Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)    DOI: 10.54808/JSCI


Quantifying Stability Using Frequency Domain Data from Wireless Inertial Measurement Units
Stephen Slaughter, Rachel Hales, Cheryl Hinze, Catherine Pfeiffer
Pages: 1-4
The quantification of gait stability can provide valuable information when evaluating subjects for age related and neuromuscular disease changes. Using tri-axial inertial measurement units (IMU) for acceleration and rotational data provide a non-linear profile for this type of movement. As subjects traverse various surfaces representing decreasing stability, the different phasing of gait data make comparisons difficult. By converting from time to frequency domain data, the phase effects can be ignored, allowing for significant correlations. In this study, 12 subjects provided gait information over various surfaces while wearing an IMU. Instabilities were determined by comparing frequency domain data over less stable surfaces to frequency domain data of neural network (NN) models representing the normal gait for any given participant. Time dependent data from 2 axes of acceleration and 2 axes of rotation were converted using a discrete Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm. The data over less stable surfaces were compared to the normal gait NN model by averaging the Pearson product moment correlation (r) values. This provided a method to quantify the decreased stability. Data showed progressively decreasing correlation coefficient values as subjects encountered progressively less stable surface environments. This methodology has allowed for the quantification of instability in gait situations for application in real-time fall prevention situations.

Biobank Metaportal to Enhance Collaborative Research:
Maria Krestyaninova, Ola Spjuth, Janna Hastings, Jörn Dietrich, Dietrich Rebholz-Schuhmann
Pages: 5-10
In order to identify new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases, biobanks systematically collect samples of human tissues and population-wide data on health and lifestyle. Efficient access to population biobank data and to biomaterial is crucial for development and marketing of new pharmaceutical products, especially in the area of personalised medicine. However, such access is hindered by legal and ethical constraints, and by the huge semantic diversity across different biobanks. To address these challenges, we have developed SAIL, a sophisticated metaportal for biobank data annotation across different collections and repositories, harmonised to allow cross-biobank searchability, while preserving the anonymity and privacy of the underlying data such that legal and ethical requirements are met. We describe the technological architecture and design of SAIL that allows us to meet these pressing challenges, and give an overview of the current functionality of the application. SAIL is available online at, and it currently contains around 200 000 samples from 14 collections.

Modeling of Worsening
Kalman Ziha
Pages: 11-16
This paper aims to add impetus to understanding of worsening phenomena and prevention of their consequences. The introductory notes outline the uncertainty, the empirical character and the subjective meaning of the term “worsening”. The underlying hypothesis takes up the idea of general cause and effect relations in order to reveal the cause and effect interaction concept of worsening. The concept of worsening is analytically modeled as an accumulation of effects in permanent interaction with causes. The mathematical formulation of the worsening concept is applied to examples of common engineering problems of material plasticity, fatigue and corrosion.

Monitoring the International Standardization Process Theoretical Choices and Methodological Tools
Brigitte Juanals, Jean-Luc Minel
Pages: 17-23
Many organizations are in charge of global security management. This paper outlines and argues for the construction of a theoretical and methodological framework in order to critically assess the new technopolitics currently being developed in the field of global security and which are materialized in standards. The main purpose is to design both a methodology and specific text mining tools to investigate these standards. These tools will be implemented in a platform designed to provide cartographic representations of standards and to assist the navigation of an end-user through a corpus of standards.

A Suite of Petri net based Tools for Monitoring and Debugging Distributed Autonomous Systems
Joaquín López, Diego Pérez, Alejandro Santana-Alonso, Enrique Paz
Pages: 24-29
This paper describes the use of Petri nets in a suit of tools to design, analyze, monitor, log and debug the run-time coordination of distributed control systems. The interaction between the distributed components is modeled using Petri nets. Before running the application, different Petri net analysis tools can be used to analyze the system. While running, interactions between the different components of the distributed system can be easily monitored watching the evolution of the different Petri nets. Besides monitoring, the system can be instrumented to log state changes with different levels of detail. Finally, graphical tools can be used for visualizing the evolution of the system step by step or at the same running pace. These tools allow also go to a specific point of the execution and visualize the state of the global system.

Computer Aided Engineering of Cyber-Physical Information Gathering and Utilizing Systems
Alfred P. Defonzo, Anthony P. Hopf
Pages: 30-35
Engineering Cyber-physical information gathering and utilizing systems(CIGUS) presents the systems engineer with a difficult, multi-criterion, multi-objective decision problem. Research, development and design is done over many disciplines, across many domains, each with their specific models. Systems engineers are expected to provide a common level of communication amongst the domains to promote convergence to a design. We present novel information measures that enable combination of the underlying domain specific subsystems parameters in a way that makes the information yield of the system intelligible to decision makers and domain experts. These measures enable, for the first time, the application of multi-objective evolutionary algorithms and end-to-end computer aided engineering of CIGUS. Our novel approach is validated and verified through the application and direct comparison of simulated and experimental results of state-ofthe- art weather radar network test bed designs. The approach resulted in Pareto optimal point within an average of 10% of the actual case study design parameters and within 25% of the Pareto ideal point. No additional parameters beyond the underlying domain parameters were introduced. This demonstrates that the computationally aided engineering approach presented in this work facilitates engineering feasibility decisions and the subsequent evolution of the engineered systems in way that reduces cost and effort.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Curricula Reform Demand in Bangladesh
Faruque A. Haolader, Reinhold Nickolaus
Pages: 36-40
This case study investigates the Diploma-in-Engineering (Electronics Technology) curriculum in Bangladesh. It includes student assessment approach and learning/ teaching outcomes, and compares them with Germany’s initial vocational training in the Dual System. The required data was collected through a selfdesigned test and a questionnaire. The test measured mainly students’ technical competencies, particularly in the case of practical relevant tasks. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used to analyze the data. A comparison between the polytechnic students and vocational school trainees in Germany at different cognitive levels was made. The findings show that the polytechnic students in Bangladesh perform poorly. It was found that the differences in the categories of Apply and Understand were bigger than the difference in the category of Remember. Furthermore, this study investigated and found that the student assessment approaches in Bangladesh and Germany differ greatly regarding their theoretical requirements and practical relevance. The Diploma curriculum mainly focuses on theoretical matters. Germany’s learning field based curriculum in vocational schools focuses on practice oriented learning and teaching, and fosters the trainees’ knowledge transfer capability. The current TVET reform in Bangladesh that introduces CBT&A, among others, may address these issues and help Bangladeshi TVET graduates to compete in an international labour market.

Preparing Students for the Ethical Challenges of Global Citizenship
Madelyn Flammia
Pages: 41-45
This paper describes an approach to teaching ethical intercultural communication. This approach helps students become aware of their own ethnocentric attitudes and helps them move beyond those perspectives to develop a mindful approach to intercultural communication. The paper begins by introducing the concept of mindful communication and the challenges of developing of a code of ethical behavior for communicating across cultures. Then, strategies for reconciling cultural relativism and universalism are offered. Finally, the paper provides a set of guidelines for ethical behavior in intercultural encounters.

Validating Avionics Conceptual Architectures with Executable Specifications
Nils Fischer, Horst Salzwedel
Pages: 46-55
Current avionics systems specifications, developed after conceptual design, have a high degree of uncertainty. Since specifications are not sufficiently validated in the early development process and no executable specification exists at aircraft level, system designers cannot evaluate the impact of their design decisions at aircraft or aircraft application level. At the end of the development process of complex systems, e. g. aircraft, an average of about 65 per cent of all specifications have to be changed because they are incorrect, incomplete or too vaguely described. In this paper, a model-based design methodology together with a virtual test environment is described that makes complex high level system specifications executable and testable during the very early levels of system design. An aircraft communication system and its system context is developed to demonstrate the proposed early validation methodology. Executable specifications for early conceptual system architectures enable system designers to couple functions, architecture elements, resources and performance parameters, often called non-functional parameters. An integrated executable specification at Early Conceptual Architecture Level is developed and used to determine the impact of different system architecture decisions on system behavior and overall performance.

Quantum Effectiveness Revealed by Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) as Applied in Academics, Corporate Consulting and Everyday Life
Jeffrey L. Fannin
Pages: 56-64
This paper presents research data that demonstrates changes in neuronal patterns to achieve optimally balanced brain performance. The optimally balanced brain state is applied in academics, consulting and business coaching to change subconscious belief patterns that tend to minimize effective thought and behavior. This kind of research might well be very important and useful in processes oriented toward integrating academic, consulting, business coaching activities, and similar processes. It may also be significant in finding ways of integrating research and education. The author based his conclusion on the documentation of one hundred twenty-five cases where data was gathered over a 12 month period, in three different locations, with different EEG technicians, using two different types of EEG equipment; the pvalue is <=0.010. Consequently the conclusions are well supported. The creation of the essential neuropathways, indicated by the author might certainly help in processes oriented to integrate academic informing in its three main components (research, education and consulting), as well as in improving the performance of each of these three activities.

Implementation of Refined Ray Tracing inside a Space Module
Balamati Choudhury, R.M. Jha
Pages: 65-68
Modern space modules are susceptible to EM radiation from both external and internal sources within the space module. Since the EM waves for various operations are frequently in the high-frequency domain, asymptotic raytheoretic methods are often the most optimal choice for deterministic EM field analysis. In this work, surface modeling of a typical manned space module is done by hybridizing a finite segment of right circular cylinder and a general paraboloid of revolution (GPOR) frustum. A transmitting source is placed inside the space module and test rays are launched from the transmitter. The rays are allowed to propagate inside the cavity. Unlike the available ray-tracing package, that use numerical search methods, a quasi-analytical ray-propagation model is developed to obtain the ray-path details inside the cavity which involves the ray-launching, ray-bunching, and an adaptive cube for ray-reception.

The "SignOn"-Model for Teaching Written Language to Deaf People
Marlene Hilzensauer, Franz Dotter
Pages: 69-74
This paper shows a method of teaching written language to deaf people using sign language as the language of instruction. Written texts in the target language are combined with sign language videos which provide the users with various modes of translation (words/phrases/sentences). As examples, two EU projects for English for the Deaf are presented which feature English texts and translations into the national sign languages of all the partner countries plus signed grammar explanations and interactive exercises. Both courses are web-based; the programs may be accessed free of charge via the respective homepages (without any download or log-in).

The Bullwhip Effect: Concretization of Entropic Information Dissipation in Supply Chain Systems
Tarik Saikouk, Iskander Zouaghi, Alain Spalanzani
Pages: 75-79
Supply chains represent complex and dynamic systems that incorporate autonomous firms interacting with one another to fulfill a common goal, while insuring their own ones. These firms’ behaviors are considered to be non-linear and sometimes unpredictable. This makes information transfer in the supply chain complex and causes instability when information transferred is incomplete or incorrect. This instability is characterized by the Bullwhip Effect that represents concretization of entropy, namely the degree of disorder within a system. In this paper we develop a new analytical approach assuming that the bullwhip effect is a consequence of the entropy of the supply chain system that is represented by information dissipation.

Parameter Values and Fatigue Mechanisms for FLIF Neurons
Christian Huyck, Artemis Parvizi
Pages: 80-86
A typical human brain consists of roughly 100 billion neurons, and one key aim of Biological Cybernetics is to simulate neural systems. A good model of a neuron accurately represents the behaviour of biological neurons, typically the spiking behaviour. For cybernetic systems that aim to function in real time with thousands, millions, or even billions of simulated neurons, it is also important that the model is computationally efficient. One Fatiguing Leaky Integrate and Fire neuron is a model that has four free parameters per neuron. This model has been used in cybernetic agents, but there have been few links to actual biological behaviour. A model of a rat neocortical neuron is developed with four specific parameter settings. This model is tuned to a particular input regime. When compared to a biological neuron it gets 90% of spikes roughly correct. Further modifications of the fatigue model enables the FLIF neuron to account for spontaneous neural firing, a known neural property, that is not present in the data. These modifications provide other FLIF models with a similar fit to the biological data. The best of these models correctly predicts over 94% of the spikes.

Semiparametric Mixed Effect Model with Application to the Longitudinal Knee Osteoarthritis (OAK) Data
Huiyong Zheng, Maryfran Sowers, Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, Jon A. Jacobson, John F. Randolph, Siobàn D. Harlow
Pages: 87-93
Motivated by the study of the longitudinal development and progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA) over a 15-year period, this study developed non-parametric mixed-effect models for ordinal outcomes. A stochastic mixed-effect model was used to evaluate the similarity of trajectories associated with increasing disease severity of OA in both knees. Then, a non-parametric mixed-effects model, based on cubic B-splnes, was developed to characterize the unknown nonlinear trend of logits as a function of time1-order. A Markov Transition Model was developed to characterize the transitions among multi-states of knee OA. This newly developed approach allows more flexible functional dependence of the ordinal outcome, levels of increasing knee OA severity, on the covariates.

Empowering Instructors to Become Effective Content Curators: Using the Building Blocks of Today to Manage Dynamic Curriculums for the Education Space
Alex Hottenstein
Pages: 94-99
This paper will examine key technologies that exist in the market today which can be used to enable instructor content curation and idea growth through direct student collaboration. Existing tools can be used to not only recreate the in-class collaborative experience in a distance-learning environment, but can also be used to support growing collections of knowledge on topics/subjects than just what can be gained from a single class or semester. This paper envisions a method for both instructors and students to help them effectively curate content and helps empower them to communicate through references to a combination of text and digital media. These references originate from multiple platforms across the Web, but relate to a single topic or idea. This “compilation” of material can then be treated as its own form of content and can be assignable, consumable, and gradable in the well-established pedagogy of standard learning management systems. This form of content would allow instructors or students to present ideas that are greater than the sum of their individual parts and provide a platform for further discussion and learning, ultimately, growing the value of the content itself.

Rapid Production of E-Learning Materials with Reusable Learning Objects: Experiences from the Global Academy for Extension Practice
Mary Holz-Clause, Dileepkumar Guntuku
Pages: 100-103
Open educational resources, institutional collaborations, and content reusability approaches have been quickly emerging to minimize the time and money spent on developing e-learning materials. Reusing content with reusable learning objects (RLOs) is carving a new path for research on reusing and repurposing available high quality e-learning content. Prior research shows that this component-based approach best fits how educators prefer to access materials. In this paper, without arguing the merits and demerits of RLOs as a concept, the authors present an effective and affordable approach to creating e-learning materials with RLOs. The authors also present how they have implemented the proposed RLO approach in converting learning modules of the Global Academy for Extension Practice into multiple e-learning material formats.