30 August 2013

Call for papers: "Applied Macroeconomics"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics.

This special issue will promote the examination of current issues in applied macro-economics, including open-economy, macroeconomics, and monetary economics with special interest in policy analyses and applications. Its objective is to stimulate and promote discussion of the econometric research in the above fields. The target groups are scholars from the international academic community, and research students using econometric methods for analysing issues of macroeconomics and monetary economics.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the International Conference on Applied Economics 2013, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Applied macroeconomics including open-economy macroeconomics
  • Monetary economics
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 January, 2014

Special issue: "Multimedia Data Processing Technologies and their Applications in Ubiquitous Environments"

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology 48(2) 2013
  • A comparative study of fuzzy evolutionary techniques for footprint recognition and performance improvement using wavelet-based fuzzy neural network
  • Vector quantisation-based neuro-wavelet model with cumulative distribution function for efficient image compression
  • An incremental construction method of a large-scale thesaurus using co-occurrence information
  • Effectiveness of an implementation method for retrieving similar strings by trie structures
  • Template matching algorithm for exudates detection from retinal fundus images
  • A multiple window-based co-location pattern mining approach for various types of spatial data
  • Content-based image retrieval using colour and shape features
  • Development of vision for IT engineers' required skills by analysis of ITSS applying text mining
  • Prediction of financial crises using statistic model and intelligent technologies in ubiquitous environments

Int. J. of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology to publish expanded papers from ICKCE'14

Expanded versions of papers presented at the First International Conference on Knowledge Collaboration in Engineering (24-25 January 2014, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India) will be published by the International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology.

Call for papers: "Applied Microeconomics"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics.

This special issue will promote examination of current issues in applied micro-economics including Industrial economics with special interest in policy analyses and applications. Its objective is to stimulate and promote discussion of the econometric research of the above fields. The target groups are scholars from the international academic community and research students using econometric methods to analyse issues of microeconomics and industrial organisation.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the International Conference on Applied Economics 2013, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Applied microeconomics
  • Industrial organisation
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 31 January, 2014

29 August 2013

Int. J. of Information and Communication Technology to publish expanded papers from ICICT-2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Innovation and Creativity in Information and Communication Technologies (13 October 2013, Bangkok, Thailand) will be published by the International Journal of Information and Communication Technology.

Call for papers: "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Mobile Commerce"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Business Environment.

With the rise in usage of mobile phones and the advent of modern, powerful and easy to use handheld devices, the current implications of mobile commerce (m-commerce) on society, businesses and the economy are tremendous. Mobile services and applications have attracted much academic and business interest due to the indisputable advantages of mobile and ubiquitous computing.

There is a significant need for future trends on m-commerce to be explored, for innovative practices in planning and building m-commerce solutions to be investigated, and for inspiration in how to be a successful entrepreneur in the mobile context to be developed. For example, exploring the economic effects of privacy-related mobile security issues, analysing the vulnerabilities of mobile payment systems and their economic impact, and examining how mobile devices are transforming consumer behaviour and expectations are certainly fields of great interest.

This special issue aims at highlighting the most innovative applications as well as the most significant entrepreneurial aspects of m-commerce. We are particularly interested in business/managerial aspects of m-commerce issues. However, submitted papers could make references to technology-related topics, keeping in mind the business orientation of the journal.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Economic issues of m-services/applications/technologies
  • Business issues of m-services/applications/technologies
  • Mobile payment systems
  • Mobile social networks
  • Mobile consumerware applications
  • Mobile security and privacy
  • Trust and loyalty in m-commerce
  • M-commerce strategy development
  • Enterprise m-commerce strategies
  • Mobile retail
  • M-commerce business models
  • Mobile purchasing behaviour
  • Development of mobile markets
  • M-commerce and regulatory issues
  • Best practices and case studies in m-commerce
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 28 May, 2014
First round of reviews: 15 August, 2014
Revisions due: 15 November, 2014
Second round reviews: 15 February, 2015
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 28 February, 2015
Final versions due from authors: 15 March, 2015

Inderscience is media partner for Alloys in Power Plant Technology

Inderscience is a media partner for Alloys in Power Plant Technology (26-27 November 2013, NH Berlin Mitte, Berlin, Germany).

The journal involved is the International Journal of Materials and Product Technology.

Call for papers: "Flipped Classrooms with Technology"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments.

A regular classroom is a physical space where students receive live instruction from the teacher. It has been a criticism for a long time that students in a regular teacher-dominated classroom often behave as passive information receivers rather than active knowledge constructors. After class, students often complete homework in the form of exercises to reiterate or reflect on what they have learned in the classroom.
Comparatively, the instructional process in a flipped classroom environment is different. The flipped classroom is a recently adopted pedagogical approach in which instructional lectures and homework activities are reversed. Students are required to watch pre-recorded video lectures at home before a class session while in-class activities focus on exercises, projects or discussions. By following the flipped classroom approach, it is expected that students become more active and responsible for their learning, and hence the learning outcomes are improved.
In recent years, the flipped classroom approach has attracted much attention from educators, and an increasing number of teachers are eager to explore this approach in an attempt to motivate students, improve the learning process and promote students’ learning outcomes. However, there are many challenges associated with this approach. For instance, teachers often have to spend much time preparing instructional videos before class, and must also be competent with the new role of being facilitators. In addition, students must be able to access the videos conveniently without technical difficulties.
A limited number of empirical studies in this area have been published in international journals. This special issue aims to collect and publish exemplary case studies and empirical research studies on using the flipped classroom approach to improve learning processes and outcomes. Research articles and conceptual papers related to using flipped classrooms to improve teaching and learning and creating technology-supported flipped classroom environments are welcome.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Learning theories or models about flipped classrooms
  • Learning motivation
  • Literature reviews on flipped classrooms
  • Design principles for flipped classrooms
  • Instructional design for flipped classrooms
  • Practical experiences of using flipped classrooms to improve learning
  • Case studies of technology-supported flipped classrooms
  • Implementation issues and/or concerns with flipped classrooms
  • Technology support for flipped classroom design and implementation
  • Effective use of technology in flipped classrooms
  • Video design in flipped classrooms
  • Design considerations for flipped classroom learning environments
  • Challenges of implementing flipped classrooms
  • Using social media to support flipped classrooms
  • Effectiveness of flipped classrooms
  • Promoting 21st century competencies using the flipped classroom approach
  • Teachers' professional development for the design of flipped classrooms
  • Students' and teachers' perceptions of flipped classrooms
  • Students' and teachers' roles in flipped classrooms
  • Flipped classrooms and self-directed learning
  • Flipped classrooms and collaborative learning
Important Dates
Full paper submission: 31 December, 2013
Notification of acceptance: 15 February, 2014
Final submission: 31 March, 2014

28 August 2013

Call for papers: "The Impact of Environment on Firms’ Business Relationships"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Business Environment.

The world’s market economies are expanding both in terms of volume and speed of transactions. Still, as firms’ actions become more and more interdependent, the market becomes increasingly confined for them. Regardless of the type of product – whether directed to consumers or industry or in the form of goods or services – production, consumption and competition interrelate firms to a growing extent. This development has inspired research on how firms handle their local and international environments. While earlier marketing studies commonly regarded the environment in a broad sense often inspired by economic theory, this special issue has the ambition to attract research that analyses the empirical world of the environment by employing behaviour theory.

Against this background, the overall aim of this issue is to disclose the environment by giving identity to those within it both affecting and being affected by a firm. The common theme for the issue is to achieve this by employing theoretical views borrowed from relationship and network theory. Recent significant research employing business relationship views has contributed rich marketing knowledge to the theoretical and managerial worlds of business. This growing research trend in marketing constitutes the driving force for the initiation of this special issue.

Widening the research trend in marketing, the specific consideration of this issue is on how the environment impacts firms’ relationships. Reflecting on earlier research efforts, the contributions in this issue will aim at unlocking the environment from a certain theoretical perspective. This business network perspective conceives the environment through the embeddedness of firms and the connectedness of their relationships in their surrounding networks. From this perspective, how firms act and how they are interdependent with specific others in the ‘environment’ becomes the concern for research.

Still, is there a need for this special issue? Every study has the challenge of delivering something new to researchers and/or practitioners. There are a number of concerns here that differ from those of other studies relating to business networks and which make studies relevant for the aim of this special issue. To gain a specific position, the employment of the business networks to explore firms’ behaviour is specifically directed to a) different product types, b) their external interactions with market actors and finally c) different types of industrial, service or consumers markets. Thereby the mission of this special issue is to provide an outlet for contributions focusing on a) the elaboration of new theoretical thoughts and also on b) the inclusion of different types of products and markets.

Empirical and conceptual studies exploring the themes described above are welcome. Focusing on firms’ behaviour, we are particularly interested in studies covering the interconnected themes of business networks and different markets highlighting the impact of the environment.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • How are firms' business relationships connected to others in their environment?
  • How do firms manage different types of connections in the environment?
  • How do different business strategies in different time periods of stability and crises of the environment affect management and vulnerability?
  • To what extent are firms' relationships embedded in their environmental context?
  • How is firms' embeddedness managed in industrial or service activities?
  • How do connections or embeddedness differ for firms acting in specific markets and environments?
  • To what extent and how do firms can manage their connections?
Important Dates
Manuscript submission: 15 March, 2014
Results of review process: 31 December, 2014
Submission of final manuscripts: 31 January, 2015

Special issue: "Information Network Design"

International Journal of Space-Based and Situated Computing 3(2) 2013
  • A large-scale network diagnosis system based on user-cooperative active measurements
  • Method for finding protected links to keep small diameter against failures
  • Relational approaches to resource-aware multi-maxmin fairness in multi-valued resource sharing tasks
  • Learning-based p-persistent CSMA for secondary users of cognitive radio networks
  • Structured design concept for cross-layered protocols; applying to near field communication (NFC)

First issue: Asian Journal of Management Science and Applications (free sample issue available)

The Asian Journal of Management Science and Applications addresses the broad area of management science and its applications in industry and business. It is particularly receptive to research relevant to the practice of management within the Asian region and its effects beyond. It covers studies on how management work is done (descriptive) and/or should be done (normative) in diverse organisational forms. These include for-profit/non-profit firms, private/public sector institutions and formal/informal social networks. It uses tools from fields such as OR/MS, mathematics, statistics, industrial engineering, psychology and sociology.

There is a free download of the papers from this first issue.

Call for papers: "Securities and Derivatives Use in Financial Markets"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Financial Services Management.

Innovation has always been an integral part of financial markets. Today, even after the devastating effects of the Great Recession, innovation continues to be an important factor in achieving a competitive edge in financial markets. Some might argue that due to the Great Recession and global economic slowdown, financial services innovation is the only way to increase profitability because the old tools used in financial services management have been compromised. Securitisation and mortgage backed securities have been blamed for the real estate meltdown and we need to seek new ways to innovate and control risk.

The goal of this special issue is to study and evaluate the use of existing securities and derivatives in financial services management and to propose new tools and techniques to control risk in this area. The issue welcomes empirical papers, event studies, extensions of past studies and case studies in the general area of securities and derivatives use in financial markets.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Research that examines volatility in financial markets
  • Research that examines market microstructure in financial markets
  • Research that examines indexing in financial markets
  • Research that examines behavioral aspects of financial markets
  • Research that examines international financial market issues 
Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: October 15, 2013
Notification to authors: December 15, 2013

27 August 2013

Special issue: "Practical Mechatronic Systems and Related Technologies"

International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems 5(2) 2013

Includes expanded versions of papers presented at the 2012 International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems (ICAMechS 2012).
  • Evaluation of a trimmer-type mowing robot
  • Development of sliding type inspection robot using flexible pneumatic cylinder
  • 3D quasi-passive walking of bipedal robot with flat feet: quasi-passive walker driven by antagonistic pneumatic artificial muscle
  • Output characteristics of multi-axis vibration power generation device for automobiles
  • Velocity and acceleration estimation by iterative learning observer and performance validation with MEMS-based inertial sensors
  • Application of signal processing technique for the modification of a fruit sorting machine
Regular Papers
  • Sliding mode control of flexible link manipulator using states and disturbance estimation
  • Neural networks-based adaptive robust controllers and its applications to water pollution control systems
  • An experimental study on PID tuning methods for active magnetic bearing systems

Call for papers: "The Future of Islamic Banking"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Financial Services Management.

The unprecedented growth of Islamic banking in recent times, not only in Arabic or Islamic countries but also in non-Islamic countries, has given the industry a new level of popularity. Moreover, the recent worldwide financial meltdown triggered by the US subprime mortgage crisis has brought the supremacy of traditional interest-based banking system into question. As a result, scholars are increasingly tending to assess if the profit and loss sharing-based Islamic banking can be a sustainable competitor of, if not a direct alternative to, the traditional banking system.
The aim of this special issue therefore, is to provide a platform for researchers, industry practitioners, academics to bring diverse and counterfactual opinions towards enhancing a broader understanding about Islamic banking practice and its universal viability. To fulfill this objective, we welcome both theoretical and empirical papers contributing to an enhanced understanding of Islamic banking practices in the broader context.
Target topics relevant to this special issue of IJFSM include, but are not limited to
  • Key Shari'ah principles required in Islamic banking
  • Similarities and differences between Islamic and conventional banking in terms of their products, and services
  • Expansion strategy of Islamic banking worldwide
  • Risk taking behaviour and risk mitigating strategies of Islamic banks
  • Financial engineering and Islamic banking
  • Corporate governance issue in Islamic banks
  • Critical constraints in profit and loss sharing practices
  • The concept of green banking in Islamic banks
  • Determinants of efficiency or profitability of Islamic banks
  • Implementation of the Basel Accord on Islamic banking
Important Dates
Submission deadline: 15 November, 2013
Decision of accepted papers: 30 November, 2013
Reviews returned of accepted papers: 31 January, 2014
Resubmission of papers: 28 February, 2014
Final decision: 20 March, 2014

New Editor for the International Journal of Management Development

Professor Muhammed Kabir, from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Management Development. Professor Kabir was previously an Associate Editor of the journal.

Special issue: "Collaborative Decision Making"

International Journal of Information and Decision Sciences 5(3) 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the EWG-DSS London-2011 Workshop.
  • A case study on the representation of cognitive decision-making within business process
  • Post-production assistant: creative film making meets semantic web
  • Multi-event decision making over multivariate time series
  • Cloud computing and DSS: the case of spatial DSS
  • From knowledge sharing to collaborative decision making
  • Rural-urban migration decision making processes: a whole and personal support network analysis

26 August 2013

Call for papers: "Forensic Investigation of Highway and Airfield Pavements"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Forensic Engineering.

The quality and performance of highway and airfield pavements are vitally important for safe and efficient movement of people and goods. To ensure the risk of premature deterioration of pavements is minimised, forensic engineering has been applied to the examination of pavement failures. This special issue aims at providing an update to the state-of-the-art on forensic investigations of highway and airfield pavements. Original research and review articles are solicited in all aspects dealing with investigation of pavement materials, design, construction, analysis, performance, rehabilitation and management.

Topics of primary interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Asphalt binder and mixture characterisation, asphalt mix-design and HMA testing
  • Moisture damage in asphaltic concrete materials
  • Warm mix asphalt
  • Reclaimed asphalt pavement
  • Characterisation, modelling and field performance of concrete pavement
  • Chemical, mechanical and bio stabilisation for pavement base and subgrade
  • Airfield pavement analysis, performance and rehabilitation
  • Non-destructive tests of pavement
  • Accelerated testing of pavement materials and structures
  • Pavement design, modelling, performance and management 
Important Dates
Deadline for submission: 5 May, 2014
Review results: 5 July, 2014
Deadline for revision: 5 September, 2014
Notification of final decision: 5 October, 2014

Special issue: "Advances in Bioinspired Computing"

International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications 5(3) 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the Fifth International Conference on Bioinspired Optimisation Methods and their Applications (BIOMA 2012).
  • Focusing the search: a progressively shrinking memetic computing framework
  • Solving dynamic optimisation problems with revolutionary algorithms
  • Solving variational and Cauchy problems with self-configuring genetic programming algorithm
  • GAME: GPU accelerated multipurpose evolutionary algorithm library
  • NMPC and genetic algorithm-based approach for trajectory tracking and collision avoidance of UAVs
  • Steganography content detection by means of feedforward neural network
  • Scalar vs. vector approach to bi-objective resource allocation in spatially distributed networks

Call for papers: "Rechargeable Vehicles and Electric Grid"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Powertrains.

Rechargeable vehicles, known as electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), will place significant impacts on electric grid either with load leverage, online storage and peak shaving capabilities or by being considered as potential assets to sell demand response services by either delivering electricity into the grid or by throttling charging rate. Rechargeable vehicles can backup home owners with battery storage during power outages. High capacity vehicle batteries also provide a large buffer for renewable grid resources. At the same time, rechargeable vehicles bring risks to electric grid in terms of stability control, generation capacity, recharging losses and battery degradations.

This special issue is aimed at disseminating the results of research on the applications of rechargeable vehicles in electric grid that relates to vehicle-to-grid (V2G), grid operation, operation standards and policies.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Vehicle-to-grid applications
  • Vehicle-to-home applications
  • Impacts of rechargeable vehicles on grid stability
  • Impacts of rechargeable vehicles on economical operation of grid system
  • Integration of rechargeable vehicles with renewable energy sources
  • Recharge optimisation
  • Development of smart grid
Important Dates
Manuscript submission deadline: 31 December, 2013
Completion of first review: 28 February, 2014
Submission of revised paper: 31 March, 2014
Completion of final review: 30 April, 2014
Final manuscript submission: 30 June, 2014

Special issue: "Dealing with the Crisis in Europe: Initiatives to Get the Growth Path Back"

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies 1(3) 2013
  • Rising intergovernmental European Union: old wine in new bottles?
  • The framing of the euro crisis and the contribution of the German policy paradigm
  • Thinking of alternatives for health systems: from the expenses increase to the gain in efficiency
  • Internationalisation, crisis and sustainability: opportunities to reinforce corporate social responsibility strategies
  • The crisis and the ordinary citizen: the role of the people in EU democracies torn by the financial crisis

25 August 2013

Canine remote control

Man’s best friend can get a bit tiresome, all that rolling over, shaking paws, long walks and eating every crumb of food off the floor. But, what if there were a way to command your dog with a remote control, or even via your smart phone?

Jeff Miller and David Bevly of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, have devised just such a system and describe details in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control. The device based on a control suite with a microprocessor, wireless radio, GPS receiver, and an attitude and heading reference system provides autonomous guidance of the canine using an embedded command module with vibration and tone generation capabilities. Tests in a structure and non-structured environment show obedience accuracy up to almost 98%. It sounds like a boon for the lazy dog owner.


Of course, there is a serious side to the development of such a technology that allows dogs to be given commands remotely and for them to respond consistently. Dogs remain, for instance, the most accurate and sensitive mobile detection system for hidden explosives, people trapped after earthquakes and other disasters and in sniffing out drugs. However, the dog handler in such environments may not be able to safely access the place the dog can reach. Moreover, in a noisy environment or where the dog’s hearing is compromised giving the necessary commands might also be impossible.

The team has demonstrated that a search & rescue or other working dog can be trained to respond “virtually flawlessly” to remote control tones and vibrations as if they were immediate commands from a human handler. “The ability to autonomously control a canine has far reaching,” the team says. They also point out a similar system might be extended to a variety of applications allowing emergency responders to be guided remotely in hazardous situations such as a collapsing or burning building or for a haptic feedback GPS system to assist navigation by the visually impaired.

Of course, from this dog-owner’s perspective, I can picture the scene: village pub, lazy Sunday afternoon, pint of beer in one hand, canine remote control in the other…

Research Blogging IconMiller J. & Bevly D.M. (2013). A system for autonomous canine guidance, International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, 20 (1) 33. DOI: 10.1504/IJMIC.2013.055911

Canine remote control is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/canine-remote-control.html

24 August 2013

De-anonymizing suspicious emails

In a world of digital communication, forensic handwriting analysis for criminal investigation is almost a lost and virtually unnecessary art. However, new tools that can analyze the writing style of a purportedly anonymous email or other electronic missive could be coupled with other digital evidence such as device used to create the communication, internet address (IP) etc to pin down a suspect to a particular note in fraud, terrorism, cyber bullying or other crime.

Emad Abdallah of Hashemite University, in Zarqa, Jordan, and colleagues have developed an algorithm that can rapidly min anonymous email content and find incriminating similarities between a cyber threat, blackmailing email or other malicious missive and earlier emails from known suspects. The team has tested their algorithm extensively and finds that it can identify individual authors from a very limited number of features given a large enough stock of earlier emails. The new approach side-steps the rather stifling prerequisite that messages in the database from each suspect must be several thousand words long as was the case with earlier de-anonymizing algorithms. The technology could be applied equally to identifying the source of spam, malware, or fraudulent messages and other problematic communications.

The algorithm focuses on a small number of features of the writing style: vocabulary used (spelling errors), grammatical style and errors, specific identifying content, structural characteristics and idiosyncrasies. The algorithm can home in on whether the author uses the first or third person, whether they adhere to polite or neutral standards of etiquette, whether the context is positive or negative and how emotions play out in the communication. It is also possible to combine this assessment with more conventional checks of writing level, such as the Flesch, Dale-Chall, Gunning fog formulas etc.

The algorithm is “trained” to recognize the authors of known emails with a large data set of their messages and then tested against an anonymous message. The team demonstrated an accuracy of 80-90% for four “suspects” in mock investigations even when the number of possible senders is as large as fifty. Even with just five training emails for one suspect, accuracy was just as encouraging. This level of accuracy coupled with other circumstantial as well as digital and physical evidence might be sufficient for a successful prosecution where its absence might lead to a failed case.

“The results clearly showed the ability of identifying the authors with very limited number of features,” the team reports. They are now planning to analyze the relationship between the numbers of features used in the extraction process, optimal two word phrases, and modifying the learning engine to further improve the classification performance in the context of email forensics.

Research Blogging IconAbdallah E.E., Abdallah A.E., Bsoul M., Otoom A.F. & Daoud E.A. (2013). Simplified features for email authorship identification, International Journal of Security and Networks, 8 (2) 72. DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2013.055941

De-anonymizing suspicious emails is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/de-anonymizing-suspicious-emails.html

23 August 2013

Africa’s agricultural revolution from city to field

Across the globe, universities play a significant role in a nation’s socio-economic development. They contribute to the advancement and dissemination of new knowledge. Umezuruike Linus of the Opara Faculty of AgriSciences, at Stellenbosch University, in South Africa, suggests that African universities must take up the mantle of reflective, critical and evidence-based analysis to allow a sustainable industrial agriculture to emerge in Africa.

Currently, African agriculture has the lowest yield and productivity in the world, says Opara in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation. He adds that Africa as a whole has very poor food security and this coupled with the highest rate of youth unemployment suggests a significant problem with a solution waiting to be tapped. “Transforming smallholder agriculture into industrial agribusinesses is essential in reversing this trend,” Opara says. “To achieve these goals, curriculum reform and knowledge intensification, characterised by entrepreneurship, are needed to harness the economic potentials of existing and emerging innovative technologies for yield and productivity growth.”

Africa could have a modern agricultural revolution but it must make agriculture an attractive proposition for the educated youth of Africa looking to exploit their burgeoning entrepreneurial skills not in the “city”, but in deriving profits from investment in the “field”. Fundamentally, rather than the individual toiling away with their bare hands on near-barren land, a transformed African agriculture will allow the new generation of entrepreneurial farmers to compete and access local, regional, continental and even global markets. “A new and better Africa that is free from poverty, food insecurity and human indignity, and that contributes to global peace and security is achievable in our life time. The African university of the 21st century has an important role to play in transforming the predominantly subsistent and smallholder agriculture into profitable agribusinesses for inclusive economic growth,” concludes Opara.

Research Blogging IconOpara U.L. (2013). Perspective: The role of universities in transforming African agriculture for economic development – producing knowledge farmers and entrepreneurial leaders, International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation, 3 (2) 207. DOI: 10.1504/IJPTI.2013.055853

Africa’s agricultural revolution from city to field is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/africas-agricultural-revolution-from-city-to-field.html

21 August 2013

What is your risk of having a heart attack?

Researchers in India have carried out a data mining exercise to determine which are the most important risk factors in increasing the chances of an individual suffering a heart attack. Writing in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, they confirm that the usual suspects high blood cholesterol, intake of alcohol and passive smoking play the most crucial role in “severe”, “moderate” and “mild” cardiac risks, respectively.

Subhagata Chattopadhyay of the Camellia Institute of Engineering in Kolkata adds that being male aged between 48 and 60 years are exposed to severe and moderate risk by virtue of their age and gender respectively, whereas women over 50 years old are effected by mild risk in the absence of the other factors.

Medical prognosis is a highly subjective art as is determining risk for particular health events, such as heart attack. After all, clinical history, symptoms and signs rarely follow a linear path and their interpretation at the individual level by doctor does not usually conform to the rules of epidemiology – personal intuition, emotions, logic and experience all conspire to confound the conclusion drawn for each patient at a given time under a particular set of circumstances.

The use of computational data mining techniques that allow researchers to extract interesting and meaningful information from real-life clinical data could remove at least some aspect of the subjectivity of clinical prognosis and allow the epidemiology to work at the patient level more precisely. There have been data mining approaches tried before. However, they often have inherent problems in that the classification of the data for information retrieval is based on decision making learnt from examples set by doctors and so they incorporate the very subjectivity that Chattopadhyay hopes to avoid with his approach.

He has used 300 real-world sample patient cases with various levels of cardiac risk – mild, moderate and severe and mined the data based on twelve known predisposing factors: age, gender, alcohol abuse, cholesterol level, smoking (active and passive), physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes, family history, and prior cardiac event. He then built a risk model that revealed specific risk factors associated with heart attack risk.

“The essence of this work essentially lies in the introduction of clustering techniques instead of purely statistical modeling, where the latter has its own limitations in ‘data-model fitting’ compared to the former that is more flexible,” Chattopadhyay explains. “The reliability of the data used, should be checked, and this has been done in this work to increase its authenticity. I reviewed several papers on epidemiological research, where I’m yet to see these methodologies, used.”

Research Blogging IconChattopadhyay S. (2013). Mining the risk of heart attack: a comprehensive study, International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, 11 (4) 394. DOI: 10.1504/IJBET.2013.055674

What is your risk of having a heart attack? is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/what-is-your-risk-of-having-a-heart-attack.html

Community cloud computing

Cloud computing is, says Salvatore Distefano of the Polytechnic of Milan and the University of Messina, Italy, and colleagues “a service-centric, distributed computing paradigm in which all capabilities and resources (usually geographically distributed) are provided to users as a service, to be accessed through the Internet without any specfic knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the underlying technology infrastructure that supports them.” Moreover, it is an attractive emerging technology for wide area applications that usually require huge amount of computational, storage and sensing resources.

Cloud computing embraces everything from online file storage sites like Wuala, DropBox and Copy to amazon hosting services and web-based email and other applications and much more. In a recent issue of the International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, the researchers explain how the volunteer paradigm, where companies, communities and users offer their contributions to a project or share their own services represents particular challenges to cloud computing.

The researchers and their collaborators have developed a framework – Cloud@Home – this infrastructure offers a “user-centric interface that acts as a unique, user friendly, point of access for users needs and requirements”. They have now proposed a technique for managing resources in volunteer clouds using a hierarchical reference to the Cloud@Home framework. They explain that by ordering the resources into a hierarchical cluster and implementing autonomic, distributed and self-adapting algorithms, the infrastructure can be managed – without a central manager – and so cope with the endless and inevitable shifts in resource availability so that users and resources can integrate functionality even when they are added asynchronously.

“The Cloud@Home resource management system detailed in our paper adopts and specifies autonomic and self-adapting algorithms that allow to built-up a Cloud@Home hierarchical-cluster infrastructure without any centralised management or control,” the team explains. The researchers add that in this approach, a node autonomously identifies its position in the cloud hierarchy by communicating with other nodes and also reacts to changes in the infrastructure as other nodes join and leave, using splitting and merging algorithms that exploit the elasticity of the systems hierarchy.

Research Blogging IconFazio M., Puliafito A. & Distefano S. (2013). Managing volunteer resources in the cloud, International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, 8 (3) 227. DOI: 10.1504/IJCSE.2013.055357

Community cloud computing is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/community-cloud-computing.html

Int. J. of Renewable Energy Technology to publish expanded papers from NURER2014

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 4th International Conference on Nuclear and Renewable Energy Resources (20-23 October 2014, Antalya, Turkey) will be published by the International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology.

20 August 2013

Go ahead, donate, make your day

Pro-social spending boosts happiness, especially when spending allows for social connection. Social giving makes us happier, in other words, more so than anonymous charitable donation.

People usually feel good when they make a charitable donation, but they feel even better if they make the donation directly to someone they know or in a way that builds social connection. Research to be published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development investigates for the first time how social connection helps turn generous behavior into positive feelings on the part of the donor.

Lara Aknin of Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and colleagues at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and Harvard Business School, Massachusetts, USA, wanted to examine when the emotional benefits of giving to charity become manifest. They carried out three studies of charitable donations, or more precisely pro-social spending, and found that spending money on others or giving money to charity leads to the greatest happiness boost when giving fosters social connection. The overarching conclusion is that donors feel happiest if they give to a charity via a friend, relative or social connection rather than simply making an anonymous donation to a worthy cause.

The research has implications for not-for-profit organizations hoping to maximize donations, suggesting that recruiting advocates and helping them build on their social connections could have benefits for the donors too. Extending these findings, it is possible that if donors have a greater sense of happiness when giving involves making a social connection one might imagine that the positive emotions might even lead to more frequent and perhaps bigger donations. Extrapolating further from the research happy donors might themselves be more likely to become advocates for a given cause or benefit it through their spontaneous word-of-mouth marketing.” The findings also complement earlier research that has demonstrated a positive effect on happiness of social interaction and taking part in voluntary work.

“While additional factors other than social connection likely influence the happiness gained from pro-social spending our findings suggest that putting the social in pro-social is one way to transform good deeds into good feelings,” the team concludes.

Research Blogging IconAknin L.B., Dunn E.W., Sandstrom G.M. & Norton M.I. (2013). Does social connection turn good deeds into good feelings? On the value of putting the ‘social’ in prosocial spending, International Journal of Happiness and Development, 1 (2) 155. DOI: 10.1504/IJHD.2013.055643

Go ahead, donate, make your day is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/go-ahead-donate-make-your-day.html

16 August 2013

Call for papers: "Information Systems in Transport Logistics"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics.

Rapid developments in information technology have many implications for the organisation and management of transport and logistics. In this context, cooperation between actors in integrated supply chains becomes more and more important. To address this, the information and communication systems used for managing shipping and transport need to share information and the actors must be enabled to share that information according to their own business rules.

This special issue aims at addressing these interesting research issues in the field of information and communication systems in transport logistics.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the International Conference on Advanced Logistics and Transport (ICALT’2014), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • IT applications to transport
  • Real time identification and tracking
  • Decision support systems for shipping management
  • Cooperation in maritime supply chains
  • Integration of ports in intermodal hinterland systems
  • Consolidation and distribution for shippers within the logistics business
  • Modelling, testing, simulation, human-machine interaction
  • Air, road and rail traffic management
  • Multimodal transport systems
  • Advanced traffic management/information systems
  • Information technology and distribution strategy
  • Modelling, control and simulation
  • Transportation networks
Important Dates
Submission deadline: 30 July, 2014

Int. J. of Information and Computer Security to publish expanded papers from ICTLAW 2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 1st International Conference on ICT LAW (8-9 November 2013, Porto, Portugal) will be published by the International Journal of Information and Computer Security.

First issue: International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education (free sample issue available)

The International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education aims to enhance the practice and theory of quantitative research in education. In this journal, education is defined in the broadest sense of the word, to include settings outside the school. IJQRE publishes peer-reviewed, empirical research employing a variety of quantitative methods and approaches, including but not limited to surveys, cross sectional studies, longitudinal research, structural equation modelling, multilevel modelling and Rasch modelling.

There is a free download of the papers from this first issue.

15 August 2013

Special issue: "Transmigration, Emotions and Labour"

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion 5(3) 2013
  • Performing the postcolonial: the 'migrant' body as a site of veneration, repugnance and blame
  • 'Like a white crow': migrant women and their emotion work in Sweden
  • Separation and emotional distance: cases of Mexican undocumented transnational families
  • Experiences of forced labour amongst Chinese migrant workers: exploring the context of vulnerability and protection
  • Transnational emotion work: Punjabi migration, caste and identity
  • 'Sometimes I just wish I never hear of this term bilingual worker': difficult clients, emotion work and interpreting with migrants

Special issue: "Planning and Sustainability"

International Journal of Society Systems Science 5(3) 2013
  • The becoming of problems in planning
  • Understanding the urbanisation process in sub-Saharan Africa: the Mozambican rural towns
  • Sustainability narratives and planning agendas: charting the influence of sustainable development discourse on planning policy in Western Australia
  • Urban sprawl management, smart growth: challenges from the implementation phase
  • The problem with community cohesion

Malware bites

Antivirus software running on your computer has one big weak point – if a new virus is released before the antivirus provider knows about it or before the next scheduled antivirus software update, your system can be infected. Such zero-day infections are common.

However, a key recent development in antivirus software is to incorporate built-in defences against viruses and other computer malware for which they have no prior knowledge. These defences usually respond to unusual activity that resembles the way viruses behave once they have infected a system. This so-called heuristic approach combined with regularly updated antivirus software will usually protect you against known viruses and even zero-day viruses. But, in reality, there are inevitably some attacks that continue to slip through the safety net.

Writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, researchers at the Australian National University, in Acton, ACT, and the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE jointly with Victorian Institute of Technology, in Melbourne Victoria, have devised an approach to virus detection that acts as a third layer on top of scanning for known viruses and heuristic scanning.

The new approach employs a data mining algorithm to identify malicious code on a system and the anomaly of behaviour patterns detected is predominantly based on the rate at which various operating system functions are being “called”. Their initial tests show an almost 100% detection rate and a false positive rate of just 2.5% for spotting embedded malicious code that is in “stealth mode” prior to being activated for particular malicious purposes.

“Securing computer systems against new diverse malware is becoming harder since it requires a continuing improvement in the detection engines,” the team of Mamoun Alazab (ANU) and Sitalakshmi Venkatraman (NMIT) explain. “What is most important is to expand the knowledgebase for security research through anomaly detection by applying innovative pattern recognition techniques with appropriate machine learning algorithms to detect unknown malicious behaviour.”

Research Blogging IconAlazab M. & Venkatraman S. (2013). Detecting malicious behaviour using supervised learning algorithms of the function calls, International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, 5 (2) 90. DOI: 10.1504/IJESDF.2013.055047

Malware bites is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/malware-bites.html

14 August 2013

Int. Journal of Technology Policy and Law to publish expanded papers from 1st International Conference on ICT LAW

Expanded versions of papers presented at the 1st International Conference on ICT LAW (8-9 November 2013, Porto, Portugal) will be published by the International Journal of Technology Policy and Law.

Call for papers: "Decision Support Systems for Supply Chain Risk Management: Theories, Models and Empirical Studies"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Supply Chain and Operations Resilience.

Global manufacturing, low-cost country sourcing and adoption of lean principles have provided organisations with opportunities for cost minimisation. However, such opportunities often concur to increase companies’ exposure and vulnerability to risks that might lead to supply chain disruptions, which can seriously affect companies’ revenues and credibility with stakeholders.

Therefore, supply chain risk management (SCRM) represents a growing concern; ensuring supply and distribution continuity without disruptions has become a challenging task for supply chain managers. In practice, SCRM is gaining more and more attention in companies as supply chain managers realise that continued physical and financial flows are key components of business growth and success.

To manage risks in today’s complex and uncertain supply chains, companies need effective decision support systems (DSS) to analyse different scenarios and assess the impact of potential risks on their supply chain from end to end. To achieve this, companies can today leverage the availability of huge amount of data (big data) that requires specific tools and approaches to detect potential problems earlier, and with sufficient accuracy. Furthermore, DSS may enable the identification and assessment of risk mitigation and management strategies, providing evidence-based and quantitative support to decision makers.

This special issue aims to promote the publishing of cutting-edge, relevant and rigorous research in the area of SCRM with particular emphasis on the decision making process and support systems. We invite papers on cutting-edge research employing both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Particularly, we welcome submissions in the form of conceptual, case-based or empirical papers offering insights in the area of DSS for SCRM.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Supply/demand risk identification and management strategy assessment approaches
  • Decision support system architectures for SCRM
  • Decision making processes for risk management strategy design
  • Evidence-based reactive and proactive strategies for SCRM
  • Collaborative decision making process for SCRM
  • Information sharing as risk mitigation strategy
  • Supply/demand risk measures and assessment approaches
  • Agent-based or web-based systems for SCRM
  • ICT support for SCRM
  • Big data analysis for supply chain risk identification and management
  • Cases studies and surveys on SCRM 
Important Dates
Full-paper submission: 15 March, 2014
Notification to authors: 30 April, 2014
Final versions due: 31 May, 2014
Final manuscript acceptance: 15 July, 2014

Special issue: "Multidimensional Financial Decision Aid"

International Journal of Financial Engineering and Risk Management 1(2) 2013

Includes expanded versions of papers presented at the 2011 International Conference on Multidimensional Finance, Insurance and Investment (ICMFII’2011).
  • SMA and MACD combinations for stock investment decisions in frontier markets: evidence from Dubai financial market
  • Portfolio selection of projects based on a relative efficiency measurement
  • Stock market interdependence and its determinants: comparative analysis of developed and emerging markets
Additional Papers
  • Benchmark approach for defaultable claims under partial information
  • The estimation of corporate liquidity management using artificial neural networks

E-Health services ill-prepared for epidemics

National and international organizations are ill-prepared to exploit e-health systems in the event of the emergence of a major pandemic disease, according to a research paper to be published in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology.

E-health systems and associated information technology could radically alter the course of a pandemic disease, such as a major outbreak of influenza internationally. It could provide healthcare workers, emergency services, patients and those at-risk with access to much-needed data on how disease is spreading and what measures could be taken to halt its progress. Unfortunately, suggest Junhua Li of the Asia-Pacific Ubiquitous Healthcare Research Centre (APuHC), at The University of New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues, the widespread adoption of e-health represents a significant disruption to current healthcare protocols and systems and stakeholders are not in a position to take full advantage of it.

Emergent infections have spread wildly throughout human history, plague, influenza and more recently SARS and MERS have claimed many lives. With the advent of global air travel, the potential for a previously unknown strain of an animal pathogen to jump the species gap and cause widespread human illness seems to be much greater than it ever was in the days when a round-the-world trip would take many months rather than a day or two.

Conversely, technology has brought us a much greater capacity through modern medicine to treat those infected and to stymie the spread of any given pathogen. Additionally, fast global communications and super computers allow information and data concerning any given disease to be shared and studied in ways that were not possible even a decade ago.

Li and colleagues, Holly Seale, Pradeep Ray, Amina Tariq and Raina MacIntyre, suggest that the adoption of e-health principles could allow healthcare facilities to mitigate against the spread of pandemic influenza, and perhaps other emergent pathogens. They have devised a multi-pronged approach to assessing the preparedness of authorities and organizations to utilize effectively e-health on the basis of specific knowledge, supportive policies, computing and communications facilities and access and adequate funding. Their approach should allow organizations to ascertain what is missing from their e-health systems if they have them and to implement the necessary technology and protocols where they are absent before a pandemic hits.

Research Blogging IconLi J., Seale H., Ray P., Tariq A. & MacIntyre C.R. (2013). Are organisations prepared for e-health implementation to respond to pandemic influenza?, International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, 11 (3) 215. DOI: 10.1504/IJBET.2013.055373

E-Health services ill-prepared for epidemics is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/e-health-services-ill-prepared-for-epidemics.html

13 August 2013

Call for papers: "Dynamic Design Requirement Management for Complex Product Development"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Product Development.

In highly sophisticated technology- and labour-intensive industries (e.g. aerospace, automotive), future product development is significantly impacted by technological, economic, societal and political factors. Within a rather long design cycle, product requirements have to shift continuously to meet the contextual evolutions of the user, the client, the market and their environments by integrating new technologies.

However, the complexity of product structures and respective processes, and of organisational behavior in such industries, creates a major challenge for the integration of technological innovations.

Two kinds of research efforts are addressing this challenge. In addition to “after-the-fact” approaches (e.g. lean principles) which respond reactively to rapidly changing environments, several proactive methodologies, such as scenario planning, anticipatory design and design foresight, have been proposed to reduce the risks caused by the unstable design specifications of product requirements, and by providing rapid responses to proper change management in the early stages of product development.

This special issue aims to publish theories and techniques related to proactive and active change management strategies for the future development of complex products in order to reduce the risks and associated costs caused by dynamic changes of design requirements.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Anticipatory design
  • Strategic and scenario planning
  • Design foresight
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Product and process modelling
  • Evolutionary design
  • Multidisciplinary optimisation for product design
  • Change management

Important Dates

Submission of Manuscripts: 31 March, 2014
Completion of first-round review: 31 May, 2014
First-round revised papers: 31 August, 2014
Target of the second (last) round of reviews: 31 October, 2014
Second-round revised papers: 30 November, 2014
Final Versions Due: 31 December, 2014

Special issue: "Lessons from the Crisis: Banking, Executive Compensation and Risk Management"

International Journal of Management Practice 6(3) 2013
  • The supervision of strategy and risk in German two-tier boards: lessons learned from the crisis
  • How do securities dealers trade in the Taiwan stock market? Evidence from the financial crisis of 2008
  • On the appraisal of LVaR throughout the close-out period: an investment management outlook from recent global financial crisis
  • Financial market returns before, during and after five European banking crises

New Editor for the International Journal of Nonlinear Dynamics and Control

Professor Ebrahim Esmailzadeh has been appointed to edit the International Journal of Nonlinear Dynamics and Control. Professor Esmailzadeh is from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Call for papers: "Triple Helix Innovation in the EU New Member States and Candidate Countries: Catching Up, Muddling Through, Forging Ahead?"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Transitions and Innovation Systems.

The 2004 enlargement of the European Union (EU) with ten countries from Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus ), followed by the 2007 accession of two Eastern Europe countries (Romania and Bulgaria), and recently, in July 2013, of a Western Balkan country, Croatia, has been seen as a natural evolution of the political process on the “old continent”, bringing an end to the territorial divisions inherited from World War II and a start to a new zone of peace, stability and economic prosperity. Future enlargement with the candidate countries Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey is aimed to advance progress towards these goals. New assets, such a population of more than 500 million and the largest internal market in the world, have been expected to bring the enlarged Union significant economic, legal, environmental, cultural and social benefits, in addition to a stronger role in global governance affairs.

In order to narrow the disparities between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ Member States, a comprehensive process of EU integration has been put in place, at two key levels: (i) a political one, encompassing all the legislation, policies and programmes associated with the accession, and (ii) an economic one, driven mainly by foreign direct investment (FDI) and Structural Funds. Economic, trade, investment and la­bour mobility obstacles, in addition to legacies of a planned economy system, had to be (and still need to be) overcome to reduce the gap between the ‘new’ EU-10 and the ‘old’ EU-15. Today, years after the official accession to the EU, the “transition” is still ongoing on many fronts in the new Member States. Both the political and the economic integration are complex processes, far from straightforward and effortless, requiring political will, pragmatism and long-term visionary thinking in both European and national institutions. Adding to the already existing complexity, the global crisis has had profound consequences on the EU economy and made it clear that a more integrated economic union cannot be achieved without a deeper reform of economic policies, as well as political and governance structures.

The innovation field, in the entirety of its policies, programmes, institutions and actors across the EU, is part and parcel of the economic policies and governance structures that need a significant rethinking in order to boost economic growth. A cursory analysis of the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 shows that although innovation performance in the EU has improved year on year in spite of the continuing economic crisis, the innovation divide between Member States is widening. Some new Member States, like Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia recorded the strongest improvements over the 2008-2013 period, with Estonia being the unquestionable innovation growth leader (7.1%), while Poland and Bulgaria had the lowest positive innovation growth rates (0.4% and 0.6%, respectively), and Cyprus saw its innovation performance decline at an average annual rate of 0.7%.

Varying innovation performances place the new EU Member States and candidate countries in different country groups: Slovenia, Cyprus, Estonia and Iceland are among the I nnovation Followers, which show a performance close to that of the EU average. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Malta, Lithuania, Croatia and Serbia are part of the Moderate Innovators, whose performance is below that of the EU average, while Poland, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria, next to Macedonia and Turkey are part of the Modest Innovators, with a performance that is well below that of the EU average. None of the New EU Member States and candidate countries are among the Innovation Leaders that have a performance well above that of the EU average.

Moreover, mobility among country groups is very limited, with only two new Member States changing their performance group due to marginal changes in their innovation performance: Lithuania, going up to Moderate Innovators, and Poland going down to Modest Innovators. The 2010 launch of the Europe 2020 Innovation Union flagship initiative boosted the innovation performance of all Innovation leaders and Innovation followers (except the UK), but similar effects were observed only in a few of the Moderate Innovators (Lithuania, Slovakia) and Modest Innovators (Latvia). In fact, the majority of new Member States, like Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Malta saw deteriorations of their innovation index. Most worryingly, the process of convergence and catching-up in innovation performance within the EU has been shown to have come to a halt and a mismatch between the innovation performance, the policy models being implemented in the countries and the country specific innovation challenges has been reported. A diverging trend appeared over the crisis period 2008-2012, with the Innovation Leaders and Followers increasing their innovation growth rates and becoming even stronger, while the Moderate and Modest Innovators went in the opposite direction and failed to catch up (Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013).

A reorientation of the innovation policy mix and strengthening of framework conditions and institutional environment are much needed in order to enhance the innovation performance of the countries lagging behind. At the same time, the role of RDI in the country’s economic revival needs to be significantly strengthened, departing from the marginal RDI impact on economic growth caused by the slow reform of national RDI systems that has ambiguously evolved between restructuring and erosion of potentially viable R&D and technology capacities (Radosevic, 1998)1. A closer connection between RDI policies and actors, on the one hand, and the market, on the other, is needed to stimulate business investments in RDI and enhance the absorptive potential of the local business community. Also, closer synergies with other strategic policies at the national and regional level, such as education, employment, environment, digital agenda, etc. are also needed.

A rethinking of the main models for conceptualising innovation is also necessary to better capture the interactions between various innovation actors, the mechanisms, sources and development paths of innovation. Most reform and restructuring efforts in the new Member States have been guided by the theoretical framework of National/Regional Innovation Systems, which highlights various innovation actors and the interactions between them at the regional and national levels (e.g. Freeman, 19872; Lundvall, 19923; Nelson, 19934; Edquist, 19975). In contrast, the Triple Helix model of university-industry-government relations (e.g. Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff 19986; 20007), has been much less visible and had significantly less impact in these countries, mainly because of some structural characteristics that impeded the diffusion and use of the model. Among them, one can mention universities being primarily teaching institutions and having relatively low levels of academic research and entrepreneurial activities (patenting, licensing, formation of academic spin-offs and incubation, etc.), weak RDI capacity of domestic firms and internal RDI demand, low public and private RDI expenditure, virtual absence of seed capital, relatively weak horizontal policy co-ordination, etc. However, many of these aspects have changed dramatically, especially over the last decade. This raises the question of whether the recent transformations within and among university, industry and government institutional spheres can now provide a good basis for the application of a Triple Helix-based innovation strategy in the new Member States, as well as in the candidate countries. The recent vision of Triple Helix Systems (Ranga and Etzkowitz, 20138) as an analytical framework that bridges innovation systems theory and the key features of the Triple Helix model could provide useful insights for this analysis.

This Special Issue aims to examine recent innovation developments in the new EU Member States and candidate countries from a Triple Helix perspective, in the context of transformations induced by the EU integration, or the preparations in view of this process, respectively. The main objective is to assess the impact of EU integration on the reform and modernisation of national RDI policies, programmes, actors, infrastructures, institutional framework, strengthening of science-industry links and research commercialisation, internationalisation, etc. The impact of the economic crisis on the three major Triple Helix actors: university, industry and government, and the overall effect at the national and regional level will be also examined.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Reform of the national/regional RDI policy mix, programmes, actors, infrastructures institutional framework and mechanisms, in the context of the EU integration, from a Triple Helix perspective, absorption and impact of EU Structural Funds, articulation between national and EU funds for financing RDI objectives;
  • The role of the Triple Helix in helping universities, businesses and government meet innovation challenges: enhancing the role of universities as innovation actors, increasing the absorptive capacity of academic knowledge within firms and by other users, increasing RDI in the private sector, stimulating innovation in the public sector, stimulating public procurement for RDI and intellectual property management and policies, increasing international collaboration within the EU and beyond, stimulating the role of government as an entrepreneur;
  • Emergence of the Entrepreneurial University: development of university technology transfer and commercialisation structures, academic patenting and licensing, academic entrepreneurship education and practice for students and faculty, creation of university start-ups, increasing role of university as partner in regional systems of governance and player in regional technological and commercial advances, e.g. leading and supporting sector-specific initiatives, etc.;
  • Triple Helix Systems and regional development: drivers, dynamics, policies, research-intensive clusters, sciencesCities, innovative SMEs, spin-offs, development of and articulation between the knowledge, innovation and consensus spaces;
  • The role of the Triple Helix in enhancing human resources for innovation: education, retention, mobility, stimulating the return of diasporas and using them as support for entrepreneurs or as path to international markets, providing more skills for innovation, management and leadership for high growth firms, dual careers (recruitment of staff from industry and the public sector by universities and recruitment of staff and students from universities by industry and by the public sector), building careers in innovation and tech transfer;
  • The role of the Triple Helix in identifying new forms of financing innovation: building more innovation-friendly financial institutions, strengthening links with business angels and venture capital investors (government venture capital interventions for regional innovation, university venture capital funds, regional venture capital funds).
  • Triple Helix and ’smart specialisation’ for regional innovation strategies: how to construct comparative advantages, changing patterns of R&D and technological specialization (is there a shift from the stronger natural resource-driven sector to the knowledge-driven sector, is the much stronger bias towards labour-intensive and manufacturing-driven cluster categories in the EU-10 still present, while being relatively weak in advanced services and knowledge-intensive cluster categories9), role of institutional settings for research, education and innovation, relationship between regional clusters and innovation performance;
  • Triple Helix indicators: indicators of mobility across Triple Helix institutional spheres (local, national, international), indicators for the measurement of the knowledge, innovation and consensus spaces;
  • Impact of the global economic crisis on national and regional Triple Helix actors and overall effects on the innovation performance, government intervention to support innovation as a strategy of recovery from crisis.
1 Radosevic, S. 1998.’ The Transformation of National Systems of Innovation in Eastern Europe: Between Restructuring and Erosion ’, Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 77-108.
2 Freeman, C. 1987. Technology Policy and Economic Performance: Lessons from Japan. Pinter, London.
3 Lundvall, B.-Å. 1992 (Ed.) National Systems of Innovation. Pinter: London.
4 Nelson, R. 1993 (Ed.) National Innovation Systems. Oxford University Press, New York.
5 Edquist, C. 1997. Systems of innovation approaches—their emergence and characteristics. In: Edquist, C. (Ed.), Systems of Innovation: Technologies, Institutions and Organizations. Pinter Publishers, London.
6 Etzkowitz, H., Leydesdorff, L.1998.The endless transition: A "triple helix" of university-industry-government relations. Minerva 36: 203-208. 
7 Etzkowitz, H., Leydesdorff, L. 2000. The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations. Research Policy 29 (2): 109-123.
8 Ranga, M. and H. Etzkowitz. 2013. ‘Triple Helix Systems: An Analytical Framework for Innovation Policy and Practice in the Knowledge Society ”, Industry and Higher Education 27 (4), Special Issue (August 2013).
9 Ketels, C. H.M., and Ö. Sölvell. "Clusters in the EU-10 New Member Countries" Report, European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General, Brussels, July 2006.

Important Dates
Submission of Manuscripts: 15 October, 2013
Notification to Authors: 1 November, 2013
Final Versions Due: 1 December, 2013

Understanding the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an extension of the internet where all kinds of physical objects and devices from washing machines and refrigerators to laboratory instruments and personal health monitoring gadgets will be interconnected through internet communication protocols. One might imagine books, home appliances, food products, lights, medicines and even furniture could be hooked up with sensors, actuators, processors and communication units. Indeed, this world is already emerging with smart homes kitted out with lights and other technology that can be accessed and controlled from a smart phone for instance.

Wiki has this to say about the IoT: “The Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. The term Internet of Things was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999. The concept of the Internet of Things first became popular through the Auto-ID Center at MIT and related market analysts publications. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is often seen as a prerequisite for the Internet of Things. If all objects and people in daily life were equipped with identifiers, they could be managed and inventoried by computers.”

As with the mythical “paperless office” though, one has to wonder whether a truly “smart world” will ever come to pass in the form of the IoT. Nevertheless, there are many people working towards this ideal. There are three visions of the IoT that are in focus, according to a report written by Paul Estrada-Martinez and Antonio Garcia-Macias in the appropriately named International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing. The team is based in the Department of Computer Science, at the CICESE Research Centre, in Ensenada, Mexico and they describe these three paradigms thus:

  1. Things-oriented: It addresses the design and creation of smart objects, exploring new forms of interaction in smart spaces as well as the development of IoT applications.

  2. Internet-oriented: This vision is related with communication protocols, architectures, network technologies for smart objects and services that harness this technological infrastructure.

  3. Semantic-oriented: It involves research about representation, storage, interconnection, searching and organization of information generated by smart objects and smart spaces aided by semantic technologies.

It is the third concept – the semantics – that the CICESE researchers have homed in on. They are therefore exploring how semantic information can enable richer interactions for IoT applications and systems. By building the necessary information infrastructure they can then provide a way to address the interaction problems that will emerge as people and things interact. For instance, a semantic approach will allow the following questions to be answered on an ad hoc basis in the IoT smart era: When a person enters a smart space, how to automatically know which smart objects are present and which ones are they? How to know the type and format of information provided by smart objects? How to determine what type of interactions are possible with a smart object?

“Beyond identifying certain characteristics of individual objects, our work also addresses physical spaces where systems are formed with collections of smart objects,” the team explains. “With these kinds of smart spaces it is possible to have context-aware and proactive systems that anticipate user needs.”

Research Blogging Icon Martinez P.E.E. & Macias J.A.G. (2013). Semantic interactions in the Internet of Things, International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, 13 (3/4) 167. DOI: 10.1504/IJAHUC.2013.055464

Understanding the Internet of Things is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot

via Science Spot http://sciencespot.co.uk/understanding-the-internet-of-things.html

12 August 2013

Int. J. of Computational Vision and Robotics to publish expanded papers from CCCS2013

Expanded versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Computer, Control and Cognitive Sciences (1 September 2013, Bengaluru, India) will be published by the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics.

Special issue: "ICT Adoption: Issues, Challenges and Perspectives"

International Journal of Management Practice 6(2) 2013
  • Multi-Layer Integration Methodology for development of ICT competences in SMEs
  • Education as a determining factor in ICT adoption: a case study of ICT SMEs
  • Low-cost Internet of Things digital technology adoption in SMEs
  • Multiview as a reflective framework: enabling reflection, transforming practice
  • The acceptance and adoption of mobile telephony by Bangladeshi farmers: a qualitative enquiry
  • The real SAP® Business One cost: a case study of ERP adoption in an SME

First issue: International Journal of Swarm Intelligence (free sample issue available)

Swarm intelligence is a computational intelligence technique to solve complex real-world problems. It involves the study of collective behaviour of individuals in a population who interact locally with one another and with their environment in a decentralised control system. The International Journal of Swarm Intelligence is a peer-reviewed international publication dedicated to reporting research and new developments in the multidisciplinary field of swarm intelligence.

There is a free download of the papers from this first issue.