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Engel D.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences | Eibl G.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid | Year: 2017

The availability of individual load curves per household in the smart grid end-user domain combined with nonintrusive load monitoring (NILM) to infer personal data from these load curves has led to privacy concerns. Based on insights of the interrelation of load profile resolution and accuracy of NILM techniques, we propose the use of the wavelet transform to represent load data in multiple resolutions. Each resolution is encrypted with a different key using an appropriate cipher and a hierarchical keying scheme. End-to-end security ensures access control. To meet requirements of low computational complexity in low-cost smart meters, the lifting implementation of the wavelet transform is used to generate multiple resolutions. It is shown that the multiresolution approach is compatible with other privacy-enhancing technologies, such as secure signal processing. This allows adding new degrees of freedom to these methods by introducing the dimension of multiple resolutions. The proposed approach is evaluated based on the provided level of privacy and security, computational demands, and feasibility in an economic sense. © 2010-2012 IEEE.


Vallaster C.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management | Year: 2017

A growing number of companies focus not just on generating economic value but on expanding their perspective, including social, human, and environmental aspects. Historically, companies mainly included corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their activities in economically promising times. But can CSR be applied in economically difficult times, too, as a potential strategic mechanism to recover from a company crisis? This study aims to advance understanding of strategic CSR and crisis recovery, and their possible relationship. The case study's findings suggest that strategic CSR can have a positive impact on crisis recovery and promote the revision of established practices required to manage a company crisis. The findings have relevance to companies seeking to innovate in the CSR space, to social entrepreneurs, and to researchers and practitioners interested in these topics. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.


Tondi G.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
Polymers | Year: 2017

In recent years, the interest for bio-sources is rising exponentially and tannins extracts are one of the most interesting, easily-available, phenolic building blocks. The condensed tannins or proanthocyanidins are already known for their polymerization chemistry, which is the basis for several natural-based materials (e.g., adhesives, foams). In the present work we aim to observe the behavior of the extract of Acacia Mimosa (Acacia mearnsii) when reacted with several possible co-monomers at different relative amount, pH and temperature conditions. The more insoluble copolymers obtained with formaldehyde, hexamine, glyoxal, maleic anhydride, furfural and furfuryl alcohol were analyzed through solid state 13C NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance) and FT-IR (Fourier Transform-Infrared) spectroscopy. The 13C NMR afforded the opportunity to detect: (i) aromatic substitutions and consequent poly-condensations for the majority of the hardeners studied; (ii) acylation for the maleic anhydride and also some; (iii) Diels-Alder arrangements for the furanic co-monomers; the FT-IR spectroscopy suggested that the formaldehyde and hexamine copolymers present a higher cross-linking degree. © 2017 by the author.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.2.1.6-1 | Award Amount: 8.85M | Year: 2011

The vital environmental and socio-economic role of European forests is well documented and acknowledged in policy documents of both the European Union and its member states. However, there are critical incoherencies within and between trans-national, national and local forest-related land use policies, the central issue being mismatches between the policies and their implementation at the landscape level. Hence, there is a need to improve existing policy and management approaches capable of delivering a better balance between multiple and conflicting demands for forest goods and services. Diminishing mismatches and providing a new policy and management approach that is sensitive to ecological, socioeconomic and political issues of are the main objectives of INTEGRAL. The objectives are achieved by following a research approach with 3 phases: diagnostic analysis of the status-quo (phase 1), participatory development and evaluation of scenarios (phase 2), and problem-solving oriented back-casting for policy development and evaluation (phase 3). The research design will be applied in a total of 20 landscapes in 10 European countries that differ in key characteristics, such as ownership, the importance of forestry and forest-based industries and the priorities of allocation and management of new and existing forest lands. The involvement of national and local stakeholder groups all the way through the project plays a decisive role in the project. The most important long term impact of INTEGRAL consists of the knowledge and competence base for integrating international, national and local levels in participatory decision and planning processes. This includes the development of manuals for how to conduct such processes, methods for utilizing quantitative decision support tools in the participatory process, and the establishment of a body of knowledge among those participating in the extensive case studies. Thus, the consistency of implemented forest policies can be enhanced.


Stutz T.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences | Stutz T.,University of Nantes | Uhl A.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences | Uhl A.,University of Salzburg | Uhl A.,Carinthia Technology Institute
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology | Year: 2012

Video encryption has been heavily researched in the recent years. This survey summarizes the latest research results on video encryption with a special focus on applicability and on the most widely-deployed video format H.264 including its scalable extension SVC. The survey intends to give researchers and practitioners an analytic and critical overview of the state-of-the-art of video encryption narrowed down to its joint application with the H.264 standard suite and associated protocols (packaging/streaming) and processes (transcoding/watermarking). © 2011 IEEE.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.4 | Award Amount: 3.68M | Year: 2010

Privacy and data protection are of concern to many stakeholders, including the data subjects (end-users), the data controllers (organisations) as well as legislative bodies, data protection agencies, consumer rights organisations and human rights advocates. End-users require assurances that their personal data is being fairly and correctly collected and managed for purposes for which they, ideally, have given explicit consent and is done so in a transparent manner. Organisations collecting personal data need to ensure that the data management practices employed are in compliance with legal requirements and not subject to misuse by its employees. These data protection requirements introduce an overhead (both financial and operational). For european SMEs, the need to ensure compliance can lead to a disproportionate cost when compared to core activities, inhibiting growth and opportunities in competitive global markets.What can help is an open source toolset which allows organisations to ensure that their personal data management policies are compliant with the appropriate legislation.ENDORSE will bring together a consortium of data protection legal experts, academic computer science partners, software implementors and interested industry players. The project will produce a privacy rule definition language which will be used to express the appropriate European directives together with national legislative implementations. The language and these legislative instances along with the toolset to create legally compliant privacy policies will be released as open source. A set of open source technology adapters will take these policies as input and produce access control specifications for deployment in the organisations infrastructure. Two industry players will perform trials using this toolset, a large multi-national insurance organisation and a start-up web based organisation providing voice and video communications services.


Egger R.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology | Year: 2013

Purpose: Near field communication (NFC) is currently perceived to be one of the most promising technologies for the future and will most likely become the standard in mobile devices in the years to come. Due to the novel nature of this technology, the assessment of its importance for the tourism industry is still relatively unclear. The author is one of the first to focus on NFC in tourism, with the aim of introducing NFC technology and drafting first responses to the following questions: what benefit can NFC technology have for tourism and what functionalities can it trigger? What are the possible future applications in tourism and what challenges will tourism be faced with in this respect? Design/methodology/approach: The potential of NFC for the tourism industry is outlined in an extensive literature research, as well as in the presentation and discussion of several pilot projects and case studies. Findings: The paper provides an overview of NFC functionalities and presents a first insight into the range of application for this technology in the tourism industry. The NFC ecosystem is examined and operative and strategic effects for companies, as well as the impacts for tourists, are analysed. Practical implications: NFC has a huge potential and offers a vast field of possible applications for the tourism industry. The technology must be seen, however, as an enabler that cannot solve problems from a supplier perspective, or increase convenience from a consumer perspective by itself. This paper helps to understand the complexity of NFC as a technology, the need for a common understanding and vision of its ecosystem, consistent business models which generate additional benefit, as well as the combination of market push-and-pull effects with regard to adoption and diffusion. Social implications: Modern society is virtually inconceivable without mobile devices and the consequent use of mobile services. The multitude of technologies incorporated in the tiniest space has turned mobile phones, and smart phones in particular, into the Swiss knives of our times. NFC could change the way we interact, share, exchange and retrieve information. Originality/value: Little research has so far been carried out on this topic and the author is one of the first to focus on NFC in tourism so far. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Eibl G.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences | Engel D.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid | Year: 2015

Through smart metering in the smart grid end-user domain, load profiles are measured per household. Personal data can be inferred from these load profiles by using nonintrusive appliance load monitoring methods, which has led to privacy concerns. Privacy is expected to increase with longer intervals between measurements of load curves. This paper studies the impact of data granularity on edge detection methods, which are the common first step in nonintrusive load monitoring algorithms. It is shown that when the time interval exceeds half the on-time of an appliance, the appliance use detection rate declines. Through a one-versus-rest classification modeling, the ability to detect an appliance's use is evaluated through F-scores. Representing these F-scores visually through a heatmap yields an easily understandable way of presenting potential privacy implications in smart metering to the end-user or other decision makers. © 2010-2012 IEEE.


Lampoltshammer T.J.,Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) | Year: 2014

The percentage of elderly people in European countries is increasing. Such conjuncture affects socio-economic structures and creates demands for resourceful solutions, such as Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), which is a possible methodology to foster health care for elderly people. In this context, sensor-based devices play a leading role in surveying, e.g., health conditions of elderly people, to alert care personnel in case of an incident. However, the adoption of such devices strongly depends on the comfort of wearing the devices. In most cases, the bottleneck is the battery lifetime, which impacts the effectiveness of the system. In this paper we propose an approach to reduce the energy consumption of sensors' by use of local sensors' intelligence. By increasing the intelligence of the sensor node, a substantial decrease in the necessary communication payload can be achieved. The results show a significant potential to preserve energy and decrease the actual size of the sensor device units.


News Article | October 4, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

More than a decade ago, Ralph Hollis invented the ballbot, an elegantly simple robot whose tall, thin body glides atop a sphere slightly smaller than a bowling ball. The latest version, called SIMbot, has an equally elegant motor with just one moving part: the ball. The only other active moving part of the robot is the body itself. The spherical induction motor (SIM) invented by Hollis, a research professor in Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, and Masaaki Kumagai, a professor of engineering at Tohoku Gakuin University in Tagajo, Japan, eliminates the mechanical drive systems that each used on previous ballbots. Because of this extreme mechanical simplicity, SIMbot requires less routine maintenance and is less likely to suffer mechanical failures. The new motor can move the ball in any direction using only electronic controls. These movements keep SIMbot's body balanced atop the ball. Early comparisons between SIMbot and a mechanically driven ballbot suggest the new robot is capable of similar speed—about 1.9 meters per second, or the equivalent of a very fast walk—but is not yet as efficient, said Greg Seyfarth, a former member of Hollis' lab who recently completed his master's degree in robotics. Induction motors are nothing new; they use magnetic fields to induce electric current in the motor's rotor, rather than through an electrical connection. What is new here is that the rotor is spherical and, thanks to some fancy math and advanced software, can move in any combination of three axes, giving it omnidirectional capability. In contrast to other attempts to build a SIM, the design by Hollis and Kumagai enables the ball to turn all the way around, not just move back and forth a few degrees. Though Hollis said it is too soon to compare the cost of the experimental motor with conventional motors, he said long-range trends favor the technologies at its heart. "This motor relies on a lot of electronics and software," he explained. "Electronics and software are getting cheaper. Mechanical systems are not getting cheaper, or at least not as fast as electronics and software are." SIMbot's mechanical simplicity is a significant advance for ballbots, a type of robot that Hollis maintains is ideally suited for working with people in human environments. Because the robot's body dynamically balances atop the motor's ball, a ballbot can be as tall as a person, but remain thin enough to move through doorways and in between furniture. This type of robot is inherently compliant, so people can simply push it out of the way when necessary. Ballbots also can perform tasks such as helping a person out of a chair, helping to carry parcels and physically guiding a person. Until now, moving the ball to maintain the robot's balance has relied on mechanical means. Hollis' ballbots, for instance, have used an "inverse mouse ball" method, in which four motors actuate rollers that press against the ball so that it can move in any direction across a floor, while a fifth motor controls the yaw motion of the robot itself. "But the belts that drive the rollers wear out and need to be replaced," said Michael Shomin, a Ph.D. student in robotics. "And when the belts are replaced, the system needs to be recalibrated." He said the new motor's solid-state system would eliminate that time-consuming process. The rotor of the spherical induction motor is a precisely machined hollow iron ball with a copper shell. Current is induced in the ball with six laminated steel stators, each with three-phase wire windings. The stators are positioned just next to the ball and are oriented slightly off vertical. The six stators generate travelling magnetic waves in the ball, causing the ball to move in the direction of the wave. The direction of the magnetic waves can be steered by altering the currents in the stators. Hollis and Kumagai jointly designed the motor. Ankit Bhatia, a Ph.D. student in robotics, and Olaf Sassnick, a visiting scientist from Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, adapted it for use in ballbots. Getting rid of the mechanical drive eliminates a lot of the friction of previous ballbot models, but virtually all friction could be eliminated by eventually installing an air bearing, Hollis said. The robot body would then be separated from the motor ball with a cushion of air, rather than passive rollers. "Even without optimizing the motor's performance, SIMbot has demonstrated impressive performance," Hollis said. "We expect SIMbot technology will make ballbots more accessible and more practical for wide adoption.

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