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Sample records for quality assessment decision

  1. MATRIX - development and feasibility of a guide for quality assessment of patient decision aids

    PubMed Central

    Lenz, Matthias; Kasper, Jürgen

    2007-01-01

    Decision aids (DAs) are interventions designed to help people make specific and deliberative choices among options by providing information about the options and outcomes that is relevant to a person's health status. There is an ongoing discussion about the quality of DAs. The present article provides an overview on systematic approaches using various quality criteria. However, these evaluation guides are not yet implemented. Up to now quality assessment of DAs is often limited to the evidence on efficacy through controlled trials using single-outcome measures. Since DAs are multi-component interventions, single-outcome trials are not sufficient for complete quality assessment. Consideration of theoretical founding and the development process is required. In an earlier paper we proposed a novel concept of quality to meet this challenge. We introduced MATRIX a guide for quality assessment of DAs aimed at disclosing the rationale behind underpinning theories, methods, and goals of a DA. The present paper reports how the development of MATRIX progressed including results of pre-testing and a feasibility study. We present the revised version of MATRIX, explain its basic concept, and describe the way to use it. PMID:19742287

  2. Ecosystem valuation: a sequential decision support system and quality assessment issues.

    PubMed

    Turner, R Kerry; Morse-Jones, Sian; Fisher, Brendan

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the economic value of nature and the services it provides to humanity has become increasingly important for local, national, and global policy and decision making. It has become obvious that quantifying and integrating these services into decision making will be crucial for sustainable development. Problems arise in that it is difficult to obtain meaningful values for the goods and services that ecosystems provide and for which there is no formal market. A wide range of ecosystem services fall into this category. Additional problems arise when economic methods are applied inappropriately and when the importance of ecosystem maintenance for human welfare is underestimated. In this article we identify a place for monetary valuation within the pluralistic approach supported by ecological economics and assess progress to date in the application of environmental valuation to ecosystem service provision. We first review definitions of ecosystem services in order to make an operational link to valuation methods. We then discuss the spatially explicit nature of ecosystem services provision and benefits capture. We highlight the importance of valuing marginal changes and the role for macroscale valuation, nonlinearities in service benefits, and the significance of nonconvexities (threshold effects). We also review guidance on valuation studies quality assurance, and discuss the problems inherent in the methodology as exposed by the findings of behavioral economics, as well as with benefits transfer--the most common way valuation studies are applied in the policy process. We argue for a sequential decision support system that can lead to a more integrated and rigorous approach to environmental valuation and biophysical measurement of ecosystem services. This system itself then needs to be encompassed within a more comprehensive multicriteria assessment dialogue and process. PMID:20146763

  3. Surface water vulnerability assessment applying the integrity model as a decision support system for quality improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Mirauda, Domenica; Ostoich, Marco

    2011-04-15

    The implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC, aimed at achieving a 'Good' Ecological Status of surface water bodies by 2015, indicates the adoption of a River Basin Management approach by using a model which works as a support for decision making. This work has applied the suggestions put forward by the WFD by means of a mathematical model called the Integrity Model. This represents valid support when assessing the efficiency of planned interventions which may directly or indirectly play a role in enhancing the quality of surface waters at the basin scale. Herein the results of a preliminary application limited to just two indexes on the Bacchiglione river basin, located in Northern Italy, are both presented and compared with the results of institutional monitoring activities in compliance with set technical regulations. The proposed model appears to be useful when carrying out Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) procedures in accordance with Directive 2001/42/EC concerning water management and protection plans as well as for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure to be carried out on the interventions identified.

  4. Ten years of the International Patient Decision Aid Standards Collaboration: evolution of the core dimensions for assessing the quality of patient decision aids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    In 2003, the International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) Collaboration was established to enhance the quality and effectiveness of patient decision aids by establishing an evidence-informed framework for improving their content, development, implementation, and evaluation. Over this 10 year period, the Collaboration has established: a) the background document on 12 core dimensions to inform the original modified Delphi process to establish the IPDAS checklist (74 items); b) the valid and reliable IPDAS instrument (47 items); and c) the IPDAS qualifying (6 items), certifying (6 items + 4 items for screening), and quality criteria (28 items). The objective of this paper is to describe the evolution of the IPDAS Collaboration and discuss the standardized process used to update the background documents on the theoretical rationales, evidence and emerging issues underlying the 12 core dimensions for assessing the quality of patient decision aids. PMID:24624947

  5. The Development and Validation of a Generic Instrument, QoDoS, for Assessing the Quality of Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Donelan, Ronan; Walker, Stuart; Salek, Sam

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The impact of decision-making during the development and the regulatory review of medicines greatly influences the delivery of new medicinal products. Currently, there is no generic instrument that can be used to assess the quality of decision-making. This study describes the development of the Quality of Decision-Making Orientation Scheme QoDoS© instrument for appraising the quality of decision-making. Methods: Semi-structured interviews about decision-making were carried out with 29 senior decision makers from the pharmaceutical industry (10), regulatory authorities (9) and contract research organizations (10). The interviews offered a qualified understanding of the subjective decision-making approach, influences, behaviors and other factors that impact such processes for individuals and organizations involved in the delivery of new medicines. Thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews was carried out using NVivo8® software. Content validity was carried out using qualitative and quantitative data by an expert panel, which led to the developmental version of the QoDoS. Further psychometric evaluations were performed, including factor analysis, item reduction, reliability testing and construct validation. Results: The thematic analysis of the interviews yielded a 94-item initial version of the QoDoS© with a 5-point Likert scale. The instrument was tested for content validity using a panel of experts for language clarity, completeness, relevance and scaling, resulting in a favorable agreement by panel members with an intra-class correlation coefficient value of 0.89 (95% confidence interval = 0.56, 0.99). A 76-item QoDoS© (version 2) emerged from content validation. Factor analysis produced a 47-item measure with four domains. The 47-item QoDoS© (version 3) showed high internal consistency (n = 120, Cronbach's alpha = 0.89), high reproducibility (n = 20, intra-class correlation = 0.77) and a mean completion time of 10 min. Reliability testing

  6. A Web-Based Decision Support System for Assessing Regional Water-Quality Conditions and Management Actions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booth, N.L.; Everman, E.J.; Kuo, I.-L.; Sprague, L.; Murphy, L.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program has completed a number of water-quality prediction models for nitrogen and phosphorus for the conterminous United States as well as for regional areas of the nation. In addition to estimating water-quality conditions at unmonitored streams, the calibrated SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models can be used to produce estimates of yield, flow-weighted concentration, or load of constituents in water under various land-use condition, change, or resource management scenarios. A web-based decision support infrastructure has been developed to provide access to SPARROW simulation results on stream water-quality conditions and to offer sophisticated scenario testing capabilities for research and water-quality planning via a graphical user interface with familiar controls. The SPARROW decision support system (DSS) is delivered through a web browser over an Internet connection, making it widely accessible to the public in a format that allows users to easily display water-quality conditions and to describe, test, and share modeled scenarios of future conditions. SPARROW models currently supported by the DSS are based on the modified digital versions of the 1:500,000-scale River Reach File (RF1) and 1:100,000-scale National Hydrography Dataset (medium-resolution, NHDPlus) stream networks. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  7. A Web-Based Decision Support System for Assessing Regional Water-Quality Conditions and Management Actions.

    PubMed

    Booth, Nathaniel L; Everman, Eric J; Kuo, I-Lin; Sprague, Lori; Murphy, Lorraine

    2011-10-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program has completed a number of water-quality prediction models for nitrogen and phosphorus for the conterminous United States as well as for regional areas of the nation. In addition to estimating water-quality conditions at unmonitored streams, the calibrated SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models can be used to produce estimates of yield, flow-weighted concentration, or load of constituents in water under various land-use condition, change, or resource management scenarios. A web-based decision support infrastructure has been developed to provide access to SPARROW simulation results on stream water-quality conditions and to offer sophisticated scenario testing capabilities for research and water-quality planning via a graphical user interface with familiar controls. The SPARROW decision support system (DSS) is delivered through a web browser over an Internet connection, making it widely accessible to the public in a format that allows users to easily display water-quality conditions and to describe, test, and share modeled scenarios of future conditions. SPARROW models currently supported by the DSS are based on the modified digital versions of the 1:500,000-scale River Reach File (RF1) and 1:100,000-scale National Hydrography Dataset (medium-resolution, NHDPlus) stream networks. PMID:22457585

  8. A Web-Based Decision Support System for Assessing Regional Water-Quality Conditions and Management Actions1

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Nathaniel L; Everman, Eric J; Kuo, I-Lin; Sprague, Lori; Murphy, Lorraine

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program has completed a number of water-quality prediction models for nitrogen and phosphorus for the conterminous United States as well as for regional areas of the nation. In addition to estimating water-quality conditions at unmonitored streams, the calibrated SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models can be used to produce estimates of yield, flow-weighted concentration, or load of constituents in water under various land-use condition, change, or resource management scenarios. A web-based decision support infrastructure has been developed to provide access to SPARROW simulation results on stream water-quality conditions and to offer sophisticated scenario testing capabilities for research and water-quality planning via a graphical user interface with familiar controls. The SPARROW decision support system (DSS) is delivered through a web browser over an Internet connection, making it widely accessible to the public in a format that allows users to easily display water-quality conditions and to describe, test, and share modeled scenarios of future conditions. SPARROW models currently supported by the DSS are based on the modified digital versions of the 1:500,000-scale River Reach File (RF1) and 1:100,000-scale National Hydrography Dataset (medium-resolution, NHDPlus) stream networks. PMID:22457585

  9. Making Decisions in Quality Circles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Browne, Mildred

    This monograph provides educational staff with a theoretical basis for decision-making skills for application in quality circles. Roadblocks to good decisions are outlined, as well as the differences between group decision-making and individual decision-making (both have problems). The influence of values and personality characteristics on…

  10. A Web-Based Decision Support System for Assessing Regional Water-Quality Conditions and Management Actions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, N. L.; Everman, E.; Kuo, I.; Sprague, L.; Murphy, L.

    2011-12-01

    A new web-based decision support system has been developed as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment Program's (NAWQA) effort to provide ready access to Spatially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) results of stream water-quality conditions and to offer sophisticated scenario testing capabilities for research and water-quality planning via an intuitive graphical user interface with a map-based display. The SPARROW Decision Support System (DSS) is delivered through a web browser over an Internet connection, making it widely accessible to the public in a format that allows users to easily display water-quality conditions, distribution of nutrient sources, nutrient delivery to downstream waterbodies, and simulations of altered nutrient inputs including atmospheric and agricultural sources. The DSS offers other features for analysis including various background map layers, model output exports, and the ability to save and share prediction scenarios. SPARROW models currently supported by the DSS are based on the modified digital versions of the 1:500,000-scale River Reach File (RF1) and 1:100,000-scale National Hydrography Dataset (medium-resolution, NHDPlus) stream networks. The underlying modeling framework and server infrastructure illustrate innovations in the information technology and geosciences fields for delivering SPARROW model predictions over the web by performing intensive model computations and map visualizations of the predicted conditions within the stream network.

  11. Quality improvement in preoperative assessment by implementation of an electronic decision support tool

    PubMed Central

    Flamm, Maria; Fritsch, Gerhard; Hysek, Martin; Klausner, Sabine; Entacher, Karl; Panisch, Sigrid; Soennichsen, Andreas C

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To evaluate the impact of the electronic decision support (eDS) tool ‘PReOPerative evaluation’ (PROP) on guideline adherence in preoperative assessment in statutory health care in Salzburg, Austria. Materials and methods The evaluation was designed as a non-randomized controlled trial with a historical control group (CG). In 2007, we consecutively recruited 1363 patients admitted for elective surgery, and evaluated the preoperative assessment. In 2008, PROP was implemented and available online. In 2009 we recruited 1148 patients preoperatively assessed using PROP (294 outpatients, 854 hospital sector). Our analysis includes full blood count, liver function tests, coagulation parameters, electrolytes, ECG, and chest x-ray. Results The number of tests/patient without indication was 3.39 in the CG vs 0.60 in the intervention group (IG) (p<0.001). 97.8% (CG) vs 31.5% (IG) received at least one unnecessary test. However, we also observed an increase in recommended tests not performed/patient (0.05±0.27 (CG) vs 0.55±1.00 (IG), p<0.001). 4.2% (CG) vs 30.1% (IG) missed at least one necessary test. The guideline adherence (correctly tested/not tested) improved distinctively for all tests (1.6% (CG) vs 49.3% (IG), p<0.001). Discussion PROP reduced the number of unnecessary tests/patient by 2.79 which implied a reduction of patients’ burden, and a relevant cut in unnecessary costs. However, the advantage in specificity caused an increase in the number of patients incorrectly not tested. Further research is required regarding the impact of PROP on perioperative outcomes. PMID:23599223

  12. Testing an advanced satellite technique for dust detection as a decision support system for the air quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falconieri, Alfredo; Filizzola, Carolina; Femiano, Rossella; Marchese, Francesco; Sannazzaro, Filomena; Pergola, Nicola; Tramutoli, Valerio; Di Muro, Ersilia; Divietri, Mariella; Crisci, Anna Maria; Lovallo, Michele; Mangiamele, Lucia; Vaccaro, Maria Pia; Palma, Achille

    2014-05-01

    In order to correctly apply the European directive for air quality (2008/50/CE), local Authorities are often requested to discriminate the possible origin (natural/anthropic) of anomalous concentration of pollutants in the air (art.20 Directive 2008/50/CE). In this framework, it's been focused on PM10 and PM2,5 concentrations and sources. In fact, depending on their origin, appropriate counter-measures can be taken devoted to prevent their production (e.g. by traffic restriction) or simply to reduce their impact on citizen health (e.g. information campaigns). In this context suitable satellite techniques can be used in order to identify natural sources (particularly Saharan dust, but also volcanic ash or forest fire smoke) that can be responsible of over-threshold concentration of PM10/2,5 in populated areas. In the framework of the NIBS (Networking and Internationalization of Basilicata Space Technologies) project, funded by the Basilicata Region within the ERDF 2007-2013 program, the School of Engineering of University of Basilicata, the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis of National Research Council (IMAA-CNR) and the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment of Basilicata Region (ARPAB) have started a collaboration devoted to assess the potential of the use of advanced satellite techniques for Saharan dust events identification to support ARPAB activities related to the application of the European directive for air quality (2008/50/CE) in Basilicata region. In such a joint activity, the Robust Satellite Technique (RST) approach has been assessed and tested as a decision support system for monitoring and evaluating air quality at local and regional level. In particular, RST-DUST products, derived by processing high temporal resolution data provided by SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager) sensor on board Meteosat Second Generation platforms, have been analysed together with PM10 measurements performed by the ground

  13. Assessing the Hydrologic Performance of the EPA's Nonpoint Source Water Quality Assessment Decision Support Tool Using North American Land Data Assimilation System (Products)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, S.; Ni-Meister, W.; Toll, D.; Nigro, J.; Guiterrez-Magness, A.; Engman, T.

    2010-01-01

    The accuracy of streamflow predictions in the EPA's BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources) decision support tool is affected by the sparse meteorological data contained in BASINS. The North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) data with high spatial and temporal resolutions provide an alternative to the NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)'s station data. This study assessed the improvement of streamflow prediction of the Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF) model contained within BASINS using the NLDAS 118 degree hourly precipitation and evapotranspiration estimates in seven watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay region. Our results demonstrated consistent improvements of daily streamflow predictions in five of the seven watersheds when NLDAS precipitation and evapotranspiration data was incorporated into BASINS. The improvement of using the NLDAS data is significant when watershed's meteorological station is either far away or not in a similar climatic region. When the station is nearby, using the NLDAS data produces similar results. The correlation coefficients of the analyses using the NLDAS data were greater than 0.8, the Nash-Sutcliffe (NS) model fit efficiency greater than 0.6, and the error in the water balance was less than 5%. Our analyses also showed that the streamflow improvements were mainly contributed by the NLDAS's precipitation data and that the improvement from using NLDAS's evapotranspiration data was not significant; partially due to the constraints of current BASINS-HSPF settings. However, NLDAS's evapotranspiration data did improve the baseflow prediction. This study demonstrates the NLDAS data has the potential to improve stream flow predictions, thus aid the water quality assessment in the EPA nonpoint water quality assessment decision tool.

  14. Policies to improve end-of-life decisions in Flemish hospitals: communication, training of health care providers and use of quality assessments

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The prevalence and implementation of institutional end-of-life policies has been comprehensively studied in Flanders, Belgium, a country where euthanasia was legalised in 2002. Developing end-of-life policies in hospitals is a first step towards improving the quality of medical decision-making at the end-of-life. Implementation of policies through quality assessments, communication and the training and education of health care providers is equally important in improving actual end-of-life practice. The aim of the present study is to report on the existence and nature of end-of-life policy implementation activities in Flemish acute hospitals. Methods A cross-sectional mail survey was sent to all acute hospitals (67 main campuses) in Flanders (Belgium). The questionnaire asked about hospital characteristics, the prevalence of policies on five types of end-of-life decisions: euthanasia, palliative sedation, alleviation of symptoms with possible life-shortening effect, do-not-resuscitate decision, and withdrawing or withholding of treatment, the internal and external communication of these policies, training and education on aspects of end-of-life care, and quality assessments of end-of-life care on patient and family level. Results The response rate was 55%. Results show that in 2007 written policies on most types of end-of-life decisions were widespread in acute hospitals (euthanasia: 97%, do-not-resuscitate decisions: 98%, palliative sedation: 79%). While standard communication of these policies to health care providers was between 71% and 91%, it was much lower to patients and/or family (between 17% and 50%). More than 60% of institutions trained and educated their caregivers in different aspects on end-of-life care. Assessment of the quality of these different aspects at patient and family level occurred in 25% to 61% of these hospitals. Conclusions Most Flemish acute hospitals have developed a policy on end-of-life practices. However, communication

  15. Decision Impact Assessment Model

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1991-08-01

    DIAMOND represents the decision-making environment that utility planners and executives face. Users interact with the model after every year or two of simulation, which provides an opportunity to modify past decisions as well as to make new decisions. For example, construction of a power plant can be started one year, and if circumstances change, the plant can be accelerated, mothballed, cancelled, or continued as originally planned. Similarly, the marketing and financial incentives for demand-side managementmore » programs can be changed from year to year. This frequent user interaction with the model, an operational game, should build greater understanding and insights among utility planners about the risks associated with different types of resources.« less

  16. Assessment of the Quality of Antenatal Care Services Provided by Health Workers Using a Mobile Phone Decision Support Application in Northern Nigeria: A Pre/Post-Intervention Study

    PubMed Central

    McNabb, Marion; Chukwu, Emeka; Ojo, Oluwayemisi; Shekhar, Navendu; Gill, Christopher J.; Salami, Habeeb; Jega, Farouk

    2015-01-01

    Background Given the shortage of skilled healthcare providers in Nigeria, frontline community health extension workers (CHEWs) are commonly tasked with providing maternal and child health services at primary health centers. In 2012, we introduced a mobile case management and decision support application in twenty primary health centers in northern Nigeria, and conducted a pre-test/post-test study to assess whether the introduction of the app had an effect on the quality of antenatal care services provided by this lower-level cadre. Methods Using the CommCare mobile platform, the app dynamically guides CHEWs through antenatal care protocols and collects client data in real time. Thirteen health education audio clips are also embedded in the app for improving and standardizing client counseling. To detect changes in quality, we developed an evidence-based quality score consisting of 25 indicators, and conducted a total of 266 client exit interviews. We analyzed baseline and endline data to assess changes in the overall quality score as well as changes in the provision of key elements of antenatal care. Results Overall, the quality score increased from 13.3 at baseline to 17.2 at endline (p<0.0001), out of a total possible score of 25, with the most significant improvements related to health counseling, technical services provided, and quality of health education. Conclusion These study results suggest that the introduction of a low-cost mobile case management and decision support application can spur behavior change and improve the quality of services provided by a lower level cadre of healthcare workers. Future research should employ a more rigorous experimental design to explore potential longer-term effects on client health outcomes. PMID:25942018

  17. Quality of decision making and group norms.

    PubMed

    Postmes, T; Spears, R; Cihangir, S

    2001-06-01

    Two studies investigated the impact of group norms for maintaining consensus versus norms for critical thought on group decisions in a modification of the biased sampling paradigm (G. Stasser & W. Titus, 1985). Both studies showed that critical norms improved the quality of decisions, whereas consensus norms did not. This effect appeared to be mediated by the perceived value of shared and unshared information: Consensus norm groups valued shared information more highly than critical groups did, and valence was a good predictor of decision outcome. In addition, the 2nd study showed that the group norm manipulation has no impact on individual decisions, consistent with the assumption that this is a group effect. Results suggest that the content of group norms is an important factor influencing the quality of group decision-making processes and that the content of group norms may be related to the group's proneness for groupthink. PMID:11414374

  18. Quality decision making in dialysis.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, L G; Anderberg, C; Ipsen, R; Persson, E; Andersson, G

    1998-01-01

    A patient approaching the final stage of his renal disease is faced with many difficult questions. Should he opt for a transplant or start on dialysis? In the case of dialysis, can he manage his treatment at home or will he need to be cared for in a clinic? Should be choose peritoneal dialysis or haemodialysis? Is the freedom of being independent from a machine, given by CAPD, as valuable as the freedom of having days without treatment, given by HD? The issues are complex and do not have a given answer. To make the proper decisions about his treatment the patient needs extensive information and support from the caregivers. Likewise, the caregivers need to know the patient well in order to give appropriate advice. In this exchange of information, the renal nurse has a very important role. Some patients may need to be dialysed in a hospital but most can get an equally good or even better dialysis treatment in a less stressful environment. A high degree of self-care is preferred by people who value independence and freedom of movement. Self-care also improves the self-confidence and increases the chances of maintaining employment and a rich social life. Self-care could mean both PD and HD, sometimes with the assistance of a spouse or a nurse. But a certain degree of self-care can also be maintained in limited-care centres and satellites, where the presence of nursing staff gives the feeling of security. For everybody involved, not least the purchasers of health care, it is desirable to keep the patients out of the costly hospital environment for as long as possible. PMID:10222906

  19. Central Curricular Decisions and Quality Assurance Initiatives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clement, Mieke; Elen, Jan; Hulpiau, Veerle; Waeytens, Kim

    The general research goal for this study was to determine whether the decision to launch guided self-study as a global concept for university teaching at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Flanders, Belgium) has had any impact on the evaluation of educational quality at the level of individual programs. The main hypothesis was that departments…

  20. Information Dissemination, Information Overload and Decision Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, Mark I.; Lin, Jerry W.

    1999-01-01

    A meta-analysis of 31 experiments reported in 18 empirical bankruptcy prediction studies was conducted to test the effect of two information dimensions: information diversity and information repetitiveness. Results indicated that both information dimensions have an adverse impact on decision quality: provision of either diverse or repeated…

  1. Conceptualizing, Understanding, and Predicting Responsible Decisions and Quality Input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, N.; PytlikZillig, L. M.

    2012-12-01

    In areas such as climate change, where uncertainty is high, it is arguably less difficult to tell when efforts have resulted in changes in knowledge, than when those efforts have resulted in responsible decisions. What is a responsible decision? More broadly, when it comes to citizen input, what is "high quality" input? And most importantly, how are responsible decisions and quality input enhanced? The aim of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the different dimensions of "responsible" or "quality" public input and citizen decisions by comparing and contrasting the different predictors of those different dimensions. We first present different possibilities for defining, operationalizing and assessing responsible or high quality decisions. For example, responsible decisions or quality input might be defined as using specific content (e.g., using climate change information in decisions appropriately), as using specific processes (e.g., investing time and effort in learning about and discussing the issues prior to making decisions), or on the basis of some judgment of the decision or input itself (e.g., judgments of the rationale provided for the decisions, or number of issues considered when giving input). Second, we present results from our work engaging people with science policy topics, and the different ways that we have tried to define these two constructs. In the area of climate change specifically, we describe the development of a short survey that assesses exposure to climate information, knowledge of and attitudes toward climate change, and use of climate information in one's decisions. Specifically, the short survey was developed based on a review of common surveys of climate change related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, and extensive piloting and cognitive interviews. Next, we analyze more than 200 responses to that survey (data collection is currently ongoing and will be complete after the AGU deadline), and report the predictors of

  2. [Quality assessment in surgery].

    PubMed

    Espinoza G, Ricardo; Espinoza G, Juan Pablo

    2016-06-01

    This paper deals with quality from the perspective of structure, processes and indicators in surgery. In this specialty, there is a close relationship between effectiveness and quality. We review the definition and classification of surgical complications as an objective means of assessing quality. The great diversity of definitions and risk assessments of surgical complications hampered the comparisons of different surgical centers or the evaluation of a single center along time. We discuss the different factors associated with surgical risk and some of the predictive systems for complications and mortality. At the present time, standarized definitions and comparisons are carried out correcting for risk factors. Thus, indicators of mortality, complications, hospitalization length, postoperative quality of life and costs become comparable between different groups. The volume of procedures of a determinate center or surgeon as a quality indicator is emphasized. PMID:27598495

  3. Quality Assessment in Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Albert, Jeffrey M.; Das, Prajnan

    2012-07-01

    The movement to improve healthcare quality has led to a need for carefully designed quality indicators that accurately reflect the quality of care. Many different measures have been proposed and continue to be developed by governmental agencies and accrediting bodies. However, given the inherent differences in the delivery of care among medical specialties, the same indicators will not be valid across all of them. Specifically, oncology is a field in which it can be difficult to develop quality indicators, because the effectiveness of an oncologic intervention is often not immediately apparent, and the multidisciplinary nature of the field necessarily involves many different specialties. Existing and emerging comparative effectiveness data are helping to guide evidence-based practice, and the increasing availability of these data provides the opportunity to identify key structure and process measures that predict for quality outcomes. The increasing emphasis on quality and efficiency will continue to compel the medical profession to identify appropriate quality measures to facilitate quality improvement efforts and to guide accreditation, credentialing, and reimbursement. Given the wide-reaching implications of quality metrics, it is essential that they be developed and implemented with scientific rigor. The aims of the present report were to review the current state of quality assessment in oncology, identify existing indicators with the best evidence to support their implementation, and propose a framework for identifying and refining measures most indicative of true quality in oncologic care.

  4. Evaluating the Validity of Portfolio Assessments for Licensure Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Mark; Hallam, P. J.; Pecheone, Raymond; Moss, Pamela A.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines one part of a validity argument for portfolio assessments of teaching practice used as an indicator of teaching quality to inform a licensure decision. We investigate the relationship among portfolio assessment scores, a test of teacher knowledge (ETS's Praxis I and II), and changes in student achievement (on…

  5. Soil Quality Assessment: Past, Present, and Future

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality assessment can help land owners and managers appreciate the multiple functions that soils perform and thus improve the resource management decisions they make. Our objective is to show how the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) can complement the Soil Conditioning Index (SCI) a...

  6. The Educational Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dinsmore, Peter; And Others

    1976-01-01

    Pennsylvania's Educational Quality Assessment (EQA) program is discussed in terms of its historical background, ACLU objections to its alleged infringements of individual rights, and reactions of students who have taken it. Journal is available from Ritter Hall, Fourth Floor, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa. 19122. (AV)

  7. Assessing risks to ecosystem quality

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1995-12-31

    Ecosystems are not organisms. Because ecosystems do not reproduce, grow old or sick, and die, the term ecosystem health is somewhat misleading and perhaps should not be used. A more useful concept is ``ecosystem quality,`` which denotes a set of desirable ecosystem characteristics defined in terms of species composition, productivity, size/condition of specific populations, or other measurable properties. The desired quality of an ecosystem may be pristine, as in a nature preserve, or highly altered by man, as in a managed forest or navigational waterway. ``Sustainable development`` implies that human activities that influence ecosystem quality should be managed so that high-quality ecosystems are maintained for future generations. In sustainability-based environmental management, the focus is on maintaining or improving ecosystem quality, not on restricting discharges or requiring particular waste treatment technologies. This approach requires management of chemical impacts to be integrated with management of other sources of stress such as erosion, eutrophication, and direct human exploitation. Environmental scientists must (1) work with decision makers and the public to define ecosystem quality goals, (2) develop corresponding measures of ecosystem quality, (3) diagnose causes for departures from desired states, and (4) recommend appropriate restoration actions, if necessary. Environmental toxicology and chemical risk assessment are necessary for implementing the above framework, but they are clearly not sufficient. This paper reviews the state-of-the science relevant to sustaining the quality of aquatic ecosystems. Using the specific example of a reservoir in eastern Tennessee, the paper attempts to define roles for ecotoxicology and risk assessment in each step of the management process.

  8. On the Quality of Collective Decisions in Sociotechnical Systems: Transparency, Fairness, and Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porello, Daniele

    The aim of this paper is to propose a methodology for evaluating the quality of collective decisions in sociotechnical systems (STS). We propose using a foundational ontology for conceptualizing the complex hierarchy of information involved in decisions in STS (e.g., normative, conceptual, factual, perceptual). Moreover, we introduce the concept of transparency of decisions as a necessary condition in order to assess the quality of decision-making in STS. We further view transparency as an entitlement of the agent affected by the decision: i.e., the collective decision should be justified.

  9. Joint Statement: Quality Assessment and Quality Audit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, Edinburgh.

    This document sets out the respective responsibilities of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) and the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC) as they currently stand in the field of higher education quality assurance. The SHEFC and the HEQC are both agencies that fulfill legislatively mandated quality assessment and control…

  10. Decision Tree Approach for Soil Liquefaction Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Gandomi, Amir H.; Fridline, Mark M.; Roke, David A.

    2013-01-01

    In the current study, the performances of some decision tree (DT) techniques are evaluated for postearthquake soil liquefaction assessment. A database containing 620 records of seismic parameters and soil properties is used in this study. Three decision tree techniques are used here in two different ways, considering statistical and engineering points of view, to develop decision rules. The DT results are compared to the logistic regression (LR) model. The results of this study indicate that the DTs not only successfully predict liquefaction but they can also outperform the LR model. The best DT models are interpreted and evaluated based on an engineering point of view. PMID:24489498

  11. Aides' Involvement in Decision-Making and the Quality of Care in Institutional Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raynes, Norma V.; And Others

    1977-01-01

    The degree of participation in decision making by direct care staff aides, and its effect on the quality of care for mentally handicapped persons, was assessed among 125 staff of 3 state institutions averaging 1080 patients. (BB)

  12. Analysis of ETMS Data Quality for Traffic Flow Management Decisions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chatterji, Gano B.; Sridhar, Banavar; Kim, Douglas

    2003-01-01

    The data needed for air traffic flow management decision support tools is provided by the Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS). This includes both the tools that are in current use and the ones being developed for future deployment. Since the quality of decision support provided by all these tools will be influenced by the quality of the input ETMS data, an assessment of ETMS data quality is needed. Motivated by this desire, ETMS data quality is examined in this paper in terms of the unavailability of flight plans, deviation from the filed flight plans, departure delays, altitude errors and track data drops. Although many of these data quality issues are not new, little is known about their extent. A goal of this paper is to document the magnitude of data quality issues supported by numerical analysis of ETMS data. Guided by this goal, ETMS data for a 24-hour period were processed to determine the number of aircraft with missing flight plan messages at any given instant of time. Results are presented for aircraft above 18,000 feet altitude and also at all altitudes. Since deviation from filed flight plan is also a major cause of trajectory-modeling errors, statistics of deviations are presented. Errors in proposed departure times and ETMS-generated vertical profiles are also shown. A method for conditioning the vertical profiles for improving demand prediction accuracy is described. Graphs of actual sector counts obtained using these vertical profiles are compared with those obtained using the Host data for sectors in the Fort Worth Center to demonstrate the benefit of preprocessing. Finally, results are presented to quantify the extent of data drops. A method for propagating track positions during ETMS data drops is also described.

  13. Effect of Training in Rational Decision Making on the Quality of Simulated Career Decisions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krumboltz, John D.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Determined if training in rational decision making improves the quality of simulated career decisions. Training in rational decision making resulted in superior performance for females on one subscore of the knowledge measure. It also resulted in superior simulated career choices by females and younger males. (Author)

  14. Portfolio Assessment and Quality Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Youb; Yazdian, Lisa Sensale

    2014-01-01

    Our article focuses on using portfolio assessment to craft quality teaching. Extant research literature on portfolio assessment suggests that the primary purpose of assessment is to serve learning, and portfolio assessments facilitate the process of making linkages among assessment, curriculum, and student learning (Asp, 2000; Bergeron, Wermuth,…

  15. Health Impact Assessment of Urban Waterway Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Korfmacher, Katrina Smith; Aviles, Katia; Cummings, B.J.; Daniell, William; Erdmann, Jared; Garrison, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Health impact assessments (HIA) promote the consideration of health in a wide range of public decisions. Although each HIA is different, common pathways, evidence bases, and strategies for community engagement tend to emerge in certain sectors, such as urban redevelopment, natural resource extraction, or transportation planning. To date, a limited number of HIAs have been conducted on decisions affecting water resources and waterfronts. This review presents four recent HIAs of water-related decisions in the United States and Puerto Rico. Although the four cases are topically and geographically diverse, several common themes emerged from the consideration of health in water-related decisions. Water resource decisions are characterized by multiple competing uses, inter-institutional and inter-jurisdictional complexity, scientific uncertainty, long time scales for environmental change, diverse cultural and historical human values, and tradeoffs between private use and public access. These four case studies reveal challenges and opportunities of examining waterfront decisions through a “health lens”. This review analyzes these cases, common themes, and lessons learned for the future practice of HIA in the waterfront zone and beyond. PMID:25547399

  16. Quality indicators and quality assessment in child health

    PubMed Central

    Kavanagh, Patricia L.; Adams, William G.; Wang, C. Jason

    2009-01-01

    Quality indicators are systematically developed statements that can be used to assess the appropriateness of specific healthcare decisions, services and outcomes. In this review, we highlight the range and type of indicators that have been developed for children in the UK and US by prominent governmental agencies and private organizations. We also classify these indicators in an effort to identify areas of child health that may lack quality measurement activity. We review the current state of health information technology in both countries since these systems are vital to quality efforts. Finally, we propose several recommendations to advance the quality indicator development agenda for children. The convergence of quality measurement and indicator development, a growing scientific evidence base and integrated information systems in healthcare may lead to substantial improvements for child health in the 21st century. PMID:19307196

  17. Decision theory applied to image quality control in radiology

    PubMed Central

    Lessa, Patrícia S; Caous, Cristofer A; Arantes, Paula R; Amaro, Edson; de Souza, Fernando M Campello

    2008-01-01

    Background The present work aims at the application of the decision theory to radiological image quality control (QC) in diagnostic routine. The main problem addressed in the framework of decision theory is to accept or reject a film lot of a radiology service. The probability of each decision of a determined set of variables was obtained from the selected films. Methods Based on a radiology service routine a decision probability function was determined for each considered group of combination characteristics. These characteristics were related to the film quality control. These parameters were also framed in a set of 8 possibilities, resulting in 256 possible decision rules. In order to determine a general utility application function to access the decision risk, we have used a simple unique parameter called r. The payoffs chosen were: diagnostic's result (correct/incorrect), cost (high/low), and patient satisfaction (yes/no) resulting in eight possible combinations. Results Depending on the value of r, more or less risk will occur related to the decision-making. The utility function was evaluated in order to determine the probability of a decision. The decision was made with patients or administrators' opinions from a radiology service center. Conclusion The model is a formal quantitative approach to make a decision related to the medical imaging quality, providing an instrument to discriminate what is really necessary to accept or reject a film or a film lot. The method presented herein can help to access the risk level of an incorrect radiological diagnosis decision. PMID:19014545

  18. Decision-Making Theories and Career Assessment: A Psychometric Evaluation of the Decision Making Inventory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardin, Erin E.; Leong, Frederick T. L.

    2004-01-01

    To address criticisms that the empirical literature on assessment of career decision making has tended to lack a theoretical base, the present study explored the relevance of a general theory of decision making to career decision making by assessing the psychometric properties of the Decision Making Inventory (DMI), designed to measure Johnson's…

  19. Solar Radiation Empirical Quality Assessment

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1994-03-01

    The SERIQC1 subroutine performs quality assessment of one, two, or three-component solar radiation data (global horizontal, direct normal, and diffuse horizontal) obtained from one-minute to one-hour integrations. Included in the package is the QCFIT tool to derive expected values from historical data, and the SERIQC1 subroutine to assess the quality of measurement data.

  20. WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY (WQAM)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Water Quality Assessment Methodology (WQAM) is a screening procedure for toxic and conventional pollutants in surface and ground waters and is a collection of formulas, tables, and graphs that planners can use for preliminary assessment of surface and ground water quality in ...

  1. Approximate risk assessment prioritizes remedial decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Bergmann, E.P. )

    1993-08-01

    Approximate risk assessment (ARA) is a management tool that prioritizes cost/benefit options for risk reduction decisions. Management needs a method that quantifies how much control is satisfactory for each level of risk reduction. Two risk matrices develop a scheme that estimates the necessary control a unit should implement with its present probability and severity of consequences/disaster. A second risk assessment matrix attaches a dollar value to each failure possibility at various severities. Now HPI operators can see the cost and benefit for each control step contemplated and justify returns based on removing the likelihood of the disaster.

  2. Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: An Assessment and Future Directions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernon, Peter; Nitecki, Danuta A.; Altman, Ellen

    1999-01-01

    Reviews the literature of library and information science to examine issues related to service quality and customer satisfaction in academic libraries. Discusses assessment, the application of a business model to higher education, a multiple constituency approach, decision areas regarding service quality, resistance to service quality, and future…

  3. The Effect of Conflict on the Quality of Group Decisions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poncelow, Stacy D.

    A study was conducted to examine the relationship between the amount of conflict in a group decision-making process and the achievement of a quality decision. A task problem given to 33 college students completing a group symposium assignment in a basic public speaking and discussion course called for subjects to choose three possible topics for a…

  4. The Use of Graphs as Decision Aids in Relation to Information Overload and Managerial Decision Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Siu Y.

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of information overload focuses on a study of masters degree students at a Hong Kong university that investigated the effectiveness of graphs as decision aids to reduce adverse effects of information overload on decision quality. Results of a simulation of a business prediction task with a sample of business managers are presented.…

  5. Assessing Air Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloomfield, Molly

    2000-01-01

    Introduces the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) program. Presents an air quality problem as an example of an integrated challenge problem activity developed by the SMILE program. Explains the process of challenge problems and provides a list of the National Science Education Standards addressed by challenge problems.…

  6. Irrigation water quality assessments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing demands on fresh water supplies by municipal and industrial users means decreased fresh water availability for irrigated agriculture in semi arid and arid regions. There is potential for agricultural use of treated wastewaters and low quality waters for irrigation but this will require co...

  7. Assessing uncertainty in stormwater quality modelling.

    PubMed

    Wijesiri, Buddhi; Egodawatta, Prasanna; McGree, James; Goonetilleke, Ashantha

    2016-10-15

    Designing effective stormwater pollution mitigation strategies is a challenge in urban stormwater management. This is primarily due to the limited reliability of catchment scale stormwater quality modelling tools. As such, assessing the uncertainty associated with the information generated by stormwater quality models is important for informed decision making. Quantitative assessment of build-up and wash-off process uncertainty, which arises from the variability associated with these processes, is a major concern as typical uncertainty assessment approaches do not adequately account for process uncertainty. The research study undertaken found that the variability of build-up and wash-off processes for different particle size ranges leads to processes uncertainty. After variability and resulting process uncertainties are accurately characterised, they can be incorporated into catchment stormwater quality predictions. Accounting of process uncertainty influences the uncertainty limits associated with predicted stormwater quality. The impact of build-up process uncertainty on stormwater quality predictions is greater than that of wash-off process uncertainty. Accordingly, decision making should facilitate the designing of mitigation strategies which specifically addresses variations in load and composition of pollutants accumulated during dry weather periods. Moreover, the study outcomes found that the influence of process uncertainty is different for stormwater quality predictions corresponding to storm events with different intensity, duration and runoff volume generated. These storm events were also found to be significantly different in terms of the Runoff-Catchment Area ratio. As such, the selection of storm events in the context of designing stormwater pollution mitigation strategies needs to take into consideration not only the storm event characteristics, but also the influence of process uncertainty on stormwater quality predictions. PMID:27423532

  8. Affirming the Value of the Resident Assessment Instrument: Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 for Nursing Home Decision-Making and Quality Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Drummond, Lindsay S.; Slaughter, Susan E.; Jones, C. Allyson; Wagg, Adrian S.; Batchelor-Murphy, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Background: We examined the agreement over time of the physical functioning domains of the Resident Assessment Instrument: Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 (RAI-MDS) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) in nursing home residents with dementia. Methods: We completed a secondary analysis of data from a longitudinal quasi-experimental study of residents who could transfer independently or with the assistance of one person. FIM assessments were completed at up to three time points by researchers using interviews. RAI-MDS assessments, completed by nursing home staff, were matched to the FIM assessment by nearest time. FIM and RAI-MDS assessments were correlated based on time between assessments using Pearson’s correlation. Items for activities of daily living (ADL) from the RAI-MDS were rescaled using two previously published crosswalks. Motor and ADL subscales were also used, containing eight and six items, respectively. Results: A total of 362 paired interviews and assessments were collected from 130 residents. The mean scores and standard deviations were as follows: FIM: 19.64 (7.60); William’s RAI-MDS crosswalk: 18.04 (5.25); and Velozo’s RAI-MDS crosswalk: 18.09 (6.50). Using both crosswalks, most items showed medium (r > 0.3) or large (r > 0.5) correlations, even at greater than 41 days between assessments. Subscales showed large correlations for all time intervals for both crosswalks. Conclusions: The RAI-MDS remains stable when data are collected greater than 41 days from the FIM assessment. These findings should add confidence in the RAI-MDS data and its clinical utility.

  9. Institutional Consequences of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joao Rosa, Maria; Tavares, Diana; Amaral, Alberto

    2006-01-01

    This paper analyses the opinions of Portuguese university rectors and academics on the quality assessment system and its consequences at the institutional level. The results obtained show that university staff (rectors and academics, with more of the former than the latter) held optimistic views of the positive consequences of quality assessment…

  10. Quality assessment of urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovsiannikova, T. Y.; Nikolaenko, M. N.

    2015-01-01

    This paper is dedicated to the research applicability of quality management problems of construction products. It is offered to expand quality management borders in construction, transferring its principles to urban systems as economic systems of higher level, which qualitative characteristics are substantially defined by quality of construction product. Buildings and structures form spatial-material basis of cities and the most important component of life sphere - urban environment. Authors justify the need for the assessment of urban environment quality as an important factor of social welfare and life quality in urban areas. The authors suggest definition of a term "urban environment". The methodology of quality assessment of urban environment is based on integrated approach which includes the system analysis of all factors and application of both quantitative methods of assessment (calculation of particular and integrated indicators) and qualitative methods (expert estimates and surveys). The authors propose the system of indicators, characterizing quality of the urban environment. This indicators fall into four classes. The authors show the methodology of their definition. The paper presents results of quality assessment of urban environment for several Siberian regions and comparative analysis of these results.

  11. Educational Quality Assessment. 1986 Data.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg. Div. of Educational Testing and Evaluation.

    This manual contains the statistics generated from the Pennsylvania Quality Education Assessment (QEA) administered in 1986. The assessment was to evaluate the achievement of certain educational objectives in grades 4, 6, 7, 9, and 11 in the public schools. The tests were in the following areas: reading comprehension, writing skills, mathematics,…

  12. Objective view synthesis quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conze, Pierre-Henri; Robert, Philippe; Morin, Luce

    2012-03-01

    View synthesis brings geometric distortions which are not handled efficiently by existing image quality assessment metrics. Despite the widespread of 3-D technology and notably 3D television (3DTV) and free-viewpoints television (FTV), the field of view synthesis quality assessment has not yet been widely investigated and new quality metrics are required. In this study, we propose a new full-reference objective quality assessment metric: the View Synthesis Quality Assessment (VSQA) metric. Our method is dedicated to artifacts detection in synthesized view-points and aims to handle areas where disparity estimation may fail: thin objects, object borders, transparency, variations of illumination or color differences between left and right views, periodic objects... The key feature of the proposed method is the use of three visibility maps which characterize complexity in terms of textures, diversity of gradient orientations and presence of high contrast. Moreover, the VSQA metric can be defined as an extension of any existing 2D image quality assessment metric. Experimental tests have shown the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  13. Using NASA EOS to Assess Air Quality and Health Risks Associated with the Virginia Dismal Swamp Fires of 2011 for Improved Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hebbar, V.

    2012-12-01

    The Great Dismal Swamp has always experienced recurring wildfires that are part of a natural cycle of ecological growth and succession. However, the Lateral West Fire in 2011 was the product of two factors; an ongoing regional drought and a lightning strike. The fire burned from August to late November and was a challenge to extinguish because of the highly organic peat ecosystem. The fire released smoke that was reported over 200 miles north of the origin. The combustion of organic peat content augmented PM2.5, PM10, and carbon monoxide levels enough to exceed federal air quality limits. In order to analyze the effects, MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) aboard Aqua and Terra and Aqua's AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) were used. The satellites were used to discern aerosol distribution and chemical content of the fire's smoke plumes. In addition, data taken from NASA Langley's High Spectral Resolution LiDAR from flights conducted during the time period in conjunction with CALIPSO's CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol LiDAR with Orthogonal Polarization) sensor offered vertical cross sections of aerosol tracking and air quality analysis. Finally, Meteorology-based trajectories and concentration plots from NOAA's HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model added theoretical smoke plume direction and distribution information to compare with observed data. With the utilization of NASA Earth and airborne observing systems in conjunction with models were able to analyze the spread of smoke, aerosols, and its effects on air quality to provide a method that can be used by concerned agencies in an effort to protect regional environment and public health in the case of future exceptional and wildfire events.; MODIS AOD and CALIPSO 532nm attenuated backscatter along with NOAA HYSPLIT Frequency model on August 22nd, indicating smoke direction and particles in the atmosphere.

  14. Decision making with probabilitic and possibilistic assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Sudkamp, T.

    1996-12-31

    System models are constructed to provide tools for both situation assessment and decision analysis. Two distinct types of information are used in system modeling: external information provided by mechanical sensors or human observation and internal information that describes relationships between components of the system. The former type of information is frequently represented by probability estimates, fuzzy sets, or other techniques for representing uncertain or ambiguous information while the latter type is represented by logical relations, rules, or other variations of predicate calculus. Modeling complex system requires the ability to combine the internal system relationships with the information that describes the current assessment of the status of the system. Updating an assessment incorporates sensor information and propagates it through the relational constraints of the system. Two strategies have been introduced to attempt to integrate probabilistic and possibilistic information: probability-possibility transformations and consistency measures. Consistency measures have been designed to analyze the degree of agreement of possibilistic and probabilistic interpretations of the same data. In this paper we consider the problem of assessing the consistency of probabilistic and possibilistic information obtained from different sources. Criteria for possibilistic-probabilistic consistency measures are developed using inclusion measures for fuzzy sets.

  15. Assessing Adolescent Decision-Making Competence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischhoff, Baruch

    2008-01-01

    Behavioral decision research offers a general approach to studying cognitive aspects of decision making, as well as a platform for studying their interplay with social and affective processes. Applied to any decision, behavioral decision research involves three interrelated tasks: (a) "normative" analysis, identifying the expected impacts of…

  16. Decision making in a multidisciplinary cancer team: does team discussion result in better quality decisions?

    PubMed

    Kee, Frank; Owen, Tracy; Leathem, Ruth

    2004-01-01

    To establish whether treatment recommendations made by clinicians concur with the best outcomes predicted from their prognostic estimates and whether team discussion improves the quality or outcome of their decision making, the authors studied real-time decision making by a lung cancer team. Clinicians completed pre- and postdiscussion questionnaires for 50 newly diagnosed patients. For each patient/doctor pairing, a decision model determined the expected patient outcomes from the clinician's prognostic estimates. The difference between the expected utility of the recommended treatment and the maximum utility derived from the clinician's predictions of the outcomes (the net utility loss) following all potential treatment modalities was calculated as an indicator of quality of the decision. The proportion of treatment decisions changed by the multidisciplinary team discussion was also calculated. Insofar as the change in net utility loss brought about by multidisciplinary team discussion was not significantly different from zero, team discussion did not improve the quality of decision making overall. However, given the modest power of the study, these findings must be interpreted with caution. In only 23 of 87 instances (26%) in which an individual specialist's initial treatment preference differed from the final group judgment did the specialist finally concur with the group treatment choice after discussion. This study does not support the theory that team discussion improves decision making by closing a knowledge gap. PMID:15534341

  17. Competence and Quality in Real-Life Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    What distinguishes a competent decision maker and how should the issue of decision quality be approached in a real-life context? These questions were explored in three studies. In Study 1, using a web-based questionnaire and targeting a community sample, we investigated the relationships between objective and subjective indicators of real-life decision-making success. In Study 2 and 3, targeting two different samples of professionals, we explored if the prevalent cognitively oriented definition of decision-making competence could be beneficially expanded by adding aspects of competence in terms of social skills and time-approach. The predictive power for each of these three aspects of decision-making competence was explored for different indicators of real-life decision-making success. Overall, our results suggest that research on decision-making competence would benefit by expanding the definition of competence, by including decision-related abilities in terms of social skills and time-approach. Finally, the results also indicate that individual differences in real-life decision-making success profitably can be approached and measured by different criteria. PMID:26545239

  18. Key Elements for Judging the Quality of a Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Fenner-Crisp, Penelope A.; Dellarco, Vicki L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Many reports have been published that contain recommendations for improving the quality, transparency, and usefulness of decision making for risk assessments prepared by agencies of the U.S. federal government. A substantial measure of consensus has emerged regarding the characteristics that high-quality assessments should possess. Objective: The goal was to summarize the key characteristics of a high-quality assessment as identified in the consensus-building process and to integrate them into a guide for use by decision makers, risk assessors, peer reviewers and other interested stakeholders to determine if an assessment meets the criteria for high quality. Discussion: Most of the features cited in the guide are applicable to any type of assessment, whether it encompasses one, two, or all four phases of the risk-assessment paradigm; whether it is qualitative or quantitative; and whether it is screening level or highly sophisticated and complex. Other features are tailored to specific elements of an assessment. Just as agencies at all levels of government are responsible for determining the effectiveness of their programs, so too should they determine the effectiveness of their assessments used in support of their regulatory decisions. Furthermore, if a nongovernmental entity wishes to have its assessments considered in the governmental regulatory decision-making process, then these assessments should be judged in the same rigorous manner and be held to similar standards. Conclusions: The key characteristics of a high-quality assessment can be summarized and integrated into a guide for judging whether an assessment possesses the desired features of high quality, transparency, and usefulness. Citation: Fenner-Crisp PA, Dellarco VL. 2016. Key elements for judging the quality of a risk assessment. Environ Health Perspect 124:1127–1135; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510483 PMID:26862984

  19. Guidance on Data Quality Assessment for Life Cycle Inventory Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    Data quality within Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a significant issue for the future support and development of LCA as a decision support tool and its wider adoption within industry. In response to current data quality standards such as the ISO 14000 series, various entities wit...

  20. Adaptive Peircean decision aid project summary assessments.

    SciTech Connect

    Senglaub, Michael E.

    2007-01-01

    This efforts objective was to identify and hybridize a suite of technologies enabling the development of predictive decision aids for use principally in combat environments but also in any complex information terrain. The technologies required included formal concept analysis for knowledge representation and information operations, Peircean reasoning to support hypothesis generation, Mill's's canons to begin defining information operators that support the first two technologies and co-evolutionary game theory to provide the environment/domain to assess predictions from the reasoning engines. The intended application domain is the IED problem because of its inherent evolutionary nature. While a fully functioning integrated algorithm was not achieved the hybridization and demonstration of the technologies was accomplished and demonstration of utility provided for a number of ancillary queries.

  1. Using the data quality objectives process in risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-07-01

    The Environmental Protection Agency`s Quality Assurance Management Staff has developed a systematic process, the Data Quality Objectives (DQO) process, as an important tool for assisting project managers and planners in determining the type, quantity, and quality of environmental data sufficient for environmental decision-making. This information brief presents the basic concepts of, and information requirements for using the DQO process to plan the collection of the necessary environmental data, to support the performance of human health risk assessments under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The goal of the DQO process is to identify the type, quality, and quantity of data required to support remedial action decisions which are based on risk assessment and its associated uncertainties. The DQO process consists of a number of discrete steps. These steps include a statement of the problem and the decision to be made, identifying inputs to the decision, developing a decision rule, and optimizing the design for data collection. In defining the data for input into the decision, a Site Conceptual Exposure Model should be developed to identify the existing or potential complete exposure pathways. To determine the data quality for use din the risk assessment, the DQO team must assist the decision-maker to define the acceptable level of uncertainty for making site-specific decisions. To determine the quantity of data needed, the DQO team utilizes the established target cleanup level, previously collected data and variability, and the acceptable errors. The results of the DQO process are qualitative and quantitative statements that define the scope of risk assessment data to be collected to support a defensible site risk management decision.

  2. EQA: Educational Quality Assessment. Commentary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg. Div. of Educational Testing and Evaluation.

    In response to a prevailing demand for better quality education in public schools in Pennsylvania, procedures were developed to measure the adequacy and the efficiency of the educational programs in public schools. The objectives currently assessed are in the following areas: communication skills (reading and writing), mathematics, self-esteem,…

  3. Quality assessment for hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yuheng; Chen, Xinhua; Zhou, Jiankang; Shen, Weimin

    2014-11-01

    Image quality assessment is an essential value judgement approach for many applications. Multi & hyper spectral imaging has more judging essentials than grey scale or RGB imaging and its image quality assessment job has to cover up all-around evaluating factors. This paper presents an integrating spectral imaging quality assessment project, in which spectral-based, radiometric-based and spatial-based statistical behavior for three hyperspectral imagers are jointly executed. Spectral response function is worked out based on discrete illumination images and its spectral performance is deduced according to its FWHM and spectral excursion value. Radiometric response ability of different spectral channel under both on-ground and airborne imaging condition is judged by SNR computing based upon local RMS extraction and statistics method. Spatial response evaluation of the spectral imaging instrument is worked out by MTF computing with slanted edge analysis method. Reported pioneering systemic work in hyperspectral imaging quality assessment is carried out with the help of several domestic dominating work units, which not only has significance in the development of on-ground and in-orbit instrument performance evaluation technique but also takes on reference value for index demonstration and design optimization for instrument development.

  4. Quality assessment tools add value.

    PubMed

    Paul, L

    1996-10-01

    The rapid evolution of the health care marketplace can be expected to continue as we move closer to the 21st Century. Externally-imposed pressures for cost reduction will increasingly be accompanied by pressure within health care organizations as risk-sharing reimbursement arrangements become more commonplace. Competitive advantage will be available to those organizations that can demonstrate objective value as defined by the cost-quality equation. The tools an organization chooses to perform quality assessment will be an important factor in its ability to demonstrate such value. Traditional quality assurance will in all likelihood continue, but the extent to which quality improvement activities are adopted by the culture of an organization may determine its ability to provide objective evidence of better health status outcomes. PMID:10162486

  5. ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF GENERALIZED LITTORAL ENVIRONMENTS DECISION-SUPPORT SYSTEM (EAGLE/OS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The outcomes include an assessment of probabilities of high water quality conditions or risks of extreme water quality degradation due to synergistic forcing functions, a decision-support system that integrates available real-time or near-real-time environmental and satelli...

  6. Automated data quality assessment of marine sensors.

    PubMed

    Timms, Greg P; de Souza, Paulo A; Reznik, Leon; Smith, Daniel V

    2011-01-01

    The automated collection of data (e.g., through sensor networks) has led to a massive increase in the quantity of environmental and other data available. The sheer quantity of data and growing need for real-time ingestion of sensor data (e.g., alerts and forecasts from physical models) means that automated Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) is necessary to ensure that the data collected is fit for purpose. Current automated QA/QC approaches provide assessments based upon hard classifications of the gathered data; often as a binary decision of good or bad data that fails to quantify our confidence in the data for use in different applications. We propose a novel framework for automated data quality assessments that uses Fuzzy Logic to provide a continuous scale of data quality. This continuous quality scale is then used to compute error bars upon the data, which quantify the data uncertainty and provide a more meaningful measure of the data's fitness for purpose in a particular application compared with hard quality classifications. The design principles of the framework are presented and enable both data statistics and expert knowledge to be incorporated into the uncertainty assessment. We have implemented and tested the framework upon a real time platform of temperature and conductivity sensors that have been deployed to monitor the Derwent Estuary in Hobart, Australia. Results indicate that the error bars generated from the Fuzzy QA/QC implementation are in good agreement with the error bars manually encoded by a domain expert. PMID:22163714

  7. Automated Data Quality Assessment of Marine Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Timms, Greg P.; de Souza, Paulo A.; Reznik, Leon; Smith, Daniel V.

    2011-01-01

    The automated collection of data (e.g., through sensor networks) has led to a massive increase in the quantity of environmental and other data available. The sheer quantity of data and growing need for real-time ingestion of sensor data (e.g., alerts and forecasts from physical models) means that automated Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) is necessary to ensure that the data collected is fit for purpose. Current automated QA/QC approaches provide assessments based upon hard classifications of the gathered data; often as a binary decision of good or bad data that fails to quantify our confidence in the data for use in different applications. We propose a novel framework for automated data quality assessments that uses Fuzzy Logic to provide a continuous scale of data quality. This continuous quality scale is then used to compute error bars upon the data, which quantify the data uncertainty and provide a more meaningful measure of the data’s fitness for purpose in a particular application compared with hard quality classifications. The design principles of the framework are presented and enable both data statistics and expert knowledge to be incorporated into the uncertainty assessment. We have implemented and tested the framework upon a real time platform of temperature and conductivity sensors that have been deployed to monitor the Derwent Estuary in Hobart, Australia. Results indicate that the error bars generated from the Fuzzy QA/QC implementation are in good agreement with the error bars manually encoded by a domain expert. PMID:22163714

  8. Twelve tips for increasing the defensibility of assessment decisions.

    PubMed

    Hays, Richard B; Hamlin, Gary; Crane, Linda

    2015-05-01

    In an era of increasing scrutiny of the performance of graduates in the workplace, there can be frustrations when decisions about learners with borderline or poor performance in formal assessments are over-turned in appeal processes. This article addresses the approach to reducing the uncertainty about assessment decisions and surviving appeals. PMID:25109230

  9. Decision Making in Assessment and Early Intervention Planning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crais, Elizabeth R.; Roberts, Joanne E.

    1991-01-01

    This article presents a series of decision trees to help in planning assessment and intervention with handicapped children between three months and five years of age. A series of assessment questions lead to suggestions for intervention. Steps in using the decision trees are given and a case example presented. (Author/DB)

  10. The integration of ecological risk assessment and structured decision making into watershed management.

    PubMed

    Ohlson, Dan W; Serveiss, Victor B

    2007-01-01

    Watershed management processes continue to call for more science and improved decision making that take into account the full range of stakeholder perspectives. Increasingly, the core principles of ecological risk assessment (i.e., the development and use of assessment endpoints and conceptual models, conducting exposure and effects analysis) are being incorporated and adapted in innovative ways to meet the call for more science. Similarly, innovative approaches to adapting decision analysis tools and methods for incorporating stakeholder concerns in complex natural resource management decisions are being increasingly applied. Here, we present an example of the integration of ecological risk assessment with decision analysis in the development of a watershed management plan for the Greater Vancouver Water District in British Columbia, Canada. Assessment endpoints were developed, ecological inventory data were collected, and watershed models were developed to characterize the existing and future condition of 3 watersheds in terms of the potential risks to water quality. Stressors to water quality include sedimentation processes (landslides, streambank erosion) and forest disturbance (wildfire, major insect or disease outbreak). Three landscape-level risk management alternatives were developed to reflect different degrees of management intervention. Each alternative was evaluated under different scenarios and analyzed by explicitly examining value-based trade-offs among water quality, environmental, financial, and social endpoints. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how the integration of ecological risk assessment and decision analysis approaches can support decision makers in watershed management. PMID:17283600

  11. External quality assessment: best practice.

    PubMed

    James, David; Ames, Darren; Lopez, Berenice; Still, Rachel; Simpson, Wiliam; Twomey, Patrick

    2014-08-01

    There is a requirement for accredited laboratories to participate in external quality assessment (EQA) schemes, but there is wide variation in understanding as to what is required by the laboratories and scheme providers in fulfilling this. This is not helped by a diversity of language used in connection with EQA; Proficiency testing (PT), EQA schemes, and EQA programmes, each of which have different meanings and offerings in the context of improving laboratory quality. We examine these differences, and identify what factors are important in supporting quality within a clinical laboratory and what should influence the choice of EQA programme. Equally as important is how EQA samples are handled within the laboratory, and how the information provided by the EQA programme is used. EQA programmes are a key element of a laboratory's quality assurance framework, but laboratories should have an understanding of what their EQA programmes are capable of demonstrating, how they should be used within the laboratory, and how they support quality. EQA providers should be clear as to what type of programme they provide - PT, EQA Scheme or EQA Programme. PMID:24621574

  12. Orion Entry Handling Qualities Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bihari, B.; Tiggers, M.; Strahan, A.; Gonzalez, R.; Sullivan, K.; Stephens, J. P.; Hart, J.; Law, H., III; Bilimoria, K.; Bailey, R.

    2011-01-01

    The Orion Command Module (CM) is a capsule designed to bring crew back from the International Space Station (ISS), the moon and beyond. The atmospheric entry portion of the flight is deigned to be flown in autopilot mode for nominal situations. However, there exists the possibility for the crew to take over manual control in off-nominal situations. In these instances, the spacecraft must meet specific handling qualities criteria. To address these criteria two separate assessments of the Orion CM s entry Handling Qualities (HQ) were conducted at NASA s Johnson Space Center (JSC) using the Cooper-Harper scale (Cooper & Harper, 1969). These assessments were conducted in the summers of 2008 and 2010 using the Advanced NASA Technology Architecture for Exploration Studies (ANTARES) six degree of freedom, high fidelity Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) simulation. This paper will address the specifics of the handling qualities criteria, the vehicle configuration, the scenarios flown, the simulation background and setup, crew interfaces and displays, piloting techniques, ratings and crew comments, pre- and post-fight briefings, lessons learned and changes made to improve the overall system performance. The data collection tools, methods, data reduction and output reports will also be discussed. The objective of the 2008 entry HQ assessment was to evaluate the handling qualities of the CM during a lunar skip return. A lunar skip entry case was selected because it was considered the most demanding of all bank control scenarios. Even though skip entry is not planned to be flown manually, it was hypothesized that if a pilot could fly the harder skip entry case, then they could also fly a simpler loads managed or ballistic (constant bank rate command) entry scenario. In addition, with the evaluation set-up of multiple tasks within the entry case, handling qualities ratings collected in the evaluation could be used to assess other scenarios such as the constant bank angle

  13. Clinical decision support systems: data quality management and governance.

    PubMed

    Liaw, Siaw-Teng

    2013-01-01

    This chapter examines data quality management (DQM) and information governance (IG) of electronic decision support (EDS) systems so that they are safe and fit for use by clinicians and patients and their carers. This is consistent with the ISO definition of data quality as being fit for purpose. The scope of DQM & IG should range from data creation and collection in clinical settings, through cleaning and, where obtained from multiple sources, linkage, storage, use by the EDS logic engine and algorithms, knowledge base and guidance provided, to curation and presentation. It must also include protocols and mechanisms to monitor the safety of EDS, which will feedback into DQM & IG activities. Ultimately, DQM & IG must be integrated across the data cycle to ensure that the EDS systems provide guidance that leads to safe and effective clinical decisions and care. PMID:24018528

  14. Decision-support tools for the assessment process

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, Gene; Pelton, Mitch A.; Dorow, Kevin E.

    2004-06-14

    A new software system is under development that provides a framework to link disparate assessment software and databases for site-specific, regional, or national analyses. This system represents the merger of the Framework for Risk Analysis in Multimedia Environmental Systems (FRAMES), which performs site-specific assessments, and Multi-media, Multi-pathway, Multi-receptor Risk Assessment (3MRA) methodology, which performs regional and national assessments. This Merged System is an icon-driven, site-layout platform, which represents an interactive means by which the user graphically constructs a conceptualization of the problem by visually expressing the assessment, indicating sources of contamination, contaminant travel pathways through the environment, linkages between contamination and people or wildlife, and impacts associated with the contamination. It processes data as part of a systems-based assessment and is an open-architecture, object-oriented framework, which contains ''sockets'' for a collection of databases and computer codes that will transparently simulate elements of transport, exposure, and risk assessment, including contaminant source and release to and through overland soils, vadose and saturated zones, air, surface water, food supply, intake human health impacts, sensitivity/uncertainty, ecological impacts, with the ability to expand into areas including Geographical Information System (GIS), remediation technology, cost analysis, Data Quality Objectives, life-cycle management, and conceptual site design. A user can choose from a list of models, and the assessment path forward can be visually presented, which describes the models and their linkages from source through receptor to the decision-making endpoint.

  15. Fovea based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Anan; Zhao, Debin; Liu, Shaohui; Cao, Guangyao

    2010-07-01

    Humans are the ultimate receivers of the visual information contained in an image, so the reasonable method of image quality assessment (IQA) should follow the properties of the human visual system (HVS). In recent years, IQA methods based on HVS-models are slowly replacing classical schemes, such as mean squared error (MSE) and Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR). IQA-structural similarity (SSIM) regarded as one of the most popular HVS-based methods of full reference IQA has apparent improvements in performance compared with traditional metrics in nature, however, it performs not very well when the images' structure is destroyed seriously or masked by noise. In this paper, a new efficient fovea based structure similarity image quality assessment (FSSIM) is proposed. It enlarges the distortions in the concerned positions adaptively and changes the importances of the three components in SSIM. FSSIM predicts the quality of an image through three steps. First, it computes the luminance, contrast and structure comparison terms; second, it computes the saliency map by extracting the fovea information from the reference image with the features of HVS; third, it pools the above three terms according to the processed saliency map. Finally, a commonly experimental database LIVE IQA is used for evaluating the performance of the FSSIM. Experimental results indicate that the consistency and relevance between FSSIM and mean opinion score (MOS) are both better than SSIM and PSNR clearly.

  16. Merging Air Quality and Public Health Decision Support Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudspeth, W. B.; Bales, C. L.

    2003-12-01

    The New Mexico Air Quality Mapper (NMAQM) is a Web-based, open source GIS prototype application that Earth Data Analysis Center is developing under a NASA Cooperative Agreement. NMAQM enhances and extends existing data and imagery delivery systems with an existing Public Health system called the Rapid Syndrome Validation Project (RSVP). RSVP is a decision support system operating in several medical and public health arenas. It is evolving to ingest remote sensing data as input to provide early warning of human health threats, especially those related to anthropogenic atmospheric pollutants and airborne pathogens. The NMAQM project applies measurements of these atmospheric pollutants, derived from both remotely sensed data as well as from in-situ air quality networks, to both forecasting and retrospective analyses that influence human respiratory health. NMAQM provides a user-friendly interface for visualizing and interpreting environmentally-linked epidemiological phenomena. The results, and the systems made to provide the information, will be applicable not only to decision-makers in the public health realm, but also to air quality organizations, demographers, community planners, and other professionals in information technology, and social and engineering sciences. As an accessible and interactive mapping and analysis application, it allows environment and health personnel to study historic data for hypothesis generation and trend analysis, and then, potentially, to predict air quality conditions from daily data acquisitions. Additional spin off benefits to such users include the identification of gaps in the distribution of in-situ monitoring stations, the dissemination of air quality data to the public, and the discrimination of local vs. more regional sources of air pollutants that may bear on decisions relating to public health and public policy.

  17. Determinants of judgment and decision making quality: the interplay between information processing style and situational factors

    PubMed Central

    Ayal, Shahar; Rusou, Zohar; Zakay, Dan; Hochman, Guy

    2015-01-01

    A framework is presented to better characterize the role of individual differences in information processing style and their interplay with contextual factors in determining decision making quality. In Experiment 1, we show that individual differences in information processing style are flexible and can be modified by situational factors. Specifically, a situational manipulation that induced an analytical mode of thought improved decision quality. In Experiment 2, we show that this improvement in decision quality is highly contingent on the compatibility between the dominant thinking mode and the nature of the task. That is, encouraging an intuitive mode of thought led to better performance on an intuitive task but hampered performance on an analytical task. The reverse pattern was obtained when an analytical mode of thought was encouraged. We discuss the implications of these results for the assessment of decision making competence, and suggest practical directions to help individuals better adjust their information processing style to the situation at hand and make optimal decisions. PMID:26284011

  18. Development of instruments to measure the quality of breast cancer treatment decisions

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Clara N.; Dominik, Rosalie; Levin, Carrie A.; Barry, Michael J.; Cosenza, Carol; O’Connor, Annette M.; Mulley, Albert G.; Sepucha, Karen R.

    2010-01-01

    Background Women with early stage breast cancer face a multitude of decisions. The quality of a decision can be measured by the extent to which the treatment reflects what’s most important to an informed patient. Reliable and valid measures of patients’ knowledge and their goals and concerns related to breast cancer treatments are needed to assess decision quality. Objective To identify a set of key facts and goals relevant to each of three breast cancer treatment decisions (surgery, reconstruction, and adjuvant chemotherapy and hormone therapy) and to evaluate the validity of the methods used to identify them. Methods Candidate facts and goals were chosen based on evidence review and qualitative studies with breast cancer patients and providers. Cross-sectional surveys of patients and providers were conducted for each decision. The accuracy, importance, and completeness of the items were examined. Results 38 facts (11–14 per decision) and 27 goals (8–10 per decision) were identified. An average of 17 patients and 21 providers responded to each survey. The sets of facts were accurate and complete for all three decisions. The sets of goals and concerns were important for surgery and reconstruction, but not chemotherapy/hormone therapy. Patients and providers disagreed about the relative importance of several key facts and goals. Conclusion Overall, breast cancer patients and providers found the sets of facts and goals accurate, important, and complete for three treatment decisions. Because patients’ and providers’ perspectives are different, it is vital that instrument development should include items reflecting both views. PMID:20550591

  19. Data Quality Assessment for Maritime Situation Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iphar, C.; Napoli, A.; Ray, C.

    2015-08-01

    The Automatic Identification System (AIS) initially designed to ensure maritime security through continuous position reports has been progressively used for many extended objectives. In particular it supports a global monitoring of the maritime domain for various purposes like safety and security but also traffic management, logistics or protection of strategic areas, etc. In this monitoring, data errors, misuse, irregular behaviours at sea, malfeasance mechanisms and bad navigation practices have inevitably emerged either by inattentiveness or voluntary actions in order to circumvent, alter or exploit such a system in the interests of offenders. This paper introduces the AIS system and presents vulnerabilities and data quality assessment for decision making in maritime situational awareness cases. The principles of a novel methodological approach for modelling, analysing and detecting these data errors and falsification are introduced.

  20. The xeroderma pigmentosum pathway: decision tree analysis of DNA quality.

    PubMed

    Naegeli, Hanspeter; Sugasawa, Kaoru

    2011-07-15

    The nucleotide excision repair (NER) system is a fundamental cellular stress response that uses only a handful of DNA binding factors, mutated in the cancer-prone syndrome xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), to detect an astounding diversity of bulky base lesions, including those induced by ultraviolet light, electrophilic chemicals, oxygen radicals and further genetic insults. Several of these XP proteins are characterized by a mediocre preference for damaged substrates over the native double helix but, intriguingly, none of them recognizes injured bases with sufficient selectivity to account for the very high precision of bulky lesion excision. Instead, substrate versatility as well as damage specificity and strand selectivity are achieved by a multistage quality control strategy whereby different subunits of the XP pathway, in succession, interrogate the DNA double helix for a distinct abnormality in its structural or dynamic parameters. Through this step-by-step filtering procedure, the XP proteins operate like a systematic decision making tool, generally known as decision tree analysis, to sort out rare damaged bases embedded in a vast excess of native DNA. The present review is focused on the mechanisms by which multiple XP subunits of the NER pathway contribute to the proposed decision tree analysis of DNA quality in eukaryotic cells. PMID:21684221

  1. An Assessment of Reading Compliance Decisions among Undergraduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharma, Amit; Van Hoof, Bert; Pursel, Barton

    2013-01-01

    Research suggests that reading compliance among undergraduate students is low. This study assesses the factors that influence students' decisions to comply with their assigned course readings using two theoretical underpinnings: students' self-rationing ability of time and construal effects on their decision process. Data collected…

  2. Integrated Modelling Frameworks for Environmental Assessment and Decision Support

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern management of environmental resources defines problems from a holistic and integrated perspective, imposing strong requirements to Environmental Decision Support Systems (EDSSs) and Integrated Assessment Tools (IATs), which tend to be increasingly complex in terms of software architecture and...

  3. Linking Assessment to Decision Making in Water Resources Planning - Decision Making Frameworks and Case Study Evaluations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broman, D.; Gangopadhyay, S.; Simes, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate assessments have become an accepted and commonly used component of long term water management and planning. There is substantial variation in the methods used in these assessments; however, managers and decision-makers have come to value their utility to identify future system limitations, and to evaluate future alternatives to ensure satisfactory system performance. A new set of decision-making frameworks have been proposed, including robust decision making (RDM), and decision scaling, that directly address the deep uncertainties found in both future climate, and non-climatic factors. Promising results have been obtained using these new frameworks, offering a more comprehensive understanding of future conditions leading to failures, and identification of measures to address these failures. Data and resource constraints have limited the use of these frameworks within the Bureau of Reclamation. We present here a modified framework that captures the strengths of previously proposed methods while using a suite of analysis tool that allow for a 'rapid climate assessment' to be performed. A scalable approach has been taken where more complex tools can be used if project resources allow. This 'rapid assessment' is demonstrated through two case studies on the Santa Ana and Colorado Rivers where previous climate assessments have been completed. Planning-level measures are used to compare how decision making is affected when using this new decision making framework.

  4. Carbon Nanotube Material Quality Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yowell, Leonard; Arepalli, Sivaram; Sosa, Edward; Niolaev, Pavel; Gorelik, Olga

    2006-01-01

    The nanomaterial activities at NASA Johnson Space Center focus on carbon nanotube production, characterization and their applications for aerospace systems. Single wall carbon nanotubes are produced by arc and laser methods. Characterization of the nanotube material is performed using the NASA JSC protocol developed by combining analytical techniques of SEM, TEM, UV-VIS-NIR absorption, Raman, and TGA. A possible addition of other techniques such as XPS, and ICP to the existing protocol will be discussed. Changes in the quality of the material collected in different regions of the arc and laser production chambers is assessed using the original JSC protocol. The observed variations indicate different growth conditions in different regions of the production chambers.

  5. Addendum to Air Quality: Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holekamp, Kara; Frisbie, Troy; Estep, Lee

    2005-01-01

    In the original report dated February 11, 2005, the utility of NASA Earth science data in the air quality activities of other agencies and organizations was assessed by reviewing strategic and mission plans and by conducting personal interviews with agency experts to identify and investigate agencies with the potential for partnership with NASA. The overarching agency strategic plans were reviewed and commonalities such as the desire for partnerships and technology development were noted. This addendum to the original report contains such information about the Tennessee Valley Authority and will be inserted as Section 2.6 of "Air Quality: Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees."

  6. Addendum to Air Quality: Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holekamp, Kara; Frisbie, Troy; Estep, Lee

    2005-01-01

    In the original report dated February 11, 2005, the utility of the NASA Earth science data in the air quality activities of other agencies and organizations was assessed by reviewing strategic and mission plans and by conducting personal interviews with agency experts to identify and investigate agencies with the potential for partnership with NASA. The overarching agency strategic plans were reviewed and commonalities such as the desire for partnerships and technology development were noted. The addendum to the original report contains such information about the Tennessee Valley Authority and will be inserted in Section 2.6 of "Air Quality Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees".

  7. Implementing a Quality Needs Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuiccio, Cary

    2012-01-01

    Districts nationwide are facing budget cuts that, to some, feel more like funding cliffs. Accordingly, school teams are re-examining their personnel, programs, and schedules so that they can make difficult decisions about where to spend resources to realize the greatest improvement. The principals who are able to make decisions with data from…

  8. Performance Assessment for Environmental Decision Making

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, D.R.; Fewell, M.E.; Gomez, L.S.; Marietta, M.G.; Swift, P.N.; Trauth, K.M.; Vaughn, P.; MacKinnon, R.J.

    1997-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Performance Assessment Departments at Sandia National Laboratories have, over the last twenty (20) years, developed unique, internationally-recognized performance and risk assessment methods to assess options for the safe disposal and remediation of radioactive and non-radioactive hazardous waste/contamination in geohydrologic systems. While these methods were originally developed for the disposal of nuclear waste, ongoing improvements and extensions make them equally applicable to a variety of environmental problems such as those associated with the remediation of EPA designated Superfund sites and the more generic Brownfield sites (industrial sites whose future use is restricted because of real or perceived contamination).

  9. Towards Quality Assessment in an EFL Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Holi Ibrahim Holi; Al Ajmi, Ahmed Ali Saleh

    2013-01-01

    Assessment is central in education and the teaching-learning process. This study attempts to explore the perspectives and views about quality assessment among teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), and to find ways of promoting quality assessment. Quantitative methodology was used to collect data. To answer the study questions, a…

  10. Risk assessment as a framework for decisions.

    SciTech Connect

    Rechard, Robert Paul; McKenna, Sean Andrew; Borns, David James

    2010-12-01

    The risk assessment approach has been applied to support numerous radioactive waste management activities over the last 30 years. A risk assessment methodology provides a solid and readily adaptable framework for evaluating the risks of CO2 sequestration in geologic formations to prioritize research, data collection, and monitoring schemes. This paper reviews the tasks of a risk assessment, and provides a few examples related to each task. This paper then describes an application of sensitivity analysis to identify important parameters to reduce the uncertainty in the performance of a geologic repository for radioactive waste repository, which because of importance of the geologic barrier, is similar to CO2 sequestration. The paper ends with a simple stochastic analysis of idealized CO2 sequestration site with a leaking abandoned well and a set of monitoring wells in an aquifer above the CO2 sequestration unit in order to evaluate the efficacy of monitoring wells to detect adverse leakage.

  11. Healthcare quality maturity assessment model based on quality drivers.

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Nadia; Arafeh, Mazen

    2016-04-18

    Purpose - Healthcare providers differ in their readiness and maturity levels regarding quality and quality management systems applications. The purpose of this paper is to serve as a useful quantitative quality maturity-level assessment tool for healthcare organizations. Design/methodology/approach - The model proposes five quality maturity levels (chaotic, primitive, structured, mature and proficient) based on six quality drivers: top management, people, operations, culture, quality focus and accreditation. Findings - Healthcare managers can apply the model to identify the status quo, quality shortcomings and evaluating ongoing progress. Practical implications - The model has been incorporated in an interactive Excel worksheet that visually displays the quality maturity-level risk meter. The tool has been applied successfully to local hospitals. Originality/value - The proposed six quality driver scales appear to measure healthcare provider maturity levels on a single quality meter. PMID:27120510

  12. Assessment and Quality Social Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savage, Tom V.

    2003-01-01

    Those anonymous individuals who develop high-stakes tests by which educational quality is measured exercise great influence in defining educational quality. In this article, the author examines the impact of high-stakes testing on the welfare of the children and the quality of social studies instruction. He presents the benefits and drawbacks of…

  13. Assessment of Unconscious Decision Aids Applied to Complex Patient-Centered Medical Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Manigault, Andrew Wilhelm; Whillock, Summer Rain

    2015-01-01

    reporting judgments. Cognitive load was manipulated by having participants memorize semi-random (high), line structured (low), or no dot patterns and recall these intermittently with their decision reports. Overall then, participants were randomly assigned to the conditions of a 3 (thought condition) by 3 (cognitive-load level) between-subjects design. Results A logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds of participants choosing the best treatment were 2.25 times higher in the unconscious-thought condition compared to the immediate-decision condition (b=.81, Wald=4.32, P=.04, 95% CI 1.048-4.836), and 2.39 times greater compared to the conscious-thought condition (b=.87, Wald=4.87, P=.027, 95% CI 1.103-5.186). No difference was observed between the conscious-thought condition compared to the immediate-decision condition, and cognitive load manipulations did not affect choices or alter the above finding. Conclusions This research demonstrates a plausible benefit of unconscious thinking as a decision aid for complex medical decisions, and represents the first use of unconscious thought processes as a patient-centered medical decision aid. Further, the quality of decisions reached unconsciously does not appear to be affected by the amount of cognitive load participants experienced. PMID:25677337

  14. School-Based Management: An Approach to Decision-Making Quality in Egyptian General Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elmelegy, Reda Ibrahim

    2015-01-01

    The current research aims at clarifying how school-based management (SBM) can contribute to achieve the decision-making quality in Egyptian general secondary schools and determine the requirements of quality decision-making. It depends on the descriptive method in order to acknowledge the basics of the SBM and its relationship with the quality of…

  15. Environmental Decision Making and Information Technology: Issues Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Barg, S.; Fletcher, T.; Mechling, J.; Tonn, B.; Turner, R.

    1999-05-01

    This report presents a summary of the Information Technology and Environmental Decision Making Workshop that was held at Harvard University, October 1-3, 1998. Over sixty participants from across the US took part in discussions that focused on the current practice of using information technology to support environmental decision making and on future considerations of information technology development, information policies, and data quality issues in this area. Current practice is focusing on geographic information systems and visualization tools, Internet applications, and data warehousing. In addition, numerous organizations are developing environmental enterprise systems to integrate environmental information resources. Plaguing these efforts are issues of data quality (and public trust), system design, and organizational change. In the future, much effort needs to focus on building community-based environmental decision-making systems and processes, which will be a challenge given that exactly what needs to be developed is largely unknown and that environmental decision making in this arena has been characterized by a high level of conflict. Experimentation and evaluation are needed to contribute to efficient and effective learning about how best to use information technology to improve environmental decision making.

  16. Assessing Quality in Home Visiting Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korfmacher, Jon; Laszewski, Audrey; Sparr, Mariel; Hammel, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Defining quality and designing a quality assessment measure for home visitation programs is a complex and multifaceted undertaking. This article summarizes the process used to create the Home Visitation Program Quality Rating Tool (HVPQRT) and identifies next steps for its development. The HVPQRT measures both structural and dynamic features of…

  17. SERI QC Solar Data Quality Assessment Software

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1994-12-31

    SERI QC is a mathematical software package that assesses the quality of solar radiation data. The SERI QC software is a function written in the C programming language. IT IS NOT A STANDALONE SOFTWARE APPLICATION. The user must write the calling application that requires quality assessment of solar data. The C function returns data quality flags to the calling program. A companion program, QCFIT, is a standalone Windows application that provides support files for themore » SERI QC function (data quality boundaries). The QCFIT software can also be used as an analytical tool for visualizing solar data quality independent of the SERI QC function.« less

  18. SERI QC Solar Data Quality Assessment Software

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    SERI QC is a mathematical software package that assesses the quality of solar radiation data. The SERI QC software is a function written in the C programming language. IT IS NOT A STANDALONE SOFTWARE APPLICATION. The user must write the calling application that requires quality assessment of solar data. The C function returns data quality flags to the calling program. A companion program, QCFIT, is a standalone Windows application that provides support files for the SERI QC function (data quality boundaries). The QCFIT software can also be used as an analytical tool for visualizing solar data quality independent of the SERI QC function.

  19. Developing a quality criteria framework for patient decision aids: online international Delphi consensus process

    PubMed Central

    Elwyn, Glyn; O'Connor, Annette; Stacey, Dawn; Volk, Robert; Edwards, Adrian; Coulter, Angela; Thomson, Richard; Barratt, Alexandra; Barry, Michael; Bernstein, Steven; Butow, Phyllis; Clarke, Aileen; Entwistle, Vikki; Feldman-Stewart, Deb; Holmes-Rovner, Margaret; Llewellyn-Thomas, Hilary; Moumjid, Nora; Mulley, Al; Ruland, Cornelia; Sepucha, Karen; Sykes, Alan; Whelan, Tim

    2006-01-01

    Objective To develop a set of quality criteria for patient decision support technologies (decision aids). Design and setting Two stage web based Delphi process using online rating process to enable international collaboration. Participants Individuals from four stakeholder groups (researchers, practitioners, patients, policy makers) representing 14 countries reviewed evidence summaries and rated the importance of 80 criteria in 12 quality domains ona1to9 scale. Second round participants received feedback from the first round and repeated their assessment of the 80 criteria plus three new ones. Main outcome measure Aggregate ratings for each criterion calculated using medians weighted to compensate for different numbers in stakeholder groups; criteria rated between 7 and 9 were retained. Results 212 nominated people were invited to participate. Of those invited, 122 participated in the first round (77 researchers, 21 patients, 10 practitioners, 14 policy makers); 104/122 (85%) participated in the second round. 74 of 83 criteria were retained in the following domains: systematic development process (9/9 criteria); providing information about options (13/13); presenting probabilities (11/13); clarifying and expressing values (3/3); using patient stories (2/5); guiding/coaching (3/5); disclosing conflicts of interest (5/5); providing internet access (6/6); balanced presentation of options (3/3); using plain language (4/6); basing information on up to date evidence (7/7); and establishing effectiveness (8/8). Conclusions Criteria were given the highest ratings where evidence existed, and these were retained. Gaps in research were highlighted. Developers, users, and purchasers of patient decision aids now have a checklist for appraising quality. An instrument for measuring quality of decision aids is being developed. PMID:16908462

  20. Assessing and communicating data quality in policy-relevant research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costanza, Robert; Funtowicz, Silvio O.; Ravetz, Jerome R.

    1992-01-01

    The quality of scientific information in policy-relevant fields of research is difficult to assess, and quality control in these important areas is correspondingly difficult to maintain. Frequently there are insufficient high-quality measurements for the presentation of the statistical uncertainty in the numerical estimates that are crucial to policy decisions. We propose and develop a grading system for numerical estimates that can deal with the full range of data quality—from statistically valid estimates to informed guesses. By analyzing the underlying quality of numerical estimates, summarized as spread and grade, we are able to provide simple rules whereby input data can be coded for quality, and these codings carried through arithmetical calculations for assessing the quality of model results. For this we use the NUSAP (numeral, unit, spread, assessment, pedigree) notational system. It allows the more quantitative and the more qualitative aspects of data uncertainty to be managed separately. By way of example, we apply the system to an ecosystem valuation study that used several different models and data of widely varying quality to arrive at a single estimate of the economic value of wetlands. The NUSAP approach illustrates the major sources of uncertainty in this study and can guide new research aimed at the improvement of the quality of outputs and the efficiency of the procedures.

  1. Use of Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Shuttle Decision Making Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyer, Roger L.; Hamlin, Teri, L.

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) to assist in the decision making for the shuttle design and operation. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) is a comprehensive, structured, and disciplined approach to identifying and analyzing risk in complex systems and/or processes that seeks answers to three basic questions: (i.e., what can go wrong? what is the likelihood of these occurring? and what are the consequences that could result if these occur?) The purpose of the Shuttle PRA (SPRA) is to provide a useful risk management tool for the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) to identify strengths and possible weaknesses in the Shuttle design and operation. SPRA was initially developed to support upgrade decisions, but has evolved into a tool that supports Flight Readiness Reviews (FRR) and near real-time flight decisions. Examples of the use of PRA for the shuttle are reviewed.

  2. Needs Assessment for the Use of NASA Remote Sensing Data for Regulatory Water Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiering, Bruce; Underwood, Lauren

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the assessment of the needs that NASA can use for the remote sensing of water quality. The goal of this project is to provide information for decision-making activities (water quality standards) using remotely sensed/satellite based water quality data from MODIS and Landsat data.

  3. 36 CFR 220.7 - Environmental assessment and decision notice.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... AGRICULTURE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) COMPLIANCE § 220.7 Environmental assessment and decision... incorporated by reference in accord with 40 CFR 1502.21. (iv) The proposed action and one or more alternatives to the proposed action may include adaptive management. An adaptive management proposal...

  4. Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment (NAS Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    In August 2009, the Committee on Improving Risk Analysis Approaches Used by the U.S. EPA, National Research Council released a final report, requested and sponsored by the EPA, entitled Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment 2009.

  5. Qualitatively Assessing Family Influence in Career Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chope, Robert C.

    2005-01-01

    Assessing influential factors in the family relative to career decision making is consistent with evolving postmodern approaches to career counseling. However, the challenge of measuring family influence is technically demanding considering the ongoing revolutionary changes in the structure of the family. Moreover, while measuring the impact of…

  6. Rendered virtual view image objective quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Gang; Li, Xiangchun; Zhang, Yi; Peng, Kai

    2013-08-01

    The research on rendered virtual view image (RVVI) objective quality assessment is important for integrated imaging system and image quality assessment (IQA). Traditional IQA algorithms cannot be applied directly on the system receiver-side due to interview displacement and the absence of original reference. This study proposed a block-based neighbor reference (NbR) IQA framework for RVVI IQA. Neighbor views used for rendering are employed for quality assessment in the proposed framework. A symphonious factor handling noise and interview displacement is defined and applied to evaluate the contribution of the obtained quality index in each block pair. A three-stage experiment scheme is also presented to testify the proposed framework and evaluate its homogeneity performance when comparing to full reference IQA. Experimental results show the proposed framework is useful in RVVI objective quality assessment at system receiver-side and benchmarking different rendering algorithms.

  7. Using measurement uncertainty in decision-making and conformity assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendrill, L. R.

    2014-08-01

    Measurements often provide an objective basis for making decisions, perhaps when assessing whether a product conforms to requirements or whether one set of measurements differs significantly from another. There is increasing appreciation of the need to account for the role of measurement uncertainty when making decisions, so that a ‘fit-for-purpose’ level of measurement effort can be set prior to performing a given task. Better mutual understanding between the metrologist and those ordering such tasks about the significance and limitations of the measurements when making decisions of conformance will be especially useful. Decisions of conformity are, however, currently made in many important application areas, such as when addressing the grand challenges (energy, health, etc), without a clear and harmonized basis for sharing the risks that arise from measurement uncertainty between the consumer, supplier and third parties. In reviewing, in this paper, the state of the art of the use of uncertainty evaluation in conformity assessment and decision-making, two aspects in particular—the handling of qualitative observations and of impact—are considered key to bringing more order to the present diverse rules of thumb of more or less arbitrary limits on measurement uncertainty and percentage risk in the field. (i) Decisions of conformity can be made on a more or less quantitative basis—referred in statistical acceptance sampling as by ‘variable’ or by ‘attribute’ (i.e. go/no-go decisions)—depending on the resources available or indeed whether a full quantitative judgment is needed or not. There is, therefore, an intimate relation between decision-making, relating objects to each other in terms of comparative or merely qualitative concepts, and nominal and ordinal properties. (ii) Adding measures of impact, such as the costs of incorrect decisions, can give more objective and more readily appreciated bases for decisions for all parties concerned. Such

  8. Clinical Decision Support System to Enhance Quality Control of Spirometry Using Information and Communication Technologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background We recently demonstrated that quality of spirometry in primary care could markedly improve with remote offline support from specialized professionals. It is hypothesized that implementation of automatic online assessment of quality of spirometry using information and communication technologies may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a high quality spirometry program in integrated care settings. Objective The objective of the study was to elaborate and validate a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for automatic online quality assessment of spirometry. Methods The CDSS was done through a three step process including: (1) identification of optimal sampling frequency; (2) iterations to build-up an initial version using the 24 standard spirometry curves recommended by the American Thoracic Society; and (3) iterations to refine the CDSS using 270 curves from 90 patients. In each of these steps the results were checked against one expert. Finally, 778 spirometry curves from 291 patients were analyzed for validation purposes. Results The CDSS generated appropriate online classification and certification in 685/778 (88.1%) of spirometry testing, with 96% sensitivity and 95% specificity. Conclusions Consequently, only 93/778 (11.9%) of spirometry testing required offline remote classification by an expert, indicating a potential positive role of the CDSS in the deployment of a high quality spirometry program in an integrated care setting. PMID:25600957

  9. Situation assessment in the Paladin tactical decision generation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmanus, John W.; Chappell, Alan R.; Arbuckle, P. Douglas

    1992-01-01

    Paladin is a real-time tactical decision generator for air combat engagements. Paladin uses specialized knowledge-based systems and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) programming techniques to address the modern air combat environment and agile aircraft in a clear and concise manner. Paladin is designed to provide insight into both the tactical benefits and the costs of enhanced agility. The system was developed using the Lisp programming language on a specialized AI workstation. Paladin utilizes a set of air combat rules, an active throttle controller, and a situation assessment module that have been implemented as a set of highly specialized knowledge-based systems. The situation assessment module was developed to determine the tactical mode of operation (aggressive, defensive, neutral, evasive, or disengagement) used by Paladin at each decision point in the air combat engagement. Paladin uses the situation assessment module; the situationally dependent modes of operation to more accurately represent the complex decision-making process of human pilots. This allows Paladin to adapt its tactics to the current situation and improves system performance. Discussed here are the details of Paladin's situation assessment and modes of operation. The results of simulation testing showing the error introduced into the situation assessment module due to estimation errors in positional and geometric data for the opponent aircraft are presented. Implementation issues for real-time performance are discussed and several solutions are presented, including Paladin's use of an inference engine designed for real-time execution.

  10. Human Variome Project Quality Assessment Criteria for Variation Databases.

    PubMed

    Vihinen, Mauno; Hancock, John M; Maglott, Donna R; Landrum, Melissa J; Schaafsma, Gerard C P; Taschner, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Numerous databases containing information about DNA, RNA, and protein variations are available. Gene-specific variant databases (locus-specific variation databases, LSDBs) are typically curated and maintained for single genes or groups of genes for a certain disease(s). These databases are widely considered as the most reliable information source for a particular gene/protein/disease, but it should also be made clear they may have widely varying contents, infrastructure, and quality. Quality is very important to evaluate because these databases may affect health decision-making, research, and clinical practice. The Human Variome Project (HVP) established a Working Group for Variant Database Quality Assessment. The basic principle was to develop a simple system that nevertheless provides a good overview of the quality of a database. The HVP quality evaluation criteria that resulted are divided into four main components: data quality, technical quality, accessibility, and timeliness. This report elaborates on the developed quality criteria and how implementation of the quality scheme can be achieved. Examples are provided for the current status of the quality items in two different databases, BTKbase, an LSDB, and ClinVar, a central archive of submissions about variants and their clinical significance. PMID:26919176

  11. Using ecosystem services to inform decisions on U.S. air quality standards.

    PubMed

    Rea, Anne W; Davis, Christine; Evans, David A; Heninger, Brian T; Van Houtven, George

    2012-06-19

    The ecosystem services (ES) framework provides a link between changes in a natural system's structure and function and public welfare. This systematic integration of ecology and economics allows for more consistency and transparency in environmental decision making by enabling valuation of nature's goods and services in a manner that is understood by the public. This policy analysis (1) assesses the utility of the ES conceptual framework in the context of setting a secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), (2) describes how economic valuation was used to summarize changes in ES affected by NOx and SOx in the review, and (3) uses the secondary NOxSOx NAAQS review as a case study to highlight the advantages and challenges of quantifying air pollutant effects on ES in a decision making context. Using an ES framework can benefit the decision making process by accounting for environmental, ecological, and social elements in a holistic manner. As formal quantitative linkages are developed between ecosystem structure and function and ES, this framework will increasingly allow for a clearer, more transparent link between changes in air quality and public welfare. PMID:22594541

  12. CASE STUDIES IN THE APPLICATION OF AIR QUALITY MODELING IN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING: SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Eleven case studies of the application of air quality models were undertaken in order to examine the problems encountered when trying to use these models in making environmental policy decisions. The case studies of air pollution control decisions describe the decision process, t...

  13. A decision support system for drinking water production integrating health risks assessment.

    PubMed

    Delpla, Ianis; Monteith, Donald T; Freeman, Chris; Haftka, Joris; Hermens, Joop; Jones, Timothy G; Baurès, Estelle; Jung, Aude-Valérie; Thomas, Olivier

    2014-07-01

    The issue of drinking water quality compliance in small and medium scale water services is of paramount importance in relation to the 98/83/CE European Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Additionally, concerns are being expressed over the implementation of the DWD with respect to possible impacts on water quality from forecast changes in European climate with global warming and further anticipated reductions in north European acid emissions. Consequently, we have developed a decision support system (DSS) named ARTEM-WQ (AwaReness Tool for the Evaluation and Mitigation of drinking Water Quality issues resulting from environmental changes) to support decision making by small and medium plant operators and other water stakeholders. ARTEM-WQ is based on a sequential risk analysis approach that includes consideration of catchment characteristics, climatic conditions and treatment operations. It provides a holistic evaluation of the water system, while also assessing human health risks of organic contaminants potentially present in treated waters (steroids, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, bisphenol-a, polychlorobiphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petrochemical hydrocarbons and disinfection by-products; n = 109). Moreover, the system provides recommendations for improvement while supporting decision making in its widest context. The tool has been tested on various European catchments and shows a promising potential to inform water managers of risks and appropriate mitigative actions. Further improvements should include toxicological knowledge advancement, environmental background pollutant concentrations and the assessment of the impact of distribution systems on water quality variation. PMID:25046634

  14. A Decision Support System for Drinking Water Production Integrating Health Risks Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Delpla, Ianis; Monteith, Donald T.; Freeman, Chris; Haftka, Joris; Hermens, Joop; Jones, Timothy G.; Baurès, Estelle; Jung, Aude-Valérie; Thomas, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    The issue of drinking water quality compliance in small and medium scale water services is of paramount importance in relation to the 98/83/CE European Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Additionally, concerns are being expressed over the implementation of the DWD with respect to possible impacts on water quality from forecast changes in European climate with global warming and further anticipated reductions in north European acid emissions. Consequently, we have developed a decision support system (DSS) named ARTEM-WQ (AwaReness Tool for the Evaluation and Mitigation of drinking Water Quality issues resulting from environmental changes) to support decision making by small and medium plant operators and other water stakeholders. ARTEM-WQ is based on a sequential risk analysis approach that includes consideration of catchment characteristics, climatic conditions and treatment operations. It provides a holistic evaluation of the water system, while also assessing human health risks of organic contaminants potentially present in treated waters (steroids, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, bisphenol-a, polychlorobiphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petrochemical hydrocarbons and disinfection by-products; n = 109). Moreover, the system provides recommendations for improvement while supporting decision making in its widest context. The tool has been tested on various European catchments and shows a promising potential to inform water managers of risks and appropriate mitigative actions. Further improvements should include toxicological knowledge advancement, environmental background pollutant concentrations and the assessment of the impact of distribution systems on water quality variation. PMID:25046634

  15. Continuous assessment of perceptual image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamberg, Roelof; de Ridder, Huib

    1995-12-01

    The study addresses whether subjects are able to assess the perceived quality of an image sequence continuously. To this end, a new method for assessing time-varying perceptual image quality is presented by which subjects continuously indicate the perceived strength of image quality by moving a slider along a graphical scale. The slider's position on this scale is sampled every second. In this way, temporal variations in quality can be monitored quantitatively, and a means is provided by which differences between, for example, alternative transmission systems can be analyzed in an informative way. The usability of this method is illustrated by an experiment in which, for a period of 815 s, subjects assessed the quality of still pictures comprising time-varying degrees of sharpness. Copyright (c) 1995 Optical Society of America

  16. Flaws in the Decision-Making Process: Assessment and Acceptance in the Decision to Launch Flight 51-L.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Renz, Mary Ann; Greg, John

    1988-01-01

    Argues that it was the failure of the decision-making process, rather than the mode of risk assessment, which led to the decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger. Identifies the phrasing of the decision question and a shift in the burden of proof as specific problems of the process. (MS)

  17. Assessing quality across healthcare subsystems in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Puig, Andrea; Pagán, José A; Wong, Rebeca

    2009-01-01

    Recent healthcare reform efforts in Mexico have focused on the need to improve the efficiency and equity of a fragmented healthcare system. In light of these reform initiatives, there is a need to assess whether healthcare subsystems are effective at providing high-quality healthcare to all Mexicans. Nationally representative household survey data from the 2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (National Health and Nutrition Survey) were used to assess perceived healthcare quality across different subsystems. Using a sample of 7234 survey respondents, we found evidence of substantial heterogeneity in healthcare quality assessments across healthcare subsystems favoring private providers over social security institutions. These differences across subsystems remained even after adjusting for socioeconomic, demographic, and health factors. Our analysis suggests that improvements in efficiency and equity can be achieved by assessing the factors that contribute to heterogeneity in quality across subsystems. PMID:19305224

  18. Health-related quality of life assessment in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Meers, C; Singer, M A

    1996-01-01

    Assessment of biochemical responses to therapy is routine in the management of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), however, is less common. Previous research indicates that HRQOL is a meaningful indicator that should be integrated into clinical practice. HRQOL is longitudinally evaluated in in-centre hemodialysis patients using the RAND 36-item Health Survey 1.0. Caregivers incorporate scores from this instrument into their assessment of patient functioning and well-being. HRQOL scores can be utilized to evaluate responses to changes in therapy, and to direct clinical decision-making, adding an important dimension to holistic, quality care for ESRD patients. PMID:8900807

  19. Quality Assessment in the Blog Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaal, Markus; Fidan, Guven; Muller, Roland M.; Dagli, Orhan

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is the presentation of a new method for blog quality assessment. The method uses the temporal sequence of link creation events between blogs as an implicit source for the collective tacit knowledge of blog authors about blog quality. Design/methodology/approach: The blog data are processed by the novel method for…

  20. National water-quality assessment: Future directions of the U.S. Geological Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, Philip; Alley, William M.; Wilber, William G.

    1988-01-01

    Throughout U.S. history, the Nation has made major investments in assessing natural resources, such as soils, minerals, and hydrocarbons. The maintenance and the improvement of water quality has been one of the major areas of public investment and government regulation. One of the contributions the U.S. Geological Survey proposes to make is to provide a strong, high quality National Water-Quality Assessment Program to underpin and unify the Nation's water-quality activities. Such an assessment program will satisfy a decisive share of the attainable, national scale, water quality information objectives.

  1. Prior Degree and Student Assessment Performance: How Can Evidence Guide Decisions on Assessment Policy?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Pippa; Gordon, Jill; Clarke, Rufus; Oldmeadow, Wendy

    2009-01-01

    This study aimed to provide evidence to guide decisions on the type and timing of assessments in a graduate medical programme, by identifying whether students from particular degree backgrounds face greater difficulty in satisfying the current assessment requirements. We examined the performance rank of students in three types of assessments and…

  2. Probabilistic Risk Assessment for Decision Making During Spacecraft Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meshkat, Leila

    2009-01-01

    Decisions made during the operational phase of a space mission often have significant and immediate consequences. Without the explicit consideration of the risks involved and their representation in a solid model, it is very likely that these risks are not considered systematically in trade studies. Wrong decisions during the operational phase of a space mission can lead to immediate system failure whereas correct decisions can help recover the system even from faulty conditions. A problem of special interest is the determination of the system fault protection strategies upon the occurrence of faults within the system. Decisions regarding the fault protection strategy also heavily rely on a correct understanding of the state of the system and an integrated risk model that represents the various possible scenarios and their respective likelihoods. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) modeling is applicable to the full lifecycle of a space mission project, from concept development to preliminary design, detailed design, development and operations. The benefits and utilities of the model, however, depend on the phase of the mission for which it is used. This is because of the difference in the key strategic decisions that support each mission phase. The focus of this paper is on describing the particular methods used for PRA modeling during the operational phase of a spacecraft by gleaning insight from recently conducted case studies on two operational Mars orbiters. During operations, the key decisions relate to the commands sent to the spacecraft for any kind of diagnostics, anomaly resolution, trajectory changes, or planning. Often, faults and failures occur in the parts of the spacecraft but are contained or mitigated before they can cause serious damage. The failure behavior of the system during operations provides valuable data for updating and adjusting the related PRA models that are built primarily based on historical failure data. The PRA models, in turn

  3. Comparing and using assessments of the value of information to clinical decision-making.

    PubMed Central

    Urquhart, C J; Hepworth, J B

    1996-01-01

    This paper discusses the Value project, which assessed the value to clinical decision-making of information supplied by National Health Service (NHS) library and information services. The project not only showed how health libraries in the United Kingdom help clinicians in decision-making but also provided quality assurance guidelines for these libraries to help make their information services more effective. The paper reviews methods and results used in previous studies of the value of health libraries, noting that methodological differences appear to affect the results. The paper also discusses aspects of user involvement, categories of clinical decision-making, the value of information to present and future clinical decisions, and the combination of quantitative and qualitative assessments of value, as applied to the Value project and the studies reviewed. The Value project also demonstrated that the value placed on information depends in part on the career stage of the physician. The paper outlines the structure of the quality assurance tool kit, which is based on the findings and methods used in the Value project. PMID:8913550

  4. National Water-Quality Assessment Program - Source Water-Quality Assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Delzer, Gregory C.; Hamilton, Pixie A.

    2007-01-01

    In 2002, the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) implemented Source Water-Quality Assessments (SWQAs) to characterize the quality of selected rivers and aquifers used as a source of supply to community water systems in the United States. These assessments are intended to complement drinking-water monitoring required by Federal, State, and local programs, which focus primarily on post-treatment compliance monitoring.

  5. Computational study of developing high-quality decision trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Zhiwei

    2002-03-01

    Recently, decision tree algorithms have been widely used in dealing with data mining problems to find out valuable rules and patterns. However, scalability, accuracy and efficiency are significant concerns regarding how to effectively deal with large and complex data sets in the implementation. In this paper, we propose an innovative machine learning approach (we call our approach GAIT), combining genetic algorithm, statistical sampling, and decision tree, to develop intelligent decision trees that can alleviate some of these problems. We design our computational experiments and run GAIT on three different data sets (namely Socio- Olympic data, Westinghouse data, and FAA data) to test its performance against standard decision tree algorithm, neural network classifier, and statistical discriminant technique, respectively. The computational results show that our approach outperforms standard decision tree algorithm profoundly at lower sampling levels, and achieves significantly better results with less effort than both neural network and discriminant classifiers.

  6. ANSS Backbone Station Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeds, A.; McNamara, D.; Benz, H.; Gee, L.

    2006-12-01

    In this study we assess the ambient noise levels of the broadband seismic stations within the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) backbone network. The backbone consists of stations operated by the USGS as well as several regional network stations operated by universities. We also assess the improved detection capability of the network due to the installation of 13 additional backbone stations and the upgrade of 26 existing stations funded by the Earthscope initiative. This assessment makes use of probability density functions (PDF) of power spectral densities (PSD) (after McNamara and Buland, 2004) computed by a continuous noise monitoring system developed by the USGS- ANSS and the Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC). We compute the median and mode of the PDF distribution and rank the stations relative to the Peterson Low noise model (LNM) (Peterson, 1993) for 11 different period bands. The power of the method lies in the fact that there is no need to screen the data for system transients, earthquakes or general data artifacts since they map into a background probability level. Previous studies have shown that most regional stations, instrumented with short period or extended short period instruments, have a higher noise level in all period bands while stations in the US network have lower noise levels at short periods (0.0625-8.0 seconds), high frequencies (8.0- 0.125Hz). The overall network is evaluated with respect to accomplishing the design goals set for the USArray/ANSS backbone project which were intended to increase broadband performance for the national monitoring network.

  7. Water quality assessment in Ecuador

    SciTech Connect

    Chudy, J.P.; Arniella, E.; Gil, E.

    1993-02-01

    The El Tor cholera pandemic arrived in Ecuador in March 1991, and through the course of the year caused 46,320 cases, of which 692 resulted in death. Most of the cases were confined to cities along Ecuador's coast. The Water and Sanitation for Health Project (WASH), which was asked to participate in the review of this request, suggested that a more comprehensive approach should be taken to cholera control and prevention. The approach was accepted, and a multidisciplinary team consisting of a sanitary engineer, a hygiene education specialist, and an institutional specialist was scheduled to carry out the assessment in late 1992 following the national elections.

  8. Exploring the quality of evidence for complex and contested policy decisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Sluijs, Jeroen P.; Petersen, Arthur C.; Janssen, Peter H. M.; Risbey, James S.; Ravetz, Jerome R.

    2008-04-01

    Policy decisions on complex environmental risks often involve contested science. Typically there are no 'facts' that entail a unique correct policy. The evidence that is embodied in scientific policy advice requires quality assessment. Advice should be relevant to the policy issue, scientifically tenable and robust under societal scrutiny. In 2003, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency adopted a standardized method, referred to as 'guidance', whereby key quality aspects of knowledge production and use are exhibited through a checklist for uncertainty assessment and communication. Although the guidance is not fully used within all projects yet, it is increasingly used, attitudes towards dealing with uncertainty in performing and reporting environmental assessments have changed, and communication on uncertainty in the agency's reports has improved over the past five years. In this letter, we present results from the application of the guidance to controversies on the risks of ambient particulate matter. The active deliberation on uncertainty in the policy advisory setting brings about a joint learning process for advisors and policy makers, which leads to a deeper understanding and increased awareness of the phenomenon of uncertainty and its policy implications.

  9. Development of a GIS-based decision support system for urban air quality management in the city of Istanbul

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elbir, Tolga; Mangir, Nizamettin; Kara, Melik; Simsir, Sedef; Eren, Tuba; Ozdemir, Seda

    2010-02-01

    A decision support system has been developed for urban air quality management in the metropolitan area of Istanbul. The system is based on CALMET/CALPUFF dispersion modeling system, digital maps, and related databases to estimate the emissions and spatial distribution of air pollutants with the help of a GIS software. The system estimates ambient air pollution levels at high temporal and spatial resolutions and enables mapping of emissions and air quality levels. Mapping and scenario results can be compared with air quality limits. Impact assessment of air pollution abatement measures can also be carried out.

  10. [Radiological assessment of bone quality].

    PubMed

    Ito, Masako

    2016-01-01

    Structural property of bone includes micro- or nano-structural property of the trabecular and cortical bone, and macroscopic geometry. Radiological technique is useful to analyze the bone structural property;micro-CT or synchrotron-CT is available to analyze micro- or nano-structural property of bone samples ex vivo, and multi-detector row CT(MDCT)or high-resolution peripheral QCT(HR-pQCT)is available to analyze human bone in vivo. For the analysis of hip geometry, CT-based hip structure analysis(HSA)is available aw sell se radiography and DXA-based HSA. These structural parameters are related to biomechanical property, and these assessment tools provide information of pathological changes or the effects of anti-osteoporotic agents on bone. PMID:26728530

  11. Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field for Uav Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dąbrowski, R.; Jenerowicz, A.

    2015-08-01

    Nowadays the imagery data acquired from UAV sensors are the main source of all data used in various remote sensing applications, photogrammetry projects and in imagery intelligence (IMINT) as well as in other tasks as decision support. Therefore quality assessment of such imagery is an important task. The research team from Military University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Geodesy Institute, Department of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry has designed and prepared special test field- The Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field (PIQuAT) that provides quality assessment in field conditions of images obtained with sensors mounted on UAVs. The PIQuAT consists of 6 individual segments, when combined allow for determine radiometric, spectral and spatial resolution of images acquired from UAVs. All segments of the PIQuAT can be used together in various configurations or independently. All elements of The Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field were tested in laboratory conditions in terms of their radiometry and spectral reflectance characteristics.

  12. Automatic no-reference image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongjun; Hu, Wei; Xu, Zi-Neng

    2016-01-01

    No-reference image quality assessment aims to predict the visual quality of distorted images without examining the original image as a reference. Most no-reference image quality metrics which have been already proposed are designed for one or a set of predefined specific distortion types and are unlikely to generalize for evaluating images degraded with other types of distortion. There is a strong need of no-reference image quality assessment methods which are applicable to various distortions. In this paper, the authors proposed a no-reference image quality assessment method based on a natural image statistic model in the wavelet transform domain. A generalized Gaussian density model is employed to summarize the marginal distribution of wavelet coefficients of the test images, so that correlative parameters are needed for the evaluation of image quality. The proposed algorithm is tested on three large-scale benchmark databases. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is easy to implement and computational efficient. Furthermore, our method can be applied to many well-known types of image distortions, and achieves a good quality of prediction performance. PMID:27468398

  13. Review of Multi-Criteria Decision Aid for Integrated Sustainability Assessment of Urban Water Systems - MCEARD

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated sustainability assessment is part of a new paradigm for urban water decision making. Multi-criteria decision aid (MCDA) is an integrative framework used in urban water sustainability assessment, which has a particular focus on utilising stakeholder participation. Here ...

  14. Development and preliminary user testing of the DCIDA (Dynamic computer interactive decision application) for ‘nudging’ patients towards high quality decisions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Patient decision aids (PtDA) are developed to facilitate informed, value-based decisions about health. Research suggests that even when informed with necessary evidence and information, cognitive errors can prevent patients from choosing the option that is most congruent with their own values. We sought to utilize principles of behavioural economics to develop a computer application that presents information from conventional decision aids in a way that reduces these errors, subsequently promoting higher quality decisions. Method The Dynamic Computer Interactive Decision Application (DCIDA) was developed to target four common errors that can impede quality decision making with PtDAs: unstable values, order effects, overweighting of rare events, and information overload. Healthy volunteers were recruited to an interview to use three PtDAs converted to the DCIDA on a computer equipped with an eye tracker. Participants were first used a conventional PtDA, and then subsequently used the DCIDA version. User testing was assessed based on whether respondents found the software both usable: evaluated using a) eye-tracking, b) the system usability scale, and c) user verbal responses from a ‘think aloud’ protocol; and useful: evaluated using a) eye-tracking, b) whether preferences for options were changed, and c) and the decisional conflict scale. Results Of the 20 participants recruited to the study, 11 were male (55%), the mean age was 35, 18 had at least a high school education (90%), and 8 (40%) had a college or university degree. Eye-tracking results, alongside a mean system usability scale score of 73 (range 68–85), indicated a reasonable degree of usability for the DCIDA. The think aloud study suggested areas for further improvement. The DCIDA also appeared to be useful to participants wherein subjects focused more on the features of the decision that were most important to them (21% increase in time spent focusing on the most important feature

  15. Assessing product image quality for online shopping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Anjan; Chung, Sung H.; Chittar, Naren; Islam, Atiq

    2012-01-01

    Assessing product-image quality is important in the context of online shopping. A high quality image that conveys more information about a product can boost the buyer's confidence and can get more attention. However, the notion of image quality for product-images is not the same as that in other domains. The perception of quality of product-images depends not only on various photographic quality features but also on various high level features such as clarity of the foreground or goodness of the background etc. In this paper, we define a notion of product-image quality based on various such features. We conduct a crowd-sourced experiment to collect user judgments on thousands of eBay's images. We formulate a multi-class classification problem for modeling image quality by classifying images into good, fair and poor quality based on the guided perceptual notions from the judges. We also conduct experiments with regression using average crowd-sourced human judgments as target. We compute a pseudo-regression score with expected average of predicted classes and also compute a score from the regression technique. We design many experiments with various sampling and voting schemes with crowd-sourced data and construct various experimental image quality models. Most of our models have reasonable accuracies (greater or equal to 70%) on test data set. We observe that our computed image quality score has a high (0.66) rank correlation with average votes from the crowd sourced human judgments.

  16. Does need matter? Needs assessments and decision-making among major humanitarian health agencies.

    PubMed

    Gerdin, Martin; Chataigner, Patrice; Tax, Leonie; Kubai, Anne; von Schreeb, Johan

    2014-07-01

    Disasters of physical origin, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, tidal waves, tropical storms, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, have affected millions of people globally over the past 100 years. Proportionately, there is far greater likelihood of being affected by such disasters in low-income countries than in high-income countries. Furthermore, low-income countries are in need of international assistance following disasters more often than high-income countries. The funding of international humanitarian assistance has increased from USD 12.9 billion in 2006 to an estimated USD 16.7 billion in 2010. The majority of this funding is channelled through humanitarian agencies and is supposed to be distributed based on the need of those affected, as assessed using needs assessments. Such needs assessments may be used to inform decisions internally, to influence others, to justify response decisions, and to obtain funding. Little is known about the quality of needs assessments in practical applications. Consequently, this paper reports on and analyses the views of operational decision-makers in major health-related humanitarian agencies on needs assessments. PMID:24905705

  17. Phase congruency assesses hyperspectral image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Xiaopeng; Zhong, Cheng

    2012-10-01

    Blind image quality assessment (QA) is a tough task especially for hyperspectral imagery which is degraded by noise, distortion, defocus, and other complex factors. Subjective hyperspectral imagery QA methods are basically measured the degradation of image from human perceptual visual quality. As the most important image quality measurement features, noise and blur, determined the image quality greatly, are employed to predict the objective hyperspectral imagery quality of each band. We demonstrate a novel no-reference hyperspectral imagery QA model based on phase congruency (PC), which is a dimensionless quantity and provides an absolute measure of the significance of feature point. First, Log Gabor wavelet is used to calculate the phase congruency of frequencies of each band image. The relationship between noise and PC can be derived from above transformation under the assumption that noise is additive. Second, PC focus measure evaluation model is proposed to evaluate blur caused by different amounts of defocus. The ratio and mean factors of edge blur level and noise is defined to assess the quality of each band image. This image QA method obtains excellent correlation with subjective image quality score without any reference. Finally, the PC information is utilized to improve the quality of some bands images.

  18. How to assess the quality of your analytical method?

    PubMed

    Topic, Elizabeta; Nikolac, Nora; Panteghini, Mauro; Theodorsson, Elvar; Salvagno, Gian Luca; Miler, Marijana; Simundic, Ana-Maria; Infusino, Ilenia; Nordin, Gunnar; Westgard, Sten

    2015-10-01

    Laboratory medicine is amongst the fastest growing fields in medicine, crucial in diagnosis, support of prevention and in the monitoring of disease for individual patients and for the evaluation of treatment for populations of patients. Therefore, high quality and safety in laboratory testing has a prominent role in high-quality healthcare. Applied knowledge and competencies of professionals in laboratory medicine increases the clinical value of laboratory results by decreasing laboratory errors, increasing appropriate utilization of tests, and increasing cost effectiveness. This collective paper provides insights into how to validate the laboratory assays and assess the quality of methods. It is a synopsis of the lectures at the 15th European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) Continuing Postgraduate Course in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine entitled "How to assess the quality of your method?" (Zagreb, Croatia, 24-25 October 2015). The leading topics to be discussed include who, what and when to do in validation/verification of methods, verification of imprecision and bias, verification of reference intervals, verification of qualitative test procedures, verification of blood collection systems, comparability of results among methods and analytical systems, limit of detection, limit of quantification and limit of decision, how to assess the measurement uncertainty, the optimal use of Internal Quality Control and External Quality Assessment data, Six Sigma metrics, performance specifications, as well as biological variation. This article, which continues the annual tradition of collective papers from the EFLM continuing postgraduate courses in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine, aims to provide further contributions by discussing the quality of laboratory methods and measurements and, at the same time, to offer continuing professional development to the attendees. PMID:26408611

  19. Needs assessment for diagnostic decision support systems (DDSS).

    PubMed Central

    Berner, E. S.; Shugerman, A. A.

    1991-01-01

    Diagnostic decision support systems are often developed without a clear idea of how well the system will meet the needs of its users. The present study was designed to assess the information needs of clinicians. A set of questions submitted to an information service by family physicians was used to determine how much need there was for diagnostic decision support, the types of support needed, and the general content areas of their questions. Results showed that less than half of the questions were related to diagnosis and that most of those were requests for general information about a given condition. In addition, the fewest diagnosis questions were for conditions that were seen frequently in ambulatory care in a survey of family practitioners. PMID:1807674

  20. Automatic quality assessment of planetary images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidiropoulos, P.; Muller, J.-P.

    2015-10-01

    A significant fraction of planetary images are corrupted beyond the point that much scientific meaning can be extracted. For example, transmission errors result in missing data which is unrecoverable. The available planetary image datasets include many such "bad data", which both occupy valuable scientific storage resources and create false impressions about planetary image availability for specific planetary objects or target areas. In this work, we demonstrate a pipeline that we have developed to automatically assess the quality of planetary images. Additionally, this method discriminates between different types of image degradation, such as low-quality originating from camera flaws or low-quality triggered by atmospheric conditions, etc. Examples of quality assessment results for Viking Orbiter imagery will be also presented.

  1. Regulatory review: How do agencies ensure the quality of decision making?

    PubMed

    Liberti, L; McAuslane, N; Patel, P; Breckenridge, A; Eichler, H G; Peterson, R

    2013-09-01

    The Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science (CIRS) Workshop on Regulatory Review brought together international regulators and multinational pharmaceutical company representatives to focus on best practices that underlie regulatory decision making, thereby facilitating the transparent, timely, procedurally predictable, and good-quality evaluation of new medicines. Participants investigated frameworks used by agencies, discussed challenges for regulatory agencies in making quality decisions, investigated the role of other stakeholders, and made recommendations of activities and processes that agencies and companies can consider to enable quality decision making. PMID:23963218

  2. Decision-making in structure solution using Bayesian estimates of map quality: the PHENIX autosol wizard

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C; Adams, Paul D; Read, Randy J; Mccoy, Airlie J

    2008-01-01

    Ten measures of experimental electron-density-map quality are examined and the skewness of electron density is found to be the best indicator of actual map quality. A Bayesian approach to estimating map quality is developed and used in the PHENIX AutoSol wizard to make decisions during automated structure solution.

  3. Decision Maker Perception of Information Quality: A Case Study of Military Command and Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Grayson B.

    2013-01-01

    Decision maker perception of information quality cues from an "information system" (IS) and the process which creates such meta cueing, or data about cues, is a critical yet un-modeled component of "situation awareness" (SA). Examples of common information quality meta cueing for quality criteria include custom ring-tones for…

  4. [Health Impact Assessment: opportunity for participative decision-making or persuasive tool for decisions already taken?].

    PubMed

    Sturloni, Giancarlo

    2016-01-01

    The Health Impact Assessment (HIA) has already been tested in dozens of nations, including Italy, and the reflection is now mature enough to allow a first evaluation of its effective capacity to offer an inclusive tool for prevention. The analysis focuses in particular on the HIA ability to address, through a participatory approach, one of its founding values: the democratic nature of decisions with an impact on public health. In most cases, the experiments carried out so far seem to be disappointing: the participation is often absent or performed in a rhetorical form. Sometimes the HIA has even been used in an instrumental way to justify decisions already taken, with the only result to further erode the credibility of experts and institutions. In this work, however, the author will try to show how, on the contrary, a greater involvement in the evaluation and decision-making processes could improve the effectiveness of HIA in terms of prevention, while at the same time promoting a relationship of trust between experts, institutions, and citizens on which to establish an ecologically and socially sustainable development. PMID:27290891

  5. [Internal Quality Control and External Quality Assessment on POCT].

    PubMed

    Kuwa, Katsuhiko

    2015-02-01

    The quality management (QM) of POCT summarizes its internal quality control (IQC) and external quality assessment (EQA). For QM requirements in POCT, ISO 22870-Point-of-care testing (POCT) -Requirements for quality and competence and ISO 15189-Medical laboratories-Requirements for quality and competence, it is performed under the guidance of the QM committee. The role of the POC coordinator and/or medical technologist of the clinical laboratory is important. On measurement performance of POCT devices, it is necessary to confirm data on measurement performance from the manufacturer other than those in the inserted document. In the IQC program, the checking and control of measurement performance are the targets. On measurements of QC samples by the manufacturer, it is essential to check the function of devices. In addition, regarding the EQA program, in 2 neighboring facilities, there is an effect to confirm the current status of measurement and commutability assessment in these laboratories using whole blood along with residual blood samples from daily examinations in the clinical laboratory. PMID:26529974

  6. End-to-end image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raventos, Joaquin

    2012-05-01

    An innovative computerized benchmarking approach (US Patent pending Sep 2011) based on extensive application of photometry, geometrical optics, and digital media using a randomized target, for a standard observer to assess the image quality of video imaging systems, at different day time, and low-light luminance levels. It takes into account, the target's contrast and color characteristics, as well as the observer's visual acuity and dynamic response. This includes human vision as part of the "extended video imaging system" (EVIS), and allows image quality assessment by several standard observers simultaneously.

  7. SUMAC: Constructing Phylogenetic Supermatrices and Assessing Partially Decisive Taxon Coverage

    PubMed Central

    Freyman, William A.

    2015-01-01

    The amount of phylogenetically informative sequence data in GenBank is growing at an exponential rate, and large phylogenetic trees are increasingly used in research. Tools are needed to construct phylogenetic sequence matrices from GenBank data and evaluate the effect of missing data. Supermatrix Constructor (SUMAC) is a tool to data-mine GenBank, construct phylogenetic supermatrices, and assess the phylogenetic decisiveness of a matrix given the pattern of missing sequence data. SUMAC calculates a novel metric, Missing Sequence Decisiveness Scores (MSDS), which measures how much each individual missing sequence contributes to the decisiveness of the matrix. MSDS can be used to compare supermatrices and prioritize the acquisition of new sequence data. SUMAC constructs supermatrices either through an exploratory clustering of all GenBank sequences within a taxonomic group or by using guide sequences to build homologous clusters in a more targeted manner. SUMAC assembles supermatrices for any taxonomic group recognized in GenBank and is optimized to run on multicore computer systems by parallelizing multiple stages of operation. SUMAC is implemented as a Python package that can run as a stand-alone command-line program, or its modules and objects can be incorporated within other programs. SUMAC is released under the open source GPLv3 license and is available at https://github.com/wf8/sumac. PMID:26648681

  8. SUMAC: Constructing Phylogenetic Supermatrices and Assessing Partially Decisive Taxon Coverage.

    PubMed

    Freyman, William A

    2015-01-01

    The amount of phylogenetically informative sequence data in GenBank is growing at an exponential rate, and large phylogenetic trees are increasingly used in research. Tools are needed to construct phylogenetic sequence matrices from GenBank data and evaluate the effect of missing data. Supermatrix Constructor (SUMAC) is a tool to data-mine GenBank, construct phylogenetic supermatrices, and assess the phylogenetic decisiveness of a matrix given the pattern of missing sequence data. SUMAC calculates a novel metric, Missing Sequence Decisiveness Scores (MSDS), which measures how much each individual missing sequence contributes to the decisiveness of the matrix. MSDS can be used to compare supermatrices and prioritize the acquisition of new sequence data. SUMAC constructs supermatrices either through an exploratory clustering of all GenBank sequences within a taxonomic group or by using guide sequences to build homologous clusters in a more targeted manner. SUMAC assembles supermatrices for any taxonomic group recognized in GenBank and is optimized to run on multicore computer systems by parallelizing multiple stages of operation. SUMAC is implemented as a Python package that can run as a stand-alone command-line program, or its modules and objects can be incorporated within other programs. SUMAC is released under the open source GPLv3 license and is available at https://github.com/wf8/sumac. PMID:26648681

  9. Soft Mathematical Aggregation in Safety Assessment and Decision Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, J. Arlin

    1999-06-10

    This paper improves on some of the limitations of conventional safety assessment and decision analysis methods. It develops a top-down mathematical method for expressing imprecise individual metrics as possibilistic or fuzzy numbers and shows how they may be combined (aggregated) into an overall metric, also portraying the inherent uncertainty. Both positively contributing and negatively contributing factors are included. Metrics are weighted according to significance of the attribute and evaluated as to contribution toward the attribute. Aggregation is performed using exponential combination of the metrics, since the accumulating effect of such factors responds less and less to additional factors. This is termed soft mathematical aggregation. Dependence among the contributing factors is accounted for by incorporating subjective metrics on overlap of the factors and by correspondingly reducing the overall contribution of these combinations to the overall aggregation. Decisions corresponding to the meaningfulness of the results are facilitated in several ways. First, the results are compared to a soft threshold provided by a sigmoid function. Second, information is provided on input ''Importance'' and ''Sensitivity,'' in order to know where to place emphasis on controls that may be necessary. Third, trends in inputs and outputs are tracked in order to add important information to the decision process. The methodology has been implemented in software.

  10. SU-E-J-155: Automatic Quantitative Decision Making Metric for 4DCT Image Quality

    SciTech Connect

    Kiely, J Blanco; Olszanski, A; Both, S; White, B; Low, D

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: To develop a quantitative decision making metric for automatically detecting irregular breathing using a large patient population that received phase-sorted 4DCT. Methods: This study employed two patient cohorts. Cohort#1 contained 256 patients who received a phasesorted 4DCT. Cohort#2 contained 86 patients who received three weekly phase-sorted 4DCT scans. A previously published technique used a single abdominal surrogate to calculate the ratio of extreme inhalation tidal volume to normal inhalation tidal volume, referred to as the κ metric. Since a single surrogate is standard for phase-sorted 4DCT in radiation oncology clinical practice, tidal volume was not quantified. Without tidal volume, the absolute κ metric could not be determined, so a relative κ (κrel) metric was defined based on the measured surrogate amplitude instead of tidal volume. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were used to quantitatively determine the optimal cutoff value (jk) and efficiency cutoff value (τk) of κrel to automatically identify irregular breathing that would reduce the image quality of phase-sorted 4DCT. Discriminatory accuracy (area under the ROC curve) of κrel was calculated by a trapezoidal numeric integration technique. Results: The discriminatory accuracy of ?rel was found to be 0.746. The key values of jk and tk were calculated to be 1.45 and 1.72 respectively. For values of ?rel such that jk≤κrel≤τk, the decision to reacquire the 4DCT would be at the discretion of the physician. This accounted for only 11.9% of the patients in this study. The magnitude of κrel held consistent over 3 weeks for 73% of the patients in cohort#3. Conclusion: The decision making metric, ?rel, was shown to be an accurate classifier of irregular breathing patients in a large patient population. This work provided an automatic quantitative decision making metric to quickly and accurately assess the extent to which irregular breathing is occurring during phase

  11. Assessment of Competence in Clinical Reasoning and Decision-Making under Uncertainty: The Script Concordance Test Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramaekers, Stephan; Kremer, Wim; Pilot, Albert; van Beukelen, Peter; van Keulen, Hanno

    2010-01-01

    Real-life, complex problems often require that decisions are made despite limited information or insufficient time to explore all relevant aspects. Incorporating authentic uncertainties into an assessment, however, poses problems in establishing results and analysing their methodological qualities. This study aims at developing a test on clinical…

  12. Objective assessment of MPEG-2 video quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gastaldo, Paolo; Zunino, Rodolfo; Rovetta, Stefano

    2002-07-01

    The increasing use of video compression standards in broadcasting television systems has required, in recent years, the development of video quality measurements that take into account artifacts specifically caused by digital compression techniques. In this paper we present a methodology for the objective quality assessment of MPEG video streams by using circular back-propagation feedforward neural networks. Mapping neural networks can render nonlinear relationships between objective features and subjective judgments, thus avoiding any simplifying assumption on the complexity of the model. The neural network processes an instantaneous set of input values, and yields an associated estimate of perceived quality. Therefore, the neural-network approach turns objective quality assessment into adaptive modeling of subjective perception. The objective features used for the estimate are chosen according to the assessed relevance to perceived quality and are continuously extracted in real time from compressed video streams. The overall system mimics perception but does not require any analytical model of the underlying physical phenomenon. The capability to process compressed video streams represents an important advantage over existing approaches, like avoiding the stream-decoding process greatly enhances real-time performance. Experimental results confirm that the system provides satisfactory, continuous-time approximations for actual scoring curves concerning real test videos.

  13. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Additional quality assessment activities. 460.140... FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional quality assessment activities. A PACE organization must meet external quality assessment and reporting...

  14. Water quality issues and energy assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, M.J.; Chiu, S.

    1980-11-01

    This report identifies and evaluates the significant water quality issues related to regional and national energy development. In addition, it recommends improvements in the Office assessment capability. Handbook-style formating, which includes a system of cross-references and prioritization, is designed to help the reader use the material.

  15. An assessment model for quality management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Völcker, Chr.; Cass, A.; Dorling, A.; Zilioli, P.; Secchi, P.

    2002-07-01

    SYNSPACE together with InterSPICE and Alenia Spazio is developing an assessment method to determine the capability of an organisation in the area of quality management. The method, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), is called S9kS (SPiCE- 9000 for SPACE). S9kS is based on ISO 9001:2000 with additions from the quality standards issued by the European Committee for Space Standardization (ECSS) and ISO 15504 - Process Assessments. The result is a reference model that supports the expansion of the generic process assessment framework provided by ISO 15504 to nonsoftware areas. In order to be compliant with ISO 15504, requirements from ISO 9001 and ECSS-Q-20 and Q-20-09 have been turned into process definitions in terms of Purpose and Outcomes, supported by a list of detailed indicators such as Practices, Work Products and Work Product Characteristics. In coordination with this project, the capability dimension of ISO 15504 has been revised to be consistent with ISO 9001. As contributions from ISO 9001 and the space quality assurance standards are separable, the stripped down version S9k offers organisations in all industries an assessment model based solely on ISO 9001, and is therefore interesting to all organisations, which intend to improve their quality management system based on ISO 9001.

  16. Recognition and Assessment of Teaching Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fairbrother, Patricia

    1996-01-01

    Identifies models for consideration of teacher quality and competence in nursing education. Presents a range of evaluation criteria in these categories: preparation, delivery, innovation, communication, self-assessment, instructional management, peer recognition, professional memberships and service, publications, and grants and contracts secured.…

  17. Retinal image quality assessment using generic features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fasih, Mahnaz; Langlois, J. M. Pierre; Ben Tahar, Houssem; Cheriet, Farida

    2014-03-01

    Retinal image quality assessment is an important step in automated eye disease diagnosis. Diagnosis accuracy is highly dependent on the quality of retinal images, because poor image quality might prevent the observation of significant eye features and disease manifestations. A robust algorithm is therefore required in order to evaluate the quality of images in a large database. We developed an algorithm for retinal image quality assessment based on generic features that is independent from segmentation methods. It exploits the local sharpness and texture features by applying the cumulative probability of blur detection metric and run-length encoding algorithm, respectively. The quality features are combined to evaluate the image's suitability for diagnosis purposes. Based on the recommendations of medical experts and our experience, we compared a global and a local approach. A support vector machine with radial basis functions was used as a nonlinear classifier in order to classify images to gradable and ungradable groups. We applied our methodology to 65 images of size 2592×1944 pixels that had been graded by a medical expert. The expert evaluated 38 images as gradable and 27 as ungradable. The results indicate very good agreement between the proposed algorithm's predictions and the medical expert's judgment: the sensitivity and specificity for the local approach are respectively 92% and 94%. The algorithm demonstrates sufficient robustness to identify relevant images for automated diagnosis.

  18. [Making best use of external quality assessment].

    PubMed

    Fried, Roman

    2015-02-01

    To receive a maximum benefit from external quality assessment, the laboratory has to fulfill certain requirements. There have to be standard operating procedures and checklists for the correct sample processing and analysis. It is equally important, that the staff has a basic understanding how this quality-tools work and that detected errors are used as a chance to improve the processes within the laboratory. The benefit of surveys for external quality assessment is not only limited to the analytical phase, but also to some aspects of the pre and post-analytical processes. Due to the many participants, the survey providers are able to collect a lot of practical knowledge. All participants can learn from this by reading the survey reports and commentaries. With this, and with special educational surveys, the providers of surveys are able to offer an opportunity of continuous education to the laboratories. PMID:25630289

  19. Quality assessment: A performance-based approach to assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Caplinger, W.H.; Greenlee, W.D.

    1993-08-01

    Revision C to US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5700.6 (6C) ``Quality Assurance`` (QA) brings significant changes to the conduct of QA. The Westinghouse government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) sites have updated their quality assurance programs to the requirements and guidance of 6C, and are currently implementing necessary changes. In late 1992, a Westinghouse GOCO team led by the Waste Isolation Division (WID) conducted what is believed to be the first assessment of implementation of a quality assurance program founded on 6C.

  20. INTEGRATING AIR QUALITY DATA TO INFORM HUMAN HEALTH DECISIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The August 1-2, 2005 EPA-NIEHS workshop is addressing the linkages between air quality and human health. My presentation will discuss the strengths and limitations of various databases for relating air quality to health impacts. Specifically, the need for fusing ground-based, s...

  1. Decision Gate Process for Assessment of a Technology Development Portfolio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohli, Rajiv; Fishman, Julianna; Hyatt, Mark

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Dust Management Project (DMP) was established to provide technologies (to TRL 6 development level) required to address adverse effects of lunar dust to humans and to exploration systems and equipment, which will reduce life cycle cost and risk, and will increase the probability of sustainable and successful lunar missions. The technology portfolio of DMP consisted of different categories of technologies whose final product is either a technology solution in itself, or one that contributes toward a dust mitigation strategy for a particular application. A Decision Gate Process (DGP) was developed to assess and validate the achievement and priority of the dust mitigation technologies as the technologies progress through the development cycle. The DGP was part of continuous technology assessment and was a critical element of DMP risk management. At the core of the process were technology-specific criteria developed to measure the success of each DMP technology in attaining the technology readiness levels assigned to each decision gate. The DGP accounts for both categories of technologies and qualifies the technology progression from technology development tasks to application areas. The process provided opportunities to validate performance, as well as to identify non-performance in time to adjust resources and direction. This paper describes the overall philosophy of the DGP and the methodology for implementation for DMP, and describes the method for defining the technology evaluation criteria. The process is illustrated by example of an application to a specific DMP technology.

  2. Informed Decisions: Bringing Assessments into the Policy Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannegan, B.

    2008-12-01

    Human activities are causing rapid and widespread changes in the biogeochemical cycles that support and sustain human societies. In the U.S., policy makers in both the Legislative and Executive Branches are faced with the challenge of using the results from assessment models to develop policy instruments to mitigate the problems that can result. Drawing on the author's experience with both the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, as well as his present work with energy systems at EPRI, the talk will explore the challenges and opportunities for effectively bringing these assessments into the policy process.

  3. Water Quality Assessment using Satellite Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haque, Saad Ul

    2016-07-01

    The two main global issues related to water are its declining quality and quantity. Population growth, industrialization, increase in agriculture land and urbanization are the main causes upon which the inland water bodies are confronted with the increasing water demand. The quality of surface water has also been degraded in many countries over the past few decades due to the inputs of nutrients and sediments especially in the lakes and reservoirs. Since water is essential for not only meeting the human needs but also to maintain natural ecosystem health and integrity, there are efforts worldwide to assess and restore quality of surface waters. Remote sensing techniques provide a tool for continuous water quality information in order to identify and minimize sources of pollutants that are harmful for human and aquatic life. The proposed methodology is focused on assessing quality of water at selected lakes in Pakistan (Sindh); namely, HUBDAM, KEENJHAR LAKE, HALEEJI and HADEERO. These lakes are drinking water sources for several major cities of Pakistan including Karachi. Satellite imagery of Landsat 7 (ETM+) is used to identify the variation in water quality of these lakes in terms of their optical properties. All bands of Landsat 7 (ETM+) image are analyzed to select only those that may be correlated with some water quality parameters (e.g. suspended solids, chlorophyll a). The Optimum Index Factor (OIF) developed by Chavez et al. (1982) is used for selection of the optimum combination of bands. The OIF is calculated by dividing the sum of standard deviations of any three bands with the sum of their respective correlation coefficients (absolute values). It is assumed that the band with the higher standard deviation contains the higher amount of 'information' than other bands. Therefore, OIF values are ranked and three bands with the highest OIF are selected for the visual interpretation. A color composite image is created using these three bands. The water quality

  4. Exploring multicriteria decision strategies in GIS with linguistic quantifiers: A case study of residential quality evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malczewski, Jacek; Rinner, Claus

    2005-06-01

    Commonly used GIS combination operators such as Boolean conjunction/disjunction and weighted linear combination can be generalized to the ordered weighted averaging (OWA) family of operators. This multicriteria evaluation method allows decision-makers to define a decision strategy on a continuum between pessimistic and optimistic strategies. Recently, OWA has been introduced to GIS-based decision support systems. We propose to extend a previous implementation of OWA with linguistic quantifiers to simplify the definition of decision strategies and to facilitate an exploratory analysis of multiple criteria. The linguistic quantifier-guided OWA procedure is illustrated using a dataset for evaluating residential quality of neighborhoods in London, Ontario.

  5. A cloud model-based approach for water quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Liu, Dengfeng; Ding, Hao; Singh, Vijay P; Wang, Yuankun; Zeng, Xiankui; Wu, Jichun; Wang, Lachun

    2016-07-01

    Water quality assessment entails essentially a multi-criteria decision-making process accounting for qualitative and quantitative uncertainties and their transformation. Considering uncertainties of randomness and fuzziness in water quality evaluation, a cloud model-based assessment approach is proposed. The cognitive cloud model, derived from information science, can realize the transformation between qualitative concept and quantitative data, based on probability and statistics and fuzzy set theory. When applying the cloud model to practical assessment, three technical issues are considered before the development of a complete cloud model-based approach: (1) bilateral boundary formula with nonlinear boundary regression for parameter estimation, (2) hybrid entropy-analytic hierarchy process technique for calculation of weights, and (3) mean of repeated simulations for determining the degree of final certainty. The cloud model-based approach is tested by evaluating the eutrophication status of 12 typical lakes and reservoirs in China and comparing with other four methods, which are Scoring Index method, Variable Fuzzy Sets method, Hybrid Fuzzy and Optimal model, and Neural Networks method. The proposed approach yields information concerning membership for each water quality status which leads to the final status. The approach is found to be representative of other alternative methods and accurate. PMID:26995351

  6. Use of risk assessment and life cycle assessment in decision making: a common policy research agenda.

    PubMed

    Cowell, Sarah J; Fairman, Robyn; Lofstedt, Ragnar E

    2002-10-01

    Quantitative risk assessment (RA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) are both analytical tools used to support decision making in environmental management. They have been developed and used by largely separate groups of specialists, and it is worth considering whether there is a common research agenda that may increase the relevance of these tools in decision-making processes. The validity of drawing comparisons between use of the tools is established through examining key aspects of the two approaches for their similarities and differences, including the nature of each approach and contextual and methodological aspects. Six case studies involving use of each approach in public decision making are described and used to draw out concerns about using RA and LCA in this context. The following categories of concern can be distinguished: philosophical approach of the tools; quantitative versus qualitative assessment; stakeholder participation; the nature of the results; and the usefulness of the results in relation to time and financial resource requirements. These can be distilled into a common policy research agenda focusing on: the legitimacy of using tools built on a particular perspective in decision making; recognition and role of value judgments in RA and LCA; treatment of uncertainty and variability; the influence of analytical tools in focusing attention on particular aspects of a decision-making situation; and understandability of the results for nonspecialists. It is concluded that it is time to bring together the experiences of RA and LCA specialists and benefit from cross-fertilization of ideas. PMID:12442986

  7. Salient motion features for video quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Ćulibrk, Dubravko; Mirković, Milan; Zlokolica, Vladimir; Pokrić, Maja; Crnojević, Vladimir; Kukolj, Dragan

    2011-04-01

    Design of algorithms that are able to estimate video quality as perceived by human observers is of interest for a number of applications. Depending on the video content, the artifacts introduced by the coding process can be more or less pronounced and diversely affect the quality of videos, as estimated by humans. While it is well understood that motion affects both human attention and coding quality, this relationship has only recently started gaining attention among the research community, when video quality assessment (VQA) is concerned. In this paper, the effect of calculating several objective measure features, related to video coding artifacts, separately for salient motion and other regions of the frames of the sequence is examined. In addition, we propose a new scheme for quality assessment of coded video streams, which takes into account salient motion. Standardized procedure has been used to calculate the Mean Opinion Score (MOS), based on experiments conducted with a group of non-expert observers viewing standard definition (SD) sequences. MOS measurements were taken for nine different SD sequences, coded using MPEG-2 at five different bit-rates. Eighteen different published approaches related to measuring the amount of coding artifacts objectively on a single-frame basis were implemented. Additional features describing the intensity of salient motion in the frames, as well as the intensity of coding artifacts in the salient motion regions were proposed. Automatic feature selection was performed to determine the subset of features most correlated to video quality. The results show that salient-motion-related features enhance prediction and indicate that the presence of blocking effect artifacts and blurring in the salient regions and variance and intensity of temporal changes in non-salient regions influence the perceived video quality. PMID:20876020

  8. Assessment of water quality along a recreational section of the Damour River in Lebanon using the water quality index.

    PubMed

    Massoud, May Afif

    2012-07-01

    Considering that water is becoming progressively scarce, monitoring water quality of rivers is a subject of ongoing concern and research. It is very intricate to accurately express water quality as water quantity due to the various variables influencing it. A water quality index which integrates several variables in a specific value may be used as a management tool in water quality assessment. Moreover, this index may facilitate communication with the public and decision makers. The main objectives of this research project are to evaluate the water quality index along a recreational section of a relatively small Mediterranean river in Southern Lebanon and to characterize the spatial and temporal variability. Accordingly, an assessment was conducted at the end of the dry season for a period of 5 years from 2005 to 2009. The estimated water quality index classified the average water quality over a 5-year period at the various sites as good. Results revealed that water quality of the Damour River is generally affected by the anthropogenic activities taking place along its watershed. The best quality was found in the upper sites and the worst at the estuary. The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in very high levels may indicate potential health risks to swimmers. This study can be used to support the evaluation of management, regulatory, and monitoring decisions. PMID:21853414

  9. Noncancer MOA Decision Points: Examples from the Draft Formaldehyde Inhalation Assessment of Respiratory Tract Effect

    EPA Science Inventory

    This is a presentation on some of the possible subjective decision points in a mode-of-action (MOA) analysis that incorporates some systematic review principles, using examples from the draft formaldehyde assessment to illustrate possible decisions and documentation.

  10. Agricultural climate impacts assessment for economic modeling and decision support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, A. M.; Izaurralde, R. C.; Beach, R.; Zhang, X.; Zhao, K.; Monier, E.

    2013-12-01

    A range of approaches can be used in the application of climate change projections to agricultural impacts assessment. Climate projections can be used directly to drive crop models, which in turn can be used to provide inputs for agricultural economic or integrated assessment models. These model applications, and the transfer of information between models, must be guided by the state of the science. But the methodology must also account for the specific needs of stakeholders and the intended use of model results beyond pure scientific inquiry, including meeting the requirements of agencies responsible for designing and assessing policies, programs, and regulations. Here we present methodology and results of two climate impacts studies that applied climate model projections from CMIP3 and from the EPA Climate Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) project in a crop model (EPIC - Environmental Policy Indicator Climate) in order to generate estimates of changes in crop productivity for use in an agricultural economic model for the United States (FASOM - Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model). The FASOM model is a forward-looking dynamic model of the US forest and agricultural sector used to assess market responses to changing productivity of alternative land uses. The first study, focused on climate change impacts on the UDSA crop insurance program, was designed to use available daily climate projections from the CMIP3 archive. The decision to focus on daily data for this application limited the climate model and time period selection significantly; however for the intended purpose of assessing impacts on crop insurance payments, consideration of extreme event frequency was critical for assessing periodic crop failures. In a second, coordinated impacts study designed to assess the relative difference in climate impacts under a no-mitigation policy and different future climate mitigation scenarios, the stakeholder specifically requested an assessment of a

  11. Teachers' Opinions on Quality Criteria for Competency Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth K. J.; Bastiaens, Theo J.; Kirschner, Paul A.; Van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.

    2007-01-01

    Quality control policies towards Dutch vocational schools have changed dramatically because the government questioned examination quality. Schools must now demonstrate assessment quality to a new Examination Quality Center. Since teachers often design assessments, they must be involved in quality issues. This study therefore explores teachers'…

  12. Does empowering resident families or nursing home employees in decision making improve service quality?

    PubMed

    Hamann, Darla J

    2014-08-01

    This research examines how the empowerment of residents' family members and nursing home employees in managerial decision making is related to service quality. The study was conducted using data from 33 nursing homes in the United States. Surveys were administered to more than 1,000 employees on-site and mailed to the primary-contact family member of each resident. The resulting multilevel data were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. The empowerment of families in decision making was positively associated with their perceptions of service quality. The empowerment of nursing staff in decision making was more strongly related to service quality than the empowerment of nonnursing staff. Among nursing staff, the empowerment of nursing assistants improved service quality more than the empowerment of nurses. PMID:24652909

  13. Socioeconomic assessment guidance report: Determining the effects of amenity characteristics on business location decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Allison, T.

    1993-02-01

    Evaluating perception-based impacts of hazardous waste facilities has become an increasingly important part of socioeconomic impact assessments in recent years. One area of discussion has been the potential effect of risk perceptions on business location decision making. This report evaluates the importance of environmental amenities (broadly defined to include natural, cultural, and recreational features; environmental quality; and other indexes of quality of life) with respect to decisions on locating both manufacturing and business service activities. It discusses the major theoretical and empirical issues that arise in attempting to determine the effects of environmental amenities on the location choices for businesses and business activities. This discussion is followed by a survey of major findings from the academic literature and a review of research by the state of Nevada. A number of recommendations for further research are also provided to help the US Department of Energy`s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management better understand the importance of perception-based impacts in business location decision making and estimate the scale of socioeconomic impacts that would result from siting a high-level waste repository in Nevada.

  14. A decision support system for emission reduction assessment: the OPERA LIFE+ project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carnevale, Claudio; Bianchessi, Nicola; Finzi, Giovanna; Pederzoli, Anna; Pisoni, Enrico; Volta, Marialuisa; Deserti, Marco; De Munari, Eriberto; Stortini, Michele; Veronesi, Paolo; Gianfreda, Roberta; Maffeis, Giuseppe; Blond, Nadege; Mark-Hummel, Lioba; Clappier, Alain; Perron, Gilles

    2013-04-01

    In last decades, air pollution modelling assumed a key role for the definition and evaluation of suitable emission control strategies, supporting Regional Decision Makers in the design of long-term plans for air quality improvement. This is a complex task, due to the non-linear chemical reactions and physical processes that bring to secondary pollution formation and accumulation, involving precursor emissions, namely VOC, NOx, NH3, primary PM and SO2. The problem is even more complex when constraining policy to a fixed budget. This paper presents the first results of the OPERA (Operational Procedure for Emission Reduction Assessment) LIFE+ project (2010-2013, www.operatool.eu) aiming to design and to implement an enhanced approach to identify efficient regional policies (1) complying with National and EU air quality standards, (2) with local emission and meteorological features, financial, technological and social constraints and (3) considering potential synergies with actions to reduce GHG emissions. The proposed methodology is based on a multi-objective (air quality, internal and external costs) optimization problem. The decision variables are the technical and non-technical emission abatement measures. Artificial neural networks, identified processing long-term 3D deterministic multi-phase modelling system simulation outputs, describe the nonlinear relations between the control variables (precursor emissions reduction) and the air quality indexes (AQIs), defining the air quality objective. The internal costs are due to emission reduction measures implementation, while the external costs assess the damage due to population pollution exposure. The methodology has been implemented in a software tool (RIAT+) and tested on two regional applications, Emilia Romagna (IT) and Alsace (FR).

  15. Assessing the quality of cost management

    SciTech Connect

    Fayne, V.; McAllister, A.; Weiner, S.B.

    1995-12-31

    Managing environmental programs can be effective only when good cost and cost-related management practices are developed and implemented. The Department of Energy`s Office of Environmental Management (EM), recognizing this key role of cost management, initiated several cost and cost-related management activities including the Cost Quality Management (CQM) Program. The CQM Program includes an assessment activity, Cost Quality Management Assessments (CQMAs), and a technical assistance effort to improve program/project cost effectiveness. CQMAs provide a tool for establishing a baseline of cost-management practices and for measuring improvement in those practices. The result of the CQMA program is an organization that has an increasing cost-consciousness, improved cost-management skills and abilities, and a commitment to respond to the public`s concerns for both a safe environment and prudent budget outlays. The CQMA program is part of the foundation of quality management practices in DOE. The CQMA process has contributed to better cost and cost-related management practices by providing measurements and feedback; defining the components of a quality cost-management system; and helping sites develop/improve specific cost-management techniques and methods.

  16. The reliability of the pass/fail decision for assessments comprised of multiple components

    PubMed Central

    Möltner, Andreas; Tımbıl, Sevgi; Jünger, Jana

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The decision having the most serious consequences for a student taking an assessment is the one to pass or fail that student. For this reason, the reliability of the pass/fail decision must be determined for high quality assessments, just as the measurement reliability of the point values. Assessments in a particular subject (graded course credit) are often composed of multiple components that must be passed independently of each other. When “conjunctively” combining separate pass/fail decisions, as with other complex decision rules for passing, adequate methods of analysis are necessary for estimating the accuracy and consistency of these classifications. To date, very few papers have addressed this issue; a generally applicable procedure was published by Douglas and Mislevy in 2010. Using the example of an assessment comprised of several parts that must be passed separately, this study analyzes the reliability underlying the decision to pass or fail students and discusses the impact of an improved method for identifying those who do not fulfill the minimum requirements. Method: The accuracy and consistency of the decision to pass or fail an examinee in the subject cluster Internal Medicine/General Medicine/Clinical Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg’s Faculty of Medicine was investigated. This cluster requires students to separately pass three components (two written exams and an OSCE), whereby students may reattempt to pass each component twice. Our analysis was carried out using the method described by Douglas and Mislevy. Results: Frequently, when complex logical connections exist between the individual pass/fail decisions in the case of low failure rates, only a very low reliability for the overall decision to grant graded course credit can be achieved, even if high reliabilities exist for the various components. For the example analyzed here, the classification accuracy and consistency when conjunctively combining the three individual

  17. Assessing environmental conditions of Antarctic footpaths to support management decisions.

    PubMed

    Tejedo, Pablo; Benayas, Javier; Cajiao, Daniela; Albertos, Belén; Lara, Francisco; Pertierra, Luis R; Andrés-Abellán, Manuela; Wic, Consuelo; Luciáñez, Maria José; Enríquez, Natalia; Justel, Ana; Reck, Günther K

    2016-07-15

    Thousands of tourists visit certain Antarctic sites each year, generating a wide variety of environmental impacts. Scientific knowledge of human activities and their impacts can help in the effective design of management measures and impact mitigation. We present a case study from Barrientos Island in which a management measure was originally put in place with the goal of minimizing environmental impacts but resulted in new undesired impacts. Two alternative footpaths used by tourist groups were compared. Both affected extensive moss carpets that cover the middle part of the island and that are very vulnerable to trampling. The first path has been used by tourists and scientists since over a decade and is a marked route that is clearly visible. The second one was created more recently. Several physical and biological indicators were measured in order to assess the environmental conditions for both paths. Some physical variables related to human impact were lower for the first path (e.g. soil penetration resistance and secondary treads), while other biochemical and microbiological variables were higher for the second path (e.g. β-glucosidase and phosphatase activities, soil respiration). Moss communities located along the new path were also more diverse and sensitive to trampling. Soil biota (Collembola) was also more abundant and richer. These data indicate that the decision to adopt the second path did not lead to the reduction of environmental impacts as this path runs over a more vulnerable area with more outstanding biological features (e.g. microbiota activity, flora and soil fauna diversity). In addition, the adoption of a new route effectively doubles the human footprint on the island. We propose using only the original path that is less vulnerable to the impacts of trampling. Finally from this process, we identify several key issues that may be taken into account when carrying out impact assessment and environmental management decision-making in the

  18. Scene reduction for subjective image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewandowska (Tomaszewska), Anna

    2016-01-01

    Evaluation of image quality is important for many image processing systems, such as those used for acquisition, compression, restoration, enhancement, or reproduction. Its measurement is often accompanied by user studies, in which a group of observers rank or rate results of several algorithms. Such user studies, known as subjective image quality assessment experiments, can be very time consuming and do not guarantee conclusive results. This paper is intended to help design an efficient and rigorous quality assessment experiment. We propose a method of limiting the number of scenes that need to be tested, which can significantly reduce the experimental effort and still capture relevant scene-dependent effects. To achieve it, we employ a clustering technique and evaluate it on the basis of compactness and separation criteria. The correlation between the results obtained from a set of images in an initial database and the results received from reduced experiment are analyzed. Finally, we propose a procedure for reducing the initial scenes number. Four different assessment techniques were tested: single stimulus, double stimulus, forced choice, and similarity judgments. We conclude that in most cases, 9 to 12 judgments per evaluated algorithm for a large scene collection is sufficient to reduce the initial set of images.

  19. Staff Involvement in Leadership Decision Making in the UK Further Education Sector: Perceptions of Quality and Social Justice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maringe, Felix

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to explore the quality of leadership decision making at various leadership levels in the further education (FE) sector. Using Hoffberg and Korver's model for integrated decision making, the paper aims to examine how staff in five UK FE colleges perceive the quality of their involvement in decision-making teams…

  20. Quality Assessment of Domesticated Animal Genome Assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Seemann, Stefan E.; Anthon, Christian; Palasca, Oana; Gorodkin, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The era of high-throughput sequencing has made it relatively simple to sequence genomes and transcriptomes of individuals from many species. In order to analyze the resulting sequencing data, high-quality reference genome assemblies are required. However, this is still a major challenge, and many domesticated animal genomes still need to be sequenced deeper in order to produce high-quality assemblies. In the meanwhile, ironically, the extent to which RNAseq and other next-generation data is produced frequently far exceeds that of the genomic sequence. Furthermore, basic comparative analysis is often affected by the lack of genomic sequence. Herein, we quantify the quality of the genome assemblies of 20 domesticated animals and related species by assessing a range of measurable parameters, and we show that there is a positive correlation between the fraction of mappable reads from RNAseq data and genome assembly quality. We rank the genomes by their assembly quality and discuss the implications for genotype analyses. PMID:27279738

  1. A decision support system for water quality issues in the Manzanares River (Madrid, Spain).

    PubMed

    Paredes, Javier; Andreu, Joaquín; Solera, Abel

    2010-05-15

    The Manzanares River, located in Madrid (Spain), is the main water supplier of a highly populated region, and it also receives wastewater from the same area. The effluents of eight Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs) downstream of the river, which represent 90% of the flow in the middle and lower parts of the river, are the primary sources of water pollution. Although the situation has improved slightly in the last two years, the water in the river is highly polluted, making it uninhabitable for aquatic life. Water quality modelling is typically used to assess the effect of treatment improvements in water bodies. In this work, the GESCAL module of the Aquatool Decision Support System Shell was used to simulate water quality in the Manzanares River. GESCAL is appropriate for modelling in an integrated way water quality for whole water resources systems, including reservoirs and rivers. A model was built that simulates conductivity, phosphorous, carbonaceous organic matter, dissolved oxygen, organic nitrogen, ammonia, and nitrates. The period from October 2006 to September 2008 was selected for calibration due to the many treatment modifications that occurred during this time. An earlier and longer period, from October 2000 to September 2006, was used for validation. In addition, a daily model was used to analyse the robustness of the GESCAL model. Once the GESCAL model was validated, different scenarios were considered and simulated. First, different combinations of nutrient elimination among the different WWTPs were simulated, leading to the conclusion that investments have to focus on three of the proposed WWTPs. Moreover, these treatments will not be sufficient to maintain fish habitat conditions at all times. Additional measures, such as the increment of the flow in the river or oxygen injection, were simulated. Incrementing the flow of the Manzanares River has been shown to be an efficient means of increasing water quality, but this implies an increment in the

  2. A decision support system for quality of life in head and neck oncology patients

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The assessment of Quality of Life (QoL) is a Medical goal; it is used in clinical research, medical practice, health-related economic studies and in planning health management measures and strategies. The objective of this project is to develop an informational platform to achieve a patient self-assessment with standardized QoL measuring instruments, through friendly software, easy for the user to adapt, which should aid the study of QoL, by promoting the creation of databases and accelerating its statistical treatment and yet generating subsequent useful results in graphical format for the physician analyzes in an appointment immediately after the answers collection. Methods First, a software platform was designed and developed in an action-research process with patients, physicians and nurses. The computerized patient self-assessment with standardized QoL measuring instruments was compared with traditional one, to verify if its use did not influence the patient's answers. For that, the Wilcoxon and t-Student tests were applied. After, we adopted and adapted the mathematic Rash model to make possible the use of QoL measure in the routine appointments. Results The results show that the computerized patient self-assessment does not influence the patient's answers and can be used as a suitable tool in the routine appointment, because indicates problems which are more difficult to identify in a traditional appointment, improving thus the physician's decisions. Conclusions The possibility of representing graphically useful results that physician needs to analyze in the appointment, immediately after the answer collection, in an useful time, makes this QoL assessment platform a diagnosis instrument ready to be used routinely in clinical practice. PMID:22340746

  3. Novel flood risk assessment framework for rapid decision making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valyrakis, Manousos; Koursari, Eftychia; Solley, Mark

    2016-04-01

    The impacts of catastrophic flooding, have significantly increased over the last few decades. This is due to primarily the increased urbanisation in ever-expanding mega-cities as well as due to the intensification both in magnitude and frequency of extreme hydrologic events. Herein a novel conceptual framework is presented that incorporates the use of real-time information to inform and update low dimensionality hydraulic models, to allow for rapid decision making towards preventing loss of life and safeguarding critical infrastructure. In particular, a case study from the recent UK floods in the area of Whitesands (Dumfries), is presented to demonstrate the utility of this approach. It is demonstrated that effectively combining a wealth of readily available qualitative information (such as crowdsourced visual documentation or using live data from sensing techniques), with existing quantitative data, can help appropriately update hydraulic models and reduce modelling uncertainties in future flood risk assessments. This approach is even more useful in cases where hydraulic models are limited, do not exist or were not needed before unpredicted dynamic modifications to the river system took place (for example in the case of reduced or eliminated hydraulic capacity due to blockages). The low computational cost and rapid assessment this framework offers, render it promising for innovating in flood management.

  4. Geospatial decision support framework for critical infrastructure interdependency assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Chung Yan

    Critical infrastructures, such as telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation, water systems and emergency services are the foundations of modern society. There is a heavy dependence on critical infrastructures at multiple levels within the supply chain of any good or service. Any disruptions in the supply chain may cause profound cascading effect to other critical infrastructures. A 1997 report by the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection states that a serious interruption in freight rail service would bring the coal mining industry to a halt within approximately two weeks and the availability of electric power could be reduced in a matter of one to two months. Therefore, this research aimed at representing and assessing the interdependencies between coal supply, transportation and energy production. A proposed geospatial decision support framework was established and applied to analyze interdependency related disruption impact. By utilizing the data warehousing approach, geospatial and non-geospatial data were retrieved, integrated and analyzed based on the transportation model and geospatial disruption analysis developed in the research. The results showed that by utilizing this framework, disruption impacts can be estimated at various levels (e.g., power plant, county, state, etc.) for preventative or emergency response efforts. The information derived from the framework can be used for data mining analysis (e.g., assessing transportation mode usages; finding alternative coal suppliers, etc.).

  5. 76 FR 4345 - A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-25

    ... AGENCY A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay AGENCY... review draft document titled, ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the.../conferences/peerreview/register-chesapeake.htm . The draft ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant...

  6. Assessing the Quality of Bioforensic Signatures

    SciTech Connect

    Sego, Landon H.; Holmes, Aimee E.; Gosink, Luke J.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Anderson, Richard M.; Brothers, Alan J.; Corley, Courtney D.; Tardiff, Mark F.

    2013-06-04

    We present a mathematical framework for assessing the quality of signature systems in terms of fidelity, cost, risk, and utility—a method we refer to as Signature Quality Metrics (SQM). We demonstrate the SQM approach by assessing the quality of a signature system designed to predict the culture medium used to grow a microorganism. The system consists of four chemical assays designed to identify various ingredients that could be used to produce the culture medium. The analytical measurements resulting from any combination of these four assays can be used in a Bayesian network to predict the probabilities that the microorganism was grown using one of eleven culture media. We evaluated fifteen combinations of the signature system by removing one or more of the assays from the Bayes network. We demonstrated that SQM can be used to distinguish between the various combinations in terms of attributes of interest. The approach assisted in clearly identifying assays that were least informative, largely in part because they only could discriminate between very few culture media, and in particular, culture media that are rarely used. There are limitations associated with the data that were used to train and test the signature system. Consequently, our intent is not to draw formal conclusions regarding this particular bioforensic system, but rather to illustrate an analytical approach that could be useful in comparing one signature system to another.

  7. Supporting consumer involvement in decision making: what constitutes quality in consumer health information?

    PubMed

    Entwistle, V A; Sheldon, T A; Sowden, A J; Watt, I S

    1996-10-01

    The promotion of consumer involvement in decisions about individual health care is now high on many health policy agendas, but the structures to support it are not all in place. While it is generally accepted that information to support consumer involvement should be of good quality, the question of what constitutes quality in such information packages is far from settled. Debate around this issue should consider the various theoretical perspectives which relate to the nature and purpose of consumer involvement in health care decision making, and the contexts in which information is used. If we are to judge the quality of information within a consequentialist framework, we need empirical research evidence about the effects of information provision. Until such evidence becomes available, we can only hypothesize about what makes for quality. In this paper we discuss some dimensions of quality which are suggested by a consequentialist perspective. PMID:9117196

  8. An Integrated Decision Support System for Water Quality Management of Songhua River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Haiping; Yin, Qiuxiao; Chen, Ling

    2010-11-01

    In the Songhua River Basin of China, many water resource and water environment conflicts interact. A Decision Support System (DSS) for the water quality management has been established for the Basin. The System is featured by the incorporation of a numerical water quality model system into a conventional water quality management system which usually consists of geographic information system (GIS), WebGIS technology, database system and network technology. The model system is built based on DHI MIKE software comprising of a basin rainfall-runoff module, a basin pollution load evaluation module, a river hydrodynamic module and a river water quality module. The DSS provides a friendly graphical user interface that enables the rapid and transparent calculation of various water quality management scenarios, and also enables the convenient access and interpretation of the modeling results to assist the decision-making.

  9. No-reference stereoscopic image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhter, Roushain; Parvez Sazzad, Z. M.; Horita, Y.; Baltes, J.

    2010-02-01

    Display of stereo images is widely used to enhance the viewing experience of three-dimensional imaging and communication systems. In this paper, we propose a method for estimating the quality of stereoscopic images using segmented image features and disparity. This method is inspired by the human visual system. We believe the perceived distortion and disparity of any stereoscopic display is strongly dependent on local features, such as edge (non-plane) and non-edge (plane) areas. Therefore, a no-reference perceptual quality assessment is developed for JPEG coded stereoscopic images based on segmented local features of artifacts and disparity. Local feature information such as edge and non-edge area based relative disparity estimation, as well as the blockiness and the blur within the block of images are evaluated in this method. Two subjective stereo image databases are used to evaluate the performance of our method. The subjective experiments results indicate our model has sufficient prediction performance.

  10. Bacteriological Assessment of Spoon River Water Quality

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shundar; Evans, Ralph L.; Beuscher, Davis B.

    1974-01-01

    Data from a study of five stations on the Spoon River, Ill., during June 1971 through May 1973 were analyzed for compliance with Illinois Pollution Control Board's water quality standards of a geometric mean limitation of 200 fecal coliforms per 100 ml. This bacterial limit was achieved about 20% of the time during June 1971 through May 1972, and was never achieved during June 1972 through May 1973. Ratios of fecal coliform to total coliform are presented. By using fecal coliform-to-fecal streptococcus ratios to sort out fecal pollution origins, it was evident that a concern must be expressed not only for municipal wastewater effluents to the receiving stream, but also for nonpoint sources of pollution in assessing the bacterial quality of a stream. PMID:4604145

  11. Image quality assessment and human visual system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xinbo; Lu, Wen; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2010-07-01

    This paper summaries the state-of-the-art of image quality assessment (IQA) and human visual system (HVS). IQA provides an objective index or real value to measure the quality of the specified image. Since human beings are the ultimate receivers of visual information in practical applications, the most reliable IQA is to build a computational model to mimic the HVS. According to the properties and cognitive mechanism of the HVS, the available HVS-based IQA methods can be divided into two categories, i.e., bionics methods and engineering methods. This paper briefly introduces the basic theories and development histories of the above two kinds of HVS-based IQA methods. Finally, some promising research issues are pointed out in the end of the paper.

  12. Quality assessment of strawberries (Fragaria species).

    PubMed

    Azodanlou, Ramin; Darbellay, Charly; Luisier, Jean-Luc; Villettaz, Jean-Claude; Amadò, Renato

    2003-01-29

    Several cultivars of strawberries (Fragaria sp.), grown under different conditions, were analyzed by both sensory and instrumental methods. The overall appreciation, as expressed by consumers, was mainly reflected by attributes such as sweetness and aroma. No strong correlation was obtained with odor, acidity, juiciness, or firmness. The sensory quality of strawberries can be assessed with a good level of confidence by measuring the total sugar level ( degrees Brix) and the total amount of volatile compounds. Sorting out samples using the score obtained with a hedonic test (called the "hedonic classification method") allowed the correlation between consumers' appreciation and instrumental data to be considerably strengthened. On the basis of the results obtained, a quality model was proposed. Quantitative GC-FID analyses were performed to determine the major aroma components of strawberries. Methyl butanoate, ethyl butanoate, methyl hexanoate, cis-3-hexenyl acetate, and linalool were identified as the most important compounds for the taste and aroma of strawberries. PMID:12537447

  13. Assessing Assessment Quality: Criteria for Quality Assurance in Design of (Peer) Assessment for Learning--A Review of Research Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillema, Harm; Leenknecht, Martijn; Segers, Mien

    2011-01-01

    The interest in "assessment for learning" (AfL) has resulted in a search for new modes of assessment that are better aligned to students' learning how to learn. However, with the introduction of new assessment tools, also questions arose with respect to the quality of its measurement. On the one hand, the appropriateness of traditional,…

  14. NATIONAL CROP LOSS ASSESSMENT NETWORK: QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM (JOURNAL VERSION)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A quality assurance program was incorporated into the National Crop Loss Assessment Network (NCLAN) program, designed to assess the economic impacts of gaseous air pollutants on major agricultural crops in the United States. The quality assurance program developed standardized re...

  15. Peer Review and Quality Assessment in Complete Denture Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Novetsky, Marvin; Razzoog, Michael E.

    1981-01-01

    A program in peer review and quality assessment at the University of Michigan denture department is described. The program exposes students to peer review in order to assess the quality of their treatment. (Author/MLW)

  16. Application of water quality guidelines and water quantity calculations to decisions for beneficial use of treated water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Minh Phung T.; Castle, James W.; Rodgers, John H.

    2011-12-01

    Water reuse guidelines were compiled as a decision-analysis screening tool for application to potential water reuse for irrigation, livestock watering, aquaculture, and drinking. Data compiled from the literature for water reuses yielded guideline values for over 50 water quality parameters, including concentrations of inorganic and organic constituents as well as general water chemistry parameters. These water quality guidelines can be used to identify constituents of concern in water, to determine the levels to which the constituents must be treated for water reuse applications, and assess the suitability of treated water for reuse. An example is provided to illustrate the application of water quality guidelines for decision analysis. Water quantity analysis was also investigated, and water volumes required for producing 16 different crops in 15 countries were estimated as an example of applying water quantity in the decision-making process regarding the potential of water reuse. For each of the countries investigated, the crop that produces the greatest yield in terms of weight per water volume is tomatoes in Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, USA; sugarcane in Chad, India, Indonesia, Sudan; watermelons in China; lettuce in Egypt, Mexico; and onions (dry) in Russia.

  17. Blind image quality assessment through anisotropy.

    PubMed

    Gabarda, Salvador; Cristóbal, Gabriel

    2007-12-01

    We describe an innovative methodology for determining the quality of digital images. The method is based on measuring the variance of the expected entropy of a given image upon a set of predefined directions. Entropy can be calculated on a local basis by using a spatial/spatial-frequency distribution as an approximation for a probability density function. The generalized Rényi entropy and the normalized pseudo-Wigner distribution (PWD) have been selected for this purpose. As a consequence, a pixel-by-pixel entropy value can be calculated, and therefore entropy histograms can be generated as well. The variance of the expected entropy is measured as a function of the directionality, and it has been taken as an anisotropy indicator. For this purpose, directional selectivity can be attained by using an oriented 1-D PWD implementation. Our main purpose is to show how such an anisotropy measure can be used as a metric to assess both the fidelity and quality of images. Experimental results show that an index such as this presents some desirable features that resemble those from an ideal image quality function, constituting a suitable quality index for natural images. Namely, in-focus, noise-free natural images have shown a maximum of this metric in comparison with other degraded, blurred, or noisy versions. This result provides a way of identifying in-focus, noise-free images from other degraded versions, allowing an automatic and nonreference classification of images according to their relative quality. It is also shown that the new measure is well correlated with classical reference metrics such as the peak signal-to-noise ratio. PMID:18059913

  18. No training blind image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Ying; Mou, Xuanqin; Ji, Zhen

    2014-03-01

    State of the art blind image quality assessment (IQA) methods generally extract perceptual features from the training images, and send them into support vector machine (SVM) to learn the regression model, which could be used to further predict the quality scores of the testing images. However, these methods need complicated training and learning, and the evaluation results are sensitive to image contents and learning strategies. In this paper, two novel blind IQA metrics without training and learning are firstly proposed. The new methods extract perceptual features, i.e., the shape consistency of conditional histograms, from the joint histograms of neighboring divisive normalization transform coefficients of distorted images, and then compare the length attribute of the extracted features with that of the reference images and degraded images in the LIVE database. For the first method, a cluster center is found in the feature attribute space of the natural reference images, and the distance between the feature attribute of the distorted image and the cluster center is adopted as the quality label. The second method utilizes the feature attributes and subjective scores of all the images in the LIVE database to construct a dictionary, and the final quality score is calculated by interpolating the subjective scores of nearby words in the dictionary. Unlike the traditional SVM based blind IQA methods, the proposed metrics have explicit expressions, which reflect the relationships of the perceptual features and the image quality well. Experiment results in the publicly available databases such as LIVE, CSIQ and TID2008 had shown the effectiveness of the proposed methods, and the performances are fairly acceptable.

  19. Quality effort decision in service supply chain with quality preference based on quantum game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Cuihua; Xing, Peng; Wang, Jianwei

    2015-04-01

    Service quality preference behaviors of both members are considered in service supply chain (SSC) including a service integrator and a service provider with stochastic demand. Through analysis of service quality cost and revenue, the utility functions are established on service quality effort degree and service quality preference level in integrated and decentralized SSC. Nash equilibrium and quantum game are used to optimize the models. By comparing the different solutions, the optimal strategies are obtained in SSC with quality preference. Then some numerical examples are studied and the changing trend of service quality effort is further analyzed by the influence of the entanglement operator and quality preferences.

  20. Full-Reference Image Quality Assessment with Linear Combination of Genetically Selected Quality Measures

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Information carried by an image can be distorted due to different image processing steps introduced by different electronic means of storage and communication. Therefore, development of algorithms which can automatically assess a quality of the image in a way that is consistent with human evaluation is important. In this paper, an approach to image quality assessment (IQA) is proposed in which the quality of a given image is evaluated jointly by several IQA approaches. At first, in order to obtain such joint models, an optimisation problem of IQA measures aggregation is defined, where a weighted sum of their outputs, i.e., objective scores, is used as the aggregation operator. Then, the weight of each measure is considered as a decision variable in a problem of minimisation of root mean square error between obtained objective scores and subjective scores. Subjective scores reflect ground-truth and involve evaluation of images by human observers. The optimisation problem is solved using a genetic algorithm, which also selects suitable measures used in aggregation. Obtained multimeasures are evaluated on four largest widely used image benchmarks and compared against state-of-the-art full-reference IQA approaches. Results of comparison reveal that the proposed approach outperforms other competing measures. PMID:27341493

  1. Full-Reference Image Quality Assessment with Linear Combination of Genetically Selected Quality Measures.

    PubMed

    Oszust, Mariusz

    2016-01-01

    Information carried by an image can be distorted due to different image processing steps introduced by different electronic means of storage and communication. Therefore, development of algorithms which can automatically assess a quality of the image in a way that is consistent with human evaluation is important. In this paper, an approach to image quality assessment (IQA) is proposed in which the quality of a given image is evaluated jointly by several IQA approaches. At first, in order to obtain such joint models, an optimisation problem of IQA measures aggregation is defined, where a weighted sum of their outputs, i.e., objective scores, is used as the aggregation operator. Then, the weight of each measure is considered as a decision variable in a problem of minimisation of root mean square error between obtained objective scores and subjective scores. Subjective scores reflect ground-truth and involve evaluation of images by human observers. The optimisation problem is solved using a genetic algorithm, which also selects suitable measures used in aggregation. Obtained multimeasures are evaluated on four largest widely used image benchmarks and compared against state-of-the-art full-reference IQA approaches. Results of comparison reveal that the proposed approach outperforms other competing measures. PMID:27341493

  2. Quality Assessment Dimensions of Distance Teaching/Learning Curriculum Designing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volungeviciene, Airina; Tereseviciene, Margarita

    2008-01-01

    The paper presents scientific literature analysis in the area of distance teaching/learning curriculum designing and quality assessment. The aim of the paper is to identify quality assessment dimensions of distance teaching/learning curriculum designing. The authors of the paper agree that quality assessment should be considered during the…

  3. The Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale (LFDSS): A new tool for assessing financial decision making and preventing financial exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Lichtenberg, P.A.; Howard, H; Simaskp, P.; Mall, S.; Speir, J.; Farrell, C.; Tatro, R; Rahman-Filipiak, A.; Ficker, L.J.

    2016-01-01

    One of the challenges in preventing the financial exploitation of older adults is that neither criminal justice nor noncriminal justice professionals are equipped to detect capacity deficits. Because decision-making capacity is a cornerstone assessment in cases of financial exploitation, effective instruments for measuring this capacity are essential. We introduce a new screening scale for financial decision making that can be administered to older adults. To explore the scale’s implementation and assess construct validity, we conducted a pilot study of 29 older adults seen by APS workers and 79 seen by other professionals. Case examples are included. PMID:27010780

  4. A Preliminary View of the Quality of Decision-Making in the Benchmark Year of 1984. AIR 1985 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spiro, Louis M.; Campbell, Jill F.

    Perceptions of college institutional research directors concerning the quality of executive decision making at their institutions were studied. Perceptions were assessed using a theoretical model of Groupthink developed by Janis, who postulates that a high amount of environmental stress should lead to a greater degree of "sticking-together" by the…

  5. Content-aware objective video quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Jaramillo, Benhur; Niño-Castañeda, Jorge; Platiša, Ljiljana; Philips, Wilfried

    2016-01-01

    Since the end-user of video-based systems is often a human observer, prediction of user-perceived video quality (PVQ) is an important task for increasing the user satisfaction. Despite the large variety of objective video quality measures (VQMs), their lack of generalizability remains a problem. This is mainly due to the strong dependency between PVQ and video content. Although this problem is well known, few existing VQMs directly account for the influence of video content on PVQ. Recently, we proposed a method to predict PVQ by introducing relevant video content features in the computation of video distortion measures. The method is based on analyzing the level of spatiotemporal activity in the video and using those as parameters of the anthropomorphic video distortion models. We focus on the experimental evaluation of the proposed methodology based on a total of five public databases, four different objective VQMs, and 105 content related indexes. Additionally, relying on the proposed method, we introduce an approach for selecting the levels of video distortions for the purpose of subjective quality assessment studies. Our results suggest that when adequately combined with content related indexes, even very simple distortion measures (e.g., peak signal to noise ratio) are able to achieve high performance, i.e., high correlation between the VQM and the PVQ. In particular, we have found that by incorporating video content features, it is possible to increase the performance of the VQM by up to 20% relative to its noncontent-aware baseline.

  6. Assessing the Quality of Clinical Teachers

    PubMed Central

    Bolhuis, Sanneke; Grol, Richard; Laan, Roland; Wensing, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Background Learning in a clinical environment differs from formal educational settings and provides specific challenges for clinicians who are teachers. Instruments that reflect these challenges are needed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of clinical teachers. Objective To systematically review the content, validity, and aims of questionnaires used to assess clinical teachers. Data Sources MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and ERIC from 1976 up to March 2010. Review Methods The searches revealed 54 papers on 32 instruments. Data from these papers were documented by independent researchers, using a structured format that included content of the instrument, validation methods, aims of the instrument, and its setting. Results Aspects covered by the instruments predominantly concerned the use of teaching strategies (included in 30 instruments), supporter role (29), role modeling (27), and feedback (26). Providing opportunities for clinical learning activities was included in 13 instruments. Most studies referred to literature on good clinical teaching, although they failed to provide a clear description of what constitutes a good clinical teacher. Instrument length varied from 1 to 58 items. Except for two instruments, all had to be completed by clerks/residents. Instruments served to provide formative feedback ( instruments) but were also used for resource allocation, promotion, and annual performance review (14 instruments). All but two studies reported on internal consistency and/or reliability; other aspects of validity were examined less frequently. Conclusions No instrument covered all relevant aspects of clinical teaching comprehensively. Validation of the instruments was often limited to assessment of internal consistency and reliability. Available instruments for assessing clinical teachers should be used carefully, especially for consequential decisions. There is a need for more valid comprehensive instruments. Electronic supplementary material The online

  7. Spatial assessment of Langat River water quality using chemometrics.

    PubMed

    Juahir, Hafizan; Zain, Sharifuddin Md; Aris, Ahmad Zaharin; Yusoff, Mohd Kamil; Mokhtar, Mazlin Bin

    2010-01-01

    The present study deals with the assessment of Langat River water quality with some chemometrics approaches such as cluster and discriminant analysis coupled with an artificial neural network (ANN). The data used in this study were collected from seven monitoring stations under the river water quality monitoring program by the Department of Environment (DOE) from 1995 to 2002. Twenty three physico-chemical parameters were involved in this analysis. Cluster analysis successfully clustered the Langat River into three major clusters, namely high, moderate and less pollution regions. Discriminant analysis identified seven of the most significant parameters which contribute to the high variation of Langat River water quality, namely dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, pH, ammoniacal nitrogen, chlorine, E. coli, and coliform. Discriminant analysis also plays an important role as an input selection parameter for an ANN of spatial prediction (pollution regions). The ANN showed better prediction performance in discriminating the regional area with an excellent percentage of correct classification compared to discriminant analysis. Multivariate analysis, coupled with ANN, is proposed, which could help in decision making and problem solving in the local environment. PMID:20082024

  8. Patient-reported Outcomes in Randomised Controlled Trials of Prostate Cancer: Methodological Quality and Impact on Clinical Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Efficace, Fabio; Feuerstein, Michael; Fayers, Peter; Cafaro, Valentina; Eastham, James; Pusic, Andrea; Blazeby, Jane

    2014-01-01

    Context Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are increasingly used to inform patient-centred care as well as clinical and health policy decisions. Objective The main objective of this study was to investigate the methodological quality of PRO assessment in RCTs of prostate cancer (PCa) and to estimate the likely impact of these studies on clinical decision making. Evidence acquisition A systematic literature search of studies was undertaken on main electronic databases to retrieve articles published between January 2004 and March 2012. RCTs were evaluated on a predetermined extraction form, including (1) basic trial demographics and clinical and PRO characteristics; (2) level of PRO reporting based on the recently published recommendations by the International Society for Quality of Life Research; and (3) bias, assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Studies were systematically analysed to evaluate their relevance for supporting clinical decision making. Evidence synthesis Sixty-five RCTs enrolling a total of 22 071 patients were evaluated, with 31 (48%) in patients with nonmetastatic disease. When a PRO difference between treatments was found, it related in most cases to symptoms only (n = 29, 58%). Although the extent of missing data was generally documented (72% of RCTs), few reported details on statistical handling of this data (18%) and reasons for dropout (35%). Improvements in key methodological aspects over time were found. Thirteen (20%) RCTs were judged as likely to be robust in informing clinical decision making. Higher-quality PRO studies were generally associated with those RCTs that had higher internal validity. Conclusions Including PRO in RCTs of PCa patients is critical for better evaluating the treatment effectiveness of new therapeutic approaches. Marked improvements in PRO quality reporting over time were found, and it is estimated that at least one-fifth of PRO RCTs have provided sufficient

  9. A Tutorial on Probablilistic Risk Assessement and its Role in Risk-Informed Decision Making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dezfuli, Homayoon

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews risk assessment and its role in risk-informed decision making. It includes information on probabilistic risk assessment, typical risk management process, origins of risk matrix, performance measures, performance objectives and Bayes theorem.

  10. Image quality assessment in the low quality regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, Guilherme O.; Hemami, Sheila S.

    2012-03-01

    Traditionally, image quality estimators have been designed and optimized to operate over the entire quality range of images in a database, from very low quality to visually lossless. However, if quality estimation is limited to a smaller quality range, their performances drop dramatically, and many image applications only operate over such a smaller range. This paper is concerned with one such range, the low-quality regime, which is defined as the interval of perceived quality scores where there exists a linear relationship between the perceived quality scores and the perceived utility scores and exists at the low-quality end of image databases. Using this definition, this paper describes a subjective experiment to determine the low-quality regime for databases of distorted images that include perceived quality scores but not perceived utility scores, such as CSIQ and LIVE. The performances of several image utility and quality estimators are evaluated in the low-quality regime, indicating that utility estimators can be successfully applied to estimate perceived quality in this regime. Omission of the lowestfrequency image content is shown to be crucial to the performances of both kinds of estimators. Additionally, this paper establishes an upper-bound for the performances of quality estimators in the LQR, using a family of quality estimators based on VIF. The resulting optimal quality estimator indicates that estimating quality in the low-quality regime is robust to exact frequency pooling weights, and that near-optimal performance can be achieved by a variety of estimators providing that they substantially emphasize the appropriate frequency content.

  11. Teacher Decisions about Planning and Assessment in Primary Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Peter; Clarke, David J.; Clarke, Doug M.

    2012-01-01

    We are interested in exploring the processes teachers use when planning. We sought responses from teachers on aspects of their planning from a survey of various aspects of their decisions. We found that, while there is diversity in processes teachers use for planning, a consistent theme was that teachers make deliberative decisions at all stages…

  12. Assessing Decision Making in Young Adult Romantic Relationships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vennum, Amber; Fincham, Frank D.

    2011-01-01

    Romantic relationships among young adults are rich with ambiguity and without a clear, universal progression emphasizing the need for active decision making. Lack of active decision making in romantic relationships can lead to increases in constraints (e.g. pregnancy, shared living space or finances) that promote the continuation of relationships…

  13. 2003 SNL ASCI applications software quality engineering assessment report.

    SciTech Connect

    Schofield, Joseph Richard, Jr.; Ellis, Molly A.; Williamson, Charles Michael; Bonano, Lora A.

    2004-02-01

    This document describes the 2003 SNL ASCI Software Quality Engineering (SQE) assessment of twenty ASCI application code teams and the results of that assessment. The purpose of this assessment was to determine code team compliance with the Sandia National Laboratories ASCI Applications Software Quality Engineering Practices, Version 2.0 as part of an overall program assessment.

  14. Parental Decision Making about Technology and Quality in Child Care Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Katherine K.; Vittrup, Brigitte; Leveridge, Tinney

    2013-01-01

    Background: This study investigated parental decision making about non-parental child care programs based on the technological and quality components of the program, both child-focused and parent-focused. Child-focused variables related to children's access to technology such as computers, educational television programming, and the internet.…

  15. Small, Task-Oriented Groups: Conflict, Conflict Management, Satisfaction, and Decision Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wall, Victor D., Jr.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Examined relationship among amount of conflict experienced, the style of its management, individual satisfaction, and decision quality of small, task-oriented groups using 129 college student subjects in 24 groups. Data suggest a curvilinear relationship between the number of conflict episodes experienced by group members and the subsequent…

  16. Decision Making, Structure and Institutional Notions of Quality: A Case Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolverton, Mimi

    Few studies have focused on the effects of systemic change and decentralized decision making on organizational structure and on an institution's notion of quality education. This study examined such interconnections at a community college given the pseudonym America Community College (ACC). ACC is a multi-campus metropolitan area college in a area…

  17. Design Decisions in Developing Learning Trajectories-Based Assessments in Mathematics: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penuel, William R.; Confrey, Jere; Maloney, Alan; Rupp, André A.

    2014-01-01

    This article analyzes the design decisions of a team developing diagnostic assessments for a learning trajectory focused on rational number reasoning. The analysis focuses on the design rationale for key decisions about how to develop the cognitive assessments and related validity arguments within a fluid state and national policy context. The…

  18. The impact of decision models on self-perceived quality of life: a study on brain cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Lucchiari, C; Botturi, A; Pravettoni, G

    2010-01-01

    Quality of life (QoL) is an increasingly important outcome measure in medicine. Health, in fact, is not only based on functional status but also on psychological and social well being. Since QoL is related to the patient's perception of their position in life in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns, the way in which the medical context is experienced may be critical. We then hypothesised that self-perceived QoL may be linked to unmet needs in information management and decision involvement. To analyse this hypothesis, we conducted a quantitative study on 84 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of primary high-grade glioma. The functional assessment of cancer therapy-Brain (FACT-Br) scales, the hospital anxiety and depression (HAD) scale and the need evaluation questionnaire (NEQ) questionnaire were used, in order to measure quality-of-life dimension, mood and unmet needs. Patients were classified as having no need (cluster 1), a moderate need (cluster 2) or a high need (cluster 3) to be more involved in the clinical process.Our data confirmed previous studies in other clinical areas, showing that shared decision might contribute to a better adaptation process to the illness [1]. In fact, patients in cluster 1 showed a significant better self-perceived QoL, despite the lack of clinical differences between clusters. The study showed that patients satisfied with respect to decisional involvement seem to be able to better cope with their disease. Finally, the study suggests the need for a more attuned decision-making process in approaching clinical decisions. Physicians need to better understand patient preferences related to information and decision sharing. PMID:22276038

  19. When Quality Beats Quantity: Decision Theory, Drug Discovery, and the Reproducibility Crisis.

    PubMed

    Scannell, Jack W; Bosley, Jim

    2016-01-01

    A striking contrast runs through the last 60 years of biopharmaceutical discovery, research, and development. Huge scientific and technological gains should have increased the quality of academic science and raised industrial R&D efficiency. However, academia faces a "reproducibility crisis"; inflation-adjusted industrial R&D costs per novel drug increased nearly 100 fold between 1950 and 2010; and drugs are more likely to fail in clinical development today than in the 1970s. The contrast is explicable only if powerful headwinds reversed the gains and/or if many "gains" have proved illusory. However, discussions of reproducibility and R&D productivity rarely address this point explicitly. The main objectives of the primary research in this paper are: (a) to provide quantitatively and historically plausible explanations of the contrast; and (b) identify factors to which R&D efficiency is sensitive. We present a quantitative decision-theoretic model of the R&D process. The model represents therapeutic candidates (e.g., putative drug targets, molecules in a screening library, etc.) within a "measurement space", with candidates' positions determined by their performance on a variety of assays (e.g., binding affinity, toxicity, in vivo efficacy, etc.) whose results correlate to a greater or lesser degree. We apply decision rules to segment the space, and assess the probability of correct R&D decisions. We find that when searching for rare positives (e.g., candidates that will successfully complete clinical development), changes in the predictive validity of screening and disease models that many people working in drug discovery would regard as small and/or unknowable (i.e., an 0.1 absolute change in correlation coefficient between model output and clinical outcomes in man) can offset large (e.g., 10 fold, even 100 fold) changes in models' brute-force efficiency. We also show how validity and reproducibility correlate across a population of simulated screening and

  20. When Quality Beats Quantity: Decision Theory, Drug Discovery, and the Reproducibility Crisis

    PubMed Central

    Scannell, Jack W.; Bosley, Jim

    2016-01-01

    A striking contrast runs through the last 60 years of biopharmaceutical discovery, research, and development. Huge scientific and technological gains should have increased the quality of academic science and raised industrial R&D efficiency. However, academia faces a "reproducibility crisis"; inflation-adjusted industrial R&D costs per novel drug increased nearly 100 fold between 1950 and 2010; and drugs are more likely to fail in clinical development today than in the 1970s. The contrast is explicable only if powerful headwinds reversed the gains and/or if many "gains" have proved illusory. However, discussions of reproducibility and R&D productivity rarely address this point explicitly. The main objectives of the primary research in this paper are: (a) to provide quantitatively and historically plausible explanations of the contrast; and (b) identify factors to which R&D efficiency is sensitive. We present a quantitative decision-theoretic model of the R&D process. The model represents therapeutic candidates (e.g., putative drug targets, molecules in a screening library, etc.) within a “measurement space", with candidates' positions determined by their performance on a variety of assays (e.g., binding affinity, toxicity, in vivo efficacy, etc.) whose results correlate to a greater or lesser degree. We apply decision rules to segment the space, and assess the probability of correct R&D decisions. We find that when searching for rare positives (e.g., candidates that will successfully complete clinical development), changes in the predictive validity of screening and disease models that many people working in drug discovery would regard as small and/or unknowable (i.e., an 0.1 absolute change in correlation coefficient between model output and clinical outcomes in man) can offset large (e.g., 10 fold, even 100 fold) changes in models’ brute-force efficiency. We also show how validity and reproducibility correlate across a population of simulated screening and

  1. Groundwater quality data from the National Water-Quality Assessment Project, May 2012 through December 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arnold, Terri L.; Desimone, Leslie A.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Barlow, Jeannie R.; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Musgrove, Marylynn; Kingsbury, James A.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-quality data were collected from 748 wells as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Program from May 2012 through December 2013. The data were collected from four types of well networks: principal aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for public water supply; land-use study networks, which assess land-use effects on shallow groundwater quality; major aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply; and enhanced trends networks, which evaluate the time scales during which groundwater quality changes. Groundwater samples were analyzed for a large number of water-quality indicators and constituents, including major ions, nutrients, trace elements, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and radionuclides. These groundwater quality data are tabulated in this report. Quality-control samples also were collected; data from blank and replicate quality-control samples are included in this report.

  2. Automatic quality assessment protocol for MRI equipment.

    PubMed

    Bourel, P; Gibon, D; Coste, E; Daanen, V; Rousseau, J

    1999-12-01

    The authors have developed a protocol and software for the quality assessment of MRI equipment with a commercial test object. Automatic image analysis consists of detecting surfaces and objects, defining regions of interest, acquiring reference point coordinates and establishing gray level profiles. Signal-to-noise ratio, image uniformity, geometrical distortion, slice thickness, slice profile, and spatial resolution are checked. The results are periodically analyzed to evaluate possible drifts with time. The measurements are performed weekly on three MRI scanners made by the Siemens Company (VISION 1.5T, EXPERT 1.0T, and OPEN 0.2T). The results obtained for the three scanners over approximately 3.5 years are presented, analyzed, and compared. PMID:10619255

  3. Quality assessment of clinical computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berndt, Dorothea; Luckow, Marlen; Lambrecht, J. Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Müller, Bert

    2008-08-01

    Three-dimensional images are vital for the diagnosis in dentistry and cranio-maxillofacial surgery. Artifacts caused by highly absorbing components such as metallic implants, however, limit the value of the tomograms. The dominant artifacts observed are blowout and streaks. Investigating the artifacts generated by metallic implants in a pig jaw, the data acquisition for the patients in dentistry should be optimized in a quantitative manner. A freshly explanted pig jaw including related soft-tissues served as a model system. Images were recorded varying the accelerating voltage and the beam current. The comparison with multi-slice and micro computed tomography (CT) helps to validate the approach with the dental CT system (3D-Accuitomo, Morita, Japan). The data are rigidly registered to comparatively quantify their quality. The micro CT data provide a reasonable standard for quantitative data assessment of clinical CT.

  4. LOCALLY LED CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES: DEVELOPING A SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT TOOL

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers base many management decisions on a variety of personal observations of their crops and soils. However, there was no soil assessment procedure applicable to farms across the country to help farmers record these observations and to use them to guide their future management decisions. To add...

  5. A Wireless Sensor Network-Based Approach with Decision Support for Monitoring Lake Water Quality

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiaoci; Yi, Jianjun; Chen, Shaoli; Zhu, Xiaomin

    2015-01-01

    Online monitoring and water quality analysis of lakes are urgently needed. A feasible and effective approach is to use a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). Lake water environments, like other real world environments, present many changing and unpredictable situations. To ensure flexibility in such an environment, the WSN node has to be prepared to deal with varying situations. This paper presents a WSN self-configuration approach for lake water quality monitoring. The approach is based on the integration of a semantic framework, where a reasoner can make decisions on the configuration of WSN services. We present a WSN ontology and the relevant water quality monitoring context information, which considers its suitability in a pervasive computing environment. We also propose a rule-based reasoning engine that is used to conduct decision support through reasoning techniques and context-awareness. To evaluate the approach, we conduct usability experiments and performance benchmarks. PMID:26610496

  6. A Wireless Sensor Network-Based Approach with Decision Support for Monitoring Lake Water Quality.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiaoci; Yi, Jianjun; Chen, Shaoli; Zhu, Xiaomin

    2015-01-01

    Online monitoring and water quality analysis of lakes are urgently needed. A feasible and effective approach is to use a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). Lake water environments, like other real world environments, present many changing and unpredictable situations. To ensure flexibility in such an environment, the WSN node has to be prepared to deal with varying situations. This paper presents a WSN self-configuration approach for lake water quality monitoring. The approach is based on the integration of a semantic framework, where a reasoner can make decisions on the configuration of WSN services. We present a WSN ontology and the relevant water quality monitoring context information, which considers its suitability in a pervasive computing environment. We also propose a rule-based reasoning engine that is used to conduct decision support through reasoning techniques and context-awareness. To evaluate the approach, we conduct usability experiments and performance benchmarks. PMID:26610496

  7. Factual Approach in Decision Making - the Prerequisite of Success in Quality Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kučerová, Marta; Škůrková Lestyánszka, Katarína

    2013-12-01

    In quality management system as well as in other managerial systems, effective decisions must be always based on the data and information analysis, i.e. based on facts, in accordance with the factual approach principle in quality management. It is therefore necessary to measure and collect the data and information about processes. The article presents the results of a conducted survey, which was focused on application of factual approach in decision making. It also offers suggestions for improvements of application of the principle in business practice. This article was prepared using the research results of VEGA project No. 1/0229/08 "Perspectives of the quality management development in relation to the requirements of market in the Slovak Republic".

  8. Project Assessment Framework through Design (PAFTD) - A Project Assessment Framework in Support of Strategic Decision Making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Depenbrock, Brett T.; Balint, Tibor S.; Sheehy, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    Research and development organizations that push the innovation edge of technology frequently encounter challenges when attempting to identify an investment strategy and to accurately forecast the cost and schedule performance of selected projects. Fast moving and complex environments require managers to quickly analyze and diagnose the value of returns on investment versus allocated resources. Our Project Assessment Framework through Design (PAFTD) tool facilitates decision making for NASA senior leadership to enable more strategic and consistent technology development investment analysis, beginning at implementation and continuing through the project life cycle. The framework takes an integrated approach by leveraging design principles of useability, feasibility, and viability and aligns them with methods employed by NASA's Independent Program Assessment Office for project performance assessment. The need exists to periodically revisit the justification and prioritization of technology development investments as changes occur over project life cycles. The framework informs management rapidly and comprehensively about diagnosed internal and external root causes of project performance.

  9. Quality of Online Information to Support Patient Decision-Making in Breast Cancer Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Jordan G.; Tucholka, Jennifer L.; Steffens, Nicole M.; Neuman, Heather B.

    2015-01-01

    Background Breast cancer patients commonly use the internet as an information resource. Our objective was to evaluate the quality of online information available to support patients facing a decision for breast surgery. Methods Breast cancer surgery-related queries were performed (Google and Bing), and reviewed for content pertinent to breast cancer surgery. The DISCERN instrument was used to evaluate websites’ structural components that influence publication reliability and ability of information to support treatment decision-making. Scores of 4/5 were considered “good”. Results 45 unique websites were identified. Websites satisfied a median 5/9 content questions. Commonly omitted topics included: having a choice between breast conservation and mastectomy (67%) and potential for 2nd surgery to obtain negative margins after breast conservation (60%). Websites had a median DISCERN score of 2.9 (range 2.0–4.5). Websites achieved higher scores on structural criteria (median 3.6 [2.1–4.7]), with 24% rated as “good”. Scores on supporting decision-making questions were lower (2.6 [1.3–4.4]), with only 7% scoring “good”. Conclusion Although numerous breast cancer-related websites exist, most do a poor job providing women with essential information necessary to actively participate in decision-making for breast cancer surgery. Providing easily-accessible, high-quality online information has the potential to significantly improve patients’ experiences with decision-making. PMID:26417898

  10. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a)...

  11. 42 CFR 493.1249 - Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Preanalytic Systems § 493.1249 Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment. (a)...

  12. 42 CFR 493.1299 - Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Postanalytic Systems § 493.1299 Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment. (a)...

  13. Decision analysis as a life support technology assessment capability.

    PubMed

    Ballin, M G

    1995-01-01

    Applied research and technology development is often characterized by uncertainty, risk, and significant delays before tangible returns are obtained. Decision making regarding which technologies to advance and what resources to devote to them is a challenging but essential task, especially in a resource-constrained environment. In the application of life support technology to future manned space flight, new technology concepts typically are characterized by rough approximations of technology performance, uncertain future flight program needs, and a complex, time-intensive process to develop technology to a flight-ready status. Decision analysis is a quantitative, logic-based discipline that imposes formalism and structure to complex problems confronting a decision maker. It also accounts for the limits of knowledge available at the time a decision is needed. The utility of decision analysis to life support technology R&D was evaluated by applying it to two case studies. The methodology was found to provide useful insight for making technology development resource allocation decisions. PMID:11538570

  14. Do users ignore spatial data quality? A decision-theoretic perspective.

    PubMed

    van Oort, P A J; Bregt, A K

    2005-12-01

    Risk analysis (RA) has been proposed as a means of assessing fitness for use of spatial data but is only rarely adopted. The proposal is that better decisions can be made by accounting for risks due to errors in spatial data. Why is RA so rarely adopted? Most geographical information science (GISc) literature stresses educational and technical constraints. In this article we propose, based on decision theory, a number of hypotheses for why the user would be more or less willing to spend resources on RA. The hypotheses were tested with a questionnaire, which showed that the willingness to spend resources on RA depends on the presence of feedback mechanisms in the decision-making process, on how much is at stake, and to a minor extent on how well the decision-making process can be modeled. PMID:16506986

  15. Video quality assessment for web content mirroring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Ye; Fei, Kevin; Fernandez, Gustavo A.; Delp, Edward J.

    2014-03-01

    Due to the increasing user expectation on watching experience, moving web high quality video streaming content from the small screen in mobile devices to the larger TV screen has become popular. It is crucial to develop video quality metrics to measure the quality change for various devices or network conditions. In this paper, we propose an automated scoring system to quantify user satisfaction. We compare the quality of local videos with the videos transmitted to a TV. Four video quality metrics, namely Image Quality, Rendering Quality, Freeze Time Ratio and Rate of Freeze Events are used to measure video quality change during web content mirroring. To measure image quality and rendering quality, we compare the matched frames between the source video and the destination video using barcode tools. Freeze time ratio and rate of freeze events are measured after extracting video timestamps. Several user studies are conducted to evaluate the impact of each objective video quality metric on the subjective user watching experience.

  16. Clinician Perspectives on the Quality of Patient Data Used for Clinical Decision Support: A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    McCormack, James L.; Ash, Joan S.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Clinical decision support (CDS), defined broadly as patient-specific information and knowledge provided at the point of care, depends on a foundation of high quality electronic patient data. Little is known about how clinicians perceive the quality and value of data used to support CDS within an electronic health record (EHR) environment. Methods: During a three-year research study, we collected ethnographic data from ten diverse organizations, including community hospitals, academic medical centers and ambulatory clinics. Results: An in-depth analysis of the theme “data as a foundation for CDS” yielded a descriptive framework incorporating five subthemes related to data quality: completeness, accessibility, context specificity, accuracy, and reliability. Conclusion: We identified several multi-dimensional models that might be used to conceptualize data quality characteristics for future research. These results could provide new insights to system designers and implementers on the importance clinicians place on specific data quality characteristics regarding electronic patient data for CDS. PMID:23304409

  17. Beef quality assessed at European research centres.

    PubMed

    Dransfield, E; Nute, G R; Roberts, T A; Boccard, R; Touraille, C; Buchter, L; Casteels, M; Cosentino, E; Hood, D E; Joseph, R L; Schon, I; Paardekooper, E J

    1984-01-01

    Loin steaks and cubes of M. semimembranosus from eight (12 month old) Galloway steers and eight (16-18 month old) Charolais cross steers raised in England and from which the meat was conditioned for 2 or 10 days, were assessed in research centres in Belgium, Denmark, England, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. Laboratory panels assessed meat by grilling the steaks and cooking the cubes in casseroles according to local custom using scales developed locally and by scales used frequently at other research centres. The meat was mostly of good quality but with sufficient variation to obtain meaningful comparisons. Tenderness and juiciness were assessed most, and flavour least, consistently. Over the 32 meats, acceptability of steaks and casseroles was in general compounded from tenderness, juiciness and flavour. However, when the meat was tough, it dominated the overall judgement; but when tender, flavour played an important rôle. Irish and English panels tended to weight more on flavour and Italian panels on tenderness and juiciness. Juciness and tenderness were well correlated among all panels except in Italy and Germany. With flavour, however, Belgian, Irish, German and Dutch panels ranked the meats similarly and formed a group distinct from the others which did not. The panels showed a similar grouping for judgements of acceptability. French and Belgian panels judged the steaks from the older Charolais cross steers to have more flavour and be more juicy than average and tended to prefer them. Casseroles from younger steers were invariably preferred although the French and Belgian panels judged aged meat from older animals equally acceptable. These regional biases were thought to be derived mainly from differences in cooking, but variations in experience and perception of assessors also contributed. PMID:22055992

  18. QUALITY: A program to assess basis set quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sordo, J. A.

    1998-09-01

    A program to analyze in detail the quality of basis sets is presented. The information provided by the application of a wide variety of (atomic and/or molecular) quality criteria is processed by using a methodology that allows one to determine the most appropriate quality test to select a basis set to compute a given (atomic or molecular) property. Fuzzy set theory is used to choose the most adequate basis set to compute simultaneously a set of properties.

  19. The Impact of Quality Assessment in Universities: Portuguese Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Santiago, Rui; Sarrico, Claudia S.

    2012-01-01

    Despite being one of the major reasons for the development of quality assessment, students seem relatively unaware of its potential impact. Since one of the main purposes of assessment is to provide students with information on the quality of universities, this lack of awareness brings in to question the effectiveness of assessment as a device for…

  20. Integrated assessment for supporting decision making with multiple criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedrich, R.

    2015-08-01

    Decisions about the development of the energy system should take all relevant criteria into account, including costs and health, environmental and climate impacts. As usually no decision alternative fulfils all criteria better than all other alternatives, a weighting between the indicators that show the degree of fulfilment of the criteria, is necessary. In the following the "impact pathway approach" is described that supports decisions by using weighting factors that are derived from measuring or observing the preferences of the population. The methodology is applied to rank technologies for generating electricity according to their social costs, which is a summary indicator comprising simultaneously costs, impacts of air pollution on health and biodiversity and climate impacts.

  1. Assessment of New Approaches in Geothermal Exploration Decision Making: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Akar, S.; Young, K. R.

    2015-02-01

    Geothermal exploration projects have significant amount of risk associated with uncertainties encountered in the discovery of the geothermal resource. Understanding when and how to proceed in an exploration program, and when to walk away from a site, are two of the largest challenges for increased geothermal deployment. Current methodologies for exploration decision making is left to subjective by subjective expert opinion which can be incorrectly biased by expertise (e.g. geochemistry, geophysics), geographic location of focus, and the assumed conceptual model. The aim of this project is to develop a methodology for more objective geothermal exploration decision making at a given location, including go-no-go decision points to help developers and investors decide when to give up on a location. In this scope, two different approaches are investigated: 1) value of information analysis (VOIA) which is used for evaluating and quantifying the value of a data before they are purchased, and 2) enthalpy-based exploration targeting based on reservoir size, temperature gradient estimates, and internal rate of return (IRR). The first approach, VOIA, aims to identify the value of a particular data when making decisions with an uncertain outcome. This approach targets the pre-drilling phase of exploration. These estimated VOIs are highly affected by the size of the project and still have a high degree of subjectivity in assignment of probabilities. The second approach, exploration targeting, is focused on decision making during the drilling phase. It starts with a basic geothermal project definition that includes target and minimum required production capacity and initial budgeting for exploration phases. Then, it uses average temperature gradient, reservoir temperature estimates, and production capacity to define targets and go/no-go limits. The decision analysis in this approach is based on achieving a minimum IRR at each phase of the project. This second approach was

  2. An integrated modeling process to assess water quality for watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhuyan, Samarjyoti

    2001-07-01

    be useful for the resource managers to assess the water quality of sub-watersheds and identify areas within a watershed for which to develop action plans for land use decisions such as adoption of best management practices (BMPs) to improve water quality.* *This dissertation includes a CD that is compound (contains both a paper copy and a CD as part of the dissertation). The CD requires the following applications: Microsoft Excel; AGNPS ARC INFO (program included); NDVI Estimation (included) for ERDAS IMAGINE software (not included); Winzip; Real Jukebox.

  3. Assessing electronic health record systems in emergency departments: Using a decision analytic Bayesian model.

    PubMed

    Ben-Assuli, Ofir; Leshno, Moshe

    2016-09-01

    In the last decade, health providers have implemented information systems to improve accuracy in medical diagnosis and decision-making. This article evaluates the impact of an electronic health record on emergency department physicians' diagnosis and admission decisions. A decision analytic approach using a decision tree was constructed to model the admission decision process to assess the added value of medical information retrieved from the electronic health record. Using a Bayesian statistical model, this method was evaluated on two coronary artery disease scenarios. The results show that the cases of coronary artery disease were better diagnosed when the electronic health record was consulted and led to more informed admission decisions. Furthermore, the value of medical information required for a specific admission decision in emergency departments could be quantified. The findings support the notion that physicians and patient healthcare can benefit from implementing electronic health record systems in emergency departments. PMID:26033468

  4. Including Alternate Assessment Results in Accountability Decisions. NCEO Policy Directions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quenemoen, Rachel; Thurlow, Martha

    Alternate assessments provide a mechanism for students with complex disabilities to be included in assessment systems. An integral part of maximizing the benefits of assessing students is to include the results of alternate assessments in school accountability systems. This report addresses policy options for including the results of alternate…

  5. Geospatial Data Fusion and Multigroup Decision Support for Surface Water Quality Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, A. Y.; Osidele, O.; Green, R. T.; Xie, H.

    2010-12-01

    Social networking and social media have gained significant popularity and brought fundamental changes to many facets of our everyday life. With the ever-increasing adoption of GPS-enabled gadgets and technology, location-based content is likely to play a central role in social networking sites. While location-based content is not new to the geoscience community, where geographic information systems (GIS) are extensively used, the delivery of useful geospatial data to targeted user groups for decision support is new. Decision makers and modelers ought to make more effective use of the new web-based tools to expand the scope of environmental awareness education, public outreach, and stakeholder interaction. Environmental decision processes are often rife with uncertainty and controversy, requiring integration of multiple sources of information and compromises between diverse interests. Fusing of multisource, multiscale environmental data for multigroup decision support is a challenging task. Toward this goal, a multigroup decision support platform should strive to achieve transparency, impartiality, and timely synthesis of information. The latter criterion often constitutes a major technical bottleneck to traditional GIS-based media, featuring large file or image sizes and requiring special processing before web deployment. Many tools and design patterns have appeared in recent years to ease the situation somewhat. In this project, we explore the use of Web 2.0 technologies for “pushing” location-based content to multigroups involved in surface water quality management and decision making. In particular, our granular bottom-up approach facilitates effective delivery of information to most relevant user groups. Our location-based content includes in-situ and remotely sensed data disseminated by NASA and other national and local agencies. Our project is demonstrated for managing the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program in the Arroyo Colorado coastal river basin

  6. Criteria for assessing problem solving and decision making in complex environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orasanu, Judith

    1993-01-01

    Training crews to cope with unanticipated problems in high-risk, high-stress environments requires models of effective problem solving and decision making. Existing decision theories use the criteria of logical consistency and mathematical optimality to evaluate decision quality. While these approaches are useful under some circumstances, the assumptions underlying these models frequently are not met in dynamic time-pressured operational environments. Also, applying formal decision models is both labor and time intensive, a luxury often lacking in operational environments. Alternate approaches and criteria are needed. Given that operational problem solving and decision making are embedded in ongoing tasks, evaluation criteria must address the relation between those activities and satisfaction of broader task goals. Effectiveness and efficiency become relevant for judging reasoning performance in operational environments. New questions must be addressed: What is the relation between the quality of decisions and overall performance by crews engaged in critical high risk tasks? Are different strategies most effective for different types of decisions? How can various decision types be characterized? A preliminary model of decision types found in air transport environments will be described along with a preliminary performance model based on an analysis of 30 flight crews. The performance analysis examined behaviors that distinguish more and less effective crews (based on performance errors). Implications for training and system design will be discussed.

  7. Food quality assessment by NIR hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitworth, Martin B.; Millar, Samuel J.; Chau, Astor

    2010-04-01

    Near infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy is well established in the food industry for rapid compositional analysis of bulk samples. NIR hyperspectral imaging provides new opportunities to measure the spatial distribution of components such as moisture and fat, and to identify and measure specific regions of composite samples. An NIR hyperspectral imaging system has been constructed for food research applications, incorporating a SWIR camera with a cooled 14 bit HgCdTe detector and N25E spectrograph (Specim Ltd, Finland). Samples are scanned in a pushbroom mode using a motorised stage. The system has a spectral resolution of 256 pixels covering a range of 970-2500 nm and a spatial resolution of 320 pixels covering a swathe adjustable from 8 to 300 mm. Images are acquired at a rate of up to 100 lines s-1, enabling samples to be scanned within a few seconds. Data are captured using SpectralCube software (Specim) and analysed using ENVI and IDL (ITT Visual Information Solutions). Several food applications are presented. The strength of individual absorbance bands enables the distribution of particular components to be assessed. Examples are shown for detection of added gluten in wheat flour and to study the effect of processing conditions on fat distribution in chips/French fries. More detailed quantitative calibrations have been developed to study evolution of the moisture distribution in baguettes during storage at different humidities, to assess freshness of fish using measurements of whole cod and fillets, and for prediction of beef quality by identification and separate measurement of lean and fat regions.

  8. Making effective links to decision-making: Key challenges for health impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, Eva . E-mail: elliotte@cf.ac.uk; Francis, Sarah

    2005-10-15

    This paper draws on an exploratory research study to examine the effectiveness of health impact assessments in Wales. Through the review of five case study health impact assessments the research identified a number of benefits of the process in terms of skills and knowledge development amongst participants. The indirect contributions to decision-making were also evident including the way in which health impact assessment provided useful insights into the local community's perspective and raised awareness about the wider determinants of health. The process was also useful in establishing a dialogue between different stakeholders, which indirectly assisted decision-making and implementation. The direct links between health impact assessment and decision-making were more difficult to trace and this paper puts forward a number of suggestions for making those links more transparent. Suggestions include integrating decision-makers and clarifying the intended links to decision-making at the start of the health impact assessment process. Mainstreaming health impact assessment so that it is triggered as a routine part of all decision-making would help ensure it stands the best chance of informing decisions.

  9. Federal Workforce Quality: Measurement and Improvement. Report of the Advisory Committee on Federal Workforce Quality Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Personnel Management, Washington, DC.

    The Advisory Committee on Federal Workforce Quality Assessment was chartered to examine various work force quality assessment efforts in the federal government and provide advice on their adequacy and suggestions on their improvement or expansion. Objective data in recent research suggested that a universal decline in work force quality might not…

  10. A decision support system for delivering optimal quality peach and tomato

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thai, C. N.; Pease, J. N.; Shewfelt, R. L.

    1990-01-01

    Several studies have indicated that color and firmness are the two quality attributes most important to consumers in making purchasing decisions of fresh peaches and tomatoes. However, at present, retail produce managers do not have the proper information for handling fresh produce so it has the most appealing color and firmness when it reaches the consumer. This information should help them predict the consumer color and firmness perception and preference for produce from various storage conditions. Since 1987, for 'Redglobe' peach and 'Sunny' tomato, we have been generating information about their physical quality attributes (firmness and color) and their corresponding consumer sensory scores. This article reports on our current progress toward the goal of integrating such information into a model-based decision support system for retail level managers in handling fresh peaches and tomatoes.

  11. Trading quality for relevance: non-health decision-makers’ use of evidence on the social determinants of health

    PubMed Central

    McGill, Elizabeth; Egan, Matt; Petticrew, Mark; Mountford, Lesley; Milton, Sarah; Whitehead, Margaret; Lock, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Local government services and policies affect health determinants across many sectors such as planning, transportation, housing and leisure. Researchers and policymakers have argued that decisions affecting wider determinants of health, well-being and inequalities should be informed by evidence. This study explores how information and evidence are defined, assessed and utilised by local professionals situated beyond the health sector, but whose decisions potentially affect health: in this case, practitioners working in design, planning and maintenance of the built environment. Design A qualitative study using three focus groups. A thematic analysis was undertaken. Setting The focus groups were held in UK localities and involved local practitioners working in two UK regions, as well as in Brazil, USA and Canada. Participants UK and international practitioners working in the design and management of the built environment at a local government level. Results Participants described a range of data and information that constitutes evidence, of which academic research is only one part. Built environment decision-makers value empirical evidence, but also emphasise the legitimacy and relevance of less empirical ways of thinking through narratives that associate their work to art and philosophy. Participants prioritised evidence on the acceptability, deliverability and sustainability of interventions over evidence of longer term outcomes (including many health outcomes). Participants generally privileged local information, including personal experiences and local data, but were less willing to accept evidence from contexts perceived to be different from their own. Conclusions Local-level built environment practitioners utilise evidence to make decisions, but their view of ‘best evidence’ appears to prioritise local relevance over academic rigour. Academics can facilitate evidence-informed local decisions affecting social determinants of health by working with

  12. Quality assessment for spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shuang; Paranjape, Amit S.; Elmaanaoui, Badr; Dewelle, Jordan; Rylander, H. Grady, III; Markey, Mia K.; Milner, Thomas E.

    2009-02-01

    Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, a measure of glaucoma progression, can be measured in images acquired by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). The accuracy of RNFL thickness estimation, however, is affected by the quality of the OCT images. In this paper, a new parameter, signal deviation (SD), which is based on the standard deviation of the intensities in OCT images, is introduced for objective assessment of OCT image quality. Two other objective assessment parameters, signal to noise ratio (SNR) and signal strength (SS), are also calculated for each OCT image. The results of the objective assessment are compared with subjective assessment. In the subjective assessment, one OCT expert graded the image quality according to a three-level scale (good, fair, and poor). The OCT B-scan images of the retina from six subjects are evaluated by both objective and subjective assessment. From the comparison, we demonstrate that the objective assessment successfully differentiates between the acceptable quality images (good and fair images) and poor quality OCT images as graded by OCT experts. We evaluate the performance of the objective assessment under different quality assessment parameters and demonstrate that SD is the best at distinguishing between fair and good quality images. The accuracy of RNFL thickness estimation is improved significantly after poor quality OCT images are rejected by automated objective assessment using the SD, SNR, and SS.

  13. Assessing soil quality in organic agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality is directly linked to food production, food security, and environmental quality (i.e. water quality, global warming, and energy use in food production). Unfortunately, moderate to severe degeneration of soils (i.e., loss of soil biodiversity, poor soil tilth, and unbalanced elemental c...

  14. An Assessment of Decision-Making Processes in Dual-Career Marriages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kingsbury, Nancy M.

    As large numbers of women enter the labor force, decision making and power processes have assumed greater importance in marital relationships. A sample of 51 (N=101) dual-career couples were interviewed to assess independent variables predictive of process power, process outcome, and subjective outcomes of decision making in dual-career families.…

  15. Quality measurement and control in physician decision making: state of the art.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, O W; Shields, M C

    1982-01-01

    The status of the concept of controlling the quality of physicians is reviewed as are studies that have been done on methods to measure and improve quality. The conclusions are dismal given the rhetoric and actions on attempts to measure and control quality of physician decision making. Massive attempts are being made, for example, mandating PSROs to monitor quality before there is a methodology. Cost and quality reviews have, at most, a marginal impact and do not deserve the expenditures to conduct them. Studies on utilization review show minimal impact on reducing utilization. Administrative reviews reduce utilization for certain specific, narrowly defined procedures such as injections. There is no operational definition of "unnecessary" utilization. The tendency is to regard the lowest levels as optimal, presumably because they result in lower expenditures. Bureaucratic reviews do not provide incentives to decision makers the way various types of HMO delivery types do from current evidence. Hence, HMOs, deductibles and coinsurance, and competition have greater promise for limiting expenditures than do utilization reviews. Quality audits are also marginally effective because of limited promise of changing provider behavior given current methods of doing so. They miss the organizational aspects in which incentives are generated. Research is needed, therefore, on alternative forms of quality and cost control such as HMOs, physician risk sharing, competitive models, and deductibles and coinsurance. Until the much needed research has been done, the amount of resources spent on review should be minimized. In the meantime, the review processes should concentrate on extreme variations of very narrowly defined criteria of proven validity while improving the review methodology by systematic research on quality monitoring. PMID:7047464

  16. The Quest for Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chappuis, Stephen; Chappuis, Jan; Stiggins, Rick

    2009-01-01

    Instructional decisions based on quality assessments and a balanced assessment system most effectively promote student learning. To inform sound decisions, assessments need to satisfy five key standards of quality: (1) clear purpose; (2) clear learning targets; (3) sound assessment design; (4) effective communication of results; and (5) student…

  17. Informatics: essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing.

    PubMed Central

    Henry, S B

    1995-01-01

    In recent decades there have been major advances in the creation and implementation of information technologies and in the development of measures of health care quality. The premise of this article is that informatics provides essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing. In this context, the term quality assessment and improvement comprises both short-term processes such as continuous quality improvement (CQI) and long-term outcomes management. This premise is supported by 1) presentation of a historical perspective on quality assessment and improvement; 2) delineation of the types of data required for quality assessment and improvement; and 3) description of the current and potential uses of information technology in the acquisition, storage, transformation, and presentation of quality data, information, and knowledge. PMID:7614118

  18. Stereoscopic image quality assessment using disparity-compensated view filtering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Yang; Yu, Mei; Jiang, Gangyi; Shao, Feng; Peng, Zongju

    2016-03-01

    Stereoscopic image quality assessment (IQA) plays a vital role in stereoscopic image/video processing systems. We propose a new quality assessment for stereoscopic image that uses disparity-compensated view filtering (DCVF). First, because a stereoscopic image is composed of different frequency components, DCVF is designed to decompose it into high-pass and low-pass components. Then, the qualities of different frequency components are acquired according to their phase congruency and coefficient distribution characteristics. Finally, support vector regression is utilized to establish a mapping model between the component qualities and subjective qualities, and stereoscopic image quality is calculated using this mapping model. Experiments on the LIVE 3-D IQA database and NBU 3-D IQA databases demonstrate that the proposed method can evaluate stereoscopic image quality accurately. Compared with several state-of-the-art quality assessment methods, the proposed method is more consistent with human perception.

  19. Instructional Decision Making and IPAs: Assessing the Modes of Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kissau, Scott; Adams, Mary Jo

    2016-01-01

    Integrated Performance Assessments (IPAs) provide elementary, secondary, and postsecondary instructors with the opportunity to align standards-based foreign language instruction with assessment practices. While IPA guidelines make it clear that all three modes of communication are to be assessed, the limited body of research on IPAs provides few…

  20. 75 FR 53298 - A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-31

    ... AGENCY A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay AGENCY... 60-day public comment period for the draft document titled, ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant... and must be received by EPA by November 1, 2010. ADDRESSES: The draft ``A Method To Assess...

  1. Assessing the structure of non-routine decision processes in Airline Operations Control.

    PubMed

    Richters, Floor; Schraagen, Jan Maarten; Heerkens, Hans

    2016-03-01

    Unfamiliar severe disruptions challenge Airline Operations Control professionals most, as their expertise is stretched to its limits. This study has elicited the structure of Airline Operations Control professionals' decision process during unfamiliar disruptions by mapping three macrocognitive activities on the decision ladder: sensemaking, option evaluation and action planning. The relationship between this structure and decision quality was measured. A simulated task was staged, based on which think-aloud protocols were obtained. Results show that the general decision process structure resembles the structure of experts working under routine conditions, in terms of the general structure of the macrocognitive activities, and the rule-based approach used to identify options and actions. Surprisingly, high quality of decision outcomes was found to relate to the use of rule-based strategies. This implies that successful professionals are capable of dealing with unfamiliar problems by reframing them into familiar ones, rather than to engage in knowledge-based processing. Practitioner Summary: We examined the macrocognitive structure of Airline Operations Control professionals' decision process during a simulated unfamiliar disruption in relation to decision quality. Results suggest that successful professionals are capable of dealing with unfamiliar problems by reframing them into familiar ones, rather than to engage in knowledge-based processing. PMID:26224064

  2. An Environmental Decision Support System for Spatial Assessment and Selective Remediation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA) is a Windows freeware program that incorporates environmental assessment tools for effective problem-solving. The software integrates modules for GIS, visualization, geospatial analysis, statistical analysis, human health and ecolog...

  3. In Search of Quality Criteria in Peer Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ploegh, Karin; Tillema, Harm H.; Segers, Mien S. R.

    2009-01-01

    With the increasing popularity of peer assessment as an assessment tool, questions may arise about its measurement quality. Among such questions, the extent peer assessment practices adhere to standards of measurement. It has been claimed that new forms of assessment, require new criteria to judge their validity and reliability, since they aim for…

  4. Recent advances in soil quality assessment in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality is a concept that is useful as an educational and assessment tool. A number of assessment tools have been developed including: the Soil Conditioning Index (SCI), the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF), the AgroEcosystem Performance Assessment Tool (AEPAT), and the new Cornell “...

  5. Breast Cancer Treatment Decision Making among Latinas and non-Latina Whites: A Communication Model Predicting Decisional Outcomes and Quality of Life

    PubMed Central

    Yanez, Betina; Stanton, Annette L.; Maly, Rose C.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Deciding among medical treatment options is a pivotal event following cancer diagnosis, a task that can be particularly daunting for individuals uncomfortable with communication in a medical context. Few studies have explored the surgical decision-making process and associated outcomes among Latinas. We propose a model to elucidate pathways though which acculturation (indicated by language use) and reports of communication effectiveness specific to medical decision making contribute to decisional outcomes (i.e., congruency between preferred and actual involvement in decision making, treatment satisfaction) and quality of life among Latinas and non-Latina White women with breast cancer. Methods Latinas (N = 326) and non-Latina Whites (N = 168) completed measures six months after breast cancer diagnosis, and quality of life was assessed 18 months after diagnosis. Structural equation modeling was used to examine relationships between language use, communication effectiveness, and outcomes. Results Among Latinas, 63% reported congruency in decision making, whereas 76% of non-Latina Whites reported congruency. In Latinas, greater use of English was related to better reported communication effectiveness. Effectiveness in communication was not related to congruency in decision making, but several indicators of effectiveness in communication were related to greater treatment satisfaction, as was greater congruency in decision making. Greater treatment satisfaction predicted more favorable quality of life. The final model fit the data well only for Latinas. Differences in quality of life and effectiveness in communication were observed between racial/ethnic groups. Conclusions Findings underscore the importance of developing targeted interventions for physicians and Latinas with breast cancer to enhance communication in decision making. PMID:22746263

  6. Decision-making in honeybee swarms based on quality and distance information of candidate nest sites.

    PubMed

    Laomettachit, Teeraphan; Termsaithong, Teerasit; Sae-Tang, Anuwat; Duangphakdee, Orawan

    2015-01-01

    In the nest-site selection process of honeybee swarms, an individual bee performs a waggle dance to communicate information about direction, quality, and distance of a discovered site to other bees at the swarm. Initially, different groups of bees dance to represent different potential sites, but eventually the swarm usually reaches an agreement for only one site. Here, we model the nest-site selection process in honeybee swarms of Apis mellifera and show how the swarms make adaptive decisions based on a trade-off between the quality and distance to candidate nest sites. We use bifurcation analysis and stochastic simulations to reveal that the swarm's site distance preference is moderate>near>far when the swarms choose between low quality sites. However, the distance preference becomes near>moderate>far when the swarms choose between high quality sites. Our simulations also indicate that swarms with large population size prefer nearer sites and, in addition, are more adaptive at making decisions based on available information compared to swarms with smaller population size. PMID:25218431

  7. A review of quality of life in Alzheimer's disease. Part 2: Issues in assessing drug effects.

    PubMed

    Salek, S S; Walker, M D; Bayer, A J

    1998-12-01

    known as responsiveness. All these criteria are even more important when measuring quality of life as an outcome during clinical trials of a new antidementia drug, because the data generated are likely to influence decisions made by regulatory bodies about whether to grant licences that are required by pharmaceutical companies to market their products. Further cross-sectional and longitudinal research is required to ensure that the available instruments possess the essential psychometric criteria that must be demonstrated prior to their utilisation in clinical trials of any compound developed for use in dementia/AD. Ongoing conceptual research may still be useful in exploring new ways of assessing quality of life in this important therapeutic area. PMID:10346414

  8. Research Quality Assessment in Education: Impossible Science, Possible Art?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridges, David

    2009-01-01

    For better or for worse, the assessment of research quality is one of the primary drivers of the behaviour of the academic community with all sorts of potential for distorting that behaviour. So, if you are going to assess research quality, how do you do it? This article explores some of the problems and possibilities, with particular reference to…

  9. Educational Quality Assessment: Manual for Interpreting School Reports.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg. Bureau of Educational Quality Assessment.

    The results of the Pennsylvania Educational Quality Assessment program, Phase II, are interpreted. The first section of the manual presents a statement of each of the Ten Goals of Quality Education which served as the basis of the assessment. Also included are the key items on the questionnaires administered to 5th and 11th grade students. The…

  10. Quality Assessment of Internationalised Studies: Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2013-01-01

    The article reviews forms of higher education internationalisation at an institutional level. The relevance of theoretical background of internationalised study quality assessment is highlighted and definitions of internationalised studies quality are presented. Existing methods of assessment of higher education internationalisation are criticised…

  11. Different Academics' Characteristics, Different Perceptions on Quality Assessment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Rosa, Maria Joao; Santos, Cristina S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore Portuguese academics' perceptions on higher education quality assessment objectives and purposes, in general, and on the recently implemented system for higher education quality assessment and accreditation, in particular. It aims to discuss the differences of those perceptions dependent on some…

  12. Higher Education Quality Assessment in China: An Impact Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun

    2015-01-01

    This research analyses an external higher education quality assessment scheme in China, namely, the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education (QAUE) scheme. Case studies were conducted in three Chinese universities with different statuses. Analysis shows that the evaluated institutions responded to the external requirements of the QAUE…

  13. Development and Validation of Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Steve; Hammond-Bennett, Austin; Zlamout, Sandy

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This study aimed at examining the psychometric properties of the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubric (AQTR) that was designed to assess in-service teachers' quality levels of teaching practices in daily lessons. Methods: 45 physical education lessons taught by nine physical education teachers to students in grades K-5 were videotaped. They…

  14. Academics' Perceptions on the Purposes of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosa, Maria J.; Sarrico, Claudia S.; Amaral, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    The accountability versus improvement debate is an old one. Although being traditionally considered dichotomous purposes of higher education quality assessment, some authors defend the need of balancing both in quality assessment systems. This article goes a step further and contends that not only they should be balanced but also that other…

  15. Quality Assurance of Assessment and Moderation Discourses Involving Sessional Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grainger, Peter; Adie, Lenore; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

    Quality assurance is a major agenda in tertiary education. The casualisation of academic work, especially in teaching, is also a quality assurance issue. Casual or sessional staff members teach and assess more than 50% of all university courses in Australia, and yet the research in relation to the role sessional staff play in quality assurance of…

  16. On Improving Higher Vocational College Education Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiang; Chen, Yan; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Yi

    Teaching quality assessment is a judgment process by using the theory and technology of education evaluation system to test whether the process and result of teaching have got to a certain quality level. Many vocational schools have established teaching quality assessment systems of their own characteristics as the basic means to do self-examination and teaching behavior adjustment. Combined with the characteristics and requirements of the vocational education and by analyzing the problems exist in contemporary vocational school, form the perspective of the content, assessment criteria and feedback system of the teaching quality assessment to optimize the system, to complete the teaching quality information net and offer suggestions for feedback channels, to make the institutionalization, standardization of the vocational schools and indeed to make contribution for the overall improvement of the quality of vocational schools.

  17. Some implications of the technology assessment function for the effective public decision-making process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayo, L. H.

    1971-01-01

    A preliminary provisional assessment of the prospects for the establishment of an adequate technology assessment function and the implications of the assessment function for the public decision process are presented. Effects of the technology assessment function on each phase of the public decision process and briefly explored. Significant implications during the next decade are projected with respect to the following phases: invention and development of alternative means (technological configurations); evaluation, selection and promotion of preferred courses of action; and modification of statutory scheme or social action program as an outcome of continuing monitoring and appraisal.

  18. Prioritizing Information for Quality Improvement Using Resident Assessment Instrument Data: Experiences in One Canadian Province

    PubMed Central

    Sales, Anne; O'Rourke, Hannah M.; Draper, Kellie; Teare, Gary F.; Maxwell, Colleen

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To elicit priority rankings of indicators of quality of care among providers and decision-makers in continuing care in Alberta, Canada. Methods: We used modified nominal group technique to elicit priorities and criteria for prioritization among the quality indicators and resident/client assessment protocols developed by the interRAI consortium for use in long-term care and home care. Results: The top-ranked items from the long-term care assessment data were pressure ulcers, pain and incontinence. The top-ranked items from the home care data were pain, falls and proportion of clients at high risk for residential placement. Participants considered a variety of issues in deciding how to rank the indicators. Implications: This work reflects the beginning of a process to better understand how providers and policy makers can work together to assess priorities for quality improvement within continuing care. PMID:22294992

  19. Automatic Assessment of Pathological Voice Quality Using Higher-Order Statistics in the LPC Residual Domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ji Yeoun; Hahn, Minsoo

    2010-12-01

    A preprocessing scheme based on linear prediction coefficient (LPC) residual is applied to higher-order statistics (HOSs) for automatic assessment of an overall pathological voice quality. The normalized skewness and kurtosis are estimated from the LPC residual and show statistically meaningful distributions to characterize the pathological voice quality. 83 voice samples of the sustained vowel /a/ phonation are used in this study and are independently assessed by a speech and language therapist (SALT) according to the grade of the severity of dysphonia of GRBAS scale. These are used to train and test classification and regression tree (CART). The best result is obtained using an optima l decision tree implemented by a combination of the normalized skewness and kurtosis, with an accuracy of 92.9%. It is concluded that the method can be used as an assessment tool, providing a valuable aid to the SALT during clinical evaluation of an overall pathological voice quality.

  20. Identification and Assessment of Potential Water Quality Impact Factors for Drinking-Water Reservoirs

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Qing; Deng, Jinsong; Wang, Ke; Lin, Yi; Li, Jun; Gan, Muye; Ma, Ligang; Hong, Yang

    2014-01-01

    Various reservoirs have been serving as the most important drinking water sources in Zhejiang Province, China, due to the uneven distribution of precipitation and severe river pollution. Unfortunately, rapid urbanization and industrialization have been continuously challenging the water quality of the drinking-water reservoirs. The identification and assessment of potential impacts is indispensable in water resource management and protection. This study investigates the drinking water reservoirs in Zhejiang Province to better understand the potential impact on water quality. Altogether seventy-three typical drinking reservoirs in Zhejiang Province encompassing various water storage levels were selected and evaluated. Using fifty-two reservoirs as training samples, the classification and regression tree (CART) method and sixteen comprehensive variables, including six sub-sets (land use, population, socio-economy, geographical features, inherent characteristics, and climate), were adopted to establish a decision-making model for identifying and assessing their potential impacts on drinking-water quality. The water quality class of the remaining twenty-one reservoirs was then predicted and tested based on the decision-making model, resulting in a water quality class attribution accuracy of 81.0%. Based on the decision rules and quantitative importance of the independent variables, industrial emissions was identified as the most important factor influencing the water quality of reservoirs; land use and human habitation also had a substantial impact on water quality. The results of this study provide insights into the factors impacting the water quality of reservoirs as well as basic information for protecting reservoir water resources. PMID:24919129

  1. A decision support system for assessing landfill performance

    SciTech Connect

    Celik, Basak; Girgin, Sertan; Yazici, Adnan; Unlue, Kahraman

    2010-01-15

    Designing environmentally sound landfills is a challenging engineering task due to complex interactions of numerous design variables; such as landfill size, waste characteristics, and site hydrogeology. Decision support systems (DSS) can be utilized to handle these complex interactions and to aid in a performance-based landfill design by coupling system simulation models (SSM). The aim of this paper is to present a decision support system developed for a performance-based landfill design. The developed DSS is called Landfill Design Decision Support System - LFDSS. A two-step DSS framework, composed of preliminary design and detailed design phases, is set to effectively couple and run the SSMs and calculation modules. In preliminary design phase, preliminary design alternatives are proposed using general site data. In detailed design phase, proposed design alternatives are further simulated under site-specific data using SSMs for performance evaluation. LFDSS calculates the required landfill volume, performs landfill base contour design, proposes preliminary design alternatives based on general site conditions, evaluates the performance of the proposed designs, calculates the factor of safety values for slope stability analyses, and performs major cost calculations. The DSS evaluates the results of all landfill design alternatives, and determines whether the design satisfies the predefined performance criteria. The DSS ultimately enables comparisons among different landfill designs based on their performances (i.e. leachate head stability, and groundwater contamination), constructional stability and costs. The developed DSS was applied to a real site, and the results demonstrated the strengths of the developed system on designing environmentally sound and feasible landfills.

  2. Germination tests for assessing biochar quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the impact of biochar quality on soil productivity is crucial to the agronomic acceptance of biochar amendments. Our objective in this study was to develop a quick and reliable screening procedures to characterize the quality of biochar amendments. Biochars were evaluated by both seed ...

  3. SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT USING FUZZY MODELING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maintaining soil productivity is essential if agriculture production systems are to be sustainable, thus soil quality is an essential issue. However, there is a paucity of tools for measurement for the purpose of understanding changes in soil quality. Here the possibility of using fuzzy modeling t...

  4. RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT: FRAMEWORK FOR DECISION MAKING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The risk assessment and risk management initiatives described in this report are tools which will help make possible more efficient protection of the environment and human health. e expect to gain the following specific management advantages: isk assessment and risk management he...

  5. ECOLOGICAL TREND ASSESSMENT USING A SPATIAL DECISION SUPPORT GIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project is using geospatial techniques to develop analytical tools to combine individually- collected data sets for assessing the effects of long-term ecological changes on the environment. Pilot assessments will focus on the issues of urban sprawl, suburban agricultural lan...

  6. 36 CFR 220.7 - Environmental assessment and decision notice.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... determine whether to prepare either an EIS or a FONSI (40 CFR 1508.9); (ii) Shall disclose the environmental... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Environmental assessment and... AGRICULTURE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) COMPLIANCE § 220.7 Environmental assessment and...

  7. Remote sensing of water quality in Tampa Bay: from research to management decision support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, C.; Le, C.; Cannizzaro, J.; English, D. C.; Kovach, C.

    2013-12-01

    Remote sensing of water quality in estuaries has been problematic in the past due to optical complexity of estuarine waters and uncertainties of atmospheric correction. Here, using Tampa Bay (about 1000 km2 with mean bottom depth of 4 m) as a case study, we report our recent progress in algorithm development and application of satellite data products for management decision support. We use data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) to derive validated data products of water column chlorophyll-a concentrations (Chl-a in mg m-3), diffuse attenuation coefficient at 490 nm (Kd490 in m-1), and absorption coefficient of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) at 443 nm (ag443 in m-1) for large dynamic ranges. These are derived using customized algorithms and validated using extensive field data collected between 1998 and 2010. The algorithms combine the advantage of both empirical and semi-analytical approaches, and use green and red wavelengths to avoid problems in the blue wavelengths due to imperfect atmospheric correction. The long-term products from 1998 to 2012 are used to develop a satellite-based water quality decision matrix (WQDM) to help make management decisions. Further, time series data are extracted routinely from several pre-defined stations and then provided to the general public on a customized web site through a virtual buoy system (VBS).

  8. Coordinating vendor-buyer decisions for imperfect quality items considering trade credit and fully backlogged shortages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khanna, Aditi; Gautam, Prerna; Jaggi, Chandra K.

    2016-03-01

    Supply chain management has become a critical issue for modern business environments. In today's world of cooperative decision-making, individual decisions in order to reduce inventory costs may not lead to an overall optimal solution. Coordination is necessary among participants of supply chain to achieve better performance. There are legitimate and important efforts from the vendor to enhance the relation with buyer; one such effort is offering trade credit which has been a driver of growth and development of business between them. The cost of financing is a core consideration in effective financial management, in general and in context of business. Also, due to imperfect production a vendor may produce defective items which results in shortages. Motivated with these aspects, an integrated vendor-buyer inventory model is developed for imperfect quality items with allowable shortages; in which the vendor offers credit period to the buyer for payment. The objective is to minimize the total joint annual costs incurred by the vendor and the buyer by using integrated decision making approach. The expected total annual integrated cost is derived and a solution procedure is provided to find the optimal solution. Numerical analysis shows that the integrated model gives an impressive cost reduction, in comparison to independent decision policies by the vendor and the buyer.

  9. Evaluation and selection of decision-making methods to assess landfill mining projects.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Robert; Baumgartner, Rupert J; Vorbach, Stefan; Ragossnig, Arne; Pomberger, Roland

    2015-09-01

    For the first time in Austria, fundamental technological and economic studies on recovering secondary raw materials from large landfills have been carried out, based on the 'LAMIS - Landfill Mining Austria' pilot project. A main focus of the research - and the subject of this article - was to develop an assessment or decision-making procedure that allows landfill owners to thoroughly examine the feasibility of a landfill mining project in advance. Currently there are no standard procedures that would sufficiently cover all the multiple-criteria requirements. The basic structure of the multiple attribute decision making process was used to narrow down on selection, conceptual design and assessment of suitable procedures. Along with a breakdown into preliminary and main assessment, the entire foundation required was created, such as definitions of requirements to an assessment method, selection and accurate description of the various assessment criteria and classification of the target system for the present 'landfill mining' vs. 'retaining the landfill in after-care' decision-making problem. Based on these studies, cost-utility analysis and the analytical-hierarchy process were selected from the range of multiple attribute decision-making procedures and examined in detail. Overall, both methods have their pros and cons with regard to their use for assessing landfill mining projects. Merging these methods or connecting them with single-criteria decision-making methods (like the net present value method) may turn out to be reasonable and constitute an appropriate assessment method. PMID:26123349

  10. Assessing quality of pre-service physics teachers' written arguments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydeniz, Mehmet; Gürçay, Deniz

    2013-11-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of scientific arguments developed by pre-service physics teachers. Sample: The participants were 171 pre-service physics teachers recruited from two universities: 86 from University A and 85 from University B. Design and method: Participants were prompted to develop a written argument to either support or challenge the Turkish government's decision to invest in nuclear power plants. Data consist of written arguments developed by the participants and information on participants' knowledge of the topic, their confidence in their knowledge and the source of their knowledge related to the topic. Data were analyzed using the CER framework. Results: The results show that participants did not perform at the expected level. The majority of students failed to develop strong scientific arguments. While almost all of the participants provided evidence to justify their claims, they failed to effectively coordinate evidence, claim and theory to develop an argument. Students struggled the most in the warrant/reasoning category of the CER framework. We also identified several misconceptions that students held related to nuclear power plants. Conclusions: In our discussion we problematize college science teaching and advocate integration of instructional strategies such as argumentation that can effectively engage students in construction, evaluation and justification of knowledge.

  11. Research iris serial images quality assessment method based on HVS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhi-hui; Zhang, Chang-hai; Ming, Xing; Zhao, Yong-hua

    2006-01-01

    Iris recognition can be widely used in security and customs, and it provides superiority security than other human feature recognition such as fingerprint, face and so on. The iris image quality is crucial to recognition effect. Accordingly reliable image quality assessments are necessary for evaluating iris image quality. However, there haven't uniformly criterion to Image quality assessment. Image quality assessment have Objective and Subjective Evaluation methods, In practice, However Subjective Evaluation method is fussy and doesn't effective on iris recognition. Objective Evaluation method should be used in iris recognition. According to human visual system model (HVS) Multi-scale and selectivity characteristic, it presents a new iris Image quality assessment method. In the paper, ROI is found and wavelet transform zero-crossing is used to find Multi-scale edge, and Multi-scale fusion measure is used to assess iris image quality. In experiment, Objective and Subjective Evaluation methods are used to assess iris images. From the results, the method is effectively to iris image quality assessment.

  12. Visual air quality assessment: Denver case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mumpower, Jeryl; Middleton, Paulette; Dennis, Robin L.; Stewart, Thomas R.; Veirs, Val

    Studies of visual air quality in the Denver metropolitan region during summer 1979 and winter 1979-1980 are described and results reported. The major objective of the studies was to investigate relationships among four types of variables important to urban visual air quality: (1) individuals' judgements of overall visual air quality; (2) perceptual cues used in making judgments of visual air quality; (3) measurable physical characteristics of the visual environment and (4) concentrations of visibility-reducing pollutants and their precursors. During August 1979 and mid-December 1979 to January 1980, simultaneous measurements of observational and environmental data were made daily at various locations throughout the metropolitan area. Observational data included ratings of overall air quality and related perceptual cues (e.g., distance, clarity, color, border) by multiple observers. Environmental data included routine hourly pollutant and meteorological measurements from several fixed locations within the city, as well as aerosol light scattering and absorption measures from one location. Statistical analyses indicated that (1) multiple perceptual cues are required to explain variation in judgments of overall visual air quality and (2) routine measurements of the physical environment appear to be inadequate predictors of either judgments of overall visual air quality or related perceptual cues.

  13. Statistical quality assessment of a fingerprint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Kyungtae

    2004-08-01

    The quality of a fingerprint is essential to the performance of AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Identification System). Such a quality may be classified by clarity and regularity of ridge-valley structures.1,2 One may calculate thickness of ridge and valley to measure the clarity and regularity. However, calculating a thickness is not feasible in a poor quality image, especially, severely damaged images that contain broken ridges (or valleys). In order to overcome such a difficulty, the proposed approach employs the statistical properties in a local block, which involve the mean and spread of the thickness of both ridge and valley. The mean value is used for determining whether a fingerprint is wet or dry. For example, the black pixels are dominant if a fingerprint is wet, the average thickness of ridge is larger than one of valley, and vice versa on a dry fingerprint. In addition, a standard deviation is used for determining severity of damage. In this study, the quality is divided into three categories based on two statistical properties mentioned above: wet, good, and dry. The number of low quality blocks is used to measure a global quality of fingerprint. In addition, a distribution of poor blocks is also measured using Euclidean distances between groups of poor blocks. With this scheme, locally condensed poor blocks decreases the overall quality of an image. Experimental results on the fingerprint images captured by optical devices as well as by a rolling method show the wet and dry parts of image were successfully captured. Enhancing an image by employing morphology techniques that modifying the detected poor quality blocks is illustrated in section 3. However, more work needs to be done on designing a scheme to incorporate the number of poor blocks and their distributions for a global quality.

  14. RECOVERY ACT - Methods for Decision under Technological Change Uncertainty and Risk Assessment for Integrated Assessment of Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Webster, Mort David

    2015-03-10

    This report presents the final outcomes and products of the project as performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research project consists of three main components: methodology development for decision-making under uncertainty, improving the resolution of the electricity sector to improve integrated assessment, and application of these methods to integrated assessment. Results in each area is described in the report.

  15. The effect of sampling strategies on assessment of water quality criteria attainment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuxin; Wilson, Jessica M; VanBriesen, Jeanne M

    2015-05-01

    Sample locations for large river studies affect the representativeness of data, and thus can alter decisions made regarding river conditions and the need for interventions to improve water quality. The present study evaluated three water-quality sampling programs for Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) assessment in the Monongahela River from 2008 to 2012. The sampling plans cover the same 145 km of river but differ in frequency, sample location and type (e.g., river water sample vs drinking water plant intake sample). Differences resulting from temporal and spatial variability in sampling lead to different conclusions regarding water quality in the river (including regulatory listing decisions), especially when low flow leads to concentrations at or near the water quality criteria (500mg/L TDS). Drinking water samples exceeded the criteria 82 out of 650 samples (12.6%), while river water samples exceeded the criteria 47 out of 464 samples (10.1%). Different water sample types could provide different pictures of water quality in the river and lead to different regulatory listing decisions. PMID:25704747

  16. Evaluation of a software package for automated quality assessment of contrast detail images—comparison with subjective visual assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascoal, A.; Lawinski, C. P.; Honey, I.; Blake, P.

    2005-12-01

    Contrast detail analysis is commonly used to assess image quality (IQ) associated with diagnostic imaging systems. Applications include routine assessment of equipment performance and optimization studies. Most frequently, the evaluation of contrast detail images involves human observers visually detecting the threshold contrast detail combinations in the image. However, the subjective nature of human perception and the variations in the decision threshold pose limits to the minimum image quality variations detectable with reliability. Objective methods of assessment of image quality such as automated scoring have the potential to overcome the above limitations. A software package (CDRAD analyser) developed for automated scoring of images produced with the CDRAD test object was evaluated. Its performance to assess absolute and relative IQ was compared with that of an average observer. Results show that the software does not mimic the absolute performance of the average observer. The software proved more sensitive and was able to detect smaller low-contrast variations. The observer's performance was superior to the software's in the detection of smaller details. Both scoring methods showed frequent agreement in the detection of image quality variations resulting from changes in kVp and KERMAdetector, which indicates the potential to use the software CDRAD analyser for assessment of relative IQ.

  17. WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF AMERICAN FALLS RESERVOIR

    EPA Science Inventory

    A water quality model was developed to support a TMDL for phosphorus related to phytoplankton growth in the reservoir. This report documents the conceptual model, available data, model evaluation, and simulation results.

  18. Teacher Quality and Quality Teaching: Examining the Relationship of a Teacher Assessment to Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Heather C.; Umland, Kristin; Litke, Erica; Kapitula, Laura R.

    2012-01-01

    Multiple-choice assessments are frequently used for gauging teacher quality. However, research seldom examines whether results from such assessments generalize to practice. To illuminate this issue, we compare teacher performance on a mathematics assessment, during mathematics instruction, and by student performance on a state assessment. Poor…

  19. The role of Health Impact Assessment in the setting of air quality standards: An Australian perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne; Harris, Patrick

    2013-11-15

    The approaches used for setting or reviewing air quality standards vary from country to country. The purpose of this research was to consider the potential to improve decision-making through integration of HIA into the processes to review and set air quality standards used in Australia. To assess the value of HIA in this policy process, its strengths and weaknesses were evaluated aligned with review of international processes for setting air quality standards. Air quality standard setting programmes elsewhere have either used HIA or have amalgamated and incorporated factors normally found within HIA frameworks. They clearly demonstrate the value of a formalised HIA process for setting air quality standards in Australia. The following elements should be taken into consideration when using HIA in standard setting. (a) The adequacy of a mainly technical approach in current standard setting procedures to consider social determinants of health. (b) The importance of risk assessment criteria and information within the HIA process. The assessment of risk should consider equity, the distribution of variations in air quality in different locations and the potential impacts on health. (c) The uncertainties in extrapolating evidence from one population to another or to subpopulations, especially the more vulnerable, due to differing environmental factors and population variables. (d) The significance of communication with all potential stakeholders on issues associated with the management of air quality. In Australia there is also an opportunity for HIA to be used in conjunction with the NEPM to develop local air quality standard measures. The outcomes of this research indicated that the use of HIA for air quality standard setting at the national and local levels would prove advantageous. -- Highlights: • Health Impact Assessment framework has been applied to a policy development process. • HIA process was evaluated for application in air quality standard setting.

  20. Mapping coal quality parameters for economic assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Hohn, M.E.; Smith, C.J.; Ashton, K.C.; McColloch, G.H. Jr.

    1988-08-01

    This study recommends mapping procedures for a data base of coal quality parameters. The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey has developed a data base that includes about 10,000 analyses of coal samples representing most seams in West Virginia. Coverage is irregular and widely spaced; minimal sample spacing is generally greater than 1 mi. Geologists use this data base to answer public and industry requests for maps that show areas meeting coal quality specifications.

  1. Space shuttle flying qualities and criteria assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, T. T.; Johnston, D. E.; Mcruer, Duane T.

    1987-01-01

    Work accomplished under a series of study tasks for the Flying Qualities and Flight Control Systems Design Criteria Experiment (OFQ) of the Shuttle Orbiter Experiments Program (OEX) is summarized. The tasks involved review of applicability of existing flying quality and flight control system specification and criteria for the Shuttle; identification of potentially crucial flying quality deficiencies; dynamic modeling of the Shuttle Orbiter pilot/vehicle system in the terminal flight phases; devising a nonintrusive experimental program for extraction and identification of vehicle dynamics, pilot control strategy, and approach and landing performance metrics, and preparation of an OEX approach to produce a data archive and optimize use of the data to develop flying qualities for future space shuttle craft in general. Analytic modeling of the Orbiter's unconventional closed-loop dynamics in landing, modeling pilot control strategies, verification of vehicle dynamics and pilot control strategy from flight data, review of various existent or proposed aircraft flying quality parameters and criteria in comparison with the unique dynamic characteristics and control aspects of the Shuttle in landing; and finally a summary of conclusions and recommendations for developing flying quality criteria and design guides for future Shuttle craft.

  2. Design and Focus Test of a Preconsultation Decision Aid for Breast Cancer Reconstruction Patients: A Quality Improvement Initiative

    PubMed Central

    Hui, Kenneth J.; Liu, Xiang X.; Luan, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To design, develop, and evaluate via focus group a preconsultation decision aid to improve patient satisfaction for breast reconstruction. Methods: The design of the decision aid was based on perceived patient needs, literature, existing decision aids, and current standard of breast cancer reconstruction treatment and consultation at Stanford. Our decision aid was designed to (1) reducing fear of the unknown in patients via providing a knowledge base that they can rely on, (2) helping patients identify their key breast reconstruction concerns, (3) addressing common patient concerns, (4) providing a framework to help patients identify the treatment option that may be right for them, and (5) promoting shared decision making. Physicians were consulted on the decision aid, following which a focus group was conducted for patient feedback. Results: Interviewed patients (n = 12) were supportive of the decision aid initiative. Participants were especially pleased with the side-by-side comparison of surgical options and the parsimonious way information was represented. All patients before undergoing reconstruction (n = 3) requested the decision guide to reference at home. All interviewed patients believed information level was “about right.” Conclusions: Decision aid was well received by patients in the focus group. As the initiative is for quality improvement, we saw no need to further delay the distribution of the decision aid. A pilot study will be conducted to evaluate whether our decision aid has an effect on patients’ decision regret, stress, and anxiety. PMID:26171096

  3. Assessing the Problem Formulation in an Integrated Assessment Model: Implications for Climate Policy Decision-Support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garner, G. G.; Reed, P. M.; Keller, K.

    2014-12-01

    Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are often used with the intent to aid in climate change decisionmaking. Numerous studies have analyzed the effects of parametric and/or structural uncertainties in IAMs, but uncertainties regarding the problem formulation are often overlooked. Here we use the Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (DICE) to analyze the effects of uncertainty surrounding the problem formulation. The standard DICE model adopts a single objective to maximize a weighted sum of utilities of per-capita consumption. Decisionmakers, however, may be concerned with a broader range of values and preferences that are not captured by this a priori definition of utility. We reformulate the problem by introducing three additional objectives that represent values such as (i) reliably limiting global average warming to two degrees Celsius and minimizing both (ii) the costs of abatement and (iii) the damages due to climate change. We derive a set of Pareto-optimal solutions over which decisionmakers can trade-off and assess performance criteria a posteriori. We illustrate the potential for myopia in the traditional problem formulation and discuss the capability of this multiobjective formulation to provide decision support.

  4. Information Quality in Regulatory Decision Making: Peer Review versus Good Laboratory Practice

    PubMed Central

    Borgert, Christopher J.; Mihaich, Ellen M.

    2012-01-01

    Background: There is an ongoing discussion on the provenance of toxicity testing data regarding how best to ensure its validity and credibility. A central argument is whether journal peer-review procedures are superior to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards employed for compliance with regulatory mandates. Objective: We sought to evaluate the rationale for regulatory decision making based on peer-review procedures versus GLP standards. Method: We examined pertinent published literature regarding how scientific data quality and validity are evaluated for peer review, GLP compliance, and development of regulations. Discussion: Some contend that peer review is a coherent, consistent evaluative procedure providing quality control for experimental data generation, analysis, and reporting sufficient to reliably establish relative merit, whereas GLP is seen as merely a tracking process designed to thwart investigator corruption. This view is not supported by published analyses pointing to subjectivity and variability in peer-review processes. Although GLP is not designed to establish relative merit, it is an internationally accepted quality assurance, quality control method for documenting experimental conduct and data. Conclusions: Neither process is completely sufficient for establishing relative scientific soundness. However, changes occurring both in peer-review processes and in regulatory guidance resulting in clearer, more transparent communication of scientific information point to an emerging convergence in ensuring information quality. The solution to determining relative merit lies in developing a well-documented, generally accepted weight-of-evidence scheme to evaluate both peer-reviewed and GLP information used in regulatory decision making where both merit and specific relevance inform the process. PMID:22343028

  5. Application of case classification in healthcare quality assessment in China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ping; Li, Meina; Zhang, Lulu; Sun, Qingwen; Lv, Shinwei; Lian, Bin; Wei, Min; Kan, Zhang

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to build a healthcare quality assessment system with disease category as the basic unit of assessment based on the principles of case classification, and to assess the quality of care in a large hospital in Shanghai. Using the Delphi method, four quality indicators were selected. The data of 124,125 patients discharged from a large general hospital in Shanghai, from October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2007, were used to establish quality indicators estimates for each disease. The data of 51,760 discharged patients from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008 were used as the testing sample, and the standard scores of each quality indicator for each clinical department were calculated. Then the total score of various clinical departments in the hospital was calculated based on the differences between the practical scores and the standard. Based on quality assessment scores, we found that the quality of healthcare in departments of thyroid and mammary gland surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, stomatology, dermatology, and paediatrics was better than in other departments. Implementation of the case classification for healthcare quality assessment permitted the comparison of quality among different healthcare departments. PMID:22700559

  6. Quality and consumer decision making in the market for health insurance and health care services.

    PubMed

    Kolstad, Jonathan T; Chernew, Michael E

    2009-02-01

    This article reviews the literature relating quality to consumer choice of health plan or health care provider. Evidence suggests that consumers tend to choose better performing health plans and providers and are responsive to initiatives that provide quality information. The response to quality and quality information differs significantly among consumers and across population subgroups. As such the effect of quality information on choice is apparent in only a relatively small, though perhaps consequential, number of consumers. Despite the wealth of findings on the topic to date, the authors suggest directions for future work, including better assessment of the dynamic issues related to information release, as well as a better understanding of how the response to information varies across different groups of patients. PMID:19029288

  7. Choosing and using climate change scenarios for ecological-impact assessments and conservation decisions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amy K. Snover; Nathan J. Mantua; Littell, Jeremy; Michael A. Alexander; Michelle M. McClure; Janet Nye

    2013-01-01

    Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling methods, scientifically credible strategies for selecting a subset for analysis and decision making are needed. Drawing on a rich literature in climate science and impact assessment and on experience working with natural resource scientists and decision makers, we devised guidelines for choosing climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment that recognize irreducible uncertainty in climate projections and address common misconceptions about this uncertainty. This approach involves identifying primary local climate drivers by climate sensitivity of the biological system of interest; determining appropriate sources of information for future changes in those drivers; considering how well processes controlling local climate are spatially resolved; and selecting scenarios based on considering observed emission trends, relative importance of natural climate variability, and risk tolerance and time horizon of the associated decision. The most appropriate scenarios for a particular analysis will not necessarily be the most appropriate for another due to differences in local climate drivers, biophysical linkages to climate, decision characteristics, and how well a model simulates the climate parameters and processes of interest. Given these complexities, we recommend interaction among climate scientists, natural and physical scientists, and decision makers throughout the process of choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment.

  8. Illinois Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Illinois' Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  9. Iowa Child Care Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Iowa's Child Care Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile is divided into the following categories: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family Child Care Programs;…

  10. Missouri Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Missouri's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  11. Virginia Star Quality Initiative: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Virginia's Star Quality Initiative prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators…

  12. Oregon Child Care Quality Indicators Program: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Oregon's Child Care Quality Indicators Program prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  13. Mississippi Quality Step System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS)Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Mississippi's Quality Step System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Application…

  14. Palm Beach Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Palm Beach's Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  15. New Hampshire Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of New Hampshire's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  16. Ohio Step Up to Quality: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Ohio's Step Up to Quality prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  17. Indiana Paths to Quality: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Indiana's Paths to Quality prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  18. Miami-Dade Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Miami-Dade's Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  19. Maine Quality for ME: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Maine's Quality for ME prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  20. Doctors or technicians: assessing quality of medical education

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Tayyab

    2010-01-01

    Medical education institutions usually adapt industrial quality management models that measure the quality of the process of a program but not the quality of the product. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of industrial quality management models on medical education and students, and to highlight the importance of introducing a proper educational quality management model. Industrial quality management models can measure the training component in terms of competencies, but they lack the educational component measurement. These models use performance indicators to assess their process improvement efforts. Researchers suggest that the performance indicators used in educational institutions may only measure their fiscal efficiency without measuring the quality of the educational experience of the students. In most of the institutions, where industrial models are used for quality assurance, students are considered as customers and are provided with the maximum services and facilities possible. Institutions are required to fulfill a list of recommendations from the quality control agencies in order to enhance student satisfaction and to guarantee standard services. Quality of medical education should be assessed by measuring the impact of the educational program and quality improvement procedures in terms of knowledge base development, behavioral change, and patient care. Industrial quality models may focus on academic support services and processes, but educational quality models should be introduced in parallel to focus on educational standards and products. PMID:23745059

  1. Standardization of tumor markers - priorities identified through external quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine

    2016-01-01

    Tumor markers are often heterogeneous substances that may be present in elevated concentrations in the serum of cancer patients. Typically measured by immunoassay, they contribute to clinical management, particularly in screening, case-finding, prognostic assessment, and post-treatment monitoring. Data both from external quality assessment (EQA) schemes and clinical studies demonstrate significant variation in tumor marker results obtained for the same specimen using different methods. Between-method between-laboratory coefficients of variation (CV) reported by EQA schemes generally reflect the complexity of the measurand, ranging from <5% for the structurally relatively simple α-fetoprotein (AFP) to >25% for the complex mucinous cancer antigen 19-9 (CA19-9). Improving the standardization of tumor marker measurements is particularly important for three reasons. The primary use of tumor markers is in monitoring cancer patients over long periods of time. Clinical interpretation of trends may consequently be affected if results are obtained in different laboratories using different methods or if a laboratory has to change method. Differences in results may have major implications for adoption of area-wide decision cut-offs and make implementation of these difficult. Method-related differences also make it difficult to compare clinical studies. Improving comparability of tumor marker results requires broad international agreement about which molecular forms of the measurand have clinical utility, identifying and adopting pure molecular forms as calibrants, and defining antibody specificities for their optimal detection. These aims have been achieved to varying extents for the most frequently measured serum tumor markers as described in this paper. PMID:27542005

  2. Factors Influencing Assessment Quality in Higher Vocational Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth; Gulikers, Judith; Dijkstra, Asha

    2013-01-01

    The development of assessments that are fit to assess professional competence in higher vocational education requires a reconsideration of assessment methods, quality criteria and (self)evaluation. This article examines the self-evaluations of nine courses of a large higher vocational education institute. Per course, 4-11 teachers and 3-10…

  3. REGIONAL VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT (REVA) IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING THROUGH CLIENT PARTNERSHIPS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Regional Vulnerability Assessment (ReV A) Program is an applied research program t,1at is focusing on using spatial information and model results to support environmental decision-making at regional- down to local-scales. Re VA has developed analysis and assessment methods to...

  4. The Integrated Medical Model - A Risk Assessment and Decision Support Tool for Human Space Flight Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerstman, Eric; Minard, Charles G.; Saile, Lynn; FreiredeCarvalho, Mary; Myers, Jerry; Walton, Marlei; Butler, Douglas; Lopez, Vilma

    2010-01-01

    The Integrated Medical Model (IMM) is a decision support tool that is useful to space flight mission planners and medical system designers in assessing risks and optimizing medical systems. The IMM employs an evidence-based, probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) approach within the operational constraints of space flight.

  5. Test Reviews: Euler, B. L. (2007). "Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree". Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tansy, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree (EDDT) is a teacher-completed norm-referenced rating scale published by Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc., in Lutz, Florida. The 156-item EDDT was developed for use as part of a broader assessment process to screen and assist in the identification of 5- to 18-year-old children for the special…

  6. Integrating Water Quality and River Rehabilitation Management - A Decision-Analytical Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichert, P.; Langhans, S.; Lienert, J.; Schuwirth, N.

    2009-04-01

    Integrative river management involves difficult decisions about alternative measures to improve their ecological state. For this reason, it seems useful to apply knowledge from the decision sciences to support river management. We discuss how decision-analytical elements can be employed for designing an integrated river management procedure. An important aspect of this procedure is to clearly separate scientific predictions of the consequences of alternatives from objectives to be achieved by river management. The key elements of the suggested procedure are (i) the quantitative elicitation of the objectives from different stakeholder groups, (ii) the compilation of the current scientific knowledge about the consequences of the effects resulting from suggested measures in the form of a probabilistic mathematical model, and (iii) the use of these predictions and valuations to prioritize alternatives, to uncover conflicting objectives, to support the design of better alternatives, and to improve the transparency of communication about the chosen management strategy. The development of this procedure led to insights regarding necessary steps to be taken for rational decision-making in river management, to guidelines about the use of decision-analytical techniques for performing these steps, but also to new insights about the application of decision-analytical techniques in general. In particular, the consideration of the spatial distribution of the effects of measures and the potential added value of connected rehabilitated river reaches leads to favoring measures that have a positive effect beyond a single river reach. As these effects only propagate within the river network, this results in a river basin oriented management concept as a consequence of a rational decision support procedure, rather than as an a priori management paradigm. There are also limitations to the support that can be expected from the decision-analytical perspective. It will not provide the

  7. Informing the judgments of fingerprint analysts using quality metric and statistical assessment tools.

    PubMed

    Langenburg, Glenn; Champod, Christophe; Genessay, Thibault

    2012-06-10

    The aim of this research was to evaluate how fingerprint analysts would incorporate information from newly developed tools into their decision making processes. Specifically, we assessed effects using the following: (1) a quality tool to aid in the assessment of the clarity of the friction ridge details, (2) a statistical tool to provide likelihood ratios representing the strength of the corresponding features between compared fingerprints, and (3) consensus information from a group of trained fingerprint experts. The measured variables for the effect on examiner performance were the accuracy and reproducibility of the conclusions against the ground truth (including the impact on error rates) and the analyst accuracy and variation for feature selection and comparison. The results showed that participants using the consensus information from other fingerprint experts demonstrated more consistency and accuracy in minutiae selection. They also demonstrated higher accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in the decisions reported. The quality tool also affected minutiae selection (which, in turn, had limited influence on the reported decisions); the statistical tool did not appear to influence the reported decisions. PMID:22269131

  8. Dried fruits quality assessment by hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serranti, Silvia; Gargiulo, Aldo; Bonifazi, Giuseppe

    2012-05-01

    Dried fruits products present different market values according to their quality. Such a quality is usually quantified in terms of freshness of the products, as well as presence of contaminants (pieces of shell, husk, and small stones), defects, mould and decays. The combination of these parameters, in terms of relative presence, represent a fundamental set of attributes conditioning dried fruits humans-senses-detectable-attributes (visual appearance, organolectic properties, etc.) and their overall quality in terms of marketable products. Sorting-selection strategies exist but sometimes they fail when a higher degree of detection is required especially if addressed to discriminate between dried fruits of relatively small dimensions and when aiming to perform an "early detection" of pathogen agents responsible of future moulds and decays development. Surface characteristics of dried fruits can be investigated by hyperspectral imaging (HSI). In this paper, specific and "ad hoc" applications addressed to propose quality detection logics, adopting a hyperspectral imaging (HSI) based approach, are described, compared and critically evaluated. Reflectance spectra of selected dried fruits (hazelnuts) of different quality and characterized by the presence of different contaminants and defects have been acquired by a laboratory device equipped with two HSI systems working in two different spectral ranges: visible-near infrared field (400-1000 nm) and near infrared field (1000-1700 nm). The spectra have been processed and results evaluated adopting both a simple and fast wavelength band ratio approach and a more sophisticated classification logic based on principal component (PCA) analysis.

  9. Compendium of Quality Rating Systems and Evaluations: The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tout, Kathryn; Starr, Rebecca; Soli, Margaret; Moodie, Shannon; Kirby, Gretchen; Boller, Kimberly

    2010-01-01

    Quality Rating Systems (QRS) are currently operating, under development, or being piloted in over 25 states or local areas. As the QRS model becomes integrated into the landscape of child care and education service delivery, policy, and the decisions parents make about child care across the United States, there is an increasing need for…

  10. Development of a tool to improve the quality of decision making in atrial fibrillation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    reduction of stroke in NVAF vary widely according to patients' comorbidities. This tool facilitates the provision of individualized outcome data and encourages patients to communicate with their physicians about these risks and benefits. Future studies will examine whether use of the tool is associated with improved quality of decision making. PMID:21977943

  11. Transition Assessment: Wise Practices for Quality Lives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sax, Caren L.; Thoma, Colleen A.

    The 10 papers in this book attempt to provide some creative approaches to assessment of individuals with disabilities as they transition from the school experience to the adult world. The papers are: (1) "For Whom the Test Is Scored: Assessments, the School Experience, and More" (Douglas Fisher and Caren L. Sax); (2) "Person-Centered Planning:…

  12. Image quality assessment using Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Äńordević, Dragana; Kukolj, Dragan; Schelkens, Peter

    2015-03-01

    The main aim of the paper is to present a non-linear image quality assessment model based on a fuzzy logic estimator, namely the Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy model. This image quality assessment model uses a clustered space of input objective metrics. Main advantages of the introduced quality model are simplicity and understandably of its fuzzy rules. As reference model the polynomial 3 rd order model was chosen. The parameters of the Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy model are optimized in accordance to the mapping criteria of the selected set of input objective quality measures to the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) scale.

  13. Reasonable Decisions in Portfolio Assessment: Evaluating Complex Evidence of Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schutz, Aaron; Moss, Pamela A.

    2004-01-01

    A central dilemma of portfolio assessment is that as the richness of the data available to readers increases, so do the challenges involved in ensuring acceptable reliability among readers. Drawing on empirical and theoretical work in discourse analysis, ethnomethodology, and other fields, we argue that this dilemma results, in part, from the fact…

  14. Image quality assessment by preprocessing and full reference model combination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianco, S.; Ciocca, G.; Marini, F.; Schettini, R.

    2009-01-01

    This paper focuses on full-reference image quality assessment and presents different computational strategies aimed to improve the robustness and accuracy of some well known and widely used state of the art models, namely the Structural Similarity approach (SSIM) by Wang and Bovik and the S-CIELAB spatial-color model by Zhang and Wandell. We investigate the hypothesis that combining error images with a visual attention model could allow a better fit of the psycho-visual data of the LIVE Image Quality assessment Database Release 2. We show that the proposed quality assessment metric better correlates with the experimental data.

  15. Multi-criteria decision analysis with probabilistic risk assessment for the management of contaminated ground water

    SciTech Connect

    Khadam, Ibrahim M.; Kaluarachchi, Jagath J

    2003-10-01

    Traditionally, environmental decision analysis in subsurface contamination scenarios is performed using cost-benefit analysis. In this paper, we discuss some of the limitations associated with cost-benefit analysis, especially its definition of risk, its definition of cost of risk, and its poor ability to communicate risk-related information. This paper presents an integrated approach for management of contaminated ground water resources using health risk assessment and economic analysis through a multi-criteria decision analysis framework. The methodology introduces several important concepts and definitions in decision analysis related to subsurface contamination. These are the trade-off between population risk and individual risk, the trade-off between the residual risk and the cost of risk reduction, and cost-effectiveness as a justification for remediation. The proposed decision analysis framework integrates probabilistic health risk assessment into a comprehensive, yet simple, cost-based multi-criteria decision analysis framework. The methodology focuses on developing decision criteria that provide insight into the common questions of the decision-maker that involve a number of remedial alternatives. The paper then explores three potential approaches for alternative ranking, a structured explicit decision analysis, a heuristic approach of importance of the order of criteria, and a fuzzy logic approach based on fuzzy dominance and similarity analysis. Using formal alternative ranking procedures, the methodology seeks to present a structured decision analysis framework that can be applied consistently across many different and complex remediation settings. A simple numerical example is presented to demonstrate the proposed methodology. The results showed the importance of using an integrated approach for decision-making considering both costs and risks. Future work should focus on the application of the methodology to a variety of complex field conditions to

  16. E-Services quality assessment framework for collaborative networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegaru, Georgiana; Danila, Cristian; Sacala, Ioan Stefan; Moisescu, Mihnea; Mihai Stanescu, Aurelian

    2015-08-01

    In a globalised networked economy, collaborative networks (CNs) are formed to take advantage of new business opportunities. Collaboration involves shared resources and capabilities, such as e-Services that can be dynamically composed to automate CN participants' business processes. Quality is essential for the success of business process automation. Current approaches mostly focus on quality of service (QoS)-based service selection and ranking algorithms, overlooking the process of service composition which requires interoperable, adaptable and secure e-Services to ensure seamless collaboration, data confidentiality and integrity. Lack of assessment of these quality attributes can result in e-Service composition failure. The quality of e-Service composition relies on the quality of each e-Service and on the quality of the composition process. Therefore, there is the need for a framework that addresses quality from both views: product and process. We propose a quality of e-Service composition (QoESC) framework for quality assessment of e-Service composition for CNs which comprises of a quality model for e-Service evaluation and guidelines for quality of e-Service composition process. We implemented a prototype considering a simplified telemedicine use case which involves a CN in e-Healthcare domain. To validate the proposed quality-driven framework, we analysed service composition reliability with and without using the proposed framework.

  17. Propagating Water Quality Analysis Uncertainty Into Resource Management Decisions Through Probabilistic Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gronewold, A. D.; Wolpert, R. L.; Reckhow, K. H.

    2007-12-01

    Most probable number (MPN) and colony-forming-unit (CFU) are two estimates of fecal coliform bacteria concentration commonly used as measures of water quality in United States shellfish harvesting waters. The MPN is the maximum likelihood estimate (or MLE) of the true fecal coliform concentration based on counts of non-sterile tubes in serial dilution of a sample aliquot, indicating bacterial metabolic activity. The CFU is the MLE of the true fecal coliform concentration based on the number of bacteria colonies emerging on a growth plate after inoculation from a sample aliquot. Each estimating procedure has intrinsic variability and is subject to additional uncertainty arising from minor variations in experimental protocol. Several versions of each procedure (using different sized aliquots or different numbers of tubes, for example) are in common use, each with its own levels of probabilistic and experimental error and uncertainty. It has been observed empirically that the MPN procedure is more variable than the CFU procedure, and that MPN estimates are somewhat higher on average than CFU estimates, on split samples from the same water bodies. We construct a probabilistic model that provides a clear theoretical explanation for the observed variability in, and discrepancy between, MPN and CFU measurements. We then explore how this variability and uncertainty might propagate into shellfish harvesting area management decisions through a two-phased modeling strategy. First, we apply our probabilistic model in a simulation-based analysis of future water quality standard violation frequencies under alternative land use scenarios, such as those evaluated under guidelines of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program. Second, we apply our model to water quality data from shellfish harvesting areas which at present are closed (either conditionally or permanently) to shellfishing, to determine if alternative laboratory analysis procedures might have led to different

  18. Assessing changes in high school students' environmental decision-making skills: Some methodological contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Switzer, Anne C.

    In this study, I developed three methods for the assessment of high-school students' environmental decision-making skills. The three methods were developed based on perspectives of decision-making expertise in psychology and are named Satisfying Results, Coherence, and Process Decomposition . Satisfying Results looked directly at the choices students made. Coherence looked at the match between students' choices and their values, and Satisfying Results focused on individual steps of decision-making, with my focus being consequential thinking. With these three methods. I examined changes in 172 secondary students' environmental decision-making skills. The students in the sample studied the first unit of Investigations in Environmental Science: A Case-Based Approach to the Study of Environmental Science (CASES), a curriculum designed for grades 9-12. Integrated with the science content in CASES, students were introduced to the Stakeholder-Consequences Decision Making (SCDM) process. I pre- and post-tested students who experienced the first out of three units of CASES. I used the New Ecological Paradigm scale to look at students' values, as that was necessary for the Coherence perspective. The students' results varied with the decision-making perspective as well as with instruction of two CASES teachers. Relative to instruction, classroom management and the values exemplified by the teacher were examined. The overall results reflect that the assessment methods were able to detect positive gains based on particular goals that CASES stated for teaching environmental decision-making. Specifically, there was evidence of progress with both the "Coherence" and "Process Decomposition" results, which were goals of CASES. The methodology used in this study may be useful for grounding future studies of students' decision-making skills. In particular, the methods developed here can be utilized for matching assessment methods to teaching goals, as well as to entering the realm of

  19. SAMPLING DESIGN FOR ASSESSING RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current U.S. EPA guidelines for monitoring recreatoinal water quality refer to the geometric mean density of indicator organisms, enterococci and E. coli in marine and fresh water, respectively, from at least five samples collected over a four-week period. In order to expand thi...

  20. Assessment of Curriculum Quality through Alumni Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saunders-Smits, Gillian; de Graaff, Erik

    2012-01-01

    In today's output defined society, alumni are the output of higher education. This article shows how alumni research can be used as an important indicator of curriculum quality. This relatively unexplored area of engineering education research in Europe is highlighted using a case study carried out in the Netherlands, the outcomes of which have…

  1. ASSESSING WATER QUALITY: AN ENERGETICS PERPECTIVE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated measures of food web dynamics could serve as important supplemental indicators of water quality that are well related with ecological integrity and environmental well-being. When the concern is a well-characterized pollutant (posing an established risk to human health...

  2. Assessing Students' Spiritual and Religious Qualities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Astin, Alexander W.; Astin, Helen S.; Lindholm, Jennifer A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a comprehensive set of 12 new measures for studying undergraduate students' spiritual and religious development. The three measures of spirituality, four measures of "spiritually related" qualities, and five measures of religiousness demonstrate satisfactory reliability, robustness, and both concurrent and predictive validity.…

  3. Instruments to assess the perception of physicians in the decision-making process of specific clinical encounters: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Légaré, France; Moher, David; Elwyn, Glyn; LeBlanc, Annie; Gravel, Karine

    2007-01-01

    Background The measurement of processes and outcomes that reflect the complexity of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters is an important area of research to pursue. A systematic review was conducted to identify instruments that assess the perception physicians have of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters. Methods For every year available up until April 2007, PubMed, PsycINFO, Current Contents, Dissertation Abstracts and Sociological Abstracts were searched for original studies in English or French. Reference lists from retrieved studies were also consulted. Studies were included if they reported a self-administered instrument evaluating physicians' perceptions of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters, contained sufficient description to permit critical appraisal and presented quantitative results based on administering the instrument. Two individuals independently assessed the eligibility of the instruments and abstracted information on their conceptual underpinnings, main evaluation domain, development, format, reliability, validity and responsiveness. They also assessed the quality of the studies that reported on the development of the instruments with a modified version of STARD. Results Out of 3431 records identified and screened for evaluation, 26 potentially relevant instruments were assessed; 11 met the inclusion criteria. Five instruments were published before 1995. Among those published after 1995, five offered a corresponding patient version. Overall, the main evaluation domains were: satisfaction with the clinical encounter (n = 2), mutual understanding between health professional and patient (n = 2), mental workload (n = 1), frustration with the clinical encounter (n = 1), nurse-physician collaboration (n = 1), perceptions of communication competence (n = 2), degree of comfort with a decision (n = 1) and information on medication (n = 1). For most instruments (n = 10), some

  4. A novel air quality analysis and prediction system for São Paulo, Brazil to support decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshyaripour, Gholam Ali; Brasseur, Guy; Andrade, Maria Fatima; Gavidia-Calderón, Mario; Bouarar, Idir

    2016-04-01

    The extensive economic development and urbanization in southeastern Brazil (SEB) in recent decades have notably degraded the air quality with adverse impacts on human health. Since the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo (MASP) accommodates the majority of the economic growth in SEB, it overwhelmingly suffers from the air pollution. Consequently, there is a strong demand for developing ever-better assessment mechanisms to monitor the air quality and to assist the decision makers to mitigate the air pollution in MASP. Here we present the results of an air quality modeling system designed for SEB with focuses on MASP. The Weather Research and Forecast model with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) is used considering the anthropogenic, biomass-burning and biogenic emissions within a 1000×1500 km domain with resolution of 10 km. FINN and MEGAN are used for the biomass-burning and biogenic emissions, respectively. For the anthropogenic emissions we use a local bottom-up inventory for the transport sector and the HTAPv2 global inventory for all other sectors. The bottom-up inventory accounts for the traffic patterns, vehicle types and their emission factors in the area and thus could be used to evaluate the effect of changes in these parameters on air quality in MASP. The model outputs are compered to the satellite and ground-based observations for O3 and NOx. The results show that using the bottom-up or top-down inventories individually can result in a huge deviation between the predictions and observations. On the other hand, combining the inventories significantly enhances the forecast accuracy. It also provides a powerful tool to quantify the effects of traffic and vehicle emission policies on air quality in MASP.

  5. Using the Reliability Theory for Assessing the Decision Confidence Probability for Comparative Life Cycle Assessments.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Larrey-Lassalle, Pyrène; Faure, Thierry; Dumoulin, Nicolas; Roux, Philippe; Mathias, Jean-Denis

    2016-03-01

    Comparative decision making process is widely used to identify which option (system, product, service, etc.) has smaller environmental footprints and for providing recommendations that help stakeholders take future decisions. However, the uncertainty problem complicates the comparison and the decision making. Probability-based decision support in LCA is a way to help stakeholders in their decision-making process. It calculates the decision confidence probability which expresses the probability of a option to have a smaller environmental impact than the one of another option. Here we apply the reliability theory to approximate the decision confidence probability. We compare the traditional Monte Carlo method with a reliability method called FORM method. The Monte Carlo method needs high computational time to calculate the decision confidence probability. The FORM method enables us to approximate the decision confidence probability with fewer simulations than the Monte Carlo method by approximating the response surface. Moreover, the FORM method calculates the associated importance factors that correspond to a sensitivity analysis in relation to the probability. The importance factors allow stakeholders to determine which factors influence their decision. Our results clearly show that the reliability method provides additional useful information to stakeholders as well as it reduces the computational time. PMID:26815724

  6. Assessing diversity and quality in primary care through the multimethod assessment process (MAP).

    PubMed

    Kairys, Jo Ann; Orzano, John; Gregory, Patrice; Stroebel, Christine; DiCicco-Bloom, Barbara; Roemheld-Hamm, Beatrix; Kobylarz, Fred A; Scott, John G; Coppola, Lisa; Crabtree, Benjamin F

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. health care system serves a diverse population, often resulting in significant disparities in delivery and quality of care. Nevertheless, most quality improvement efforts fail to systematically assess diversity and associated disparities. This article describes application of the multimethod assessment process (MAP) for understanding disparities in relation to diversity, cultural competence, and quality improvement in clinical practice. MAP is an innovative quality improvement methodology that integrates quantitative and qualitative techniques and produces a system level understanding of organizations to guide quality improvement interventions. A demonstration project in a primary care practice illustrates the utility of MAP for assessing diversity. PMID:12938252

  7. Flexible decision-making relative to reward quality and tool functionality in Goffin cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana)

    PubMed Central

    Laumer, I. B.; Bugnyar, T.; Auersperg, A. M. I.

    2016-01-01

    Decisions involving the use of tools may require an agent to consider more levels of relational complexity than merely deciding between an immediate and a delayed option. Using a new experimental approach featuring two different types of tools, two apparatuses as well as two different types of reward, we investigated the Goffin cockatoos’ ability to make flexible and profitable decisions within five different setups. Paralleling previous results in primates, most birds overcame immediate drives in favor of future gains; some did so even if tool use involved additional work effort. Furthermore, at the group level subjects maximized their profit by simultaneously considering both the quality of an immediate versus a delayed food reward (accessible with a tool) and the functionality of the available tool. As their performance levels remained stable across trials in all testing setups, this was unlikely the result of a learning effect. The Goffin cockatoos’ ability to focus on relevant information was constrained when all task components (both food qualities, both apparatuses and both tools) were presented at the same time. PMID:27334699

  8. DYNAMIC EVALUATION OF REGIONAL AIR QUALITY MODELS: ASSESSING CHANGES TO O 3 STEMMING FROM CHANGES IN EMISSIONS AND METEOROLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regional-scale air quality models are used to estimate the response of air pollutants to potential emission control strategies as part of the decision-making process. Traditionally, the model predicted pollutant concentrations are evaluated for the “base case” to assess a model’s...

  9. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  10. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  11. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  12. UPPER SNAKE RIVER BASIN WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT, 1976

    EPA Science Inventory

    This package contains information for the Upper Snake River Basin, Idaho (170402, 17040104). The report contains a water quality assessment approach which will assist EPA planners, land agencies, and state and local agencies in identifying probably nonpoint sources and determini...

  13. ASSESSING BIOACCUMULATION FOR DERIVING NATIONAL HUMAN HEALTH WATER QUALITY CRITERIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency is revising its methodology for deriving national ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) to protect human health. A component of this guidance involves assessing the potential for chemical bioaccumulation in commonly consumed fish ...

  14. Data sources for environmental assessment: determining availability, quality and utility

    EPA Science Inventory

    Objectives: An environmental quality index (EQI) for all counties in the United States is being developed to explore the relationship between environmental insults and human health. The EQI will be particularly useful to assess how environmental disamenities contribute to health...

  15. US Department of Energy Quality Assessment Program data evaluation report

    SciTech Connect

    Jaquish, R.E.; Kinnison, R.R.

    1984-04-01

    The results of radiochemical analysis performed on the Quality Assessment Program (QAP) test samples are presented. This report reviews the results submitted by 26 participating laboratories for 49 different radionuclide-media combinations. 5 tables. (ACR)

  16. Assessing Quality across Health Care Subsystems in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Puig, Andrea; Pagán, José A.; Wong, Rebeca

    2012-01-01

    Recent healthcare reform efforts in Mexico have focused on the need to improve the efficiency and equity of a fragmented healthcare system. In light of these reform initiatives, there is a need to assess whether healthcare subsystems are effective at providing high-quality healthcare to all Mexicans. Nationally representative household survey data from the 2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (National Health and Nutrition Survey) were used to assess perceived healthcare quality across different subsystems. Using a sample of 7234 survey respondents, we found evidence of substantial heterogeneity in healthcare quality assessments across healthcare subsystems favoring private providers over social security institutions. These differences across subsystems remained even after adjusting for socioeconomic, demographic, and health factors. Our analysis suggests that improvements in efficiency and equity can be achieved by assessing the factors that contribute to heterogeneity in quality across subsystems. PMID:19305224

  17. The Utility of the OMI HCHO/NO2 in Air Quality Decision-Making Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Bryan

    2010-01-01

    I will discuss a novel and practical application of the OMI HCHU and NO2 data products to the "weight of evidence" in the air quality decision-making process (e.g., State Implementation Plan (SIP)) for a city, region, or state to demonstrate that it is making progress toward attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. Any trend, or lack thereof, in the observed OMI HCHO/NO2 may support that an emission control strategy implemented to reduce ozone is or is not occurring for a metropolitan area. In addition, the observed OMI HCHO/NO2 may be used to define new emission control strategies as the photochemical environments of urban areas evolve over time. I will demonstrate the utility of the OMI HCHO/NO2 over the U.S. for air quality applications with support from simulations with both a regional model and a photochemical box model. These results support mission planning of an OMI-like instrument for the proposed GEO-CAPE satellite that has as one of its objectives to study air quality from space. However, I'm attending the meeting as the Aura Deputy Project Scientist, so I don't technically need to present anything to justify the travel.

  18. Using big data for quality assessment in oncology.

    PubMed

    Broughman, James R; Chen, Ronald C

    2016-05-01

    There is increasing attention in the US healthcare system on the delivery of high-quality care, an issue central to oncology. In the report 'Crossing the Quality Chasm', the Institute of Medicine identified six aims for improving healthcare quality: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. This article describes how current big data resources can be used to assess these six dimensions, and provides examples of published studies in oncology. Strengths and limitations of current big data resources for the evaluation of quality of care are also discussed. Finally, this article outlines a vision where big data can be used not only to retrospectively assess the quality of oncologic care, but help physicians deliver high-quality care in real time. PMID:27090300

  19. Method and apparatus for assessing weld quality

    DOEpatents

    Smartt, Herschel B.; Kenney, Kevin L.; Johnson, John A.; Carlson, Nancy M.; Clark, Denis E.; Taylor, Paul L.; Reutzel, Edward W.

    2001-01-01

    Apparatus for determining a quality of a weld produced by a welding device according to the present invention includes a sensor operatively associated with the welding device. The sensor is responsive to at least one welding process parameter during a welding process and produces a welding process parameter signal that relates to the at least one welding process parameter. A computer connected to the sensor is responsive to the welding process parameter signal produced by the sensor. A user interface operatively associated with the computer allows a user to select a desired welding process. The computer processes the welding process parameter signal produced by the sensor in accordance with one of a constant voltage algorithm, a short duration weld algorithm or a pulsed current analysis module depending on the desired welding process selected by the user. The computer produces output data indicative of the quality of the weld.

  20. Assessment of Groundwater Quality by Chemometrics.

    PubMed

    Papaioannou, Agelos; Rigas, George; Kella, Sotiria; Lokkas, Filotheos; Dinouli, Dimitra; Papakonstantinou, Argiris; Spiliotis, Xenofon; Plageras, Panagiotis

    2016-07-01

    Chemometric methods were used to analyze large data sets of groundwater quality from 18 wells supplying the central drinking water system of Larissa city (Greece) during the period 2001 to 2007 (8.064 observations) to determine temporal and spatial variations in groundwater quality and to identify pollution sources. Cluster analysis grouped each year into three temporal periods (January-April (first), May-August (second) and September-December (third). Furthermore, spatial cluster analysis was conducted for each period and for all samples, and grouped the 28 monitoring Units HJI (HJI=represent the observations of the monitoring site H, the J-year and the period I) into three groups (A, B and C). Discriminant Analysis used only 16 from the 24 parameters to correctly assign 97.3% of the cases. In addition, Factor Analysis identified 7, 9 and 8 latent factors for groups A, B and C, respectively. PMID:27329059

  1. Decision-making in adult thalassemia patients undergoing unrelated bone marrow transplantation: quality of life, communication and ethical issues.

    PubMed

    Caocci, G; Pisu, S; Argiolu, F; Giardini, C; Locatelli, F; Vacca, A; Orofino, M G; Piras, E; De Stefano, P; Addari, M C; Ledda, A; La Nasa, G

    2006-01-01

    Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) represents a potentially curative treatment of thalassemia. For patients without an HLA-identical sibling donor, recourse to an unrelated donor is a practicable option but the candidates and their families are faced with a difficult decision. They can either choose to continue the supportive therapy, with no chance of definitive cure, or they accept the mortality risk of BMT in the hope of obtaining a definitive resolution of the disease. We investigated the communication strategies and the post transplantation quality of life (QoL) in 19 adult thalassemia patients surviving after an unrelated donor BMT. The patients were given two questionnaires: a questionnaire to evaluate pre-transplantation communication factors and the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire to assess global QoL. All patients were satisfied with the communication modalities employed by the physicians. The global post transplantation QoL in our patient cohort was found to be good. The approach used in this study may offer a contribution to understanding the decision-making process leading to the choice of a treatment with a high mortality risk for a chronic, non-malignant disease. Finally, some ethical issues of this therapeutic approach are briefly addressed. PMID:16299541

  2. Using decision analytic methods to assess the utility of family history tools.

    PubMed

    Tyagi, Anupam; Morris, Jill

    2003-02-01

    Family history may be a useful tool for identifying people at increased risk of disease and for developing targeted interventions for individuals at higher-than-average risk. This article addresses the issue of how to examine the utility of a family history tool for public health and preventive medicine. We propose the use of a decision analytic framework for the assessment of a family history tool and outline the major elements of a decision analytic approach, including analytic perspective, costs, outcome measurements, and data needed to assess the value of a family history tool. We describe the use of sensitivity analysis to address uncertainty in parameter values and imperfect information. To illustrate the use of decision analytic methods to assess the value of family history, we present an example analysis based on using family history of colorectal cancer to improve rates of colorectal cancer screening. PMID:12568827

  3. AERO: A Decision Support Tool for Wind Erosion Assessment in Rangelands and Croplands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloza, M.; Webb, N.; Herrick, J.

    2015-12-01

    Wind erosion is a key driver of global land degradation, with on- and off-site impacts on agricultural production, air quality, ecosystem services and climate. Measuring rates of wind erosion and dust emission across land use and land cover types is important for quantifying the impacts and identifying and testing practical management options. This process can be assisted by the application of predictive models, which can be a powerful tool for land management agencies. The Aeolian EROsion (AERO) model, a wind erosion and dust emission model interface provides access by non-expert land managers to a sophisticated wind erosion decision-support tool. AERO incorporates land surface processes and sediment transport equations from existing wind erosion models and was designed for application with available national long-term monitoring datasets (e.g. USDI BLM Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring, USDA NRCS Natural Resources Inventory) and monitoring protocols. Ongoing AERO model calibration and validation are supported by geographically diverse data on wind erosion rates and land surface conditions collected by the new National Wind Erosion Research Network. Here we present the new AERO interface, describe parameterization of the underpinning wind erosion model, and provide a summary of the model applications across agricultural lands and rangelands in the United States.

  4. QRS detection based ECG quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Hayn, Dieter; Jammerbund, Bernhard; Schreier, Günter

    2012-09-01

    Although immediate feedback concerning ECG signal quality during recording is useful, up to now not much literature describing quality measures is available. We have implemented and evaluated four ECG quality measures. Empty lead criterion (A), spike detection criterion (B) and lead crossing point criterion (C) were calculated from basic signal properties. Measure D quantified the robustness of QRS detection when applied to the signal. An advanced Matlab-based algorithm combining all four measures and a simplified algorithm for Android platforms, excluding measure D, were developed. Both algorithms were evaluated by taking part in the Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2011. Each measure's accuracy and computing time was evaluated separately. During the challenge, the advanced algorithm correctly classified 93.3% of the ECGs in the training-set and 91.6 % in the test-set. Scores for the simplified algorithm were 0.834 in event 2 and 0.873 in event 3. Computing time for measure D was almost five times higher than for other measures. Required accuracy levels depend on the application and are related to computing time. While our simplified algorithm may be accurate for real-time feedback during ECG self-recordings, QRS detection based measures can further increase the performance if sufficient computing power is available. PMID:22902864

  5. 21 CFR 111.113 - What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... material review and disposition decision? 111.113 Section 111.113 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG... Production and Process Control System: Requirements for Quality Control § 111.113 What quality control... accordance with § 111.70 is not met; (2) A batch deviates from the master manufacturing record,...

  6. Development of a decision-making methodology to design a water quality monitoring network.

    PubMed

    Keum, Jongho; Kaluarachchi, Jagath J

    2015-07-01

    The number of water quality monitoring stations in the USA has decreased over the past few decades. Scarcity of observations can easily produce prediction uncertainty due to unreliable model calibration. An effective water quality monitoring network is important not only for model calibration and water quality prediction but also for resources management. Redundant or improperly located monitoring stations may cause increased monitoring costs without improvement to the understanding of water quality in watersheds. In this work, a decision-making methodology is proposed to design a water quality monitoring network by providing an adequate number of monitoring stations and their approximate locations at the eight-digit hydrologic unit codes (HUC8) scale. The proposed methodology is demonstrated for an example at the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB), where salinity is a serious concern. The level of monitoring redundancy or scarcity is defined by an index, station ratio (SR), which represents a monitoring density based on water quality load originated within a subbasin. By comparing the number of stations from a selected target SR with the available number of stations including the actual and the potential stations, the suggested number of stations in each subbasin was decided. If monitoring stations are primarily located in the low salinity loading subbasins, the average actual SR tends to increase, and vice versa. Results indicate that the spatial distribution of monitoring locations in 2011 is concentrated on low salinity loading subbasins, and therefore, additional monitoring is required for the high salinity loading subbasins. The proposed methodology shows that the SR is a simple and a practical indicator for monitoring density. PMID:26113203

  7. Remedial action assessment system: Decision support for environmental cleanup

    SciTech Connect

    Pennock, K.A.; Bohn, S.; Franklin, A.L.

    1991-11-01

    A large number of hazardous waste sites across the United States await treatment. Waste sites can be physically complex entities composed of multiple, possibly interacting contaminants distributed throughout one or more media. The sites may be active as well with contaminants escaping through one or more potential escape paths. Treatment of these sites requires a long and costly commitment involving the coordination of activities among several waste treatment professionals. In order to reduce the cost and time required for the specification of treatment at these waste sites. The Remedial Action Assessment System (RAAS) was proposed. RAAS is an automated information management system which utilizes a combination of expert reasoning and numerical models to produce the combinations of treatment technologies, known as treatment trains, which satisfy the treatment objectives of a particular site. In addition, RAAS supports the analysis of these trains with regard to effectiveness and cost so that the viable treatment trains can be measured against each other. The Remedial Action Assessment System is a hybrid system designed and constructed using object-oriented tools and techniques. RAAS is advertised as a hybrid system because it combines, in integral fashion, numerical computing (primarily quantitative models) with expert system reasoning. An object-oriented approach was selected due to many of its inherent advantages, among these the naturalness of modeling physical objects and processes.

  8. Quality evaluation of extra high quality images based on key assessment word

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kameda, Masashi; Hayashi, Hidehiko; Akamatsu, Shigeru; Miyahara, Makoto M.

    2001-06-01

    An all encompassing goal of our research is to develop an extra high quality imaging system which is able to convey a high level artistic impression faithfully. We have defined a high order sensation as such a high level artistic impression, and it is supposed that the high order sensation is expressed by the combination of the psychological factor which can be described by plural assessment words. In order to pursue the quality factors that are important for the reproduction of the high order sensation, we have focused on the image quality evaluation of the extra high quality images using the assessment words considering the high order sensation. In this paper, we have obtained the hierarchical structure between the collected assessment words and the principles of European painting based on the conveyance model of the high order sensation, and we have determined a key assessment word 'plasticity' which is able to evaluate the reproduction of the high order sensation more accurately. The results of the subjective assessment experiments using the prototype of the developed extra high quality imaging system have shown that the obtained key assessment word 'plasticity' is the most appropriate assessment word to evaluate the image quality of the extra high quality images quasi-quantitatively.

  9. River Pollution: Part II. Biological Methods for Assessing Water Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Discusses methods used in the biological assessment of river quality and such indicators of clean and polluted waters as the Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score System, and species diversity indexes. Includes a summary of a river classification scheme based on quality criteria related to water use. (JN)

  10. Quality of Religious Education in Croatia Assessed from Teachers' Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baric, Denis; Burušic, Josip

    2015-01-01

    The main aim of the present study was to examine the quality of religious education in Croatian primary schools when assessed from teachers' perspective. Religious education teachers (N?=?226) rated the impact of certain factors on the existing quality of religious education in primary schools and expressed their expectations about the future…

  11. Goals of Peer Assessment and Their Associated Quality Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gielen, Sarah; Dochy, Filip; Onghena, Patrick; Struyven, Katrien; Smeets, Stijn

    2011-01-01

    The output of peer assessment in higher education has been investigated increasingly in recent decades. However, this output is evaluated against a variety of quality criteria, resulting in a cluttered picture. This article analyses the different conceptualisations of quality that appear in the literature. Discussions about the most appropriate…

  12. Quality of Education, Comparability, and Assessment Choice in Developing Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, international development agencies have begun to emphasize the improvement of the quality (rather than simply quantity) of education in developing countries. This new focus has been paralleled by a significant increase in the use of educational assessments as a way to measure gains and losses in quality. As this interest in…

  13. School Information: Phase III of Quality Assessment Program. Appendix B.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burson, William W.

    This questionnaire, used in the Educational Quality Assessment Program in Pennsylvania, was designed to be filled out by school administrators. It requests information about staff size, enrollment size, library books available, hours of paraprofessionals, and quality of housing in school district. It also includes a checklist to show the extent of…

  14. Assessment of density in enriched colony cages: Egg quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Enriched colony cage production systems are becoming more prevalent in the US. A study was undertaken to determine the impact of housing density on hen health, well-being, egg production and quality. Six densities were examined with 8 housing replicates per density. Egg quality was assessed at hen a...

  15. Technical assessment for quality control of resins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gosnell, R. B.

    1977-01-01

    Survey visits to companies involved in the manufacture and use of graphite-epoxy prepregs were conducted to assess the factors which may contribute to variability in the mechanical properties of graphite-epoxy composites. In particular, the purpose was to assess the contributions of the epoxy resins to variability. Companies represented three segments of the composites industry - aircraft manufacturers, prepreg manufacturers, and epoxy resin manufacturers. Several important sources of performance variability were identified from among the complete spectrum of potential sources which ranged from raw materials to composite test data interpretation.

  16. National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. A basis for water-resource policy development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leahy, P. Patrick; Wilber, William G.

    1991-01-01

    The concepts that are the basis for the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program began forming in the early 1980's. By 1986, a pilot phase was initiated to test and refine assessment concepts and in 1991, the NAWQA program began a multi-year transition to a fully operational program. The goals of the program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large representative part of the Nation's ground- and surface-water resources and to develop an understanding of the natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. This information will provide a sound scientific basis upon which water resources decision making at all governmental levels can be based. To meet its goals, the program will integrate water-quality information at local, regional, and national scales. The program will be perennial and consist of two major components -- study-unit investigations and national assessment activities. Investigations of surface- and ground-water resources of major regional hydrologic systems (river basins and aquifer systems) each covering 1200 to about 60,000 square miles, will be conducted on a rotating basis for 60 study units located throughout the Nation. Key findings from these study-unit investigations will be used along with other information to provide issue-oriented water-quality assessments of regional and national interest.

  17. Assumptions Commonly Underlying Government Quality Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidtlein, Frank A.

    2004-01-01

    The current interest in governmental assessment and accountability practices appears to result from:(1) an emerging view of higher education as an "industry"; (2) concerns about efficient resource allocation; (3) a lack of trust ade between government institutional officials; (4) a desire to reduce uncertainty in government/higher education…

  18. Developing Quality Physical Education through Student Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisette, Jennifer L.; Placek, Judith H.; Avery, Marybell; Dyson, Ben; Fox, Connie; Franck, Marian; Graber, Kim; Rink, Judith; Zhu, Weimo

    2009-01-01

    The National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is committed to providing teachers with the support and guiding principles for implementing valid assessments. Its goal is for physical educators to utilize PE Metrics to measure student learning based on the national standards. The first PE Metrics text provides teachers with…

  19. Getting (Along) With the Guidelines: Reconciling Patient Autonomy and Quality Improvement Through Shared Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yan

    2016-01-01

    In past decades, stark differences in practice pattern, cost, and outcomes of care across regions with similar health demographics have prompted calls for reform. As health systems answer the growing call for accountability in the form of quality indices, while responding to increased scrutiny on practice variation in the form of pay for performance (P4P), a rift is widening between the system and individual patients. Currently, three areas are inadequately considered by P4P structures based largely on physician adherence to guidelines: diversity of patient values and preferences; time and financial burden of therapy in the context of multimorbidity; and narrow focus on quantitative measures that distract clinicians from providing optimal care. As health care reform efforts place greater emphasis on value-for-money of care delivered, they provide an opportunity to consider the other “value”—the values of each patient and care delivery that aligns with them. The inherent balance of risks and benefits in every treatment, especially those involving chronic conditions, calls for engagement of patients in decision-making processes, recognizing the diversity of preferences at the individual level. Shared decision making (SDM) is an attractive option and should be an essential component of quality health care rather than its adjunct. Four interwoven steps toward the meaningful implementation of SDM in clinical practice—embedding SDM as a health care quality measure, “real-world” evaluation of SDM effectiveness, pursuit of an SDM-favorable health system, and patient-centered medical education—are proposed to bring focus back to the beneficiary of health care accountability, the patient. PMID:26839943

  20. Getting (Along) With the Guidelines: Reconciling Patient Autonomy and Quality Improvement Through Shared Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Wells, Philip S

    2016-07-01

    In past decades, stark differences in practice pattern, cost, and outcomes of care across regions with similar health demographics have prompted calls for reform. As health systems answer the growing call for accountability in the form of quality indices, while responding to increased scrutiny on practice variation in the form of pay for performance (P4P), a rift is widening between the system and individual patients. Currently, three areas are inadequately considered by P4P structures based largely on physician adherence to guidelines: diversity of patient values and preferences; time and financial burden of therapy in the context of multimorbidity; and narrow focus on quantitative measures that distract clinicians from providing optimal care. As health care reform efforts place greater emphasis on value-for-money of care delivered, they provide an opportunity to consider the other "value"-the values of each patient and care delivery that aligns with them.The inherent balance of risks and benefits in every treatment, especially those involving chronic conditions, calls for engagement of patients in decision-making processes, recognizing the diversity of preferences at the individual level. Shared decision making (SDM) is an attractive option and should be an essential component of quality health care rather than its adjunct. Four interwoven steps toward the meaningful implementation of SDM in clinical practice-embedding SDM as a health care quality measure, "real-world" evaluation of SDM effectiveness, pursuit of an SDM-favorable health system, and patient-centered medical education-are proposed to bring focus back to the beneficiary of health care accountability, the patient. PMID:26839943

  1. Quality assessment of plant transpiration water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macler, Bruce A.; Janik, Daniel S.; Benson, Brian L.

    1990-01-01

    It has been proposed to use plants as elements of biologically-based life support systems for long-term space missions. Three roles have been brought forth for plants in this application: recycling of water, regeneration of air and production of food. This report discusses recycling of water and presents data from investigations of plant transpiration water quality. Aqueous nutrient solution was applied to several plant species and transpired water collected. The findings indicated that this water typically contained 0.3-6 ppm of total organic carbon, which meets hygiene water standards for NASA's space applications. It suggests that this method could be developed to achieve potable water standards.

  2. Clinical Recommendations in Medical Practice: A Proposed Framework to Reduce Bias and Improve the Quality of Medical Decisions.

    PubMed

    Alfandre, David

    2016-01-01

    Patients rely on, benefit from, and are strongly influenced by physicians' recommendations. In spite of the centrality and importance of physicians' recommendations to clinical care, there is only a scant literature describing the conceptual process of forming a clinical recommendation, and no discrete professional standards for making individual clinical recommendations. Evidence-based medicine and shared decision making together are intended to improve medical decision making, but there has been limited attention to how a recommendation is discretely formulated from either of those processes or how patients' preferences ought to be considered and how much weight they should hold. Moreover, physicians' bias has been reported to strongly influence how a recommendation is derived, thereby undermining the quality of healthcare decisions and patients' trust. To demonstrate a potential for improving the quality of decisions, this article proposes a conceptual framework for how physicians should reach a clinical recommendation and apply the process in practice. For preference-sensitive clinical decisions-that is, clinical decisions when patients' values and preferences are relevant-the process for reaching a recommendation should be transparent to patients and should be based solely on the medical evidence and patients' values and preferences. When patients' preferences for care do not prioritize health, physicians decide whether their recommendation will prioritize a welfare-enhancing versus an autonomy-enhancing approach. When there are gaps in understanding how physicians derive their clinical recommendations and how to further improve the quality of the decisions, the author calls for further empiric research. PMID:27045301

  3. Towards real-time image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geary, Bobby; Grecos, Christos

    2011-03-01

    We introduce a real-time implementation and evaluation of a new fast accurate full reference based image quality metric. The popular general image quality metric known as the Structural Similarity Index Metric (SSIM) has been shown to be an effective, efficient and useful, finding many practical and theoretical applications. Recently the authors have proposed an enhanced version of the SSIM algorithm known as the Rotated Gaussian Discrimination Metric (RGDM). This approach uses a Gaussian-like discrimination function to evaluate local contrast and luminance. RGDM was inspired by an exploration of local statistical parameter variations in relation to variation of Mean Opinion Score (MOS) for a range of particular distortion types. In this paper we out-line the salient features of the derivation of RGDM and show how analyses of local statistics of distortion type necessitate variation in discrimination function width. Results on the LIVE image database show tight banding of RGDM metric value when plotted against mean opinion score indicating the usefulness of this metric. We then explore a number of strategies for algorithmic speed-up including the application of Integral Images for patch based computation optimisation, cost reduction for the evaluation of the discrimination function and general loop unrolling. We also employ fast Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) intrinsics and explore data parallel decomposition on a multi-core Intel Processor.

  4. 77 FR 29391 - An Approach for Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-17

    ... COMMISSION An Approach for Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific Changes... Assessment in Risk- Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific Changes to the Licensing Basis,'' (proposed Revision... Assessment Results for Risk-Informed Activities'' and the references were updated. It is the intent of...

  5. Geothermal-district-heating assessment model for decision making

    SciTech Connect

    Reisman, A.

    1981-11-01

    A methodology developed to assess the economic feasibility of district heating for any community in the United States is described. The overall philosophy which has guided its development is the conviction that district heating must be examined on a site-by-site basis. To support this approach, a set of extensive, in-house supporting data bases has been created and useful external data bases with national coverage have been identified. These data bases provide information at a sufficient level of detail to permit a first-cut examination of the district heating potential of a community without requiring outside data collection (allowing a substantial cost and time savings). The results of this blind look at a community permit a rapid, yet adequate estimate of district heating potential, costs, and energy savings. The data utilized in the initial examination can be supplemented or replaced by more detailed information obtained from on-site data collection, if the first results are promising. The fact that the data and methodology are computerized allows many locations within the community, alternate heat sources, ownership options, pipe technologies, etc. to be examined in a short period of time. The structure of the District Heating Model (DHM) (the methodology in computerized form) is described followed by a discussion of the application of the model to Provo, UT.

  6. Environmental Impact Assessment Law in China's courts: A study of 107 judicial decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Zining, Jin

    2015-11-15

    The article explores the practices of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Law in China's courts by examining 107 judicial decisions. Each of the 107 judicial decisions has been analyzed to determine the time/location of the decision, what type of EIA document was referred to, what specific claim was made by the plaintiffs, and what the court's ruling was on the case. The results indicate that: unlike in Germany or Japan, all kinds of EIA decisions made by environment protect bureaus (EPBs) in China were widely taken as justiciable, and China's courts generally allowed local residents to have standing and thus challenge the EPBs' decisions made during the EIA process. On the other hand, the research also shows the EPBs overwhelmingly prevailed in those EIA lawsuits. It is also found that China's reviewing judges were highly self-restrained, giving obvious deference to the technocrat with the substantial contents of EIA documents. Also, the concept of “flaw” was created when it came to procedural issues. These two factors, among others, were both helping the EPBs' prevailing successes. - Highlights: • 107 judicial decisions referring to China's EIA law are examined. • The justiciability of EPB's EIA decisions were taken for granted. • The defenders overwhelmingly prevailed in those EIA lawsuits. • The reviewing judges were highly self-restrained, defering to the technocrat with the EIA documents. • A functional concept, “flaw”, was created by reviewing judges when it came to procedural issues.

  7. A streamlined sustainability assessment tool for improved decision making in the urban water industry.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Matthias; Short, Michael D; Peters, Gregory M

    2012-01-01

    Water supply is a key consideration in sustainable urban planning. Ideally, detailed quantitative sustainability assessments are undertaken during the planning stage to inform the decision-making process. In reality, however, the significant time and cost associated with undertaking such detailed environmental and economic assessments is often cited as a barrier to wider implementation of these key decision support tools, particularly for decisions made at the local or regional government level. In an attempt to overcome this barrier of complexity, 4 water service providers in Melbourne, Australia, funded the development of a publicly available streamlined Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool, which is aimed at a wide range of decision makers to assist them in broadening the type and number of water servicing options that can be considered for greenfield or backlog developments. The Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool consists of a simple user interface and draws on life cycle inventory data to allow for rapid estimation of the environmental and economic performance of different water servicing scenarios. Scenario options can then be further prioritized by means of an interactive multicriteria analysis. The intent of this article is to identify the key issues to be considered in a streamlined sustainability assessment tool for the urban water industry, and to demonstrate the feasibility of generating accurate life cycle assessments and life cycle costings, using such a tool. We use a real-life case study example consisting of 3 separate scenarios for a planned urban development to show that this kind of tool can emulate life cycle assessments and life cycle costings outcomes obtained through more detailed studies. This simplified approach is aimed at supporting "sustainability thinking" early in the decision-making process, thereby encouraging more sustainable water and sewerage infrastructure solutions. PMID:21751340

  8. Evaluation of HVS models in the application of medical image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Cavaro-Menard, C.; Le Callet, P.

    2012-03-01

    In this study, four of the most widely used Human Visual System (HVS) models are applied on Magnetic Resonance (MR) images for signal detection task. Their performances are evaluated against gold standard derived from radiologists' majority decision. The task-based image quality assessment requires taking into account the human perception specificities, for which various HVS models have been proposed. However to our knowledge, no work was conducted to evaluate and compare the suitability of these models with respect to the assessment of medical image qualities. This pioneering study investigates the performances of different HVS models on medical images in terms of approximation to radiologist performance. We propose to score the performance of each HVS model using the AUC (Area Under the receiver operating characteristic Curve) and its variance estimate as the figure of merit. The radiologists' majority decision is used as gold standard so that the estimated AUC measures the distance between the HVS model and the radiologist perception. To calculate the variance estimate of AUC, we adopted the one-shot method that is independent of the HVS model's output range. The results of this study will help to provide arguments to the application of some HVS model on our future medical image quality assessment metric.

  9. A new assessment method for image fusion quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Liu; Jiang, Wanying; Li, Jing; Yuchi, Ming; Ding, Mingyue; Zhang, Xuming

    2013-03-01

    Image fusion quality assessment plays a critically important role in the field of medical imaging. To evaluate image fusion quality effectively, a lot of assessment methods have been proposed. Examples include mutual information (MI), root mean square error (RMSE), and universal image quality index (UIQI). These image fusion assessment methods could not reflect the human visual inspection effectively. To address this problem, we have proposed a novel image fusion assessment method which combines the nonsubsampled contourlet transform (NSCT) with the regional mutual information in this paper. In this proposed method, the source medical images are firstly decomposed into different levels by the NSCT. Then the maximum NSCT coefficients of the decomposed directional images at each level are obtained to compute the regional mutual information (RMI). Finally, multi-channel RMI is computed by the weighted sum of the obtained RMI values at the various levels of NSCT. The advantage of the proposed method lies in the fact that the NSCT can represent image information using multidirections and multi-scales and therefore it conforms to the multi-channel characteristic of human visual system, leading to its outstanding image assessment performance. The experimental results using CT and MRI images demonstrate that the proposed assessment method outperforms such assessment methods as MI and UIQI based measure in evaluating image fusion quality and it can provide consistent results with human visual assessment.

  10. School Indoor Air Quality Assessment and Program Implementation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prill, R.; Blake, D.; Hales, D.

    This paper describes the effectiveness of a three-step indoor air quality (IAQ) program implemented by 156 schools in the states of Washington and Idaho during the 2000-2001 school year. An experienced IAQ/building science specialist conducted walk-through assessments at each school. These assessments documented deficiencies and served as an…

  11. Floristic Quality Assessment Across the Nation: Status, Opportunities, and Challenges

    EPA Science Inventory

    Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) will be considered in the USEPA National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). FQA is a powerful tool to describe wetland ecological condition, and is based on Coefficients of Conservatism (CC) of individual native plant species. CCs rank sensiti...

  12. No-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voronin, V. V.; Frantc, V. A.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Egiazarian, K.

    2015-03-01

    Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. In many cases inpainting methods introduce a blur in sharp transitions in image and image contours in the recovery of large areas with missing pixels and often fail to recover curvy boundary edges. Quantitative metrics of inpainting results currently do not exist and researchers use human comparisons to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. Most objective quality assessment methods rely on a reference image, which is often not available in inpainting applications. Usually researchers use subjective quality assessment by human observers. It is difficult and time consuming procedure. This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for no-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting based on the human visual property. Our method is based on observation that Local Binary Patterns well describe local structural information of the image. We use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value correlates with qualitative opinion in a human observer study. Results are shown on a human-scored dataset for different inpainting methods.

  13. Quality Assessment of TPB-Based Questionnaires: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Oluka, Obiageli Crystal; Nie, Shaofa; Sun, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Objective This review is aimed at assessing the quality of questionnaires and their development process based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) change model. Methods A systematic literature search for studies with the primary aim of TPB-based questionnaire development was conducted in relevant databases between 2002 and 2012 using selected search terms. Ten of 1,034 screened abstracts met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for methodological quality using two different appraisal tools: one for the overall methodological quality of each study and the other developed for the appraisal of the questionnaire content and development process. Both appraisal tools consisted of items regarding the likelihood of bias in each study and were eventually combined to give the overall quality score for each included study. Results 8 of the 10 included studies showed low risk of bias in the overall quality assessment of each study, while 9 of the studies were of high quality based on the quality appraisal of questionnaire content and development process. Conclusion Quality appraisal of the questionnaires in the 10 reviewed studies was successfully conducted, highlighting the top problem areas (including: sample size estimation; inclusion of direct and indirect measures; and inclusion of questions on demographics) in the development of TPB-based questionnaires and the need for researchers to provide a more detailed account of their development process. PMID:24722323

  14. Data quality and processing for decision making: divergence between corporate strategy and manufacturing processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeil, Ronald D.; Miele, Renato; Shaul, Dennis

    2000-10-01

    Information technology is driving improvements in manufacturing systems. Results are higher productivity and quality. However, corporate strategy is driven by a number of factors and includes data and pressure from multiple stakeholders, which includes employees, managers, executives, stockholders, boards, suppliers and customers. It is also driven by information about competitors and emerging technology. Much information is based on processing of data and the resulting biases of the processors. Thus, stakeholders can base inputs on faulty perceptions, which are not reality based. Prior to processing, data used may be inaccurate. Sources of data and information may include demographic reports, statistical analyses, intelligence reports (e.g., marketing data), technology and primary data collection. The reliability and validity of data as well as the management of sources and information is critical element to strategy formulation. The paper explores data collection, processing and analyses from secondary and primary sources, information generation and report presentation for strategy formulation and contrast this with data and information utilized to drive internal process such as manufacturing. The hypothesis is that internal process, such as manufacturing, are subordinate to corporate strategies. The impact of possible divergence in quality of decisions at the corporate level on IT driven, quality-manufacturing processes based on measurable outcomes is significant. Recommendations for IT improvements at the corporate strategy level are given.

  15. Quantitative statistical methods for image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Joyita; Ahn, Sangtae; Li, Quanzheng

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative measures of image quality and reliability are critical for both qualitative interpretation and quantitative analysis of medical images. While, in theory, it is possible to analyze reconstructed images by means of Monte Carlo simulations using a large number of noise realizations, the associated computational burden makes this approach impractical. Additionally, this approach is less meaningful in clinical scenarios, where multiple noise realizations are generally unavailable. The practical alternative is to compute closed-form analytical expressions for image quality measures. The objective of this paper is to review statistical analysis techniques that enable us to compute two key metrics: resolution (determined from the local impulse response) and covariance. The underlying methods include fixed-point approaches, which compute these metrics at a fixed point (the unique and stable solution) independent of the iterative algorithm employed, and iteration-based approaches, which yield results that are dependent on the algorithm, initialization, and number of iterations. We also explore extensions of some of these methods to a range of special contexts, including dynamic and motion-compensated image reconstruction. While most of the discussed techniques were developed for emission tomography, the general methods are extensible to other imaging modalities as well. In addition to enabling image characterization, these analysis techniques allow us to control and enhance imaging system performance. We review practical applications where performance improvement is achieved by applying these ideas to the contexts of both hardware (optimizing scanner design) and image reconstruction (designing regularization functions that produce uniform resolution or maximize task-specific figures of merit). PMID:24312148

  16. Quantitative Statistical Methods for Image Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Joyita; Ahn, Sangtae; Li, Quanzheng

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative measures of image quality and reliability are critical for both qualitative interpretation and quantitative analysis of medical images. While, in theory, it is possible to analyze reconstructed images by means of Monte Carlo simulations using a large number of noise realizations, the associated computational burden makes this approach impractical. Additionally, this approach is less meaningful in clinical scenarios, where multiple noise realizations are generally unavailable. The practical alternative is to compute closed-form analytical expressions for image quality measures. The objective of this paper is to review statistical analysis techniques that enable us to compute two key metrics: resolution (determined from the local impulse response) and covariance. The underlying methods include fixed-point approaches, which compute these metrics at a fixed point (the unique and stable solution) independent of the iterative algorithm employed, and iteration-based approaches, which yield results that are dependent on the algorithm, initialization, and number of iterations. We also explore extensions of some of these methods to a range of special contexts, including dynamic and motion-compensated image reconstruction. While most of the discussed techniques were developed for emission tomography, the general methods are extensible to other imaging modalities as well. In addition to enabling image characterization, these analysis techniques allow us to control and enhance imaging system performance. We review practical applications where performance improvement is achieved by applying these ideas to the contexts of both hardware (optimizing scanner design) and image reconstruction (designing regularization functions that produce uniform resolution or maximize task-specific figures of merit). PMID:24312148

  17. A new quality assessment and improvement system for print media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Mohan; Konya, Iuliu; Nandzik, Jan; Flores-Herr, Nicolas; Eickeler, Stefan; Ndjiki-Nya, Patrick

    2012-12-01

    Print media collections of considerable size are held by cultural heritage organizations and will soon be subject to digitization activities. However, technical content quality management in digitization workflows strongly relies on human monitoring. This heavy human intervention is cost intensive and time consuming, which makes automization mandatory. In this article, a new automatic quality assessment and improvement system is proposed. The digitized source image and color reference target are extracted from the raw digitized images by an automatic segmentation process. The target is evaluated by a reference-based algorithm. No-reference quality metrics are applied to the source image. Experimental results are provided to illustrate the performance of the proposed system. We show that it features a good performance in the extraction as well as in the quality assessment step compared to the state-of-the-art. The impact of efficient and dedicated quality assessors on the optimization step is extensively documented.

  18. Assessing quality management in an R and D environment

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, B.D.

    1998-02-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a premier research and development institution operated by the University of California for the US Department of Energy. Since 1991, LANL has pursued a heightened commitment to developing world-class quality in management and operations. In 1994 LANL adopted the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria as a framework for all activities and initiated more formalized customer focus and quality management. Five measurement systems drive the current integration of quality efforts: an annual Baldrige-based assessment, a customer focus program, customer-driven performance measurement, an employee performance management system and annual employee surveys, and integrated planning processes with associated goals and measures.

  19. Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract for presentation on Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions. The abstract is attached.

  20. Assessing an Adolescent's Capacity for Autonomous Decision-Making in Clinical Care.

    PubMed

    Michaud, Pierre-André; Blum, Robert Wm; Benaroyo, Lazare; Zermatten, Jean; Baltag, Valentina

    2015-10-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide policy guidance on how to assess the capacity of minor adolescents for autonomous decision-making without a third party authorization, in the field of clinical care. In June 2014, a two-day meeting gathered 20 professionals from all continents, working in the field of adolescent medicine, neurosciences, developmental and clinical psychology, sociology, ethics, and law. Formal presentations and discussions were based on a literature search and the participants' experience. The assessment of adolescent decision-making capacity includes the following: (1) a review of the legal context consistent with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; (2) an empathetic relationship between the adolescent and the health care professional/team; (3) the respect of the adolescent's developmental stage and capacities; (4) the inclusion, if relevant, of relatives, peers, teachers, or social and mental health providers with the adolescent's consent; (5) the control of coercion and other social forces that influence decision-making; and (6) a deliberative stepwise appraisal of the adolescent's decision-making process. This stepwise approach, already used among adults with psychiatric disorders, includes understanding the different facets of the given situation, reasoning on the involved issues, appreciating the outcomes linked with the decision(s), and expressing a choice. Contextual and psychosocial factors play pivotal roles in the assessment of adolescents' decision-making capacity. The evaluation must be guided by a well-established procedure, and health professionals should be trained accordingly. These proposals are the first to have been developed by a multicultural, multidisciplinary expert panel. PMID:26281798

  1. Assessing Requirements Quality through Requirements Coverage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rajan, Ajitha; Heimdahl, Mats; Woodham, Kurt

    2008-01-01

    requirements and existing model coverage metrics such as the Modified Condition and Decision Coverage (MC/DC) used when testing highly critical software in the avionics industry [8]. Our work is related to Chockler et al. [2], but we base our work on traditional testing techniques as opposed to verification techniques.

  2. Quality control and the substantive influence of environmental impact assessment in Finland

    SciTech Connect

    Poeloenen, Ismo . E-mail: Ismo.Polonen@joensuu.fi

    2006-07-15

    This paper focuses on the challenges concerning the quality assurance of environmental impact statements (EIS) in Finland and the European Union. Moreover, the linkage between environmental impact assessment and decision-making is examined from a legal point of view. In addition, the paper includes some comparative remarks concerning the content requirements of examination of alternatives. The study reveals that a significant problem of the Finnish EIA system is the lack of efficient access to a judicial procedure to challenge the quality and completeness of an EIS. Another pitfall is the fact that in certain permit procedures, environmental consideration is so limited that only a minor part of the EIA can be taken into account. In its current state, EIA legislation in the EU and in Finland does not guarantee that the assessment results filter into decision-making. From the national point of view, the shortcomings can be addressed by amending current legislation concerning licensing procedures so that authorities have the competence and the duty to take environmental matters widely into account in the permit consideration. At the European level, a legislative alternative could be to strengthen the substantive element of the EIA Directive (85/337/EEC). This would increase the weight of EIA related arguments in the national appellate procedures and contribute, in some cases significantly, to the substantive influence of EIA in decision-making.

  3. No Reference Video-Quality-Assessment Model for Monitoring Video Quality of IPTV Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagishi, Kazuhisa; Okamoto, Jun; Hayashi, Takanori; Takahashi, Akira

    Service providers should monitor the quality of experience of a communication service in real time to confirm its status. To do this, we previously proposed a packet-layer model that can be used for monitoring the average video quality of typical Internet protocol television content using parameters derived from transmitted packet headers. However, it is difficult to monitor the video quality per user using the average video quality because video quality depends on the video content. To accurately monitor the video quality per user, a model that can be used for estimating the video quality per video content rather than the average video quality should be developed. Therefore, to take into account the impact of video content on video quality, we propose a model that calculates the difference in video quality between the video quality of the estimation-target video and the average video quality estimated using a packet-layer model. We first conducted extensive subjective quality assessments for different codecs and video sequences. We then model their characteristics based on parameters related to compression and packet loss. Finally, we verify the performance of the proposed model by applying it to unknown data sets different from the training data sets used for developing the model.

  4. Constructing Assessment Model of Primary and Secondary Educational Quality with Talent Quality as the Core Standard

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Benyou

    2014-01-01

    Quality is the core of education and it is important to standardization construction of primary and secondary education in urban (U) and rural (R) areas. The ultimate goal of the integration of urban and rural education is to pursuit quality urban and rural education. Based on analysing the related policy basis and the existing assessment models…

  5. Service Quality Assessment Scale (SQAS): An Instrument for Evaluating Service Quality of Health-Fitness Clubs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Eddie T. C.; Zhang, James J.; Jensen, Barbara E.

    2005-01-01

    This study was designed to develop the Service Quality Assessment Scale to evaluate the service quality of health-fitness clubs. Through a review of literature, field observations, interviews, modified application of the Delphi technique, and a pilot study, a preliminary scale with 46 items was formulated. The preliminary scale was administered to…

  6. Assessing Quality in Graduate Programs: An Internal Quality Indicator. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiBiasio, Daniel A.; And Others

    Four approaches to measuring quality in graduate education are reviewed, and the approach used at the graduate school at Ohio State University is assessed. Four approaches found in the literature are: measuring quality by reputation, by scholarly productivity, by correlating reputation and scholarly productivity, and by multiple measures. Ohio…

  7. Choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological-impact assessments and conservation decisions.

    PubMed

    Snover, Amy K; Mantua, Nathan J; Littell, Jeremy S; Alexander, Michael A; McClure, Michelle M; Nye, Janet

    2013-12-01

    Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling methods, scientifically credible strategies for selecting a subset for analysis and decision making are needed. Drawing on a rich literature in climate science and impact assessment and on experience working with natural resource scientists and decision makers, we devised guidelines for choosing climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment that recognize irreducible uncertainty in climate projections and address common misconceptions about this uncertainty. This approach involves identifying primary local climate drivers by climate sensitivity of the biological system of interest; determining appropriate sources of information for future changes in those drivers; considering how well processes controlling local climate are spatially resolved; and selecting scenarios based on considering observed emission trends, relative importance of natural climate variability, and risk tolerance and time horizon of the associated decision. The most appropriate scenarios for a particular analysis will not necessarily be the most appropriate for another due to differences in local climate drivers, biophysical linkages to climate, decision characteristics, and how well a model simulates the climate parameters and processes of interest. Given these complexities, we recommend interaction among climate scientists, natural and physical scientists, and decision makers throughout the process of choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment. Selección y Uso de Escenarios de Cambio Climático para Estudios de Impacto Ecológico y Decisiones de Conservación. PMID:24299081

  8. Visual analytics in medical education: impacting analytical reasoning and decision making for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2015-01-01

    The medical curriculum is the main tool representing the entire undergraduate medical education. Due to its complexity and multilayered structure it is of limited use to teachers in medical education for quality improvement purposes. In this study we evaluated three visualizations of curriculum data from a pilot course, using teachers from an undergraduate medical program and applying visual analytics methods. We found that visual analytics can be used to positively impacting analytical reasoning and decision making in medical education through the realization of variables capable to enhance human perception and cognition on complex curriculum data. The positive results derived from our evaluation of a medical curriculum and in a small scale, signify the need to expand this method to an entire medical curriculum. As our approach sustains low levels of complexity it opens a new promising direction in medical education informatics research. PMID:25991109

  9. The increasing influence of risk assessment on forensic patient review board decisions.

    PubMed

    Hilton, N Zoe; Simpson, Alexander I; Ham, Elke

    2016-08-01

    Previous studies of decisions about forensic patients' placement in secure hospitals indicate some changes over time in the use of empirically supported risk factors. Our aim was to investigate whether, in more recent cases, risk assessment instruments were cited by a forensic patient review board or by the clinicians who made recommendations to the board and whether there was evidence of an association between risk assessment results and either dispositions or recommendations. Among review board hearings held in 2009-2012 pertaining to 63 different maximum security patients found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in Ontario, Canada, dispositions were most strongly associated with psychiatrists' testimony, consistent with previous studies. However, dispositions were associated with the scores on the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG), such that transferred patients had a lower risk of violent recidivism than detained patients. An association between clinical opinions and risk assessment results was also evident and significantly larger than in previous research. There was no evidence that risk assessment was cited selectively in higher risk cases or when scores were concordant with the review board decision. This research may provide a baseline for studies of the effect of 2014 legislation introducing a high-risk designation for forensic patients in Canada. We recommend further efforts to measure the effect of nonpharmacological treatment participation and in-hospital security decisions on forensic decision-making. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27504642

  10. Using Social Simulations to Assess and Train Potential Leaders to Make Effective Decisions in Turbulent Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunsaker, L. Phillip

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe two social simulations created to assess leadership potential and train leaders to make effective decisions in turbulent environments. One is set in the novel environment of a lunar moon colony and the other is a military combat command. The research generated from these simulations for assessing…

  11. Assessment and Decision Making in Two Schools: The Ohio Site. Technical Report No. 596.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scharer, Patricia L.; Rogers, Theresa

    A study examined the relationship between assessment and decision making in one of five school districts participating in a national study. Data collected in two alternative elementary schools (one literature-based and one informal) in a large urban school district in Ohio included field notes of classroom observations during reading and language…

  12. Career Development Strivings: Assessing Goals and Motivation in Career Decision-Making and Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dik, Bryan J.; Sargent, Adam M.; Steger, Michael F.

    2008-01-01

    This article describes and demonstrates a novel approach to assessing goals and motives among individuals engaged in the career decision-making and planning process. Participants generated five career development strivings, rated each striving along several dimensions (self-efficacy, outcome expectations, sense of calling, spiritual significance,…

  13. Some implications of the technology assessment function for the effective public decision making process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayo, L. H.

    1975-01-01

    A study was undertaken to analyze ways in which the institutionalization of the assessment function can affect the following phases of the public decision process: problem perception, problem definition, data assembly, invention of alternatives, evaluation of options, authorization, implementation, operation, appraisal, and modification.

  14. Curriculum Needs Assessment: A Model for Trade & Industrial Education Decision-Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wichowski, Chester

    A multi-dimensional needs assessment model has been developed to provide a research tool for the review of statewide curriculum needs in vocational education. The model provides for an integrated review of selected demographic, educational, and decision-making data to target vocational education program areas and occupational titles for additional…

  15. 76 FR 12356 - A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-07

    ...: Application in the Chesapeake Bay'' (EPA/600/R-10/096a), announced earlier (76 FR 4345, January 25, 2011). EPA... received during the public comment period from August 31 to November 1, 2010 (announced in 75 FR 168... AGENCY A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay...

  16. Setting Proficiency Standards for School Leadership Assessment: An Examination of Cut Score Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cravens, Xiu Chen; Goldring, Ellen B.; Porter, Andrew C.; Polikoff, Morgan S.; Murphy, Joseph; Elliott, Stephen N.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Performance evaluation informs professional development and helps school personnel improve student learning. Although psychometric literature indicates that a rational, sound, and coherent standard-setting process adds to the credibility of an assessment, few studies have empirically examined the decision-making process. This article…

  17. Assessing the Benefits of Wetland Restoration: A Rapid Benefit Indicators Approach for Decision Makers

    EPA Science Inventory

    This guide presents the Rapid Benefits Indicators (RBI) Approach, a rapid process for assessing the social benefits of ecosystem restoration. Created for those who conduct, advocate for, or support restoration, the RBI approach consists of five steps: (1) Describe the decision co...

  18. Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) Assessment Report for Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico

    SciTech Connect

    Chvala, William D.; Solana, Amy E.; Dixon, Douglas R.

    2005-02-01

    This report documents the findings of the Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) assessment at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, by a team of PNNL engineers under contract to the Installation Management Agency (IMA) Southeast Region Office (SERO). Funding support was also provided by the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program. The purpose of the assessment was to determine how energy is consumed at Fort Buchanan, identify the most cost-effective energy retrofit measures, and calculate the potential energy and cost savings.

  19. Assessment of mesh simplification algorithm quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Michael; Nicolier, Frederic; Foufou, S.; Truchetet, Frederic; Koschan, Andreas; Abidi, Mongi A.

    2002-03-01

    Traditionally, medical geneticists have employed visual inspection (anthroposcopy) to clinically evaluate dysmorphology. In the last 20 years, there has been an increasing trend towards quantitative assessment to render diagnosis of anomalies more objective and reliable. These methods have focused on direct anthropometry, using a combination of classical physical anthropology tools and new instruments tailor-made to describe craniofacial morphometry. These methods are painstaking and require that the patient remain still for extended periods of time. Most recently, semiautomated techniques (e.g., structured light scanning) have been developed to capture the geometry of the face in a matter of seconds. In this paper, we establish that direct anthropometry and structured light scanning yield reliable measurements, with remarkably high levels of inter-rater and intra-rater reliability, as well as validity (contrasting the two methods).

  20. Methods for assessing the quality of runoff from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The quality of runoff from large, undisturbed peatlands in Minnesota is chaaracterized and sampling results from a number of bogs (referred to as a multiple watershed approach) was used to assess the effects of peat mining on the quality of bog runoff. Runoff from 45 natural peatlands and one mined bog was sampled five times in 1979-80 and analyzed for 34 water quality characteristics. Peatland watersheds were classified as bog, transition, or fen, based upon both water quality and watershed characteristics. Alternative classification methods were based on frequency distributions, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and principal component analysis results. A multiple watershed approach was used as a basis of drawing inferences regarding the quality of runoff from a representative sample of natural bogs and a mined bog. The multiple watershed technique applied provides an alternative to long-term paired watershed experiments in evaluating the effects of land use activities on the quality of runoff from peatlands in Minnesota.

  1. Assessing the quality of a student-generated question repository

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Simon P.; Galloway, Ross K.; Riise, Jonathan; Homer, Danny

    2014-12-01

    We present results from a study that categorizes and assesses the quality of questions and explanations authored by students in question repositories produced as part of the summative assessment in introductory physics courses over two academic sessions. Mapping question quality onto the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy, we find that students produce questions of high quality. More than three-quarters of questions fall into categories beyond simple recall, in contrast to similar studies of student-authored content in different subject domains. Similarly, the quality of student-authored explanations for questions was also high, with approximately 60% of all explanations classified as being of high or outstanding quality. Overall, 75% of questions met combined quality criteria, which we hypothesize is due in part to the in-class scaffolding activities that we provided for students ahead of requiring them to author questions. This work presents the first systematic investigation into the quality of student produced assessment material in an introductory physics context, and thus complements and extends related studies in other disciplines.

  2. Assessment of the Quality of Delivered Care for Iranian patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis by Using Comprehensive Quality Measurement Model in Health Care (CQMH)

    PubMed Central

    Karimi, Saeed; Safiri, Saeid; Bayat, Mahboubeh; Mottaghi, Payman; Shokri, Azad; Moosazadeh, Mahmood; Fattahi, Hamed

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Quality of care has become increasingly critical in the evaluation of healthcare and healthcare services. The aim of this study was to assess quality of delivered care among patients with rheumatoid arthritis using a model of Comprehensive Quality Measurement in Health Care (CQMH). Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 172 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were received care from private clinics of Isfahan University of medical sciences in 2013. CQMH questionnaires were used for assessing the quality of care. Data were analyzed using SPSS for Windows. Results: The mean scores of Quality Index, Service Quality (SQ), Technical Quality (TQ), and Costumer Quality (CQ) were 72.70, 79.09, 68.54 and 70.25 out of 100, respectively. For CQ only 19.8% of participations staying the course of action even under stress and financial constraints, there is a significant gap between what RA care they received with what was recommended in the guideline for TQ. Scores of service quality was low in majority of aspects especially in "availability of support group" section. Conclusion: Study shows paradoxical findings and expresses that quality scores of service delivery for patients with arthritis rheumatoid from patient's perspective is relatively low. Therefore, for fixing this paradoxical problem, improving the participation of patients and their family and empowering them for self-management and decision should be regarded by health systems. PMID:26744728

  3. Clinical judgment and decision making in wound assessment and management: is experience enough?

    PubMed

    Logan, Gemma

    2015-03-01

    The assessment and management of wounds forms a large proportion of community nurses' workload, often requiring judgment and decision-making in complex, challenging and uncertain circumstances. The processes through which nurses form judgments and make decisions within this context are reviewed in this article against existing theories on these on these subjects. There is variability in wound assessment and management practice which may be attributed to uncertainties within the context, a lack of knowledge in appropriate treatment choices and the inability to correctly value the importance of the clinical information presented. Nurses may be required to draw on intuition to guide their judgments and decision-making by association with experience and expertise. In addition, a step-by-step analytical approach underpinned by an evidence base may be required to ensure accuracy in practice. Developing an understanding of the different theories of judgment and decision-making may facilitate nurses' abilities to reflect on their own decision tasks, thereby enhancing the care provided. PMID:25790510

  4. Intelligent Aircraft Damage Assessment, Trajectory Planning, and Decision-Making under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Israel; Sarigul-Klijn, Nesrin

    Situational awareness and learning are necessary to identify and select the optimal set of mutually non-exclusive hypothesis in order to maximize mission performance and adapt system behavior accordingly. This paper presents a hierarchical and decentralized approach for integrated damage assessment and trajectory planning in aircraft with uncertain navigational decision-making. Aircraft navigation can be safely accomplished by properly addressing the following: decision-making, obstacle perception, aircraft state estimation, and aircraft control. When in-flight failures or damage occur, rapid and precise decision-making under imprecise information is required in order to regain and maintain control of the aircraft. To achieve planned aircraft trajectory and complete safe landing, the uncertainties in system dynamics of the damaged aircraft need to be learned and incorporated at the level of motion planning. The damaged aircraft is simulated via a simplified kinematic model. The different sources and perspectives of uncertainties in the damage assessment process and post-failure trajectory planning are presented and classified. The decision-making process for an emergency motion planning and landing is developed via the Dempster-Shafer evidence theory. The objective of the trajectory planning is to arrive at a target position while maximizing the safety of the aircraft given uncertain conditions. Simulations are presented for an emergency motion planning and landing that takes into account aircraft dynamics, path complexity, distance to landing site, runway characteristics, and subjective human decision.

  5. Quality, management, and the interplay of self-assessment, process assessments, and performance-based observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willett, D. J.

    1993-04-01

    In this document, the author presents his observations on the topic of quality assurance (QA). Traditionally the focus of quality management has been on QA organizations, manuals, procedures, audits, and assessments; quality was measured by the degree of conformance to specifications or standards. Today quality is defined as satisfying user needs and is measured by user satisfaction. The author proposes that quality is the responsibility of line organizations and staff and not the responsibility of the QA group. This work outlines an effective Conduct of Operations program. The author concludes his observations with a discussion of how quality is analogous to leadership.

  6. Perceptual Quality Assessment for Multi-Exposure Image Fusion.

    PubMed

    Ma, Kede; Zeng, Kai; Wang, Zhou

    2015-11-01

    Multi-exposure image fusion (MEF) is considered an effective quality enhancement technique widely adopted in consumer electronics, but little work has been dedicated to the perceptual quality assessment of multi-exposure fused images. In this paper, we first build an MEF database and carry out a subjective user study to evaluate the quality of images generated by different MEF algorithms. There are several useful findings. First, considerable agreement has been observed among human subjects on the quality of MEF images. Second, no single state-of-the-art MEF algorithm produces the best quality for all test images. Third, the existing objective quality models for general image fusion are very limited in predicting perceived quality of MEF images. Motivated by the lack of appropriate objective models, we propose a novel objective image quality assessment (IQA) algorithm for MEF images based on the principle of the structural similarity approach and a novel measure of patch structural consistency. Our experimental results on the subjective database show that the proposed model well correlates with subjective judgments and significantly outperforms the existing IQA models for general image fusion. Finally, we demonstrate the potential application of the proposed model by automatically tuning the parameters of MEF algorithms. PMID:26068317

  7. Interaction between assessment and instruction in science: A teacher's decision-making process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownstein, Erica Marie

    This study describes the interaction between assessment and instruction in a secondary science classroom. This research examines a chemistry teacher in an AP class in a midwestern urban setting interactively assessing his students and how knowledge gained during that assessment affected his instructional decision-making. The theoretical framework includes reflection-in-action, the zone of proximal development, and social constructivism. The primary question that guided the study was: What is the interaction between assessment and instruction in a science classroom? The three sub questions were: How does a teacher gain knowledge of students' thinking? How does a teacher use knowledge of his students' thinking in interactive instructional decisions? What are the components of his interactive instructional decisions? Participant observation of the classroom occurred over a four month period. The elicit interview technique was used immediately following class to discuss interactive instructional decisions with the teacher. Data sources included videotapes, interviews, field notes, classroom documents, intern journal, and member checking from which triangulation was possible. The goal was to examine and understand interactive decisions that had an impact on instruction. The results indicated that the students were in a safe, accepting environment and that student levels of understanding chemistry were indeterminate, low, medium, and high. Impacts on teacher decision making were pedagogical content knowledge, assessing context, and knowledge of the student. It was found that to gain knowledge of student thinking, the teacher listened, examined student work, asked questions, and made statements. Questions the teacher asked were to probe, lead, or clarify student knowledge. Statements the teacher made would clarify or restate student words. The teacher used his understanding of student knowledge to make instructional decisions by recognizing student knowledge, connecting

  8. Quality Assessment and Physicochemical Characteristics of Bran Enriched Chapattis

    PubMed Central

    Dar, B. N.; Sharma, Savita; Singh, Baljit; Kaur, Gurkirat

    2014-01-01

    Cereal brans singly and in combination were blended at varying levels (5 and 10%) for development of Chapattis. Cereal bran enriched Chapattis were assessed for quality and physicochemical characteristics. On the basis of quality assessment, 10% enrichment level for Chapatti was the best. Moisture content, water activity, and free fatty acids remained stable during the study period. Quality assessment and physicochemical characteristics of bran enriched Chapattis carried out revealed that dough handling and puffing of bran enriched Chapattis prepared by 5 and 10% level of bran supplementation did not vary significantly. All types of bran enriched Chapattis except rice bran enriched Chapattis showed nonsticky behavior during dough handling. Bran enriched Chapattis exhibited full puffing character during preparation. The sensory attributes showed that both 5 and 10% bran supplemented Chapattis were acceptable. PMID:26904644

  9. Procedure for assessing visual quality for landscape planning and management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimblett, H. Randal; Fitzgibbon, John E.; Bechard, Kevin P.; Wightman, J. A.; Itami, Robert M.

    1987-07-01

    Incorporation of aesthetic considerations in the process of landscape planning and development has frequently met with poor results due to its lack of theoretical basis, public involvement, and failure to deal with spatial implications. This problem has been especially evident when dealing with large areas, for example, the Adirondacks, Scenic Highways, and National Forests and Parks. This study made use of public participation to evaluate scenic quality in a portion of the Niagara Escarpment in Southern Ontario, Canada. The results of this study were analyzed using the visual management model proposed by Brown and Itami (1982) as a means of assessing and evaluating scenic quality. The map analysis package formulated by Tomlin (1980) was then applied to this assessment for the purpose of spatial mapping of visual impact. The results of this study illustrate that it is possible to assess visual quality for landscape/management, preservation, and protection using a theoretical basis, public participation, and a systematic spatial mapping process.

  10. Foraging Behaviour in Magellanic Woodpeckers Is Consistent with a Multi-Scale Assessment of Tree Quality

    PubMed Central

    Vergara, Pablo M.; Soto, Gerardo E.; Rodewald, Amanda D.; Meneses, Luis O.; Pérez-Hernández, Christian G.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical models predict that animals should make foraging decisions after assessing the quality of available habitat, but most models fail to consider the spatio-temporal scales at which animals perceive habitat availability. We tested three foraging strategies that explain how Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) assess the relative quality of trees: 1) Woodpeckers with local knowledge select trees based on the available trees in the immediate vicinity. 2) Woodpeckers lacking local knowledge select trees based on their availability at previously visited locations. 3) Woodpeckers using information from long-term memory select trees based on knowledge about trees available within the entire landscape. We observed foraging woodpeckers and used a Brownian Bridge Movement Model to identify trees available to woodpeckers along foraging routes. Woodpeckers selected trees with a later decay stage than available trees. Selection models indicated that preferences of Magellanic woodpeckers were based on clusters of trees near the most recently visited trees, thus suggesting that woodpeckers use visual cues from neighboring trees. In a second analysis, Cox’s proportional hazards models showed that woodpeckers used information consolidated across broader spatial scales to adjust tree residence times. Specifically, woodpeckers spent more time at trees with larger diameters and in a more advanced stage of decay than trees available along their routes. These results suggest that Magellanic woodpeckers make foraging decisions based on the relative quality of trees that they perceive and memorize information at different spatio-temporal scales. PMID:27416115

  11. Foraging Behaviour in Magellanic Woodpeckers Is Consistent with a Multi-Scale Assessment of Tree Quality.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Pablo M; Soto, Gerardo E; Moreira-Arce, Darío; Rodewald, Amanda D; Meneses, Luis O; Pérez-Hernández, Christian G

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical models predict that animals should make foraging decisions after assessing the quality of available habitat, but most models fail to consider the spatio-temporal scales at which animals perceive habitat availability. We tested three foraging strategies that explain how Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) assess the relative quality of trees: 1) Woodpeckers with local knowledge select trees based on the available trees in the immediate vicinity. 2) Woodpeckers lacking local knowledge select trees based on their availability at previously visited locations. 3) Woodpeckers using information from long-term memory select trees based on knowledge about trees available within the entire landscape. We observed foraging woodpeckers and used a Brownian Bridge Movement Model to identify trees available to woodpeckers along foraging routes. Woodpeckers selected trees with a later decay stage than available trees. Selection models indicated that preferences of Magellanic woodpeckers were based on clusters of trees near the most recently visited trees, thus suggesting that woodpeckers use visual cues from neighboring trees. In a second analysis, Cox's proportional hazards models showed that woodpeckers used information consolidated across broader spatial scales to adjust tree residence times. Specifically, woodpeckers spent more time at trees with larger diameters and in a more advanced stage of decay than trees available along their routes. These results suggest that Magellanic woodpeckers make foraging decisions based on the relative quality of trees that they perceive and memorize information at different spatio-temporal scales. PMID:27416115

  12. Accuracy assessment of planimetric large-scale map data for decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doskocz, Adam

    2016-06-01

    This paper presents decision-making risk estimation based on planimetric large-scale map data, which are data sets or databases which are useful for creating planimetric maps on scales of 1:5,000 or larger. The studies were conducted on four data sets of large-scale map data. Errors of map data were used for a risk assessment of decision-making about the localization of objects, e.g. for land-use planning in realization of investments. An analysis was performed for a large statistical sample set of shift vectors of control points, which were identified with the position errors of these points (errors of map data). In this paper, empirical cumulative distribution function models for decision-making risk assessment were established. The established models of the empirical cumulative distribution functions of shift vectors of control points involve polynomial equations. An evaluation of the compatibility degree of the polynomial with empirical data was stated by the convergence coefficient and by the indicator of the mean relative compatibility of model. The application of an empirical cumulative distribution function allows an estimation of the probability of the occurrence of position errors of points in a database. The estimated decision-making risk assessment is represented by the probability of the errors of points stored in the database.

  13. Assessment of permeation quality of concrete through mercury intrusion porosimetry

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Rakesh; Bhattacharjee, B

    2004-02-01

    Permeation quality of laboratory cast concrete beams was determined through initial surface absorption test (ISAT). The pore system characteristics of the same concrete beam specimens were determined through mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). Data so obtained on the measured initial surface absorption rate of water by concrete and characteristics of pore system of concrete estimated from porosimetry results were used to develop correlations between them. Through these correlations, potential of MIP in assessing the durability quality of concrete in actual structure is demonstrated.

  14. Space Shuttle flying qualities and flight control system assessment study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, T. T.; Johnston, D. E.; Mcruer, D.

    1982-01-01

    The suitability of existing and proposed flying quality and flight control system criteria for application to the space shuttle orbiter during atmospheric flight phases was assessed. An orbiter experiment for flying qualities and flight control system design criteria is discussed. Orbiter longitudinal and lateral-directional flying characteristics, flight control system lag and time delay considerations, and flight control manipulator characteristics are included. Data obtained from conventional aircraft may be inappropriate for application to the shuttle orbiter.

  15. U.S. EPA Authority to Use Cumulative Risk Assessments in Environmental Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Sarah; Tilghman, Joan; Rosenbaum, Arlene; Payne-Sturges, Devon C.

    2012-01-01

    Conventionally, in its decision-making, the U.S. EPA has evaluated the effects and risks associated with a single pollutant in a single exposure medium. In reality, people are exposed to mixtures of pollutants or to the same pollutant through a variety of media, including the air, water, and food. It is now more recognized than before that environmental exposure to pollutants occurs via multiple exposure routes and pathways, including inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. Moreover, chemical, biologic, radiologic, physical, and psychologic stressors are all acknowledged as affecting human health. Although many EPA offices attempt to consider cumulative risk assessment and cumulative effects in various ways, there is no Agency-wide policy for considering these risks and the effects of exposure to these risks when making environmental decisions. This article examines how U.S. courts might assess EPA’s general authority and discretion to use cumulative risk assessment as the basis for developing data in support of environmental decision-making, and how courts might assess the validity of a cumulative risk assessment methodology itself. PMID:22829786

  16. Preventative detention decisions: reliance on expert assessments and evidence of partisan allegiance within the Canadian context.

    PubMed

    Blais, Julie

    2015-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine judges' written reasons for sentencing in preventative detention hearings and the expert risk assessment reports presented, to determine the level of reliance placed on expert risk assessment reports and to examine the presence of partisan allegiance within the Canadian context. Results demonstrated that judges' decisions were consistent with expert assessments in terms of risk, treatment amenability, and risk management. Experts' ratings of treatment amenability and risk management were also significant predictors of the designation outcome, indicating that judges rely on this information in making their final decision. Finally, there was evidence of partisan allegiance, with prosecution-retained Psychopathy Checklist-Revised scores being significantly higher than defense-retained experts' scores. The results have implications for the development of consistent guidelines for the communication of risk, treatment amenability, and management information. PMID:25693952

  17. Regional Integrated Assessments in Support of Decision-making: Process, Product, and Policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luers, A. L.; Hayhoe, K.

    2006-12-01

    Regional integrated climate assessments are increasingly viewed as critical for informing sound climate policy. Yet, the scientific information in many assessments often is not effectively transformed in to policies to protect the environment. Why are some assessments more effective at informing policies than others? We will provide some insight into this question by describing the lessons learned from a series of regional assessments organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Working with independent experts in the global change research community, UCS has produced assessments in three regions of the US California, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf Coast. The reports from each of these assessments continue to be used by local, state and regional decision-makers in related management and policy initiatives. We attribute the success of these assessments in motivating and supporting climate-related decisions to four factors: (1) credibility, attained both through scientific peer-review and by engaging local scientific and community leaders; (2) regional relevance of assessment focus areas; (3) accessible presentation of the results to non-technical audiences; and (4) wide communication and distribution of the report to the media, the public, civic groups, and public officials.

  18. Decision curve analysis for assessing the usefulness of tests for making decisions to treat: an application to tests for prodromal psychosis.

    PubMed

    Pulleyblank, Ryan; Chuma, Jefter; Gilbody, Simon M; Thompson, Carl

    2013-09-01

    For a test to be considered useful for making treatment decisions, it is necessary that making treatment decisions based on the results of the test be a preferable strategy to making treatment decisions without the test. Decision curve analysis is a framework for assessing when a test would be expected to be useful, which integrates evidence of a test's performance characteristics (sensitivity and specificity), condition prevalence among at-risk patients, and patient preferences for treatment. We describe decision curve analysis generally and illustrate its potential through an application to tests for prodromal psychosis. Clinical psychosis is often preceded by a prodromal phase, but not all those with prodromal symptoms proceed to develop full psychosis. Patients identified as at risk for developing psychosis may be considered for proactive treatment to mitigate development of clinically defined psychosis. Tests exist to help identify those at-risk patients most likely to develop psychosis, but it is uncertain when these tests would be considered useful for making proactive treatment decisions. We apply decision curve analysis to results from a systematic review of studies investigating clinical tests for predicting the development of psychosis in at-risk populations, and present resulting decision curves that illustrate when the tests may be expected to be useful for making proactive treatment decisions. PMID:23544398

  19. Summary of the U. S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsh, R.M.; Alley, W.M.; Wilber, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    Beginning in 1986, the Congress appropriated funds for the US Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water Quality Assessment Program. At present, the program is in a pilot phase with field studies occurring in seven areas around the Nation. In 1990, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences will complete an evaluation of the design and potential utility of the program. A decision about moving to full-scale implementation will be made upon completion of the evaluation. The program is intended to address a wide range of national water quality issues that include chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, salinity, sedimentation, and sanitary quality. The goals of the program are to: (1) provide nationally consistent descriptions of current water quality conditions for a large part of the Nation's water resources; (2) define long-term trends in water quality; and (3) identify and describe the relations of both current conditions and trends in water quality to natural and human factors. This information will be provided to water managers, policy makers, and the public to provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water quality management programs and for predicting the likely effects of contemplated changes in land- and water-management practices.

  20. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  1. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Keeler, Bonnie L.; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A.; Johnson, Kris A.; Finlay, Jacques C.; O’Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  2. A summary of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hirsch, R.M.; Alley, W.M.; Wilber, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    Beginning in 1986, the Congress appropriated funds for the U.S. Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water Quality Assessment Program. At present, the program is in a pilot phase with field studies occurring in seven areas around the Nation. In 1990, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences will complete an evaluation of the design and potential utility of the program. A decision about moving to full-scale implementation will be made upon completion of this evaluation. The program is intended to address a wide range of national water quality issues that include chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, salinity, sedimentation, and sanitary quality. The goals of the program are to: (1) provide nationally consistent descriptions of current water quality conditions for a large part of the Nation 's water resources; (2) define long-term trends (or lack of trends) in water quality; and (3) identify and describe the relations of both current conditions and trends in water quality to natural and human factors. This information will be provided to water managers, policy makers, and the public to provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water quality management programs and for predicting the likely effects of contemplated changes in land- and water-management practices. (USGS)

  3. Assessment of foodservice quality and identification of improvement strategies using hospital foodservice quality model

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyungjoo; Kim, Minyoung

    2010-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to assess hospital foodservice quality and to identify causes of quality problems and improvement strategies. Based on the review of literature, hospital foodservice quality was defined and the Hospital Foodservice Quality model was presented. The study was conducted in two steps. In Step 1, nutritional standards specified on diet manuals and nutrients of planned menus, served meals, and consumed meals for regular, diabetic, and low-sodium diets were assessed in three general hospitals. Quality problems were found in all three hospitals since patients consumed less than their nutritional requirements. Considering the effects of four gaps in the Hospital Foodservice Quality model, Gaps 3 and 4 were selected as critical control points (CCPs) for hospital foodservice quality management. In Step 2, the causes of the gaps and improvement strategies at CCPs were labeled as "quality hazards" and "corrective actions", respectively and were identified using a case study. At Gap 3, inaccurate forecasting and a lack of control during production were identified as quality hazards and corrective actions proposed were establishing an accurate forecasting system, improving standardized recipes, emphasizing the use of standardized recipes, and conducting employee training. At Gap 4, quality hazards were menus of low preferences, inconsistency of menu quality, a lack of menu variety, improper food temperatures, and patients' lack of understanding of their nutritional requirements. To reduce Gap 4, the dietary departments should conduct patient surveys on menu preferences on a regular basis, develop new menus, especially for therapeutic diets, maintain food temperatures during distribution, provide more choices, conduct meal rounds, and provide nutrition education and counseling. The Hospital Foodservice Quality Model was a useful tool for identifying causes of the foodservice quality problems and improvement strategies from a holistic point of view

  4. A quantitative method to analyze the quality of EIA information in wind energy development and avian/bat assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Tony; Nielsen, Erik; Auberle, William; Solop, Frederic I.

    2013-01-15

    The environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been a tool for decision makers since the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Since that time, few analyses have been performed to verify the quality of information and content within EIAs. High quality information within assessments is vital in order for decision makers, stake holders, and the public to understand the potential impact of proposed actions on the ecosystem and wildlife species. Low quality information has been a major cause for litigation and economic loss. Since 1999, wind energy development has seen an exponential growth with unknown levels of impact on wildlife species, in particular bird and bat species. The purpose of this article is to: (1) develop, validate, and apply a quantitative index to review avian/bat assessment quality for wind energy EIAs; and (2) assess the trends and status of avian/bat assessment quality in a sample of wind energy EIAs. This research presents the development and testing of the Avian and Bat Assessment Quality Index (ABAQI), a new approach to quantify information quality of ecological assessments within wind energy development EIAs in relation to avian and bat species based on review areas and factors derived from 23 state wind/wildlife siting guidance documents. The ABAQI was tested through a review of 49 publicly available EIA documents and validated by identifying high variation in avian and bat assessments quality for wind energy developments. Of all the reviewed EIAs, 66% failed to provide high levels of preconstruction avian and bat survey information, compared to recommended factors from state guidelines. This suggests the need for greater consistency from recommended guidelines by state, and mandatory compliance by EIA preparers to avoid possible habitat and species loss, wind energy development shut down, and future lawsuits. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We developed, validated, and applied a quantitative index to review

  5. [Quality of health care, accreditation, and health technology assessment in Croatia: role of agency for quality and accreditation in health].

    PubMed

    Mittermayer, Renato; Huić, Mirjana; Mestrović, Josipa

    2010-12-01

    standards, and providing other services in the field of healthcare quality assurance, improvement, promotion and monitoring, according to the Act. Formal activities of the Agency in the field of HTA actually began in summer 2009. In the field of quality and accreditation, the plan and program of healthcare quality assurance, improvement, promotion and monitoring was finished and published in October 2010; preparation of the healthcare quality standards as well as the accreditation standards is still in process, with the aim to start accreditation process at 10 hospitals in 2011. Education in the field of healthcare quality assurance, improvement and promotion has been established as a continuous process from the beginning. The Agency is member of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) and participates in the work of the European Accreditation Network (EAN). In the field of HTA, the Agency has established international collaboration and support, which resulted in its appointment and participation in the European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) Joint Action Project as a EUnetHTA Partner, as well as its membership in the international society, HTAi. TAIEX project has been approved as a two-day workshop in December 2010. The Croatian HTA Guidelines have been issued with the aim to start the HTA process and reports that should serve as recommendations, as a support to policy-makers at the national level, in particular the Croatian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and Croatian Institute of Health Insurance, in making evidence-informed decisions on the strategic planning, investment, management and implementation of technologies in health care, on funding (reimbursement) and coverage of health technologies, and at hospital level on the request from hospital directors and policy teams. In conclusion, establishment of all these measures in Croatia is by no means an easy and quick process, however, we do believe that it is feasible

  6. Machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantc, V. A.; Voronin, V. V.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Agaian, S.; Egiazarian, K.

    2014-05-01

    This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment. Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. Quantitative metrics for successful image inpainting currently do not exist; researchers instead are relying upon qualitative human comparisons in order to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. We present an approach for objective inpainting quality assessment based on natural image statistics and machine learning techniques. Our method is based on observation that when images are properly normalized or transferred to a transform domain, local descriptors can be modeled by some parametric distributions. The shapes of these distributions are different for noninpainted and inpainted images. Approach permits to obtain a feature vector strongly correlated with a subjective image perception by a human visual system. Next, we use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value repeatably correlates with a qualitative opinion in a human observer study.

  7. Recreational stream assessment using Malaysia water quality index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, Hanisah; Kutty, Ahmad Abas

    2013-11-01

    River water quality assessment is crucial in order to quantify and monitor spatial and temporally. Malaysia is producing WQI and NWQS indices to evaluate river water quality. However, the study on recreational river water quality is still scarce. A study was conducted to determine selected recreational river water quality area and to determine impact of recreation on recreational stream. Three recreational streams namely Sungai Benus, Sungai Cemperuh and Sungai Luruh in Janda Baik, Pahang were selected. Five sampling stations were chosen from each river with a 200-400 m interval. Six water quality parameters which are BOD5, COD, TSS, pH, ammoniacal-nitrogen and dissolved oxygen were measured. Sampling and analysis was conducted following standard method prepared by USEPA. These parameters were used to calculate the water quality subindex and finally an indicative WQI value using Malaysia water quality index formula. Results indicate that all recreational streams have excellent water quality with WQI values ranging from 89 to 94. Most of water quality parameter was homogenous between sampling sites and between streams. An one-way ANOVA test indicates that no significant difference was observed between each sub index values (p> 0.05, α=0.05). Only BOD and COD exhibit slightly variation between stations that would be due to organic domestic wastes done by visitors. The study demonstrated that visitors impact on recreational is minimum and recreation streams are applicable for direct contact recreational.

  8. Real-time Monitor Quality of WMS to Support Service Choosing Decision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, H.; Li, Z.; Yang, C.

    2009-12-01

    The past decade achievement in geospatial interoperability includes thousands of map layers deployed on the Internet and are persistently served for the community through standard interfaces, such as WMS, WFS, and WCS. Our empirical study reveals that the status of the services is not satisfactory and it is often true that a predefined map application is unable to compose because some published map servers simply do not work. When a map composes several layers from different servers, it becomes a serious problem. The request of each map layer takes time and even in the most optimistic expectation, the total time for composing a map is longer than the longest response time. While these services are geographically distributed and maintained by various hosts, it is not possible to solve this problem by improving these services at the host sides. We propose an approach to solve this problem by providing a mechanism that allows map composition to select the best map layers in run time based on real-time monitoring of the quality of services. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is extended in this approach to include quality elements in the process of registration, search and binding. OGC capability document is extended to describe quality of service. Techniques, such as online and automatic substitution of second-best layer, local cache, and virtual tile system, are designed and implemented in this approach to enable map composition by requesting map layers from various service providers. A prototype system based on this approach will be demonstrated in our presentation to prove that this approach significantly improves users’ experience of web map composition and is one of the most desired method to make service suitable for decision support.

  9. Assessment of phytoplankton diversity as an indicator of water quality

    SciTech Connect

    Yergeau, S.E.; Lang, A.; Teeters, R.

    1997-08-01

    For the measurement of water quality in freshwater systems, there are established indices using macroinvertebrate larvae. There is no such comparable measure for marine and estuarine environments. A phytoplankton diversity index (PDI), whose basic form was conceived by Dr. Ruth Gyure of Save the Sound, Inc., is being investigated as a possible candidate to rectify this situation. Phytoplankton were chosen as the indicators of water quality since algae have short generation times and respond quickly to changing water quality conditions. The methodologies involved in this initial assessment of the PDI are incorporated into the Adopt-a-Harbor water quality monitoring program and its associated laboratory. The virtues of the procedures are that they are simple and quick to use, suitable for trained volunteers to carry out, easily reproducible, and amenable to quality assurance checks.

  10. Assessment of voice quality: Current state-of-the-art.

    PubMed

    Barsties, Ben; De Bodt, Marc

    2015-06-01

    Voice quality is not clearly defined but it can be concluded that it is a multidimensional perceived construct. Therefore, there are broadly two approaches to measure voice quality: (1) subjective measurements to score a client's voice that reflects his or her judgment of the voice and (2) objective measurements by applying specific algorithm to quantify certain aspects of a correlate of vocal production. This paper proposes a collection and discusses a number of critical issues of the current state-of-the-art in voice quality assessments of auditory-perceptual judgment, objective-acoustic analysis and aerodynamic measurements in clinical practice and research that maybe helpful for clinicians and researchers. PMID:25440411

  11. New image quality assessment method using wavelet leader pyramids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xiaolin; Yang, Xiaokang; Zheng, Shibao; Lin, Weiyao; Zhang, Rui; Zhai, Guangtao

    2011-06-01

    In this paper, we propose a wave leader pyramids based Visual Information Fidelity method for image quality assessment. Motivated by the observations that the human vision systems (HVS) are more sensitive to edge and contour regions and that the human visual sensitivity varies with spatial frequency, we first introduce the two-dimensional wavelet leader pyramids to robustly extract the multiscale information of edges. Based on the wavelet leader pyramids, we further propose a visual information fidelity metric to evaluate the quality of images by quantifying the information loss between the original and the distorted images. Experimental results show that our method outperforms many state-of-the-art image quality metrics.

  12. Assessment of visual landscape quality using IKONOS imagery.

    PubMed

    Ozkan, Ulas Yunus

    2014-07-01

    The assessment of visual landscape quality is of importance to the management of urban woodlands. Satellite remote sensing may be used for this purpose as a substitute for traditional survey techniques that are both labour-intensive and time-consuming. This study examines the association between the quality of the perceived visual landscape in urban woodlands and texture measures extracted from IKONOS satellite data, which features 4-m spatial resolution and four spectral bands. The study was conducted in the woodlands of Istanbul (the most important element of urban mosaic) lying along both shores of the Bosporus Strait. The visual quality assessment applied in this study is based on the perceptual approach and was performed via a survey of expressed preferences. For this purpose, representative photographs of real scenery were used to elicit observers' preferences. A slide show comprising 33 images was presented to a group of 153 volunteers (all undergraduate students), and they were asked to rate the visual quality of each on a 10-point scale (1 for very low visual quality, 10 for very high). Average visual quality scores were calculated for landscape. Texture measures were acquired using the two methods: pixel-based and object-based. Pixel-based texture measures were extracted from the first principle component (PC1) image. Object-based texture measures were extracted by using the original four bands. The association between image texture measures and perceived visual landscape quality was tested via Pearson's correlation coefficient. The analysis found a strong linear association between image texture measures and visual quality. The highest correlation coefficient was calculated between standard deviation of gray levels (SDGL) (one of the pixel-based texture measures) and visual quality (r = 0.82, P < 0.05). The results showed that perceived visual quality of urban woodland landscapes can be estimated by using texture measures extracted from satellite

  13. The imprecise science of evaluating scholarly performance: utilizing broad quality categories for an assessment of business and management journals.

    PubMed

    Lange, Thomas

    2006-08-01

    In a growing number of countries, government-appointed assessment panels develop ranks on the basis of the quality of scholarly outputs to apportion budgets in recognition of evaluated performance and to justify public funds for future R&D activities. When business and management journals are being grouped in broad quality categories, a recent study has noted that this procedure was placing the same journals in essentially the same categories. Drawing on journal quality categorizations by several German- and English-speaking business departments and academic associations, the author performs nonparametric tests and correlations to analyze whether this claim can be substantiated. In particular, he examines the ability of broad quality categorizations to add value to governmental, administrative, and academic decision making by withstanding the criticism traditionally levied at research quality assessments. PMID:16807434

  14. The use of logistic regression to enhance risk assessment and decision making by mental health administrators.

    PubMed

    Menditto, Anthony A; Linhorst, Donald M; Coleman, James C; Beck, Niels C

    2006-04-01

    Development of policies and procedures to contend with the risks presented by elopement, aggression, and suicidal behaviors are long-standing challenges for mental health administrators. Guidance in making such judgments can be obtained through the use of a multivariate statistical technique known as logistic regression. This procedure can be used to develop a predictive equation that is mathematically formulated to use the best combination of predictors, rather than considering just one factor at a time. This paper presents an overview of logistic regression and its utility in mental health administrative decision making. A case example of its application is presented using data on elopements from Missouri's long-term state psychiatric hospitals. Ultimately, the use of statistical prediction analyses tempered with differential qualitative weighting of classification errors can augment decision-making processes in a manner that provides guidance and flexibility while wrestling with the complex problem of risk assessment and decision making. PMID:16645908

  15. Supporting the Use of Health Technology Assessments by Decision-Makers.

    PubMed

    Polisena, Julie; Lavis, John N; Juzwishin, Don; McLean-Veysey, Pam; Graham, Ian D; Harstall, Christa; Martin, Janet

    2015-05-01

    A perceived gap exists in how well Canadian health technology assessment (HTA) producers are supporting the use of their HTAs by decision-makers. The authors propose that the newly released HTA Database Canadian search interface incorporate structured decision-relevant summaries of HTAs that would be developed by participating Canadian HTA organizations. The registry would serve as a "one-stop shop" by including HTA reports along with their structured summaries in a format that better meets decision-makers' needs. The Health Technology Analysis Exchange - a Canadian network of publicly funded HTA producers - is well-positioned to undertake this work and would welcome input about both the idea and its execution. PMID:26142355

  16. Supporting the Use of Health Technology Assessments by Decision-Makers

    PubMed Central

    Lavis, John N.; Juzwishin, Don; McLean-Veysey, Pam; Graham, Ian D.; Harstall, Christa; Martin, Janet

    2015-01-01

    A perceived gap exists in how well Canadian health technology assessment (HTA) producers are supporting the use of their HTAs by decision-makers. The authors propose that the newly released HTA Database Canadian search interface incorporate structured decision-relevant summaries of HTAs that would be developed by participating Canadian HTA organizations. The registry would serve as a “one-stop shop” by including HTA reports along with their structured summaries in a format that better meets decision-makers' needs. The Health Technology Analysis Exchange – a Canadian network of publicly funded HTA producers – is well-positioned to undertake this work and would welcome input about both the idea and its execution. PMID:26142355

  17. Design and implementation of a risk assessment module in a spatial decision support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Kaixi; van Westen, Cees; Bakker, Wim

    2014-05-01

    The spatial decision support system named 'Changes SDSS' is currently under development. The goal of this system is to analyze changing hydro-meteorological hazards and the effect of risk reduction alternatives to support decision makers in choosing the best alternatives. The risk assessment module within the system is to assess the current risk, analyze the risk after implementations of risk reduction alternatives, and analyze the risk in different future years when considering scenarios such as climate change, land use change and population growth. The objective of this work is to present the detailed design and implementation plan of the risk assessment module. The main challenges faced consist of how to shift the risk assessment from traditional desktop software to an open source web-based platform, the availability of input data and the inclusion of uncertainties in the risk analysis. The risk assessment module is developed using Ext JS library for the implementation of user interface on the client side, using Python for scripting, as well as PostGIS spatial functions for complex computations on the server side. The comprehensive consideration of the underlying uncertainties in input data can lead to a better quantification of risk assessment and a more reliable Changes SDSS, since the outputs of risk assessment module are the basis for decision making module within the system. The implementation of this module will contribute to the development of open source web-based modules for multi-hazard risk assessment in the future. This work is part of the "CHANGES SDSS" project, funded by the European Community's 7th Framework Program.

  18. Computer Simulation as a Tool for Assessing Decision-Making in Pandemic Influenza Response Training

    PubMed Central

    Leaming, James M.; Adoff, Spencer; Terndrup, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: We sought to develop and test a computer-based, interactive simulation of a hypothetical pandemic influenza outbreak. Fidelity was enhanced with integrated video and branching decision trees, built upon the 2007 federal planning assumptions. We conducted a before-and-after study of the simulation effectiveness to assess the simulations' ability to assess participants' beliefs regarding their own hospitals' mass casualty incident preparedness. Methods: Development: Using a Delphi process, we finalized a simulation that serves up a minimum of over 50 key decisions to 6 role-players on networked laptops in a conference area. The simulation played out an 8-week scenario, beginning with pre-incident decisions. Testing: Role-players and trainees (N=155) were facilitated to make decisions during the pandemic. Because decision responses vary, the simulation plays out differently, and a casualty counter quantifies hypothetical losses. The facilitator reviews and critiques key factors for casualty control, including effective communications, working with external organizations, development of internal policies and procedures, maintaining supplies and services, technical infrastructure support, public relations and training. Pre- and post-survey data were compared on trainees. Results: Post-simulation trainees indicated a greater likelihood of needing to improve their organization in terms of communications, mass casualty incident planning, public information and training. Participants also recognized which key factors required immediate attention at their own home facilities. Conclusion: The use of a computer-simulation was effective in providing a facilitated environment for determining the perception of preparedness, evaluating general preparedness concepts and introduced participants to critical decisions involved in handling a regional pandemic influenza surge. PMID:23687542

  19. Assessing Patient Participation in Health Policy Decision-Making in Cyprus

    PubMed Central

    Souliotis, Kyriakos; Agapidaki, Eirini; Peppou, Lily Evangelia; Tzavara, Chara; Samoutis, George; Theodorou, Mamas

    2016-01-01

    Although the importance of patient participation in the design and evaluation of health programs and services is well-documented, there is scarcity of research with regard to patient association (PA) participation in health policy decision-making processes. To this end, the present study aimed to validate further a previously developed instrument as well as to investigate the degree of PA participation in health policy decision-making in Cyprus. A convenient sample of 114 patients-members of patients associations took part in the study. Participants were recruited from an umbrella organization, the Pancyprian Federation of Patient Associations and Friends (PFPA). PA participation in health policy decision-making was assessed with the Health Democracy Index (HDI), an original 8-item tool. To explore its psychometric properties, Cronbach α was computed as regards to its internal consistency, while its convergent validity was tested against a self-rated question enquiring about the degree of PA participation in health policy decision-making. The findings revealed that the HDI has good internal consistency and convergent validity. Furthermore, PAs were found to participate more in consultations in health-related organizations and the Ministry of Health (MoH) as well as in reforms or crucial decisions in health policy. Lower levels were documented with regard to participation in hospital boards, ethics committees in clinical trials and health technology assessment (HTA) procedures. Overall, PA participation levels were found to be lower than the mid-point of the scale. Targeted interventions aiming to facilitate patients’ involvement in health policy decision-making processes and to increase its impact are greatly needed in Cyprus.

  20. Analysis of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and the EIA decision in Turkey

    SciTech Connect

    Bilgin, Ayla

    2015-07-15

    The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive first entered into force in the United States in 1969, and began to be implemented in many other countries by 1990. The first Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive in Turkey was published on February 7, 1993, under the Environmental Law No. 2872. The EIA Directive was revised seven times on June 23, 1997, June 6, 2002, December 16, 2003, July 17, 2008, October 3, 2013, and November 25, 2014. Several amendments were made during this process. The first EIA Directive dated 1993 was narrow in scope and its procedure was long, while the amendments in 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2014 widened the scope of the EIA, and shortened the EIA assessment procedures. In this study, the amendments to the Turkish EIA Directive were analysed, and their effect on the number of EIA decisions made was addressed. It was concluded that the uncertainties in EIA procedures were removed, procedures were shortened, and as a result, the number of EIA decisions increased thanks to the revisions made in line with harmonisation with European Union (EU) acquis. - Highlights: • Demonstrates the Environmental Impact Assessment practices in Turkey. • Demonstrates the application of the EIA in Turkey by sector. • Demonstrates the amendments of the EIA by-laws in Turkey. • Demonstrates the changes in EIA practices and EIA decisions.

  1. Environmental risk assessment of chemicals and nanomaterials--The best foundation for regulatory decision-making?

    PubMed

    Syberg, Kristian; Hansen, Steffen Foss

    2016-01-15

    Environmental risk assessment (ERA) is often considered as the most transparent, objective and reliable decision-making tool for informing the risk management of chemicals and nanomaterials. ERAs are based on the assumption that it is possible to provide accurate estimates of hazard and exposure and, subsequently, to quantify risk. In this paper we argue that since the quantification of risk is dominated by uncertainties, ERAs do not provide a transparent or an objective foundation for decision-making and they should therefore not be considered as a "holy grail" for informing risk management. We build this thesis on the analysis of two case studies (of nonylphenol and nanomaterials) as well as a historical analysis in which we address the scientific foundation for ERAs. The analyses show that ERAs do not properly address all aspects of actual risk, such as the mixture effect and the environmentally realistic risk from nanomaterials. Uncertainties have been recognised for decades, and assessment factors are used to compensate for the lack of realism in ERAs. The assessment factors' values were pragmatically determined, thus lowering the scientific accuracy of the ERAs. Furthermore, the default choice of standard assay for assessing a hazard might not always be the most biologically relevant, so we therefore argue that an ERA should be viewed as a pragmatic decision-making tool among several, and it should not have a special status for informing risk management. In relation to other relevant decision-making tools we discuss the use of chemical alternative assessments (CAAs) and the precautionary principle. PMID:26433335

  2. Foster care assessment: A study of the placement decision process in Flanders.

    PubMed

    Vanderfaeillie, Johan; Pijnenburg, Huub; Damen, Harm; Van Holen, Frank

    2015-11-01

    Family foster care placement decision-making has a weak scientific underpinning. Mostly a 'variable-oriented approach' is taken, which requires a lot of information that is not always available. The identification of clusters of foster children with similar characteristics may be a more viable decision strategy. In this study we investigated if foster children could indeed be clustered, which problems were identified at the time of placement, and the influence of placement history. It proved possible to group foster children into two clusters: (1) young children with familial problems and few behavioral problems, and (2) older children with prominent child problems and behavioral problems. For foster children with and without placement history, problems associated with placement proved identical. Considering that a foster care placement did not result in fundamental change in the problems present at time of placement, the importance is stressed of approaching foster care assessment as part of a decision making process which looks back as well as forward. Placement decisions should be based on an appraisal of the appropriateness of foster placement as a solution for the child. In conjunction with this appraisal a decision is required on how parents can be supported toward reunification. Or--if this is not an option--whether long term foster care is the best option for the child and if so, what conditions need to be met. PMID:25913381

  3. Analysis of quality raw data of second generation sequencers with Quality Assessment Software

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Second generation technologies have advantages over Sanger; however, they have resulted in new challenges for the genome construction process, especially because of the small size of the reads, despite the high degree of coverage. Independent of the program chosen for the construction process, DNA sequences are superimposed, based on identity, to extend the reads, generating contigs; mismatches indicate a lack of homology and are not included. This process improves our confidence in the sequences that are generated. Findings We developed Quality Assessment Software, with which one can review graphs showing the distribution of quality values from the sequencing reads. This software allow us to adopt more stringent quality standards for sequence data, based on quality-graph analysis and estimated coverage after applying the quality filter, providing acceptable sequence coverage for genome construction from short reads. Conclusions Quality filtering is a fundamental step in the process of constructing genomes, as it reduces the frequency of incorrect alignments that are caused by measuring errors, which can occur during the construction process due to the size of the reads, provoking misassemblies. Application of quality filters to sequence data, using the software Quality Assessment, along with graphing analyses, provided greater precision in the definition of cutoff parameters, which increased the accuracy of genome construction. PMID:21501521

  4. Can comprehensive climate impact assessment of terrestrial ecosystems be included in Life Cycle Assessment to support policy decisions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bright, R. M.; Cherubini, F.; Strømman, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Decisions resulting in land use change (LUC) or land management change (LMC) rarely consider the changes to surface biophysical properties that lead to immediate land-atmosphere feedbacks and subsequent local- to regional-scale climate changes. This is likely because the sign and magnitude of the various feedback mechanisms depend largely on a multitude of highly site-specific meteorological, eco-physiological, structural, and topographic factors, making them difficult to quantify in the absence of sophisticated models with high spatial and temporal resolution. In a world increasingly dependent on biomass (and thus land) resources for energy and materials, it is unacceptable to continue ignoring important biogeophysical factors linked to land use activities in climate impact assessment studies. Although a number of useful land-atmosphere impact assessment methodologies and metrics have been proposed in recent years, they are rarely applied in the decision making process. Over the last 10-15 years, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has emerged as a prominent decision-support tool that relies on well-established IPCC climate metrics, yet land-atmosphere climate metrics are rarely applied. Here, we present a review of the literature enveloping methods and metrics for quantifying or characterizing climate change impacts in terrestrial ecosystems. We highlight their merits and discuss practical limitations with respect to their integration into the LCA framework. We conclude by proposing some solutions for overcoming the integration barrier and suggest some practical ways forward for both climate modelers/metric developers and LCA practitioners.

  5. Multi-criteria decision assessments using Subjective Logic: Methodology and the case of urban water strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moglia, Magnus; Sharma, Ashok K.; Maheepala, Shiroma

    2012-07-01

    SummaryPlanning of regional and urban water resources, and in particular with Integrated Urban Water Management approaches, often considers inter-relationships between human uses of water, the health of the natural environment as well as the cost of various management strategies. Decision makers hence typically need to consider a combination of social, environmental and economic goals. The types of strategies employed can include water efficiency measures, water sensitive urban design, stormwater management, or catchment management. Therefore, decision makers need to choose between different scenarios and to evaluate them against a number of criteria. This type of problem has a discipline devoted to it, i.e. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, which has often been applied in water management contexts. This paper describes the application of Subjective Logic in a basic Bayesian Network to a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis problem. By doing this, it outlines a novel methodology that explicitly incorporates uncertainty and information reliability. The application of the methodology to a known case study context allows for exploration. By making uncertainty and reliability of assessments explicit, it allows for assessing risks of various options, and this may help in alleviating cognitive biases and move towards a well formulated risk management policy.

  6. Fuzzy Based Decision Support System for Condition Assessment and Rating of Bridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivas, Voggu; Sasmal, Saptarshi; Karusala, Ramanjaneyulu

    2016-06-01

    In this work, a knowledge based decision support system has been developed to efficiently handle the issues such as distress diagnosis, assessment of damages and condition rating of existing bridges towards developing an exclusive and robust Bridge Management System (BMS) for sustainable bridges. The Knowledge Based Expert System (KBES) diagnoses the distresses and finds the cause of distress in the bridge by processing the data which are heuristic and combined with site inspection results, laboratory test results etc. The coupling of symbolic and numeric type of data has been successfully implemented in the expert system to strengthen its decision making process. Finally, the condition rating of the bridge is carried out using the assessment results obtained from the KBES and the information received from the bridge inspector. A systematic procedure has been developed using fuzzy mathematics for condition rating of bridges by combining the fuzzy weighted average and resolution identity technique. The proposed methodologies and the decision support system will facilitate in developing a robust and exclusive BMS for a network of bridges across the country and allow the bridge engineers and decision makers to carry out maintenance of bridges in a rational and systematic way.

  7. The Effect of Structured Decision-Making Techniques and Gender on Student Reaction and Quality of Written Documents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neal, Joan; Echternacht, Lonnie

    1995-01-01

    Experimental groups used four decision-making techniques--reverse brainstorming (RS), dialectical inquiry (DI), devil's advocacy (DA), and consensus--in evaluating writing assignments. Control group produced a better quality document. Student reaction to negative features of RS, DI, and DA were not significant. (SK)

  8. Total Quality Management in Higher Education: A Critical Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seymour, Daniel; Collett, Casey

    This study attempted a comprehensive, critical assessment of Total Quality Management (TQM) initiatives in higher education. A survey of 25 institutions (including community colleges, private four-year colleges and universities and public colleges) with experience with TQM was developed and used. The survey utilized , attitude scales designed to…

  9. The Achilles' Heel of Quality: The Assessment of Student Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knight, Peter T.

    2002-01-01

    Explores the dependability of assessments of student achievement when used for internal and external quality monitoring (IQM and EQM). Identifies problems and suggests responses, including a radical approach based on accepting that reliable national data about complex student achievements are not available. Asserts that reliance on EQM is unwise…

  10. Algorithm for automatic forced spirometry quality assessment: technological developments.

    PubMed

    Melia, Umberto; Burgos, Felip; Vallverdú, Montserrat; Velickovski, Filip; Lluch-Ariet, Magí; Roca, Josep; Caminal, Pere

    2014-01-01

    We hypothesized that the implementation of automatic real-time assessment of quality of forced spirometry (FS) may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a FS program in the community. Recent studies have demonstrated that the application of quality criteria defined by the ATS/ERS (American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society) in commercially available equipment with automatic quality assessment can be markedly improved. To this end, an algorithm for assessing quality of FS automatically was reported. The current research describes the mathematical developments of the algorithm. An innovative analysis of the shape of the spirometric curve, adding 23 new metrics to the traditional 4 recommended by ATS/ERS, was done. The algorithm was created through a two-step iterative process including: (1) an initial version using the standard FS curves recommended by the ATS; and, (2) a refined version using curves from patients. In each of these steps the results were assessed against one expert's opinion. Finally, an independent set of FS curves from 291 patients was used for validation purposes. The novel mathematical approach to characterize the FS curves led to appropriate FS classification with high specificity (95%) and sensitivity (96%). The results constitute the basis for a successful transfer of FS testing to non-specialized professionals in the community. PMID:25551213

  11. Algorithm for Automatic Forced Spirometry Quality Assessment: Technological Developments

    PubMed Central

    Melia, Umberto; Burgos, Felip; Vallverdú, Montserrat; Velickovski, Filip; Lluch-Ariet, Magí; Roca, Josep; Caminal, Pere

    2014-01-01

    We hypothesized that the implementation of automatic real-time assessment of quality of forced spirometry (FS) may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a FS program in the community. Recent studies have demonstrated that the application of quality criteria defined by the ATS/ERS (American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society) in commercially available equipment with automatic quality assessment can be markedly improved. To this end, an algorithm for assessing quality of FS automatically was reported. The current research describes the mathematical developments of the algorithm. An innovative analysis of the shape of the spirometric curve, adding 23 new metrics to the traditional 4 recommended by ATS/ERS, was done. The algorithm was created through a two-step iterative process including: (1) an initial version using the standard FS curves recommended by the ATS; and, (2) a refined version using curves from patients. In each of these steps the results were assessed against one expert's opinion. Finally, an independent set of FS curves from 291 patients was used for validation purposes. The novel mathematical approach to characterize the FS curves led to appropriate FS classification with high specificity (95%) and sensitivity (96%). The results constitute the basis for a successful transfer of FS testing to non-specialized professionals in the community. PMID:25551213

  12. Miniature spinning as a fiber quality assessment tool

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Miniature spinning has long been used to assess cotton varieties in a timely manner. It has been an accepted fact that the quality of miniature spinning is less than optimal, but that it allows a direct comparison between cottons during varietal studies. Recently, researchers have made processing ...

  13. Quality Control Charts in Large-Scale Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schafer, William D.; Coverdale, Bradley J.; Luxenberg, Harlan; Jin, Ying

    2011-01-01

    There are relatively few examples of quantitative approaches to quality control in educational assessment and accountability contexts. Among the several techniques that are used in other fields, Shewart charts have been found in a few instances to be applicable in educational settings. This paper describes Shewart charts and gives examples of how…

  14. Incorporating Contaminant Bioavailability into Sediment Quality Assessment Frameworks

    EPA Science Inventory

    The recently adopted sediment quality assessment framework for evaluating bay and estuarine sediments in the State of California incorporates bulk sediment chemistry as a key line of evidence(LOE) but does not address the bioavailability of measured contaminants. Thus, the chemis...

  15. A Methodological Proposal for Learning Games Selection and Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dondi, Claudio; Moretti, Michela

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a methodological proposal elaborated in the framework of two European projects dealing with game-based learning, both of which have focused on "quality" aspects in order to create suitable tools that support European educators, practitioners and lifelong learners in selecting and assessing learning games for use in teaching and…

  16. Feedback Effects of Teaching Quality Assessment: Macro and Micro Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the feedback effects of teaching quality assessment. Previous literature looked separately at the evolution of individual and aggregate scores to understand whether instructors and university performance depends on its past evaluation. I propose a new quantitative-based methodology, combining statistical distributions and…

  17. Quality of Feedback Following Performance Assessments: Does Assessor Expertise Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Govaerts, Marjan J. B.; van de Wiel, Margje W. J.; van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to investigate quality of feedback as offered by supervisor-assessors with varying levels of assessor expertise following assessment of performance in residency training in a health care setting. It furthermore investigates if and how different levels of assessor expertise influence feedback characteristics.…

  18. Quality Assured Assessment Processes: Evaluating Staff Response to Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S.; Zimitat, Craig; Malau-Aduli, Aduli E. O.

    2011-01-01

    Medical education is not exempt from the increasing societal expectations of accountability and this is evidenced by an increasing number of litigation cases by students who are dissatisfied with their assessment. The time and monetary costs of student appeals makes it imperative that medical schools adopt robust quality assured assessment…

  19. The Assessment of Service Quality in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delene, Linda; Bunda, Mary Anne

    This paper presents a market driven model for assessing the service quality of support services in higher education, primarily for United States institutions, by examining higher education within the context of a complex service industry. The paper begins by explaining the development of the model and its implications for service management. Next,…

  20. Quality Assessment Parameters for Student Support at Higher Education Institutions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajiene, Laima; Tamuliene, Rasa

    2012-01-01

    The research presented in this article aims to validate quality assessment parameters for student support at higher education institutions. Student support is discussed as the system of services provided by a higher education institution which helps to develop student-centred curriculum and fulfils students' emotional, academic, social needs, and…

  1. Quality and Assessment in Context: A Brief Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koslowski, Fred A., III

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a general review for USA and international academic faculty and administrators of the dominant themes and history of quality and assessment in both industry and Higher Education, and how they relate to each other in order to stimulate and encourage debate as well as influence policy.…

  2. Assessing ground-water vulnerability to contamination: Providing scientifically defensible information for decision makers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Focazio, Michael J.; Reilly, Thomas E.; Rupert, Michael G.; Helsel, Dennis R.

    2002-01-01

    Throughout the United States increasing demands for safe drinking water and requirements to maintain healthy ecosystems are leading policy makers to ask complex social and scientific questions about how to assess and manage our water resources. This challenge becomes particularly difficult as policy and management objectives require scientific assessments of the potential for ground-water resources to become contaminated from anthropogenic, as well as natural sources of contamination. Assessments of the vulnerability of ground water to contamination range in scope and complexity from simple, qualitative, and relatively inexpensive approaches to rigorous, quantitative, and costly assessments. Tradeoffs must be carefully considered among the competing influences of the cost of an assessment, the scientific defensibility, and the amount of acceptable uncertainty in meeting the objectives of the water-resource decision maker.

  3. Groundwater quality assessment based on rough sets attribute reduction and TOPSIS method in a semi-arid area, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Peiyue; Wu, Jianhua; Qian, Hui

    2012-08-01

    In order to enrich and improve the groundwater quality assessment system, a new coupled assessment model based on rough set attribute reduction and the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) was proposed. The proposed model was applied in the groundwater quality assessment of a semi-arid area, northwest China. The results show that most chemical indices except NH (4) (+) , F(-), and Mn meet the Standards for Drinking Water of China and the groundwater quality overall is good. All assessed water samples are found to be fit for human consumption according to the comprehensive assessment results. Rough set attribute reduction for groundwater quality assessment is practical. The assessment results after attribute reduction show a good consistency with those before attribute reduction. Rough set attribute reduction and TOPSIS evaluation coupled model is clear in ideas and simple in calculation, and evaluation results are reasonable as well. The coupled model can be applied to solve many multiple criteria decision making problems such as groundwater quality assessment. PMID:21894505

  4. A research review of quality assessment for software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Measures were recommended to assess the quality of software submitted to the AdaNet program. The quality factors that are important to software reuse are explored and methods of evaluating those factors are discussed. Quality factors important to software reuse are: correctness, reliability, verifiability, understandability, modifiability, and certifiability. Certifiability is included because the documentation of many factors about a software component such as its efficiency, portability, and development history, constitute a class for factors important to some users, not important at all to other, and impossible for AdaNet to distinguish between a priori. The quality factors may be assessed in different ways. There are a few quantitative measures which have been shown to indicate software quality. However, it is believed that there exists many factors that indicate quality and have not been empirically validated due to their subjective nature. These subjective factors are characterized by the way in which they support the software engineering principles of abstraction, information hiding, modularity, localization, confirmability, uniformity, and completeness.

  5. Colonoscopy video quality assessment using hidden Markov random fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Sun Young; Sargent, Dusty; Spofford, Inbar; Vosburgh, Kirby

    2011-03-01

    With colonoscopy becoming a common procedure for individuals aged 50 or more who are at risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), colon video data is being accumulated at an ever increasing rate. However, the clinically valuable information contained in these videos is not being maximally exploited to improve patient care and accelerate the development of new screening methods. One of the well-known difficulties in colonoscopy video analysis is the abundance of frames with no diagnostic information. Approximately 40% - 50% of the frames in a colonoscopy video are contaminated by noise, acquisition errors, glare, blur, and uneven illumination. Therefore, filtering out low quality frames containing no diagnostic information can significantly improve the efficiency of colonoscopy video analysis. To address this challenge, we present a quality assessment algorithm to detect and remove low quality, uninformative frames. The goal of our algorithm is to discard low quality frames while retaining all diagnostically relevant information. Our algorithm is based on a hidden Markov model (HMM) in combination with two measures of data quality to filter out uninformative frames. Furthermore, we present a two-level framework based on an embedded hidden Markov model (EHHM) to incorporate the proposed quality assessment algorithm into a complete, automated diagnostic image analysis system for colonoscopy video.

  6. Display device-adapted video quality-of-experience assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehman, Abdul; Zeng, Kai; Wang, Zhou

    2015-03-01

    Today's viewers consume video content from a variety of connected devices, including smart phones, tablets, notebooks, TVs, and PCs. This imposes significant challenges for managing video traffic efficiently to ensure an acceptable quality-of-experience (QoE) for the end users as the perceptual quality of video content strongly depends on the properties of the display device and the viewing conditions. State-of-the-art full-reference objective video quality assessment algorithms do not take into account the combined impact of display device properties, viewing conditions, and video resolution while performing video quality assessment. We performed a subjective study in order to understand the impact of aforementioned factors on perceptual video QoE. We also propose a full reference video QoE measure, named SSIMplus, that provides real-time prediction of the perceptual quality of a video based on human visual system behaviors, video content characteristics (such as spatial and temporal complexity, and video resolution), display device properties (such as screen size, resolution, and brightness), and viewing conditions (such as viewing distance and angle). Experimental results have shown that the proposed algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art video quality measures in terms of accuracy and speed.

  7. Assessing local resources and culture before instituting quality improvement projects.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, C Matthew

    2014-12-01

    The planning phases of quality improvement projects are commonly overlooked. Disorganized planning and implementation can escalate chaos, intensify resistance to change, and increase the likelihood of failure. Two important steps in the planning phase are (1) assessing local resources available to aid in the quality improvement project and (2) evaluating the culture in which the desired change is to be implemented. Assessing local resources includes identifying and engaging key stakeholders and evaluating if appropriate expertise is available for the scope of the project. This process also involves engaging informaticists and gathering available IT tools to plan and automate (to the extent possible) the data-gathering, analysis, and feedback steps. Culture in a department is influenced by the ability and willingness to manage resistance to change, build consensus, span boundaries between stakeholders, and become a learning organization. Allotting appropriate time to perform these preparatory steps will increase the odds of successfully performing a quality improvement project and implementing change. PMID:25467724

  8. [The assessment of bone quality in lifestyle-related diseases].

    PubMed

    Yamauchi, Mika

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus(DM)and other lifestyle-related diseases are associated with an increased risk of bone quality deterioration-type osteoporosis. The deterioration of bone quality in type 2 DM involves factors such as qualitative changes of collagens, reduction in bone turnover, narrow cortical bone diameter, increased cortical bone porosity, and destruction of trabecular bone microarchitecture. In mild to moderate chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the factors involved are thought to be hyperhomocysteinemia and deterioration of trabecular bone microarchitecture as well as cortical bone structure. Investigations of the usefulness of bone quality assessment using approaches such as the following are under way : biocheminal markers such as pentosidine and homocysteine, bone structure assessment methods such as hip structure analysis, trabecular bone score, and high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography. PMID:26728532

  9. Water Quality Assessment of Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thatoe Nwe Win, Thanda; Bogaard, Thom; van de Giesen, Nick

    2015-04-01

    Myanmar's socio-economic activities, urbanisation, industrial operations and agricultural production have increased rapidly in recent years. With the increase of socio-economic development and climate change impacts, there is an increasing threat on quantity and quality of water resources. In Myanmar, some of the drinking water coverage still comes from unimproved sources including rivers. The Ayeyarwady River is the main river in Myanmar draining most of the country's area. The use of chemical fertilizer in the agriculture, the mining activities in the catchment area, wastewater effluents from the industries and communities and other development activities generate pollutants of different nature. Therefore water quality monitoring is of utmost importance. In Myanmar, there are many government organizations linked to water quality management. Each water organization monitors water quality for their own purposes. The monitoring is haphazard, short term and based on individual interest and the available equipment. The monitoring is not properly coordinated and a quality assurance programme is not incorporated in most of the work. As a result, comprehensive data on the water quality of rivers in Myanmar is not available. To provide basic information, action is needed at all management levels. The need for comprehensive and accurate assessments of trends in water quality has been recognized. For such an assessment, reliable monitoring data are essential. The objective of our work is to set-up a multi-objective surface water quality monitoring programme. The need for a scientifically designed network to monitor the Ayeyarwady river water quality is obvious as only limited and scattered data on water quality is available. However, the set-up should also take into account the current socio-economic situation and should be flexible to adjust after first years of monitoring. Additionally, a state-of-the-art baseline river water quality sampling program is required which

  10. Supporting Policy and Program Decisions: Recommendations for Conducting High Quality Systematic Evidence Reviews. Issue Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 2012

    2012-01-01

    Policy and program decisions typically involve selecting one choice from among a set of options, and research about the effect of those options can help inform the decision process. However, for the research to be useful, decision makers need a way of drawing accurate lessons from what often can be a large assortment of relevant studies.…

  11. Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) Assessment Report for US Army Garrison, Japan - Honshu Installations

    SciTech Connect

    Kora, Angela R.; Brown, Daryl R.; Dixon, Douglas R.

    2010-03-09

    This report documents an assessment was performed by a team of engineers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) under contract to the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Pacific Region Office (PARO). The effort used the Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) model to determine how energy is consumed at five U.S. Army Garrison-Japan (USAG-J) installations in the Honshu area, identify the most cost-effective energy retrofit measures, and calculate the potential energy and cost savings.

  12. Evaluating the Role of Content in Subjective Video Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Vrgovic, Petar

    2014-01-01

    Video quality as perceived by human observers is the ground truth when Video Quality Assessment (VQA) is in question. It is dependent on many variables, one of them being the content of the video that is being evaluated. Despite the evidence that content has an impact on the quality score the sequence receives from human evaluators, currently available VQA databases mostly comprise of sequences which fail to take this into account. In this paper, we aim to identify and analyze differences between human cognitive, affective, and conative responses to a set of videos commonly used for VQA and a set of videos specifically chosen to include video content which might affect the judgment of evaluators when perceived video quality is in question. Our findings indicate that considerable differences exist between the two sets on selected factors, which leads us to conclude that videos starring a different type of content than the currently employed ones might be more appropriate for VQA. PMID:24523643

  13. Space Shuttle flying qualities and flight control system assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, T. T.; Mcruer, D. T.; Johnston, D. E.

    1982-01-01

    This paper reviews issues, data, and analyses relevant to the longitudinal flying qualities of the Space Shuttle in approach and landing. The manual control of attitude and path are first examined theoretically to demonstrate the unconventional nature of the Shuttle's augmented pitch and path response characteristics. The time domain pitch rate transient response criterion used for design of the Shuttle flight control system is examined in context with data from recent flying qualities experiments and operational aircraft. Questions arising from this examination are addressed through comparisons with MIL-F-8785C and other proposed flying qualities criteria which indicate potential longitudinal flying qualities problems. However, it is shown that these criteria, based largely on data from conventional aircraft, may be inappropriate for assessing the Shuttle.

  14. A Decision Tool to Improve the Quality of Care in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Fraenkel, Liana; Peters, Ellen; Charpentier, Peter; Olsen, Blair; Errante, Lanette; Schoen, Robert T.; Reyna, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Despite the importance of achieving tight control, many rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are not effectively treated with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The objective of this study was to develop a decision support tool to inform RA patients with ongoing active disease about the risks and benefits related to biologic therapy. Methods We developed a balanced, web-based, decision support tool. Options, values and probabilistic information were described using theoretically supported formulations. We conducted a pre-post test study to assess preliminary evidence of the tool’s efficacy in improving knowledge related to biologics, clarity of values, willingness to take a biologic and informed choice. Results We interviewed 104 subjects; mean age = 62; 84% female, 86% White; median duration of RA =13 years. Knowledge (coded on a 0 to 20 scale) and willingness to take a biologic (coded on a 0 to 10 scale) significantly increased after viewing the tool (mean differences = 3.1 and 1.4 respectively, both p < 0.0001). Perceived knowledge and value clarity (coded on 0 to 100 scales) also significantly improved (mean differences 20.4 and 20.7 respectively, both p<0.001). The proportion of subjects making an informed, value-concordant choice increased substantially from 35% to 64%. Conclusion A tool designed to effectively communicate the risks and benefits associated with biologic therapy increased knowledge, patient willingness to escalate care, and the likelihood of making an informed choice. The results of this study support the need for a clinical trial to examine the impact of the tool in clinical practice. PMID:22392766

  15. A multicriteria decision analysis model and risk assessment framework for carbon capture and storage.

    PubMed

    Humphries Choptiany, John Michael; Pelot, Ronald

    2014-09-01

    Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been applied to various energy problems to incorporate a variety of qualitative and quantitative criteria, usually spanning environmental, social, engineering, and economic fields. MCDA and associated methods such as life-cycle assessments and cost-benefit analysis can also include risk analysis to address uncertainties in criteria estimates. One technology now being assessed to help mitigate climate change is carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is a new process that captures CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled power plants and injects them into geological reservoirs for storage. It presents a unique challenge to decisionmakers (DMs) due to its technical complexity, range of environmental, social, and economic impacts, variety of stakeholders, and long time spans. The authors have developed a risk assessment model using a MCDA approach for CCS decisions such as selecting between CO2 storage locations and choosing among different mitigation actions for reducing risks. The model includes uncertainty measures for several factors, utility curve representations of all variables, Monte Carlo simulation, and sensitivity analysis. This article uses a CCS scenario example to demonstrate the development and application of the model based on data derived from published articles and publicly available sources. The model allows high-level DMs to better understand project risks and the tradeoffs inherent in modern, complex energy decisions. PMID:24772997

  16. Creating a spatial multi-criteria decision support system for energy related integrated environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Wanderer, Thomas Herle, Stefan

    2015-04-15

    By their spatially very distributed nature, profitability and impacts of renewable energy resources are highly correlated with the geographic locations of power plant deployments. A web-based Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) based on a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) approach has been implemented for identifying preferable locations for solar power plants based on user preferences. The designated areas found serve for the input scenario development for a subsequent integrated Environmental Impact Assessment. The capabilities of the SDSS service get showcased for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants in the region of Andalusia, Spain. The resulting spatial patterns of possible power plant sites are an important input to the procedural chain of assessing impacts of renewable energies in an integrated effort. The applied methodology and the implemented SDSS are applicable for other renewable technologies as well. - Highlights: • The proposed tool facilitates well-founded CSP plant siting decisions. • Spatial MCDA methods are implemented in a WebGIS environment. • GIS-based SDSS can contribute to a modern integrated impact assessment workflow. • The conducted case study proves the suitability of the methodology.

  17. The impact of perceived quality on online buying decisions: an event-related potentials perspective.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Han, Weiwei

    2014-10-01

    Consumer neuroscience can provide useful insights into the neural foundations of consumer decisions, such as perceived quality. One of the applications is to guide attribute configuration of products to fit consumers' expectations on the basis of individual preferences. In this study, we required 20 participants to decide whether to buy the product provided in the stimuli and to respond as soon as possible. According to their reports of expectations after the experiment, we subdivided the stimuli into two conditions. Condition 1 contained the stimuli that fit individual preferences, whereas Condition 2 contained the other stimuli. An essential component of event-related potentials (ERPs), the P300, was elicited in the two conditions and distributed over almost all parietal and occipital regions. Products in Condition 1 induced a higher P300 amplitude than those in Condition 2. The results show that evaluating product attributes is a cognitive process that modulates attention in the aforementioned regions. When participants evaluate the alternatives, categorical processing occurred on the basis of similarity judgment. The situation in Condition 1 produced a similarity overlap between the product and the expectation and resulted in a higher P300. Otherwise, there was no overlap, leading to a smaller P300. Hence, the P300 may be a useful neural endogenous indicator for measuring consumers' evaluations of products in marketing research. PMID:25037004

  18. Water quality success stories: Integrated assessments from the IOOS regional associations and national water quality monitoring network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ragsdale, Rob; Vowinkel, Eric; Porter, Dwayne; Hamilton, Pixie; Morrison, Ru; Kohut, Josh; Connell, Bob; Kelsey, Heath; Trowbridge, Phil

    2011-01-01

    The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Regional Associations and Interagency Partners hosted a water quality workshop in January 2010 to discuss issues of nutrient enrichment and dissolved oxygen depletion (hypoxia), harmful algal blooms (HABs), and beach water quality. In 2007, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council piloted demonstration projects as part of the National Water Quality Monitoring Network (Network) for U.S. Coastal Waters and their Tributaries in three IOOS Regional Associations, and these projects are ongoing. Examples of integrated science-based solutions to water quality issues of major concern from the IOOS regions and Network demonstration projects are explored in this article. These examples illustrate instances where management decisions have benefited from decision-support tools that make use of interoperable data. Gaps, challenges, and outcomes are identified, and a proposal is made for future work toward a multiregional water quality project for beach water quality.

  19. Quality of life assessment in preterm children: physicians’ knowledge, attitude, belief, practice - a KABP study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The sequelae of extremely preterm birth have an impact on the quality of life (QoL) of these children. Standardized assessment of their QoL is rarely done in France. The aim of this study is to examine among all the types of physicians involved in the management of children born extremely preterm, their knowledge, use in routine practice and expectations concerning QoL assessment of these children using standardized questionnaires. Methods Prospective survey among heads of obstetric, neonatal medicine and paediatric neurology departments, by means of questionnaires. Two qualitative methods were used: focus groups and Delphi method. Results Seventy-eight physicians participated (obstetricians 24%, neonatologists 58%, paediatric neurologists 18%). The physicians considered QoL a relevant concept which they assessed subjectively. They expressed a need for information on methods of assessment. An ideal QoL questionnaire was described. Expectations regarding availability of QoL data were expressed from a medical, family and societal perspective. The impact of QoL measurement on the ethical aspect of decision-making was approached, in particular the potential impact of this tool on the decision made. Expectations were found to differ between specialties. Conclusion This original study reports the perspective of experts on taking into consideration the QoL of children born extremely preterm. This is a subjective notion that is difficult to implement and which may influence therapeutic choices. PMID:23601174

  20. Learning to rank for blind image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Gao, Fei; Tao, Dacheng; Gao, Xinbo; Li, Xuelong

    2015-10-01

    Blind image quality assessment (BIQA) aims to predict perceptual image quality scores without access to reference images. State-of-the-art BIQA methods typically require subjects to score a large number of images to train a robust model. However, subjective quality scores are imprecise, biased, and inconsistent, and it is challenging to obtain a large-scale database, or to extend existing databases, because of the inconvenience of collecting images, training the subjects, conducting subjective experiments, and realigning human quality evaluations. To combat these limitations, this paper explores and exploits preference image pairs (PIPs) such as the quality of image Ia is better than that of image Ib for training a robust BIQA model. The preference label, representing the relative quality of two images, is generally precise and consistent, and is not sensitive to image content, distortion type, or subject identity; such PIPs can be generated at a very low cost. The proposed BIQA method is one of learning to rank. We first formulate the problem of learning the mapping from the image features to the preference label as one of classification. In particular, we investigate the utilization of a multiple kernel learning algorithm based on group lasso to provide a solution. A simple but effective strategy to estimate perceptual image quality scores is then presented. Experiments show that the proposed BIQA method is highly effective and achieves a performance comparable with that of state-of-the-art BIQA algorithms. Moreover, the proposed method can be easily extended to new distortion categories. PMID:25616080