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Zaeri N.,Open Box
Proceedings - 2016 UKSim-AMSS 18th International Conference on Computer Modelling and Simulation, UKSim 2016 | Year: 2016

Imaging in the visible spectrum demonstrates difficulties in recognizing the faces in conditions of varying illumination, especially under total darkness conditions. Further, the pose variations in such images add extra burden and heavy challenge on successful performance. As such, thermal face recognition has laid itself as a successful alternative solution and eventually has become an area of growing interest. In this paper, we present a new technique for thermal face recognition based on affine moment invariants (AMI) technique. AMI technique has become one of the most important shape descriptors. The technique will be implemented at the component level by dividing the face image into non-overlapped components. We anticipate that this approach will offer robustness against variability due to changes in localized regions of the faces. The new method will be tested on a new database comprising of images of different expressions with various severe poses, and were taken within different time-lapse. The experimental results have shown that the proposed technique offers high discriminability and performs efficiently, with Rank-1 successful rate of ∼95% over the different poses. © 2016 IEEE.

News Article | November 5, 2015

A new low price of the HTC One A9 (perhaps, the lowest price we've seen yet) has just cropped up over the Internet, particularly on eBay, at only $299. It wasn't too long ago, we reported about a new deal on the unlocked HTC One M9 which has emerged (which we thought the greatest price we've seen yet) for the smartphone. But, recently, this current-generation flagship device has gotten an even lower price tag. Since the product is tagged as an open box item, a possibility exists that the handset may have a few slight blemishes. Albeit it is an open box product, HTC says the item is still covered under the HTC warranty, providing customers an assurance that the smartphone they are purchasing is generally in good condition. “Under HTC warranty - Open Box item - Latest Model - Comes with USB cable and Charger - not all the features are compatible with all carriers," says the seller notes. "It may come with some very minor cosmetic imperfections such as scratches on the housing or screen.” It is worth noting that the M9 smartphones currently being sold were formerly AT&T devices. This suggests they will work best on AT&T. Additionally, it should work properly on LTE network and HSPA+ of T-Mobile, particularly in places that have been re-farmed to 1,900 MHz. Additionally, the AT&T logo which can be spotted on the back of the smartphone might be a minor problem. However, this slight problem can be worked out by covering it with a small sticker. In the meantime, the phone will be shipped anywhere in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, free of charge. Note, though, that sales tax will be charged in California. If consumers, however, are located in Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Costa Rica or New Zealand, they need to splurge extra money to have it shipped to their places. Just a quick reminder on M9's specs. This unlocked AT&T GSM smartphone comes packed with a 20 MP shooter with sapphire camera cover lens. It runs on Android OS, particularly Lollipop 5.0. It touts front-facing stereo speakers and is equipped with 32 GB of storage and 3 GB RAM. It is obtainable in gunmetal gray and rose gold. If interested, head over to eBay to view the listing.

Mateescu G.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Gentzsch W.,Open Box | Ribbens C.J.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Future Generation Computer Systems | Year: 2011

We introduce a hybrid High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure architecture that provides predictable execution of scientific applications, and scales from a single resource to multiple resources, with different ownership, policy, and geographic locations. We identify three paradigms in the evolution of HPC and high-throughput computing: owner-centric HPC (traditional), Grid computing, and Cloud computing. After analyzing the synergies among HPC, Grid and Cloud computing, we argue for an architecture that combines the benefits of these technologies. We call the building block of this architecture, Elastic Cluster. We describe the concept of Elastic Cluster and show how it can be used to achieve effective and predictable execution of HPC workloads. Then we discuss implementation aspects, and propose a new distributed information system design that combines features of distributed hash tables and relational databases. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Springvloet L.,Maastricht University | Lechner L.,Open Box | Oenema A.,Maastricht University
BMC Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: Despite decades of nutrition education, the prevalence of unhealthy dietary patterns is still high and inequalities in intake between high and low socioeconomic groups still exist. Therefore, it is important to innovate and improve existing nutrition education interventions. This paper describes the development, design and evaluation protocol of a web-based computer-tailored nutrition education intervention for adults targeting fruit, vegetable, high-energy snack and fat intake. This intervention innovates existing computer-tailored interventions by not only targeting motivational factors, but also volitional and self-regulation processes and environmental-level factors. Methods/design. The intervention development was guided by the Intervention Mapping protocol, ensuring a theory-informed and evidence-based intervention. Two versions of the intervention were developed: a basic version targeting knowledge, awareness, attitude, self-efficacy and volitional and self-regulation processes, and a plus version additionally addressing the home environment arrangement and the availability and price of healthy food products in supermarkets. Both versions consist of four modules: one for each dietary behavior, i.e. fruit, vegetables, high-energy snacks and fat. Based on the self-regulation phases, each module is divided into three sessions. In the first session, feedback on dietary behavior is provided to increase awareness, feedback on attitude and self-efficacy is provided and goals and action plans are stated. In the second session goal achievement is evaluated, reasons for failure are explored, coping plans are stated and goals can be adapted. In the third session, participants can again evaluate their behavioral change and tips for maintenance are provided. Both versions will be evaluated in a three-group randomized controlled trial with measurements at baseline, 1-month, 4-months and 9-months post-intervention, using online questionnaires. Both versions will be compared with a generic nutrition information control condition. The primary outcomes are fruit, vegetable, high-energy snack and fat intake. Discussion. The evaluation study will provide insight into the short- and long-term efficacy of both intervention versions in adults. Additionally, differences in the efficacy among high- and low-educated people will be examined. If these interventions are effective, two well-developed interventions will become available for the implementation and promotion of healthy dietary patterns among both high- and low-educated adults in the Netherlands. Trial registration. Dutch Trial Registry NTR3396. © 2014 Springvloet et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

De Vries H.,Maastricht University | Eggers S.M.,Maastricht University | Bolman C.,Open Box
BMC Public Health | Year: 2013

Background: Several studies have reemphasized the role of action planning. Yet, little attention has been paid to the role of plan enactment. This study assesses the determinants and the effects of action planning and plan enactment on smoking cessation. Methods. One thousand and five participants completed questionnaires at baseline and at follow-ups after one and six months. Factors queried were part of the I-Change model. Descriptive analyses were used to assess which plans were enacted the most. Multivariate linear regression analyses were used to assess whether the intention to quit smoking predicted action planning and plan enactment, and to assess which factors would predict quitting behavior. Subsequently, both multivariate and univariate regression analyses were used to assess which particular action plans would be most effective in predicting quitting behavior. Similar analyses were performed among a subsample of smokers prepared to quit within one month. Results: Smokers who intended to quit smoking within the next month had higher levels of action planning than those intending to quit within a year. Additional predictors of action planning were being older, being female, having relatively low levels of cigarette dependence, perceiving more positive and negative consequences of quitting, and having high self-efficacy toward quitting. Plan enactment was predicted by baseline intention to quit and levels of action planning. Regression analysis revealed that smoking cessation after six months was predicted by low levels of depression, having a non-smoking partner, the intention to quit within the next month, and plan enactment. Only 29% of the smokers who executed relatively few plans had quit smoking versus 59% of the smokers who executed many plans. The most effective preparatory plans for smoking cessation were removing all tobacco products from the house and choosing a specific date to quit. Conclusion: Making preparatory plans to quit smoking is important because it also predicts plan enactment, which is predictive of smoking cessation. Not all action plans were found to be predictive of smoking cessation. The effects of planning were not very much different between the total sample and smokers prepared to quit within one month. © 2013 de Vries et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Romijn H.A.,TU Eindhoven | Caniels M.C.J.,Open Box
Research Policy | Year: 2011

Biofuel production has recently attracted much attention. Some anticipate substantial social and environmental benefits, while at the same time expecting sound profitability for investors. Others are doubtful, envisaging large trade-offs between the pursuit of social, environmental and economic objectives, particularly in poor countries in the tropics. The paper explores these issues in Tanzania, which has been an African forerunner in the cultivation of a bio-oil shrub called Jatropha curcas L. We trace how isolated Jatropha biofuel experiments developed since early 2005 towards a sectoral production and innovation system, and we investigate to what extent that system has been capable of developing and maintaining sustainable practices and producing sustainable outcomes. The application of evolutionary innovation theory allows us to view the developments in the sector as a result of evolutionary variation and selection on the one hand, and revolutionary contestation between different coalitions of stakeholders on the other. Both these processes constitute significant engines of change. While variation and selection are driven predominantly by localised technical and agronomic learning, the conflict-driven dynamics are highly globalised and occur primarily as a result of reflexive learning about problematic sustainability impacts. The sector is found to have moved some way towards a full sectoral innovation and production system, but it is impossible to predict whether a viable sector with a strong "triple bottom line" orientation will ultimate emerge, since many issues surrounding the social, environmental and financial sustainability still remain unresolved, especially relating to local and global governance. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Caniels M.C.J.,Open Box | Bakens R.J.J.M.,Peelkesakker 13
International Journal of Project Management | Year: 2012

Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) should provide project managers with decision making support for planning, organizing and controlling projects. Most project managers are dissatisfied with the information produced by PMIS. Based on a survey among 101 project managers the interactions between six factors related to PMIS information quality and usage and their effect on decision making are examined in a multi project environment. Using structural equation modeling, new insights were gained in these complex relationships. Results indicate that the use of a project management information system is advantageous to project managers, while no adverse effects were observed due to project and information overload. PMIS information quality is positively related to quality of the decisions, satisfaction of project managers with PMIS and use of PMIS information. Simultaneous handling of multiple projects causes project managers to extend conclusions about the information quality for one project to all projects at hand. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Uit de Weerd D.R.,Open Box | Uit de Weerd D.R.,Netherlands Center for Biodiversity Naturalis | Gittenberger E.,Netherlands Center for Biodiversity Naturalis
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

Clausiliidae is one of the most speciose and best-studied families of land snails. The family contributes to land snail diversity on a global scale, with three main centres of diversity: (1) western Eurasia (six subfamilies recognized), (2) East Asia (two subfamilies recognized) and (3) the neotropics (one subfamily recognized i.e. Neniinae). Despite a wealth of shell-morphological and anatomical studies, a well-supported phylogeny is lacking for the family.To provide a phylogenetic framework and reevaluate morphological and biogeographic observations on the family, we compiled a dataset consisting of partial 28S rRNA, histone H3 and histone H4 nucleotide sequences covering all clausiliid subfamilies, and 23 out of 25 tribes. Our analyses (MrBayes, BEAST, PhyML) divide the family into seven highly supported clades, which were retrieved by at least two of the three markers used, and which are more or less geographically confined. Three of these clades coincide with subfamilies recognized in the current classification (Alopiinae, Garnieriinae, Laminiferinae). The monophyly of four of the remaining six hitherto accepted subfamilies is not supported, with the New World subfamily Neniinae divided across two clades. All shell-morphological characters used in classical clausiliid classification were homoplasious at the subfamily level, with the exception of the type of shell aperture formation. In contrast to previous interpretations, our results suggest that the so-called 'apostrophic' aperture found in the neotropical clausiliids, and in a European (Laminiferinae) and a SE Asian (Garnieriinae) subfamily, is in fact the plesiomorphic condition among extant Clausiliidae. The widespread and fragmented geographic distribution of this type of aperture may therefore be considered relictual. Based on an inferred Late Cretaceous or Early Cenozoic European origin of the clade of extant Clausiliidae, the ancestor(s) of the neotropical Clausiliidae must have colonized the New World after the Atlantic Ocean had opened. A taxonomic revision is proposed. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Tolba A.S.,Open Box
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2011

This paper introduces a novel hybrid approach for both defect detection and localization in homogeneous flat surface products. Real time defect detection in industrial products is a challenging problem. Fast production speeds and the variable nature of production defects complicate the process of automating the defect detection task. Speeding up the detection process is achieved in this paper by implementing a hybrid approach that is based on the statistical decision theory, multi-scale and multi-directional analysis and a neural network implementation of the optimal Bayesian classifier. The coefficient of variation is first used as a homogeneity measure for approximate defect localization. Second, features are extracted from the log Gabor filter bank response to accurately localize and detect the defect while reducing the complexity of Gabor based inspection approaches. A probabilistic neural network (PNN) is used for fast defect classification based on the maximum posterior probability of the Log-Gabor based statistical features. Experimental results show a major performance enhancement over existing defect detection approaches. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Koppelman H.,Open Box
Proceedings of the International Conference e-Learning 2013 | Year: 2013

This paper discusses three possible ways of applying podcasts in distance education: podcasts of recordings of virtual classes, podcasts produced for specific pedagogical aims, and podcasts produced by external organizations. Through a survey we gained insight in the (until now limited) experiences of our distant students with podcasts, and also in their preferences for future applications in education. Findings indicate that students prefer podcasts that can make them study as efficiently as possible, such as podcasts with explanations of hard topics, illustrations of subject matter and feedback on assignments. Recorded virtual classes and podcasts with elective subject matter are less popular. It is claimed in literature that podcasts in which students can see and hear their instructor can reduce feelings of isolation and increase feelings of connectedness. There are no indications that our students have a distinct preference for such podcasts.

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