Now showing items 1-20 of 7775

    • Real exchange rate and asymmetric shocks in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)

      Adu, R.; Litsios, Ioannis; Baimbridge, Mark J. (2019)
      This paper examines real effective exchange rate (REER) responses to shocks in exchange rate determinants for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) over the period 1980–2015. The analysis is based on a country-by-country VECM, and oil price, supply and demand shocks are identified using long run restrictions in a structural VAR model. We report significant differences in the response of REER to real oil price, productivity (supply) and demand preference shocks across these economies. In addition the relative contribution of these shocks to REER movements in the short and long run appears to be different across economies. Our findings suggest that the WAMZ countries are structurally different, and asymmetric shocks with inadequate adjustment mechanisms imply that a monetary union would be costly.
    • Towards Lattice-Boltzmann modelling of unconfined gas mixing in anaerobic digestion

      Dapelo, Davide; Trunk, R.; Krause, M.J.; Bridgeman, John (2019-02-15)
      A novel Lattice-Boltzmann model to simulate gas mixing in anaerobic digestion is developed and described. For the first time, Euler–Lagrange multiphase, non-Newtonian and turbulence modelling are applied jontly with a novel hybrid boundary condition. The model is validated in a laboratory-scale framework and flow patterns are assessed through Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) and innovative Positron-Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT). The model is shown to reproduce the experimental flow patterns with fidelity in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The model opens up a new approach to computational modelling of the complex multiphase flow in anaerobic digesters and offers specific advantages, such as computational efficiency, over an analogous Euler-Lagrange finite-volume computational fluid dynamics approach.
    • Synergistic toughening and compatibilisation effect of Poly(butylene succinate) in PLA/poly-caprolactone blends

      Kassos, Nikolaos; Kelly, Adrian L.; Gough, Timothy D.; Gill, A.A. (2019-03)
      Binary and ternary blends of a polylactic acid matrix with polycaprolactone (PCL) and polybutylene succinate (PBS) were produced by twin screw extrusion, containing up to 30wt% loading. Mechanical, thermal and rheological characterisation techniques were used to quantify properties of the different blend formulations and miscibility was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. PCL is known to act as an impact modifier in PLA but to cause a corresponding reduction in strength. Results showed that addition of both PBS and PCL seperatly caused a reduction in melt viscosity, elastic modulus and tensile strength, but an increase in impact strength and strain at break. Analysis of morphology suggested that immiscibility was evident, particularly at higher PCL and PBS loadings. Results indicated that incorporation of a small loading of PBS had a synergistic effect on the PLA-PCL blend properties. Miscibility was improved and enhanced mechanical properties were observed for a ternary blend containing 5wt% of both PBS and PCL compared to blends containing 10% of each polymer alone.
    • Highly-ordered onion micelles made from amphiphilic highly-branched copolymers

      Canning, S.L.; Ferner, J.M.F.; Mangham, N.M.; Wear, T.J.; Reynolds, S.W.; Morgan, J.; Fairclough, J.P.A.; King, S.M.; Swift, Thomas; Geoghegan, M.; Rimmer, Stephen (2018)
      Uniform onion micelles formed from up to ten nano-structured polymer layers were produced by the aqueous self-assembly of highly-branched copolymers. Highly-branched poly(alkyl methacrylate)s were chain extended with poly(acrylic acid) in a two-step reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer-self-condensing vinyl polymerization (RAFT-SCVP) in solution. The resulting polymers were dispersed into water from oxolane (THF) using a self-organized precipitation-like method and the self-assembled particles were studied by phase-analysis light scattering, small-angle neutron scattering, and electron microscopy techniques. The relative hydrophobicity of the blocks was varied by changing the alkyl methacrylate (methyl, butyl, or lauryl) and this was found to affect the morphology of the particles. Only the poly(butyl methacrylate)-containing macromolecule formed an onion micelle structure. The formation of this morphology was observed to depend on: the evaporation of the good solvent (THF) during the self assembly process causing kinetic trapping of structures; the pH of the aqueous phase; and also on the ratio of hydrophobic to hydrophilic segments within the copolymer. The lamellar structure could be removed by annealing the dispersion above the glass transition temperature of the poly(butyl methacrylate). To exemplify how these onion micelles can be used to encapsulate and release an active compound, a dye, rhodamine B (Rh B), was encapsulated and released. The release behaviour was dependent on the morphology of the particles. Particles formed containing the poly(methyl methacrylate) or poly (lauryl methacrylate) core did not form onions and although these materials absorbed Rh B, it was continuously released at room temperature. On the other hand, the lamellar structure formed from branchpoly( butyl methacrylate)-[poly(butyl methacrylate)-block-poly(acrylic acid)] allowed for encapsulation of approximately 45% of the dye, without release, until heating disrupted the lamellar structure.
    • Consumption of salt rich products: impact of the UK reduced salt campaign

      Sharma, Abhijit; di Falco, S.; Fraser, I. (2019)
      This paper uses a leading UK supermarket’s loyalty card database to assess the effectiveness and impact of the 2004 UK reduced salt campaign. We present an econometric analysis of purchase data to assess the effectiveness of the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) ‘reduced salt campaign’. We adopt a general approach to determining structural breaks in the time series of purchase data, using unit root tests whereby structural breaks are endogenously determined from the data. We find only limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of the FSA’s reduced salt campaign. Our results support existing findings in the literature that have used alternative methodologies to examine the impact of information campaigns on consumer choice of products with high salt content.
    • Evaluating Digital Public Services: a contingency value approach within three ‘exemplar’ sub-Sahara developing countries

      Tassabehji, Rana; Hackney, R.; Maruyama, Takao (2019)
      This paper considers recent field evidence to analyse what online public services citizens need, explores potential citizen subsidy of these specific services and investigates where resources should be invested in terms of media accessibility. We explore these from a citizen-centric affordability perspective within three ‘exemplar’ developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank and United Nations in particular promote initiatives under the ‘Information and Communication Technologies for Development’ (ICT4D) to stress the relevance of e-Government as a way to ensure development and reduce poverty. We adopt a ‘Contingency Value’ method to conceptually outline reported citizens willingness to pay for digital public services. Hence, our focus is mainly upon an empirical investigation through extensive fieldwork in the context of sub-Sahara Africa. A substantive survey was conducted in the respective cities of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Lagos (Nigeria) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The sample of citizens was drawn from each respective Chamber of Commerce database for Ethiopia and South Africa, and for Nigeria a purchased database of businesses, based on stratified random sampling. These were randomly identified from both sectors ensuring all locations were covered with a total sample size of 1,297 respondents. It was found, in particular, that citizens were willing to pay to be able to access digital public services and that amounts of fees they were willing to pay varied depending on what services they wish to access and what devices they use (PCs or mobile phones).
    • Big Data Analytics and Business Failures in Data-Rich Environments: An Organizing Framework

      Amankwah-Amoah, J.; Adomako, Samuel (2019-02)
      In view of the burgeoning scholarly works on big data and big data analytical capabilities, there remains limited research on how different access to big data and different big data analytic capabilities possessed by firms can generate diverse conditions leading to business failure. To fill this gap in the existing literature, an integrated framework was developed that entailed two approaches to big data as an asset (i.e. threshold resource and distinctive resource) and two types of competences in big data analytics (i.e. threshold competence and distinctive/core competence). The analysis provides insights into how ordinary big data analytic capability and mere possession of big data are more likely to create conditions for business failure. The study extends the existing streams of research by shedding light on decisions and processes in facilitating or hampering firms’ ability to harness big data to mitigate the cause of business failures. The analysis led to the categorization of a number of fruitful avenues for research on data-driven approaches to business failure.
    • Gaps, traps, bridges and props: a mixed-methods study of resilience in the medicines management system for heart failure patients at hospital discharge

      Fylan, Beth; Marques, Iuri; Ismail, Hanif; Breen, Liz; Gardner, P.; Armitage, Gerry R.; Blenkinsopp, Alison (2019)
      Poor medicines management places patients at risk, particularly during care transitions. For patients with heart failure (HF), optimal medicines management is crucial to control symptoms and prevent hospital readmission. This study explored the concept of resilience using HF as an example condition to understand how the system compensates for known and unknown weaknesses. We explored resilience using a mixed-methods approach in four healthcare economies in the north of England. Data from hospital site observations, healthcare staff and patient interviews, and documentary analysis were collected between June 2016 and March 2017. Data were synthesised and analysed using framework analysis. Interviews were conducted with 45 healthcare professionals, with 20 patients at three timepoints and 189 hours of observation were undertaken. We identified four primary inter-related themes concerning organisational resilience. These were named as gaps, traps, bridges and props. Gaps were discontinuities in processes that had the potential to result in poorly optimised medicines. Traps were features of the system that could produce errors or unintended adverse medication events. ‘Bridges’ were features of the medicines management system that promoted safety and continuity which ensured that, despite varying conditions, care could be delivered successfully. ‘Props’ were informal, temporary or impromptu actions taken by patients or healthcare staff to avoid potential adverse events. The numerous opportunities for HF patient safety to be compromised and sub-optimal medicines management during this common care transition are mitigated by system resilience. Cross-organisational bridges and temporary fixes or ‘props’ put in place by patients and carers, healthcare teams and organisations are critical for safe and optimal care to be delivered in the face of continued system pressures.
    • Turbulent Rectangular Compound Open Channel Flow Study Using Multi-Zonal Approach

      Pu, Jaan H. (2019)
      In this paper, an improved Shiono-Knight model (SKM) has been proposed to calculate the rectangular compound open channel flows by considering a Multi-Zonal (MZ) approach in modelling turbulence and secondary flows across lateral flow direction. This is an effort to represent natural flows with compound shape more closely. The proposed model improves the estimation of secondary flow by original SKM model to increase the accuracy of depthaveraged velocity profile solution formed within the transitional region between different sections (i.e. between main-channel and floodplain) of compound channel. This proposed MZ model works by sectioning intermediate zones between floodplain and main-channel for running computation in order to improve the modelling accuracy. The modelling results have been validated using the experimental data by national UK Flood Channel Facility (FCF). It has been proven to work reasonably well to model secondary flows within the investigated compound channel flow cases and hence produce better representation to their flow lateral velocity profile.
    • Failure Analysis Modelling in an Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) Environment

      Mohammed, Bashir; Modu, Babagana; Maiyama, Kabiru M.; Ugail, Hassan; Awan, Irfan U.; Kiran, M. (2018)
      Failure Prediction has long known to be a challenging problem. With the evolving trend of technology and growing complexity of high-performance cloud data centre infrastructure, focusing on failure becomes very vital particularly when designing systems for the next generation. The traditional runtime fault-tolerance (FT) techniques such as data replication and periodic check-pointing are not very effective to handle the current state of the art emerging computing systems. This has necessitated the urgent need for a robust system with an in-depth understanding of system and component failures as well as the ability to predict accurate potential future system failures. In this paper, we studied data in-production-faults recorded within a five years period from the National Energy Research Scientific computing centre (NERSC). Using the data collected from the Computer Failure Data Repository (CFDR), we developed an effective failure prediction model focusing on high-performance cloud data centre infrastructure. Using the Auto-Regressive Moving Average (ARMA), our model was able to predict potential future failures in the system. Our results also show a failure prediction accuracy of 95%, which is good.
    • Using Knowledge Anchors to Facilitate User Exploration of Data Graphs

      Al-Tawil, M.; Dimitrova, V.; Thakker, Dhaval (2019)
      This paper investigates how to facilitate users’ exploration through data graphs for knowledge expansion. Our work focuses on knowledge utility – increasing users’ domain knowledge while exploring a data graph. We introduce a novel exploration support mechanism underpinned by the subsumption theory of meaningful learning, which postulates that new knowledge is grasped by starting from familiar concepts in the graph which serve as knowledge anchors from where links to new knowledge are made. A core algorithmic component for operationalising the subsumption theory for meaningful learning to generate exploration paths for knowledge expansion is the automatic identification of knowledge anchors in a data graph (KADG). We present several metrics for identifying KADG which are evaluated against familiar concepts in human cognitive structures. A subsumption algorithm that utilises KADG for generating exploration paths for knowledge expansion is presented, and applied in the context of a Semantic data browser in a music domain. The resultant exploration paths are evaluated in a task-driven experimental user study compared to free data graph exploration. The findings show that exploration paths, based on subsumption and using knowledge anchors, lead to significantly higher increase in the users’ conceptual knowledge and better usability than free exploration of data graphs. The work opens a new avenue in semantic data exploration which investigates the link between learning and knowledge exploration. This extends the value of exploration and enables broader applications of data graphs in systems where the end users are not experts in the specific domain.
    • Carving a dialogical epistemology for investigating altruism: A reply to Mitchell and Eiroa–Orosa

      Intezar, Hannah; Sullivan Paul W. (2018-11-28)
      This is a reply to Sue Mitchell and Francisco J. Eiroa-Orosa’s ‘Love your enemy.’ The latter seeks to explore the self-transcending potential of altruistic behaviour through a dialogical paradigm. It not only initiates fresh discussion on the subject of altruism, but also advances new discussion on Bakhtinian aesthetics. For the continuation of this forward momentum, we suggest a more nuanced approach to the placement of the ‘researcher’ within the applied methodological matrix. Similarly, we also advocate for the synthesising of research tools, often appropriated by theological studies, into said methodological matrix. This is a reply to: Mitchell, Sue and Eiroa-Orosa, Francisco J. 2018. “Love your enemy? An aesthetic discourse analysis of self-transcendence in values-motivated altruism.” Global Discourse 1511766
    • Inter-Ethnic and Demic-Group Variations in Craniofacial Anthropometry: A Review

      Jilani, Shelina K.; Ugail, Hassan; Logan, Andrew J. (2019)
      Craniofacial anthropometry plays an important role in facial structure. This review paper evaluates existing research surrounding population norms of studied facial parameters. The purpose is two-fold: (1) to determine variations in facial measurements due to demi-group or ethnic variations based on traditional (direct) caliper based and image based (indirect) anthropometric methods. (2) to compare where possible, measured facial parameters between referenced studies. Inter and intra-population variations in addition to sexual dimorphism of facial parameters such as the nose and eyes, singularly or in combination with one another, have been concluded. Ocular measurements have exhibited ethnic variations between males and females of the Saudi, Turkish, Egyptian and Iranian group. Moreover, demic variations are reported when the native language has been used a key criterion. It has been concluded that with the current state of migration and inter-demic marriages, the study of homogenous populations will prove difficult. Subsequently, this will result in ambiguous physical traits that are not representative for any one demic or ethnic population. In this paper, results for the following adult male and female populations have been discussed: African American, Azerbaijani, Caribbean, Chinese, Croatian, Egyptian, Italian, Iranian, Turkish, Saudi Arabian, Syrian and South African. The qualitative research presented serves as a knowledge base for learners and strikes up thought provoking concepts about the direction anthropometrical research is heading.
    • Being working class in the academy

      Craddock, P.W.; Archer, V.; Binns, Carole L.; Coogan, R.; Johnston, C. (2018-10)
      While widening access is high on universities' agendas at undergraduate level, class barriers still prevail in the academy. Here, ... working-class scholars describe their experiences of 'otherness'
    • A meta-framework for designing open data studies in psychology: ethical and practical issues of open qualitative data sets

      Branney, Peter; Reid, K.; Frost, N.; Coan, S.; Mathieson, A.; Woolhouse, M. (2019)
      To date, open science, and particularly open data, in Psychology, has focused on quantitative research. This paper aims to explore ethical and practical issues encountered by UK-based psychologists utilising open qualitative datasets. Semi-structured telephone interviews with eight qualitative psychologists were explored using a framework analysis. From the findings, we offer a context-consent meta-framework as a resource to help in the design of studies sharing their data and/or studies using open data. We recommend ‘secondary’ studies conduct archaeologies of context and consent to examine if the data available is suitable for their research questions. This research is the first we know of in the study of ‘doing’ (or not doing) open science, which could be repeated to develop a longitudinal picture or complemented with additional approaches, such as observational studies of how context and consent are negotiated in pre-registered studies and open data.
    • Sticks or carrots? How to make British Banks more socially responsible

      Kapsis, Ilias (2019-03)
      The relationship between banks and society in UK remains fragile more than 10 years after the financial crisis. The level of public mistrust, though lower than in the aftermath of the crisis, still re-mains at unsatisfactory levels especially as scandals continue to plague the sector. This raises the question of the effectiveness of reforms adopted in UK during the past 10 years to improve the public oversight of banks and change their culture. The reforms resulted in a significant expansion of the scope of financial regulation through the adoption of large numbers of new rules with binding effect on banks. In addition, new supervisory bodies were created to more closely monitor bank activities. This paper reviews the effects of the reforms on bank culture and concludes that expanded regulation and compulsory norms brought about mixed results and had only moderate effect on re-pairing the relationship between banks and UK society. The paper argues that more significant cultural change could come only from the banks themselves and therefore, going forward, the scope of compulsory norms should be reduced. The paper contributes to the ongoing dialogue between industry experts, policy makers and lawyers about the optimum levels of financial regulation especially in light of recent calls for rolling back parts of public interventions in the financial sector.
    • A case analysis of E-government service delivery through a service chain dimension

      Weerakkody, Vishanth; El-Haddadeh, R.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Omar, A.; Molnar, A. (2019)
      Unlike e-business few studies have examined how information is generated and exchanged between stakeholders in an e-government service chain to generate value for citizens. This case study applies the concept of service chains to empirically explore: a) how internal and external business activities in local government authorities (LGAs) contribute to electronic service delivery, and b) the impact that internal and external stakeholders have on these activities. The case study found that the diversity of stakeholders involved and lack of appropriate mechanisms for information exchange and collaboration are posing the biggest challenges for efficient local egovernment service delivery.
    • Exploring Consumer and Patient Knowledge, Behavior, and Attitude Toward Medicinal and Lifestyle Products Purchased From the Internet: A Web-Based Survey

      Assi, S.; Thomas, J.; Haffar, Mohamed; Osselton, D. (2016-07-18)
      In recent years, lifestyle products have emerged to help improve people’s physical and mental performance. The Internet plays a major role in the spread of these products. However, the literature has reported issues regarding the authenticity of medicines purchased from the Internet and the impact of counterfeit medicines on public health. Little or no data are available on the authenticity of lifestyle products and actual toxicity associated with their use and misuse. Our aim was to investigate consumer and patient attitudes toward the purchase of lifestyle products from the Internet, their knowledge of product authenticity and toxicity, and their experiences with counterfeit lifestyle products. A Web-based study was performed between May 2014 and May 2015. Uniform collection of data was performed through an anonymous online questionnaire. Participants were invited worldwide via email, social media, or personal communication to complete the online questionnaire. A total of 320 participants completed the questionnaire. The results of the questionnaire showed that 208 (65.0%) participants purchased lifestyle products from the Internet mainly due to convenience and reduced cost. More than half (55.6%, 178/320) of participants purchased cosmetic products, whereas only a minority purchased medicinal products. Yet, 62.8% (201/320) of participants were aware of the presence of counterfeit lifestyle products from the Internet, and 11.9% (38/320) experienced counterfeit products. In only 0.9% (3/320) of those cases were counterfeit lifestyle products reported to authorities. Moreover, 7.2% (23/320) of the participants experienced adverse effects due to counterfeit lifestyle products. In summary, patients experienced counterfeit lifestyle products that resulted in adverse effects on their health. Although certain adverse effects were reported in this study, counterfeit products were underreported to authorities. Further public awareness campaigns and patient education are needed.
    • Problematic theoretical considerations of monetary unions

      Baimbridge, Mark J. (2018-10)
      Although the eurozone sovereign debt crisis took many by surprise following the Global Financial Crisis induced Great Recession, this chapter argues that this was an accident waiting to happen with unjustified emphasis placed upon unproven rules and institutions derived from contemporary neoliberal macroeconomic thinking. First, recent developments in macroeconomic are discussed and evaluated in terms of the so-called New Consensus Macroeconomics (NCM) that forms the current mainstream macroeconomic model comprising a blend of New Classical and New Keynesian theories is through adopting the rational behaviour hypothesis and supply-side-determined long-term equilibrium of output. A particular feature of these ideas is the inclusion of rules and institutions that are perceived to result in time consistent policymaking through essentially binding politicians from undertaking in non-optimal behaviour for either opportunistic, partisan or non-rational expectations reasons. Second, in addition to the general backdrop of macroeconomics the chapter considers the notion of a monetary union between countries under the rubric of both exogenous and endogenous Optimum Currency Area (OCA) theory. This combination of theoretical propositions form the bedrock of the eurozone where the TEU convergence criteria and SGP form the rules, while the European Central Bank is the key institution tasked with delivering low and stable price inflation. However, although these notions have become the staple diet of a generation of mainstream economists they comprehensively failed to insulate the eurozone from its sovereign debt crisis.
    • Scheduling and Resource Efficiency Balancing. Discrete Species Conserving Cuckoo Search for Scheduling in an Uncertain Execution Environment

      Hu, Yim Fun; Li, Jian-Ping; Bibiks, Kirils (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
      The main goal of a scheduling process is to decide when and how to execute each of the project’s activities. Despite large variety of researched scheduling problems, the majority of them can be described as generalisations of the resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP). Because of wide applicability and challenging difficulty, RCPSP has attracted vast amount of attention in the research community and great variety of heuristics have been adapted for solving it. Even though these heuristics are structurally different and operate according to diverse principles, they are designed to obtain only one solution at a time. In the recent researches on RCPSPs, it was proven that these kind of problems have complex multimodal fitness landscapes, which are characterised by a wide solution search spaces and presence of multiple local and global optima. The main goal of this thesis is twofold. Firstly, it presents a variation of the RCPSP that considers optimisation of projects in an uncertain environment where resources are modelled to adapt to their environment and, as the result of this, improve their efficiency. Secondly, modification of a novel evolutionary computation method Cuckoo Search (CS) is proposed, which has been adapted for solving combinatorial optimisation problems and modified to obtain multiple solutions. To test the proposed methodology, two sets of experiments are carried out. Firstly, the developed algorithm is applied to a real-life software development project. Secondly, the performance of the algorithm is tested on universal benchmark instances for scheduling problems which were modified to take into account specifics of the proposed optimisation model. The results of both experiments demonstrate that the proposed methodology achieves competitive level of performance and is capable of finding multiple global solutions, as well as prove its applicability in real-life projects.