discipline of physiology and improves the integration of physiology with cardiology and neurology. In addition, students enjoy the activities and perform better on their evaluations when they use them. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.

  11. Active Learning Improves Student Performance in a Respiratory Physiology Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Alex M.; Liachovitzky, Carlos; Abdullahi, Abass S.

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of the introduction of active learning exercises into the anatomy and physiology curriculum in a community college setting. Specifically, the incorporation of a spirometry-based respiratory physiology lab resulted in improved student performance in two concepts (respiratory volumes and the hallmarks of…

  12. Improving Performance in a Second Year Chemistry Course: An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NJD

    Improving Performance in a Second Year Chemistry. Course: An Evaluation of a Tutorial Scheme on the. Learning of Chemistry. Bette Davidowitza* and Marissa Rollnickb**. aDepartment of Chemistry, University of Cape Town, South Africa. bSchool of Education, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Received 11 ...

  13. Introducing Model Predictive Control for Improving Power Plant Portfolio Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edlund, Kristian Skjoldborg; Bendtsen, Jan Dimon; Børresen, Simon

    2008-01-01

    This paper introduces a model predictive control (MPC) approach for construction of a controller for balancing the power generation against consumption in a power system. The objective of the controller is to coordinate a portfolio consisting of multiple power plant units in the effort to perform...... reference tracking and disturbance rejection in an economically optimal way. The performance function is chosen as a mixture of the `1-norm and a linear weighting to model the economics of the system. Simulations show a significant improvement of the performance of the MPC compared to the current...

  14. Improving the performance of a filling line based on simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek, M.; Bartkowiak, T.

    2016-08-01

    The paper describes the method of improving performance of a filling line based on simulation. This study concerns a production line that is located in a manufacturing centre of a FMCG company. A discrete event simulation model was built using data provided by maintenance data acquisition system. Two types of failures were identified in the system and were approximated using continuous statistical distributions. The model was validated taking into consideration line performance measures. A brief Pareto analysis of line failures was conducted to identify potential areas of improvement. Two improvements scenarios were proposed and tested via simulation. The outcome of the simulations were the bases of financial analysis. NPV and ROI values were calculated taking into account depreciation, profits, losses, current CIT rate and inflation. A validated simulation model can be a useful tool in maintenance decision-making process.

  15. Reducing the occurrence of plant events through improved human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, T.; Burkhart, A.D.

    1993-01-01

    During a routine control room surveillance, the reactor operator is distracted by an alarming secondary annunciator and a telephone call. When the reactor operator resumes the surveillance, he inadvertently performs the procedural steps out of order. This causes a reportable nuclear event. How can procedure-related human performance problems such as this be prevented? The question is vitally important for the nuclear industry. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data observed, open-quotes With the perceived reduction in the number of events caused by equipment failures, INPO and other industry groups and human performance experts agree that a key to continued improvement in plant performance and safety is improved human performance.close quotes In fact, open-quotes more than 50% of the reportable events occurring at nuclear power plants involve human error.close quotes Prevention (or correction) of a human performance problem is normally based on properly balancing the following three factors: (1) supervisory involvement; (2) personnel training; and (3) procedures. The nuclear industry is implementing a formula known as ACME, which better balances supervisory involvement, personnel training, and procedures. Webster's New World Dictionary defines acme as the highest point, the peak. ACME human performance is the goal: ACME Adherence to and use of procedures; Self-Checking; Management Involvement; and Event Investigations

  16. PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES USED BY MANAGERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raþiu Patricia

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: There are many situations in professional life when for various reasons we are employed in jobs that do not meet our emotional expectations our professional capabilities, our passions and therefore performance on that job will not be high. Analysis of the causes of under-utilization of human potential and adoption of appropriate strategies according to employee needs help reduce staff turnover costs. The main objective of the present paper consists in identifying managerial strategies which contribute to the improvement of the employees’ performances by stimulating their motivation, and the extent to which they are used in the managerial practice. Based on literature review we realized an integrated model and developed a classification, that present our own vision regarding performance improvement strategies. Our classification divides strategies for improving employees’ performances into four main groups: by employees’ development, by rewarding employees, by modifying the job description, by employee involvement in the organization. Starting from this model, through two types of questionnaires we have made an empirical research among managers as well as among office personnel, in order to capture both perspectives regarding the pursued objectives. For the present paper we will present only research results obtained for performance improvement strategies by employees’ development because support a higher degree of generality and do not depend on the organization characteristics. A quantitative data analize from the two samples show that there are differences between managers and employees perception when it comes to strategies used in their organizations and also manager did not know which determines employees to strive in order to improve their performance and obtain better results. The strategies to improve the employee’s performances, proposed within this article have the role to show the fact that managers cannot

  17. Public sector benchmarking and performance improvement : what is the link and can it be improved?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Benchmarking is often used in the public sector as a way of driving up performance. This article explains why benchmarking does not necessarily lead to better performance and why it can generate unwanted consequences. The article recommends ways of improving the link between benchmarking and

  18. Improving co-running program’s performance on CMP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tian Dawei

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Chip multi-processor (CMP has become the most common processor in the current cluster and desktop computer, and it is also the current development direction. On CMP, programs usually co-running with each other. However, programs commonly interfere with each other. Some time the interference takes big effect, which cause serious drop down of performance. In order to avoid the serious performance interference, programs should be scheduled reasonably to different socket to improve the program’s performance and system’s utilization. In this paper we propose a new scheduling method to realize a more reasonable scheduling. We do not only consider the LLC miss rate, but also consider the LLC reference of the programs. By the information of LLC reference and LLC miss rate, we schedule programs to different sockets, which realize a reasonable scheduling. The experiment result show that making use of the scheduling method proposed by our paper, program’s performance can improve 4%, because the performance improve is realized by on-chip resource, which is a big contribution.

  19. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidhi M Bhatnagar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Performance monitoring is an important tool which can be used for setting priorities for process improvement. At our centre, we have been monitoring every step in the processes, right from inventory of consumables (both critical and routine to number of donors reactive for TTI. We conducted a study to measure the impact of monitoring Performance Indicators and how it could be used as a tool for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI. Materials and Methods: The present study was a retrospective study where the performance indicator (PI data of blood bank was analyzed for over four years. For certain parameters, benchmarks or thresholds were set that represented warning limits or action limits. The yearly data were collated from monthly data. "Shifts" or "Trends", if any, were identified and Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA taken accordingly. At the end, outcomes of the analysis were charted. Results: After the yearly data evaluation, outcomes obtained were used to plan, correct and amend processes and systems in the blood center. It was observed that the workload of the center showed an upward trend. This helped us to plan for the purchase of consumables and management of manpower. The monitoring of usage and discard of blood helped in the efficient management of blood stocks. The need for any new equipment could also be judged by the trends in workload. Conclusion: Performance indicators are indispensible tools which various stakeholders in the Blood Transfusion centres should implement to improve on quality performance.

  20. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Nidhi M; Soni, Shital; Gajjar, Maitrey; Shah, Mamta; Shah, Sangita; Patel, Vaidehi

    2016-01-01

    Performance monitoring is an important tool which can be used for setting priorities for process improvement. At our centre, we have been monitoring every step in the processes, right from inventory of consumables (both critical and routine) to number of donors reactive for TTI. We conducted a study to measure the impact of monitoring Performance Indicators and how it could be used as a tool for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). The present study was a retrospective study where the performance indicator (PI) data of blood bank was analyzed for over four years. For certain parameters, benchmarks or thresholds were set that represented warning limits or action limits. The yearly data were collated from monthly data. Shifts or Trends, if any, were identified and Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) taken accordingly. At the end, outcomes of the analysis were charted. After the yearly data evaluation, outcomes obtained were used to plan, correct and amend processes and systems in the blood center. It was observed that the workload of the center showed an upward trend. This helped us to plan for the purchase of consumables and management of manpower. The monitoring of usage and discard of blood helped in the efficient management of blood stocks. The need for any new equipment could also be judged by the trends in workload. Performance indicators are indispensible tools which various stakeholders in the Blood Transfusion centres should implement to improve on quality performance.

  1. Improving Sustainability Performance for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyin Shen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Improving sustainability performance in developing infrastructure projects is an important strategy for pursuing the mission of sustainable development. In recent years, the business model of public-private-partnership (PPP is promoted as an effective approach in developing infrastructure projects. It is considered that the distribution of the contribution on project investment between private and public sectors is one of the key variables affecting sustainability performance of PPP-type projects. This paper examines the impacts of the contribution distribution between public and private sectors on project sustainability performance. A model named the sustainability performance-based evaluation model (SPbEM is developed for assisting the assessment of the level of sustainability performance of PPP projects. The study examines the possibility of achieving better sustainability through proper arrangement of the investment distribution between the two primary sectors in developing PPP-type infrastructure projects.

  2. A Mathematical Model to Improve the Performance of Logistics Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Izman Herdiansyah

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of logistics nowadays is expanding from just providing transportation and warehousing to offering total integrated logistics. To remain competitive in the global market environment, business enterprises need to improve their logistics operations performance. The improvement will be achieved when we can provide a comprehensive analysis and optimize its network performances. In this paper, a mixed integer linier model for optimizing logistics network performance is developed. It provides a single-product multi-period multi-facilities model, as well as the multi-product concept. The problem is modeled in form of a network flow problem with the main objective to minimize total logistics cost. The problem can be solved using commercial linear programming package like CPLEX or LINDO. Even in small case, the solver in Excel may also be used to solve such model.Keywords: logistics network, integrated model, mathematical programming, network optimization

  3. Improving the performance of IPMCs with a gradient in thickness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Yang; Xu, Bing; Zheng, Gaofeng; Zheng, Jianyi; Qiu, Xiaochun; Zhuang, Mingfeng; Sun, Daoheng

    2013-01-01

    An ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) is a kind of electro-active polymer. Due to the properties of low driving voltage, large deformation, flexibility and lightness, it is becoming one of the more popular from a diversity of smart materials. In this study, a novel structure of Nafion ® film is proposed to improve the performance of an IPMC. IPMC samples with a gradient structure in thickness are fabricated and their performance is investigated to confirm the validity of the gradient structure. The deformation displacement and the blocking force are compared under AC and DC voltage by experiments. The results indicate that the structure of gradient in thickness would improve the performance both in deformation displacement and blocking force. (paper)

  4. Diet-Induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance in Aged Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O.; Tsipis, Constantinos P.; Puchowicz, Michelle A.; LaManna, Joseph C.

    2010-01-01

    Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1α levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:20204773

  5. Performance improvements on passive activated charcoal 222Rn samplers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Suxia

    1996-01-01

    Improvements have been made on passive activated charcoal 222 Rn samplers with sintered metal filters. Based on the samplers of good adaptability to temperature and humidity developed before, better charcoal was selected to further improve their performance in radon absorption ability and moisture-resistance. And charcoal quantity in samplers was strictly controlled. The integration time constant of the improved samplers was about 4.3 days. As the sampler was combined with gamma spectrometer to measure radon concentration, the calibration factor was 0.518 min -1 ·Bq -1 ·m 3 for samplers of 7 days exposure time, and the minimum detectable concentration 0.28 Bq·m -3 if counting time for both background and sample is 1000 minutes. The improved samplers are suited to accurately determine the indoor and outdoor average radon concentration under conditions of great variation in temperature and humidity

  6. Effectively managing nuclear risk through human performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coe, R.P.

    2004-01-01

    Full text: The US commercial nuclear industry has just completed an outstanding decade of plant performance. Safety levels and electric production are at unprecedented high levels and continue to exceed even high industry goals. Nuclear energy continues to keep the highest priority on performance improvement programs and highly trained/qualified people that maintain its record setting safety and reliability of operations. While the industry has maintained a consistently high level of performance, the advent of deregulation and the consolidation of NPP ownership, as well as the current climate of concern about both rising energy costs and availability of power, has raised the standard for nuclear energy's level of competitiveness in today's market place. The resulting challenge is how to more effectively manage risk and improve performance even further in a generally high performing organization. Newer technology and more training by themselves are not the answer. Rather, the answer will lie in the human side of the organization and management's ability to tap into the unused potential of employee commitment and productivity. It is people who offer the greatest potential for organizational success. Given the fact that human performance has been demonstrated to yield higher rates of return than physical capital, it makes good business sense to determine how to encourage the behaviors in the workplace to manage the risk that will accompany efforts to boost the nuclear industry to new heights of excellence. This means effectively developing a performance improvement culture through identifying measurable performance indicators and determining how behaviors can best be influenced to improve those indicators. It also means seeing a culture of performance improvement and risk management as a strategic planning tool rather than a solution to a particular problem. One of the most effective ways to develop this culture of performance improvement and effectively managing risk

  7. Measuring performance improvement: total organizational commitment or clinical specialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caron, Aleece; Jones, Paul; Neuhauser, Duncan; Aron, David C

    2004-01-01

    Resources for hospitals are limited when they are faced with multiple publicly reported performance measures as tools to assess quality. The leadership in these organizations may choose to focus on 1 or 2 of these outcomes. An alternative approach is that the leadership may commit resources or create conditions that result in improved quality over a broad range of measures. We used aggregated data on mortality, length of stay, and obstetrical outcomes from Greater Cleveland Health Quality Choice data to test these theories. We used Pearson correlation analysis to determine of outcomes were correlated with one another. We used repeated-measures ANOVA to determine if an association existed between outcome and time and outcome and hospital. All of the outcomes across all hospitals demonstrate a trend of overall improvement. Both the Pearson and ANOVA result support the hypothesis for the organization-wide approach to quality improvement. Hospital that make improvements in one clinical area trend to make improvements in others. Hospitals that produce improvements in limited clinical or administrative areas may not have completely adopted CQI into their culture or may not have yet realized the benefits of their organizational commitments, but use some of the concepts to improve quality outcomes.

  8. Improving the Performance of the Extreme-scale Simulator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engelmann, Christian [ORNL; Naughton III, Thomas J [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale on future high-performance computing (HPC) architectures and the performance impact of different architecture choices is an important component of HPC hardware/software co-design. The Extreme-scale Simulator (xSim) is a simulation-based toolkit for investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale. xSim scales to millions of simulated Message Passing Interface (MPI) processes. The overhead introduced by a simulation tool is an important performance and productivity aspect. This paper documents two improvements to xSim: (1) a new deadlock resolution protocol to reduce the parallel discrete event simulation management overhead and (2) a new simulated MPI message matching algorithm to reduce the oversubscription management overhead. The results clearly show a significant performance improvement, such as by reducing the simulation overhead for running the NAS Parallel Benchmark suite inside the simulator from 1,020\\% to 238% for the conjugate gradient (CG) benchmark and from 102% to 0% for the embarrassingly parallel (EP) and benchmark, as well as, from 37,511% to 13,808% for CG and from 3,332% to 204% for EP with accurate process failure simulation.

  9. Effectively Managing Nuclear Risk Through Human Performance Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coe, Richard; Lake, Patricia

    2003-01-01

    The U.S. commercial nuclear industry has just completed an outstanding decade of plant performance. Safety levels and electric production are at unprecedented high levels and continue to exceed even high industry goals. Nuclear energy continues to keep the highest priority on performance improvement programs and highly trained and qualified people that maintain its record setting safety and reliability of operations. While the industry has maintained a high level of performance, the advent of deregulation and the consolidation of nuclear power plant ownership, as well as the current climate for concern about both rising energy costs and the availability of power, have raised the standard for nuclear energy's level of competitiveness in today's market place. The resulting challenge is how to more effectively manage risk and to improve performance even further in a generally high-performing industry. One of the most effective ways to develop this culture is to apply the principles of Hum an Performance Technology, or HPT. HPT is a relatively new field. Its principles are derived from the research and practice of behavioral and cognitive psychologists, instructional technologists, training designers, organizational developers, and various human resource specialists. Using the principles of HPT can help the nuclear industry successfully meet ever-changing environmental and business demands

  10. Citrus Flavonoid Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance in Trained Athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvera Overdevest, Jeroen A. Wouters, Kevin H.M. Wolfs, Job J.M. van Leeuwen, Sam Possemiers

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that polyphenol supplementation may be an effective strategy to improve exercise performance, due to their antioxidant character and ability to stimulate NO production. These properties may contribute to exercise performance, yet no conclusive research has been performed in exploring the direct effects of citrus flavonoids on human exercise performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess whether supplementation of a customized citrus flavonoid (CF extract for 4 weeks improves cycling time-trial performance in trained male athletes. In a double-blind, randomized, parallel study, 39 healthy, trained males were given a daily dose of either 500 mg of a customized citrus flavonoid extract (CF or a placebo for 4 weeks. Exercise performance was tested by means of a time-trial test on a cycle ergometer, during which participants had to generate as much power as possible for duration of 10 minutes. Absolute power output significantly increased with 14.9 ± 3.9 W after 4 weeks of CF supplementation, corresponding with a 5.0% increase, compared to 3.8 ± 3.2 W (1.3% increase in placebo (p < 0.05. In addition, oxygen consumption/power ratio significantly decreased in the CF group compared to placebo (p = 0.001, and a trend was found in the change in peak power output in CF (18.2 ± 23.2 W versus placebo (-28.4 ± 17.6 W; p = 0.116. The current study is the first convincing report that citrus flavonoid supplementation can improve exercise performance, as shown by a significant increase in power output during the exercise test.

  11. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Methods Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. Results As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Conclusions Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation. PMID:24645871

  12. Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinn-Rong; Hsieh, Shulan

    2013-12-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the frontal-midline theta (fmθ) activity uptraining protocol on attention and working memory performance of older and younger participants. Thirty-two participants were recruited. Participants within each age group were randomly assigned to either the neurofeedback training (fmθ uptraining) group or the sham-neurofeedback training group. There was a significant improvement in orienting scores in the older neurofeedback training group. In addition, there was a significant improvement in conflict scores in both the older and young neurofeedback training groups. However, alerting scores failed to increase. In addition, the fmθ training was found to improve working memory function in the older participants. The results further showed that fmθ training can modulate resting EEG for both neurofeedback groups. Our study demonstrated that fmθ uptraining improved attention and working memory performance and theta activity in the resting state for normal aging adults. In addition, younger participants also benefited from the present protocol in terms of improving their executive function. The current findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurofeedback training in cognitive function, and suggest that the fmθ uptraining protocol is an effective intervention program for cognitive aging. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Improving the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire using Rasch analysis.

    OpenAIRE

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Buuren, S. van; Beek, A.J. van der; Vet, H.C.W. de

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) version 0.2 was developed using Rasch analysis. The goal of the current study was to improve targeting of the IWPQ scales by including additional items. The IWPQ 0.2 (original) and 0.3 (including additional items) were examined using Rasch analysis. Additional items that showed misfit or did not improve targeting were removed from the IWPQ 0.3, resulting in a final IWPQ 1.0. Subsequently, the scales showed good model fit and relia...

  14. Microchannel electron multiplier: improvement in gain performances and detection dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Audier, M.; Delmotte, J.C.; Boutot, J.P.

    1978-01-01

    The performances of an MCP are a function of its geometrical characteristics (diameter d and ratio 1/d of a channel, useful area) and of the applied voltage. Gain and mean output current are limited by saturation phenomena. By using a particular cascaded MCP's configuration, it is possible to simultaneously improve the gain, its associated fluctuations and the detection dynamics (detected level, counting rate). For gains 10 6 7 , the fluctuations, can be kept as low as 20% and an improvement by a factor > 10 can be obtained on the detection dynamics [fr

  15. The Effects of Hospital-Level Factors on Patients' Ratings of Physician Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Amin, Mona; Makarem, Suzanne C

    2016-01-01

    The quality of physician-patient communication influences patient health outcomes and satisfaction with healthcare delivery. Yet, little is known about contextual factors that influence physicians' communication with their patients. The main purpose of this article is to examine organizational-level factors that influence patient perceptions of physician communication in inpatient settings. We used the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey and American Hospital Association data to determine patients' ratings of physician communication at the hospital level, and to collect information about hospital-level factors that can potentially influence physician communication. Our sample consisted of 2,756 hospitals. We ran a regression analysis to determine the predictors of poor physician communication, measured as the percentage of patients in a hospital who reported that physicians sometimes or never communicated well. In our sample of hospitals, this percentage ranged between 0% and 21%, with 25% of hospitals receiving poor ratings from more than 6% of patients. Three organizational factors had statistically significant negative associations with physician communication: for-profit ownership, hospital size, and hospitalists providing care in the hospital, On the other hand, the number of full-time-equivalent physicians and dentists per 10,000 inpatient days, physician ownership of the hospital, Medicare share of inpatient days, and public ownership were positively associated with patients' ratings of physician communication. Physician staffing levels are an understudied area in healthcare research. Our findings indicate that physician staffing levels affect the quality of physician communication with patients. Moreover, for-profit and larger hospitals should invest more in physician communication given the role that HCAHPS plays in value-based purchasing.

  16. Hospital-Level Factors Associated with Pediatric Emergency Department Return Visits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittsenbarger, Zachary; Thurm, Cary; Neuman, Mark; Spencer, Sandra; Simon, Harold; Gosdin, Craig; Shah, Samir; McClead, Richard; Stack, Anne; Alpern, Elizabeth

    2017-07-01

    Return visits (RVs) and RVs with admission (RVAs) are commonly used emergency department quality measures. Visit- and patient-level factors, including several social determinants of health, have been associated with RV rates, but hospital-specific factors have not been studied. To identify what hospital-level factors correspond with high RV and RVA rates. Multicenter mixed-methods study of hospital characteristics associated with RV and RVA rates. Pediatric Health Information System with survey of emergency department directors. Adjusted return rates were calculated with generalized linear mixed-effects models. Hospitals were categorized by adjusted RV and RVA rates for analysis. Twenty-four hospitals accounted for 1,456,377 patient visits with an overall adjusted RV rate of 3.7% and RVA rate of 0.7%. Hospitals with the highest RV rates served populations that were more likely to have government insurance and lower median household incomes and less likely to carry commercial insurance. Hospitals in the highest RV rate outlier group had lower pediatric emergency medicine specialist staffing, calculated as full-time equivalents per 10,000 patient visits: median (interquartile range) of 1.9 (1.5-2.1) versus 2.9 (2.2-3.6). There were no differences in hospital population characteristics or staffing by RVA groups. RV rates were associated with population social determinants of health and inversely related to staffing. Hospital-level variation may indicate population-level economic factors outside the control of the hospital and unrelated to quality of care. © 2017 Society of Hospital Medicine

  17. The Social Responsibility Performance Outcomes Model: Building Socially Responsible Companies through Performance Improvement Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatcher, Tim

    2000-01-01

    Considers the role of performance improvement professionals and human resources development professionals in helping organizations realize the ethical and financial power of corporate social responsibility. Explains the social responsibility performance outcomes model, which incorporates the concepts of societal needs and outcomes. (LRW)

  18. The better model to predict and improve pediatric health care quality: performance or importance-performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Rebecca M; Bryant, Carol A; McDermott, Robert J; Ortinau, David

    2013-01-01

    The perpetual search for ways to improve pediatric health care quality has resulted in a multitude of assessments and strategies; however, there is little research evidence as to their conditions for maximum effectiveness. A major reason for the lack of evaluation research and successful quality improvement initiatives is the methodological challenge of measuring quality from the parent perspective. Comparison of performance-only and importance-performance models was done to determine the better predictor of pediatric health care quality and more successful method for improving the quality of care provided to children. Fourteen pediatric health care centers serving approximately 250,000 patients in 70,000 households in three West Central Florida counties were studied. A cross-sectional design was used to determine the importance and performance of 50 pediatric health care attributes and four global assessments of pediatric health care quality. Exploratory factor analysis revealed five dimensions of care (physician care, access, customer service, timeliness of services, and health care facility). Hierarchical multiple regression compared the performance-only and the importance-performance models. In-depth interviews, participant observations, and a direct cognitive structural analysis identified 50 health care attributes included in a mailed survey to parents(n = 1,030). The tailored design method guided survey development and data collection. The importance-performance multiplicative additive model was a better predictor of pediatric health care quality. Attribute importance moderates performance and quality, making the importance-performance model superior for measuring and providing a deeper understanding of pediatric health care quality and a better method for improving the quality of care provided to children. Regardless of attribute performance, if the level of attribute importance is not taken into consideration, health care organizations may spend valuable

  19. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on "what might have been") has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining "what might be if…") may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic.

  20. Improved automated perimetry performance following exposure to Mozart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorelli, V Macedo Batista; Kasahara, N; Cohen, R; França, A Santucci; Della Paolera, M; Mandia, C; de Almeida, G Vicente

    2006-05-01

    To evaluate the performance on automated perimetry (AP) after listening to a Mozart sonata in normal subjects naive to AP. 60 naive normal subjects underwent AP (SITA 24-2). The study group (30 subjects) underwent AP after listening to Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major and the control group (30 subjects) underwent AP without previous exposure to the music. The study group had significantly less fixation loss, false positive, and false negative rates compared to controls (p Mozart seems to improve AP performance in normal naive subjects.

  1. The experience of liquid radwaste evaporator performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, S. H.

    1997-01-01

    Ulchin NPP has only one monobloc evaporation column which treated all radwaste liquid for two units. Since commercial operation in 1988 the evaporator performance is very poor. I think that the bad condition of evaporator is because of the bad quality of liquid radwaste, the large volume of liquid radwaste to treated, the poor skill of operation and some mistake in equipment design. Because of above conditions the average released activity by liquid radwaste is 35.153mCi/year in last eight years(1988∼1995). So it is necessary that we have to improve the evaporator performance and to reduce the liquid radwaste volume to evaporate

  2. Improvement of tokamak performance by injection of electrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ono, Masayuki.

    1992-12-01

    Concepts for improving tokamak performance by utilizing injection of hot electrons are discussed. Motivation of this paper is to introduce the research work being performed in this area and to refer the interested readers to the literature for more detail. The electron injection based concepts presented here have been developed in the CDX, CCT, and CDX-U tokamak facilities. The following three promising application areas of electron injection are described here: 1. Non-inductive current drive, 2. Plasma preionization for tokamak start-up assist, and 3. Charging-up of tokamak flux surfaces for improved plasma confinement. The main motivation for the dc-helicity injection current drive is in its efficiency that, in theory, is independent of plasma density. This property makes it attractive for driving currents in high density reactor plasmas

  3. Using storyboards to make your performance improvement plan come alive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaadt, M

    1998-01-01

    The key to successfully using storyboarding within the PI plan is to create a storyboard for each activity as it is completed. Our agency waited until JCAHO was almost upon us. The historical preservation of activities as they occur will create an archive of activities for your PI committee and staff as well as for surveyors. The storyboard's second purpose is the communication of activities to the staff. Take the opportunity to use the boards as educational activities for the staff. Performance Improvement can many times be a frightening, or at best frustrating and uncomfortable activity for staff personnel. Bringing the PI plan alive through the use of storyboards accomplishes many goals as well as helps all staff see how Performance Improvement really makes a difference.

  4. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Huelman, P. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    2016-07-13

    A combined space- and water-heating (combi) system uses a high-efficiency direct-vent burner that eliminates safety issues associated with natural draft appliances. Past research with these systems shows that using condensing water heaters or boilers with hydronic air handling units can provide both space and water heating with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Improved controls have the potential to reduce complexity and improve upon the measured performance. This project demonstrates that controls can significantly benefit these first-generation systems. Laboratory tests and daily load/performance models showed that the set point temperature reset control produced a 2.1%-4.3% (20-40 therms/year) savings for storage and hybrid water heater combi systems operated in moderate-load homes.

  5. Microinjection molding of microsystem components: new aspects in improving performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Can; Yin, Xiao-Hong; Cheng, Guang-Ming

    2013-01-01

    Microinjection molding (µIM) is considered to be one of the most flexible, reliable and cost effective manufacturing routes to form plastic micro-components for microsystems. The molding machine, mold tool fabrication, material selection and process controlling in this specific field have been greatly developed over the past decades. This review aims to present the new trends towards improving micro-component performance by reviewing the latest developments in this area and by considering potential directions. The key concerns in product and mold designing, essential factors in simulation, and micro-morphology and resultant properties are evaluated and discussed. In addition, the applications, variant processes and outlook for µIM are presented. Throughout this review, decisive considerations in seeking improved performance for microsystem components are highlighted. (topical review)

  6. An Accurate Link Correlation Estimator for Improving Wireless Protocol Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

  7. On analyzing colour constancy approach for improving SURF detector performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zulkiey, Mohd Asyraf; Zaki, Wan Mimi Diyana Wan; Hussain, Aini; Mustafa, Mohd. Marzuki

    2012-04-01

    Robust key point detector plays a crucial role in obtaining a good tracking feature. The main challenge in outdoor tracking is the illumination change due to various reasons such as weather fluctuation and occlusion. This paper approaches the illumination change problem by transforming the input image through colour constancy algorithm before applying the SURF detector. Masked grey world approach is chosen because of its ability to perform well under local as well as global illumination change. Every image is transformed to imitate the canonical illuminant and Gaussian distribution is used to model the global change. The simulation results show that the average number of detected key points have increased by 69.92%. Moreover, the average of improved performance cases far out weight the degradation case where the former is improved by 215.23%. The approach is suitable for tracking implementation where sudden illumination occurs frequently and robust key point detection is needed.

  8. Cooling improves the writing performance of patients with writer's cramp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Christoph; Happe, Jörg; Klockgether, Thomas

    2002-11-01

    Cooling of hand and forearm muscles by immersion in 15 degrees C cold water for 5 minutes improved the writing performance of patients with writer's cramp. Since abnormal processing of muscle spindle afferent discharges contributes to the pathology of writer's cramp, this effect might result from a reduction in muscle spindle activity by lowering muscle temperature. Cooling is a simple, cheap, and safe procedure, providing temporary relief for patients with writer's cramp. Copyright 2002 Movement Disorder Society

  9. Deep Recurrent Convolutional Neural Network: Improving Performance For Speech Recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Zewang; Sun, Zheng; Liu, Jiaqi; Chen, Jingwen; Huo, Zhao; Zhang, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    A deep learning approach has been widely applied in sequence modeling problems. In terms of automatic speech recognition (ASR), its performance has significantly been improved by increasing large speech corpus and deeper neural network. Especially, recurrent neural network and deep convolutional neural network have been applied in ASR successfully. Given the arising problem of training speed, we build a novel deep recurrent convolutional network for acoustic modeling and then apply deep resid...

  10. Sensorimotor Adaptability Training Improves Motor and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, J.J.; Peters, B.T.; Mulavara, A.P.; Brady, R.; Batson, C.; Cohen, H.S.

    2009-01-01

    The overall objective of our project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of functional capabilities when astronauts transition to different gravitational environments. The goal of our current study was to determine if SA training using variation in visual flow and support surface motion produces improved performance in a novel sensory environment and demonstrate the retention characteristics of SA training.

  11. A collaborative brain-computer interface for improving human performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yijun Wang

    Full Text Available Electroencephalogram (EEG based brain-computer interfaces (BCI have been studied since the 1970s. Currently, the main focus of BCI research lies on the clinical use, which aims to provide a new communication channel to patients with motor disabilities to improve their quality of life. However, the BCI technology can also be used to improve human performance for normal healthy users. Although this application has been proposed for a long time, little progress has been made in real-world practices due to technical limits of EEG. To overcome the bottleneck of low single-user BCI performance, this study proposes a collaborative paradigm to improve overall BCI performance by integrating information from multiple users. To test the feasibility of a collaborative BCI, this study quantitatively compares the classification accuracies of collaborative and single-user BCI applied to the EEG data collected from 20 subjects in a movement-planning experiment. This study also explores three different methods for fusing and analyzing EEG data from multiple subjects: (1 Event-related potentials (ERP averaging, (2 Feature concatenating, and (3 Voting. In a demonstration system using the Voting method, the classification accuracy of predicting movement directions (reaching left vs. reaching right was enhanced substantially from 66% to 80%, 88%, 93%, and 95% as the numbers of subjects increased from 1 to 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Furthermore, the decision of reaching direction could be made around 100-250 ms earlier than the subject's actual motor response by decoding the ERP activities arising mainly from the posterior parietal cortex (PPC, which are related to the processing of visuomotor transmission. Taken together, these results suggest that a collaborative BCI can effectively fuse brain activities of a group of people to improve the overall performance of natural human behavior.

  12. Improving performance and reducing costs of cooling towers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartz, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    Cooling towers represent a significant capital investment at a steam electric power station. In addition, deficiencies in thermal performance can result in major operating penalties of fuel cost, replacement energy, and capacity addition. This paper summarizes two recent EPRI research projects aimed at reducing thermal performance deficiencies and decreasing installed costs of evaporative cooling towers. First, EPRI Research Project 2113, Cooling Tower Performance Prediction and Improvement, is summarized. This project has resulted in published data sets on the measured thermal performance characteristics of a variety of cooling tower packings, computer codes to predict tower performance, and computer code validation through large-scale tower performance measurements. Principal results are contained in an EPRIGEMS software module, Cooling Tower Advisor. This PC- based software contains a tutorial plus codes to predict tower thermal performance, arranged in a user-friendly format. The second EPRI effort, Research Project 2819-10/11, Fabric Structures for Power Plant Applications, has resulted in designs and costs of large structures with shells constructed of recently-developed fabrics. Primary power plant applications for such structures are the shells of natural draft cooling towers and coal-pile covers. Fabric structures offer low initial cost, acceptable life, and seismic superiority, among other advantages. Detailed conceptual designs and installed cost data are reviewed. 8 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  13. Clinical performance improvement series. Classic CQI integrated with comprehensive disease management as a model for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, M S; Bernard, D B

    1999-08-01

    In recent years, health and disease management has emerged as an effective means of delivering, integrating, and improving care through a population-based approach. Since 1997 the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has utilized the key principles and components of continuous quality improvement (CQI) and disease management to form a model for health care improvement that focuses on designing best practices, using best practices to influence clinical decision making, changing processes and systems to deploy and deliver best practices, and measuring outcomes to improve the process. Experience with 28 programs and more than 14,000 patients indicates significant improvement in outcomes, including high physician satisfaction, increased patient satisfaction, reduced costs, and improved clinical process and outcome measures across multiple diseases. DIABETES DISEASE MANAGEMENT: In three months a UPHS multidisciplinary diabetes disease management team developed a best practice approach for the treatment of all patients with diabetes in the UPHS. After the program was pilot tested in three primary care physician sites, it was then introduced progressively to additional practice sites throughout the health system. The establishment of the role of the diabetes nurse care managers (certified diabetes educators) was central to successful program deployment. Office-based coordinators ensure incorporation of the best practice protocols into routine flow processes. A disease management intranet disseminates programs electronically. Outcomes of the UPHS health and disease management programs so far demonstrate success across multiple dimensions of performance-service, clinical quality, access, and value. The task of health care leadership today is to remove barriers and enable effective implementation of key strategies, such as health and disease management. Substantial effort and resources must be dedicated to gain physician buy-in and achieve compliance. The

  14. Improvement of sludge removal performance for steam generators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishida, K.; Sakai, K.; Ito, H.; Tanahashi, A.; Nakao, F.

    2002-01-01

    Scale, mainly consisting of magnetite, flows on the secondary side of steam generators (SGs), causing the formation of concentrations of impurities on the tubesheet (TS), increasing the fouling of tube heat transfer, and blocking the broached egg crates (BEC) on the tube support plates (TSP). Accumulation of sludge on the tubesheet forms environment in which impurities are highly concentrated on the tubes. And we have experienced tube degradation, in the past, from the concentration of impurities. In Japan, the first tubesheet sludge lancing, via water jets, was done at the Mihama-2 plant in 1975. And that is why this pile sludge becomes hard depending on time, removal made an effort toward removal with CECIL* (in bundle cleaning system) us very difficulty. However, sludge remained in localized areas and it had possibility of concentration. So that we improve the CECIL for the purpose of removing it, and we improved removal performance of the device. In addition to the improvement of CECIL, we install a sludge collector in order to decrease accumulation of sludge on the tubesheet. This paper introduces these improvements in sludge removal performance. (authors)

  15. Performance Improvement of Solar Water Stills by Using Reflectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humphrey Hamusonde Maambo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The lack of safe and clean drinking water sources is one of the problems faced in most rural communities in Zambia. Water in these communities is mostly obtained from shallow wells and rivers. However, this water might be potentially contaminated with harmful substances such as pathogenic bacteria and therefore, unsafe for drinking. Solar water distillation represents an important alternative to palliate problems of fresh water shortages. Solar water stills can be used to eliminate harmful substances from contaminated water by treating it using free solar energy before it can be consumed. Therefore, there is a need to improve solar still performance to produce a greater quantity of safe drinking water. One possible method to improve performance is through adding reflectors to solar stills. Reflectors improve performance by increasing the quantity of distillate by about 22.3 % at a water depth of 15 mm and about 2 9% at a water depth of 10 mm when compared to the distillate produced from a still without reflectors. The water produced using solar stills with reflectors was tested and adhered to World Health Organization (WHO drinking water standards. This implies that solar distillation with reflectors could be adopted at a larger scale to produce safer drinking water at a reduced cost.

  16. Undergraduate medical academic performance is improved by scientific training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Chong; Liu, Zhongming; Cai, Yunfei; Cao, Xingguo; He, Yushan; Liu, Guoxiang; Miao, Hongming

    2017-09-01

    The effect of scientific training on course learning in undergraduates is still controversial. In this study, we investigated the academic performance of undergraduate students with and without scientific training. The results show that scientific training improves students' test scores in general medical courses, such as biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, and even English. We classified scientific training into four levels. We found that literature reading could significantly improve students' test scores in general courses. Students who received scientific training carried out experiments more effectively and published articles performed better than their untrained counterparts in biochemistry and molecular biology examinations. The questionnaire survey demonstrated that the trained students were more confident of their course learning, and displayed more interest, motivation and capability in course learning. In summary, undergraduate academic performance is improved by scientific training. Our findings shed light on the novel strategies in the management of undergraduate education in the medical school. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(5):379-384, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  17. Integrating patient satisfaction into performance measurement to meet improvement challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J E; Fisher, D L; Endorf-Olson, J J

    2000-05-01

    A Value Compass has been proposed to guide health care data collection. The "compass corners" represent the four types of data needed to meet health care customer expectations: appropriate clinical outcomes, improved functional status, patient satisfaction, and appropriate costs. Collection of all four types of data is necessary to select processes in need of improvement, guide improvement teams, and monitor the success of improvement efforts. INTEGRATED DATA AT BRYANLGH: BryanLGH Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, has adopted multiple performance measurement systems to collect clinical outcome, financial, and patient satisfaction data into integrated databases. Data integration allows quality professionals at BryanLGH to identify quality issues from multiple perspectives and track the interrelated effects of improvement efforts. A CASE EXAMPLE: Data from the fourth quarter of 1997 indicated the need to improve processes related to cesarean section (C-section) deliveries. An interdisciplinary team was formed, which focused on educating nurses, physicians, and the community about labor support measures. Physicians were given their own rates of C-section deliveries. The C-section rate decreased from 27% to 19%, but per-case cost increased. PickerPLUS+ results indicated that BryanLGH obstetric patients reported fewer problems with receiving information than the Picker norm, but they reported more problems with the involvement of family members and friends. The data collected so far have indicated a decrease in the C-section rate and a need to continue to work on cost and psychosocial issues. A complete analysis of results was facilitated by integrated performance management systems. Successes have been easily tracked over time, and the need for further work on related processes has been clearly identified.

  18. Alpha neurofeedback training improves SSVEP-based BCI performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Feng; Nuno da Cruz, Janir; Nan, Wenya; Wong, Chi Man; Vai, Mang I.; Rosa, Agostinho

    2016-06-01

    Objective. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can provide relatively easy, reliable and high speed communication. However, the performance is still not satisfactory, especially in some users who are not able to generate strong enough SSVEP signals. This work aims to strengthen a user’s SSVEP by alpha down-regulating neurofeedback training (NFT) and consequently improve the performance of the user in using SSVEP-based BCIs. Approach. An experiment with two steps was designed and conducted. The first step was to investigate the relationship between the resting alpha activity and the SSVEP-based BCI performance, in order to determine the training parameter for the NFT. Then in the second step, half of the subjects with ‘low’ performance (i.e. BCI classification accuracy <80%) were randomly assigned to a NFT group to perform a real-time NFT, and the rest half to a non-NFT control group for comparison. Main results. The first step revealed a significant negative correlation between the BCI performance and the individual alpha band (IAB) amplitudes in the eyes-open resting condition in a total of 33 subjects. In the second step, it was found that during the IAB down-regulating NFT, on average the subjects were able to successfully decrease their IAB amplitude over training sessions. More importantly, the NFT group showed an average increase of 16.5% in the SSVEP signal SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and an average increase of 20.3% in the BCI classification accuracy, which was significant compared to the non-NFT control group. Significance. These findings indicate that the alpha down-regulating NFT can be used to improve the SSVEP signal quality and the subjects’ performance in using SSVEP-based BCIs. It could be helpful to the SSVEP related studies and would contribute to more effective SSVEP-based BCI applications.

  19. Clinical audit training improves undergraduates' performance in root canal therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, J Y M; Tan, V J H; Lee, J R; Tong, Z G M; Foong, Y K; Tan, J M E; Parolia, A; Pau, A

    2017-12-20

    To evaluate the effectiveness of clinical audit-feedback cycle as an educational tool in improving the technical quality of root canal therapy (RCT) and compliance with record keeping performed by dental undergraduates. Clinical audit learning was introduced in Year 3 of a 5-year curriculum for dental undergraduates. During classroom activities, students were briefed on clinical audit, selected their audit topics in groups of 5 or 6 students, and prepared and presented their audit protocols. One chosen topic was RCT, in which 3 different cohorts of Year 3 students conducted retrospective audits of patients' records in 2012, 2014 and 2015 for their compliance with recommended record keeping criteria and their performance in RCT. Students were trained by and calibrated against an endodontist (κ ≥ 0.8). After each audit, the findings were reported in class, and recommendations were made for improvement in performance of RCT and record keeping. Students' compliance with published guidelines was presented and their RCT performances in each year were compared using the chi-square test. Overall compliance with of record keeping guidelines was 44.1% in 2012, 79.6% in 2014 and 94.6% in 2015 (P = .001). In the 2012 audit, acceptable extension, condensation and the absence of mishap were observed in 72.4, 75.7% and 91.5%; in the 2014 audit, 95.1%, 64.8% and 51.4%; and in 2015 audit, 96.4%, 82.1% and 92.8% of cases, respectively. In 2015, 76.8% of root canal fillings met all 3 technical quality criteria when compared to 48.6% in 2014 and 44.7% in 2012 (P = .001). Clinical audit-feedback cycle is an effective educational tool for improving dental undergraduates' compliance with record keeping and performance in the technical quality of RCT. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Using Shadow Page Cache to Improve Isolated Drivers Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Zheng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With the advantage of the reusability property of the virtualization technology, users can reuse various types and versions of existing operating systems and drivers in a virtual machine, so as to customize their application environment. In order to prevent users’ virtualization environments being impacted by driver faults in virtual machine, Chariot examines the correctness of driver’s write operations by the method of combining a driver’s write operation capture and a driver’s private access control table. However, this method needs to keep the write permission of shadow page table as read-only, so as to capture isolated driver’s write operations through page faults, which adversely affect the performance of the driver. Based on delaying setting frequently used shadow pages’ write permissions to read-only, this paper proposes an algorithm using shadow page cache to improve the performance of isolated drivers and carefully study the relationship between the performance of drivers and the size of shadow page cache. Experimental results show that, through the shadow page cache, the performance of isolated drivers can be greatly improved without impacting Chariot’s reliability too much.

  1. Using shadow page cache to improve isolated drivers performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hao; Dong, Xiaoshe; Wang, Endong; Chen, Baoke; Zhu, Zhengdong; Liu, Chengzhe

    2015-01-01

    With the advantage of the reusability property of the virtualization technology, users can reuse various types and versions of existing operating systems and drivers in a virtual machine, so as to customize their application environment. In order to prevent users' virtualization environments being impacted by driver faults in virtual machine, Chariot examines the correctness of driver's write operations by the method of combining a driver's write operation capture and a driver's private access control table. However, this method needs to keep the write permission of shadow page table as read-only, so as to capture isolated driver's write operations through page faults, which adversely affect the performance of the driver. Based on delaying setting frequently used shadow pages' write permissions to read-only, this paper proposes an algorithm using shadow page cache to improve the performance of isolated drivers and carefully study the relationship between the performance of drivers and the size of shadow page cache. Experimental results show that, through the shadow page cache, the performance of isolated drivers can be greatly improved without impacting Chariot's reliability too much.

  2. Engaging clinical nurses in quality and performance improvement activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanese, Madeline P; Evans, Dietra A; Schantz, Cathy A; Bowen, Margaret; Disbot, Maureen; Moffa, Joseph S; Piesieski, Patricia; Polomano, Rosemary C

    2010-01-01

    Nursing performance measures are an integral part of quality initiatives in acute care; however, organizations face numerous challenges in developing infrastructures to support quality improvement processes and timely dissemination of outcomes data. At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, a Magnet-designated organization, extensive work has been conducted to incorporate nursing-related outcomes in the organization's quality plan and to integrate roles for clinical nurses into the Department of Nursing and organization's core performance-based programs. Content and strategies that promote active involvement of nurses and prepare them to be competent and confident stakeholders in quality initiatives are presented. Engaging clinical nurses in the work of quality and performance improvement is essential to achieving excellence in clinical care. It is important to have structures and processes in place to bring meaningful data to the bedside; however, it is equally important to incorporate outcomes into practice. When nurses are educated about performance and quality measures, are engaged in identifying outcomes and collecting meaningful data, are active participants in disseminating quality reports, and are able to recognize the value of these activities, data become one with practice.

  3. Elasticity improves handgrip performance and user experience during visuomotor control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Michael; Rinne, Paul; Liardon, Jean-Luc; Uhomoibhi, Catherine; Bentley, Paul; Burdet, Etienne

    2017-02-01

    Passive rehabilitation devices, providing motivation and feedback, potentially offer an automated and low-cost therapy method, and can be used as simple human-machine interfaces. Here, we ask whether there is any advantage for a hand-training device to be elastic, as opposed to rigid, in terms of performance and preference. To address this question, we have developed a highly sensitive and portable digital handgrip, promoting independent and repetitive rehabilitation of grasp function based around a novel elastic force and position sensing structure. A usability study was performed on 66 healthy subjects to assess the effect of elastic versus rigid handgrip control during various visuomotor tracking tasks. The results indicate that, for tasks relying either on feedforward or on feedback control, novice users perform significantly better with the elastic handgrip, compared with the rigid equivalent (11% relative improvement, 9-14% mean range; p  training devices.

  4. Audits and their effectiveness in improving plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Callen, L.J.

    1986-01-01

    For several years, the NRC's performance appraisal teams (PATs) have been assessing the effectiveness of the various audit programs established by operating nuclear power plants. A major focus of the PAT assessments is on the audit programs mandated by 10 CFR, technical specifications, industry codes and standards, and NRC operating license conditions. These audits are typically performed by a plant's quality assurance organization, and program oversight is often provided at the corporate level by a safety review committee. The scope of these audit programs is broad, typically including such functional areas as maintenance, operations, health physics, emergency preparedness, training, procurement, and security. For an audit program to be truly effective in improving plant performance beyond the minimum level established by regulatory requirements, the audits must first be effective in identifying deficiencies that go beyond minimum regulatory requirements. The PAT experience to date is that typical industry audit programs are not designed to identify these types of deficiencies

  5. Multi-focal Vision and Gaze Control Improve Navigation Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolja Kuehnlenz

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Multi-focal vision systems comprise cameras with various fields of view and measurement accuracies. This article presents a multi-focal approach to localization and mapping of mobile robots with active vision. An implementation of the novel concept is done considering a humanoid robot navigation scenario where the robot is visually guided through a structured environment with several landmarks. Various embodiments of multi-focal vision systems are investigated and the impact on navigation performance is evaluated in comparison to a conventional mono-focal stereo set-up. The comparative studies clearly show the benefits of multi-focal vision for mobile robot navigation: flexibility to assign the different available sensors optimally in each situation, enhancement of the visible field, higher localization accuracy, and, thus, better task performance, i.e. path following behavior of the mobile robot. It is shown that multi-focal vision may strongly improve navigation performance.

  6. Improved rate control for electron-beam evaporation and evaluation of optical performance improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gevelber, Michael; Xu, Bing; Smith, Douglas

    2006-03-01

    A new deposition-rate-control and electron-beam-gun (e-gun) strategy was developed that significantly reduces the growth-rate variations for e-beam-deposited SiO2 coatings. The resulting improvements in optical performance are evaluated for multilayer bandpass filters. The adverse effect of uneven silica-source depletion on coating spectral performances during long deposition runs is discussed.

  7. Perspectives on containment performance improvement based on the IPEs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehner, J.R.; Lin, C.C.; Pratt, W.T. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)] [and others

    1995-04-01

    Generic Letter 88-20, {open_quotes}Individual Plant Examination (IPE) for Severe Accident Vulnerabilities - 10CFR 50.54(f),{close_quotes} was issued by the NRC on November 23, 1988. In addition to assessing the core damage frequency from severe accidents, licensees were requested to report the results of their analyses regarding containment performance. Supplements to the Generic Letter forwarded technical insights obtained by the NRC staff through its Containment Performance Improvement (CPI) program. At this time, most of the IPEs have been submitted by the licensees. In a follow-on effort to support regulatory activities, the NRC staff with assistance from Brookhaven National Laboratory, has initiated a program involving a global examination of the containment performance results documented in the IPEs. The objective is to identify insights of potential generic safety significance relative to plant design, operation and maintenance, as well as to assess response to the previously forwarded CPI insights. The containment performance results of the IPEs are being categorized for commonalities and differences for different reactor and containment types. Preliminary results show that not only differences in plant design but also the methods, data, boundary conditions, and assumptions used in the different IPEs have a major impact on the containment performance results obtained. This paper presents preliminary results regarding the differences in containment performance observed in the IPEs and discusses some of the underlying reasons for these differences.

  8. Presence of Spotters Improves Bench Press Performance: A Deception Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Andrew; Marchant, David C; Williams, Emily L; Jones, Hollie S; Hewitt, Phil A; Sparks, S Andy

    2017-10-24

    Sheridan, A, Marchant, DC, Williams, EL, Jones, HS, Hewitt, PA, and Sparks, SA. Presence of spotters improves bench press performance: a deception study. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2017-Resistance exercise is a widely used method of physical training in both recreational exercise and athletic populations. The use of training partners and spotters during resistance exercise is widespread, but little is known about the effect of the presence of these individuals on exercise performance. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of spotter presence on bench press performance. Twelve recreationally trained participants (age, 21.3 ± 0.8 years, height, 1.82 ± 0.1 m, and weight, 84.8 ± 11.1 kg) performed 2 trials of 3 sets to failure at 60% of 1 repetition maximum on separate occasions. The 2 trials consisted of spotters being explicitly present or hidden from view (deception). During the trials, total repetitions (reps), total weight lifted, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and self-efficacy were measured. Total reps and weight lifted were significantly greater with spotters (difference = 4.5 reps, t = 5.68, p < 0.001 and difference = 209.6 kg, t = 5.65, p < 0.001, respectively). Although RPE and local RPE were significantly elevated in the deception trials (difference = 0.78, f = 6.16, p = 0.030 and difference = 0.81, f = 5.89, p = 0.034, respectively), self-efficacy was significantly reduced (difference = 1.58, f = 26.90, p < 0.001). This study demonstrates that resistance exercise is improved by the presence of spotters, which is facilitated by reduced RPE and increased self-efficacy. This has important implications for athletes and clients, who should perform resistance exercise in the proximity of others, to maximize total work performed.

  9. Improved iodine status is associated with improved mental performance of schoolchildren in Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Briel, T; West, C E; Bleichrodt, N; van de Vijver, F J; Ategbo, E A; Hautvast, J G

    2000-11-01

    An adequate iodine supply in utero and shortly after birth is known to be crucial to an individual's physical and mental development. The question of whether iodine supplementation later in life can exert a favorable influence on the mental performance of iodine-deficient populations was addressed in various studies, but with contradictory results. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of an improvement in iodine status on mental and psychomotor performance of schoolchildren (7-11 y) who were moderately to severely iodine deficient. The study, which was originally planned as a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention, was carried out in an iodine-deficient population of schoolchildren (n = 196) in northern Benin. As the population began to have access to iodized salt during the 1-y intervention period, the study population was split post hoc-on the basis of urinary iodine concentrations-into a group with improved iodine status and a group with unchanged iodine status. Changes in mental and psychomotor performance over the intervention period were compared. Children with increased urinary iodine concentrations had a significantly greater increase in performance on the combination of mental tests than did the group with no change in urinary iodine concentrations. An improvement in iodine status, rather than iodine status itself, determined mental performance in this population, which was initially iodine deficient. These findings suggest a "catch-up" effect in terms of mental performance.

  10. Correlation between hospital-level antibiotic consumption and incident health care facility-onset Clostridium difficile infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crew, Page E; Rhodes, Nathaniel J; O'Donnell, J Nicholas; Miglis, Cristina; Gilbert, Elise M; Zembower, Teresa R; Qi, Chao; Silkaitis, Christina; Sutton, Sarah H; Scheetz, Marc H

    2018-03-01

    The purpose of this single-center, ecologic study is to characterize the relationship between facility-wide (FacWide) antibiotic consumption and incident health care facility-onset Clostridium difficile infection (HO-CDI). FacWide antibiotic consumption and incident HO-CDI were tallied on a monthly basis and standardized, from January 2013 through April 2015. Spearman rank-order correlation coefficients were calculated using matched-months analysis and a 1-month delay. Regression analyses were performed, with P < .05 considered statistically significant. FacWide analysis identified a matched-months correlation between ceftriaxone and HO-CDI (ρ = 0.44, P = .018). A unit of stem cell transplant recipients did not have significant correlation between carbapenems and HO-CDI in matched months (ρ = 0.37, P = .098), but a significant correlation was observed when a 1-month lag was applied (ρ = 0.54, P = .014). Three statistically significant lag associations were observed between FacWide/unit-level antibiotic consumption and HO-CDI, and 1 statistically significant nonlagged association was observed FacWide. Antibiotic consumption may convey extended ward-level risk for incident CDI. Consumption of antibiotic agents may have immediate and prolonged influence on incident CDI. Additional studies are needed to investigate the immediate and delayed associations between antibiotic consumption and C difficile colonization, infection, and transmission at the hospital level. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Improving Docking Performance Using Negative Image-Based Rescoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurkinen, Sami T; Niinivehmas, Sanna; Ahinko, Mira; Lätti, Sakari; Pentikäinen, Olli T; Postila, Pekka A

    2018-01-01

    Despite the large computational costs of molecular docking, the default scoring functions are often unable to recognize the active hits from the inactive molecules in large-scale virtual screening experiments. Thus, even though a correct binding pose might be sampled during the docking, the active compound or its biologically relevant pose is not necessarily given high enough score to arouse the attention. Various rescoring and post-processing approaches have emerged for improving the docking performance. Here, it is shown that the very early enrichment (number of actives scored higher than 1% of the highest ranked decoys) can be improved on average 2.5-fold or even 8.7-fold by comparing the docking-based ligand conformers directly against the target protein's cavity shape and electrostatics. The similarity comparison of the conformers is performed without geometry optimization against the negative image of the target protein's ligand-binding cavity using the negative image-based (NIB) screening protocol. The viability of the NIB rescoring or the R-NiB, pioneered in this study, was tested with 11 target proteins using benchmark libraries. By focusing on the shape/electrostatics complementarity of the ligand-receptor association, the R-NiB is able to improve the early enrichment of docking essentially without adding to the computing cost. By implementing consensus scoring, in which the R-NiB and the original docking scoring are weighted for optimal outcome, the early enrichment is improved to a level that facilitates effective drug discovery. Moreover, the use of equal weight from the original docking scoring and the R-NiB scoring improves the yield in most cases.

  12. Clinical performance feedback and quality improvement opportunities for perioperative physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye AD

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Alan David Kaye,1 Olutoyin J Okanlawon,2 Richard D Urman21Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston MA, USAAbstract: Clinical performance feedback is an important component of the ongoing development and education of health care practitioners. For physicians, feedback about their clinical practice and outcomes is central to developing both confidence and competence at all stages of their medical careers. Cultural and financial infrastructures need to be in place, and the concept of feedback needs to be readily embraced and encouraged by clinical leadership and other stakeholders. The "buy-in" includes the expectation and view that feedback occurs on a routine basis, and those engaged in the process are both encouraged to participate and held accountable. Feedback must be part of an overarching quality improvement and physician education agenda; it is not meant to be an isolated, fragmented initiative that is typically undermined by lack of resources or systemic barriers to gaining improvement within programs. Effective feedback should be an integral part of clinical practice. Anesthesiologists and other perioperative physicians are identifying specialty-specific indicators that can be used when creating a broader quality improvement agenda. Placing a more immediate formal feedback strategy that focuses on goal-oriented behavior is rapidly becoming a mainstay. Physicians may use their individual feedback reports for reflection and designing personal development plans as lifelong learners and leaders in improving patient care.Keywords: physician education, outcomes measurement, performance improvement, anesthesiology

  13. Implementation of renal key performance indicators: promoting improved clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, Nigel D; McMahon, Lawrence P; Dowling, Gregory; Soding, Jenny; Safe, Maria; Knight, Richard; Fair, Kathleen; Linehan, Leanne; Walker, Rowan G; Power, David A

    2015-03-01

    In the Australian state of Victoria, the Renal Health Clinical Network (RHCN) of the Department of Health Victoria established a Renal Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Working Group in 2011. The group developed four KPIs related to chronic kidney disease and dialysis. A transplant working group of the RHCN developed two additional KPIs. The aim was to develop clinical indicators to measure performance of renal services to drive service improvement. A data collection and benchmarking programme was established, with data provided monthly to the Department using a purpose-designed website portal. The KPI Working Group is responsible for analysing data each quarter and ensuring indicators remain accurate and relevant. Each indicator has clear definitions and targets, and assess (i) patient education, (ii) timely creation of vascular access for haemodialysis, (iii) proportion of patients dialysing at home, (iv) incidence of dialysis-related peritonitis, (v) incidence of pre-emptive renal transplantation, and (vi) timely listing of patients for deceased donor transplantation. Most KPIs have demonstrated improved performance over time with limited gains notably in two: the proportion of patients dialysing at home (KPI 3) and timely listing patients for transplantation (KPI 6). KPI implementation has been established in Victoria for 2 years, providing performance data without additional funding. The six Victorian KPIs are measurable, relevant and modifiable, and implementation relies on enthusiasm and goodwill of physicians and nurses involved in collecting data. The KPIs require further evaluation, but adoption of a similar programme by other jurisdictions could lead to improved national outcomes. © 2014 Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology.

  14. Towards Effective Educational Politics through Improving the Performance Measurement System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuuli Reisberg

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Educational field is impelled to increase performance and quality, financial discipline, strategic behaviour and its goals in order to enhance “effectiveness”. As a result the incorporation of private sector management practices into the educational field is taking place. But it is important to notice that a proliferation of private managerial practices into the educational field goes along with a conflict-laden and contradictory process. Education provides an important area of implementation for techniques of performance evaluation aimed at improving the performance of public services. One of the most common conceptual frameworks in measuring organisational performance takes the form of a production function where the educational institution is seen as analogous to a company transforming inputs into outputs and outcomes through a production process. But the problems and the vagueness in determining educational system’s inputs, outputs and outcomes cause difficulties in making political decisions and that is why clear policy prescriptions have been difficult to derive. The purpose of this article is to create a discussion whether performance measurement should be a part of decision-making in educational politics. The authors debate about incorporating private sector management practices into the educational field. The debate is based on the example of evaluating the social impact in the educational field and the performance of teachers’ work in the educational system. The article consists of three parts. Firstly, the theoretical background of the performance measurement in educational field is discussed. Secondly, the important criteria for performance measurement design and political issues are argued. Thirdly, the evaluated shortcomings in Estonian educational organisations, which restrict them to be effective, are brought out. Relieving some of these shortcomings could be in authority of Estonian educational politics.

  15. Improving the photovoltaic performance of perovskite solar cells with acetate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qian; Li, G. R.; Song, Jian; Zhao, Yulong; Qiang, Yinghuai; Gao, X. P.

    2016-01-01

    In an all-solid-state perovskite solar cell, methylammonium lead halide film is in charge of generating photo-excited electrons, thus its quality can directly influence the final photovoltaic performance of the solar cell. This paper accentuates a very simple chemical approach to improving the quality of a perovskite film with a suitable amount of acetic acid. With introduction of acetate ions, a homogeneous, continual and hole-free perovskite film comprised of high-crystallinity grains is obtained. UV-visible spectra, steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectra reveal that the obtained perovskite film under the optimized conditions shows a higher light absorption, more efficient electron transport, and faster electron extraction to the adjoining electron transport layer. The features result in the optimized perovskite film can provide an improved short-circuit current. The corresponding solar cells with a planar configuration achieves an improved power conversion efficiency of 13.80%, and the highest power conversion efficiency in the photovoltaic measurements is up to 14.71%. The results not only provide a simple approach to optimizing perovskite films but also present a novel angle of view on fabricating high-performance perovskite solar cells. PMID:27934924

  16. Towards improving construction labor productivity and projects’ performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa E. Shehata

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Proper management of resources in construction projects can yield substantial savings in time and cost. As construction is a labor-intensive industry, this paper focuses on labor productivity in the construction industry. This study considers the current state-of-the-art issues relevant to this subject. It covers the construction labor productivity definitions, aspects, measurements, factors affecting it, different techniques used for measuring it and modeling techniques. The main outcome from the literature is that there is no standard definition of productivity. This study provides a guide for necessary steps required to improve construction labor productivity and consequently, the project performance. It can help improve the overall performance of construction projects through the implementation of the concept of benchmarks. Also, it gives an up to date concept of loss of productivity measurement for construction productivity claims. Two major case studies, from the literature, are presented to show construction labor productivity rates, factors affecting construction labor productivity and how to improve it.

  17. Improving the photovoltaic performance of perovskite solar cells with acetate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qian; Li, G R; Song, Jian; Zhao, Yulong; Qiang, Yinghuai; Gao, X P

    2016-12-09

    In an all-solid-state perovskite solar cell, methylammonium lead halide film is in charge of generating photo-excited electrons, thus its quality can directly influence the final photovoltaic performance of the solar cell. This paper accentuates a very simple chemical approach to improving the quality of a perovskite film with a suitable amount of acetic acid. With introduction of acetate ions, a homogeneous, continual and hole-free perovskite film comprised of high-crystallinity grains is obtained. UV-visible spectra, steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectra reveal that the obtained perovskite film under the optimized conditions shows a higher light absorption, more efficient electron transport, and faster electron extraction to the adjoining electron transport layer. The features result in the optimized perovskite film can provide an improved short-circuit current. The corresponding solar cells with a planar configuration achieves an improved power conversion efficiency of 13.80%, and the highest power conversion efficiency in the photovoltaic measurements is up to 14.71%. The results not only provide a simple approach to optimizing perovskite films but also present a novel angle of view on fabricating high-performance perovskite solar cells.

  18. Anesthesia report card - a customizable tool for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peccora, Christian D; Gimlich, Robert; Cornell, Richard P; Vacanti, Charles A; Ehrenfeld, Jesse M; Urman, Richard D

    2014-09-01

    Measuring and providing performance feedback to physicians has gained momentum not only as a way to comply with regulatory requirements, but also as a way to improve patient care. Measurement of structural, process, and outcome metrics in a reliable, evidence-based, specialty-specific manner maximizes the probability of improving physician performance. The manner in which feedback is provided influences whether the measurement tool will be successful in changing behavior. We created an innovative reporting tool template for anesthesiology practitioners designed to provide detailed, continuous feedback covering many aspects of clinical practice. The literature regarding quality metric measurement and feedback strategies was examined to design a reporting tool that could provide high quality information and result in improved performance of clinical and academic tasks. A committee of department leaders and information technology professionals was tasked with determining the measurement criteria and infrastructure needed to generate these reports. Data was collected in a systematic, unbiased manner, and reports were populated with information from multiple databases and software systems. Feedback would be based on frequently updated information and allow for analysis of historical performance as well as comparison amongst peers. A template for an anesthesia report card was created. Categories included compliance, credentialing and qualifications, education, clinical and operating room responsibilities, and academic achievements. Physicians were able to choose to be evaluated in some of the categories and had to meet a minimum number of criteria within each category. This allowed for customization to each practitioner's practice. Criteria were derived from the measures of academic and clinical proficiency, as well as quality metrics. Criteria were objective measures and data gathering was often automated. Reports could be generated that were updated daily and provided

  19. The impact of multi-criteria performance measurement on business performance improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fentahun Moges Kasie

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between multi-criteria performance measurement (MCPM practice and business performance improvement using the raw data collected from 33 selected manufacturing companies. In addition, it proposes modified MCPM model as an effective approach to improve business performance of manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach:Research paper. Primary and secondary data were collected using questionnaire survey, interview and observation of records. The methodology is to evaluate business performances of sampled manufacturing companies and the extent of utilization of crucial non-financial (lagging and non-financial (leading performance measures. The positive correlation between financial business performance and practice of MCPM is clearly shown using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Findings –This research paper indicates that companies which measure their performance using important financial and non-financial measures achieve better business performance. Even though certain companies are currently using non-financial measures, the researchers have learned that these financial measures were not integrated with each other, financial measures and strategic objectives. Research limitations/implications: The limitation of this paper is that the number of surveyed companies is small to make generalization and they are found in a single country. Further researches which incorporate a large number of companies from various developing nations are suggested to minimize the limitation of this research.Practical Implication: The paper shows that multi-dimensional performance measures with the inclusion of key leading indicator are essential to predict the future environment. But cost-accounting based financial measures are inadequate to do so. These are shown practically using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Originality/value: The significance of multi

  20. New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fletcher, James H. [University of North Florida; Campbell, Joseph L. [University of North Florida; Cox, Philip [University of North Florida; Harrington, William J. [University of North Florida

    2013-09-16

    Abstract Project Title: New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost The University of North Florida (UNF)--with project partners the University of Florida, Northeastern University, and Johnson Matthey--has recently completed the Department of Energy (DOE) project entitled “New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost”. The primary objective of the project was to advance portable fuel cell MEA technology towards the commercial targets as laid out in the DOE R&D roadmap by developing a passive water recovery MEA (membrane electrode assembly). Developers at the University of North Florida identified water management components as an insurmountable barrier to achieving the required system size and weight necessary to achieve the energy density requirements of small portable power applications. UNF developed an innovative “passive water recovery” MEA for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) which provides a path to system simplification and optimization. The passive water recovery MEA incorporates a hydrophobic, porous, barrier layer within the cathode electrode, so that capillary pressure forces the water produced at the cathode through holes in the membrane and back to the anode. By directly transferring the water from the cathode to the anode, the balance of plant is very much simplified and the need for heavy, bulky water recovery components is eliminated. At the heart of the passive water recovery MEA is the UNF DM-1 membrane that utilizes a hydrocarbon structure to optimize performance in a DMFC system. The membrane has inherent performance advantages, such as a low methanol crossover (high overall efficiency), while maintaining a high proton conductivity (good electrochemical efficiency) when compared to perfluorinated sulfonic acid membranes such as Nafion. Critically, the membrane provides an extremely low electro-osmotic drag coefficient of approximately one water molecule per proton (versus the 2-3 for

  1. Lean methodology for performance improvement in the trauma discharge process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, Michael Shaymus; Ramaniuk, Aliaksandr; Graymire, Vickie; Rozzell, Monica; Martin, Stacey

    2014-07-01

    High-volume, complex services such as trauma and acute care surgery are at risk for inefficiency. Lean process improvement can reduce health care waste. Lean allows a structured look at processes not easily amenable to analysis. We applied lean methodology to the current state of communication and discharge planning on an urban trauma service, citing areas for improvement. A lean process mapping event was held. The process map was used to identify areas for immediate analysis and intervention-defining metrics for the stakeholders. After intervention, new performance was assessed by direct data evaluation. The process was completed with an analysis of effect and plans made for addressing future focus areas. The primary area of concern identified was interservice communication. Changes centering on a standardized morning report structure reduced the number of consult questions unanswered from 67% to 34% (p = 0.0021). Physical therapy rework was reduced from 35% to 19% (p = 0.016). Patients admitted to units not designated to the trauma service had 1.6 times longer stays (p miscommunication exists around patient education at discharge. Lean process improvement is a viable means of health care analysis. When applied to a trauma service with 4,000 admissions annually, lean identifies areas ripe for improvement. Our inefficiencies surrounded communication and patient localization. Strategies arising from the input of all stakeholders led to real solutions for communication through a face-to-face morning report and identified areas for ongoing improvement. This focuses resource use and identifies areas for improvement of throughput in care delivery.

  2. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participants interacting with game elements showed higher scores in the working memory training task than participants from a control group who completed the working memory training task without the game elements. Moreover, game elements facilitated the individuals’ performance closer to their maximum working memory capacity. Finally, the perceived flow did not differ between the two groups, which indicates that game elements can induce better performance without changing the perception of being “in the zone”, that is without an increase in anxiety or boredom. This empirical study indicates that certain game elements can improve the performance and efficiency in a working memory task by increasing users’ ability and willingness to train at their optimal performance level. 

  3. Evaluating and improving nuclear power plant operating performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-07-01

    This report aims to provide the basis for improvements in the understanding of nuclear power plants operation and ideas for improving future productivity. The purpose of the project was to identify good practices of operating performance at a few of the world's most productive plants. This report was prepared through a series of consultants meetings, a specialists meeting and an Advisory Group meeting with participation of experts from 23 Member States. The report is based on self-assessment of half a dozen plants that have been chosen as representatives of different reactor types in as many different countries, and the views and assessment of the participants on good practices influencing plant performance. Three main areas that influence nuclear power plant availability and reliability were identified in the discussions: (1) management practices, (2) personnel characteristics, and (3) working practices. These areas cover causes influencing plant performance under plant management control. In each area the report describes factors or good practices that positively influence plant availability. The case studies, presented in annexes, contain the plant self-assessment of areas that influence their availability and reliability. Six plants are represented in the case studies: (1) Dukovany (WWER, 1760 MW) in the Czech Republic; (2) Blayais (PWR, 3640 MW) in France; (3) Paks (WWER, 1840 MW) in Hungary; (4) Wolsong 1 (PHWR, 600 MW) in the Republic of Korea; (5) Trillo 1 (PWR, 1066 MW) in Spain; and (6) Limerick (BWR, 2220 MW) in the United States of America

  4. Evaluating and improving nuclear power plant operating performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-07-01

    This report aims to provide the basis for improvements in the understanding of nuclear power plants operation and ideas for improving future productivity. The purpose of the project was to identify good practices of operating performance at a few of the world`s most productive plants. This report was prepared through a series of consultants meetings, a specialists meeting and an Advisory Group meeting with participation of experts from 23 Member States. The report is based on self-assessment of half a dozen plants that have been chosen as representatives of different reactor types in as many different countries, and the views and assessment of the participants on good practices influencing plant performance. Three main areas that influence nuclear power plant availability and reliability were identified in the discussions: (1) management practices, (2) personnel characteristics, and (3) working practices. These areas cover causes influencing plant performance under plant management control. In each area the report describes factors or good practices that positively influence plant availability. The case studies, presented in annexes, contain the plant self-assessment of areas that influence their availability and reliability. Six plants are represented in the case studies: (1) Dukovany (WWER, 1760 MW) in the Czech Republic; (2) Blayais (PWR, 3640 MW) in France; (3) Paks (WWER, 1840 MW) in Hungary; (4) Wolsong 1 (PHWR, 600 MW) in the Republic of Korea; (5) Trillo 1 (PWR, 1066 MW) in Spain; and (6) Limerick (BWR, 2220 MW) in the United States of America Figs, tabs

  5. Improving Software Performance in the Compute Unified Device Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru PIRJAN

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyzes several aspects regarding the improvement of software performance for applications written in the Compute Unified Device Architecture CUDA. We address an issue of great importance when programming a CUDA application: the Graphics Processing Unit’s (GPU’s memory management through ranspose ernels. We also benchmark and evaluate the performance for progressively optimizing a transposing matrix application in CUDA. One particular interest was to research how well the optimization techniques, applied to software application written in CUDA, scale to the latest generation of general-purpose graphic processors units (GPGPU, like the Fermi architecture implemented in the GTX480 and the previous architecture implemented in GTX280. Lately, there has been a lot of interest in the literature for this type of optimization analysis, but none of the works so far (to our best knowledge tried to validate if the optimizations can apply to a GPU from the latest Fermi architecture and how well does the Fermi architecture scale to these software performance improving techniques.

  6. Performance improvement tool for Thai make–to–order manufacturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apichat Sopadang

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a framework to improve a performance of shop floor control for Thai make-to-order (MTO smalland medium enterprises (SMEs. Integrated definition for function modeling is exploited to explore activities and relate ofcomponents. In-depth interview with experts and practitioners in the case study is provided useful information. The empiricalstudy is evaluated to suit for using the finalized SHEN model as a benchmark. Factor analysis is performed to find simplifiedinformation from variables. The data are collected from experience respondents by using a designed questionnaire. Eachobserved variable is assigned to test validity and reliability by factor loading and Cronbach’s alpha, respectively. The resultsshow that finalized SHEN can use as a performance improvement tool for Thai MTO SMEs. For example principle 11 is tested.Each observed variable has covariance value between 0.380-0.873. The value of reliability Cronbach’s alpha for this factoris shown 0.869. Based on the scree plot, it is asserted that 5 observed variables are correctly formed in the same principle.

  7. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Integrating From the Nanoscale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roco, M.C.; Bainbridge, W.S.

    2002-01-01

    In the early decades of the twenty-first century, concentrated efforts can unify science based on the unity of nature, thereby advancing the combination of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and new humane technologies based in cognitive science. Converging technologies integrated from the nanoscale could determine a tremendous improvement in human abilities and societal outcomes. This is a broad, cross cutting, emerging, and timely opportunity of interest to individuals, society, and humanity in the long term.About eighty scientific leaders, industry experts, and policy makers across a range of fields have contributed to develop a vision for the potential to improve human physical, mental, and social capabilities through the convergence of the four technologies. Six major themes have emerged: (a) The broad potential of converging technologies; (b) Expanding human cognition and communication; (c) Improving human health and physical capabilities; (d) Enhancing group and societal outcomes; (e) National security, and (f) Unifying science and education. This article summarizes the observations, conclusions, and recommendations made in the report (Roco and Bainbridge, eds., 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, NSF-DOC Report, June 2002, Arlington VA, USA)

  8. Shark skin-inspired designs that improve aerodynamic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domel, August G; Saadat, Mehdi; Weaver, James C; Haj-Hariri, Hossein; Bertoldi, Katia; Lauder, George V

    2018-02-01

    There have been significant efforts recently aimed at improving the aerodynamic performance of aerofoils through the modification of their surfaces. Inspired by the drag-reducing properties of the tooth-like denticles that cover the skin of sharks, we describe here experimental and simulation-based investigations into the aerodynamic effects of novel denticle-inspired designs placed along the suction side of an aerofoil. Through parametric modelling to query a wide range of different designs, we discovered a set of denticle-inspired surface structures that achieve simultaneous drag reduction and lift generation on an aerofoil, resulting in lift-to-drag ratio improvements comparable to the best-reported for traditional low-profile vortex generators and even outperforming these existing designs at low angles of attack with improvements of up to 323%. Such behaviour is enabled by two concurrent mechanisms: (i) a separation bubble in the denticle's wake altering the flow pressure distribution of the aerofoil to enhance suction and (ii) streamwise vortices that replenish momentum loss in the boundary layer due to skin friction. Our findings not only open new avenues for improved aerodynamic design, but also provide new perspective on the role of the complex and potentially multifunctional morphology of shark denticles for increased swimming efficiency. © 2018 The Author(s).

  9. Infrared Illuminated CdZnTe detectors with improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivanov, V.; Loutchanski, A.; Dorogov, P.; Khinoverov, S.

    2013-06-01

    It was found that IR illumination of a properly chosen wavelength and intensity can significantly improve spectrometric characteristics of CdZnTe quasi-hemispherical detectors [1]. Improving of the spectrometric characteristics is due to improvement of uniformity of charge collection by the detector volume. For operation at room temperature the optimal wavelength of IR illumination is about 940 nm, but for operation at lower temperature of -20 deg. C the optimal wavelengths of IR illumination is about 1050 nm. Infrared illumination can be performed using conventional low-power IR LEDs. Application of SMD LEDs allows produce miniature detection probes with IR illuminated CdZnTe detectors. We have fabricated and tested a variety of detection probes with CdZnTe quasi-hemispherical detectors from the smallest with volumes of 1-5 mm 3 to larger with volumes of 1.5 cm 3 and 4.0 cm 3 . The use of IR illumination significantly improves spectrometric characteristics of the probes operating at room temperature, especially probes with detectors of large volumes. The probe with the detector of 4 cm 3 without IR illumination had energy resolution of 24.2 keV at 662 keV and of 12.5 keV with IR illumination. (authors)

  10. Improving Seismic Data Accessibility and Performance Using HDF Containers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, B. J. K.; Wang, J.; Yang, R.

    2017-12-01

    The performance of computational geophysical data processing and forward modelling relies on both computational and data. Significant efforts on developing new data formats and libraries have been made the community, such as IRIS/PASSCAL and ASDF in data, and programs and utilities such as ObsPy and SPECFEM. The National Computational Infrastructure hosts a national significant geophysical data collection that is co-located with a high performance computing facility and provides an opportunity to investigate how to improve the data formats from both a data management and a performance point of view. This paper investigates how to enhance the data usability in several perspectives: 1) propose a convention for the seismic (both active and passive) community to improve the data accessibility and interoperability; 2) recommend the convention used in the HDF container when data is made available in PH5 or ASDF formats; 3) provide tools to convert between various seismic data formats; 4) provide performance benchmark cases using ObsPy library and SPECFEM3D to demonstrate how different data organization in terms of chunking size and compression impact on the performance by comparing new data formats, such as PH5 and ASDF to traditional formats such as SEGY, SEED, SAC, etc. In this work we apply our knowledge and experience on data standards and conventions, such as CF and ACDD from the climate community to the seismology community. The generic global attributes widely used in climate community are combined with the existing convention in the seismology community, such as CMT and QuakeML, StationXML, SEGY header convention. We also extend such convention by including the provenance and benchmarking records so that the r user can learn the footprint of the data together with its baseline performance. In practise we convert the example wide angle reflection seismic data from SEGY to PH5 or ASDF by using ObsPy and pyasdf libraries. It quantitatively demonstrates how the

  11. Titan I propulsion system modeling and possible performance improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusti, Oreste

    This thesis features the Titan I propulsion systems and offers data-supported suggestions for improvements to increase performance. The original propulsion systems were modeled both graphically in CAD and via equations. Due to the limited availability of published information, it was necessary to create a more detailed, secondary set of models. Various engineering equations---pertinent to rocket engine design---were implemented in order to generate the desired extra detail. This study describes how these new models were then imported into the ESI CFD Suite. Various parameters are applied to these imported models as inputs that include, for example, bi-propellant combinations, pressure, temperatures, and mass flow rates. The results were then processed with ESI VIEW, which is visualization software. The output files were analyzed for forces in the nozzle, and various results were generated, including sea level thrust and ISP. Experimental data are provided to compare the original engine configuration models to the derivative suggested improvement models.

  12. THE PUZZLE TECHNIQUE, COOPERATIVE LEARNING STRATEGY TO IMPROVE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.ª José Mayorga Fernández

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available This  article  presents  an  innovative  experience  carried  out  in  the  subject Pedagogical Bases of Special Education, a 4.5 credit core subject taught at the second year of the Degree in Physical Education Teacher Training (to be extinguish, based on the use of a methodological strategic in accordance with the new demands of the EEES. With the experience we pursue a double purpose: firstly, to present the technique of jigsaw or puzzle as a useful methodological strategy for university learning and, on the other hand, to show whether this strategy improves students results. Comparing the results with students previous year results shows that the performance of students who participated in the innovative experience has improved considerably, increasing their motivation and involvement towards the task.

  13. Improving the precision of genotype selection in wheat performance trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovani Benin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to verify whether using the Papadakis method improves model assumptions and experimental accuracy in field trials used to determine grain yield for wheat lineages indifferent Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU regions. Grain yield data from 572 field trials at 31 locations in the VCU Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 in 2007-2011 were used. Each trial was run with and without the use of the Papadakis method. The Papadakis method improved the indices of experimental precision measures and reduced the number of experimental repetitions required to predict grain yield performance among the wheat genotypes. There were differences among the wheat adaptation regions in terms of the efficiency of the Papadakis method, the adjustment coefficient of the genotype averages and the increases in the selective accuracy of grain yield.

  14. Special report. New products that improve officer performance, safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

    The need for products that improve performance of security officers is counterbalanced these days by budgetary constraints. While this may limit major investments in security systems and personnel, less costly improvements or innovations might be worth considering. In this report, we will discuss four advances that may be valuable not only in hospital security, but in other industries as well. One of them, a smoke filter, was originally developed for the hotel industry. Another, a drug detection device, may replace the use of undercover agents or drug-sniffing' dogs in certain circumstances. The third new product is an economical patrol vehicle for parking facilities which might replace more costly vehicles such as golf carts or cars. The fourth product, a roving CCTV camera, is actually being tested at a Midwest medical center and may allow you to monitor areas of parking garages with cameras instead of officers on patrol.

  15. Improving productivity and firm performance with enterprise resource planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Hooshang M.; Beheshti, Cyrus M.

    2010-11-01

    Productivity is generally considered to be the efficient utilisation of organisational resources and is measured in terms of the efficiency of a worker, company or nation. Focusing on efficiency alone, however, can be harmful to the organisation's long-term success and competitiveness. The full benefits of productivity improvement measures are realised when productivity is examined from two perspectives: operational efficiency (output/input) of an individual worker or a business unit as well as performance (effectiveness) with regard to end user or customer satisfaction. Over the years, corporations have adopted new technology to integrate business activities in order to achieve both effectiveness and efficiency in their operations. In recent years, many firms have invested in enterprise resource planning (ERP) in order to integrate all business activities into a uniform system. The implementation of ERP enables the firm to reduce the transaction costs of the business and improve its productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability.

  16. Bayesian image reconstruction for improving detection performance of muon tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guobao; Schultz, Larry J; Qi, Jinyi

    2009-05-01

    Muon tomography is a novel technology that is being developed for detecting high-Z materials in vehicles or cargo containers. Maximum likelihood methods have been developed for reconstructing the scattering density image from muon measurements. However, the instability of maximum likelihood estimation often results in noisy images and low detectability of high-Z targets. In this paper, we propose using regularization to improve the image quality of muon tomography. We formulate the muon reconstruction problem in a Bayesian framework by introducing a prior distribution on scattering density images. An iterative shrinkage algorithm is derived to maximize the log posterior distribution. At each iteration, the algorithm obtains the maximum a posteriori update by shrinking an unregularized maximum likelihood update. Inverse quadratic shrinkage functions are derived for generalized Laplacian priors and inverse cubic shrinkage functions are derived for generalized Gaussian priors. Receiver operating characteristic studies using simulated data demonstrate that the Bayesian reconstruction can greatly improve the detection performance of muon tomography.

  17. A conceptual model to improve performance in virtual teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shopee Dube

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The vast improvement in communication technologies and sophisticated project management tools, methods and techniques has allowed geographically and culturally diverse groups to operate and function in a virtual environment. To succeed in this virtual environment where time and space are becoming increasingly irrelevant, organisations must define new ways of implementing initiatives. This virtual environment phenomenon has brought about the formation of virtual project teams that allow organisations to harness the skills and knowhow of the best resources, irrespective of their location. Objectives: The aim of this article was to investigate performance criteria and develop a conceptual model which can be applied to enhance the success of virtual project teams. There are no clear guidelines of the performance criteria in managing virtual project teams. Method: A qualitative research methodology was used in this article. The purpose of content analysis was to explore the literature to understand the concept of performance in virtual project teams and to summarise the findings of the literature reviewed. Results: The research identified a set of performance criteria for the virtual project teams as follows: leadership, trust, communication, team cooperation, reliability, motivation, comfort and social interaction. These were used to conceptualise the model. Conclusion: The conceptual model can be used in a holistic way to determine the overall performance of the virtual project team, but each factor can be analysed individually to determine the impact on the overall performance. The knowledge of performance criteria for virtual project teams could aid project managers in enhancing the success of these teams and taking a different approach to better manage and coordinate them.

  18. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paydos Michael

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This article – number two in the series – describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP, a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool. A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient. An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done. By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM.

  19. Improvement of multiprocessing performance by using optical centralized shared bus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xuliang; Chen, Ray T.

    2004-06-01

    With the ever-increasing need to solve larger and more complex problems, multiprocessing is attracting more and more research efforts. One of the challenges facing the multiprocessor designers is to fulfill in an effective manner the communications among the processes running in parallel on multiple multiprocessors. The conventional electrical backplane bus provides narrow bandwidth as restricted by the physical limitations of electrical interconnects. In the electrical domain, in order to operate at high frequency, the backplane topology has been changed from the simple shared bus to the complicated switched medium. However, the switched medium is an indirect network. It cannot support multicast/broadcast as effectively as the shared bus. Besides the additional latency of going through the intermediate switching nodes, signal routing introduces substantial delay and considerable system complexity. Alternatively, optics has been well known for its interconnect capability. Therefore, it has become imperative to investigate how to improve multiprocessing performance by utilizing optical interconnects. From the implementation standpoint, the existing optical technologies still cannot fulfill the intelligent functions that a switch fabric should provide as effectively as their electronic counterparts. Thus, an innovative optical technology that can provide sufficient bandwidth capacity, while at the same time, retaining the essential merits of the shared bus topology, is highly desirable for the multiprocessing performance improvement. In this paper, the optical centralized shared bus is proposed for use in the multiprocessing systems. This novel optical interconnect architecture not only utilizes the beneficial characteristics of optics, but also retains the desirable properties of the shared bus topology. Meanwhile, from the architecture standpoint, it fits well in the centralized shared-memory multiprocessing scheme. Therefore, a smooth migration with substantial

  20. Expectation of having consumed caffeine can improve performance and mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawkins, Lynne; Shahzad, Fatima-Zahra; Ahmed, Suada S; Edmonds, Caroline J

    2011-12-01

    We explored whether caffeine, and expectation of having consumed caffeine, affects attention, reward responsivity and mood using double-blinded methodology. 88 participants were randomly allocated to 'drink-type' (caffeinated/decaffeinated coffee) and 'expectancy' (told caffeinated/told decaffeinated coffee) manipulations. Both caffeine and expectation of having consumed caffeine improved attention and psychomotor speed. Expectation enhanced self-reported vigour and reward responsivity. Self-reported depression increased at post-drink for all participants, but less in those receiving or expecting caffeine. These results suggest caffeine expectation can affect mood and performance but do not support a synergistic effect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Performance of the Improvements of the CAESAR Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riaan Stopforth

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Robots are able to enter concealed and unstable environments inaccessible to rescuers. Previous Urban Search And Rescue (USAR robots have experienced problems with malfunction of communication systems, traction systems, control and telemetry. These problems were accessed and improved in developing a prototype robot called CAESAR, which is an acronym for Contractible Arms Elevating Search And Rescue. Problems encountered with previous USAR robots are discussed. The mechanical, sensory and communication systems that were used on CAESAR are briefly explained. Each system was separately tested by performed experiments. Results of field tests and the robot performance experienced during a disaster scenario that was created are discussed. The capabilities of CAESAR are explained in these tests to determine if some of the problems experienced previously are solved.

  2. Westinghouse fuel manufacturing systems: a step change in performance improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mutyala, Meena

    2009-01-01

    Today's competitive electrical generation industry demands that nuclear power plant operators minimize total operating costs, including fuel cycle cost while maintaining flawless fuel performance. The mission of Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel is to be the industry's most responsive supplier of flawless, value added fuel products and services, as judged by our customers. As nuclear is fast becoming the choice of many countries, existing manufacturing plants and facilities are once again running at full capacity. In this context Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel is committed to deliver a step change in performance improvement worldwide through its manufacturing operations by the introduction of a set of fundamentals collectively named the 'Westinghouse Fuel Manufacturing System' (WFMS), whose key principles are discussed in this paper. (author)

  3. Improvements in EMC performance of inverter-fed motor drives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhong, E.; Lipo, T.A.

    1995-01-01

    An experimental investigation of conducted radio-noise emission from a conventional pulse width modulated (PWM) inverter of medium power feeding an induction motor is described. It is determined that the inverter system generates considerable impulse currents through the power leads feeding the system resulting in serious conducted electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems and significant voltage waveform distortion in the power system. The dominant emission sources in the system are identified. A proposed model of the drive system for the purpose of evaluation of EMI are developed. Several low-cost strategies for improvement in EMC performance of the PWM inverter are then proposed. Experimental results demonstrate that disturbance from the modified system can be dramatically reduced and that the EMC performance of the system has come very close to meeting the IEC CISPR and FCC limits on conducted emissions for digital devices

  4. Prioritising Investments in Marketing Activities to Improve Business Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martensen, Anne; Mouritsen, Jan

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to prioritise investments in marketing activities based on their effect on business performance (BP). On the basis of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model adapted to a marketing context, four generic marketing activities are structured in two...... dimensions: (1) Small m: marketing strategy and marketing implementation and (2) big M: cross-functional coordination and innovation. Big M and small m interact and influence BP similarly. When considering investing in marketing activities to improve financial performance, the first priority is to recruit...... and retain competent employees and the second, to collect, disseminate and act upon market insight in the form of measurement of effectiveness and production of intelligence. These provide resources for the development of a customer-oriented marketing strategy that in turn helps innovation and cross...

  5. Aromatherapy Improves Work Performance Through Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Capdevila, Lluis

    2017-03-01

    This study analyzed the efficacy of aromatherapy in improving work performance and reducing workplace stress. The initial sample comprised 42 administrative university workers (M age  = 42.21 years, standard deviation = 7.12; 10 male). All sessions were performed in a university computer classroom. The participants were randomly assigned into an aromatherapy group (AG) and a control group (CG), and they were invited to participate in a specific session only once. They were seated in front of a computer. During the intervention period, some oil diffusers were switched on and were in operation throughout the session with petitgrain essential oil for AG sessions and a neutral oil (almond) for CG sessions. At the same time, participants completed a computer task on a specific Web site typing on their keyboard until they had finished it. The single times were different for all participants and were recorded on the Web site as "performance time." Before and after the intervention, participants completed anxiety and mood state questionnaires (the Stait-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI] and the Profile of Mood States [POMS]). Heart-rate variability (HRV) was measured before (PRE), during (20-25 min), and after (POS) the intervention to analyze autonomic nervous system regulation. The AG performed the Web site task 2.28 min faster than the CG (p = 0.05). The two groups showed differences in the following HRV parameters: low frequency (p = 0.05), high frequency (p = 0.02), standard deviation of all RR intervals (p = 0.05), and root mean square of differences (p = 0.02). All participants in all groups showed a decrease from PRE to POST for STAI (p Aromatherapy (inhaling petitgrain essential oil) can improve performance in the workplace. These results could be explained by an autonomic balance on the sympathetic/parasympathetic system through a combined action of the petitgrain main components (linalyl acetate, linalool, and myrcene). The final

  6. Training improves laparoscopic tasks performance and decreases operator workload.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jesse S L; Lu, Jirong; Tan, Wee Boon; Lomanto, Davide

    2016-05-01

    It has been postulated that increased operator workload during task performance may increase fatigue and surgical errors. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) is a validated tool for self-assessment for workload. Our study aims to assess the relationship of workload and performance of novices in simulated laparoscopic tasks of different complexity levels before and after training. Forty-seven novices without prior laparoscopic experience were recruited in a trial to investigate whether training improves task performance as well as mental workload. The participants were tested on three standard tasks (ring transfer, precision cutting and intracorporeal suturing) in increasing complexity based on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) curriculum. Following a period of training and rest, participants were tested again. Test scores were computed from time taken and time penalties for precision errors. Test scores and NASA-TLX scores were recorded pre- and post-training and analysed using paired t tests. One-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyse differences in NASA-TLX scores between the three tasks. NASA-TLX score was lowest with ring transfer and highest with intracorporeal suturing. This was statistically significant in both pre-training (p NASA-TLX scores mirror the changes in test scores for the three tasks. Workload scores decreased significantly after training for all three tasks (ring transfer = 2.93, p NASA-TLX score is an accurate reflection of the complexity of simulated laparoscopic tasks in the FLS curriculum. This also correlates with the relationship of test scores between the three tasks. Simulation training improves both performance score and workload score across the tasks.

  7. Dentate Gyrus circuitry features improve performance of sparse approximation algorithms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagiotis C Petrantonakis

    Full Text Available Memory-related activity in the Dentate Gyrus (DG is characterized by sparsity. Memory representations are seen as activated neuronal populations of granule cells, the main encoding cells in DG, which are estimated to engage 2-4% of the total population. This sparsity is assumed to enhance the ability of DG to perform pattern separation, one of the most valuable contributions of DG during memory formation. In this work, we investigate how features of the DG such as its excitatory and inhibitory connectivity diagram can be used to develop theoretical algorithms performing Sparse Approximation, a widely used strategy in the Signal Processing field. Sparse approximation stands for the algorithmic identification of few components from a dictionary that approximate a certain signal. The ability of DG to achieve pattern separation by sparsifing its representations is exploited here to improve the performance of the state of the art sparse approximation algorithm "Iterative Soft Thresholding" (IST by adding new algorithmic features inspired by the DG circuitry. Lateral inhibition of granule cells, either direct or indirect, via mossy cells, is shown to enhance the performance of the IST. Apart from revealing the potential of DG-inspired theoretical algorithms, this work presents new insights regarding the function of particular cell types in the pattern separation task of the DG.

  8. Improved Functional Performance in Geriatric Patients During Hospital Stay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Anders; Loeb, Mads Rohde; Andersen, Kristine Bramsen

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate the time course of changes in strength and functional performance in elderly hospitalized medical patients. DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study in elderly medical patients of age 65 years or older at a geriatric department.Measurement......OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate the time course of changes in strength and functional performance in elderly hospitalized medical patients. DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study in elderly medical patients of age 65 years or older at a geriatric department.......Measurements were obtained on days 2 to 4, day 5 to 8, and days 9 to 13. Functional performance was measured with De Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI) test and a 30-second chair stand test (30-s CST). Muscular strength was measured with handgrip strength. Activity level was determined with accelerometry (Activ...... in 30-s CST (P performance of the lower extremities in geriatric patients improves moderately over the time of a hospital stay...

  9. Future thinking instructions improve prospective memory performance in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altgassen, Mareike; Kretschmer, Anett; Schnitzspahn, Katharina Marlene

    2017-07-01

    Studies on prospective memory (PM) development in adolescents point to age-related increases through to adulthood. The goal of the present study was to examine whether instructing adolescents to engage in an episodic prospection of themselves executing future actions (i.e., future thinking) when forming an intention would improve their PM performance and reduce age-related differences. Further, we set out to explore whether future thinking instructions result in stronger memory traces and/or stronger cue-context associations by evaluating retrospective memory for the PM cues after task completion and monitoring costs during PM task processing. Adolescents and young adults were allocated to either the future thinking, repeated-encoding or standard condition. As expected, adolescents had fewer correct PM responses than young adults. Across age groups, PM performance in the standard condition was lower than in the other encoding conditions. Importantly, the results indicate a significant interaction of age by encoding condition. While adolescents benefited most from future thinking instructions, young adults performed best in the repeated-encoding condition. The results also indicate that the beneficial effects of future thinking may result from deeper intention-encoding through the simulation of future task performance.

  10. Play for Performance: Using Computer Games to Improve Motivation and Test-Taking Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Alan R.; Bhagwatwar, Akshay; Minas, Randall K.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of testing, especially certification and high-stakes testing, has increased substantially over the past decade. Building on the "serious gaming" literature and the psychology "priming" literature, we developed a computer game designed to improve test-taking performance using psychological priming. The game primed…

  11. Device Engineering Towards Improved Tin Sulfide Solar Cell Performance and Performance Reproducibility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinmann, Vera; Chakraborty, Rupak; Rekemeyer, Paul; Siol, Sebastian; Martinot, Loic; Polizzotti, Alex; Yang, Chuanxi; Hartman, Katy; Gradecak, Silvija; Zakutayev, Andriy; Gordon, Roy G.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2016-11-21

    As novel absorber materials are developed and screened for their photovoltaic (PV) properties, the challenge remains to rapidly test promising candidates in high-performing PV devices. There is a need to engineer new compatible device architectures, including the development of novel transparent conductive oxides and buffer layers. Here, we consider the two approaches of a substrate-style and a superstrate-style device architecture for novel thin-film solar cells. We use tin sulfide as a test absorber material. Upon device engineering, we demonstrate new approaches to improve device performance and performance reproducibility.

  12. Location decision strategies for improving SMME business performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shereen Barnard

    2011-12-01

    relationship between electricity tariffs and business performance. Employment and business performance attained the strongest positive relationship; indicating that business owners regarded employment as an important factor to consider when searching for suitable business premises. The relationship between location and business performance obtained the lowest positive correlation. Originality and value of the research: Research on South African SMMEs regarding location decisions and the specific factors identified in this study has not been done previously in South Africa. Therefore, because evidence exists that the macro-environmental factors influence location decisions to varying degrees, this study can provide SMME owners with insight into the factors influencing location choice. It is vital that business owners consider these factors as they could influence business performance, and ultimately, business survival. An increased awareness of the importance of the aspects discussed in this study could consequently lead to improved performance in the SMME sector.

  13. Optimal setpoint generation for improved fuel temperature performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johns, R.M.; Edwards, R.M.

    1995-01-01

    Nuclear power plant systems feature a high degree of non-linearity and high noise level, and the performance of conventional control systems may degrade when power plants operate under a wide range of conditions, such as startup, test, shutdown, etc. The conventional control system is not intended for nuclear power plant full-range operation. This is the reason that, at present, nuclear power plants rely on manual operations for most wide-range control and only use automatic control around nominal conditions. The availability of new powerful control techniques and mathematical tools has motivated an expanding research effort toward the development of the advanced hybrid feedforward-feedback control system. The planned command input is based on the analysis of a system model in some form in order to improve the performance of the overall system. The use of a feedforward optimal controller to improve the fuel temperature response to a step change in desired reactor power is being demonstrated. The Penn State TRIGA reactor is used as the basis of the reactor model so that validation of the controller may be shown

  14. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Huelman, P. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    2016-07-13

    A combined space- and water-heating (combi) system uses a high-efficiency direct-vent burner that eliminates safety issues associated with natural draft appliances. Past research with these systems shows that using condensing water heaters or boilers with hydronic air handling units can provide both space and water heating with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Improved controls have the potential to reduce complexity and improve upon the measured performance. This project demonstrates that controls can significantly benefit these first-generation systems. Laboratory tests and daily load/performance models showed that the set point temperature reset control produced a 2.1%–4.3% (20–40 therms/year) savings for storage and hybrid water heater combi systems operated in moderate-load homes. The full modulation control showed additional savings over set point control (in high-load homes almost doubling the savings: 4%–5% over the no-control case). At the time of installation the reset control can be implemented for $200–$400, which would provide paybacks of 6–25 years for low-load houses and 3–15 years for high-load houses. Full modulation implementation costs would be similar to the outdoor reset and would provide paybacks of 5-½–20 years for low-load houses and 2-½–10 years for high-load houses.

  15. Continuous improvement of the MHTGR safety and competitive performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eichenberg, T.W.; Etzel, K.T.; Mascaro, L.L.; Rucker, R.A.

    1992-05-01

    An increase in reactor module power from 350 to 450 MW(t) would markedly improve the economics of the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR). The higher power level was recommended as the result of an in-depth cost reduction study undertaken to compete with the declining price of fossil fuel. The safety assessment confirms that the high level of safety, which relies on inherent characteristics and passive features, is maintained at the elevated power level. Preliminary systems, nuclear, and safety performance results are discussed for the recommended 450 MW(t) design. Optimization of plant parameters and design modifications accommodated the operation of the steam generator and circulator at the higher power level. Events in which forced cooling is lost, designated as conduction cooldowns are described in detail. For the depressurized conduction cooldown, without full helium inventory, peak fuel temperatures are significantly lowered. A more negative temperature coefficient of reactivity was achieved while maintaining an adequate fuel cycle and reactivity control. Continual improvement of the MHTGR delivers competitive performance without relinquishing the high safety margins demanded of the next generation of power plants

  16. Advanced digital technology - improving nuclear power plant performance through maintainability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, J.L.; Senechal, R.R.; Altenhein, G.D.; Harvey, R.P.

    1998-01-01

    In today's energy sector there is ever increasing pressure on utilities to operate power plants at high capacity factors. To ensure nuclear power is competitive into the next century, it is imperative that strategic design improvements be made to enhance the performance of nuclear power plants. There are a number of factors that affect a nuclear power plant's performance; lifetime maintenance is one of the major contributors. The maturing of digital technology has afforded ABB the opportunity to make significant design improvements in the area of maintainability. In keeping with ABB's evolutionary advanced nuclear plant design approach, digital technology has systematically been incorporated into the control and protection systems of the most recent Korean nuclear units in operation and under construction. One example of this was the multi-functional design team approach that was utilized for the development of ABB's Digital Plant Protection System (DPPS). The design team consisted of engineers, maintenance technicians, procurement specialists and manufacturing personnel in order to provide a complete perspective on all facets of the design. The governing design goals of increased reliability and safety, simplicity of design, use of off-the-shelf products and reduced need for periodic surveillance testing were met with the selection of proven ABB-Advant Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) as the heart of the DPPS. The application of digital PLC technology allows operation for extended periods without requiring routine maintenance or re-calibration. A well documented commercial dedication program approved by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) as part of the System 80+ TM Advanced Light Water Reactor Design Certification Program, allowed the use of off-the shelf products in the design of the safety protection system. In addition, a number of mechanical and electrical improvements were made which support maintainability. The result is a DPPS

  17. Conceptual Designs for the Performance Improvement of APR1400 SIT and Preliminary Performance Evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chu, In-Cheol; Kwon, Tae-Soon; Song, Chul-Hwa

    2008-01-01

    Some evolutionary type PWRs such as APR1400 and APWR adopt advanced safety injection tank (SIT). The SIT of APR1400 has a fluidic device (FD) which passively controls ECC water injection flow rate into reactor coolant system during refill and reflood phases of LB-LOCA (i.e., a high injection flow rate during the refill phase and a low injection flow rate during the reflood phase). The benefit of the FD is the elimination of the function of low pressure safety injection pump from the safety injection system. The flow controlling performance of the APR1400 FD was evaluated using a prototypical full-scale test facility, called VAPER (Valve Performance Evaluation Rig). Even though the performance of the APR1400 FD satisfied major design and licensing requirements, further improvement of the performance is expected such as the extension of total injection period, the delay of nitrogen gas discharge. Several conceptual designs have been being drawn out in order to improve the performance of the APR1400 SIT. The performance of some designs was evaluated using a small scale SIT test rig. The present paper introduces some of the conceptual designs and shows the performance evaluation experimental results

  18. Carbohydrate ingestion improves performance of a new reliable test of soccer performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currell, Kevin; Conway, Steve; Jeukendrup, Asker E

    2009-02-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the reliability of a new test of soccer performance and evaluate the effect of carbohydrate (CHO) on soccer performance. Eleven university footballers were recruited and underwent 3 trials in a randomized order. Two of the trials involved ingesting a placebo beverage, and the other, a 7.5% maltodextrin solution. The protocol comprised a series of ten 6-min exercise blocks on an outdoor Astroturf pitch, separated by the performance of 2 of the 4 soccer-specific tests, making the protocol 90 min in duration. The intensity of the exercise was designed to be similar to the typical activity pattern during soccer match play. Participants performed skill tests of dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting throughout the protocol. The coefficients of variation for dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting were 2.2%, 1.2%, 7.0%, and 2.8%, respectively. The mean combined placebo scores were 42.4 +/- 2.7 s, 43.1 +/- 3.7 s, 210 +/- 34 cm, and 212 +/- 17 points for agility, dribbling, heading, and kicking, respectively. CHO ingestion led to a combined agility time of 41.5 +/- 0.8 s, for dribbling 41.7 +/- 3.5 s, 213 +/- 11 cm for heading, and 220 +/- 5 points for kicking accuracy. There was a significant improvement in performance for dribbling, agility, and shooting (p soccer performance, and ingesting CHO leads to an improvement in soccer performance.

  19. Packaging of active fiber composites for improved sensor performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melnykowycz, M; Barbezat, M; Koller, R; Brunner, A J

    2010-01-01

    Active fiber composites (AFC) composed of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) fibers embedded in an epoxy matrix and sandwiched between two interdigitated electrodes provide a thin and flexible smart material device which can act as a sensor or actuator. The thin profiles of AFC make them ideal for integration in glass or carbon fiber composite laminates. However, due to the low tensile limit of the PZT fibers, AFC can fail at strains below the tensile limit of many composites. This makes their use as a component in an active laminate design somewhat undesirable. In the current work, tensile testing of smart laminates composed of AFC integrated in glass fiber laminates was conducted to assess the effectiveness of different packaging strategies for improving AFC sensor performance at high strains relative to the tensile limit of the AFC. AFC were encased in carbon fiber, silicon, and pre-stressed carbon fiber to improve the tensile limit of the AFC when integrated in glass fiber laminates. By laminating AFC with pre-stressed carbon fiber, the tensile limit and strain sensor ability of the AFC were significantly improved. Acoustic emission monitoring was used and the results show that PZT fiber breakage was reduced due to the pre-stressed packaging process

  20. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitman, Lucy S.; Lewis, Colin; Oakley, John P.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.

  1. Improved performance of the control scheme for IUAC superconducting Linac

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahu, B.K.; Suman, S.K.; Kumar, R.

    2015-01-01

    Since many years energized ion beams from linac are being delivered routinely for scheduled experiments using all the three accelerating modules of linac along with super buncher and rebuncher. Major efforts are dedicated to improve the performance of the control scheme to minimise the down time of the linac during operation. Earlier, a number of developments were carried out to improve the dynamics of the control scheme. The most significant of them is the piezoelectric actuator based tuning mechanism which is implemented in all the operational resonators of second and third accelerating modules of superconducting linac. This has helped us to bridge the gap between the accelerating fields achieved during Q measurement at 6 W of helium power and during phase locking of the resonator during beam operation at a given RF power (∼120W). The piezoelectric actuator based tuner is also instrumental to reduce the unlocking rate of the resonators. Pulse width modulation (PWM) control based helium gas operated tuner is implemented in few resonators to improve phase locking performance. CAMAC based distributed control scheme is upgraded to VME based distributed control without changing the existing client interface to maintain uniformity between the Pelletron and linac control. Python code support has been implemented to protect the resonators against high forward power during unlocking. This is also integrated with the display status of the resonators for monitoring. A frequency to voltage converter is incorporated in control scheme to monitor the frequency error. This has helped us to develop a scheme for automatic phase locking of the cavities using piezoelectric actuator based tuner control. (author)

  2. Neck-cooling improves repeated sprint performance in the heat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline eSunderland

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated the effect of neck-cooling during exercise on repeated sprint ability in a hot environment. Seven team-sport playing males completed two experimental trials involving repeated sprint exercise (5 x 6 s before and after two 45 min bouts of a football specific intermittent treadmill protocol in the heat (33.0  0.2 ºC; 53 ± 2% relative humidity. Participants wore a neck-cooling collar in one of the trials (CC. Mean power output and peak power output declined over time in both trials but were higher in CC (540 ± 99 v 507 ± 122W, d = 0.32; 719 ± 158 v 680 ± 182 W, d = 0.24 respectively. The improved power output was particularly pronounced (d = 0.51 – 0.88 after the 2nd 45 min bout but the CC had no effect on % fatigue. The collar lowered neck temperature and the thermal sensation of the neck (P 0.05. There were no trial differences but interaction effects were demonstrated for prolactin concentration and rating of perceived exertion (RPE. Prolactin concentration was initially higher in the collar cold trial and then was lower from 45 minutes onwards (interaction trial x time P=0.04. RPE was lower during the football intermittent treadmill protocol in the collar cold trial (interaction trial x time P = 0.01. Neck-cooling during exercise improves repeated sprint performance in a hot environment without altering physiological or neuroendocrinological responses. RPE is reduced and may partially explain the performance improvement.

  3. Does correcting astigmatism with toric lenses improve driving performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Daniel J; Banton, Thomas; Record, Steven; Grabman, Jesse H; Hawkins, Ronald J

    2015-04-01

    Driving is a vision-based activity of daily living that impacts safety. Because visual disruption can compromise driving safety, contact lens wearers with astigmatism may pose a driving safety risk if they experience residual blur from spherical lenses that do not correct their astigmatism or if they experience blur from toric lenses that rotate excessively. Given that toric lens stabilization systems are continually improving, this preliminary study tested the hypothesis that astigmats wearing toric contact lenses, compared with spherical lenses, would exhibit better overall driving performance and driving-specific visual abilities. A within-subject, single-blind, crossover, randomized design was used to evaluate driving performance in 11 young adults with astigmatism (-0.75 to -1.75 diopters cylinder). Each participant drove a highly immersive, virtual reality driving simulator (210 degrees field of view) with (1) no correction, (2) spherical contact lens correction (ACUVUE MOIST), and (3) toric contact lens correction (ACUVUE MOIST for Astigmatism). Tactical driving skills such as steering, speed management, and braking, as well as operational driving abilities such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and foot and arm reaction time, were quantified. There was a main effect for type of correction on driving performance (p = 0.05). Correction with toric lenses resulted in significantly safer tactical driving performance than no correction (p driving safety from no correction (p = 0.118). Operational tests differentiated corrected from uncorrected performance for both spherical (p = 0.008) and toric (p = 0.011) lenses, but they were not sensitive enough to differentiate toric from spherical lens conditions. Given previous research showing that deficits in these tactical skills are predictive of future real-world collisions, these preliminary data suggest that correcting low to moderate astigmatism with toric lenses may be important to driving safety. Their

  4. A review of hospital characteristics associated with improved performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Caroline A; Barker, Anna L; Morello, Renata T; Vitale, Michael R; Evans, Sue M; Scott, Ian A; Stoelwinder, Johannes U; Cameron, Peter A

    2012-10-01

    The objective of this review was to critically appraise the literature relating to associations between high-level structural and operational hospital characteristics and improved performance. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL, proQuest and PsychINFO were searched for articles published between January 1996 and May 2010. Reference lists of included articles were reviewed and key journals were hand searched for relevant articles. and data extraction Studies were included if they were systematic reviews or meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, controlled before and after studies or observational studies (cohort and cross-sectional) that were multicentre, comparative performance studies. Two reviewers independently extracted data, assigned grades of evidence according to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines and critically appraised the included articles. Data synthesis Fifty-seven studies were reported within 12 systematic reviews and 47 observational articles. There was heterogeneity in use and definition of performance outcomes. Hospital characteristics investigated were environment (incentives, market characteristics), structure (network membership, ownership, teaching status, geographical setting, service size) and operational design (innovativeness, leadership, organizational culture, public reporting and patient safety practices, information technology systems and decision support, service activity and planning, workforce design, staff training and education). The strongest evidence for an association with overall performance was identified for computerized physician order entry systems. Some evidence supported the associations with workforce design, use of financial incentives, nursing leadership and hospital volume. There is limited, mainly low-quality evidence, supporting the associations between hospital characteristics and healthcare performance. Further characteristic-specific systematic reviews are

  5. Does plyometric training improve strength performance? A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez-Sáez de Villarreal, Eduardo; Requena, Bernardo; Newton, Robert U

    2010-09-01

    Majority of the research suggests plyometric training (PT) improves maximal strength performance as measured by 1RM, isometric MVC or slow velocity isokinetic testing. However, the effectiveness of PT depends upon various factors. A meta-analysis of 15 studies with a total of 31 effect sizes (ES) was carried out to analyse the role of various factors on the effects of PT on strength performance. The inclusion criteria for the analysis were: (a) studies using PT programs for lower limb muscles; (b) studies employing true experimental design and valid and reliable measurements; (c) studies including sufficient data to calculate ES. When subjects can adequately follow plyometric exercises, the training gains are independent of fitness level. Subjects in either good or poor physical condition, benefit equally from plyometric work, also men obtain similar strength results to women following PT. In relation to the variables of program design, training volume of less than 10 weeks and with more than 15 sessions, as well as the implementation of high-intensity programs, with more than 40 jumps per session, were the strategies that seem to maximize the probability to obtain significantly greater improvements in performance (p<0.05). In order to optimise strength enhancement, the combination of different types of plyometrics with weight-training would be recommended, rather than utilizing only one form (p<0.05). The responses identified in this analysis are essential and should be considered by the strength and conditioning professional with regard to the most appropriate dose-response trends for PT to optimise strength gains.

  6. Performance Improvement of a Radioactive Forced Circulation Evaporator System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaki, A.A.; Hala, A.A.; Othman, E.A.

    2016-01-01

    Evaporation is a proven method for treatment of liquid radioactive wastes providing both good decontamination and high concentration. In a radioactive waste treatment plant a forced circulation evaporator is used to reduce the volume of radioactive liquid wastes arising from different applications of nuclear industries. The safe operation, limiting the composition of the liquid radioactive waste at a prescribed value, with high performance efficiency, requires good control for the evaporator operating pressure and the level of liquid waste inside the separator part of the evaporator. The aim of this work was to improve the safety and performance of a forced-circulation evaporator used in a liquid radioactive wastes treatment plant. In this respect, a level controller system for this type of evaporator was designed, where proportional (P), proportional Integral (PI) and deadbeat response controllers for the separator level system were suggested. More over, an ideal 2×2(2 inputs and 2 outputs )de coupler controller for controlling the operating pressure and the product composition was developed. Computer results demonstrated that the deadbeat response has been success fully obtained from the developed separator control system. The maximum over shoot in the unit-step response curve was reduce d to 25 % and the settling time also was reduced to more than the half; about 26 minutes using Ziegler-Nichols tuning technique.The designed de coupling controller has been found effective in achieving a good trade-off between stability and performance

  7. Chicken Essence Improves Exercise Performance and Ameliorates Physical Fatigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Ching Huang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Chicken essence (CE is a liquid nutritional supplement made from cooking whole chickens. In traditional Chinese medicine, CE is used to support health, promote healing, increase metabolism, and relieve fatigue. However, few studies have examined the effect of CE on exercise performance and physical fatigue. We aimed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of CE on fatigue and ergogenic functions following physical challenge in mice. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups to receive vehicle or CE by oral gavage at 0, 845, 1690, or 4225 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Exercise performance and anti-fatigue function were evaluated by forelimb grip strength, exhaustive swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-related biomarkers serum lactate, ammonia, glucose, and creatine kinase (CK after physical challenge. CE supplementation dose-dependently elevated endurance and grip strength. CE supplementation significantly decreased lactate, ammonia, and CK levels after physical challenge. Tissue glycogen content, an important energy source for exercise, was significantly increased with CE supplementation. In addition, CE supplementation had few subchronic toxic effects. The supplementation with CE can have a wide spectrum of bioactivities on health promotion, performance improvement and anti-fatigue.

  8. Improved electrochemical performance of hierarchical porous carbon/polyaniline composites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Juan; Wang Huanlei; Huang Xiao

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Polyaniline-coated hierarchical porous carbon (HPC) composites have been synthesized by in situ polymerization. ► The HPC/polyaniline composite has significantly better electrochemical capacitance performance than pure HPC and polyaniline. ► The amount of polyaniline loading has a significant effect on the composites’ electrochemical performances. - Abstract: Polyaniline (PANI)-coated hierarchical porous carbon (HPC) composites (HPC/PANI) for use as supercapacitor electrodes were prepared by in situ chemical oxidation polymerization at 273 K of an aniline solution containing well-dispersed HPC particles. After polymerization, a thin layer of PANI was coated on the surface of the HPC particles, which was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Compared to pure PANI and HPC, the electrochemical capacitance performance of the composites was significantly improved. The highest specific capacitance of the composites obtained is 478 F g −1 at 1 mV s −1 , which is more than twice as that of pure PANI and three times as that of pure HPC. Because of the influence from the hierarchical pore structure of the carbon material, the calculated specific capacitance of PANI in the composite (pseudocapacitance contribution from PANI) is almost one magnitude higher than that of pure PANI.

  9. Improving scanner wafer alignment performance by target optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leray, Philippe; Jehoul, Christiane; Socha, Robert; Menchtchikov, Boris; Raghunathan, Sudhar; Kent, Eric; Schoonewelle, Hielke; Tinnemans, Patrick; Tuffy, Paul; Belen, Jun; Wise, Rich

    2016-03-01

    In the process nodes of 10nm and below, the patterning complexity along with the processing and materials required has resulted in a need to optimize alignment targets in order to achieve the required precision, accuracy and throughput performance. Recent industry publications on the metrology target optimization process have shown a move from the expensive and time consuming empirical methodologies, towards a faster computational approach. ASML's Design for Control (D4C) application, which is currently used to optimize YieldStar diffraction based overlay (DBO) metrology targets, has been extended to support the optimization of scanner wafer alignment targets. This allows the necessary process information and design methodology, used for DBO target designs, to be leveraged for the optimization of alignment targets. In this paper, we show how we applied this computational approach to wafer alignment target design. We verify the correlation between predictions and measurements for the key alignment performance metrics and finally show the potential alignment and overlay performance improvements that an optimized alignment target could achieve.

  10. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  11. Virtual reality training improves da Vinci performance: a prospective trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jae Sung; Hahn, Koo Yong; Kwak, Jung Myun; Kim, Jin; Baek, Se Jin; Shin, Jae Won; Kim, Seon Hahn

    2013-12-01

    The DV-Trainer™ (a virtual reality [VR] simulator) (Mimic Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA) is one of several different robotic surgical training methods. We designed a prospective study to determine whether VR training could improve da Vinci(®) Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) performance. Surgeons (n=12) were enrolled using a randomized protocol. Groups 1 (VR training) and 2 (control) participated in VR and da Vinci exercises. Participants' time and moving distance were combined to determine a composite score: VR index=1000/(time×moving distance). The da Vinci exercises included needle control and suturing. Procedure time and error were measured. A composite index (DV index) was computed and used to measure da Vinci competency. After the initial trial with both the VR and da Vinci exercises, only Group 1 was trained with the VR simulator following our institutional curriculum for 3 weeks. All members of both groups then participated in the second trial of the VR and da Vinci exercises and were scored in the same way as in the initial trial. In the initial trial, there was no difference in the VR index (Group 1 versus Group 2, 8.9 ± 3.3 versus 9.4 ± 3.7; P=.832) and the DV index (Group 1 versus Group 2, 3.85 ± 0.73 versus 3.66 ± 0.65; P=.584) scores between the two groups. At the second time point, Group 1 showed increased VR index scores in comparison with Group 2 (19.3 ± 4.5 versus 9.7 ± 4.1, respectively; P=.001) and improved da Vinci performance skills as measured by the DV index (5.80 ± 1.13 versus 4.05 ± 1.03, respectively; P=.028) and by suturing time (7.1 ± 1.54 minutes versus 10.55 ± 1.93 minutes, respectively; P=.018). We found that VR simulator training can improve da Vinci performance. VR practice can result in an early plateau in the learning curve for robotic practice under controlled circumstances.

  12. Long-Term Heating to Improve Receiver Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Cable, Robert; Newmarker, Marc

    2017-06-27

    The buildup of hydrogen in the heat transfer fluid (HTF) that circulates through components of parabolic trough power plants decreases receiver thermal efficiency, and ultimately, it decreases plant performance and electricity output. The generation and occurrence of hydrogen in the HTF provides the driving force for hydrogen to permeate from the HTF through the absorber tube wall and into the receiver annulus. Getters adsorb hydrogen from the annulus volume until they saturate and are no longer able to maintain low hydrogen pressure. The increase in hydrogen pressure within the annulus significantly degrades thermal performance of the receiver and decreases overall power-plant efficiency. NREL and Acciona Energy North America (Acciona) are developing a method to control the levels of dissolved hydrogen in the circulating HTF. The basic approach is to remove hydrogen from the expansion tanks of the HTF subsystem at a rate that maintains hydrogen in the circulating HTF to a target level. Full-plant steady-state models developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) predict that if hydrogen is removed from the HTF within the expansion tanks, the HTF that circulates through the collector field remains essentially free of hydrogen until the HTF returns to the power block in the hot headers. One of the key findings of our modeling is the prediction that hydrogen will reverse-permeate out of the receiver annulus if dissolved hydrogen in the HTF is kept sufficiently low. To test this prediction, we performed extended heating of an in-service receiver that initially had high levels of hydrogen in its annulus. The heating was performed using NREL's receiver test stand. Results of our testing showed that receiver heat loss steadily decreased with daily heating, resulting in a corresponding improvement in receiver thermal efficiency.

  13. Improving performances of suboptimal greedy iterative biclustering heuristics via localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erten, Cesim; Sözdinler, Melih

    2010-10-15

    Biclustering gene expression data is the problem of extracting submatrices of genes and conditions exhibiting significant correlation across both the rows and the columns of a data matrix of expression values. Even the simplest versions of the problem are computationally hard. Most of the proposed solutions therefore employ greedy iterative heuristics that locally optimize a suitably assigned scoring function. We provide a fast and simple pre-processing algorithm called localization that reorders the rows and columns of the input data matrix in such a way as to group correlated entries in small local neighborhoods within the matrix. The proposed localization algorithm takes its roots from effective use of graph-theoretical methods applied to problems exhibiting a similar structure to that of biclustering. In order to evaluate the effectivenesss of the localization pre-processing algorithm, we focus on three representative greedy iterative heuristic methods. We show how the localization pre-processing can be incorporated into each representative algorithm to improve biclustering performance. Furthermore, we propose a simple biclustering algorithm, Random Extraction After Localization (REAL) that randomly extracts submatrices from the localization pre-processed data matrix, eliminates those with low similarity scores, and provides the rest as correlated structures representing biclusters. We compare the proposed localization pre-processing with another pre-processing alternative, non-negative matrix factorization. We show that our fast and simple localization procedure provides similar or even better results than the computationally heavy matrix factorization pre-processing with regards to H-value tests. We next demonstrate that the performances of the three representative greedy iterative heuristic methods improve with localization pre-processing when biological correlations in the form of functional enrichment and PPI verification constitute the main performance

  14. Improvement of Sprint Performance in Wheelchair Sportsmen With Caffeine Supplementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham-Paulson, Terri S; Perret, Claudio; Watson, Phil; Goosey-Tolfrey, Victoria L

    2016-03-01

    Caffeine can be beneficial during endurance and repeated-sprint exercise in able-bodied individuals performing leg or whole-body exercise. However, little evidence exists regarding its effects during upper-body exercise. This study therefore aimed to investigate the effects of caffeine on sprint (SPR) and 4-min maximal-push (PUSH) performance in wheelchair sportsmen. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 12 male wheelchair rugby players (age 30.0 ± 7.7 y, body mass 69.6 ± 15.3 kg, training 11.1 ± 3.5 h/wk) completed 2 exercise trials, separated by 7-14 d, 70 min after ingestion of 4 mg/kg caffeine (CAF) or dextrose placebo (PLA). Each trial consisted of four 4-min PUSHes and 3 sets of 3 × 20-m SPRs, each separated by 4 min rest. Participants responded to the Felt Arousal (a measure of perceived arousal), Feeling (a measure of the affective dimension of pleasure/displeasure), and rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) scales. Salivary caffeine secretion rates were measured. Average SPR times were faster during CAF than PLA during SPR 1 and SPR 2 (P = .037 and .016). There was no influence of supplementation on PUSHes 2-4 (P > .099); however, participants pushed significantly farther during PUSH 1 after CAF than after PLA (mean ± SD 677 ± 107 and 653 ± 118 m, P = .047). There was no influence of CAF on arousal or RPE scores (P > .132). Feeling scores improved over the course of the CAF trial only (P = .017) but did not significantly differ between trials (P > .167). Pre-warm-up (45 min postingestion) salivary CAF secretion rates were 1.05 ± 0.94 and 0.08 ± 0.05 μg/min for CAF and PLA, respectively. Acute CAF supplementation can improve both 20-m-sprint performance and a 1-off bout of short-term endurance performance in wheelchair sportsmen.

  15. Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation Assessment, Diagnosis and Improvement of Control Loop Performance

    CERN Document Server

    Jelali, Mohieddine

    2013-01-01

    Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation provides a coherent and self-contained treatment of a group of methods and applications of burgeoning importance to the detection and solution of problems with control loops that are vital in maintaining product quality, operational safety, and efficiency of material and energy consumption in the process industries. The monograph deals with all aspects of control performance management (CPM), from controller assessment (minimum-variance-control-based and advanced methods), to detection and diagnosis of control loop problems (process non-linearities, oscillations, actuator faults), to the improvement of control performance (maintenance, re-design of loop components, automatic controller re-tuning). It provides a contribution towards the development and application of completely self-contained and automatic methodologies in the field. Moreover, within this work, many CPM tools have been developed that goes far beyond available CPM packages. Control Perform...

  16. Organic photovoltaic cells: from performance improvement to manufacturing processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youn, Hongseok; Park, Hui Joon; Guo, L Jay

    2015-05-20

    Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been pursued as a next generation power source due to their light weight, thin, flexible, and simple fabrication advantages. Improvements in OPV efficiency have attracted great attention in the past decade. Because the functional layers in OPVs can be dissolved in common solvents, they can be manufactured by eco-friendly and scalable printing or coating technologies. In this review article, the focus is on recent efforts to control nanomorphologies of photoactive layer and discussion of various solution-processed charge transport and extraction materials, to maximize the performance of OPV cells. Next, recent works on printing and coating technologies for OPVs to realize solution processing are reviewed. The review concludes with a discussion of recent advances in the development of non-traditional lamination and transfer method towards highly efficient and fully solution-processed OPV. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Operator/contractor teamwork is the key to performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robins, K.B.; Roberts, J.D.M.

    1996-01-01

    The contract strategies developed by the two major E and P companies operating in the North Sea emphasize teamwork between operator and contractors to achieve the common goal of maximizing project value. These strategies have had significant repercussions across the whole industry. This paper compares these strategies and concludes that although they are structurally different, they have the same fundamental objectives. It describes the evolution of what these operators consider to be their core business, with the resultant changing roles for both operator and contractor staff. Several examples of results achieved through implementing these changes are described, highlighting the need for a structured performance measurement system to quantify the success of these initiatives. Finally, the potential for even greater efficiency improvements through further industry-wide cooperation is emphasized

  18. Confirmation test on confinement performance of improved glove box

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miura, S.; Kanazawa, J.; Nakajima, M.; Sakuno, K.; Miyata, H.

    1995-01-01

    Glove boxes are used at nuclear facilities to confine radioactive materials by ensuring a high level of airtightness and negative internal pressure. The allowable rate of air leakage is 0.1% vol/hr or less at the pre-service inspection. The negative pressure value is normally maintained at about -30 mm H 2 O. Structural strength and confinement reliability of glove boxes during earthquake are major concerns, and most important glove boxes are designed to withstand seismic class A events is Japan. This paper describes vibration tests done to confirm that improve large-sized glove boxes maintain their confinement performance and structural strength even during earthquake and that the design analysis methods used are appropriate. (author). 1 ref., 6 figs., 3 tabs

  19. The EXPLORER gravitational wave antenna: recent improvements and performances

    CERN Document Server

    Astone, P; Bonifazi, P; Carelli, P; Castellano, M G; Cavallari, G; Coccia, E; Cosmelli, C; D'Antonio, S; Fafone, V; Federici, G; Minenkov, Y; Modestino, G; Modena, I; Moleti, A; Pizzella, G; Pallottino, G V; Quintieri, L; Rocchi, A; Ronga, F; Terenzi, R; Torrioli, G; Visco, M

    2002-01-01

    Since the beginning of 2000 the EXPLORER gravity wave (GW) detector has been operated continuously after a stop devoted to improve the apparatus. The antenna has been equipped with a new read-out. The use of a new transducer, characterized by a very small gap, and a dc-SQUID with a high coupling, led to a better sensitivity and a larger bandwidth. The EXPLORER sensitivity in terms of spectral noise amplitude, at present (June 2001), is 10 sup - sup 2 sup 0 Hz sup - sup 1 sup / sup 2 over a bandwidth of 35 Hz and 3 x 10 sup - sup 2 sup 1 Hz sup - sup 1 sup / sup 2 with a bandwidth of about 6 Hz, corresponding to a sensitivity to short conventional GW bursts of h = 4 x 10 sup - sup 1 sup 9. The performance is stable and the apparatus is taking data with a duty cycle in excess of 80%.

  20. The EXPLORER gravitational wave antenna: recent improvements and performances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Astone, P; Bassan, M; Bonifazi, P; Carelli, P; Castellano, M G; Cavallari, G; Coccia, E; Cosmelli, C; D'Antonio, S; Fafone, V; Federici, G; Minenkov, Y; Modestino, G; Modena, I; Moleti, A; Pizzella, G; Pallottino, G V; Quintieri, L; Rocchi, A; Ronga, F; Terenzi, R; Torrioli, G; Visco, M

    2002-01-01

    Since the beginning of 2000 the EXPLORER gravity wave (GW) detector has been operated continuously after a stop devoted to improve the apparatus. The antenna has been equipped with a new read-out. The use of a new transducer, characterized by a very small gap, and a dc-SQUID with a high coupling, led to a better sensitivity and a larger bandwidth. The EXPLORER sensitivity in terms of spectral noise amplitude, at present (June 2001), is 10 -20 Hz -1/2 over a bandwidth of 35 Hz and 3 x 10 -21 Hz -1/2 with a bandwidth of about 6 Hz, corresponding to a sensitivity to short conventional GW bursts of h = 4 x 10 -19 . The performance is stable and the apparatus is taking data with a duty cycle in excess of 80%

  1. Albendazole nanocrystals with improved pharmacokinetic performance in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paredes, Alejandro J; Bruni, Sergio Sánchez; Allemandi, Daniel; Lanusse, Carlos; Palma, Santiago D

    2018-02-01

    Albendazole (ABZ) is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent with poor aqueous solubility, which leads to poor/erratic bioavailability and therapeutic failures. Here, we aimed to produce a novel formulation of ABZ nanocrystals (ABZNC) and assess its pharmacokinetic performance in mice. Results/methodology: ABZNC were prepared by high-pressure homogenization and spray-drying processes. Redispersion capacity and solid yield were measured in order to obtain an optimized product. The final particle size was 415.69±7.40 nm and the solid yield was 72.32%. The pharmacokinetic parameters obtained in a mice model for ABZNC were enhanced (p < 0.05) with respect to the control formulation. ABZNC with improved pharmacokinetic behavior were produced by a simple, inexpensive and potentially scalable methodology.

  2. Improving reservoir performance using new 'smart' well technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roggensack, W.D.; Matthews, C.M.

    1997-01-01

    The technologies that were available in the past to improve reservoir performance include 3-D seismic, coiled tubing, horizontal wells, and PCP's. Future enabling technologies will also include multi-lateral wells, 'smart' wells, underbalanced drilling, and downhole fluids processing. A description of 'smart' well technology was given, defined as well completions which facilitate downhole monitoring and control of production to achieve maximum reserves recovery. The current development for 'smart' wells is focused on offshore and subsea wells for marginal field development and work-over mitigation, with the emphasis in system design for production control of horizontal and multi-lateral wells. Basic 'smart' well configuration, instrumentation and monitoring systems, applications of 'smart' well technology in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, and future developments and applications for the technology in general, were also discussed. 30 figs

  3. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, Frederick W.; Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M.; Reich, Daniel S.; Landman, Bennett A.

    2014-01-01

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion

  4. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bryan, Frederick W., E-mail: frederick.w.bryan@vanderbilt.edu; Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M. [Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States); Reich, Daniel S. [Translational Neuroradiology Unit, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 (United States); Landman, Bennett A. [Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States); Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States); and Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion.

  5. Optimization Controller for Mechatronic Sun Tracking System to Improve Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Engin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available An embedded system that contains hardware and software was developed for two-axis solar tracking system to improve photovoltaic panel utilization. The hardware section of the embedded system consists of a 32-bit ARM core microcontroller, motor driver circuits, a motion control unit, pyranometer, GPS receiver, and an anemometer. The real-time control algorithm enables the solar tracker to operate automatically without external control as a stand-alone system, combining the advantages of the open-loop and the closed-loop control methods. The pyranometer is employed to continuously send radiation data to the controller if the measured radiation is above the lower radiation limit the photovoltaic panel can generate power, guaranteeing the solar tracking process to be highly efficient. The anemometer is utilized in the system to ensure that the solar tracking procedure halts under high wind speed conditions to protect the entire system. Latitude, longitude, altitude, date, and real-time clock data are provided by GPS receiver. The algorithm calculates solar time using astronomical equations with GPS data and converts it to pulse-width modulated motor control signal. The overall objective of this study is to develop a control algorithm that improves performance and reliability of the two-axis solar tracker, focusing on optimization of the controller board, drive hardware, and software.

  6. Improving Ballistic Performance of Polyurethane Foam by Nanoparticle Reinforcement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. F. Uddin

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We report improving ballistic performance of polyurethane foam by reinforcing it with nanoscale TiO2 particles. Particles were dispersed through a sonic cavitation process and the loading of particles was 3 wt% of the total polymer. Once foams were reinforced, sandwich panels were made and impacted with fragment simulating projectiles (FSPs in a 1.5-inch gas gun. Projectile speed was set up to have complete penetration of the target in each experiment. Test results have indicated that sandwich with nanophased cores absorbed about 20% more kinetic energy than their neat counterpart. The corresponding increase in ballistic limit was around 12% over the neat control samples. The penetration phenomenon was also monitored using a high-speed camera. Analyses of digital images showed that FSP remained inside the nanophased sandwich for about 7 microseconds longer than that of a neat sandwich demonstrating improved energy absorption capability of the nanoparticle reinforced core. Failure modes for energy absorption have been investigated through a microscope and high-speed images.

  7. Qinshan CANDU NPP outage performance improvement through benchmarking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Fuming

    2005-01-01

    With the increasingly fierce competition in the deregulated Energy Market, the optimization of outage duration has become one of the focal points for the Nuclear Power Plant owners around the world. People are seeking various ways to shorten the outage duration of NPP. Great efforts have been made in the Light Water Reactor (LWR) family with the concept of benchmarking and evaluation, which great reduced the outage duration and improved outage performance. The average capacity factor of LWRs has been greatly improved over the last three decades, which now is close to 90%. CANDU (Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor) stations, with its unique feature of on power refueling, of nuclear fuel remaining in the reactor all through the planned outage, have given raise to more stringent safety requirements during planned outage. In addition, the above feature gives more variations to the critical path of planned outage in different station. In order to benchmarking again the best practices in the CANDU stations, Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Company (TQNPC) have initiated the benchmarking program among the CANDU stations aiming to standardize the outage maintenance windows and optimize the outage duration. The initial benchmarking has resulted the optimization of outage duration in Qinshan CANDU NPP and the formulation of its first long-term outage plan. This paper describes the benchmarking works that have been proven to be useful for optimizing outage duration in Qinshan CANDU NPP, and the vision of further optimize the duration with joint effort from the CANDU community. (authors)

  8. Improving Ballistic Performance of Polyurethane Foam by Nanoparticle Reinforcement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uddin, M.F.; Zainuddin, S.; Mahfuz, H.; Jeelani, S.

    2009-01-01

    We report improving ballistic performance of polyurethane foam by reinforcing it with nano scale TiO 2 particles. Particles were dispersed through a sonic cavitation process and the loading of particles was 3 wt % of the total polymer. Once foams were reinforced, sandwich panels were made and impacted with fragment simulating projectiles (FSPs) in a 1.5-inch gas gun. Projectile speed was set up to have complete penetration of the target in each experiment. Test results have indicated that sandwich with nano phased cores absorbed about 20% more kinetic energy than their neat counterpart. The corresponding increase in ballistic limit was around 12% over the neat control samples. The penetration phenomenon was also monitored using a high-speed camera. Analyses of digital images showed that FSP remained inside the nano phased sandwich for about 7 microseconds longer than that of a neat sandwich demonstrating improved energy absorption capability of the nanoparticle reinforced core. Failure modes for energy absorption have been investigated through a microscope and high-speed images.

  9. Commitment to COT verification improves patient outcomes and financial performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggio, Paul M; Brundage, Susan I; Hernandez-Boussard, Tina; Spain, David A

    2009-07-01

    After an unsuccessful American College of Surgery Committee on Trauma visit, our level I trauma center initiated an improvement program that included (1) hiring new personnel (trauma director and surgeons, nurse coordinator, orthopedic trauma surgeon, and registry staff), (2) correcting deficiencies in trauma quality assurance and process improvement programs, and (3) development of an outreach program. Subsequently, our trauma center had two successful verifications. We examined the longitudinal effects of these efforts on volume, patient outcomes and finances. The Trauma Registry was used to derive data for all trauma patients evaluated in the emergency department from 2001 to 2007. Clinical data analyzed included number of admissions, interfacility transfers, injury severity scores (ISS), length of stay, and mortality for 2001 to 2007. Financial performance was assessed for fiscal years 2001 to 2007. Data were divided into patients discharged from the emergency department and those admitted to the hospital. Admissions increased 30%, representing a 7.6% annual increase (p = 0.004), mostly due to a nearly fivefold increase in interfacility transfers. Severe trauma patients (ISS >24) increased 106% and mortality rate for ISS >24 decreased by 47% to almost half the average of the National Trauma Database. There was a 78% increase in revenue and a sustained increase in hospital profitability. A major hospital commitment to Committee on Trauma verification had several salient outcomes; increased admissions, interfacility transfers, and acuity. Despite more seriously injured patients, there has been a major, sustained reduction in mortality and a trend toward decreased intensive care unit length of stay. This resulted in a substantial increase in contribution to margin (CTM), net profit, and revenues. With a high level of commitment and favorable payer mix, trauma center verification improves outcomes for both patients and the hospital.

  10. Improving Operational Risk Management Using Business Performance Management Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bram Pieket Weeserik

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Operational Risk Management (ORM comprises the continuous management of risks resulting from: human actions, internal processes, systems, and external events. With increasing requirements, complexity and a growing volume of risks, information systems provide benefits for integrating risk management activities and optimizing performance. Business Performance Management (BPM technologies are believed to provide a solution for effective Operational Risk Management by offering several combined technologies including: work flow, data warehousing, (advanced analytics, reporting and dashboards. BPM technologies can be integrated with an organization’s Planning & Control cycle and related to strategic objectives. This manuscript aims to show how ORM can benefit from BPM technologies via the development and practical validation of a new maturity model. The B4ORM maturity model was developed following the Design Science Research approach. The maturity model relates specific maturity levels of ORM processes with BPM technologies applicable for a specific maturity stage. There appears to be a strong relationship (0.78 with ORM process maturity and supporting BPM technologies. The B4ORM maturity model as described in this manuscript provides an ideal path of BPM technologies related to six distinctive stages of ORM, leading towards technologies suitable for continuous improvement of ORM processes and organization-wide integration.

  11. Hypoxic training methods for improving endurance exercise performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob A. Sinex

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Endurance athletic performance is highly related to a number of factors that can be altered through altitude and hypoxic training including increases in erythrocyte volume, maximal aerobic exercise capacity, capillary density, and economy. Physiological adaptations in response to acute and chronic exposure to hypoxic environments are well documented and range from short-term detrimental effects to longer-term adaptations that can improve performance at altitude and in sea-level competitions. Many altitude and hypoxic training protocols have been developed, employing various combinations of living and training at sea-level, low, moderate, and high altitudes and utilizing natural and artificial altitudes, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Several factors have been identified that are associated with individual responses to hypoxic training, and techniques for identifying those athletes most likely to benefit from hypoxic training continue to be investigated. Exposure to sufficiently high altitude (2000–3000 m for more than 12 h/day, while training at lower altitudes, for a minimum of 21 days is recommended. Timing of altitude training related to competition remains under debate, although general recommendations can be considered.

  12. Non toxic additives for improved fabric filter performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bustard, C.J.; Baldrey, K.E.; Ebner, T.G. [ADA Technologies, Inc., Englewood, CO (United States)] [and others

    1995-11-01

    The overall objective of this three-phase Small Business innovative Research (SBIR) program funded by the Department of Energy pittsburgh Energy Technology Center (PETC) is to commercialize a technology based upon the use of non-toxic, novel flue gas conditioning agents to improve particulate air toxic control and overall fabric filter performance. The ultimate objective of the Phase II program currently in progress is to demonstrate that the candidate additives are successful at full-scale on flue gas from a coal-fired utility boiler. This paper covers bench-scale field tests conducted during the period February through May, 1995. The bench-scale additives testing was conducted on a flue gas slipstream taken upstream of the existing particulate control device at a utility power plant firing a Texas lignite coal. These tests were preceded by extensive testing with additives in the laboratory using a simulated flue gas stream and re-dispersed flyash from the same power plant. The bench-scale field testing was undertaken to demonstrate the performance with actual flue gas of the bet candidate additives previously identified in the laboratory. Results from the bench-scale tests will be used to establish operating parameters for a larger-scale demonstration on either a single baghouse compartment or a full baghouse at the same site.

  13. Improving the performance of jaggery making unit using solar energy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lakshmi Pathi Jakkamputi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The thermal performance of open earth pan furnace used conventionally for preparing jaggery (gur is very low. Dry bagasse is used as a fuel to produce heat in a combustion process in the open earth furnace. The energy loss due to inefficient combustion process, the energy loss through exhaust gases and other losses due to furnace wall, convection and radiation bring the thermal efficiency of open earth pan furnace to a low value. Certain quantity of energy produced in combustion process is used to sensibly heat the sugarcane juice to its evaporation temperature. Solar collectors can supply the sensible heat required to raise the sugarcane juice temperature up to its boiling point, thereby reducing the total quantity of heat required in preparing the jaggery. Solar drier can be used to supply hot air required for the combustion process to burn the bagasse in more efficient manner. This paper presents analytical calculations done to study the performance improvement of the jaggery making unit using solar collector and solar drier.

  14. Computerized Provider Order Entry and Health Care Quality on Hospital Level among Pediatric Patients during 2006-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liya

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the association between Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) application and healthcare quality in pediatric patients at hospital level. This was a retrospective study among 1,428 hospitals with pediatric setting in Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Kid's Inpatient Database (KID) and Health Information and…

  15. Energy extraction from atmospheric turbulence to improve flight vehicle performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Chinmay Karsandas

    Small 'bird-sized' Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have now become practical due to technological advances in embedded electronics, miniature sensors and actuators, and propulsion systems. Birds are known to take advantage of wind currents to conserve energy and fly long distances without flapping their wings. This dissertation explores the possibility of improving the performance of small UAVs by extracting the energy available in atmospheric turbulence. An aircraft can gain energy from vertical gusts by increasing its lift in regions of updraft and reducing its lift in downdrafts - a concept that has been known for decades. Starting with a simple model of a glider flying through a sinusoidal gust, a parametric optimization approach is used to compute the minimum gust amplitude and optimal control input required for the glider to sustain flight without losing energy. For small UAVs using optimal control inputs, sinusoidal gusts with amplitude of 10--15% of the cruise speed are sufficient to keep the aircraft aloft. The method is then modified and extended to include random gusts that are representative of natural turbulence. A procedure to design optimal control laws for energy extraction from realistic gust profiles is developed using a Genetic Algorithm (GA). A feedback control law is designed to perform well over a variety of random gusts, and not be tailored for one particular gust. A small UAV flying in vertical turbulence is shown to obtain average energy savings of 35--40% with the use of a simple control law. The design procedure is also extended to determine optimal control laws for sinusoidal as well as turbulent lateral gusts. The theoretical work is complemented by experimental validation using a small autonomous UAV. The development of a lightweight autopilot and UAV platform is presented. Flight test results show that active control of the lift of an autonomous glider resulted in approximately 46% average energy savings compared to glides with fixed

  16. Caffeinated energy drinks improve volleyball performance in elite female players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-López, Alberto; Salinero, Juan José; Abian-Vicen, Javier; Valadés, David; Lara, Beatriz; Hernandez, Cesar; Areces, Francisco; González, Cristina; Del Coso, Juan

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this study is to determine the effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on female volleyball players' performance. Thirteen elite female volleyball players ingested 3 mg·kg of caffeine with an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo drink) in a double-blind and randomized study. Then, participants performed the following: standing spike, jumping spike, spike jump, blocking jump, squat jump, countermovement jump, manual dynamometry, and the agility t-test. A simulated volleyball game was played, videotaped, and notated afterward. In comparison to the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased the ball velocity in the standing spike (19.2 ± 2.1 vs 19.7 ± 1.9 m·s, P = 0.023) and in the jumping spike (17.9 ± 2.2 vs 18.8 ± 2.2 m·s, P = 0.038) and the jump height in the squat jump (28.1 ± 3.2 vs 29.4 ± 3.6 cm, P = 0.028), countermovement jump (32.0 ± 4.6 vs 33.1 ± 4.5 cm, P = 0.018), spike jump (43.3 ± 4.7 vs 44.4 ± 5.0 cm, P = 0.025), and block jump (35.2 ± 5.1 vs 36.1 ± 5.1 cm, P = 0.044). Furthermore, the caffeinated energy drink decreased the time needed to complete the agility t-test (11.1 ± 0.5 vs 10.9 ± 0.3 s, P = 0.036). During the game, the volleyball actions categorized as successful were more frequent with the caffeinated energy drink (34% ± 9% vs 45% ± 9%, P volleyball players. Increased physical performance led to improved accuracy during an actual volleyball match.

  17. Competitive Strategies and Improved Performance of Selected Nigeria Telecommunication Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waidi Adeniyi Akingbad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The influence of globalization in telecommunication companies has greatly increased the level of competition in the industry and they are forced to be competitive to survive. Different types of strategies are put in place in order to be profitable and competitive. All these strategies are directed to attract, retain and maintain customers for continuous profitability. However, majority of them hardly measure the impact of their strategic innovation on their customers. The paper seeks to explore the influence of competitive strategies embarked upon by selected telecommunication companies in Nigeria on their performance. The paper also examines how competitive strategies could be implemented for improved customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. Three null hypotheses were postulated to test the relationship between lower prices and customer satisfaction, uninterrupted trunk services and customer loyalty, and customer complaint handling and retention. Only customers using telephone service were selected as respondents from Lagos State. The state was stratified in to 20 local government council area and questionnaires were distributed to 125 respondents in each of them. The completion rate of the questionnaire in each of them is between 103 and 110. Survey research design was adopted to carry out the study. A structured questionnaire was designed and validated through the construct validity and tested for confirmation using the KMO measure of sampling adequacy. It was also made reliable using Cronbach’s Alpha test. From the study, findings revealed relationship between competitive strategies and customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. The findings revealed that there is a relationship between competitive strategies, its constituents and performance of telecommunication companies. It is recommended that universal mobile telecommunication services (UMTS operators should adopt the culture of competitive strategies since it can

  18. Improved Fatigue Performance of Threaded Drillstring Connections by Cold Rolling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kristoffersen, Steinar

    2002-01-01

    pits inside the pipe. Therefore, an optimisation of the roll geometry and rolling parameters was not possible. However, a significant fatigue life improvement was achieved. Based on experiments, a roller with similar profile as the thread root is recommended. A rolling force of maximum 20 kN is recommended to minimise the possibility of damaging the thread profile. Shallow cracks were observed typically when 5% of the fatigue life had expired. Re-rolling after 50% of expected improved fatigue life, when also short cracks were observed in the notch roots further increased the fatigue improvement. Pretensioned small steel specimens with a notch were used to simulate cold rolled threads. The specimens were fatigue tested in tension with minimum load close to zero. Pretensioning increased the fatigue life from approximately 50 000 cycles to an infinite number of cycles. In these tests non-propagating cracks of typically 0.4 mm length were found. The benefit from pretensioning gradually disappeared with increasing mean stress. FE analyses indicated that an almost instant relaxation of residual stresses to a level with no monotonic strain hardening from preloading would take place when cycled at moderate mean stress. Cycled at low mean stress, an instant relaxation of the surface layer was found in analysis. All observations from notched pretensioned fatigue specimens were in good agreement with the available literature. However, preloading was found to be strain rate dependent in tests where a pretension load held for 2 minutes gave a longer fatigue life than a sinusoidal loading-unloading cycle performed over a one minute interval. Strain hardening was found not contributing to the fatigue life improvement, whereas the polishing effect from improved surface quality after cold rolling increased the fatigue initiation period. However, residual stress and subsequent early crack closure was the dominating effect at moderate cyclic mean loads. The material data required to

  19. Improvement of performance of ultra-high performance concrete based composite material added with nano materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pang Jinchang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC, a kind of composite material characterized by ultra high strength, high toughness and high durability. It has a wide application prospect in engineering practice. But there are some defects in concrete. How to improve strength and toughness of UHPC remains to be the target of researchers. To obtain UHPC with better performance, this study introduced nano-SiO2 and nano-CaCO3 into UHPC. Moreover, hydration heat analysis, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD, mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP and nanoindentation tests were used to explore hydration process and microstructure. Double-doped nanomaterials can further enhance various mechanical performances of materials. Nano-SiO2 can promote early progress of cement hydration due to its high reaction activity and C-S-H gel generates when it reacts with cement hydration product Ca(OH2. Nano-CaCO3 mainly plays the role of crystal nucleus effect and filling effect. Under the combined action of the two, the composite structure is denser, which provides a way to improve the performance of UHPC in practical engineering.

  20. Measuring US Army medical evacuation: Metrics for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvagno, Samuel M; Mabry, Robert L; Maddry, Joseph; Kharod, Chetan U; Walrath, Benjamin D; Powell, Elizabeth; Shackelford, Stacy

    2018-01-01

    The US Army medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) community has maintained a reputation for high levels of success in transporting casualties from the point of injury to definitive care. This work served as a demonstration project to advance a model of quality assurance surveillance and medical direction for prehospital MEDEVAC providers within the Joint Trauma System. A retrospective interrupted time series analysis using prospectively collected data was performed as a process improvement project. Records were reviewed during two distinct periods: 2009 and 2014 to 2015. MEDEVAC records were matched to outcomes data available in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Abstracted deidentified data were reviewed for specific outcomes, procedures, and processes of care. Descriptive statistics were applied as appropriate. A total of 1,008 patients were included in this study. Nine quality assurance metrics were assessed. These metrics were: airway management, management of hypoxemia, compliance with a blood transfusion protocol, interventions for hypotensive patients, quality of battlefield analgesia, temperature measurement and interventions, proportion of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with hypoxemia and/or hypotension, proportion of traumatic brain injury patients with an appropriate assessment, and proportion of missing data. Overall survival in the subset of patients with outcomes data available in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry was 97.5%. The data analyzed for this study suggest overall high compliance with established tactical combat casualty care guidelines. In the present study, nearly 7% of patients had at least one documented oxygen saturation of less than 90%, and 13% of these patients had no documentation of any intervention for hypoxemia, indicating a need for training focus on airway management for hypoxemia. Advances in battlefield analgesia continued to evolve over the period when data for this study was collected. Given the inherent high

  1. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike

    2013-01-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus a Bayesian approach to

  2. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike [Neptune and Company, Inc., Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus

  3. Why do employees take more initiatives to improve their performance after co-developing performance measures? A field study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, B.A.C.; Wouters, M.J.F.; Wilderom, C.P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance measurements may stimulate employee initiatives to improve operational performance, especially when employees themselves participate in the development of their own departmental performance measures. Using the theory of planned behavior, we examine why this occurs in a beverage

  4. Why do employees take more initiatives to improve their performance after co-developing performance measures? A field study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, B.A.C.; Wouters, Marc; Wilderom, Celeste P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance measurements may stimulate employee initiatives to improve operational performance, especially when employees themselves participate in the development of their own departmental performance measures. Using the theory of planned behavior, we examine why this occurs in a beverage

  5. Roasted sesame hulls improve broiler performance without affecting carcass characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamel Z. Mahmoud

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of using graded levels of roasted sesame hulls (RSH on growth performance and meat quality characteristics in broiler chickens. A total of 360 day-old Lohmann chicks were randomly allocated into 24 floor pens and raised over 42 days. One of four dietary treatments was assigned to each group of six pens in a completely randomized fashion. The chicks in the control group were fed a corn-soybean based diet (RSH-0, while the chicks in treatments two, three, and four were fed graded levels of RSH at 4% (RSH-4, 8% (RSH-8, and 12% (RSH-12, respectively. Diets were formulated to meet broiler chicks’ requirements according to the National Research Council for both starter and finisher rations. The results showed that RSH inclusion increased (P<0.05 feed intake and final body weight without adversely affecting the feed conversion ratio. Broiler chicks fed RSH-12 had heavier (P<0.05 breast and leg cuts compared to the control-fed group with no change to their chemical composition. Water holding capacity (WHC, cooking loss (CL, and shear force (SF reported similar results in all dietary groups. The chemical composition of both thigh and breast cuts was not affected by the RSH. After one day of thawing, colour coordinates of breast cuts behaved similarly in all dietary groups. The results of this study suggest that the addition of RSH to broiler diets up to 12% improves their growth performance; nevertheless, carcass characteristics and meat quality showed no alterations compared to the control-fed group.

  6. Quality improvement using the Baldrige Criteria for Organizational Performance Excellence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJong, Douglas J

    2009-06-01

    The criteria needed to achieve the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) are described. The MBNQA was created in 1987 to recognize quality and performance and to encourage excellence in American companies. In 2003, Saint Luke's Hospital, the largest hospital in the Saint Luke's Health System, received the MBNQA. In the years since, the hospital has continued to use the Baldrige approach and has pursued the award on the health-system level. The Baldrige Criteria for Organizational Performance Excellence provide a framework that focuses on obtaining the highest levels of organizational excellence. These criteria consist of seven categories-leadership; strategic planning; focus on patients, customers, and markets; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; work-force focus; process management; and results. At Saint Luke's Hospital, a category leader was designated for each of the seven categories in order to fully apply the criteria to the organization. Pharmacy leaders worked closely with each category leader to ensure that the appropriate format was being followed and to contribute positively to the written application and the site visit conducted by MBNQA examiners. The MBNQA involves its own vernacular and pattern. Effort should be made to fully understand and embrace the path that the organization's leaders have chosen. Departmental activities should be placed in front of an individual's leadership so that he or she can play an active part in demonstrating quality-improvement success stories. The criteria for the MBNQA are structured around seven categories that form a framework by which any organization or department can structure its own pursuit of quality and excellence. Pharmacy leaders can play an important role in the successful pursuit of quality within their organization.

  7. Improving growth performance in calves under hot weather conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emara, S.S.M.

    2009-01-01

    The main objectives of the present study were to evaluate the effect of some supplement such as dried live yeast DLY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), DLY + vitamin E and / or dried whey milk (DWM) on blood constituents and thyroid activity in relation to some immune indices and growth performance of calves under hot weather conditions. The ambient temperature and relative humidity averaged 36.9±4 degree C and 43-58 % during day and 29±4 degree C and 60-68 % during night, respectively, which were equivalent to temperature humidity index of 86-89 during day and 78-80 during night . The present study included three experiments as follows. Experiment 1 : Six female bovine Baladi calves of 8-10 months old and 100 kg initial body weight (IBW) were used during two periods. In the first period, the calves were offered the basal diet for one month and considered as a control period. In the second period, the same calves were fed the same basal diet which supplemented with 15 g / calf/ day DLY for one month and considered as treated period. The obtained results indicated that supplementation of DLY reduced significantly the respiration rate (RR) and rectal temperature (RT) as well as serum lipids profile including total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL- cholesterol) very low density lipoprotein (VLDL-cholesterol) triglycerides and phospholipids.The second and third experiments were carried out for improving growth performance of heat-stressed bovine baladi calves by adding DLY and vitamine E (alpha-tocopherol) to their diet in experiment 2 and dried whey milk (DWM) in experiment 3.

  8. Solar multi-conjugate adaptive optics performance improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhicheng; Zhang, Xiaofang; Song, Jie

    2015-08-01

    In order to overcome the effect of the atmospheric anisoplanatism, Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO), which was developed based on turbulence correction by means of several deformable mirrors (DMs) conjugated to different altitude and by which the limit of a small corrected FOV that is achievable with AO is overcome and a wider FOV is able to be corrected, has been widely used to widen the field-of-view (FOV) of a solar telescope. With the assistance of the multi-threaded Adaptive Optics Simulator (MAOS), we can make a 3D reconstruction of the distorted wavefront. The correction is applied by one or more DMs. This technique benefits from information about atmospheric turbulence at different layers, which can be used to reconstruct the wavefront extremely well. In MAOS, the sensors are either simulated as idealized wavefront gradient sensors, tip-tilt sensors based on the best Zernike fit, or a WFS using physical optics and incorporating user specified pixel characteristics and a matched filter pixel processing algorithm. Only considering the atmospheric anisoplanatism, we focus on how the performance of a solar MCAO system is related to the numbers of DMs and their conjugate heights. We theoretically quantify the performance of the tomographic solar MCAO system. The results indicate that the tomographic AO system can improve the average Strehl ratio of a solar telescope by only employing one or two DMs conjugated to the optimum altitude. And the S.R. has a significant increase when more deformable mirrors are used. Furthermore, we discuss the effects of DM conjugate altitude on the correction achievable by the MCAO system, and present the optimum DM conjugate altitudes.

  9. Carbohydrate mouth rinse does not improve repeated sprint performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Ricardo Altimari

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a carbohydrate mouth rinse on the repeated sprint ability (RSA of young soccer players. Nine youth soccer players (15.0 ± 1.5 years; 60.7 ± 4.84 kg; 1.72 ± 0.05 m; 20.5 ± 1.25 kg/m2 were selected. The athletes were submitted to an RSA test consisting of six sprints of 40 m (going/return = 20 m + 20 m, separated by 20 s of passive recovery, under three experimental conditions: carbohydrate mouth rinse (CHO or placebo (PLA and control (CON. The mouth rinses containing CHO or PLA were administered 5 min and immediately before the beginning of the test in doses of 100 mL. The best sprint time (RSAbest, mean sprint time (RSAmean, and drop-off in sprint performance (fatigue index were determined for the different treatments. One-not identify significant differences (p> 0.05 in RSAbest (CHO way ANOVA for repeated measures did = 7.30 ± 0.31 s; PLA = 7.30 ± 0.30 s; CON = 7.26 ±0.16 s, RSA mean (CHO = 7.71 ± 0.30 s; PLA = 7.71 ± 0.25 s; CON = 7.66 ± 0.24s, or fatigue index (CHO = 5.58 ± 2.16%; PLA = 5.77 ± 3.04%; CON = 5.55 ±3.72%. The results suggest that a carbohydrate mouth rinse does not improve the repeated sprint performance of young soccer players.

  10. Improving the performance of minimizers and winnowing schemes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marçais, Guillaume; Pellow, David; Bork, Daniel; Orenstein, Yaron; Shamir, Ron; Kingsford, Carl

    2017-07-15

    The minimizers scheme is a method for selecting k -mers from sequences. It is used in many bioinformatics software tools to bin comparable sequences or to sample a sequence in a deterministic fashion at approximately regular intervals, in order to reduce memory consumption and processing time. Although very useful, the minimizers selection procedure has undesirable behaviors (e.g. too many k -mers are selected when processing certain sequences). Some of these problems were already known to the authors of the minimizers technique, and the natural lexicographic ordering of k -mers used by minimizers was recognized as their origin. Many software tools using minimizers employ ad hoc variations of the lexicographic order to alleviate those issues. We provide an in-depth analysis of the effect of k -mer ordering on the performance of the minimizers technique. By using small universal hitting sets (a recently defined concept), we show how to significantly improve the performance of minimizers and avoid some of its worse behaviors. Based on these results, we encourage bioinformatics software developers to use an ordering based on a universal hitting set or, if not possible, a randomized ordering, rather than the lexicographic order. This analysis also settles negatively a conjecture (by Schleimer et al. ) on the expected density of minimizers in a random sequence. The software used for this analysis is available on GitHub: https://github.com/gmarcais/minimizers.git . gmarcais@cs.cmu.edu or carlk@cs.cmu.edu. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  11. Leveraging EHRs to improve hospital performance: the role of management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler-Milstein, Julia; Woody Scott, Kirstin; Jha, Ashish K

    2014-11-01

    Recent studies fail to find a consistent relationship between adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and improved hospital performance. We sought to examine whether the quality of hospital management modifies the association between EHR adoption and outcomes related to cost and quality. Retrospective study of a random sample of US acute care hospitals. Management quality was assessed via phone interviews with clinical managers predominantly from cardiac units in a random sample of 325 hospitals using a validated scale of management practices in 4 areas: operations, performance monitoring, target setting, and talent management. American Hospital Association InformationTechnology Supplement data captured whether or not these hospitals had at least a basic EHR. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) outcomes included risk-adjusted 30-day mortality, average length-of-stay, and average payment per discharge measured using MedPAR data. Ordinary least squares regressions assessed whether management quality modifies the relationship between EHR adoption and AMI outcomes. While we found no association between EHR adoption and our outcomes, management quality modified the relationship in the predicted direction. For length of stay, the coefficient on the interaction between EHR and management was -1.48 (P = .05) and for payment, it was -7786.74 (P = .014). We did not find strong evidence of effect modification for mortality (coefficient = -0.05; P = .37). Coupled with ongoing policy efforts to achieve nationwide EHR adoption is a growing unease that our national investment may not result in better, more efficient care. Our study is among the first to offer empirical evidence that management quality may help explain why some hospitals see substantial gains from EHR adoption while others do not.

  12. Performance studies and improvements of CMS distributed data transfers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonacorsi, D; Flix, J; Kaselis, R; Magini, N; Letts, J; Sartirana, A

    2012-01-01

    CMS computing needs reliable, stable and fast connections among multi-tiered distributed infrastructures. CMS experiment relies on File Transfer Services (FTS) for data distribution, a low level data movement service responsible for moving sets of files from one site to another, while allowing participating sites to control the network resource usage. FTS servers are provided by Tier-0 and Tier-1 centers and used by all the computing sites in CMS, subject to established CMS and sites setup policies, including all the virtual organizations making use of the Grid resources at the site, and properly dimensioned to satisfy all the requirements for them. Managing the service efficiently needs good knowledge of the CMS needs for all kind of transfer routes, and the sharing and interference with other VOs using the same FTS transfer managers. This contribution deals with a complete revision of all FTS servers used by CMS, customizing the topologies and improving their setup in order to keep CMS transferring data to the desired levels, as well as performance studies for all kind of transfer routes, including overheads measurements introduced by SRM servers and storage systems, FTS server misconfigurations and identification of congested channels, historical transfer throughputs per stream, file-latency studies,… This information is retrieved directly from the FTS servers through the FTS Monitor webpages and conveniently archived for further analysis. The project provides an interface for all these values, to ease the analysis of the data.

  13. Simulations of backgate sandwich nanowire MOSFETs with improved device performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Hengliang; Zhu Huilong; Zhong Jian; Ma Xiaolong; Wei Xing; Zhao Chao; Chen Dapeng; Ye Tianchun

    2014-01-01

    We propose a novel backgate sandwich nanowire MOSFET (SNFET), which offers the advantages of ETSOI (dynamic backgate voltage controllability) and nanowire FETs (good short channel effect). A backgate is used for threshold voltage (V t ) control of the SNFET. Compared with a backgate FinFET with a punch-through stop layer (PTSL), the SNFET possesses improved device performance. 3D device simulations indicate that the SNFET has a three times larger overdrive current, a ∼75% smaller off leakage current, and reduced subthreshold swing (SS) and DIBL than those of a backgate FinFET when the nanowire (NW) and the fin are of equal width. A new process flow to fabricate the backgate SNFET is also proposed in this work. Our analytical model suggests that V t control by the backgate can be attributed to the capacitances formed by the frontgate, NW, and backgate. The SNFET devices are compatible with the latest state-of-the-art high-k/metal gate CMOS technology with the unique capability of independent backgate control for nFETs and pFETs, which is promising for sub-22 nm scaling down. (semiconductor devices)

  14. Biomechanical modelling and evaluation of construction jobs for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parida, Ratri; Ray, Pradip Kumar

    2012-01-01

    Occupational risk factors, such as awkward posture, repetition, lack of rest, insufficient illumination and heavy workload related to construction-related MMH activities may cause musculoskeletal disorders and poor performance of the workers, ergonomic design of construction worksystems was a critical need for improving their health and safety wherein a dynamic biomechanical models were required to be empirically developed and tested at a construction site of Tata Steel, the largest steel making company of India in private sector. In this study, a comprehensive framework is proposed for biomechanical evaluation of shovelling and grinding under diverse work environments. The benefit of such an analysis lies in its usefulness in setting guidelines for designing such jobs with minimization of risks of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and enhancing correct methods of carrying out the jobs leading to reduced fatigue and physical stress. Data based on direct observations and videography were collected for the shovellers and grinders over a number of workcycles. Compressive forces and moments for a number of segments and joints are computed with respect to joint flexion and extension. The results indicate that moments and compressive forces at L5/S1 link are significant for shovellers while moments at elbow and wrist are significant for grinders.

  15. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering. PMID:26839533

  16. Improving secondary clarifier performance at the Oakville Oil Refinery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, S.M.; Bagley, D.M.

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this study was threefold: to investigate the relationship between settleability and the physical properties of activated sludge, to correlate settleability and key operational parameters such as chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration at the aeration basin inlet and to determine potential operational improvements to the Oakville Oil Refinery Wastewater Treatment Plant. Nine separate sets of stirred sludge-settling tests were conducted over a six-month period to measure settleability. The stirred sludge volume index (SSVI), the zone settling constants, and the Zheng-Bagley compression constants were determined. State point analyses were conducted to determine the maximum solids flux of the clarifiers. The concentrations of Al, Mn, Mg, Fe, Ca, Na, and K were determined to identify potential correlations to settling characteristics. Extracellular polymeric substances were extracted from the sludge and analyzed for the same reason. The performance of the clarifiers was highly variable during the period examined. As the refinery process flows and effluent streams changed, influent COD increased, from an average of 180mg/L to 600mg/L. Concurrently the settleability of the sludge decreased from excellent (SSVI = 68mL/g) to very poor (150mL/g), perhaps as the result of under aeration. State point analyses indicated that the clarifiers are under-sized for process upsets of this magnitude. (author)

  17. Improving secondary clarifier performance at the Oakville Oil Refinery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, S.M.; Bagley, D.M. [Univ. of Toronto, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2002-06-15

    The purpose of this study was threefold: to investigate the relationship between settleability and the physical properties of activated sludge, to correlate settleability and key operational parameters such as chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration at the aeration basin inlet and to determine potential operational improvements to the Oakville Oil Refinery Wastewater Treatment Plant. Nine separate sets of stirred sludge-settling tests were conducted over a six-month period to measure settleability. The stirred sludge volume index (SSVI), the zone settling constants, and the Zheng-Bagley compression constants were determined. State point analyses were conducted to determine the maximum solids flux of the clarifiers. The concentrations of Al, Mn, Mg, Fe, Ca, Na, and K were determined to identify potential correlations to settling characteristics. Extracellular polymeric substances were extracted from the sludge and analyzed for the same reason. The performance of the clarifiers was highly variable during the period examined. As the refinery process flows and effluent streams changed, influent COD increased, from an average of 180mg/L to 600mg/L. Concurrently the settleability of the sludge decreased from excellent (SSVI = 68mL/g) to very poor (150mL/g), perhaps as the result of under aeration. State point analyses indicated that the clarifiers are under-sized for process upsets of this magnitude. (author)

  18. Improving the thermal performance of the US residential window stock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, R.E.; Arasteh, D.K.; Eto, J.H.

    1992-05-01

    Windows have typically been the least efficient thermal component in the residential envelope, but technology advances over the past decade have helped to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of window products. While the thermal performance of these advanced technology windows can be easily characterized for a particular building application, few precise estimates exist of their aggregate impact on national or regional energy use. Policy-makers, utilities, researchers and the fenestration industry must better understand these products` ultimate conservation potential in order to determine the value of developing new products and initiating programs to accelerate their market acceptance. This paper presents a method to estimate the conservation potential of advanced window technologies, combining elements of two well-known modeling paradigms: supply curves of conserved energy and residential end-use forecasting. The unique features include: detailed descriptions of the housing stock by region and vintage, state-of-the-art thermal descriptions of window technologies, and incorporation of market effects to calculate achievable conservation potential and timing. We demonstrate the methodology by comparing, for all new houses built between 1990 and 2010, the conservation potential of very efficient, high R-value ``superwindows`` in the North Central federal region and spectrally-selective low-emissivity (moderate Revalue and solar transmittance) windows in California.

  19. Improved Performance in Mammalian Cell Perfusion Cultures by Growth Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Moritz K F; Closet, Aurélie; Bzowska, Monika; Bielser, Jean-Marc; Souquet, Jonathan; Broly, Hervé; Morbidelli, Massimo

    2018-05-21

    Mammalian cell perfusion cultures represent a promising alternative to the current fed-batch technology for the production of various biopharmaceuticals. Long-term operation at a fixed viable cell density (VCD) requires a viable culture and a constant removal of excessive cells. Product loss in the cell removing bleed stream deteriorates the process yield. In this study, the authors investigate the use of chemical and environmental growth inhibition on culture performance by either adding valeric acid (VA) to the production media or by reducing the culture temperature (33.0 °C) with respect to control conditions (36.5 °C, no VA). Low temperature significantly reduces cellular growth, thus, resulting in lower bleed rates accompanied by a reduced product loss of 11% compared to 26% under control conditions. Additionally, the cell specific productivity of the target protein improves and maintained stable leading to media savings per mass of product. VA shows initially an inhibitory effect on cellular growth. However, cells seemed to adapt to the presence of the inhibitor resulting in a recovery of the cellular growth. Cell cycle and Western blot analyses support the observed results. This work underlines the role of temperature as a key operating variable for the optimization of perfusion cultures. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Intentional Weight Loss Improved Performance in Obese Ischaemic Heart Patient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geiker, Nina; Myint, Khin Swe; Heck, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Aims: The risk of heart failure (HF) increases with BMI, but paradoxically obesity has been associated with reduced mortality in patients with HF. The effect of intentional or therapeutic weight loss on HF is not well known. We examined the effect of weight loss induced by low energy diet (LED......) on physical performance and cardiovascular risk factors in obese patients with moderate-to-severe HF and/or ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Methods and Results: Results from two weight loss interventions at two centres, one in Denmark (DK - 12 week intervention in 21 subjects (14 LED, 7 controls)) and one.......1 in the intervention group versus -22.1% ± 25.6 in the control group (P=0.000). Treatment also improved triglycerides (P=0.000), very low lipoprotein (P=0.001) and C-reactive protein (P=0.010). Conclusion: Weight loss induced by LED in obese patients with moderate-to-severe HF or IHD resulted in clinically significant...

  1. Tablet computer enhanced training improves internal medicine exam performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Daniel C; Wende, Ilja; Grittner, Ulrike

    2017-01-01

    Traditional teaching concepts in medical education do not take full advantage of current information technology. We aimed to objectively determine the impact of Tablet PC enhanced training on learning experience and MKSAP® (medical knowledge self-assessment program) exam performance. In this single center, prospective, controlled study final year medical students and medical residents doing an inpatient service rotation were alternatingly assigned to either the active test (Tablet PC with custom multimedia education software package) or traditional education (control) group, respectively. All completed an extensive questionnaire to collect their socio-demographic data, evaluate educational status, computer affinity and skills, problem solving, eLearning knowledge and self-rated medical knowledge. Both groups were MKSAP® tested at the beginning and the end of their rotation. The MKSAP® score at the final exam was the primary endpoint. Data of 55 (tablet n = 24, controls n = 31) male 36.4%, median age 28 years, 65.5% students, were evaluable. The mean MKSAP® score improved in the tablet PC (score Δ + 8 SD: 11), but not the control group (score Δ- 7, SD: 11), respectively. After adjustment for baseline score and confounders the Tablet PC group showed on average 11% better MKSAP® test results compared to the control group (plearning to their respective training programs.

  2. metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station

    CERN Document Server

    Montenero, Giuseppe; Ballarino, Amalia

    The work presented in this PhD thesis concerns the metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station based on superconducting transformers. The main cable’s parameter to be assessed –as a function of temperature and magnetic field– is the critical current, i.e. beyond this limit the phase transition to the normal state occurs. Ramping the current at levels in the order of the tens of kA can be achieved with superconducting transformers at moderate capital and operational cost. But, issues such as (i) accurate/precise measurements and (ii) monitoring of the secondary current during the device operation have to be addressed. In this regard, the goals of the thesis are the design, prototyping, and validation of a new cryogenic current transducer and effective monitoring system for test stations transformer-based. Among the available transducers for current sensing at room temperature, the DC current transformer (DCCT) provides measurement accuracy in the order of the hundreds of ...

  3. Performance analysis of PV plants: Optimization for improving profitability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Díez-Mediavilla, M.; Alonso-Tristán, C.; Rodríguez-Amigo, M.C.; García-Calderón, T.; Dieste-Velasco, M.I.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Real PV production from two 100 kW p grid-connected installations is conducted. ► Data sets on production were collected over an entire year. ► Economic results highlight the importance of properly selecting the system components. ► Performance of PV plants is directly related to improvements of all components. - Abstract: A study is conducted of real PV production from two 100 kW p grid-connected installations located in the same area, both of which experience the same fluctuations in temperature and radiation. Data sets on production were collected over an entire year and both installations were compared under various levels of radiation. The installations were assembled with mono-Si panels, mounted on the same support system, and the power supply was equal for the inverter and the measurement system; the same parameters were also employed for the wiring, and electrical losses were calculated in both cases. The results, in economic terms, highlight the importance of properly selecting the system components and the design parameters for maximum profitability.

  4. Photopolymerized materials and patterning for improved performance of neural prosthetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuft, Bradley William

    Neural prosthetics are used to replace or substantially augment remaining motor and sensory functions of neural pathways that were lost or damaged due to physical trauma, disease, or genetics. However, due to poor spatial signal resolution, neural prostheses fail to recapitulate the intimate, precise interactions inherent to neural networks. Designing materials and interfaces that direct de novo nerve growth to spatially specific stimulating elements is, therefore, a promising method to enhance signal specificity and performance of prostheses such as the successful cochlear implant (CI) and the developing retinal implant. In this work, the spatial and temporal reaction control inherent to photopolymerization was used to develop methods to generate micro and nanopatterned materials that direct neurite growth from prosthesis relevant neurons. In particular, neurite growth and directionality has been investigated in response to physical, mechanical, and chemical cues on photopolymerized surfaces. Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) serve as the primary neuronal model as they are the principal target for CI stimulation. The objective of the research is to rationally design materials that spatially direct neurite growth and to translate fundamental understanding of nerve cell-material interactions into methods of nerve regeneration that improve neural prosthetic performance. A rapid, single-step photopolymerization method was developed to fabricate micro and nanopatterned physical cues on methacrylate surfaces by selectively blocking light with photomasks. Feature height is readily tuned by modulating parameters of the photopolymerizaiton including initiator concentration and species, light intensity, separation distance from the photomask, and radiation exposure time. Alignment of neural elements increases significantly with increasing feature amplitude and constant periodicity, as well as with decreasing periodicity and constant amplitude. SGN neurite alignment strongly

  5. Evidence from Scientific Literature about Improved Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies that measure school conditions using an index of several variables consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve. On the other hand, schools with major unmet repair needs and fewer custodial workers per square

  6. What You Can Do to Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies that measure school conditions using an index of several variables consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve. On the other hand, schools with major unmet repair needs and fewer custodial workers per square

  7. Improvability of assembly systems I: Problem formulation and performance evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.-Y. Chiang

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work develops improvability theory for assembly systems. It consists of two parts. Part I includes the problem formulation and the analysis technique. Part II presents the so-called improvability indicators and a case study.

  8. A Control Variate Method for Probabilistic Performance Assessment. Improved Estimates for Mean Performance Quantities of Interest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacKinnon, Robert J.; Kuhlman, Kristopher L

    2016-05-01

    We present a method of control variates for calculating improved estimates for mean performance quantities of interest, E(PQI) , computed from Monte Carlo probabilistic simulations. An example of a PQI is the concentration of a contaminant at a particular location in a problem domain computed from simulations of transport in porous media. To simplify the presentation, the method is described in the setting of a one- dimensional elliptical model problem involving a single uncertain parameter represented by a probability distribution. The approach can be easily implemented for more complex problems involving multiple uncertain parameters and in particular for application to probabilistic performance assessment of deep geologic nuclear waste repository systems. Numerical results indicate the method can produce estimates of E(PQI)having superior accuracy on coarser meshes and reduce the required number of simulations needed to achieve an acceptable estimate.

  9. Cryptanalytic Performance Appraisal of Improved CCH2 Proxy Multisignature Scheme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raman Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Many of the signature schemes are proposed in which the t out of n threshold schemes are deployed, but they still lack the property of security. In this paper, we have discussed implementation of improved CCH1 and improved CCH2 proxy multisignature scheme based on elliptic curve cryptosystem. We have represented time complexity, space complexity, and computational overhead of improved CCH1 and CCH2 proxy multisignature schemes. We have presented cryptanalysis of improved CCH2 proxy multisignature scheme and showed that improved CCH2 scheme suffered from various attacks, that is, forgery attack and framing attack.

  10. Improving Job Performance: Workplace Learning Is the First Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daryoush, Younes; Silong, Abu Daud; Omar, Zohara; Othman, Jamilah

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims to contribute new knowledge to the existing literature on workplace learning and job performance. Particularly, the study analyzes contemporary literature on workplace learning and job performance, specifically formal and informal learning as well as employee task performance and contextual performance. The study…

  11. Building High-Performing and Improving Education Systems: Teachers. Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Liz

    2013-01-01

    There is overwhelming evidence that teachers have the most effect on pupil outcomes (closely followed by the quality of leadership). The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concluded that: (1) teachers were central to school improvement; (2) in order to improve the quality and fairness of education, teachers had to be…

  12. Improving performance through vertical disintegration: Evidence from UK manufacturing firms

    OpenAIRE

    Desyllas, Panos

    2009-01-01

    Unlike previous work on the vertical integration-performance relationship, we investigate the performance consequences of vertical disintegration. We offer a theoretical justification for the disintegration decision and we condition the disintegration effect on performance on the initial degree of firm integration, the timing and the direction of disintegration. Using a sample of UK manufacturing firms and controlling for disintegration endogeneity, we find that disintegration eventually resu...

  13. A framework to improve performance measurement in engineering projects

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng , Li; Baron , Claude; Esteban , Philippe; Xue , Rui; Zhang , Qiang

    2017-01-01

    International audience; A wide range of methods and good practices have been developed for the measurement of projects performance. They help project managers to effectively monitor the project progress and evaluate results. However, from a literature review, we noticed several remaining critical issues in measuring projects performance, such as an unbalanced development of Key Performance Indicators types between lagging and leading indicators. On the other hand, systems engineering measurem...

  14. Job control and coworker support improve employee job performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagami, Makiko; Tsutsumi, Akizumi; Tsuchiya, Masao; Morimoto, Kanehisa

    2010-01-01

    We examined the prospective association of psychosocial job characteristics with employee job performance among 777 full-time employees at a manufacturing company in Japan, using data from a one-year follow-up survey. Psychosocial job characteristics were measured by the Job Content Questionnaire in 2008; job performance was evaluated using the item from the World Mental Health Survey Instrument in 2008 and 2009. The association between psychosocial job characteristics and job performance was tested using multiple regression analysis, controlling for demographic variables, work status, average working hours per day, job type and job performance in 2008. Job control and coworker support in 2008 were positively related to job performance in 2009. Stratified analyses revealed that job control for staff and coworker support for managers were positively related to job performance in 2009. These associations were prominent among men; however, supervisor support in 2008 was negatively related to job performance in 2009 among men. Job demand was not significantly related to job performance. Our findings suggest that it is worthwhile to enhance employees' job control and provide a mutually supportive environment to ensure positive employee job performance.

  15. Improving health in the community: a role for performance monitoring

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Durch, Jane; Bailey, Linda A; Stoto, Michael A

    How do communities protect and improve the health of their populations? Health care is part of the answer but so are environmental protections, social and educational services, adequate nutrition, and a host of other activities...

  16. A formalised performance assessment process to improve audit ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    a requirement for individual committee members in King II. This ... Key words: audit committees, audit committee members, best practices, audit committee ..... that the foundation is laid for future improvement (AICPA 2004: 103; IoD 2009b: 44).

  17. Improving the performance of hysteresis direct torque control of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hysteresis direct torque control (HDTC) of an interior permanent magnet synchronous motor ... response, and improved the quality of the current waveforms. Luukko ..... LF , however, the cost and size of the AF increases, and therefore suitable ...

  18. Don't fix it, make it better! : using frontline service employees to improve recovery performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijden, van der G.A.H.; Schepers, J.J.L.; Nijssen, E.J.; Ordanini, A.

    2013-01-01

    This study examines how frontline service employees (FSEs) can learn from recovery services and improve their performance accordingly. While research recognizes that FSEs can fulfill an innovation role by sourcing customer knowledge and developing ideas for performance improvement, it remains

  19. Improving operator training and performance through simulator observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, J.P.

    1987-01-01

    This paper describes the methods and results of INPO observations of simulator training for licensed operators. It discusses the history of the observation program to the present. Effective methods for conducting and documenting simulator observations are discussed. The methods used to analyze the observations is also discussed. The major conclusion of the analysis is that opportunities exist for improvement in the use of emergency operating procedures. Teamwork, communication, and simulator instructor skills are also areas where improvement could be made

  20. Performance improvement planning : developing effective billing and collection practices

    OpenAIRE

    anonymous

    2008-01-01

    Effective billing and collection systems are a critical component for ensuring the viability of a service provider. Improving billing and collection activities has an immediate impact on the revenue streams of a service provider that can, in turn, help the service provider in improving services. However, while effective billing and collection practices depend on many internal factors (including customer databases, the extent of metered and unmetered service provision, tariff and billing struc...

  1. A New Performance Improvement Model: Adding Benchmarking to the Analysis of Performance Indicator Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kuwaiti, Ahmed; Homa, Karen; Maruthamuthu, Thennarasu

    2016-01-01

    A performance improvement model was developed that focuses on the analysis and interpretation of performance indicator (PI) data using statistical process control and benchmarking. PIs are suitable for comparison with benchmarks only if the data fall within the statistically accepted limit-that is, show only random variation. Specifically, if there is no significant special-cause variation over a period of time, then the data are ready to be benchmarked. The proposed Define, Measure, Control, Internal Threshold, and Benchmark model is adapted from the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) model. The model consists of the following five steps: Step 1. Define the process; Step 2. Monitor and measure the variation over the period of time; Step 3. Check the variation of the process; if stable (no significant variation), go to Step 4; otherwise, control variation with the help of an action plan; Step 4. Develop an internal threshold and compare the process with it; Step 5.1. Compare the process with an internal benchmark; and Step 5.2. Compare the process with an external benchmark. The steps are illustrated through the use of health care-associated infection (HAI) data collected for 2013 and 2014 from the Infection Control Unit, King Fahd Hospital, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Monitoring variation is an important strategy in understanding and learning about a process. In the example, HAI was monitored for variation in 2013, and the need to have a more predictable process prompted the need to control variation by an action plan. The action plan was successful, as noted by the shift in the 2014 data, compared to the historical average, and, in addition, the variation was reduced. The model is subject to limitations: For example, it cannot be used without benchmarks, which need to be calculated the same way with similar patient populations, and it focuses only on the "Analyze" part of the DMAIC model.

  2. Improving Operational Risk Management Using Business Performance Management Technologies

    OpenAIRE

    Bram Pieket Weeserik; Marco Spruit

    2018-01-01

    Operational Risk Management (ORM) comprises the continuous management of risks resulting from: human actions, internal processes, systems, and external events. With increasing requirements, complexity and a growing volume of risks, information systems provide benefits for integrating risk management activities and optimizing performance. Business Performance Management (BPM) technologies are believed to provide a solution for effective Operational Risk Management by offering several combined ...

  3. The Use of Performance Feedback in School Improvement in Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schildkamp, Kim; Visscher, Adrie

    2010-01-01

    Although school performance feedback is available in schools all over the world, there is a dearth of information about the use made of feedback and about the effects of its use. This paper presents case study research into the use of school performance feedback and its perceived effects. All schools used the feedback in writing school improvement…

  4. The use of performance feedback in school improvement in Louisiana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schildkamp, Kim; Visscher, Arend J.

    2010-01-01

    Although school performance feedback is available in schools all over the world, there is a dearth of information about the use made of feedback and about the effects of its use. This paper presents case study research into the use of school performance feedback and its’ perceived effects. All

  5. A Composite Model for Employees' Performance Appraisal and Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoharan, T. R.; Muralidharan, C.; Deshmukh, S. G.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop an innovative method of performance appraisal that will be useful for designing a structured training programme. Design/methodology/approach: Employees' performance appraisals are conducted using new approaches, namely data envelopment analysis and an integrated fuzzy model. Interpretive structural…

  6. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement plan... assessment and performance improvement plan. (a) Basic rule. A PACE organization must have a written quality assessment and performance improvement plan. (b) Annual review. The PACE governing body must review the plan...

  7. Novel biometric flow slab design for improvement of PEMFC performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Chin-Tsan; Hu, Yuh-Chung; Zheng, Pei-Lun [Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Center of Green Technology, National I Lan University, I Lan 26047 (China)

    2010-04-15

    Designing a better flow slab is important to cell performance because of its significant influence on the total pressure drop and flow uniformity. Two novel biometric flow slabs, BFF1 and BFF2, which are addressed in this study, are believed to enhance the capability of oxygen transportation and promote the liquid water removal. Hence, its possession of a higher flow uniformity and lower pressure drop would produce a better power performance than the serpentine and parallel flow. These findings with respect to the design of biometric flow slab could be useful to promote the cell performance of PEMFC, and could even be expanded to other cell types. (author)

  8. Improving Performance of Urban Areas in the Context of Kenya's ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    IEA-Kenya intends to use an adapted version of the Municipal Performance Index that it ... IDRC and key partners will showcase critical work on adaptation and ... IDRC congratulates first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science Fellows.

  9. Does Innovating Customer Relationship Management Improve Firm Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geersbro, Jens; Ritter, Thomas

    Based on an empirical study of more than 400 B2B firms, this paper investigates the role of innovating a firm’s customer relationship management capability on firm performance. There is a lot of evidence for the positive impact of customer relationship management capability on firm performance....... This paper advances this stream of literature by analyzing whether or not investments into developing a firm’s customer relationship capability increase firm performance. The findings illustrate that although relationship management innovation (defined as new (to the firm) processes, systems and tools...... for relationship management) has a positive correlation with firm performance, the impact is fully mediated by the firms’ relationship management capability. The paper also identifies internal and external drivers of customer relationship management innovation. Not surprisingly customer and competitor dynamics...

  10. Assessment of mental training in improving performance serve in volleyball

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Maria Montiel

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This article aimed to investigate the effects of mental training on volleyball players service performance. Six male volleyball players aged from 18 to 25 years old of a team from the interior of São Paulo’s state were studied. The service performance was evaluated in three different championships of the same season. The services were scored in game situations at the same time of the intervention process. The measure means indicated service performance increased with the mental training practice, with more services performed correctly and less mistakes at the end of the intervention process. The mistakes dimished significantly from the baseline to the final of the intervention process and from the start of the intervention process to its final.

  11. New Li Battery Chemistry for Improved Performance, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Current state-of-the-art Lithium (Li) or Li-ion systems are unable to meet the performance goals of space-rated rechargeable batteries for many NASA's future robotic...

  12. Schoolbus driver performance can be improved with driver training ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and compares the school transport driver performance with that of general motorists. Despite concerns that ... To compare Safe Travel to School Programme driver safety perfor- .... The SA government has recognised the challenges faced with.

  13. Understanding, modeling, and improving main-memory database performance

    OpenAIRE

    Manegold, S.

    2002-01-01

    textabstractDuring the last two decades, computer hardware has experienced remarkable developments. Especially CPU (clock-)speed has been following Moore's Law, i.e., doubling every 18 months; and there is no indication that this trend will change in the foreseeable future. Recent research has revealed that database performance, even with main-memory based systems, can hardly benefit from the ever increasing CPU power. The reason for this is that the performance of other hardware components h...

  14. Kia Kaha: Improving Classroom Performance through Developing Cultural Awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubie, Christine

    A study of 24 Maori children in grades 3-6 who were invited to perform at a children's festival in Turkey and two control groups (control 1, n=24; control 2, n=23) of Maori children who did not participate in the festival examined the effect of an intense cultural program on children's self-esteem, locus of control, and academic performance.…

  15. Performance in Physiology Evaluation: Possible Improvement by Active Learning Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H.

    2016-01-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages…

  16. Evaluating School Improvement Plans and Their Affect on Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Kenneth E.

    2011-01-01

    The development of a school improvement plan (SIP) has become an integral part of many school reform efforts. However, there are almost no studies that empirically examine the effectiveness of SIPs. The few studies examining the planning activities of organizations have generally focused on the private sector and have not provided clear or…

  17. Improvement in operators training for better performance of RAPS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Banerjee, D.K.

    1989-01-01

    Nuclear Power Corporation (India) will need substantial number of technical personnel in the next couple of years to operate the new power plants. With number of stations coming up within a short span of time, standardisation of training, improved quality trainer, better technical support will be required to ensure reliable operation. (author)

  18. Evolutionary Pattern of Improved 1-Mile Running Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foster, C.S.; de Koning, J.J.; Thiel, C.

    2014-01-01

    The official world records (WR) for the 1-mile run for men (3: 43.13) and for women (4: 12.58) have improved 12.2% and 32.3%, respectively, since the first WR recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Previous observations have suggested that the pacing pattern for

  19. Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-11-01

    NREL will produce this sourcebook for DOE's Industrial Technologies Office as part of a series of documents on industrial energy equipment. The sourcebook is a reference for industrial compressed air system users, outlining opportunities to improve system efficiency.

  20. Phototherapy during treadmill training improves quadriceps performance in postmenopausal women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolillo, F R; Corazza, A V; Paolillo, A R; Borghi-Silva, A; Arena, R; Kurachi, C; Bagnato, V S

    2014-06-01

    To evaluate the effects of infrared-light-emitting diode (LED) during treadmill training on functional performance. Thirty postmenopausal women aged 50-60 years were randomly assigned to one of three groups and successfully completed the full study. The three groups were: (1) the LED group, which performed treadmill training associated with phototherapy (n = 10); (2) the exercise group, which carried out treadmill training only (n = 10); and (3) the sedentary group, which neither performed physical training nor underwent phototherapy (n = 10). Training was performed over a period of 6 months, twice a week for 45 min per session at 85-90% of maximal heart rate, which was obtained during progressive exercise testing. The irradiation parameters were 100 mW, 39 mW/cm(2) and 108 J/cm(2) for 45 min. Quadriceps performance was measured during isokinetic exercise testing at 60°/s and 300°/s. Peak torque did not differ amongst the groups. However, the results showed significantly higher values of power and total work for the LED group (∆ = 21 ± 6 W and ∆ = 634 ± 156 J, p women.

  1. Performance Improvement of an Inhomogeneous Cathode by Infiltration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seyed-Vakili, S. V.; Graves, Christopher R.; Babaei, A.

    2017-01-01

    The performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is considerably influenced by the microstructure and chemical composition of cathode materials. Porous La0.85Sr0.15FeO3– Ce0.9Gd0.1O2 composite electrodes were infiltrated by La0.6Sr0.4CoO3 and La0.6Sr0.4FeO3. The effects of infiltration loading...... performance of the electrodes. The electrochemical results revealed that the polarization resistance of the cathodes significantly was decreased by infiltration from 2.59 to 0.034 Ω cm2 measured at 670 °C. The best electrode performance was achieved at a calcination temperature of 770 °C. It was also found...

  2. IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE LINEAR SYSTEMS SOLVERS USING CUDA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BOGDAN OANCEA

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Parallel computing can offer an enormous advantage regarding the performance for very large applications in almost any field: scientific computing, computer vision, databases, data mining, and economics. GPUs are high performance many-core processors that can obtain very high FLOP rates. Since the first idea of using GPU for general purpose computing, things have evolved and now there are several approaches to GPU programming: CUDA from NVIDIA and Stream from AMD. CUDA is now a popular programming model for general purpose computations on GPU for C/C++ programmers. A great number of applications were ported to CUDA programming model and they obtain speedups of orders of magnitude comparing to optimized CPU implementations. In this paper we present an implementation of a library for solving linear systems using the CCUDA framework. We present the results of performance tests and show that using GPU one can obtain speedups of about of approximately 80 times comparing with a CPU implementation.

  3. GROWTH OF MANAGERIAL PERFORMANCE BY IMPROVING AUDITING ACTIVITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel DĂNECI-PĂTRĂU

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available To reflect the place and role of internal audit in the economic entity and its function as assistant manager in this paper we followed the presentation of the preliminary assumptions of a model for measuring the quality of internal audit. Also, we presented a possible model of research regarding managerial effectiveness. Questions that sought answer in this research are: How can we streamline internal audit? What is meant by effective internal audit? What is the relationship between internal audit efficiency and performance management? Recording a high level of performance of internal audit provide a high level of performance of the whole economic entity. Of course, responsible for the implementation of recommendations made by the Internal Auditor is the manager, but in our opinion, as long as the internal audit department conducts activities / tasks with maximum seriousness, conscientiousness and professionalism, the manager will be to some extent forced to implement the recommendations, having a high confidence in those.

  4. Acting Irrationally to Improve Performance in Stochastic Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belavkin, Roman V.

    Despite many theories and algorithms for decision-making, after estimating the utility function the choice is usually made by maximising its expected value (the max EU principle). This traditional and 'rational' conclusion of the decision-making process is compared in this paper with several 'irrational' techniques that make choice in Monte-Carlo fashion. The comparison is made by evaluating the performance of simple decision-theoretic agents in stochastic environments. It is shown that not only the random choice strategies can achieve performance comparable to the max EU method, but under certain conditions the Monte-Carlo choice methods perform almost two times better than the max EU. The paper concludes by quoting evidence from recent cognitive modelling works as well as the famous decision-making paradoxes.

  5. Techniques for Performance Improvement of Integer Multiplication in Cryptographic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Brumnik

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The problem of arithmetic operations performance in number fields is actively researched by many scientists, as evidenced by significant publications in this field. In this work, we offer some techniques to increase performance of software implementation of finite field multiplication algorithm, for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. The developed technique, called “delayed carry mechanism,” allows to preventing necessity to consider a significant bit carry at each iteration of the sum accumulation loop. This mechanism enables reducing the total number of additions and applies the modern parallelization technologies effectively.

  6. Simplicity: the key to improved safety, performance and economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCandless, R.J.; Redding, J.R.

    1989-01-01

    In General Electric's Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (SBWR) design every feature, every system, every piece of equipment must justify its existence - or it must go. Each must perform a needed function in the simplest way because simplification is the key to high performance and competitive economics. The SBWR has the potential to become a safe, economical and environmentally sound energy source for the 1990s, GE believes. The distinctive features of the reactor are described. It is illustrated on a wall chart which also gives its main specifications

  7. Use of safety management practices for improving project performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Eddie W L; Kelly, Stephen; Ryan, Neal

    2015-01-01

    Although site safety has long been a key research topic in the construction field, there is a lack of literature studying safety management practices (SMPs). The current research, therefore, aims to test the effect of SMPs on project performance. An empirical study was conducted in Hong Kong and the data collected were analysed with multiple regression analysis. Results suggest that 3 of the 15 SMPs, which were 'safety committee at project/site level', 'written safety policy', and 'safety training scheme' explained the variance in project performance significantly. Discussion about the impact of these three SMPs on construction was provided. Assuring safe construction should be an integral part of a construction project plan.

  8. Recent improvements in the SLC positron system performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krejcik, P.; Corbett, J.; Ecklund, S.; Emma, P.; Fieguth, T.; Helm, R.; Kulikov, A.; Limberg, T.; Moshammer, H.; Ross, M.; Siemann, R.; Spence, W.; Woodley, M.

    1992-03-01

    The positron system is very specific to the SLC in that the positrons are accelerated in the same linac as the electrons that produce them and the electrons with which they collide. Some of the difficulties in tuning this system to peak performance are thus unlikely to be encountered in future linear colliders, but many of the lessons learned in beam matching are useful for future machines. The design and commissioning of this system has been previously reported so we only briefly describe the major subsystems before detailing the tuning and diagnostics involved in optimizing the performance of the overall system

  9. Improvements of phosphorescent white OLEDs performance for lighting application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jonghee; Chu, Hye Yong; Lee, Jeong-Ik; Song, Ki-Im; Lee, Su Jin

    2008-10-01

    We developed white OLED device with high power efficiency, in which blue and orange phosphorescent emitters were used. By introduction of multi-functional interlayer which has partial doping of orange dopant inside EBL, we report WOLEDs with peak external efficiencies up to (14.1% EQE, 31.3 Im/W) without light out-coupling technique. At 1000 cd/m2, the performance achieved was 11.9% EQE, 18.7 Im/W with CIE = (0.39, 0.44). We also found that WOLED performances are related with doping ratio of the orange dopant that was inserted inside EBL.

  10. Medical Team Training Improves Team Performance: AOA Critical Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, James E; Bagian, James P; Snider, Rebecca G; Jeray, Kyle J

    2017-09-20

    Effective teamwork and communication can decrease medical errors in environments where the culture of safety is enhanced. Health care can benefit from programs that are based on teamwork, as in other high-stress industries (e.g., aviation), with crew resource management programs, simulator use, and utilization of checklists. Medical team training (MTT) with a strong leadership commitment was used at our institution to focus specifically on creating open, yet structured, communication in operating rooms. Training included the 3 phases of the World Health Organization protocol to organize communication and briefings: preoperative verification, preincision briefing, and debriefing at or near the end of the surgical case. This training program led to measured improvements in job satisfaction and compliance with checklist tasks, and identified opportunities to improve training sessions. MTT provides the potential for sustainable change and a positive impact on the environment of the operating room.

  11. Tune-Up Your Fan Systems for Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2018-04-03

    Fans are used extensively in commercial buildings and represent approximately 6% of total energy consumed by commercial buildings. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that fans in commercial buildings consume 158 billion kWh of electricity annually. Maintaining fan systems in proper condition provides energy savings and ensures a comfortable and healthy environment. While many fan systems have significant energy savings opportunities available through improvements in fan selection, system design, and operational practices, it is not always apparent when a fan system needs maintenance or what opportunities are available for improvements. This resource is designed for facility managers and maintenance staff to provide easy-to-implement actionable guidance on fan efficiency measures for existing ducted air systems.

  12. Expectation of having consumed caffeine can improve performance and mood

    OpenAIRE

    Dawkins, Lynne; Shahzad, Fatima-Zahra; Ahmed, Suada S.; Edmonds, Caroline J.

    2011-01-01

    We explored whether caffeine, and expectation of having consumed caffeine, affects attention, reward responsivity and mood using double-blinded methodology. 88 participants were randomly allocated to ‘drink-type’ (caffeinated/decaffeinated coffee) and ‘expectancy’ (told caffeinated/told decaffeinated coffee) manipulations. Both caffeine and expectation of having consumed caffeine improved attention and psychomotor speed. Expectation enhanced self-reported vigour and reward responsivity. Self-...

  13. Improvement of RFX performances by field and impurity control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buffa, A.; Gnesotto, F.

    1995-01-01

    The Reverse Field Pinch experiment RFX has been operated since 1992 with the principal objective of extending the knowledge of RFP confinement to larger dimensions and higher plasma currents. Experiments have been run between 500 and 900 kA; confinement parameters are mainly determined by magnetic field quality and plasma density behavior. Significant improvements were obtained by feedback controlling the poloidal field configuration and by reducing the impurities produced by plasma-wall interactions

  14. Improving the performance and energy-efficiency of virtual memory

    OpenAIRE

    Karakostas, Vasileios

    2016-01-01

    Virtual memory improves programmer productivity, enhances process security, and increases memory utilization. However, virtual memory requires an address translation from the virtual to the physical address space on every memory operation. Page-based implementations of virtual memory divide physical memory into fixed size pages, and use a per-process page table to map virtual pages to physical pages. The hardware key component for accelerating address translation is the Translation Lookasi...

  15. Human Resources and Innovative Behaviour : Improving Nursing Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Xerri, Matthew; Reid, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    This study examines, using the social exchange theory, the mediating effect of employees’ perception of wellbeing on the relationship between two human resource (HR) management factors (satisfaction with teamwork and satisfaction with training opportunities) and innovative behaviour of nurses working in Australian public and private hospitals. Current nurse shortages and limited budgets have increased the need for hospitals to improve their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is proposed th...

  16. Improvement of Supply Chain Performances Using RFID Technology

    OpenAIRE

    Turcu, Cornel; Turcu, Cristina; Graur, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    This chapter helps to improve readers understanding of the RFID and EPC potential for business processes. RFID technology is classified as a wireless AIDC technology that uses digital data encoded into a radio tag embedding a microchip with an antenna. The data stored on the tag is collected by a reader using radio waves. There are a large variety of RFID tags designs; they also have many different functional characteristics such as power source, carrier frequency, read range, data storage ca...

  17. Blast furnace sinter performance improvement; Melhoria do rendimento de sinter de alto forno

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, Ricardo Baeta; Ferreira, Antonio Marcos M.; Perez, Jose Antonio; Nobrega, Carlos A.; Madeira Filho, Nelson Santos; Silva, Jose Coutinho da; Sampaio, Silvio; Larcher, Marcos A.; Silva Filho, Jose Maximo da; Nogueira, Carlos Alberto; Ramalho Filho, Wilson; Costa, Jose Luiz Lage da; Silva, Mauro Correa da [Companhia Siderurgica de Tubarao (CST), Serra, ES (Brazil)

    1995-07-01

    The article discusses the following issues of methodology maid and the accomplished actions aiming at the blast furnace sinter performance improvement: performance concept; performance historical evolution; problem boarding; influence factors; interpretation of the results; actions implementation; and economic benefit.

  18. High Performance Healthcare Buildings: A Roadmap to Improved Energy Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, Brett C.; Tschudi, William F.

    2009-09-08

    This document presents a road map for improving the energy efficiency of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The report compiles input from a broad array of experts in healthcare facility design and operations. The initial section lists challenges and barriers to efficiency improvements in healthcare. Opportunities are organized around the following ten themes: understanding and benchmarking energy use; best practices and training; codes and standards; improved utilization of existing HVAC designs and technology; innovation in HVAC design and technology; electrical system design; lighting; medical equipment and process loads; economic and organizational issues; and the design of next generation sustainable hospitals. Achieving energy efficiency will require a broad set of activities including research, development, deployment, demonstration, training, etc., organized around 48 specific objectives. Specific activities are prioritized in consideration of potential impact, likelihood of near- or mid-term feasibility and anticipated cost-effectiveness. This document is intended to be broad in consideration though not exhaustive. Opportunities and needs are identified and described with the goal of focusing efforts and resources.

  19. Using a NIATx based local learning collaborative for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosa, Mathew; Scripa, Joseph S; Zastowny, Thomas R; Ford, James H

    2011-11-01

    Local governments play an important role in improving substance abuse and mental health services. The structure of the local learning collaborative requires careful attention to old relationships and challenges local governmental leaders to help move participants from a competitive to collaborative environment. This study describes one county's experience applying the NIATx process improvement model via a local learning collaborative. Local substance abuse and mental health agencies participated in two local learning collaboratives designed to improve client retention in substance abuse treatment and client access to mental health services. Results of changes implemented at the provider level on access and retention are outlined. The process of implementing evidence-based practices by using the Plan-Do-Study-Act rapid-cycle change is a powerful combination for change at the local level. Key lessons include: creating a clear plan and shared vision, recognizing that one size does not fit all, using data can help fuel participant engagement, a long collaborative may benefit from breaking it into smaller segments, and paying providers to offset costs of participation enhances their engagement. The experience gained in Onondaga County, New York, offers insights that serve as a foundation for using the local learning collaborative in other community-based organizations. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Improving Heat Transfer Performance of Printed Circuit Boards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatzel, Donald V.

    2009-01-01

    This paper will explore the ability of printed circuit boards laminated with a Carbon Core Laminate to transfer heat vs. standard printed circuit boards that use only thick layers of copper. The paper will compare the differences in heat transfer performance of printed circuit boards with and without CCL.

  1. Individual Training, Performance Improvement, and the Future for Organizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Roger

    2015-01-01

    Human competence is a vital element for any organization that expects to survive and then thrive. Developing individual performance ability is necessary but not sufficient because trained people alone will not make an organization successful. We must determine what people should deliver and why it should be delivered in order to add measurable…

  2. Improving lean team performance: leadership and workfloor dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dun, Desirée Hermina

    2015-01-01

    This Ph.D. thesis reports four different studies that were undertaken to identify and examine the content of human dynamics that may account for sustainable lean team performance, at multiple organizational levels: higher-level leaders (including top- and middle managers), team leaders, and team

  3. Improving performance of AliRoot using C++11

    CERN Document Server

    Agarwal, Abhineet

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the project was to increase the performance and better the memory management which is currently used in AliRoot. For this, we want to look up to certain ROOT libraries and containers which could be replaced using C++ containers and standard libraries. Also, to better the memory management, we wanted to use the smart pointers used in C++11.

  4. Food Power. A Coach's Guide to Improving Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Dairy Council, Rosemont, IL.

    This guide looks at the athlete's nutrient needs and presents recent findings from physiology- and nutrition-related research which have direct bearing on athletic performance. Contents include sections on: (1) nutrition basics; (2) water needs of athletes; (3) nutrient fuels for sports; (4) diets for athletes; (5) body composition; (6) weight…

  5. Atomic scale simulations for improved CRUD and fuel performance modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersson, Anders David Ragnar [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Cooper, Michael William Donald [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-01-06

    A more mechanistic description of fuel performance codes can be achieved by deriving models and parameters from atomistic scale simulations rather than fitting models empirically to experimental data. The same argument applies to modeling deposition of corrosion products on fuel rods (CRUD). Here are some results from publications in 2016 carried out using the CASL allocation at LANL.

  6. Paulo Freire's Relevance to Online Instruction and Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kash, Sheri; Dessinger, Joan Conway

    2010-01-01

    Paulo Freire argued that learning should be conversational, accessible, and centered on the experience of the participants. Freirean theory remains strong in adult education and has implications for human performance technology applications in such areas as online learning in terms of design, accessibility, and content, as well as performance…

  7. Competence modelling for export performance improvement in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Birru, W.T.

    2016-01-01

    Export is increasingly seen as an important route for entrepreneurial firms to realize their growth potential. Consequently, a better understanding of the determinant factors for export performance of the firm is of great importance for firms’ success and expansion in the export markets. In this

  8. Commitment to Study as a Technique to Improve Exam Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeming, Frank C.

    1997-01-01

    Reports on a technique that could increase study time by reducing procrastination. Randomly selected college students (N=197) made written commitments to study for an exam. Students in the commitment condition reported significantly more study time than did students in a control group; they also performed significantly better on the exam. (RJM)

  9. Detection performance improvement of FMCW radar using frequency shift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wu, Y.; Linnartz, J.P.M.G.

    2011-01-01

    Frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radars have been widely used for measuring target range and speed. In this paper, we present a mathematical model that quantifies the system-level performance of FMCW radar systems. In FMCW radar, the target range is measured through measuring the beat

  10. Introducing Model Predictive Control for Improving Power Plant Portfolio Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edlund, Kristian Skjoldborg; Bendtsen, Jan Dimon; Børresen, Simon

    2008-01-01

    This paper introduces a model predictive control (MPC) approach for construction of a controller for balancing the power generation against consumption in a power system. The objective of the controller is to coordinate a portfolio consisting of multiple power plant units in the effort to perform...

  11. Third Ethiopia Economic Update : Strengthening Export Performance through Improved Competitiveness

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank Group

    2014-01-01

    Rising exports contributed to Ethiopia’s remarkable growth performance over the past decade. Buoyed by favorable external conditions, exports also helped create jobs and earn much-needed foreign exchange. The way Ethiopia created and nurtured a high-value horticulture industry and expanded its air services exports was an encouraging example of “self-discovery.”

  12. Performance of Improved Dairy Cattle Technologies Among Farmers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    This study evaluated the performance of different dairy cattle technologies ... common phenomenon in Nigeria, especially among the poor segment of the society ... considerable amounts (over 70%) of milk today (Olaloku and Debre, 1992). ..... cross-bred dairy cattle was reported to be 30 percent of total dairy animals in.

  13. Neural networks improve performance of coal-fired boilers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radl, B.J. [Pegasus Technologies Ltd., Painesville, OH (United States)

    1999-03-01

    Work sponsored by the US Department of Energy through its NICE{sup 3} programme, and co-funded by industry partners First Energy Corp. (host organisation and co-funder) and Pegasus Technologies (inventor, developer and supplier), has resulted in the development of online, real-time neural networks which help coal-fired utility boilers to dynamically adjust combustion setpoints. The payoff is a system which helps reduce NOx emissions up to 60%, while improving heat rate up to 2% overall. The system has avoided or postponed large capacity expenditures while meeting environmental compliance requirements. 3 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Improving and extending performance at synchrotron radiation facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, A.

    1997-05-01

    Synchrotron radiation facilities around the world have now matured through three generations. The latest facilities have all met or exceeded their design specifications and are learning how to cope with the ever more demanding requests of the user community, especially concerning beam stability. The older facilities remain competitive by extending the unique features of their design, and by developing novel insertion devices. In this paper we survey the beam characteristics achieved at third-generation sources and explore the improvements made at earlier generation facilities

  15. Plasma performance improvement with neon gas puffing in HT-7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gong, X.; Wan, B.; Li, J.; Shi, Y.; Zhang, X.; Zhu, Y.; Wu, Z.; Liu, H.; Qian, J.

    2005-01-01

    The neon gas puffing for the production of a radiative layer near the plasma edge with the improved energy and particle confinement has been investigated in HT-7 during the 2003 campaign. Plasma characteristics of these discharges in HT-7 are similar to the TEXTOR RI-mode discharges. The peaked electron temperature and the broadened density profiles were formed in these discharges with the combination of LHCD and IBW heating. The central electron temperature was increased by nearly 50%, compared those discharges with the same plasma parameters and injected power without the neon gas puffing. These discharges also exhibited relatively higher plasma inductance. (author)

  16. Improving Performance of Software Implemented Floating Point Addition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hindborg, Andreas Erik; Karlsson, Sven

    2011-01-01

    We outline and evaluate hardware extensions to an integer processor pipeline which allow IEEE 754 oating point, FP, addition to be eciently implemented in software. With a very moderate increase in hardware resources, our perfor- mance evaluation shows that, for a benchmark that executes 12.5% FP...... addition instructions, our approach exhibits a rel- ative slowdown of 3.38 to 15.15 as compared to dedicated hardware. This is a signicant improvement of pure software emulation which leads to relative slowdowns up to 45.33....

  17. Improving the performance of conventional and column froth flotation cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arnold, B.J. [CQ Inc., Homer City, PA (United States)

    1995-11-01

    Many existing mining operations hover on the brink of producing competitively priced fuel with marginally acceptable sulfur levels. To remain competitive, these operations need to improve the yield of their coal processing facilities, lower the sulfur content of their clean coal, or lower the ash content of their clean coal. Fine coal cleaning processes offer the best opportunity for coal producers to increase their yield of high quality product. Over 200 coal processing plants in the U.S. already employ some type of conventional or column flotation device to clean fines. an increase in efficiency in these existing circuits could be the margin required to make these coal producers competitive.

  18. Steam generators: improvement of separator/dryer performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holcblat, A.

    1985-10-01

    The first generation of steam generators built in France (model 51) experienced some moisture problems. As early as 1976, a large-scale development program was undertaken by Framatome, in collaboration with the French Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique and Electricite de France, to enhance design of SG separation equipment. The goal of this program was to enhance equipment operating efficiency by improving our understanding of separation phenomena. This paper presents an overview of the design and testing effort engaged within the framework of the separator development program, along with a summary of program results and forthcoming developments

  19. Modern control technology for improved nuclear reactor performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oakes, L.C.

    1986-01-01

    One of the main complaints leveled at reactor control systems by utility spokesmen is complexity. One only has to look inside a power reactor control room to appreciate this viewpoint. The high reliability and versatility of modern microprocessors makes possible distributed control systems with only performance data and abnormal conditions being relayed to the control room. In a sense, this emulates the human-body control system where routine repetitive actions are handled in an involuntary manner. The significance of expert systems to the nuclear reactor control and safety systems is their ability to capture human and other expertise and make it available, upon demand, and under almost all circumstances. Thus, human problem-solving skills acquired by the learning process over a long period of time can be captured and employed with the reliability inherent in computers. This is especially important in nuclear plants when human operators are burdened by stress and emotional factors that have a dramatic effect on performance level

  20. Improving Written Language Performance of Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delano, Monica E

    2007-01-01

    The effects of a multicomponent intervention involving self-regulated strategy development delivered via video self-modeling on the written language performance of 3 students with Asperger syndrome were examined. During intervention sessions, each student watched a video of himself performing strategies for increasing the number of words written and the number of functional essay elements. He then wrote a persuasive essay. The number of words written and number of functional essay elements included in each essay were measured. Each student demonstrated gains in the number of words written and number of functional essay elements. Maintenance of treatment effects at follow-up varied across targets and participants. Implications for future research are suggested. PMID:17624076

  1. Improvement in Plasma Performance with Lithium Coatings in NSTX

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaita, R.

    2009-01-01

    Lithium as a plasma-facing material has attractive features, including a reduction in the recycling of hydrogenic species and the potential for withstanding high heat and neutron fluxes in fusion reactors. Dramatic effects on plasma performance with lithium-coated plasma-facing components (PFC's) have been demonstrated on many fusion devices, including TFTR, T-11M, and FT-U. Using a liquid-lithium-filled tray as a limiter, the CDX-U device achieved very significant enhancement in the confinement time of ohmically heated plasmas. The recent NSTX experiments reported here have demonstrated, for the first time, significant and recurring benefits of lithium PFC coatings on divertor plasma performance in both L- and H- mode regimes heated by neutral beams.

  2. Improved custom statistics visualization for CA Performance Center data

    CERN Document Server

    Talevi, Iacopo

    2017-01-01

    The main goal of my project is to understand and experiment the possibilities that CA Performance Center (CA PC) offers for creating custom applications to display stored information through interesting visual means, such as maps. In particular, I have re-written some of the network statistics web pages in order to fetch data from new statistics modules in CA PC, which has its own API, and stop using the RRD data.

  3. Caffeine Improves Basketball Performance in Experienced Basketball Players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Puente

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine the effect of caffeine intake on overall basketball performance in experienced players. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized experimental design was used for this investigation. In two different sessions separated by one week, 20 experienced basketball players ingested 3 mg of caffeine/kg of body mass or a placebo. After 60 min, participants performed 10 repetitions of the following sequence: Abalakov jump, Change-of-Direction and Acceleration Test (CODAT and two free throws. Later, heart rate, body impacts and game statistics were recorded during a 20-min simulated basketball game. In comparison to the placebo, the ingestion of caffeine increased mean jump height (37.3 ± 6.8 vs. 38.2 ± 7.4 cm; p = 0.012, but did not change mean time in the CODAT test or accuracy in free throws. During the simulated game, caffeine increased the number of body impacts (396 ± 43 vs. 410 ± 41 impacts/min; p < 0.001 without modifying mean or peak heart rate. Caffeine also increased the performance index rating (7.2 ± 8.6 vs. 10.6 ± 7.1; p = 0.037 during the game. Nevertheless, players showed a higher prevalence of insomnia (19.0 vs. 54.4%; p = 0.041 after the game. Three mg of caffeine per kg of body mass could be an effective ergogenic substance to increase physical performance and overall success in experienced basketball players.

  4. How to improve the performance of UV cured wood coatings?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mariane Poitoux

    2007-01-01

    Adhesion, scratch and wear resistance are key properties for industrial wood coatings, both for furniture and parquet flooring. Different techniques can be used to evaluate the performances of a coating and results can be strongly affected only by changing the measuring tool used. This paper will explain the different methods available to assess the adhesion, the scratch and wear resistance and their relevancy. The role played by the different oligomers and monomers will be shown, as the impact of the photoinitiator package. (Author)

  5. Improving business performance : a proposed model for SMEs

    OpenAIRE

    Rekarti, Endi; Doktoralina, Caturida Meiwanto

    2017-01-01

    Culinary revenues comprise some of the main sources contributing to an increase in the Global Tourism Competitiveness Index and Region Own Source Revenue (ROSR). The high number of Small Medium Entrepreneurship (SME) traditional restaurants should increase ROSR. However, the revenue from this sector has not yet been optimised due to a lack of business performance. Traditional restaurants are losing their market to modern chain restaurants, some of which are franchises from outside Indonesi...

  6. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    OpenAIRE

    Manuel Ninaus; Gonçalo Pereira; René Stefitz; Rui Prada; Ana Paiva; Christa Neuper; Guilherme Wood

    2015-01-01

    The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participan...

  7. Improvements in performance of Doel-3 and -4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smissaert, G.; Miert, J. Van; Meire, D.

    1988-01-01

    At the end of 1987 the seven Belgian nuclear power units (all PWRs) arrived at an average lifetime load factor of 78.8 %, which puts Belgium among the leading nuclear countries. This article examines the reasons for this performance, paying particular attention to the maintenance and output management approach in Doel-3 and -4. Good performance indicators are the results of several factors, such as good design, efficient maintenance and short refuelling outages. Optimum performance, quick intervention and low dose capability is incorporated at the design state. As a result of experience gained with the time consuming repair of radioactive NSSS components of the SENA reactor, Belgian nuclear power plants have the possibility of dividing the reactor pool into separate pits. It is possible to store the upper and lower internal parts independently under water and to lower the water level in the reactor pit to vessel flange level to reduce repair time when applicable. All reactors and usually all the steam generators' manholes are equipped with automatic stud tensioners leading to shorter opening and closure times and reduced dose for the personnel. 1 fig

  8. Challenges in Improving Cochlear Implant Performance and Accessibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Fan-Gang

    2017-08-01

    Here I identify two gaps in cochlear implants that have been limiting their performance and acceptance. First, cochlear implant performance has remained largely unchanged, despite the number of publications tripling per decade in the last 30 years. Little has been done so far to address a fundamental limitation in the electrode-to-neuron interface, with the electrode size being a thousand times larger than the neuron diameter while the number of electrodes being a thousand times less. Both the small number and the large size of electrodes produce broad spatial activation and poor frequency resolution that limit current cochlear implant performance. Second, a similarly rapid growth in cochlear implant volume has not produced an expected decrease in unit price in the same period. The high cost contributes to low market penetration rate, which is about 20% in developed countries and less than 1% in developing countries. I will discuss changes needed in both research strategy and business practice to close the gap between prosthetic and normal hearing as well as that between haves and have-nots.

  9. Improved approach to characterizing and presenting streak camera performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiedwald, J.D.; Jones, B.A.

    1985-01-01

    The performance of a streak camera recording system is strongly linked to the technique used to amplify, detect and quantify the streaked image. At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) streak camera images have been recorded both on film and by fiber-optically coupling to charge-coupled devices (CCD's). During the development of a new process for recording these images (lens coupling the image onto a cooled CCD) the definitions of important performance characteristics such as resolution and dynamic range were re-examined. As a result of this development, these performance characteristics are now presented to the streak camera user in a more useful format than in the past. This paper describes how these techniques are used within the Laser Fusion Program at LLNL. The system resolution is presented as a modulation transfer function, including the seldom reported effects that flare and light scattering have at low spatial frequencies. Data are presented such that a user can adjust image intensifier gain and pixel averaging to optimize the useful dynamic range in any particular application

  10. Improving Packet Processing Performance in the ATLAS FELIX Project

    CERN Document Server

    AUTHOR|(SzGeCERN)752705; The ATLAS collaboration; Anderson, John Thomas; Borga, Andrea; Boterenbrood, Hendrik; Chen, Hucheng; Chen, Kai; Drake, Gary; Francis, David; Gorini, Benedetto; Lanni, Francesco; Lehmann Miotto, Giovanna; Levinson, Lorne; Narevicius, Julia; Plessl, Christian; Roich, Alexander; Ryu, Soo; Schreuder, Frans Philip; Vandelli, Wainer; Zhang, Jinlong; Vermeulen, Jos

    2015-01-01

    Experiments in high-energy physics (HEP) and related fields often impose constraints and challenges on data acquisition systems. As a result, these systems are implemented as unique mixtures of custom and commercial-off-the-shelf electronics (COTS), involving and connecting radiation-hard devices, large high-performance networks, and computing farms. FELIX, the Frontend Link Exchange, is a new PC-based general purpose data routing device for the data-acquisition system of the ATLAS experiment at CERN. Performance is a very crucial point for devices like FELIX, which have to be capable of processing tens of gigabyte of data per second. Thus it is important to understand the performance limitations for typical workloads on modern hardware. We present an analysis of a packet processing algorithm that is used in FELIX, and show how the PC system's memory architecture plays a key factor in the overall data throughput achieved by the application. Finally, we present optimizations that increase the processing throug...

  11. Optimizing UV laser focus profiles for improved MALDI performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holle, Armin; Haase, Andreas; Kayser, Markus; Höhndorf, Jens

    2006-06-01

    Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) applications, such as proteomics, genomics, clinical profiling and MALDI imaging, have created a growing demand for faster instrumentation. Since the commonly used nitrogen lasers have throughput and life span limitations, diode-pumped solid-state lasers are an alternative. Unfortunately this type of laser shows clear performance limitations in MALDI in terms of sensitivity, resolution and ease of use, for applications such as thin-layer sample preparations, acceptance of various matrices (e.g. DHB for glycopeptides) and MALDI imaging. While it is obvious that the MALDI process has some dependence on the characteristics of the laser used, it is unclear which features are the most critical in determining laser performance for MALDI. In this paper we show, for the first time, that a spatially structured laser beam profile in lieu of a Gaussian profile is of striking importance. This result enabled us to design diode-pumped Nd : YAG lasers that on various critical applications perform as well for MALDI as the nitrogen lasers and in some respects even better. The modulation of the beam profile appears to be a new parameter for optimizing the MALDI process. In addition, the results trigger new questions directing us to a better understanding of the MALDI process. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Efficacy of Lean Manufacturing to Improve Production Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Israel Balogun

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The lean manufacturing system is a technique of manufacturing products in time. The concept of lean manufacturing principles employs simpler ways of communicating required materials as well as manual technique in ensuring the provision of signals for replenishment of materials the production companies require. Performance on the other hand, can be considered the attainment of value effectively and efficiently. Lean manufacturing and performance production goes hand in hand. Through utilizing lean manufacturing method, most companies would be able to tailor their processes in achieving effective performance and meeting unique requests from their consumers. The exploratory observations conducted in the study was purposely for examining the nature of complex interactions involved between major constructs and environmental sustainability at the parent company and the tire part vendors. The method of the research was a qualitative case study. The research data were obtained from with the case company and through structured interviews the case company's consumers. The case-specific tools were first developed in close co-operation with the case company. Future research agenda addresses gaps in the current literature and suggests relevant framework from which to explore this phenomenon.

  13. Improving Fatigue Performance of GFRP Composite Using Carbon Nanotubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moneeb Genedy

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Glass fiber reinforced polymers (GFRP have become a preferable material for reinforcing or strengthening reinforced concrete structures due to their corrosion resistance, high strength to weight ratio, and relatively low cost compared with carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP. However, the limited fatigue life of GFRP hinders their use in infrastructure applications. For instance, the low fatigue life of GFRP caused design codes to impose stringent stress limits on GFRP that rendered their use non-economic under significant cyclic loads in bridges. In this paper, we demonstrate that the fatigue life of GFRP can be significantly improved by an order of magnitude by incorporating Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs during GFRP fabrication. GFRP coupons were fabricated and tested under static tension and cyclic tension with mean fatigue stress equal to 40% of the GFRP tensile strength. Microstructural investigations using scanning electron microscopy (SEM and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR spectroscopy were used for further investigation of the effect of MWCNTs on the GFRP composite. The experimental results show the 0.5 wt% and the 1.0 wt% MWCNTs were able to improve the fatigue life of GFRP by 1143% and 986%, respectively, compared with neat GFRP.

  14. Improving operational anodising process performance using simulation approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liong, Choong-Yeun; Ghazali, Syarah Syahidah

    2015-01-01

    The use of aluminium is very widespread, especially in transportation, electrical and electronics, architectural, automotive and engineering applications sectors. Therefore, the anodizing process is an important process for aluminium in order to make the aluminium durable, attractive and weather resistant. This research is focused on the anodizing process operations in manufacturing and supplying of aluminium extrusion. The data required for the development of the model is collected from the observations and interviews conducted in the study. To study the current system, the processes involved in the anodizing process are modeled by using Arena 14.5 simulation software. Those processes consist of five main processes, namely the degreasing process, the etching process, the desmut process, the anodizing process, the sealing process and 16 other processes. The results obtained were analyzed to identify the problems or bottlenecks that occurred and to propose improvement methods that can be implemented on the original model. Based on the comparisons that have been done between the improvement methods, the productivity could be increased by reallocating the workers and reducing loading time

  15. Improving operational anodising process performance using simulation approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liong, Choong-Yeun, E-mail: lg@ukm.edu.my; Ghazali, Syarah Syahidah, E-mail: syarah@gapps.kptm.edu.my [School of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor DE (Malaysia)

    2015-10-22

    The use of aluminium is very widespread, especially in transportation, electrical and electronics, architectural, automotive and engineering applications sectors. Therefore, the anodizing process is an important process for aluminium in order to make the aluminium durable, attractive and weather resistant. This research is focused on the anodizing process operations in manufacturing and supplying of aluminium extrusion. The data required for the development of the model is collected from the observations and interviews conducted in the study. To study the current system, the processes involved in the anodizing process are modeled by using Arena 14.5 simulation software. Those processes consist of five main processes, namely the degreasing process, the etching process, the desmut process, the anodizing process, the sealing process and 16 other processes. The results obtained were analyzed to identify the problems or bottlenecks that occurred and to propose improvement methods that can be implemented on the original model. Based on the comparisons that have been done between the improvement methods, the productivity could be increased by reallocating the workers and reducing loading time.

  16. Improving operational anodising process performance using simulation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liong, Choong-Yeun; Ghazali, Syarah Syahidah

    2015-10-01

    The use of aluminium is very widespread, especially in transportation, electrical and electronics, architectural, automotive and engineering applications sectors. Therefore, the anodizing process is an important process for aluminium in order to make the aluminium durable, attractive and weather resistant. This research is focused on the anodizing process operations in manufacturing and supplying of aluminium extrusion. The data required for the development of the model is collected from the observations and interviews conducted in the study. To study the current system, the processes involved in the anodizing process are modeled by using Arena 14.5 simulation software. Those processes consist of five main processes, namely the degreasing process, the etching process, the desmut process, the anodizing process, the sealing process and 16 other processes. The results obtained were analyzed to identify the problems or bottlenecks that occurred and to propose improvement methods that can be implemented on the original model. Based on the comparisons that have been done between the improvement methods, the productivity could be increased by reallocating the workers and reducing loading time.

  17. Improving web site performance using commercially available analytical tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, James A

    2010-10-01

    It is easy to accurately measure web site usage and to quantify key parameters such as page views, site visits, and more complex variables using commercially available tools that analyze web site log files and search engine use. This information can be used strategically to guide the design or redesign of a web site (templates, look-and-feel, and navigation infrastructure) to improve overall usability. The data can also be used tactically to assess the popularity and use of new pages and modules that are added and to rectify problems that surface. This paper describes software tools used to: (1) inventory search terms that lead to available content; (2) propose synonyms for commonly used search terms; (3) evaluate the effectiveness of calls to action; (4) conduct path analyses to targeted content. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) uses SurfRay's Behavior Tracking software (Santa Clara CA, USA, and Copenhagen, Denmark) to capture and archive the search terms that have been entered into the site's Google Mini search engine. The AAOS also uses Unica's NetInsight program to analyze its web site log files. These tools provide the AAOS with information that quantifies how well its web sites are operating and insights for making improvements to them. Although it is easy to quantify many aspects of an association's web presence, it also takes human involvement to analyze the results and then recommend changes. Without a dedicated resource to do this, the work often is accomplished only sporadically and on an ad hoc basis.

  18. Can Quality Improvement System Improve Childcare Site Performance in School Readiness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xin; Shen, Jianping; Lu, Xuejin; Brandi, Karen; Goodman, Jeff; Watson, Grace

    2013-01-01

    The authors evaluated the effectiveness of the Quality Improvement System (QIS) developed and implemented by Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County (Florida) as a voluntary initiative to improve the quality of childcare and education. They adopted a growth model approach to investigate whether childcare sites that participated in QIS…

  19. Distracting the mind improves performance: an ERP Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierda, Stefan M; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels A; Martens, Sander

    2010-11-24

    When a second target (T2) is presented in close succession of a first target (T1), people often fail to identify T2, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB). However, the AB can be reduced substantially when participants are distracted during the task, for instance by a concurrent task, without a cost for T1 performance. The goal of the current study was to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of this paradoxical effect. Participants successively performed three tasks, while EEG was recorded. The first task (standard AB) consisted of identifying two target letters in a sequential stream of distractor digits. The second task (grey dots task) was similar to the first task with the addition of an irrelevant grey dot moving in the periphery, concurrent with the central stimulus stream. The third task (red dot task) was similar to the second task, except that detection of an occasional brief color change in the moving grey dot was required. AB magnitude in the latter task was significantly smaller, whereas behavioral performance in the standard and grey dots tasks did not differ. Using mixed effects models, electrophysiological activity was compared during trials in the grey dots and red dot tasks that differed in task instruction but not in perceptual input. In the red dot task, both target-related parietal brain activity associated with working memory updating (P3) as well as distractor-related occipital activity was significantly reduced. The results support the idea that the AB might (at least partly) arise from an overinvestment of attentional resources or an overexertion of attentional control, which is reduced when a distracting secondary task is carried out. The present findings bring us a step closer in understanding why and how an AB occurs, and how these temporal restrictions in selective attention can be overcome.

  20. Distracting the mind improves performance: an ERP Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan M Wierda

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available When a second target (T2 is presented in close succession of a first target (T1, people often fail to identify T2, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB. However, the AB can be reduced substantially when participants are distracted during the task, for instance by a concurrent task, without a cost for T1 performance. The goal of the current study was to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of this paradoxical effect.Participants successively performed three tasks, while EEG was recorded. The first task (standard AB consisted of identifying two target letters in a sequential stream of distractor digits. The second task (grey dots task was similar to the first task with the addition of an irrelevant grey dot moving in the periphery, concurrent with the central stimulus stream. The third task (red dot task was similar to the second task, except that detection of an occasional brief color change in the moving grey dot was required. AB magnitude in the latter task was significantly smaller, whereas behavioral performance in the standard and grey dots tasks did not differ. Using mixed effects models, electrophysiological activity was compared during trials in the grey dots and red dot tasks that differed in task instruction but not in perceptual input. In the red dot task, both target-related parietal brain activity associated with working memory updating (P3 as well as distractor-related occipital activity was significantly reduced.The results support the idea that the AB might (at least partly arise from an overinvestment of attentional resources or an overexertion of attentional control, which is reduced when a distracting secondary task is carried out. The present findings bring us a step closer in understanding why and how an AB occurs, and how these temporal restrictions in selective attention can be overcome.

  1. Improving Station Performance by Building Isolation Walls in the Tunnel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Yan; Horn, Nikolaus; Leohardt, Roman

    2014-05-01

    Conrad Observatory is situated far away from roads and industrial areas on the Trafelberg in Lower Austria. At the end of the seismic tunnel, the main seismic instrument of the Observatory with a station code CONA is located. This station is one of the most important seismic stations in the Austrian Seismic Network (network code OE). The seismic observatory consists of a 145m long gallery and an underground laboratory building with several working areas. About 25 meters away from the station CONA, six temporary seismic stations were implemented for research purposes. Two of them were installed with the same equipment as CONA, while the remaining four stations were set up with digitizers having lower noise and higher resolution (Q330HR) and sensors with the same type (STS-2). In order to prevent possible disturbances by air pressure and temperature fluctuation, three walls were built inside of the tunnel. The first wall is located ca 63 meters from the tunnel entrance, while a set of double walls with a distance of 1.5 meters is placed about 53 meters from the first isolation wall but between the station CONA and the six temporary stations. To assess impact of the isolation walls on noise reduction and detection performance, investigations are conducted in two steps. The first study is carried out by comparing the noise level and detection performance between the station CONA behind the double walls and the stations in front of the double walls for verifying the noise isolation by the double walls. To evaluate the effect of the single wall, station noise level and detection performance were studied by comparing the results before and after the installation of the wall. Results and discussions will be presented. Additional experiment is conducted by filling insulation material inside of the aluminium boxes of the sensors (above and around the sensors). This should help us to determine an optimal insulation of the sensors with respect to pressure and temperature

  2. Improving the service life and performance of CANDU fuel channels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Causey, A.R.; Cheadle, B.A.; Coleman, C.E.; Price, E.G.

    1997-01-01

    The development objective for CANDU fuel channels is to produce a design that can operate for 40 years at 90% capacity. Steady progress toward this objective is being made. The factors that determine the life of the channel are reviewed and the processes necessary to achieve the objectives identified. Performance of future fuel channels will be enhanced by reduced operating costs, increased safety margins to postulated accident conditions, and reduced retubing costs compared to current channels. The approaches to these issues are discussed briefly in the paper. (author)

  3. Modeling and Simulation of Ceramic Arrays to Improve Ballistic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-04-30

    Impact with no Adhesive DOP (mm) 10.3 □ □ An adhesive layer of Epoxy Resin was added in between the SiC tile and the Al backing The tile...Tile Gap 0.508 mm with No Adhesive DOP (mm) 17.2 □ An adhesive layer of Epoxy Resin was added in between the SiC tile and the Al backing The...Baseline performance seam assessment (2 ft x 2 ft panels) □ Sintered 4’sq. SiC (Superior Graphite) on Kevlar /Phenolic with 2-ply cover Cover (a

  4. Improving the service life and performance of CANDU fuel channels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Causey, A.R.; Cheadle, B.A.; Coleman, C.E.; Price, E.G.

    1996-02-01

    The development objective for CANDU fuel channels is to produce a design that can operate for 40 years at 90% capacity. Steady progress toward this objective is being made. The factors that determine the life of a CANDU fuel channel are reviewed and the processes necessary to achieve the objectives identified. Performance of future fuel channels will be enhanced by reduced operating costs, increased safety margins to postulated accident conditions, and reduced retubing costs compared with those for current channels. The approaches to these issues are discussed briefly in this report. (author). 14 refs., 1 tab., 8 figs

  5. Improving the service life and performance of CANDU fuel channels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coleman, C.E.; Cheadle, B.A.; Causey, A.R.; Doubt, G.L.; Fong, R.W.L.; Venkatapathi, S.

    1996-03-01

    The development objective for CANDU fuel channels is to produce a design that can operate for 40 years at 90% capacity. Steady progress toward this objective is being made. The factors that determine the life of a CANDU fuel channel are reviewed and the processes necessary to achieve the objectives are identified. Performance of future fuel channels will be enhanced by reduced operating costs and increased safety margins to postulated accident conditions compared with those for current channels. The approaches to these issues are discussed briefly in this report. (author)

  6. Improving Supply Chain Risk Management by Introducing Performance Measurement Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Ryding, Anna; Sahlin, Jonatan

    2013-01-01

    Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is a topic that gains more and more interest from both the academic and practitioner’s perspective. The reason for this is the increased complexity in the global supply chain (SC) networks and many managers do not realize the risks they build in their SC by the continuous search to cut cost and decrease tied up capital. One problem with SCRM is that it is hard to measure the performance of it and if it is really beneficial to work with it. The objective for...

  7. Performance Improvement and Feature Enhancement of WriteOn

    OpenAIRE

    Chandrasekar, Samantha

    2008-01-01

    A Tablet PC is a portable computing device which combines a regular notebook computer with a digitizing screen that interacts with a complementary electronic pen stylus. The pen allows the user to input data by writing on or by tapping the screen. Like a regular notebook computer, the user can also perform tasks using the mouse and keyboard. A Tablet PC gives the users all the features of a regular notebook computer along with the support to recognize, process, and store electronic/digital in...

  8. Rectangular-cladding silicon slot waveguide with improved nonlinear performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zengzhi; Huang, Qingzhong; Wang, Yi; Xia, Jinsong

    2018-04-01

    Silicon slot waveguides have great potential in hybrid silicon integration to realize nonlinear optical applications. We propose a rectangular-cladding hybrid silicon slot waveguide. Simulation result shows that, with a rectangular-cladding, the slot waveguide can be formed by narrower silicon strips, so the two-photon absorption (TPA) loss in silicon is decreased. When the cladding material is a nonlinear polymer, the calculated TPA figure of merit (FOMTPA) is 4.4, close to the value of bulk nonlinear polymer of 5.0. This value confirms the good nonlinear performance of rectangular-cladding silicon slot waveguides.

  9. Better fuel handling system performance through improved elastomers and seals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wensel, R G; Metcalfe, R [Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Chalk River, ON (Canada)

    1997-12-31

    In the area of elastomers, tests have identified specific compounds that perform well in each class of CANDU service. They offer gains in service life, sometimes by factors of ten or more. Moreover, the aging characteristics of these specific compounds are being thoroughly investigated, whereas many elastomers used previously were either non-specific or their aging was unknown. In this paper the benefits of elastomer upgrading, as well as the deficiencies of current station elastomer practices, are discussed in the context of fuel handling equipment. Guidelines for procurement, storage, handling and condition monitoring of elastomer seals are outlined. (author). 3 figs.

  10. Better fuel handling system performance through improved elastomers and seals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wensel, R.G.; Metcalfe, R.

    1996-01-01

    In the area of elastomers, tests have identified specific compounds that perform well in each class of CANDU service. They offer gains in service life, sometimes by factors of ten or more. Moreover, the aging characteristics of these specific compounds are being thoroughly investigated, whereas many elastomers used previously were either non-specific or their aging was unknown. In this paper the benefits of elastomer upgrading, as well as the deficiencies of current station elastomer practices, are discussed in the context of fuel handling equipment. Guidelines for procurement, storage, handling and condition monitoring of elastomer seals are outlined. (author). 3 figs

  11. Improved nanostructure reconstruction by performing data refinement in optical scatterometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jinlong; Jiang, Hao; Shi, Yating; Chen, Xiuguo; Zhang, Chuanwei; Liu, Shiyuan

    2016-01-01

    Recently, we have indirectly demonstrated that nanostructure reconstruction accuracy is degraded by the outliers in optical scatterometry, and we have applied the robust estimation method to suppress these outliers. However, the existence of a possible heavy masking effect could result in the risk of low measurement accuracy, since the detection of outliers is simply based on the judgment of residual value. In this work, a novel method is introduced to directly detect outliers, which can provide the intuitional display of outliers in a two-dimensional coordinate system. Moreover, a robust correction step based on the principle of least trimmed squared estimator regression is proposed to replace the conventional Gauss-Newton iteration step, by which the more reliable and accurate nanostructure reconstruction is achieved. The improved reconstruction of a one-dimensional etched Si grating has demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed methods.

  12. FCI: remedy development for the fuel performance improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buckman, F.W.; Crouthamel, C.E.; Freshley, M.D.

    1979-01-01

    Out-of-reactor experiments and irradiations are being utilized to develop and demonstrate the efficacy of specific advanced fuel designs to improve FCI behavior. The advanced light water reactor fuel designs being evaluated combine annular pellets, graphite coating on the inner surface of the cladding, and helium pressurization. A sphere-pac fuel design is also being developed. Characterization of the graphite coatings includes studies of composition, application methods, thickness control, moisture control, thermal conductivity, compatibility with the zircaloy cladding, strain-to-failure, and friction and wear characteristics. Rods of the different fuel designs, as well as reference rods, are being irradiated in the Halden Boiling Water Reactor and the Big Rock Point Reactor to accumulate burnup prior to ramping tests

  13. Lithium Surface Coatings for Improved Plasma Performance in NSTX

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kugel, H W; Ahn, J -W; Allain, J P; Bell, R; Boedo, J; Bush, C; Gates, D; Gray, T; Kaye, S; Kaita, R; LeBlanc, B; Maingi, R; Majeski, R; Mansfield, D; Menard, J; Mueller, D; Ono, M; Paul, S; Raman, R; Roquemore, A L; Ross, P W; Sabbagh, S; Schneider, H; Skinner, C H; Soukhanovskii, V; Stevenson, T; Timberlake, J; Wampler, W R

    2008-02-19

    NSTX high-power divertor plasma experiments have shown, for the first time, significant and frequent benefits from lithium coatings applied to plasma facing components. Lithium pellet injection on NSTX introduced lithium pellets with masses 1 to 5 mg via He discharges. Lithium coatings have also been applied with an oven that directed a collimated stream of lithium vapor toward the graphite tiles of the lower center stack and divertor. Lithium depositions from a few mg to 1 g have been applied between discharges. Benefits from the lithium coating were sometimes, but not always seen. These improvements sometimes included decreases plasma density, inductive flux consumption, and ELM frequency, and increases in electron temperature, ion temperature, energy confinement and periods of MHD quiescence. In addition, reductions in lower divertor D, C, and O luminosity were measured.

  14. Less severe processing improves carbon nanotube photovoltaic performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, Matthew J.; Wang, Jialiang; Flach, Jessica T.; Zanni, Martin T.; Arnold, Michael S.

    2018-05-01

    Thin film semiconducting single walled carbon nanotube (s-SWCNT) photovoltaics suffer losses due to trapping and quenching of excitons by defects induced when dispersing s-SWCNTs into solution. We study these aspects by preparing photovoltaic devices from (6,5) carbon nanotubes isolated by different processes: extended ultrasonication, brief ultrasonication, and shear force mixing. Peak quantum efficiency increases from 28% to 38% to 49% as the processing harshness decreases and is attributed to both increasing s-SWCNT length and reducing sidewall defects. Fill-factor and open-circuit voltage also improve with shear force mixing, highlighting the importance of obtaining long, defect-free s-SWCNTs for efficient photoconversion devices.

  15. PFC Performance Improvement of Ultra-supercritical Secondary Reheat Unit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jun

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Ultra-supercritical secondary reheat unit has been widely used in the world because of its advantages of large capacity, low consumption and high efficiency etc., but rapid load change ability of the turbines to be weakened which caused by its system organization, cannot meet the requirements of power grid frequency modulation. Based on the analysis of the control characteristics of ultra-supercritical once-through reheat unit, the primary frequency control based on feed-water flow overshoot compensation is proposed. The main steam pressure generated by the feed-water is changed to improve the primary frequency control capability. The relevant control strategy has been applied to the 1000MW secondary reheating unit. The results show that the technology is feasible and has high economical efficiency.

  16. Risk management: A tool for improving nuclear power plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-04-01

    This technical document on risk management as a tool for improving nuclear power plant (NPP) operations is part of an ongoing project on management of NPP operations in a competitive environment. The overall objective of this project is to assist the management of operating organizations and NPPs in identifying and implementing appropriate measures to remain competitive in a rapidly changing business environment. Other reports developed through this project have identified overall strategies and techniques that NPP operating organization managers can use to succeed in more competitive energy markets. For example, in IAEA-TECDOC-1123, Strategies for Competitive Nuclear Power Plants, one of the most important strategies identified was integrated risk management. This publication provides a recommended structure for risk management along with examples of how NPP operating organizations are using this tool to help them integrate safety, operational and economic related risks in a changing business environment

  17. Strategic alliances for improved performance in underground mining

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bessinger, S.L.; Langley, S.B.

    1999-01-01

    As the competitive climate of the modern coal industry continues, it seems clear that only by the intervention of small, highly focused workgroups will new efficiency and economy result in the continuous improvement required to survive and prosper. Strategic Alliances, drawing from known and proven principles, can contribute to efficiency and economy. However, individual attitudes and corporate-cultures often must change to foster the growth of functional Strategic Alliances. Motivating personal change in individuals within prospective Strategic Alliance partners is perhaps the most difficult element about establishing a new Strategic Alliance or maintaining an existing Alliance. Ultimately, Strategic Alliances are not fundamentally about corporations, or executives as leaders, but about individuals throughout the endeavors of both partner-organizations and a shared-vision to achieve a common goal

  18. Performance Improvement of Friction Stir Welds by Better Surface Finish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Sam; Nettles, Mindy

    2015-01-01

    The as-welded friction stir weld has a cross section that may act as a stress concentrator. The geometry associated with the stress concentration may reduce the weld strength and it makes the weld challenging to inspect with ultrasound. In some cases, the geometry leads to false positive nondestructive evaluation (NDE) indications and, in many cases, it requires manual blending to facilitate the inspection. This study will measure the stress concentration effect and develop an improved phased array ultrasound testing (PAUT) technique for friction stir welding. Post-welding, the friction stir weld (FSW) tool would be fitted with an end mill that would machine the weld smooth, trimmed shaved. This would eliminate the need for manual weld preparation for ultrasonic inspections. Manual surface preparation is a hand operation that varies widely depending on the person preparing the welds. Shaving is a process that can be automated and tightly controlled.

  19. Hands-on courses in petroleum engineering improve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abou-Kassem, J.H.; Islam, M.R. [Regina Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    1999-07-01

    A hands-on methodology was employed to teach eight lecture-based courses in the United Arab Emirates University in which initially two petroleum engineering courses were used to test the methodology. The courses are considered to be basic to petroleum engineering. Although the courses did not have any impact on the overall student grades, the courses stimulated independent thought among students who were not previously used to this mode of thinking. Students were exposed to laboratory experiments and project works that were considered previously to be too-difficult-to-handle by undergraduate students. The course methodology was more acceptable to the female than the male population. The course methodology centered on creative thinking, questioning the establishment methods and critiquing conventional modes of thinking. Despite the differences between male and female students, overall the student population recognized that their ability to think independently and critically improved after taking the course. An appendix contains examples of learning modules. 18 refs.

  20. Improved nanostructure reconstruction by performing data refinement in optical scatterometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Jinlong; Jiang, Hao; Shi, Yating; Chen, Xiuguo; Zhang, Chuanwei; Liu, Shiyuan

    2016-01-01

    Recently, we have indirectly demonstrated that nanostructure reconstruction accuracy is degraded by the outliers in optical scatterometry, and we have applied the robust estimation method to suppress these outliers. However, the existence of a possible heavy masking effect could result in the risk of low measurement accuracy, since the detection of outliers is simply based on the judgment of residual value. In this work, a novel method is introduced to directly detect outliers, which can provide the intuitional display of outliers in a two-dimensional coordinate system. Moreover, a robust correction step based on the principle of least trimmed squared estimator regression is proposed to replace the conventional Gauss–Newton iteration step, by which the more reliable and accurate nanostructure reconstruction is achieved. The improved reconstruction of a one-dimensional etched Si grating has demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed methods. (paper)