15 April 2017

Research Picks Extra – April 2017

Meeting madness
Love them or hate them workplace meetings are almost as certain as death and taxes even if they are often inefficient, unproductive, and a waste of time. Moreover, the counterproductive behaviour of any combination of managers, staff or even teams can be deleterious to the wellbeing of those concerned and trickle into the workplace to those people who did not attend the meeting. New research suggests that those most badly affected by counterproductive and frustrating behaviour in meetings tend to be those people who are themselves more agreeable and empathetic than others. Whereas to more aggressive and assertive characters, it’s water off the proverbial duck’s back. There are implications for managerial practice and for suffering workplace meetings without suffering too much.
Yoerger, M., Crowe, J., Allen, J.A. and Jones, J. (2017) ‘Meeting madness: counterproductive meeting behaviours and personality traits’, Int. J. Management Practice, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp.203–223.

Computer, what movie do you recommend?
Recommendation systems for shopping, music and even friends and contacts have become commonplace since the advent of social media and social networking. A new data mining approach to collaborative filtering that allows a computer algorithm to pluck movie recommendations for users based on personal preferences and those of their associates could generate more personalised suggestions than other systems, according to research from India.
Subramaniyaswamy, V., Logesh, R., Chandrashekhar, M., Challa, A. and Vijayakumar, V. (2017) ‘A personalised movie recommendation system based on collaborative filtering’, Int. J. High Performance Computing and Networking, Vol. 10, Nos. 1/2, pp.54–63.

Preparing for a rainy day in the cloud
Cloud computing, distributed services on remote servers, is a very popular way to gain access to fast, high-powered computing and data storage without having to purchase costly in-house equipment. However, as several high-profile cases show, cloud services are vulnerable to attack from malicious third parties through the likes of a denial-of-service (DOS) attack on the servers. A DOS not only makes the technology unusable, often for extended periods of time, but while the servers are busy attempting to handle the massive wave of data requests behind such an attack, they are also vulnerable to attack by malware and from hackers who can break into such systems while other parts of the server network are effectively “distracted” by the attack. A team from Australia and China have demonstrated a significant type of attack on cloud services running virtual machines. Their revelations should allow operators to tighten security and close loopholes in their clouds.
Liu, M., Dou, W. and Yu, S. (2017) ‘How to shutdown a cloud: a DDoS attack in a private infrastructure-as-a-service cloud’, Int. J. Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp.1–14.

Tuberculosis, the old disease with new life
In 1993, the re-emergence of tuberculosis (TB) led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the disease a global emergency. Once thought to have been conquered by antibiotics, various socioeconomic factors have led to the worrying spread of TB beyond the usual endemic enclaves of the disease. Poverty, increasing intravenous drug use, the spread of HIV/AIDS and the causative bacteria become resistant to antibiotics are all working in concert to bring back a lethal disease. The Stop TB Partnership hopes to essentially eradicate TB by 2050, cutting the number of annual cases to fewer than one case per million population. Scientists from Korea have looked at 22 so-called high-burden countries that account for 80% of incidence and made their own forecasts for how likely the effort is going to be in reducing incidence to those levels. Their forecasts suggest that for all but four or five of those countries the reduction targets will be met, but the outliers will remain of significant concern for years after without urgent modifications to medical strategy there.
Chang, Y.S. and Choi, C.Y. (2017) ‘Will the Stop TB Partnership targets on TB control be realised on schedule? Projection of future incidence, prevalence and death rates’, Int. J. Data Science, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.44–69.

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