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Sample records for improve mfb performance

  1. Long-term strength and allowable stresses of grade 10Kh9MFB and X10CrMoVNb9-1 (T91/P91) chromium heat-resistant steels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skorobogatykh, V. N.; Danyushevskiy, I. A.; Schenkova, I. A.; Prudnikov, D. A.

    2015-04-01

    Currently, grade X10CrMoVNb9-1 (T91, P91) and 10Kh9MFB (10Kh9MFB-Sh) chromium steels are widely applied in equipment manufacturing for thermal power plants in Russia and abroad. Compilation and comparison of tensile, impact, and long-term strength tests results accumulated for many years of investigations of foreign grade X10CrMoVNb9-1, T91, P91, and domestic grade 10Kh9MFB (10Kh9MFB-Sh) steels is carried out. The property identity of metals investigated is established. High strength and plastic properties of steels, from which pipes and other products are made, for operation under creep conditions are confirmed. Design characteristics of long-term strength on the basis of tests with more than one million of hour-samples are determined ( and at temperatures of 500-650°C). The table of recommended allowable stresses for grade 10Kh9MFB, 10Kh9MFB-SH, X10CrMoVNb9-1, T91, and P91 steels is developed. The long-time properties of pipe welded joints of grade 10Kh9MFB+10Kh9MFB, 10Kh9MFB-Sh+10Kh9MFB-Sh, X10CrMoVNb9-1+X10CrMoVNb9-1, P91+P91, T91+T91, 10Kh9MFB (10Kh9MFB-Sh)+X10CrMoVNb9-1(T/P91) steels is researched. The welded joint reduction factor is experimentally determined.

  2. Investigation into the Cyclic Strength of the Bodies of Steam Shutoff Valves from 10Kh9MFB-Sh Steel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skorobogatykh, V. N.; Kunavin, S. A.; Prudnikov, D. A.; Shchenkova, I. A.; Bazhenov, A. M.; Zadoinyi, V. A.; Starkovskii, G. L.

    2018-02-01

    Steam shutoff valves are operated under complex loading conditions at thermal and nuclear power stations. In addition to exposure to high temperature and stresses resulting in fatigue, these valves are subjected to cyclic loads in heating-up-cooling down, opening-closing, etc. cycles. The number of these cycles to be specified in designing the valves should not exceed the maximum allowable value. Hence, the problem of cyclic failure rate of steam shutoff valve bodies is critical. This paper continues the previous publications about properties of the construction material for steam shutoff valve bodies (grade 10Kh9MFB-Sh steel) produced by electroslag melting and gives the results of investigation into the cyclic strength of this material. Fatigue curves for the steal used for manufacturing steam shutoff valve bodies are presented. The experimental data are compared with the calculated fatigue curves plotted using the procedures outlined in PNAE G-002-986 and RD 10-249-98. It is confirmed that these procedures may be used in designing valve bodies from 10Kh9MFB-Sh steel. The effect of the cyclic damage after preliminary cyclic loading of the specimens according to the prescribed load conditions on the high-temperature strength of the steel is examined. The influence of cyclic failure rate on the long-term strength was investigated using cylindrical specimens with a smooth working section in the as-made conditions and after two regimes of preliminary cyclic loading (training) at a working temperature of 570°C and the number of load cycles exceeding the design value, which was 2 × 103 cycles. The experiments corroborated that the material (10Kh9MFB-Sh steel) of the body manufactured by the method of electroslag melting had high resistance to cyclic failure rate. No effect of cyclic damages in the metal of the investigated specimens on the high-temperature strength has been found.

  3. Novel acoustic features for speech emotion recognition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ROH; Yong-Wan; KIM; Dong-Ju; LEE; Woo-Seok; HONG; Kwang-Seok

    2009-01-01

    This paper focuses on acoustic features that effectively improve the recognition of emotion in human speech.The novel features in this paper are based on spectral-based entropy parameters such as fast Fourier transform(FFT) spectral entropy,delta FFT spectral entropy,Mel-frequency filter bank(MFB) spectral entropy,and Delta MFB spectral entropy.Spectral-based entropy features are simple.They reflect frequency characteristic and changing characteristic in frequency of speech.We implement an emotion rejection module using the probability distribution of recognized-scores and rejected-scores.This reduces the false recognition rate to improve overall performance.Recognized-scores and rejected-scores refer to probabilities of recognized and rejected emotion recognition results,respectively.These scores are first obtained from a pattern recognition procedure.The pattern recognition phase uses the Gaussian mixture model(GMM).We classify the four emotional states as anger,sadness,happiness and neutrality.The proposed method is evaluated using 45 sentences in each emotion for 30 subjects,15 males and 15 females.Experimental results show that the proposed method is superior to the existing emotion recognition methods based on GMM using energy,Zero Crossing Rate(ZCR),linear prediction coefficient(LPC),and pitch parameters.We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.One of the proposed features,combined MFB and delta MFB spectral entropy improves performance approximately 10% compared to the existing feature parameters for speech emotion recognition methods.We demonstrate a 4% performance improvement in the applied emotion rejection with low confidence score.

  4. Novel acoustic features for speech emotion recognition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ROH Yong-Wan; KIM Dong-Ju; LEE Woo-Seok; HONG Kwang-Seok

    2009-01-01

    This paper focuses on acoustic features that effectively improve the recognition of emotion in human speech. The novel features in this paper are based on spectral-based entropy parameters such as fast Fourier transform (FFT) spectral entropy, delta FFT spectral entropy, Mel-frequency filter bank (MFB)spectral entropy, and Delta MFB spectral entropy. Spectral-based entropy features are simple. They reflect frequency characteristic and changing characteristic in frequency of speech. We implement an emotion rejection module using the probability distribution of recognized-scores and rejected-scores.This reduces the false recognition rate to improve overall performance. Recognized-scores and rejected-scores refer to probabilities of recognized and rejected emotion recognition results, respectively.These scores are first obtained from a pattern recognition procedure. The pattern recognition phase uses the Gaussian mixture model (GMM). We classify the four emotional states as anger, sadness,happiness and neutrality. The proposed method is evaluated using 45 sentences in each emotion for 30 subjects, 15 males and 15 females. Experimental results show that the proposed method is superior to the existing emotion recognition methods based on GMM using energy, Zero Crossing Rate (ZCR),linear prediction coefficient (LPC), and pitch parameters. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. One of the proposed features, combined MFB and delta MFB spectral entropy improves performance approximately 10% compared to the existing feature parameters for speech emotion recognition methods. We demonstrate a 4% performance improvement in the applied emotion rejection with low confidence score.

  5. Effects of magnetic fields on improving mass transfer in flue gas desulfurization using a fluidized bed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qi; Gui, Keting; Wang, Xiaobo

    2016-02-01

    The effects of magnetic fields on improving the mass transfer in flue gas desulfurization using a fluidized bed are investigated in the paper. In this research, the magnetically fluidized bed (MFB) is used as the reactor in which ferromagnetic particles are fluidized with simulated flue gas under the influence of an external magnetic field. Lime slurry is continuously sprayed into the reactor. As a consequence, the desulfurization reaction and the slurry drying process take place simultaneously in the MFB. In this paper, the effects of ferromagnetic particles and external magnetic fields on the desulphurization efficiency are studied and compared with that of quartz particles as the fluidized particles. Experimental results show that the ferromagnetic particles not only act as a platform for lime slurry to precipitate on like quartz particles, but also take part in the desulfurization reaction. The results also show that the specific surface area of ferromagnetic particles after reaction is enlarged as the magnetic intensity increases, and the external magnetic field promotes the oxidation of S(IV), improving the mass transfer between sulphur and its sorbent. Hence, the efficiency of desulphurization under the effects of external magnetic fields is higher than that in general fluidized beds.

  6. The anatomy of the human medial forebrain bundle: Ventral tegmental area connections to reward-associated subcortical and frontal lobe regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volker Arnd Coenen

    Full Text Available Introduction: Despite their importance in reward, motivation, and learning there is only sparse anatomical knowledge about the human medial forebrain bundle (MFB and the connectivity of the ventral tegmental area (VTA. A thorough anatomical and microstructural description of the reward related PFC/OFC regions and their connection to the VTA - the superolateral branch of the MFB (slMFB - is however mandatory to enable an interpretation of distinct therapeutic effects from different interventional treatment modalities in neuropsychiatric disorders (DBS, TMS etc.. This work aims at a normative description of the human MFB (and more detailed the slMFB anatomy with respect to distant prefrontal connections and microstructural features. Methods and material: Healthy subjects (n = 55; mean age ± SD, 40 ± 10 years; 32 females underwent high resolution anatomical magnetic resonance imaging including diffusion tensor imaging. Connectivity of the VTA and the resulting slMFB were investigated on the group level using a global tractography approach. The Desikan/Killiany parceling (8 segments of the prefrontal cortex was used to describe sub-segments of the MFB. A qualitative overlap with Brodmann areas was additionally described. Additionally, a pure visual analysis was performed comparing local and global tracking approaches for their ability to fully visualize the slMFB. Results: The MFB could be robustly described both in the present sample as well as in additional control analyses in data from the human connectome project. Most VTA- connections reached the superior frontal gyrus, the middel frontal gyrus and the lateral orbitofrontal region corresponding to Brodmann areas 10, 9, 8, 11, and 11m. The projections to these regions comprised 97% (right and 98% (left of the total relative fiber counts of the slMFB. Discussion: The anatomical description of the human MFB shows far reaching connectivity of VTA to reward-related subcortical and

  7. Electro-acupuncture stimulation acts on the basal ganglia output pathway to ameliorate motor impairment in Parkinsonian model rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Jun; Li, Bo; Sun, Zuo-Li; Yu, Fen; Wang, Xuan; Wang, Xiao-Min

    2010-04-01

    The role of electro-acupuncture (EA) stimulation on motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) has not been well studied. In a rat hemiparkinsonian model induced by unilateral transection of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB), EA stimulation improved motor impairment in a frequency-dependent manner. Whereas EA stimulation at a low frequency (2 Hz) had no effect, EA stimulation at a high frequency (100 Hz) significantly improved motor coordination. However, neither low nor high EA stimulation could significantly enhance dopamine levels in the striatum. EA stimulation at 100 Hz normalized the MFB lesion-induced increase in midbrain GABA content, but it had no effect on GABA content in the globus pallidus. These results suggest that high-frequency EA stimulation improves motor impairment in MFB-lesioned rats by increasing GABAergic inhibition in the output structure of the basal ganglia.

  8. Effects of reinforcement-blocking doses of pimozide on neural systems driven by rewarding stimulation of the MFB: a /sup 14/C-2-deoxyglucose analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomita, Y.; Gallistel, C.R.

    1982-10-01

    An analysis by means of /sup 14/C-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography of the neural systems unilaterally activated by the reinforcing stimulation used in the two accompanying papers revealed strong and reliable effects in the nucleus of the diagonal band of Broca, in the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) and/or the fornix throughout the diencephalon, and in the part of the anterior ventral tegmentum where the dopaminergic projection to the lateral habenula originates. The terminal fields of the dopaminergic forebrain projections were not affected, but there was bilateral suppression of lateral habenular activity. A second experiment found that the same systems are still activated by (automatically administered) reinforcing stimulation in rats treated with reinforcement blocking doses of pimozide. The only clear effect of pimozide was to reverse the bilateral suppressive effect of the stimulation on lateral habenular activity. Animals treated with pimozide show greatly elevated activity in the lateral habenula, whether or not they receive reinforcing stimulation. The results suggest that pimozide's effect on reinforcement is mediated by the circuitry interconnecting the lateral habenula with the nucleus of the diagonal band of Broca and/or the anterior ventral tegmentum.

  9. Evolving insights on metabolism, autophagy and epigenetics in liver myofibroblasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeribe Chike Nwosu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Liver myofibroblasts (MFB are crucial mediators of extracellular matrix (ECM deposition in liver fibrosis. They arise mainly from hepatic stellate cells (HSCs upon a process termed activation. To a lesser extent, and depending on the cause of liver damage, portal fibroblasts, mesothelial cells and fibrocytes may also contribute to the MFB population. Targeting MFB to reduce liver fibrosis is currently an area of intense research. Unfortunately, a clog in the wheel of antifibrotic therapies is the fact that although MFB are known to mediate scar formation, and participate in liver inflammatory response, many of their molecular portraits are currently unknown. In this review, we discuss recent understanding of MFB in health and diseases, focusing specifically on three evolving research fields: metabolism, autophagy and epigenetics. We have emphasized on therapeutic prospects where applicable and mentioned techniques for use in MFB studies. Subsequently, we highlighted uncharted territories in MFB research to help direct future efforts aimed at bridging gaps in current knowledge.

  10. Epithelioid Myofibroblastoma in an Old-Male Breast: A Case Report with MRI Findings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyma Yildiz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Myofibroblastoma of the breast (MFB is a very rare benign stromal tumor. In recent years, increase in mammographic screenings has resulted in increased diagnosis of MFB. Most cases are old males and postmenopausal women. MFB may be confused as malignant, clinically, morphologically, or by imaging. Immunohistochemistry is essential for final diagnosis in these cases. We report a case of a pathologically diagnosed MFB in an 80-year-old male patient who had coexisting prostate cancer and describe its imaging characteristics, especially magnetic resonance imaging (MRI. In this paper, histopathological and MRI findings of the MFB were discussed.

  11. White matter integrity of the medial forebrain bundle and attention and working memory deficits following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Jacqueline A; Spitz, Gershon; Ponsford, Jennie L; Dymowski, Alicia R; Ferris, Nicholas; Willmott, Catherine

    2017-02-01

    The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) contains ascending catecholamine fibers that project to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Damage to these fibers following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may alter extracellular catecholamine levels in the PFC and impede attention and working memory ability. This study investigated white matter microstructure of the medial MFB, specifically the supero-lateral branch (slMFB), following TBI, and its association with performance on attention and working memory tasks. Neuropsychological measures of attention and working memory were administered to 20 moderate-severe participants with TBI (posttraumatic amnesia M  = 40.05 ± 37.10 days, median time since injury 10.48 months, range 3.72-87.49) and 20 healthy controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values for 17 participants with TBI and 20 healthy controls. When compared to controls, participants with TBI were found to have significantly lower FA ( p  attention task, n -back, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. This study was the first to demonstrate microstructural white matter damage within the slMFB following TBI. However, no evidence was found for an association of alterations to this tract and performance on attentional tasks.

  12. Parametric investigation on transient boiling heat transfer of metal rod cooled rapidly in water pool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Chi Young [Department of Fire Protection Engineering, Pukyong National University, 45, Yongso-ro, Nam-gu, Busan 48513 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Sunwoo, E-mail: swkim@alaska.edu [Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P. O. Box 755905, Fairbanks, AK 99775-5905 (United States)

    2017-03-15

    Highlights: • Effects of liquid subcooling, surface coating, material property, and surface oxidation are examined. • Liquid subcooling affects remarkably the quenching phenomena. • Cr-coated surfaces for ATF might extend the quenching duration. • Solids with low heat capacity shorten the quenching duration. • Surface oxidation can affect strongly the film boiling heat transfer and MFB point. - Abstract: In this work, the effects of liquid subcooling, surface coating, material property, and surface oxidation on transient pool boiling heat transfer were investigated experimentally using the vertical metal rod and quenching method. The change in rod temperature was measured with time during quenching, and the visualization of boiling around the test specimen was performed using the high-speed video camera. As the test materials, the zircaloy (Zry), stainless steel (SS), niobium (Nb), and copper (Cu) were tested. In addition, the chromium-coated niobium (Cr-Nb) and chromium-coated stainless steel (Cr-SS) were prepared for accident tolerant fuel (ATF) application. Low liquid subcooling and Cr-coating shifted the quenching curve to the right, which indicates a prolongation of quenching duration. On the other hand, the material with small heat capacity and surface oxidation caused the quenching curve to move to the left. To examine the influence of the material property and surface oxidation on the film boiling heat transfer performance and minimum film boiling (MFB) point in more detail, the wall temperature and heat flux were calculated from the present transient temperature profile using the inverse heat transfer analysis, and then the curves of wall temperature and heat flux in the film boiling regime were obtained. In the present experimental conditions, the effect of material property on the film boiling heat transfer performance and MFB point seemed to be minor. On the other hand, based on the experimental results of the Cu test specimen, the surface

  13. A 90-day subchronic feeding study of genetically modified rice expressing Cry1Ab protein in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Huan; He, Xiaoyun; Zou, Shiying; Zhang, Teng; Luo, Yunbo; Huang, Kunlun; Zhu, Zhen; Xu, Wentao

    2015-04-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic rice line (mfb-MH86) expressing a synthetic cry1Ab gene can be protected against feeding damage from Lepidopteran insects, including Sesamia inferens, Chilo suppressalis, Tryporyza incertulas and Cnaphalocrocis medinalis. Rice flour from mfb-MH86 and its near-isogenic control MH86 was separately formulated into rodent diets at concentrations of 17.5, 35 and 70 % (w/w) for a 90-day feeding test with rats, and all of the diets were nutritionally balanced. In this study, the responses of rats fed diets containing mfb-MH86 were compared to those of rats fed flour from MH86. Overall health, body weight and food consumption were comparable between groups fed diets containing mfb-MH86 and MH86. Blood samples were collected prior to sacrifice and a few significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in haematological and biochemical parameters between rats fed genetically modified (GM) and non-GM diets. However, the values of these parameters were within the normal ranges of values for rats of this age and sex, thus not considered treatment related. In addition, upon sacrifice a large number of organs were weighed, macroscopic and histopathological examinations were performed with only minor changes to report. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that no toxic effect was observed in the conditions of the experiment, based on the different parameters assessed. GM rice mfb-MH86 is as safe and nutritious as non-GM rice.

  14. Investigation on Minimum Film Boiling Point of Highly Heated Vertical Metal Rod in Aqueous Surfactant Solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Chi Young; Kim, Jae Han [Pukyong Nat’l Univ., Busan (Korea, Republic of)

    2017-09-15

    In this study, experiments were conducted on the MFB(minimum film boiling) point of highly heated vertical metal rod quenched in aqueous surfactant solution at various temperature conditions. The aqueous Triton X-100 solution(100 wppm) and pure water were used as the liquid pool. Their temperatures ranged from 77 °C to 100 °C. A stainless steel vertical rod of initial center temperature of 500 °C was used as a test specimen. In both liquid pools, as the liquid temperature decreased, the time to reach the MFB point decreased with a parallel increase in the temperature and heat flux of the MFB point. However, over the whole present temperature range, in the aqueous Triton X-100 solution, the time to reach the MFB point was longer, while the temperature and heat flux of the MFB point were reduced when compared with pure water. Based on the present experimental data, this study proposed the empirical correlations to predict the MFB temperature of a high temperature vertical metal rod in pure water and in aqueous Triton X-100 solution.

  15. Destruction of the medial forebrain bundle caudal to the site of stimulation reduces rewarding efficacy but destruction rostrally does not.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallistel, C R; Leon, M; Lim, B T; Sim, J C; Waraczynski, M

    1996-08-01

    Rats with an electrode in the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) in or near the ventral tegmental area and another at the level of the rostral hypothalamus sustained large electrolytic lesions at either the rostral or the caudal electrode. The rewarding efficacy of stimulation through the other electrode was determined before and after the lesion. Massive damage to the MFB in the rostral lateral hypothalamus (LH) generally had little effect on the rewarding efficacy of more caudal stimulation, whereas large lesions in the caudal MFB generally reduced the rewarding efficacy of LH stimulation by 35-60%. Similar reductions were produced by knife cuts in the caudal MFB. These results appear to be inconsistent with the hypothesis that the reward fibers consist either of descending or ascending fibers coursing in or near the MFB. It is suggested that the reward fibers are collaterals from neurons with both their somata and their behaviorally significant terminals located primarily in the midbrain.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Wood plastic composites based on microfibrillar blends of high density polyethylene/poly(ethylene terephthalate).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Yong; Wu, Qinglin

    2010-05-01

    High-melting-temperature poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) was successfully introduced into wood plastic composites through a two-step reactive extrusion technology. Wood flour was added into pre-prepared PET/high density polyethylene (HDPE) microfibrillar blends (MFBs) in the second extrusion at the temperature for processing HDPE. Addition of 25% in situ formed PET microfibers obviously increased the mechanical properties of HDPE, and more significant enhancement by the in situ formed recycled PET microfibers was observed for the recycled HDPE. Adding 2% E-GMA improved the compatibility between matrix and microfibers in MFBs, resulting further enhanced mechanical properties. The subsequent addition of 40% wood flour did not influence the size and morphology of PET microfibers, and improved the comprehensive mechanical properties of MFBs. The wood flour increased the crystallinity level of HDPE in the compatibilized MFB in which PET phase did not crystallize. The storage modulus of MFB was greatly improved by wood flour. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Comparative study of volatile components from male and female flower buds of Populus × tomentosa by HS-SPME-GC-MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Liang; Liu, Haiping; Ma, Yucui; Wu, Cui; Li, Ruiqi; Chao, Zhimao

    2018-06-13

    The differences of volatile components in male (MFB) and female flower buds (FFB) of Populus × tomentosa were analysed and compared by HS-SPME with GC-MS for the first time. A total of 34 compounds were identified. Two clusters were clearly divided into male and female by hierarchical clustering analysis. Both the male and female flower buds showed methyl salicylate (22.83 and 24.09%, respectively) and 2-hydroxy-benzaldehyde (10.05 and 12.41%, respectively) as the main volatile constituents. The content of 2-cyclohexen-1-one, benzyl benzoate, and methyl benzoate in FFB was remarkably higher than in MFB. In contrast, the content of ethyl benzoate in MFB was greater than that in FFB. The phenomena showed the characteristic differences between MFB and FFB of P. × tomentosa, which enriched the basic studies on dioecious plant.

  20. 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

  1. SAGD pilot project, wells MFB-772 (producer) / MFB-773 (injector), U1,3 MFB-53 reservoir, Bare Field. Orinoco oil belt. Venezuela

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mago, R.; Franco, L.; Armas, F.; Vasquez, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Gil, E. [PDVSA EandP (Venezuela)

    2011-07-01

    In heavy oil and extra heavy oil fields, steam assisted gravity drainage is a thermal recovery method used to reduce oil viscosity and thus increase oil recovery. For SAGD to be successfully applied in deep reservoirs, drilling and completion of the producer and injector wells are critical. Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) is currently assessing the feasibility of SAGD in the Orinoco oil belt in Venezuela and this paper aims at presenting the methodology used to ensure optimal drilling and completion of the project. This method was divided in several stages: planning, drilling and completion of the producer, injector and then of the observer wells and cold information capture. It was found that the use of magnetic guidance tools, injection pipe pre-insulated and pressure and temperature sensors helps optimize the drilling and completion process. A methodology was presented to standardize operational procedures in the drilling and completion of SAGD projects in the Orinoco oil belt.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. High resolution radar-rain gauge data merging for urban hydrology: current practice and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa Rodriguez, Susana; Wang, Li-Pen; Bailey, Andy; Willems, Patrick; Onof, Christian

    2017-04-01

    In this work a thorough test is conducted of radar-rain gauge merging techniques at urban scales, under different climatological conditions and rain gauge density scenarios. The aim is to provide guidance regarding the suitability and application of merging methods at urban scales, which is lacking at present. The test is conducted based upon two pilot locations, i.e. the cities of Edinburgh (254 km^2) and Birmingham (431 km^2), for which a total of 96 and 84 tipping bucket rain gauges were respectively available, alongside radar QPEs, dense runoff records and urban drainage models. Three merging techniques, namely Mean Field Bias (MFB) adjustment, kriging with external (KED) and Bayesian (BAY) combination, were selected for testing on grounds of performance and common use. They were initially tested as they were originally formulated and as they are reportedly commonly applied using typically available radar and rain gauge data. Afterwards, they were tested in combination with two special treatments which were identified as having the potential to improve merging applicability for urban hydrology: (1) reduction of temporal sampling errors in radar QPEs through temporal interpolation and (2) singularity-based decomposition of radar QPEs prior to merging. These treatments ultimately aim at improving the consistency between radar and rain gauge records, which has been identified as the chief factor affecting merging performance and is particularly challenging at the fine spatial-temporal resolutions required for urban applications. The main findings of this study are the following: - All merging methods were found to improve the applicability of radar QPEs for urban hydrological applications, but the degree of improvement they provide and the added value of radar information vary for each merging method and are also a function of climatological conditions and rain gauge density scenarios. - Overall, KED displayed the best performance, with BAY being a close second

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. A longitudinal study on deep brain stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle for treatment-resistant depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenoy, Albert J; Schulz, Paul E; Selvaraj, Sudhakar; Burrows, Christina L; Zunta-Soares, Giovanna; Durkin, Kathryn; Zanotti-Fregonara, Paolo; Quevedo, Joao; Soares, Jair C

    2018-06-04

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the superolateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) has been reported to lead to rapid antidepressant effects. In this longitudinal study, we expand upon the initial results we reported at 26 weeks (Fenoy et al., 2016), showing sustained antidepressant effects of MFB DBS on six patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) over 1 year. The Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was used as the primary assessment tool. Deterministic fiber tracking was used to individually map the target area; analysis was performed to compare modulated fiber tracts between patients. Intraoperatively, upon stimulation at target, responders reported immediate increases in energy and motivation. An insertional effect was seen during the 4-week sham stimulation phase from baseline (28% mean MADRS reduction, p = 0.02). However, after 1 week of initiating stimulation, three of six patients had a > 50% decrease in MADRS scores relative to baseline (43% mean MADRS reduction, p = 0.005). One patient withdrew from study participation. At 52 weeks, four of remaining five patients have > 70% decrease in MADRS scores relative to baseline (73% mean MADRS reduction, p = 0.007). Evaluation of modulated fiber tracts reveals significant common orbitofrontal connectivity to the target region in all responders. Neuropsychological testing and 18 F-fluoro-deoxyglucose-positron emission tomography cerebral metabolism evaluations performed at baseline and at 52 weeks showed minimal changes and verified safety. This longitudinal evaluation of MFB DBS demonstrated rapid antidepressant effects, as initially reported by Schlaepfer et al. (2013), and supports the use of DBS for TRD.

  20. 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

  1. Surface biology of collagen scaffold explains blocking of wound contraction and regeneration of skin and peripheral nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yannas, I V; Tzeranis, D; So, P T

    2015-12-23

    We review the details of preparation and of the recently elucidated mechanism of biological (regenerative) activity of a collagen scaffold (dermis regeneration template, DRT) that has induced regeneration of skin and peripheral nerves (PN) in a variety of animal models and in the clinic. DRT is a 3D protein network with optimized pore size in the range 20-125 µm, degradation half-life 14 ± 7 d and ligand densities that exceed 200 µM α1β1 or α2β1 ligands. The pore has been optimized to allow migration of contractile cells (myofibroblasts, MFB) into the scaffold and to provide sufficient specific surface for cell-scaffold interaction; the degradation half-life provides the required time window for satisfactory binding interaction of MFB with the scaffold surface; and the ligand density supplies the appropriate ligands for specific binding of MFB on the scaffold surface. A dramatic change in MFB phenotype takes place following MFB-scaffold binding which has been shown to result in blocking of wound contraction. In both skin wounds and PN wounds the evidence has shown clearly that contraction blocking by DRT is followed by induction of regeneration of nearly perfect organs. The biologically active structure of DRT is required for contraction blocking; well-matched collagen scaffold controls of DRT, with structures that varied from that of DRT, have failed to induce regeneration. Careful processing of collagen scaffolds is required for adequate biological activity of the scaffold surface. The newly understood mechanism provides a relatively complete paradigm of regenerative medicine that can be used to prepare scaffolds that may induce regeneration of other organs in future studies.

  2. 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)

  3. 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).

  4. Effects of ACTH4–10 on self-stimulation behavior in the rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nyakas, C.; Bohus, B.; Wied, D. de

    The threshold current evoking self-stimulation or multiples of this current was used to investigate the effect of ACTH4–10 on response performance for brain stimulation reward in the medial septum (MS) and the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). ACTH4–10 in a dose of 50 μg administered SC enhanced

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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....

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Nigrostriatal proteasome inhibition impairs dopamine neurotransmission and motor function in minipigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lillethorup, Thea Pinholt; Glud, Andreas Nørgaard; Alstrup, Aage Kristian Olsen

    2018-01-01

    weeks after the unilateral administration of 100 μg lactacystin into the MFB. Compared to their baseline values, minipigs injected with lactacystin showed on average a 36% decrease in ipsilateral striatal binding potential corresponding to impaired presynaptic dopamine terminals. Behaviourally, minipigs....... In conclusion, direct injection of lactacystin into the MFB of minipigs provides a model of PD with reduced dopamine neurotransmission, TH-positive neuron reduction, microglial activation and behavioural deficits. This large animal model could be useful in studies of symptomatic and neuroprotective therapies...

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 42 CFR 494.110 - Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... facility must maintain and demonstrate evidence of its quality improvement and performance improvement... RENAL DISEASE FACILITIES Patient Care § 494.110 Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The dialysis facility must develop, implement, maintain, and evaluate an effective, data-driven...

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Cocaine enhances resistance to extinction of responding for brain-stimulation reward in adult prenatally stressed rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Shuibo; Suenaga, Toshiko; Oki, Yutaka; Yukie, Masao; Nakahara, Daiichiro

    2011-10-01

    The present experiment assessed whether prenatal stress (PS) can alter the ability of acute and chronic cocaine administration to increase and decrease the rewarding effectiveness of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) using intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), and also whether PS can affect the extinction of the MFB stimulation response. Adult male offspring of female rats that received PS or no PS (nPS) were implanted with MFB stimulating electrodes, and were then tested in ICSS paradigms. In both nPS and PS offspring, acute cocaine injection decreased ICSS thresholds dose-dependently. However, the threshold-lowering effects at any dose were not significantly different between groups. There was also no group-difference in the threshold-elevating effects of chronic cocaine administration. Nevertheless, chronically drug-administered PS rats exhibited a resistance to the extinguishing of the response for brain-stimulation reward when acutely treated with cocaine, as compared to extinction without cocaine treatment. The results suggest that PS may weaken the ability for response inhibition under cocaine loading in male adult offspring. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Melanin-concentrating hormone: unique peptide neuronal systems in the rat brain and pituitary gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zamir, N.; Skofitsch, G.; Bannon, M.J.; Jacobowitz, D.M.

    1986-01-01

    A unique neuronal system was detected in the rat central nervous system by immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay with antibodies to salmon melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH). MCH-like immunoreactive (MCH-LI) cell bodies were confined to the hypothalamus. MCH-LI fibers were found throughout the brain but were most prevalent in hypothalamus, mesencephalon, and pons-medulla regions. High concentrations of MCH-LI were measured in the hypothalamic medial forebrain bundle (MFB), posterior hypothalamic nucleus, and nucleus of the diagonal band. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography of MFB extracts from rat brain indicate that MCH-like peptide from the rat has a different retention time than that of the salmon MCH. An osmotic stimuls (2% NaCl as drinking water for 120 hr) caused a marked increase in MCH-LI concentrations in the lateral hypothalamus and neurointermediate lobe. The present studies establish the presence of MCH-like peptide in the rat brain. The MCH-LI neuronal system is well situated to coordinate complex functions such as regulation of water intake

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. ...

  19. A High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)-Based Running Plan Improves Athletic Performance by Improving Muscle Power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Pinillos, Felipe; Cámara-Pérez, Jose C; Soto-Hermoso, Víctor M; Latorre-Román, Pedro Á

    2017-01-01

    García-Pinillos, F, Cámara-Pérez, JC, Soto-Hermoso, VM, and Latorre-Román, PÁ. A High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)-based running plan improves athletic performance by improving muscle power. J Strength Cond Res 31(1): 146-153, 2017-This study aimed to examine the effect of a 5-week high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT)-based running plan on athletic performance and to compare the physiological and neuromuscular responses during a sprint-distance triathlon before and after the HIIT period. Thirteen triathletes were matched into 2 groups: the experimental group (EG) and the control group (CG). The CG was asked to maintain their normal training routines, whereas the EG maintained only their swimming and cycling routines and modified their running routine. Participants completed a sprint-distance triathlon before (pretest) and after (posttest) the intervention period. In both pretest and posttest, the participants performed 4 jumping tests: before the race (baseline), postswim, postcycling, and postrun. Additionally, heart rate was monitored (HRmean), whereas rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and blood lactate accumulation (BLa) were registered after the race. No significant differences (p ≥ 0.05) between groups were found before HIIT intervention (at pretest). Significant group-by-training interactions were found in vertical jumping ability and athletic performance: the EG improved jumping performance (∼6-9%, p ≤ 0.05, effect size (ES) > 0.7), swimming performance (p = 0.013, ES = 0.438), and running time (p = 0.001, ES = 0.667) during the competition, whereas the CG remained unchanged (p ≥ 0.05, ES HIIT-based running plan combined with the high training volumes of these triathletes in swimming and cycling improved athletic performance during a sprint-distance triathlon. This improvement may be due to improved neuromuscular characteristics that were transferred into improved muscle power and work economy.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Phrenic and hypoglossal nerve activity during respiratory response to hypoxia in 6-OHDA unilateral model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrzejewski, Kryspin; Budzińska, Krystyna; Kaczyńska, Katarzyna

    2017-07-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) patients apart from motor dysfunctions exhibit respiratory disturbances. Their mechanism is still unknown and requires investigation. Our research was designed to examine the activity of phrenic (PHR) and hypoglossal (HG) nerves activity during a hypoxic respiratory response in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) model of PD. Male adult Wistar rats were injected unilaterally with 6-OHDA (20μg) or the vehicle into the right medial forebrain bundle (MFB). Two weeks after the surgery the activity of the phrenic and hypoglossal nerve was registered in anesthetized, vagotomized, paralyzed, and mechanically ventilated rats under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Lesion effectiveness was confirmed by the cylinder test, performed before the MFB injection and 14days after, before the respiratory experiment. 6-OHDA lesioned animals showed a significant increase in normoxic inspiratory time. Expiratory time and total time of the respiratory cycle were prolonged in PD rats after hypoxia. The amplitude of the PHR activity and its minute activity were increased in comparison to the sham group at recovery time and during 30s of hypoxia. The amplitude of the HG activity was increased in response to hypoxia in 6-OHDA lesioned animals. The degeneration of dopaminergic neurons decreased the pre-inspiratory/inspiratory ratio of the hypoglossal burst amplitude during and after hypoxia. Unilateral MFB lesion changed the activity of the phrenic and hypoglossal nerves. The altered pre-inspiratory hypoglossal nerve activity indicates modifications to the central mechanisms controlling the activity of the HG nerve and may explain respiratory disorders seen in PD, i.e. apnea. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. Plotting performance improvement progress through the development of a trauma dashboard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochstuhl, Diane C; Elwell, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Performance improvement processes are the core of a pediatric trauma program. The ability to identify, resolve, and trend specific indicators related to patient care and to show effective loop closure can be especially challenging. Using the hospital's overall quality process as a template, the trauma program built its own electronic dashboard. Our maturing trauma PI program now guides the overall trauma care. All departments own at least one performance indicator and must provide action plans for improvement. Utilization of an electronic dashboard for trauma performance improvement has provided a highly visible scorecard, which highlights successes and tracks areas needing improvement.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The effectiveness of lean manufacturing audits in measuring operational performance improvements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taggart, P.

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The hypothesis that lean manufacturing audits are an effective way to measure improvements in operational performance was tested using 64 manufacturing sites owned by a FTSE 100 company. Commonly-used lean characteristics were evaluated: policy deployment, standardised work, visual management and housekeeping, quick changeover techniques, total productive maintenance, continuous improvement (kaizen, error proofing, cultural awareness, material control, and levelling (heijunka. Operational performance was assessed employing commonly-used operational performance measures: on-time-delivery, inventory turns, and direct labour utilisation. The findings are that lean manufacturing audits are effective in measuring improvements in operational performance provided that the audit scope and the lean characteristics are aligned up front.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  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. 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...

  16. Improving total-building seismic performance using linear fluid viscous dampers

    OpenAIRE

    Del Gobbo, GM; Blakeborough, A; Williams, MS

    2018-01-01

    Previous research has revealed that Eurocode-compliant structures can experience structural and nonstructural damage during earthquakes. Retrofitting buildings with fluid viscous dampers (FVDs) can improve interstorey drifts and floor accelerations, two structural parameters that characterize seismic demand. Previous research focusing on FVD applications for improving seismic performance has focused on structural performance. Structural parameters such as interstorey drifts and floor accelera...

  17. Working Memory Training Improves Dual-Task Performance on Motor Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Takehide; Kaneko, Fuminari; Nagahata, Keita; Shibata, Eriko; Aoki, Nobuhiro

    2017-01-01

    The authors investigated whether working memory training improves motor-motor dual-task performance consisted of upper and lower limb tasks. The upper limb task was a simple reaction task and the lower limb task was an isometric knee extension task. 45 participants (age = 21.8 ± 1.6 years) were classified into a working memory training group (WM-TRG), dual-task training group, or control group. The training duration was 2 weeks (15 min, 4 times/week). Our results indicated that working memory capacity increased significantly only in the WM-TRG. Dual-task performance improved in the WM-TRG and dual-task training group. Our study provides the novel insight that working memory training improves dual-task performance without specific training on the target motor task.

  18. 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.

  19. Human performance improvement in organizations: Potential application for the nuclear industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-11-01

    This publication is primarily intended for managers and specialists in nuclear facility operating organizations working in the area of human performance improvement. It is intended to provide them with practical information they can use to improve human performance in their organizations. While some of the information provided in this publication is based upon the experience of nuclear facility operating organizations, most of it comes from human performance improvement initiatives in non-nuclear organizations and industries. The nuclear industry has a long tradition of sharing good management practices in order to foster continuous improvement. However, it is not always realized that many of the practices that are now well established initially came from non-nuclear industries and were subsequently adapted for application to nuclear power plant operating organizations. There is, therefore, good reason to periodically review non-nuclear industry practices for ideas that might have direct or indirect application to the nuclear industry in order to potentially gain benefits such as the following: new approaches to certain problem areas, insights into new or impending challenges, improvements in existing practices, benchmarking of opportunities, development of learning organizations and avoidance of collective blind spots. The preparation of this report was an activity of the project on Effective Training to Achieve Excellence in the Performance of NPP Personnel. The objective of this project is to enhance the capability of Member States to utilize proven practices developed and transferred by the IAEA for improving personnel performance. The expected outcome from this project is the increased use by organizations in Members States of proven engineering and management practices and methodologies developed and transferred by the IAEA to improve personnel performance

  20. Deciphering the imperative: translating public health quality improvement into organizational performance management gains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beitsch, Leslie M; Yeager, Valerie A; Moran, John

    2015-03-18

    With the launching of the national public health accreditation program under the auspices of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), health department momentum around quality improvement adoption has accelerated. Domain 9 of the PHAB standards (one of 12 domains) focuses on evaluation and improvement of performance and is acting as a strong driver for quality improvement and performance management implementation within health departments. Widespread adoption of quality improvement activities in public health trails that in other US sectors. Several performance management models have received broad acceptance, including models among government and nonprofits. A model specifically for public health has been developed and is presented herein. All models in current use reinforce customer focus; streamlined, value-added processes; and strategic alignment. All are structured to steer quality improvement efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that quality improvement complements performance management. High-performing health departments harness the synergy of quality improvement and performance management, providing powerful tools to achieve public health strategic imperatives.

  1. 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.

  2. (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.

  3. Autogenic-feedback training improves pilot performance during emergency flying conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellar, Michael A.; Folen, Raymond A.; Cowings, Patricia S.; Toscano, William B.; Hisert, Glen L.

    1994-01-01

    Studies have shown that autonomous mode behavior is one cause of aircraft fatalities due to pilot error. In such cases, the pilot is in a high state of psychological and physiological arousal and tends to focus on one problem, while ignoring more critical information. This study examined the effect of training in physiological self-recognition and regulation, as a means of improving crew cockpit performance. Seventeen pilots were assigned to the treatment and control groups matched for accumulated flight hours. The treatment group comprised three pilots of HC-130 Hercules aircraft and four HH-65 Dolphin helicopter pilots; the control group comprised three pilots of HC-130's and six Dolphin helicopter pilots. During an initial flight, physiological data were recorded for each crew member and individual crew performance was rated by an instructor pilot. Eight crewmembers were then taught to regulate their own physiological response levels using Autogenic-Feedback Training (AFT). The remaining subjects received no training. During a second flight, treatment subjects showed significant improvement in performance, while controls did not improve. The results indicate that AFT management of high states of physiological arousal may improve pilot performance during emergency flying conditions.

  4. Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ron Marshall, William Scales, Gary Shafer, Paul Shaw, Paul Sheaffer, Rick Stasyshan, H.P.

    2016-03-01

    This sourcebook is designed to provide compressed air system users with a reference that outlines opportunities for system performance improvements. It is not intended to be a comprehensive technical text on improving compressed air systems, but rather a document that makes compressed air system users aware of the performance improvement potential, details some of the significant opportunities, and directs users to additional sources of assistance.

  5. 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

  6. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. 460.136 Section 460.136 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES....136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment and...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Ensemble prediction of air quality using the WRF/CMAQ model system for health effect studies in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jianlin; Li, Xun; Huang, Lin; Ying, Qi; Zhang, Qiang; Zhao, Bin; Wang, Shuxiao; Zhang, Hongliang

    2017-11-01

    Accurate exposure estimates are required for health effect analyses of severe air pollution in China. Chemical transport models (CTMs) are widely used to provide spatial distribution, chemical composition, particle size fractions, and source origins of air pollutants. The accuracy of air quality predictions in China is greatly affected by the uncertainties of emission inventories. The Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model with meteorological inputs from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model were used in this study to simulate air pollutants in China in 2013. Four simulations were conducted with four different anthropogenic emission inventories, including the Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC), the Emission Inventory for China by School of Environment at Tsinghua University (SOE), the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), and the Regional Emission inventory in Asia version 2 (REAS2). Model performance of each simulation was evaluated against available observation data from 422 sites in 60 cities across China. Model predictions of O3 and PM2.5 generally meet the model performance criteria, but performance differences exist in different regions, for different pollutants, and among inventories. Ensemble predictions were calculated by linearly combining the results from different inventories to minimize the sum of the squared errors between the ensemble results and the observations in all cities. The ensemble concentrations show improved agreement with observations in most cities. The mean fractional bias (MFB) and mean fractional errors (MFEs) of the ensemble annual PM2.5 in the 60 cities are -0.11 and 0.24, respectively, which are better than the MFB (-0.25 to -0.16) and MFE (0.26-0.31) of individual simulations. The ensemble annual daily maximum 1 h O3 (O3-1h) concentrations are also improved, with mean normalized bias (MNB) of 0.03 and mean normalized errors (MNE) of 0.14, compared to MNB of 0.06-0.19 and

  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. Performance of the ALICE PHOS trigger and improvements for RUN 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, C; Røed, K; Skaali, T B; Liu, L; Rohrich, D; Kharlov, Y; Bratrud, L; Alme, J

    2013-01-01

    This paper will discuss the performance of the PHOS level-0 trigger and planned improvements for RUN 2. Due to hardware constraints the Trigger Region Unit boards are limited to an operating frequency of 20 MHz. This has led to some ambiguity and biases of the trigger inputs. The trigger input generation scheme was therefore optimized to improve the performance. The PHOS level-0 trigger system has been working with an acceptable efficiency and purity. Proposed actions to further improve the performance and possibly eliminate the impact of the biased trigger inputs will also be presented

  14. A Step beyond Univision Evaluation: Using a Systems Model of Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleezer, Catherine M.; Zhang, Jiping; Gradous, Deane B.; Maile, Craig

    1999-01-01

    Examines three views of performance improvement--scientific management, instructional design, and systems thinking--each providing a unique view of performance improvement and specific roles for evaluation. Provides an integrated definition of performance and a synthesis model that encompasses the three views. (AEF)

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. A measure for provisional-and-urgent sanitary improvement in developing countries: septic-tank performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, H; Dong, N T; Matsui, S

    2008-01-01

    Although many cities have planed to develop sewerages in developing countries, sewerage establishment still requires huge investment and engineering efforts. Improvement of existing sanitation facilities may contribute the betterment of urban sanitation before sewerage establishment. The purpose of this study is to propose a measure to improve urban sanitation in areas where a sewerage development plan is proposed but has not been yet established, based on a case study in Hanoi, Vietnam. We found that 90.5% of human excreta flowed into septic tanks. However, 89.6% of septic tanks have never been desludged in the past and their performance was observed to be at a low level. The study also showed that if they introduce regular desludging with a frequency of once a year, they can eliminate 72.8% of COD loads from septic tanks. It was indicated that the performance can be dramatically recovered by regular desludging, which could contribute urban sanitation improvement in Hanoi. In conclusion, the performance recovery of septic tanks by regular desludging was proposed as a provisional-and-urgent measure for urban sanitation improvement, together with the septage treatment in sewage sludge treatment facilities, which should be established earlier than other facilities of sewage treatment systems. IWA Publishing 2008.

  1. Supplier selection or collaboration? Determining factors of performance improvement when outsourcing manufacturing

    OpenAIRE

    Dabhilkar, Mandar; Bengtsson, Lars; Haartman, Robin von; Åhlström, Pär

    2009-01-01

    An empirical study was designed to determine factors of performance improvement when outsourcing manufacturing. Findings from a survey of 136 manufacturing plants in Sweden show that most of them achieve their outsourcing motives, but not without trade-offs. Factors of performance improvements such as economies of scale or operations in low-cost countries can improve one performance dimension, such as product cost, yet negatively impact volume flexibility, speed or product innovation. The res...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Effect of MDMA-Induced Axotomy on the Dorsal Raphe Forebrain Tract in Rats: An In Vivo Manganese-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuang-Hsin Chiu

    Full Text Available 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, also known as "Ecstasy", is a common recreational drug of abuse. Several previous studies have attributed the central serotonergic neurotoxicity of MDMA to distal axotomy, since only fine serotonergic axons ascending from the raphe nucleus are lost without apparent damage to their cell bodies. However, this axotomy has never been visualized directly in vivo. The present study examined the axonal integrity of the efferent projections from the midbrain raphe nucleus after MDMA exposure using in vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI. Rats were injected subcutaneously six times with MDMA (5 mg/kg or saline once daily. Eight days after the last injection, manganese ions (Mn2+ were injected stereotactically into the raphe nucleus, and a series of MEMRI images was acquired over a period of 38 h to monitor the evolution of Mn2+-induced signal enhancement across the ventral tegmental area, the medial forebrain bundle (MFB, and the striatum. The MDMA-induced loss of serotonin transporters was clearly evidenced by immunohistological staining consistent with the Mn2+-induced signal enhancement observed across the MFB and striatum. MEMRI successfully revealed the disruption of the serotonergic raphe-striatal projections and the variable effect of MDMA on the kinetics of Mn2+ accumulation in the MFB and striatum.

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. Voltammetric and Mathematical Evidence for Dual Transport Mediation of Serotonin Clearance In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Kevin M.; Zeqja, Anisa; Nijhout, H. Frederik; Reed, Michael C.; Best, Janet; Hashemi, Parastoo

    2014-01-01

    The neurotransmitter serotonin underlies many of the brain’s functions. Understanding serotonin neurochemistry is important for improving treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. Antidepressants commonly target serotonin clearance via serotonin transporters (SERTs) and have variable clinical effects. Adjunctive therapies, targeting other systems including serotonin autoreceptors, also vary clinically and carry adverse consequences. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) is particularly well suited for studying antidepressant effects on serotonin clearance and autoreceptors by providing real-time chemical information on serotonin kinetics in vivo. However, the complex nature of in vivo serotonin responses makes it difficult to interpret experimental data with established kinetic models. Here, we electrically stimulated the mouse medial forebrain bundle (MFB) to provoke and detect terminal serotonin in the substantia nigra reticulata (SNr). In response to MFB stimulation we found three dynamically distinct serotonin signals. To interpret these signals we developed a computational model that supports two independent serotonin reuptake mechanisms (high affinity, low efficiency reuptake mechanism and low affinity, high efficiency reuptake system) and bolsters an important inhibitory role for the serotonin autoreceptors. Our data and analysis, afforded by the powerful combination of voltammetric and theoretical methods, gives new understanding of the chemical heterogeneity of serotonin dynamics in the brain. This diverse serotonergic matrix likely contributes to clinical variability of antidepressants. PMID:24702305

  12. Millisecond photo-thermal process on significant improvement of supercapacitor’s performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Kui; Wang, Jixiao; Wu, Ying; Zhao, Song; Wang, Zhi; Wang, Shichang

    2016-01-01

    Graphical abstract: A high way for charge transfer is created by a millisecond photo-thermal process which could decrease contact resistance among nanomaterials and improve the electrochemical performances. - Highlights: • Improve conductivity among nanomaterials with a millisecond photo-thermal process. • The specific capacitance can increase about 25% with an photo-thermal process. • The circle stability and rate capability can be improved above 10% with photo-thermal process. • Provide a new way that create electron path to improve electrochemical performance. - Abstract: Supercapacitors fabricated with nanomaterials usually have high specific capacitance and excellent performance. However, the small size of nanomaterials renders a considerable limitation of the contact area among nanomaterials, which is harmful to charge carrier transfer. This fact may hinder the development and application of nanomaterials in electrochemical storage systems. Here, a millisecond photo-thermal process was introduced to create a charge carries transfer path to decrease the contact resistance among nanomaterials, and enhance the electrochemical performance of supercapacitors. Polyaniline (PANI) nanowire, as a model nanomaterial, was used to modify electrodes under different photo-thermal process conditions. The modified electrodes were characterized by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and the results were analysed by equivalent circuit simulation. These results demonstrate that the photo-thermal process can alter the morphology of PANI nanowires, lower the charge transfer resistances and thus improve the performance of electrodes. The specific capacitance increase of the modified electrodes is about 25%. The improvement of the circle stability and rate capability are above 10%. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt on research the effect of photo-thermal process on the conductivity

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Caffeinated nitric oxide-releasing lozenge improves cycling time trial performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J; Kim, H T; Solares, G J; Kim, K; Ding, Z; Ivy, J L

    2015-02-01

    Boosting nitric oxide production during exercise by various means has been found to improve exercise performance. We investigated the effects of a nitric oxide releasing lozenge with added caffeine (70 mg) on oxygen consumption during steady-state exercise and cycling time trial performance using a double-blinded randomized, crossover experimental design. 15 moderately trained cyclists (7 females and 8 males) were randomly assigned to ingest the caffeinated nitric oxide lozenge or placebo 5 min before exercise. Oxygen consumption and blood lactate were assessed at rest and at 50%, 65% and 75% maximal oxygen consumption. Exercise performance was assessed by time to complete a simulated 20.15 km cycling time-trial course. No significant treatment effects for oxygen consumption or blood lactate at rest or during steady-state exercise were observed. However, time-trial performance was improved by 2.1% (p<0.01) when participants consumed the nitric oxide lozenge (2,424±69 s) compared to placebo (2,476±78 s) and without a significant difference in rating of perceived exertion. These results suggest that acute supplementation with a caffeinated nitric oxide releasing lozenge may be a practical and effective means of improving aerobic exercise performance. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  17. Positioning performance improvements with European multiple-frequency satellite navigation - Galileo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Shengyue

    2008-10-01

    The rapid development of Global Positioning System has demonstrated the advantages of satellite based navigation systems. In near future, there will be a number of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) available, i.e. modernized GPS, Galileo, restored GLONASS, BeiDou and many other regional GNSS augmentation systems. Undoubtedly, the new GNSS systems will significantly improve navigation performance over current GPS, with a better satellite coverage and multiple satellite signal bands. In this dissertation, the positioning performance improvement of new GNSS has been investigated based on both theoretical analysis and numerical study. First of all, the navigation performance of new GNSS systems has been analyzed, particularly for urban applications. The study has demonstrated that Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) performance can be significantly improved with multiple satellite constellations, although the position accuracy improvement is limited. Based on a three-dimensional urban building model in Hong Kong streets, it is found that positioning availability is still very low in high-rising urban areas, even with three GNSS systems. On the other hand, the discontinuity of navigation solutions is significantly reduced with the combined constellations. Therefore, it is possible to use cheap DR systems to bridge the gaps of GNSS positioning, with high accuracy. Secondly, the ambiguity resolution performance has been investigated with Galileo multiple frequency band signals. The ambiguity resolution performance of three different algorithms is compared, including CAR, ILS and improved CAR methods (a new method proposed in this study). For short baselines, with four frequency Galileo data, it is highly possible to achieve reliable single epoch ambiguity resolution, when the carrier phase noise level is reasonably low (i.e. less than 6mm). For long baselines (up to 800 km), the integer ambiguity can be determined within 1 min on average. Ambiguity

  18. Motor-Enriched Learning Activities Can Improve Mathematical Performance in Preadolescent Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Mikkel M.; Lind, Rune R.; Geertsen, Svend S.; Ritz, Christian; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Wienecke, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    Objective: An emerging field of research indicates that physical activity can benefit cognitive functions and academic achievements in children. However, less is known about how academic achievements can benefit from specific types of motor activities (e.g., fine and gross) integrated into learning activities. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether fine or gross motor activity integrated into math lessons (i.e., motor-enrichment) could improve children's mathematical performance. Methods: A 6-week within school cluster-randomized intervention study investigated the effects of motor-enriched mathematical teaching in Danish preadolescent children (n = 165, age = 7.5 ± 0.02 years). Three groups were included: a control group (CON), which received non-motor enriched conventional mathematical teaching, a fine motor math group (FMM) and a gross motor math group (GMM), which received mathematical teaching enriched with fine and gross motor activity, respectively. The children were tested before (T0), immediately after (T1) and 8 weeks after the intervention (T2). A standardized mathematical test (50 tasks) was used to evaluate mathematical performance. Furthermore, it was investigated whether motor-enriched math was accompanied by different effects in low and normal math performers. Additionally, the study investigated the potential contribution of cognitive functions and motor skills on mathematical performance. Results: All groups improved their mathematical performance from T0 to T1. However, from T0 to T1, the improvement was significantly greater in GMM compared to FMM (1.87 ± 0.71 correct answers) (p = 0.02). At T2 no significant differences in mathematical performance were observed. A subgroup analysis revealed that normal math-performers benefitted from GMM compared to both CON 1.78 ± 0.73 correct answers (p = 0.04) and FMM 2.14 ± 0.72 correct answers (p = 0.008). These effects were not observed in low math-performers. The effects were partly

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Can tutoring improve performance on a reasoning task under deadline conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Magda

    2007-03-01

    The present study examined the effectiveness of a tutoring technique that has been used to identify and address participants' misunderstandings in Wason's selection task. In particular, the study investigated whether the technique would lead to improvements in performance when the task was presented in a deadline format (a condition in which time restrictions are imposed). In Experiment 1, the effects of tutoring on performance were compared in free time (conditions in which no time restrictions are imposed) and deadline task formats. In Experiment 2, improvements in performance were studied in deadline task formats, in which the tutoring and test phases were separated by an interval of 1 day. The results suggested that tutoring improved performance on the selection task under deadline and in free time conditions. Additionally, the study showed that participants made errors because they had misinterpreted the task. With tutoring, they were able to modify their initial misunderstandings.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Improved voltage performance of the Oak Ridge 25URC tandem accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meigs, M.J.; Jones, C.M.; Haynes, D.L.; Juras, R.C.; Ziegler, N.F.; Raatz, J.E.; Rathmell, R.D.

    1988-01-01

    While voltage performance of the accelerator has been adequate for the experimental program to date, it seemed clear that improvement in voltage performance could be of direct benefit to the experimental program in the future. Therefore, we began, in June 1986, a program of modifications and tests which was designed to improve voltage performance of the accelerator. In this paper, we discuss the final phase of this program and initial tests of the accelerator following completion of this final phase. 11 refs., 4 figs

  6. 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...

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelkar, Mohan; Liner, Chris; Kerr, Dennis

    1999-10-15

    This final report describes the progress during the six year of the project on ''Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance.'' This report is funded under the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Class I program which is targeted towards improving the reservoir performance of mature oil fields located in fluvially-dominated deltaic deposits. The project involves using an integrated approach to characterize the reservoir followed by drilling of horizontal injection wells to improve production performance. The project was divided into two budget periods. In the first budget period, many modern technologies were used to develop a detailed reservoir management plan; whereas, in the second budget period, conventional data was used to develop a reservoir management plan. The idea was to determine the cost effectiveness of various technologies in improving the performance of mature oil fields.

  12. Improvement of attention with amphetamine in low- and high-performing rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Karly M; Burne, Thomas H J

    2016-09-01

    Attentional deficits occur in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychostimulants are one of the main treatments for attentional deficits, yet there are limited reports of procognitive effects of amphetamine in preclinical studies. Therefore, task development may be needed to improve predictive validity when measuring attention in rodents. This study aimed to use a modified signal detection task (SDT) to determine if and at what doses amphetamine could improve attention in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on the SDT prior to amphetamine challenge (0.1, 0.25, 0.75 and 1.25 mg/kg). This dose range was predicted to enhance and disrupt cognition with the effect differing between individuals depending on baseline performance. Acute low dose amphetamine (0.1 and 0.25 mg/kg) improved accuracy, while the highest dose (1.25 mg/kg) significantly disrupted performance. The effects differed for low- and high-performing groups across these doses. The effect of amphetamine on accuracy was found to significantly correlate with baseline performance in rats. This study demonstrates that improvement in attentional performance with systemic amphetamine is dependent on baseline accuracy in rats. Indicative of the inverted U-shaped relationship between dopamine and cognition, there was a baseline-dependent shift in performance with increasing doses of amphetamine. The SDT may be a useful tool for investigating individual differences in attention and response to psychostimulants in rodents.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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)

  16. Changes in cerebro-cerebellar interaction during response inhibition after performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirose, Satoshi; Jimura, Koji; Kunimatsu, Akira; Abe, Osamu; Ohtomo, Kuni; Miyashita, Yasushi; Konishi, Seiki

    2014-10-01

    It has been demonstrated that motor learning is supported by the cerebellum and the cerebro-cerebellar interaction. Response inhibition involves motor responses and the higher-order inhibition that controls the motor responses. In this functional MRI study, we measured the cerebro-cerebellar interaction during response inhibition in two separate days of task performance, and detected the changes in the interaction following performance improvement. Behaviorally, performance improved in the second day, compared to the first day. The psycho-physiological interaction (PPI) analysis revealed the interaction decrease from the right inferior frontal cortex (rIFC) to the cerebellum (lobule VII or VI). It was also revealed that the interaction increased from the same cerebellar region to the primary motor area. These results suggest the involvement of the cerebellum in response inhibition, and raise the possibility that the performance improvement was supported by the changes in the cerebro-cerebellar interaction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. The impact of relational governance on performance improvement in export manufacturing firms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Usama Awan

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This paper seeks to identify the factors affecting social performance improvemens in the Pakistan export manufacturing firms and investigae inter-relationships existing among them. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a cross-sectional survey; data were collected using self-administered survey questionnaire. Using data collected from 239 small- and medium-sized direct exporters manufacturing firms in Pakistan. We used structural equation modelling (SEM approach to test structural model, and mediation analysis was conducted with regression analysis. Findings: The results support that meta-cognitive dimensions of cultural intelligence effect on social performance improvements, while the social performance improvement significant associated with innovation performance improvements. We suggest that cultural intelligence is a key to maintaining a relationship through development better cultural understanding and creating harmony among suppliers and buyers through minimizing the differences and disputes, requires developing social cohesion. Our results reveal that exporting firms need to adapt, reconfigure cultural knowledge and integrate resources into the operations to build learning capability, in turn, they can improve social performance and achieve superior innovation performance. Practical implications: Through the application of cultural intelligence capabilty, a firm could increase its ability to sense cultural differences, seize and adapt globally scattered cultural practices on social issues and allows for the development of unique knowledge resources and capabilities, impact on firm social performance and innovation performance improvements. Originality/value: The study conducted in Pakistan cultural context, which can be extended to other Asian countries. We argue that in a globalising world it is pertinent for exporting firms to have a better understanding of the various facets of cultural when dealing with inter

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 42 CFR 486.348 - Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Coverage: Organ Procurement Organizations Organ Procurement Organization Process Performance Measures § 486.348 Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). The OPO must develop, implement... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Condition: Quality assessment and performance...

  6. Improving the energy performance of historic buildings with architectural and cultural values

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ernst Jan de Place

    2017-01-01

    The thermal performance of solid walls of historic buildings can be improved by external or internal insulation. External insulation is preferred from a technical perspective, but is often disregarded as many such buildings have architectural or cultural values leaving internal insulation.......g. improvement of thermal indoor climate. The paper discusses different motivating factors for improving the thermal performance of solid walls in historic buildings with architectural and cultural values. It is argued that internal insulation, provided that it can be done without resulting in critical moisture...... as the only possible solution. As internal insulation is considered a risky way of improving the thermal performance from a moisture perspective, technically feasible solutions are needed. Further, other arguments than energy saving could convince a building owner to carry out internal insulation, e...

  7. Dissemination of performance information and continuous improvement: A narrative systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemire, Marc; Demers-Payette, Olivier; Jefferson-Falardeau, Justin

    2013-01-01

    Developing a performance measure and reporting the results to support decision making at an individual level has yielded poor results in many health systems. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the factors associated with the dissemination of performance information that generate and support continuous improvement in health organizations. A systematic data collection strategy that includes empirical and theoretical research published from 1980 to 2010, both qualitative and quantitative, was performed on Web of Science, Current Contents, EMBASE and MEDLINE. A narrative synthesis method was used to iteratively detail explicative processes that underlie the intervention. A classification and synthesis framework was developed, drawing on knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) literature. The sample consisted of 114 articles, including seven systematic or exhaustive reviews. Results showed that dissemination in itself is not enough to produce improvement initiatives. Successful dissemination depends on various factors, which influence the way collective actors react to performance information such as the clarity of objectives, the relationships between stakeholders, the system's governance and the available incentives. This review was limited to the process of knowledge dissemination in health systems and its utilization by users at the health organization level. Issues related to improvement initiatives deserve more attention. Knowledge dissemination goes beyond better communication and should be considered as carefully as the measurement of performance. Choices pertaining to intervention should be continuously prompted by the concern to support organizational action. While considerable attention was paid to the public reporting of performance information, this review sheds some light on a more promising avenue for changes and improvements, notably in public health systems.

  8. Improving Test-Taking Performance of Secondary At-Risk Youth and Students with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Tachelle; Eaton, India

    2014-01-01

    Preparing at-risk youth and students with mild disabilities for state and district tests is important for improving their test performance, and basic instruction in test preparation can significantly improve student test performance. The article defines noncognitive variables that adversely affect test-taker performance. The article also describes…

  9. 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…

  10. Reverse alignment "mirror image" visualization as a laparoscopic training tool improves task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunnican, Ward J; Singh, T Paul; Ata, Ashar; Bendana, Emma E; Conlee, Thomas D; Dolce, Charles J; Ramakrishnan, Rakesh

    2010-06-01

    Reverse alignment (mirror image) visualization is a disconcerting situation occasionally faced during laparoscopic operations. This occurs when the camera faces back at the surgeon in the opposite direction from which the surgeon's body and instruments are facing. Most surgeons will attempt to optimize trocar and camera placement to avoid this situation. The authors' objective was to determine whether the intentional use of reverse alignment visualization during laparoscopic training would improve performance. A standard box trainer was configured for reverse alignment, and 34 medical students and junior surgical residents were randomized to train with either forward alignment (DIRECT) or reverse alignment (MIRROR) visualization. Enrollees were tested on both modalities before and after a 4-week structured training program specific to their modality. Student's t test was used to determine differences in task performance between the 2 groups. Twenty-one participants completed the study (10 DIRECT, 11 MIRROR). There were no significant differences in performance time between DIRECT or MIRROR participants during forward or reverse alignment initial testing. At final testing, DIRECT participants had improved times only in forward alignment performance; they demonstrated no significant improvement in reverse alignment performance. MIRROR participants had significant time improvement in both forward and reverse alignment performance at final testing. Reverse alignment imaging for laparoscopic training improves task performance for both reverse alignment and forward alignment tasks. This may be translated into improved performance in the operating room when faced with reverse alignment situations. Minimal lab training can account for drastic adaptation to this environment.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Effective energy planning for improving the enterprise’s energy performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Păunescu Carmen

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The global pressing need to protect the environment, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide has prompted the enterprises to implementing both individual energy saving measures and a more systematic approach to improve the overall enterprise’s energy performance. Energy management is becoming a priority as enterprises strive to reduce energy costs, conform to regulatory requirements, and improve their corporate image. As such, enterprises are encouraged to manage their energy related matters in a systematic manner and a more harmonized way, to ensure continual improvement on their energy efficiency. Despite the increasing interest in energy management standards, a gap persists between energy management literature and current implementation practices. The release of the ISO 50001 international standard was meant to help the organizations develop sound energy management systems and effective process-based energy management structures that could be recognized through third-party certification. Building on the energy management literature and energy management standards, the current paper presents the essential steps the enterprises should take to practically design a sustainable energy management system. Also, by using multiple case studies of enterprises that have implemented an ISO 50001 energy management system, it introduces a structured approach that companies can use to effectively develop their energy planning and improve energy performance. The key components of the enterprise’s energy planning are discussed, as well as practical examples of energy objectives and performance indicators from various industries are offered. The paper shows that by establishing an effective energy planning system, this will efficiently meet demands for achieving energy performance indicators and international certification.

  14. 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

  15. Factors for analysing and improving performance of R&D in Malaysian universities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramli, Mohammad Shakir; de Boer, S.J.; de Bruijn, E.J.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a model for analysing and improving performance of R&D in Malaysian universities. There are various general models for R&D analysis, but none is specific for improving the performance of R&D in Malaysian universities. This research attempts to fill a gap in the body of knowledge

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Nigrostriatal proteasome inhibition impairs dopamine neurotransmission and motor function in minipigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillethorup, Thea P; Glud, Andreas N; Alstrup, Aage K O; Mikkelsen, Trine W; Nielsen, Erik H; Zaer, Hamed; Doudet, Doris J; Brooks, David J; Sørensen, Jens Christian H; Orlowski, Dariusz; Landau, Anne M

    2018-05-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leading to slowness and stiffness of limb movement with rest tremor. Using ubiquitin proteasome system inhibitors, rodent models have shown nigrostriatal degeneration and motor impairment. We translated this model to the Göttingen minipig by administering lactacystin into the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). Minipigs underwent positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with (+)-α-[ 11 C]dihydrotetrabenazine ([ 11 C]DTBZ), a marker of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 availability, at baseline and three weeks after the unilateral administration of 100 μg lactacystin into the MFB. Compared to their baseline values, minipigs injected with lactacystin showed on average a 36% decrease in ipsilateral striatal binding potential corresponding to impaired presynaptic dopamine terminals. Behaviourally, minipigs displayed asymmetrical motor disability with spontaneous rotations in one of the animals. Immunoreactivity for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and HLA-DR-positive microglia confirmed asymmetrical reduction in nigral TH-positive neurons with an inflammatory response in the lactacystin-injected minipigs. In conclusion, direct injection of lactacystin into the MFB of minipigs provides a model of PD with reduced dopamine neurotransmission, TH-positive neuron reduction, microglial activation and behavioural deficits. This large animal model could be useful in studies of symptomatic and neuroprotective therapies with translatability to human PD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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....

  20. The Reliability of In-Training Assessment when Performance Improvement Is Taken into Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lohuizen, Mirjam T.; Kuks, Jan B. M.; van Hell, Elisabeth A.; Raat, A. N.; Stewart, Roy E.; Cohen-Schotanus, Janke

    2010-01-01

    During in-training assessment students are frequently assessed over a longer period of time and therefore it can be expected that their performance will improve. We studied whether there really is a measurable performance improvement when students are assessed over an extended period of time and how this improvement affects the reliability of the…

  1. 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

  2. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Eendebak, P.T.; Schropp, G.Y.R.; Hermes, H.V.; Elzendoorn, B.S.Q.; Magielsen, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not

  3. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M., E-mail: c.heemskerk@heemskerk-innovative.nl [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Eendebak, P.T. [TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (Netherlands); Schropp, G.Y.R. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Hermes, H.V. [TU Eindhoven (Netherlands); Elzendoorn, B.S.Q. [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, P.O. Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Magielsen, A.J. [NRG, P.O. Box 25, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not.

  4. 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.

  5. Report from SG 1.1: improving the performance of existing gas storages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-07-01

    This report aims to identify underlying trends for improvements in the underground gas storage (UGS) industry. It highlights best practices and state-of-the-art technology used in operating gas storages. The core conclusions of this report are based on a survey, which was sent out to the member countries. A reply was received from 15 countries, represented by 22 companies/institutions, including more than 100 gas storage sites. This response represents some 30% of the total estimated world storage working volume. In the survey operators were asked to report on the following issues: - measures implemented to improve the performance, - current priorities for improvements, - most important drivers for improvement, - techniques used to analyze performance, - techniques used to optimize storage performance, - software packages used, - technology used for reservoir management, wells and surface facilities, - safety and environment. (author)

  6. Kaiser Permanente's performance improvement system, Part 1: From benchmarking to executing on strategic priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Lisa; Chase, Alide; Kehrli, Sommer; Liu, Amy Y; Stiefel, Matt; Brentari, Ruth

    2010-11-01

    By 2004, senior leaders at Kaiser Permanente, the largest not-for-profit health plan in the United States, recognizing variations across service areas in quality, safety, service, and efficiency, began developing a performance improvement (PI) system to realizing best-in-class quality performance across all 35 medical centers. MEASURING SYSTEMWIDE PERFORMANCE: In 2005, a Web-based data dashboard, "Big Q," which tracks the performance of each medical center and service area against external benchmarks and internal goals, was created. PLANNING FOR PI AND BENCHMARKING PERFORMANCE: In 2006, Kaiser Permanente national and regional continued planning the PI system, and in 2007, quality, medical group, operations, and information technology leaders benchmarked five high-performing organizations to identify capabilities required to achieve consistent best-in-class organizational performance. THE PI SYSTEM: The PI system addresses the six capabilities: leadership priority setting, a systems approach to improvement, measurement capability, a learning organization, improvement capacity, and a culture of improvement. PI "deep experts" (mentors) consult with national, regional, and local leaders, and more than 500 improvement advisors are trained to manage portfolios of 90-120 day improvement initiatives at medical centers. Between the second quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, performance across all Kaiser Permanente medical centers improved on the Big Q metrics. The lessons learned in implementing and sustaining PI as it becomes fully integrated into all levels of Kaiser Permanente can be generalized to other health care systems, hospitals, and other health care organizations.

  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. 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.

  11. Performance Improvement in 503A Compounding Pharmacies: A PLAN FOR ASSESSMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND SUSTAINED SUCCESS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchett, Jon; Mixon, William; O'Connell, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Performance improvement is the continual effort to objectively assess current performance and then restructure the practices that support it to more closely achieve desired performance. A plan for performance improvement, unlike other approaches to correcting problems in job fulfillment, is a systematic method used to first find the root causes of areas of concern and then apply corrections to remedy those deficits. Implementing a performance improvement plan that can be easily adapted to ensure compliance with evolving and increasingly complex state and federal regulations is crucial to a successful compounding practice. In this article, we discuss the need for performance improvement in 503A compounding pharmacies, list the steps necessary to develop such a plan, and present three case reports of performance improvement plans in differing compounding settings.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. Independent Coactors May Improve Performance and Lower Workload: Viewing Vigilance Under Social Facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claypoole, Victoria L; Szalma, James L

    2018-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an independent coactor on vigilance task performance. It was hypothesized that the presence of an independent coactor would improve performance in terms of the proportion of false alarms while also increasing perceived workload and stress. Vigilance, or the ability to maintain attention for extended periods, is of great interest to human factors psychologists. Substantial work has focused on improving vigilance task performance, typically through motivational interventions. Of interest to vigilance researchers is the application of social facilitation as a means of enhancing vigilance. Social facilitation seeks to explain how social presence may improve performance. A total of 100 participants completed a 24-min vigil either alone or in the presence of an independent (confederate) coactor. Participants completed measures of perceived workload and stress. The results indicated that performance (i.e., proportion of false alarms) was improved for those who completed the vigil in the presence of an independent coactor. Interestingly, perceived workload was actually lower for those who completed the vigil in the presence of an independent coactor, although perceived stress was not affected by the manipulation. Authors of future research should extend these findings to other forms of social facilitation and examine vigilance task performance in social contexts in order to determine the utility of social presence for improving vigilance. The use of coactors may be an avenue for organizations to consider utilizing to improve performance because of its relative cost-effectiveness and easy implementation.

  15. Improved performance in GaInNAs solar cells by hydrogen passivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fukuda, M.; Whiteside, V. R.; Keay, J. C.; Meleco, A.; Sellers, I. R.; Hossain, K.; Golding, T. D.; Leroux, M.; Al Khalfioui, M.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of UV-activated hydrogenation on the performance of GaInNAs solar cells is presented. A proof-of-principle investigation was performed on non-optimum GaInNAs cells, which allowed a clearer investigation of the role of passivation on the intrinsic nitrogen-related defects in these materials. Upon optimized hydrogenation of GaInNAs, a significant reduction in the presence of defect and impurity based luminescence is observed as compared to that of unpassivated reference material. This improvement in the optical properties is directly transferred to an improved performance in solar cell operation, with a more than two-fold improvement in the external quantum efficiency and short circuit current density upon hydrogenation. Temperature dependent photovoltaic measurements indicate a strong contribution of carrier localization and detrapping processes, with non-radiative processes dominating in the reference materials, and evidence for additional strong radiative losses in the hydrogenated solar cells

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Overview of human performance improvement initiatives in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs )

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharma, Ashok Kumar

    2006-01-01

    Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are very complex systems. Diverse, multiple and redundant technological systems are used for effective control and safety of the NPPs. The increased numbers of such systems require increased operator attention. Additionally, the control stations (man-machine interfaces) are to be kept manageable in size. This sometimes reduces the scope for truly ergonomic design. These limitations, coupled with the shortcomings of human nature, led to unintended human performance problems and errors resulting into poor plant performance worldwide. Some organisational weaknesses, managerial decisions and latent errors also aided and abetted human errors. In view of this, a need was felt for development of performance culture at all levels in NPP organisations. Towards this end, ready-to-use performance improvement tools were developed and used for individual performers, supervisors and managers in the NPPs. This paper describes the experiences of the global nuclear electricity generating industry towards human performance improvement and error reduction. (author)

  1. Improving Motor and Drive System Performance – A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2014-02-01

    This sourcebook outlines opportunities to improve motor and drive systems performance. The sourcebook is divided into four main sections: (1) Motor and Drive System Basics: Summarizes important terms, relationships, and system design considerations relating to motor and drive systems. (2) Performance Opportunity Road Map: Details the key components of well-functioning motor and drive systems and opportunities for energy performance opportunities. (3) Motor System Economics: Offers recommendations on how to propose improvement projects based on corporate priorities, efficiency gains, and financial payback periods. (4) Where to Find Help: Provides a directory of organizations associated with motors and drives, as well as resources for additional information, tools, software, videos, and training opportunities.

  2. Improvement of Long-Jump Performance During Competition Using a Plyometric Exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogdanis, Gregory C; Tsoukos, Athanasios; Veligekas, Panagiotis

    2017-02-01

    To examine the acute effects of a conditioning plyometric exercise on long-jump performance during a simulated long-jump competition. Eight national-level track and field decathletes performed 6 long-jump attempts with a full approach run separated by 10-min recoveries. In the experimental condition subjects performed 3 rebound vertical jumps with maximal effort 3 min before the last 5 attempts, while the 1st attempt served as baseline. In the control condition the participants performed 6 long jumps without executing the conditioning exercise. Compared with baseline, long-jump performance progressively increased only in the experimental condition, from 3.0%, or 17.5 cm, in the 3rd attempt (P = .046, d = 0.56), to 4.8%, or 28.2 cm, in the 6th attempt (P = .0001, d = 0.84). The improvement in long-jump performance was due to a gradual increase in vertical takeoff velocity from the 3rd (by 8.7%, P = .0001, d = 1.82) to the 6th jump (by 17.7%, P = .0001, d = 4.38). Horizontal-approach velocity, takeoff duration, and horizontal velocity at takeoff were similar at all long-jump attempts in both conditions (P = .80, P = .36, and P = .15, respectively). Long-jump performance progressively improved during a simulated competition when a plyometric conditioning exercise was executed 3 min before each attempt. This improvement was due to a progressive increase in vertical velocity of takeoff, while there was no effect on the horizontal velocity.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. Factores explicativos de la presión fISCAL municipal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernerdino Benito

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available En este trabajo realizamos un análisis explicativo de la presión fiscal municipal para los años 2001 a 2006, estudiando la influencia de la teoría de los partidos políticos y el cumplimiento de la teoría de la fortaleza política, según la cual los gobiernos fuertes (con mayoría absoluta no se ven condicionados por presiones de coaliciones o de grupos de interés, lo que les permite aplicar medidas de disciplina presupuestaria. Adicionalmente, intentamos relacionar la presión fiscal con una serie de variables socioeconómicas y demográficas de control, de acuerdo con la literatura existente. Los resultados empíricos obtenidos no nos permiten concluir que el signo político del gobierno influya en la presión fiscal del municipio. Sí obtenemos evidencia en cuanto a la fortaleza y el año electoral. Por lo que respecta a las variables socioeconómicas y geográficas, el nivel económico, la tasa de paro y la inmigración son significativas, mientras que no lo es el índice de actividad económica. Estas tres últimas se relacionan positivamente con el nivel de presión fiscal, mientras que el nivel económico lo hace negativamente. También son significativas la pertenencia a un determinado grupo de población, pero no lo son ni la población total ni la densidad de población. This paper evaluates the municipal fiscal burden (MFB for the years 2001-2006. We focus on two theories: the partisan politics and political strength. The former posits that left parties require higher taxes. According to the latter, strong governments are able to apply fiscal adjustments in that interest groups cannot press on these governments. In addition, we relate the MFB with some socioeconomic and demographic factors, in agreement with the extant literature. The empirical results do not indicate that the political orientation of the municipal government impacts the fiscal burden. However, evidence is found in relation with the strength of the municipal

  6. Study for improvement of performance of the test and research reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakurai, Fumio [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment

    1999-03-01

    Current utilization needs for the test and research reactors become more advanced and diversified along with the advance of nuclear science and technology. Besides, the requested safety for the research and test reactors grows strictly every year as well as a case of the power reactors. Under this circumstance, every effort to improve reactor performance including its safety is necessary to be sustained for allowing more effective utilization of the test and research reactors as experimental apparatus for advanced researches. In this study, the following three themes i.e., JMTR high-performance fuel element, evaluation method of fast neutron irradiation dose in the JMTR, evaluation method of performance of siphon break valve as core covering system for water-cooled test and research reactors, were investigated respectively from the views of improvement of core performance as a neutron source, utilization performance as an experimental apparatus, and safety as a reactor plant. (author)

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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)

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Motivators and barriers to using patient experience reports for performance improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geissler, K.H.; Friedberg, M.W.; SteelFisher, G.K.; Schneider, E.C.

    2013-01-01

    Increasingly, patient experience surveys are available to provide performance feedback to physician groups. However, limited published literature addresses factors influencing use of these reports for performance improvement. To address this gap, we conducted semistructured interviews with leaders

  16. Experience measuring performance improvement in multiphase picture archiving and communications systems implementations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, G; Reed, D H

    1999-05-01

    When planning a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) implementation and determining which equipment will be implemented in earlier and later phases, collection and analysis of selected data will aid in setting implementation priorities. If baseline data are acquired relative to performance objectives, the same information used for implementation planning can be used to measure performance improvement and outcomes. The main categories of data to choose from are: (1) financial data; (2) productivity data; (3) operational parameters; (4) clinical data; and (5) information about customer satisfaction. In the authors' experience, detailed workflow data have not proved valuable in measuring PACS performance and outcomes. Reviewing only one category of data in planning will not provide adequate basis for targeting operational improvements that will lead to the most significant gains. Quality improvement takes into account all factors in production: human capacity, materials, operating capital and assets. Once we have identified key areas of focus for quality improvement in each phase, we can translate objectives into implementation requirements and finally into detailed functional and performance requirements. Here, Integration Resources reports its experience measuring PACS performance relative to phased implementation strategies for three large medical centers. Each medical center had its own objectives for overcoming image management, physical/geographical, and functional/technical barriers. The report outlines (1) principal financial and nonfinancial measures used as performance indicators; (2) implementation strategies chosen by each of the three medical centers; and (3) the results of those strategies as compared with baseline data.

  17. 42 CFR 416.43 - Conditions for coverage-Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ..., an ongoing program that demonstrates measurable improvement in patient health outcomes, and improves patient safety by using quality indicators or performance measures associated with improved health outcomes and by the identification and reduction of medical errors. (2) The ASC must measure, analyze, and...

  18. 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

  19. Improving the Performance and Energy Efficiency of Phase Change Memory Systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王琪; 李佳芮; 王东辉

    2015-01-01

    Phase change memory (PCM) is a promising technology for future memory thanks to its better scalability and lower leakage power than DRAM (dynamic random-access memory). However, adopting PCM as main memory needs to overcome its write issues, such as long write latency and high write power. In this paper, we propose two techniques to improve the performance and energy-efficiency of PCM memory systems. First, we propose a victim cache technique utilizing the existing buffer in the memory controller to reduce PCM memory accesses. The key idea is reorganizing the buffer into a victim cache structure (RBC) to provide additional hits for the LLC (last level cache). Second, we propose a chip parallelism-aware replacement policy (CPAR) for the victim cache to further improve performance. Instead of evicting one cache line once, CPAR evicts multiple cache lines that access different PCM chips. CPAR can reduce the frequent victim cache eviction and improve the write parallelism of PCM chips. The evaluation results show that, compared with the baseline, RBC can improve PCM memory system performance by up to 9.4% and 5.4% on average. Combing CPAR with RBC (RBC+CPAR) can improve performance by up to 19.0% and 12.1% on average. Moreover, RBC and RBC+CPAR can reduce memory energy consumption by 8.3%and 6.6%on average, respectively.

  20. Kaiser Permanente's performance improvement system, part 2: developing a value framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Lisa; Deas, Dennis; Jedlinsky, Maile; Aronoff, Deborah; Fershtman, Juliette; Wali, Abdul

    2010-12-01

    In 2008, Kaiser Permanente began phased implementation of a nationwide performance improvement (PI) system. The aim was to improve performance by providing consistent, highly meaningful performance measurement, increase PI skills in staff at all levels, develop organizational capabilities, and provide support for making improvements in medical centers and across regions. Evaluating the PI System: The intermediate results of the PI system were assessed in the 22 medical centers in four of the eight Kaiser Permanente regions. Implementation for 3 of these medical centers occurred in January 2008 through November 2008, with implementation for the remaining 19 medical centers occurring from September 2008 through September 2009. The 22 medical centers that were evaluated achieved a 61% improvement in selected capabilities, and improvement advisors (IAs) successfully completed 84% of initial PI projects. For each dollar invested, estimates suggested an average return on investment of $2.36. Critical factors include adequate dedicated time for PI activities by staff with necessary expertise, expert support to operations, alignment of projects with regional and national strategic priorities, and close working relationships between PI staff and operational management. Involving finance leaders in improvement planning, prioritization, and oversight is important. These elements can be adapted to smaller systems and single hospitals. The initial evaluation of the Kaiser Permanente PI system indicated that (1) IAs successfully led projects in conjunction with frontline teams, (2) organizational capabilities increased, and (3) the investment in PI infrastructure and staff was sound. Expansion throughout the entire Kaiser Permanente system is under way.

  1. Improving performance in golf: current research and implications from a clinical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Kerrie; Tuttle, Neil

    2015-01-01

    Golf, a global sport enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, involves relatively long periods of low intensity exercise interspersed with short bursts of high intensity activity. To meet the physical demands of full swing shots and the mental and physical demands of putting and walking the course, it is frequently recommended that golfers undertake golf-specific exercise programs. Biomechanics, motor learning, and motor control research has increased the understanding of the physical requirements of the game, and using this knowledge, exercise programs aimed at improving golf performance have been developed. However, while it is generally accepted that an exercise program can improve a golfer's physical measurements and some golf performance variables, translating the findings from research into clinical practice to optimise an individual golfer's performance remains challenging. This paper discusses how biomechanical and motor control research has informed current practice and discusses how emerging sophisticated tools and research designs may better assist golfers improve their performance.

  2. Ensemble prediction of air quality using the WRF/CMAQ model system for health effect studies in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Hu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Accurate exposure estimates are required for health effect analyses of severe air pollution in China. Chemical transport models (CTMs are widely used to provide spatial distribution, chemical composition, particle size fractions, and source origins of air pollutants. The accuracy of air quality predictions in China is greatly affected by the uncertainties of emission inventories. The Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ model with meteorological inputs from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model were used in this study to simulate air pollutants in China in 2013. Four simulations were conducted with four different anthropogenic emission inventories, including the Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC, the Emission Inventory for China by School of Environment at Tsinghua University (SOE, the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR, and the Regional Emission inventory in Asia version 2 (REAS2. Model performance of each simulation was evaluated against available observation data from 422 sites in 60 cities across China. Model predictions of O3 and PM2.5 generally meet the model performance criteria, but performance differences exist in different regions, for different pollutants, and among inventories. Ensemble predictions were calculated by linearly combining the results from different inventories to minimize the sum of the squared errors between the ensemble results and the observations in all cities. The ensemble concentrations show improved agreement with observations in most cities. The mean fractional bias (MFB and mean fractional errors (MFEs of the ensemble annual PM2.5 in the 60 cities are −0.11 and 0.24, respectively, which are better than the MFB (−0.25 to −0.16 and MFE (0.26–0.31 of individual simulations. The ensemble annual daily maximum 1 h O3 (O3-1h concentrations are also improved, with mean normalized bias (MNB of 0.03 and mean normalized errors (MNE of 0.14, compared to MNB

  3. Controlled-frequency breath swimming improves swimming performance and running economy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavin, K M; Guenette, J A; Smoliga, J M; Zavorsky, G S

    2015-02-01

    Respiratory muscle fatigue can negatively impact athletic performance, but swimming has beneficial effects on the respiratory system and may reduce susceptibility to fatigue. Limiting breath frequency during swimming further stresses the respiratory system through hypercapnia and mechanical loading and may lead to appreciable improvements in respiratory muscle strength. This study assessed the effects of controlled-frequency breath (CFB) swimming on pulmonary function. Eighteen subjects (10 men), average (standard deviation) age 25 (6) years, body mass index 24.4 (3.7) kg/m(2), underwent baseline testing to assess pulmonary function, running economy, aerobic capacity, and swimming performance. Subjects were then randomized to either CFB or stroke-matched (SM) condition. Subjects completed 12 training sessions, in which CFB subjects took two breaths per length and SM subjects took seven. Post-training, maximum expiratory pressure improved by 11% (15) for all 18 subjects (P swimming may improve muscular oxygen utilization during terrestrial exercise in novice swimmers. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. The reliability of in-training assessment when performance improvement is taken into account

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lohuizen, M.T.; Kuks, J.B.; van Hell, E.A.; Raat, A.N.; Stewart, R.E.; Cohen-Schotanus, J.

    2010-01-01

    During in-training assessment students are frequently assessed over a longer period of time and therefore it can be expected that their performance will improve. We studied whether there really is a measurable performance improvement when students are assessed over an extended period of time and how

  5. Performance improvement of air-cooled refrigeration system by using evaporatively cooled air condenser

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hajidavalloo, E.; Eghtedari, H. [Mechanical Engineering Department, Shahid Chamran University, Golestan St., Ahvaz (Iran)

    2010-08-15

    Increasing the coefficient of performance of air conditioner with air-cooled condenser is a challenging problem especially in area with very hot weather conditions. Application of evaporatively cooled air condenser instead of air-cooled condenser is proposed in this paper as an efficient way to solve the problem. An evaporative cooler was built and coupled to the existing air-cooled condenser of a split-air-conditioner in order to measure its effect on the cycle performance under various ambient air temperatures up to 49 C. Experimental results show that application of evaporatively cooled air condenser has significant effect on the performance improvement of the cycle and the rate of improvement is increased as ambient air temperature increases. It is also found that by using evaporatively cooled air condenser in hot weather conditions, the power consumption can be reduced up to 20% and the coefficient of performance can be improved around 50%. More improvements can be expected if a more efficient evaporative cooler is used. (author)

  6. A Novel Feed-Forward Modeling System Leads to Sustained Improvements in Attention and Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Ashley F; Rose, Maya; Norris, Troy; Gordon, Eric

    2016-01-28

    This study tested a novel feed-forward modeling (FFM) system as a nonpharmacological intervention for the treatment of ADHD children and the training of cognitive skills that improve academic performance. This study implemented a randomized, controlled, parallel design comparing this FFM with a nonpharmacological community care intervention. Improvements were measured on parent- and clinician-rated scales of ADHD symptomatology and on academic performance tests completed by the participant. Participants were followed for 3 months after training. Participants in the FFM training group showed significant improvements in ADHD symptomatology and academic performance, while the control group did not. Improvements from FFM were sustained 3 months later. The FFM appeared to be an effective intervention for the treatment of ADHD and improving academic performance. This FFM training intervention shows promise as a first-line treatment for ADHD while improving academic performance. © The Author(s) 2016.

  7. 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

  8. Improved StrongARM latch comparator: Design, analysis and performance evaluation

    KAUST Repository

    Almansouri, Abdullah Saud Mohammed

    2017-07-13

    This paper presents an improved StrongARM latch comparator, designed and simulated in 90nm and 32nm CMOS technologies. The proposed design provides an improvement of 7% in energy efficiency, 14% in speed and an average reduction of 41% in the clock feedthrough, compared to the conventional design. The new architecture also minimizes the area by reducing the required transistors needed for the enhanced performance.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Improvement of observer performance during fluoroscopy by local adaptive contrast enhancement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gould, R.G.; Demas, B.E.; Maroney, T.P.

    1988-01-01

    The ability of a video processor (FluoroVision FV-1), which performs two-dimensional locally adaptive contrast enhancement, to improve the detection of a low-contrast object was evaluated by means of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Three independent observers viewed a videotape of 50 fluoroscopic images of a varied background, in which a test object was present in 25. Each observer viewed the tape under four conditions: (1) no processing, (2) temporal noise reduction (gaussian weighted time averaging, (3) contrast enhancement, and (4) both noise reduction and contrast enhancement. The results were that detection was significantly improved by the locally adaptive contrast enhancement. Noise reduction did not significantly improve performance, probably because washer detection was limited by background contrast variations as well as noise and because only a small amount of noise reduction was used. The authors conclude that the processing device is potentially valuable in improving the quality of clinical fluoroscopic images

  14. Instructors' Evaluation as an Instrument to Improve Performance and Determine Competence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laei, Soosan; Abdi, Ali; Karamaerouz, Mohamad Javad; Shirkhani, Nassim

    2014-01-01

    Experts in human resources management have suggested common objectives for evaluating performance of all organizations, including motivation and improvement of staff performance, identification of competence and skills, identification of educational needs and developmental contexts, etc. Achievement to these objectives is -a responsibility of…

  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. A Performance Improvement of Power Supply Module for Safety-related Controller

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Jong-Kyun; Yun, Dong-Hwa; Hwang, Sung-Jae; Lee, Myeong-Kyun; Yoo, Kwan-Woo

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, in relation to voltage shortage state when power supply module is a slave mode, the performance improvement by modifying a PFC(Power Factor Correction) circuit is presented. With the modification of the PFC circuit, the performance improvement in respect of the voltage shortage state when the power supply module is a slave mode is checked. As a result, POSAFE-Q PLC can ensure the stability with the redundant power supply module. The purpose of this paper is to improve the redundant performance of power supply module(NSPS-2Q). It is one of components in POSAFE-Q which is a PLC(Programmable Logic Controller) that has been developed for the evaluation of safety-related. Power supply module provides a stable power in order that POSAFE-Q can be operated normally. It is possible to be mounted two power supply modules in POSAFE-Q for a redundant(Master/Slave) function. So that even if a problem occurs in one power supply module, another power supply module will provide a power to POSAFE-Q stably

  17. A Performance Improvement of Power Supply Module for Safety-related Controller

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jong-Kyun; Yun, Dong-Hwa; Hwang, Sung-Jae; Lee, Myeong-Kyun; Yoo, Kwan-Woo [PONUTech Co., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-10-15

    In this paper, in relation to voltage shortage state when power supply module is a slave mode, the performance improvement by modifying a PFC(Power Factor Correction) circuit is presented. With the modification of the PFC circuit, the performance improvement in respect of the voltage shortage state when the power supply module is a slave mode is checked. As a result, POSAFE-Q PLC can ensure the stability with the redundant power supply module. The purpose of this paper is to improve the redundant performance of power supply module(NSPS-2Q). It is one of components in POSAFE-Q which is a PLC(Programmable Logic Controller) that has been developed for the evaluation of safety-related. Power supply module provides a stable power in order that POSAFE-Q can be operated normally. It is possible to be mounted two power supply modules in POSAFE-Q for a redundant(Master/Slave) function. So that even if a problem occurs in one power supply module, another power supply module will provide a power to POSAFE-Q stably.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  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. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 42 CFR 482.21 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... projects, develop and implement an information technology system explicitly designed to improve patient... program that shows measurable improvement in indicators for which there is evidence that it will improve... learning throughout the hospital. (3) The hospital must take actions aimed at performance improvement and...

  11. [Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and improving chess performance in promising young chess-players].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Francisco J; Luciano, Carmen

    2009-08-01

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is shown to be effective in relatively distant fields from the so-called psychological disorders. One of these areas is sport performance improvement. The aim of the current study is to expand the application of brief ACT protocols to improve chess-players' performance. In a previous study, a brief protocol was applied to international-level adult chess-players that was effective. The current study aims to apply an equivalent brief ACT protocol, but in this case, applied in a group format to promising young chess-players. In addition, this brief protocol is compared to a non-intervention control condition. Results show that the ACT brief protocol improved the performance in 5 out of 7 participants, and that none of the chess-players in the control condition reached the established change criterion. The differences between the conditions in chess performance were statistically significant. The results are discussed, emphasizing the replicated impact of a brief ACT protocol on the improvement of chess-players' performance.

  12. Flashing characters with famous faces improves ERP-based brain-computer interface performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, T.; Schulz, S. M.; Grünzinger, C.; Kübler, A.

    2011-10-01

    Currently, the event-related potential (ERP)-based spelling device, often referred to as P300-Speller, is the most commonly used brain-computer interface (BCI) for enhancing communication of patients with impaired speech or motor function. Among numerous improvements, a most central feature has received little attention, namely optimizing the stimulus used for eliciting ERPs. Therefore we compared P300-Speller performance with the standard stimulus (flashing characters) against performance with stimuli known for eliciting particularly strong ERPs due to their psychological salience, i.e. flashing familiar faces transparently superimposed on characters. Our results not only indicate remarkably increased ERPs in response to familiar faces but also improved P300-Speller performance due to a significant reduction of stimulus sequences needed for correct character classification. These findings demonstrate a promising new approach for improving the speed and thus fluency of BCI-enhanced communication with the widely used P300-Speller.

  13. 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

  14. Six Sessions of Sprint Interval Training Improves Running Performance in Trained Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koral, Jerome; Oranchuk, Dustin J; Herrera, Roberto; Millet, Guillaume Y

    2018-03-01

    Koral, J, Oranchuk, DJ, Herrera, R, and Millet, GY. Six sessions of sprint interval training improves running performance in trained athletes. J Strength Cond Res 32(3): 617-623, 2018-Sprint interval training (SIT) is gaining popularity with endurance athletes. Various studies have shown that SIT allows for similar or greater endurance, strength, and power performance improvements than traditional endurance training but demands less time and volume. One of the main limitations in SIT research is that most studies were performed in a laboratory using expensive treadmills or ergometers. The aim of this study was to assess the performance effects of a novel short-term and highly accessible training protocol based on maximal shuttle runs in the field (SIT-F). Sixteen (12 male, 4 female) trained trail runners completed a 2-week procedure consisting of 4-7 bouts of 30 seconds at maximal intensity interspersed by 4 minutes of recovery, 3 times a week. Maximal aerobic speed (MAS), time to exhaustion at 90% of MAS before test (Tmax at 90% MAS), and 3,000-m time trial (TT3000m) were evaluated before and after training. Data were analyzed using a paired samples t-test, and Cohen's (d) effect sizes were calculated. Maximal aerobic speed improved by 2.3% (p = 0.01, d = 0.22), whereas peak power (PP) and mean power (MP) increased by 2.4% (p = 0.009, d = 0.33) and 2.8% (p = 0.002, d = 0.41), respectively. TT3000m was 6% shorter (p training in the field significantly improved the 3,000-m run, time to exhaustion, PP, and MP in trained trail runners. Sprint interval training in the field is a time-efficient and cost-free means of improving both endurance and power performance in trained athletes.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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, ...

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. Different Training Modalities Improve Energy Cost and Performance in Master Runners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Pugliese

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of continuous moderate-intensity and discontinuous high-intensity training on running performance in master runners.Methods: Thirty-four male master runners (47.2 ± 7.4 years were assigned to three different groups: continuous moderate-intensity training (CMIT, discontinuous high-intensity training (DHIT, and control group (CON. CMIT and DHIT performed 8-week of supervised training (3 session·wk−1; ~35 km·wk−1 while CON maintained their normal training habits (3–4 session·wk−1; ~50 km·wk−1. Peak oxygen consumption (V˙O2peak and peak running speed (vpeak during incremental treadmill exercise, gas exchange threshold (GET, speed at GET, energy cost of running (Cr, and 5-km performance were evaluated before and after training.Results: Following the training period, both CMIT and DHIT significantly reduced Cr (−4.4 and −4.9%, respectively, P < 0.05, increased speed at GET (3.4 and 5.7%, P < 0.05 and improved 5-km time-trial performance (3.1 and 2.2%, P < 0.05 whereas no differences were found for V˙O2peak and GET (as %V˙O2peak. After training, vpeak improved only for DHIT (6%, P < 0.05. No differences were found in any variable for CON.Conclusions: This study indicates that both CMIT and DHIT may positively affect running performance in middle-aged master runners. This improvement was achieved despite a significant reduction of the amount of weekly training volume.

  3. Business intelligence: using insight to improve the value and performance of your practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coan, Tim

    2007-01-01

    Using information to improve the value of your practice can be a great way to create leverage and improve the performance of your practice. Business intelligence (BI) is the result of a complete system that produces meaningful insights by providing the information necessary to make business decisions. Changes made from these insights improve both the performance and value of your practice. It is important to identify the key elements required of a good BI system and the areas within a practice that can directly benefit from an effective BI system.

  4. 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.

  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. Peer video review and feedback improve performance in basic surgical skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Carolyn J; Kim, Edward; O'Sullivan, Patricia; Huang, Emily; Lin, Matthew Y C; Wyles, Susannah; Palmer, Barnard J A; Pierce, Jonathan L; Chern, Hueylan

    2016-02-01

    Incorporation of home-video assessments allows flexibility in feedback but requires faculty time. Peer feedback (PF) may provide additional benefits while avoiding these constraints. Twenty-four surgical interns completed a 12-week skills curriculum with home-video assignments focused on knot tying and suturing. Interns were randomized into 2 groups: PF or faculty feedback (FF). Peers and faculty provided feedback on home videos with checklists, global rating, and comments. Learners' skills were assessed at baseline, during, and at the conclusion of the curriculum. Performance of the 2 groups as rated by experts was compared. FF and PF were compared. Both groups improved from baseline, and the highest rated scores were seen on their home-video assessments. The PF group performed better at the final assessment than the FF group (effect size, .84). When using a checklist, there was no significant difference between scores given by peers and faculty. The PF group performed better at the final assessment, suggesting reviewing and analyzing another's performance may improve one's own performance. With checklists as guidance, peers can serve as raters comparable to faculty. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Integrated approach towards the application of horizontal wells to improve waterflooding performance. Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelkar, M.; Liner, C.; Kerr, D.

    1995-05-01

    This annual report describes the progress during the second year of the project on Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance. This project is funded under the Department of Energy`s Class I program which is targeted towards improving the reservoir performance of mature oil fields located in fluvial-dominated deltaic deposits. The project involves an integrated approach to characterize the reservoir followed by the drilling of horizontal injection wells to improve production performance. The type of data we have integrated include cross bore hole seismic surveys, geological interpretation based on logs and cores, and engineering information. This report covers the second phase of the project which includes a detailed reservoir description of the field by integrating all the available information, followed by flow simulation of the Self Unit under various operating conditions. Based on an examination of the various operating parameters, we observed that the best possible solution to improve the Self Unit performance is to recomplete and stimulate most of the wells followed by an increase in the water injection rate. Drilling of horizontal injection well, although helpful in improving the performance, was not found to be economically feasible. The proposed reservoir management plan will be implemented shortly.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Embedded Sensors and Controls to Improve Component Performance and Reliability Conceptual Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kisner, R.; Melin, A.; Burress, T.; Fugate, D.; Holcomb, D.; Wilgen, J.; Miller, J.; Wilson, D.; Silva, P.; Whitlow, L.; Peretz, F.

    2012-09-15

    The objective of this project is to demonstrate improved reliability and increased performance made possible by deeply embedding instrumentation and controls (I&C) in nuclear power plant (NPP) components and systems. The project is employing a highly instrumented canned rotor, magnetic bearing, fluoride salt pump as its I&C technology demonstration platform. I&C is intimately part of the basic millisecond-by-millisecond functioning of the system; treating I&C as an integral part of the system design is innovative and will allow significant improvement in capabilities and performance. As systems become more complex and greater performance is required, traditional I&C design techniques become inadequate and more advanced I&C needs to be applied. New I&C techniques enable optimal and reliable performance and tolerance of noise and uncertainties in the system rather than merely monitoring quasistable performance. Traditionally, I&C has been incorporated in NPP components after the design is nearly complete; adequate performance was obtained through over-design. By incorporating I&C at the beginning of the design phase, the control system can provide superior performance and reliability and enable designs that are otherwise impossible. This report describes the progress and status of the project and provides a conceptual design overview for the platform to demonstrate the performance and reliability improvements enabled by advanced embedded I&C.

  11. On improving the performance of nonphotochemical quenching in CP29 light-harvesting antenna complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berman, Gennady P. [Theoretical Division, T-4, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Nesterov, Alexander I., E-mail: nesterov@cencar.udg.mx [Departamento de Física, CUCEI, Universidad de Guadalajara, Av. Revolución 1500, Guadalajara, CP 44420, Jalisco (Mexico); Sayre, Richard T. [Biological Division, B-11, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Still, Susanne [Department of Information and Computer Sciences, and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, 1860 East–West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2016-03-22

    We model and simulate the performance of charge-transfer in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) in the CP29 light-harvesting antenna-complex associated with photosystem II (PSII). The model consists of five discrete excitonic energy states and two sinks, responsible for the potentially damaging processes and charge-transfer channels, respectively. We demonstrate that by varying (i) the parameters of the chlorophyll-based dimer, (ii) the resonant properties of the protein-solvent environment interaction, and (iii) the energy transfer rates to the sinks, one can significantly improve the performance of the NPQ. Our analysis suggests strategies for improving the performance of the NPQ in response to environmental changes, and may stimulate experimental verification. - Highlights: • Improvement of the efficiency of the charge-transfer nonphotochemical quenching in CP29. • Strategy for restoring the NPQ efficiency when the environment changes. • By changing of energy transfer rates to the sinks, one can significantly improve the performance of the NPQ.

  12. Caffeine-containing energy drink improves physical performance in female soccer players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Beatriz; Gonzalez-Millán, Cristina; Salinero, Juan Jose; Abian-Vicen, Javier; Areces, Francisco; Barbero-Alvarez, Jose Carlos; Muñoz, Víctor; Portillo, Luis Javier; Gonzalez-Rave, Jose Maria; Del Coso, Juan

    2014-05-01

    There is little information about the effects of caffeine intake on female team-sport performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a caffeine-containing energy drink to improve physical performance in female soccer players during a simulated game. A double-blind, placebo controlled and randomized experimental design was used in this investigation. In two different sessions, 18 women soccer players ingested 3 mg of caffeine/kg in the form of an energy drink or an identical drink with no caffeine content (placebo). After 60 min, they performed a countermovement jump (CMJ) and a 7 × 30 m sprint test followed by a simulated soccer match (2 × 40 min). Individual running distance and speed were measured using GPS devices. In comparison to the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased the CMJ height (26.6 ± 4.0 vs 27.4 ± 3.8 cm; P 18 km/h (161 ± 99 vs 216 ± 103 m; P caffeine/kg might be an effective ergogenic aid to improve physical performance in female soccer players.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Case base classification on digital mammograms: improving the performance of case base classifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Valliappan; Then, H. H.; Sumari, Putra; Venkatesa Mohan, N.

    2011-10-01

    Breast cancer continues to be a significant public health problem in the world. Early detection is the key for improving breast cancer prognosis. The aim of the research presented here is in twofold. First stage of research involves machine learning techniques, which segments and extracts features from the mass of digital mammograms. Second level is on problem solving approach which includes classification of mass by performance based case base classifier. In this paper we build a case-based Classifier in order to diagnose mammographic images. We explain different methods and behaviors that have been added to the classifier to improve the performance of the classifier. Currently the initial Performance base Classifier with Bagging is proposed in the paper and it's been implemented and it shows an improvement in specificity and sensitivity.

  16. Monolayer-Mediated Growth of Organic Semiconductor Films with Improved Device Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lizhen; Hu, Xiaorong; Chi, Lifeng

    2015-09-15

    Increased interest in wearable and smart electronics is driving numerous research works on organic electronics. The control of film growth and patterning is of great importance when targeting high-performance organic semiconductor devices. In this Feature Article, we summarize our recent work focusing on the growth, crystallization, and device operation of organic semiconductors intermediated by ultrathin organic films (in most cases, only a monolayer). The site-selective growth, modified crystallization and morphology, and improved device performance of organic semiconductor films are demonstrated with the help of the inducing layers, including patterned and uniform Langmuir-Blodgett monolayers, crystalline ultrathin organic films, and self-assembled polymer brush films. The introduction of the inducing layers could dramatically change the diffusion of the organic semiconductors on the surface and the interactions between the active layer with the inducing layer, leading to improved aggregation/crystallization behavior and device performance.

  17. Improving low-performing high schools: searching for evidence of promise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischman, Steve; Heppen, Jessica

    2009-01-01

    Noting that many of the nation's high schools are beset with major problems, such as low student reading and math achievement, high dropout rates, and an inadequate supply of effective teachers, Steve Fleischman and Jessica Heppen survey a range of strategies that educators have used to improve low-performing high schools. The authors begin by showing how the standards-based school reform movement, together with the No Child Left Behind Act requirement that underperforming schools adopt reforms supported by scientifically based research, spurred policy makers, educators, and researchers to create and implement a variety of approaches to attain improvement. Fleischman and Heppen then review a number of widely adopted reform models that aim to change "business as usual" in low-performing high schools. The models include comprehensive school reform programs, dual enrollment and early college high schools, smaller learning communities, specialty (for example, career) academies, charter high schools, and education management organizations. In practice, say the authors, many of these improvement efforts overlap, defying neat distinctions. Often, reforms are combined to reinforce one another. The authors explain the theories that drive the reforms, review evidence of their reforms' effectiveness to date, and suggest what it will take to make them work well. Although the reforms are promising, the authors say, few as yet have solid evidence of systematic or sustained success. In concluding, Fleischman and Heppen emphasize that the reasons for a high school's poor performance are so complex that no one reform model or approach, no matter how powerful, can turn around low-performing schools. They also stress the need for educators to implement each reform program with fidelity to its requirements and to support it for the time required for success. Looking to the future, the authors suggest steps that decision makers, researchers, and sponsors of research can take to promote

  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. Kaiser Permanente's performance improvement system, Part 4: Creating a learning organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Lisa; Dearing, James W; Staley, Paul; Harvey, Patti; Fahey, Linda; Kuruppu, Francesca

    2011-12-01

    In 2006, recognizing variations in performance in quality, safety, service, and efficiency, Kaiser Permanente leaders initiated the development of a performance improvement (PI) system. Kaiser Permanente has implemented a strategy for creating the systemic capacity for continuous improvement that characterizes a learning organization. Six "building blocks" were identified to enable Kaiser Permanente to make the transition to becoming a learning organization: real-time sharing of meaningful performance data; formal training in problem-solving methodology; workforce engagement and informal knowledge sharing; leadership structures, beliefs, and behaviors; internal and external benchmarking; and technical knowledge sharing. Putting each building block into place required multiple complex strategies combining top-down and bottom-up approaches. Although the strategies have largely been successful, challenges remain. The demand for real-time meaningful performance data can conflict with prioritized changes to health information systems. It is an ongoing challenge to teach PI, change management, innovation, and project management to all managers and staff without consuming too much training time. Challenges with workforce engagement include low initial use of tools intended to disseminate information through virtual social networking. Uptake of knowledge-sharing technologies is still primarily by innovators and early adopters. Leaders adopt new behaviors at varying speeds and have a range of abilities to foster an environment that is psychologically safe and stimulates inquiry. A learning organization has the capability to improve, and it develops structures and processes that facilitate the acquisition and sharing of knowledge.

  20. Dividing wall column: Improving thermal efficiency, energy savings and economic performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aurangzeb, Md; Jana, Amiya K.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A rigorous model is developed for a dividing wall column. • Heat transfer model for metal wall is proposed. • Performance improvement is quantified for a ternary system. • Thermal efficiency, energy savings and cost are three used indices. - Abstract: This work aims at investigating the performance improvement of a dividing wall column (DWC) for the separation of a ternary system. It is true that for fractionating a ternary mixture, at least a sequence of two conventional distillation columns is required. To improve energetic and economic potential, and reduce space requirement, two columns are proposed to merge into one shell with a dividing wall. For developing the mathematical model of a distillation column, we consider the effect of heat transfer through the metal wall placed at an intermediated position inside the cylindrical column. The simulated DWC model is verified using the Aspen Plus flowsheet simulator with a wide variety of phase equilibrium models. The superiority of this proposed heat integrated configuration is shown for a ternary hydrocarbon system over a conventional distillation sequence (CDS) in terms of mainly three performance indexes, namely thermal efficiency, energy savings and total annual cost (TAC). It is investigated that the dividing wall distillation scheme can secure a 37.5% energy efficiency, and a 22.6% savings in energy consumption and 23.23% in TAC. The promising performance can also be quantified in terms of a reasonably low payback period of 2.11 years.

  1. Monitoring student attendance, participation, and performance improvement: an instrument and forms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosta, Joanne

    2012-01-01

    When students receive consistent and fair feedback about their behavior, program liability decreases. To help students to have a clearer understanding of minimum program standards and the consequences of substandard performance, the author developed attendance and participation monitoring and performance improvement instruments. The author discusses the tools that address absenteeism, tardiness, unprofessional, and unsafe clinical behaviors among students.

  2. Activity on improving performance of time-of-flight detector at CDF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menzione, A.; Cerri, C.; Vataga, E.; Prokoshin, F.; Tokar, S.

    2002-01-01

    The paper describes activity on improving the time resolution of the Time-of-Flight detector at CDF. The main goal of the detector is the identification of kaons and pions for b-quark (B-meson) flavour tagging. Construction of the detector has been described as well as proposals on detector design changes to improve its time resolution. Monte Carlo simulation of the detector response to MIP was performed. The results of the simulation showed that the proposed modifications (at least with currently available materials) bring modest or no improvement of the detector time resolution. An automated set-up was assembled to test and check out the changes in the electronic readout system of the detector. Sophisticated software has been developed for this set-up to provide control of the system as well as processing and presentation of data from the detector. This software can perform various tests using different implementations of the hardware set-up

  3. Infrastructure for large-scale quality-improvement projects: early lessons from North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Warren P; Lefebvre, Ann; Donahue, Katrina E; Bacon, Thomas; Dobson, Allen

    2010-01-01

    Little is known regarding how to accomplish large-scale health care improvement. Our goal is to improve the quality of chronic disease care in all primary care practices throughout North Carolina. Methods for improvement include (1) common quality measures and shared data system; (2) rapid cycle improvement principles; (3) quality-improvement consultants (QICs), or practice facilitators; (4) learning networks; and (5) alignment of incentives. We emphasized a community-based strategy and developing a statewide infrastructure. Results are reported from the first 2 years of the North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) project. A coalition was formed to include professional societies, North Carolina AHEC, Community Care of North Carolina, insurers, and other organizations. Wave One started with 18 practices in 2 of 9 regions of the state. Quality-improvement consultants recruited practices. Over 80 percent of practices attended all quarterly regional meetings. In 9 months, almost all diabetes measures improved, and a bundled asthma measure improved from 33 to 58 percent. Overall, the magnitude of improvement was clinically and statistically significant (P = .001). Quality improvements were maintained on review 1 year later. Wave Two has spread to 103 practices in all 9 regions of the state, with 42 additional practices beginning the enrollment process. Large-scale health care quality improvement is feasible, when broadly supported by statewide leadership and community infrastructure. Practice-collected data and lack of a control group are limitations of the study design. Future priorities include maintaining improved sustainability for practices and communities. Our long-term goal is to transform all 2000 primary-care practices in our state.

  4. 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.

  5. Improving the performance of fluorine-doped tin oxide by adding salt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Purwanto, Agus, E-mail: Aguspur@uns.ac.id [Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Sebelas Maret University, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36 A, Surakarta, Central Java 57126 (Indonesia); Widiyandari, Hendri [Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, Diponegoro University, Jl. Prof. Dr. Soedarto, Tembalang, Semarang 50275 (Indonesia); Suryana, Risa [Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Sebelas Maret University, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36 A, Surakarta, Central Java 57126 (Indonesia); Jumari, Arif [Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Sebelas Maret University, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36 A, Surakarta, Central Java 57126 (Indonesia)

    2015-07-01

    High-performance fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) films were fabricated via a spray deposition technique with salt added to the precursor. The addition of NaCl in the precursor improved the conductivity of the FTO films. Increasing the NaCl concentration to its optimal concentration reduced the sheet resistance of the FTO film. The optimal values for the addition of a NaCl were 0.5, 0.5, 1.5, and 1.5 at.% for the FTO film prepared using NH{sub 4}F concentration of 4, 10, 16, and 22 at.%, respectively. The lowest sheet resistance of the salt-added FTO film was 4.8 Ω/□. The FTO film averaged a transmittance of more than 80% in the visible range region (λ = 400–800 nm). XRD diffractograms confirmed that the crystal structure of the as-grown FTO film was that of a tetragonal SnO{sub 2} and that the addition of salt improved its crystallinity. This film has the potential for use as an electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). - Highlights: • A method to improve FTO performance using the addition of salt • The FTO film exhibited high performance of conductivity and light transmittance. • This technique is low-cost, fast and scales-up easily using simple devices.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. Performance improvements of binary diffractive structures via optimization of the photolithography and dry etch processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, Kevin; Leonard, Jerry; Jones, Richard D.

    2010-08-01

    Increasingly stringent requirements on the performance of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) used in wafer scanner illumination systems are driving continuous improvements in their associated manufacturing processes. Specifically, these processes are designed to improve the output pattern uniformity of off-axis illumination systems to minimize degradation in the ultimate imaging performance of a lithographic tool. In this paper, we discuss performance improvements in both photolithographic patterning and RIE etching of fused silica diffractive optical structures. In summary, optimized photolithographic processes were developed to increase critical dimension uniformity and featuresize linearity across the substrate. The photoresist film thickness was also optimized for integration with an improved etch process. This etch process was itself optimized for pattern transfer fidelity, sidewall profile (wall angle, trench bottom flatness), and across-wafer etch depth uniformity. Improvements observed with these processes on idealized test structures (for ease of analysis) led to their implementation in product flows, with comparable increases in performance and yield on customer designs.

  10. Improving neuromuscular performance in young basketball players: plyometric vs. technique training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attene, G; Iuliano, E; Di Cagno, A; Calcagno, G; Moalla, W; Aquino, G; Padulo, J

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the effects of plyometric training versus basketball technique training on improving neuro-muscular performance. Thirty-six (age 14.9±0.9 years, body height 164.0±7.6 cm, body weight 54.0±8.7 kg, BMI 20.1±2.4 kg·m-2) basketball players girls were randomly allocated to 2 groups: Basketball Plyometric Training (BPT, N.=18) and Basketball Technique Training (BTT, N.=18). The players were tested by two specific tests: counter movement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ) before and after 6 training weeks. The jump height, as dependent variable, showed a different trend as an effect of the different training protocols, in contrast with the current knowledge. Manova did not show significant interactions between the two groups for the height of jumps, while significant differences were found for interaction time × training (Ptraining, the BPT group increased significantly CMJ performance by 11.3% (Ptraining protocols proposed in this study improved vertical jump performance. However, a combination of the two protocols, plyometric training and sport-specific-exercises, could be useful to optimize performance by an easy transition from controlled a-specific to sport-specific performance requirements. In conclusion, BPT is a safe and effective method of achieving a favourable neuro-muscular performance than BTT in female basketball players.

  11. Performance of rocking systems on shallow improved sand: Shaking table testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelos eTsatsis

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have highlighted the potential benefits of inelastic foundation response during seismic shaking. According to an emerging seismic design scheme, termed rocking isolation, the foundation is intentionally under–designed to promote rocking and limit the inertia transmitted to the structure. Such reversal of capacity design may improve the seismic performance, drastically increasing the safety margins. However, the benefit comes at the expense of permanent settlement and rotation, which may threaten post-earthquake functionality. Such undesired deformation can be maintained within tolerable limits, provided that the safety factor against vertical loading FSV is adequately large. In such a case, the response is uplifting–dominated and the accumulation of settlement can be limited. However, this is not always feasible as the soil properties may not be ideal. Shallow soil improvement may offer a viable solution and is therefore worth investigating. Its efficiency is related to the nature of rocking, which tends to mobilize a shallow stress bulb. To this end, a series of shaking table tests are conducted, using an idealized slender bridge pier as conceptual prototype. Two systems are studied, both lying on a square foundation of width B. The first corresponds to a lightly-loaded and the second to a heavily-loaded structure. The two systems are first tested on poor and ideal soil conditions to demonstrate the necessity for soil improvement. Then, the efficiency of shallow soil improvement is studied by investigating their performance on soil crusts of depth z/B = 0.5 and 1. It is shown that a z/B = 1 dense sand crust is enough to achieve practically the same performance with the ideal case of dense sand. A shallower z/B = 0.5 improvement layer may also be considered, depending on design requirements. The efficiency of the soil improvement is ameliorated with the increase of rotation amplitude, and with the number of the cycles of the

  12. 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.

  13. Optimisation of active suspension control inputs for improved performance of active safety systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čorić, Mirko; Deur, Joško; Xu, Li; Tseng, H. Eric; Hrovat, Davor

    2018-01-01

    A collocation-type control variable optimisation method is used to investigate the extent to which the fully active suspension (FAS) can be applied to improve the vehicle electronic stability control (ESC) performance and reduce the braking distance. First, the optimisation approach is applied to the scenario of vehicle stabilisation during the sine-with-dwell manoeuvre. The results are used to provide insights into different FAS control mechanisms for vehicle performance improvements related to responsiveness and yaw rate error reduction indices. The FAS control performance is compared to performances of the standard ESC system, optimal active brake system and combined FAS and ESC configuration. Second, the optimisation approach is employed to the task of FAS-based braking distance reduction for straight-line vehicle motion. Here, the scenarios of uniform and longitudinally or laterally non-uniform tyre-road friction coefficient are considered. The influences of limited anti-lock braking system (ABS) actuator bandwidth and limit-cycle ABS behaviour are also analysed. The optimisation results indicate that the FAS can provide competitive stabilisation performance and improved agility when compared to the ESC system, and that it can reduce the braking distance by up to 5% for distinctively non-uniform friction conditions.

  14. GASNet-EX Performance Improvements Due to Specialization for the Cray Aries Network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hargrove, Paul H.; Bonachea, Dan

    2018-03-27

    This document is a deliverable for milestone STPM17-6 of the Exascale Computing Project, delivered by WBS 2.3.1.14. It reports on the improvements in performance observed on Cray XC-series systems due to enhancements made to the GASNet-EX software. These enhancements, known as “specializations”, primarily consist of replacing network-independent implementations of several recently added features with implementations tailored to the Cray Aries network. Performance gains from specialization include (1) Negotiated-Payload Active Messages improve bandwidth of a ping-pong test by up to 14%, (2) Immediate Operations reduce running time of a synthetic benchmark by up to 93%, (3) non-bulk RMA Put bandwidth is increased by up to 32%, (4) Remote Atomic performance is 70% faster than the reference on a point-to-point test and allows a hot-spot test to scale robustly, and (5) non-contiguous RMA interfaces see up to 8.6x speedups for an intra-node benchmark and 26% for inter-node. These improvements are available in the GASNet-EX 2018.3.0 release.

  15. 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.

  16. ACHIEVING MATURITY (AND MEASURING PERFORMANCE THROUGH MODEL-BASED PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Marcelo Almeida Prado Cestari

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the approach adopted by a software development unit in order to achieve the maturity level 3 of CMMI-DEV and therefore obtaining better performance. Through historical research and secondary data analysis of the organization, the paper intends to answer the following research question: "Could the adoption of maturity/best practices models bring better performance results to small and medium organizations?" Data and analysis conducted show that, besides the creation of indicator’s based management, there are some quantitative performance improvements in indicators such as: Schedule Deviation Rate, Effort Deviation Rate, Percent Late Delivery, Productivity Deviation and Internal Rework Rate

  17. 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

  18. Analisis Penerapan Relationship Maintenance Strategy Melalui Penggunaan Media Sosial(Studi Pada Twitter Perbankan di Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahmatul Jannatin Naimah

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, banks are actively using twitter in order to maintain relationships with customers. Unfortunately, the trend of using social media as Relationship Maintenance  Strategy  (RMS  for  the  banking  industry  is  not  supported  by adequate research in the realm of marketing public relation science. Positivity, openness, task sharing, networking, access, and assurance are six dimensions that can be used to measure the application of RMS through twitter. Thus, this research aims to analyze whether there are differences in the implementation of RMS in the Indonesia Banking Industry through content analysis of its offi cial twitter.  The  banks  that  will  be  further  investigated  are  the  three  top  banks belonging  to  Indonesia  Bank  Loyalty  Index  (IBLI  and  Most  Followed  Bank (MFB.  Research  fi ndings  resulted  Banks  belonging  to  IBLI  and  MFB  group  has  a different  level  implementation  of  RMS  through  twitter.  The  overall  level  of implementation were found in two groups are still very low, especially in the task sharing dimension. IBLI banks more implement the dimension of RMS than MFB bank group. Assurance was most widely used on the two banking groups.  Keywords : Relationship  Maintenance  Strategy,  Marketing  Public  Relation,  Banking, Twitter.

  19. How to achieve and prove performance improvement - 15 years of experience in German wastewater benchmarking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertzbach, F; Franz, T; Möller, K

    2012-01-01

    This paper shows the results of performance improvement, which have been achieved in benchmarking projects in the wastewater industry in Germany over the last 15 years. A huge number of changes in operational practice and also in achieved annual savings can be shown, induced in particular by benchmarking at process level. Investigation of this question produces some general findings for the inclusion of performance improvement in a benchmarking project and for the communication of its results. Thus, we elaborate on the concept of benchmarking at both utility and process level, which is still a necessary distinction for the integration of performance improvement into our benchmarking approach. To achieve performance improvement via benchmarking it should be made quite clear that this outcome depends, on one hand, on a well conducted benchmarking programme and, on the other, on the individual situation within each participating utility.

  20. 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

  1. Using an Intelligent Tutor and Math Fluency Training to Improve Math Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Ivon; Royer, James M.; Woolf, Beverly P.

    2011-01-01

    This article integrates research in intelligent tutors with psychology studies of memory and math fluency (the speed to retrieve or calculate answers to basic math operations). It describes the impact of computer software designed to improve either strategic behavior or math fluency. Both competencies are key to improved performance and both…

  2. Integrating clinical performance improvement across physician organizations: the PhyCor experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeppke, R; Howell, J W

    1999-02-01

    There is a paucity of literature describing the implementation of clinical performance improvement (CPI) efforts across geographically dispersed multispecialty group practices and independent practice associations. PhyCor, a physician management company based in Nashville, Tennessee, has integrated CPI initiatives into its operating infrastructure. PhyCor CPI INITIATIVES: The strategic framework guiding PhyCor's CPI initiatives is built around a physician-driven, patient-centered model. Physician/administrator leadership teams develop and implement a clinical and financial strategic plan for performance improvement; adopt local clinical and operational performance indicators; and agree on and gain consensus with local physician champions to engage in CPI initiatives. The area/regional leadership councils integrate and coordinate regional medical management and CPI initiatives among local groups and independent practice associations. In addition to these councils and a national leadership council, condition-specific care management councils have also been established. These councils develop condition-specific protocols and outcome measures and lead the implementation of CPI initiatives at their own clinics. Key resources supporting CPI initiatives include information/knowledge management, education and training, and patient education and consumer decision support. Localized efforts in both the asthma care and diabetes management initiatives have led to some preliminary improvements in quality of care indicators. Physician leadership and strategic vision, CPI-oriented organizational infrastructure, broad-based physician involvement in CPI, providing access to performance data, parallel incentives, and creating a sense of urgency for accelerated change are all critical success factors to the implementation of CPI strategies at the local, regional, and national levels.

  3. Are Improvements in Measured Performance Driven by Better Treatment or "Denominator Management"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alex H S; Chen, Cheng; Rubinsky, Anna D; Hoggatt, Katherine J; Neuman, Matthew; Vanneman, Megan E

    2016-04-01

    Process measures of healthcare quality are usually formulated as the number of patients who receive evidence-based treatment (numerator) divided by the number of patients in the target population (denominator). When the systems being evaluated can influence which patients are included in the denominator, it is reasonable to wonder if improvements in measured quality are driven by expanding numerators or contracting denominators. In 2003, the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) based executive compensation in part on performance on a substance use disorder (SUD) continuity-of-care quality measure. The first goal of this study was to evaluate if implementing the measure in this way resulted in expected improvements in measured performance. The second goal was to examine if the proportion of patients with SUD who qualified for the denominator contracted after the quality measure was implemented, and to describe the facility-level variation in and correlates of denominator contraction or expansion. Using 40 quarters of data straddling the implementation of the performance measure, an interrupted time series design was used to evaluate changes in two outcomes. All veterans with an SUD diagnosis in all VA facilities from fiscal year 2000 to 2009. The two outcomes were 1) measured performance-patients retained/patients qualified and 2) denominator prevalence-patients qualified/patients with SUD program contact. Measured performance improved over time (P management, and also the exploration of "shadow measures" to monitor and reduce undesirable denominator management.

  4. A study on improving the performance of steam generator using thermal analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Zhen Zhe; Heo, Kwang Su; Choi, Jun Hoo; Seol, Seoung Yun

    2008-01-01

    Steam generation mechanism is the key technology of domestic steam cleaner. Not only weight and price of steam cleaner but also the performance of steam generation mechanism must be considered to improve the competitive power of the products. In order to find out the mechanism which can be used to improve the performance of steam generator, the process of steam generation was studied at first. In the following step, possibility of control, safety of mechanism and etc were compared about the two candidated steam generation mechanism. Finally, the merit and drawback of each mechanism were summarized

  5. Effectiveness of autogenic training in improving motor performances in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajimsha, M S; Majeed, Nisar A; Chinnavan, Elanchezhian; Thulasyammal, Ramiah Pillai

    2014-06-01

    Relaxation training can be an important adjunct in reducing symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). Autogenic Training (AT) is a simple, easily administered and inexpensive technique for retraining the mind and the body to be able to relax. AT uses visual imagery and body awareness to promote a state of deep relaxation. To investigate whether AT when used as an adjunct to Physiotherapy (PT) improves motor performances in PD in comparison with a control group receiving PT alone. Randomized, controlled, single blinded trial. Movement Disorder Clinic and Department of Physiotherapy, Sree Chithira Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Patients with PD of grade 2 or 3 of Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) scale (N = 66). AT group or control group. The techniques were administered by Physiotherapists trained in AT and consisted of 40 sessions per patient over 8 weeks. Motor score subscale of Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) was used to measure the motor performances. The primary outcome measure was the difference in Motor score subscale of UPDRS scores between Week 1 (pretest score), Week 8 (posttest score), and follow-up at Week 12 after randomization. The simple main effects analysis showed that the AT group performed better than the control group in weeks 8 and 12 (P < .005). Patients in the AT and control groups reported a 51.78% and 35.24% improvement, respectively, in their motor performances in Week 8 compared with that in Week 1, which persisted, in the follow-up (Week 12) as 30.82% in the AT group and 21.42% in the control group. This study provides evidence that AT when used as an adjunct to PT is more effective than PT alone in improving motor performances in PD patients. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Improvement of performance of vibration pump for molten salt at high temperature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watanabe, Hideo; Hashimoto, Hiroyuki; Katagiri, Kazunari; Tang Bomin.

    1996-01-01

    An experimental study was conducted to improve the performance of a vibration pump using a vibrating pipe for conveying the molten salt at 784 K. A new system to measure the pump performance safely at such a high temperature was developed, which was characterized by simplicity in construction and ease of operation. All parts of the system, including a pump, valves and a volume tank to measure the volumetric flow rate, were placed in a cylindrical tank. The pump was driven by an air actuator. Experimental results indicated that the measuring system fulfilled the intended function: the pump worked effectively and its performance was safely evaluated at a high temperature. A few possible improvements related to the construction of the pump were suggested based on the results. (author)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Infrequent dream recall associated with low performance but high overnight improvement on mirror-tracing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumel, Gaëlle; Carr, Michelle; Marquis, Louis-Philippe; Blanchette-Carrière, Cloé; Paquette, Tyna; Nielsen, Tore

    2015-08-01

    Although sleep facilitates learning and memory, the roles of dreaming and habitual levels of recalling dreams remain unknown. This study examined if performance and overnight improvement on a rapid eye movement sleep-sensitive visuomotor task is associated differentially with habitually high or low dream recall frequency. As a relation between dream production and visuospatial skills has been demonstrated previously, one possibility is that frequency of dream recall will be linked to performance on visuomotor tasks such as the Mirror Tracing Task. We expected that habitually low dream recallers would perform more poorly on the Mirror Tracing Task than would high recallers and would show less task improvement following a night of sleep. Fifteen low and 20 high dream recallers slept one night each in the laboratory and performed the Mirror Tracing Task before and after sleep. Low recallers had overall worse baseline performance but a greater evening-to-morning improvement than did high recallers. Greater improvements in completion time in low recallers were associated with Stage 2 rather than rapid eye movement sleep. Findings support the separate notions that dreaming is related to visuomotor processes and that different levels of visuomotor skill engage different sleep- and dream-related consolidation mechanisms. © 2015 European Sleep Research Society.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. The efficiency of SAP in improving the HR performance case study ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The efficiency of SAP in improving the HR performance case study: Masdar ... administrative and strategic levels, as well as identifying the contribution of ... Keywords: SAP, human resources management, Masdar Building Materials Company ...

  19. Upward appraisal as a means for improving supervisory performance and promoting process improvement, with long-term implications for organizational change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegfeldt, Denise V.

    1994-01-01

    This study represents the implementation phase of an organizational development project which was initiated last year in the Management Support Division (MSD) at Langley Research Center to diagnose organizational functioning. As a result of MSD survey data from last year's effort, a Quality Action Team was created to address the responses compiled from the MSD Organizational Assessment Questionnaire and Follow-Up Questionnaire. The team was officially named the MSD Employee Relations Improvement Team (MERIT). MERIT's goal was to analyze major concerns generated by the questionnaires and to present feasible solutions to management which would improve supervisory performance, promote process improvement; and ultimately, lead to a better organization. The team met weekly and was very disciplined in following guidelines needed to ensure a fully functioning team. Several TQM tools were used during the team process, including brainstorming and the cause and effect diagram. One of the products produced by MERIT was a 'report card', more formally known as an upward appraisal system, to evaluate supervisory performance in the division office, its three branches, and in teams. Major areas of emphasis on the 47 item report card were those identified by employees through the previously administered questionnaires as needing to be improved; specifically, training, recognition, teamwork, supervision and leadership, and communication. MERIT created an enlarged and modified version of the report card which enabled scores for each individual supervisor to be recorded on a separate form, along with summary results and employee comments. Report card results have been compiled and fed back to the Division Chief and Assistant Division Chief. These individuals will in turn, feed the results back to the remaining supervisors and the team leaders. Although results differ among supervisors, some similarities exist. Communication generally appears to be adequate, which represents an

  20. Caffeine improves muscular performance in elite Brazilian Jiu-jitsu athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Lara, Francisco Javier; Del Coso, Juan; García, Jose Manuel; Portillo, Luis J; Areces, Francisco; Abián-Vicén, Javier

    2016-11-01

    Scientific information about the effects of caffeine intake on combat sport performance is scarce and controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of caffeine to improve Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ)-specific muscular performance. Fourteen male and elite BJJ athletes (29.2 ± 3.3 years; 71.3 ± 9.1 kg) participated in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled and crossover experiment. In two different sessions, BJJ athletes ingested 3 mg kg(-1) of caffeine or a placebo. After 60 min, they performed a handgrip maximal force test, a countermovement jump, a maximal static lift test and bench-press tests consisting of one-repetition maximum, power-load, and repetitions to failure. In comparison to the placebo, the ingestion of the caffeine increased: hand grip force in both hands (50.9 ± 2.9 vs. 53.3 ± 3.1 kg; respectively p caffeine also increased the one-repetition maximum (90.5 ± 7.7 vs. 93.3 ± 7.5 kg; p = .02), maximal power obtained during the power-load test (750.5 ± 154.7 vs. 826.9 ± 163.7 W; p caffeine increased dynamic and isometric muscular force, power, and endurance strength in elite BJJ athletes. Thus, caffeine might be an effective ergogenic aid to improve physical performance in BJJ.

  1. Improvements in the energy resolution and high-count-rate performance of bismuth germanate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koehler, P.E.; Wender, S.A.; Kapustinsky, J.S.

    1985-01-01

    Several methods for improving the energy resolution of bismuth germanate (BGO) have been investigated. It is shown that some of these methods resulted in a substantial improvement in the energy resolution. In addition, a method to improve the performance of BGO at high counting rates has been systematically studied. The results of this study are presented and discussed

  2. A study on improving the performance of a research reactor's equilibrium core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Atta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Utilizing low enriched uranium silicide fuel (U3Si2-Al of existing uranium density (3.285 g/cm3, different core configurations have been studied in search of an equilibrium core with an improved performance for the Pakistan Research Reactor-1. Furthermore, we have extended our analysis to the performance of higher density silicide fuels with a uranium density of 4.0 and 4.8 U g/cm3. The criterion used in selecting the best performing core was that of “unit flux time cycle length per 235U mass per cycle”. In order to analyze core performance by improving neutron moderation, utilizing higher-density fuel, the effect of the coolant channel width was also studied by reducing the number of plates in the standard/control fuel element. Calculations employing computer codes WIMSD/4 and CITATION were performed. A ten energy group structure for fission neutrons was used for the generation of microscopic cross-sections through WIMSD/4. To search the equilibrium core, two-dimensional core modelling was performed in CITATION. Performance indicators have shown that the higher-density uranium silicide-fuelled core (U density 4.8 g/cm3 without any changes in standard/control fuel elements, comprising of 15 standard and 4 control fuel elements, is the best performing of all analyzed cores.

  3. Improved Helicopter Rotor Performance Prediction through Loose and Tight CFD/CSD Coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ickes, Jacob C.

    Helicopters and other Vertical Take-Off or Landing (VTOL) vehicles exhibit an interesting combination of structural dynamic and aerodynamic phenomena which together drive the rotor performance. The combination of factors involved make simulating the rotor a challenging and multidisciplinary effort, and one which is still an active area of interest in the industry because of the money and time it could save during design. Modern tools allow the prediction of rotorcraft physics from first principles. Analysis of the rotor system with this level of accuracy provides the understanding necessary to improve its performance. There has historically been a divide between the comprehensive codes which perform aeroelastic rotor simulations using simplified aerodynamic models, and the very computationally intensive Navier-Stokes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solvers. As computer resources become more available, efforts have been made to replace the simplified aerodynamics of the comprehensive codes with the more accurate results from a CFD code. The objective of this work is to perform aeroelastic rotorcraft analysis using first-principles simulations for both fluids and structural predictions using tools available at the University of Toledo. Two separate codes are coupled together in both loose coupling (data exchange on a periodic interval) and tight coupling (data exchange each time step) schemes. To allow the coupling to be carried out in a reliable and efficient way, a Fluid-Structure Interaction code was developed which automatically performs primary functions of loose and tight coupling procedures. Flow phenomena such as transonics, dynamic stall, locally reversed flow on a blade, and Blade-Vortex Interaction (BVI) were simulated in this work. Results of the analysis show aerodynamic load improvement due to the inclusion of the CFD-based airloads in the structural dynamics analysis of the Computational Structural Dynamics (CSD) code. Improvements came in the form

  4. The effectiveness of strategies to change organisational culture to improve healthcare performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmelli, Elena; Flodgren, Gerd; Schaafsma, Mary Ellen; Baillie, Nick; Beyer, Fiona R; Eccles, Martin P

    2011-01-19

    Organisational culture is an anthropological metaphor used to inform research and consultancy and to explain organisational environments. Great emphasis has been placed during the last years on the need to change organisational culture in order to pursue effective improvement of healthcare performance. However, the precise nature of organisational culture in healthcare policy often remains underspecified and the desirability and feasibility of strategies to be adopted has been called into question. To determine the effectiveness of strategies to change organisational culture in order to improve healthcare performance.To examine the effectiveness of these strategies according to different patterns of organisational culture. We searched the following electronic databases for primary studies: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Sociological Abstracts, Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, Business and Management, EThOS, Index to Theses, Intute, HMIC, SIGLE, and Scopus until October 2009. The Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE) was searched for related reviews. We also searched the reference lists of all papers and relevant reviews identified, and we contacted experts in the field for advice on further potential studies. We considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or well designed quasi-experimental studies, controlled clinical trials (CCTs), controlled before and after studies (CBAs) and interrupted time series analyses (ITS) meeting the quality criteria used by the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC). Studies should be set in any type of healthcare organisation in which strategies to change organisational culture in order to improve healthcare performance were applied. Our main outcomes were objective measures of professional performance and patient outcome. At least two review authors independently applied the criteria for inclusion and exclusion criteria to scan titles and

  5. Performance Improvement of Inertial Navigation System by Using Magnetometer with Vehicle Dynamic Constraints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daehee Won

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A navigation algorithm is proposed to increase the inertial navigation performance of a ground vehicle using magnetic measurements and dynamic constraints. The navigation solutions are estimated based on inertial measurements such as acceleration and angular velocity measurements. To improve the inertial navigation performance, a three-axis magnetometer is used to provide the heading angle, and nonholonomic constraints (NHCs are introduced to increase the correlation between the velocity and the attitude equation. The NHCs provide a velocity feedback to the attitude, which makes the navigation solution more robust. Additionally, an acceleration-based roll and pitch estimation is applied to decrease the drift when the acceleration is within certain boundaries. The magnetometer and NHCs are combined with an extended Kalman filter. An experimental test was conducted to verify the proposed method, and a comprehensive analysis of the performance in terms of the position, velocity, and attitude showed that the navigation performance could be improved by using the magnetometer and NHCs. Moreover, the proposed method could improve the estimation performance for the position, velocity, and attitude without any additional hardware except an inertial sensor and magnetometer. Therefore, this method would be effective for ground vehicles, indoor navigation, mobile robots, vehicle navigation in urban canyons, or navigation in any global navigation satellite system-denied environment.

  6. Using Six Sigma for Performance Improvement in Business Curriculum: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukreja, Anil; Ricks, Joe M., Jr.; Meyer, Jean A.

    2009-01-01

    During the last few decades, a number of quality improvement methodologies have been used by organizations. This article provides a brief review of the quality improvement literature related to academia and a case study using Six Sigma methodology to analyze students' performance in a standardized examination. We found Six Sigma to be an effective…

  7. Effectiveness of Tutoring to Improve Academic Performance in Nursing Students at the University of Seville

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Dolores Guerra-Martín

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In response to the increase of Higher Education support provided to tutoring programs, this paper presents the design, implementation and evaluation of a tutoring program to improve the academic performance of at-risk students enrolled in the last year of a nursing degree characterized by academic failure (failed courses. A controlled experimental study was carried out to evaluate a tutoring program that included a minimum of nine meetings performed by an expert professor as tutor. A questionnaire for assessing the academic needs was designed and interventions were performed when responses were: nothing, a little or something. Medium to large effects were found in the progress of failed course to passed course (p =.000, rφ = .30, improving the information about courses (p < .001, d = 2.01, the information comprehension (p < .001, d = 0.85 and the strategies to improve academic performance (p < .001, d = 1.37. The intervention group students’ response highlighted program satisfaction and effectiveness. The significance of the study lies in reinforcing the formal tutoring as a tool to improve academic performance in at-risk students.

  8. Cavitation performance improvement of high specific speed mixed-flow pump

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, T; Sun, Y B; Wu, D Z; Wang, L Q

    2012-01-01

    Cavitation performance improvement of large hydraulic machinery such as pump and turbine has been a hot topic for decades. During the design process of the pumps, in order to minimize size, weight and cost centrifugal and mixed-flow pump impellers are required to operate at the highest possible rotational speed. The rotational speed is limited by the phenomenon of cavitation. The hydraulic model of high-speed mixed-flow pump with large flow rate and high pumping head, which was designed based on the traditional method, always involves poor cavitation performance. In this paper, on the basis of the same hydraulic design parameters, two hydraulic models of high-speed mixed-flow pump were designed by using different methods, in order to investigate the cavitation and hydraulic performance of the two models, the method of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was adopted for internal flow simulation of the high specific speed mixed-flow pump. Based on the results of numerical simulation, the influences of impeller parameters and three-dimensional configuration on pressure distribution of the blades' suction surfaces were analyzed. The numerical simulation results shows a better pressure distribution and lower pressure drop around the leading edge of the improved model. The research results could provide references to the design and optimization of the anti-cavitation blade.

  9. Improving energy performance of school buildings while ensuring indoor air quality ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Becker, Rachel; Goldberger, Itamar [Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (Israel). Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Structural Engineering and Construction Management; Paciuk, Monica [National Building Research Institute, Technion, Haifa (Israel)

    2007-09-15

    Energy conscious design of school buildings, as well as deemed-to-satisfy provisions in a Performance Based Energy Code, should address the problem known as the energy efficiency - thermal comfort - indoor air quality dilemma (EE-TC-IAQ Dilemma). In warm and moderate climates, the large internal heat sources usually found in school buildings prevent achieving thermal comfort without active cooling in summer, but are not sufficient to eliminate the need for heating in winter. Commonly used air-conditioners do not improve air quality, while natural ventilation induces uncontrolled energy losses. In this study, a step by step process was used for the development of deemed-to-satisfy design solutions, which cope with the EE-TC-IAQ Dilemma, for a performance based code. A distinction is made between improving building design variables and improving ventilation schemes. Results indicate that implementation of improved ventilation schemes in an otherwise well designed energy-conscious building result in savings of 28-30% and 17-18% for northern and southern classroom orientations, respectively. (author)

  10. 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.

  11. 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,…

  12. 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 ...

  13. Fuel performance improvement program. Quarterly/annual progress report, October 1977--September 1978

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crouthamel, C.E.

    1978-10-01

    This quarterly/annual report reviews and summarizes the activities performed in support of the Fuel Performance Improvement Program (FPIP) during Fiscal Year 1978 with emphasis on those activities that transpired during the quarter ending September 30, 1978. Significant progress has been made in achieving the primary objectives of the program, i.e., to demonstrate commercially viable fuel concepts with improved fuel - cladding interaction (FCI) behavior. This includes out-of-reactor experiments to support the fuel concepts being evaluated, initiation of instrumented test rod experiments in the Halden Boiling Water Reactor (HBWR), and fabrication of the first series of demonstration rods for irradiation in the Big Rock Point Reactor

  14. A Computable Definition of Sepsis Facilitates Screening and Performance Improvement Tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alessi, Lauren J; Warmus, Holly R; Schaffner, Erin K; Kantawala, Sajel; Carcillo, Joseph; Rosen, Johanna; Horvat, Christopher M

    2018-03-01

    Sepsis kills almost 5,000 children annually, accounting for 16% of pediatric health care spending in the United States. We sought to identify sepsis within the Electronic Health Record (EHR) of a quaternary children's hospital to characterize disease incidence, improve recognition and response, and track performance metrics. Methods are organized in a plan-do-study-act cycle. During the "plan" phase, electronic definitions of sepsis (blood culture and antibiotic within 24 hours) and septic shock (sepsis plus vasoactive medication) were created to establish benchmark data and track progress with statistical process control. The performance of a screening tool was evaluated in the emergency department. During the "do" phase, a novel inpatient workflow is being piloted, which involves regular sepsis screening by nurses using the tool, and a regimented response to high risk patients. Screening tool use in the emergency department reduced time to antibiotics (Fig. 1). Of the 6,159 admissions, EHR definitions identified 1,433 (23.3%) between July and December 2016 with sepsis, of which 159 (11.1%) had septic shock. Hospital mortality for all sepsis patients was 2.2% and 15.7% for septic shock (Table 1). These findings approximate epidemiologic studies of sepsis and severe sepsis, which report a prevalence range of 0.45-8.2% and mortality range of 8.2-25% (Table 2). 1-5 . Implementation of a sepsis screening tool is associated with improved performance. The prevalence of sepsis conditions identified with electronic definitions approximates the epidemiologic landscape characterized by other point-prevalence and administrative studies, providing face validity to this approach, and proving useful for tracking performance improvement.

  15. Modifying the Toyota Production System for continuous performance improvement in an academic children's hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapleton, F Bruder; Hendricks, James; Hagan, Patrick; DelBeccaro, Mark

    2009-08-01

    The Toyota Production System (TPS) has become a successful model for improving efficiency and eliminating errors in manufacturing processes. In an effort to provide patients and families with the highest quality clinical care, our academic children's hospital has modified the techniques of the TPS for a program in continuous performance improvement (CPI) and has expanded its application to educational and research programs. Over a period of years, physicians, nurses, residents, administrators, and hospital staff have become actively engaged in a culture of continuous performance improvement. This article provides background into the methods of CPI and describes examples of how we have applied these methods for improvement in clinical care, resident teaching, and research administration.

  16. Improved reading performance using individualized compensation filters for observers with losses in central vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri B.

    1989-01-01

    A method to improve the reading performance of subjects with losses in central vision is proposed in which the amplitudes of the intermediate spatial frequencies are boosted relative to the lower spatial frequencies. In the method, words are filtered using an image enhancement function which is based on a subject's losses in visual function relative to a normal subject. It was found that 30-70 percent less magnification was necessary, and that reading rates were improved 2-3 times, using the method. The individualized compensation filters improved the clarity and visibility of words. The shape of the enhancement function was shown to be important in determining the optimum compensation filter for improving reading performance.

  17. IMPROVING PERFORMANCES BY USING COST CONTROLLING IN THE MINING INDUSTRY ENTITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SORINEL CĂPUŞNEANU

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to highlight the improving performances of entities from mining industry entities by using cost controlling as an important tool of management accounting, applying the target costing method. The survey is based on questions that led investigation made in the Romanian entities from mining industry and based on data a thorough analysis was done for fulfillment of authors’ purpose. The results obtained by applying the target costing method has allowed a very strict cost control, which ultimately led to increased performances of economic entities from mining industry in Romania. The secondary purpose of this article is to try adjusting the target costing method to the specific of entities in the mining industry. According to studies of specialists this method based on target costing calculation is rather unusual in this sector of mining industry and it relies heavily on the activity-based costing method. The article ends with the authors' conclusions on improving the performances of entities from mining industry based on cost controlling and use of mix information obtained through the applied methods

  18. Input/Output of ab-initio nuclear structure calculations for improved performance and portability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laghave, Nikhil

    2010-01-01

    Many modern scientific applications rely on highly computation intensive calculations. However, most applications do not concentrate as much on the role that input/output operations can play for improved performance and portability. Parallelizing input/output operations of large files can significantly improve the performance of parallel applications where sequential I/O is a bottleneck. A proper choice of I/O library also offers a scope for making input/output operations portable across different architectures. Thus, use of parallel I/O libraries for organizing I/O of large data files offers great scope in improving performance and portability of applications. In particular, sequential I/O has been identified as a bottleneck for the highly scalable MFDn (Many Fermion Dynamics for nuclear structure) code performing ab-initio nuclear structure calculations. We develop interfaces and parallel I/O procedures to use a well-known parallel I/O library in MFDn. As a result, we gain efficient I/O of large datasets along with their portability and ease of use in the down-stream processing. Even situations where the amount of data to be written is not huge, proper use of input/output operations can boost the performance of scientific applications. Application checkpointing offers enormous performance improvement and flexibility by doing a negligible amount of I/O to disk. Checkpointing saves and resumes application state in such a manner that in most cases the application is unaware that there has been an interruption to its execution. This helps in saving large amount of work that has been previously done and continue application execution. This small amount of I/O provides substantial time saving by offering restart/resume capability to applications. The need for checkpointing in optimization code NEWUOA has been identified and checkpoint/restart capability has been implemented in NEWUOA by using simple file I/O.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. Linking Quality Assurance to Performance Improvement to Produce a High Reliability Organization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silvey, Andrea B.; Warrick, Louise H.

    2008-01-01

    Three basic change management models are currently used in healthcare to produce and sustain quality improvement. We have presented the context to determine where any particular organization stands within these paradigms. We also have introduced a change-management tool used to assess, plan, and monitor leadership effort and commitment to quality improvement and culture change activities, tracked as 'momentum for change.' This 'momentum' is measured at eight discrete levels, from recognizing a performance gap to officially implementing changes intended to improve quality

  2. Oregon State University Softball: Dynamic Visual Acuity Training for Improving Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Madsen, Bruce; Blair, Kyle

    2017-01-01

    Sports vision training involves eye focusing and movement workouts that center on the visual tracking of objects. The purpose of sports vision training is to improve performance in various sports by improving visual responses and processing, such as by lowering reaction times. In 2015, the Athletic Eye Institute started a sports vision-training program study with the Oregon State University Softball Team in the hopes of increasing the dynamic visual skills of their players. There were two aim...

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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 ...

  7. Organizational learning and continuous quality improvement: examining the impact on nursing home performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondeau, Kent V; Wagar, Terry H

    2002-01-01

    Interest is growing in learning more about the ability of total quality management and continuous quality improvement (TQM/CQI) initiatives to contribute to the performance of healthcare organizations. A major factor in the successful implementation of TQM/CQI is the seminal contribution of an organization's culture. Many implementation efforts have not succeeded because of a corporate culture that failed to stress broader organizational learning. This may help to explain why some TQM/CQI programs have been unsuccessful in improving healthcare organization performance. Organizational performance variables and organizational learning orientation were assessed in a sample of 181 Canadian long-term care organizations that had implemented a formal TQM/CQI program. Categorical regression analysis shows that, in the absence of a strong corporAte culture that stresses organizational learning and employee development, few performance enhancements are reported. The results of the assessment suggest that a TQM/CQI program without the backing of a strong organizational learning culture may be insufficient to achieve augmented organizational performance.

  8. 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)

  9. Use of a Green Familiar Faces Paradigm Improves P300-Speller Brain-Computer Interface Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Liu, Shuai; Li, Jian; Bai, Ou

    2015-01-01

    A recent study showed improved performance of the P300-speller when the flashing row or column was overlaid with translucent pictures of familiar faces (FF spelling paradigm). However, the performance of the P300-speller is not yet satisfactory due to its low classification accuracy and information transfer rate. To investigate whether P300-speller performance is further improved when the chromatic property and the FF spelling paradigm are combined. We proposed a new spelling paradigm in which the flashing row or column is overlaid with translucent green pictures of familiar faces (GFF spelling paradigm). We analyzed the ERP waveforms elicited by the FF and proposed GFF spelling paradigms and compared P300-speller performance between the two paradigms. Significant differences in the amplitudes of four ERP components (N170, VPP, P300, and P600f) were observed between both spelling paradigms. Compared to the FF spelling paradigm, the GFF spelling paradigm elicited ERP waveforms of higher amplitudes and resulted in improved P300-speller performance. Combining the chromatic property (green color) and the FF spelling paradigm led to better classification accuracy and an increased information transfer rate. These findings demonstrate a promising new approach for improving the performance of the P300-speller.

  10. Ber analysis of the box relaxation for BPSK signal recovery

    KAUST Repository

    Thrampoulidis, Christos

    2016-06-24

    We study the problem of recovering an n-dimensional BPSK signal from m linear noise-corrupted measurements using the box relaxation method which relaxes the discrete set {±1}n to the convex set [-1,1]n to obtain a convex optimization algorithm followed by hard thresholding. When the noise and measurement matrix have iid standard normal entries, we obtain an exact expression for the bit-wise probability of error Pe in the limit of n and m growing and m/n fixed. At high SNR our result shows that the Pe of box relaxation is within 3dB of the matched filter bound (MFB) for square systems, and that it approaches the (MFB) as m grows large compared to n. Our results also indicate that as m, n → ∞, for any fixed set of size k, the error events of the corresponding k bits in the box relaxation method are independent.

  11. Ber analysis of the box relaxation for BPSK signal recovery

    KAUST Repository

    Thrampoulidis, Christos; Abbasi, Ehsan; Xu, Weiyu; Hassibi, Babak

    2016-01-01

    We study the problem of recovering an n-dimensional BPSK signal from m linear noise-corrupted measurements using the box relaxation method which relaxes the discrete set {±1}n to the convex set [-1,1]n to obtain a convex optimization algorithm followed by hard thresholding. When the noise and measurement matrix have iid standard normal entries, we obtain an exact expression for the bit-wise probability of error Pe in the limit of n and m growing and m/n fixed. At high SNR our result shows that the Pe of box relaxation is within 3dB of the matched filter bound (MFB) for square systems, and that it approaches the (MFB) as m grows large compared to n. Our results also indicate that as m, n → ∞, for any fixed set of size k, the error events of the corresponding k bits in the box relaxation method are independent.

  12. Use of audits and reviews to improve plant performance, INPO'S experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mc Coy, C.K.

    1986-01-01

    INPO's primary mission is to assist utilities in improving their nuclear plants performance. Consequently, the author has viewed utility audits and reviews as potential tools for improving plant performance. He has attempted to find examples where these tools are used effectively, and to find common elements of effective utility audit and review programs. One thing the author noted was that the words ''audit'' and ''review'' were not consistently used or understood. So to begin, he likes to stick to Webster's definitions in the context of nuclear power activities. First, Webster defines the verb audit as ''to examine with intent to verify.'' In this context this means to verify compliance with requirements. Second, Webster defines a review as ''a general survey'' or ''a critical evaluation.'' In this context this means an evaluation of an activity or program for effectiveness in accomplishing its intended purpose. INPO's evaluations are reviews, not audits, and they are intended to provide information to utility managers upon which they may make changes to improve performance. INPO does make ''recommendations'' based on effective practices seen at other plants, but the author insists that line management develop the corrective action. INPO provides follow-up at the next evaluation to ensure the corrective actions taken by management were effective. INPO bases most of its findings on observations of work and conditions in the plant as noted by knowledgeable personnel trained in observation techniques

  13. Investigation of the use of thorium in LWRs for improving reactor core performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lau, Cheuk Wah

    2012-01-01

    Thorium is a fertile material and most of the past research has focused on breeding thorium into fissile material to achieve a more sustainable use of nuclear power. However, the focus in this report is on using thorium to improve reactor core performance. The improvement of reactor core performance is achieved by increasing the thermal margins by homogeneously distributing thorium in the fuel pellets. A proposed uranium-thorium-based fuel assembly is simulated for the Swedish Ringhals-3 PWR core in a realistic demonstration. In order to fully grasp the benefits and drawbacks of the newly proposed uranium-thorium-based fuel, a reload safety evaluation has been performed. For a real core, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority would require an identical evaluation method to ensure that safety criteria are met during the whole cycle. In this report, only a few key safety parameters, such as isothermal- and Doppler-temperature coefficients of reactivity, pin peak power, boron worth, shutdown margins, and core average beta-effective are presented. The calculations were performed by the two-dimensional transport code CASMO-4E, and the two group three dimensional nodal code SIMULATE-3K from Studsvik Scandpower. The results showed that the uranium-thorium-based fuel assembly improves the thermal margins, both in the pin peak power and the local power (Fq). The improved thermal margins would allow more flexible core loading patterns with less neutron leakage, and could be used in power uprated cores to offer better safety margins

  14. Investigation of the use of thorium in LWRs for improving reactor core performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lau, Cheuk Wah

    2012-07-01

    Thorium is a fertile material and most of the past research has focused on breeding thorium into fissile material to achieve a more sustainable use of nuclear power. However, the focus in this report is on using thorium to improve reactor core performance. The improvement of reactor core performance is achieved by increasing the thermal margins by homogeneously distributing thorium in the fuel pellets. A proposed uranium-thorium-based fuel assembly is simulated for the Swedish Ringhals-3 PWR core in a realistic demonstration. In order to fully grasp the benefits and drawbacks of the newly proposed uranium-thorium-based fuel, a reload safety evaluation has been performed. For a real core, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority would require an identical evaluation method to ensure that safety criteria are met during the whole cycle. In this report, only a few key safety parameters, such as isothermal- and Doppler-temperature coefficients of reactivity, pin peak power, boron worth, shutdown margins, and core average beta-effective are presented. The calculations were performed by the two-dimensional transport code CASMO-4E, and the two group three dimensional nodal code SIMULATE-3K from Studsvik Scandpower. The results showed that the uranium-thorium-based fuel assembly improves the thermal margins, both in the pin peak power and the local power (Fq). The improved thermal margins would allow more flexible core loading patterns with less neutron leakage, and could be used in power uprated cores to offer better safety margins.

  15. Beta-alanine supplementation improves jumping power and affects severe-intensity performance in professional alpine skiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Micah; Bieri, Kathrin; Hoppeler, Hans; Norman, Barbara; Vogt, Michael

    2014-12-01

    Supplementation with beta-alanine may have positive effects on severe-intensity, intermittent, and isometric strength-endurance performance. These could be advantageous for competitive alpine skiers, whose races last 45 to 150 s, require metabolic power above the aerobic maximum, and involve isometric muscle work. Further, beta-alanine supplementation affects the muscle force-frequency relationship, which could influence explosiveness. We explored the effects of beta-alanine on explosive jump performance, severe exercise energy metabolism, and severe-intensity ski-like performance. Nine male elite alpine skiers consumed 4.8 g/d beta-alanine or placebo for 5 weeks in a double-blind fashion. Before and after, they performed countermovement jumps (CMJ), a 90-s cycling bout at 110% VO2max (CLT), and a maximal 90-s box jump test (BJ90). Beta-alanine improved maximal (+7 ± 3%, d = 0.9) and mean CMJ power (+7 ± 2%, d = 0.7), tended to reduce oxygen deficit (-3 ± 8%, p = .06) and lactate accumulation (-12 ± 31%) and enhance aerobic energy contribution (+1.3 ± 2.9%, p = .07) in the CLT, and improved performance in the last third of BJ90 (+7 ± 4%, p = .02). These effects were not observed with placebo. Beta-alanine supplementation improved explosive and repeated jump performance in elite alpine skiers. Enhanced muscle contractility could possibly explain improved explosive and repeated jump performance. Increased aerobic energy production could possibly help explain repeated jump performance as well.

  16. 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.

  17. Research on creation of new materials for innovative improvement of FBR performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kano, S.; Yoshida, E.; Inoue, M.

    1992-01-01

    Creation of new materials is an essential issue to attain an innovative improvement of fast reactors' performance to achieve its excellent economics. In this paper, status and highlights are presented on the research of new materials in PNC. Firstly, sodium corrosion characteristics has been investigated on new ceramics recently developed and some considerations for their improvement have been clarified to create advanced ceramics having an excellent resistance to sodium corrosion. Secondary, materials design and manufacturing process by powder metallurgy were investigated to create new composites for radiation shielding. High performance shielding materials having an excellent shielding characteristics and a high heat resistance have been created. Thirdly, status of investigation on materials design and manufacturing process is presented on functionally gradient materials to create high performance thermal stress relieving material and innovative core material. Fourthly, manufacturing process by powder metallurgy was investigated on new composites such as B 4 C cermets, etc., to create high performance fission reaction control materials. Trial production pellets were evaluated on micro-structure, thermal conductivity, anti-thermal shock properties. etc.. (author)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Short-term heat acclimation improves the determinants of endurance performance and 5-km running performance in the heat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Carl A; Richardson, Alan J; Watt, Peter W; Willmott, Ashley G B; Gibson, Oliver R; Maxwell, Neil S

    2017-03-01

    This study investigated the effect of 5 days of controlled short-term heat acclimation (STHA) on the determinants of endurance performance and 5-km performance in runners, relative to the impairment afforded by moderate heat stress. A control group (CON), matched for total work and power output (2.7 W·kg -1 ), differentiated thermal and exercise contributions of STHA on exercise performance. Seventeen participants (10 STHA, 7 CON) completed graded exercise tests (GXTs) in cool (13 °C, 50% relative humidity (RH), pre-training) and hot conditions (32 °C, 60% RH, pre- and post-training), as well as 5-km time trials (TTs) in the heat, pre- and post-training. STHA reduced resting (p = 0.01) and exercising (p = 0.04) core temperature alongside a smaller change in thermal sensation (p = 0.04). Both groups improved the lactate threshold (LT, p = 0.021), lactate turnpoint (LTP, p = 0.005) and velocity at maximal oxygen consumption (vV̇O 2max ; p = 0.031) similarly. Statistical differences between training methods were observed in TT performance (STHA, -6.2(5.5)%; CON, -0.6(1.7)%, p = 0.029) and total running time during the GXT (STHA, +20.8(12.7)%; CON, +9.8(1.2)%, p = 0.006). There were large mean differences in change in maximal oxygen consumption between STHA +4.0(2.2) mL·kg -1 ·min -1 (7.3(4.0)%) and CON +1.9(3.7) mL·kg -1 ·min -1 (3.8(7.2)%). Running economy (RE) deteriorated following both training programmes (p = 0.008). Similarly, RE was impaired in the cool GXT, relative to the hot GXT (p = 0.004). STHA improved endurance running performance in comparison with work-matched normothermic training, despite equality of adaptation for typical determinants of performance (LT, LTP, vV̇O 2max ). Accordingly, these data highlight the ergogenic effect of STHA, potentially via greater improvements in maximal oxygen consumption and specific thermoregulatory and associated thermal perception adaptations absent in normothermic training.

  1. Device Performance and Reliability Improvements of AlGaBN/GaN/Si MOSFET

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-04

    AFRL-AFOSR-JP-TR-2016-0037 Device Performance and Reliablity Improvements of AlGaBN/GaN/Si MOSFET Robert Wallace UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS Final...GaN/Si MOSFET 5a.  CONTRACT NUMBER 5b.  GRANT NUMBER FA2386-14-1-4069 5c.  PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 61102F 6. AUTHOR(S) Robert Wallace 5d.  PROJECT...AOARD Grant FA2386-14-1-4069 Device Performance and Reliability Improvements of AlGaN/GaN/Si MOSFET US 12 month extension (2014 – 2015) for current

  2. Managing in-hospital quality improvement: An importance-performance analysis to set priorities for ST-elevation myocardial infarction care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeyels, Daan; Seys, Deborah; Sinnaeve, Peter R; Claeys, Marc J; Gevaert, Sofie; Schoors, Danny; Sermeus, Walter; Panella, Massimiliano; Bruyneel, Luk; Vanhaecht, Kris

    2018-02-01

    A focus on specific priorities increases the success rate of quality improvement efforts for broad and complex-care processes. Importance-performance analysis presents a possible approach to set priorities around which to design and implement effective quality improvement initiatives. Persistent variation in hospital performance makes ST-elevation myocardial infarction care relevant to consider for importance-performance analysis. The purpose of this study was to identify quality improvement priorities in ST-elevation myocardial infarction care. Importance and performance levels of ST-elevation myocardial infarction key interventions were combined in an importance-performance analysis. Content validity indexes on 23 ST-elevation myocardial infarction key interventions of a multidisciplinary RAND Delphi Survey defined importance levels. Structured review of 300 patient records in 15 acute hospitals determined performance levels. The significance of between-hospital variation was determined by a Kruskal-Wallis test. A performance heat-map allowed for hospital-specific priority setting. Seven key interventions were each rated as an overall improvement priority. Priority key interventions related to risk assessment, timely reperfusion by percutaneous coronary intervention and secondary prevention. Between-hospital performance varied significantly for the majority of key interventions. The type and number of priorities varied strongly across hospitals. Guideline adherence in ST-elevation myocardial infarction care is low and improvement priorities vary between hospitals. Importance-performance analysis helps clinicians and management in demarcation of the nature, number and order of improvement priorities. By offering a tailored improvement focus, this methodology makes improvement efforts more specific and achievable.

  3. 76 FR 78343 - HOME Investment Partnerships Program: Improving Performance and Accountability; and Updating...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-16

    ... CFR Parts 91 and 92 HOME Investment Partnerships Program: Improving Performance and Accountability... Performance and Accountability; and Updating Property Standards AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for... regulatory requirements and establish new requirements designed to enhance accountability by States and units...

  4. Improving perioperative performance: the use of operations management and the electronic health record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foglia, Robert P; Alder, Adam C; Ruiz, Gardito

    2013-01-01

    Perioperative services require the orchestration of multiple staff, space and equipment. Our aim was to identify whether the implementation of operations management and an electronic health record (EHR) improved perioperative performance. We compared 2006, pre operations management and EHR implementation, to 2010, post implementation. Operations management consisted of: communication to staff of perioperative vision and metrics, obtaining credible data and analysis, and the implementation of performance improvement processes. The EHR allows: identification of delays and the accountable service or person, collection and collation of data for analysis in multiple venues, including operational, financial, and quality. Metrics assessed included: operative cases, first case on time starts; reason for delay, and operating revenue. In 2006, 19,148 operations were performed (13,545 in the Main Operating Room (OR) area, and 5603, at satellite locations); first case on time starts were 12%; reasons for first case delay were not identifiable; and operating revenue was $115.8M overall, with $78.1M in the Main OR area. In 2010, cases increased to 25,856 (+35%); Main OR area increased to 13,986 (+3%); first case on time starts improved to 46%; operations outside the Main OR area increased to 11,870 (112%); case delays were ascribed to nurses 7%, anesthesiologists 22%, surgeons 33%, and other (patient, hospital) 38%. Five surgeons (7%) accounted for 29% of surgical delays and 4 anesthesiologists (8%) for 45% of anesthesiology delays; operating revenue increased to $177.3M (+53%) overall, and in the Main OR area rose to $101.5M (+30%). The use of operations management and EHR resulted in improved processes, credible data, promptly sharing the metrics, and pinpointing individual provider performance. Implementation of these strategies allowed us to shift cases between facilities, reallocate OR blocks, increase first case on time starts four fold and operative cases by 35%, and

  5. A Decline in Response Variability Improves Neural Signal Detection during Auditory Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Trapp, Gardiner; Buran, Bradley N; Sen, Kamal; Semple, Malcolm N; Sanes, Dan H

    2016-10-26

    The detection of a sensory stimulus arises from a significant change in neural activity, but a sensory neuron's response is rarely identical to successive presentations of the same stimulus. Large trial-to-trial variability would limit the central nervous system's ability to reliably detect a stimulus, presumably affecting perceptual performance. However, if response variability were to decrease while firing rate remained constant, then neural sensitivity could improve. Here, we asked whether engagement in an auditory detection task can modulate response variability, thereby increasing neural sensitivity. We recorded telemetrically from the core auditory cortex of gerbils, both while they engaged in an amplitude-modulation detection task and while they sat quietly listening to the identical stimuli. Using a signal detection theory framework, we found that neural sensitivity was improved during task performance, and this improvement was closely associated with a decrease in response variability. Moreover, units with the greatest change in response variability had absolute neural thresholds most closely aligned with simultaneously measured perceptual thresholds. Our findings suggest that the limitations imposed by response variability diminish during task performance, thereby improving the sensitivity of neural encoding and potentially leading to better perceptual sensitivity. The detection of a sensory stimulus arises from a significant change in neural activity. However, trial-to-trial variability of the neural response may limit perceptual performance. If the neural response to a stimulus is quite variable, then the response on a given trial could be confused with the pattern of neural activity generated when the stimulus is absent. Therefore, a neural mechanism that served to reduce response variability would allow for better stimulus detection. By recording from the cortex of freely moving animals engaged in an auditory detection task, we found that variability

  6. 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

  7. Improving the performance of industrial clarifiers using three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shankhadeep Das

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sedimentation is one of the most popular wastewater treatment processes, and is used to separate solid particles from carrier fluid in settling tanks known as clarifiers. The clarifier, as the last major facility in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs, can limit or define the performance of the overall WWTP. This paper presents a novel three-dimensional unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD model to improve the efficiency of an industrial clarifier that had been experiencing underperformance and reduction in wastewater handling capacity. We propose a numerical technique to address the transient process of removing sludge from the floor of clarifiers by using rotating rakes. The CFD model was first applied to analyzing the ramifications of the current clarifier geometry on performance. The results show that the root causes for underperformance are related to the unconventional top side feed design of the clarifier, which leads to significant asymmetry in the flow distribution. The CFD model was next used to investigate various design modifications with the goal of improving the clarifier performance. A few geometry modification ideas such as an inward baffle, dissipating inlets, and a submerged skirt were found to create a more uniform flow distribution in the clarifier, significantly reducing the backflow into the feedwell and the velocity of the flow exiting the feedwell, which helps the solid particles to settle in the clarifier. These three designs were found to reduce the effluent total suspended solids (TSS by more than 80% and thus significantly improve clarifier performance. It is believed that the CFD model developed in this study can become a computationally efficient tool for investigating the performance of industrial clarifiers with complex geometries and rotating rakes.

  8. 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

  9. Improved PVDF membrane performance by doping extracellular polymeric substances of activated sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Yan-Fang; Huang, Bao-Cheng; Qian, Chen; Wang, Long-Fei; Yu, Han-Qing

    2017-04-15

    Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane has been widely applied in water and wastewater treatment because of its high mechanical strength, thermal stability and chemical resistance. However, the hydrophobic nature of PVDF membrane makes it readily fouled, substantially reducing water flux and overall membrane rejection ability. In this work, an in-situ blending modifier, i.e., extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from activated sludge, was used to enhance the anti-fouling ability of PVDF membrane. Results indicate that the pure water flux of the membrane and its anti-fouling performance were substantially improved by blending 8% EPS into the membrane. By introducing EPS, the membrane hydrophilicity was increased and the cross section morphology was changed when it interacted with polyvinl pyrrolidone, resulting in the formation of large cavities below the finger-like pores. In addition, the fraction of pores with a size of 100-500 nm increased, which was also beneficial to improving membrane performance. Surface thermodynamic calculations indicate the EPS-functionalized membrane had a higher cohesion free energy, implying its good pollutant rejection and anti-fouling ability. This work provides a simple, efficient and cost-effective method to improve membrane performance and also extends the applications of EPS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Analysis of the influence of plyometric training in improving the performance of athletes in rhythmic gymnastics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Raquel Agostini

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Rhythmic gymnastics (RG athletes need high-performance training since a high degree of precision is required in their exercises. Plyometric training (PT has been used to improve athletes' neuromuscular function, explosive performance and strength in competition. The object of this study was to assess the efficiency of PT in improving the performance of RG athletes in the juvenile and adult categories over 12 months, by incorporating PT into two training macrocycles. Thirty athletes were selected; they were divided randomly into a control group (CG and an experimental group (EG of 15 athletes each. Two 6-month training macrocycles were drawn up for the EG in which they maintained normal training with the addition of PT. The CG maintained its normal training. Three tests were used for the assessment: vertical jump, horizontal jump and agility, assessed at 5 different moments. After 12 months it was observed an improvement in test performance in both groups, with a more significant improvement in the EG when compared to the CG. The addition of PT to normal training improved the performance of athletes by developing greater power in the lower limbs, increasing their capacity in vertical jump, horizontal jump and agility.

  12. Improving working memory performance in brain-injured patients using hypnotic suggestion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindeløv, Jonas K.; Overgaard, Rikke; Overgaard, Morten

    2017-01-01

    be effectively restored by suggesting to hypnotized patients that they have regained their pre-injury level of working memory functioning. Following four 1-h sessions, 27 patients had a medium-sized improvement relative to 22 active controls (Bayes factors of 342 and 37.5 on the two aggregate outcome measures...... group was crossed over to the working memory suggestion and showed superior improvement. By the end of the study, both groups reached a performance level at or above the healthy population mean with standardized mean differences between 1.55 and 2.03 relative to the passive control group. We conclude...... that, if framed correctly, hypnotic suggestion can effectively improve working memory following acquired brain injury. The speed and consistency with which this improvement occurred, indicate that there may be a residual capacity for normal information processing in the injured brain....

  13. Strategies for Improving the Performance of Sensors Based on Organic Field-Effect Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaohan; Mao, Shun; Chen, Junhong; Huang, Jia

    2018-04-01

    Organic semiconductors (OSCs) have been extensively studied as sensing channel materials in field-effect transistors due to their unique charge transport properties. Stimulation caused by its environmental conditions can readily change the charge-carrier density and mobility of OSCs. Organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) can act as both signal transducers and signal amplifiers, which greatly simplifies the device structure. Over the past decades, various sensors based on OFETs have been developed, including physical sensors, chemical sensors, biosensors, and integrated sensor arrays with advanced functionalities. However, the performance of OFET-based sensors still needs to be improved to meet the requirements from various practical applications, such as high sensitivity, high selectivity, and rapid response speed. Tailoring molecular structures and micro/nanofilm structures of OSCs is a vital strategy for achieving better sensing performance. Modification of the dielectric layer and the semiconductor/dielectric interface is another approach for improving the sensor performance. Moreover, advanced sensory functionalities have been achieved by developing integrated device arrays. Here, a brief review of strategies used for improving the performance of OFET sensors is presented, which is expected to inspire and provide guidance for the design of future OFET sensors for various specific and practical applications. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Focused process improvement events: sustainability of impact on process and performance in an academic radiology department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenkrantz, Andrew B; Lawson, Kirk; Ally, Rosina; Chen, David; Donno, Frank; Rittberg, Steven; Rodriguez, Joan; Recht, Michael P

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate sustainability of impact of rapid, focused process improvement (PI) events on process and performance within an academic radiology department. Our department conducted PI during 2011 and 2012 in CT, MRI, ultrasound, breast imaging, and research billing. PI entailed participation by all stakeholders, facilitation by the department chair, collection of baseline data, meetings during several weeks, definition of performance metrics, creation of an improvement plan, and prompt implementation. We explore common themes among PI events regarding initial impact and durability of changes. We also assess performance in each area pre-PI, immediately post-PI, and at the time of the current study. All PI events achieved an immediate improvement in performance metrics, often entailing both examination volumes and on-time performance. IT-based solutions, process standardization, and redefinition of staff responsibilities were often central in these changes, and participants consistently expressed improved internal leadership and problem-solving ability. Major environmental changes commonly occurred after PI, including a natural disaster with equipment loss, a change in location or services offered, and new enterprise-wide electronic medical record system incorporating new billing and radiology informatics systems, requiring flexibility in the PI implementation plan. Only one PI team conducted regular post-PI follow-up meetings. Sustained improvement was frequently, but not universally, observed: in the long-term following initial PI, measures of examination volume showed continued progressive improvements, whereas measures of operational efficiency remained stable or occasionally declined. Focused PI is generally effective in achieving performance improvement, although a changing environment influences the sustainability of impact. Thus, continued process evaluation and ongoing workflow modifications are warranted. Copyright © 2015 American College of Radiology

  15. Driving forces and barriers to improved energy performance of buildings: an analysis of energy performance of Swedish buildings, 2000-2006

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fuglseth, Bente Beckstroem

    2008-06-15

    The building sector is responsible for a substantial part of energy use and green house gas emissions in Europe. This report explores driving forces and barriers to improved energy performance of buildings, using the Swedish building sector as a case. The development of energy performance of buildings in Sweden from 2000 until 2006 is explored by applying a threefold understanding of energy performance of buildings: substitution from fossil fuels to renewable energy, conversion from electrical heating to thermal energy and reduction in energy demand. Three explanatory approaches are used to analyse driving forces and barriers to improved energy performance: the techno-economic approach stresses the physical aspects of infrastructure and technologies, the institutional approach emphasizes the role of institutional factors, while the regulative approach focuses on formal rules and laws. The study concludes that all factors have promoted substitution of fossil fuels with renewable energy, while they have prevented conversion from electrical heating to thermal energy and reduction in energy demand. (author). 95 refs

  16. Efficacy of Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation to Improve Locomotor Performance in a Discordant Sensory Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temple, D. R.; De Dios, Y. E.; Layne, C. S.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.

    2016-01-01

    Astronauts exposed to microgravity face sensorimotor challenges incurred when readapting to a gravitational environment. Sensorimotor Adaptability (SA) training has been proposed as a countermeasure to improve locomotor performance during re-adaptation, and it is suggested that the benefits of SA training may be further enhanced by improving detection of weak sensory signals via mechanisms such as stochastic resonance when a non-zero level of stochastic white noise based electrical stimulation is applied to the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation, SVS). The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of using SVS to improve short-term adaptation in a sensory discordant environment during performance of a locomotor task.

  17. A performance improvement plan to increase nurse adherence to use of medication safety software.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavriloff, Carrie

    2012-08-01

    Nurses can protect patients receiving intravenous (IV) medication by using medication safety software to program "smart" pumps to administer IV medications. After a patient safety event identified inconsistent use of medication safety software by nurses, a performance improvement team implemented the Deming Cycle performance improvement methodology. The combined use of improved direct care nurse communication, programming strategies, staff education, medication safety champions, adherence monitoring, and technology acquisition resulted in a statistically significant (p < .001) increase in nurse adherence to using medication safety software from 28% to above 85%, exceeding national benchmark adherence rates (Cohen, Cooke, Husch & Woodley, 2007; Carefusion, 2011). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Clonidine improved laboratory-measured decision-making performance in abstinent heroin addicts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Li Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Impulsivity refers to a wide spectrum of actions characterized by quick and nonplanned reactions to external and internal stimuli, without taking into account the possible negative consequences for the individual or others, and decision-making is one of the biologically dissociated impulsive behaviors. Changes in impulsivity may be associated with norepinephrine. Various populations of drug addicts all performed impulsive decision making, which is a key risk factor in drug dependence and relapse. The present study investigated the effects of clonidine, which decreased norepinephrine release through presynaptic alpha-2 receptor activation, on the impaired decision-making performance in abstinent heroin addicts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Decision-making performance was assessed using the original version of Iowa Gambling Task (IGT. Both heroin addicts and normal controls were randomly assigned to three groups receiving clonidine, 0, 75 µg or 150 µg orally under double blind conditions. Psychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, depression and impulsivity, were rated on standardized scales. Heroin addicts reported higher scores on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and exhibited impaired decision-making on the IGT. A single high-dose of clonidine improved the decision-making performance in heroin addicts. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest clonidine may have a potential therapeutic role in heroin addicts by improving the impaired impulsive decision-making. The current findings have important implications for behavioral and pharmacological interventions targeting decision-making in heroin addiction.

  19. Improving the space surveillance telescope's performance using multi-hypothesis testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chris Zingarelli, J.; Cain, Stephen [Air Force Institute of Technology, 2950 Hobson Way, Bldg 641, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45433 (United States); Pearce, Eric; Lambour, Richard [Lincoln Labratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 244 Wood Street, Lexington, MA 02421 (United States); Blake, Travis [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, 675 North Randolph Street Arlington, VA 22203 (United States); Peterson, Curtis J. R., E-mail: John.Zingarelli@afit.edu [United States Air Force, 1690 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    The Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program designed to detect objects in space like near Earth asteroids and space debris in the geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) belt. Binary hypothesis test (BHT) methods have historically been used to facilitate the detection of new objects in space. In this paper a multi-hypothesis detection strategy is introduced to improve the detection performance of SST. In this context, the multi-hypothesis testing (MHT) determines if an unresolvable point source is in either the center, a corner, or a side of a pixel in contrast to BHT, which only tests whether an object is in the pixel or not. The images recorded by SST are undersampled such as to cause aliasing, which degrades the performance of traditional detection schemes. The equations for the MHT are derived in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), which is computed by subtracting the background light level around the pixel being tested and dividing by the standard deviation of the noise. A new method for determining the local noise statistics that rejects outliers is introduced in combination with the MHT. An experiment using observations of a known GEO satellite are used to demonstrate the improved detection performance of the new algorithm over algorithms previously reported in the literature. The results show a significant improvement in the probability of detection by as much as 50% over existing algorithms. In addition to detection, the S/N results prove to be linearly related to the least-squares estimates of point source irradiance, thus improving photometric accuracy.

  20. The Use of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services to Assess and Improve the Job Performance of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Madison; Wilder, David A

    2018-06-01

    The Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services (PDC-HS) is an informant-based tool designed to identify the variables responsible for performance problems. To date, the PDC-HS has not been examined with individuals with intellectual disabilities. In the current study, two supervisors with intellectual disabilities completed the PDC-HS to assess the productivity of two supervisees with disabilities who performed a pricing task in a thrift store. The PDC-HS suggested that performance deficits were due to a lack of training; a PDC-HS-indicated intervention was effective to increase accurate pricing. • The PDC-HS is an informant-based tool designed to identify the variables responsible for employee performance problems in human service settings. • The PDC-HS can be completed by some individuals with intellectual disabilities in a supervisory position to identify the variables responsible for problematic job performance among their supervisees. • A PDC-HS indicated intervention was demonstrated to be effective to improve the job performance of individuals with disabilities. • The PDC-HS may be a useful tool to support performance improvement and job maintenance among individuals with intellectual disabilities.

  1. Development of posterior hypothalamic neurons enlightens a switch in the prosencephalic basic plan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Croizier

    Full Text Available In rats and mice, ascending and descending axons from neurons producing melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH reach the cerebral cortex and spinal cord. However, these ascending and descending projections originate from distinct sub-populations expressing or not "Cocaine-and-Amphetamine-Regulated-Transcript" (CART peptide. Using a BrdU approach, MCH cell bodies are among the very first generated in the hypothalamus, within a longitudinal cell cord made of earliest delaminating neuroblasts in the diencephalon and extending from the chiasmatic region to the ventral midbrain. This region also specifically expresses the regulatory genes Sonic hedgehog (Shh and Nkx2.2. First MCH axons run through the tractus postopticus (tpoc which gathers pioneer axons from the cell cord and courses parallel to the Shh/Nkx2.2 expression domain. Subsequently generated MCH neurons and ascending MCH axons differentiate while neurogenesis and mantle layer differentiation are generalized in the prosencephalon, including telencephalon. Ascending MCH axons follow dopaminergic axons of the mesotelencephalic tract, both being an initial component of the medial forebrain bundle (mfb. Netrin1 and Slit2 proteins that are involved in the establishment of the tpoc and mfb, respectively attract or repulse MCH axons.We conclude that first generated MCH neurons develop in a diencephalic segment of a longitudinal Shh/Nkx2.2 domain. This region can be seen as a prosencephalic segment of a medial neurogenic column extending from the chiasmatic region through the ventral neural tube. However, as the telencephalon expends, it exerts a trophic action and the mfb expands, inducing a switch in the longitudinal axial organization of the prosencephalon.

  2. 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...

  3. 3D electroplated inductors with thickness variation for improved broadband performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farm-Guoo Tseng, Victor; Bedair, Sarah S.; Lazarus, Nathan

    2017-01-01

    The performance of an RF spiral inductor is based on the balance between ohmic losses in the outer turns and eddy current losses dominant in the inner turns where the magnetic field is the strongest. In this work, air-core spiral inductors with winding trace thicknesses decreasing towards the center are demonstrated, achieving quality factor improvement over a wide frequency range compared to uniform thickness inductors. A custom 3D copper electroplating process was used to produce spiral inductors with varying winding thicknesses in a single plating step, with patterned gaps in a seed layer used to create delays in the vertical plating. The fabricated center-lowered coil inductors were 80 nH within a one square millimeter area with thickness varying from 60 µm to 10 µm from outer to inner winding. Within the 16 MHz-160 MHz range, the center-lowered inductors were shown to have a maximum to minimum quality factor improvement of 90%-10% when compared to uniform thickness inductors with thicknesses ranging from 60 µm to 10 µm. Compared to the 20 µm uniform thickness inductor which has the optimal performance among all uniform thickness inductors in this frequency range, the center-lowered inductors were shown to achieve a maximum quality factor improvement of 20% at the edge frequencies of 16 MHz and 160 MHz, and a minimum quality factor improvement of 10% near the geometric mean center frequency of 46 MHz.

  4. Impact on outcome of a targeted performance improvement programme in haemodynamically unstable patients with a pelvic fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Z B; Maytham, G D; Koers, L; Bates, P; Brohi, K; Tai, N R M

    2014-08-01

    We describe the impact of a targeted performance improvement programme and the associated performance improvement interventions, on mortality rates, error rates and process of care for haemodynamically unstable patients with pelvic fractures. Clinical care and performance improvement data for 185 adult patients with exsanguinating pelvic trauma presenting to a United Kingdom Major Trauma Centre between January 2007 and January 2011 were analysed with univariate and multivariate regression and compared with National data. In total 62 patients (34%) died from their injuries and opportunities for improved care were identified in one third of deaths. Three major interventions were introduced during the study period in response to the findings. These were a massive haemorrhage protocol, a decision-making algorithm and employment of specialist pelvic orthopaedic surgeons. Interventions which improved performance were associated with an annual reduction in mortality (odds ratio 0.64 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44 to 0.93), p = 0.02), a reduction in error rates (p = 0.024) and significant improvements in the targeted processes of care. Exsanguinating patients with pelvic trauma are complex to manage and are associated with high mortality rates; implementation of a targeted performance improvement programme achieved sustained improvements in mortality, error rates and trauma care in this group of severely injured patients. ©2014 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.

  5. Improving supply chain performance : real-time demand information and flexible deliveries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shang, K.H.; Zhou, S.X.; Houtum, van G.J.J.A.N.

    2010-01-01

    In some supply chains, materials are ordered periodically according to local information. This paper investigates how to improve the performance of such a supply chain. Specifically, we consider a serial inventory system in which each stage implements a local reorder interval policy; i.e., each

  6. Improving supply chain performance : real-time demand information and responsive deliveries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shang, K.H.; Zhou, S.Y.; Houtum, van G.J.J.A.N.

    2008-01-01

    In some supply chains, materials are ordered periodically according to local information. This paper investigates how to improve the performance of such a supply chain. Specifically, we consider a serial inventory system in which each stage implements a local reorder interval policy, i.e., each

  7. Diagnostic Utility of the Social Skills Improvement System Performance Screening Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krach, S. Kathleen; McCreery, Michael P.; Wang, Ye; Mohammadiamin, Houra; Cirks, Christen K.

    2017-01-01

    Researchers investigated the diagnostic utility of the Social Skills Improvement System: Performance Screening Guide (SSIS-PSG). Correlational, regression, receiver operating characteristic (ROC), and conditional probability analyses were run to compare ratings on the SSIS-PSG subscales of Prosocial Behavior, Reading Skills, and Math Skills, to…

  8. Ready to rumble: how team personality composition and task conflict interact to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Bret H; Klotz, Anthony C; Postlethwaite, Bennett E; Brown, Kenneth G

    2013-03-01

    Although prior work has proposed a number of conditions under which task conflict in teams may improve performance, composition variables have been left unexplored. Given the effects of personality traits on team processes and outcomes demonstrated in prior work, investigating whether specific personality compositions influence the effect of task conflict on team performance is critical to researchers' understanding of conflict in teams. Our results indicate that team-level averages of both openness to experience and emotional stability function as moderators of the relationship between task conflict and team performance. Specifically, task conflict had a positive impact on performance in teams with high levels of openness or emotional stability; in contrast, task conflict had a negative impact on performance in teams with low levels of openness or emotional stability. Thus, when task conflict emerges, teams composed of members who are open minded or emotionally stable are best able to leverage conflict to improve performance. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

  9. Performance Improvement of Shunt Active Power Filter With Dual Parallel Topology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Asiminoaei, Lucian; Lascu, Cristian; Blaabjerg, Frede

    2007-01-01

    loop and the other is in a feedforward loop for harmonic compensation. Thus, both active power filters bring their own characteristic advantages, i.e., the feedback filter improves the steady-state performance of the harmonic mitigation and the feedforward filter improves the dynamic response. Another......This paper describes the control and parallel operation of two active power filters (APFs). Possible parallel operation situations of two APFs are investigated, and then the proposed topology is analyzed. The filters are coupled in a combined topology in which one filter is connected in a feedback...

  10. On improving the performance of nonphotochemical quenching in CP29 light-harvesting antenna complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, Gennady P.; Nesterov, Alexander I.; Sayre, Richard T.; Still, Susanne

    2016-03-01

    We model and simulate the performance of charge-transfer in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) in the CP29 light-harvesting antenna-complex associated with photosystem II (PSII). The model consists of five discrete excitonic energy states and two sinks, responsible for the potentially damaging processes and charge-transfer channels, respectively. We demonstrate that by varying (i) the parameters of the chlorophyll-based dimer, (ii) the resonant properties of the protein-solvent environment interaction, and (iii) the energy transfer rates to the sinks, one can significantly improve the performance of the NPQ. Our analysis suggests strategies for improving the performance of the NPQ in response to environmental changes, and may stimulate experimental verification.

  11. A Public-Private Partnership Improves Clinical Performance In A Hospital Network In Lesotho.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Nathalie; Grabowski, Aria; Jack, Brian; Nkabane-Nkholongo, Elizabeth Limakatso; Vian, Taryn

    2015-06-01

    Health care public-private partnerships (PPPs) between a government and the private sector are based on a business model that aims to leverage private-sector expertise to improve clinical performance in hospitals and other health facilities. Although the financial implications of such partnerships have been analyzed, few studies have examined the partnerships' impact on clinical performance outcomes. Using quantitative measures that reflected capacity, utilization, clinical quality, and patient outcomes, we compared a government-managed hospital network in Lesotho, Africa, and the new PPP-managed hospital network that replaced it. In addition, we used key informant interviews to help explain differences in performance. We found that the PPP-managed network delivered more and higher-quality services and achieved significant gains in clinical outcomes, compared to the government-managed network. We conclude that health care public-private partnerships may improve hospital performance in developing countries and that changes in management and leadership practices might account for differences in clinical outcomes. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  12. On the use of controls for subsonic transport performance improvement: Overview and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilyard, Glenn; Espana, Martin

    1994-01-01

    Increasing competition among airline manufacturers and operators has highlighted the issue of aircraft efficiency. Fewer aircraft orders have led to an all-out efficiency improvement effort among the manufacturers to maintain if not increase their share of the shrinking number of aircraft sales. Aircraft efficiency is important in airline profitability and is key if fuel prices increase from their current low. In a continuing effort to improve aircraft efficiency and develop an optimal performance technology base, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center developed and flight tested an adaptive performance seeking control system to optimize the quasi-steady-state performance of the F-15 aircraft. The demonstrated technology is equally applicable to transport aircraft although with less improvement. NASA Dryden, in transitioning this technology to transport aircraft, is specifically exploring the feasibility of applying adaptive optimal control techniques to performance optimization of redundant control effectors. A simulation evaluation of a preliminary control law optimizes wing-aileron camber for minimum net aircraft drag. Two submodes are evaluated: one to minimize fuel and the other to maximize velocity. This paper covers the status of performance optimization of the current fleet of subsonic transports. Available integrated controls technologies are reviewed to define approaches using active controls. A candidate control law for adaptive performance optimization is presented along with examples of algorithm operation.

  13. Intense Training as a Means to Improve Running Performance in Trained Runners and the Adaptation of Muscle Tissue

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, Casper

    compositions of intense training on performance, movement economy and muscular adaptations. The findings from the present PhD study suggest that performing intense training, in the form of speed endurance training (SET), for a relatively short period improves short and long-term performance. Both a prolonged...... period of SET as well as a period with increased frequency of SET improves short-term performance further, but a prolonged period does not extrapolate to further improved long-term performance not even if SET frequency is doubled. Short-term performance was better after 16 days of reduced training volume...... the period of increased frequency of SET, the value of combining an overload phase with tapering to improve 10-km performance is low. In line with the literature on "muscle memory", performing a second intervention of SET and a basic volume of aerobic training might have a greater impact on short-term...

  14. The role of the dopaminergic projections in MFB self-stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallistel, C R

    1986-11-01

    Psychophysical experiments indicate that the first stage of the reward pathway in medial forebrain bundle self-stimulation consists of small myelinated descending axons. Pharmacological experiments show that neuroleptics attenuate or abolish the rewarding effect. This had led to the hypothesis that the descending myelinated axons synapse on an ascending dopaminergic second stage projection. 2-Deoxy-[14C]glucose autoradiography in self-stimulating animals or animals receiving automatically administered rewarding stimulation after treatment with reward-blocking doses of pimozide reveals activation of a descending myelinated system but no stimulation-produced activation of an ascending dopaminergic projection system, even though the autoradiographic method reveals the mild elevations and depressions of activity in dopaminergic terminal fields consequent upon injections of neuroleptics and amphetamine, respectively, and the strong activation of the nigrostriatal projection produced by stimulating directly in the substantia nigra. When the effects of neuroleptics and clonidine are measured by the psychophysical method (that is, by lateral shifts in the rate-frequency function), it is found that both drugs produce only gradual and rather small attenuations of rewarding efficacy up to doses at which it is no longer possible to measure their effects. It is suggested that, for neuroleptics at least, the rewarding effect abruptly fails at these doses. It is further suggested that these drugs do not act on the rewarding pathway itself, but on the process by which the rewarding signal is converted to an enduring rewarding effect.

  15. The improvement of environmental performances by applying ISO 14001 standard: A case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Živković Snežana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the analysis of the advantages of applying ISO 14001 system in an environmental protection management system. The environmental protection management system which is not licensed, i.e., compatible with the principles and standard pre-conditions considerably increases the plausibility for ecological risk. There are some issues that remain to be solved in the areas which are not expressed by financial values only but also have a non-financial character with the aim of expanding markets, company image improvement and improvement of the environmental performance indicators. By improving a company’s environmental management system efficiency we expect to achieve the minimization and elimination of damaging influences on the environment which are the consequence of company’s activities. A case study in the Oil Refinery Belgrade (RNB analyses the implementation of the standard ISO 14001:2004 into its environment protection management system, particularly emphasizing the company’s own way of evaluating the environment aspects with the aim of establishing results of ecological performances indicators improvement. The average values of the first ecological indicator of the plant, the total amount of the waste waters in m3 per a ton of product, clearly show the downturn trend, which is confirmed by the proportional reduction of the second ecological plant indicator, that is by the flocculants consumption (Al2(SO43, Na2CO3 in kg per m3 of the waste water of the Oil Refinery of Belgrade for the given period 2008-2010. Case study RNB confirms the improvement of environmental performances using the ISO 14001 standard.

  16. Improvement of performance of the HARBEMAN house; Habiman hausu no seino kaizen ni kansuru kenkyu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saito, T. [Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Dept. of Aeronautics and Space Eng.; Fujino, T. [Mitsubishi Heavy Industires Ltd., Tokyo (Japan)

    1998-12-05

    A natural energy autonomous house (HARBEMAN house) was built in 1996 in Sendai. This house combinedly utilizes solar thermal, photovoltaic, sky radiation cooling, rainwater energies and so on. In order to utilize a lot kind of natural energies more efficiently, we will improve thermal performance of the solar collector, the sky radiator, and so on. The effect of thermal insulation, tank size, and window glazing on thermal performance will also be examined. This article reports on the improved performance of the HARBEMAN house. (author)

  17. Sleep of professional athletes: Underexploited potential to improve health and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuomilehto, Henri; Vuorinen, Ville-Pekka; Penttilä, Elina; Kivimäki, Marko; Vuorenmaa, Markus; Venojärvi, Mika; Airaksinen, Olavi; Pihlajamäki, Jussi

    2017-04-01

    Sleep disorders have become increasingly prevalent affecting health and working ability. Restorative sleep may be considered important for athletes' successful recovery and performance. However, some athletes seem to experience major problems in sleeping. Thus far, there is limited scientific information about their sleep. This study aimed to evaluate the quality of sleep and the prevalence of sleep disorders as well as the impact of a structured sleep counselling protocol in professional athletes. A total of 107 professional ice hockey players participated in the study. The exploratory observational 1-year follow-up study consisted of questionnaire-based sleep assessment followed by general sleep counselling and, when needed, polysomnography and an individual treatment plan. One in every four players was found to have a significant problem in sleeping. All athletes considered sleep essential for their health and three in every four players considered that counselling would improve their performance. Counselling and individual treatment were found to improve significantly the quality of sleep with the mean alteration of 0.6 (95% CI 0.2-1.0, P = 0.004) in a scale from 0 to 10. Our results support that sleep problems are common in professional athletes. However, systematic examination, counselling and individual treatment planning can improve the quality of their sleep.

  18. Social Skills Intervention Participation and Associated Improvements in Executive Function Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn E. Christ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication. It has been postulated that such difficulties are related to disruptions in underlying cognitive processes such as executive function. The present study examined potential changes in executive function performance associated with participation in the Social Competence Intervention (SCI program, a short-term intervention designed to improve social competence in adolescents with ASD. Laboratory behavioral performance measures were used to separately evaluate potential intervention-related changes in individual executive function component processes (i.e., working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility in a sample of 22 adolescents with ASD both before and after intervention. For comparison purposes, a demographically matched sample of 14 individuals without ASD was assessed at identical time intervals. Intervention-related improvements were observed on the working memory task, with gains evident in spatial working memory and, to a slightly lesser degree, verbal working memory. Significant improvements were also found for a working memory-related aspect of the task switching test (i.e., mixing costs. Taken together, these findings provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that participation in the SCI program is accompanied by changes in underlying neurocognitive processes such as working memory.

  19. Performance improvement of developed program by using multi-thread technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surasak Jabal

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This research presented how to use a multi-thread programming technique to improve the performance of a program written by Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF. The Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI software, named GAME24, was selected to use as a case study. This study composed of two main parts. The first part was about design and modification of the program structure upon the Object Oriented Programing (OOP approach. The second part was about coding the program using the multi-thread technique which the number of threads were based on the calculated Catalan number. The result showed that the multi-thread programming technique increased the performance of the program 44%-88% compared to the single-thread technique. In addition, it has been found that the number of cores in the CPU also increase the performance of multithreaded program proportionally.

  20. Improved nondominant hand performance on a laparoscopic virtual reality simulator after playing the Nintendo Wii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, Kellie K; Hamilton, Travis; Tsai, Pei-Chien; Middleton, Dana B; Falcone, John L; Hamad, Giselle

    2013-11-01

    Video games have been shown to improve eye-hand coordination, spatial visualization, manual dexterity, and rapid mental processing, which are important in the acquisition of laparoscopic skills. This study investigated the relationship between playing Nintendo(®) Wii™ and virtual reality (VR) laparoscopic surgery simulator performance. We hypothesized that playing the Wii would improve surgical skills performance on a VR laparoscopic simulator and hoped to elucidate which tasks, in particular, would be most beneficial for nondominant hand training. This was a single-blinded, randomized, prospective study conducted with 23 student volunteers. VR laparoscopic skills were assessed at baseline on a Simbionix LapMentor™ Surgical Simulator (Simbionix Ltd., Israel) and after the gaming period of 2 weeks. Simulator performance metrics were compared between groups using nonparametric statistics and an alpha of 0.05. Compared with the control group, the Wii-playing group demonstrated greater improvement of six measures, including accuracy on the eye-hand coordination task (p = 0.04), faster completion time (p = 0.04), decreased number of left-handed movements (p = 0.03), decreased left handed total path length (p = 0.03), decreased total number of grasping attempts (p = 0.04), and improved left-handed economy of movement (p = 0.05) for the bimanual clipping and grasping task. When comparing the number of measures improved upon by the Wii-playing group and the control group for all three tasks, the Wii-playing group consistently outperformed the control group in 18 measures compared with the control group's improvement in 6. This study further characterizes the association between video game playing and surgical performance. Improvements following the intervention were made in the most basic of surgical skills, most notably with the nondominant hand, suggesting that short-term playing of the Wii could improve bimanual dexterity and expedite the acquisition of basic

  1. Improving Asphalt Mixtures Performance by Mitigating Oxidation Using Anti-Oxidants Additives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dessouky, Samer; Diaz, Manuel

    Polymer modified additives are typically used to improve rheological properties of asphalt binder as well as mechanical properties of asphalt concrete mix. In this study, polymer-modified binder PG70-22 is mixing with two co-polymers enhanced with anti-oxidant agents namely; Solution Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SSBR) and Solution Ethylene-Butylene/Styrene (SEBS). The objective of this study is to characterize the effect of those additives into the rheological properties of the asphalt binder using temperature sweep test and mechanical properties of asphalt mixes. The aging index is determined to evaluate the role of additives to reduce brittleness after aging of the binder. The performance of asphalt mixes were characterized by Hamburg Wheel Tracking Test for moisture damage, Beam Fatigue Test for fatigue properties and Flow Number Test for rutting performance. It is found that the asphalt mixes with enhanced binders are improving its rutting and moisture resistance but decreased its fatigue life compared to the control mix.

  2. Virtual airway simulation to improve dexterity among novices performing fibreoptic intubation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira, G S; Glassenberg, R; Chang, R; Fitzgerald, P; McCarthy, R J

    2013-10-01

    We developed a virtual reality software application (iLarynx) using built-in accelerometer properties of the iPhone(®) or iPad(®) (Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA, USA) that mimics hand movements for the performance of fibreoptic skills. Twenty novice medical students were randomly assigned to virtual airway training with the iLarynx software or no additional training. Eight out of the 10 subjects in the standard training group had at least one failed (> 120 s) attempt compared with two out of the 10 participants in the iLarynx group (p = 0.01). There were a total of 24 failed attempts in the standard training group and four in the iLarynx group (p < 0.005). Cusum analysis demonstrated continued group improvement in the iLarynx, but not in the standard training group. Virtual airway simulation using freely available software on a smartphone/tablet device improves dexterity among novices performing upper airway endoscopy. © 2013 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

  3. Improving Consumer Decisions: The Conscious Use of Primes as Performance Enhancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Nicolao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Through this article we examine ways through which consumers can take advantage of marketers’ priming attempts and make better decisions. Specifically, we investigate what happens when individuals are made aware of primes that may potentially improve their performance. Using an Embedded Figures Test, we demonstrate that individuals can be consciously primed into an analytic thinking mindset and perform better when they believe that the prime will enhance performance. Individuals are able to successfully ignore the prime when they believe that the prime hinders performance. Utilizing both holistic and analytic primes and by alternating the valence of the prime’s potential outcome, we are able to disentangle the conscious effects of primes from demand effects. We discuss how these findings may lead to and suggest avenues for future research.

  4. Adding propensity scores to pure prediction models fails to improve predictive performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy S. Nowacki

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background. Propensity score usage seems to be growing in popularity leading researchers to question the possible role of propensity scores in prediction modeling, despite the lack of a theoretical rationale. It is suspected that such requests are due to the lack of differentiation regarding the goals of predictive modeling versus causal inference modeling. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to formally examine the effect of propensity scores on predictive performance. Our hypothesis is that a multivariable regression model that adjusts for all covariates will perform as well as or better than those models utilizing propensity scores with respect to model discrimination and calibration.Methods. The most commonly encountered statistical scenarios for medical prediction (logistic and proportional hazards regression were used to investigate this research question. Random cross-validation was performed 500 times to correct for optimism. The multivariable regression models adjusting for all covariates were compared with models that included adjustment for or weighting with the propensity scores. The methods were compared based on three predictive performance measures: (1 concordance indices; (2 Brier scores; and (3 calibration curves.Results. Multivariable models adjusting for all covariates had the highest average concordance index, the lowest average Brier score, and the best calibration. Propensity score adjustment and inverse probability weighting models without adjustment for all covariates performed worse than full models and failed to improve predictive performance with full covariate adjustment.Conclusion. Propensity score techniques did not improve prediction performance measures beyond multivariable adjustment. Propensity scores are not recommended if the analytical goal is pure prediction modeling.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. The Parallel Algorithm Based on Genetic Algorithm for Improving the Performance of Cognitive Radio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Miao

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The intercarrier interference (ICI problem of cognitive radio (CR is severe. In this paper, the machine learning algorithm is used to obtain the optimal interference subcarriers of an unlicensed user (un-LU. Masking the optimal interference subcarriers can suppress the ICI of CR. Moreover, the parallel ICI suppression algorithm is designed to improve the calculation speed and meet the practical requirement of CR. Simulation results show that the data transmission rate threshold of un-LU can be set, the data transmission quality of un-LU can be ensured, the ICI of a licensed user (LU is suppressed, and the bit error rate (BER performance of LU is improved by implementing the parallel suppression algorithm. The ICI problem of CR is solved well by the new machine learning algorithm. The computing performance of the algorithm is improved by designing a new parallel structure and the communication performance of CR is enhanced.

  9. Improving coal mining production performance through the application of total production management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Emery, J.C. [Devman Consulting Pty Ltd. (Australia)

    1998-12-31

    This paper describes the application of the Total Productive Management (TPM) technique as a performance improvement initiative for a coal mining operation. It discusses the objectives of TPM, with the driver for improved production performance being the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of the equipment or process, and with the development of ownership as the behavioral approach to equipment management and continuous improvement through cross-functional and area-based teams. It illustrates the concept of equipment management as defects management. The scope for application of TPM to the coal mining industry is immense. The harshness of the operating environment can be a major generator of equipment defects, and a current paradigm in the industry accepts these defects as an unavoidable outcome defining maintenance costs in this environment. However recent benchmarking studies have highlighted that maintenance costs per operating hour in some mining operations are more than double the vendor`s estimate of best practice. The paper refers to these studies which also compare maintenance costs of fixed and mobile plant and equipment to best practice outcomes in comparable process industries. The ultimate goal of any operating strategy must be to translate results to the bottom line through adding revenue from increased volume and quality of operations output, better safety performance, and reducing costs of production through lower operating and maintenance costs. These lower costs result from removal of defects generators, improved maintenance planning, and identification and reduction of hidden operating costs resulting from poor equipment maintenance. Finally the paper outlines the minesite procedures required for successful implementation of TPM to sustain these desired results for all stakeholders. 3 refs., 6 figs.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Nanofiber reinforcement of a geopolymer matrix for improved composite materials mechanical performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, AKM Samsur

    Geopolymers have the potential to cross the process performance gap between polymer matrix and ceramic matrix composites (CMC), enabling high temperature capable composites that are manufactured at relatively low temperatures. Unfortunately, the inherently low toughness of these geopolymers limits the performance of the resulting fiber reinforced geopolymer matrix composites. Toughness improvements in composites can be addressed through the adjustments in the fiber/matrix interfacial strength and through the improvements in the inherent toughness of the constituent materials. This study investigates the potential to improve the inherent toughness of the geopolymer matrix material through the addition of nanofillers, by considering physical dimensions, mechanical properties, reinforcing capability and interfacial bond strength effects. A process optimization study was first undertaken to develop the ability to produce consistent, neat geopolymer samples, a critical precursor to producing nano-filled geopolymer for toughness evaluation. After that, single edge notched bend beam fracture toughness and un-notched beam flexural strength were evaluated for silicon carbide, alumina and carbon nanofillers reinforced geopolymer samples treated at various temperatures in reactive and inert environments. Toughness results of silicon carbide and carbon nanofillers reinforced geopolymers suggested that with the improved baseline properties, high aspect ratio nanofillers with high interfacial bond strength are the most capable in further improving the toughness of geopolymers. Among the high aspect ratio nanofillers i.e. nanofibers, 2vol% silicon carbide whicker (SCW) showed the highest improvement in fracture toughness and flexural strength of ~164% & ~185%, respectively. After heat treatment at 650 °C, SCW reinforcement was found to be effective, with little reduction in the performance, while the performance of alumina nanofiber (ANF) reinforced geopolymer significantly

  15. Improving public sector performance by strenghtening the relationship between audit and accounting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelina DUMITRESCU

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available If twenty years ago the financial activities of any Romanian enterprise were the sole responsibility of the accountant, nowadays the relationships of the economical entities within theirselves and with their environment are too complex to be handled just by accounting departments. Around accounting there have appeared a significant number of activities like Controlling and Auditing which are meant to link Accounting with the strategic management. In this regard the paper approaches the relationship between internal public audit and accounting which improves decisions making process in public sector. The research methodology aims to study these relationships and determine how they can work to the benefit of increasing public sector performance. The conclusions of the research shape aspects of accounting and auditing improvement as main strategic components for insuring performance in the public sector.

  16. Improvements to optical performance in diffractive elements used for off-axis illumination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, Kevin; Fedor, Adam; Felder, Daniel; Childers, John; Emig, Tim

    2009-08-01

    As photolithographic tools are pressed to print the ever shrinking features required in today's devices, complex off-axis illumination is taking an ever increasing role in meeting this challenge. This, in turn, is driving tighter, more stringent requirements on the diffractive elements used in these illumination systems. Specifically, any imbalance in the poles of an off-axis illuminator will contribute to reductions in the ultimate imaging performance of a lithographic tool and increased complexity in tool-to-tool matching. The article will focus on improvements to the manufacturing process that achieve substantially better pole balance. The modeling of the possible process contributors will be discussed. Challenges resulting from the manufacturing methodology will be shared. Finally, the improvement in manufacturing process performance will be reported by means of a pole balance capability index.

  17. HANDBOOK OF SOCCER MATCH ANALYSIS: A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO IMPROVING PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Carling

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available DESCRIPTION This book addresses and appropriately explains the soccer match analysis, looks at the very latest in match analysis research, and at the innovative technologies used by professional clubs. This handbook is also bridging the gap between research, theory and practice. The methods in it can be used by coaches, sport scientists and fitness coaches to improve: styles of play, technical ability and physical fitness; objective feedback to players; the development of specific training routines; use of available notation software, video analysis and manual systems; and understanding of current academic research in soccer notational analysis. PURPOSE The aim is to provide a prepared manual on soccer match analysis in general for coaches and sport scientists. Thus, the professionals in this field would gather objective data on the players and the team, which in turn could be used by coaches and players to learn more about performance as a whole and gain a competitive advantage as a result. The book efficiently meets these objectives. AUDIENCE The book is targeted the athlete, the coach, the sports scientist professional or any sport conscious person who wishes to analyze relevant soccer performance. The editors and the contributors are authorities in their respective fields and this handbook depend on their extensive experience and knowledge accumulated over the years. FEATURES The book demonstrates how a notation system can be established to produce data to analyze and improve performance in soccer. It is composed of 9 chapters which present the information in an order that is considered logical and progressive as in most texts. Chapter headings are: 1. Introduction to Soccer Match Analysis, 2. Developing a Manual Notation System, 3. Video and Computerized Match Analysis Technology, 4. General Advice on Analyzing Match Performance, 5. Analysis and Presentation of the Results, 6. Motion Analysis and Consequences for Training, 7. What Match

  18. Does electronic health record use improve hospital financial performance? Evidence from panel data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collum, Taleah H; Menachemi, Nir; Sen, Bisakha

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the impact of electronic health record (EHR) adoption on hospital financial performance. We constructed a longitudinal panel using data from the three secondary sources: (a) the 2007-2010 American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey, (b) the 2007-2010 AHA Annual Survey Information Technology Supplement, and (c) the 2007-2011 Medicare Cost Reports from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Because potential financial benefits attributable to EHR adoption may take some time to accrue, we ran regressions with lags of 1 and 2 years that included hospital and year fixed effects to examine the relationship between the level of EHR adoption and three hospital financial performance measures. A change in the level of EHR adoption was not associated with changes in operating margin or return on assets within hospitals. However, total margin was significantly improved, after 2 years, in hospitals that moved from no EHR to having a comprehensive EHR in all areas of their hospital (β = 0.030, p financial performance measures examined. The improvements in total margin, as opposed to operating margin, are likely due to hospital incentive payments under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act that are reflected in nonpatient revenues and therefore show up in total margin calculations. Thus, after 2 years of EHR adoption, hospital financial performance is observed to improve based only on meaningful use incentive payments. More research will be needed to determine whether EHR adoption impacts financial performance on a longer time horizon.

  19. Experience measuring performance improvement in multiphase picture archiving and communications systems implementations

    OpenAIRE

    Reed, Gary; Reed, Deborah Hobe

    1999-01-01

    When planning a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) implementation and determining which equipment will be implemented in earlier and later phases, collection and analysis of selected data will aid in setting implementation priorities. If baseline data are acquired relative to performance objectives, the same information used for implementation planning can be used to measure performance improvement and outcomes. The main categories of data to choose from are: (1) financial dat...

  20. Use Deflected Trailing Edge to Improve the Aerodynamic Performance and Develop Low Solidity LPT Cascade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Li; Peigang, Yan; Xiangfeng, Wang; Wanjin, Han; Qingchao, Wang

    2017-08-01

    This paper investigates the feasibility of improving the aerodynamic performance of low pressure turbine (LPT) blade cascades and developing low solidity LPT blade cascades through deflected trailing edge. A deflected trailing edge improved aerodynamic performance of both LPT blade cascades and low solidity LPT blade cascades. For standard solidity LPT cascades, deflecting the trailing edge can decrease the energy loss coefficient by 20.61 % for a Reynolds number (Re) of 25,000 and freestream turbulence intensities (FSTI) of 1 %. For a low solidity LPT cascade, aerodynamic performance was also improved by deflecting the trailing edge. Solidity of the LPT cascade can be reduced by 12.5 % for blades with a deflected trailing edge without a drop in efficiency. Here, the flow control mechanism surrounding a deflected trailing edge was also revealed.

  1. Improvement of cavity performance in the Saclay/Cornell/DESY's SC cavities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kako, E.; Noguchi, S.; Ono, M.

    2000-01-01

    Development of 1.3 GHz Nb superconducting cavities for TESLA (TeV Energy Superconducting Linear Collider) has been carried out with international collaboration. Three Saclay single-cell cavities, one Cornell two-cell cavity and one DESY nine-cell cavity were sent to KEK in order to compare the cavity performance. These cavities were tested at KEK after the following surface treatment: 1) high pressure rinsing, HPR, 2) chemical polishing and HPR, 3) electropolishing and HPR. The test results, especially, improvement of the cavity performance due to electropolishing are reported in this paper. (author)

  2. Improved dental implant drill durability and performance using heat and wear resistant protective coatings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Er, Nilay; Alkan, Alper; İlday, Serim; Bengu, Erman

    2018-03-02

    Dental implant drilling procedure is an essential step for implant surgery and frictional heat appeared in bone during drilling is a key factor affecting the success of an implant. The aim of this study is to increase the dental implant drill lifetime and performance using heat- and wear-resistant protective coatings hence to decrease the alveolar bone temperature caused by the dental implant drilling procedure. Commercially obtained stainless steel drills were coated with titanium aluminum nitride, diamond-like carbon, titanium boron nitride, and boron nitride coatings via magnetron-sputter deposition. Drilling procedure was performed on a bovine femoral cortical bone under the conditions mimicking clinical practice, where the tests were performed both under water-assisted cooling and under the conditions without any cooling was applied. Coated drill performances and durabilities were compared to that of three commonly used commercial drills which surfaces are made from namely; zirconia, black diamond and stainless steel. Protective coatings with boron nitride, titanium boron nitride and diamond-like carbon have significantly improved drill performance and durability. Especially boron nitride-coated drills have performed within safe bone temperature limits for 50 drillings even without any cooling is applied. Titanium aluminium nitride coated drills did not show any improvement over commercially obtained stainless steel drills. Surface modification using heat and wear resistant coatings is an easy and highly effective way to improve implant drill performance and durability, which can reflect positively on surgical procedure and healing period afterwards. The noteworthy success of different types of coatings is novel and likely to be applicable to various other medical systems.

  3. HUMAN RESOURCES EMPOWERMENT, WORKING MOTIVATION AND ORGANIZATION CHANGE IN IMPROVING HOTEL BUSINESS PERFORMANCE IN BALI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gusti Kade Sutawa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to test and analyze impact of human resource development on working motivation of hotel business workers in Bali, impact of human resource development on organizational changes of hotel business in Bali, impact of human resource development on the performance of hotel business in Bali, impact of working motivation against organizational changes in hotel business in Bali, impact of working motivation on the organizations performance of the hotel business in Bali, and impact of organizational changes against organizations performance of the hotel business in Bali. There were 170 respondents of star-rated hotel employees which were selected through purposive sampling technique. Structural Equation Modeling with the application Analysis of Moment Structure was used to analyze the data. The results show that empowerment of human resources (HR has positive and significant impact on working motivation, organizational changes, and the organization performance of hotel business in Bali, working motivation has positive and significant impact on organizational changes and the organization performance of hotel business in Bali and organizational changes have significant and positive impact on the organization performance of hotel business in Bali. Empowerment variables have the most powerful impact to support the improvement of organizational performance, followed by organizational changes and working motivation variables. The results indicate that human resource empowerment improves the performance of the hotel business in Bali. Therefore, human resource development need to be prioritized in order to improve organizational performance of star hotels in Bali.

  4. Experimental studies on improvement of coefficient of performance of window air conditioning unit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tharves Mohideen Sheik Ismail

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the performance analysis of a window air conditioner unit incorporated with wick less loop heat pipes (WLHP. The WLHP are located on the evaporator side of the air conditioning unit. The working medium for the WLHP is R134a refrigerant gas, an alternate refrigerant. The supply and return humidity of room air, the heat removal rat, and the coefficient of performance of the unit are analyzed for various ambient and room temperatures before and after incorporation of WLHP. The performance curves are drawn by comparing the power consumption and humidity collection rates for various room and ambient temperatures. The results show that coefficient of performance of the unit is improved by 18% to 20% after incorporation of WLHP due to pre-cooling of return air by WLHP, which reduces the thermal load on compressor. Similarly, the energy consumption is reduced by 20% to 25% due to higher thermostat setting and the humidity collection is improved by 35% due to pre-cooling effect of WLHP. The results are tabulated and conclusion drawn is presented based on the performance.

  5. Low-Arousal Speech Noise Improves Performance in N-Back Task: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dandan; Jin, Yi; Luo, Yuejia

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between noise and human performance is a crucial topic in ergonomic research. However, the brain dynamics of the emotional arousal effects of background noises are still unclear. The current study employed meaningless speech noises in the n-back working memory task to explore the changes of event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by the noises with low arousal level vs. high arousal level. We found that the memory performance in low arousal condition were improved compared with the silent and the high arousal conditions; participants responded more quickly and had larger P2 and P3 amplitudes in low arousal condition while the performance and ERP components showed no significant difference between high arousal and silent conditions. These findings suggested that the emotional arousal dimension of background noises had a significant influence on human working memory performance, and that this effect was independent of the acoustic characteristics of noises (e.g., intensity) and the meaning of speech materials. The current findings improve our understanding of background noise effects on human performance and lay the ground for the investigation of patients with attention deficits. PMID:24204607

  6. An innovative fuel design concept for improved Light Water Reactor performance and safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tulenko, J.S.; Connell, R.G.

    1993-01-01

    The primary goal of this research is to develop a new fuel design which will have improved thermal/mechanical performance characteristics greatly superior to current thermal and mechanical design performance. The mechanical/thermal constraints define the lifetime of the fuel, the maximum power at which the fuel can be operated, the probability of fuel failure over core lifetime, and the integrity of a core during a transient excursion. The thermal/mechanical limits act to degrade fuel integrity when they are violated. The purpose of this project is to investigate a novel design for light water reactor fuel which will extend fuel performance limits and improve reactor safety even further than is currently achieved. This project is investigating liquid metal bonding of LWR fuel in order to radically decrease fuel centerline temperatures which has major performance and safety benefits. The project will verify the compatibility of the liquid metal bond with both the fuel pellets and cladding material, verify the performance enhancement features of the new design over the fuel lifetime, and verify the economic fabricability of the concept and will show how this concept will benefit the LWR nuclear industry

  7. Low-arousal speech noise improves performance in N-back task: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Longzhu; Liu, Yunzhe; Zhang, Dandan; Jin, Yi; Luo, Yuejia

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between noise and human performance is a crucial topic in ergonomic research. However, the brain dynamics of the emotional arousal effects of background noises are still unclear. The current study employed meaningless speech noises in the n-back working memory task to explore the changes of event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by the noises with low arousal level vs. high arousal level. We found that the memory performance in low arousal condition were improved compared with the silent and the high arousal conditions; participants responded more quickly and had larger P2 and P3 amplitudes in low arousal condition while the performance and ERP components showed no significant difference between high arousal and silent conditions. These findings suggested that the emotional arousal dimension of background noises had a significant influence on human working memory performance, and that this effect was independent of the acoustic characteristics of noises (e.g., intensity) and the meaning of speech materials. The current findings improve our understanding of background noise effects on human performance and lay the ground for the investigation of patients with attention deficits.

  8. Low-arousal speech noise improves performance in N-back task: an ERP study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Longzhu Han

    Full Text Available The relationship between noise and human performance is a crucial topic in ergonomic research. However, the brain dynamics of the emotional arousal effects of background noises are still unclear. The current study employed meaningless speech noises in the n-back working memory task to explore the changes of event-related potentials (ERPs elicited by the noises with low arousal level vs. high arousal level. We found that the memory performance in low arousal condition were improved compared with the silent and the high arousal conditions; participants responded more quickly and had larger P2 and P3 amplitudes in low arousal condition while the performance and ERP components showed no significant difference between high arousal and silent conditions. These findings suggested that the emotional arousal dimension of background noises had a significant influence on human working memory performance, and that this effect was independent of the acoustic characteristics of noises (e.g., intensity and the meaning of speech materials. The current findings improve our understanding of background noise effects on human performance and lay the ground for the investigation of patients with attention deficits.

  9. Training and Performance Improvement Professionals' Perspectives on Ethical Challenges during Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chyung, Seung Youn; Winiecki, Donald J.; Downing, Jessica L.

    2010-01-01

    Ethical concerns are rising in the business world. With this in mind, training and performance improvement practitioners, especially during evaluation projects, should be aware of principles and codes of ethics, and their behaviors and decisions should reflect the standards recognized by members of the professional society. A study was conducted…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Incentive Design and Quality Improvements: Evidence from State Medicaid Nursing Home Pay-for-Performance Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konetzka, R Tamara; Skira, Meghan M; Werner, Rachel M

    2018-01-01

    Pay-for-performance (P4P) programs have become a popular policy tool aimed at improving health care quality. We analyze how incentive design affects quality improvements in the nursing home setting, where several state Medicaid agencies have implemented P4P programs that vary in incentive structure. Using the Minimum Data Set and the Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting data from 2001 to 2009, we examine how the weights put on various performance measures that are tied to P4P bonuses, such as clinical outcomes, inspection deficiencies, and staffing levels, affect improvements in those measures. We find larger weights on clinical outcomes often lead to larger improvements, but small weights can lead to no improvement or worsening of some clinical outcomes. We find a qualifier for P4P eligibility based on having few or no severe inspection deficiencies is more effective at decreasing inspection deficiencies than using weights, suggesting simple rules for participation may incent larger improvement.

  13. Low-Complexity Interference-Free Downlink Channel Assignment with Improved Performance in Coordinated Small Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Radaydeh, Redha M.

    2015-05-01

    This paper proposes a low-complexity interference-free channel assignment scheme with improved desired downlink performance in coordinated multi-antenna small-coverage access points (APs) that employ the open-access control strategy. The adopted system treats the case when each user can be granted an access to one of the available channels at a time. Moreover, each receive terminal can suppress a limited number of resolvable interfering sources via its highly-correlated receive array. On the other hand, the operation of the deployed APs can be coordinated to serve active users, and the availability of multiple physical channels and the use of uncorrelated transmit antennas at each AP are exploited to improve the performance of supported users. The analysis provides new approaches to use the transmit antenna array at each AP, the multiple physical channels, the receive antenna array at each user in order to identify interference-free channels per each user, and then to select a downlink channel that provides the best possible improved performance. The event of concurrent interference-free channel identification by different users is also treated to further improve the desired link associated with the scheduled user. The analysis considers the practical scenario of imperfect identification of interference-free channel by an active user and/or the imperfectness in scheduling concurrent users requests on the same channel. The developed formulations can be used to study any performance metric and they are applicable for any statistical and geometric channel models. © 2015 IEEE.

  14. Catalytic performance improvement of styrene hydrogenation in trickle bed reactor by using periodic operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wongkia, Atittahn; Praserthdam, Piyasan; Assabumrungrat, Suttichai; Suriye, Kongkiat; Nonkhamwong, Anuwat

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the catalytic performance improvement of styrene hydrogenation in a trickle bed reactor by using periodic operation. The effects of cycle period and split on relative conversion, which is defined as styrene conversion obtained from periodic operation over that from steady state operation, were examined at various operating conditions including gas and average liquid flow rates, pressure and temperature. The experimental results reveal that both cycle period and split have strong influence on the catalytic performance. The fast mode (short cycle period) is a favorable condition. The improvement by the periodic operation becomes less pronounced for operations at high average liquid flow rate, pressure and temperature. From this study, a maximum improvement of styrene conversion of 18% is observed

  15. Catalytic performance improvement of styrene hydrogenation in trickle bed reactor by using periodic operation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wongkia, Atittahn; Praserthdam, Piyasan; Assabumrungrat, Suttichai [Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (Thailand); Suriye, Kongkiat; Nonkhamwong, Anuwat [SCG Chemicals Co. Ltd., Bangkok (Thailand)

    2013-03-15

    We investigated the catalytic performance improvement of styrene hydrogenation in a trickle bed reactor by using periodic operation. The effects of cycle period and split on relative conversion, which is defined as styrene conversion obtained from periodic operation over that from steady state operation, were examined at various operating conditions including gas and average liquid flow rates, pressure and temperature. The experimental results reveal that both cycle period and split have strong influence on the catalytic performance. The fast mode (short cycle period) is a favorable condition. The improvement by the periodic operation becomes less pronounced for operations at high average liquid flow rate, pressure and temperature. From this study, a maximum improvement of styrene conversion of 18% is observed.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Improving Large-scale Storage System Performance via Topology-aware and Balanced Data Placement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Feiyi [ORNL; Oral, H Sarp [ORNL; Vazhkudai, Sudharshan S [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    With the advent of big data, the I/O subsystems of large-scale compute clusters are becoming a center of focus, with more applications putting greater demands on end-to-end I/O performance. These subsystems are often complex in design. They comprise of multiple hardware and software layers to cope with the increasing capacity, capability and scalability requirements of data intensive applications. The sharing nature of storage resources and the intrinsic interactions across these layers make it to realize user-level, end-to-end performance gains a great challenge. We propose a topology-aware resource load balancing strategy to improve per-application I/O performance. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm on an extreme-scale compute cluster, Titan, at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). Our experiments with both synthetic benchmarks and a real-world application show that, even under congestion, our proposed algorithm can improve large-scale application I/O performance significantly, resulting in both the reduction of application run times and higher resolution simulation runs.

  20. Meandered Monopoles for 700 MHz LTE Handsets and Improved MIMO Channel Capacity Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Dioum

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present the design and the measurement of MIMO meandered monopole antennas and the computation of their channel capacity performance. The initial proposed handset-system is composed of a meandered monopole operating in the LTE 700 MHz band, connected to a parasitic radiating element for the upper 2.5 GHz LTE band. Two antennas of the same kind are then closely positioned on the same 120x50 mm2 Printed Circuit Board (PCB. A neutralization line connects the two antennas to enhance their port-to-port isolation in the 700 MHz band. The computation of the channel capacity performance in this band is based on propagation simulations performed with the GRIMM model from the CREMANT. Two system-prototypes are evaluated: one with the neutralization line for enhanced port-to-port isolation and a second without the neutralization exhibiting poor antenna-to-antenna isolation. It is demonstrated that the neutralization technique helps in giving a minimum improvement of 12% of the capacity performance of the handset-system, and a maximum improvement 46%, in the chosen environment.

  1. Sense of agency in continuous action: Assistance-induced performance improvement is self-attributed even with knowledge of assistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Kazuya; Takeda, Yuji; Kimura, Motohiro

    2017-02-01

    In a task involving continuous action to achieve a goal, the sense of agency increases with an improvement in task performance that is induced by unnoticed computer assistance. This study investigated how explicit instruction about the existence of computer assistance affects the increase of sense of agency that accompanies performance improvement. Participants performed a continuous action task in which they controlled the direction of motion of a dot to a goal by pressing keys. When instructions indicated the absence of assistance, the sense of agency increased with performance improvement induced by computer assistance, replicating previous findings. Interestingly, this increase of sense of agency was also observed even when instructions indicated the presence of assistance. These results suggest that even when a plausible cause of performance improvement other than one's own action exists, the improvement can be misattributed to one's own control of action, resulting in an increased sense of agency. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Can action research strengthen district health management and improve health workforce performance? A research protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mshelia, C; Huss, R; Mirzoev, T; Elsey, H; Baine, S O; Aikins, M; Kamuzora, P; Bosch-Capblanch, X; Raven, J; Wyss, K; Green, A; Martineau, T

    2013-08-30

    The single biggest barrier for countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to scale up the necessary health services for addressing the three health-related Millennium Development Goals and achieving Universal Health Coverage is the lack of an adequate and well-performing health workforce. This deficit needs to be addressed both by training more new health personnel and by improving the performance of the existing and future health workforce. However, efforts have mostly been focused on training new staff and less on improving the performance of the existing health workforce. The purpose of this paper is to disseminate the protocol for the PERFORM project and reflect on the key challenges encountered during the development of this methodology and how they are being overcome. The overall aim of the PERFORM project is to identify ways of strengthening district management in order to address health workforce inadequacies by improving health workforce performance in SSA. The study will take place in three districts each in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda using an action research approach. With the support of the country research teams, the district health management teams (DHMTs) will lead on planning, implementation, observation, reflection and redefinition of the activities in the study. Taking into account the national and local human resource (HR) and health systems (HS) policies and practices already in place, 'bundles' of HR/HS strategies that are feasible within the context and affordable within the districts' budget will be developed by the DHMTs to strengthen priority areas of health workforce performance. A comparative analysis of the findings from the three districts in each country will add new knowledge on the effects of these HR/HS bundles on DHMT management and workforce performance and the impact of an action research approach on improving the effectiveness of the DHMTs in implementing these interventions. Different challenges were faced during the development of

  4. Auditory-cognitive training improves language performance in prelingually deafened cochlear implant recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingvalson, Erin M; Young, Nancy M; Wong, Patrick C M

    2014-10-01

    Phonological and working memory skills have been shown to be important for the development of spoken language. Children who use a cochlear implant (CI) show performance deficits relative to normal hearing (NH) children on all constructs: phonological skills, working memory, and spoken language. Given that phonological skills and working memory have been shown to be important for spoken language development in NH children, we hypothesized that training these foundational skills would result in improved spoken language performance in CI-using children. Nineteen prelingually deafened CI-using children aged 4- to 7-years-old participated. All children had been using their implants for at least one year and were matched on pre-implant hearing thresholds, hearing thresholds at study enrollment, and non-verbal IQ. Children were assessed on expressive vocabulary, listening language, spoken language, and composite language. Ten children received four weeks of training on phonological skills including rhyme, sound blending, and sound discrimination and auditory working memory. The remaining nine children continued with their normal classroom activities for four weeks. Language assessments were repeated following the training/control period. Children who received combined phonological-working memory training showed significant gains on expressive and composite language scores. Children who did not receive training showed no significant improvements at post-test. On average, trained children had gain scores of 6.35 points on expressive language and gain scores of 6.15 points whereas the untrained children had test-retest gain scores of 2.89 points for expressive language and 2.56 for composite language. Our results suggest that training to improve the phonological and working memory skills in CI-using children may lead to improved language performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. School-based sleep education program improves sleep and academic performance of school-age children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Reut; Somerville, Gail; Bergmame, Lana; Fontil, Laura; Paquin, Soukaina

    2016-05-01

    The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based sleep education program aimed at improving the sleep and academic performance of school-age children. Using a community-based participatory research approach, we created a school-based sleep education program, "Sleep for Success"™ (SFS), composed of four distinct modules that addressed the children, their family and community, the school staff, and decision makers within the school setting. Implementation was carried out in three elementary schools. Seventy-one students participated in the evaluation of the program. The effectiveness of the SFS program was evaluated using non-randomized controlled before-and-after study groups (intervention and control) assessed over two time points (pre- and post-program implementation). Before (baseline) and after implementation, sleep and academic performance were measured using actigraphy and report card marks, respectively. In the intervention group, true sleep was extended by 18.2 min per night, sleep efficiency improved by 2.3%, and sleep latency was shortened by 2.3 min, and report card grades in mathematics and English improved significantly. No changes were noted in the control group. Participation in the sleep education program was associated with significant improvements in children's sleep and academic performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. HIT maintains performance during the transition period and improves next season performance in well-trained cyclists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rønnestad, Bent R; Askestad, Arild; Hansen, Joar

    2014-09-01

    To investigate the effects of combining low-intensity endurance training (LIT) with one high-intensity endurance training (HIT) session every 7-10 days (EXP, n = 7) vs. traditional approach focusing on LIT (TRAD, n = 6) during the transition period. The effects of different training strategies during the transition period were investigated after the transition period and at the beginning of the subsequent competition season. Well-trained cyclists were tested after the competition season, after an 8-week transition period, and after a 16-week preparatory period, before the subsequent competition season. The only difference between groups was a larger time with HIT during the transition phase in EXP. It was very likely that EXP had a larger impact on power output at 4 mmol L(-1) [la(-)] after both the transition period and after the preparatory period than TRAD [between-group change (90% CI): 10.6% (8.2%) and 12.9% (11.9%), respectively]. It was very likely that EXP had a larger impact on mean power output in the 40-min all-out trial after the transition period than TRAD [between-group change 12.4% (7.6%)]. EXP was also likely to have a larger improvement in the 40-min trial performance from pre-test to after the preparatory period than TRAD [between-group change 6.0% (6.6%)]. The present findings suggest that HIT sessions should be incorporated during the transition phase to avoid reduction in fitness and performance level and thereby increase the likelihood of improved performance from the end of one season to the beginning of the subsequent season.

  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. Utilizing Lesson Study in Improving Year 12 Students' Learning and Performance in Mathematics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessie Siew Yin Chong

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the use of Lesson Study to improve Year 12 students' performance in conditional probability through Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL lessons. In total, 66 students comprised of three Year 12 classes of similar abilities, and their three respective teachers from a government junior college participated in the study. The instruments used to collect the relevant data in this study were teachers' reflective journals and students' achievement tests. The collected data were then analyzed and interpreted quantitatively using the SPSS. The analysis of the students' pre- and post-tests concluded that as the lesson plans were gradually refined and enhanced, their performance in solving conditional probability questions steadily improved.

  9. Passive ultra-brief video training improves performance of compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, Justin L; Vogele, Jennifer; Hart, Kimberly W; Lindsell, Christopher J; McMullan, Jason T

    2017-06-01

    Bystander compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. To broaden CPR training, 1-2min ultra-brief videos have been disseminated via the Internet and television. Our objective was to determine whether participants passively exposed to a televised ultra-brief video perform CPR better than unexposed controls. This before-and-after study was conducted with non-patients in an urban Emergency Department waiting room. The intervention was an ultra-brief CPR training video displayed via closed-circuit television 3-6 times/hour. Participants were unaware of the study and not told to watch the video. Pre-intervention, no video was displayed. Participants were asked to demonstrate compression-only CPR on a manikin. Performance was scored based on critical actions: check for responsiveness, call for help, begin compressions immediately, and correct hand placement, compression rate and depth. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants who performed all actions correctly. There were 50 control and 50 exposed participants. Mean age was 37, 51% were African-American, 52% were female, and 10% self-reported current CPR certification. There were no statistically significant differences in baseline characteristics between groups. The number of participants who performed all actions correctly was 0 (0%) control vs. 10 (20%) exposed (difference 20%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 8.9-31.1%, ptraining is associated with improved performance of compression-only CPR. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Improving Performance in Quantum Mechanics with Explicit Incentives to Correct Mistakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Benjamin R.; Mason, Andrew; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    An earlier investigation found that the performance of advanced students in a quantum mechanics course did not automatically improve from midterm to final exam on identical problems even when they were provided the correct solutions and their own graded exams. Here, we describe a study, which extended over four years, in which upper-level…

  11. Improved performance of maternal-fetal medicine staff after maternal cardiac arrest simulation-based training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Nelli; Eisen, Lewis A; Bayya, Jyothshna V; Dulu, Alina; Bernstein, Peter S; Merkatz, Irwin R; Goffman, Dena

    2011-09-01

    To determine the impact of simulation-based maternal cardiac arrest training on performance, knowledge, and confidence among Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff. Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff (n = 19) participated in a maternal arrest simulation program. Based on evaluation of performance during initial simulations, an intervention was designed including: basic life support course, advanced cardiac life support pregnancy modification lecture, and simulation practice. Postintervention evaluative simulations were performed. All simulations included a knowledge test, confidence survey, and debriefing. A checklist with 9 pregnancy modification (maternal) and 16 critical care (25 total) tasks was used for scoring. Postintervention scores reflected statistically significant improvement. Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff demonstrated statistically significant improvement in timely initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (120 vs 32 seconds, P = .042) and cesarean delivery (240 vs 159 seconds, P = .017). Prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation initiation and pregnancy modifications application are critical in maternal and fetal survival during cardiac arrest. Simulation is a useful tool for Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff to improve skills, knowledge, and confidence in the management of this catastrophic event. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  12. 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)

  13. Optimization of Classification Strategies of Acetowhite Temporal Patterns towards Improving Diagnostic Performance of Colposcopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Gutiérrez-Fragoso

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Efforts have been being made to improve the diagnostic performance of colposcopy, trying to help better diagnose cervical cancer, particularly in developing countries. However, improvements in a number of areas are still necessary, such as the time it takes to process the full digital image of the cervix, the performance of the computing systems used to identify different kinds of tissues, and biopsy sampling. In this paper, we explore three different, well-known automatic classification methods (k-Nearest Neighbors, Naïve Bayes, and C4.5, in addition to different data models that take full advantage of this information and improve the diagnostic performance of colposcopy based on acetowhite temporal patterns. Based on the ROC and PRC area scores, the k-Nearest Neighbors and discrete PLA representation performed better than other methods. The values of sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy reached using this method were 60% (95% CI 50–70, 79% (95% CI 71–86, and 70% (95% CI 60–80, respectively. The acetowhitening phenomenon is not exclusive to high-grade lesions, and we have found acetowhite temporal patterns of epithelial changes that are not precancerous lesions but that are similar to positive ones. These findings need to be considered when developing more robust computing systems in the future.

  14. 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.

  15. Approximate Arithmetic Training Improves Informal Math Performance in Low Achieving Preschoolers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Szkudlarek

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies suggest that practice with approximate and non-symbolic arithmetic problems improves the math performance of adults, school aged children, and preschoolers. However, the relative effectiveness of approximate arithmetic training compared to available educational games, and the type of math skills that approximate arithmetic targets are unknown. The present study was designed to (1 compare the effectiveness of approximate arithmetic training to two commercially available numeral and letter identification tablet applications and (2 to examine the specific type of math skills that benefit from approximate arithmetic training. Preschool children (n = 158 were pseudo-randomly assigned to one of three conditions: approximate arithmetic, letter identification, or numeral identification. All children were trained for 10 short sessions and given pre and post tests of informal and formal math, executive function, short term memory, vocabulary, alphabet knowledge, and number word knowledge. We found a significant interaction between initial math performance and training condition, such that children with low pretest math performance benefited from approximate arithmetic training, and children with high pretest math performance benefited from symbol identification training. This effect was restricted to informal, and not formal, math problems. There were also effects of gender, socio-economic status, and age on post-test informal math score after intervention. A median split on pretest math ability indicated that children in the low half of math scores in the approximate arithmetic training condition performed significantly better than children in the letter identification training condition on post-test informal math problems when controlling for pretest, age, gender, and socio-economic status. Our results support the conclusion that approximate arithmetic training may be especially effective for children with low math skills, and that

  16. Approximate Arithmetic Training Improves Informal Math Performance in Low Achieving Preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szkudlarek, Emily; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that practice with approximate and non-symbolic arithmetic problems improves the math performance of adults, school aged children, and preschoolers. However, the relative effectiveness of approximate arithmetic training compared to available educational games, and the type of math skills that approximate arithmetic targets are unknown. The present study was designed to (1) compare the effectiveness of approximate arithmetic training to two commercially available numeral and letter identification tablet applications and (2) to examine the specific type of math skills that benefit from approximate arithmetic training. Preschool children ( n = 158) were pseudo-randomly assigned to one of three conditions: approximate arithmetic, letter identification, or numeral identification. All children were trained for 10 short sessions and given pre and post tests of informal and formal math, executive function, short term memory, vocabulary, alphabet knowledge, and number word knowledge. We found a significant interaction between initial math performance and training condition, such that children with low pretest math performance benefited from approximate arithmetic training, and children with high pretest math performance benefited from symbol identification training. This effect was restricted to informal, and not formal, math problems. There were also effects of gender, socio-economic status, and age on post-test informal math score after intervention. A median split on pretest math ability indicated that children in the low half of math scores in the approximate arithmetic training condition performed significantly better than children in the letter identification training condition on post-test informal math problems when controlling for pretest, age, gender, and socio-economic status. Our results support the conclusion that approximate arithmetic training may be especially effective for children with low math skills, and that approximate arithmetic

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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)

  20. 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.