Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)


Influence of the Training Methods in the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis Using Radial Basis Functions Artificial Neural Networks
Ángel Gutiérrez
Pages: 1-6
Abstract | Full Text
The data available in the average clinical study of a disease is very often small. This is one of the main obstacles in the application of neural networks to the classification of biological signals used for diagnosing diseases. A rule of thumb states that the number of parameters (weights) that can be used for training a neural network should be around 15% of the available data, to avoid overlearning. This condition puts a limit on the dimension of the input space.

Different authors have used different approaches to solve this problem, like eliminating redundancy in the data, preprocessing the data to find centers for the radial basis functions, or extracting a small number of features that were used as inputs. It is clear that the classification would be better the more features we could feed into the network.

The approach utilized in this paper is incrementing the number of training elements with randomly expanding training sets. This way the number of original signals does not constraint the dimension of the input set in the radial basis network. Then we train the network using the method that minimizes the error function using the gradient descent algorithm and the method that uses the particle swarm optimization technique.

A comparison between the two methods showed that for the same number of iterations on both methods, the particle swarm optimization was faster, it was learning to recognize only the sick people. On the other hand, the gradient method was not as good in general better at identifying those people.

Improving Real Time Motor Skills in Physical Education by Virtual Computerized Technology Training. A Successful Attempt at Teaching Novice Computer Users.
Esther Zaretsky
Pages: 7-13
Abstract | Full Text
The present article is based on action researches of master's (MA) students majoring in physical education. The action researches were executed by the students as case studies. They took place as an integral part of the instruction in the course focused on improving their pupils' real time motor skills in physical education through virtual computerized technology training. The main principle of the students' action research is applying the virtual computerized technology environment to the real time motor skills up to functioning successfully in physical education lessons without using computers, while controlling two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) space. The researcher taught this method to the MA students Such procedures were held among various populations. The findings support the research hypothesis. The virtual computerized training contributed to the cognitive thinking and to the cumulative knowledge enrichment in future experiences. In such a way, the knowledge impacts thinking development in future situations.

Cyber Safety Education in Developing Countries
Rossouw Von Solms, Suné Von Solms
Pages: 14-19
Abstract | Full Text
Cyber safety has become critical in today's world. Young children specifically need to be educated to operate in a safe manner in cyberspace and to protect themselves in the process. Unfortunately, African and developing countries do not necessarily possess the required resources to run extensive educational programmes for children. Using open educational resources, a cyber-safety curriculum has been developed. This curriculum will empower teachers in junior or primary schools to educate their learners about cyber safety. Once all the tests have been completed, the curriculum will be made available to primary schools in countries where governments or education departments do not provide such educational material.

CRIS: A Rule-Based Approach for Customized Academic Advising
Chung-Wei Yeh
Pages: 20-24
Abstract | Full Text
This study presents a customized academic e-advising service by using rule-based technology to provide each individual learner for recommending courses for college students in Taiwan. Since academic advising for taking courses is mostly by advisors to assist students to achieve educational, career, and personal goals, which made it important in the higher education system. To enhance the counseling effectiveness for advisors to assist students in fitting their professional field and improve their learning experience, we proposed an application system, called CRIS (course recommendation intelligent system). The CRIS consists of six functions: academic profile review, academic interest analysis, career and curriculum matchmaking, recommend courses analysis, department recommend analysis and record assessment. This work provides the solution in three layers, data layer, processing layer and solution layer, via four steps: (1) database design and data transfer, (2) student profile analysis, (3) customized academic advising generation and (4) solution analysis. A comparison of academic score and the combination of individual students' interest in learning and academic achievement satisfaction survey are conducted to test the effectiveness. The experiment result shows that the participating college students considered that the CRIS helpful in their adjustment to the university and it increased their success at the university.

Competition-Stability Relationship in the Banking Sector
Jelena Titko, Konstantins Kozlovskis, Gulbakhyt Kaliyeva
Pages: 25-31
Abstract | Full Text
The goal of the current research is to study the competitionstability relationship in the Latvian banking sector.

Research period covers seven years – from 2007 till 2013. The sample consists of 16 Latvian commercial banks. Financial data is extracted from BankScope database.

The main method applied to achieve the established goal is a multiple regression analysis. Bank stability is used as a dependent variable and proxied by risk index. To measure the level of competition Lerner index and Boone indicator are calculated.

Besides, the consistency between concentration and competition measures is tested applying a correlation analysis. Concentration in the banking sector is measured using Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and concentration ratio CR5. Calculations are performed in SPSS environment.

The research revealed no statistically significant relationship between the values of Lerner index and Boone indicator estimated for Latvian sample. The hypothesis about the consistency between different competition measures is rejected. In turn, the hypothesis about positive effect of competition on bank soundness is rejected only in the case when competition is proxied by Lerner index. Using Boone indicator as a competition measure, the results are doubtful.

Effectiveness and Utility of a Case-Based Model for Delivering Engineering Ethics Professional Development Units
Heidi Ann Hahn
Pages: 32-37
Abstract | Full Text
This article describes an action research project conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to resolve a problem with the ability of licensed and/or certified engineers to obtain the ethics-related professional development units or hours (PDUs or PDHs) needed to maintain their credentials. Because of the recurring requirement and the static nature of the information, an initial, in-depth training followed by annually updated refresher training was proposed. A case model approach, with online delivery, was selected as the optimal pedagogical model for the refresher training. In the first two years, the only data that was collected was throughput and information retention. Response rates indicated that the approach was effective in helping licensed professional engineers obtain the needed PDUs. The rates of correct responses suggested that knowledge transfer regarding ethical reasoning had occurred in the initial training and had been retained in the refresher. In FY13, after completing the refresher, learners received a survey asking their opinion of the effectiveness and utility of the course, as well as their impressions of the case study format vs. the typical presentation format. Results indicate that the courses have been favorably received and that the case study method supports most of the pedagogical needs of adult learners as well as, if not better than, presentation-based instruction. Future plans for improvement are focused on identifying and evaluating methods for enriching online delivery of the engineering ethics cases.

New Organic Semiconductor Materials Applied in Organic Photovoltaic and Optical Devices
Andre F. S. Guedes, Vilmar P. Guedes, Simone Tartari, Mônica L. Souza, Idaulo J. Cunha
Pages: 38-40
Abstract | Full Text
The development of flexible organic photovoltaic solar cells, using an optically transparent substrate material and organic semiconductor materials, has been widely utilized by the electronic industry when producing new technological products. The flexible organic photovoltaic solar cells are the base Poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), PEDOT, Poly(3-hexyl thiophene, P3HT, Phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester, PCBM and Polyaniline, PANI, were deposited in Indium Tin Oxide, ITO, and characterized by Electrical Measurements and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). In addition, the thin film obtained by the deposition of PANI, prepared in perchloric acid solution, was identified through PANI-X1. The result obtained by electrical Measurements has demonstrated that the PET/ITO/PEDOT/P3HT:PCBM Blend/PANI-X1 layer presents the characteristic curve of standard solar cell after spin-coating and electrodeposition. The Thin film obtained by electrodeposition of PANI-X1 on P3HT/PCBM Blend was prepared in perchloric acid solution. These flexible organic photovoltaic solar cells presented power conversion efficiency of 12%. The inclusion of the PANI-X1 layer reduced the effects of degradation these organic photovoltaic panels induced for solar irradiation. In Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) these studies reveal that the surface of PANI-X1 layers is strongly conditioned by the surface morphology of the dielectric.

Implementation of Massive Agent Model Using Repast HPC and GPU
Shinsaku Segawa, Shofuku Kin, Hidenori Kawamura, Keiji Suzuki
Pages: 41-45
Abstract | Full Text
Agent Based Model (ABM) is efficient for analysis of various social mechanisms. Recently, there are many studies on massive agent model to explain more complex social phenomena.

Then, we aim for implementation of large scale simulation model using Repast HPC toolkit, a platform for massive agent model. In this article, we build "Schelling Segregation Model" for spatial model using geospatial data provided OpenStreetMap, an open source project creating a free editable map. In this model, agents are located continuous space, not grid in original. When an agent is "unhappy" and migrates to new location, it costs agents some simulation time depending on distance between old location and new one.

This article reports simulation results using Japanese cities and verification result about execution time.

The IT - Information Technology Governance and points to be considered in its practical implementation in Corporations
Altino José Mentzingen de Moraes
Pages: 46-50
Abstract | Full Text
This paper presents a Case Study (Issues and Answers), applied in a major industry located in Brazil´s Central Region, related to rise up checkpoints linked to IT Governance.

As one of its result, is presented a graph of how the IT Governance was approached in researched Industry, in which, it is possible to see which areas this method of working was active and in which this was not applied.

Also a Timeline describes the steps that were undertaken for the implementation of this Case Study, which, can be reused for the resubmission – in a future moment – in the same industry, to evaluate if there was a change of scenery, or in other Organization with the same characteristics of this studied one.

Price System for Water Supply and its Economic Impact Analysis
Jing Zhao, Hongzhen Ni, Genfa Chen, Jifeng Li, Shujun Bao
Pages: 51-57
Abstract | Full Text
In light of the actual economic circumstances and water price level, the CGE model to simulate the price policy for multiple water sources is modified and expanded. A water price reform plan is proposed to meet water-saving requirements and water resources allocation. The affected scale and scope for implementing the water price policy is evaluated on a quantitative basis. Research results indicate that a reasonable water price system in Tianjin in 2020 should be set up as follows: the comprehensive tap water price stands at 4$/m³, the tap water price for industrial, administrative and business service sectors is 2.4$/m³, and the tap water price for special industry and domestic use are 8.8$/m³ and 1.4$/m³ respectively. The adjusted water price will bring about tangible results to water resources allocation optimization and water conservation. Although most sectors are negatively affected to varying degrees after raising the water price, particularly the lodging and catering sectors, a 100% water price rising will produce only little impact on price index, and sectoral output and employment will not cause economic fluctuations or social instability. Water price adjustments, as long as it is reasonable, will be more positive than negative on the whole. Research outcomes will provide a scientific decision-making basis for formulating the local water price policy.

The Decision Support in Electricity Generation: A Model of Integrated Parameters and Indicators
Renata Maria Abrantes Baracho, Rogério Amaral Bonatti, Francisco Ricardo A. C. Baracho, Christiano Pessanha, Marina M. Starling Rezende, Cláudio Homero Ferreira Silva
Pages: 58-63
Abstract | Full Text
This paper presents the construction of a model to support corporate managers in the energy sector. It is expected that the identification and measurement of parameters involved in decision making in this sector can assist managers in new projects of power generation. Knowledge management and strategic planning originate the resources necessary for correct alignment with the goals and expectations of organizations. It is thus possible to define different scenarios to be presented to managers. Through interviews with consultants and experts in the energy sector it was possible to define and validate a set of indicators which will be used in the proposed model. Hence a questionnaire to a representative sample of managers and others involved in the decision making processes of companies in the electricity power sector is filled in. In addition, contributions from researchers from Information Science, Electrical Engineering and Administration are of prime importance as well and are carried out in this work. The management model proposed is part of an ongoing research on strategic planning and on decision-making to enterprises of power generation from renewable sources1.

Network Complexity Measures. An Information-Theoretic Approach.
Matthias Dehmer, Stefan Pickl
Pages: 64-67
Abstract | Full Text
Quantitative graph analysis by using structural indices has been intricate in a sense that it often remains unclear which structural graph measures is the most suitable one, see [1, 12, 13]. In general, quantitative graph analysis deals with quantifying structural information of networks by using a measurement approach [5]. As special problem thereof is to characterize a graph quantitatively, that means to determine a measure that captures structural features of a network meaningfully. Various classical structural graph measures have been used to tackle this problem [13]. A fruitful approach by using information-theoretic [21] and statistical methods is to quantify the structural information content of a graph [1, 8, 18].

In this note, we sketch some classical information measures. Also, we briefly address the problem what kind of measures capture structural information uniquely. This relates to determine the discrimination power (or also called uniqueness) of a graph measure, that is, how is the ability of the measures to discriminate non-isomorphic graphs structurally.

[1] D. Bonchev. Information Theoretic Indices for Characterization of Chemical Structures. Research Studies Press, Chichester, 1983.
[5] M. Dehmer and F. Emmert-Streib. Quantitative Graph Theory. Theory and Applications. CRC Press, 2014.
[8] M. Dehmer, M. Grabner, and K. Varmuza. Information indices with high discriminative power for graphs. PLoS ONE, 7:e31214, 2012.
[12] F. Emmert-Streib and M. Dehmer. Exploring statistical and population aspects of network complexity. PLoS ONE, 7:e34523, 2012.
[13] F. Harary. Graph Theory. Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1969. Reading, MA, USA.
[18] A. Mowshowitz. Entropy and the complexity of the graphs I: An index of the relative complexity of a graph. Bull. Math. Biophys., 30:175–204, 1968.
[21] C. E. Shannon and W. Weaver. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University of Illinois Press, 1949.

Participation in Information Markets Research: A New Conceptualization and Measurement
Khalid N. Alhayyan
Pages: 68-76
Abstract | Full Text
Participation is a fundamental concept in information systems research. It has been viewed to be a promising factor for the success of any IT system. However, its complex nature with respect to its conceptualization and measurement reported mix findings to the literature. In this paper, a literature review is conducted across many research disciplines to find a solid ground for proposing definition and new measures for assessing computer-recorded (e.g. online) participation. Specifically, this paper redefines traditional views on IS-related participation into a new conceptualization, and proposes methods for its operationalization to appropriately fit within recent technological contexts such as information markets.

Urban Stage 2014: Navigating Relationships during a Collaboration between Local Businesses, Nonprofits, a Large University, and a Mid-Sized City
David A. Driskill, Timothy J. Elliot
Pages: 77-83
Abstract | Full Text
The Urban Stage was constructed as a temporary urbanism project to demonstrate environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability in an urban environment. One block of Avenue J in downtown Lubbock, Texas was constructed and activated between October 30 and November 7, 2014. This paper will focus on the collaboration and decision making processes between the City of Lubbock, Texas Tech University, and community organizations that enabled this project to take place. The collaborative process between these diverse entities was inherently complex by virtue of the existing organizational structures and complicated further by bureaucratic inertia, the bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility. Leadership actions at various levels of organizational structure were required in order to overcome this bureaucratic inertia and install the Urban Stage.

The Application of Karl Popper’s Three Worlds Schema to Questions about Information in the Fields of Complexity, Cybernetics, and Informatics
Paul D. Nugent, Richard Montague, Emilio Collar Jr.
Pages: 84-88
Abstract | Full Text
More technically leaning disciplines such as informatics, complexity theory, and cybernetics often make simplifying assumptions about human beings and their causal/informational roles within larger techo-social systems. This paper employs the philosopher Karl Popper’s three worlds schema to explore in depth the unique ways in which conscious human subjects process and create knowledge and information. The three worlds represent the physical world, the subjective world of the conscious subject, and the world of language, models, and schemas. The works of major philosophers are invoked to consider what makes conscious human subjects unique in the context of information systems. Context-based understandings, the expressive facet of consciousness, and experience-based valuing emerge as key themes that we believe could strengthen the fields of informatics, complexity theory, and cybernetics.

Developing a GIS for Rural School Transportation in Minas Gerais, Brazil
Marcelo Franco Porto, Stanislas Thiéry, Nilson Tadeu Ramos Nunes, Izabela Ribas Vianna de Carvalho, João Fernando Machry Sarubbi, Cristiano Maciel da Silva
Pages: 89-94
Abstract | Full Text
This Report aims to give a detailed account of the study of rural school transportation in Minas Gerais and propose a routing method to create better routes to attend rural students and schools. The federal government of Minas Gerais launched a three-year program to establish new school bus lines in rural parts of the state. This government project’s goal is to give better access to basic services such as schooling in poorer areas of the country in order to contribute to their development and make their life conditions better.

The situation of rural school transportation in Brazil is shown in this paper. The analysis of the conditions of school transportation and comparison with school transportation in other countries, such as the United States or France, will show that action is necessary for the development of rural areas of the state.

This will bring to introduce the new federal government project that aims to create new school bus lines around the state to guarantee better access to education. In this very important project, which has many different universities and private companies are working on, the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, with the Transport laboratory NucleTrans, held by Pr. Marcelo Franco Porto, has been given the task to establish a routing method to be used on the municipalities concerned by the project, and establish a methodology.

In order to understand how a methodology can be established for school bus routing, it is necessary to contextualize the different existing methods for solving the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP). Thus, the focus was turned upon the heuristic methods that are able to find a "good" solution to the problem.

The performance of the heuristics was tested for the city of Governador Valadares. The results of this test were also discussed in this paper.