30 November 2023

Research pick: A happy workforce, is a productive workforce - "Impact of workplace happiness on employee engagement: a comparative study of IT and non-IT sector employees"

Research in the International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management has investigated workplace happiness and its impact on productivity within and outside the information technology sector in Delhi. Their findings shed light on the significant impact of workplace happiness on employee engagement and emphasize its universal relevance.

Sana Vakeel and Sunita Shukla of the ITS Engineering College and Vikas Singh of ITS – The Education Group, all in Greater Noida, India, statistical analyses such as Karl Pearson’s correlation and regression methods to glean information from employees surveyed about their jobs and happiness. The analysis found that between a fifth and a quarter (23.7% variance) of employee engagement could be attributed to their happiness in the workplace.

This degree of statistical significance thus underscores the integral role of employee happiness in fostering organizational success. This points to a need for managers and employers to be aware of their employees’ psychological well-being not only as part of an inclusive approach to employment but also for the benefit of the organisation’s own well-being.

Interestingly, the positive correlation observed between workplace happiness and employee engagement holds true in both the IT sector and in other areas of work. The variance in the IT sector was 23.1 percent and slightly lower at 22.8 percent in the non-IT sector, although these two figures are close enough to suggest a universality of workplace happiness influencing employee engagement.

The team points out that the research corroborates earlier findings that looked at various other factors alongside happiness and job characteristics with regard to employee engagement. The results underscore the strategic importance of prioritizing workplace happiness for the mutual benefit of employee and employer. As businesses grapple with an ever-changing economic environment and a constantly shifting social landscape, it becomes increasingly important to consider factors such as employee happiness.

Vakeel, S., Shukla, S. and Singh, V. (2023) ‘Impact of workplace happiness on employee engagement: a comparative study of IT and non-IT sector employees’, Int. J. Public Sector Performance Management, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp.482–496.

29 November 2023

Research pick: Flushed with success: IoT cleans up lavatorial hygiene - "A system to prevent toiletry (lavatory)-based diseases such as norovirus, staphylococcus, escherichia and streptococcus through IoT and embedded systems"

In the wake of a pandemic caused by an airborne pathogen, it is easy to forget that many other pathogens are transmitted through very different routes. For instance, many diseases that cause serious and sometimes lethal illness are transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces and thence to the nose and mouth, other orifices, or even cuts and wounds. Research in the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms has looked at whether or not the Internet of Things (IoT) might be used to help combat the spread of disease commonly associated with poor lavatorial hygiene.

R. Giridhararajan, Ikram Shah, and S. Karthikeyan of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, the Armita University in Coimbatore, and colleagues Shriram K. Vasudevan of the K. Ramakrishnan College of Technology in Trichy, and S.N. Abhishek of the Cognitive Technology and Innovation Centre in Karnataka, India, point out that there are many remote locations with public toilet facilities. Such facilities may not necessarily come under conventional or frequent cleaning and maintenance schedules and so can be a source of hazardous pathogens.

In addition, there are also toilets at airports, railway stations, on ships, and other modes of transport to consider. While some may be regularly cleaned and well-maintained there is always the potential for this not to be the case and for a toilet to become a hub through which many people become infected with a given pathogen.

The team points out that microbes such as staphylococcus, escherichia, and streptococcus as well as norovirus and other viruses can cause serious health problems. Children, older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions may be most at risk of sickness and even death.

A frugal IoT-based system has now been developed by the team that could be used to monitor and help with the hygiene of lavatories. The system uses various sensor inputs, allowing real-time monitoring, data collection, and user feedback on lavatory conditions. Automated alerts generated by the system prompt necessary cleaning and maintenance as required. Such a system ensures quality levels can be maintained and reduces the burden from frequent cleaning to necessary cleaning where facilities have been used little. While, ideally, all lavatories would be cleaned frequently and thoroughly, where staff and budget are constrained, IoT monitoring could ensure that hygiene issues are addressed in a timely manner at well-used and toilets that have become unacceptably dirty while reducing the urgency of cleaning facilities that are little used and generally clean.

The researchers add that integrating machine learning into the system could improve efficiency still further by predicting usage and soiling patterns over time.

Giridhararajan, R., Vasudevan, S.K., Shah, I., Karthikeyan, S. and Abhishek, S.N. (2023) ‘A system to prevent toiletry (lavatory)-based diseases such as norovirus, staphylococcus, escherichia and streptococcus through IoT and embedded systems’, Int. J. Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp.158–170.

Special issue published: "Happiness and Performance Management in the Modern Globalised Business Scenario"

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management 12(4) 2023

  • Impact of workplace happiness on employee engagement: a comparative study of IT and non-IT sector employees
  • A study on employee engagement practices in the automobile industry: an employee perspective
  • Faculty work engagement and happiness: an empirical research
  • Analysing political opinions using machine learning
  • Study of customers' satisfaction towards internet banking services
  • Improving interpretive structural modelling for agile methodology using two-way assessment
  • Role of risk characteristics on capital structure adjustments: evidence from India
  • Robustness of Sharpe single index model in Indian market: a unique approach to identify gems
  • Impact of happiness and self-awareness on work performance: a study of India
  • Effect of synergy success and efficiency gains through mergers and acquisitions on research and development

Dr. Adrianna Kozierkiewicz appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems

Dr. Adrianna Kozierkiewicz from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems.

28 November 2023

Research pick: Is pretty good, good enough? - "The study of PGP web of trust based on social network analysis"

Research in the International Journal of Business Information Systems has used social network analysis to look at the most important and influential users utilising PGP (pretty good privacy) data encryption to reveal where there might be problems that could lead to compromise of data.

Victor Chang and Qianwen Ariel Xu of Teesside University, Middlesbrough UK, Lina Xiao of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China, Anastasija Nikiforova of the University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, Ben S.C. Liu of Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA, point out that PGP is most commonly used in protecting email but there is the issue of ensuring that the encryption keys being used have not been forged and so are not vulnerable to snooping or hacking by malicious third parties.

The team used social network analysis tools to examine the online interactions of PGP users with a view to identifying putative threats and vulnerabilities in the system. The team conducted two analyses: first a traditional centrality analysis and secondly the less common K-means clustering analysis. The former allowed them to identify the key figures within the network based on higher centrality, which suggests greater influence over other users. The latter, more precise method, allowed them to find clusters of important users in order to give them a comprehensive picture of the overall community structure of the network.

The team found that there were a range of interaction patterns among PGP users, ranging from frequent to isolated interactions. However, those users with higher centrality, tended to be more frequent PGP users, making them potential targets for scrutiny. The K-means clustering algorithm highlighted influential users who might be perceived as targets by malicious third parties. It also hinted at the converse, where a seemingly influential and trusted user may not be entirely legitimate and may themselves be present and gaining widespread trust for nefarious purposes, such as forging illicit PGP keys for fraudulent, espionage, and other dishonest activities. The implications extend beyond PGP, offering a framework applicable to various domains such as business partnerships, supply chains, and criminal network studies.

Chang, V., Xiao, L., Nikiforova, A., Xu, Q.A. and Liu, B.S.C. (2023) ‘The study of PGP web of trust based on social network analysis’, Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp.285–302.

Special issue published: "Internet of Things for Manufacturing and Service Industries"

International Journal of Internet Manufacturing and Services 9(4) 2023

  • Information data perception allocation method for industrial internet of things based on dissimilarity algorithm
  • Processing station tracking control method of assembly robot based on narrow band internet of things
  • A compensation method of end pose error of industrial welding robot based on internet of things
  • Research on multi-objective workflow rapid scheduling based on improved heuristic algorithm
  • Data fusion method of industrial internet of things based on fuzzy theory
  • Multi-path reliable routing technology of industrial internet of things based on sparrow search algorithm
  • Multi-objective scheduling method of workflow task based on tabu search algorithm

27 November 2023

Research pick: Improving knowledge management - "How can you manage the knowledge of your projects?"

Research published in the International Journal of Business Information Systems looks at how effective knowledge management within a project-oriented organization can improve efficiency. The study explores the intricacies of knowledge management, focusing on best practices derived from past experience to enhance future projects.

In the contemporary business landscape, knowledge is an invaluable asset for most organizations, especially those that are project-driven. The ability to learn from and manage experience creates an environment for the improvement of internal processes, services, and of course, the products that are the essential output of the company. The paper asserts that at the heart of organizational knowledge is project management. As organizations undertake projects, often intricate and constrained by time and budget, handling the knowledge generated is important for running those projects and benefiting future projects.

The research shows that at least half of the problems encountered during a new project will have been seen in a previous project. Whether they addressed those problems successfully or not is a different matter, but having this knowledge to hand when working on a new project can help guide the team on the new project to build on earlier successes and avoid repeating mistakes.

One key aspect of the findings is the necessity of measuring learning success. The team echoes Peter Drucker’s insight that “we can’t manage what we can’t measure.” The paper thus emphasizes the need for clear objectives and a strategic framework for successful knowledge management. Project managers, the study suggests, have a critical role to play in fostering a culture of continuous learning and facilitating knowledge transfer between organizational initiatives.

The researchers allude to a model proposed within the pharmaceutical industry in 1999. However, they also suggest that contemporary research must now validate the relevance of that model in the current era. Moreover, the researchers stress the need for adaptability to future situations and environments as new projects are initiated. They advocate for the development of distinct models tailored to specific project types and their integration into the project management system with knowledge management at its heart.

Pereira, L., da Costa, R.L., Dias, Á., Gonçalves, R. and Santos, R. (2023) ‘How can you manage the knowledge of your projects?’, Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp.180–201.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Gender Studies in Developing Societies

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Gender Studies in Developing Societies are now available here for free:
  • Women's participation, agency and social provisions in peace agreements
  • Key influences on innovativeness of women entrepreneurs in Tunisia: the mediating role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy
  • Agency achieved or not: result of a development intervention targeting ultra-poor women in Bangladesh
  • Gender equality in selected Philippine agrarian reform cooperative management: the women-members' perspectives
  • Citizens of a lesser gender: women participation in leadership positions in Tanzania
  • Understanding the gender gap in learning outcomes in primary education: evidence from PASEC results

25 November 2023

Research pick: Nuanced retail pricing - "Who can profit from personalised pricing – supplier, retailers, or consumers?"

Online businesses often use personalized pricing strategies to entice new customers to buy but at the detriment to loyal customers who simply get offered the standard price. According to research in the International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, which has examined market dynamics in this context, there is a complex interplay between suppliers, retailers, and customers. In the world of pricing and advertising competition, dominant and weaker retailers could do well to understand the pros and cons of their strategies in terms of their bottom line.

Biao Ma and Li Li of Nanjing University of Science and Technology in Jiangsu Province, China have found that dominant retailers consistently opt for unified pricing, a fixed strategy, while weaker retailers employ personalized pricing when it is cost-effective and only use unified pricing when they perceive it not to be. Weaker retailers generally imagine that personalised pricing will lead to greater profits.

Historically, dominant retailers with significant market power, can, of course, secure products at lower wholesale cost, when compared with the prices at which weaker retailers are able to buy their stock. The fundamental issue is that the smaller retailer simply lacks bargaining power and cannot compete on its offering to consumers without turning to personalized pricing strategies, a strategy facilitated by e-commerce.

The perception is that a personalized pricing strategy draws in new customers without alienating loyal customers, although wily consumers will be well aware that retailers use this approach to price and may be deterred from sticking with a retailer if they feel they are being duped or can get a better deal elsewhere.

The new study builds a model to look at how pricing and advertising competition guide retailer decision-making and ultimately the profits they make. The model challenges the assumption that personalized pricing universally benefits retailers, highlighting that intense price competition actually favours their suppliers. Moreover, it becomes obvious from the work that information technology can shape personalized pricing but does not necessarily control the effectiveness of personalised pricing strategies across markets. The work emphasises the importance of recognizing asymmetric markets, where dominant retailers embrace unified pricing, and weaker retailers flip between personalized and unified pricing.

Ma, B. and Li, L. (2023) ‘Who can profit from personalised pricing – supplier, retailers, or consumers?’, Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organisations, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp.183–210.

23 November 2023

Free open access article available: "Successful employee retention practices: characteristics found in Danish and Icelandic banks"

The following paper, "Successful employee retention practices: characteristics found in Danish and Icelandic banks" (International Journal of Business Information Systems 44(2) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: A different kind of peer pressure - "I shouldn’t have helped you! When and why the student helper resents helping the peer: a qualitative inquiry"

A study in the International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies has looked at the dynamics of student peers helping each other with their educational needs. Peer mentoring and collaborative learning are highlighted but the research shows a worrying phenomenon whereby a high-performing student becomes resentful of a fellow student to whom they give assistance when that student then outperforms them and achieves higher grades. Such resentment might well scupper efforts to encourage peer mentoring and collaborative learning and must be taken into consideration when developing educational programs to facilitate such approaches to study.

Shih Yung Chou, Niyati Kataria, Shainell Joseph, and Charles Ramser of the Dillard College of Business Administration at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA, conducted a qualitative study of 113 undergraduate students enrolled on a business program. They explored the students’ motivations behind peer assistance and the interplay between assistance and resentment, and the impact these had on subsequent student behaviour.

Peer helping, a form of student-student interaction where knowledge is shared voluntarily to aid every student’s understanding of the course materials, is widely recognized as having a broadly positive impact in education. However, the new study, using a grounded theory approach to analyze qualitative data, sheds light on the putative emotional fallout of peer assistance that, for some students, might have negative effects on some students and so hinder future collaboration.

The team identified various reasons as to why students might help their peers: a sense of moral obligation, mastery of course material, or simple requests from their fellow students for help. There is a critical pivot point around which the student helper may feel aggrieved and resentful of the successes of the student they help, however. Such resentment is triggered by factors such as a perceived lack of effort from their peer or an imbalance in the give-and-take dynamic. This can significantly influence the helper’s future behaviour in this context, making it less likely that they will agree to helping any of their peers in the future.

The researchers suggest that educators and educational policymakers need to address the emotional and interpersonal aspects of peer assistance so that collaboration among students can be sustained. There is a need to maximize the mutual benefits of collaborative learning, while minimizing potential problems that can arise.

Chou, S.Y., Kataria, N., Joseph, S. and Ramser, C. (2023) ‘I shouldn’t have helped you! When and why the student helper resents helping the peer: a qualitative inquiry’, Int. J. Teaching and Case Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.148–165.

Special issue published: "Business Transformation Through Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Digitalisation"

International Journal of Business and Globalisation 35(3) 2023

  • A study of levels of language of private FM radio stations and their communication management
  • Mobile banking services adoption in India: the current scenario
  • Competent edge to activate the intention of online customer
  • Women performance affected by work-life balance factors - a demographic study
  • Whistle blowing of corporate frauds in India
  • Revisiting quality indicators of management education
  • Examining consumer psychology and marketing professionals perceptions towards neuromarketing
  • Information overload as an antecedent of turnover intentions among software engineers of north Indian organisations: a study based on gender and marital status
  • Analysis of entrepreneurial skills among the students of higher education system in India
  • Level of dissemination of information on adherence to Shariah principles: a study of Shariah compliant companies in India

22 November 2023

Research pick: Entrepreneurial adventures in India - "Performance measures of startups"

In the world of entrepreneurship, the choice between venture capital and angel funding stands can be critical for the long-term success of a startup company. Traditionally, companies backed by venture capital are hailed as the frontrunners in success, overshadowing their angel-funded counterparts. However, a recent in-depth study of the Indian startup landscape published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, challenges the received wisdom and sheds new light on a more nuanced perspective.

Praveen M. Kulkarni of the KLS Institute of Management Education and Research, Y.M. Satish of the MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, and Prayag Gokhale of KLE Tech, Belagavi Campus, all in Karnataka, India, looked at the economically vibrant backdrop of Bengaluru. This region is perhaps India’s leading startup hub with over 5000 ventures across many diverse sectors. The research investigates the performance of startups based on their funding sources, venture capital or angel funding. The findings have implications in this region and way beyond it.

The researchers emphasize the significance of adopting a professional approach and utilizing appropriate performance metrics for startups in the Indian business milieu. Unlike earlier research that often simply drew from the experiences of established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or larger corporations, this study instead focuses on the distinctive framework of startup ecosystems.

Venture capital funding is well known for not only injecting capital into a fledgling company but also in providing invaluable experience and knowledge-based support for the company. Angel funding, on the other hand, tends to operate through third-party arrangements and while it allows startups to retain complete ownership and control, this means angel-funded startups do not necessarily benefit from the external expertise crucial for sustained growth that is almost a given with venture funding.

Kulkarni, P.M., Satish, Y.M. and Gokhale, P. (2023) ‘Performance measures of startups’, Int. J. Entrepreneurial Venturing, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp.409–422.

Free open access article available: "Affordable or premium innovation? The influence of individual and contextual factors on innovators' engagement in different innovation types"

The following paper, "Affordable or premium innovation? The influence of individual and contextual factors on innovators' engagement in different innovation types" (International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing 15(5) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

21 November 2023

Research pick: Indonesia’s Village Fund program and the dynamics of rural poverty - "Moderation of village funds and mediation of agricultural sector growth on poverty in rural areas"

A study published in the International Journal of Economics and Business Research looks at rural poverty in Indonesia and sheds light on the interplay between the Village Fund program, agricultural sector growth, population migration, and changes in land use. The study used multigroup structural equation modelling with WarpPLS (partial least squares) to analyse data obtained from the Central Bureau of Statistics for 33 provinces.

Earlier work in this area had treated the Village Fund program as an independent variable. The new study, undertaken by Abd. Rahman Razak and Nur Imam Saifullah of Hasanuddin University, Adji Achmad Rinaldo Fernandes of Brawijaya University, reveals that this program has a a moderating effect, influencing the strength of relationships between other key factors associated with rural economics. Critically, the team found that an increase in the Village Fund can either enhance or weaken connections between population migration, changes in land use, agricultural sector growth, and rural poverty.

The work thus underscores the need for prudent Village Fund management. Funds should be allocated strategically to projects that support agricultural sector growth, maintain land use and help to reduce rural poverty. Strategies such as using the Village Fund for building basic infrastructure, supporting productive agricultural businesses, and developing agro-industry are thus emphasised with a view to ensuring the program has a positive mediating effect overall.

Fundamentally, in order to address issues such as land use change and outward migration, an annual increase in the Village Fund is needed. Also, effort must be made to attract agricultural sector investors and create an investment-friendly environment in villages. There is a need too, to develop the agricultural sub-sectors at the forefront of each village’s economic activity and to emphasize the processing of agricultural products to boost value and improve competitiveness.

The research offers practical insights for policymakers, advocating for a comprehensive and stimulating approach to using the Village Fund program with a view to improving rural development and the lives of those people living and working in these regions.

Razak, A.R., Fernandes, A.A.R. and Saifullah, N.I. (2023) ‘Moderation of village funds and mediation of agricultural sector growth on poverty in rural areas’, Int. J. Economics and Business Research, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp.463–483.

20 November 2023

Free open access article available: "The perishment of the economics sector in women's domestication during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia"

The following paper, "The perishment of the economics sector in women's domestication during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia" (International Journal of Economics and Business Research 26(4) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Prof. Bice Della Piana appointed as new Editor in Chief of European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management

Prof. Bice Della Piana from the University of Salerno in Italy has been appointed to take over editorship of the European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

Free open access article available: "Moderation of village funds and mediation of agricultural sector growth on poverty in rural areas"

The following paper, "Moderation of village funds and mediation of agricultural sector growth on poverty in rural areas" (International Journal of Economics and Business Research 26(4) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

18 November 2023

Research pick: HRM by AI - "Artificial intelligence definition, applications and adoption in human resource management: a systematic literature review"

A detailed literature review in the International Journal of Business Innovation and Research has looked at the interplay between artificial intelligence (AI) tools and human resource management (HRM). The review aims to provide clarity on the nuanced dynamics shaping the digital era.

The term artificial intelligence, AI, has been used colloquially, in fiction and in science for decades. There has never been a universally agreed definition of the term. Attempts to obtain such a definition are generally stymied by the ever-evolving nature of technology. With the current flurry of hyperbole regarding AI tools that can generate text, images, music, deep-fake videos, big-data analysis, and much more there is a pressing need to define AI its benefits and its limitations.

Mohand Tuffaha and M. Rosario Perello-Marin of the Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain, have looked at the role AI might play in human resource management (HRM). The review addresses a gap in our knowledge regarding AI in HRM and offers a precise definition of AI within the HRM context. The study examined 559 papers published between 2010 and 2020 covering “AI” topics including machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and artificial neural networks.

Based on their review, the researchers were able to offer guidelines for those needing to navigate the complexities of AI technologies within their organizations in the HRM area. They point out that despite growing interest in AI among human resource managers and academics, the issues of data security, privacy, and economics have not yet been addressed. They also point out that while recruitment is a well-explored area in this domain, there is a need for additional research into professional development and performance appraisal where AI might assist.

From a managerial perspective, the findings from the review could be used to guide management and specifically HRM practices. The insights the work offers should allow management to develop what might be referred to as a digitally aligned workplace. Moreover, as AI continues to evolve, the review underscores the need to set strategies for the adoption of AI in HRM.

Tuffaha, M. and Perello-Marin, M.R. (2023) ‘Artificial intelligence definition, applications and adoption in human resource management: a systematic literature review’, Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp.293–322.

17 November 2023

Free open access article available: "EU international trade impact on regional retail markets of neighbouring countries"

The following paper, "EU international trade impact on regional retail markets of neighbouring countries" (International Journal of Economics and Business Research 26(4) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Special issue published: "New Trends in Smart Power Grid Energy Management"

International Journal of Power and Energy Conversion 14(2/3) 2023

  • Fault diagnosis method for operational inspection of substation relay protection link based on characteristic parameters
  • Monitoring method of high voltage power system's leapfrog tripping prevention based on differential protection
  • Energy efficiency evaluation method for power customers based on demand-side response
  • Risk assessment of power system network security based on RBF neural network
  • Fault location method for interphase short circuit in digital distribution network based on genetic algorithm
  • Optimising the size and placement of embedded energy generators for distribution system loss reduction and voltage improvement
  • Intelligent substation DC transformer control based on fuzzy PID technology
  • A method of grounding fault location in power system based on adaptive filtering
  • Short-term power load forecasting method based on improved generalised regression neural network
  • A method for identifying weak current signals in distribution equipment based on vector control
  • Optimal cost-effective roof-top installation in an energy deficit economic condition
  • Grid connected fuzzy logic control-based MPPT techniques for hybrid photovoltaic wind with battery system

Free open access article available: "A method for identifying and evaluating energy meter data based on big data analysis technology"

The following paper, "A method for identifying and evaluating energy meter data based on big data analysis technology" (International Journal of Information and Communication Technology 23(4) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

16 November 2023

Special issue published: "Social Media and Consumer Behaviour: Challenges and Opportunities"

International Journal of Web Based Communities 19(4) 2023

  • Study on network marketing service resource allocation based on social media platform
  • Decision-making method of e-consumption behaviour and attitude based on social network trust model
  • Prediction method of consumer repeat purchase behaviour in e-commerce environment
  • Online consumer behaviour anomaly recognition method based on limit learning machine
  • Consumer behaviour data mining of social e-commerce platform based on improved spectral clustering algorithm
  • Research on purchasing behaviour prediction of e-commerce platform users based on multidimensional data mining
  • An online social network image retrieval using deep belief network

Free open access article available: "Reversible data hiding algorithm in encrypted images using adaptive total variation and cross-cyclic shift"

The following paper, "Reversible data hiding algorithm in encrypted images using adaptive total variation and cross-cyclic shift" (International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems 16(6) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

Research pick: Algorithm advances uncompromising covert communication - "Reversible data hiding algorithm in encrypted images using adaptive total variation and cross-cyclic shift"

A new algorithm that can enhance covert communication without compromising data integrity is reported in the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems.

Mingfang Jiang of the School of Computer Science at the Hunan First Normal University in Changsha, China, has introduced an innovative algorithm, RDHEIAC (Reversible Data Hiding for Encrypted Images Algorithm with Adaptive Total Variation and Cross-Cyclic Shift). The work marks a significant step forward in information security and covert communication. The algorithm addresses the limitations of traditional methods by allowing the embedding of additional data into carrier data without compromising the integrity of the original information.

RDHEIAC departs from the conventional and employs adaptive total variation to generate a prediction error image. This optimizes the process for reduced prediction errors and improved embedding rates of secret messages. This ensures that additional data can be embedded seamlessly into the carrier data, allowing complete recovery of the original information without any damage.

Jiang’s work also explains how RDHEIAC integrates various techniques such as bit-plane rearrangement, run-length encoding, cross-cyclic shift operation, diffusion operation based on chaotic maps, and bit substitution to do its job. These methods collectively contribute to the creation of secure encrypted images with a balance between privacy security, high embedding capacity, and image fidelity.

Preliminary tests demonstrate the algorithm’s efficiency showing it can achieve a notable, about 47%, increase in embedding rate compared to previous RDHEI-type algorithms. The main application, of course, is covert military and business communications, but the same technology could be useful in medical imaging where privacy is paramount but there is a vital need for image integrity.

One notable feature of the RDHEIAC approach to image encryption and message embedding is that it keeps the information extraction and image restoration separate. This provides flexibility in scenarios demanding high information integrity. An additional possibility with this approach is being able to adding reversible visible watermarking in encrypted images.

Jiang, M. (2023) ‘Reversible data hiding algorithm in encrypted images using adaptive total variation and cross-cyclic shift’, Int. J. Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp.611–631.

15 November 2023

Research pick: Energy meter boost - "A method for identifying and evaluating energy meter data based on big data analysis technology"

A study aimed at improving the accuracy and reliability of grid electricity meters, particularly under challenging on-site conditions appears in the International Journal of Information and Communication Technology. The research offers practical suggestions for assessing and optimizing measurement performance.

Chencheng Wang of the State Grid Sichuan Electric Power Company Marketing Service Center in Sichuan, China, explains how he has developed a measurement error estimation method utilizing big data analysis technology. His method integrates environmental and electrical factor data collected during on-site operations, providing real-time measurement error assessment for intelligent energy meters.

Smart energy meters are subject to mandatory national verification and management. Errors in the readings they produce not only affect the interests of millions of households, but also affect the safety, stability, and economic operation of smart grids themselves. A prediction tool built on the Shapley combination model and a neural network was demonstrated to be more accurate at making predictions about demand than other approaches based on tests with historical data, according to Wang. However, a hybrid model constructed using the Shapley approach to bring together the BP neural network and RBF neural network demonstrated fast convergence and high accuracy, outperforming the conventional Holt Winters model.

The findings could be used in the reliable evaluation of smart meters with a view to improving operational decision-making and maintenance based on their real-time status. The work, by integrating and analyzing maintenance and abnormal data, also offers a lifespan survival probability model for smart meters.

The practical implications of this work lie in the improvement of error verification for electric energy meters operating on the grid. The researchers provided a conversion relationship curve between on-site measurement errors and laboratory reference conditions, aiding in identifying electric energy meters with larger measurement errors. This approach facilitates the efficiency of error inspections in on-site operations and enables the prediction of out-of-tolerance failures in measuring equipment in advance. Overall, these advancements contribute to the reliability and performance of smart meters on the grid.

Wang, C. (2023) ‘A method for identifying and evaluating energy meter data based on big data analysis technology’, Int. J. Information and Communication Technology, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp.424–445.

14 November 2023

Research pick: Oil can grow on trees - "Evaluation of lubricant properties of bio-lubricant formulations developed from neem seed oil"

Research in the International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering has investigated the potential of neem seed oil as a sustainable bio-lubricant to replace conventional petroleum-derived oils.

Neem is a tree native to the Indian subcontinent, scientifically known as Azadirachta indica. It belongs to the mahogany family (Meliaceae) and is known for its multiple uses in traditional medicine, agriculture, and various industries. Neem oil, derived from the seeds of the neem tree, has gained attention for its potential applications in various fields, including agriculture (as a natural pesticide), skincare (for its moisturizing and antibacterial properties), and lubrication.

Krishnaprasad S. Menon and R. Ambigai of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Kattankulathur, Chennai, India, compared formulations of neem seed oil, incorporating additives such as stearic acid and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), with the commonly used mineral oil, SAE20W40.

The study reveals that a bio-lubricant formulation of neem seed oil with 2% stearic acid improves lubricant properties. This particular blend reduces wear scar diameter (WSD) by 30% and almost halves the coefficient of friction (COF) compared to the base oil. Additionally, LDPE, while not impacting tribological properties significantly, enhances the viscosity of neem seed oil.

The findings suggest that neem seed oil, especially when combined with suitable additives, could be a feasible alternative to mineral oil, showing improvements in COF, WSD, and viscosity index. The inclusion of stearic acid is noted for enhancing the lubricant film and contributing to improved friction properties. Moreover, the research suggests that neem seed oil, with proper modifications, may meet the requirements for medium-temperature applications.

However, for neem oil to be technologically competitive with mineral oil, further exploration of properties such as thermal stability, oxidative resistance, and pour point is necessary. The study demonstrates that the addition of 2% stearic acid improves the pour point of the base oil, making it suitable for low-temperature applications. Additionally, LDPE, despite increasing viscosity, exhibits a limited impact on COF variation, suggesting its potential for applications requiring viscosity improvement.

The research positions neem seed oil as a potentially sustainable lubricant, with stearic acid and LDPE identified as potential additives to enhance its performance. The study opens avenues for continued exploration into the broader applicability of neem seed oil, contributing to the ongoing search for sustainable alternatives in the realm of lubricant technology.

Menon, K.S. and Ambigai, R. (2023) ‘Evaluation of lubricant properties of bio-lubricant formulations developed from neem seed oil’, Int. J. Surface Science and Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp.248–264.

Special issue published: "Discussing Social and Business Issues From an Interdisciplinary Approach"

International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies 18(1) 2023

  • Economic uncertainty and working capital management: evidence from Turkey
  • Integrated perspective of corporate social responsibility on ASEAN Capital Market Forum members corporate governance code
  • The effect of accounting conservatism on the cost of equity capital: evidence from Indonesia
  • A study of macroeconomic effects on the growth of BRICS: a systematic review
  • Behaviour of financial consumers in banking market: a central and eastern European perspective regarding gender gap
  • Design-proposal of a conceptual model of intellectual property management and technology transfer in the context of higher education in Latin America

13 November 2023

Research pick: Travelling to atone - "Travelling with a vengeance: the influence of social media on revenge tourism"

Research in the International Journal of Tourism Policy has how social media platforms can influence holidaymakers and travellers in seeking out destinations that have been the victims of adverse events, natural disasters or conflicts. The colloquial term “revenge tourism” was coined in 2021 for this kind of vacation where people sought out experiences to combat the negative impact of lockdowns and lost time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the term has taken on a broader definition since.

Vishal Shukla of the School of Business at Auro University in Surat and Pramod Kumar Srivastava of the School of Business at Galgotias University in Greater Noida, India, examined user-generated content on social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They could glean insights into the role social media plays in both the origin and spread of this kind of tourism. The prevalence of posts in this context reflects the growing significance of social media as a space for individuals to share their travel narratives and recommendations.

The team explains that their findings have implications for tourism management, disaster management, and social media administration. From a theoretical standpoint, the study adds to our existing knowledge about the influence of social media activity on tourism. It suggests that there is a need for additional studies to examine the repercussions on local communities of this kind of tourism. There is, the work suggests, an urgent need for emphasizing the responsibilities of various tourism stakeholders, advocating for the adoption of responsible tourism practices that consider the potential consequences of tourism on local communities, and developing sustainable tourism so that “revenge tourism” however well-meaning does not have a detrimental effect on the very locations and communities it seeks to avenge.

Indeed, from a societal perspective, the research encourages destination marketers and travel companies to balance the benefits against putative adverse effects. It also promotes a shift toward sustainable practices that foster mutual benefits for both tourists and the locations and the local communities they visit.

Shukla, V. and Srivastava, P.K. (2023) ‘Travelling with a vengeance: the influence of social media on revenge tourism’, Int. J. Tourism Policy, Vol. 13, No. 6, pp.600–605.

Free open access article available: "Service anomaly detection in dry bulk terminals: a machine learning approach"

The following paper, "Service anomaly detection in dry bulk terminals: a machine learning approach" (International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics 17(3) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

10 November 2023

Special issue published: "Latest Advancements in Vehicular Powertrain Electrification"

International Journal of Powertrains 12(3) 2023

  • Influence of valve spool shoulder wall angle on steady-state hydraulic force
  • Experimental study on effect of torsional vibration attenuation measures for driveline with DCT
  • Modelling of a magneto-rheological fluid dual clutch with BP neural network
  • A hybrid electromechanical coupling system optimisation
  • Gear condition monitoring by augmenting measured transmission error data for gear damage and propagation estimation
  • Real-time load spectrum analysis for lifetime prediction of e-mobility drivetrains

Special issue published: "Novel Nanomaterials and Nanostructures – Part 1"

International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties 16(6) 2023

  • Analysis of the influence of different carbon fibre content on the performance of automotive brake friction materials
  • Strength prediction of concrete with large amount of fly ash based on improved random forest
  • Study on influence of alumina nanoparticles on automotive brake friction materials
  • Microstructure and performance analysis of self-closing polymer cement waterproof coating
  • Analysis of preheating performance of lithium battery for new energy vehicles under low temperature conditions
  • Aging life estimation method of building nanocomposites based on particle filtering
  • Characterisation of unidirectional tensile failure performance of steel fibre nano high strength concrete

Research pick: Machine learning in the maritime environment - "Service anomaly detection in dry bulk terminals: a machine learning approach"

A study in the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics addresses a longstanding gap the world of dry bulk shipping terminals, introducing a two-stage methodology that employs unsupervised machine learning techniques. The work by Iñigo L. Ansorena of the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja in Spain, focused on North European dry bulk terminals, and could improve transparency in terminal management.

Dry bulk terminals are specialist shipping facilities within a port or harbour that are designed for the handling and storage of dry bulk cargo, such as unpackaged goods shipped in large quantities like grain, coal, ore, cement, and fertilizers. These terminals play a crucial role in allowing commodities to be moved from ship to other modes of transportation such as road and rail, and other maritime vessels for onward distribution.

Ansorena looked first at terminal performance by identifying associations between various operational variables. This is achieved through the application of association rules, offering a detailed understanding of how different factors impact terminal operations. In the second stage, he used an isolation forest algorithm to calculate anomaly scores for each vessel using the terminal.

He points out that those vessels with scores exceeding 60% are flagged as anomalous and so their activities can be investigated further to identify issues in the services provided by the terminal and whether those problems are attributable to the terminal operator in the first place. This dual approach to assessing a terminal could be used to improve practices and also guide better contractual agreements between shipping companies and terminal operators in the future. The work underscores how machine learning techniques can be used in unusual contexts for analysis.

The research focused on dry bulk terminals in a specific region, but the same methodology has potential to be used elsewhere and for shipping terminals with different kinds of layouts and operational procedures. Indeed, the adaptability of this methodology is its strength for such analyses and could be used in a wide variety of context to improve logistics management.

Ansorena, I.L. (2023) ‘Service anomaly detection in dry bulk terminals: a machine learning approach’, Int. J. Shipping and Transport Logistics, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp.281–302.

Special issue published: "Emerging Technologies in New Energy Vehicles for Better Safety and Economic Performance"

International Journal of Vehicle Design 92(2/3/4) 2023

  • Optimisation of braking energy recovery for rear-drive electric vehicles based on fuzzy control
  • Comparative analysis of multi-level inverter driven PMSM drive in automotive application
  • Energy consumption optimisation of a battery thermal management system for electric vehicles considering different cooling modes
  • Four-mass-PWA model-based robust H∞ coordinated control strategy for MTP of DM-PHEV
  • Influence of critical turning speed of pure electric mining dump truck on rollover and sideslip
  • A comprehensive study of range-extended electric vehicles from the perspectives of the technology, policy, market, and design concept
  • Multi-objective optimisation design for brushless electrically excitated synchronous machines in electric vehicles
  • Power-on downshift analysis of a seamless two-speed transmission in electric vehicles
  • Stability control for distributed drive electric vehicles confronting differences of phase angle between coaxial motors
  • Research on multi objective intelligent shifting schedule of electric vehicle AMT considering ride comfort and economy
  • Based on IAGA-BP neural network internal temperature prediction of solar car
  • Multiobjective optimisation of an energy-efficient magnet track-eddy current composite brake for high-speed train
  • Collaborative optimisation of lane change decision and trajectory based on double-layer deep reinforcement learning
  • Planning and control of autonomous driving in lane-change manoeuvre based on MPC: a framework and design principles
  • Assessment of technological and financial challenges in upgradation of BS-III and BS-IV vehicles
  • Influence analysis of front grille shape on flow field in front cabin of series hybrid electric truck based on large eddy simulation

9 November 2023

Research pick: A new recipe for clinical nutrition using social networking - "The impact of social networks in the area of clinical nutrition: dietitians’ perspective"

Huge numbers of people use social networking every day, perhaps half the world’s population. Many of these platforms go way beyond simple socializing and most have much broader applications that can touch on all aspects of our lives, including clinical nutrition.

A recent study in the International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management has looked at social networking from the perspective of dietitians. Cátia Andrade Moreira and Tânia Saraiva of Lisbon Accounting and Business School and Elisabete Carolino of the Lisbon School of Health Technology in Portugal have examined in detail how social networks can influence the effectiveness of nutritional interventions.

The team reports that more than half of dieticians (56.2%) use social networking in their professional lives. Interestingly, the two most popular systems are the photo and video-sharing application Instagram and the networking site Facebook. The research shows that a large majority of dieticians (84.4%) saw a significant increase in their total consultations compared to when they were not using social networking. Critically, these dietitians retained more than three-quarters of their clientele, which suggests that social networking activity was boosting their impact on clients and so the dieticians’ income.

An important aspect of the study was to discern whether the use of social networking by dieticians was beneficial to their clients. Indeed, more than half of the dieticians studied found that online interactions were equally as effective as the more conventional face-to-face approach to interactions with their clients. As an example, about one-third of dieticians reported that up to three-quarters of their clients experienced weight loss under their guidance through social networking.

The findings could have broad implications. As online service demand has increased in recent years, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, dieticians and others are now recognising the business opportunities and finding ways to use social networking to help them navigate challenging markets. Digital entrepreneurship is on the rise and while specific social networking sites and applications may evolve, they remain more than simple communication tools and offer those with the requisite skills opportunities to change how they work for the benefit of their businesses and their clients and customers.

Moreira, C.A., Saraiva, T., and Carolino, E. (2023) ‘The impact of social networks in the area of clinical nutrition: dietitians’ perspective’, Int. J. Healthcare Technology and Management, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp.348–364.

Research pick: Pandemic preparedness - "Using digital health to support superior preparedness to enable better preparedness and readiness to combat pandemics: a scoping review"

Arguments are still raging about how humanity could have been better prepared for COVID-19. Indeed, politicians who chose different approaches to handling the emerging viral pandemic and especially those who had abandoned the scientific plans that were in place even before we had named the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 are still being lambasted by their critics, patient advocacy groups and those with a post-pandemic grievance.

So, how might we be better prepared for the emergence of the next virulent pathogen?

Research in the International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations has looked into the realm of digital health and how it might better prepare us ahead of the next plague.

Nilmini Wickramasinghe of Swinburne University of Technology in Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia and Rima Gibbings of the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia, USA, reprise what we know about the devastating and ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They highlight the key vulnerabilities that lead to so much disease, death and economic downturn. The World Health Organisation has, with 20:20 hindsight pointed out how if we had been more prepared we might have coped better with this disease. So much is obvious in retrospect.

In this new work, Wickramasinghe and Gibbings have reviewed the various approaches to the pandemic to home in on those that might be more effective in reducing the impact of a similar future worldwide disease outbreak. The team points out that, clearly, there was never going to be an easy fix once this virus had emerged in China late in 2019 and begun spreading rapidly around the world.

Lockdowns, quarantines, furloughing, shutdowns, masking, social distancing, vaccines, and the various other responses may well have limited the final toll to some degree, but where there ways in which we might have been better prepared and slowed its spread and perhaps even have halted the disease in its tracks? The team’s review has allowed them to build a framework in order to answer that question in the context of a putative pandemic. Perhaps the key to a future, hopefully, successful response to the emergence of a novel and lethal pathogen is public education, so that the global community can en masse recognise what needs to be done to stave off a pandemic and individuals can find a shared responsibility that does not rely on political bluff and bluster but is wholly guided by scientifically based guidance.

Wickramasinghe, N. and Gibbings, R. (2023) ‘Using digital health to support superior preparedness to enable better preparedness and readiness to combat pandemics: a scoping review’, Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organisations, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp.1–15.

7 November 2023

Research pick: The heat is on in the airport lounge - "Calculations of internal heat gain from occupants affecting the energy consumption of airport buildings"

There’s snow and ice on the runway, you’ve gone through check-in and security, but your flight’s delayed, thank goodness the airport has a decent heating system! Well, a study in the International Journal of Sustainable Aviation has investigated how much each passenger’s body heat might be contributing to the departure lounge’s overall heating budget.

Okan Kon and İsmail Caner of Balıkesir University in Turkey have offered useful insights into the impact of human heat generation in airport environments. Their work could lead to a new approach to the design and management of such spaces for better fuel efficiency. The team looked at how the human body contributes to heat buildup within an airport lounge by taking into account body temperature, ambient temperature, heat transfer through air movement (convection) and evaporative cooling through sweating evaporation, as well as heat gains from heat radiating from skin surfaces.

They analysed the heating effects associated with individuals sitting, standing or staff engaged in light work. They assumed that clothing has negligible thermal resistance in these various scenarios. The calculations showed that heat gain from each person ranges from a low of about 400 Watts to a peak of almost 600 Watts.

Having these figures to hand could help in the design of complex indoor spaces and the air conditioning, ventilation, and heating systems they use. After all, if a packed airport lounge can rely on a certain proportion of its heating from the people in the lounge, then that part of that proportion might be cut from the overall demand on the heating system in the space. Appropriate auditing of the heat gains and losses that take into account the people in the airport and their level of activity could make airport lounges and other complex indoor spaces more energy-efficient and even more comfortable. It could be used to offer advice for airport staff and passengers on clothing requirements too. This would benefit passengers and airport operators alike.

Kon, O. and Caner, İ. (2023) ‘Calculations of internal heat gain from occupants affecting the energy consumption of airport buildings’, Int. J. Sustainable Aviation, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp.279–292.

6 November 2023

Research pick: Catering for entrepreneurial refugees - "Refugee entrepreneurship development: a case study of capability training program in catering services"

A study in the International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development investigates the concept of refugee entrepreneurship aiming to better understand the needs of refugees looking to establish their businesses, particularly in the catering industry.

Jukka Ojasalo, Maria Ekström, and Joonas Koski of the Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Espoo, Finland, carried out an empirical study using qualitative theme interviews and focus groups. From the results, the team has developed a comprehensive model for capability development in the context of refugee entrepreneurship.

The work revealed three fundamental needs of refugees hoping to grow a business: empowerment, experiential learning, and networking. The proposed model could be used to guide refugees through the various stages of the process of growing a business and emphasizes hands-on facilitation and collaboration as key components for success.

The work challenges the common misconception that refugees are a burden on their host society and shows they can be great economic contributors. The team suggests that further exploration of the innovative capabilities of refugee entrepreneurs is now needed and proposes that a broader evaluation of entrepreneurship programs that considers measures beyond traditional economic success, such as quality of life and empowerment should be taken into account when determining success.

The researchers also recommend that refugee entrepreneurship should be looked at in the context of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals to see what contribution refugee entrepreneurship might have with regard to these objectives. Moreover, there is a need to look at how third- and fourth-sector organizations might foster innovation and growth in service industries and at the same time support refugee entrepreneurship.

Refugee inclusion is perceived as a significant problem by some across society. The co-creation approach outlined in this research offers a starting point for addressing the issues as well as giving policymakers some guidance. At a time when conflict and upheaval are leading to increasing numbers of people displaced from their homes, nations will need to find ways to help these people when they arrive.

Obviously, not every refugee has entrepreneurial potential but for those that do a rich human resource might be tapped by host nations willing to invest in those displaced people. By recognizing the untapped potential of refugees and addressing their unique needs and what they can offer, society can create a more inclusive and economically vibrant environment for all.

Ojasalo, J., Ekström, M. and Koski, J. (2023) ‘Refugee entrepreneurship development: a case study of capability training program in catering services‘, Int. J. Management and Enterprise Development, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp.366-390.

Free open access article available: "Refugee entrepreneurship development: a case study of capability training program in catering services"

The following paper, "Refugee entrepreneurship development: a case study of capability training program in catering services" (International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development 22(4) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

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

3 November 2023

Research pick: Wing design takes flight - "The role of pressure field dynamics on the onset of transonic aeroelastic instabilities of high aspect ratio swept wings"

Research in the International Journal of Sustainable Aviation is stacked up to improve aircraft wing design in order to give lift to performance and put safety on a smoother flight path in the critical transonic speed range. The work looks at intricate dynamics of high aspect ratio wings that will fly in the speed range where airflows around the wing can be simultaneously subsonic and supersonic. The actual speed an aircraft is flying where this condition is met depends on many factors but usually lies between 0.8 and 1.2 times the speed of sound as measured at atmospheric pressure, Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2.

By highlighting the role of wing design and pressure fields in aeroelastic instabilities, the research could have long-haul implications for the development of new aircraft that fly just below or just above Mach 1.

Mario Rosario Chiarelli and Salvatore Bonomo of the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering at the University of Pisa in Pisa, Italy, investigated two types of high aspect ratio wings: the traditional swept wing and the curved-planform wing. They used a two-way fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analysis, combining computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with structural analysis to study the behaviour of these types of wings in transonic conditions.

Important factors that emerged from the analyses were the power spectral density of both wing-tip displacements and wing aerodynamic coefficients. This information is important for revealing critical instabilities that might arise during a flight at these speeds and so guide modifications to wing design to circumvent instability problems.

The team found that a conventional swept wing displayed instability known as a flutter-buffet. This leads to coupling between structural bending and pressure field oscillations, which would lead to fuel inefficiencies in limited cases but could cause problems with the flight and even the wing itself in extreme cases. By contrast, the curved-planform wing exhibited transonic pressure field oscillations, but these were not a direct cause of aeroelastic instability. This wing design thus shows promise in reducing wave drag effects and enhancing high-speed aeroelastic stability. Even small changes in the detailed characteristics of the design can have a substantial impact on an aircraft’s stability at transonic speeds, the work suggests.

Future work will look at how the geometry of the streamlined enclosues, nacelles, of aircraft engines affect the aerodynamic field and stability issues at such speeds with a view to improving wing design still further.

Chiarelli, M.R. and Bonomo, S. (2023) ‘The role of pressure field dynamics on the onset of transonic aeroelastic instabilities of high aspect ratio swept wings’, Int. J. Sustainable Aviation, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp.332–370.

2 November 2023

Research pick: Green ammonia for the hydrogen economy - "Exergetic comparison of a novel to a conventional small-scale power-to-ammonia cycle"

Research in the International Journal of Exergy has looked at how a novel small-scale power-to-ammonia (P2A) system might be a useful tool in the move to a hydrogen economy. The work considers the energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of this system compared with conventional systems. Ultimately, chemical analysis shows the potential of green ammonia as a hydrogen-storage medium, and thus an energy carrier.

The hydrogen economy refers to a proposed low-carbon economic system where hydrogen gas is produced, stored, and utilized as a primary energy carrier for various applications sidestepping the traditional carbon-rich fossil fuels. Hydrogen might be used in transportation, electricity generation, and industrial processes, While there are issues with storage and safety, the true benefits are that the gas can be produced sustainably by the electrolysis of water or other chemical processes and when it is burned there is no carbon dioxide or noxious pollutants. Indeed, the only significant waste product is water.

The issue of safe storage of hydrogen is high on the agenda. As such, hydrogen-rich materials are being investigated as storage media. The conversion of hydrogen into liquefied ammonia (NH3), for instance, offers a putatively safer way to store large quantities of the otherwise explosive hydrogen gas.

Pascal Koschwitz and Bernd Epple of the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, Daria Bellotti of the University of Genova, Italy, and Cheng Liang of Proton Ventures BV in Schiedam, The Netherlands used the software Aspen Plus, to first assess the suitability of an equation of state (EOS) known as HYSPR-mp in comparison to other commonly used EOS in ammonia process simulations. They demonstrated that HYSPR-mp is a suitable choice for their analysis. They then evaluated the system using chemical exergy to show that this can produce accurate results quickly. Finally, they carried out an exergetic comparison between this novel system and conventional P2A systems. This revealed improved exergy results and thus a greater cost advantage because of the lower initial investment costs needed.

Koschwitz, P., Bellotti, D., Liang, C. and Epple, B. (2023) ‘Exergetic comparison of a novel to a conventional small-scale power-to-ammonia cycle’, Int. J. Exergy, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp.127–158.

1 November 2023

Research pick: AI tackles the ABCD of skin cancer - "Comparative approach for discovery of cancerous skin using deep structured learning"

New research from India has shown how machine learning, colloquially known as artificial intelligence or AI, could improve the early detection of skin cancer. Given that the incidence of skin cancer is on the rise, the work, published in the International Journal of Nanotechnology, could have significant implications for early intervention, treatment, and ultimately improved prognosis.

The study builds upon earlier research efforts and tests machine learning algorithms, including Naive Bayes, decision-tree, and K-nearest neighbours (KNN) approaches, to improve the accuracy of skin cancer diagnosis from images of suspicious lesions and areas of skin. The researchers found that the decision tree algorithm was the most effective, achieving an accuracy rate of 83%. Such accuracy, coupled with expert assessment by an oncologist, could improve diagnosis rates considerably and give patients better outcomes.

However, the team did not stop there. To further improve accuracy and streamline the detection process, the researchers introduced a deep learning approach, specifically a convolutional neural network (CNN). The model boosted accuracy to almost 94%. These results were based on the examination of datasets from the International Skin Cancer Collaboration Initiative (ISCI). The decision tree algorithm working with the deep learning model was not only very accurate but required less time for algorithm training and subsequent skin cancer detection compared with earlier approaches.

The team points out that an accuracy rate of almost 94% was achieved after just six training cycles. They were able to achieve well over 99% accuracy if the system was trained over 73 cycles. These results underscore the superiority of the new approach over existing state-of-the-art algorithms for skin cancer detection.

Further improvements might be possible by sharpening the model’s ability to assess the characteristics of skin cancer lesions, such asymmetry, border anomalies, colour, and diameter, the ABCD of skin cancer detection.

Varun Kumar, K.A., Sucharitha, S.T., Priyadarshini, R. and Rajendran, N. (2023) ‘Comparative approach for discovery of cancerous skin using deep structured learning’, Int. J. Nanotechnol., Vol. 20, Nos. 5/6/7/8/9/10, pp.744–758.