29 June 2015

Call for papers: "Personalisation in e-Government and Smart Cities"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Electronic Governance.

User modelling and personalisation have proved to play a strategic role in adapting the behaviour of intelligent systems to the specific characteristics of their users. In this context, it is important to define accurate techniques to extract the users’ characteristics, interests and preferences so that they can be used in the next steps of the personalisation pipeline (adaptation, recommendation, etc.). While personalisation is being extensively studied in domains characterised by digital-object consumption (e-commerce, news, music, video recommendations, etc.), there is little work on personalisation in the public domain and, in particular, in the context of initiatives for the provision of digital public services in smart cities and territories. These initiatives cover several aspects of public life, such as e-participation, welfare, environment, health and transport, and are crucial to improving the quality of both life and services in cities and territories.

In the context of initiatives to provide digital public services in smart cities and territories, the user is the citizen, which introduces new challenges for personalisation models. For example, there are potentially ethical (including privacy) issues related to the fact that citizens might be in a dependence relationship with governments, and automatic user profiling might be considered intrusive (i.e. “big brother”) and not desirable. On the other hand, detailed, often close to real-time data about the citizens, e.g. using urban sensors, are collected in smart cities and territories, which can support new personalisation models.

This special issue welcomes research articles, project reports and field-level case studies investigating personalisation methods for improving digital public service delivery in smart cities and territories.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Workshop on PErsonalization in eGOVernment and Smart Cities: Smart Services for Smart Territories (PEGOV2013-2015), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in these events to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Motivations, benefits and issues of personalisation in e-government and smart cities
  • Approaches for the personalisation of inclusive, personal, multilingual and interactive public services
  • User and context awareness in personalisation of public services
  • User (e.g. citizens or persons) modelling in e-government and smart cities
  • Mining of user behaviour, opinion mining and sentiment analysis in e-government and smart cities
  • Semantic techniques for user profiling and personalisation in e-government and smart cities
  • Gamification and crowdsourcing for collecting data and for mining citizens' profiles and opinions
  • Services for personalised access to linked open government data
  • ethical issues, including privacy, in e-government and smart cities
  • Usability of digital public services for citizens
  • Evaluation of personalised services in e-government and smart cities
  • Applications of personalisation methods in e-government, smart cities, e-health and smart health
  • Communities and social networks in participatory e-government and smart cities
  • User-centered public service design and modelling

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 6 November, 2015

Up, up and away in the name of science education

US researchers extol the virtues of high-altitude balloons for science education in a research paper published in the International Journal of Learning Technology. According to Jeremy Straub of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, “High-altitude balloons can carry student and scientific payloads to the boundaries of space.”

This, he suggests, gives students the opportunity to carry out experiments in a cold, near-vacuum, higher-radiation environment at such very high altitudes. “In the process, students experience the awe of space exploration as, through their payloads, they are able to view the curvature of the Earth and capture images as inspiring as those taken from the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station.” Moreover, experiments carried to high altitude in this way might help students to better grasp known principles or be original scientific experiments: allowing students to research and explore the unknown.

Straub suggests that high altitude balloons are ripe for exploitation in science education and beyond but that there is a need for a formal design framework for high-altitude ballooning. There is also a need for a framework to make this technology more effective in undergraduate university courses, for instance, through a standard approach to improving payload design.

“The function of a high-altitude balloon is incredibly simple: it lifts objects towards the upper boundary of the Earth’s atmosphere,” explains Straub. They are used on a twice-daily basis by some 700 weather-forecasting locations around the globe. Balloons have also been used to flight test spacesuits and other space technology and for various scientific endeavors, including simply dropping payloads to Earth for gravitational exploratory work, for example.

Such high-altitude balloons might reach altitudes of between 18 to 37 kilometers above the sea level, while record-holding balloons have stretched this reach to over 50 kilometers. “The rate at which it does this and how long it remains aloft are functions of the level of inflation and type of balloon chosen,” points out Straub. “While the functionality of the balloon may be simple, the learning results that can be attained vary significantly. The value of the balloon is the opportunity for access to near-space that it presents and the chance to enhance student creativity and enthusiasm.”

Straub, J. (2015) ‘Evaluation of high-altitude balloons as a learning technology‘, Int. J. Learning Technology, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp.94-110.

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Pick of the pops

As yet another music streaming service comes online to rival the countless available outlets for so many different genres, a new approach to classifying music to make archiving, sorting and music discovery easier is published in the International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies.

Rare is the musical artist described as genre-defying. Most singers and musicians, with a few notable exceptions, tend to stick to a particular style, whether electronic dance music, reggae, classical, folk, jazz, rock or Indian genres such as Bhangra and Ghazal, or any of hundreds of other categories.

Listeners might categorize any given song into one of a few dozen genres with which they are familiar while dedicated fans of a specific genre may well distinguish between dozens of sub-genres within each classification. In the age of digital distribution and archiving of music and music recommendation systems it makes sense to have a way to automate the process of genre categorization.

Now, researchers in India have devised a simple system that, rather than attempting to quantify many different parameters – tempo, pulse, loudness, melody, rhythm, timbre etc – focuses on just pitch, tempo, amplitude variation pattern and periodicity in order to tag a given song as belonging to a specific genre. Their approach uses random sample consensus (RANSAC) as a classifier.

In the team’s approach their system decomposes, or breaks down, the sound signal into 88 frequency bands, divides each sub-band into short duration frames and for each frame, computes the short-time mean-square power (STMSP) and the average STMSP, this gives a metric for pitch. The team demonstrates that for seven major musical genres, this metric is very distinct. In order to be more precise, however, they also measure rhythm or tempo of a song, which is an important perceptual description essentially independent of melody. Tempo can be extracted from a sound file using a mathematical process known as a Fourier transform that gives the metric in beats per minute (BPM).

Pitch and tempo can both help decide on genre, but there is often overlap. For instance, these characteristics are often similar in North Indian Bhangra and Western rock music. So, another metric – amplitude variation – is also added to the mix. Additionally, the team also uses correlation-based periodicity. This is another perceptual feature which captures the repetitions within a given signal.

The team has now tested their genre identification system against earlier models by other researchers on a database of songs and then compared that to manual categorization. Their results show their system to be “substantially better” and it might readily be incorporated into a music database or online music recommendation service.

Ghosal, A., Chakraborty, R., Dhara, B.C. and Saha, S.K. (2015) ‘Perceptual feature-based song genre classification using RANSAC’, Int. J. Computational Intelligence Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp.31–49.

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Muzzle in on cattle classification (free article)

Maybe it sounds like a cow and bull story, but researchers in Egypt are developing a biometric identification system for cattle that could reduce food fraud and allow ranchers to control their stock more efficiently. The system described in the International Journal of Image Mining uses the unique features of a prominent part of the animal to identify the beasts. No, it’s not hoof prints or an udder body part – it’s the bovine muzzle, no pair of which are exactly alike, according to computer scientist Hamdi Mahmoud of BeniSuef University, in Cairo.

Meat products are currently a vital part of the global food supply, with beef being a major component of that trade. However, international markets, emerging infectious diseases and criminal activity mean that there is always a risk of inferior products hitting the supermarket shelves. There have been numerous large-scale incidences of food poisoning in various countries as well as fraudulently mislabelled products. Other quality control problems are also all too common.

Mahmoud and colleague Hagar Mohamed Reda El Hadad explain that they were on the horns of a dilemma wondering how to improve public health and reduce food fraud in cattle. Traditionally, tracking cattle has involved tattooing, ear notching, ear tags and branding. More recently, barcodes, retinal vascular pattern recording and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags have been used as more high-tech alternatives. Blood tests and DNA identification have not yet proven themselves immune to fraud.

The team realised that the ridges and valleys on the skin of the bovine muzzle are unique from animal to animal, just as are human fingerprints. They weren’t the first to recognise this, ink prints from cattle have been used for stock records since the 1920s. Their innovation is to move the bull (and the cow) into the modern era and they have developed a multiclass support vector machine (MSVM), which they can teach to “recognise” different muzzles for authentication of the muzzle print of a given beast. The preliminary teaching process showed 100% identification accuracy of Daisy and her friends from sample muzzle prints and in actual tests accuracy was 94%.

The researchers are now working on cutting the computer processing time for analysis so that they can assimilate and classify more images for the MSVM training and boost accuracy still further.

Mahmoud, H.A. and El Hadad, H.M.R. (2015) ‘Automatic cattle muzzle print classification system using multiclass support vector machine‘, Int. J. Image Mining, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.126-140. Free paper.

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Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Revenue Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Revenue Management are now available here for free:
  • Inefficient subsidy in Nigerian oil sector; implications for revenue generation and household welfare in Nigeria
  • The links between reasons for game attendance of a new professional sports league and revenue management: an exploratory study
  • On establishing initial inventory levels in the rent-to-own industry: an empirical analysis
  • Railway demand forecasting in revenue management using neural networks
  • Fans' perceptions of club season membership: implications for sport organisations' revenue management

Award for Editor of Int. Journal of Financial Enginerring and Risk Management and Int. Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making

Audencia Nantes School of Management (ANSM) has recognised the work of Professor-Academic Constantin Zopounidis. He received the award for his scientific work in management science and decision making at the 5th International Conference of the Financial Engineering and Banking Society (FEBS) organised by the ANSM Centre for Financial and Risk Management. ANSM is ranking third in "Top Business School with significant international influence" in France.

Are we compatible?

Many of the online social networks match users with each other based on common keywords and assumed shared interests based on their activity. A new approach that could help users find new friends and contacts with a greater likelihood of their becoming positive connections is reported this month in the International Journal of Social Network Mining.

Arefeh Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Nematbakhsh and Mohammad Mehdi Keikha of the Computer Engineering Department at the University of Isfahan in Iran, explain how one of the most useful features of many online social networks is the ability to find other members with whom one might be compatible. “Suggested friends and contacts” algorithms that help with this process might help one make new friends, business contacts or sales leads, for instance, depending on the particular social network involved. Current algorithms work in a similar way to those by dating agencies in that they look for exact matches and those people who have overlapping interests. Moreover, they tend to look for putative connections among friends of friends and so are limited in terms of finding novel connections between people who would otherwise have no way of discovering each other.

The Isfahan team suggest that the exact match approach is less likely to find unlikely but truly compatible pairs. As such, they have devised a three-pronged approach on social network users based on what they refer to as semantic similarity, conceptual complement, and associative complement. This approach ignores the structure of the network and can find compatible pairs of individuals based solely on their personal characteristics – keywords and activity – but ignoring proximity in the network or third-party connections. The approach also avoids the problem of users being unable to describe themselves adequately nor finding adequate pre-defined keywords provided by the site itself.

In the team’s new approach to finding new friends, the “semantic similarity” prong ensures that two different people who list their interests as “photography, football and fashion” and “taking pictures, basketball and selling clothes” would be matched as photography and taking pictures might amount to the same interest, even though their specific keywords do not coincide. The second prong might match the pair based on the complementarity of football and basketball based on these both being sports. The third prong would associate the two based on their third interest fashion and selling clothes in terms of a mutually beneficial business interest.

The team has demonstrated proof of principle for an algorithm based on semantic similarity and conceptual complement with a small sample of users of an online social network, future work will incorporate the third prong of attack, associative complementarity. The matching “error” for the preliminary tests with this sample group was satisfyingly low compared with conventional keyword matching algorithms, the team reports.

Kazemi, A., Nematbakhsh, M.A. and Keikha, M.M. (2015) ‘Discovering compatible users in social networks’, Int. J. Social Network Mining, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.1–18.

Are we compatible? is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
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26 June 2015

Private friends

Many of us have privacy concerns when it comes to our online social networks others are not worried that their statements, photos, videos and personal data can be seen by the service provider, other users with which we might not wish to share information and malicious hackers. At first sight, it might seem that protection is not possible, after all our data has to go through the service provider’s computer systems if it is to be shared with our legitimate contacts.

However, computer scientists in Hong Kong have devised a system for encrypting updates that acts as an additional layer above a user password so that only our friends and select connections can see our updates and photos; even the social network provider cannot access the content without our choosing to give it the encryption key. The team has demonstrated proof of principle on the most popular and well known online social networks, Facebook.

Writing in the International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, Roman Schlegel and Duncan Wong of City University of Hong Kong in Kowloon, express their concern for the unprecedented amount of personal information we inadvertently share with third parties on social networking sites. They point out that providers offer their users little protection from prying eyes and by virtue of the structure of the sites, the provider always has access to your information, whether you would prefer it to or not.

The team explains that software solutions have been developed that can protect one’s data on social networking sites but this usually involves encrypting the data and sending it through a third-party server. This increases the computational overhead required to use a site as well as risking security breach on an additional system. As such, Schlegel and Wong have devised a new broadcast encryption scheme with two very important features that make it a viable option for privacy conscious users of Facebook and its ilk. First, the scheme allows the user to grant permission to only specific users and nobody else, not even the service provider and thus none of its external associates. Secondly, the scheme does not require an independent server for its normal operation, although an encryption/decryption server must be accessed on first registration in order to use the system.

Fundamentally, the plug-in transparently encrypts information posted to a social networking site before the user hits send, so that only the user’s friends can access it. Conversely, the plug-in decrypts content posted by the user’s friends only once the encrypted content has been downloaded to the user’s computer. Rather than requiring users to share encryption keys the encryption process uses the friend’s username, email address or other identity to encrypt the message so that only they can access it once logged in.

When Alice wants to post a message on her wall, for example, she simply enters the desired message in the input box, and clicks ‘Post’ as usual. The plug-in intercepts her post before it is sent to the site, it then fetches her authorized friends list – Janet, Jack and Jill and uses broadcast encryption to encrypt the post as ciphertext using their identities, then and only then does it post it to Alice’s wall.

To anyone but Alice’s friends the message on her wall is unintelligible, encrypted ciphertext. But, when Janet, Jack and Jill fire up their browser to check Alice’s updates, the plug-in grabs this ciphertext from her wall and uses the broadcast decryption system to decipher the message.

Only Alice’s friends can see the deciphered message, non-friends, the service provider, members of the public, hackers and spies will see only unintelligible ciphertext. The team has tested a prototype web browser plug-in on Facebook and found it to be feasible, scalable and practical. They suggest that the same plug-in might be employed to protect content on Twitter, Google+ and other social networking sites.

Schlegel, R. and Wong, D.S. (2015) ‘Private friends on a social networking site operated by an overly curious SNP’, Int. J. Computational Science and Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp.281–292

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Smart phones spot tired drivers

An electronic accelerometer of the kind found in most smart phones that let the device determine its orientation and respond to movement, could also be used to save lives on our roads, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Vehicle Safety.

Samuel Lawoyin, Ding-Yu Fei and Ou Bai of Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia, USA and Xin Liu of Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China, have shown how an accelerometer can accurately detect when a driver is becoming drowsy, 8 times out of ten. Used in combination with other detection methods, the system could be used to significantly reduce the number of accidents caused by driver fatigue among commercial and long-distance drivers and others.

The team reports that each year there are thousands of avoidable accidents that take place on our roads because of driver fatigue, with an estimated 76000 injuries and 1200 deaths in the USA alone. Some observers suggest that driver drowsiness on long journeys is just as hazardous as alcohol consumption. Technology that can monitor deviations in the movement of the vehicle’s steering wheel when the driver begins to nod off is prohibitively expensive and difficult to implement. Likewise, monitoring systems that measure either the electrical activity in the driver’s heart or brain have their own problems while eyelid monitoring is also difficult to implement in a real-world driving scenario.

However, microelectronic accelerometers are a widely available device found in smart phones and other gadgets that can detect movement and so the researchers suggest they might be used to construct a simple, wearable device for a driving hat, headband, or attachment for spectacles or sunglasses that would trigger an alarm when the driver’s head movements indicate that they are becoming drowsy. It might even be possible to exploit the accelerometer in the driver’s phone for the same application. In the current tests, however, the team has used an accelerometer unobtrusively attached steering wheel itself to provide a simple means to detecting the kind of unusual steering adjustments that are commonly seen being made by drowsy drivers as they slip in and out of full wakefulness.

“Because the number of highway fatalities due to drowsy driving continues to show consistently high annual figures year after year, the necessity for a practical and inexpensive means of drowsy driving monitoring is becoming especially apparent,” the team concludes.” This study shows that the implementation of an accelerometer-based method for drowsy driving detection will be effective and yield high accuracy classifications of a driver’s drowsy state which has the potential to save lives.”

Lawoyin, S., Fei, D-Y., Bai, O. and Liu, X. (2015) ‘Evaluating the efficacy of an accelerometer-based method for drowsy driving detection’, Int. J. Vehicle Safety, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp.165–179.

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Special issue published: "Semantic Sensing and Mobile Computing for the Internet of Things"

International Journal of Embedded Systems 7(2) 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the  International Workshop on Identification, Information and Knowledge in the Internet of Things 2013 (IIKI2013).
  • RFID authentication protocol design methodology
  • Real-time eHealth visualisation and actuation platform
  • Developing operation layer of logistics information system based on EPCIS
  • A DPA-resistant crypto engine for UHF RFID tag
Additional papers
  • Utilisation of the Array-OL specification language for self-generation of a memory controller especially for the H.264/AVC
  • Micro-blog social moods and Chinese stock market: the influence of emotional valence and arousal on Shanghai Composite Index volume
  • A 3-D robust detail preserving anisotropic diffusion for speckle reduction in 3-D cattle follicle ultrasound image
  • A social tag recommendation method alleviating cold start based on probabilistic graphical model 
  • Function-level profiling for embedded software with QEMU
  • A flexible control study of variable speed limit in connected vehicle systems

Call for papers: "Family Businesses in Global Competition"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business.

Family business research has developed over the past decade but is still an emerging field of study. Family firms have been of interest to management researchers where topics such as succession, corporate governance and strategic management have received particular attention. The complexity of family businesses results in studies investigating how they are similar to or different from other types of organisations. Internationalisation, performance, innovation and entrepreneurial orientation were topics of special interest but with controversial results.

In a globalised economy, family firms try to compete against large multinational companies. The contribution of family businesses to international markets depends on how they can strengthen their family-specific resources or familiness. This bundle of resources can create competitive advantage for family firms going or already acting international.

We invite contributions to this special issue which attempts to explore family business in a global environment. The goal is therefore to collect a number of valuable papers that investigate the role and contribution of family firms in global competition. Understanding the differences of family businesses and how they are strategically managed will lead to implications for competitiveness in globalised economies. Both conceptual and empirical papers are welcome.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Strategy and performance
  • Internationalisation and entry modes
  • Innovation and entrepreneurial orientation of family firms
  • Case studies illustrating the role of family businesses in global competition
  • Succession and corporate governance in international family firms
  • Resources of family firms and familiness
  • Traditions in international family businesses

Important Dates
Submission of extended abstracts (max. 500 words): 31 October, 2015
Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 30 November, 2015
Submission of full papers following acceptance of abstracts: 31 January, 2015
Notification of acceptance, refusal or revision of full papers: 31 March, 2016
Submission of accepted and revisited final papers: 30 April, 2016

25 June 2015

New Editor for IJ Digital Enterprise Technology

Dr. K. Ganesh from McKinsey and Company in India has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Digital Enterprise Technology.

Special issue published: "Precision Engineering and Tribology"

International Journal of Precision Technology 5(1) 2015
  • Tribo-sustainability issues in recycled aluminium
  • Thermal effects for conventional and water-cooled thrust bearing using finite difference method: comparative analysis
  • Influence of metal coating on sorghum milling process subjected to three body abrasion
  • Multi-objective optimisation in the microturning of cobalt chromium with coated and uncoated tools using the grey relational analysis
  • Simulation-based approach for detection of bearing defects through continuous wavelet transform

Assessing academic rank and file

The world of academia and its penchant for publishing in journals has led to various ways of assessing the relevance of a given journal, paper and the authors of said paper in a given field and in the wider world of research. Citation indices for journals are common, widely touted by journals and their publishers (but usually only when they make the journal look good) , and decried by authors who choose or are forced to publish in specialist or lower-ranking publications with smaller readerships.

Assessment of an individual author is thus skewed by the rank of the journals in which they publish. Many good authors hone their skills in a small, esoteric niche and so have no realistic access to the upper echelons of publishing nor to find their focus acknowledged repeatedly in the reference sections of papers from their colleagues and rivals in that field. Other authors have huge research teams in fields widely considered very important and thus find themselves published in major journals and thus ranked more highly.

There have been attempts to break this dichotomy. The “h index” (developed by Hirsch in 2005 and now used by Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar) for instance gives a researcher a rank based on this formula: “A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np – h) papers have no more than h citations each.” However, this and other indices do not necessarily take into account the citation behaviour of researchers in specific fields. They often ignore author position in an author list, which is usually a determinant of the individual’s depth of involvement on a given paper. Moreover, h index can be manipulated by self citation or by automatic digital citation by online Scholar-type search engines.

Various attempts have been made to improve on the h index: m-quotient, g-index, h-bar index, e-index, AR-index etc each with its pros and cons and all adding an extra twist, such as age of the researcher (m-quotient), or age of the paper (AR-index).

Now, Jorge Ancheyta of the Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo in Mexico City has devised the C-index to circumnavigate many of the limitations of the h index and others. His index is only valid for individuals, not journals, and for its calculation it requires the number of papers of an author, the number of participants in the elaboration of each paper, and the position of the author in the list of authors (alphabetized author lists, common in computer science, must be excluded, of course, as position reflects nothing but the authors’ initials. Also life sciences papers often place first and last author in the list based on one being lead researcher on the project and the latter being the professor or group leader). It can then be combined mathematically with the h index to derive a much more robust ranking for a given author.

“The use of yearly C-index provides a suitable manner to evaluate the whole career of a scientist and the real impact of her/his contribution in the research field,” Ancheyta says.

Ancheyta, J. (2015) ‘A correction of h-index to account for the relative importance of authors in manuscripts’, Int. J. Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.221-232.

Assessing academic rank and file is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
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24 June 2015

Call for papers: "The Growth of Academic Spin-offs"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.

During the past two decades there has been growing interest in the so-called “third mission” of universities – that is, the direct contribution of universities to social, technological and economic development, alongside their traditional teaching and research roles. Within the third mission framework, university-industry technology transfer (TT) emerges as one of the prominent goals (Goldstein, 2010). The pursuit of this goal involves different processes, tools and strategies aimed at transferring the research results obtained by universities to companies and to the market. Various TT strategies have been discussed in the extant literature (Festel, 2013), and increasing attention has been paid, in recent years, to the creation of a new type of venture, labelled as academic or university spin-offs, as a means of value generation from universities’ research.

University spin-offs can be defined as “companies founded by an academic inventor aiming to exploit technological knowledge that originated within a University to develop products or services” (Bigliardi et al., 2013). These companies are created to exploit the results of research conducted in academia and contribute to TT following a two-steps process: firstly, they transfer technology from their parent organisation to themselves and, secondly, they transfer the technology to customers. Moreover, they are considered important for economic growth because of their positive impact on the processes of technological change and economic development (Vincett, 2010).

Consequently, academic spin-offs are receiving growing interest from both researchers and policy-makers, and have been increasingly acknowledged as possible drivers of regional and national competitiveness in the global landscape (Di Gregorio and Shane, 2003). Their relevance is confirmed by the proliferation of studies on this topic. Most of the existing contributions deal with the characteristics of university systems (e.g. Mustar et al., 2008), their performance (Bigliardi et al., 2013), the effectiveness of TT offices, (e.g. Bigliardi et al., 2015), the presence of venture capitalists in the economic system (e.g. Clarysse et al., 2011), or with motivations, personality and intentions of the individual founders (Prodan and Drnovesk, 2010).

Notwithstanding, this topic has still to be fully explored, both at academic and policy level. In particular, empirical observations show that the majority of university spin-offs, especially in Europe, are and remain very small-sized enterprises (e.g. Mustar et al., 2008). U.S. evidence also suggests that on average, academic spin-offs do not perform as well as their non-academic counterparts (e.g. Ensley and Hmieleski, 2005). Therefore, it is important to identify the factors that limit the performance of this type of high-tech start-up. Moreover, the extant literature is almost all focused on the formation of these kinds of new ventures, while scant attention is paid to their growth.

Based on these premises, the aim of this special issue is to investigate more in depth the growth phase of a university spin-off life cycle, with particular emphasis on (but not limited to) the factors that limit their growth after establishment.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The factors hindering the growth of a university spin-off
  • The networks in which the spin-off is involved during its growth
  • The relationships with academia in the growth stage
  • The role of the government for the growth of a university spin-off
  • The location of the spin-off and its influence on its growth
  • The relationship between financial aspects and the growth stage
  • The influence of innovation strategy in the growth stage

Important Dates
Submission deadline: 31 March, 2016

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Human Resources Development and Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management are now available here for free:
  • From desert to destiny: knowledge, attitudes and practices of Saudi Arabian leadership
  • Increasing workforce productivity: smarter people and machines
  • Organisational commitment of women working in leadership positions in Saudi Arabia
  • Leadership behaviour and employee engagement: a Kuwaiti services company
  • Knowledge sharing attitude and behaviour in Saudi Arabian organisations: why trust matters
  • Influences of emotional intelligence on transformational leadership and leader-member exchange in Kuwait
  • Knowledge-based economic development as a unifying vision in a post-awakening Arab World
  • Impact of organisational justice on work outcomes in the pharmaceutical industry in Kuwait
  • Looking beyond the shores: emerging HRM and HRD trends in the Middle East

23 June 2015

Inderscience is media partner for China Off-Highway Vehicle Summit

Inderscience is a media partner for the 8th China Off-Highway Vehicle Summit 2015 (22-23 October 2015, Beijing, China).

The journals involved are:
More information is available here.

Int. J. of Electronic Governance to publish expanded papers from International Conference on e-Democracy

Extended versions of papers presented at the 6th International Conference on e-Democracy (10-11 December 2015, Athens, Greece) will be published by the International Journal of Electronic Governance.

Special issue published: "Hybrid Environments and the Real World Internet"

International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics 3(2/3) 2015
  • Developments and challenges ahead in smart city frameworks - lessons from SmartSantander
  • Evaluating the user experience of a mobile user in a smart city context
  • Field experience and user evaluation from a real-world internet application in an urban-scale environment
  • Extracting game design patterns from game design workshops
  • A ubiquitous recommender system based on collaborative filtering and social networking data 
  • Resource and service virtualisation in M2M and IoT platforms
  • Extending TETRA with wireless sensor networks
  • Issues on visual representation of hybrid home environments: survey of strategies and models
Additional paper
  • A multichannel beamforming-based framework for speech extraction

22 June 2015

Inderscience is media partner for Asia Diesel Engine Summit 2015

Inderscience is a media partner for the Asia Diesel Engine Summit 2015 (20-21 October 2015, Beijing, China).

The journals involved are:
More information is available here.

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Engineering Management and Economics

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Engineering Management and Economics are now available here for free:
  • Tower crane selection for an industrial project: case study
  • The 'state of play' in engineering asset management: towards a conceptual frame
  • Supply chain efforts among downstream and upstream: a developed view
  • Unifying the supply-side and demand-side of business strategy with an ROI objective function
  • Decision support model for ranking project network activities based on multiple criteria of precedence, duration and cost

Special issue published: "The Future of Lifelong Learning MOOCs, e-Learning Platforms and Web Communities"

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 25(2) 2015
  • Integrating a learning management system with a student assignments digital repository: a case study
  • Formulating an adaptable e-training framework to computer science educators
  • E-approaches to teaching and learning: a new paradigm for planning and administering a school's curriculum
  • Learners' and teachers' motivation toward using e-portfolios. An empirical investigation
  • Online co-creating the future of education
  • Laptops in classroom interaction: deconstructing the networked situation
  • Initial design principles for establishing a learning community for public health professionals through authentic e-learning

21 June 2015

Call for papers: "Efforts Towards Stability and Growth in the European Union"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy.

The Stability and Growth Pact was designed to ensure that countries in the European Union pursue sound public finances and coordinate their fiscal policies. Alas, its preventive and corrective set of rules has not managed to secure stability and growth in the European Union. The crisis emerged as a subprime mortgage and an energy (oil shock of 2007 to 2008) crisis in 2007, but gradually developed into a private and sovereign debt crisis and eventually, into an unprecedented in post-war history multiple systemic crisis, especially in the euro area: debt, banking, disinvestment, political, and social crisis.

The European Union is currently facing a conjuncture whereby sluggish growth, the persistence of rising debt ratios, disinvestment, and unemployment still jeopardise the development potential of EU states. With the eruption of the crisis, further instruments and policies have come recently into play to fulfil and safeguard this aim. Even though the treatment adopted was aiming at the restoration of market confidence, its insistence on rapid fiscal consolidation without countercyclical policies from the demand side sustained a spiral of deflationary tendencies, sovereign debt expansion, and systemic bank fragility. Of course, there is a lively debate on the persistence of the systemic crisis, since (excluding Greece) euro area states have dodged recession and government bond spreads have decreased significantly after massive European Central Bank intervention in capital markets.

Although the aforementioned issues have been stressed in the recent literature, the discussion has been largely concentrating on the development of macroeconomic policy orientations to exit the crisis. The viewpoint of this Special Issue is rather different: it focuses on the process of Europeanisation via the gradual change in the structure and philosophy of the euro area economic governance, the prospects of acceptance of policy orientations concerning stability and growth formulated by various European and national stakeholders, the dialectic relation between ongoing changes in the European and international institutional framework and interstate balance of power, and more generally, economic diplomacy efforts in the European Union to enhance stability and growth as a way out of the systemic crisis.

Some useful references for the preceding discussion are:
Bitzenis, A., Papadopoulos, I. and Vlachos, V.A. (Eds.) (2013) Reflections on the Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Papadopoulos, I. and Vlachos, V.A., ‘The controversy over fiscal multipliers as a case of triangular diplomacy: The limits of co-regulation in the management of the Eurozone’, International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy, forthcoming.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the International Conference on International Business (ICIB 2015), 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, the following:
  • Diplomacy and the European sovereign debt crisis
  • Process of Europeanisation of the EU economic policy
  • EU member states' input in the formation of the EU banking union
  • Governance, financial and investment aspects of the Investment Plan for Europe
  • Insolvency issues in the euro area
  • Institutional aspects of EU member states' economic adjustment
  • Conditionality of economic adjustment in the European Union and worldwide
  • Economic diplomacy over the formation of economic zones

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 15 October, 2015
Notification to authors: 5 December, 2015
Final versions due: 31 December, 2015

Special issue published: "Mobile Sensing and Data Management for Sensor Networks"

International Journal of Sensor Networks 18(1/2) 2015
  • Data gathering architecture for temporary worksites based on a uniform deployment of wireless sensors
  • Fault-tolerant topology evolution and analysis of sensing systems in IoT based on complex networks
  • Distributed fuzzy c-means algorithms for big sensor data based on cloud computing
  • P7: a sensor monitoring and management framework for industrial sensor networks
  • Real-time query processing optimisation for wireless sensor networks
  • An adaptive scheme for data collection and aggregation in periodic sensor networks
Additional papers
  • Fast handoff with differentiated services based on broadcasting scheduling for VoWLAN
  • Practical scheduling for stochastic event capture in energy harvesting sensor networks
  • A novel security approach for struggling black hole attack in optimised link state routing protocol

International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling increases issues

The International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling has announced that it will be increasing issues from four to six from 2016 onwards.

20 June 2015

Free sample articles newly available from Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal

The following sample articles from Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal are now available here for free:
  • A qualitative multi-criteria, multi stakeholder decision making tool for sustainable waste management
  • Seeking industrial synergies in the French Chemical Valley territory: a methodological approach for decision support
  • An exploratory study for the long-term integration of ecodesign in SMEs: the environmental Trojan horse strategy
  • Building sustainability knowledge for product development and design - experiences from four manufacturing firms
  • An overview of the role of informatics-based systems in furthering an integrated paddock to plate food supply system
  • Carbon management strategies - a quest for corporate competitiveness

Inderscience is media partner for Energy From Waste 2015

Inderscience is a media partner for Energy From Waste (7-8 December 2015, London, UK).

The journals involved are:

Special issue published: "Health and Clinical Informatics in Chinese Medicine"

International Journal of Computers in Healthcare 2(2) 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine 2013.
  • Investigating the effects of climate factors on bacillary dysentery transmission in Harbin City, China
  • Multiple cues region growing segmentation on tongue image
  • Semi-supervised learning methods for large scale healthcare data analysis
  • Research on traditional Chinese medicine CBR based on ontology
  • Novel discoveries on relationship of the golden spiral and the Hetu and Lai's Taiji

Inderscience is media partner for Social Media in Defence and Military 2015

Inderscience is a media partner for Social Media within the Defence and Military Sector (19-20 November 2015, London, UK).

19 June 2015

Inderscience is media partner for Advances in Cell Based Assays 2015

Inderscience is a media partner for Advances in Cell Based Assays (10-11 November 2015, London, UK).

The journal involved is the International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems.

More information is available here.

Special issue published: "Smart Materials and Intelligent Devices"

International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials 5(4) 2014
  • Impact of dual material gate and lateral asymmetric channel in GS-DG-MOSFET
  • Delay analysis of ultra high speed InAlAs/InGaAs high electron mobility transistor
  • Investigation on tensile behaviour of gongura fibre made hybrid polymer matrix composite
  • Microstructure simulation of Ti-6Al-4V biomaterial produced by electron beam additive manufacturing process
  • Effect of Sb addition on optical properties change in As40Se60 chalcogenide thin films
  • Influence of atomic layer deposited coatings for MEMS applications: a review
  • Performance evaluation of multi-junction solar cell with a new InGaP tunnel junction
  • Energy transfer to piezoelectric component through magnetic resonant coupling
  • Thickness dependent microstructure of ZnO films prepared by spin coating technique

New Co-Editor for International Journal of Technoentrepreneurship

Prof. Dilek Cetindamar from Sabanci University in Turkey has joined the editor of the International Journal of Technoentrepreneurship, Prof. Franois Thrin, as Co-Editor.

18 June 2015

Inderscience is media partner for COPD 2015

Inderscience is a media partner for COPD (19-20 October 2015, London, UK).

The journal involved is the International Journal of Immunological Studies.

Further information is available here.

Call for papers: "Open Innovation, Knowledge Cities and the Creative Economy"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development.

With the arrival of the knowledge-based economy, people today live in a flood of knowledge. New knowledge and technologies now determine product innovation and even the structure and quality of cities. Therefore, the open and creative connection between knowledge or technologies and the markets – that is, open innovation – has become a very important political, economic and social issue for building creative knowledge cities and the creative economy.

A lot of today’s scholars from various disciplines suggest implementing open innovation strategies as a key to confronting the serious current crisis of capitalism derived from persistent unemployment, immense inequality and globalisation.

This special issue will focus on open innovation for building knowledge cities and the creative economy, will address burgeoning issues regarding today's knowledge cities, and will present ideas for the creative economy based on such open innovation subjects.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the Society of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity (SOItmC) & Knowledge Cities World Summit (KCWS) 2015, 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, the following:
  • City of the future, future of the city: open innovation and the ubiquitous city
  • Complexity, open innovation and knowledge cities
  • Start-ups, open innovation and knowledge cities
  • The creative economy and creative cities
  • Open innovation: technology, society and dynamics
  • Technology policy for open innovation and knowledge cities
  • Open innovation for smart mobility and complexity
  • Smart technology for good governance
  • Open innovation in energy
  • The importance of valuation and big data as a source of technology commercialisation in the open innovation era

Important Dates
Submission of full paper: 15 September, 2015
Notification of review results: 15 December, 2015
Final paper submission: 31 January, 2016

Special issue published: "Sustainability Energy Use and Management"

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal 9(1) 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the 1st International Conference “Sustainability Energy Use and Management” 2014.
  • Renewable energy: alternative for the mining industry on the American continent
  • The impact of privatisation on regulated energy markets: a Great Britain's case study in industrial ecology
  • Public incentives and environmental taxation for a sustainable C&D waste management in Spain: an industrial ecology challenge
  • The 'green economy' concept in Belarus: today and tomorrow
  • Bioeconomic sustainability and modelling energy systems
  • The eco-labelling in tourism: energy efficiency way
Additional papers
  • County government led EIP development using municipal biomass resources for clean energy production, a case study of the Catawba County North Carolina EcoComplex
  • De-constructing the sustainability challenge for engineering education: an industrial ecology approach
  • Towards sustainable waste management in the Baltic Sea region countries: the contribution of universities

17 June 2015

Special issue published: "Engineering Management for Enhancing Synergies in Collaborative Environments"

International Journal of Engineering Management and Economics 5(1/2) 2015
  • Justice and emotions in service recovery: a complaint in B2C e-commerce
  • A systematic approach for the analysis of the economic viability of investment projects
  • Improving the collaborative network performance through the activation of compatible strategies
  • A multiobjective fuzzy model for selecting and planning a project portfolio in a public organisation
  • INDITEX, a model company in the implementation of sustainable human resource management
  • Using inter-enterprise architecture as an instrument for decision-making under the arrival of unexpected events in hierarchical production planning
  • Supply chain integration, a key strategic capability for improving product and service value propositions: empirical evidence
  • Brief analysis of the discovery of America as a success case for the project stakeholder management
  • The new technology-based firm profile required for a delimitation of its definition in empirical studies
  • Implementing a lean production system on a food company: a case study

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies are now available here for free:
  • Efficient topology control scheme for wireless ad-hoc networks
  • Feature weighted unsupervised classification algorithm and adaptation for software cost estimation
  • Grey relational effort analysis technique using robust regression methods for individual projects
  • Learning predictors for flash memory endurance: a comparative study of alternative classification methods
  • Identifying risky environments for COPD patients using smartphones and internet of things objects

Call for papers: "The Effect of Culture, Gender and Religion on Opportunity Recognition"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

Twenty years ago an empirical study in ETP showed that what is perceived by somebody of one culture as an opportunity for entrepreneurship is not necessarily so for a person influenced by values of a different culture (Dana, 1995). Gender and religion also play an important role in the process of recognising opportunity for entrepreneurs (Dana, 2009; Dana, 2010; Dana and Ramadani, 2015).
Opportunity recognition is one of the core components of entrepreneurship as it affects the success and performance of business ventures. Cultural attitudes and behaviour influence the way that gender and religion are part of the process of evaluating opportunities based on societal expectations (Ramadani et al., 2013; Ratten et al., 2007).
Often gender roles are learned within a religious and cultural context that impedes or encourages entrepreneurship based on socio-economic status. In creating business ventures, gender and religion affect socio-economic conditions that in turn affect opportunity recognition.
The interplay of gender, culture and religion in the opportunity recognition process is the focus of this special issue. The aim of the issue is to examine opportunity recognition in line with culture, gender and religious aspects. These effects help to understand how opportunities are recognised by people, businesses and society based on cultural, gender and religious orientation.
Dana, L.P. (1995), “Entrepreneurship in a Remote Sub-Arctic Community: Nome, Alaska,” Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Vol. 20 No. 1, Fall, pp. 55-72. Reprinted in N. Krueger, editor, Entrepreneurship: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management, Volume IV, London: Routledge, 2002, pp. 255-275.
Dana, L-P. (2009), Religion as an explanatory variable for entrepreneurship, The International journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 10 (2),87-99
Dana, L-P., Ed. (2010), Entrepreneurship and religion, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Dana L.-P. & Ramadani V. (Eds.). 2015. Family business in transition economies. Heidelberg, Springer. Ramadani, V., Gërguri, S., Dana, L. P., & Tašaminova, T. (2013). Women entrepreneurs in the Republic of Macedonia: waiting for directions. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 19(1), 95-121.
Ratten, V., Dana, L. P., Han, M., & Welpe, I. (2007). Internationalisation of SMEs: European comparative studies. International journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 4(3), 361-379.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The impact of culture on opportunity recognition
    • Social and in-practice cultural heritage in entrepreneurial endeavours
    • Cultural determinants of propensity to enter into businesses
    • The links between culture, religion and gender in opportunity recognition
  • The role of religion in opportunity recognition
    • Life expectation and freedom to enter into business activities
    • The process of development and integration of religion and culture in business formation
    • The role of the church and state in encouraging or discouraging entrepreneurial activity
  • Gender effects on opportunity recognition
    • Gender role effects on self-determination towards entrepreneurship
    • Socio-economic conditions affecting opportunity recognition
    • The role of family, health and independence in business decisions

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 November, 2015
Notification to authors: 28 February, 2016
Final versions due: 31 May, 2016

16 June 2015

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation are now available here for free:
  • Effects of liquid epoxidised natural rubber on the torch ginger fibre reinforcement of natural rubber-polyethylene composites
  • Preparation and characterisation of epoxidised natural rubber/polyvinyl chloride/rice husk (ENR/PVC/RH) thin film composite by solution casting technique
  • The physical and chemical natures of cellulose extracted from torch ginger stems
  • Nanoindentation and microstructure of hybrid treated of AISI 316L at low temperature
  • Effect of strain rate on tensile and work hardening properties for Al-Zn magnesium alloys
  • Critical process and performance parameters of thermal arc spray coating
  • Preparation of nanostructures LaPO4 films by sol-gel reaction with different annealing temperature

Call for papers: "Recent Advancements in Vehicle Vibration and Energy Harvesting Research"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Vehicle Performance.

With the concern in recent years over environmental issues and the shortage of energy supplies, energy harvesting has attracted much attention. Harvesting the dissipated kinematic and thermal energy created through vehicle operation has become a valid solution for driving on-board electrical devices and to lessen fuel usage. Many energy harvesting technologies have been investigated for harnessing energy from the vehicle as a supplement source.

Meanwhile, with the development of electronics and computer technology, more and more electrical and information technologies are being developed to solve the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) problem and meet the higher customer requirements for vehicle ride comfort and handling stability.

This special issue aims at encouraging scholars and engineers to present their latest advancements in vehicle vibration and energy harvesting technology, from research and development to manufacturing and practical applications. The objective of this issue is to cover all practical aspects of various theories, computational and experimental methods, the synergetic integration of mechanical engineering with electronic, intelligent control in NVH and electrical energy regeneration application related to the components, sub-system or whole system of various types of vehicles, including passenger cars and commercial vehicles, etc.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Energy harvesting methods and applications
  • Energy harvesting system design, integration and validation
  • Energy harvesting related to vehicle performance
  • Energy harvesting associated with vehicle operating conditions
  • Vibration, shock isolation and control
  • NVH, energy harvesting potential and efficiency
  • Passive and active damping
  • Crashworthiness
  • Modal analysis
  • Energy conversion systems
  • Power electronics

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 June, 2016

Special Issue published: "Advances in Computing and Applications"

International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies 4(1) 2015

Extended versions of papers presented at the International Conference on Advanced Computing, Networking and Informatics 2013.
  • Design of an efficient reversible single precision floating point adder
  • Perceptual feature-based song genre classification using RANSAC
  • Parallel weighted semantic fusion for cross-media retrieval
  • Semantic indexing of hybrid frequent pattern-based clustering of documents with missing semantic information
  • Geo distance-based event detection in social media
  • Efficient object tracking algorithm using modified colour-texture descriptor

15 June 2015

Inderscience is media partner for Cancer Vaccines 2015

Inderscience is a media partner for Cancer Vaccines (16-17 September 2015, London, UK).

The journals involved is the International Journal of Biotechnology.

More information on the event is available here.

First issue: Luxury Research Journal (free sample issue available)

Luxury Research Journal is a cross-disciplinary, peer-reviewed international journal that publishes high-quality conceptual and empirical articles (using quantitative or qualitative approaches), as well as cutting-edge case studies that are relevant to the luxury industry. It also presents viewpoints of influential experts within the industry. LRJ aims to establish itself as the leading journal on luxury research for academics and practitioners.

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

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology are now available here for free:
  • Disaster risk assessment management - implications to urban development and agriculture - experience from Kosovo
  • The adoption of farm level soil conservation practices in developed countries: a meta-analytic review
  • Risk considerations in the economic assessment of low-input crop production techniques: an example from Swiss wheat production
  • Analysing the links between agriculture and climate change: can 'best management practices' be responsive to climate extremes?
  • Economic analysis and environmental impacts of water harvesting techniques in the low rainfall areas of Jordan
  • Institutional response to external disturbances in spate irrigation systems of Punjab, Pakistan
  • Inventorying resources: an application to product-oriented agriculture

Midsummer Research Picks 2015

Cuckoo to you
How do you colour a map so that no two regions that share a border are the same colour, what is the minimum number of colours needed? Similarly, how do you colour, or tag a network so that no adjacent nodes have the same colour or tag? This is the classic “graph colouring problem” one of a group of difficult puzzles mathematicians call NP-hard problems. Countless approaches have attempted to solve the “GCP”. Now, a team in Algeria has turned to quantum theory and a statistical approach known as a cuckoo search algorithm to make their attempt to surmount this mountainous task. The approach can with relative speed search for solutions for a given graph and the final results, the team says are “very encouraging”, offering not only a possible answer to an old problem but demonstrating how a quantum computer might carry out such difficult tasks.

Djelloul, H., Layeb, A. and Chikhi, S. (2015) ‘Quantum inspired cuckoo search algorithm for graph colouring problem’, Int. J. Bio-Inspired Computation, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp.183–194.

Can you see clearly now?
A new approach to testing whether or not a “de-fogging” algorithm can truly enhance a photo or other images with quality compromised by bad weather or degradation, without loss of too much information, has been developed by a team in China. The team has first devised a method for generating a synthetic fog so that the defogging algorithms can be evaluated and the secondly they have developed a way to assess the results of defogging software that corresponds closely to visual assessment without relying on a reference. Automated image manipulation and enhancement is becoming increasingly important in science, security and other areas and so being able to judge objectively whether or not a given defogging algorithm will work with a given class of image is also increasingly important so that automated enhancement might be implemented.

Guo, F., Tang, J. and Cai, Z. (2015) ‘An objective assessment method for image defogging effects’, Int. J. Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems, Vol. 8, Nos. 2/3, pp.180–199.

Alluring and luring women entrepreneurs
Researchers in Mauritius suggest that female entrepreneurship is a significant component of economic growth and business innovation in the modern world. However, they suspect that women still face many challenges that their male counterparts do not. Moreover, they also suspect that there remains a gap between the successes men and women have in different areas of entrepreneurship. They have investigated the state of play in Mauritius and found that the gap between male and female entrepreneurs remains a fundamental problem. They add that despite the equity in what the authorities and private institutions offer, there are, in reality, subtle and disarming differences between how male and female entrepreneurs are treated.

Mahadeo, J.D., Dusoye, I.C. and Aujayeb-Rogbeer, A. (2015) ‘Women and entrepreneurship: an alluring or luring option’, Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp.351–374.

A fruity spot the difference
As humans, we can distinguish very easily between a potato and a mango just from a quick glance, but in automated logistics for food selection, transport and sales, there is a need to develop computer vision systems that can distinguish between different fruit and vegetables. Researchers in India have introduced a framework for analysing images that involves background subtraction, feature extraction, training and classification so that colour and texture can be distinguished and similarly shaped fruit and vegetables identified. The team says that their experimental results show that the proposed approach supports accurate fruit and vegetable recognition and performs better than standalone colour and texture features.

Dubey, S.R. and Jalal, A.S. (2015) ‘Fruit and vegetable recognition by fusing colour and texture features of the image using machine learning’, Int. J. Applied Pattern Recognition, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.160–181.

Midsummer Research Picks 2015 is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
via Science Spot » Inderscience http://ift.tt/1Gn2GfZ

12 June 2015

The trouble with fracking

The UK may be sitting on vast reserves of shale gas accessible with today’s technology to the petrochemicals industry only through the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking”. Unfortunately for the industry and its lobbyists there are strong public opinions on fracking not least because of five major environmental and health concerns about its use:
  • Carbon dioxide and methane emissions, particularly the potential for increased fugitive methane emissions during drilling compared with drilling for conventional gas
  • The volumes of water and chemicals used in fracking and their subsequent disposal
  • The possible risk of contaminating groundwater with chemicals used in fracking and the release of subterranean materials
  • Competing land use requirements in densely populated areas
  • The physical effects of fracking in the form of increased seismic activity
There is conflicting research that considers these various risks, but nothing yet addresses the concerns people have to the satisfaction of those worried about the risks. Writing in the journal World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, a team from the UK suggests that the UK government has done nothing to allay public fears it is also biased in its planning guidance towards the development of shale gas reserves. Peter Jones and Daphne Comfort of the Business School, at the University of Gloucestershire, and David Hillier Centre for Police Sciences, University of South Wales, see the major national economic and energy benefits claimed by those who would frack, but does not seem concerned with the risks , which are concentrated at the local level.

Moreover, as anti-fracking campaigns strengthen, the team suspects that the UK Government may revisit its decision not to treat planning applications for shale gas exploration and development as nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs), which would take the decision to allow fracking out of local authority hands and make it a decision of central government.

Not only is this of grave concern to local people, the development of shale gas reserves seems to be a significant conflict of interest in the light of the government’s purported commitment to “increasing the deployment of renewable energy”, which will supposedly help to “make sure the UK has a secure supply of energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow down climate change” and to “stimulate investment in new jobs and businesses”.

Wind turbines, tidal surge generators, solar farms and other all have their opponents for ecological, aesthetic and many other reasons too, but the industry of fracking has no claim to sustainability in energy terms nor in regard to it simply adding to our atmospheric carbon burden and forcing climate change, nor can its industrial scale implementation across the country be anything but an anti-aesthetic option.

Jones, P., Hillier, D. and Comfort, D. (2015) ‘The contested future of fracking for shale gas in the UK: risk, reputation and regulation’, World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp.377–390.

The trouble with fracking is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
via Science Spot » Inderscience http://ift.tt/1Gje5xd

11 June 2015

Call for papers: "Mobility of Off-Road Vehicles"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Vehicle Performance.

This special issue will focus on the mobility performance of off-road vehicles, both tracked and wheeled. Numerical modelling capabilities for track and tyre ground interaction have largely been limited to simple theories in terramechanics.

Researchers have attempted more advanced techniques but computational overheads and model parameter estimations seemed to be hindrances in many cases. Another gap in mobility is the availability of the test data necessary for the development of tyre, track and soil models as well as for vehicle performance validation.

In this special issue we would like to gather pioneering research findings in diverse mobility aspects such as experimentation, modelling and simulation and validation.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following in relation to off-road vehicle mobility:
  • Tyre, track, terrain and soil models
  • Off-road vehicle mobility performance measurement
  • Terrain modelling
  • Mobility evaluation uncertainty analysis
  • Tracked and wheeled vehicle mobility comparison
  • Fording simulation
  • Tyre-soil and track-soil interaction modelling
  • Rolling resistance
  • Testing of large tyres, track shoes and machine systems
  • Simulation methodologies
  • Treatment of uncertainties
  • Benchmarking
  • Validation
  • High-performance computing

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 April, 2016

10 June 2015

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Teaching and Case Studies

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies are now available here for free:
  • Integration of multiple tasks of comprehension of reading texts into freshman English classes
  • Experimenting an implementation-focused approach to undergraduate compiler course
  • Is deep learning rewarded? A quantitative study on the relationship between learning approaches and academic scores
  • Corporate role in women's empowerment: second career internship programme from Tata
  • Physics teachers' instructional practices in Malaysian schools
  • Extending the case study: assigning an educational novel and student role-playing in the accounting information systems course

Inderscience is media partner for IEI Turkey Energy Conference

Inderscience is a media partner for the 2nd Annual IEI Turkey Energy Conference (10-11 September 2015, Istanbul, Turkey).

The journals involved are:

Free sample articles newly available from Int. Journal of Corporate Governance

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Corporate Governance are now available here for free:
  • Effect of internal audit function on corporate governance quality: evidence from Lebanon
  • Internal governance mechanism and default probability: evidence from US public firms
  • Regulating takeover defences in China: the UK model in books and the US model in action
  • Regulating informed trading before merger bids in Canada
  • Illegal insider trading and corporate governance

4 June 2015

Call for papers: "Advances in Parallel Methods for Scientific Computing"

For a special issue of the International Journal of High Performance Computing and Networking.

This special issue will bring together the recent research and experiences of computer scientists, applied mathematicians and other researchers in the area of parallel computing for problems in scientific applications.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Development of advanced parallel algorithms, applications and middleware applicable to scientific computing
  • Scientific computing in HPC architectures, including supercomputers, clusters, manycores, multicores, GPUs, FPGAs, etc.
  • Practical experiences using vparallel programming models such as CAF, UPC, Global Arrays, Chapel, Cilk, Intel TBB, X10, Charm++, etc.
  • Case studies in asynchronous many task programming models and their use
  • Resilient algorithms, applications and programming models
  • Compiler, hardware and OS issues for parallel scientific computing
  • Memory system and I/O support for parallel scientific computing
  • Power and energy efficiency issues, performance modelling, tuning and evaluation of parallel scientific computing

Important Dates
Submission of manuscripts: 30 September, 2015
Notification to authors: 30 November, 2015
Final versions due: 15 January, 2016

Social networking against cancer

The advent of online social networks has led to the rapid development of tools for understanding the interactions between members of the network, their activity, the connections, the hubs and nodes. But, any relationships between lots of entities, whether users of Facebook and Twitter, bees in a colony, birds in a flock, or the genes and proteins in our bodies can be analyzed with the same tools. Now, research published in International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics shows how social network analysis can be used to understand and identify the biomarkers in our bodies for diseases, including different types of cancer.

Tansel Özyer, Serkan Ucer and Taylan Iyidogan of the Department of Computer Engineering, at TOBB University, in Ankara, Turkey, explain how the detection of disease biomarkers in general and cancer biomarkers in particular has become an important task in medical research and diagnostics. They have now used the tools of Social Network Analysis (SNA) to help them unravel the connections and identify the biomarkers present in patient genomic microarray data.

By analogy with a social network, the team views genes as actors or members of the social network and similarities between different genes are considered to be the connections between these actors. Genomic databases can be vast, given that the human genome comprises some 20 000 genes, and so such an approach can, they suggest, dramatically decrease the number of features that must be analyzed to find useful biomarkers. Once identified and understood, such biomarkers can then be tested for in screening programs for people at risk of a given disease or for diagnosis should the present with particular symptoms.

The team has demonstrated proof of principle with three types of cancer: lymphoma, colon cancer and leukemia. “We showed how our approach is capable of effectively detecting cancer biomarkers out of high-dimensional genomic data,” the team reports. “We combined clustering and classification into the developed framework to help in detecting the links between the various genes within the model and to validate the outcome, respectively.” The next step will be to optimize the approach and to extend it to protein-protein interactions, protein-gene interactions, disease-protein interactions, disease-drug interactions all with a view to improving diagnostics and tailoring therapy for the individual patient based on the outcomes of their personal biological network analysis.

Özyer, T., Ucer, S. and Iyidogan, T. (2015) ‘Employing social network analysis for disease biomarker detection’, Int. J. Data Mining and Bioinformatics, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp.343–362.

Social networking against cancer is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
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