17 May 2022

Special issue published: "Advances in Innovative Engineering Materials and Processes"

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology 64(3/4) 2022

  • Filling method of thin shell 3D printing material based on implicit surface
  • Analysis of rheological characteristics of cement mortar based on microstructure
  • Response surface method for optimisation of SLA processing parameters
  • Numerical simulation of material wear of an automotive brake device based on finite element simulation
  • Simulation study on compressive strength and elastic modulus of concrete under multiaxial stress
  • Effect of annealing process on microstructure and mechanical property of medium-manganese TRIP steel
  • The performance of self-compacting recycled concrete short column of steel tube for construction
  • Damage and crack detection of self-compacting concrete based on fuzzy analytic hierarchy process
  • Study of modified joint configuration in friction stir welding of dissimilar Al-Mg plates
  • The investigation of coated layers on the surface of ferritic stainless steel by using atmospheric plasma spray method
  • Degradation of swollen NR/EPDM filled with graphene nanoplatelets in different types of service oils for engine mounting

Analysing big data

We live in the information age, you might say. More than 2.5 quintillion bytes* of data are generated around the globe every day. Managing that data is impossible and yet we make use of huge chunks of it in many disparate and sometimes unimaginable ways. Extracting knowledge from repositories and databases, the big data, can lead to a better understanding of natural and non-natural phenomena in climate change, economics, medicine, and beyond.

Predictive analysis is key to making intelligent decisions based on such big data, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation. However, there are problems that must be addressed especially when such big data exists in the cloud.

Krishna Kumar Mohbey and Sunil Kumar of the Central University of Rajasthan in Ajmer, India, consider the impact of big data in this context. They point out that one of the biggest issues facing those who would work with big data is that while some of it may well be structured, much of it is only semi-structured, and vast amounts are entirely unstructured.

The storage, management, and analysis of all of this data is one of the greatest challenges facing computing today. While cloud computing provides many of the tools needed in a distributed way and to some extent has revolutionized information and communications technology (ICT), there remains a long road ahead before we can truly cope with big data fully.

However, distributed storage and massive parallel processing of big data in the cloud could provide the foundations on which the future of big data and predictive analysis might be built. The team reviews many of the current approaches that use historical data and machine learning to build predictions about the outcomes of future scenarios based on contemporary big data sources. The team points to where research might take us next in the realm of big data and warns of the possible dead-ends.

“The key aim is to transform the cloud into a scalable data analytics tool, rather than just a data storage and technology platform,” the team writes. They add that now is the time to develop appropriate standards and application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable users to easily migrate between solutions and so take advantage of the elasticity of cloud infrastructure.

Mohbey, K.K. and Kumar, S. (2022) ‘The impact of big data in predictive analytics towards technological development in cloud computing’, Int. J. Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.61–75.

*2.5 quintillion bytes is about 1 million terabytes. A general household computer might have a 1 terabyte hard drive these days, so that’s data maxing out the storage capacity of about 2,500,000 computers every day.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Earthquake and Impact Engineering

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Earthquake and Impact Engineering are now available here for free:
  • Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment of district headquarters of Kashmir Valley in Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Prediction accuracy of underground blast variables: decision tree and artificial neural network
  • The response of tall buildings to far-field earthquakes and the case of a 49-storey steel building
  • A new approach in simulation of soil-structure interaction problems including damper effects

16 May 2022

Research pick: Predicting population - "Application of machine learning algorithms for population forecasting"

Machine learning algorithms can be used to make accurate forecasts about changes in population, according to research published in the International Journal of Data Science. The work demonstrates that the best of the available algorithms trained on historical data works better than conventional demographic modeling based on periodic census data.

Fatih Veli Şahinarslan, Ahmet Tezcan Tekin, and Ferhan Çebi of the Department of Management Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, in Istanbul, Turkey, have compared the predictive power of various algorithms – extreme gradient boosting, CatBoost, linear regression, ridge regression, Holt-Winters, exponential, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and prophet prediction model. They trained the algorithms using 1595 different demographic indicators from 262 countries recorded between 1960 and 2017. Indicators include age and gender distribution, labour force, education, birthplace, birth and death rates, and migration statistics.

Their demonstration to predict the population of Turkey for the year 2017 proved the value of the algorithmic approach over traditional modeling. Understanding population dynamics and forecasting how a population might change in years to come is a critical part of policymaking and planning for healthcare, education, housing, transport, and infrastructure. Ten-year census cycles are useful, but they do not give a fine-grained account of a changing population, especially in the light of changes in life expectancy, migration, war, political upheaval, and pandemics, where the character of a population might change radically on a much shorter timescale.

The researchers suggest that machine learning algorithms, ensemble regression models in particular, can offer a “better estimate” of the future population of a country. They are able to do so because they can reduce the number of factors that otherwise make it difficult to make an estimate and also through analysis of any uncertainties in the demographic data.

“Machine learning algorithms on population estimation will make an essential contribution to…the planning of national needs and pave the way for more consistent social, economic, and environmental decisions,” the team concludes.

Şahinarslan, F.V., Tekin, A.T. and Çebi, F. (2021) ‘Application of machine learning algorithms for population forecasting’, Int. J. Data Science, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp.257–270.

13 May 2022

Research pick: Resurrecting restaurants after the pandemic - "Food and beverage industry in a pandemic context"

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on millions of people as well as the businesses on which many of us depend. A new study in the International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, looks at the impact lockdowns and other measures have had on the food and drinks industry, showing how many businesses in this sector have summarily failed because of the emergence of this lethal virus and its effects on society.

Leandro Pereira, Margarida Couto, Renato Lopes da Costa, Álvaro Dias, Rui Vinhas da Silva of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE) in Lisbon, and Rui Gonçalves of PIAGET Almada, in Almada, Portugal, have found that as the pandemic progressed, even as lockdown restrictions were lifted, customer fears and discomfort kept many people away from restaurants compounding the detrimental impact of the lockdown periods on the industry.

As one might have expected, early in the pandemic, restaurant trade halved, but many places shut down all but essential services in many parts of the world in an effort to halt the spread of the disease and reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths. At the time of writing this Research Pick, the World Health Organisation has alluded to the total number of “excess” deaths associated with COVID-19 as being around 15 million worldwide. It seems inescapable that people would be fearful of such a disease.

The team has found that in the wake of this, the biggest factors associated with fear and deterring individuals from using restaurants once more are that person’s highest level of education, their age, the exaggerated proximity of employees observed in such establishments, a lack of obvious cleaning processes, and the inability to observe the establishment’s kitchen and food preparation. Some of these factors such as their putative customers age and education cannot, of course, be altered by restaurant management, but other factors such improving hygiene procedures and making them visible, improving social distancing between employees and clientele within practical limits, and making food preparation visible could be addressed.

It remains to be seen whether people will start eating out as often as they did before the pandemic. If the industry changes in a way to encourage them to do so, then that might be the case. It could be that the new-normal means fewer people going to restaurants regardless. Life is all about change a new disruption might nudge us in a different direction. The industry can do nothing but be proactive in trying to encourage customers and respond in a timely way to new challenges that arise.

Pereira, L., Couto, M., da Costa, R.L., Dias, Á., Gonçalves, R. and da Silva, R.V. (2022) ‘Food and beverage industry in a pandemic context’, Int. J. Services, Economics and Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.152–181.

12 May 2022

Research pick: Sweet lime oils defeat pests - "Eco-friendly extraction of Mosambi (Citrus limetta) essential oil from waste fruit peels and its potential use as a larvicidal, insecticidal and antimicrobial agent"

Citrus peel and pulp is a growing waste problem in the food industry and in the home. However, there is potential to extract something useful from it. Work in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management describes a simple steam distillation method that uses a domestic pressure cooker to extract useful essential oils from the peel of sweet lime (mosambi, Citrus limetta).

Waste mosambi peel can be obtained in huge quantities from the many fruit juice shops around the state of Delhi and elsewhere and where people make juice in their homes. The research shows how these extracted essential oils have antifungal, larvicidal, insecticidal and antimicrobial activity and so could represent a useful source of inexpensive products for crop protection, domestic pest control and cleaning, and more.

Using waste streams from the food industry as a source of raw materials for other industries is on the rise. To be truly beneficial in terms of the environment, however, the extraction of useful materials from such waste has to approach carbon neutrality and be largely non-polluting itself. Chemists Tripti Kumari and Nandana Pal Chowdhury of the University of Delhi and Ritika Chauhan of Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Engineering in New Delhi, India, have used a relatively environment-friendly steam distillation followed by solvent extraction with hexane to access the essential oils from mosambi peel. “The reported method of extraction produces zero waste, is energy efficient and gives a good yield,” the team writes.

The team demonstrated antibacterial activity of the extracted essential oils against bacteria including Bacillus subtilis and Rhodococcus equi. The same oils also showed activity against strains of fungi, such as Aspergillus flavus and Alternaria carthami. The extracts also show lethal activity against mosquito and cockroach larvae. The researchers suggest that appropriately adapted to preclude the need for the organic solvent step, it might be possible to develop a domestic approach to making such essential oil products from citrus peel in the home. This would, they suggest, bring science home and provide an effective alternative to costly manufactured sprays and products.

Kumari, T., Chowdhury, N.P., Chauhan, R. and Tiwary, N.K. (2022) ‘Eco-friendly extraction of Mosambi (Citrus limetta) essential oil from waste fruit peels and its potential use as a larvicidal, insecticidal and antimicrobial agent’, Int. J. Environment and Waste Management, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp.360–375.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Machining and Machinability of Materials

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Machining and Machinability of Materials are now available here for free:
  • Study on characteristics of AlTiN and TiCN coating layers deposited on carbide cutting tools in hard turning of steel: experimental, simulation and optimisation
  • Machinability studies on Al7075-based hybrid composites reinforced with SiC, graphene and CNT
  • The problem of determining the ploughing forces
  • An application of fuzzy logic with grey relational technique in grinding process using nano Al2O3 grinding wheel on Ti-6Al-4V alloy
  • Optimal cutting state predictions in internal turning operation with nano-SiC/GFRE composite layered boring tools

Free open access article available: "Desperately seeking industrial digital strategy: a dynamic capability approach"

The following paper, "Desperately seeking industrial digital strategy: a dynamic capability approach" (International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management 12(4) 2021), is freely available for download as an open access article.

It can be downloaded via the full-text link available here.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Information and Decision Sciences

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Information and Decision Sciences are now available here for free:
  • SWARA approach for ranking of agricultural supply chain risks of Odisha in India
  • The application of strategic alignment in a fuzzy environment: a case study in banking
  • Unorganised entrepreneurship and employment generation in India
  • Performance evaluation in a two-stage network-DEA with intermediate products
  • Comparative study of MCDM methods under different levels of uncertainty
  • Integrating statistical correlation with discrete multi-criteria decision-making

11 May 2022

Free open access article available: "Study on university research performance based on systems theory: systematic literature review"

The following paper, "Study on university research performance based on systems theory: systematic literature review" (International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management 35(4) 2022), is freely available for download as an open access article.

It can be downloaded via the full-text link available here.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation are now available here for free:
  • Test and research on mechanical characteristics of geotechnical filling engineering based on inclined soft ground
  • Influence of Navier-slip conditions on natural convection flow through an inclined channel with inclined magnetic field, Soret and Hall current effects
  • Study on material structure evolution of steam turbine rotor under thermal cycling fatigue load
  • Design and implementation of DVR as fault current limiter in DFIG during grid faults
  • Extended geographic information monitoring of urban ecotone based on cell transmission model
  • Research on mathematical model of characteristic curve of surface perception by PVDF array based on Ferguson function
  • Fast and accurate dynamic synchrophasor estimator for protection applications

Free open access article available: "Smart services' quality scale"

The following paper, "Smart services' quality scale" (International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management 35(4) 2022), is freely available for download as an open access article.

It can be downloaded via the full-text link available here.

Research pick: Tackling workplace bullying - "Understanding workplace bullying: a conceptual review"

Workplace bullying has always been a problem but recognition of this problem and how we must stand up to it and try to eradicate it from the workplace culture has only come to the fore in recent years. A conceptual review in the International Journal of Management Practice looks at the issues, the terminology, and the definitions with the aim of helping researchers fill the many gaps in the literature in a consistent manner.

Rajnish Kumar Misra and Divya Sharma of the Jaypee Institute of Information Technology in Noida, India, explain that there is a need to differentiate between bullying and other forms of negative behaviour in the workplace, such as so-called “desk rage”. However, they also hope to identify the antecedents to workplace bullying and look in-depth at its consequences on companies and their staff. Fundamentally, the team’s review alludes to a need for research and discussion to be all-encompassing and to recognise the boundaries of the definitions that emerge from the review.

Harassment and incivility are deep-rooted in many areas of human activity. Bullying can take a physical form or play a psychological role, or it can be a combination of both. Either way, it can have detrimental and long-lasting effects on anyone who is a victim. In the workplace, as with many other realms, this can have serious and life-changing consequences for victims, as morale is compromised, job dissatisfaction arises, performance and commitment become less important to the employee, burnout and employee turnover increase. All to the detriment of the victims of the bullying but also to the employer.

The research literature that has been focused on the issue of workplace bullying is inconsistent and contradictory. This new analysis could provide future research with a consistent framework with which to work to ensure that those problems are clarified and the gaps in the research filled so that the problem of bullying can be understood better and guidance emerge for managers and company owners that allows them to implement new policies to address the problem more effectively.

Misra, R.K. and Sharma, D. (2022) ‘Understanding workplace bullying: a conceptual review’, Int. J. Management Practice, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp.346–363.

10 May 2022

Special issue published: "Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Computing System Development – Part 3"

International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation 13(1) 2022

  • A review on smart city - IoT and deep learning algorithms, challenges
  • Fixed frequency control with modified PSO-PIλDμ controller for power factor correction and fast regulation
  • Sensor based vehicle detection and classification - a systematic review
  • The impact of big data in predictive analytics towards technological development in cloud computing
  • Machine learning in SDN networks for secure industrial cyber physical systems: a case of detecting link flooding attack
  • Real-time voltage security assessment using adaptive fuzzified decision tree algorithm
  • Towards enhancing the health standards of elderly: role of ambient sensors and user perspective

Free open access article available: "Entrepreneurship bridging ethnic divides"

The following paper, "Entrepreneurship bridging ethnic divides" (International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 45(4) 2022), is freely available for download as an open access article.

It can be downloaded via the full-text link available here.

International Journal of Economics and Business Research is now an open access-only journal

We are pleased to announce that the International Journal of Economics and Business Research is now an Open Access-only journal. All accepted articles submitted from 10 May 2022 onwards will be Open Access, and will require an article processing charge of US $1500.

Research pick: Entrepreuneurship eases ethnic equation - "Entrepreneurship bridging ethnic divides"

Entrepreneurship in post-conflict regions can bridge ethnic divides. That is the primary conclusion of new research published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

Ana Kopren of the University of Graz in Austria and Hans Westlund of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, Sweden, have looked at how business activity has improved relationships in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and North Macedonia where conflict and division between ethnic groups have been serious issues for many years. It was, of course, 18th Century philosopher Immanuel Kant who perhaps first suggested that economic exchange and trade between countries is a significant contributor to peace between the nations. The team adds that business networks that connect different ethnic groups are very much a positive way forward and preclude to some degree a way of life that implies coexistence by means of segregation.

The team has surveyed some 130 entrepreneurs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and North Macedonia and found that, perhaps as one might expect, the driving force for those business people working with diverse ethnic networks is fundamentally to increase company profits. The side effect of this drive, however, is the strengthening of bonds between the various ethnic groups within those business networks.

The team writes that their research points to the idea that economic ties can facilitate cooperative patterns and rebuild the broken bonds and divisions between ethnic groups living in the same regions. “Entrepreneurs alleviate ethnic cleavages and improve relations between ethnic groups,” the researchers suggest. In parallel, the researchers add that an influx of refugees from war-torn areas has created new challenges that demand new ways in which to integrate those people into European society for mutual benefit.

“Social values originating from business relationships may be a foundation for reconciliation and collective action,” the team adds. “Repeated business interaction instigates an advantageous social outcome that breaks down prejudices and increases cooperative achievement,” they suggest.

Kopren, A. and Westlund, H. (2022) ‘Entrepreneurship bridging ethnic divides’, Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp.423–449.

9 May 2022

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Advanced Operations Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Advanced Operations Management are now available here for free:
  • Operability and maintainability obstacles: an exploratory factor analysis approach
  • An integrated grey-based multi-criteria optimisation approach for sustainable supplier selection and procurement-distribution planning
  • How management remains expanding its theoretical roots to evolve serenely
  • Digital collaboration within the supply chain: unlocking the hidden lean potential

Special issue published: "Revisiting Vehicle Dynamics and Control for Electrified and Autonomous Vehicles"

International Journal of Vehicle Design 87(1/2/3/4) 2021

  • Optimised robust path following control of autonomous vehicle with pole constraints
  • Four wheel independent steering system control of distributed electric vehicle based on heterogeneous multi-agent
  • Robust lateral and longitudinal stability control for delta three-wheeled vehicles with suspension system
  • Vehicle sideslip angle estimation: fusion of vehicle kinematics and dynamics
  • Cooperative collision warning system design at intersections based on trajectory prediction and conflict risk evaluation
  • A priori map-based automated valet parking with accurate adjustment ability for automatic charging
  • An adaptive second-order sliding mode for IWM electric vehicle lateral stability control based on super twist sliding mode observer
  • Trajectory planning, dynamics modelling and trajectory tracking method for off-road autonomous vehicles considering the road topography information
  • Automotive G vector control for comfort improvement and experimental verification
  • Rollover detection and prevention of a heavy-duty vehicle on banked and graded uneven road

Research pick: The gig inequality - "Heterogeneity in the US gig economy with a focus on gender"

The gig economy encompasses a wide range of paid tasks. It exists in the digital realm and in many offline activities. The common ground lies in the nature of the link between “employer” and contractor. Usually, gig workers are independent contractors carrying out a wide variety of mostly ad hoc or short-term jobs.

A new investigation into the nature of the gig economy in the USA shows that while entry into this kind of work is equitable between men and women in terms of motivation. Both men and women hoped to earn extra income and have the freedom to choose where they work. Commonly, however, women’s expectations for the actual level of remuneration was lower than that expected by men. This was borne out in reality, the research shows, where the rates for an equivalent job are indeed lower for women.

Robert A. Peterson of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, explains that the gig economy is a heterogeneous collection of firms and individuals engaged in a wide variety of jobs. In the USA, it represents a $1.4 trillion industry and almost 57 million workers, 40 percent of the US workforce, were involved in the gig economy in 2021. The pre-pandemic rate of growth was three times faster than the growth seen in conventional employer-employee workforces, he adds.

“The present study is perhaps the most broad-based investigation of gig workers to date,” writes Peterson, “regardless of whether they obtain or execute their gigs through an online platform or website, work only for a particular company, or engage in only a specific gig.”

Fundamentally, the notion of a gig economy is entirely familiar to a previous generation who would recognise it as nothing more sophisticated than the conventional signing of contractors to do requisite tasks within a firm without them being on the employee payroll. However, the various digital platforms – including Uber, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Upwork, DoorDash, and TaskRabbit – that have emerged in recent years have made access to contracting work much more readily available to a wider range of people. Other, traditionally non-digital, companies have also adopted digital platforms to recruit on-demand workers to carry out ad hoc tasks for them.

The relationship between gender and occupation and gender and remuneration has been researched and discussed widely across many disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, business, engineering, medicine, and even the physical sciences, adds Peterson. However, the vast majority of this research has focused on conventional employment and has not yet considered the gig economy and the existence of a putative gender gap that mirrors what has been seen repeatedly in the traditional workplace.

Peterson hopes to correct this and has undertaken a nationwide survey of more than 1000 gig workers who had taken on “gigs” in the previous year. They were contracted in the digital realm and in the offline world and those surveyed were not limited to conventional industry boundaries nor companies involved.

“Hopefully, the present research will provide insights and an initial foundation for, and stimulate, future research that seeks a theoretical understanding of a phenomenon that has major economic as well as social implications,” Peterson concludes.

Peterson, R.A. (2022) ‘Heterogeneity in the US gig economy with a focus on gender’, Int. J. Applied Decision Sciences, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp.365–384.

New Editor for International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing

Prof. Sheng-feng Qin from Northumbria University in the UK has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing.