This paper attempts to solve the typical problems of self-organizing growing network models, i.e. (a) an influence of the order of input data on the self-organizing ability, (b) an instability to high-dimensional data and an excessive sensitivity to noise, and (c) an expensive computational cost by integrating Kernel Bayes Rule (KBR) and Correntropy-Induced Metric (CIM) into Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) framework. KBR performs a covariance-free Bayesian computation which is able to maintain a fast and stable computation. CIM is a generalized similarity measurement which can maintain a high-noise reduction ability even in a high-dimensional space. In addition, a Growing Neural Gas (GNG)-based topology construction process is integrated into the ART framework to enhance its self-organizing ability. The simulation experiments with synthetic and real-world datasets show that the proposed model has an outstanding stable self-organizing ability for various test environments.
Remanufacturing of used-products is becoming an important activity in many production companies. This paper reviews key remanufacturing process, highlights eight unique characteristics of remanufacturing process environment and proposes a generic conceptual remanufacturing process model that considers the presence and interactions of these eight features. The generic conceptual model could be modified to suit remanufacturing process of any given used products to be remanufactured. Future research can modify the generic remanufacturing model to suit used automotive parts remanufacturing with unique characteristics and apply simulation technique to model and analyse the corresponding remanufacturing process.
Strategic noise mapping provides important information for noise impact assessment and noise abatement. However, producing reliable strategic noise mapping in a dynamic, complex working environment is difficult. This study proposes the implementation of the random walk approach as a new stochastic technique to simulate noise mapping and to predict the noise exposure level in a workplace. A stochastic simulation framework and software, namely RW-eNMS, were developed to facilitate the random walk approach in noise mapping prediction. This framework considers the randomness and complexity of machinery operation and noise emission levels. Also, it assesses the impact of noise on the workers and the surrounding environment. For data validation, three case studies were conducted to check the accuracy of the prediction data and to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of this approach. The results showed high accuracy of prediction results together with a majority of absolute differences of less than 2 dBA; also, the predicted noise doses were mostly in the range of measurement. Therefore, the random walk approach was effective in dealing with environmental noises. It could predict strategic noise mapping to facilitate noise monitoring and noise control in the workplaces.
Environmental protection is critical to maintain ecosystem services essential for human well-being. It is important to be able to rank countries by their environmental impact so that poor performers as well as policy 'models' can be identified. We provide novel metrics of country-specific environmental impact ranks - one proportional to total resource availability per country and an absolute (total) measure of impact - that explicitly avoid incorporating confounding human health or economic indicators. Our rankings are based on natural forest loss, habitat conversion, marine captures, fertilizer use, water pollution, carbon emissions and species threat, although many other variables were excluded due to a lack of country-specific data. Of 228 countries considered, 179 (proportional) and 171 (absolute) had sufficient data for correlations. The proportional index ranked Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, Philippines and Netherlands as having the highest proportional environmental impact, whereas Brazil, USA, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, Australia and Peru had the highest absolute impact (i.e., total resource use, emissions and species threatened). Proportional and absolute environmental impact ranks were correlated, with mainly Asian countries having both high proportional and absolute impact. Despite weak concordance among the drivers of environmental impact, countries often perform poorly for different reasons. We found no evidence to support the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis of a non-linear relationship between impact and per capita wealth, although there was a weak reduction in environmental impact as per capita wealth increases. Using structural equation models to account for cross-correlation, we found that increasing wealth was the most important driver of environmental impact. Our results show that the global community not only has to encourage better environmental performance in less-developed countries, especially those in Asia, there is also a requirement to focus on the development of environmentally friendly practices in wealthier countries.
This study investigates the impact of the aggregate and individual dimensions of environmental performance (EP) on financial performance (FP), based on a dataset covering the travel and tourism industry (airlines, casinos, hotels, and restaurants) across different economic regions over the period 2003-2014. The results reveal that EP positively affects the FP in the hotel industry when aggregate EP is used. When individual dimensions of EP are considered, resource reduction is found to positively (negatively) affect the performance in the hotel (airline) industry, while product innovation positively affects the performance in the restaurant industry. Hence, the trade-off effect seems to be dominant in the airline industry, and the 'heterogeneous resources and reputation-building' hypothesis is evident in both the hotel and restaurant industries. In addition, in general, the findings support the positive moderating effect of slack resources on the relationship between the individual dimensions of EP and FP in the travel and tourism industry, and, hence, are supportive of the slack resources hypothesis. These effects, however, vary depending on the travel and tourism industry under investigation.
Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common to deploy sensors in public buildings or homes with the aim of obtaining data from the environment and taking decisions that help to save energy. Many of the current state-of-the-art systems make decisions considering solely the environmental factors that cause the consumption of energy. These systems are successful at optimizing energy consumption; however, they do not adapt to the preferences of users and their comfort. Any system that is to be used by end-users should consider factors that affect their wellbeing. Thus, this article proposes an energy-saving system, which apart from considering the environmental conditions also adapts to the preferences of inhabitants. The architecture is based on a Multi-Agent System (MAS), its agents use Agreement Technologies (AT) to perform a negotiation process between the comfort preferences of the users and the degree of optimization that the system can achieve according to these preferences. A case study was conducted in an office building, showing that the proposed system achieved average energy savings of 17.15%.
In 2013, the Malaysian Education Blueprint (Higher Education) was developed by the Ministry of Education to guide the transformation process of the education system in this country for the next decade, starting from 2015 (1). The blueprint highlighted core aspirations for Malaysian higher education, which includes rapid expansion of research output and quality (1). This effort is in line with the nation's aspiration to uplift the standard of service provision among healthcare professionals, whose practice should advance on the essence of high quality scientific evidence.(Copied from article)
Oil palm biomass is widely known for its potential as a renewable resource for various value-added products due to its lignocellulosic content and availability. Oil palm biomass biorefinery is an industry that comes with sociopolitical benefits through job opportunities, as well as potential environmental benefits. Many studies have been conducted on the technological advancements of oil-palm biomass-derived renewable materials, which are discussed comprehensively in this review. Recent technological developments have made it possible to bring new and innovative technologies to commercialization, such as compost, biocharcoal, biocomposites, and bioplastics.
That water may not be an inert medium was indicated by the presence at water's interfaces a negatively charged solute free zone of several hundred microns in thickness called the exclusion zone (EZ). Further evidence was demonstrated by Ovchinnikova's experiments (2009) showing that water can store and release substantial amount of charge. We demonstrate that the charge storage capacity of water arises from highly stable large-scale ionic structures with measurable charge imbalances and discrete levels of charge density. We also show evidence that the charge zones formation requires ionic solutes, and their formation correlate to large change in conductivity, by as much as 250%. Our experiments indicate that large-scale structuring plays a pivotal role in electrolysis and conductivity in ionic solution. We propose that water is an electrochemically active medium and present a new model of electrolysis and conductivity in ionic solution.
Previous work has shown that exposure to images of nature results in elevated state body appreciation, but static images may lack ecological validity. Here, we examined the impact of exposure to short films of simulated, first-person walks in natural or built environments. Thirty-six university students completed a measure of state body appreciation before and after watching films of either a walk in a natural or a built environment created specifically for the present study. Two weeks later, they completed the same task but watched the other film type. Results indicated that exposure to the film of a natural environment resulted in significantly elevated state body appreciation (d = 0.66). There was no significant change in state body appreciation following exposure to the film of the built environment (d = 0.14). These findings suggest that exposure to films depicting the natural environment may promote immediate, moderate-sized improvements in state body image.
Science has been defined as 'a way of knowing' which is, in certain respects, unlike other ways of knowing. While some forms of knowledge are highly personal and intuitive, the methods of science are designed to be as objective and impersonal as possible. Science has been referred to as 'public knowledge' because of its procedures for verification involve the whole of society. Science is also 'organised knowledge' because it is systematic and because it is supported by a group of social institutions without which it could not exist in its modern form. For many decades, Fensham, an internationally recognised science educator, has been one of the most important and consistent voices for the reform of science education based on his vision of a democratic and socially responsible science education for all, based on the fundamental premise that if society is to understand the world it must be educated in the principles of science upon which a sustainable world is premised. Thus, science has a real place in society and a social responsibility. From a chemistry perspective, this enabling science is perceived by society as irrelevant to the real world and the cause of many of the evils of the world. This paper addresses the pivotal role of chemistry both in science education and in the social responsibility of science campaign and simultaneously shows how chemistry is at the leading edge of sustainable science in both a scientific and social context.
Sains telah ditakrifkan sebagai 'suatu cara mengetahui'. Dalam ertikata tertentu, takrif ini berlainan dengan cara-cara mengetahui hal-hal lain. Sesetengah bentuk pengetahuan sangatlah tersendiri dan intuitif, namun kaedah sains direkabentuk sedemikian sehingga sejauh mungkin ia berobjektif dan tidak tersendiri. Sains telah dirujukkan sebagai 'pengetahuan awam' kerana prosedur pensahihannya melibatkan seluruh masyarakat. Sains juga merupakan 'pengetahuan yang tersusun' kerana ini bersistem dan kerana ia disokong oleh kumpulan institusi sosial. Tanpa sokongan ini sains tidak boleh wujud dalam bentuk modemnya. Selama beberapa dekad yang lalu, Fensham, seorang ahli pendidikan sains yang diiktiraf antarabangsa, merupakan seorang penggiat yang penting dan konsisten dalam menyuarakan pendapat ke arah perubahan pendidikan sains berdasarkan visinya, iaitu pendidikan sains untuk semua secara demokratik dan bertanggungjawab kepada masyarakat, berlandaskan kepada premis asas bahawa jika masyarakat hendak memahami dunia, maka ia mestilah dididik dalam prinsip-prinsip sains dengan prinsip-prinsip itu sendiri dijadikan premos bagi sebuah dunia mampan. Dengan demikian, sains mempunyai tempatnya yang sebenar dalam masyarakat dan mempunyai tanggungjawab kemasyarakatan. Dari perspektif kimia, masyarakat bertanggapan bahawa sains tersebut tidaklah relevan dalam dunia nyata dan merupakan penyebab kepada banyak keburukan dalam dunia ini. Kertas ini mengupas peranan pengimbangan bidang kimia dalam pendidikan sains dan dalam tanggungjawab sosial kempen sains dan sekali gus menunjukkan bahawa kimia adalah teraju bagi sains mampan dalam kedua-dua konteks sainstifik dan sosial.
Time stepping algorithm with spatial parallelisation is commonly used to solve time dependent partial differential equations. Computation in each time step is carried out using all processors available before sequentially advancing to the next time step. In cases where few spatial components are involved and there are relatively many processors available for use, this will result in fine granularity and decreased scalability. Naturally one alternative is to parallelise the temporal domain. Several time parallelisation algorithms have been suggested for the past two decades. One of them is the pipelined iterations across time steps. In this pipelined time stepping method, communication however is extensive between time steps during the pipelining process. This causes a decrease in performance on distributed memory environment which often has high message latency. We present a modified pipelined time stepping algorithm based on delayed pipelining and reduced communication strategies to improve overall execution time on a distributed memory environment using MPI. Our goal is to reduce the inter-time step communications while providing adequate information for the next time step to converge. Numerical result confirms that the improved algorithm is faster than the original pipelined algorithm and sequential time stepping algorithm with spatial parallelisation alone. The improved algorithm is most beneficial for fine granularity time dependent problems with limited spatial parallelisation.
The development of economy is closely related with the inflation rate of the country. Generally the inflation can be measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPl). The aim of this paper is using overlapping measure and cumulative measure to measure the inflation. In overall, these two methods are adequate for measuring the inflation. As a result, monthly measure is useful because it believe can give a perfect measure (since its sample is large) and can get rid of or smaller the error. Besides that, the value of the weighted CPl and the unweighted CPl are almost same. As the result, the unweighted of CPl is used to measure the inflation. The result of this two methods are satisfactory.
[Perkembangan sesuatu ekonomi adalah berkait rapat dengan kadar inflasi dalam sesebuah negara. Secara amnya, inflasi dapat diukur dengan Indeks Harga Pengguna (IHP). Tujuan kertas kerja ini adalah mengukur inflasi dengan menggunakan kaedah data bertindih dan kaedah kumulatif. Pada keseluruhannya kedua-dua kaedah tersebut adalah sesuai digunakan sebagai pengukuran inflasi. Oleh hal yang demikian, pengukuran secara bulanan digunakan kerana dipercayai bahawa ia dapat memberi ukuran yang lebih tepat (saiz sampel yang besar) dan dapat mengelakkan atau mengecilkan ralat berlaku. Selain itu, penggunaan IHP berpemberat dan IHP tanpa pemberat didapati mempunyai nilai yang hampir sama. Oleh itu, nilai IHP tanpa pemberat digunakan dalam pengukuran inflasi. Keputusan yang didapati daripada kedua-dua kaedah tersebut adalah memuaskan]
A detailed sedimentological study and facies analysis of the Permian age, uppermost succession of the Kubang Pasu Formation in Perlis was conducted in order to reconstruct the palaeo-depositional environment. Four stratigraphic sections of the uppermost Kubang Pasu Formation were logged at Bukit Chondong and Bukit Tungku Lembu, Perlis. The sections were divided into facies based on lithology and sedimentary structures. Large scale patterns in the form of facies associations and facies successions were also identified. The uppermost Kubang Pasu Formation can be divided into several coarsening upward facies successions. Each facies succession grades upward from an offshore facies association (FA1) composed of bioturbated mudstone and minor thin sandstone, into a distal lower shoreface facies association (FA 2) composed primarily of mudstone interbedded with hummocky cross-stratified sandstone (HCS) and finally a proximal lower shoreface facies association (FA 3) composed of amalgamated hummocky cross-stratified sandstone beds. The facies succession is interpreted as representing a wave- and storm-influenced coastal depositional environment. The gradual transition from siliciclastics to carbonates is probably related to post rift thermal subsidence and tectonic quiescence due to separation of Sibumasu from Gondwana during the Permian.
This paper aims to explore the level of manufacturing performance, environmental
actions and customer activities in implementing green supply chain initiatives. Besides,
the relationship between environmental actions and customer activities towards
manufacturing performance also been investigated. For this purposes, the data was
collected using questionnaire-based survey among Malaysian manufacturing firms.
Using the descriptive and correlation test, the data was analyzed. From the results, it
is showing that the manufacturing performance through the implementation of green
supply chain management has a positive relationship to environmental action and
The main objective of this study is to examine the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis by utilizing the ecological footprint as an environment indicator and GDP from tourism as the economic indicator. To achieve this goal, an environmental degradation model is established during the period of 1988-2008 for 144 countries. The results from the time series generalized method of moments (GMM) and the system panel GMM revealed that the number of countries that have a negative relationship between the ecological footprint and its determinants (GDP growth from tourism, energy consumption, trade openness, and urbanization) is more existent in the upper middle- and high-income countries. Moreover, the EKC hypothesis is more present in the upper middle- and high-income countries than the other income countries. From the outcome of this research, a number of policy recommendations were provided for the investigated countries.
Great apes are threatened with extinction, but precise information about the distribution and size of most populations is currently lacking. We conducted orangutan nest counts in the Malaysian state of Sabah (North Borneo), using a combination of ground and helicopter surveys, and provided a way to estimate the current distribution and size of the populations living throughout the entire state. We show that the number of nests detected during aerial surveys is directly related to the estimated true animal density and that a helicopter is an efficient tool to provide robust estimates of orangutan numbers. Our results reveal that with a total estimated population size of about 11,000 individuals, Sabah is one of the main strongholds for orangutans in North Borneo. More than 60% of orangutans living in the state occur outside protected areas, in production forests that have been through several rounds of logging extraction and are still exploited for timber. The role of exploited forests clearly merits further investigation for orangutan conservation in Sabah.
Decision-makers require useful tools, such as indicators, to help them make environmentally sound decisions leading to effective management of hazardous wastes. Four hazardous waste indicators are being tested for such a purpose by several countries within the Sustainable Development Indicator Programme of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development. However, these indicators only address the 'down-stream' end-of-pipe industrial situation. More creative thinking is clearly needed to develop a wider range of indicators that not only reflects all aspects of industrial production that generates hazardous waste but considers socio-economic implications of the waste as well. Sets of useful and innovative indicators are proposed that could be applied to the emerging paradigm shift away from conventional end-of-pipe management actions and towards preventive strategies that are being increasingly adopted by industry often in association with local and national governments. A methodological and conceptual framework for the development of a core-set of hazardous waste indicators has been developed. Some of the indicator sets outlined quantify preventive waste management strategies (including indicators for cleaner production, hazardous waste reduction/minimization and life cycle analysis), whilst other sets address proactive strategies (including changes in production and consumption patterns, eco-efficiency, eco-intensity and resource productivity). Indicators for quantifying transport of hazardous wastes are also described. It was concluded that a number of the indicators proposed could now be usefully implemented as management tools using existing industrial and economic data. As cleaner production technologies and waste minimization approaches are more widely deployed, and industry integrates environmental concerns at all levels of decision-making, it is expected that the necessary data for construction of the remaining indicators will soon become available.
The diversity of beetle assemblages in different habitat types (primary forest, logged forest, acacia plantation and oil palm plantation) in Sabah, Malaysia was investigated using three different methods based on habitat levels (Winkler sampling, flight-interception-trapping and mist-blowing). The overall diversity was extremely high, with 1711 species recorded from only 8028 individuals and 81 families (115 family and subfamily groups). Different degrees of environmental changes had varying effects on the beetle species richness and abundance, with oil palm plantation assemblage being most severely affected, followed by acacia plantation and then logged forest. A few species became numerically dominant in the oil palm plantation. In terms of beetle species composition, the acacia fauna showed much similarity with the logged forest fauna, and the oil palm fauna was very different from the rest. The effects of environmental variables (number of plant species, sapling and tree densities, amount of leaf litter, ground cover, canopy cover, soil pH and compaction) on the beetle assemblage were also investigated. Leaf litter correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of subterranean beetles. Plant species richness, tree and sapling densities correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of understorey beetles while ground cover correlated only with the species richness and abundance of these beetles. Canopy cover correlated only with arboreal beetles. In trophic structure, predators represented more than 40% of the species and individuals. Environmental changes affected the trophic structure with proportionally more herbivores (abundance) but fewer predators (species richness and abundance) in the oil palm plantation. Biodiversity, conservation and practical aspects of pest management were also highlighted in this study.