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Hybrid Simulation Environment for Construction Projects: Identification of System Design Criteria  [PDF]
Mohamed Moussa,Janaka Y. Ruwanpura,George Jergeas,Tamer Mohamed
Journal of Construction Engineering , 2014, DOI: 10.1155/2014/847430
Abstract: Large construction projects are complex, dynamic, and unpredictable. They are subject to external and uncontrollable events that affect their schedule and financial outcomes. Project managers take decisions along the lifecycle of the projects to align with projects objectives. These decisions are data dependent where data change over time. Simulation-based modeling and experimentation of such dynamic environment are a challenge. Modeling of large projects or multiprojects is difficult and impractical for standalone computers. This paper presents the criteria required in a simulation environment suitable for modeling large and complex systems such as construction projects to support their lifecycle management. Also presented is a platform that encompasses the identified criteria. The objective of the platform is to facilitate and simplify the simulation and modeling process and enable the inclusion of complexity in simulation models. 1. Introduction Building a computer simulation model requires specialised knowledge in software engineering and modeling. Modifications to models are difficult to implement. Simulation is generally regarded by professionals in the construction industry as an additional layer to the business software environment. Feedback from industry practitioners and simulation researchers shows that minimizing the specialized knowledge and simplifying the modeling process are necessary to increase the appeal to simulation [1]. Simulation modeling methodologies for construction projects are developed around modeling of repetitive/cyclic operations [2]. Such models are small compared to those required to model a complete construction project. Projects are data dependent where data are updated periodically by actualizing the data of completed work and reforecasting future work. Models should be current with latest data. Projects are managed by people who influence the project outcomes by their decisions. Projects are also affected by external and internal events that could change their schedule and financial results. Neglecting the inclusion of decisions and events in the model results in unrealistic project forecast. Presented in this paper are the criteria used in the development of a simulation environment that is aimed at simplifying the modeling process and facilitating the modeling of construction systems to enable practitioners to use simulation as integrated technology during their project management. We achieve this objective by incorporating agent-based modeling, network modeling, object oriented paradigm, discrete event
Overcoming inadvertent barriers to entry in large infrastructure projects  [cached]
Peter Vincent Livesey,Justin Bold
Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building , 2013,
Abstract: The history behind the award of Brisbane City Council’s Legacy Way project is discussed and the possible impact of cognitive bias in the Expression of Interest (EOI) process together with the steps that were taken during the EOI development and evaluation phase to reduce the impact that this may have had on the selection of Contractors from their EOI submissions. The paper concludes that Cognitive Bias may have created a greater barrier to entry to Contractors attempting to enter the Australian PPP market than has been previously realised and makes suggestions as to how this effect could be minimised in the future.
How to Perfect the Interpretation and Translation in Engineering Projects
Ying Shen
International Journal of Marketing Studies , 2009, DOI: 10.5539/ijms.v1n1p16
Abstract: Engineering Interpretation and Translation is an important branch of Language Translation. Through analyzing the engineering properties from the angle of Translation, this article shows that, due to its distinctiveness, the difficulty of proper Interpretation and Translation in Engineering Projects mainly rests with accurately understanding the meaning of source language and correctly using specialized vocabulary to effectively translate the original meaning to audience. To obtain satisfaction in the process of Engineering Interpretation and Translation, translators not only have to have theoretical knowledge and practical experience, but also need to know the industry-related vocabulary.
The Perceptions In Respect To The Education Projects In Province Of The Teachers’ In Charge Of The Elementary Schools
?zlem Hilal ?RGEV
Sakarya University Journal of Education , 2012,
Abstract: Nowadays, there are important events such as the black board replaced by the smart board, the textbooks replaced by tablet computers and a dazling speed of change occured in education process. But, it has been seen that all of these changes could be succeded by the all stakeholders’ heart and brain power and theirs the strong believes in change. Change is taking place so quickly, the teachers named the actors of the education scene, how they share their point of change and, most importantly believe in the necessity of change? In this study, we have tried to find out the answers to questions mentioned above. As a result, we tried to ascertain the perceptions about education change efforts of teachers served in primary schools. In the study, the general survey model named descriptive research method was conducted. The frequency and percentage values were used in the resolution of data. The differences of teachers’ gender, seniority, academic background, branch were compared by T-test; seniority, branch, academic background were compared by one factor variance analysis form (ANOVA) and multi dimensional comparing was used by Scheffe method. According the result of research, the teachers have seen themselves open to the change efforts. They have thougt that Increasing The Success In Education Project In Sakarya (ISEPS) and other projects were usable, resultable and had the tendecy to increase the success in education. However they have pointed out that, the change efforts were not planned, their opinions were not taken and there were difficulty to study on more than one project at the same time. They explained that these attitudes mentioned above prevented the change efforts in education. There have been meaningful diffirence among the teachers’ seniority, the realization level of project and ISEPS, the motivation and communication levels.
Quality of Data Entry Using Single Entry, Double Entry and Automated Forms Processing–An Example Based on a Study of Patient-Reported Outcomes  [PDF]
Aksel Paulsen, S?ren Overgaard, Jens Martin Lauritsen
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035087
Abstract: Background The clinical and scientific usage of patient-reported outcome measures is increasing in the health services. Often paper forms are used. Manual double entry of data is defined as the definitive gold standard for transferring data to an electronic format, but the process is laborious. Automated forms processing may be an alternative, but further validation is warranted. Methods 200 patients were randomly selected from a cohort of 5777 patients who had previously answered two different questionnaires. The questionnaires were scanned using an automated forms processing technique, as well as processed by single and double manual data entry, using the EpiData Entry data entry program. The main outcome measure was the proportion of correctly entered numbers at question, form and study level. Results Manual double-key data entry (error proportion per 1000 fields = 0.046 (95% CI: 0.001–0.258)) performed better than single-key data entry (error proportion per 1000 fields = 0.370 (95% CI: 0.160–0.729), (p = 0.020)). There was no statistical difference between Optical Mark Recognition (error proportion per 1000 fields = 0.046 (95% CI: 0.001–0.258)) and double-key data entry (p = 1.000). With the Intelligent Character Recognition method, there was no statistical difference compared to single-key data entry (error proportion per 1000 fields = 6.734 (95% CI: 0.817–24.113), (p = 0.656)), as well as double-key data entry (error proportion per 1000 fields = 3.367 (95% CI: 0.085–18.616)), (p = 0.319)). Conclusions Automated forms processing is a valid alternative to double manual data entry for highly structured forms containing only check boxes, numerical codes and no dates. Automated forms processing can be superior to single manual data entry through a data entry program, depending on the method chosen.
Cholera in Pregnancy: Outcomes from a Specialized Cholera Treatment Unit for Pregnant Women in Léogane, Haiti  [PDF]
Iza Ciglenecki ,Mathieu Bichet,Javier Tena,Erneau Mondesir,Mathieu Bastard,Nguyen-Toan Tran,Annick Antierens,Nelly Staderini
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002368
Abstract: Background The association between cholera in pregnancy and negative fetal outcome has been described since the 19th century. However, there is limited published literature on the subject. We describe pregnancy outcomes from a specialized multidisciplinary hospital unit at the onset of a large cholera outbreak in Haiti in 2010 and 2011. Methods Pregnant women with cholera were hospitalized in a specialized unit within the MSF hospital compound in Léogane and treated using standard cholera treatment guidelines but with earlier, more intense fluid replacement. All women had intravenous access established at admission regardless of their hydration status, and all received antibiotic treatment. Data were collected on patient demographics, pregnancy and cholera status, and pregnancy outcome. In this analysis we calculated risk ratios for fetal death and performed logistic regression analysis to control for confounding factors. Results 263 pregnant women with cholera were hospitalized between December 2010 and July 2011. None died during hospitalization, 226 (86%) were discharged with a preserved pregnancy and 16 (6%) had live fullterm singleton births, of whom 2 died within the first 5 days postpartum. The remaining 21 pregnancies (8%) resulted in intrauterine fetal death. The risk of fetal death was associated with factors reflecting severity of the cholera episode: after adjusting for confounding factors, the strongest risk factor for fetal death was severe maternal dehydration (adjusted risk ratio for severe vs. mild dehydration was 9.4, 95% CI 2.5–35.3, p = 0.005), followed by severe vomiting (adjusted risk ratio 5.1, 95% 1.1–23.8, p = 0.041). Conclusion This is the largest cohort of pregnant women with cholera described to date. The main risk factor identified for fetal death was severity of dehydration. Our experience suggests that establishing specialized multidisciplinary units which facilitate close follow-up of both pregnancy and dehydration status due to cholera could be beneficial for patients, especially in large epidemics.
Reasons and Outcomes of Admissions to the Medical Wards of Jimma University Specialized Hospital, Southwest Ethiopia
E Ali, M Woldie
Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences , 2010,
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Non-communicable diseases are the main reasons for admission to the medical wards in high-income countries. While in low and middle income countries communicable diseases are the main reasons for admission to the medical wards. However, in some low and middle income countries the reasons for admission are changing from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases. But, data on reasons for admission to the medical wards of low income countries is scarce. Therefore, this study takes one year data from a low income country referral hospital aiming at describing the recent reasons and outcomes of medical admissions to see whether there is a change in reasons for admission and the outcome. METHODS: A retrospective study examined patient case notes and ward registration books of medical admissions at Jimma University Specialized Hospital from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. Socio-demographic variables, reasons and outcomes of admission were some of the variables recorded during the data collection. The International Statistical Classification of Disease was used for sorting and categorizing the diagnosis. The data was then analyzed using SPSS windows version 13.0. RESULT: A total of 610 patient case notes were reviewed. The mean age of the patients was 36 years (SD + 15.75). The highest number of admissions 218 (35.7%) was among the age groups 21 to 30 years. Communicable diseases; namely severe community acquired pneumonia 139(22.8%), all infectious and parasitic diseases category 100 (16.4%), and pyogenic as well as chronic meningitis 80(13.1%) were the most common reasons for admission. The death rate among patients admitted to the medical wards was 12.6%. CONCLUSIONS: Communicable diseases were still the common reasons for medical admissions at Jimma University Specialized Hospital. The outcome of medical admissions has not changed over sixteen years.
Assessing community-based conservation projects: A systematic review and multilevel analysis of attitudinal, behavioral, ecological, and economic outcomes
Jeremy Brooks, Kerry Waylen, Monique Mulder
Environmental Evidence , 2013, DOI: 10.1186/2047-2382-2-2
Abstract: To add to a sample of 62 projects that we used from previous systematic reviews, we systematically searched the conservation literature using six terms in four online databases. To increase the number of projects for each country in order to conduct a multilevel analysis, we also conducted a secondary search using the Advancing Conservation in a Social Context online library. We coded projects for 65 pieces of information. We conducted bivariate analyses using two-dimensional contingency tables and proportional odds logistic regression and conducted multivariate analyses by fitting reduced form proportional odds logistic regression models that were selected using a forward stepwise AIC approach.The primary and secondary searches produced 74 new projects to go along with the 62 projects from previous reviews for a total of 136 projects. The analyses suggest that project design, particularly capacity building in local communities, is critical in generating success across all outcomes. In addition, some community characteristics, such as tenure regimes and supportive cultural beliefs and institutions, are important for some aspects of project success. Surprisingly, there is less evidence that national context systematically influences project outcomes.Our study supports the idea that conservation projects should be carefully designed to be effective and that some characteristics of local communities can facilitate success. That well-designed projects can prevail over disadvantages relating to the pre-existing national and local context is encouraging. As the evidence base on CBC grows, it will be useful to repeat this analysis with additional search terms, and consider additional variables related to national context to further evaluate the role of broader socio-political and economic contexts.Conservation practitioners continue to seek viable alternatives to strict protectionism, and it is increasingly argued that projects must achieve not only ecological but also eco
Immunologic and clinical outcomes of children on HAART: A retrospective cohort analysis at Jimma University Specialized Hospital
N Workneh, T Girma, M Woldie
Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences , 2009,
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The nature of human immunodeficiency virus infection in children has changed from an often fatal to a treatable chronic condition with highly active antiretroviral therapy. The outcome of the therapy depends on multiple factors such as non-adherence to treatment, selection of resistant viral strains, drug toxicity and socioeconomic factors. The objective of this study was to determine the immunologic and clinical outcomes of children who are on highly active antiretroviral therapy at the ART clinic, Jimma University Specialized Hospital. METHOD: A three -year’s retrospective cohort analysis was conducted in July 2008 among children younger than 14 years of age getting highly active antiretroviral therapy in Jimma University Specialized Hospital. Data was collected using a pre-tested record review format and analyzed using SPSS for Windows version 16.0 and World Health Organization Anthro v2.0.2 software. RESULT: Fifty three (55.2%) of the 96 patients were female, the mean age at initiation of treatment was 6 ± 4.2 years and the mean follow-up period was 13.7 ± 8 months. By the time of the study, 69 (71.9 %) patients were still on follow-up, 7 (7.3%) had died, 13 (13.5%) were lost to follow–up and the remaining 7(7.3%) were transferred-out. Majority (93.8%) of them were at WHO stage 3&4 during initiation of treatment. Median Weight-for-age Z-score improved from 0.09 to 0.26 after 6 month of treatment. Immunologic treatment failure was seen in 11(11.5%) of the patients; 5 of them also manifested clinical treatment failure. Severe drug toxicity occurred in 5 (5.2%) cases. Presence of chronic gastroenteritis, WHO clinical stage 4 at initiation and appearance of new opportunistic infection after starting treatment were associated with immunologic treatment failure (p <0.03). CONCLUSION: Majority of the patients were having advanced clinical stage at initiation of treatment. Mortality rate and anthropometric changes of HIV infected children on highly active antiretroviral therapy were similar but immunologic treatment failure, loss to follow-up and severe drug toxicity were higher in this study compared to other reports from developing countries. Therefor, early diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS and treatment monitoring should be strengthened.
Research on Delay Risks of EPC Hydropower Construction Projects in Vietnam  [PDF]
Mai Sy Hung, Jianqiong Wang
Journal of Power and Energy Engineering (JPEE) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/jpee.2016.44002
Abstract: In recent years, in Vietnam, economy has been developing rapidly. To ensure rapid and sustainable economic growth, strong support from the energy sector is required. Governments in Vietnam have invested in numerous hydropower projects, many of which employ the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contract. However, the EPC general contractors are facing many difficulties, resulting in schedule delays and considerable losses. This research is conducted to highlight the main risk factors in the delays of hydropower construction projects in Vietnam. The research employs the method of statistical calculations and risk analysis to obtain feedback from experts participating in similar projects. The research outcomes are as follows: identifying the risks that can cause delays in EPC hydroelectric construction projects in Vietnam; calculating and classifying the degree of impact of each risk to the progress of the construction. The practical significance of this study is to ensure the timely completion of projects, benefits for the investors, and the EPC general contractors.
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