Land-use change models are important tools for integrated environmental management. Through scenario analysis they can help to identify near-future critical locations in the face of environmental change. A dynamic, spatially explicit, land-use change model is presented for the regional scale: CLUE-S. The model is specifically developed for the analysis of land use in small regions (e.g., a watershed or province) at a fine spatial resolution. The model structure is based on systems theory to allow the integrated analysis of land-use change in relation to socio-economic and biophysical driving factors. The model explicitly addresses the hierarchical organization of land use systems, spatial connectivity between locations and stability. Stability is incorporated by a set of variables that define the relative elasticity of the actual land-use type to conversion. The user can specify these settings based on expert knowledge or survey data. Two applications of the model in the Philippines and Malaysia are used to illustrate the functioning of the model and its validation.
Dispersal-assembly theories of species coexistence posit that environmental factors play no role in explaining community diversity and structure. Dispersal-assembly theories shed light on some aspects of community structure such as species-area and species-abundance relationships. However, species' environmental associations also affect these measures of community structure. Measurements of species' niche breadth and overlap address this influence. Using a new continuous measure of niche and a dispersal-assembly null model that maintains species' niche breadth and aggregation, we tested two hypotheses assessing the effects of habitat heterogeneity on the ability of dispersal-assembly theories to explain community niche structure. We found that in both homogenous and heterogeneous environments dispersal-assembly theories cannot fully explain observed niche structure. The performance of the dispersal-assembly null models was particularly poor in heterogeneous environments. These results indicate that non-dispersal based mechanisms are in part responsible for observed community structure and measures of community structure which include species' environmental associations should be used to test theories of species diversity.
The importance of twin research in the field of preventive medicine is described from the viewpoint of gene-environment interaction. The recent advancements in twin research in Japan and other countries are the major topics in this paper. The historical background of the Japan Society for Twin Studies is described. The Center for Twin Research of Osaka University is also described as the first center of this kind in Japan. The advancement of epigenetic research is described as a new global trend of twin research, particularly in European countries. Other new trends in twin research in Asian countries, such as China, Indonesia, Russia, Iran, and Malaysia, are also described.
Data are presented from a long-term study of banded langurs in three contrasting rain forest habitats in Peninsular Malaysia. Results from different sites and months are used to correlate ranging patterns with food availability and other environmental variables. Day range lengths are correlated with availability of preferred foods; the degree of territoriality is related to the distribution and size of food sources and length of time for which any one of these produces favoured food items.
In Sarawak, some tribes stay in communal longhouses whilst others live in villages of single dwellings. The present study looks into the question of whether there is an association between the prevalence of leprosy and tuberculosis with the quantum of social contact that occurs in these two types of settlement patterns. It was found that the prevalence of leprosy and tuberculosis is significantly higher among longhouse dwellers compared with single house dwellers. It was also noted that social groups tended to be larger and to persist for much longer among longhouse dwellers than among those in single dwellings. This lends support to the evidence that social contact in longhouses is more extensive and contributes towards a higher prevalence of leprosy and tuberculosis.
Construction of exclusive motorcycle lanes is one of the measures to reduce motorcycle fatalities. Previous studies highlighted the risk of crashes with roadside objects and the tendency of motorcyclists to ride with excessive speed on exclusive motorcycle lanes. However, the risk of same-direction crashes on exclusive motorcycle lanes was not explored in much detail, especially on the impact of lane geometry and roadside configurations. This study used naturalistic riding data to determine the effects of lane width and roadside configurations on overtaking speed, lateral position and likelihood of comfortable overtaking on tangential sections of an exclusive motorcycle lane. Twenty-nine recruited motorcyclists rode the instrumented motorcycles along a 20km stretch of an exclusive motorcycle lane along a major urban road. Results revealed that both the roadside configurations and lane width significantly affect the participants' lateral position, while the roadside configurations only affects the overtaking speed. Participants' overtaking speeds and the front motorcycles' lateral position contribute significantly to the likelihood of comfortable overtaking in exclusive motorcycle lanes. The findings highlight the importance of micro-level behavior indicators in improving the design and overall safety of the exclusive motorcycle facility.
This paper establishes a novel control strategy for a nonlinear bilateral macro-micro teleoperation system with time delay. Besides position and velocity signals, force signals are additionally utilized in the control scheme. This modification significantly improves the poor transparency during contact with the environment. To eliminate external force measurement, a force estimation algorithm is proposed for the master and slave robots. The closed loop stability of the nonlinear micro-micro teleoperation system with the proposed control scheme is investigated employing the Lyapunov theory. Consequently, the experimental results verify the efficiency of the new control scheme in free motion and during collision between the slave robot and the environment of slave robot with environment, and the efficiency of the force estimation algorithm.
The staggering growth in smartphone and wearable device use has led to a massive scale generation of personal (user-specific) data. To explore, analyze, and extract useful information and knowledge from the deluge of personal data, one has to leverage these devices as the data-mining platforms in ubiquitous, pervasive, and big data environments. This study presents the personal ecosystem where all computational resources, communication facilities, storage and knowledge management systems are available in user proximity. An extensive review on recent literature has been conducted and a detailed taxonomy is presented. The performance evaluation metrics and their empirical evidences are sorted out in this paper. Finally, we have highlighted some future research directions and potentially emerging application areas for personal data mining using smartphones and wearable devices.
Algal communities possess many attributes as biological indicators of spatial and temporal environmental changes. Algal parameters, especially the community structural and functional variables that have been used in biological monitoring programs, are highlighted in this document. Biological indicators like algae have only recently been included in water quality assessments in some areas of Malaysia. The use of algal parameters in identifying various types of water degradation is essential and complementary to other environmental indicators.
Comet Lulin was discovered by Lin Chi-Sheng and Ye Quanzhi using the 16-inch telescope at Lulin Observatory in Nantou, Taiwan in 2007. According to Brian Marsden of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, it reached its perihelion on 10 January 2009 at a distance of 113 million
km from the Sun. It moves in a very nearly parabolic retrograde (‘backwards’ compared to the movement of the planets) orbit at an inclination of 1.6 degrees from the ecliptic (“Newfound Comet Lulin to Grace Night Skies”). http://www.space.com/spacewatch/090206-ns-cometlulin.html). It passed nearest to the Earth at a distance of 61 million km on 23 February 2009.
The nature, extent and definition of a collaboration varies between individuals, disciplines, departments and institutions. It depends upon such factors as the people involved, the nature of the research problem, the research environment, the institutional culture and demographic factors. This paper will examine the concept of collaborative research and discuss its place and position in an evolving university.
The pursuit, initiation and establishment of multi-stakeholder partnerships, including with the private sector, is often a critical component of attaining and achieving the success and sustainability of many projects the world over. However, the soliciting and securing of socially, economically and environmentally constructive engagements between the private sector on the one hand, and the NGOs, CBOs and local communities on the other hand, is in reality much easier said than done. Notably, since most private sector corporations undoubtedly tend to leave behind various "ecological footprints", differing only in their size and depth, stemming from their respective forms and functions, and their ensuing impacts and implications. The interplay between the civil society and the private sector, especially for resource mobilization. (Copied from article).
In recent years image acquisition in close range photogrammetry relies on digital sensors such as digital cameras, video cameras, CCD cameras etc that are not specifically designed for photogrammetry. This study is performed to evaluate the compatibility of the digital metric camera and non-metric camera for the purpose of mapping meandering flume, using close range photogrammetric technique and further, to determine the accuracy that could be achieved using such a technique. The meandering flume provides an opportunity to conduct an experimental study in a controlled environment. In this study, the digital images of the whole meandering flume were acquired using a compact digital camera - Nikon Coolpix S560, a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) Nikon D60 and also a metric digital camera Rollei D30. A series of digital images were acquired to cover the whole meandering flume. Secondary data of ground control points (GCP) and check points (CP), established using the Total Station technique, was used. The digital camera was calibrated and the recovered camera calibration parameters were then used in the processing of digital images. In processing the digital images, digital photogrammetric software was used for processes such as aerial triangulation, stereo compilation, generation of digital elevation model (DEM) and generation of orthophoto. The whole process was successfully performed and the output produced in the form of orthophoto. The research output is then evaluated for planimetry and vertical accuracy using root mean square error (RMSE). Based on the analysis, sub-meter accuracy is obtained. It can be concluded that the differences between the different types of digital camera are small . As a conclusion, this study proves that close range photogrammetry technique can be used for mapping meandering flume using both the metric digital camera and non-metric digital camera.
The incidence of dengue in Malaysia has increased from 15.2 per 100,000 in 1973 to 361.0 per 100,000 population by the year 2014. The same trend was seen in case fatality rates that went up from 0.16% to 0.62% between 2000 to 2013.1,2 More than 60% of the cases were from the Klang Valley region. In Pahang the dengue incidence rates from 2004 to 2014 showed a similar increase from 40.9 to 193.8 per 100,000 population and an increase in case fatality rates from 0.07% to 0.3% too was observed between 2000-2014. Fortunately these figures were below the national average.3
This research focuses on the ASTER DEM generation for visual and mathematical analysis of topography, landscapes and landforms, as well as modeling of surface processes of Central Alborz, Iran. ASTER DEM 15 m generated using tie points over the Central Alborz and Damavand volcano with 5671 m height from ASTER (Advanced Space borne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) satellite data using PCI Geomatica 9.1. Geomorphic parameters are useful to identify and describe geomorphologic forms and processes, which were extracted from ASTER DEM in GIS environment such as elevation, aspect, slope angle, vertical curvature, and tangential curvature. Although the elevation values are slightly low in altitudes above 5500 m asl., the ASTER DEM is useful in interpretation of the macro- and meso-relief, and provides the opportunity for mapping especially at medium scales (1:100,000 and 1:50,000). ASTER DEM has potential to be a best tool to study 3D model for to geomorphologic mapping and processes of glacial and per glacial forms above 4300 m asl.
Frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) systems with partial band interference require appropriate compounding of spread spectrum modulation, error correcting code, diversity and decoding method to receive improved transmission signal. In this paper, a fast FHSS system with regular low-density parity-check codes was employed to cater some anti-jamming competence by using good waterfall and error floor performance. The performance evalution of the previously mentioned system was conducted in the presence of partial band noise jamming. The best possible design of the system was achieved with the combination of diversity level L=2 with a probability rate of at 0.7 dB which showed the robustness of the system.
This paper presents an experimental characterization of millimeter-wave (mm-wave) channels in the 6.5 GHz, 10.5 GHz, 15 GHz, 19 GHz, 28 GHz and 38 GHz frequency bands in an indoor corridor environment. More than 4,000 power delay profiles were measured across the bands using an omnidirectional transmitter antenna and a highly directional horn receiver antenna for both co- and cross-polarized antenna configurations. This paper develops a new path-loss model to account for the frequency attenuation with distance, which we term the frequency attenuation (FA) path-loss model and introduce a frequency-dependent attenuation factor. The large-scale path loss was characterized based on both new and well-known path-loss models. A general and less complex method is also proposed to estimate the cross-polarization discrimination (XPD) factor of close-in reference distance with the XPD (CIX) and ABG with the XPD (ABGX) path-loss models to avoid the computational complexity of minimum mean square error (MMSE) approach. Moreover, small-scale parameters such as root mean square (RMS) delay spread, mean excess (MN-EX) delay, dispersion factors and maximum excess (MAX-EX) delay parameters were used to characterize the multipath channel dispersion. Multiple statistical distributions for RMS delay spread were also investigated. The results show that our proposed models are simpler and more physically-based than other well-known models. The path-loss exponents for all studied models are smaller than that of the free-space model by values in the range of 0.1 to 1.4 for all measured frequencies. The RMS delay spread values varied between 0.2 ns and 13.8 ns, and the dispersion factor values were less than 1 for all measured frequencies. The exponential and Weibull probability distribution models best fit the RMS delay spread empirical distribution for all of the measured frequencies in all scenarios.
The concept of the cultural construction of illness is important in terms of understanding people's behaviour. In this article, this idea is applied to psychiatric illness in Malaysia to explore how it is informed by sociocultural elements, a process that will help us understand the psychiatric expression and help-seeking behaviour of the country's population.
Contaminated and ageing transmission line insulators often suffer from temporary or permanent loss of their insulating properties due to flashover resulting in power system failure. Surface discharges are precursors to flashover. To pre-empt any occurrence of flashovers, utility companies monitor the conditions of their insulators. There are numerous insulator surface monitoring techniques such as Leakage Current, Acoustics, and Infrared. However, these techniques may not be suitable for in-situ condition monitoring of the insulators as they are prone to noise, affected by environmental conditions or contact methods. Monitoring of the UV signals emitted by the surface discharges of these insulators has been reported to be a promising technique. However, comprehensive studies on this technique is lacking, especially on aged insulators. This paper investigated the UV signals of contaminated and aged insulators detected during surface discharge activities using UV pulse method. The time and frequency domain of the UV signals were analysed for a group of insulator samples having varying levels of contamination and phases of ageing. Results show that there is a strong correlation between the contamination level and ageing of the insulators with the amplitude and harmonic components of the UV signals. This correlation can useful to monitor in-service insulator surface conditions.