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Sample records for optimization qualitative values

  1. On the choice of an optimal value-set of qualitative attributes for information retrieval in databases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryjov, A.; Loginov, D.

    1994-01-01

    The problem of choosing an optimal set of significances of qualitative attributes for information retrieval in databases is addressed. Given a particular database, a set of significances is called optimal if it results in the minimization of losses of information and information noise for information retrieval in the data base. Obviously, such a set of significances depends on the statistical parameters of the data base. The software, which enables to calculate on the basis of the statistical parameters of the given data base, the losses of information and the information noise for arbitrary sets of significances of qualitative attributes, is described. The software also permits to compare various sets of significances of qualitative attributes and to choose the optimal set of significances

  2. Getting added value from using qualitative research with randomized controlled trials: a qualitative interview study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Qualitative research is undertaken with randomized controlled trials of health interventions. Our aim was to explore the perceptions of researchers with experience of this endeavour to understand the added value of qualitative research to the trial in practice. Methods A telephone semi-structured interview study with 18 researchers with experience of undertaking the trial and/or the qualitative research. Results Interviewees described the added value of qualitative research for the trial, explaining how it solved problems at the pretrial stage, explained findings, and helped to increase the utility of the evidence generated by the trial. From the interviews, we identified three models of relationship of the qualitative research to the trial. In ‘the peripheral’ model, the trial was an opportunity to undertake qualitative research, with no intention that it would add value to the trial. In ‘the add-on’ model, the qualitative researcher understood the potential value of the qualitative research but it was viewed as a separate and complementary endeavour by the trial lead investigator and wider team. Interviewees described how this could limit the value of the qualitative research to the trial. Finally ‘the integral’ model played out in two ways. In ‘integral-in-theory’ studies, the lead investigator viewed the qualitative research as essential to the trial. However, in practice the qualitative research was under-resourced relative to the trial, potentially limiting its ability to add value to the trial. In ‘integral-in-practice’ studies, interviewees described how the qualitative research was planned from the beginning of the study, senior qualitative expertise was on the team from beginning to end, and staff and time were dedicated to the qualitative research. In these studies interviewees described the qualitative research adding value to the trial although this value was not necessarily visible beyond the original research team due

  3. Getting added value from using qualitative research with randomized controlled trials: a qualitative interview study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Cathain, Alicia; Goode, Jackie; Drabble, Sarah J; Thomas, Kate J; Rudolph, Anne; Hewison, Jenny

    2014-06-09

    Qualitative research is undertaken with randomized controlled trials of health interventions. Our aim was to explore the perceptions of researchers with experience of this endeavour to understand the added value of qualitative research to the trial in practice. A telephone semi-structured interview study with 18 researchers with experience of undertaking the trial and/or the qualitative research. Interviewees described the added value of qualitative research for the trial, explaining how it solved problems at the pretrial stage, explained findings, and helped to increase the utility of the evidence generated by the trial. From the interviews, we identified three models of relationship of the qualitative research to the trial. In 'the peripheral' model, the trial was an opportunity to undertake qualitative research, with no intention that it would add value to the trial. In 'the add-on' model, the qualitative researcher understood the potential value of the qualitative research but it was viewed as a separate and complementary endeavour by the trial lead investigator and wider team. Interviewees described how this could limit the value of the qualitative research to the trial. Finally 'the integral' model played out in two ways. In 'integral-in-theory' studies, the lead investigator viewed the qualitative research as essential to the trial. However, in practice the qualitative research was under-resourced relative to the trial, potentially limiting its ability to add value to the trial. In 'integral-in-practice' studies, interviewees described how the qualitative research was planned from the beginning of the study, senior qualitative expertise was on the team from beginning to end, and staff and time were dedicated to the qualitative research. In these studies interviewees described the qualitative research adding value to the trial although this value was not necessarily visible beyond the original research team due to the challenges of publishing this research

  4. Qualitative and Quantitative Integrated Modeling for Stochastic Simulation and Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuefeng Yan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The simulation and optimization of an actual physics system are usually constructed based on the stochastic models, which have both qualitative and quantitative characteristics inherently. Most modeling specifications and frameworks find it difficult to describe the qualitative model directly. In order to deal with the expert knowledge, uncertain reasoning, and other qualitative information, a qualitative and quantitative combined modeling specification was proposed based on a hierarchical model structure framework. The new modeling approach is based on a hierarchical model structure which includes the meta-meta model, the meta-model and the high-level model. A description logic system is defined for formal definition and verification of the new modeling specification. A stochastic defense simulation was developed to illustrate how to model the system and optimize the result. The result shows that the proposed method can describe the complex system more comprehensively, and the survival probability of the target is higher by introducing qualitative models into quantitative simulation.

  5. Values in Qualitative and Quantitative Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Maureen; Chenail, Ronald J.

    2008-01-01

    The authors identify the philosophical underpinnings and value-ladenness of major research paradigms. They argue that useful and meaningful research findings for counseling can be generated from both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, provided that the researcher has an appreciation of the importance of philosophical coherence in…

  6. Set-valued optimization an introduction with applications

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Akhtar A; Zalinescu, Constantin

    2014-01-01

    Set-valued optimization is a vibrant and expanding branch of mathematics that deals with optimization problems where the objective map and/or the constraints maps are set-valued maps acting between certain spaces. Since set-valued maps subsumes single valued maps, set-valued optimization provides an important extension and unification of the scalar as well as the vector optimization problems. Therefore this relatively new discipline has justifiably attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. This book presents, in a unified framework, basic properties on ordering relations, solution c

  7. PRODUCT OPTIMIZATION METHOD BASED ON ANALYSIS OF OPTIMAL VALUES OF THEIR CHARACTERISTICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constantin D. STANESCU

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an original method of optimizing products based on the analysis of optimal values of their characteristics . Optimization method comprises statistical model and analytical model . With this original method can easily and quickly obtain optimal product or material .

  8. The development of a qualitative dynamic attribute value model for healthcare institutes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Wan-I

    2010-01-01

    Understanding customers has become an urgent topic for increasing competitiveness. The purpopse of the study was to develop a qualitative dynamic attribute value model which provides insight into the customers' value for healthcare institute managers by conducting the initial open-ended questionnaire survey to select participants purposefully. A total number of 427 questionnaires was conducted in two hospitals in Taiwan (one district hospital with 635 beds and one academic hospital with 2495 beds) and 419 questionnaires were received in nine weeks. Then, apply qualitative in-depth interviews to explore customers' perspective of values for building a model of partial differential equations. This study concludes nine categories of value, including cost, equipment, physician background, physicain care, environment, timing arrangement, relationship, brand image and additional value, to construct objective network for customer value and qualitative dynamic attribute value model where the network shows the value process of loyalty development via its effect on customer satisfaction, customer relationship, customer loyalty and healthcare service. One set predicts the customer relationship based on comminent, including service quality, communication and empahty. As the same time, customer loyalty based on trust, involves buzz marketing, brand and image. Customer value of the current instance is useful for traversing original customer attributes and identifing customers on different service share.

  9. Optimal policy for value-based decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, Satohiro; Drugowitsch, Jan; Pouget, Alexandre

    2016-08-18

    For decades now, normative theories of perceptual decisions, and their implementation as drift diffusion models, have driven and significantly improved our understanding of human and animal behaviour and the underlying neural processes. While similar processes seem to govern value-based decisions, we still lack the theoretical understanding of why this ought to be the case. Here, we show that, similar to perceptual decisions, drift diffusion models implement the optimal strategy for value-based decisions. Such optimal decisions require the models' decision boundaries to collapse over time, and to depend on the a priori knowledge about reward contingencies. Diffusion models only implement the optimal strategy under specific task assumptions, and cease to be optimal once we start relaxing these assumptions, by, for example, using non-linear utility functions. Our findings thus provide the much-needed theory for value-based decisions, explain the apparent similarity to perceptual decisions, and predict conditions under which this similarity should break down.

  10. Maximising the value of combining qualitative research and randomised controlled trials in health research: the QUAlitative Research in Trials (QUART) study--a mixed methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Cathain, Alicia; Thomas, Kate J; Drabble, Sarah J; Rudolph, Anne; Goode, Jackie; Hewison, Jenny

    2014-06-01

    Researchers sometimes undertake qualitative research with randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of health interventions. To systematically explore how qualitative research is being used with trials and identify ways of maximising its value to the trial aim of providing evidence of effectiveness of health interventions. A sequential mixed methods study with four components. (1) Database search of peer-reviewed journals between January 2008 and September 2010 for articles reporting the qualitative research undertaken with specific trials, (2) systematic search of database of registered trials to identify studies combining qualitative research and trials, (3) survey of 200 lead investigators of trials with no apparent qualitative research and (4) semistructured telephone interviews with 18 researchers purposively sampled from the first three methods. Qualitative research was undertaken with at least 12% of trials. A large number of articles reporting qualitative research undertaken with trials (n=296) were published between 2008 and 2010. A total of 28% (82/296) of articles reported qualitative research undertaken at the pre-trial stage and around one-quarter concerned drugs or devices. The articles focused on 22 aspects of the trial within five broad categories. Some focused on more than one aspect of the trial, totalling 356 examples. The qualitative research focused on the intervention being trialled (71%, 254/356), the design and conduct of the trial (15%, 54/356), the outcomes of the trial (1%, 5/356), the measures used in the trial (3%, 10/356), and the health condition in the trial (9%, 33/356). The potential value of the qualitative research to the trial endeavour included improving the external validity of trials and facilitating interpretation of trial findings. This value could be maximised by using qualitative research more at the pre-trial stage and reporting findings with explicit attention to the implications for the trial endeavour. During interviews

  11. Qualitative Description and Quantitative Optimization of Tactical Reconnaissance Agents System Organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiong Li

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the problem of qualitative description and quantitative optimization for tactical reconnaissance agents system organization is considered with objective of higher teamwork efficiency and more reasonable task balancing strategies. By analyzing tactical reconnaissance system and its environment, task-(role-entity agent mapping mechanism and agents in system organization, the system framework is qualitatively described. By transforming the system into an interaction task request-service mechanism queuing system, a Markov chain of system state transition is obtained, since its state transition process in interaction is Markov process and accords with real tactical reconnaissance behaviors. By solving the state transition equations, the inherent relationship of tactical reconnaissance agents is found and the optimized system configuration is obtained. The established simulation demonstration system proves that the proposed approach and model are feasible and effective.

  12. Optimal filtering values in renogram deconvolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puchal, R.; Pavia, J.; Gonzalez, A.; Ros, D.

    1988-07-01

    The evaluation of the isotopic renogram by means of the renal retention function (RRF) is a technique that supplies valuable information about renal function. It is not unusual to perform a smoothing of the data because of the sensitivity of the deconvolution algorithms with respect to noise. The purpose of this work is to confirm the existence of an optimal smoothing which minimises the error between the calculated RRF and the theoretical value for two filters (linear and non-linear). In order to test the effectiveness of these optimal smoothing values, some parameters of the calculated RRF were considered using this optimal smoothing. The comparison of these parameters with the theoretical ones revealed a better result in the case of the linear filter than in the non-linear case. The study was carried out simulating the input and output curves which would be obtained when using hippuran and DTPA as tracers.

  13. Teachers' Views on Values Education: A Qualitative Study in Sweden and Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornberg, Robert; Og uz, Ebru

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to examine Swedish and Turkish teachers' perspectives on values education. Qualitative interviews with 52 teachers were conducted and analyzed. Values education was mostly about compliance with societal values and norms. The learning goals or values in values education were mainly on how to treat others and on…

  14. Value of qualitative research in the study of massage therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kania, Ania; Porcino, Antony; Vehoef, Marja J

    2008-12-15

    Qualitative inquiry is increasingly used in health research because it is particularly suited to the study of complex topics or issues about which little is known and concerning which quantification cannot easily create or effectively convey understanding. By exploring the lived experience of people providing and receiving massage therapy and the meaning that those people ascribe to those experiences, in-depth understanding of the nature of massage therapy and of how it affects people's lives is possible. Qualitative research may also provide insights into the outcomes, process and context of massage therapy that cannot be fully achieved through quantification alone.The purpose of the present article is to describe qualitative research and to discuss its value to the massage therapy profession. The target audience is massage therapists who want to be able to better understand the research literature, novice massage therapy researchers who are unfamiliar with qualitative research, and teachers of research methods courses in massage therapy training programs who want to include qualitative research methods in their curriculum.

  15. Religiosity and value system of young lecturers: qualitative research data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavenkov Oleg Vladimirovich

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article analyses the Orthodox religion as a factor of formation of spiritual and value system of young teachers. Young lecturers belong to the socio-demographic group of 20 to 35 years involved mainly in teaching and research activities. The article presents the results of a qualitative study of value system of 23 informants. The study showed that the system of values of informants is characterized by syncretism. Almost all the informants are religious, but religiosity is differently ranked in their value system. Religiosity is often in a latent form.

  16. Collateral Optimization : Liquidity & Funding Value Adjustments, - Best Practices -

    OpenAIRE

    Genest, Benoit; Rego, David; Freon, Helene

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to understand how the current financial landscape shaped by the crises and new regulations impacts Investment Banking’s business model. We will focus on quantitative implications, i.e. valuation, modeling and pricing issues, as well as qualitative implications, i.e. best practices to manage quantitative aspects and handle these functions to the current Investment Banking organization. We considered two pillars to shape our vision of collateral optimization: ...

  17. Setting value optimization method in integration for relay protection based on improved quantum particle swarm optimization algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guo Sheng; Wang, Xiao Yang; Li, Xue Dong

    2018-03-01

    With the establishment of the integrated model of relay protection and the scale of the power system expanding, the global setting and optimization of relay protection is an extremely difficult task. This paper presents a kind of application in relay protection of global optimization improved particle swarm optimization algorithm and the inverse time current protection as an example, selecting reliability of the relay protection, selectivity, quick action and flexibility as the four requires to establish the optimization targets, and optimizing protection setting values of the whole system. Finally, in the case of actual power system, the optimized setting value results of the proposed method in this paper are compared with the particle swarm algorithm. The results show that the improved quantum particle swarm optimization algorithm has strong search ability, good robustness, and it is suitable for optimizing setting value in the relay protection of the whole power system.

  18. The Optimization of Capital Structure in Maximizing Profit and Corporate Value

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kharisya Ayu Effendi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research was to determine the optimal capital structure which could maximize profits and corporate value. The benefits of this research were companies knew clearly that optimal capital structure could maximize profits and corporate value. The method used was quantitative descriptive analysis. Moreover, the data used was secondary data in the Jakarta Islamic Index (JII from 2011 to 2015. The results of this research are companies which have optimal capital structure are in line with the trade-off theory models. The capital structure is optimal if the debt levels are to a certain extent so that the corporate value will increase . However, if the debt limit passes the certain degree, profit and corporate value will decrease. Meanwhile, pecking order theory in this research does not conform and cannot be said to be optimal, because of the low debt level describing the opposite result with the theory as low profits.

  19. Vector optimization set-valued and variational analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Chen, Guang-ya; Yang, Xiaogi

    2005-01-01

    This book is devoted to vector or multiple criteria approaches in optimization. Topics covered include: vector optimization, vector variational inequalities, vector variational principles, vector minmax inequalities and vector equilibrium problems. In particular, problems with variable ordering relations and set-valued mappings are treated. The nonlinear scalarization method is extensively used throughout the book to deal with various vector-related problems. The results presented are original and should be interesting to researchers and graduates in applied mathematics and operations research

  20. Optimal use of acute headache medication: a qualitative examination of behaviors and barriers to their performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seng, Elizabeth K; Holroyd, Kenneth A

    2013-10-01

    This study aims to qualitatively examine the behaviors required to optimally use acute headache medication and the barriers to successful performance of these behaviors. The efficacy of drug treatment is partly determined by medication adherence. The adherence literature has focused almost exclusively on the behaviors required to optimally use medications that are taken on a fixed schedule, as opposed to medications taken on an as needed basis to treat acute episodes of symptoms, such as headaches. Twenty-one people with headache and 15 health care providers participated in qualitative phenomenological interviews that were transcribed and coded by a multidisciplinary research team using phenomenological analysis. Interviews revealed 8 behaviors required to optimally use acute headache medication, including cross-episode behaviors that people with headache regularly perform to ensure optimal acute headache medication use, and episode-specific behaviors used to treat an individual headache episode. Interviews further revealed 9 barriers that hinder successful performance of these behaviors. Behaviors required to optimally use acute headache medication were numerous, often embedded in a larger chain of behaviors, and were susceptible to disruption by numerous barriers. © 2013 American Headache Society.

  1. Optimization of b-value distribution for biexponential diffusion-weighted MR imaging of normal prostate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jambor, Ivan; Merisaari, Harri; Aronen, Hannu J; Järvinen, Jukka; Saunavaara, Jani; Kauko, Tommi; Borra, Ronald; Pesola, Marko

    2014-05-01

    To determine the optimal b-value distribution for biexponential diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of normal prostate using both a computer modeling approach and in vivo measurements. Optimal b-value distributions for the fit of three parameters (fast diffusion Df, slow diffusion Ds, and fraction of fast diffusion f) were determined using Monte-Carlo simulations. The optimal b-value distribution was calculated using four individual optimization methods. Eight healthy volunteers underwent four repeated 3 Tesla prostate DWI scans using both 16 equally distributed b-values and an optimized b-value distribution obtained from the simulations. The b-value distributions were compared in terms of measurement reliability and repeatability using Shrout-Fleiss analysis. Using low noise levels, the optimal b-value distribution formed three separate clusters at low (0-400 s/mm2), mid-range (650-1200 s/mm2), and high b-values (1700-2000 s/mm2). Higher noise levels resulted into less pronounced clustering of b-values. The clustered optimized b-value distribution demonstrated better measurement reliability and repeatability in Shrout-Fleiss analysis compared with 16 equally distributed b-values. The optimal b-value distribution was found to be a clustered distribution with b-values concentrated in the low, mid, and high ranges and was shown to improve the estimation quality of biexponential DWI parameters of in vivo experiments. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Tax optimization and the firm's value: Evidence from the Tunisian context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soufiene Assidi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper investigated the relationship between corporate tax optimization and the firm's value in the Tunisian context over an 11 year period. The empirical results revealed that tax optimization, accruals and investment increased the firm's value. After dividing the sample between listed and non-listed firms, we concluded that, compared to non-listed firms, the listed firms were better able to optimize tax through adopting a tax policy. Our findings help decision makers, researchers and practices to better understand the role of tax optimization in the management of firms and, also, in their performance.

  3. Prederivatives of gamma paraconvex set-valued maps and Pareto optimality conditions for set optimization problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hui; Ning, Jixian

    2017-01-01

    Prederivatives play an important role in the research of set optimization problems. First, we establish several existence theorems of prederivatives for γ -paraconvex set-valued mappings in Banach spaces with [Formula: see text]. Then, in terms of prederivatives, we establish both necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of Pareto minimal solution of set optimization problems.

  4. Positive-operator-valued measure optimization of classical correlations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamieh, S; Kobes, R; Zaraket, H

    We study the problem of optimization over positive-operator-valued measures to extract classical correlation in a bipartite quantum system. The proposed method is applied to binary states only. Moreover, to illustrate this method, an explicit example is studied in detail.

  5. Decision and Inhibitory Rule Optimization for Decision Tables with Many-valued Decisions

    KAUST Repository

    Alsolami, Fawaz

    2016-04-25

    ‘If-then’ rule sets are one of the most expressive and human-readable knowledge representations. This thesis deals with optimization and analysis of decision and inhibitory rules for decision tables with many-valued decisions. The most important areas of applications are knowledge extraction and representation. The benefit of considering inhibitory rules is connected with the fact that in some situations they can describe more knowledge than the decision ones. Decision tables with many-valued decisions arise in combinatorial optimization, computational geometry, fault diagnosis, and especially under the processing of data sets. In this thesis, various examples of real-life problems are considered which help to understand the motivation of the investigation. We extend relatively simple results obtained earlier for decision rules over decision tables with many-valued decisions to the case of inhibitory rules. The behavior of Shannon functions (which characterize complexity of rule systems) is studied for finite and infinite information systems, for global and local approaches, and for decision and inhibitory rules. The extensions of dynamic programming for the study of decision rules over decision tables with single-valued decisions are generalized to the case of decision tables with many-valued decisions. These results are also extended to the case of inhibitory rules. As a result, we have algorithms (i) for multi-stage optimization of rules relative to such criteria as length or coverage, (ii) for counting the number of optimal rules, (iii) for construction of Pareto optimal points for bi-criteria optimization problems, (iv) for construction of graphs describing relationships between two cost functions, and (v) for construction of graphs describing relationships between cost and accuracy of rules. The applications of created tools include comparison (based on information about Pareto optimal points) of greedy heuristics for bi-criteria optimization of rules

  6. Dynamic Value Engineering Method Optimizing the Risk on Real Time Operating System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prashant Kumar Patra

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The value engineering is the umbrella of the many more sub-system like quality assurance, quality control, quality function design and development for manufacturability. The system engineering & value engineering is two part of the coin. The value engineering is the high level of technology management for every aspect of engineering fields. The value engineering is the high utilization of System Product (i.e. Processor, Memory & Encryption key, Services, Business and Resources at minimal cost. The high end operating system providing highest services at optimal cost & time. The value engineering provides the maximum performance, accountability, reliability, integrity and availability of processor, memory, encryption key and other inter dependency sub-components. The value engineering is the ratio of the maximum functionality of individual components to the optimal cost. VE=k [(P, M, E, C, A]/optimal cost. Where k is the proportionality constant. The VE is directly proportional to performance of individual components and inversely proportional to the minimal cost. The VE is directly proportional to the risk assessment. The VE maximize the business throughput & decision process mean while minimize the risk and down time. We have to develop the dynamic value engineering model & mechanism for risk optimization over a complex real time operating system This proposed composition model definite will be resolve our objective at top high level. Product

  7. Optimal climate policy is a utopia. From quantitative to qualitative cost-benefit analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M.

    2004-01-01

    The dominance of quantitative cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and optimality concepts in the economic analysis of climate policy is criticised. Among others, it is argued to be based in a misplaced interpretation of policy for a complex climate-economy system as being analogous to individual inter-temporal welfare optimisation. The transfer of quantitative CBA and optimality concepts reflects an overly ambitious approach that does more harm than good. An alternative approach is to focus the attention on extreme events, structural change and complexity. It is argued that a qualitative rather than a quantitative CBA that takes account of these aspects can support the adoption of a minimax regret approach or precautionary principle in climate policy. This means: implement stringent GHG reduction policies as soon as possible

  8. Comparison of Optimal Portfolios Selected by Multicriterial Model Using Absolute and Relative Criteria Values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branka Marasović

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we select an optimal portfolio on the Croatian capital market by using the multicriterial programming. In accordance with the modern portfolio theory maximisation of returns at minimal risk should be the investment goal of any successful investor. However, contrary to the expectations of the modern portfolio theory, the tests carried out on a number of financial markets reveal the existence of other indicators important in portfolio selection. Considering the importance of variables other than return and risk, selection of the optimal portfolio becomes a multicriterial problem which should be solved by using the appropriate techniques.In order to select an optimal portfolio, absolute values of criteria, like return, risk, price to earning value ratio (P/E, price to book value ratio (P/B and price to sale value ratio (P/S are included in our multicriterial model. However the problem might occur as the mean values of some criteria are significantly different for different sectors and because financial managers emphasize that comparison of the same criteria for different sectors could lead us to wrong conclusions. In the second part of the paper, relative values of previously stated criteria (in relation to mean value of sector are included in model for selecting optimal portfolio. Furthermore, the paper shows that if relative values of criteria are included in multicriterial model for selecting optimal portfolio, return in subsequent period is considerably higher than if absolute values of the same criteria were used.

  9. Forest value and optimal rotations in continuous cover forestry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl; Jensen, Frank; Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark

    The Faustmann forest rotation model is a celebrated contribution in economics. The model provides a forest value expression and allows a solution to the optimal rotation problem valid for perpetual rotations of even-aged forest stands. However, continuous forest cover forest management systems......, but rigorous mathematical model of the continuous cover forest, which strictly focuses on the area use dynamics that such an uneven-aged forest must have in equilibrium. This implies explicitly accounting for area reallocation and for weighting the productivity of each age class by the area occupied. The model...... allows for a simple expression for forest value and the derivation of conditions for the optimal rotation age. The model also makes straightforward comparisons with the well-known Faustmann model possible. We present results for unrestricted as well as area-restricted versions of the models. We find...

  10. Forest value and optimal rotations in continuous cover forestry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl; Jensen, Frank; Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark

    2018-01-01

    The Faustmann forest rotation model is a celebrated contribution in economics. The model provides a forest value expression and allows a solution to the optimal rotation problem valid for perpetual rotations of even-aged forest stands. However, continuous forest cover forest management systems......, but rigorous mathematical model of the continuous cover forest, which strictly focuses on the area use dynamics that such an uneven-aged forest must have in equilibrium. This implies explicitly accounting for area reallocation and for weighting the productivity of each age class by the area occupied. We...... present results for unrestricted as well as area-restricted versions of the models. We find that land values are unambiguously higher in the continuous cover forest models compared with the even-aged models. Under area restrictions, the optimal rotation age in a continuous cover forest model...

  11. Parametric optimal control of uncertain systems under an optimistic value criterion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Zhu, Yuanguo

    2018-01-01

    It is well known that the optimal control of a linear quadratic model is characterized by the solution of a Riccati differential equation. In many cases, the corresponding Riccati differential equation cannot be solved exactly such that the optimal feedback control may be a complex time-oriented function. In this article, a parametric optimal control problem of an uncertain linear quadratic model under an optimistic value criterion is considered for simplifying the expression of optimal control. Based on the equation of optimality for the uncertain optimal control problem, an approximation method is presented to solve it. As an application, a two-spool turbofan engine optimal control problem is given to show the utility of the proposed model and the efficiency of the presented approximation method.

  12. On Revenue-Optimal Dynamic Auctions for Bidders with Interdependent Values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constantin, Florin; Parkes, David C.

    In a dynamic market, being able to update one's value based on information available to other bidders currently in the market can be critical to having profitable transactions. This is nicely captured by the model of interdependent values (IDV): a bidder's value can explicitly depend on the private information of other bidders. In this paper we present preliminary results about the revenue properties of dynamic auctions for IDV bidders. We adopt a computational approach to design single-item revenue-optimal dynamic auctions with known arrivals and departures but (private) signals that arrive online. In leveraging a characterization of truthful auctions, we present a mixed-integer programming formulation of the design problem. Although a discretization is imposed on bidder signals the solution is a mechanism applicable to continuous signals. The formulation size grows exponentially in the dependence of bidders' values on other bidders' signals. We highlight general properties of revenue-optimal dynamic auctions in a simple parametrized example and study the sensitivity of prices and revenue to model parameters.

  13. Optimizing value utilizing Toyota Kata methodology in a multidisciplinary clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merguerian, Paul A; Grady, Richard; Waldhausen, John; Libby, Arlene; Murphy, Whitney; Melzer, Lilah; Avansino, Jeffrey

    2015-08-01

    Value in healthcare is measured in terms of patient outcomes achieved per dollar expended. Outcomes and cost must be measured at the patient level to optimize value. Multidisciplinary clinics have been shown to be effective in providing coordinated and comprehensive care with improved outcomes, yet tend to have higher cost than typical clinics. We sought to lower individual patient cost and optimize value in a pediatric multidisciplinary reconstructive pelvic medicine (RPM) clinic. The RPM clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic that takes care of patients with anomalies of the pelvic organs. The specialties involved include Urology, General Surgery, Gynecology, and Gastroenterology/Motility. From May 2012 to November 2014 we performed time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) analysis by measuring provider time for each step in the patient flow. Using observed time and the estimated hourly cost of each of the providers we calculated the final cost at the individual patient level, targeting clinic preparation. We utilized Toyota Kata methodology to enhance operational efficiency in an effort to optimize value. Variables measured included cost, time to perform a task, number of patients seen in clinic, percent value-added time (VAT) to patients (face to face time) and family experience scores (FES). At the beginning of the study period, clinic costs were $619 per patient. We reduced conference time from 6 min/patient to 1 min per patient, physician preparation time from 8 min to 6 min and increased Medical Assistant (MA) preparation time from 9.5 min to 20 min, achieving a cost reduction of 41% to $366 per patient. Continued improvements further reduced the MA preparation time to 14 min and the MD preparation time to 5 min with a further cost reduction to $194 (69%) (Figure). During this study period, we increased the number of appointments per clinic. We demonstrated sustained improvement in FES with regards to the families overall experience with their providers

  14. Effects of Random Values for Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hou-Ping Dai

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Particle swarm optimization (PSO algorithm is generally improved by adaptively adjusting the inertia weight or combining with other evolution algorithms. However, in most modified PSO algorithms, the random values are always generated by uniform distribution in the range of [0, 1]. In this study, the random values, which are generated by uniform distribution in the ranges of [0, 1] and [−1, 1], and Gauss distribution with mean 0 and variance 1 ( U [ 0 , 1 ] , U [ − 1 , 1 ] and G ( 0 , 1 , are respectively used in the standard PSO and linear decreasing inertia weight (LDIW PSO algorithms. For comparison, the deterministic PSO algorithm, in which the random values are set as 0.5, is also investigated in this study. Some benchmark functions and the pressure vessel design problem are selected to test these algorithms with different types of random values in three space dimensions (10, 30, and 100. The experimental results show that the standard PSO and LDIW-PSO algorithms with random values generated by U [ − 1 , 1 ] or G ( 0 , 1 are more likely to avoid falling into local optima and quickly obtain the global optima. This is because the large-scale random values can expand the range of particle velocity to make the particle more likely to escape from local optima and obtain the global optima. Although the random values generated by U [ − 1 , 1 ] or G ( 0 , 1 are beneficial to improve the global searching ability, the local searching ability for a low dimensional practical optimization problem may be decreased due to the finite particles.

  15. Measuring the Value of Succession Planning and Management: A Qualitative Study of Multinational Companies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yeonsoo

    2010-01-01

    This article proposes a model for planning and operating an effective succession planning and management (SP&M) program and measuring its value. The nature of the research is exploratory, following a qualitative approach using in-depth interviews. Representatives of multinational companies interviewed for this study revealed that succession…

  16. Optimal stability polynomials for numerical integration of initial value problems

    KAUST Repository

    Ketcheson, David I.

    2013-01-08

    We consider the problem of finding optimally stable polynomial approximations to the exponential for application to one-step integration of initial value ordinary and partial differential equations. The objective is to find the largest stable step size and corresponding method for a given problem when the spectrum of the initial value problem is known. The problem is expressed in terms of a general least deviation feasibility problem. Its solution is obtained by a new fast, accurate, and robust algorithm based on convex optimization techniques. Global convergence of the algorithm is proven in the case that the order of approximation is one and in the case that the spectrum encloses a starlike region. Examples demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm even when these conditions are not satisfied.

  17. Optimizing lay counsellor services for chronic care in South Africa: a qualitative systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Inge; Fairall, Lara; Egbe, Catherine O; Bhana, Arvin

    2014-05-01

    To conduct a qualitative systematic review on the use of lay counsellors in South Africa to provide lessons on optimizing their use for psychological and behavioural change counselling for chronic long-term care in scare-resource contexts. A qualitative systematic review of the literature on lay counsellor services in South Africa. Twenty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Five randomized control trials and two cohort studies reported that lay counsellors can provide behaviour change counselling with good outcomes. One multi-centre cohort study provided promising evidence of improved anti-retroviral treatment adherence and one non-randomized controlled study provided promising results for counselling for depression. Six studies found low fidelity of lay counsellor-delivered interventions in routine care. Reasons for low fidelity include poor role definition, inconsistent remuneration, lack of standardized training, and poor supervision and logistical support. Within resource-constrained settings, adjunct behaviour change and psychological services provided by lay counsellors can be harnessed to promote chronic care at primary health care level. Optimizing lay counsellor services requires interventions at an organizational level that provide a clear role definition and scope of practice; in-service training and formal supervision; and sensitization of health managers to the importance and logistical requirements of counselling. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Application of the Value Optimization Model of Key Factors Based on DSEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Su

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The key factors of the damping solvent extraction method (DSEM for the analysis of the unbounded medium are the size of bounded domain, the artificial damping ratio, and the finite element mesh density. To control the simulation accuracy and computational efficiency of the soil-structure interaction, this study establishes a value optimization model of key factors that is composed of the design variables, the objective function, and the constraint function system. Then the optimum solutions of key factors are obtained by the optimization model. According to some comparisons of the results provided by the different initial conditions, the value optimization model of key factors is feasible to govern the simulation accuracy and computational efficiency and to analyze the practical unbounded medium-structure interaction.

  19. Optimal stability polynomials for numerical integration of initial value problems

    KAUST Repository

    Ketcheson, David I.; Ahmadia, Aron

    2013-01-01

    We consider the problem of finding optimally stable polynomial approximations to the exponential for application to one-step integration of initial value ordinary and partial differential equations. The objective is to find the largest stable step

  20. Qualitative assessment of the value of the Ohio State University TRIGA reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binney, S.E.; Johnson, A.G.

    1989-01-01

    The Oregon State University (OSU) TRIGA Reactor (OSTR) is a major regional research, training, and service facility. The OSTR supports a wide variety of organizations at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. Examples of usage of the OSTR are given in this paper to serve as a basis for assessing the value of the OSTR to its user organizations. It is difficult to assess the value of a facility such as the OSTR quantitatively, primarily because a dollar value cannot be assigned to many of the services that the OSTR performs, e.g., forensic analysis to assist police agencies in criminal cases. Significant qualitative statements can be made, however, to demonstrate the fact that the value of a research reactor facility such as the OSTR substantially outweighs the capital and operating costs of such a facility. Analysis of the data presented above clearly indicates that the value of the OSTR facility is overwhelmingly positive, i.e., the benefits associated with the services provided by the OSTR facility outweigh the cost of providing such services by perhaps as much as an order of magnitude

  1. Vector-valued measure and the necessary conditions for the optimal control problems of linear systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xunjing, L.

    1981-12-01

    The vector-valued measure defined by the well-posed linear boundary value problems is discussed. The maximum principle of the optimal control problem with non-convex constraint is proved by using the vector-valued measure. Especially, the necessary conditions of the optimal control of elliptic systems is derived without the convexity of the control domain and the cost function. (author)

  2. Controller Synthesis using Qualitative Models and Constraints

    OpenAIRE

    Ramamoorthy, Subramanian; Kuipers, Benjamin J

    2004-01-01

    Many engineering systems require the synthesis of global behaviors in nonlinear dynamical systems. Multiple model approaches to control design make it possible to synthesize robust and optimal versions of such global behaviors. We propose a methodology called Qualitative Heterogeneous Control that enables this type of control design. This methodology is based on a separation of concerns between qualitative correctness and quantitative optimization. Qualitative sufficient conditions are derive...

  3. Image Watermarking Algorithm Based on Multiobjective Ant Colony Optimization and Singular Value Decomposition in Wavelet Domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Loukhaoukha

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a new optimal watermarking scheme based on discrete wavelet transform (DWT and singular value decomposition (SVD using multiobjective ant colony optimization (MOACO. A binary watermark is decomposed using a singular value decomposition. Then, the singular values are embedded in a detailed subband of host image. The trade-off between watermark transparency and robustness is controlled by multiple scaling factors (MSFs instead of a single scaling factor (SSF. Determining the optimal values of the multiple scaling factors (MSFs is a difficult problem. However, a multiobjective ant colony optimization is used to determine these values. Experimental results show much improved performances of the proposed scheme in terms of transparency and robustness compared to other watermarking schemes. Furthermore, it does not suffer from the problem of high probability of false positive detection of the watermarks.

  4. DWI of Prostate Cancer: Optimal b-Value in Clinical Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guglielmo Manenti

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. To compare the diagnostic performance of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI using b-values of 1000 s/mm2 and 2000 s/mm2 at 3 Tesla (T for the evaluation of clinically significant prostate cancer. Matherials and Methods. Seventy-eight prostate cancer patients underwent a 3T MRI scan followed by radical prostatectomy. DWI was performed using b-values of 0, 1000, and 2000 s/mm2 and qualitatively analysed by two radiologists. ADC maps were obtained at b-values of 1000 and 2000 s/mm2 and quantitatively analyzed in consensus. Results. For diagnosis of 78 prostate cancers the accuracy of DWI for the young reader was significantly greater at b = 2000 s/mm2 for the peripheral zone (PZ but not for the transitional zone (TZ. For the experienced reader, DWI did not show significant differences in accuracy between b-values of 1000 and 2000 s/mm2. The quantitative analysis in the PZ and TZ was substantially superimposable between the two b-values, albeit with a higher accuracy with a b-value of 2000 s/mm2. Conclusions. With a b-value of 2000 s/mm2 at 3T both readers differentiated clinical significant cancer from benign tissue; higher b-values can be helpful for the less experienced readers.

  5. Multi-stage optimization of decision and inhibitory trees for decision tables with many-valued decisions

    KAUST Repository

    Azad, Mohammad

    2017-06-16

    We study problems of optimization of decision and inhibitory trees for decision tables with many-valued decisions. As cost functions, we consider depth, average depth, number of nodes, and number of terminal/nonterminal nodes in trees. Decision tables with many-valued decisions (multi-label decision tables) are often more accurate models for real-life data sets than usual decision tables with single-valued decisions. Inhibitory trees can sometimes capture more information from decision tables than decision trees. In this paper, we create dynamic programming algorithms for multi-stage optimization of trees relative to a sequence of cost functions. We apply these algorithms to prove the existence of totally optimal (simultaneously optimal relative to a number of cost functions) decision and inhibitory trees for some modified decision tables from the UCI Machine Learning Repository.

  6. Multi-stage optimization of decision and inhibitory trees for decision tables with many-valued decisions

    KAUST Repository

    Azad, Mohammad; Moshkov, Mikhail

    2017-01-01

    We study problems of optimization of decision and inhibitory trees for decision tables with many-valued decisions. As cost functions, we consider depth, average depth, number of nodes, and number of terminal/nonterminal nodes in trees. Decision tables with many-valued decisions (multi-label decision tables) are often more accurate models for real-life data sets than usual decision tables with single-valued decisions. Inhibitory trees can sometimes capture more information from decision tables than decision trees. In this paper, we create dynamic programming algorithms for multi-stage optimization of trees relative to a sequence of cost functions. We apply these algorithms to prove the existence of totally optimal (simultaneously optimal relative to a number of cost functions) decision and inhibitory trees for some modified decision tables from the UCI Machine Learning Repository.

  7. Radiation protection optimization without and with guide values

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorenz, B.; Wuertemberger, M.

    2013-01-01

    Optimization of radiation protection is one of the well-known three pillars of the ICRP System of Radiation Protection and is part of the regulations in nearly all countries. Since ICRP Publication 103 in this context dose constraints are part of many discussions and often lead to confusion. A study of NEA 2011 about the use of dose constraints investigated the situation in Europe and revealed that values for doses are used but seldom in the sense of the ICRP. The draft of the new Euratom-BSS requires also dose constraints for occupational protection as well as for the protection of the public. Do we really need these Dose Constraints? Is it really important to invest resources into the definition of and compliance with figures? Is it not more important to bring the spirit of ALARA into practice? We believe, radiation protection can be done completely without dose constraints and nevertheless successfully. This is demonstrated by the development of occupational exposure worldwide. Especially, radiation protection optimization shall not be restricted to the establishment of dose constraints; it is much more. However, constraints in the sense of guide values can be useful e.g. as benchmark for 'good' radiation protection, but always taken into account the individual circumstances. The authors demonstrate by explaining their operational practice how to use dose constraints reasonable without creating new limits. (orig.)

  8. An Early Model for Value and Sustainability in Health Information Exchanges: Qualitative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Background The primary value relative to health information exchange has been seen in terms of cost savings relative to laboratory and radiology testing, emergency department expenditures, and admissions. However, models are needed to statistically quantify value and sustainability and better understand the dependent and mediating factors that contribute to value and sustainability. Objective The purpose of this study was to provide a basis for early model development for health information exchange value and sustainability. Methods A qualitative study was conducted with 21 interviews of eHealth Exchange participants across 10 organizations. Using a grounded theory approach and 3.0 as a relative frequency threshold, 5 main categories and 16 subcategories emerged. Results This study identifies 3 core current perceived value factors and 5 potential perceived value factors—how interviewees predict health information exchanges may evolve as there are more participants. These value factors were used as the foundation for early model development for sustainability of health information exchange. Conclusions Using the value factors from the interviews, the study provides the basis for early model development for health information exchange value and sustainability. This basis includes factors from the research: fostering consumer engagement; establishing a provider directory; quantifying use, cost, and clinical outcomes; ensuring data integrity through patient matching; and increasing awareness, usefulness, interoperability, and sustainability of eHealth Exchange. PMID:29712623

  9. An Early Model for Value and Sustainability in Health Information Exchanges: Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Sue S

    2018-04-30

    The primary value relative to health information exchange has been seen in terms of cost savings relative to laboratory and radiology testing, emergency department expenditures, and admissions. However, models are needed to statistically quantify value and sustainability and better understand the dependent and mediating factors that contribute to value and sustainability. The purpose of this study was to provide a basis for early model development for health information exchange value and sustainability. A qualitative study was conducted with 21 interviews of eHealth Exchange participants across 10 organizations. Using a grounded theory approach and 3.0 as a relative frequency threshold, 5 main categories and 16 subcategories emerged. This study identifies 3 core current perceived value factors and 5 potential perceived value factors-how interviewees predict health information exchanges may evolve as there are more participants. These value factors were used as the foundation for early model development for sustainability of health information exchange. Using the value factors from the interviews, the study provides the basis for early model development for health information exchange value and sustainability. This basis includes factors from the research: fostering consumer engagement; establishing a provider directory; quantifying use, cost, and clinical outcomes; ensuring data integrity through patient matching; and increasing awareness, usefulness, interoperability, and sustainability of eHealth Exchange. ©Sue S Feldman. Originally published in JMIR Medical Informatics (http://medinform.jmir.org), 30.04.2018.

  10. Comparison of CT and chemical-shift MRI for differentiating thymoma from non-thymomatous conditions in myasthenia gravis: value of qualitative and quantitative assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Priola, A.M.; Priola, S.M.; Gned, D.; Giraudo, M.T.; Fornari, A.; Veltri, A.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To evaluate the usefulness of computed tomography (CT) and chemical-shift magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) for differentiating thymoma (THY) from thymic lymphoid hyperplasia (TLH) and normal thymus (NT), and to determine which technique is more accurate. Materials and methods: Eighty-three patients with generalised MG who underwent surgery were divided into the TLH/NT group (A; 65 patients) and THY group (B; 24 patients). Differences in qualitative characteristics and quantitative data (CT: radiodensity in Hounsfield units; MRI: signal intensity index [SII]) between groups were tested using Fisher's exact test and Student's t-test. Logistic regression models were estimated for both qualitative and quantitative analyses. At quantitative analysis, discrimination abilities were determined according to the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUROC) with computation of optimal cut-off points. The diagnostic accuracies of CT and MRI were compared using McNemar's test. Results: At qualitative assessment, MRI had higher accuracy than CT (96.4%, 80/83 and 86.7%, 72/83, respectively). At quantitative analysis, both the radiodensity and SII were significantly different between groups (p<0.0001). For CT, at quantitative assessment, the AUROC of the radiodensity in discriminating between groups was 0.904 (optimal cut-off point, 20 HU) with an accuracy of 77.1% (64/83). For MRI, the AUROC of the SII was 0.989 (optimal cut-off point, 7.766%) with an accuracy of 96.4% (80/83), which was significantly higher than CT (p<0.0001). By using optimal cut-off points for cases with an erroneous diagnosis at qualitative assessment, accuracy improved both for CT (89.2%, 74/83) and MRI (97.6%, 81/83). Conclusion: Quantitative analysis is useful in evaluating patients with MG and improves the diagnostic accuracy of CT and MRI based on qualitative assessment. Chemical-shift MRI is more reliable than CT in differentiating

  11. Determination of alpha constant value for brazilian reality aiming de radiation protection optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teixeira, Pedro Barbosa

    2003-01-01

    This work aims to present a methodology for the calculation of the alpha constant taking into account the actual conditions in Brazil. This constant is used for the minimization of the worker doses meaning the optimization of radiation protection. The alpha constant represents a monetary value to establish the health detriment associated to the stochastic effects for unit of collective dose, and is directly related to the value of the human life. Along the years, several methods have been developed to obtain the most appropriate value for the alpha constant. These methods will be objects of analysis of this work. This work presents two methods for determination of the alpha constant: 'human capital' that is based on GDP of the country and 'willingness-to-pay' that is established for the value that the population would be willing to pay for the safety of the nuclear and radioactive facilities. A new methodology for the calculation of the alpha constant has been proposed in this study, that is the combination of two method previously mentioned, and recommends a new value of US$ 16,000.00 per man-sievert. Currently the value established by CNEN is US$ 10,000.00 per men sievert. This work also presents, in full details, the main mathematical tools for the elaboration of the optimization of the radiation protection: cost-benefit analysis, extended cost-benefit analysis and multi attribute utility analysis. An applied example, for an uranium mine radiation protection optimization was used to compare those two values of the alpha constant. (author)

  12. The value trade-off in higher education service: A qualitative intercultural approach to students’ perceptions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danni Li

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Higher Education Institutions have become a highly competitive market, where consumers (i.e. students are highly involved in their choices, and managers need to focus on competitive edges. This paper aims to understand the factors that influence student choice behaviour and fulfil student expectations of customer value in higher education institutions (HEIs. Design/methodology/approach: with qualitative information (focus groups collected from international students of several universities in Spain, Britain and China, the paper investigates the formation of customer value, as a trade-off between benefits and costs. This qualitative approach aims first at assessing this particular service through the concept of value through verifying both the positive and negative dimensions of HE, and second, to comment on the intercultural aspects of this dual approach to higher education consumption. Findings: the results show different levels of benefits: the functional value generally comes from infrastructures and good teachers that offer abundant practical experiences. The benefits from quality education also derived from teamwork with the colleagues who possess equal academic strength. Social benefits come from experiences outside the academic environment, working with people from different cultural backgrounds who have different perspectives. Emotional rewards come from University reputation and relationships with instructors. Costs of time and effort are differently seen across programs and vary widely upon nationalities and cultural backgrounds. Practical implications: since the competitive environments are fast becoming more and more complex added to the fact that it changes rapidly and dynamically, to concentrate on a few key elements are most important to the organizations survival. Different values of customers in different countries suggest that the strategy used by the corporation in a certain country, may not be apply to another

  13. Optimizing antibiotic usage in hospitals: a qualitative study of the perspectives of hospital managers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broom, A; Gibson, A F; Broom, J; Kirby, E; Yarwood, T; Post, J J

    2016-11-01

    Antibiotic optimization in hospitals is an increasingly critical priority in the context of proliferating resistance. Despite the emphasis on doctors, optimizing antibiotic use within hospitals requires an understanding of how different stakeholders, including non-prescribers, influence practice and practice change. This study was designed to understand Australian hospital managers' perspectives on antimicrobial resistance, managing antibiotic governance, and negotiating clinical vis-à-vis managerial priorities. Twenty-three managers in three hospitals participated in qualitative semi-structured interviews in Australia in 2014 and 2015. Data were systematically coded and thematically analysed. The findings demonstrate, from a managerial perspective: (1) competing demands that can hinder the prioritization of antibiotic governance; (2) ineffectiveness of audit and monitoring methods that limit rationalization for change; (3) limited clinical education and feedback to doctors; and (4) management-directed change processes are constrained by the perceived absence of a 'culture of accountability' for antimicrobial use amongst doctors. Hospital managers report considerable structural and interprofessional challenges to actualizing antibiotic optimization and governance. These challenges place optimization as a lower priority vis-à-vis other issues that management are confronted with in hospital settings, and emphasize the importance of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes that engage management in understanding and addressing the barriers to change. Copyright © 2016 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Value Iteration Adaptive Dynamic Programming for Optimal Control of Discrete-Time Nonlinear Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Qinglai; Liu, Derong; Lin, Hanquan

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, a value iteration adaptive dynamic programming (ADP) algorithm is developed to solve infinite horizon undiscounted optimal control problems for discrete-time nonlinear systems. The present value iteration ADP algorithm permits an arbitrary positive semi-definite function to initialize the algorithm. A novel convergence analysis is developed to guarantee that the iterative value function converges to the optimal performance index function. Initialized by different initial functions, it is proven that the iterative value function will be monotonically nonincreasing, monotonically nondecreasing, or nonmonotonic and will converge to the optimum. In this paper, for the first time, the admissibility properties of the iterative control laws are developed for value iteration algorithms. It is emphasized that new termination criteria are established to guarantee the effectiveness of the iterative control laws. Neural networks are used to approximate the iterative value function and compute the iterative control law, respectively, for facilitating the implementation of the iterative ADP algorithm. Finally, two simulation examples are given to illustrate the performance of the present method.

  15. Determining the Optimal Values of Exponential Smoothing Constants--Does Solver Really Work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravinder, Handanhal V.

    2013-01-01

    A key issue in exponential smoothing is the choice of the values of the smoothing constants used. One approach that is becoming increasingly popular in introductory management science and operations management textbooks is the use of Solver, an Excel-based non-linear optimizer, to identify values of the smoothing constants that minimize a measure…

  16. FUZZY LOGIC BASED OPTIMIZATION OF CAPACITOR VALUE FOR SINGLE PHASE OPEN WELL SUBMERSIBLE INDUCTION MOTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Subramanian

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose – The aim of this paper is to optimize the capacitor value of a single phase open well submersible motor operating under extreme voltage conditions using fuzzy logic optimization technique and compared with no-load volt-ampere method. This is done by keeping the displacement angle (a between main winding and auxiliary winding near 90o, phase angle (f between the supply voltage and line current near 0o. The optimization work is carried out by using Fuzzy Logic Toolbox software built on the MATLAB technical computing environment with Simulink software. Findings – The optimum capacitor value obtained is used with a motor and tested for different supply voltage conditions. The vector diagrams obtained from the experimental test results indicates that the performance is improved from the existing value. Originality/value – This method will be highly useful for the practicing design engineers in selecting the optimum capacitance value for single phase induction motors to achieve the best performance for operating at extreme supply voltage conditions.

  17. Favorable effect of optimal lipid-lowering therapy on neointimal tissue characteristics after drug-eluting stent implantation: qualitative optical coherence tomographic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Ji-Yong; Kim, Jung-Sun; Shin, Dong-Ho; Kim, Byeong-Keuk; Ko, Young-Guk; Choi, Donghoon; Jang, Yangsoo; Hong, Myeong-Ki

    2015-10-01

    Serial follow-up optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to evaluate the effect of optimal lipid-lowering therapy on qualitative changes in neointimal tissue characteristics after drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation. DES-treated patients (n = 218) who received statin therapy were examined with serial follow-up OCT. First and second follow-up OCT evaluations were performed approximately 6 and 18 months after the index procedure, respectively. Patients were divided into two groups, based on the level of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), which was measured at the second follow-up. The optimal lipid-lowering group (n = 121) had an LDL-C reduction of ≥50% or an LDL-C level ≤70 mg/dL, and the conventional group (n = 97). Neointimal characteristics were qualitatively categorized as homogeneous or non-homogeneous patterns using OCT. The non-homogeneous group included heterogeneous, layered, or neoatherosclerosis patterns. Qualitative changes in neointimal tissue characteristics between the first and second follow-up OCT examinations were assessed. Between the first and second follow-up OCT procedures, the neointimal cross-sectional area increased more substantially in the conventional group (0.4 mm(2) vs. 0.2 mm(2) in the optimal lipid-lowering group, p = 0.01). The neointimal pattern changed from homogeneous to non-homogeneous less often in the optimal lipid-lowering group (1.3%, 1/77, p < 0.001) than in the conventional group (15.3%, 11/72, p = 0.44). Optimal LDL-C reduction was an independent predictor for the prevention of neointimal pattern change from homogeneous to non-homogeneous (odds ratio: 0.05, 95% confidence interval: 0.01∼0.46, p = 0.008). Our findings suggest that an intensive reduction in LDL-C levels can prevent non-homogeneous changes in the neointima and increases in neointimal cross-sectional area compared with conventional LDL-C controls. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Optimizing Implementation of Obesity Prevention Programs: A Qualitative Investigation Within a Large-Scale Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozica, Samantha L; Teede, Helena J; Harrison, Cheryce L; Klein, Ruth; Lombard, Catherine B

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of obesity in rural and remote areas is elevated in comparison to urban populations, highlighting the need for interventions targeting obesity prevention in these settings. Implementing evidence-based obesity prevention programs is challenging. This study aimed to investigate factors influencing the implementation of obesity prevention programs, including adoption, program delivery, community uptake, and continuation, specifically within rural settings. Nested within a large-scale randomized controlled trial, a qualitative exploratory approach was adopted, with purposive sampling techniques utilized, to recruit stakeholders from 41 small rural towns in Australia. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with clinical health professionals, health service managers, and local government employees. Open coding was completed independently by 2 investigators and thematic analysis undertaken. In-depth interviews revealed that obesity prevention programs were valued by the rural workforce. Program implementation is influenced by interrelated factors across: (1) contextual factors and (2) organizational capacity. Key recommendations to manage the challenges of implementing evidence-based programs focused on reducing program delivery costs, aided by the provision of a suite of implementation and evaluation resources. Informing the scale-up of future prevention programs, stakeholders highlighted the need to build local rural capacity through developing supportive university partnerships, generating local program ownership and promoting active feedback to all program partners. We demonstrate that the rural workforce places a high value on obesity prevention programs. Our results inform the future scale-up of obesity prevention programs, providing an improved understanding of strategies to optimize implementation of evidence-based prevention programs. © 2015 National Rural Health Association.

  19. The Value of Qualitative Description in Health Services and Policy Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Health services and policy (HSP) researchers have long used qualitative research methodologies to explore health system issues. However, the appropriateness of one approach, qualitative description, for HSP research is still often overlooked. In this article, I discuss the role that qualitative description can play in HSP research, and argue for its greater acceptance as a valid form of academic scholarship. PMID:28277201

  20. Computing interval-valued reliability measures: application of optimal control methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kozin, Igor; Krymsky, Victor

    2017-01-01

    The paper describes an approach to deriving interval-valued reliability measures given partial statistical information on the occurrence of failures. We apply methods of optimal control theory, in particular, Pontryagin’s principle of maximum to solve the non-linear optimisation problem and derive...... the probabilistic interval-valued quantities of interest. It is proven that the optimisation problem can be translated into another problem statement that can be solved on the class of piecewise continuous probability density functions (pdfs). This class often consists of piecewise exponential pdfs which appear...... as soon as among the constraints there are bounds on a failure rate of a component under consideration. Finding the number of switching points of the piecewise continuous pdfs and their values becomes the focus of the approach described in the paper. Examples are provided....

  1. Life Values as an Intrinsic Guide for Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program Engagement: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Jordan M; Whited, Matthew C; Freeman, John Taylor; Corson, Ansley T; Jameson, John Paul; Greenway, Stacey; Sager, David M; Midgette, Emily P; Varju, Eliza V

    2017-11-08

    Participation in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation (CVPR) programs can lead to improved functional abilities and improved quality of life, but attendance and adherence to these programs remain suboptimal. Behavioral therapies have emphasized the importance of life value identification as a guide for goal setting and behavior change for both psychological and physical health conditions. Individuals who choose to engage in behaviors that align with their life values are thought to be intrinsically reinforced. The purpose of the following qualitative study was to interview patients enrolled in CVPR about their own life values and motivating factors related to healthy behavior changes. Thirty cardiac or pulmonary patients were recruited from a CVPR program and participated in a semistructured interview about their life values and motivating factors related to program engagement. The data were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Participants identified a wide range of values related to program engagement, and only half of the participants endorsed health as a value. The most frequently endorsed life values included being active, family, and independence. The interviews indicated that, although patients make lifestyle changes in the program to improve their physical health, there are often other values that primarily guide their choice to engage in and maintain lifestyle behaviors. Life values can serve as a powerful guide for individual behavior change. The present study suggests that the piloting of brief values interventions early in CVPR treatment is warranted and has the potential to improve patient outcomes.

  2. Optimization of fuel cycles: marginal loss values

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaussens, J.; Lasteyrie, B. de; Doumerc, J.

    1965-01-01

    Uranium processing from the pit to the fuel element rod entails metal losses at every step. These losses become more and more expensive with the elaboration of the metal. Some of the uranium must be accepted as definitely lost whilst the rest could be recovered and recycled. The high cost of these losses, whether they are recycled or not, and the fact that the higher the enrichment is the higher their costs are, make it necessary to take them into account when optimizing fuel cycles. It is therefore felt important to determine their most desirable level from an economic point of view at the various nuclear fuel processing stages. However, in France as in some other countries, fissile material production is a state concern, whilst fuel element fabrication is carried out by private enterprise. Optimization criteria and the economic value of losses are therefore different for each of the two links in the fabrication chain. One can try in spite of this to reach an optimum which would conform to public interest, without interfering with the firm's sales policy. This entails using the fact that for a given output marginal costs are equal at the optimum. One can therefore adjust the level of the losses to attain this equation of marginal costs, as these are easier to obtain from the firm than a justification of the actual prices. One notices moreover that, although mainly concerned with losses, this global analysis can bring both the state and the firm to a better use of other production factors. An account is given of the theory of this economic optimization method and practical applications in the field of natural uranium-graphite moderated and CO 2 cooled reactor fuel element fabrication are offered. (authors) [fr

  3. Comparative Study on the Optimization Path of Industrial Value Chain in China’s Resource-Based Cities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menglin Xing

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available China’s resource-based cities have currently entered a period of comprehensive transformation. The differences in the economic and technical environment and significant policy orientation make it unique to some extent. This study applied value chain theory to analyze the industrial value chain of China’s resource-based cities, and three important types of optimization paths that have been applied differently by different cities were proposed. Grey relational analysis was used to compare the comprehensive value creation capacity of the three paths and its relationship with the comparative advantage of local industry. We found that a circular economy system has significant capacity to optimize economic and social value and favorable prospects for environmental value. However, this may have obvious instability in early periods of transition. This disadvantage can be remedied by cultivating related industries that have significantly comprehensive advantages in the early period. In the long term, the other two paths need to be combined with cultivating emerging industries. Finally, we found that the value creation capacity of China’s resource-based cities has roots in optimization of the industrial value chain rather than enhancement of the industrial comparative advantage. The reason for this is that value creation capacity has not yet been transformed into a source of industrial comparative advantage.

  4. Exploring the value of qualitative research films in clinical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toye, Fran; Jenkins, Sue; Seers, Kate; Barker, Karen

    2015-11-27

    Many healthcare professionals use both quantitative and qualitative research to inform their practice. The usual way to access research findings is through peer-reviewed publications. This study aimed to understand the impact on healthcare professionals of watching and discussing a short research based film. The film, 'Struggling to be me' portrays findings from a qualitative synthesis exploring people's experiences of chronic pain, and was delivered as part of an inter-professional postgraduate e-learning module. The innovation of our study is to be the first to explore the impact of qualitative research portrayed through the medium of film in clinical education. All nineteen healthcare professionals enrolled on the course in December 2013 took part in on-line interviews or focus groups. We recorded and transcribed the interviews verbatim and used the methods of Grounded Theory to analyse the interview transcripts. Watching and discussing the film became a stimulus for learning : (a) A glimpse beneath the surface explored a pro-active way of seeing the person behind the pain (b) Pitfalls of the Medical Model recognised the challenge, for both patient and clinician, of 'sitting with' rather than 'fixing' an ill person; (c) Feeling bombarded by despair acknowledged the intense emotions that the clinicians brings to the clinical encounter; (d) Reconstructing the clinical encounter as a shared journey reconstructed the time-constrained clinical encounter as a single step on a shared journey towards healing, rather than fixing. Films portraying qualitative research findings can stimulate a pro-active and dialectic form of knowing. Research-based qualitative films can make qualitative findings accessible and can be a useful resource in clinical training. Our research presents, for the first time, specific learning themes for clinical education.

  5. Decision and Inhibitory Rule Optimization for Decision Tables with Many-valued Decisions

    KAUST Repository

    Alsolami, Fawaz

    2016-01-01

    ‘If-then’ rule sets are one of the most expressive and human-readable knowledge representations. This thesis deals with optimization and analysis of decision and inhibitory rules for decision tables with many-valued decisions. The most important

  6. What environmental factors influence resumption of valued activities post stroke: a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jellema, Sandra; van Hees, Suzanne; Zajec, Jana; van der Sande, Rob; Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Maria Wg; Steultjens, Esther Mj

    2017-07-01

    Identify the environmental factors that influence stroke-survivors' reengagement in personally valued activities and determine what specific environmental factors are related to specific valued activity types. PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO were searched until June 2016 using multiple search-terms for stroke, activities, disability, and home and community environments. An integrated mixed-method systematic review of qualitative, quantitative and mixed-design studies was conducted. Two researchers independently identified relevant studies, assessed their methodological quality and extracted relevant findings. To validly compare and combine the various findings, all findings were classified and grouped by environmental category and level of evidence. The search yielded 4024 records; 69 studies were included. Most findings came from low-evidence-level studies such as single qualitative studies. All findings were consistent in that the following factors facilitated reengagement post-stroke: personal adapted equipment; accessible environments; transport; services; education and information. Barriers were: others' negative attitudes and behaviour; long distances and inconvenient environmental conditions (such as bad weather). Each type of valued activity, such as mobility or work, had its own pattern of environmental influences, social support was a facilitator to all types of activities. Although in many qualitative studies others' attitudes, behaviour and stroke-related knowledge were seen as important for reengagement, these factors were hardly studied quantitatively. A diversity of environmental factors was related to stroke-survivors' reengagement. Most findings came from low-evidence-level studies so that evidence on causal relationships was scarce. In future, more higher-level-evidence studies, for example on the attitudes of significant others, should be conducted.

  7. The Value of Open Source Software Tools in Qualitative Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Gary

    2011-01-01

    In an era of global networks, researchers using qualitative methods must consider the impact of any software they use on the sharing of data and findings. In this essay, I identify researchers' main areas of concern regarding the use of qualitative software packages for research. I then examine how open source software tools, wherein the publisher…

  8. Optimizing the financial structure and maximizing the future value of your generation project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arulampalam, G.; Letellier, M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper discusses ways of optimizing the financial structure and maximizing the future value of an electric power generation project. It outlines the project structure, the sponsor objectives, project finance lending criteria, project timeline, risk mitigation, bank and institutional financing, sponsor's role, impact of financing choices on project value, and impact of penalties and derivative products

  9. Optimization of decision rule complexity for decision tables with many-valued decisions

    KAUST Repository

    Azad, Mohammad

    2013-10-01

    We describe new heuristics to construct decision rules for decision tables with many-valued decisions from the point of view of length and coverage which are enough good. We use statistical test to find leaders among the heuristics. After that, we compare our results with optimal result obtained by dynamic programming algorithms. The average percentage of relative difference between length (coverage) of constructed and optimal rules is at most 6.89% (15.89%, respectively) for leaders which seems to be a promising result. © 2013 IEEE.

  10. Grey-Markov prediction model based on background value optimization and central-point triangular whitenization weight function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Jing; Dang, Yaoguo; Li, Bingjun

    2018-01-01

    Grey-Markov forecasting model is a combination of grey prediction model and Markov chain which show obvious optimization effects for data sequences with characteristics of non-stationary and volatility. However, the state division process in traditional Grey-Markov forecasting model is mostly based on subjective real numbers that immediately affects the accuracy of forecasting values. To seek the solution, this paper introduces the central-point triangular whitenization weight function in state division to calculate possibilities of research values in each state which reflect preference degrees in different states in an objective way. On the other hand, background value optimization is applied in the traditional grey model to generate better fitting data. By this means, the improved Grey-Markov forecasting model is built. Finally, taking the grain production in Henan Province as an example, it verifies this model's validity by comparing with GM(1,1) based on background value optimization and the traditional Grey-Markov forecasting model.

  11. Portfolio management using value at risk: A comparison between genetic algorithms and particle swarm optimization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    V.A.F. Dallagnol (V. A F); J.H. van den Berg (Jan); L. Mous (Lonneke)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractIn this paper, it is shown a comparison of the application of particle swarm optimization and genetic algorithms to portfolio management, in a constrained portfolio optimization problem where no short sales are allowed. The objective function to be minimized is the value at risk

  12. Unrealistic optimism, fatalism, and risk-taking in New Zealand farmers' descriptions of quad-bike incidents: a directed qualitative content analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay, Lynne; Hay-Smith, E Jean C; Treharne, Gareth J; Milosavljevic, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    Quad-bike incidents are a major cause of occupational injury and fatality on farms warranting health and safety attention. As part of a larger study, we carried out a face-to-face survey with 216 farmers in New Zealand. We quantitatively identified farmers' propensity for risk-taking, unrealistic optimism, and fatalism as risk factors in quad-bike loss-of-control events (LCEs). The purpose of the analysis presented in this article was to use these same farmers' recollections of LCEs to explore the a priori constructs in more detail using qualitative methods. Participants reporting one or more LCEs described their first LCE and any experienced in the previous 12 months. Participants provided open-text responses about what occurred at each LCE, their reflections, and general thoughts on LCE risk factors. Directed qualitative content analysis (QCA) was used to "unpack" risk-taking, unrealistic optimism, and fatalism whilst also delineating any additional concepts that farmers associate with LCEs. Risk-taking elements were more evident than unrealistic optimism or fatalism and more suggestive of farmers finding themselves in risky situations rather than engaging in risk-seeking behavior per se. Additional inductively derived categories of fatigue/stress, multitasking, inexperience, and quad-bike faults highlight the complex nature of LCEs and the importance of risk assessment covering these concepts as well as risky situations.

  13. In their own words: the value of qualitative research to improve the care of children with chronic kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Camilla S; Craig, Jonathan C; Tong, Allison

    2017-09-01

    Patient- and family-centered care is hailed as a hallmark of high-quality pediatric care. This partnership between patients, families and their healthcare providers is central to caring for children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), given the long-term and profound impact of the disease and its treatment on the development and quality of life of these children. This paradigm hinges on a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the needs, beliefs and values of children with CKD and their families. However, their perspectives may remain undisclosed during time-limited clinical consultations and because of beliefs that if they did disclose their concerns, their care would be jeopardized. Qualitative research provides an avenue for children and families to articulate their perspectives and experiences and thereby to generate relevant, in-depth and often compelling insights to inform care. Yet, qualitative studies remain sparse in biomedical journals. Increasing both our awareness of the role of qualitative research in improving care and outcomes for children and adolescents with CKD and our understanding of the conduct and rigor of qualitative studies is required. This article will outline how qualitative research can generate relevant evidence to inform practice and policy in children with CKD, provide an overview of qualitative methods and introduce a framework to appraise qualitative research. More evidence derived from qualitative research is needed to inform shared decision-making and the development of interventions and policies that address the preferences and priorities of children with CKD and their families. Ultimately, this strategy may help to improve the outcomes that they regard as critical to their care.

  14. Qualitative Analysis of Diagnostic Value of 24-h Proteinuria for Preeclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Zhuang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Preeclampsia (PE is a serious idiopathic disease posing a threat to both mothers and fetuses′ lives during pregnancy, whose main diagnostic criteria include hypertension with proteinuria. However, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG updated the diagnostic criteria for PE and reduced the diagnostic value of proteinuria for patients with PE. Qualitative analysis of the diagnostic value of 24-h proteinuria for patients with PE in China was conducted to evaluate the diagnostic criteria value in the latest ACOG guideline. Methods: Complete clinical data of 65 patients with hypertensive disorder in pregnancy (HDP were collected. All patients were delivered to and hospitalized in Renji Hospital. Adverse outcome was defined in case of the emergence of any serious complication for a mother or the fetus. A retrospective study was conducted according to ACOG guideline, to analyze the relationship between each diagnostic criteria of ACOG guideline and maternal and perinatal outcomes. Spearman correlation test was used to detect the association between each diagnostic criterion, its corresponding value, and the adverse pregnancy outcome. Logistic regression was performed to verify the result of Spearman correlation test. Results: Of 65 HDP patients, the percentage of adverse pregnancy outcome was 63.1%. Adverse pregnancy outcomes constitute diversification. There were 55 cases with 24-h proteinuria value ≥0.3 g, of which the adverse outcome rate was 74.5%. While adverse pregnancy outcomes did not appear in the rest 10 HDP patients with proteinuria <0.3 g/24 h. The statistic difference was significant (P = 0.000. However, no significant difference was found in other criteria groups (impaired liver function: P = 0.417; renal insufficiency: P = 0.194; thrombocytopenia: P = 0.079; and cerebral or visual symptoms: P = 0.296. The correlation coefficient between 24-h proteinuria ≥0.3 g and adverse pregnancy outcomes was 0

  15. The use of singular value gradients and optimization techniques to design robust controllers for multiloop systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, J. R.; Mukhopadhyay, V.

    1983-01-01

    A method for designing robust feedback controllers for multiloop systems is presented. Robustness is characterized in terms of the minimum singular value of the system return difference matrix at the plant input. Analytical gradients of the singular values with respect to design variables in the controller are derived. A cumulative measure of the singular values and their gradients with respect to the design variables is used with a numerical optimization technique to increase the system's robustness. Both unconstrained and constrained optimization techniques are evaluated. Numerical results are presented for a two output drone flight control system.

  16. Optimal transformations leading to normal distributions of positron emission tomography standardized uptake values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarpelli, Matthew; Eickhoff, Jens; Cuna, Enrique; Perlman, Scott; Jeraj, Robert

    2018-02-01

    The statistical analysis of positron emission tomography (PET) standardized uptake value (SUV) measurements is challenging due to the skewed nature of SUV distributions. This limits utilization of powerful parametric statistical models for analyzing SUV measurements. An ad-hoc approach, which is frequently used in practice, is to blindly use a log transformation, which may or may not result in normal SUV distributions. This study sought to identify optimal transformations leading to normally distributed PET SUVs extracted from tumors and assess the effects of therapy on the optimal transformations. Methods. The optimal transformation for producing normal distributions of tumor SUVs was identified by iterating the Box-Cox transformation parameter (λ) and selecting the parameter that maximized the Shapiro-Wilk P-value. Optimal transformations were identified for tumor SUVmax distributions at both pre and post treatment. This study included 57 patients that underwent 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET scans (publically available dataset). In addition, to test the generality of our transformation methodology, we included analysis of 27 patients that underwent 18F-Fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) PET scans at our institution. Results. After applying the optimal Box-Cox transformations, neither the pre nor the post treatment 18F-FDG SUV distributions deviated significantly from normality (P  >  0.10). Similar results were found for 18F-FLT PET SUV distributions (P  >  0.10). For both 18F-FDG and 18F-FLT SUV distributions, the skewness and kurtosis increased from pre to post treatment, leading to a decrease in the optimal Box-Cox transformation parameter from pre to post treatment. There were types of distributions encountered for both 18F-FDG and 18F-FLT where a log transformation was not optimal for providing normal SUV distributions. Conclusion. Optimization of the Box-Cox transformation, offers a solution for identifying normal SUV transformations for when

  17. On the value and price-responsiveness of ramp-constrained storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faghih, Ali; Roozbehani, Mardavij; Dahleh, Munther A.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Derived the optimal policy and value function for ramp-constrained storage. • Gave analytic bound on long-term value, and explicit formulas for policy thresholds. • Value of storage saturates as capacity increases, regardless of price volatility. • In expectation, storage can induce high price elasticity near the mean price. • The buy/sell phase transition region in the price-state plane is steep. - Abstract: The primary concerns of this paper are twofold: understanding the value of storage in the presence of ramp constraints and exogenous energy prices, and understanding the implications of the associated optimal storage management policy for qualitative and quantitative characteristics of storage response to real-time prices. The optimal policy, along with the associated finite-horizon time-averaged value of storage, are analytically characterized in this paper. An analytical upper bound on the infinite-horizon time-averaged value of storage is also derived. This bound is valid for any achievable realization of prices when the support of the distribution is fixed, and highlights the dependence of the value of storage on ramp constraints and storage capacity. It is shown that while the value of storage is a non-decreasing function of price volatility, due to the finite ramp rate, the value of storage saturates quickly as the capacity increases, regardless of volatility. To study the implications of the optimal policy, computational experiments are presented that suggest optimal utilization of storage can, in expectation, induce a considerable amount of price elasticity near the average price. Then, a computational framework is presented for characterization of the behavior of storage as a function of price and the state of charge, which illustrates a steep buy/sell phase transition in the price-state plane

  18. Optimal high b-value for diffusion weighted MRI in diagnosing high risk prostate cancers in the peripheral zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Harsh K; Mertan, Francesca V; Sankineni, Sandeep; Bernardo, Marcelino; Senegas, Julien; Keupp, Jochen; Daar, Dagane; Merino, Maria; Wood, Bradford J; Pinto, Peter A; Choyke, Peter L; Turkbey, Baris

    2017-01-01

    To retrospectively determine the optimal b-value(s) of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) associated with intermediate-high risk cancer in the peripheral zone (PZ) of the prostate. Forty-two consecutive patients underwent multi b-value (16 evenly spaced b-values between 0 and 2000 s/mm 2 ) DWI along with multi-parametric MRI (MP-MRI) of the prostate at 3 Tesla followed by trans-rectal ultrasound/MRI fusion guided targeted biopsy of suspicious lesions detected at MP-MRI. Computed DWI images up to a simulated b-value of 4000 s/mm 2 were also obtained using a pair of b-values (b = 133 and 400 or 667 or 933 s/mm 2 ) from the multi b-value DWI. The contrast ratio of average intensity of the targeted lesions and the background PZ was determined. Receiver operator characteristic curves and the area under the curve (AUCs) were obtained for separating patients eligible for active surveillance with low risk prostate cancers from intermediate-high risk prostate cancers as per the cancer of the prostate risk assessment (CAPRA) scoring system. The AUC first increased then decreased with the increase in b-values reaching maximum at b = 1600 s/mm 2 (0.74) with no statistically significant different AUC of DWI with b-values 1067-2000 s/mm 2 . The AUC of computed DWI increased then decreased with the increase in b-values reaching a maximum of 0.75 around b = 2000 s/mm 2 . There was no statistically significant difference between the AUC of optimal acquired DWI and either of optimal computed DWI. The optimal b-value for acquired DWI in differentiating intermediate-high from low risk prostate cancers in the PZ is b = 1600 s/mm 2 . The computed DWI has similar performance as that of acquired DWI with the optimal performance around b = 2000 s/mm 2 . 4 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2017;45:125-131. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  19. Perceived Enablers and Barriers to Optimal Health among Music Students: A Qualitative Study in the Music Conservatoire Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Rosie; Reid, Helen; Araújo, Liliana S; Clark, Terry; Williamon, Aaron

    2017-01-01

    Student health and wellbeing within higher education has been documented as poor in relation to the general population. This is a particular problem among students at music conservatoires, who are studying within a unique educational context that is known to generate both physical and psychological challenges. This article examines how conservatoire students experience health and wellbeing within their institutional context, using a framework from health promotion to focus attention on perceived enablers and barriers to optimal health in relation to three levels: lifestyle, support services, and conservatoire environment. In order to respond to the individuality of students' experiences, a qualitative approach was taken based on semi-structured interviews with 20 current or recent conservatoire students in the United Kingdom. Thematic analysis revealed a complex set of enablers and barriers: (i) lifestyle enablers included value placed on the importance of optimal health and wellbeing for musicians and daily practices to enable this; lifestyle barriers included struggling to maintain healthy lifestyles within the context of musical practice and learning; (ii) support enablers included accessible support sources within and beyond the conservatoire; support barriers included a perceived lack of availability or awareness of appropriate support; (iii) environmental enablers included positive and enjoyable experiences of performance as well as strong relationships and communities; environmental barriers included experiences of comparison and competition, pressure and stress, challenges with negative performance feedback, psychological distress, and perceived overwork. The findings reveal a need for health promotion to focus not only on individuals but also on the daily practices and routines of conservatoires. Additionally, they suggest that continued work is required to embed health and wellbeing support as an integral component of conservatoire education, raising

  20. Perceived Enablers and Barriers to Optimal Health among Music Students: A Qualitative Study in the Music Conservatoire Setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosie Perkins

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Student health and wellbeing within higher education has been documented as poor in relation to the general population. This is a particular problem among students at music conservatoires, who are studying within a unique educational context that is known to generate both physical and psychological challenges. This article examines how conservatoire students experience health and wellbeing within their institutional context, using a framework from health promotion to focus attention on perceived enablers and barriers to optimal health in relation to three levels: lifestyle, support services, and conservatoire environment. In order to respond to the individuality of students’ experiences, a qualitative approach was taken based on semi-structured interviews with 20 current or recent conservatoire students in the United Kingdom. Thematic analysis revealed a complex set of enablers and barriers: (i lifestyle enablers included value placed on the importance of optimal health and wellbeing for musicians and daily practices to enable this; lifestyle barriers included struggling to maintain healthy lifestyles within the context of musical practice and learning; (ii support enablers included accessible support sources within and beyond the conservatoire; support barriers included a perceived lack of availability or awareness of appropriate support; (iii environmental enablers included positive and enjoyable experiences of performance as well as strong relationships and communities; environmental barriers included experiences of comparison and competition, pressure and stress, challenges with negative performance feedback, psychological distress, and perceived overwork. The findings reveal a need for health promotion to focus not only on individuals but also on the daily practices and routines of conservatoires. Additionally, they suggest that continued work is required to embed health and wellbeing support as an integral component of conservatoire

  1. Balance between qualitative and quantitative verification methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nidaira, Kazuo

    2012-01-01

    The amount of inspection effort for verification of declared nuclear material needs to be optimized in the situation where qualitative and quantitative measures are applied. Game theory was referred to investigate the relation of detection probability and deterrence of diversion. Payoffs used in the theory were quantified for cases of conventional safeguards and integrated safeguards by using AHP, Analytical Hierarchy Process. Then, it became possible to estimate detection probability under integrated safeguards which had equivalent deterrence capability for detection probability under conventional safeguards. In addition the distribution of inspection effort for qualitative and quantitative measures was estimated. Although the AHP has some ambiguities in quantifying qualitative factors, its application to optimization in safeguards is useful to reconsider the detection probabilities under integrated safeguards. (author)

  2. [Predictive value of qualitative assessment of general movements for adverse outcomes at 24 months of age in infants with asphyxia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Nan; Wen, Xiao-Hong; Huang, Jin-Hua; Wang, Shui-Yun; Zhu, Yue-E

    2015-12-01

    To investigate the predictive value of the qualitative assessment of general movements (GMs) for adverse outcomes at 24 months of age in full-term infants with asphyxia. A total of 114 full-term asphyxiated infants, who were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit between 2009 and 2012 and took part in follow-ups after discharge were included in the study. All of them received the qualitative assessment of GMs within 3 months after birth. The development quotient was determined with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 24 months of age. The results of the qualitative assessment of GMs within 3 months after birth showed that among 114 infants, 20 (17.5%) had poor repertoire movements and 7 (6.1%) had cramped-synchronized movements during the writhing movements period; 8 infants (7.0%) had the absence of fidgety movements during the fidgety movements period. The results of development quotient at 24 months of age showed that 7 infants (6.1%) had adverse developmental outcomes: 6 cases of cerebral palsy and mental retardation and 1 case of mental retardation. There was a poor consistency between poor repertoire movements during the writhing movements period and the developmental outcomes at 24 months of age (Kappa=-0.019; P>0.05). There was a high consistency between cramped-synchronized movements during the writhing movements period and the developmental outcomes at 24 months of age (Kappa=0.848; Ppredictive values of cramped-synchronized movements were shown as follows: predictive validity 98.2%, sensitivity 85.7%, specificity 99.1%, positive predictive value 85.7%, and negative predictive value 99.1%. There was a high consistency between the absence of fidgety movements during the fidgety movements period and the developmental outcomes at 24 months of age (Kappa=0.786; Ppredictive values were expressed as follows: predictive validity 97.4%, sensitivity 85.7%, specificity 98.1%, positive predictive value 75.0%, and negative predictive value 99.1%. Cramped

  3. AI/OR computational model for integrating qualitative and quantitative design methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agogino, Alice M.; Bradley, Stephen R.; Cagan, Jonathan; Jain, Pramod; Michelena, Nestor

    1990-01-01

    A theoretical framework for integrating qualitative and numerical computational methods for optimally-directed design is described. The theory is presented as a computational model and features of implementations are summarized where appropriate. To demonstrate the versatility of the methodology we focus on four seemingly disparate aspects of the design process and their interaction: (1) conceptual design, (2) qualitative optimal design, (3) design innovation, and (4) numerical global optimization.

  4. Getting to the Bottom of the Well: The Value of Qualitative Research ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Qualitative researchers are often compelled to defend their methods and ... research into teaching and learning from a non-social scientific background. ... a) the commonalities between quantitative and qualitative research approaches; b) the ...

  5. Racing Sampling Based Microimmune Optimization Approach Solving Constrained Expected Value Programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Yang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This work investigates a bioinspired microimmune optimization algorithm to solve a general kind of single-objective nonlinear constrained expected value programming without any prior distribution. In the study of algorithm, two lower bound sample estimates of random variables are theoretically developed to estimate the empirical values of individuals. Two adaptive racing sampling schemes are designed to identify those competitive individuals in a given population, by which high-quality individuals can obtain large sampling size. An immune evolutionary mechanism, along with a local search approach, is constructed to evolve the current population. The comparative experiments have showed that the proposed algorithm can effectively solve higher-dimensional benchmark problems and is of potential for further applications.

  6. MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGIES — AN INNOVATIVE METHOD OF PROTEIN BIOLOGICAL VALUE INCREASING IN YOUNG CHILDREN FEEDING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. V. Gmoshinskii

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A qualitatively new approach to protein production for milk formulas for infants is discussed in this article. The advantage of membrane technologies usage is that they allow preserving protein biological value and make it possible to control the levels of amino-acids in protein by optimizing their proportion and quantity.

  7. By the numbers: Structure-seeking individuals prefer quantitative over qualitative representations of personal value to compensate for the threat of unclear performance contingencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Zachary K; Landau, Mark J; Sullivan, Daniel

    2011-11-01

    What combination of dispositional and situational factors leads people to represent their personal value in quantitative terms (e.g., salary) rather than qualitative terms (e.g., virtue)? Integrating research on quantitative information seeking, dispositional epistemic motivation, and learned helplessness, the current article hypothesized that individuals high, but not low, in uncertainty avoidance (measured with the Personal Need for Structure Scale [PNS]) would prefer quantitative (over qualitative) value representations to compensate for the diminished self-esteem certainty caused by exposure to unclear performance contingencies. Accordingly, in Study 1 high-PNS participants exposed to unclear (vs. clear) performance contingencies in one domain (visual intelligence) preferred a quantitative value representation in another domain (verbal intelligence). Study 2 showed that this effect is mediated by self-esteem certainty, not self-esteem level. Study 3 included a failure feedback condition to further isolate the role of epistemic motivation, as distinct from self-enhancement motivation, in driving the tendency to quantify personal value.

  8. Perhitungan Value at Risk Pada Portfolio Optimal: Studi Perbandingan Saham Syariah dan Saham Konvensional

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Astuti Heryanti

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to obtain empirical evidence about the difference between the level of risk when investing stocks in the Islamic and conventional by using Value at Risk (VaR. The object of research including consistent stock in the Jakarta Islamic Index and LQ45. The analytical method used in this research is quantitative analysis consisting of the establishment of the optimal portfolio by Markowitz method, calculation of VaR and testing the differences with Independent sample t-test. This study indicated that the value every stock can be reduced by diversifying through the establishment of an optimal portfolio. Based on the calculation Independent sample t-test, it is known that there is no difference between VaR of Islamic stocks and conventional stocks.

  9. Assessing the Value of Information for Identifying Optimal Floodplain Management Portfolios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, L.; Bates, M.; Hui, R.; Lund, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Floodplain management is a complex portfolio problem that can be analyzed from an integrated perspective incorporating traditionally structural and nonstructural options. One method to identify effective strategies for preparing, responding to, and recovering from floods is to optimize for a portfolio of temporary (emergency) and permanent floodplain management options. A risk-based optimization approach to this problem assigns probabilities to specific flood events and calculates the associated expected damages. This approach is currently limited by: (1) the assumption of perfect flood forecast information, i.e. implementing temporary management activities according to the actual flood event may differ from optimizing based on forecasted information and (2) the inability to assess system resilience across a range of possible future events (risk-centric approach). Resilience is defined here as the ability of a system to absorb and recover from a severe disturbance or extreme event. In our analysis, resilience is a system property that requires integration of physical, social, and information domains. This work employs a 3-stage linear program to identify the optimal mix of floodplain management options using conditional probabilities to represent perfect and imperfect flood stages (forecast vs. actual events). We assess the value of information in terms of minimizing damage costs for two theoretical cases - urban and rural systems. We use portfolio analysis to explore how the set of optimal management options differs depending on whether the goal is for the system to be risk-adverse to a specified event or resilient over a range of events.

  10. The relative value of safety and performance indicators and qualitative arguments in different time frames

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alonso, J.; Rohlig, K.J.; Batandjieva, B.; Griffault, L.; Regent, A.; Schneider, J.; Storck, R.; Umeki, H.

    2002-01-01

    Indicators complementary to dose or risk are of great importance for the provision of multiple lines of reasoning at different time frames and therefore for the building of confidence within a safety case and that regulations should acknowledge this fact. They are also of great value with regard to the understanding of the safety case by and the communication to different audiences. The relative value of such indicators changes with time. For longer timescales qualitative information becomes more important. The meaning of calculated dose or risk is different for different timescales (ranging from expected performance to illustration) but dose or risk remains a valuable and central information for any time considered in a Safety Assessment. Certain indicators (concentrations and fluxes) can provide information by avoiding certain uncertainties which increase remarkably with time (biosphere, dilution) but apart from that no generic opinion or recommendation can be derived since the value of specific indicators and the required degree of aggregation (over different nuclides or even of consequence and probability) strongly depends on the many parameter. (authors)

  11. Minimal representation of matrix valued white stochastic processes and U–D factorisation of algorithms for optimal control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willigenburg, van L.G.; Koning, de W.L.

    2013-01-01

    Two different descriptions are used in the literature to formulate the optimal dynamic output feedback control problem for linear dynamical systems with white stochastic parameters and quadratic criteria, called the optimal compensation problem. One describes the matrix valued white stochastic

  12. Commentary: Writing and Evaluating Qualitative Research Reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Deborah; Aroian, Karen J.; McQuaid, Elizabeth L.; Deatrick, Janet A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To provide an overview of qualitative methods, particularly for reviewers and authors who may be less familiar with qualitative research. Methods A question and answer format is used to address considerations for writing and evaluating qualitative research. Results and Conclusions When producing qualitative research, individuals are encouraged to address the qualitative research considerations raised and to explicitly identify the systematic strategies used to ensure rigor in study design and methods, analysis, and presentation of findings. Increasing capacity for review and publication of qualitative research within pediatric psychology will advance the field’s ability to gain a better understanding of the specific needs of pediatric populations, tailor interventions more effectively, and promote optimal health. PMID:27118271

  13. Take a Selfie of Life: A Qualitative Exploration of College Students' Self-Reflections on Free Time Use and Personal Values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hsin-Yu; Yarnal, Careen; Hustad, John T. P.; Sims, Damon

    2016-01-01

    Adopting a qualitative approach, this study explores college students' self-reflections on free time use and personal values. Data were collected from 111 students' final reflection papers for a class entitled "Leisure and Human Behavior." The findings suggest that leisure education may empower students with fundamental knowledge about…

  14. Optimization approach of background value and initial item for improving prediction precision of GM(1,1) model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuhong Wang; Qin Liu; Jianrong Tang; Wenbin Cao; Xiaozhong Li

    2014-01-01

    A combination method of optimization of the back-ground value and optimization of the initial item is proposed. The sequences of the unbiased exponential distribution are simulated and predicted through the optimization of the background value in grey differential equations. The principle of the new information priority in the grey system theory and the rationality of the initial item in the original GM(1,1) model are ful y expressed through the improvement of the initial item in the proposed time response function. A numerical example is employed to il ustrate that the proposed method is able to simulate and predict sequences of raw data with the unbiased exponential distribution and has better simulation performance and prediction precision than the original GM(1,1) model relatively.

  15. The Value of Qualitative Research into Teaching and Learning

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Test

    replication, validity, rigour, generalisation) that scripts the research as science. ... Most of these factors are hard to measure within a quantitative research framework alone. Law‟s .... concepts of theoretical sample and of saturation in qualitative research is .... Reflexive ethnography: a guide to researching selves and others.

  16. ) Application of Value Management and Portfolio Optimization to the Nigerian Market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agbonyeme, C.

    2003-01-01

    The desire to thoroughly analyze the economic value of oil, gas and non-oil properties in Nigeria is increasing fast.This analysis is especially important for marginal fields where the borderline between technical success and financial disaster is small. Also, with the objective to increase daily output of oil to 4 million bbl/day by the year 2005 many dormant fields are re-appraised. This has to be done technically and financially. Oil and gas companies that optimize their portfolio through acquisition and divestiture face a lot of challenges. These challenges include decisions of whether to invest or divest, preparation of a divestiture package for analysis, and also the definition of a company's own most suitable economic performance indicators. In this evaluation process, the understanding and proper modelling of the local fiscal regime is of paramount importance. A quick and efficient method is presented which accounts for the complexity of the Nigerian fiscal regime-for computing the value of fields, analyzing the risks associated with a project and selecting the most profitable project from a range of available projects or portfolios. Tools for facilitating this multifaceted decision making process will be discussed as well as latest probabilistic techniques discussed as well as latest probabilistic techniques and optimization strategies. Example cases showing the successful application of these techniques in Nigeria will round off this paper

  17. Investments in the LNG Value Chain: A Multistage Stochastic Optimization Model focusing on Floating Liquefaction Units

    OpenAIRE

    Røstad, Lars Dybsjord; Erichsen, Jeanette Christine

    2012-01-01

    In this thesis, we have developed a strategic optimization model of investments in infrastructure in the LNG value chain. The focus is on floating LNG production units: when they are a viable solution and what value they add to the LNG value chain. First a deterministic model is presented with focus on describing the value chain, before it is expanded to a multistage stochastic model with uncertain field sizes and gas prices. The objective is to maximize expected discounted profits through op...

  18. Improving CLOPE’s Profit Value and Stability with an Optimized Agglomerative Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yefeng Li

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available CLOPE (Clustering with sLOPE is a simple and fast histogram-based clustering algorithm for categorical data. However, given the same data set with the same input parameter, the clustering results by this algorithm would possibly be different if the transactions are input in a different sequence. In this paper, a hierarchical clustering framework is proposed as an extension of CLOPE to generate stable and satisfactory clustering results based on an optimized agglomerative merge process. The new clustering profit is defined as the merge criteria and the cluster graph structure is proposed to optimize the merge iteration process. The experiments conducted on two datasets both demonstrate that the agglomerative approach achieves stable clustering results with a better profit value, but costs much more time due to the worse complexity.

  19. Barriers to Optimal Pain Management in Aged Care Facilities: An Australian Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veal, Felicity; Williams, Mackenzie; Bereznicki, Luke; Cummings, Elizabeth; Thompson, Angus; Peterson, Gregory; Winzenberg, Tania

    2018-04-01

    Up to 80% of residents in aged care facilities (ACFs) experience pain, which is often suboptimally managed. The purpose of this study was to characterize pain management in ACFs and identify the barriers to optimal pain management. This exploratory descriptive qualitative study used semistructured interviews in five Southern Tasmania, Australian ACFs. Interviewees included 23 staff members (18 nurses and 5 facility managers) and were conducted from September to November 2015. Interviews included questions about how pain was measured or assessed, what happened if pain was identified, barriers to pain management, and potential ways to overcome these barriers. Interviewees noted that there were no formal requirements regarding pain assessment at the ACFs reviewed; however, pain was often informally assessed. Staff noted the importance of adequate pain management for the residents' quality of life and employed both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic techniques to reduce pain when identified. The barriers to optimal pain management included difficulty identifying and assessing pain, residents' resistance to reporting pain and/or taking medications, and communication barriers between the nursing staff and GPs. Staff interviewed were dedicated to managing residents' pain effectively; however, actions in a number of areas could improve resident outcomes. These include a more consistent approach to documenting pain in residents' progress notes and improving nurse-GP communications to ensure that new or escalating pain is identified and expedient changes can be made to the resident's management. Additionally, resident, family, nurse, and carer education, conducted within the facilities on a regular basis, could help improve the pain management of residents. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. An Exploratory Study of Value-Added and Academic Optimism of Urban Reading Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff-Franklin, Clairie L.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to explore the correlation between state-recorded value- added (VA) scores and academic optimism (AO) scores, which measure teacher self-efficacy, trust, and academic emphasis. The sample for this study is 87 third through eighth grade Reading teachers, from fifty-five schools, in an urban school district in Ohio who…

  1. The Value of Qualitative Methods in Social Validity Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leko, Melinda M.

    2014-01-01

    One quality indicator of intervention research is the extent to which the intervention has a high degree of social validity, or practicality. In this study, I drew on Wolf's framework for social validity and used qualitative methods to ascertain five middle schoolteachers' perceptions of the social validity of System 44®--a phonics-based reading…

  2. Reassurance as a key outcome valued by emergency ambulance service users: a qualitative interview study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Togher, Fiona J; O'Cathain, Alicia; Phung, Viet-Hai; Turner, Janette; Siriwardena, Aloysius Niroshan

    2015-12-01

    There is an increasing need to assess the performance of emergency ambulance services using measures other than the time taken for an ambulance to arrive on scene. In line with government policy, patients and carers can help to shape new measures of ambulance service performance. To investigate the aspects of emergency ambulance service care valued by users. Qualitative interview study. One of 11 ambulance services in England. Twenty-two users and eight of their spouses (n = 30). Users of the emergency ambulance service, experiencing different types of ambulance service response, valued similar aspects of their pre-hospital care. Users were often extremely anxious about their health, and the outcome they valued was reassurance provided by ambulance service staff that they were receiving appropriate advice, treatment and care. This sense of being reassured was enhanced by the professional behaviour of staff, which instilled confidence in their care; communication; a short wait for help; and continuity during transfers. A timely response was valued in terms of allaying anxiety quickly. The ability of the emergency ambulance service to allay the high levels of fear and anxiety felt by users is crucial to the delivery of a high quality service. Measures developed to assess and monitor the performance of emergency ambulance services should include the proportion of users reporting feeling reassured by the response they obtained. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Weak-value amplification and optimal parameter estimation in the presence of correlated noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, Josiah; Hallaji, Matin; Steinberg, Aephraim M.; Tollaksen, Jeff; Jordan, Andrew N.

    2017-11-01

    We analytically and numerically investigate the performance of weak-value amplification (WVA) and related parameter estimation methods in the presence of temporally correlated noise. WVA is a special instance of a general measurement strategy that involves sorting data into separate subsets based on the outcome of a second "partitioning" measurement. Using a simplified correlated noise model that can be analyzed exactly together with optimal statistical estimators, we compare WVA to a conventional measurement method. We find that WVA indeed yields a much lower variance of the parameter of interest than the conventional technique does, optimized in the absence of any partitioning measurements. In contrast, a statistically optimal analysis that employs partitioning measurements, incorporating all partitioned results and their known correlations, is found to yield an improvement—typically slight—over the noise reduction achieved by WVA. This result occurs because the simple WVA technique is not tailored to any specific noise environment and therefore does not make use of correlations between the different partitions. We also compare WVA to traditional background subtraction, a familiar technique where measurement outcomes are partitioned to eliminate unknown offsets or errors in calibration. Surprisingly, for the cases we consider, background subtraction turns out to be a special case of the optimal partitioning approach, possessing a similar typically slight advantage over WVA. These results give deeper insight into the role of partitioning measurements (with or without postselection) in enhancing measurement precision, which some have found puzzling. They also resolve previously made conflicting claims about the usefulness of weak-value amplification to precision measurement in the presence of correlated noise. We finish by presenting numerical results to model a more realistic laboratory situation of time-decaying correlations, showing that our conclusions hold

  4. A singular value decomposition linear programming (SVDLP) optimization technique for circular cone based robotic radiotherapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Bin; Li, Yongbao; Wei, Ran; Guo, Bin; Xu, Xuang; Liu, Bo; Li, Jiafeng; Wu, Qiuwen; Zhou, Fugen

    2018-01-01

    With robot-controlled linac positioning, robotic radiotherapy systems such as CyberKnife significantly increase freedom of radiation beam placement, but also impose more challenges on treatment plan optimization. The resampling mechanism in the vendor-supplied treatment planning system (MultiPlan) cannot fully explore the increased beam direction search space. Besides, a sparse treatment plan (using fewer beams) is desired to improve treatment efficiency. This study proposes a singular value decomposition linear programming (SVDLP) optimization technique for circular collimator based robotic radiotherapy. The SVDLP approach initializes the input beams by simulating the process of covering the entire target volume with equivalent beam tapers. The requirements on dosimetry distribution are modeled as hard and soft constraints, and the sparsity of the treatment plan is achieved by compressive sensing. The proposed linear programming (LP) model optimizes beam weights by minimizing the deviation of soft constraints subject to hard constraints, with a constraint on the l 1 norm of the beam weight. A singular value decomposition (SVD) based acceleration technique was developed for the LP model. Based on the degeneracy of the influence matrix, the model is first compressed into lower dimension for optimization, and then back-projected to reconstruct the beam weight. After beam weight optimization, the number of beams is reduced by removing the beams with low weight, and optimizing the weights of the remaining beams using the same model. This beam reduction technique is further validated by a mixed integer programming (MIP) model. The SVDLP approach was tested on a lung case. The results demonstrate that the SVD acceleration technique speeds up the optimization by a factor of 4.8. Furthermore, the beam reduction achieves a similar plan quality to the globally optimal plan obtained by the MIP model, but is one to two orders of magnitude faster. Furthermore, the SVDLP

  5. A singular value decomposition linear programming (SVDLP) optimization technique for circular cone based robotic radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Bin; Li, Yongbao; Wei, Ran; Guo, Bin; Xu, Xuang; Liu, Bo; Li, Jiafeng; Wu, Qiuwen; Zhou, Fugen

    2018-01-05

    With robot-controlled linac positioning, robotic radiotherapy systems such as CyberKnife significantly increase freedom of radiation beam placement, but also impose more challenges on treatment plan optimization. The resampling mechanism in the vendor-supplied treatment planning system (MultiPlan) cannot fully explore the increased beam direction search space. Besides, a sparse treatment plan (using fewer beams) is desired to improve treatment efficiency. This study proposes a singular value decomposition linear programming (SVDLP) optimization technique for circular collimator based robotic radiotherapy. The SVDLP approach initializes the input beams by simulating the process of covering the entire target volume with equivalent beam tapers. The requirements on dosimetry distribution are modeled as hard and soft constraints, and the sparsity of the treatment plan is achieved by compressive sensing. The proposed linear programming (LP) model optimizes beam weights by minimizing the deviation of soft constraints subject to hard constraints, with a constraint on the l 1 norm of the beam weight. A singular value decomposition (SVD) based acceleration technique was developed for the LP model. Based on the degeneracy of the influence matrix, the model is first compressed into lower dimension for optimization, and then back-projected to reconstruct the beam weight. After beam weight optimization, the number of beams is reduced by removing the beams with low weight, and optimizing the weights of the remaining beams using the same model. This beam reduction technique is further validated by a mixed integer programming (MIP) model. The SVDLP approach was tested on a lung case. The results demonstrate that the SVD acceleration technique speeds up the optimization by a factor of 4.8. Furthermore, the beam reduction achieves a similar plan quality to the globally optimal plan obtained by the MIP model, but is one to two orders of magnitude faster. Furthermore, the SVDLP

  6. Humans as Sensors: Assessing the Information Value of Qualitative Farmer's Crop Condition Surveys for Crop Yield Monitoring and Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beguería, S.

    2017-12-01

    While large efforts are devoted to developing crop status monitoring and yield forecasting systems trough the use of Earth observation data (mostly remotely sensed satellite imagery) and observational and modeled weather data, here we focus on the information value of qualitative data on crop status from direct observations made by humans. This kind of data has a high value as it reflects the expert opinion of individuals directly involved in the development of the crop. However, they have issues that prevent their direct use in crop monitoring and yield forecasting systems, such as their non-spatially explicit nature, or most importantly their qualitative nature. Indeed, while the human brain is good at categorizing the status of physical systems in terms of qualitative scales (`very good', `good', `fair', etcetera), it has difficulties in quantifying it in physical units. This has prevented the incorporation of this kind of data into systems that make extensive use of numerical information. Here we show an example of using qualitative crop condition data to estimate yields of the most important crops in the US early in the season. We use USDA weekly crop condition reports, which are based on a sample of thousands of reporters including mostly farmers and people in direct contact with them. These reporters provide subjective evaluations of crop conditions, in a scale including five levels ranging from `very poor' to `excellent'. The USDA report indicates, for each state, the proportion of reporters fort each condition level. We show how is it possible to model the underlying non-observed quantitative variable that reflects the crop status on each state, and how this model is consistent across states and years. Furthermore, we show how this information can be used to monitor the status of the crops and to produce yield forecasts early in the season. Finally, we discuss approaches for blending this information source with other, more classical earth data sources

  7. Value choices and considerations when limiting intensive care treatment: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halvorsen, K; Førde, R; Nortvedt, P

    2009-01-01

    To shed light on the values and considerations that affect the decision-making processes and the decisions to limit intensive care treatment. Qualitative methodology with participant observation and in-depth interviews, with an emphasis on eliciting the underlying rationale of the clinicians' actions and choices when limiting treatment. Informants perceived over-treatment in intensive care medicine as a dilemma. One explanation was that the decision-making base was somewhat uncertain, complex and difficult. The informants claimed that those responsible for taking decisions from the admitting ward prolonged futile treatment because they may bear guilt or responsibility for something that had gone wrong during the course of treatment. The assessments of the patient's situation made by physicians from the admitting ward were often more organ-oriented and the expectations were less realistic than those of clinicians in the intensive care unit who frequently had a more balanced and overall perspective. Aspects such as the personality and the speciality of those involved, the culture of the unit and the degree of interdisciplinary cooperation were important issues in the decision-making processes. Under-communicated considerations jeopardise the principle of equal treatment. If intensive care patients are to be ensured equal treatment, strategies for interdisciplinary, transparent and appropriate decision-making processes must be developed in which open and hidden values are rendered visible, power structures disclosed, employees respected and the various perspectives of the treatment given their legitimate place.

  8. Clinical significance of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) with respect to optimal cut-off value and tumor markers in advanced/metastatic breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiomi-Mouri, Yukako; Kousaka, Junko; Ando, Takahito; Tetsuka, Rie; Nakano, Shogo; Yoshida, Miwa; Fujii, Kimihito; Akizuki, Miwa; Imai, Tsuneo; Fukutomi, Takashi; Kobayashi, Katsumasa

    2016-01-01

    Although carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3) are useful tumor markers (TMs) in metastatic breast cancer (MBC), circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are also detected in patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer. We analyzed CTCs in MBC patients in order to establish the optimal cut-off value, to evaluate the prognostic utility of CTC count, and to clarify whether CTC count could provide information in addition to CEA and CA15-3. We studied 98 MBC patients enrolled between June 2007 and March 2013. To quantify CTCs, 7.5 ml of blood was collected and CEA and CA15-3 were measured simultaneously. CTCs were counted using the CellSearch™ System. The CTC count was dichotomized as 0 (CTC-negative) or ≥1 (CTC-positive). The clinical significance of CTCs was evaluated in terms of its relationship with levels of CEA and CA15-3. Associations between qualitative variables were evaluated using the chi-square test. In order to evaluate the predictive value of CTCs for advanced or metastatic breast cancer, multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to calculate hazard ratios. With a CTC cut-off value of 1, there were 53 (54.1 %) CTC-negative patients and 45 (45.9 %) CTC-positive patients. Patients in the CTC-positive group had worse survival than those in the CTC-negative group (p CEA and CA15-3.

  9. 'Two sides of the coin'--the value of personal continuity to GPs: a qualitative interview study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridd, Matthew; Shaw, Alison; Salisbury, Chris

    2006-08-01

    Continuity is thought to be important to GPs but the values behind this are unknown. To explore the values that doctors working in general practice attach to continuity of patient care and to outline how these values are applied in practice. In-depth qualitative interview with 24 GPs in England. Participants were purposefully sampled according to personal and practice characteristics. Analysis was thematic, drawing on the constant comparative method. The majority of doctors valued doctor-patient, or personal, continuity in their everyday work. It was most valued in patients with serious, complex or psychological problems. GPs believed that through their personal knowledge of the patient and the doctor-patient relationship, personal continuity enabled them to provide higher quality care. However, the benefits of personal continuity were balanced against problems, and GPs identified personal, professional and external constraints that limited its provision. GPs seemed to have resolved the tension between the benefits, limits and constraints they described by accepting an increased reliance on continuity being provided within teams. Personal continuity may offer important benefits to doctors and patients, but we do not know how unique its values are. In particular, it is not clear whether the same benefits can be achieved within teams, the level at which continuity is increasingly being provided. The relative advantages and limits of the different means of delivering continuity need to be better understood, before further policy changes that affect personal continuity are introduced.

  10. Commentary: Writing and Evaluating Qualitative Research Reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yelena P; Thompson, Deborah; Aroian, Karen J; McQuaid, Elizabeth L; Deatrick, Janet A

    2016-06-01

    To provide an overview of qualitative methods, particularly for reviewers and authors who may be less familiar with qualitative research. A question and answer format is used to address considerations for writing and evaluating qualitative research. When producing qualitative research, individuals are encouraged to address the qualitative research considerations raised and to explicitly identify the systematic strategies used to ensure rigor in study design and methods, analysis, and presentation of findings. Increasing capacity for review and publication of qualitative research within pediatric psychology will advance the field's ability to gain a better understanding of the specific needs of pediatric populations, tailor interventions more effectively, and promote optimal health. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. [Temporal and spatial heterogeneity analysis of optimal value of sensitive parameters in ecological process model: The BIOME-BGC model as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi Zhe; Zhang, Ting Long; Liu, Qiu Yu; Li, Ying

    2018-01-01

    The ecological process models are powerful tools for studying terrestrial ecosystem water and carbon cycle at present. However, there are many parameters for these models, and weather the reasonable values of these parameters were taken, have important impact on the models simulation results. In the past, the sensitivity and the optimization of model parameters were analyzed and discussed in many researches. But the temporal and spatial heterogeneity of the optimal parameters is less concerned. In this paper, the BIOME-BGC model was used as an example. In the evergreen broad-leaved forest, deciduous broad-leaved forest and C3 grassland, the sensitive parameters of the model were selected by constructing the sensitivity judgment index with two experimental sites selected under each vegetation type. The objective function was constructed by using the simulated annealing algorithm combined with the flux data to obtain the monthly optimal values of the sensitive parameters at each site. Then we constructed the temporal heterogeneity judgment index, the spatial heterogeneity judgment index and the temporal and spatial heterogeneity judgment index to quantitatively analyze the temporal and spatial heterogeneity of the optimal values of the model sensitive parameters. The results showed that the sensitivity of BIOME-BGC model parameters was different under different vegetation types, but the selected sensitive parameters were mostly consistent. The optimal values of the sensitive parameters of BIOME-BGC model mostly presented time-space heterogeneity to different degrees which varied with vegetation types. The sensitive parameters related to vegetation physiology and ecology had relatively little temporal and spatial heterogeneity while those related to environment and phenology had generally larger temporal and spatial heterogeneity. In addition, the temporal heterogeneity of the optimal values of the model sensitive parameters showed a significant linear correlation

  12. A mathematical approach to optimal selection of dose values in the additive dose method of ERP dosimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayes, R.B.; Haskell, E.H.; Kenner, G.H.

    1996-01-01

    Additive dose methods commonly used in electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) dosimetry are time consuming and labor intensive. We have developed a mathematical approach for determining optimal spacing of applied doses and the number of spectra which should be taken at each dose level. Expected uncertainitites in the data points are assumed to be normally distributed with a fixed standard deviation and linearity of dose response is also assumed. The optimum spacing and number of points necessary for the minimal error can be estimated, as can the likely error in the resulting estimate. When low doses are being estimated for tooth enamel samples the optimal spacing is shown to be a concentration of points near the zero dose value with fewer spectra taken at a single high dose value within the range of known linearity. Optimization of the analytical process results in increased accuracy and sample throughput

  13. Optimization of parameter values for complex pulse sequences by simulated annealing: application to 3D MP-RAGE imaging of the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, F H; Mugler, J P; Brookeman, J R

    1994-02-01

    A number of pulse sequence techniques, including magnetization-prepared gradient echo (MP-GRE), segmented GRE, and hybrid RARE, employ a relatively large number of variable pulse sequence parameters and acquire the image data during a transient signal evolution. These sequences have recently been proposed and/or used for clinical applications in the brain, spine, liver, and coronary arteries. Thus, the need for a method of deriving optimal pulse sequence parameter values for this class of sequences now exists. Due to the complexity of these sequences, conventional optimization approaches, such as applying differential calculus to signal difference equations, are inadequate. We have developed a general framework for adapting the simulated annealing algorithm to pulse sequence parameter value optimization, and applied this framework to the specific case of optimizing the white matter-gray matter signal difference for a T1-weighted variable flip angle 3D MP-RAGE sequence. Using our algorithm, the values of 35 sequence parameters, including the magnetization-preparation RF pulse flip angle and delay time, 32 flip angles in the variable flip angle gradient-echo acquisition sequence, and the magnetization recovery time, were derived. Optimized 3D MP-RAGE achieved up to a 130% increase in white matter-gray matter signal difference compared with optimized 3D RF-spoiled FLASH with the same total acquisition time. The simulated annealing approach was effective at deriving optimal parameter values for a specific 3D MP-RAGE imaging objective, and may be useful for other imaging objectives and sequences in this general class.

  14. On the diversity of multiple optimal controls for quantum systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shir, O M; Baeck, Th; Beltrani, V; Rabitz, H; Vrakking, M J J

    2008-01-01

    This study presents simulations of optimal field-free molecular alignment and rotational population transfer (starting from the J = 0 rotational ground state of a diatomic molecule), optimized by means of laser pulse shaping guided by evolutionary algorithms. Qualitatively different solutions are obtained that optimize the alignment and population transfer efficiency to the maximum extent that is possible given the existing constraints on the optimization due to the finite bandwidth and energy of the laser pulse, the finite degrees of freedom in the laser pulse shaping and the evolutionary algorithm employed. The effect of these constraints on the optimization process is discussed at several levels, subject to theoretical as well as experimental considerations. We show that optimized alignment yields can reach extremely high values, even with severe constraints being present. The breadth of optimal controls is assessed, and a correlation is found between the diversity of solutions and the difficulty of the problem. In the pulse shapes that optimize dynamic alignment we observe a transition between pulse sequences that maximize the initial population transfer from J = 0 to J = 2 and pulse sequences that optimize the transfer to higher rotational levels

  15. Evaluation of qualitative value for money of public-private partnership projects in Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinh Thi Thuy Hang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available It is expected that in the period of 2011-2020 projects under the model of public- private partnership (PPP in Vietnam will continue to increase in both number and volume of financing. Despite the substantial volumes of the already performed investments, many practitioners in the field question the viability of Vietnamese PPP projects, in the road sector in particular. Enhancing the viability of these projects is, therefore, vital in the context of the ongoing economic growth. This research is proposing a qualitative value for money assessment, in order to examine the factors influencing PPP projects’ viability in Vietnam. Employing the method of Structural Equation Modeling, the following two aspects will be included in the analysis: 1 financial performance & economic environment; 2 technical capacity & legal environment. The former encompasses “financial interest”, “profitability”, “economic policy” and “demand of service”; while the latter covers “service quality”, “flexibility of contracts”, “legal framework” and “statutory compliance”.

  16. Optimizing the Wood Value Chain in Northern Norway Taking Into Account National and Regional Economic Trade-Offs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulf Johansen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available As a consequence of past decades of extensive afforestation in Norway, mature forest volumes are increasing. National forestry politics call for sustainable and efficient resource usage and for increased regional processing. Regional policies seek to provide good conditions for such industries to be competitive and to improve regional value creation. We demonstrate how methods from operations research and regional macro-economics may complement each other to support decision makers in this process. The operations research perspective is concerned with finding an optimally designed wood value chain and an aggregated planning of its operations, taking a holistic perspective on strategic-tactical level. Using Input-Output analysis methods based on statistics and survey data, regional macro-economics helps to estimate each industry actor’s value creation and impact on society beyond immediate value chain activities. Combining these approaches in a common mathematical optimization model, a balance can be struck between industry/business and regional political interests. For a realistic case study from the northern part of coastal Norway, we explore this balance from several perspectives, investigating value chain profits, economic ripple effects and regional resource usage.

  17. Value-Based Leadership Approach: A Way for Principals to Revive the Value of Values in Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Niekerk, Molly; Botha, Johan

    2017-01-01

    The qualitative research discussed in this article is based on the assumption that school principals as leaders need to establish, develop and maintain a core of shared values in their schools. Our focus is on principals' current perceptions of values in their schools. This is important because values underpin their decisions and actions and thus…

  18. The Value Estimation of an HFGW Frequency Time Standard for Telecommunications Network Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Colby; Stephenson, Gary

    2007-01-01

    The emerging technology of gravitational wave control is used to augment a communication system using a development roadmap suggested in Stephenson (2003) for applications emphasized in Baker (2005). In the present paper consideration is given to the value of a High Frequency Gravitational Wave (HFGW) channel purely as providing a method of frequency and time reference distribution for use within conventional Radio Frequency (RF) telecommunications networks. Specifically, the native value of conventional telecommunications networks may be optimized by using an unperturbed frequency time standard (FTS) to (1) improve terminal navigation and Doppler estimation performance via improved time difference of arrival (TDOA) from a universal time reference, and (2) improve acquisition speed, coding efficiency, and dynamic bandwidth efficiency through the use of a universal frequency reference. A model utilizing a discounted cash flow technique provides an estimation of the additional value using HFGW FTS technology could bring to a mixed technology HFGW/RF network. By applying a simple net present value analysis with supporting reference valuations to such a network, it is demonstrated that an HFGW FTS could create a sizable improvement within an otherwise conventional RF telecommunications network. Our conservative model establishes a low-side value estimate of approximately 50B USD Net Present Value for an HFGW FTS service, with reasonable potential high-side values to significant multiples of this low-side value floor.

  19. Collaborative partnership and the social value of clinical research: a qualitative secondary analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurmi, Sanna-Maria; Halkoaho, Arja; Kangasniemi, Mari; Pietilä, Anna-Maija

    2017-10-25

    Protecting human subjects from being exploited is one of the main ethical challenges for clinical research. However, there is also a responsibility to protect and respect the communities who are hosting the research. Recently, attention has focused on the most efficient way of carrying out clinical research, so that it benefits society by providing valuable research while simultaneously protecting and respecting the human subjects and the communities where the research is conducted. Collaboration between partners plays an important role and that is why we carried out a study to describe how collaborative partnership and social value are emerging in clinical research. A supra-analysis design for qualitative descriptive secondary analysis was employed to consider a novel research question that pertained to nurse leaders' perceptions of ethical recruitment in clinical research and the ethics-related aspects of clinical research from the perspective of administrative staff. The data consisted of two separate pre-existing datasets, comprising 451 pages from 41 interviews, and we considered the research question by using deductive-inductive content analysis with NVivo software. A deductive analysis matrix was generated on the basis of two requirements, namely collaborative partnership and social value, as presented in An Ethical Framework for Biomedical Research by Emanuel et al. The findings showed that collaborative partnership was a cornerstone for ethical clinical research and ways to foster inter-partner collaboration were indicated, such as supporting mutual respect and equality, shared goals and clearly defined roles and responsibilities. In addition, the social value of clinical research was an important precondition for ethical clinical research and its realisation required the research partners to demonstrate collaboration and shared responsibility during the research process. However, concerns emerged that the multidimensional meaning of clinical research for

  20. Assessing the economic value of co-optimized grid-scale energy storage investments in supporting high renewable portfolio standards

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Go, Roderick S.; Munoz, Francisco D.; Watson, Jean-Paul

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • We present a MILP to co-optimize generation, transmission, and storage investments. • We find significant value in co-optimized storage via investment deferrals. • Operational savings from bulk services are small relative to investment deferrals. • Co-optimized energy storage significantly reduces prices associated with RPS. - Abstract: Worldwide, environmental regulations such as Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs) are being broadly adopted to promote renewable energy investments. With corresponding increases in renewable energy deployments, there is growing interest in grid-scale energy storage systems (ESS) to provide the flexibility needed to efficiently deliver renewable power to consumers. Our contribution in this paper is to introduce a unified generation, transmission, and bulk ESS expansion planning model subject to an RPS constraint, formulated as a two-stage stochastic mixed-integer linear program (MILP) optimization model, which we then use to study the impact of co-optimization and evaluate the economic interaction between investments in these three asset classes in achieving high renewable penetrations. We present numerical case studies using the 24-bus IEEE RTS-96 test system considering wind and solar as available renewable energy resources, and demonstrate that up to $180 million/yr in total cost savings can result from the co-optimization of all three assets, relative to a situation in which no ESS investment options are available. Surprisingly, we find that co-optimized bulk ESS investments provide significant economic value through investment deferrals in transmission and generation capacity, but very little savings in operational cost. Finally, we observe that planning transmission and generation infrastructure first and later optimizing ESS investments—as is common in industry—captures at most 1.7% ($3 million/yr) of the savings that result from co-optimizing all assets simultaneously.

  1. RESPONSE SURFACE METHODOLOGY FOR OPTIMIZATION OF THE EXTRACTION OF FLAX (LINUM USITATISSIMUM SEED OIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tibor Maliar

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Flax seed is an important source of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids essential for human physiology. The aim of this paper is to investigate the effects of major parameters of the lipid extraction from flax seed, in relation to the recovery of oil as well as the oil quality properties. The independent variables of extraction were proposed as: organic solvents, temperature, extraction time and solid-liquid ratio. The following quantitative and qualitative parameters were chosen as dependent variables: yield of the lipid fraction, acid value of oil and the absorbance at 490 nm. After calculating the optimal values of the extraction, the validation analysis was carried out and it was found out that the predicted and experimentally verified dependent variables were in agreement with the optimal extraction parameters.doi:10.5219/168

  2. Contribution to the calculation of the alpha value in the study of optimization on radiological protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez, Clarice de Freitas Acosta

    2007-01-01

    The Alpha value is an extremely important criterion because it determines the time that each country takes to reach its proposals to decrease the doses to workers involved with ionizing radiation sources. Presently, countries adopt a single value for alpha based in the annual gross national product, GNP, per capita. The aim of this paper is to show that it should be more efficient the selection of a curve for alpha in place of a single value. This curve, in its turn, should allow an alpha value that would be constraint to the greatest individual doses present in each optimization process, applied to design and operation. These maximum individual doses should represent the dose distribution between the workers team. To build the curve, alpha values suggested will not be based on the GNP per capita but on a distribution function of the maximum individual doses and on the time necessary to reach the goal of 1/10 of the annual dose limit, that is, to reach the region where the individual doses are considered acceptable. This new alpha value approach solves several problems risen by the present methodology, among which we emphasize: a) It can be accomplished only one optimization for each radiological protection option set; b) each country may have different constraints limits that can create serious problems in the international interchange; c) it avoids the possibility to calculate the probable death rate due to the collective dose. This type of calculation is undesirable to international organization. (author)

  3. Optimization of the air cargo supply chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Pérez Bernal

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This paper aims to evaluate and optimize the various operations within the air cargo chain. It pursues to improve the efficiency of the air cargo supply chain and to provide more information to the decision-makers to optimize their fields.Design/methodology/approach: The method used is a process simulation modelling software, WITNESS, which provides information to the decision-makers about the most relevant parameters subject to optimization. The input for the simulation is obtained from a qualitative analysis of the air cargo supply chain with the involved agents and from a study of the external trade by air mode, given that their behaviour depend on the location. The case study is focused on a particular location, the Case of Zaragoza Airport (Spain.Findings: This paper demonstrates that efficiency of the air cargo supply chain can increase by leveraging several parameters such as bottlenecks, resources or warehouses.Originality/value: It explores the use of a simulation modeling software originally intended for manufacturing processes and extended to support decision making processes in the area of air cargo.

  4. Intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion imaging of the liver: Optimal b-value subsampling and impact on parameter precision and reproducibility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dyvorne, Hadrien; Jajamovich, Guido; Kakite, Suguru; Kuehn, Bernd; Taouli, Bachir

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We assess the precision and reproducibility of liver IVIM diffusion parameters. • Liver IVIM DWI can be performed with 4 b-values with good parameter precision. • Liver IVIM DWI can be performed with 4 b-values with good parameter reproducibility. - Abstract: Purpose: To increase diffusion sampling efficiency in intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of the liver by reducing the number of diffusion weightings (b-values). Materials and methods: In this IRB approved HIPAA compliant prospective study, 53 subjects (M/F 38/15, mean age 52 ± 13 y) underwent IVIM DWI at 1.5 T using 16 b-values (0–800 s/mm 2 ), with 14 subjects having repeat exams to assess IVIM parameter reproducibility. A biexponential diffusion model was used to quantify IVIM hepatic parameters (PF: perfusion fraction, D: true diffusion and D*: pseudo diffusion). All possible subsets of the 16 b-values were probed, with number of b values ranging from 4 to 15, and corresponding parameters were quantified for each subset. For each b-value subset, global parameter estimation error was computed against the parameters obtained with all 16 b-values and the subsets providing the lowest error were selected. Interscan estimation error was also evaluated between repeat exams to assess reproducibility of the IVIM technique in the liver. The optimal b-values distribution was selected such that the number of b-values was minimal while keeping parameter estimation error below interscan reproducibility error. Results: As the number of b-values decreased, the estimation error increased for all parameters, reflecting decreased precision of IVIM metrics. Using an optimal set of 4 b-values (0, 15, 150 and 800 s/mm 2 ), the errors were 6.5, 22.8 and 66.1% for D, PF and D* respectively. These values lie within the range of test–retest reproducibility for the corresponding parameters, with errors of 12.0, 32.3 and 193.8% for D, PF and D* respectively. Conclusion: A set

  5. Optimal allocation of International Atomic Energy Agency inspection resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markin, J.T.

    1987-12-01

    The Safeguards Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducts inspections to assure the peaceful use of a state's nuclear materials and facilities. Because of limited resources for conducting inspections, the careful disposition of inspection effort among these facilities is essential if the IAEA is to attain its safeguards goals. This report describes an optimization procedure for assigning an inspection effort to maximize attainment of IAEA goals. The procedure does not require quantitative estimates of safeguards effectiveness, material value, or facility importance. Instead, the optimization is based on qualitative, relative prioritizations of inspection activities and materials to be safeguarded. This allocation framework is applicable to an arbitrary group of facilities such as a state's fuel cycle, the facilities inspected by an operations division, or all of the facilities inspected by the IAEA

  6. Weighted mining of massive collections of [Formula: see text]-values by convex optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobriban, Edgar

    2018-06-01

    Researchers in data-rich disciplines-think of computational genomics and observational cosmology-often wish to mine large bodies of [Formula: see text]-values looking for significant effects, while controlling the false discovery rate or family-wise error rate. Increasingly, researchers also wish to prioritize certain hypotheses, for example, those thought to have larger effect sizes, by upweighting, and to impose constraints on the underlying mining, such as monotonicity along a certain sequence. We introduce Princessp , a principled method for performing weighted multiple testing by constrained convex optimization. Our method elegantly allows one to prioritize certain hypotheses through upweighting and to discount others through downweighting, while constraining the underlying weights involved in the mining process. When the [Formula: see text]-values derive from monotone likelihood ratio families such as the Gaussian means model, the new method allows exact solution of an important optimal weighting problem previously thought to be non-convex and computationally infeasible. Our method scales to massive data set sizes. We illustrate the applications of Princessp on a series of standard genomics data sets and offer comparisons with several previous 'standard' methods. Princessp offers both ease of operation and the ability to scale to extremely large problem sizes. The method is available as open-source software from github.com/dobriban/pvalue_weighting_matlab (accessed 11 October 2017).

  7. Fault diagnosis of air conditioning systems based on qualitative bond graph

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghiaus, C.

    1999-01-01

    The bond graph method represents a unified approach for modeling engineering systems. The main idea is that power transfer bonds the components of a system. The bond graph model is the same for both quantitative representation, in which parameters have numerical values, and qualitative approach, in which they are classified qualitatively. To infer the cause of faults using a qualitative method, a system of qualitative equations must be solved. However, the characteristics of qualitative operators require specific methods for solving systems of equations having qualitative variables. This paper proposes both a method for recursively solving the qualitative system of equations derived from bond graph, and a bond graph model of a direct-expansion, mechanical vapor-compression air conditioning system. Results from diagnosing two faults in a real air conditioning system are presented and discussed. Occasionally, more than one fault candidate is inferred for the same set of qualitative values derived from measurements. In these cases, additional information is required to localize the fault. Fault diagnosis is initiated by a fault detection mechanism which also classifies the quantitative measurements into qualitative values; the fault detection is not presented here. (author)

  8. Open space preservation, property value, and optimal spatial configuration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong Jiang; Stephen K. Swallow

    2007-01-01

    The public has increasingly demonstrated a strong support for open space preservation. How to finance the socially efficient level of open space with the optimal spatial structure is of high policy relevance to local governments. In this study, we developed a spatially explicit open space model to help identify the socially optimal amount and optimal spatial...

  9. Application of a Double-Sided Chance-Constrained Integer Linear Program for Optimization of the Incremental Value of Ecosystem Services in Jilin Province, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baofeng Cai

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The Interconnected River System Network Project (IRSNP is a significant water supply engineering project, which is capable of effectively utilizing flood resources to generate ecological value, by connecting 198 lakes and ponds in western Jilin, northeast China. In this article, an optimization research approach has been proposed to maximize the incremental value of IRSNP ecosystem services. A double-sided chance-constrained integer linear program (DCCILP method has been proposed to support the optimization, which can deal with uncertainties presented as integers or random parameters that appear on both sides of the decision variable at the same time. The optimal scheme indicates that after rational optimization, the total incremental value of ecosystem services from the interconnected river system network project increased 22.25%, providing an increase in benefits of 3.26 × 109 ¥ compared to the original scheme. Most of the functional area is swamp wetland, which provides the greatest ecological benefits. Adjustment services increased obviously, implying that the optimization scheme prioritizes ecological benefits rather than supply and production services.

  10. Construction Performance Optimization toward Green Building Premium Cost Based on Greenship Rating Tools Assessment with Value Engineering Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latief, Yusuf; Berawi, Mohammed Ali; Basten, Van; Riswanto; Budiman, Rachmat

    2017-07-01

    Green building concept becomes important in current building life cycle to mitigate environment issues. The purpose of this paper is to optimize building construction performance towards green building premium cost, achieving green building rating tools with optimizing life cycle cost. Therefore, this study helps building stakeholder determining building fixture to achieve green building certification target. Empirically the paper collects data of green building in the Indonesian construction industry such as green building fixture, initial cost, operational and maintenance cost, and certification score achievement. After that, using value engineering method optimized green building fixture based on building function and cost aspects. Findings indicate that construction performance optimization affected green building achievement with increasing energy and water efficiency factors and life cycle cost effectively especially chosen green building fixture.

  11. The Value of Community Health Workers in Diabetes Management in Low-Income Populations: A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Julie; Krieger, James; Sayre, George; Nelson, Karin

    2018-03-01

    To describe community health workers (CHWs) roles in a diabetes self-management intervention. Retrospective qualitative inductive analysis of open text home visit encounter form from Peer Support for Achieving Independence in Diabetes (Peer AID), a randomized controlled trial in which low-income individuals with poorly controlled diabetes received either CHW home visits or usual care. Following visits, CHWs completed encounter forms documenting the health goal of the visit, the self-management strategies discussed and participant concerns. 634 encounter reports were completed for the 145 intervention participants. CHW notes revealed three main obstacles to optimal disease control: gaps in diabetes knowledge and self-management skills; socioeconomic conditions; and the complexity of the healthcare system. CHWs helped participants overcome these obstacles through extensive, hands-on education, connecting participants to community resources, and assistance navigating the medical system. In addition, the CHWs offered uncomplicated accessibility and availability to their clients. CHWs can be a valuable asset for low-income patients with chronic health conditions who may require more support than what can provided in a typical primary care visit.

  12. Defining the optimal cut-off values for liver enzymes in diagnosing blunt liver injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Tomohide; Hamada, Hirohisa; Nishida, Masamichi; Naess, Paal A; Gaarder, Christine; Sakamoto, Tetsuya

    2016-01-25

    Patients with blunt trauma to the liver have elevated levels of liver enzymes within a short time post injury, potentially useful in screening patients for computed tomography (CT). This study was performed to define the optimal cut-off values for serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in patients with blunt liver injury diagnosed with contrast enhanced multi detector-row CT (CE-MDCT). All patients admitted from May 2006 to July 2013 to Teikyo University Hospital Trauma and Critical Care Center, and who underwent abdominal CE-MDCT within 3 h after blunt trauma, were retrospectively enrolled. Using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, the optimal cut-off values for AST and ALT were defined, and sensitivity and specificity were calculated. Of a total of 676 blunt trauma patients 64 patients were diagnosed with liver injury (Group LI+) and 612 patients without liver injury (Group LI-). Group LI+ and LI- were comparable for age, Revised Trauma Score, and Probability of survival. The groups differed in Injury Severity Score [median 21 (interquartile range 9-33) vs. 17 (9-26) (p tool for CT scan in patients otherwise eligible for observation only or as a transfer criterion to a facility with CT scan capability.

  13. The Future of Qualitative Research in Psychology: Accentuating the Positive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Brendan; Lyons, Antonia

    2016-06-01

    In this paper we reflect on current trends and anticipate future prospects regarding qualitative research in Psychology. We highlight various institutional and disciplinary obstacles to qualitative research diversity, complexity and quality. At the same time, we note some causes for optimism, including publication breakthroughs and vitality within the field. The paper is structured into three main sections which consider: 1) the positioning of qualitative research within Psychology; 2) celebrating the different kinds of knowledge produced by qualitative research; and 3) implementing high quality qualitative research. In general we accentuate the positive, recognising and illustrating innovative qualitative research practices which generate new insights and propel the field forward. We conclude by emphasising the importance of research training: for qualitative research to flourish within Psychology (and beyond), students and early career researchers require more sophisticated, in-depth instruction than is currently offered.

  14. Be known, be available, be mutual: a qualitative ethical analysis of social values in rural palliative care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesut, Barbara; Bottorff, Joan L; Robinson, Carole A

    2011-09-28

    Although attention to healthcare ethics in rural areas has increased, specific focus on rural palliative care is still largely under-studied and under-theorized. The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the values informing good palliative care from rural individuals' perspectives. We conducted a qualitative ethnographic study in four rural communities in Western Canada. Each community had a population of 10, 000 or less and was located at least a three hour travelling distance by car from a specialist palliative care treatment centre. Data were collected over a 2-year period and included 95 interviews, 51 days of field work and 74 hours of direct participant observation where the researchers accompanied rural healthcare providers. Data were analyzed inductively to identify the most prevalent thematic values, and then coded using NVivo. This study illuminated the core values of knowing and being known, being present and available, and community and mutuality that provide the foundation for ethically good rural palliative care. These values were congruent across the study communities and across the stakeholders involved in rural palliative care. Although these were highly prized values, each came with a corresponding ethical tension. Being known often resulted in a loss of privacy. Being available and present created a high degree of expectation and potential caregiver strain. The values of community and mutuality created entitlement issues, presenting daunting challenges for coordinated change. The values identified in this study offer the opportunity to better understand common ethical tensions that arise in rural healthcare and key differences between rural and urban palliative care. In particular, these values shed light on problematic health system and health policy changes. When initiatives violate deeply held values and hard won rural capacity to address the needs of their dying members is undermined, there are long lasting negative

  15. Be known, be available, be mutual: a qualitative ethical analysis of social values in rural palliative care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bottorff Joan L

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although attention to healthcare ethics in rural areas has increased, specific focus on rural palliative care is still largely under-studied and under-theorized. The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the values informing good palliative care from rural individuals' perspectives. Methods We conducted a qualitative ethnographic study in four rural communities in Western Canada. Each community had a population of 10, 000 or less and was located at least a three hour travelling distance by car from a specialist palliative care treatment centre. Data were collected over a 2-year period and included 95 interviews, 51 days of field work and 74 hours of direct participant observation where the researchers accompanied rural healthcare providers. Data were analyzed inductively to identify the most prevalent thematic values, and then coded using NVivo. Results This study illuminated the core values of knowing and being known, being present and available, and community and mutuality that provide the foundation for ethically good rural palliative care. These values were congruent across the study communities and across the stakeholders involved in rural palliative care. Although these were highly prized values, each came with a corresponding ethical tension. Being known often resulted in a loss of privacy. Being available and present created a high degree of expectation and potential caregiver strain. The values of community and mutuality created entitlement issues, presenting daunting challenges for coordinated change. Conclusions The values identified in this study offer the opportunity to better understand common ethical tensions that arise in rural healthcare and key differences between rural and urban palliative care. In particular, these values shed light on problematic health system and health policy changes. When initiatives violate deeply held values and hard won rural capacity to address the needs of

  16. The Craft of Doing Qualitative Research in Prisons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristel Beyens

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article we examine the characteristics, challenges and added value of qualitative prison research in a Belgian context. As the many dynamics and challenges of qualitative research are often underreported in academic publications, we pay particular attention to the research processes and the pains and gains of qualitative prison research. Firstly, drawing on experiences from several prison studies, we describe the different steps of gaining access to the field as a constant process of negotiation. Secondly, we discuss some of the dilemmas of prison research based on two ethnographic studies of prison staff. We end with discussion of the value added by a qualitative research approach to facilitate understanding of what is at stake in prisons and how this fits with a critical research position.

  17. Exploration of the optimal diameter cut-off value in patients with nonfunctional adrenal tumor suitable for surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan-dan LIU

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective  To analyze the pathology of the patients with nonfunctional adrenal tumor (NFA, and explore the optimal diameter cut-off value. Methods  The clinical data of 243 patients with NFA, evaluated in the Department of Endocrinology and operated in the Department of Urology of General Hospital of Chinese PLA from Feb. 1996 to Jan. 2016, were collected. The patients were divided into two groups according to pathology: those in real demand of surgery were classified to the surgery-need group (n=57, while the others were categorized as the surgery-unwanted group (n=186. The general situation, pathological type and tumor diameter of the two groups and the factors affecting the surgery were analyzed, and the ROC curve was used to explore the optimal surgery cut-off value, which represents the maximum value of the sum of sensitivity and specificity. Results  Of the 57 patients in surgery-need group (27 males and 30 females, the lesions were on the right in 31 cases, on the left in 25 cases, and on bilateral sides in 1 case; the median of lesion diameter was 4.5cm, and the average age was 41.5±12.1 years old. Of the 186 patients in surgery-unwanted group (87 males and 99 females, the lesions were on the right in 99 cases, on the left in 86 cases, and on bilateral sides in 1 case; the median of lesion diameter was 3.0cm, and the average age was 50.6±10.9 years old. Logistic regression revealed that lesion diameter might be a risk factor (OR=1.340, 95%CI 1.266-1.418, P=0.000 and age be a protective factor (OR=0.942, 95%CI 0.929-0.955, P=0.000 for real demand of surgery. The area under the ROC curve (AUC of lesion diameter was 0.757(95%CI 0.681-0.833. The optimal cut-off value was 4.1cm (sensitivity 60.7% and specificity 83.0%. Conclusions  Younger patients with bigger lesion diameter may have greater possibility for surgery. The optimal surgery cut-off value of the lesion diameter is 4.1cm. DOI: 10.11855/j.issn.0577-7402.2016.11.11

  18. Geometrical shape optimization of a cold neutron source using artificial intelligence strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azmy, Y.Y.

    1989-01-01

    A new approach is developed for optimizing the geometrical shape of a cold neutron source to maximize its cold neutron outward leakage. An analogy is drawn between the shape optimization problem and a state space search, which is the fundamental problem in Artificial Intelligence applications. The new optimization concept is implemented in the computer code DAIT in which the physical model is represented by a two group, r-z geometry nodal diffusion method, and the state space search is conducted via the Nearest Neighbor algorithm. The accuracy of the nodal diffusion method solution is established on meshes of interest, and is shown to behave qualitatively the same as transport theory solutions. The dependence of the optimum shape and its value on several physical and search parameters is examined via numerical experimentation. 10 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs

  19. Optimization of the radiation protection: the value of Sv personnel for the occupational doses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sollet SaNudo, E.; Carmena Servet, P.

    1997-01-01

    Publication 60 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) points out that most of the methods used in the optimization tend to emphasize the benefits and the detriment to society. The benefits and the detriments are unlikely to be distributed through the society in the same way. Optimization of protection may thus introduce a substantial inequity between one individual and another. To avoid this, the optimization principle is now formulated by ICRP as follows. The magnitude of the individual doses, the number of people exposed, and the likelihood of incurring exposures where are not certain to be received should be kept as low as reasonably achievable, economic and social factors being taken into account. This procedure should be constrained by restrictions on the doses to individuals or the risks to individuals, so as to limit the inequity likely to result from the inherent economic and social judgments. Beyond the optimal reduction of the collective exposure, now ICRP 60 recommends to reduce the number of persons exposed and the scatter of individual exposures. It is implicit in this recommendation that the high priority must be given to the highest individual exposures. Now the decision is made; in case of conflict, reduction of individual exposures should go first than reduction of collective exposures. In order to implement the optimization principle, this article suggests the introduction of a system to compute the reference monetary values of the person, sievert satisfying the new ICRP recommendations and ensuring a global coherence within the whole system of radiological protection. (Author) 13 refs

  20. Obtaining Approximate Values of Exterior Orientation Elements of Multi-Intersection Images Using Particle Swarm Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, X.; Li, S. W.

    2012-07-01

    In this paper, an efficient global optimization algorithm in the field of artificial intelligence, named Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO), is introduced into close range photogrammetric data processing. PSO can be applied to obtain the approximate values of exterior orientation elements under the condition that multi-intersection photography and a small portable plane control frame are used. PSO, put forward by an American social psychologist J. Kennedy and an electrical engineer R.C. Eberhart, is a stochastic global optimization method based on swarm intelligence, which was inspired by social behavior of bird flocking or fish schooling. The strategy of obtaining the approximate values of exterior orientation elements using PSO is as follows: in terms of image coordinate observed values and space coordinates of few control points, the equations of calculating the image coordinate residual errors can be given. The sum of absolute value of each image coordinate is minimized to be the objective function. The difference between image coordinate observed value and the image coordinate computed through collinear condition equation is defined as the image coordinate residual error. Firstly a gross area of exterior orientation elements is given, and then the adjustment of other parameters is made to get the particles fly in the gross area. After iterative computation for certain times, the satisfied approximate values of exterior orientation elements are obtained. By doing so, the procedures like positioning and measuring space control points in close range photogrammetry can be avoided. Obviously, this method can improve the surveying efficiency greatly and at the same time can decrease the surveying cost. And during such a process, only one small portable control frame with a couple of control points is employed, and there are no strict requirements for the space distribution of control points. In order to verify the effectiveness of this algorithm, two experiments are

  1. OBTAINING APPROXIMATE VALUES OF EXTERIOR ORIENTATION ELEMENTS OF MULTI-INTERSECTION IMAGES USING PARTICLE SWARM OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Li

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, an efficient global optimization algorithm in the field of artificial intelligence, named Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO, is introduced into close range photogrammetric data processing. PSO can be applied to obtain the approximate values of exterior orientation elements under the condition that multi-intersection photography and a small portable plane control frame are used. PSO, put forward by an American social psychologist J. Kennedy and an electrical engineer R.C. Eberhart, is a stochastic global optimization method based on swarm intelligence, which was inspired by social behavior of bird flocking or fish schooling. The strategy of obtaining the approximate values of exterior orientation elements using PSO is as follows: in terms of image coordinate observed values and space coordinates of few control points, the equations of calculating the image coordinate residual errors can be given. The sum of absolute value of each image coordinate is minimized to be the objective function. The difference between image coordinate observed value and the image coordinate computed through collinear condition equation is defined as the image coordinate residual error. Firstly a gross area of exterior orientation elements is given, and then the adjustment of other parameters is made to get the particles fly in the gross area. After iterative computation for certain times, the satisfied approximate values of exterior orientation elements are obtained. By doing so, the procedures like positioning and measuring space control points in close range photogrammetry can be avoided. Obviously, this method can improve the surveying efficiency greatly and at the same time can decrease the surveying cost. And during such a process, only one small portable control frame with a couple of control points is employed, and there are no strict requirements for the space distribution of control points. In order to verify the effectiveness of this algorithm

  2. Qualitative identification of chaotic systems behaviours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicha, T.; Dohnal, M.

    2008-01-01

    There are only three qualitative values positive, negative and zero. This means that there is a maximal number of qualitatively distinguishable scenarios, prescribed by the number of variables and the highest qualitative derivative taken into consideration. There are several chaos related tasks, which can be solved with great difficulties on the numerical level if multidimensional problems are studied. One of them is the identification of all qualitatively different behaviours. To make sure that all distinctive qualitative scenarios are identified a qualitative interpretation of a classical quantitative phase portrait is used. The highest derivatives are usually the second derivatives as it is not possible to safely identify higher derivatives if tasks related to ecology or economics are studied. Two classical models are discussed - Damped oscillation (non chaotic) and Lorenz model (chaotic). There are 191 scenarios of the Lorenz model if only the second derivatives are considered. If the third derivatives are taken into consideration then the number of scenarios is 2619. Complete qualitative results are given in details

  3. Time-optimal feedback control for linear systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mirica, S.

    1976-01-01

    The paper deals with the results of qualitative investigations of the time-optimal feedback control for linear systems with constant coefficients. In the first section, after some definitions and notations, two examples are given and it is shown that even the time-optimal control problem for linear systems with constant coefficients which looked like ''completely solved'' requires a further qualitative investigation of the stability to ''permanent perturbations'' of optimal feedback control. In the second section some basic results of the linear time-optimal control problem are reviewed. The third section deals with the definition of Boltyanskii's ''regular synthesis'' and its connection to Filippov's theory of right-hand side discontinuous differential equations. In the fourth section a theorem is proved concerning the stability to perturbations of time-optimal feedback control for linear systems with scalar control. In the last two sections it is proved that, if the matrix which defines the system has only real eigenvalues or is three-dimensional, the time-optimal feedback control defines a regular synthesis and therefore is stable to perturbations. (author)

  4. The optimal value of BMI for the lowest risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women aged 40-88 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzek, A; Kozieł, S; Ignasiak, Z

    2014-06-01

    The aim of this paper is to establish the optimal values of the body mass index (BMI) which would indicate the most favourable preservation of the bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. The material consists of the data of 369 healthy women aged between 40 and 88 years (mean age 67.84, SD=6.70) inhabitants of Wrocław, which were followed up between 2001 and 2006. The absolute measure of bone mineral density (BMD) of the femoral neck was assessed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), expressed in g/(100mm(2)) and was transformed to T-score values. According to the value of BMI, the women were divided into eight groups, the reference group with value between 18.0 and 21.9kg/m(2) and seven other groups beginning with the value 22.0 with a 2-point interval. Postmenopausal status was defined according to the occurrence of menstruation within the last 360 days. The women with osteopenia and osteoporosis were pooled together and comprised the risk group, whereas the other women comprised the normal group (T-score values above -1.0). The adjusted odds ratio showed the highest value for intervals between 24.0 and 25.9 units of BMI, and the lowest value for interval 26.0-27.9 units of BMI. The Youden index showed the lowest value in the 26.0-27.9BMI kg/m(2) interval. For our sample the optimal value of BMI, with the lowest risk of osteopenia and/or osteoporosis was the value of 26.9kg/m(2). A further increase of BMI does not result in a favourable effect on the bones, it rather intensifies negative phenomena in the body resulting in the onset of many diseases. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  5. Optimal Consumer Electronics Product Take-Back Time with Consideration of Consumer Value

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi-Tse Fang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Rapid economic growth in recent years has transformed our lifestyle to massively produce, consume, and dispose of products, especially for consumer electronics. This change has put great threat to our environment and caused natural resource depletion. Moreover, short product life cycles and quick replacements of consumer electronics create enormous electronic wastes (e-wastes. Without proper waste management, immense environmental damage is expected. In this empirical study, we notice that lots of valuable materials that can still be recycled from these used consumer electronics are left unused at home instead of being recycled at the appropriate time, which causes a low collection rate and a decrease in residual value for the used products. Therefore, it is important for the government and the recyclers to handle them efficiently by increasing the used product take-back rate. Our study develops an assessment model for customer value based on the idea of value engineering and the perspective of product life cycle. We also explore the relationship between product value and the total cost of ownership with an evaluation of their time variation, considering different usage modes for various consumer groups and different recycling award schemes (fixed and variable recycling awards. Proper take-back management is likely to create a win-win situation both for consumers and environmental protection. This study regards the notebook computer as an example to determine the optimal time for recycling laptops based on usage patterns and provides consumers a reference for when to replace their used product. The results from our modeling firstly clearly indicate that consumers with higher frequency of usage have shorter take back times and higher maximum consumer value. Secondly, a variable recycling award scheme with higher maximum consumer value is more practical than a fixed recycling award scheme.

  6. Nurses' Written Responses to Pain Management Values Education: A Content Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhofer, Esther I; Hosler, Rose; Karius, Diana

    2016-12-01

    Providing optimal pain care for patients is essential to the work of nursing and a measure of patient satisfaction prompting some hospitals to offer pain management classes for clinicians. Although nurses generally do well on knowledge tests after attending a pain class, actual improvement in pain care for patients may not occur. The personal values of the clinician may be a key driver of pain-management decision making. Therefore, a segment on how clinicians' personal values influence pain care decisions was added to a large Midwestern hospital's pain management class. The purpose of this study was to examine the written answers to questions posed to nurses regarding any practice changes they have made to caring for patients with pain after participating in a class that included a segment on personal values. This study used a qualitative content analysis method. A large Midwestern healthcare system. Twenty clinical registered nurses who attended a pain class in April 2014. Participants provided written answers to two open-ended interview questions. Data were analyzed using conventional content analysis of the text. Four themes were identified among participants' answers: understanding the patient, importance of pain education, nurse's self-awareness, and interpretation of personal values. Nurses who learned how their personal values affect their pain management decisions described new insights into their own approach to pain management. More research is needed to fully understand the impact of knowing one's own values and determining which clinician values are associated with optimal pain care. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Qualitative feature extractions of chaotic systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicha, T.; Dohnal, M.

    2008-01-01

    The theory of chaos offers useful tools for systems analysis. However, models of complex systems are based on a network of inconsistent, space and uncertain knowledge items. Traditional quantitative methods of chaos analysis are therefore not applicable. The paper by the same authors [Vicha T, Dohnal M. Qualitative identification of chaotic systems behaviours. Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, in press, [Log. No. 601019] ] presents qualitative interpretation of some chaos concepts. There are only three qualitative values positive/increasing, negative/decreasing and zero/constant. It means that any set of qualitative multidimensional descriptions of unsteady state behaviours is discrete and finite. A finite upper limit exists for the total number of qualitatively distinguishable scenarios. A set of 21 published chaotic models is solved qualitatively and 21 sets of all existing qualitative scenarios are presented. The intersection of all 21 scenario sets is empty. There is no such a behaviour which is common for all 21 models. The set of 21 qualitative models (e.g. Lorenz, Roessler) can be used to compare chaotic behaviours of an unknown qualitative model with them to evaluate if its chaotic behaviours is close to e.g. Lorenz chaotic model and how much

  8. The African interpretations of a set of values in a value-based HIV ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article focuses on a qualitative exploration of six core values embedded in the Choose Life Training Programme (CLTP), a value-based HIV and AIDS prevention programme. The article is based on a study that explored the possibility that the African interpretations of these values are different to the Western definitions.

  9. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging of the pancreas: optimizing b-value for visualization of pancreatic adenocarcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fukukura, Yoshihiko; Shindo, Toshikazu; Hakamada, Hiroto; Takumi, Koji; Umanodan, Tomokazu; Nakajo, Masanori; Kamimura, Kiyoshisa; Umanodan, Aya; Ideue, Junnichi; Yoshiura, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    To determine the optimal b-value of 3.0-T diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) for visualizing pancreatic adenocarcinomas Fifty-five patients with histologically confirmed pancreatic adenocarcinoma underwent DWI with different b-values (b = 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 s/mm"2) at 3.0 T. For each b-value, we retrospectively evaluated DWI findings of pancreatic adenocarcinomas (clear hyperintensity relative to the surrounding pancreas, hyperintensity with an unclear distal border, and isointensity) and image quality, and measured tumour-to-pancreas signal intensity (SI) ratios. DWI findings, image quality, and tumour-to-pancreas SI ratios were compared between the four b-values. There was a significantly higher incidence of tumours showing clear hyperintensity on DWI with b-value of 1500 s/mm"2 than on that with b-value of 1000 s/mm"2 (P < 0.001), and on DWI with b-value of 1000 s/mm"2 than on that with b-value of 500 s/mm"2 (P < 0.001). The tumour-to-distal pancreas SI ratio was higher with b-value of 1500 s/mm"2 than with b-value of 1000 s/mm"2 (P < 0.001), and with b-value of 1000 s/mm"2 than with b-value of 500 s/mm"2 (P < 0.001). A lower image quality was obtained at increasing b-values (P < 0.001); the lowest scores were observed with b-value of 2000 s/mm"2. The use of b = 1500 s/mm"2 for 3.0-T DWI can improve the delineation of pancreatic adenocarcinomas. (orig.)

  10. The multi-criteria optimization for the formation of the multiple-valued logic model of a robotic agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bykovsky, A Yu; Sherbakov, A A

    2016-01-01

    The C-valued Allen-Givone algebra is the attractive tool for modeling of a robotic agent, but it requires the consensus method of minimization for the simplification of logic expressions. This procedure substitutes some undefined states of the function for the maximal truth value, thus extending the initially given truth table. This further creates the problem of different formal representations for the same initially given function. The multi-criteria optimization is proposed for the deliberate choice of undefined states and model formation. (paper)

  11. Qualitative research in CKD: an overview of methods and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Allison; Winkelmayer, Wolfgang C; Craig, Jonathan C

    2014-09-01

    There recently has been a paradigm shift in health care policies and research toward greater patient centeredness. A core tenet of patient-centered care is that patients' needs, values, and preferences are respected in clinical decision making. Qualitative research methods are designed to generate insights about patients' priorities, values, and beliefs. However, in the past 5 years (2008-2013), only 23 (0.4%) of the 6,043 original articles published in the top 5 nephrology journals (assessed by impact factor) were qualitative studies. Given this observation, it seems important to promote awareness and better understanding within the nephrology community about qualitative research and how the findings can contribute to improving the quality and outcomes of care for patients with chronic kidney disease. This article outlines examples of how qualitative research can generate insight into the values and preferences of patients with chronic kidney disease, provides an overview of qualitative health research methods, and discusses practical applications for research, practice, and policy. Copyright © 2014 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Portfolio optimization using Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD and Conditional Value-at-Risk (CVaR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Pelegrin da Silva

    Full Text Available Abstract This paper investigates the efficiency of traditional portfolio optimization models when the returns of financial assets are highly volatile, e.g., in financial crises periods. We also develop alternative optimization models that combine the mean absolute deviation (MAD and the conditional value at risk (CVaR, attempting to mitigate inefficient, low return and/or high-risk, portfolios. Three methodologies for estimating the probability of the asset’s historical returns are also compared. By using historical data on the Brazilian stock market between 2004 and 2013, we analyze the efficiency of the proposed approaches. Our results show that the traditional models provide portfolios with higher returns, but our propose model are able to generate lower risk portfolios, which might be more attractive in volatile markets. In addition, we find that models that do not use equiprobable scenarios produce better results in terms of return and risk.

  13. Non-small cell carcinoma: Comparison of postoperative intra- and extrathoracic recurrence assessment capability of qualitatively and/or quantitatively assessed FDG-PET/CT and standard radiological examinations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Onishi, Yumiko, E-mail: onitan@med.kobe-u.ac.jp [Department of Radiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Hyogo (Japan); Ohno, Yoshiharu, E-mail: yosirad@kobe-u.ac.jp [Department of Radiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Hyogo (Japan); Koyama, Hisanobu; Nogami, Munenobu; Takenaka, Daisuke [Department of Radiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Hyogo (Japan); Matsumoto, Keiko [Department of Radiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Hyogo (Japan); Department of Radiology, Yamanashi University, Shimokato, Yamanashi (Japan); Yoshikawa, Takeshi; Matsumoto, Sumiaki [Department of Radiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Hyogo (Japan); Maniwa, Yoshimasa [Division of Thoracic Surgery, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Hyogo (Japan); Nishimura, Yoshihiro [Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Hyogo (Japan); Sugimura, Kazuro [Department of Radiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Hyogo (Japan)

    2011-09-15

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the capability of integrated FDG-PET/CT for assessment of postoperative intra- and extrathoracic recurrence in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with that of standard radiological examinations. Materials and methods: A total of 121 consecutive pathologically diagnosed NSCLC patients (80 males, 41 females; mean age, 71 years) underwent pathologically and surgically confirmed complete resection, followed by prospective integrated FDG-PET/CT and standard radiological examinations. Final diagnosis of recurrence was based on the results of more than 12 months of follow-up and/or pathological examinations. The probability of recurrence was assessed with either method for each patient by using 5-point visual scoring system, and final diagnosis was made by consensus between two readers. ROC analysis was used to compare the capability of the two methods for assessment of postoperative recurrence on a per-patient basis. The ROC-based positive test was used to determine optimal cut-off value for FDG uptake measurement at a site suspected on the basis of qualitatively assessed PET/CT. Finally, sensitivities, specificities and accuracies of all methods were compared by means of McNemar's test. Results: Areas under the curve of qualitatively assessed PET/CT and standard radiological examinations showed no significant differences (p > 0.05). At an optimal cut-off value of 2.5, specificity and accuracy of quantitatively and qualitatively assessed PET/CT were significantly higher than those of qualitatively assessed PET/CT and standard radiological examinations (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Accuracy of assessment of postoperative intra- and extrathoracic recurrence in NSCLC patients by qualitative and/or quantitative FDG-PET/CT is equivalent to or higher than that by standard radiological examinations.

  14. Non-small cell carcinoma: Comparison of postoperative intra- and extrathoracic recurrence assessment capability of qualitatively and/or quantitatively assessed FDG-PET/CT and standard radiological examinations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onishi, Yumiko; Ohno, Yoshiharu; Koyama, Hisanobu; Nogami, Munenobu; Takenaka, Daisuke; Matsumoto, Keiko; Yoshikawa, Takeshi; Matsumoto, Sumiaki; Maniwa, Yoshimasa; Nishimura, Yoshihiro; Sugimura, Kazuro

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the capability of integrated FDG-PET/CT for assessment of postoperative intra- and extrathoracic recurrence in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with that of standard radiological examinations. Materials and methods: A total of 121 consecutive pathologically diagnosed NSCLC patients (80 males, 41 females; mean age, 71 years) underwent pathologically and surgically confirmed complete resection, followed by prospective integrated FDG-PET/CT and standard radiological examinations. Final diagnosis of recurrence was based on the results of more than 12 months of follow-up and/or pathological examinations. The probability of recurrence was assessed with either method for each patient by using 5-point visual scoring system, and final diagnosis was made by consensus between two readers. ROC analysis was used to compare the capability of the two methods for assessment of postoperative recurrence on a per-patient basis. The ROC-based positive test was used to determine optimal cut-off value for FDG uptake measurement at a site suspected on the basis of qualitatively assessed PET/CT. Finally, sensitivities, specificities and accuracies of all methods were compared by means of McNemar's test. Results: Areas under the curve of qualitatively assessed PET/CT and standard radiological examinations showed no significant differences (p > 0.05). At an optimal cut-off value of 2.5, specificity and accuracy of quantitatively and qualitatively assessed PET/CT were significantly higher than those of qualitatively assessed PET/CT and standard radiological examinations (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Accuracy of assessment of postoperative intra- and extrathoracic recurrence in NSCLC patients by qualitative and/or quantitative FDG-PET/CT is equivalent to or higher than that by standard radiological examinations.

  15. Bridging Conceptions of Quality in Moments of Qualitative Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael John Ravenek

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Quality assessment in qualitative research has been, and remains, a contentious issue. The qualitative literature contains a diversity of opinions on definitions of and criteria for quality. This article attempts to organize this diversity, drawing on several examples of existing quality criteria, into four main approaches: qualitative as quantitative criteria, paradigm-specific criteria, individualized assessment, and bridging criteria. These different approaches can be mapped onto the historical transitions, or moments, in qualitative research presented by Denzin and Lincoln and, as such, they are presented alongside the various criteria reviewed. Socio-political conditions that have led us to a fractured future, where the value and significance of qualitative work may be marginalized, support the adoption of bridging criteria. These broadly applicable criteria provide means to assess quality and can be flexibly applied among the diversity of qualitative approaches used by researchers. Five categories that summarize the language used within bridging criteria are presented as a means to move forward in developing an approach to quality assessment that fosters communication and connections within the diversity of qualitative research, while simultaneously respecting and valuing paradigmatic and methodological diversity.

  16. Optimal spatio-temporal design of water quality monitoring networks for reservoirs: Application of the concept of value of information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maymandi, Nahal; Kerachian, Reza; Nikoo, Mohammad Reza

    2018-03-01

    This paper presents a new methodology for optimizing Water Quality Monitoring (WQM) networks of reservoirs and lakes using the concept of the value of information (VOI) and utilizing results of a calibrated numerical water quality simulation model. With reference to the value of information theory, water quality of every checkpoint with a specific prior probability differs in time. After analyzing water quality samples taken from potential monitoring points, the posterior probabilities are updated using the Baye's theorem, and VOI of the samples is calculated. In the next step, the stations with maximum VOI is selected as optimal stations. This process is repeated for each sampling interval to obtain optimal monitoring network locations for each interval. The results of the proposed VOI-based methodology is compared with those obtained using an entropy theoretic approach. As the results of the two methodologies would be partially different, in the next step, the results are combined using a weighting method. Finally, the optimal sampling interval and location of WQM stations are chosen using the Evidential Reasoning (ER) decision making method. The efficiency and applicability of the methodology are evaluated using available water quantity and quality data of the Karkheh Reservoir in the southwestern part of Iran.

  17. Innovation in values based public health nursing student selection: A qualitative evaluation of candidate and selection panel member perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Caroline; Abbott, Stephen; Brook, Judy

    2018-02-19

    Values based recruitment emerges from the premise that a high degree of value congruence, or the extent to which an individual's values are similar to those of the health organization in which they work, leads to organizational effectiveness. The aim of this evaluation was to explore how candidates and selection panel members experienced and perceived innovative methods of values based public health nursing student selection. The evaluation was framed by a qualitative exploratory design involving semi-structured interviews and a group exercise. Data were thematically analyzed. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with selection panel members. Twenty-two successful candidates took part in a group exercise. The use of photo elicitation interviews and situational judgment questions in the context of selection to a university-run public health nursing educational program was explored. While candidates were ambivalent about the use of photo elicitation interviews, with some misunderstanding the task, selection panel members saw the benefits for improving candidate expression and reducing gaming and deception. Situational interview questions were endorsed by candidates and selection panel members due to their fidelity to real-life problems and the ability of panel members to discern value congruence from candidates' responses. Both techniques offered innovative solutions to candidate selection for entry to the public health nursing education program. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. The role of qualitative research in adding value to a randomised controlled trial: lessons from a pilot study of a guided e-learning intervention for managers to improve employee wellbeing and reduce sickness absence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Jill; Berney, Lee; Stansfeld, Stephen; Lanz, Doris; Kerry, Sally; Chandola, Tarani; Bhui, Kamaldeep

    2016-08-09

    Despite the growing popularity of mixed-methods studies and considerable emphasis on the potential value of qualitative research to the trial endeavour, there remains a dearth of published studies reporting on actual contribution. This paper presents a critically reflective account of our experience of the actual value of undertaking qualitative research alongside a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial of a guided e-learning intervention for managers in an NHS Mental Health Trust to improve employee wellbeing and reduce sickness absence. For the qualitative study we undertook 36 in-depth interviews with key informants, managers and employees. We observed and took in-depth field notes of 10 meetings involving managers and employees at the Trust, and the two qualitative researchers acted as participant observers at steering committee and monthly research team meetings. We adopted a narrative methodological orientation alongside a thematic approach to data analysis, eliciting a rich account of the complexities of managing stress at work. We identified two key overarching roles played by the qualitative research: 'problematising' and 'contextualising'. Specifically, the qualitative data revealed and challenged assumptions embedded in the trial about the nature of the learning process, and exposed the slippery and contested nature of abstracted variables, on which a trial depends. The qualitative data challenged the trial's logic model, and provided a rich understanding of the context within which the trial and intervention took place. While acknowledging the ever-present tension in mixed-methods research between the requirements of quantitative research to represent the social world as abstracted variables, and the goal of qualitative research to explore and document the complexity of social phenomena, we adopted a pragmatic position that enabled us to engage with this tension in a productive and partially integrative way. Our critically reflective account of the

  19. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging of the pancreas: optimizing b-value for visualization of pancreatic adenocarcinoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fukukura, Yoshihiko; Shindo, Toshikazu; Hakamada, Hiroto; Takumi, Koji; Umanodan, Tomokazu; Nakajo, Masanori; Kamimura, Kiyoshisa; Umanodan, Aya; Ideue, Junnichi; Yoshiura, Takashi [Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Department of Radiology, Kagoshima City (Japan)

    2016-10-15

    To determine the optimal b-value of 3.0-T diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) for visualizing pancreatic adenocarcinomas Fifty-five patients with histologically confirmed pancreatic adenocarcinoma underwent DWI with different b-values (b = 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 s/mm{sup 2}) at 3.0 T. For each b-value, we retrospectively evaluated DWI findings of pancreatic adenocarcinomas (clear hyperintensity relative to the surrounding pancreas, hyperintensity with an unclear distal border, and isointensity) and image quality, and measured tumour-to-pancreas signal intensity (SI) ratios. DWI findings, image quality, and tumour-to-pancreas SI ratios were compared between the four b-values. There was a significantly higher incidence of tumours showing clear hyperintensity on DWI with b-value of 1500 s/mm{sup 2} than on that with b-value of 1000 s/mm{sup 2} (P < 0.001), and on DWI with b-value of 1000 s/mm{sup 2} than on that with b-value of 500 s/mm{sup 2} (P < 0.001). The tumour-to-distal pancreas SI ratio was higher with b-value of 1500 s/mm{sup 2} than with b-value of 1000 s/mm{sup 2} (P < 0.001), and with b-value of 1000 s/mm{sup 2} than with b-value of 500 s/mm{sup 2} (P < 0.001). A lower image quality was obtained at increasing b-values (P < 0.001); the lowest scores were observed with b-value of 2000 s/mm{sup 2}. The use of b = 1500 s/mm{sup 2} for 3.0-T DWI can improve the delineation of pancreatic adenocarcinomas. (orig.)

  20. Rambutan Seed (Nephelium Lappaceum L.) Optimization as Raw Material of High Nutrition Value Processed Food

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahini, M.; Miranti, M. G.; Lukitasari, F.; Novela, L.

    2018-02-01

    Rambutan (Nephelium Lappaceum L.) is a plant that identical with Southeast Asian countries, in some areas of Indonesia no exception, but rambutan seed is considered as a waste. Therefore, it needs to be optimized into raw materials of food and processed with high nutritional value and has economic value. The purpose of this research were: 1) to find the best rambutan seed immersion formula; 2) to know the nutritional value of the best immersed rambutan seed; 3) to produce raw material and various processed of rambutan seed product. The research method was quasi experiment with 6 treatments and 2 factorial design, materials for immersion was NaCl and Ca(OH)2. The results showed that: 1) the best rambutan seed immersion formula was using Ca(OH)2; 2) the best rambutan seed contains 1,6 ash, 31,2 protein, 26,9 fat; 3) the best rambutan seed produce flour and processed of seasoned nuts. This research indicates that rambutan seed is very potential to be an alternative high-value raw materials.

  1. Educational Accountability: A Qualitatively Driven Mixed-Methods Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Jori N.; Ryan, Katherine E.

    2011-01-01

    This article discusses the importance of mixed-methods research, in particular the value of qualitatively driven mixed-methods research for quantitatively driven domains like educational accountability. The article demonstrates the merits of qualitative thinking by describing a mixed-methods study that focuses on a middle school's system of…

  2. Characteristics and values of a British military nurse. International implications of War Zone qualitative research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finnegan, Alan; Finnegan, Sara; McKenna, Hugh; McGhee, Stephen; Ricketts, Lynda; McCourt, Kath; Warren, Jem; Thomas, Mike

    2016-01-01

    Between 2001 and 2014, British military nurses served in Afghanistan caring for both Service personnel and local nationals of all ages. However, there have been few research studies assessing the effectiveness of the military nurses' operational role and no papers naming the core values and characteristics. This paper is from the only qualitative nursing study completed during this period where data was collected in the War Zone. To explore the characteristics and values that are intrinsic to military nurses in undertaking their operational role. A constructivist grounded theory was utilised. The authors designed the interview schedule, and then following a pilot study, conducted and transcribed the discussions. Informed consent and UK Ministry of Defence Research Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Camp Bastion Hospital, Afghanistan, in 2013. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 British Armed Forces nurses. A theoretical model was developed that identifies the intrinsic characteristics and values required to be a military nurse. Nursing care delivered within the operational environment was perceived as outstanding. Nurses consciously detached themselves from any legal processes and treated each casualty as a vulnerable patient, resulting in care, compassion and dignity being provided for all patients, irrespective of their background, beliefs or affiliations. The study findings provide military nurses with a framework for a realistic personal development plan that will allow them to build upon their strengths as well as to identify and ameliorate potential areas of weakness. Placing nurses first, with a model that focusses on the requirements of a good nurse has the potential to lead to better patient care, and improve the quality of the tour for defence nurses. These findings have international implications and have the potential for transferability to any level of military or civilian nursing practice. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by

  3. Mechanical Design Optimization Using Advanced Optimization Techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Rao, R Venkata

    2012-01-01

    Mechanical design includes an optimization process in which designers always consider objectives such as strength, deflection, weight, wear, corrosion, etc. depending on the requirements. However, design optimization for a complete mechanical assembly leads to a complicated objective function with a large number of design variables. It is a good practice to apply optimization techniques for individual components or intermediate assemblies than a complete assembly. Analytical or numerical methods for calculating the extreme values of a function may perform well in many practical cases, but may fail in more complex design situations. In real design problems, the number of design parameters can be very large and their influence on the value to be optimized (the goal function) can be very complicated, having nonlinear character. In these complex cases, advanced optimization algorithms offer solutions to the problems, because they find a solution near to the global optimum within reasonable time and computational ...

  4. How well does Anorexia Nervosa fit with personal values? An exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulkerrin, Úna; Bamford, Bryony; Serpell, Lucy

    2016-01-01

    Despite an increasing clinical interest in the use of personal values as a motivational tool in psychological therapies for Anorexia Nervosa (AN), research is limited. This study explored personal values among individuals with AN, with a particular focus on the 'fit' between participants' values and their AN. A qualitative research design was employed in this study. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were carried out among eight female outpatients and inpatients with a diagnosis of AN or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified - AN type (EDNOS-AN type). Data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA; Smith, Jarman & Osborne, 1999). Three super-ordinate themes emerged from analysis: 'Balancing Values' (difficulty finding balance in relating to and acting on values), 'Congruence and Clashes between AN and Values' (experiences of AN representing a mixed-fit with values) and 'From Ambivalence to Motivation' (ambivalence toward both AN and recovery - in the context of its mixed-fit with values - and experiences of values as a motivational tool in recovery). Study findings support a role for psychological therapies in working with personal values as a means of promoting recovery in AN, through supporting individuals to explore AN's workability in the context of their values. Further research investigating the optimal stage of treatment to work with values as a motivational tool is warranted.

  5. Employing a Qualitative Description Approach in Health Care Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Carmel; Atkinson, Sandra; Doody, Owen

    2017-01-01

    A qualitative description design is particularly relevant where information is required directly from those experiencing the phenomenon under investigation and where time and resources are limited. Nurses and midwives often have clinical questions suitable to a qualitative approach but little time to develop an exhaustive comprehension of qualitative methodological approaches. Qualitative description research is sometimes considered a less sophisticated approach for epistemological reasons. Another challenge when considering qualitative description design is differentiating qualitative description from other qualitative approaches. This article provides a systematic and robust journey through the philosophical, ontological, and epistemological perspectives, which evidences the purpose of qualitative description research. Methods and rigor issues underpinning qualitative description research are also appraised to provide the researcher with a systematic approach to conduct research utilizing this approach. The key attributes and value of qualitative description research in the health care professions will be highlighted with the aim of extending its usage.

  6. Solving Optimization Problems via Vortex Optimization Algorithm and Cognitive Development Optimization Algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmet Demir; Utku kose

    2017-01-01

    In the fields which require finding the most appropriate value, optimization became a vital approach to employ effective solutions. With the use of optimization techniques, many different fields in the modern life have found solutions to their real-world based problems. In this context, classical optimization techniques have had an important popularity. But after a while, more advanced optimization problems required the use of more effective techniques. At this point, Computer Science took an...

  7. Machine Learning meets Mathematical Optimization to predict the optimal production of offshore wind parks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fischetti, Martina; Fraccaro, Marco

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we propose a combination of Mathematical Optimization and Machine Learning to estimate the value of optimized solutions. In particular, we investigate if a machine, trained on a large number of optimized solutions, could accurately estimate the value of the optimized solution for new...... in production between optimized/non optimized solutions, it is not trivial to understand the potential value of a new site without running a complete optimization. This could be too time consuming if a lot of sites need to be evaluated, therefore we propose to use Machine Learning to quickly estimate...... the potential of new sites (i.e., to estimate the optimized production of a site without explicitly running the optimization). To do so, we trained and tested different Machine Learning models on a dataset of 3000+ optimized layouts found by the optimizer. Thanks to the close collaboration with a leading...

  8. Qualitative Analysis of Plant-Derived Samples by Liquid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Purpose: Currently, mass spectrometry has become an effective method for the qualitative analysis of plant-derived samples. Precursor and product ions can be obtained by tandem mass spectrometry, supplying rich information for determining the structural formulas of compounds. In this work, we review the optimization of ...

  9. A Comparison of the Influence of Anticipated Death Trajectory and Personal Values on End-of-Life Care Preferences: A Qualitative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supiano, Katherine P; McGee, Nancy; Dassel, Kara B; Utz, Rebecca

    2017-08-17

    We examined anticipated preferences for end-of-life (EOL) care in healthy older adults in the context of various terminal disease scenarios to explore the relationship between personal values and diseases and conditions that would influence EOL care choices. Qualitative Descriptive Analysis was used to derive themes and the relationship between EOL preference themes and personal value themes in 365 respondents in a national sample of healthy older adults who completed a survey on their anticipated preferences for end-of-life (EOL) care. Reluctance to burden close others was the most frequently voiced personal value across all conditions affecting EOL preferences, followed by the personal value of quality of life. Concern about whether one's wishes would be honored was more commonly voiced in the context of hypothetical, prospective terminal cancer than in neurological conditions. Respondents who voiced desire for autonomy in how they would die clearly attributed extreme pain as the primary influence on EOL preferences. Comprehensive assessment of patient personal values should include consideration of particular chronic disease scenarios and death trajectories to fully inform EoL preferences. Because personal values do influence EOL preferences, care should be taken to ascertain patient values when presenting diagnoses, prognoses, and treatment options. In particular, patients and families of patients with progressive neurological diseases will likely face a time when the patient cannot self-represent EOL wishes. Early discussion of values and preferences, particularly in the context of cognitive disease is vital to assure patient-directed care.

  10. Closeness Degree-Based Hesitant Trapezoidal Fuzzy Multicriteria Decision Making Method for Evaluating Green Suppliers with Qualitative Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaolu Zhang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to develop a new closeness degree-based hesitant trapezoidal fuzzy (HTrF multicriteria decision making (MCDM approach for identifying the most appropriate green suppliers in food supply chain involving uncertain qualitative evaluation information. The uniqueness of the proposed HTrF MCDM method is the consideration of uncertain qualitative information represented by flexible linguistic expressions based on HTrF values and the construction of compromise solution with the revised closeness degree. The revised closeness degree can make sure that the most appropriate solution has the shortest distance from the HTrF positive ideal solution and the farthest distance from the HTrF negative ideal solution, simultaneously. This proposed HTrF MCDM technique not only offers a simple and efficient decision support tool to aid the food firms for identifying the optimal suppliers in food supply chain but also can enable the managers of food firms to better understand the complete evaluation and decision processes. In addition, this study provides a novel defuzzification technique to manage the HTrF weights values of main-criteria and subcriteria, respectively.

  11. Employing a Qualitative Description Approach in Health Care Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Carmel; Atkinson, Sandra; Doody, Owen

    2017-01-01

    A qualitative description design is particularly relevant where information is required directly from those experiencing the phenomenon under investigation and where time and resources are limited. Nurses and midwives often have clinical questions suitable to a qualitative approach but little time to develop an exhaustive comprehension of qualitative methodological approaches. Qualitative description research is sometimes considered a less sophisticated approach for epistemological reasons. Another challenge when considering qualitative description design is differentiating qualitative description from other qualitative approaches. This article provides a systematic and robust journey through the philosophical, ontological, and epistemological perspectives, which evidences the purpose of qualitative description research. Methods and rigor issues underpinning qualitative description research are also appraised to provide the researcher with a systematic approach to conduct research utilizing this approach. The key attributes and value of qualitative description research in the health care professions will be highlighted with the aim of extending its usage. PMID:29204457

  12. Qualitative Analysis of Chang'e-1 γ-ray Spectrometer Spectra Using Noise Adjusted Singular Value Decomposition Method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Jia; Ge Liangquan; Xiong Shengqing

    2010-01-01

    From the features of spectra shape of Chang'e-1 γ-ray spectrometer(CE1-GRS) data, it is difficult to determine elemental compositions on the lunar surface. Aimed at this problem, this paper proposes using noise adjusted singular value decomposition (NASVD) method to extract orthogonal spectral components from CE1-GRS data. Then the peak signals in the spectra of lower-order layers corresponding to the observed spectrum of each lunar region are respectively analyzed. Elemental compositions of each lunar region can be determined based upon whether the energy corresponding to each peak signal equals to the energy corresponding to the characteristic gamma-ray line emissions of specific elements. The result shows that a number of elements such as U, Th, K, Fe, Ti, Si, O, Al, Mg, Ca and Na are qualitatively determined by this method. (authors)

  13. Qualitative explanations for red giant formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhaskar, R.; Nigam, A.

    1991-01-01

    Recent research on giant formation has focused on the need for qualitative explanations. The explanations have the following general, qualitative form: the polytrope n assumes a certain value, that makes (d ln r)/(d ln z) take on a very large value; large increases in r can then be explained in terms of small changes in the variable z. This form is applicable to all the explanations current in the literature: they all have (1) either implicitly or explicitly, both a hydrostatic component and a luminosity-opacity component, and (2) a reliance on singular solutions. Dimensional analysis reveals that power laws that assume the polytrope n to 5 are identical in both the hydrostatic and luminosity-based explanations. 12 refs

  14. Value management: optimizing quality, service, and cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makadon, Harvey J; Bharucha, Farzan; Gavin, Michael; Oliveira, Jason; Wietecha, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Hospitals have wrestled with balancing quality, service, and cost for years--and the visibility and urgency around measuring and communicating real metrics has grown exponentially in the last decade. However, even today, most hospital leaders cannot articulate or demonstrate the "value" they provide to patients and payers. Instead of developing a strategic direction that is based around a core value proposition, they focus their strategic efforts on tactical decisions like physician recruitment, facility expansion, and physician alignment. In the healthcare paradigm of the next decade, alignment of various tactical initiatives will require a more coherent understanding of the hospital's core value positioning. The authors draw on their experience in a variety of healthcare settings to suggest that for most hospitals, quality (i.e., clinical outcomes and patient safety) will become the most visible indicator of value, and introduce a framework to help healthcare providers influence their value positioning based on this variable.

  15. Myths and Misconceptions about Using Qualitative Methods in Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Shaun R.; Kuh, George D.

    2007-01-01

    The value of qualitative assessment approaches has been underestimated primarily because they are often juxtaposed against long-standing quantitative traditions and the widely accepted premise that the best research produces generalizable and statistically significant findings. Institutional researchers avoid qualitative methods for at least three…

  16. Development and validation of optimal cut-off value in inter-arm systolic blood pressure difference for prediction of cardiovascular events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirono, Akira; Kusunose, Kenya; Kageyama, Norihito; Sumitomo, Masayuki; Abe, Masahiro; Fujinaga, Hiroyuki; Sata, Masataka

    2018-01-01

    An inter-arm systolic blood pressure difference (IAD) is associated with cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to develop and validate the optimal cut-off value of IAD as a predictor of major adverse cardiac events in patients with arteriosclerosis risk factors. From 2009 to 2014, 1076 patients who had at least one cardiovascular risk factor were included in the analysis. We defined 700 randomly selected patients as a development cohort to confirm that IAD was the predictor of cardiovascular events and to determine optimal cut-off value of IAD. Next, we validated outcomes in the remaining 376 patients as a validation cohort. The blood pressure (BP) of both arms measurements were done simultaneously using the ankle-brachial blood pressure index (ABI) form of automatic device. The primary endpoint was the cardiovascular event and secondary endpoint was the all-cause mortality. During a median period of 2.8 years, 143 patients reached the primary endpoint in the development cohort. In the multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis, IAD was the strong predictor of cardiovascular events (hazard ratio: 1.03, 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.05, p=0.005). The receiver operating characteristic curve revealed that 5mmHg was the optimal cut-off point of IAD to predict cardiovascular events (p<0.001). In the validation cohort, the presence of a large IAD (IAD ≥5mmHg) was significantly associated with the primary endpoint (p=0.021). IAD is significantly associated with future cardiovascular events in patients with arteriosclerosis risk factors. The optimal cut-off value of IAD is 5mmHg. Copyright © 2017 Japanese College of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Optimizing occupational exposure measurement strategies when estimating the log-scale arithmetic mean value--an example from the reinforced plastics industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampa, Erik G; Nilsson, Leif; Liljelind, Ingrid E; Bergdahl, Ingvar A

    2006-06-01

    When assessing occupational exposures, repeated measurements are in most cases required. Repeated measurements are more resource intensive than a single measurement, so careful planning of the measurement strategy is necessary to assure that resources are spent wisely. The optimal strategy depends on the objectives of the measurements. Here, two different models of random effects analysis of variance (ANOVA) are proposed for the optimization of measurement strategies by the minimization of the variance of the estimated log-transformed arithmetic mean value of a worker group, i.e. the strategies are optimized for precise estimation of that value. The first model is a one-way random effects ANOVA model. For that model it is shown that the best precision in the estimated mean value is always obtained by including as many workers as possible in the sample while restricting the number of replicates to two or at most three regardless of the size of the variance components. The second model introduces the 'shared temporal variation' which accounts for those random temporal fluctuations of the exposure that the workers have in common. It is shown for that model that the optimal sample allocation depends on the relative sizes of the between-worker component and the shared temporal component, so that if the between-worker component is larger than the shared temporal component more workers should be included in the sample and vice versa. The results are illustrated graphically with an example from the reinforced plastics industry. If there exists a shared temporal variation at a workplace, that variability needs to be accounted for in the sampling design and the more complex model is recommended.

  18. Optimal control and optimal trajectories of regional macroeconomic dynamics based on the Pontryagin maximum principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgakov, V. K.; Strigunov, V. V.

    2009-05-01

    The Pontryagin maximum principle is used to prove a theorem concerning optimal control in regional macroeconomics. A boundary value problem for optimal trajectories of the state and adjoint variables is formulated, and optimal curves are analyzed. An algorithm is proposed for solving the boundary value problem of optimal control. The performance of the algorithm is demonstrated by computing an optimal control and the corresponding optimal trajectories.

  19. Lifetime value in business process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Souček

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper focuses on lifetime value assessment and its implementation and application in business processes. The lifetime value is closely connected to customer relationship management. The paper presents results of three consecutive researches devoted to issues of customer relationship management. The first two from 2008 and 2010 were conducted as quantitative ones; the one from 2009 had qualitative nature. The respondents were representatives of particular companies. The means for data collection was provided by ReLa system. We will focus on individual attributes of lifetime value of a customer, and relate them to approaches of authors mentioned in introduction. Based on the qualitative research data, the paper focuses on individual customer lifetime value parameters. These parameters include: the cost to the customer relationship acquisition and maintenance, profit generated from a particular customer, customer awareness value, the level of preparedness to adopt new products, the value of references and customer loyalty level. For each of these parameters, the paper provides specific recommendations. Moreover, it is possible to learn about the nature of these parameter assessments in the Czech environment.

  20. What is the optimal cutoff value of the axis-line-angle technique for evaluating trunk imbalance in coronal plane?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rui-Fang; Fu, Yu-Chuan; Lu, Yi; Zhang, Xiao-Xia; Hu, Yu-Min; Zhou, Yong-Jin; Tian, Nai-Feng; He, Jia-Wei; Yan, Zhi-Han

    2017-02-01

    Accurately evaluating the extent of trunk imbalance in the coronal plane is significant for patients before and after treatment. We preliminarily practiced a new method, axis-line-angle technique (ALAT), for evaluating coronal trunk imbalance with excellent intra-observer and interobserver reliability. Radiologists and surgeons were encouraged to use this method in clinical practice. However, the optimal cutoff value of the ALAT for determination of the extent of coronal trunk imbalance has not been calculated up to now. The purpose of this study was to identify the cutoff value of the ALAT that best predicts a positive measurement point to assess coronal balance or imbalance. A retrospective study at a university affiliated hospital was carried out. A total of 130 patients with C7-central sacral vertical line (CSVL) >0 mm and aged 10-18 years were recruited in this study from September 2013 to December 2014. Data were analyzed to determine the optimal cutoff value of the ALAT measurement. The C7-CSVL and ALAT measurements were conducted respectively twice on plain film within a 2-week interval by two radiologists. The optimal cutoff value of the ALAT was analyzed via receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Comparison variables were performed with chi-square test between the C7-CSVL and ALAT measurements for evaluating trunk imbalance. Kappa agreement coefficient method was used to test the intra-observer and interobserver agreement of C7-CSVL and ALAT. The ROC curve area for the ALAT was 0.82 (95% confidence interval: 0.753-0.894, pimbalance (p>.05). Intra-observer agreement values for the C7-CSVL measurements by observers 1 and 2 were 0.79 and 0.91 (pimbalance in the coronal plane with a high level of intra-observer and interobserver agreement, which suggests that the ALAT is suitable for clinical use. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Optimal Computing Budget Allocation for Particle Swarm Optimization in Stochastic Optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Si; Xu, Jie; Lee, Loo Hay; Chew, Ek Peng; Wong, Wai Peng; Chen, Chun-Hung

    2017-04-01

    Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is a popular metaheuristic for deterministic optimization. Originated in the interpretations of the movement of individuals in a bird flock or fish school, PSO introduces the concept of personal best and global best to simulate the pattern of searching for food by flocking and successfully translate the natural phenomena to the optimization of complex functions. Many real-life applications of PSO cope with stochastic problems. To solve a stochastic problem using PSO, a straightforward approach is to equally allocate computational effort among all particles and obtain the same number of samples of fitness values. This is not an efficient use of computational budget and leaves considerable room for improvement. This paper proposes a seamless integration of the concept of optimal computing budget allocation (OCBA) into PSO to improve the computational efficiency of PSO for stochastic optimization problems. We derive an asymptotically optimal allocation rule to intelligently determine the number of samples for all particles such that the PSO algorithm can efficiently select the personal best and global best when there is stochastic estimation noise in fitness values. We also propose an easy-to-implement sequential procedure. Numerical tests show that our new approach can obtain much better results using the same amount of computational effort.

  2. Quantitative Metrics for Generative Justice: Graphing the Value of Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Robert Callahan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Scholarship utilizing the Generative Justice framework has focused primarily on qualitative data collection and analysis for its insights. This paper introduces a quantitative data measurement, contributory diversity, which can be used to enhance the analysis of ethical dimensions of value production under the Generative Justice lens. It is well known that the identity of contributors—gender, ethnicity, and other categories—is a key issue for social justice in general. Using the example of Open Source Software communities, we note that that typical diversity measures, focusing exclusively on workforce demographics, can fail to fully illuminate issues in value generation. Using Shannon’s entropy measure, we offer an alternative metric which combines the traditional assessment of demographics with a measure of value generation. This mapping allows for previously unacknowledged contributions to be recognized, and can avoid some of the ways in which exclusionary practices are obscured. We offer contributory diversity not as the single optimal metric, but rather as a call for others to begin investigating the possibilities for quantitative measurements of the communities and value flows that are studied using the Generative Justice framework. 

  3. [The relevance of qualitative techniques in biomedical research].

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Camargo, Kenneth Rochel

    2008-01-01

    On observing how qualitative and quantitative studies are reported in the biomedical literature it becomes evident that, besides the virtual absence of the former, they are presented in different ways. Authors of qualitative studies seem to need almost invariably to explain why they choose a qualitative approach whereas that does not occur in quantitative studies. This paper takes Ludwik Fleck's comparative epistemology as a means of exploring those differences empirically, illustrating on the basis of two studies dealing with different aspects of biomedical practices how qualitative methods can elucidate a variety of questions pertaining to this field. The paper concludes presenting some structural characteristics of the biomedical field which on one hand, would not be explored properly without employing qualitative methods and, on the other hand, can help understanding the little value given to qualitative techniques in this area.

  4. The value of psychosocial group activity in nursing education: A qualitative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Yun-Jung

    2018-05-01

    Nursing faculty often struggle to find effective teaching strategies for nursing students that integrate group work into nursing students' learning activities. This study was conducted to evaluate students' experiences in a psychiatric and mental health nursing course using psychosocial group activities to develop therapeutic communication and interpersonal relationship skills, as well as to introduce psychosocial nursing interventions. A qualitative research design was used. The study explored nursing students' experiences of the course in accordance with the inductive, interpretative, and constructive approaches via focus group interviews. Participants were 17 undergraduate nursing students who registered for a psychiatric and mental health nursing course. The collected data were analyzed by qualitative content analysis. The analysis resulted in 28 codes, 14 interpretive codes, 4 themes (developing interpersonal relationships, learning problem-solving skills, practicing cooperation and altruism, and getting insight and healing), and a core theme (interdependent growth in self-confidence). The psychosocial group activity provided constructive opportunities for the students to work independently and interdependently as healthcare team members through reflective learning experiences. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Optimizing asset value (OAV) -- A decision tool for mergers and acquisitions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blanchard, D.; Brinsfield, W.; Franklin, E. [Tenera Energy, LLC, San Francisco, CA (United States); Turnage, J. [US Generating Co., Bethesda, MD (United States)

    1999-11-01

    As the energy industry restructures and realigns, companies are increasingly engaged in all aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and divestiture. Successful transactions are no accident, and new insights are emerging daily. This paper describes a tool called Optimizing Asset Value (OAV) that provides support to the Valuation phase of the merger, acquisition, and divestiture process. The methodology is based upon a quantitative, risk-based approach that is used to calculate the impact of equipment operation and operations/maintenance practices upon the ability to generate maximum revenue. By combining probabilistic reliability data with the economic consequences of plant derating, equipment can be prioritized as to its importance to revenue generation. Savvy buyers can apply OAV to plants under consideration for purchase to estimate where the plant is on its revenue generation capability curve, and thus gain a better understanding as to the risks, or opportunities for improvement, that exist. This information can be used along with other pro forma analyses to set the bid price for the asset.

  6. Optimal Value of Series Capacitors for Uniform Field Distribution in Transmission Line MRI Coils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhurbenko, Vitaliy

    2016-01-01

    Transmission lines are often used as coils in high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Due to the distributed nature of transmission lines, coils based on them produce inhomogeneous field. This work investigates application of series capacitors to improve field homogeneity along the coil....... The equations for optimal values of evenly distributed capacitors are derived and expressed in terms of the implemented transmission line parameters.The achieved magnetic field homogeneity is estimated under quasistatic approximation and compared to the regular transmission line resonator. Finally, a more...... practical case of a microstrip line coil with two series capacitors is considered....

  7. CT-angiography-based evaluation of the aortic annulus for prosthesis sizing in transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI-predictive value and optimal thresholds for major anatomic parameters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Schwarz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the predictive value of CT-derived measurements of the aortic annulus for prosthesis sizing in transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI and to calculate optimal cutoff values for the selection of various prosthesis sizes. METHODS: The local IRB waived approval for this single-center retrospective analysis. Of 441 consecutive TAVI-patients, 90 were excluded (death within 30 days: 13; more than mild aortic regurgitation: 10; other reasons: 67. In the remaining 351 patients, the CoreValve (Medtronic and the Edwards Sapien XT valve (Edwards Lifesciences were implanted in 235 and 116 patients. Optimal prosthesis size was determined during TAVI by inflation of a balloon catheter at the aortic annulus. All patients had undergone CT-angiography of the heart or body trunk prior to TAVI. Using these datasets, the diameter of the long and short axis as well as the circumference and the area of the aortic annulus were measured. Multi-Class Receiver-Operator-Curve analyses were used to determine the predictive value of all variables and to define optimal cutoff-values. RESULTS: Differences between patients who underwent implantation of the small, medium or large prosthesis were significant for all except the large vs. medium CoreValve (all p's<0.05. Furthermore, mean diameter, annulus area and circumference had equally high predictive value for prosthesis size for both manufacturers (multi-class AUC's: 0.80, 0.88, 0.91, 0.88, 0.88, 0.89. Using the calculated optimal cutoff-values, prosthesis size is predicted correctly in 85% of cases. CONCLUSION: CT-based aortic root measurements permit excellent prediction of the prosthesis size considered optimal during TAVI.

  8. Conforming to partnership values: a qualitative case study of public–private mix for TB control in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Amo-Adjei

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Public–private mix (PPM can supplement public sector initiatives, including public health. As National Tuberculosis Control Programmes around the world embrace PPM, conforming to the four key principles of partnership values of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and equity as espoused by the World Health Organization can provide a useful framework to guide successful implementation. Design: This is a qualitative case study of PPM in tuberculosis (TB control, which utilised a purposive sample of 30 key stakeholders involved in TB control in Ghana. Respondents comprised an equal number of respondents from both the public and private sectors. Semi-structured in-depth interviews (IDI were conducted with respondents. Data emanating from the IDIs were analysed deductively. Results: Although the respondents’ perceptions about beneficence were unanimous, their views about non-maleficence, autonomy, and equity appeared incongruous with the underlying meanings of the PPM values. Underlying the unfavourable perceptions were disruptions in funding, project implementers’ failure to follow-up on promised incentives, and private providers lost interest. This was perceived to have negatively affected the smooth implementation of PPM in the country. Conclusions: Going forward, it is imperative that future partnerships are built around utilitarian principles and also adhere to the dictates of agreements, whether they are ‘soft’ or standard contracts.

  9. Conforming to partnership values: a qualitative case study of public-private mix for TB control in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amo-Adjei, Joshua

    2016-01-01

    Public-private mix (PPM) can supplement public sector initiatives, including public health. As National Tuberculosis Control Programmes around the world embrace PPM, conforming to the four key principles of partnership values of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and equity as espoused by the World Health Organization can provide a useful framework to guide successful implementation. This is a qualitative case study of PPM in tuberculosis (TB) control, which utilised a purposive sample of 30 key stakeholders involved in TB control in Ghana. Respondents comprised an equal number of respondents from both the public and private sectors. Semi-structured in-depth interviews (IDI) were conducted with respondents. Data emanating from the IDIs were analysed deductively. Although the respondents' perceptions about beneficence were unanimous, their views about non-maleficence, autonomy, and equity appeared incongruous with the underlying meanings of the PPM values. Underlying the unfavourable perceptions were disruptions in funding, project implementers' failure to follow-up on promised incentives, and private providers lost interest. This was perceived to have negatively affected the smooth implementation of PPM in the country. Going forward, it is imperative that future partnerships are built around utilitarian principles and also adhere to the dictates of agreements, whether they are 'soft' or standard contracts.

  10. Generation method of educational materials using qualitative reasoning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshimura, Seiichi; Yamada, Shigeo; Fujisawa, Noriyoshi.

    1992-01-01

    Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry has developed a nuclear power plant educational system in which educational materials for several events are included. The system effectively teaches operators by tailoring the event explanations to their knowledge levels of understanding. The preparation of the educational materials, however, is laborious and this becomes one of the problems in the practical use of the system. Discussed in the present paper is a basic explanation generation method using qualitative reasoning. This has been developed to solve the problem. Qualitative equations describing a recirculation pumps trip were transformed into production rules. These were stored in the knowledge base of an event explanation generation system together with explanation sentences. When an operator selects a certain variable's time-interval in which he wants to know the reasons for a variable change, the inference engine searches for the rule which satisfies both the qualitative value and qualitative differential value concerned with this time-interval. Then the event explanation generation section provides explanations by combining the explanation sentences attached to the rules. This paper demonstrates that it is possible to apply qualitative reasoning to such complex reactor systems, and also that explanations can be generated using the simulation results from a transient analysis code. (author)

  11. Validation and optimization of a chromatographic method for the quantitative and qualitative determination of cocaine and heroin through liquid chromatography of high resolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montero Aguilar, A.L.

    1997-01-01

    A (HPLC) chromatographic method was optimized in this work, for the determination of cocaine and heroin in seizures, through the application of the factorial and the simplex design. It applied the developed methodology in the determination of the content of cocaine and of heroin in nine different samples. The application of this methodology in abuse drugs seizures samples, turned out analytically satisfactory for the time of analysis and the veracity of the results. It also complements efficiently the qualitative analysis of cocaine and heroin, that the Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Investigations of the Department of Forensic Sciences of the Agency of Judicial Investigation carries out. (S. Grainger) [es

  12. Qualitätssicherung an Hochschulen durch Zulassungsverfahren

    OpenAIRE

    Hell, Benedikt

    2007-01-01

    Dieser Beitrag zeigt auf, dass Zulassungsverfahren einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Qualitätssicherung im tertiären Bildungsbereich leisten können. In Form eines Gedankenspiels wird das Portersehe Value Chain Framework herangezogen, um die besondere Stellung von Auswahlverfahren als Qualitätssicherungselement aufzuzeigen. Einen weiteren Schwerpunkt bildet die Analyse der prognostischen Aussagekraft und der Betrachtung des Nutzens von Auswahlverfahren. Hierzu werden Kennzahlen präsentiert, die durc...

  13. OPTIMAL PRODUCTION–SALES STRATEGIES FOR A COMPANY AT CHANGING MARKET PRICE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ELLINA V. GRIGORIEVA

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we consider a monopoly producing a consumer good of high demand. Its market price depends on the volume of the produced goods described by the Cobb-Douglas production function. A production-sales activity of the firm is modeled by a nonlinear differential equation with two bounded controls: the share of the profit obtained from sales that the company reinvests into expanding own production, and the amount of short-term loans taken from a bank for the same purpose. The problem of maximizing discounted total profit on a given time interval is stated and solved. In order to find the optimal production and sales strategies for the company, the Pontryagin maximum principle is used. In order to investigate the arising two-point boundary value problem for the maximum principle, an analysis of the corresponding Hamiltonian system is applied. Based on a qualitative analysis of this system, we found that depending on the initial conditions and parameters of the model, both, singular and bang- bang controls can be optimal. Economic analysis of the optimal solutions is discussed.

  14. CT-angiography-based evaluation of the aortic annulus for prosthesis sizing in transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)-predictive value and optimal thresholds for major anatomic parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Florian; Lange, Philipp; Zinsser, Dominik; Greif, Martin; Boekstegers, Peter; Schmitz, Christoph; Reiser, Maximilian F; Kupatt, Christian; Becker, Hans C

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the predictive value of CT-derived measurements of the aortic annulus for prosthesis sizing in transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and to calculate optimal cutoff values for the selection of various prosthesis sizes. The local IRB waived approval for this single-center retrospective analysis. Of 441 consecutive TAVI-patients, 90 were excluded (death within 30 days: 13; more than mild aortic regurgitation: 10; other reasons: 67). In the remaining 351 patients, the CoreValve (Medtronic) and the Edwards Sapien XT valve (Edwards Lifesciences) were implanted in 235 and 116 patients. Optimal prosthesis size was determined during TAVI by inflation of a balloon catheter at the aortic annulus. All patients had undergone CT-angiography of the heart or body trunk prior to TAVI. Using these datasets, the diameter of the long and short axis as well as the circumference and the area of the aortic annulus were measured. Multi-Class Receiver-Operator-Curve analyses were used to determine the predictive value of all variables and to define optimal cutoff-values. Differences between patients who underwent implantation of the small, medium or large prosthesis were significant for all except the large vs. medium CoreValve (all p'sprosthesis size for both manufacturers (multi-class AUC's: 0.80, 0.88, 0.91, 0.88, 0.88, 0.89). Using the calculated optimal cutoff-values, prosthesis size is predicted correctly in 85% of cases. CT-based aortic root measurements permit excellent prediction of the prosthesis size considered optimal during TAVI.

  15. A qualitative study of the perceived value of membership in The Oley Foundation by home parenteral and enteral nutrition consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopy, Katelyn; Winkler, Marion; Schwartz-Barcott, Donna; Melanson, Kathleen; Greene, Geoffrey

    2015-05-01

    Support and educational organizations have been shown to improve quality of life of consumers of home nutrition support. One such organization, The Oley Foundation, offers resources for the home parenteral and enteral nutrition (HPEN) consumer. While research has shown proven benefits to HPEN consumers affiliated with The Oley Foundation, no studies have investigated the perceived value of membership to the consumer or the way in which consumers are introduced to the organization. Qualitative methodology was used to gain a deeper understanding of the perceived value of membership in The Oley Foundation. Audiotaped, in-depth, semistructured telephone interviews were conducted to explore participants' experiences with The Oley Foundation and HPEN. Inductive content analysis was used to analyze data and identify themes associated with membership value. The value of The Oley Foundation lies in programs and resources and the competency, inspiration, normalcy, and advocacy gained from membership, helping individuals adjust to life with HPEN dependency. More than half of participants found the organization through self-initiated Internet searches, but all participants clearly expressed the desire "I wish I knew about it sooner." This study identifies the value of membership in The Oley Foundation and the important role the organization has in the lives of HPEN-dependent consumers. Nutrition support clinicians should introduce the organization to patients when the need for HPEN is established and prior to hospital discharge. © 2014 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

  16. Solvability, regularity, and optimal control of boundary value problems for pdes in honour of Prof. Gianni Gilardi

    CERN Document Server

    Favini, Angelo; Rocca, Elisabetta; Schimperna, Giulio; Sprekels, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    This volume gathers contributions in the field of partial differential equations, with a focus on mathematical models in phase transitions, complex fluids and thermomechanics. These contributions are dedicated to Professor Gianni Gilardi on the occasion of his 70th birthday. It particularly develops the following thematic areas: nonlinear dynamic and stationary equations; well-posedness of initial and boundary value problems for systems of PDEs; regularity properties for the solutions; optimal control problems and optimality conditions; feedback stabilization and stability results. Most of the articles are presented in a self-contained manner, and describe new achievements and/or the state of the art in their line of research, providing interested readers with an overview of recent advances and future research directions in PDEs.

  17. Numerical optimization of circulation control airfoils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, T. C.; Kidwell, G. H., Jr.; Vanderplaats, G. N.

    1981-01-01

    A numerical procedure for optimizing circulation control airfoils, which consists of the coupling of an optimization scheme with a viscous potential flow analysis for blowing jet, is presented. The desired airfoil is defined by a combination of three baseline shapes (cambered ellipse, and cambered ellipse with drooped and spiralled trailing edges). The coefficients of these shapes are used as design variables in the optimization process. Under the constraints of lift augmentation and lift-to-drag ratios, the optimal airfoils are found to lie between those of cambered ellipse and the drooped trailing edge, towards the latter as the angle of attack increases. Results agree qualitatively with available experimental data.

  18. BRAIN Journal - Solving Optimization Problems via Vortex Optimization Algorithm and Cognitive Development Optimization Algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmet Demir; Utku Kose

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT In the fields which require finding the most appropriate value, optimization became a vital approach to employ effective solutions. With the use of optimization techniques, many different fields in the modern life have found solutions to their real-world based problems. In this context, classical optimization techniques have had an important popularity. But after a while, more advanced optimization problems required the use of more effective techniques. At this point, Computer Sc...

  19. Determining The Optimal Mix of Institutional Geopolitical Power And ASEAN Corporate Governance on the Firm Value of Malaysia’s Multinational Corporations (MNCs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wan Sallha Yusoff

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between institutional geopolitics, ASEAN corporate governance quality and the firm value of Malaysia’s multinational corporation (MNC. We used the data of MNCs in Malaysia that were active from 2009 to 2013 as an evidence of MNCs from emerging market economies. Descriptive analysis, factor analysis and panel data analysis have been utilized to test the equation model. We also propose optimization analysis by using differential evolution method to capture the optimal mix of institutional geopolitics and ASEAN_CG on the firm value of MNC. Results reveal that the geopolitics of G7(Canada, France, German, Italy, Japan, Europe, and the United States, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia are highly correlated with the firm value of Malaysia’s MNC. The power of institutional geopolitics, namely, military, material, and social power, influences firm value negatively and ASEAN_CG moderate the negative influence of institutional geopolitics on the firm value of MNC. Thus, it is importance for corporate management to understand the geopolitical changes of host countries’ and increase the compliance of ASEAN_CG in formulating their market value and segmentation strategies.

  20. Tractable Pareto Optimization of Temporal Preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Robert; Morris, Paul; Khatib, Lina; Venable, Brent

    2003-01-01

    This paper focuses on temporal constraint problems where the objective is to optimize a set of local preferences for when events occur. In previous work, a subclass of these problems has been formalized as a generalization of Temporal CSPs, and a tractable strategy for optimization has been proposed, where global optimality is defined as maximizing the minimum of the component preference values. This criterion for optimality, which we call 'Weakest Link Optimization' (WLO), is known to have limited practical usefulness because solutions are compared only on the basis of their worst value; thus, there is no requirement to improve the other values. To address this limitation, we introduce a new algorithm that re-applies WLO iteratively in a way that leads to improvement of all the values. We show the value of this strategy by proving that, with suitable preference functions, the resulting solutions are Pareto Optimal.

  1. Quantitative and qualitative comparison of MR imaging of the temporomandibular joint at 1.5 and 3.0 T using an optimized high-resolution protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoliu, Andrei; Spinner, Georg; Wyss, Michael; Erni, Stefan; Ettlin, Dominik A; Nanz, Daniel; Ulbrich, Erika J; Gallo, Luigi M; Andreisek, Gustav

    2016-01-01

    To quantitatively and qualitatively compare MRI of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) using an optimized high-resolution protocol at 3.0 T and a clinical standard protocol at 1.5 T. A phantom and 12 asymptomatic volunteers were MR imaged using a 2-channel surface coil (standard TMJ coil) at 1.5 and 3.0 T (Philips Achieva and Philips Ingenia, respectively; Philips Healthcare, Best, Netherlands). Imaging protocol consisted of coronal and oblique sagittal proton density-weighted turbo spin echo sequences. For quantitative evaluation, a spherical phantom was imaged. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) maps were calculated on a voxelwise basis. For qualitative evaluation, all volunteers underwent MRI of the TMJ with the jaw in closed position. Two readers independently assessed visibility and delineation of anatomical structures of the TMJ and overall image quality on a 5-point Likert scale. Quantitative and qualitative measurements were compared between field strengths. The quantitative analysis showed similar SNR for the high-resolution protocol at 3.0 T compared with the clinical protocol at 1.5 T. The qualitative analysis showed significantly better visibility and delineation of clinically relevant anatomical structures of the TMJ, including the TMJ disc and pterygoid muscle as well as better overall image quality at 3.0 T than at 1.5 T. The presented results indicate that expected gains in SNR at 3.0 T can be used to increase the spatial resolution when imaging the TMJ, which translates into increased visibility and delineation of anatomical structures of the TMJ. Therefore, imaging at 3.0 T should be preferred over 1.5 T for imaging the TMJ.

  2. Variable selection based near infrared spectroscopy quantitative and qualitative analysis on wheat wet gluten

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Chengxu; Jiang, Xunpeng; Zhou, Xingfan; Zhang, Yinqiao; Zhang, Naiqian; Wei, Chongfeng; Mao, Wenhua

    2017-10-01

    Wet gluten is a useful quality indicator for wheat, and short wave near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a high performance technique with the advantage of economic rapid and nondestructive test. To study the feasibility of short wave NIRS analyzing wet gluten directly from wheat seed, 54 representative wheat seed samples were collected and scanned by spectrometer. 8 spectral pretreatment method and genetic algorithm (GA) variable selection method were used to optimize analysis. Both quantitative and qualitative model of wet gluten were built by partial least squares regression and discriminate analysis. For quantitative analysis, normalization is the optimized pretreatment method, 17 wet gluten sensitive variables are selected by GA, and GA model performs a better result than that of all variable model, with R2V=0.88, and RMSEV=1.47. For qualitative analysis, automatic weighted least squares baseline is the optimized pretreatment method, all variable models perform better results than those of GA models. The correct classification rates of 3 class of 30% wet gluten content are 95.45, 84.52, and 90.00%, respectively. The short wave NIRS technique shows potential for both quantitative and qualitative analysis of wet gluten for wheat seed.

  3. Agricultural Economics and Qualitative Research: Incompatible Paradigms?

    OpenAIRE

    Vera Bitsch

    2000-01-01

    The disciplinary paradigm of agricultural economics emphasizes rational behavior in a world constrained by scarce resources. The research practice focuses on the quantitative modeling of optimization behavior. These models, though, only offer limited support to practitioners in solving real-world problems. Qualitative research approaches contribute to this task, particularly with research in developing countries. Participatory action research was introduced in the seventies; case studies have...

  4. Clinical application of qualitative assessment for breast masses in shear-wave elastography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gweon, Hye Mi; Youk, Ji Hyun; Son, Eun Ju; Kim, Jeong-Ah

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the interobserver agreement and the diagnostic performance of various qualitative features in shear-wave elastography (SWE) for breast masses. Materials and methods: A total of 153 breast lesions in 152 women who underwent B-mode ultrasound and SWE before biopsy were included. Qualitative analysis in SWE was performed using two different classifications: E values (Ecol; 6-point color score, Ehomo; homogeneity score and Esha; shape score) and a four-color pattern classification. Two radiologists reviewed five data sets: B-mode ultrasound, SWE, and combination of both for E values and four-color pattern. The BI-RADS categories were assessed B-mode and combined sets. Interobserver agreement was assessed using weighted κ statistics. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity were analyzed. Results: Interobserver agreement was substantial for Ecol (κ = 0.79), Ehomo (κ = 0.77) and four-color pattern (κ = 0.64), and moderate for Esha (κ = 0.56). Better-performing qualitative features were Ecol and four-color pattern (AUCs, 0.932 and 0.925) compared with Ehomo and Esha (AUCs, 0.857 and 0.864; P < 0.05). The diagnostic performance of B-mode ultrasound (AUC, 0.950) was not significantly different from combined sets with E value and with four color pattern (AUCs, 0.962 and 0.954). When all qualitative values were negative, leading to downgrade the BI-RADS category, the specificity increased significantly from 16.5% to 56.1% (E value) and 57.0% (four-color pattern) (P < 0.001) without improvement in sensitivity. Conclusion: The qualitative SWE features were highly reproducible and showed good diagnostic performance in suspicious breast masses. Adding qualitative SWE to B-mode ultrasound increased specificity in decision making for biopsy recommendation

  5. Clinical application of qualitative assessment for breast masses in shear-wave elastography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gweon, Hye Mi; Youk, Ji Hyun, E-mail: jhyouk@yuhs.ac; Son, Eun Ju; Kim, Jeong-Ah

    2013-11-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the interobserver agreement and the diagnostic performance of various qualitative features in shear-wave elastography (SWE) for breast masses. Materials and methods: A total of 153 breast lesions in 152 women who underwent B-mode ultrasound and SWE before biopsy were included. Qualitative analysis in SWE was performed using two different classifications: E values (Ecol; 6-point color score, Ehomo; homogeneity score and Esha; shape score) and a four-color pattern classification. Two radiologists reviewed five data sets: B-mode ultrasound, SWE, and combination of both for E values and four-color pattern. The BI-RADS categories were assessed B-mode and combined sets. Interobserver agreement was assessed using weighted κ statistics. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity were analyzed. Results: Interobserver agreement was substantial for Ecol (κ = 0.79), Ehomo (κ = 0.77) and four-color pattern (κ = 0.64), and moderate for Esha (κ = 0.56). Better-performing qualitative features were Ecol and four-color pattern (AUCs, 0.932 and 0.925) compared with Ehomo and Esha (AUCs, 0.857 and 0.864; P < 0.05). The diagnostic performance of B-mode ultrasound (AUC, 0.950) was not significantly different from combined sets with E value and with four color pattern (AUCs, 0.962 and 0.954). When all qualitative values were negative, leading to downgrade the BI-RADS category, the specificity increased significantly from 16.5% to 56.1% (E value) and 57.0% (four-color pattern) (P < 0.001) without improvement in sensitivity. Conclusion: The qualitative SWE features were highly reproducible and showed good diagnostic performance in suspicious breast masses. Adding qualitative SWE to B-mode ultrasound increased specificity in decision making for biopsy recommendation.

  6. Establishing the credibility of qualitative research findings: the plot thickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutcliffe, J R; McKenna, H P

    1999-08-01

    Qualitative research is increasingly recognized and valued and its unique place in nursing research is highlighted by many. Despite this, some nurse researchers continue to raise epistemological issues about the problems of objectivity and the validity of qualitative research findings. This paper explores the issues relating to the representativeness or credibility of qualitative research findings. It therefore critiques the existing distinct philosophical and methodological positions concerning the trustworthiness of qualitative research findings, which are described as follows: quantitative studies should be judged using the same criteria and terminology as quantitative studies; it is impossible, in a meaningful way, for any criteria to be used to judge qualitative studies; qualitative studies should be judged using criteria that are developed for and fit the qualitative paradigm; and the credibility of qualitative research findings could be established by testing out the emerging theory by means of conducting a deductive quantitative study. The authors conclude by providing some guidelines for establishing the credibility of qualitative research findings.

  7. Optimization of costs versus radiation exposures in decommissioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konzek, G.J.

    1979-01-01

    The estimated worth of decommissioning optimization planning during each phase of the reactor's life cycle is dependent on many variables. The major variables are tabulated and relatively ranked. For each phase, optimization qualitative values (i.e., cost, safety, maintainability, ALARA, and decommissioning considerations) are estimated and ranked according to their short-term and long-term potential benefits. These estimates depend on the quality of the input data, interpretation of that data, and engineering judgment. Once identified and ranked, these considerations form an integral part of the information data base from which estimates, decisions, and alternatives are derived. The optimization of costs and the amount of occupational radiation exposure reductions are strongly interrelated during decommissioning. Realizing that building the necessary infrastructure for decommissioning will take time is an important first step in any decommissioning plan. In addition, the following conclusions are established to achieve optimization of costs and reduced occupational radiation exposures: the assignment of cost versus man-rem is item-specific and sensitive to the expertise of many interrelated disciplines; a commitment to long-term decommissioning planning by management will provide the conditions needed to achieve optimization; and, to be most effective, costs and exposure reduction are sensitive to the nearness of the decommissioning operation. For a new plant, it is best to start at the beginning of the cycle, update continually, consider innovations, and realize full potential and benefits of this concept. For an older plant, the life cycle methodology permits a comprehensive review of the plant history and the formulation of an orderly decommissioning program based on planning, organization, and effort

  8. A writer's guide to education scholarship: Qualitative education scholarship (part 2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Teresa M; Ting, Daniel K; Hall, Andrew Koch; Murnaghan, Aleisha; Thoma, Brent; McEwen, Jill; Yarris, Lalena M

    2018-03-01

    Education scholarship can be conducted using a variety of methods, from quantitative experiments to qualitative studies. Qualitative methods are less commonly used in emergency medicine (EM) education research but are well-suited to explore complex educational problems and generate hypotheses. We aimed to review the literature to provide resources to guide educators who wish to conduct qualitative research in EM education. We conducted a scoping review to outline: 1) a list of journals that regularly publish qualitative educational papers; 2) an aggregate set of quality markers for qualitative educational research and scholarship; and 3) a list of quality checklists for qualitative educational research and scholarship. We found nine journals that have published more than one qualitative educational research paper in EM. From the literature, we identified 39 quality markers that were grouped into 10 themes: Initial Grounding Work (preparation, background); Goals, Problem Statement, or Question; Methods (general considerations); Sampling Techniques; Data Collection Techniques; Data Interpretation and Theory Generation; Measures to Optimize Rigour and Trustworthiness; Relevance to the Field; Evidence of Reflective Practice; Dissemination and Reporting. Lastly, five quality checklists were found for guiding educators in reporting their qualitative work. Many problems that EM educators face are well-suited to exploration using qualitative methods. The results of our scoping review provide publication venues, quality indicators, and checklists that may be useful to EM educators embarking on qualitative projects.

  9. Differentiation of Adrenal Adenoma and Nonadenoma in Unenhanced CT: New Optimal Threshold Value and the Usefulness of Size Criteria for Differentiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Sung Hee; Kim, Myeong Jin; Kim, Joo Hee; Lim, Joon Seok; Kim, Ki Whang

    2007-01-01

    To determine the optimal threshold for the attenuation values in unenhanced computed tomography (CT) and assess the value of the size criteria for differentiating between an adrenal adenoma and a nonadenoma. The unenhanced CT images of 45 patients at our institution, who underwent a surgical resection of an adrenal masses between January 2001 and July 2005, were retrospectively reviewed. Forty-five adrenal masses included 25 cortical adenomas, 12 pheochromocytomas, three lymphomas, and five metastases confirmed by pathology were examined. The CT images were obtained at a slice thickness of 2 mm to 3 mm. The mAs were varied from 100 to 160 and 200 to 280, while the 120 KVp was maintained in all cases. The mean attenuation values of an adrenal adenoma and nonadenoma were compared using an unpaired t test. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy at thresholds of 10 HU, 20 HU, and 25 HU were compared. The diagnostic accuracy according to the size criteria from 2 cm to 6 cm was also compared. The twenty-five adenomas showed significantly lower (p 90% but a specificity < 70%. Size criteria of 2 or 3 cm had a high specificity of 100% and 80% but a low sensitivity of 20% and 60%. The threshold attenuation values of 20 or 25 HU in the unenhanced CT appear optimal for discriminating an adrenal adenoma from a nonadenoma. The size criteria are of little value in differentiating adrenal masses because of their low specificity or low sensitivity

  10. QUAGOL: a guide for qualitative data analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierckx de Casterlé, Bernadette; Gastmans, Chris; Bryon, Els; Denier, Yvonne

    2012-03-01

    Data analysis is a complex and contested part of the qualitative research process, which has received limited theoretical attention. Researchers are often in need of useful instructions or guidelines on how to analyze the mass of qualitative data, but face the lack of clear guidance for using particular analytic methods. The aim of this paper is to propose and discuss the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL), a guide that was developed in order to be able to truly capture the rich insights of qualitative interview data. The article describes six major problems researchers are often struggling with during the process of qualitative data analysis. Consequently, the QUAGOL is proposed as a guide to facilitate the process of analysis. Challenges emerged and lessons learned from own extensive experiences with qualitative data analysis within the Grounded Theory Approach, as well as from those of other researchers (as described in the literature), were discussed and recommendations were presented. Strengths and pitfalls of the proposed method were discussed in detail. The Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL) offers a comprehensive method to guide the process of qualitative data analysis. The process consists of two parts, each consisting of five stages. The method is systematic but not rigid. It is characterized by iterative processes of digging deeper, constantly moving between the various stages of the process. As such, it aims to stimulate the researcher's intuition and creativity as optimal as possible. The QUAGOL guide is a theory and practice-based guide that supports and facilitates the process of analysis of qualitative interview data. Although the method can facilitate the process of analysis, it cannot guarantee automatic quality. The skills of the researcher and the quality of the research team remain the most crucial components of a successful process of analysis. Additionally, the importance of constantly moving between the various stages

  11. A performance-oriented power transformer design methodology using multi-objective evolutionary optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adly, Amr A; Abd-El-Hafiz, Salwa K

    2015-05-01

    Transformers are regarded as crucial components in power systems. Due to market globalization, power transformer manufacturers are facing an increasingly competitive environment that mandates the adoption of design strategies yielding better performance at lower costs. In this paper, a power transformer design methodology using multi-objective evolutionary optimization is proposed. Using this methodology, which is tailored to be target performance design-oriented, quick rough estimation of transformer design specifics may be inferred. Testing of the suggested approach revealed significant qualitative and quantitative match with measured design and performance values. Details of the proposed methodology as well as sample design results are reported in the paper.

  12. Quantum Optimal Control of Single Harmonic Oscillator under Quadratic Controls together with Linear Dipole Polarizability: A Fluctuation Free Expectation Value Dynamical Perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ayvaz, Muzaffer; Demiralp, Metin

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the optimal control equations for one dimensional quantum harmonic oscillator under the quadratic control operators together with linear dipole polarizability effects are constructed in the sense of Heisenberg equation of motion. A numerical technique based on the approximation to the non-commuting quantum mechanical operators from the fluctuation free expectation value dynamics perspective in the classical limit is also proposed for the solution of optimal control equations which are ODEs with accompanying boundary conditions. The dipole interaction of the system is considered to be linear, and the observable whose expectation value will be suppressed during the control process is considered to be quadratic in terms of position operator x. The objective term operator is also assumed to be quadratic.

  13. Some optimal considerations in attitude control systems. [evaluation of value of relative weighting between time and fuel for relay control law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boland, J. S., III

    1973-01-01

    The conventional six-engine reaction control jet relay attitude control law with deadband is shown to be a good linear approximation to a weighted time-fuel optimal control law. Techniques for evaluating the value of the relative weighting between time and fuel for a particular relay control law is studied along with techniques to interrelate other parameters for the two control laws. Vehicle attitude control laws employing control moment gyros are then investigated. Steering laws obtained from the expression for the reaction torque of the gyro configuration are compared to a total optimal attitude control law that is derived from optimal linear regulator theory. This total optimal attitude control law has computational disadvantages in the solving of the matrix Riccati equation. Several computational algorithms for solving the matrix Riccati equation are investigated with respect to accuracy, computational storage requirements, and computational speed.

  14. Solving Optimization Problems via Vortex Optimization Algorithm and Cognitive Development Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet Demir

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the fields which require finding the most appropriate value, optimization became a vital approach to employ effective solutions. With the use of optimization techniques, many different fields in the modern life have found solutions to their real-world based problems. In this context, classical optimization techniques have had an important popularity. But after a while, more advanced optimization problems required the use of more effective techniques. At this point, Computer Science took an important role on providing software related techniques to improve the associated literature. Today, intelligent optimization techniques based on Artificial Intelligence are widely used for optimization problems. The objective of this paper is to provide a comparative study on the employment of classical optimization solutions and Artificial Intelligence solutions for enabling readers to have idea about the potential of intelligent optimization techniques. At this point, two recently developed intelligent optimization algorithms, Vortex Optimization Algorithm (VOA and Cognitive Development Optimization Algorithm (CoDOA, have been used to solve some multidisciplinary optimization problems provided in the source book Thomas' Calculus 11th Edition and the obtained results have compared with classical optimization solutions. 

  15. Value maximizing maintenance policies under general repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marais, Karen B.

    2013-01-01

    One class of maintenance optimization problems considers the notion of general repair maintenance policies where systems are repaired or replaced on failure. In each case the optimality is based on minimizing the total maintenance cost of the system. These cost-centric optimizations ignore the value dimension of maintenance and can lead to maintenance strategies that do not maximize system value. This paper applies these ideas to the general repair optimization problem using a semi-Markov decision process, discounted cash flow techniques, and dynamic programming to identify the value-optimal actions for any given time and system condition. The impact of several parameters on maintenance strategy, such as operating cost and revenue, system failure characteristics, repair and replacement costs, and the planning time horizon, is explored. This approach provides a quantitative basis on which to base maintenance strategy decisions that contribute to system value. These decisions are different from those suggested by traditional cost-based approaches. The results show (1) how the optimal action for a given time and condition changes as replacement and repair costs change, and identifies the point at which these costs become too high for profitable system operation; (2) that for shorter planning horizons it is better to repair, since there is no time to reap the benefits of increased operating profit and reliability; (3) how the value-optimal maintenance policy is affected by the system's failure characteristics, and hence whether it is worthwhile to invest in higher reliability; and (4) the impact of the repair level on the optimal maintenance policy. -- Highlights: •Provides a quantitative basis for maintenance strategy decisions that contribute to system value. •Shows how the optimal action for a given condition changes as replacement and repair costs change. •Shows how the optimal policy is affected by the system's failure characteristics. •Shows when it is

  16. Qualitative analysis of laser cutting of CV joints for automobile industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboites, Vicente; Ramirez, Roberto; Rayas, Juan

    2005-02-01

    The optimization of an automatic laser cutting system is reported. This CO2 laser system assisted by an O2 gas jet is used in the cutting of Constant Velocity (CV) joint for the automotive industry. The experimental parameters varied in order to obtain cuts with low roughness were the laser power, cutting speed and oxygen pressure. A mathematical model is presented which explains many of the features of the qualitative optimization realized.

  17. A model for the value of a business, some optimization problems in its operating procedures and the valuation of its debt

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-12-01

    In this paper we present a model for the value of a firm based on observable variables and parameters: the annual turnover, the expenses, interest rates. This value is the solution of a parabolic partial differential equation. We show how the value of the company depends on its legal status such as its liability (that is, whether it is a Limited Company or a sole trader/partnership). We give examples of how the operating procedures can be optimized (for example, whether the firm should close down, relocate etc.). Finally, we show how the model can be used to value the debt issued by the firm.

  18. Dairy farmers’ values and how their values affect their decision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjørn Gunnar Hansen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Values affect humans’ perception of situations and problems and guide our actions. The objective of this study was to explore the values of dairy farmers, and whether their values influenced their decisions to maintain dairy farming or to buy consultancy services. During late fall 2007 we visited and interviewed 90 farmers. First we did a qualitative analysis of the data and then we merged the interview data with the existing database of financial data from the year 2007 to do statistical analyses. We also checked whether the farmers still produced milk in 2013, six years after the interviews.  Most farmers had terminal values like keeping up the tradition and to have an interesting work. Value combinations with instrumental values such as to earn money and to produce milk were common. Realizing that many farmers prioritize terminal values over instrumental values has important consequences for dairy companies, dairy consultants and politicians.

  19. Exploring the concept of optimal functionality in old age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algilani, Samal; Östlund-Lagerström, Lina; Kihlgren, Annica; Blomberg, Karin; Brummer, Robert J; Schoultz, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Background Aging is characterized by loss of function and represents a perspective that puts the focus on the negative aspects of aging. Thus, it is fundamental to shift the focus from loss of function to maintaining good health and personal satisfaction through life; in other words, to promote optimal functionality at a level appropriate for older adults. However, it is not yet known what constitutes optimal functionality from the older adult’s own perspective. Objective To explore the concept of optimal functionality in old age from the older adult’s perspective (ie, people over 65 years of age) in industrialized Western countries. Methods We undertook a scoping review and searched two electronic databases (PubMed and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature [CINAHL]) from January 2002 to July 2013 for scientific studies, using the key search term personal satisfaction. In total, 25 scientific studies were analyzed. Results Only six of the included articles applied a qualitative methodology. By analyzing the results of these articles, three major themes were identified as cornerstones in the concept of optimal functionality at old age: 1) self-related factors (eg, mental well-being); 2) body-related factors (eg, physical well-being); and 3) external factors equal to demographic and environmental factors. Conclusion There is a lack of qualitative studies in the current literature, and hence of what constitutes optimal functionality from the older adult’s perspective. The results outlined in this review identify three cornerstones (self-related factors, body-related factors, and external factors) of what constitutes optimal functionality at old age. However, it is vital that these findings are taken further and are evaluated through qualitative studies to reflect older adults’ opinions. PMID:24516333

  20. Totally optimal decision rules

    KAUST Repository

    Amin, Talha

    2017-11-22

    Optimality of decision rules (patterns) can be measured in many ways. One of these is referred to as length. Length signifies the number of terms in a decision rule and is optimally minimized. Another, coverage represents the width of a rule’s applicability and generality. As such, it is desirable to maximize coverage. A totally optimal decision rule is a decision rule that has the minimum possible length and the maximum possible coverage. This paper presents a method for determining the presence of totally optimal decision rules for “complete” decision tables (representations of total functions in which different variables can have domains of differing values). Depending on the cardinalities of the domains, we can either guarantee for each tuple of values of the function that totally optimal rules exist for each row of the table (as in the case of total Boolean functions where the cardinalities are equal to 2) or, for each row, we can find a tuple of values of the function for which totally optimal rules do not exist for this row.

  1. Totally optimal decision rules

    KAUST Repository

    Amin, Talha M.; Moshkov, Mikhail

    2017-01-01

    Optimality of decision rules (patterns) can be measured in many ways. One of these is referred to as length. Length signifies the number of terms in a decision rule and is optimally minimized. Another, coverage represents the width of a rule’s applicability and generality. As such, it is desirable to maximize coverage. A totally optimal decision rule is a decision rule that has the minimum possible length and the maximum possible coverage. This paper presents a method for determining the presence of totally optimal decision rules for “complete” decision tables (representations of total functions in which different variables can have domains of differing values). Depending on the cardinalities of the domains, we can either guarantee for each tuple of values of the function that totally optimal rules exist for each row of the table (as in the case of total Boolean functions where the cardinalities are equal to 2) or, for each row, we can find a tuple of values of the function for which totally optimal rules do not exist for this row.

  2. Oil Reservoir Production Optimization using Optimal Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Völcker, Carsten; Jørgensen, John Bagterp; Stenby, Erling Halfdan

    2011-01-01

    Practical oil reservoir management involves solution of large-scale constrained optimal control problems. In this paper we present a numerical method for solution of large-scale constrained optimal control problems. The method is a single-shooting method that computes the gradients using the adjo...... reservoir using water ooding and smart well technology. Compared to the uncontrolled case, the optimal operation increases the Net Present Value of the oil field by 10%.......Practical oil reservoir management involves solution of large-scale constrained optimal control problems. In this paper we present a numerical method for solution of large-scale constrained optimal control problems. The method is a single-shooting method that computes the gradients using...

  3. Quantitative and qualitative comparison of MR imaging of the temporomandibular joint at 1.5 and 3.0 T using an optimized high-resolution protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinner, Georg; Wyss, Michael; Erni, Stefan; Ettlin, Dominik A; Nanz, Daniel; Ulbrich, Erika J; Gallo, Luigi M; Andreisek, Gustav

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To quantitatively and qualitatively compare MRI of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) using an optimized high-resolution protocol at 3.0 T and a clinical standard protocol at 1.5 T. Methods: A phantom and 12 asymptomatic volunteers were MR imaged using a 2-channel surface coil (standard TMJ coil) at 1.5 and 3.0 T (Philips Achieva and Philips Ingenia, respectively; Philips Healthcare, Best, Netherlands). Imaging protocol consisted of coronal and oblique sagittal proton density-weighted turbo spin echo sequences. For quantitative evaluation, a spherical phantom was imaged. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) maps were calculated on a voxelwise basis. For qualitative evaluation, all volunteers underwent MRI of the TMJ with the jaw in closed position. Two readers independently assessed visibility and delineation of anatomical structures of the TMJ and overall image quality on a 5-point Likert scale. Quantitative and qualitative measurements were compared between field strengths. Results: The quantitative analysis showed similar SNR for the high-resolution protocol at 3.0 T compared with the clinical protocol at 1.5 T. The qualitative analysis showed significantly better visibility and delineation of clinically relevant anatomical structures of the TMJ, including the TMJ disc and pterygoid muscle as well as better overall image quality at 3.0 T than at 1.5 T. Conclusions: The presented results indicate that expected gains in SNR at 3.0 T can be used to increase the spatial resolution when imaging the TMJ, which translates into increased visibility and delineation of anatomical structures of the TMJ. Therefore, imaging at 3.0 T should be preferred over 1.5 T for imaging the TMJ. PMID:26371077

  4. Values-Based Leadership: College Leaders' Perceptions on Maintaining Values in Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, Ramona K.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore college leaders' experiences negotiating conflicts between personal and organizational values. This qualitative study utilized symbolic interactionism and involved interviews with five college campus leaders from various institutions. Analysis of interviews, observations, field notes and artifacts revealed…

  5. Predicting quantitative and qualitative values of recreation participation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elwood L., Jr. Shafer; George Moeller

    1971-01-01

    If future recreation consumption and associated intangible values can be predicted, the problem of rapid decision making in recreation-resource management can be reduced, and the problems of implementing those decisions can be anticipated. Management and research responsibilities for meeting recreation demand are discussed, and proved methods for forecasting recreation...

  6. Heat exchanger inventory cost optimization for power cycles with one feedwater heater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qureshi, Bilal Ahmed; Antar, Mohamed A.; Zubair, Syed M.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Cost optimization of heat exchanger inventory in power cycles is investigated. • Analysis for an endoreversible power cycle with an open feedwater heater is shown. • Different constraints on the power cycle are investigated. • The constant heat addition scenario resulted in the lowest value of the cost function. - Abstract: Cost optimization of heat exchanger inventory in power cycles with one open feedwater heater is undertaken. In this regard, thermoeconomic analysis for an endoreversible power cycle with an open feedwater heater is shown. The scenarios of constant heat rejection and addition rates, power as well as rate of heat transfer in the open feedwater heater are studied. All cost functions displayed minima with respect to the high-side absolute temperature ratio (θ 1 ). In this case, the effect of the Carnot temperature ratio (Φ 1 ), absolute temperature ratio (ξ) and the phase-change absolute temperature ratio for the feedwater heater (Φ 2 ) are qualitatively the same. Furthermore, the constant heat addition scenario resulted in the lowest value of the cost function. For variation of all cost functions, the smaller the value of the phase-change absolute temperature ratio for the feedwater heater (Φ 2 ), lower the cost at the minima. As feedwater heater to hot end unit cost ratio decreases, the minimum total conductance required increases

  7. Adding more value to added-value

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marian, Livia

    Recent studies reveal that consumers respond favourably to “organic plus” products with additional ethical attributes. The aim of the current study is to explore whether consumers would notice and value further improvements in the animal welfare standards than those imposed by the organic...... regulation. The results of a qualitative concept test reveal positive attitudes towards the proposed production process. The discussions about fewer standards being sufficient or about options “in-between” conventional and organic standards indicate that the difference in production processes is noticed, yet...

  8. What Value Can Qualitative Research Add to Quantitative Research Design? An Example From an Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial Feasibility Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toye, Francine; Williamson, Esther; Williams, Mark A; Fairbank, Jeremy; Lamb, Sarah E

    2016-08-09

    Using an example of qualitative research embedded in a non-surgical feasibility trial, we explore the benefits of including qualitative research in trial design and reflect on epistemological challenges. We interviewed 18 trial participants and used methods of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Our findings demonstrate that qualitative research can make a valuable contribution by allowing trial stakeholders to see things from alternative perspectives. Specifically, it can help to make specific recommendations for improved trial design, generate questions which contextualize findings, and also explore disease experience beyond the trial. To make the most out of qualitative research embedded in quantitative design it would be useful to (a) agree specific qualitative study aims that underpin research design, (b) understand the impact of differences in epistemological truth claims, (c) provide clear thematic interpretations for trial researchers to utilize, and (d) include qualitative findings that explore experience beyond the trial setting within the impact plan. © The Author(s) 2016.

  9. How do prostitution customers value health and position health in their discussions? Qualitative analysis of online forums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regushevskaya, Elena; Tuormaa, Tuija

    2014-11-01

    Information on the health values and positioning of health among prostitution customers is limited. The aim is to explore the positioning of health among prostitution customers using data from Internet forums in Finland. Qualitative study using a purposive sample of public online forums among prostitution customers in 2002-2012. Health beliefs in relation to infections and risky sexual behavior were diverse, from correct to false. Although men were aware of health risks in prostitution, it was common to have multiple sexual partners and unprotected sex. Although there were men who warned others about possible health consequences when a condom is not used, typically men were proud not to use a condom with a prostitute and found different explanations for not using a condom. Condom breakage was not an issue discussed in forums. Unexpected findings were beliefs that one fifth of the Nordic population is resistant to HIV, that the possibility of HIV transmission is exaggerated by medical specialists, and that men should control their behavior in order not to degrade prostitutes. Discussions on health service use were few. Sexual satisfaction and entertainment were the main reasons to post in the analyzed forums health discussion was not common although condom use was reported, attention to health risks was selective information on health service use was limited, which may suggest this topic was not valued among men and should be a topic of future studies. © 2014 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.

  10. Value assessment for reservoir recovery optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, R.; De Castro, G.N.; Mezzomo, C.; Schiozer, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    This paper analyzes the managerial flexibility embedded in oil and gas exploration and production. The analysis includes the economic impact of using different production techniques on the valuation of oil reserves. Two methodologies are used to evaluate the simulation of engineering techniques: (1) the real option approach; and (2) the discounted cash flow (DCF) method. Given the external variables (e.g., oil price, interest rate), this paper evaluates the best engineering technique for oil recovery by using a valuation approach. We conclude that by appropriately combining different production techniques, the value of oil reserves can increase under the real option approach and can be higher than the value assessed under the DCF method. Since oil recovery includes many managerial choices, we argue that the real option approach is more appropriate than the DCF method. The paper concludes that concession time and dividend yield are the most sensitive parameters for the valuation of oil reserves

  11. Value assessment for reservoir recovery optimization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saito, R.; De Castro, G.N. [EAESP/FGV, Av. Nove de Julho, 2029-10 andar, 01313-902, SP Sao Paulo (Brazil); Mezzomo, C.; Schiozer, D.J. [Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Avenida Nove de Julho, 2029, 10th floor, 01313-902, SP Sao Paulo (Brazil)

    2001-12-29

    This paper analyzes the managerial flexibility embedded in oil and gas exploration and production. The analysis includes the economic impact of using different production techniques on the valuation of oil reserves. Two methodologies are used to evaluate the simulation of engineering techniques: (1) the real option approach; and (2) the discounted cash flow (DCF) method. Given the external variables (e.g., oil price, interest rate), this paper evaluates the best engineering technique for oil recovery by using a valuation approach. We conclude that by appropriately combining different production techniques, the value of oil reserves can increase under the real option approach and can be higher than the value assessed under the DCF method. Since oil recovery includes many managerial choices, we argue that the real option approach is more appropriate than the DCF method. The paper concludes that concession time and dividend yield are the most sensitive parameters for the valuation of oil reserves.

  12. An optimal generic model for multi-parameters and big data optimizing: a laboratory experimental study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utama, D. N.; Ani, N.; Iqbal, M. M.

    2018-03-01

    Optimization is a process for finding parameter (parameters) that is (are) able to deliver an optimal value for an objective function. Seeking an optimal generic model for optimizing is a computer science study that has been being practically conducted by numerous researchers. Generic model is a model that can be technically operated to solve any varieties of optimization problem. By using an object-oriented method, the generic model for optimizing was constructed. Moreover, two types of optimization method, simulated-annealing and hill-climbing, were functioned in constructing the model and compared to find the most optimal one then. The result said that both methods gave the same result for a value of objective function and the hill-climbing based model consumed the shortest running time.

  13. Optimal swimming of a sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montenegro-Johnson, Thomas D; Lauga, Eric

    2014-06-01

    Propulsion at microscopic scales is often achieved through propagating traveling waves along hairlike organelles called flagella. Taylor's two-dimensional swimming sheet model is frequently used to provide insight into problems of flagellar propulsion. We derive numerically the large-amplitude wave form of the two-dimensional swimming sheet that yields optimum hydrodynamic efficiency: the ratio of the squared swimming speed to the rate-of-working of the sheet against the fluid. Using the boundary element method, we show that the optimal wave form is a front-back symmetric regularized cusp that is 25% more efficient than the optimal sine wave. This optimal two-dimensional shape is smooth, qualitatively different from the kinked form of Lighthill's optimal three-dimensional flagellum, not predicted by small-amplitude theory, and different from the smooth circular-arc-like shape of active elastic filaments.

  14. Qualitative research in multicultural psychology: philosophical underpinnings, popular approaches, and ethical considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponterotto, Joseph G

    2010-10-01

    This article reviews the current and emerging status of qualitative research in psychology. The particular value of diverse philosophical paradigms and varied inquiry approaches to the advancement of psychology generally, and multicultural psychology specifically, is emphasized. Three specific qualitative inquiry approaches anchored in diverse philosophical research paradigms are highlighted: consensual qualitative research, grounded theory, and participatory action research. The article concludes by highlighting important ethical considerations in multicultural qualitative research. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. The Optimal Cut-Off Value of Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio for Predicting Prognosis in Adult Patients with Henoch–Schönlein Purpura

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Chan Hyuk; Han, Dong Soo; Jeong, Jae Yoon; Eun, Chang Soo; Yoo, Kyo-Sang; Jeon, Yong Cheol; Sohn, Joo Hyun

    2016-01-01

    Background The development of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) can be a concern in the management of Henoch–Schönlein purpura (HSP). We aimed to evaluate whether the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is associated with the prognosis of adult patients with HSP. Methods Clinical data including the NLR of adult patients with HSP were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were classified into three groups as follows: (a) simple recovery, (b) wax & wane without GI bleeding, and (c) development of GI bleeding. The optimal cut-off value was determined using a receiver operating characteristics curve and the Youden index. Results A total of 66 adult patients were enrolled. The NLR was higher in the GI bleeding group than in the simple recovery or wax & wane group (simple recovery vs. wax & wane vs. GI bleeding; median [IQR], 2.32 [1.61–3.11] vs. 3.18 [2.16–3.71] vs. 7.52 [4.91–10.23], P<0.001). For the purpose of predicting simple recovery, the optimal cut-off value of NLR was 3.18, and the sensitivity and specificity were 74.1% and 75.0%, respectively. For predicting development of GI bleeding, the optimal cut-off value was 3.90 and the sensitivity and specificity were 87.5% and 88.6%, respectively. Conclusions The NLR is useful for predicting development of GI bleeding as well as simple recovery without symptom relapse. Two different cut-off values of NLR, 3.18 for predicting an easy recovery without symptom relapse and 3.90 for predicting GI bleeding can be used in adult patients with HSP. PMID:27073884

  16. Optimization of control parameters of a hot cold controller by means of Simplex type methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porte, C.; Caron-Poussin, M.; Carot, S.; Couriol, C.; Moreno, M. Martin; Delacroix, A.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes a hot/cold controller for regulating crystallization operations. The system was identified with a common method (the Broida method) and the parameters were obtained by the Ziegler-Nichols method. The paper shows that this empirical method will only allow a qualitative approach to regulation and that, in some instances, the parameters obtained are unreliable and therefore cannot be used to cancel variations between the set point and the actual values. Optimization methods were used to determine the regulation parameters and solve this identcation problem. It was found that the weighted centroid method was the best one. PMID:18924791

  17. Optimizing isothiocyanate formation during enzymatic glucosinolate breakdown by adjusting pH value, temperature and dilution in Brassica vegetables and Arabidopsis thaliana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanschen, Franziska S.; Klopsch, Rebecca; Oliviero, Teresa; Schreiner, Monika; Verkerk, Ruud; Dekker, Matthijs

    2017-01-01

    Consumption of glucosinolate-rich Brassicales vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cancer with enzymatic hydrolysis of glucosinolates playing a key role. However, formation of health-promoting isothiocyanates is inhibited by the epithiospecifier protein in favour of nitriles and epithionitriles. Domestic processing conditions, such as changes in pH value, temperature or dilution, might also affect isothiocyanate formation. Therefore, the influences of these three factors were evaluated in accessions of Brassica rapa, Brassica oleracea, and Arabidopsis thaliana. Mathematical modelling was performed to determine optimal isothiocyanate formation conditions and to obtain knowledge on the kinetics of the reactions. At 22 °C and endogenous plant pH, nearly all investigated plants formed nitriles and epithionitriles instead of health-promoting isothiocyanates. Response surface models, however, clearly demonstrated that upon change in pH to domestic acidic (pH 4) or basic pH values (pH 8), isothiocyanate formation considerably increases. While temperature also affects this process, the pH value has the greatest impact. Further, a kinetic model showed that isothiocyanate formation strongly increases due to dilution. Finally, the results show that isothiocyanate intake can be strongly increased by optimizing the conditions of preparation of Brassicales vegetables.

  18. Narrative interviews: an important resource in qualitative research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muylaert, Camila Junqueira; Sarubbi, Vicente; Gallo, Paulo Rogério; Neto, Modesto Leite Rolim

    2014-12-01

    Objetives This methodological study explain and emphasize the extent and fertility of the narrative interview in qualitative research. Methods To describe the narrative method within the qualitative research. Results The qualitative research method is characterized by addressing issues related to the singularities of the field and individuals investigated, being the narrative interviews a powerful method for use by researchers who aggregate it. They allow the deepening of research, the combination of life stories with socio-historical contexts, making the understanding of the senses that produce changes in the beliefs and values that motivate and justify the actions of possible informants. Conclusion The use of narrative is an advantageous investigative resource in qualitative research, in which the narrative is a traditional form of communication whose purpose is to serve content from which the subjective experiences can be transmitted.

  19. Two-Phase Iteration for Value Function Approximation and Hyperparameter Optimization in Gaussian-Kernel-Based Adaptive Critic Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive Dynamic Programming (ADP with critic-actor architecture is an effective way to perform online learning control. To avoid the subjectivity in the design of a neural network that serves as a critic network, kernel-based adaptive critic design (ACD was developed recently. There are two essential issues for a static kernel-based model: how to determine proper hyperparameters in advance and how to select right samples to describe the value function. They all rely on the assessment of sample values. Based on the theoretical analysis, this paper presents a two-phase simultaneous learning method for a Gaussian-kernel-based critic network. It is able to estimate the values of samples without infinitively revisiting them. And the hyperparameters of the kernel model are optimized simultaneously. Based on the estimated sample values, the sample set can be refined by adding alternatives or deleting redundances. Combining this critic design with actor network, we present a Gaussian-kernel-based Adaptive Dynamic Programming (GK-ADP approach. Simulations are used to verify its feasibility, particularly the necessity of two-phase learning, the convergence characteristics, and the improvement of the system performance by using a varying sample set.

  20. Exploring Students' Articulation of Value in a Social Research Methods Class: Towards a Phenomenography of Value Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guglietti, Maria

    2015-01-01

    This study describes journalism students' value making of social research methods, such as sampling, data gathering strategies and quantitative and qualitative data analysis, by using a mixed-­method approach to analyze 260 written reflection assignments. In their reflections, 26 student participants assessed the value of their new knowledge of…

  1. Characteristics of general practice care: What do senior citizens value? A qualitative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verhaak Peter FM

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In view of the increasing number of senior citizens in our society who are likely to consult their GP with age-related health problems, it is important to identify and understand the preferences of this group in relation to the non-medical attributes of GP care. The aim of this study is to improve our understanding about preferences of this group of patients in relation to non-medical attributes of primary health care. This may help to develop strategies to improve the quality of care that senior citizens receive from their GP. Methods Semi-structured interviews (N = 13 with senior citizens (65-91 years in a judgement sample were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The analysis was conducted according to qualitative research methodology and the frame work method. Results Continuity of care providers, i.e. GP and practice nurses, GPs' expertise, trust, free choice of GP and a kind open attitude were highly valued. Accessibility by phone did not meet the expectations of the interviewees. The interviewees had difficulties with the GP out-of-office hours services. Spontaneous home visits were appreciated by some, but rejected by others. They preferred to receive verbal information rather than collecting information from leaflets. Distance to the practice and continuity of caregiver seemed to conflict for respondents. Conclusions Preferences change in the process of ageing and growing health problems. GPs and their co-workers should be also aware of the changing needs of the elderly regarding non-medical attributes of GP care. Meeting their needs regarding non-medical attributes of primary health care is important to improve the quality of care.

  2. Set-Valued Stochastic Equation with Set-Valued Square Integrable Martingale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jun-Gang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we shall introduce the stochastic integral of a stochastic process with respect to set-valued square integrable martingale. Then we shall give the Aumann integral measurable theorem, and give the set-valued stochastic Lebesgue integral and set-valued square integrable martingale integral equation. The existence and uniqueness of solution to set-valued stochastic integral equation are proved. The discussion will be useful in optimal control and mathematical finance in psychological factors.

  3. Qualitative analysis of laser cutting of CV joints for the automobile industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboites, V.; Ramírez, R.; Rayas, J.

    2006-02-01

    The optimization of an automatic laser cutting system is reported. This CO II laser system assisted by an O II gas jet is used in the cutting of Constant Velocity (CV) joint for the automotive industry. The experimental parameters varied in order to obtain cuts with low roughness were the laser power, cutting speed and oxygen pressure. A mathematical model is presented which explains many of the features of the qualitative optimization realized.

  4. Production Task Queue Optimization Based on Multi-Attribute Evaluation for Complex Product Assembly Workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lian-Hui; Mo, Rong

    2015-01-01

    The production task queue has a great significance for manufacturing resource allocation and scheduling decision. Man-made qualitative queue optimization method has a poor effect and makes the application difficult. A production task queue optimization method is proposed based on multi-attribute evaluation. According to the task attributes, the hierarchical multi-attribute model is established and the indicator quantization methods are given. To calculate the objective indicator weight, criteria importance through intercriteria correlation (CRITIC) is selected from three usual methods. To calculate the subjective indicator weight, BP neural network is used to determine the judge importance degree, and then the trapezoid fuzzy scale-rough AHP considering the judge importance degree is put forward. The balanced weight, which integrates the objective weight and the subjective weight, is calculated base on multi-weight contribution balance model. The technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) improved by replacing Euclidean distance with relative entropy distance is used to sequence the tasks and optimize the queue by the weighted indicator value. A case study is given to illustrate its correctness and feasibility.

  5. Urinary bladder cancer T-staging from T2-weighted MR images using an optimal biomarker approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chuang; Udupa, Jayaram K.; Tong, Yubing; Chen, Jerry; Venigalla, Sriram; Odhner, Dewey; Guzzo, Thomas J.; Christodouleas, John; Torigian, Drew A.

    2018-02-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used in clinical practice to stage patients with bladder cancer to help plan treatment. However, qualitative assessment of MR images is prone to inaccuracies, adversely affecting patient outcomes. In this paper, T2-weighted MR image-based quantitative features were extracted from the bladder wall in 65 patients with bladder cancer to classify them into two primary tumor (T) stage groups: group 1 - T stage T2, with primary tumor locally confined to the bladder, and group 2 - T stage T2, with primary tumor locally extending beyond the bladder. The bladder was divided into 8 sectors in the axial plane, where each sector has a corresponding reference standard T stage that is based on expert radiology qualitative MR image review and histopathologic results. The performance of the classification for correct assignment of T stage grouping was then evaluated at both the patient level and the sector level. Each bladder sector was divided into 3 shells (inner, middle, and outer), and 15,834 features including intensity features and texture features from local binary pattern and gray-level co-occurrence matrix were extracted from the 3 shells of each sector. An optimal feature set was selected from all features using an optimal biomarker approach. Nine optimal biomarker features were derived based on texture properties from the middle shell, with an area under the ROC curve of AUC value at the sector and patient level of 0.813 and 0.806, respectively.

  6. Pareto-Ranking Based Quantum-Behaved Particle Swarm Optimization for Multiobjective Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Tian

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A study on pareto-ranking based quantum-behaved particle swarm optimization (QPSO for multiobjective optimization problems is presented in this paper. During the iteration, an external repository is maintained to remember the nondominated solutions, from which the global best position is chosen. The comparison between different elitist selection strategies (preference order, sigma value, and random selection is performed on four benchmark functions and two metrics. The results demonstrate that QPSO with preference order has comparative performance with sigma value according to different number of objectives. Finally, QPSO with sigma value is applied to solve multiobjective flexible job-shop scheduling problems.

  7. Interval-value Based Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm for cancer-type specific gene selection and sample classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Ramyachitra

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Microarray technology allows simultaneous measurement of the expression levels of thousands of genes within a biological tissue sample. The fundamental power of microarrays lies within the ability to conduct parallel surveys of gene expression using microarray data. The classification of tissue samples based on gene expression data is an important problem in medical diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. In gene expression data, the number of genes is usually very high compared to the number of data samples. Thus the difficulty that lies with data are of high dimensionality and the sample size is small. This research work addresses the problem by classifying resultant dataset using the existing algorithms such as Support Vector Machine (SVM, K-nearest neighbor (KNN, Interval Valued Classification (IVC and the improvised Interval Value based Particle Swarm Optimization (IVPSO algorithm. Thus the results show that the IVPSO algorithm outperformed compared with other algorithms under several performance evaluation functions.

  8. Interval-value Based Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm for cancer-type specific gene selection and sample classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramyachitra, D; Sofia, M; Manikandan, P

    2015-09-01

    Microarray technology allows simultaneous measurement of the expression levels of thousands of genes within a biological tissue sample. The fundamental power of microarrays lies within the ability to conduct parallel surveys of gene expression using microarray data. The classification of tissue samples based on gene expression data is an important problem in medical diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. In gene expression data, the number of genes is usually very high compared to the number of data samples. Thus the difficulty that lies with data are of high dimensionality and the sample size is small. This research work addresses the problem by classifying resultant dataset using the existing algorithms such as Support Vector Machine (SVM), K-nearest neighbor (KNN), Interval Valued Classification (IVC) and the improvised Interval Value based Particle Swarm Optimization (IVPSO) algorithm. Thus the results show that the IVPSO algorithm outperformed compared with other algorithms under several performance evaluation functions.

  9. Experience-based, body-anchored qualitative research interviewing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stelter, Reinhard

    2010-01-01

    -anchored interviewing, and second, by an interview guide that explores a research participant's personal experience with mindfulness meditation. An excerpt from an interview is discussed to illustrate the advantages of this interview form, namely its value as a methodological instrument for qualitative research...

  10. Conducting qualitative research within Clinical Trials Units: avoiding potential pitfalls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Cindy; O'Cathain, Alicia; Hind, Danny; Adamson, Joy; Lawton, Julia; Baird, Wendy

    2014-07-01

    The value of using qualitative research within or alongside randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is becoming more widely accepted. Qualitative research may be conducted concurrently with pilot or full RCTs to understand the feasibility and acceptability of the interventions being tested, or to improve trial conduct. Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) in the United Kingdom (UK) manage large numbers of RCTs and, increasingly, manage the qualitative research or collaborate with qualitative researchers external to the CTU. CTUs are beginning to explicitly manage the process, for example, through the use of standard operating procedures for designing and implementing qualitative research with trials. We reviewed the experiences of two UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) registered CTUs of conducting qualitative research concurrently with RCTs. Drawing on experiences gained from 15 studies, we identify the potential for the qualitative research to undermine the successful completion or scientific integrity of RCTs. We show that potential problems can arise from feedback of interim or final qualitative findings to members of the trial team or beyond, in particular reporting qualitative findings whilst the trial is on-going. The problems include: We make recommendations for improving the management of qualitative research within CTUs. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Work values and job satisfaction: a qualitative study of Iranian nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravari, Ali; Bazargan-Hejazi, Shahrzad; Ebadi, Abbas; Mirzaei, Tayebeh; Oshvandi, Khodayar

    2013-06-01

    This study aimed to describe the effect of nursing profession work-related values on job satisfaction among a sample of Iranian nurses. We used in-depth interviews with 30 nurses who worked in university-affiliated and public hospitals in Tehran, Iran. The results of thematic analysis of interviews are reported in four themes to present the participants' articulations in linking their work-related values to job satisfaction. The themes consist of values that "encourage tolerance," "enhance inner harmony," "reflect traditional commitment," "enhance unity," and are "centered around altruism and spiritual values." The most satisfied participants considered nursing a divine profession and a tool by which they could gain spiritual pleasure and satisfaction. Our findings highlight the potential role of nursing work-related values in reducing dissatisfaction with one's job. For the nursing profession, this may have implications in reducing job instability and turnover.

  12. Multivariate optimization of production systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carroll, J.A.; Horne, R.N.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports that mathematically, optimization involves finding the extreme values of a function. Given a function of several variables, Z = ∫(rvec x 1 , rvec x 2 ,rvec x 3 ,→x n ), an optimization scheme will find the combination of these variables that produces an extreme value in the function, whether it is a minimum or a maximum value. Many examples of optimization exist. For instance, if a function gives and investor's expected return on the basis of different investments, numerical optimization of the function will determine the mix of investments that will yield the maximum expected return. This is the basis of modern portfolio theory. If a function gives the difference between a set of data and a model of the data, numerical optimization of the function will produce the best fit of the model to the data. This is the basis for nonlinear parameter estimation. Similar examples can be given for network analysis, queuing theory, decision analysis, etc

  13. Power Grid Construction Project Portfolio Optimization Based on Bi-level programming model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Erdong; Li, Shangqi

    2017-08-01

    As the main body of power grid operation, county-level power supply enterprises undertake an important emission to guarantee the security of power grid operation and safeguard social power using order. The optimization of grid construction projects has been a key issue of power supply capacity and service level of grid enterprises. According to the actual situation of power grid construction project optimization of county-level power enterprises, on the basis of qualitative analysis of the projects, this paper builds a Bi-level programming model based on quantitative analysis. The upper layer of the model is the target restriction of the optimal portfolio; the lower layer of the model is enterprises’ financial restrictions on the size of the enterprise project portfolio. Finally, using a real example to illustrate operation proceeding and the optimization result of the model. Through qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis, the bi-level programming model improves the accuracy and normative standardization of power grid enterprises projects.

  14. Value function in economic growth model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagno, Alexander; Tarasyev, Alexandr A.; Tarasyev, Alexander M.

    2017-11-01

    Properties of the value function are examined in an infinite horizon optimal control problem with an unlimited integrand index appearing in the quality functional with a discount factor. Optimal control problems of such type describe solutions in models of economic growth. Necessary and sufficient conditions are derived to ensure that the value function satisfies the infinitesimal stability properties. It is proved that value function coincides with the minimax solution of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation. Description of the growth asymptotic behavior for the value function is provided for the logarithmic, power and exponential quality functionals and an example is given to illustrate construction of the value function in economic growth models.

  15. Clinical value of patient-specific three-dimensional printing of congenital heart disease: Quantitative and qualitative assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Ivan Wen Wen; Liu, Dongting; Xu, Lei; Fan, Zhanming

    2018-01-01

    Objective Current diagnostic assessment tools remain suboptimal in demonstrating complex morphology of congenital heart disease (CHD). This limitation has posed several challenges in preoperative planning, communication in medical practice, and medical education. This study aims to investigate the dimensional accuracy and the clinical value of 3D printed model of CHD in the above three areas. Methods Using cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) data, a patient-specific 3D model of a 20-month-old boy with double outlet right ventricle was printed in Tango Plus material. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to evaluate correlation of the quantitative measurements taken at analogous anatomical locations between the CCTA images pre- and post-3D printing. Qualitative analysis was conducted by distributing surveys to six health professionals (two radiologists, two cardiologists and two cardiac surgeons) and three medical academics to assess the clinical value of the 3D printed model in these three areas. Results Excellent correlation (r = 0.99) was noted in the measurements between CCTA and 3D printed model, with a mean difference of 0.23 mm. Four out of six health professionals found the model to be useful in facilitating preoperative planning, while all of them thought that the model would be invaluable in enhancing patient-doctor communication. All three medical academics found the model to be helpful in teaching, and thought that the students will be able to learn the pathology quicker with better understanding. Conclusion The complex cardiac anatomy can be accurately replicated in flexible material using 3D printing technology. 3D printed heart models could serve as an excellent tool in facilitating preoperative planning, communication in medical practice, and medical education, although further studies with inclusion of more clinical cases are needed. PMID:29561912

  16. Estimation of optimal b-value sets for obtaining apparent diffusion coefficient free from perfusion in non-small cell lung cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karki, Kishor; Hugo, Geoffrey D; Ford, John C; Olsen, Kathryn M; Saraiya, Siddharth; Groves, Robert; Weiss, Elisabeth

    2015-10-21

    The purpose of this study was to determine optimal sets of b-values in diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) for obtaining monoexponential apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) close to perfusion-insensitive intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) model ADC (ADCIVIM) in non-small cell lung cancer. Ten subjects had 40 DW-MRI scans before and during radiotherapy in a 1.5 T MRI scanner. Respiratory triggering was applied to the echo-planar DW-MRI with TR ≈ 4500 ms, TE  =  74 ms, eight b-values of 0-1000 μs μm(-2), pixel size  =  1.98 × 1.98 mm(2), slice thickness  =  6 mm, interslice gap  =  1.2 mm, 7 axial slices and total acquisition time ≈6 min. One or more DW-MRI scans together covered the whole tumour volume. Monoexponential model ADC values using various b-value sets were compared to reference-standard ADCIVIM values using all eight b-values. Intra-scan coefficient of variation (CV) of active tumour volumes was computed to compare the relative noise in ADC maps. ADC values for one pre-treatment DW-MRI scan of each of the 10 subjects were computed using b-value pairs from DW-MRI images synthesized for b-values of 0-2000 μs μm(-2) from the estimated IVIM parametric maps and corrupted by various Rician noise levels. The square root of mean of squared error percentage (RMSE) of the ADC value relative to the corresponding ADCIVIM for the tumour volume of the scan was computed. Monoexponential ADC values for the b-value sets of 250 and 1000; 250, 500 and 1000; 250, 650 and 1000; 250, 800 and 1000; and 250-1000 μs μm(-2) were not significantly different from ADCIVIM values (p > 0.05, paired t-test). Mean error in ADC values for these sets relative to ADCIVIM were within 3.5%. Intra-scan CVs for these sets were comparable to that for ADCIVIM. The monoexponential ADC values for other sets-0-1000; 50-1000; 100-1000; 500-1000; and 250 and 800 μs μm(-2) were significantly different from the ADCIVIM values. From Rician noise

  17. Bifurcations of optimal vector fields: an overview

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kiseleva, T.; Wagener, F.; Rodellar, J.; Reithmeier, E.

    2009-01-01

    We develop a bifurcation theory for the solution structure of infinite horizon optimal control problems with one state variable. It turns out that qualitative changes of this structure are connected to local and global bifurcations in the state-costate system. We apply the theory to investigate an

  18. Teachers' Perceptions of Infusion of Values in Science Lessons: a Qualitative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumarassamy, Jayanthy; Koh, Caroline

    2017-06-01

    Much has been written and debated on the importance of including moral, character or values education in school curricula. In line with this, teachers' views with regard to values education have often been sought. However, a search into the literature on values in science education has revealed little on this domain. In an attempt to close this gap, this study explored the views of teachers with regard to values infusion in the teaching of science. The aim was to investigate teachers' perceptions on two broad areas: (i) how values were infused or addressed in lower secondary science and (ii) how values-infused science lessons influenced their students' dispositions and actions. The participants who took part in the interviews were lower secondary science teachers teaching Grade 8 in selected Singapore and New Delhi schools. The findings showed that values inherent in the discipline of science, such as validity, fairness, honesty, rigour, predominated in the lessons conducted by the teachers in both contexts. Furthermore, in Singapore, equal numbers of teachers made references to values upheld and practised by scientists and values arising from the interplay between people and scientific processes and products. In New Delhi however, the emphasis was higher on the latter category of values than on the former. Generally, in both contexts, values infusion in science lessons was not planned but occurred spontaneously as values issues surfaced in class. Teachers in both Singapore and New Delhi used strategies such as questioning, discussion, activities and direct instructions to carry out values infusion, although they experienced challenges that included content and time constraints, lack of student readiness and of teacher competency. Nevertheless, the teachers interviewed perceived that values in science lessons brought about changes in students' personal attributes, affect and behaviour, such as greater interest and prosocial engagement.

  19. Value versus Accuracy: application of seasonal forecasts to a hydro-economic optimization model for the Sudanese Blue Nile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satti, S.; Zaitchik, B. F.; Siddiqui, S.; Badr, H. S.; Shukla, S.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    The unpredictable nature of precipitation within the East African (EA) region makes it one of the most vulnerable, food insecure regions in the world. There is a vital need for forecasts to inform decision makers, both local and regional, and to help formulate the region's climate change adaptation strategies. Here, we present a suite of different seasonal forecast models, both statistical and dynamical, for the EA region. Objective regionalization is performed for EA on the basis of interannual variability in precipitation in both observations and models. This regionalization is applied as the basis for calculating a number of standard skill scores to evaluate each model's forecast accuracy. A dynamically linked Land Surface Model (LSM) is then applied to determine forecasted flows, which drive the Sudanese Hydroeconomic Optimization Model (SHOM). SHOM combines hydrologic, agronomic and economic inputs to determine the optimal decisions that maximize economic benefits along the Sudanese Blue Nile. This modeling sequence is designed to derive the potential added value of information of each forecasting model to agriculture and hydropower management. A rank of each model's forecasting skill score along with its added value of information is analyzed in order compare the performance of each forecast. This research aims to improve understanding of how characteristics of accuracy, lead time, and uncertainty of seasonal forecasts influence their utility to water resources decision makers who utilize them.

  20. Apparent diffusion coefficient in the analysis of prostate cancer: determination of optimal b-value pair to differentiate normal from malignant tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adubeiro, Nuno; Nogueira, Maria Luísa; Nunes, Rita G; Ferreira, Hugo Alexandre; Ribeiro, Eduardo; La Fuente, José Maria Ferreira

    Determining optimal b-value pair for differentiation between normal and prostate cancer (PCa) tissues. Forty-three patients with diagnosis or PCa symptoms were included. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was estimated using minimum and maximum b-values of 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, 500s/mm2 and 500, 800, 1100, 1400, 1700 and 2000s/mm2, respectively. Diagnostic performances were evaluated when Area-under-the-curve (AUC)>95%. 15 of the 35 b-values pair surpassed this AUC threshold. The pair (50, 2000s/mm2) provided the highest AUC (96%) with ADC cutoff 0.89×10- 3 mm 2 /s, sensitivity 95.5%, specificity 93.2% and accuracy 94.4%. The best b-value pair was b=50, 2000s/mm2. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DIFFERENT BUSINESS VALUE COMPONENTS WITHIN THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja Brlečić Valčić

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The oil and gas industry is characterized by many complexities and specificities of business operations. The above is also reflected in the identification of value components, and the understanding of their interrelationships. In order to have an effective value management, it is especially important to follow up on the movements in key financial indicators and qualitative factors which impact the creation of financial results. This paper presents the theoretical basis in order to identify the most important qualitative value components in oil and gas companies. Therefore, the specificities of all sectors within this industry are highlighted in order for them to be related to the key financial factors influencing the creation of stable cash flows. For this purpose, a cluster analysis of selected key financial factors has been performed using self-organizing neural networks. Connecting identified qualitative value components affecting cash flows with the financial parameters through which they are reflected, creates a framework for developing an effective value management model.

  2. Optimal parameters of the SVM for temperature prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Shi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper established three different optimization models in order to predict the Foping station temperature value. The dimension was reduced to change multivariate climate factors into a few variables by principal component analysis (PCA. And the parameters of support vector machine (SVM were optimized with genetic algorithm (GA, particle swarm optimization (PSO and developed genetic algorithm. The most suitable method was applied for parameter optimization by comparing the results of three different models. The results are as follows: The developed genetic algorithm optimization parameters of the predicted values were closest to the measured value after the analog trend, and it is the most fitting measured value trends, and its homing speed is relatively fast.

  3. Optimization of decision rule complexity for decision tables with many-valued decisions

    KAUST Repository

    Azad, Mohammad; Chikalov, Igor; Moshkov, Mikhail

    2013-01-01

    compare our results with optimal result obtained by dynamic programming algorithms. The average percentage of relative difference between length (coverage) of constructed and optimal rules is at most 6.89% (15.89%, respectively) for leaders which seems

  4. Dollarizing Qualitative Discriminators Used in Best Value Source Selections

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Borchers, Jason

    2001-01-01

    .... This has a direct impact on how source selections are conducted. This research proposes a method using four different levels of cost that will provide the government with the best overall value in the conduction of source selections...

  5. Optimal Capital Structure: Reflections on Economic and Other Values

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.B.J. Schauten (Marc); J. Spronk (Jaap)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractDespite a vast literature on the capital structure of the firm there still is a big gap between theory and practice. Starting with the seminal work by Modigliani & Miller, much attention has been paid to the optimality of capital structure from the shareholders’ point of view. Over the

  6. Turnover, account value and diversification of real traders: evidence of collective portfolio optimizing behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton de Lachapelle, David; Challet, Damien

    2010-07-01

    Despite the availability of very detailed data on financial markets, agent-based modeling is hindered by the lack of information about real trader behavior. This makes it impossible to validate agent-based models, which are thus reverse-engineering attempts. This work is a contribution towards building a set of stylized facts about the traders themselves. Using the client database of Swissquote Bank SA, the largest online Swiss broker, we find empirical relationships between turnover, account values and the number of assets in which a trader is invested. A theory based on simple mean-variance portfolio optimization that crucially includes variable transaction costs is able to reproduce faithfully the observed behaviors. We finally argue that our results bring to light the collective ability of a population to construct a mean-variance portfolio that takes into account the structure of transaction costs.

  7. Dimensional optimization of nanowire--complementary metal oxide--semiconductor inverter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashim, Yasir; Sidek, Othman

    2013-01-01

    This study is the first to demonstrate dimensional optimization of nanowire-complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor inverter. Noise margins and inflection voltage of transfer characteristics are used as limiting factors in this optimization. Results indicate that optimization depends on both dimensions ratio and digital voltage level (Vdd). Diameter optimization reveals that when Vdd increases, the optimized value of (Dp/Dn) decreases. Channel length optimization results show that when Vdd increases, the optimized value of Ln decreases and that of (Lp/Ln) increases. Dimension ratio optimization reveals that when Vdd increases, the optimized value of Kp/Kn decreases, and silicon nanowire transistor with suitable dimensions (higher Dp and Ln with lower Lp and Dn) can be fabricated.

  8. Exploring the concept of optimal functionality in old age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Algilani S

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Samal Algilani,1,* Lina Östlund-Lagerström,1,2,* Annica Kihlgren,1 Karin Blomberg,1 Robert J Brummer,1,2 Ida Schoultz1,2 1Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre, 2Nutrition Gut Brain Interactions Research Centre, School of Health and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden *These authors contributed equally to this work Background: Aging is characterized by loss of function and represents a perspective that puts the focus on the negative aspects of aging. Thus, it is fundamental to shift the focus from loss of function to maintaining good health and personal satisfaction through life; in other words, to promote optimal functionality at a level appropriate for older adults. However, it is not yet known what constitutes optimal functionality from the older adult's own perspective. Objective: To explore the concept of optimal functionality in old age from the older adult's perspective (ie, people over 65 years of age in industrialized Western countries. Methods: We undertook a scoping review and searched two electronic databases (PubMed and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature [CINAHL] from January 2002 to July 2013 for scientific studies, using the key search term personal satisfaction. In total, 25 scientific studies were analyzed. Results: Only six of the included articles applied a qualitative methodology. By analyzing the results of these articles, three major themes were identified as cornerstones in the concept of optimal functionality at old age: 1 self-related factors (eg, mental well-being; 2 body-related factors (eg, physical well-being; and 3 external factors equal to demographic and environmental factors. Conclusion: There is a lack of qualitative studies in the current literature, and hence of what constitutes optimal functionality from the older adult's perspective. The results outlined in this review identify three cornerstones (self-related factors, body

  9. Global optimization and simulated annealing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekkers, A.; Aarts, E.H.L.

    1988-01-01

    In this paper we are concerned with global optimization, which can be defined as the problem of finding points on a bounded subset of Rn in which some real valued functionf assumes its optimal (i.e. maximal or minimal) value. We present a stochastic approach which is based on the simulated annealing

  10. Optimal waist-to-height ratio values for cardiometabolic risk screening in an ethnically diverse sample of South African urban and rural school boys and girls.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tandi E Matsha

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The proposed waist-to-height ratio (WHtR cut-off of 0.5 is less optimal for cardiometabolic risk screening in children in many settings. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal WHtR for children from South Africa, and investigate variations by gender, ethnicity and residence in the achieved value. METHODS: Metabolic syndrome (MetS components were measured in 1272 randomly selected learners, aged 10-16 years, comprising of 446 black Africans, 696 mixed-ancestry and 130 Caucasians. The Youden's index and the closest-top-left (CTL point approaches were used to derive WHtR cut-offs for diagnosing any two MetS components, excluding the waist circumference. RESULTS: The two approaches yielded similar cut-off in girls, 0.465 (sensitivity 50.0, specificity 69.5, but two different values in boys, 0.455 (42.9, 88.4 and 0.425 (60.3, 67.7 based on the Youden's index and the CTL point, respectively. Furthermore, WHtR cut-off values derived differed substantially amongst the regions and ethnic groups investigated, whereby the highest cut-off was observed in semi-rural and white children, respectively, Youden's index0.505 (31.6, 87.1 and CTL point 0.475 (44.4, 75.9. CONCLUSION: The WHtR cut-off of 0.5 is less accurate for screening cardiovascular risk in South African children. The optimal value in this setting is likely gender and ethnicity-specific and sensitive to urbanization.

  11. Procedure versus process: ethical paradigms and the conduct of qualitative research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Kristian

    2012-09-27

    Research is fundamental to improving the quality of health care. The need for regulation of research is clear. However, the bureaucratic complexity of research governance has raised concerns that the regulatory mechanisms intended to protect participants now threaten to undermine or stifle the research enterprise, especially as this relates to sensitive topics and hard to reach groups. Much criticism of research governance has focused on long delays in obtaining ethical approvals, restrictions imposed on study conduct, and the inappropriateness of evaluating qualitative studies within the methodological and risk assessment frameworks applied to biomedical and clinical research. Less attention has been given to the different epistemologies underlying biomedical and qualitative investigation. The bioethical framework underpinning current regulatory structures is fundamentally at odds with the practice of emergent, negotiated micro-ethics required in qualitative research. The complex and shifting nature of real world settings delivers unanticipated ethical issues and (occasionally) genuine dilemmas which go beyond easy or formulaic 'procedural' resolution. This is not to say that qualitative studies are 'unethical' but that their ethical nature can only be safeguarded through the practice of 'micro-ethics' based on the judgement and integrity of researchers in the field. This paper considers the implications of contrasting ethical paradigms for the conduct of qualitative research and the value of 'empirical ethics' as a means of liberating qualitative (and other) research from an outmoded and unduly restrictive research governance framework based on abstract prinicipalism, divorced from real world contexts and values.

  12. Decision making in goverment tenders: A formalized qualitative model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Štěpán Veselý

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents a simple formalized qualitative model of government tenders (GTs. Qualitative models use just three values: Positive/Increasing, Zero/Constant and Negative/Decreasing. Such quantifiers of trends are the least information intensive. Qualitative models can be useful, since GT evaluation often includes such goals as e.g. efficiency of public purchasing, and variables as e.g. availability of relevant information or subjectivity of judgment, that are difficult to quantify. Hence, a significant fraction of available information about GTs is not of numerical nature, e.g. if availability of relevant information is decreasing then efficiency of public purchasing is decreasing as well. Such equationless relations are studied in this paper. A qualitative model of the function F(Goals, Variables is developed. The model has four goal functions, eight variables, and 39 equationless relations. The model is solved and seven solutions, i.e. scenarios are obtained. All qualitative states, including first and second qualitative derivatives with respect to time, of all variables are specified for each scenario. Any unsteady state behavior of the GT model is described by its transitional oriented graph. There are eight possible transitions among seven scenarios. No a priori knowledge of qualitative modeling is required on the reader’s part.

  13. Evaluation of the optimal neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin value as a screening biomarker for urinary tract infections in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Bo Hyun; Yu, Nae; Kim, Hye Ryoun; Yun, Ki Wook; Lim, In Seok; Kim, Tae Hyoung; Lee, Mi-Kyung

    2014-09-01

    Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a promising biomarker in the detection of kidney injury. Early diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI), one of the most common infections in children, is important in order to avert long-term consequences. We assessed whether serum NGAL (sNGAL) or urine NGAL (uNGAL) would be reliable markers of UTI and evaluated the appropriate diagnostic cutoff value for the screening of UTI in children. A total of 812 urine specimens and 323 serum samples, collected from pediatric patients, were analyzed. UTI was diagnosed on the basis of culture results and symptoms reported by the patients. NGAL values were measured by using ELISA. NGAL values were more elevated in the UTI cases than in the non-UTI cases, but the difference between the values were not statistically significant (P=0.190 for sNGAL and P=0.064 for uNGAL). The optimal diagnostic cutoff values of sNGAL and uNGAL for UTI screening were 65.25 ng/mL and 5.75 ng/mL, respectively. We suggest that it is not appropriate to use NGAL as a marker for early diagnosis of UTI in children.

  14. [Application study of qualitatively diagnosing prostate cancer using ultrahigh b-value DWI].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, L B; Lu, Z H; Yao, H H; Cao, Y; Lu, W W; Qian, W X; Wang, X M; Hu, C H

    2017-07-18

    Objective: To explore the value of ultrahigh b-value DWI in diagnosis of prostate cancer. Methods: From October 2015 to October 2016, a total of 84 cases from Affiliated Changshu Hospital of Soochow University(39 cases of prostate cancer with a total of 57 lesions, 45 cases of benign prostate hyperplasia) were examined with T(2)WI, high b-value DWI (b=1 000 s/mm(2)) and ultrahigh b-value DWI (b=2 000 s/mm(2)) .Three image sets were rated respectively based on PI-RADS V2 by two radiologists and the scores were compared with biopsy results.The differences of the area under the ROC curve (AUC) among the three groups of each observer were compared by Z test. Results: The difference of AUC between ultrahigh b-value DWI and T(2)WI in the diagnosis of peripheral and transitional zone cancer was statistically significant between the two observers ( P =0.009 9, 0.008 2, 0.010 8 and 0.004 5 respectively), and there was no significant difference of AUC between ultrahigh b-value DWI and high b-value DWI in the diagnosis of peripheral and transitional zone cancer.The inter-reader agreement was found to be perfect for all lesions, peripheral zone lesions and transition zone lesions at ultrahigh b-value DWI ( kappa values were 0.738, 0.709 and 0.768 respectively). Conclusion: The diagnostic performance of ultrahigh b-value DWI is superior to high b-value DWI and T(2)WI in both peripheral zone and transition zone cancers.

  15. Optimizing the dynamic response of the H.B. Robinson nuclear plant using multiobjective particle swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elsays, Mostafa A.; Naguib Aly, M.; Badawi, Alya A.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm is modified to deal with Multiobjective Optimization Problems (MOPs). A mathematical model for predicting the dynamic response of the H. B. Robinson nuclear power plant, which represents an Initial Value Problem (IVP) of Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs), is solved using Runge-Kutta formula. The resulted data values are represented as a system of nonlinear algebraic equations by interpolation schemes for data fitting. This system of fitted nonlinear algebraic equations represents a nonlinear multiobjective optimization problem. A Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimizer (MOPSO) which is based on the Pareto optimality concept is developed and applied to maximize the above mentioned problem. Results show that MOPSO efficiently cope with the problem and finds multiple Pareto optimal solutions. (orig.)

  16. Qualitative methods in PhD theses from general practice in Scandinavia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malterud, Kirsti; Hamberg, Katarina; Reventlow, Susanne

    2017-01-01

    . Qualitative studies are often included in Ph.D. theses from general practice in Scandinavia. Still, the Ph.D. programs across nations and institutions offer only limited training in qualitative methods. In this opinion article, we draw upon our observations and experiences, unpacking and reflecting upon...... values and challenges at stake when qualitative studies are included in Ph.D. theses. Hypotheses to explain these observations are presented, followed by suggestions for standards of evaluation and improvement of Ph.D. programs. The authors conclude that multimethod Ph.D. theses should be encouraged...

  17. Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research: ENTREQ

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The syntheses of multiple qualitative studies can pull together data across different contexts, generate new theoretical or conceptual models, identify research gaps, and provide evidence for the development, implementation and evaluation of health interventions. This study aims to develop a framework for reporting the synthesis of qualitative health research. Methods We conducted a comprehensive search for guidance and reviews relevant to the synthesis of qualitative research, methodology papers, and published syntheses of qualitative health research in MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and relevant organisational websites to May 2011. Initial items were generated inductively from guides to synthesizing qualitative health research. The preliminary checklist was piloted against forty published syntheses of qualitative research, purposively selected to capture a range of year of publication, methods and methodologies, and health topics. We removed items that were duplicated, impractical to assess, and rephrased items for clarity. Results The Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research (ENTREQ) statement consists of 21 items grouped into five main domains: introduction, methods and methodology, literature search and selection, appraisal, and synthesis of findings. Conclusions The ENTREQ statement can help researchers to report the stages most commonly associated with the synthesis of qualitative health research: searching and selecting qualitative research, quality appraisal, and methods for synthesising qualitative findings. The synthesis of qualitative research is an expanding and evolving methodological area and we would value feedback from all stakeholders for the continued development and extension of the ENTREQ statement. PMID:23185978

  18. Value co-creation in high involvement services: the animal healthcare sector

    OpenAIRE

    Pyatt, A.Z.; Wright, G.; Walley, K.; Bleach, E.C.L.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose \\ud This paper investigates the significance of value c\\ud o-creation to the UK animal healthcare sector from \\ud the perspective of the key industry stakeholders: clients, veterinarians and paraprofessionals. \\ud Design \\ud Value co-creation constructs in the sector were identified and measured using a mixed methods approach comprised of qualitative NVivo thematic analysis of depth interviews (n=13) and quantitative Exploratory Factor Analysis n=271). \\ud Findings \\ud Qualitative res...

  19. Unipolar Endocardial Voltage Mapping in the Right Ventricle: Optimal Cutoff Values Correcting for Computed Tomography-Derived Epicardial Fat Thickness and Their Clinical Value for Substrate Delineation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venlet, Jeroen; Piers, Sebastiaan R D; Kapel, Gijsbert F L; de Riva, Marta; Pauli, Philippe F G; van der Geest, Rob J; Zeppenfeld, Katja

    2017-08-01

    Low endocardial unipolar voltage (UV) at sites with normal bipolar voltage (BV) may indicate epicardial scar. Currently applied UV cutoff values are based on studies that lacked epicardial fat information. This study aimed to define endocardial UV cutoff values using computed tomography-derived fat information and to analyze their clinical value for right ventricular substrate delineation. Thirty-three patients (50±14 years; 79% men) underwent combined endocardial-epicardial right ventricular electroanatomical mapping and ablation of right ventricular scar-related ventricular tachycardia with computed tomographic image integration, including computed tomography-derived fat thickness. Of 6889 endocardial-epicardial mapping point pairs, 547 (8%) pairs with distance 1.50 mV, the optimal endocardial UV cutoff for identification of epicardial BV the curve, 0.75; sensitivity, 60%; specificity, 79%) and cutoff for identification of abnormal epicardial electrogram was 3.7 mV (area under the curve, 0.88; sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 67%). The majority of abnormal electrograms (130 of 151) were associated with transmural scar. Eighty-six percent of abnormal epicardial electrograms had corresponding endocardial sites with BV the remaining could be identified by corresponding low endocardial UV right ventricular scar, an endocardial UV cutoff value of 3.9 mV is more accurate than previously reported cutoff values. Although the majority of epicardial abnormal electrograms are associated with transmural scar with low endocardial BV, the additional use of endocardial UV at normal BV sites improves the diagnostic accuracy resulting in identification of all epicardial abnormal electrograms at sites with <1.0 mm fat. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  20. Selection on Optimal Haploid Value Increases Genetic Gain and Preserves More Genetic Diversity Relative to Genomic Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daetwyler, Hans D; Hayden, Matthew J; Spangenberg, German C; Hayes, Ben J

    2015-08-01

    Doubled haploids are routinely created and phenotypically selected in plant breeding programs to accelerate the breeding cycle. Genomic selection, which makes use of both phenotypes and genotypes, has been shown to further improve genetic gain through prediction of performance before or without phenotypic characterization of novel germplasm. Additional opportunities exist to combine genomic prediction methods with the creation of doubled haploids. Here we propose an extension to genomic selection, optimal haploid value (OHV) selection, which predicts the best doubled haploid that can be produced from a segregating plant. This method focuses selection on the haplotype and optimizes the breeding program toward its end goal of generating an elite fixed line. We rigorously tested OHV selection breeding programs, using computer simulation, and show that it results in up to 0.6 standard deviations more genetic gain than genomic selection. At the same time, OHV selection preserved a substantially greater amount of genetic diversity in the population than genomic selection, which is important to achieve long-term genetic gain in breeding populations. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  1. Simultaneous analysis of qualitative parameters of solid fuel using complex neutron gamma method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dombrovskij, V.P.; Ajtsev, N.I.; Ryashchikov, V.I.; Frolov, V.K.

    1983-01-01

    A study was made on complex neutron gamma method for simultaneous analysis of carbon content, ash content and humidity of solid fuel according to gamma radiation of inelastic fast neutron scattering and radiation capture of thermal neutrons. Metrological characteristics of pulse and stationary neutron gamma methods for determination of qualitative solid fuel parameters were analyzed, taking coke breeze as an example. Optimal energy ranges of gamma radiation detection (2-8 MeV) were determined. The advantages of using pulse neutron generator for complex analysis of qualitative parameters of solid fuel in large masses were shown

  2. General practitioners learning qualitative research: A case study of postgraduate education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepworth, Julie; Kay, Margaret

    2015-10-01

    Qualitative research is increasingly being recognised as a vital aspect of primary healthcare research. Teaching and learning how to conduct qualitative research is especially important for general practitioners and other clinicians in the professional educational setting. This article examines a case study of postgraduate professional education in qualitative research for clinicians, for the purpose of enabling a robust discussion around teaching and learning in medicine and the health sciences. A series of three workshops was delivered for primary healthcare academics. The workshops were evaluated using a quantitative survey and qualitative free-text responses to enable descriptive analyses. Participants found qualitative philosophy and theory the most difficult areas to engage with, and learning qualitative coding and analysis was considered the easiest to learn. Key elements for successful teaching were identified, including the use of adult learning principles, the value of an experienced facilitator and an awareness of the impact of clinical subcultures on learning.

  3. Asian American Career Development: A Qualitative Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouad, Nadya A.; Kantamneni, Neeta; Smothers, Melissa K.; Chen, Yung-Lung; Fitzpatrick, Mary; Terry, Sarah

    2008-01-01

    This study used a modified version of consensual qualitative research design to examine how contextual, cultural, and personal variables influence the career choices of a diverse group of 12 Asian Americans. Seven domains of influences on career choices emerged including family, culture, external factors, career goals, role models, work values,…

  4. From text to codings: intercoder reliability assessment in qualitative content analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burla, Laila; Knierim, Birte; Barth, Jurgen; Liewald, Katharina; Duetz, Margreet; Abel, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    High intercoder reliability (ICR) is required in qualitative content analysis for assuring quality when more than one coder is involved in data analysis. The literature is short of standardized procedures for ICR procedures in qualitative content analysis. To illustrate how ICR assessment can be used to improve codings in qualitative content analysis. Key steps of the procedure are presented, drawing on data from a qualitative study on patients' perspectives on low back pain. First, a coding scheme was developed using a comprehensive inductive and deductive approach. Second, 10 transcripts were coded independently by two researchers, and ICR was calculated. A resulting kappa value of .67 can be regarded as satisfactory to solid. Moreover, varying agreement rates helped to identify problems in the coding scheme. Low agreement rates, for instance, indicated that respective codes were defined too broadly and would need clarification. In a third step, the results of the analysis were used to improve the coding scheme, leading to consistent and high-quality results. The quantitative approach of ICR assessment is a viable instrument for quality assurance in qualitative content analysis. Kappa values and close inspection of agreement rates help to estimate and increase quality of codings. This approach facilitates good practice in coding and enhances credibility of analysis, especially when large samples are interviewed, different coders are involved, and quantitative results are presented.

  5. Application of quantitative and qualitative methods for determination ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article covers the issues of integration of qualitative and quantitative methods applied when justifying management decision-making in companies implementing lean manufacturing. The authors defined goals and subgoals and justified the evaluation criteria which lead to the increased company value if achieved.

  6. (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.

  7. Production Task Queue Optimization Based on Multi-Attribute Evaluation for Complex Product Assembly Workshop.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lian-Hui Li

    Full Text Available The production task queue has a great significance for manufacturing resource allocation and scheduling decision. Man-made qualitative queue optimization method has a poor effect and makes the application difficult. A production task queue optimization method is proposed based on multi-attribute evaluation. According to the task attributes, the hierarchical multi-attribute model is established and the indicator quantization methods are given. To calculate the objective indicator weight, criteria importance through intercriteria correlation (CRITIC is selected from three usual methods. To calculate the subjective indicator weight, BP neural network is used to determine the judge importance degree, and then the trapezoid fuzzy scale-rough AHP considering the judge importance degree is put forward. The balanced weight, which integrates the objective weight and the subjective weight, is calculated base on multi-weight contribution balance model. The technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS improved by replacing Euclidean distance with relative entropy distance is used to sequence the tasks and optimize the queue by the weighted indicator value. A case study is given to illustrate its correctness and feasibility.

  8. Psychological and pedagogical research of modern young people values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlasova N.V.

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available this article is based on the psycho-pedagogical research of values orientation formation in different age groups. This research touches upon diverse approaches to values development and acceptance among children, teenagers and youngsters. This article adduses quantitative analysis of values preferences in different periods of life as well as qualitative analysis of these values in each age group.

  9. Operating characteristics of a qualitative troponin assay for the diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farsi, Davood; Pishbin, Elham; Abbasi, Saeed; Hafezimoghadam, Peyman; Fathi, Marzieh; Zare, Mohammad Amin

    2013-04-01

    The troponin I serum level is widely used in acute coronary syndrome patients for their classification. The qualitative assay is faster and more available than the quantitative assay. The objective was to determine the operating characteristics of a qualitative troponin I assay compared with a quantitative method. This is a prospective observational study and patients suspected to have acute coronary syndrome were enrolled. A rapid troponin I test and a quantitative assay were carried out for each patient on arrival and 6 h after admission. A total of 262 patients were enrolled. The degree of agreement between the second rapid qualitative and quantitative troponin I was excellent (κ=0.946; 95% confidence interval, 0.903-0.989). The sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value, and positive predictive value of the rapid qualitative troponin I test were 92.6, 100, 96.8, and 100%, respectively. In conclusion, this study reveals an excellent agreement between quantitative and qualitative bedside assays 6 h after admission in a sample of Iranian patients in the emergency department.

  10. The Qualitative Expectations Hypothesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frydman, Roman; Johansen, Søren; Rahbek, Anders

    We introduce the Qualitative Expectations Hypothesis (QEH) as a new approach to modeling macroeconomic and financial outcomes. Building on John Muth's seminal insight underpinning the Rational Expectations Hypothesis (REH), QEH represents the market's forecasts to be consistent with the predictions...... of an economist's model. However, by assuming that outcomes lie within stochastic intervals, QEH, unlike REH, recognizes the ambiguity faced by an economist and market participants alike. Moreover, QEH leaves the model open to ambiguity by not specifying a mechanism determining specific values that outcomes take...

  11. 'It makes you think' - exploring the impact of qualitative films on pain clinicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toye, Francine; Jenkins, Sue

    2015-02-01

    Researchers need to consider the impact and utility of their findings. Film is an accessible medium for qualitative research findings and can facilitate learning through emotional engagement. We aimed to explore the usefulness of a short film presenting findings from a published qualitative synthesis of adults' experience of chronic musculoskeletal pain for pain education. In particular, we were interested in the impact of the film on clinician's understanding of patients' experience of chronic pain and how this knowledge might be used for improved healthcare for people with pain. Focus groups with healthcare professionals enrolled in a pain management foundation course explored healthcare professionals' experience of watching the film. A constructivist grounded theory approach was adopted by the researchers. This article presents one thematic exemplar from a wider study. Participants reflected upon the pitfalls of judging by appearances and the value of seeing the person beneath his or her performance. There is a danger that the impact of qualitative findings is under-valued in clinical education. We present one exemplar from a study exploring knowledge mobilisation, which demonstrates that qualitative research, specifically qualitative films, can make us think about the care that we provide to people with chronic pain.

  12. Procedure versus process: ethical paradigms and the conduct of qualitative research

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Research is fundamental to improving the quality of health care. The need for regulation of research is clear. However, the bureaucratic complexity of research governance has raised concerns that the regulatory mechanisms intended to protect participants now threaten to undermine or stifle the research enterprise, especially as this relates to sensitive topics and hard to reach groups. Discussion Much criticism of research governance has focused on long delays in obtaining ethical approvals, restrictions imposed on study conduct, and the inappropriateness of evaluating qualitative studies within the methodological and risk assessment frameworks applied to biomedical and clinical research. Less attention has been given to the different epistemologies underlying biomedical and qualitative investigation. The bioethical framework underpinning current regulatory structures is fundamentally at odds with the practice of emergent, negotiated micro-ethics required in qualitative research. The complex and shifting nature of real world settings delivers unanticipated ethical issues and (occasionally) genuine dilemmas which go beyond easy or formulaic ‘procedural’ resolution. This is not to say that qualitative studies are ‘unethical’ but that their ethical nature can only be safeguarded through the practice of ‘micro-ethics’ based on the judgement and integrity of researchers in the field. Summary This paper considers the implications of contrasting ethical paradigms for the conduct of qualitative research and the value of ‘empirical ethics’ as a means of liberating qualitative (and other) research from an outmoded and unduly restrictive research governance framework based on abstract prinicipalism, divorced from real world contexts and values. PMID:23016663

  13. Internal Medicine Residents' Perceptions of Team-Based Care and its Educational Value in the Continuity Clinic: A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soones, Tacara N; O'Brien, Bridget C; Julian, Katherine A

    2015-09-01

    In order to teach residents how to work in interprofessional teams, educators in graduate medical education are implementing team-based care models in resident continuity clinics. However, little is known about the impact of interprofessional teams on residents' education in the ambulatory setting. To identify factors affecting residents' experience of team-based care within continuity clinics and the impact of these teams on residents' education. This was a qualitative study of focus groups with internal medicine residents. Seventy-seven internal medicine residents at the University of California San Francisco at three continuity clinic sites participated in the study. Qualitative interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. The authors used a general inductive approach with sensitizing concepts in four frames (structural, human resources, political and symbolic) to develop codes and identify themes. Residents believed that team-based care improves continuity and quality of care. Factors in four frames affected their ability to achieve these goals. Structural factors included communication through the electronic medical record, consistent schedules and regular team meetings. Human resources factors included the presence of stable teams and clear roles. Political and symbolic factors negatively impacted team-based care, and included low staffing ratios and a culture of ultimate resident responsibility, respectively. Regardless of the presence of these factors or resident perceptions of their teams, residents did not see the practice of interprofessional team-based care as intrinsically educational. Residents' experiences practicing team-based care are influenced by many principles described in the interprofessional teamwork literature, including understanding team members' roles, good communication and sufficient staffing. However, these attributes are not correlated with residents' perceptions of the educational value of team-based care. Including residents in

  14. Risk Based Optimal Fatigue Testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, John Dalsgaard; Faber, M.H.; Kroon, I.B.

    1992-01-01

    Optimal fatigue life testing of materials is considered. Based on minimization of the total expected costs of a mechanical component a strategy is suggested to determine the optimal stress range levels for which additional experiments are to be performed together with an optimal value...

  15. Towards a globally optimized crop distribution: Integrating water use, nutrition, and economic value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, K. F.; Seveso, A.; Rulli, M. C.; D'Odorico, P.

    2016-12-01

    Human demand for crop production is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades as a result of population growth, richer diets and biofuel use. In order for food production to keep pace, unprecedented amounts of resources - water, fertilizers, energy - will be required. This has led to calls for `sustainable intensification' in which yields are increased on existing croplands while seeking to minimize impacts on water and other agricultural resources. Recent studies have quantified aspects of this, showing that there is a large potential to improve crop yields and increase harvest frequencies to better meet human demand. Though promising, both solutions would necessitate large additional inputs of water and fertilizer in order to be achieved under current technologies. However, the question of whether the current distribution of crops is, in fact, the best for realizing sustainable production has not been considered to date. To this end, we ask: Is it possible to increase crop production and economic value while minimizing water demand by simply growing crops where soil and climate conditions are best suited? Here we use maps of yields and evapotranspiration for 14 major food crops to identify differences between current crop distributions and where they can most suitably be planted. By redistributing crops across currently cultivated lands, we determine the potential improvements in calorie (+12%) and protein (+51%) production, economic output (+41%) and water demand (-5%). This approach can also incorporate the impact of future climate on cropland suitability, and as such, be used to provide optimized cropping patterns under climate change. Thus, our study provides a novel tool towards achieving sustainable intensification that can be used to recommend optimal crop distributions in the face of a changing climate while simultaneously accounting for food security, freshwater resources, and livelihoods.

  16. MR neurography of the median nerve at 3.0 T: Optimization of diffusion tensor imaging and fiber tractography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guggenberger, Roman; Eppenberger, Patrick; Markovic, Daniel; Nanz, Daniel; Chhabra, Avneesh; Pruessmann, Klaas P.; Andreisek, Gustav

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to systematically assess the optimal b-value and reconstruction parameters for DTI and fiber tractography of the median nerve at 3.0 T. Methods: Local ethical board approved study with 45 healthy volunteers (15 men, 30 women; mean age, 41 ± 3.4 years) who underwent DTI of the right wrist at 3.0 T. A single-shot echo-planar-imaging sequence (TR/TE 10123/40 ms) was acquired at four different b-values (800, 1000, 1200, and 1400 s/mm 2 ). Two independent readers performed post processing and fiber-tractography. Fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were calculated. Fiber tracts of the median nerve were generated using four different algorithms containing different FA thresholds and different angulation tolerances. Data were evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. Results: Tracking algorithms using a minimum FA threshold of 0.2 and a maximum angulation of 10° were significantly better than other algorithms. Fiber tractography generated significantly longer fibers in DTI acquisitions with higher b-values (1200 and 1400 s/mm 2 versus 800 s/mm 2 ; p 2 (p 2 for DTI of the median nerve at 3.0 T. Optimal reconstruction parameters for fiber tractography should encompass a minimum FA threshold of 0.2 and a maximum angulation tolerance of 10.

  17. Optimization of time characteristics in activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gurvich, L.G.; Umaraliev, A.T.

    2006-01-01

    Full text: The activation analysis temporal characteristics optimization methods developed at present are aimed at determination of optimal values of the three important parameters - irradiation time, cooling time and measurement time. In the performed works, especially in [1-5] the activation analysis processes are described, the optimal values of optimization parameters are obtained from equations solved, and the computational results are given for these parameters for a number of elements. However, the equations presented in [2] were inaccurate, did not allow one to have optimization parameters results for one element content calculations, and it did not take into account background dependence of time. Therefore, we proposed modified equations to determine the optimal temporal parameters and iteration processes for the solution of these equations. It is well-known that the activity of studied sample during measurements does not change significantly, i.e. measurement time is much shorter than the half-life, thus the processes taking place can be described by the Poisson probability distribution, and in general case one can apply binomial distribution. The equation and iteration processes use in this research describe both probability distributions. Expectedly, the cooling time iteration expressions obtained for one element analysis case are similar for the both distribution types, as the optimised time values occurred to be of the same order as half-life values, whereas the cooling time, as we observed, depends on the ratio of the studied sample's peak value to the background peak, and can be significantly larger than the half-life value. This pattern is general, and can be derived from the optimized time expressions, which is supported by the experimental data on short-living isotopes [3,4]. For the isotopes with large half-lives, up to years, like cobalt-60, the cooling time values given in the above mentioned works are equal to months which, apparently

  18. 'She believed in me'. What patients with depression value in their relationship with practitioners. A secondary analysis of multiple qualitative data sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Percival, John; Donovan, Jenny; Kessler, David; Turner, Katrina

    2017-02-01

    Clinical guidance promotes the practitioner-patient relationship as integral to good quality person-centred care for patients with depression. However, patients can struggle to engage with practitioners and practitioners have indicated that they want more guidance on how to establish effective relationships with their patients. To identify what practitioner attributes patients with depression particularly value or find problematic. A secondary analysis of data collected during four qualitative studies, all of which entailed interviewing patients diagnosed with depression about their treatment experiences. Patients in the four studies had received different treatments. These included antidepressants, cognitive behaviour therapy, facilitated physical activity and listening visits. We thematically analysed 32 patient accounts. We identified two complimentary sets of important practitioner attributes: the first based on the practitioner's bearing; the second based on the practitioner's enabling role. We found that patients value practitioners who consider their individual manner, share relevant personal information, show interest and acceptance, communicate clearly and listen carefully, collaborate on manageable goals and sanction greater patient self-care and self-compassion. It was also evident that patients receiving different treatments value the same practitioner attributes and that when these key practitioner qualities were not evident, patients were liable not to re-attend or comply with treatment. The practitioner attributes that patients with depression most value have a positive impact on their engagement with treatment. Patients emphasise the importance of a practitioner's demeanour and encouragement, rather than the amount of time or specific treatment a practitioner is able to provide. © 2016 The Authors. Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Optimization and validation of a methodology for the qualitative determination of polar pesticides in a carbonated soft drink and some cookies for EFS-CG/DEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cartin Elizondo, Jorge Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Chemical analysis of polar pesticides has been qualitatively interest in forensic scientific research by toxicological qualities to the attainment of crimes against human life, pets and plants; associating people and objects in the scene and the possible ways in which the events occurred. The Unidad de Toxicos y Varios of the Seccion de Quimica Analitica of the Departamento de Ciencias Forenses has analyzed polar pesticides and other families to concentration levels, is compared to the environmental analysis and quality control of food. The compounds are used in Costa Rica in recent years as acute chemical weapon to commit crimes against human and animal life. The toxic and lethal amounts of polar pesticides in mammals orally have been milligram level. The Seccion de Quimica Analitica has developed a qualitative methodology to analyze polar pesticides as minor components. The need for reliable analytical quality results has made it necessary to approach a review of the methodology of routine. The review has been solved by selecting two matrices characteristics in such cases: a solid food commercially known as maria biscuits and a carbonated cola. Analytes have been selected based on: greater toxicity, broad spectrum of analytes polarity, the octanol-water partition constant, the water solubility among others. The extraction of analytes in matrices has been selected by solid-phase extraction. The instrumental technique used is gas chromatography with mass selective detector. A method of acquisition optimized in its injection is used. The analysis of instrumental signals were obtained in scanning mode all ions formed, known as Scan and by monitoring mode of ions selected ions (MIS), analysis of the data is acquired in Scan mode because concentration levels of work. The methodology for the qualitative determination of pesticide meets the criteria established for the chemical identification of analytes carbofuran, phorate, terbufos, methyl parathion, chlorpyrifos and

  20. Teaching and Learning Moral Values through Kindergarten Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hooli, Abeer; Al-Shammari, Zaid

    2009-01-01

    In this research study we investigated kindergarten-aged children's moral values in Kuwait. This study utilized several quantitative and qualitative research methods in the course of looking at three terms--moral development, the meaning of value, and the meaning of morality--as experienced by kindergarten-aged children. Participants were 600…

  1. The Role of Qualitative Approaches to Research in CALL Contexts: Closing in on the Learner's Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Mike

    2015-01-01

    The article considers the role of qualitative research methods in CALL through describing a series of examples. These examples are used to highlight the importance and value of qualitative data in relation to a specific research objective in CALL. The use of qualitative methods in conjunction with other approaches as in mixed method research…

  2. Transforming Verbal Counts in Reports of Qualitative Descriptive Studies Into Numbers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, YunKyung; Voils, Corrine I.; Sandelowski, Margarete; Hasselblad, Vic; Crandell, Jamie L.

    2009-01-01

    Reports of qualitative studies typically do not offer much information on the numbers of respondents linked to any one finding. This information may be especially useful in reports of basic, or minimally interpretive, qualitative descriptive studies focused on surveying a range of experiences in a target domain, and its lack may limit the ability to synthesize the results of such studies with quantitative results in systematic reviews. Accordingly, the authors illustrate strategies for deriving plausible ranges of respondents expressing a finding in a set of reports of basic qualitative descriptive studies on antiretroviral adherence and suggest how the results might be used. These strategies have limitations and are never appropriate for use with findings from interpretive qualitative studies. Yet they offer a temporary workaround for preserving and maximizing the value of information from basic qualitative descriptive studies for systematic reviews. They show also why quantitizing is never simply quantitative. PMID:19448052

  3. The Qualitative Expectations Hypothesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frydman, Roman; Johansen, Søren; Rahbek, Anders

    2017-01-01

    We introduce the Qualitative Expectations Hypothesis (QEH) as a new approach to modeling macroeconomic and financial outcomes. Building on John Muth's seminal insight underpinning the Rational Expectations Hypothesis (REH), QEH represents the market's forecasts to be consistent with the predictions...... of an economistís model. However, by assuming that outcomes lie within stochastic intervals, QEH, unlike REH, recognizes the ambiguity faced by an economist and market participants alike. Moreover, QEH leaves the model open to ambiguity by not specifying a mechanism determining specific values that outcomes take...

  4. Espousing Democratic Leadership Practices: A Study of Values in Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devereaux, Lorraine

    2003-01-01

    This article examines principals' espoused values and their values in action. It provides a reanalysis of previously collected data through a values lens. The original research study was an international quantitative and qualitative investigation of principals' leadership approaches that was based in 15 schools. This particular excerpt of the…

  5. HIV Partner Notification Values and Preferences Among Sex Workers, Fishermen, and Mainland Community Members in Rakai, Uganda: A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Caitlin; Nakyanjo, Neema; Ddaaki, William; Burke, Virginia M; Hutchinson, Naadiya; Kagaayi, Joseph; Wawer, Maria J; Nalugoda, Fred; Kennedy, Caitlin E

    2018-01-25

    HIV partner notification involves contacting sexual partners of people who test HIV positive and referring them to HIV testing, treatment, and prevention services. To understand values and preferences of key and general populations in Rakai, Uganda, we conducted 6 focus group discussions and 63 in-depth interviews in high prevalence fishing communities and low prevalence mainland communities. Participants included fishermen and sex workers in fishing communities, male and female mainland community members, and healthcare providers. Questions explored three approaches: passive referral, provider referral, and contract referral. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed using a team-based matrix approach. Participants agreed that passive referral was most suitable for primary partners. Provider referral was acceptable in fishing communities for notifying multiple, casual partners. Healthcare providers voiced concerns about limited time, resources, and training for provider-assisted approaches. Options for partner notification may help people overcome barriers to HIV serostatus disclosure and help reach key populations.

  6. Describing qualitative research undertaken with randomised controlled trials in grant proposals: a documentary analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drabble, Sarah J; O'Cathain, Alicia; Thomas, Kate J; Rudolph, Anne; Hewison, Jenny

    2014-02-18

    There is growing recognition of the value of conducting qualitative research with trials in health research. It is timely to reflect on how this qualitative research is presented in grant proposals to identify lessons for researchers and research commissioners. As part of a larger study focusing on how to maximise the value of undertaking qualitative research with trials, we undertook a documentary analysis of proposals of funded studies. Using the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) database we identified trials funded in the United Kingdom, ongoing between 2001 and 2010, and reporting the use of qualitative research. We requested copies of proposals from lead researchers. We extracted data from the proposals using closed and open questions, analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis respectively. 2% (89/3812) of trials in the mRCT database described the use of qualitative research undertaken with the trial. From these 89 trials, we received copies of 36 full proposals, of which 32 met our inclusion criteria. 25% used less than a single paragraph to describe the qualitative research. The aims of the qualitative research described in these proposals focused mainly on the intervention or trial conduct. Just over half (56%) of the proposals included an explicit rationale for conducting the qualitative research with the trial, the most frequent being to optimise implementation into clinical practice or to interpret trial findings. Key information about methods, expertise and resources was missing in a large minority of proposals, in particular sample size, type of analysis, and non-personnel resources. 28% specifically stated that qualitative researchers would conduct the qualitative research. Our review of proposals of successfully funded studies identified good practice but also identified limited space given to describing the qualitative research, with an associated lack of attention to the rationale for doing the qualitative research and

  7. Optimization of the flux values in multichannel ceramic membrane microfiltration of Baker`s yeast suspension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milović Nemanja R.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to estimate the effects of the operating parameters on the baker's yeast microfiltration through multichannel ceramic membrane. The selected parameters were transmembrane pressure, suspension feed flow, and initial suspension concentration. In order to investigate the influence and interaction effects of these parameters on the microfiltration operation, two responses have been chosen: average permeate flux and flux decline. The Box-Behnken experimental design and response surface methodology was used for result processing and process optimization. According to the obtained results, the most important parameter influencing permeate flux during microfiltration is the initial suspension concentration. The maximum average flux value was achieved at an initial concentration of 0.1 g/L, pressure around 1.25 bars and a flow rate at 16 L/h. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. TR 31002

  8. Cost Optimization of Water Resources in Pernambuco, Brazil: Valuing Future Infrastructure and Climate Forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ipsita; Josset, Laureline; Lall, Upmanu; Cavalcanti e Silva, Erik; Cordeiro Possas, José Marcelo; Cauás Asfora, Marcelo

    2017-04-01

    Optimal management of water resources is paramount in semi-arid regions to limit strains on the society and economy due to limited water availability. This problem is likely to become even more recurrent as droughts are projected to intensify in the coming years, causing increasing stresses to the water supply in the concerned areas. The state of Pernambuco, in the Northeast Brazil is one such case, where one of the largest reservoir, Jucazinho, has been at approximately 1% capacity throughout 2016, making infrastructural challenges in the region very real. To ease some of the infrastructural stresses and reduce vulnerabilities of the water system, a new source of water from Rio São Francisco is currently under development. Till its development, water trucks have been regularly mandated to cover water deficits, but at a much higher cost, thus endangering the financial sustainability of the region. In this paper, we propose to evaluate the sustainability of the considered water system by formulating an optimization problem and determine the optimal operations to be conducted. We start with a comparative study of the current and future infrastructures capabilities to face various climate. We show that while the Rio Sao Francisco project mitigates the problems, both implementations do not prevent failure and require the reliance on water trucks during prolonged droughts. We also study the cost associated with the provision of water to the municipalities for several streamflow forecasts. In particular, we investigate the value of climate predictions to adapt operational decisions by comparing the results with a fixed policy derived from historical data. We show that the use of climate information permits the reduction of the water deficit and reduces overall operational costs. We conclude with a discussion on the potential of the approach to evaluate future infrastructure developments. This study is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and in

  9. Exploring value creative and value destructive practice through an online brand community: : The case of Starbucks.

    OpenAIRE

    Dia, Uzezi

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores value co-creation and value co-destruction with a focus on the social practices embedded in the online brand community “My Starbucks Idea (MSI).” The objectives of the research are accomplished through a detailed explanation of the study’s stages, starting with the Research design/Planning, and followed by the Community Entry (Entrée), Data collection, Limitations, and Ethical implications. Since the study is exploratory in character, the qualitative research strategy was ...

  10. Conflicts and conflict management in the collaboration between nurses and physicians - A qualitative study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leever, A. M.; Hulst, M. V. D.; Berendsen, A. J.; Boendemaker, P. M.; Roodenburg, J. L. N.; Pols, J.

    2010-01-01

    In health care, optimal collaboration between nurses and physicians is crucial in the quality of the care process - but not self-generating. Little is known about how health-care professionals cope with conflicts within their collaboration. This qualitative study investigates the way nurses and

  11. The influence of workplace culture on nurses' learning experiences: a systematic review of qualitative evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Kate; White, Sarahlouise; Stephenson, Matthew

    2016-06-01

    were extracted from articles included in the review using the standardized data extraction tool from the JBI-QARI. Qualitative research findings were pooled using the Joanna Briggs Institute Qualitative Appraisal and Review Instrument (JBI-QARI). This involved the aggregation and synthesis of findings to generate a set of categories, which were then subjected to a meta-synthesis to produce a single comprehensive set of synthesized findings that could be used as a basis for evidence-based practice. Fourteen articles were identified following appraisal and a total of 105 findings (85 unequivocal and 20 credible) were extracted from included studies and grouped into eight categories based on similarity of meaning. Subsequently, categories were grouped into two synthesized findings. The two synthesized findings were as follows: ORGANIZATIONAL INFLUENCES: Enabling nurses to demonstrate accountability for their own learning, along with clear organizational systems that provide resources, time, adequate staffing and support, demonstrates encouragement for and the value of nurses' learning and education. Nurses value their peers, expert nurses, preceptors, mentors and educators facilitating and encouraging their learning and professional development. An optimal workplace culture is central for nurses to experience valuable and relevant learning in the workplace. To emphasize the importance of nurses' learning in the workplace, working and learning is understood as an integrated experience. Consequently, a dual system that enables nurses to demonstrate accountability for their own learning, along with clear organizational and educational systems, is required to demonstrate the value in nurses' learning and education.

  12. The Lack of Professional Knowledge in Values Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornberg, Robert

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate teachers' perceptions of their practice of values education, and to explore their degree of professionalism in this matter. Qualitative interviews with 13 teachers have been conducted and analysed by a comparative analysis. According to their view, values education is (a) most often reactive and unplanned,…

  13. Teaching qualitative research as a means of socialization to nursing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arieli, Daniella; Tamir, Batya; Man, Michal

    2015-06-01

    The aim of the present article is to present a model for teaching qualitative research as part of nursing education. The uniqueness of the course model is that it seeks to combine two objectives: (1) initial familiarization of the students with the clinical-nursing environment and the role of the nurse; and (2) understanding the qualitative research approach and inculcation of basic qualitative research skills. The article describes how teaching two central genres in qualitative research - ethnographic and narrative research - constitutes a way of teaching the important skills, concepts, and values of the nursing profession. The article presents the model's structure, details its principal stages, and explains the rationale of each stage. It also presents the central findings of an evaluation of the model's implementation in eight groups over a two-year period. In this way the article seeks to contribute to nursing education literature in general, and to those engaged in clinical training and teaching qualitative research in nursing education in particular. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Searching for Symbolic Value of Cattle: Tropical Livestock Units, Market Price, and Cultural Value of Maasai Livestock

    OpenAIRE

    Robert J. Quinlan; Isaya Rumas; Godfrey Naiskye; Marsha Quinlan; Jonathan Yoder

    2016-01-01

    We examine metabolic, market, and symbolic values of livestock relative to cultural “positioning” by gender, marriage, and household production among Maasai people in Simanjiro, Tanzania to assess local “proximate currencies” relevant for “cultural success.” Data from mixed methods ethnographic research include qualitative interviews since 2012, observation of 85 livestock market sales in 2013 and 2015, and 37 short key informant interviews in 2015. We examine fit between market values, Tropi...

  15. Sizing optimization of skeletal structures using teaching-learning based optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vedat Toğan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Teaching Learning Based Optimization (TLBO is one of the non-traditional techniques to simulate natural phenomena into a numerical algorithm. TLBO mimics teaching learning process occurring between a teacher and students in a classroom. A parameter named as teaching factor, TF, seems to be the only tuning parameter in TLBO. Although the value of the teaching factor, TF, is determined by an equation, the value of 1 or 2 has been used by the researchers for TF. This study intends to explore the effect of the variation of teaching factor TF on the performances of TLBO. This effect is demonstrated in solving structural optimization problems including truss and frame structures under the stress and displacement constraints. The results indicate that the variation of TF in the TLBO process does not change the results obtained at the end of the optimization procedure when the computational cost of TLBO is ignored.

  16. Environmental Consequences of Wildlife Tourism: The Use of Formalised Qualitative Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veselý Štěpán

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents a simple qualitative model of environmental consequences of wildlife tourism. Qualitative models use just three values: Positive/Increasing, Zero/Constant and Negative/Decreasing. Such quantifiers of trends are the least information intensive. Qualitative models can be useful, since models of wildlife tourism include such variables as, for example, Biodiversity (BIO, Animals’ habituation to tourists (HAB or Plant composition change (PLA that are sometimes difficult or costly to quantify. Hence, a significant fraction of available information about wildlife tourism and its consequences is not of numerical nature, for example, if HAB is increasing then BIO is decreasing. Such equationless relations are studied in this paper. The model has 10 variables and 20 equationless pairwise interrelations among them. The model is solved and 15 solutions, that is, scenarios are obtained. All qualitative states, including the first and second qualitative derivatives with respect to time, of all variables are specified for each scenario.

  17. Plastic value chains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baxter, John; Wahlstrom, Margareta; Zu Castell-Rüdenhausen, Malin

    2014-01-01

    Optimizing plastic value chains is regarded as an important measure in order to increase recycling of plastics in an efficient way. This can also lead to improved awareness of the hazardous substances contained in plastic waste, and how to avoid that these substances are recycled. As an example......, plastics from WEEE is chosen as a Nordic case study. The project aims to propose a number of improvements for this value chain together with representatives from Nordic stakeholders. Based on the experiences made, a guide for other plastic value chains shall be developed....

  18. Using Qualitative Metasummary to Synthesize Qualitative and Quantitative Descriptive Findings

    OpenAIRE

    Sandelowski, Margarete; Barroso, Julie; Voils, Corrine I.

    2007-01-01

    The new imperative in the health disciplines to be more methodologically inclusive has generated a growing interest in mixed research synthesis, or the integration of qualitative and quantitative research findings. Qualitative metasummary is a quantitatively oriented aggregation of qualitative findings originally developed to accommodate the distinctive features of qualitative surveys. Yet these findings are similar in form and mode of production to the descriptive findings researchers often ...

  19. Qualitative research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelling, Leslie

    2015-03-25

    Qualitative research has an important role in helping nurses and other healthcare professionals understand patient experiences of health and illness. Qualitative researchers have a large number of methodological options and therefore should take care in planning and conducting their research. This article offers a brief overview of some of the key issues qualitative researchers should consider.

  20. Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group guidance series-paper 3: methods for assessing methodological limitations, data extraction and synthesis, and confidence in synthesized qualitative findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noyes, Jane; Booth, Andrew; Flemming, Kate; Garside, Ruth; Harden, Angela; Lewin, Simon; Pantoja, Tomas; Hannes, Karin; Cargo, Margaret; Thomas, James

    2018-05-01

    The Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group develops and publishes guidance on the synthesis of qualitative and mixed-method implementation evidence. Choice of appropriate methodologies, methods, and tools is essential when developing a rigorous protocol and conducting the synthesis. Cochrane authors who conduct qualitative evidence syntheses have thus far used a small number of relatively simple methods to address similarly written questions. Cochrane has invested in methodological work to develop new tools and to encourage the production of exemplar reviews to show the value of more innovative methods that address a wider range of questions. In this paper, in the series, we report updated guidance on the selection of tools to assess methodological limitations in qualitative studies and methods to extract and synthesize qualitative evidence. We recommend application of Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation-Confidence in the Evidence from Qualitative Reviews to assess confidence in qualitative synthesized findings. This guidance aims to support review authors to undertake a qualitative evidence synthesis that is intended to be integrated subsequently with the findings of one or more Cochrane reviews of the effects of similar interventions. The review of intervention effects may be undertaken concurrently with or separate to the qualitative evidence synthesis. We encourage further development through reflection and formal testing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The value and cost of complexity in predictive modelling: role of tissue anisotropic conductivity and fibre tracts in neuromodulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, Syed Salman; Bikson, Marom; Salman, Humaira; Wen, Peng; Ahfock, Tony

    2014-06-01

    Computational methods are increasingly used to optimize transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) dose strategies and yet complexities of existing approaches limit their clinical access. Since predictive modelling indicates the relevance of subject/pathology based data and hence the need for subject specific modelling, the incremental clinical value of increasingly complex modelling methods must be balanced against the computational and clinical time and costs. For example, the incorporation of multiple tissue layers and measured diffusion tensor (DTI) based conductivity estimates increase model precision but at the cost of clinical and computational resources. Costs related to such complexities aggregate when considering individual optimization and the myriad of potential montages. Here, rather than considering if additional details change current-flow prediction, we consider when added complexities influence clinical decisions. Towards developing quantitative and qualitative metrics of value/cost associated with computational model complexity, we considered field distributions generated by two 4 × 1 high-definition montages (m1 = 4 × 1 HD montage with anode at C3 and m2 = 4 × 1 HD montage with anode at C1) and a single conventional (m3 = C3-Fp2) tDCS electrode montage. We evaluated statistical methods, including residual error (RE) and relative difference measure (RDM), to consider the clinical impact and utility of increased complexities, namely the influence of skull, muscle and brain anisotropic conductivities in a volume conductor model. Anisotropy modulated current-flow in a montage and region dependent manner. However, significant statistical changes, produced within montage by anisotropy, did not change qualitative peak and topographic comparisons across montages. Thus for the examples analysed, clinical decision on which dose to select would not be altered by the omission of anisotropic brain conductivity. Results illustrate the need to rationally

  2. Qualitative Value Profiling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Duus, Henrik Johannsen; Bjerre, Mogens

    suggests that QVP on most accounts provides deeper insights than alternative methods and thus lays the foundation for better strategic planning in international business-to-business markets. Hence, it is a valuable addition to the toolbox of business strategists and consequently, for the advancement...

  3. Qualitative Value Profiling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Duus, Henrik Johannsen; Bjerre, Mogens

    2015-01-01

    allows the development of 1) profiles of the target country in which operations are to take place, 2) profiles of the buying center (i.e. the group of decision makers) in the partner company, and 3) profiles of the product/service offering. It also allows the development of a semantic scaling method...... for deeper analysis of all involved factors. This paper presents the method and compares and contrasts it with other similar methods like the PESTELE method known from corporate strategy, the STEEPAL method known from scenario analysis, and the Politics-Institutions-Economy (PIE) framework known from...... International Business. This comparison suggests that QVP on most accounts provides deeper insights than alternative methods and thus lays the foundation for better strategic planning in international business-to-business markets. Hence, it is a valuable addition to the toolbox of business strategists...

  4. Economically optimal thermal insulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berber, J.

    1978-10-01

    Exemplary calculations to show that exact adherence to the demands of the thermal insulation ordinance does not lead to an optimal solution with regard to economics. This is independent of the mode of financing. Optimal thermal insulation exceeds the values given in the thermal insulation ordinance.

  5. Beyond its cost, the value of maintenance: An analytical framework for capturing its net present value

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marais, Karen B.; Saleh, Joseph H.

    2009-01-01

    Maintenance planning and activities have grown dramatically in importance across many industries and are increasingly recognized as drivers of competitiveness if managed appropriately. Correlated with this observation is the proliferation of maintenance optimization techniques in the technical literature. But while all these models deal with the cost of maintenance (as an objective function or a constraint), only a handful addresses the notion of value of maintenance, and seldom in an analytical or quantitative way. In this paper, we propose that maintenance has intrinsic value and argue that existing cost-centric models ignore an important dimension of maintenance, namely its value, and in so doing, they can lead to sub-optimal maintenance strategies. We develop a framework for capturing and quantifying the value of maintenance activities. Our framework is based on four key components. First, we consider systems that deteriorate stochastically and exhibit multi-state failures, and model their state evolution using Markov chains and directed graphs. Second, we consider that the system provides a flow of service per unit time. This flow in turn is 'priced' and a discounted cash flow is calculated resulting in a present value (PV) for each branch of the graph-or 'value trajectory' of the system. Third as the system ages or deteriorates, it migrates towards lower PV branches of the graph, or lower value trajectories. Fourth, we conceptualize maintenance as an operator (in a mathematical sense) that raises the system to a higher PV branch in the graph. We refer to the value of maintenance as the incremental PV between the pre- and post-maintenance branches of the graphs minus the cost of maintenance. The framework presented here offers rich possibilities for future work in benchmarking existing maintenance strategies based on their value implications, and in deriving new maintenance strategies that are 'value-optimized.'

  6. Genetic Algorithm Optimizes Q-LAW Control Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seungwon; von Allmen, Paul; Petropoulos, Anastassios; Terrile, Richard

    2008-01-01

    A document discusses a multi-objective, genetic algorithm designed to optimize Lyapunov feedback control law (Q-law) parameters in order to efficiently find Pareto-optimal solutions for low-thrust trajectories for electronic propulsion systems. These would be propellant-optimal solutions for a given flight time, or flight time optimal solutions for a given propellant requirement. The approximate solutions are used as good initial solutions for high-fidelity optimization tools. When the good initial solutions are used, the high-fidelity optimization tools quickly converge to a locally optimal solution near the initial solution. Q-law control parameters are represented as real-valued genes in the genetic algorithm. The performances of the Q-law control parameters are evaluated in the multi-objective space (flight time vs. propellant mass) and sorted by the non-dominated sorting method that assigns a better fitness value to the solutions that are dominated by a fewer number of other solutions. With the ranking result, the genetic algorithm encourages the solutions with higher fitness values to participate in the reproduction process, improving the solutions in the evolution process. The population of solutions converges to the Pareto front that is permitted within the Q-law control parameter space.

  7. Qualitative research, tourism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Carina Bregnholm

    2016-01-01

    of qualitative research has meant a need to question and redefine criteria and research standards otherwise used in tourism research, as qualitative approach does not (seek to) conform to ideals such as truth, objectivity, and validity retrieved in the positivist sciences. In order to develop new ways by which......, the understanding of qualitative research as unable (or rather unwilling) to deliver the types of outcome which “explain and predict” tourism, has impacted upon its ability to gain general acceptance. Only slowly has tourism research made room for the changes in social and cultural sciences, which since the 1960s......Qualitative research, tourism Qualitative research refers to research applying a range of qualitative methods in order to inductively explore, interpret, and understand a given field or object under study. Qualitative research in tourism takes its inspiration primarily from the cultural and social...

  8. Perspectives of obese children and their parents on lifestyle behavior change: a qualitative study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schalkwijk, A.A.H.; Bot, S.D.M.; de Vries, L.; Westerman, M.J.; Nijpels, G.; Elders, P.J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Background: In order to improve and optimize future behavioral family lifestyle intervention programs, more information on the perceptions of obese children and their parents of these programs is needed. As such, the aim of this qualitative study is 1) to explore the expectations of obese children

  9. [The optimal cutoff value of waist-to-height ratio in Chinese: based on cardiovascular risk and metabolic disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, A H; Xu, S Y; Ming, J; Zhou, J; Zhang, W C; Hao, P R; Ji, Q H

    2017-11-01

    Objective: Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), a measurement of the distribution of body fat, correlated with abdominal obesity indicating that it might be a better predictor of cardiovascular risk and metabolic disease. We, therefore, evaluated optimal WHtR cutoff points according to the risk of framingham risk score (FRS) and metabolic syndrome (MS) in Chinese. Methods: The subjects were from China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Survey during 2007-2008. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to examine the optimal cutoff values of WHtR according to the risk of FRS and MS. Results: A total of 27 820 women and 18 419 men were included in the evaluation. The average age was (45.0±13.7) years. The proportions of FRS ≥10% and MS increased with WHtR both in men and women. The cutoff points of WHtR for the risk of FRS ≥10% and MS were 0.51, 0.52 in men, and 0.52, 0.53 in women, respectively. When FRS ≥10% and MS were taken into consideration with a certain weights, the pooled cutoffs of WHtR were 0.51 in men, and 0.53 in women, respectively. By using the similar method, the optimized cutoff points were 0.52, 0.51, 0.50 for men and 0.51, 0.53, 0.54 for women in age group 20-39, 40-59 and ≥60 years, respectively. Conclusions: The optimal cutoffs of WHtR are 0.51 in men, and 0.53 in women for FRS≥10% in combination with MS indicating that this WHtR cutoff points might be used as indexes to evaluate obesity and risk of obesity-related diseases.

  10. Optimal cut?off value of alanine aminotransferase level to precisely estimate the presence of fatty liver in patients with poorly controlled type?2 diabetes

    OpenAIRE

    Tanabe, Akihito; Tatsumi, Fuminori; Okauchi, Seizo; Yabe, Hiroki; Tsuda, Tomohiro; Okutani, Kazuma; Yamashita, Kazuki; Nakashima, Koji; Kaku, Kohei; Kaneto, Hideaki

    2016-01-01

    Optimal cut?off value of ALT level to precisely estimate the presence of fatty liver was as low as 28.0?U/L. We should consider the possibility of fatty liver even when ALT level is within normal range in subjects with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

  11. Is there a bias against telephone interviews in qualitative research?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Gina

    2008-08-01

    Telephone interviews are largely neglected in the qualitative research literature and, when discussed, they are often depicted as a less attractive alternative to face-to-face interviewing. The absence of visual cues via telephone is thought to result in loss of contextual and nonverbal data and to compromise rapport, probing, and interpretation of responses. Yet, telephones may allow respondents to feel relaxed and able to disclose sensitive information, and evidence is lacking that they produce lower quality data. This apparent bias against telephone interviews contrasts with a growing interest in electronic qualitative interviews. Research is needed comparing these modalities, and examining their impact on data quality and their use for studying varying topics and populations. Such studies could contribute evidence-based guidelines for optimizing interview data. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc

  12. Protection of simple series and parallel systems with components of different values

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bier, Vicki M.; Nagaraj, Aniruddha; Abhichandani, Vinod

    2005-01-01

    We apply game theory, optimization, and reliability analysis to identify optimal defenses against intentional threats to system reliability. The goals are to identify optimal strategies for allocating resources among possible defensive investments, and to develop qualitative guidelines that reflect those strategies. The novel feature of the approach is the use of reliability analysis together with game theory and optimization to study optimal management of intentional threats to system reliability. Thus, this work extends and adapts the existing body of game-theoretic work on security to systems with series or parallel structures. The results yield insights into the nature of optimal defensive investments that yield the best tradeoff between investment cost and security. In particular, the results illustrate how the optimal allocation of defensive investments depends on the structure of the system, the cost-effectiveness of infrastructure protection investments, and the adversary's goals and constraints

  13. Qualitative Computing and Qualitative Research: Addressing the Challenges of Technology and Globalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César A. Cisneros Puebla

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Qualitative computing has been part of our lives for thirty years. Today, we urgently call for an evaluation of its international impact on qualitative research. Evaluating the international impact of qualitative research and qualitative computing requires a consideration of the vast amount of qualitative research over the last decades, as well as thoughtfulness about the uneven and unequal way in which qualitative research and qualitative computing are present in different fields of study and geographical regions. To understand the international impact of qualitative computing requires evaluation of the digital divide and the huge differences between center and peripheries. The international impact of qualitative research, and, in particular qualitative computing, is the question at the heart of this array of selected papers from the "Qualitative Computing: Diverse Worlds and Research Practices Conference." In this article, we introduce the reader to the goals, motivation, and atmosphere at the conference, taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011. The dialogue generated there is still in the air, and this introduction is a call to spread that voice. URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1202285

  14. Data mining-aided materials discovery and optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wencong Lu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments in data mining-aided materials discovery and optimization are reviewed in this paper, and an introduction to the materials data mining (MDM process is provided using case studies. Both qualitative and quantitative methods in machine learning can be adopted in the MDM process to accomplish different tasks in materials discovery, design, and optimization. State-of-the-art techniques in data mining-aided materials discovery and optimization are demonstrated by reviewing the controllable synthesis of dendritic Co3O4 superstructures, materials design of layered double hydroxide, battery materials discovery, and thermoelectric materials design. The results of the case studies indicate that MDM is a powerful approach for use in materials discovery and innovation, and will play an important role in the development of the Materials Genome Initiative and Materials Informatics.

  15. What value do users derive from social networking applications?

    OpenAIRE

    Neale, Larry; Russell-Bennett, Rebekah

    2009-01-01

    Why do users of social networking sites recommend some applications to their friends while rejecting others? What value do they obtain from applications? This exploratory study investigates the value users derive from ‘cool’ Facebook applications, and explores the features that either encourage or discourage users to recommend applications to their friends. Our qualitative data reveal consumers derive a combination of functional value along with either social or emotional value from the app...

  16. Nurses’ experiences of working in organizations undergoing restructuring: A metasynthesis of qualitative research studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Dorthe; Jensen, Anne Sofie Bøtcher

    2017-01-01

    experience working in organizations undergoing structural changes. Design: The review is designed as a metasynthesis and follows the guidelines put forth by Sandelowski and Barroso for synthesizing qualitative research. Data sources: From January to April 2015, literature searches were conducted...... in the CINAHL, PubMed, ProQuest, and Web of Science databases for the period from 1994 to 2014. Review methods: A total of 762 articles were found and screened, 12 of which were included in the review after being appraised using a specially designed reading guide. The inclusion criteria were qualitative studies......Background: Health care organizations worldwide undergo continual reconfiguration and structural changes in order to optimize the use of resources, reduce costs, and improve the quality of treatment. Objective: The objective of this study was to synthesize qualitative studies of how nurses...

  17. Rotorcraft Optimization Tools: Incorporating Rotorcraft Design Codes into Multi-Disciplinary Design, Analysis, and Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyn, Larry A.

    2018-01-01

    One of the goals of NASA's Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology Project (RVLT) is to provide validated tools for multidisciplinary design, analysis and optimization (MDAO) of vertical lift vehicles. As part of this effort, the software package, RotorCraft Optimization Tools (RCOTOOLS), is being developed to facilitate incorporating key rotorcraft conceptual design codes into optimizations using the OpenMDAO multi-disciplinary optimization framework written in Python. RCOTOOLS, also written in Python, currently supports the incorporation of the NASA Design and Analysis of RotorCraft (NDARC) vehicle sizing tool and the Comprehensive Analytical Model of Rotorcraft Aerodynamics and Dynamics II (CAMRAD II) analysis tool into OpenMDAO-driven optimizations. Both of these tools use detailed, file-based inputs and outputs, so RCOTOOLS provides software wrappers to update input files with new design variable values, execute these codes and then extract specific response variable values from the file outputs. These wrappers are designed to be flexible and easy to use. RCOTOOLS also provides several utilities to aid in optimization model development, including Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools for browsing input and output files in order to identify text strings that are used to identify specific variables as optimization input and response variables. This paper provides an overview of RCOTOOLS and its use

  18. VECTOR THEORY AND OPTIMAL CHOICE OF ANTIMICROBIAL DRUG FOR LOCAL WOUND TREATMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyko N. N

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. One of important problems in the field of medicine and pharmacy is an optimal choice among several alternatives. For example, the choice of drugs for treatment among several analogs, selection of excipients among analogs for development of pharmaceutical forms with optimal pharmacological, technological and economical parameters, etc.The aim of the work is to show the possibility of vector theory use for optimal choice of antimicrobial drugs for local wound treatment among analogs taking into account several criteria at the same time. Materials and methods. For our investigation we have chosen ten drugs with antimicrobial properties for local wound treatment in different pharmaceutical forms (ointment, liniment, water and glycerin solution, tincture. We have determined antibacterial activity of drugs by agar well diffusion method on six test-stain microorganisms: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Proteus vulgaris ATCC 4636, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, and Candida albicans ATCC 885-653. Well diameter was 10 mm, the volume of drug in the well was 0.27±0.02 ml, microbial burden of agar upper layer was 107 CFU/ml, and total layer height in Petri dish was 4.0±0.5 mm. In order to integrate various qualitative and quantitative parameters into one index (vector object in multidimensional factors’ space we modify these parameters to non-dimensional normalized values. For this purpose we use a desirability theory. We have chosen the following criteria for optimal choice of the drug: antimicrobial activity (integrated index of drug’s antimicrobial activity, drug’s price, pharmacological and technological index, spectrum of drug’s action on test strains of microorganisms studied. Results and their discussions. Using vector and desirability theory, we have obtained the following range of drugs in decreasing order: Laevomecol ointment, Ioddicerinum, Tincture of Sophora

  19. Optimal Design of Gravity Pipeline Systems Using Genetic Algorithm and Mathematical Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    maryam rohani

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the optimal design of pipeline systems has become increasingly important in the water industry. In this study, the two methods of genetic algorithm and mathematical optimization were employed for the optimal design of pipeline systems with the objective of avoiding the water hammer effect caused by valve closure. The problem of optimal design of a pipeline system is a constrained one which should be converted to an unconstrained optimization problem using an external penalty function approach in the mathematical programming method. The quality of the optimal solution greatly depends on the value of the penalty factor that is calculated by the iterative method during the optimization procedure such that the computational effort is simultaneously minimized. The results obtained were used to compare the GA and mathematical optimization methods employed to determine their efficiency and capabilities for the problem under consideration. It was found that the mathematical optimization method exhibited a slightly better performance compared to the GA method.

  20. QUALITATIVE ASPECTS OF CRIŞUL REPEDE RIVER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIGH MELINDA

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Qualitative aspects of Crisul Repede River. The evolution of water quality over the Crişul Repede River is atypical because of natural and anthropic factors. The most significant factors are the geological substrate, and the settlements with their agricultural and industrial activity. The study was performed at three gauging stations for the period 1996-2006, taking into account the annual average values. The considered elements were: the discharge values, temperature, suspensions, oxygen regime, nutrients and phosphorus, taking into consideration their temporal and spatial variation. By comparing them with the admitted limits we could enroll them in various quality classes.

  1. Values that matter, barriers that interfere: the struggle of Canadian nurses to enact their values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beagan, Brenda; Ells, Carolyn

    2009-03-01

    Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 nurses in a Canadian city to explore the moral experience of nurses in their working lives. The participants were asked what they valued in their profession and how well their work lives enabled them act on their values. Almost uniformly, they expressed commitment to the values of helping others, caring, making a difference, patient-centredness, advocacy, professional integrity, holistic care, and sharing knowledge for patient empowerment. They identified several challenges and frustrations experienced in attempting to enact these values. System-level challenges included professional hierarchies, organizational structures, issues in the health-care system, and power dynamics. Removing these barriers cannot be left to nurses alone. It requires complex, wide-ranging strategies: system change, power restructuring, and the creation of ethical climates and cultures that support values that are essential to good patient care.

  2. Describing qualitative research undertaken with randomised controlled trials in grant proposals: a documentary analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background There is growing recognition of the value of conducting qualitative research with trials in health research. It is timely to reflect on how this qualitative research is presented in grant proposals to identify lessons for researchers and research commissioners. As part of a larger study focusing on how to maximise the value of undertaking qualitative research with trials, we undertook a documentary analysis of proposals of funded studies. Methods Using the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) database we identified trials funded in the United Kingdom, ongoing between 2001 and 2010, and reporting the use of qualitative research. We requested copies of proposals from lead researchers. We extracted data from the proposals using closed and open questions, analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis respectively. Results 2% (89/3812) of trials in the mRCT database described the use of qualitative research undertaken with the trial. From these 89 trials, we received copies of 36 full proposals, of which 32 met our inclusion criteria. 25% used less than a single paragraph to describe the qualitative research. The aims of the qualitative research described in these proposals focused mainly on the intervention or trial conduct. Just over half (56%) of the proposals included an explicit rationale for conducting the qualitative research with the trial, the most frequent being to optimise implementation into clinical practice or to interpret trial findings. Key information about methods, expertise and resources was missing in a large minority of proposals, in particular sample size, type of analysis, and non-personnel resources. 28% specifically stated that qualitative researchers would conduct the qualitative research. Conclusions Our review of proposals of successfully funded studies identified good practice but also identified limited space given to describing the qualitative research, with an associated lack of attention to the rationale for

  3. Value of Crowding on Public Transport in Ile-de-France

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kroes, E.P.; Kouwenhoven, M.; Debrincat, L.; Pauget, N.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes the results of a research project that aimed to establish passenger values of crowding on public transport services in the Paris region. Qualitative research, stated preference (SP) experiments, and passenger counts and surveys were conducted to obtain such values. A simple

  4. Nurses' ethical reasoning in cases of physical restraint in acute elderly care: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goethals, Sabine; Dierckx de Casterlé, Bernadette; Gastmans, Chris

    2013-11-01

    In their practice, nurses make daily decisions that are ethically informed. An ethical decision is the result of a complex reasoning process based on knowledge and experience and driven by ethical values. Especially in acute elderly care and more specifically decisions concerning the use of physical restraint require a thoughtful deliberation of the different values at stake. Qualitative evidence concerning nurses' decision-making in cases of physical restraint provided important insights in the complexity of decision-making as a trajectory. However a nuanced and refined understanding of the reasoning process in terms of ethical values is still lacking. A qualitative interview design, inspired by the Grounded Theory approach, was carried out to explore nurses' reasoning process in terms of ethical values. We interviewed 21 acute geriatric nurses from 12 hospitals in different regions in Flanders, Belgium in the period October 2009-April 2011. The Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven was used to analyse interview data. Nurses' decision-making is characterized as an ethical deliberation process where different values are identified and where the process of balancing these values forms the essence of ethical deliberation. Ethical decision-making in cases of physical restraint implies that nurses have to choose which values receive priority in the process, which entails that not all values can be respected to the same degree. As a result, decision making can be experienced as difficult, even as a dilemma. Driven by the overwhelming goal of protecting physical integrity, nurses took into account the values of dignity and justice more implicitly and less dominantly.

  5. Qualitative assessment of environmental impacts through fuzzy logic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peche G, Roberto

    2008-01-01

    The vagueness of many concepts usually utilized in environmental impact studies, along with frequent lack of quantitative information, suggests that fuzzy logic can be applied to carry out qualitative assessment of such impacts. This paper proposes a method for valuing environmental impacts caused by projects, based on fuzzy sets theory and methods of approximate reasoning. First, impacts must be described by a set of features. A linguistic variable is assigned to each feature, whose values are fuzzy sets. A fuzzy evaluation of environmental impacts is achieved using rule based fuzzy inference and the estimated fuzzy value of each feature. Generalized modus ponens has been the inference method. Finally, a crisp value of impact is attained by aggregation and defuzzification of all fuzzy results

  6. Qualitative Audience Research: Toward an Integrative Approach to Reception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Klaus Bruhn

    1987-01-01

    Analyzes research about the mass communication audience and describes a theoretical and methodological framework for further empirical studies. Discusses the (1) explanatory value of qualitative research; (2) social and cultural implications of the reception process, with special reference to television; and (3) applications and social relevance…

  7. Evaluation of breast lesions by contrast enhanced ultrasound: Qualitative and quantitative analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wan Caifeng; Du Jing; Fang Hua; Li Fenghua; Wang Lin

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate and compare the diagnostic performance of qualitative, quantitative and combined analysis for characterization of breast lesions in contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), with histological results used as the reference standard. Methods: Ninety-one patients with 91 breast lesions BI-RADS 3–5 at US or mammography underwent CEUS. All lesions underwent qualitative and quantitative enhancement evaluation. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of different analytical method for discrimination between benign and malignant breast lesions. Results: Histopathologic analysis of the 91 lesions revealed 44 benign and 47 malignant. For qualitative analysis, benign and malignant lesions differ significantly in enhancement patterns (p z1 ), 0.768 (A z2 ) and 0.926(A z3 ) respectively. The values of A z1 and A z3 were significantly higher than that for A z2 (p = 0.024 and p = 0.008, respectively). But there was no significant difference between the values of A z1 and A z3 (p = 0.625). Conclusions: The diagnostic performance of qualitative and combined analysis was significantly higher than that for quantitative analysis. Although quantitative analysis has the potential to differentiate benign from malignant lesions, it has not yet improved the final diagnostic accuracy.

  8. Clinical application of qualitative assessment for breast masses in shear-wave elastography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gweon, Hye Mi; Youk, Ji Hyun; Son, Eun Ju; Kim, Jeong-Ah

    2013-11-01

    To evaluate the interobserver agreement and the diagnostic performance of various qualitative features in shear-wave elastography (SWE) for breast masses. A total of 153 breast lesions in 152 women who underwent B-mode ultrasound and SWE before biopsy were included. Qualitative analysis in SWE was performed using two different classifications: E values (Ecol; 6-point color score, Ehomo; homogeneity score and Esha; shape score) and a four-color pattern classification. Two radiologists reviewed five data sets: B-mode ultrasound, SWE, and combination of both for E values and four-color pattern. The BI-RADS categories were assessed B-mode and combined sets. Interobserver agreement was assessed using weighted κ statistics. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity were analyzed. Interobserver agreement was substantial for Ecol (κ=0.79), Ehomo (κ=0.77) and four-color pattern (κ=0.64), and moderate for Esha (κ=0.56). Better-performing qualitative features were Ecol and four-color pattern (AUCs, 0.932 and 0.925) compared with Ehomo and Esha (AUCs, 0.857 and 0.864; Pbreast masses. Adding qualitative SWE to B-mode ultrasound increased specificity in decision making for biopsy recommendation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Optimal Resource Management in a Stochastic Schaefer Model

    OpenAIRE

    Richard Hartman

    2008-01-01

    This paper incorporates uncertainty into the growth function of the Schaefer model for the optimal management of a biological resource. There is a critical value for the biological stock, and it is optimal to do no harvesting if the biological stock is below that critical value and to exert whatever harvesting effort is necessary to prevent the stock from rising above that critical value. The introduction of uncertainty increases the critical value of the stock.

  10. Calculating Optimal Inventory Size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruby Perez

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the project is to find the optimal value for the Economic Order Quantity Model and then use a lean manufacturing Kanban equation to find a numeric value that will minimize the total cost and the inventory size.

  11. Qualitative and quantitative estimations of the effect of geomagnetic field variations on human brain functional state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belisheva, N.K.; Popov, A.N.; Petukhova, N.V.; Pavlova, L.P.; Osipov, K.S.; Tkachenko, S.Eh.; Baranova, T.I.

    1995-01-01

    The comparison of functional dynamics of human brain with reference to qualitative and quantitative characteristics of local geomagnetic field (GMF) variations was conducted. Steady and unsteady states of human brain can be determined: by geomagnetic disturbances before the observation period; by structure and doses of GMF variations; by different combinations of qualitative and quantitative characteristics of GMF variations. Decrease of optimal GMF activity level and the appearance of aperiodic disturbances of GMF can be a reason of unsteady brain's state. 18 refs.; 3 figs

  12. Using Qualitative Metasummary to Synthesize Qualitative and Quantitative Descriptive Findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandelowski, Margarete; Barroso, Julie; Voils, Corrine I.

    2008-01-01

    The new imperative in the health disciplines to be more methodologically inclusive has generated a growing interest in mixed research synthesis, or the integration of qualitative and quantitative research findings. Qualitative metasummary is a quantitatively oriented aggregation of qualitative findings originally developed to accommodate the distinctive features of qualitative surveys. Yet these findings are similar in form and mode of production to the descriptive findings researchers often present in addition to the results of bivariate and multivariable analyses. Qualitative metasummary, which includes the extraction, grouping, and formatting of findings, and the calculation of frequency and intensity effect sizes, can be used to produce mixed research syntheses and to conduct a posteriori analyses of the relationship between reports and findings. PMID:17243111

  13. Qualitative methods textbooks

    OpenAIRE

    Barndt, William

    2003-01-01

    Over the past few years, the number of political science departments offering qualitative methods courses has grown substantially. The number of qualitative methods textbooks has kept pace, providing instructors with an overwhelming array of choices. But how to decide which text to choose from this exhortatory smorgasbord? The scholarship desperately needs evaluated. Yet the task is not entirely straightforward: qualitative methods textbooks reflect the diversity inherent in qualitative metho...

  14. Optimal diving behaviour and respiratory gas exchange in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halsey, Lewis G; Butler, Patrick J

    2006-11-01

    This review discusses the advancements in our understanding of the physiology and behaviour of avian diving that have been underpinned by optimal foraging theory and the testing of optimal models. To maximise their foraging efficiency during foraging periods, diving birds must balance numerous factors that are directly or indirectly related to the replenishment of the oxygen stores and the removal of excess carbon dioxide. These include (1) the time spent underwater (which diminishes the oxygen supply, increases carbon dioxide levels and may even include a build up of lactate due to anaerobic metabolism), (2) the time spent at the surface recovering from the previous dive and preparing for the next (including reloading their oxygen supply, decreasing their carbon dioxide levels and possibly also metabolising lactate) and (3) the trade-off between maximising oxygen reserves for consumption underwater by taking in more air to the respiratory system, and minimising the energy costs of positive buoyancy caused by this air, to maximise the time available underwater to forage. Due to its importance in avian diving, replenishment of the oxygen stores has become integral to models of optimal diving, which predict the time budgeting of animals foraging underwater. While many of these models have been examined qualitatively, such tests of predictive trends appear fallible and only quantifiable support affords strong evidence of their predictive value. This review describes how the quantification of certain optimal diving models, using tufted ducks, indeed demonstrates some predictive success. This suggests that replenishment of the oxygen stores and removal of excess carbon dioxide have significant influences on the duration of the surface period between dives. Nevertheless, present models are too simplistic to be robust predictors of diving behaviour for individual animals and it is proposed that they require refinement through the incorporation of other variables that also

  15. Recent Progress on Data-Based Optimization for Mineral Processing Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinliang Ding

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In the globalized market environment, increasingly significant economic and environmental factors within complex industrial plants impose importance on the optimization of global production indices; such optimization includes improvements in production efficiency, product quality, and yield, along with reductions of energy and resource usage. This paper briefly overviews recent progress in data-driven hybrid intelligence optimization methods and technologies in improving the performance of global production indices in mineral processing. First, we provide the problem description. Next, we summarize recent progress in data-based optimization for mineral processing plants. This optimization consists of four layers: optimization of the target values for monthly global production indices, optimization of the target values for daily global production indices, optimization of the target values for operational indices, and automation systems for unit processes. We briefly overview recent progress in each of the different layers. Finally, we point out opportunities for future works in data-based optimization for mineral processing plants.

  16. Optimal set values of zone modeling in the simulation of a walking beam type reheating furnace on the steady-state operating regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Zhi; Luo, Xiaochuan

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • The adjoint equation is introduced to the PDE optimal control problem. • Lipschitz continuity for the gradient of the cost functional is derived. • The simulation time and iterations reduce by a large margin in the simulations. • The model validation and comparison are made to verify the proposed math model. - Abstract: In this paper, this study proposed a new method to solve the PDE optimal control problem by introducing the adjoint problem to the optimization model, which was used to get the reference values for the optimal furnace zone temperatures and the optimal temperature distribution of steel slabs in the reheating furnace on the steady-state operating regime. It was proved that the gradient of the cost functional could be written via the weak solution of this adjoint problem and then Lipschitz continuity of the gradient was derived. Model validation and comparison between the mathematics model and the experiment results indicated that the present heat transfer model worked well for the prediction of thermal behavior about a slab in the reheating furnace. Iterations and simulation time had shown a significant decline in the simulations of 20MnSi slab, and it was shown by numerical simulations for 0.4 m thick slabs that the proposed method was better applied in the medium and heavy plate plant, leading to better performance in terms of productivity, energy efficiency and other features of reheating furnaces.

  17. Optimal trajectories of aircraft and spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miele, A.

    1990-01-01

    Work done on algorithms for the numerical solutions of optimal control problems and their application to the computation of optimal flight trajectories of aircraft and spacecraft is summarized. General considerations on calculus of variations, optimal control, numerical algorithms, and applications of these algorithms to real-world problems are presented. The sequential gradient-restoration algorithm (SGRA) is examined for the numerical solution of optimal control problems of the Bolza type. Both the primal formulation and the dual formulation are discussed. Aircraft trajectories, in particular, the application of the dual sequential gradient-restoration algorithm (DSGRA) to the determination of optimal flight trajectories in the presence of windshear are described. Both take-off trajectories and abort landing trajectories are discussed. Take-off trajectories are optimized by minimizing the peak deviation of the absolute path inclination from a reference value. Abort landing trajectories are optimized by minimizing the peak drop of altitude from a reference value. Abort landing trajectories are optimized by minimizing the peak drop of altitude from a reference value. The survival capability of an aircraft in a severe windshear is discussed, and the optimal trajectories are found to be superior to both constant pitch trajectories and maximum angle of attack trajectories. Spacecraft trajectories, in particular, the application of the primal sequential gradient-restoration algorithm (PSGRA) to the determination of optimal flight trajectories for aeroassisted orbital transfer are examined. Both the coplanar case and the noncoplanar case are discussed within the frame of three problems: minimization of the total characteristic velocity; minimization of the time integral of the square of the path inclination; and minimization of the peak heating rate. The solution of the second problem is called nearly-grazing solution, and its merits are pointed out as a useful

  18. Multi-objective Reactive Power Optimization Based on Improved Particle Swarm Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Xue; Gao, Jian; Feng, Yunbin; Zou, Chenlu; Liu, Huanlei

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, an optimization model with the minimum active power loss and minimum voltage deviation of node and maximum static voltage stability margin as the optimization objective is proposed for the reactive power optimization problems. By defining the index value of reactive power compensation, the optimal reactive power compensation node was selected. The particle swarm optimization algorithm was improved, and the selection pool of global optimal and the global optimal of probability (p-gbest) were introduced. A set of Pareto optimal solution sets is obtained by this algorithm. And by calculating the fuzzy membership value of the pareto optimal solution sets, individuals with the smallest fuzzy membership value were selected as the final optimization results. The above improved algorithm is used to optimize the reactive power of IEEE14 standard node system. Through the comparison and analysis of the results, it has been proven that the optimization effect of this algorithm was very good.

  19. A monetary value for initial information in portfolio optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Martin Schweizer; Dirk Becherer; Jürgen Amendinger

    2002-01-01

    We consider an investor maximizing his expected utility from terminal wealth with portfolio decisions based on the available information flow. This investor faces the opportunity to acquire some additional initial information ${\\cal G}$. His subjective fair value of this information is defined as the amount of money that he can pay for ${\\cal G}$ such that this cost is balanced out by the informational advantage in terms of maximal expected utility. We study this value for common utility func...

  20. Qualitative methods in PhD theses from general practice in Scandinavia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malterud, Kirsti; Hamberg, Katarina; Reventlow, Susanne

    2017-12-01

    Qualitative methodology is gaining increasing attention and esteem in medical research, with general practice research taking a lead. With these methods, human and social interaction and meaning can be explored and shared by systematic interpretation of text from talk, observation or video. Qualitative studies are often included in Ph.D. theses from general practice in Scandinavia. Still, the Ph.D. programs across nations and institutions offer only limited training in qualitative methods. In this opinion article, we draw upon our observations and experiences, unpacking and reflecting upon values and challenges at stake when qualitative studies are included in Ph.D. theses. Hypotheses to explain these observations are presented, followed by suggestions for standards of evaluation and improvement of Ph.D. programs. The authors conclude that multimethod Ph.D. theses should be encouraged in general practice research, in order to offer future researchers an appropriate toolbox.

  1. THE MEASUREMENT BASES AND THE ANALYSIS OFTHOSE FOR QUALITATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

    OpenAIRE

    Hikmet Ulusan

    2008-01-01

    The measurement bases of assets and liabilities for financial reporting are basically included: historical cost, replacement cost, net realizable value, value in use, deprival value and fair value. The first part of this study deals with the measurement bases of assets and liabilities for financial reporting. In the second part, the measurement bases for the qualitative characteristics that determine the usefulness of information provided in financial statements areanalyzed.

  2. Constrained Dynamic Optimality and Binomial Terminal Wealth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J. L.; Peskir, G.

    2018-01-01

    with interest rate $r \\in {R}$). Letting $P_{t,x}$ denote a probability measure under which $X^u$ takes value $x$ at time $t,$ we study the dynamic version of the nonlinear optimal control problem $\\inf_u\\, Var{t,X_t^u}(X_T^u)$ where the infimum is taken over admissible controls $u$ subject to $X_t^u \\ge e...... a martingale method combined with Lagrange multipliers, we derive the dynamically optimal control $u_*^d$ in closed form and prove that the dynamically optimal terminal wealth $X_T^d$ can only take two values $g$ and $\\beta$. This binomial nature of the dynamically optimal strategy stands in sharp contrast...... with other known portfolio selection strategies encountered in the literature. A direct comparison shows that the dynamically optimal (time-consistent) strategy outperforms the statically optimal (time-inconsistent) strategy in the problem....

  3. Optimization of a Fuzzy-Logic-Control-Based MPPT Algorithm Using the Particle Swarm Optimization Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Po-Chen Cheng

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, an asymmetrical fuzzy-logic-control (FLC-based maximum power point tracking (MPPT algorithm for photovoltaic (PV systems is presented. Two membership function (MF design methodologies that can improve the effectiveness of the proposed asymmetrical FLC-based MPPT methods are then proposed. The first method can quickly determine the input MF setting values via the power–voltage (P–V curve of solar cells under standard test conditions (STC. The second method uses the particle swarm optimization (PSO technique to optimize the input MF setting values. Because the PSO approach must target and optimize a cost function, a cost function design methodology that meets the performance requirements of practical photovoltaic generation systems (PGSs is also proposed. According to the simulated and experimental results, the proposed asymmetrical FLC-based MPPT method has the highest fitness value, therefore, it can successfully address the tracking speed/tracking accuracy dilemma compared with the traditional perturb and observe (P&O and symmetrical FLC-based MPPT algorithms. Compared to the conventional FLC-based MPPT method, the obtained optimal asymmetrical FLC-based MPPT can improve the transient time and the MPPT tracking accuracy by 25.8% and 0.98% under STC, respectively.

  4. Optimization with Extremal Dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boettcher, Stefan; Percus, Allon G.

    2001-01-01

    We explore a new general-purpose heuristic for finding high-quality solutions to hard discrete optimization problems. The method, called extremal optimization, is inspired by self-organized criticality, a concept introduced to describe emergent complexity in physical systems. Extremal optimization successively updates extremely undesirable variables of a single suboptimal solution, assigning them new, random values. Large fluctuations ensue, efficiently exploring many local optima. We use extremal optimization to elucidate the phase transition in the 3-coloring problem, and we provide independent confirmation of previously reported extrapolations for the ground-state energy of ±J spin glasses in d=3 and 4

  5. 18F-FDG PET for detecting recurrent head and neck cancer, local lymph node involvement and distant metastases. Comparison of qualitative visual and semiquantitative analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidt, M.; Schmalenbach, M.; Theissen, P.; Dietlein, M.; Eschner, W.; Schicha, H.; Jungehuelsing, M.; Schroeder, U.; Stennert, E.

    2004-01-01

    Aim: Assessment of the clinical value of 18 F-FDG-PET for detection of recurrent head and neck cancer, local lymph node involvement and distant metastases comparing a qualitative visual with a semiquantitative analysis (SUV values). Patients, methods: Retrospective evaluation of 73 18 F-FDG PET studies in 55 patients by use of a four-step qualitative visual grading system and calculation of standard uptake values in pathological lesions. Calculation of SUV values in normal regions for generating a map of physiological 18 F-FDG distribution. Correlation to histopathological findings and clinical follow-up. Results: 1. Qualitative visual analysis of 18 F-FDG PET studies: a) local recurrence sensitivity 79%, specificity 97%, positive predictive value 95%, negative predictive value 85%, and diagnostic accuracy 89%; b) local metastatic lymph nodes 100%, 95%, 85%, 100%, 96%; c) distant metastases 100%, 98%, 86%, 100%, 98%, respectively. 2. Semiquantitative analysis had only little incremental, non-significant value in comparison to qualitative visual analysis for the detection of a local recurrence in two patients: a) local recurrence: sensitivity 83%, specificity 100%, positive predictive value 100%, negative predictive value 88%, and diagnostic accuracy 93%; b) local metastatic lymph nodes or c) distant metastases did not change in comparison to qualitative visual analysis. Conclusion: 18 F-FDG PET is an effective tool for re-staging of patients with suspected recurrence after therapy for head and neck cancer. (orig.)

  6. How Qualitative Methods Can be Used to Inform Model Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husbands, Samantha; Jowett, Susan; Barton, Pelham; Coast, Joanna

    2017-06-01

    Decision-analytic models play a key role in informing healthcare resource allocation decisions. However, there are ongoing concerns with the credibility of models. Modelling methods guidance can encourage good practice within model development, but its value is dependent on its ability to address the areas that modellers find most challenging. Further, it is important that modelling methods and related guidance are continually updated in light of any new approaches that could potentially enhance model credibility. The objective of this article was to highlight the ways in which qualitative methods have been used and recommended to inform decision-analytic model development and enhance modelling practices. With reference to the literature, the article discusses two key ways in which qualitative methods can be, and have been, applied. The first approach involves using qualitative methods to understand and inform general and future processes of model development, and the second, using qualitative techniques to directly inform the development of individual models. The literature suggests that qualitative methods can improve the validity and credibility of modelling processes by providing a means to understand existing modelling approaches that identifies where problems are occurring and further guidance is needed. It can also be applied within model development to facilitate the input of experts to structural development. We recommend that current and future model development would benefit from the greater integration of qualitative methods, specifically by studying 'real' modelling processes, and by developing recommendations around how qualitative methods can be adopted within everyday modelling practice.

  7. Science, value and material decay in the conservation of historic environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Douglas-Jones, Rachel; Hughes, John; Jones, Sian

    2016-01-01

    the intersection between material transformation, scientific intervention and cultural value. Drawing on qualitative social research at three Scottish historic buildings, we show that there are a complex range of cultural values and qualities associated with material transformation. Furthermore, we highlight how...

  8. Qualitative "trial-sibling" studies and "unrelated" qualitative studies contributed to complex intervention reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noyes, Jane; Hendry, Margaret; Lewin, Simon; Glenton, Claire; Chandler, Jackie; Rashidian, Arash

    2016-06-01

    To compare the contribution of "trial-sibling" and "unrelated" qualitative studies in complex intervention reviews. Researchers are using qualitative "trial-sibling" studies undertaken alongside trials to provide explanations to understand complex interventions. In the absence of qualitative "trial-sibling" studies, it is not known if qualitative studies "unrelated" to trials are helpful. Trials, "trial-sibling," and "unrelated" qualitative studies looking at three health system interventions were identified. We looked for similarities and differences between the two types of qualitative studies, such as participants, intervention delivery, context, study quality and reporting, and contribution to understanding trial results. Reporting was generally poor in both qualitative study types. We detected no substantial differences in participant characteristics. Interventions in qualitative "trial-sibling" studies were delivered using standardized protocols, whereas interventions in "unrelated" qualitative studies were delivered in routine care. Qualitative "trial-sibling" studies alone provided insufficient data to develop meaningful transferrable explanations beyond the trial context, and their limited focus on immediate implementation did not address all phenomena of interest. Together, "trial-sibling" and "unrelated" qualitative studies provided larger, richer data sets across contexts to better understand the phenomena of interest. Findings support inclusion of "trial-sibling" and "unrelated" qualitative studies to explore complexity in complex intervention reviews. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. XSEDE Value Added, Cost Avoidance, and Return on Investment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stewart, Craig A [Indiana University; Roskies, Ralph [Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; Knepper, Richard [Indiana University; Whitt, Justin L [ORNL; Moore, Richard L [San Diego Supercomputer Center; Cockerill, Timothy [Texas Advanced Computing Center

    2015-01-01

    It is difficult for large research facilities to quantify a return on the investments that fund their operations. This is because there can be a time lag of years or decades between an innovation or discovery and the realization of its value through practical application. This report presents a three-part methodology that attempts to assess the value of federal investment in XSEDE: 1) a qualitative examination of the areas where XSEDE adds value to the activities of the open research community, 2) a thought model examining the cost avoidance realized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the centralization and coordination XSEDE provides, and 3) an assessment of the value XSEDE provides to Service Providers in the XD ecosystem. XSEDE adds significantly to the US research community because it functions as a unified interface to the XD ecosystem and because of its scale. A partly quantitative, partly qualitative analysis suggests the Return on Investment of NSF spending on XSEDE is greater than 1.0. indicating that the aggregate value received by the nation from XSEDE is greater than the cost of direct federal investment in XSEDE.

  10. Assessment of average of normals (AON) procedure for outlier-free datasets including qualitative values below limit of detection (LoD): an application within tumor markers such as CA 15-3, CA 125, and CA 19-9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usta, Murat; Aral, Hale; Mete Çilingirtürk, Ahmet; Kural, Alev; Topaç, Ibrahim; Semerci, Tuna; Hicri Köseoğlu, Mehmet

    2016-11-01

    Average of normals (AON) is a quality control procedure that is sensitive only to systematic errors that can occur in an analytical process in which patient test results are used. The aim of this study was to develop an alternative model in order to apply the AON quality control procedure to datasets that include qualitative values below limit of detection (LoD). The reported patient test results for tumor markers, such as CA 15-3, CA 125, and CA 19-9, analyzed by two instruments, were retrieved from the information system over a period of 5 months, using the calibrator and control materials with the same lot numbers. The median as a measure of central tendency and the median absolute deviation (MAD) as a measure of dispersion were used for the complementary model of AON quality control procedure. The u bias values, which were determined for the bias component of the measurement uncertainty, were partially linked to the percentages of the daily median values of the test results that fall within the control limits. The results for these tumor markers, in which lower limits of reference intervals are not medically important for clinical diagnosis and management, showed that the AON quality control procedure, using the MAD around the median, can be applied for datasets including qualitative values below LoD.

  11. The values and qualities of being a good helper: a qualitative study of adult foster home caregivers for persons with serious mental illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piat, Myra; Ricard, Nicole; Sabetti, Judith; Beauvais, Louise

    2007-11-01

    Canadian foster homes for adults with serious mental illness are operated by non-professional caregivers, usually women, whose mandate is to support residents and reintegrate them into the community. While mental health professionals recognize that adult foster homes are an important service for this population, there is little understanding of how caregivers impact on the lives of their residents. This article draws on the findings of a larger study which examined both caregiver and resident perspectives on the helping relationship in adult foster homes. Caregiver perspectives on the values and qualities required to help people living in foster homes are reported. With no pre-set theoretical framework, this qualitative study employed an inductive approach within a naturalistic paradigm. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 caregivers. Data analysis was an ongoing, 2-year process, involving the identification of categories and themes through several distinct stages. The study included Montreal adult foster homes (n=242) for persons with serious mental illness, supervised by two university-affiliated psychiatric hospitals. Twenty caregivers, selected according to years of experience and number of residents in the home, were diverse in terms of age, cultural background, family composition, education and occupational background. Caregivers possess a clearly articulated value system, and 21 specific qualities which reflect the attributes of both professional and informal helpers. These values and qualities provide caregivers with a "professional" or "vocational" orientation. A deeply held system of values and qualities is critically important to caregiver effectiveness and job satisfaction. Findings suggest that caregivers are highly motivated, and should be recognized as full participants in the mental health system at both policy and practice levels.

  12. Natural selection and optimality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, J.L.

    1989-01-01

    It is assumed that Darwin's principle translates into optimal regimes of operation along metabolical pathways in an ecological system. Fitness is then defined in terms of the distance of a given individual's thermodynamic parameters from their optimal values. The method is illustrated testing maximum power as a criterion of merit satisfied in ATP synthesis. (author). 26 refs, 2 figs

  13. Stochastic optimization methods

    CERN Document Server

    Marti, Kurt

    2005-01-01

    Optimization problems arising in practice involve random parameters. For the computation of robust optimal solutions, i.e., optimal solutions being insensitive with respect to random parameter variations, deterministic substitute problems are needed. Based on the distribution of the random data, and using decision theoretical concepts, optimization problems under stochastic uncertainty are converted into deterministic substitute problems. Due to the occurring probabilities and expectations, approximative solution techniques must be applied. Deterministic and stochastic approximation methods and their analytical properties are provided: Taylor expansion, regression and response surface methods, probability inequalities, First Order Reliability Methods, convex approximation/deterministic descent directions/efficient points, stochastic approximation methods, differentiation of probability and mean value functions. Convergence results of the resulting iterative solution procedures are given.

  14. Optimization of biomass fuelled systems for distributed power generation using Particle Swarm Optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez, P. Reche; Reyes, N. Ruiz; Gonzalez, M. Gomez; Jurado, F.

    2008-01-01

    With sufficient territory and abundant biomass resources Spain appears to have suitable conditions to develop biomass utilization technologies. As an important decentralized power technology, biomass gasification and power generation has a potential market in making use of biomass wastes. This paper addresses biomass fuelled generation of electricity in the specific aspect of finding the best location and the supply area of the electric generation plant for three alternative technologies (gas motor, gas turbine and fuel cell-microturbine hybrid power cycle), taking into account the variables involved in the problem, such as the local distribution of biomass resources, transportation costs, distance to existing electric lines, etc. For each technology, not only optimal location and supply area of the biomass plant, but also net present value and generated electric power are determined by an own binary variant of Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). According to the values derived from the optimization algorithm, the most profitable technology can be chosen. Computer simulations show the good performance of the proposed binary PSO algorithm to optimize biomass fuelled systems for distributed power generation. (author)

  15. Qualitative Analysis of Mini Mental State Examination Pentagon in Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease: A Longitudinal Explorative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo Buono, Viviana; Bonanno, Lilla; Corallo, Francesco; Foti, Maria; Palmeri, Rosanna; Angela, Marra; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Todaro, Antonino; Bramanti, Placido; Bramanti, Alessia; Marino, Silvia

    2018-06-01

    Vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease are the most diffuse forms of dementia. Sometimes, they are difficult to distinguish due to overlaps in symptomatology, pathophysiology, and comorbidity. Visual constructive apraxia is very common in dementia and impairment in these abilities can provide clinical information for differential diagnosis. All patients underwent Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) at basal visit (T0) and after 1 year (T1). We analyzed differences in Qualitative Scoring Method for the Pentagon Copying Test and we explored the visual constructive apraxia evolution in these 2 types of dementia. In intragroup analysis, we found a significant difference in each group between T0 and T1 in MMSE score (P < .001) and total qualitative scores (P < .001). In intergroup analysis, at T0, we found significance difference in total qualitative scores (P < .001), in numbers of angles (P = .005), in distance/intersection (P < .001), in closure/opening (P = .01), in rotation (P < .001), and in closing-in (P < .001). At T1, we found significance difference in total qualitative scores (P < .001), in particular, in numbers of angles (P < .001), in distance/intersection (P < .001), in closure/opening (P < .001), in rotation (P < .001), and in closing-in (P < .001). The total score showed the highest classification accuracy (.90, 95%CI = .81-0.96) in differentiating patients with Alzheimer's disease from patients with vascular dementia. The optimal threshold value was k = 5. with .84 (95%CI = .69-0.93) sensitivity and .81 (95%CI = .64-0.93) specificity. Patients with vascular dementia showed more accuracy errors and graphic difficulties than patients with Alzheimer's disease. Qualitative analysis of copy provided a sensitive measure of visual constructive abilities in differentiating dementias, underlining a particularly vulnerability of visuoconstructive functions in vascular dementia compared

  16. Active inference and epistemic value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friston, Karl; Rigoli, Francesco; Ognibene, Dimitri; Mathys, Christoph; Fitzgerald, Thomas; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    We offer a formal treatment of choice behavior based on the premise that agents minimize the expected free energy of future outcomes. Crucially, the negative free energy or quality of a policy can be decomposed into extrinsic and epistemic (or intrinsic) value. Minimizing expected free energy is therefore equivalent to maximizing extrinsic value or expected utility (defined in terms of prior preferences or goals), while maximizing information gain or intrinsic value (or reducing uncertainty about the causes of valuable outcomes). The resulting scheme resolves the exploration-exploitation dilemma: Epistemic value is maximized until there is no further information gain, after which exploitation is assured through maximization of extrinsic value. This is formally consistent with the Infomax principle, generalizing formulations of active vision based upon salience (Bayesian surprise) and optimal decisions based on expected utility and risk-sensitive (Kullback-Leibler) control. Furthermore, as with previous active inference formulations of discrete (Markovian) problems, ad hoc softmax parameters become the expected (Bayes-optimal) precision of beliefs about, or confidence in, policies. This article focuses on the basic theory, illustrating the ideas with simulations. A key aspect of these simulations is the similarity between precision updates and dopaminergic discharges observed in conditioning paradigms.

  17. Obtaining large-scale funding for empowerment-oriented qualitative research: a report from personal experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padgett, Deborah K; Henwood, Benjamin F

    2009-06-01

    Obtaining funding for qualitative research remains a challenge despite greater openness to methodological pluralism. Such hurdles are presumably compounded when the proposed study employs empowerment theory, rendering it susceptible to charges of elevating ideology over rigor. This article draws on the authors' experience in securing large-scale funding for an empowerment-oriented qualitative study of homeless mentally ill adults. Lessons learned include the importance of weaving empowerment theory into the proposal's "argument," and infusing empowerment values into study protocols while simultaneously paying close attention to rigorous and transparent methods. Additional benefits accrue from having prior relationships with study sites and being willing to revise and resubmit proposals whenever possible. Though representing a fraction of all externally funded projects in the United States, qualitative research has tremendous untapped potential for success in this competitive arena-success that need not entail surrendering a commitment to empowerment values.

  18. Optimal parameter selection for qualitative regional erosion risk monitoring: A remote sensing study of SE Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moncef Bouaziz

    2011-04-01

    Maps derived from this qualitative analysis allow the identification and ranking of erosion intensity. These maps enable us to highlight areas in immediate need of conservation strategies in order to control siltation of the SE Ethiopian reservoir and to control further soil degradation.

  19. Franchise Values, Regulatory Monitoring, and Capital Requirements in Optimal Bank Regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck; Harr, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    This paper demonstrates that financial deregulation is likely to make standard prudential regulatory instruments less effective in curbing excessive risk-taking incentives among banks. This has interesting implications for optimal bank regulation. When there is an increase in competition, the opt...

  20. Molecular identification of potential denitrifying bacteria and use of D-optimal mixture experimental design for the optimization of denitrification process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Taheur, Fadia; Fdhila, Kais; Elabed, Hamouda; Bouguerra, Amel; Kouidhi, Bochra; Bakhrouf, Amina; Chaieb, Kamel

    2016-04-01

    Three bacterial strains (TE1, TD3 and FB2) were isolated from date palm (degla), pistachio and barley. The presence of nitrate reductase (narG) and nitrite reductase (nirS and nirK) genes in the selected strains was detected by PCR technique. Molecular identification based on 16S rDNA sequencing method was applied to identify positive strains. In addition, the D-optimal mixture experimental design was used to optimize the optimal formulation of probiotic bacteria for denitrification process. Strains harboring denitrification genes were identified as: TE1, Agrococcus sp LN828197; TD3, Cronobacter sakazakii LN828198 and FB2, Pedicoccus pentosaceus LN828199. PCR results revealed that all strains carried the nirS gene. However only C. sakazakii LN828198 and Agrococcus sp LN828197 harbored the nirK and the narG genes respectively. Moreover, the studied bacteria were able to form biofilm on abiotic surfaces with different degree. Process optimization showed that the most significant reduction of nitrate was 100% with 14.98% of COD consumption and 5.57 mg/l nitrite accumulation. Meanwhile, the response values were optimized and showed that the most optimal combination was 78.79% of C. sakazakii LN828198 (curve value), 21.21% of P. pentosaceus LN828199 (curve value) and absence (0%) of Agrococcus sp LN828197 (curve value). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Religious Values In Song Lyrics Tingkilan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Sadli Mustafa

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This globalization era brought people of East Kalimantan tend to prefer modern music and western music. This cause the local or traditional music art is marginalized. On the other hand, they have a local music art containing a lot of local wisdom. One of them is tingkilan music. Lyrics of tingkilan contain religious values. Therefore, this study intends to find and to describe the religious values in the song lyrics of the tingkilan musical arts. This study uses a qualitative research method. The research shows that in fact some tingkilan song lyrics have a deep religious value. Some of those religious values are thanksgiving favors, learning of the holly Qur’an, the way of eating and drinking in accordance with the Islamic teaching.

  2. Measuring IC following a semi-qualitative approach: An integrated framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Verbano

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Considering the different IC measures adopted in literature, the advantages of adopting semi-qualitative measures, and the lack of an agreed system for IC evaluation, the purpose of the paper is to analyse literature on IC measurement following a semi-qualitative approach, with the final intent to build an IC measurement framework. Design/methodology/approach: A literature review on IC measurement system, following a semi-qualitative approach, has been conducted and analysed, in order to re-organize and synthesize all items used in previous researches. Findings: An integrated framework emerged from this research and it constitutes an IC  measurement system, created gathering and integrating different items previously adopted in literature. Each of these variables has been organized in categories belonging to one of the three main components of IC: human capital, internal structural capital and relational capital. Originality/value: This research provides an integrated tool for IC evaluation, fostering toward a well agreed measurement system that is still lacking in literature. This framework could be interesting  not only for the academic world, which in the last two decades reveals increasing attention to IC, but also for the management of the companies, that with IC measurement can increase awareness of the firm’s value and develop internal auditing system to support the management of these assets. Moreover, it could be a useful instrument for the communication of IC value to the external stakeholders, as customers, suppliers and especially shareholders, and to investors and financial analysts.

  3. Generic qualitative research: a design for qualitative research in emergency care?

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, S; Endacott, R

    2007-01-01

    The frequency of qualitative studies in the Emergency Medicine Journal, while still low, has increased over the last few years. All take a generic approach and rarely conform to established qualitative approaches such as phenomenology, ethnography and grounded theory. This generic approach is no doubt selected for pragmatic reasons but can be weakened by a lack of rigor and understanding of qualitative research. This paper explores qualitative approaches and then focuses on “best practice” fo...

  4. Added value of involving patients in the first step of multidisciplinary guideline development: a qualitative interview study among infertile patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Breejen, Elvira M E; Hermens, Rosella P M G; Galama, Wienke H; Willemsen, Wim N P; Kremer, Jan A M; Nelen, Willianne L D M

    2016-06-01

    Patient involvement in scoping the guideline is emphasized, but published initiatives actively involving patients are generally limited to the writing and reviewing phase. To assess patients' added value to the scoping phase of a multidisciplinary guideline on infertility. Qualitative interview study. We conducted interviews among 12 infertile couples and 17 professionals. We listed and compared the couples' and professionals' key clinical issues (=care aspects that need improvement) to be addressed in the guideline according to four domains: current guidelines, professionals, patients and organization of care. Main key clinical issues suggested by more than three quarters of the infertile couples and/or at least two professionals were identified and compared. Overall, we identified 32 key clinical issues among infertile couples and 23 among professionals. Of the defined main key clinical issues, infertile couples mentioned eight issues that were not mentioned by the professionals. These main key clinical issues mainly concerned patient-centred (e.g. poor information provision and poor alignment of care) aspects of care on the professional and organizational domain. Both groups mentioned two main key clinical issues collectively that were interpreted differently: the lack of emotional support and respect for patients' values. Including patients from the first phase of the guideline development process leads to valuable additional main key clinical issues for the next step of a multidisciplinary guideline development process and broadens the scope of the guideline, particularly regarding patient-centredness and organizational issues from a patients' perspective. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care; all rights reserved.

  5. The economics of wind and solar variability. How the variability of wind and solar power affects their marginal value, optimal deployment, and integration costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirth, Lion

    2014-11-14

    Variable renewable energy sources (VRE) for electricity generation, such as wind and solar power, are subject to inherent output fluctuations. This variability has significant impacts on power system and electricity markets if VRE are deployed at large scale. While on global average, wind and solar power currently supply only a minor share of electricity, they are expected to play a much larger role in the future - such that variability will become a major issue (which it already is in some regions). This thesis contributes to the literature that assesses these impacts the ''system and market integration'' literature. This thesis aims at answering the question: What is the impact of wind and solar power variability on the economics of these technologies? It will be laid out that the impact can be expressed in (at least) three ways: as reduction of value, as increase of cost, or as decrease of optimal deployment. Translating between these perspectives is not trivial, as evidenced by the confusion around the concept of ''integration costs''. Hence, more specifically: How does variability impact the marginal economic value of these power sources, their optimal deployment, and their integration costs? This is the question that this thesis addresses. This study comprises six papers, of which two develop a valuation framework that accounts for the specific characteristics of the good electricity, and the specific properties of wind and solar power versus ''dispatchable'' power plants. Three articles then assess quantitative questions and estimate marginal value, optimal deployment, and integration costs. These estimates stem from a newly developed numerical power market model, EMMA, market data, and quantitative literature reviews. The final paper addresses market design. In short, the principal findings of this thesis are as follows. Electricity is a peculiar economic good, being at the same time perfectly

  6. The economics of wind and solar variability. How the variability of wind and solar power affects their marginal value, optimal deployment, and integration costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirth, Lion

    2014-01-01

    Variable renewable energy sources (VRE) for electricity generation, such as wind and solar power, are subject to inherent output fluctuations. This variability has significant impacts on power system and electricity markets if VRE are deployed at large scale. While on global average, wind and solar power currently supply only a minor share of electricity, they are expected to play a much larger role in the future - such that variability will become a major issue (which it already is in some regions). This thesis contributes to the literature that assesses these impacts the ''system and market integration'' literature. This thesis aims at answering the question: What is the impact of wind and solar power variability on the economics of these technologies? It will be laid out that the impact can be expressed in (at least) three ways: as reduction of value, as increase of cost, or as decrease of optimal deployment. Translating between these perspectives is not trivial, as evidenced by the confusion around the concept of ''integration costs''. Hence, more specifically: How does variability impact the marginal economic value of these power sources, their optimal deployment, and their integration costs? This is the question that this thesis addresses. This study comprises six papers, of which two develop a valuation framework that accounts for the specific characteristics of the good electricity, and the specific properties of wind and solar power versus ''dispatchable'' power plants. Three articles then assess quantitative questions and estimate marginal value, optimal deployment, and integration costs. These estimates stem from a newly developed numerical power market model, EMMA, market data, and quantitative literature reviews. The final paper addresses market design. In short, the principal findings of this thesis are as follows. Electricity is a peculiar economic good, being at the same time perfectly

  7. Optimal body fat percentage cut-off values for identifying cardiovascular risk factors in Mongolian and Han adults: a population-based cross-sectional study in Inner Mongolia, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yanlong; Wang, Hailing; Wang, Ke; Wang, Wenrui; Dong, Fen; Qian, Yonggang; Gong, Haiying; Xu, Guodong; Li, Guoju; Pan, Li; Zhu, Guangjin; Shan, Guangliang

    2017-04-17

    The present study was designed to determine the optimal cut-off values of body fat percentage (BF%) for the detection of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in Mongolian and Han adults. This cross-sectional study involving 3221 Chinese adults (2308 Han and 913 Mongolian) aged 20-80 years was conducted in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, in 2014. Data from a standardised questionnaire, physical examination and blood sample were obtained. The BF% was estimated using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Optimal BF% cut-offs were analysed by receiver operating characteristic curves to predict the risk of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the OR of each CVD risk factor according to obesity defined by BF%. Mean BF% levels were lower in men than in women (22.54±5.77 vs 32.95±6.18 in Han, 23.86±5.72 vs 33.98±6.40 in Mongolian population, respectively; ppopulation, the area under curve (AUC) values for BF% ranged from 0.589 to 0.699 for men and from 0.711 to 0.763 for women. Compared with men, AUCs for diabetes and clustering of ≥2 risk factors in women were significantly higher (ppopulation. In Han adults, the optimal BF% cut-off values to detect CVD risk factors varied from 18.7% to 24.2% in men and 32.7% to 35.4% in women. In Mongolian population, the optimal cut-off values of BF% for men and women ranged from 21.0% to 24.6% and from 35.7% to 40.0%, respectively. Subjects with high BF% (≥24% in men, ≥34% in women) had higher risk of CVD risk factors in Han (age-adjusted ORs from 1.479 to 3.680, 2.660 to 4.016, respectively). In Mongolia, adults with high BF% (≥25% in men, ≥35% in women) had higher risk of CVD risk factors (age-adjusted ORs from 2.587 to 3.772, 2.061 to 4.882, respectively). The optimal BF% cut-offs for obesity for the prediction of CVD risk factors in Chinese men and women were approximately 24% and 34% for Han adults and 25% and 35% for Mongolian

  8. Reaching the parts other methods cannot reach: an introduction to qualitative methods in health and health services research.

    OpenAIRE

    Pope, C.; Mays, N.

    1995-01-01

    Qualitative research methods have a long history in the social sciences and deserve to be an essential component in health and health services research. Qualitative and quantitative approaches to research tend to be portrayed as antithetical; the aim of this series of papers is to show the value of a range of qualitative techniques and how they can complement quantitative research.

  9. [Optimize preparation of compound licorice microemulsion with D-optimal design].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Shu-Wei; Wang, Yong-Jie; Chen, Cheng; Qiu, Yue; Wu, Qing

    2018-03-01

    In order to increase the solubility of essential oil in compound licorice microemulsion and improve the efficacy of the decoction for treating chronic eczema, this experiment intends to prepare the decoction into microemulsion. The essential oil was used as the oil phase of the microemulsion and the extract was used as the water phase. Then the microemulsion area and maximum ratio of water capacity was obtained by plotting pseudo-ternary phase diagram, to determine the appropriate types of surfactant and cosurfactant, and Km value-the mass ratio between surfactant and cosurfactant. With particle size and skin retention of active ingredients as the index, microemulsion prescription was optimized by D-optimal design method, to investigate the in vitro release behavior of the optimized prescription. The results showed that the microemulsion was optimal with tween-80 as the surfactant and anhydrous ethanol as the cosurfactant. When the Km value was 1, the area of the microemulsion region was largest while when the concentration of extract was 0.5 g·mL⁻¹, it had lowest effect on the particle size distribution of microemulsion. The final optimized formulation was as follows: 9.4% tween-80, 9.4% anhydrous ethanol, 1.0% peppermint oil and 80.2% 0.5 g·mL⁻¹ extract. The microemulsion prepared under these conditions had a small viscosity, good stability and high skin retention of drug; in vitro release experiment showed that microemulsion had a sustained-release effect on glycyrrhizic acid and liquiritin, basically achieving the expected purpose of the project. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  10. How spatial context influences entrepreneurial value creation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    This paper investigates how rural communities are enriched by entrepreneurial value-creating activities that go beyond job creation and growth. In addition, this study explores how spatial context influences these value-creating activities. This qualitative case-based study shows that rural......-being of the community. Thus, this study contributes to an in-depth understanding of how and why entrepreneurship can create multiple forms of value in rural areas as well as how value creation behaviours are motivated by the spatial context. In addition, it provides explanations why not all rural entrepreneurs...... entrepreneurs create 14 types of value for their communities, ranging from purely economic to socioeconomic and to social value. The reasons why rural entrepreneurs create value, not only for themselves, but value that benefits the community is partly explained by their desire to contribute positively...

  11. Integral Optimization of Systematic Parameters of Flip-Flow Screens

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    翟宏新

    2004-01-01

    The synthetic index Ks for evaluating flip-flow screens is proposed and systematically optimized in view of the whole system. A series of optimized values of relevant parameters are found and then compared with those of the current industrial specifications. The results show that the optimized value Ks approaches the one of those famous flip-flow screens in the world. Some new findings on geometric and kinematics parameters are useful for improving the flip-flow screens with a low Ks value, which is helpful in developing clean coal technology.

  12. Quality in Qualitative Management Accounting Research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørreklit, Hanne

    2014-01-01

    , the paper has implications for contemporary discussions on doing research that is relevant for practice. Originality/value: The paper provides novel insight into the analysis of quality in management accounting research. Additionally, it provides a framework for reflecting on the accumulation of practice......Purpose: The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the quality of Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management (QRAM) is manifested through the conceptualization of knowledge about functioning actions that are applicable for local management accounting practices. Design...... to the development of a performativity in management accounting topos that integrates facts, possibilities, value and communication. Findings: The analysis documents that the three QRAM articles on inter-organizational cost management make a common contribution to the knowledge related to what to do to make...

  13. ‘It makes you think’ – exploring the impact of qualitative films on pain clinicians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Sue

    2015-01-01

    Background: Researchers need to consider the impact and utility of their findings. Film is an accessible medium for qualitative research findings and can facilitate learning through emotional engagement. Aim: We aimed to explore the usefulness of a short film presenting findings from a published qualitative synthesis of adults’ experience of chronic musculoskeletal pain for pain education. In particular, we were interested in the impact of the film on clinician’s understanding of patients’ experience of chronic pain and how this knowledge might be used for improved healthcare for people with pain. Methods: Focus groups with healthcare professionals enrolled in a pain management foundation course explored healthcare professionals’ experience of watching the film. A constructivist grounded theory approach was adopted by the researchers. Findings: This article presents one thematic exemplar from a wider study. Participants reflected upon the pitfalls of judging by appearances and the value of seeing the person beneath his or her performance. Conclusion: There is a danger that the impact of qualitative findings is under-valued in clinical education. We present one exemplar from a study exploring knowledge mobilisation, which demonstrates that qualitative research, specifically qualitative films, can make us think about the care that we provide to people with chronic pain. PMID:26516558

  14. Extreme Learning Machine and Particle Swarm Optimization in optimizing CNC turning operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janahiraman, Tiagrajah V.; Ahmad, Nooraziah; Hani Nordin, Farah

    2018-04-01

    The CNC machine is controlled by manipulating cutting parameters that could directly influence the process performance. Many optimization methods has been applied to obtain the optimal cutting parameters for the desired performance function. Nonetheless, the industry still uses the traditional technique to obtain those values. Lack of knowledge on optimization techniques is the main reason for this issue to be prolonged. Therefore, the simple yet easy to implement, Optimal Cutting Parameters Selection System is introduced to help the manufacturer to easily understand and determine the best optimal parameters for their turning operation. This new system consists of two stages which are modelling and optimization. In modelling of input-output and in-process parameters, the hybrid of Extreme Learning Machine and Particle Swarm Optimization is applied. This modelling technique tend to converge faster than other artificial intelligent technique and give accurate result. For the optimization stage, again the Particle Swarm Optimization is used to get the optimal cutting parameters based on the performance function preferred by the manufacturer. Overall, the system can reduce the gap between academic world and the industry by introducing a simple yet easy to implement optimization technique. This novel optimization technique can give accurate result besides being the fastest technique.

  15. Social values and solar energy policy: the policy maker and the advocate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shama, A.; Jacobs, K.

    1980-07-01

    Solar energy policy makers and advocates have significantly different hierarchies (clusters) of values upon which they evaluate the adoption of solar technologies. Content analysis, which examines the frequency with which policy makers identify different types of values, indicates that they hold economic values to be of primary importance. Environmental, social, and national security values are also substantial elements of the policy makers' value clusters associated with solar energy. This finding is confirmed by a qualitative analysis of policy makers' values. Advocates, on the other hand, assign almost equal weights (33%) to economic values and social values, slightly less weight to environmental values, and significant attention to ethical and security values as well. These results of frequency analysis are made somewhat more complicated by a qualitative interpretation of the advocates' positions. As part of their more holistic approach, several of the advocates indicated that all values discussed by them are instrumental toward achieving higher-order, ethical and environmental values. In addition, our preliminary investigation indicates that neither group is entirely homogeneous. Testing this and other propositions, as well as obtaining a similar picture of the values which the public associates with solar energy, are topics of future research.

  16. Rigor in Qualitative Supply Chain Management Research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goffin, Keith; Raja, Jawwad; Claes, Björn

    2012-01-01

    , reliability, and theoretical saturation. Originality/value – It is the authors' contention that the addition of the repertory grid technique to the toolset of methods used by logistics and supply chain management researchers can only enhance insights and the building of robust theories. Qualitative studies......Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to share the authors' experiences of using the repertory grid technique in two supply chain management studies. The paper aims to demonstrate how the two studies provided insights into how qualitative techniques such as the repertory grid can be made more...... rigorous than in the past, and how results can be generated that are inaccessible using quantitative methods. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents two studies undertaken using the repertory grid technique to illustrate its application in supply chain management research. Findings – The paper...

  17. THE CURRENT STATE OF KNOWLEDGE IN THE VALUE RELEVANCE RESEARCH FIELD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen- Alexandra BALTARIU

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to assess the scientific literature referring to the value relevance of reported accounting information over a twelve year period starting from 2002. The approach of the paper is a theoretical (conceptual one. In order to complete the purpose of the paper we selected as research method the longitudinal qualitative analysis. The qualitative analysis carried out presents a deductive character. Our conclusions regarding the general characteristics of the research field pertaining to the value relevance of reported accounting information are drawn based on the main results and scientific contributions identified in the research field of interest.

  18. Simulation of value stream mapping and discrete optimization of energy consumption in modular construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Md Mukul

    With the increased practice of modularization and prefabrication, the construction industry gained the benefits of quality management, improved completion time, reduced site disruption and vehicular traffic, and improved overall safety and security. Whereas industrialized construction methods, such as modular and manufactured buildings, have evolved over decades, core techniques used in prefabrication plants vary only slightly from those employed in traditional site-built construction. With a focus on energy and cost efficient modular construction, this research presents the development of a simulation, measurement and optimization system for energy consumption in the manufacturing process of modular construction. The system is based on Lean Six Sigma principles and loosely coupled system operation to identify the non-value adding tasks and possible causes of low energy efficiency. The proposed system will also include visualization functions for demonstration of energy consumption in modular construction. The benefits of implementing this system include a reduction in the energy consumption in production cost, decrease of energy cost in the production of lean-modular construction, and increase profit. In addition, the visualization functions will provide detailed information about energy efficiency and operation flexibility in modular construction. A case study is presented to validate the reliability of the system.

  19. Optimization of speed-up network component values for the 30 Ω resistively terminated prototype kicker magnet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnes, M.J.; Wait, G.D.

    1993-01-01

    Kicker magnets are required for all ring-to-ring transfers in the 5 rings of the proposed KAON factory synchrotron. The kick must rise from 1% to 99% of full strength during the time interval of gaps created in the beam (80 ns to 160 ns) so that the beam can be extracted with minimum losses. In order to achieve the specified rise-time and open-quote flatness close-quote for the kick it is necessary to utilize speed-up networks, comprising a capacitor and a resistor, in the electrical circuit. Speed-up networks may be connected electrically on both the input and output of the kicker magnet. In addition it is advantageous to connect a open-quote speed-up close-quote network on the input of the resistive terminator(s). A sequence which may minimize the number of mathematical simulations required to optimize the values of the 8 possible speed-up components is presented. PE2D has been utilized to determine inductance and capacitance values for the resistive terminator; this data has been used in PSpice transient analyses. Results of the PE2D predictions are also presented. The research has culminated in a predicted kick rise time (1% to 99%) of less than 50 ns for a TRIUMF 10 cell prototype kicker magnet. The proposed improvements are currently being implemented on our prototype kicker system

  20. Quality assurance of qualitative research: a review of the discourse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Joanna; Kizito, James; Ezumah, Nkoli; Mangesho, Peter; Allen, Elizabeth; Chandler, Clare

    2011-12-19

    Increasing demand for qualitative research within global health has emerged alongside increasing demand for demonstration of quality of research, in line with the evidence-based model of medicine. In quantitative health sciences research, in particular clinical trials, there exist clear and widely-recognised guidelines for conducting quality assurance of research. However, no comparable guidelines exist for qualitative research and although there are long-standing debates on what constitutes 'quality' in qualitative research, the concept of 'quality assurance' has not been explored widely. In acknowledgement of this gap, we sought to review discourses around quality assurance of qualitative research, as a first step towards developing guidance. A range of databases, journals and grey literature sources were searched, and papers were included if they explicitly addressed quality assurance within a qualitative paradigm. A meta-narrative approach was used to review and synthesise the literature. Among the 37 papers included in the review, two dominant narratives were interpreted from the literature, reflecting contrasting approaches to quality assurance. The first focuses on demonstrating quality within research outputs; the second focuses on principles for quality practice throughout the research process. The second narrative appears to offer an approach to quality assurance that befits the values of qualitative research, emphasising the need to consider quality throughout the research process. The paper identifies the strengths of the approaches represented in each narrative and recommend these are brought together in the development of a flexible framework to help qualitative researchers to define, apply and demonstrate principles of quality in their research. © 2011 Reynolds et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  1. Quality assurance of qualitative research: a review of the discourse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynolds Joanna

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Increasing demand for qualitative research within global health has emerged alongside increasing demand for demonstration of quality of research, in line with the evidence-based model of medicine. In quantitative health sciences research, in particular clinical trials, there exist clear and widely-recognised guidelines for conducting quality assurance of research. However, no comparable guidelines exist for qualitative research and although there are long-standing debates on what constitutes 'quality' in qualitative research, the concept of 'quality assurance' has not been explored widely. In acknowledgement of this gap, we sought to review discourses around quality assurance of qualitative research, as a first step towards developing guidance. Methods A range of databases, journals and grey literature sources were searched, and papers were included if they explicitly addressed quality assurance within a qualitative paradigm. A meta-narrative approach was used to review and synthesise the literature. Results Among the 37 papers included in the review, two dominant narratives were interpreted from the literature, reflecting contrasting approaches to quality assurance. The first focuses on demonstrating quality within research outputs; the second focuses on principles for quality practice throughout the research process. The second narrative appears to offer an approach to quality assurance that befits the values of qualitative research, emphasising the need to consider quality throughout the research process. Conclusions The paper identifies the strengths of the approaches represented in each narrative and recommend these are brought together in the development of a flexible framework to help qualitative researchers to define, apply and demonstrate principles of quality in their research.

  2. Quality assurance of qualitative research: a review of the discourse

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Increasing demand for qualitative research within global health has emerged alongside increasing demand for demonstration of quality of research, in line with the evidence-based model of medicine. In quantitative health sciences research, in particular clinical trials, there exist clear and widely-recognised guidelines for conducting quality assurance of research. However, no comparable guidelines exist for qualitative research and although there are long-standing debates on what constitutes 'quality' in qualitative research, the concept of 'quality assurance' has not been explored widely. In acknowledgement of this gap, we sought to review discourses around quality assurance of qualitative research, as a first step towards developing guidance. Methods A range of databases, journals and grey literature sources were searched, and papers were included if they explicitly addressed quality assurance within a qualitative paradigm. A meta-narrative approach was used to review and synthesise the literature. Results Among the 37 papers included in the review, two dominant narratives were interpreted from the literature, reflecting contrasting approaches to quality assurance. The first focuses on demonstrating quality within research outputs; the second focuses on principles for quality practice throughout the research process. The second narrative appears to offer an approach to quality assurance that befits the values of qualitative research, emphasising the need to consider quality throughout the research process. Conclusions The paper identifies the strengths of the approaches represented in each narrative and recommend these are brought together in the development of a flexible framework to help qualitative researchers to define, apply and demonstrate principles of quality in their research. PMID:22182674

  3. Computer supported qualitative research

    CERN Document Server

    Reis, Luís; Sousa, Francislê; Moreira, António; Lamas, David

    2017-01-01

    This book contains an edited selection of the papers accepted for presentation and discussion at the first International Symposium on Qualitative Research (ISQR2016), held in Porto, Portugal, July 12th-14th, 2016. The book and the symposium features the four main application fields Education, Health, Social Sciences and Engineering and Technology and seven main subjects: Rationale and Paradigms of Qualitative Research (theoretical studies, critical reflection about epistemological dimensions, ontological and axiological); Systematization of approaches with Qualitative Studies (literature review, integrating results, aggregation studies, meta -analysis, meta- analysis of qualitative meta- synthesis, meta- ethnography); Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research (emphasis in research processes that build on mixed methodologies but with priority to qualitative approaches); Data Analysis Types (content analysis , discourse analysis , thematic analysis , narrative analysis , etc.); Innovative processes of Qualitative ...

  4. Value Creation in Digital Service Platforms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghazawneh, Ahmad; Mansour, Osama

    2017-01-01

    Value creation is increasingly relevant for owners of digital service platforms (DSPs). These owners have two vital goals: increase their service base and sustain their service offerers. A key element in continuously accommodating these goals is value creation. While the literature on DSPs is gro...... of service offerers. As such, our study proposes and contributes a value creation framework for DSPs that identifies 8 value sources and highlights resource combination and exchange in the process of value creation.......Value creation is increasingly relevant for owners of digital service platforms (DSPs). These owners have two vital goals: increase their service base and sustain their service offerers. A key element in continuously accommodating these goals is value creation. While the literature on DSPs...... is growing, there is a paucity of knowledge on the value creation process in these platforms. Drawing on a qualitative study of Uber drivers in Denmark and Sweden, we synthesize Schumpeter’s theory of value creation to develop an understanding of the value creation process in DSPs from the perspective...

  5. Value Education Through Distance Learning: Opinions of Students who already Completed Value Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Handan DEVECI

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Individuals in a society should be systematically trained on value education so that they can appreciate values such as love, respect, tolerance, and honesty. Employment of value training approaches within Anadolu University Open and Distance Learning System will make it possible to educate many people on values. The purpose of this research is to determine the opinions of university students about providing value education through distance learning system. This study has been completed via use of semi-structured interview technique based on qualitative research approach. The participants are registered students studying at Social Studies Teacher Training Program, Faculty of Education, Anadolu University during the fall term of 2013-2014 academic years. Based on the selection criteria, 15 students who had already completed value education course and who were familiar with Anadolu University’s open and distance learning system partook in the study. Research data was analyzed through content analysis. Participating students believe that value education is a necessary component of social life and that students within distance learning system should be provided with value education. Furthermore, participants stated that value education could be integrated into distance learning. Based on the findings, it is possible to conclude that offering value education to students through distance learning system may significantly contribute to social life as it facilitates maintaining social order and raising effective citizens.

  6. The qualitative research proposal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Klopper

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Qualitative research in the health sciences has had to overcome many prejudices and a number of misunderstandings, but today qualitative research is as acceptable as quantitative research designs and is widely funded and published. Writing the proposal of a qualitative study, however, can be a challenging feat, due to the emergent nature of the qualitative research design and the description of the methodology as a process. Even today, many sub-standard proposals at post-graduate evaluation committees and application proposals to be considered for funding are still seen. This problem has led the researcher to develop a framework to guide the qualitative researcher in writing the proposal of a qualitative study based on the following research questions: (i What is the process of writing a qualitative research proposal? and (ii What does the structure and layout of a qualitative proposal look like? The purpose of this article is to discuss the process of writing the qualitative research proposal, as well as describe the structure and layout of a qualitative research proposal. The process of writing a qualitative research proposal is discussed with regards to the most important questions that need to be answered in your research proposal with consideration of the guidelines of being practical, being persuasive, making broader links, aiming for crystal clarity and planning before you write. While the structure of the qualitative research proposal is discussed with regards to the key sections of the proposal, namely the cover page, abstract, introduction, review of the literature, research problem and research questions, research purpose and objectives, research paradigm, research design, research method, ethical considerations, dissemination plan, budget and appendices.

  7. Integrated Reliability-Based Optimal Design of Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, John Dalsgaard; Thoft-Christensen, Palle

    1987-01-01

    In conventional optimal design of structural systems the weight or the initial cost of the structure is usually used as objective function. Further, the constraints require that the stresses and/or strains at some critical points have to be less than some given values. Finally, all variables......-based optimal design is discussed. Next, an optimal inspection and repair strategy for existing structural systems is presented. An optimization problem is formulated , where the objective is to minimize the expected total future cost of inspection and repair subject to the constraint that the reliability...... value. The reliability can be measured from an element and/or a systems point of view. A number of methods to solve reliability-based optimization problems has been suggested, see e.g. Frangopol [I]. Murotsu et al. (2], Thoft-Christensen & Sørensen (3] and Sørensen (4). For structures where...

  8. How Qualitative Research Informs Clinical and Policy Decision Making in Transplantation: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Allison; Morton, Rachael L; Webster, Angela C

    2016-09-01

    Patient-centered care is no longer just a buzzword. It is now widely touted as a cornerstone in delivering quality care across all fields of medicine. However, patient-centered strategies and interventions necessitate evidence about patients' decision-making processes, values, priorities, and needs. Qualitative research is particularly well suited to understanding the experience and perspective of patients, donors, clinicians, and policy makers on a wide range of transplantation-related topics including organ donation and allocation, adherence to prescribed therapy, pretransplant and posttransplant care, implementation of clinical guidelines, and doctor-patient communication. In transplantation, evidence derived from qualitative research has been integrated into strategies for shared decision-making, patient educational resources, process evaluations of trials, clinical guidelines, and policies. The aim of this article is to outline key concepts and methods used in qualitative research, guide the appraisal of qualitative studies, and assist clinicians to understand how qualitative research may inform their practice and policy.

  9. Qualitative Content Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Satu Elo; Maria Kääriäinen; Outi Kanste; Tarja Pölkki; Kati Utriainen; Helvi Kyngäs

    2014-01-01

    Qualitative content analysis is commonly used for analyzing qualitative data. However, few articles have examined the trustworthiness of its use in nursing science studies. The trustworthiness of qualitative content analysis is often presented by using terms such as credibility, dependability, conformability, transferability, and authenticity. This article focuses on trustworthiness based on a review of previous studie...

  10. NLP modeling for the optimization of LiBr-H_2O absorption refrigeration systems with exergy loss rate, heat transfer area, and cost as single objective functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mussati, Sergio F.; Gernaey, Krist V.; Morosuk, Tatiana; Mussati, Miguel C.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A NLP model is used for simultaneous optimization of sizes and operating conditions. • Total exergy loss rate and transfer area are optimized as single objective functions. • Theoretical and practical bounds for cost optimization problems are computed. • A systematic solution strategy is proposed for total annual cost optimization. • Relevance of components is ranked by heat transfer area, exergy loss rate, and cost. - Abstract: Based on a nonlinear mathematical programming model, the sizes and operating conditions of the process units of single-effect absorption refrigeration systems operating with a LiBr–H_2O solution are optimized for a specified cooling capacity by minimizing three single objective functions: the total exergy loss rate, the total heat transfer area, and the total annual cost of the system. It was found that the optimal solution obtained by minimization of the total exergy loss rate provides “theoretical” upper bounds not only for the total heat transfer area of the system but also for each process unit and all stream temperatures, while the optimal solution obtained by minimization of the total heat transfer area provides the lower bounds for these model variables, to solve a cost optimization problem. The minimization of the total exergy loss rate by varying parametrically the available total heat transfer area between these bounds was also performed, allowing to see how the optimal distribution of the available total heat transfer area among the system components, as well as the operating conditions (stream temperature, pressure, composition, and mass flow rate) and heat loads, vary qualitatively and quantitatively with increasing available total heat transfer area. These optimization results allowed to find a “practical” value of the total heat transfer area, i.e. no benefits can be obtained by increasing the available total heat transfer area above this value since the minimal total exergy loss value cannot

  11. Optimal Control of Mechanical Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vadim Azhmyakov

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present work, we consider a class of nonlinear optimal control problems, which can be called “optimal control problems in mechanics.” We deal with control systems whose dynamics can be described by a system of Euler-Lagrange or Hamilton equations. Using the variational structure of the solution of the corresponding boundary-value problems, we reduce the initial optimal control problem to an auxiliary problem of multiobjective programming. This technique makes it possible to apply some consistent numerical approximations of a multiobjective optimization problem to the initial optimal control problem. For solving the auxiliary problem, we propose an implementable numerical algorithm.

  12. Portfolio balancing and risk adjusted values under constrained budget conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacKay, J.A.; Lerche, I.

    1996-01-01

    For a given hydrocarbon exploration opportunity, the influences of value, cost, success probability and corporate risk tolerance provide an optimal working interest that should be taken in the opportunity in order to maximize the risk adjusted value. When several opportunities are available, but when the total budget is insufficient to take optimal working interest in each, an analytic procedure is given for optimizing the risk adjusted value of the total portfolio; the relevant working interests are also derived based on a cost exposure constraint. Several numerical illustrations are provided to exhibit the use of the method under different budget conditions, and with different numbers of available opportunities. When value, cost, success probability, and risk tolerance are uncertain for each and every opportunity, the procedure is generalized to allow determination of probable optimal risk adjusted value for the total portfolio and, at the same time, the range of probable working interest that should be taken in each opportunity is also provided. The result is that the computations of portfolio balancing can be done quickly in either deterministic or probabilistic manners on a small calculator, thereby providing rapid assessments of opportunities and their worth to a corporation. (Author)

  13. How to Be Both Rich and Happy: Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Strategic Reasoning about Multi-Player Games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bulling, Nils; Goranko, Valentin

    2013-01-01

    We propose a logical framework combining a game-theoretic study of abilities of agents to achieve quantitative objectives in multi-player games by optimizing payoffs or preferences on outcomes with a logical analysis of the abilities of players for achieving qualitative objectives of players, i.......e., reaching or maintaining game states with desired properties. We enrich concurrent game models with payoffs for the normal form games associated with the states of the model and propose a quantitative extension of the logic ATL* enabling the combination of quantitative and qualitative reasoning....

  14. Comparison and Optimization of 3.0 T Breast Images Quality of Diffusion-Weighted Imaging with Multiple B-Values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xiaowei; Li, Junfeng; Wang, Xiaoyi

    2017-04-01

    Breast 3.0 T magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (MR-DWI) of benign and malignant lesions were obtained to measure and calculate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), signal intensity ratio (SIR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of lesions at different b-values. The variation patterns of SNR and SIR were analyzed with different b-values and the images of DWI were compared at four different b-values with higher image quality. The effect of SIR on the differential diagnostic efficiency of benign and malignant lesions was compared using receiver operating characteristic curves to provide a reference for selecting the optimal b-value. A total of 96 qualified patients with 112 lesions and 14 patients with their contralateral 14 normal breasts were included in this study. The single-shot echo planar imaging sequence was used to perform the DWI and a total of 13 b-values were used: 0, 50, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2000, and 2500 s/mm 2 . On DWI, the suitable regions of interest were selected. The SNRs of normal breasts (SNR normal ), SNR lesions , SIR, and CNR of benign and malignant lesions were measured on DWI with different b-values and calculated. The variation patterns of SNR, SIR, and CNR values on DWI for normal breasts, benign lesions, and malignant lesions with different b-values were analyzed by using Pearson correlation analysis. The SNR and SIR of benign and malignant lesions with the same b-values were compared using t-tests. The diagnostic efficiencies of SIR with different b-values for benign and malignant lesions were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic curves. Breast DWI had higher CNR for b-values ranging from 600 to 1200 s/mm 2 . It had the best CNR at b = 1000 s/mm 2 for the benign lesions and at b = 1200 s/mm 2 for the malignant lesions. The signal intensity and SNR values of normal breasts decreased with increasing b-values, with a negative correlation (r = -0.945, P < 0.01). The

  15. A qualitative method proposal to improve environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toro, Javier; Requena, Ignacio; Duarte, Oscar; Zamorano, Montserrat

    2013-01-01

    In environmental impact assessment, qualitative methods are used because they are versatile and easy to apply. This methodology is based on the evaluation of the strength of the impact by grading a series of qualitative attributes that can be manipulated by the evaluator. The results thus obtained are not objective, and all too often impacts are eliminated that should be mitigated with corrective measures. However, qualitative methodology can be improved if the calculation of Impact Importance is based on the characteristics of environmental factors and project activities instead on indicators assessed by evaluators. In this sense, this paper proposes the inclusion of the vulnerability of environmental factors and the potential environmental impact of project activities. For this purpose, the study described in this paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. The results obtained in the case study of oil drilling in Colombia reflect greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts as well as a positive correlation between impact values, the environmental characteristics at and near the project location, and the technical characteristics of project activities. -- Highlights: • Concept of vulnerability has been used to calculate the importance impact assessment. • This paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. • The method includes the characteristics of environmental and project activities. • The application has shown greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts. • Better correlation between impact values, environment and the project has been shown

  16. A qualitative method proposal to improve environmental impact assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toro, Javier, E-mail: jjtoroca@unal.edu.co [Institute of Environmental Studies, National University of Colombia at Bogotá (Colombia); Requena, Ignacio, E-mail: requena@decsai.ugr.es [Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Granada (Spain); Duarte, Oscar, E-mail: ogduartev@unal.edu.co [National University of Colombia at Bogotá, Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics (Colombia); Zamorano, Montserrat, E-mail: zamorano@ugr.es [Department of Civil Engineering, University of Granada (Spain)

    2013-11-15

    In environmental impact assessment, qualitative methods are used because they are versatile and easy to apply. This methodology is based on the evaluation of the strength of the impact by grading a series of qualitative attributes that can be manipulated by the evaluator. The results thus obtained are not objective, and all too often impacts are eliminated that should be mitigated with corrective measures. However, qualitative methodology can be improved if the calculation of Impact Importance is based on the characteristics of environmental factors and project activities instead on indicators assessed by evaluators. In this sense, this paper proposes the inclusion of the vulnerability of environmental factors and the potential environmental impact of project activities. For this purpose, the study described in this paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. The results obtained in the case study of oil drilling in Colombia reflect greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts as well as a positive correlation between impact values, the environmental characteristics at and near the project location, and the technical characteristics of project activities. -- Highlights: • Concept of vulnerability has been used to calculate the importance impact assessment. • This paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. • The method includes the characteristics of environmental and project activities. • The application has shown greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts. • Better correlation between impact values, environment and the project has been shown.

  17. The Value of Targeted Comic Book Readers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Kay; Danaher, Katherine

    2012-01-01

    A limitation of extensive reading programmes is the time required for progress in vocabulary acquisition. This paper reports on a qualitative exploration of student perceptions of the value of non-compulsory comic books in ESL elementary and upper-intermediate level courses at a tertiary institution. We aimed to develop supplementary materials…

  18. NDDP multi-stage flash desalination process simulator design process optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sashi Kumar, G.N.; Mahendra, A.K.; Sanyal, A.; Gouthaman, G.

    2009-03-01

    The improvement of NDDP-MSF plant's performance ratio (PR) from design value of 9.0 to 13.1 was achieved by optimizing the plant's operating parameters within the feasible zone of operation. This plant has 20% excess heat transfer area over the design condition which helped us to get a PR of 15.1 after optimization. Thus we have obtained, (1) A 45% increase in the output over design value by the optimization carried out with design heat transfer area. (2) A 68% increase in the output over design value by the optimization carried out with increased heat transfer area. This report discusses the approach, methodology and results of the optimization study carried out. A simulator, MSFSIM which predicts the performance of a multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination plant has been coupled with Genetic Algorithm (GA) optimizer. Exhaustive optimization case studies have been conducted on this plant with an objective to increase the performance ratio (PR). The steady state optimization performed was based on obtaining the best stage wise pressure profile to enhance thermal efficiency which in-turn improves the performance ratio. Apart from this, the recirculating brine flow rate was also optimized. This optimization study enabled us to increase the PR of NDDP-MSF plant from design value of 9.0 to an optimized value 13.1. The actual plant is provided with 20% additional heat transfer area over and above the design heat transfer area. Optimization with this additional heat transfer area has taken the PR to 15.1. A desire to maintain equal flashing rates in all of the stages (a feature required for long life of the plant and to avoid cascading effect of non-flashing triggered by any stage) of the MSF plant has also been achieved. The deviation in the flashing rates within stages has been reduced. The startup characteristic of the plant (i.e the variation of stage pressure and the variation of recirculation flow rate with time), have been optimized with a target to minimize the

  19. The Use of Modelling for Theory Building in Qualitative Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Ann R. J.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to exemplify and enhance the place of modelling as a qualitative process in educational research. Modelling is widely used in quantitative research as a tool for analysis, theory building and prediction. Statistical data lend themselves to graphical representation of values, interrelationships and operational…

  20. Combination of qualitative and quantitative sources of knowledge for risk assessment in the framework of possibility theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oussalah, M.; Newby, M.J.

    2004-01-01

    This paper focuses on a representation of system reliability in the framework of possibility theory. Particularly, given a (probabilistic) quantitative knowledge pertaining to the time to failure of a system (risk function) and some qualitative knowledge about the degree of pessimism and optimism of

  1. Using a theory-driven conceptual framework in qualitative health research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfarlane, Anne; O'Reilly-de Brún, Mary

    2012-05-01

    The role and merits of highly inductive research designs in qualitative health research are well established, and there has been a powerful proliferation of grounded theory method in the field. However, tight qualitative research designs informed by social theory can be useful to sensitize researchers to concepts and processes that they might not necessarily identify through inductive processes. In this article, we provide a reflexive account of our experience of using a theory-driven conceptual framework, the Normalization Process Model, in a qualitative evaluation of general practitioners' uptake of a free, pilot, language interpreting service in the Republic of Ireland. We reflect on our decisions about whether or not to use the Model, and describe our actual use of it to inform research questions, sampling, coding, and data analysis. We conclude with reflections on the added value that the Model and tight design brought to our research.

  2. On sensitivity value of pair-matched observational studies

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, Qingyuan

    2017-01-01

    An observational study may be biased for estimating causal effects by failing to control for unmeasured confounders. This paper proposes a new quantity called the "sensitivity value", which is defined as the minimum strength of unmeasured confounders needed to change the qualitative conclusions of a naive analysis assuming no unmeasured confounder. We establish the asymptotic normality of the sensitivity value in pair-matched observational studies. The theoretical results are then used to app...

  3. Optimal Responsible Investment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Pernille

    The paper studies retail Socially Responsible Investment and portfolio allocation. It extends conventional portfolio theory by allowing for a personal value based investment decision. When preferences for responsibility enter the framework for mean-variance analysis, it yields an optimal...... responsible investment model. An example of index investing illustrates the theory. Results show that it is crucial for the responsible investor to consider portfolio risk, expected return, and responsibility simultaneously in order to obtain an optimal portfolio. The model enables responsible investors...

  4. Families of optimal thermodynamic solutions for combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Godoy, E.; Scenna, N.J.; Benz, S.J.

    2010-01-01

    Optimal designs of a CCGT power plant characterized by maximum second law efficiency values are determined for a wide range of power demands and different values of the available heat transfer area. These thermodynamic optimal solutions are found within a feasible operation region by means of a non-linear mathematical programming (NLP) model, where decision variables (i.e. transfer areas, power production, mass flow rates, temperatures and pressures) can vary freely. Technical relationships among them are used to systematize optimal values of design and operative variables of a CCGT power plant into optimal solution sets, named here as optimal solution families. From an operative and design point of view, the families of optimal solutions let knowing in advance optimal values of the CCGT variables when facing changes of power demand or adjusting the design to an available heat transfer area.

  5. Mapping Meaningful Places on Washington's Olympic Peninsula: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Landscape Values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerveny, Lee Karol; Biedenweg, Kelly; McLain, Rebecca

    2017-10-01

    Landscape values mapping has been widely employed as a form of public participation GIS (PPGIS) in natural resource planning and decision-making to capture the complex array of values, uses, and interactions between people and landscapes. A landscape values typology has been commonly employed in the mapping of social and environmental values in a variety of management settings and scales. We explore how people attribute meanings and assign values to special places on the Olympic Peninsula (Washington, USA) using both a landscape values typology and qualitative responses about residents' place-relationships. Using geographically referenced social values data collected in community meetings (n = 169), we identify high-frequency landscape values and examine how well the landscape values are reflected in open-ended descriptions of place-relations. We also explore the various interpretations of 14 landscape values used in the study. In particular, we investigate any overlapping meanings or blurriness among landscape values and reveal potentially emergent landscape values from the qualitative data. The results provide insights on the use of landscape values mapping typologies for practitioners and researchers engaged in the mapping of social values for PPGIS.

  6. Mapping Meaningful Places on Washington's Olympic Peninsula: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Landscape Values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerveny, Lee Karol; Biedenweg, Kelly; McLain, Rebecca

    2017-10-01

    Landscape values mapping has been widely employed as a form of public participation GIS (PPGIS) in natural resource planning and decision-making to capture the complex array of values, uses, and interactions between people and landscapes. A landscape values typology has been commonly employed in the mapping of social and environmental values in a variety of management settings and scales. We explore how people attribute meanings and assign values to special places on the Olympic Peninsula (Washington, USA) using both a landscape values typology and qualitative responses about residents' place-relationships. Using geographically referenced social values data collected in community meetings ( n = 169), we identify high-frequency landscape values and examine how well the landscape values are reflected in open-ended descriptions of place-relations. We also explore the various interpretations of 14 landscape values used in the study. In particular, we investigate any overlapping meanings or blurriness among landscape values and reveal potentially emergent landscape values from the qualitative data. The results provide insights on the use of landscape values mapping typologies for practitioners and researchers engaged in the mapping of social values for PPGIS.

  7. The value and cost of complexity in predictive modelling: role of tissue anisotropic conductivity and fibre tracts in neuromodulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salman Shahid, Syed; Bikson, Marom; Salman, Humaira; Wen, Peng; Ahfock, Tony

    2014-06-01

    Objectives. Computational methods are increasingly used to optimize transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) dose strategies and yet complexities of existing approaches limit their clinical access. Since predictive modelling indicates the relevance of subject/pathology based data and hence the need for subject specific modelling, the incremental clinical value of increasingly complex modelling methods must be balanced against the computational and clinical time and costs. For example, the incorporation of multiple tissue layers and measured diffusion tensor (DTI) based conductivity estimates increase model precision but at the cost of clinical and computational resources. Costs related to such complexities aggregate when considering individual optimization and the myriad of potential montages. Here, rather than considering if additional details change current-flow prediction, we consider when added complexities influence clinical decisions. Approach. Towards developing quantitative and qualitative metrics of value/cost associated with computational model complexity, we considered field distributions generated by two 4 × 1 high-definition montages (m1 = 4 × 1 HD montage with anode at C3 and m2 = 4 × 1 HD montage with anode at C1) and a single conventional (m3 = C3-Fp2) tDCS electrode montage. We evaluated statistical methods, including residual error (RE) and relative difference measure (RDM), to consider the clinical impact and utility of increased complexities, namely the influence of skull, muscle and brain anisotropic conductivities in a volume conductor model. Main results. Anisotropy modulated current-flow in a montage and region dependent manner. However, significant statistical changes, produced within montage by anisotropy, did not change qualitative peak and topographic comparisons across montages. Thus for the examples analysed, clinical decision on which dose to select would not be altered by the omission of anisotropic brain conductivity

  8. Prioritizing qualitative research in surgery: A synthesis and analysis of publication trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maragh-Bass, Allysha C; Appelson, Jessica R; Changoor, Navin R; Davis, W Austin; Haider, Adil H; Morris, Megan A

    2016-12-01

    Over the past 2 decades, researchers have recognized the value of qualitative research. Little has been done to characterize its application to surgery. We describe characteristics and overall prevalence of qualitative surgical research. We searched PubMed and CINAHL using "surgery" and 7 qualitative methodology terms. Four researchers extracted information; a fifth researcher reviewed 10% of abstracts for inter-rater reliability. A total of 3,112 articles were reviewed. Removing duplicates, 28% were relevant (N = 878; κ = 0.70). Common qualitative methodologies included phenomenology (34.3%) and grounded theory (30.2%). Interviews were the most common data collection method (81.9%) of patients (64%) within surgical oncology (15.4%). Postdischarge was the most commonly studied topic (30.8%). Overall, 41% of studies were published in nursing journals, while 8% were published in surgical journals. More than half of studies were published since 2011. Results suggest qualitative surgical research is gaining popularity. Most is published in nonsurgical journals, however, utilizing only 2 methodologies (phenomenology, grounded theory). The surgical journals that have published qualitative research had study topics restricted to a handful of surgical specialties. Additional surgical qualitative research should take advantage of a greater variety of approaches to provide insight into rare phenomena and social context. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Multi-detector row CT of the kidney: Optimizing scan delays for bolus tracking techniques of arterial, corticomedullary, and nephrographic phases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goshima, Satoshi [Department of Radiology, Gifu University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan); Kanematsu, Masayuki [Department of Radiology, Gifu University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan); Department of Radiology Services, Gifu University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan); Nishibori, Hironori; Kondo, Hiroshi; Tsuge, Yusuke [Department of Radiology, Gifu University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan); Yokoyama, Ryujiro; Miyoshi, Toshiharu [Department of Radiology Services, Gifu University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan); Onozuka, Minoru [Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, Kanagawa Dental College, Yokosuka, Kanagawa (Japan); Shiratori, Yoshimune [Department of Medical Informatics, Gifu University School of Medicine, Gifu (Japan); Moriyama, Noriyuki [Department of Diagnostic Radiology, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tsukiji, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo (Japan); Bae, Kyongtae T. [Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (United States)

    2007-09-15

    Purpose: To determine optimal scan delays for renal arterial-, corticomedullary-, and nephrographic-phase imaging with multi-detector row computed tomography (MDCT) of the kidney using a bolus-tracking technique. Methods and materials: One hundred and twenty-eight patients underwent three-phase CT scan of the kidney with eight-row MDCT after receiving 2 mL/kg of 300 mg I/mL contrast medium at 4 mL/s. Patients were prospectively randomized into three groups with different scan delays for the three scan phases (arterial, corticomedullary, and nephrographic) after bolus-tracking triggered at 50 HU of aortic contrast enhancement: group 1 (5, 20, 45 s); group 2 (10, 25, 50 s); and group 3 (15, 30, 55 s). Mean CT values (HU) of the abdominal aorta, renal artery, renal vein, renal cortex, and renal medulla were measured; increases in CT values pre- to post-contrast were assessed as contrast enhancement. Renal artery-to-vein and renal cortex-to-medulla contrast differences were also assessed. Qualitative analysis was also performed. Results: Mean renal artery enhancement was 240-288 HU at 5-15 s after the trigger and peaked at 10 s (P < .001). Mean renal cortical enhancement was 195-217 HU at 10-30 s and peaked at 25 s (P < .01). Contrast enhancement in the renal medulla increased gradually and reached mean 145 HU at 55 s. Cortex-to-medulla contrast difference was high (110-140 HU) at 5-30 s and decreased below 30 HU at 45 s after the trigger. Renal artery-to-vein contrast difference was high (121-125 HU) at 5-10 s. Qualitative results correlated well with quantitative results. Conclusion: For the injection protocol used in this study, optimal scan delays after the bolus-tracking trigger were 5-10 s for renal arterial, 15-25 s for corticomedullary, and 50-55 s for nephrographic phases.

  10. High-throughput optimization by statistical designs: example with rat liver slices cryopreservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, H; Bournique, B; Blanchi, B; Lerche-Langrand, C

    2003-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to optimize cryopreservation conditions of rat liver slices in a high-throughput format, with focus on reproducibility. A statistical design of 32 experiments was performed and intracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDHi) activity and antipyrine (AP) metabolism were evaluated as biomarkers. At freezing, modified University of Wisconsin solution was better than Williams'E medium, and pure dimethyl sulfoxide was better than a cryoprotectant mixture. The best cryoprotectant concentrations were 10% for LDHi and 20% for AP metabolism. Fetal calf serum could be used at 50 or 80%, and incubation of slices with the cryoprotectant could last 10 or 20 min. At thawing, 42 degrees C was better than 22 degrees C. After thawing, 1h was better than 3h of preculture. Cryopreservation increased the interslice variability of the biomarkers. After cryopreservation, LDHi and AP metabolism levels were up to 84 and 80% of fresh values. However, these high levels were not reproducibly achieved. Two factors involved in the day-to-day variability of LDHi were identified: the incubation time with the cryoprotectant and the preculture time. In conclusion, the statistical design was very efficient to quickly determine optimized conditions by simultaneously measuring the role of numerous factors. The cryopreservation procedure developed appears suitable for qualitative metabolic profiling studies.

  11. SU-G-206-08: How Should Focal Spot Be Chosen for Optimized CT Imaging with Dose Modulation?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bache, S; Liu, X; Rong, J [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: To choose the preferred focal spot for achieving optimized CT image quality with balanced tube heating considerations. Methods: An anthropomorphic pelvic phantom was scanned using a GE Discovery CT750 HD at 120 and 140kVp, 0.8s rotation time, and pitch of 0.984. “Smart mA” was enabled to simulate a routine abdomen–pelvis CT scan. Permissible mA values at 120 and 140 kVp were obtained from the Serial Load Rating table (for mimicking a busy CT clinical operation) in the scanner Technical Reference Manual. At each kVp station and two Noise Index levels, the mA Upper Limit was set above/below the permissible mA values. Scanned mA values and focal spot (FS) used were obtained from the DICOM header of each image, and the FS-mA relationship was analyzed. For visual confirmation beyond recorded FS information, a CatPhan with a fat-ring attached for mimicking patient size/shape was scanned at 120kVp. A group of radiologists/physicists compared a pair of CatPhan images qualitatively. Lastly, a number of patient cases were evaluated to confirm the FS-mA relationship. Results: When preset Upper Limit values were above the permissible mA values, the Large FS (labeled 1.2) was used in scans, even if the maximum scanned mA values were much lower than the permissible values at both 120 and 140 kVp. Otherwise the Small FS (labeled 0.7) was used. Visual evaluation of the high contrast module of CatPhan and additional analysis of patient cases further confirmed that the preset Upper Limit determines which focal spot is to be used, not the actual maximum mA value to be scanned. Conclusion: Specific FS can be selected by setting up appropriate mA Upper Limit in a protocol. CT protocols could be optimized by selecting appropriate FS for improving patient image quality, especially benefiting the small size and pediatric patients.

  12. SU-G-206-08: How Should Focal Spot Be Chosen for Optimized CT Imaging with Dose Modulation?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bache, S; Liu, X; Rong, J

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: To choose the preferred focal spot for achieving optimized CT image quality with balanced tube heating considerations. Methods: An anthropomorphic pelvic phantom was scanned using a GE Discovery CT750 HD at 120 and 140kVp, 0.8s rotation time, and pitch of 0.984. “Smart mA” was enabled to simulate a routine abdomen–pelvis CT scan. Permissible mA values at 120 and 140 kVp were obtained from the Serial Load Rating table (for mimicking a busy CT clinical operation) in the scanner Technical Reference Manual. At each kVp station and two Noise Index levels, the mA Upper Limit was set above/below the permissible mA values. Scanned mA values and focal spot (FS) used were obtained from the DICOM header of each image, and the FS-mA relationship was analyzed. For visual confirmation beyond recorded FS information, a CatPhan with a fat-ring attached for mimicking patient size/shape was scanned at 120kVp. A group of radiologists/physicists compared a pair of CatPhan images qualitatively. Lastly, a number of patient cases were evaluated to confirm the FS-mA relationship. Results: When preset Upper Limit values were above the permissible mA values, the Large FS (labeled 1.2) was used in scans, even if the maximum scanned mA values were much lower than the permissible values at both 120 and 140 kVp. Otherwise the Small FS (labeled 0.7) was used. Visual evaluation of the high contrast module of CatPhan and additional analysis of patient cases further confirmed that the preset Upper Limit determines which focal spot is to be used, not the actual maximum mA value to be scanned. Conclusion: Specific FS can be selected by setting up appropriate mA Upper Limit in a protocol. CT protocols could be optimized by selecting appropriate FS for improving patient image quality, especially benefiting the small size and pediatric patients.

  13. Optimal Discount Rates for Government Projects

    OpenAIRE

    Park, Sangkyun

    2012-01-01

    Project selection based on the net present value can be optimal only if the discount rate is optimal. The optimal discount rate for a government project can be a risk-free rate, a comparable market rate (market interest rate corresponding to the risk of cash flows to the government), or an adjusted market rate, depending on circumstances. This paper clarifies the conditions for each case. Provided that the optimal discount rate is the comparable market rate, it varies across intervention meth...

  14. Values Education as Perceived by Social Studies Teachers in Objective and Practice Dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katilmis, Ahmet

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to reveal the objectives of values education in Turkey, values education-related activities performed in schools, and preferred approaches to values education according to the opinions of social studies teachers. This qualitative study used a phenomenological pattern. The participants of the study were selected from…

  15. The value of Internet research to Danish council reporters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sparre, Kirsten

    2008-01-01

    This article presents the findings from qualitative interviews with nine Danish council reporters on how they use the Internet for research on council affairs. Through qualitative interviews, the article aims to qualify and expand findings from survey research on journalists' use of the Internet...... for research and asks how much value journalists add to information found on the Internet and how important Internet research is compared to other types of research. The journalists interviewed found that the council website was useful as a provider of factual information about the council and a searchable...

  16. Qualitative Content Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Philipp Mayring

    2000-01-01

    The article describes an approach of systematic, rule guided qualitative text analysis, which tries to preserve some methodological strengths of quantitative content analysis and widen them to a concept of qualitative procedure. First the development of content analysis is delineated and the basic principles are explained (units of analysis, step models, working with categories, validity and reliability). Then the central procedures of qualitative content analysis, inductive development of ca...

  17. What can qualitative research do for randomised controlled trials? A systematic mapping review

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Cathain, A; Thomas, K J; Drabble, S J; Rudolph, A; Hewison, J

    2013-01-01

    Objective To develop an empirically based framework of the aspects of randomised controlled trials addressed by qualitative research. Design Systematic mapping review of qualitative research undertaken with randomised controlled trials and published in peer-reviewed journals. Data sources MEDLINE, PreMEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Health Technology Assessment, PsycINFO, CINAHL, British Nursing Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and ASSIA. Eligibility criteria Articles reporting qualitative research undertaken with trials published between 2008 and September 2010; health research, reported in English. Results 296 articles met the inclusion criteria. Articles focused on 22 aspects of the trial within five broad categories. Some articles focused on more than one aspect of the trial, totalling 356 examples. The qualitative research focused on the intervention being trialled (71%, 254/356); the design, process and conduct of the trial (15%, 54/356); the outcomes of the trial (1%, 5/356); the measures used in the trial (3%, 10/356); and the target condition for the trial (9%, 33/356). A minority of the qualitative research was undertaken at the pretrial stage (28%, 82/296). The value of the qualitative research to the trial itself was not always made explicit within the articles. The potential value included optimising the intervention and trial conduct, facilitating interpretation of the trial findings, helping trialists to be sensitive to the human beings involved in trials, and saving money by steering researchers towards interventions more likely to be effective in future trials. Conclusions A large amount of qualitative research undertaken with specific trials has been published, addressing a wide range of aspects of trials, with the potential to improve the endeavour of generating evidence of effectiveness of health interventions. Researchers can increase the impact of this work on trials by undertaking more of it at the pretrial stage and being explicit

  18. A qualitative evidence synthesis on the management of male obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archibald, Daryll; Douglas, Flora; Hoddinott, Pat; van Teijlingen, Edwin; Stewart, Fiona; Robertson, Clare; Boyers, Dwayne; Avenell, Alison

    2015-10-12

    To investigate what weight management interventions work for men, with which men, and under what circumstances. Realist synthesis of qualitative studies. Sensitive searches of 11 electronic databases from 1990 to 2012 supplemented by grey literature searches. Studies published between 1990 and 2012 reporting qualitative research with obese men, or obese men in contrast to obese women and lifestyle or drug weight management were included. The studies included men aged 16 years or over, with no upper age limit, with a mean or median body mass index of 30 kg/m(2) in all settings. 22 studies were identified, including 5 qualitative studies linked to randomised controlled trials of weight maintenance interventions and 8 qualitative studies linked to non-randomised intervention studies, and 9 relevant UK-based qualitative studies not linked to any intervention. Health concerns and the perception that certain programmes had 'worked' for other men were the key factors that motivated men to engage with weight management programmes. Barriers to engagement and adherence with programmes included: men not problematising their weight until labelled 'obese'; a lack of support for new food choices by friends and family, and reluctance to undertake extreme dieting. Retaining some autonomy over what is eaten; flexibility about treats and alcohol, and a focus on physical activity were attractive features of programmes. Group interventions, humour and social support facilitated attendance and adherence. Men were motivated to attend programmes in settings that were convenient, non-threatening and congruent with their masculine identities, but men were seldom involved in programme design. Men's perspectives and preferences within the wider context of family, work and pleasure should be sought when designing weight management services. Qualitative research is needed with men to inform all aspects of intervention design, including the setting, optimal recruitment processes and

  19. On the role of modeling parameters in IMRT plan optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krause, Michael; Scherrer, Alexander; Thieke, Christian

    2008-01-01

    The formulation of optimization problems in intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) planning comprises the choice of various values such as function-specific parameters or constraint bounds. In current inverse planning programs that yield a single treatment plan for each optimization, it is often unclear how strongly these modeling parameters affect the resulting plan. This work investigates the mathematical concepts of elasticity and sensitivity to deal with this problem. An artificial planning case with a horse-shoe formed target with different opening angles surrounding a circular risk structure is studied. As evaluation functions the generalized equivalent uniform dose (EUD) and the average underdosage below and average overdosage beyond certain dose thresholds are used. A single IMRT plan is calculated for an exemplary parameter configuration. The elasticity and sensitivity of each parameter are then calculated without re-optimization, and the results are numerically verified. The results show the following. (1) elasticity can quantify the influence of a modeling parameter on the optimization result in terms of how strongly the objective function value varies under modifications of the parameter value. It also can describe how strongly the geometry of the involved planning structures affects the optimization result. (2) Based on the current parameter settings and corresponding treatment plan, sensitivity analysis can predict the optimization result for modified parameter values without re-optimization, and it can estimate the value intervals in which such predictions are valid. In conclusion, elasticity and sensitivity can provide helpful tools in inverse IMRT planning to identify the most critical parameters of an individual planning problem and to modify their values in an appropriate way

  20. Optimization of refrigeration machinery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wall, Goeran [University Coll. of Eskilstuna/Vaesteraas (SE)

    1991-11-01

    This paper reports the application of thermoeconomics to the optimization of a heat pump. The method is suited for application to thermodynamic processes and yields exergy losses. The marginal cost of an arbitary variable can also be calculated. The efficiencies of the compressor, condenser, evaporator and electric motor are chosen as variables to be optimized. Parameters such as the price of electricity and the temperature of the delivered heat may vary between optimizations, and results are presented for different parameter values. The results show that the efficiency of the electric motor is the most important variable. (author).

  1. SU-F-T-187: Quantifying Normal Tissue Sparing with 4D Robust Optimization of Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newpower, M; Ge, S; Mohan, R [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: To report an approach to quantify the normal tissue sparing for 4D robustly-optimized versus PTV-optimized IMPT plans. Methods: We generated two sets of 90 DVHs from a patient’s 10-phase 4D CT set; one by conventional PTV-based optimization done in the Eclipse treatment planning system, and the other by an in-house robust optimization algorithm. The 90 DVHs were created for the following scenarios in each of the ten phases of the 4DCT: ± 5mm shift along x, y, z; ± 3.5% range uncertainty and a nominal scenario. A Matlab function written by Gay and Niemierko was modified to calculate EUD for each DVH for the following structures: esophagus, heart, ipsilateral lung and spinal cord. An F-test determined whether or not the variances of each structure’s DVHs were statistically different. Then a t-test determined if the average EUDs for each optimization algorithm were statistically significantly different. Results: T-test results showed each structure had a statistically significant difference in average EUD when comparing robust optimization versus PTV-based optimization. Under robust optimization all structures except the spinal cord received lower EUDs than PTV-based optimization. Using robust optimization the average EUDs decreased 1.45% for the esophagus, 1.54% for the heart and 5.45% for the ipsilateral lung. The average EUD to the spinal cord increased 24.86% but was still well below tolerance. Conclusion: This work has helped quantify a qualitative relationship noted earlier in our work: that robust optimization leads to plans with greater normal tissue sparing compared to PTV-based optimization. Except in the case of the spinal cord all structures received a lower EUD under robust optimization and these results are statistically significant. While the average EUD to the spinal cord increased to 25.06 Gy under robust optimization it is still well under the TD50 value of 66.5 Gy from Emami et al. Supported in part by the NCI U19 CA021239.

  2. Adding value to laboratory medicine: a professional responsibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beastall, Graham H

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory medicine is a medical specialty at the centre of healthcare. When used optimally laboratory medicine generates knowledge that can facilitate patient safety, improve patient outcomes, shorten patient journeys and lead to more cost-effective healthcare. Optimal use of laboratory medicine relies on dynamic and authoritative leadership outside as well as inside the laboratory. The first responsibility of the head of a clinical laboratory is to ensure the provision of a high quality service across a wide range of parameters culminating in laboratory accreditation against an international standard, such as ISO 15189. From that essential baseline the leadership of laboratory medicine at local, national and international level needs to 'add value' to ensure the optimal delivery, use, development and evaluation of the services provided for individuals and for groups of patients. A convenient tool to illustrate added value is use of the mnemonic 'SCIENCE'. This tool allows added value to be considered in seven domains: standardisation and harmonisation; clinical effectiveness; innovation; evidence-based practice; novel applications; cost-effectiveness; and education of others. The assessment of added value in laboratory medicine may be considered against a framework that comprises three dimensions: operational efficiency; patient management; and patient behaviours. The profession and the patient will benefit from sharing examples of adding value to laboratory medicine.

  3. Optimality of profit-including prices under ideal planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuelson, P A

    1973-07-01

    Although prices calculated by a constant percentage markup on all costs (nonlabor as well as direct-labor) are usually admitted to be more realistic for a competitive capitalistic model, the view is often expressed that, for optimal planning purposes, the "values" model of Marx's Capital, Volume I, is to be preferred. It is shown here that an optimal-control model that maximizes discounted social utility of consumption per capita and that ultimately approaches a steady state must ultimately have optimal pricing that involves equal rates of steady-state profit in all industries; and such optimal pricing will necessarily deviate from Marx's model of equal rates of surplus value (markups on direct-labor only) in all industries.

  4. 实时剪切波弹性成像定量及定性评价乳腺良恶性实性病变%Diagnostic Value of Quantitative and Qualitative Shear Wave Elastography for Solid Breast Masses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李奥; 彭晓静; 袁涛; 薛海燕; 林红军; 叶新华

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess the diagnostic value of quantitative and qualitative shear wave elastography (SWE) in the evaluation of solid breast masses and to determine the most discriminatory parameter.Methods A total of 166 breast masses (malignant 46,benign 120) in 155 women who underwent SWE before ultrasound-guided core biopsy or surgery were analysed.The quantitative SWE parameters including maximum elasticity (Emax),mean elasticity (Emea),standard deviation of the elasticity (Esd) and the lesion-to-fat elasticity ratio (Eratio) were measured.The qualitative SWE features were assessed using a four-colour overlay pattern.Results The differences of Emax,Emea,Esd and Eratio within benign and malignant lesions were statistically significant (P<0.0001).The AUC of Emax (0.920) was the highest among elasticity values with the optimal cutoff value of 49.27 kPa and the AUC of SWE colour pattern was 0.873 with the cutoff of pattern Ⅲ.When Emax and colour pattern were combined,the sensitivity,specificity and accuracy were 89.1%,91.7 %,91.0 % respectively.Conclusions Conclusions Both quantitative and qualitative SWE could provide further diagnostic information during ultrasound characterization of solid breast masses.Emax (cutoff,49.27 kPa) appeared to be the most discriminatory parameter.%目的 分析实时剪切波弹性成像技术(SWE)各定量参数及弹性图像特征在鉴别乳腺良恶性实性病变中的价值,筛选出最佳的诊断参数.方法 对155例女性患者共166个乳腺病变行常规超声及SWE检查,定量测量病灶弹性模量值,包括最大弹性值Emax、平均弹性值Emea、弹性标准差Esd及病灶/脂肪弹性比Eratio;定性评估病灶弹性图像特征,并将其分为四种类型.结果 SWE弹性图像类型及定量参数Emax、Emea、Esd及Eratio在乳腺良恶性病灶间均有显著性统计学差异(P<0.0001).通过绘制ROC曲线,Emax的AUC在所有定量参数中最大(0.920),界值为49.27 k

  5. Pointwise second-order necessary optimality conditions and second-order sensitivity relations in optimal control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankowska, Hélène; Hoehener, Daniel

    2017-06-01

    This paper is devoted to pointwise second-order necessary optimality conditions for the Mayer problem arising in optimal control theory. We first show that with every optimal trajectory it is possible to associate a solution p (ṡ) of the adjoint system (as in the Pontryagin maximum principle) and a matrix solution W (ṡ) of an adjoint matrix differential equation that satisfy a second-order transversality condition and a second-order maximality condition. These conditions seem to be a natural second-order extension of the maximum principle. We then prove a Jacobson like necessary optimality condition for general control systems and measurable optimal controls that may be only ;partially singular; and may take values on the boundary of control constraints. Finally we investigate the second-order sensitivity relations along optimal trajectories involving both p (ṡ) and W (ṡ).

  6. Critical serum creatinine values in very preterm newborns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Bruel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Renal failure in neonates is associated with an increased risk of mortality and morbidity. But critical values are not known. OBJECTIVE: To define critical values for serum creatinine levels by gestational age in preterm infants, as a predictive factor for mortality and morbidity. STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective study of all preterm infants born before 33 weeks of gestational age, hospitalized in Nantes University Hospital NICU between 2003 and 2009, with serum creatinine levels measured between postnatal days 3 to 30. Children were retrospectively randomized into either training or validation set. Critical creatinine values were defined within the training set as the 90(th percentile values of highest serum creatinine (HSCr in infants with optimal neurodevelopmental at two years of age. The relationship between these critical creatinine values and neonatal mortality, and non-optimal neural development at two years, was then assessed in the validation set. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The analysis involved a total of 1,461 infants (gestational ages of 24-27 weeks (n=322, 28-29 weeks (n=336, and 30-32 weeks (803, and 14,721 creatinine assessments. The critical values determined in the training set (n=485 were 1.6, 1.1 and 1.0 mg/dL for each gestational age group, respectively. In the validation set (n=976, a serum creatinine level above the critical value was significantly associated with neonatal mortality (Odds ratio: 8.55 (95% confidence interval: 4.23-17.28; p<0.01 after adjusting for known renal failure risk factors, and with non-optimal neurodevelopmental outcome at two years (odds ratio: 2.06 (95% confidence interval: 1.26-3.36; p=0.004 before adjustment. Creatinine values greater than 1.6, 1.1 and 1.0 mg/dL respectively at 24-27, 28-29, 30-32 weeks of gestation were associated with mortality before and after adjustment for risk factors, and with non-optimal neurodevelopmental outcome, before adjustment.

  7. Optimized planning methodologies of ASON implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Michael M.; Tamil, Lakshman S.

    2005-02-01

    Advanced network planning concerns effective network-resource allocation for dynamic and open business environment. Planning methodologies of ASON implementation based on qualitative analysis and mathematical modeling are presented in this paper. The methodology includes method of rationalizing technology and architecture, building network and nodal models, and developing dynamic programming for multi-period deployment. The multi-layered nodal architecture proposed here can accommodate various nodal configurations for a multi-plane optical network and the network modeling presented here computes the required network elements for optimizing resource allocation.

  8. THE CURRENT STATE OF KNOWLEDGE IN THE VALUE RELEVANCE RESEARCH FIELD

    OpenAIRE

    Carmen- Alexandra BALTARIU

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to assess the scientific literature referring to the value relevance of reported accounting information over a twelve year period starting from 2002. The approach of the paper is a theoretical (conceptual) one. In order to complete the purpose of the paper we selected as research method the longitudinal qualitative analysis. The qualitative analysis carried out presents a deductive character. Our conclusions regarding the general characteristics of the research fi...

  9. Shared Journaling as Peer Support in Teaching Qualitative Research Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humble, Aine M.; Sharp, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Teaching qualitative research methods (QRM), particularly early on in one's academic career, can be challenging. This paper describes shared peer journaling as one way in which to cope with challenges such as complex debates in the field and student resistance to interpretive paradigms. Literature on teaching QRM and the pedagogical value of…

  10. Studying Practices of Leading--Qualitative Shadowing in Early Childhood Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hognestad, Karin; Bøe, Marit

    2016-01-01

    This article considers qualitative shadowing as a fruitful method to investigate leadership practices. We propose that an approach to practice that takes into account the activities of "sayings, doings and relatings" offers a fresh perspective on how to obtain rich data on practices of leading. The value of this idea is illustrated from…

  11. Qualitative inquiry and the debate between hermeneutics and critical theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, James A; DeForge, Ryan T

    2014-11-01

    Two issues have been central to ongoing disputes about judgments of quality in qualitative inquiry: (a) the ways in which paradigmatic orientations are understood to guide procedural decisions and (b) the meaning and intelligibility of paradigmatic incommensurability. In this article, we address these two key issues through an exploration of the debates between hermeneutics and critical social theory, including the exchanges between Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jurgen Habermas, and between Richard Rorty and Thomas McCarthy. We suggest that the key epistemological issue addressed in these debates is the nature of interpretation, separating the two philosophical camps based on beliefs about whether foundational knowledge is possible to achieve. We conclude the article by discussing the implications of these different positions for beliefs about quality in qualitative inquiry, and comment on the role of judgment in assessments of the value and quality of different approaches to qualitative research. © The Author(s) 2014.

  12. Qualitative reasoning for biological network inference from systematic perturbation experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badaloni, Silvana; Di Camillo, Barbara; Sambo, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    The systematic perturbation of the components of a biological system has been proven among the most informative experimental setups for the identification of causal relations between the components. In this paper, we present Systematic Perturbation-Qualitative Reasoning (SPQR), a novel Qualitative Reasoning approach to automate the interpretation of the results of systematic perturbation experiments. Our method is based on a qualitative abstraction of the experimental data: for each perturbation experiment, measured values of the observed variables are modeled as lower, equal or higher than the measurements in the wild type condition, when no perturbation is applied. The algorithm exploits a set of IF-THEN rules to infer causal relations between the variables, analyzing the patterns of propagation of the perturbation signals through the biological network, and is specifically designed to minimize the rate of false positives among the inferred relations. Tested on both simulated and real perturbation data, SPQR indeed exhibits a significantly higher precision than the state of the art.

  13. COMPARISON OF THE ACCOUNTING CONCEPT “FAIR VALUE” WITH OTHER ECONOMIC VALUE CONCEPTS

    OpenAIRE

    Justine Jaunzeme

    2011-01-01

    Fair value is a measurement base found both in International Financial Reporting Standards and in Latvian accounting legislation. For the fair value measurements to be meaningful for financial analysts, consultants and other financial statement users, it is important that the fair value concept be understood in relation to other economic value concepts. The purpose of this paper is to compare the fair value concept of financial accounting to other economic value concepts. The qualitative meth...

  14. GPs' perceptions of resilience training: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheshire, Anna; Hughes, John; Lewith, George; Panagioti, Maria; Peters, David; Simon, Chantal; Ridge, Damien

    2017-10-01

    GPs are reporting increasing levels of burnout, stress, and job dissatisfaction, and there is a looming GP shortage. Promoting resilience is a key strategy for enhancing the sustainability of the healthcare workforce and improving patient care. To explore GPs' perspectives on the content, context, and acceptability of resilience training programmes in general practice, in order to build more effective GP resilience programmes. This was a qualitative study of the perspectives of GPs currently practising in England. GPs were recruited through convenience sampling, and data were collected from two focus groups ( n = 15) and one-to-one telephone interviews ( n = 7). A semi-structured interview approach was used and data were analysed using thematic analysis. Participants perceived resilience training to be potentially of value in ameliorating workplace stresses. Nevertheless, uncertainty was expressed regarding how best to provide training for stressed GPs who have limited time. Participants suspected that GPs most likely to benefit from resilience training were the least likely to engage, as stress and being busy worked against engagement. Conflicting views were expressed about the most suitable training delivery method for promoting better engagement. Participants also emphasised that training should not only place the focus on the individual, but also focus on organisation issues. A multimodal, flexible approach based on individual needs and learning aims, including resilience workshops within undergraduate training and in individual practices, is likely to be the optimal way to promote resilience. © British Journal of General Practice 2017.

  15. Comparison of Quantitative Cartilage T2 Measurements and Qualitative MR Imaging between Professional Ballet Dancers and Healthy Volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Jang Gyu; Yi, Ji Sook; Han, Jong Kyu; Lee, Young Koo

    2015-07-01

    To compare qualitative magnetic resonance (MR) images and quantitative T2 measurements of the tibiotalar cartilage between ballerinas and healthy volunteers. Institutional review board approval for this study and informed consent (from all participants) were obtained. MR examinations were performed by using a 3-T MR imaging system with 21 professional female ballet dancers and 20 healthy female volunteers. Two musculoskeletal radiologists qualitatively measured tibiotalar cartilage T2 values in the anterior zones, middle zones, and posterior zones of cartilage. MR findings were also qualitatively analyzed in both groups. The tibial cartilage T2 values measured in the anterior and posterior zones and the talar cartilage T2 values measured in all three zones were significantly higher in the ballerina group than in the control group (P The posterior zones exhibited the highest T2 values among the three tibiotalar cartilage zones in both groups (P the presence of posterior soft-tissue edema (P = .001) and flexor hallucis longus tenosynovitis (P The findings showed a trend toward increasing cartilage T2 values in ballerinas when compared with control subjects, indicating that quantitative T2 measurement may potentially be used as a noninvasive imaging tool for early detection of cartilage lesions in the tibiotalar joint.

  16. Low-frequency Raman spectra of sub- and supercritical CO2: qualitative analysis of the diffusion coefficient behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Idrissi, A; Longelin, S; Damay, P; Leclercq, F

    2005-09-01

    We report the results of the low-frequency Raman experiments on CO(2) which were carried out in a wide density range, along the liquid-gas coexistence curve in a temperature range of 293-303 K, and on the critical isochore of 94.4 cm(3) mol(-1) in a temperature range of 304-315 K. In our approach, the qualitative behavior of the diffusion coefficient D is predicted, assuming the following: first, that the low-frequency Raman spectra can be interpreted in terms of the translation rotation motions; second, that the random force could be replaced by the total force to calculate the friction coefficient; and finally, that the Einstein frequency is associated with the position of the maximum of the low-frequency Raman spectrum. The results show that the diffusion coefficient increases along the coexistence curve, and its values are almost constant on the critical isochore. The predicted values reproduce qualitatively those obtained by other techniques. The values of D were also calculated by molecular-dynamics simulation and they qualitatively reproduce the behavior of D.

  17. A comparison of three optimization algorithms for intensity modulated radiation therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pflugfelder, D.; Wilkens, J.J.; Nill, S.; Oelfke, U.

    2008-01-01

    In intensity modulated treatment techniques, the modulation of each treatment field is obtained using an optimization algorithm. Multiple optimization algorithms have been proposed in the literature, e.g. steepest descent, conjugate gradient, quasi-Newton methods to name a few. The standard optimization algorithm in our in-house inverse planning tool KonRad is a quasi-Newton algorithm. Although this algorithm yields good results, it also has some drawbacks. Thus we implemented an improved optimization algorithm based on the limited-memory Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno (L-BFGS) routine. In this paper the improved optimization algorithm is described. To compare the two algorithms, several treatment plans are optimized using both algorithms. This included photon (IMRT) as well as proton (IMPT) intensity modulated therapy treatment plans. To present the results in a larger context the widely used conjugate gradient algorithm was also included into this comparison. On average, the improved optimization algorithm was six times faster to reach the same objective function value. However, it resulted not only in an acceleration of the optimization. Due to the faster convergence, the improved optimization algorithm usually terminates the optimization process at a lower objective function value. The average of the observed improvement in the objective function value was 37%. This improvement is clearly visible in the corresponding dose-volume-histograms. The benefit of the improved optimization algorithm is particularly pronounced in proton therapy plans. The conjugate gradient algorithm ranked in between the other two algorithms with an average speedup factor of two and an average improvement of the objective function value of 30%. (orig.)

  18. Qualitative research within trials: developing a standard operating procedure for a clinical trials unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Qualitative research methods are increasingly used within clinical trials to address broader research questions than can be addressed by quantitative methods alone. These methods enable health professionals, service users, and other stakeholders to contribute their views and experiences to evaluation of healthcare treatments, interventions, or policies, and influence the design of trials. Qualitative data often contribute information that is better able to reform policy or influence design. Methods Health services researchers, including trialists, clinicians, and qualitative researchers, worked collaboratively to develop a comprehensive portfolio of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the West Wales Organisation for Rigorous Trials in Health (WWORTH), a clinical trials unit (CTU) at Swansea University, which has recently achieved registration with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC). Although the UKCRC requires a total of 25 SOPs from registered CTUs, WWORTH chose to add an additional qualitative-methods SOP (QM-SOP). Results The qualitative methods SOP (QM-SOP) defines good practice in designing and implementing qualitative components of trials, while allowing flexibility of approach and method. Its basic principles are that: qualitative researchers should be contributors from the start of trials with qualitative potential; the qualitative component should have clear aims; and the main study publication should report on the qualitative component. Conclusions We recommend that CTUs consider developing a QM-SOP to enhance the conduct of quantitative trials by adding qualitative data and analysis. We judge that this improves the value of quantitative trials, and contributes to the future development of multi-method trials. PMID:23433341

  19. Analisis Pembentukan Portofolio Optimal Saham Dengan Pendekatan Optimisasi Multiobjektif Untuk Pengukuran Value at Risk

    OpenAIRE

    Farkhati, Fiki; Hoyyi, Abdul; Wilandari, Yuciana

    2014-01-01

    Mean Variance Efficient Portfolio (MVEP) is theory of portfolio which purposed to standard investor because approach has only one objective that minimize portfolio risk. Portfolio with multi-objective optimization that simultaneously maximize portfolio return and minimize portfolio risk with various weighting coefficient k represents risk aversion index. The purpose of this research is analyze proportion each stock in order that is formed optimal portfolio approach multi-objective optimizati...

  20. Getting More Value from the LibQUAL+® Survey: The Merits of Qualitative Analysis and Importance-Satisfaction Matrices in Assessing Library Patron Comments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detlor, Brian; Ball, Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the merit of conducting a qualitative analysis of LibQUAL+® survey comments as a means of leveraging quantitative LibQUAL+ results, and using importance-satisfaction matrices to present and assess qualitative findings. Comments collected from the authors' institution's LibQUAL+ survey were analyzed using a codebook based on…

  1. Assessing the wider environmental value of remediating land contamination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardos, R.P.; Kearney, T.E.; Nathanail, C.P.; Weenk, A.; Martin, I.D.

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to consider qualitative and quantitative approaches for assessing the wider environmental value of remediating land contamination. In terms of the environmental element of sustainable development, a remediation project's overall environmental performance is the sum of the

  2. Multi-objective optimization of riparian buffer networks; valuing present and future benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Multi-objective optimization has emerged as a popular approach to support water resources planning and management. This approach provides decision-makers with a suite of management options which are generated based on metrics that represent different social, economic, and environ...

  3. Creating Value Propositions Through Configuration of Knowledge and Resources

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heikka, Eija-Liisa; Frandsen, Thomas; Hsuan, Juliana

    Service providers seek to manage different customer segments using different value propositions. In this paper we investigate how configuring knowledge and resources within organizations can facilitate the creation of value propositions for different customers. A qualitative multiple case study...... is organized around two projects allowing within-case and cross-case comparisons. Our findings indicate that, no matter how complex or simple a project is, there is a need for PR person(s) to take care of marketing and sales and to make appointments with the customers, who valued most the KIBS provider...

  4. THE LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE IN THE VALUE RELEVANCE LITERATURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela Alina ROBU

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In the last decades, numerous studies have covered the relationship between stock price or stock return and financial information. These studies represent the "value-relevance" literature. Knowledge of this area of interest, through literature and the main ideas, yields scientific progress. The aim of the study is to achieve a qualitative and a quantitative analysis regarding the level of knowledge in the value relevance literature, in an international context. To achieve this aim, a number of 53 scientific articles published between 2001 and 2013 were selected, from the first two journals related to the number of citations in the rankings compiled by Google Scholar, Accounting and Taxation category. Qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis (factorial analysis of multiple correspondences as statistical method were used. The results reflect the importance of existing problems in the financial markets. The studies are focused on solving these problems, to support the investors.

  5. Optimization of temperature and time for drying and carbonization to increase calorific value of coconut shell using Taguchi method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musabbikhah, Saptoadi, H.; Subarmono, Wibisono, M. A.

    2016-03-01

    Fossil fuel still dominates the needs of energy in Indonesia for the past few years. The increasing scarcity of oil and gas from non-renewable materials results in an energy crisis. This condition turns to be a serious problem for society which demands immediate solution. One effort which can be taken to overcome this problem is the utilization and processing of biomass as renewable energy by means of carbonization. Thus, it can be used as qualified raw material for production of briquette. In this research, coconut shell is used as carbonized waste. The research aims at improving the quality of coconut shell as the material for making briquettes as cheap and eco-friendly renewable energy. At the end, it is expected to decrease dependence on oil and gas. The research variables are drying temperature and time, carbonization time and temperature. The dependent variable is calorific value of the coconut shell. The method used in this research is Taguchi Method. The result of the research shows thus variables, have a significant contribution on the increase of coconut shell's calorific value. It is proven that the higher thus variables are higher calorific value. Before carbonization, the average calorific value of coconut shell reaches 4,667 call/g, and a significant increase is notable after the carbonization. The optimization is parameter setting of A2B3C3D3, which means that the drying temperature is 105 °C, the drying time is 24 hours, the carbonization temperature is 650 °C and carbonization time is 120 minutes. The average calorific value is approximately 7,744 cal/g. Therefore, the increase of the coconut shell's calorific value after the carbonization is 3,077 cal/g or approximately 60 %. The charcoal of carbonized coconut shell has met the requirement of SNI, thus it can be used as raw material in making briquette which can eventually be used as cheap and environmental friendly fuel.

  6. Optimization of Nanowire-Resistance Load Logic Inverter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashim, Yasir; Sidek, Othman

    2015-09-01

    This study is the first to demonstrate characteristics optimization of nanowire resistance load inverter. Noise margins and inflection voltage of transfer characteristics are used as limiting factors in this optimization. Results indicate that optimization depends on resistance value. Increasing of load resistor tends to increasing in noise margins until saturation point, increasing load resistor after this point will not improve noise margins significantly.

  7. Validity in Qualitative Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasco Lub

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This article provides a discussion on the question of validity in qualitative evaluation. Although validity in qualitative inquiry has been widely reflected upon in the methodological literature (and is still often subject of debate, the link with evaluation research is underexplored. Elaborating on epistemological and theoretical conceptualizations by Guba and Lincoln and Creswell and Miller, the article explores aspects of validity of qualitative research with the explicit objective of connecting them with aspects of evaluation in social policy. It argues that different purposes of qualitative evaluations can be linked with different scientific paradigms and perspectives, thus transcending unproductive paradigmatic divisions as well as providing a flexible yet rigorous validity framework for researchers and reviewers of qualitative evaluations.

  8. Rapid Optimal Generation Algorithm for Terrain Following Trajectory Based on Optimal Control

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨剑影; 张海; 谢邦荣; 尹健

    2004-01-01

    Based on the optimal control theory, a 3-dimensionnal direct generation algorithm is proposed for anti-ground low altitude penetration tasks under complex terrain. By optimizing the terrain following(TF) objective function,terrain coordinate system, missile dynamic model and control vector, the TF issue is turning into the improved optimal control problem whose mathmatical model is simple and need not solve the second order terrain derivative. Simulation results prove that this method is reasonable and feasible. The TF precision is in the scope from 0.3 m to 3.0 m,and the planning time is less than 30 min. This method have the strongpionts such as rapidness, precision and has great application value.

  9. Value-Creation Potential from Multi-Market Trading for a Hydropower Producer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marte Fodstad

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available We study a hydropower producer’s potential for value-creation from multi-market trading given the price variations in the markets and the flexibility provided through access to hydro reservoirs. We use a perfect foresight optimization model for a price-taking hydropower producer co-optimizing his trades in the day-ahead, intra-day and balancing markets. The model is used on real market data from Norway, Sweden and Germany. The study shows a theoretical potential for added value when selling energy in multiple markets relative to optimal day-ahead sale. Most of this value is achievable also when the perfect foresight is limited to the period from day-ahead bidding until operation. Flexible production plants achieve the largest relative added values for multi-market sales, and has the largest benefit from a long horizon with perfect foresight.

  10. Tax optimization of companies

    OpenAIRE

    Dědinová, Pavla

    2017-01-01

    This diploma thesis deals with tax optimization of companies. The thesis is divided into two main parts - the theoretical and practical part. The introduction of the theoretical part describes the history of taxes, their basic characteristics and the importance of their collection for today's society. Subsequently, the tax system of the Czech Republic with a focus on value added tax and corporation tax is presented. The practical part deals with specific possibilities of optimization of the a...

  11. How to Be Both Rich and Happy: Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Strategic Reasoning about Multi-Player Games (Extended Abstract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils Bulling

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We propose a logical framework combining a game-theoretic study of abilities of agents to achieve quantitative objectives in multi-player games by optimizing payoffs or preferences on outcomes with a logical analysis of the abilities of players for achieving qualitative objectives of players, i.e., reaching or maintaining game states with desired properties. We enrich concurrent game models with payoffs for the normal form games associated with the states of the model and propose a quantitative extension of the logic ATL* enabling the combination of quantitative and qualitative reasoning.

  12. [Optimal solution and analysis of muscular force during standing balance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongrui; Zheng, Hui; Liu, Kun

    2015-02-01

    The present study was aimed at the optimal solution of the main muscular force distribution in the lower extremity during standing balance of human. The movement musculoskeletal system of lower extremity was simplified to a physical model with 3 joints and 9 muscles. Then on the basis of this model, an optimum mathematical model was built up to solve the problem of redundant muscle forces. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm is used to calculate the single objective and multi-objective problem respectively. The numerical results indicated that the multi-objective optimization could be more reasonable to obtain the distribution and variation of the 9 muscular forces. Finally, the coordination of each muscle group during maintaining standing balance under the passive movement was qualitatively analyzed using the simulation results obtained.

  13. What qualitative research can contribute to a randomized controlled trial of a complex community intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Geoffrey; Macnaughton, Eric; Goering, Paula

    2015-11-01

    Using the case of a large-scale, multi-site Canadian Housing First research demonstration project for homeless people with mental illness, At Home/Chez Soi, we illustrate the value of qualitative methods in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a complex community intervention. We argue that quantitative RCT research can neither capture the complexity nor tell the full story of a complex community intervention. We conceptualize complex community interventions as having multiple phases and dimensions that require both RCT and qualitative research components. Rather than assume that qualitative research and RCTs are incommensurate, a more pragmatic mixed methods approach was used, which included using both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand program implementation and outcomes. At the same time, qualitative research was used to examine aspects of the intervention that could not be understood through the RCT, such as its conception, planning, sustainability, and policy impacts. Through this example, we show how qualitative research can tell a more complete story about complex community interventions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Qualités en conception, concourance et management de la qualité

    OpenAIRE

    Gilles Debizet; Eric Henry

    2008-01-01

    La notion de qualités en conception renvoie au premier chef aux qualités de l'ouvrage pour les exploitants et les utilisateurs actuels et futurs dont les appréciations évoluent dans la durée. Il y a donc toujours une part d'incertitude et de controverse quant au jugement sur les qualités de l'ouvrage. La promesse de qualités formulée en début de processus est toujours assortie d'incertitudes et de risques tels que les définit P. Dehan [Dehan, 2001]. Et ceux qui en portent la responsabilité pr...

  15. Potential value of systematic reviews of qualitative evidence in informing user-centered health and social care: findings from a descriptive overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Jane; Booth, Andrew; Noyes, Jane; Sowden, Amanda J

    2017-08-01

    Systematic reviews of quantitative evidence are well established in health and social care. Systematic reviews of qualitative evidence are increasingly available, but volume, topics covered, methods used, and reporting quality are largely unknown. We provide a descriptive overview of systematic reviews of qualitative evidence assessing health and social care interventions included on the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE). We searched DARE for reviews published between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2014. We extracted data on review content and methods, summarized narratively, and explored patterns over time. We identified 145 systematic reviews conducted worldwide (64 in the UK). Interventions varied but largely covered treatment or service delivery in community and hospital settings. There were no discernible patterns over time. Critical appraisal of primary studies was conducted routinely. Most reviews were poorly reported. Potential exists to use systematic reviews of qualitative evidence when driving forward user-centered health and social care. We identify where more research is needed and propose ways to improve review methodology and reporting. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Qualitative Tourism Research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buda, Dorina; Martini, Annaclaudia; Garcia, Luis-Manuel; Lowry, Linda

    Conducting qualitative research in tourism studies entails engaging with an entire approach, a set of methods that shape project design, conceptual frameworks, data analysis, and anticipated outcomes. Standard qualitative methods are individual interviews, focus groups and ethnography. Solicited

  17. Image denoising: Learning the noise model via nonsmooth PDE-constrained optimization

    KAUST Repository

    Reyes, Juan Carlos De los

    2013-11-01

    We propose a nonsmooth PDE-constrained optimization approach for the determination of the correct noise model in total variation (TV) image denoising. An optimization problem for the determination of the weights corresponding to different types of noise distributions is stated and existence of an optimal solution is proved. A tailored regularization approach for the approximation of the optimal parameter values is proposed thereafter and its consistency studied. Additionally, the differentiability of the solution operator is proved and an optimality system characterizing the optimal solutions of each regularized problem is derived. The optimal parameter values are numerically computed by using a quasi-Newton method, together with semismooth Newton type algorithms for the solution of the TV-subproblems. © 2013 American Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

  18. Image denoising: Learning the noise model via nonsmooth PDE-constrained optimization

    KAUST Repository

    Reyes, Juan Carlos De los; Schö nlieb, Carola-Bibiane

    2013-01-01

    We propose a nonsmooth PDE-constrained optimization approach for the determination of the correct noise model in total variation (TV) image denoising. An optimization problem for the determination of the weights corresponding to different types of noise distributions is stated and existence of an optimal solution is proved. A tailored regularization approach for the approximation of the optimal parameter values is proposed thereafter and its consistency studied. Additionally, the differentiability of the solution operator is proved and an optimality system characterizing the optimal solutions of each regularized problem is derived. The optimal parameter values are numerically computed by using a quasi-Newton method, together with semismooth Newton type algorithms for the solution of the TV-subproblems. © 2013 American Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

  19. Microblogging Practices of Scientists in E-Learning: A Qualitative Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Kieslinger

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Microblogging services, in particular Twitter, have experienced an explosive uptake in the last few years with a decelerated grown rate since 2010. Apart from celebrities, PR and news agencies, the bulk of user profiles stems form private individuals. Amongst them, individual scientists have started to make use of Twitter for professional purposes. This paper presents a qualitative approach of discovering microblogging practices and obtaining rich descriptions of few cases that give a deeper insight into how Twitter is used by scientists active in the field of e-Learning and how this practice shapes their social networks. The methodological approach is based on online ethnographic studies. Therefore Grabeeter, a tool for collecting all public tweets of a person in various formats, has been adapted in order to obtain the data appropriate for a qualitative analysis following a grounded theory approach. After an analysis of the current state-of-the-art we will outline the methodological approach for our qualitative analysis that focuses on discovering tacit aspects of microblogging practices such as value or purpose. Finally the results of the online ethnographic approach and individual cases will be discussed and compared to similar studies. This work presents the explorative phase of a detailed qualitative approach towards exploring microblogging practices of scientists.

  20. Optimal Real-time Dispatch for Integrated Energy Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Firestone, Ryan Michael [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2007-05-31

    This report describes the development and application of a dispatch optimization algorithm for integrated energy systems (IES) comprised of on-site cogeneration of heat and electricity, energy storage devices, and demand response opportunities. This work is intended to aid commercial and industrial sites in making use of modern computing power and optimization algorithms to make informed, near-optimal decisions under significant uncertainty and complex objective functions. The optimization algorithm uses a finite set of randomly generated future scenarios to approximate the true, stochastic future; constraints are included that prevent solutions to this approximate problem from deviating from solutions to the actual problem. The algorithm is then expressed as a mixed integer linear program, to which a powerful commercial solver is applied. A case study of United States Postal Service Processing and Distribution Centers (P&DC) in four cities and under three different electricity tariff structures is conducted to (1) determine the added value of optimal control to a cogeneration system over current, heuristic control strategies; (2) determine the value of limited electric load curtailment opportunities, with and without cogeneration; and (3) determine the trade-off between least-cost and least-carbon operations of a cogeneration system. Key results for the P&DC sites studied include (1) in locations where the average electricity and natural gas prices suggest a marginally profitable cogeneration system, optimal control can add up to 67% to the value of the cogeneration system; optimal control adds less value in locations where cogeneration is more clearly profitable; (2) optimal control under real-time pricing is (a) more complicated than under typical time-of-use tariffs and (b) at times necessary to make cogeneration economic at all; (3) limited electric load curtailment opportunities can be more valuable as a compliment to the cogeneration system than alone; and

  1. Local Approximation and Hierarchical Methods for Stochastic Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Bolong

    In this thesis, we present local and hierarchical approximation methods for two classes of stochastic optimization problems: optimal learning and Markov decision processes. For the optimal learning problem class, we introduce a locally linear model with radial basis function for estimating the posterior mean of the unknown objective function. The method uses a compact representation of the function which avoids storing the entire history, as is typically required by nonparametric methods. We derive a knowledge gradient policy with the locally parametric model, which maximizes the expected value of information. We show the policy is asymptotically optimal in theory, and experimental works suggests that the method can reliably find the optimal solution on a range of test functions. For the Markov decision processes problem class, we are motivated by an application where we want to co-optimize a battery for multiple revenue, in particular energy arbitrage and frequency regulation. The nature of this problem requires the battery to make charging and discharging decisions at different time scales while accounting for the stochastic information such as load demand, electricity prices, and regulation signals. Computing the exact optimal policy becomes intractable due to the large state space and the number of time steps. We propose two methods to circumvent the computation bottleneck. First, we propose a nested MDP model that structure the co-optimization problem into smaller sub-problems with reduced state space. This new model allows us to understand how the battery behaves down to the two-second dynamics (that of the frequency regulation market). Second, we introduce a low-rank value function approximation for backward dynamic programming. This new method only requires computing the exact value function for a small subset of the state space and approximate the entire value function via low-rank matrix completion. We test these methods on historical price data from the

  2. Optimization of fuel core loading pattern design in a VVER nuclear power reactors using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babazadeh, Davood; Boroushaki, Mehrdad; Lucas, Caro

    2009-01-01

    The two main goals in core fuel loading pattern design optimization are maximizing the core effective multiplication factor (K eff ) in order to extract the maximum energy, and keeping the local power peaking factor (P q ) lower than a predetermined value to maintain fuel integrity. In this research, a new strategy based on Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm has been developed to optimize the fuel core loading pattern in a typical VVER. The PSO algorithm presents a simple social model by inspiration from bird collective behavior in finding food. A modified version of PSO algorithm for discrete variables has been developed and implemented successfully for the multi-objective optimization of fuel loading pattern design with constraints of keeping P q lower than a predetermined value and maximizing K eff . This strategy has been accomplished using WIMSD and CITATION calculation codes. Simulation results show that this algorithm can help in the acquisition of a new pattern without contravention of the constraints.

  3. "It's about fitting in with the organisation": A qualitative study of employers of nurse practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leidel, Stacy; Hauck, Yvonne; McGough, Shirley

    2018-04-01

    To explore the views of employers about the value nurse practitioners (NPs) add to health services, enablers and barriers to employing NPs, and intentions to employ NPs or expand NP services in the future. Research on Australian NPs has focused on NPs' experiences or patient-related factors like waiting times. Few studies have explored NP roles from the perspective of employers. Australian NPs employed by the private sector are eligible for reimbursement by the national health insurance scheme (Medicare Australia), potentially generating revenue for employers and broadening their career opportunities. We aimed to explore private sector employers' views on the barriers and facilitators to employing NPs and to identify factors affecting NP employability. A qualitative descriptive exploratory study. Employers of NPs from 23 private and nonprofit health services in Western Australia were interviewed. Inductive content analysis was used to explore the data. Enablers to employing an NP included enhanced customer service and improved health outcomes. Barriers to employing an NP included lack of financial benefit and inadequate experience or qualifications. Employers also identified future directions for NP employability, such as filling a gap that added value to the health service. Employers wanted NPs to work towards a shared vision of patient care that aligned with organisational needs. Findings can inform NP education and workforce planning to optimally meet employer and patient health needs. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Model of Values-Based Management Process in Schools: A Mixed Design Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dogan, Soner

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to evaluate the school administrators' values-based management behaviours according to the teachers' perceptions and opinions and, accordingly, to build a model of values-based management process in schools. The study was conducted using explanatory design which is inclusive of both quantitative and qualitative methods.…

  5. A new qualitative pattern classification of shear wave elastograghy for solid breast mass evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cong, Rui, E-mail: congrui2684@163.com; Li, Jing, E-mail: lijing@sj-hospital.org; Guo, Song, E-mail: 21751735@qq.com

    2017-02-15

    Highlights: • Qualitative SWE classification proposed here was significantly better than quantitative SWE parameters. • Qualitative classification proposed here was better than the classification proposed before. • Qualitative classification proposed here could obtain higher specificity without a loss of sensitivity. - Abstract: Objectives: To examine the efficacy of qualitative shear wave elastography (SWE) in the classification and evaluation of solid breast masses, and to compare this method with conventional ultrasonograghy (US), quantitative SWE parameters and qualitative SWE classification proposed before. Methods: From April 2015 to March 2016, 314 consecutive females with 325 breast masses who decided to undergo core needle biopsy and/or surgical biopsy were enrolled. Conventional US and SWE were previously performed in all enrolled subjects. Each mass was classified by two different qualitative classifications. One was established in our study, herein named the Qual1. Qual1 could classify the SWE images into five color patterns by the visual evaluations: Color pattern 1 (homogeneous pattern); Color pattern 2 (comparative homogeneous pattern); Color pattern 3 (irregularly heterogeneous pattern); Color pattern 4 (intralesional echo pattern); and Color pattern 5 (the stiff rim sign pattern). The second qualitative classification was named Qual2 here, and included a four-color overlay pattern classification (Tozaki and Fukuma, Acta Radiologica, 2011). The Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) assessment and quantitative SWE parameters were recorded. Diagnostic performances of conventional US, SWE parameters, and combinations of US and SWE parameters were compared. Results: With pathological results as the gold standard, of the 325 examined breast masses, 139 (42.77%) samples were malignant and 186 (57.23%) were benign. The Qual1 showed a higher Az value than the Qual2 and quantitative SWE parameters (all P < 0.05). When applying Qual1

  6. A new qualitative pattern classification of shear wave elastograghy for solid breast mass evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cong, Rui; Li, Jing; Guo, Song

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Qualitative SWE classification proposed here was significantly better than quantitative SWE parameters. • Qualitative classification proposed here was better than the classification proposed before. • Qualitative classification proposed here could obtain higher specificity without a loss of sensitivity. - Abstract: Objectives: To examine the efficacy of qualitative shear wave elastography (SWE) in the classification and evaluation of solid breast masses, and to compare this method with conventional ultrasonograghy (US), quantitative SWE parameters and qualitative SWE classification proposed before. Methods: From April 2015 to March 2016, 314 consecutive females with 325 breast masses who decided to undergo core needle biopsy and/or surgical biopsy were enrolled. Conventional US and SWE were previously performed in all enrolled subjects. Each mass was classified by two different qualitative classifications. One was established in our study, herein named the Qual1. Qual1 could classify the SWE images into five color patterns by the visual evaluations: Color pattern 1 (homogeneous pattern); Color pattern 2 (comparative homogeneous pattern); Color pattern 3 (irregularly heterogeneous pattern); Color pattern 4 (intralesional echo pattern); and Color pattern 5 (the stiff rim sign pattern). The second qualitative classification was named Qual2 here, and included a four-color overlay pattern classification (Tozaki and Fukuma, Acta Radiologica, 2011). The Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) assessment and quantitative SWE parameters were recorded. Diagnostic performances of conventional US, SWE parameters, and combinations of US and SWE parameters were compared. Results: With pathological results as the gold standard, of the 325 examined breast masses, 139 (42.77%) samples were malignant and 186 (57.23%) were benign. The Qual1 showed a higher Az value than the Qual2 and quantitative SWE parameters (all P < 0.05). When applying Qual1

  7. Multi-Objective Optimization of Managed Aquifer Recharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatkhutdinov, Aybulat; Stefan, Catalin

    2018-04-27

    This study demonstrates the utilization of a multi-objective hybrid global/local optimization algorithm for solving managed aquifer recharge (MAR) design problems, in which the decision variables included spatial arrangement of water injection and abstraction wells and time-variant rates of pumping and injection. The objective of the optimization was to maximize the efficiency of the MAR scheme, which includes both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The case study used to demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed approach is based on a published report on designing a real MAR site with defined aquifer properties, chemical groundwater characteristics as well as quality and volumes of injected water. The demonstration problems include steady-state and transient scenarios. The steady-state scenario demonstrates optimization of spatial arrangement of multiple injection and recovery wells, whereas the transient scenario was developed with the purpose of finding optimal regimes of water injection and recovery at a single location. Both problems were defined as multi-objective problems. The scenarios were simulated by applying coupled numerical groundwater flow and solute transport models: MODFLOW-2005 and MT3D-USGS. The applied optimization method was a combination of global - the Non-Dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-2), and local - the Nelder-Mead Downhill Simplex search algorithms. The analysis of the resulting Pareto optimal solutions led to the discovery of valuable patterns and dependencies between the decision variables, model properties and problem objectives. Additionally, the performance of the traditional global and the hybrid optimization schemes were compared. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  8. Value of monoenergetic dual-energy CT (DECT) for artefact reduction from metallic orthopedic implants in post-mortem studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filograna, Laura; Magarelli, Nicola; Leone, Antonio; Guggenberger, Roman; Winklhofer, Sebastian; Thali, Michael John; Bonomo, Lorenzo

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this ex vivo study was to assess the performance of monoenergetic dual-energy CT (DECT) reconstructions to reduce metal artefacts in bodies with orthopedic devices in comparison with standard single-energy CT (SECT) examinations in forensic imaging. Forensic and clinical impacts of this study are also discussed. Thirty metallic implants in 20 consecutive cadavers with metallic implants underwent both SECT and DECT with a clinically suitable scanning protocol. Extrapolated monoenergetic DECT images at 64, 69, 88, 105, 120, and 130 keV and individually adjusted monoenergy for optimized image quality (OPTkeV) were generated. Image quality of the seven monoenergetic images and of the corresponding SECT image was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively by visual rating and measurements of attenuation changes induced by streak artefact. Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed statistically significant differences between monoenergetic DECT extrapolated images and SECT, with improvements in diagnostic assessment in monoenergetic DECT at higher monoenergies. The mean value of OPTkeV was 137.6 ± 4.9 with a range of 130 to 148 keV. This study demonstrates that monoenergetic DECT images extrapolated at high energy levels significantly reduce metallic artefacts from orthopedic implants and improve image quality compared to SECT examination in forensic imaging.

  9. Value of monoenergetic dual-energy CT (DECT) for artefact reduction from metallic orthopedic implants in post-mortem studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Filograna, Laura [University of Zurich, Department of Forensic Medicine and Imaging, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Zurich (Switzerland); Catholic University of Rome, School of Medicine, University Hospital ' ' A. Gemelli' ' , Department of Radiological Sciences, Rome (Italy); Magarelli, Nicola; Leone, Antonio; Bonomo, Lorenzo [Catholic University of Rome, School of Medicine, University Hospital ' ' A. Gemelli' ' , Department of Radiological Sciences, Rome (Italy); Guggenberger, Roman; Winklhofer, Sebastian [University Hospital Zurich, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Zurich (Switzerland); Thali, Michael John [University of Zurich, Department of Forensic Medicine and Imaging, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2015-09-15

    The aim of this ex vivo study was to assess the performance of monoenergetic dual-energy CT (DECT) reconstructions to reduce metal artefacts in bodies with orthopedic devices in comparison with standard single-energy CT (SECT) examinations in forensic imaging. Forensic and clinical impacts of this study are also discussed. Thirty metallic implants in 20 consecutive cadavers with metallic implants underwent both SECT and DECT with a clinically suitable scanning protocol. Extrapolated monoenergetic DECT images at 64, 69, 88, 105, 120, and 130 keV and individually adjusted monoenergy for optimized image quality (OPTkeV) were generated. Image quality of the seven monoenergetic images and of the corresponding SECT image was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively by visual rating and measurements of attenuation changes induced by streak artefact. Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed statistically significant differences between monoenergetic DECT extrapolated images and SECT, with improvements in diagnostic assessment in monoenergetic DECT at higher monoenergies. The mean value of OPTkeV was 137.6 ± 4.9 with a range of 130 to 148 keV. This study demonstrates that monoenergetic DECT images extrapolated at high energy levels significantly reduce metallic artefacts from orthopedic implants and improve image quality compared to SECT examination in forensic imaging. (orig.)

  10. Value of monoenergetic dual-energy CT (DECT) for artefact reduction from metallic orthopedic implants in post-mortem studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filograna, Laura; Magarelli, Nicola; Leone, Antonio; Bonomo, Lorenzo; Guggenberger, Roman; Winklhofer, Sebastian; Thali, Michael John

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this ex vivo study was to assess the performance of monoenergetic dual-energy CT (DECT) reconstructions to reduce metal artefacts in bodies with orthopedic devices in comparison with standard single-energy CT (SECT) examinations in forensic imaging. Forensic and clinical impacts of this study are also discussed. Thirty metallic implants in 20 consecutive cadavers with metallic implants underwent both SECT and DECT with a clinically suitable scanning protocol. Extrapolated monoenergetic DECT images at 64, 69, 88, 105, 120, and 130 keV and individually adjusted monoenergy for optimized image quality (OPTkeV) were generated. Image quality of the seven monoenergetic images and of the corresponding SECT image was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively by visual rating and measurements of attenuation changes induced by streak artefact. Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed statistically significant differences between monoenergetic DECT extrapolated images and SECT, with improvements in diagnostic assessment in monoenergetic DECT at higher monoenergies. The mean value of OPTkeV was 137.6 ± 4.9 with a range of 130 to 148 keV. This study demonstrates that monoenergetic DECT images extrapolated at high energy levels significantly reduce metallic artefacts from orthopedic implants and improve image quality compared to SECT examination in forensic imaging. (orig.)

  11. Educational Values in Different Social-Economic Status--A Study Case of Six Families in Maros Regency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabaruddin; Alimuddin; Manda, Darman

    2016-01-01

    This research aims at determining educational values in families by describing the priority of the values selected in the educational value, the role of parents, and the socialization of values that were used by parents in educational values. This research is a case study with a qualitative approach. The subjects of the research were selected…

  12. Conference Report: Sixth Annual Meeting of Qualitative Psychology "Generalization in Qualitative Psychology"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo Gürtler

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available This conference report gives an overview of the 6th Annual Conference of the Qualitative Psychology Initiative held in Velden, Austria from 21-23 October, 2005 sponsored by the Center for Qualitative Psychology (Tübingen. Only in its sixth year, the conference has already become a tradition and was once again attended by researchers from a wide variety of professions and different countries. This year the conference focused on the subject of generalization in qualitative psychology and looked at different ways in which generalization can be handled in qualitative research in psychology. This conference report aims to convey an impression of the conference as a whole, to situate it within the context of psychological research and to point towards current issues and trends in qualitative research that are related to generalization. The individual presentations are first briefly summarized in this context, but are also presented again in greater detail in the Appendix C. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0604152

  13. Optimal control of hydroelectric facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Guangzhi

    This thesis considers a simple yet realistic model of pump-assisted hydroelectric facilities operating in a market with time-varying but deterministic power prices. Both deterministic and stochastic water inflows are considered. The fluid mechanical and engineering details of the facility are described by a model containing several parameters. We present a dynamic programming algorithm for optimizing either the total energy produced or the total cash generated by these plants. The algorithm allows us to give the optimal control strategy as a function of time and to see how this strategy, and the associated plant value, varies with water inflow and electricity price. We investigate various cases. For a single pumped storage facility experiencing deterministic power prices and water inflows, we investigate the varying behaviour for an oversimplified constant turbine- and pump-efficiency model with simple reservoir geometries. We then generalize this simple model to include more realistic turbine efficiencies, situations with more complicated reservoir geometry, and the introduction of dissipative switching costs between various control states. We find many results which reinforce our physical intuition about this complicated system as well as results which initially challenge, though later deepen, this intuition. One major lesson of this work is that the optimal control strategy does not differ much between two differing objectives of maximizing energy production and maximizing its cash value. We then turn our attention to the case of stochastic water inflows. We present a stochastic dynamic programming algorithm which can find an on-average optimal control in the face of this randomness. As the operator of a facility must be more cautious when inflows are random, the randomness destroys facility value. Following this insight we quantify exactly how much a perfect hydrological inflow forecast would be worth to a dam operator. In our final chapter we discuss the

  14. Is Qualitative Research Second Class Science? A Quantitative Longitudinal Examination of Qualitative Research in Medical Journals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuval, Kerem; Harker, Karen; Roudsari, Bahman; Groce, Nora E.; Mills, Britain; Siddiqi, Zoveen; Shachak, Aviv

    2011-01-01

    Background Qualitative research appears to be gaining acceptability in medical journals. Yet, little is actually known about the proportion of qualitative research and factors affecting its publication. This study describes the proportion of qualitative research over a 10 year period and correlates associated with its publication. Design A quantitative longitudinal examination of the proportion of original qualitative research in 67 journals of general medicine during a 10 year period (1998–2007). The proportion of qualitative research was determined by dividing original qualitative studies published (numerator) by all original research articles published (denominator). We used a generalized estimating equations approach to assess the longitudinal association between the proportion of qualitative studies and independent variables (i.e. journals' country of publication and impact factor; editorial/methodological papers discussing qualitative research; and specific journal guidelines pertaining to qualitative research). Findings A 2.9% absolute increase and 3.4-fold relative increase in qualitative research publications occurred over a 10 year period (1.2% in 1998 vs. 4.1% in 2007). The proportion of original qualitative research was independently and significantly associated with the publication of editorial/methodological papers in the journal (b = 3.688, P = 0.012); and with qualitative research specifically mentioned in guidelines for authors (b = 6.847, Pqualitative research was associated only with journals published in the UK in comparison to other countries, yet with borderline statistical significance (b = 1.776, P = 0.075). The journals' impact factor was not associated with the publication of qualitative research. Conclusions Despite an increase in the proportion of qualitative research in medical journals over a 10 year period, the proportion remains low. Journals' policies pertaining to qualitative research, as expressed by the

  15. On the Performance of Linear Decreasing Inertia Weight Particle Swarm Optimization for Global Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arasomwan, Martins Akugbe; Adewumi, Aderemi Oluyinka

    2013-01-01

    Linear decreasing inertia weight (LDIW) strategy was introduced to improve on the performance of the original particle swarm optimization (PSO). However, linear decreasing inertia weight PSO (LDIW-PSO) algorithm is known to have the shortcoming of premature convergence in solving complex (multipeak) optimization problems due to lack of enough momentum for particles to do exploitation as the algorithm approaches its terminal point. Researchers have tried to address this shortcoming by modifying LDIW-PSO or proposing new PSO variants. Some of these variants have been claimed to outperform LDIW-PSO. The major goal of this paper is to experimentally establish the fact that LDIW-PSO is very much efficient if its parameters are properly set. First, an experiment was conducted to acquire a percentage value of the search space limits to compute the particle velocity limits in LDIW-PSO based on commonly used benchmark global optimization problems. Second, using the experimentally obtained values, five well-known benchmark optimization problems were used to show the outstanding performance of LDIW-PSO over some of its competitors which have in the past claimed superiority over it. Two other recent PSO variants with different inertia weight strategies were also compared with LDIW-PSO with the latter outperforming both in the simulation experiments conducted. PMID:24324383

  16. Combined Optimal Control System for excavator electric drive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurochkin, N. S.; Kochetkov, V. P.; Platonova, E. V.; Glushkin, E. Y.; Dulesov, A. S.

    2018-03-01

    The article presents a synthesis of the combined optimal control algorithms of the AC drive rotation mechanism of the excavator. Synthesis of algorithms consists in the regulation of external coordinates - based on the theory of optimal systems and correction of the internal coordinates electric drive using the method "technical optimum". The research shows the advantage of optimal combined control systems for the electric rotary drive over classical systems of subordinate regulation. The paper presents a method for selecting the optimality criterion of coefficients to find the intersection of the range of permissible values of the coordinates of the control object. There is possibility of system settings by choosing the optimality criterion coefficients, which allows one to select the required characteristics of the drive: the dynamic moment (M) and the time of the transient process (tpp). Due to the use of combined optimal control systems, it was possible to significantly reduce the maximum value of the dynamic moment (M) and at the same time - reduce the transient time (tpp).

  17. Optimal cutoff values of WHO-HPQ presenteeism scores by ROC analysis for preventing mental sickness absence in Japanese prospective cohort.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Suzuki

    Full Text Available Sickness absence due to mental disease in the workplace has become a global public health problem. Previous studies report that sickness presenteeism is associated with sickness absence. We aimed to determine optimal cutoff scores for presenteeism in the screening of the future absences due to mental disease.A prospective study of 2195 Japanese employees from all areas of Japan was conducted. Presenteeism and depression were measured by the validated Japanese version of the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (WHO-HPQ and K6 scale, respectively. Absence due to mental disease across a 2-year follow-up was surveyed using medical certificates obtained for work absence. Socioeconomic status was measured via a self-administered questionnaire. Receiver operating curve (ROC analysis was used to determine optimal cutoff scores for absolute and relative presenteeism in relation to the area under the curve (AUC, sensitivity, and specificity.The AUC values for absolute and relative presenteeism were 0.708 (95% CI, 0.618-0.797 and 0.646 (95% CI, 0.546-0.746, respectively. Optimal cutoff scores of absolute and relative presenteeism were 40 and 0.8, respectively. With multivariate adjustment, cohort participants with our proposal cutoff scores for absolute and relative presenteeism were significantly more likely to be absent due to mental disease (OR = 4.85, 95% CI: 2.20-10.73 and OR = 5.37, 95% CI: 2.42-11.93, respectively. The inclusion or exclusion of depressive symptoms (K6≥13 at baseline in the multivariate adjustment did not influence the results.Our proposed optimal cutoff scores of absolute and relative presenteeism are 40 and 0.8, respectively. Participants who scored worse than the cutoff scores for presenteeism were significantly more likely to be absent in future because of mental disease. Our findings suggest that the utility of presenteeism in the screening of sickness absence due to mental disease would

  18. Optimization of convergent collimators for pixelated SPECT systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capote, Ricardo M.; Matela, Nuno; Conceição, Raquel C.; Alme