WorldWideScience

Sample records for significantly improves performance

  1. Optimized distributed systems achieve significant performance improvement on sorted merging of massive VCF files.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaobo; Gao, Jingjing; Jin, Peng; Eng, Celeste; Burchard, Esteban G; Beaty, Terri H; Ruczinski, Ingo; Mathias, Rasika A; Barnes, Kathleen; Wang, Fusheng; Qin, Zhaohui S

    2018-06-01

    Sorted merging of genomic data is a common data operation necessary in many sequencing-based studies. It involves sorting and merging genomic data from different subjects by their genomic locations. In particular, merging a large number of variant call format (VCF) files is frequently required in large-scale whole-genome sequencing or whole-exome sequencing projects. Traditional single-machine based methods become increasingly inefficient when processing large numbers of files due to the excessive computation time and Input/Output bottleneck. Distributed systems and more recent cloud-based systems offer an attractive solution. However, carefully designed and optimized workflow patterns and execution plans (schemas) are required to take full advantage of the increased computing power while overcoming bottlenecks to achieve high performance. In this study, we custom-design optimized schemas for three Apache big data platforms, Hadoop (MapReduce), HBase, and Spark, to perform sorted merging of a large number of VCF files. These schemas all adopt the divide-and-conquer strategy to split the merging job into sequential phases/stages consisting of subtasks that are conquered in an ordered, parallel, and bottleneck-free way. In two illustrating examples, we test the performance of our schemas on merging multiple VCF files into either a single TPED or a single VCF file, which are benchmarked with the traditional single/parallel multiway-merge methods, message passing interface (MPI)-based high-performance computing (HPC) implementation, and the popular VCFTools. Our experiments suggest all three schemas either deliver a significant improvement in efficiency or render much better strong and weak scalabilities over traditional methods. Our findings provide generalized scalable schemas for performing sorted merging on genetics and genomics data using these Apache distributed systems.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Compression stockings significantly improve hemodynamic performance in post-thrombotic syndrome irrespective of class or length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattimer, Christopher R; Azzam, Mustapha; Kalodiki, Evi; Makris, Gregory C; Geroulakos, George

    2013-07-01

    Graduated elastic compression (GEC) stockings have been demonstrated to reduce the morbidity associated with post-thrombotic syndrome. The ideal length or compression strength required to achieve this is speculative and related to physician preference and patient compliance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemodynamic performance of four different stockings and determine the patient's preference. Thirty-four consecutive patients (40 legs, 34 male) with post-thrombotic syndrome were tested with four different stockings (Mediven plus open toe, Bayreuth, Germany) of their size in random order: class 1 (18-21 mm Hg) and class II (23-32 mm Hg), below-knee (BK) and above-knee thigh-length (AK). The median age, Venous Clinical Severity Score, Venous Segmental Disease Score, and Villalta scale were 62 years (range, 31-81 years), 8 (range, 1-21), 5 (range, 2-10), and 10 (range, 2-22), respectively. The C of C0-6EsAs,d,pPr,o was C0 = 2, C2 = 1, C3 = 3, C4a = 12, C4b = 7, C5 = 12, C6 = 3. Obstruction and reflux was observed on duplex in 47.5% legs, with deep venous reflux alone in 45%. Air plethysmography was used to measure the venous filling index (VFI), venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume. Direct pressure measurements were obtained while lying and standing using the PicoPress device (Microlab Elettronica, Nicolò, Italy). The pressure sensor was placed underneath the test stocking 5 cm above and 2 cm posterior to the medial malleolus. At the end of the study session, patients stated their preferred stocking based on comfort. The VFI, venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume improved significantly with all types of stocking versus no compression. In class I, the VFI (mL/s) improved from a median of 4.9 (range, 1.7-16.3) without compression to 3.7 (range, 0-14) BK (24.5%) and 3.6 (range, 0.6-14.5) AK (26.5%). With class II, the corresponding improvement was to 4.0 (range, 0.3-16.2) BK (18.8%) and 3.7 (range, 0.5-14.2) AK (24

  4. Parameter definition using vibration prediction software leads to significant drilling performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amorim, Dalmo; Hanley, Chris Hanley; Fonseca, Isaac; Santos, Juliana [National Oilwell Varco, Houston TX (United States); Leite, Daltro J.; Borella, Augusto; Gozzi, Danilo [Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PETROBRAS), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2012-07-01

    The understanding and mitigation of downhole vibration has been a heavily researched subject in the oil industry as it results in more expensive drilling operations, as vibrations significantly diminish the amount of effective drilling energy available to the bit and generate forces that can push the bit or the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) off its concentric axis of rotation, producing high magnitude impacts with the borehole wall. In order to drill ahead, a sufficient amount of energy must be supplied by the rig to overcome the resistance of the drilling system, including the reactive torque of the system, drag forces, fluid pressure losses and energy dissipated by downhole vibrations, then providing the bit with the energy required to fail the rock. If the drill string enters resonant modes of vibration, not only does it decreases the amount of available energy to drill, but increases the potential for catastrophic downhole equipment and drilling bit failures. In this sense, the mitigation of downhole vibrations will result in faster, smoother, and cheaper drilling operations. A software tool using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been developed to provide better understanding of downhole vibration phenomena in drilling environments. The software tool calculates the response of the drilling system at various input conditions, based on the design of the wellbore along with the geometry of the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) and the drill string. It identifies where undesired levels of resonant vibration will be driven by certain combinations of specific drilling parameters, and also which combinations of drilling parameters will result in lower levels of vibration, so the least shocks, the highest penetration rate and the lowest cost per foot can be achieved. With the growing performance of personal computers, complex software systems modeling the drilling vibrations using FEA has been accessible to a wider audience of field users, further complimenting with real time

  5. Significant improvements of electrical discharge machining performance by step-by-step updated adaptive control laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ming; Wu, Jianyang; Xu, Xiaoyi; Mu, Xin; Dou, Yunping

    2018-02-01

    In order to obtain improved electrical discharge machining (EDM) performance, we have dedicated more than a decade to correcting one essential EDM defect, the weak stability of the machining, by developing adaptive control systems. The instabilities of machining are mainly caused by complicated disturbances in discharging. To counteract the effects from the disturbances on machining, we theoretically developed three control laws from minimum variance (MV) control law to minimum variance and pole placements coupled (MVPPC) control law and then to a two-step-ahead prediction (TP) control law. Based on real-time estimation of EDM process model parameters and measured ratio of arcing pulses which is also called gap state, electrode discharging cycle was directly and adaptively tuned so that a stable machining could be achieved. To this end, we not only theoretically provide three proved control laws for a developed EDM adaptive control system, but also practically proved the TP control law to be the best in dealing with machining instability and machining efficiency though the MVPPC control law provided much better EDM performance than the MV control law. It was also shown that the TP control law also provided a burn free machining.

  6. Significant performance improvement obtained in a wireless mesh network using a beamswitching antenna

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lysko, AA

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available mesh network operated in a fixed 11 Mbps mode. The throughput improvement in multi-hop communication obtained in the presence of an interferer is tenfold, from 0.2 Mbps to 2 Mbps. Index Terms?antenna, smart antenna, wireless mesh network, WMN... efficiency in the communications, and active research and development of new methods and technologies enabling this at the physical layer, including multiple antenna techniques, such as multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and smart antennas...

  7. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy

    2013-01-01

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  8. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy [Department of Anesthesiology Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA (United States)

    2013-12-15

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  9. The European Academy laparoscopic “Suturing Training and Testing’’ (SUTT) significantly improves surgeons’ performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleiman, Z.; Tanos, V.; Van Belle, Y.; Carvalho, J.L.; Campo, R.

    2015-01-01

    The efficiency of suturing training and testing (SUTT) model by laparoscopy was evaluated, measuring the suturingskill acquisition of trainee gynecologists at the beginning and at the end of a teaching course. During a workshop organized by the European Academy of Gynecological Surgery (EAGS), 25 participants with three different experience levels in laparoscopy (minor, intermediate and major) performed the 4 exercises of the SUTT model (Ex 1: both hands stitching and continuous suturing, Ex 2: right hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 3: left hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 4: dominant hand stitching, tissue approximation and intracorporeal knotting). The time needed to perform the exercises is recorded for each trainee and group and statistical analysis used to note the differences. Overall, all trainees achieved significant improvement in suturing time (p psychomotor skills, surgery, teaching, training suturing model. PMID:26977264

  10. Imparting improvements in electrochemical sensors: evaluation of different carbon blacks that give rise to significant improvement in the performance of electroanalytical sensing platforms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicentini, Fernando Campanhã; Ravanini, Amanda E.; Figueiredo-Filho, Luiz C.S.; Iniesta, Jesús; Banks, Craig E.; Fatibello-Filho, Orlando

    2015-01-01

    Three different carbon black materials have been evaluated as a potential modifier, however, only one demonstrated an improvement in the electrochemical properties. The carbon black structures were characterised with SEM, XPS and Raman spectroscopy and found to be very similar to that of amorphous graphitic materials. The modifications utilised were constructed by three different strategies (using ultrapure water, chitosan and dihexadecylphosphate). The fabricated sensors are electrochemically characterised using N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-para-phenylenediamine and both inner-sphere and outer-sphere redox probes, namely potassium ferrocyanide(II) and hexaammineruthenium(III) chloride, in addition to the biologically relevant and electroactive analytes, dopamine (DA) and acetaminophen (AP). Comparisons are made with an edge-plane pyrolytic graphite and glassy-carbon electrode and the benefits of carbon black implemented as a modifier for sensors within electrochemistry are explored, as well as the characterisation of their electroanalytical performances. We reveal significant improvements in the electrochemical performance (excellent sensitivity, faster heterogeneous electron transfer rate (HET)) over that of a bare glassy-carbon and edge-plane pyrolytic graphite electrode and thus suggest that there are substantial advantages of using carbon black as modifier in the fabrication of electrochemical based sensors. Such work is highly important and informative for those working in the field of electroanalysis where electrochemistry can provide portable, rapid, reliable and accurate sensing protocols (bringing the laboratory into the field), with particular relevance to those searching for new electrode materials

  11. Pt-decorated GaN nanowires with significant improvement in H2 gas-sensing performance at room temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Q N; Yam, F K; Hassan, Z; Bououdina, M

    2015-12-15

    Superior sensitivity towards H2 gas was successfully achieved with Pt-decorated GaN nanowires (NWs) gas sensor. GaN NWs were fabricated via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) route. Morphology (field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and crystal structure (high resolution X-ray diffraction) characterizations of the as-synthesized nanostructures demonstrated the formation of GaN NWs having a wurtzite structure, zigzaged shape and an average diameter of 30-166nm. The Pt-decorated GaN NWs sensor shows a high response of 250-2650% upon exposure to H2 gas concentration from 7 to 1000ppm respectively at room temperature (RT), and then increases to about 650-4100% when increasing the operating temperature up to 75°C. The gas-sensing measurements indicated that the Pt-decorated GaN NWs based sensor exhibited efficient detection of H2 at low concentration with excellent sensitivity, repeatability, and free hysteresis phenomena over a period of time of 100min. The large surface-to-volume ratio of GaN NWs and the catalytic activity of Pt metal are the most influential factors leading to the enhancement of H2 gas-sensing performances through the improvement of the interaction between the target molecules (H2) and the sensing NWs surface. The attractive low-cost, low power consumption and high-performance of the resultant decorated GaN NWs gas sensor assure their uppermost potential for H2 gas sensor working at low operating temperature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Significant improvement of olfactory performance in sleep apnea patients after three months of nasal CPAP therapy - Observational study and randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Boerner

    Full Text Available The olfactory function highly impacts quality of life (QoL. Continuous positive airway pressure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA and is often applied by nasal masks (nCPAP. The influence of nCPAP on the olfactory performance of OSA patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the sense of smell before initiation of nCPAP and after three months treatment, in moderate and severe OSA patients.The sense of smell was assessed in 35 patients suffering from daytime sleepiness and moderate to severe OSA (apnea/hypopnea index ≥ 15/h, with the aid of a validated test battery (Sniffin' Sticks before initiation of nCPAP therapy and after three months of treatment. Additionally, adherent subjects were included in a double-blind randomized three weeks CPAP-withdrawal trial (sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.Twenty five of the 35 patients used the nCPAP therapy for more than four hours per night, and for more than 70% of nights (adherent group. The olfactory performance of these patients improved significantly (p = 0.007 after three months of nCPAP therapy. When considering the entire group of patients, olfaction also improved significantly (p = 0.001. In the randomized phase the sense of smell of six patients deteriorated under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure (p = 0.046 whereas five patients in the maintenance CPAP group showed no significant difference (p = 0.501.Olfactory performance improved significantly after three months of nCPAP therapy in patients suffering from moderate and severe OSA. It seems that this effect of nCPAP is reversible under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.ISRCTN11128866.

  13. How Good Is Good: Improved Tracking and Managing of Safety Goals, Performance Indicators, Production Targets and Significant Events Using Learning Curves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffey, Rommey B.; Saull, John W.

    2002-01-01

    We show a new way to track and measure safety and performance using learning curves derived on a mathematical basis. When unusual or abnormal events occur in plants and equipment, the regulator and good management practice requires they be reported, investigated, understood and rectified. In addition to reporting so-called 'significant events', both management and the regulator often set targets for individual and collective performance, which are used for both reward and criticism. For almost completely safe systems, like nuclear power plants, commercial aircraft and chemical facilities, many parameters are tracked and measured. Continuous improvement has to be demonstrated, as well as meeting reduced occurrence rates, which are set as management goals or targets. This process usually takes the form of statistics for availability of plant and equipment, forced or unplanned maintenance outage, loss of safety function, safety or procedural violations, etc. These are often rolled up into a set of so-called 'Performance Indicators' as measures of how well safety and operation is being managed at a given facility. The overall operating standards of an industry are also measured. A whole discipline is formed of tracking, measuring, reporting, managing and understanding the plethora of indicators and data. Decreasing occurrence rates and meeting or exceeding goals are seen and rewarded as virtues. Managers and operators need to know how good is their safety management system that has been adopted and used (and paid for), and whether it can itself be improved. We show the importance of accumulated experience in correctly measuring and tracking the decreasing event and error rates speculating a finite minimum rate. We show that the rate of improvement constitutes a measurable 'learning curve', and the attainment of the goals and targets can be affected by the adopted measures. We examine some of the available data on significant events, reportable occurrences, and loss of

  14. The Real World Significance of Performance Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardos, Zachary A.; Wang, Qing Yang; Trivedi, Shubhendu

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the educational data mining and user modeling communities have been aggressively introducing models for predicting student performance on external measures such as standardized tests as well as within-tutor performance. While these models have brought statistically reliable improvement to performance prediction, the real world…

  15. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-13

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC 71 BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability.

  16. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-01

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC71BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability.

  17. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Georg Philipp; Tomazic, Peter Valentin; Vasicek, Sarah; Graupp, Matthias; Gugatschka, Markus; Baumann, Anneliese; Konstantiniuk, Peter; Koter, Stephan Herwig

    2016-11-01

    Iatrogenic injury of the vagus nerve or its branches during carotid endarterectomy (CEA) can result in globus sensation, dysphagia, and even vocal fold immobility. Knowledge of morphologic and functional laryngopharyngeal outcomes after CEA is poor. The present study was performed to determine potential iatrogenic damage to the laryngeal innervation after CEA. An area of particular interest was the supraglottic sensory threshold, which was examined by Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing With Sensory Testing (FEESST; Pentax Medical Company, Montvale, NJ), a validated and safe method for the determination of the motor and sensory components of swallowing. FEESST was used preoperatively in 32 patients scheduled to undergo CEA and twice postoperatively to examine the motor and sensory components of swallowing. In this endolaryngeal examination, laryngopharyngeal sensory thresholds (in mm Hg) were defined as normal at 6.0 mm Hg APP, with a value >10.0 mm Hg APP indicating abolished laryngeal adductor reflex. Acoustic voice parameters were also analyzed for further functional changes of the larynx. The mean ± standard deviation preoperative FEESST measures showed no significant differences (P = .065) between the operated-on side (6.73 ± 1.73 mm Hg) and the opposite side (5.83 ± 1.68 mm Hg). At 2 days postoperatively, the threshold increased (P = .001) to 7.62 ± 1.98 mm Hg on the operated-on side. A laryngopharyngeal mucosal hematoma on the operated side was endoscopically detectable in eight patients (30.8%); in these patients, we found a markedly elevated (P = .021) measure of 9.50 ± 0.93 mm Hg. On the opposite (nonoperated-on) side of the laryngopharynx, the thresholds remained at the same level as preoperatively over all assessments (P >.05), whereas the differences between the operated and nonoperated-on sides and the hematoma and nonhematoma groups were highly significant (P = .004 and P = .001, respectively). Surprisingly, the

  18. Containment performance improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  19. Improving fleet performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramjist, S.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Improving fleet performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  1. Can training improve human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waylett, W.J. Jr.

    1986-01-01

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

  2. Significant improvement in the thermal annealing process of optical resonators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail

    2017-05-01

    Thermal annealing performed during process improves the quality of the roughness of optical resonators reducing stresses at the periphery of their surface thus allowing higher Q-factors. After a preliminary realization, the design of the oven and the electronic method were significantly improved thanks to nichrome resistant alloy wires and chopped basalt fibers for thermal isolation during the annealing process. Q-factors can then be improved.

  3. Carbohydrate gel ingestion significantly improves the intermittent endurance capacity, but not sprint performance, of adolescent team games players during a simulated team games protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Shaun M; Turner, Anthony P; Sanderson, Mark F; Sproule, John

    2012-03-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of ingesting a carbohydrate (CHO) gel on the intermittent endurance capacity and sprint performance of adolescent team games players. Eleven participants [mean age 13.5 ± 0.7 years, height 1.72 ± 0.08 m, body mass (BM) 62.1 ± 9.4 kg] performed two trials separated by 3-7 days. In each trial, they completed four 15 min periods of part A of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST), followed by an intermittent run to exhaustion (part B). In the 5 min pre-exercise, participants consumed 0.818 mL kg(-1) BM of a CHO or a non-CHO placebo gel, and a further 0.327 mL kg(-1) BM every 15 min during part A of the LIST (38.0 ± 5.5 g CHO h(-1) in the CHO trial). Intermittent endurance capacity was increased by 21.1% during part B when the CHO gel was ingested (4.6 ± 2.0 vs. 3.8 ± 2.4 min, P games players during a simulated team games protocol.

  4. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-14

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

  5. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LiVPO4F cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. YU ZHANGa,∗, XIAOLAN BAIb ... and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). ... Analysis of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) ... studied with a SEM (JSM-7500F, Japan) equipped with.

  6. Training directionally selective motion pathways can significantly improve reading efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

    This study examined whether perceptual learning at early levels of visual processing would facilitate learning at higher levels of processing. This was examined by determining whether training the motion pathways by practicing leftright movement discrimination, as found previously, would improve the reading skills of inefficient readers significantly more than another computer game, a word discrimination game, or the reading program offered by the school. This controlled validation study found that practicing left-right movement discrimination 5-10 minutes twice a week (rapidly) for 15 weeks doubled reading fluency, and significantly improved all reading skills by more than one grade level, whereas inefficient readers in the control groups barely improved on these reading skills. In contrast to previous studies of perceptual learning, these experiments show that perceptual learning of direction discrimination significantly improved reading skills determined at higher levels of cognitive processing, thereby being generalized to a new task. The deficits in reading performance and attentional focus experienced by the person who struggles when reading are suggested to result from an information overload, resulting from timing deficits in the direction-selectivity network proposed by Russell De Valois et al. (2000), that following practice on direction discrimination goes away. This study found that practicing direction discrimination rapidly transitions the inefficient 7-year-old reader to an efficient reader.

  7. Programs to improve plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felmus, N.L.

    1987-01-01

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

  8. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Choong Eui; Yoon, Mi Young; Choi, Doo Seong

    2005-01-01

    The use of ionic liquids as reaction media can confer many advantages upon catalytic reactions over reactions in organic solvents. In ionic liquids, catalysts having polar or ionic character can easily be immobilized without additional structural modification and thus the ionic solutions containing the catalyst can easily be separated from the reagents and reaction products, and then, be reused. More interestingly, switching from an organic solvent to an ionic liquid often results in a significant improvement in catalytic performance (e.g., rate acceleration, (enantio)selectivity improvement and an increase in catalyst stability). In this review, some recent interesting results which can nicely demonstrate these positive 'ionic liquid effect' on catalysis are discussed

  9. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  10. Improving the performance of reflex Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing in triaging women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS): A restrospective study in a tertiary hospital in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhreldin, Marwa; Elmasry, Karim

    2016-02-03

    Cervical cancer is the second commonest cancer in women worldwide. Infection with oncogenic types of human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer. Reflex High risk HPV (HR-HPV) testing is of significant value in the assessment of Papanicolaou (Pap) smear results where ASCUS are identified. To improve the performance of reflex HR-HPV testing in triage of ASCUS and analyze the factors impacting it. In this study, we generated a database of 9641 women who had cervical smears collected during the study period from the cytopathology record in a large tertiary hospital in UAE. These included 297 smears with ASCUS diagnosis. All cases were retrospectively followed up with a mean duration of 2.44 years. We analyzed data according to the outcome based on several follow-up Pap smear analysis as the reference assessment. We detected HR-HPV infection in 17.9% of cases. 9.1% ASCUS cases can be more accurate in premenopausal women upon adding age group and presenting complaint as a triage item. This improves the performance of reflex HPV testing and the subsequent selection of high risk patients for colposcopy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Improving construction performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-03-01

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

  12. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-03-01

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

  13. Inhaler Reminders Significantly Improve Asthma Patients' Use of Controller Medications

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... controller medications Share | Inhaler reminders significantly improve asthma patients’ use of controller medications Published Online: July 22, ... the burden and risk of asthma, but many patients do not use them regularly. This poor adherence ...

  14. Improved performance of the industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffrey, R.

    1994-01-01

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

  15. improving performance of laying hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.P Sinurat

    2012-10-01

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

  16. Performance improvement: the organization's quest.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  17. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  18. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doucett, J.

    2010-01-01

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

  19. NREL Research Yields Significant Thermoelectric Performance | News | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chemical and Materials Science and Technology center, said the introduction of SWCNT into fabrics could from an exemplary SWNCT thin film improved thermoelectric properties. The newest paper revealed that that the same SWCNT thin film achieved identical performance when doped with either positive or

  20. Significant improvement in performances of LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 through surface modification with high ordered Al-doped ZnO electro-conductive layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Hongdan; Xia, Bingbo; Liu, Weiwei; Fang, Guoqing; Wu, Jingjing; Wang, Haibo; Zhang, Ruixue; Kaneko, Shingo; Zheng, Junwei; Wang, Hongyu; Li, Decheng

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows excellent rate capability and a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature. - Highlights: • Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by a traditional sol–gel method. • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. • At a high rate of 10 C, the discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can reach 114 mAh g −1 . • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) modification improved cyclic performance of LNMO at high temperatures. - Abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis indicates that AZO layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. The results of electrochemical performance measurements reveal that the AZO-coated LNMO electrode displays the best rate capability compared with the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, even at a high rate of 10 C. The discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can still reach 114.3 mAh g −1 , about 89% of its discharge capacity at 0.1 C. Moreover, AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature due to the protective effect of AZO coating layer. The electrode delivers a capacity of 120.3 mAh g −1 with the capacity retention of 95% at 5 C in 50 cycles at 50 °C. The analysis of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) indicates that AZO-coated LNMO possesses the lowest charge transfer resistance compared to the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, which may be responsible for improved rate capability

  1. Significant improvement in performances of LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} through surface modification with high ordered Al-doped ZnO electro-conductive layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Hongdan; Xia, Bingbo [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Liu, Weiwei [Changzhou Institute of Energy Storage Materials & Devices, Changzhou 213000 (China); Fang, Guoqing; Wu, Jingjing; Wang, Haibo; Zhang, Ruixue [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Kaneko, Shingo [Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Zheng, Junwei [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Wang, Hongyu [Changzhou Institute of Energy Storage Materials & Devices, Changzhou 213000 (China); Li, Decheng, E-mail: lidecheng@suda.edu.cn [College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Key Laboratory of Lithium Ion Battery Materials of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Chemical Power Sources, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China)

    2015-03-15

    Graphical abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows excellent rate capability and a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature. - Highlights: • Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} (LNMO) was prepared by a traditional sol–gel method. • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. • At a high rate of 10 C, the discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can reach 114 mAh g{sup −1}. • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) modification improved cyclic performance of LNMO at high temperatures. - Abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis indicates that AZO layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. The results of electrochemical performance measurements reveal that the AZO-coated LNMO electrode displays the best rate capability compared with the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, even at a high rate of 10 C. The discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can still reach 114.3 mAh g{sup −1}, about 89% of its discharge capacity at 0.1 C. Moreover, AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature due to the protective effect of AZO coating layer. The electrode delivers a capacity of 120.3 mAh g{sup −1} with the capacity retention of 95% at 5 C in 50 cycles at 50 °C. The analysis of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) indicates that AZO-coated LNMO possesses the lowest charge transfer resistance compared to the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, which may be responsible for improved rate capability.

  2. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermida, Ramón C; Ayala, Diana E; Fernández, José R; Mojón, Artemio; Crespo, Juan J; Ríos, María T; Smolensky, Michael H

    2017-10-01

    Consistent evidence of numerous studies substantiates the asleep blood pressure (BP) mean derived from ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) is both an independent and a stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than are daytime clinic BP measurements or the ABPM-determined awake or 24-hour BP means. Hence, cost-effective adequate control of sleep-time BP is of marked clinical relevance. Ingestion time, according to circadian rhythms, of hypertension medications of 6 different classes and their combinations significantly improves BP control, particularly sleep-time BP, and reduces adverse effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. [Improvement of Phi bodies stain and its clinical significance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xu-Bo; Lu, Xing-Guo; Yan, Li-Juan; Xiao, Xi-Bin; Wu, Dong; Xu, Gen-Bo; Zhang, Xiao-Hong; Zhao, Xiao-Ying

    2009-02-01

    The aim of this study was to improve the dyeing method of hydroperoxidase (HPO), to analyze the morphologic features of Phi bodies and to evaluate the clinical application of this method. 128 bone marrow or peripheral blood smears from patients with myeloid and lymphoid malignancies were stained by improved HPO staining. The Phi bodies were observed with detection rate of Phi bodies in different leukemias. 69 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) specimens were chosen randomly, the positive rate and the number of Phi bodies between the improved HPO and POX stain based on the same substrate of 3, 3'diaminobenzidine were compared. The results showed that the shape of bundle-like Phi bodies was variable, long or short. while the nubbly Phi bodies often presented oval and smooth. Club-like Phi bodies were found in M(3). The detection rates of bundle-like Phi bodies in AML M(1)-M(5) were 42.9% (6/14), 83.3% (15/18), 92.0% (23/25), 52.3% (11/21), 33.3% (5/15) respectively, and those of nubbly Phi bodies were 28.6% (4/14), 66.7% (12/18), 11.1% (3/25), 33.3% (7/21), 20.0% (3/15) respectively. The detection rate of bundle-like Phi bodies in M(3) was significantly higher than that in (M(1) + M(2)) or (M(4) + M(5)) groups. The detection rate of nubbly Phi bodies in (M(1) + M(2)) group was higher than that in M(3) group. In conclusion, after improvement of staining method, the HPO stain becomes simple, the detection rate of Phi bodies is higher than that by the previous method, the positive granules are more obvious, and the results become stable. This improved method plays an important role in differentiating AML from ALL, subtyping AML, and evaluating the therapeutic results.

  5. Techniques for Improving Spelling Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saylor, Paul

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

  6. Bitumen nanocomposites with improved performance

    KAUST Repository

    Kosma, Vasiliki

    2017-11-29

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

  7. Improving engineers' performance with computers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purvis, E.E. III

    1984-01-01

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

  8. Ceramic Composite Intermediate Temperature Stress-Rupture Properties Improved Significantly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

    Silicon carbide (SiC) composites are considered to be potential materials for future aircraft engine parts such as combustor liners. It is envisioned that on the hot side (inner surface) of the combustor liner, composites will have to withstand temperatures in excess of 1200 C for thousands of hours in oxidizing environments. This is a severe condition; however, an equally severe, if not more detrimental, condition exists on the cold side (outer surface) of the combustor liner. Here, the temperatures are expected to be on the order of 800 to 1000 C under high tensile stress because of thermal gradients and attachment of the combustor liner to the engine frame (the hot side will be under compressive stress, a less severe stress-state for ceramics). Since these composites are not oxides, they oxidize. The worst form of oxidation for strength reduction occurs at these intermediate temperatures, where the boron nitride (BN) interphase oxidizes first, which causes the formation of a glass layer that strongly bonds the fibers to the matrix. When the fibers strongly bond to the matrix or to one another, the composite loses toughness and strength and becomes brittle. To increase the intermediate temperature stress-rupture properties, researchers must modify the BN interphase. With the support of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program, significant improvements were made as state-of-the-art SiC/SiC composites were developed during the Enabling Propulsion Materials (EPM) program. Three approaches were found to improve the intermediate-temperature stress-rupture properties: fiber-spreading, high-temperature silicon- (Si) doped boron nitride (BN), and outside-debonding BN.

  9. Windows with improved energy performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Low-dose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee

    2013-02-01

    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling medium-dose (3.53%), low-dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being visual analog scale pain intensity. Psychoactive side effects and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed-effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the 2 active dose groups' results (P > .7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo versus low-dose, 2.9 for placebo versus medium-dose, and 25 for medium- versus low-dose. As these NNTs are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1 to 2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. The analgesia obtained from a low dose of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (1.29%) in patients, most of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite conventional treatments, is a clinically significant outcome. In general, the effect sizes on cognitive testing were consistent with this minimal dose. As a result, one might not anticipate a significant impact on daily functioning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Leukoaraiosis significantly worsens driving performance of ordinary older drivers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimihiko Nakano

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leukoaraiosis is defined as extracellular space caused mainly by atherosclerotic or demyelinated changes in the brain tissue and is commonly found in the brains of healthy older people. A significant association between leukoaraiosis and traffic crashes was reported in our previous study; however, the reason for this is still unclear. METHOD: This paper presents a comprehensive evaluation of driving performance in ordinary older drivers with leukoaraiosis. First, the degree of leukoaraiosis was examined in 33 participants, who underwent an actual-vehicle driving examination on a standard driving course, and a driver skill rating was also collected while the driver carried out a paced auditory serial addition test, which is a calculating task given verbally. At the same time, a steering entropy method was used to estimate steering operation performance. RESULTS: The experimental results indicated that a normal older driver with leukoaraiosis was readily affected by external disturbances and made more operation errors and steered less smoothly than one without leukoaraiosis during driving; at the same time, their steering skill significantly deteriorated. CONCLUSIONS: Leukoaraiosis worsens the driving performance of older drivers because of their increased vulnerability to distraction.

  12. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas D.; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee

    2013-01-01

    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling either medium dose (3.53%), low dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being VAS pain intensity. Psychoactive side-effects, and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the two active dose groups’ results (p>0.7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo vs. low dose, 2.9 for placebo vs. medium dose, and 25 for medium vs. low dose. As these NNT are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being, for all intents and purposes, as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well-tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1–2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. PMID:23237736

  13. Performance improvement through management audits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arter, D.R.

    1986-01-01

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

  14. South Bank Coke Ovens heating performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-12-31

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

  15. Methylphenidate significantly improves declarative memory functioning of adults with ADHD.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verster, J.C.; Bekker, E.M.; Kooij, J.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verbaten, M.N.; Volkerts, E.R.; Olivier, B.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Declarative memory deficits are common in untreated adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but limited evidence exists to support improvement after treatment with methylphenidate. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of methylphenidate on memory

  16. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-16

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

  17. Creating a Middle Grades Environment that Significantly Improves Student Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'Esperance, Mark E.; Lenker, Ethan; Bullock, Ann; Lockamy, Becky; Mason, Cathy

    2013-01-01

    This article offers an overview of the framework that Sampson County Public Schools (North Carolina) used to critically reflect on the current state of their middle grades schools. The article also highlights the changes that resulted from the district-wide analysis and the ways in which these changes led to a significant increase in the academic…

  18. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco; Agueero Agueero, Jorge

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Measuring and improving infrastructure performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Measuring and Improving Infrastructure Performance, National Research Council

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

  1. Equipment improvements for performance enhancement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  2. Benchmark for Strategic Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohlke, Annette

    1997-01-01

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

  3. Error review: Can this improve reporting performance?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tudor, Gareth R.; Finlay, David B.

    2001-01-01

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

  4. Vegetation composition and structure significantly influence green roof performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunnett, N.; Nagase, A.; Booth, R.; Grime, P. [Sheffield Univ., Sheffield (United Kingdom). Dept. of Landscape Architecture

    2005-07-01

    The majority of published literature on green roofs contains little specific information on the contribution of plants to the various functions and properties of green roofs. This paper reviewed previously published material in an attempt to shed light on the role of vegetation composition in green roof systems, with specific reference to hydrology and biodiversity support. Two ongoing experiments at the University of Sheffield were then considered: (1) a comparison of quality and quantity of runoff from different types of vegetation; and (2) a comparison of flowering seasons and biodiversity support of different vegetation. Results of the studies showed that there was no general pattern of variation in runoff that could be related to vegetation complexity or taxonomic composition of the communities. During the winter months, high precipitation quickly saturated the soil and percolate losses were similar for all treatments. In the summer, throughflow losses differed between treatments in relation to the structure of the plant canopy. Differing mechanisms resulted in variations in the volume of percolate that was collected. Lower volumes of percolate were observed in herb-only monocultures of Leontdon hispidus, a species with a high water content. Tap-rooted species were seen to more effectively absorb soil moisture. The biodiversity support study focused on the study of Sedum species and Labiatae species, which suggested that mixed vegetation containing these species had a far greater likelihood of attracting wild bees to support pollination. Results of the studies indicated that green roof vegetation with greater structural and species diversity may provide different benefits than sedum-dominated roots. Further studies are needed to investigate the trade-offs between vegetation types, and green roof functions and performance in order to justify calls for a wider diversity of green roof types. 8 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig.

  5. PWR vessel inspection performance improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair Fairbrother, D.; Bodson, Francis

    1998-01-01

    A compact robot for ultrasonic inspection of reactor vessels has been developed that reduces setup logistics and schedule time for mandatory code inspections. Rather than installing a large structure to access the entire weld inspection area from its flange attachment, the compact robot examines welds in overlapping patches from a suction cup anchor to the shell wall. The compact robot size allows two robots to be operated in the vessel simultaneously. This significantly reduces the time required to complete the inspection. Experience to date indicates that time for vessel examinations can be reduced to fewer than four days. (author)

  6. Performance evaluation recommendations of nuclear power plants outdoor significant civil structures earthquake resistance. Performance evaluation examples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-06-01

    The Japan Society of Civil Engineers has updated performance evaluation recommendations of nuclear power plants outdoor significant civil structures earthquake resistance in June 2005. Based on experimental and analytical considerations, analytical seismic models of soils for underground structures, effects of vertical motions on time-history dynamic analysis and shear fracture of reinforced concretes by cyclic loadings have been incorporated in new recommendations. This document shows outdoor civil structures earthquake resistance and endurance performance evaluation examples based on revised recommendations. (T. Tanaka)

  7. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    OpenAIRE

    Buble, Marin; Dulčić, Želimir; Pavić, Ivan

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marin Buble

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Rehearsal significantly improves immediate and delayed recall on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessen, Erik

    2011-10-01

    A repeated observation during memory assessment with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is that patients who spontaneously employ a memory rehearsal strategy by repeating the word list more than once achieve better scores than patients who only repeat the word list once. This observation led to concern about the ability of the standard test procedure of RAVLT and similar tests in eliciting the best possible recall scores. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that a rehearsal recall strategy of repeating the word list more than once would result in improved scores of recall on the RAVLT. We report on differences in outcome after standard administration and after experimental administration on Immediate and Delayed Recall measures from the RAVLT of 50 patients. The experimental administration resulted in significantly improved scores for all the variables employed. Additionally, it was found that patients who failed effort screening showed significantly poorer improvement on Delayed Recall compared with those who passed the effort screening. The general clear improvement both in raw scores and T-scores demonstrates that recall performance can be significantly influenced by the strategy of the patient or by small variations in instructions by the examiner.

  10. Human performance improvement for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Improving performance on core processes of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, John Matthew; Pronovost, Peter J

    2016-06-01

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

  12. Survival prediction algorithms miss significant opportunities for improvement if used for case selection in trauma quality improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Catherine; Cole, Elaine; West, Anita; Tai, Nigel; Brohi, Karim

    2016-09-01

    Quality improvement (QI) programs have shown to reduce preventable mortality in trauma care. Detailed review of all trauma deaths is a time and resource consuming process and calculated probability of survival (Ps) has been proposed as audit filter. Review is limited on deaths that were 'expected to survive'. However no Ps-based algorithm has been validated and no study has examined elements of preventability associated with deaths classified as 'expected'. The objective of this study was to examine whether trauma performance review can be streamlined using existing mortality prediction tools without missing important areas for improvement. We conducted a retrospective study of all trauma deaths reviewed by our trauma QI program. Deaths were classified into non-preventable, possibly preventable, probably preventable or preventable. Opportunities for improvement (OPIs) involve failure in the process of care and were classified into clinical and system deviations from standards of care. TRISS and PS were used for calculation of probability of survival. Peer-review charts were reviewed by a single investigator. Over 8 years, 626 patients were included. One third showed elements of preventability and 4% were preventable. Preventability occurred across the entire range of the calculated Ps band. Limiting review to unexpected deaths would have missed over 50% of all preventability issues and a third of preventable deaths. 37% of patients showed opportunities for improvement (OPIs). Neither TRISS nor PS allowed for reliable identification of OPIs and limiting peer-review to patients with unexpected deaths would have missed close to 60% of all issues in care. TRISS and PS fail to identify a significant proportion of avoidable deaths and miss important opportunities for process and system improvement. Based on this, all trauma deaths should be subjected to expert panel review in order to aim at a maximal output of performance improvement programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier

  13. Significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improved mass detection in mammography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eltonsy, Nevine H; Tourassi, Georgia D; Fadeev, Aleksey; Elmaghraby, Adel S

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of the study is to investigate the significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improving the detection of masses in screening mammograms. The detection scheme was originally based on morphological directional neighborhood features extracted from mammographic regions of interest (ROIs). Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) was performed to evaluate the performance of each set of features independently and merged into a back-propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) using the leave-one-out sampling scheme (LOOSS). The study was based on a database of 668 mammographic ROIs (340 depicting cancer regions and 328 depicting normal parenchyma). Overall, the ROC area index of the BPANN using the directional morphological features was Az=0.85+/-0.01. The MPEG-7 edge histogram descriptor-based BPNN showed an ROC area index of Az=0.71+/-0.01 while homogeneous textural descriptors using 30 and 120 channels helped the BPNN achieve similar ROC area indexes of Az=0.882+/-0.02 and Az=0.877+/-0.01 respectively. After merging the MPEG-7 homogeneous textural features with the directional neighborhood features the performance of the BPANN increased providing an ROC area index of Az=0.91+/-0.01. MPEG-7 homogeneous textural descriptor significantly improved the morphology-based detection scheme.

  14. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  15. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guglielmi, F.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Does Education Reform Improve Job Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wenger, J

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Focused R&D For Electrochromic Smart Windowsa: Significant Performance and Yield Enhancements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mark Burdis; Neil Sbar

    2003-01-31

    There is a need to improve the energy efficiency of building envelopes as they are the primary factor governing the heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation requirements of buildings--influencing 53% of building energy use. In particular, windows contribute significantly to the overall energy performance of building envelopes, thus there is a need to develop advanced energy efficient window and glazing systems. Electrochromic (EC) windows represent the next generation of advanced glazing technology that will (1) reduce the energy consumed in buildings, (2) improve the overall comfort of the building occupants, and (3) improve the thermal performance of the building envelope. ''Switchable'' EC windows provide, on demand, dynamic control of visible light, solar heat gain, and glare without blocking the view. As exterior light levels change, the window's performance can be electronically adjusted to suit conditions. A schematic illustrating how SageGlass{reg_sign} electrochromic windows work is shown in Figure I.1. SageGlass{reg_sign} EC glazings offer the potential to save cooling and lighting costs, with the added benefit of improving thermal and visual comfort. Control over solar heat gain will also result in the use of smaller HVAC equipment. If a step change in the energy efficiency and performance of buildings is to be achieved, there is a clear need to bring EC technology to the marketplace. This project addresses accelerating the widespread introduction of EC windows in buildings and thus maximizing total energy savings in the U.S. and worldwide. We report on R&D activities to improve the optical performance needed to broadly penetrate the full range of architectural markets. Also, processing enhancements have been implemented to reduce manufacturing costs. Finally, tests are being conducted to demonstrate the durability of the EC device and the dual pane insulating glass unit (IGU) to be at least equal to that of conventional

  18. Improving Process Heating System Performance v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-04-11

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

  19. Performance improvement plan in customer technical services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lachambre, L.

    1995-01-01

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

  20. An Adaptive Middleware for Improved Computational Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Lars Frydendal

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

  1. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Do Leadership Changes Improve Electoral Performance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

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

  6. Do school inspections improve primary school performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Dinand Webbink; Rob Luginbuhl; I. de Wolf

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  8. Benchmarking and performance improvement at Rocky Flats Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-03-01

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

  9. National Emergency Preparedness and Response: Improving for Incidents of National Significance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Clayton, Christopher M

    2006-01-01

    The national emergency management system has need of significant improvement in its contingency planning and early consolidation of effort and coordination between federal, state, and local agencies...

  10. Goals and experience of performance improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  11. Performance improvement using methodology: case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmelink, Stacy

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Nanotechnological inventions considerably improve performance characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLASOV Vladimir Alexeevich

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  14. Electronic monitoring in combination with direct observation as a means to significantly improve hand hygiene compliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, John M

    2017-05-01

    Monitoring hand hygiene compliance among health care personnel (HCP) is an essential element of hand hygiene promotion programs. Observation by trained auditors is considered the gold standard method for establishing hand hygiene compliance rates. Advantages of observational surveys include the unique ability to establish compliance with all of the World Health Organization "My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene" initiative Moments and to provide just-in-time coaching. Disadvantages include the resources required for observational surveys, insufficient sample sizes, and nonstandardized methods of conducting observations. Electronic and camera-based systems can monitor hand hygiene performance on all work shifts without a Hawthorne effect and provide significantly more data regarding hand hygiene performance. Disadvantages include the cost of installation, variable accuracy in estimating compliance rates, issues related to acceptance by HCP, insufficient data regarding their cost-effectiveness and influence on health care-related infection rates, and the ability of most systems to monitor only surrogates for Moments 1, 4, and 5. Increasing evidence suggests that monitoring only Moments 1, 4, and 5 provides reasonable estimates of compliance with all 5 Moments. With continued improvement of electronic monitoring systems, combining electronic monitoring with observational methods may provide the best information as part of a multimodal strategy to improve and sustain hand hygiene compliance rates among HCP. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Recent technology on steam turbine performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  16. Design aspects of PHWR for improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, M.

    1989-01-01

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

  17. Thermosensitive Hydrogel Mask Significantly Improves Skin Moisture and Skin Tone; Bilateral Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Quattrone

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: A temperature-sensitive state-changing hydrogel mask was used in this study. Once it comes into contact with the skin and reaches the body temperature, it uniformly and quickly releases the active compounds, which possess moisturizing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. Methods: An open label clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of the test product on skin hydration, skin tone and skin ageing. Subjects applied the product to one side of their face and underwent Corneometer® and Chromameter measurements, Visual assessment of facial skin ageing and facial photography. All assessments and Self-Perception Questionnaires (SPQ were performed at baseline, after the first application of the test product and after four applications. Results: After a single treatment we observed an increase in skin moisturisation, an improvement of skin tone/luminosity and a reduction in signs of ageing, all statistically significant. After four applications a further improvement in all measured parameters was recorded. These results were confirmed by the subjects’ own perceptions, as reported in the SPQ both after one and four applications. Conclusion: The hydrogel mask tested in this study is very effective in improving skin hydration, skin radiance and luminosity, in encouraging an even skin tone and in reducing skin pigmentation.

  18. Frameworks for improvement: clinical audit, the plan-do-study-act cycle and significant event audit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillam, Steve; Siriwardena, A Niroshan

    2013-01-01

    This is the first in a series of articles about quality improvement tools and techniques. We explore common frameworks for improvement, including the model for improvement and its application to clinical audit, plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles and significant event analysis (SEA), examining the similarities and differences between these and providing examples of each.

  19. Model training across multiple breeding cycles significantly improves genomic prediction accuracy in rye (Secale cereale L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auinger, Hans-Jürgen; Schönleben, Manfred; Lehermeier, Christina; Schmidt, Malthe; Korzun, Viktor; Geiger, Hartwig H; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Gordillo, Andres; Wilde, Peer; Bauer, Eva; Schön, Chris-Carolin

    2016-11-01

    Genomic prediction accuracy can be significantly increased by model calibration across multiple breeding cycles as long as selection cycles are connected by common ancestors. In hybrid rye breeding, application of genome-based prediction is expected to increase selection gain because of long selection cycles in population improvement and development of hybrid components. Essentially two prediction scenarios arise: (1) prediction of the genetic value of lines from the same breeding cycle in which model training is performed and (2) prediction of lines from subsequent cycles. It is the latter from which a reduction in cycle length and consequently the strongest impact on selection gain is expected. We empirically investigated genome-based prediction of grain yield, plant height and thousand kernel weight within and across four selection cycles of a hybrid rye breeding program. Prediction performance was assessed using genomic and pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP and PBLUP). A total of 1040 S 2 lines were genotyped with 16 k SNPs and each year testcrosses of 260 S 2 lines were phenotyped in seven or eight locations. The performance gap between GBLUP and PBLUP increased significantly for all traits when model calibration was performed on aggregated data from several cycles. Prediction accuracies obtained from cross-validation were in the order of 0.70 for all traits when data from all cycles (N CS  = 832) were used for model training and exceeded within-cycle accuracies in all cases. As long as selection cycles are connected by a sufficient number of common ancestors and prediction accuracy has not reached a plateau when increasing sample size, aggregating data from several preceding cycles is recommended for predicting genetic values in subsequent cycles despite decreasing relatedness over time.

  20. Purchasing to improve health systems performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robinson, Ray; Jakubowski, Elke; Figueras, Josep

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Improving the Performance of Justice Institutions

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. The People Side of Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Richard F.

    1999-01-01

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

  3. Significantly enhanced robustness and electrochemical performance of flexible carbon nanotube-based supercapacitors by electrodepositing polypyrrole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yanli; Du, Lianhuan; Yang, Peihua; Sun, Peng; Yu, Xiang; Mai, Wenjie

    2015-08-01

    Here, we report robust, flexible CNT-based supercapacitor (SC) electrodes fabricated by electrodepositing polypyrrole (PPy) on freestanding vacuum-filtered CNT film. These electrodes demonstrate significantly improved mechanical properties (with the ultimate tensile strength of 16 MPa), and greatly enhanced electrochemical performance (5.6 times larger areal capacitance). The major drawback of conductive polymer electrodes is the fast capacitance decay caused by structural breakdown, which decreases cycling stability but this is not observed in our case. All-solid-state SCs assembled with the robust CNT/PPy electrodes exhibit excellent flexibility, long lifetime (95% capacitance retention after 10,000 cycles) and high electrochemical performance (a total device volumetric capacitance of 4.9 F/cm3). Moreover, a flexible SC pack is demonstrated to light up 53 LEDs or drive a digital watch, indicating the broad potential application of our SCs for portable/wearable electronics.

  4. Significant improvement in the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes on molecularly modified Gallium Nitride surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Manjari; Naik, Tejas R.; Pathak, C. S.; Nagarajan, S.; Rao, V. Ramgopal; Singh, R.

    2018-04-01

    III-Nitride semiconductors face the issue of localized surface states, which causes fermi level pinning and large leakage current at the metal semiconductor interface, thereby degrading the device performance. In this work, we have demonstrated the use of a Self-Assembled Monolayer (SAM) of organic molecules to improve the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) on n-type Gallium Nitride (n-GaN) epitaxial films. The electrical characteristics of diodes were improved by adsorption of SAM of hydroxyl-phenyl metallated porphyrin organic molecules (Zn-TPPOH) onto the surface of n-GaN. SAM-semiconductor bonding via native oxide on the n-GaN surface was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. Surface morphology and surface electronic properties were characterized using atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy. Current-voltage characteristics of different metal (Cu, Ni) SBDs on bare n-GaN were compared with those of Cu/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN and Ni/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN SBDs. It was found that due to the molecular monolayer, the surface potential of n-GaN was decreased by ˜350 mV. This caused an increase in the Schottky barrier height of Cu and Ni SBDs from 1.13 eV to 1.38 eV and 1.07 eV to 1.22 eV, respectively. In addition to this, the reverse bias leakage current was reduced by 3-4 orders of magnitude for both Cu and Ni SBDs. Such a significant improvement in the electrical performance of the diodes can be very useful for better device functioning.

  5. Improving engineering performance by utilizing process indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, T.E.

    1992-01-01

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

  6. Visuospatial training improves elementary students' mathematics performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrie, Tom; Logan, Tracy; Ramful, Ajay

    2017-06-01

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

  7. Six Significant Questions About Performance and Performance Courses in the Major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Hal A.; Pugh, D. Lionel

    James Bryant Conant's book, "The Education of America" (1963), triggered a major change in physical education curricula. Formerly a (sports) skills and applied techniques oriented discipline, physical education has expanded to areas such as kinesiology and sports sociology. However, performance and performance courses are still an important aspect…

  8. Bone Mass and Strength are Significantly Improved in Mice Overexpressing Human WNT16 in Osteocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Imranul; Reilly, Austin M; Alkhouli, Mohammed; Gerard-O'Riley, Rita L; Kasipathi, Charishma; Oakes, Dana K; Wright, Weston B; Acton, Dena; McQueen, Amie K; Patel, Bhavmik; Lim, Kyung-Eun; Robling, Alexander G; Econs, Michael J

    2017-04-01

    Recently, we demonstrated that osteoblast-specific overexpression of human WNT16 increased both cortical and trabecular bone mass and structure in mice. To further identify the cell-specific role of Wnt16 in bone homeostasis, we created transgenic (TG) mice overexpressing human WNT16 in osteocytes using Dmp1 promoter (Dmp1-hWNT16 TG) on C57BL/6 (B6) background. We analyzed bone phenotypes and serum bone biomarkers, performed gene expression analysis and measured dynamic bone histomorphometry in Dmp1-hWNT16 TG and wild-type (WT) mice. Compared to WT mice, Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice exhibited significantly higher whole-body, spine and femoral aBMD, BMC and trabecular (BV/TV, Tb.N, and Tb.Th) and cortical (bone area and thickness) parameters in both male and female at 12 weeks of age. Femur stiffness and ultimate force were also significantly improved in the Dmp1-hWNT16 TG female mice, compared to sex-matched WT littermates. In addition, female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice displayed significantly higher MS/BS, MAR and BFR/BS compared to the WT mice. Gene expression analysis demonstrated significantly higher mRNA level of Alp in both male and female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice and significantly higher levels of Osteocalcin, Opg and Rankl in the male Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice in bone tissue compared to sex-matched WT mice. These results indicate that WNT16 plays a critical role for acquisition of both cortical and trabecular bone mass and strength. Strategies designed to use WNT16 as a target for therapeutic interventions will be valuable to treat osteoporosis and other low bone mass conditions.

  9. Radiotherapy is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Susan H; Haydu, Lauren E; Goh, Robin Yeong Hong; Fogarty, Gerald B

    2012-01-01

    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare tumour of skin. This study is a retrospective audit of patients with MCC from St Vincent’s and Mater Hospital, Sydney, Australia. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of radiotherapy (RT) on the local and regional control of MCC lesions and survival of patients with MCC. The data bases in anatomical pathology, RT and surgery. We searched for patients having a diagnosis of MCC between 1996 and 2007. Patient, tumour and treatment characteristics were collected and analysed. Univariate survival analysis of categorical variables was conducted with the Kaplan-Meier method together with the Log-Rank test for statistical significance. Continuous variables were assessed using the Cox regression method. Multivariate analysis was performed for significant univariate results. Sixty seven patients were found. Sixty two who were stage I-III and were treated with radical intent were analysed. 68% were male. The median age was 74 years. Forty-two cases (68%) were stage I or II, and 20 cases (32%) were stage III. For the subset of 42 stage I and II patients, those that had RT to their primary site had a 2-year local recurrence free survival of 89% compared with 36% for patients not receiving RT (p<0.001). The cumulative 2-year regional recurrence free survival for patients having adjuvant regional RT was 84% compared with 43% for patients not receiving this treatment (p<0.001). Immune status at initial surgery was a significant predictor for OS and MCCSS. In a multivariate analysis combining macroscopic size (mm) and immune status at initial surgery, only immune status remained a significant predictor of overall survival (HR=2.096, 95% CI: 1.002-4.385, p=0.049). RT is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma. Immunosuppression is an important factor in overall survival

  10. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Cloud Computing for Maintenance Performance Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Kour, Ravdeep; Karim, Ramin; Parida, Aditya

    2013-01-01

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

  12. pEPito: a significantly improved non-viral episomal expression vector for mammalian cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogris Manfred

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The episomal replication of the prototype vector pEPI-1 depends on a transcription unit starting from the constitutively expressed Cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter (CMV-IEP and directed into a 2000 bp long matrix attachment region sequence (MARS derived from the human β-interferon gene. The original pEPI-1 vector contains two mammalian transcription units and a total of 305 CpG islands, which are located predominantly within the vector elements necessary for bacterial propagation and known to be counterproductive for persistent long-term transgene expression. Results Here, we report the development of a novel vector pEPito, which is derived from the pEPI-1 plasmid replicon but has considerably improved efficacy both in vitro and in vivo. The pEPito vector is significantly reduced in size, contains only one transcription unit and 60% less CpG motives in comparison to pEPI-1. It exhibits major advantages compared to the original pEPI-1 plasmid, including higher transgene expression levels and increased colony-forming efficiencies in vitro, as well as more persistent transgene expression profiles in vivo. The performance of pEPito-based vectors was further improved by replacing the CMV-IEP with the human CMV enhancer/human elongation factor 1 alpha promoter (hCMV/EF1P element that is known to be less affected by epigenetic silencing events. Conclusions The novel vector pEPito can be considered suitable as an improved vector for biotechnological applications in vitro and for non-viral gene delivery in vivo.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krugman, Mary E; Sanders, Carolyn L

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Perceptual learning improves visual performance in juvenile amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  15. Cleanliness criteria to improve steam generator performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Signal Processing for Improved Wireless Receiver Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Lars P.B.

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Restructuring primary care for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-12-31

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

  19. Improved performance of the Sao Paulo Pelletron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  20. Significant Improvement in Chronic Persistent Headaches Caused by Small Rathke Cleft Cysts After Transsphenoidal Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukui, Issei; Hayashi, Yasuhiko; Kita, Daisuke; Sasagawa, Yasuo; Oishi, Masahiro; Tachibana, Osamu; Nakada, Mitsutoshi

    2017-03-01

    Rathke cleft cysts (RCC) usually are asymptomatic and can be observed via the use of conservative methods. Some patients with RCCs, however, have severe headaches even if they are small enough to be confined to the sella, and these small RCCs seldom have been discussed. This study presents an investigation into clinical characteristics of small RCCs associated with severe headaches, demonstrating efficacy and safety of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) to relieve headaches. In this study, 13 patients with small RCCs (maximum diameter HIT-6) score was calculated both pre- and postoperatively to evaluate headache severity. All patients complained of severe headaches, which disturbed their daily life. Most headaches were nonpulsating and localized in the frontal area. Characteristically, 6 patients (46%) experienced severe headaches with sudden onset that continued chronically. HIT-6 score was 64 on average, meaning headaches affected daily life severely. After surgical decompression of the cyst, headache in all of the patients improved dramatically and HIT-6 score decreased significantly to 37, suggesting that headaches were diminished. No newly developed deficiencies of the anterior pituitary lobe function were detected. Postoperative occurrence of diabetes insipidus was found in 2 patients, both of which were transient. No recurring cysts were found. Severe headaches can develop from small RCCs. In the present study, ETSS was performed on such patients effectively and safely to relieve their headaches. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

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

  2. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

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

  4. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-19

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  6. Examining significant factors in micro and small enterprises performance: case study in Amhara region, Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherkos, Tomas; Zegeye, Muluken; Tilahun, Shimelis; Avvari, Muralidhar

    2017-07-01

    Furniture manufacturing micro and small enterprises are confronted with several factors that affect their performance. Some enterprises fail to sustain, some others remain for long period of time without transforming, and most are producing similar and non-standard products. The main aim of this manuscript is on improving the performance and contribution of MSEs by analyzing impact of significant internal and external factors. Data was collected via a questionnaire, group discussion with experts and interviewing process. Randomly selected eight representative main cities of Amhara region with 120 furniture manufacturing enterprises are considered. Data analysis and presentation was made using SPSS tools (correlation, proximity, and T test) and impact-effort analysis matrix tool. The correlation analysis shows that politico-legal with infrastructure, leadership with entrepreneurship skills and finance and credit with marketing factors are those factors, which result in high correlation with Pearson correlation values of r = 0.988, 0.983, and 0.939, respectively. The study investigates that the most critical factors faced by MSEs are work premises, access to finance, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and business managerial problems. The impact of these factors is found to be high and is confirmed by the 50% drop-out rate in 2014/2015. Furthermore, more than 25% work time losses due to power interruption daily and around 65% work premises problems challenged MSEs. Further, an impact-effort matrix was developed to help the MSEs to prioritize the affecting factors.

  7. New software for improving performance in wind farm operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Mark [Ekho for Wind (Canada)

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. Successful percutaneous coronary intervention significantly improves coronary sinus blood flow as assessed by transthoracic echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyubarova, Radmila; Boden, William E; Fein, Steven A; Schulman-Marcus, Joshua; Torosoff, Mikhail

    2018-06-01

    Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) has been used to assess coronary sinus blood flow (CSBF), which reflects total coronary arterial blood flow. Successful angioplasty is expected to improve coronary arterial blood flow. Changes in CSBF after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), as assessed by TTE, have not been systematically evaluated. TTE can be utilized to reflect increased CSBF after a successful, clinically indicated PCI. The study cohort included 31 patients (18 females, 62 ± 11 years old) referred for diagnostic cardiac catheterization for suspected coronary artery disease and possible PCI, when clinically indicated. All performed PCIs were successful, with good angiographic outcome. CSBF per cardiac cycle (mL/beat) was measured using transthoracic two-dimensional and Doppler flow imaging as the product of coronary sinus (CS) area and CS flow time-velocity integral. CSBF per minute (mL/min) was calculated as the product of heart rate and CSBF per cardiac cycle. In each patient, CSBF was assessed prospectively, before and after cardiac catheterization with and without clinically indicated PCI. Within- and between-group differences in CSBF before and after PCI were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Technically adequate CSBF measurements were obtained in 24 patients (77%). In patients who did not undergo PCI, there was no significant change in CSBF (278.1 ± 344.1 versus 342.7 ± 248.5, p = 0.36). By contrast, among patients who underwent PCI, CSBF increased significantly (254.3 ± 194.7 versus 618.3 ± 358.5 mL/min, p < 0.01, p-interaction = 0.03). Other hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters did not change significantly before and after cardiac catheterization in either treatment group. Transthoracic echocardiographic assessment can be employed to document CSBF changes after angioplasty. Future studies are needed to explore the clinical utility of this noninvasive metric.

  10. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Improving Rapport between Track/Cross Country Coaches and Significant Others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helm, David Jay

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the background information and the components of N.L.P., being eye movements, use of predicates, and posturing, as they apply to improving rapport and empathy between track/cross country coaches and their significant others in the arena of competition to help alleviate the inherent stressors.

  11. MEMS Actuators for Improved Performance and Durability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yearsley, James M.

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

  12. Improving cardiac myocytes performance by CNTs platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eMartinelli

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2000-10-01

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

  14. Improving chemistry performance in CANDU plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, C.; Guzonas, D.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynaldo Zoro

    2009-11-01

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

  16. Performance improvement of optical semiconductor sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Tokhy, M.E.M.E

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Costello Syndrome with Severe Nodulocystic Acne: Unexpected Significant Improvement of Acanthosis Nigricans after Oral Isotretinoin Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leelawadee Sriboonnark

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of 17-year-old female diagnosed with Costello syndrome. Genetic testing provided a proof with G12S mutation in the HRAS gene since 3 years of age with a presentation of severe nodulocystic acne on her face. After 2 months of oral isotretinoin treatment, improvement in her acne was observed. Interestingly, an unexpected significant improvement of acanthosis nigricans on her neck and dorsum of her hands was found as well. We present this case as a successful treatment option by using oral isotretinoin for the treatment of acanthosis nigricans in Costello syndrome patients.

  18. Determination of significance in Ecological Impact Assessment: Past change, current practice and future improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D., E-mail: mdh@soton.ac.uk

    2013-01-15

    Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an important tool for conservation and achieving sustainable development. 'Significant' impacts are those which disturb or alter the environment to a measurable degree. Significance is a crucial part of EcIA, our understanding of the concept in practice is vital if it is to be effective as a tool. This study employed three methods to assess how the determination of significance has changed through time, what current practice is, and what would lead to future improvements. Three data streams were collected: interviews with expert stakeholders, a review of 30 Environmental Statements and a broad-scale survey of the United Kingdom Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) members. The approach taken in the determination of significance has become more standardised and subjectivity has become constrained through a transparent framework. This has largely been driven by a set of guidelines produced by IEEM in 2006. The significance of impacts is now more clearly justified and the accuracy with which it is determined has improved. However, there are limitations to accuracy and effectiveness of the determination of significance. These are the quality of baseline survey data, our scientific understanding of ecological processes and the lack of monitoring and feedback of results. These in turn are restricted by the limited resources available in consultancies. The most notable recommendations for future practice are the implementation of monitoring and the publication of feedback, the creation of a central database for baseline survey data and the streamlining of guidance. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The assessment of significance has changed markedly through time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The IEEM guidelines have driven a standardisation of practice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently limited by quality of baseline data and scientific understanding. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Monitoring

  19. Histone deacetylase inhibitor significantly improved the cloning efficiency of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yongye; Tang, Xiaochun; Xie, Wanhua; Zhou, Yan; Li, Dong; Yao, Chaogang; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jianguo; Lai, Liangxue; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Pang, Daxin

    2011-12-01

    Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inbibitor, has been shown to generate inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from mouse and human fibroblasts with a significant higher efficiency. Because successful cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) undergoes a full reprogramming process in which the epigenetic state of a differentiated donor nuclear is converted into an embryonic totipotent state, we speculated that VPA would be useful in promoting cloning efficiency. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether VPA can promote the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by improving the reprogramming state of donor nucleus. Here we report that 1 mM VPA for 14 to 16 h following activation significantly increased the rate of blastocyst formation of porcine SCNT embryos constructed from Landrace fetal fibroblast cells compared to the control (31.8 vs. 11.4%). However, we found that the acetylation level of Histone H3 lysine 14 and Histone H4 lysine 5 and expression level of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 was not significantly changed between VPA-treated and -untreated groups at the blastocyst stage. The SCNT embryos were transferred to 38 surrogates, and the cloning efficiency in the treated group was significantly improved compared with the control group. Taken together, we have demonstrated that VPA can improve both in vitro and in vivo development competence of porcine SCNT embryos.

  20. No significant effect of prefrontal tDCS on working memory performance in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonna eNilsson

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS has been put forward as a non-pharmacological alternative for alleviating cognitive decline in old age. Although results have shown some promise, little is known about the optimal stimulation parameters for modulation in the cognitive domain. In this study, the effects of tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC on working memory performance were investigated in thirty older adults. An N-back task assessed working memory before, during and after anodal tDCS at a current strength of 1mA and 2mA, in addition to sham stimulation. The study used a single-blind, cross-over design. The results revealed no significant effect of tDCS on accuracy or response times during or after stimulation, for any of the current strengths. These results suggest that a single session of tDCS over the dlPFC is unlikely to improve working memory, as assessed by an N-back task, in old age.

  1. Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Communication: Proper treatment of classically forbidden electronic transitions significantly improves detailed balance in surface hopping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sifain, Andrew E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Wang, Linjun [Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Prezhdo, Oleg V. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1062 (United States)

    2016-06-07

    Surface hopping is the most popular method for nonadiabatic molecular dynamics. Many have reported that it does not rigorously attain detailed balance at thermal equilibrium, but does so approximately. We show that convergence to the Boltzmann populations is significantly improved when the nuclear velocity is reversed after a classically forbidden hop. The proposed prescription significantly reduces the total number of classically forbidden hops encountered along a trajectory, suggesting that some randomization in nuclear velocity is needed when classically forbidden hops constitute a large fraction of attempted hops. Our results are verified computationally using two- and three-level quantum subsystems, coupled to a classical bath undergoing Langevin dynamics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozas, W. J

    2014-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Mattioli

    Full Text Available Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up.

  6. Learning to improve path planning performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

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

  7. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia, CAIA

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Improved Bevatron local injector ion source performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stover, G.; Zajec, E.

    1985-05-01

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

  9. The challenges of ESRD care in developing economies: sub-Saharan African opportunities for significant improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamgboye, Ebun Ladipo

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. This, along with other noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases, poses a double burden on a region that is still struggling to cope with the scourge of communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and more recently Ebola. Causes of CKD in the region are predominantly glomerulonephritis and hypertension, although type 2 diabetes is also becoming a significant cause as is the retroviral disease. Patients are generally younger than in the developed world, and there is a significant male preponderance. Most patients are managed by hemodialysis, with peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation being available in only few countries in the region. Government funding and support for dialysis is often unavailable, and when available, often with restrictions. There is a dearth of trained manpower to treat the disease, and many countries have a limited number of units, which are often ill-equipped to deal adequately with the number of patients who require end-stage renal disease (ESRD) care in the region. Although there has been a significant improvement when compared with the situation, even as recently as 10 years ago, there is also the potential for further improvement, which would significantly improve the outcomes in patients with ESRD in the region. The information in this review was obtained from a combination of renal registry reports (published and unpublished), published articles, responses to a questionnaire sent to nephrologists prior to the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Cape Town, and from nephrologists attending the WCN in Cape Town (March 13 - 17, 2015).

  10. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laplatney, Jere; Hwang, Euiyoub

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Using business intelligence to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gevelber, Michael; Xu, Bing; Smith, Douglas

    2006-03-01

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

  15. PXD101 significantly improves nuclear reprogramming and the in vitro developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Kang, Jin-Dan; Li, Suo; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Guo, Qing; Gao, Qing-Shan; Yan, Chang-Guo; Yin, Xi-Jun, E-mail: yinxj33@msn.com

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • First explored that the effects of PXD101 on the development of SCNT embryos in vitro. • 0.5 μM PXD101 treated for 24 h improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos. • Level of AcH3K9 was significantly higher than control group at early stages. - Abstract: In this study, we investigated the effects of the histone deacetylase inhibitor PXD101 (belinostat) on the preimplantation development of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos and their expression of the epigenetic markers histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (AcH3K9). We compared the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with various concentrations of PXD101 for 24 h. Treatment with 0.5 μM PXD101 significantly increased the proportion of SCNT embryos that reached the blastocyst stage, in comparison to the control group (23.3% vs. 11.5%, P < 0.05). We tested the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with 0.5 μM PXD101 for various amounts of times following activation. Treatment for 24 h significantly improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos, with a significantly higher proportion of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage in comparison to the control group (25.7% vs. 10.6%, P < 0.05). PXD101-treated SCNT embryos were transferred into two surrogate sows, one of whom became pregnant and four fetuses developed. PXD101 treatment significantly increased the fluorescence intensity of immunostaining for AcH3K9 in embryos at the pseudo-pronuclear and 2-cell stages. At these stages, the fluorescence intensities of immunostaining for AcH3K9 were significantly higher in PXD101-treated embryos than in control untreated embryos. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PXD101 can significantly improve the in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos and can enhance their nuclear reprogramming.

  16. Citrus Flavonoid Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance in Trained Athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  17. Contemporary Management of Acute Aortic Occlusion Has Evolved but Outcomes Have Not Significantly Improved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, William P; Patel, Rupal K; Columbo, Jesse A; Flahive, Julie; Aiello, Francesco A; Baril, Donald T; Schanzer, Andres; Messina, Louis M

    2016-07-01

    Most existing series of acute aortic occlusion (AAO) predate the changes in surgical and endovascular therapy of the last 2 decades. We examined the contemporary management and outcomes of AAO. We reviewed consecutive patients with AAO at a tertiary referral center from 2004 to 2012. Outcomes were stratified and compared according to etiology and procedure performed. AAO in 29 patients was due to in situ thrombosis in 21 (72%) and embolism in 8 (28%) patients. Vascular patients with embolism were on average older (77 ± 7 vs. 66 ± 12 years, P = 0.02) and had higher rates of atrial fibrillation (100% vs. 20%, P = 0.0002) and congestive heart failure (75% vs. 0%, P = 0.0001) in comparison with those with in situ thrombosis. Neurologic deficit was present in 16 (55%) patients. Six patients (21%) presented with bilateral paresis/paralysis secondary to spinal cord or lumbosacral plexus ischemia, and primary neurologic etiology was investigated before vascular consultation was obtained in 4 of these 6 patients. Of the 29 patients, 28 (97%) underwent revascularization including transfemoral embolectomy (n = 6), transperitoneal aortoiliac thrombectomy (n = 2), axillobifemoral bypass (n = 10), aortobifemoral bypass (n = 6), and endovascular therapy including thrombolysis, angioplasty ± stenting (n = 4). In-hospital mortality was 31% and did not vary significantly according to etiology (embolism 38% vs. in situ thrombosis 29%, P = 0.67). In-hospital mortality varied widely according to procedure (transfemoral embolectomy 50%, aortoiliac thrombectomy 100%, axillobifemoral bypass 30%, aortobifemoral bypass 0%, and endovascular therapy 25%, P = 0.08). Major morbidity (59%), length of stay (8.6 ± 8.0 days), and discharge to a rehabilitation facility (50%) did not vary by etiology or procedure. At a media follow-up of 361 ± 460 days (range 3-2014), overall survival was 42%. There were no amputations among 20 survivors of initial

  18. Unified Health Gamification can significantly improve well-being in corporate environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahrestani, Arash; Van Gorp, Pieter; Le Blanc, Pascale; Greidanus, Fabrizio; de Groot, Kristel; Leermakers, Jelle

    2017-07-01

    There is a multitude of mHealth applications that aim to solve societal health problems by stimulating specific types of physical activities via gamification. However, physical health activities cover just one of the three World Health Organization (WHO) dimensions of health. This paper introduces the novel notion of Unified Health Gamification (UHG), which covers besides physical health also social and cognitive health and well-being. Instead of rewarding activities in the three WHO dimensions using different mHealth competitions, UHG combines the scores for such activities on unified leaderboards and lets people interact in social circles beyond personal interests. This approach is promising in corporate environments since UHG can connect the employees with intrinsic motivation for physical health with those who have quite different interests. In order to evaluate this approach, we realized an app prototype and we evaluated it in two corporate pilot studies. In total, eighteen pilot users participated voluntarily for six weeks. Half of the participants were recruited from an occupational health setting and the other half from a treatment setting. Our results suggest that the UHG principles are worth more investigation: various positive health effects were found based on a validated survey. The mean mental health improved significantly at one pilot location and at the level of individual pilot participants, multiple other effects were found to be significant: among others, significant mental health improvements were found for 28% of the participants. Most participants intended to use the app beyond the pilot, especially if it would be further developed.

  19. Engaging service providers in improving industry performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oberth, R.

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Managing Human Performance to Improve Nuclear Facility Operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-01-01

    . It describes how human performance can be managed within an overall performance improvement model. The need for IAEA involvement in this area and to address key issues highlighted in IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NG-G-2.1 were reinforced during the meetings of the Technical Working Group on Managing Human Resources in the Field of Nuclear Energy (TWG-MHR) in 2008 and 2010. The importance of human performance in the safe operation of any nuclear facility is no longer in doubt. The contribution of human performance to the occurrence of significant events and, consequently, to overall performance in the nuclear field has been well documented. Monitoring and continually improving human performance has now become one of the key challenges in the management of human resources for nuclear facilities. To facilitate meeting the challenge of improving human performance, a model of performance improvement is presented that provides a framework which can be used to improve individual, process and organizational performance. It is generally postulated that without human performance improvement, a safe working environment is impossible to maintain. While there are many different perspectives from which safety issues might be addressed, there are several factors significant for human performance improvement that are consistent, useful and necessary to understand. This publication is not intended as an all encompassing guide to managing human performance, but, rather, provides a summary of concepts and good practices for organizations to consider in their design of various programmes and in the performance of activities. In addition, tools that are helpful for managing human performance are discussed, and references for more detailed information on these concepts and tools are provided

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Improving File System Performance by Striping

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinn-Rong; Hsieh, Shulan

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-25

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

  7. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Football to improve math and reading performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Improved automated perimetry performance following exposure to Mozart.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-05-01

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

  11. E2F5 status significantly improves malignancy diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Kothandaraman, Narasimhan

    2010-02-24

    Background: Ovarian epithelial cancer (OEC) usually presents in the later stages of the disease. Factors, especially those associated with cell-cycle genes, affecting the genesis and tumour progression for ovarian cancer are largely unknown. We hypothesized that over-expressed transcription factors (TFs), as well as those that are driving the expression of the OEC over-expressed genes, could be the key for OEC genesis and potentially useful tissue and serum markers for malignancy associated with OEC.Methods: Using a combination of computational (selection of candidate TF markers and malignancy prediction) and experimental approaches (tissue microarray and western blotting on patient samples) we identified and evaluated E2F5 transcription factor involved in cell proliferation, as a promising candidate regulatory target in early stage disease. Our hypothesis was supported by our tissue array experiments that showed E2F5 expression only in OEC samples but not in normal and benign tissues, and by significantly positively biased expression in serum samples done using western blotting studies.Results: Analysis of clinical cases shows that of the E2F5 status is characteristic for a different population group than one covered by CA125, a conventional OEC biomarker. E2F5 used in different combinations with CA125 for distinguishing malignant cyst from benign cyst shows that the presence of CA125 or E2F5 increases sensitivity of OEC detection to 97.9% (an increase from 87.5% if only CA125 is used) and, more importantly, the presence of both CA125 and E2F5 increases specificity of OEC to 72.5% (an increase from 55% if only CA125 is used). This significantly improved accuracy suggests possibility of an improved diagnostics of OEC. Furthermore, detection of malignancy status in 86 cases (38 benign, 48 early and late OEC) shows that the use of E2F5 status in combination with other clinical characteristics allows for an improved detection of malignant cases with sensitivity

  12. The baseline serum value of α-amylase is a significant predictor of distance running performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippi, Giuseppe; Salvagno, Gian Luca; Danese, Elisa; Tarperi, Cantor; La Torre, Antonio; Guidi, Gian Cesare; Schena, Federico

    2015-02-01

    This study was planned to investigate whether serum α-amylase concentration may be associated with running performance, physiological characteristics and other clinical chemistry analytes in a large sample of recreational athletes undergoing distance running. Forty-three amateur runners successfully concluded a 21.1 km half-marathon at 75%-85% of their maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Blood was drawn during warm up and 15 min after conclusion of the run. After correction for body weight change, significant post-run increases were observed for serum values of alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, bilirubin, creatine kinase (CK), iron, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), triglycerides, urea and uric acid, whereas the values of body weight, glomerular filtration rate, total and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol were significantly decreased. The concentration of serum α-amylase was unchanged. In univariate analysis, significant associations with running performance were found for gender, VO2max, training regimen and pre-run serum values of α-amylase, CK, glucose, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, LDH, urea and uric acid. In multivariate analysis, only VO2max (p=0.042) and baseline α-amylase (p=0.021) remained significant predictors of running performance. The combination of these two variables predicted 71% of variance in running performance. The baseline concentration of serum α-amylase was positively correlated with variation of serum glucose during the trial (r=0.345; p=0.025) and negatively with capillary blood lactate at the end of the run (r=-0.352; p=0.021). We showed that the baseline serum α-amylase concentration significantly and independently predicts distance running performance in recreational runners.

  13. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avet-Loiseau, Hervé; Fonseca, Rafael; Siegel, David; Dimopoulos, Meletios A; Špička, Ivan; Masszi, Tamás; Hájek, Roman; Rosiñol, Laura; Goranova-Marinova, Vesselina; Mihaylov, Georgi; Maisnar, Vladimír; Mateos, Maria-Victoria; Wang, Michael; Niesvizky, Ruben; Oriol, Albert; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Minarik, Jiri; Palumbo, Antonio; Bensinger, William; Kukreti, Vishal; Ben-Yehuda, Dina; Stewart, A Keith; Obreja, Mihaela; Moreau, Philippe

    2016-09-01

    The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 48; Rd, n = 52) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standard-risk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01080391. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.

  14. 7804 PERFORMANCE OF IMPROVED BEAN VARIETIES IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Win7Ent

    2013-06-03

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

  15. Measuring collections effort improves cash performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shutts, Joe

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ezzeldin Mahdy Abdelmonem, M.

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Performance Results of CMMI-Based Process Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Can visual arts training improve physician performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Can Visual Arts Training Improve Physician Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Improvement of irradiation facilities performance in JMTR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  2. Alpha neurofeedback training improves SSVEP-based BCI performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Improving Student Performance Using Nudge Analytics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feild, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

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

  4. How Six Sigma Methodology Improved Doctors' Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafiropoulos, George

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Integration of biomimicry and nanotechnology for significantly improved detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myung, Ja Hye; Park, Sin-Jung; Wang, Andrew Z; Hong, Seungpyo

    2017-12-13

    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have received a great deal of scientific and clinical attention as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis of many types of cancer. Given their potential significance in clinics, a variety of detection methods, utilizing the recent advances in nanotechnology and microfluidics, have been introduced in an effort of achieving clinically significant detection of CTCs. However, effective detection and isolation of CTCs still remain a tremendous challenge due to their extreme rarity and phenotypic heterogeneity. Among many approaches that are currently under development, this review paper focuses on a unique, promising approach that takes advantages of naturally occurring processes achievable through application of nanotechnology to realize significant improvement in sensitivity and specificity of CTC capture. We provide an overview of successful outcome of this biomimetic CTC capture system in detection of tumor cells from in vitro, in vivo, and clinical pilot studies. We also emphasize the clinical impact of CTCs as biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and predictive prognosis, which provides a cost-effective, minimally invasive method that potentially replaces or supplements existing methods such as imaging technologies and solid tissue biopsy. In addition, their potential prognostic values as treatment guidelines and that ultimately help to realize personalized therapy are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Industry activities to improve valve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaway, C.

    1996-12-01

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

  8. Does Advertising Spending Improve Sales Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Improving the Performance of the Extreme-scale Simulator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Intraoperative Sensorcaine significantly improves postoperative pain management in outpatient reduction mammaplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culliford, Alfred T; Spector, Jason A; Flores, Roberto L; Louie, Otway; Choi, Mihye; Karp, Nolan S

    2007-09-15

    Breast reduction is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgical procedures in the United States; more than 160,500 patients underwent the procedure in 2005. Many outpatient reduction mammaplasty patients report the greatest postoperative discomfort in the first 48 hours. The authors' investigated the effect of intraoperative topical application of the long-acting local anesthetic agent bupivacaine (Sensorcaine or Marcaine) on postoperative pain, time to postanesthesia care unit discharge, and postoperative use of narcotic medication. In a prospective, randomized, single-blind trial, intraoperative use of Sensorcaine versus placebo (normal saline) was compared. Postoperative pain was quantified using the visual analogue scale, and time to discharge from the postanesthesia care unit was recorded. Patients documented their outpatient pain medication usage. Of the 37 patients enrolled in the study, 20 were treated with intraoperative topical Sensorcaine and 17 received placebo. Patients treated with Sensorcaine were discharged home significantly faster (2.9 hours versus 3.8 hours, p = 0.002). The control arm consistently had higher pain scores in the postanesthesia care unit (although not statistically significant) than the Sensorcaine group using the visual analogue scale system. Furthermore, patients receiving Sensorcaine required significantly less narcotic medication while recovering at home (mean, 3.5 tablets of Vicodin) than the control group (mean, 6.4 tablets; p = 0.001). There were no complications resulting from Sensorcaine usage. This prospective, randomized, single-blind study demonstrates that a single dose of intraoperative Sensorcaine provides a safe, inexpensive, and efficacious way to significantly shorten the length of postanesthesia care unit stay and significantly decrease postoperative opioid analgesic use in patients undergoing ambulatory reduction mammaplasty.

  11. Significant Improvement of Organic Thin-Film Transistor Mobility Utilizing an Organic Heterojunction Buffer Layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan Feng; Qian Xian-Rui; Huang Li-Zhen; Wang Hai-Bo; Yan Dong-Hang

    2011-01-01

    High-mobility vanadyl phthalocyanine (VOPc)/5,5‴-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-2,2':5',2″:5″,2‴-quaterthiophene (F2-P4T) thin-film transistors are demonstrated by employing a copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F 16 CuPc)/copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) heterojunction unit, which are fabricated at different substrate temperatures, as a buffer layer. The highest mobility of 4.08cm 2 /Vs is achieved using a F 16 CuPc/CuPc organic heterojunction buffer layer fabricated at high substrate temperature. Compared with the random small grain-like morphology of the room-temperature buffer layer, the high-temperature organic heterojunction presents a large-sized fiber-like film morphology, resulting in an enhanced conductivity. Thus the contact resistance of the transistor is significantly reduced and an obvious improvement in device mobility is obtained. (cross-disciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  12. Significant improvement of optical traps by tuning standard water immersion objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reihani, S Nader S; Mir, Shahid A; Richardson, Andrew C; Oddershede, Lene B

    2011-01-01

    Focused infrared lasers are widely used for micromanipulation and visualization of biological specimens. An inherent practical problem is that off-the-shelf commercial microscope objectives are designed for use with visible and not infrared wavelengths. Less aberration is introduced by water immersion objectives than by oil immersion ones, however, even water immersion objectives induce significant aberration. We present a simple method to reduce the spherical aberration induced by water immersion objectives, namely by tuning the correction collar of the objective to a value that is ∼ 10% lower than the physical thickness of the coverslip. This results in marked improvements in optical trapping strengths of up to 100% laterally and 600% axially from a standard microscope objective designed for use in the visible range. The results are generally valid for any water immersion objective with any numerical aperture

  13. Warehouse Performance Improvement at Linfox Logistics Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Pratama, Riyan Galuh; Simatupang, Togar M

    2013-01-01

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

  14. An On-Chip RBC Deformability Checker Significantly Improves Velocity-Deformation Correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Hung Dylan Tsai

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available An on-chip deformability checker is proposed to improve the velocity–deformation correlation for red blood cell (RBC evaluation. RBC deformability has been found related to human diseases, and can be evaluated based on RBC velocity through a microfluidic constriction as in conventional approaches. The correlation between transit velocity and amount of deformation provides statistical information of RBC deformability. However, such correlations are usually only moderate, or even weak, in practical evaluations due to limited range of RBC deformation. To solve this issue, we implemented three constrictions of different width in the proposed checker, so that three different deformation regions can be applied to RBCs. By considering cell responses from the three regions as a whole, we practically extend the range of cell deformation in the evaluation, and could resolve the issue about the limited range of RBC deformation. RBCs from five volunteer subjects were tested using the proposed checker. The results show that the correlation between cell deformation and transit velocity is significantly improved by the proposed deformability checker. The absolute values of the correlation coefficients are increased from an average of 0.54 to 0.92. The effects of cell size, shape and orientation to the evaluation are discussed according to the experimental results. The proposed checker is expected to be useful for RBC evaluation in medical practices.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-07-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-24

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

  19. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koohbor, M.; Soltanian, S.; Najafi, M.; Servati, P.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. ► Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. ► Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. ► The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. ► Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co 1−x Zn x (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of ∼35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 °C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of the NW arrays. The changes in magnetic property of NWs are rooted in a competition between shape anisotropy and

  20. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koohbor, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Soltanian, S., E-mail: s.soltanian@gmail.com [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada); Najafi, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Physics, Hamadan University of Technology, Hamadan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Servati, P. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)

    2012-01-05

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co{sub 1-x}Zn{sub x} (0 {<=} x {<=} 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of {approx}35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 Degree-Sign C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on

  1. Performance evaluation recommendations and manuals of nuclear power plants outdoor significant civil structures earthquake resistance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-06-01

    Performance evaluation recommendations and manuals of nuclear power plants outdoor significant civil structures earthquake resistance have been updated in June 2005 by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers. Based on experimental and analytical considerations on the recommendations of May 2002, analytical seismic models of soils for underground structures, effects of vertical motions on time-history dynamic analysis and shear fracture of reinforced concretes by cyclic loadings have been evaluated and incorporated in new recommendations. (T. Tanaka)

  2. Performance evaluation recommendations of nuclear power plants outdoor significant civil structures earthquake resistance. Technical documentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-06-01

    The Japan Society of Civil Engineers has updated performance evaluation recommendations of nuclear power plants outdoor significant civil structures earthquake resistance in June 2005. Experimental and analytical considerations on the seismic effects evaluation criteria, such as analytical seismic models of soils for underground structures, effects of vertical motions on time-history dynamic analysis and shear fracture of reinforced concretes by cyclic loadings, were shown in this document and incorporated in new recommendations. (T. Tanaka)

  3. Partnering through Training and Practice to Achieve Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Significant improvement of intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio) after traditional Chinese medicine feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Z B; Gatesoupe, F-J; Li, T T; Wang, X H; Zhang, Q Q; Feng, D Y; Feng, Y Q; Chen, H; Li, A H

    2018-03-01

    Increasing attention has been attracted to intestinal microbiota, due to interactions with nutrition, metabolism and immune defence of the host. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) feed additives have been applied in aquaculture to improve fish health, but the interaction with fish gut microbiota is still poorly understood. This study aimed to explore the effect of adding TCM in feed on the intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio). Bacterial communities of 16 fish intestinal contents and one water sample were characterized by high-throughput sequencing and analysis of the V4-V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The results showed that the composition and structure of the bacterial community were significantly altered by the TCM feeding. Some phyla increased markedly (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, etc.), while Fusobacteria were significantly reduced. Concurrently, the richness and diversity of the taxonomic units increased, and the microbiota composition of TCM-treated fish was more homogeneous among individuals. At the genus level, the addition of TCM tended to reduce the incidence of potential pathogens (Aeromonas, Acinetobacter and Shewanella), while stimulating the emergence of some potential probiotics (Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Bacillus and Pseudomonas). These data suggested that the feed additive could regulate the fish intestinal microbiota by reinforcing the microbial balance. This study may provide useful information for further application of TCM for diseases prevention and stress management in aquaculture. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  5. Significant improvement in one-dimensional cursor control using Laplacian electroencephalography over electroencephalography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on electroencephalography (EEG) have been shown to accurately detect mental activities, but the acquisition of high levels of control require extensive user training. Furthermore, EEG has low signal-to-noise ratio and low spatial resolution. The objective of the present study was to compare the accuracy between two types of BCIs during the first recording session. EEG and tripolar concentric ring electrode (TCRE) EEG (tEEG) brain signals were recorded and used to control one-dimensional cursor movements. Approach. Eight human subjects were asked to imagine either ‘left’ or ‘right’ hand movement during one recording session to control the computer cursor using TCRE and disc electrodes. Main results. The obtained results show a significant improvement in accuracies using TCREs (44%-100%) compared to disc electrodes (30%-86%). Significance. This study developed the first tEEG-based BCI system for real-time one-dimensional cursor movements and showed high accuracies with little training.

  6. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui; Alotaibi, Hamad S.; Sun, Haiding; Lin, Ronghui; Guo, Wenzhe; Torres-Castanedo, Carlos G.; Liu, Kaikai; Galan, Sergio V.; Li, Xiaohang

    2018-01-01

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  7. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui

    2018-02-23

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Performance improvement by alumina coatings on Y

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Reactor coolant pump seals: improving their performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pothier, N.E.; Metcalfe, R.

    1986-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, M S; Bernard, D B

    1999-08-01

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

  12. Improvement an enterprises marketing performance measurement system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanković Ljiljana

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Does Negotiation Training Improve Negotiators' Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ElShenawy, Eman

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Improving spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Tools for Measuring and Improving Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurow, Susan

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Improving Student Performance through Parent Involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steventon, Candace E.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-11-01

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

  19. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  20. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Xueliang; Shang, Yingchun; Fu, Jingxuan; Zhang, Tao

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine if nicotine was able to improve cognition deficits in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. Twenty-four male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress with nicotine treatment. The animal model was established by combining chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and isolated feeding. Mice were exposed to CUMS continued for 28 days, while nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) was also administrated for 28 days. Weight and sucrose consumption were measured during model establishing period. The anxiety and behavioral despair were analyzed using the forced swim test (FST) and open-field test (OFT). Spatial cognition was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. Following behavioral assessment, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP) were recorded in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Both synaptic and Notch1 proteins were measured by Western. Nicotine increased stressed mouse's sucrose consumption. The MWM test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in stressed animals were remarkably affected relative to controls, whereas nicotine partially rescued cognitive functions. Additionally, nicotine considerably alleviated the level of anxiety and the degree of behavioral despair in stressed mice. It effectively mitigated the depression-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, in which both the LTP and DEP were significantly inhibited in stressed mice. Moreover, nicotine enhanced the expression of synaptic and Notch1 proteins in stressed animals. The results suggest that nicotine ameliorates the depression-like symptoms and improves the hippocampal synaptic plasticity closely associated with activating transmembrane ion channel receptors and Notch signaling components. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  1. Significant improvements in stability and reproducibility of atomic-scale atomic force microscopy in liquid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akrami, S M R; Nakayachi, H; Fukuma, T; Watanabe-Nakayama, T; Asakawa, H

    2014-01-01

    Recent advancement of dynamic-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) for liquid-environment applications enabled atomic-scale studies on various interfacial phenomena. However, instabilities and poor reproducibility of the measurements often prevent systematic studies. To solve this problem, we have investigated the effect of various tip treatment methods for atomic-scale imaging and force measurements in liquid. The tested methods include Si coating, Ar plasma, Ar sputtering and UV/O 3 cleaning. We found that all the methods provide significant improvements in both the imaging and force measurements in spite of the tip transfer through the air. Among the methods, we found that the Si coating provides the best stability and reproducibility in the measurements. To understand the origin of the fouling resistance of the cleaned tip surface and the difference between the cleaning methods, we have investigated the tip surface properties by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. The results show that the contaminations adsorbed on the tip during the tip transfer through the air should desorb from the surface when it is immersed in aqueous solution due to the enhanced hydrophilicity by the tip treatments. The tip surface prepared by the Si coating is oxidized when it is immersed in aqueous solution. This creates local spots where stable hydration structures are formed. For the other methods, there is no active mechanism to create such local hydration sites. Thus, the hydration structure formed under the tip apex is not necessarily stable. These results reveal the desirable tip properties for atomic-scale AFM measurements in liquid, which should serve as a guideline for further improvements of the tip treatment methods. (paper)

  2. Significant improvement of accuracy and precision in the determination of trace rare earths by fluorescence analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozawa, L.; Hersh, H.N.

    1976-01-01

    Most of the rare earths in yttrium, gadolinium and lanthanum oxides emit characteristic fluorescent line spectra under irradiation with photons, electrons and x rays. The sensitivity and selectivity of the rare earth fluorescences are high enough to determine the trace amounts (0.01 to 100 ppM) of rare earths. The absolute fluorescent intensities of solids, however, are markedly affected by the synthesis procedure, level of contamination and crystal perfection, resulting in poor accuracy and low precision for the method (larger than 50 percent error). Special care in preparation of the samples is required to obtain good accuracy and precision. It is found that the accuracy and precision for the determination of trace (less than 10 ppM) rare earths by fluorescence analysis improved significantly, while still maintaining the sensitivity, when the determination is made by comparing the ratio of the fluorescent intensities of the trace rare earths to that of a deliberately added rare earth as reference. The variation in the absolute fluorescent intensity remains, but is compensated for by measuring the fluorescent line intensity ratio. Consequently, the determination of trace rare earths (with less than 3 percent error) is easily made by a photoluminescence technique in which the rare earths are excited directly by photons. Accuracy is still maintained when the absolute fluorescent intensity is reduced by 50 percent through contamination by Ni, Fe, Mn or Pb (about 100 ppM). Determination accuracy is also improved for fluorescence analysis by electron excitation and x-ray excitation. For some rare earths, however, accuracy by these techniques is reduced because indirect excitation mechanisms are involved. The excitation mechanisms and the interferences between rare earths are also reported

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-08-01

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

  4. Benchmark and Continuous Improvement of Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Alecse Stanciu

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Does School Choice Improve Student Performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Kaja Høiseth Brugård

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  7. Improving performance and reducing costs of cooling towers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartz, J.A.

    1992-01-01

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

  8. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-Kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9-24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

  9. Significantly improving trace thallium removal from surface waters during coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huangfu, Xiaoliu; Ma, Chengxue; Ma, Jun; He, Qiang; Yang, Chun; Jiang, Jin; Wang, Yaan; Wu, Zhengsong

    2017-02-01

    Thallium (Tl) is an element of high toxicity and significant accumulation in human body. There is an urgent need for the development of appropriate strategies for trace Tl removal in drinking water treatment plants. In this study, the efficiency and mechanism of trace Tl (0.5 μg/L) removal by conventional coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide (nMnO 2 ) were explored in simulated water and two representative surface waters (a river water and a reservoir water obtained from Northeast China). Experimental results showed that nMnO 2 significantly improve Tl(I) removal from selected waters. The removal efficiency was dramatically higher in the simulated water, demonstrating by less than 0.1 μg/L Tl residual. The enhancement of trace Tl removal in the surface waters decreased to a certain extent. Both adjusting water pH to alkaline condition and preoxidation of Tl(I) to Tl(III) benefit trace Tl removal from surface waters. Data also indicated that competitive cation of Ca 2+ decreased the efficiency of trace Tl removal, resulting from the reduction of Tl adsorption on nMnO 2 . Humic acid could largely low Tl removal efficiency during nMnO 2 enhanced coagulation processes. Trace elemental Tl firstly adsorbed on nMnO 2 and then removed accompanying with nMnO 2 settling. The information obtained in the present study may provide a potential strategy for drinking water treatment plants threatened by trace Tl. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Performance monitoring and error significance in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endrass, Tanja; Schuermann, Beate; Kaufmann, Christan; Spielberg, Rüdiger; Kniesche, Rainer; Kathmann, Norbert

    2010-05-01

    Performance monitoring has been consistently found to be overactive in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The present study examines whether performance monitoring in OCD is adjusted with error significance. Therefore, errors in a flanker task were followed by neutral (standard condition) or punishment feedbacks (punishment condition). In the standard condition patients had significantly larger error-related negativity (ERN) and correct-related negativity (CRN) ampliudes than controls. But, in the punishment condition groups did not differ in ERN and CRN amplitudes. While healthy controls showed an amplitude enhancement between standard and punishment condition, OCD patients showed no variation. In contrast, group differences were not found for the error positivity (Pe): both groups had larger Pe amplitudes in the punishment condition. Results confirm earlier findings of overactive error monitoring in OCD. The absence of a variation with error significance might indicate that OCD patients are unable to down-regulate their monitoring activity according to external requirements. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Hybrid Modeling Improves Health and Performance Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  13. Significant effect of Ca2+ on improving the heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

    The heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been extensively investigated due to its highly practical significance. Reconstituted skim milk (RSM) has been found to be one of the most effective protectant wall materials for microencapsulating microorganisms during convective drying, such as spray drying. In addition to proteins and carbohydrate, RSM is rich in calcium. It is not clear which component is critical in the RSM protection mechanism. This study investigated the independent effect of calcium. Ca(2+) was added to lactose solution to examine its influence on the heat resistance of Lactobacillus rhamnosus ZY, Lactobacillus casei Zhang, Lactobacillus plantarum P8 and Streptococcus thermophilus ND03. The results showed that certain Ca(2+) concentrations enhanced the heat resistance of the LAB strains to different extents, that is produced higher survival and shorter regrowth lag times of the bacterial cells. In some cases, the improvements were dramatic. More scientifically insightful and more intensive instrumental study of the Ca(2+) behavior around and in the cells should be carried out in the near future. In the meantime, this work may lead to the development of more cost-effective wall materials with Ca(2+) added as a prime factor. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Targeting Heparin to Collagen within Extracellular Matrix Significantly Reduces Thrombogenicity and Improves Endothelialization of Decellularized Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Bin; Suen, Rachel; Wertheim, Jason A; Ameer, Guillermo A

    2016-12-12

    Thrombosis within small-diameter vascular grafts limits the development of bioartificial, engineered vascular conduits, especially those derived from extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we describe an easy-to-implement strategy to chemically modify vascular ECM by covalently linking a collagen binding peptide (CBP) to heparin to form a heparin derivative (CBP-heparin) that selectively binds a subset of collagens. Modification of ECM with CBP-heparin leads to increased deposition of functional heparin (by ∼7.2-fold measured by glycosaminoglycan composition) and a corresponding reduction in platelet binding (>70%) and whole blood clotting (>80%) onto the ECM. Furthermore, addition of CBP-heparin to the ECM stabilizes long-term endothelial cell attachment to the lumen of ECM-derived vascular conduits, potentially through recruitment of heparin-binding growth factors that ultimately improve the durability of endothelialization in vitro. Overall, our findings provide a simple yet effective method to increase deposition of functional heparin on the surface of ECM-based vascular grafts and thereby minimize thrombogenicity of decellularized tissue, overcoming a significant challenge in tissue engineering of bioartificial vessels and vascularized organs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fentahun Moges Kasie

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-23

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

  18. Infrared Illuminated CdZnTe detectors with improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  19. The improvement of performances for PWR fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Debes

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Field significance of performance measures in the context of regional climate model evaluation. Part 2: precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Martin; Warrach-Sagi, Kirsten; Wulfmeyer, Volker

    2018-04-01

    A new approach for rigorous spatial analysis of the downscaling performance of regional climate model (RCM) simulations is introduced. It is based on a multiple comparison of the local tests at the grid cells and is also known as `field' or `global' significance. The block length for the local resampling tests is precisely determined to adequately account for the time series structure. New performance measures for estimating the added value of downscaled data relative to the large-scale forcing fields are developed. The methodology is exemplarily applied to a standard EURO-CORDEX hindcast simulation with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with the land surface model NOAH at 0.11 ∘ grid resolution. Daily precipitation climatology for the 1990-2009 period is analysed for Germany for winter and summer in comparison with high-resolution gridded observations from the German Weather Service. The field significance test controls the proportion of falsely rejected local tests in a meaningful way and is robust to spatial dependence. Hence, the spatial patterns of the statistically significant local tests are also meaningful. We interpret them from a process-oriented perspective. While the downscaled precipitation distributions are statistically indistinguishable from the observed ones in most regions in summer, the biases of some distribution characteristics are significant over large areas in winter. WRF-NOAH generates appropriate stationary fine-scale climate features in the daily precipitation field over regions of complex topography in both seasons and appropriate transient fine-scale features almost everywhere in summer. As the added value of global climate model (GCM)-driven simulations cannot be smaller than this perfect-boundary estimate, this work demonstrates in a rigorous manner the clear additional value of dynamical downscaling over global climate simulations. The evaluation methodology has a broad spectrum of applicability as it is

  1. Improving UV Resistance of High Performance Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanin, Ahmed

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

  2. Subjective Significance Shapes Arousal Effects on Modified Stroop Task Performance: A Duality of Activation Mechanisms Account.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbir, Kamil K

    2016-01-01

    Activation mechanisms such as arousal are known to be responsible for slowdown observed in the Emotional Stroop and modified Stroop tasks. Using the duality of mind perspective, we may conclude that both ways of processing information (automatic or controlled) should have their own mechanisms of activation, namely, arousal for an experiential mind, and subjective significance for a rational mind. To investigate the consequences of both, factorial manipulation was prepared. Other factors that influence Stroop task processing such as valence, concreteness, frequency, and word length were controlled. Subjective significance was expected to influence arousal effects. In the first study, the task was to name the color of font for activation charged words. In the second study, activation charged words were, at the same time, combined with an incongruent condition of the classical Stroop task around a fixation point. The task was to indicate the font color for color-meaning words. In both studies, subjective significance was found to shape the arousal impact on performance in terms of the slowdown reduction for words charged with subjective significance.

  3. Subjective Significance Shapes Arousal Effects on Modified Stroop Task Performance: a Duality of Activation Mechanisms Account

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Konrad Imbir

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Activation mechanisms such as arousal are known to be responsible for slowdown observed in the Emotional Stroop (EST and modified Stroop tasks. Using the duality of mind perspective, we may conclude that both ways of processing information (automatic or controlled should have their own mechanisms of activation, namely, arousal for an experiential mind, and subjective significance for a rational mind. To investigate the consequences of both, factorial manipulation was prepared. Other factors that influence Stroop task processing such as valence, concreteness, frequency and word length were controlled. Subjective significance was expected to influence arousal effects. In the first study, the task was to name the color of font for activation charged words. In the second study, activation charged words were, at the same time, combined with an incongruent condition of the classical Stroop task around a fixation point. The task was to indicate the font color for color-meaning words. In both studies, subjective significance was found to shape the arousal impact on performance in terms of the slowdown reduction for words charged with subjective significance.

  4. Efficacy of a Template Creation Approach for Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Data warehousing leads to improved business performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, R.

    1995-01-01

    Data warehousing is emerging as one of the most significant trends in information technology (IT) during the 1990s. According to William H. Inmon, sometimes referred to as the father of data warehousing, a data warehouse is a subject-oriented, integrated, nonvolatile, time-variant collection of data organized to support management needs. Data warehousing can: provide integrated, historical and operational data; integrate disparate application systems; and organize and store data for informational, analytical processing. Data warehousing offers opportunity to address today's problems of realizing a return on massive investments being made in acquiring and managing E and P data. Effective implementations require an understanding of business benefits being sought and an adaptive, flexible IT architecture for supporting processes and technologies involved. As national E and P data archives continue to emerge and complement existing data reserves within E and P companies, expect to see increased data warehousing use to merge these two environments

  6. Perspectives on containment performance improvement based on the IPEs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-04-01

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

  7. Improved human performance through appropriate work scheduling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  8. Baking oven improvement by performance modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-01

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

  9. Hardfacing and packings for improved valve performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Improving Vaginal Examinations Performed by Midwives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhoda S. Muliira

    2013-06-01

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

  11. A Meta-analysis for the Diagnostic Performance of Transient Elastography for Clinically Significant Portal Hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Myung-Won; Kim, Kyung Won; Pyo, Junhee; Huh, Jimi; Kim, Hyoung Jung; Lee, So Jung; Park, Seong Ho

    2017-01-01

    We aimed to evaluate the correlation between liver stiffness measurement using transient elastography (TE-LSM) and hepatic venous pressure gradient and the diagnostic performance of TE-LSM in assessing clinically significant portal hypertension through meta-analysis. Eleven studies were included from thorough literature research and selection processes. The summary correlation coefficient was 0.783 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.737-0.823). Summary sensitivity, specificity and area under the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were 87.5% (95% CI, 75.8-93.9%), 85.3 % (95% CI, 76.9-90.9%) and 0.9, respectively. The subgroup with low cut-off values of 13.6-18 kPa had better summary estimates (sensitivity 91.2%, specificity 81.3% and partial AUC 0.921) than the subgroup with high cut-off values of 21-25 kPa (sensitivity 71.2%, specificity 90.9% and partial AUC 0.769). In summary, TE-LSM correlated well with hepatic venous pressure gradient and represented good diagnostic performance in diagnosing clinically significant portal hypertension. For use as a sensitive screening tool, we propose using low cut-off values of 13.6-18 kPa in TE-LSM. Copyright © 2016 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Behavioral Change and Building Performance: Strategies for Significant, Persistent, and Measurable Institutional Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wolfe, Amy K.; Malone, Elizabeth L.; Heerwagen, Judith H.; Dion, Jerome P.

    2014-04-01

    The people who use Federal buildings — Federal employees, operations and maintenance staff, and the general public — can significantly impact a building’s environmental performance and the consumption of energy, water, and materials. Many factors influence building occupants’ use of resources (use behaviors) including work process requirements, ability to fulfill agency missions, new and possibly unfamiliar high-efficiency/high-performance building technologies; a lack of understanding, education, and training; inaccessible information or ineffective feedback mechanisms; and cultural norms and institutional rules and requirements, among others. While many strategies have been used to introduce new occupant use behaviors that promote sustainability and reduced resource consumption, few have been verified in the scientific literature or have properly documented case study results. This paper documents validated strategies that have been shown to encourage new use behaviors that can result in significant, persistent, and measureable reductions in resource consumption. From the peer-reviewed literature, the paper identifies relevant strategies for Federal facilities and commercial buildings that focus on the individual, groups of individuals (e.g., work groups), and institutions — their policies, requirements, and culture. The paper documents methods with evidence of success in changing use behaviors and enabling occupants to effectively interact with new technologies/designs. It also provides a case study of the strategies used at a Federal facility — Fort Carson, Colorado. The paper documents gaps in the current literature and approaches, and provides topics for future research.

  13. Heat storage in forest biomass significantly improves energy balance closure particularly during stable conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindroth, A.; Mölder, M.; Lagergren, F.

    2009-08-01

    Temperature measurements in trunks and branches in a mature ca. 100 years-old mixed pine and spruce forest in central Sweden were used to estimate the heat storage in the tree biomass. The estimated heat flux in the sample trees and data on biomass distributions were used to scale up to stand level biomass heat fluxes. The rate of change of sensible and latent heat storage in the air layer below the level of the flux measurements was estimated from air temperature and humidity profile measurements and soil heat flux was estimated from heat flux plates and soil temperature measurements. The fluxes of sensible and latent heat from the forest were measured with an eddy covariance system in a tower. The analysis was made for a two-month period in summer of 1995. The tree biomass heat flux was the largest of the estimated storage components and varied between 40 and -35 W m-2 on summer days with nice weather. Averaged over two months the diurnal maximum of total heat storage was 45 W m-2 and the minimum was -35 W m-2. The soil heat flux and the sensible heat storage in air were out of phase with the biomass flux and they reached maximum values that were about 75% of the maximum of the tree biomass heat storage. The energy balance closure improved significantly when the total heat storage was added to the turbulent fluxes. The slope of a regression line with sum of fluxes and storage as independent and net radiation as dependent variable, increased from 0.86 to 0.95 for half-hourly data and the scatter was also reduced. The most significant finding was, however, that during nights with strongly stable conditions when the sensible heat flux dropped to nearly zero, the total storage matched the net radiation nearly perfectly. Another interesting result was that the mean energy imbalance started to increase when the Richardson number became more negative than ca. -0.1. In fact, the largest energy deficit occurred at maximum instability. Our conclusion is that eddy

  14. Significant improvement of eczema with skin care and food elimination in small children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrman, Gunilla; Tomicić, Sara; Böttcher, Malin Fagerås; Oldaeus, Göran; Strömberg, Leif; Fälth-magnusson, Karin

    2005-10-01

    To evaluate common methods of investigation and treatment in children younger than 2 y of age with eczema, with or without sensitization to food allergens. One hundred and twenty-three children younger than 2 y of age with eczema and suspected food allergy were included in this prospective study. The children underwent skin-prick test with cow's milk, fresh hen's egg white and wheat. Specific IgE to milk and egg white was analysed. The eczema extent and severity was estimated with SCORAD before and after treatment. Children with a positive skin-prick test were instructed to exclude that food item from their diet. All children were treated with emollients and topical steroids when needed. Sixty-two of the children were skin-prick positive to at least one of the allergens; 62% had mild, 30% moderate and 8% severe eczema at their first visit. After treatment, 90% had mild, 10% moderate and 0% severe eczema. Forty-six per cent of the children had circulating IgE antibodies to milk or egg white. Ten per cent had specific IgE but negative skin-prick test to the same allergen. This subgroup improved their eczema significantly without elimination diet. The conventional treatments for children with eczema, i.e. skin care and food elimination, are effective. The beneficial effect of skin care as the first step should not be neglected, and it may not be necessary to eliminate food allergens to relieve skin symptoms in all food-sensitized children with eczema.

  15. Introduction of e-learning in dental radiology reveals significantly improved results in final examination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meckfessel, Sandra; Stühmer, Constantin; Bormann, Kai-Hendrik; Kupka, Thomas; Behrends, Marianne; Matthies, Herbert; Vaske, Bernhard; Stiesch, Meike; Gellrich, Nils-Claudius; Rücker, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Because a traditionally instructed dental radiology lecture course is very time-consuming and labour-intensive, online courseware, including an interactive-learning module, was implemented to support the lectures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of students who have worked with web-based courseware as well as the effect on their results in final examinations. Users (n(3+4)=138) had access to the e-program from any networked computer at any time. Two groups (n(3)=71, n(4)=67) had to pass a final exam after using the e-course. Results were compared with two groups (n(1)=42, n(2)=48) who had studied the same content by attending traditional lectures. In addition a survey of the students was statistically evaluated. Most of the respondents reported a positive attitude towards e-learning and would have appreciated more access to computer-assisted instruction. Two years after initiating the e-course the failure rate in the final examination dropped significantly, from 40% to less than 2%. The very positive response to the e-program and improved test scores demonstrated the effectiveness of our e-course as a learning aid. Interactive modules in step with clinical practice provided learning that is not achieved by traditional teaching methods alone. To what extent staff savings are possible is part of a further study. Copyright © 2010 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomislav Hengl

    Full Text Available 80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008-2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management--organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na. We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15-75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring

  17. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bihui; Yang, Jinying; Huang, Qian; Bao, Junjie; Brennecke, Shaun Patrick; Liu, Huishu

    2016-05-01

    Preeclampsia is associated with an increased inflammatory response. Immune suppression might be an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressant, improves clinical characteristics of preeclampsia and suppresses inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced preeclampsia rat model. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group 1 (PE) rats each received LPS via tail vein on gestational day (GD) 14; group 2 (PE+CsA5) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (5mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 3 (PE+CsA10) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (10mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 4 (pregnant control, PC) rats were treated with the vehicle (saline) used for groups 1, 2 and 3. Systolic blood pressure, urinary albumin, biometric parameters and the levels of serum cytokines were measured on day 20. CsA treatment significantly reduced LPS-induced systolic blood pressure and the mean 24-h urinary albumin excretion. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α were increased in the LPS treatment group but were reduced in (LPS+CsA) group (Ppreeclampsia signs and attenuated inflammatory responses in the LPS induced preeclampsia rat model which suggests that immunosuppressant might be an alternative management option for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Performance characteristics of SCC radioimmunoassay and clinical significance serum SCC Ag assay in patients with malignancy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Dong Youn

    1986-01-01

    To evaluate the performance characteristics of SCC RIV and the clinical significance of serum SCC Ag assay in patients with malignancy, serum SCC Ag levels were measured by SCC RIV kit in 40 normal controls and 35 percents with various untreated malignancy, who visited Chonju Presbyterian Medical Center. The results were as follows; 1. The SCC RIA was simple to perform and can be completed in two workday. And the standard curve and reproducibility were both good. 2. The mean serum SCC Ag level in normal controls was 1.64 ± 0.93 ng/mL and normal upper limit of serum SCC Ag was defined as 2.6 ng/mL. 3 out of 40 (7.5%) normal controls showed elevated SCC Ag levels above the normal upper limit. 3. In 35 patients with various untreated malignancy, 18 patients (51.4%) showed elevated serum SCC Ag levels, 59.1% of 22 patients with cervical cancer, 80% of 5 patients with lung cancer, 33% of 3 patients with esophageal cancer, 0% of 2 patients with rectal cancer and 0% of 3 patients with breast cancer showed elevated serum SCC Ag levels. Above results represent that SCC RIV is simple method to perform followed by good standard curve and reproducibility, and may be a useful indicator reflecting diagnostic data of patients with cervical cancer and lung cancer

  19. Improvement of CO sub 2 flood performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, D.F.; Heller, J.P.

    1991-06-01

    This is the final report of a six-year research project devoted to the study of processes of oil displacement using dense carbon dioxide. The topics studied have included phase behavior and physical properties of mixtures of crude oil with CO{sub 2}, the phenomena involved in the displacement of oil through reservoir rock under oilfield conditions, the influence of stabilized lamella or CO{sub 2}-foam on this displacement and the development of computer programs to simulate the displacement. In addition, the occurrence of nonuniformities in the displacement pattern has also been considered. The effect on displacement of permeability heterogeneities in the reservoir have been studied geostatistically and by direct numerical modelling. Displacement nonuniformities that are induced by viscosity and density differences between displaced and displacing fluids have also been considered, and efforts are described for the development of two different types of additive for purposes of mobility control of CO{sub 2} floods. One of these is the so-called CO{sub 2}-foam, formed by simultaneous flow through the formation of dense CO{sub 2} with a water solution of a special surfactant. The second type under development in the project is known as direct thickener, and consists of a polymer that is soluble in dense CO{sub 2} and able to viscosify it. Significant progress is reported on all of the topics mentioned above. 174 refs., 186 figs., 41 tabs.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Juan; Wang Huanlei; Huang Xiao

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Tachelle; Eaton, India

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  3. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mousseau, Jeffrey D.; Jansen, John R.; Janke, David H.; Plowman, Catherine M.

    2003-01-01

    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results

  4. Single-atom catalysts for CO2 electroreduction with significant activity and selectivity improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, Seoin; Lim, Juhyung; Kim, Na-Young; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Jung, Yousung

    2017-02-01

    A single-atom catalyst (SAC) has an electronic structure that is very different from its bulk counterparts, and has shown an unexpectedly high specific activity with a significant reduction in noble metal usage for CO oxidation, fuel cell and hydrogen evolution applications, although physical origins of such performance enhancements are still poorly understood. Herein, by means of density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we for the first time investigate the great potential of single atom catalysts for CO 2 electroreduction applications. In particular, we study a single transition metal atom anchored on defective graphene with single or double vacancies, denoted M@sv-Gr or M@dv-Gr, where M = Ag, Au, Co, Cu, Fe, Ir, Ni, Os, Pd, Pt, Rh or Ru, as a CO 2 reduction catalyst. Many SACs are indeed shown to be highly selective for the CO 2 reduction reaction over a competitive H 2 evolution reaction due to favorable adsorption of carboxyl (*COOH) or formate (*OCHO) over hydrogen (*H) on the catalysts. On the basis of free energy profiles, we identified several promising candidate materials for different products; Ni@dv-Gr (limiting potential U L = -0.41 V) and Pt@dv-Gr (-0.27 V) for CH 3 OH production, and Os@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) and Ru@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) for CH 4 production. In particular, the Pt@dv-Gr catalyst shows remarkable reduction in the limiting potential for CH 3 OH production compared to any existing catalysts, synthesized or predicted. To understand the origin of the activity enhancement of SACs, we find that the lack of an atomic ensemble for adsorbate binding and the unique electronic structure of the single atom catalysts as well as orbital interaction play an important role, contributing to binding energies of SACs that deviate considerably from the conventional scaling relation of bulk transition metals.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhong, E.; Lipo, T.A.

    1995-01-01

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

  6. Complex Heat Exchangers for Improved Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bran, Gabriela Alejandra

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Field significance of performance measures in the context of regional climate model evaluation. Part 1: temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Martin; Warrach-Sagi, Kirsten; Wulfmeyer, Volker

    2018-04-01

    A new approach for rigorous spatial analysis of the downscaling performance of regional climate model (RCM) simulations is introduced. It is based on a multiple comparison of the local tests at the grid cells and is also known as "field" or "global" significance. New performance measures for estimating the added value of downscaled data relative to the large-scale forcing fields are developed. The methodology is exemplarily applied to a standard EURO-CORDEX hindcast simulation with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with the land surface model NOAH at 0.11 ∘ grid resolution. Monthly temperature climatology for the 1990-2009 period is analysed for Germany for winter and summer in comparison with high-resolution gridded observations from the German Weather Service. The field significance test controls the proportion of falsely rejected local tests in a meaningful way and is robust to spatial dependence. Hence, the spatial patterns of the statistically significant local tests are also meaningful. We interpret them from a process-oriented perspective. In winter and in most regions in summer, the downscaled distributions are statistically indistinguishable from the observed ones. A systematic cold summer bias occurs in deep river valleys due to overestimated elevations, in coastal areas due probably to enhanced sea breeze circulation, and over large lakes due to the interpolation of water temperatures. Urban areas in concave topography forms have a warm summer bias due to the strong heat islands, not reflected in the observations. WRF-NOAH generates appropriate fine-scale features in the monthly temperature field over regions of complex topography, but over spatially homogeneous areas even small biases can lead to significant deteriorations relative to the driving reanalysis. As the added value of global climate model (GCM)-driven simulations cannot be smaller than this perfect-boundary estimate, this work demonstrates in a rigorous manner the

  9. Improving Seismic Data Accessibility and Performance Using HDF Containers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Significant enhancement in thermoelectric performance of nanostructured higher manganese silicides synthesized employing a melt spinning technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthiah, Saravanan; Singh, R C; Pathak, B D; Avasthi, Piyush Kumar; Kumar, Rishikesh; Kumar, Anil; Srivastava, A K; Dhar, Ajay

    2018-01-25

    The limited thermoelectric performance of p-type Higher Manganese Silicides (HMS) in terms of their low figure-of-merit (ZT), which is far below unity, is the main bottle-neck for realising an efficient HMS based thermoelectric generator, which has been recognized as the most promising material for harnessing waste-heat in the mid-temperature range, owing to its thermal stability, earth-abundant and environmentally friendly nature of its constituent elements. We report a significant enhancement in the thermoelectric performance of nanostructured HMS synthesized using rapid solidification by optimizing the cooling rates during melt-spinning followed by spark plasma sintering of the resulting melt-spun ribbons. By employing this experimental strategy, an unprecedented ZT ∼ 0.82 at 800 K was realized in spark plasma sintered 5 at% Al-doped MnSi 1.73 HMS, melt spun at an optimized high cooling rate of ∼2 × 10 7 K s -1 . This enhancement in ZT represents a ∼25% increase over the best reported values thus far for HMS and primarily originates from a nano-crystalline microstructure consisting of a HMS matrix (20-40 nm) with excess Si (3-9 nm) uniformly distributed in it. This nanostructure, resulting from the high cooling rates employed during the melt-spinning of HMS, introduces a high density of nano-crystallite boundaries in a wide spectrum of nano-scale dimensions, which scatter the low-to-mid-wavelength heat-carrying phonons. This abundant phonon scattering results in a significantly reduced thermal conductivity of ∼1.5 W m -1 K -1 at 800 K, which primarily contributes to the enhancement in ZT.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  13. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Velde, AA. de; Burtak, F.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper authors deals with nuclear fuel cycle and their economic aspects. At Siemens, the developments focusing on the reduction of fuel cycle costs are currently directed on .further batch average burnup increase, .improvement of fuel reliability, .enlargement of fuel operation margins, .improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. These items will be presented in detail in the full paper and illustrated by the global operating experience of Siemens fuel for both PWRs and BWRs. (authors)

  14. Significant Performance Enhancement in Asymmetric Supercapacitors based on Metal Oxides, Carbon nanotubes and Neutral Aqueous Electrolyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arvinder; Chandra, Amreesh

    2015-10-01

    Amongst the materials being investigated for supercapacitor electrodes, carbon based materials are most investigated. However, pure carbon materials suffer from inherent physical processes which limit the maximum specific energy and power that can be achieved in an energy storage device. Therefore, use of carbon-based composites with suitable nano-materials is attaining prominence. The synergistic effect between the pseudocapacitive nanomaterials (high specific energy) and carbon (high specific power) is expected to deliver the desired improvements. We report the fabrication of high capacitance asymmetric supercapacitor based on electrodes of composites of SnO2 and V2O5 with multiwall carbon nanotubes and neutral 0.5 M Li2SO4 aqueous electrolyte. The advantages of the fabricated asymmetric supercapacitors are compared with the results published in the literature. The widened operating voltage window is due to the higher over-potential of electrolyte decomposition and a large difference in the work functions of the used metal oxides. The charge balanced device returns the specific capacitance of ~198 F g-1 with corresponding specific energy of ~89 Wh kg-1 at 1 A g-1. The proposed composite systems have shown great potential in fabricating high performance supercapacitors.

  15. Chicken Essence Improves Exercise Performance and Ameliorates Physical Fatigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Ching Huang

    2014-07-01

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

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

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

    1995-01-01

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

  17. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. A Review of New and Developing Technology to Significantly Improve Mars Sample-Return Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F.; Brophy, J.; Gilmore, M.; Rodgers, D.; Wilcox, B.

    2000-07-01

    A JPL development activity was initiated in FY 1999 for the purpose of examining and evaluating technologies that could materially improve future (i.e., beyond the 2005 launch) Mars sample return missions. The scope of the technology review was comprehensive and end-to-end; the goal was to improve mass, cost, risk, and scientific return. A specific objective was to assess approaches to sample return with only one Earth launch. While the objective of the study was specifically for sample-return, in-situ missions can also benefit from using many of the technologies examined.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gyoon Chang, Sang; Hee Lee, Dae

    2014-01-01

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

  1. AREVA - 2012 annual results: significant turnaround in performance one year after launching the Action 2016 plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duperray, Julien; Berezowskyj, Katherine; Kempkes, Vincent; Rosso, Jerome; Thebault, Alexandre; Scorbiac, Marie de; Repaire, Philippine du

    2013-01-01

    One year after launching Areva's Action 2016 strategic plan, the first results are in. AREVA is ahead of schedule in executing its recovery plan. While pursuing its efforts in the management of a few difficult projects (such as OL3), Areva group was able to return to a virtuous performance cycle rooted in strong growth in nuclear order intake and good progress on its cost reduction program. Commercially, despite the difficult economic environment, AREVA was able to capitalize on its leadership in the installed base and on its long-term partnerships with strategic customers, beginning with EDF, with which AREVA renewed a confident and constructive working relationship. Areva has secured 80% of its objective of one billion euros of savings by the end of 2015 to improve its competitiveness. The group also continued efforts to optimize working capital requirement and control the capital expenditure trajectory. Together, these results enabled AREVA to exceed the objectives set for 2012 for two key indicators of its strategic plan: EBITDA and free operating cash flow. Nearly 60% of the 2.1 billion euros devoted to capital expenditures for future growth in 2012 were funded by operations, a quasi-doubled share compared to 2011. Areva's floor target for asset disposals was achieved one year ahead of schedule, also helping the Group to control its net debt, which remained below 4 billion euros. In 2013, Areva is continuing to implement the Action 2016 plan to keep its turnaround on track. In summary: - Backlog renewed over the year 2012 to euro 45.4 bn thanks to the increase in nuclear order intake; - Sales revenue growth: euro 9.342 bn (+5.3% vs. 2011), led by nuclear and renewables operations; - Very sharp upturn in EBITDA: euro 1.007 bn (+euro 586 m vs. 2011) - Very net improvement in free operating cash flow: -euro 854 m (+euro 512 m vs. 2011); - Back to positive reported operating income: euro 118 m (+euro 1.984 bn vs. 2011); - 2012-2013 floor target for asset disposals

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-09-16

    Nafion) that minimizes flooding issues at the cathode, which often fatally limit open cathode MEA performance. During this successfully completed DOE program the project team met all of the project goals. The team built and tested over 1,500 MEAs with a wide range of different manufacturing chemistries and process conditions. This project demonstrated that the UNF MEA design could be fabricated with a high degree of reproducibility and repeatability. Some specific achievements include: • Durability - The UNF MEA has demonstrated over 11,000 hours continuous operation in a short stack configuration. The root cause of an off-state degradation issue was successfully mitigated by modifying the manufacturing process by changing the wetting agents used in the catalyst printing. The stability of the anode electrode was increased by replacing the anode electrodes with a stabilized PtRu/C catalyst. The overall degradation rate was significantly reduced through optimization of the MEA operating conditions. • Performance - The project team optimized the performance of the critical MEA sub-components. By increasing the membrane thickness, the methanol crossover was reduced, thereby increasing the fuel utilization efficiency without sacrificing any electrochemical performance. The reduction in methanol crossover increased the fuel utilization efficiency from 78% to over 90%. The liquid barrier layer was optimized to provide improved reproducibility, thereby improving stack voltage uniformity and reliability. Additionally the barrier layer water permeability was lowered without sacrificing any power density, thereby enabling increased operating temperature. Improvements in the cathode catalyst selection and coating provided an additional 10% to 20% improvement in the MEA performance at the target operating range. • Cost - Commercially scalable processes were developed for all of the critical MEA components which led to improved yields and lower overall manufacturing costs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardim, Kevin P.

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

  5. Evacuation of performance and significant chemical constituents and by products in drinking water treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jamrah, I. A.

    1999-01-01

    Drinking water treatment is a task that comprises of several processes that eventually lead to the addition of chemicals to achieve the objectives of treatment. This study was conducted to assess treatment performance, explain the presence of significant chemical species in water, and investigate the interactions and chemical by-products that are formed during the course of treatment. Grab water samples were collected on a regular basis from the influent and effluent of Zai water treatment plant. Chemical analysis were conducted to determine the concentrations of various chemical species of interest. Turbidity, temperature, and pH of the samples were also measured. The study concluded that Zai Water Treatment Plant produces potable drinking water in accordance with Jordanian Standards. The use of treatment chemical resulted in an increase in the concentrations of certain materials, such as manganese, aluminum, and sulfate. The turbidity of the raw water and the TOC of the samples were positively correlated, and the treatment results in approximately 20% TOC reduction, which demonstrates that the measures used for the control of TOC (carbon adsorption and permanganate pre-oxidation), are not very effective. The study also showed that the TOC content of our raw water samples and the concentration of tribalomethanes resulting after disinfection were positively correlated, and that bromoform was the dominant component. Also chloroform was the minor component of tribalomethanes formed during treatment. Positive correlation between the total concentration of tribalomethanes in water and the chlorine dose used for disinfection was also observed, and the total concentration of tribalomethanes increased with temperature. The formation of tribalomethanes was enhanced as the pH of water increased and as the concentration of bromide ion in raw water became significant. (author). 25 refs., 14 figs.1 table

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  7. A matter of timing: identifying significant multi-dose radiotherapy improvements by numerical simulation and genetic algorithm search.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon D Angus

    Full Text Available Multi-dose radiotherapy protocols (fraction dose and timing currently used in the clinic are the product of human selection based on habit, received wisdom, physician experience and intra-day patient timetabling. However, due to combinatorial considerations, the potential treatment protocol space for a given total dose or treatment length is enormous, even for relatively coarse search; well beyond the capacity of traditional in-vitro methods. In constrast, high fidelity numerical simulation of tumor development is well suited to the challenge. Building on our previous single-dose numerical simulation model of EMT6/Ro spheroids, a multi-dose irradiation response module is added and calibrated to the effective dose arising from 18 independent multi-dose treatment programs available in the experimental literature. With the developed model a constrained, non-linear, search for better performing cadidate protocols is conducted within the vicinity of two benchmarks by genetic algorithm (GA techniques. After evaluating less than 0.01% of the potential benchmark protocol space, candidate protocols were identified by the GA which conferred an average of 9.4% (max benefit 16.5% and 7.1% (13.3% improvement (reduction on tumour cell count compared to the two benchmarks, respectively. Noticing that a convergent phenomenon of the top performing protocols was their temporal synchronicity, a further series of numerical experiments was conducted with periodic time-gap protocols (10 h to 23 h, leading to the discovery that the performance of the GA search candidates could be replicated by 17-18 h periodic candidates. Further dynamic irradiation-response cell-phase analysis revealed that such periodicity cohered with latent EMT6/Ro cell-phase temporal patterning. Taken together, this study provides powerful evidence towards the hypothesis that even simple inter-fraction timing variations for a given fractional dose program may present a facile, and highly cost

  8. A matter of timing: identifying significant multi-dose radiotherapy improvements by numerical simulation and genetic algorithm search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    Multi-dose radiotherapy protocols (fraction dose and timing) currently used in the clinic are the product of human selection based on habit, received wisdom, physician experience and intra-day patient timetabling. However, due to combinatorial considerations, the potential treatment protocol space for a given total dose or treatment length is enormous, even for relatively coarse search; well beyond the capacity of traditional in-vitro methods. In constrast, high fidelity numerical simulation of tumor development is well suited to the challenge. Building on our previous single-dose numerical simulation model of EMT6/Ro spheroids, a multi-dose irradiation response module is added and calibrated to the effective dose arising from 18 independent multi-dose treatment programs available in the experimental literature. With the developed model a constrained, non-linear, search for better performing cadidate protocols is conducted within the vicinity of two benchmarks by genetic algorithm (GA) techniques. After evaluating less than 0.01% of the potential benchmark protocol space, candidate protocols were identified by the GA which conferred an average of 9.4% (max benefit 16.5%) and 7.1% (13.3%) improvement (reduction) on tumour cell count compared to the two benchmarks, respectively. Noticing that a convergent phenomenon of the top performing protocols was their temporal synchronicity, a further series of numerical experiments was conducted with periodic time-gap protocols (10 h to 23 h), leading to the discovery that the performance of the GA search candidates could be replicated by 17-18 h periodic candidates. Further dynamic irradiation-response cell-phase analysis revealed that such periodicity cohered with latent EMT6/Ro cell-phase temporal patterning. Taken together, this study provides powerful evidence towards the hypothesis that even simple inter-fraction timing variations for a given fractional dose program may present a facile, and highly cost-effecitive means

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-10-15

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

  11. Roles and significance of water conducting features for transport models in performance assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrera, J.; Sanchez-Vila, X.; Medina, A.

    1999-01-01

    The term water conducting features (WCF) refers to zones of high hydraulic conductivity. In the context of waste disposal, it is further implied that they are narrow so that chances of sampling them are low. Yet, they may carry significant amounts of water. Moreover, their relatively small volumetric water content causes solutes to travel fast through them. Water-conducting features are a rather common feature of natural media. The fact that they have become a source of concern in recent years, reflects more the increased level of testing and monitoring than any intrinsic property of low permeability media. Accurate simulations of solute transport require a realistic accounting for water conducting features. Methods are presented to do so and examples are shown to illustrate these methods. Since detailed accounting of WCF's will not be possible in actual performance assessments, efforts should be directed towards typification, so as to identify the essential effects of WCF's on solute transport through different types of rocks. Field evidence suggests that, although individual WCF's may be difficult to characterize, their effects are quite predictable. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-07-13

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

  13. Continuous improvement of the MHTGR safety and competitive performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-05-01

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

  14. Reducing dysfunctional beliefs about sleep does not significantly improve insomnia in cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the baseline and at the end of treatment. The results showed that although cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia greatly reduced individuals' scores on both scales, the decrease in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep with treatment did not seem to mediate improvement in insomnia. The findings suggest that sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs endorsed by patients with chronic insomnia may be attenuated by cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, but changes in such beliefs are not likely to play a crucial role in reducing the severity of insomnia.

  15. Reducing Dysfunctional Beliefs about Sleep Does Not Significantly Improve Insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    OpenAIRE

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the...

  16. Packaging of active fiber composites for improved sensor performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryaman

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Prostate health index (phi) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) significantly improve diagnostic accuracy in patients undergoing prostate biopsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdonà, Sisto; Bruzzese, Dario; Ferro, Matteo; Autorino, Riccardo; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; Longo, Michele; Spinelli, Rosa; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Oliva, Andrea; De Sio, Marco; Damiano, Rocco; Altieri, Vincenzo; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-02-15

    Prostate health index (phi) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) have been recently proposed as novel biomarkers for prostate cancer (PCa). We assessed the diagnostic performance of these biomarkers, alone or in combination, in men undergoing first prostate biopsy for suspicion of PCa. One hundred sixty male subjects were enrolled in this prospective observational study. PSA molecular forms, phi index (Beckman coulter immunoassay), PCA3 score (Progensa PCA3 assay), and other established biomarkers (tPSA, fPSA, and %fPSA) were assessed before patients underwent a 18-core first prostate biopsy. The discriminating ability between PCa-negative and PCa-positive biopsies of Beckman coulter phi and PCA3 score and other used biomarkers were determined. One hundred sixty patients met inclusion criteria. %p2PSA (p2PSA/fPSA × 100), phi and PCA3 were significantly higher in patients with PCa compared to PCa-negative group (median values: 1.92 vs. 1.55, 49.97 vs. 36.84, and 50 vs. 32, respectively, P ≤ 0.001). ROC curve analysis showed that %p2PSA, phi, and PCA3 are good indicator of malignancy (AUCs = 0.68, 0.71, and 0.66, respectively). A multivariable logistic regression model consisting of both the phi index and PCA3 score allowed to reach an overall diagnostic accuracy of 0.77. Decision curve analysis revealed that this "combined" marker achieved the highest net benefit over the examined range of the threshold probability. phi and PCA3 showed no significant difference in the ability to predict PCa diagnosis in men undergoing first prostate biopsy. However, diagnostic performance is significantly improved by combining phi and PCA3. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF STATEMENT OF OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME– IN RESPECT OF REPORTING COMPANIES’ PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ildiko Orban

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available A commonly accepted rule-system, which name was International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS created the framework for represent the financial performace, and other facts related to the company’s health. In the system of IFRS profit is not equal to income less expenses, this deviation led to the other comprehensive income, OCI term. IFRS have created the term of other comprehensive income, but knowledge and using of it is not widespread. In this paper I tend to present the meaning and essence of this income category, and to reveal how it is work in corporate practice. As basis of the research, definitions and formats related to the statement of comprehensive income will be presented in the paper first. In order to get a clear picture about the differences between the income statements, I make a comparison of the IFRS and the Hungarian Accounting Act in the field of performance’s representation. As a result of my comparison I’ve stated that the EU accepted the international financial reporting standards to present the financial performance of publicly traded companies, and as EU member state it is obligatory for the Hungarian companies as well. This is the reason why Hungary’s present task is taking over the IFRS mentality. After the comparative analysis I’ve examined the Statement of other comprehensive income in the practice of 11 listed companies in the Budapest Stock Exchange. The Premium category includes those companies’ series of liquid shares, which has got broader investor base. The aim of this examination was to reveal if the most significant listed companies calculate other comprehensive income and what kind of items do they present in the statement of OCI. As a result of the research we can state that statement of other comprehensive income is part of the statement of total comprehensive income in general, and not an individual statement. Main items of the other comprehensive income of the examined companies are the

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  1. Significant Improvements in Pyranometer Nighttime Offsets Using High-Flow DC Ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutchenreiter, Mark; Michalski, J.J.; Long, C.N.; Habte, Aron

    2017-05-22

    Accurate solar radiation measurements using pyranometers are required to understand radiative impacts on the Earth's energy budget, solar energy production, and to validate radiative transfer models. Ventilators of pyranometers, which are used to keep the domes clean and dry, also affect instrument thermal offset accuracy. This poster presents a high-level overview of the ventilators for single-black-detector pyranometers and black-and-white pyranometers. For single-black-detector pyranometers with ventilators, high-flow-rate (50-CFM and higher), 12-V DC fans lower the offsets, lower the scatter, and improve the predictability of nighttime offsets compared to lower-flow-rate (35-CFM), 120-V AC fans operated in the same type of environmental setup. Black-and-white pyranometers, which are used to measure diffuse horizontal irradiance, sometimes show minor improvement with DC fan ventilation, but their offsets are always small, usually no more than 1 W/m2, whether AC- or DC-ventilated.

  2. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje

    2016-12-01

    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2--N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management.

  3. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velde Van de, A.; Burtak, F.

    2001-01-01

    Due to the increased liberalisation of the power markets, nuclear power generation is being exposed to high cost reduction pressure. In this paper we highlight the role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies to reduce the fuel cycle costs and therefore increase the efficiency of nuclear power plant operation. The key factor is a more efficient utilisation of the fuel and present developments at Siemens are consequently directed at (i) further increase of batch average burnup, (ii) improvement of fuel reliability, (iii) enlargement of fuel operation margins and (iv) improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. As a result, the nuclear fuel cycle costs for a typical LWR have been reduced during the past decades by about US$ 35 million per year. The estimated impact of further burnup increases on the fuel cycle costs is expected to be an additional saving of US$10 - 15 million per year. Due to the fact that the fuel will operate closer to design limits, a careful approach is required when introducing advanced fuel features in reload quantities. Trust and co-operation between the fuel vendors and the utilities is a prerequisite for the common success. (authors)

  4. Significant improvement of mouse cloning technique by treatment with trichostatin A after somatic nuclear transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kishigami, Satoshi; Mizutani, Eiji; Ohta, Hiroshi; Hikichi, Takafusa; Thuan, Nguyen Van; Wakayama, Sayaka; Bui, Hong-Thuy; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2006-01-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is believed to be associated with epigenetic errors including abnormal DNA hypermethylation. Recently, we elucidated by using round spermatids that, after nuclear transfer, treatment of zygotes with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can remarkably reduce abnormal DNA hypermethylation depending on the origins of transferred nuclei and their genomic regions [S. Kishigami, N. Van Thuan, T. Hikichi, H. Ohta, S. Wakayama. E. Mizutani, T. Wakayama, Epigenetic abnormalities of the mouse paternal zygotic genome associated with microinsemination of round spermatids, Dev. Biol. (2005) in press]. Here, we found that 5-50 nM TSA-treatment for 10 h following oocyte activation resulted in more efficient in vitro development of somatic cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage from 2- to 5-fold depending on the donor cells including tail tip cells, spleen cells, neural stem cells, and cumulus cells. This TSA-treatment also led to more than 5-fold increase in success rate of mouse cloning from cumulus cells without obvious abnormality but failed to improve ES cloning success. Further, we succeeded in establishment of nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cells from TSA-treated cloned blastocyst at a rate three times higher than those from untreated cloned blastocysts. Thus, our data indicate that TSA-treatment after SCNT in mice can dramatically improve the practical application of current cloning techniques

  5. Parametric Study for MOV Performance Improvement Using PPM Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-10-15

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

  6. Identifying the most significant indicators of the total road safety performance index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tešić, Milan; Hermans, Elke; Lipovac, Krsto; Pešić, Dalibor

    2018-04-01

    The review of the national and international literature dealing with the assessment of the road safety level has shown great efforts of the authors who tried to define the methodology for calculating the composite road safety index on a territory (region, state, etc.). The procedure for obtaining a road safety composite index of an area has been largely harmonized. The question that has not been fully resolved yet concerns the selection of indicators. There is a wide range of road safety indicators used to show a road safety situation on a territory. Road safety performance index (RSPI) obtained on the basis of a larger number of safety performance indicators (SPIs) enable decision makers to more precisely define the earlier goal- oriented actions. However, recording a broader comprehensive set of SPIs helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of a country's road safety system. Providing high quality national and international databases that would include comparable SPIs seems to be difficult since a larger number of countries dispose of a small number of identical indicators available for use. Therefore, there is a need for calculating a road safety performance index with a limited number of indicators (RSPI ln n ) which will provide a comparison of a sufficient quality, of as many countries as possible. The application of the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method and correlative analysis has helped to check if the RSPI ln n is likely to be of sufficient quality. A strong correlation between the RSPI ln n and the RSPI has been identified using the proposed methodology. Based on this, the most contributing indicators and methodologies for gradual monitoring of SPIs, have been defined for each country analyzed. The indicator monitoring phases in the analyzed countries have been defined in the following way: Phase 1- the indicators relating to alcohol, speed and protective systems; Phase 2- the indicators relating to roads and Phase 3- the indicators relating to

  7. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Location decision strategies for improving SMME business performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shereen Barnard

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The primary objective of this study is to investigate the macro-environmental factors that may influence location decisions and how these choices may affect the business performance of SMMEs. Problem investigated: SMMEs in South Africa play an increasingly important role in stimulating economic activity, growth and employment creation. However, many SMMEs cease to exist within the first five years of operation due to various challenges faced by SMMEs on a daily basis. Many SMMEs owners disregard the importance of location, yet the geographical location can negatively influence the survival of the business. Several factors influence the choice of the location, which will ultimately have either a positive or negative effect on business performance. Methodology: A positivistic research methodology was adopted for this study. Seven hypotheses were constructed to achieve the primary objective of this study. The population for this study consisted of SMMEs in the Nelson Mandela Metropole from which a convenience sample of 175 SMMEs was selected. The measuring instrument, a self-developed questionnaire, consisted of three sections. The data collected included the demographical data of the respondents and their businesses, statements on location and various factors influencing location decisions as well as measurements of business performance. Cronbach Alpha coefficients were calculated to determine the reliability of the questionnaire items. Data analysis was done by calculating descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficients and conducting a simple linear regression analysis. Cohen's d was used to determine the significance of between-factor differences. Findings and implications: The results of the study showed that positive relationships existed between all the independent variables (location, rental rates, employment, inflation, interest rates and green buildings and the dependent variable (business performance except for the

  10. The Improvement of Screening the Significant Factors of Oil Blends as Bio lubricant Base Stock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noor Hajarul Ashikin Shamsuddin; Rozaini Abdullah; Zainab Hamzah; Siti Jamilah Hanim Mohd Yusof

    2015-01-01

    A new formulation bio lubricant base stock was developed by blending of waste cooking oil (WCO) with Jatropha curcas oil (JCO). The objective of this research is to evaluate significant factors contributing to the production of oil blends for bio lubricant application. The significant factors used in this study were oil ratio (WCO:JCO), agitation times (min) and agitation speed (rpm). The blended oil bio based lubricant was used to determine the saponification, acid, peroxide and iodine values. The experimental design used in this study was the 2 level-factorial design. In this experiment, it was found that the effect of oil ratio and interaction of oil ratio and agitation speed gave the most significant effect in oil blends as bio lubricant base stock. The highest ratio of oil blend 80 %:20 % WCO:JCO, with low agitation speed of 300 rpm and low agitation time of 30 minutes gave the optimum results. The acid, saponification, peroxide and iodine values obtained were 0.517±0.08 mg KOH/ g, 126.23±1.62 mg/ g, 7.5±2.0 m eq/ kg and 50.42±2.85 mg/ g respectively. A higher ratio of waste cooking oil blends was found to be favourable as bio lubricant base stock. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  12. EASE-Grid 2.0: Incremental but Significant Improvements for Earth-Gridded Data Sets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H. Savoie

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Defined in the early 1990s for use with gridded satellite passive microwave data, the Equal-Area Scalable Earth Grid (EASE-Grid was quickly adopted and used for distribution of a variety of satellite and in situ data sets. Conceptually easy to understand, EASE-Grid suffers from limitations that make it impossible to format in the widely popular GeoTIFF convention without reprojection. Importing EASE-Grid data into standard mapping software packages is nontrivial and error-prone. This article defines a standard for an improved EASE-Grid 2.0 definition, addressing how the changes rectify issues with the original grid definition. Data distributed using the EASE-Grid 2.0 standard will be easier for users to import into standard software packages and will minimize common reprojection errors that users had encountered with the original EASE-Grid definition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  15. Improving the environmental performance of biofuels with industrial symbiosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Michael; Eklund, Mats

    2011-01-01

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

  16. A patient/family-centered strategic plan can drive significant improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brilli, Richard J; Crandall, Wallace V; Berry, Janet C; Stoverock, Linda; Rosen, Kerry; Budin, Lee; Kelleher, Kelly J; Gleeson, Sean P; Davis, J Terrance

    2014-08-01

    The use of a PFCSP, as a road map to operationalize the hospital's vision, has been a compelling paradigm to achieve significant QI results. The framework is simple yet directly aligns with the IOM domains of quality. It has inspired and helped actively engage hospital personnel in the work required to achieve the goals and vision of the hospital system. Five years after initiating this type of plan, activity is flourishing in each of the domains and midterm results are substantial. We think that the nature of this strategic plan has been an important aspect of our success to date.

  17. 40 CFR 141.723 - Requirements to respond to significant deficiencies identified in sanitary surveys performed by EPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... deficiencies identified in sanitary surveys performed by EPA. 141.723 Section 141.723 Protection of Environment... performed by EPA, systems must respond in writing to significant deficiencies identified in sanitary survey... will address significant deficiencies noted in the survey. (d) Systems must correct significant...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. An integrated PRA module for fast determination of risk significance and improvement effectiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chao, Chun-Chang; Lin, Jyh-Der

    2004-01-01

    With the widely use of PRA technology in risk-informed applications, to predict the changes of CDF and LERF becomes a standard process for risk-informed applications. This paper describes an integrated PRA module prepared for risk-informed applications. The module contains a super risk engine, a super fault tree engine, an advanced PRA model and a tool for data base maintenance. The individual element of the module also works well for purpose other than risk-informed applications. The module has been verified and validated through a series of scrupulous benchmark tests with similar software. The results of the benchmark tests showed that the module has remarkable accuracy and speed even for an extremely large-size top-logic fault tree as well as for the case in which large amount of MCSs may be generated. The risk monitor for nuclear power plants in Taiwan is the first application to adopt the module. The results predicted by the risk monitor are now accepted by the regulatory agency. A tool to determine the risk significance according to the inspection findings will be the next application to adopt the module in the near future. This tool classified the risk significance into four different color codes according to the level of increase on CDF. Experience of application showed that the flexibility, the accuracy and speed of the module make it useful in any risk-informed applications when risk indexes must be determined by resolving a PRA model. (author)

  20. Inulin significantly improves serum magnesium levels in proton pump inhibitor-induced hypomagnesaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, M W; de Baaij, J H F; Broekman, M; Bisseling, T M; Haarhuis, B; Tan, A; Te Morsche, R; Hoenderop, J G J; Bindels, R J M; Drenth, J P H

    2016-06-01

    Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among the most widely prescribed drugs to treat gastric acid-related disorders. PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia, a defect in intestinal absorption of Mg(2+) , can be a severe side effect of chronic PPI use. To restore serum Mg(2+) concentrations in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients by dietary supplementation with inulin fibres. Eleven patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia and 10 controls were treated with inulin (20 g/day). Each trial consisted of two cycles of 14-day inulin treatment followed by a washout period of 14 days. Patients continued to use their PPI. Serum Mg(2+) levels served as the primary endpoint. Inulin significantly enhanced serum Mg(2+) levels from 0.60 to 0.68 mmol/L in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients, and from 0.84 to 0.93 mmol/L in controls. As a consequence 24 h urinary Mg(2+) excretion was significantly increased in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia (0.3-2.2 mmol/day). Symptoms related to hypomagnesaemia, including muscle cramps and paraesthesia, were reduced during intervention with inulin. Inulin increases serum Mg(2+) concentrations under PPI maintenance in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Progressive degradation of alloy 690 and the development of a significant improvement in alloy 800CR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staehle, Roger W.; Arioka, Koji; Tapping, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The present most widely used alloys for tubing in steam generators and structural materials in water cooled reactors are Alloy 690 and Alloy 800. However, both alloys, while improved over Alloy 600 may not meet the needs of longer range applications in the range of 80-100 years. Alloy 690 sustains damage resulting from the formation of cavities at grain boundaries which eventually cover about 50% of the area of the grain boundaries with the remainder covering being covered with carbides. The cavities seem to nucleate on the carbides leaving the grain boundaries a structure of cavities and carbides. Such a structure will lead the Alloy 690 to fail completely. Normal Alloy 800 does not produce such cavities and probably retains a large amount of its corrosion resistance but does sustain progressive SCC at low rate. A new alloy, 800CR, has been developed in a collaboration among Arioka, Tapping, and Staehle. This alloy is based on a Cr composition of 23.5-27% with the remainder retaining the previous Alloy 800 composition. 800CR sustains a crack velocity about 100 times less than Alloy 690 and a negligible rate of initiation. The 800CR, alloy is now seeking a patent. (authors)

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  3. Information Distribution in Complex Systems to Improve Team Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simon, Cary

    1997-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  7. Improved Laser performance through Planar Waveguide Technology Development

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Improving Fan System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  10. Significant improvement of pig cloning efficiency by treatment with LBH589 after somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Li, Suo; Gao, Qing-Shan; Hong, Yu; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Yan, Chang-Guo; Kang, Jin-Dan; Yin, Xi-Jun

    2013-10-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) associates with epigenetic aberrancy, including the abnormal acetylation of histones. Altering the epigenetic status by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) enhances the developmental potential of SCNT embryos. In the current study, we examined the effects of LBH589 (panobinostat), a novel broad-spectrum HDACi, on the nuclear reprogramming and development of pig SCNT embryos in vitro. In experiment 1, we compared the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with different concentrations of LBH589. Embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for 24 hours showed a significant increase in the rate of blastocyst formation compared with the control or embryos treated with 5 or 500 nM LBH589 (32.4% vs. 11.8%, 12.1%, and 10.0%, respectively, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, we examined the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for various intervals after activation and 6-dimethylaminopurine. Embryos treated for 24 hours had higher rates of blastocyst formation than the other groups. In experiment 3, when the acetylation of H4K12 was examined in SCNT embryos treated for 6 hours with 50 nM LBH589 by immunohistochemistry, the staining intensities of these proteins in LBH589-treated SCNT embryos were significantly higher than in the control. In experiment 4, LBH589-treated nuclear transfer and control embryos were transferred into surrogate mothers, resulting in three (100%) and two (66.7%) pregnancies, respectively. In conclusion, LBH589 enhances the nuclear reprogramming and developmental potential of SCNT embryos by altering the epigenetic status and expression, and increasing blastocyst quality. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Significant performance enhancement in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor by high-κ organic dielectric

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ze-Gao, Wang; Yuan-Fu, Chen; Cao, Chen; Ben-Lang, Tian; Fu-Tong, Chu; Xing-Zhao, Liu; Yan-Rong, Li

    2010-01-01

    The electrical properties of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) with and without high-κ organic dielectrics are investigated. The maximum drain current I D max and the maximum transconductance g m max of the organic dielectric/AlGaN/GaN structure can be enhanced by 74.5%, and 73.7% compared with those of the bare AlGaN/GaN HEMT, respectively. Both the threshold voltage V T and g m max of the dielectric/AlGaN/GaN HEMT are strongly dielectric-constant-dependent. Our results suggest that it is promising to significantly improve the performance of the AlGaN/GaN HEMT by introducing the high-κ organic dielectric. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  12. Silver chlorobromide nanocubes with significantly improved uniformity: synthesis and assembly into photonic crystals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Zheng; Okasinski, John S.; Gosztola, David J.; Ren, Yang; Sun, Yugang

    2015-01-01

    Silver chlorobromide (AgClxBr1-x, 0 < x < 1) nanocubes with a highly uniform size, morphology, and crystallinity have been successfully synthesized through a co-precipitation of Ag+ ions with both Cl- and Br- ions in ethylene glycol containing polyvinyl pyrrolidone at mild temperatures. Compositions of the synthesized nanocubes can be easily tuned by controlling the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions in the reaction solutions. The size of the nanocubes is determined by varying a number of parameters including the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions, injection rate of Ag+ ions, and reaction temperature. The real-time formation of colloidal AgClxBr1-x nanocubes has been monitored, for the first time, by in situ highenergy synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The time-resolved results reveal that a fast injection rate of Ag+ ions is critical for the formation of AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with a highly pure face-centered cubic crystalline phase. The improved uniformity of the AgClxBr1-x nanocubes is beneficial for assembling them into order superlattices (e.g., photonic crystals) even by simply applying centrifugation forces. The stop band of the resulting photonic crystals can be easily tuned from the ultraviolet to the infrared region by using AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with different sizes. The variation of the dielectric constant of AgClxBr1-x associated with the change of the relative concentration of halide ions provides an additional knob to tune the optical properties of photonic crystals.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Fenfen; Zhang Hao; Sun Haijun; Liu Xiaojie

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoelscher, H.L.

    1996-01-01

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

  15. Significant manipulation of output performance of a bridge-structured spin valve magnetoresistance sensor via an electric field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yue; Yan, Baiqian; Ou-Yang, Jun; Wang, Xianghao; Zhu, Benpeng; Chen, Shi; Yang, Xiaofei

    2016-01-01

    Through principles of spin-valve giant magnetoresistance (SV-GMR) effect and its application in magnetic sensors, we have investigated electric-field control of the output performance of a bridge-structured Co/Cu/NiFe/IrMn SV-GMR sensor on a PZN-PT piezoelectric substrate using the micro-magnetic simulation. We centered on the influence of the variation of uniaxial magnetic anisotropy constant (K) of Co on the output of the bridge, and K was manipulated via the stress of Co, which is generated from the strain of a piezoelectric substrate under an electric field. The results indicate that when K varies between 2 × 104 J/m3 and 10 × 104 J/m3, the output performance can be significantly manipulated: The linear range alters from between -330 Oe and 330 Oe to between -650 Oe and 650 Oe, and the sensitivity is tuned by almost 7 times, making it possible to measure magnetic fields with very different ranges. According to the converse piezoelectric effect, we have found that this variation of K can be realized by applying an electric field with the magnitude of about 2-20 kV/cm on a PZN-PT piezoelectric substrate, which is realistic in application. This result means that electric-control of SV-GMR effect has potential application in developing SV-GMR sensors with improved performance.

  16. Biochar Improves Performance of Plants for Mine Soil Revegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhafarov T. D.

    2012-04-01

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

  18. The Strasbourg Large Refractor and Dome: Significant Improvements and Failed Attempts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

    Founded by the German Empire in the late 19th century, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory featured several novelties from the start. According to Mueller (1978), the separation of observing buildings from the study area and from the astronomers' residence was a revolution in observatory construction. The instruments were, as much as possible, isolated from the vibrations of the buildings themselves. "Gas flames" and water were used to reduce temperature effects. Thus the Large Dome (ca 11m diameter), housing the Large Refractor (ca 49cm, then the largest in Germany) and covered by zinc over wood, could be cooled down by water running from the top. Reports (including by the French who took over the observatory after World War I) are however somehow nonexistent on the effective usage and actual efficiency of such a system (which must have generated locally a significant amount of humidity). The paper will detail these technical attempts as well as the specificities of the instruments installed in that new observatory intended as a showcase of German astronomy.

  19. Long-Term Heating to Improve Receiver Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-06-27

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

  20. Complete Au@ZnO core-shell nanoparticles with enhanced plasmonic absorption enabling significantly improved photocatalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yiqiang; Sun, Yugang; Zhang, Tao; Chen, Guozhu; Zhang, Fengshou; Liu, Dilong; Cai, Weiping; Li, Yue; Yang, Xianfeng; Li, Cuncheng

    2016-05-01

    Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic absorption in the visible range due to the Au NP cores. They also show a significantly improved photocatalytic performance in comparison with their single-component counterparts, i.e., the Au NPs and ZnO NPs. Moreover, the high catalytic activity of the as-synthesized Au@ZnO core-shell NPs can be maintained even after many cycles of photocatalytic reaction. Our results shed light on the fact that the Au@ZnO core-shell NPs represent a promising class of candidates for applications in plasmonics, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, light harvest devices, solar energy conversion, and degradation of organic pollutants.Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic

  1. Factors Related to Significant Improvement of Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rates in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Telbivudine Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Fu Lin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim. The improvement of estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs in chronic hepatitis B (CHB patients receiving telbivudine therapy is well known. The aim of this study was to clarify the kinetics of eGFRs and to identify the significant factors related to the improvement of eGFRs in telbivudine-treated CHB patients in a real-world setting. Methods. Serial eGFRs were calculated every 3 months using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI equation. The patients were classified as CKD-1, -2, or -3 according to a baseline eGFR of ≥90, 60–89, or <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. A significant improvement of eGFR was defined as a more than 10% increase from the baseline. Results. A total of 129 patients were enrolled, of whom 36% had significantly improved eGFRs. According to a multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus (DM (p=0.028 and CKD-3 (p=0.043 were both significantly related to such improvement. The rates of significant improvement of eGFR were about 73% and 77% in patients with DM and CKD-3, respectively. Conclusions. Telbivudine is an alternative drug of choice for the treatment of hepatitis B patients for whom renal safety is a concern, especially patients with DM and CKD-3.

  2. Omega-3 fatty acid therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation, however, did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Pyung Chun; Koh, Kwang Kon; Sakuma, Ichiro; Lim, Soo; Lee, Yonghee; Lee, Seungik; Lee, Kyounghoon; Han, Seung Hwan; Shin, Eak Kyun

    2014-10-20

    Experimental studies demonstrate that higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) improves insulin sensitivity, however, we reported that n-3 FA 2g therapy, most commonly used dosage did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity despite reducing triglycerides by 21% in patients. Therefore, we investigated the effects of different dosages of n-3 FA in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. This was a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study. Age, sex, and body mass index were matched among groups. All patients were recommended to maintain a low fat diet. Forty-four patients (about 18 had metabolic syndrome/type 2 diabetes mellitus) in each group were given placebo, n-3 FA 1 (O1), 2 (O2), or 4 g (O4), respectively daily for 2 months. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol and improved flow-mediated dilation, compared with placebo (by ANOVA). However, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly decrease high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, compared with placebo. O1 significantly increased insulin levels and decreased insulin sensitivity (determined by QUICKI) and O2 significantly decreased plasma adiponectin levels relative to baseline measurements. Of note, when compared with placebo, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly change insulin, glucose, adiponectin, glycated hemoglobin levels and insulin sensitivity (by ANOVA). We observed similar results in a subgroup of patients with the metabolic syndrome. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation. Nonetheless, n-3 FA therapy did not significantly improve acute-phase reactants and insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia, regardless of dosages. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

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

  6. Improving Employee Satisfaction Priority through Performance Control Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun-Hsing Chen

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parida, Ratri; Ray, Pradip Kumar

    2012-01-01

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

  10. (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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolker, Eugene; Kolker, Evelyne

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erten, Cesim; Sözdinler, Melih

    2010-10-15

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

  13. Evidence That Bimanual Motor Timing Performance Is Not a Significant Factor in Developmental Stuttering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilger, Allison I.; Zelaznik, Howard; Smith, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Stuttering involves a breakdown in the speech motor system. We address whether stuttering in its early stage is specific to the speech motor system or whether its impact is observable across motor systems. Method: As an extension of Olander, Smith, and Zelaznik (2010), we measured bimanual motor timing performance in 115 children: 70…

  14. Student-Led Project Teams: Significance of Regulation Strategies in High- and Low-Performing Teams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainsworth, Judith

    2016-01-01

    We studied group and individual co-regulatory and self-regulatory strategies of self-managed student project teams using data from intragroup peer evaluations and a postproject survey. We found that high team performers shared their research and knowledge with others, collaborated to advise and give constructive criticism, and demonstrated moral…

  15. Labour Mobility and Plant Performance in Denmark: The Significance of Related Inflows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Timmermans, Bram; Boschma, Ron

    This paper investigates the impact of different types of labour mobility on plant performance, making use of the IDA-database that provides detailed information on all individuals and plants for the whole of Denmark. Our study shows that the effect of labour mobility can only be assessed when one...... performance. Moreover, intra-regional skilled labour mobility had a negative effect on plant performance in general, while the effect of inter-regional labour mobility depends on the type of skills that flow into the plant. We used a sophisticated indicator of revealed relatedness that measures the degree...... accounts for the type of skills that flow into the plant, and the degree to which these match the existing set of skills at the plant level. We found that the inflow of related skills has a positive impact on plant performance, while inflows of similar and unrelated skills have a negative effect on plant...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-03-15

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

  18. Lipid Replacement Therapy Drink Containing a Glycophospholipid Formulation Rapidly and Significantly Reduces Fatigue While Improving Energy and Mental Clarity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Settineri

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Fatigue is the most common complaint of patients seeking general medical care and is often treated with stimulants. It is also important in various physical activities of relatively healthy men and women, such as sports performance. Recent clinical trials using patients with chronic fatigue have shown the benefit of Lipid Replacement Therapy in restoring mitochondrial electron transport function and reducing moderate to severe chronic fatigue. Methods: Lipid Replacement Therapy was administered for the first time as an all-natural functional food drink (60 ml containing polyunsaturated glycophospholipids but devoid of stimulants or herbs to reduce fatigue. This preliminary study used the Piper Fatigue Survey instrument as well as a supplemental questionnaire to assess the effects of the glycophospholipid drink on fatigue and the acceptability of the test drink in adult men and women. A volunteer group of 29 subjects of mean age 56.2±4.5 years with various fatigue levels were randomly recruited in a clinical health fair setting to participate in an afternoon open label trial on the effects of the test drink. Results: Using the Piper Fatigue instrument overall fatigue among participants was reduced within the 3-hour seminar by a mean of 39.6% (p<0.0001. All of the subcategories of fatigue showed significant reductions. Some subjects responded within 15 minutes, and the majority responded within one hour with increased energy and activity and perceived improvements in cognitive function, mental clarity and focus. The test drink was determined to be quite acceptable in terms of taste and appearance. There were no adverse events from the energy drink during the study.Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011; 8:245-254Conclusions: The Lipid Replacement Therapy functional food drink appeared to be a safe, acceptable and potentially useful new method to reduce fatigue, sustain energy and improve perceptions of mental function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-28

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

  20. Five training sessions improves 3000 meter running performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riiser, A; Ripe, S; Aadland, E

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Significant Returns in Engagement and Performance with a Free Teaching App

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Pedagogical research shows that teaching methods other than traditional lectures may result in better outcomes. However, lecture remains the dominant method in economics, likely due to high implementation costs of methods shown to be effective in the literature. In this article, the author shows significant benefits of using a teaching app for…

  2. The Proposal of Key Performance Indicators in Facility Management and Determination the Weights of Significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimbalová, Jarmila; Vilčeková, Silvia

    2013-11-01

    The practice of facilities management is rapidly evolving with the increasing interest in the discourse of sustainable development. The industry and its market are forecasted to develop to include non-core functions, activities traditionally not associated with this profession, but which are increasingly being addressed by facilities managers. The scale of growth in the built environment and the consequential growth of the facility management sector is anticipated to be enormous. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are measure that provides essential information about performance of facility services delivery. In selecting KPI, it is critical to limit them to those factors that are essential to the organization reaching its goals. It is also important to keep the number of KPI small just to keep everyone's attention focused on achieving the same KPIs. This paper deals with the determination of weights of KPI of FM in terms of the design and use of sustainable buildings.

  3. Identifying significant uncertainties in thermally dependent processes for repository performance analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gansemer, J.D.; Lamont, A.

    1994-01-01

    In order to study the performance of the potential Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, scientific investigations are being conducted to reduce the uncertainty about process models and system parameters. This paper is intended to demonstrate a method for determining a strategy for the cost effective management of these investigations. It is not meant to be a complete study of all processes and interactions, but does outline a method which can be applied to more in-depth investigations

  4. Do School-Based Tutoring Programs Significantly Improve Student Performance on Standardized Tests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothman, Terri; Henderson, Mary

    2011-01-01

    This study used a pre-post, nonequivalent control group design to examine the impact of an in-district, after-school tutoring program on eighth grade students' standardized test scores in language arts and mathematics. Students who had scored in the near-passing range on either the language arts or mathematics aspect of a standardized test at the…

  5. Adaptive feedforward of estimated ripple improves the closed loop system performance significantly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, S.; Regan, A.; Wang, Y.M.; Rohlev, A.S.

    1998-01-01

    The Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator (LEDA) being constructed at Los Alamos National Laboratory will serve as the prototype for the low energy section of Acceleration Production of Tritium (APT) accelerator. This paper addresses the problem of LLRF control system for LEDA. The authors propose an estimator of the ripple and its time derivative and a control law which is based on PID control and adaptive feedforward of estimated ripple. The control law reduces the effect of the deterministic cathode ripple that is due to high voltage power supply and achieves tracking of desired set points

  6. Image enhancement filters significantly improve reading performance for low vision observers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, T. B.

    1992-01-01

    As people age, so do their photoreceptors; many photoreceptors in central vision stop functioning when a person reaches their late sixties or early seventies. Low vision observers with losses in central vision, those with age-related maculopathies, were studied. Low vision observers no longer see high spatial frequencies, being unable to resolve fine edge detail. We developed image enhancement filters to compensate for the low vision observer's losses in contrast sensitivity to intermediate and high spatial frequencies. The filters work by boosting the amplitude of the less visible intermediate spatial frequencies. The lower spatial frequencies. These image enhancement filters not only reduce the magnification needed for reading by up to 70 percent, but they also increase the observer's reading speed by 2-4 times. A summary of this research is presented.

  7. Performance Improvement of a Centrifugal Compressor by Passive Means

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Sitaram

    2012-01-01

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

  8. In surgeons performing cardiothoracic surgery is sleep deprivation significant in its impact on morbidity or mortality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asfour, Leila; Asfour, Victoria; McCormack, David; Attia, Rizwan

    2014-09-01

    A best evidence topic in cardiac surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was: is there a difference in cardiothoracic surgery outcomes in terms of morbidity or mortality of patients operated on by a sleep-deprived surgeon compared with those operated by a non-sleep-deprived surgeon? Reported search criteria yielded 77 papers, of which 15 were deemed to represent the best evidence on the topic. Three studies directly related to cardiothoracic surgery and 12 studies related to non-cardiothoracic surgery. Recommendations are based on 18 121 cardiothoracic patients and 214 666 non-cardiothoracic surgical patients. Different definitions of sleep deprivation were used in the studies, either reviewing surgeon's sleeping hours or out-of-hours operating. Surgical outcomes reviewed included: mortality rate, neurological, renal, pulmonary, infectious complications, length of stay, length of intensive care stay, cardiopulmonary bypass times and aortic-cross-clamp times. There were no significant differences in mortality or intraoperative complications in the groups of patients operated on by sleep-deprived versus non-sleep-deprived surgeons in cardiothoracic studies. One study showed a significant increase in the rate of septicaemia in patients operated on by severely sleep-deprived surgeons (3.6%) compared with the moderately sleep-deprived (0.9%) and non-sleep-deprived groups (0.8%) (P = 0.03). In the non-cardiothoracic studies, 7 of the 12 studies demonstrated statistically significant higher reoperation rate in trauma cases (P sleep deprivation in cardiothoracic surgeons on morbidity or mortality. However, overall the non-cardiothoracic studies have demonstrated that operative time and sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on overall morbidity and mortality. It is likely that other confounding factors concomitantly affect outcomes in out-of-hours surgery. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kristoffersen, Steinar

    2002-01-01

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

  11. The Genesis of a Trauma Performance Improvement Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidgeon, Kristopher

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Saurabh; Kwak, Kyung Sup

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Mehta

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Painelli Vitor

    2010-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kasie, Fentahun Moges; Belay, Alemu Moges

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Postexercise Glycogen Recovery and Exercise Performance is Not Significantly Different Between Fast Food and Sport Supplements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Michael J; Dumke, Charles L; Hailes, Walter S; Cuddy, John S; Ruby, Brent C

    2015-10-01

    A variety of dietary choices are marketed to enhance glycogen recovery after physical activity. Past research informs recommendations regarding the timing, dose, and nutrient compositions to facilitate glycogen recovery. This study examined the effects of isoenergetic sport supplements (SS) vs. fast food (FF) on glycogen recovery and exercise performance. Eleven males completed two experimental trials in a randomized, counterbalanced order. Each trial included a 90-min glycogen depletion ride followed by a 4-hr recovery period. Absolute amounts of macronutrients (1.54 ± 0.27 g·kg-1 carbohydrate, 0.24 ± 0.04 g·kg fat-1, and 0.18 ±0.03g·kg protein-1) as either SS or FF were provided at 0 and 2 hr. Muscle biopsies were collected from the vastus lateralis at 0 and 4 hr post exercise. Blood samples were analyzed at 0, 30, 60, 120, 150, 180, and 240 min post exercise for insulin and glucose, with blood lipids analyzed at 0 and 240 min. A 20k time-trial (TT) was completed following the final muscle biopsy. There were no differences in the blood glucose and insulin responses. Similarly, rates of glycogen recovery were not different across the diets (6.9 ± 1.7 and 7.9 ± 2.4 mmol·kg wet weight- 1·hr-1 for SS and FF, respectively). There was also no difference across the diets for TT performance (34.1 ± 1.8 and 34.3 ± 1.7 min for SS and FF, respectively. These data indicate that short-term food options to initiate glycogen resynthesis can include dietary options not typically marketed as sports nutrition products such as fast food menu items.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ezzat Othman, Ayman Ahmed

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Significant manipulation of output performance of a bridge-structured spin valve magnetoresistance sensor via an electric field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yue; Yan, Baiqian; Ou-Yang, Jun; Zhu, Benpeng; Chen, Shi; Yang, Xiaofei, E-mail: hust-yangxiaofei@163.com [School of Optical and Electronic Information, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Wang, Xianghao [School of Information Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070 (China)

    2016-01-28

    Through principles of spin-valve giant magnetoresistance (SV-GMR) effect and its application in magnetic sensors, we have investigated electric-field control of the output performance of a bridge-structured Co/Cu/NiFe/IrMn SV-GMR sensor on a PZN-PT piezoelectric substrate using the micro-magnetic simulation. We centered on the influence of the variation of uniaxial magnetic anisotropy constant (K) of Co on the output of the bridge, and K was manipulated via the stress of Co, which is generated from the strain of a piezoelectric substrate under an electric field. The results indicate that when K varies between 2 × 10{sup 4 }J/m{sup 3} and 10 × 10{sup 4 }J/m{sup 3}, the output performance can be significantly manipulated: The linear range alters from between −330 Oe and 330 Oe to between −650 Oe and 650 Oe, and the sensitivity is tuned by almost 7 times, making it possible to measure magnetic fields with very different ranges. According to the converse piezoelectric effect, we have found that this variation of K can be realized by applying an electric field with the magnitude of about 2–20 kV/cm on a PZN-PT piezoelectric substrate, which is realistic in application. This result means that electric-control of SV-GMR effect has potential application in developing SV-GMR sensors with improved performance.

  19. Significant manipulation of output performance of a bridge-structured spin valve magnetoresistance sensor via an electric field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Yue; Yan, Baiqian; Ou-Yang, Jun; Zhu, Benpeng; Chen, Shi; Yang, Xiaofei; Wang, Xianghao

    2016-01-01

    Through principles of spin-valve giant magnetoresistance (SV-GMR) effect and its application in magnetic sensors, we have investigated electric-field control of the output performance of a bridge-structured Co/Cu/NiFe/IrMn SV-GMR sensor on a PZN-PT piezoelectric substrate using the micro-magnetic simulation. We centered on the influence of the variation of uniaxial magnetic anisotropy constant (K) of Co on the output of the bridge, and K was manipulated via the stress of Co, which is generated from the strain of a piezoelectric substrate under an electric field. The results indicate that when K varies between 2 × 10 4  J/m 3 and 10 × 10 4  J/m 3 , the output performance can be significantly manipulated: The linear range alters from between −330 Oe and 330 Oe to between −650 Oe and 650 Oe, and the sensitivity is tuned by almost 7 times, making it possible to measure magnetic fields with very different ranges. According to the converse piezoelectric effect, we have found that this variation of K can be realized by applying an electric field with the magnitude of about 2–20 kV/cm on a PZN-PT piezoelectric substrate, which is realistic in application. This result means that electric-control of SV-GMR effect has potential application in developing SV-GMR sensors with improved performance

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fagertun, Anna Manolova; Ruepp, Sarah Renée

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Improve data integration performance by employing metadata management utility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-21

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Good practices for improved nuclear power plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-04-01

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

  7. Thermal diagnostics in power plant to improve performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meister, H.

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Authoring experience: the significance and performance of storytelling in Socratic dialogue with rehabilitating cancer patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, Jeanette Bresson Ladegaard; Svendsen, Mette Nordahl

    2015-08-01

    This article examines the storytelling aspect in philosophizing with rehabilitating cancer patients in small Socratic dialogue groups (SDG). Recounting an experience to illustrate a philosophical question chosen by the participants is the traditional point of departure for the dialogical exchange. However, narrating is much more than a beginning point or the skeletal framework of events and it deserves more scholarly attention than hitherto given. Storytelling pervades the whole Socratic process and impacts the conceptual analysis in a SDG. In this article we show how the narrative aspect became a rich resource for the compassionate bond between participants and how their stories cultivated the abstract reflection in the group. In addition, the aim of the article is to reveal the different layers in the performance of storytelling, or of authoring experience. By picking, poking and dissecting an experience through a collaborative effort, most participants had their initial experience existentially refined and the chosen concept of which the experience served as an illustration transformed into a moral compass to be used in self-orientation post cancer.

  9. Improving growth performance in calves under hot weather conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emara, S.S.M.

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Solar multi-conjugate adaptive optics performance improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhicheng; Zhang, Xiaofang; Song, Jie

    2015-08-01

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

  11. Carbohydrate mouth rinse does not improve repeated sprint performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Ricardo Altimari

    2013-09-01

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

  12. Improving the performance of minimizers and winnowing schemes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Access Agent Improving The Performance Of Access Control Lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thelis R. S.

    2015-08-01

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

  15. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2002-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    2001-01-01

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

  17. Commitment to Study as a Technique to Improve Exam Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeming, Frank C.

    1997-01-01

    Reports on a technique that could increase study time by reducing procrastination. Randomly selected college students (N=197) made written commitments to study for an exam. Students in the commitment condition reported significantly more study time than did students in a control group; they also performed significantly better on the exam. (RJM)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  20. Size-based scheduling to improve web performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakani, Farhan Saeed; O'Beirne, Ronan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keuter, D.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Coaching as a Performance Improvement Tool at School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirci, Ramazan; Karakose, Turgut; Kocabas, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, M.A.; Harnmeijer, JW

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Undergraduate Medical Academic Performance is Improved by Scientific Training

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Motivation to Avoid Loss Improves Implicit Skill Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  12. Can Near-Peer Teaching Improve Academic Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Brett; Fowler, James

    2014-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NJD

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek, M.; Bartkowiak, T.

    2016-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, T.; Burkhart, A.D.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raþiu Patricia

    2013-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, Sandra

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tian Dawei

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidhi M Bhatnagar

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-03-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyin Shen

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Izman Herdiansyah

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Performance improvements on passive activated charcoal 222Rn samplers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Suxia

    1996-01-01

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

  8. Effectively managing nuclear risk through human performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coe, R.P.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Effectively Managing Nuclear Risk Through Human Performance Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coe, Richard; Lake, Patricia

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    probabilistic modeling and risk analysis, to guide improvements in PA. This decision-making approach, [4, 5, 6] provides a transparent formal framework for using a value- or objective-focused approach to decision-making. DA, as an analytical means to implement structured decision making, provides a context for both understanding how uncertainty affects decisions and for targeting uncertainty reduction. The proposed DA approach improves defensibility and transparency of decision-making. The DA approach is fully consistent with the need to perform realistic modeling (rather than conservative modeling), including evaluation of site-specific factors. Instead of using generic stylized scenarios for radionuclide fate and transport and for human exposures to radionuclides, site-specific scenarios better represent the advantages and disadvantages of alternative disposal sites or engineered designs, thus clarifying their differences as well as providing a sound basis for evaluation of site performance. The full DA approach to PA is described, from explicitly incorporating societal values through stakeholder involvement to model building. Model building involves scoping by considering features, events, processes, and exposure scenarios (FEPSs), development of a conceptual site model (CSM), translation into numerical models and subsequent computation, and model evaluation. These are implemented in a cycle of uncertainty analysis, sensitivity analysis and value of information analysis so that uncertainty can be reduced until sufficient confidence is gained in the decisions to be made. This includes the traditional focus on hydrogeological processes, but also places emphasis on other FEPSs such as biotically-induced transport and human exposure phenomena. The significance of human exposure scenarios is emphasized by modifying the traditional acronym 'FEPs' to include them, hence 'FEPSs'. The radioactive waste community is also recognizing that disposal sites are to be considered a national

  12. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-07-01

    a Bayesian approach to probabilistic modeling and risk analysis, to guide improvements in PA. This decision-making approach, [4, 5, 6] provides a transparent formal framework for using a value- or objective-focused approach to decision-making. DA, as an analytical means to implement structured decision making, provides a context for both understanding how uncertainty affects decisions and for targeting uncertainty reduction. The proposed DA approach improves defensibility and transparency of decision-making. The DA approach is fully consistent with the need to perform realistic modeling (rather than conservative modeling), including evaluation of site-specific factors. Instead of using generic stylized scenarios for radionuclide fate and transport and for human exposures to radionuclides, site-specific scenarios better represent the advantages and disadvantages of alternative disposal sites or engineered designs, thus clarifying their differences as well as providing a sound basis for evaluation of site performance. The full DA approach to PA is described, from explicitly incorporating societal values through stakeholder involvement to model building. Model building involves scoping by considering features, events, processes, and exposure scenarios (FEPSs), development of a conceptual site model (CSM), translation into numerical models and subsequent computation, and model evaluation. These are implemented in a cycle of uncertainty analysis, sensitivity analysis and value of information analysis so that uncertainty can be reduced until sufficient confidence is gained in the decisions to be made. This includes the traditional focus on hydrogeological processes, but also places emphasis on other FEPSs such as biotically-induced transport and human exposure phenomena. The significance of human exposure scenarios is emphasized by modifying the traditional acronym 'FEPs' to include them, hence 'FEPSs'. The radioactive waste community is also

  13. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuft, Bradley William

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  17. Significant clinical improvement in radiation-induced lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy by a treatment combining pentoxifylline, tocopherol, and clodronate (Pentoclo)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delanian, S. [Hop St Louis, Serv Oncol Radiotherapie, APHP, F-75010 Paris, (France); Lefaix, J.L. [CEA-LARIA, CIRIL-GANIL, Caen, (France); Maisonobe, T. [Hop La Pitie Salpetriere, Federat Neurophysiol Clin, APHP, Paris, (France)

    2008-07-01

    Radiation-induced (RI) peripheral neuropathy is a rare and severe delayed complication of radiotherapy that is spontaneously irreversible, with no standard of treatment. We previously developed a successful antioxidant treatment in RI fibrosis and necrosis. Two patients with progressive worsening RI lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy experienced over several years a significant clinical improvement in their neurological sensorimotor symptoms with long-term pentoxifylline-tocopherol-clodronate treatment, and good safety. (authors)

  18. The cumulative effect of small dietary changes may significantly improve nutritional intakes in free-living children and adults

    OpenAIRE

    Bornet , Francis; Paineau , Damien; Beaufils , François; Boulier , Alain; Cassuto , Dominique-Adèle; Chwalow , Judith; Combris , Pierre; Couet , Charles; Jouret , Béatrice; Lafay , Lionel; Laville , Martine; Mahé , Sylvain; Ricour , Claude; Romon , Monique; Simon , Chantal

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background/Objectives: The ELPAS study was an 8-month randomized controlled dietary modification trial designed to test the hypothesis that family dietary coaching would improve nutritional intakes and weight control in 2026 free-living children and parents (Paineau et al., 2008). It resulted in significant nutritional changes, with beneficial effects on body mass index in adults. In these ancillary analyses, we investigated dietary changes throughout the intervention. ...

  19. Techniques for Performance Improvement of Integer Multiplication in Cryptographic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Brumnik

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The problem of arithmetic operations performance in number fields is actively researched by many scientists, as evidenced by significant publications in this field. In this work, we offer some techniques to increase performance of software implementation of finite field multiplication algorithm, for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. The developed technique, called “delayed carry mechanism,” allows to preventing necessity to consider a significant bit carry at each iteration of the sum accumulation loop. This mechanism enables reducing the total number of additions and applies the modern parallelization technologies effectively.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatcher, Tim

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Acid or erythromycin stress significantly improves transformation efficiency through regulating expression of DNA binding proteins in Lactococcus lactis F44.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Binbin; Zhang, Huawei; Liang, Dongmei; Hao, Panlong; Li, Yanni; Qiao, Jianjun

    2017-12-01

    Lactococcus lactis is a gram-positive bacterium used extensively in the dairy industry and food fermentation, and its biological characteristics are usually improved through genetic manipulation. However, poor transformation efficiency was the main restriction factor for the construction of engineered strains. In this study, the transformation efficiency of L. lactis F44 showed a 56.1-fold increase in acid condition (pH 5.0); meanwhile, erythromycin stress (0.04 μg/mL) promoted the transformation efficiency more significantly (76.9-fold). Notably, the transformation efficiency of F44e (L. lactis F44 harboring empty pLEB124) increased up to 149.1-fold under the synergistic stresses of acid and erythromycin. In addition, the gene expression of some DNA binding proteins (DprA, RadA, RadC, RecA, RecQ, and SsbA) changed correspondingly. Especially for radA, 25.1-fold improvement was detected when F44e was exposed to pH 5.0. Overexpression of some DNA binding proteins could improve the transformation efficiency. The results suggested that acid or erythromycin stress could improve the transformation efficiency of L. lactis through regulating gene expression of DNA binding proteins. We have proposed a simple but promising strategy for improving the transformation efficiency of L. lactis and other hard-transformed microorganisms. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-04-15

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

  4. The experience of liquid radwaste evaporator performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, S. H.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Improvement of tokamak performance by injection of electrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ono, Masayuki.

    1992-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaadt, M

    1998-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Christoph; Happe, Jörg; Klockgether, Thomas

    2002-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yijun Wang

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

  13. An initiative to improve the management of clinically significant test results in a large health care network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Christopher L; Rothschild, Jeffrey M; Dighe, Anand S; Schiff, Gordon D; Graydon-Baker, Erin; Lenoci-Edwards, Jennifer; Dwyer, Cheryl; Khorasani, Ramin; Gandhi, Tejal K

    2013-11-01

    The failure of providers to communicate and follow up clinically significant test results (CSTR) is an important threat to patient safety. The Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors has endorsed the creation of systems to ensure that results can be received and acknowledged. In 2008 a task force was convened that represented clinicians, laboratories, radiology, patient safety, risk management, and information systems in a large health care network with the goals of providing recommendations and a road map for improvement in the management of CSTR and of implementing this improvement plan during the sub-force sequent five years. In drafting its charter, the task broadened the scope from "critical" results to "clinically significant" ones; clinically significant was defined as any result that requires further clinical action to avoid morbidity or mortality, regardless of the urgency of that action. The task force recommended four key areas for improvement--(1) standardization of policies and definitions, (2) robust identification of the patient's care team, (3) enhanced results management/tracking systems, and (4) centralized quality reporting and metrics. The task force faced many challenges in implementing these recommendations, including disagreements on definitions of CSTR and on who should have responsibility for CSTR, changes to established work flows, limitations of resources and of existing information systems, and definition of metrics. This large-scale effort to improve the communication and follow-up of CSTR in a health care network continues with ongoing work to address implementation challenges, refine policies, prepare for a new clinical information system platform, and identify new ways to measure the extent of this important safety problem.

  14. The SGLT2 Inhibitor Dapagliflozin Significantly Improves the Peripheral Microvascular Endothelial Function in Patients with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Seigo; Jinnouchi, Hideaki; Kurinami, Noboru; Hieshima, Kunio; Yoshida, Akira; Jinnouchi, Katsunori; Nishimura, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tomoko; Miyamoto, Fumio; Kajiwara, Keizo; Jinnouchi, Tomio

    2018-03-30

    Objective Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors reduce cardiovascular events and decrease the body fat mass in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined whether or not the SGLT2-inhibitor dapagliflozin can improve the endothelial function associated with a reduction in abdominal fat mass. Methods We prospectively recruited patients with uncontrolled (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] >7.0%) T2DM who were not being treated by SGLT2 inhibitors. Patients were treated with add-on dapagliflozin (5 mg/day) or non-SGLT2 inhibitor medicines for 6 months to improve their HbA1c. We measured the peripheral microvascular endothelial function as assessed by reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and calculated the natural logarithmic transformed value of the RH-PAT index (LnRHI). We then investigated changes in the LnRHI and abdominal fat area using computed tomography (CT). Results The subjects were 54 patients with uncontrolled T2DM (72.2% men) with a mean HbA1c of 8.1%. The HbA1c was significantly decreased in both groups, with no significant difference between the groups. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly increased the LnRHI. The changes in the LnRHI were significantly greater in the dapagliflozin group than in the non-SGLT2 inhibitor group. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly decreased the abdominal visceral fat area, subcutaneous fat area (SFA), and total fat area (TFA) as assessed by CT and significantly increased the plasma adiponectin levels. The percentage changes in the LnRHI were significantly correlated with changes in the SFA, TFA, systolic blood pressure, and adiponectin. Conclusion Add-on treatment with dapagliflozin significantly improves the glycemic control and endothelial function associated with a reduction in the abdominal fat mass in patients with uncontrolled T2DM.

  15. Improvement of sludge removal performance for steam generators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Performance Improvement of Solar Water Stills by Using Reflectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humphrey Hamusonde Maambo

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-20

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

  19. Brief Communication: Upper Air Relaxation in RACMO2 Significantly Improves Modelled Interannual Surface Mass Balance Variability in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Berg, W. J.; Medley, B.

    2016-01-01

    The Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) has been a powerful tool for improving surface mass balance (SMB) estimates from GCMs or reanalyses. However, new yearly SMB observations for West Antarctica show that the modelled interannual variability in SMB is poorly simulated by RACMO2, in contrast to ERA-Interim, which resolves this variability well. In an attempt to remedy RACMO2 performance, we included additional upper-air relaxation (UAR) in RACMO2. With UAR, the correlation to observations is similar for RACMO2 and ERA-Interim. The spatial SMB patterns and ice-sheet-integrated SMB modelled using UAR remain very similar to the estimates of RACMO2 without UAR. We only observe an upstream smoothing of precipitation in regions with very steep topography like the Antarctic Peninsula. We conclude that UAR is a useful improvement for regional climate model simulations, although results in regions with steep topography should be treated with care.

  20. Can We Use Polya’s Method to Improve Students’ Performance in the Statistics Classes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indika Wickramasinghe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, Polya’s problem-solving method is introduced in a statistics class in an effort to enhance students’ performance. Teaching the method was applied to one of the two introductory-level statistics classes taught by the same instructor, and a comparison was made between the performances in the two classes. The results indicate there was a significant improvement of the students’ performance in the class in which Polya’s method was introduced.

  1. Spontaneous Resolution of Long-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikakis, Efstratios A; Chatziralli, Irini P; Peponis, Vasileios G; Karagiannis, Dimitrios; Stratos, Aimilianos; Tsiotra, Vasileia A; Mitropoulos, Panagiotis G

    2014-01-01

    To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  2. Spontaneous Resolution ofLong-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efstratios A. Parikakis

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. Case Presentation: A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT. The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. Conclusion: We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  3. Using Shadow Page Cache to Improve Isolated Drivers Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Zheng

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Audits and their effectiveness in improving plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Callen, L.J.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolja Kuehnlenz

    2008-11-01

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

  8. Improvement of RFX performances by field and impurity control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buffa, A.; Gnesotto, F.

    1995-01-01

    The Reverse Field Pinch experiment RFX has been operated since 1992 with the principal objective of extending the knowledge of RFP confinement to larger dimensions and higher plasma currents. Experiments have been run between 500 and 900 kA; confinement parameters are mainly determined by magnetic field quality and plasma density behavior. Significant improvements were obtained by feedback controlling the poloidal field configuration and by reducing the impurities produced by plasma-wall interactions

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gusti Kade Sutawa

    2016-03-01

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

  10. Assessment of mental training in improving performance serve in volleyball

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Maria Montiel

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This article aimed to investigate the effects of mental training on volleyball players service performance. Six male volleyball players aged from 18 to 25 years old of a team from the interior of São Paulo’s state were studied. The service performance was evaluated in three different championships of the same season. The services were scored in game situations at the same time of the intervention process. The measure means indicated service performance increased with the mental training practice, with more services performed correctly and less mistakes at the end of the intervention process. The mistakes dimished significantly from the baseline to the final of the intervention process and from the start of the intervention process to its final.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye AD

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavriloff, Carrie

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuuli Reisberg

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Towards improving construction labor productivity and projects’ performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa E. Shehata

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Use of safety management practices for improving project performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Eddie W L; Kelly, Stephen; Ryan, Neal

    2015-01-01

    Although site safety has long been a key research topic in the construction field, there is a lack of literature studying safety management practices (SMPs). The current research, therefore, aims to test the effect of SMPs on project performance. An empirical study was conducted in Hong Kong and the data collected were analysed with multiple regression analysis. Results suggest that 3 of the 15 SMPs, which were 'safety committee at project/site level', 'written safety policy', and 'safety training scheme' explained the variance in project performance significantly. Discussion about the impact of these three SMPs on construction was provided. Assuring safe construction should be an integral part of a construction project plan.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

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

  3. Evaluating and improving nuclear power plant operating performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-07-01

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

  4. Evaluating and improving nuclear power plant operating performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-07-01

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

  5. Improving Software Performance in the Compute Unified Device Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru PIRJAN

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apichat Sopadang

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Titan I propulsion system modeling and possible performance improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusti, Oreste

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.ª José Mayorga Fernández

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovani Benin

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

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

  13. Improving productivity and firm performance with enterprise resource planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Hooshang M.; Beheshti, Cyrus M.

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  15. A conceptual model to improve performance in virtual teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shopee Dube

    2016-09-01

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

  16. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in evergreen coniferous forests and its significance in carbon and water fluxes modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, R.; Chen, J. M.; Luo, X.

    2016-12-01

    Modeling of carbon and water fluxes at the continental and global scales requires remotely sensed LAI as inputs. For evergreen coniferous forests (ENF), severely underestimated winter LAI has been one of the issues for mostly available remote sensing products, which could cause negative bias in the modeling of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET). Unlike deciduous trees which shed all the leaves in winter, conifers retains part of their needles and the proportion of the retained needles depends on the needle longevity. In this work, the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) was used to model GPP and ET at eight FLUXNET Canada ENF sites. Two sets of LAI were used as the model inputs: the 250m 10-day University of Toronto (U of T) LAI product Version 2 and the corrected LAI based on the U of T LAI product and the needle longevity of the corresponding tree species at individual sites. Validating model daily GPP (gC/m2) against site measurements, the mean RMSE over eight sites decreases from 1.85 to 1.15, and the bias changes from -0.99 to -0.19. For daily ET (mm), mean RMSE decreases from 0.63 to 0.33, and the bias changes from -0.31 to -0.16. Most of the improvements occur in the beginning and at the end of the growing season when there is large correction of LAI and meanwhile temperature is still suitable for photosynthesis and transpiration. For the dormant season, the improvement in ET simulation mostly comes from the increased interception of precipitation brought by the elevated LAI during that time. The results indicate that model performance can be improved by the application the corrected LAI. Improving the winter RS LAI can make a large impact on land surface carbon and energy budget.

  17. Improvement in Plasma Performance with Lithium Coatings in NSTX

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaita, R.

    2009-01-01

    Lithium as a plasma-facing material has attractive features, including a reduction in the recycling of hydrogenic species and the potential for withstanding high heat and neutron fluxes in fusion reactors. Dramatic effects on plasma performance with lithium-coated plasma-facing components (PFC's) have been demonstrated on many fusion devices, including TFTR, T-11M, and FT-U. Using a liquid-lithium-filled tray as a limiter, the CDX-U device achieved very significant enhancement in the confinement time of ohmically heated plasmas. The recent NSTX experiments reported here have demonstrated, for the first time, significant and recurring benefits of lithium PFC coatings on divertor plasma performance in both L- and H- mode regimes heated by neutral beams.

  18. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paydos Michael

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xuliang; Chen, Ray T.

    2004-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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